Essential Holland  &	Belgium – Southbound
8 day

Price starting from
Duration
Ideal age
€2115


8 day
8 to 99 year olds
Starts in
Ends in


Amsterdam   Brussels

Style



Marine tour through Europe

Operator


Tour Code
Avalon Waterways

WAX



Itinerary

Introduction

On this cruise vacation, see some of the highlights of Holland and Belgium, and in the early spring, admire the tulips and other spring blooms! Start your vacation with a cruise through Amsterdam’s canals. Guided sightseeing shows you the charming town of Middelburg, as well as the bigger cities of Ghent and Antwerp. In the spring, visit the famous gardens of Keukenhof and see the breathtaking display of colors from the tulips, daffodils, and more, or later in the year, visit Delft famous for its distinctive Delft blue pottery; then the fascinating Delta Works, and a windmill in Kinderdijk. So much to see in an experience-filled week!

Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, and canals—not to mention the bike paths throughout the city—make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D)

Day 2: Amsterdam

There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time in the city this afternoon—you might like to join an optional excursion—and later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Amsterdam. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Rotterdam. Excursion to Keukenhof Gardens or Delft

This morning, cruise through Rotterdam harbor and enjoy a leisurely morning on board before an afternoon excursion takes you to the gardens of KEUKENHOF near Lisse—over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a windmill to explore. Every year, 7 million flower bulbs are planted, and you have the chance to see the spectacular display of colors from the tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and more. If you’re a garden enthusiast, you may opt for an extended stay in Keukenhof, going in the morning, and lunching in the gardens on your own before rejoining the ship with the rest of the guests in the later afternoon. After May 26, when the Keukenhof gardens are no longer open, a guided excursion takes you to the city of Delft. Most


famous for its distinctive Delft blue pottery, the city with its historic town center and canals was also home to the painter Johannes Vermeer. Join your local expert for a GUIDED WALK to see the City Hall, the Old Church, and hear the story of the “Delft Explosion.” (B,L,D)

Day 4: Kinderdijk–Willemstad

Kinderdijk’s 19 windmills were built in 1740 as part of the water management system to help prevent floods. Visit a WINDMILL and learn how they played a vital role in the development of the country, becoming a symbol of Holland. Rejoin your ship for lunch and sail to Willemstad. Here, there is free time for you to explore at your own pace in this small historical town with well-preserved fortifications. One of the oldest buildings in town is the old gatehouse at the entrance of Willemstad, and as you walk around you will notice a wide variety of building styles. The town even has its own windmill towering high above the marina, and in the very center of the seven-pointed, star-shaped town stands the Koepelkerk (Rounded Church). (B,L,D)

Day 5: Veere. Excursion to the Delta Works–Middelburg

This morning, visit the DELTA WORKS near Veere. After the flood of 1953, during which more than 1,800 people drowned in one night, the Delta Plan was born to prevent a disaster of this magnitude from ever happening again. Taking 30 years to complete, the storm flood barrier stands as the final defense in the battle against the water—almost six miles long and considered a technical miracle. During lunch, cruise to Middelburg. This afternoon, a WALKING TOUR will acquaint you with this Dutch East India Company trading city, which was originally built as a Zeeland stronghold against the water and from enemies. Later, it became a prosperous merchant city that spent great wealth on the construction of important buildings, such as the 15th-century gothic Town Hall. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Ghent, Belgium

In a unique way, Ghent, the “diamond” of Flanders, has managed to preserve its medieval charm and power while keeping up with the times. A LOCAL GUIDE will proudly point out that the city center alone is a showcase of medieval Flemish wealth and commercial success. Visit ST. BAAF’S CATHEDRAL, which houses remarkable art treasures, including the most important work in Flemish art, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, created by the Van Eyck brothers around 1432. On your own, explore the traffic-free streets in the city center; see Gravensteen, the “castle of the counts,” an imposing castle in the city that was built in 1180; or join an optional excursion to fascinating Bruges with its

criss-crossed canals and charming old patrician houses. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Antwerp

