- Dutch (but many people speak English!)
- Being Gay in Amsterdam
- Amsterdam is a very gay-friendly city. The Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay marriage. You can feel very secure holding hands and being yourself while walking the streets. We often work with “Pink Point,” the main kiosk near the Homo monument to let them know we are arriving, and you will see many store fronts with Olivia signs, welcoming you all to Amsterdam!
- Traditional Dutch cuisine includes raw herring, meat, potatoes and oliebol (fried dough with currants and powdered sugar). Cheese, along with butter and buttermilk, are in abundance because dairy farms saturate the countryside. Cheeses such as Gouda, Edam and Leyden (cumin-infused) can be found in many markets in Amsterdam. Dutch colonization brought Indonesian immigration and cuisine to Holland and Turkish restaurants dot the city. Along the “walking” route, there are several pastry shops, pizza and Chinese food restaurants. There are also many Indian and Thai food choices as well.
- There is a favorite women-owned restaurant that we have visited for the past 6 years called Bistro Bij Ons. They offer local treats like stampot and boerenkool at affordable prices (we suggest you get a local to help you with pronunciation!). Run by Carla and Esther, this popular lesbian spot seems to have more people than tables, so make sure to call ahead for reservations.
- Sunday, April 19, 2015— Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Monday, April 20, 2015 — Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — Cologne, Germany
- Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Koblenz – Rudensheim, Germany
- Thursday, April 23, 2015 — Mainz – Heidelberg, Germany
- Friday, April 24, 2015 — Strasbourg, France
- Saturday, April 25, 2015— Breisach, Germany
- Sunday, April 26, 2015 — Basel, Switzerland
Before Your Trip
- What’s Included and What’s Not
- What is included?
- Transfer from our host hotel in Amsterdam to the ship on April 19
- Transfer from the ship to the Zurich Airport on April 26 (Flights must depart Zurich after 10am)
- Accommodations for 8 days/7 nights on one of the finest riverboat cruises in Amsterdam
- All meals while on board
- Wine, beer, soft drinks with dinner
- Coffee, tea, juices during all meals
- Bottled water replenished in cabins daily
- Olivia entertainment and programming
- Included sightseeing tours in each port
- Guided tour headsets provided
- Gratuities to ship’s staff
- Welcome cocktail reception
- Olivia Staff assistance throughout
- What’s not included?
- Airport transfers from Amsterdam airport to host hotel
- Optional tours
- Porterage at host hotel in Amsterdam before transfer (when dropping off luggage)
- Alcoholic beverages, additional bottled water and soft drinks (except where indicated)
- Tips to local guides
- Salon Services
- Travel documentation and identification
- You will need a passport that is valid for six months past the date of the trip. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with both your country’s consulate and the consulates of the countries we will be visiting to make sure that you do not need an entry visa or other additional documentation.
- If you are a U.S. Citizen, you DO NOT need to get a visa ahead of time. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with both your country’s consulate and the consulates of the countries we will be visiting to make sure you do not need an entry visa or other additional documentation.
- Though none are required, please check with your local Public Health Department or personal physician regarding immunization requirements. You may also check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at: www.cdc.gov. Just click on “Traveler’s Health” followed by “Vaccinations.”
- Travel insurance
- Travel insurance is available from Travel Guard. For information visit travelguard.com/olivia or call Travel Guard at 1-866-420-0125.
- Joining the Olivia trip groups online
- If you’d like to chat with people who are going on this trip, sign up for the Olivia Connect trip group or the Olivia Facebook trip group.
Travel and arrival
- Air travel
- Where to fly into/out of
- You will need to fly into Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport and out of Zurich International Airport. We encourage all passengers to extend their trip with our pre- and post-trip stretchers to enjoy all Amsterdam and Zurich have to offer, as well as to avoid the stress of unexpected delays.
- Suggested arrival/departure times
- Arrive into Amsterdam on day of departure prior to 2:00pm. Shuttle from the Amsterdam host hotel to the ship will be at approximately 3:30pm. Pre-vacation stretchers will be announced approximately 9 months in advance.
- Cruise Embarkation – April 19, 2015
- Arrive into Amsterdam prior to 2:00pm. Shuttle from the Amsterdam host hotel to the ship will be at approximately 3:30pm.
- End of Cruise Departure out of Zurich – April 26, 2015
- Flights should be for after 10:00am. Post-vacation stretchers will be announced approximately 9 months in advance of the trip.
- The AA discount code A1345AA is good for 5% off and applies to flights into Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) and out of Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH). Dates of travel are April 16 – 29, 2015. Airfare can be booked no earlier than 11 months before the trip. This reservation can only be booked by calling (800) 433-1790 ($25 USD booking fee applies).
