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TriumphGuy

HAL port in Amsterdam

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We are booked on a TA next April which ends in Amsterdam. We want to take a train from Amsterdam to Paris when we disembark. Problem is, we've never been there before and this is our first HAL cruise and first time to continental Europe.

Does anyone know which train station we should use from the port? There appear to be several. We are looking at taking a high speed train to Paris and from there making our way back to the Normandy region, either by car or train. We fly out of Paris for home a week later.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Edited by TriumphGuy

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3 minutes ago, TriumphGuy said:

We are booked on a TA next April which ends in Amsterdam. We want to take a train from Amsterdam to Paris when we disembark. Problem is, we've never been there before and this is our first HAL cruise and first time to continental Europe.

Does anyone know which train station we should use from the port? There appear to be several. We are looking taking a high speed train to Paris and from there making our way back to the Normandy region, either by car or train. We fly out of Paris for home a week later.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

 

You will need to go to Amsterdam Centraael. (Main station).

 

We took the high speed train to Paris from Rotterdam (the trip originates in Amsterdam) a couple of years ago.  You will need to book your tickets in advance and just a heads up, you do have to switch trains - it’s a short walk but don’t wast too much time as the connection time is not much.

 

The high speed starts once you do the train switch.

You do need to manage your own luggage on the train.  They do have a storage room but if you have difficulty managing luggage or have too much, you might want to ship a piece to your hotel in Paris.

 

Our train ride went very smoothly.

 

This was a new experience for me so I found this site very helpful - https://www.seat61.com/thalys.htm

 

Hope this helps a bit.

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From the port Centraal Station in Amsterdam is a short cabride or 15 minutes walk away. High speed trains only leave from Centraal. Which ship and day will you be on? Verry seldom a ship docks at a different terminal.

Price for train go up closer to the day you travel. 

https://www.nsinternational.nl/en

Edited by Ine

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We did the high speed train to Paris from Amsterdam in 2017.  Very easy and no need to change trains.  Its a short taxi ride from the pier to Centraal Station.  Booked ahead of time, you'll know your train car and seat.  Position yourself on the train platform in the location of where your car will be so you can board quickly, while there is still room in the luggage storage area.  The biggest issues you'll have are finding the right platform at Centraal Station and the long taxi line at Gare du Nord in Paris.  Our only misstep was not booking an earlier train.  I wanted to leave plenty of time in case of any problems, but we could have been in Paris earlier.

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Thanks to all, this info is extremely helpful. 

We will be on Nieuw Statendam, Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam, 4/19/20-5/3/20. We want to spend more time in the Normandy area exploring the museums and beaches/memorials/cemetery. Still working out the details...

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29 minutes ago, DeepWaterMariner said:

We did the high speed train to Paris from Amsterdam in 2017.  Very easy and no need to change trains. 

 

We went in 2017 too.  At the time they were doing work on some of the tracks so perhaps this is why we had to do the train change?

 

Good news for the OP if it isn’t necessary now and I’m happy to stand corrected if they don’t 🙂 🙂 

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Nieuw Statendam on May 3 2020 will indeed dock at the regular cruise terminal, just a short distance from Centraal Station. Once at Centraal just check the boards to see what track your train will be.  Probably it will be 15B.

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19 hours ago, TriumphGuy said:

Thanks to all, this info is extremely helpful. 

We will be on Nieuw Statendam, Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam, 4/19/20-5/3/20. We want to spend more time in the Normandy area exploring the museums and beaches/memorials/cemetery. Still working out the details...

We are on that ship with you but stay on board for the next 2 cruises.   

 

In 2015 we left the ship in Amsterdam, did a short walk to Amsterdam Centraal (we travel with only a backpack and a small rolling bag each) and boarded a prebooked train to London (I realize you are going to Paris). .  No issues at all other than wished we had booked an earlier train or exchangeable tickets.  We disembarked at 9:30 and I think our Train was 1pm or so.  We hung out in the port terminal using their free wifi for a couple of hours then walked to the train station where we had a leisurely lunch then found our track with no problems and plenty of time.  

 

When we leave the ship late May 2020 In Amsterdam we are taking a train to Berlin and not sure what time we will book the train for.  Would love to book it around 11am but concerned that if we do then we won’t exit the ship in time. To reduce stress we may book around noon.  

