Gravel hole East Marland
Cruising our motoryacht from the south into the Netherlands, the first gravel pit we encounter on our right is the gravel pit East-Marland. This gravel pit is the southernmost tip of Maastricht, the largest city in Limburg on the Meuse. With a small island in the middle, there are excellent anchorages. Fun Valley Maastricht, for example, is right across the canal. Relax for the whole family with archery and crossbow shooting, bubble football, an escape room, foot golf, a climbing wall, live table football, paintballing and much more. Let your children play here for a day while you sit back on your deck with a glass of wine and a good book.
The Portofino marina is also located on the lake, where you can moor as a passer-by. A beautiful harbour in the middle of the trees and the beautiful Limburg nature. Right next door is Sailing and Surfing Association Waolenwiert, where children and adults can learn to sail and surf. There are also regular sailing competitions. Nice to watch from your motor yacht.Fun Valley MaastrichtPortofino MarinaWaolenwiert
We sail out of the lake again and see the ENCI right in front of us. The complex where for a long time much of the Dutch cement from the marl caves was processed. This site will be redeveloped in the years to come. For example, Chalet d'Observant is located there. Enjoy the fantastic view of the Observant, the fishpond and the former sandstone quarry, with its breath taking limestone walls. It also houses Bistro Hoffmanni. Where you can enjoy lunch and dinner. If you want to walk a bit more than all on your aft deck, follow one of the beautiful walking routes that are set out in various lengths.
A little further away is AINSI. AINSI stands for Art Industry Nature Society Innovation. Quite a mouthful for a cultural centre in the former packaging building North of the ENCI cement factory. It is located at the foot of the Sint Pietersberg directly on the banks of the Meuse. A great moment to soak up a bit of culture.
Only one kilometre further north we arrive at the second Maasplas: Pietersplas. Here you will find Maastricht Marina on your starboard side. A very well-equipped marina where you can also stay as a passer-by. The beautiful showers, toilets and other facilities are at your disposal. Would you like to go to the centre of Maastricht from here? This is possible (in the summer period) by water taxi, or you can take an ordinary taxi for a few euros.
Landgoed Kasteel de Hoogenweerth is situated at the harbour. A beautiful authentic Dutch castle for a special wedding or a business or private event. Here you will find exclusivity, luxury and privacy. Non-boat owners can spend the night in one of the luxury suites.
Right next to the castle is Brasserie, bar, restaurant and terrace SOFA. If you don't want to cook for yourself on your motor yacht tonight, then this is an excellent place to eat.
On the other side of the lake are two water sports clubs: WSV de Maasvogels and WSV Randwijck. Both have both fixed moorings and a camping site with pitches. This is slightly less suitable for passers-by.
We sail further north and meet the next marina. On the port side is the rowing club Maastrichtsche Watersportclub and water sports club MMC.
The Meuse becomes a little wider and we see the Limburg Government on our right and when we sail under the bridge we see the Bonnefantenmuseum. This museum with an extensive permanent collection of contemporary pieces and an ever-changing exhibition is definitely worth visiting for a day or afternoon. From the centre of Maastricht this can be easily reached on foot.
We sail on and from the deck of our motor yacht we can already see the Sint Servaas bridge. This is the oldest castle in the Netherlands and connects the old city centre on your starboard side with the new one on port side. If you turn to port immediately after the Wilhelmina Bridge, you may be in luck. If there is room you can moor your motor yacht at the pier and explore the city on foot. Of course, we can't mention all the sights, restaurants and bars here, but the Vrijthof, where André Rieu has been giving his big open-air concerts for many years, and our Lieve Vrouweplein, you must of course have seen.
If that doesn't work out, you could go through lock 20 a few hundred metres further on the port side to take one of the 60 moorings in 't Bassin Maastricht and then walk to the centre on foot. Please note your clearance height, as there is a bridge with a limited clearance immediately after the lock. Call the lock keeper for information.
Maas and Zuid-Willemsvaart
In the meantime the Meuse splits a little further north, just above Maastricht. You could take the canal Zuid-Willemsvaart to the left. Then you sail north via Belgium. However, we choose to stay straight ahead on the Meuse. At least that seems to be the case. Immediately after the branch-off with the Canal, the Meuse bends off to port and we have to continue straight ahead and automatically enter the Juliana Canal. After all, the Meuse is no longer navigable further on and this 'diversion' was made as early as 1934. In the meantime, the canal has recently been completely renovated, widened and deepened to accommodate larger cargo ships. So pay close attention to the sailing rules.
We sail under Keersluis Limmel. Renovated in 2018, this lock - which is in principle always on - protects the hinterland against too high water. If the water flow exceeds a certain maximum, this lock will be closed and passage will no longer be possible.
We are now sailing through an industrial area called Beatrixhaven. Perhaps not exactly the most beautiful, but it shows the importance of the rivers and canals in the Netherlands. Many of the large industries are located on the water, for easier transport of large bulk goods.
We sail past picturesque villages such as Bunde, Itteren, Brommelen, Geulle aan de Maas and then arrive at Elsoo. Here the weather becomes the well-known beautiful Limburg landscape with a winding Meuse with beautiful nature around it. We sail on to Sluizencomplex Born to close our part over the southern Limburg Meuse.
So far the southernmost part of the Meuse and Maastricht.
If you do not have your own motor yacht, the nearest Linssen Boating Holidays charter base is Aqua Libra in Ophoven, Belgium. From there you can easily reach Maastricht with your Linssen rental yacht, but also many other places and regions.