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Dutch Bulbfields

There are few more scintillating experiences in springtime than taking a cruise to the vast, vibrant Dutch Bulbfields, and taking time out to explore beautiful, canal studded Amsterdam at the same time.
The easy, gentle progress of a river boat along waters framed by lush, springtime greenery is something quite unique. You’ll see ancient, still pristine windmills with their sails tumbling lazily around in the breeze. There are people on pedal bikes, and fussy little coasters sailing past you upstream. Enjoy a glass of wine as you drink in all the stunning natural beauty around you.
Keukenhof is something else; a Dutch accented Disneyland for lovers of all things horticultural. Some thirty-two hectares showcase a staggering seven million different flower bulbs, each one a work of art in its own right.
The result is an amazing, shimmering sea of deep, rich colours and scents that is a fantastic visual assault on the senses. Keukenhof seems to stretch to infinity. The displays change on a weekly basis, and the combination of changing natural light, use of space, plus new displays ensures that no two viewings are ever exactly the same. It’s a truly beguiling and special place. In 2013, Keukenhof attracted almost 900,000 visitors over the spring alone. In fact, the park has attracted more than fifty million visitors in its sixty four year history.
You’ll also see such intrinsically Dutch masterpieces as Volendam, a small fishing village some twenty kilometres north of Amsterdam, that still retains a very old world feel, both in terms of local costumes, and production of the famous Dutch clogs, as well as some amazing local cheese.
As a great addition to both, you’ll have time out in Amsterdam, with such platinum chips attractions as the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum, as well as the poignant, claustrophobic Anne Frank House, now a national museum.
Take a candlelit canal cruise past streets lined with sturdy brownstone houses, passing under a series of vaulting bridges, while enjoying the local genever and some delicious pickled herring. See the 14th century Oude Kerk, the oldest church in the city, and savour Amsterdam’s restaurant and bar scene at its best on the grand, Gothic fronted magnificence of Dam Square.
You can even visit a replica of a vast, eighteenth century sailing ship in the Old Harbour, or enjoy fabulous views out over Amsterdam’s flawless forest of green copper spires from the terrace of the Doubletree Hilton hotel.

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