4 DAYS FROM $699
4 DAYS FROM $999
Dutch Spring springs to life before your eyes as you gaze upon enchanting waterways and historic gems of the Low Counties. With 10 included tours, enhanced onboard entertainment, and a plethora of cultural discoveries, this traveler-favorite voyage is an unforgettable way to view the best of Holland and Belgium. Lose yourself in Technicolor splendor at the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, savor historic (and culinary!) highlights of Belgium as you tour artistic Antwerp and medieval Bruges, visit 19 UNESCO-designated windmills of Kinderdijk, and discover Dutch culture while interacting with local families and at local small shops Your 10-day Essential Holland river cruise is bookended by time in the treasured city of Amsterdam and offers the opportunity to explore three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Traveling solo? Vantage is the only company in the travel industry whose river ships include cabins built specifically for solo travelers. Experience treasured destinations without paying a Single Supplement. Come join us on this extraordinary Netherlands river cruise as we explore some of Europe's most picturesque waterways and historic wonders. Additional features and improved pacing enhance this journey for 2019!
Depart home for Amsterdam, Netherlands
Board an overnight flight to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Arrive in Amsterdam
Upon your arrival in Amsterdam, you’ll transfer to your Deluxe European river cruise ship, courtesy of Vantage (if you purchased your airfare through us). Or, if you like, begin your trip earlier with an optional extension in historic Brussels, Belgium. This afternoon, attend a Welcome Briefing and enjoy a drink in the lounge before dinner on board. Join us in the lounge tonight and relax to the sounds of a piano trio as your ship cruises peacefully towards Enkhuizen.
A trip to a local tulip farm, followed by an aperitif in a Dutch home
Cultural Connection: This morning, learn about modern life in Holland during an insightful presentation. Then, discover the trade secrets of tulip harvesting as you visit with some local bulbgrowers (keep in mind that flowers may not be in bloom depending on departure date). In the 17th century, this get-rich-quick scheme involved frenzied wheeling and dealing of rare tulip bulbs at exorbitant prices — until the bulb market crashed in 1637 — but today, the market is quite different. Later, you'll get a true feel for the local culture as you practice pronunciation during a Dutch language lesson. Cultural Connection and Unforgettable Moment: This afternoon, you'll be invited into a local home where you will sample an Aperitif, a typical Dutch drink. Following dinner this evening, let the music of the '70s take you back to "Funkytown" during a lively disco band performance.
Biking Opportunity: Cycle past the unique Lock of Houtribdijk during an easy 4-mile route. Click here for details.
Your choice of illuminating museums in Arnhem
Today you'll disembark in Arnhem, the site of an Allied Forces paratrooper landing and ensuing battle during World War II, where you’ll have your choice of tours. Visit Groesbeek and delve into World War II-era history with a visit to the Liberation Museum 1944-1945, an interactive experience that recreates conditions from the prewar days through the post-war rebuilding of the Netherlands and Europe, or explore the Kröeller-Müller Museum (closed on Mondays and holidays), which boasts an impressive collection of Van Gogh's work as well as a vast sculpture garden.
Biking Opportunity: Grab a bike and head to the Royal Burgers’ Zoo, a great family destination, during an easy 6-mile route. Click here for details.
Explore the architecture and culinary treats of Antwerp
Discover Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest city and one of Europe’s “undiscovered” gems, boasting beautiful gothic and baroque architecture and lively cafés. Among the landmarks we’ll see today is the impressive Antwerp Cathedral, which houses four incredible paintings by master Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and offers services every Sunday. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own, perhaps browsing the various shops, enjoying a game of golf at the Royal Antwerpen Golf Club, or joining your Cruise Director for a lively pub crawl. Alternatively, embark on your choice of optional tours: a delectable culinary walk through the city or an illuminating visit to the Concentration Camp in Breendonk. Back on board this evening, you're in for a real treat — a delicious Belgian chocolate-making demonstration, followed by a musical journey to Dixieland!
Biking Opportunity: Grab a bike and enjoy panoramic views of Antwerp and the Cathedral of Our Lady during an easy 4-mile route. Click here for details.
A moving and striking example of the horrors of Nazism, the fortress of Breendonk has been preserved as a symbol to memorialize the victims who passed through it. Pay your respects in honor of the 3,500 prisoners who passed through this camp between 1940 and 1944 and explore the gruesome history of the site and the Nazi occupation during an emotional guided tour.
