All ships are required by law to have a maritime pilot on board when the vessel enters port. Maritime pilots are charged with advising the captain on how to smoothly and safely guide the ship into the port - that is their job.

“Today we witnessed the passage of a massive pipe-laying vessel, the Solitaire. It is one of the largest vessels of its kind in the world and passed through the Noordersluis lock right in here the port of Amsterdam.

Since it’s so long - 400 metres - the Noordersluis lock really isn’t large enough to accommodate it. But the last 100 metres are so high above the water that we managed to get the job done. In fact, it couldn’t have gone perfectly“, commented the operation Jeroen Schmohl, Manager Operations BIJ at Port of Amsterdam.

“The Solitaire ended up in Amsterdam because we decided six months ago, together with port of Amsterdam, Ter Haak Group and Conquest Offshore - to anchor the ship there. That’s because Port of Amsterdam has a lock that is unaffected by tides - we call that “tide-independent”. It means we have a very high quality quay and can work on our ships without interruption. Since we also have a lifting capacity of 1,400 tonnes, we were well able to facilitate the work they needed to get done on their ship”, added Willem Van Swinderen, Commercial Manager at Conquest Offshore.

WATCH: Pilots safely guide massive ship through Noordersluis lock in Amsterdam