Cruise Port IJmuiden is beautifully situated in the middle of an area, that offers a huge number of nice places and plenty of things to do. Most cruise passengers will go on an organized tour (booked onboard the vessel), which is indeed a comfortable and by far the easiest (but at the same time, most expensive) way to see quite a lot of the low lands in a short time.
But, for the ones a bit more adventurous, there is also a lot that can be done on your own. For sure biking is an option but just going for a walk or a longer hike can also be a very nice possibility to explore some of the neighborhood.
The Felison Terminal is located near the old heart of IJmuiden and almost in front of the famous ship locks. In fact, the port of IJmuiden originated when the ship locks were constructed and the North Sea Canal was dug (by hand!) so the village itself is not very old, compared to most of the other cities and villages in the area. Besides of that, larger parts of the inner city have been destroyed during World War II so a lot of buildings are from a more recent date.
During World War II, a large part of IJmuiden was part of the notorious German “Atlantik Wall”. Many bunkers remind of these harsh times and near the Felison Cruise Terminal there are several that can be visited. The Bunker Museum, just a stone’s throw away, tells about this dark period and has an impressive collection of objects from that era.
Close to the Felison Terminal you will find the largest complex of ship locks (sluices) in the world. Overhere there is always something to see as more than 15.000 ships –from tiny sailing boats to enormous tankers and bulk carriers- pass these locks every year. At this moment the largest shiplock in the world (!!!) is under construction; 500 meters long, 70 meters wide and 18 meters deep! This mega project will be finished by the end of the year 2022. The extreme measurements of this lock will make it possible for even the largest ships to reach the port of Amsterdam, which is one of the most important harbors in Europe. The ship lock complex is really worth a visit and you can also go to SHIP (admission free) to learn more about the locks and harbors.