Experience Holland and Belgium at the height of the spring bloom as you sail inland waterways between Antwerp and Amsterdam. Discover medieval trade centers, vibrant cities, and magnificent art and architecture; and encounter millions of blossoms at the incomparable Keukenhof Gardens.

Starting at: $4,790 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Some of the seven million tulips at Keukenhof
Some of the seven million tulips at Keukenhof
 Keukenhof Gardens.  Credit: Steve Greye
Keukenhof Gardens. Credit: Steve Greye
 Dutch landscape of tulip fields
Dutch landscape of tulip fields
 Traditional Dutch landscape of countryside, windmills, and bicycles
Traditional Dutch landscape of countryside, windmills, and bicycles
 Typical canal in Amsterdam
Typical canal in Amsterdam
 Traditional canal houses in Amsterdam
Traditional canal houses in Amsterdam
 Typical scene in Amsterdam
Typical scene in Amsterdam
 Charming Giethoorn
Charming Giethoorn
 The Mauritshuis in The Hague
The Mauritshuis in The Hague
 Gallery at the Mauritshuis. Credit: Netherlands Tourism Bureau
Gallery at the Mauritshuis. Credit: Netherlands Tourism Bureau
 Tranquil canal in Gouda
Tranquil canal in Gouda
 Town square in Gouda
Town square in Gouda
 Traditional Dutch cheese
Traditional Dutch cheese
 Main square in Delft
Main square in Delft
 Traditional blue and white Delft porcelain
Traditional blue and white Delft porcelain
 Storm Surge Barrier at the Delta Works, Zeeland
Storm Surge Barrier at the Delta Works, Zeeland
 Storm Surge Barrier at the Delta Works, Zeeland
Storm Surge Barrier at the Delta Works, Zeeland
 Evening scene along a canal in Bruges
Evening scene along a canal in Bruges
 Evocative canal in Bruges
Evocative canal in Bruges
 Typical cafe scene in Antwerp
Typical cafe scene in Antwerp
 Grote Markt in Antwerp
Grote Markt in Antwerp

Waterways of Holland and Belgium

A River Cruise from Amsterdam to Antwerp

10 days from $4,790

Experience Holland and Belgium at the height of the spring bloom as you sail inland waterways between Antwerp and Amsterdam. Discover medieval trade centers, vibrant cities, and magnificent art and architecture; and encounter millions of blossoms at the incomparable Keukenhof Gardens.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure

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

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by August 30, 2024!

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" drop down. 

Overview

Experience Holland and Belgium at the height of the spring bloom on our popular program traveling between Antwerp and Amsterdam. Enjoy a pre or post night stay in Amsterdam, with visits to the world-renowned Rijksmuseum and Rembrandt House. Board an upscale river ship, glide along picturesque canals and waterways to discover medieval trade centers, historic cities, and magnificent art and architecture. Enjoy a choice of excursions at many ports of call, including a brewery tour in Bruges and a visit to the porcelain capital of Delft; and stroll among seven million dazzling blossoms at the incomparable Keukenhof Gardens.

Highlights Include:

  • Amsterdam: Gather for one night in a centrally located hotel for guided visits to the Rijksmuseum and the Rembrandt House. Take a private cruise along Amsterdam’s historic network of canals, a World Heritage site lined with 16th- and 17th-century gabled rowhouses and criss-crossed with picturesque bridges. Stroll among seven million blossoms at Keukenhof Gardens—open for only two months at the height of the tulip bloom. Enjoy free time to discover Amsterdam further.
  • Kampen: Set out on a walking tour of this Hanseatic port, admiring its centuries-old buildings and unique architecture. Choose to explore a traditional shipyard and a replica of a 14th-century kogge sailing vessel, or visit a brewery for a tour and tasting. Alternatively, enjoy an excursion to the fairytale village of Giethoorn.
  • The Hague, Delft, or Gouda: Choose from three compelling day excursions. On a city tour of the Hague, view Parliament and the Peace Palace, and visit the renowned Mauritshuis museum to view paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and other Dutch Masters. Alternatively, take a walking tour of charming Delft and see artisans at work at the Royal Delft Porcelain Factory, or head to Gouda to visit the sites and sample the town’s namesake cheese.
  • Zeeland and the Delta Works: Gain insight into the Netherlands' continuous battle with the sea on a guided tour of the fascinating Delta Works, an innovative system of dams and barriers designed to protect Zeeland from storm surge.
  • Bruges and Antwerp, Belgium: Discover the World Heritage site of Bruges on a walking tour and focus on Flemish art, Belgian chocolate, or Belgian beer during an excursion of your choice. In vibrant Antwerp, walk through town on a guided tour, admiring a range of intriguing architecture and learning the town’s vivid folklore.
  • Small Ship Experience:  Your home base is an elegant river ship featuring sophisticated staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. In 2025, the April 7-16 departure will be aboard the Amadeus Queen; the April 15-24 and April 23-May 2 departures will be aboard the Amadeus Cara; and the April 21-30 departure will be aboard the Amadeus Imperial. For more information and deck plans, please visit the Tour Details tab. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, adding diverse perspectives and dynamic energy to the experience.

