IJmuiden, on the west coast of the Netherlands, is the water gateway to Amsterdam. Cruise ships, cargo vessels and pleasure yachts pass through its busy locks every day while the IJmuiden marina provides an excellent shelter from the North Sea storms. IJmuiden offers a wide, sandy beach that is popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers. Behind the dunes you’ll find a small nature reserve, perfect for a hike or a run. IJmuiden’s restaurants serve fresh fish, straight from the local market.
Bergen is the gateway to the Fjords of Norway and a well-established cruise port. It’s an international city packed with history and tradition, a big city with small-town charm and atmosphere. Stroll around old streets and alleyways, and mingle with the crowds at the Fish Market. Saunter along the listed wooden buildings at Bryggen to the old fortress at Bergenhus, or call in at one of Bergen’s museums and galleries. The panoramic views of the city, the fjord and the ocean are breathtaking.