- We are proud to partner with Delta Airlines. The Delta Airlines discount code NMGKC is good for 10% off and applies to flights into Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) and out of Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH). Dates of travel are April 16 – 29, 2015. Airfare can be booked no earlier than 11 months before the trip. This reservation can be booked by calling (800) 328-1111 ($25 booking fee applies), visiting delta.com/booking (no booking fee) or calling your travel agent (if applicable) and mentioning the discount codes.
- Olivia’s preferred travel agency
- We are happy to partner with a full service travel agency, Panorama Travel. They provide excellent service for competitive airfares (business class and economy), additional transfers or hotels/tours outside of Olivia offerings. A $50 per person charge will be assessed for a consultation to discuss travel needs and airfare. This amount will be applied to your overall costs should you decide to use their services. A service fee will be assessed according to the amount of travel booked. For an additional fee, they can also assist you with using your frequent flyer miles for free tickets and upgrades. You can reach them at 800-523-0093 or 503-682-6800.
- Luggage allowances
- While there is no luggage limit on the cruise itself, airlines often restrict (or charge) for excess baggage. Because each airline is different, and the regulations change over time, please check with your airline for baggage allowances.
- Transfers and Meeting up with Olivia
- Getting to your ship
- Please note that the docking locations for the ship vary and are not easy for taxi drivers to find. For this reason, we are offering a direct transfer to the ship from our host hotel.
- A taxi from the airport to the hotel will run approximately €40-55. If they do not have a meter, be sure this is negotiated beforehand.
- Central City Hotel shuttles are available for approximately €12-15 and can be purchased directly at the airport upon arrival.
- Amsterdam has an excellent train system from the airport. Our host hotel is located just minutes from Central Station.
Doubletree by Hilton (Subject to change)
1011 DK Amsterdam
Tel. +31.20.5300812 | Fax: +31.20.5300801
During your trip
- Avalon's ms Felicity
- The new, beautifully designed ms Felicity features sliding glass doors in almost every stateroom. The staterooms and suites are well-appointed and are amongst the largest on the river. The ms Felicity ship amenities include:
- Entirely non-smoking interiors
- Beautiful bar
- Sun deck
- Air conditioning and laundry service
- Fitness center
- Room Amenities
- 172 sq. ft. staterooms (some of the largest riverboat staterooms available)
- Sliding glass doors (most staterooms)
- Air conditioning
- Flat screen TV
- Non-allergenic duvets & pillows
- Pillow-top hotel beds
- Egyptian cotton sheets
- Complimentary wine, beer, soft drinks with dinner
- Fine dining on board offers European cuisine.
- The cabins have 110 and 220 volt electricity. Adapters should be 2-round prongs.
- A walking and/or city tour is included in each of the ports visited. Optional tours are available to book on board that range from approximately €34 to €50.
- Gratuities are included in the cost of the cruise. Gratuities are provided for your cabin steward, dining room steward, bus person, maître d’ and other-behind-the-scenes crew members. Tipping is not included for the local guides. Below is a suggested guideline:
Local Guide: ½ day - €2-€3 or full day €4-€5
Bus driver: €1
- Internet / e-mail / fax
- Wireless Internet is free of charge in all public areas. Two Computers are set-up mid ship for complimentary access.
- Laundry and dry cleaning
- Laundry and pressing service is available. Check on board for pricing.
- Medical services
- The ship is minutes away from hospitals when we are docked or close to local towns along the river. The ship does not have an onboard Doctor.
- Money: Paying for things on board
- The currency is €Euros. All purchases made on the ship will be charged to your onboard account, which you create when you first check in. Please check with the front office on the ship for further details.
- Each cabin has a phone. There is an additional fee to use this phone; cost is available on board.
- Smoking policy
- The ms Felicity has entirely non-smoking interiors and balconies. A smoking area will be designated on the top deck, starboard side.
- Spa services
- There is an onboard beauty salon. Hair appointments, manicures and pedicures are available for an additional fee. Massage services are not available, but we can make recommendations in some of the ports we visit for these services.
- Solo travelers
- We will have a solos program on board led by a solos coordinator who will ensure you have a great time.
After Your Trip
Transfers to the airport
For those going directly to the Zurich Airport, a complimentary group transfer is included to the Zurich Airport for all flights departing after 10am. No transfers are included to go to Zurich hotels if saying on your own. You can take a taxi from your drop off point at the airport to your own Zurich hotel.
If you are departing from Basel by train, the on board staff can assist in making taxi reservations.
Please note that our optional 2 or 3 night post package will begin in Basel and take our guests directly to Lucerne in the morning to begin the program. Your transfer to Zurich hotel will be later in the afternoon.
Please check back soon for information about our pre- and post-trip vacation extenders.
Didn’t find what you are looking for? Check out our Olivia travel FAQ. Or call us at 800.631.6277