In my opinion, Spring is the most delightful season in Europe. The air may be still cool but the sun is warm to the skin and the countryside is bursting with colors.
From mid-March to the end of May, the tulips transform big parts of Holland’s countryside into a colorful patchwork quilt – did you know that yellow tulips convey cheerfulness while white ones represent forgiveness? 2017 looks like it will be record year – an estimated 2 billion tulips will be produced with more than 7 million flower bulbs blooming at the Keukenhof in Lisse. Besides admiring the floral splendor in Holland, our Tulip Time cruises also visit Belgium where there is so much to see (visit historical Bruges), to do (bike tour of Antwerp) and to taste (chocolates, waffles and cheese to name just a few of my favorites).
Another of my favorite spring cruise itineraries is the Melodies of the Danube. Austria and Hungary are not just famous for Christmas Markets, they also have wonderful Easter Markets, where you can stock up on regional goodies and enjoy live music. Vienna’s main Easter markets are at Schönbrunn Palace (from April 1st – April 17th) while the Budapest Easter Market opens just around Easter and remains open for about one month after Easter, making it a perfect Spring fair. The Prague Easter Markets open every day from April 1st – April 23rd 2017 at the Old Town Square where besides buying some brightly colored hand-painted Easter eggs, you’ll want to try local delicacies like kolbása, tasty barbequed sausages or Trdelnik, a hot sugar coated pastry washed down with one of the famous Czech beers – Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar.
Springtime in Paris is the best season for mingling with the locals. Nothing matches the outdoor café ambiance where people-watching is made even more enjoyable when accompanied with a cold glass of rosé wine served with delicious oysters or a platter of charcuterie and cheese. Whether heading up north to the beaches of Normandy, south to historical city of Arles or east to the wine regions of Bordeaux, our French river cruise itineraries will light up your Spring.