Floral Holland in the Spring

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Embark on Fred. Olsen’s newest River Cruiser The Brabant on this fabulous 10-night cruise through the pretty Dutch countryside.

Special Offer
FREE Tips & Dining Drinks

A rewarding river cruise experience that delivers all the splendour of springtime in the Netherlands, this 10-night break affords opportunities to revel in the seasonal and cultural delights of charming towns and cities, complemented by breathtaking Dutch countryside views enjoyed from the quiet and comfort of smaller-sized Brabant.

After setting sail from Amsterdam, you begin this perfect spring break with scenic cruising on the Ijsselmeer Lake en route to Hoorn. Time in this historic town is best spent meandering the cobbled streets and along the pretty canals on a walking tour, to see floral displays, gable fronted houses and to learn of stories of Holland’s ‘Golden Age’. Then a call at Kampen will offer a chance to walk the historic walled gardens and pristine mazes of Maxfeldt, or spend an afternoon marvelling at the churches, towers and ancient remains of one of the Netherlands’ best-preserved Hanseatic cities. Continuing along the Ijssel River presents views of the beautiful city of Zwolle, pretty villages and gorgeous countryside scenes as you head for Arnhem, where a fantastic Open Air Museum – exhibiting an impressive collection of houses, antiques and monuments – tells tales of how people from bygone eras lived. Scenic cruising of the Lek River follows, passing through picturesque countryside and a under a plethora of impressive bridges, before Brabant arrives at Kinderdijk. A short stop here allows time to see, and delve into the fascinating history of 19 iconic, UNESCO-listed windmills.

After a feast of historical highlights, an extended stay in Rotterdam adds a futuristic twist to your journey next. The Netherlands’ stunning second city boasts modern architectural marvels such as the Cube Houses, amazing Markthal and the Erasmusbrug, while there are plenty of top-drawer museums and galleries to uncover too. A diversion to Belgium will then throw the gems of Antwerp – a city famed for its quintessential chocolate shops, fascinating historic sites and legendary Diamond District – into the mix, before your Dutch exploration continues in Dordrecht for attractions galore, including the imposing Great Church and fantastic Dordrechts Museum. Your penultimate port of call is Enkuizen, where you can once again step back in time to the prosperous days of the ‘Golden Age’, amongst the city’s ornate streets and its beautifully detailed open-air museum. During your final day, you’ll have the chance to visit the resplendent, 32-hectare Keukenhof Gardens. Keukenhof is simply unmissable at this time of the year as the vibrant tulips burst into their colourful bloom during the spring, and you’ll have a chance to explore the gardens – and climb to the top of a centuries-old wooden windmill – on tour, for an inspirational finale.

Inclusions

  • Flight from Dublin to Amsterdam, Holland
  • All Transfers airport / quay
  • 10 nights accommodation aboard the 4* Brabant based on 2 sharing
  • Tempting cuisine every day – with ‘early riser’ breakfast, breakfast buffet, casual lunch, five-course à la carte dinner and late-night snacks
  • Complimentary tea & coffee station available 24 hours a day
  • Complimentary afternoon tea & coffee with sandwiches and cakes
  • Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • FREE Tips & Dining Drinks
  • Complimentary bike hire (on a first-come, first-served basis)
  • Use of leisure facilities including
  • Fitness Room and Wellness Tub
  • Lounge music by pianist, or duo every day
  • Flight from Amsterdam to Dublin
  • One check-in bag of 15kgs and one 5kgs carry-on per person
  • Taxes

Itinerary

Day 1 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Following a flight from Dublin to Amsterdam, you will be transferred to the quay to board the Fred. Olsen Brabant where you can settle in and explore the ship.

Day 2 Cruising Across Ijsselmeer, Netherlands

Between stops at the iconic Dutch capital of Amsterdam and the historic city of Hoorn, experience a cruise across the shallow waters of the Ijsselmeer – the largest lake in the Netherlands and Western Europe.

This 1328 square-mile artificial lake was created in 1932, when the impressive 32 Kilometre-long Afsluitdijk dam was built to close off the southern part of the former Zuiderzee bay from the Waddenzee and North Sea. A freshwater lake, the Ijsselmeer is fed by several rivers including the Amstel, Rhine and Ijssel – which the lake is named after – and is popular for fishing and various watersports. Look out for the typically Dutch flat landscapes which surround the lake as you sail across.

Day 2 Continued: Hoorn, Netherlands

Believed to have been founded in the early 13th century, Hoorn quickly became one of the Netherlands’ most important harbour towns, serving as a link to the Baltic and Flanders regions. However it wasn’t until the prosperous times of the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ that Hoorn really began to thrive as the centre of the Netherlands’ international trade industry.

