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Enjoy all the sights of Springtime in Holland whilst enjoying a cruise along Holland’s waterways. Highlights include Hoorn with its elegant seventeenth century gabled houses, Volendam and the historic village of Zaanse Schans with traditional houses, windmills, warehouses and workshops and a special treat is our visit to renowned Keukenhof Gardens – a historical park featuring a patchwork quilt of flowers in bloom.
Tuesday - After your taxi pick-up from home you join the coach and make your way to Folkestone for the channel tunnel crossing to Calais. We will make our way through Belgium and Holland to the canal city of Alkmaar, famed for its cheese making and its impressive cathedral, the 15th Century Grote Kerk. Here we join the MV Esmeralda enjoying a welcome cocktail on board while our bags are taken to our cabin with time to settle in prior to our four course dinner.
Wednesday - We will spend today enjoying our cruise from Alkmaar to Hoorn. We will have a couple of hours sightseeing in the historic city of Hoorn, located on the shores of the Ijsselmeer, home to a plethora of beautiful listed buildings and no less than seven excellent museums. We will depart Hoorn shortly before settling down for our evening meal, which we can enjoy en route to Volendam where we will remain overnight.
Thursday - After breakfast this morning, we will leave our water-based hotel and explore the picturesque fishermen’s village of Volendam, known for both its old fishing boats and its traditional female clothing, which includes the wearing of a high, pointed bonnet. This is still worn by some residents and constitutes one of the most recognizable of the Dutch traditional costumes. We return to the MV Esmeralda for a noon departure and enjoy lunch as we cruise towards Zaandam. On arrival, we will board our coach for the short drive to Zaanse Schans, an open air conservation area and living museum on the banks of the Zaan River, complete with authentic green wooden houses, real working windmills, and interesting museums. We return to the MV Esmeralda in time for dinner.
Friday - After breakfast this morning, we will board our coach and travel south to the beautiful gardens of Keukenhof. We can expect to witness more than 7 million bulbs in bloom with a total of 800 varieties of tulips that will provide us with a unique and unforgettable springtime experience. There are over 32 hectares of flowers and themed gardens to explore. We will then board our coach and return to the MV Esmeralda, which will be waiting for us in Amsterdam. This evening, we will enjoy a special gala farewell dinner.
Saturday - After breakfast we leave the MV Esmeralda for the return journey home, passing through Belgium and France to Calais for the crossing via the channel tunnel to Folkestone. We arrive back early evening.
(Due the nature of cruising, itineraries are provisional and subject to change due to operational technicalities and local conditions at the time of travel.)
The Esmeralda can accommodate 126 passengers on two decks and is air-conditioned throughout. It has a lift between the promenade deck and main deck and a stair lift between the promenade deck and sun deck. All 63 outward facing cabins have air-conditioning, shower & toilet, satellite TV, safe deposit box, twin beds and a continental electricity socket (220 volts). The Esmeralda has a spacious and inviting lounge which was completely renovated in early 2011. Morning coffee and afternoon tea is offered each day in the lounge while on board.
• Platinum Class coach travel with extra leg room
• Hostess service on board
• Home pick ups
• Excursions and visits as stated
• Return Eurotunnel crossings
• Welcome glass of Kir
• 4 course dinners, choice of main
• Tea/coffee after dinner
• Midnight snacks served at 23.00 daily
• Full hot and cold buffet breakfast daily
• 1 cup of coffee in the morning daily
• 3 course set menu lunch on 3 days
• Afternoon tea with biscuits on 3 days
• Live entertainment on two nights
• Captains farewell dinner with small gift for the ladies on the final night
• Entrance to Keukenhof
Upgrades to upper deck cabins are available at a supplement of £88.00 per cabin (based on two persons sharing a cabin)