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The Netherlands

The Netherlands once lay under water. On the delta of three major rivers – the Rhine, Maas and Scheldt – the country owes its existence to the conquest of water through astonishing feats of hydraulic engineering. From the 16th century windmills were used not just to keep the land dry but also to drain entire inland lakes. With around half of the country still at or below sea level, the fertile, pancake-flat stretches of land known as polders are bisected by a network of drainage ditches and canals which control the water table beneath huge open skies – while miles of protective dunes protect the long coastline to the west and north.But the Netherlands is just as remarkable in many other ways. One of the most urbanised and densely populated nations on earth, almost 17 million people (on average the tallest in the world) live in an area little more than half the size of Scotland. The towns and villages of the country’s twelve provinces are often picture-perfect places of gabled townhouses, pretty canals and church spires .

The Netherlands’ largest city, Amsterdam has been an international port and financial center for 400 years, endowing it with a lively cosmopolitan feeling to match its historic architecture. A fascinating city of picturesque canals, world class museums, the Rijksmuseum Museum home of Dutch Master painting’s or the Van Gogh Museum next door, theatres and streets lined with cafés. Admire the city’s beautiful centuries-old homes and picturesque churches on a guided canal boat tour by glass-topped boat to see architecture from the city’s charming neighbourhoods. Anne Frank is one of Amsterdam’s most well known former residents. The Anne Frank House at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam is where she lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during World War II. Now converted into a museum it contains a sobering exhibition about the persecution of the Jews during the war, as well as discrimination in general.

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 us on 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.

Hoorn, which was once a base for the Dutch East India Company, making it a prosperous and powerful trading town.
Today, this 13th century town is home to many listed buildings and the former Oostereiland prison.

Kinderdijk is a village, which includes a set of 19 windmills and other ingenious technologies built in the 18th century to control flooding. The name Kinderdijk means “child’s dike”; it is based on a 15th-century tale about a sleeping baby in a cradle floating, safe and dry, on flood waters after a terrible storm. Kinderdijk is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can tour an actual working windmill to see its pumping mechanism and living quarters.

Keukenhof Gardens

Most spring itineraries include an excursion to the amazing gardens at Keukenhof Park. Translated as Kitchen Garden, with over 7 million tulips, daffodils & hyacinths covering about 80 acres it really is a spectacular sight.

Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second largest metropolis, situated where the Rhine flows into the North Sea. Known as the ‘Gateway to Europe’, it is the largest European cargo port and has been a conduit for trade since the 14th century.

Veere, an area that was heavily flooded in 1953, and led the Dutch government to commission the Delta Works to protect the province from the open sea. The Delta Works project, known as the Storm Surge Barrier, due its series of dikes, sea walls and locks all the way up to Rotterdam in South Holland.

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The Danube Flow

8 Days   |  Regensburg, Straubing, Passau, Linz, Melk, Wachau Valley, Durnstein, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest

From £1.469 pp

Laid-back and sophisticated. Germany may be your soul mate

Germany’s Finest

8 Days   |  Frankfurt, Miltenberg, Wurzberg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Kelheim, Regensburg

From £1.469 pp

Laid-back and sophisticated. Germany may be your soul mate

Rolling on the Rhine

8 Days   |  Amsterdam, Haarlem, Cologne, Bonn, Koblenz, Rudesheim, Frankfurt

From £1.469 pp

ROLLING ON THE RHINE – Delightfully Quirky. Amsterdam pulls it off.

Save £100 per person on Balcony Cabins - Book by 14th August 2018

Glacier Express & Five Star Rhine Cruise

11 Days   |  Chur, Zermatt, Basel, Strasbourg, Black Forest, Speyer, Rudesheim, Rhine Gorge, Koblenz, Cologne, Amsterdam

From £2,095 pp

Embark on on of the World’s finest Rail adventures aboard the Glacier Express before descending down the valley for a cruise on the spectacular Rhine. Switzerland’s natural beauty is on full display throughout this panoramic rail Journey.

Save £100 per person on Balcony Cabins - Book by 14th August 2018

Five Star Rhine Cruise

8 Days   |  Basel, Strasbourg, Black Forest, Speyer, Rudesheim, Rhine Gorge, Koblenz, Cologne, Amsterdam

From £1,395 pp

From Switzerland to the Netherlands, this spectacular cruise reveals the majestic allure of the Rhine River, in all of its fairytale glory. We uncover beautiful valley gorges, splendid half timbered towns and all the remarkable cities along the banks of this grand old river.

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