Cruising from Haarlem via Amsterdam to Haarlem: A true insight to Holland
Canal and river cruising in Europe is a relaxing experience that is inherently flexible.
This classic cruise offers the very best of Holland. From medieval Haarlem to scholastic Leiden, from delicate hand-painted porcelain to the largest flower auction in the world, from an exciting cruise through Amsterdam to the windmills of Zaanse Schans – there is never a dull moment. Great tours, fantastic cruising and delicious cuisine make this a week to remember. Avoid the crowds and relax aboard your little piece of heaven.
The cruising is varied and gives a real insight into the working waterways of Holland.
Sunday: Haarlem to Leiden: Let the wind blow through your hair, chasing the stress and blues away
Begin to cruise right away!
You are met by your chauffeurs at the designated meeting point in Amsterdam and transferred to your barge, moored in the centre of Haarlem. Once aboard, your Captain welcomes you with a Champagne reception and an introduction to your crew and the hotel barge Adagio. We then begin our cruise to Leiden, crossing the lakes and entering the city centre, where we moor overnight. This evening enjoy your first wonderful dinner onboard.
Monday: Leiden to Delft: The Hague and other sites
After a relaxed breakfast, enjoy a peaceful cruise along the canals out of Leiden and through the oldest lock in Holland, at Leidschendam. Enjoy lunch board as we cruise towards Delft. This afternoon we visit the Hague, including the Mauritshuis with works by the famous artists Rembrandt and Vermeer, Binnenhof, the parliament and government buildings or the Peace Palace.
Alternatively, we can visit Madurodam - A miniature Holland depiction with replicas of historically significant buildings.
We return to the Adagio moored in the centre of Delft, for dinner on board.
Tuesday: Delft to Gouda: Nearly four centuries of Experience under one Roof
After breakfast, we take a walking tour to the Delft Royal Porcelain Factory, where artists create beautiful hand-painted ceramics. We then take a stroll around the beautiful cobbled streets of Delft before joining the Adagio for a cruise through the busy port of Rotterdam, past the Euromast (the highest viewpoint in Holland) and then onto Gouda, the Mecca of cheese and the smoking pipe. Depending upon availability, we may take a tour to the Kettle One Vodka Distillery while Adagio moves to the overnight mooring ready for our evening dinner aboard.
Wednesday: Gouda to Uithoorn: Stunning stained-glass windows in medieval Gouda
This morning your tour guide will escort you through the streets of medieval Gouda, where you will visit the 123m-tall Gothic church of Saint Janskerk with the most famous of all stained glass windows in Holland. A leisurely stroll through this picture-perfect town is a must, with its traditional bricked main square and the Waag, where Gouda cheese has been carefully weighed on the scales since 1668.
After lunch, we cruise through charming towns to our overnight mooring at Uithoorn. Dinner will be taken aboard.
Thursday: Uithoorn to Zaandam: A unique view of Amsterdam from the water!
Before breakfast, we offer an optional very early start to the day in a visit to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, where some 17 million cut flowers from all over the world are traded each day. Return to the barge for a delicious breakfast, whilst we begin our cruise along the winding Amstel River into Amsterdam and then through the very heart of this enchanting city where small canals and unique architecture take you back to a bygone era. You can literally reach out and touch the passers-by!
Leaving Amsterdam, we join the mighty North Sea Canal and head west towards our overnight mooring at Zaandam Schans to see clog-makers and working windmills. This area is entirely representative of the traditional architecture of a bygone Holland.
Friday: Zaandam to Haarlem: Famous Museums of Dutch Masterpieces
Our final cruise takes us to the picturesque city of Haarlem, a town of exceptional beauty with its main square, once used for jousting and the famous Frans Hals Museum dating from 1862 to view the exceptional collection of Old Masters. There will be plenty of time to enjoy this wonderful place and to shop around its many boutiques.
Tonight we celebrate your company at the adorned Captain's table with mouth-watering offerings from your chef around a sparkling table, along with laughter and perhaps some sea dogs tales!
Saturday: Haarlem: Departure 9.30 am
Enjoy a special hearty breakfast before bidding farewell to the ADAGIO, her Captain and crew. Bags are loaded by 9:30 for the private transfer to your hotel in Amsterdam, or the airport or train station for your onward journey.
Please note: This is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions