Day 1 - Arrive Amsterdam, Netherlands
Arrive in Amsterdam, where you are met and transferred to
your boutique hotel set alongside the city’s iconic canals. This
evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner.
Day 2 - Amsterdam
This morning, join a local expert as you cruise Amsterdam’s
historic canals, revealing the waterways that form the nexus
of this historic city. Continue on foot through the city center, pausing at the Willet-Holthuysen House, a sumptuous
townhouse built for the mayor of Amsterdam around 1685.
The on-site museum preserves the canal house’s impressive
art collection, interiors and garden, affording a glimpse
into the lifestyles of the city’s wealthy and powerful elite.
Afterward, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure for your
Day 3 - Liège, Belgium
Depart this morning for historic Utrecht, pausing at a local
dairy farm for a tour and a tasting of Holland’s world-renowned
cheeses. After lunch in Utrecht’s charming old
town center, continue to your hotel in Liège, Belgium.
Day 4 - Aachen, Germany
Cross the border to nearby Aachen, Germany’s westernmost city. Once a Roman settlement, Charlemagne chose this city
as his capital, and it remained the seat of the Holy Roman
Empire for centuries. Tour the impressive cathedral and see
Charlemagne’s original Palatine Chapel within. After lunch
at leisure, embark on an e-bike ride through the countryside
outside Maastricht, pausing in the ancient cellars of Château
Neercanne to savor a wine tasting and view the Maastricht
Treaty, the founding document of the European Union. Return
to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 5 - Bastogne
Delve into a pivotal chapter of World War II history as
you pause at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery
and Memorial. This site marks the final resting place of
nearly 8,000 American servicemen, many having fallen
during the Battle of the Bulge nearby. At the Bastogne War
Museum, explore this history through scenography, witness
testimonial and multimedia installations. Then, join a local
guide to tour nearby battle sites aboard an authentic U.S.
Army Willys Jeep. Continue to Luxembourg, where you
check into your castle hotel. At dinner, discover why the
geographically diminutive state of Luxembourg is a giant on
the global gastronomic scene.
Day 6 - Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Today, explore the capital of one of Europe’s smallest states, Luxembourg City. Perched dramatically on a cliff overlooking the confluence of two rivers, Luxembourg City juxtaposes its cosmopolitan lifestyle alongside fairytale castles, meandering casements and the trappings of its venerable grand duchy roots. Visit one of the largest castles west of the Rhine, magnificent Vianden Castle. With origins dating to the 10th century, the Romanesque castle was one of Europe’s grandest, most luxurious feudal residences of the Middle Ages.
Day 7 - Ghent, Belgium
This morning, cross the idyllic countryside back to Belgium, pausing in Dinant’s Maison Leffe Museum for a tasting of the local beer that’s been brewed here since the 13th century. After lunch, continue to Ghent. Filled with cathedrals and museums, Ghent traces its roots to Roman times. It’s now the capital of the province of East Flanders and one of Europe’s largest inland ports. Here, a local expert reveals the town’s
pedestrianized city center lined with medieval architecture,
pausing to take in the storybook grandeur of Gravensteen
Day 8 - Brussels
Drive to Brussels for an introduction to Belgium’s busy
capital, where medieval architecture mingles with
shimmering high-rises. Throughout its tumultuous history,
Brussels has been occupied by the Romans, Vikings, Spanish,
French, Austrians and English. Today, Brussels is home to
both the European Union and NATO. Explore this culinary
enclave known for its fine chocolates, double-fried frites and
distinctive beers. Delve into a hands-on workshop devoted
to the artistry of fine Belgian chocolates. Here, learn how
Flemish butter and cream become more than the sum of
their parts using time-honored, slow-food techniques. After
time for lunch at leisure, return to Ghent via Waterloo for
views over the battlefield where, on June 18, 1815, British
and Prussian forces defeated Napoleon Bonaparte, marking
the end of an era of French domination in Europe.
Day 9 - Bruges
Drive to Bruges, the West Flanders capital known for
its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. Here,
observe the traditional craft of lacemaking at a private
demonstration, followed by lunch at a traditional restaurant. Cap off your day with time at leisure to explore Bruges
before returning to the hotel in Ghent. This evening, gather
for a farewell dinner.
Day 10 - Depart Brussels
Today, you are transferred to the airport for your departure.