Cruise Specialists Hosts Steve and Wendy are on the road (or high sea’s in this case) once again with the Voyage of the Vikings. In fact, this is their 7th time doing this particular journey! They started with some amazing sites in Bar Harbor, Norway and now they’re on to the Netherlands .
Rotterdam in the Netherlands is our mid-voyage overnight stop. One hundred or so guests got off and about 150 got on, which means new faces and a new energy for the trip.
Rotterdam is a very modern city with lots of tall buildings and big businesses.
First, we walked across the Erasmus Bridge (a major symbol for the city) to Het Park. It was just on the other side of the Maas River and is a welcome oasis with a comfortable promenade along the water and good trails for a more country type of walk. It also houses the Euromast, a needle-like tower with an observation deck and rotating restaurant.
Then we walked back over the bridge and headed out to see the Holland America Rotterdam V, which is moored not far away from our dock.
They’ve made an elaborate visitor facility so that people can visit the museum, eat in the restaurant or stay in the hotel – all within the body of the retired vessel. Our very first cruise in 1993 was on this ship, but honestly, she didn’t look familiar.
She has a grey bottom which makes her look very different from the current Holland America dark blue décor. But it was fun to see and she has beautiful lines – unlike some of the modern mega liners. Then we walked back over the promenade connecting Rotterdam V with the Rotterdam VI docks, passing the Hotel New York, former headquarters of Holland America Line.
Rotterdam has been the home port to our ship for the last few years. As we were getting ready to leave, an announcement was made to advise us that we were leaving here for the last time in the foreseeable future. Rotterdam VI would now be based in the U.S. The Cruise Director thanked the city for its hospitality and expressed sadness to be leaving (he is Dutch).
A pleasant sea day followed that included another great cocktail party with our Cruise Specialists friends.
We hardly had time to visit with everyone we know in the short hour. And we welcomed on board our very favorite guest lecturer and his fiancé – Mel and Glynnis. We last saw them a few months ago and look forward to his educational and entertaining stories.
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