Tulips of Northern Holland River Cruise (WHA)
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River Cruise Description
Begin your 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Amsterdam throughout the beautiful capital of Amsterdam by exploring the well-known sites of Holland to make a vacation worth remembering. You might choose to see the vibrant fields of tulips beaming with bright color that make Northern Holland so magnificent. You may be more inclined to pay a visit to the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen for a chance to gain an understanding of the local culture and history. Before going forth on your river cruise through Friesland, there’s an opportunity to engage with some of the town’s locals to get an even deeper enriching of culture. Here, you’ll explore the Royal Planetarium, accredited as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You will stop at the Batavia shipyard of Lelystad’s and take a tour on board of a twin replica of the Batavia ship itself. Get an authentic grasp of the culture with a taste of the local cheese and Genever! Sail through the contemporary harbor of Rotterdam and go on a tour to Gouda, known for its namesake and birthplace of gouda cheese. 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.
Don’t leave Holland without taking some time to explore the intriguing combination of ancient and modern architecture in the country’s capital of Amsterdam. The city boasts its 17th-century buildings, museums, and sculptures with a contemporary atmosphere. Get a view of the exquisite Grachten lined with stunning homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age” while you coast through the most magnificent areas of this city on your canal cruise. Charge the waters into the new cultures and discoveries of the unrivaled beauty, rich history, and receptive traditions that await you on this 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Amsterdam!
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland. Transfer to Haarlem (Embarkation)
Welcome to beautiful Holland! This afternoon, you’ll drive to charming Haarlem, where your Avalon river cruise ship is docked, awaiting your arrival. Before you enjoy a wonderful dinner, you’ll meet your friendly crew at a casual evening welcome reception, while your cruise ship sets sail. (Dinner) *NOTE: Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 2 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Tulip Fields Excursion–Enkhuizen
It’s no secret, fabulous tulip fields abound in this part of the country. This morning, an excursion takes you along the growing areas that look from afar like carpets of color. Take pictures and learn more about these flowers and how they were introduced into Holland from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the 17th century. You’ll rejoin your cruise ship and during lunch, you’ll sail to charming Enkhuizen, situated at the most easterly point of North Holland. Enkhuizen is a ultimate fishing town with narrow cobblestoned streets, an impressove town center, and one of the largest marinas in the Netherlands. It owes its prosperity to the Zuider Zee (now known as the IJsselmeer) during the “Golden Age.” This afternoon, you have the choice to visit the fascinating ZUIDERZEE MUSEUM, dedicated to the culture and history of this area. The museum focuses on the past and present of the IJsselmeer, and features living history, heritage, and crafts combining works from the past with works from the present. Or, you may wish to join a “DUTCH EXPERIENCE” to meet some local residents. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Friesland
You’ll cruise across the IJsselmeer to southwest Friesland, a beautiful province rich in history and legends. As you cruise, enjoy the picturesque rural landscapes along the beautiful river. Your ship will dock in quaint Lemmer, from where our Friesland excursion departs. Primarily an agricultural (farming) region with a long history, Friesland is best known internationally for its famous award-winning black-and-white Friesian cattle and fantastic black Friesian horses. You’ll visit the impressive 18th-century ROYAL EISE EISINGA PLANETARIUM, which has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll rejoin your luxurious cruise ship in charming Sneek, where you will dock overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Lelystad–Kampen
Today, you’ll enjoy a tranquil morning of cruising through this delightful area of Friesland. Spring is in the air, and the lush green landscape is coming alive. After docking in Lelystad, you’ll visit the massive BATAVIA SHIPYARD, where ships that were important to the Netherlands’ maritime industry during the “Golden Age” are faithfully reconstructed by hand. Then, you’ll board the fascinating BATAVIA itself. Originally built in 1628 to sail to and from the East Indies, the Batavia wrecked on its maiden voyage on June 4, 1629 off the coast of western Australia. It took 10 years – from 1985 to 1995 – for a crew to reconstruct the ship using traditional construction materials. Back on board, we’ll introduce you to LOCAL CHEESE and GENEVER, traditionally drunk neat from a shot glass, as you cruise to quaint Kampen, where your ship will dock overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Gelderse IJssel–Arnhem
You’ll enjoy another peaceful morning onboard your ship as you sail along the beautiful IJssel River, also known as the Gelderse IJssel, which is a branch of the famous Rhine River. Learn more about Holland at an fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE and taste a sweet LOCAL SPECIALTY. After lunch, you’ll visit the famous AIRBORNE MUSEUM HARTENSTEIN, dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major tragedies of WWII. Later, you’ll rejoin your ship in Arnhem. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Rotterdam
This morning, you sail through the beautiful HARBOR OF ROTTERDAM, said to be the world’s busiest port. Leveled by German bombs during the devastating WWII, Rotterdam now has a modern, high-tech look. After an early lunch you may opt to join a guided excursion to GOUDA, famous for its gouda cheese, syrup waffles, clay pipes, and extravagant city hall. Its a typical Dutch city with many old buildings and beautiful canals. Or, you may wish to visit the stunning gardens of KEUKENHOF near Lisse, which encompass more than 70 acres of parkland with placid lakes, impressive sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a iconic windmill to inspect and explore. Every year, 7 million flower bulbs are planted, and you have the opportunity to see the spectacular display of colors not only from the beautiful tulips, but also from colorful hyacinths, daffodils, and more. If you’re a serious garden enthusiast, you may opt for an extended visit to fascinating Keukenhof, with lunch on your own in the gardens. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Amsterdam
After a wonderful breakfast, you’ll arrive in beautiful Amsterdam, where GUIDED SIGHTSEEING is provided by CANAL BOAT. Cruise through the elegant grachten, lined with grand homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” This afternoon is free or you may choose from a selection of optional excursions to make the most of your last day in fabulous Holland. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation)
Your fabulous 8-day river cruise vacation ends with a wonderful breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
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