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10 Days | Holland and Belgium


Day 1 | Brussels, Belgium. Tour begins at 7:00 PM at the Conrad Brussels. Upon arrival, a transfer is included from Brussels Airport to the Conrad Brussels, your grand hotel situated on fashionable Avenue Louise in the heart of the city. Tonight, join us for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner to kick off one of our enjoyable European river cruises. (D)

Day 2 | Bruges or Ghent. Antwerp. Embark. On a choice of sightseeing today in Belgium's Flanders region, you can take an excursion to historic Bruges, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities, the birthplace of Flemish painting and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, viewing its celebrated architecture on a walking tour through cobbled lanes, along quaint canals and over arched bridges. Or travel with Tauck to Ghent and discover a wealth of Gothic architectural details on a visit to St. Baafskathedral, home to one of Europe’s most remarkable paintings – Jan van Eyck's 1432 masterwork, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. Travel to Antwerp, where you'll board your riverboat and sample Belgian beer and cuisine at a buffet dinner of regional delights. (B,D)

Day 3 | Antwerp. Albert Canal. See Antwerp’s grand 1905 Centraal railway station, opera house, and city park during a half-day sightseeing tour of this key Belgian port city on this most enjoyable of European river cruises. Also visit the historic Jewish quarter, among the largest Jewish communities in Europe. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy the views from the sun deck or lounge as you cruise the Albert Canal from Belgium to the Netherlands, arriving in Maastricht; join your crew for the Captain's welcome reception followed by a discovery briefing and a welcome dinner aboard ship. (B,L,D)

Day 4 | Maastricht, Holland. Among the Netherlands' oldest cities, Maastricht entices with more than 1,000 historic buildings and monuments. On a walking tour, explore its Old Town, including the 16th-century Spanish Government House, Vrijthof Square, and Helpoort, an entry through the medieval town wall built in 1229. Visit the 1,000-year-old Sint-Servaasbasiliek (Basilica of St. Servatius), one of the oldest churches in the country. Pay your respects at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, final resting place of thousands of U.S. World War II soldiers. For lunch today, enjoy a Tauck Exclusive – an interactive culinary experience at Château Neercanne, a castle whose garden terraces are protected by UNESCO. You'll don a chef's hat and visit the kitchen before an extraordinary meal is served to you within the castle's grottoes! Later, spend some free time in historic Maastricht, then return to the riverboat for dinner and your cruise on the Maas River. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Venlo. Floriade (2012 only). Enjoy a once-in-a-decade opportunity to become "a part of the theatre in nature” as you spend the entire day in the floral wonderland known as Floriade – held every 10 years in the Netherlands to showcase green-inspired pavilions and garden exhibits created by over a hundred horticultural businesses from more than 25 different nations around the world. Tauck includes a full day at the 2012 Floriade in the Dutch border town of Venlo, celebrating visions of a greener world, on departures between April and October. If you wish, you can also explore the town of Venlo on a walking tour, then take a drive on Tauck's Yellow Roads along the "route of the roses" before returning to the riverboat for dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Arnhem. Choose between two excursions after your riverboat docks in Arnhem today. You can tour battle sites associated with the World War II airborne assault on Arnhem and visit the Airborne Museum, located in a former Allied divisional headquarters in Oosterbeek. Alternatively, you may choose to explore De Hoge Veluwe National Park, the country’s largest nature reserve, and then peruse works by Vincent van Gogh and others at the Kröller-Müller Museum set right within the park. This most delightful of European river cruises continues as you rejoin your ship at Deventer and cruise to Schoonhaven; La Strada performs aboard the riverboat this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | Delft. Den Haag (The Hague). Dutch cheese, renowned pottery and The Hague are spotlighted on your travels through Holland's iconic countryside today. The charming town of Gouda takes its name from its home-produced cheese; visit a cheese-weighing facility and taste this traditional food favorite before some time to explore on your own. After lunch, travel to Delft to tour the famous porcelain factory where this distinctive blue and white tin-glazed pottery is made; the town has changed little since 1660, when Vermeer painted his View of Delft. Take to the Yellow Roads again to coastal Den Haag (The Hague) and its impressive sand dunes, upon which The Hague, known today as the seat of Dutch government, was originally built. Continue cruising to Amsterdam. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Amsterdam. After arriving in the amazing Dutch capital of Amsterdam, journey to Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse (open only until May), where millions of blooming tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, lillies, crocuses and bluebells create colorful carpets of flowers every spring. Cruise departures through May will have an opportunity to visit the gardens; other departures will continue on to Haarlem via the Yellow Roads along the scenic flower route through Holland’s bulb country, bursting with colorful flowers from May through October. Spend the morning in Haarlem, Amsterdam’s "little sister city" where Dutch Masters including Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Pieter Saenredam painted many of their famous works, and now home to one of Holland’s premier art museums. Explore the treasures of Amsterdam on your own in the afternoon, from historic sites within its medieval core to the gabled houses lining its 17th-century canals. Please join us for our farewell dinner this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 9 | Amsterdam. More of Amsterdam's wonders await as one of Tauck's unique European river cruises draws to a close. Early risers may want to check out the colorful sights and sounds of the Aaslmeer Flower Auction (closed weekends), the largest of its kind in the world, where more than 20 million flowers and plants are auctioned every weekday. Enjoy a guided city orientation tour of Amsterdam, including a private canal cruise through Amsterdam’s network of centuries-old waterways dating back to the Renaissance era. Admire masterpieces by Rembrandt and other Old Dutch Masters at the world-renowned Rijksmuseum and stroll through the Museumplein. (B,L,D)

Day 10 | Amsterdam. Disembark. Your most memorable of European river cruises ends in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After disembarking at 8:30 AM and bidding your Captain and crew adieu, a transfer is included from the riverboat to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Fly home anytime; allow 3 hours for departure flight check-in. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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