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Embark on a charming cruise along the picturesque Dutch waterways and witness the breathtaking blanket of colour that is the Keukenhof Gardens. The world’s largest flower garden, Keukenhof is home to more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths; a magical sight to be seen when in full bloom. As well as wandering through multicoloured flower gardens, you’ll get plenty of free time to explore the harbour town of Hoorn, the historic town of Den Helder and the beautiful city of Amsterdam, with its stunning architecture and never-ending network of canals. There’s also the option to visit the once-in-a-decade Floriade Expo which is held in Almere, on the outskirts of Amsterdam. The theme will be the important one of ‘growing green cities’, and here you will be treated to a cornucopia of trees, shrubs, perennials, creepers and flower bulbs.
We travel to Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, and enjoy a relaxing evening onboard our ship.
This morning, we sail to the atmospheric city of Hoorn, arriving around lunchtime. Here we have free time to explore this wonderful little city full of history and interesting architecture. Alternatively, you can join our optional excursion to the Medemblik Bakery, a quaint two-story museum where you’ll see how traditional Dutch specialities are made, including ‘gevulde koek’, which is an almond paste cookie and ‘speculaas’ which are delicious gingerbread cookies. We return to the ship for a relaxing dinner onboard and sail overnight to Den Helder.
We arrive in the unique town of Den Helder this morning which is situated at the northernmost tip of the province of North Holland. The town has a lot to offer, with beautiful nature reserves and is home to the country’s naval base and museum. Why not join our optional excursion by coach to the Floriade World Horticultural Expo in the town of Almere where you will have plenty of time to enjoy this horticultural delight. Floriade Expo 2022 will be an extraordinary expo. For six months the attention to the theme ‘Growing Green Cities’ will be focused on the cities of the future. This expo will also be the start of a new city district close to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Almost everything that will be built for the exhibition will become part of the legacy of Almere and the structures will remain and become part of the community. The expo site will be developed as a Green City Arboretum, serving as a model for green structure development in cities. This arboretum will consist of a variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, creepers, hydrophytes and flower bulbs, all of which contribute to a green, healthy and sustainable city. Around 3000 species have been selected that contribute to the green city in terms of biodiversity, air purification, food production and city climate management. We return to the ship in Harlingen and sail overnight to Lelystad.
We arrive this morning into the lively little port of Lelystad for our included excursion to Keukenhof Gardens. Here you have plenty of time to explore the 32-hectare site and enjoy the swathes of flowers, themed pavilions and wonderful atmosphere that surrounds this world-class event. We rejoin our ship in Amsterdam where after dinner you can experience the true beauty of this capital city on our optional canal cruise, which takes you around the 17th century buildings and picturesque little bridges while you enjoy cheese and wine – it’s a must for all visitors.
This morning we bid farewell to our captain and crew and disembark for the return journey to the UK.