TRAVEL REVIEW: Newcastle to Amsterdam’s tulip fields

Tulips at  Keukenhoff in Amsterdam.
Tulips at Keukenhoff in Amsterdam.

“When it’s spring again, I’ll bring again, tulips from Amsterdam.”

As Max Bygraves’ song taught us, Amsterdam is famous, among other things, for its tulips.

Van Gogh at Keukenhoff in Amsterdam.

Van Gogh at Keukenhoff in Amsterdam.

And what better way to spend a sunny spring day, than exploring some seven million bulbs at Holland’s iconic Keukenhof gardens.

DFDS is offering mini cruise breaks from North Shields International Passenger Terminal to Amsterdam, where you can explore the 85 acres of formal gardens, parkland and green houses at the famous gardens.

Hop on board and take advantage of the onboard facilities including restaurants, bars shops and entertainment, and the next morning you’ll wake up in Amsterdam, where a bus will take you from Ijmuiden port to the gardens in just 45 minutes.

It’s not hard to see why Keukenhof Gardens is one of the best flower markets in the world.

Tulips at Keukenhof in Amsterdam.

Tulips at Keukenhof in Amsterdam.

Boasting some of the most stunning displays of flowers in an enormous 80 acres site, there is more than enough to keep you visit for a day’s trip.

The gardens are open from mid March to mid May to coincide with the peak growing season, and displays wonderful arrangements and carefully planned designs filled with swathes of colour from their choicest bulbs.

A photographer’s delight, row upon row of different coloured flowers make this a truly breathtaking site, and something far different to the usual tourist haunts of the city.

The theme of the gardens this year is Van Gogh, in commemoration of the artist’s death 125 years ago, and there was a huge tulip plateau on display inspired by one of Van Gogh’s self-portraits - if a giant Van Gogh made from flowers doesn’t impress you, nothing will.

With more than 30 gorgeous and colourful flower showcases for visitors to enjoy, the spectacular spring gardens at Keukenhof provide a beautiful and fragrant platform for hundreds of prize blooms from leading flower arrangers, as well as the latest trends in the gardening world.

A symbol of Holland, the humble tulip is given pride of place in this flower garden.

Enjoy an explosion of colourful bulbs that will make a trip to Amsterdam completely unforgettable.

You will have plenty of time to enjoy the nine miles of walkways in the gardens, and then it’s back to the boat for the overnight trip home.

The boat trip alone is part of the holiday, and offers enough to keep you entertained on the journey.

It’s been a good few years since I took a mini cruise with DFDS Seaways, and was more than pleasantly surprised to find the food in the 7 Seas buffet was dramatically improved from my last visit. They have seriously upped their game, and it’s a relaxing, affordable and economically (more) friendly way to travel. Try it out.

To find out more about the beautiful Keukenhof gardens visit or call 0871 882 0885.

n DFDS Seaways sails twice a day between Newcastle and Amsterdam. Prices for a Keukenhof mini cruise package start from as little as £119 per person based on two people sharing.

Sailing overnight, the break starts as soon as you board one of DFDS Seaways’ cruise ferries.  With plenty to do on board, including a children’s play area, casino, cinema and in-room films on demand, as well as a variety of bars and live entertainment, passengers have the space to relax and spend time with their loved ones and plan the details of their short break. Guests can also enjoy a delicious meal in one of the three onboard restaurants and then take a refreshing stroll on deck to admire the great views before heading off to their en suite cabin for a peaceful night’s sleep. Next morning, passengers will wake up refreshed for their time ashore.

To find out more information and to see the latest special offers, visit or telephone 0871 574 8235.

You can tweet DFDS Seaways @DFDSSeawaysUK or visit the Facebook page to let us know how your trip went.