Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This morning after breakfast, we took a canal boat ride for a couple of
hours. There were four buses of folks from the Viking Helvekia to took
this this tour on four canal boats. The tour was through the major
canals throughout the central portion of Amsterdam. I don't know which
canal it is in the photo but it is one of the larger ones. After the
canal boat tour we went to the Van Gogh Museum and that place was
packed. We were there two years ago after a transatlantic cruise. To
really see all of the museum you need more than just a few hours but
what we saw again was good.

Back at the ship and having lunch the ship left the pier in Amsterdam
and we are heading for the Rhine River. We have to take a river (or
canal) to get to the canal and we may be there now as we are at a lock.
We are in line to get in the lock so we are tied to the side of the
canal waiting for boats to get out of the lock and another passenger
river boat is ahead of us in line.

Cruising on a river boat is quite a bit different that cruising that we
have done on ocean cruise ships. First of all is the fewer passengers.
On the Maasdam coming from Boston to Rotterdam there were about 1300
passengers. On this boat there are about 190 passengers. Everybody
eats at the same time, no Bingo, no casino - the pace is a lot slower
and more leisurely.

Tonight we will cruise all night and arrive in the center of Cologne,
Germany late morning. Right now it is time for cocktail hour and our

Update: It is now Tuesday morning and I have been unable to send this so
I will try again this morning. The satellite is unreliable lately.

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