Day 1: Zierikzee
The programme for the Zeeland Cruise starts once your guests arrive from the airport. The itineraries could look something like this:
14:00 hours. The coaches will leave for the North Sea floods museum in Ouwerkerk where you will be welcomed by one of the North Sea floods museum's expert members of staff. S/he will give an interesting introduction about the museum which is housed in four caissons that were used to close the last of the breaches in the nearby dikes during the floods. The museum has impressive news footage from the floods as well as a large table with folder upon folder of old newspaper snippets, reports, moving stories from local children and photographs. At the rear, there is information about the fascine, the construction of the dike banks and the machines that were used after the North Sea floods. There is a model that replicates how the dikes were breached and you can listen to the first radio announcements about the disaster using headphones. This makes you feel as if you have been transported back to the time of the floods.
15:30 hours. Zierikzee: historic city and the Pearl of the Oosterschelde estuary. The coaches will leave for the centre of Zierikzee and an expert guide will take you on a tour of the city centre. In the 10th century, a few farmers and/or fishermen, settled on the inlet called the Ee (pronounced 'ey' like in ´they´). This was a good position because the Ee flowed into the Gouwe, which was an important shipping route between Flanders, the province of Holland and Zeeland. In 1248, King William II granted Zierikzee its city rights. The prosperity of Zierikzee at the start of the 15th century created a prominent silhouette of walls, gates, churches, towers and mills. However, there were also times when threats from outside the city put immense pressure on the trade and industry in Zierikzee. The city reappeared after times of disaster looking neglected but not irreparably damaged, and after the North Sea floods of 1953, many buildings were restored. Zierikzee is currently the 8th most important historical city of the Netherlands preceded by larger cities such as Amsterdam, Leiden, Maastricht and Haarlem.
17.00 hours. End of excursion