Trip Type : River Cruise
Belgium & Holland in Spring - Northbound 2018 tour

Belgium & Holland in Spring - Northbound 2018

Tauck Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
By Tauck
4.7 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
8 days
From: $ 3,390 $ 424 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • All-inclusive 7-night river cruise; exclusive lunch at Chateau Neercanne; visits to Keukenhof Gardens
  • Kinderdijk windmills
  • Netherlands American Cemetery
  • Antwerp's Red Star Line Museum
  • towns of Dordrecht and Maastricht; choice of excursions to medieval Flemish cities of Bruges or Ghent; Rijksmuseum & canal cruise in Amsterdam

Short Description

Windmills and flower gardens, world-famous art museums, inside looks at medieval architecture, and an exclusive interactive culinary experience at Château Neercanne highlight this memorable Holland and Belgium river cruise aboard Tauck's ms Esprit or ms Grace.

These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Trip Type River Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Brussels, Belgium
End City Amsterdam, Netherlands

Travel Theme

50 plus Small Ship Cruise

Destinations

Belgium Netherlands

Cities & Attractions

Amsterdam Antwerp Brussels

Activities

Culture

N/A
See more

Trip Includes

  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions - $1734 Value!
  • Tauck Exclusive: Memorable culinary experience at Château Neercanne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visits to Keukenhof Gardens, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Museum aan het Vrithof in Maastricht, the recently opened Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, and the WWII Netherlands American Cemetery
  • A scenic cruise along the beautiful 17th-century canals of Amsterdam
  • Visits to Dordrecht and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk's 18th-century windmills
  • Choice of excursions to the well-preserved medieval Flemish cities of Bruges or Ghent
  • A visit to a local brewery for a "bier" tasting in Antwerp
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
  • Airport and train transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 20 meals (7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners); service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Brussels / Embark Riverboat

Tour begins at 4:00 PM in Brussels. A transfer is included from Brussels Airport directly to your riverboat, where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM. Settle in aboard ship and then meet your fellow river cruisers this evening at a welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner.

MEALS : D

LODGING : Aboard the Riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Brussels, Belgium

Day 2 Exploring Brussels

Morning guided sightseeing today in Brussels, Belgium's capital and a key center of European trade and culture since the 13th century, begins with a city tour that takes in the Atomium, a 338-foot-tall structure resembling atoms, built for the 1958 World's Fair and winds up at Grand-Place, one of Europe's loveliest city squares, boasting a Gothic town hall surrounded by Renaissance-era guildhalls. Return to the riverboat for lunch; this afternoon, you might choose to participate in a demonstration by a local chocolatier. Then, cruise to Antwerp this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard the Riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Brussels, Belgium

Day 3 Discover Antwerp's specialties

Antwerp is Belgium's second largest city, the capital of the province of Flanders, also known as the Low Countries, where Dutch is the official language. Go on an orientation tour of the city and take a guided walk through the historic center. As you stroll along the cobbled streets, hearing stories and insights from your local guide, discover Grote Markt, the old market square... the lavishly decorated Flemish Renaissance City Hall... and numerous restored merchants' houses, harkening back to the days of the 16th-century Age of Exploration when Antwerp - at the time a powerful center of international commerce - was the richest city in Europe. You'll also visit the Red Star Line Museum; the interactive exhibits in the former warehouses of the Red Star Line shipping company tell the story of the more than two million immigrants from all over Europe whose long journey to a new life in North America began here at the Red Star Line headquarters in Antwerp. After lunch onboard, enjoy a brewery tour and some free time in Antwerp; sail on to Maastricht in the Netherlands.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard the Riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Antwerp, Belgium

Day 4 Maastricht, Neercanne & WWII memorials

One of the Netherlands' oldest cities, Maastricht is said to contain more than 1,400 historic buildings and monuments dating back to the 13th century. An Old Town walking tour with your local guide this morning takes you to the remains of the city's medieval fortifications and Helpoort, a steep-roofed gateway built in 1229. Look for hidden alleys and gracious squares. On beautiful cobblestoned Vrijthof Square, visit the Museum aan het Vrijthof, set within the 16th-century Spanish Government House, where Spanish kings used to stay when they visited Maastricht. Focusing on the decorative arts and crafts that have flourished in this city of artisans for 500 years, the museum's collection includes paintings, silver, pistols, furniture, and timepieces. See period rooms that create a vision of how the Dutch lived in the 17th and 18th centuries. Then get ready for an experience that is sure to be a highlight of your river cruise, a Tauck Exclusive lunch in the Roman grottoes of 17th-century Château Neercanne, a terraced castle with scenic views and Baroque gardens. The castle is right on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium, so you can literally walk from one country into the other. Enjoy a tantalizing culinary presentation capped off by a fabulous meal. Following lunch you'll depart and make a poignant visit to the village of Margraten and the Netherlands American Cemetery, the only cemetery for fallen US World War II troops in the Netherlands.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard the Riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Maastricht, Netherlands

