The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Dutch Waterways

April 22 – April 30, 2019 Sold Out

Details

Tiptoe through the tulips on our 7-night Dutch Waterways cruise. Visit Amsterdam, Antwerp and many points in between!

Glide through the waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium during a seven-night cruise and discover Old World cities, picture-perfect towns and centuries of history and culture. This journey aboard an exclusively chartered, first-class river ship features included excursions in Amsterdam, where a special canal cruiser takes you through tree-lined canals to see the city’s highlights: the serene village of Giethoorn, where charming Dutch houses can be reached only on foot or by boat, and Antwerp, which has an impressive medieval cityscape. The rest of the trip is of your own design; in the other ports, choose from a selection of included excursions, which range from cycling to exploring art museums to chocolate tasting to, of course, tiptoeing through tulips. There is no supplement for solo travelers.

Tour highlights and included features

  • Unpack once to enjoy seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, first-class MS Amadeus Silver III
  • Extensive meal program featuring seven breakfasts, five lunches and seven dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Expert-led Enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region
  • Discovery excursions, including a choice of Personalize Your Cruise options, highlight the local culture, heritage and history
  • 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 22 – April 30, 2019 Sold Out

Cost $2,795* (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 Debbie Vargo
vargo.42@osu.edu
614-292-2372 or
800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 1

Map

Experiences

Itinerary

Appropriate in-flight meal service

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Amsterdam, Netherlands.

MS Amadeus Silver III

Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner

Arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. 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 MS Amadeus Silver III. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your cabin may not be immediately available.

Discovery: Canals of Amsterdam. Board a canal cruiser for a unique tour of Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands and the center of the country’s culture and commerce. Named after the city’s origin as a dam in the river Amstel, today Amsterdam is known the world over for its more than 60 miles of tree-lined canals and waterways that make this romantic city truly unforgettable. The three main canals were dug during the Golden Age of the 17th century, and that central area is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire some of the city’s 1,500 bridges, dozens of islands, charming Dutch homes and the architectural gems of the bustling city harbor during a guided cruise with a local expert.

Enjoy dinner onboard.

The ship remains docked overnight in Amsterdam.

View on map

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

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.

Personalize Your Cruise | Choose one of the following excursions.

  • Keukenhof Gardens. 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 Bicycle Ride. Take a guided bike tour of scenic Waterland, an iconic wetland north of Amsterdam that is composed of nine villages and boasts stunning views as well as hundreds of official monuments. Also pass through the towns of Zunderdorp, Ransdorp, and Durgerdam. Enjoy a stop for pastry and coffee along the way. (Active)
  • Rijksmuseum. Take an audio tour of the Rijksmuseum, home to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and other renowned artists. After the tour, enjoy free time to explore the museum on your own; linger in front of your favorite paintings or maybe stop for refreshments in the museum’s café.

As the ship cruises to Kampen this evening, become better acquainted with your fellow travelers during a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

The ship arrives in Kampen this morning.

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.

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 engaging lecture by a local expert.

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 this evening.

View on map

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

The ship docks in Utrecht early this morning.

Personalize Your Cruise | Choose one of the following excursions.

  • The Hague and the Mauritshuis. See The Hague’s landmark buildings, including the Binnenhof, home of the Dutch parliament, and the Peace Palace, seat of the United Nations’ International Court of Justice. Pass through the Waasenaar neighborhood, a beautiful quarter that the Dutch royal family calls home. Then visit the storied Mauritshuis. Recently renovated, it houses works by Dutch and Flemish masters, most notably Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
  • Delft. Explore historic Delft and its Market Square on a walking tour before visiting 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. 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.

Return to the ship for lunch and a day of sailing to Veere via Willemstad, where the ship is moored late this evening.

View on map

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

The ship arrives in Veere this morning.

Free Time: Join the half-day Elective Activity this morning or enjoy exploring the full day in Veere, a charming seaside town, on your own. Yachts have replaced the fishing boats and trading boats that once filled the harbor. De Schotse aan de Kaai is a museum devoted to Veere’s unique relationship with Scotland. This tiny port town once was the staple port for Scotland, meaning it was the entry port into Europe for Scottish wool and other items being brought to the European mainland. Stroll by the 15th-century town hall and browse through the charming shops.

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. They are an engineering masterpiece that now protects the third of the landmass of the Netherlands that sits below sea level. A moving 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 remains in Veere overnight.

View on map

Breakfast and dinner

This morning, cruise to Middelburg. Disembark and enjoy a scenic drive to Bruges, Belgium.

Personalize Your Cruise | Choose one of the following excursions.

All 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. After this excursion through the Old Town, continue with your selected tour.

  • Cultural Bruges. Admire the outstanding artwork at the Groeninge Museum, known for its Flemish Primitive paintings and Flemish expressionist masterpieces. After your museum visit, spend time exploring Bruges on your own.
  • Bruges and Beer. Visit the De Halve Maan Brewery. With a strong tradition of brewing dating to 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. Explorers returning from South America introduced cocoa beans to Belgium in the 17th century, and today Belgium is recognized worldwide for its creamy chocolates. Visit one of Belgium’s more than 2,000 chocolatiers and learn about the art and history of Belgian chocolate-making, talk with the chocolate experts, and enjoy a sample.

Enjoy time for lunch on your own before returning to the ship.

Rejoin the ship in Antwerp, where it remains overnight.

Elective Activity: Dinner in Antwerp. Savor a wonderful multicourse dinner at an authentic Belgian restaurant in the old harbor area of Antwerp. (Available at an additional cost.)

View on map

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

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 fascinating presentation by a local expert.

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, meander 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.

Free Time: Spend the afternoon at leisure in Antwerp. Perhaps you’ll relax at a café on the bustling Groenplaats, or tour the Rubenshuis, the home and studio of baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. Another fascinating option is the Museum Plantin-Moretus, the original private residence and printing plant of a family of publishers that dates from the 16th century. This UNESCO World Heritage site features a medieval garden, an extensive archive and two of the world’s oldest printing presses.

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

Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

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 Brussels Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

*Itinerary subject to change due to local conditions.

Contact

Contact Debbie Vargo at Ohio State Alumni Tours:
Phone: 614-292-2372 or 800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 1
Email: vargo.42@osu.edu

Space is limited. Book your tour now!