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Jachthaven Willemdok

Willemdok, the second of Antwerp’s extensive interior docks to be built, was completed in 1812 on the order of Napoleon. Today the basin is home to Jachthaven Willemdok, a fabulous marina ringed with restaurants and cafes that is within walking distance of the city’s train station and its historic core. We initially had planned to…

Berendrecht Lock

The Berendrecht and Kieldrecht locks in the Port of Antwerp are the two biggest locks in the world. Both are 1,600 ft (1/2 km) long and 223 ft (68m) wide, and can accommodate post-Panamax ships. When completed in 1988, the 44-ft-deep (13.5 m) Berendrecht was the largest in the world until edged out by the…

Ghent

Ghent is one of Belgium’s oldest cities, with beautiful medieval and classical architecture, winding canals lined with cafes and bars, wonderful street art, and some of the best museums in the country. The city also is a university town and has the vibrant feel a youthful population brings, that we’re told feels less touristy than…

Brussels

Brussels famous Grand Place, named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998, is one of the most magnificent city squares in Europe. A 15th-century spired town hall rises on one side, while ornate 17th-century guild halls and other centuries-old buildings form the other three sides. The square is all but invisible until you walk through…

Along the Scheldt

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, two million Europeans departed Antwerp along the river Scheldt aboard Red Star Line ships bound for North America. Today, the shipping company’s riverside warehouse is now home to an excellent museum detailing the history of that emigration. During that time, the only connection between the east and west…

And We Have Propane

When we ordered Dirona back in 2009, we specified a propane barbecue and stove top, along with four 20-gallon (9 kg) aluminum propane tanks. Three of those tanks are stored in the cockpit locker underneath the barbecue, with a fourth in the aft port cockpit locker. We specified so many because filling propane tanks outside…

Historic Antwerp

Antwerp was already a major trading center by the 14th century, with sufficient resources to begin construction of the spectacular Cathedral of Our Lady. By the 16th century, Antwerp was the leading commercial center in Europe and home to one of continent’s most respected publishing houses, operated by Christophe Plantin. This period also saw the…

Changing Plans

After we got underway this morning from Antwerp, we learned that Belgium has closed all restaurants, bars, cafes, and night clubs. The US recently blocked anyone from the Schengen area from entering the US. Princess Cruise lines has suspended all operations for 2 months. Italy has shut down all non-essential, non-emergency services and already has…

Amsterdam to Antwerp by Canal

The Standing Mast Route runs through the Netherlands inland waterways and canals from the border with Belgium in the south to the German border in the north. It’s referred to as a standing mast or mast-up route because sailboats can travel with their masts up as no non-opening, low bridges are en route. Our 2.1m…

Antwerp Arrival

On our final day of travel from Amsterdam to Antwerp, we passed through two locks and one bridge on a 30-mile, 7.5-hour run through the river Scheldt. Antwerp is the second largest commercial port in Europe after Rotterdam and commercial traffic was heavy in the river. Most of the Port of Antwerp is behind the…