European Luxury River Cruises

AVALON – Tulips of Northern Holland – 8 days

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Combine the well-known attractions of Holland with those off the beaten track on this delightful river cruise holiday. Cruise from Haarlem to explore northern Holland, where tulip fields abound and the charming area of Friesland is famed for its black and white cows. Cruise across the Ijsselmeer and tour the small town of Hoorn, which gave its name to Cape Horn. Visit the ZuiderZee Museum in Enkhuizen, the Batavia shipyard in Lelystad, and a windmill outside the fishing village of Volendam. In Arnhem, visit the city, the Kröller-Müller Museum, or nearby Het Loo Palace, and from Rotterdam why not visit Keukenhof Gardens? Conclude with a visit to Edam, and, of course a canal cruise in Amsterdam.


Day 1 Amsterdam – Haarlem. Travel to Amsterdam where you will met and transferred to your cruise ship in Haarlem for seven nights. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (D)
Day 2 Volendam. Excursion to Edam – EnkhuizenIncluded today: Guided walk in Edam; choice of guided visit to Zuiderzee Museum or Dutch Experience outing in Enkhuizen. This morning, wake up in Volendam, a picturesque fishing town with an unique open harbour and a small, timbered church dating back to 1658. Well known for its old fishing boats, distinctive small houses, drawbridges, and canals, Volendam offers a romantic and friendly atmosphere. Today’s excursion takes you to Edam, whose cheese of the same name has become famous worldwide and where cheese markets are still held in the summer months. The old town centre, especially the Kwakelsteeg, still has lovely characteristic Waterland houses. During lunch, cruise on the Markermeer to Enkhuizen, set on the most easterly point of North Holland. Enkhuizen owes its prosperity to the Zuider Zee during the ‘Golden Age’ and this afternoon you choose a visit to 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 of the locals. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Enkhuizen – FrieslandIncluded today: Choice of guided walk of Alkmaar or ‘Tulip Fields’ excursion; Friesland excursion, visit the Planetarium. After breakfast, you have a choice of included excursions: perhaps join a trip along the tulip fields or visit the town of Alkmaar. Tulip fields abound in this northern part of the country. Learn more about these flowers and how they were introduced into Holland from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the 17th century. Alternatively, why not visit the town of Alkmaar? A Local Guide will take you on a walking tour of the most beautiful parts of the city. Rejoin your ship and cruise across the Ijsselmeer. Dock in Lemmer and join the excursion to explore the province of Friesland, a picturesque agricultural region with a rich history. Famed for its black and white Friesian cattle and black Friesian horses, this historic area was also recorded in local legends such as the tale of ‘The Lady of Stavoren’. 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. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Sneek – Lelystad – KampenIncluded today: Cheese & Genever tasting; visit the Batavia shipyard and the Batavia in Lelystad. Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising through this delightful area of Friesland. Before lunch, enjoy a local cheese and genever (gin) tasting on board. Reaching Lelystad, join the guided visit of the Batavia Shipyard, where ships that were important to the Netherland’s maritime industry during the ‘Golden Age’ have been faithfully reconstructed. Later, board the Batavia itself, a reconstruction of a 1628 Amsterdam-built Dutch East India Company ship, wrecked on its maiden voyage on June 4, 1629 off the coast of Western Australia. Later this afternoon, sail to Kampen, where you dock overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Gelderse Ijssel – ArnhemIncluded today: Choice of visit to either Airborne Museum Hartenstein or Kroeller-Moeller Museum. This morning, relax on board as you cruise a branch of the Rhine known as the Gelderse Ijssel, which flows from just east of Arnhem into the Ijsselmeer. This afternoon, choose from a selection of activities in Arnhem, famous for the Battle of Arnhem – one of the major tragedies of WWII. Perhaps perhaps visit the Airborne Museum Hartenstein , dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem, or visit the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo for its world-renowned collection of mainly 19th and 20th century visual art. Later, rejoin your ship in Arnhem. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Rotterdam – UtrechtIncluded today: Choice of excursion to either Keukenhof Gardens or guided sightseeing in Rotterdam and Utrecht. After breakfast, cruise through the harbour of Rotterdam, said to be the world’s busiest port. A bustling port city, Rotterdam was levelled by German bombs in WWII and rebuilt in a modern, high-tech style. Join a Local Expert for a guided city tour including nearby Utrecht, an old university town and cultural treasure trove. Alternatively, opt for a full-day visit to the world-renowned Keukenhof Gardens, near Lisse, which encompasses over 70 acres of parkland dotted with lakes, glorious sculpted gardens, greenhouses and a windmill. Millions of flower bulbs are grown here annually and are presented in bright and spectacularly colourful displays throughout the year. Rejoin your ship in Utrecht. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Hoorn – AmsterdamIncluded today: Guided walk in Hoorn; canal cruise in Amsterdam. After breakfast, join a Local Guide for a stroll around the charming town of Hoorn, the town that gave its name to Cape Horn on the southernmost point of South Africa. Blending traditional and modern, the historic town centre remains largely intact and traditional architecture has been maintained in its original form. The monumental façades are a testament to Hoorn’s former status as a Dutch East India company town. During lunch, cruise to Amsterdam, where sightseeing this afternoon is by canal boat, cruising along elegant grachten lined by stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s Golden Age. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Amsterdam. Transfer to the airport or station for your journey to the UK. (B)

