Fall in love with the Lowlands, launching your holiday in the magical city of Amsterdam, whose labyrinthine canals and vibrant squares you will have an opportunity to explore on your own. Later, you'll meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception cruise, including a light meal and welcome drink. Cruise the city's famous waterways admiring the picture-perfect surrounds and gabled façades.
Explore Amsterdam's historic city centre this morning and enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing tour of the Rijksmuseum with a Local Specialist. Come face-to-face with such masterpieces as Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch', Van Gogh's self-portrait, and 'The Milkmaid' by Vermeer. We leave great art behind and visit a historic diamond polishing factory where we'll 'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into the tradition of diamond cutting. Celebrate spring and enjoy an included visit to Keukenhof (subject to season) where you'll stroll through an enchanting wonderland of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths with millions of blooms planted across the 32-hectare site.
Soak up the gezellig Dutch atmosphere this morning, before heading to Delft via The Hague. We 'Dive Into Culture' during a visit to the Royal Delft Pottery workshop and admire the delicate blue and white porcelain that has made this historic town famous. We continue our journey south, arriving in the edgy port city of Rotterdam where we will enjoy an informative orientation and ascend the iconic Euromast Tower for stunning panoramic views of this city. Heading back to Amsterdam, consider a leisurely evening in one of the charming pleins lined with cosy cafés.
The fortified city of Maastricht, with its beautiful old churches, ancient city walls, and stunning merchant houses, takes centre stage this morning. We spend some time strolling through its town centre before continuing to Bastogne, the site of bloody skirmishes in the World War II Battle of the Bulge. See the Mardasson Memorial, commemorating the almost 80,000 American soldiers who were injured or killed during the siege, before journeying to the Duchy of Luxembourg, where tonight we'll dine in our hotel.
This morning, we pay tribute to Allied Forces hero, General George S. Patton, whose final resting place is the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. Later, we embark on a leisurely walking tour of Luxembourg City with a Local Specialist. Our route takes us past the Cathedral and the Grand Ducal Palace, with its Flemish Renaissance façades, and includes spectacular views of the gorge of the Rivers Alzette and Petrusse. Spend the rest of the day at leisure soaking up the quaint atmosphere of this tiny country or indulge in a coffee while you people-watch in the leafy Place d'Armes - the choice is yours.
We begin our day with a visit to the 12th-century Cistercian Orval Abbey renowned for its distinct cheese, and for being one of the few breweries that produce Trappist beer. En route to the enchanting medieval village of Bruges, we stop in Dinant whose famous son, Adolphe Sax, is credited with having invented the saxophone. This evening, we 'Connect With Locals', joining Marc Nyssen at his 18th-century Bruges farmstead to learn about Flanders farm life and enjoy a hearty Belgian Be My Guest dinner.
Wake up in beautiful Bruges and join a Local Specialist for a walking tour of the town. Take to the water and enjoy a whimsical sightseeing cruise along the city's wonderful canals lined with Gothic façades. 'Dive Into Culture' next and admire the delicate art of Belgian lace in the old lace school of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Spend the rest of the day on your own, immersing yourself in the old-world allure of this town.
Delve into centuries of trade heritage in the port city of Ghent, with its picturesque riverine backdrop. See the medieval city's three famous towers - Saint Nicholas's Church, the Belfry and Saint Bavo's Cathedral - before continuing to Brussels, a multi-cultural melting pot, which you will have an opportunity to explore after your Travel Director shows you the city's highlights. See the Atomium, designed for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, Mannekin Pis and the exquisite Grand Place with its opulent and ornate guildhalls. This evening, consider sampling mouth-watering Belgian cuisine washed down with the city's best beers.
Embrace a full free day to explore the Belgian capital as you wish. Stroll past the Royal Palace and through the leafy lanes of Brussels Park or indulge in tasting delicious chocolate. Your Travel Director will assist you to make the most out of your free day at leisure. This evening we celebrate a memorable sojourn through three fascinating countries during a Farewell Dinner.
We bid Belgium a fond adieu this morning as we prepare to close the curtain on a memorable holiday. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply. Please note: Your coach returns to Amsterdam from Brussels on Day 10. You are welcome to use this complimentary transfer. Drop-off in Amsterdam will be at the Trafalgar Amsterdam hotel and not at the airport. Arrival will be at approximately 3pm, depending on traffic conditions.
Departure 26 April 2019 will be in Amsterdam on Kings Day. Amsterdam city centre will be closed to traffic and celebrations will be taking place throughout the city.
Keukenhof: Tickets for Keukenhof Bulb fields are included during the flowering season (21 March - 19 May 2019). Departures 29 March, 05 April, 12 April, 19 April, 26 April, 03 May, 10 May and 17 May 2019 will include tickets to the magnificent Keukenhof tulip fields.