The drowned land of Saeftinghe

There's a lot to see during the trip upon the river Scheldt. From beautiful phenomena of nature to one of the world's largest ports.

1. Vlissingen

  • Distance to cruise terminal Antwerp: 49 nautical miles
  • From Vlissingen, many ships sailed out on trade missions, leaving behind the typical windmills and dykes that you still see today. Michiel de Ruyter, the Dutch sea hero whose statue still dominates the shore was born here.

2. Hansweert

  • Passing Hansweert will give you a small peep into the famous landscape that this part of Europe owes its name to: The Lowlands. Sailing through a part of the world where the land lies beneath sea level, is a unique experience.
  • The land constantly struggles for survival against the wild waves lashing in from the sea. The only thing that are as high as mountains in this landscape are churches.

3. Het Verdronken land van Saeftinghe

  • According to a legend, the land was made up of fertile polders, making the farmers so rich that they hooved their horses in gold shoes and the thresholds of the houses were gold too. But one day the tide turned. A fisherman who caught a mermaid refused to release her despite her husband’s pleas. The mermaid cursed the village: ‘The land of Saeftinghe will decline, only the church towers will remain!’ True or not, the “Drowned land” of Saeftinghe has today developed into a unique natural monument and an open air exhibition on a scale not seen anywhere else in Western Europe.
  • The delta owes its existence to the natural elements of silt and sand. The flora forms a unique ecosystem that offers a breeding ground and winter resting place for flocks of a variety of bird species.

4. Bath

  • Lying below sea level, the lowlands are guarded by unique ‘dykes’ to keep the water back. At Bath, you’ll see some fine examples.
  • Look out for the seals that brave the North Sea and lie on the sandy shores for a bit of relaxation.

5. Europa Terminal, North Sea Terminal and Deurganckdok

  • On your way into the historical centre of Antwerp the docks dominate the skyline, cranes tower above you and warehouses glisten in the sun. Entering Europe’s second largest port will be a treat for those interested in nautical affairs.
  • The Port of Antwerp is an impressive international hive of productivity and the fastest port on the planet. The North Sea Terminal and Europa Terminal will impress your passengers with their vastness.
  • After the terminals, the 30 meter high walls of the Deurganckdock lie ahead.
  • The Berendrecht lock is the world’s biggest: 500 meters long and 68 meters wide.

6. Lillo

  • According to many, tiny Lillo with its 40 citizens is the most beautiful village in Flanders, built on a typical plan with the church in the centre surrounded by houses. It was built in 1579 to protect Antwerp against the expected Spanish invasion and thereafter Napoleon used the fortress as an arsenal.
  • Watch out for the tower peaking over its 11-meter high dyke.

7. Antwerp

  • Sailing towards the Cathedral, you’ll pass the former Red Star Line point of departure where thousands of emigrants set out for America and Canada.
  • Keep your eyes open for the oldest dock of Antwerp, built during Napoleon’s reign in 1811, and the old castle of ‘t Steen, before being welcomed by our gangway staff.