Often called the ‘Venice of the North’, the Netherlands is awash with water (if you’ll excuse the pun). It provides some of the densest inland waterways in Europe, as almost half of the country once lay under water. This is the place where the Rhine meets the Maas and the Scheldt, and the wondrous colourful vistas are a testament to the lushness of the landscape.
A relaxing Dutch Waterways river cruise will sail past patchworks of tulips and dotted medieval windmills, just as you’d expect, but it will also take in ancient cities, wine towns and spectacular scenery.
So, whether you’re hoping to find stunning vistas that are overflowing with colourful flowers or experience original café culture at its finest, a river cruise along the Dutch Waterways has it all.
No trip to The Netherlands would be complete without a visit to the iconic city of Amsterdam. It's small enough to walk almost anywhere you want, and so manages to combine a village-like charm with some of the finest art museums in the world. Be sure to pay the Vincent van Gogh museum and Rembrandt’s house a visit. As part of a river cruise, you’ll sail past bijou gabled buildings, pretty bridges and candlelit cafes, but don’t be fooled. This city also has a contemporary, rebellious edge that ensures even the most discerning of travellers is thoroughly entertained.
The Dutch café culture is strong in this city, but if you’re expecting lattes and muffins you’ll be sadly mistaken, for when the Dutch refer to cafés they are, in fact, talking about pubs. This sociable nation loves to talk and the Netherlands is home to thousands of bars. When the sun comes out, these places are glorious and you'll find there are plenty of heaters and coverings for those grey days too. Most of them serve food and all dish up a hearty dose of gezelligheid (cosy fun)!
This is a stunning city of charming walkways, chocolate box market squares, historic churches and whitewashed almshouses. It is the stuff that postcards are made of and will provide plenty of photo ops for you to share with your friends back home. You'll need to take in the markets, art galleries and late-night bistros to really do this place justice.
So, whether you’re desperate to view the breathtaking Dutch bulbfields during springtime or simply to experience the affable nature of the Dutch people, a river cruise along the Dutch Waterways is sure to both surprise and delight you.