Day at Sea
Today we were up very early to catch the sail out of Amsterdam. We left our berth at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam at exactly 7am this morning. The ship gracefully slid into the North Sea Canal and started her 20km sail back to the IJmuiden locks. Today, the weather is around 14c, with no clouds and a lovely blue sky. The sun is behind us, thankfully, so we are stood on the Deck 11 forward viewing balcony to watch as we leave Amsterdam.
As we approached the locks at IJmuiden, we slowed down to nearly a complete stop and then entered the locks. After around twenty minutes the water levels were the same as the North Sea and the front gate slid open. We then headed out into the open sea. To the right of us were many sailboats along the coast and various large ships taking the opposite route to us.
As we headed into the North Sea, we turned right and headed North, following the path up the coast of The Netherlands and then to the mouth of the River Elbe which leads into Hamburg. This next leg of our journey is approximately 192 nautical miles.
The River Elbe is an important trade route for Germany. Hamburg is one of the largest container ports in Western Europe and in 2017 it handled over 8.8 million containers! There are several cruise terminals right in the city centre and we’ll be berthed at the Altona Cruise Center. Additionally, Queen Elizabeth and AIDAperla will also both be present during our stay in Hamburg, they will be berthed at terminals not too far from us.
We toured the ship late afternoon and we noticed that Knautical Knitters was on again in the L’ametista Lounge, this is a regular event on sea days on MSC Magnifica and this is down to the Knitter-in-Chief being the Hotel Director! If you are going on MSC Magnifica anytime soon and enjoy knitting or talking to other like-minded knitters – then bring your project and pop along – there are complimentary tea and biscuits too!
Later on, after fresh pizza at the Sahara buffet, we took a stroll around the outside of Deck 6. This deck runs from the very back of the ship all the way along one side then cuts across internally before the bow and all the way to the other side at the back. Unfortunately, it is not a full wrap-around deck but not many ships are and this is 95% – so good by us! One bonus is it is extremely wide and makes it pleasurable when other people are taking a stroll at the same time too.
After that, we headed back to our favourite viewing spot on the forward bow, Deck 11 and saw Queen Elizabeth ahead of us en route to Hamburg too.
After visiting a few shops onboard and listening to some live music in the Tiger Lounge we ate on the terrace as the evening sun set. We watched AIDAperla slowly catch up to us, also en route to Hamburg. We then went for a little wander to take some photos
We’re getting an early night tonight as tomorrow is a big day. Hamburg is our port of call and it is the 829th Port of Hamburg anniversary whilst we are there! There will be over 1 million people in attendance and lots of small boats and many ships too – we’re really looking forward to this maritime celebration!
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