One should never need a reason to visit Holland, so if you have ever contemplated a vacation there, now is the time to get out of that armchair, pick up the phone, and just do it. This, 2013, is a very special time  for all manner of reasons.  Take April for instance. Here are some of the happenings, most of which are centered in and around Amsterdam:

  • The tulips. Need we say more…
  • The Flower Parade on April 20th. This parade of flowered floats goes from Noordwijk to Haarlem where the floats remain on display for two days as befitting the hundreds of hours work put into their creation by masses of volunteers.
  • The re opening of the Rijksmusem on April 14th after  an extensive renovation. There will be 8 to 10 thousand works from the permanent collection on display in the museum’s eighty rooms which have been  restored to their original glory but with 21st century improvements. Look for its most famous work of art in the collection: Rembrant van Rijn’s Night Watch.
  • Visit the Felix Meritis or “Temple of Enlightenment” celebrating its 225th birthday, having been founded by a group of wealthy Amsterdam citizens in 1788. To continue its original purpose of celebrating the arts, culture and science fields, Felix Meritis will be hosting a number of special tours, exhibitions, and lectures. Its observatory will be opened to the public for the first time in 200 years. [slideshow_deploy id=’1054′]
  • Artis . A wonderful “park” in the city,the zoo is celebrating its 175th birthday. Special itineraries and the planting of 17,500 bulbs to bloom through out 2013  are only two of the reasons to visit Holland’s oldest zoo.
  • The Concertgebouw in Museumplein Square is celebrating its 125th birthday and on April 10th, the world renowned Concertgebouw orchestra will give one of two special celebratory concerts in the city.
  • Amsterdam is also celebrating the 400 years of its canals. In 1613 construction began on the Canal Ring. Take a canal boat tour and see why this system was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 2010. On April 30th, the canals will be a sea of orange decorated boats to celebrate…
  • Queens Day, Holland’s national holiday where everyone and everything turns orange for the day. Markets, parades and general merry making are the order of the day.

Looking to visit Amsterdam and Holland? Many river cruises either begin or end their journey in Amsterdam so you can add on a few days as a pre or post stay in this unique European city. April is a great month to take any one of the many “tulip cruises”. Check out AMA Waterways, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY DEB MACINTYRE  She is the owner/operator of  Cruise Holidays of PEI, and more commonly known by the moniker “ChaCha”. She visited Amsterdam on a river cruise recently and would be happy to arrange your cruise to this fabulous area.