DFDS Princess Seaways Ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam
DFDS operates a daily DFDS Newcastle-Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) overnight ferry service using 2 ships. I had wanted to take at least 1 long cruiseferry ride for an overland trip when I am in Europe, and this trip from Edinburgh to Berlin was it. My 2 day 1 night ferry journey would be on board DFDS Princess Seaways.
DFDS Princess Seaways Ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam
- Go North East Bus 327 from Newcastle Central Station to DFDS Ferry Terminal
- DFDS Ferry Check-In and Boarding at Newcastle Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal
- DFDS Princess Seaways Economy Cabin Review
- DFDS Princess Seaways WiFi, Facilities, Activities & Entertainment
- DFDS Princess Seaways Restaurants, Café & Bars
- DFDS Ferry Arrival, Disembarkation & Immigration at Amsterdam IJmuiden Port Felison Terminal
- DFDS Bus Transfer from Amsterdam IJmuiden Port Felison Terminal to Amsterdam City Centre (Amsterdam Centraal Station De Ruijterkade Oost) by Bus
Go North East Bus 327 from Newcastle Central Station to DFDS Ferry Terminal
The journey starts from Newcastle Central Station after alighting from my Lumo train from Edinburgh. Go North East Bus 327 is the DFDS bus transfer from Newcastle Central Station to DFDS Ferry Terminal.
DFDS Ferry Check-In at Newcastle Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal
Check-in is straightforward, similar to an airline check-in where you give the counter staff your passport and they return with your boarding pass. In DFDS’s case, my boarding card is also my cabin key. Check-in for foot passengers closes 45 minutes prior to departure.
I booked an Economy Cabin, listed descriptively as a “2-bed inside cabin, bunk beds”, as it was the cheapest option available. For this cabin for 2 persons, I paid £138, so that’s £69 per person.
DFDS Ferry Boarding
Boarding is also easy as the boarding gate is located just beside the check-in counter.
There was a very slight hiccup here with the boarding gate staff flipping through my passport including all empty pages for a few more seconds than comfortable. I then asked her if she was looking for something, and she asked for my Schengen Visa, which she mistook my expired Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS) sticker for it. I then told her that Singapore passports don’t need a Schengen Visa.
A very quick check on her computer later, and I’m free to board the ferry.
There are no immigration procedures when leaving the UK.
A security check followed behind the boarding gate, airline style.
Following security, the path leads to a long bridge connecting the terminal building to the ferry.
DFDS Princess Seaways
Stepping on board DFDS Princess Seaways, my home and transport for the night. Staff are on hand to check for boarding cards, and to direct passengers to the cabins.
Heading up a series of staircases to my cabin.
DFDS Princess Seaways Economy Cabin
The overall interior of my Economy Cabin “2-bed inside cabin, bunk beds”. Surprisingly, it was more spacious than I had expected, with the presence of a sofa as well.
The lower bed was made up nicely, with towels provided as well.
The attached toilet is quite compact, with the toilet and shower sharing the same space.
A curtain separates the toilet from the shower, making the shower space even tighter with a triangle.
The sink width is the same as the combined toilet and shower width.
WiFi, Facilities, Activities & Entertainment
WiFi is available on board DFDS Princess Seaways, but it isn’t very cheap. Just 1 hour of basic internet costs 5 Euros.
|Surf Small||5 EUR||1h||Web, messaging & email|
|Surf Medium||9 EUR||3h||Web, messaging & email|
|Surf Large||17 EUR||24h||Web, messaging, email & social media|
|Surf MiniCruise||26 EUR||44h||Web, messaging, email & social media|
|Surf Streaming||22 EUR||24h||Streaming, web, messaging, email & social media|
*Surf Streaming package allows you to stream up to 2 films (1GB).
Free WiFi is available for all Commodore and Conference guests. Commodore passengers will receive a voucher in their cabin which should be taken to Guest Service Centre to redeem their free WiFi access.
Duty Free Shop
Sea Shop is the duty free shop on board DFDS Princess Seaways with quite a variety of products including souvenirs and alcohol.
There are other bars and seating areas on board for lounging. I’ve described more facilities in a separate article here.
Restaurants, Café & Bars
DFDS Princess Seaways has a few food and beverage outlets open almost throughout the sailing. More details here.
North Sea Bistro
North Sea Bistro is the premium sit-down restaurant only open for dinner. Prices here are quite high especially when compared with the fare of an Economy Cabin, but if you’d like a bit of premium and class for a sailing dinner, North Sea Bistro is for you.
A 2-course meal costs €38.95 and a 3-course meal costs €42.95. View the North Sea Bistro menu here.
