saga river cruises netherlands

Get to know Holland

From Amsterdam’s historic canal network to verdant fields inland, the Netherlands (often referred to as Holland) effortlessly combines culture and history with the simple beauty of the great outdoors.

The Netherlands embodies the very best of European culture. It’s the home of Vincent van Gogh, countless delicious cheeses, fields of windmills and tulips, and possibly the world's prettiest canal network (don’t tell the Venetians). Cities here are historic, colourful, and welcoming from the second you step onto the cobblestones.

You'll notice recurrent colours across the country. Narrow redbrick buildings are prominent in the capital, whilst wide meadows stretch out with vibrant shades of red and yellow as you venture into rural areas. Rivers, canals and waterways criss-cross the country, making river cruises the perfect mode of travel. Focus on the Netherlands, divert into neighbouring Belgium, or combine Holland with a journey along the mighty Rhine, taking you south to explore Germany’s grand castles and half-timbered towns.

Amsterdam’s historic centre is beautiful, with neat rows of gabled townhouses edging tree-lined canals. Wander through the Nine Streets district to find cosy cafes and cool boutiques selling homewares and clothes by Dutch and Scandi labels. When it comes to museums and galleries, you’re spoilt for choice – highlights include the huge Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum.

These lovely gardens near the town of Lisse are at their most beautiful in the springtime, when thousands of tulips burst from the ground and carpet the fields in a rainbow’s worth of colours. Many river cruises will have special spring departures to coincide with the tulip season, giving you a full day at the gardens to appreciate the blooms.

saga river cruises netherlands

Spring is the time to visit for the tulips – they tend to bloom mid-April to early May, though this does fluctuate depending on the weather. Summer is glorious, with long days and al fresco dining – expect temperatures similar to the UK. Rainfall is fairly high year-round, so be sure to pack a raincoat or umbrella in your case.

Flight time from the UK to Amsterdam is around an hour.

The Netherlands is two hours ahead of GMT.

Dutch is the official language. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Currently, visas aren’t required for British Citizens. Entry requirements are subject to change, though – visit GOV UK or CIBT visas for more advice on passports and visas.

With the widest choice of holidays and travel experiences than ever before, you can now personalise your trip so you are in complete control. All this is backed up by the high-standards and service you’d expect from Saga.

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  • Saga Cruises launches 2024 river itineraries with a new ship...

Saga Cruises launches 2024 river itineraries with a new ship, Spirit of the Douro

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Saga River Cruises has released their 2024 itineraries with up to 25% off for early bookers.

The company has also experienced a 37% increase in pre-registrations for the 2024 itineraries compared to 2023.

Saga UK's river fleet will have a new boat - Spirit of the Douro (2017-built) starting operations in March 2024 on the Douro River in Portugal. The boat will have 63 cabins (all outside) and has scheduled 36x voyages ("Douro Explorer" itinerary) between March and November 2024.

Additionally, Saga will offer a range of five-night 'taster' river cruises, such as A Taste of Holland with Keukenhof and Ypres and Flanders Fields cruise, along with a new Rhine in the Springtime cruise and an unusual itinerary along Lake Ijssell in the Netherlands.

Saga will also be offering four 2024 Andre Rieu cruises, including tickets to one of his concerts. One of the cruises is a seven-night Andre Rieu’s New Year Concert in Amsterdam (Netherlands) departing on January 3, 2024. Prices for these cruises start at £1299 per person.

Note: Spirit of the Douro is a 2017-built boat owned by Mystic Cruises (via its Portuguese subsidiary Douro Azul/ fleet ). Douro Azul has two vessels launched in 2017 - the sisterships Douro Elegance and Douro Serenity .

Both fit Saga's information about Spirit of the Douro - including max passenger capacity (126), staterooms (63), length (80 m), width (11 m), cabin sizes (Junior Suite: 19 m2, Suite 29 m2). One of these ships will be rebranded (to Spirit of the Douro) and operated by Saga UK under a long-term boat charter.

Douro Serenity (now operated by Mystic's German subsidiary Nicko Cruises/fleet) has a schedule ending in 2023 (November) so this ship will be probably chartered by Saga UK as Spirit of the Douro.

Emma Cruises

Saga River Cruise – Review and Guide (Food, Entertainment, Ships, and More)

Wondering if a Saga river cruise is right for you? I took one and had an amazing time exploring the Danube. 

I’d definitely recommend a cruise with Saga but I wouldn’t recommend it to all.

The following 7 points will help you to make an informed decision about if a Saga river cruise is right for you.

Saga Cruises Are Aimed At a British Market

Without a doubt, Saga river cruises are aimed primarily at the British market. I recently returned from a Danube river cruise with Saga where almost all passengers were British. Having said that, Saga cruise are not exclusively for brits .

Saga don’t advertise in the USA/Canada/Australia so this explains the majority of passengers being British.

Saga Cruises Include British Touches

British favorites are regularly on the menu of Saga cruises. I had the most amazing fish and chips during my Saga river cruise. You’ll find more about the food later in this post.

Tea features heavily in the daily schedule. Afternoon tea happens each and every day and offers passengers a variety of sandwiches, cakes and teas to choose from.

