Tour begins at 7:00 PM at the Conrad Brussels. Upon arrival, a transfer is included from Brussels Airport to the Conrad Brussels, your grand hotel situated on fashionable Avenue Louise in the heart of the city. Tonight, join us for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner to kick off one of our enjoyable European river cruises.
Lodging Conrad Brussels
Day2 Discover Bruges or Ghent, and your cruise begins Meals B, D
On a choice of sightseeing today in Belgium's Flanders region, you can take an excursion to historic Bruges, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities, the birthplace of Flemish painting and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, viewing its celebrated architecture on a walking tour through cobbled lanes, along quaint canals and over arched bridges. Or travel with Tauck to Ghent and discover a wealth of Gothic architectural details on a visit to St. Bavo's Cathedral, home to one of Europe’s most remarkable paintings – Jan van Eyck's 1432 masterwork, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. Travel to Antwerp, where you'll board your riverboat and sample Belgian beer and cuisine at a dinner of regional delights.
Day3 A taste of Antwerp & crusing the Albert Canal Meals B, L, D
Get a taste of daily life in Antwerp during a half-day sightseeing tour of this key Belgian port city on this most enjoyable of European river cruises. Walk through Grote Markt (the historic market square) and visit the Rubenshuis – housed in the reconstructed Renaissance-Baroque home of 17th-century Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, it displays many of his original works and those of his contemporaries. Taste fine Belgian chocolate on a delicious visit to a local chocolatier and sample locally produced “bier” at a specialty beer pub known for its beer expertise. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy the views from the sun deck or lounge as you cruise the Albert Canal from Belgium to the Netherlands, arriving in Maastricht; join your crew for the Captain's welcome reception and dinner aboard ship.
Day4 Magic of Maastricht & culinary delights at Château Neercanne
Meals B, L, D
Among the Netherlands' oldest cities, Maastricht entices with more than 1,000 historic buildings and monuments. On a walking tour, explore its Old Town, including the 16th-century Spanish Government House, and its Museum Aan Het Vriythof; Vrijthof Square, the city's main square; and Helpoort, an entry through the medieval town wall built in 1229. Visit the 1,000-year-old Sint-Servaasbasiliek (Basilica of St. Servatius), one of the oldest churches in the country. Pay your respects at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, final resting place of thousands of U.S. World War II soldiers. For lunch today, enjoy a Tauck Exclusive – a memorable culinary experience at Château Neercanne, a castle whose garden terraces are protected by UNESCO. You'll don a chef's hat and visit the kitchen before an extraordinary meal is served to you within the castle's grottoes! Later, spend some free time in historic Maastricht, then return to the riverboat for dinner and your cruise on the Maas River.
Day5 Cruising the Maas & exploring ancient Nijmegen Meals B, L, D
Spend the morning enjoying your riverboat as you cruise the Maas River through the scenic Dutch countryside to Nijmegen, reputed to be the Netherlands’ oldest city. Ancient ruins and intact historic buildings alike document Nijmegen’s storied past – from the 8th-century Valkhof to the 14th-century church of Sint-Stevenskerk – on a walking tour; visit the Museum Het Valkhof to see Roman artifacts and Nijmegen silver. Your riverboat docks in Arnhem tonight, where local performers come aboard to provide this evening’s cultural entertainment.
Day6 WWII Airborne history or nature & van Gogh in Arnhem, plus Kampen Meals B, L, D
Choose between two excursions after your riverboat docks in Arnhem today. You can tour battle sites associated with the World War II airborne assault on Arnhem and visit the Airborne Museum, located in a former Allied divisional headquarters in Oosterbeek. Alternatively, you may choose to explore De Hoge Veluwe National Park in Arnhem, the country’s largest nature reserve, and then peruse works by Vincent van Gogh and others at the Kröller-Müller Museum set right within the park. This most delightful of European river cruises continues as you rejoin your riverboat at Deventer and continue cruising to Kampen, renowned for having one of the best preserved old town centers of the Netherlands, including remains of the ancient city wall and many churches; enjoy a walking tour prior to dinner aboard ship.
Day7 Zuiderzee life in Enkhuizen & Hoorn or cheese & windmills in Alkmaar Meals B, L, D
Cruise to lovely Enkhuizen for a walking tour and a visit to the open-air Zuiderzee Museum, recreating life in a Zuiderzee (south sea) fishing village between the 1880s and the 1930s. Continue on to the 650-year-old port city of Hoorn in the Netherlands’ farming region – birthplace of explorer Willem Schouten, who named South America’s southern tip Cape Horn in honor of his hometown. Choose from a guided walking tour of Hoorn and its many intact 16th- and 17th-century house facades, or a journey to Alkmaar in the Schermer polder. In Alkmaar, visit the Schermer Museum Molen (windmill), dating from 1634, for a look at how windmills created the polder, and the family-owned Zeezicht cheese farm for a tasty cheese-making demonstration and tour. Cruise on to Amsterdam, founded in 1200 as a small fishing village, arriving late tonight.
