For a different way to tour a Country with navigable rivers this is a great way to travel. Our tour of the Netherlands was in late April of 2010 aboard Uniworlds, "River Dutchess". It was an extremely relaxing, and a comfortable way to travel. It is similar to a cruise, but with only about 115 fellow passengers. Foreign travel is exciting, but a bit more challenging with the language, and foreign currency.
I think travelers love it because these River Cruises get you to some colorful and historical smaller towns, that are of great interest, as well as large cities. We visited Antwerep, Bruges, Veere, Hoorn, Kinderijk, Enkhuizen, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. Here are a few highlights from this trip. There is so much history in the old cities. For example the city of Hoorn which was a historic trade center and port , founded in 1311. In the 17th century it sent out many explorers in including William Schloten who sailed around Cape Horn, and named it for his home city of Hoorn. The city of Nijmegen was occupied by the Germans during WW II, and liberated by the British, and Americans in 1944. The National Liberation Museum there is so well done that it had tremendous emotional impact on me. Kinderdijk is home to many still working Windmills from 1400 & 1500's . They were the precursors to modern pumping to keep the sea out of the low land. Amsterdam is a stately old city with many homes and buildings along it's Canals, built in the 1600's. See my accompanying photos. We had several emotionally impacting experiences there including visiting Rembrandts house, The Anne Frank house, and the Old Synagogue, now restored after WWll.
Travel is always an adventure. As soon as we arrived, for our two and a half day stay in Amsterdam, we learned of the eruption of the Eyjafiallajokull Volcano in Iceland. Word came quickly that Amsterdam and about 19 other European Countries air space was closed do to debris from the volcano eruption. Authorities were unable to tell us how long we were stuck in Amsterdam. Speculation ran from a few days to a month or more. It was a bit unnerving as to how to plan. We made the most of our extra days there, while keeping an ear out for how and when we could fly home to San Diego. We finally got word from Delta Airlines that we could get a priority flight out at 6:00 AM the 5th morning , and we made it home safely.