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On boarding Avalon Luminary we were welcomed by the captain and crew then offered cocktails. After being shown to our staterooms and settling in to our very comfortable cabin, it was time for the mandatory evacuation drill held on the ship’s sundeck.

It was tulip season and all on board were looking forward to going to Floriade and seeing lots of tulips. The passenger mix was about 80 per cent North Americans with Australians making up most of the balance.

One of the beauties of river cruising is that total passenger numbers are usually about 120 and it does not take long to make many new friends.  The open seating at all meals means one usually dines with different people each day. Another added plus was that Avalon’s Ambassador, Steve Liebmann, and his wife were on board.  All the Australians were very thrilled to be travelling with Steve and I was especially pleased as Steve and I used to work together in the early days of television.

The second day saw us dock at Kinderdijk, famous for its many well-preserved windmills.  Although not used for their original purpose (which was to pump water from the low land), these are now a huge tourist attraction and everyone’s cameras were working overtime.

We were looking forward to our afternoon (included) excursion to Keukenhof, famous for its acres of tulips.

More to come soon …