Belgium and Holland in Spring – Northbound (8 Days)

Cruise Line: Tauck River Cruising
Ship: MS Esprit  |  1 Review
Brussels, Belgium to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dates: 28 Apr 2018 - 05 May 2018

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DAY
PORT
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
28 Apr 2018
Brussels, Belgium

Tour begins at 4:00 PM in Brussels. Upon arrival, a transfer is included from Brussels Airport, Centraal Station, or Brussels Midi Station to ms Swiss Jewel, ms Esprit, or ms Treasures, where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM. Settle in and then meet your fellow cruisers this evening at your welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner.

DAY 2
29 Apr 2018
Brussels, Belgium

Begin your day in Brussels with morning sightseeing in Belgium's capital city, a key center of European trade and culture since the 13th century. You'll see the Atomium, a 338-foot-tall structure representing atoms in an iron crystal, built for the 1958 World's Fair; the residence of the royal family; the gigantic golden-domed Palace of Justice, on a hill standing watch over the city; and the headquarters of the European Union. Walk to Grand Place, one of Europe's loveliest city squares, where you'll find an eclectic mix of architecture, including a Gothic town hall surrounded by Renaissance-era guildhalls. A UNESCO World Heritage Site today, Grand Place began life as a market place for food – hence the streets with names like Poulet (chicken) and Fromage (cheese); stopping for coffee in the square is a must. Nearby, you'll see the 17th-century bronze fountain sculpture and well-known symbol of Brussels affectionately dubbed the Manneken Pis; his wardrobe, consisting of hundreds of costumes, is changed several times a week. Return to your riverboat for lunch or stay in town and have lunch wherever you please. But save some room for this afternoon's visit to a fine Belgian chocolate factory. Return to the ship for dinner this evening, or spend free time in Brussels; your Belgium river cruise begins tonight as your riverboat departs Brussels, bound for Antwerp.

DAY 3
30 Apr 2018
Antwerp, Belgium

Your riverboat arrives this morning in the major port city of Antwerp for a day in the capital of the Belgian province of Flanders. Take an orientation tour of the city and a guided walk through the historic center. As you stroll and hear stories and insights from your local guide, take in Grote Markt, the old market square; City Hall; the Cathedral of Our Lady; and numerous restored merchants' houses, harkening back to the days of the 16th-century Age of Exploration when Antwerp – at the time a powerful center of international commerce – was the richest city in Europe. You'll also visit the Red Star Line Museum, where interactive exhibits in the former warehouses of the Red Star Line shipping company tell the story of the more than two million immigrants from all over Europe whose long journey to a new life in North America began right here. After lunch onboard your riverboat, enjoy a bit of free time this afternoon. Your Tauck directors will have suggestions for places to see in town. Set off for the Netherlands later this afternoon; you'll arrive in historic Maastricht tomorrow morning; enjoy a gala dinner followed by a game night onboard this evening.

DAY 4
01 May 2018
Maastricht, Netherlands
Château Neercanne, Netherlands
Netherlands American Cemetery, Netherlands
Maastricht, Netherlands

Among the Netherlands' oldest cities, Maastricht is said to contain more than 1,400 historic buildings and monuments dating back to the 13th century. An Old Town walking tour with your local guide this morning includes the remains of the city's medieval fortifications and Helpoort, a steep-roofed gateway built in 1229. On beautiful cobblestoned Vrijthof Square, visit the Museum aan het Vrijthof, set within the 16th-century Spanish Government House; focusing on the arts and crafts that have flourished in this city of artisans for 500 years, the museum's collection includes paintings, silver, pistols, and timepieces. Then get ready for what is sure to be a highlight of your Holland and Belgium river cruise – a Tauck Exclusive lunch in the Roman grottoes of the 17th-century Château Neercanne, a terraced castle with scenic views and Baroque gardens. Topped by a chef's hat, you are included in a lively and ultimately delectable culinary presentation and an extraordinary meal. After lunch depart for Margraten to visit the Netherlands American Cemetery, the only World War II cemetery for fallen US troops in Holland.

