Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ships and River Boats of Holland and Belgium

Hi, Below I posted photos of some of the trains and trams I saw during a river boat trip my wife and I took in Holland and Belgium. Here I would like to share some of the ships and river craft we saw. The River Aria was our ship for the trip. She is just shy of 410 feet long, 37 feet wide and has a capacity of 164 passengers on 4 decks.

We started our journey in Antwerp, Belgium. The traffic on the rivers and canals of Holland and Belgium is dense. The variety is amazing. Most of the river traffic consists of boats that function as barges do in the US. They carry bulk commodities, e.g., coal and sand, petroleum products and containers.
When loaded some can sit very low in the water. They look like they might sink.

Other river craft, such as this work boat on the left and the police boat on the right, also are present. Antwerp is the worlds 3rd largest port and a container ship is docked in the background.

After spending the night at the dock in Antwerp we left the next afternoon. The next few photos were taken before dinner as we left Antwerp.

It was difficult to identify some of the ships we saw. However, I believe this is a large dredge.

This is actually a barge being shoved by a tow boat. We saw very few of these.

This is a tanker and it carried flammable cargo.

Amsterdam was the official end of our trip. Note the car carried on the deckhouse in the rear of the boat. All but one of the river boats we saw were set up this way and many carried cars. I think this boat is carrying compressed natural gas.

This is just what it looks like, a huge yacht.

I was told by one of our tour directors that this boat no longer sails but is used as a floating restaurant.

Ferries constitute an important part of the transportation system as there are very few bridges; and none in either Amsterdam or Antwerp. The ferries in Amsterdam are for passengers only and are free.
Other ferries, such as the one below in Schoonhaven, carry vehicles too.

A fire boat frequently patrolled the river in Amsterdam.

Tankers generally were much wider than other river boats. This one was taken from the top deck of River Aria as we transited one of the canals.

Another boat photographed from the River Aria is carrying containers.

The smaller ports we visited had an interesting array of sailing ships and power boats. Some were available for charter and some took parties out for cruises of up to a week on the huge bodies of water that have been diked off from the North Sea.

Because of the ash coming from the volcano in Iceland we stayed on River Aria for an extra week; actually leaving the ship in Rotterdam. I photographed the old side wheeler below as we approached our dock. I am not sure of its use today.

These 2 excursion boats are tied up at what we were told is the original harbor for Rotterdam.

Here is the only boat I saw with the pilot house and deckhouse at the front. When I first saw it I thought it was backing out of a dock.

I really enjoyed the diversity of river traffic we saw and I hope you enjoyed the selection of photos.


Anonymous said...

Great photos - brings back find memories! Karl

leonayuk said...

I used to work on a merchant ship that transport containers worldwide. whenever we are in European ports specially Holland, you will see this boats tranposting goods around europe thru never ending rivers. We used to call them sea snakes because of their bridge that goes up and down thru river locks.

leonayuk said...
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