Journey Through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France

Enjoy a cruise on the canals of Amsterdam and Bruges, see splendid works of art, and be immersed in medieval architecture.  Visit the battlefield of Flanders in Reims. Delight in fine food, Belgium beer, chocolate, champagne, and Brie. It’s about time you spoiled yourself.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart for Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Today we leave the U.S. on our flight to the storied city of Amsterdam with its winding canals, Golden Age architecture, magnificent museums, iconic windmills, tulips, and convivial nightlife. This diverse city has something for everyone. 

Day 2 - Arrive Amsterdam

Our tour begins in Amsterdam,  the “Venice of the North.” It is a city teeming with charm from its 16th-century Dutch architecture and colorful tulips to its romantic canals, craft beer, great museums, and delicious food. After we check into our hotel located in the heart of the city we will meet our fellow passengers for a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 - Amsterdam

After breakfast, we will see the city from the water on our private canal boat cruise. As we cruise along the canals we will pass some of the city’s most famous neighborhoods that reflect the cultural heritage and rich trading history that can still be felt today. On this narrated cruise we will learn the history of this beautiful canal system that covers more than 60 miles of the city. A highlight of a canal cruise is that it lets you see the city from an on-the-water perspective. After our cruise, we will enjoy a guided walk through the multicultural Jordaan district. A highlight is a chance to taste some Dutch specialties as we chat with a chef about the city’s progressive food scene. Now that you have the lay-of-the land, this evening is on your own for dinner. (B,L)

Day 4 - Amsterdam

Today is a free day to explore this exciting city at your own pace. For art lovers, you may want to visit the Rijksmuseum featuring Dutch masterpieces, the Van Gogh Museum, or the Rembrandt House Museum to see where this famous Dutch painter lived. History buffs may want to visit the Anne Frank House, the museum dedicated to this young, internationally famous diarist that died in the Holocaust. For a glimpse of how the Dutch Royal Family lives, plan a visit to the Royal Palace built in 1808, which is open to the public when the palace is not in use. For gardeners, there is the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, and for cat lovers, there is the  Cat Cabinet, devoted to works of art depicting cats. (B)

Day 5 - Amsterdam - Kinderdijk - Bruges, Belgium

After breakfast, we say goodbye to Amsterdam and head to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the largest collection of functioning historic windmills in the Netherlands. At the Nederwaard Mill Museum, we will learn the importance of these iconic windmills that help the Dutch reclaim the Netherland lowlands from the sea. The windmills pump the sea water into rivers held back by dikes. A highlight is a chance to go inside a windmill. Since they have not been changed since the 1950s, we get to see how people lived in them so many years ago. We depart Kinderdijk for the fairytale city of Bruges, Belgium which will be our home base for the next two nights. After checking in we will gather for dinner. (B,D)

Day 6 - Bruges

After breakfast, we will meet our local guide for a walk through this enchanting medieval city with its cobblestone streets and scenic canals. The entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and strolling the meandering streets, it is easy to see why. We will hop aboard a boat and cruise along the historic canals that crisscross the heart of the city. Afterward, we will have a special chocolate tasting and learn about the treasured craft of lace making. This afternoon there is time to explore on your own before going to a local brewery for a tasting of some of Belgium’s most popular beers. Dinner this evening is on your own. (B)

Day 7 - Bruges - Reims, France

After breakfast, we will say goodbye to Bruges and make our way across the historic Flanders Fields to the unforgettable World War I site of one of the most famous battlefields on the Western Front. It is hard to imagine that more than a million soldiers from 50 different countries were wounded, lost their lives, or were missing in action here from 1914 -1918. We will meet our local guide and discover the key sites of WW I battlefields, bunkers, cemeteries, and the iconic red poppy fields. We depart Flanders Fields for Reims, France, the “City of Coronations & Champagne.” After settling into our hotel, we will meet for a sumptuous dinner replete with a glass of French champagne. (B,D)

Day 8 - Reims - Notre-Dame & Champagne Winery

After breakfast, we will meet for a walking tour of this city which has a total of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is often called the City of Kings or the City of Coronations because the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims was the place where France’s kings were coronated after 816. Some 33 kings were crowned there in total – the last one was Charles X in 1825. Stepping into the Cathedral on our tour is like stepping back in time. It is fun to imagine the pomp and circumstance of the coronation day.

