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    Floralia Show
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    Floriade Expo 2022
Special Interest - Gardens
Gardens

Flowers of Floriade and Keukenhof with Anne Swithinbank

Flowers of Floriade and Keukenhof with Anne Swithinbank

Dutch Waterways

  • A plane in a circle with a strikethrough No fly
  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A plate with a knife and fork Full board

Experience the floral delights of the Netherlands and Belgium

Step aboard Spirit of the Rhine for a springtime cruise along the Dutch waterways, which includes visits to some of the key horticultural events taking place in the Netherlands and Belgium.

From Amsterdam you’ll cruise to Beverwijk where a full-day included excursion to Keukenhof Gardens awaits, before continuing to Utrecht, where you can enjoy a guided visit to a flower market. In Brussels you’ll head to the Floralia Show on an included excursion, and enjoy time at leisure in Dordrecht. There will be an included visit to the celebrated Kinderdijk windmills, and some time in Hoorn, before you cruise to Lelystad for a tulip farm tour and a day at the Floriade Expo 2022.

Joining you on board will be celebrity guest, horticulturist Anne Swithinbank, who will share her experience and knowledge during this cruise full of floral delights.

Including...

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Dinner plate29 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners

CocktailWine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner

PersonCruise Host

Plus...

  • On-board talks from your host
  • Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • All gratuities on board
  • Return coach travel via Eurotunnel or ferry

MapIncluded excursions

  • Keukenhof Gardens
  • Utrecht Flower Market
  • Floralia Show
  • Kinderdijk windmills
  • Tulip Farm Tour and Scenic Drive
  • Floriade Expo
  • Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam or Vondelpark

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

Celebrity guest

Horticulturist Anne Swithinbank’s fascination with plants and nature began at a young age and led her to study for her Kew Diploma in Horticulture from 1976-1979. Her career has seen her work as Glasshouse Supervisor at RHS Wisley, and appear on a number of tv programmes including Channel 4’s Gardeners’ Calendar, and BBC’s Gardeners’ World. For the last 27 years Anne has been a regular panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, and continues to write for Amateur Gardening, Grow Your Own, Candis and Gardeners’ World Magazines. Anne has a passion for growing exotic plants under glass, and is one of the patrons of the British Cactus and Succulent Society.

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Amsterdam

Amsterdam at night, Netherlands

Travel to Amsterdam and embark Spirit of the Rhine in the afternoon.

There will be a welcome drink reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored overnight.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 2 Amsterdam to Beverwijk 🎧

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

You can spend the day exploring Amsterdam at your leisure.

There’s a variety of world-class galleries and museums to visit, including the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, or you an enjoy the relaxed cafe culture as you stroll beside its canals. Alternatively, you can choose to join one of the optional excursions available this morning – a tour of Amsterdam and canal cruise, or a culinary walking tour.

Your ship will cruise to Beverwijk this evening.

Beverwijk Netherlands Europe

Day 3 Beverwijk

Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands

Today you can enjoy a full-day included excursion of Keukenhof Gardens.

Spanning 32 hectares, Keukenhof Gardens is one of the largest flower gardens in the world, and delights over a million visitors every year who come to see the colourful floral displays featuring tulips and hyacinths.

You’ll cruise to Utrecht this evening, arriving in the early hours.

Beverwijk Netherlands Europe

Day 4 Utrecht 🎧

Utrecht flower market

This morning there will be a guided visit to one of Utrecht’s flower markets.

The markets takes place every week, and the various stalls offer a wide variety of cut flowers and plants. There will be a few hours to explore at your leisure this afternoon, providing an ideal opportunity to head to the city’s medieval centre and see the Domtoren tower, or join an optional excursion to Utrecht Botanical Gardens.

You’ll depart later this afternoon and cruise overnight to Belgium’s capital, Brussels.

Utrecht Netherlands Europe

Day 5 Brussels

Tulips at Groot-Bijgaarden Castle, Brussels

Arrive in Brussels in the afternoon, where you can join an included excursion to the Floralia Spring Flower Exhibition.

This annual event takes place in the 14 hectares of grounds and greenhouses surrounding the castle of Groot-Bijgaarden, and displays nearly 400 types of tulips. The rest of the day is at leisure, during which you can explore independently to see the Medieval quarter or a museum dedicated to acclaimed artist Rubens.

Your ship departs later this evening and cruises overnight to Dordrecht.

Brussels Belgium Europe

Day 6 Dordrecht 🎧

Dordrecht, Netherlands

You’ll arrive in the town of Dordrecht this morning, where you can spend the day at leisure.

You can visit Dordrecht Museum, Museum 1940-1945, Grote Kerk or Het Hof, or join an optional walking tour of the town this morning.

Dordrecht Netherlands Europe

Day 7 Dordrecht to Kinderdijk to Schoonhoven

Tulip fields with old Dutch windmills, Kinderdijk

Depart Dordrecht this morning and cruise to nearby Kinderdijk, which is home to some of the Netherlands’ most famous windmills that are still in use today.

These 19 mills are now UNESCO listed and were built between 1722 and 1761. An included excursion will tell you more about how the mills work, their primary uses and have been gradually replaced by modern pump stations. Your excursion will visit the former steam pump station, Wisboorn, and the historic waterboard house, and there will be an opportunity to walk along the flood wall.

