Following the launch of our exclusive 2022 river cruise, we preview the itinerary, set to take readers on a border-hopping journey exploring Holland and Belgium.
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Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans
Travelling in the morning, readers will experience one of Holland’s most historic areas during a visit to Zaanse Schans.
On an included excursion, enjoy the tradition and striking sight of the Zaanse Schans windmills.
Here, windmills and surrounding buildings faithfully recreate a way of life practised during the 17th and 18th century.
A visit to the area really is like taking a step back in time, offering readers wonderful insight into the way of life in the area long ago.
Beautiful wooden houses, workshops and traditional barns are all present as you wander around this picturesque slice of history – a key early river cruising experience to consider.
Alternatively, enjoy a guided tour weaving your way around Waterland, an area on the western shore of Markermeer Lake.
Cycling around the countryside, readers will get the first chance to experience the picturesque scenery and colourful tulips the country is famous around the world for.
Back on board, a local clog painter will join readers for a demonstration, providing a chance to try this unique craft first-hand.
Taking place every ten years, readers will have an exclusive chance to visit the famous Floriade 2022 international horticulture festival.
Set in the modern ‘Garden City’ of Almere, the Expo is scheduled to feature a number of exhibits highlighting solutions aiming to make cities around the world more fun, sustainable and liveable.
Four key themes of the Expo, set to run for six months from April 2022 are; Energising the City, Greening the City, Feeding the City and Healthying the City.
Throughout, enjoy gardens, workshops, tasting sessions and a number of art and floral attractions.
Day 3: Rotterdam
Badly damaged during WWII, the since rebuilt Rotterdam is one of the world’s most historic ports.
Exploring the city, look out for the Cube House, a major architectural triumph, and the stretching Erasmusbrug Bridge.
Readers choosing to explore independently, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen* has an impressive art collection.
Admire notable works from a number of renowned artists including Salvador Dali and Rembrandt.
Day 4: Veere
A lovely historic town, Veere is a fantastic place to tour.
Despite its small size, the town normally attracts millions of visitors each year.
Traditionally a fishing village, local sights to keep an eye out for include the local Town Square and the last remains of old defence installations.
Adding a small flavour of Scotland, the marina (now used for pleasure craft) is home to a series of ‘Scottish’ houses.
Past connections between Veere and Scotland centuries ago range from the Wool trade to the marriage of Mary Stuart to the Lord of Veere in the 15th century.
These historic structures provide a welcome link home.
A further experience to consider includes a visit to the Dutch Delta Works, built to protect the landscape from catastrophic flooding.
A series of connected protective structures constructed after flooding in the 1950s claiming thousands of lives, Delta Works were completed in the late 1990s, costing several billion dollars.
Recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World (American Society of Civil Engineers), the project helps counter rising water levels and serve as bridges connecting various islands in the area.
Day 5: Antwerp
Hopping across the border into Belgium, readers will sample one of Europe’s biggest port cities.
Standing on the shore of the River Scheldt, Antwerp is famous for its arts scene and diamond industry.
During a tour, enjoy cobbled lanes, the city’s Renaissance City Hall and the sight of Antwerp Fortress, dating back to the 19th century.
Hot on the trail of the renowned 17th-century artist, Peter Paul Rubens, an optional excursion to Rubens Museum and Cathedral is well worth consideration.
A beautiful setting, visitors can admire a wide selection of famous works of art from Rubens and other notable artists.
Another well-timed exclusive experience, readers can opt to enjoy an on board beer and chocolate tasting, two things Belgium executes wonderfully, their exports enjoyed around the world.
Day 6: Arnhem
Steeped in history, Arnhem is one of the country’s most famous cities.
Site of a famous battle between Allied and occupying forces during the later stages of WWII, Arnhem is an undoubted historic highlight.
During an excursion, explore the city’s Airborne Museum and learn about the battle during one of the most turbulent periods in world history.
In the evening, join The Press & Journal and The Courier’s Brian Cunningham for an exclusive drinks reception, talk and Q+A session.
Brian will discuss his passion for horticulture and provide some background on why Holland is famed for its glorious gardens.
Day 7: Amsterdam – Keukenhof Gardens
The ‘Garden of Europe’, Keukenhof is a must-visit for green-fingered enthusiasts.
Tucked away in the heart of Holland’s tulip farming area, Keukenhof Garden is one of the greatest floral attractions in the world.
Assembled by expert architects, enjoy an array of brightly coloured displays sure to capture the imagination.
Joining readers in Keukenhof, ‘Ginger Gairdner’, The Courier and The Press & Journal writer, Brian Cunningham will give a short talk.
Alternatively, call 0161 234 2853
*Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen visit not included.