Holland is a country well worth exploring. Miles of lush, green countryside, charming towns and a unique culture all combine to make it a great holiday destination. One of the best ways to experience Holland is in the form of a barge cruise holiday, as there are a few things that make it better than almost anywhere else for this sort of experience.
Number of Canals
Holland has more canals than almost anywhere else in the world. This means that you have a wealth of choice when it comes to the route you want to take for your barge cruise holiday. By contrast, a barge cruise holiday in many other countries, while still well worthwhile, may often restrict you to one or two routes. This diverse choice of canals is what keeps barge cruise enthusiasts coming back to Holland again and again, allowing them to explore vast parts of the country without ever leaving the water.
While hilly or mountainous terrain is ideal for many holidays, it can be less suitable for a barge cruise holiday. This is because, assuming you spend a lot of time on the barge (of course, plenty of passengers spend much of their days cycling, hiking or otherwise exploring the surrounding land), hills will often block your view and make for a less varied experience. In Holland, however, you’ll always have a fantastic view, making it an ideal land to experience from the comfort of a barge. The flat terrain also makes for a smooth, uninterrupted ride, making Holland a very relaxing place to travel.
Holland is home to the Netherlands’ biggest cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, as well as Gouda, Leiden and Haarlem. Connected by the vast network of waterways, cruising provides an excellent method by which to visit one or several of these places - all while avoiding the constant packing, repacking and long, uncomfortable drives one must usually deal with when planning a multi-destination itinerary.
Holland’s cities are filled with cultural highlights, all of them well worth a visit. While it is stereotypically famous for cheese, tulips and windmills, which it’s certainly possible to see (one could visit the Aalsmeer flower market, Haarlem’s windmill De Adriaan, or one of the numerous dairies throughout the province), Holland’s culture is much richer than that. While offering a wealth of cathedrals, museums and other historical attractions, the cities are often much more than their stereotypical reductions. Gouda, for example, is famous for its tobacco pipes and its candles, not just its cheese, while Rotterdam has a strong boxing tradition. And, instead of heading directly to Amsterdam’s coffee shops and red light district, why not spend some time exploring its theatre, music and opera?
Holland’s buildings are well worth a look: with exquisitely designed cathedrals, churches, museums, houses and bridges , there’s a whole world of Dutch architecture beyond the windmills. The comfort of a barge makes an ideal sightseeing spot for all this architectural beauty.