Holland ‘Tulip Cruises’, from Alkmaar (near Amsterdam) to Delft (or reverse)
Sunday, Day 1 Alkmaar
Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)
We meet you at the Pulitzer Hotel
in Amsterdam and transfer you to Panache moored at Alkmaar. Once aboard enjoy a champagne welcome and an introduction to your crew and hotel barge. Dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Alkmaar to Zaandam
This morning we visit Alkmaar, a beautiful coastal town famous for its traditional cheese and clog making. A guided walk with your tour leader and free time to enjoy the quaint shops and town. After lunch we cruise to Wormerveer and then a bicycling opportunity or minibus to tour Zaanse Schans, an open air conservation area and museum, giving you a vivid impression of the Dutch way of life in the 17th and 18th centuries. This historical area consists of authentic houses and windmills, an historic shipyard, pewter factory, a cheese and dairy farm and an age-old grocery store dating back to the 1900’s. Return to the hotel barge by bicycle or minibus and cruise to Zaandam. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Zaandam to Haarlem
We enjoy an early morning cruise to the historical city of Haarlem, dating back to the 13th Century. Haarlem is home to the Frans Hals Museum founded in 1862 with its vast collection of Old Masters. Other highlights include St. Bavo's Cathedral on the main square, where both Handel and Mozart played the magnificent Muller organ or free time visiting a fine selection of boutique shops. This afternoon marks a cruise highlight, with a walk through the world famous Keukenhof Gardens. Known as the garden of Europe, with more than 100 acres filled with over 7 million flowering bulbs, we stroll through breath-taking waves of colour on this unforgettable half day excursion. Dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
Wednesday, Day 4Haarlem to Oude Wetering
Optional very early morning tour is to Aalsmeer Flower auction, where some 17 million cut flowers from all over the world are traded here each day. Return to the hotel barge for a breakfast cruise to Oude Wetering, our mooring for tonight. Free time this afternoon to cycle along the many towpaths around the lake or visit a local cheese market, in the nearby medieval town of Gouda. The large Gothic church of Sint Janskerk in Gouda is known especially for its magnificent stain glass windows, for which it has been placed on the UNESCO list of Dutch monuments. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Oude Wetering to Leiden
Keukenhof gardens in full bloom
After breakfast we cruise to Leiden. Home to one of the oldest universities in the country and the birthplace of Rembrandt. Leiden is an historical city full of charm and character. Perfect for those who like to cycle, or simply stroll the banks of the pretty tree lined canals. This afternoon we take a tour of the city, with your tour leader explaining the history that dates back to Roman times and includes more recent sites such as the church, St. Pieterskerk, from which the pilgrims departed for America. Free time to explore the abundance of local cafes, boutique shops, markets, and antique dealers. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Leiden to Delft
Morning cruise arriving in Delft by lunchtime, our final mooring. Delft is well known for its pottery ceramic products, which were styled on the imported Chinese porcelain of the 17th century. This beautiful, unspoilt town is more than 750 years old, and began as the home port of the Dutch East India Company. Following lunch, we visit a Delft tableware factory, just 5 minutes’ walk from our hotel barge mooring to learn how this world-famous porcelain is made. You will have time during the afternoon to explore Delft further. Tonight enjoy the Captains Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Delft
After breakfast depart Panache and transfer to Amsterdam.
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
Champagne Cruise - between Paris and Cumieres
Sunday, Day 1Paris
Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)
You are met at the Westminster Hotel
in Paris and transfer to the barge mooring at the Port d ‘Arsenal, in the heart of Paris. Champagne welcome and your Captain introduces you to the crew. We enjoy short cruise through Paris past the monuments and romantic bridges. Dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Paris to Meaux
After breakfast depart Paris onto the River Marne. After lunch, we visit the magnificent Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte and its gardens, location of the film "The Man in the Iron Mask". Rejoin the hotel barge in Meaux in time for a stroll around town. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3Meaux to La Ferte
After breakfast we cruise to La Ferte. After lunch we visit to a master cheese ripener for a tasting of their various Bries, followed by a visit the Merovingian Crypts of Jouarre - a unique heritage that takes you back to the 7th century. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4La Ferte to Charly-sur-Marne
Cruise upstream to Charly-sur-Marne. Visit one of the small family vineyards before lunch to taste their wonderful champagne and visit their cellars. Lunch is followed by an afternoon an idyllic cruise to Chateau Thierry, the scene of American battles in World War I. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5Charly-sur-Marne to Damery
The river Marne winds its way through vine-covered hills dotted with small wine villages to the delightful little town of Damery. After lunch we visit the vast cellars of Moet et Chandon for a private tasting, followed by a stroll around Epernay.
