Holland’s floral splendor only happens in the springtime. Come see the rainbow of colors, and visit some of Belgium’s most beautifully preserved medieval cities for the ultimate 10-day spring journeyin the Low Countries. Explore Amsterdam’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and world-famous museums. Experience Belgium’s Golden Age in historic Antwerp and the lovely patrician cities of Ghent and Bruges. Learn more about Holland’s age-old battle against the sea with tours of ingenious windmills and the massive Delta Works project. Plus, enjoy savory Dutch cheeses, delectable Belgian chocolates and Belgium’s exquisite, intricate lace on this delightful cruise.
Day 1 - Amsterdam
Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the Van Gogh Museum next door. (D)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
Day 2 - Amsterdam
After breakfast, embark on a canal tour by glass-topped boat to see architecture from the city’s Golden Age. Return on board for lunch, then take free time to visit the Van Gogh Museum or the renovated Rijksmuseum with its marvelous collection of Dutch Master paintings, or just explore the city’s charming neighborhoods. Alternatively, visit a Delftware factory this afternoon to see how the famed porcelain is made. As always, your Viking Guest Services representative can help you plan your stay. Dine on board or on shore; your ship remains docked in Amsterdam overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Hoorn
Early this morning, sail across the IJsselmeer (once known as the Zuiderzee) to the ancient shipping village of Hoorn. After breakfast, enjoy a guided walk through Hoorn’s cobblestone streets; see age-old cheese warehouses on the town’s main square, which dates back to Holland’s Golden Age. Lunch is served on board; you have a free afternoon to explore Hoorn, visit a local bakery and shop for souvenirs. Or, take an optional excursion into the countryside to a tulip farm and see how windmills have changed over the years. Depart during dinner and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Arnhem
We arrive early today in Arnhem, a relaxed city bursting with inviting green parks and gardens. Still more famous than its much-admired green spaces is Arnhem’s wartime history. Join us on an included excursion to delve into the city’s role in Operation Market Garden, an ill-fated Allied World War II operation. Witness a battle reenactment during your visit to the Airborne Museum, and pay your respects at the Airborne Cemetery. Also available today is an optional excursion to an open air museum where 80 historic structures, from a drawbridge to a working paper mill, are preserved. Here you can enjoy a tram ride through 200 years of traditional Dutch country life, and perhaps even try a hands-on experience of a traditional trade. Dine on board or on shore; your ship remains docked in Arnhem overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Kinderdijk
Arrive this afternoon in Kinderdijk and disembark for a tour of this ingenious 18th-century community. Learn why the windmills were built and see how they work to help control flooding, then tour a working windmill to see its pumping mechanism and living quarters at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also take an optional excursion to explore The Netherlands’ renowned cheeses and windmills, or cycle past Kinderdijk’s 19 historic windmills. In late afternoon, we set sail toward Antwerp. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Antwerp
This morning, enjoy a half-day tour of Antwerp featuring the Cathedral of Our Lady with its three monumental altarpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens; the Grote Markt (Grand Square) surrounded by the Golden Age Town Hall and guild halls; and Het Steen (Steen Castle), Antwerp’s oldest building. You can take an optional excursion to satisfy your taste buds with some of Antwerp’s traditional specialties, or explore the major sights of Brussels. You have free time to explore at your leisure this afternoon before dining on board your ship tonight as we sail for Ghent. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Ghent
From Ghent, travel to Bruges, one of the oldest towns in Flanders. Your city walk takes you through its cultural and artistic center, home to important Flemish painters such as Eyck and Memling. Also see the Béguinage, a hidden courtyard inhabited by nuns, and the town’s scenic network of canals. Stay in Bruges for lunch on your own, or return to Ghent for lunch on board and an afternoon exploring this exceptionally charming, canal-filled capital of East Flanders. Enjoy a beautifully lit evening departure from Ghent as we cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Zeeland
After breakfast travel to the region of Walcheren, formerly an island of the southwest Netherlands. Stop in Veere and enjoy a walking tour of this engaging, time-honored town. From here, travel to the Delta Works, the ingenious system of enormous doors that can be lowered during spring tides to protect the area from floods while allowing the tides to ebb and flow. Or you may choose to visit a local oyster farm, where you can shuck and try oysters. Rejoin your ship for lunch. Arrive this evening in Rotterdam, the world’s second largest port. Observe the port’s inner workings up close and enjoy dinner on board as you cruise past the imposing skyline and innovative architecture of its bustling harbor. Later this evening, depart for Amsterdam. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Amsterdam
After breakfast, visit the picturesque Keukenhof Gardens, the world’s largest floral park. Admire the stunning beauty at both indoor and outdoor exhibits of millions of vibrant blooms including tulips, hyacinths, crocuses and daffodils. You may choose the option of spending a full day at the gardens, with lunch on your own, or heading to explore historic Haarlem. Alternatively, return on board for lunch, then use the rest of the day to discover Amsterdam’s hidden treasures. You may choose to explore Museum Square, take a bike ride or shop for colorful clogs and tulip bulbs. Enjoy dinner on board your ship, followed by free time to enjoy Amsterdam’s nightlife. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Amsterdam
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* (B)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.