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   Self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. Credit: Netherlands Tourism Bureau  Typical canal in Amsterdam  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

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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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Overview

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations on tour arrival and departure days. We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).

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)