Discover Benelux, Issue 28, April 2016

Page 38

Discover Benelux | Explore Friesland | Sailing

Rederij Vooruit is located in Friesland and has a range of traditional sailing ships to rent, equipped for all kinds of groups.

Sailing in (traditional) style TEXT: ROSANNE ROOBEEK | PHOTOS: REDERIJ VOORUIT

Imagine the salty sea air blowing through your hair, the sound of the water against the bow and a pink sky during sunset. You can experience it all on a sailing trip with Rederij Vooruit. Rederij Vooruit has been running since 1968, making it the oldest ‘rederij’, or shipping company in the Netherlands. It is located in Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands that sets itself apart by its own distinctive culture and language. Friesland’s landscape is unique; it has the largest chain of connected inland lakes in Europe and is perfect for water sport enthusiasts. “Being based in Harlingen, which is in the very north of Friesland, on the coast, makes us flexible to take many different 38 | Issue 28 | April 2016

routes,” says Joost Bakker, owner and captain of Rederij Vooruit. “We sail from different ports onto the Wadden Sea, Ijssel Lake and the Frisian Lakes that are interconnected through a distinctive system of rivers and canals. You can experience typical landscapes with wide panoramas decorated with picturesque villages and cities.” Rederij Vooruit has a range of traditional boats and ships available to rent, equipped for all kinds of groups, from school and business trips to private parties. You can sail under the watchful eye of the skipper who will teach you everything you want to know about sailing such as steering the ship, knots and navigation. They have an extensive fleet with more than 40 ships, which can accommodate

over 1,000 people in total. There are ships for long journeys or short trips, sailboats for small groups and for large groups. The smallest ship with sleeping facilitates can accommodate up to seven people and the biggest ship can hold 34. Besides the sailing activities, Rederij Vooruit has a restaurant called De Admirael, serving traditional sailor’s dinners and typical Frisian dishes. The sailing season will officially open on ‘Vlootdag’ (Fleet Day) which will take place on 9 April. “This is a lovely festival with music, great food and of course traditional ships,” says Bakker. “You can come on board the ships and join us for a trip, something you simply do not want to miss out on!”