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Tulip Time Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium on the AMAWaterways Amalegro

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Overview and Embarkation in Amsterdam on the AMAWaterways Amalegro
AMAWaterways Tulip Time Itinerary Map

AMAWaterways Tulip Time Itinerary Map

AMAWaterways Tulip Time Itinerary Map Courtesy of AMAWaterways
A tulip cruise is a perfect way to greet springtime and to see some of the Netherlands and Belgium. The spring flowers are at their best from about mid-March through mid-May, and most river cruise lines send ships to Amsterdam in the early spring for cruises that last seven to ten days.

I cruised on the AMAWaterways Amalegro on a 9-day cruise tour in early April, and loved this itinerary. Our days were filled with the opportunity to explore several intriguing cities and villages of the Netherlands and Belgium either with a guide or independently. The ship was beautiful, and the crew did an excellent job of taking care of all the Amalegro passengers--they kept us well fed, entertained, and as busy as we chose to be. As can be seen on the map above, our itinerary was as follows:

Arriving in Amsterdam from our overnight flight, we easily met up with the AMA representative and took the shuttle to the ship, arriving there about 10:30 am. We were pleasantly surprised to find that our cabins were already cleaned, and by the time we had a coffee/tea and cookies, our bags were in the cabin. We unpacked, ate a light lunch, and walked the short distance into town. It was cloudy, but not raining, so mom and I sat outside on the Damrak (the main street of Amsterdam that links the Central Train Station with the Palace Square) in a sidewalk cafe and enjoyed a Dutch beer along with some people watching. The spring holidays brought out thousands of college students, and many seemed to be strolling along the Damrak.

The ship was completely full, with about 150 passengers. We enjoyed meeting some of our new fellow cruisers over drinks and dinner, but soon after, most of us went to bed early.

The next morning we had a hearty breakfast before leaving the ship at 8:30 am on an Amsterdam city tour by canal boat and bus. The weather was cold (low of 40, high of 50) and cloudy. The Amsterdam canal tour was interesting, much like we had enjoyed before. You can see much of the city from a boat, and looking at the row houses from the water is a different perspective than walking. The boat passed by many historic sites, including the Ann Frank house. We had about an hour's free time at the flower market, where I bought a stocking cap and gloves. Probably the best 20 euros I've ever spent, since I wore them most days. We were back on the ship by lunch and we sailed for Volendam.

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