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Getting from Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry – everything you need to know

Once upon a time whilst searching the good old internet, we stumbled upon a 2 for 1 deal on a Newcastle to Amsterdam mini cruise. Being the affordable travel lovers that we are, we decided to snap the offer up. And in all honestly we had a lot of fun. We got to sip drinks whilst the sun set over the North Sea and wake up in a completely differently country. In this guide we tell you everything you need to know on getting from Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry. We also answer the burning question is the Amsterdam mini cruise is worth it? 

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How to get from Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry

If you are wondering how to get from Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry then you will need to book through DFDS. They run ferry services between the two cities daily and year round. The ferry crossing takes around 16 hours, departing Newcastle around 5pm and arriving in Amsterdam the next morning. 

Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry – what you need to know before you go

  • DFDS do some really good deals for their Newcastle to Amsterdam mini cruise, so do check the website to bag yourself a bargain
  • If you want to spend more than 1 day in Amsterdam you can book your return ticket for a few days later
  • You need to pay for your bus transfer from the ferry terminal to Amsterdam/Newcastle in advance 
  • It takes about 30-40 minutes to get from the ferry terminal to Amsterdam itself
  • You can choose various options for your cabin type from single bunk beds, to a double bed. You also need to pay more for a window in your room as the standard option doesn’t include this. 

Getting from Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry – arriving in Newcastle

Once you have booked your Newcastle to Amsterdam mini cruise you are going to want to know the best what to get to Newcastle. The fastest most hassle free option is to drive. There is a car park right near the ferry terminal although be aware that charges do apply. The cost isn’t too bad considering you are leaving your car for a couple of nights and on average you will probably pay around £24 for this. 

If you don’t have a car the quickest way to get to Newcastle is on the train. DFDS organise buses that take you directly from the train station to the cruise terminal. They cost around £4.00 per person each way. Or if you are like us and you get to Newcastle super early you can get the metro to Percy Main station and walk over to the ferry terminal.

Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry – checking in

Check in for our Newcastle to Amsterdam mini cruise was surprisingly easy and stress free. You can pre-purchase your meals during check in and they are slightly cheaper than what you would pay on board. You also need to make sure that you arrive at least 45 minutes before sailing time. We were super early and within 20 minutes of checking in we were settling into our cabin.

Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry – The rooms

So I’m not going to sugar coat it. The rooms are small. We were in the economy section so we had a bunk bed and no window. This was fine as we were expecting this. It was such a cheap trip and for us the room was really just for sleeping. The only issue we had was that the shower was directly over the toilet in the ensuite bathroom. Still when it is only 2 nights you don’t mind as much. Plus when you have views of the North Sea to look at who needs to spend time in a room anyway? Of course you can upgrade to bigger rooms, and rooms with windows if you are so inclined.

Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry – The amenities

There is a lot to do on the ship. There are several bars and restaurants, as well as a cinema. For us it was nice to sit down and enjoy a nice dinner at one of the restaurants. They are a little bit pricey so keep that in mind as you might want to bring your own snacks on board instead. We loved sipping cocktails on the top deck and watching the sun set over the North Sea. This was certainly a trip highlight for us. We also spent a bit of time in a few of the ship’s bars. They had live music playing, and after a few drunk sing-alongs we decided to go to bed.

Arriving in Holland

The boat arrives in the morning at the port of Ijmuiden and I should mention that it takes a 40 minute bus ride to get into Amsterdam. Our advice would be to try and get on one of the first coaches if you can as this gives you a bit of extra time in Amsterdam. We arrived in the city at around 11am and we had about 5 hours to spend here before making our way back to the ship.

Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry – Things to do in Amsterdam 

Obviously 5 hours is nothing in a city as incredible as Amsterdam. But if there is something you really want to do we would recommend booking tickets in advance. The bus drops you off right in the centre of the city. Just make sure you look out for bikes as you disembark the coach.  Here are some of our suggestions on how to pass the time.

Do a canal cruise

Considering Amsterdam is famous for its canals, a great way to see the city is from the water. We really do recommend going on a cruise to orient yourself with the city. Our tour lasted around an hour and we got to see the incredible architecture and learn all about the history of the city and its canals.

