No boat for Sinterklaas this year

No boat for Sinterklaas this year

Traditionally, Sinterklaas arrives in the Netherlands from Spain on a steamboat. Not this year though, as the canal in Apeldoorn is too small for the boat.

A first for the national Sinterklaas arrival event

Since 1952, Sinterklaas has arrived in the Netherlands via steamboat. The national arrival event was held in Amsterdam for the first few years, before today’s format, which sees his arrival city changing each year. This year, the national arrival event is being held in Apeldoorn, and the city is surprising us with a first, namely the first time Sinterklaas will arrive via a different mode of transport.

The canal in Apeldoorn is too small to accommodate Sinterklaas’ steamboat, therefore he will arrive by steam train. To be precise, Sinterklaas will be travelling on one of the Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij services.

No “blackface” Piets

This year’s event is not only unique because of Sinterklaas’ mode of transport but also due to the fact that Piet – Sinterklaas’ helper – will no longer be covered completely in black makeup, but will instead only have soot marks on his face. There will be no Piets in completely black makeup featured in the event.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

Read more



Leave a comment