Floriade -- an international horticultural exposition held just once per decade -- returns to the Netherlands in 2022, and river cruise lines are customizing their itineraries to take advantage of this unique outdoor festival.
The event is being held between April 14 and October 9, 2022 in the Dutch city of Almere, just to the immediate east of Amsterdam, making it accessible to river cruisers and visitors alike. The location of the festival changes every year; back in 2012, Floriade was held in Venlo, Netherlands, near the German border.
For those who think this is simply a boring collection of flowers and shrubbery, think again: Floriade has an extremely dedicated following, and the exposition is an elaborate one, with attractions, tasting sessions, arts, cultural events, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, and gardens throughout the site. All will revolve around four central themes: Greening the City, Feeding the City, Healthying the City, and Energizing the City.
What's more, over 40 countries are scheduled to participate in this celebration of green. National pavilions will present plants, flowers and cultural offerings, along with local innovations and solutions. The exposition will even have its own cable car offering a birds-eye view of the entire Floriade park.
Which river cruise lines are planning to take advantage of Floriade? Read on.
Between April 14 and October 9, 2022, AmaWaterways plans to offer passengers a complimentary excursion to Floriade on a total of eight separate river cruise itineraries.
Passengers traveling between April 14 and October 9 will be invited to experience the Floriade exposition aboard AmaWaterways' Best of Holland and Belgium voyages (roundtrip Amsterdam; Tulip Time (roundtrip Amsterdam); Captivating Rhine and Enchanting Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel or reverse); Rhine and Moselle Fairytales and Rhine and Moselle Delights (Amsterdam to Basel, or reverse); Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle (Amsterdam to Luxembourg); and Treasures of the Main and Rhine voyages (Nuremberg to Amsterdam).
AmaWaterways says that, as of February 2021, a limited amount of space is still available on select Floriade departures for 2022. Early booking is recommended.
Crystal Cruises offers two special oceangoing voyages that include the opportunity to experience Floriade 2022.
On June 16, 2022, Crystal Symphony departs on a 45-night voyage from Monte Carlo to Stockholm. A shorter, 12-night segment of this particular voyage leaves on July 19, 2022 bound from London (Dover) to Stockholm.
Both journeys include an overnight, two-day stay in Amsterdam, allowing for ample time for Crystal to whisk cruisers off from the Port of Amsterdam to nearby Almere to experience the Floriade Expo 2022.
At this time, Crystal is only advertising Floriade 2022 features for these two Crystal Serenity departures, though no doubt their river cruise journeys will allow for visits to the festival as well.
Emerald Waterways is also launching special excursions to Floriade on select 2022 departures on the Rhine.
These include the line's Tulips & the Rhine sailing from Zurich to Amsterdam or Basel to Amsterdam; Jewels of the Rhine from Amsterdam to Zurich or Basel; Holland and Belgium in Bloom sailing roundtrip Amsterdam; or the 10-night Springtime Delights voyages that operate roundtrip Amsterdam.
As with other lines, passengers interested in experiencing Floriade 2022 will want to book their space onboard early.
Luxury inclusive river and ocean cruise operator Scenic is offering several itinerary combinations that include a visit the Floriade Exposition in 2022.
These include the Windmills, Tulips & Belgian Delights with Floriade (Amsterdam to Amsterdam); Windmills, Tulips and Belgian Delights with Floriade and Bruges (Amsterdam to Brussels); Windmills, Tulips and Belgian Delights with Floriade and London (Amsterdam to London); Windmills, Tulips and Belgian Delights with Floriade, London and Bruges (London to Brussels); Rhine Highlights with Flourishing Floriade (Zurich to Amsterdam); and Romantic Rhine and Moselle with Flourishing Floriade (Amsterdam to Zurich).
Scenic's "Space Ship" river cruise vessels only carry between 126 and 163 passengers apiece, making early booking a must for these once-in-a-decade itineraries.
All-inclusive river and tour operator Tauck is offering the chance to experience Floriade 2022 aboard four separate itineraries: the eight-day Belgium and Holland in Spring; the eight-day Cruising the Dutch Waterways; the 15-day Rhine and the Moselle; and the 15-day Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat.
These select departures in 2022 will offer passengers the chance to visit and partake in the Floriade exposition, while springtime departures will also offer the double-bill of a visit to Keukenhof -- the "Garden of Europe" located not far from Schiphol Airport and the community of Hoofddorp that is only open to the public between mid-March and mid-May.
The inclusion of four separate itineraries visiting Floriade is a massive increase for Tauck, which normally hosts just one itinerary for Floriade.
"“Our guests’ interest in attending Floriade is such that we essentially – and rather quickly – sold out our entire inventory in 2012,” says Tauck CEO Dan Mahar.
In keeping with Tauck's tradition of offering uncommon access to prized events, Tauck passengers will be granted early-acecss admission approximately one hour before the expo opens to the general public, and a 90-minute guided tour of attractions by a Floriade expert. Each passenger will also be given a 25-Euro Floriade credit card to spend as they wish.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
The itinerary -- which also calls on Harlingen, Nijmegen, Veere, Rotterdam, and Zaandam before returning to Amsterdam -- will offer passengers the included choice to visit the Floriade exposition while the vessel is moored in Zaandam on the last day of the cruise.
Uniworld has long specialized in inclusive river cruising, which means visiting this once-in-a-decade festival will only require you to get up in the morning and step onboard a motorcoach. It's that simple.
Voyages offering the excursion to Floriade 2022 operate between July 16 and August 27, 2022 aboard River Empress.
Viking River Cruises
Viking will be offering a full-day excursion to Floriade that can be booked on 2022 river cruise itineraries that call on Amsterdam. The option to visit Floriade will also be included during pre and post-cruise extensions in Amsterdam.
Full details aren't yet available online, but passengers are able to book Rhine river cruises leaving and departing Amsterdam during Floriade's 2022 dates at this time.