Fill up on fries and coffee

We didn’t get up early enough to have breakfast on the boat, so we were starving. After the cruise we made our way to a cafe and sat by the canal to eat. If you get the chance to try them, Dutch Fries with mayonnaise are amazing. It is also really nice (weather permitting) to sit by the canal sipping cups of coffee. After all you want to soak in as much of the atmosphere as possible.

Walk around the canals

We spent a lot of time exploring the city on foot. We loved the beautiful canals and kept thinking of our next trip to the city.

Visit the Floating Flower Market

So the Amsterdam Flower Market is the only floating Flower Market in the world. The shops are located inside a row of barges, and is a homage to the days when flowers arrived here by boat from the countryside.

It is probably one of the most colourful places in the city and is a real visual feast. Apart from flowers you can also purchase seeds and gardening tools. It is also a great place to get some souvenirs like fridge magnets and postcards.

Explore the edgier side of the city

On our way back to the bus we decided to have a quick walk through the back streets of the city and have a look at the coffeeshops. You hear so much about them and it was so strange walking past and seeing what they were like in person. We actually found out that there are some strict rules when it comes to these coffeeshops, and the sale of marijuana is heavily regulated in the city. For us though, it was fascinating walking around an area that is so different to anything we would see at home. Coffeeshops are not our thing so instead we indulged in a pint of Dutch beer at a bar before heading back to the ship.

Amsterdam to Newcastle by ferry – Back on the boat

When we got back on the boat it gave us time to reflect upon our time in Amsterdam. The cruise was fantastic and definitely worth doing. Tickets can be quite cheap and it is a great idea for a mini break. That being said, we definitely want to go back to Amsterdam and spend a lot more time there. There are a lot of museums we want to see, as well as the Anne Frank house. And it would be awesome having a night out in the city. Fingers crossed we will be back soon and we will have to add it to our never ending list of places we want to go back to!

Newcastle to Amsterdam mini cruise tips

  • Book your dining in advance if you want to save some money 
  • Alternatively eat before you get on the boat and have breakfast once you get to Amsterdam to save money on food
  • Try to avoid the ferry on weekends, it sort of becomes a bit of a booze cruise on Friday and Saturday night
  • Don’t fill up on Space Cakes and get on the boat!

Is it worth going from Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry?

For us the Newcastle to Amsterdam mini cruise was absolutely worth it. The cruise itself was really enjoyable and relaxing. A big part of the holiday was enjoying our time on the boat and watching the sunset. Despite the tickets being cheap the food and drink onboard does get a bit pricey so keep that in mind when weighing up your costs. That being said if you are wanting to travel a little differently than we recommend going from Newcastle to Amsterdam by ferry. 

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  • Chelsea
    August 18, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    This sounds like a fun trip, Lizzie! I’m keen to visit the floating flower market when I travel to Amsterdam next spring.

    • [email protected]
      August 18, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      It really was. The floating flower market is beautiful and I bet it will be even more amazing in Spring.

  • Danielle ``
    August 18, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I found this so interesting! Going by boat to Amsterdam is never something I’ve considered but the ship actually sounds really nice, and the views from it are stunning! Glad you had a good time 🙂 I also have the same blog layout as you, hahaha.

    • [email protected]
      August 18, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      We had never thought about it either until we found the deal. It was a lot of fun but next time I definitely want to stay longer. As for the blog layout I guess great blogs think alike!

  • Anonymous
    December 9, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    This is so cool!! I looked at doing this YEARS ago when those deals kept coming up, but Newcastle wasn’t ideal for us to get to – now if we move to Edinburgh, it’ll be easy! Hope they still do the deals. 🙂 You got loads done in Amsterdam too! Fab itinerary.

  • Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    December 9, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    This is so cool!! I looked at doing this YEARS ago when those deals kept coming up, but Newcastle wasn’t ideal for us to get to – now if we move to Edinburgh, it’ll be easy! Hope they still do the deals. 🙂 You got loads done in Amsterdam too! Fab itinerary.

    • Lizzie
      December 19, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      I do keep seeing the deals so hopefully something will come up soon!