Cruising in the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.
Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
Mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast
Lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
The Netherlands has a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports.
The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002. The country continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment. Economic growth slowed considerably in 2001-05, as part of the global economic slowdown, but for the four years before that, annual growth averaged nearly 4%, well above the EU average.
Airports: 27 (2005)
5,046 km (navigable for ships of 50 tons) (2004)
Total: 563 ships (1000 GRT or over) 4,925,489 GRT/5,052,931 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Amsterdam, Groningen, Ijmuiden, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Vlissingen, Zaanstad
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region