Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hotel Barge SAVOIR FAIRE: Queen's Day, April 30 2010

This morning we received a very interesting email from Chris of the Hotel Barge SAVOIR FAIRE concerning the Dutch holiday, Queen's Day.
We still have 4 cabins available for our cruise which encompasses the 30th of April 2010. This is the day of the world renowned QUEEN'S DAY.

If you only visit Amsterdam once in your life, make sure your visit coincides with April 30th. Queen’s Day is the annual Dutch national holiday in honour of the late Queen Juliana’s birthday.

On Queen’s Day, there are celebrations throughout the Netherlands. However, the most popular destination is Amsterdam where up to one million visitors join the 750,000 locals in the world’s largest street party.

Queen Beatrix, who succeeded her mother in 1980, decided to keep the holiday on April 30 as the weather on her own birthday, January 31, tends to prohibit outdoor festivities.
Queen’s Day crowd on its way to an event.
Posted at Flicker by Photochiel

The Night Before Queen’s Day

Queen’s Day festivities start around midnight and last throughout the night (though official rules state that pubs must close for an hour or so before sunrise). Simply walk around in downtown Amsterdam (the Jordaan and Nieuwmarkt areas being among the most popular spots) and you’ll find plenty of partying going on.

That said, our advice is that you pace yourself. You’ll want to be more or less sober for the main feast.

Queen’s Day Proper

6:00 AM marks the start of the ‘free market’ – a street market where half the population sells their bric-a-brac, used clothes, and crafts for next to nothing. Where? Everywhere people live. What? Well, you’ll find anything from broken toys, last year’s Queen’s Day purchases, and fantastic bargains on musical instruments, electonics, software and everything else under the sun.

Throughout the city, professional street performers vie for attention. There are pick-up bands, aspiring opera singers, teenage rappers and street discos. Rio-style drum bands have been very popular the past few years.

Huge outdoor concerts are organized at various locations, such as Dam square and Museumplein.


The throngs lining the streets and canals wear orange, the national color (after all, the Queen hails from the House of Orange). Take ‘throngs’ literally – particularly in the city’s center where you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with other revelers.
Brouwersgracht on Queen’s Day
Posted at Flicker by Ron Layters 
(Ron says  "This is actually a canal, crowded with boats full of people celebrating the Queen's birthday in Amsterdam. Not much water on show! If you haven't been you should come as it is the greatest street party on earth. ok - it's a canal party as well!)
By way of indication: you can normally saunter from Central Station to Dam Square in about 7 minutes. On Queen’s Day the same distance will take you at least an hour. For most of the day, there is no public transport in the center of town. The canals offer little relief as thousands of boats, large and small, filled with party goers clog the city’s waterways.

The beer flows freely, though mostly in the form of reduced-alcohol ‘event beer,’ which is served in plastic containers that come with a deposit fee.

If you are coming to Amsterdam from out of town, take the train.
Thanks, Chris!

SAVOIR FAIRE still has availability for their Dutch Tulip Cruises. See our PREVIOUS POST for more information.

Dutch Tulip Cruises: 
  • March 28 - 6 cabins open
  • April 4 - 6 cabins open
  • April 11 - booked
  • April 18 - 2 cabins open
  • April 25 - 4 cabins open
Three-Country Amsterdam to Paris Cruise (13-night, 3 country cruise or may book one week of the two):
  • May 2 (Holland - Belgium) - 3 cabins open
  • May 9 (Belgium - Paris) - 3 cabins open

View SAVOIR FAIRE's online brochure and also check out their various itineraries, then contact us for more information.  Spring will be here soon!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book SAVOIR FAIRE 
View Savoir Faire's online brochure
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