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The stunning bulbfields really are an amazing sight. In Keukenhof Park there are a staggering 7 million blooms covering 80 acres in a riot of colour whilst imaginative landscaping shows off mother-nature at her outstanding best with shimmering lakes, water-gardens and flowering shrubs of every hue.
You will also explore the Ijsselmeer, the inland lagoon created by the damming of the Zyder Zee in the 1930's and discover the series of beautiful villages along its shore which have made their living from the sea for centuries. It was from here during the 16th century Golden Age, that the Dutch roamed the world in search of the spices, silks and luxury goods which Europe's aristocracy craved and today they are little changed since this time.
Blend this with Amsterdam, one of Europe's most vibrant and fascinating cities and a wonderful few days are in store.
Fly to Amsterdam from a variety of airports or take a late morning Eurostar from London St Pancras International changing trains in Brussels (you will be accompanied by our tour manager), to Amsterdam. Here you will be taken to the ship, where the dedicated crew welcome you on board, ensuring you settle into your luxurious cabin, and familiarise yourself with the ship.
As dawn breaks, the scenic shoreline of Enkhuizen comes into view, nestling at the edge of the old Zuiderzee. During the 17th-century Golden Age, the Netherlands dominated world maritime trade, becoming fabulously prosperous and Enkhuizen, one of the country’s principal ports, was no exception. Merchants keen to spend their newly acquired wealth created the quaint town you see today, and in celebration of this illustrious past, one of the county’s best museums was created. The Zuiderzee Museum is a superb recreation of 19th-century local life, with actors in period costumes demonstrating essential skills of the time in an authentic setting. Experience a sail maker’s, fish smokehouse and blacksmith’s plus many other fascinating things. Explore this delightful town, taking in the atmosphere of its little streets and the colourful jumble of boats in the picturesque harbour.
After lunch on board, we cruise along the Markermeer, the southwestern part of the great IJsselmeer lagoon, created when the Zuiderzee dam was constructed, separating it from the North Sea. This mammoth engineering achievement reclaimed huge tracts of land using the unique Dutch talent for such projects, honed over hundreds of years of battling the mighty sea. Before long, thoughts turn to tonight’s excellent dinner in the ship’s restaurant, after which you unwind with a digestif at the bar to the soothing tones of the ship’s pianist.
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Wake this morning in historic Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second largest metropolis with a strong maritime heritage, having been a major port since the 16th century. Literally the Gateway to Europe’, it is the largest European cargo port and the tenth largest in the world, due to its strategic location where the Rhine meets the North Sea. Barges are able to transport goods deep into the heart of Western Europe via a maze of inland waterways, whilst ocean liners export goods all over the world. Its logistical significance made it a prime target for aerial bombing during World War II and the city’s historic core was completely destroyed. Over the following decades the city was rebuilt and now boasts some of Europe’s most innovative and imaginative architecture, such as the pencil-shaped public library reminiscent of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and the unusual cube houses built on stilts and tilted at bizarre angles. There is also an abundance of excellent museums, such as the renowned and vast Boijmans Van Beuningen, housing a world-class collection of Old Masters, and some rare and beautiful glassware.
During lunch on board, enjoy a kaleidoscope of views through the panoramic windows as we leave the city skyline behind. A significant part of the Netherlands lies up to seven metres below sea level, but an innovative and intricate network of dikes and drainage systems keeps the ever-rising seawater from flooding the land, even during the spring tide. At the very heart of this fascinating reclaimed region is Kinderdijk, our next port of call. Here, you can witness a truly iconic polder scene – a series of nineteen authentic windmills lining the canal banks, set against a starkly beautiful backdrop of pancake-flat marshland. The earliest known windmills appeared in the 13th century; a century later they had evolved to include a series of gears, enabling them to pump water, and mass drainage of the land commenced. By the 19th century, the Netherlands’ 10,000 windmills were also being used for sawing wood, making potters’ clay and crushing pigments for paint, but the invention of the steam engine signalled their decline. By the end of the 20th century, there were less than a thousand still operating. We visit one of these beautifully preserved iconic windmills with a guide, learning more about their history before returning to the ship.
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We take a scenic drive through the heart of the magnificent bulb fields to the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. Nothing quite prepares you for the dazzling array of colours stretched out before you, as the fertile coastal plain is illuminated by a natural display unrivalled anywhere else on the planet. At Keukenhof, the art of the flower garden reaches breathtaking heights, as you marvel at the dramatic pageant of hues amongst the myriad of blooms, set amidst a stunning landscape of shimmering lakes, ancient trees and water gardens spanning a staggering 80 acres. The wonderful variety in design, colour and scent gives each garden a unique character – a wealth of inspiration for your own little patch back home!
