Group Organiser's Familiarisation Historic East Holland - Spring Cruise

Departing Wednesday 3rd – Saturday 6th April 2019
4 days / 3 nights’ duration
Return Executive Coach Travel departing from selected UK locations
Return short channel ferry crossings
3 nights full board on the MS Olympia + morning and afternoon tea, coffee and pastries
Varied excursion package as detailed in our itinerary

Group Organiser’s Price £199pp*Twin / Double share – One Group Organiser per group or booking
Partner’s price £299pp – Only one partner booking sharing a room
Upper Deck Supplement £30 per cabin
Single supplement £29pp (3 nights) – limited availability
Optional Travel Insurance £30pp - No Upper age limit but conditions apply.
Payment due in full at the time of booking

The Organiser price* is refundable against a future group cruise.
(Applies to new bookings only – minimum numbers will apply*)
The Organiser’s price represents a reduction of approximately 50% of the usual package price.

Proposed Itinerary:
Wednesday April 3rd - Departing our selected departure points we journey to the coast for the short channel ferry crossing to France. Travelling through Belgium and into Holland, we make our way to the City of Arnhem where you will board the cruise, where following the on board welcome, your evening meal is included.

Thursday April 4th – Breakfast included. Today we begin with an included visit to the baroque Gardens of Het Loo Palacen Apeldoorn which wereoriginally created in the 17th century. From 2018 to 2021, the flower beds will be planted fuller creating a greater visual spectacle. You will see plants that only found their way to Dutch gardens in the 18th, 19th or 20th centuries - A unique and new experience! The high level of the water table and the numerous natural springs in the area favoured the construction of fountains, canals and water features, of which the gardens has several. For the first time, contemporary art will be is shown in the palace gardens in 2019. 'The Garden of Earthly Worries' is a presentation of four imposing contemporary sculptures designed by the famous architect Daniel Libeskind.These symbolize the elements including ozone, nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide. According to the artist, these gases are harmful by-products of our human actions and contribute to the imbalance in nature, leading to irreversible climate changes with disastrous consequences for people and nature. The palace is unfortunately closed until 2021 due to major renovations.

Returning to the ship, lunch is included on board after which you will have a little free time in the city centre before this afternoon’s visit to the Airborne Museum at Hartenstein dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem, in which the Allied Forces attempted to form a bridgehead on the northern banks of the Rhine river in September 1944. Hartenstein also served as the headquarters of the British 1st Airborne Division. In the museum there is an extensive and diverse collection consisting of original weaponry, genuine uniforms and equipment used in the battle. The numerous photos and films on display provide a realistic picture enhanced by interviews with Allied soldiers. In addition the museum has an award-winning Airborne Experience exhibition which depicts the area around Arnhem and Oosterbeek during the battle and also provides German and civilian perspectives. Returning to the boat, we depart Arnhem as we cruise south overnight to Limburg. Dinner is included on board.

Friday April 5th- – Arriving in Thorn early morning, breakfast is included on board. You will be joined by a local guide as we explore this ‘white-town’ which has a rich history dating from the end of the 10th Century.  Over time, a miniature principality developed under the leadership of an abbess and noble monastic ladies. The state had its own jurisdiction and minted its own currency.  In 1794 this came to an end with the arrival of the French when Thorn became distinctive by its white buildings. After the noble ladies fled, the French charged a tax based on the size of the windows. The poor population often lived in large buildings which formerly belonged to the rich and could not afford this tax. In this small cobbled street town we will visit the beautiful abbey church and the municipal museum where a Panorama, a three-dimensional painting, depicts the town’s history. 

Re-boarding the boat, lunch is included on board during this afternoon’s cruise to Maastricht, arriving around 4pm. Joined by a local guide you will be introduced to Maastricht which is one of the oldest cities in Holland, as you will quickly discover when strolling through the historic inner city. Churches, city walls, monumental merchant houses and big squares merge seamlessly with a comprehensive and varied range of shops. Returning on board you will have time to freshen up before this evening’s Captain’s Gala Dinner.

Saturday 6th April – Breakfast included on board before boarding the coach for the journey to Calais.
A stop will be made in the historic City of Tournai,said to be one of Belgium’s best-kept secrets. This city is famed for its beautiful architecture and unknown to many, is the only town in Belgium that was once under British rule – King Henry VIII. Located along the River Escault, this is one of the oldest cities in Belgium and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame built in the 12th Century, is a highlight. Lunch can be purchased in one of the many cafes in the pretty town square and you might also like to try some of the famous locally brewed beer.
We will take a late afternoon ferry back to the UK returning you to your original departure points during the evening.

Simply Groups reserve the right to make minor changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.

Familiarisation trips usually include a busy itinerary and are not designed as a holiday specifically but they are great fun and are an opportunity to meet like-minded Organisers from around the UK.
This is a promotional & fact finding short break which is open to a variety of Group Organisers, representing many group types.

 Runner Up - 2011 Group Travel Awards rsz 1finalist ilkley 001  Group Travel Organisers Association  TG Logo Finalist - 2013 Group Travel Awards Finalist - 2014 Group Travel Awards