Day8 Amazing Amsterdam & the blooms of Keukenhof in Lisse Meals B, L, D
Wake up aboard your riverboat in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, a vibrant blend of the historic and the contemporary, from its medieval core to the bustling shops, cafés and rich cosmopolitan life of a 21st-century European metropolis. Depart the city this morning for a journey to Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, where millions of blooming tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, lillies, crocuses and bluebells create colorful carpets of flowers every spring. After returning to the riverboat for lunch, the rest of the day and evening are yours to explore the treasures of Amsterdam on your own, from its medieval center to the gabled houses lining its 17th-century canals to the world-class art in its many museums.
Day9 The Rijksmuseum & Amsterdam's historic canals Meals B, L, D
More of Amsterdam's wonders await as one of Tauck's unique European river cruises draws to a close. Admire masterpieces by Rembrandt – including his celebrated The Night Watch – and works by other Old Dutch Masters on a morning visit to the world-renowned Rijksmuseum, with time to stroll through the Museumplein as you please. Later, a canal cruise through Amsterdam’s network of Renaissance-era canals promises a different view of the Netherlands' capital. Head back to the riverboat, where the Captain and crew will be waiting to bid you farewell at a shipboard reception and dinner during your last night onboard.
Day10 Disembark for your journey home Meals B
Your most memorable of European river cruises ends in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After disembarking and bidding your Captain and crew adieu this morning, a transfer is included from the riverboat to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Fly home anytime; allow 3 hours for departure flight check-in.
Wake up to a new port of call every day as your “floating hotel” travels with you along Europe’s inland waterways, and experience the joys of cruising by riverboat – with the Tauck Difference:
All riverboats used on Tauck’s River Cruises are limited to a maximum of 118 guests… creating a club-like atmosphere, with no crowds
Enjoy plush bathrobes, slippers, and Escada amenities
All shore excursions are included, with a choice of sightseeing opportunities in many cities
All on-board meals include wine with dinner
All gratuities to ship staff, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director included
Insightful lectures on history and the destinations you’ll visit, and music and folkloric performances
Dine ashore with included meals at local restaurants, featuring a variety of dining styles including à la carte from the regular menu
Bottled water included on all shore excursions
Our newest riverboat, the Swiss Emerald, has 14 spacious suites… measuring 300 square feet!
Specially designed for cruising Europe’s inland waterways, our select riverboats welcome Tauck guests with a club-like atmosphere where personalized attention and gracious service ensure a most memorable cruise. Cruise aboard two of Europe’s finest ships, MS Swiss Diamond and the new MS Swiss Emerald, enjoying tastefully appointed outside cabins with panoramic river views. With comfortable accommodations for two persons, shipboard cabins are equipped with a color television, mini-bar, radio, safe, hair dryer, air conditioning and a private bathroom with shower; power is 220 volt.
By day, relax on the Sun Deck as you view the ever-changing river landscapes in welcome comfort. In the evening, enjoy a cocktail in the lounge, while an on-board pianist plays your favorite tunes, or dance the night away – the bar stays open late into the night. Dining aboard each ship is a pleasure in a spacious restaurant that caters to all tastes with daily buffets, a choice of menus and special theme dinners. Vegetarian meals are available and a selection of international wines is included with dinner.
Tauck River Cruise around the World
Rhine & Moselle: Journey along the River Rhine between the northernmost corner of Switzerland and Amsterdam on our new 13-day cruise aboard Swiss Diamond – including four days exploring the castles, wineries and medieval market towns of the Moselle Valley.
Amsterdam to Budapest: This Danube, Main, and Rhine cruise aboard Swiss Sapphire or Swiss Emerald glides past ancient castles and soaring cathedrals, taking in revered UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Schönbrunn Palace and Kölner Dam (Cologne Cathedral).
The Blue Danube: Wind your way past medieval landscapes on a Danube River cruise aboard Swiss Emerald or the new Swiss Sapphire that takes in the castles, cathedrals, frescoes, glockenspiels and Habsburg palaces found in five European countries. Includes land stays featuring three nights in Prague and two nights in Budapest at centrally located 5-star hotels.
