Enjoy a river cruise along the canals and waterways of Holland and Belgium as you take in their magnificent art collections, spellbinding gardens (including more than seven million tulips at Keukenhof Gardens), and enchanting medieval villages.

Starting at: $3,390 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Some of the seven million tulips at Keukenhof  Keukenhof Gardens.  Credit: Steve Greye  Traditional Dutch landscape of countryside, windmills, and bicycles  Dutch landscape of tulip fields   Typical canal in Amsterdam  Rembrandt's <i>The Night Watch</i> at the Rijksmuseum. Credit: Netherlands Tourism Bureau  Vermeer's <i>The Milkmaid</i> in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Credit: Frans Lemmens/Alamy  Self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. Credit: Netherlands Tourism Bureau  Typical scene in Amsterdam  Windmills along the river in Kinderdijk  Evocative canal in Bruges  Charming canal in Bruges  Evening scene along a canal in Bruges

Waterways of Holland and Belgium

A River Cruise from Amsterdam to Antwerp Aboard the Amadeus Star

9 days from $3,390

Enjoy a river cruise along the canals and waterways of Holland and Belgium as you take in their magnificent art collections, spellbinding gardens (including more than seven million tulips at Keukenhof Gardens), and enchanting medieval villages.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The tour "Waterways of Holland and Belgium" was a truly wonderful, joyous experience - the places visited were interesting and often awe-inspiring; the ship was a lovely "base" and the leaders all were marvelous - and, I might add, we had a thoroughly delightful group of fellow travelers! 

- Becky R.

Would highly recommend this trip. Couldn't do enough to keep us happy, checked with us constantly to make sure that all was well, and could anything else be done, to make the trip more memorable.

- Patricia, H.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by September 27, 2019!

No Single Supplement for solo travelers! (Limited availability, book early to ensure your space)

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" dropdown. 

Overview

Our popular cruise of Holland and Belgium showcases magnificent art and architecture, spellbinding gardens, and enchanting medieval villages. Observe windmills, fields of flowers, and other cultural traditions of the Low Countries as you cruise along delightful canals and rivers from Amsterdam to Antwerp and enjoy a choice of included excursions. 

Highlights Include

  • Amsterdam: Take a private cruise along Amsterdam’s historic canals, lined with 16th- and 17th-century gabled row houses, which have been designated a World Heritage site. Then choose from three excursions, including a trip to the world-renowned Keukenhof Gardens, where more than seven million tulips, daffodils, and other spring flowers are expected to be in bloom; an active bicycle trip in rural Waterland, an area of historical villages and wetland north of the city; or a more leisurely day featuring a guided tour of the Old Masters at the Rijksmuseum balanced with time at leisure. 
  • Giethoorn: Glide along the waterways of Giethoorn, regarded as the most picturesque village in Holland with its abundance of interlacing canals, and explore the town of Kampen. 
  • The Hague and Delft: Choose from two compelling day excursions. In The Hague, see sites associated with the seat of Dutch government during a panoramic city tour, including the Parliament Building and the Peace Palace. Then visit the Mauritshuis Museum to view paintings by Vermeer and other Dutch Masters. Or travel to the charming town of Delft. Here, you’ll stroll through Market Square with its cultural highlights and learn about the history and production of Delft porcelain at the renowned Royal Delft Porcelain Factory.
  • Zeeland Coast: Come to understand the country’s continuous battle with the sea at the educational Delta Expo and then visit one of the storm surge barriers. 
  • Bruges and Antwerp: The World Heritage site of Bruges features treasured 15th-century architecture, picturesque canals, and arched footbridges. Following a walking tour, choose from three excursions that focus on Flemish art, Belgian chocolate, or Belgian beer. Your cruise concludes in Antwerp with a walking tour of this medieval city. ​
  • Small Ship Experience: All departures will be aboard the Amadeus Star. This upscale small river ship features sophisticated staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. See more information about the ship on the Tour Details page. Please note that the direction of the cruise varies depending on departure date and is outlined under the Itinerary section below. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. 

See a special photo gallery of images taken on the 2019 cruise. 

The tour "Waterways of Holland and Belgium" was a truly wonderful, joyous experience - the places visited were interesting and often awe-inspiring; the ship was a lovely "base" and the leaders all were marvelous - and, I might add, we had a thoroughly delightful group of fellow travelers! 

- Becky R.

Would highly recommend this trip. Couldn't do enough to keep us happy, checked with us constantly to make sure that all was well, and could anything else be done, to make the trip more memorable.

- Patricia, H.

2020 Itinerary - Amsterdam to Antwerp - April 3-11 & April 17-25

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S., Arrive in Amsterdam

Smithsonian Journeys travelers depart the U.S. for Amsterdam via overnight transatlantic flights. After a morning arrival at Schiphol International Airport, transfer to Amsterdam and embark the Amadeus Star. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be on board to help with suggestions for independent activities. There is time to relax and settle in. In the early evening, gather for a presentation on Contemporary Holland followed by dinner. (D)

Day 3 — Amsterdam

After breakfast, choose from three included shore excursions.

