Skipper Maarten van Nieuwland: "Receiving guests on this ship is a privilege."

Maarten van Nieuwland became a sailor on a charterschip at age 17, which is also when his love for flat-bottomed ships started. He nonetheless decided to first attend college and found work on shore. But the waves kept calling, so after an international career, Maarten returned to the water in 2005. Since then he has worked as a skipper on a tjalk, captain of an oil tanker, and helmsman on a training vessel. And all those years he had been admiring the Zorg met Vlijt from afar, one of the most beautiful and fastest ships of the brown fleet. "It is an amazing feeling to sail her myself."

Maarten is an avid sailer, a lover of historical ships, and above all a host who enjoys the social interactions while sailing with guests. The cruising area holds no secrets for him and he often manages to find the beautiful, quiet places and thus ensures that his guests can enjoy their experience to the fullest. Whether people want to sail competitively, make long days, spending the night on a wad, or maybe want to board a lively and comfortable harbour a little earlier in the day, the possibilities are endless and Maarten enjoys making guests' sailing dreams come true.

No life without water

Literally and figuratively an absolutely true fact. Maarten cannot imagine his life without work and leisure time on the water, offering him freedom and time in nature. Water is a biological and mental necessity to him, which is a sentiment the guests will be able to experience once they set foot aboard the Zorg Met Vlijt.

The Zorg Met Vlijt is much faster than many other ships from the fleet. She was built in Friesland at a yard that mainly focused on building fast Sk├╗tsjes and only a few Tjalks. This meant that speed is not only in her sails and rigging, but in her roots. "A great experience for everyone who enjoys going fast together", or as other skippers put it: "She is already fast without trying, but if you do try, she can go really, really fast."

Sailing with the Zorg is a unique experience

Spending a few days on board does not only revolve around sailing. There are sixteen comfortable beds, two showers, a beautiful galley, a cozy sitting room inside and benches with pillows outside. In short, everything needed to keep the world at bay and retreat on the ship if that is your preference. "There are guests who like to be surprised by the experience, so I try to figure out what type of trip they would enjoy the most. Others step aboard with outspoken ideas, which we of course accommodate as well, but with the warning that those who always try the same things never experience anything new. 

Weekend guests often have the stress of the week still in their system, wanting to let loose and have some fun immediately. They want to go out to eat, party, go to a busy harbour, and return back early so they can travel home in time. It can be a weekend with lot of fun, but why not try the opposite for once: sail to a lovely, quiet place to anchor, have a swim, barbeque, listen to nice music and take the time to talk to each other. A weekend like that can make you feel reborn.

For week guests, all of the above is possible. We never sail set routes, it all depends on where the guests and the winds take us. But to give you an idea: step aboard on Friday afternoon and sail into the sunset, stay at one of my hidden gems among anchor spots. Then sail towards the Wadden on Saturday and fall dry on a sandbank, where you take a walk, collecting mussels and cockels for dinner, while the tide slowly rolls back in. On Sunday you visit one of the Wadden Islands and on the return trip we visit one of the quaint historical villages of the Zuiderzee. You can end the day with a campfire on an island in Friesland. "Life doesn't get better than that." 

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