Tulips of Northern Holland 2016

8 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Amsterdam

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

If you’re looking for a vacation that combines some well-known sights with others that are off the beaten track, this itinerary is for you! Arrive in Amsterdam and transfer to your river cruise vessel in Haarlem. Discover the region of “North Holland,” where tulip fields abound, then sail across the Ijsselmeer, formerly known as the Zuider Zee, to the region known as “Friesland,” famous for its black-and-white cows. Visit the Zuider Zee Museum in Enkhuizen or get a chance to meet some of the locals. Visit the Batavia shipyard in Lelystad, and the Airborne Museum Hartenstein near Arnhem. Enjoy a harbor cruise in Rotterdam, choose between a visit to Keukenhof Gardens or the town of Gouda and enjoy a tasting of Dutch cheese, genever, and some local sweet specialties. Your vacation concludes with a cruise along Amsterdam’s canals.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Amsterdam–Transfer to Haarlem (Embarkation): welcome reception

Day 2 Tulip Fields Excursion–Enkhuizen: excursion to the tulip fields; choice of guided visit to the Zuiderzee Museum or “Experience the Dutch” outing in Enkhuizen

Day 3 Friesland: Friesland excursion, visit the planetarium

Day 4 Lelystad–Kampen: guided visit of the Batavia shipyard and Batavia in Lelystad; cheese & genever tasting

Day 5 Gelderse IJssel–Arnhem: onboard lecture; special tasting; visit Museum Hartenstein

Day 6 Rotterdam: harbor cruise in Rotterdam; choice of excursion to Keukenhof Gardens or to the city of Gouda

Day 7 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Learn more about Holland's typical flowers when you visit a Tulip Farm.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel

NOTES:

  • This cruise combines well with Enchanting Belgium (WAN or WNA).
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland. Transfer to Haarlem (Embarkation)

Welcome to Holland! This afternoon, drive to Haarlem, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at an evening welcome reception as your ship sets sail. (Dinner)

NOTE:
Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 2 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2Tulip Fields Excursion–Enkhuizen

Tulip fields abound in this part of the country. This morning, an excursion takes you along the growing areas that look from afar like carpets of color. Take pictures and learn more about these flowers and how they were introduced into Holland from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the 17th century. Rejoin your ship and over lunch, sail to Enkhuizen, situated at the most easterly point of North Holland. Enkhuizen is a quintessential fishing town with cobblestoned streets, a quaint town center, and one of the largest marinas in the Netherlands. It owes its prosperity to the Zuider Zee (now known as the IJsselmeer) during the “Golden Age.” This afternoon, you have the choice to visit the ZUIDERZEE MUSEUM, dedicated to the culture and history of this area. The museum focuses on the past and present of the IJsselmeer, and features living history, heritage, and crafts combining works from the past with works from the present. Alternatively, you may wish to join a “DUTCH EXPERIENCE” to meet some locals. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Friesland

Cruise across the IJsselmeer to southwest Friesland, a province rich in history and legends. As you sail, enjoy the scenic rural landscape along the river. Dock in Lemmer, from where our Friesland excursion departs. Primarily an agricultural region with a long history, Friesland is best known internationally for its famous black-and-white Friesian cattle and black Friesian horses. Visit the 18th-century ROYAL EISE EISINGA PLANETARIUM, which has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rejoin your ship in Sneek, where you dock overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Lelystad–Kampen

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising through this delightful area of Friesland. Spring is in the air, and the lush green landscape is coming alive. After docking in Lelystad, visit the BATAVIA SHIPYARD, where ships that were important to the Netherlands’ maritime industry during the “Golden Age” are faithfully reconstructed by hand. Then, board the BATAVIA itself. Originally built in 1628 to sail to and from the East Indies, the Batavia wrecked on its maiden voyage on June 4, 1629 off the coast of western Australia. It took 10 years—from 1985 to 1995—for a crew to reconstruct the ship using traditional construction materials. Back on board, we’ll introduce you to LOCAL CHEESE and GENEVER, traditionally drunk neat from a shot glass, as you sail to Kampen, where you dock overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Gelderse IJssel–Arnhem

