Essential Holland: Tulips in Spring - 2019

9-night river cruise with Amsterdam, Enkhuizen, Arnhem, Antwerp, Zelzate, Middelburg, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Amsterdam
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Round-trip Amsterdam

Pre-Trip Extension

Brussels, Belgium

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DAY 1:

Depart home for Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Board an overnight flight to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

DAY 2:

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.

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

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 bulb growers (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. 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. 

Biking Opportunity: Cycle past the unique Lock of Houtribdijk during an easy 4-mile route. Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 4:

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 re-creates conditions from the prewar days through the postwar 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. Cultural Connection: Later, you'll get a true feel for the local culture as you practice pronunciation during a Dutch language lesson.

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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 5:

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, or embark on an emotional visit to the concentration camp in Breendonk. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own, perhaps browsing the various shops, or enjoying a game of golf at the Royal Antwerpen Golf Club. Alternatively, embark on your choice of optional tours: a delectable culinary walk through the city. Back on board this evening, you're in for a real treat — a delicious Belgian chocolate-making demonstration.

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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Concentration Camp Breendonk,

Concentration Camp Breendonk

  • Approximate Cost: $75 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3.5 hours
  • Location: Antwerp, Belgium
  • When: Morning tour

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.

Belgian Culinary Delights

Belgian Culinary Delights

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 2.5 hours
  • Location: Antwerp
  • When: Afternoon 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!

DAY 6:

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. 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. Cultural Connection: Tonight, enjoy more onboard entertainment as you embark on a musical journey to Dixieland! 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

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. This afternoon you can experience a lecture on transatlantic connections.

Culinary Feature: Enjoy a cooking lesson in the Captain's Club tonight: pea soup!

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

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. Feel like channeling your inner artist? Spend a relaxing afternoon onboard and join a painting lesson. 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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

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 on board, enjoy another delicious dinner, and then let the music of the '70s take you back to "Funkytown" during a lively disco band performance.

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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Jewish Cultural Quarter Tour

Jewish Cultural Quarter Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $75 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • When: Afternoon tour

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 Jewish Historical Museum 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.

DAY 11:

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.

Included Meals:


Post-Trip Extension

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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.

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Essential Holland: Tulips in Spring - 2019

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