Departing by Air
Duration 5 Days
Available April 2019

Experience historic maritime cities, where innovation meets the traditions of the past, plus the authenticity of iconic windmills and the floral masterpiece of the colourful Dutch bulb fields. The stunning bulbfields really are an amazing sight. In Keukenhof Park there are a staggering 7 million blooms covering 80 acres in a riot of colour whilst imaginative landscaping shows off mother-nature at her outstanding best with shimmering lakes, water-gardens and flowering shrubs of every hue.

Price Includes

  • Four nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, all with river views
  • Full-board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day
  • Tours and excursions with expert guides
  • Services of an experienced cruise manager
  • All port charges, airport taxes and overseas transfers are included
  • Return scheduled flights from 15 regional airports or seats on Eurostar / Thalys from London St Pancras International

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Amsterdam

Fly to Amsterdam from a choice of regional airports or take the Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Brussels, where you change trains and continue to Amsterdam. On arrival, transfer by coach to your five-star cruise ship moored near the city centre and railway station. The friendly crew welcomes you on board, helping you settle into your spacious and exquisitely furnished accommodation – you’ll feel immediately at home.

Day 2 – Enkhuizen

Overnight the ship slips its moorings, steering a course north. As dawn breaks, you’re greeted by views of Enkhuizen, a picturesque port nestling at the edge of the former Zuiderzee. During the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, the Netherlands dominated world maritime trade, becoming fabulously prosperous. Enkhuizen, as one of the country’s principal ports specialising in trade in the East Indies, flourished. Merchants keen to display their wealth created this town of gabled houses, narrow streets, bridges and waterways.  After a delicious lunch on board, we cruise along the Markermeer, the southwestern part of the IJsselmeer, the great freshwater lake created when the Zuiderzee was separated from the North Sea by a series of dams and dykes built during the 1920 and ’30s.

Day 3 – Rotterdam & Kinderdijk

Wake this morning in historic Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second largest metropolis, situated where the Rhine flows into the North Sea. Known as the ‘Gateway to Europe’, it is the largest European cargo port and has been a conduit for trade since the 14th century. Barges are able to transport goods deep into the heart of Europe via a maze of inland waterways, while ocean-going ships carry exports all over the world. During lunch on board you can enjoy a kaleidoscope of views through the restaurant’s panoramic windows as we leave Rotterdam’s skyline behind. A significant part of the Netherlands lies up to 22 feet below sea level, but an intricate network of dykes and polders, the Netherland’s unique drainage systems, has kept the seawater at bay and allowed land reclamation. At the very heart of this fascinating reclaimed region is Kinderdijk, our next port of call. Here, you can witness a truly iconic polder scene – a series of 19 authentic windmills lining the canal banks, set against a starkly beautiful backdrop of pancake-flat marshland. The earliest known windmills appeared in the 13th century; a century later they had evolved to include a series of gears enabling them to pump water, and mass drainage of the land commenced.

Day 4 – Keukenhof & Amsterdam

A long spring season and the polders’ well-drained soil create the perfect environment for growing the Netherlands’ world-famous tulips, first imported into the country from the Ottoman Empire in the late 16th century. This morning we drive through the scenic bulb fields to Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden, covering nearly 80 acres. Nothing prepares you for the dazzling carpet of colours created by the seven million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other blooms arranged in rows, swirls and every other imaginable shape. The art of flower planting reaches breathtaking heights in Keukenhof’s themed areas, and wandering among this dramatic pageant of hues set in a landscape of lakes, trees, pavilions and water features is magical – and provides gardeners with a wealth of inspiration to take home!

Day 5 –

This morning, we transfer to the railway station or airport for our return journey.


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