Take the overnight ferry from Newcastle and visit the famous Dutch city of Amsterdam.
Newcastle is such a great city it's worthy of a visit on its own. Once you've enjoyed the, warmth and beauty of this historic northern city catch the modern, overnight ferry, with your own en-suite cabin, from the nearby port at North Shields.
The ferry arrives in Amsterdam the next morning, leaving you plenty of time to explore this city famous for its canals and bikes. You might even be able to sneak in a trip to the charming town of Haarlem, which is just a 10 minute train ride from Amsterdam.
Drive to Newcastle, either from the south, past the famous Angel of the North, or from the north, through the mesmerising scenery of Northumberland.
If taking the train take the time to visit The Centurion bar in Newcastle's Central station. It's one of the most beautiful station bars in Britain. Once you've checked in to one of our recommended hotels you can explore the city. Visit our Newcastle destination page for suggestions.
Days 2 - 3
As you don't need to be at the ferry terminal until the afternoon there's plenty of time to see more of Newcastle, or head out to the suburb of Jesmond for its boutiques and cafes.
There are several options for getting to the ferry port from Newcastle. You can either drive, take the shuttle bus or hire a taxi.
The ferry leaves daily at 17.00 and check-in closes at 16.15. The shuttle bus leaves from Newcastle Central station at 14.45 and 15.45. It takes no more than 30 minutes to drive there, if you're taking your car. You can also park at the ferry terminal for £12 per day.
There are plenty of taxis at Newcastle station but DFDS has a preferred company, East Coast Taxis,with whom you can book in advance.
Once you've boarded the ferry and settled into your en-suite cabin head out on deck - the journey through Tynemouth to the open sea offers some amazing views. There is a choice of restaurants to eat in and there's a cinema, bar and even a disco.
The ferry arrives in the port of IJmuiden at around 09.30 the following morning. There is a shuttle service provided by DFDS from the port, which takes about 45 minutes and drops you off at Centraal station.
DFDS have a car park for €6 per night if you want to leave your car at the port. There is parking available in Amsterdam, either at the hotels or in car parks, though it's not always cheap. The P1 car park opposite Centraal station has parking for €20 per day if you book in advance here: https://www.p1.nl/bookings/. There are also several Q car parks. http://www.q-park.nl/ For our guide to Amsterdam visit our destination page.
Once you've checked into your hotel you can begin to explore the galleries, boutiques, cafes and bars of Amsterdam. The public transport system in the city is excellent so you should be able to get around easily.
Like many cities it rewards those who walk, as there are so many lovely details to see, which can be missed whilst on a tram or a bus. Visit our Amsterdam destination page for more suggestions.
There's so much to see in Amsterdam. Hire a bike and join the locals. It's one of the most cycle friendly cities in the world and travelling around it by bike is perhaps the best way to explore. Click here to read our blog on hiring a bike.
Even though there is so much to see in Amsterdam, you could take the short train ride up to the historic town of Haarlem, which has a magnificent Art Nouveau station, and spend a few hours wandering through this delightful and historic town.
If you've brought your car into Amsterdam it's only a short drive to Haarlem and you could go straight to the ferry port from there. For more on Haarlem visit our destination page.
In the afternoon make your way back up to the port, either by the shuttle service from Centraal station (which has a parrot called Elvis in the evocative station bar), or by car. The shuttle service leaves at 15.00 and 16.00. The stop is opposite Central Station, in front of Hotel Victoria, Damrak 1. Check-in for the ferry closes 45 minutes before sailing.