Aided by its new-found wealth, Hoorn grew quickly and significantly throughout the 17th century into the enchanting city that’s such a delight to explore today. Many of the beautiful buildings, statues and pretty squares constructed during the ‘Golden Age’ still exist and have been preserved over the years to retain the city’s charm and lavish style.

The historic old centre in particular is a must-explore, showcasing quintessential Dutch architecture typical of the ‘Golden Age’ era. Among the highlights are the former Statencollege from 1632, which today houses a collection of 16th to 18th century paintings and a number of other exhibits; the statues and tall houses of Rode Steen square; the 16th century Hoofdtoren tower, which overlooks the busy harbour; and Oosterkerk church, built circa 1519. Visiting the West Fries Museum, with its richly-adoned facade, is highly recommended for an interesting, in-depth insight into the influence the ‘Golden Age’ had in Hoorn.

As well an abundance of historic sights and attractions, Hoorn also offers plenty of places to indulge in some shopping or sample the local culture. Intertwined with the city’s centuries-old structures are a number of trendy boutiques and shops, vibrant markets, theatres and galleries. The old town of Edam – world-renowned for its cheese production – is also just a short journey from Hoorn.

Day 3 Cruising Across Ijsselmeer, Netherlands & Kampen, Netherlands

Situated on the banks of the lower River Ijssel in the pretty Overijssel province, Hanseatic Kampen is always a memorable stop on a river cruise along the Netherlands’ winding waterways. Cruising to this charming city via the still waters of the Ijssel will present you with unspoilt views of gorgeous lush-green countryside, before the impressive sight of Kampen’s imposing, gothic-style Bovenkerk hints at the type of centuries-old structures awaiting your discovery ashore.

Although small, the enchanting centre of Kampen – one of the Netherlands’ best-preserved old town centres – still manages to pack in over 500 monuments, so you won’t be disappointed by the sheer volume and choice of historic attractions to uncover as you explore. Highlights include the Koornmarktpoort, Broederpoort and Cellebroederspoort gates, which date back to the 14th and 15th centuries; the 17th century Nieuwe Toren tower and carillon; and a collection of fine churches such as the Broederkerk, Buitenkerk, neoclassical-style Burgwalkerk and of course, the Bovenkerk. Stedelijk Museum Kampen – found within the late 14th century old town hall – is well worth a visit for an in-depth look into the fascinating commerce and shipping history of Kampen.

Day 4 Cruising on Ijssel River, Netherlands

Experience a relaxing journey along the picturesque Ijssel River as your river ship sails between two of the Netherlands’ oldest Hanseatic cities, Kampen and Deventer. Gliding along this winding section of the Ijssel is sure to be memorable, with views of the beautiful city of Zwolle, a string of pretty villages and towns, and the gorgeous countryside scenery of the Gelderland and Overijssel provinces to enjoy as relax on board.

Day 4 Continued: Arnhem, Netherlands

Arnhem is best known for its role in World War Two when, thanks to the city’s prime strategic location on the banks of the Nederrijn river, it was the site of one of the war’s most famous battles. The epic Battle of Arnhem in 1944 – later dramatised by iconic war-film A Bridge Too Far – was one of the key Allied losses in the war, and a number of attractions in and around Arnhem – such as the interesting War Museum and the Airborne Museum – offer a fascinating insight into the city’s wartime heritage.

There’s much more to Arnhem than its battle scars from the Second World War though. Believed to have been first settled in the Stone Age, the capital of the beautiful Gelderland province boasts a rich and eventful history stretching back way beyond 1944. This is reflected by a number of impressive structures, monuments and attractions dotted around the city’s various districts, including the striking, gothic-style St Eusebius Church and it’s imposing 93 metre-high tower; Bronbeek Museum; the 12th century Doorwerth Castle; and much more.

Just outside of the city there’s much to discover too. Within easy reach are the Netherlands Open Air Museum, which is beautifully situated within a wooded park and displays exhibits from various eras in the region’s history; the National Heritage Museum; and the 17th century Paleis Het Loo, the Dutch Royal Family’s spectacular summer residence. Lovers of fauna and flora won’t want to miss the leafy landscapes of Sonsbeek Park and Burger’s Zoo and Safari Park, located just north of the city centre.

Day 5 Cruising the Lek River, Netherlands

Relax on board Brabant as you glide along the Lek River towards Rotterdam, drinking in the beautiful Dutch countryside, and the picturesque views of windmills and riverside towns.

The typically flat landscapes of the Netherlands offer an abundance of scenic delights sure to capture your attention, as the majestic river winds past a collection of both hidden gems and world-famous destinations, all seemingly within touching distance of your river boat.

