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Save $1,000 per cabin! This incredible river cruise vacation combines some well-known sights with those off the beaten track including the region of “North Holland,” where tulip fields abound.
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8 Day Tulips of Northern Holland voyage WHA Itinerary, Departing April 24th, 2013 from Amsterdam:
Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland. Transfer to Haarlem (Embarkation)
Volendam. Welcome to Holland! Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 2 pm. This afternoon, drive to Haarlem, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception at 6 pm. Before dinner your ship glides out of Amsterdam harbor heading for Volendam. (Dinner)
Day 2: Volendam, Excursion to Edam-Enkhuizen
This morning, wake up in Volendam, a picturesque fishing town with a unique open harbor and a small, timbered church dating back to 1658. An excursion takes you to Edam, whose cheese of the same name has become famous throughout the world and where cheese markets are still held in the summer months. The Old Town center, especially the Kwakelsteeg, still has lovely characteristic Waterland houses. On the way back to your ship, visit a WINDMILL near Volendam. During lunch, sail on the Markermeer to Enkhuizen, situated at the most easterly point of North Holland. Enkhuizen owes its prosperity to the Zuider Zee (now known as the IJsselmeer) during the “Golden Age,” and this afternoon you’ll visit the ZUIDERZEE MUSEUM, dedicated to the culture and history of this area. The museum 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3: Enkhuizen - Friesland
After breakfast you may join the excursion of your choice: a trip along the “Tulip Road” or visit the town of Alkmaar. Tulip fields abound in this northern part of the country. Take your pictures and learn more about these flowers and how they were introduced into Holland from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the 17th century. On the other hand, you may prefer to visit the charming town of Alkmaar. Join a Certified Local Guide for a walk to show you the most beautiful spots of the city. Rejoin your ship and cruise across the IJsselmeer to southwest Friesland. Dock in Lemmer from where our Friesland excursion departs. Friesland is primarily an agricultural region with a long history, doubtlessly best known internationally for its famous black and white Friesian cattle, and the well known black Friesian horse. This province is also rich in history and legends, such as the tale of “The Lady of Stavoren”. Rejoin your ship in Sneek, where you dock overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: Sneek-Lelystad-Kampen
Today enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising through this delightful area of Friesland. Before lunch we'll introduce you to some of the local cheese and "Genever" , traditionally drunk neat from a shot glass. 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. Then, go aboard the BATAVIA itself, for a fascinating visit of this true reconstruction of a Dutch East India Company ship built in Amsterdam in 1628, which sailed from Texel to Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia). Later this afternoon, sail to Kampen, where you dock overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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. After lunch, disembark en route to Arnhem and CHOOSE YOUR EXPERIENCE. The list of choices includes a guided visit of Arnhem, famous for the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major tragedies of WWII; a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo with its world-renowned collection of mainly 19th- and 20th-century visual art; or a visit in nearby Apeldoorn to the Palace of Het Loo, a symmetrical Dutch baroque building with its formal 17th-century garden. In the late afternoon, rejoin your ship in Arnhem. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6: Rotterdam-Utrecht
This morning sail through the harbor of Rotterdam, said to be the world’s busiest port. Rotterdam is a bustling city that was leveled by German bombs in WWII. Now, it has a modern, high-tech look. After an early lunch, join a Certified Local Guide for a visit of this port city as well as of nearby Utrecht, whose ancient city center has many buildings and structures from the Middle Ages. Alternatively you may opt for a visit to the gardens of KEUKENHOF near Lisse, which encompass over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a windmill to explore. Rejoin your ship in Utrecht. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7: Hoorn-.Amsterdam
Arrive in Hoorn in the early morning hours. Later join your Certified Local Guide for a walk around this charming town that gave its name to Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America. Combining old and new, the town center has largely remained intact and historical buildings have been retained in their old forms. The monumental façades tell of Hoorn’s one-time importance as a Dutch East India Company town. Enjoy some free time before returning to your ship for lunch, then sail to Amsterdam where sightseeing is provided by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten, lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8: Amsterdam (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
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