Serving as a distributary branch of the famous Rhine River, the Waal River carries about 65% of the Rhine's flow. Meandering through the Netherlands, the Waal waterway connects Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Germany. By taking a Waal River cruise, you can see Netherland attractions and learn more about the country's unique culture and history. This river cruise normally is combined with an Ijssel River cruise or a Rhine River adventure. Therefore, you will stop off at ports along the Waal River as well as cities along the Rhine River or Ijssel River. It just depends on what connections you take. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Waal river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.Waal Travel Guide
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Waal Travel Guide
Waal River Cruises Highlights
- See the oldest city in the Netherlands – Nijmegen.
- Visit the largest Netherlands seaport, Rotterdam.
- Stop at Hoek Van Holland, a well-known bathing resort.
- Sail to Nijmegan, and visit Stevenskerk, built in the 13th century.
- Enjoy Dutch-themed cuisine onboard, with all meals included in your river cruise package.
- Quench your thirst anytime, as all beverages (including sodas and tea) are free.
- Sail to Tiel, known for its area orchards and fruits, such as apples, pears, and cherries.
- Visit Amsterdam, the exciting Netherlands capital and connecting city.
- Enjoy unlimited Wi-Fi access.
- Cycle along the River Waal and visit the Ooijpolder Nature Preserve.
Waal River Cruises Travel Tips
- Most Tulip Time river cruises begin and end in Amsterdam. While Amsterdam is not on the Waal River, the ship will link to the Waal River through the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal.
- The best time to see the tulips and take a Waal River cruise is late April.
- Although you won't see as many tulips, booking a Waal River cruise in March will usually earn you a discount.
- Take an adapter with you to stay plugged in and connected.
- Download Google Translate to help you with menus or translating signs.
- Always pack light, using a lightweight duffle bag with wheels and a carry-on.
- Pack long-sleeved blouses or shirts and lightweight slacks for trips during the preferred travel times of April and September.
- Go light on eating Dutch foods, as they can be high in fat and calories. Traditional dishes were once made to provide nourishment for laborers who needed the energy.
Waal River Cruises Things To Do
Known as the Netherland's capital, Amsterdam is known for its elaborate network of canals and narrow gabled homes. Some of the featured attractions include the Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh Museum, and city's many cycling paths.
Best Time To VisitNormally Amsterdam is featured on a Rhine River cruise or Ijssel River cruise, but often connects to Waal River cruise sites. To truly enjoy Amsterdam, you should go when the tulips are in bloom, in late April. The blooms flourish from late March to May, but late April is the best time to see fields of the flowers.
You Should KnowAmsterdam was built on lots of poles. In fact, the city was constructed on 11 million poles, as the city sits about a meter below sea level. A house in the city needs 10 poles to stay anchored in the city's sandy foundation. Amsterdam was not officially made Netherlands' capital until 1983. While it was thought as the capital, it was not made official until that date. Keukenhof Garden in nearby Lisse is the place you want to visit during Tulip Time in the Netherlands.
Known as a major port in South Holland, Rotterdam provides visitors with interesting landmarks and attractions – sites that contrast the traditional with the new. For example, you might want to pay a visit to the Maritime Museum, which features vintage sailing vessels, or enjoy a little shopping along the Delfshaven, a neighborhood that was established in the 1600s, which is home to canal-side retailers. The city, which features impressive and modern architecturally styled buildings, was rebuilt after the Second World War.
Best Time To VisitVisit Rotterdam in late April, when tulips and other area flowers bloom, or in September, which offers fewer crowds and pleasanter temperatures.
You Should KnowThe city features cube-shaped houses.Rotterdam is the world's second-largest port, after Shanghai in China.
- Hoek Van Holland
The Hoek Van Holland, or Hook of Holland, is a town on the ship canal of Nieuwe Waterweg, close to the North Sea and Waal River. It connects to Rotterdam and is known for its ferry port, which has carried travelers since 1893 to the east of England.
Best Time To VisitVisit the ferry port in either April or September.
You Should KnowThe town is a walker's delight, serving as the base for a network of long-distance walking paths. The Hook of Holland features a beach, a 30-minute walk from its west border, and even a shorter distance from the Hoek van Holland train station. The sandy strand is one of the Netherlands ' finest shores. The attraction, which is free, features kiteboarding, windsurfing, and surfing activities.
Nijmegen is the Netherlands' oldest city, and is situated on the Waal River in Gelderland province. In 2005, Nijmegen celebrated its 2000-year-old birthday. Nijmegen is a lively university town that once served as a Roman encampment.
Best Time To VisitVisit Nijmegen during April or September when the temperatures are just right for cycling. You might also think of going when the city holds its annual Four Day Marches in the later part of July.
You Should KnowNijmegen holds its Four Day Marches in July, the biggest marching event worldwide. During the festival, thousands of marchers participate in walks 30 to 50 kilometers long. Following the walks, Four Days parties draw around one million visitors annually. The Valkhof Museum, in Nijmegen, once was home to Charlemagne, former king of the Franks. The museum features Roman artifacts and modern paintings. Because the city is a university town, it provides a lively nightlight in the city center, which features a wide range of cafes and bars.