Friday, Day 6 Damery to Cumieres
After breakfast we cruise the last stretch of the River Marne before arriving at our mooring in Cumieres. Visit the outside of the Abbey of Hautvilliers where the monk Dom Perignon first made champagne. After lunch we drive to the Reims cathedral, where the Kings of France were crowned. Return to the hotel barge for the Captains Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7Cumieres
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the Westminster Hotel
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
Alsace Cruise, between Strasbourg and Niderviller (or reverse)
Sunday Day 1Krafft
Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)
Guests are met in Strasbourg and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Panache for a Champagne welcome and the first opportunity to meet your crew. Perhaps there is time for a walk or cycle ride before dinner on board.
Monday Day 2Krafft to Strasbourg
Our day starts with a morning cruise, across the Gran Ried wetlands and home to an abundance of birdlife, to arrive at the historic city of Strasbourg. Later, we enjoy a tour of the beautiful ‘capital city of Europe’ including, of course, a visit to the 12th century Gothic pink sandstone cathedral, home to an astronomical Renaissance clock and soaring spire. We visit Place Gutenberg and explore La Petite France, a pedestrian area brimming with half-timbered houses, boutique shops and cafés. Dinner on board.
Tuesday Day 3Strasbourg to Waltenheim-sur-Zorn
After breakfast, our cruise takes us past the impressive European Parliament building and on through the Brumath Forest to the picturesque village of Waltenheim-sur-Zorn, where the barge moors next to a typical Hansel and Gretel style inn, or ‘bierstub’. This afternoon we enjoy a scenic drive into the rolling Vosges hills on the Route des Grands Vins, where the finest wines of Alsace are produced, and a private tasting of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Riesling wines at a long-established winemaker, such as Domaine Pfister. Returning to Panache, we head to the bierstub for aperitifs and some traditional Alsatian ‘Flammekueche’, or tarte flambée. Dinner on board.
Wednesday Day 4
Waltenheim-sur-Zorn to Saverne
The beautiful Zorn valley
This morning we take a guided tour, with an optional beer tasting, at the Meteor Brewery, founded in 1640 and the last privately-owned brewery in Alsace. Returning to Panache, we cruise further along the canal, with good walking and cycling opportunities, to the enchanting town of Saverne where history traces back over 2,000 years to the Gallo-Roman Times, mooring at the foot of the Château de Rohan, also known as the ‘Versailles of Alsace’. Dinner on board.
Thursday Day 5Saverne to Lutzelbourg
For early risers, there is perhaps an optional visit to a local bakery to watch skilled patissiers preparing their delicious creations, before we enjoy a cruise to our mooring at Lutzelbourg. In the afternoon, we visit the mountaintop village of La Petite Pierre with its medieval castle, then tour the outstanding René Lalique collection and see over 500 exceptional examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco glassware. Nearby Wingen-sur-Moder is also the World War Two battleground where American infantry fought with distinction. Dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
Friday Day 6Lutzelbourg to Niderviller
This morning, we enjoy a cruise through beautiful Alsatian countryside, before visiting the Lehrer Crystal glassworks. We then ascend the unique Arzviller boat elevator that carries Panache 450 feet up the mountainside in minutes. After lunch on board, we enjoy a tour of Sarrebourg, including visits to the 13th century chapel containing Marc Chagall’s remarkable stained-glass window and the impressive museum of Roman and Medieval artefacts. On our return we enjoy a candlelit cruise through the two Arzviller tunnels to our final mooring at Niderviller. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday Day 7Niderviller
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Strasbourg.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The itinerary is in reverse direction on alternate weeks.