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Blooming Marvellous Cruises!

Friday 8th Jul 2022

With our selection of cruises to Europe’s finest gardens, there is a cruise to tempt all keen horticulturalists. From world-famous Giverny and Versailles to some of Europe’s best-kept garden secrets, enjoy our fragrant and colourful collection. 

The Gardens at the Palace of Versailles Funchal, Madeira Inverewe Garden Scotland Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands Monet's Garden at Giverny Trsteno Botanic Garden, Croatia

Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands

One of the highlights of spring-time cruises, a visit to Keukenhof Gardens is a must for any keen gardener. Open from mid-March to May every year, the garden showcases acres of beautiful spring flowers, with stunning drifts of colour surrounding tranquil lakes. Not just for tulip-lovers, there are also formal gardens, greenhouses, pavilions and inspirational gardens featuring freesias, roses and orchids amongst many others.

Join Amadeus on their 7-night Tulip Serenade cruise for the opportunity to visit Keukenhof, with several departures March-May 2023 from just £1069pp

Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, France

Claude Monet lived at Giverny for 43 years, and during this time created his extraordinary gardens, full of perspectives, symmetries and colours. He planted flowers and trees of different heights to create volume, with fruit trees, ornamental trees and climbing roses, and a mix of simple flowers like daisies and poppies alongside rare varieties. Chosen for their colours and shapes, he let the plants flourish without formal organisation, creating an artistic idyll. The Japanese water garden was added later, with its famous Japanese bridge covered with wisterias, weeping willows, a bamboo wood and above all, the iconic nympheas which bloom all summer long. The garden provided Monet with inspiration for over 20 years, and gave life to some of his most famous paintings. 

Visit Giverny on Riviera Travel’s 7-night Seine river cruise, Paris and Normandy, departing regularly in 2022 and 2023 with rail or flight option, from £1569pp

Trsteno Botanic Garden, Croatia

In a small fishing village near Dubrovnik, these renaissance gardens can be found set against the dazzling backdrop of the Adriatic Sea. Coming to life in the 1400s when the noble Gozze family requested returning ship captains to bring seeds and plants from their travels, the lavender and rosemary scented gardens are home to banana trees, centuries-old plane trees, and a lily pond and fountain overlooked by statues of Neptune and nymphs. The gardens recently graced the screen in Seasons 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones as the King’s Landing gardens.

Add a couple of days pre-cruise stay in Dubrovnik and visit Trsteno, before embarking on APT’s 7-night Croatian Island Adventure departing regularly throughout 2022 and 2023 from £2595pp

Funchal, Madeira

The warm sub-tropical climate of Madeira creates a lush oasis of green in the Atlantic Ocean, with the whole island a dramatic display of natural beauty. Purple-flowered jacaranda trees adorn the streets of Funchal, leading to well-maintained tropical gardens and parks offering a wide variety of plants and exotic flowers from all around the world. Each of Funchal’s three main gardens is quite different. Palheiro is a classic English garden, designed in a series of separate ‘rooms’ with different themes and decors, overlooked by an arboretum of monumental trees. The Botanic Garden is laid out in a more scientific manner by environments, geography and species. It also has Funchal’s showpiece, the spectacular yellow and red mosaic garden. Monte Palace Gardens are a tropical fairyland, where visitors step into a lush green world cascading through a deep ravine, sensuous and dramatic, filled with carefully framed viewpoints that reveal surprises, such as a red Japanese bridge far below.

Visit the gardens of Funchal with Ambassador Cruise Lines on the no-fly 15-night Canaries, Madeira and Morocco cruise, departing from London Tilbury on 24 November 2022 from £1099pp

Gardens at Versailles, France

The Gardens at Versailles are a spectacular demonstration of French 17th century design; a living work of art designed to be as impressive as the Palace itself. Louis XIV commissioned André Le Nôtre to design and layout the intricate grounds in 1661, a project that took forty years to complete. Le Nôtre created a series of beautifully landscaped gardens with tree-lined pathways leading to bosquets (groves), complete with spectacular statues and show-stopping fountains, designed to provide a fitting setting for royal festivities.  

Visit Versailles on Uniworld’s 7-night Paris and Normandy cruise on board super-ship Joie de Vivre in 2022 and 2023 from just £2700pp

Highlands & Hebridean Gardens, Scotland

Not just one garden, but six intriguing Scottish gardens to see on this unique cruise to the rich diversity of Scotland’s west coast and Inner Hebridean gardens, where many unusual and exotic shrubs and trees flourish in the gentle and moist climate of the North Atlantic Drift. Join luxury small ship Hebridean Princess and discover the sculptures of Attadale Gardens, the sub-tropical paradise of Inverewe, the Gothic mansion of Armadale Castle and its gardens, and the colourful spring flowers of Arduaine. 

Embark Hebridean Princess on 9 May 2023 for the 6-night Glorious Gardens of the West Coast cruise from Oban to the west coast and Hebridean islands of Iona and Mull from £7690pp

Blue Water Holidays European Gardens River Cruises guide for more holiday ideas to tempt the green fingered cruise enthusiast.

Blue Water Holidays Blog