Being from the coast of Newcastle has so many advantages, not only do we have blue flag awarded beaches but where the Tyne joins the sea at Tynemouth we’re lucky to have a port to Europe and the DFDS route to Amsterdam.
The ferry to Amsterdam is great for those who want to experience all that The Netherlands has to offer and I’m not just talking about the Red Light District or falling into one of those ‘coffee’ houses, there’s so much more to Amsterdam than that, including windmills galore, gorgeous canals and of course, Anne Frank’s house to name but a few.
Hopping on the ferry from the Port of Tyne at North Shields is simple and hassle free. Given that the route had just restarted we decided to make use of our passport for the first time this year and head on the mini cruise.
There are plenty of options when it comes to taking the ferry you can choose your departure and return dates, you can take the car and even take your dogs on board too! However the most popular voyage without a doubt is the mini cruise which is the 18 hours on the ferry to Amsterdam, then a day (5 or 6 hours) in Amsterdam and then the ferry home. The bonus of this is that you can leave your belongings in your cabin as you head out and explore.
Once you arrive at the ferry port in IJmuiden it’s a 30 minute bus journey to Amsterdam city centre where you’re let lose to explore.
We headed across the Damrak and along the main street towards Dam Square and stopped at Tony’s Chocolonely for a coffee. I was only introduced to Tony’s a few months ago by a friend and their chocolate is delicious and their main objective is to make chocolate production 100% slave free.
We headed into the cafe which was like a real-life Willy Wonka experience with chocolate galore. The set up was super easy as we scanned our QR code at our table, placed our order from the website and paid, within minutes our order was brought over to us.
I went for the Dark Hot Chocolate and the brownie, my mum chose a black coffee and salted caramel shortbread. My hot chocolate was a melting pot of pure chocolate, the first few sips were delicious, and then it became super sickly. We did really enjoy our pitstop at Tony’s and highly recommend a visit (do make sure that you try the salted pretzel chocolate bar as it’s delicious! – you are able to purchase Tony’s at Sainsburys, Waitrose, Ocado or at Amazon)
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You can’t visit Amsterdam without stumbling upon the beautiful canals, with beautiful blooms and an abundance of bicycles attached to the canal railings. Take a look at the beautiful houseboats and even visit the houseboat museum to discover more about this way of living.
We took a stroll along the canals, taking in their beauty to Edel by Dennis, where we had booked to visit for lunch. Arriving a little early as the walk took less time than our sat nav anticipated we enjoyed a cocktail whilst sat outside watching the boats go back and forth up the canal.
Edel by Dennis
When we were ready we headed inside into the restaurant (as it was beginning to spit on with rain). The restaurant decor was gorgeous and quirky with street art on one wall and lots of boutique pieces of furniture. The atmosphere had a lovely vibe.
For starters we chose to shar the chicken chunks with chilli dip (€8) , Rendangkrokettes (beef croquettes) (€5.50) and the Thaise Krabkrokettes (thai crab croquettes) (€5.50).
For mains I opted for the Truffle Gnocchi (€22.50) and mum chose the Edel Cheeseburger (€17.50) we also added alioli frites (€4.50) to share. Which in hindsight was unnecessary as the cheeseburger came with a mountain of fries too!
We both thought that the food was absolutely delicious, it was super flavoursome and fresh. I thoroughly enjoyed the Gnocchi as the truffle really gave it an incredible flavour and the macadamia nuts were a real sumptuous treat to compliment the gnocchi and truffle. Mum commented that the cheeseburger patty was cooked perfectly and was an intricate fusion of flavours for a burger.
Edel by Dennis is somewhere that I’d highly recommend to visit for dinner when in Amsterdam as the food is really great, the vibe of the restaurant is quirky and high end and the food is reasonably priced.
5 Hours Flies By
After our leisurely lunch we didn’t have a huge amount of time before we were getting picked up by the bus, the rain was super heavy now so we headed back through Dam Square, typically we didn’t have coats so we decided to dart in and out of souvenir stores and cheese shops as we made it back to the bus and headed back to the boat.
There’s so much to do in Amsterdam, from exploring the Instagrammable spots, riding along the canals and exploring the rich history of the city. For this trip, we had decided to opt for a leisurely lunch. We both have decided that when we return next time we will visit some typically touristic places and possibly bring my dog as DFDS offer dog-friendly cabins on board too.
The crossing is really easy and after not having used my passport this year, it was a great 2 night break!
Have you been on the DFDS ferry to Amsterdam or visited Amsterdam before? We’d love to hear what you got up to in the comments section below.