DAY 5
02 May 2018
Terneuzen, Netherlands
Ghent, Belgium
Terneuzen, Netherlands

Tauck's Netherlands and Belgium river cruise continues through Belgium along the Albert Canal and on into Zeeland, the Dutch province in the southwestern corner of the Netherlands, on the North Sea; relaxing onboard your riverboat is the perfect way to take in the changing scene. Your ship arrives in the port city of Terneuzen midday. Disembark for your choice of excursions this afternoon. One possibility is a visit to the historic city of Ghent, arguably Belgium's most beautiful city, for an old town walking tour; the 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, crowned with a dragon, for the view – Ghent laid out before you is a visual feast of castles, churches, and historic merchants' houses. Be sure to try the local speciality, Ghent noses, a traditional raspberry candy sold at stands on the street – or a warm waffle with sugar or honey. Or you can choose a visit to Bruges, known to many as "the Venice of the North", for its canals and tiny medieval streets. On your walking tour in cobblestoned fairy tale-like Bruges, you'll feel like you've walked into a painting by Jan van Eyck, who captured life in the city during its heyday in the 15th century. The hike up the stairs of the medieval belltower is well worth the effort; you'll be rewarded with wonderful panoramic views. After dinner aboard your riverboat tonight, a classical music group performs for you as the ship charts a course for Dordrecht in the Netherlands.

DAY 6
03 May 2018
Dordrecht, Netherlands
Kinderdijk, Netherlands
Dordrecht, Netherlands

This morning your Netherlands and Belgium river cruise takes you to the province of South Holland, where you'll dock in Dordrecht, a historic island city bordering no less than five rivers. Reflecting the definition of the Dutch word for harbor – "haven" – the city's charming harbor district preserves many historic warehouses, merchants' mansions and quays, and its role as a major port city from the 15th to 18th centuries. A walking tour reveals Dordrecht's notable architecture and monuments in its medieval inner city, as well as the surrounding ring of 19th-century buildings. Have lunch aboard the riverboat; then you're off to the nearby village of Kinderdijk, where 19 original 18th-century windmills – preserved today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – create an iconic polderscape that's better than any picture-postcard. There's no other place in the world besides Kinderdijk where can you see so many historic windmills together in an authentic setting. During your visit, discover how a windmill works both inside and out, learn about the life of a typical miller centuries ago, and explore the quintessentially Dutch history of windmills. Return to your riverboat for dinner and some local entertainment onboard tonight.

DAY 7
04 May 2018
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Awaken on your riverboat today in Amsterdam – a vibrant blend of the historic and the contemporary, from its medieval core and 17th-century canals to the bustling shops, cafés, and rich cosmopolitan life of a 21st-century European metropolis. After breakfast aboard ship, go ashore for an excursion to Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, the home of famous show gardens and millions of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, in various stages of bloom and particularly beautiful at this time of the year. A rolling carpet of color, Keukenhof is one of Europe's most iconic – and fragrant – places to witness springtime in all its glory. Return to the riverboat in Amsterdam for lunch, then set off on some guided exploration of this nearly car-free city of flower-rimmed canals, gracious gabled mansions, and people on bikes – first, on a boat cruise through the network of centuries-old canals at the core of the old city, that offers a refreshing perspective of the Netherlands' capital city. As you'll discover, Amsterdam boasts more canals than Venice... and, as it happens, more museums per kilometer than any other European capital. One of the most famous is the matchless Rijksmuseum – filled with myriad works by the Dutch Masters, including Rembrandt's The Night Watch and Vermeer's The Milkmaid – which you'll visit this afternoon with a local guide. Head back to your riverboat for your final night aboard ship; the crew will bid you a warm farewell at a shipboard reception this evening, followed by dinner onboard.

DAY 8
05 May 2018
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Your Netherlands and Belgium river cruise ends in Amsterdam. After disembarking and bidding captain and crew adieu this morning, a transfer is included from the riverboat to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport or Centraal Train Station. Fly home anytime; allow 3 hours for departure flight check-in.

