14 Day Tulip Time River Cruise with Amsterdam & Paris (Monarch Empress)
14 days with Gate 1 Rating: Deluxe
River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Sunday - Depart for the Netherlands Depart for the Netherlands.
DAY 2, Monday - Arrive in Amsterdam Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland's sophisticated and modern capital. The remainder of the day is free to discover the many cultural sites this delightful city has to offer. Tonight, a Welcome Drink and orientation meeting with your local host at the hotel at approximately 6pm, followed by a briefing about the journey. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 4pm on Day 2 or earlier, if possible.
DAY 3, Tuesday - Amsterdam City Tour 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. The rest of the day is on your own. Perhaps, visit the world-renowned Van Gogh Museum and explore the largest collection of his works in the world. (Breakfast)
DAY 4, Wednesday - Rijksmuseum Tour & Cruise Embarkation This morning visit the world famous Rijksmuseum. On your guided tour you will explore the vast collection of works from some of the world's greatest artists including the Dutch masters Vermeer and Rembrandt. This afternoon transfer to the port for embarkation. After arrival formalities, rest and relax on board. This evening, meet your Cruise Director and enjoy a gala welcome dinner as it sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 5, Thursday - Full Day in Amsterdam Awake this morning in Amsterdam for a day at leisure to further discover Amsterdam on your own. Perhaps experience a taste of real Dutch life by renting a bike to discover the little alleyways, hidden courtyards, and canal-side treasures. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6, 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 7, 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 marketplace, 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 8, 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 (AM)
DAY 9, 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 10, 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 11, Wednesday - Tour Brussels This morning, bid farewell to your Cruise Director and meet your local host as you disembark your ship and travel through the countryside to reach Brussels. In Belgium's capital city, view the gigantic Atomium, that still remains from the 1958 World Expo, the Palace of Justice and the Grand Place, a recreated 15th century town square with decorated guild houses. Stroll the city center with the well-known Manneken Pis bronze sculpture before continuing to your journey to Paris. Upon arrival this evening, start the discovery of the "City of Lights", one of the world’s greatest cities with its endless treasures. (Breakfast)
DAY 12, Thursday - Tour of Paris Drive along the famous Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe and the iconic Eiffel Tower, a symbol of Paris. On to the celebrated "Rive Gauche", the vivacious Left Bank where artists, philosophers, and writers in a long gone era flourished in the artistic community at Montparnasse. View the Latin Quarter, home to many of France’s higher education establishments, such as the Sorbonne. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure or join the optional tour to the remarkable Louvre Museum, one of the most famous landmarks in Paris. Of the many exhibitions found therein, you will see the medieval fortress, the modern pyramid, and the museum's most reputed masterpiece, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. After, remain at the Louvre or visit bustling Montmartre on your own. (Breakfast)
Optional: Louvre Museum (PM)
DAY 13, Friday - Full Day in Paris The day is yours to explore this exciting city independently. See spectacular views of the city, the Basilica of Sacre Coeur, and walk the winding streets to mingle with the street artists selling their wares at Place du Tertre. Don't miss the optional tour to magnificent Versailles to witness the grandeur of French classical architecture on the visit to the Palace and the extravagant State Apartments. This evening, perhaps stop at a bistro for dinner coupled with great wine. (Breakfast)
Optional: Versailles Apartments (AM)
DAY 14, Saturday - Depart France Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (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
Tour Brussels' re-created 15th century town square with decorated guild houses
Discover Paris, the "City of Lights", with its endless treasures
All This Included
12 nights accommodations
River port charges of $190 per person
Cruise & hotel porterage
25 meals: 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Cruise director & activities host throughout cruise
Local host in Amsterdam & Paris
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 basic Wi-Fi access
Self-serve coffee and tea station
Lounge serving premium spirits
Daily entertainment including an on-board musician
Non-smoking ship interior
Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Monarch Empress
Amsterdam: Bilderberg Garden Hotel, Apollo Hotel Amsterdam, Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam Rembrandtpark or Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel
Paris: Pullman Paris Montparnasse
Land/Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers. 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. The Monarch Empress is equipped with elevator access between the Empress and Countess decks, however passengers will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes while touring. Kindly refer to our Terms for additional information. While sailing with Monarch Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise's Terms & Conditions.
Know Before You Book - High & Low Water 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.