Europe & Baltic
(Holland River Cruise)
Experience Amsterdam with your private driver before you discover the vivid splendor of the tulip gardens of Holland in the springtime on this luxurious river barge cruise. Your captain will navigate the quaint canals and rivers, bringing you alongside small traditional Dutch communes, as well as lively cities with centuries of history. Visit bustling markets, and the colourful spring tulips as you make your way through Haarlem, Leiden, Delft, Zaandam, and Gouda- renowned worldwide for its cheese. See and taste the region as each six-night cruise includes all meals, selected domaine and chateau wines, an open bar, daily escorted excursions, local transfers and the use of all barge facilities including a fleet of touring bicycles.
Cruise Departure Dates (2014):
Aboard Savoir Faire Barge: Apr 6,13,20,27
Aboard Panache Barge: Mar 23,30, Apr 6,13,20,27, May 4
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer.
The luxurious NH Amsterdam Centre Hotel (4*) is conveniently located in the heart of Amsterdam. It is right across from the lively Leidse Square in the fashion and museum district, an area brimming with entertainment, dining, and nightlife options. Amsterdam’s characteristic canals and the city’s top museums are just a short stroll from the hotel, as is the exclusive “PC Hooft” shopping street and the Vondelpark, a sprawling urban green space.
Today meet your private driver for a half day tour. Drive through typical Dutch scenery and the picturesque town of Monnickendam to Volendam, a traditional old Dutch fisherman's village situated on the shores of the former Zuiderzee. You will carry on by boat and visit Marken, an island linked to the mainland by a dike. Some of the inhabitants still wear their traditional Dutch costumes.
You'll be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Haarlem where your moored barge awaits you.
Once aboard, enjoy a Champagne welcome and an introduction to your crew and ship. Afterward, take some time to get settled in to your stateroom. Shortly afterwards we begin our cruise to Leiden, where we moor overnight. This evening your chef welcomes you to your table with the first of many delicious offerings. Candlelit crystal and gleaming silverware add to the romantic ambience of what promises to be the first of many memorable occasions.
The 12-passenger Savoir Faire was built in 1932 as a Belgian transport barge. She was converted into a hotel barge in 1979 and was substantially refurbished for the beginning of the 2005 season. The air conditioned interior is unique with five separate areas for passenger enjoyment, whether for a personal retreat, a gathering at the on board piano or all passengers together enjoying each others company. The saloon, dining area, and bar are finished in mahogany, teak and brass and decorated with antiques and paintings collected over the years. Two spacious sun decks offer magnificent views of the countryside and bikes are provided for those who wish to explore further. Savoir Faire features six staterooms all of which are air conditioned and have en-suite facilities. Each can be configured with two twin beds or with one queen bed. All cabins offer good lighting, a large number of electrical outlets, and include 220v European standard and 110v U.S. standard power outlets. Internet access is also available. You will be attentively catered to by six English-speaking crew including the captain, deck hand, master chef, tour guide and two housekeepers.
This morning marks a cruising highlight: a walk through the Keukenhof Gardens, Holland's best-known garden park, with more than 100 acres filled with over 7 million flowering bulbs. You'll stroll through breathtaking waves of color on this unforgettable half-day excursion. Return to the barge for lunch followed by a cruise to Delft, famous for the blue and white porcelain which bears its name.
After breakfast you'll take a walking tour of the Royal Porcelain Factory, where beautiful hand painted ceramics are still made. You then take a stroll around the cobbled streets of Delft before joining the ship to begin your cruise through the busy port of Rotterdam and onto Gouda.
This morning your tour guide will escort you through the streets of medieval Gouda, where you will see the most famous of all stained glass windows in Holland. A leisurely stroll through town is a must, with its "Disneyesque" main square and small boutiques. After lunch you cruise through towns clinging to the canal sides to an overnight mooring at Uithoorn.
Today you begin your cruise along the winding Amstel River into Amsterdam and then through the very heart of this enchanting city where small canals and unique architecture take you back to a bygone era. You can literally reach out and touch the passers by. Leaving Amsterdam you'll join the mighty North Sea Canal and head west towards the overnight mooring at Zaandam. After lunch your tour guide drives you to Zaans Schans with its clog maker and working windmills. There's even the first supermarket in Holland.
Your final cruise day takes you to Haarlem, a town of exceptional beauty with its main square, once used for jousting and the famous Frans Hals Museum. There will be plenty of time to enjoy this wonderful place and to shop around its many boutiques. Tonight, celebrate your company at the Captain's table with mouth watering offerings from your chef.
After breakfast you'll disembark from your barge, and receive a 30 minute transfer to your hotel in Amsterdam.
A transfer from your hotel to the airport with a private vehicle and driver is provided.
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