Choice #1 – Keukenhof Gardens: Explore the renowned Keukenhof Gardens, an 80-acre paradise of tulips, hyacinths and other beautiful flowers. Enjoy a short walk around the grounds with your expert guide and learn the story of these magnificent gardens. There’s time to follow your own path, and enjoy the flowers on your own. 

Choice #2 – Waterland Bike Hike: Travel to “Waterland” for a guided bike ride in a rural setting located just north of Amsterdam. Almost half the area consists of fen, a marshy wetland. Waterland is comprised of nine historical villages. You’ll see ZunderdorpRansdorp, and Durgerdam. Bike helmets will be provided.

Choice #3 – Visit the Old Masters: The Rijksmuseum is home to a remarkable display of Dutch art. Rembrandt’s Night Watch is one of the most famous works in the collection. Discover the works of Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Jan Asselijn and Jan Steen to name a few. Linger longer and enjoy time on your own.

This evening, gather for a  welcome reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 4 — Kampen and Giethoorn

From Kampen, set out for the quaint, “pedestrians-only” town of Giethoorn. Board a boat and sail through several miles of quaint, picture-perfect canals where you’ll learn about small-town Dutch life. The town of Giethoorn is set against lush and picturesque Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Later in the afternoon, a walking-tour of Kampen is planned with time free for exploring on your own. Before dinner, join friends in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — The Hague and Delft

Today, join one of two included tours ashore.

Choice #1 – The Hague featuring Mauritshaus: Travel to The Hague, seat of the Dutch government. See the Peace Palace and the Binnenhof where the national parliament meets. Visit the residential suburb of Wassenaar, home to the King of the Netherlands. Visit the Mauritshuis Museum, which showcases a remarkable collection of paintings by the Dutch Masters.

Choice #2 – Royal Delft: Travel to Delft where a walking tour is planned. Stroll through the Market Square and see the historic and cultural highlights of Old Delft. Continue to the Royal Delft Porcelain Factory, established in the 17th-century, and learn about the history, development, and production of Delft Blue and Royal Delft. See a master painter at work and visit the museum that has treasured antique pieces on display.

There’s free time on your own. Spend time enjoying new friends in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Zeeland Coast, Neeltje Jans Island and Veere

The story of the Netherlands and its battle with the sea is an epic one. Travel along the coast of Zeeland to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and the Delta Expo. During an innovative audio-video presentation, learn about the Delta Works, a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers, conceived after the destructive North Sea flood in February 1953. There is time to visit one of the storm surge barriers. Return to the ship where the remainder of the day is at leisure in Veere. Late in the day meet fellow travelers for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Bruges

Take your choice of one of the following included excursions in Bruges.

Choice #1 – Cultural Bruges: Begin with a walking tour of this storybook town, located in West Flanders, with twisting lanes, canals, and arched bridges. See the Marketplace, Belfry Tower, the Town Hall and the Chapel of the Holy Blood. Visit the Groeninge Museum with its remarkable collection of Flemish and other noteworthy master painters.

Choice #2 – Bruges and Beer: See the historic and cultural highlights of Bruges then visit the Brewery de Halve Maan where an expert guide will explain the process of brewing the famous Belgian beer. During the visit, you have the chance to sample the wares.

Choice #3 – Bruges and Belgian Chocolate: Tour the historic and cultural points of interest in Bruges then visit a chocolaterie where you’ll learn about the history of Belgian chocolate and sample some of the treats.

There’s free time for lunch independently and exploring on your own before returning to the ship in Antwerp. This evening, get together with fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for dinner at an authentic Belgian restaurant in the harbor area. (B,D)

Day 8 — Antwerp

This morning, attend a talk by a local expert on Contemporary Belgium. Afterward, stroll through the city on a guided walking tour to see medieval architecture, and other historic and cultural treasures of the city. Antwerp dates back to the 13th century and features a wealth of medieval architecture. Their treasures are preserved today in the city's many churches and museums. Antwerp is well-versed in gems of all sorts as more than 80% of the world's rough diamonds pass through the city's Diamantkwartier, making it the largest diamond district in the world. 

The balance of the day is free of planned activities. This evening, join fellow travelers for a farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Return to the U.S.

After an early breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to Brussels Airport for your flight to your U.S. gateway city. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2020 Itinerary - Antwerp to Amsterdam - April 10-18 & April 24-May 2

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. and Arrive in Brussels

Smithsonian Journeys travelers depart the U.S. for Brussels via overnight transatlantic flights. Upon arrival at Brussels Airport, transfer to Antwerp and embark the Amadeus Star

Stroll through Antwerp on a guided walking tour. Antwerp dates back to the 13th century and features a wealth of medieval architecture. Their treasures are preserved today in the city's many churches and museums. Antwerp is well-versed in gems of all sorts as more than 80% of the world's rough diamonds pass through the city's Diamantkwartier, making it the largest diamond district in the world.

This evening a local expert joins for a presentation on Contemporary Belgium with dinner immediately following. (D)

Day 3 — Bruges and Veere

Take your choice of one of the following shore excursions in Bruges.

