Tulip Time Spring
A lovely river boat cruise through beautiful
Holland and Belgium
Join a small group of 'Travel Insiders' and share the
enjoyment of a very different style of vacation on the custom
built luxury river boat Symphony (above).
Glide by picture postcard scenes during the colorful
splendor of Spring on the waterways of Holland and Belgium.
Maybe you've cruised on a
gigantic cruise ship before. Our Tulip Time Spring river
cruise is very different.
The custom built (in 2003) river cruiser, Symphony, has only 73 cabins,
making for a much more personal and less institutional
The river cruise itinerary is
also very different to a traditional ocean cruise. You
never have rough seas, and you're always treated to beautiful
views out your cabin window, never just empty ocean.
Note : We can offer you
an across the board 5% discount on all cruises operated by
Note that the cruise on this page is not being
operated by us this year, but,
have us arrange whichever other cruise you'd prefer.
skip down to the booking form
About the Cruise/Tour
Like a traditional cruise,
this is a fully inclusive cruise, and - better than a
traditional cruise - it includes a generous amount of shore
touring as well. You won't have to pay extra for your
shore touring as we visit the lovely towns and cities as we
cruise around the waterways.
The cruise of course
includes three great meals a day, plus various other snacks,
on-board entertainment, as well as generous opportunities to
sightsee, both from the boat as it cruises the river, and while
ashore during the many stops. You typically have time to
both participate in a provided tour and also to sightsee and
shop on your own.
A nice extra feature is free
wine provided with every dinner.
While all meals are available on the vessel, you'll also be able
to experience other dining opportunities ashore if you wish.
Similarly, the on-board entertainment can be supplemented with
visits to clubs and bars and shows ashore - the vessel
will sometimes stay in port until late at night, allowing you a chance to
experience each town by day and by night.
Why River Cruising
River cruising is simply and
absolutely the most comfortable and convenient way to travel
around Europe. You can unpack your bags and get
comfortable in your lovely large cabin and not need to repack or
transfer until the end of the cruise - this in itself is
probably all the convincing you'll need!
In addition, European towns
have historically tended to be centered around the major rivers,
and so river cruising is a great way to get to the lovely
historic parts of Europe, at a sedate speed, and in luxurious
How else could you travel
around Europe? On a bus tour? Yuck! By train
or car - yes, but then you have an abundance of travel hassles
I've experienced every
possible type of travel, and I'm a 100% convert. River
cruising is the best way to see Europe. Try it,
and you'll be sure to agree.
Why Cruise in Spring?
Experienced travelers know
the best time to travel is always either side of the peak
periods. Spring is a glorious time of
year, especially in mid/late April.
You have long days of
sunshine without overbearing heat, you have the glorious palette
of spring flowers enlivening the views from the boat, and you're
avoiding the worst of the peak summer crowds and costs.
Independent Reviews of Amadeus
It always pays to check what
other reviewers say of a cruise. Although Amadeus
Waterways is a new operator, it is already starting to gain
positive public reviews. Here are several
commentaries that provide glowing reports.
Cruisereviews.com has a lengthy and positive review of a
Symphony cruise in 2003.
About.com also has a positive review of a Symphony Cruise in
And here's a review of a Symphony cruise by an
Amadeus also show some
passenger feedback on their website.
This cruise itinerary
operates on seven different sailings in April (details
here). We can arrange your cruise for any of these
seven dates, or, if you'd like to be part of our small group,
you can join us on the group sailing date.
The featured group cruise commences in
Amsterdam on Sunday 17 April 2005. If you're traveling from the
US, you should leave on Saturday 16 April (or earlier) to
arrive into Amsterdam on the 17th - most flights tend to be
The cruise also finishes in
Amsterdam, on Sunday 24 April. You can then either return
home that day or extend your stay in Europe as you wish.
We recommend, if at all
possible, that you plan to arrive into Amsterdam a day before the
start of the cruise. This means if you - or your luggage -
should miss a connecting flight, or if anything else goes wrong,
you still have a day up your sleeve before the start of the
It also gives you a day to
'de-jetlag' before the cruise gets underway.
About the Symphony and
Symphony was specially built in 2003 for Amadeus
Waterways. It has been custom designed to take best
advantage of the special conditions involved in river cruising.
Although the oldest of the
Amadeus fleet, it is the perhaps the 'cosiest' of the ships,
giving the best overall guest experience. Because it is
slightly shorter than the new ships, it can also go some places
that the other ships can't, and so we've chosen an itinerary
operated by Symphony for this tour.
The boat is long but narrow.
It is 358' long and 37.4' wide, and cruises at 15.6 mph (25 kph).
There are 73 cabins on three decks, and all are well equipped
with a/c, bathroom and shower, phone, television, hairdryer and
safe. The television has satellite tv channels, and a
With a maximum passenger
capacity of 146, you'll find it easier to make new friends on
board, and when the boat stops in a small town, you don't
overload the town and its small shops with thousands of fellow
Cabins are a massive 160 sq ft each.
