Margaret Donohoe has been in the travel business for almost twenty years, and has spent the last eight and a half years with us at Bon Voyage Travel. Her travel history is extensive, with over twenty visits to the United Kingdom alone! One travel experience that she never tried until last month was a river cruise. Margaret had a great experience with AmaWaterways and the “Tulip Time” river cruise through the Netherlands and Belgium.
The tulips were actually running a little late this year, and had not fully bloomed when Margaret’s cruise set off. “Even though the tulips weren’t in full bloom, we still had a wonderful time exploring the beautiful gardens in Keukenhof. There were tulips under cover in full bloom which go on for acres and are arranged in intricate patterns.” Margaret also found the cheese tasting in Edam to be a highlight, along with learning about this history of the majestic windmills in Kinderdijk and the famous battle at Arnhem Bridge from the Second World War.
Bruges was another favorite stop, which Margaret described as a gorgeous town, which feels like you’ve stepped out of a time portal and traveled back hundreds of years. In terms of the AmaWaterways experience, Margaret appreciated the extra touches they provide, like free bikes at each port. It was also a nice change of pace from large ocean liners. She said “AmaWaterways lets you travel with an intimate group; we liked everyone we met and really got to know each other in such a small group. It’s such a pleasant way to go through the middle of Europe.”
Margaret also wanted to mention a great place to see and stay if you are ever in London: “I highly recommend the St Pancras railway station and hotel! The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel has amazing Victorian architecture, and it was renovated and expanded recently. The hotel has rooms that overlook the station.” If you are taking the Eurostar train from the continent to London, the hotel is the perfect place to start your visit. So what is the number one piece of advice Margaret has for someone trying a river cruise for the first time? “It’s really worth it to book a stateroom with a balcony. More and more river cruise ships are getting French balconies or real balconies, and the view is definitely worth it!”