Tulips and Windmills

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3 Included Excursions
  • Explore Amsterdam, Holland’s vibrant capital city, at leisure
  • Discover the world-famous floral displays at Keukenhof Gardens
  • Take in the traditional Dutch landscapes as we see the historical windmills of Kinderdijk

Discover delightful Dutch scenery as we visit spectacular Keukenhof Gardens, the largest flower garden in the world. In addition to this, we’ll explore famous Kinderdijk, home to 19 historical windmills dating from the 19th century. Our cruise will capture the essence of real Holland, with a perfect mix of city, riverscapes and spring colour.

Embarking in Amsterdam, we’ll sail along Holland’s stunning waterways and will be able to admire the beautiful springtime scenery. We’ll make our way to Enkhuizen, where we’ll enjoy our included excursion to Keukenhof Gardens. Wander along the picturesque walkways and soak up the beautiful floral displays this excellent attraction is so well-known for!

Continuing our river cruise, we’ll sail onwards to Arnhem, famous for its bridge. Our next port of call will be charming Schoonhoven, which we will be able to explore at leisure this afternoon. It will then be time to sail to Kinderdijk, where we will discover the historical windmills here.

Kinderdijk boasts the largest collection of old windmills in all of the Netherlands, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. We’ll take in these incredible windmills during our excursion today, and will then continue our river cruise to Rotterdam, where we will disembark the MV Virginia for our return journey home.

This Holiday is Great For

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  • 46x44-icon-culture
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  • 46x44-icon-scenery


Day One - London St Pancras to Amsterdam
We board our Eurostar service at London St Pancras and travel to Brussels, where we change to a local service to Amsterdam. From here, we are met and transfer to the MV Virginia. Enjoy a welcome drink upon arrival, before our evening meal. (D)

Day Two - Amsterdam to Enkhuizen
We enjoy our included excursion to Keukenhof Gardens today, where you are sure to be amazed by the colourful floral displays. We then continue our journey to Enkhuizen, where we moor overnight. (B,L,D)

Day Three - Enkhuizen to Arnhem
Sit back and relax as we sail from Enkhuizen to Arnhem today - why not visit the Sun Deck to take in the views? Or, consider joining our optional excursion to the Netherlands Open Air Museum. (B,L,D)

Day Four - Arnhem to Schoonhoven
We depart Arnhem just after midday and sail to Schoonhoven, famous for its silversmithing history. Arriving by late afternoon, we will have time to explore at leisure before we enjoy our evening meal tonight. (B,L,D)

Day Five - Schoonhoven - Kinderdijk - Rotterdam
Make the most of our included excursion to discover Kinderdijk’s historical windmills today. Sailing from Schoonhoven early this morning, marvel at the beautiful river views as we travel to Kinderdijk. Here, we will learn more about these ancient windmills and will take a tour of them - don’t forget your camera! There are sure to be lots of excellent photo opportunities. We will then return to our ship for lunch and our sailing to Rotterdam, arriving by mid-afternoon. Explore this vibrant city at leisure to take in its many sights, before we enjoy a fantastic Captain’s gala dinner this evening. (B,L,D)

Day Six - Rotterdam to London St Pancras  
We disembark in Rotterdam and transfer to the station for our train to Brussels, where we change to our Eurostar service back to London St Pancras. (B)

MV Virginia

Whether you want to discover the Rhine and Moselle rivers, or Dutch Waterways, the MV Virginia is the ideal choice. Our warm, inviting ship is a firm favourite with Shearings customers, and it’s very easy to see why. If you’re after scenic River Cruises that give you the opportunity to travel in style and comfort, while exploring beautiful destinations and taking in stunning scenery, we have the perfect selection of Europe River Cruises for you. 

Having been fully refurbished in 2013, the MV Virginia provides a modern, relaxed atmosphere, with impressive decor and a fantastic environment in which you’ll be able to relax at ease while enjoying Rhine River Cruises. 

You’ll experience the classic Shearings charm that our customers are now accustomed to. Our friendly staff will be on-hand at all times to welcome you aboard the ship after exiting excursions in fantastic destinations, and they’ll be happy to recommend ideas for things to do and sights to see when we’re docked. 