We return to Amsterdam, truly one of the world’s most fascinating cities, where the classic glass topped canal cruisers take us on a sightseeing tour by this most appropriate of means! Get real insight into Amsterdam’s history, art and peoples that has been at the heart of European culture and commerce for many centuries. You will see a remarkable variety of sights: gabled roofed buildings along the picturesque canal-side waterfronts, outstanding museums, bridges immortalised by the great artists, and the homes of Old Masters like Rembrandt and of the heroine Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl whose diaries tell a poignant and extraordinary tale of life under the Nazis. We remain moored in this wonderful city so you might choose to discover the interior of Anne Frank’s house, or just wander where your feet take you.
Amble along the picturesque canals and dodge locals astride their bicycles! For a spot of culture, visit the Rijksmuseum, a world-class art gallery with an astonishing collection of 5,000 remarkable works. Alternatively, you may prefer to simply relax at a canal side café, absorbing Amsterdam’s special atmosphere over a rich Dutch coffee, before returning to the ship for tonight’s very special Captain’s Dinner.
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New for the 2017 season sister ships Emily Brontë, Thomas Hardy and Oscar Wilde continue Riviera Travel's partnership with Swiss river cruise operator Scylla. These new 'all suite' ships offer excellent standards of accommodation consistent with Scylla's other 5 star ships. Standard Suites are large at 183 sq.ft., with floor to ceiling windows opening to a rail on the middle and upper decks. Suites on the lower deck are the same size but feature high level windows. 6 Superior Suites and 4 Deluxe Balcony Suites are available on each ship at 210sq.ft. and 274sq.ft. respectively. Deluxe Balcony Suites, located on the upper deck, also feature a small pricvate balcony.
* Payable locally.
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These lovely new 5★ river cruise vessels, feature beautifully furnished cabins and suites, the majority featuring floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a French balcony.
Every aspect of the 5★ MS Lord Byron (2013) and her sister ship, the MS Jane Austen (new for the 2015 season), are designed to the highest possible specification and exacting standards to bring you the very best and most enjoyable river cruising experience, in the most luxurious comfort. Stylish furnishings using environmentally friendly materials are beautifully combined with the most advanced safety systems … and the work of a wonderful designer's eye conjuring up the classic lines and sophistication of a luxurious ocean liner. As always, the finesse is in the detail - beautifully crafted tropical hardwoods, wrought iron, highly polished copper and brass, all beautifully illuminated then added to soft leather furnishings and imaginative colour schemes, promotes a subtle, chic ambience. Blend this with the low passenger complement, just 140 guests, with 35 crew, a ratio of 4 to 1, guarantees an excellent level of service and a more personal touch.
* Payable locally.
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These lovely new 5★ river cruise vessels, feature beautifully furnished cabins and suites, the majority featuring floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a French Balcony.
The 5★ MS William Shakespeare (2014) and MS Charles Dickens (2015) have been specialy commissioned and designed to Riviera's specification by Dutch ship builders Veka Group. Carrying just 140 passengers each, the crew ratio of 4:1 ensures excellent service throughout your cruise. Finished with the highest quality materials with luxurious carpets, rich hardwoods and plenty of steel and glass the ships have an elegant and sleek style throughout. Images are of teh MS William Shakespeare, décor may vary.
* Payable locally.
Click image to zoom
These lovely new 5★ river cruise vessels feature beautifully furnished cabins and suites, the majority with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a French Balcony.
With beautiful polished marble decks, adorned with rich hardwoods, tasteful brass fittings and classic wrought-iron staircases, the 5★ MS Swiss Tiara evokes the classic luxury hotels from the golden age of travel. Blend this with the ship's low passenger complement, just 140 guests, with 35 crew, a ratio of less than 4 to 1, guarantees an excellent level of service and a more personal touch.
* Payable locally.
Click image to zoom
This lovely 5★ river cruise vessel features beautifully furnished staterooms and suites, the majority featuring floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a French Balcony.
As you enter the restaurant the mouth-watering aroma of roasting Provençal Lamb drifts tantalisingly from the galley. Smartly uniformed, friendly and intuitive waiting staff professionally guide you to your classically set table with its crisp white linen, premium quality European china, polished fine glassware and gleaming cutlery whilst freshly baked bread is immediately placed before you with effortless style.Welcome - you're at home. Quality dining is an integral part of your river cruise experience - and our ships take this to the highest five-star levels with superb cuisine prepared by a dedicated and highly professional brigade of chefs.
Take a stroll on the Sun Deck as the river gradually awakes, and enjoy Early Risers' tea or coffee and freshly baked pastries. The full breakfast buffet is a sumptuous affair with innumerable hot and cold options, plus a popular omelette station prepares dishes to order. Or if you prefer, why not enjoy continental breakfast in your cabin: breakfast in bed as enchanting scenery and riverside life drift gently by - priceless! Naturally complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout the day and a very comprehensive lunch buffet allows selection of as little or as much as you wish from an extensive and tempting selection. Don't forget to leave some room for afternoon tea and the chef's special patisserie - it's just too tempting to ignore!