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.

2025 Itinerary - Amsterdam to Antwerp - April 7-16, April 15-24 and April 21-May 2

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

Upon arrival at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, you will be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director.  After having cleared Immigrations and Customs formalities, you’ll proceed to deluxe motor coaches for the drive to the NH Leidseplein Hotel conveniently located in central Amsterdam. Upon arrival at the hotel, guests will check-in and luggage will be delivered to the traveler’s rooms. For your convenience, Smithsonian Journeys has made special arrangements so that you will have immediate occupancy of your room. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available today and throughout the program for suggestions regarding tours, restaurants and independent activities. In late morning, enjoy an escorted orientation walk around the hotel. Lunch will be at leisure. Afterward, board a canal boat 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 canal-side houses and the architectural gems of the bustling city harbor during this guided cruise with a local expert. After free time, join your fellow travelers for a welcome reception. Your Smithsonian Journeys expert and Travel Director will welcome you with introductions and a program overview. (R)

Day 3 — Amsterdam

Start your day with a buffet breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards, depart for a tour to the iconic Rijksmuseum, home to a world-class collection of Dutch art and artifacts, including Rembrandt’s iconic Night Watch (de Nachtwacht) as well as works by Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals. After lunch in town, venture to the Rembrandt House, a museum housed within the artist's home and studio that showcases his art as well as his everyday life. In late afternoon, embark the ship.* After getting settled on board, a local speaker will give a talk about contemporary Holland. Before dinner, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about the day’s experiences. Dinner is served aboard ship. (B,L,D) *April 7-16 guests will board the Amadeus Queen, April 15-24 guests will board the Amadeus Cara, and April 21-30 guests will board the Amadeus Imperial ​​.​​

Day 4 — Amsterdam / Keukenhof Gardens

Set out for Keukenhof Gardens after an early breakfast—arriving at this renowned, 80-acre garden just after opening to avoid the larger crowds. Open for just two months every year, the gardens are planted annually with some seven million bulbs. Take a short walk with a local guide to get oriented amid the brilliant beds of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, narcissus, and other blooms. Then enjoy time on your own to stroll through the gardens and their pavilions, where rare hybrids in incredible colors and shapes are on display. Return to the ship for lunch on board and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon to explore Amsterdam as you wish. Gather this evening for a festive welcome reception and dinner. The ship departs across the Ijsselmeer towards Kampen tonight. (B,L,R,D)

Day 5 — Kampen

Poised at the mouth of the Ijssel River, the medieval city of Kampen was once an important port in the Hanseatic League. With well-preserved town gates and grand towers, Kampen is packed with historic buildings, including merchant houses and churches. Elegant tall ships dock along the river’s edge, and a traditional shipyard recreates the town’s Hanseatic heyday. This morning, set out your choice of excursion.

Historic Kampen: Join a local expert for a walking tour of the town, admiring architecture that spans the centuries, including the Church of St Nicholas; the Gothic House; the impressive town gates; and the Old Town Hall, where the fish market has been held since the Hanseatic era. Then head to the waterfront to visit a seaworthy replica of a 14th-century Hanseatic kogge ship, a wooden vessel used to transport salt, fish, and other goods; and stop in at a ship-building workshop and a typical fisherman’s cottage.

