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Tulip River Cruise

A rainbow of colors glide past you on a springtime tulip cruise — hues of red, blues, purples, lavenders, golds and yellows, a contrast to the dreary shades of winter gray back home. A tulip cruise on some of Europe's rivers and waterways is the perfect way to welcome spring. Enjoy a kaleidoscope of colorful flower beds and the tranquil atmosphere of small river towns and quaint villages that give these river cruises a magical feel.

Luxury river cruise ships ply the rivers and canals of the Netherlands and Belgium. Tulip time cruises present an amazing opportunity to explore this vibrant area. A tulip cruise in the spring offers ribbons of color, history, culture and landscapes ablaze with rainbows of flowers spanning the horizon.

In addition to the beautiful flowers, a Dutch waterway cruise also offers visitors the chance to see the incredible works of art by the Dutch masters, inspiring history and a unique perspective into the local culture and customs.

Tulips & Windmills Tulip cruises, typically offered between late March and early May, sail through the inland waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium and usually range from 7 to 9 days. Back to back cruises can also be combined to create a unique experience and offer additional insights into the history, culture, culinary delights and sights.

Often sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam, these cruises take you in luxury to such historic places as Hoorn, Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Middleburg, Rotterdam and Veere. Explore history-rich medieval cities, including Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent. All the while, you enjoy the luxury of being pampered onboard, as you glide from one glorious place to another. A variety of shore excursions allow you to explore the various towns and villages and many cruises offer complimentary excursion in each port.

A Must for Garden Enthusiasts

Keukenhof Gardens Spring in Holland welcomes an abundance of beautiful colors and textures that dot the countryside. The jewel of any visit is the world renowned Keukenhof Gardens. In the spring, Kuekenhof comes alive with over 7 million flowers and over 100 varieties of tulips covering more than 70 acres. Each bulb is carefully planted by hand and the end results are breathtaking.

In addition to the incredible array of flowers, Keukenhof also boasts a beautiful sculpture garden, featuring over 150 pieces of work from more than 50 artists, making it the largest sculpture park in the Netherlands. A visit to this unique and inspiring garden is not to be missed.

Charming Windmills & Canals

Willemstad For hundreds of years, windmills have played a role in Holland's history, as the Dutch harnessed the power of the wind to help dry the land. Like wooden clogs and tulips, windmills are synonymous with Holland, and are another beautiful sight on these cruises. About 19 of these Dutch icons still exist, dating back to the 17th century. The historic windmills of Kinderdijk are now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Dutch canals are equally famous and Amsterdam offers a number of scenic glass-topped boat tours. Amsterdam is often referred to as "Venice of the North" due to its many canals that divide the city into 90 small islands linked by thousands of lovely curved bridges. Here you can spend a delightful afternoon winding through these enchanting waterways taking in the city's architecture, admiring the lovely bridges and enjoying the pastime of people watching.

These popular boat tours include the Prinsengracht or Prince's Canal, the fourth and longest of Amsterdam's main canals, named after the Prince of Orange. Interesting sights along here include Noorderkerk (Northern Church), Noordermarket, Amsterdam's tallest church called Westerkerk or Western Church and the Anne Frank House.

Dutch and Belgian Highlights

River cruises in Holland also give you the opportunity to visit the region's many museums showcasing diverse exhibits ranging from the early works of the grand masters to the Dutch Resistance Movement. Throughout your journey you can explore history-rich towns and quaint villages, many dating back to medieval times. The beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets and open markets give a glimpse into what daily life may have been like.

Some of Amsterdam's must see museums include the 350-year-old neoclassical Royal Palace on Dam Square, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmsmuseum, the Anne Frank House and the Jewish Historical Museum. The Dutch Resistance Museum takes you back to the 1940s when the Dutch fought back against the Nazi occupation, housing fascinating artifacts, such as false identity documents and spy paraphernalia.

If you are looking for the perfect gift to bring home then head to Amsterdam's Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) district. These streets connect the city's four main canals and are a shopper's paradise filled with a variety of restaurants and cafés, jewelry stores, craft shops, art galleries and boutiques.

