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Insight Vacations Holland Belgium Luxembourg and the Rhine (Summer 2017) (U918)

17 Days from Brussels to Basel Print
Tour Style: Insight Luxury Gold Trip & Cruise
Insight Vacations & Uniworld 2017/18
Visits: Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands

From Brussels, the city that effortlessly blends medieval belfries with modern art, move on to Luxembourg and its fairytale capital, before bracing yourself for lively Amsterdam with its 17th century architecture and hip cafés. Your journey culminates with a cruise along the legendary Rhine River, dotted with quaint villages, vineyards and historic castles.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brussels: Visit the Grand Place and view the Mannekin Pis. See the Atomium, Chinese and Japanese Pavilions
  • Bruges: Visit the Market Square and famous belfry of the Market Hall. See the Gothic town hall in Burg Square and the frescoes on the walls of the Holy Blood Chapel.
  • Dinant: Spend time in this pretty town on the River Meuse.
  • Luxembourg: Enjoy views over the Petrusse ravine from the Pont Adolphe. Guided walk through the old town to see the cathedral, Palace of the Grand Duke. Visit the grave of US General George S. Patton.
  • Bastogne: Visit the Mardasson Monument, dedicated to those who fell during the ‘Battle of the Bulge'.
  • Rotterdam: Witness the Cubic Houses and Erasmus Bridge.
  • Delft: Visit a manufacturer of original Delft Blue pottery.
  • The Hague: See the Binnenhof courtyards, the Peace Palace and the lively seaside resort of Scheveningen.
  • Amsterdam: See Dam Square, Royal Palace and Mint Tower.
  • Scenic Drives: Semois Valley.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Bruges: There can be no place better than Bruges' canal side setting for a Dine-Around evening. Choose from a selection of restaurants offering a range of regional dishes, excellent service and the famous Belgian beer.
  • Maredsous Abbey: In the neo-Gothic abbey, learn about the monks' dairy process and secret brewing recipe and sample their flowery-fruity ales and salty tang of their golden crusted cheese.
  • Rüdesheim: Explore the town and its famous Drosselgasse before enjoying a wine tasting at the 14th century Castle Vollrads.
  • Included Quality Dining: 14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 6 Lunches (L), 2 Welcome Dinners (WD), 1 Dine-Around Evening (DA), 6 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. While Cruising: You can enjoy unlimited beverages on-board, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Waterloo: 200 years after the fall of Napoleon, visit the site to discover why the Battle of Waterloo was such a defining moment in European history.
  • Ghent: With a Local Expert, visit St. Bavo's Cathedral with its Van Eyck masterpiece and see the Castle of the Counts.
  • Bastogne: Experience a fascinating insight into the history of the Second World War at the modern and interactive War Museum.
  • Amsterdam: Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the old waterways, where the wealthiest merchants built mansions during the Golden Age of the 17th century.
  • Cologne: Enjoy a walking discovery tour and visit the imposing Cathedral.
  • Koblenz: Choose from a walking discovery tour of this beautiful city or take an aerial cable car ride to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Later, visit Marksburg Castle.
  • Speyer: Choose from a walking discovery tour or an exclusive visit and tasting to the Doktorenhof vinegar estate.
  • Strasbourg: Choose from a picturesque canal cruise or an exclusive 'Do as the Locals Do' walking tour.
  • Alsace: Choose from a visit to the postcard-perfect wine villages of Kaysersberg and Riquewihr or experience a city tour of Colmar.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Brussels: The Sofitel Brussels Le Louise is designed to create a theatrical and stylish atmosphere and is located in the exclusive Avenue Louise area.
  • Clervaux: The Chateau D'Urspelt is a magnificent 18th century castle residence, classified as a national monument and fully renovated to feature both modern convenience and style, together with traditional charm.
  • Amsterdam: The bar on the 23rd floor of the luxurious Hotel Okura offers magnificent views over the city.
  • SS Antoinette: The luxurious décor of the 443-foot, 154-passenger S.S. Antoinette – Uniworld's first Super Ship – features fine Brazilian marble on the walls and floors, a 19th-century Venetian glass mirror, a stylish Bar du Leopard with full-service bar, and an onboard cinema. The two-story foyer boasts a 10-foot blue Strauss Baccarat chandelier with huge sapphires – a stunning piece that once hung in New York's famous Tavern on the Green – and a collection of original artwork is displayed throughout the ship.

