Essential Holland: Tulips in Spring - 2020

9-day river cruise with Amsterdam, Enkhuizen, Arnhem, Antwerp, Zelzate, Middelburg, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Amsterdam
  • $329
  • 10
  • 19
11 DAYS FROM $3,898
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Brussels, Belgium

4 DAYS FROM $699

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

3 DAYS FROM $799

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Perhaps it is the kaleidoscope of vibrant colors which greet you among the world’s most illustrious gardens and flower markets — or the welcoming flavors and aromas to entice you into every elegant restaurant, trendy café, and home kitchen. One thing is certain: a delightful journey to Belgium and the Netherlands is sure to put the spring in your step.

Stroll or cycle along the iconic canals of Amsterdam and Bruges, the boutiques of fashion-savvy Antwerp, homes with stepped gable facades, and the modern architectural gems of Rotterdam. Behold the full power of flowers with a visit to the world’s ultimate Garden Party at Keukenhof Gardens and marvel at the splashes of color in world-class art museums, featuring masterpieces by native sons like Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondrian. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to savoring local treasures like the nineteen UNESCO-designated Kinderdijk windmills alongside culinary pleasures like Belgian beer and waffles, Dutch pancakes and stroopwafles, herring, and mussels and fries. That is, of course, if you can find room after indulging in a diet that could easily consist entirely of various types of chocolates and cheeses — including Gouda, Edam, Limburger, Mimolette, Leerdammer, and others.

But that’s just the start of this appetizing journey. Vantage has curated exclusive culinary features and Cultural Connections to bring you right into the heart of one of Europe’s most breathtaking regions — rich in culture, history, and gastronomic delights. Experience Dutch hospitality as you are welcomed into a home for an aperitif and appetizer. Join us for lively cooking demonstrations and tastings, learning how to make such local specialties as Belgian chocolate. (The best souvenirs are always handmade and taste delicious.) And come hungry as you venture with us on expeditions for the best cookies and market tours, courtesy of your Cruise Director and complimentary onboard Concierges. They’ll be there at your service, ready to enhance the enriching activities conveniently planned for you to medieval Bruges, charming Antwerp, and in the Netherlands’ capital, which also bookends your tour for the most convenient air routing and pacing.

Besides an unforgettable 10 included tours, nine Cultural Connections, and three UNESCO sites, you’ll enjoy the best value, too! We have exclusive cabins built just for solos, so you won’t pay a Single Supplement — plus, our convenient triple accommodation options for those reserving suites ensure that you can make it the more the merrier for just a few hundred dollars extra.

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 classical keys and strings 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 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. 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. 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. Cultural Connection: 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!

Included Meals:

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

Concentration Camp Breendonk

  • Approximate Cost:
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Antwerp
  • When: Morning Tour (limited availability)

A moving and striking example of the horrors of Nazism, the fortress of Breendonk has been preserved as a symbol to memorialize its victims. Pay your respects to 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.

Culinary Walking tour of Antwerp

Culinary Walking tour of Antwerp

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Antwerp
  • When: Afternoon Tour (limited availability)
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 gastronomic specialties. Try Belgian fries 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. 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. Active Feature: Golfers have the opportunity to hit a course today; contact your Concierge in advance for details. Cultural Connection: Tonight, take "A Journey to Dixieland" with some onboard entertainment!

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 and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. 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. Cultural Connection: Feel like channeling your inner artist? Spend a relaxing afternoon on board and join a painting lesson. You can also join an informative lecture onboard about the windmills and waterways of Holland.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

Discover the 19 Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Cultural Connection and Unforgettable Moment: 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.

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

Cultural Connections:

Begin your day with a presentation on the Dutch royals after breakfast on board. 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. Cultural Connection: After dinner, gather into the lounge for more onboard entertainment: From Operetta to Broadway.

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, The Netherlands
  • 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 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.

Please note: On Saturdays, the synagogue is not available for visits and will be replaced by the Jewish Historical Museum.

Red Light District Tour

Red Light District Tour

  • Approximate Cost:
  • Approximate Time: 2 hours
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • When: Evening

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.

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

Amsterdam, the Netherlands


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.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-888-514-1845

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Essential Holland: Tulips in Spring - 2020

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