Gardens of the Netherlands Spirit of the Danube River Cruise
Discover the floral delights of Holland in spring on this river cruise in the Netherlands. Beginning and ending in Amsterdam, where you’ll have plenty of time to explore both independently and during a choice of included excursions such as a culinary walking tour or sightseeing coach trip and cruise along the historic network of canals. An optional excursion visits Amsterdam’s largest park, Vondelpark, which was designed by landscape architect Jan David Zocher.
A highlight of your holiday is sure to be an included visit to Keukenhof Gardens, where around seven million flower bulbs are planted every year. Look forward to admiring the vast rhododendron collection of Belmonte Arboretum, browsing the flower laden stalls of Utrecht Flower Market and exploring the different gardens within Utrecht Botanical Gardens, home to Tropical Greenhouses where orchids and bromeliads are grown.
Celebrity Guest: Gardening broadcaster and author Sir Roddy Llewellyn is your special guest on board this cruise. In 1981 his first book Town Gardens was published, followed by six others. Roddy has presented on numerous television programmes, including Roddy Llewellyn’s Garden Guide, Turf Wars and Best of Britain.
Fly to Amsterdam and embark Spirit of the Danube. Enjoy a welcome drink reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored here overnight.
The Dutch capital is rightly popular for its friendly welcome, picturesque canals, world-class museums and galleries, and laid-back cafes and bars. Spend the day exploring the city at leisure, highlights include the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the floating flower market, the Central Railway Station, which is built on thousands of wooden piles, and the 19th-century Rijksmuseum. This afternoon an optional excursion visits Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest park.
Spirit of the Danube sets sail early this evening and begins cruising towards Beverwijk, arriving later this evening for an overnight mooring.
Look forward to an included excursion to the famous Keukenhof gardens, also known as the ‘garden of Europe’. More than seven million bulbs fill the park with vibrant colour and fragrance.
During your visit you can admire displays of millions of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths and visit flower and plant shows in the pavilions. Of course, the tulip displays are weather dependent, but they're normally in bloom from mid-March to mid-May.
Spirit of the Danube sails from Beverwijk early this morning, arriving in the city of Arnhem early this afternoon. Perhaps join an optional excursion to the Kroller-Muller Museum, located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park.
Your ship remains moored in Arnhem overnight.
Spend the morning at leisure in Arnhem, where the British 1st Airborne Division landed during Operation Market Garden of World War II, with the intention of capturing the bridges across the Nederrijn.
This afternoon an included excursion visits the Belmonte Arboretum, rejoining Spirit of the Danube in Wijk bij Duurstede. The Belmonte estate was established in the mid-nineteenth century by Thierry Juste, baron De Constant Rebecque de Villars, who financed the construction of an Italian-style villa on the highest point of Belmonte. His father-in-law bought various plots of surrounding land, which were eventually connected to make the seventeen hectare estate. For many years barons and baronesses lived in the house, which in 1936 came into the possession of Stichting Het Gelders Landschap. The estate was heavily damaged during World War II. Then in 1951 a design by Professor Bijhouwer was used to turn the garden into an arboretum and there have been other additions since then including a large rhododendron collection and a transplanted rose collection.
From Wijk bij Duurstede you’ll continue cruising to Utrecht, arriving this evening.
This morning enjoy an included guided visit to the Flower Market on Janskerkhof Square, where Dutch flower vendors have been trading for over 200 years.
Browse row upon row of stalls laden with colourful blooms and bulbs. This afternoon another included excursion visits Utrecht Botanical Gardens, located in the heart of Utrecht Science Park. There are various gardens to explore including a Rock Garden with a genuine mountain brook and waterfall and Evolution Garden, which is arranged according to the classification system developed by the American botanist Cronquist. The Tropical Greenhouses contain orchids and bromeliads, as well as food plants such as banana, mango and vanilla.
Spirit of the Danube departs in the early evening and will arrive in Amsterdam tonight.
After an early departure from Utrecht, you’ll arrive in the Dutch capital this morning.
Here you’ll have the opportunity to sample the local food and culture on an included culinary walking tour with a guide. You’ll take a tram to Central Station from where you’ll begin a walking tour of the Dutch capital while tasting local delicacies including herring, cheese and croquettes along the way. Alternatively, you could opt for an included city coach tour and canal cruise to see the famous Skinny Bridge, the Montelbaanstoren tower and the Jewish Quarter.
This afternoon you may like to explore further independently or instead join an optional excursion to Volendam, Edam and the Katwoude cheese farm. Spirit of the Danube remains moored in Amsterdam overnight.
Disembark Spirit of the Danube after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.
|Date||Price from (pp)|
|28 March 2022||£1,599|
- Low deposit of only £99pp
- VIP door-to-door travel service
- A selection of return transport including UK flights, Eurostar or coach travel (subject to availability and some may carry a supplement)
- Optional travel insurance or a discount of £20 if not required†
- 7 Nights on board Spirit of the Danube
- 20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
- All gratuities on board
- Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Saga Cruise Host
- Keukenhof Gardens
- Vondel Park
- Hoge Veluwe National Park and Kroller-Muller Museum
- Arboretum Belmonte
- Guided Flower Market visit in Utrecht
- Volendam, Edam & Katwoude Cheese Farm
- Utrecht Botanical Gardens
- Amsterdam city tour and canal cruise OR Amsterdam culinary walking tour