Blooming marvellous! 5 of the best cruises for gardeners

Cruise Advice
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Whether specifically designated a 'Garden Cruise' or not, there are a number of horticultural cruise options coming up.

Here are five of our favourites...

1. Spring in Keukenhof

Holland's Keukenhof Gardens is only open to the public two months a year, but during those two months in spring the gardens, an easy drive from Amsterdam, put on an extraordinary showcase, with millions of tulips of all hues, golden daffodils, multicoloured hyacinths and more. The history of Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century when Keukenhof Castle was built. The park opened its gates to the public as an exhibition of spring flowering bulbs in 1950, and has been a huge visitor attraction for 70 years. In April 2021, pick a magical bulbfields cruise from Brussels to Amsterdam on board Tauck's lovely MS Treasures.

Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands

2. Autumn in Kirstenbosch

There is a reason why the magically beautiful drive between Port Elizabeth and Mossel Bay, close to Cape Town, is known as The Garden Route. On a leisurely drive of under 200 miles, you can take in national parks, dense forests, placid lakes and beautiful beaches, enjoying the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation. When you arrive in Cape Town, visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world, and majestically located on the eastern slopes of Cape Town's Table Mountain. Finally, join Seabourn Sojourn on 24th April 2021 for her 30-day voyage from Cape Town to Barcelona.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, South Africa

3. Cherry Blossoms in Japan

We all know about the Japanese obsession with Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, but Japan has so much more to offer the interested gardener. On Silver Muse's 14-night voyage departing 5th April 2021, the garden viewing opportunities are amazing. From Kobe you can visit Himeji Castle and its adjacent Kokoen Garden, which consists of nine separate gardens. Kanazawa's fame depends on Kenrokuen, one of the 'Three Great Gardens of Japan'. From Niigata you can visit the Shimizu-en Garden, built in 1693 during the Edo era, while in Aomori you can visit the lovely Seibien, built during the Meiji era. From Tokyo enjoy Hamarikyu Garden, the only surviving seaside garden of Japan's Edo Period, the tranquil garden of the Nezu Institute of Fine Art, and the outer garden of the Imperial Palace.

Himeji Castle and Mount Fuji, Japan

4. Floriade in 2022

Keen horticulturalists will know that Floriade is an international exhibition and garden festival, held every 10 years in the Netherlands. The exhibition lasts for six months, and the seventh Floriade in 2022 will focus on the 'Green City of the Future'. With participation from all over the world, the Floriade site will be a living laboratory of inspirational exhibitions, including a unique collection of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Crystal Symphony's Dover round-trip cruise departing 31st August 2022 will include two days in Amsterdam to enjoy the iconic Floriade Horticultural Expo, as well as three days in Rouen, with the opportunity to visit Monet's garden in Giverny, not to mention the lavish gardens in Versailles.

Floriade 2022 - Green City Arboretum

5. Gardening on Queen Elizabeth

Cunard's first dedicated gardening voyage is a Sydney round-trip cruise on Queen Elizabeth, departing 1st March 2021 for 7 nights. Nine leading gardening experts and well known personalities will join this special 7-night voyage to share their latest knowledge and garden trends with guests during informative talks and dinners. The entertainment programme will have a green-fingered twist, with opportunities to take part in a range of onboard activities and hands-on workshops including gardening trivia, special craft classes and lessons in cooking from your garden.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth in Sydney, Australia
Edwina Lonsdale
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Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

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