Day 1:ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND.
Welcome to Amsterdam! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Meet your Local Guide and start your discovery of Holland with a CANAL CRUISE past gabled merchant houses, arched drawbridges reminiscent of the Golden Age, and the strikingly modern buildings of a young-at-heart city. Next, visit the fabulous RIJKSMUSEUM with its priceless paintings by Rembrandt and other Dutch masters. For those who wish to experience Dutch life in the countryside, an optional excursion is available to picture-book Volendam, a fishing village at the former Zuiderzee, including visits to a working windmill, a clogmaker, a cheese farm, plus dinner.
Day 3:AMSTERDAM. EXCURSION TO KEUKENHOF, DELFT & THE HAGUE.
Visit the famous bulb fields in South Holland and the extraordinary KEUKENHOF flower park (departures 0328-0509). Continue to the world-renowned ROYAL DELFT POTTERY FACTORY with its magnificent collection of hand-painted earthenware pieces, and see skilled craftsmen at work. After an orientation drive of The Hague-seat of the Dutch government and the International Court of Justice-return to Amsterdam and visit the HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE to learn about the history of beer and the art of brewing (departures 0516-1003). Later, you may wish to join an optional walk through Old Amsterdam, followed by a traditional Dutch dinner.
Day 4:AMSTERDAM-MAASTRICHT-BASTOGNE, BELGIUM- LUXEMBOURG.
Enter the Province of Limburg and stop in the picturesque city of Maastricht with its famous VRIJTHOF SQUARE. Cross the border and in Bastogne, visit the fascinating BASTOGNE WAR MUSEUM, then see the AMERICAN MEMORIAL of the Battle of the Bulge, where thousands of soldiers and civilians died during the winter of 1944-1945. Arrive in Luxembourg, capital of one of Europe’s smallest sovereign states.
Morning sightseeing with your Local Guide covers the city’s past and present-from the fortifications and the Old Town, perched high atop a sandstone outcrop with striking views of the Alzette and Petrusse Gorges, to the modern administrative centre of European institutions. Visit the CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY, see the turreted Grand Ducal Palace, take a stroll along the panoramic cliff path known as “the most beautiful balcony in Europe,” and see the GRAVE OF GENERAL PATTON. An optional excursion is available to ancient Trier in Germany.<
Day 6:LUXEMBOURG-WATERLOO, BELGIUM-BRUGES.
Drive through the Belgian Ardennes to Flanders and to WATERLOO. Visit the site where Napoleon was defeated and European history changed course, and relive the famous Battle of Waterloo. Arrive in Bruges, one of Western Europe’s most perfectly preserved medieval towns.
This morning, a CANAL CRUISE (weather permitting) and Belgian CHOCOLATE BONBONS will give you the first taste of this delightful town. The Local Guide will show you the Madonna of Bruges by Michelangelo in the CHURCH OF OUR LADY, featured in the movie The Monuments Men, and the famous MARKET SQUARE. Also enjoy a traditional LACE DEMONSTRATION, a reminder of Bruges’ history of cloth-making. Continue to Brussels, the thriving capital, where your orientation features the Rue Royale, the Parliament Buildings, the Royal Palace, and St. Michael’s Cathedral. Continue on foot and enter GRAND’PLACE to admire its baroque guild houses and the gothic Town Hall. You won’t want to leave Brussels without touching the statue of Everard t’Serclaes, a 14th-century hero, for good luck, and taking pictures of the tiny but world-famous statue of Manneken Pis.
This morning is your chance to join a half-day optional excursion to Antwerp, the second-largest Belgian city and one of the world’s most important ancient seaports. Balance of the day is at leisure to further explore Brussels at your own pace. Tonight, a farewell dinner at the lively Chez Leon restaurant, specializing in moules et frites (mussels and fries), is the perfect way to celebrate the success of your trip.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.