Cruise Itinerary | Amsterdam to Brussels River Cruise - Avalon Waterways®

Enchanting Belgium – Southbound 2016

9 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Namur

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

This vacation will acquaint you with the charms of Amsterdam’s canals, Dordrecht’s harbors, and Namur’s cozy medieval squares and streets. There’s a poignant excursion to the Battlefields of Ypres and Eastern Flanders, and guided visits of Ghent, Antwerp, and Maastricht. Allow yourself to be enchanted by Belgium!


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Amsterdam: welcome to Amsterdam

Day 2 Amsterdam (Embarkation): canal cruise; onboard welcome reception

Day 3 Dordrecht: guided sightseeing

Day 4 Ghent: guided sightseeing, visit St. Baaf’s Cathedral

Day 5 Excursion to the Battlefields of Ypres and Eastern Flanders

Day 6 Antwerp: guided sightseeing

Day 7 Maastricht: guided sightseeing

Day 8 Namur: guided sightseeing

Day 9 Namur (Disembarkation): your vacation ends after breakfast this morning

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Enjoy an onboard Classical Music Presentation.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel

NOTES:

  • Departure April 4 is offered as an exclusive WWI History Cruise, including special lectures at no additional cost. Take a cruise through history! These fascinating cruises give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind Europe’s famous sites.
  • Departure April 13 is offered as our exclusive President’s Cruise, with special highlights and excursions at no additional cost. Join the President of Avalon Waterways on an incredible cruise, with exclusive highlights including a special excursion and a President’s Gala Dinner that is sure to please!
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland

Welcome to Holland! The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this delightful 700-year old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants that give it a distinct ambiance!

Day 2Amsterdam (Embarkation)

This morning, set out to discover the treasures of this city by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” Explore on your own this afternoon before boarding your ship and meeting the crew at a welcome reception. Sail out of Amsterdam at dinner time. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 3Dordrecht

Sitting between two branches of the Rhine, charming Dordrecht inspired many painters in the 17th and 18th centuries. There are picturesque harbors in Dordrecht, but no canals. The Grote Kerk (Great Church) is the most well-known monument and a landmark, while the Voorstraatshaven forms the backbone of the Old Town. Your GUIDED TOUR will show you the highlights of this attractive town, and you may even catch sight of Noah’s Ark. Explore on your own this afternoon or join an optional excursion to the nearby gardens at Keukenhof. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Ghent, Belgium

In a unique way, Ghent, the “diamond” of Flanders, has managed to preserve its medieval charm and power while keeping up with the times. A LOCAL GUIDE will proudly point out that the city center alone is a showcase of medieval Flemish wealth and commercial success. Visit ST. BAAF’S CATHEDRAL, which houses remarkable art treasures, including the most important work in Flemish art, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, created by the Van Eyck brothers around 1432. On your own, explore the traffic-free streets in the city center; see Gravensteen, the “castle of the counts,” an imposing castle in the city that was built in 1110; or join an optional excursion to Bruges with its criss-crossed canals and charming patrician houses. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Excursion to Ypres & the Battlefields of Eastern Flanders

A moving day today as you travel by motorcoach for a full day to view the WWI battlefields of Ypres and Eastern Flanders. The war on the Western Front was fought in three phases, and lasted from 1914 until 1918, leaving behind a scarred landscape in Belgian Flanders and northeastern France. Today, there are thousands of war graves and commemorative memorials for the fallen of many nations along the line of the battlefields that formed the Western Front. The city of Ypres was fought over for nearly all four years of the Great War and was practically destroyed. Through careful reconstruction, however, you would never guess the buildings date from less than a century ago. It is near here that John McCrae’s famous poem, “In Flanders fields the poppies blow,” is believed to have been written. In many countries, poppies are worn in remembrance of Armistice Day every November 11th. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Antwerp

Antwerp is Belgium’s second-largest city and one of the world’s most important ancient seaports. It merges the new with the old and offers the attractions and atmosphere you’d expect from a European city: friendly people, fabulous architecture, chic shops, interesting museums, vibrant cafés, charming galleries, and historic monuments. INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING with a Local Guide shows you its superb architecture; the central GROTE MARKT, lined with 16th-century houses; the beautiful City Hall, completed in 1566; and the Church of Our Lady, started in 1352 and featuring paintings by Rubens. An optional excursion is available to nearby Brussels, Belgium’s capital and home of the European Union. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Maastricht, Holland

This morning, arrive in Maastricht, the bustling cosmopolitan capital of the Limburg province. A LOCAL GUIDE will show you the sights of this vibrant university town: the lovely cathedrals, old houses and buildings, and the impressively cobblestoned town center. Later, take advantage of free time to explore on your own. Maybe wander through the hidden alleys or relax with a drink at a café in Vrijthof, the town’s main square. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Namur, Belgium