Onboard there was a choice of Yorkshire tea, PG tips, and about 15 other tea choices. Tea/Coffee making facilities are available in the main lounge 24 hours a day and tea/coffee is also served at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Saga River Cruise Afternoon Tea

Saga Don’t Own/Build Their Own Ships

Saga don’t own their own river cruise ships, they charter them from other river cruise companies.

This means that there is a lot of variety in regards to onboard ship amenities within the Saga fleet. The ships are chartered exclusively for Saga meaning that no other cruise lines/companies are able to use the ships while they are chartered to Saga.

Other river cruise lines that build their own ships will usually have little or no variation in their fleet.

saga river cruises netherlands

The ships chartered by Saga are generally speaking older than ships that you may find on other river cruise lines like Emerald Waterways and Avalon.

Filia Rheni River Cruise Ship Review

I cruised on the Filia Rheni which was built in 1999. She was a very comfortable ship and although not really showing her age you could still tell that she isn’t a modern river ship.

The design of river ships has changed in recent years and certain features onboard give away the ship’s age.

That said, all of the furnishings onboard appeared relatively new and there wasn’t ever anything that was broken or scruffy onboard. The Filia Rheni provides a traditional river cruise experience.

She has one big dining room, one lounge and a swimming pool on the top deck. The ship is a good size for the number of passengers that she holds, we certainly never struggled to find a seat or a sunlounger!

At one point I had 8 sun loungers, a giant chessboard and a swimming pool all to myself.

Saga Filia Rheni Lounge

Filia Rheni Cabin Review

We stayed in a balcony cabin and it was a decent size. The cabin had everything that we needed and we were very comfortable there.

That said, there wasn’t anything in the cabin that particularly wowed me but I did enjoy leaning out of the balcony as we sailed along.

The cabin was cleaned every day to a high standard and my only complaint was that the bed wasn’t very comfortable because I could feel the springs digging into my arm when I lay down.

I fixed this by using the bed cover as a mattress topper and from this point onwards it was fine.

Filia rheni balcony cabin

Saga Cruises Include Transfers

During my Saga cruise, I spoke to many other guests and asked them about why they liked cruising with Saga.

The most common reason I heard was that Saga looks after their guests and they include transfers in their cruise fare.

Saga seems to be pretty flexible when it comes to travel arrangements. Some passengers had caught trains instead of taxis and a few even have hotel stays included because they lived so far from the airport.

Transfer Distance

Saga includes a transfer if you live within 250 miles of the cruise port or airport which I think is amazing. I was picked up for my Saga cruise at 4 am and taken to the airport. The taxi alone would have cost over £100 and we had the same thing on the way home too!

This service is a private chauffeur for distances up to 75 miles each way, and a shared chauffeur service from 76-250 miles each way. Don’t want to chauffeur? No problem. We’ll also be happy to arrange complimentary car parking near the port, or can provide included rail/coach tickets, or even free flights from your local airport, subject to availability. – source .

Thie service operates only in the UK.

The Saga Team Will Look After You

Saga charter their ships so, as far as I can work out, most members of crew onboard will below to the ship rather than to Saga.

On my Saga cruise, the bar team, housekeeping team, and kitchen team were all incredible and made sure that every guest had everything that they needed.

Port Talk Saga River Cruise

On a Saga river cruise, there will be a few members of staff from Saga and I was lucky enough to have Charlie, Loraine, and Debbie. Charlie was our Cruise Host with Loraine second in command. Debbie was our entertainment for the week, she sang, she hosted games and she ran the Zumba! A lady with many talents.

During our cruise, they were always available for the guests and were constantly friendly and patient which made the atmosphere onboard very homely and welcoming.

If anything went wrong or anybody onboard ever had any questions we all knew that we could go to Charlie, Loraine or Debbie and they’d help sort it out.

I spoke to many other guests onboard all of whom loved the trio. Many praised Charlies ability to explain things, Loraines ability to organise everything (and everybody), and Debbies ability to make everybody laugh.

saga river cruises netherlands

Saga Have Fixed Dining Times and Table Sharing

Saga has fixed dining times on their river cruises and table sharing is common. On most river cruises you will have fixed dining times because the majority of river cruise ships only have one main dining room.

There are a few new ships with multiple restaurant options but generally speaking, river cruise ships have one main dining room.

Saga River Cruise Breakfast

Saga offers a buffet breakfast in the main dining room. This usually is open for a couple of hours and when you arrive you will be seated with other guests.

You are able to arrive at any time when breakfast is open. Tea/Coffee is offered and there are a variety of juices and water available.

The buffet contained everything from a full English breakfast to continental favorites. Bread, cereals, and fruits were plentiful and always of really high quality. I’d find it very difficult to find any fault with anything in the buffet.

Saga River Cruise Filia Rheni Food Breakfast Bread Gluten Free

Saga River Cruise Lunch Options

There are two options for lunch. Guests can either have a 3-course meal in the main dining room or can have a ‘light lunch’ in the lounge. I tried both and they were great.

Main Dining Room Lunch

The sit-down lunch in the main dining room was very similar to dinner, the only difference is that during lunch guests are seated on a first come first serve basis. I quite liked this as it meant we got to chat with new people each lunchtime.

The options on the menu were varied and I never had a bad dish during the entire cruise. In fact, I never heard anybody say anything bad about any item of food for the entire cruise. Wow!

