The river IJ is the lifeblood of Amsterdam. It allowed traders to grow a small settlement in the delta of the river Amstel into a world-renowned trading city that brought about Holland’s Golden Age.
Today the river connects the Port of Amsterdam — and the North Sea beyond — with the rest of the continent.
Over the past few decades shipyards and other industrial business have closed or moved further west, giving way to a countless exciting developments and projects along the banks of the river.
Free ferries, parks, cultural hot spots, harbor cruises, and a constant parade of ships — from dinghies and sail yachts to cargo vessels and cruise ships — make the IJ a must-see attraction in Amsterdam.
Once in every five years Amsterdam harbor — one of Europe’s busiest ports — become the backdrop for one of the largest maritime manifestations in the world: SAIL
For five days, from August 19th through August 23rd, the whole IJ (pronounced as: Ay) harbor behind Amsterdam’s Central Station will be filled with music, culture and some 600 boats, including many historic vessels and a huge number of impressive tall ships from all over the world.
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