Another relaxing morning on board as you sail along the IJssel River, also known as the Gelderse IJssel, which is a branch of the Rhine River. Learn more about Holland at an ONBOARD LECTURE and taste a sweet LOCAL SPECIALTY. After lunch, visit the AIRBORNE MUSEUM HARTENSTEIN, dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major tragedies of WWII. Later, rejoin your ship in Arnhem. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Rotterdam

This morning, sail through the HARBOR OF ROTTERDAM, said to be the world’s busiest port. Leveled by German bombs in WWII, Rotterdam now has a modern, high-tech look. After an early lunch you may opt to join a guided excursion to GOUDA, famous for its gouda cheese, syrup waffles, clay pipes, and elaborate city hall. It is a typical Dutch city with many old buildings and pretty canals. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the gardens of KEUKENHOF near Lisse, which encompass over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a windmill to explore. Every year, 7 million flower bulbs are planted, and you have the opportunity to see the spectacular display of colors not only from the tulips, but also from hyacinths, daffodils, and more. If you’re a garden enthusiast, you may opt for an extended visit to Keukenhof, with lunch on your own in the gardens. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Amsterdam

After breakfast, arrive in Amsterdam, where GUIDED SIGHTSEEING is provided by CANAL BOAT. Cruise through the elegant grachten, lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” This afternoon is free or you may choose from a selection of optional excursions to make the most of your last day in Holland. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Amsterdam (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

Schiphol-Oost
Amsterdam

Schiphol-Oost

Radisson Blu Amsterdam

Radisson Blu Amsterdam Boeing Avenue 2, Schiphol-Rijk,   Netherlands Boeing Avenue 2
Schiphol-Rijk, Netherlands

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A smart 279 room property offering Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout, two restaurants, a charming outdoor terrace for alfresco dining during the warmer months and a sophisticated lounge area. Further facilities include a fitness centre with gym, sauna and steam room.

Hotel Amenities

Luggage Storage
Gift Shop
Restaurant On-Site
Elevator
Free WiFi
Bar/Lounge
Dry Cleaning
Ice Machine
Beauty Salon
Fitness Room
Concierge desk
Spa Services
Business Center
Room Amenities

Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Mini-bar
Air Conditioning
Coffee Maker
Internet Access
Voicemail
Smoking Rooms
Phone
In-Room Safe
Pay Movies
Wake-Up Calls
Complimentary Toiletries
Hair Dryer
Window Opens
Cable/Satellite
Room Service
Iron/Ironing Board
Television
Disabled Access / Rooms
Non-smoking Rooms
Climate Control
Desk

Amsterdam

Room Mate Aitana

Room Mate Aitana Ijdok 6, Amsterdam,  Netherlands Ijdok 6
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A 284 room designer hotel recently built on the new artificial island in the IJ river and offers free Wi-Fi throughout. The hotel boasts a trendy cosmopolitan restaurant, which serves international food, the lounge bar provides a stylish setting for drinks and there is also a fitness center.

Hotel Amenities

Dry Cleaning
Ice Machine
Free WiFi
Fitness Room
Restaurant On-Site
Concierge desk
Parking/Valet
Bar/Lounge
Elevator
Business Center
Luggage Storage
Room Amenities

Climate Control
Iron/Ironing Board
Coffee Maker
Desk
Non-smoking Rooms
Hair Dryer
Phone
Disabled Access / Rooms
Mini-bar
Television
Complimentary Toiletries
Room Service
In-Room Safe
Wake-Up Calls
Internet Access

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

Amsterdam
Celebration

Amsterdam

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

If you are in the Netherlands only for a short time, then this is a great excursion to see the typical Dutch sights in just one afternoon. Join our local expert on a journey through times when Dutch sailing ships crossed the seven seas and goods from all corners of the world were traded in Holland. A short coach ride gives you picturesque views of the Dutch "polder" landscape, reclaimed land with endless horizons and cattle grazing on the green grasslands. The open air village of Zaanse Schans is a collection of typical Dutch houses, windmills & craft stores which all have preserved their original character. We will have an inside visit of a working windmill. Highly interesting is the clog making demonstration and the cheese factory. In the little stores you can easily find all the Dutch souvenirs you want to take home. Zaanse Schans is a pleasant half day excursion which includes an array of typical sights for which Holland is famous.