Light Lunch

I really enjoyed the light lunch. It was usually a collection of sandwiches/salads and things like pasta or soups.

Don’t be fooled by the ‘light lunch’ title, it definitely is possible to overeat. We were actually planning on leaving the ship one lunchtime when the smell of spare ribs wafted from the lounge… we decided, of course, to have lunch and then venture out.

Saga Filia Rheni Light Lunch Option

Saga River Cruise Dinner

Saga has fixed tables for dining which will be given to you on the first night of your cruise. We were sharing with 4 other ladies all of whom were lovely. It’s always a relief to have nice table mates.

The dinner onboard is usually 4 courses, a starter, soup, main, and dessert. On occasion, other courses would appear such as a sorbet.

Our waiter would often give us another dish to share if he thought we should try a certain dish. We never really wanted the extra dessert but somehow always managed to eat it… funny that!

Saga River Cruise Food Dinner

Saga River Cruise Food Quality

I’ve been on 23 cruises to date and I have to say that, in my opinion, the food served on Saga ships is up there with the best.

During my 6 night cruise, I didn’t hear a single complaint from any passenger about the quality of the food.

Saga River Cruises Include Some Excursions, Drinks with Meals, and WiFi

In addition to the transfers mentioned earlier, Saga includes a lot in their base cruise fare.

Are Excursions Included on a Saga River Cruise?

On our 6 night cruise, we had two excursions included. Plus a very strange bonus excursion on the first day which we didn’t expect. To read more about that, check out this post: Saga Danube River Cruise Daily Diary & Review. 

The excursions are mostly coach based. During our excursions we were given some time to walk around and those who were less able were given an option of waiting in a coffee shop.

Saga river cruises do not include daily excursions and the number of excursions offered does vary by cruise.

Having said this, cruise director Charlie was always available to do a ‘walk into town’ for the passengers who weren’t on an excursion. I thought that this was a lovely gesture as it helped the passengers to feel safer when exploring new places and meant that they knew where they were going when doing their own exploring.

Saga Danube Delta River Excursion

Are Drinks Included on a Saga River Cruises?

Saga river cruises include drinks with meals. This includes beer, wine and soft drinks such as soda.

The ‘free’ drinks aren’t only available in the main dining room but they are also available in the main lounge when lunch is being served. Beer/wine isn’t served with breakfast.

Wine is Included on a Saga River Cruise

The wine servings were HUGE and most nights I didn’t have more than one other drink in the evening.

We actually only spent £42 on drinks during our cruise! Dinner is quite an event on Saga cruises and we often sat for quite a long time just chatting and getting our money worth out of the free drinks. There is only one seating of dinner you don’t have to be rushed out of the restaurant so can take as much time as you need.

A red, white and rose are available every night. This didn’t change during the cruise but I wouldn’t have wanted it too. I liked the rose. Check out those wine servings below!

Saga River Cruise Table Sharing at Dinner

WiFi is Included on a Saga River Cruise 

WiFi is included on Saga river cruises. The quality of the WiFi depends on where you are cruising at the time. Sometimes the WiFi was pretty good and other times it was awful. To use the WiFi you’ll need to get a password from reception and use this to log in.

Travel Insurance is Included on a Saga River Cruise 

Saga river cruises include travel insurance. This is a big benefit for a lot of their passengers who may find it expensive to buy travel insurance.

If you don’t want to take the travel insurance Saga will usually offer you a small discount on the cruise fare.

Saga Are a 50+ Cruise Line

Saga are a 50+ cruise line. The only exception to this rule is that guests 40+ may travel if they are cruising with somebody who is 50+. Having said this, I don’t think I saw anybody in their 40s on my Saga cruise, most were in their 60s or 70s.

You may have noticed that I am not 50! I’m 25.

Saga invited me on the cruise so that I could learn about it and report back here on this website and on YouTube , I also updated Instagram , Facebook and Twitter daily during the cruise. When the cruise was booked for me I went onto Saga’s website to try and order a brochure and it wouldn’t let me until I pretended I was 50, haha…

Despite the cruise definitely not being targeted at me I had a really great time and I’ll remember the cruise forever.

To read more about the cruise I took with Saga, check out this post: Saga Danube River Cruise Daily Diary & Review. 

To learn more about cruising with Saga, visit Saga’s website here .

Filia Rheni River Cruise Ship Budapest

If you are considering a river cruise but are not over 50 it may be worth checking out Emerald Waterways. I took a cruise with them along the Rhone and it was brilliant. To learn more read my daily cruise diary here: Emerald Waterways, Daily Cruise Diary, and Review. 

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April, 2022, saga `springtime in the netherlands` river cruise on rex rheni – room for improvement.

  • By hardyplant

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Review type, date of travel, product name, saga `springtime in the netherlands` river cruise on rex rheni, product country, product city, travelled with, reasons for trip, culture/sightseeing.

saga river cruises netherlands

I can’t match the excellent review `Holland and the Bulbfields` written by ESW in 2017 about the Saga holiday `Springtime in the Netherlands` on the Rex Rheni but as the itinerary was slightly different when we went in April 2022 I just want to add my thoughts about the holiday and the Rex Rheni, so this is not a full review of the holiday. This was our first Saga holiday and we booked it because I wanted to see Keukenhof and as we live near Folkestone it seemed the easiest option post pandemic.

