Events and festivals

See an outdoor opera during a cruise from Venice


ABOVE: La Bella Vita spends part of each voyage moored within a short walk of the Piazza San Marco in Venice.

In 2015, European Waterways is offering two opera-themed cruise tours aboard La Bella Vita, a luxury hotel barge that cruises between Venice and the Po River Delta. Each cruise tour will include a pre-cruise "Night at the Opera" with premium seating in the Arena di Verona, a former Roman amphitheatre in Verona (an easy drive from Venice in the barge's comfortable minibus).

The dates of the two opera-themed cruises are:

  • July 11-18, featuring Puccini's Tosca.

  • September 5-12, featuring Verdi's Nabucco.

Other opera-related activities include:

  • A visit to the Arena Museo opera museum in Verona.

  • A private performance by an opera quarter aboard La Bella Vita.

  • Shore excursions to famous baroque theatres such as Venice's Gran Teatro La Venice.

In addition to the opera performances and activities, passengers will enjoy the experience of cruising from Mantua to Venice via the Po River and the Venetian Lagoon, with an overnight stay on Venice's historic waterfront.

USD prices for the cruise tour start at $5,140 per person, double occupancy.

For more information, see the La Bella Vita - Opera Cruise itinerary and La Bella Vita Barge pages at the European Waterways Web site. 

We also suggest reading our illustrated La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Review at, which describes our own delightful cruise from Venice to Mantua with European Waterways.

Go surfing at Munich International Airport

Surfing at Munich Airport

ABOVE: A surfer catches a wave at MUC.

For the fourth summer in a row, Munich International Airport (MUC) will wow spectators and thrill participants at its "Surf & Style" event from July 30 through August 24.

Pumps will create a standing wave 10 meters (33 feet) wide and 1.5 meters (5 feet) high in an outdoor basin at Munich Airport Center, a short walk from the passenger terminals. The surfing attraction will be open daily from 3 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., and admission is free.

Up to 10 people at a time will be allowed into the basin, with 45-minute time windows. Anyone 8 years or older can participate, and all of the necessary equipment such as boards, wetsuits, etc. can be borrowed free of charge.

Twice a day, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., the airport will offer 45-minute beginner sessions with a support bar in place and professional surfing instructors on hand for safety and advice. 

In addition, the airport is offering three-day surfing camps for children and teens, with levels from beginner to advanced.

Would you rather watch the action than ride the waves? Take advantage of the free beach area, which has palm trees, lounge chairs, a cocktail bar, and a grandstand. (Up to five hours of parking is also free in the P20 lot.)

For more information on "Surf & Style" 2014, visit:

Also see our articles about Munich International Airport and our Munich Travel Guide at

Photo: Flughafen München GmbH.

Source: Meryl Pearlstein, MDP Publicity.

'Tulip Island' opens in Amsterdam's Vondelpark

Tulip Island, Vondelpark

ABOVE: Tourists and locals mingle amid the flowers on Tulip Island, Amsterdam.

Tiny Tim would have loved Amsterdam's newest tourist attraction: "Tulip Island," on the tiny islet of Muziekkoepel opposite the Blue Teahouse in the city's Vondelpark. As you follow the late singer's exhortation to tiptoe through the tulips, you can pick your own bouquet while learning about the cultivation and history of Holland's most famous flower.

Couple on Tulip IslandAs a bonus, you'll meet other harvesters, and you'll have the opportunity to sell or trade your pickings in front of the traditional auction clock. The Tulip Experience Foundation, which runs the island, is also offering classical music and a high tea during the inaugural 2014 season, which runs from July 4 through September 7.

(Fun fact: Tulips normally grow in the spring, but Tulip Island's organizers are using specially-prepared "ice tulips" to keep the island in full bloom during the summer months.)

To schedule your 30-minute visit to the Island, go to, where you can pre-order your tickets for a specific data and time. (Tickets cost  €7,50, and the booking form is in six languages.)

More photos:

Tulip Island, Amsterdam


Photos courtesy of