Day 1 – Brussels Airport, transfer to Antwerp (embark)
Arrive at Brussels Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship in Antwerp.
Day 2 – Antwerp
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Antwerp walking discovery tour with Cathedral of Our Lady OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Antwerp walking tour
Spend a full day in Antwerp with a choice of excursions. Be guided to the city’s architectural gems, including the Cathedral of Our Lady, which houses four masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens. If you wish to do as the locals do, stroll through the main shopping district and sample Belgium's culinary specialties. Bid farewell to your fellow travelers at the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Day 3 – Ghent (Bruges or Ghent)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full-day Bruges with canal cruise and walking discovery tour OR Ghent walking discovery tour with Ghent Floralies flower show
Choose between two lovely cities: Bruges or Ghent. Experience Bruges, one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, via foot and on a canal cruise. Ghent is one of the oldest Belgian cities and home to St. Bavo’s Cathedral. Visit the cathedral and its famous Ghent Altarpiece, one of the world’s historical art treasures, painted by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck in the 1400s.
Day 4 – Veere
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Delta Works museum and guided stroll into artists’ village of Veere
The Delta Works museum presents a wonderful overview of the engineering marvels used in the Netherlands’ long battle to hold back the sea. You’ll have time to explore Veere, a popular artists’ retreat.
Day 5 – Rotterdam, Kinderdijk, Dordrecht
FEATURED EXCURSION: Kinderdijk windmills
Cruise through the Rotterdam harbor, where you’ll have leisure time before setting sail to Kinderdijk. Join a local guide as you discover 19 astonishingly well-preserved windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Note: If docking in Kinderdijk is not possible, the excursion will be arranged by motorcoach from Rotterdam.
Day 6 – Nijmegen (Groesbeek or Nuenen)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of National Liberation Museum OR Kröller-Müller Museum visit
Nijmegen, the oldest town in the Netherlands, is your gateway to one of two intriguing discoveries today. WWII history buffs will want to visit the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek. Art lovers will wish to go to the Kröller-Müller Museum, home to the second-largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and Europe's largest sculpture park with famous works by Rodin and Moore, among others.
Day 7 – Hoorn (Enkhuizen)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Hoorn walking discovery tour and “Life on the Zuiderzee” outdoor museum visit
Two ports of call offer you insight into the Netherlands’ rich seafaring history. While visiting charming Hoorn’s old harbor, your guide will point out and explain the markings on medieval buildings noting the former inhabitants’ trades. At your next port of call, Enkhuizen, visit the fascinating Zuiderzee outdoor museum, a reconstructed fishing village from before the IJsselmeer Dam was built in 1932.
Day 8 – Amsterdam (Haarlem)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full day at Keukenhof Gardens OR Keukenhof Gardens combined with Haarlem walking discovery tour with Teylers Museum visit
Spend all day at the Keukenhof Gardens, one of the most impressive public gardens in the world, with more than seven million bulbs planted on a 70-acre site. Or spend a half day at the gardens and either relax onboard after lunch or experience charming and lively Haarlem, where you’ll explore the historic center before visiting Teylers Museum, the oldest museum in the Netherlands and home to a fascinating collection of fossils, historic scientific instruments and paintings, all displayed under skylights. *Note: Lunch is not included with the full day at Keukenhof Gardens.
Day 9 – Amsterdam
The laid-back, forward-thinking Dutch capital is as celebrated for its artistic masterpieces as it is for its canals, narrow houses, bicycles and vibrant nightlife. Discover the “Venice of the North” in two iconic ways today—a private visit to the Amsterdam Hermitage, plus a canal cruise or walking tour with a native of the city. The Netherlands’ largest city, Amsterdam has been an international port and financial center for 400 years, endowing it with a lively cosmopolitan feeling to match its historic architecture. Here, even the simplest shop has a distinctive charm, and every street has a story to tell. Your day begins with a morning tour of a rare collection of art—an extra special perk reserved solely for Uniworld guests. Later, see the sites by canal boat or stroll through the city’s streets like a local on a special guided tour.
