Experience this highly-requested destination starting in 2025.

Nestled in the heart of the Netherlands, Giethoorn, often referred to as the "Dutch Venice,” is an idyllic destination that enchants visitors with it picturesque canals, charming thatched-roof cottages, and traditional ambiance. Starting in 2025, guests on our Tulip Time river cruises will have an opportunity to visit this lovely village, named by Travel + Leisure as one of the "23 Most Beautiful Small Towns Around the World," on an included excursion from the port of Kampen.

Giethoorn's history dates to the 13th century when settlers dug canals into the area to extract peat for fuel. Over time, these waterways became the lifeblood of the village, shaping its unique character. The name "Giethoorn" is believed to have originated from the word "goat horn," many of which were found in the area after a massive flood. Today, its canals are an integral part of the village's identity, connecting the various parts of this community to each other and to its history.

A Unique Way of Life

The most distinctive feature of Giethoorn is its near complete lack of roads. This town relies instead on its system of waterways, footpaths and cycling routes, with boating serving as the primary mode of transportation.

Visitors can experience the magic of this charming town by boarding a traditional "whisper boat,” named for their quiet electric motors, and leisurely gliding through the narrow canals, passing under quaint wooden bridges and being greeted by the serene backdrop of homes adorned with colorful gardens. The boats offer an intimate and tranquil way to explore the village's beauty, allowing for a deeper connection to its ambiance.

Old-World Charm & Culture

On your excursion to Giethoorn, you will be greeted by sights seemingly stripped out of your favorite childhood fairytales. The architecture of Giethoorn evokes a sense of craftsmanship lost to time. The absence of motorized vehicles and the preservation of traditional building methods create an atmosphere of authenticity that is rare to find. The town’s idiosyncratic homes boast meticulously maintained thatched roofs made from reeds, a practice that has been passed down through generations. These roofs not only contribute to the village's enchanting appearance, but also offer effective insulation against the elements, keeping the interiors cozy during the colder months.

Giethoorn is not just about picturesque scenery; it also offers a range of cultural attractions that add depth to the visitor experience. One of these attractions is the Museum Giethoorn, which offers insight into the village's history, showcasing the lives of the people who once worked the peat fields and explaining the development of its intricate waterway network. This museum, housed in a traditional farmhouse, provides a fascinating glimpse into the past that shaped Giethoorn's present.

An excursion to Giethoorn feels like an escape into a place where time seems to slow down, and nature and human ingenuity harmonize. Whether you're gliding along its enchanting canals, admiring the architecture or learning more about local culture, Giethoorn offers an unforgettable experience that will resonate long after you have returned home.

Join us on our 7-night Tulip Time itinerary starting in 2025 to visit Giethoorn for yourself.