Sailing to Amsterdam and Beyond

Sailing to Amsterdam and Beyond


During 2021 and 2022, luxurious river vessels and ocean cruise ships will head for the Benelux area of Europe. Enticing ports of name embody Amsterdam and Rotterdam within the Netherlands, in addition to Zeebrugge and Antwerp in Belgium. The large attracts? The area brims with Medieval structure and villages, Golden Age artwork treasures, pastoral countryside, Jewish heritage websites and flora and vacation actions.

River Wanderers

In 2021, upscale AmaWaterways has an interesting eight-night “Best of Holland and Belgium” roundtrip from Amsterdam on the 162-passenger AmaSerena. Guests will embark the ship, get pleasure from free time and an in a single day within the metropolis, after which a line-included Amsterdam canal cruise. In Utrecht, the Netherlands, AmaWaterways gives a pleasant selection of three shore choices: A strolling tour that visits Museum Speelklok (“self-playing” devices from music bins to organs); a Castle de Haar go to or Dutch tasting tour. 

Next up on the itinerary is Veere, a former fishing village that’s now a yachting city. On the road’s medieval harbor strolling tour, vacationers will see (and infrequently hear) the city corridor’s 48-bell carillon. AmaSerena’s name in Ghent provides vacationers an opportunity to tour the town or, alternatively, the fairytale-like, medieval vacation spot of Bruges, Belgium. 

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Not to be missed whereas touring Bruges? Entering the Church of Our Lady, vacationers will stare upon Michelangelo’s beautiful Carrara marble sculpture of Madonna and Child; it was stolen by the Nazis in 1944 however fortunately recovered. For historic perspective, we’d counsel studying the e book “The Monuments Men,” or see the same-named film. For repeat cruisers who’ve taken strolling excursions of each Ghent and Bruges, an alternative choice is AmaWaterways’ tour to Ghent’s moated Castle of the Counts of Flanders, the area’s solely remaining medieval citadel with a largely intact protection system. 

Other port calls on this itinerary embody Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium, and Dordrecht and Kinderdijk, the Netherlands. Departures in 2021 embody May 29, July 3, August 7, September 11 and October 16, and friends can add a two-night, pre-cruise Amsterdam keep. 

AmaWaterways’ 162-passenger AmaSerena has 81 staterooms. Shown right here is the 300-square-foot Suite on the Violin Deck, which comes with a French balcony and an outdoor balcony.

Certainly, cruisers usually want to journey to the Netherlands in spring for the beautiful blooms within the fields. Most river traces have tulip-focused itineraries. Scenic gives an eight-day “Windmills, Tulips & Belgium Delights” itinerary roundtrip from Amsterdam. The 163-passenger Scenic Jade operates this itinerary on April 14, 21 and 28, 2021, with calls at Rotterdam, Veere, Arnhem and Hoorn.

One enriching Veere choice is the Scenic Freechoice tour to go to the Delta works, together with the Storm Surge Barrier; it’s a great way to study extra about this unbelievable feat of contemporary engineering. Alternatively, in the course of the Veere port name, energetic vacationers can go for Scenic’s guided bicycle tour and foodies can tour and style at an oyster farm. 

For a beautiful Rotterdam eating expertise if exploring independently, Luxury Travel Advisor suggests making a lunch reservation on the two-Michelin-starred Parkheuvel. Travelers can count on beautiful presentation, advantageous service and French delicacies by Erik van Loo. The restaurant’s three-course, prix-fixe lunch has a selection of fish or meat, plus a wine pairing choice. In addition, the eatery’s façade of glass delivers 180-degree views of the Meuse River and Het Park.

We’d additionally advocate that die-hard maritime fans plan an audio-tour or totally guided tour of Holland America Line’s former Rotterdam, gloriously restored in 1950s styling and now working as a WestCord Hotels property in Rotterdam. This traditional ship sailed for Holland America between 1959 and 2000. 

AmaSerena will sail an eight-night “Best of Holland and Belgium” roundtrip from Amsterdam in 2021.

Luxurious Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection additionally gives an in-depth “Holland & Belgium at Tulip Time” itinerary on River Queen between Amsterdam and Brussels, with departures on March 21 and 28 and April four and 11. The ship calls at such Benelux area locations as Antwerp, Belgium, and at Cuijk (Nuenen), Heusden, Maastricht and Schoonhoven, the Netherlands. 

