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Enjoy all the sights of springtime in Holland whilst enjoying a cruise along Holland’s waterways. Highlights include Hoorn with its elegant seventeenth century gabled houses, Volendam and the historic village of Zaanse Schans with traditional houses, windmills, warehouses and workshops and a special treat is our visit to renowned Keukenhof Gardens – a historical park featuring a patchwork quilt of flowers in bloom.
Tuesday We collect you from your home and take you to join your tour coach and journey to Folkestone for the Channel crossing to Calais. We will make our way through Belgium and Holland to the canal city of Alkmaar, famed for its cheese making and its impressive cathedral, the 15th Century Grote Kerk. Here we will board the MV Esmeralda where we will be greeted with a welcome drink on board whilst your luggage is taken to your cabin with time to settle in prior to our four-course dinner this evening.
Wednesday We will spend today enjoying our cruise from Alkmaar to Hoorn. We will have a couple of hours sightseeing in the historic city of Hoorn, located on the shores of the Ijsselmeer, home to a plethora of beautiful listed buildings and no less than seven excellent museums. We will remain in Hoorn overnight.
Thursday After breakfast this morning, we will leave our water-based hotel and explore the picturesque fisherman’s village of Volendam, known for it’s old fishing boats and it’s traditional female clothing, which includes the wearing of a high, pointed bonnet. This is still worn by some residents and constitutes one of the most recognisable of the Dutch traditional costumes. We return to the MV Esmeralda for a noon departure and enjoy lunch as we cruise towards Zaandam. On arrival, we will board our coach for the drive to Zaanse Schans, an open-air conservation area and the living museum on the banks of the Zaan River, complete with authentic green wooden houses, real working windmills, and interesting museums. We return to the MV Esmerelda in time for dinner.
Friday Today we disembark from the MV Esmerelda and board the coach to travel south to the magnificent gardens of Keukenhof. Here we can expect to see more than 7 million bulbs in bloom with a total a of 800 varieties of tulips that will provide us with a unique and unforgettable experience. There are over 32 hectares of flowers and themed gardens for you to explore while we are visiting. We will then board our coach and return to the MV Esmeralda, which will be waiting for us in Amsterdam. This evening we enjoy a special gala farewell dinner.
Saturday After breakfast we leave the MV Esmeralda for the return journey home, passing through Belgium and France to Calais for the Channel crossing. We arrive back early evening where your taxi will be waiting to return you to your home.
(Due the nature of cruising, itineraries are provisional and subject to change due to operational technicalities and local conditions at the time of travel.)
The Esmeralda can accommodate 126 passengers on two decks and is air-conditioned throughout. It has a lift between the promenade deck and main deck and a stair lift between the promenade deck and sun deck. All 63 outward facing cabins have air-conditioning, shower & toilet, satellite TV, safe deposit box, twin beds and a continental electricity socket (220 volts). The Esmeralda has a spacious and inviting lounge which was completely renovated in early 2011. Morning coffee and afternoon tea is offered each day in the lounge while on board.
- 4 nights Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
- Platinum class coach travel
- Hostess service
- Home pick-up
- Excursions and visits
- Channel crossings
- Welcome drink
- 4 course dinners, including a choice of main
- Tea/coffee for after dinner
- Full hot and cold breakfast buffet daily
- Live entertainment on at least 2 nights.
- Captains farewell dinner on the final night
- Entrance to Keukenhof
- Tea with biscuits each afternoon
- Late night snacks served at 23.00