ADDITIONAL FIVE-STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'. Concierge services are also available on-board your cruise. Enjoy 24-hour room service while cruising.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels as well as port charges during your cruise.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi, also available on selected River Cruise ships.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers available in Brussels at scheduled times. Complimentary transfer to port to board your River Cruise in Amsterdam. Included airport transfers available to Basel Airport for flights departing between 06:00 & 18:00.

Insight Vacations Tour Itinerary

Day: 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day: 2 Welcome to Brussels
Airport transfers depart Brussels Airport for your centrally-located hotel at 09:00, 11:00 and 14:30. After checking in, the afternoon is yours to relax. Later, join your Tour Director for a visit to the cheeky Manneken Pis statue and leisurely stroll around the Grand Place, voted the most beautiful square in Europe. Your delightful introductory evening also includes a Welcome Reception with drinks and an opportunity to mingle over dinner with wine.(WD)
Day: 3 Brussels and Waterloo
(Relaxed Start) Admire the contrast of the Chinese and Japanese Pavilions and the impressive, metallic spheres of the Atomium. Leaving the city limits behind, visit the battlefield of Waterloo to learn about Napoleon's final defeat in 1815. Immerse yourself in the action at the Panorama, where a huge 360⁰ mural depicts a key moment in the raging battle. If you're feeling energetic, you can climb the 230 steps to the top of the Lion's Mound for panoramic views over the battlefield and countryside. Back in Brussels, the remainder of the day is at leisure. Maybe try some Belgian Stoemp with a ‘Kwak' at dinner?(BB)
Day: 4 Ghent and on to Bruges
Cross the pasture lands of Belgian Flanders to your next stop in Ghent, the ‘City of Flowers' and rival to Bruges for its rich treasury of medieval heritage. With a Local Expert, visit St. Bavo's Cathedral with its Van Eyck masterpiece and see the Castle of the Counts. Continue to picture-perfect Bruges for a fabulous Dine-Around evening, amid the ‘olde worlde' atmosphere of the town centre.(BB / DA)
Day: 5 Sightseeing Bruges
(Relaxed Start) Meet a Local Expert from Bruges, for a stroll along cobbled streets, lined with high-gabled houses from the Golden Age of the 16th century. Visit the Market Square dominated by the 80m Belfry of the Market Hall. Then explore Burg Square with its ornate Gothic town hall and glorious frescoes on the walls of the Holy Blood Chapel. Later, enjoy a free afternoon. Maybe shop for handmade lace and praline chocolates? In the evening, there is an optional experience to the town of Ypres, where buglers sound the Last Post each evening in a moving tribute to those who fell during WWI.(BB)
Day: 6 To Maredsous Abbey and Luxembourg
Travel into the French-speaking Walloon region of Belgium today. Picturesque country roads lead you to the neo-Gothic Maredsous Abbey, towering over the Molignée Valley. The Abbey itself dates back to the 19th century, whereas the monks' dairy process and secret brewing recipe represent a thousand years of tradition. Sample for yourself the flowery-fruity ales and salty tang of their golden-crusted cheese. Only a short drive from here is Dinant on the River Meuse, its skyline dominated by the lofty Citadel and onion-domed bell tower of the Collegiate Church. Continue on to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and onto your 18th century castle home for two nights.(BB / DW)
Day: 7 Explore Bastogne and Luxembourg city
(Relaxed Start) Head for Bastogne in the morning to visit the Mardasson Monument, a star-shaped memorial dedicated to the US troops who died during WWII's ‘Battle of the Bulge'. You can also climb to the top for a perspective of what it might have been like during the winter of ‘44. Visit the Bastogne War Museum, a fascinating modern and interactive memorial centre highlighting the causes, events and consequences of the Second World War. Then onto Luxembourg City for sightseeing with a Local Expert. See the view over the Petrusse Ravine from the Pont Adolphe. Stroll through the old town to see the cathedral and the Palace of the Grand Duke. Visit the grave of US General George S. Patton, laid to rest alongside the men who fought and died in his great Third Army.(BB)
