Explore the well-known sites of Holland, plus some off the beaten path, for a unique and fascinating river cruise. In northern Holland, you may opt to see the colourful fields of tulips that make this part of the country so beautiful. Alternatively, in Enkhuizen, you may prefer to visit the Zuiderzee Museum to experience the local culture and history. Also, there’s an opportunity to meet some of the locals before continuing your river cruise through the area of Friesland. Here, you’ll visit the Royal Planetarium, nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll visit the Batavia shipyard in Lelystad and board an exact replica of the Batavia ship itself. Get a true taste of the culture with an introduction to local cheese and genever! Cruise through the modern harbour of Rotterdam and go on a guided excursion to Gouda, famous for its cheese of the same name. For garden enthusiasts, you may, instead, choose to see the breathtaking colours of Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe.” With over 70 acres of parkland and lakes, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens. A river cruise through Holland would not be complete without some time in Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam. The city combines its historical 17th-century buildings, sculptures, and museums with a modern feel. See the most fascinating areas of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant Grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” Sail into new worlds to discover the stunning beauty, ancient history, and welcoming traditions that await you!
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin. *Included door to door transfers are limited to 100 miles, after which a mileage charge applies.
Travel to Amsterdam where you will met and transferred to your cruise ship in Haarlem. Explore the former North Sea trading port with its medieval features, gabled houses, and leafy courtyards. Return to the ship to meet your crew at the welcome reception.
You may choose to join a guided optional excursion in Haarlem, a major flower-bulb growing district outside of Amsterdam. Alternatively take a guided optional excursion to beautiful Zaanse Schans, where you’ll see a wonderful collection of well-preserved historic windmills and Dutch houses.
Day 2 - Hoorn and Enkhuizen
Enjoy a free morning to explore Hoorn at your own pace, perhaps take a bike ride or walk. Re-join your ship for lunch and sail to Enkhuizen, situated at the most easterly point of North Holland. Enkhuizen is a quintessential fishing town with cobblestone streets, a quaint town centre, and one of the largest marinas in the Netherlands. This afternoon, visit the Zuiderzee Museum, which 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. Tulip fields abound in this part of the country, as an alternatively you may prefer to join an excursion which takes you along the growing areas that look from afar like carpets of colour. Learn more about these flowers and how they were introduced into Holland from the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century.
ACTIVE – Join your Avalon Adventure host for a morning walk around Hoorn.
CLASSIC – Take a guided tour of Zuiderzee Museum to discover cultural traditions and maritime history OR DISCOVERY – Join a guided tour of local tulip fields and Dutch flower farms.
Day 3 - Enkhuizen and Sneek
This morning you have a choice between an included guided walk of Enkhuizen or a ‘Dutch Experience’ tour, to meet some locals. Later, cruise across the IJsselmeer to southwest Friesland, a province rich in history and legends. As you sail, enjoy the scenic rural landscape along the river. Dock in Lemmer, from where our Friesland excursion departs. Primarily an agricultural region with a long history, Friesland is best known internationally for its famous black and white Friesian cattle and black Friesian horses. 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.
CLASSIC – Take a guided walking tour of Enkhuizen to get better acquainted with the charm and beauty of this historic harbour village. OR DISCOVERY – Join us at the home of a Dutch family for authentic samples of local specialities and conversation, for a true Dutch experience. Enjoy a brief afternoon cruise to Friesland.
CLASSIC – Take a guided excursion to visit the Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium – the oldest planetarium still working in the world. Watch for the world-famous black-and-white cattle and black Friesian horses.
Day 4 - Lelystad - Kampen
Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising through this delightful area of Friesland. After docking in Lelystad, visit the Batavia Shipyard, where ships that were important to the Netherlands’ maritime industry during the ‘Golden Age’ are faithfully reconstructed by hand. Then, board the Batavia itself. Originally built in 1628 to sail to and from the East Indies, the Batavia was wrecked on its maiden voyage on June 4, 1629 off the coast of Western Australia. It took 10 years, from 1985 to 1995, for a crew to reconstruct the ship using traditional construction materials. Back on board, we’ll introduce you to local cheese and Genever, traditionally drunk neat from a shot glass, as you sail to Kampen, where you dock overnight.