Namur is located on two rivers, the Meuse and the Sambre, and was an ideal location for the earliest Roman settlements. The streets of the town are where its charm and atmosphere lie, and much of Namur has been dedicated to pedestrians, making it easy to get around. The symbol of the city is the snail, and visitors are encouraged to relax and enjoy the charming medieval squares and gracious streets lined with mansions, chic shops, and cafés. See the striking Namur Fortress, one of Europe’s largest. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED TOUR of this city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Namur (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

Amsterdam
Brussels

Amsterdam

Double Tree by Hilton Amsterdam Central Station

Double Tree by Hilton Amsterdam Central Station Oosterdoksstraat 4, Amsterdam,  Netherlands Oosterdoksstraat 4
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

Set in the heart of the historic city, DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station places business and leisure guests within reach of Amsterdam's famous shopping streets and cultural heritage sites. Explore the city by bike using our in-house Bicycle Rental service. Take a train from Centraal Station and arrive at Schiphol Airport in 20 minutes.

Hotel Amenities

Fitness Room
Restaurant On-Site
Concierge desk
Currency Exchange
Free WiFi
Luggage Storage
Dry Cleaning
Ice Machine
Bar/Lounge
Business Center
Elevator
Parking/Valet
Room Amenities

Air Conditioning
Iron/Ironing Board
Hair Dryer
Television
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Non-smoking Rooms
Alarm Clock
Climate Control
Desk
Internet Access
Mini-bar
In-Room Safe
Phone
Room Service
Wake-Up Calls
Disabled Access / Rooms
Cable/Satellite
Complimentary Toiletries
Voicemail
Coffee Maker
Smoking Rooms

Brussels

Radisson Blu Royal

Radisson Blu Royal Rue D.Fosse-Aux-Loups 47, Brussels,   Belgium Rue D.Fosse-Aux-Loups 47
Brussels, Belgium

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

Just 14 kilometers from the airport, the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels welcomes guests with a signature art deco façade designed by famed city architect Michel Jaspers. Easily discover the best of the capital's vibrant culture, food, commerce and architecture from this city center hotel. Brussels visitors should be sure to visit nearby Grand Place, Manneken Pis and Magritte Museum, among other attractions. Rooms well-designed in their own right, award-winning restaurants and first-class facilities await enjoyment upon guests' return.

Hotel Amenities

Elevator
Restaurant On-Site
Ice Machine
Business Center
Free WiFi
Luggage Storage
Concierge desk
Currency Exchange
Fitness Room
Parking/Valet
Dry Cleaning
Room Amenities

Room Service
Air Conditioning
Non-smoking Rooms
Mini-bar
Hair Dryer
Coffee Maker
Climate Control
Iron/Ironing Board
Television
Phone
Internet Access
Disabled Access / Rooms
In-Room Safe
Cable/Satellite

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

Amsterdam
Dordrecht
Ghent
Antwerp
Namur
Celebration

Amsterdam

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans
A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

If you are in the Netherlands only for a short time, then this is a great excursion to see the typical Dutch sights in just one afternoon. Join our local expert on a journey through times when Dutch sailing ships crossed the seven seas and goods from all corners of the world were traded in Holland. A short coach ride gives you picturesque views of the Dutch "polder" landscape, reclaimed land with endless horizons and cattle grazing on the green grasslands. The open air village of Zaanse Schans is a collection of typical Dutch houses, windmills & craft stores which all have preserved their original character. We will have an inside visit of a working windmill. Highly interesting is the clog making demonstration and the cheese factory. In the little stores you can easily find all the Dutch souvenirs you want to take home. Zaanse Schans is a pleasant half day excursion which includes an array of typical sights for which Holland is famous.

Approximate value: €36 EUR per person

Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a Genuine Castle, for a Real Taste of History
Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a Genuine Castle, for a Real Taste of History

Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a Genuine Castle, for a Real Taste of History

Take a traditional boat ride on the former Zuiderzee, where the Dutch East and West Indian Company ships sailed to and from Amsterdam for centuries. End your boat ride at the imposing Amsterdam Castle, the Muiderslot, which gives you a real taste of Dutch history. It is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam and included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. During the guided tour through rooms full of authentic furniture and paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, you will imagine yourself in a painting by Rembrandt or Frans Hals. The guided tour through the museum's rooms, all refurbished in 17th-century style, evokes the period, when Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, also known as the "Dutch Shakespeare," occupied the castle. In the beautiful herb and vegetable gardens, which still retain the atmosphere of the Dutch Renaissance, you will find many, often forgotten, flowers, herbs and vegetables from times gone by. A walk along the ramparts offers fantastic views of the water-rich environments and the Pampus island fortress. You should not miss the visit to the most beautiful and best kept medieval castle in the Netherlands.

