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Waterways of Holland & Belgium
April 13-21, 2015
Experience firsthand the true character and traditions of the Waterways of Holland and Belgium with National Trust Tours on this comprehensive vaart (cruise) aboard the M.S. AmaLyra, featuring Amsterdam, the medieval cities of Bruges and Antwerp, the charming and historic towns of Volendam and Nijmegen, and the blooming Keukenhof Gardens. Enjoy an enriching travel experience like no other, including a specially designed excursion in every port, deluxe accommodations, and all meals—an excellent value. Interact with local people and experience the rhythm of daily life in the Low Countries; explore the history and culture, art, language, and cuisine; and unpack just once. This popular program is one of the VILLAGE LIFE® series that immerses guests in a comprehensive and intimate travel experience at just the right pace.
- Hear it from the Experts! Experienced, English-speaking local guides will accompany guests throughout the program and discuss historical, cultural, and contemporary Holland.
- Explore the world-famous artistic heritage of the premier Rijksmuseum and Kröller-Müller Museum.
- Engage local Dutch plaatselijke (residents) during the River Life Forum® where they share their candid perspectives on daily life in Holland.
- Meet an expert on Kinderdijk who provides an insider’s look at Holland’s most famous windmills.
- Admire the wonders of the famous Keukenhof Gardens and the marvelous medieval architecture of Amsterdam and Bruges.
- Learn key Dutch phrases and pronunciation to make interactions with local residents all the more enjoyable.
- Enjoy time on your own—stroll along the charming boulevards of Antwerp, sample authentic Belgian chocolates made by hand in Bruges and observe the rhythms of life in Amsterdam’s Dam Square.
The Five-Star M.S. AMALYRA sets a new standard in European river cruising and offers grand comfort and style while providing the finest onboard service of any river cruise line.
Accommodations: All of the staterooms are deluxe river-view accommodations and most feature a French balcony (expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with iron railings). Each stateroom has a private bathroom and is appointed with the fine amenities of a deluxe hotel including plush bedding and bathrobes, individual temperature control, the most comprehensive “Infotainment” system in the industry, a computer and complimentary high speed Wi-Fi Internet access (also available throughout the vessel), a safe, and hair dryer. Complimentary bottled water is replenished daily in each stateroom.
Dining: The M.S. AMALYRA is noted for its five-star cuisine and service. The dining room accommodates all guests in a single, unassigned seating. Regional cuisine features Chaîne des Rôtisseurs menus prepared with local, fresh meat, cheese and produce. Buffet breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Complimentary house wines produced by local vintners are served with lunch and dinner. Coffee and tea are available 24 hours.
Services: There is a tastefully appointed, spacious main lounge with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, a bar, a quieter Aft Lounge, a substantial Sun Deck and teak Front Deck, a beauty salon and spa, a fitness center, a whirlpool, and an elevator. Performers come on board to provide evening entertainment. Bicycles are available on board free of charge when the ship is in port for passengers to ride along riverside paths. Audio headsets are provided during excursions. Standard Stateroom
Study Leader Information
John Meffert, consultant on Heritage Conservation Services, has a long tradition with the National Trust. He has served as the Director for our Southern Office from 1982-1988 and was the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States, responsible for preserving the historic resources of Charleston, S.C. John has delighted many study tour groups with his lectures and insights on preservation, and receives rave reviews as study leader.
April 13 - Monday - Depart the U.S.
April 14 - Tuesday - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A private canal cruise offers a unique firsthand look at the integral role waterways have played for centuries in the life of this city. Amsterdam’s canal district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site ringed by concentric canals lined with 16th- and 17th-century merchant row houses, charming houseboats and world-renowned museums, is brimming with history and artistic wealth. Enjoy a guided tour of the Rijksmuseum’s prestigious collection of Dutch master paintings. Embark the M.S. AmaLyra.
April 15 - Wednesday - Amsterdamn/Volendam
Quaint 18th-century houses, historic canals and a picturesque waterfront typify the beauty and charm of the Dutch fishing port of Volendam, where many residents still don the traditional dress of the region. Built along the top of a dike, the village’s primary thoroughfare is lined with purveyors of fresh fish, handmade cheeses and a myriad of traditional crafts.
