The Gardens at the Dutch Summer Palace of Het Loo

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 the growth and flourishing of the garden. They are fully devoted to reveling in the achievement of creating such a spectacular view in what was actually an arid heathland. 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 with the decorative patterns of the box-lined parterres has a marvelous effect.  If you want to have the best view of the garden, you should look at it 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 can be booked as a day tour from Amsterdam, while on a Holland cruise or a Holland and Belgium 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!

For more information contact Europeanbarging by email:  or 713-240-6753  / 888-869-7907




Lisbon – A European River Cruise Destination

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a city of hills with up and down geography that lends a great attraction to it. As Europe’s westernmost capital, Lisbon lies on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River. This city is Portugal’s cultural hub with so many attractions associated with it. The city is a wonderful combination of must-see museums, castles and cathedrals. Its charming neighborhoods feature houses decorated with colorful tiled facades, sidewalk cafes along pedestrian thoroughfares and enchantingly original boutiques. The sidewalks are usually paved with black and white volcanic stones in patterns specific to this city.

Lisbon fascinates you with its easy-going charm reflected in its old-fashioned, non- commercial and relaxed atmosphere. One of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon is rich in Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Modern and Post-Modern constructions. Lisbon has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today’s Europe. Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that face the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city.

Many cruise ships dock at several places along the river on the Lisbon side, with variably good access to public transport throughout the city. Many lines offer shuttles to key points nearby. You can get aboard some Europe river cruise such as Porto cruise or Douro River cruise to visit Lisbon. It’s an excellent sightseeing opportunity crossing the river Tagus to Lisbon.

Lisbon is more affordable than many of the other capital cities of Europe when it comes to prices of meals, wine and entrance fees to the main attractions. If you like fish and shellfish, Lisbon is the right city. There are so many pastry shops, usually with lovely storefronts, providing sit-down respite for coffee, tea and something sweet.

With so many attractions held within it, the city is a destination you shouldn’t miss.  Lisbon is also known as the white city due to its unique light. The clear light and the kind climate allow for marvelous walks all over the city. The city possesses a beauty that extends beyond its famous monuments that can be felt in the streets, embraced by all the senses!