DISCOVERY – Take a guided tour of Lelystad’s Batavia Shipyard and board the hand-built replica of the historic Batavia. DISCOVERY – Enjoy an onboard cheese tasting with Genever – the national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands.
Day 5 - Gelderse Ijssel - Arnhem
Another relaxing morning on board as you sail along the IJssel River, also known as the Gelderse IJssel, which is a branch of the Rhine River. Learn more about Holland at an on board lecture and taste a sweet local speciality. After lunch, visit the Airborne Museum Hartenstein, dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major tragedies of World War II. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit the Kroller-Muller Museum. Later, re-join your ship in Arnhem.
DISCOVERY – This morning, attend an onboard lecture about Holland and a tasting of the authentic Dutch Deventer Koek cake.
CLASSIC – Join a guided tour of the Airborne museum of Hartenstein commemorating the 1944 WWII Battle of Arnhem. OR CLASSIC – Take a guided tour of Arnhem’s Kröller-Müller museum with the world’s second largest Van Gogh collection.
Day 6 - Rotterdam
This morning, sail through Rotterdam Harbour, said to be the world’s busiest port. Levelled by German bombs in World War II, Rotterdam now has a modern, high-tech look. After an early lunch choose either a guided excursion to Gouda, famous for its gouda cheese, syrup waffles, clay pipes, and elaborate city hall. It is a typical Dutch city with many old buildings and pretty canals, or, you may wish to visit the gardens of Keukenhof near Lisse, that covers over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a windmill to explore. Every year, 7 million flower bulbs are planted, and you have the opportunity to see the spectacular display of colours not only from the tulips, but also from hyacinths, daffodils, and more. If you’re a garden enthusiast, you may opt for an extended visit to Keukenhof, with lunch on your own in the gardens.
CLASSIC – Join a full- or half-day guided tour of breathtaking Keukenhof – the world’s largest flower gardens – with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths as well as other bulbs flowering each year. CLASSIC – Enjoy an afternoon guided tour of Gouda-famous for its Dutch yellow cheese, stroopwafels (syrup waffles) and Gouda candles.
Day 7 - Amsterdam
After breakfast, arrive in Amsterdam where guided sightseeing is by canal boat. Cruise along elegant grachten, lined by stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s Golden Age. This afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own or choose from a selection of optional excursions.
CLASSIC – Take a guided canal cruise to explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam. Float along the Grachten past Amsterdam’s stately homes of the Golden Age.
Join an optional excursion on a culinary walk through Amsterdam to sample savoury and sweet Dutch specialities. Or choose an optional excursion for a city biking tour to discover the countryside. Alternatively take an optional excursion to Holland’s beautiful medieval Muiderslot castle.
Day 8 - Disembarkation, Amsterdam
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK where you will be met and taken by private car back to your home.
At 110m (361ft), the Avalon Tranquility II is one of the smaller of Avalon’s Suite ships, designed to revolutionise river cruising and to deliver the ultimate in comfort, style and superb service for up to 138 passengers. Intimate yet innovative, these Avalon ‘Suite Ships’, offer two full decks of Suites each with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that open to create unique Open-Air Balconies™. These contemporary ships designed with comfort in mind, offer upgrades and enhancements throughout, impeccable personal service and attention to detail as well as fine dining and sleek, minimalist decor.
Every Panorama Suite provides the very best in size, views and design, measuring a spacious 200 square feet and featuring an impressive wall-to-wall panoramic window. Even the placement of the bed allows you to wake up each morning and retire to bed each evening facing the magnificent river views.
* Payable locally.
64 elegantly appointed staterooms and suites range in size from 172-300 ft². On the middle and upper decks, Panorama Suites are 200 ft² and feature Avalon’s trademark extra-wide, 11ft, French balconies with the bed angled towards the windows to really soak up those views.
Royal Suites on the upper deck are even larger at 300 ft² and have an extended seating area with a sofa, armchairs and a table a larger bathrooms and separate WC.
Eurostar or London flights are included, regional flights are also available please call for details
As a round-trip from Amsterdam it works really well with European train services and Eurostar with a direct train service from London to Amsterdam The Avalon package offers a lovely inclusive experience and home to airport transfers really add to the feeling of relaxing luxury.