The outward journey by coach As we live just a 20 minute drive from Folkestone we opted for the taxi pick-up from home. We were taken to the Holiday Inn Express at Cheriton to do Covid tests prior to departure. This procedure was chaotic in that Saga only had the use of two rooms which served as spaces to do the self-tests/waiting rooms. The rooms were already full when we arrived and as one table was covered with breakfast pastries, cups and saucers, tea and coffee etc. there only remained the end of the table being used by the Saga representative to tick off arrivals on her list. We managed to do our tests and showed her the results. Some people, who had obviously never done a Covid test before had to be helped, so the small area became even more congested and felt rather unsafe. There were two coachloads of passengers; our luggage was loaded and we set off for the nearby Eurotunnel entrance. We got talking to the couple sitting near us and they had been picked up very early that morning from their home in Somerset and had enjoyed their journey in the hire car, with comfort stops. their driver offering to queue for drinks in the service stations. The coach journey was not to be so good. Everything went well until we approached the outskirts of Antwerp, where we experienced terrible traffic jams. We didn’t arrive at Rex Rheni in Amsterdam until approx. 7.00 pm. The scheduled 5 hour coach journey had taken 8 hours! Other passengers travelled by Eurostar or flew into Schiphol Airport, but even those flying had problems on their return journey due to staffing problems at Schiphol.

On board Rex Rheni I don’t know for certain but Rex Rheni is probably the oldest river cruise boat that Saga uses in the Netherlands and Rhine areas; it was launched in 1979 and refitted in 2017 and although the prices charged are possibly cheaper than other boats in service, potential passengers should be aware of its quirks and idiocyncracies.

We were allocated tables for the whole holiday, even for breakfast, `due to Covid` and luckily all six at our table got on well together. The food at dinner was generally good although the service could have been better – we were usually served last and then rushed through the meal, with cutlery and glasses being removed as we ate – but I preferred the flexibility and choice of the lunch buffet. Breakfasts were very good but on the first morning we were all hunting for fruit juices and milk which we eventually found on a table near the kitchen, hidden from view by a screen and plants. It would have been a good idea for someone to tell us what was available and where, rather than having to wander around searching. This was one of the niggles about the Rex Rheni – announcements and written instructions/information were sadly lacking. The chairs in the restaurant were made of heavy, solid wood and as our tables were quite close together it was very difficult to move the chairs to get out to go to the buffet bars at breakfast and lunchtime.

Investigating our cabin after our first dinner (we’d not had time before, as we arrived so late) we opened the door to the bathroom but no light came on automatically so we searched around for a switch but could not find one. There was no laminated sheet of helpful information that one normally finds, even in budget hotels. Eventually my husband found the switch by the mirror over the basin!! However, on our way to the lounge we heard someone else asking at reception where the bathroom light switches were, so it wasn’t just us being stupid. We had a double cabin on the main deck. It had a large window and a rather strange layout of a table and chairs by the window but accessed by a step onto the higher level. The single beds were opposite each other on either side of the central aisle to the window but neither had anywhere to stand a glass of water for the night and the reading light stuck out from the wall at just the right height to hit your head on if you turned over; also my bed had no headboard or length of wall to lean against so I couldn’t sit up and read in bed. The beds are quite high off the floor, although I suppose one could crawl in from the end that rests on the dias in front of the window! Those with mobility problems would be wise to check about access to the stair lift before booking a cabin on the Passenger Deck. In the lounge the height of the central large chairs blocked the view of the entertainment for those sitting behind and, as in the dining room, would be better replaced with smaller, lighter chairs. Entertainment in the lounge did not mix well with those who just wanted to buy a drink at the bar and sit and chat: silly little things that, if put right, would make a vast improvement to the holiday. We didn’t enjoy the coffee served at breakfast and after meals so one evening decided to get a cappuccino from the bar as we thought that might be more to our taste but bizzarely this was not included in the `free drinks from the bar between the hours of noon and midnight`. Obviously we paid up but considering there was no `help yourself to tea and coffee` facility due to Covid I felt this was rather mean.

Keukenhof was the only included trip and was the main reason I, and many others we spoke to, chose this holiday. We were worried at first because it was crowded due to it being a national holiday, however, once away from the entrance the crowds thinned and we had a good day, even better than I expected. I heard some people complaining that we spent too long at Keukenhof but we thought it was about right.

Zaandam – was ok but there wasn’t a great deal to see apart from the outsides of houses where Peter 1 of Russia and Monet had lived and unfortunately my interactive map/audio headset didn’t work. After walking round the centre with its C & A store and market I rather wished we’d gone on the optional trip to Zaans Schans or even caught a train or bus there from Zaandam (or Amsterdam on the last afternoon) for an independent visit. We hadn’t booked the optional trip as although I wanted to see the row of windmills I didn’t want to go inside a windmill or see cheese or clog making etc. however, if I had my time again I would go on the optional tour to Zaans Schans. (I’ll do a separate review of Zaandam when I have time.)