Price & dates

All prices and supplements are per person. The prices and departure dates listed in the table below do not show live availability therefore may not be up-to-date. To find out the latest availability please call us on 0800 612 5677 for information.


Departure Date Booking Code Your Ship Price
09 Apr 2015 WHA2 Avalon Affinity £1245
11 Apr 2015 WHA3 Avalon Visionary £1309
23 Apr 2015 WHA2 Avalon Affinity £1850

Upgrade supplements

Category Deck Affinity Visionary
D Indigo —– £115
B Sapphire £375 £545
A Sapphire £405 £575
P Royal £465 £639
Suite Royal £815 £1049

Included in the priceTravel Options

Prices are based on flights from Heathrow with British Airways. Flights are also available at a supplement from Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Durham Teesside, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Norwich. Eurostar is available from St Pancras.

The Avalon experience

Included Highlights

  • EDAM Guided walk
  • ENKHUIZEN Choice of visit to Zuiderzee museum or Dutch Experience outing
  • NORTH HOLLAND ‘Tulip Fields’ excursion or guided walk in Alkmaar
  • FRIESLAND Excursion, visit the planetarium; cheese and Genever tasting
  • LELYSTAD Visit to Batavia shipyard and the Batavia
  • ARNHEM Choice of visit to Airborne Museum Hartenstein or Kröller-Müller Museum
  • ROTTERDAM Choice of visit to Keukenhof Gardens or guided sightseeing in Rotterdam and Utrecht
  • HOORN Guided walk
  • AMSTERDAM Canal cruise
  • Private door-to-door home pick-up service by executive car for you and your travelling companions
  • Flights from London Heathrow with British Airways; regional flights at a supplement. Eurostar available on request
  • 7 nights deluxe accommodation in a spacious stateroom with hotel-style beds, ensuite facilities and river views. Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors and a French Balcony in most staterooms
  • All meals on board including full breakfast, buffet lunch and waiter service dinner with quality wines from Europe’s most famous wine regions; afternoon tea with cakes and sweet treats; a choice of teas and coffees throughout the day
  • Included excursions and sightseeing trips with Local Guides and a choice of optional tours; headsets provided on excursions
  • Services of an experienced Cruise Director
  • Gratuities for Cruise Director and crew
  • On board lectures, activities and nightly piano music
  • Welcome reception, Captain’s Reception and Farewell Dinner
  • All transfers, local port charges and airport taxes
  • A choice of pre- or post- holiday extensions

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