Did you realize that famed painter Vincent Van Gogh lived in and painted “The Potato Eaters” in Nuenen? To see a number of the identical websites the painter did, head out on Uniworld’s “Van Gogh ‘Village Day’ in Nuenen” with a rustic lunch. On one other day, Uniworld’s friends will tour Maastricht, considered one of Europe’s loveliest cities with Roman, Spanish, French and Dutch historic threads. We’d counsel energetic vacationers think about Uniworld’s “Let’s Go” Maas river biking. 

During the road’s name in Schoonhoven, often known as the “City of Silver,” cruisers will uncover outlets promoting beautiful handmade silver jewellery, tableware, artwork items and extra. In reality, because the Middle Ages, Schoonhoven has served because the Dutch instructional heart for silversmiths and goldsmiths, and a great way to study extra is on the native Silver Museum.

In Antwerp, Uniworld’s strolling tour will take friends to see City Hall and Market Square and can take cruisers contained in the UNESCO-designated Cathedral of Our Lady. It’s famed for 4 masterpieces of Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens, so make sure you take a look at the portray above the primary altar, two giant triptych altars and a smaller altar. 

Uniworld’s River Queen will sail the “Holland & Belgium at Tulip Time” itinerary between Amsterdam and Brussels, with departures on March 21, March 28, April four and April 11 in 2021.

In 2021, Avalon Waterways additionally gives a nine-day “Tulip Time in Holland and Belgium with One Night in Amsterdam” itinerary that sails between Amsterdam (in a single day) and Brussels (double in a single day) so friends have loads of time to discover each cities. The 128-passenger Imagery II departs on April Three and 17, plus a March 20 departure is themed for “Gardens and Nature Lovers” and carries no single complement. 

One evening of this itinerary is spent on land in Amsterdam on the Hotel Jakarta Amsterdam by WestCord or an identical property. During free time, we’d head for Amsterdam’s 9 Straatjes (Nine Streets), a unusual community of slender streets intersected by canals. Popular with the locals, this space brims with eateries and eclectic boutiques promoting high-end jewellery, fashions, antiques and classic items. For high-quality leather-based luggage, we’d counsel looking at Margareth M, which gives the GM Z leather-based assortment developed by the shop’s homeowners, Dutch-Indonesian sisters Germaine and Titi Tournier.

An eight-day model of the itinerary (with out the one-night Amsterdam resort) can also be supplied. Beyond Amsterdam and Brussels, port visits embody Namur, Liege, Maastricht and Antwerp, Belgium, in addition to Nijmegen within the Netherlands. In Liege, we’d pattern the well-known native waffle flavored with cinnamon, caramel and vanilla.

While at Nijmegen, Avalon’s friends can take an tour to Arnhem, both for guided sightseeing or a tour of the Airborne Museum or go mountaineering within the nationwide park. In Brussels, Avalon Waterways gives a Classic guided Brussels tour, or alternatively, a Discovery choice, which incorporates sightseeing adopted by a do-it-yourself chocolate workshop for a enjoyable, interactive expertise. 

But spring isn’t the one beautiful time of yr to spend time within the Netherlands and Belgium. Tauck’s eight-day “Yuletide Spirit: Brussels to Amsterdam” crusing departs on the 130-passenger Grace. With in a single day stays in Amsterdam and Brussels, this river vacation itinerary additionally contains calls in Antwerp, Ghent / Bruges, Rotterdam (for Delft) and Gouda. The 2021 departures are December 6, 13, 20 and 27.

Certainly, one spotlight of this vacation itinerary is the Antwerp Christmas Market, historically in December and unfold throughout a number of completely different metropolis squares. The market areas are inside strolling distance of landmarks cruisers will see on Tauck’s strolling tour; plus, free time will permit cruisers to browse Christmas Market handicraft stalls and pattern native winter delicacies. We’d style the small fried potatoes with bacon (“spekpatatjes”) and sip mulled wine. 

In Amsterdam, Tauck’s friends will likely be handled to a guided tour, plus a mini live performance on the Royal Concertgebouw, famend for its orchestra and live performance corridor acoustics. After lunch on the ship, friends can then make a go to to a personal Amsterdam canal-side dwelling, the place the host will relate tales of life alongside the waterways. The day concludes with a festive canal cruise. 