`Cruising` I realise I’m probably in the minority but I enjoyed seeing the industrial area as we left Amsterdam and I found sailing across the Markermeer and Ijsselmeer towards Enkhuizen very interesting, particularly going across the Naviduct Krabbersgat which carried a canal over the Markerwaarddijk with its busy road down below. I did hear comments such as `this is not a river cruise, it’s like being at sea, you can’t see anything` but I was happy to see places for the first time that I’d learned about at school (and we’d taken binoculars, which helped).

Enkhuizen – we really liked charming Enkhuizen and wished we’d had longer there. There are streets full of interesting old houses, many picturesque canals and a rather good selection of specialist shops in the main shopping street. We didn’t do the optional trip around the Outdoor Zeiderzee Museum (which didn’t open until 10.00 am) although we saw some of the buildings from the road outside. We preferred to walk round the town on our own but unfortunately there just wasn’t enough time to visit the Indoor Zeiderzee Museum. Enkhuizen is the one place in Holland that I would like to return to one day and I will shortly do a separate review of the town.

Hoorn – was a bit disappointing although there were some interesting old buildings. We did an independent walk through the main part of town, often seeing fellow passengers walking by with their audio headsets.

Amsterdam – what I saw I didn’t like (I’ve done a separate review).

Return Journey We were given a packed lunch for our return coach journey which luckily only! took 5 hours. Once back in Cheriton our taxi arrived quite quickly to take us home.

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First times. amazing aren’t they.

From that first sip of an all-inclusive cocktail on one of our river ships , to exploring the port wine cellars of Porto , or marvelling at the Parliament Building in Budapest , there are plenty of great first times to enjoy on a river cruise with us this year.

During the day, set off to discover cities, wine towns and ancient sites, then return to your ship for delicious dining as you sail on to the next destination.

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Amsterdam canal, Netherlands

Summertime in Holland

from £1,484 per person

The riverside town of Passau, Germany

Vienna and the Blue Danube

from £1,682 per person

Oporto, Portugal

Douro Explorer

from £1,841 per person

Mont des Arts Gardens, Brussels

Ypres and Flanders Fields

from £1,844 per person

The rooftops of Vienna, Austria at sunset

Scenic Gems of the Danube: Budapest to Vienna

from £1,852 per person

Eltz Castle can be visited on an optional excursion from Koblenz

The Majestic Rhine: Utrecht to Basel

from £1,859 per person

Medieval Strasbourg

The Majestic Rhine: Basel to Utrecht

from £1,863 per person

Amsterdam in spring

Rhine in the Springtime

from £1,983 per person

A view over the town square of Bratislava, Slovakia

Scenic Gems of the Danube: Vienna to Budapest

from £2,023 per person

The Austrian Parliament Building, Vienna

Capitals of the Danube: Regensburg to Budapest

from £2,209 per person

Koblenz

Medieval Gems of the Main and Rhine

from £2,421 per person

Melk Abbey

Capitals of the Danube: Budapest to Kelheim

from £2,497 per person

Colourful houses and bridge on the banks of River Pegnitz, Germany

From Bavaria to the Alsace

from £2,506 per person

The cathedral in Mainz, Germany

Contrasts of the Rhine, Main and Moselle: Frankfurt to Schweich

from £2,549 per person

The town of Traben-Trarbach on the Moselle, Germany

Contrasts of the Rhine, Main and Moselle: Schweich to Frankfurt

from £2,901 per person

Picturesque Regensberg

From the Danube to the Rhine Gorge: Koblenz to Vienna

from £3,016 per person

Church of St Charles in Vienna, Austria

From the Danube to the Rhine Gorge: Vienna to Koblenz

from £3,104 per person

A view up towards the architecture in Rousse, Bulgaria

Through the Carpathian Mountains: Bucharest to Budapest

from £3,124 per person

The Parliament Building in Budapest, Hungary

Through the Carpathian Mountains: Budapest to Bucharest

from £3,329 per person

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The Hungarian Parliament Building on the Danube river at sunset, Budapest

Danube river cruises

Vila Nova de Gaia on the Douro River, Portugal

Douro river cruises

Windmills in Kinderdijk surrounded by yellow flowers, Netherlands

Dutch & Belgian river cruises

Riverside scenery in the Harz Mountains, Germany

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The Moselle River near Cochem and Bremm surrounded by vineyard, Germany

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Marksburg Castle in Braubach at sunset on the Rhine river, Germany

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Spring river cruises.

The windmills of Kinderdijk

Windmills and Tulips of Holland

from £2,874 per person

The old town of Bernkastel-Kues, Germany

Reflections of the Moselle

from £1,929 per person

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Spirit of the Danube sailing past the Esztergom Basilica in Hungary on a sunny day

Spirit of the Danube

Welcome aboard our newest river ship, Spirit of the Danube. She offers the same levels of comfort, service and value as her sister-ship, exclusively for Saga guests.

Spirit of Rhine at dusk

Spirit of the Rhine

Spirit of the Rhine brings our boutique cruise experience to the iconic waterway that winds through the heart of Europe, along with selected itineraries on the Moselle too.

Spirit of the Douro

NEW Spirit of the Douro

Cruise in luxury and style aboard our latest river ship, which begins sailing under the Saga flag in 2024 .

Amadeus Elegant

Amadeus Elegant

Sailing in 2023, the latest ship to join our exclusive charter collection reaches ports larger ships can’t. This includes unusual itineraries along the Moselle and Saar rivers, which wind their way from France into Germany.

