The Northern Dutch City of Hoorn

Europeanbarging presents Arosa Cruises to Hoorn on the Arosa Flora and Silva

Hoorn is a town in North Holland and was once the capital of West Friesland. It features many beautiful houses from the Golden Age, when the Dutch East India and the West India Companies had offices here. Cape Horn, is the the most southerly point of the Americas and was discovered by Willem Schouten  The cape was named after his home town.  Another famous explorer from Hoorn was Jan Coen, who founded Jakarta in Indonesia.

Dutch City of Hoorn

Enjoy a stroll along the Hoorn Harbor and see the diversity of ships in the harbor. There are some very old sailing vessels that are still sailed today.  As you walk into town there is a fortified gate from 1532 that was originally a defense tower. It was named Hoofdtoren, In front of Hoofdtoren stands a wooden landing made in 1464 named the Houten Hoofd.  In 1651 a bell tower was constructed on top of the tower. The lock to the main harbor dates back to 1778. There are several canals leading from the main town and many shops and bars at the harbor.  Walking along the cobbled and brick streets and along the canals you will find lots of interesting architecture and shops.  While we were in Hoorn there was a world soccer game going on and I think the whole town was in a bar at the harbor so we had the whole town to explore mostly on our own.  Everyone started coming out of the bar as we headed back to our ship and they were in good spirits leading us to think their team won.

Sites of interest include Staten Parliament, built in 1632 and located in the town square – Rode Steen.  It is now the Westfries Museum.  The museum has an extensive collection of paintings, silver objects, porcelain, historic firearms etc. The exhibition of this vast collection covers 25 rooms, one of which is a style-room. In 1953, 15th century cellars were discovered under the building. These cellars are now part of the exhibition for archaeological objects from Hoorn and its surroundings.

St. Jans Gasthuis museum holds temporary exhibits.  Near this museum is  the Bossehuizen  which is a collection of 3 houses built in 1612 and featuring friezes depicting the defeat of the Spanish Admiral Bossu in 1573.

Arosa offers 2 Northern Rhine itineraries that stop in Hoorn. The 7 night Experience the Northern Rhine cruising Holland and Belgium, and  the 9 night Experience the Rhine and the Sea, which cruises northern Holland as well and Holland and Belgium.  April departures on these North Rhine River cruise itineraries include Amsterdam and the Keukenhof Gardens. Rates from $1484 for 7 night.  Rates include all meals, beverage package, Wi-Fi and use of the ship’s fitness and spa facilities.

Taking in this fabulous city of historical and architectural wonders will be a great delight. Book your trip with us today!  888-869-7907


The Gardens at the Belgium Summer Palace of Het Lo

Palace Het Loo – A Holland and Belgium River Cruise Destination

Palace Het Loo, built over three hundred years ago near the town of Apeldoorn, is the most stunning palace in Holland. The decorations inside the palace are as amazing as the gardens outside the palace. In fact, the Het Loo palace gardens are a great highlight of the palace and add a lot to its beauty and charm.

Strict symmetry of the layout is the characteristic feature of the formal 17th century Het Loo garden. The idea behind designing the garden is as unique as the experience the visitors have on seeing the gardens every time. William and Mary have their private gardens on each side of the palace which have been rightly named the King’s garden and the Queen’s garden. There is a serious collection of centuries-old citrus trees in Mary’s garden which are on display in tubs between May and October. The fruit and blossoms borne on these citrus trees, collectively, represent a symbol of the House of Orange.

Fountains are a big attraction in Het Loo gardens. Though these gardens were of modest proportions in comparison to those of Versailles, the waterworks were greatly famous for permanently spouting fresh groundwater diverted from the surrounding higher lying hills. In addition to this, the King’s Fountain at the rear of the Upper garden which rose to 13 meters was the highest spouting fountain in Europe. The fountains run from April to October.

Garden statues are yet another integral and distinctive part of the Het Loo garden. These statues, from Greek mythology, of Greek gods and goddesses play an important role in growth and flourishing of the garden. They are fully devoted towards revelling in the achievement of creating such a spectacular view in what was actually an arid heath land. Venus, the goddess of love, has the central role as a driving force behind the statue phenomenon.

Het Loo is a garden for all seasons. Some of the plants in the garden change every year, in the summer and spring, with a purpose to attain the most accurate possible reconstruction of the original garden. One pleasing delight to the eye is the splendid color of the flowers in the spring and summer and often in the autumn as well. In the winter, the snow contrasting on the decorative patterns of the box lined parterres has a marvellous effect.  If you want to have the best view of the garden, you should look at them from the small surrounding banks and, of course, from the palace roof; a view that can only be enjoyed on Wednesdays in June, July and August.

The Het Loo Palace gardens make your visit on a Holland and Belguim river cruise a special and unforgettable experience as you breathe in the atmosphere of their seventeenth century origin with their fountains, statues and elegantly box-lined parterres!