The MV Virginia is the perfect vessel for first-time River Cruise travellers - if you’re booking your very first Dutch Waterways, Rhine or Moselle River Cruise, you’ll feel right at home on this ship. With its intimate and relaxed atmosphere, you’re sure to make a number of firm friends with your fellow passengers. 

While we’re travelling, be sure to admire the changing scenery from the sundeck, where you can soak up the rays or sit under the covered area. Why not enjoy a pre-dinner drink with your new friends at the bar, before tucking into the sumptuous meals served on-board. You’ll get to enjoy buffet breakfasts, as well as three-course lunches and four-course evening meals with waiter service. 

Step aboard the MV Virginia with Shearings to discover just why this ship is so popular with our customers.



Ship Gallery

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The Local Area

Included Excursions

Keukenhof Gardens

Admire the stunning floral displays at Keukenhof Gardens with seven themed gardens. Set in a park intersected by canals and lakes, the world's greatest flower show draws huge spring crowds to its lines of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils. Stroll through a carpet of diverse colours and scents, admiring the handiwork of a dedicated team of horticulturalists.


Keukenhof Gardens

Admire the stunning floral displays at Keukenhof Gardens with seven themed gardens. Set in a park intersected by canals and lakes, the world's greatest flower show draws huge spring crowds to its lines of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils. Stroll through a carpet of diverse colours and scents, admiring the handiwork of a dedicated team of horticulturalists.



The Netherlands is world-famous for its windmills, and today there are still more than 1,000 mills. Nowhere in the world will you find as many windmills as in the Dutch village of Kinderdijk. In 1740, no less than 19 sturdy mills were built here to drain excess water from the Alblasserwaard polders, which are situated below sea-level. The powerful mill sails transmit the force of the wind on to the large paddle-wheels, which scoop up the water.

According to legend, the name Kinderdijk owes its name to an incident during a flood in the 15th century. A cradle carrying a child floated on the waves of the river, with the cradle kept afloat by a cat. Eventually, the cradle became stranded on the slope of a dike. The spot where this event happened was named Kinderdijk.

In 1997, the mills of Kinderdijk were added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO and are one of the Netherlands' most popular tourist attractions. Join us for this truly wonderful Dutch Experience as we enjoy a full guided tour of the Pumphouse – with a full explanation of how the windmills work and how they have played a vital role in Holland’s past.

We then continue to the Visitor’s Windmill where you may wish to climb the stairs (approx 60) to reach the top of the windmill, which offers spectacular views. After this, we'll enjoy a relaxing cruise, seeing the windmills from a different perspective.


Optional Excursions

Delightful Delft

Join us as we explore one of the prettiest cities in Holland. Delft is probably best known for the blue and white porcelain and pottery that originates from the area, known as Delftware.

Delft is one of Holland’s historical centres and is home to the Dutch royal family. The centre of Delft has a number of very interesting historical buildings and churches, such as the City Hall, the Oude Kerk (Old Church) and the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church).

Following our guided walking tour, we head to the New Church (entrance included). The church tower is the second highest in Holland and is also the resting place of the Dutch Royal family. We then head to the Royal Porcelain Factory.


Discover Amsterdam

Capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is the country's largest city with over one million inhabitants and is referred to as the "Venice of the North" because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. During our guided tour we will give you an introduction to the many fabulous sights of this wonderful city.

Our tour commences with a guided tour by coach, we see Dam Square, the heart of Amsterdam. The square is flanked by the impressive Royal Palace, which for many years was the home of the Dutch Royal Family. We also see Museum Square, dominated by the Rijksmuseum, the old harbour, the famous flea market, the infamous red light district, the Amstel River, Skinny Bridge and the many museums including the Van Gogh Museum.


Netherlands Open Air Museum

Uncover the Netherlands’ fascinating past at this excellent open air museum, learning all about the country’s many customs and traditions. Here, we’ll discover historical houses, mills and farmhouses, depicting the lives of those who lived through the Netherlands’ times of great change throughout the 19th century, the country’s industrial revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and into modern times. With many interesting exhibits to discover, this is sure to make for an exciting excursion!