Kampen Walking Tour and Brewery Visit: Set out on foot to view the town's historic highlights, including the Church of St Nicholas; the Gothic House; the medieval town gates; and the Old Town Hall. End your guided walk with a visit to a local brewery and learn about the evolution of Dutch beer during a tour and tasting.

Giethoorn: Visit the whimsical, car-free village of Giethoorn which seems to have materialized out of a fairy tale. Board a local boat and glide through four miles of picturesque canals, taking in the quaint scenery. Later, immerse yourself in the pleasures of small-town Dutch life while exploring on foot, viewing 18th-century farmhouses set against the Weerribben Wieden nature preserve.

Lunch is served aboard ship. Later this afternoon, a local speaker will give a talk about the Hanseatic mercantile league, which expanded from Germany to reach as far as Poland, the Baltics, and Holland during the medieval era. Enjoy time at leisure to meander through lovely Kampen before dinner aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — The Hague, Delft, or Gouda

Again today, you can personalize your shore-side experience with a choice of one of the following excursions.

The Hague with the Mauritshuis: Travel to The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government.  Enjoy a panoramic tour of The Hague by coach, and be sure to take a photo or two at the famed Peace Palace. Pass by the Binnenhof where the Dutch parliament meets.  Afterwards, visit the Mauritshuis where the famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer is on display. 

Royal Delft and the Porcelain Factory: Travel to Delft where you will enjoy a walking tour, stroll the Market Square and see the sights of Old Delft.  Then continue to the Royal Delft Porcelain Factory, the only remaining factory of the 32 earthenware factories that were first established in Delft in the 17th century.  Learn about the history, development, and production process of Delft Blue and Royal Delft.  See a master pottery painter at work and visit a museum with antique Delft pieces. Enjoy some free time exploring the town.

Gouda, the City of Cheese: Travel by coach to Gouda, city of cheese. Upon arrival, you will see the historic market square and visit the Sint Jan Church, the longest church of the Netherlands. See its renowned stained-glass windows, which date back to the medieval and Renaissance eras and depict scenes from the Bible and from Dutch history. End your tour with a tasting of varieties of Gouda cheese, learning from a local expert about the history and flavors of this famous cheese.

Return to the ship for lunch and a relaxing afternoon of cruising. Join fellow travelers and Smithsonian Journeys Expert this evening for an exclusive reception and an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. (B,L,R,D)

Day 7 — Zeeland Coast / Neeltje Jans / Veere

This morning, follow the coast of Zeeland to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and the Delta Works, where the Netherlands’ ongoing battle with the sea is on full display. Trace the events of the devastating 1953 North Sea flood during an immersive audiovisual experience, and learn how the Dutch responded with a remarkable feat of engineering: a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers that are triggered when the seas rise. This afternoon, stroll through the charming, historic town of Veere, once a center of the Scottish wool trade. Late in the day, gather with fellow travelers for an informal discussion with your expert in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Bruges / Antwerp

This morning disembark, the ship in Middelburg and motor to the fabled city of Bruges, one of northern Europe’s leading hubs of trade and the arts from the 14th to the 16th century. Walk along canals and winding lanes, discovering the historic and cultural highlights of this World Heritage site on your choice of one of three specialized tours.

Cultural Bruges:  Your walking tour includes visits to the town’s artistic hotspots, including the Groeninge Museum, known for its remarkable collection of Flemish Primitives and other noteworthy artists.

Bruges and Beer: End your walking tour at the Brewery de Halve Maan, where six generations of the Maes family have brewed fine beers since 1856. On a tour, learn how beer brewing has changed over the decades, and sip a sample in the brasserie.

Bruges and Belgian Chocolate: After your walking tour, visit one of the city’s premier chocolateries. Step into the workshop to witness how fine chocolates are made and learn about the history of Belgian chocolate. You’ll have a chance to sample some of the treats.

