I have just returned from a seven-night Avalon Waterways river cruise on board Avalon Luminary through Holland at the start of the tulip season. I attempted to blog from the rivership, but although they had free wi-fi/internet, the reception was patchy and caused some frustration, so here is my report from dry land.  This will be an abbreviated report as I will be writing a full report in the next issue of Cruise Passenger magazine, illustrated with many colourful photos.

Getting to and returning from each destination can be an extremely pleasurable experience if planned properly.  On the other hand, lack of planning and not leaving enough time for potential mishaps can turn the event into a nightmare.

I always plan to arrive at the embarkation port at least two days ahead. With all the unforeseen mishaps that are possible, such as airlines experiencing delays, one certainly does not want to “miss the boat”.

After a faultless flight from Sydney via Dubai to Amsterdam on Emirates, we arrived in Amsterdam refreshed and ready to begin our exploration of this storybook city. We had booked into the Amstel InterContinental Hotel, a five-star property on the banks of the Amstel River, which certainly lived up to our expectations. One of their three restaurants had a Michelin star, however the other two were exceptional.  After two days of independent sightseeing, it was time to join our fellow passengers at a centrally located hotel, where after some light refreshments we were driven a short distance by luxury motor coach to board Avalon Luminary.

Watch this space…