On AmaSerena, friends will discover loads of areas to loosen up and unwind, together with the library, proven above.

Travelers can even discover itineraries that transcend Dutch or Belgian borders. For instance, Crystal River Cruises operates a 10-night “Enchanting Moselle” itinerary throughout 2021 on the 106-passenger Crystal Bach roundtrip from Amsterdam; departures are June 11 and September 13 and 23, 2021. One plus is that friends board and have all day, night and even the subsequent morning to discover Amsterdam, previous to the ship’s 2 p.m. departure. 

Jewish heritage buffs ought to like this cruise, as they’ll head out on Crystal’s “Amsterdam & Jewish Heritage” tour, which features a go to to the Jewish Historical Museum, a guided Jewish Quarter strolling tour and a go to contained in the Portuguese Synagogue, plus take a “Koblenz City Walk and Jewish heritage” strolling tour in that German metropolis. Other calls are at Dusseldorf, Bernkastel-Kues, Trier, Cochem and Bonn, Germany, together with Arnhem, the Netherlands. 

One of Luxury Travel Advisor’s favourite river cruise ports is Trier, dwelling to spectacular Roman ruins, together with the well-preserved Porta Nigra (Black Gate) and Roman baths. Crystal’s three-hour “Secrets of Porta Nigra” shore tour will take friends to Porta Nigra, the place match vacationers can climb the gate’s 120 stairs to see the view from the highest. The tour then continues to the 13th-century Liebfrauenkirche, a Gothic-style church, and on to Trier’s 16th-century centerpiece, the Marktbrunnen or St. Peter’s fountain.  

Some vacationers search to start out or finish in Amsterdam, but in addition to sail a lot deeper into the guts of Europe. Among the choices? Viking River Cruises gives a 15-day “Grand European Tour” from Amsterdam to Budapest. Twelve guided excursions are included throughout the cruise fare, plus others are additionally obtainable. Guests can go to Kinderdijk to see the historic windmills, in addition to discover such German locations as Cologne, Koblenz, Miltenberg, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau, plus Melk and Vienna (in a single day) in Austria, and Budapest (in a single day) in Hungary. 

Viking’s guided strolling tour of Bamberg and its medieval metropolis heart, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features a go to to the 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque fashion within the 13th century. Cruisers can even see the town corridor, constructed on a tiny island in the course of a river. We’d counsel that beer followers style the native specialty — smoke-flavored beer.  

Cologne as soon as served as capital of the Roman province of Germania and its fabulous Romano-Germanic Museum is adjoining to the towering cathedral. Just peer into the glass from outdoors and look down to identify a powerful Roman mosaic with scenes from the third-century A.D. world of Dionysos. Inside the museum are the world’s largest assortment of Roman glass and each Roman and early medieval jewellery.

For a number of years, an archaeological dig has been underneath method in Cologne’s downtown. The dig web site encompasses the Roman Praetorium (governor’s palace) underneath City Hall, a piece of the Roman Sewer and stays of considered one of Europe’s most necessary Jewish Quarters, together with a mikveh, the ritual Jewish tub. A brand new $90 million Jewish Heritage Museum is predicted to open each on and beneath the Rathausplatz as early as 2021.

Ocean Wanderers 

For sizable Amsterdam port time coupled with an iconic “flora” expo, take a look at Crystal Cruises’ eight-night “European Gardens and Getaways” voyage. On August 31, 2022, the 848-passenger Crystal Symphony sails roundtrip from Dover, U.Okay. and on its first port name arrives in Amsterdam at eight a.m. at some point, overnights there (so friends can go ashore for dinner, drinks or night-time leisure) and stays in Amsterdam till 5 p.m. the subsequent day.  

What’s particular? Luxury vacationers who’re horticultural fans ought to head to “Floriade Expo 2022,” the enduring worldwide horticultural exposition, working from April 2022 by October 2022 in Almere, the Netherlands. Themed round “The Green City of the Future,” the expo has 4 threads — inexperienced (eco-friendly), meals, vitality and well being. Exhibitions, cultural exhibits and a Green City Arboretum are deliberate. We love that the arboretum will encompass an alphabetically organized tree and plant library that individuals will “walk through.” 

