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    Floriade Expo 2022
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    Keukenhof Gardens

Flowers of Floriade and Keukenhof with Pippa Greenwood

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

Admire the floral highlights of the Netherlands and Belgium in the company of a celebrity guest

Embark on a cruise along the Dutch waterways aboard Spirit of the Rhine that includes visits to a selection of horticultural highlights, including the 2022 Floriade Expo, Meise Botanic Gardens and Keukenhof Gardens.

Joining you on board will be celebrity guest, horticulturist Pippa Greenwood. Starting in Amsterdam you’ll cruise to Lelystad for your included full-day excursion to the Floriade Expo held in Almere. You’ll also enjoy a tulip farm tour and scenic drive before continuing to Hoorn and Kinderdijk to see the famous UNESCO-listed windmills. From here you’ll head to Dordrecht and Brussels where an included excursion explores the celebrated Meise Botanic Garden, before you continue to Utrecht and Beverwijk for an included full-day excursion to Keukenhof Gardens. Your cruise concludes in Amsterdam.

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

  • Floriade Expo
  • Tulip Farm Tour and Scenic Drive
  • Kinderdijk windmills
  • Meise Botanic Garden
  • Keukenhof Gardens

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

Celebrity guest

Trained as a botanist at Durham University (BSc hons) and gaining an MSc in Crop Protection at Reading University, Pippa Greenwood was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science (DSc) by Durham University in 2007 for her work in gardening and its science. During her career she has worked at RHS Wisley where she ran the Plant Pathology Department, and has featured regularly on BBC television programmes such as Daytime Live and Gardeners’ World, and BBC Radio programmes including Gardeners’ Question Time and her own series Growing Science on Radio 4. Pippa regularly writes for Gardeners’ World Magazine, NFU Countryside Magazine, and has been the gardening columnist for The Mirror for 18 years, and has also written numerous books including The Gardeners’ Question Time Book and Gardeners’ Year – sharing her impeccable horticultural knowledge with avid readers.

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 Lelystad

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.

This evening you’ll continue you cruise to Lelystad.

Lelystad Netherlands Europe

Day 3 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.

Lelystad Netherlands Europe

Day 4 Lelystad to Hoorn 🎧

Tulip fields of Lelystad

This morning 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, a great way to see how the land on which Lelystad is built, was reclaimed by the Zuiderzee (inland sea) during the late 1960s.

This afternoon, Spirit of the Rhine will depart Lelystad and cruise overnight to Hoorn.

Hoorn Netherlands Europe

Day 5 Hoorn 🎧

Old Harbour of Hoorn, Netherlands

You’ll arrive in Hoorn this afternoon where you will have some time to explore at leisure, or join an optional walking tour which will reveal more about its seafaring heritage.

Sail overnight to Kinderdijk.

Hoorn Netherlands Europe

Day 6 Kinderdijk to Dordrecht

Tulip fields with old Dutch windmills, Kinderdijk

Arrive in Kinderdijk after breakfast.

The village 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.

This afternoon you’ll depart for Dordrecht, cruising overnight.

Dordrecht Netherlands Europe

Day 7 Dordrecht to Brussels

Dordrecht, Netherlands

Spend the afternoon at leisure in Dordrecht, where you can visit Dordrecht Museum, Museum 1940-1945, Grote Kerk or Het Hof, or join an optional walking tour of the town.

Spirit of the Rhine departs this evening, cruising overnight to Belgium’s capital, Brussels.

Brussels Belgium Europe

Day 8 Brussels to Utrecht

Orange Bird of Paradise at the Meise Botanic Garden

Arrive in Brussels this morning and join an included visit to Meise Botanic Garden.

Situated in the grounds of Bouchout Castle, Meise Botanic Garden is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world and features an extensive collection of over 18,000 plant species (approximately 6% of the world’s known plant species) in addition to a herbarium of more than three million specimens. The gardens specialise in researching Belgian and African plants, and feature greenhouses and cultivated plants located around the castle and lake.

The rest of the day is at leisure before Spirit of the Rhine departs this evening and cruises overnight to Utrecht.

Utrecht Netherlands Europe

Day 9 Utrecht to Amsterdam 🎧

Utrecht flower market

Arrive in Utrecht this afternoon, where you will have time at leisure to explore the city’s medieval centre and see the Domtoren tower, or join an optional excursion to Utrecht Botanical Gardens.

You’ll cruise to Amsterdam this evening.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 10 Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Spend the day exploring Amsterdam at 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 the city’s 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 remains moored here this evening.

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

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

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

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
Flowers of Floriade and Keukenhof with Pippa Greenwood

Dutch Waterways