Per person, twin share
See everything from tulips to windmills on this quintessential journey
From the canals of Amsterdam to the belfry of Bruges, you’ll discover the best of the Netherlands and Belgium. Stroll through colorful acres of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens to get a sense of the Netherlands’ extraordinary connection to these blooms. Then visit the 19 UNESCO-designated windmills of Kinderdijk to better understand how these mighty structures have been used to protect the Low Country from ever-rising water levels for hundreds of years. Wander through the picture-perfect villages of Veere, Hoorn and Enkhuizen, and the enchanting outdoor Zuiderzee museum. Uncover the rich treasures at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of the postimpressionist master’s paintings, and take in the dazzling skyline of Rotterdam as you cruise through the bustling harbor. Drift along the canals of Bruges, or discover Belgium’s thriving flower culture as Ghent’s famous flower show takes to the streets for the first time ever, and then “Do as the Locals Do” in vibrant Antwerp. All along the way, you’ll savor Dutch delights and Belgian treats as you sail the aquatic highways and byways of two amazing countries shaped by water.
9-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the River Duchess, River Princess or River Queen
• All gratuities for all onboard and onshore services
• All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
• Captain’s Welcome Gala and Captain’s Farewell Dinners
• Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
• 8 days excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
• Guided "Do as the Locals Do"
• An experienced Cruise Manager and attentive, all English-speaking staff
• State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio headset system on all shore excursions
• Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks throughout your cruise
• Captivating onboard local entertainment
• Cultural enrichment including Signature Lecture
• Scheduled airport transfers on arrival and departure days
unless sold out prior. Availability is limited.
DAY 1: Antwerp (Embark)
Arrive at Brussels International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
DAY 2: Antwerp
It may be the diamond capital of the world, but Antwerp is also known for a number of other sought-after cultural gems, including Golden Age art and Belgian beer, waffles and fries. Diamond capital of the world, Belgium’s largest port, home to trendsetting fashion designers and a mecca for chocolate lovers, Antwerp is lively and historic, lovely and legend-filled. Visit Antwerp’s striking Cathedral of Our Lady, with its UNESCO-designated belfry and its historic surroundings, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, hop on the metro and experience the city like a local.
A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 3: Ghent (Bruges or Ghent)
Bruges or Ghent? Choosing just one may be a challenge today on your first foray in Belgium. Bruges is a place that seems frozen in time, where boats and swans float down canals and under stone bridges that gave the city its name. Ghent is home to the Ghent Altarpiece, a stunning 15th-century masterpiece said to be the world’s most stolen work of art. Your first day in Belgium offers you the chance to visit one of two national gems: beautiful Bruges, the capital of West Flanders and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe; or fascinating Ghent, the capital city of East Flanders, whose long history does not weigh upon its vibrant present. Belgium’s second-largest city, Ghent abounds in beautifully restored medieval architecture, but there’s nothing museum-like about the city: It’s lively and brims with cutting-edge boutiques and galleries.
DAY 4: Veere
Delta Works museum
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, New York officials began to take serious interest in Dutch methods of controlling flooding. After all, the Dutch have been protecting lowland from the sea for 2,000 years; back in 1953, they responded to a storm—one not unlike Sandy—that flooded the countryside and killed almost 2,000 people by implementing a series of projects called Delta Works. You’ll see exhibits about this engineering marvel in nearby Neeltje Jans and visit a storm-surge barrier, a massive set of gates and piers that allow seawater to flow with the tides in and out of the estuary during normal weather. During a major storm, however, the gates can be closed to keep out the surging water. This incredible feat of engineering is a fascinating sight—but the Dutch will tell you that it is just one more front in their ongoing battle with the sea, which many coastal cities around the world may be studying.
Stroll into the artists’ village of Veere
A harbor village on the shores of the Western Scheldt, Veere may be a small town now, but its stately 15th-century town hall tells of a grander past. For three centuries it was the bustling center of the wool trade with Scotland; the wealth from this trade built the splendid church with its tall and ornate steeple that dominates the village, as well as the handsome mansions on its main street. Wander with the Cruise Manager through Veere’s central marketplace, where you will spot the well-known Scottish Houses, so called because Scottish wool merchants built them early in the 16th century when Veere was the primary port for Scottish trade goods. The Scots maintained a community in Veere, complete with their own church and laws, until Napoleon took over the region and eliminated their privileges. In 1896 an English art collector named Albert Lionel Ochs bought one of the two Scottish Houses and welcomed an enthusiastic group of international artists who were drawn to the scenic harbor and its fishing boats. For years painters set up their easels and painted the gentle seaside views, but after a dam closed off the harbor from the sea, the fishing boats left—and so did the artists. Today, the Scottish Houses serve as a lovely museum displaying the regional antiquities, folklore and life of the Zeeland province. And, interestingly enough, artists are once again painting in Veere, so perhaps a new colony will take root and flourish.
