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Tulip Time River Cruise
April 14 - 21, 2024

With Margo McDonough, Owner,
Blue Skies Travel Center &

Horticulturalist Jaime Whitcomb
Limited spots available -- call 302-893-4571
or email: 


Jaime Whitcomb will take us behind-the-scenes to meet her bulb suppliers and provide special insights into bulb cultivation. Plus, she will share fascinating stories of Tulipmania, which gripped Holland from 1634 to 1637. But you don't need to have a green thumb or even be a gardener to have a great time on this cruise. This itinerary is rich in history, cultural attractions, and incredible cuisine & spirits​.

Plus, you can rest easy on this fully escorted tour, knowing that local travel advisor Margo McDonough will be with you every step of the way. Perfect for solo travelers as well as

couples, friends and small groups.     















Welcome to Holland. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests
must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Your day in Amsterdam is free to explore at your leisure.
You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to beautiful Zaanse Schans where you’ll see a wonderful collection
of well-preserved historic windmills and Dutch houses.
Enjoy dinner & explore the ship on your first night. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO


Day 2 - ROTTERDAM - Dutch Treats and Flowers Sweet
Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.
ACTIVE Experience Rotterdam by foot with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC Join a full- or half-day Guided Tour of breathtaking Keukenhof—known as the “Garden of Europe”—for its 70 acres of lush parkland, lakes, and the world’s largest flower gardens—with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and
hyacinths as well as other bulbs, planted each year.
Take some free time to relax on the harbor-side in Rotterdam with an artisan beer, a slice of appeltaart (Dutch apple pie), and a koffie verkeerd, a typical Dutch drink with equal parts coffee and milk. Take a bike from your ship to explore
Rotterdam and the surrounding area. Before dinner, enjoy a cruise through Rotterdam harbor. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

Day 3 -ANTWERP, BELGIUM - Cathedrals, Carats and Crêpes
ACTIVE Explore Antwerp by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of this sophisticated city to visit the central Grote Market, lined with 16th-century guildhall houses. You’ll also see the beautiful city hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady with its stunning altarpiece paintings by Rubens.
You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the nearby capital, Brussels—considered home to the European Union, and admire its magnificent palaces and cathedrals. Alternatively, you might prefer to take time on your own to indulge in Antwerp’s signature Belgian waffles and crêpes—or explore this bike-friendly city from its old wharfs to its legendary diamond district.
Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

Day 4 -GHENT - Medieval Masterpieces and Flemish Finery
ACTIVE Explore a different side of Ghent by foot with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC Explore Ghent—“The Diamond of Flanders”—with a Guided Sightseeing Tour of this showcase of medieval
Flemish wealth. You’ll visit St. Bavo’s Cathedral—with its remarkable Flemish artwork.
You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion of Bruges to explore its canals, cobbled streets and medieval
buildings. You’ll see its crisscrossed canals, the 13th-century belfry of Market Square, and charming patrician houses.

Day 5 -MIDDELBURG, HOLLAND - A Spicy History in Middelburg’s Dutch Harbor Town
Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.
ACTIVE Explore Middelburg by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC Join a Guided Walking Tour through the winding cobblestones and canals of Middelburg. See the 15th-century Gothic Town Hall and learn about its important role in the spice trade and Dutch East India trading. Spend some free time biking or walking through Middelburg to sample Babbelaar cookies, fries, or beer before cruising
to Veere.


VEERE - The Delta Works Stand Strong as a Technical Marvel
ACTIVE Bike your way to the beach from Veere with your Adventure Host, OR:
DISCOVERY Visit the fascinating Flood Museum to hear and see the stories of the flood of 1953, reconstruction, the Delta
Works, & flood risk management – told by the people who have experienced it. Later, explore the town of Veere.


Day 6 -WILLEMSTAD - Willemstad’s Windmills and Historic Harbor
ACTIVE See Willemstad by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC Join a Guided Walking Tour of Willemstad and discover its many beautifully restored buildings from the 17th
and 18th Century.
DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a Cheese Tasting on board as you prepare to sail to Amsterdam.

Day 7-AMSTERDAM - Canals of Colorful Amsterdam
ACTIVE Start your day joining your Adventure Host on an early morning walk in Amsterdam, OR:
DISCOVERY Discover Aalsmeer Flower Auction—the largest in the world, where around 20 million flowers are sold every day. Later enjoy a typical Dutch breakfast, OR:
CLASSIC Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.”
This afternoon choose among the many Guided Optional Excursions available.
Take some free time to explore Amsterdam’s colorful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops.

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

 River cruising on Avalon represents a tremendous value -- on this 8-day cruise, all meals are included, tea, coffee, cold beverages and snacks 24/7, quality beer and wine at lunch and dinner, cocktails at happy hour, most excursions (and usually 3-4 different options each day), the list goes on!

Our ship only holds 166 passengers max, with a very nice guest-staff ratio -- 47 staff members on board.

Deluxe Staterooms start at: 

$2,848.00 per person, based on double occupancy. 

Travel protection $359 per person, based on double occupancy.

$4,827.00 per person, based on single occupancy. 

Travel protection $439 per person, based on single occupancy.

Panorama Suites start at:

$3,998.00 per person, based on double occupancy. 

Travel protection $359 per person, based on double occupancy.

$6,610.00 per person, based on single occupancy. 

Travel protection $479 per person, based on single occupancy.

A deposit of $250.00 per person is due upon reservation. Space is limited and reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Final payment due before January 15, 2024.

Ready to book? Call Margo McDonough at 302-893-4571 to reserve your spot now.

About Your Group Trip Coordinator 

Margo McDonough started Blue Skies Travel Center in 2016, after earlier stints in the travel industry for such companies as J.P. Morgan Chase.  She has planned and escorted several trips for OLLI,  including a Paris to Normandy river cruise in October 2018, facilitated by special guest expert Professor Ray Callahan, and a trip to the Tournament of Roses Parade in December 2019. Her "Islands of New England" trip will take place September 22-29, 2023.

McDonough is a member of the American Society of Travel Advisors, is fully insured, and is supported by host agency Uniglobe Travel Center and Virtuoso, a luxury travel consortium.  Much like OLLI members, she has a passion for lifelong learning and is currently studying for a doctoral degree at West Chester University.





About Your Guest Expert

Jaime Whitcomb is a garden expert with a passion for travel.  She has extensive knowledge in ornamental landscape plants with a focus on plant health, perennial and rock gardening, and gardening in small spaces.  Jaime earned a BS in botany and plant and soil science from the University of Vermont and has more than 25 years of experience spanning several industries, including public gardens, wholesale growing, and retail garden centers.


Jaime translates her knowledge into user-friendly tips and advice for both the avid and novice gardeners, providing practical, low-maintenance garden solutions.  She enjoys simple designs that focus on texture, quiet color palettes, and unexpected plant combinations.


This tour is brought to you by Blue Skies Travel and is not sponsored or affiliated with the University of Delaware Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Rates, availability and all terms and conditions subject to change until booking.

As you are planning your vacation, and before finalizing any booking with Blue Skies Travel, check for travel warnings and alerts. These are available through

sites like the U.S. State Department

and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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