Netherlands Cruises

Cruising in Netherlands

The Netherlands is a tiny country, but it’s home to Europe’s largest port, located in the city of Rotterdam. A cruise in this area will typically port at Rotterdam or Amsterdam, the capital city; from Rotterdam The Hague is around 20 minutes by road, and Amsterdam less than an hour away, so there’s a lot to see and do once you’re ashore.

Although the city of Rotterdam is itself several centuries old—the area was settled as early as 900, and by the 14th century was a thriving fishing village—a large portion of the city is actually much more modern. Much of the city was rebuilt following World War II, and it’s now an eclectic mix of architectural styles, with eighteenth century buildings side-by-side with modern steel and glass. Although Rotterdam isn’t as picturesque as the country’s capital, it’s a lively city with an energetic atmosphere, and just as charming in its own way.

Amsterdam, on the other hand, is famous for its striking appearance. The canals that wind their way through the city, beautifully-maintained buildings centuries old, and the enormous number of bridges—more than 1,500 of them—that cross the canals, make this city unique. The Old Centre district is the medieval heart of the city, and it’s a wonderful place to shop, enjoy coffee and pastries at one of the many cafés, and soak up the antique ambience. Amsterdam is also well known for the Bloemenmarkt, or flower markets—amazing explosions of colour and fragrance, and a true feast for the senses. One of the cultural highlights of the city is the Van Gogh Museum, which has an incredible collection of paintings and drawings; viewing the work of one of the world’s greatest artists is an experience you’ll never forget.

The spring and summer months are the most pleasant time to visit Rotterdam and the surrounding cities, as winter tends to bring with it sub-zero temperatures and a great deal of rain. The spring tulip displays in the fields surrounding Amsterdam make it a popular time to visit, even though it can remain cold well into the season.

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