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Bountiful Holland: Tulips & Gardens by Riverboat

Program No. 22231RJ
The story of Dutch tulips is one of mystery, intrigue and a springtime symphony of more than 7 million bulbs in bloom. Voyage the rivers of Holland to experience this fascinating story.

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Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.


Ship Outside
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

At a Glance

Imported from Turkey in 1593, tulips were once so prized that the Dutch used flower bulbs as currency. On this voyage through Holland, learn about the history of tulips while delighting in their vibrant splendor. Walk amid a vivid palette of colors in one of the world’s largest flower gardens, learn about tulips with a bulb farmer and explore the grounds where these now bountiful blooms first arrived in the Netherlands.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two hours/two miles at a time, sometimes twice per day; cobblestones and many unavoidable stairs.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Experience the world-famous Keukenhof Garden, where more than 7 million bulbs bloom each spring.
  • Discover the collections of Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.
  • Meet a tulip bulb farmer and explore a bustling flower auction.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Undutchables
by Colin White
A laugh-out-loud, irreverent guide to Dutch character and habits, including how to drink coffee and why you shouldn't even think about haggling over prices.
Travels in Vermeer, A Memoir
by Michael White
In the wake of a vengeful divorce, an American poet travels to Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, London, Washington and New York to find solace and inspiration in the paintings of Johannes Vermeer.
A Worldly Art
by Mariet Westermann
This appreciative analysis of Dutch art in its Golden Age (1585-1718) features 100 exemplary illustrations by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals and other Old Masters.
Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City
by Russell Shorto
Russell Shorto opens this delightful ode to an adopted city with his daily journey, by bike of course, through his neighborhood to drop off his toddler son. He spins a tale of a diverse city wrestled from the sea, its coffee shops, canals and its personalities and politics, with panache.
by Mike Dash
The story of the world's most coveted flower and the extraordinary passion it aroused, this vivid history traces the tulip from its origins on the Turkish steppes to its status as an absurdly desired object in Europe and its key role in the financial follies of 17th-century Holland.
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer
by David Winner
A British journalist, Winner interviews football stars -- along with architects, political scientists and novelists -- in this insightful, humorous look at the transformation of Dutch society since the 1970s.
Why the Dutch are Different
by Ben Coates
Mingling history with travelogue, Coates speaks to why the Netherlands is such fascinating country. He explains the significance of milk, beer and the color orange in the lives of the Dutch, their world-famous culture of tolerance and much more.
Delftware, History of a National Product
by Marjoleine Groen, Titus M. Eliens
An illustrated, hardbound history of De Porceleyne Fles, the famous Delftware manufacturer that has been in operation for 350 years.
The Netherlands in a Nutshell
by Frits Van Oostrom
With information on the Dutch East India Company, Huygens, Spinoza, Van Gogh, the Great Flood, the Dutch overseas colonies and much more, Van Oostrom's popular primer covers the essential highlights of Dutch history.
The Autumn of the Middle Ages
by Johan Huizinga
A pioneering work of social and cultural history, this well translated classic is a richly detailed portrait of life, thought and art in 14th- and 15th-century France and the Netherlands.
The Embarrassment of Riches
by Simon Schama
An engaging cultural history and much more, this book is a study of the Dutch in the 17th century and their surprising challenge to Spanish rule.
In the City of Bikes
by Pete Jordan
Pedaling around the city on a "lumbering and sluggish" single-speed bicycle named Brownie, American expat and bike nut Pete Jordan turns his love of Amsterdam -- and of bicycles -- into an acutely observed cultural history of the city.
Tulip Fever
by Deborah Moggach
In this surprise bestseller, set in 1630s Amsterdam, a man contracts the talented painter Jan Van Loos to paint a portrait of him and his beautiful wife, Sophia. A vivid drama unfolds as a mutual attraction develops between Van Loos and Sophia.
An Island in Time, The Biography of a Village
by Geert Mak
Mak returns to Jorwerd, the small Netherlands village of his childhood, to spend time with the villagers and learn both the pleasures and contemporary challenges of small town life.
Rembrandt, Master of the Portrait
by Pascal Bonafoux
With over 200 illustrations, this pocket-size encyclopedia traces the life and career of artist Rembrandt von Rijn. It offers insight into his influence on the art of the portrait -- an illuminating companion for any visit to Amsterdam and its museums.
Benelux Map
by Michelin Travel Publications
Covering the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at a scale of 1:400,000.
Fodor's Amsterdam with the Best of the Netherlands
by Fodors
The up-to-date Fodor's guide features invaluable recommendations on where to stay and eat and what to do throughout the Netherlands. Compact and portable, it's ideal for either a weekend trip or an extended visit.
The Anatomy Lesson
by Nina Siegal
A fictionalized account of the events surrounding Rembrandt’s first commissioned piece, the Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. Well-researched and vivid with period details that transport the reader back to 1600s Amsterdam at the height of Dutch artistic vigor.
Girl With a Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier
Chevalier's richly drawn novel imagines the story behind Vermeer's mysterious portrait of a turbaned girl with a pearl earring.
Girl in Hyacinth Blue
by Susan Vreeland
This finely-crafted novel tells the story of the girl in an imagined, undiscovered portrait by Vermeer. Created in the 17th century, the painting passes through a number of people's hands, providing a series of tales that reflect the history and character of Holland and Europe through the years.
13 Reviews
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4.85 Average
(5) Review left 5/18/2022

