Enjoy Cruises to the Netherlands. Discover the Netherlands' Stunning Countryside, Spectacular Cities and Ancient Towns
With a robust economy, formidable football team, rich artistic heritage and ever-progressive attitudes on… well, pretty much everything, The Netherlands punches well above its weight, even by European standards.
Idealistic and industrious, cosmopolitan and tolerant, it’s a country whose cities continue to set the world pace for all things innovative. In classic Dutch liberal-mindedness, Amsterdam’s colourful cafe culture exists right alongside The Hague’s International Criminal Court, while psychedelic poppy plantations, glistening lakes and the occasional windmill still adorn the countryside. Distinguished, distinctive and a damn good fun holiday destination, The Netherlands is about as impressive and irrepressible as countries come – all the more so given that it was practically built on a swamp.
Known for its low-lying topography, large areas of The Netherlands were reclaimed from the sea and protected by dikes and seawalls, which means that 20 per cent of its land area is below sea level and more than half is no more than 1 metre high. There are slightly higher areas to the east and south in the foothills of the Ardennes. The Netherlands borders Belgium to the south, Germany to the east and has the North Sea to its north and west.
The Dutch weather can be somewhat unpredictable throughout the year so be prepared whenever you decide to visit. Most people visit on holidays between April and September when the weather is warm and the days are long, though showers are always a possibility and it's also a good idea to have a light jacket handy. You'll find smaller crowds during autumn and winter when conditions can be quite cold and wet, though temperatures rarely drop below freezing. The bulb fields near Amsterdam come into bloom from April to mid-May.
Amsterdam. Few can resist the grand beauty of Amsterdam’s famous canals, which thread through this place of evocative beauty and thrilling contrast. Open-minded and tolerant, Amsterdam is a place for history buffs and hedonists alike, and its diverse neighbourhoods have something for everyone - whether it’s the beachside relaxation of Bloemendaal, nocturnal thuds of Buiksloterham, or characterful charm of Jordaan. 160 serene canals serve as the arteries of this city, imbuing it with its unique essence. Cruise along concentric waterways, past cherry red and oak-wood cladded houseboats, as you learn of its Golden Age history. Culture is also deep in Amsterdam’s DNA, and the Van Gogh Museum – which pays tribute to the tortured genius of the Dutch post-impressionist artist - stands out among its leading museums and galleries. One of history’s greatest tragedies is also rendered in heart-breaking clarity at Anne Frank House. Visit the site where the precocious teenager hid from the Nazi regime for so long, and the room where she penned the most famous diary ever written. Compact and easily walkable, Amsterdam remains consistently postcard-perfect as you watch bright bicycles trundling over ornate bridges, and stumble across hidden, tulip-decorated courtyards. ‘Gezellig’ is the local word for Amsterdam’s unhurried outlook on life. No translation can quite do the concept justice, but you’ll recognise it instinctively as hours float by in a happy haze browsing De Negen Straatjes street’s independent shops, or as you sip coffee with gooey stroopwafel. Broodje haring - a raw herring sandwich - is Amsterdam’s must-try delicacy, but many visitors find tompouce, a delicious pastry topped with vivid pink icing, a little more to their taste.
If you’re after a small ship cruise or an expedition ship cruise to the Netherlands Wild Earth Travel can help you find a trip of a lifetime. We are ready to guide you through our range of different options with impartial advice so you can experience the very best of this unique destination. Our team are all passionate expedition & small cruise ship travellers and our knowledge and stories come from our own personal experiences.