Cheese, Windmills and Cycling the Dutch Countryside aboard ms Inspire
A beautiful morning filled with brilliant sun and blue skies greeted Tauck’s new ms Inspire this morning in Hoorn, Netherlands, and the options available to guests today were as excellent as the weather.
Today, guests could choose to take part in tours of a cheese factory and one of the Netherland’s iconic windmills in the morning, followed by a tour of the open-air Zuiderzee Museum in the afternoon. Or, they could mix-and-match, opting to spend free time exploring Hoorn in either the morning or the afternoon.
Because I’ve been to Hoorn before, I wanted to spend some time lingering here in the afternoon, so I set out to tour the Schermer Polder Windmill Museum and the Zeilzicht Cheese Farm.
Located approximately 30 minutes outside of Hoorn, the Zeilzicht Cheese Farm welcomed us with open arms. More importantly, Tauck guests were the only ones present at the farm, despite the presence of four additional river cruise ships in Hoorn today. Keeping their experiences unique to their guests is a big priority for Tauck.
We were given a walk-through of the entire property, from the areas where the milk is processed and made into cheese to the livestock enclosures where the cows, in very modern fashion, are milked by an AutoMilker – a Dutch invention that looks similar to a car wash.
The cows love the thing, and queue up five and six at a time to be milked by it. To see them standing in a line, waiting for a metal gate to swing open reminds me of watching people queue up at Disneyland before opening hours. The cows jostle amongst themselves, vying for the best position – or, to simply be first in line when the gate clanks open.
We were also invited to enjoy three different types of Gouda cheese, including one made with Stinging Nettle that was astonishingly flavourful. What’s more, we learned that the Dutch don’t really refer to cheese as being “Gouda” or “Edam” like North Americans do. To locals, Gouda and Edam are still regions of the Netherlands, not descriptors for cheese.
Our Live Voyage Report from the maiden voyage of Tauck’s new ms Inspire continues tomorrow as we travel to Arnhem and Nijmegen, Netherlands! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.