Budapest to the Black Sea: Explore Europe's heart on a lower Danube cruise aboard Swiss Sapphire or Swiss Emerald from Budapest to the Black Sea, along what was once a highway for ancient civilizations. See dramatic castles, quaint towns, and centuries-old monasteries, and enjoy the cultural treasures of Budapest and Bucharest.
Grand European Cruise: Explore European landscapes from the North Sea to the Black Sea! Set off aboard Swiss Emerald or the new Swiss Sapphire on a grand 3-week cruise through nine European countries along the Rhine, Main and Danube, plus two nights at a historic 5-star hotel in Bucharest.
China the Yangtze River & Hong Kong: Enjoy a China travel experience amidst ancient pagodas, palaces, silks, treasures, and unique landscapes. Cruise the Yangtze River, visit landmark historic sites, and explore Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
Egypt: Jewels along the Nile: Cleopatra beckons when you cruise the River Nile and explore the colossal pyramids, ornate temples, and priceless treasures of an intriguing civilization spanning thousands of years on Tauck’s Egypt tour.
Call 800-640-4899 for discounted rates
River Cruise Highlights
Antwerp…..The chocolate factory, followed by lunch at a local eatery and what else, but shopping for Belgium chocolates to bring home.
Maastricht…..Margraten and the American War Cemetery. Each one of us was given a white rose to place on a grave of our choice. This was a very moving time of reflection, memories of loved ones who participated in the war. Next we went the 1700’s Chateau Neercanne for a very unique lunch, complete with a tour of the wine cellars.
Nijmegen…..Walking tour of the Valkof Museum, with its many historical collections. On the way we saw hundreds of bikes. Everyone, old and young bike in Holland and I noticed there were not many overweight people.
Arnhem….We had two choices in Arnhem. I chose the tour of the Kroller Muller Museum and enjoyed Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. The other choice was for the Airborne Museum, which was very interesting to all who chose this tour.
Deventer/Kampen…..The Day of the Orange…..All the boat staff and crew were decked out in some kind of orange hat, shirt, etc. After our tours in Arnhem, we joined up with the boat in Deventer and sailed to Kampen.
Enkhuizen…..here we visited the Frisian settlement from the year 1289 that boasted one of the world’s largest herring fishing fleets. Later the town was fortified in the 16th century and became a whale fishing town in the 18th century. Enkhuizen still remains much like it was then.
Hoorn…….Visited the Schemer Windmill Museum and a Dutch cheese farm.
Amsterdam…….we had a full day here. First the famous Keukenhof Gardens……finally the tulips. They were absolutely beautiful and the gardens meticulously manicured. We climbed the windmill and had a wonderful dessert and then boarded the coaches for the city of Amsterdam. I would say they highlight of my trip was the Anne Frank Museum. We waited in line one hour and toured the secret hiding place for one hour. I have since read Anne Frank’s diaries and can not believe the life she and her family endured. I know there are many thousands of others who had the same experiences, but it was really an eye opener to see and read about it at this time in my life.
For this alone, I am very grateful that I took this opportunity to sail Tauck and this wonderful river cruise. I doubt if there is anyone I have not shared the experience with since the day I returned home.
Tauck is first class. The boat was spotless, beautifully decorated and had a very friendly and accommodating staff. They were always there to answer questions, give guidance and share a good time. It is definitely my choice for river cruising and others I met onboard that it is a repeaters type of travel. It only takes once on Tauck to be sold.
Everything is included with Tauck………airport transfers, all gratuities, complimentary wine with dinner and beer with lunch and all shore excursions let by the Tauck Directors and local guides, many meals off the boat. Please feel free to ask any questions.
Would I recommend Tauck? Absolutely, every chance I get.
With the decrease in the value of the dollar and the high price of fuel the cost of hotels and meals have doubled in European during the last three years. Savy travelers have come to understand that a river cruise offers the best value for a European Vacation. Accommodations, all meals on board and shore excursions are included in the price and some companies even include wine with dinner. Because of this, you do not have to live in fear of the $300 per night hotel bill, the $100 not so wonderful restaurant meal and the $10 cup of coffee with no free refills. Many people believe that by dealing directly with the cruise line, they cut out the expense of a middleman. But when it comes to cruising, this is never the case. The cruise lines depend on travel agents to sell their product, and so it is the cruise lines who pay the agent's commission, not the customer. The lines also offer agents various extra incentives, bonus commissions and value-added perks, giving the travel agents more pricing leverage and the ability for us to offer you lower rates: There are many superb and well-trained travel agents, but there are not many who know as much as we do about river cruising.