Day 1 Ghent, Belgium
Buildings with stair-stepped gables, the meeting of the rivers Scheldt and Leie, intact and well-preserved medieval architecture, a brooding castle, the famed Ghent Altarpiece. Ghent has much to admire, including a grounded personality that doesn’t prove too protective of its treasures. Rather, the place is welcoming and hard working—and hard playing—a center of industry that trades goods and a lively cultural scene that exchanges ideas. Walk along Ghent’s pretty canals, wander into its stunning churches, stop to appreciate the flowers that adorn its squares and alleyways and become enchanted by a city that was once one of Europe’s richest north of the Alps and continues to enrich the experience of travelers.
Days 2 & 3 Antwerp, Belgium
What Milan is to Italy, Antwerp is to Belgium, a historic city that is on-trend with a finger on the pulse of fashion, art and entertainment. A dynamic energy fills Antwerp’s old squares, gorgeous with cobbled centers and edged, like a cake with decorative icing, by ornate buildings. High-reaching church towers and fountains with cherubic sculptures add to the feeling of antiquity, while the port—the largest in Belgium and one of the largest in the world—brings a sense of purpose and prosperity. Surely, you associate Antwerp with diamonds. More than 70 percent of all diamonds are traded through this sparkling city, one that also shines under the light of celebrated painter Peter Paul Rubens, who lived and worked in an Italianate city manse, now a museum.
Visit the palatial home-museum of Peter Paul Rubens, where you will admire the restored 17th-century estate with exquisite gardens and see a selection of the artist’s works. Head to Brussels to experience this fascinating capital of Belgium and the European Union, home to one of Europe’s most beautiful squares, the Grand Place. You won’t soon forget your look at the immense Delta Works, a vast complex of dams, locks, dykes and levees built to protect the lowlands from floods.
Day 4 Dordrecht, Netherlands
Like many cities in the Netherlands, Dordrecht is surrounded by water and indeed infiltrated by it, beautifully so with canals that crisscross and connect cobbled neighborhoods and old squares. The best way to discover the town is by foot and, of course, by boat. Look up to see tilting buildings with classic, Dutch-style facades and simply look around to encounter Dordrecht’s plentiful monuments (they number more than a thousand) and relish a rich history. With a charter dating to 1220, Dordrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and became one of the most prosperous, gaining prestige and influence thanks to—again, water—as its harbor welcomed goods and boosted the wine trade. Certainly, you won’t want to trade any of your time spent in here this delightful Dutch destination.
A true Dutch treat—not only will you explore Dordrecht’s beautiful Old Town, discover its lovely canals and experience the lively marketplace but you will also venture to Kinderdijk to see the 19 authentic windmills, iconic symbols of the Netherlands and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Days 5 & 6 Amsterdam, Netherlands (Overnight)
Experience what the Netherlands is best known for: art, flowers, canals and Anne Frank. Visit the famed Rijksmuseum, home to Golden Age masterpieces, most notably Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and Vermeer’s The Milkmaid. At the Anne Frank House, the third most visited museum in the Netherlands, see the reconstructed bookcase and empty rooms that concealed Anne, her family and four others for more than two years. Her original diary is also on display. Pay a call to the Rembrandt House, where the artist lived and worked in the 1650s, to discover original sketches and paintings and interiors furnished as they were during his time. Marvel at masterpieces of nature at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the largest flower auction in the world, and glorious Keukenhof, a 79-acre park known as the “Garden of Europe.” The sights are as numerous as the flowers as you enjoy even more, including a scenic morning canal cruise and an exploration of the Zaanse Schans Open-Air Museum, a re-recreated 17th-century village complete with windmills and artisan workshops.
Day 7 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Disembark
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.