AFO #5 - 欧洲港口游览指南 2008.06.17

2008-06-19 02:52  浏览次数 23




My previous service was Europe-North China. It only had 2 ports in Europe, Rotterdam and Hamburg. I always wanted to visit Europe. But during my one year’s staying on the ship in the last service, I hardly had any chance to go shore. Why? Because in a windy day, the vessel was blown off the berth in Rotterdam; in another trip, the bunker barge spilled oil on my ship and some in the water; Port state control inspected in Hamburg; Annual inspections carried out in Hamburg; Customers together with company’s sales team came and visited the ship for 2 times; and countless visits made by the dangerous goods inspectors. The service was 63 days a voyage. So without enough footprints on the European land a year had just passed away.

This voyage my ship changed to a new trade, Europe-South China. I like it because more European ports have been added into this service. And since I’m going home soon, I was crazy going shores, fully exploited every chance to explore the new discoveries. Here I’d like to share my experience of the explorations:

Le Havre

Normally there are 3 ways to get to downtown – by taxi, seamen’s club’s pick-up and public transportation. I’m addicted to the latter. It just makes you feel like a local. And it’s cheap.

In Le Havre the seamen’s club is in the downtown opposite to a medium-sized supermarket. It has free pick-up service after about 5 pm.

My ship was at European Atlantic Terminal. From the terminal’s gate 3 minuets’ walk there’s a bus stop. This brown line bus goes to downtown. 

Bus stop

Point of interest

Avenue du 16 Port

European Atlantic Terminal, where the ship is.


Train station.

Sous Prefecture


Hotel de Ville

Town hall, center of the city. Lots of shopping.

Porte Oceane

The nearest stop to the beach.

Saint Joseph

A tall church. A yacht center is nearby.


Passenger ship terminal.


This pool is at the beach. It has skateboarding, BMX, in-line skating, scooting and music. It’s my favorite spot.

The rumor has it that there’ll be naked girls in summertime on the beach.

The local foods are mourie (shell) and bread stick. Everybody was eating bread stick.



Seamen’s club’s bus will not come to ships after 6 pm.

My berth is in Americanhaven. There’s a bus stop outside of the gate. This bus, No.82, is from Ijmuden, where the lock is, to downtown Amsterdam. The bus is amazingly precise on time schedule posted at the stop. From terminal to downtown is about 25 minutes’ drive.

In the center of downtown there is a square, around which stand some stylish old buildings. Many stores were selling souvenirs there. Beside the square is the Chinatown. I was surprised that there were so many Chinese there.

The red light district is 5 minutes’ walk away from Chinatown. Different-colored girls were standing in the window displays along the rivers. That scene would make anybody feel like a king. It was a crowded place. Most of them were tourists from all parts of the world. How could God allow the existence of such a place? You may wonder. But when you were standing there, you just couldn’t feel any evil. Everything was just so natural. Oh, gee, this is Europe.


To get to the port of Amsterdam the ship has to pass a lock. 2 Dutch pilots will be on board. One positions at portside bridge wing; The other starboardside. They bring some special equipment that can produce accurate position readings. It is very good pilotage. 3 tugs, bow thruster and rudder are used to check the slightest swings.



The Duckdalben seamen’s club is famous here in Hamburg. Free shuttle service. Phone: 0800-3825325236 or 040-7401661. 

What can you do in the seamen’s club:

1.       Play soccer, basket ball, table tennis, pool, etc;

2.       Free surfing on internet;

3.       Buy souvenirs and snacks;

4.       Change euro;

5.       Book exchange;

6.       Telephone.

From the seamen’s club there’re three ways to go to downtown other than taking taxi:

1.       Bus No.150 or 250 to Altona (in the northwest), then take train to anywhere you want.

2.       Bus No. 151 to Wilhelmsburg (in the southeast), then take train to anywhere you want.

3.       Take ferry across the river. Ferries are only available in daytime.

The center of the city I think is Jungfernstieg, where there are plenty exclusive stores between this station and another station Stadthaus-brucke.

St. Pauli is the infamous red light district. In the seamen’s club it can be seen that there are posters both in English and in Chinese warning seafarers not to be cheated by the dishonest whores.



Beautiful houses by the Elbe River. One German captain of Hapag-Lloyd owns one. But it is said that all the money he has earned and will be earned have all put in buying this house here.




Container Terminal Altenwerder.

There are no truck drivers. And half of the crane drivers are missing. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how the whole system works. It’s all automated by computer.  




In Antwerp my berth was far away from the city. There’s a road outside the gate. 10 km to the north is a small village named Zandliet. 30 km to the south is Antwerp. To get to Antwerp by cab would cost 50 euros. So I headed north.

After 2 hours walking I finally got to the village. Bicycling must be the most popular game in Belgium because on the map there are bicycle routes linking the nearby villages and bikers could be seen sweating along the road.

There was nothing in the village. Just had I got chilled after the excitement of arrival, I found myself walking in an empty town. No hustles and bustles. Only sunshine and cozy residential houses. Perhaps people all got out milking cows, riding bicycles or just stayed in the house reading books and cooking meals. This is the Europe I like. A peaceful forgotten land with everything settled down.

However, I do not suggest anyone visit this tiny village. Because literally there’s nothing in it.

On the way back I got in a car of an engineer who was working for the Basf plant near the terminal. It was a really nice experience. Maybe next time I will try hitchhiking to Antwerp.

 A Hapag-Lloyd ship “Stuttgart Express” seemed grounded near my ship. Some shallow waters and sharp turns are along the waterway to the port of Antwerp.

 Now the bigger class 10000+-teu container ships all call at the port of Zeebruge. Only 8000-teu and smaller classes come to Antwerp.




Seafarer’s center is in the downtown. Opening hour 0800 to 2200. Phone: 023 8033 3106.

In the downtown the WestQuey is the biggest shopping mall.

Part of the University of Southampton is in downtown. Other parts are in Solent area. It’s one of the best schools to study maritime law. Countless officers got their licenses here.

In Southampton there’s train to go to London Waterloo station.

 It was weekend on the day of departure Southampton. Thousands of sailing boats were in the river.

“This could have occurred nowhere but in England, where men and sea interpenetrate, so to speak--the sea entering into the life of most men, and the men knowing something or everything about the sea, in the way of amusement, of travel, or of bread-winning.” – Joseph Conrad.


Gioia Tauro

There is curfew and nobody was allowed to pass the immigration office after 2000.


The Port of Gioia Tauro, the hub in the Mediterranean Sea.

There are always delays in their cargo work – the Italian job. 





Passing Messina Strait.

On the left is Sicily. On the right is Italy.




I had read a nautical piece written by a Taiwanese who was the first Chinese who sailed across the Pacific, or the Atlantic – I’ve already forgot. He wrote something like the time spent on the sea is mostly hard work, but there is 1 out 100 images that is very bright and will carry you away. I agree with it. And I think this 1 out 100 images is totally worth the whole thing.



现任职于 OOCL 公司 8,000 箱位船上

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