DAY 1, Tuesday - Depart for the Netherlands Depart for the Netherlands
DAY 2, Wednesday - Cruise Embarkation in Amsterdam Arrive in Amsterdam. Embarkation begins at 2 pm. After arrival formalities, time to relax on board. Tonight, meet your Cruise Director and enjoy a gala welcome dinner as it sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. (Dinner)
DAY 3, Thursday - Panoramic Tour of Amsterdam Awake this morning in Amsterdam, one of the greatest small cities in the world, with its world-famous museums and historical sites. Today's panoramic tour of 700-year-old Amsterdam introduces you to both the old and the new sections of this city. View the Royal Palace on Amsterdam's Dam Square, the Queen's official home-away-from-home. On to the Dutch National Monument dedicated by Queen Juliana as a memorial to the victims of WWII and to the unusual Skinny Bridge, once so narrow that pedestrians could not pass each other. Then, board a glass-top boat and cruise the winding canals for an up-close view of the stately historic homes, 16th-century warehouses and charming churches with striking bell towers. Rejoin the ship for lunch on board, and spend a leisurely afternoon in Amsterdam. In the late afternoon, set sail to Nijmegen. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4, Friday - Tour Nijmegen, the Oldest Town in the Netherlands The ship docks in Nijmegen, the oldest town in the Netherlands with its beautiful river landscapes and magnificent historic buildings. Uncover traces of the city’s past on a walking tour, before roaming the unique shops, outdoor cafes and cozy restaurants on your own. This afternoon, art lovers will not want to miss the optional tour to the Kroller-Muller Museum, home to the second-largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world, as well as artwork by Mondrian, Seurat and Picasso. The ship sails this evening to Antwerp, Belgium. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Kroller-Muller Museum Tour (PM).
DAY 5, Saturday - Antwerp City Tour Today you arrive in Antwerp, one of Europe's largest and most historic port cities, where more than half of the world's diamonds are traded. Evidence of the wealth produced from trade during the 16th century can be seen in the opulent homes that line the city streets. The tour of the city begins at the Cathedral of our Lady, the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries and continues to the unique market place, surrounded by the mighty Renaissance Town hall and numerous guild halls. Rest of the day is at leisure in Antwerp, or return to the ship for a relaxing afternoon on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6, Sunday - Tour Ghent, the Historic Flanders Port Discover the historic Flanders port of Ghent today, a showcase of Flemish wealth. Your tour of this medieval city includes views of the 7th century St. Bavo's Cathedral and the imposing Gravensteen Castle. At the town center. View the gigantic Belfry, a symbol of the city’s independence and the Gothic-style Cloth Hall, glorifying the city’s major industry. Return to the ship or take the optional afternoon tour to Bruges, also known as the “Venice of the North” and home to some of Europe’s best preserved medieval buildings. Here, view the Lake of Love (Minnewater), the Beguinage Convent and walk along the picturesque winding cobbled alleys and romantic canals. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Bruges City Tour (PM).
DAY 7, Monday - Excursion to the Delta Works A fascinating excursion this morning to the Delta Works. After the 1953 flood in the Netherlands, where more than 1800 people drowned in one night, the Delta Plan was created to prevent a disaster of this magnitude from ever happening again. Taking 30 years to complete, the storm flood barrier, almost six miles long, stands as the final defense in the battle against the water and is considered a technical miracle. Rejoin the ship for lunch and continue cruising this afternoon towards Rotterdam where the ship will remain docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8, Tuesday - Morning in Keukenhof Gardens, Afternoon Windmill Tour in Kinderdijk Depart early this morning for beautiful Keukenhof Gardens, the largest and most spectacular flower gardens in the world, where a sea of multicolored tulips stretches out over the flat Dutch landscape as far as the eye can see. Rejoin the ship in Rotterdam for lunch on board. This afternoon visit a windmill park in the small village of Kinderdijk on the north bank of the River Noord. The windmills, built in the 1700s, are still in use today and played a vital role in the development of the country. During this excursion, visit a windmill and learn more about the modern technology that is now replacing their existence. Later, rejoin the ship for tonight’s Farewell Dinner as you cruise to Amsterdam. Share wonderful memories of your cruise with your Tour Manager and new-found friends. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 9, Wednesday - Depart the Netherlands Your vacation ends after breakfast. Disembarkation will end at 9:30 am. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
In Amsterdam, board a glass-top boat and cruise the winding canals
Visit Nijmegen, the oldest town in the Netherlands with its magnificent historic buildings
Dock in the historic Flanders port of Ghent, a showcase of Flemish wealth
Excursion to the Delta Works storm barrier, considered a technical miracle
Visit the windmill park in Kinderdijk built in the 1700s and still in use today
Explore the magnificent flower displays at Keukenhof Gardens
All This Included
7 nights outside cabin aboard the Deluxe Monarch Empress
River port charges of $190 per person
Cruise & hotel porterage
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Cruise director & activities host throughout cruise
Services of local guides in all major cities
Shore excursions per itinerary
Entrance fees per itinerary
Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring during excursions
River Cruise Features & Amenities
Gala Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner
Wine and beer with dinners
Locally inspired recipes
Early riser breakfast in addition to buffet breakfast
Late night snack
Complimentary Wi-Fi access in public areas
Self-serve coffee and tea station
Lounge serving premium spirits
Non-smoking ship interior
Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Monarch Empress
Cabin upgrades are available.
Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers. Passengers arriving to Amsterdam on Day 2 should select flights that arrive no later than 4:00 pm. Embarkation will begin at 2:00 pm however early arrivals may rest in the lounge if their assigned cabin is not ready upon check-in. Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs and walkers are not allowed on motor coaches and/or river cruises. There are no elevators or chair lifts on board. Kindly refer to our Terms for additional information. While sailing with Monarch Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise's Terms & Conditions.
European river cruising has gained in popularity for very good reason. It's a relaxing and convenient way to experience Europe while enjoying the comfort of a deluxe ship. However, before making the decision to reserve your vacation, please be aware of potential conditions which may impact your cruise. While most of the time river cruises operate exactly as planned, weather conditions may result in high or low water levels which impact a ship's itinerary and, on occasion, render a ship unable to sail at all. On very rare occasions, other events such as heavy fog, a damaged lock, or an incapacitated vessel blocking the river, may impact a sailing. These events typically occur with little or no notice. In the event that a cruise is partially or completely impacted, the itinerary will be operated by deluxe motor coach, accompanied by a Tour Manager, with overnights in hotels. The itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled sightseeing features as possible, considering the travel time and distances required, as well as meals. While it is not possible to recreate the more leisurely comforts of sailings, we will endeavor to provide a comparable itinerary. These alternative services will be provided at no additional charge.
This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Tulip viewing depends upon local and ever-changing weather conditions. Your Keukenhoff visit will last approximately two hours, adequate time to enjoy the floral varieties in bloom and spectacular sculptures. There is a potential for a small number of sailings to be impacted by river water levels, or other factors which may impact safe navigation. This may cause part or all of the cruise itinerary to be operated by motor coach and may also involve hotel accommodations.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
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.
Open Mon-Fri 7am to 10pm, Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 9am to 8pm, CST