The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Dutch Waterways

April 18 – April 26, 2018

Details

Experience a captivating seven-night cruise through Holland and Belgium’s waterways and canals aboard a first-class ship, featuring guided excursions in Amsterdam, Giethoorn, The Hague, Delft, Bruges and Antwerp.

As you alight in waterfront towns, customize your cruise with a choice of excursions. In Amsterdam, delight in a vividly colorful tulip garden, pedal through the scenic countryside, or admire the Rijksmuseum’s masterpieces. Discover The Hague, the Dutch government’s cosmopolitan center, walk through Delft’s romantic old town, and select from museum tours featuring fine art or Delft porcelain. Stroll across Bruges’ tiny cobbled bridges, and then visit an art museum, family brewery or chocolatier’s shop. Other included excursions take you cruising down Amsterdam’s picturesque canals, floating through fairy-tale Giethoorn and walking through Antwerp’s medieval streets. Your Travel Director handles all the logistics, while local guides and lecturers enlighten you on the region’s history and culture. Enjoy the simplicity of unpacking once aboard a first-class ship, where your welcoming crew provides exceptional service and delicious meals, including wine and beer with lunch and dinner. For solo travelers, the single supplement is waived.

Tour highlights and included features

  • Unpack once to enjoy seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, first-class MS Amadeus Silver
  • Extensive meal program featuring seven breakfasts, four lunches and seven dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine with lunch and dinner
  • Expert-led Enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region
  • Free time to pursue your own interests
  • Welcome and Farewell Receptions to mingle with fellow travelers
  • Clearly hear your English-speaking guide with your VOX headset
  • Tipping of guides and drivers
  • Complimentary travel mementos

Dates April 18 – April 26, 2018

Cost $2,495* (From price. Airfare is not included. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and early booking deadlines. Dates, itineraries, and prices are subject to change.)

Type Cruise

Region Europe

Activity level

Host

Operator

Contact Addie Natalie
natalie.6@osu.edu
614-292-2372
800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 3

Map

Experiences

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Itinerary

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Brussels, Belgium.

If you have purchased only the Cruise Program, please book flights that arrive on the first day of the Cruise Program. The Cruise Program dates appear at the top of your Reservation Confirmation.

Meals - Appropriate in-flight meal service

Arrive at Brussels Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Cruise Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.

Transfer to the pier in Antwerp and embark the MS Amadeus Silver. Please note if you arrive at the ship before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Discovery: Antwerp.
Located along the Scheldt River, just 55 miles from the North Sea, Antwerp has a rich legacy as an important seaport and center of trade. On a guided walking tour, wander through Antwerp's quaint squares and cobblestone streets to view its wealth of medieval architecture. Among its notable landmarks, see the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady that soars over the skyline, which was under construction for 169 years and completed in 1521; the elegant 16th-century town hall festooned with colorful flags; and the Grote Markt, or Great Market Square, with its row of narrow guild halls.

Enrichment: Contemporary Belgium.
Belgium is a bilingual country with deep cultural, geographic and linguistic divisions between the Dutch speakers of Flanders and the French speakers of Wallonia. Gain insights about its culture during this engaging presentation.

Each night, gather in the ship's elegant dining room for a delectable dinner prepared by your welcoming crew. Tonight, the ship overnights in Antwerp.

Accommodation - MS Amadeus Silver
Meals - Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner


This morning, travel by motor coach to Bruges. Romantic, medieval Bruges exudes a dreamy ambience that has earned it the nickname, “Venice of the North.” Tranquil canals, serving as the city’s arteries, are connected by winding cobbled lanes and sturdy stone bridges. The beautiful, well-preserved Gothic architecture of its historic center has also earned it a UNESCO World Heritage designation.

Personalize Your Cruise | Choose one of the following excursions.
All of today’s excursions include a guided walking tour of Bruges. Stroll through the grand Market Square and see the medieval guild hall buildings, the exquisite 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood and the stately Belfry Tower that looms over the square.
Cultural Bruges. Enjoy the tour of Bruges.
Then admire the outstanding artwork at the Groeninge Museum, known for its Flemish Primitive paintings and Flemish expressionist masterpieces.

Bruges and Beer.
Enjoy the tour of Bruges and then visit the De Halve Maan Brewery. With a strong tradition of brewing from the 12th century, Belgium embraces beer as its beloved national drink, and hundreds of varieties are produced annually. At the brewery, learn about this family business and the history of Belgian brewing. Take in the panoramic view of Bruges from the roof of the building, then enjoy a glass of freshly brewed beer. (Active – There are more than 200 stairs in the brewery.)

Bruges and Belgian Chocolate.
Enjoy the tour of Bruges and then visit a chocolatier's shop. Chocolate was first introduced to Belgium in the 17th century while the country was under Spanish rule, when explorers returned with cocoa beans from South America. Today, Belgium is recognized worldwide for its creamy chocolates, and more than 2,000 chocolatiers are located there. At the shop, learn about the art and history of Belgian chocolate-making, talk with the chocolate experts and enjoy a sample.

Free Time: Enjoy free time to linger over lunch and discover Bruges at your leisure.

Rejoin the ship in Middelburg.

Onboard the ship this evening, become better acquainted with your fellow travelers during a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

The ship cruises to Veere, where it will remain overnight.

Accommodation - MS Amadeus Silver
Meals - Breakfast, lunch and dinner

View on map

This morning, the ship arrives in Veere, a charming port town considered one of the prettiest in the Netherlands. Spend your day exploring Veere, or join the Elective Activity to the Zeeland Coast.

