Harlingen - "Small is Beautiful"
The word is starting to spread amongst cruise lines that Harlingen is a gem of a place for small ships to visit. Reached by the Wadden Sea, which has been a World Heritage Site since 2009 and home to a host of flora and fauna, as well as 10 million wading birds each year, Harlingen is perfect for small, expedition or luxury cruise ships up to 160 m in length.
As the gateway to the regional capital Leeuwarden, European City of Culture in 2018 and only just over an hour north of Amsterdam, Harlingen is a beautiful open air museum of the Dutch golden age of shipping and offers so many choices for visiting cruise guests.
Cruise ship passengers always receive a friendly welcome for dignitaries and locals alike. This year, we are delighted to welcome Plantours’ Hamburg, on its journey from Lisbon up towards its home city, before commencing its summer voyages in northern Europe.
Shortly after receiving Hamburg, Harlingen receives long-time partner Compagnie du Ponant, this time with a return call from its new ship Le Dumont D’Urville after its maiden visit last year. Harlingen features on the ship’s special “Quintessential Music” themed cruise which is a combination of extraordinary sightseeing with private recitals by classical musicians, commencing in Stockholm and finishing in Honfleur, Normandy. Guests will have the chance to visit the internationally renowned Groninger Museum, or perhaps a visit to the world’s oldest planetarium close to Harlingen, the “Cathedral of Steam”, a monument to the Dutch historical battle against the water, or the 400 year old Harlingen Earthenware and Tile Factory, a short walk through the town from the ship.
Harlingen is also increasingly important as a river cruise stop over. In 2018 Noble Caledonia’s Royal Crown stayed three days and is coming back this year., 56 visits will be made by river cruise ships from around Europe.
Janneke Nieuwhof, Joint Managing Director, Cruise Port Harlingen, commented “Harlingen is such a great place to be around, particularly during the summer. We remain fully flexible to work with tour operators and cruise lines to enhance Harlingen’s reputation as a must-visit port of call. We also look forward to next year to the maiden call of Mystic Cruises World Explorer.”