Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay

The best way to mark a new year is with the introduction of something new – a new hobby, a new routine or a new goal, for example – and here, at Brightwater, we have decided to launch a selection of brand new tours for 2020! So, what have we got in store? Well, we are particularly excited about the coming 12 months because we have some really exciting tours on offer. Let’s take a look…

River Cruises

We’re delighted to reveal that in 2020, we will be running four river cruises, which can take you to beautiful European destinations by way of water. According to ABTA's 2019 Holiday Habits report, UK cruise passengers reached over 2 million for the first time last year. One in seven people surveyed are considering a cruise in 2020, a figure that is 2% up on last year. The Silver Travel Advisor's 2019 Industry Report also revealed that 23% of respondents have taken a river cruise and that an impressive 74% would take another. The main reasons for the popularity of cruising is getting to see a selection of places on one trip and then only having to unpack once!

We have a Seine river cruise, which features the gardens of Normandy as well as Giverny, and this tour will see you board the A-ROSA VIVA to visit gardens that include Monet’s Garden, Jardin Plume, the Palace and Gardens of Versailles and Bois des Moutiers.

There is a Picardy Gardens river cruise, which includes three half-day cruises on the Somme waterway, and will take you to the gardens of Moulin Ventin, André van Beek and Maizicourt (voted the best garden in Picardy by French TV viewers recently!), as well as to Château de Long.

Next, we have a Summer Garden Cruise of Holland and Belgium, which includes three nights’ full board on the MS Gérard Schmitter, visiting the garden of Ada Hofman, the garden of Mien Ruys and Hemelrik Garden & Arboretum, among others.

Finally, there is a river cruise that will take you on the Rhine and Moselle in Germany. Cruising aboard the A-ROSA FLORA, you’ll step ashore to explore the Roman city of Trier, the charming town of Cochem with its timbered houses and the dramatically places Reichsburg Castle, and see Koblenz’s sights.

Singapore Garden Festival 

A tour that sold so fast we’ve now put on a second departure, the Singapore Garden Festival takes place every two years and is a real showpiece event – perfect for lovers of horticulture. We wouldn’t take you all the way to this cutting-edge destination without treating you to a visit to the spectacular Gardens by the Bay attraction or to admire the view from the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, and there are also multiple chances to explore Singapore’s best gardens (such as Fort Canning’s Spice Gardens, the Jurong Gardens and Singapore Botanical Garden) either side of visiting the festival itself. This is a really exciting vacation that won’t come around again for another two years, so don’t miss out! 

Tours for the solo traveler 

One of the most popular questions we’re asked is whether our holidays are suitable for single travelers – and the answer, especially in 2020, is a resounding yes! We have created a brand new tour, Autumn Tints of the Lake District (perfect for the literature fans among us!), which has no single supplement for the first 10 rooms sold, and we’ve also brought back our Alpine Flowers of Wengen vacation, which has no single supplement at all. What’s more, there are five other holidays perfectly suited for solo travellers as they all have no single supplement. 

Independent & Self-Drive Holidays

Over the years, we’ve had a number requests for self-drive packages from people who prefer not to travel as part of a group. Recently, the frequency of these requests has increased, so we decided to launch a full Independent & Self-Drive programme. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it means that every single package offered by us here at Brightwater can be turned into a self-drive tour to meet your specific needs. Whether you want to fly in and hire a car, stay in B&Bs rather than hotels, or stay for a fortnight rather than the period of time advertised in our general group holiday package – we can tailor-make the trip to fit what it is you’re after. We’ll craft an itinerary and include accommodation to suit you, based on the length and price you request, just get in touch to find out more.

RHS Workshops

This is a new product we’re particularly excited about! We only have two workshop tours, one at Hyde Hall in Essex and the other at Rosemoor in North Devon, but they are must-book holidays for any garden enthusiast! Both holidays include classroom-based workshops, which offer hands-on horticultural experiences, as well as gardening time, where the skills and theories learned can be put into practice. This is the perfect way to learn from the real experts!

Floriade 2022

There is also one final holiday to shout about in this round-up, but it won’t be taking place until 2022 – and that is the seventh iteration of Floriade. If you haven’t heard of it, Floriade is a horticultural highlight for any plant-lover’s calendar – an expo that only takes place once every 10 years in the Netherlands. The 2022 event will have the theme of “Growing Green Cities” and it will take place at Almere, a new city district near to Amsterdam. In true Brightwater style, we’ll combine our visit to this event with visits to amazing gardens in the surrounding areas. Contact us to receive full details on this tour.

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Brand New For 2020 was published on 20 December 2019