Explore the Low Countries
Sail through the inland waterways of the Low CountriesHolland and Belgium. Begin with an overnight stay in vibrant Amsterdam. Cruise through a vast network of canals and rivers, stopping in key cities to soak up Dutch, German and Flemish culture. Witness feats of Dutch engineering. See modern Rotterdam and the windmills of Kinderdijk before ending in Antwerp, Europes diamond capital. In the spring, visit Keukenhof Gardens in bright bloom.
Day 1 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the van Gogh Museum next door. (Dinner)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
Day 2 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Cruise Amsterdams charming canals this morning, passing under pretty bridges and enjoying streets lined with gabled houses of centuries past. This afternoon, visit the picturesque Keukenhof Gardens, the worlds largest floral park. Admire the stunning beauty at both indoor and outdoor exhibits containing millions of vibrant blooms including tulips, hyacinths, crocuses and daffodils.* Or join an optional excursionperhaps a visit to one of Amsterdams world-class museums to explore the Dutch Golden Age, or uncover the citys fascinating Jewish history. Your Viking Program Director can help you plan your afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*Keukenhof Gardens is available on select departures during Tulip season in March through early May.
Day 3 Hoorn, The Netherlands
Early this morning, sail across the Ijsselmeer (once known as the Zuiderzee) to the ancient shipping village of Hoorn. After breakfast, enjoy a guided walk through Hoorns cobbled streets; see age-old cheese warehouses and the towns main square, which dates back to Hoorns heyday. Enjoy a warm welcome during a home visit to a local family and get acquainted with daily life. Alternatively, you may choose to join a cycling excursion through the Dutch countryside to see the countrys famed windmills. Depart after dinner and cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Dordrecht & Rotterdam, The Netherlands
This morning, enjoy a scenic cruise along the Lek River as you sail into Dordrecht. An important merchant city during the late Middle Ages, Dordrecht is brimming with historic sights. During a walking tour, see the inner city harbors, the Grote Kerk (Great Church) and the 13th-century Augustine monastery known as Het Hof. This afternoon, your ship departs for Rotterdam. Here, you will enjoy time to explore the modern face of Holland. The city has been extensively rebuilt after the destruction suffered during World War II, and some of its architecture is quite innovative. Alternatively, you may choose to join a full-day excursion that combines Dordrecht and Delft, rejoining your ship later this afternoon. This evening, your ship will set sail for a scenic dinner cruise around the harbor. Admire the twinkling lights of the cosmopolitan skyline of Europes largest port. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Kinderdijk, The Netherlands
Arrive this morning in Kinderdijk and disembark for a tour of this ingenious 18th-century community. Learn why the windmills were built and see how they work to help control flooding, then tour a working windmill to see its pumping mechanism and living quarters at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy scenic afternoon cruising along the Lek and Waal Rivers and dinner on board your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Wesel, Germany
Awake in Wesel and disembark for a walking tour of the city. Completely destroyed during World War II, Wesel fell under a barrage of heavy bombing by the Allied forces in 1945; during your tour, you will learn about the citys rise from the ashes. This afternoon, you may choose to visit Xanten Archaeological Parkone of the largest open air museums in the worldor head to Essen and the UNESCO-listed Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, recognized as one of Europes most important industrial heritage sites. This evening, set sail for Nijmegen. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Nijmegen, The Netherlands
After breakfast, take a walk through the cobblestone streets of Nijmegen and see several historic landmarks in The Netherlands oldest city. Or, you may choose to step back in time during an optional tour as you discover more about Operation Market Garden: the planned attack by the Allied forces in late summer 1944 portrayed in the epic war movieA Bridge Too Far. The National Liberation Museum brings the events of WWII to life through a series of exhibits, interactive presentations and original films. Alternatively, you can spend a full day exploring the life and works of van Gogh before rejoining your ship in Venlo. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Maastricht, The Netherlands
Disembark your ship and enjoy a walking tour around historic Maastricht. Stroll the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town, and see the Gothic-style Sint Janskerk church and the Romanesque Basilica of St. Servatius. This afternoon, enjoy free time at your leisure to explore or join an optional excursion to Aachen to see Charlemagnes chapel, a UNESCO Site. Or pay your respects at the American Military Cemetery of Margraten, the final resting place of 8,000 American soldiers who gave their lives to liberate Europe from the Nazis. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Antwerp, Belgium
Arrive in Antwerp this morning and enjoy a walking tour of the historic quarter. See the Cathedral of Our Lady with its three monumental altarpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens and the Grote Markt (Grand Square) surrounded by the Renaissance Town Hall and its majestic guild halls. This afternoon, spend time at your leisure exploring more of charming Antwerp. Alternatively, you may enjoy an optional excursion to sample Belgiums delightful cuisine. This evening, enjoy dinner on board your ship or step ashore and dine at one of Antwerps many restaurants on your own as we remain docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Antwerp, Belgium
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Perhaps see more of Belgium on a 2-night city stay in the capital, Brussels. Or enjoy a 3-night extension in the fairy-tale medieval city of Bruges, with visits to Ghent, Bruges and Flanders Fields.
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.