Thursday, June 28, 2018

Het Scheepvaartmuseum

Try saying that three times fast! Dutch is a hard language to pronounce, so we just refereed to it in English - the National Maritime Museum.

We enjoyed this museum quite a bit. In fact, we would have stayed longer, but they were ready to close up for the night. In addition to the interesting displays about The Netherlands' Golden Age and maritime history, they also have a ship.

A replica of the Amsterdam, a Dutch East Indiaman from the 1840s, is docked right next to the museum. (The original Amsterdam only made one trip before sinking in the English Channel. The wreck was discovered in 1969 and is the best preserved Dutch East India Company shipwreck ever found.) The ship was the kids' favorite part of the museum because they could play with everything. 

In many areas there was picture of a little rat, named Rinus, encouraging the  kids to pull, swing, climb and explore. (The hold of the ship is essentially one gigantic play area.) After looking in the Captain's privy they discovered the secret. If they opened a specific chest they were given a clue to the location of a treasure. All they had to do was whisper the Captain's name into the ear of a worker in the Museum Store to claim their reward.

They didn't have to be told twice - they almost ran to the store, got their trinket and were thrilled to find out that very few kids find the hidden clue. The museum was recently redone and we were quite pleased with the displays. All the signs were in Dutch and English, and all the video programs had English subtitles. If you are in Amsterdam, this museum is definitely worth a visit.

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