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33 minutes ago, Wayfairers said:

We are on that ship with you but stay on board for the next 2 cruises.   

 

In 2015 we left the ship in Amsterdam, did a short walk to Amsterdam Centraal (we travel with only a backpack and a small rolling bag each) and boarded a prebooked train to London (I realize you are going to Paris). .  No issues at all other than wished we had booked an earlier train or exchangeable tickets.  We disembarked at 9:30 and I think our Train was 1pm or so.  We hung out in the port terminal using their free wifi for a couple of hours then walked to the train station where we had a leisurely lunch then found our track with no problems and plenty of time.  

 

When we leave the ship late May 2020 In Amsterdam we are taking a train to Berlin and not sure what time we will book the train for.  Would love to book it around 11am but concerned that if we do then we won’t exit the ship in time. To reduce stress we may book around noon.  

Can you disembark early if you handle your own luggage? I know on Princess they give you that option but we've never been on HAL. 
Also, I'm assuming there is Customs to go through? How long does that normally take?

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2 minutes ago, TriumphGuy said:

Can you disembark early if you handle your own luggage? I know on Princess they give you that option but we've never been on HAL. 
Also, I'm assuming there is Customs to go through? How long does that normally take?

Yes, you can disembark early on HAL if you handle your own luggage.  Due to our later train we disembarked later than we could have.  Our ship had spent the previous night in port So that made a difference too. 

 

There is customs and and I don’t remember how long it took which means it was probably fairly easy. 

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21 hours ago, TriumphGuy said:

Thanks to all, this info is extremely helpful. 

We will be on Nieuw Statendam, Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam, 4/19/20-5/3/20. We want to spend more time in the Normandy area exploring the museums and beaches/memorials/cemetery. Still working out the details...

We did something similar many years ago, although it did not include a cruise. We flew into Amsterdam and then took the train to Caen via Paris. We spent almost a week based in Caen driving around to all the Normandy Sites. An excellent reference material is the book Stand Where They Fought, by Carlton Joyce. When we ordered the book, we also got several detailed maps with directions, suggested multi-day itineraries and other information on the beaches, cemeteries and museums. Another excellent resource is https://normandybattlefields.com

 

Enjoy. I know we did. Out every day pretty much until after dark. Many hours of driving all navigating by Paper Map! As this was back around the turn of the century long before cell phones and in-car navigation systems. Each night we would plan out or next days travels.  

Edited by drowelf

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2 hours ago, drowelf said:

We did something similar many years ago, although it did not include a cruise. We flew into Amsterdam and then took the train to Caen via Paris. We spent almost a week based in Caen driving around to all the Normandy Sites. An excellent reference material is the book Stand Where They Fought, by Carlton Joyce. When we ordered the book, we also got several detailed maps with directions, suggested multi-day itineraries and other information on the beaches, cemeteries and museums. Another excellent resource is https://normandybattlefields.com

 

Enjoy. I know we did. Out every day pretty much until after dark. Many hours of driving all navigating by Paper Map! As this was back around the turn of the century long before cell phones and in-car navigation systems. Each night we would plan out or next days travels.  

Thank you, great information!

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If you want to explore Normandy we strongly suggest renting your own car.  It might even be possible to get a one-way rental deal (we suggest checking with autoeurope.com, kemwel,com and perhaps Sixt) where you can pick-up a car in Amsterdam and drive yourself to Normandy.  It is about a 400 mile (8 hour drive) but offers lots of intriguing possibilities enroute such as a side trip to Brussels.   Otherwise, we agree with the others about using the fast train to Paris and then perhaps another train up to Normandy or renting a car for the drive.

 

Driving in Normandy is relatively easy since its mostly a very rural part of France.  

 

Hank

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We did this last April.  We are in our early 70's.  We did self disembarkation with our luggage (RCCL).  We each had a 25" roller suitcase and a small carry on bag.  We walked to Centraal Station-fairly flat walk and took about 15 minutes.  A lot of passengers were doing this.  We had purchased Thalus train tickets on line with first class reserved seats.  Our luggage was stored in the compartment near to the entry door.  Much easier to do all of this than I had anticipated.

 

The first class tickets allowed us to use the lounge at the train station, so the wait for the train was a little more pleasant.

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