9-Night Best of
Holland & Belgium Cruise
April 23-May 3, 2022
Saturday, April 23 - USA - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Fly to Amsterdam. (Airfare extra)
Sunday, April 24 - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (OVERNIGHT)
Your day is free to explore on your own.
Monday, April 25 - 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, April 26 - 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, April 27 - AMSTERDAM - HOORN
Enjoy a scenic cruise through the IJsselmeer to Horn, where you have a choice of three excursions.
Visit a family-run tulip farm with over one million tulips, each in different phases of growth and in many species and colors. For those seeking to travel back in time, you can visit the Zuiderzee Museum providing insight into the maritime culture and history of the lively Zuiderzee region. And for more active adventures, go for aguided bike ride through the Dutch countryside.
Thursday, April 28 - MIDDELBURG, BELGIUM
After enjoying a scenic cruise through the Delta, you can explore medieval Middelburg, which was the second-largest trading city of the Dutch East India Company. Or, if you feel like exploring the city on two wheels, a guided bike ride is a perfect choice. Alternatively, you may discover the intriguing history of how the Delta Works, a unique storm surge barrier, came to be while visiting the Flood Museum. More than half of the Netherlands lies below sea level and the Delta Works were built to prevent a recurrence of the 1953 flood disaster.
Friday, April 29 - 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. Those more inclined to learn about the art of Belgian chocolate making can join a master chocolatier as he shares his insights. And for those who wish to enjoy more free time, join a walking tour of Ghent, followed by leisure time.
Saturday, April 30 - ANTWERP, BELGIUM
Explore this trendy city on a walking tour where you'll see Antwerp's Sten Castle, Grote Market and Brabo Fountain, along with the UNESCO-designated Cathedral of Our Lady. For a more active exploration of the area, join a guided bike tour. Or you can visit the Rubens House, the former home of the famous 17th-century Flemish Baroque painter. Later in the afternoon, you have a choice of two excursions. Foodies will want to go on a culinary tour to indulge in chocolate, waffles and beer. Flower lovers and gardeners can roam through the Floralia, an annual spring flower show featuring approximately one million bulbs that are hand-planted each year by the castle staff.
Sunday, May 1 - ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - KINDERDIJK - SHOONHOVEN
During the morning, you can go on a walking tour of Rotterdam, nicknamed the "Gateway to Europe," and taste local specialties. Or visit Delfshaven, where, on August 1, 1620, the Pilgrim fathers departed on their epic journey aboard the Spedwell. Stopping in Southamption, many then boarded the Mayflower and concluded their journey at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. Alternatively, go on an excursion to Delft, known as the home of the painter Johannes Vermeer Delft Blue eathenware and the Royal House. While here, you'll visit the Royal Delft Porcelain Factory and Museum. If you prefer a more active adventure, then go on a bike ride through Rotterdam and past some of its famous landmarks and architecture. In the afternoon, venture 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.
Monday, May 2 - AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Spend the day admiring Amsterdam's historic harbor and canals, where you'll see beautiful homes lining the water and the fabled Skinny Bridge. It has a reputation for free-spirited and very liberal lifestyles. Some might call it Europe's most "radical" city, but one cannot deny the beauty of Amsterdam and its rich history. Amsteram is a cultural center of Europe, as exemplified in its more than 140 art galleries and 40m museums. In addition, it is famous for its baroque architecture, canals, and cobblestone streets where the favored mode of transportation is the bicycle.
Tuesday, May 3 - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Disembark your ship and bid farewell to Amsterdam as you prepare for your return flight home.