Aboard a river ship built for considerable comfort, Albertina Lloyd enjoys the luxurious side of one of Europe's great waterways.
Admiring the last drops of sunlight sparkling on the canals of Amsterdam, it is hard to believe that just two days ago I was sipping Champagne as I watched the sun set behind the impressive skyline of Cologne in Germany.
The idea of waking up in a different European country every day is something I'd always associated with backpackers on a gap year.
But those days are far behind me. Instead, we're travelling in style on a floating luxury hotel.
River cruising is becoming more popular, and as I watch the splendid views of the banks of the River Rhine drift by my cabin window on board the Avalon Poetry II, it's easy to see why.
Going on holiday can be very stressful. You worry about getting to the airport on time, parking the car, losing your luggage - will you like the food at the hotel?
On these cruises, you turn over your suitcase and next see it in your cabin, just waiting for you to unpack and change clothes for dinner.
We're not talking a dingy little cabin with a tiny porthole and a folding door to a bathroom you have to squeeze yourself into. I didn't bring the cat, but I'm almost sure I could swing one in here if I wanted to. And, unlike sea cruising, drifting along the river feels pleasantly stable and smooth-sailing.
I could happily spend days relaxing here - quite literally an armchair tourist - as the sights of the Netherlands pass by through the wall-to-wall sliding window.
As it is, with everything organised and looked after by the cruise director, the biggest decision I must make is what day trip to go on tomorrow.
But in the meantime, there is dinner to contend with. Regular cruisers on board are used to these mammoth meals.
For me, it is yet another lavish element to this lifestyle, which I take to like a duck to water. Course after course of rich food is put in front of me - king prawns, fillet of seabass, tenderloin of veal - and my wine glass never seems to empty.
If you do choose to leave your cabin, there are two bars - completely surrounded with windows - and a sky deck where you can sit and admire the scenery.
After dinner, when the sun goes down, a band keeps us entertained. They kick off the evening with relaxing lounge music but, as things get more lively, they give us "just one more" encore, and the dance floor quickly fills.
After breakfast next morning, with good weather, we take a trip to Keukenhof flower park. We drive past fields of colourful tulips, divided into strips like a rainbow and, as soon as I step off the bus, I can smell their sweet perfume.
The park is huge, with all kinds of flowers displayed outside and inside pavilions. Every turn we take, there is another photo opportunity or flowerbed to admire.
But I'm soon in the mood for culture. The Dutch are very proud of Van Gogh and, at the Kroller-Muller Museum, they have an incredible collection of his early and later works, plus that of many other artists.
The museum is in one of Holland's national parks so it is surrounded by a beautiful garden and woodland dotted with sculptures.
A stroll around the park admiring the artwork helps me walk off all that food. But as I look at Van Gogh's gloomy painting The Potato Eaters, sharing their one plate of boiled potatoes, I'm soon thinking about lunch.
Every day, an enormous buffet is served on the ship, hot and cold, and no matter how much you had at breakfast, there is always something to tempt you.
There is a gym on the ship, with cycling and running machines and weights, but I never see anyone heading in that direction. I do see people in the hair salon, though, getting their nails painted and their hair blow-dried.
Dressing for dinner is clearly a big deal, and even though the dress code is not formal every night, everyone seems to enjoy making an effort.
With the lights twinkling on the water, the glasses tinkling on the tables and the bling sparkling on guests, it feels very glamorous.
But, if you don't fancy making the effort, there's also a hot buffet in the bar, so you can grab a quick bite to eat and go on shore to see the local nightlife.
To blend in with the natives, I decide to hire a bicycle to explore the city.
Resting on a bench beside one of the many canals, I linger to admire the higgledy-piggledy buildings that line the cobbled streets.
A tour boat chugs past along the canal, reminding me of the ship.
What a way to see Europe. It's a sailor's life for me.
Details: Avalon Waterways' newly launched suite ship Avalon Poetry II will sail a range of itineraries this year on the Danube and the Rhine, including the 10-day Paris, Moselle & the Rhine, 12-day Central European Experience, 11-day Legendary Danube and 13-day Blue Danube Discovery.
The writer was a guest of Avalon Waterways.