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Avalon Waterways Essential Holland & Belgium – Southbound (WAX)

8 days from Amsterdam to Brussels 
On this cruise vacation, see some of the highlights of Holland and Belgium, and in the early spring, admire the tulips and other spring blooms! Start your vacation with a cruise through Amsterdam’s canals. Guided sightseeing shows you the charming town of Middelburg, as well as the bigger cities of Ghent and Antwerp. In the spring, visit the famous gardens of Keukenhof and see the breathtaking display of colors from the tulips, daffodils, and more, or later in the year, visit Delft famous for its distinctive Delft blue pottery; then the fascinating Delta Works, and a windmill in Kinderdijk. So much to see in an experience-filled week!

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 3 Rotterdam: excursion to Keukenhof Gardens (departures March 30, March 31, and April 9), or guided visit to Delft (departures July 14 and October 13)

Day 4 Kinderdijk–Willemstad: visit a windmill in Kinderdijk; time at leisure in Willemstad

Day 5 Veere-Middelburg: visit the Delta Works; guided walk of Middelburg

Day 6 Ghent: guided sightseeing, visit St. Baaf’s Cathedral

Day 7 Antwerp: guided sightseeing

Day 8 Brussels (Disembarkation): your vacation ends after breakfast this morning

Related Avalon Tours

WXA - Cruise from Brussels to Amsterdam

Itinerary (2017)

Day 1Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation).
 Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, and canals—not to mention the bike paths throughout the city—make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D)
Day 2Amsterdam.
 There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time in the city this afternoon—you might like to join an optional excursion—and later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Amsterdam. (B,L,D)
Day 3Rotterdam. Excursion to Keukenhof Gardens or Delft.
 This morning, cruise through Rotterdam harbor and enjoy a leisurely morning on board before an afternoon excursion takes you to the gardens of KEUKENHOF near Lisse—over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a windmill to explore. Every year, 7 million flower bulbs are planted, and you have the chance to see the spectacular display of colors from the tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and more. If you’re a garden enthusiast, you may opt for an extended stay in Keukenhof, going in the morning, and lunching in the gardens on your own before rejoining the ship with the rest of the guests in the later afternoon. After May 26, when the Keukenhof gardens are no longer open, a guided excursion takes you to the city of Delft. Most famous for its distinctive Delft blue pottery, the city with its historic town center and canals was also home to the painter Johannes Vermeer. Join your local expert for a GUIDED WALK to see the City Hall, the Old Church, and hear the story of the “Delft Explosion.” (B,L,D)
Day 4Kinderdijk–Willemstad.
 Kinderdijk’s 19 windmills were built in 1740 as part of the water management system to help prevent floods. Visit a WINDMILL and learn how they played a vital role in the development of the country, becoming a symbol of Holland. Rejoin your ship for lunch and sail to Willemstad. Here, there is free time for you to explore at your own pace in this small historical town with well-preserved fortifications. One of the oldest buildings in town is the old gatehouse at the entrance of Willemstad, and as you walk around you will notice a wide variety of building styles. The town even has its own windmill towering high above the marina, and in the very center of the seven-pointed, star-shaped town stands the Koepelkerk (Rounded Church). (B,L,D)
Day 5Veere. Excursion to the Delta Works–Middelburg.
 This morning, visit the DELTA WORKS near Veere. After the flood of 1953, during which more than 1,800 people drowned in one night, the Delta Plan was born to prevent a disaster of this magnitude from ever happening again. Taking 30 years to complete, the storm flood barrier stands as the final defense in the battle against the water—almost six miles long and considered a technical miracle. During lunch, cruise to Middelburg. This afternoon, a WALKING TOUR will acquaint you with this Dutch East India Company trading city, which was originally built as a Zeeland stronghold against the water and from enemies. Later, it became a prosperous merchant city that spent great wealth on the construction of important buildings, such as the 15th-century gothic Town Hall. (B,L,D)
Day 6Ghent, Belgium.
 In a unique way, Ghent, the “diamond” of Flanders, has managed to preserve its medieval charm and power while keeping up with the times. A LOCAL GUIDE will proudly point out that the city center alone is a showcase of medieval Flemish wealth and commercial success. Visit ST. BAAF’S CATHEDRAL, which houses remarkable art treasures, including the most important work in Flemish art, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, created by the Van Eyck brothers around 1432. On your own, explore the traffic-free streets in the city center; see Gravensteen, the “castle of the counts,” an imposing castle in the city that was built in 1180; or join an optional excursion to fascinating Bruges with its criss-crossed canals and charming old patrician houses. (B,L,D)
Day 7Antwerp.
 Antwerp is Belgium’s second-largest city and one of the world’s most important ancient seaports. It merges the new with the old and offers the attractions and atmosphere you’d expect from a European city—friendly people, fabulous architecture, chic shops, interesting museums, vibrant cafés, charming galleries, and historic monuments. INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING with a Local Guide shows you its superb architecture; the central GROTE MARKT, lined with 16th-century houses; the beautiful city hall, completed in 1566; and the Church of Our Lady, started in 1352 and featuring paintings by Rubens. An optional excursion is available to nearby Brussels, Belgium’s capital and home of the European Union. (B,L,D)
Day 8Brussels (Disembarkation).
 Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)

Included Avalon Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Avalon Pricing Details

Port charges:
$168

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room from $179 to $445, in twin room from $112 to $245

Extra nights per person in Brussels:
in single room from $162 to $615, in twin room from $86 to $309

Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Luminary
Category / Decks / Price
B / Sapphire Deck / $649
A / Sapphire Deck / $699
P / Royal Deck / $799
Avalon Suite / Royal Deck / $1,399

Passion/Impression/Artistry II
Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo / Deck / $199
B / Sapphire Deck / $1,149
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,199
P / Royal Deck / $1,299
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $1,899

Avalon Notes

NOTES:
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.

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