- Rijksmuseum guided tour
- Exclusive RIVER LIFE FORUM®
April 16 - Thursday - Arnhem/Nijmegen
Located in the picturesque De Hoge Veluwe, The Netherlands’ largest national park, the world-class Kröller-Müller Museum is lauded for its chronological collection of Van Gogh’s masterpieces. The museum also exhibits works by Picasso, Renoir and Manet as well as captivating late 19th- to 21st-century sculptures by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Jean Debuffet in its unique 60-acre garden.
Scenic Nijmegen is widely regarded as the oldest city in The Netherlands and was settled in the first century B.C. The Valkhof Hill downtown features an impressive ninth-century Carolingian chapel overlooking the River Waal. Among the well-preserved historic buildings are the 15th-century town hall and Latin school, the 16th-century, Renaissance-style Waag (weighing hall) and a series of quaint 17th-century houses.
- Kröller-Müller Museum guided tour
April 17 - Friday - Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp preserves its Flemish culture and charm in its Old Town. A labyrinth of squares and narrow passages leads into the spectacular Grote Markt, where beautifully preserved guildhalls once bustled with Antwerp’s 17th-century merchants and tradesmen. In the Cathedral of Our Lady, the pride of Belgium with a remarkable 49-bell carillon and soaring 404-foot, delicately ornamented spire, visitors can see the 17th-century Baroque masterpieces of the city’s native son, Peter Paul Rubens, including paintings of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, The Raising of the Cross and The Descent from the Cross.
April 18 - Saturday - Ghent/Bruges
Ghent’s rich history and commercial heritage are refl ected in the splendid 12th- to 17th-century guildhalls lining the quay. In St. Bavo’s Cathedral, see the Van Eyck brothers’ magnifi cent polyptych, the altarpiece of the Adoration of the Mystical Lamb.
Timeless Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of treasured architecture, virtually untouched since the 15th century and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. It is built around a double ring of picturesque canals and connected by charming arched foot bridges. From the Market Square to the Chapel of the Holy Blood, see Bruges’ magnificent, deftly crafted stone guildhalls and opulent churches from the very best perspective—aboard your private canal cruise.
April 19 - Sunday - Willemstad/Kinderdijk/Schoonhoven
In the southern Netherlands, see one of the most impressive feats of hydraulic engineering in the world, the famous Delta Works. Developed over the past 60-plus years, this vast and complex system of locks, sluices, channels, bridges, slides, and storm-surge barriers was built to protect the southwestern Netherlands from the encroaching North Sea and to reclaim polder lands, otherwise below sea level.
A national monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Holland’s greatest concentration of traditional windmills provides an opportunity to see firsthand the internal workings of an authentic windmill. Little has changed here since the mid-18th century, when 19 tall, wooden windmills were erected side by side at Kinderdijk to drain the Alblasserwaard, one of many regions in The Netherlands located below sea level. Though no longer used to monitor water levels, the windmills are still one of Holland’s most picturesque sights and represent examples of the exceptionally advanced achievements of 18th-century Dutch engineering.
- Meet with a Kinderdijk expert
April 20 - Monday - Schoonhoven/Amsterdam
A brilliant and breathtaking tapestry of colors and fragrance when in full bloom, the gardens of Keukenhof are deservedly known as the “Greatest Flower Show on Earth.” The program has been planned during the height of Holland’s spectacular spring flower season, when more than seven million flowers are expected to be in bloom across this 79-acre wooded park in a dazzling display of color.
“Keukenhof” translates to “kitchen courtyard” and was inspired by the early 15th-century Countess Jacoba of Bavaria, who resided in a nearby castle and tended an herb garden on this site. Today a showcase for Dutch bulb growers, Keukenhof Gardens features more than 1,000 varieties of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, orchids, roses, carnations, irises and lilies, and new strains of tulips are cultivated every year. This idyllic setting is meticulously planted and landscaped, complete with tranquil ponds, gently flowing streams and winding, tree-shaded paths.
April 21 - Sunday - Amsterdam
Disembark ship. Return to the U.S.