Join us on a culinary walking tour through the streets of Antwerp that will allow you to try the signature foods and drinks that are Belgian culinary specialties. Try Belgian frites along with mayonnaise! Also taste a true “Belgian waffle,” which is much richer and more dense than the version you’ll find in North America. You will also taste Belgium’s exciting beer style before heading back to the ship!
Discover enchanting Bruges, by both foot and canal cruise
Unforgettable Moment: Today you'll enjoy an included excursion to picturesque Bruges, one of Europe's best-preserved medieval cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. First, experience Bruges on a walking tour with ancient cobbles under your feet and fairy-tale turrets overhead. We’ll stop inside the Church of Our Lady to study Madonna of Bruges in person, a small but remarkable marble sculpture by Michelangelo and one of his only works found outside of Italy. You'll then be enchanted by a new view of the city from a canal cruise as you glide beneath graceful bridges listening to commentary. After the tour, you'll have time to explore at your own leisure, and use the lunch money provided for a local meal.
Visit the Delta Works, followed by a tour of historic Veere
Gain fascinating insight into the innovative minds of the Dutch as we visit Delta Works, an engineering marvel designed to protect low-lying Holland from flooding. We journey next to the historic village of Veere, where we’ll take a short walk and pause for photos along the color waterfront before returning to the ship for lunch. Feel like channeling your inner artist? Spend a relaxing afternoon onboard and join a painting lesson.
Culinary Feature: Enjoy a cooking lesson in the Captains’ Club. Tonight: Pea Soup
Discover the Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cultural Connection: This morning, get an overview of the types and functions of Holland's graceful windmills during your visit to Kinderdijk. Nineteen UNESCO-designated original windmills line the canal here, all of them still in working order. You'll even enjoy a short canal cruise and step inside one of the windmills to see how it works! We’ll return to the ship for lunch and a presentation on the beautiful waterways of Holland. This afternoon, set out on a walking tour of Rotterdam, a city famous for its bike-friendly streets and one of the largest ports in the world. Back on board this evening, join your fellow travelers for a fabulous Captain's gala dinner, followed by evening entertainment.
Marvel at the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens
You'll be amazed by the grandest of Dutch gardens today as you travel to Keukenhof Gardens — the world’s largest flower fields and the heart of Dutch flower production. Once the kitchen garden of a medieval castle, you’ll find more than seven million tulips and a variety of other flowers in both indoor and outdoor exhibits. You’ll have leisure time to explore the garden on your own and receive a voucher for lunch. Back on the ship this evening, share a Farewell Drink with your fellow passengers before dinner.
A cruise along Amsterdam’s canal ring and a visit to the esteemed Rijksmuseum
Begin your day with a presentation on the Dutch Royals after breakfast onboard. Unforgettable Moment: Today you'll embark on a lovely canal cruise along the city’s 17th-century canal ring, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will then visit the recently renovated Rijksmuseum, home of Amsterdam’s premier art collection, including works by such Dutch masters as Rembrandt and Vermeer. In the afternoon after lunch on board, explore Amsterdam on your own or consider an optional cultural tour through the historic former Jewish district. This evening after dinner on the ship, relax onboard or embark on an optional tour through Amsterdam's Red Light district.
Biking Opportunity: Cycle past the traditional Dutch homes and romantic windmills of Amsterdam’s outskirts during an easy 20-mile route. Click here for details.
During centuries of persecution in Europe, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews fled to Amsterdam in order to live and worship in peace. That changed during World War II, when the Nazis invaded Holland and turned a theater in the Jodenbuurt Quarter into a deportation center, and this once-prosperous area into the infamous Jewish Ghetto. On this tour, you’ll visit this theater as well as the rest of the Jewish Cultural Quarter, which includes the Portuguese Synagogue and other monuments in this historic section of the city. Join us on this tour that highlights the powerful story of this unique part of Amsterdam.
On this optional tour, you’ll be introduced to Amsterdam’s oldest and most iconic neighborhood. Discover the colorful personality of this part of town, learning about its history as you stroll past the windows with red lights that gave the district its name. We’ll learn more about this area and its more infamous aspects when we visit a museum dedicated the world’s oldest profession.
Transfer to the Amsterdam airport for your flight home or join your optional extension
Enjoy a final breakfast on the ship before disembarking and transferring to the airport for your return flight home.
Important Notice:The above day-by-day itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert. In addition, should there be an extreme change in water levels, Vantage will do everything possible to provide either the included excursion or an alternate excursion at Vantage’s discretion.
Please Note: Port Times & Itineraries are subject to change. Fluctuating water levels may affect itinerary.