‘Between cheese and cabbage’ – Experience Alkmaar and the life of a tuinde
Tour exactly the same route that this old steamboat company has always followed.
On the way, you can enjoy the beautiful Dutch sky and the vast landscape of the Schermer and the North Holland lakes.
During the cruise, a delicious sandwich lunch with soup will be served to sail you through the famous “Turn of Wormerveer” as you get to know the centuries-old industrial heritage of Zaan.
We head directly to a real working wood sawmill where the proud miller tells you all about his sawmill, and you get to watch a beautiful film.
If you have time after the sawmill visit, explore the Schans on your own.
Then board the boat that will take you from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans.
In Amsterdam, get off the quay behind the main train station.
Send us a message or call 072 515 94 90 to schedule an individual day trip. Price on request.
11:45 – Embarkation
12:00 – Departure from Alkmaar. You will receive 2x coffee or tea.
12:30 – Lunch with 2 delicious sandwiches and a cup of soup with 2x coffee or tea
13:00 – Passage Beatrixbrug to the Zaan
14:00 – Arrival at Zaanse Schans. Guided tour through Müller by his sawmill “Het Jonge Schaap” with film.
16:00 – You continue your journey by boat to Amsterdam. You have reserved a ticket for this.
18:00 – Arrival in Amsterdam
History of the Alkmaardermeer
The Alkmaardermeer was originally, like the largest part of Holland, a swamp formed marsh area. In the Middle Ages, peat was cultivated as agricultural land. For this purpose, trenches were excavated to drain the excess water into the peat flow flowing through the area. Dehydration was the reason that the peat settled in the long term more and more.
During the storms and flood conditions, whole plots of land were washed away along the river, creating more and more open water. This culminated in the Flood of All Saints of 1170. Due to the consequences of this flood, Alkmaardermeer, like many other lakes in North Holland, has largely taken its final form. Along the current Alkmaardermeer ran a river that connected, inter alia, the Oer-ij with the Schermer. One river that connected with it was the bull that flowed to the Starnsee. It is very likely that people lived along the river that gave rise to the Alkmaardermeer.
However, none of these settlements can be found. There are a number of islands in the lake that are remnants of the land that was there. Examples are the “Saskerlij”, the “Nes” and the “Dijker Hemme”. Over the centuries, the part of the Oer-ij that emanated from the Alkmaardermeer gradually clogged, and in the 17th century the shearer was drained.
In addition to recreation, the Alkmaardermeer is used throughout the year as a sailing route for ships that travel from Zaanstreek to Noord Holland Kanaal, for example, to reach Alkmaar or Den Helder.
Important industries are wood processing and the food industry. The Zaan region was once the larder of the Netherlands. There were hundreds of mills. Around 1720 around 600 mills were in operation at the same time. In total, around 1100 different windmills have turned their wings in the Zaan region. Dozens of mills have been rebuilt over the centuries because their predecessors were destroyed by fire or storm. Mills were also relocated.
In the 17th and 18th centuries a great economic prosperity was known. There was no region in Europe where so many different industries would be located in such a small space. Weaving mills, starch factories, tarpaulin makers, paper, tobacco, paint, candle, snuff, cocoa, cooperative, forge, taylor, sawmill, shipbuilding, shipping, commercial and animal husbandry were on the shores the Zaan.
Whaling was also important, and almost every village in the Zaan region took part in it. In 1697, 78 Greenland sailors with the flag on top of the Zaan arrived at the same time on their journey home. They brought almost 40,000 barrels of whale blubber. With the arrival of the steam engine most mills disappeared from the landscape. Thanks in part to the Zaansche Molen association founded in 1925, 15 industrial mills have been preserved in the region.
The region is also known for the many wooden houses, which are usually painted in typical green and white. There are many more examples. The Zaanse Schans gives a good impression of the traditional Zaanse architectural style.