All accommodations are outside with two twin beds or one queen bed, private bathroom with shower, air conditioning, Infotainment System, safe, and hair dryer.
|Stateroom Category 5||$4,395|
Two small fixed windows. Piano Deck.
|Stateroom Category 4||$4,995|
Two small fixed windows. Piano Deck, forward.
|Stateroom Category 3||$5,295|
French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with railing) Cello and Violin Decks, aft.
|Stateroom Category 2||$5,695|
French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with railing) Cello and Violin Decks.
|Stateroom Category 1||$6,595|
French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with railing) Violin Decks.
Larger stateroom, French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with railing), bathroom with bathtub and shower, sitting area with a sofa and two chairs, and mini-fridge. Violin Deck.
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through HistoricHotels.org and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.**
To book a tour please contact our tour VIP desk at +1 202 772 8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms and Conditions
*Price per person, based on double occupancy. Singles are available in category 1 and in category 2; call for pricing. Taxes are an additional $195 per person and are subject to change.
Included In Tour Price:
On board the Five-Star M.S. AMALYRA: Seven-night cruise round trip Amsterdam, with port calls at Volendam, Arnhem (for Kröller-Müller Museum), Willemstad, Kinderdijk and Schoonhoven, The Netherlands; and Antwerp and Ghent (for Bruges), Belgium; Spacious, deluxe, river-view stateroom accommodations, each with a private bathroom; Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions; Complimentary house wine is served with lunch and dinner; Complimentary bottled water is replenished daily in each stateroom; All meals—breakfast, lunch and dinner— featuring Five-Star regional cuisine served at single seatings, and early-risers’ coffee, afternoon tea and late-evening snack.
Expert-Guided Excursions: Private cruise along Amsterdam’s UNESCO World Heritage Site canal district; Walking tour of the charming, authentic fishing village of Volendam, where traditional Dutch attire is still worn; Antwerp city tour, featuring a visit to see three of Peter Paul Rubens’s masterpieces; Walking tour of Ghent, featuring St. Bavo’s Cathedral; Excursion to Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with private canal cruise; Visit to the Delta Works, a 20th-century Dutch engineering marvel of polder land reclamation; Tour of the legendary and innovative 18th-century windmills at Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Excursion to the magnificent gardens of Keukenhof during the best time of year to see more than 1,000 varieties of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths in bloom, weather permitting.
Exclusive Cultural Enrichments: Guided tour of the prestigious Rijksmuseum; Exploration of the Low Countries’ rich artistic heritage with guided tour of the world-class Kröller-Müller Museum; Special RIVER LIFE FORUM® with local residents who will discuss life in Holland; Meet an expert on Kinderdijk; Learn Dutch phrases.
Enhanced Travel Services: Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); All excursions and visits, as outlined above, with experienced local guides; Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions; Hospitality desk aboard ship;The services of an experienced team of Gohagan & Company Program Directors throughout the program; Travel document wallet, name badge and pre-departure information; Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company.
Not included in tour cost: Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; gratuities to ship and hotel personnel; optional sightseeing excursions; baggage charges on aircraft; local departure air/airport tax(es); airfare and associated local taxes, airport facility and security taxes and federal inspection fees not listed in the “Included Features” section of the brochure; transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel/ship on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other mentioned in the “Included Features” section.
**Maximum of one $100 certificate may be claimed for a refund with a minimum two night stay booked through HistoricHotels.org following the return of your tour and completion of your hotel stay. The refund will be issued within 45 days of the completion of your stay upon submitting a Great Experiences & Tours $100 refund application. Refund application must be submitted with a copy of your hotel folio receipt, the original confirmation number from your booking on HistoricHotels.org, and the Certificate number issued to you for booking your tour through Historic Hotels of America. Certificates issued are a promotion only valid toward future reservations made through HistoricHotels.org and do not have any cash value. One certificate may be used per room per two night or longer stay at the same hotel. Eligible rates include rates publicly available at time of booking. Reduced rates, rooms included in another travel or tour package, employee rates, advance purchase rates, and certain last minute sale rates are not eligible for this promotion.