The DFDS ferry from North Shields, Newcastle, sails to Ijmuiden, 27 miles (about 43 kilometres)to the west of Amsterdam.
The Felison Terminal is recognisable thanks to its nautical-themed architecture and porthole windows. DFDS logos adorn the terminal.
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Sailing to Amsterdam
Despite my fears about the weather, my sailing was remarkably pleasant. Admittedly there was a gentle rocking motion throughout the journey, but the Captain hugged the coastline as much as possible for a more comfortable crossing. Even so, I was glad I dosed up on travel sickness as a precaution.
I enjoyed a mostly pleasant night's sleep. There was an annoying repetitive knocking sound from the cabin next door caused by a swaying door.
In the morning I had an opportunity to explore the ship in daylight, peering out of the sea salt covered windows at the Netherlands coast.
The ship docked at Ijmuiden at 12 o'clock CET rather than the scheduled 9.30 am CET due to the weather.
Having visited the Felison Terminal before, I knew what to expect. Just like the Port of Tyne terminal, nothing had changed. A tall truck had damaged the passenger gangway so foot passengers were asked to disembark through the transport entrance on deck three. After a 20 minute delay for the car decks to empty, passengers were eventually allowed to leave.
Immigration checks were swift, and I boarded the awaiting Van Dam coach bound for Cologne. As a large group of 49, we embarked on the 3½ hour bus journey to Germany.
The coach did not stop along the route as there was a toilet on board together with a small selection of paid-for tea and coffee drinks.
The roads were free flowing apart from a slight delay on the outskirts of Cologne due to heavy traffic. The bus eventually stopped right outside the Marriott Hotel Cologne.
Sailing to Newcastle
After checking out of the hotel, the coach left Cologne at around midday and arrived back in Amsterdam 3½ hours later.
Too early to board the ferry, the driver unexpectedly diverted into central Amsterdam. He delivered an impromptu and informative tour of the city.
I arrived back at Ijmuiden at around 4 pm ready to check-in. Before long I boarded Princess Seaways, once again through the bow.
The return sailing to Britain was much calmer. The ferry arrived in Newcastle at 9 am beneath beautiful wintry skies. A short queue formed at the UK Border Agency checkpoint. By 9.30am I was sat in my car, ready for my journey home.
Read more in this series
- International Passenger Terminal, Port of Tyne
- Princess Seaways Review
- Princess Seaways Cabins
- Food & Drink on Princess Seaways
- Entertainment on Princess Seaways
- Guide to Ijmuiden Port, Amsterdam (you are here)
- Cologne Marriott Hotel Review
- You Cannot Visit Cologne And Not See These Sights
- Cologne Christmas Markets Guide
- Cologne Christmas Markets Mini Cruise Review on DFDS' Princess Seaways