- 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 are few women-owned restaurants to enjoy; one we have visited for the past 4 years, Bistro Bij Ons, offers up 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 20 — Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Monday, April 21 — Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Tuesday, April 22 — Cologne, Germany
- Wednesday, April 23 — Koblenz – Rudensheim, Germany
- Thursday, April 24 — Mainz – Heidelberg, Germany
- Friday, April 25 — Strasbourg, France
- Saturday, April 26 — Breisach, Germany
- Sunday, April 27 — Basel, Switzerland
Before Your Trip
- What’s Included and What’s Not
- What is included?
- Transfer to the ship from our host hotel in Amsterdam
- 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
- 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
- We encourage all guests to purchase travel insurance. Olivia has recently partnered with Travel Guard to make things easier for you; you can now add your travel insurance when you book your trip, all in one call. In order to receive the most comprehensive coverage, please purchase your insurance within 15 days of your initial invoice. If you have questions about Olivia’s travel insurance, call (800) 631-6277 option 1 to talk to one of our travel consultants.
- Joining the Olivia.com trip group
- If you’d like to chat with people who are going on this trip, sign up for the official Olivia 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 prior to 3:00pm. Shuttle from the Amsterdam host hotel to the ship will be at approximately 4:00pm. Pre-vacation stretchers will be announced approximately 9 months in advance.
- Cruise Embarkation: April 20, 2014
- Arrive into Amsterdam prior to 3:00pm. Shuttle from the Amsterdam host hotel to the ship will be at approximately 4:00pm.
- End of Cruise Departure out of Zurich – April 27, 2014
- 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 A3343BN applies to flights into Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) and out of Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH). Dates of travel are April 16-29, 2014. 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).
- Olivia’s preferred travel agency
- We are happy to partner with Panorama Travel, which provides excellent service and competitive airfares. For a small fee, they can also assist you with using your frequent flyer miles for free tickets and upgrades, as well as get competitive hotel rates. 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.
- 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
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
- 72 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
- There is an onboard Internet center; minute plans are available. Pricing will be posted on board. Guests may also bring their own laptops and purchase a wireless Internet plan.
- 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, we recommend purchasing a transfer on board. This is the best way to ensure you will make your flight, as the airport is one hour’s drive from the port and taxis can be scarce.
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