Day 5 Continued: Kinderdijk, Netherlands

The beautiful, UNESCO-listed village of Kinderdijk is one of the most famous locations in the Netherlands. Situated in the heart of the Dutch polder lands at the confluence of the picturesque Lek and Noord Rivers, Kinderdijk is home to the largest collection of historic windmills in the world and attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe every year.

The windmills of Kinderdijk were built in the mid-18th century as part of a flood defence system designed to keep the surrounding villages and the low-lying lands of Alblasserwaard, which are approximately 7 metres below sea level, dry.

There are 19 of these iconic, quintessentially Dutch structures here in total, all linked by a network of dikes and roads. Taking a walk, bike ride or boat tour along these routes is the best way to capture this legendary landscape in all its splendour. For an in-depth look into the history of the windmills, the museum windmills of Blokweer and Nederwaard are must-visit sites. Don’t miss the interesting Wisboomgemaal Visitors Centre too.

Day 5 Continued: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Day 6 Rotterdam, Netherlands

While Rotterdam’s origins in fact date back to around 900CE, there is little to suggest that the Netherlands’ stunning second city is actually centuries old. After the city was almost completely obliterated by German bombing raids in World War Two, Rotterdam was razed to the ground and redeveloped over many years into the futuristic metropolis and thriving economic centre that it is today.

From the moment Rotterdam appears on your horizon as you sail the winding Nieuwe Maas, the city’s vast and dramatic post-war regeneration is clear to see. Magnificent towering skyscrapers line the riverbanks and impressive bridges – such as the iconic cable-stayed and bascule Erasmusbrug – span the waterway, hinting at the uber-cool modern districts awaiting your exploration ashore. In the vibrant heart of the city, you will discover an abundance of diverse sights and attractions, from the innovative 1970’s Cube Houses to the ultra-modern Markthal, which hosts a bustling indoor market. Rotterdam also boasts a number of interesting galleries and museums, as well as a large zoo and beautiful botanical gardens that are ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle.

While the modern marvels dominate the experience here, there are a few surviving historic sites tucked away amongst the imposing post-war structures. These include Rotterdam’s quintessentially Dutch 18th and 19th century windmills; the City Hall from 1914, one of only a few city centre buildings to survive the war; Het Schielandshuis, the last 17th century structure remaining in the downtown district; and a collection of fine old churches including the Grote of Sint Laurenskerk and the 15th century Pilgrimfather’s Church. At the Port of Rotterdam – Europe’s busiest port – you can admire the S.S Rotterdam in all her restored glory too.

Accommodation

Fred. Olsen Brabant

We’re delighted to introduce you to Brabant, Fred. Olsen’s first-ever dedicated river cruising boat. Built in 2006, this elegant and comfortable vessel is in keeping with the fleet of our ocean-going cruise ships. Brabant’s bright and spacious public areas and 79 well-equipped rooms and suites, spread across four decks, provide the intimate, home-from-home feel which Fred. Olsen’s guests already know and love. Cruise ship staples such as swimming pools, a number of lounges and on-going activities are not in evidence on board, making way for a comfortable ambience and ample space in which to relax and enjoy the river cruise experience with around 150 fellow guests.

Smaller-sized and classically designed, Brabant lends herself perfectly to Fred. Olsen’s approach to cruising. Making the most of the boat’s size advantage, we can expertly craft simply unforgettable river cruise itineraries which do not only feature some of Europe’s most breathtaking river scenery and cities, but also include chances to enjoy journeys along spellbinding, size-restricted sections of rivers and calls into stunning destinations that larger boats can’t access.

No matter which incredible Fred. Olsen river cruise you choose you’re in for a very special experience aboard Brabant.

Cabins

You’re sure to settle in straight away aboard Brabant, thanks to the boat’s comfortable and contemporary accommodation. Each bedroom features cherry wood interiors, stylish décor and generous storage space to make you relaxed and right at home from the moment you step on board. Juliette balconies and panoramic windows are a welcome feature in many of the rooms – perfect for admiring gorgeous river scenery from the comfort of your own space. A wide range of in-room facilities include a large flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, individual climate control, an in-room safe and a well-equipped en suite bathroom, all provided to ensure your stay is relaxing and stress-free.

Extra Information

Booking Remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Non-refundable deposit of 15% due on confirmation of booking
  • Optional Insurance available (call for details)
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.

  Cost per person: €2,319pp
  Number of nights: 10

06 Apr 2020 Standard €2319
06 Apr 2020 Strauss Juliette €2569
06 Apr 2020 Mozart Juliette €2799

Tour supplied in Partnership with:

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  Call:  (01) 294 1000

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