Choice #1 –Cultural Bruges:  During a guided walking tour of Bruges, stroll along winding cobbled lanes and across tiny arched bridges.  View the bustling marketplace, Belfry Tower, the Town Hall and the Chapel of the Holy Blood.  Afterward, visit the Groeninge Museum, which offers a rich array of Belgian artwork. Highlights include collections by Flemish primitives, various Renaissance and Baroque masters, along with pieces from the Neo-classical periods of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Choice #2 – Bruges and Beer:  There is no doubt that Belgium is the country of beer since it offers more than 450 varieties of brew. You will begin your guided walk in Bruges where you are given the impression that you have stepped back in time. Your guide will lead you through the narrow, twisting cobblestone streets, passing by picturesque scenes of ancient buildings, tree-lined canals, and gabled facades. View the bustling marketplace, Belfry Tower, the Town Hall, and the Chapel of the Holy Blood. The highlight is undoubtedly a visit to a well-known local brewery De Halve Maan. At the end of your brewery tour, you will have a choice to taste one of their delicious Belgian beers. 

Choice #3 – Bruges and Belgian Chocolate: Bruges, the capital city of the province of West Flanders, is where you will learn much about this historic city. Join your guide for an entertaining walk through the quaint, cobbled streets and past centuries-old buildings, including the marketplace with its impressive Guild Halls. View the Belfry Tower that stands in the center of town, the Town Hall, the 12th century Gothic Basilica of the Holy Blood, which used to be the residence of the Count of Flanders, and the Church of Our Lady, a 13th-century cathedral. Then, you will walk to a chocolatier where you will enjoy an informative visit and learn about the history of Belgian chocolate.  

There’s free time for lunch independently and exploring on your own. This evening, get together with fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner on board. (B,R,D)

Day 4 — Zeeland Coast / Neeltje Jans Island / Veere

The story of the Netherlands and its battle with the sea is an epic one. Travel along the coast of Zeeland to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and the Delta Expo. During an innovative audio-video presentation, learn about the Delta Works, a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers, conceived after the destructive North Sea flood in February 1953. There is time to visit one of the storm surge barriers. Return to the ship where the remainder of the day is at leisure in Veere.

After a full day, relax on board and spend time with your fellow traveling companions in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — The Hague and Delft

Today, join one of two included tours ashore.

Choice #1 –The Hague featuring Mauritshaus: Travel to The Hague, seat of the Dutch government. See the Peace Palace and the Binnenhof where the national parliament meets. Visit the residential suburb of Wassenaar, home to the King of the Netherlands. Visit the Mauritshuis Museum, which showcases a remarkable collection of paintings by the Dutch Masters.

Choice #2 – Royal Delft: Travel to Delft where a walking tour is planned. Stroll through the Market Square and see the historic and cultural highlights of Old Delft. Continue to the Royal Delft Porcelain Factory, established in the 17th-century, and learn about the history, development, and production of Delft Blue and Royal Delft. See a master painter at work and visit the museum that has treasured antique pieces on display. There’s free time on your own.

Return to the ship in time for lunch. Spend time enjoying new friends in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Kampen and Giethoorn

This morning depart Kampen and visit the whimsical, car-free village of Giethoorn which seems to have materialized out of a fairy tale. Rove through the four miles of picturesque canals by boat.  Afterward, wander on foot. Soak in the scene of exquisite, 18th-century farmhouses set against the Weerribben-Wieden National Park as you immerse yourself in the pleasures of small-town Dutch life.

After your day in Giethoorn rejoin the Amadeus Star. Before dinner, spend some time with fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Amsterdam

Board a canal cruiser for a unique tour of Amsterdam. Cruise a portion of more than 60 miles of tree-lined canals and waterways. Admire some of the city's 1,500 bridges, dozens of islands, charming Dutch homes, and the architectural gems of the bustling city harbor during a guided cruise with a local expert.

Late in the day gather for a presentation by a local speaker on Contemporary Holland, dinner will immediately follow(B,L,D)

Day 8 — Amsterdam

After breakfast, choose from three included excursions.

Choice #1 – Keukenhof Gardens: Explore the renowned Keukenhof Gardens, an 80-acre paradise of tulips, hyacinths and other beautiful flowers. Enjoy a short walk around the grounds with your expert guide and learn the story of these magnificent gardens. There’s time to follow your own path, and enjoy the flowers on your own. 

Choice #2 – Waterland Bike Hike: Travel to “Waterland” for a guided bike ride in a rural setting located just north of Amsterdam. Almost half the area consists of fen, a marshy wetland. Waterland is comprised of nine historical villages. You’ll see ZunderdorpRansdorp, and Durgerdam. Bike helmets will be provided.

Choice #3 – Visit the Old Masters: The Rijksmuseum is home to a remarkable display of Dutch art. Rembrandt’s Night Watch is one of the most famous works in the collection. Discover the works of Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Jan Asselijn and Jan Steen to name a few. Linger longer and enjoy time on your own.

This evening, join fellow travelers for a farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Return to the U.S.

After an early breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport for the flight to your U.S. gateway city. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)