Day 5 Flemish Treasures in Bruges or Ghent

Spend the morning cruising west through Belgium along the Albert Canal and on into Zeeland, the Dutch province in the southwestern corner of the Netherlands, on the North Sea; relaxing onboard your riverboat is the perfect way to take in the changing scene. Your ship arrives in the port city of Terneuzen midday. Disembark for your choice of excursions this afternoon. One possibility is a visit to the historic city of Ghent, arguably Belgium's most beautiful city, for an old town walking tour; the pedestrian-friendly cobblestoned town center feels like an outdoor museum of early Flemish architecture. Think about climbing to the top of the 14th-century belfry, crowned with a dragon, for the view - Ghent laid out before you is a visual feast of castles, churches, and historic merchants' houses. Be sure to try the local speciality, Ghent noses, a traditional raspberry candy sold at stands on the street - or a warm waffle with sugar or honey. Your other possibility for the afternoon is a visit to Bruges, known to many as "the Venice of the North," for its canals and tiny medieval streets. On your walking tour in cobblestoned Bruges, you'll feel like you've walked into a town in a fairy tale, or a painting by Van Eyck, who captured life in Bruges during its heyday. The hike up the stairs of the medieval belltower is well worth the effort; you'll be rewarded with wonderful panoramic views. After dinner onboard your riverboat, a classical music group performs for you; the ship sets a course for Dordrecht tonight.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard the Riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Ghent, Belgium

Day 6 Dordrecht & the windmills of Kinderdijk

Dock today in Dordrecht, an island city bordering five rivers in the province of South Holland. The Dutch word for harbor is haven - and in Dordrecht the harbor quarter by happy coincidence lives up to the English definition of haven. Filled with charm, many of the quarter's historic warehouses, merchants' mansions, and quays are nicely intact. On a walking tour you'll discover Dordrecht's notable architecture and monuments in its medieval inner city and the surrounding ring of 19th-century buildings. After lunch on your riverboat, you're off to the nearby village of Kinderdijk, where 19 original windmills create an iconic polderscape that's better than any picture postcard - nowhere else in the world can you see so many windmills together in an authentic setting like this. Discover how a windmill works both inside and out, and learn about the life of a miller and the quintessentially Dutch history of windmills. Enjoy some local entertainment aboard your riverboat tonight.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard the Riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Kinderdijk, Netherlands

Day 7 Art & Flowers in Amsterdam & Keukenhof

Awaken on your riverboat today in Amsterdam - a vibrant blend of the historic and the contemporary, from its medieval core and 17th-century canals to the bustling shops, cafés and rich cosmopolitan life of a 21st-century European metropolis. After breakfast aboard ship, go ashore for an excursion to Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, the home of famous show gardens and millions of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, in various stages of bloom and particularly beautiful at this time of the year. A rolling carpet of color, Keukenhof is one of Europe's most iconic - and fragrant - places to witness springtime in all its glory. Return to the riverboat in Amsterdam for lunch, then set off on some guided exploration of this nearly car-free city of flower-rimmed canals, gracious gabled mansions, and people on bikes - first, on a boat cruise through the network of centuries-old canals at the core of the old city, that offers a refreshing perspective of the Netherlands' capital city. As you'll discover, Amsterdam boasts more canals than Venice... and, as it happens, more museums per kilometer than any other European capital. One of the most famous is the matchless Rijksmuseum - filled with myriad works by the Dutch Masters, including Rembrandt's The Night Watch and Vermeer's The Milkmaid - which you'll visit this afternoon with a local guide. Head back to your riverboat for your final night aboard ship; the crew will bid you a warm farewell at a shipboard reception this evening, followed by dinner onboard.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard the Riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Amsterdam, Netherlands

Day 8 Journey home

Tour ends: Amsterdam. Fly home anytime; a transfer from your riverboat to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport or Centraal Train Station is included. Allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport. For additional nights in Amsterdam after the cruise - or in Brussels pre-cruise - ask at booking.