Take advantage of free time to get lunch at one of the town’s many restaurants or one of the traditional friteries, and explore Bruges on your own. Late this afternoon, travel by motor coach to Antwerp to rejoin the ship. Dinner awaits on board. (B,D)

Day 9 — Antwerp

This morning, attend a talk by a local speaker on contemporary Belgium. Then take a guided walking tour of Antwerp, Belgium’s fashionable second city, which became a thriving center of commerce and publishing in the 1500s. Admire its grand architecture—ranging from baroque to Art Nouveau—and hear about its vibrant history as you stroll through café-lined squares and winding alleys. Antwerp is well-known as a capital of the diamond industry, and more than 80% of the world's rough diamonds pass through the Diamantkwartier, the largest diamond district in the world.

The remainder of the day is yours to discover Antwerp as you wish. Tonight, join fellow travelers for a farewell reception and dinner on board. (B,L,R,D)

Day 10 — Return to the U.S.

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

Please note that there may be changes to the itinerary necessitated by operational considerations.

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

2025 Itinerary - Antwerp to Amsterdam - April 23-May 2

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S./Brussels, Belgium/Antwerp

Depart on an overnight flight to Brussels, Belgium. Upon arrival at Brussels Airport, you will be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director.  After having cleared Immigrations and Customs formalities, you’ll proceed to deluxe motor coaches for the drive to the Amadeus Cara docked in Antwerp. Approximate driving time from Brussels Airport to Antwerp is approximately one hour. Upon arrival at the ship, luggage will be delivered directly to your cabin. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available today and throughout the program for suggestions regarding tours, restaurants and independent activities. For those who subscribed to the pre-cruise extension, transfer from the hotel in Antwerp to the ship.

After getting settled, join a guided walking tour of Antwerp, Belgium’s fashionable second city became a thriving center of commerce and publishing in the 1500s. Admire its grand architecture—ranging from baroque to Art Nouveau—and hear about its vibrant history as you stroll through café-lined squares and winding alleys. Antwerp is well-known as a capital of the diamond industry, and more than 80% of the world's rough diamonds pass through the Diamantkwartier, the largest diamond district in the world.

This evening, gather for a presentation on contemporary Belgium by a local speaker before dinner on board. (D)

Day 3 — Bruges / Veere

After breakfast depart the ship by motorcoach for the fabled city of Bruges, one of northern Europe’s leading hubs of trade and the arts from the 14th to the 16th century. Walk along canals and winding lanes with a guide, discovering the historic and cultural highlights of this World Heritage site on your choice of one of three specialized tours.

Cultural Bruges:  Your walking tour includes visits to the town’s artistic hotspots, including the Groeninge Museum, known for its remarkable collection of Flemish Primitives and other noteworthy artists.

Bruges and Beer: End your walking tour at the Brewery de Halve Maan, where six generations of the Maes family have brewed fine beers since 1856. On a tour, learn how beer brewing has changed over the decades, then sip a sample in the brasserie.

Bruges and Belgian Chocolate: After your walking tour, visit one of the city’s premier chocolateries. Step into the workshop to witness how fine chocolates are made and learn about the history of Belgian chocolate. You’ll have a chance to taste some of the treats.

Take advantage of free time to stop for lunch at one of the town’s many restaurants or traditional friteries, and explore Bruges on your own. Rejoin the ship in the Dutch town of Middelburg and sail through Zeeland to Veere. This evening, join fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner on board. (B,R,D)

Day 4 — Veere / Neeltje Jans

Travel to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and the Delta Works, where the Netherlands’ ongoing battle with the sea is on full display. Trace the events of the devastating 1953 North Sea flood during an immersive audiovisual experience, and learn how the Dutch responded with a remarkable feat of engineering: a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers that are triggered when the seas rise. This afternoon, stroll through the quiet village of Veere, once a center of the Scottish wool trade. In the late afternoon, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — The Hague / Delft / Gouda

After a morning of cruising, delve deeper into Dutch culture on one of the following excursions.

The Hague: Examine Dutch art and politics on a tour of The Hague, the seat of the government. Take a panoramic tour of the city by coach, stopping to see the Peace Palace, which houses the International Court of Justice, and the Binnenhof, where parliament meets. Continue to the Mauritshuis, home to a world-renowned collection of 17th-century masterpieces, including works by Van Dyck and Rembrandt, as well as Johannes Vermeer’s iconic “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

Delft: Travel to picturesque Delft, the birthplace of Vermeer and the porcelain capital of the Netherlands. With a local guide, stroll along tranquil canals and cobblestone squares, admiring the Gothic and Renaissance architecture of Old Delft. After time to experience the town on your own, tour the Royal Delft Porcelain Factory, established in the 17th century. Learn about the history, evolution, and artistry of Delft Blue and Royal Delft, and see master craftspeople at work.

