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Essential Holland & Belgium Culinary Cruise: Tulips in Spring - 2021

9-night river cruise with Amsterdam, Enkhuizen, Arnhem, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Middelburg, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam
  • FROM BEER AND CHOCOLATE TO FRIES AND WAFFLES, BELGIAN FOOD DELIGHTS THE TASTE BUDS
  • MARVEL AT THE KALEIDOSCOPIC OF BLOOMS AT KEUKENHOF GARDENS
  • TOUR MEDIEVAL BRUGES, THE UNESCO-LISTED "VENICE OF THE NORTH"
  • DISCOVER THE UNESCO-LISTED KINDERDIJK WINDMILLS, A QUINTESSENTIALLY DUTCH COLLECTION OF 19 WORKING WINDMILLS
  • CRUISE AMSTERDAM’S 17TH-CENTURY CANAL RING, A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$3,199
  • $319
    PER DAY
  • 10
    DAYS
  • 26
    TOURS
TRIP WITH AIR
11 DAYS FROM $3,798
Luxury
Extend Your journey (3 available)
Brussels, Belgium

4 DAYS FROM $849

Paris, France

4 DAYS FROM $1,349

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Each spring, vast fields of tulips transform the Dutch countryside into a blazing patchwork of color. Glide along the tranquil waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium aboard a Deluxe Vantage river cruise ship, with ample stops to enjoy the flower-filled culture and enhanced culinary features including chocolates, cheeses, beers, and beyond — as well as lessons on how to make these Dutch specialties during a cooking class at Amsterdam’s renowned De Kookfabriek.

On this journey, you’ll also visit the famous Keukenhof Gardens and go inside the working farm of a bulb grower. But there’s more to the Low Countries than their beautiful blooms. You’ll witness the inner workings of the famous Dutch windmills of Kinderdijk and see the modern-day version of water management at the mammoth Delta Works. Enjoy a boat tour of the canals that lend medieval Bruges and charming Amsterdam their unique characters. Explore the gems of Antwerp and Rotterdam on a walking tour — and by bicycle if you wish. In all, 11 included tours, with admission to many historical museums, add up to the most inclusive river cruise of its kind.

Plus, 16 Cultural Connections bring you even closer. On board, lectures illuminate your understanding of modern Holland, the Dutch royal family, and the nation’s windmills and waterways; a chocolate-making demonstration gives you a sweet taste of a culinary favorite; a painting lesson helps you channel your inner Vermeer; and evening entertainment lends a lively cultural soundtrack to your journey. On shore, raise a Dutch aperitif with a family in their home. Opportunities for biking, active walking, and golfing on world-class courses help you make this journey your own.



Round-trip Amsterdam

Pre-Trip Extension

Brussels, Belgium

FROM: $849 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $212 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Board your flight to Amsterdam

Board an overnight flight to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Or begin your trip early with a pre-trip extension in Brussels, Belgium’s sophisticated capital.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Amsterdam

If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your ship. This afternoon, attend a Welcome Briefing.

After a Welcome Drink with the captain, you’ll enjoy 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.

Cultural Connection:

  • Onboard evening entertainment in the lounge
Active Feature:
  • Biking opportunities throughout the duration of your cruise — see your Concierge to sign up for one of the included cycling tours
Vantage Onboard Enrichment:
  • Morning yoga and stretching, offered throughout the duration of your cruise
  • Optional early risers’ breakfast in the Captain’s Club, offered throughout the duration of your cruise
  • Chess, shuffleboard, track, spa, and other amenities

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Visit a local tulip farm; enjoy an aperitif in a Dutch home

This morning, learn about life in modern Holland during an insightful onboard lecture. Then, discover the trade secrets of tulip harvesting as you visit with some local bulb growers*. In the 17th century, “Tulipmania” took hold of Holland as bulbs were traded at exorbitant prices. The bulb market crash in 1637 ended all that, but the popularity of the Dutch tulip endures, as you’ll see during this enriching tour. This afternoon, you'll be invited into a local home where you will sample a typical Dutch aperitif. This is a rare opportunity to connect with locals where they live and to exchange stories of tradition and customs with your welcoming hosts.

Tonight, enjoy a fun community social media session, and learn how to share your cruise highlights. Pick up some fun new selfie tips, too!

*If tulips are not in season, we will visit a greenhouse to see the blooms grow up close.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Home-hosted aperitif with a local Dutch family
Included Feature:
  • Visit a bulbgrower in Julianadorp
Cultural Connection:
  • Lecture on “Modern Holland”

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Your choice of illuminating museums in Arnhem

Disembark in Arnhem — the site of an Allied Forces paratrooper landing and ensuing battle, part of the famed Operation Market Garden of World War II. Choose from two museum visits here. Visit Groesbeek and the Freedom 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.

Return to the ship for lunch, then choose how you’ll spend your afternoon. Join your Concierge for a guided bike ride to lovely Zypendaal Park, or embark on a guided walking tour of Arnhem to take in the sights and World War II history, forever immortalized to celluloid in the film A Bridge Too Far. During your walk, enjoy a stop for a scrumptious cookie tasting. Later, you'll get a true feel for the local culture as you practice pronunciation during a Dutch language lesson.

Included Feature:

  • Your choice of tours: Visit Groesbeek and the Freedom Museum or explore the Kröeller-Müller Museum
Cultural Connections:
  • Dutch language lesson
  • Cookie tasting during walking tour of Arnhem
Biking Opportunity:

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. On a morning walking tour, admire the impressive Antwerp Cathedral, which houses four incredible paintings by master Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and offers services every Sunday — or elect our optional tour to visit Fort Breendonk, the former Nazi prison camp that now serves as a national memorial and museum and honor those who perished here during the Holocaust (if you join this optional tour, you’ll enjoy the city walking tour after lunch on board).

Lunch is on board, followed by an afternoon at leisure to explore on your own or join a delightful optional culinary walking tour of Antwerp! Your taste buds will thank you as you sample specialties like Belgian waffles, local beers, chocolates and other confections.

Back on board this evening, you're in for a real treat — a delicious Belgian chocolate-making demonstration by a local confectioner. You can also look forward to a fascinating talk with your Cruise Director tonight.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Antwerp with Cathedral of Antwerp
Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard chocolate making demo
Active Features:
  • Tee off at the Royal Antwerp Golf Club, Belgium’s oldest — contact your Concierge in advance for details
  • Option for a more active take on the Antwerp walking tour

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Fort Breendonk: the Former Nazi Prison Camp,

Fort Breendonk: the Former Nazi Prison Camp

  • Approximate Cost: $75 USD per person
  • 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.


Belgian Culinary Delights

Belgian Culinary Delights

  • Approximate Cost: $75 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:

Your choice of tours: Explore enchanting Bruges or Ghent, by both foot and canal cruise

Today, choose between two unforgettable experiences in two of Belgium’s most endearing cities.

Set off for Bruges on a full-day excursion to one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A walking tour takes you to Begijnhof area and the historic center, where you’ll see highlights such as the Church of Our Lady and Grote Markt. Next, embark on a scenic canal cruise, gliding beneath graceful bridges for different views of the city while deepening your knowledge of Bruges thanks to expert commentary. Enjoy leisure time as well as provided lunch money in the local currency to use at any of the local cafés.

Calling all beer lovers! Our next option whisks you to lively Ghent for a guided walking tour and free time to explore before embarking on a canal ride to the popular Gruut Brewery, where herbs are used instead of hops. Note the difference during a tasting and tour. Back on the ship tonight, unwind in the lounge with more onboard entertainment.

Vantage Exclusives:

  • Your choice of tours: Full-day Bruges tour with canal cruise and provided lunch money or half-day tour to Ghent with canal cruise and beer tasting at a local brewery (lunch on board)
Cultural Connection:
  • Evening entertainment on board provide by Journey to Dixieland
  • Beer tasting in Ghent
Active Feature:
  • Golfers have the opportunity to hit a course today; contact your Concierge in advance for details

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 you visit Delta Works. One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, this engineering marvel was designed to protect low-lying Holland from flooding. Journey next to the historic village of Veere, where you take a short walk and pause for photos along the colorful waterfront before returning to the ship for lunch. During a fascinating onboard lecture, learn about transatlantic connections forged by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After dinner, attend an informative lecture onboard about the windmills and waterways of Holland.