The second largest city in Belgium, Antwerp, was the capital of the diamond industry for hundreds of years and you can still watch gems being cut and polished at Diamondland. You can get a feel for the past as you stroll through the centuries-old cobbled streets of the Medieval Old Town and view the magnificent Renaissance architecture flanking the market square. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts houses one of the largest collections of paintings by Rubens, who was born here. The Antwerp Zoo, one of the oldest in the world, is an ideal choice for animal lovers.

A walking tour through the medieval village of Gent, (Ghent), presents beautiful gothic buildings and a lovely historic center. A must see here is the famous painting "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by brothers Jan and Hubert Van Eyck, in St. Bavo Cathedral.

Romantic Bruges (Brugge) is considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful towns. It still maintains its medieval appearance and is truly Belgium's crown jewel. Here you can take a boat trip along the lovely canals and explore the Grote Markt. One of its most famous landmarks is the 13th-century belfry, with a carillon of 48 bells. Shops offer for the beautiful lace that Bruges is famous for.

Chocoholics should head to the Bruges' Choco-Story Museum, to learn about this delicious treat, and get to sample mouth watering creations. Bruges is a true chocolate-lover's haven. Its many confectionery stores, bakeries and pastry shops can satisfy even the most discerning chocolate aficionado with a wide variety of decadent sweets.

Another stop for many Dutch Waterways cruises is the lovely medieval town of Edam. World famous for its namesake cheese, it is still very much a charming village, filled with petite romantic bridges and lots of local character. You can get a real feel for this place by strolling the old streets past quiet canals and authentic 17th century architecture. Many of the well preserved monuments, bridges, town squares and gables date back as early as 1530.

Arnhem, the site of one of World War II's most famous battles, features the Airborne Museum and the National Liberation Museum. The past will come to life here, with the historical displays, original film footage, lectures and much more that will enable you to experience the liberation of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe first hand.

The 310-foot-tall Euromast in Rotterdam offers incredible views of the city. The Cube Houses are known worldwide for their innovative design. Each of the houses represents a tree and all together, a forest.

Founded in 1100, Delft is known worldwide for its traditional blue and white ceramic pottery and is also one of Holland's prettiest towns. Lovers and collectors of Delft Blue Porcelain flock to the Royal Delft Factory, which along with Delft Pottery, are the only two remaining factories producing original Delftware.

A tulip cruise on the Dutch waterways offers a wide variety of places to visit. From the area's beautiful flowers, enchanting canals, vibrant history and culture all come together to create a truly unforgettable and enjoyable vacation.

To book your amazing Tulip Cruise and other Dutch Waterways cruises, visit Cruise.com or contact one of our cruise experts at 888-776-0659.


Church on Spilled Blood

One of the nicest ways to explore Russia is to take a Russian river cruise between Moscow and St. Petersburg on Viking River Cruises. Russian has gone through many sweeping changes in the last century. Cruising on the Russian waterways allows the traveler to view firsthand how these changes have affected the country and to some extent the world.

Viking River Cruises is one of the premium cruise lines specializing in Russian River Cruises. They have four ships offering Russian River Cruises, Viking Pakhomov, Viking Kirov, Viking Peterhov and the Viking Surkov. Carrying up to 210 guests, these ships are comfortable and intimate and provide a unique cruise experience.

Upon arriving in Moscow and transferring to the ship it is time to relax, unpack and get settled into your stateroom. All of the staterooms are spacious with a large picture window and a number of features and amenities including a refrigerator, a desk area, sufficient closet space, an internet connection and both 110 and 220 plugs. There is also free wireless access throughout the ship.

Once unpacked, enjoy a leisurely dinner with your fellow cruisers. The food on the Viking River ships is very good, the service is very attentive and open seating is offered for all meals. A large breakfast buffet combined with made to order options starts the day. Lunch features a buffet which changes daily as well as a variety of menu entrees served at your table. The dinner menu offers many options and frequently features local specialties and recipes. Steaks (which were excellent), grilled chicken and salmon are always offered on the dinner menu. The desserts were a wonderful way to end the meal.