A view towards Boppard on the Rhine river in Germany

River cruise deals

Don't miss out on extra savings on our 2024 river cruises.

Netherland windmills at sunset

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Join us on a no-fly river cruise on the Rhine, Moselle and Dutch waterways in 2024.

The Saga Difference

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Included travel insurance

Our fares also include comprehensive travel insurance and additional cancellation cover.

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A nationwide return chauffeur service from front door to your point of embarkation is included at no extra cost.

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Dining on board

Our exclusive ships include a main restaurant, while selected ships include a smaller alternative restaurant to, all included.

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All-inclusive local drinks including selected wines at lunch and dinner, house-branded spirits with mixers, draught lager, and soft drinks.

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A view across the Danube River towards the Parliament Building in Budapest, Hungary

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Spend days exploring new destinations on one of our collection of excursions that are included in the price – or opt to embark on a selection of optional tours.

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24 April 2023, 11:25

Saga launches 2024 river itineraries with a new ship and new range of cruises

Saga launches 2024 river itineraries with a new ship and new range of cruises: SHP Spirit of the Douro EXT 19354a

  • Saga’s 2024 river cruise itineraries launch with up to 25 per cent off
  • New ship, Spirit of the Douro , joins Saga’s river fleet from March 2024
  • 37 per cent more guests pre-registered for 2024 cruises vs 2023
  • New options include ‘taster’ itineraries, a respectful visit to Flanders Fields, a rare stop in beautiful Bingen, and a cruise along the unusual IJssell River
  • Four new André Rieu cruises added to 2024 schedule due to demand
  • E-bikes available on board for guests to explore destinations

Tuesday 24 April 2023: Saga River Cruises’ 2024 itineraries have now launched with up to 25 per cent off, offering early bookers the best deals. And with a 37 per cent increase in pre-registrations for the 2024 itineraries in comparison to 2023, travellers are clearly keen to get the cruise of their choice at the best possible price.

Nigel Blanks, CEO of Saga Cruises, said: “There are a lot of exciting new experiences for our river guests in 2024, including Spirit of the Douro arriving in the fleet to operate one of our most popular regions, the introduction of ‘taster cruises’ that are just five nights, new itineraries including to Lake Ijssel and Flanders Field and more of what our customers love most, such as André Rieu events.

“Our ‘Spirit’ river cruises are now all-inclusive from dining and drinks to wifi and gratuities, and we offer a complimentary chauffeur service from home to the airport or St Pancras, and back again. Everything is taken care of so our guests can just relax and enjoy the rivers.”

Excitingly, Saga’s fleet will be joined from March 2024 by a new addition, Spirit of the Douro , which will operate on its namesake river throughout the full season.

The ship will offer 63 cabins, all of which face out onto the river. Like its sister ships, Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube , Spirit of the Douro will also boast a restaurant with panoramic views and a sun deck for the warm weather. It will be almost impossible to miss any of the sights from the ship and guests can expect the same high-quality, all-inclusive experience and ‘Spirit’ service that they experience on other Saga cruises.

Spirit of the Douro will undertake 36 Douro Explorer cruises between March and November 2024, with prices starting from £1,461 per person. The region, which is incredibly popular with travellers, is famous for its beautiful wines and attractions such as the city of Salamanca and Lamego’s baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhore dos Remedios.

Saga will also be offering a range of five-night ‘taster’ river cruises, which are a great option for those who want to try river cruising before committing to a longer itinerary. Examples include A Taste of Holland with Keukenhof which starts in Amsterdam on 4 April 2024 and visits Hoorn, Lelystad, and Zaandam, where guests will tour the famous Keukenhof Gardens,

Saga will also be offering an Ypres and Flanders Fields cruise, stopping at the town that saw some of the most bitter fighting of World War I. The tour will call at the Flanders Field Memorial Museum and the Menin Gate Memorial during the Last Post ceremony to pay respect to those who fought and fell. The cruise, which starts in Amsterdam on 1 May 2024, will also call in Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Ghent, and Brussels. Prices start from £1,536 per person for this six-night itinerary on Spirit of the Rhine.  

A new Rhine in the Springtime cruise, also on Spirit of the Rhine , will offer the only stop of the season in beautiful Bingen – once the home of visionary and composer Hildegard von Bingen. The cruise will start in Dusseldorf on 20 March 2024 and call in Koblenz, Rudesheim, Speyer and Arnhem. This eight-night cruise starts from just £1,409 per person.

An unusual itinerary along Lake Ijssell in the Netherlands will explore the maritime ports and tiny islands on its shores. This 11-night Hidden Treasures of the Ijsselmeer cruise departs from Amsterdam on 8 June 2024 on Amadeus Elegant , and will visit Enkhuisen, Den Helder, Oudeschild, Harligen, Sneek, Kampen and Deventer. Prices start from £2,511 per person.

And due to the overwhelming demand, Saga will now be offering four 2024 André Rieu cruises (in previous years there has been a maximum of three), all including tickets to one of the ‘King of Waltz’s’ concerts. One, a seven-night André Rieu’s New Year Concert in Amsterdam promises to be a brilliant start to 2024, as it departs on Spirit of the Rhine on January 3, 2024, with cabins available from £1,849 per person.