Your ship departs for Schoonhoven, arriving after lunch where you will have some free time before the your ship departs at dinner and cruises overnight to Hoorn.

Schoonhoven Netherlands Europe

Day 8 Hoorn to Lelystad 🎧

Tulip fields of Lelystad

You’ll arrive in Hoorn during breakfast, and will have the morning to explore independently, or join an optional walking tour to reveal some of the highlights and rich maritime heritage of the town.

Your ship will depart Hoorn in the early afternoon for Lelystad, arriving later this afternoon. The city of Lelystad is built on land that was reclaimed by the Zuiderzee (inland sea) during the late 1960s. This afternoon there will be an included tulip farm tour, where you can learn more about the cultivation process and the various types of tulips. Your tour will be followed by a scenic drive.

You will remain moored overnight in Lelystad.

Lelystad Netherlands Europe

Day 9 Lelystad 🎧

Floriade Expo 2022

This morning, step on the shuttle bus for your included full-day visit to the Floriade Expo held in Almere.

This world horticultural exhibition will last six months, and the theme for the 2022 Expo will be ‘Growing Green Cities’, focusing on how nature can be better incorporated into cities in innovative and sustainable ways. As well as hundreds of species of flowers, plants and vegetables, there will be 40 country presentations, a greenhouse complex and a cable car providing amazing views across the site. A ride on the cable car will be included with your ticket.

After your day at the Expo you’ll travel back to your ship, which will depart for Amsterdam later in the evening.

Lelystad Netherlands Europe

Day 10 Lelystad to Amsterdam 🎧

Hortus botanicus, Netherlands

You’ll arrive in Amsterdam in the early hours of the morning.

You can join one of the two included excursions available this morning. You can visit Hortus Botanicus – Amsterdam’s botanical gardens, which are one of the oldest in the world and comprise three impressive greenhouses: the Palm House, where some of the world’s oldest plants are kept, the three-climate greenhouse with its subtropical plants, and the butterfly house. Alternatively, you can choose to join an excursion to Amsterdam’s largest park – Vondelpark. Spend the afternoon at leisure, an ideal opportunity to visit the world-famous Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank’s House or the Van Gogh Museum.

You remain moored in the city overnight.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 11 Amsterdam to UK

Disembark Spirit of the Rhine after breakfast and begin your return journey to the UK.

Amsterdam City & Canals

This cosmopolitan capital delights visitors with its pretty tree-lined canals – criss-crossed by over a thousand bridges – exquisite architecture and world-class art collections. Enjoy a canal cruise to view such treasures as the famous Skinny Bridge, the Montelbaanstoren tower and the Jewish Quarter. Highlights are subject to change. Walking Grade 3

Two-and-a-half hours
Pretty tree-lined canals of Amsterdam
Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Amsterdam Culinary Walking Tour

After disembarking your ship and meeting your guide, take a tram to Central Station from where you will begin a walking tour of the Dutch capital. Along the way look forward to tasting local delicacies including herring, cheese and croquettes and rounding it off with a sweet treat from a bakery.

Walking Grade 4

Three hours
Traditional dutch food: herring with onion
Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Utrecht Botanical Gardens

Originally called Hortus Medicus, Utrecht Botanical Gardens were first laid out in 1639 and are one of the oldest university gardens in the Netherlands. They were installed for students of medicine, and played an important role in the development of systematic botany in the Netherlands. The gardens incorporate six different areas, including a Rock Garden that is said to be one of Europe’s finest, Tropical Greenhouses and an Outer Fort where marsh marigold and huge skunk cabbage flourish in the spring.

Walking Grade 3

Four hours
Utrecht Botanical Gardens
Utrecht Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Tour of Dordrecht

Dordrecht, the oldest city in the region of South Holland, lies at the confluence of three waterways, the Rhine, the Meuse and the Merwede. In the early 11th century Count Dirk III built a castle here to gain control of the shipping routes, and the city grew up around it. Enjoy a walking tour with a local guide and see the 17th-century Groothoofdspoort, the magnificent city gate that depicts the Maid of Holland. Cross the drawbridge and explore the picturesque harbour, Nieuwe Haven. See the Stadhuis - old city hall - that spans the canal, and the 13th-century Augustijnenkerk. The town, which had early links with the protestant reformation, has a splendid selection of fine churches, one containing the Netherlands` heaviest bell.

Walking grade 3

Two hours
Dordrecht in the evening sun, The Netherlands
Dordrecht Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Hoorn Walking Tour

Enjoy a guided walk around the attractive harbour town of Hoorn, once home to many an  adventurous mariner – including Abel Tasman and J P Coen, founders of the Dutch East India Company. As a result of its early seafaring wealth, Hoorn boasts many pretty historic buildings. Notably the State Council building, which houses the Westfries Museum and its fascinating collection of ceramic tiles, silver, china and model ships. Across the way you’ll find the charming Weigh House and beyond that a wealth of winding streets to explore. Perhaps spend some time in the market square or savour the views from the yachting harbour before returning to your ship.

Walking Grade 3

One-and-a-half hours
Hoorn
Hoorn Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Flowers of Floriade and Keukenhof with Pippa Greenwood

Flowers of Floriade and Keukenhof with Anne Swithinbank

Dutch Waterways