Saturday, May 7 - USA - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Fly to Amsterdam. (Airfare extra)
Sunday, May 8 - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (OVERNIGHT)
Your day is free to explore on your own.
Monday, May 9 - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - THE FLORIADE EXPO
Spend the day at The Floriade Expo.
The Floriade Expo, the World's Fair of horticultural shows, is the largest public event in the Netherlands. The exhibition, which takes place only once every 10 years, will make its third appearance of the 21st Century, will be held in Almere (Amsterdam) in 2022. This year the main theme is "Growing Green Cities".
Tuesday, May 10 - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - KEUKENHOF
The history of Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century. Countess Jacoba van Beieren [Jacqueline of Bavaria] (1401-1436) gathered fruit and vegetables from the Keukenduin [kitchen dunes] for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and the estate grew to encompass an area of over 200 hectares.
Landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, who also designed Amsterdam's Vondelpark, redesigned the castle garden s in 1857. That park, in the English landscape style, still constitutes the basis of Keukenhof.
In 1949 a group of 20 leading flower bulb growers and exporters came up with the plan to use the estate to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs, signaling the birth of Keukenhof as a spring park. The park opened its gates to the public in 1950 and was an instant success, with 236,000 visitors in the first ear alone. 2021 will be the 71st edition of Keukenhof, with A World Of Colours as its theme. During the past 71 years Keukenhof developed into a world-famous attraction.
Wednesday, May 11 - AMSTERDAM - UTRECHT
There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and you'll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Later in the day, enjoy a scenic cruise through the IJsselmeer to Utrecht, the religious center of the Netherlands since the 8th century and a far-reaching city boasting a medieval old town, canals, and a beautiful Gothic cathedral, some of which you may see on your walking tour, which includes a visit to the whimsical collection of automatically playing musical instruments at Museum Speelklok. Alternatively, marvel at the largest castle in Holand, De Haar. Straight out of your fairytale dreams, this castle inspires awe with its turrets, moats, and suspension bridges as well as its luxurious interior.
Thursday, May 12 - VEERE
Enjoy a scenic morning cruise through the delta before arriving in Veere, the Netherlands' medieval harbor town. This former fishing village turned yachting town is known for its town square, where some houses boast gorgeous gardens - although the highlight is the town hall, with its 48-bell carillon! Enjoy learning more about it on your walking tour, or journey instead, to the Flood Museum, where you'll learn about the devastating floods of 1953, followed by a visit to a landmark recognizing the Roosevelt family's relationship with the Dutch royal family. For those who prefer an active adventure, pedal from Veere, with its cobblestone streets and charming harbor, to the historic town of Middelberg and back.
Friday, May 13 - GHENT, BELGIUM
There are several choices of excursions in Ghent, depending on your interests. Stroll through the Capital of East Flanders, learning about its unique history on your walking tour, or pedal through the spellbinding town on a guided bike tour. Alternatively, visit Bruges, one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe, on a full-day excursion that includes the renowned Church of Our Lady, home to the beautiful Carrara marble Madonna and Child sculpture by Michelangelo. If you prefer a shorter excursion in Bruges, visit the town later in the day or spend your afternoon at Ghent's moated Castle of the Counts, which boasts an eye-catching design as well as a ghoulishly interesting collection of medieval torture devices.
Saturday, May 14 - BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Explore Belgium's captivating capital on your guided walking tour or pedal through Brussels on a guided bike ride. If you are a history enthusiast, spend your day traveling back in time to sites related to World War II's historic Battle of the Bulge, which was the last major German offensive on the Western Front, and toast fallen soldiers with a tasting of Trappist beer brewed by monks. For those not joining this full-day tour, choose from afternoon excursions that include a visit to Gaasbeek Castle, the most romantic castle of Flanders, which today serves as a national museum, or delight your palate with a Belgian chocolate tasting.
Sunday, May 15 - ANTWERP, BELGIUM
Explore Belgium's trendy "City of Diamonds" on a walking tour where you'll see Antwerp's Steen Castle, Grote Market, and Brabo Fountain, along with the UNESCO-designated Cathedral of Our Lady. Active travelers may prefer instead to bike through Antwerp. Later in the day, beer enthusiasts will appreciate a tasting of the local brew while foodies may prefer our excursion to sample some of Belgium's famous Chocolates and waffles. An afternoon bike tour is also available for those who prefer to get their hear beating later in the day, and it includes an opportunity to visit the Red Star Line Museum, highlighting the historic shipping line responsible for transporting three million immigrants to America.
Monday, May 16 - DORDRECHT - KINDERDIJK
Established in 1220, Holland's oldest city was virtually destroyed by a devastating flood in the 15th century that essentially created the city's wetlands. Learn more about Dordrecht's fascinating history on your walking tour, or visit Rotterdam, the "Gateway to Europe," as well as Delfshaven, where, on August 1, 1620, the Pilgrim fathers departed on their epic journey aboard the Speedwell. Stopping in Southampton, many then boarded the Mayflower and concluded their journey at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. If you prefer to venture off the beaten path, head to the smaller town of Gorinchem with its picturesque Old Town or go on an architectural bike tour through Rotterdam. Later, board a boat in the town of Alblasserdam and let the wind tousle your hair as you sail to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk, a lovely village renowned for having the country's greatest concentration of windmills, all dating from the 18th century. You may also pedal past the windmills from the seat of a bike.
Tuesday, May 17 - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Disembark your ship and bid farewell to Amsterdam as you prepare for your return flight home.