NCL did not present any shore excursion in the internet so that we decide to make our own arrangements.
I found Marius' Dagtoertaxi in the internet.
For 125 EUR for four hours I wanted to experience Holland like I know from the old paintings.
We had laugh when we saw the sign for HeinBloed. Marius thought due to my domain heinbloed-on-tour.de that that's a company going on company excursion.
Marius is totally great as he knows exactly what I wanted to see like...
Our first stop was Marken: Pure Holland!!!
Only the weather was not good enough to stay longer as it started to rain.
We passed Monnickendam which remind me very much to Delft.
As it become colder and colder we decided to have some drink in Volendam (not on the VOLENDAM of HAL) and went to the Hotel Spaander which was very nice inside.
And who loves to have some pictures in authentic Dutch folk dresses: just opposite of the hotel.
Marius told us that Volendam has a true "American-Cruiser-Infrastructure" with a lot of souvenir shops.
We continue to Edam - but the cheese market is only every Wednesday.
Originally we wanted to go to Zaanse Schans to see the windmills. Marius explained that the Zaanse Schans does only have the windmills for industrial purposes. The original purposes of the windmills is the uplifting of water to dry out the country. Therefore he suggested to go to Schermer instead which was brilliant idea.
And as Bruno's Mother has never been in Amsterdam we appreciated Marius' flexibility to make a small city tour through the city on the way back to our ship.
The admission fee for the Windmill Museum is 4 EUR and it worth.
When we get out you see the difference in the weather around.
Through little nice villiages whose names are not like the HAL-fleet we are heading to Amsterdam.
The first sight was the Rijksmuseum.
And of course Grachten (Canals).
Like the paintings....
As all stores in Amsterdam were open there was only a traffic chaos in the city. We decided to return to the ship via Java-Island to do some shipspotting activities.
Although we had one hour more. Marius did not charge anything extra. It was a great tour and I would highly recommend you to book him if you like such countryside tours. There is no nicer tour and no nicer driver-guide.
Badankt en tot ziens, Marius!!! See you next time again!!!
In the Cruise Termianl you'll find all kind of souvenirs which you might missed.
The English comments will continue with leaving Amsterdam.
We had a great time with Marius and highly recommend him. We booked him already for a transfer on May 21, 2009 to Rotterdam. So all cruisers with plans on this day: forget it!!! He is ours!!!