Posted on May 10, 2018 in Alumni News and News
The great Tina Turner knew what she was talking about when she said, “I never saw the good side of the city, ’til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen.” If you’ve never had the chance to set sail, here are four good reasons why your next vacation should be a river boat cruise in Holland.
1. The Dutch know water.
If there’s one thing the Dutch have mastered, it’s water. The Netherlands sits among hundreds of canals. Actually, the Canals of Amsterdam are a real thing, as real as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amsterdam has more than 62 miles of canals, resulting in nearly 100 islands and 1,500 bridges.
Furthermore, all of the water locks (including the famous Delta Works) work as Holland’s barriers to the sea. These water blockades have been magnificently crafted to keep the water flowing steadily and save harbor towns from high tides. However, if the docks were to fail, the towns themselves have their own safeguards: nine-foot walls surrounding the city with manual locks that require an army of locals to raise and lower in the case of a flood.
All of these waterways make for some beautiful scenery including gorgeous landscapes, glamorously constructed bridges and numerous opportunities for drinks and dinner on a houseboat-turned-patio.
2. You are here.
Because of the Dutch people’s extensive knowledge of waterworks, nearly all of the docks are within walking distance to the city centers. It’s as easy as that: walk off the boat, take a five-minute walk into town and find yourself surrounded by 400 year-old city halls, guildhalls, and housing.
Visit the Beguinage in Bruges, originally built in the 1300s for women that opposed the Catholic Church; cathedrals housing masterpieces by Rubens and Michelangelo; and weigh stations from the 1600s.
3. What’s on tomorrow’s agenda?
During a quick seven days abroad, our group of Jayhawks visited seven cities, three cathedrals, one enormous tulip garden, one art museum, one city exclusively accessible by water, one World War II memorial cemetery, multiple famous works of art, lots of leaning buildings (because of the wet soil), multiple dams and locks, and lots and lots of bridges. Did I mention anything about the famous canals?
4. Jayhawks are everywhere.
The days are fast and furious and your options to explore cities are endless. But you can always count on ending the day with a dinner cruise down the river next to some of the finest Jayhawks. Actually, breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard the Amadeus Brilliant allowed for plenty of time to cozy up and listen to to the stories of fellow Jayhawks.
It also didn’t hurt that our group of 18 ’Hawks left a little bit of Kansas wherever we went. We showed our pride with Jayhawk door tags, place cards and even a KU flag waving in the wind. Everyone arrived to enjoy a vacation but, at the heart of it, we shared a common love for our alma mater, which put the icing on the cake of this river boat cruise.
The Flying Jayhawks trip “River Life along the Dutch Waterways” took place April 18-26, 2018. The trip was hosted by Kara Rodriguez, assistant director of digital media. View more photos from the trip; pictures may be downloaded for personal use. Find more information about Flying Jayhawks trips, including a schedule, or sign up for travel emails.