28th March – 6th April 2018
Tel: 020 7752 0000
Price: 9 nights from £1995
Enjoy the great comfort of the MS Royal Emerald
Gliding through the Dutch countryside aboard the Royal Emerald, we have a chance to visit not only Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum, but also the Palace of Het Loo, Kasteel de Haar, and the Mauritshuis in the The Hague.The vast swathes of tulips at Keukenhof gardens are also on the menu, along with the Botanical Gardens in Utrecht and the de Wiersse gardens at Arnhem.
For full details and booking arrangements see www.noble-caledonia.co.uk.
Tel: 020 7752 0000
Please quote NICHOLAS MERCHANT when booking.
Day 1 – London, Bristol, Manchester or Edinburgh to Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Fly from your chosen airport by scheduled flight or travel by train from London St Pancras. Drive to the MS Royal Emerald and embark. Moor overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 2 – Amsterdam.
After breakfast on board, we will depart for a visit to the Rijksmuseum, arguably Amsterdam’s most important art venue. Housing some of the greatest examples of Western European painting and decorative arts, it boasts works by Vermeer, Goya, and Rubens. Here, Rembrandt’s famous ‘The Night Watch’ hangs in the Hall of Honour. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon is at leisure to explore ashore or relax on board your ship. Alternatively, there will be an optional tour to visit the “Bloemenmarkt”, one of the city’s most colourful attractions and the world’s only floating flower market. Join the Welcome Drinks and Dinner on board this evening. Moor overnight.
Day 3 – Amsterdam.
After breakfast today we will depart for the Van Gogh Museum which houses one of the world’s largest collection of works by the artist, including ‘Almond Blossom‘ and ‘The Bedroom‘. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon there will be a choice of included excursions. Join a relaxing canal cruise, one of the most interesting ways to see this unique city. Alternatively, join our visit to the Hermitage Museum and their exhibition “Dutch Masters on the Amstel”. The Hermitage’s collection of paintings, prints and drawings by Dutch Masters is one of the worlds’ largest. Return to the MS Royal Emerald and sail in the evening to Hoorn where we moor overnight.
Day 4 – Hoorn, Edam & Volendam.
After breakfast on board we depart for our exploration of the Zuider Zee. We will drive to Edam, a tranquil little town with drawbridges across canals and charming historic houses with lovely facades. We then continue on to the attractive town of Volendam to see its colourful wooden houses and old fishing boats in the harbour. Enjoy some free time here before returning to the ship in Hoorn for lunch. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy some free time in this pretty 16th century town. Later we set sail for Arnhem.
Day 5 – Arnhem & Het Loo.
Arrive this morning into Arnhem. After breakfast on board join an excursion to the Palace of Het Loo, the favoured summer residence of the Dutch Royal family from 1686 to 1975. The Palace and grounds have undergone a spectacular restoration returning them to their original 17th century splendour. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon there will be a choice of two included excursions. Choose from a trip to visit the memorable Airborne Museum ‘‘Hartenstein’’; this renovated building houses the world’s largest collection of militaria from Operation Market Garden. Alternatively, enjoy a visit to the wonderful De Wiersse Gardens, a moated manor house designed and managed by the family since 1678. This evening we sail towards Dordrecht.
Day 6 – Dordrecht & Kinderdijk.
Depart this morning for a visit to see the marvellous Windmills of Kinderdijk, of which there are 19 in total, dating from 1740. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ingenious system of windmills and water management has been in operation here for nearly a thousand years and makes for a fascinating visit. Return to your ship for lunch and this afternoon is free to explore Dordrecht with its old world atmosphere and quaint cottages and canals. Sail on towards Rotterdam in the early evening.
Day 7 – Rotterdam, The Hague, Delft.
From Rotterdam we depart for a full day tour. Our first stop will be The Hague for a visit to the beautiful Mauritshuis Museum with its marvellous collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings. Afterwards continue on to Delft, birthplace of Vermeer. We will have lunch in a local restaurant on arrival, and afterwards take a walking tour of this pretty town, finishing with a visit to see the Delft Blue Pottery. Return to the ship and sail to Utrecht for an overnight mooring.
Day 8 – Keukenhof Gardens & Haarlem.
After breakfast drive to nearby Keukenhof Gardens for a morning in this extraordinary horticultural heaven. With 32 hectares of flowers, more than 7 million bulbs in bloom and 800 varieties of tulips, this is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Afterwards we will return to the MS Royal Emerald for a late lunch and time at leisure in Utrecht. Alternatively, continue with an optional afternoon excursion to Haarlem. The excursion includes lunch in a local restaurant on arrival, followed by visits to the 17th century Church of St. Bavo, immortalised in the artwork of Dutch painters Pieter Saenredam and Gerrit Berckheyde, and the Frans Hals Museum, home to a spectacular display of 16th and 17th century portraits, still life’s and landscapes.
Day 9 – Utrecht.
This morning we will drive the short distance to the nearby De Haar Castle, which dates from the 13th century. The castle was completely restored in the 20th century by renowned architect Pierre Cuypers for the wealthy Van Zuylen family. Our visit will include a tour of the beautiful interior as well as some time in the surrounding park and gardens. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure in this pretty town. Alternatively, join our included tour of Utrecht’s Botanical Gardens at Fort Hoofddijk, a unique natural treasure consisting of thousands of plant species. This evening enjoy Farewell Drinks and Dinner on board as we sail towards Amsterdam.
Day 10 – Amsterdam to London, Bristol, Manchester or Edinburgh.
Disembark after breakfast and return to your chosen UK airport by scheduled flight or to London St Pancras by Eurostar.