A rewarding river cruise experience that delivers all the splendour of springtime in the Netherlands, this 10-night break affords opportunities to revel in the seasonal and cultural delights of charming towns and cities, complemented by breathtaking Dutch countryside views enjoyed from the quiet and comfort of smaller-sized Brabant.
After setting sail from Amsterdam, you begin this perfect spring break with scenic cruising on the Ijsselmeer Lake en route to Hoorn. [ReadMoreMob]Time in this historic town is best spent meandering the cobbled streets and along the pretty canals on a walking tour, to see floral displays, gable fronted houses and to learn of stories of Holland’s ‘Golden Age’. Then a call at Kampen will offer a chance to walk the historic walled gardens and pristine mazes of Maxfeldt, or spend an afternoon marvelling at the churches, towers and ancient remains of one of the Netherlands’ best-preserved Hanseatic cities. Continuing along the Ijssel River presents views of the beautiful city of Zwolle, pretty villages and gorgeous countryside scenes as you head for Arnhem, where a fantastic Open Air Museum – exhibiting an impressive collection of houses, antiques and monuments – tells tales of how people from bygone eras lived. Scenic cruising of the Lek River follows, passing through picturesque countryside and a under a plethora of impressive bridges, before Brabant arrives at Kinderdijk. A short stop here allows time to see, and delve into the fascinating history of 19 iconic, UNESCO-listed windmills. [ReadMoreDesk]
After a feast of historical highlights, an extended stay in Rotterdam adds a futuristic twist to your journey next. The Netherlands’ stunning second city boasts modern architectural marvels such as the Cube Houses, amazing Markthal and the Erasmusbrug, while there are plenty of top-drawer museums and galleries to uncover too. A diversion to Belgium will then throw the gems of Antwerp – a city famed for its quintessential chocolate shops, fascinating historic sites and legendary Diamond District – into the mix, before your Dutch exploration continues in Dordrecht for attractions galore, including the imposing Great Church and fantastic Dordrechts Museum. Your penultimate port of call is Enkuizen, where you can once again step back in time to the prosperous days of the ‘Golden Age’, amongst the city’s ornate streets and its beautifully detailed open-air museum. During your final day, you’ll have the chance to visit the resplendent, 32-hectare Keukenhof Gardens. Keukenhof is simply unmissable at this time of the year as the vibrant tulips burst into their colourful bloom during the spring, and you’ll have a chance to explore the gardens – and climb to the top of a centuries-old wooden windmill – on tour, for an inspirational finale.