Tulips & Windmills 2021 Viking River Cruise
Admire the genius of the Dutch Masters at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Explore Hoorn’s seafaring heritage, Arnhem’s World War II history and Antwerp’s Renaissance splendor. See colorful ribbons of farmland as Dutch tulips come into bloom. Sample Belgian beers and chocolates. Step into the Middle Ages in Bruges. Roam Keukenhof Gardens, the world’s largest floral park. The best time to see the Low Countries is spring, and the best way to see them is on your 10-day cruise.
Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship. After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the van Gogh Museum next door.
Cruise Amsterdam’s charming canals this morning, passing under pretty bridges and enjoying streets lined with gabled houses of centuries past. This afternoon, visit the picturesque Keukenhof Gardens, the world’s largest floral park. Admire the stunning beauty at both indoor and outdoor exhibits containing millions of vibrant blooms including tulips, hyacinths, crocuses and daffodils.* Or join an optional excursion—perhaps a visit to one of Amsterdam’s world-class museums to explore the Dutch Golden Age, or uncover the city’s fascinating Jewish history. Your Viking Program Director can help you plan your afternoon.
*Keukenhof Gardens is available only on departures from March 22 through May 2, during the tulip blooming season.
Early this morning, sail across the IJsselmeer (once known as the Zuiderzee) to the ancient shipping village of Hoorn. After breakfast, enjoy a guided walk through Hoorn’s cobblestone streets; see age-old cheese warehouses on the town’s main square, which dates back to Holland’s Golden Age. Lunch is served on board; you have a free afternoon to explore Hoorn, visit a local bakery and shop for souvenirs. Or, take an optional excursion into the countryside to a tulip farm and see how windmills have changed over the years. Depart during dinner and cruise through the night.
Arrive early today in Arnhem, a relaxed city bursting with inviting green parks and gardens. Still more famous than its much-admired green spaces is Arnhem’s wartime history. Join an included excursion to delve into the city’s role in Operation Market Garden, an ill-fated Allied World War II operation. Witness a battle reenactment during your visit to the Airborne Museum, and pay your respects at the Airborne Cemetery. Also available today is an optional excursion to an open air museum where 80 historic structures, from a drawbridge to a working paper mill, are preserved. Here you can enjoy a tram ride through 200 years of traditional Dutch country life, and perhaps even try a hands-on experience of a traditional trade. Dine on board or on shore; your ship remains docked in Arnhem overnight.
Arrive this afternoon in Kinderdijk and disembark for a tour of this ingenious 18th-century community. Learn why the windmills were built and see how they work to help control flooding, then tour a working windmill to see its pumping mechanism and living quarters at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also take an optional excursion to explore The Netherlands’ renowned cheeses and windmills, or cycle past Kinderdijk’s 19 historic windmills. In late afternoon, we set sail toward Antwerp.
This morning, enjoy a half-day tour of Antwerp featuring the Cathedral of Our Lady with its three monumental altarpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens; the Grote Markt (Grand Square) surrounded by the Golden Age Town Hall and guild halls; and Het Steen (Steen Castle), Antwerp’s oldest building. You can take an optional excursion to satisfy your taste buds with some of Antwerp’s traditional specialties, or explore the major sights of Brussels. You have free time to explore at your leisure this afternoon before dining on board your ship tonight as we sail for Ghent.
From Ghent, travel to Bruges, one of the oldest towns in Flanders. Your city walk takes you through its cultural and artistic center, home to important Flemish painters such as Eyck and Memling. Also see the Béguinage, a hidden courtyard inhabited by nuns, and the town’s scenic network of canals. Stay in Bruges for lunch on your own, or return to Ghent for lunch on board and an afternoon exploring this exceptionally charming, canal-filled capital of East Flanders. Enjoy a beautifully lit evening departure from Ghent as we cruise through the night.
After breakfast travel to the region of Walcheren, formerly an island of the southwest Netherlands. Stop in Veere and enjoy a walking tour of this engaging, time-honored town. From here, travel to the Delta Works, the ingenious system of enormous doors that can be lowered during spring tides to protect the area from floods while allowing the tides to ebb and flow. Or you may choose to visit a local oyster farm, where you can shuck and try oysters. Rejoin your ship for lunch. Enjoy an afternoon of scenic sailing along the Dutch waterways as you cruise toward Amsterdam.
After breakfast, visit the picturesque Keukenhof Gardens, the world’s largest floral park. Admire the stunning beauty at both indoor and outdoor exhibits of millions of vibrant blooms including tulips, hyacinths, crocuses and daffodils. You may choose the option of spending a full day at the gardens, with lunch on your own, or heading to explore historic Haarlem. Alternatively, return on board for lunch, then use the rest of the day to discover Amsterdam’s hidden treasures. You may choose to explore Museum Square, take a bike ride or shop for colorful clogs and tulip bulbs. Enjoy dinner on board your ship, followed by free time to enjoy Amsterdam’s nightlife. Your ship remains docked overnight.
* Note: Due to the opening schedule of Keukenhof Gardens, the Day 9 program may be exchanged with the Day 2 program and vice versa on select departures.
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your flight to the UK.
|Date||Fares from (pp)|
|21 March 2021||£2,145|
|24 March 2021||£2,245|
|30 March 2021||£2,845|
|2 April 2021||£2,845|
|8 April 2021||£3,345|
|11 April 2021||£3,445|
|20 April 2021||£3,345|
|26 April 2021||£3,345|
Extend your stay, pre or post cruise, with these great value cruise extensions! Simply give our award winning team a call for full details on 0800 810 8220
- 2 Nights pre cruise stay in Amsterdam from only £449pp
- Savings of £750pp, Free Silver Spirits Beverage Package & £100 Per Stateroom Onboard Spends - book by 31 Dec 2020
- Onboard gratuities
- Return scheduled flights from the UK from a choice of up to 14 regional airports at no extra cost. Please call for details
- 10 days on board in a river-view stateroom
- 8 guided tours with audio headset
- All meals: 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 9 dinners, featuring regional specialties and including Welcome Cocktail Reception & Dinner
- Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with on board dinner and lunch
- Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Culture Curriculum: Learn how wooden shoes are made; find out how windmills work; attend lectures on Belgium’s political landscape and Holland’s 17th-century tulip craze; enjoy a folkloric performance; sample Dutch cheese and jenever
- All port charges
- Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary
- PRICE GUARANTEE: Once you have paid in full for your trip, you are safe from any additional charges. Airfare increases, currency fluctuations, increased fuel surcharges, new government taxes—none of these will apply to you.