The North Sea Canal (Dutch: Noordzeekanaal) is a Dutch ship canal from Amsterdam to the North Sea at IJmuiden, constructed between 1865 and 1876 to enable seafaring vessels to reach the Port of Amsterdam. This man-made channel terminates at Amsterdam in the closed-off IJ Bay, which in turn connects to the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal.
To improve the connection between the harbour of Amsterdam and the North Sea, the North Holland Canal was built in 1824. But this long and narrow canal was quickly inadequate to handle the growing boat traffic. A few decades later it was decided to dig a new canal at the narrowest point in Holland and thereby providing the shortest route to the sea.