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Garden lovers – head to Amsterdam next year for the Floriade

Every ten years the Netherlands hosts one of the largest horticultural shows in the world, the Floriade. The next edition will run from April to October 2022. If you want to attend NOW is the time to start planning.

Amsterdam is already one of the most popular destinations on the planet. Combine that with pent-up demand from a year of pandemic-induced travel restrictions, plus the once-every-ten-years nature of the Floriade, and this is sure to be a popular event.

One way to experience the Floriade is with a Amsterdam, Cologne and the Best of Holland & Flanders River Cruise. Wander the picture-perfect streets of medieval towns, gaze in awe at magnificent Gothic architecture, discover contemporary urban landscapes and the iconic windmills of a bygone age – this superb cruise embraces the rich and diverse cultural heritage of these northern European neighbors, inextricably linked by history and their fascinating waterways.

This 8 day cruise starts at just $2729 per person, double occupancy. Contact Bryan for a full itinerary and more details.

Is Amsterdam about to ban tourists from the city's coffee shops?

Amsterdam's mayor has asked the city council to consider a new law that would limit the use of coffee shops to local residents. First of all, understand that when we're talking about 'coffee shops' in Amsterdam, we are not talking about the local Starbucks, which would be called a koffiehuis or a café. No, a coffee shop is a place to buy and smoke cannabis. Cannabis is officially illegal in The Netherlands, but the government allows licensed 'coffee shops' to sell amounts up to 5 grams (per person per day). The government also turns a blind eye to individuals possessing amounts up to 5 grams.

So why would the mayor want to limit access? Because the coffee shops attract a lot of tourists, many of whom come for no other reason than to buy and smoke weed. And more tourists is one thing Amsterdam does NOT need. One recent study by the Dutch office for Research, Information, and Statistics bears this out. Tourists between the ages of 18 and 35 see coffee shops as one of the main reasons they come to Amsterdam (57%). When asked what effect not being able to visit a coffee shop would have on their travel plans, 34% of tourists said they would visit the city less often, and 11% said they would not return at all. Among certain nationalities, 44% of British tourists, 45% of French tourists, and a whopping 50% of German tourists said they would not visit the city again. 

Coffee shops exist in towns all over The Netherlands and many have already placed restrictions on sales to non-residents, so this is not a novel idea being proposed. The city's mayor would like to see less tourism around the coffee shops and Red Light District, and more focus on the artistic and cultural heritage.

Visit the Netherlands virtually: Five Films

Here are five films to keep your wanderlust alive, and visit the Netherlands while you stay home.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Nominated for three Academy Awards, Girl With a Pearl Earring tells the imagined, intriguing and highly seductive story behind one of Vermeer's greatest and most enigmatic paintings.

Watch now on Amazon

A Bridge Too Far

An historic telling of the failed attempt to capture several bridges to Germany in World War II in a campaign called Operation Market-Garden.

The Hiding Place

The true story of a family that fought the Nazi madness with the only weapon they had. Love. Golden Globe nomination.

Watch now on Amazon

1572: The Battle of Harlem

The film is inspired by the true story of Kenau who led an army of women in the siege of Haarlem by the Spaniards in 1572 during the Eighty Years' War between the Netherlands and Spain. Dutch language film with English subtitles.

Watch on Amazon now

Tulip Fever

An artist falls for a young married woman while he's commissioned to paint her portrait during the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam.

Watch on amazon now

Tulip Time! River cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium

Spring in Belgium and the Netherlands means flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. Admire the genius of the Dutch Masters at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Explore Hoorn’s seafaring heritage, Arnhem’s World War II history and Antwerp’s Renaissance splendor. See colorful ribbons of farmland as Dutch tulips come into bloom. Sample Belgian beers and chocolates. Step into the Middle Ages in Bruges. Roam Keukenhof Gardens, the world’s largest floral park. The best time to see the Low Countries is spring, and the best way to see them is on a 10-day river cruise.

Departures from early March through early May 2020 (2019 dates are already sold out).

2020 departures are filling fast. Contact us today to reserve a cabin on one of these river cruises.

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