Viking river cruises’ dutch tulip cruise log

A spring river cruise in the Netherlands to view the tulips and other bulb flowers is a terrific cruise experience. River cruises europe comparison We sailed on the Viking River Cruises’ Viking Europe roundtrip from Amsterdam, enjoying the spectacular flowers, quaint villages, windmills, and other marvelous sites of the Netherlands and Holland.

Author’s Note: Viking River Cruises uses some of its new Viking Longships for its Dutch tulip cruise itineraries now. Avalon waterways european river cruises Although the river vessels are different, the river cruise experience is still as delightful as it was when I took this cruise several years ago.

I had been to Amsterdam a couple of times but had never explored the rest of the country.

Best cruises europe There is much more to the Netherlands than just its largest city! Here are a few interesting facts.

Much of the country is “artificial”, having been reclaimed from the sea over the last few centuries. Avalon european river cruises 2014 Almost a quarter of the country’s 40,000 square km lies below sea level, and much more of the Netherlands is at or just above sea level–no worry about altitude sickness here! There are over 2400 km of dikes to keep the sea water out, some of which are more than 25 meters high.

Dutch history goes back 250,000 years. River cruises europe deals Evidence of cave dwellers dating back this far was found in a quarry near Maastricht. Best river cruises europe 2016 Other early settlers of the area have been traced back 2000 years ago. Best river cruise deals europe These ancient people built huge mounds of mud as living areas to be used during the frequent sea-driven floods of their homeland.

Over 1000 of these mounds are still scattered around the flat countryside, mostly near Drenthe in the province of Friesland. Best river cruises of europe The Romans invaded the Netherlands and occupied the country from 59 BC to the third century AD, followed over the next few centuries by the German Franks and the Vikings. Avalon river cruises europe 2017 The Netherlands flourished during the 15th century.

Many merchants became wealthy selling tapestries, expensive clothing, artwork, and jewelry. River cruises europe late deals The Low Countries, as they were called, became famous for their shipbuilding, salted herring, and beer.

The 17th century was a golden one for the Netherlands. River cruises europe may 2016 Amsterdam thrived as the financial center of Europe, and the Netherlands were important both economically and culturally. Best value river cruises europe The Dutch East India Company, formed in 1602, was the largest trading company of the 17th century, and the world’s first multinational corporation. Ship cruises europe The Dutch West India Company was founded in 1621, and it was the center of the slave trade as its ships sailed between Africa and the Americas. Best prices on river cruises in europe Explorers from both of these companies discovered or conquered countries around the world, from New Zealand to Mauritius to the island of Manhattan.

The Netherlands ultimately became an independent kingdom, and were able to remain neutral during World War I. Avalon cruises europe 2014 Unfortunately, the country could not stay neutral during World War II. Avalon river cruises europe 2016 Germany invaded the countryside in May 1940, and the Netherlands were not liberated until 5 years later. Avalon boat cruises europe There are many horror stories from the war, including the leveling of Rotterdam, the starvation during the Winter of Hunger, and the plight of the Dutch Jews such as Anne Frank.

The postwar years saw the Netherlands returning to the trade industry. River cruises europe offers These decades after the war also saw the discovery of natural gas in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, and the return of productive farms. Best river cruises in europe Many of the Dutch worldwide colonies gained their independence during the postwar years. River cruises europe luxury Today the Netherlands are seen as extremely liberal countries, with broad social programs, personal freedoms, and high tolerance for drugs.

Now that you know a little of the history and geography of the Netherlands, let’s take a look at our Dutch Journey cruise on the Viking Europe.

It may be hard to believe, but the tulip caused an economic disaster in Holland in 1637 never seen before. Avalon cruises in europe Tulips started out simply as wildflowers in Central Asia and were first grown in Turkey. Best river cruises europe (The word tulip is Turkish for a turban.) Carolus Clusius, director of the oldest botanical garden in Europe located in Leiden, was the first to bring the bulbs into the Netherlands. Avalon river cruises europe He and other horticulturists quickly found that the bulbs were well suited for the cool, damp climate and fertile delta soil.

The beautiful flowers were quickly discovered by the affluent Dutch, and they became wildly popular. 5 star river cruises europe In late 1636 and early 1637, a mania for the bulbs swept through the Netherlands. Viking river cruises europe Speculative buying and selling drove the price up to where some tulip bulbs cost more than a house! A single bulb fetched the equivalent of 10 years’ salary for the average Dutch worker. River cruises europe august 2015 Much of the speculative trading was done in pubs, so alcohol-fueled the tulipmania. Avalon river cruises europe 2015 The bottom fell out of the market in February 1637, with many merchants and citizens seeing their fortunes lost. River cruises europe december 2015 Some speculators were left with unsold bulbs, or with bulbs that were on “layaway”. River cruises europe tripadvisor The concept of options arose from this disaster, and the term tulipmania still is used to describe an investment frenzy.