Look what's included:
- First Class rail travel as described in the itinerary (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys with a light meal and drinks)
- 7 nights' cruise on board the 5-star MS Amadeus Elegant or MS Amadeus Diamond, in a two-berth cabin (C4 grade, Haydn deck) including all meals and wine with dinner
- Visits to Amsterdam, Volendam, Arnhem, Middleburg, Ghent, Antwerp, Kinderdijk and Utrecht
- Porterage for certain sections of the tour
- The services of a professional Tour Manager throughout
Discover the beauty and history of the Dutch and Belgian waterways in springtime from our elegant 5-star cruise ship. Admire the colourful bulbfields and flower displays at the spectacular Keukenhof Gardens in Holland and discover great medieval gems like Antwerp and Ghent in Belgium.
Day 1 - Eurostar and First Class rail to Amsterdam
We depart St Pancras International by Eurostar for Brussels, travelling in Standard Premier Class, with a light meal and drinks served on board. We continue to Amsterdam in First Class and on arrival transfer to our 5-star ship MS Amadeus Elegant, MS Amadeus Brilliant or MS Amadeus Diamond for a cocktail reception and welcome dinner. Once our cruise begins, the pace of the holiday is set by you alone - you may wish to join the optional shore excursions, explore independently, or simply take it easy and enjoy the facilities on board. (E,D)
Day 2 - Exploring Amsterdam, Volendam and Edam
After breakfast you are free to explore Amsterdam at leisure. You could join an optional city tour, which includes a journey through the historic canals of Amsterdam on a local canal boat. We return to the ship for lunch while cruising the IJsselmeer to Volendam, a charming fishing port best known for the traditional costumes and wooden shoes worn by locals. You can explore Volendam independently or join the optional 'Holland Waterland' excursion, which includes a walking tour of Volendam, a visit to a local dairy specialising in local Dutch cheeses, and a stroll through the village of Edam, world-famous for its cheese. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Arnhem
This morning is spent on board the ship as we cruise along the Rhine. We reach the town of Arnhem, famously the site of the Battle for Arnhem Bridge during 'Operation Market Garden'. This afternoon you can choose to join one of two optional excursions. One explores the town of Arnhem, the other is a 'World War II history' excursion which tours Arnhem before visiting Arnhem Airborne Museum, which shows the course of events during one of the major battles of World War II. This evening we continue towards the Dutch province of Zeeland. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Middelburg
This morning we wake up in Middelburg, home to the magnificent Middelburg Abbey. The town was almost destroyed during WWII and has since been painstakingly restored. You can explore Middelburg independently or join an optional guided walking tour of the town. Alternatively, you could join an optional excursion to the 'Deltaworks project', which showcases how the innovative Dutch have tamed the environment in which they live. The excursion also includes a visit to the town of Veere, one of the most picturesque towns in the area. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Ghent
This morning we wake up in Ghent, Belgium's fourth largest city which is a pretty maze of quaint cobbled streets and winding canals which has retained its medieval charm. After breakfast you can join an optional guided walking tour of Ghent, which includes the 'Castle of the Counts', a real medieval castle in the centre of town. This afternoon you can join the optional excursion to nearby Bruges, one of Europe's most perfectly preserved medieval cities, whose centre has UNESCO World Heritage status. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Antwerp
Today the ship is moored in Antwerp, Belgium's second city and the largest in Flanders. You can explore Antwerp at leisure, admiring the beautiful buildings of the Grote Markt and the imposing Church of Our Lady, or join the optional guided walk. Your afternoon is free to explore at leisure, or alternatively take an optional excursion to nearby Brussels. Belgium's capital is home to a number of attractions including the Grand Place, one of the world's great market squares. Tonight is the penultimate evening of your cruise and the ship's captain welcomes everyone to a special dinner on board. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - Cruise to Holland
This morning we reach Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to the Netherlands' largest collection of windmills. We stop briefly in Kinderdijk for an optional guided walk before cruising along the Amsterdam Rhine canal to Utrecht. This afternoon you can join the wonderful optional excursion to the famous Keukenhof Gardens - one of the real highlights of the tour. Admire the spectacular display of bulb flowers in bloom across 80 acres of flower-filled park. About seven million tulip bulbs are planted here each year along with crocuses, daffodils, orchids and other flowers creating an explosion of brilliant colour. Keukenhof also has several ponds, sculpture gardens, greenhouses and a windmill which can be visited. The ship sails on to Amsterdam during this afternoon's excursion. During our final evening on board we enjoy a fascinating Dutch folklore show. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - Amsterdam to London
After our final breakfast on board we transfer to Amsterdam station, travelling by train to Brussels. We change trains for the return Eurostar service to London, travelling in Standard Premier Class, with a light meal and drinks served at your seat during our journey to London St Pancras International. (B,E)
E=Eurostar Meal, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
These meals, where shown are included in the price of your holiday
Launched in April 2011, the spectacular 5-star MS Amadeus Brilliant boasts impressive on-board facilities including a golf putting green and fitness room, as well as a hairdresser and spa room offering massage treatments. There is also a Panorama lounge and bar, from where you can admire the passing scenery.There is a lift between decks. The cabins are beautifully appointed with a wardrobe, shower and WC, telephone, television and safe. Cabins on the Strauss and Mozart decks also have a French balcony. Impeccable service, mouth-watering cuisine and fine wines are all part of the superb experience on board.
The newest member and flagship of the Amadeus fleet of cruise vessels, the 5-star MS Amadeus Elegant was launched in 2010 and certainly lives up to its name. There are 67 cabins and 9 suites on the stylish ship, accommodating up to 150 passengers who are looked after by as many as 40 members of staff.
Public Rooms & Facilities
MS Amadeus Elegant's facilities include a spa room offering massage treatments, hairdresser and a fitness suite. Out on the sun deck there are life-sized games including a golf-putting green, and a jogging track. Complimentary bicycles are available to hire for your time ashore, so you may explore independently. Perhaps unwind with a book in the Amadeus Club Café, or enjoy views from the Panorama Lounge with its floor to ceiling windows. There is also a popular bar area and a small boutique.
The stylishly appointed, en suite cabins on MS Amadeus Elegant offer the amenities of a fine hotel. In addition to a television, telephone and 'infotainment' system for music, films and internet access, the cabins also feature a safe and a seating area by the window. Each cabin has individually controlled central heating and air conditioning. Cabins on the Strauss and Mozart deck have full length windows.
On board MS Amadeus Elegant, you will be treated to exquisite fine dining throughout the cruise, with delicious menus created from the freshest local ingredients. Generous buffets at breakfast and lunch are served during the day, while a fabulous menu with choices is offered at dinner, accompanied by wines from the finest European wine regions.
Tour Operated by Great Rail Journeys