MEALS : B

PORTOFCALL : Amsterdam, Netherlands

Availability

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Price From $ 3,390
Price Per Day: $ 424 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

20 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 16
Great 3
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 0
Value
4.7
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.7

Belgium & Holland in Spring - Northbound 2018

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Company Reviews

Good Introduction to China

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
The tour director was well-organized and managed the local guides really well. My only disappointment was that only 1.5 hours was allocated for the Great Wall of China, even though I could have spent all day hiking it. The dinners provided thorough samples of Chinese cuisine but were sometimes very long and tiring, exceeding 2 hours.

Most Memorable Moment:
The Hutong ride in Beijing and the balmy sunny weather during the transfer to my international flight home made me contemplate the charms of possibly living in Asia.
Read more

Loved Japan

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Totally enjoyed our tour. Had an amazing guide and co-guide which makes all the difference in a good experience. Definitely will be back.

Most Memorable Moment:
The Tauck Director's suggestion of the "sushi" conveyor belt restaurant in Kyoto... and of course the cherry blossoms.
Read more

We did so many memorable things

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
What a fantastic trip! Tauck definitely knows how to treat a traveler. From the tour director to the food, hotels, chartered flights, boat harbor cruises, jet boat and helicopter rides, private parties and movie viewings---I could go on and on. Both countries are beautiful, but New Zealand is breath taking!

Most Memorable Moment:
This is a tough question. We did so many memorable things, but my number 1 was the balloon ride followed closely by the jet boat and helicopter rides. I met so many wonderful people and hope to meet up with a few of them in the future! Our tour director made this entire trip one of a kind!
Read more

Spotlight on India

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was an excellent tour which my wife and I truly enjoyed. This is a great country to visit on a Tauck tour because we were able to see so much but on a comfortable, safe journey due to the excellent organization, experienced and knowledgable guides and director, and choice of the best hotels. Good balance of tour and free time.

Most Memorable Moment:
Varanasi with the evening boat ride and the early morning walk through the streets for another viewing of the River Ganges by boat. The Amber fort and the Taj Mahal were spectacular to see along with everything else on the tour. The Tuck tuck rides and walks through the streets and food markets were excellent as well.
Read more

This trip offered a fabulous learning experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This trip offered a fabulous learning experience. This is a complex country with a complex culture emanating from a complex and diverse history - from the Mughals to the English to their ultimate independence. If you are a tourist, their focus is to to make you feel like you are the most important person anywhere. They did that. India is a must see

Most Memorable Moment:
Varanasi ceremonies.
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Absolutely LOVED this trip!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Absolutely LOVED this trip!! Tauck really outdid themselves on the hotels!! The most amazing accommodations possible. The tour guide did an wonderful job and took great care of all of us. India is like nowhere else and the Taj Mahal was INCREDIBLE!! Even with all the poverty, everyone was very friendly and wanted pictures taken with us!

Most Memorable Moment:
The palatial hotel accommodations and of course seeing the BEAUTIFUL Taj Mahal was worth the trip!
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Details

Ship Name

MS GRACE, MS ESPRIT

Ship Description

MS GRACE

Maintaining Tauck’s high standards for quality and comfort, ms Grace cruises exclusively for Tauck on the Rhine River as part of our Destination Fleet. With a maximum of 130 guests, the 443-foot riverboat and her sister ships continue our tradition of providing more space per guest on Europe’s inland waterways, transporting fewer passengers than most longships (135 meters). Her deck plan is innovative; with a total of 67 cabins, our most popular cabins tend to be our largest... so we have used the added ship length to offer twenty-two 300-square-foot Tauck Suites – the most of any river cruise ship on any European river. To increase the amount of natural sunlight on the lower deck, we’ve created 8 loft cabins that extend from the first to the second decks, providing guests with an additional view; all windows in these loft cabins open.

MS ESPRIT

One of five 361-foot (110-meter) riverboats in Tauck's Destination Fleet, ms Esprit accommodates no more than 118 guests, while similar-sized riverboats average about 160. Guest amenities inside her 14 lush 300-square-foot Tauck Suites include brocade upholstery, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, spacious marble baths with full-size tubs, and two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows that open to idyllic riverscapes. She also sports seven 183-square-foot cabins, similarly furnished. Standard cabins (150 square feet) are cozy and comfortable and are similar in décor and style to our larger suites. 85% have floor-to-ceiling windows with real French balconies that open on to a balcony in the fresh air; all have in-room movies, minibar, adjustable heating and cooling, private bathroom and shower with pampering toiletries.

Deck & Cabin Plans

MS GRACE

MS ESPRIT

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

tauck-BELG2018

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