Antwerp is Belgium’s second-largest city and one of the world’s most important ancient seaports. It merges the new with the old and offers the attractions and atmosphere you’d expect from a European city—friendly people, fabulous architecture, chic shops, interesting museums, vibrant cafés, charming galleries, and historic monuments. INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING with a Local Guide shows you its superb architecture; the central GROTE MARKT, lined with 16th-century houses; the beautiful city hall, completed in 1566; and the Church of Our Lady, started in 1352 and featuring paintings by Rubens. An optional excursion is available to nearby Brussels, Belgium’s capital and home of the European Union. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Brussels (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)

Overview

To experience river cruising at its best is to book a trip on the Avalon Impression – one of the many delightful Suite Ships in the Avalon fleet. Get the best of the scenic views and gorgeous sunshine with two exclusive decks of Panorama Suite rooms. The wall-to-wall panoramic windows in these suites seamlessly merge the indoor spaces with the outdoors to give the entire space the atmosphere of an Open-Air Balcony®. At a generous 200 square feet, the Panorama Suites exceed the industry standard by an impressive 30%. For the discerning traveller this translates into the exhilarating experience of waking up every morning to a new riverside vista just a few feet away from them. Indulge your taste buds with the delicious fare at the Panorama Bistro or tuck into al fresco snacks and lunches on the expansive Sky Deck at the Sky Bistro. Other amenities such as the well-equipped fitness centre, Sky Deck whirlpool and premium lounge chairs can then decide the course of the rest of your day.

Staterooms / Suites


Avalon Deluxe Stateroom - (Cat. D, E) 172 sq ft

Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.


Royal Suite - 300 sq. ft


Deck plans

Dining

Airy, bright and spacious dining room

Daily breakfast for early risers

Daily breakfast for late risers

Room service with an additional service fee for Continental breakfast and beverages

Lavish buffet breakfast with complimentary juices, sparkling wine and live egg station

Special breakfast buffet with low calorie, cholesterol and fat content and high fiber and energy content

Self-service hot beverage station with free premium coffees, tea and hot chocolate Lunch buffet with carving and live pasta counters

Avalon’s Fresh and Healthy Cuisine with nutritious and simple recipes using locall

available ingredients, from 2017

Al fresco dining at the Sky Bistro and cocktails on the Sky Deck

Afternoon Tea with beverages and treats

Special discounts and designated social hour in the Panorama Lounge

All meals feature the freshest seasonal ingredients available

Western and regional cuisine incorporated into all meals

Healthy ingredients

Welcome dinner

Set dinners with four-courses with a choice of appetizer, soup, salads and entrées, concluded with cheese or dessert

Captain's reception with a selection of sparkling wine & gourmet canapés

Complimentary service of wine, beer, or soft drinks at dinner time (also available during lunch from 2017 onward)

Upper league bar with premium spirits available

Night Fare at 10:30 pm

Healthy and light lunches and dinners at the Panorama Bistro

Delicious small portions of regional delicacies and their wine pairings at the Panorama Bistro

Special tastings of various destinations well known delicacies

Hot beverages such as tea or coffee after dinner

Sumptuous five-course farewell dinner

What's Included

Guide

An expert guide is included.

Meals

Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés Welcome dinner

Daily Afternoon Tea

Daily Night Fare

Farewell dinner

Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Transport

Transport is included.

Departure dates & prices

Starting in
Ending in
Amsterdam
Brussels
13 October 2017
20 October 2017



Destinations visited

Amsterdam, Netherlands

57 km

Rotterdam, Netherlands

39 km

Keukenhof, Netherlands

32 km

Delft, Netherlands

23 km

Kinderdijk, Netherlands

25 km

Willemstad, Netherlands

56 km

Veere, Netherlands

6 km

Middelburg, Netherlands

50 km

Ghent, Belgium