Enjoy a voyage by small ship to Holland and Belgium. Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of these extraordinary countries. This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known gardening expert Eric Johnson, host of the popular PBS show GardenSMART.
Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you’ll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, attend a concert at the Royal Concertgebouw and spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world: Keukenhof!
Besides Keukenhof’s spacious 32 hectares of flowers, you can enjoy its spectacular flower shows, surprising inspirational gardens, unique artwork and wonderful events. Also known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof Gardens is the world’s second largest flower garden after the Dubai Miracle Garden.
The Aalsmeer Flower Auction is the largest in the world. Twenty million flowers from all over the globe are sold daily. On this wonderful journey, you will tour the facilities and see where the auction takes place.
Another highlight of this river journey is a visit to Arnhem/Paleis Het Loo and Gardens. We will explore the 300-year-old Palace of Het Loo and its wonderful gardens, which are often compared to those of Versailles. Similar to the larger French palace, these gardens feature an extensive network of lively fountains. Enjoy a tour of the palace interior.
We will visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, the Netherlands iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a compelling tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and the WWII Arnhem battlefield of “A Bridge Too Far” fame.
Eric Johnson, GardenSMART TV host, will accompany you on this trip. Eric has had a long career as a plantsman. He attended the University of Georgia, where he was awarded the prestigious Dirr Scholarship. After graduating with a degree in Horticulture, he became head of operations and director of propagation for several horticultural firms, culminating by being named director of horticulture for one of the oldest and most respected seed companies in the U.S. Eric continues to work on new plant introductions and growing techniques, but he remains an avid gardener, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with the GardenSMART audience.
You won’t want to miss this extraordinary garden, music, and history adventure to Holland and Belgium. May 1-11, 2018
For more information on this and other trips, go to alkitours.com.
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By Justin Hancock, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsman
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
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