Keukenhof Gardens: Beyond The Tulips
As we start a new year, rivercruisers will already be looking forward to one of the first events of the calendar. In March, the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, located just outside of Amsterdam, will open its doors for the 71st time. With blooms timed perfectly so that the entire park explodes with colour for six weeks, green-fingered travellers will arrive from all over to see the arrangements – many of which as part of a Tulip Time river cruise. And with the theme for 2020 being ‘World of Colours’, expect to see even more shades carpeting the floor.
However, although Keukenhof is iconic for its volume of tulips in every colour of the rainbow, there is plenty more to see and do in within these extensive grounds.
Although visitors to this sprawling annual flower show can expect to see over 800 tulips in around 100 different varieties, there are other flowers on display too. Hyacinths, daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations and irises are all common and add to the beautiful environment. Growers from different countries arrive to show off their skills, producing flower mosaics, flower art, and indoor and outdoor displays that will wow.
The Whisper Boats
Looking for the most peaceful way to enjoy the colourful sights of Keukenhof? Climb into a whisper boat and travel around the park via the charming waterway that runs around the outskirts and through the middle. These electric boats take you on a 60-minute tour of the grounds, providing an informative commentary as you go. There is a small cost involved (€9 for adults) but it’s a great way to understand the scale of the site in a relaxing way.
During the six weeks that Keukenhof is open, a wide range of events are held, including the Flower Parade and pop-up art galleries. You’ll also be able to join lectures hosted by horticultural experts, during which you can pick their brains and listen to the wonderful stories about their careers in the world gardening. You never know, you could pick up some great tips for the summer.
If exploring the park leaves you feeling a bit peckish, there are plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat –and most of them offer the chance to sample some Dutch delights. Cafés and restaurants are available if you’re in need of a full meal, but there are also food trucks along the walkways serving up local dishes like bitterballen (meatballs), stroopwafel, pannenkoeken (pancakes), pea soup and oliebollen (doughnuts).
If you’re bringing the children with you to enjoy a multi-generational river cruise, there are also some great activities for them at Keukenhof. As well as a petting zoo, maze and multiple playgrounds, they will be able to take part in a scavenger hunt that encourages them to explore the park looking for clues.
If you’re interested in booking a Tulip Time cruise, call the GoRiverCruise team on 0800 954 0064. We have a wide range of itineraries on board various ships and will help you find the right holiday for you.