Felison Terminal in IJmuiden, gateway to Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

The first thing travelers need to know about IJmuiden is how to pronounce it.

Non-Dutch speakers can emulate the name of the seaport by intoning it as “eye-MOW-den.” Thanks to alert reader Cynthia Horen for the pronunciation guidance.

In Dutch, IJmuiden translates into “mouth of the IJ,” the river that serves as Amsterdam’s waterfront.

For cruise passengers, IJmuiden serves as the “Gateway to the Netherlands,” situated at the entrance of the Amsterdam North Sea Canal, which connects the North Sea with the capital of the Netherlands.

Remember, that the Netherlands is quite small, so it should come as no surprise that the center of Amsterdam and Schiphol International Airport are only a half-hour-drive away from IJmuiden. Rotterdam, by comparison, is two hours from Amsterdam.

For those who prefer to arrive by water, there’s a fast hydrofoil service from IJmuiden into Amsterdam.

The primary advantage of calling in IJmuiden instead of Amsterdam is that it saves ships the six hours required to make the transit of the canal (for more information about the arrival in IJmuiden, visit the website for the Felison Terminal).

Part of the municipality of Velsen, IJmuiden is a fairly new city that came into existence in the mid-1800s. Though IJmuiden suffered heavy damage in World War II, the city claims a few sites worthy of a visit. Primary attractions are the Velsen Municipality Hall, designed by the famous architect Willem Dudok; and the North Sea locks, among the world’s largest. One set of locks can close off a shipping lane 50 meters (164 feet) wide and 12 meters (39 feet) deep. There are several webcams at the Port of Amsterdam’s home page.

Fort Eiland (you’ll need to brush up on your Dutch to read the website or use Google Translate) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1996). The fort was constructed in 1885 to protect the canal.

Haarlem, with all of its attractions, is only 10 miles away.

IJmuiden is a member of Cruise Europe.

Avid Cruiser Posts, Photographs and Videos Featuring IJmuiden.

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