Imagine this: A tulip time cruise with AMA after a long winter, and the other events we have been subjected to. What a great way to celebrate Spring. River cruise ships are sailing now in Europe. When Americans are permitted to travel, there will be a tremendous pent up demand. If you want the best choice of dates and itineraries, now is the time to make your plans. In that vein, what could be better than imagining a Tulip Time Cruise with AMA Waterways. This is the perfect way to usher in spring. Your stop in Amsterdam will include a complimentary shore excursion to the famous Keukenhof Gardens where you can marvel at the acres and acres of beautiful flowers in bloom at the same time.
The garden is only open in the spring, so your river cruise is the perfect chance to experience the brief but spectacular season.
While Amsterdam is synonymous with tulips, there is a great deal more to see and explore. Amsterdam is home to many sites no matter what your interests are. It is also an easy city to navigate with it’s many canals, bikes or even walking..
HISTORY IS YOUR PASSION?
Schedule a visit to the Anne Frank House. Here you will see where the Frank family hid from the Nazis for years before being sent to concentration camps. The house is empty now, at the request of Mr. Frank He was the only survivor of the camps. Pictures and exhibits tell the story of a family trying to survive a terrible time. It is a truly moving experience as you imagine how they were able to live undetected for so long, and imagining if you and your family could have done the same.
This is a very popular place to visit, so if you want to see it when you are in Amsterdam, so you should let our office assist you in making advance reservations, Also, because this house is just as it was when the Frank family was there, it is not handicap accessible and the stairs are narrow and steep. If you want to visit and just see the first floor, which has an informative video and houses the gift shop, you would be free to do so, but you will have to purchase a ticket.
While there are other reminders of a harsh past, there are also many reminders of the storied history of The Netherlands. There are uplifting sites which show the ingenuity and perseverance of the Dutch people. They have managed to reclaim land from the sea, dominate trade and create world-class artists.
If you are fascinated with the sea and trade, why not visit the Nederland Scheepvaart Museum. This wonderful museum recounts Holland’s history of trade and the ships that made them masters of the sea. While there you can see the East Indiaman, a reproduction of the original ship.
Think of this:
Their Nieuwe Kirk (Church) is from the 15th Century. That’s their “new” church. It’s located in Dam Square, next to the Royal Palace. If you want to see an even older church, just visit Oude Kirk, which was consecrated in 1306.
ART ABOUNDS IN AMSTERDAM
The newly renovated Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum are within walking distance of each other and you could easily spend an entire day visiting them.
If you’ve heard of the great painting The Night Watch, this is your opportunity to see it in person. A picture doesn’t even do it justice. What an amazing piece of art! As I stood in front of it, I was in awe of the genius it took to imagine and create a piece of this magnitude. The Rijksmuseum is filled with many major works of art, a nice restaurant and a gift shop where you might find just the right gift for the art lover on your gift list.
Heading over to the Van Gogh Museum, you will be surrounded by the works of Vincent, from his self portraits to his famous Sunflowers painting. See his progression as an artist and his hope to inspire generations of artists even after his death.
Did You Know? There are actually five versions of the Sunflower paintings. You can learn all about it when you visit the museum.
Just a short canal ride away is the home Rembrandt lived in from 1639 until 1659. Along with an annex, built in 1998, it has been turned into a museum dedicated to his life and work. If you are there at just the right time, you can see a demonstration of printing just the way it would have been done when Rembrandt was alive.
Your time in Amsterdam has been wonderful; enjoying the vibrancy of the city and the people who call it home; the great museums and the wealth of history.
TIME TO SET SAIL ON YOUR TULIP TIME CRUISE:
Your AMA Waterways ship is waiting for you to board so you can set sail for the rest of your cruise to Holland and Belgium. Settle in and get comfortable on your luxury hotel on the water. While seeing Amsterdam has been wonderful it’s now time to relax and meet your fellow passengers over a great meal. Now you can look forward to the interesting ports you are about to explore.
Middleburg is your first stop after cruising the Delta
As with all the ports you will visit, here you have a choice of several shore excursions, such as exploring this medieval city. At one time it was the second largest trading port for the Dutch East India Company A visit to the Delta Works will introduce you to the ingenuity of the Dutch and how they have been able to reclaim so much land from the sea. For the energetic, there is the option of a bike ride. While the country is flat, you must mind the winds.
Sailing on to Belgium
While docked in Ghent you will have several choices of interesting excursions. You can opt for a walking tour with free time. Why not have one of those great Belgian waffles that are so famous? There is also full day tour of both Ghent and Bruges which includes a tour of the Church of our Lady, home to Michelangelo’s magnificent Madonna and Child.
If you love chocolate, and who doesn’t, this visit with a master chocolatier is just the ticket. He will share secrets of making Belgium chocolate YUM!
In Antwerp there are tours for every interest; including a walking tour of the city or perhaps a tour to the former home of Rubens, the famous 17th-century painter.
After a fortifying lunch onboard, you have choices in the afternoon as well. If you didn’t overdose on chocolate the day before, you can take an excursion highlighting chocolate, beer and waffles. At least you can indulge, knowing that when it comes to your river cruise, someone else is driving.
Amsterdam isn’t your only chance to see tulips on this Tulip Time Cruise; you now have a chance to visit Floralia, where in the spring you have a chance to see one million bulbs, all planted by hand. Just thinking about it makes me tired.
Our Tulip Time Cruise is winding down as we sail into Rotterdam,
The city is also know as “The Gateway to Europe” and is our last stop before returning to Amsterdam.
For you history buffs, you can visit the place where the Pilgrims set off for the New World to start the long journey to a new life. You can ponder whether they had any idea of the hardships they would endure to secure their future. Perhaps you will find some of the answers on your visit to Delfshaven where it all started.
Another choice is to visit Delft, where the famous pottery is produced. I’m sure they have a great gift shop you can take advantage of to get a head start on your gift giving.
The afternoon takes us to Kinderdijk, famous for having the largest concentration of windmills in the country. What a wonderful way to end this fascinating and leisurely journey. Tomorrow we are back to Amsterdam to make preparations for our return to the real world.
As you can see, there are many choices on how you will spend your time on your Tulip Time Cruise; so your chances of being bored are practically non-existent. Whether you choose the various shore excursions or go out on your own, you will have an exception cruise experience.
While imagining a Tulip Time cruise with AMA was the foremost reason for wanting to take this cruise, you will find that it will give you much more than experiencing the beautiful flower of the Netherlands.
On this cruise you will gain insight into a region that produced some of the greatest artists the world has known; a country though small in size dominated world trade; a country that has fought and continues to fight the sea to protect their land, a populace who in their small way sought to defeat the Nazis and has created a society that is tolerant of different lifestyles and cultures; something we can all aspire to.
NOW IS NOT TOO SOON to begin taking steps to find your next exciting river cruise. Unique Journeys is a valuable asset to make certain you get the right cruise at the right time and for the right price. Don’t go it alone and risk not having the best experience possible. Contact me and together we will give you the vacation you deserve.
Now that you are perusing river cruises to make the perfect choice, here is a must read article on avoiding river cruise booking mistakes. For the best river cruise experience you will want to contact expert Nancy at Unique Journeys. She will assistance you in finding the perfect cruise experience where you will create memories for a lifetime. You are welcome to find additional information at my co-branded website with AMA Waterways regarding the classic river cruise experience.