On this delightful springtime voyage, we visit vibrant Amsterdam, medieval towns, and picturesque villages. We discover the stately windmills of Kinderdijk and spend time in historic Dordrecht. A visit to the ‘garden of Europe’, Keukenhof - the most beautiful spring garden in the world - is a sure highlight. 2019 is the 70th anniversary since 20 leading flower bulb growers and exporters first planned to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs at the estate, signalling the birth of Keukenhof as a spring park.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to Dover, where we take a break before boarding our coaches for the Channel crossing to Calais. We continue to Amsterdam and embark MS Bellejour (4T), where light refreshments are available. A welcome cocktail and captain’s gala dinner are served this evening.
Day 2 - Amsterdam - Utrecht
This morning we enjoy a tour of Amsterdam, including a scenic cruise along the 17th century canals, lined with merchants’ town houses, pancake houses and city attractions such as Rembrandt’s House and the factory which hid Anne Frank and her family. An optional tour this afternoon takes you to Utrecht, one of the Netherlands’ oldest and most charming cities. At the centre of the compact medieval Old Town is the Domtoren, an iconic 14th century bell tower, offers magnificent panoramic views. Much of the character though comes from the 13th century, when merchants constructed the unusual canals.
Day 3 - Dordrecht
We arrive this morning in the historic city of Dordrecht, where you are free to make your own discoveries. The city is filled with hundreds of monuments to its past. Perhaps visit the medieval Grote Kerk (Great Church) and the 13th century Augustine monastery, ‘Het Hof’, where the Dutch States declared their independence from Spain in 1572. Also highly recommended is the renowned collection of paintings of the Dordrecht Museum and the gorgeous interior of the old mayor’s house ‘Huis van Gijn’.
Day 4 - Veere
This morning, perhaps join an optional excursion to the nearby famous Delta Works, one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels, named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. This imposing project shows how the Dutch deal with water, including the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier, a unique flood defence of eight kilometres in length that can shut off the entire Eastern Scheldt in 75 minutes. Returning to the ship, you will still have time to explore the small, pretty town of Veere. This old fishing town has preserved elements of old fortifications; some elegant, eye-catching buildings like the Town Hall; and its own Grote Kerk, used as a military hospital by Napoleon’s soldiers. The village was used to store Scottish wool and other goods set for the continent after the marriage of Mary Stuart to the Lord of Veere. It may not be an import centre any more, or have direct access to the North Sea, but you may find houses that were built by the Scottish merchants.
Day 5 - Veere - Rotterdam - Kinderdijk
An included visit to the Royal Delft Factory this morning, introduces you to the last remaining earthenware factory from the 17th century. Here the renowned Delft Blue is still entirely hand painted according to centuries-old tradition. Our cruise then continues to the pretty village of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its 18th century windmills, which we visit on an included excursion. This unique collection of beautifully preserved windmills played a major part in keeping the land drained for settlement and agriculture. You can learn more of this historical engineering feat as you explore the windmills.
Day 6 - Enkhuizen (Keukenhof)
Enjoy a full day’s visit to Keukenhof Gardens, a showcase of seven million flowers, set within 32-acres of sweeping gardens. The endless beds of vibrant tulips, daffodils and hyacinths create the world’s most magnificent spring gardens, and the Historical Garden shows the origin of the iconic tulip.
Day 7 - Amsterdam
Returning to the characterful Dutch capital this morning, you have the day free to explore Amsterdam. Perhaps make a visit to the world-famous Rijksmuseum with over 8,000 objects of art and history on display, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer; or explore one of the many other museums that fill the city centre. This evening, enjoy the captain’s farewell gala dinner as we spend our final evening on board.
Day 8 Amsterdam - UK
After breakfast we board our waiting coaches for the return journey to Calais and Channel crossing. Upon arrival in Dover, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.