DAY 5: Rotterdam, Kinderdijk
Windmills are such an iconic symbol of Holland that it’s easy to overlook their marvelous engineering and their role in changing the course of Dutch history. You may never look at a windmill in quite the same way after today’s outing to historic Kinderdijk. The second-largest city in the Netherlands and the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam is thoroughly modern—much of its historic fabric was destroyed during WWII. As your ship cruises through the port, you’ll soon understand why it’s sometimes called “Manhattan on the Meuse”: The Maas Tower, the Montevideo, the Millennium Tower and the spectacular Erasmus Bridge make for a dazzling skyline. You’ll have some free time to explore this exciting modern city on your own. Take a look at the amazing cube houses, stop by Groos for unique pieces by Rotterdam designers, check out the new market hall or visit one of Rotterdam’s many museums.
DAY 6: Nijmegen
For your choice of excursions today, we searched for two museums as unlike each other as possible (and we think we succeeded). The National Liberation Museum offers a memorable taste of what life was like in The Netherlands before, during and after WWII. The Kröller-Müller Museum is home to 97 works by native son Vincent Van Gogh, as well as other notable artists and sculptors. Nijmegen, the oldest town in the Netherlands (founded more than 2,000 years ago), is your gateway to one of two intriguing discoveries today. You can either learn more about the Netherlands’ WWII history during a guided tour of the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek or discover one of the world’s great Van Gogh collections at the Kröller-Müller Museum.
DAY 7: Hoorn, Enkhuizen
The tip of South America—Cape Horn—is actually a misspelling of “Hoorn,” which tells you a lot about the town of Hoorn and its seafaring past. The swash-buckling derring-do of Dutch explorers comes to life today on a guided walking tour of this historic locale. Later, leave the modern world far behind during a visit to a re-created 19th-century Dutch village. Today offers you a chance to discover the Netherlands’ maritime history, with visits to two historic towns linked to the Dutch East India Company (which dominated Europe’s trade with Asia for centuries), and to learn a little about the daily lives of the seafaring Dutch in the 19th century.
DAY 8: Haarlem
Keukenhof is said to be the world’s largest and most famous flower garden, a bold declaration that actually lives up to the hype. Spend all day amongst millions of brilliantly colored flowers, or mix it up a bit with a shorter garden visit plus Haarlem and the oldest museum in The Netherlands. Spend the entire day roaming through acres of blooming tulips at the famed Keukenhof Gardens or split your time between the iconic garden and exploring historic Haarlem and the Netherlands’ first museum.
DAY 9: Amsterdam
The laid-back, forward-thinking Dutch capital is as celebrated for its artistic masterpieces as it is for its canals, narrow houses, bicycles and vibrant nightlife. Discover the “Venice of the North” in two iconic ways today—a private visit to the Amsterdam Hermitage, plus a canal cruise or walking tour with a native of the city. The Netherlands’ largest city, Amsterdam has been an international port and financial center for 400 years, endowing it with a lively cosmopolitan feeling to match its historic architecture. Here, even the simplest shop has a distinctive charm, and every street has a story to tell. Your day begins with a morning tour of a rare collection of art—an extra special perk reserved solely for Uniworld guests. Later, see the sites by canal boat or stroll through the city’s streets like a local on a special guided tour.
DAY 10: Amsterdam (Disembark)Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your flight home.
*Conditions apply. Prices correct as at 1 November 2017 but may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offers subject to availability. Agents may charge service fees, rates vary. Payments by credit card will incur a surcharge. Airfare not included unless otherwise stated. All savings are included in the advertised price. Offer is valid up to Category 1 Staterooms, excluding suites, and subject to availability at time of booking. Advertised price is based on Cat. 5, 22 March 18 departure. Offer valid on selected 2018 itineraries and departure dates. Offer excludes suites. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers except River Heritage Club savings/benefits. Offer is capacity controlled and may be modified or withdrawn at any time. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. Please check all prices, availability and other information before booking. Uniworld and Helloworld Travel booking terms and conditions apply, see in store for details.
*Conditions apply. Prices correct as at 1 November 2017 but may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offers subject to availability. Agents may charge service fees, rates vary. Payments by credit card will incur a surcharge. Airfare not included unless otherwise stated. All savings are included in the advertised price. Offer is valid up to Category 1 Staterooms, excluding suites, and subject to availability at time of booking. Advertised price is based on Cat. 5, 22 March 18 departure. Offer valid on selected 2018 itineraries and departure dates. Offer excludes suites. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers except River Heritage Club savings/benefits. Offer is capacity controlled and may be modified or withdrawn at any time. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. Please check all prices, availability and other information before booking. Uniworld and Helloworld Travel booking terms and conditions apply, see in store for details.Read more