Coffee Crew Café
Coffee Crew Café sells drinks and snacks for a light meal or quick breakfast.
Coffee Crew Café is located beside Kids’ Club so parents can watch over the kids while having a coffee.
Explorers Kitchen is the buffet restaurant on board. I made bookings here for dinner and breakfast, so here’s a review of the buffet offerings at Explorers Kitchen.
Explorers Kitchen Dinner Buffet
The Explorers Kitchen is quite big, probably meant to cater to most passengers on board as the main restaurant.
Tables are laid out in 2s of 4s, with flexibility to join or separate tables if necessary to accommodate groups of other sizes.
The table was set with a side plate, water glass, salt and pepper mills, and a drinks menu for additional drinks orders. The menu is similar to bars around the ship.
A wide variety of international cuisine is offered for the buffet dinner. I’ve elaborated on a bit more of the Explorers Kitchen dinner buffet in a separate article here.
Here’s a sampling of the first plate that I took from the buffet line. With the wide variety of food available, I went back for quite a few rounds in the hopes of trying almost everything.
Dinner was not too busy, so it was also pleasantly quiet during my dinner. Perhaps most passengers brought their own picnic, or simply skipped dinner.
Explorers Kitchen Breakfast Buffet
The next morning, it was time to wake up for breakfast and arrival into IJmuiden (Amsterdam).
In the morning, the Explorers Kitchen buffet was a lot more crowded. There were also quite a few walk-ins without a prior booking. Perhaps breakfast is the most important meal of the day here.
A hot breakfast buffet is provided at Explorers Kitchen which was very pleasant. Most regular breakfast buffets in Europe are cold buffets with cold cuts, cheeses, milk etc., things that don’t require much cooking per se.
Ah yes, the European cold buffet is also here.
A wide variety of breads are available. I’ve elaborated on a bit more of the Explorers Kitchen breakfast buffet in a separate article here.
My first plate from the buffet line. Everything was pretty good, but I like breakfast food at any time of the day, so I may be biased here.
Arrival, Disembarkation & Immigration
The DFDS Princess Seaways ferry from Newcastle enters IJmuiden Harbour just after breakfast, in good time after a night of sailing.
Nearing IJmuiden Port Felison Terminal, announcements are made for vehicle passengers to proceed to their vehicles. Vehicles can drive out immediately after the ship docks.
Announcements were made after docking for foot passengers to proceed to Deck 6 Guest Service Centre area for disembarkation. The crowd was managed according to immigration queue time, so there was some waiting here instead of everyone queuing on the passenger foot bridge.
Disembarkation was on Deck 5, just 1 staircase set down from the Deck 6 Guest Service Centre area.
Heading on the foot bridge to the terminal building.
Heading down the escalator to EU immigration.
There was a bit of a queue here considering than the entire shipload of passengers are clearing immigration at the same time.
Once done with immigration, the arrival hall was compact and simple, but it does the job anyway since everyone would be heading straight out.
There are tour buses on standby to pick groups up, and of course the DFDS Bus Transfer to Amsterdam City Centre as well. The DFDS Bus Transfer will wait for all pre-booked passengers to clear immigration before departing, so no worries about that.
DFDS Bus Transfer from IJmuiden Port Felison Terminal to Amsterdam City Centre
The DFDS Bus Transfer from Amsterdam IJmuiden Port to Amsterdam City Centre is an essential add-on for foot passengers when booking the DFDS Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry unless you have friends and family picking you up. IJmuiden Port is located about 25km from Amsterdam, and no other public transport is directly available from IJmuiden Port Felison Terminal.
The DFDS Bus Transfer is easy to spot with the blue DFDS livery on the bus. This bus is operated by Brouwer Tours. Boarding is simple enough by showing the booking confirmation to the bus driver. A one-way ticket for the costs £8 at my time of booking.
While the seats look good, they are quite short. Looks like the seats were a tight fit for most passengers.
The legroom on board the coach is not great either, just sufficient to put my legs in.
My DFDS Bus Transfer arrived at De Ruijterkade Oost Amsterdam Centraal Station at 10.28am, making this a journey time of 44 minutes from Amsterdam IJmuiden Port Felison Terminal.
From De Ruijterkade Oost, Amsterdam Centraal Station is just ahead.
The DFDS Princess Seaways is a very comfortable way to get across the North Sea from Newcastle to Amsterdam. While everyone is flying with the advent of cheap flights and no frills, going back to sea travel if you can afford the time is a journey for the experience, with private cabins, good food, and a general relaxed atmosphere on board, with no one really rushing to get to where they need to go.