Brits furious after ‘mystery cruise’ takes them to IJmuiden

Aaah, a mystery cruise promising to whisk you away on a “special voyage” to explore “undiscovered gems” on a “holiday to remember. Sounds like a dream right? But, as recent participants on a British cruise found out, sometimes ‘undiscovered gems’ untouched by tourism are “undiscovered” for a reason. 

The estimated 900 passengers of the 710 room cruise vessel paid up to 1600 euros for their 11-night glamour filled adventure, filled with excitement for their first glamorous stop, The Sun reports.

Buuut, their dreams were destroyed when their first stop was Great Yarmouth, where some travellers had come from in the first place. Stop number two has to be an improvement, right?

Wrong! What a fun game. They then headed to Dunkirk, a small town on the east coast of France famous for a WWII battle, and now with enhanced police security due to a serious influx of migrants.

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“Some have said they won’t get off the ship at the next destination. They just want it to be over,” a passenger told The Sun.

Stop number three actually was huge upgrade when the ship headed to beautiful Antwerp in Belgium for some fries and waffles – and it all got better from there.

Just kidding! The grand finale was a stop in the Netherlands, home of stretching fields of tulips and beautiful cheese milked straight from the cows! Sounds great, right? But instead of docking in beautiful, historic Amsterdam or newly-built Rotterdam, they found themselves in … IJmuiden, an industrial port city in north Holland.

One word? Picturesque. Image: Udo Geisler on Flickr

Now, at DutchReview we don’t discriminate – we love all parts of the Netherlands! But, suffice to say the British passengers were not impressed with the small city.

“[I]t was like being on a council estate, with cheap shops like Poundland.” one passenger told The Sun. “There have been a lot of complaints and the crew know people are not happy.”

Another passenger told The Sun “It’s mutiny on here. God knows where we will end up next.”

But, the cruise company is defending themselves. Martin Lister, head of itinerary planning & destination experience, said they’ve received a number of positive comments.

“It is a shame that a minority feel this cruise has not met expectations,” he told. “We hope our guests will continue to get into the spirit of the cruise and are looking forward to those destinations that they have not yet visited.”

What do you think of this luxury cruise itinerary? How happy would you be to dock in IJmuiden? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Hans Splinter/Flickr

Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.


  1. We docked there earlier this year with P and O
    No problem we were just taken into Amsterdam .ovely interesting scenery on the way.


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