The other 2024 André Rieu cruises will be on Amadeus Elegant , which joins the fleet in May 2023. These include: André Rieu in Maastricht , a four-night cruise departing on July 5 and July 9 2024 respectively with prices from £1,299; The André Rieu Hometown Experience , an 11-night cruise departing on 24 June 2024 from Amsterdam starting from £3,144 per person, and The Moselle and André Rieu , a 12-night cruise departing on 13 July 2024 from Maastricht with prices from £3,314 per person.

As the cruise line announced at the beginning of the year, Saga branded e-bikes will also be available for guests to explore the various stops on route.

Saga boutique river cruises offer an all-inclusive experience. Starting in style and comfort, guests are offered a chauffeur to take them from home to either the airport or St Pancras for their flight or Eurostar journey. Alternatively, guests wishing to drive to the airport themselves will be offered free parking. Transfers are also included to/from the ships. Bookings made by 28 April 2023 can fly from a local airport to the cruise departure city at no extra cost.

There are no hidden costs on-board either with all dining and house drinks (including a selection of cocktails, draft beers and lagers, wines, spirits, mixers, and soft drinks), Wi-Fi, gratuities, sightseeing tours in selected ports, entertainment, luggage porterage and travel insurance also included.

Saga is committed to offering early bookers the best deals, so always launches its river cruises with up to 25 per cent off the full price, and its ocean cruises with up to 35 per cent off. Saga also offers a price promise , whereby if the price of the cruise ever drops, guests who have paid the higher price will get the value difference.

Guests can view and book these 2024 cruises at saga.co.uk/rivers-2024 or by calling 0800 300 400.

Images available for download:

Spirit of the Douro

A Taste of Holland

For journalist enquiries , please contact: [email protected] .

Amanda Allan

Notes to editors

Notes to editors:

  • All prices are per person, based on two-sharing a cabin.
  • All cruises and prices are subject to availability.
  • Prices above include any early booker discounts.
  • Please check saga.co.uk/rivers for terms and conditions.
  • Saga is fully ATOL and ABTA protected.

SHP Spirit of the Douro EXT 19354a: SHP Spirit of the Douro EXT 19354a

SHP Spirit of the Douro EXT 19354a

IMAGES

  1. First look at Saga's new river cruise ship Spirit of the Danube

    saga river cruises netherlands

  2. A beginner's guide to Saga River Cruises

    saga river cruises netherlands

  3. Upcoming river cruises on Saga's new ships

    saga river cruises netherlands

  4. Saga River Cruises and River Cruise holidays

    saga river cruises netherlands

  5. Romantic Rhineland, 8 May 2021

    saga river cruises netherlands

  6. Saga River Cruises and River Cruise holidays

    saga river cruises netherlands

COMMENTS

  1. Dutch and Belgian River Cruises for over 50s

    There is no better way to explore the cultural and scenic attractions of the Netherlands and Belgium than on a river cruise . There's an extensive network of waterways and man-made canals criss-crossing large areas of Holland and Belgium, which enable you to explore the unique countryside, as well as a host of towns and cities, by boat.

  2. Dutch and Belgian Explorer

    Interactive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration. †The included drinks are available from 9am to midnight and include non-branded alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Join Saga's Spirit of the Rhine on this all-inclusive river cruise to the Netherlands and Belgium in 2024. Explore Amsterdam, Brussels and Antwerp.

  3. A Taste of Holland with Keukenhof

    See the best of the Netherlands…. Join Spirit of the Rhine in Amsterdam to begin your all-inclusive river cruise in 2024. Explore historic Hoorn, once home to the founders of the Dutch East India Company. Continue across Lake IJssel to Lelystad from where an included excursion visits the charming village of Giethoorn - here you can enjoy a ...

  4. River cruises to Amsterdam 2024/25

    Cruise to Amsterdam in 2024/2025. Amsterdam is one of Europe's most captivating cities. Woven with waterways that date back to the Netherlands' prosperous past, joined together by historic humped bridges and edged by attractive gabled houses, the city plays host to a long list of fascinating sites. Taking a cruise to Amsterdam from the UK ...

  5. Floral Delights of Holland

    Step aboard Spirit of the Rhine for a seven-night river cruise timed to coincide with the most spectacular floral displays in Holland and Belgium. Visit the 21st annual Floralia flower show in Brussels and the world-famous gardens of Keukenhof at a time when millions of tulips and daffodils are in full bloom. You will also visit Zaandam at the ...

  6. River Cruises 2024 for over 50s

    Explore Europe's waterways with our new 2024 River Cruises. Experience an all-inclusive luxury river cruise whilst sailing across Europe, only with Saga. ... Saga river cruises . Love you first Saga cruise ... Windmills and Tulips of Holland Departs March 28, 2024 ...

  7. Holland Holidays

    Explore our river cruises to the Netherlands and book today. Tulip fields, canals and art museums await on holidays to Holland. Explore our river cruises to the Netherlands and book today. ... All this is backed up by the high-standards and service you'd expect from Saga. 70 years' experience. Experienced travellers have been enjoying great ...

  8. Saga Cruises launches 2024 river itineraries with a new ...

    Additionally, Saga will offer a range of five-night 'taster' river cruises, such as A Taste of Holland with Keukenhof and Ypres and Flanders Fields cruise, along with a new Rhine in the Springtime cruise and an unusual itinerary along Lake Ijssell in the Netherlands. Saga will also be offering four 2024 Andre Rieu cruises, including tickets to ...

