This scenic river cruise gets underway from Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam. This 700-year-old city offers an abundance of classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants to explore before you embark on your river cruise through Holland and Belgium.
Sail through Rotterdam’s harbor, said to be the world’s busiest port. Garden enthusiasts will delight in a visit to see the breathtaking colors of Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe.” With 70 acres of parkland and lakes, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Alternatively, an excursion to the city of Gouda, famous for its cheese, is available. Next, sail to Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest city, combining ancient buildings and monuments with modern architecture. A medieval port city, it offers many chic shops, museums and galleries, and classic cafés. The Grote Markt is located in the heart of the old city quarter and includes the splendid City Hall and beautiful homes from the 16th century. In Ghent, Belgium, join a local expert for a guided tour of the city, including a visit to St. Baaf’s Cathedral, housing important works of Flemish art. Back in Holland, Middelburg was formerly an important trading city and you still get a sense of its wealth today with its impressive structures like the gothic Town Hall, Abbey Tower, and bustling Market Square. No trip to Holland is complete without a visit to the technical miracle that is the Delta Works, a storm flood barrier almost six miles long, constructed after the floods of 1953 during which more than 1,800 people drowned in one night.
This beautiful and historic springtime river cruise vacation concludes with more time to explore the wonderful city of Amsterdam offering historical 17th-century buildings, sculptures, and museums—combined with a an exciting and modern feel. See the most fascinating areas of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”
· Spacious outside deluxe accommodations with enhanced soundproofing and Avalon's exclusive Comfort Collection Beds for a great night's sleep.
· Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer & premium L'Occitane bath products.
· Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel.
· Included sightseeing with headsets and expert local guides.
· Complimentary bicycles available for use on shore.
· Onboard local entertainment.
· Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship.
· A professional Cruise Director who delivers educational commentary as you travel through interesting landscapes, and who assists with requests and additional excursions.
· An Avalon Adventure Host available as your guide for fitness activities and active excursions.
· Friendly, English-speaking staff who deliver consummate personal service throughout your journey.
· Gratuities to Cruise Director, Crew, Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only.
Personalise your onboard and onshore experiences by choosing from a variety of included or optional excursions, visits & activities. Log on to MyAccount to customise your cruise experience.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on board daily indicated by breakfast (B), lunch (L), and dinner (D) on the itinerary, including daily four-course a la carte dinners with choice of appetisers, soups, salads, mains, desserts, and Avalon Fresh healthy cuisine options.
AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND (EMBARKATION).
Welcome to Amsterdam. Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. Your day in Amsterdam is free to explore at your leisure. You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to beautiful Zaanse Schans where you'll see a wonderful collection of well-preserved historic windmills and Dutch houses. Enjoy dinner and explore the ship on your first night on board. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROTTERDAM (D)
Windmills and Skyscrapers in Holland's Modern Maritime Marvel This morning cruise through Rotterdam harbour. CLASSIC - Join a full- or half-day Guided Tour of breathtaking Keukenhof-known as the "Garden of Europe"-for its 70 acres of lush parkland, lakes, and the world's largest flower gardens-with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths as well as other bulbs, planted each year, OR: CLASSIC - Enjoy an afternoon excursion to Gouda. You'll join a Guided Tour of the town famous for the Dutch yellow cheese that bears its name-as well as stroopwafels (syrup waffles), Gouda candles, and beautiful city centre. Take some free time to relax on the harbor-side in Rotterdam with an artisan beer, a slice of appeltart (Dutch apple pie), and a koffie verkeerd, a typical Dutch drink of half coffee, half milk. Take a bike from your ship to explore Rotterdam and the surrounding area. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ANTWERP (B,L,D)
Gothic Cathedral, Crepes, and Waffles in Artful Antwerp. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of this sophisticated city to visit the central Grote Markt, lined with 16th-century guildhall houses. You'll also see the beautiful city hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady with its stunning altarpiece paintings by Rubens. You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the nearby capital, Brussels-considered home to the European Union, and admire its magnificent palaces and cathedrals. You might prefer to take time on your own to indulge in Antwerp's signature Belgian waffles and crepes-or explore this bike-friendly city from its old wharfs to its legendary diamond district. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO GHENT (B,L,D)
Ghent's Cobblestones, Canals, and Cosmopolitan Charisma. You'll have time for an early-morning walk (or jog) to explore the architecture and canals of Ghent-"Belgium's best-kept secret." CLASSIC - Explore Ghent-"The Diamond of Flanders"-with a Guided Sightseeing Tour of this showcase of medieval Flemish wealth. You'll visit St. Bavo's Cathedral-with its remarkable Flemish artwork. You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion of Bruges to explore its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. You'll see its crisscrossed canals, the 13th-century belfry of Market Square, and charming patrician houses. EVENING CRUISE TO MIDDELBURG (B,L,D)
A Spicy History in Middelburg's Dutch Harbor Town. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Walking Tour of the historic merchant city of Middelburg-with its 15th-century gothic Town Hall. You'll learn about the spice trade of this Dutch harbour capital of Zeeland, its prosperity in the Dutch East India Company trading, and origins as a stronghold city. Enjoy its winding cobbled streets and canals that circle Old Town. Spend some free time biking or walking through Middelburg to sample Babbelaar cookies, fries, or beer before cruising to Veere this afternoon. VEERE: The Delta Works Stand Strong as a Technical Marvel. DISCOVERY - Join a Guided Tour of the Delta Works, the largest flood-protection system in the world, and a miracle of modern technology. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WILLEMSTAD (B,L,D)
Willemstad's Windmills and Historic Harbour. Enjoy a free morning on your own to explore the well-preserved fortifications of this historic town. ACTIVE - Join your Avalon Adventure Host for an early jogging in Willemstad. DISCOVERY - Later, enjoy a Cheese Tasting on board as you prepare to sail to Amsterdam AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AMSTERDAM (B,L,D)
Colourful Amsterdam-with Canals, Crooked Houses, and Cuisine of a Golden Age. CLASSIC - Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam's "Golden Age." Take some free time to explore Amsterdam's colourful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM (B,L,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)