Luxury River Cruise in Holland
A cultural and culinary river cruise in the Netherlands
Welcome aboard the enchanting Aurora, a 5-star ship with an understated elegance that will grace your entire experience. Bring your family, friends, or special group and enjoy exclusivity, tailored to your interests. From the Michelin star quality food served in style, to the fresh flowers that adorn the tables, to the all-inclusive life on board with a touch of class, this will truly be a memorable experience.
Featuring North and South Holland, the potential is limitless. From springtime tulip cruising on through the lazy, lovely summer, and even into fall, you will sail through the real Holland. There will be plenty of windmills and cheese, of course, but also history, culture, castles, museums, fishing villages, and flourishing cities.
As you cruise the Dutch rivers, soaking in your surroundings, the activities and excursions available are as varied as you are. Whatever you wish, if it is a specific meal or an experience during the tour, from cycling to golfing, to museum hopping, you will have the trip of a lifetime.
Come and relax, fully recharge, and enjoy the adventure...YOUR adventure.
Fly to Amsterdam International Airport, also known as Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)
Airport transfers are included in your tour price. All you need to do is arrive and you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to Schiedam.
The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic ocean.
Before you arrive, you will be sent a questionnaire requesting details to help the captain and crew prepare for your arrival. What are your interests? Art, history, food, wine, architecture, flowers, cycling? Any special diets or restrictions? What type of wine do you prefer? Dry or sweet? When you step on board you will find the bar has stocked your favorites and the chef is waiting to prepare his favorites. The guide and crew will be ready to assist in organizing museum visits and town walks or to book a special excursion.
Life on board
Food & beverages
Traditional Dutch cuisine was once simple, hearty, and straightforward, with many vegetables and little meat. Breakfast and lunch would typically be bread with cheese or spreads, while dinner consisted of meat and potatoes supplemented with seasonal vegetables. Today’s Dutch cuisine has changed. Influenced by the culture of its former colonies, it has become more cosmopolitan, exciting, and flavorful.
Your Gourmet Chef onboard will propose an extensive list of his specialties for you to choose from. You have the choice to eat your favorite food or experience new flavors based on the a la carte menus. Your talented chef’s fine cuisine, based on seasonal, fresh, local, and organic products is authentic, creative, and not only appealing to the eye, but to the palate as well! it will procure emotion and pleasure.
Each meal is accompanied by a selection of the finest wines, not just from France, but worldwide.
Breakfast selections consist of freshly baked goods, along with fruit salad, cereals, yogurt, cheese, eggs on request, coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed orange juice. For lunches and dinners, the chef creates regionally and seasonally inspired fare. Lunch is typically served in a buffet style featuring hearty salads, soups, and savory entrees. For days when you will be out and about, you will dine in a carefully chosen restaurant. The 3-course gourmet dinner is always a celebration, a time to unwind and enjoy!
Daily included excursions
You will have the opportunity to visit many museums during your time on board and to enjoy walking excursions with the guide, shopping in the towns, and much more. A support vehicle is available to provide transportation and to cater to the varied interests of the guests onboard.
Golf, tennis, shopping, antiquing, museum hopping, exploring the local culture...just ask!
Where You’ll Stay
Onboard the luxury vessel, the Aurora. Having only four king suites and a capacity for 8 adult passengers, this tour and boat is the perfect vacation for families and groups.
- 6 nights accommodation in king suites with large, private bathroom
- All meals with beverages included
- Open bar with a large selection of delicious wines and cocktails
- Airport transfers
- Use of bicycles
- Daily attractions with entrance to museums
What’s Not Included
- Extra activities
- Travel Insurance
Cruising itinerary from Schiedam to Amsterdam
This itinerary can be tailored to your specific requests. Do you cycle? You can! Would you rather play golf? That is possible as well. How about museum hopping! Yes! The itinerary can be tailored to accommodate everyone: cyclists and non-cyclists, art lovers and history buffs, foodies and oenophiles, and those who just enjoy relaxing on board, soaking in the surroundings with a good book and a glass of great wine (yes, there is a jacuzzi on deck)! Each and everyone, regardless of your interests, will find that this is the trip of a lifetime.
Day 1: Schiedam
Transfer from your hotel or airport in Amsterdam to your first night’s mooring in the quaint and fascinating town of Schiedam, situated on the outskirts of Rotterdam. This little town has some amazing sights including six of the world’s largest working traditional windmills, a glass museum, a chocolate art factory, historic boat harbor, AND the famous Nolet Gin distillery.
So for the connoisseurs, a visit to the gin museum and tasting room combined with a leisurely walk around the old town will be a perfect beginning to your cruise.
