Lelystad is an IJsselmeer cruise port, town, municipality and the capital of Flevoland province (central Netherlands). The town was founded in 1967, being built on reclaimed from the sea land. The town is 3 m (10 ft) below sea level and has population around 80,000.
Lelystad is Holland's biggest municipality as land area, but a large part of it is water (IJsselmeer and Markermeer). Oostvaardersplassen is a large nature park formed after draining the Zuidelijk Flevoland's polder area. The town is surrounded by parks, woodlands and farmlands. It has its own inland port, as well as several marinas and canals which also help to manage polder's water levels.
IJsselmeer (IJssel lake) is an inland bay bordering 3 Dutch provinces (Flevoland, North Holland, Friesland) and having total area 1100 km2 (425 ml2) and average water depth 5,5 m (18 ft). IJssel River flows into the lake. Due to large amounts of water from Rhine River (flowing IJssel), IJsselmeer formed as a huge freshwater reservoir providing water for agriculture and drinking. The lake is also used for shipping (cargo and cruises) and fishing. Large riverboat cruises that visit Lelystad are operated by Avalon Waterways.