Established in the 5th century, Tiel is located in the center of the Netherlands. The Waal River, Linge River, and Amsterdam-Rhine Canal surround the town. The rural area near Tiel, or the Betuwe, is known for its cultivation of fruits, especially apples, cherries, and pears.
Best Time To VisitMark your calendar to see Tiel in April when the fruit trees are in bloom as well as the tulips.
You Should KnowFlipje is Tiel's mascot. The marketing icon was used to sell Betuwe jam in the 20th century. Like the Michelin Man is made of tires, the fictitious character of Flipje is made up of fruit. His history is displayed at a museum dedicated to the character. Sitting next to the Waal River, Tiel is located in the Netherland's famous river-scape section.
With direct access to the Waal River, the town of Zaltbommel offers Waal River cruisers a number of interesting attractions. The ancient locale was first called Bomela in 850. It received city rights in 1231, which were renewed much later in 1316.
Best Time To VisitKeep a place on your calendar for a Zaltbommel visit in April or September.
You Should KnowJohannes van Maaren, a native of Zaltbommel, competed in the 1920, 1924, and 1928 wrestling competitions at the Summer Olympics. During the 80-Years War, the city was seized by the Spanish but was recaptured by Maurice of Orange of the Anglo-Dutch force. The city is home to the Castle of Waardenburg. The Kasteel Ammersoyen is a medieval estate and castle with a moat in Zaltbommel.
Gorinchem is a municipality in the province of South Holland. It also includes the Dalem area. Popular sights in Gorinchem include Loevestein Castle, which is a moated castle museum that was built during the 1300s, Gorcums Museum, and Grote Kerk. Gorinchem is one of those travel gems that often is not featured in guidebooks.
Best Time To VisitPlan a journey to Gorinchem anywhere between April and September. However, if you want to get into some attractions, such as Grote Kerk, summer is the preferred travel time.
You Should KnowGrote Kerk's bell tower is the only thing remaining from the demolished medieval St. Martin's Church. The bell tower is open in the summer. Lingehaven is a historic harbor in Gorinchem.
- Ooijpolder Nature Preserve
A cycling trip along the River Waal will lead to this beautiful nature reserve. To get to the site, you can either bike or take a walk. In turn, you will be rewarded with birdsong and bird sightings, as well as wetlands and woodlands. You might say that this feat of nature is a walker's or cycler's paradise. Therefore, make sure you plan a visit when it is less likely to rain and everything is in bloom.
Best Time To VisitPlan a trip to the Ooijpolder Nature Reserve in April. You can also sightsee with greater ease, as the natural area is less crowded.
You Should KnowYou can cycle or walk to this site from Nijmegen, so rent a bicycle in Nijmegen, if that's your form of transport. The nature reserve is home to birds, such as storks and herons, as well as birds of prey. Along the river, Scottish cows and wild horses have been introduced so they can eat saplings and open up the fields.
Waal River Cruises When To Visit
If you choose to travel on a Waal River cruise, you will find that it is much easier to book a themed river cruise during Tulip Time, or from the later part of March to early May. Tulip Time gets into full swing during the latter part of April. So, if you cannot imagine seeing the Netherlands without its tulips, you need to make April travel arrangements.
If you sail during March, you normally will receive a discount and still see the tulips in bloom. You just won't see as many of the flowers. Plus, you will avoid the crowds that prevail during the latter part of April. If you go during March, make sure to travel with rain gear to protect yourself from an unexpected shower.
You might also think about taking a river cruise when the Christmas Markets are set up during November and December. Choose a river cruise that goes down the Ijsling or Rhine rivers and connects to the Waal River. Because the temperatures are cold, you can save money on sailing. Just make sure you dress extra warm.
Waal River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
- What Are Waal River Cruises?
Waal River cruises normally begin and end in Amsterdam and usually connect with other river cruises sailing the Ijsling or Rhine rivers. You can get to the Waal River by going through the Amsterdam-Rhine canal waterway. The Waal River is fairly short, so the ports you will see may include linking ports on other waterways. The main Waal River cities include Zaltbommel, Tiel, and Nijmegen. While river cruises may run up to two weeks, most Waal River cruises last about 7 days.
- What Is Included on Waal River Cruises?
Once you set sail, you can enjoy free onboard meals and complimentary beverages, as well as off-shore excursions, some with a knowledgeable travel guide. Airport transfers are usually included in river cruise packages.
- What’s the Best River Cruise of Waal River Cruises?
You will find the best river cruise for you by speaking to a travel representative first. He or she can prepare you for your journey by explaining some of the amenities and what is featured on the trip. River cruise lines, such as Viking River Cruises and AmaWaterways, feature river cruise holidays that are themed and customized to your preferred travel itinerary.
- How Much Do Waal River Cruises Cost?
Your river cruise choice will depend on the demand for the river cruise. However, on average, Waal River cruises cost about $500 per person.
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