Pre-conference excursion

Together with the Centre for Maritime Research, who will hold a conference just before the IASC2017 Conference, we will organize an excursion to the Wadden Sea. This UNESCO World Heritage is the largest unbroken system of inter-tidal sand and mud flats in the world, with natural processes undisturbed throughout most of the area. It is rich in species specially adapted to the demanding environmental conditions, and is considered one of the most important areas for migratory birds in the world.

The Wadden Sea is a very shallow sea and consists of various sand- and mudflats crossed by channels. As a result of tidal movement these sand flats are submerged at high tides, but become exposed around low tides. And yes, this means you can walk across the seabed, if you’re fast enough… We offer a guided tour, walking from the island of Ameland back to the mainland, a wonderful, but demanding 4 hour walking journey across the seabed.

After a transfer to Holwerd, located up north in the Netherlands, we will first cross the Wadden Sea by ferry at high tide ti the island of Ameland. The island is characterized by its historical villages and a varied natural landscape. We will have lunch on the island and pay a visit to Het Oerd, a natural area consisting of dunes and salt marshes. The director of the Natural Museum, Johan Krol, will show us around in this unique area and share his expertise on the century-old tradition of collective grazing that is still being practiced. In the late afternoon, at low-tide, we will start our walk across the Wadden Sea to the mainland, guided by professional local guides.

Join us on this adventurous trip and visit one of the most remarkable natural areas in the world!

Please note

1) This excursion is only suitable for people in good physical condition. This means:

  • age between 14 and 70
  • minimum height 165 cm
  • good general condition
  • excursion is not recommended for pregnant women and people with health issues

2) As the inter-tidal walk will be across the seabed and sometimes through the water, we recommend you to bring:

  • a dry set of clothes
  • an extra pair of shoes
  • sufficient food and drinks (you will be offered a lunch before the start of the walk and a small meal when you arrive at the mainland)

3) The walking tour will be dependent on favorable weather conditions. This can only be estimated shortly before the start of the tour. In the unlikely case that weather predictions do not allow the inter-tidal walk, an alternative Wadden Sea tour will be offered.




Preliminary program
  • 08:00 – Joint departure from Utrecht to Holwerd
  • 11:30 – Ferry from Holwerd to island of Ameland
  • 12:30 – Lunch at island of Ameland
  • 14:00 – Visit to Het Oerd
  • 16:00 – Start walking tour back to mainland
  • 20:00 – Estimated time of arrival in Holwerd, quick meal, and departure back to Utrecht
  • 23.30 – Estimated return in Utrecht

110 EUR, including transfers from and to Utrecht, ferry transfer, lunch, guided walk, small dinner.


  • Minimum age: 14, maximum age: 70 (participants over 70, please consult us before signing up)
  • Body length: at least 1.65 meters (because of crossing streams)
  • Good physical condition.
  • Not recommended for pregnant women or people with health issues
  • Wearing proper shoes with socks is compulsory because of risk cutting your feet on sharp shells present in the oyster- and mussels beds .
    • Recommended: high basketball shoes and/or surf booties with laces that fit properly.
    • Big mountain hiking shoes are not recommended! If you don’t wear proper shoes, you will cut yourself on the sharp shells present in the oyster- and mussels beds that we will encounter during the tour.
  • Bring a rain- or windjacket and wear warm clothing underneath.
  • Wearing short pants is strongly recommended. Long pants can cause friction on your skin which may lead to grazes.
Do not forget!
  • Bring dry clothes and shoes. We recommend you to pack your clothes in a waterproof bag (for example a simple garbage bag) and carry this with you in a backpack. The clothes you wear during the walking tour will certainly get wet!
  • 3 to 4 hours walking in the mud takes energy; we therefore recommend you to bring sufficient food and drinks for the tour.
  • Basic emergency care can be provided by the tour guides; tour guides have communication with emergency services if needed. Given the extra costs this may incur, make sure to have proper travel insurance and health insurance!


Additional background info

‘Modderig museumstuk’
Online article (in Dutch only) by Ineke Noordhoff for website of Noorderbreedte. The effect of gas extraction in the Northern Netherlands on Ameland’s soil is similar to the effect of rising sea levels in the future and therefore exemplary for showing the future effects of global climate change.