Gouda: Journey to Gouda, known for its namesake cheese. In the heart of the old town, admire the remarkable 15th-century Town Hall and the 17th-century house where cheeses were weighed. Visit Sint Jan Church, known as the longest church in the Netherlands, and admire its stained-glass windows, which display scenes from Dutch history as well as the Bible. Your guided visit concludes with a sampling of different varieties of Gouda cheese.

After returning to the ship, get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for an exclusive reception and a discussion about the day’s discoveries. Dinner will follow on board. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Kampen

Today personalize your experience with a choice of one of the following tours ashore.

Historic Kampen: Rich in history, Kampen is known for its former prominence as a Hanseatic town and has an ancient tradition of commerce and shipping. Participate in a walking tour where you will see the Church of St Nicholas, the Gothic House, and the Town Gates.  Pass by the Old Town Hall, where the fish market has been held since the 14th century. Visit a Hanseatic “kogge” ship along the way.

Kampen Walking Tour: Participate in a walking tour where you will see the Church of St Nicholas, the Gothic House, and the Town Gates.  Pass by the Old Town Hall, where the fish market has been held since the 14th century.  Savor a visit to a local brewery to learn about Dutch beers and enjoy a tasting.

Giethoorn: Visit the whimsical, car-free village of Giethoorn which seems to have materialized out of a fairy tale. Cruise through four miles of picturesque canals by boatAfterwards, explore by foot. Soak in the scene of exquisite, 18th-century farmhouses set against the Weerribben Wieden nature preserve as you immerse yourself in the pleasures of small-town Dutch life.

Lunch is served aboard ship. Later this afternoon, a local speaker will talk about the Hanseatic mercantile league of medieval German towns expanded during the Middle Ages to include ports and towns from Holland to Poland. Discuss the importance and influence of this unique legal/commercial alliance that helped to shape the history of northern Europe. Enjoy time at leisure in this lovely town. Dinner is served aboard ship. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Amsterdam

This morning, gather for a presentation by a local speaker on contemporary Netherlands. Then travel into the historic center of Amsterdam and board a glass-topped boat for a canal cruise. With narration by a guide, learn how and why the canals were created; and see the city's unique bridges, gabled houses, and important landmarks. Following an independent lunch in town, enjoy the remainder of the afternoon to explore Amsterdam as you wish. Consider a visit to the excellent Van Gogh Museum. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Amsterdam

Set out for Keukenhof Gardens after an early breakfast—arriving at this renowned, 80-acre garden just after opening to avoid the larger crowds. Open for just two months every year, the gardens are planted annually with some seven million bulbs. Take a short walk with a local guide to get oriented amid the brilliant beds of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, narcissus, and other blooms. Then enjoy time on your own to stroll through the gardens and their pavilions, where rare hybrids in incredible colors and shapes are on display. Return to the ship for lunch on board followed by free time. This evening, join fellow travelers for a farewell reception and dinner on board. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Amsterdam

This morning, disembark the ship and check-in at the centrally located NH Leidseplein Hotel. By special arrangement, Smithsonian Journeys Travelers will have immediate access their rooms with early check-in. Start exploring on a tour to the iconic Rijksmuseum, home to an iconic collection of Dutch art and history. Rembrandt’s Night Watch (de Nachtwacht) is one of the most famous works by the Dutch master. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Continue on to the Rembrant House that showcases a selection of Rembrandt’s works. This museum re-creates the atmosphere Rembrandt had at home and in his studio. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. In early evening, gather for a farewell reception. Afterward, dine independently. (B,L)

Day 10 — Depart for the U.S.

After an early breakfast, transfer to Schiphol International Airport for the transatlantic flight to your U.S. gateway city. (B)

Please note that there may be changes to the itinerary necessitated by operational considerations.

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

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