Floral Treasures of Holland with Joe Swift 2019

Dutch Waterways | Netherlands, Europe

7 days
per person
  • Keukenhof Gardens
  • Appletern Gardens
  • Brussels
  • Dordrecht
  • Floralia
  • Antwerp
  • Rotterdam
Keukenhof GardensAppletern GardensBrusselsDordrechtFloraliaAntwerpRotterdam
Note that there may be small differences between our general Itinerary for this cruise and a specific departure. To view departure specific itineraries please go to the Dates and Prices tab and click "View Itinerary" on a specific departure.

The Floral Treasures of Holland with Joe Swift

This seven-day trip will reveal the horticultural highlights of the region in the convivial company of Gardeners’ World presenter, Joe Swift. Joe will answer all of your gardening queries and reveal insights and stories from his career, during a talk and Q&A session. He will also accompany you on a special visit to see the artfully arranged flower beds and a kaleidoscope of colour that is the Keukenhof Gardens - known as the finest Spring Gardens in Europe. During the trip, you will enjoy an excursion to Floralia, the renowned Spring Flower Show held in the grounds of the Château de Grand Bigard. You will also visit Appletern Gardens; home to a myriad of rare blooms and heritage species, as well as free time to enjoy the beautiful Dutch and Belgian cities.

Day 1: Amsterdam
We travel to Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, and enjoy a relaxing evening onboard our ship.

Day 2: Amsterdam
We set off early this morning on our optional coach excursion to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, where you can experience the hustle and bustle of the auction floor and admire the stunning flowers traded daily from more than 10 countries (a packed breakfast will be taken because of the early start). This evening you can join another optional excursion which reveals the best views of Amsterdam on a cruise around the city's canals.

Day 3: Kinderdijk
This morning we reach Kinderdijk, which is renowned for its 19 beautifully preserved windmills. Our optional excursion visits two of the mills, where we learn about the lifestyle of a miller and the mechanism of a mill, before cruising to Dordrecht. Our included excursion then takes you to Appeltern Gardens, home to 200 model gardens bursting with colour and inspiration. Later today we begin cruising towards Belgium.

Day 4: Antwerp & Floralia
After breakfast, our coach departs on an included trip to Floralia, the Spring Flower Show held in the grounds of Château de Grand Bigard. Here you can wander among more than a million bulbs and admire the glasshouse exhibits. The remainder of the day is free to explore Antwerp which is renowned for its skilled diamond cutters and cherished artist; Peter Paul Rubens.

Day 5: Antwerp
Today’s optional trip takes you to the National Botanic Garden of Belgium (Meise) and the Plant Palace. This is one of the largest botanic gardens in the world, which also boasts an enormous glasshouse filled with more than 10,000 plant species. This evening we sail to Rotterdam.

Day 6: Rotterdam & Keukenhof Gardens
After breakfast, our coach departs on an included trip to Keukenhof Gardens, where over seven million bulbs are on show. You can follow the pathways which surround shimmering lakes, ancient trees and wonderful works of art, browse the pavilions, find your way around the hedge maze and enjoy the entertainment taking place throughout the day. Joe Swift will join us here for a talk this morning and share his insights into Keukenhof and Holland’s incredible variety of spring flowers during a talk and Q&A session. Later this evening begin cruising back to Amsterdam.

Day 7: Amsterdam – UK
We bid farewell to our captain and crew after breakfast and set off on the return journey.

Presenter, garden designer, author Joe Swift
Having studied garden design at The English Gardening School based at the Chelsea Physic Garden, whilst simultaneously setting up a landscaping company, Joe started presenting Gardeners’ World in 1998. The author of multiple books on gardening, including Joe’s Allotment: Planting and Planting a Productive Plot, Joe is an award-winning garden designer and also writes and presents the BBC’s annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show.


• Exclusive Gardener's Question Time-style Q&A with Joe Swift 

• See over 200 model gardens on an included visit to Appeltern

• Walk around Château de Grand-Bigard during the spectacular Floralia spring flower show

• Entrance to one of the largest botanic gardens in the world, the National Botanic Garden of Belgium

• See the Plant Palace which houses more than 10,000 plant species from around the world

• Visit Keukenhof with Joe Swift, the most beautiful spring garden in the world


We offer a number of flexible travel options for you to join your cruise, whether you want to travel to the port of departure or directly to the ship. Please see below:

Coach via Dover

On many of our cruises you can take advantage of our convenient and FREE regional coach departures aboard our modern executive coaches from a town or city near you to the port of departure and onwards to meet the ship.

