28 January 2019, 14:35



World plant hunter admits ‘I never been to Holland’

Tom Hart Dyke joins Tulips and Delights of North Holland river cruise as guest speaker

World plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke has made a confession – he has never been to Holland, a country which exports two-thirds of the planet’s flowers and bulbs.

Now all that is about to change when Tom joins Saga’s Tulips and Delights of North Holland river cruise on 154-guest Filia Rheni II this spring.

Tom, who was kidnapped by FARC guerrillas in 2000 when he was orchid-hunting in the Colombian jungle, says he is ‘rather embarrassed’ to have missed out on visiting a country with such an important place in world horticulture.

Tom, 42, said: “You can’t believe how excited I am to at last visit Holland, I can’t wait to see the displays of tulips and other spring bulbs in Keukenhof’s parkland and the greenhouses.

“I am rather embarrassed to admit I have not been to Holland but I’ll be spending a week on a river cruise so I will be able to really explore as well as view the towns, countryside and windmills from the Dutch waterways.”

Filia Rheni II is reserved exclusively for Saga guests and departs from Amsterdam on April 3, 2019 on round-trip with calls to Lelystad, Sneek, Leeuwarden, Zaandam and the pretty island of Texel.

Tom will be presenting three talks during the horticulture-themed river cruise, including the story of his kidnapping and subsequent plant hunting expeditions to develop his own World Garden, at Lullingstone Castle, in Kent.

Tom added: “Guests need to know I can’t stop talking about plants, it’s my passion, so the more people on the ship who want to chat about seeds, plants and trees the happier I will be!” 

Filia Rheni II is a favourite with Saga guests and has received the company’s Top Ship and two-rosette Good Food awards. Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner.

The ship is a perfect fusion of great on-board facilities and friendly, dedicated service. There's a partially-shaded sun deck, pool, sauna and Jacuzzi, while the observation lounge is a quiet spot enjoy the river views.

For details call free on 0800 656 9919 or visit saga.co.uk/river-cruises

Seven nights from £999 per person departing on April 3, 2019 with a choice of travel from regional airports, Eurostar from St Pancras and Ebbsfleet and return coach travel via Eurotunnel or ferry. Price includes UK travel package, return flights and transfers, all meals, wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner, welcome cocktail party, porterage, optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights or a discount if passenger has own insurance.

Tom Hart Dyke was kidnapped on March 16, 2000 on the border of Colombia by FARC guerrillas when he was on a quest for rare orchids. During nine months in captivity at gunpoint he dreamed of a jungle garden he would create on his return to the UK. That garden, the
World Garden at Lullingstone Castle, in Kent, opens to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from Friday, April 5, 2019 to October 27, 2019.

Visit lullingstonecastle.co.uk

Saga is a specialist in the provision of products and services for life after 50. The Saga brand is one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the UK and is known for its high level of customer service and its high quality, award winning products and services including cruises and holidays, insurance, personal finance and publishing. Visit saga.co.uk



Alex Brazier