Exclusive “Morning with the Masters” at the Amsterdam Hermitage
Choice of Amsterdam canal cruise or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Amsterdam walking tour
Exclusive “Morning with the Masters” at the Amsterdam Hermitage
The doors open early to give you a crowd-free viewing of an extraordinary collection of Dutch master paintings: 30 monumental group paintings from the golden age that have been called “cousins of The Night Watch.” Drawn from both the Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum, these works have rarely been displayed because of their enormous size. The Amsterdam Hermitage, however, devotes an enormous gallery space to this exhibit, which reveals the connections and activities of Amsterdam’s power elite in the 17th century. Meet mayors and regents, colonels of the civil guard, wealthy merchants and their wives and learn something of their lives and the lives of the artists who painted these massive portraits. (Visitors sailing in the spring will also have an opportunity to see a stunning group of 63 Dutch master paintings from the St. Petersburg Hermitage, on loan to the Amsterdam Hermitage through May 2018.)
Amsterdam canal cruise
It’s called the “Venice of the North” for a reason: Canals crisscross the heart of the old city, and bridges link some 90 islands. As the principal city in a newly independent Holland, Amsterdam was a boom town in the early 17th century, rapidly outgrowing its medieval walls. The city’s fathers responded by demolishing most of the old city and building all new, creating Europe’s first planned city. That “new” district is now 400 years old, and as you glide along the main canals, you’ll pass stately merchants’ houses built centuries ago (some of them are now house museums you can visit on your own). But the canals are not merely scenic; they are essential thoroughfares— people take water buses to work and live in houseboats along the banks—so a canal cruise gives you a look at the busy modern city too.
Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Amsterdam walking tour
Uncover some of Amsterdam’s most charming and little-known treasures with a stroll through the canal district that will take you to two very different historic residences. One is an oasis of quiet just steps from the city’s bustle: the Begijnhof, a residential court dating to the 14th century that was once home to a quasi-religious group, where you’ll find 47 townhouses (including the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam) surrounding a serene grassy courtyard. The other is the Museum Van Loon, a remarkable house museum that shows you how wealthy Amsterdam families have lived over the centuries. Willem van Loon was a founder of the Dutch East India Company, and the family’s history can be seen in the portraits, silver, porcelain and beautiful furniture found throughout the house. Behind the house, a formal garden leads to the classical façade of the coach house, which is now a gallery. This combination—house, garden and coach house—makes the Museum Van Loon unique; no other house museum in the city has managed to keep all three elements intact. Between your two destinations, you’ll pause for coffee and Dutch apple pie at a local café.
Day 10 – Amsterdam (disemark)
Disembark the ship and transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your return flight home.
See everything from tulips to windmills on this journey during the season of rebirth
From the canals of Amsterdam to the belfry of Bruges, you’ll discover the best of the Netherlands and Belgium. Stroll through colorful acres of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens to get a sense of the Netherlands’ extraordinary connection to these blooms. Then visit the 19 UNESCO-designated windmills of Kinderdijk to better understand how these mighty structures have been used to protect the Low Country from ever-rising water levels for hundreds of years.
Wander through the picture-perfect villages of Veere, Hoorn and Enkhuizen, and the enchanting outdoor Zuiderzee Museum. Uncover the rich treasures at Amsterdam’s world-class museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. Take in the dazzling skyline of Rotterdam as you cruise through the bustling harbor and drift along the canals of Bruges. All along the way, you’ll savor Dutch delights and Belgian treats as you sail the aquatic highways and byways of two amazing countries shaped by water.
Who will enjoy this cruise: Those who wish to step back in time may visit historic villages, medieval city centers and 20th-century battlefields. Art lovers will enjoy guided museum visits, while garden lovers will find a host of wonders with springtime blossoms.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients: 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
8 days of excursions, including "Choice Is Yours" options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided "Do as the Locals Do" and "Gentle Walking" programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio headset system on all excursions
Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
9-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the regal River Queen, imperial River Duchess or stunning River Princess
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
4 UNESCO World Heritage sites
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “Life and Art in the Golden Age of the Low Lands”
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.