Included Feature:

  • Excursion to Veere and Delta Works, one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World
Cultural Connections:
  • Lecture on “Transatlantic Connections”
  • Presentation on the Windmills and Waterways of Holland
Biking Opportunity:

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Discover the UNESCO-listed Kinderdijk windmills and explore Rotterdam

This morning, marvel at Holland’s iconic Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All 19 are in full working order still today. A short canal cruise provides a dramatic perspective of these graceful beauties and you’ll step inside one of them to see how it works! Alternatively, head off on a bike tour of Kinderdijk, including a delicious cheese tasting at a popular local farm shop.

We’ll return to the ship for lunch. After, harness the inspiration of the serene Dutch landscapes and tap into your inner Rembrandt during a painting lesson as the ship sails to Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port. Despite its size, it is a surprisingly intimate city, as you will discover during a walking tour. One of the city’s most dynamic structures is the bustling Market Hall, and we’ll stop here to savor a sampling of local specialties. Back on board, enjoy a Henri Willig cheese demonstration and tasting. If you prefer, you can take one of our bikes out to explore Rotterdam’s vibrant city center. You’ll find this to be one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe.

Join us for a pub crawl this evening to sample some of Holland’s famous pale lagers, perhaps Heineken or Grolsch. We also welcome you to attend the Captain's Gala Dinner onboard tonight.

Included Features:

  • Guided walking tour of Rotterdam
  • Guided excursion to UNESCO-listed Kinderdijk with canal cruise
Cultural Connections:
  • Local product tasting in Rotterdam’s Market Hall
  • Onboard painting lesson
  • Henri Willig cheese tasting
  • Dutch pub crawl
Biking Opportunities:
  • Join your Concierge on an easy-paced bike tour of Kinderdijk, including a delicious cheese tasting at a popular local farm shop. Click here for details
  • Explore Rotterdam by bicycle on an easy and flat 6-mile route that takes you across the Willemsbrug and Erasmus Bridge. Click here for details

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, this stunning showcase features 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 gardens 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. Dance the evening away during tonight’s “Netherlands Night Fever” music show!

Included Feature:

  • Excursion to Keukenhof Gardens with voucher for lunch
Cultural Connection:
  • Evening onboard entertainment: “Netherlands Night Fever”

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Amsterdam: Culture Capital

This morning, discover historic homes and Amsterdam’s timeless, fairy-tale beauty as you embark on a scenic canal cruise along the city’s 17th-century canal ring, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. After, work up an appetite with an exclusive cooking workshop at De Kookfabriek. Here, you’ll learn how to whip up your own lunch of Dutch specialties before an afternoon at leisure to explore on your own.  Or, perhaps you’ll join us for an optional Jewish Culture Walk through the historic former Jewish district. Highlights include the Hollandsche Schouwburg and Portuguese Synagogue. Before dinner tonight, enjoy a lecture on the Dutch Royals in the lounge.

Vantage Exclusives:

  • Cruise Amsterdam’s UNESCO-listed canal ring
  • De Kookfabriek cooking workshop
Cultural Connection:
  • Lecture on the Dutch Royals

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Jewish Cultural Walk

Jewish Cultural Walk

  • Approximate Cost: $89 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.

The Hollandsche Schouwburg will temporarily close its doors for renovation from June 2020 and is expected to re-open in September 2022. During this period, groups will visit the Jewish Historical Museum.


DAY 11:

Disembark and transfer to the airport or begin your optional extension

Enjoy a final breakfast on the ship before disembarking and transferring to the Amsterdam airport for your return flight home. Alternatively, remain in Amsterdam for our discovery-rich extension, or jet off to Paris for a 3-night extension (depending on departure date).

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

FROM: $849 PER PERSON | 3 DAYS | $283 PER DAY

Paris, France

FROM: $1349 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $337 PER DAY

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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