  9. Saga River Cruise

    Saga River Cruise Dinner. Saga has fixed tables for dining which will be given to you on the first night of your cruise. We were sharing with 4 other ladies all of whom were lovely. It's always a relief to have nice table mates. The dinner onboard is usually 4 courses, a starter, soup, main, and dessert.

  10. Saga River Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

    Saga River Amsterdam Cruises: Read 6 Saga River Amsterdam cruise reviews. Find great deals, tips and tricks on Cruise Critic to help plan your cruise.

  11. Saga River Cruise Reviews (2023 UPDATED): Ratings of Saga River Cruises

    1 - 9 of 9 Saga River Cruise Reviews. Great Trip for Two First Time River Cruisers. Review for a Europe - River Cruise Cruise on Spirit of the Rhine. DaveMR. 10+ Cruises • Age 70s. Sail Date ...

  12. Saga `Springtime in the Netherlands` River Cruise on Rex Rheni

    I don't know for certain but Rex Rheni is probably the oldest river cruise boat that Saga uses in the Netherlands and Rhine areas; it was launched in 1979 and refitted in 2017 and although the prices charged are possibly cheaper than other boats in service, potential passengers should be aware of its quirks and idiocyncracies.

  13. Saga River Cruises

    Saga River Cruises. Sail on some of the world's most beautiful waterways aboard Saga River Cruises. With a broad range of itineraries sailing along the rivers of Europe, Africa and Russia, the cruise line offers inspiring river cruises all year-round. Enjoy the dedicated service of your river cruise crew on-board Saga River Cruises, where ...

  14. Over 50% of bookings on Saga river voyages come from new cruisers

    Windmills and Tulips of Holland departs the UK in March 2024 via air or Eurostar before passengers join Spirit of the Rhine in Amsterdam. Peak tulip season, the programme will include visits to Enkhuizen and Lelystad, set along the Markermeer lake, plus colourful displays at Keukenhof Gardens. ... Saga all-inclusive river cruises include free ...

  15. Saga Cruises Europe

    Saga Cruises Europe - River Cruise Cruises: Read 4 Saga Cruises Europe - River Cruise reviews. Find great deals, tips and tricks on Cruise Critic to help plan your cruise.

  16. River Cruises 2024 for over 50s

    Explore Europe's waterways with our new 2024 River Cruises. Experience an all-inclusive luxury river cruise whilst sailing across Europe, only with Saga. Skip to navigation Skip to content. Trade. Welcome, you're not currently logged in. ... Summertime in Holland Departs June 19, 2024 ...

  17. Saga launches 2024 river itineraries with a new ship and new range of

    Saga River Cruises' 2024 itineraries have now launched with up to 25 per cent off, offering early bookers the best deals. And with a 37 per cent increase in pre-registrations for the 2024 ...

  18. Saga launches 2024 river itineraries with a new ship and new range of

    Saga's 2024 river cruise itineraries launch with up to 25 per cent off. New ship, Spirit of the Douro, joins Saga's river fleet from March 2024. 37 per cent more guests pre-registered for 2024 cruises vs 2023. New options include 'taster' itineraries, a respectful visit to Flanders Fields, a rare stop in beautiful Bingen, and a cruise ...

  19. 2024 River Cruises For Over 50s

    2024 river cruises now on sale. Our new season of boutique river cruises is now on sale. And only early bookers will enjoy the top savings of up to 25% off the full fares! Choose from a selection of hand-picked ships, including our exclusive sister ships Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube. And new for 2024, Spirit of the Douro.

  20. Hidden Treasures Of The Ijsselmeer Cruise

    Day 2 - Hoorn. Arrive: Sun 09 June 2024 / Depart: Sun 09 June 2024. Hoorn is a town and a former Dutch East India Company base in the Dutch province of North Holland. It lies on the IJsselmeer, a lake north of Amsterdam. Shops and cafes dot its 17th-century town center, which is anchored by the Roode Steen, the main square.

  21. Adventures by Disney unveils Holland/Belgium river cruises for 2025

    Adventures by Disney will launch two new river cruise itineraries in Holland and Belgium in April 2025. One itinerary will offer a traditional tour experience of Holland and Belgium, focusing on ...

  22. Windmills and Tulips of Holland Cruise

    Depart: Fri 29 March 2024. Amsterdam is the Netherlands' capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city's 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk.

  23. Floral Delights of Holland Cruise

    Arrive: Thu 18 April 2024 / Depart: Thu 18 April 2024. Antwerp is a port city on Belgium's River Scheldt, with history dating to the Middle Ages. In its center, the centuries-old Diamond District houses thousands of diamond traders, cutters and polishers. Antwerp's Flemish Renaissance architecture is typified by the Grote Markt, a central ...

  24. Scenic Moselle to Vibrant Amsterdam Cruise

    Sail on board from Saga River Cruises for 10 nights, departing on Wed 29th May 2024. Scenic Moselle to Vibrant Amsterdam Cruise. Voyage code: AE205. ... Amsterdam is the Netherlands' capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city's 17th-century Golden Age. ...