A reassuring view
Located amidst the woods and the uncontaminated lagoons of the Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland, you can admire the town of IJmuiden, on the Nordzeekanaal during your MSC cruise of Northern Europe.
In IJmuiden your cruise ship will lay anchor in the waters of the North Sea Canal (Nordzeekanaal) one of the most gigantic, hydraulic engineering works in the world. It is this 24km long canal that enables big ships to reach Amsterdam. IJmuiden is a quiet town with small, red brick houses, each with its own little front garden.
This is a seaside resort for the Dutch but, above all, an important fishing centre; its fish market is the second largest in the country and its port is amongst the first ten largest ports in Western Europe. IJmuiden is less than 150 years old and originally it was just the place where the labourers working on the Nordzeekanaal lived.
Later, in the course of the second world war, it was requisitioned by the Germans who turned it into a sort of fortress, as you can see when you visit the Ijmuiden Bunker Museum. While on your MSC cruise of Northern Europe, and particularly when in the Netherlands, the greatest attraction are the canals. Less than 15km from IJmuiden, an excursion to Haarlem will take you to a place where you can enjoy a rhythm and an atmosphere which are very different to those of the port where you landed.
A former centre for the production of textiles, it is a medium size town with an attractive centre definitely worth visiting. On the banks of the Spaarne river you will find the characteristic de Adriaan, a hexagonal mill built in 1778 but rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in1932.