Gardeners' World presenter Joe swift studied garden design at The English Gardening School in 1990 while he set up his own landscaping company. As well as co-anchoring the RHS Chelsea Flower Show since 2001, Joe has presented, Small Town Gardens, Garden Makers and The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge among other television programmes. He is also the author of three books, and regularly writes for a range of publications.
Enjoy tulips in Amsterdam with Carol Klein and Joe Swift
Amsterdam has so much to offer visitors all year round, but if you're there in spring it means you can't miss out on seeing its colourful fields full of blooming tulips.
On an eight-day river cruise with Emerald Waterways, you'll discover the cuisine and heritage of this historic corner of northern Europe. Making your stay extra special are exclusive events in the company of BBC Gardeners' World presenters Carol Klein and Joe Swift. Together, you will explore the renowned Keukenhof Gardens, one of the largest and most beautiful of its kind in the world. You will hear Joe and Carol's tips and stories from their careers during a private talk and question-and-answer session.
At the stunning Keukenhof Gardens, which span 79 acres, you will see more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths in bloom. You will also enjoy an exclusive visit to Antwerp's oasis of green, the Botanical Garden, founded almost 200 years ago to grow medicinal plants for the nearby hospital and now has more than 2,000 herbs, cacti and foreign plants.
Best of Amsterdam
During your trip to the Netherlands, you will have ample free time to explore the canals, windmills and streets of 700-year-old Amsterdam, one of the most cultural cities in Europe.
You will be able to experience some of the highlights of Dutch and Flemish culture, from the immense maritime influence of Antwerp to the culinary delights of the local cheeses as you browse the region's finest stores. You will also explore the Airborne Museum Hartenstein in Arnhem, where you will learn about the infamous battle in 1944.
"There is nowhere quite like Holland to experience tulips in full bloom and the chance to wander through the floral displays at Keukenhof Gardens - where you will see row upon row of riotous colours - will live long in the memory. I can't wait to return."
- Joe Swift
Reasons to book
Stunning garden visits
Dutch and Flemish culture
Your expert guides
Carol Klein is a regular presenter of Gardeners' World, where her down-to-earth approach has made her a hugely popular figure. She first appeared on the programme in the late 1990s when Geoff Hamilton featured the garden at her North Devon home, Glebe Cottage. In 2014, Life In A Cottage Garden was filmed at her property, and she was also seen on The Great British Garden Revival, a BBC series that won TV Broadcast of the Year at the Garden Media Guild Awards. Carol has a degree in Fine Art and spent many years teaching art in schools. She later ran a nursery from her home, Glebe Cottage, and showed at Chelsea for many year, so her hobby eventually became her career.
- UK return flights
- Seven nights' on-board luxury accommodation in a Grand Balcony Suite
- Select shore excursions
- Talks and Q&A with Carol Klein and Joe Swift
- All meals on board including complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- All port charges, airport taxes and transfers within Europe
- All tips
- Complimentary bicycles and Wi-Fi
- Services of a knowledgeable cruise director and tour guides
- On-board pool and cinema
You will fly into the fascinating 700-year-old city of Amsterdam; land of windmills, canals and tulips. On arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your luxury Emerald Waterways river cruise ship. Once you're settled, you have some free time to explore the picturesque canals, museums, theatres and cafes of the buzzing city, before returning for dinner on board.
Day2Zaanse SchansAmsterdam, Netherlands
This morning, you will visit Zaanse Schans, with its spectacular recreation of village life when it depended on windmills. There are 12 working windmills here today, a wonderful sight. Alternatively, try a guided bike tour or take part in clog painting on board. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with the ship's captain.
In the Netherlands' architectural capital, you will see highlights such as the Erasmus Bridge and the Beeldenroute Westersingel during a guided tour of Rotterdam, the country's second largest city.
Today, you will arrive in Veere, for a guided tour of the historical seafaring village. Discover the extraordinary Delta Works project - a unique series of dikes, sea walls and locks commissioned in 1953 following the devastating floods.
Discover Antwerp, Belgium's biggest port. A key player in the country's history, the city has a rich cultural heritage and is well known for its Diamond Quarter. Enjoy a guided walking tour of its cobbled streets, including the Renaissance Town Hall, Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady, the city's beautiful medieval street, Vlaeykensgang and a special visit to the Antwerp Botanical Gardens.
Later, Joe Swift will join you for a private talk and Q&A.
This morning admire traditional wooden windmills and quaint villages en route to Arnhem, where you can will tour the major sights including the Airborne Museum Hartenstein, which tells the story of the failed Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem in 1944, events that inspired Richard Attenborough-directed film, A Bridge Too Far.
You will return to the ship, where Joe will join you for the captain's cocktail reception and gala dinner.
Day7Keukenhof GardensKeukenhof, Netherlands
Today, you will be joined by Gardeners' World presenters Carol Klein and Joe Swift on an exclusive visit to Keukenhof Gardens, Europe's largest spring garden, with displays of more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. This afternoon, you will be free to spend more time at the gardens.
Carol will give an informal talk and Q&A before your farewell dinner.
Day8Return homeAmsterdam, Netherlands
After breakfast, you will disembark before for your transfer to the airport and flight home.
Chic, contemporary and stylish
Comprising over 90 generously-sized suites and staterooms, the ship's four top suites include an outdoor private balcony, a separate living room and bedroom, a walk-in wardrobe, a complimentary minibar and an invitation to dine at the Captain's Table.
The Sun Deck acts as an excellent communal area where you can enjoy the river breeze, raise a toast with new friends and relax as you watch areas of natural beauty pass by.
Emerald Sun offers all the comforts of home as well as exceptional dining options and an array of incredible extras. Chic, contemporary and stylish throughout; Emerald Sun boasts sophisticated social spaces and comfortable suites and staterooms. Contemporary designs include a three-tiered atrium and heated pool that seamlessly transforms into a cinema.
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