Yuletide Spirit: Amsterdam to Brussels 2020 (Southbound)
8 days with Tauck Rating:
Day 1 Welcome to Amsterdam/Embark Riverboat
Tour begins: 4:00 PM, Amsterdam. A transfer is included from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport or Centraal Train Station to Tauck’s riverboat where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM. Settle into your cabin and join us tonight for a welcome reception followed by dinner. (D)
Day 2 A Royal Concert, a Canal House & a Light Festival
Music fills the air this morning when you go ashore for a guided tour and mini concert at the Royal Concertgebouw, renowned for its world-famous orchestra and unparalleled acoustics. After lunch onboard ship, enjoy a private visit to a beautiful canal home, where your host shares stories about life along Amsterdam’s historic waterways. Illuminated artwork and sculptures lining the canals add a special glow to the city’s winter landscapes at night, and are a highlight of this evening’s festive canal cruise. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Gouda & Den Haag
A leisurely morning cruise brings you to Schoonhaven in south Holland for a drive to historic Gouda, famous for its namesake cheese, but also inviting with its lesser-known candles – and stroopwafels. Join a local guide for a walking tour of its compact canal-ringed city center – in December the market and Town Hall are stunningly candlelit! Visit 15th-century Sint-Janskerk (the Church of St. John), astonishing with 64 magnificent stained glass windows, many of which date back to the mid-1500s, and see the pride of the town, the monumental 17th-century Waag, (weighing house) and the Town Hall. Credited with inventing stroopwafels, an iconic waffle sandwich with syrup in the center, Gouda was the only city to make them until 1870. Enjoy a demonstration and a tasting during your visit to Gouda today! Continue on to the royal city of Den Haag for a walking tour that includes a visit to Escher in the Palace; housed in an 18th century palace that was once home to the Dutch royal family and is now a museum, it features a permanent exhibition of works by Dutch graphic artist MC Escher. (B, L, D)
Day 4 A Taste of Rotterdam or Day in Delft
A choice of shore excursions today includes a locally guided walking tour of Rotterdam or a visit to Delft and its porcelain factory. In Rotterdam, view world-class architecture and urban design, along with outdoor sculptures randomly placed, and as you make your way to the city’s covered Markthal; topped with sought-after glass-walled apartments, the market is lined with some 96 stalls enticing with a taste of Dutch culinary specialties under an arched fruit-and-vegetable muralled ceiling. Little changed since Golden Age artist Johannes Vermeer lived here in the 17th century, the historic center of Delft is a veritable time capsule of medieval treasures and Golden Age glories. Tour the city’s Royal Delft factory to learn more about the distinctive blue and white Delftware pottery first introduced by local artisans in the 17th century, before returning to your ship in Rotterdam. Enjoy the chef’s signature dinner tonight as your riverboat cruises to Ghent. (B, L, D)
Day 5 City Sightseeing in Ghent & Bruges
Your riverboat arrives in Ghent this morning where you can walk off the boat into the heart of history in one of Belgium’s oldest cities. Join a local guide for a city tour followed by free time to explore as you wish. Home to gabled guild hoses and private mansions and linked by canal bridges, Ghent is a city best enjoyed on foot. Continue on to the fortified medieval city of Bruges for lunch and guided exploration along its meandering canals, magnificent squares, and narrow cobblestone lanes. As you wander in the shadow of its soaring towers, past whitewashed almshouses and historic churches, all remarkably preserved, you will see why it is called a fairy-tale town. Return to your riverboat for dinner at leisure. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Gems of Antwerp
Sugar and diamond trading put Antwerp on the map in the mid-16th century when it was one of Europe’s most important cities. Today it is also famous for being the home of Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, inviting you to walk in the artist’s footsteps and see his masterpieces where he painted them. Traditionally held every December, the Antwerp Christmas Market is spread over different squares of the city, within walking distance of the Grote Markt and other landmarks you’ll see today. Guided sightseeing showcases the highlights of Antwerp this morning before returning to your riverboat for an afternoon of cruising and onboard delights. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Brussels in Winter
Wake up in Brussels this morning, disembarking after breakfast for a tour of the city that visits the enchanting cobblestoned square, Grand-Place, surrounded by ornately gilded 17th-century guildhouses, and the festive holiday markets of Winterfest , infused with the joys and spirit of the season. Time at leisure this afternoon lets you experience winter's wonders in Brussels as you wish. Join us aboard your riverboat this evening for a reception and farewell toast followed by dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Journey Home
Tour ends: Brussels. Disembark your riverboat this morning and fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the riverboat to Brussels Airport, Centraal Train Station or Brussels Midi Station. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport. (B)
All This Included
Festive fixes… glühwein, waffles, Belgian beers, stroopwafels, chocolate lace and cheese… heartwarming carols and concerts joyfully orchestrated… villages dressed in the season’s best… Dutch canals, cathedrals and candles aglow with yuletide spirit… Belgian squares and medieval markets making merry… aboard a riverboat cruise all decked out with holiday cheer.
The ribboned waterscapes of Holland and Belgium take on a special glow in December when storybook villages and fairy tale towns celebrate the joys of the season with holiday traditions centuries old. Experience yuletide spirit onboard and ashore on a river cruise that delights day and night… during a private performance inside Amsterdam’s royal concert house, on a visit to a private canal house and and an illuminating canal cruise… while having cheese and stroopwafels in Gouda… in Delft or Rotterdam, as you choose… on sightseeing excursions in Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp dressed in their holiday best… in market squares where merry making entices with hot mulled wines, waffles hot off the press, beers locally produced and chocolates laced with care… and at special receptions, dinners and cultural presentations aboard a riverboat decked out with cruising delights that make you feel right at home wherever we roam.
Cruising: Cabin onboard ms Grace
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.