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    Utrecht Botanical Gardens
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    Iconic Amsterdam
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    Keukenhof Gardens in spring

Gardens of the Netherlands

Dutch Waterways

  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A plate with a knife and fork Full board

Admire the springtime flora of the Netherlands

Discover the floral delights of Holland in spring on this river cruise in the Netherlands. Beginning and ending in Amsterdam, where you’ll have plenty of time to explore both independently and during a choice of included excursions such as a culinary walking tour or sightseeing coach trip and cruise along the historic network of canals. An optional excursion visits Amsterdam’s largest park, Vondelpark, which was designed by landscape architect Jan David Zocher.

A highlight of your holiday is sure to be an included visit to Keukenhof Gardens, where around seven million flower bulbs are planted every year. Look forward to admiring the vast rhododendron collection of Belmonte Arboretum, browsing the flower laden stalls of Utrecht Flower Market and exploring the different gardens within Utrecht Botanical Gardens, home to Tropical Greenhouses where orchids and bromeliads are grown.

Including...

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Dinner plate20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners

CocktailWine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner

PersonCruise Host

Plus...

  • Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • All gratuities on board
  • Return coach travel by Eurotunnel or ferry

MapIncluded excursions

  • Keukenhof Gardens
  • Arboretum Belmonte
  • Utrecht Flower Market
  • Utrecht Botanical Gardens
  • Amsterdam city tour and canal cruise OR Amsterdam culinary walking tour

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

Celebrity Guest

Gardening broadcaster and author Sir Roddy Llewellyn is our celebrity guest on board this cruise. Fascinated by plants and gardening at an early age, Roddy went on to gain the National Certificate of Horticulture and the Surrey County Certificate in Landscape Construction, and formed Roddy Llewellyn Landscapes in 1977. In 1981 his first book Town Gardens was published, followed by six others. Roddy has presented on numerous television programmes, including Roddy Llewellyn’s Garden Guide, Turf Wars and Best of Britain.

No single supplement on all cabin grades
†Cabins with no single supplement are subject to limited availability.

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Amsterdam

Amsterdam at night, Netherlands

Travel by coach from Folkestone via Eurotunnel or ferry and embark Spirit of the Danube.

Enjoy a welcome drink reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored here overnight.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 2 Amsterdam 🎧

Royal Palace on Dam Square in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Dutch capital is rightly popular for its friendly welcome, picturesque canals, world-class museums and galleries, and laid-back cafes and bars. Spend the day exploring the city at leisure, highlights include the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the floating flower market, the Central Railway Station, which is built on thousands of wooden piles, and the 19th-century Rijksmuseum. This afternoon an optional excursion visits Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest park.

Spirit of the Danube sets sail early this evening and begins cruising towards Beverwijk, arriving later this evening for an overnight mooring.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 3 Beverwijk

Famous Keukenhof Gardens with colourful fresh tulips

Look forward to an included excursion to the famous Keukenhof gardens, also known as the ‘garden of Europe’. More than seven million bulbs fill the park with vibrant colour and fragrance.

During your visit you can admire displays of millions of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths and visit flower and plant shows in the pavilions. Of course, the tulip displays are weather dependent, but they're normally in bloom from mid-March to mid-May.

Beverwijk Netherlands Europe

Day 4 Beverwijk to Arnhem 🎧

Arnhem with the Rhine

Spirit of the Danube sails from Beverwijk early this morning, arriving in the city of Arnhem early this afternoon. Perhaps join an optional excursion to the Kroller-Muller Museum, located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park.

Your ship remains moored in Arnhem overnight.

Arnhem Netherlands Europe

Day 5 Arnhem to Utrecht

Blooming Rhododendron

Spend the morning at leisure in Arnhem, where the British 1st Airborne Division landed during Operation Market Garden of World War II, with the intention of capturing the bridges across the Nederrijn.

