Why this seasoned sailor chose Jachthaven Biesbosch for the summer to explore the breath-taking Dutch waterways.
Head over heals with Holland
Paul Schroeder is a seasoned sailor with more than 50 years experience. He started out sailing dinghies but advanced some years ago to a motor cruiser. Paul has considerable experience of cruising inland waterways, including up and down the Thames.
When more than seven years ago, he decided to upgrade his boat, he commissioned a Dutch company to build it. When he went to collect the boat with his wife Heather, they were introduced to and fell in love with the Dutch waterways.
Two years later they decided to return for a three month cruising tour of some of these waterways.
The perfect location
With less time on their hands this summer, Paul and Heather decided they wanted to make The Netherlands their boat’s home for the foreseeable future and so needed to find a reliable marina.
Paul started researching possible marinas online. Jachthaven Biesbosch scored their first point because their website was available in English as well as Dutch. “When I emailed them,” explained Paul, “they responded immediately.” Another point scored.
“I also noticed all of the businesses and services that the marina offered and realised this location would be perfect for us. Inevitably you will need back-up services for repairs and the like, so their great facilities sealed the deal.”
Because of the time restraints, the Schroeder’s boat was taken over by lorry via Harwich to the Hook of Holland. As Jachthaven Biesbosch is also close to the Hook of Holland that meant it was convenient too.
Jachthaven Biesbosch is set on the edge of the Biesbosch National Park at Drimmelen, south east of Rotterdam. The Biesbosch is the largest National Park in the Netherlands and is a stunning network of rivers, creeks and willow forests. Rich in wildlife as well as flora and fauna, Biesbosch is a magical place to cruise.
Jachthaven Biesbosch also offers a unique sailing experience within the waters of the regions of Brabant and Zeeland.
Paul and Heather were delighted with the warm welcome and fantastic service when they arrived at Jachthaven Biesbosch.
“The marina manager was very accommodating and so were the other havenmeesters, especially Marie-Louise. They always had a wave and a friendly smile when we returned to our dock.
At Jachthaven Biesbosch, the customer service is second to none and the support services are superb. In fact, one of the service companies is over-wintering our boat on an indoor mooring.”
Paul explained this is the perfect solution for them, as they can't pop over regularly to check on the boat through the winter months and they feel confident that their boat is safely stored in a covered location.
A welcome return
Paul and Heather have enjoyed three trips in total this summer - the first being a round trip of the local area of the Biesbosch, including venturing into the surrounding National Park. The second trip took them north where they left the boat to return to the UK collecting it on their return, and heading further north still before returning to the Biesbosch.
“Holland has the finest inland water boating in Europe. They are all set up in ways that other countries aren’t."
Of course the Schroeders say they will be returning to Jachthaven Biesbosch and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Jachthaven Biesbosch as a base to other sailors.
“We were made to feel like long-time friends. I couldn’t recommend this place highly enough.”
A wealth of facilities
Jachthaven Biesbosch has all the modern facilities you would expect, including:
• 1400 berths, fully serviced with power and water
• On-the-water fuel pontoon, serving Diesel and Petrol up to 10,000 litres each, easily accessible near the marina entrance
• Yacht chandlery and a showroom for outboard engines and watersports merchandise
• Modern facilities with 24-hour access to showers and a laundry
• Free secure Wi-Fi available at every berth and throughout the marina
• 24 hour CCTV surveillance and secure electronic bridgehead access gates
• A supermarket on site, well stocked with daily essentials
• Welcoming water-terrace restaurants and cafes on site
Exploring the local area
Nearby, the village of Drimmelen – a short walk from the marina, has a rare and rustic charm. And the neighbouring town of Made was the birthplace of sailor Hans Horrevoets, who began his sailing career in the marina. The town of Geertruidenberg is at the mouth of the river Donge, where the rivers de Amer and de Bergsche Maas meet, and has a cosy market square and beautiful historic city centre. For a bustling and vibrant experience, the foodlovers city of Breda is a half hour drive from the marina.
It’s easy to see why the Schroeders, and so many others, choose this stunning location, and Jachthaven Biesbosch as their base, for their summer cruising tours.
“We were delighted with our choice of Jachthaven Biesbosch as our base in the Netherlands. Our initial welcome was wonderful and everything worked efficiently to get Isabela onto her berth. The Havenmeesters were very helpful and we received a wonderful welcome on our return from our first trip.
We have also had very good service from the water sports shop and the sailmaker. We are coming back in June and then setting off for another tour of the Nertherlands, with the plan to return in late September.”