There are also four suites of 236 sq ft.
Smoking is restricted to
outside areas only.
The cruise is marketed
primarily to English speaking people and the official language
on board is English. This means you won't have the
inconvenience of having to listen to every announcement being
repeated in four or five different languages.
Amadeus Waterways is a relatively new company, founded by
their President Rudi Schreiner in 2003, who formerly started the
river cruising operation for Uniworld, and who then founded
Viking River Cruises before now creating this latest company.
He has taken his experience and knowledge of both what is good
and bad about other river cruises and built a high quality
company that is quickly setting the new high standard for river
cruising in Europe.
I've spoken with Rudi at length, and we know many of the same
people in the travel industry, and am very comfortable endorsing his
company and his tours.
We are offering this cruise
in three different grades of cabin plus also the suites.
Want more information?
Got questions you need answered?
You can chat with David directly if he is online. Click on the
button below if it says 'Click for Live Help'.
A grade cabins have the best
view because they're on the upper deck.
B grade cabins are identical
in size and layout to the A cabins, but are one deck down.
D grade cabins are on the
bottom deck and so offer the poorest views and do not have the
over-size and opening picture windows.
Unless you like staring at a blank concrete wall
some of the time while moored at the dock, the upgrade from D to
B is well worth the extra money, and for only a very little more
money, you go up one more deck to the best cabins. We
recommend the A cabins accordingly.
An inclusive price for the
cruise, with no nasty hidden extras for taxes, port and extra charges,
and also including most shore excursions, too (that is a massive
extra value item included for free!) is $2211 for the
cabins, $2161 for the B grade cabins and $1861 for the D cabins.
The suites are $2761. Prices are
per person, based on sharing a cabin with one other person.
Insider readers get a 5% discount off these rates.
Your price is $2099 for the A cabins, $2053 for B and $1768 for
the D cabins. Suites are offered at $2623.
You can pay for your cruise using a
credit card with no credit card surcharge.
A $200 per person
non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your places on
this cruise, and the balance 90 days prior to departure.
A single supplement is
available. This is 50% of the per person rate.
What about the Air Fare?
You will save money and gain
flexible convenience if you arrange your own air travel.
These days airlines seldom give discounts to groups, and
sometimes even charge more, while also adding extra restrictions
to the tickets!
You are therefore free to make your
own arrangements, any way you wish, to travel to Amsterdam, and you can of course make extra
stops and arrive earlier or stay longer. You can choose whichever
carrier has the best fare and the best schedules for you, and
you can also choose a carrier that you wish to earn miles with.
You can even cash in miles and fly on frequent flier awards.
We'll be pleased to answer
any questions you might have about arranging your air
transportation, of course.
In addition to this
flexibility, you can also take advantage of a negotiated airfare
offered by Amadeus Waterways, which assumes you'll travel
from the US on Saturday 16 April and return on Sunday 24 April,
and these dates can be varied if you'd prefer.
This is approx $680 per person from New York and more from other
cities. Taxes of approximately $170
are extra. If you choose the Amadeus air, then
airport/dock transfers are included to and from the airport.
Need More Information?
If you've a question or need
more clarification, go ahead and ask. Click for Live
Chat Help (if we're online) or
send us an email, or feel free to call us at (206)337-2317.
We generally recommend you
should protect against the various types of losses that may
occur while traveling.
Amadeus Waterways offer a
policy that covers you for trip cancellation and interruption
costs, medical costs, trip delay, and baggage delay or loss.
This is $199 per person. For an extra $30, you get a 'no
questions asked' cancellation coverage - you can cancel for any
reason at any time and get a voucher for the value of the
cruise, to be used against future cruising with Amadeus any time
in the following two years. The premium is payable with your
If you would like to add
this protection, we'll send you a copy of the terms and
conditions so you understand exactly what is covered.
How to Extend or Vary this Tour
There are many ways you can
extend or vary this tour.
We recommend that you should
arrive into Europe at least a day before the cruise starts, so
as to give yourself a day to resolve any problems that may occur
such as missing flights or losing luggage.
You might want to spend more
time touring around Europe, or perhaps hop over (under!) the
channel to Britain. A Eurail pass is a great way to travel
If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
We're here to help ensure your experience is as good as
Tour Terms and Conditions
standard terms and conditions
apply to this tour.
In addition, please note
these extra terms :
1. The 90 day
payment due date is considered to be Wednesday 12 January.
2. US citizens require a
current passport that will not expire for at least six months
after the date of their planned return back to the US in order
to be admitted to Europe. They do not require any European visas. Citizens of other countries should check with the
airline that will transport them to Europe to determine what
passport and visa requirements may apply.
3. Tour price is
subject to change prior to full payment being received.
4. Terms and
conditions of the cruise line (Amadeus
Waterways) also apply.
10 Dec 2004, last update
08 Jul 2017