Have you ever wondered about the difference between Holland and the Netherlands? The official name of the country is the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is made up of 12 provinces. The two provinces of Noord- and Zuid-Holland together make up Holland. However, most people just say Holland when they are referring to the Netherlands.
Each of the European river cruise lines have itineraries that cruise through the Netherlands. Many of these itineraries are offered in the spring and usually have the word “tulip” in the name of the cruise. That’s because they focus on the beautiful tulip gardens in the spring. There are also summer cruises that go through the Netherlands. Although you won’t see the tulips in the summer, a river cruise through the Netherlands is always beautiful.
When you cruise through the Netherlands, you will begin and/or end your voyage in Amsterdam, and you will want to add a few extra days to your trip to explore this vibrant capital city. This will give you time to take a bike tour, go on a canal cruise, enjoy the rows of restaurants and entertainment in Leidseplein and visit the numerous museums, including the world-renowned Anne Frank House.
The ports that you will visit in the Netherlands on a tulip cruise include Arnhem, Middelburg, Kinderdijk, and Rotterdam. You will also sail into Belgium for visits to Ghent, Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp.
Tulip cruises wouldn’t be tulip cruises without a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens, a 79-acre park where 7 million tulips bloom each spring. You will also want to see the collection of traditional windmills at Kinderdijk, which were built around 1740. You will learn about the history of the windmills, including their work of the past and how technology has changed them.
If you choose to cruise in the summer, your ports of call in the Netherlands will include Rotterdam, Zierikzee and Utrecht. In Belgium, you will visit Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp.
The two itineraries are very similar and the main difference is whether or not you’re interested in seeing the tulips in the spring. Regardless of which itinerary you choose, you will love the Dutch history, culture and cuisine. You will visit bustling cities as well as small rural villages. A river cruise through the Netherlands is perfect for nature lovers, history buffs, gardening enthusiasts or anyone looking for a relaxing trip through a beautiful country.
Speaking of river cruises, thousands of people are currently rebooking their trips that were cancelled in 2020 and 2021. If you are thinking about a river cruise in 2022 or even 2023, we need to start planning sooner rather than later.
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