The IJssel is a distributary or river that does not return to the mainstream. In this case, the IJssel branches off from the Rhine River to flow northeastwardly for 70 miles before entering the IJsselmeer (a lake), which is located between the northeast and east Flevoland polders. (A polder is a piece of low-lying land that has been reclaimed from a river or the sea, which is protected by dikes in the Netherlands.) Indeed, the watery terrain of the Netherlands and its unique canals make IJssel River cruises both fascinating and exciting. IJssel River cruises often begin with embarkment at Amsterdam, with stops at major ports in the Netherlands as well as Antwerp, Belgium. Many river cruises take place when the tulips are in bloom in the spring. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your IJssel river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.IJssel Travel Guide
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IJssel Travel Guide
IJssel River Cruises Highlights
- See the fields of tulips in bloom on a springtime river cruise.
- Visit Paleis Het Loo, the Netherland's Royal Family's lovely summer estate.
- Enjoy the leafy landscape of Sonsbeek Park in Arnhem, Netherlands.
- Savor delectable meals onboard, all included in the price of the river cruise package.
- Relax in an en-suite accommodation featuring a flat-screen TV, safe, hairdryer, and individually controlled air conditioning.
- Access complimentary coffee and tea stations 24/7.
- Stay connected with Wi-Fi on board your ship.
- Hire a bike for cycling excursions, based on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Sit back and listen to piano music in the ship's sumptuously appointed lounge.
- See Rotterdam's 18th and 19th-century Dutch windmills – unique only to the Netherlands.
IJssel River Cruises Travel Tips
- Most Ijssel River cruises take place during April and May when the tulips are in bloom. It is also a time when it often rains, especially in April. Make sure you carry an umbrella and waterproof jacket.
- The variances in temperature in the spring, the higher the pollen count, and rainy weather, can lead to allergies and sniffles. Bring some cold or allergy medicine with you, and you will "breathe easier."
- Use a charge card with a chip and pin to charge purchases when landing in ports. European retailers cannot accept credit cards that are pinless.
- While you won't need a Visa to travel to the Netherlands, your passport should be good for three months after the end of your river cruise holiday.
- Make sure all the contact information and details are correct on your travel documents and that they can be accessed easily.
- Carry the minimum amount in luggage – only pack what you need. You should be able to get by carrying a small duffle bag and carry-on.
- To stay connected, bring a plug adapter for charging or using your electronics.
- Download Google Translate to make it easier to read signs, menus or communicate.
IJssel River Cruises Things To Do
Originally a fishing village in the late 1100s, Amsterdam was established after the building of a dam on the Amstel River. From that time, Amsterdam developed quickly. Today, the city boasts one of the most beautiful and unique historic centers in Europe. The center is made up of 7,000 historic structures and 400 bridges that link 90 islands across the city's canals. Some of the historical buildings include the Royal Palace, whose home is Dam Square, and the Westerkerk, a church built in the 17th century. The city is also home to numerous stores and shops – effective for anyone who is seeking a little retail therapy.
Best Time To VisitVisit any part of the Netherlands is in the spring when you can see the fields of tulips in bloom. Plan your itinerary for tulip-watching in April or the early part of May.
You Should KnowPre-book tickets to see the Anne Frank House, where Anne and her family hid from the German occupiers during the Second World War. Visit Keukenhof Gardens to observe the beautiful blooms. Another attraction is the Van Gogh Museum showcases the works of the legendary artist, Vincent Van Gogh. Rijksmuseum displays the Golden Age paintings of Dutch artists, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Vermeer.
Founded in the 1200s, Hoorn served as a connection to the Flanders and Baltic areas. Many of the structures in Hoorn were built in the Dutch Golden Age (17th century). The buildings can be seen on a river cruise tour, and have been preserved, over time, to retain Hoorn's charm and elaborate style. A visit to the city's historic center will give you a better appreciation of the Golden Age design.
Best Time To VisitGo during tulip time in the spring, so you can enjoy the milder temperatures, see the lovely flowers, and meet up with fewer crowds.
You Should KnowFormer Statencollege, going back to 1632, features paintings from the 16th to 18th centuries. Hoofdtoren Tower overlooks the busy Hoorn harbor. Stroll through Rode Steen Square and view its tall houses and statues. West Fries Museum, with its exquisitely adorned façade, shows how the Dutch Golden Age influenced the city of Hoorn. Visit Oosterkerk Church, built in 1519.
Sitting on the shore of the lower River IJssel, the city of Kampen is located in the Overijssel Province. The IJssel River will provide you with unspoiled views of this lovely Netherlands' city and its verdant countryside. The gothic church, Bovenkert, gives you a clue at the type of historical sites you will see on your tour of this enchanting Dutch town.
Best Time To VisitTake an IJssel River cruise during the spring, so you can see the trees budding and lovely tulips growing abundantly at this time of year.
You Should KnowKampen features one of the best-preserved historic town centers in the Netherlands, which boasts an incredible 500+ monuments – an unprecedented number of historical attractions. A collection of fine churches can be seen in Kampen, including the neo-classical designed Burgwalkerk, and the Buitenkerk, and Broederkerk. To get more insight into the interesting shipping history of Kampen, visit the Museum Kampen, which is located in the city's 14th-century town hall.
This city is best known for its role during the Second World War during the 1944 Battle of Arnhem, later dramatized in the war film A Bridge Too Far. The city's Airborne Museum and War Museum offer more in-depth insights into the battle and the city's wartime history. However, you will find more than the city's battle history to keep you entertained. You can also discover Arnhem's event-filled history, which stretches back to the 1100s.
Best Time To VisitMany IJssel River cruises take place during the spring when tulips bloom. Therefore, this is a good time to also take in the views of Arnhem.
