Ship sail

Modified arrival and departure times for the Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Royal Caribbean has been forced to change departure and arrival times at several departures to jewel of the seas sailing from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The cruise ship will depart earlier than scheduled from Amsterdam and return a day earlier at the end of the trip.

Route changes are due to extremely low water levels in the North Sea Channel, which connects Amsterdam to the North Sea. It’s not only jewel of the seas which has been forced to change its route as low tide affects several cruise ships departing from Amsterdam.

Low water levels affecting maritime traffic in the Netherlands

Drought in Europe is increasingly affecting daily life, with rivers reaching their lowest level in history. The lack of significant rainfall, which has lasted for months, is also affecting cruise ship traffic.

Amsterdam can only be reached by sailing on the North Sea Canal at IJmuiden, a 21 km waterway crossing the Dutch landscape.

However, as water levels reached their lowest point in history, the Dutch authorities decided to limit the time the locks between the canal and the North Sea were open. This means that ships are grouped together to pass through the locks, after which they are closed again.

IJmuiden, Netherlands (Photo credit: Aerovista Luchtfotografie / Shutterstock)

The Port of Amsterdam said in a statement: “Due to the drought of the past few weeks and the lack of rainfall, the Netherlands is experiencing low water levels in the rivers and high salt levels in the canal. The low water levels mean that less water can be brought in, resulting in high salt levels in the North Sea Channel.

“It’s not good for water quality. The Dutch Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) will take action in the coming weeks and has asked us to adapt the lock passage regime in IJmuiden. This should ensure that less salt enters the North Sea Channel.

If ships are unable to pass through the locks at the appointed time, they will lose their slots, which could affect subsequent departures, flights and other travel arrangements for guests.

All of this means Royal Caribbean has been forced to alter at least two itineraries for Jewel of the Seas, which has three more sailings from the Dutch capital this year.

Changes to at least two Jewel Of The Seas routes

What is currently clear is that at least two of the three remaining sailings on board jewel of the seas from Amsterdam were affected by low water levels. The August 19 cruise, a 12-night British Isles cruise, and the August 31 cruise, a 9-night Norwegian Fjords cruise.

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Ship at Sea
Photo credit: Wangkun Jia /

The August 19 voyage will not visit the port of St. Peter in the Channel Islands, but will travel to Dover, England, a day earlier than scheduled on August 29.

jewel of the seas will arrive in Amsterdam on the night of August 30, where guests can enjoy Amsterdam nightlife before disembarking on August 31.

The cruise on August 31 will depart earlier than scheduled, at 3:30 p.m., so passengers should make sure to be in the terminal on time. jewel of the seas will also return a day earlier to Amsterdam on September 8, offering guests an overnight stay in Amsterdam.

The early departure on August 31 and the early return do not affect any port calls, as the ship would have been at sea on September 8.

For the September 9 cruise, Royal Caribbean has not yet announced any changes to this cruise.

jewel of the seas is not the first cruise ship to be affected by low water levels in the Netherlands. Last month the MS Rotterdam changed several routes from Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam.

Jewel of the Seas cruise ship