This is what a cultural cruise in Europe should be! This is a 9 day fully guided boating experience from Holland into Belgium. You tour world-famous art and history museums, visit awe-inspiring cathedrals, see and learn about incredible feats of Dutch engineering to reclaim land from the sea, and meander through medieval towns from Amsterdam to Bruges. As you journey through the western region of the Netherlands and Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, life on board will be a world-class experience and your experience off the boat will allow you to immerse in the culture and history of the region.
- Amsterdam, Ghent, and Bruges
- Windmills at Kinderdijk
- Province of Zeeland
- Rijksmuseum of Dutch art and history
- Fourteenth-century fortified town of Vianen
- Delta works
- Rubens House
- Flanders Field
- Unique accommodations
- Excellent cuisine
For those of you who would like to "earn" the fabulous meals on board, there are bikes available in case you opt for a short cycling excursion with your tour leader.
Day 1: Amsterdam
Day 2: Amsterdam Art day and sailing from Amsterdam to Vianen
Day 3: Silverworks day and windmill day • Vianen – Schoonhoven – Dordrecht
Day 4: Waterworks day sailing and bus • Dordrecht – Willemstad – Antwerp
Day 5: Rubens day and Belgian beer day • Antwerp – Saint Amands
Day 6: Art Ghent day • Saint Amands – Ghent
Day 7: Flanders fields and Westvleteren
Day 8: Bruges
Day 9: Bruges, end of tour
The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical, or meteorological reasons, or other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be undertaken, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety. This will not be considered a reason for free cancellation or reimbursement as this will fall under Force Majeure or circumstances or events for which no party can be held accountable.
Day 1: Amsterdam
The adventure begins! After embarking on the Magnifique III, you’ll receive the official welcome by the crew and your tour guide. We pop the bubbly and sit down to enjoy the first dinner aboard the ship.
Day 2: Art and sailing , Amsterdam - Vianen
The day begins with a canal boat ride to the stunning Rijksmuseum of Dutch art and history. Later that afternoon the ship leaves the harbor for a relaxed journey on the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal, the Merwedekanaal and the river Lek.
In the evening we’ll arrive at the fourteenth-century fortified town of Vianen where your guide will take you on a moonlit stroll after dinner.
Day 3: Silverworks and windmills, Vianen – Schoonhoven – Dordrecht
Day 4: Waterworks, Dordrecht – Willemstad – Antwerp
In the morning, we arrive in the fortified town of Willemstad. After a city walk, a bus takes you to the Watersnoodmuseum in Ouwerkerk, in the province of Zeeland. After that, you’ll go on a round trip of the 9 kilometers long Oosterscheldekering storm surge barrier, the most impressive building of the Delta works.
Dinner will be served onboard the Magnifique, which you’ll find docked in the Belgian port town of Antwerp.
Day 5: Rubens and Belgian beer, Antwerp – Saint Amands
An invigorating morning stroll will take you to the Rubens House, where the painter actually lived and worked his magic. After lunch we’ll hop on the bus to the small town of Sint Amands for a visit and, of course, a tasting at Brewery Bosteels.
That evening you walk to the Sahara Art Stones house, studio, and gallery in a tiny alley in Sint Amands.
Day 6: Saint Amands – Ghent
On day six the Magnifique will dock just outside Ghent where a taxi takes you downtown for a visit to Saint Baaf’s cathedral, a huge building whose first traces go back to the tenth century. Midafternoon you’re taken on a trip by canal boat after which you’re free to enjoy some time in Ghent before a taxi takes you back to the ship.
Day 7: Flanders fields and Westvleteren
A sailing breakfast to Lovendegem, where a bus awaits you for the ride to Yper and the “In Flanders Fields” museum.
After lunch, the bus takes you to Westvleteren Abbey and its brewery. The nearby visitor center hosts the only café on the globe that serves the famous Westvleteren Trappist beer. What a treat!
Day 8: Bruges
The day starts with an unforgettable tour of Bruges on foot, so you can drink in the beauty of this city lovingly nicknamed “The pearl of Flanders”. Take your pick of one of Bruges many eateries for lunch, but be sure to leave some room for dessert as you’ll be attending a chocolate workshop. We’ll visit the Groeninger museum next to see the paintings of Flemish primitives like Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling.
Day 9: Bruges, end of tour
Enjoy your last breakfast aboard before disembarking!
The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).
Unlike your typical river cruise, your accommodations will be smaller, more intimate, but no less luxurious! Step aboard your vessel, the Magnifique III, and you will immediately feel pampered. The novelty of having a luxury floating hotel room that accompanies you through the canals, rivers, and waterways of Europe is one you will never grow tired of. The entire ship with its spacious private cabins were designed by an expert Dutch shipbuilder and will quickly come to feel like home as you explore Europe by water.
- Magnifique IIIDeluxe 5 out of 5 (10 Reviews)
Deluxe Class Barge
A new ship in our program. Following the success of her sister ships, Magnifique I and Magnifique II, this deluxe vessel, launched in 2018, has not diappointed! Read More
- 9 days/8 nights accommodation
- 8 breakfasts featuring freshly baked bread
- 4 lunches
- 7 3-course dinner
- Wine with dinner
- Coffee and tea on board free of charge
- Welcome drink
- Daily cleaning of the cabin
- Climate-controlled cabin
- Daily briefings and lectures by professionals
- Fully guided tours
- Some short fully guided cycling tours on request
- All fees for museums
- Transfers during tours
- Unlimited Wifi onboard
What’s Not Included
- 1 dinner in Ghent
- 3 lunches
- Drinks other than those indicated as included
- Gratuities (at your discretion)
- Travel insurance
Dates & Pricing
This cruise is offered in both directions, Amsterdam to Bruges or Bruges to Amsterdam. Most people opt to fly into and out of Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS) regardless of the tour direction, however, depending on your tour start/tour end city you could opt to fly into or out of Brussels (BRU) as well.
From the airport in Amsterdam, you can access the train station on the lower floor and take a 20-minute shuttle to Amsterdam Central. At the end of your tour, if flying out of Amsterdam, you will take a train from Bruges back to Amsterdam. Depending on the time of departure, and type of train, your train travel time ranges from 2 3/4 hours to 3 1/2 hours with one to three transfers. If flying out of Brussels, from Bruges, train travel time is about 1 1/2 hour to the Zaventem Airport. The train departs every hour and costs about €20 per person. You can check departure times by visiting either the Dutch train travel site or the Belgium rail site.
Yes, it will be cooler from the end of October into November. But, it will also be past normal tourist season, so the throngs will have moved on! Please check local conditions before travel. The climate in Holland is considered maritime, greatly affected by the sea. Belgium as well is influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. A very good website to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more is: weatherbase.com.
Bikes on board are available for your pleasure. Don’t hesitate to experience the wonderful world-renowned cycling infrastructure in Holland and Belgium.
No premium tour aboard a luxury floating hotel is complete without a world-class chef onboard to wow guests with his culinary creations! Chefs prepare fresh meals every day onboard one of the Magnifique-ships from ingredients that are locally sourced and delivered fresh to the ship each time it docks along its journey. Each meal is themed according to the area you’ll be visiting and perfectly paired with the finest wines and best beers to complement their distinctive flavors. Though Dutch, Flemish, and classic French cuisine are favorites, the chefs often surprise guests with Asian dishes or a barbeque on deck manned by none other than the captain himself!
Important to know
Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.
*Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.
This tour is run by Cultural Cruises Europe.
We value the strong relationship we have with our local partners and the services we provide.
We are not a broker.
We do not inflate tour prices.
We are simply travelers helping travelers.
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