Discover the scenic charm of Belgium and the Netherlands with this 8-day roundtrip from Amsterdam. Visiting Veere, Antwerp, Arnhem and Hoorn, this is the ideal way to explore this serene corner of Europe. The Netherlands and Belgium boast some of the most picturesque landscapes in northern Europe, where medieval windmills dot the countryside and patchwork flower-fields stretch to the horizon. It’s here, among the canals, waterworks and rivers, where you’ll enjoy this wonderful 8-day itinerary, which takes you from the elegance of Amsterdam to the delightful Flemish countryside via charming destinations like Arnhem, Antwerp, Veere and Hoorn. Departing from Amsterdam, you’ll pay a visit to Zaanse Schans, a vibrant community founded in the 18th century, before travelling to the coastal town of Veere. Here, you’ll be introduced to the fascinating Delta Works, which were built in the 1950s to prevent the area being ravaged by the North Sea. From there, you’ll travel into Belgium via the River Sheltz to explore the charming medieval streets of Antwerp, Belgium’s illustrious second city. Before returning to the Dutch capital, you’ll visit Arnhem, a charming village which was the scene of one of the most significant battles of WWII. After calling at Hoorne, once one of the most prosperous trading towns in the Netherlands, you’ll head back to Amsterdam, where you’ll be given the chance to visit the incredible Keukenhof Gardens.
Welcome to Amsterdam, a fascinating 700 year old city of picturesque canals, world class museums, theatres and cafés. You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Waterways luxury river cruise ship. After boarding, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore Amsterdam. This evening join your fellow travellers for dinner on board.
Day 2 Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans
This morning we venture to Zaanse Schans, which is one of the highlights of the Netherlands, just outside Amsterdam. This vibrant and stunning living and working community that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, with many farms and windmills. Alternatively, you can enjoy a guided bike tour in Amsterdam area. Tonight the Captain will be delighted to welcome you to a gala dinner. EmeraldPLUS: Tour to Zaanse Schans Windmills EmeraldACTIVE: Guided Bike Tour in Amsterdam
Day 3 - Veere - Delta Works
Today you will arrive in Veere, an area that was heavily flooded in 1953, and led the Dutch government to commission the Delta Works to protect the province from the open sea. We will visit the Delta Works project, known as the Storm Surge Barrier, due its series of dikes, sea walls and locks all the way up to Rotterdam in South Holland. We start the tour by visiting the outer wall, and then you will watch an educational and interesting film on its construction and the floods that preceded it. Afterwards, you will return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon of sailing as you journey towards Antwerp. EmeraldPLUS: Tour to Delta Works EmeraldACTIVE: Guided Bike Tour in Veere
Day 4 Antwerp
This morning we arrive in Antwerp – Belgium’s biggest port, positioned on the River Sheltz with a large harbour linking to the sea. As Belgium’s second largest city, it has been pivotal in the country’s history of occupations and conquests. Home to the famous Baroque artist Pieter Paul Rubens, it attracts art lovers and diamond dealers from all over the world. Having been decimated during WWII, today the city is modern and organised, yet still retains an intriguing medieval heart. Enjoy the guided walking tour of the city centre, passing by its café-filled cobbled lanes, admiring the Renaissance Town Hall and the unique Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady, the symbol of Antwerp before passing through the charming 16th century inner yard, the ‘Vlaeykensgang’. Discover More: Excursion to the medieval town of Bruges (extra expense). Please note, guests taking part in the excursion to Bruges will not be able to take part in the guided tour of Antwerp as they occur at the same time.
Day 5 - Arnhem
After a relaxing morning spent sailing through the Dutch waterways, passing its wonderful windmills and quaint traditional villages, you will arrive in Arnhem. Most famous for its great battle during World War II, its iconic bridge – the sight where the British forces were captured. You will tour the Airborne Museum Hartenstein which is dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem In 1944. The main building was the headquarters of the British command during the battle, and now houses exhibits of military uniforms and weapons.
Day 6 - Hoorn
This morning you will arrive in Hoorn, which was once a base for the Dutch East India Company, making it a prosperous and powerful trading town. Today, this 13th century town is home to many listed buildings and the former Oostereiland prison. Once in Hoorn, you will be transferred by coach to Edam – a town known all over the world for its cheese, where you will enjoy an orientation walking tour.
Afterwards, you will be taken on an orientation tour of the fishing village of Volendam, followed by free time for exploring the small fishing port and the old centre. EmeraldPLUS: Clog Painting on board EmeraldACTIVE: Guided Bike Tour in Hoorn
Day 7 - Amsterdam
This morning you have a choice to visit the Keukenhof Gardens – the most beautiful spring garden in the world and Europe’s largest. Situated in the heart of the tulip farm area of Holland, it boasts incredible displays of different flowers and plants, with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths filling over 79 acres with colour and fragrance. After lunch, you will have free time to explore Amsterdam on your own. EmeraldPLUS: Visit to Keukenhof Gardens
Day 8 - Amsterdam- UK
After breakfast, it is time to farewell your fellow passengers and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport for your onward or homebound flight.
Emerald Waterways’ fleet of Star-Ships perfectly marry modern design with deluxe comfort for their guests. The fleet has been responsibly designed to match and complement the eternal flow of the rivers. The Emerald Sky built in 2014 was one of the first of the Emerald Star Ships to be built and benefits from 72 generously-proportioned suites and 20 staterooms. The five sister vessels (Sun, Sky, Star, Dawn, Destiny), boast a capacity of 182 guests apiece, 47 crew and all contain a selection of excellent amenities and features. The Sun Deck of the ships also boasts a retractable glass roof which provides seasonal protection for the pool, cinema and Riverview Lounge below. Whether you wish to undertake a few lengths before breakfast in the heated pool or enjoy a Hollywood classic in the cinema, the choice is yours. Book one of the Balcony Suites, found on the Vista and Horizon Decks, and you’ll enjoy unparalleled views from the spacious private balconies – a truly invigorating start to another day on Europe’s beautiful waterways.
92 elegantly appointed staterooms and Suites range in size from 162-310 ft². Most accommodations have a open air balcony. Try one of the 4 One-Bedroom Owner’s Suites at 310 sq ft² with their very own bedroom which closes off from the rest of the suite. An outdoor balcony, complete with open-air system, allows you to enjoy the views of your surroundings whatever the weather so you can enjoy the ever-changing scenery however you wish. Suites feature added enhancements such as in suite breakfast and canapes, a larger sitting area with two chairs. All staterooms include amenities such ensuite bathroom with shower, Infotainment, free high-speed Internet access, climate-controlled air conditioning; and an in-room safe, fridge and complimentary bottled water replenished daily.
Emerald Waterways are a new entrant to the river cruise market and sit as Scenic’s premium river cruise sister company. Ships are brand new and very contemporary in style and the river cruising is very relaxed. A very welcome inclusion to the premium, luxury market. A holiday to enjoy.