Approximate value: €56 EUR per person

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local
Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

The Netherlands is known for being the perfect country to go for a bike ride. After a short bike ride from your ship, a ferry takes you out of the hectic city. Then continue your biking tour into the beautiful and green nature reserve called "Waterland". Your local guide will take you through centuries old picturesque villages with typical wooden houses, past countless brooks and waterways, across old wooden bridges, along the Ijsselmeer, through green pastures. Designated bicycle paths connect the entire region. On a nice spring or summer day, the green fields are full of flowers, sheep and cows are in the meadows. Comfortable bicycles, helmets and refreshment in a typical Dutch Inn are provided and of course all these experiences under guidance of a local guide. A different way to experience Holland.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

Haarlem Excursion
Haarlem Excursion

Haarlem Excursion

Known as the City of Flowers, Haarlem is a place of historical architecture, culture and outstanding modern facilities. While it is often overshadowed by its much larger and more famous neighbor Amsterdam about ten miles east, Haarlem's history actually goes back further, dating back to gothic times, and this is reflected in the architecture. Join our local guide for a walking tour; a perfect afternoon to see what this charming little town has to offer.

Approximate value: €31 EUR per person

Dordrecht

Delft with Drive to Den Haag
Delft with Drive to Den Haag

Delft with Drive to Den Haag

Visit two of the most well-known Dutch cities: Delft and The Hague. The tour will take you to The Hague first, to the former capital of the Netherlands and today the seat of the Dutch Parliament. The city is often referred to as the judicial capital of the world, home to many international courts, European Union institutions, multinational companies and embassies. Your scenic drive will pass by the government building, the palace and will have a photo stop at the Peace Palace. Leave The Hague and drive to beautiful Delft. Your tour takes you to the historical city center, where monumental houses are an explicit memory of Delft's rich past. The city is more than 750 years old and enjoyed its heyday in the Golden Age. In those days, Delft was a rich merchants' town with its own lodge of the Dutch East India Company. In your free time you can explore one of the shops and buy some blue delft china as a souvenir or simply enjoy the unique atmosphere of this picturesque and romantic city.

Approximate value: €35 EUR per person

Ghent

Medieval Bruges
Medieval Bruges

Medieval Bruges

Bruges is called: "the Venice of the North". This splendid medieval city is one of Belgium's crown jewels. In no other European city the feel and the look of medieval times are as present as here in this city close to the North Sea. Bruges is not a tiny miniature city. It ranks, even today, among the important cities of Belgium. It is also the capital of the Belgian province of West-Flanders. When one is lucky with the weather, a stroll through the narrow medieval streets or a canal cruise can be an enchanting experience. Bruges is unique, in the sense that here the town authorities have done their utmost to preserve the medieval-looking image of the city. Of course, not every stone in Bruges has come to us straight from the Middle-Ages. The 19th century neo-gothic style is more present than one would think. Nevertheless, the combination of old, not so old and new fascinates everyone who first sets foot in Bruges.

Approximate value: €50 EUR per person

Antwerp

Brussels - Europe's Secret Capital
Brussels - Europe's Secret Capital

Brussels - Europe's Secret Capital

Brussels is the capital of Flanders, Belgium and Europe, a francophone enclave in the Flemish northern part of Belgium. The Lower Town is centered around the magnificent Grand' Place and still follows a vaguely medieval form, with its narrow, atmospheric streets. The Grand' Place itself, a wide-open cobblestoned medieval square of elegant guild houses, is one of Brussels' few set-piece attractions with the Town Hall as its landmark building; its spire will be your point of reference as you weave through the Lower Town streets. The daily business of Brussels takes place here, in the many local bars and cafes whose character and quality are the stuff of legends. South, amid the tourist shops in rue de l'Etuve, is the little statue of a naked little boy, a perfect representative of the irreverent Belgian humor. The unique Brussels icon has been amusing visitors since 1619. Brussels, the capital of 500 million Europeans, is waiting to share its treasures with you.

Approximate value: €46 EUR per person

Namur

Freyr sur Meuse castle tour
Freyr sur Meuse castle tour

Freyr sur Meuse castle tour

Belgium is famous for it's castles and beers. Visit the former summerhouse of the Dukes of Beaufort-Spontin, the Castle of Freyr. This Renaissance style building once housed royal guests in its refined and cosmopolitan interiors, which were furnished by the 20 generations who have been living here. Beautiful classical style gardens welcome visitors out for a rustic stroll. The walled terraced gardens, in the style of Le Notre, present to you their splendor and intimacy. The babbling of the fountains, the perfume of the 300 years old orange trees and the 6 km (3.7 miles) of hedged small mazes will seduce all visitors.

Approximate value: €34 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake
Anniversary Celebration Cake

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary cake presented during dinner. Make this a cruise like no other.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic
Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €161.50 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe
Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic
Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner.

Approximate value: €142 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe
Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening.

Approximate value: €344 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special cake and present it to you during dinner. Make this a cruise that you will never forget.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and a wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €207 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

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