Crystal Symphony additionally will spend day in Zeebrugge for Bruges, Brussels or Ghent in Belgium. Plus, it gives a double in a single day in Rouen, France, so friends may discover Paris at some point and the Normandy space the subsequent. This itinerary additionally features a day at St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new 750-passenger Seven Seas Splendor will sail a 12-night “Splendid Scandinavia” itinerary from Southampton, U.Okay. (London) to Stockholm, Sweden on June 1, 2021. This ultra-luxury ship, which has over-the-top opulence, enhanced menus for Compass Rose and specialty eating places and a high-end Regent Suite with a $200,000 hand-crafted Hästens mattress, sails an itinerary calling at these ports: Zeebrugge; Amsterdam; Copenhagen; Visby, Sweden; Liepaja, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; and Helsinki and Turku, Finland.

On Seven Seas Splendor’s Amsterdam port name, friends can go for “Amsterdam and Jewish Heritage,” which can go to the Jewish Historical Museum housed inside 4 historical Ashkenazi synagogues. Other highlights embody the Jewish Quarter, Holland Theater, a monument to tens of hundreds of Amsterdam Jews who perished in the course of the Holocaust, and the 17th-century Portuguese Synagogue. 

During a name in Zeebrugge, we respect that the road gives — amongst many shore excursions — an “Accessible Medieval Bruges” choice, which makes use of essentially the most wheelchair accessible routes attainable, together with step-free routes, shorter distances, no stairs and accessible restrooms with large doorways. Advance reservations are crucial. Guests on this tour will see the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood and the 14th-century Renaissance-style metropolis corridor, enter the Church of Our Lady to see the Michelangelo sculpture and store for a bit in Steenstraat, maybe looking for beautiful, handmade Belgium lace. 

For a sturdy British Isles itinerary, plus time in Amsterdam, Silversea Cruises’ 24-night “Northern Europe & British Isles” cruise departs September 3, 2021 roundtrip from Southampton, U.Okay. The 608-passenger Silver Spirit calls within the U.Okay. at Falmouth, Aberdeen, Torquay and Leith, plus Fishguard in Wales, Belfast in Northern Ireland and the Scottish locations of Oban, Stornoway, Kirkwall and Edinburgh. 

Other calls are in Dublin, Ireland; St. Peter Port, Guernsey; Saint Malo (Brittany), Honfleur, France; Zeebrugge, Belgium; Amsterdam (in a single day), Hamburg, Germany (in a single day), plus two days at sea. In Amsterdam, one sensible choice for energetic vacationers is Silversea’s half-day “Dutch Landscape Bicycle Tour,” with a brief, guided bike trip to the ferry terminal, a five-minute ferry trip to the Waterland space after which guided biking by a rustic panorama of open fields, villages, cow farms, dykes and windmills. 

Alternatively, we’d counsel Silversea’s “Golden Age Beauty at The Van Loon Museum” shore tour in Amsterdam because it combines an attention-grabbing museum tour with canal cruise. The Van Loon Museum is located inside a 17th-century canal-side mansion with a proper backyard and coach home. Painter Ferdinand Bol, a pupil of Rembrandt, lived right here and the house’s inside evokes the splendor of Amsterdam’s Golden Age. 

For cruisers who need to discover Amsterdam a bit but in addition sail on an in-depth Norway itinerary, Seabourn gives a 14-Day “Scenic Norway & Fjords” cruise from Amsterdam to Copenhagen on the 450-passenger Seabourn Sojourn, departing June 19, 2021. One plus is that the ship stays in Amsterdam till 11 p.m. on embarkation day, so friends arriving identical day nonetheless have time to discover the town. The itinerary additionally contains scenic cruising of Germany’s Elbe River and an in a single day name at Hamburg, plus a number of days at sea. 

In Norway, the ship sails into picturesque fjords for scenic cruising, plus the in-depth nation expertise contains port calls at Alesund, Molde, Geiranger, Stavanger, Haugesund, Loen (Olden), Skjolden and Rosendal. At Molde, often called the “City of Roses,” cruisers may have panoramic views of the Romsdal Alps and an opportunity to go to the Romsdal Museum, an open-air meeting of 50 conventional Norwegian farm buildings.