The trip to Holland was just wonderful. We saw all you'd expect to see (tulips, windmills, canals), but there was so much more. It was simply fun.

(5) Review left 5/12/2022

A great time! The experiences were interesting, informative, varied and special! RS is my selected travel companion!

(5) Review left 5/09/2022

I went for tulips, and left with so much more. This program is great for packing in so many different experiences in a week. River boating combined with central hotel location, big city sightseeing mixed with strolling through small towns, flowers, cheese, art, architecture, history, water/land management, etc.. There were 65 in the group, but people were great about trying to meet and interact with one another. This was a bucket list trip that had been cancelled twice due to COVID, so the third time was definitely worth the wait.

(5) Review left 5/03/2022

Before I went on this Road Scholar journey, I thought of the Netherlands as tulips, windmills and cheese. I learned that this country is so much more than that and has made some really important contributions to world history. I liked the tulips, windmills and cheese also. And I learned a lot about 17th century Dutch painting. It's a good program!

(5) Review left 4/25/2022

The Bountiful Holland trip was amazing!! I learned so much about the country, the culture, the flower and bulb industry, the art and the architecture. We were always kept busy, engaged and well fed! I highly recommend this program.

(4) Review left 6/04/2019

We learned just how much more there is to the raising and growing of flowers than I would ever have expected!

(4) Review left 5/20/2019

This was a well-paced tour with many interesting highlights. I fell in love with The Netherlands and its people. You will too.

(5) Review left 5/12/2019

Bountiful Holland: Tulips & Gardens By Riverboat was very interesting and seeing all the beautiful flowers and even how they are sold was exciting. Staying on a riverboat for 4 nights was a nice bonus.

(5) Review left 5/07/2019

If you have always wanted to see the beautiful tulips in Holland this is the trip for you. Every program and tour was informative and well run by the knowledgeable guides who are with you every day. The hotel and river boat were both very nice and the employees very helpful and friendly. I met new people from all over the United States at mealtime. Just change tables every night to make new friends. Lots of walking but chances to rest in between for lunch.

(5) Review left 5/06/2019

Who knew there was so much to learn about the flower industry? I went for the tulips, but I learned so much more! Highly recommend this trip.

(5) Review left 5/06/2019

I would like to request that you stop sending Road Scholar materials to me. I get far too much mail. I have taken several enjoyable trips with Road Scholar but I think that getting older and less able to manage travel by myself means that it is time to stop. Thank you for making it possible for me to travel in the past.

(5) Review left 5/05/2019

This program was excellent. Activities and sites visited were interesting and educational. Group leaders and local guides and lecturers were superb. It is an itinerary that gave a wonderful view of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Gouda Leiden, and all that these sites offer, as well as insight into the flower producing enterprises that exist in the Netherlands,

(5) Review left 5/04/2019

The experience in Amsterdam and surrounding areas is full of beauty and history. So much to see and one gets an appreciation for a different way of life.

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