The Netherlands is all about the sea. Firstly because it exists in constant danger of being flooded by the North Sea and therefore spends a fortune on defensive dikes and floodgates, and also on reclaiming land. Secondly because the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century – from when all those glorious buildings and artworks that we flock to see in Amsterdam emanate – was built on an incredibly successful seafaring trade in spices, silk, porcelain etc.
So, the Dutch know a lot about ships and the sea. In a city full of museums, one of the more significant ones reopens in October after a four year renovation. Het Scheepvaartmuseum (The National Maritime Museum) is located in a fabulous historic building, huge for the city of Amsterdam.