The following morning we set sail for Zaandam where we visited the Zaanse Schans, an historic 18th Century village comprising six well preserved windmills. We also learned of the skilled craft of clog and cheese making and wandered the streets alongside the River Zaan.
It was then back to Amsterdam for our final full day which included a city tour by coach and an hour-long cruise around the city's remarkable 17th Century canal system aboard a glass-topped boat.
While many guests then visited the Rembrandt exhibition at the fabulous Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum always need to be booked in advance as the crowds are enormous.
One very interesting exhibit at Amsterdam's National Maritime Museum is the 18th Century replica East Indiaman “Amsterdam” which takes you right back to the Dutch Golden Age when the Dutch capital was the world’s largest port and Holland was truly a world power.
Sadly the holiday was over all too quickly and after an early breakfast, we were back aboard our Buzzlines coach to make the return journey to Calais. Unlike the outward journey, we returned to Dover via a P&O ferry before being returned to our own homes in another chauffeur driven Titan vehicle.
** On Saturday 27 April, the entire population of The Netherlands will celebrate King’s Day. There are street markets everywhere, where people sell a wide variety of new and secondhand items as well as homemade treats. Bands play on street corners and you wouldn’t be surprised to see everyone dressed in bright orange. In cities such as The Hague, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, huge outdoor parties take place the night before often featuring famous DJs and musicians. Meanwhile tradition also dictates that King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, together with their three daughters, visit at least one or two municipalities in The Netherlands on this particular day.