The daily ferry crossing from Newcastle to Amsterdam, can provide an ideal and convenient gateway to Belgium, particularly when travelling from the north of England and Scotland. DFDS Seaways sail every day from the port in North Shields, just outside of Newcastle to Holland where you arrive in the early morning the following day, ready for the short onward journey to Belgium.
Although it is possible to take the ferry from Scotland to Zebrugge in Belgium, the crossing leaving from Rosyth is not daily and has an extended journey time, so the short drive to Newcastle and onward journey from Amsterdam to Belgium can be beneficial and more convenient. The A1 from Edinburgh and A69 from Glasgow all connect with Newcastle within a couple of hours.
The added driving time from the North to other UK ports and the time from Zebrugge to other Belgian cities means it is possible to save both time and fuel costs by travelling on the Newcastle to Amsterdam crossing and travelling onto Belgium.
Many of the major Belgian cities are within easy reach of Holland, mostly within around 3 hours drive, with excellent road links and driving conditions through Holland and Belgium. Because so many of the major towns and cities are within close proximity of one another, it is possible to take in a number of cities within a few days.
Although it is small in size, Belgium is packed with wonderful historic cities and culture – as well as being famed for its quality beer and chocolate. But Belgium has much more beyond chocolate and beer, with major cities such as Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp all attracting huge numbers of visitors every year. There is also a fabulous coastline along the north edge of the country, and there is a large market for holidays in Belgium, particularly at parks from Center Parcs and Sunparks.
The major Belgian cities are packed with fine architecture, with many of its finest buildings listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, including the famous Grand Place in Brussels and throughout the country you will see evidence of the many Gothic churches. In recent years, Belgium has begun to be more welcoming of modern architecture, particularly in the EU quarter of Brussels home to the European Union and its associated large glass buildings.
Many visitors are also attracted to Ypres, which was along the front line between German and Allied troops during WWI and is now the site of a battlefield tour, where visitors can take in the memorials, churches, trenches and peace park.
Belgium is of course renowned for its beer, and a visit to Belgium will demonstrate that it goes much further beyond Stella Artois and other household names. September is a great time to visit Brussels as this is when the famous Brussels Beer Festival is held. Drinking a beer in Belgium is almost an event in itself, almost exclusively sold in bottles, many bars have an array of hundreds of beers each with their own glass designed to enhance the experience.
Visitors with a sweet tooth won’t be able to escape from the aroma of chocolate through the cobbled streets of virtually every Belgian city. The choice of different chocolates is vast, with pralines the real speciality of Belgian producers. Whilst they aren’t cheap, you get what you pay for in the quality, with each chocolate placed in a ‘ballotin’ (small box).
You can book a one way ferry crossing from Newcastle to Holland from £139 when booking with a car plus two passengers with DFDS Seaways. This includes the cost of a standard inside cabin for your crossing, though you can select different grades of cabin when you make your booking; Seaways Inside cabin, Seaview cabin or upgrade to Commodore or Commodore De Luxe/Commodore Plus. Each cabin grade carries a different price rate.
The DFDS Seaways cruise ferries are designed to ensure that your journey from Newcastle to Belgium is as enjoyable as the rest of your break.
Onboard, DFDS Seaways modern cruise ferries you will find a selection of restaurants and cafe’s where you can eat from a la carte or steakhouse menus, a buffet or a snack. There are also a number of bars and a club with live entertainment throughout your journey, including gameshows, quizzes, music and cabaret shows.
You can also relax in the onboard cinema, or if you fancy a flutter there are also casino tables onboard too, whilst the onboard shops offer some excellent savings on alcohol, tobacco and cosmetics.