Or, a 14-day “Harbors of Western Europe” itinerary on Seabourn Sojourn departs Amsterdam on September 25, 2021 and features a completely different perspective with calls at each Antwerp (for Brussels) and Zeebrugge for Bruges and Ghent, in addition to ports in France, Portugal and Spain. At Zeebrugge, one yummy selection shore-side is Seabourn’s “Bruges & Chocolate Workshop,” a hands-on, in depth coaching session led by an expert Belgian chocolate-maker. 

Clearly, the Netherlands and Belgium have a lot to supply upscale vacationers on all varieties of cruise itineraries and ships, whether or not cruisers have only a few hours or the posh of some days to discover. So, choose your ardour and head out in 2021 or 2022 to Amsterdam and past.

Oceania Cruises’ Insignia will sail the 27-day “Baltic to Broadway” itinerary from Stockholm, Sweden to New York in 2021. Shown right here is the ship’s Grand Dining Room.

Dutch Exploration

Viking’s seven-night “Viking Shores & Fjords” ocean itinerary sails between Amsterdam and Bergen, Norway, on a number of departures between May 2021 and September 2021. The 930-passenger Viking Jupiter will name at Skagen, Denmark; Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger and Flam, Norway. For cruises ending in Amsterdam, Viking’s post-cruise Amsterdam extension (obtainable on choose dates) contains two nights on the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre (or related property), two breakfasts, a guided Amsterdam canal cruise and strolling tour, all transfers and the Viking host providers. 

For golf fans, Hapag-Lloyd CruisesEuropa 2 calls at Amsterdam throughout a 13-day “Golf and Cruise” from Lisbon to Hamburg on May 9, 2021. It’s a bilingual English/German cruise with English shore excursions. The separate golf bundle contains play on 5 programs, together with one on the BurgGolf Purmerend Golf Resort outdoors Amsterdam; golfers may also add two extra programs, if desired. 

On July 23, 2021, Azamara’s Azamara Quest sails a 12-Night “St. Pete & Baltic States” voyage between Stockholm, Sweden and Amsterdam. Ports of name embody Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Riga, Latvia; Klaipeda, Lithuania; Gdansk, Poland; Ronne, Bornholm, Denmark; the Kiel Canal, Germany. Post-cruise, Azamara’s three-night “Stay Local in Amsterdam Longer” bundle contains sightseeing through a metropolis highlights tour with lunch and a Van Gogh Museum go to, plus a canal dinner cruise and separate countryside day tour.

Ponant’s eight-day “Flanders and Hansa Cities” voyage on Le Champlain is a food-and-wine themed cruise in partnership with Relais & Châteaux. It sails from London to Copenhagen on May 11, 2021. Shoreside, cruisers will gaze on the Belle Epoque-style constructing facades of Ostend in coastal Belgium, plus spend time in Antwerp, Hamburg and Amsterdam, the place we’d go for “The Hague and Mauritshuis” shore tour. That contains guided touring of The Hague, the Netherlands’ administrative capital, and a go to to Mauritshuis to stare upon 15th- to 17th-century artwork masterpieces. Don’t miss Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

Plenty of time? Oceania Cruises’ 27-day “Baltic to Broadway” itinerary from Stockholm, Sweden to New York gives two full days (an in a single day) in Amsterdam. Departing August 25, 2021, the 684-passenger Insignia additionally sails to different ports in Finland, Russia (in a single day in St. Petersburg), Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, France, Portugal and Bermuda. Oceania’s “Amsterdam and Jewish Heritage” tour will take cruisers to a museum housed inside 4 historical Ashkenazi synagogues, the Jewish Quarter, the Holland Theater and Portuguese Synagogue.

Windstar Cruises’ 310-passenger Star Legend will sail an “Impressionist France” itinerary on May 11, 2021 from Bordeaux, France to a number of French ports of name, together with La Rochelle, Lorient, Saint-Malo, Caen and Rouen, France and Zeebrugge, Belgium (for Bruges) earlier than the voyage ends in Amsterdam, giving impartial explorers time on their very own.

While Luxury Travel Advisor continues to cowl the continuing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, we can even be posting the newest luxurious journey developments and studies, in order that method you may keep updated and able to roll as soon as we’re give the “all clear” to journey once more. 

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