Reservations 877·97·CRAFT  (877·972·7238)

17-Day ~ European Explorer Knitting Cruise (Aug 2020)

Holland America

Start Date:


August 22, 2020


End Date:


September 8, 2020

European Explorer Knitting Cruise (Aug 2020) ~ Knitting Cruises Description

17-day European Explorer Knitting Cruise w/ Chris Bylsma & Karen Morin
Aug 22 - Sep 8, 2020


The European "River" Explorer knitting cruise with Chris Bylsma and Karen Morin sails from Amsterdam to Venice on a unique repositioning cruise in August 2020. This 17-day cruise visits ports in Belgium, France, Portugal, Gibraltar, Spain, Italy, and Croatia and includes cruising into the Gironde Estuary in France as well as scenic cruising on the Tagus River in Portugal. While onboard, enjoy knitting classes with two knitting experts. Internationally renowned Chris Bylsma will be teaching several of her most popular classes: From the Beginning; Steeks to the Rescue; Stashology 201; The Joy of Finishing; and, Eight Empowering Edges. Knitting instructor, artist, and experienced Craft Cruises trip leader Karen Morin will be teaching two classes: Short Row Choices and Introduction to the Brioche Stitch.



The ports on this itinerary are varied and rich, steeped in history and tradition while also appealing to modern sensibilities. Shop for yarn at charming yarn shops in Amsterdam. Enjoy stunning scenery along coastal France, Spain, and Croatia. Learn about lace-making in Belgium and Croatia. Across the itinerary, study architectural treasures that include baroque, medieval, and Roman styles. Savor top wines and sample local seafood and specialty dishes in ports along the way. From the canals of Amsterdam to the canals of Venice and ports in between, there is something for everyone on this 17-day itinerary that promises the traveler a summer romance with Europe. Don't miss it.



2020 Northern Isles Knitting Cruise Highlights


  • Arrive early to explore the canals of beautiful Amsterdam, visit such famous museums as the Anne Frank House, see work by Dutch Masters such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt and shop for yarn at de Afstap, housed in a 17th century building, and Stephen & Penelope, home of Westknits.

  • Cruise into the Scheld River, an integral part of the Dutch and Belgian waterways to Antwerp, famous for chocolate and diamonds, where visitors can tour the Diamond Museum and stop into a cafe for a sugar dusted Belgian waffle or take a tour of Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

  • Enjoy the scenic coastline of Brittany on the port stop of Brest, France and stroll through the national botanical garden.

  • Soak up the Medieval atmosphere of the heart of La Rochelle, France. Visit one of France's premiere aquariums.

  • Appreciate scenic sailing up the Gironde Estuary from the Atlantic to dock in Bordeaux, called the "port of the moon" for its location on the Garonne River in France.

  • Take a wine tour in picture-postcard-perfect Bordeaux, the "wine capital of France."

  • Admire the quintessential blue and white tiles called azulejos and stunning baroque architecture in Porto, Portugal, a city that retains its old-world charms. Enjoy a glass of local port in a street-side cafe.

  • Visit Loja da Burel to learn about wool production in Portugal where, until recently, wool was used for little more than the heavy cloaks worn by shepherds in the Serra da Estrela mountains.

  • Shop for the highest quality woven wool garments and yarn in Portugal where wool production has been recently resurrected, breathing new life into a Portuguese mountain tradition.

  • Sail up the Tagus River to Lisbon, Portugal's capital, an ancient city influenced by its Roman and Moorish roots.

  • In Lisbon shop at Retrosaria Rosa Pomar, the best yarn shop in Lisbon, known for advocating and supporting locally sourced wool yarns.

  • Have lunch at the Time Out Market in Lisbon, ranked as one of the world's greatest food halls, this market is considered a mandatory stop for all foodies visiting this fascinating city.

  • Take a cable car to the top of the "Rock" of Gibraltar, a "bit of Britain in the Mediterranean," and revel in panoramic views and a chance to spot "Barbary apes," a unique species of Macaques monkeys native to Gibraltar.

  • In Malaga, Spain, the birthplace of Picasso, explore its rich heritage and Roman ruins or relax on the magnificent Andalusian beaches.

  • Tour the restored Roman Theater and other historical sites in Cartagena, Spain.

  • Absorb the sights and tastes of Rome and toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain, which legends say means you'll return to the Eternal City.

  • In Dubrovnik, Croatia stroll the medieval city streets used for on-location filming of the popular fantasy series Game of Thrones.

  • Soak in a few of the 2,718 hours of sunshine Hvar, Croatia claims to enjoy, inhale lavender from the hillsides, and sip a glass of local wine along the beautiful seaside promenade.

  • Extend after the cruise for a few days to explore the magic of Venice, Italy. Sail through canals on a gondola and pose in front of the famed Piazza San Marco. Remember to stop for gelato.