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France has 2700 miles of inland waterways and a network of canals that link to the main rivers, connecting the English Channel and Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

The scenic Dutch Waterways trace a complex network of canals and rivers across the gentle landscapes of Holland and Belgium, and are the most compact network of inland waterways in Europe, fed by the Rhine. This intricate system gives access to many areas of Holland and Belgium, passing through a variety of gentle landscapes, quaint villages and ancient cities which were built on the water. The region's location, at the point where the Rhine meets the North Sea, meant that many of the towns became extremely wealthy from trade and fishing.

The number of canals, rivers and lakes are countless and, as most of the country is flat, there are almost no locks, except for those protecting the cities. Winding from Amsterdam in the north to medieval Maastricht in the south, and onwards to Belgium's beautiful cities, a Dutch Waterways cruise passes quaint villages and ancient towns built on the water and a variety of gentle landscapes, including glorious flower filled fields.

A Dutch Waterways river cruise takes you to picture-postcard towns and cities, quaint harbours and fishing villages with rows of brightly painted gabled buildings. Discover priceless works of art concealed in the forests of Gelderland, and did you know that the sleepy little medieval town of Franeker houses one of the world's oldest working planetariums?

Visit the renowned Keukenhof Gardens (world's largest floral display) where the tulips are in bloom from late-March to mid-May, depending on the variety and the weather. Not all tulips bloom at the same time, but if you go during this time you'll see a great variety of colour from all sorts of bulbs. Forget clogs – The Dutch Waterways boast colourful canals, whimsical windmills, vibrant tulips, rich maritime history, the art of Rubens and Rembrandt and of course delicious cheese!

French Canals