Cruising the Danube from the Black Sea to the North Sea
April-May 2023: Day 30

Kerkenhoff and the tulips, Netherlands


Today we had a full tour booked to see tulips, canals and windmills. The coach left from the ADAM building on the north side of the harbour, but there is a free ferry that crosses every few minutes. We arrived early for the tour, then boarded the coach at 0900. We drove west and south of Amsterdam to a tulip growing farm where there were lots of colours and blooms. That was but a taster for the overdose of colour at Kerkenhoff Gardens that followed. Later we took a cruise on a canal to see windmills but this was not worth the time and money.

The Tulip Farm

Tulips are big business in Amsterdam. The farmers grow millions of bulbs each year, but as the farmer explained, the bulbs only last about 2-3 flowerings before they are spent and you need to replace them. Built in obsolescence?

Jansze & Son tulip growers
What we did here.
Not all visitors arrived by coach.
Masses of colour everywhere
In the shop/cafe.


Kerkenhoff is the ultimate in flower gardens and horticultural displays. The hundreds of vehicles and coaches parked outside should have been a clue that there were a few people here - indeed there were tens of thousands and they kept arriving until mid-afternoon. The emphasis was on tulips but there were beds of many other plants as well. Inside the 2 large pavillions were floral displays interwoven with art and quirky scenes. It was a magnificent scene, not to be missed.

On our way we passed many of these topiary pieces.
Lots of vehicles here...
and coaches...
and an EV charging station...
It's Kerkenhoff!
The entrance was crowded ... with flowers as well as people.
Hedge maze that got you to the lookout.
Refreshments - fries, coffee and ice cream.
Lots of potatoes waiting to be fried...
and the lucky guy who cut them all up.
There were several pavillions of quirky displays.
This table has... legs!
"My feet hurt".

Canal Cruise with windmills

This was touted as a relaxing canal cruise to see windmills. In its own right it was a good cruise, passing plenty of houses facing the canals, boatbuilding yards and farms. Windmills however were only ever seen in the distance. It seemed to be an anti-climax to the earlier tulip farms and Kerkenhoff, and probably could be dropped from the tour itinerary. It might suit people with limited time in Amstrerdam who would otherwise not see windmills, even from a distance.

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Last updated: 30 June 2023