Wonderful enrichment programs are can be enjoyed as the ship sails including cooking demonstrations, Russian language lessons and lectures on Russian history and culture.

The first three days are spent in Moscow and during that time the ship is used as a floating hotel. Moscow is a beautiful, cosmopolitan city highlighted by numerous monuments and historical buildings that tell part of the story of Russia’s diverse past. This history is seen on the many complimentary excursions that are included throughout the cruise. A number of additional optional excursions are also offered throughout the cruises itinerary.

The Viking River Cruise guides are exceptional. One of the real advantages with the shore excursion program is that guests are with the same guide throughout the entire cruise. This really allows guests to get to know their guide and for the guides to get to know their groups.

In Moscow the complimentary excursions included a City Tour with a Folk Music Orchestra Performance. The city tour takes the guests to Red Square and the impressive St. Basil’s Cathedral, GUM department store and the Moscow subway. Throughout the tour the guide points out many other highlights of Moscow. The next day a complimentary tour takes guests to the impressive Kremlin and the many cathedrals located within the complex.

Some of the optional excursions include a tour to Zagorsk Monastery, a tour to the Military Museum, a tour of the Tretyakov Gallery and an evening canal cruise which was fantastic. For those who are more adventurous, there is a subway stop about a 10 minute walk from the ship which goes directly into Moscow. From there you can explore Moscow on your own. In the afternoon the ship departs Moscow and begins its cruise down the Moscow River.

The next afternoon the ship arrives in Uglich. A complimentary walking tour of Uglich gives guests a good overview of the city. During the tour you visit the Church of St. Demetrius and the Prince's Palace. After the tour an optional home hosted visit is offered. The home hosted visit takes small groups (10-12 guests) into a local resident's home. You are welcomed by the host with tea, cakes and vodka with the traditional Russian bread and pickles. After some toasts everyone has the opportunity to ask questions and learn about different aspects and views that the local residents have. While our host did not speak English our guide was happy to translate. The experience was wonderful and really provided a different perspective of Russia and the Russian people.

As the cruise continues, traversing many locks, and it arrives the next day in Yaroslav. The complimentary tour includes a visit to a local market as well as seeing the Uspensky Catherdral which dates back to the 15th century. The afternoon is spent leisurely sailing through the many locks that make up the Volga-Baltic Canal.

The following day the ship arrives in Kuzino where guests enjoy a complimentary tour of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery. The monastery was built in 1397 and became one of the most powerful fortresses in Russia. Lunch is enjoyed on board and a leisurely afternoon is spent sailing through the Volga-Baltic Waterway.

After a morning of cruising the ship arrives in Kizhi. The island of Kizhi is home to the Church of Transfiguration. Built in 1713, the wooden Church of Transfiguration was built entirely without nails and is now one of Unesco's World Heritage sites.

The final day before arriving in St. Petersburg a stop is made in Mandrogi, a recreated traditional village. Here you can visit some of the traditional homes and village buildings and see some of Russia’s traditional Russian architecture.

As you wake up the next morning you will find yourself in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. For three days you will call your ship home as it remains docked just outside of the city. On the first morning a complimentary tour of the city will give guests a wonderful overview of the city. During the evening you will enjoy a ballet performance at the Alexandrinsky Theater.

During the next two days complimentary tours to the Hermitage and Pushkin Palace (the summer home of Catherine the Great) will show the great history of the Tzarist period. Optional excursions are also available to the Peterhof Palace (amazing), a St. Petersburg Canal Cruise, a tour of Yusupov Palace and a Folklore Cossack show. You can also take the time to explore St. Petersburg on your own. If you get the chance go inside the impressive Church on Spilled Blood. For those with a little extra energy you can take a walk up to the top of St. Issac’s Cathedral (250 steps). The views from the top are amazing.

A slightly different itinerary is offered from St. Petersburg to Moscow but whichever cruise is selected the experience is filled with diverse history, culture and incredible art found both in the Cathedrals and the museums.

For more information on Russian River Cruise call 888-776-0659 and a cruise expert will be happy to help you or go to:

Moscow to St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg to Moscow