Europe & Baltic Cruises
(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 between Haarlem, Leiden, Delft, Rotterdam, Schoonhoven 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 such as bicycles and spa pools.
2013: departs weekly on Sundays from Mar 24 - May 5.
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.
Meet your private driver for a half day tour. Drive through a 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. Carrying on by boat visit Marken, an island linked to the mainland by a dike. Some of the inhabitants still wear the 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.
The 12 passenger Panache is of classic Dutch design. It is traditionally furnished in an old ship style with brass and mahogany, creating a comfortable and charming ambience. The saloon and dining room feature comfortable sofas, books and music, and an always open inclusive bar. The sun deck is spacious and has a heated spa pool, a perfect place to watch the sun set after dinner. Panache's highly professional crew of five is comprised of Master Chef, Deck Hand, Tour guide and Housekeeper, led by a knowledgeable and experienced Captain who will ensure your cruise is memorable and more. Their knowledge of the region, combined with fascinating chauffeur driven private excursions and the 12 bikes we provide will allow you to explore the areas you cruise through in as much detail as you desire.
Early breakfast followed by a trip to the Aalsmeer flower auction, where some 17 million cut flowers are auctioned every day. Returning to your boat, you'll cruise on to Leiden. Leiden is the perfect town for those who like to cycle or walk. The city’s history dates back to Roman times and includes more recent sites such as the church, St. Pieterskerk, from which the pilgrims departed for America. History is best experienced by walking or cycling, occasionally stopping to look at the impressive architecture.
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.
This morning enjoy a tour of Delft, a fascinating town full of small canals and humpback bridges, best explored by bike or on foot. Many beautiful buildings illustrate the city's historic connection with the Dutch East India Company. The birthplace of Jan Vermeer, Delft is also famous for its Delft tableware, and you'll visit a factory to learn how this world-famous porcelain is made. After lunch you cruise through Rotterdam, largest port in the world, to Schoonhoven. On route you can visit Ketel One distillery in Schiedam. Ketel One Vodka is distilled from 100% wheat in copper pot stills, filtered over loose charcoal, and rests in tile lined tanks until ready.
After breakfast you leave the barge for a full day’s experience of the Floriade with lunch ashore. Held only once every 10 years, the Floriade is opening its gates again in 2012. A spectacular theatre of nature in a stunning park in Venlo. Floriade 2012 will host dazzling displays of the world's most exquisite flowers, plants, trees and fruit, as well as a whole array of innovative theatrical attractions - a truly fascinating experience!
Morning cruise to your mooring in Haarlem. After lunch you'll visit historic Haarlem dating back to the 13th century. Home to the Frans Hals Museum and its collection of Old Masters, other highlights include St. Bavo's Cathedral on the main square, where both Handel and Mozart played the magnificent Muller organ. Tonight enjoy the Captains Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast you'll disembark from your barge, and receive a 30 minute transfer to your hotel in Amsterdam.
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