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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 - After your taxi pick-up from home you join the coach and make your way to Folkestone for the channel tunnel 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 join the MV Esmeralda enjoying a welcome cocktail on board while our bags are taken to our cabin with time to settle in prior to our four course dinner.
Wednesday - We will spend today enjoying our cruise through the bulbfields from Alkmaar to Hoorn. We arrive in Hoorn around 4pm where you will have time to stretch your legs in this historic city, located on the shores of the Ijsselmeer, and home to a plethora of beautiful listed buildings.
Thursday - After breakfast this morning, we will leave our water-based hotel and explore the picturesque fishermen’s village of Volendam, known for both its old fishing boats and its 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 recognizable of the Dutch traditional costumes. We return to the MV Esmeralda via Zaanse Schans, an open air conservation area and 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 Esmeralda docked in Zaandam in time for dinner. A packed lunch will be provided today.
Friday - After breakfast this morning, we will board our coach and travel south to the beautiful gardens of Keukenhof. We can expect to witness more than 7 million bulbs in bloom with a total of 800 varieties of tulips that will provide us with a unique and unforgettable springtime experience. There are over 32 hectares of flowers and themed gardens to explore. We will then board our coach and return to the MV Esmeralda, which will be waiting for us in Amsterdam. This evening, we will enjoy a special gala farewell dinner. A packed lunch will be provided today.
Saturday - After breakfast we leave the MV Esmeralda for the return journey home, passing through Belgium and France to Calais for the crossing via the channel tunnel to Folkestone. We arrive back early evening.
(Due to 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