Ferry crossing at Dover

When you travel by coach or car, you will join a ferry at Dover, depending on your chosen cruise, and cross over to Europe. Our coach will then take you to meet our ship at the embarkation point as shown in the cruise itinerary.

Overnight hotel in Dover or Ashford

Travel at your own pace, in the comfort of your own vehicle and stay overnight at Dover or Ashford, in accommodation close to the port of departure and be collected/returned by our coach. Prices start from £55 per night on a bed and breakfast basis and include parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise.

Eurostar from London St Pancras

Enjoy the benefits of rail travel – boarding at London St Pancras International, you will be whisked effortlessly along by Eurostar whilst relaxing in your reserved seat. You have the freedom to stretch your legs whenever the mood takes you and purchase drinks and snacks from the buffet carriage.

By Air Heathrow

Air travel is included as an air inclusive option with flights and return transfers to the ship included.

Meet at your cruise ship

Make your own travel arrangements at your convenience to join your selected cruise, simply board your cruise ship at the embarkation point.

Dates and pricing

The details below show the travel options, pricing and the available departure dates for this itinerary. If you have any questions about this cruise please do not hesitate to call our Holiday Advisors.


DepartureTravel optionsBooking

Enhance your holiday experience with a range of optional and included excursions that allow you to discover the history of our ports of call, experience the tradition of local regions and explore further afield. They’re the perfect complement to your cruise itinerary, but they are subject to availability so we recommend you book early!

Aaslsmeer Flower Auction

Aaslsmeer Flower Auction


Aalsmeer is the largest trading centre for plants and flowers in the world with trading taking place with over 10 countries. This is the only place in the world where you can watch the trading take place.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

Amsterdam Canal Cruise


The city of Amsterdam is best appreciated with a cruise along its world famous canals; indeed no visit is complete without having this experience. Enjoy a selection of wonderful cheeses washed down with a refreshing glass of wine as our chartered cruiser, accompanied by English commentary, highlights the sights and places of interest passing by.

Windmills of Kinderdijk

Windmills of Kinderdijk


No trip to the Netherlands is complete without visiting these beautiful wooden windmills, which date back to the 1500s.We visit the Museum Windmill Nederwaard and the Museum Windmill Blokweer and gain fascinating insight from both.

Appeltern Gardens

Appeltern Gardens


A walk through this 23 hectare park is an experience for all the senses. There is a free audio tour if you are interested in the story behind Appeltern and want an extra explanation about the gardens, or you can simply enjoy the quiet, the space and the nature. Whichever you choose, you’re almost certain to come away with some fantastic ideas for your own garden.

National Botanic Garden of Belgium

National Botanic Garden of Belgium


This is one of the largest botanic gardens in the world, with endless promenades that lead you through beautiful open air collections of medicinal and herbaceous plants, shrubs, trees and conifers. There’s also the Plant Palace, an enormous glasshouse with more than 10,000 plant species from around the world.

Floralia Flower Show

Floralia Flower Show


This spectacular show is held in the grounds of Château de Grand-Bigard, where well over a million bulbs have been hand-planted by the castle’s gardeners. Tulips, hyacinths and daffodils are among the 400 varieties on show, along with extremely rare types. There are also displays in the greenhouses, and beautiful arrangements in the chapel and the tower, plus bulbs can be purchased at the entrance to the castle.

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens


Keukenhof is spring at its most beautiful; where all the best floral features of the season are brought together to form stunning displays which are reflected in the still waters of the surrounding lakes.

Excursion Package Price

Excursion Package Price


Don't miss a thing by booking our special excursion package which includes all the listed excursions for this cruise. Not only can you take part in all the exciting trips we have organised, you can enjoy all this at a reduced cost!

At a glance

Length: 7 days

From: Amsterdam

Ends: Amsterdam

Travel options available:

  • Coach via Dover
  • Ferry crossing at Dover
  • Overnight hotel in Dover or Ashford
  • Eurostar from London St Pancras
  • By Air Heathrow
  • Meet at your cruise ship
7 days
per person

Customer feedback

Included in the Price

  • Return travel from the UK
  • Welcome drink, Captain’s get-together and party night
  • Six nights’ cruise on a full board basis
  • Entertainment every night of your cruise
  • Visits to Amsterdam, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Meise & Rotterdam
  • Entrances to Floralia Flower Show and Appletern Gardens
  • Visit to Keukenhof Gardens with Joe Swift
  • Q&A session with Joe Swift
  • Services of our experienced and friendly Cruise Director and Cruise Manager


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