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Viking Einar Review

-- / 5.0
Editor Rating
29 reviews

Tulips! and Windmills!

Review for Viking Einar to Europe River
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Marie313
First Time Cruiser • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Apr 2022
Cabin:
One of the 19 working polder mills in Kinderdijk - - The small mill to the left is not a toy. Children use them learn the basics of mill operation so one day they can become millers as well.
Every part of the gardens on Kukenhof's 79 acres are beautiful!

Tulips & Windmills was our cruise choice because my group of four wanted to visit the Netherlands in bloom. Our cruise on the Viking Einar was exceptional in every way. Every officer and crew member we encountered was friendly, professional, and helpful. The food at every meal was delicious, and the maître d' personally met with everyone who had a food allergy or special requirement to assure us that the kitchen staff knew and would go out of their way to keep us safe; they did. Local tour leaders were personable and informative, and various tours included such things as local living, art, history, architecture, and engineering. Rooms were small but efficient, comfortable, and well cared for by our room steward. Public areas were inviting and comfortable. There isn't room for a fitness center on a longboat, but the track on the upper deck is available for walking, and you do get exercise on the tours. We attended lectures by locals and crew members that were very interesting, and enjoyed the music after dinner. We chose to cruise during the Tulip Festival and were delighted with the flowers, especially on the visit to Keukenhof. The weather was beautiful - only part of one day had light rain. There were a couple of glitches, but the Viking personnel kept us informed at all times and worked hard to take care of problems. We arrived early at the airport for the trip home. The Viking rep who was to meet us was not in sight, but the airport is very easy to navigate, so it wasn't a problem for us. We have already booked another Viking cruise. For more specific information about our extension and excursions, please read below.

We took the pre-cruise extension to have extra time to adjust to the time change and explore Amsterdam. The helpful Viking staffs at the airport and hotel helped orient us and answered questions. There is a ATM in the Movenpick lobby. From our rooms we could watch the water traffic on the IJ and saw beautiful sunsets. It was a short walk to Centraal Station for easy-to-use tram transportation. After settling in, we walked in the Oosterdok area, and went up to the terrace in the Amsterdam Public Library from which you can overlook the city and see the spire of the church that holds the carillon that Anne Frank could hear from her hiding place. Then we ate scrumptious hamburgers and fries at the Doubletree Hotel before returning to our hotel. After a bountiful hotel breakfast, we enjoyed the included neighborhood walking tour. That afternoon we took a tram to the Van Gogh Museum (get your tickets ahead - they often sell out) and walked through Vondel Park before dinner at Restaurant Black (excellent food and beverages!). The next morning we had time for a short after-breakfast walk in the area to admire the tulip displays before we transferred to the Einar, where we had lunch and spent the afternoon unpacking and getting to know the ship and people. The included canal boat tour the next morning gave us a look at parts of the city we hadn't seen. We stayed in town and spent the afternoon at the incredible Rijksmuseum. Avoid long lines by purchasing tickets ahead online. Don't miss the Dolls' Houses room after you visit the Dutch Masters collection.

Hoorn - We took the very interesting included walking tour through town. After lunch, it was time for the optional "Tulips and Windmills" tour. Our group went to a tulip farm where tulip bulbs are raised for export. (NOTE FOR PEOPLE WITH HEARING AIDS who take might leave them on the ship during tours that use the Viking sound system: The information about the tulip business is presented in a cavernous room with poor acoustics and does not use the Viking sound system. You might want to bring your hearing aids along to use there.) We walked through some tulip fields before leaving for another farm where the owners have their own wind turbine. The sound was much better there as the intricacies of wind turbines were discussed.

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