Well, our last post showed you our arrival into Amsterdam as well as our stay, and now it’s time to tell/show you our embarkation, first night, and first full day onboard!
First of all, if you hadn’t heard, the four of us were fortunate to sail the maiden voyage of Viking Tor! It was really exciting as we arrived to the cruise terminal and drove right out to the ship. It’s incredible to describe in this world of strict security in travel as we are so accustomed to multiple levels of identification, but there’s a home-like feel to the ability to drive right up to the ship, step out of the vehicle, and be invited right onto the ship without any identification! Perhaps that’s scary, but still. We knew we were in the right place.
I think we boarded around 4:00pm (we had a long window of opportunity to board when we were ready), so the four of us had a fair chance to unpack and become acquainted with the ship. Understand, the term ‘ship’ makes this vessel seem large, vast, and bustling with people. This is not an ocean-going vessel, and the max guest capacity is 190.
We were split up the first night simply because we did not make it down to the dining room right away, but we were completely fine with that. It allowed us the opportunity to meet some other guests onboard! Oh, and the food was UH-MAZE-ING!!!!! By all means, please sign me up for Champagne Risotto, Creamy Spinach Soup, Roast Lamb Chops, and Walnut Ice Cream. YEEEESSSSSS!!!!
By now, I know someone is bound to be wondering. To answer your question; yes, I ate gluten free the entire trip, and O.M.G. I ate WELL and gluten free!!!! More to come later on how Viking accommodated my gluten free need.
After our delightful meal, we decided to go to bed early seeing as how we had tired ourselves out in Amsterdam. We would be sailing all through the night to make it to Kinderdijk which is a Unesco World Heritage Site because of the 19 windmills that still stand in this river town. When we awoke the next morning, we were already docked in Kinderdijk, and it was an early morning to visit these incredible structures. Henry really enjoyed seeing how the historical engineering of moving the water throughout the lands of the Netherlands has transitioned into the modern day engineering.
By the way, yes that would be my American husband wearing a US Customs and Border Patrol beanie…while visiting Europe. Oh my.
The last few pictures are in front of the working windmill that we actually had the opportunity to enter and walk through, even up to the top! It was interesting to see how these really operate and move and fair amount of water.
After we enjoyed the views of Kinderdijk, we boarded Viking Tor around 11:15am as we began our trek to Cologne, Germany. There was a significant amount of river to cover in order to make it to Cologne. After all, look at the difference from this map! The teal pin is precisely where we embarked our cruise, the pink pin is exactly where we docked in Kinderdijk, and the green pin shows where we docked in Cologne. It’s pretty far, and it’s not a direct route after all (it’s a river).
During our sail time, we saw a few interesting things, and I caught a couple of realistic lifestyle moments while sailing. Remember, we wanted this voyage to be a relaxing one
If you have heard of the guy building Noah’s Ark, it’s true. We totally sailed by it! The thing is MASSIVE!
We thought this was a very interesting …vessel.
Our true welcome dinner was the second night, which we enjoyed after a long nap that afternoon We spent a tad more time getting ready for this dinner, but it honestly is still fairly casual. No one dresses even in cocktail attire really, which is another reason we liked this option for our vacay! As the sun began to set, we took some pictures out on the Aquavit outdoor terrace.
Dinner was AGAIN amazing, which you’ll see more pictures of in the video below. We also took some time to take pics with friends we made onboard, including some trip highlight pictures of the men indulging in a particular adult beverage. You’ll have to see the video to know what I mean. Carolyn, Lane…as I know you’ll read this…I can’t help but think about how hard we were laughing at that moment in the lounge!
Enjoy the video, and I can’t wait to share our day in Cologne with you! It was the destination I was most excited about before embarking!