Day 2: Rotterdam- Delft - Leiden
While enjoying your first gourmet breakfast aboard the Aurora, the cruise officially begins with the skyline of Rotterdam and the towering Euromast as your backdrop. Today can feature a visit to the Delft pottery factory to learn first-hand from the artisans how this world-famous porcelain is made.
The Hague: You can visit the Mauritshuis Museum with more than two hundred masterpieces by Dutch and Flemish masters. You will want to see the Binnenhof (government buildings) as well as the Peace Palace.
Madurodam: You will discover Holland’s most iconic landmarks and history through a story of magnificent miniatures and indoor attractions. This is a perfect place for families!
You will be moored for the night in Leiden, home to one of the oldest universities in the country and the birthplace of the famous Rembrandt Van Rijn. Leiden is an ancient and impressive historical city (city rights since 1266) full of charm and character, perfect for those who like to cycle, or simply stroll the banks of the pretty tree-lined canals. In the evening you can take a stroll through the historic center with many churches, historic city gates, and courts, almshouses, and mills and many museums.
Day 3: Leiden - Haarlem
Upon leaving the university town of Leiden we cruise on past some beautiful lakes and colorful flower fields towards the historical cosmopolitan and truly picturesque city of Haarlem, dating back to the 13th Century. In Springtime, you will be sailing past the Tulip fields and gaze out on fields awash in vibrant colors. Haarlem is home to the Frans Hals Museum founded in 1862 with its vast collection of Old Masters. Other highlights include many great buildings such as late Gothic masterpiece St. Bavo’s Cathedral on the main square, graced by the fact that both Handel and Mozart played the magnificent Muller organ there.
Come face to face with the 13th-century town hall, the magnificent Butchers’ hall (Vleeshal) built by Lieven de Key and the Fish auction hall (Vishal) and dream back in time. Or experience the atmosphere of the many historic courts. You will have some free time visiting a fine selection of boutique shops. Complete this day with an evening walk along the quiet canals to the market square with its café terraces or take a canal boat tour through picturesque arched bridges.
If you are chartering the vessel during Tulip Season, a trip to the Keukenhof is a must. Known as the garden of Europe, this is the largest display of flowers in the world with more than 100 acres filled with over 7 million flowering bulbs, varieties of tulips, and hyacinths. You stroll through 32 hectares of gloriously breathtaking waves of color and immerse in the heady scents during this unforgettable excursion.
Another option, visit Frans Hals portrait Gallery.
Day 4: Haarlem - Zaandam
Your morning cruise heads north up the Spaarne to the region of Zaandam with its traditional Dutch green ‘dollhouse’ architecture. In the afternoon you tour Zaanse Schans, an open-air conservation area and museum that provides a living impression of the Dutch way of life in the 17th and 18th centuries.
This historical area consists of authentic houses and windmills, a historic shipyard, pewter factory, cheese and dairy farm, and an age-old grocery store dating back to the 1900s. Everything that the Dutch are famous for can be encountered here in this tiny village.
Day 5: Zaandam - Amsterdam - Alphen aan den Rijn A
From Zaandam you will cruise into Amsterdam, through the heart and the center of the city where the small canals and architecture will take you back to a previous century. The ship then heads along through the beautiful lake area to our mooring for the night in the Alphen aan den Rijn.
Options for today:
a) Amsterdam: depending on your interests you can visit one of the numerous museums (Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, Diamond Museum, or Anne Frank House).
b) Volendam and/or Marken: visit of the traditional and authentic fishing villages. In Marken, there is a cheese factory and a clog-making workshop. Volendam is known for its colorful wooden houses and fishing port.
Day 6: Alphen aan den Rijn - Aalsmeer - Gouda
If you would like to get up very early this morning, you can visit the colorful Aalsmeer Flower Auction, where some 17 million cut flowers from all over the world are traded each day. Upon return to the hotel barge you will set off for a breakfast cruise to the nearby quaint medieval town of Gouda, the Mecca of cheese! There will be time to explore the town's beauty, including the picture-perfect town hall and square plus the Waag where the famous Gouda cheese has been weighed since 1668. A visit to the iconic Sint Janskerk Church is a must. It is world-famous s for its 72 Goudse glazen stained-glass windows, some as tall as 20 meters, and all depicting remarkable biblical and historical stories.
Day 7: Gouda - Schiedam
Today you will be sadly saying your farewell and after your last wonderful breakfast on board, you will then be driven to the designated drop off point (airport or the hotel of your choice).
Luxury River Cruise in Holland Boats + Barges
Aurora Netherlands Deluxe Class Boat Onboard the Aurora, an ultra-deluxe vessel, you can enjoy a unique bike and boat or luxury river cruise in style, enjoying Michelin quality food, personalized service, and itineraries as unique as you are.