Day: 8 Liège then onto Rotterdam
Cross the rolling hills of the Ardennes plateau en route to Liège, birthplace of Emperor Charlemagne. In Rotterdam, the world's largest port rebuilt after wartime devastation, marvel at the radical modern design that has become its distinguishing feature. See the impressive market hall and the Erasmus Bridge as part of your orientation. In the evening, dine on local specialities in a friendly restaurant.(BB / RD)
Day: 9 Delft and the Hague then on to Amsterdam
(Relaxed Start) Visit one of the manufacturers of original Delft blue pottery and the market hall. Move on to the Hague, elegant governmental centre of the Netherlands. See the Binnenhof courtyards where the Parliament is situated and the impressive Peace Palace. Pass through picturesque villages and windmills of the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam for three fabulous nights.(BB)
Day: 10 Sightseeing Amsterdam and Join your Cruise
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, explore Amsterdam, a living museum of the 17th century, yet still a vibrant metropolis and port today. See the Mint Tower and nearby floating flower market before driving across Dam Square. Then take a canal cruise to explore the heart of the Old City. Later, transfer to your Uniworld boutique cruise ship, the SS Antoinette to begin your inspirational journey along the romantic Rhine.(BB / DW)
Day: 11 Cologne
You have an array of choices for how you wish to experience Cologne's many treasures. Those interested in history and architecture will want to stroll with a Local Expert through Old Town to the city's iconic UNESCO-listed Gothic Cologne Cathedral. For beer connoisseurs, you'll wish to visit a brewery to taste the traditional local brew of the city, Kölsch. And for lovers of art, you won't want to miss one of the most important contemporary museums in Europe, Museum Ludwig. Cap the day off at the Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.(BB / L / WD)
Day: 12 Koblenz, Boppard and Cruising the Rhine River
(Relaxed Start) When arriving in Koblenz, enjoy a walking discovery tour of this beautiful 'corner' of Germany. Alternatively, take an aerial tram ride up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which offers dazzling views of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. Later, get a close-up look at Marksburg Castle. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided stroll around the pretty, wine village of Boppard or join an exclusive “Go Active” bike ride from Koblenz to Boppard.(BB / L / DW)
Day: 13 The Romantic Rhine River to Rüdesheim
(Relaxed Start) Cruise along the spectacular, UNESCO-protected Upper Middle Rhine – a 40-mile-long stretch of river lined with castles. Stop to explore Rüdesheim and its famous Drosselgasse – a narrow lane lined with taverns and shops – before enjoying a wine tasting at the 14th century Castle Vollrads. Alternatively, soar up to the Niederwald Heights on a gondola, followed by a hike.(BB / L / DW)
Day: 14 Mannheim (Speyer).
Choose to fully experience the medieval town of Speyer, on a walking discovery tour. See its compact and historic centre boasting the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you can learn about unique wine vinegar aperitifs on an excursion to the Doktorenhof vinegar estate.(BB / L / DW)
Day: 15 Kehl (Strasbourg)
The Alsatian town of Strasbourg boasts a UNESCO-designated city centre in which you'll find a magnificent Gothic cathedral and charming half-timbered houses. See the sights on a delightful canal cruise through the picturesque Petite France district. Alternatively, choose to take an Old Town 'Do as the Locals Do' walking tour with stops for pastries and coffee. Spend the afternoon at your leisure.(BB / L / DW)
Day: 16 Breisach (Kaysersberg and Riquewihr or Colmar)
(Relaxed Start) Venture ashore and choose to visit either the postcard-perfect wine villages of Kaysersberg and Riquewihr or enjoy a city tour of Colmar's enchanting historic centre. In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.(BB / L / CD)
Day: 17 Depart Breisach - Basel
Disembark your ship in Breisach and enjoy a private transfer to the EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg for your flight home. Transfers available for flights departing between 06:00 & 18:00.(BB)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, TwinShare

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