Approximate value: €36 EUR per person

Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a Genuine Castle, for a Real Taste of History

Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a Genuine Castle, for a Real Taste of History

Take a traditional boat ride on the former Zuiderzee, where the Dutch East and West Indian Company ships sailed to and from Amsterdam for centuries. End your boat ride at the imposing Amsterdam Castle, the Muiderslot, which gives you a real taste of Dutch history. It is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam and included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. During the guided tour through rooms full of authentic furniture and paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, you will imagine yourself in a painting by Rembrandt or Frans Hals. The guided tour through the museum's rooms, all refurbished in 17th-century style, evokes the period, when Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, also known as the "Dutch Shakespeare," occupied the castle. In the beautiful herb and vegetable gardens, which still retain the atmosphere of the Dutch Renaissance, you will find many, often forgotten, flowers, herbs and vegetables from times gone by. A walk along the ramparts offers fantastic views of the water-rich environments and the Pampus island fortress. You should not miss the visit to the most beautiful and best kept medieval castle in the Netherlands.

Approximate value: €56 EUR per person

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

Visit the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her diary during the Second World War. For more than two years, Anne Frank, her family, and four others lived secretively in the back part of her father's office building at #263 Prinsengracht, before being betrayed and turned in to the Nazis. If you have read the famous diary much of this will be familiar to you, but even if you haven't this can be a thought provoking place to see. The Anne Frank House/Museum, open since 1960, is probably the most famous attraction in town for new visitors. Take advantage of our tailor made tour, with an introduction by our local escort, hassle free transport and priority entrance.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person

Can Buy Me Love - Amsterdam by Night

Can Buy Me Love - Amsterdam by Night

Experience Europe's most famous Red Light District at its best during the evening. Amsterdam has always cherished the ideas of tolerance and worldliness. The city takes on an entirely new and fascinating character at night: many of its bridges, along with numerous historic buildings and monuments are almost extravagantly illuminated. A night-time boat tour of the city is highly recommendable. Take an expertly guided private cruise and walking tour through the famous Red Light District, learn about the customs and traditions of this provocative and alluring aspect of life in Amsterdam. Enjoy the city's night life and collect memories and stories to take home (Excursion not suitable for children).

Approximate value: €53 EUR per person

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

The Netherlands is known for being the perfect country to go for a bike ride. After a short bike ride from your ship, a ferry takes you out of the hectic city. Then continue your biking tour into the beautiful and green nature reserve called "Waterland". Your local guide will take you through centuries old picturesque villages with typical wooden houses, past countless brooks and waterways, across old wooden bridges, along the Ijsselmeer, through green pastures. Designated bicycle paths connect the entire region. On a nice spring or summer day, the green fields are full of flowers, sheep and cows are in the meadows. Comfortable bicycles, helmets and refreshment in a typical Dutch Inn are provided and of course all these experiences under guidance of a local guide. A different way to experience Holland.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

Haarlem Excursion

Haarlem Excursion

Known as the City of Flowers, Haarlem is a place of historical architecture, culture and outstanding modern facilities. While it is often overshadowed by its much larger and more famous neighbor Amsterdam about ten miles east, Haarlem's history actually goes back further, dating back to gothic times, and this is reflected in the architecture. Join our local guide for a walking tour; a perfect afternoon to see what this charming little town has to offer.

Approximate value: €31 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary cake presented during dinner. Make this a cruise like no other.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €161.50 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner.

Approximate value: €142 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening.

Approximate value: €344 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special cake and present it to you during dinner. Make this a cruise that you will never forget.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and a wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €207 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

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