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Keukenof Gardens

The Netherlands' Majestic Keukenhof Gardens
Keukenhof Gardens in The Netherlands isn't one of the seven wonders of the modern world, but it very well could be. With over 7 million flowers, including a vibrant sea of tulips, orchids, hyacinths, lilies, and countless other varietals, Keukenhof Gardens is a Willy Wonka-esque fairytale land for flower lovers. On a recent Viking River Cruise through The Netherlands and Belgium to see the rainbowed fields of tulips and UNESCO World Heritage windmills, Keukenhof Gardens was the culmination of our trip and a sight that everyone needs to behold in their lifetime.

Beautiful Dutch landscape
No spring river cruise would be complete without a visit to the 19 UNESCO-designated windmills of Kinderdijk and a visit to Keukenhof Gardens, which boasts seven million flowers. This popular tour option to Haarlem is available for those river cruise ships docked in Amsterdam. Photo: Uniworld.com

Impeccable Service
After a day exploring the Keukenhof Gardens in Holland, planted with thousands of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, another flower will come to mind when you return to your ship—the carnation. Unlike many river cruise lines, Uniworld doesn’t entrust any detail—whether it relates to hospitality, culinary, or nautical—to third parties. Uniworld shares a synergy with their sister company, the Red Carnation Hotel Collection. Expect the same exacting standards and service that you are treated to at Red Carnation’s award-winning hotels, including Ireland’s Ashford Castle and The Milestone in London, onboard a Uniworld ship.

World's biggest tulip garden
This year was the 3 time we have been to Keukenhof and by far the best experience. Why? Because the first time we went in May and we were too late for the tulips. They had flowers in the pavilions and rhododendrons in bloom outside but that was it. Second time we went it was last year and due to the long winter all the flowers bloomed late so almost nothing was in bloom.
This year however I got smart and liked their facebook page so I can have daily updates and when they said the park is in full bloom, we went. It was amazing to see it all in bloom.

It's always crowded but very civilized. It's best to get tickets online as the lines are LONG. For food we prefer to picnic. The restaurants are packed and not as fun as eating between the flowers.

The variety of tulips at Keukenhof gardens is just incredible. They come in different sizes, hundreds of color shades and shapes. There are so many that you do not know where to look first.
This year we spent all day in the gardens to make sure I do not miss a thing. So for an all day experience I recommend not taking a bus tour as they only spend a couple of hours there.

The world's most beautiful garden
Keukenhof Gardens is one of those places that you can visit every year and every time you will be surprised.
One reason is because they change the themes every year. This year will be a great one for the gardens as the theme will be Van Gogh.
I am sure it will be unforgettable.

The annual Keukenhof Tulip Festival in the town of Lisse is the largest display of tulips in the world with over seven million blooms. The gardens at Keukenhof, where the festival takes place, are comprised of themed areas planted with rare and exotic tulips as well as hyacinths and narcissi. The 77-acre park was once the "kitchen garden" for the neighboring Teylingen Castle, a stunning fortress dating from the 13th century. Inside the garden, you’ll also find the beautiful Groningen Windmill.