• Laura Avital

Tulips and Windmills - Netherlands River Cruises


Have you ever wondered about the difference between Holland and the Netherlands? The official name of the country is the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is made up of 12 provinces. The two provinces of Noord- and Zuid-Holland together make up Holland. However, most people just say Holland when they are referring to the Netherlands. People that live in Holland are called Dutch, a word that is derived from Deutsche (German).

There are several river cruise itineraries that cruise through the Netherlands. Many are offered in the spring and usually have the word “tulip” in the name of the cruise. That’s because they focus on the beautiful tulip gardens which are open mainly between the end of March and the middle of May. Although you won’t see the tulips in the summer or fall, a river cruise through the Netherlands is always beautiful.


Most river cruises will begin and/or end in Amsterdam, and you will want to add a few extra days to your trip to explore this vibrant capital city. This will give you time to take a bike tour, go on a canal cruise, enjoy the rows of restaurants and entertainment in Leidseplein and visit the numerous museums, including the world-renowned Anne Frank House. (for more on Amsterdam, click here: Amsterdam, Venice of the North


Some of the ports that you will visit in the Netherlands on a tulip cruise include Arnhem, Middelburg, Kinderdijk, and Rotterdam. You will also sail into Belgium for visits to Ghent, Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp.



Tulip cruises wouldn’t be tulip cruises without a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens, a 79-acre park where 7 million tulips bloom each spring. And Holland wouldn’t be Holland without windmills! You can learn about the history of the windmills, including their work of the past and how technology has changed them at Kinderdijk – a collection of traditional windmills which were built around 1740.

Summer river cruises will be slightly different – but the main difference is the tulips. If you choose to cruise in the summer, your ports of call in the Netherlands will include Rotterdam, Zierikzee, and Utrecht. In Belgium, you will visit Ghent, Bruges, and Antwerp.

Regardless of which itinerary you choose, you will love the Dutch history, culture, and cuisine, the bustling cities, and small rural villages.


A river cruise through the Netherlands is perfect for nature lovers, history buffs, gardening enthusiasts, or anyone looking for a relaxing trip through a beautiful country.

Pro tip: Since the tulip cruises have such a short season, make sure to book way in advance. These cruises book up very quickly. Schedule a free consultation by CLICKING HERE and find out when you should be booking your European river cruise.


Be sure to post any questions you might have below, and we'll get right back to you! And if you like this article, give us some love by clicking on the


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