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9-day River Cruising Tour of Holland & Flanders
Experience the beauty of The Netherlands and Flanders.
Step aboard the barge for a nine-day tour that meanders through the western region of the Netherlands, and Flanders, the northern part of Belgium. Ease into carefree days spent touring world-famous art and history museums, awe-inspiring cathedrals, incredible feats of engineering, and lesser-known medieval towns, all whilst experiencing the cultural landmarks that lend the journey from Amsterdam to Bruges its undeniable charm.
The smell of freshly baked bread greets our guests each morning as they sit down to enjoy a buffet breakfast of tasty cheeses and cold cuts, cereals and yogurt, fresh fruit salad, juices, teas, and excellent coffee.
Though you will sample local delicacies in the region’s best restaurants, your meals onboard are freshly prepared by our private chef whose repertoire includes a variety of French, Flemish, Belgian and Dutch meals from locally sourced seasonal products.
Good to know:
The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (thiscannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).
In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip theday tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town. On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 a.m. Transfer between Amsterdam and Bruges: There is a good train connection between these two cities.
Additional options & information:
If you want to participate in some short bike rides bicycles will be available.
Cabin options: Suite (3095 EUR p.p.) Triple twin (2245 EUR p.p.), triple suite (2995 EUR p.p.)
Slow Tours offers a number of other Cruising Tours in Europe
Afternoon embarkation on the barge. Official welcome by and introduction to the crew and your tour guide. Then kick off your cultural river cruise with a bubbly welcome drink, followed by the first dinner aboard the ship. An evening presentation of the tour, which will most likely whet your appetite for the cruise to come even more.
AMSTERDAM ART DAY AND SAILING FROM AMSTERDAM TO VIANEN
A canal boat takes you to the stunning Rijksmuseum of Dutch art and history, where a knowledgeable local guide will show you some of its absolute highlights.For lunch, you can take your pick from a tremendous variety of restaurants in the area around the Rijksmuseum. However, you may not want to miss out on the delicacies served in the museum café itself. Return to the barge mooring by canal boat. Seeing the city from its canals instead of by strolling around its streets is a very different experience indeed! Mid afternoon, the ship leaves the harbor for a relaxed journey on the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal, the Merwedekanaal and the river Lek.While you’re having dinner aboard the ship, it takes you to Vianen, our stop for the night. Vianen was built in the fourteenth century as a fortified town, with city walls and gateways. An after dinner walk with your guide gives you an impression of what it was like to live in a small, walled medieval town.
SILVERWORKS DAY AND WINDMILL DAY • VIANEN – SCHOONHOVEN – DORDRECHT
While you’re having a leisurely breakfast, the ship sails to silver town Schoonhoven. Since the seventeenth century, it has been a centre of gold and silver production. A visit to the Silver Museum gives your day a shiny start. During lunch, the ship brings you to the village of Kinderdijk for an extensive look at nineteen beautiful windmills. They were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the surrounding lowlands. These mills are on the UNESCO cultural heritage list. Afterwards, you continue the day’s journey to Dordrecht, for many guests a lesser known or even unknown town. Unjustly so, because it’s brimming with history and has over a thousand architectural monuments! The ship docks in the historical Kuipershaven. Dinner on board, followed by a town walk.
WATERWORKS DAY SAILING AND BUS • DORDRECHT – WILLEMSTAD - ANTWERP
Another sailing breakfast, followed by a lecture on the Dutch “Deltaworks”, an elaborate engineering project built to protect the Netherlands against flooding. Mid morning you’ll arrive in the well preserved fortified town of Willemstad, built in the shape of a seven pointed star. After a city walk a bus takes you to the Watersnoodmuseum in Ouwerkerk, in the province of Zeeland. Lunch at Watersnoodmuseum. The museum memorizes the disastrous spring tide in 1953, that flooded large parts of Zeeland and the provinces of South Holland and North-Brabant. The morning lecture you’ve listened to on the ship makes you a well prepared visitor. The guided tour will turn you into an even better informed one. The bus then takes you on a round trip of the 9 kilometers long Oosterschelde dam. Back by bus to your barge docked in the Belgian port town of Antwerp. Dinner on board. While digesting your food, a lecture on Antwerp’s famous painter Peter Paul Rubens will spark your interest for what the next day will bring
RUEBENS DAY AND BELGIAN BEER DAY • ANTWERP - SINT AMANDS
Antwerp’s old town is best enjoyed on foot. A walk along beautiful streets takes you to the Rubens house, where the painter actually lived and worked his magic. Some of his works can be seen in the impressive Onze Lieve Vrouwe cathedral that we will visit next. Belgians love well prepared food, so you’ll have many eating places to choose from for a lunch on your own. Continuation by bus to the small town of Sint Amands for a visit and of course a tasting at Brewery Bosteels. Return to the ship for dinner. After dinner, we walk to Sahara Art stones in a tiny alley in Sint Amands. You’ll be surprised by the originality of the house, studio and gallery that an energetic artist couple built here with their own hands.
ART GHENT DAY • SINT AMANDS – GHENT
The first half of the day is spent sailing, while you enjoy breakfast, a lecture about Ghent’s art and history, and lunch. The barge has docked just outside of Ghent. A taxi takes you downtown for a visit to Saint Baaf’s cathedral, a huge building whose first traces go back to the tenth century. However, nowadays it has a mostly Baroque, excitingly rich interior. The cathedral takes special pride in “The adoration of the mystic lamb”, twelve oil painted oak wood panels by the world renowned Van Eijck brothers. Mid afternoon you’re taken on a trip by canal boat. Top off your day in Ghent by spending some time on your own, and picking a nice restaurant for dinner afterwards. At 9 p.m., a taxi takes you back to the ship.
FLANDERS FIELDS AND WESTVLETEREN
A sailing breakfast to Lovendegem, where a bus awaits you for the ride to Yper and the “In Flanders fields” museum. The permanent exhibition here tells the story of the First World War in the West Flanders front region. From the invasion of Belgium and the first months of the mobilization to the four years trench war, the end of the war and the permanent remembrance ever since. After lunch, the bus takes you to Westvleteren abbey and its brewery. Neither is open to the public, but you’re very welcome to visit the "Claustrum", an information area where you will learn about life in the abbey and the daily rituals of the Sint-Sixtus monks. The nearby visitor centre hosts the only café on the globe that serves the famous Westvleteren Trappist beer. Dinner on the ship.
A tour of Bruges on foot, so you really get a chance to drink in the beauty of this city lovingly nicknamed 'The pearl of Flanders'. Marvel at the architectural craftsmanship of Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, and at its extensive art collection. The church is overflowing with paintings and woodwork and has Michelangelo’s world famous marble statue “Madonna with Child” as its absolute highlight. Get a lunch in one of Bruges many eateries. Leave some room for dessert, because you’ll be making your own bonbons during the following chocolate workshop. That should prepare you for a cultural dessert: a visit to the Groeninger museum. This art temple offers a varied overview of the history of Belgian fine arts. Visitors from all over the world flock here to see the paintings of Flemish primitives like Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. On board, we celebrate your participation in the Cruise and Culture Tour with a farewell dinner.
BRUGES, END OF TOUR
We won’t let you leave with an empty stomach! Enjoy your last breakfast aboard before disembarking from 9 a.m.
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote