Duration: 8 Days
This springtime river cruise gets underway in Holland’s colourful capital of Amsterdam. This 700-year-old city offers an abundance of classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants to explore before you embark on your river cruise through Holland and Belgium -perfect for garden and nature enthusiasts. For flower lovers, an expert accompanies you on this tulip season cruise, sharing his knowledge about botany and the world of plants.
Sail through Rotterdam’s harbor, said to be the world’s busiest port. Garden enthusiasts will delight in a visit to see the breathtaking colours of Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe.” With 70 acres of parkland and lakes, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens with nearly 7 million flowering bulbs bursting with colour. Next, sail to Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest city, known for its centuries-old history in diamond trading amid ancient buildings and monuments combined with modern architecture. In Ghent, Belgium, join a local expert for a guided tour of the city, including a visit to St. Baaf’s Cathedral. Your cruise traverses back into Holland where you’ll explore Middelburg, formerly an important trading city. You’ll still get a sense of its historic wealth today with its impressive structures like the Gothic Town Hall, Abbey Tower, and bustling Market Square. No trip to Holland is complete without a visit to the technical miracle that is the Delta Works, a storm flood barrier almost six miles long, constructed after the floods of 1953. This beautiful and historic springtime river cruise concludes with more time to explore the wonderful city of Amsterdam. See the most fascinating views of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the amazing Aalsmeer Flower Auction on select departures.
Welcome to Holland. Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Your day in Amsterdam is free to explore at your leisure. You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to beautiful Zaanse Schans where you'll see a wonderful collection of well-preserved historic windmills and Dutch houses. Enjoy dinner and explore the ship on your first night on board.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROTTERDAM (D)
Dutch Treats and Flowers Sweet
Visit the Adventure centre for today's activities with your Adventure Host.
ACTIVE - Experience Rotterdam by foot with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC - Join a full- or half-day Guided Tour of breathtaking Keukenhof-known as the "Garden of Europe"-for its 70 acres of lush parkland, lakes, and the world's largest flower gardens-with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths as well as other bulbs, planted each year.
Take some free time to relax on the harbor-side in Rotterdam with an artisan beer, a slice of appeltaart (Dutch apple pie), and a koffie verkeerd, a typical Dutch drink with equal parts coffee and milk. Take a bike from your ship to explore Rotterdam and the surrounding area.
Before dinner, enjoy a cruise through Rotterdam harbor. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ANTWERP (B,L,D)
Cathedrals, Carats and Crepes
DISCOVERY - Visit a Botanical Garden, where you will admire an amazing variety of plants, tree and flowers.
ACTIVE - Explore Antwerp by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of this sophisticated city to visit the central Grote Markt, lined with 16th-century guildhall houses. You'll also see the beautiful city hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady with its stunning altarpiece paintings by Rubens.
Alternatively, you may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the nearby capital, Brussels-considered home to the European Union, and admire its magnificent palaces and cathedrals.
You might prefer to take time on your own to indulge in Antwerp's signature Belgian waffles and crepes-or explore this bike-friendly city from its old wharfs to its legendary diamond district.
DISCOVERY - Join your garden expert for a botany lecture onboard.
Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO GHENT (B,L,D)
Medieval Masterpieces and Flemish Finery
ACTIVE - Explore a different side of Ghent by foot with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC - Explore Ghent-"The Diamond of Flanders"-with a Guided Sightseeing Tour of this showcase of medieval Flemish wealth. You'll visit St. Bavo's Cathedral-with its remarkable Flemish artwork.
You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion of Bruges to explore its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. You'll see its crisscrossed canals, the 13th-century belfry of Market Square, and charming patrician houses.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MIDDELBURG (B,L,D)
A Spicy History in Middelburg's Dutch Harbor Town
Join your Adventure Host for today's special activities.
ACTIVE - Explore Vlissingen by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC - Join a Guided Walking Tour through the winding cobblestones and canals of Middelburg. See the 15th-century Gothic Town Hall and learn about its important role in the spice trade and Dutch East India trading.
Spend some free time biking or walking through Middelburg to sample Babbelaar cookies, fries, or beer before cruising to Veere.
VEERE: The Delta Works Stand Strong as a Technical Marvel
ACTIVE - Bike your way to the beach from Veere with your Adventure Host, OR:
DISCOVERY - Join a Guided Tour of the Delta Works, the largest flood-protection system in the world, and a miracle of modern technology.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WILLEMSTAD (B,L,D)
Willemstad's Windmills and Historic Harbor
ACTIVE - See Willemstad by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:
CLASSIC - Join a Guided Walking Tour of Willemstad and discover its many beautifully restored buildings from the 17th and 18th Century.
DISCOVERY - Later, enjoy a Cheese Tasting on board as you prepare to sail to Amsterdam.
DISCOVERY - Join a lecture to learn about the importance of botany and nature in the country you are visiting.
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AMSTERDAM (B,L,D)
Canals of Colorful Amsterdam
ACTIVE - Start your day joining your Adventure Host on an early morning walk in Amsterdam, OR:
DISCOVERY - Discover Aalsmeer Flower Auction-the largest in the world, where around 20 million flowers are sold every day. Later enjoy a typical Dutch breakfast, OR:
DISCOVERY - Access Amsterdam's secret gardens hidden behind the brick facades - a unique opportunity as they are normally closed to public, OR:
CLASSIC - Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam's "Golden Age."
This afternoon choose among the many Guided Optional Excursions available. Take some free time to explore Amsterdam's colourful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM (B,L,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)