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BLOOMING HOLLAND & FRANCE - Fly Double River Cruise combo 2020

Cruise Line
Riviera Travel
Geoffrey Chaucer
Package Departs
08 Apr 2020
Other Dates
Package Duration
17 Nights
Embark Ship
Amsterdam, Rivers
Disembark Ship
Amsterdam, Rivers

A 14 night Fly, Double River Cruising in France and the Netherlands with Riviera Travel River Cruises in April 2020.

Fly cruise & stay from

AU $8,795Per person


4 Night Cruise sailing from Amsterdam roundtrip aboard Geoffrey Chaucer.DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN AMSTERDAM Moored in Amsterdam, the attentive crew will welcome you aboard ensuring you settle into your comfortable and extremely well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship, your first-class floating hotel.DAY 2 – ENKHUIZENOvernight the ship slips its moorings, steering a course north. As dawn breaks, you’re greeted by views of Enkhuizen, a picturesque port nestling at the edge of the former Zuiderzee. During the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, the Netherlands dominated world maritime trade, becoming fabulously prosperous. Enkhuizen, as one of the country’s principal ports specialising in trade in the East Indies, flourished. Merchants keen to display their wealth created this town of gabled houses, narrow streets, bridges and waterways. It’s a delight to explore, taking in the atmosphere of its little streets and jumble of sailing boats in the harbour. Fittingly, it is also home to the Zuiderzee Museum. This superbly recreates the 19th-century heritage of Holland’s inland bay and combines permanent exhibits with demonstrations of the artisan skills of yesteryear such as sailmaking, fish curing and blacksmithing, to make our visit here a fascinating experience.After a delicious lunch on board, we cruise along the Markermeer, the southwestern part of the IJsselmeer, the great freshwater lake created when the Zuiderzee was separated from the North Sea by a series of dams and dykes built during the 1920 and ’30s. This mammoth engineering achievement, only made possible because of Dutch knowledge and expertise gained over centuries battling the sea, now protects low-lying areas from flooding and has allowed the reclamation of 626 square miles of fertile land. Before long, thoughts turn to tonight’s à la carte dinner, served with panache by the restaurant staff, after which why not unwind with a digestif at the bar to the soothing sound of the ship’s pianist.DAY 3 - ROTTERDAM & KINDERDIJKWake this morning in historic Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second largest metropolis, situated where the Rhine flows into the North Sea. Known as the ‘Gateway to Europe’, it is the largest European cargo port and has been a conduit for trade since the 14th century. Barges are able to transport goods deep into the heart of Europe via a maze of inland waterways, while ocean-going ships carry exports all over the world. Unsurprisingly, its logistical significance made it a target for bombing during the Second World War and its old town was destroyed, with only the Church of Saint Lawrence left standing. During the following decades Rotterdam was reconstructed with typical Dutch optimism and engineering expertise and now boasts an abundance of innovative and imaginative architecture. Highlights include Europe’s largest swing bridge, the cable-stayed Erasmus Bridge (known as ‘the Swan’), arched Markthal (market hall) and Cube Houses built on stilts and tilted at bizarre angles. There are also excellent museums, such as the vast Boijmans Van Beuningen, which houses a world-class collection of works by old and modern masters, from Rembrandt to Van Gogh to Dalí, and some rare and beautiful glassware.During lunch on board you can enjoy a kaleidoscope of views through the restaurant’s panoramic windows as we leave Rotterdam’s skyline behind. A significant part of the Netherlands lies up to 22 feet below sea level, but an intricate network of dykes and polders, the Netherland’s unique drainage systems, has kept the seawater at bay and allowed land reclamation. 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 19 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’ 9,000 windmills not only pumped seawater but powered many industries, including sawing timber, making potters’ clay and crushing pigments for paint, before the advent of advanced steam and diesel engines signalled their decline.Windmills are symbolic of Dutch history and the never-ending battle with the sea, and visiting these beautifully preserved structures is like stepping back in time. Our expert guide tells the extraordinary history of Kinderdijk and its windmills, bringing to life the experience of surviving in this watery landscape. Later we return to the cruise ship, where the chef has prepared a sumptuous dinner.DAY 4 - KEUKENHOF & AMSTERDAMA long spring season and the polders’ well-drained soil create the perfect environment for growing the Netherlands’ world-famous tulips, first imported into the country from the Ottoman Empire in the late 16th century. This morning we drive through the scenic bulb fields to Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden, covering nearly 80 acres. Nothing prepares you for the dazzling carpet of colours created by the seven million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other blooms arranged in rows, swirls and every other imaginable shape. The art of flower planting reaches breathtaking heights in Keukenhof’s themed areas, and wandering among this dramatic pageant of hues set in a landscape of lakes, trees, pavilions and water features is magical – and provides gardeners with a wealth of inspiration to take home!We return to Amsterdam to explore this beautiful city on a classic glass-topped canal cruiser. A network of 165 canals built in rings during the 17th century defines life in its centre, and our ‘water’s-eye view’ is the best way to absorb Amsterdam’s history. Relax and watch this unique cityscape unfold as our guide explains the many intriguing aspects of life here. You’ll see moored houseboats, quirky bridges, cobbled streets lined with tall, narrow merchants’ houses, gabled civic buildings and homes of famous former residents such as Rembrandt, the greatest Dutch Golden Age artist, and Anne Frank, whose diaries tell a poignant tale of life under the Nazis.Amsterdam is the ideal walking city and we remain moored dockside so you can explore its characterful streets at your leisure. Exceptional art is always close by, from small galleries to the world-class Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, both holding huge collections. You might choose to discover the interior of Anne Frank’s house, rummage through the Waterlooplein flea market or relax at a café sipping a rich Dutch coffee and watching the locals trundle over cobbles along the canals on their high-handlebar bicycles. Wrapping up a memorable day is the lavish Captain’s Dinner in the ship’s restaurant, as evening falls and the lights of this unforgettable city sparkle in the night. DAY 5 - RETURN HOME After a final breakfast you will disembark the ship, refreshed and revitalised, with memories of one of the most unspoilt corners of Europe to savour for a long time to come.