You Should KnowDon't miss seeing the striking gothic designed St. Eusebius Church with its 305-foot tower. Escape to the city's fairy tale Doorwerth Castle, built during the 12th century. Take a brief sojourn in Sonsbeek Park and visit the spectacular summer residence of the Dutch Royal Family, Paleis Het Loo (built in the 17th century).
A listed UNESCO village, Kinderdijk is a famous Netherlands attraction. Sitting in the heart of polder lands, where the Lek and Noord rivers meet, Kinderdijk serves as the home for the largest display of historical windmills in the world. The village's windmills, which were built during the mid-1700s, were constructed to guard against floods and keep the lower-lying land of Alblasserwaard, about 23 feet below sea level, dry.
Best Time To VisitVisit Kinderdijk in early May, when the spring showers begin to taper off.
You Should KnowThe village features 19 iconic Dutch windmills, which are connected by a network of roads and dikes. The best way to appreciate the landscape is to bike. For more of a look into windmill history, visit the Nederwaard and Blokweer windmill museums. A visit to Wisboomgemaal Visitors Center provides a good introduction to Kinderdijk.
To look at Rotterdam, you would not guess that it is a centuries-old city. After World War II, Rotterdam, which was almost obliterated, had to be extensively rebuilt. Today, the city enjoys a thriving economy and modern and towering buildings. The city's iconic cable-styled Eramusburg bridge is the second largest bridge in the Netherlands.
Best Time To VisitMark your travel calendar for spring to visit Rotterdam and other parts of the Netherlands.
You Should KnowTo escape the hustle and bustle of the city, visit Rotterdam's botanical garden and its large zoo. Surviving post-war structures include Rotterdam's windmills, which were built during the 1700s and 1800s. The super modern Markthal building features a busy indoor market.
- Antwerp, Belgium
Both charming and historic, Antwerp, Belgium is a popular destination on river cruise journeys. The Diamond District in Antwerp gives visitors the opportunity to buy their own customized jewelry. About 80% of the world's rough diamonds regularly go through Antwerp. Cobbled walkways lead to vibrant cafes – a great way for shoppers to relax or enjoy an afternoon repast.
Best Time To VisitIf you go on an IJssel River cruise, visit Antwerp in April or May when you can also see the tulips in bloom in the Netherlands.
You Should KnowEven though Antwerp received extensive bombings in the Second World War, it still retained much of its medieval charm. You will note this feeling when you visit the city's Cathedral of Our Lady in Benelux. The church features four altarpieces, each designed by the Baroque artist, Pieter Paul Rubens. Antwerp's Grote Markt, which is the center square in old town, displays Flemish Renaissance-styled architecture. Visit the Rubens House, built in the 1600s, to see the works of Flemish Baroque artist, Pieter Paul Rubens.
- Dordrecht, Netherlands
While Dordrecht is believed to have been first settled in 1049, it was officially named a city in 1220. Located on an island in the province of South Holland, the city sits in the midst of a variety of channels and tributaries. Historically, the riverside city was once a vital center of trade, importing and exporting goods, such as cereals, wood, and wines.
Best Time To VisitSet sail during the springtime when you can also enjoy the tulips blooming in all parts of the Netherlands.
You Should KnowDordrecht's history can be found in the city's picture-postcard city center, which features museums, monuments, and lovely buildings, all revealing Dordrecht's fascinating past. Explore the narrow streets of the city on foot and visit historical landmarks, such as the Grote Kerk church with its 67-bell carillon. The city boasts 700 municipal monuments and about 900 listed buildings.
IJssel River Cruise Packages
The temperatures in the Netherlands are moderate and never go above the 70s and the average lows are in the 30s. The best time to visit the Netherlands is during the spring and early autumn when the temperatures are comfortable, however, there is a high chance that there is rain during that time. However, the winter can be a unique time to travel as well, since the winter markets open up.
- Spring - March to May - Good Season
You will find that most IJssel River cruises are offered when the tulips bloom in the Netherlands in the early spring. Therefore, this is the best time to see this part of Europe. If you are planning a Netherlands trip, it seems logical that you would add tulip watching to your bucket list. With that being said, you also have to consider the possibility of snowmelt and the spring rains, which can definitely dampen your river cruise plans. If flooding takes place, a river cruise line will usually use its river cruise ship as a floating hotel or transport you by bus – not something that can be avoided in some cases.
- Winter - December to February - Good Season
If you want to see the Netherlands when river cruise prices are lower, you may also opt for taking a trip when the Christmas markets are selling their wares during November and December. While you will definitely experience holiday magic, the colder temperatures may also make it difficult to ride a bike, if that is what you want to do.
IJssel River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
- What Are IJssel River Cruises?
Most Ijssel River cruises begin in Amsterdam and end there, with major port stops scheduled for Hoorn, Kampen, Arnhem, Rotterdam, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Belgium, and Dordrecht. All-inclusive river cruise passages allow for luxury travel at affordable prices.
- What’s Included on IJssel River Cruises?
IJssel River cruises provide en-suite accommodations with a flat-screen TV, a hairdryer, and Wi-Fi access. Gratuities and the airfare to the embarkation city are often included in the price. All meals onboard are free, as well as the beverages. Escorted tours round out the amenities.
- What’s the Best River Cruise of IJssel River Cruises?
The best river cruise will be the cruise that offers the best value for what you can afford. Therefore, look at cruises that feature luxury accommodations and a regular schedule of activities. Popular river cruise lines include Viking River Cruises and AmaWaterways, both of which include Dutch ports in their pan-European river cruise offerings.
- How Much Do Don River Cruises Cost?
Depending on your deck plan, you can set sail and enjoy an all-inclusive IJssel River cruise for as low as $2,000 per person for nine nights. That price includes the airfare.
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