From here it was just an hour to our final stop, Sneek, where we tied up just outside the city gate, the Waaterpoort, which dates from 1613. The old town is small but bustling, and when we entered a cheese shop, the garrulous proprietor recommended a place for dinner. We then stopped for lunch, and I finally got to try mosterdsoep (mustard soup), which I’d seen on just about every menu. It was exquisitely sweet with a slight tanginess, not at all what I’d expected.
The next day we headed to the CBL base to turn in the boat—a challenge, as we’d been given no directions, and the sign to it is visible only from the opposite direction. When I turned in the boat, there was no inspection, no review, no questions. I just paid the fuel charge of 160 euro, and the charter was over.
I never did get to wish Rembrandt a happy birthday. Turns out, you can’t take a charter boat into Amsterdam without a permit. But I did get to take a long, slow look at the Dutch countryside, enjoy the friendliness of the Dutch people, and partake of some great Dutch food. So what started out so uncertainly ended up a true Dutch treat.
A typical one-week, one-way CBL charter on a boat capable of accommodating six people runs $1,491, including a $130 one-way surcharge and a $111 damage waiver fee. Fuel and food are extra.
Crown Blue Line
This article originally appeared in the February 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.