Minicruise to Amsterdam

The Pride of Hull

Back in August I thought it would be fun to visit my friend Monique in Amsterdam and instead of flying travel the slow way by train and ferry and coach. The P&O Ferries Company sells “Minicruises at mini prices“.  Several fellow passengers were just sailing over for the day. But I decided to book the one night version which included two nights on the ferry and a night (you can arrange this yourself, as I did, or P&O will do the honours for you) in Amsterdam.

You’ll have read about my hour at Hull Station and at 5pm the bus picked us up at the bus station and whisked us off to the Hull Docks where the biggest ferry I have seen or sailed on was waiting for us to board.

We could board as soon as we arrived (after the usual formalities – passports, tickets etc). I’d upgraded to a Premier Outside Cabin but the complete trip checked in at less than £100. And the bonus was relaxed travel and none of the stresses and queuing involved with air travel. This trip suited me very well. There’s a cinema and I watched ‘Goodbye, Christopher Robin’. And there are at least three opportunities for eating and several bars too. I didn’t check out the shops nor the casino. We had time to enjoy the facilities and wake up at a reasonable time – not the unearthly hour of 5 in the morning or anything like that.

Our pilot delivers us safely to the dock from my porthole

After docking at Europoort (Rotterdam) we were swiftly though the formalities and boarding our buses to Amsterdam. By 11am I was knocking on Monique’s door.

I had until 5pm the next day (30 hours) to enjoy the city and the company. I stayed at a nearby B&B where Bernadette looked after me beautifully.

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We enjoyed a visit to the Noordermarkt and next day a walk in the Westerpark to the Westergasfabriek former gas factory which now a houses a selection of offices, cafes and event and meeting places.

At The Noordermarkt

Two shops I can’t resist popping into!

I wasn’t particularly sightseeing but Amsterdam, and especially the canals, are very photogenic.

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Even in the rain!

All too soon it was time to board the bus back to Rotterdam where the Pride of Rotterdam awaited us. Again there was plenty to do if you wanted and I enjoyed dinner in the restaurant and reading in my cabin.

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The Pride of Rotterdam arrived at Hull

Again, on arrival at Hull Docks a bus takes you back to Hull Station and the train back to Leeds. I was home well before midday. I would definitely do the trip again and am eyeing up some of the other P&O mini cruises from Hull – maybe a day trip to Bruges next time. They will also take you to Ghent, Ostend (nice idea for summer!), Rotterdam, The Hague and Ypres. Civilised travel.

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Steak Frites on board

Thank you, Monique and Jelle and P&O Ferries for entertaining me on my brief trip to Amsterdam!

12 comments on “Minicruise to Amsterdam

  1. julie stivers says:

    I want to do this! You have exactly the right word. Civilized. You did the Wisconsin/Michigan across Lake Michigan didn’t you? Not nearly as luxurious and only 5 hours. Did you ever feel the least queasy? Or doesn’t that afflict you.

    • Oh Julie, I am not a good sailor – hence the upgrade to an outside cabin. Lying down I am fine. I don’t take any seasick tablets – they make me feel worse. I was very unsure about the cinema. I thought I would be disorientated but the film began before we left port and I never noticed a thing. So on the return journey I even braved the restaurant. Both Rotterdam and Hull are way down the estuaries and there is a quite a distance to travel before you’re out on the open sea. Being on such a big ferry may have helped – well stabilised. And, yes! We crossed the Lake on the Badger – Big Ferry More Fun! I’ll definitely do it again. Bruges Christmas Market sounds good but it will have to be another year. xx

  2. ms6282 says:

    I once sailed from Hull to Zeebrugge – work related – I was working near Liege and had to drive over with some equipment.

    • We’ve sailed a few times to Zeebrugge travelling by car to France, Switzerland and Germany when we had the boys at home but more recently we’ve taken to flying to the US. The trip made me think I would be happy to do that sort of holiday again.The ferries were nothing like they are now, in those days.

      • ms6282 says:

        Ever done Plymouth to Santander? We sailed that route 3 times for family holidays. The last time, about 10 1/2 years ago, to say the journey out across the Bay of Biscay was rough is something of an understatement. 🤢

  3. ms6282 says:

    Oh, and disappointed I’m not on one of your Amsterdam pictures 😉

  4. Love that green emoji … but don’t like being seasick. No. I haven’t done that crossing but have heard bad things about it. It is (surprise, surprise) ‘on my list’. I would love to explore northern Spain and travel to Porto by car. It probably won’t happen. But you never know.

  5. Monique van Dijk says:

    Your welcome dear Barbara

  6. Fran says:

    What a fun trip. (Not surprisingly,) I love to travel by boat. When we began driving to Greece in 2000 I had my first ever sight of Venice. Out on deck to watch our departure from the port I saw the whole city, at twilight as we sailed past. Never will forget it. Then to arrive in Greece after 24 hours sailing down the Adriatic was special too. To me to arrive in a new country by sea is the essence of ‘travel’.

  7. Yes, I know you love sailing, Fran and what fabulous memories to have. A completely different experience, far removed from arriving tired and grubby at a busy airport.

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