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8 Days | Tulips of Northern Holland


Day 1 | Amsterdam, Holland. Transfer to Haarlem Embark Ship. Welcome to Holland! Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 2 pm. This afternoon, drive to Haarlem, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception at 6 pm. (D)

Day 2 | 
North Holland. Wake up this morning in the province of North Holland. After breakfast you may join the excursion of your choice: a trip along the “Tulip Road” or visit the town of Alkmaar. Tulip fields abound in this northern part of the country. Take your pictures and learn more about these flowers and how they were introduced into Holland from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the 17th century. On the other hand, you may prefer to visit the town of Alkmaar, a popular cultural destination. Join a Certified Local Guide for a walk to show you the most beautiful spots of the city. Drive on the Afsluitdijk, a major causeway 20 miles in length, which separates the saltwater Waddenzee (part of the North Sea) on one side from the freshwater IJsselmeer on the other. Midway across the dike is the community of Breezanddijk, established to house workers during the construction of the Afsluitsdijk. Today, the community has a population of four and its only commercial establishment is a gas station. Rejoin your ship for lunch. This afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of Makkum, a traditional fishing village that still maintains a small fishing fleet, which is now a popular vacation destination with an emphasis on water sports. (B,L,D)

Day 3 | 
Friesland. Enkhuizen. After breakfast, depart on an excursion of this province known as Friesland—an agricultural region with a long history. Best known internationally for its famous black-and-white Friesian cattle and the well-known black Friesian horse, this province is also rich in history and legends, such as the tale of “The Lady of Stavoren.” During lunchtime, sail across the IJsselmeer, formerly known as the Zuider Zee, to Enkhuizen, situated at the most easterly point of North Holland. Enkhuizen owes its prosperity to the Zuider Zee during the “Golden Age,” and this afternoon you’ll 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. (B,L,D)

Day 4 | 
Hoorn. Lelystad. Kampen. After breakfast, join your Certified Local Guide for a walk around the charming town of Hoorn, the town that gave its name to Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America. Combining old and new, the town center has largely remained intact and historical buildings have been retained in their old forms. The monumental façades tell of Hoorn’s one-time importance as a Dutch East India Company town. Enjoy some free time before returning to your ship for lunch, then sail to Lelystad. Here, enjoy a guided visit of the BATAVIA SHIPYARD, where ships that were important to the Netherlands’ maritime industry during the “Golden Age” are faithfully reconstructed. Then, go aboard the BATAVIA itself, a reconstruction of a Dutch East India Company ship built in Amsterdam in 1628, which sailed from Texel to Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia). Later this afternoon, enjoy an onboard TASTING of local CHEESE and GENEVER while sailing to Kampen, where you dock overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | 
Gelderse IJssel. Arnhem. Today, enjoy a relaxing morning of sailing along the IJssel River, also known as the Gelderse IJssel, which is a branch of the Rhine River. After lunch, disembark en route to Arnhem and CHOOSE YOUR EXPERIENCE. The list of choices includes a guided visit of Arnhem, famous for the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major tragedies of WWII; a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo with its world-renowned collection of mainly 19th- and 20th-century visual art; or a visit in nearby Apeldoorn to the Palace of Het Loo, a symmetrical Dutch baroque building with its formal 17th-century garden. In the late afternoon, rejoin your ship in Arnhem. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | 
Rotterdam. Utrecht. After breakfast, sail through the harbor of Rotterdam, said to be the world’s busiest port. Rotterdam is a bustling port city that was leveled by German bombs in WWII. Now, it has a modern, high-tech look. Join a local expert for a guided visit or opt for an all-day visit to the gardens of KEUKENHOF near Lisse, which encompass over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a windmill to explore. This afternoon, a guided excursion to the city of Utrecht is available for those who did not choose to visit Keukenhof. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | 
Volendam. Edam. Amsterdam. This morning, wake up in Volendam, a picturesque fishing town with a unique open harbor and a small, timbered church dating back to 1658. An excursion takes you to Edam, whose cheese of the same name has become famous throughout the world and where cheese markets are still held in the summer months. The Old Town center, especially the Kwakelsteeg, still has lovely characteristic Waterland houses. On the way back to your ship, visit a WINDMILL near Volendam. Over lunch, sail to Amsterdam, where sightseeing this afternoon is provided by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten, lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” (B,L,D)

Day 8 |Amsterdam. Disembark. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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