From medieval Bruges in Belgium to the vibrant Dutch capital of Amsterdam, follow meandering rivers and canals through storybook villages and idyllic countryside aboard the delightful Magnifique III. Begin in Bruges with a look at some of the city’s hidden artistic gems. Stop in Ghent, one of the largest and wealthiest cities in medieval Europe. In Dendermonde, admire the former Cloth Hall on Market Square or tour a local brewery. Step ashore in Antwerp to visit the 17th-century Rubens House. In Holland, where peace and prosperity reigned during the Golden Age of the 17th century, call at Vianen to see the “silver city” of Schoonhoven. Discover picturesque Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills, or sample local cheeses and sweet stroopwafels in Gouda. In Amsterdam, whose elaborate canal system is lined with the historic homes of wealthy merchants, see the splendid masterpieces of the Rijksmuseum. During optional daily bike tours (averaging two to three hours of easy cycling on flat terrain), pedal along scenic canal-side paths, stopping to explore medieval villages, windmills, and farmland. Non-bikers may take guided walking tours to enjoy a variety of fascinating historic and cultural sites.
Day 1. Depart on an overnight flight to Brussels, Belgium
Day 2. Brussels/Bruges, Belgium
Day 3. Bruges/Ghent, Belgium
Day 4. Dendermonde/Sint-Amands, Belgium
Day 5. Antwerp, Belgium
Day 6. Antwerp/Dordrecht, Holland
Day 7. Dordrecht/Vianen, Holland
Day 8. Vianen/Amsterdam, Holland
Day 9. Amsterdam/Return
- Cruise aboard the new Magnifique III, a Dutch-style boutique river boat with 20 comfortable cabins.
- Go behind the scenes in the charming town of Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Discover the medieval Flemish town of Dendermonde, where Magnifique III docks overnight.
- Experience the Low Countries as the locals do, on optional cycling tours along gentle, even terrain.
- Explore nine centuries of architecture, from the 12th-century Gravensteen Castle in Ghent to Zaha Hadid’s futuristic Harbor House in Antwerp.
- Admire works by Rubens, Michelangelo, Anthony van Dyck, Hans Memling, the van Eyck brothers, and other masters.