Belgium and Holland in Spring – Northbound map

About the Ship

MS Esprit

One of the 361-foot (110-meter) riverboats in Tauck's Destination Fleet, the newly redesigned ms Esprit debuts in 2018 with a new deck plan optimized for spaciousness and accommodating no more than 98 guests, while similar-sized riverboats average about 160.

What's Included

Included

  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Staff, Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks

Not Included

  • Laundry & spa services

About Us

The art of personalized river cruising meets the heart of history aboard Tauck's signature river cruises. Tauck's uncommon access and exclusive cultural experiences ashore along European waterways – the Rhine, Danube, Main, Rhône and Moselle rivers – connects you with each place you visit... and ancient civilizations take on new meaning on our Egypt and China trips along the River Nile and the Yangtze River. River cruises – and river cruising – at their best...

Insider Tip

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Terms & Conditions

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Add-Ons

Shore Excursions

Brussels, Belgium - 28 Apr 2018

Brussels, Belgium - 29 Apr 2018

Ghent, Belgium - 02 May 2018

Dordrecht, Netherlands - 03 May 2018

Kinderdijk, Netherlands - 03 May 2018

Dordrecht, Netherlands - 03 May 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands - 04 May 2018

Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands - 04 May 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands - 04 May 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands - 05 May 2018

Post-Packages

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Offered by: Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Length: 2 Nights
Virtuoso Hotel: Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
Dutch Masters Package

As of 7 October 2017, for the first time in its existence, the Hermitage Museum Amsterdam is mounting a show of Dutch Masters, including six highlights of Rembrandt among the 63 works by 50 different artists. This unique exhibition ‘Dutch Masters from the Hermitage, a treasure of the Tsars’ is celebrating the home-coming of the paintings in 350 years.

The Conservatorium offers the ultimate package that includes a two night stay in a luxurious guestroom or suite, daily breakfast in the Brasserie and two tickets to the Hermitage Museum with access to the exhibition.

Or enhance your stay and book a signature suite and enjoy an exclusive after-opening-hours private tour through the special exhibition of the Hermitage.

Offer Includes

A two night stay in a luxurious guestroom or suite

Daily breakfast in the Brasserie

Two tickets to the Hermitage Museum with access to the exhibition

Access to Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre

Rate includes VAT and excludes 5% city tax which is charged per room, per night. Promotion may not be used in conjunction with other offers or negotiated rates.

Offered by: Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Length: 2 Nights
Virtuoso Hotel: Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
Stay for Longer

Stay a little longer in Amsterdam and enjoy all that the city has to offer. The Stedelijk and its new Chagall are right across the street, and van Gogh is waiting just around the corner. At the center of the Museum Square District, Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam is as much a masterpiece as the works hanging in the nearby Rijksmuseum. With an extra night, you’ll have time to explore the city’s treasures, then return for creative Asian fare at Taiko. Meditation, a hammam, and Reiki treatments are on offer at the hotel’s Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, considered the top luxury spa in the entire Netherlands.

Stay for Longer

Minimum of 2 Nights • Save 20%.

Minimum of 3 Nights • Save 25%.

Virtuoso Exclusive Experience Includes:

  • Stay a minimum of 2 nights and save 20%
  • Stay a minimum of 3 nights and save 25%
  • Upgrade at time of arrival, if available
  • Continental breakfast for two daily
  • $100 spa services credit, once during stay
  • Early check-in/late checkout, if available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Please connect with your Virtuoso travel advisor for best available rates.

Offered by: GOGO Vacations
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Length: 3 Nights
Virtuoso Hotel: Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Amsterdam Vacation Package

Amsterdam Vacation Package - 3 Nights Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam

Valid for travel through October 31, 2018

  • Stay at 5-star Sofitel Legend The Grand.

Land Advertised Price: From $1015*

Pricing Valid: 6/15-6/18/18

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