Elective Activity: The Zeeland Coast and the Dutch Battle Against the Sea.
Travel along the Zeeland coast to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and its Delta Expo. Learn about the Delta Works, a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers, conceived after the 1953 North Sea flood and built over a period of 30 years. These 65 enormous gates can be slammed shut on the North Sea when powerful storms strike — an engineering masterpiece that now protects the third of the landmass of the Netherlands that sits below sea level. An unforgettable panoramic 3-D exhibit allows you to experience how the North Sea waves wiped out part of the country in February 1953.
Available at an additional cost.

The ship departs Veere this afternoon and arrives in Willemstad late tonight.

Accommodation - MS Amadeus Silver
Meals - Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Very early this morning, the ship leaves Willemstad and docks in Schoonhoven.

Enrichment: The Dutch Masters.
From 1605 to 1680, Dutch Golden Age artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals and Jans Steen endeavored for detailed realism in their portraits, landscapes and still lifes. Consider the lasting impact of their creations in this fascinating lecture.

Travel by motor coach to The Hague. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and home to the royal residence and world-class museums. Known as the "City of Peace and Justice,” this cosmopolitan city has played an integral role in international affairs and has hosted numerous peace conferences.

Personalize Your Cruise | Choose one of the following excursions.
Both of today's excursions include a panoramic tour of The Hague and a guided walking tour of Delft's old town.
In The Hague, see the Binnenhof, where the Dutch parliament meets; the impressive Peace Palace; and the Wassenaar neighborhood, where King Willem-Alexander and his family reside. In lovely Delft, stroll past the old town’s highlights, including Market Square and the Palace Prinsenhof, once home to William of Orange.

The Hague, Delft and the Mauritshuis.
Enjoy the tours in The Hague and Delft. Then explore the Mauritshuis, a storied museum housing works by Dutch and Flemish masters, most notably Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring".

The Hague, Delft and Royal Delft Porcelain.
Enjoy the tours in The Hague and Delft. Then visit the Royal Delft porcelain factory, founded in 1653 and the last of the original 32 earthenware factories established in the 17th century. In the early 1600s, Chinese porcelain became a favorite of the Dutch after it was introduced by tradesmen from the Dutch East India Company. Dutch potters responded by developing their own version, the iconic blue and white delftware so associated with the Netherlands. On a guided tour, see the fascinating production process firsthand, watch a master artisan at work hand-painting pieces and view Royal Delft's splendid porcelain collection in their showroom.

Free Time: Make your own plans for lunch and additional sightseeing in Delft.

This evening, the ship cruises to Kampen.

Accommodation - MS Amadeus Silver
Meals - Breakfast and dinner

View on map

Discovery: Giethoorn.

Feel as though you've stepped into a fairy-tale in the winsome village of Giethoorn, free of cars and interlaced with footpaths and narrow canals covered by tiny wooden bridges. Experience the pleasures of small-town Dutch life as you meander through its picturesque canals by boat, passing exquisite, 18th-century farmhouses set against the Weerribben Wieden nature preserve. Then explore the village on foot at your own pace.

This afternoon, join your Travel Director for a brief orientation tour of Kampen, which contains a well-preserved historic center, including several imposing medieval gates.

Free Time: Spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure in Kampen. The ship departs Kampen tonight and arrives in Amsterdam late this evening.

Accommodation - MS Amadeus Silver
Meals - Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Discovery: Canal Cruise.

Glide aboard a canal cruiser through lively Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, on a guided tour with a local expert. Founded in the 13th century around a dam in the river Amstel, the city is best known for its more than 60 miles of leafy canals and waterways. The four main canals, the Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht and Singel, were dug during the Golden Age of the 17th century. Together, this belt of canals ringing the city, or “grachtengordel,” has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cruise under arched, stone bridges lined with bicycles, as you admire the tall, narrow, elegantly gabled Dutch homes, rustic houseboats and other architectural gems along your route.

Free Time: Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Enrichment: Contemporary Holland.
Delve into current affairs in the Netherlands, a constitutional monarchy and one of the original six countries that created what is now the 28-member European Union.

This evening, enjoy dinner onboard the ship, or choose to participate in the Elective Activity.

Elective Activity: Dinner on the Town.
Savor a multi-course dinner in an authentic Dutch restaurant filled with old-world charm.
Available at an additional cost.

Accommodation - MS Amadeus Silver
Meals - Breakfast and dinner

View on map

Personalize Your Cruise | Choose one of the following excursions.

Keukenhof Gardens.
Journey through Dutch flower fields to the renowned Journey through Dutch flower fields to the renowned Keukenhof Gardens, an 80-acre paradise 
of brightly colored tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other gorgeous blooms. More than nine miles of footpaths crisscross the grounds, allowing you to immerse yourself in this enchanting setting. Explore this magnificent garden with your expert guide and learn more about its origins.

Waterland Ride.
Embrace Holland's bicycle culture like a local and pedal through lush Waterland on a guided ride. This marshy wetland north of Amsterdam comprises nine villages with historic monuments and boasts stunning pastoral views. Take a relaxing break to enjoy pastry and coffee along the trail. (Active – For experienced bicyclists only)

Dutch Art.
Visit the acclaimed Rijksmuseum with its outstanding collection of masterpieces, featuring works by 17th-century Dutch masters Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals. Highlights include Rembrandt's portraits, self-portraits and drawings, as well as his largest canvas, "The Night Watch".

Free Time: Enjoy the afternoon pursuing your own interests in Amsterdam. Your Travel Director will be available to offer suggestions on sightseeing and shopping.

Tonight, gather for a Farewell Reception and Dinner to commemorate your Dutch Waterways journey.

Accommodation - MS Amadeus Silver
Meals - Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Cruise Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals - Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service



*Itinerary subject to change due to local conditions.

Contact

Contact Addie Natalie at Ohio State Alumni Tours:
Phone: 614-292-2372 or 800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 3
Email: natalie.6@osu.edu

Space is limited. Book your tour now!