Tulip Time Cruise River Cruise (WAA)
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River Cruise Description
Embark on your 8 day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Amsterdam, as you not only see the beauty in Netherland’s capital but several amazing European cities on this round-trip European river cruise. Explore the numerous cafés, restaurants, and multitude of classic architecture that this 700-year-old city boasts before setting out on your river cruise through Holland and Belgium. Cruise through what is said to be the world’s busiest port, Rotterdam’s harbor.
Those with a love for horticulture will look forward to a visit to see the illustrious colors of Keukenhof, better known as the “Garden of Europe,” one of the world’s greatest flower gardens which boasts 70 acres of parkland and lakes. An exploration of the city famous for its cheese namesake, the city of Gouda, is an option for those interested to take before setting sail to Belgium’s second-largest city of Antwerp, a metropolitan area combining historic buildings and monuments with contemporary architecture.
In Ghent, Belgium, a local tour guide is waiting to take you on an indulging tour of the city, which includes a stop at St. Bavo’s Cathedral. You will get a look at the opulent wealth of Middelburg, Holland, and its profound buildings such as the gothic Town Hall, Abbey Tower, and busy Market Square.
Don’t leave Holland without paying a visit to the mechanical miracle of the Delta Works, a storm flood barrier stretching six miles long, built following the floods of 1953.
This springtime river cruise takes you on a colorful and historic journey, with a look at the beautiful flowers during tulip season in Holland and Belgium. Get a look at the most intriguing areas of the city on a canal cruise that brushes along the exquisite Grachten, adorned with homes that date back to the city’s “Golden Age.”
From the endless canvas of color that the gardens of Holland boast, to the beaming windmills and glittering rivers and waterways of Amsterdam, to the contemporary historic mix of Belgium’s buildings and architecture, this 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam will leave sights and memories vibrantly in your mind for years to come.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland. Transfer to Haarlem (Embarkation)
Welcome to beautiful Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, ultramodern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This captivating 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, bustling cafés, and restaurants creates a distinct ambiance. The narrow streets, impressive squares, and tranquil canals – not to mention the convenient bike paths throughout the city – make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with more than 60 remarkable museums, Amsterdam boasts the highest museum density in the world. This afternoon, you’ll board your luxurious Avalon river cruise ship and meet your friendly captain and crew at a casual evening welcome reception. Before you enjoy a great dinner, your ship slips peacefully out of Amsterdam harbor and heads for charming Rotterdam.
*NOTE: Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. (Dinner)
Day 2 Rotterdam.Excursion to Gouda or Keukenhof Garden
This morning, you’ll cruise through bustling Rotterdam harbor and enjoy a relaxing morning onboard ship. Later this afternoon, you’ll have a variety of choices: you can decide to join a popular guided excursion to quaint GOUDA, known for its world-famous gouda cheese, delicious syrup waffles, impressive clay pipes, and an extravagant city hall. Or, you may choose to visit the fascinating gardens of impressive EUKENHOF near Lisse, which encompass more than 70 acres of beautiful parkland with tranquil lakes, picturesque sculpture gardens, lavish greenhouses, and a iconic windmill to explore. It’s hard to imagine, but every year, some 7 million flower bulbs are planted, and you may have the opportunity to marvel at the breathtaking display of colors not only from the beautiful tulips, but also from marvelous hyacinths, daffodils, and much more. If you happen to be a serious garden enthusiast, you may request an extended visit to fascinating Keukenhof, with lunch on your own in the fantastic gardens. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Antwerp, Belgium
Bustling Antwerp is Belgium’s second-largest city and considered one of the world’s most vital ancient seaports. While it combines the new with the old and provides the diverse attractions and festive atmosphere you’d expect from a European city – engaging people, fascinating architecture, exclusive shops, intriguing museums, festive cafés, impressive galleries, and stately historic monuments. Fabulous INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING with an expert Local Guide shows you its exquisite architecture; the bustling central GROTE MARKT, lined with stunning 16th-century houses; the stately city hall, completed in 1566; and the elegant Church of Our Lady, started in 1352 and featuring awe-inspiring paintings by world-famous Rubens. You’ll have your choice of an optional excursion to neighboring Brussels, Belgium’s capital and home of the European Union. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Ghent
In an exclusive way, quaint Ghent, known as the “diamond” of Flanders, has managed to retain its medieval charm and influence while staying current with the times. An expert LOCAL GUIDE will gladly demonstrate how the city center alone is a fabulous example of extravagant medieval Flemish wealth and commercial success. You’ll visit elegant ST. BAAF’S CATHEDRAL, which houses some extremely amazing art treasures, including the most important work in Flemish art, “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,” created by world-renowned Van Eyck brothers around 1432. On your own, you’ll enjoy exploring the traffic-free streets in the fantastic city center; you’ll see the majestic Gravensteen, known as the “Castle of the Counts,” an grandiose castle in the city constructed in 1180; or, you may choose to join an exciting optional excursion to quaint Bruges with its fascinating crisscrossed canals and remarkable old patrician houses. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Middelburg, Holland–Veere. Excursion to the Delta Works
This morning, an exciting WALKING TOUR of charming Middelburg will introduce you to this fascinating Dutch East India Company trading city. It had humble beginnings when originally built as a Zeeland fortress against the water and from threatening enemies. Later, Middelburg became an extremely prosperous merchant city that spent great wealth on the construction of some of the most important buildings, such as the elegant 15th-century gothic Town Hall. You’ll rejoin your luxurious river cruise ship for a great lunch and the brief cruise to quaint Veere, where you’ll visit the DELTA WORKS nearby. After the disastrous flood of 1953, that saw more than 1,800 people drowned in one night, the Delta Plan was created, hoping to prevent such a horrific disaster of this magnitude from ever occurring again. The project took three decades to complete, the barrier against storm floods stands as the ultimate defense in the war against the water – nearly six miles long and considered an engineering miracle. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Willemstad
This morning, your cruise ship – your home away from home – will dock in quaint Willemstad and you’ll have a great time exploring at your own pace in this tiny historic town with well-preserved fortifications. One of the oldest buildings in town is the ancient gatehouse, situated at the entrance of Willemstad, and as you stroll around you’ll see a wide variety of building styles. This wonderful little town even has its very own windmill soaring high above the busy marina and in the very center of the fascinating seven pointed, star-shaped town, stands the stunningly elegant Koepelkerk (Rounded Church). Your ship will depart Willemstad during lunchtime and you’ll certainly enjoy a relaxing afternoon of peaceful cruising. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Amsterdam
After a wonderful breakfast, you can set out to discover the treasures of beautiful Amsterdam by way of CANAL BOAT. You’ll cruise through the sensational grachten lined with marvelous homes dating back to Amsterdam’s renowned “Golden Age.” This afternoon you’ll enjoy some free for your personal exploration. Or, you may choose from several alluring optional excursions. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation)
While your fabulous river cruise vacation ends with a wonderful breakfast this morning, you’ll surely take many wonderful memories with you and hopefully some fantastic photographs of your fascinating experiences. (Breakfast)
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