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Holland & Belgium River Cruises

Embark on a river cruise along the waterways of Holland (The Netherlands) and Belgium. Glide atop the canals of Amsterdam, see rainbow fields of tulips in springtime, devour delicious Belgian waffles, and explore charming cities including Rotterdam, Bruges, and Ghent. Pay respects to those who lost their lives here in wartime and immerse yourself in the arts at the many museums and galleries.

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The Waterways of Holland & Belgium

Map of the waterways of Holland & Belgium

Tulip Time

A cruise in Holland during the spring is synonymous with stunning tulip fields. The Keukenhof Gardens, accessible via river cruise excursions, boasts over 7 million bulbs in bloom, offering a riot of colour that's a photographer's dream.

Is there a best time to cruise these waterways?

Spring (from late March to late June) is tulip season in Holland and ideal for flower enthusiasts. Autumn (from September to November) offers fewer crowds and is one of the most magical times to visit Amsterdam with brilliant foliage transforming the cities's canals and bars and restaurants become delightfully cosy. The summer provides long days and warm weather.

Belgian Beer & Chocolate

In Belgium, you're in the heartland of world-class beer and chocolate. Many cruises offer tasting sessions and factory visits, where you can learn the craft behind these famous Belgian exports. Don't miss out on local delicacies like stroopwafels in Holland and Belgian waffles and chocolate in Belgium.

Windmills & Waterways

Holland's iconic windmills are not just picturesque; they're part of a historic water management system to keep the country, much of which is below sea level, dry. A cruise here provides firsthand insight into this engineering marvel.

Medieval Beauty

Belgian cities like Bruges and Ghent offer stunning medieval architecture virtually untouched by the ravages of war. Cobblestone streets, historic churches, and ancient market squares give you a feeling of stepping back in time.

Where would my river cruise start?

Most river cruises start from within Amsterdam. The city has multiple docking locations, but the most commonly used terminal for river cruises is the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA), located close to the city centre. The central location of the docks makes it convenient for travellers to explore Amsterdam before or after their river cruise.

Discover Must do experiences and highlights

Keukenhof in Springtime

Keukenhof in Springtime

Visit this iconic flower garden, where springtime sees over 7 million bulbs bloom beautifully including a blanket of colour fashioned by 800 tulip varieties.

Pedal Power and Windmills

Pedal Power and Windmills

Cycle amidst the Kinderdijk Windmills that have called this countryside home since the 18th century and take in these iconic structures from handlebar height.

Ghent – A Hidden Gem

Ghent – A Hidden Gem

Wander the cobblestone streets of one of Belgium’s most beautiful cities. Explore the Old Town and sightsee an impressive collection of castles and churches.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

The canals of Amsterdam wind their way around the city and weave their magic on your time here. Glide along the 17th century canal ring in a glass top boat, past incredible architecture and under charming bridges.

Van Gogh’s Masterpieces

Van Gogh’s Masterpieces

If art calls, the Netherlands answers. Visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to wander in awe through the biggest collection of his artwork in the world, followed by the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.

Latest Reviews What our clients are saying about their river cruises through Holland & Belgium

Booking with our Avalon cruise with Hannah   , WA, Australia, Aug 2023
Thanks Hannah, everything went great. Despite Emirates delay into Amsterdam. The booked pickup waited an extra thirty minutes for us. We made the boat with 45 minutes to spare. Cabin 312 was excellent as was the whole cruise. See you sometime 2024. Thanks.
A tip toe through the tulips   , QLD, Australia, Apr 2019
We booked this Tulip Time Cruise because my husband is a keen gardener and thought we would be gliding down the rivers of Holland and Belgium seeing endless fields of tulips. Unfortunately this was not the case and the only opportunity to see tulips was the included visit to Keukenhof Gardens. In fact, we did not see much of the countryside at all as ...read more the boat sailed at night except for 2 afternoons towards the end. This was very disappointing and rather disturbing sleep wise.

The cities we visited were all lovely with beautiful old buildings we don't have in Australia but I would have liked to see the little towns along the river too. The boat was nice and well appointed, the staff friendly and very helpful and of course the food was good with a French chef, maybe a little bit too fancy as only the French do.

There was a mix of nationalities on board, the majority of passengers being American, Australian, and English. Everyone seemed to get along. We had a few showery days and it got unseasonably cold for the last few days but overall the weather was as expected. We were disappointed with the amount of entertainment on board... there was only a few nights when anything was on. They were good acts but we were expecting more local acts.

We booked the trip with Jemma and as usual it was easy and everything went as planned. Thanks Global Journeys once again.
Another great trip   , VIC, Australia, Apr 2019
I was a bit unlucky with the weather but it did not stop me having a great time. Especially seeing the tulips which was my main reason for taking this river cruise. I really enjoyed the trip, my accommodation was excellent (even if I was at the end of the corridor) the staff were excellent as usual. Food, wine and entertainment were very good, as was ...read more the organisation.
Relaxing river cruise through wonderful Holland   , NSW, Australia, Apr 2019
What was so enjoyable about the cruise was the relaxed pace and plenty of opportunities to get to know our friendly fellow passengers. All the staff were also very friendly and took a personal interest in us. We were the only two non US residents out of 180 passengers and it seemed as if they were out to make us feel at home- which we felt very much ...read more indeed. There was a lot of laughter and friendly teasing.

The excursions from the ship were exceptionally chosen for their cultural and educational value. We were very impressed with our tour to the world's largest agriport and learned about their green house technology. Holland is indeed a wonderful country to explore with so much variety and diversity to offer e.g. history from the Operation Market Garden, the ingenuity of the people in their water management, and of course the beautiful tulips in Keukenhof.

One complaint is the fact that nobody told us that we could book the optional tours months before beginning the cruise - as a result of which, even though we had booked 1 year ago, we missed out on the bicycle tour. Also, if making your own transfers, one can be dismayed by the uncertainty of the ship's docking positions. We ended up cancelling our private arrangements and opted for the more expensive option of using Viking's transfers. But all in all, it was a very enjoyable experience.

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