Set sail on our 10-day itinerary through the inland waterways of The Low Countries – Holland and Belgium. Enjoy scenic cruising through the vast network of canals and rivers, with stops in key cities that allow you to soak up Dutch and Flemish culture and immerse in history. Cycle through tulip fields or stroll the renowned Keukenhof Gardens. See the windmills of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and fascinating Rotterdam—one of Europe’s most dynamic cities. Finish your cruise with an overnight stay in Europe’s diamond capital, Antwerp, and explore more of Belgium with an optional city stay in Brussels or a three-night extension and discover the fairy-tale medieval towns of Bruges and Ghent and the World War I battlefields around Yper.
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
Cruise Amsterdam’s charming canals this morning, passing under pretty bridges and enjoying streets lined with gabled houses of centuries past. This afternoon, join an optional excursion—perhaps a visit to one of Amsterdam’s world-class museums to explore the Dutch Golden Age, or uncover the city’s fascinating Jewish history. Your Viking Program Director can help you plan your afternoon. (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 cobbled streets; see age-old cheese warehouses and the town’s main square, which dates back to Hoorn’s heyday. Enjoy a warm welcome during a home visit to a local family and get acquainted with daily life. Perhaps take an excursion through the Dutch countryside to see the country’s famed windmills, or traverse the West Frisian countryside on a vintage train ride. Depart after dinner and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Rotterdam
This morning, enjoy a scenic cruise along the Lek River. Arrive in Rotterdam and take an afternoon to explore the modern face of Holland. The city has been extensively rebuilt after the destruction suffered during World War II, and some of its architecture is quite innovative. This evening, your ship sets sail for a scenic dinner cruise around the harbor. Admire the twinkling lights of the cosmopolitan skyline of Europe’s largest port. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Kinderdijk
Arrive this morning 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. Enjoy scenic afternoon cruising along the Lek and Waal Rivers and the busy Amsterdam Rijn canal, an ingenious feat of Dutch engineering, and dinner on board your ship. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Wesel
Awake in Wesel and disembark for a walking tour of the city. Completely destroyed during World War II, Wesel fell under a barrage of heavy bombing by the Allied forces in 1945; during your tour, you will learn about the city’s rise from the ashes. This afternoon, you may choose to visit Xanten Archaeological Park—one of the largest open air museums in the world—or head to Essen and the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, recognized as one of Europe’s most important industrial heritage sites. This evening, set sail for Nijmegen. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Nijmegen
After breakfast, step back in time as you witness one of The Netherlands’ most dramatic chapters come to life. Learn how Operation Market Garden—the planned attack by the Allied forces in late summer 1944 portrayed in the epic war movie A Bridge Too Far—unfolded, and pay homage to the many soldiers who lost their lives. Or, you can take an optional excursion to walk in the footsteps of van Gogh. This afternoon, choose to stay on board and enjoy scenic cruising along the meandering Meuse River, or take an optional excursion to the vibrant city of Hertogenbosch before rejoining your ship in Venlo. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Maastricht
Disembark your ship and enjoy a walking tour around historic Maastricht. Stroll the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town, and see the Gothic-style church Sint Janskerk and the Romanesque Basilica of St. Servatius. This afternoon, enjoy free time at your leisure to explore or join an optional excursion to Aachen to see Charlemagne’s chapel, a UNESCO Site. Or pay your respects at the American Military Cemetery of Margraten, the final resting place of 8,000 American soldiers who gave their lives to liberate Europe from the Nazis. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Antwerp
Arrive in Antwerp this morning and enjoy a walking tour of the historic quarter. See the Cathedral of Our Lady with its 3 monumental altarpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens; the Grote Markt (Grand Square) surrounded by the Renaissance Town Hall and guild halls; and Het Steen (Steen Castle), Antwerp’s oldest building. This afternoon, you can enjoy an optional excursion to sample the delights of Belgium’s cuisine, or free time at your leisure so you can explore more of charming Antwerp as we remain docked overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Antwerp
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Perhaps see more of Belgium on a 2-night city stay in the capital, Brussels. Or enjoy a 3-night extension in the fairy-tale medieval city of Bruges, with visits to Ghent, Bruges and Flanders Fields.
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.