Driving through the French countryside on Route de Champagne, which is a feast for the eyes with mile upon mile of vineyards. Our destination is a tour and tasting at a French Champagne Vineyard. There will be plenty of time to stroll the countryside and visit the Verzenay Lighthouse which is an impressive museum detailing the secrets of Champagne combined with an unforgettable view of the surrounding countryside. We return to our hotel in Reims, where dinner tonight is on your own. (B)

Day 9 - Reims - Meaux - Paris

Today we say goodbye to Reims and head to Meaux, the village where Brie cheese is made. On our guided tour at La Maison du Brie de Meaux, we will learn about the cheese’s history, the cheesemaking process, and the strict government rules about the content of the cheese. We will have the chance to taste some of this famous soft cheese that is popular the world over. We depart Meaux for Paris, the “City of Light” for our overnight stay. Dinner tonight is on your own. (B,L)

Day 10 - Paris

Today, after breakfast join our local guide for a tour of the Louvre, one of the most renowned museums in the world. Our expert guide will make sure that we hit all the high points of the Lourve such as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Johannes Vermeer’s The Lacemaker, and the Winged Victory of Samothra. Afterward, you may choose to walk the Champs-Élysées, Paris’ most famous boulevard, go shopping near the Arce de Triomphe, or visit the iconic, world-renowned Eiffel Tower. Lunch and Dinner are on your own. (B)

Day 11 - Paris

Today is on your own and if you need a break from the city take the train to nearby Versailles Palace, once the home of Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV, the last monarchs of France. The incredible opulence of Versaille is simply amazing and well worth the trip.

 If you decide to stay in Paris, you may want to visit the Musée d’Orsay, well known for its fabulous collection of impressionist paintings by such superstars as Degas, Monet, Cezanne, and Van Gogh, among many others. You may simply want to see Paris naturally and take a walk along the Seine River, and stroll through Jardin des Tuileries, a free public garden that spans 55 acres. Lunch and Dinner today are on your own. (B)

Day 12 - Depart Paris

Today, we bid farewell to the City of Light and head home with memories of canals, cobblestones, palaces, museums, good food, and fine wine. (B)


Tour Details

Hotel / Lodging
(or similar)

10-Nights Premier Accommodation

Best Western Premier Hotel De La Paix Reims

The Best Western Premier Hôtel de la Paix is the number one address for a wonderful stay in Reims. In a prime location in the heart of the "Cité des Sacres", it is but a few steps away from the Notre-Dame Cathedral, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while benefitting from the entertainment and shopping opportunities offered on the Place d'Erlon.

Hôtel Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel

Just steps from the Eiffel Tower, Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel is a 4-star hotel in the heart of Paris. An ideal starting point for leisure, you'll appreciate our tips for visiting the City of Light.

NH Bruge

The NH Brugge Hotel couldn’t be better placed to get you acquainted with Bruges – a UNESCO World Heritage site known as the ‘Venice of the North’. From our hotel, it’s around 10 minutes’ walk to the center’s canals, cobbled streets and Medieval sights.

Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel

Expect comfort and thoughtful convenience at Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel in the Netherlands. Ideally-located in the heart of central Amsterdam, our hotel offers easy access to celebrated historic landmarks, cultural treasures and modern entertainment. We are located only minutes away from the Amsterdam Centraal Station, the iconic Dam Square and Madame Tussauds.

Transportation

Airplane
Motor-coach
Boat

Meals

15 Meals: 10 Breakfasts | 2 Lunches | 3 Dinners

Trip Highlights

Private Canal Cruise
Walking Tour of the Jordaan District
Nederwaard Mill Museum & Windmill Visit
Belgium Beer Tasting Experience,
Bruge Walking Tour
La Maison du Brie de Meaux
Guided Tour of the Louvre
Bruges Boat Cruise
Flanders Field
Tour & Tasting at a French Champagne Vineyard
Walking Tour of Reims
Guided Tour of the Louvre


Upcoming Departures

Tour DatesAvailabilityDeparture Points Subject to Change 
Mon April 15, 2024 - Fri April 26, 2024
4/15/2024 - 4/26/2024
Available
  • FREE Airfare!
Mon May 13, 2024 - Fri May 24, 2024
5/13/2024 - 5/24/2024
Available
  • FREE Airfare!
Mon September 16, 2024 - Fri September 27, 2024
9/16/2024 - 9/27/2024
Available
  • FREE Airfare!

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    “Our meals were fantastic and eating at the Grand Hotel, the Skylon Restaurant, the Bavarian Inn, the Island House and the Ventosa Vineyards were ALL excellent experiences! Our hotels were great as well. Thank you so much for pulling this all together for us!”

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