Spectacular floral displays, poignant battlefield tours and fairytale cities await on this scenic cruise along the waterways of Belgium and the Netherlands.
From the decks of a luxurious river cruise ship, get to the heart of what makes these two charming countries so special as you are joined for on board talks from gardening television celebrity Charlie Dimmock, and World War I specialist Col. Piers Storie-Pugh
Fly from your closest airport to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, where you'll be met by a Great Rail Journeys representative who will escort you to the ship.
Once on board your, take some time to settle into your comfortable cabin and relax in your new surroundings. We enjoy a welcome drink in the lounge before a sumptuous 5-course dinner in the panoramic restaurant, followed by live music.
After waking up to our first morning and breakfast on board, you have a choice between 2 fascinating excursions. Your first option is a guided sightseeing tour of Amsterdam, taking in all the sights which make this enigmatic port city one of the most loved in Europe. Discover the Royal Palace, Dam Square and the pretty canals for which Amsterdam is famous. Your second option is a visit to the town of Hoorn where you embark on a nostalgic steam train trip aboard the wonderful Medemblik Steam Railway.
Our vessel arrives in Ghent, in Flemish Belgium. This morning, Colonel Piers Storie-Pugh will come aboard to deliver a fascinating talk about the battlefields in the region, using his expertise in the field to take us back in time. In the afternoon, our excursion takes us to the infamous Ypres Battlefields, a key battlefront in the First World War. We are accompanied by experts who take us through some of the most poignant sites, including Tyne Cot Cemetery where many of the combatants were buried. We return to the ship later for dinner.
Discover the attractive town of Ghent this morning, as we venture into the narrow streets and pretty boulevards for a guided tour. Built in an instantly identifiable style, the architecture lends an elegant grandeur to the buildings here, and we discover some of the finest examples on our tour, which includes the ever impressive St Bavo's Cathedral and the Belfry.
After lunch, your time is your own to explore more of Ghent.
Today we pay a visit to the fairytale city of Bruges. An exceptional example of a medieval town which takes great pride in its history, Bruges is a truly an enchanting city. With winding streets opening up to large squares, often filled with locals enjoying the cafés that serve up plenty of Belgian delicacies. Here we discover the canals, churches and noble old townhouses famous across Europe. Later, after our day in Bruges, we enjoy another delicious dinner on board.
We arrive into Arnhem this morning. After some free time, you have another choice of 2 excursions. Your first option is to visit the excellent Hartenstein Airborne Museum, in nearby Oosterbeek, for a guided tour. This institution focuses on the fierce Battle of Arnhem in WWII, and was the setting of the war film 'A Bridge too Far'. The museum features a collection of various artefacts from the battle itself.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit the interactive Netherlands' Open Air Museum, recounting the storied history of this proud European country. Tonight, we sit down to an elegant gala dinner with our captain.
This morning we arrive back in Amsterdam. We are joined on board by the wonderful Charlie Dimmock, star of BBC's Ground Force.
We enjoy a presentation as well as a question and answer session with her, learning about her time at the BBC and her tips on horticulture and garden care.
Afterwards, we experience a true highlight of our cruise, visiting the colourful and enjoyable Keukenhof Gardens. Filled with all manner of glorious tulip displays, this is one of the best floral displays in Europe. Following dinner this evening, we're serenaded by a traditional Dutch sea shanty choir.
After a buffet breakfast, your cruise comes to an end and you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.
|15 April 2020||From £1,495|
|21 April 2020||From £2,595|
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
Sleek, elegant and comfortable, the MS Amadeus Queen is an excellent river going vessel, offering one of the finest ways to discover the stunning rivers of Europe. Well-maintained facilities, superb service and tasteful cabins all combine to make passengers' time on board the Amadeus Queen a delight. Enjoy the serene scenery as it passes by, through specially designed floor-to- ceiling windows or perhaps from the Sun Deck at the top of the boat, as you relax on loungers and deck chairs with your fellow travellers.
Across the four decks, the ship has a range of amenities available to passengers including a restaurant, a panorama-bar and a fitness room. A recent addition has seen an indoor pool installed at the rear of the boat. Each room has a television, an en suite bathroom, a mini bar and a hairdryer, while the suites enjoy a walk-out exterior balcony as well.