Package Duration: 14 nights Fly, Double River Cruise & StayPackage Starts: 8th April 2020 from Australia1st Cruise Starts: 10th April 2020 from Amsterdam1st Cruise Ends: 14th April 2020 to Amsterdam2nd Cruise Starts: 16th April 2020 from Avignon2nd Cruise Ends: 23rd April 2020 to LyonHome in Australia by: 25th April 2020___________BLOOMING HOLLAND & FRANCE Fly, Double River Cruise & Stay package includes:- Return economy class airfare from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Marseille (via Amsterdam) and ex Lyon on return inc tax- Return airport - hotel - port transfers, Amsterdam- 4 night "Amsterdam, Kinderdijk & Dutch Bulbfields" river cruise aboard ms Geoffrey Chaucer round trip from Amsterdam including: All meals from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure | Welcome cocktails & dinner plus Captain`s dinner | Complimentary onboard tea & coffee | Five star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides | Complimentary onboard Wi-Fi (speeds vary) | The services of a Riviera Travel River Cruises cruise director and tour manager | Included visits and shore tours: Discover historic Rotterdam, a vibrant metropolis at the gateway to Europe with a strong maritime heritage; Visit the stunning windmills at Kinderdijk, and tour one of these authentic and iconic gems of Dutch history; Drive through the heart of the stunning bulbfields to the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens, a world-famous floral display; Guided tour of fascinating Amsterdam, one of the world`s most distinctive cities, in a glass topped canal cruiser; Enjoy a visit to the quaint port of Enkhuizen, nestled at the edge of the Zuiderzee before a relaxed afternoon`s cruising | Port taxes- BONUS onboard Drinks Package on both cruises (valued at $129 for 1st cruise and $199 for 2nd cruise per person). This includes draught beer, non-alcoholic beer, soft drinks, juices, red/white/rose house wines, and wine recommendations from the menu - served with lunch and dinner onboard your ship- One way transfer from Amsterdam port to airport- One way transfer from Marseille airport to Avignon port- 2 nights accommodation at the Avignon Grand Hotel (4star) with breakfast- One way transfer from Avignon hotel to port- 7 night "Burgundy, The River Rhone & Provence" river cruise aboard ms Lord Byron from Avignon to Lyon including: All shipboard main meals | A range of included shore excursions: Visit to Beaune, centre of the Burgundy wine region and wine tasting; Cruise the spectacular Rhone valley; Guided tour of Lyon, second city of France and its gastronomic capital; Visit to charming Vienne; Tour of the astonishing Ardeche Gorges; Guided tour of Arles, with its extraordinary Roman remains and home of Vincent Van Gogh; Visit to the Pont du Gard; Tour of superbly preserved, medieval Avignon and the stunning Pope`s Palace | Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director | Complimentary onboard tea and coffee | Complimentary onboard wi-fi | Port taxes- One way transfer from Lyon port to airport