Scenic Cruising on the Scheldt River into Antwerp, Belgium on Holland America’s Prinsendam

by Janis on August 21, 2017

f Scheldt River between Vlissingen and Antwerp Scenic cruising on the Scheldt River, from Vlissingen, Netherlands into the city of Antwerp, Belgium was a unique part of our 14-day Celtic Explorer cruise on Holland America’s ms Prinsendam.

The 220-mile long Scheldt River begins in northern France, and runs through western Belgium to Antwerp, where it turns and broadens to a tidal estuary flowing through the southwestern part of the Netherlands to meet the North Sea.

Prinsendam at Zeeland cruise port in Vlissingen, Netherlands Our action-packed day began with the Prinsendam docking at the Zeeland Cruise Port in Vlissingen for a 6-hour stay. The port provided complimentary shuttles for guest to explore Middleburg or Vlissingen (known in English as Flushing.)

Then, following a 12:30 pm all on board, the ship promptly departed at 1 pm in order to arrive at the next scheduled port of Antwerp, Belgium by 6 pm.

Holland America Line Prinsendam sailing on Scheldt RiverIn between these two port calls on the same day, the Prinsendam spent five hours sailing about 50 miles on the scenic Scheldt tidal estuary to reach Antwerp, Europe’s second largest port.

The Scheldt River and estuary have been of strategic and commercial importance since Roman times.

view from Prinsendam sailing on Scheldt RiverWatching from the Prinsendam’s promenade deck, we could see numerous cargo ships plying the Scheldt into and back out of Antwerp. The location of Antwerp’s inland port makes it easy for goods to move to central Europe via rail, road or river barge connections. As a result, the port of Antwerp has become Europe’s second largest sea port by total freight shipped.

Holland America Line ms Prinsendam docked at Antwerp, BelgiumOn schedule, Holland America’s Prinsendam docked in downtown Antwerp, giving cruise guests the evening as well as the next day to explore the city and/or other destinations in Belgium. Antwerp’s historic city center is only a 10-minute walk from the cruise dock.

view of other side of Scheldt River from Prinsendam docked in Antwerp, BelgiumThe city of Antwerp is located on both sides of the Scheldt River. Three tunnels under the river connect both sides of the city. The Kennedy Tunnel — opened to traffic in 1969 — was named after U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

pilot boat on Scheldt River, NetherlandsAfter the Prinsendam stayed overnight, the cruise ship departed from the port of Antwerp, sailing the reverse route on the Scheldt to reach the North Sea, and then heading to Amsterdam. Many cruise guests admired the efficiency of the pilot boat in this busy waterway.

What is your favorite river for scenic cruising? 

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