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The Dutch Bulbfields River Cruise

The Dutch Bulbfields River Cruise

Visit the world famous Kuekenhof Gardens & cruise through colourful fields of flowers on this 7 day tour.


Visit the world famous Kuekenhof Gardens & cruise through colourful fields of flowers on this 7 day tour.


Delft is known for its historic town centre with canals, the Delft Blue pottery, the painter Johannes Vermeer and scientist Antony van Leeuwenhoek, and its association with the royal House of Orange-Nassau. Delft is well known for the Delft pottery ceramic products which were styled on the imported Chinese porcelain of the 17th century. The city had an early start in this area since it was a home port of the Dutch East India Company. It can still be seen at the Royal Delft pottery factories. The painter Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) was born in Delft. Vermeer used Delft streets and home interiors as the subject or background of his paintings.


Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is a neighborhood in the Dutch town of Zaandam, near Amsterdam. Historic windmills and distinctive green wooden houses were relocated here to recreate the look of an 18th/19th-century village. The Zaans Museum has regional costumes, model windmills and interactive exhibits on chocolate making. Artisan workshops demonstrate rare handicrafts such as wooden clog carving, barrel making and pewter casting.



The heyday of Hoorn was in the 17th century, when it was one of the most important Dutch East India Company centres. Like Amsterdam and Enkhuizen, Hoorn developed into a very wealthy town. Even today, dozens of monuments and churches act as a reminder of this major historical period. The wonderful historic houses of the little town by the IJsselmeer lake are now home to pleasant shops and good restaurants. Visitors stumble upon galleries, studios, cafes and specialist shops while strolling through the town. The Roode Steen is the main square and the harbor features the Hoofdtoren, a 16th-century tower. Incidentally, Hoorn was the place that gave Cape Horn, the southernmost point of the American continent its name.



What makes Amsterdam so attractive is the 17th century historical atmosphere combined with the mentality of a modern metropolis creating a friendly and relaxed environment. The small scale of the buildings and the intimacy of the streets, canals and squares create an atmosphere that visitors find unique. 

The city has the highest museum density in the world and is home to cultural highlights, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt’s world-famous Nightwatch. Other well known places of interest in Amsterdam are the Palace on the Dam, Jewish Historical Museum and the Rembrandt House.



Alkmaar is known as the city of cheese in Holland, but that title covers only part of what the town has to offer. It has a beautiful old centre with many historic monuments, great shopping districts and countless welcoming terraces, cafes and restaurants for every budget. Alkmaar also has a range of interesting museums, including the Beer Museum, Beatles Museum and naturally the Cheese Museum. 



The horticultural highlight of spring in Holland, aside from the intensely coloured commercial fields of tulips, has to be the Keukenhof Flower Gardens. Once a modest little herb garden, it's now where the Dutch bulb growing industry stage their annual petal spectacular. Each year between March and May, seven million bulbs planted across 70 acres burst into bloom. Not just tulips, but daffodils, hyacinths, narcissi, and crocuses too.

Keukenhof features a variety of different gardens and garden styles. For example, the English landscape garden features winding paths and unexpected see-through points (designed by Zocher in 1830, the garden architect of the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, among others). The historical garden is an enclosed garden where you can see many old types of bulbs. The nature garden consists of a water garden where shrubs and perennials are combined with bulbous plants. The Japanese country garden is a non-traditional garden in a natural environment.

The Keukenhof doesn't contain the long fields of tulips many visitors expect. However, there are tulip fields outside the Garden (mostly privately owned). These fields may have restricted access and are not included as part of the Keukenhof ticket.

It all happens in the little town of Lisse, less than 20 miles from Amsterdam!

Monday 4th April

A morning departure from Cumbria as we head via York to Hull for the overnight crossing to Rotterdam, enjoy the facilities on board as we cruise across the North Sea.

Tuesday 5th April

Feeling refreshed after our night’s sleep, we leave Rotterdam and head to Delft, this lovely canal ringed city is famed for its blue and white pottery, time to explore the pretty old town and have lunch before we continue on to Zaandam where we board the MV Esmeralda, we will enjoy a welcome cocktail while our cases are taken to our cabin, time to relax prior to a four course dinner this evening.


Wednesday 6th April

A buffet breakfast is served on board before a morning excursion to the beautifully preserved Dutch village of Zaanse Schans with its characteristic wooden houses, museums and windmills. We return to Zaandam in time for lunch on board the MV Esmeralda before we cruise towards Amsterdam. Arriving mid afternoon we have time at leisure to explore Amsterdam’s many sights before dinner on board and overnight in Amsterdam.

B, L, D

Thursday 7th April

A buffet breakfast on board followed by some more free time in Amsterdam before setting sail late morning. Lunch is again served on board before arriving in the ancient bustling port of Hoorn. During time on shore explore the splendid 17th century merchant houses that line the waterfront along with the huge variety of ships, boats and yachts in the harbour. Dinner is served on board tonight as we are moored in Hoorn.

B, L, D

Friday 8th April

Breakfast on board is followed by a day cruising the canals of north Holland passing through the many colourful fields of flowers. Don’t forget your camera! Lunch is served on board. We arrive late afternoon in Alkmaar, known as the city of cheese. For our last evening on board the Esmeralda, we enjoy a special gala farewell dinner hosted by the ship’s captain.

B, L, D

Saturday 9th April

We have breakfast on board before disembarking the MV Esmeralda and heading to Keukenhof, here at the world famous gardens we can expect to see 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 including the Amsterdam canal garden, the herb garden, the Innovation garden, the Romantic garden, the Historical garden and unique fascinating events. We depart late afternoon for the journey to Rotterdam and our overnight sailing to Hull.


Suday 10th April

Hull to Cumbria arriving home early afternoon.

B=Breakfast Included, L=lunch Included, D=Dinner Included

MV Esmeralda

The Esmeralda offers a high level of comfort and a friendly atmosphere. The Esmeralda can accommodate 126 passengers on two decks and is airconditioned throughout.  It has a lift between the promenade deck and main deck.  It has 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).


Lounge /Bar

The Esmeralda has a spacious and inviting lounge.

The bar and lounge of the Esmeralda was completely renovated at the beginning of 2011.

Morning coffee and afternoon tea is offered each day in the lounge.



The restaurant at the front of the main deck can accommodate all passengers at a single seating. 

On all cruises on board the Esmeralda you'll start the day with a buffet breakfast. On cruises in the summer you'll enjoy a three-course lunch and a four-course dinner with a choice in menu.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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