Tauck 8-Day Belgium & Holland River Cruise
Discover Belgium and Holland in the Spring
Everywhere you go in the Netherlands, you will see colorful images. Imagine tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths in Keukenhof Gardens. Enjoy walking tours and bicycle rides through the country where you can see the windmills at Kinderdijk. Look at art masterpieces at a palace museum rich with Old Dutch art masterpieces while enjoying an exclusive Tauck dinner, and enjoying walking tours of cobblestoned Ghent and the fairy tale streets of Bruges. Don’t forget that Antwerp has great monuments and world-famous Belgian chocolate.
A Look Into The Destination and Itinerary
In the Netherlands, flowers are a way of life. Tulips and other colorful potted plants brighten even the smallest village or town, while gardens grace the landscapes of every region. The country’s horticultural-based economy is evident in every patch of tulip field, flower box, and backyard garden.
Welcome to Brussels
Your tour will begin at 5:30 PM in Brussels, with transportation from Brussels Airport to your riverboat included. You’ll have time to settle in and then meet your fellow river cruisers at a welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner.
Today you will visit Brussels, Belgium’s capital and a key center of European trade since the 13th century. The day begins with a city tour that takes in the Atomium, a structure resembling atoms built for the 1958 World’s Fair. You’ll also see Grand-Place, one of Europe’s loveliest city squares. This afternoon, you might choose to participate in a demonstration by a local chocolatier. Return to the riverboat for lunch; then cruise to Antwerp.
Discover Antwerp’s specialties
Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest city, is the capital of the province of Flanders, also known as the Low Countries. Its historic center is noted for its many historic buildings and monuments. Take an orientation tour of the city and discover Grote Market, the old market square… the lavishly decorated Flemish Renaissance City Hall… and numerous restored merchants’ houses harkening back to the days when Antwerp was a powerful center of international commerce – at one time, the richest city in Europe. Hang out at a local brewery and enjoy some free time to exploring Antwerp before setting off for Ghent.
Flemish treasures in Ghent & Bruges
Arrive in the historic city of Ghent after cruising through Flanders overnight. Ghent is arguably Belgium’s most beautiful city, and its pedestrian-friendly cobblestoned town center feels like an outdoor museum of early Flemish architecture. Think about climbing to the top of the 14th-century belfry for a view – Ghent laid out before you is a visual delight of castles, churches, and historic merchants’ houses. Be sure to try the local speciality, Ghent noses – traditional raspberry candies sold at stands on the street or enjoy a warm Belgium waffle. After breakfast, continue on to Bruges, known as the Venice of the North. You’ll have lunch in town and then take a walking tour to see the city’s canals and tiny medieval streets. You’ll feel like you’ve walked into a painting by Jan Van Eyck, who captured life in Bruges during its heyday in the 15th century. The hike up the stairs of the medieval belltower is well worth the effort; from there you’ll get wonderful panoramic views of the city. For dinner, you’ll be served a chef’s Signature Dinner on board as you sail toward Dordrecht in the Netherlands.
Dordrecht, Kinderdijk’s windmills & The Hague
Today you’ll dock in Dordrecht, a city on the banks of five rivers. A walking tour reveals the city’s architecture and monuments from the 15th to 18th centuries. Have lunch, then head to Kinderdijk for an unforgettable experience that offers views of 19 original windmills preserved as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the unique Dutch history of windmills at Kinderdijk, where you can see an array of historic windmills set in an authentic environment. Alternatively, you can choose a bicycle trip among the windmills. Later, visit Rotterdam and disembark for a Tauck Exclusive evening featuring dinner and live music at The Hague’s Mauritshuis museum, home to some of the world’s most renowned works by famous Dutch artists from the Golden Age.
Magical Keukenhof Gardens
Wake up in Utrecht and visit Keukenhof Gardens, the most beautiful spring garden in the world. More than seven million colorful tulips, daffodils and hyacinths blanket the 80-acre landscape each year for eight weeks. Spend the morning here and have lunch. Cruise on to Amsterdam later in the evening.
Wake up in Amsterdam—a lively blend of history and contemporary life. After breakfast on the ship, begin your exploration of this nearly car-free city with a canal boat cruise of its 17th-century canals, which offer a refreshing perspective on the Netherlands’ capital city. You’ll discover that Amsterdam boasts more canals than Venice…and more museums per kilometer than any other European capital. One of the most famous is the Rijksmuseum, filled with works by Dutch Masters like Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and Vermeer’s The Milkmaid. Spend the afternoon any way you like and return to your riverboat in the late afternoon. After dinner, enjoy a final performance by the ship’s band, followed by a farewell reception and toast.
Disembark for your journey home
Your Captain and crew bid you farewell as you disembark this morning; your transfer to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport or Central Train Station is included. Fly home anytime, with plenty of time to check in at the airport.