WLCVacations has teamed up with its sister operation, France Cruises, in order to present some fascinating itineraries highlighting the annual tulip frenzy that occurs in France's neighboring Netherlands.
Cultivated tulips were first introduced to Holland in the late 16th Century by Carolus Clusius. Director of the Royal Medicinal Garden in Vienna, Clusius was the first person to successfully grow tulips in Europe. The Dutch climate provided perfect conditions for the tulips to bloom, and a thriving industry was born.
Quickly, tulips became an important commodity to the Dutch, symbolizing wealth and prominence with vivid majestic beauty. Those who dealt in selling tulip bulbs quickly became rich, and those who yearned to plant their own personal tulip gardens quickly departed with their riches. Even lower class citizens who couldn't afford the high monetary value tulips were fetching bartered farm animals, food staples, and personal goods.
Today, the "tulip fever" that gripped the Netherlands so long ago still flourishes as tenaciously as the flower itself. Thousands of travelers flock from all the world over to witness numerous tulip varieties in gorgeously scultped gardens. Renowned sites such as Keukenhof Gardens provide spectacular discovery tours highlighting the history of tulips and their existence in Europe.