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27th June, 2023

The Dutch Waterways in Spring and Autumn

Come with us on a Saga River Cruise to Holland in Spring. As well as spectacular scenery and historic destinations, you’ll enjoy the unforgettable sight of the Dutch bulb-fields in their full glory.

Alternatively, come with us in Autumn - explore world-famous museums and galleries in quieter times, and thrill to the unexpected bonus of thousands of trees blazing with Autumnal colour.

From Rotterdam to Amsterdam, Thent to Lisse…

…so many fascinating destinations on your Dutch river cruise.

Visit the major port of Rotterdam, with its Pilgrim Fathers’ Church where America’s founding fathers worshipped before setting sail; the iconic Piet Blom Cube Houses; the amazing, one-armed Erasmus Bridge, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, with its world-famous art collection by masters including Rembrandt, Magritte and Hieronymus Bosch.

Explore Amsterdam’s iconic canal-side streets. Surround yourself with culture in Museumplein, home to the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, the Van Gogh Museum and the Royal Concertgebouw. Tour the massive, opulent Royal Palace in Dam Square. Wander in the Vondelpark.

See Ghent - a heritage treasure trove, with its medieval streets and buildings. Visit majestic Gravensteen Castle; St Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous 15th century altarpiece ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’; the striking stone arch of St Michael’s Bridge, where you can photograph all three of Ghent’s medieval towers in one shot.

The gabled buildings of Ghent

Come to Lisse, in the Bollenstreek region. It’s home to the Keukenhof Gardens, where seven million bulbs provide a glorious display from mid-March to mid-May. We’ll take you there to revel in this fabulous floral spectacle

Oh, the sights you’ll see...

Join our excursions on your Spring cruise:

Take our excursion to the town of Lisse, on a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Keukenhof Gardens, regarded by many as ‘the most beautiful Spring garden in the world.’

Keukenhof Gardens in spring

Every Autumn, over 7 million Spring-flowering bulbs are planted here, in a three-layer system that ensures continuous colour for the eight-week flowering season.

Wander at your leisure along the breathtaking, flower-lined paths; explore the huge glasshouses filled with tulips, amaryllis and orchids; admire the floral displays and statuary. Perhaps even pick up some inspiration for your own garden back home.

Aalsmeer Flower Auction

It’s worth the early start as we visit this bustling site, where you’ll see thousands of beautiful flowers and plants assembled on the auction floor, waiting for the bidding to begin. Aalsmeer is the world’s largest trade centre for decorative plants, and your local guide will explain the whole fascinating system – including the sophisticated logistics needed to ensure that wholesalers, exporters and retailers from all over the globe get exactly the products they need, on time and in perfect condition.

Kinderdijk Windmills

Kinderdijk Windmills

Sadly, windmills are slowly disappearing from the Dutch landscape, but we’ll take you to see the largest collection in the country – many still in working order.

Just a short walk from your ship, the World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk, dates from 1740. After an informative short film on Kinderdijk’s history, look around the 19 windmills for yourself: photo-opportunities abound. Finally, enjoy a tour inside a working mill to see for yourself what life was like in one of these amazing structures.

Dutch waterways in the Autumn

Amsterdam in autumnal colours

Early Autumn in the Netherlands offers mild, temperate weather – perfect for exploring the towns and cities that you’ll pass through on your cruise.

Many of our guests tell us how amazed they are at the wonderful Autumnal displays, as the leaves change throughout the countryside. One of the best places to see this is Amsterdam; amazingly, it’s home to more than 400,000 trees, blazing with reds and golds. Take a magical walk through Oosterpark or Vondelpark, or simply wander the tree-lined banks of Amsterdam’s famous canals.

Then perhaps visit Jordaan, lined with quaint buildings housing art galleries, bars, antique shops and restaurants. The narrow lanes leading eastwards from the Prinsengracht canal are known as the ‘9 Lanes’ – a shoppers’ paradise of over 200 boutiques, vintage shops and specialty stores.

Head for Museumplein to see Amsterdam’s famous museums. Make a poignant visit to the Anne Frank House. Admire the bountiful harvest at ‘Albert Cuypmarkt’ – the daily farmers’ market. Visit Rembrandt’s House, where the Master lived and worked.

You’ll have so many choices on this cruise of a lifetime.

Why cruise with Saga?

Each Saga cruise is perfectly-curated, with many included excursions. Enjoy all-inclusive experience with included dining and drinks, onboard gratuities, Wi-Fi, and our no-fly UK return travel service.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.