This afternoon an included excursion visits the Belmonte Arboretum, rejoining Spirit of the Danube in Wijk bij Duurstede. The Belmonte estate was established in the mid-nineteenth century by Thierry Juste, baron De Constant Rebecque de Villars, who financed the construction of an Italian-style villa on the highest point of Belmonte. His father-in-law bought various plots of surrounding land, which were eventually connected to make the seventeen hectare estate. For many years barons and baronesses lived in the house, which in 1936 came into the possession of Stichting Het Gelders Landschap. The estate was heavily damaged during World War II. Then in 1951 a design by Professor Bijhouwer was used to turn the garden into an arboretum and there have been other additions since then including a large rhododendron collection and a transplanted rose collection.

From Wijk bij Duurstede you’ll continue cruising to Utrecht, arriving this evening.

Utrecht Netherlands Europe

Day 6 Utrecht 🎧

Utrecht Botanical Gardens

This morning enjoy an included guided visit to the Flower Market on Janskerkhof Square, where Dutch flower vendors have been trading for over 200 years.

Browse row upon row of stalls laden with colourful blooms and bulbs. This afternoon another included excursion visits Utrecht Botanical Gardens, located in the heart of Utrecht Science Park. There are various gardens to explore including a Rock Garden with a genuine mountain brook and waterfall and Evolution Garden, which is arranged according to the classification system developed by the American botanist Cronquist. The Tropical Greenhouses contain orchids and bromeliads, as well as food plants such as banana, mango and vanilla.

Utrecht Netherlands Europe

Day 7 Utrecht to Amsterdam 🎧

Tram at Central Station, Amsterdam

After an early departure from Utrecht, you’ll arrive in the Dutch capital this morning.

Here you’ll have the opportunity to sample the local food and culture on an included culinary walking tour with a guide. You’ll take a tram to Central Station from where you’ll begin a walking tour of the Dutch capital while tasting local delicacies including herring, cheese and croquettes along the way. Alternatively, you could opt for an included city coach tour and canal cruise to see the famous Skinny Bridge, the Montelbaanstoren tower and the Jewish Quarter.

This afternoon you may like to explore further independently or instead join an optional excursion to Volendam, Edam and the Katwoude cheese farm. Spirit of the Danube remains moored in Amsterdam overnight.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 8 Amsterdam to UK

Disembark Spirit of the Danube after breakfast for your return journey to the UK.

Vondelpark

Enjoy a trip to the largest park in Amsterdam, which was designed by landscape architect Jan David Zocher, who also created Keukenhof Gardens, and opened to the public in 1865 under the name of Nieuwe Park. The park was later renamed Vondelpark after a statue of Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel was erected in the park. The park is also home to an abstract concrete fish by Pablo Picasso and a bronze statue known as ‘Mama Baranka’ by contemporary sculptor Nelson Carillho.

Walking Grade 3

Three hours
Vondelpark in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 7 nights itinerary

Hoge Veluwe National Park and Kroller-Muller Museum

Look forward to spending time in the Kroller-Muller Museum, set in the beautiful Hoge Veluwe National Park, which boasts scenic heaths, sand dunes and woodland. The museum itself is home to a large collection of Van Gogh pieces while the surrounding grounds also contain the largest sculpture park in Europe.

Walking Grade 3

Four hours
The picturesque Hoge Veluwe National Park, Netherlands
Hoge Veluwe National Park Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 7 nights itinerary

Volendam, Edam & Katwoude Cheese Farm

This excursion for cheese lovers takes you to a beautiful farmhouse in Katwoude, where cheese is still made. Here you’ll enjoy a practical demonstration of the craft, and taste various cheeses. Head for Edam, one of the Netherlands’ best-preserved towns, which grew wealthy as a trading town and became famous for its red-waxed cylindrical cheese. Enjoy a walking tour through the pretty streets and visit the famous Edam cheese weigh house. The final stop is in the nearby, picturesque village of Volendam, which lies on reclaimed land along the former Zuiderzee, now known as the Ijssel Lake. Keep an eye out for locals wearing traditional Dutch costume, and enjoy some free time in the harbour area. During the excursion a local guide will explain the fascinating history of man’s fight to reclaim this low-lying land from invasion by the sea.

Walking Grade 3

Three-and-a-half hours
Volendam Harbour
Volendam Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Gardens of the Netherlands

Dutch Waterways