The day's culinary highlight is the splendid four-course dinner: entrée, soup, main course and dessert plus a salad buffet is always available - all within the ambience of a high quality restaurant. The carefully designed menus include international classics together with dishes reflecting the regions we pass through, with careful selections from local markets. In addition, the 'Welcome Dinner' enjoys an extended menu and towards the end of your cruise, the Captain proudly hosts his excellent 'Gala Dinner' featuring specialities of the countries and regions through which you've travelled.
Our clients constantly tell us they love our informal free seating and smaller tables policy, quite unlike the inevitable regimentation of many cruise ships which is exactly the atmosphere we are trying to achieve. Then there's the wine list. We take great pride in its excellent quality and style, including not only the classic choices but also an extensive range of local wines. Many of these are extremely well-priced, delightful hidden gems and rarely marketed outside their production area.
In addition to the main restaurant, we are proud to unveil the unique new Chef's Restaurant, open for dinner on the Lord Byron and Jane Austen, with huge panoramic windows and seating for just 24 diners. Here the chef presents his personal favourite signature dishes with a fixed menu using the finest of seasonal produce. This superb dining experience must be reserved on board.
|Apr 3||Emily Brontë||Amsterdam||£749||Cabin Upgrades ▼|
|Lower Deck||Suite||183 ft², fixed windows||£749|
|Middle Deck||Suite||183 ft², French balcony||£949|
|Middle Deck||Superior Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1049|
|Upper Deck||Suite||183 ft², French balcony||£1049|
|Upper Deck||Superior Stern Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1149|
|Upper Deck||Superior Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1099|
|Upper Deck||Deluxe Balcony Suite||274 ft², Outside balcony||£1349|
|Apr 4||Jane Austen||Amsterdam||£699||Cabin Upgrades ▼|
|Lower Deck||Cabin||161 ft², fixed windows||£699|
|Lower Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², fixed windows||£799|
|Middle Deck||Cabin||161 ft², French balcony||£899|
|Middle Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£999|
|Upper Deck||Cabin||161 ft², French balcony||£999|
|Upper Deck||Superior Stern Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£1049|
|Upper Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£1099|
|Upper Deck||Deluxe Balcony Suite||242 ft², Outside balcony||£1199|
|Apr 7||Emily Brontë||Amsterdam||£779||Cabin Upgrades ▼|
|Lower Deck||Suite||183 ft², fixed windows||£779|
|Middle Deck||Suite||183 ft², French balcony||£979|
|Middle Deck||Superior Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1079|
|Upper Deck||Suite||183 ft², French balcony||£1079|
|Upper Deck||Superior Stern Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1179|
|Upper Deck||Superior Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1129|
|Upper Deck||Deluxe Balcony Suite||274 ft², Outside balcony||£1379|
|Apr 8||Jane Austen||Amsterdam||£729||Cabin Upgrades ▼|
|Lower Deck||Cabin||161 ft², fixed windows||£729|
|Lower Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², fixed windows||£829|
|Middle Deck||Cabin||161 ft², French balcony||£929|
|Middle Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£1029|
|Upper Deck||Cabin||161 ft², French balcony||£1029|
|Upper Deck||Superior Stern Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£1079|
|Upper Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£1129|
|Upper Deck||Deluxe Balcony Suite||242 ft², Outside balcony||£1229|
|Apr 11||Emily Brontë||Amsterdam||£799||Cabin Upgrades ▼|
|Lower Deck||Suite||183 ft², fixed windows||£799|
|Middle Deck||Suite||183 ft², French balcony||£999|
|Middle Deck||Superior Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1099|
|Upper Deck||Suite||183 ft², French balcony||£1099|
|Upper Deck||Superior Stern Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1199|
|Upper Deck||Superior Suite||210 ft², French balcony||£1149|
|Upper Deck||Deluxe Balcony Suite||274 ft², Outside balcony||£1399|
|Apr 12||Jane Austen||Amsterdam||£749||Cabin Upgrades ▼|
|Lower Deck||Cabin||161 ft², fixed windows||£749|
|Lower Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², fixed windows||£849|
|Middle Deck||Cabin||161 ft², French balcony||£949|
|Middle Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£1049|
|Upper Deck||Cabin||161 ft², French balcony||£1049|
|Upper Deck||Superior Stern Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£1099|
|Upper Deck||Superior Suite||199 ft², French balcony||£1149|
|Upper Deck||Deluxe Balcony Suite||242 ft², Outside balcony||£1249|
Should you wish to travel by Eurostar and TGV train, a supplement of £30 per person applies
Should you wish to travel by Eurostar and Thalys train, a supplement of £30 per person applies
Please call for latest prices and availability or Request a Callback ...
Prices are per person based on two sharing and are subject to availability at time of booking. Operators reserve the right to amend published prices prior to a confirmed booking being made.
Single Occupancy Supplements: No single supplement for selected lower deck cabins, subject to availability.
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