IGOS Cryosphere Theme


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The workshop is being held at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), the largest site and the technical heart of ESA. ESTEC is Noordwijk, The Netherlands, not too far from Amsterdam.

Getting there:

Nearest airports are Amsterdam or Rotterdam, but the latter requires a rental car. One can get a train to Leiden (nearest station to ESTEC) from inside Schiphol (Amsterdam) airport.

To get from the Schiphol airport to Noordwijk:

Once you have gone through customs (arriving at Schiphol airport) you will enter enter the Schiphol Plaza (shopping center). From there you can take the train, rent a car or take a taxi (maps of airport).

1. Train. Once you have gone through the Schiphol Plaza you will arrive at the train station (all in the same building; see the center of the first page of this map). The trains from Schiphol to Leiden CS are very frequent. Purchase the ticket on the ground floor.  The trains are downstairs. Most  people speak English in The Netherlands.  Click here for train information, including schedules and prices.  For example, on Sunday, 15 October, a 2nd class ticket from Schiphol (Amsterdam airport) to Leiden is EUR 4.90, with trains departing about every 10 minutes (arounds 10:00), and the trip taking about 20 minutes.

2. Rent a car.

3. Taxi. Airport Taxi pick-ups can also be booked (in English) by Taxi Brouwers (071 36 11 000) to Noordwijk - and you will be met at the airport at the Meeting Point in the Airport Plaza (where the railway station entrance is). Taxi Brouwers has an agreement with ESTEC.  For an airport pick up, you should mention ESA to get the appropriate rate to Noordwijk, as well as the flight number and arrival time. They adjust to late arrivals automatically. The price of the ESA rate to Noordwijk is around 45-50 Euros.

To get from Leiden CS to Noordwijk:

1. Bus. If you plan to take the bus everyday while you are in The Netherlands, it is cheaper if you buy a STRIPPENKAARTE (can be bought in front of the train station in the small building to your left). The bus driver stamps the card for you when you get on the bus. You can always also buy a single ticket on the bus.

To go from Leiden CS to Noordwijk take Bus 40 (van Leiderdorp naar Noordwijk via Rijnsburg) or Bus 42 (van Leiderdorp naar Noordwijk via Voorhoot). The ride is approximately 30 mintes. Both Bus 40 and Bus 42 run approx. twice per hour. Ask which bus stops closest to where you will be staying.

To go from Leiden CS directly to ESTEC take Bus 32 (van Leiden naar Katwijk via Valkenburg) - the ride is approximately 30 minutes.
2. Taxi. A taxi from Leiden is about EUR 20.

To get from Noordwijk to ESTEC:

1. Walk (approx. 1 hour)

2. Bus. Bus 90 (van Haarlem naar Den Haag via Noordwijk-Katwijk) will take you from Noordwijk to the main road outside of ESTEC. The ride is approximately 15 minutes. Inform the driver that  you want to get off at ESTEC  (bus stop: Katwijk, Rijnsoever), whereafter you must walk to the main gate (5-10 minute walk). Be sure to check in advance where in Noordwijk you will be getting on the bus and the bus schedule.

3. Car. When you get to the main ESTEC gate you must go through security. They will give you your badge. Remember to bring some form of identity (passport).

All hotels in Noordwijk are in easy reach of ESTEC via taxi. There are bus connections, and each bus stop has a list and map of routes and times. Change in Euros is necessary for buses. The bus stops are directly outside the entrance to ESTEC. Taxis are allowed to enter the security perimeter, and to drop people directly at the door. The front desk of ESTEC orders taxis returning to hotels, under a direct agreement, so the return to hotel service is smooth.

Taxi between Noordwijk and ESTEC: Taxi Brouwer BV(071 36 11 000), which has an agreement with ESTEC, a fixed rate of 9.60 Euros.  It's possible to book groups for each morning, once the number of people travelling from each hotel is known. Typically 3 passengers are allowed in each normal sized taxi. If more people require pick up, they also have larger vehicles for a slightly higher price.

Here are some additional links and maps:


We have a comprehensive list of hotels (Word doc), though it may be a bit out of date. It may be better to stay in Noordwijk rather than Katwijk (which may be cheaper), because ESTEC is in Noordwijk and there are more things to do locally.

Here are some comments from an ESA employee.  The Hotel de Admiraal is recommended as a well-priced and nice family run business, though relatively small.  Get in quick because it is popular.  It's not on sea-front, but is within walking distance of all restaurants, etc.  Next would be Prominent Inn (on the sea-front), and then Alwine, Waikiki, or Royal. Mercure is more upmarket (and on sea-front), and is a class above the others, for those wishing to spash out.

Security at ESTEC:

We will need to provide ESTEC with a final list of all names of attendees in advance. People that are not pre-cleared with security will not be allowed to enter. Each attendee shall bring their passport (each day) to enter the site. Upon entering on the first day, visitors will have to enter the security lodge at the gate, and register with their passport. They will receive a pass for 1, 2, or 3 days (hopefully for the period of stay of each respective attendee), and can then move around ESTEC freely within Zone 1.

Park your car at the security lodge carpark on the left as you approach the security gate. If you're in a taxi, on the first day pay the taxi at the gate and walk the rest of the way (100 m).  On the second and third days the taxi can take you to the meeting place as long as everybody in the car shows a valid pass.  To get your pass on the first day, say that you are here for the IGOS Cryosphere Workshop in Newton, hosted by Mark Drinkwater. Once again, we remind you to bring your passport!  Go through the main entrance and turn left into the building "Aj" (yellow on the map).  There is a reception desk in Newton.  They can help with directions, taxis, telephone numbers, etc.