Visiting the legend: Holland and the Flying Dutchman

Visiting the legend: Holland and the Flying Dutchman

by Addison Takats
Stripes Europe

You may have heard of this legendary “ghost ship” but do you know where the legend began? Buckle up as we depart on a trip to the Netherlands aboard the famous ship once captained by Willem van der Decken!

With a legend this old, many of the details are widely disputed. Even the captain’s name changes in various tellings, but the one detail that stays the same is that this legend originated in Holland.

After, leaving port somewhere in the 1700s, the ship, who sailed under the East India Trading Company’s flag, reached Cape Hope on the edge of South Africa in the midst of a horrible storm. Without hesitation, the Flying Dutchman’s captain urged his men to sail through. His men protested and pleaded, but in the end, they followed their captain to their watery graves.

No one ever saw the men from the Flying Dutchman ever again. However, the same cannot be said for the ship…

For years since, men at sea have claimed to have seen the Flying Dutchman surrounded in ghostly lights, with no crew on board. And where the Flying Dutchman goes, trouble follows. The legend has it that spotting this haunted ship is a warning for trouble to come. A curse, a cocktail?

That’s right. This story may be just a legend but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy feeling a little spooky while visiting the Netherlands!

Here are a few places to “haunt” on your next trip to the Netherlands!

Efteling Theme Park
This fantasy-themed park in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands will really have you feeling scared! They even have a ride called the Flying Dutchman!
Open every day from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
Tickets: 38-45 euros

The Flying Dutchman Bar
This bar, located in Amsterdam, has great Yelp reviews and some spooky cocktails! Who knows with enough libations you might actually see the Flying Dutchman!
Open every day from 5 p.m. - 4 a.m. 
Reservations recommended

Flying Dutch Boats: Old Amsterdam Boat Tour
We think you’ll have a better outcome than the crew of the original ship, so relax and enjoy as you explore Amsterdam from the waterways!
Prices vary and you can make reservations online.

Note: As of publication, these places are open and taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Check their websites for updates.

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