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 - Antwerp
Arrive in Antwerp, 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 Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp’s oldest museum. (Dinner)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
Day 2 - Antwerp
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of the historic quarter. See the Cathedral of Our Lady with its three monumental altarpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens and the Grote Markt (Grand Square) surrounded by the Renaissance Town Hall and its majestic guild halls. This afternoon, spend time at your leisure exploring more of charming Antwerp. Alternatively, you may enjoy an optional excursion to sample Belgium’s delightful cuisine. Enjoy dinner on board as we sail to Maastricht. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 - Maastricht
Arrive in Maastricht this morning and disembark your ship for a walking tour around this historic city. Stroll the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town, and see the Gothic-style Sint Janskerk church 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 - Nijmegen
Enjoy scenic cruising this morning along the meandering Meuse River, or take an optional excursion to walk in the footsteps of van Gogh. After lunch, your ship arrives in Nijmegen. Enjoy an included walking tour of this historic city, or join an optional tour to 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 during a visit to the touching National Liberation Museum in nearby Groesbeek. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 - Wesel
Arrive in Wesel this morning 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 UNESCO-listed Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, recognized as one of Europe’s most important industrial heritage sites. This evening, set sail for Dordrecht. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 - Rotterdam
This morning, enjoy a scenic cruise along the Lek River as you sail into Dordrecht. An important merchant city during the late Middle Ages, Dordrecht is brimming with historic sights. During a walking tour, see the inner city harbors, the Grote Kerk (Great Church) and the 13th-century Augustine monastery known as “Het Hof.” This afternoon, your ship departs for Rotterdam. Here, you will enjoy time 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. Alternatively, you may choose to join a full-day excursion that combines Dordrecht and Delft, rejoining your ship later this afternoon. This evening, your ship will set sail for a scenic dinner cruise around the harbor. Admire the twinkling lights of the cosmopolitan skyline of Europe’s largest port. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 - 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 dinner on board your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 - Hoorn
After breakfast, depart your ship and enjoy a guided walk through Hoorn’s cobblestone 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 with a local family and get acquainted with daily life. Alternatively, you may choose to join a cycling excursion through the Dutch countryside to see the country’s famed windmills. Dine this evening as you cruise to Amsterdam. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 - Amsterdam
After breakfast, disembark your ship and enjoy a full day in Amsterdam. Cruise Amsterdam’s charming canals this morning, passing under pretty bridges and enjoying streets lined with gabled houses of centuries past. This afternoon, 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.* Or 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*Keukenhof Gardens is available on select departures during Tulip season in March through early May.
Day 10 - Amsterdam
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or you can choose to see more of Amsterdam on a 2-night city stay. (Breakfast)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.