Springtime in Holland

Introduction


Pictures and information about a five night river cruise undertaken with Saga in April 2017



We have been talking about visiting the Dutch bulb fields for years - after all it is easy from Scunthorpe on the overnight ferry from Hull. Somehow, it never reached the top of the list. I decided it was about time I went. I was tied to dates when the family were on holiday (grandparenting duties). I started googling companies and itineraries. I eventually chose Saga having decided theirs looked the most interesting itinerary. As an extra bonus, it was also a river cruise on the Rex Rheni.

Rex Rheni

Rex Rheni

As well as a full day at Keukenhof Gardens, it also included a visit to Zaanse Schans Open Air Museum, a reconstruction of a C16th Dutch Trading ship as well as time to explore some of the smaller towns. They also offered a choice of flights from regional airports as well as the Channel Tunnel or ferry.

It is the first time I’ve used Saga and I was impressed. Catering for the 50+ market, they really do know how to take care of you.

I had a comfortable cabin, food and drink were excellent as were the three Saga reps on board.

DAY 1
I had an early morning flight from Manchester Airport, so booked an overnight at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the terminal building. It was a 15 minute walk next morning. It was a good flight on KLM to Schiphol Airport where a Saga rep was waiting in the Arrivals Hall to meet the people on the regional flights. As we had several hours before boarding Rex Rheni, we were taken on a trip through the bulb fields to the seaside town of Noordwijk. It was a cold dull day in mid March and ‘bracing’ hardly begins to describe it. Rex Rheni was berthed in Amsterdam but relocated to Beverwijk that evening.

Bulb fields, Holland

DAY2
We spent a wonderful day at Keukenhof Gardens before rejoining Rex Rheni at Zaandam where I had time for a short walk around the town before dinner.

Keukenhof Gardens

DAY 3
There was an optional visit to Zaanse Schans this morning. After lunch, Rex Rheni sailed across the Markermeer and the Krabbersgat naviduct to Enkhuisen where we moored overnight. Again there was enough time to explore Enkhuisen before dinner.

Zaanse Schans open air museum

DAY 4
A free shuttle bus was provided to Hoorn in the morning. After lunch, Rex Rhenni sailed across Markermeer to Lelystad. An optional excursion was organised to Bataviawerf to visit the reconstruction of the Batavia, a C16th Dutch trading ship.

Batavia, Lelystad

DAY 5
Rex Rheni sailed from Lelystad back to Amsterdam, docking at lunchtime. We had a free afternoon to explore Amsterdam or join an optional tour.

Amsterdam

DAY 6
Departure and transfer to the airport for my flight back to Manchester.

It was an interesting itinerary and I enjoyed myself. Unfortunately the weather was cold and dull most days which meant many of the pictures, especially at Zannse Schans, were disappointing  with a Breughel like quality. The Rex Rheni was solely chartered to Saga and there were just over 100 passengers. I was thankful I’d opted for the flight option as people who had travelled by the Channel Tunnel or ferry had found it a long journey.


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