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Windmills & Edam with Airport Transfer - Amsterdam

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We are considering this HAL excursion at the conclusion of our cruise in June. Unfortunately, there is only one, very negative review on HAL's website. Apparently the 4 hour tour was over an hour late starting, resulting in little or no time being spent at the sites visited. Has anyone else taken this excursion, and if so, what was your impression? 

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Posted (edited)

We took a very similar tour when we sailed with P&O last year.  There was a lot of coach travel during which the driver spent every second telling us about the history of the area and other things of interest.  I would say there was as much time on the bus as there was at either of the two places.  

 

The windmills and clog factory were at a place called Zaanse Schans. We disembarked the bus where we had just an hour before boarding again.  We watch clogs being made and then wandered around the very colourful gift shop. From there we walked into another set of buildings, so interesting that I cannot remember what it was about!  Then we wanted to go see the windmills but we had used up our one hour and had to return to the bus.  We spoke to the guide/driver and said that one hour simply was not sufficient and his reply was that everybody said that!  One of the two main reasons for choosing the cruise was because I wanted to see the windmills.  😒

 

We then carried on with the tour and spent what seemed like a long time getting to the cheese factory (Edam) with a 30 minute stop in the village of Edam (I think).  The cheese factory was interesting with a chance to sample and purchase various cheeses.   I was so disappointed with missing the windmills that I could not fully enjoy the second half of the tour.  

 

i understand that the windmills are easily accessed by train from Amsterdam and I am looking forward to arranging our own trip to Amsterdam one day with that in mind.  We live a relatively short hop over the sea in the U.K. 

Edited by Katie52

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2 hours ago, Katie52 said:

The windmills and clog factory were at a place called Zaanse Schans. We disembarked the bus where we had just an hour before boarding again.  We watch clogs being made and then wandered around the very colourful gift shop. From there we walked into another set of buildings, so interesting that I cannot remember what it was about!  Then we wanted to go see the windmills but we had used up our one hour and had to return to the bus.  We spoke to the guide/driver and said that one hour simply was not sufficient and his reply was that everybody said that!  One of the two main reasons for choosing the cruise was because I wanted to see the windmills.  😒

 

i understand that the windmills are easily accessed by train from Amsterdam and I am looking forward to arranging our own trip to Amsterdam one day with that in mind.  We live a relatively short hop over the sea in the U.K. 

I don't know about accessibility via train, but you definitely need at least a few hours to fully see Zaanse Schans. We spent 4 days post cruise in September and as we stayed out by the airport and I rented a car so we could tour about at our pace. We drove out and pretty much spent the entire day at Zaanse Schans. 

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Thanks for this information. We might reconsider this and look at other options. We are currently booked on it when we disembark Prinsendam in July.

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Unfortunately, I had suspected that I wouldn't get a lot of posts saying that it's a great excursion, so I'm not surprised with the responses so far. As we will be arriving in Amsterdam a few days early, I'm now looking at a number of similar tours that we might take the day before embarkation. 

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11 hours ago, mrmoviezombie said:

The iamsterdam website is your friend...

Public transit in Amsterdam is really easy with a day pass.

 

More specifically for the OP

http://oldhollandtour.com/

Hop on Hop off: Cheese, Windmills & Dutch Villages

Thank you. I hadn't realized that the HOHO buses included Zaanse Schans and other stops in that area.

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Check the Europe forum, too.  I looked at this tour for our turnaround day last September and decided against it because of too little time spent where we would prefer.  I did read a report from someone who did a DIY tour which would be great for a pre-cruise excursion day.

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1 hour ago, Alberta Quilter said:

Check the Europe forum, too.  I looked at this tour for our turnaround day last September and decided against it because of too little time spent where we would prefer.  I did read a report from someone who did a DIY tour which would be great for a pre-cruise excursion day.

Hi AQ, do you happen to remember where you saw that report?  We plan to take the train from Amsterdam to Edam the day before our cruise in September.  No problem if you don't remember 🙂 🙂  

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Here's a link to a post with some useful links, especially one providing detailed instructions on taking the train to Zaanse Schans:

 

 

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17 hours ago, TiogaCruiser said:

Any one else have input?

Yes, why not  leave your luggage either at the cruiseterminal, check facilities on this website: https://www.ptamsterdam.nl/en/cruises-portal

or probably even better at one of this places near Centraal Station.

https://www.amsterdam.info/central-station/luggage-lockers/

At Centraal Station take one of the frequent trains to Koog Zaanse Schans, walk from there 10 minutes to Zaanse Schans.

https://www.ns.nl/en

Entrance is free, you only pay for windmills you want to visit inside.

There also is a small cheese factory and you can taste a lot of variuous cheeses for free.

Also a show how clogs (klompen) are made, an old grocery shop, bakery etc..

It is all outside along river Zaan.

Old houses from various places in the Zaan region are rebuild here. I always bring my guests here and they love it.

https://www.dezaanseschans.nl/en/

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2 hours ago, Cruising-along said:

Hi AQ, do you happen to remember where you saw that report?  We plan to take the train from Amsterdam to Edam the day before our cruise in September.  No problem if you don't remember 🙂 🙂  

There is no train to Edam, bus only!

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3 hours ago, Cruising-along said:

Hi AQ, do you happen to remember where you saw that report?  We plan to take the train from Amsterdam to Edam the day before our cruise in September.  No problem if you don't remember 🙂 🙂  

 

The report I saw was to Zaans Schans, not Edam.  I think it was in the Western Europe ports forum.  Someone took a bus or train to Zaans Schans and beat the bus tours/crowds.  

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57 minutes ago, Ine said:

There is no train to Edam, bus only!

Oops, you're right, and I did have "bus" in my notes.  

29 minutes ago, Alberta Quilter said:

 

The report I saw was to Zaans Schans, not Edam.  I think it was in the Western Europe ports forum.  Someone took a bus or train to Zaans Schans and beat the bus tours/crowds.  

Thanks!  I'm wondering if we would like Zaans Schans more than Edam, still deciding.  🙂  

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Posted (edited)

We preferred Zaanse Schans - a larger area of interest than at Edam.  Also to us it was more iconic and picturesque.

Edited by Katie52

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4 minutes ago, Katie52 said:

We preferred Zaanse Schans - a larger area of interest than at Edam.  Also to us it was more iconic and picturesque.

Katie, thanks.  I just spent a few minutes researching Zaanse Schans and have changed our plans!  

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48 minutes ago, Alberta Quilter said:

I believe this was the thread that I found about Zaans Schanse DIY:  

Thank you!  Very helpful.  We love to DIY and this sounds very easy.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Some of Zaanse Schans windmills

 

 

AA2E83DA-4700-47DF-A146-EB8A4377D0B7.jpeg

Edited by Katie52

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A huge thank you to all who have contributed to this thread. Lots of very useful information! 

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