Inland adventure: What to expect on our river cruises in the Netherlands

Seasoned travelers will often have their essentials and treasured routines they adhere to on all ventures into foreign lands, whether handy packing techniques for city hopping, preferred guides to determine itineraries or detective strategies for finding the hidden local gems. But a river cruise in the Netherlands is really a different boat game. A view that follows you Your hotel room and restaurant will literally follow you all the way. Not only will it spare you the constant checking in and out, but your breakfast view will never be the…


2020 travel trends: Sailing into the new decade with a different way to travel

Happy new year and welcome into the new decade! Here in the Netherlands, we entered 2020 with traditionally exuberant fireworks. At our Cultural Cruises Europe office, we’re looking forward to another year of river-bound cultural adventures and experiential tours.   As it turns out, the way we’ve been doing things all along is completely in sync with the travel trends of the new decade. Here are some travel trend highlights that you can expect to see more of in the 2020s:   Diving in! Forget the hasty checklists of the…


6 reasons to spend winter holidays cruising the Dutch cultural season

When the days start getting shorter, the skies become dramatically picturesque and the trees along the canals turn fire orange, it’s a sure sign that the cultural season in the Netherlands is heating up.  If it’s arts and culture you’re after, this is the time to pack your bags and head to the Netherlands. A lot is going on between October and March, so here we take a look at a few of the cultural highlights that keep us entertained throughout the winter. 1. Put on your fancy shoes, it’s…


More important than Christmas: How the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas

Ever heard of Sinterklaas? No? In the Netherlands, children spend the whole month of November looking forward to this big day, setting shoes filled with carrots by the door and watching the Sinterklaas news on TV every evening. In this blog you can find out all about this Dutch festival, which keeps the whole county in suspense for weeks, and why Dutch children look forward to it more than Christmas. 1. Who or what is Sinterklaas? Sinterklaas, also called Sint for short, is the Dutch version of St Nicholas: a…


Cultural tours for curious travellers

This story has a long version and a short one. The long one deserves a whole separate post, and be sure, it’s coming! In the meantime, here’s the short one. Once upon a time, there was a river cruise company that offered boat and bike tours. And that’s what they are really called – Boat Bike Tours. Their customers love cruising the Dutch rivers from one port to another, cycling through the country’s scenic landmarks, and they keep coming back for more. So when Boat Bike Tours realised that there…


River Cruising through Belgium and the Netherlands – a travel report by Liisa

“River cruising is a great alternative to touring the world on huge ocean vessels. Small ships carrying only 20 to 40 passengers offer a more authentic, individual travel experience. Cruising along inland waterways you only travel short distances a day and dock frequently to learn about the country. What you will see is small-scale sights, medieval towns and open countryside. And a lot of waterways. River cruising is a truly relaxing way of travel, and today you can do it in luxury, on a floating hotel. I got a chance…


Livin’ la vida culture!

Before we kick off this blog, let’s make one thing clear. Did we just..? Yes, we did. We referenced a Ricky Martin song to describe our Wealth of Culture tour. No, it’s not really about naked dancing in the rain, but there are so many reasons to get excited about,  the jingle just keeps coming up.  Reason No. 1: For nine days we take care of everything but charging your camera batteries. We all know it. The pressure to super-load your holiday with all the sights and experiences possible.…


To barge or cruise?

There’s no denying the excitement, wonder and appeal of river cruise ships. Longer than a football field and able to carry up to 400 passengers, river cruise ships come with amenities that include sun deck whirlpools, gyms and libraries. With an abundance of staff, 5-star chefs and itineraries that include some of the best sights Europe has to offer, surely river cruise ships would win over their smaller, humbler cousins, luxury barges? It all comes down to personal preference. River cruise ships appeal to a completely different holidaymaker than luxury…


Local is lekker!

“Lekker” is a very handy word in Dutch. Most of the time it means “delicious”, but you can apply it to more than just food. Vacations, fun pastimes and many other things can also be described as “lekker”… including exploring local culture on one of our cruises! Holland and beyond It’s worth mentioning that our Holland Culture Tour doesn’t take place just within Holland. You might be surprised to learn that – officially – the name “Holland” refers to the Dutch provinces of North and South Holland, home to Amsterdam,…


Celebrating 75 Years of Freedom

This year, three quarters of a century after the end of WWII, Europe is celebrating 75 years of freedom. Commemorative events began on June 6 in Normandy, France, on the famous beaches where the Allies landed in 1944. In the Netherlands, Dutch memorial events commenced on August 31 at Terneuzen, Zeeland, where the Battle of the Scheldt took place in October and November 1944. 75 years of freedom in the Netherlands Throughout the end of 2019 and well into 2020 there will be Holocaust remembrance ceremonies and celebrations of freedom…