Day 1 | Highlights:
Welcome to Amsterdam, a fascinating 700 year old city lined with picturesque canals and filled with world-class museums, theatres and cafés. On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport by an Emerald Waterways representative and transferred to your award-winning river cruise ship where a warm welcome awaits from your Captain and crew. Tonight you are invited to join your fellow travellers for a Welcome Dinner.
Day 2 | Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans Highlights:
This morning we venture to Zaanse Schans, which is one of the highlights of the Netherlands, just outside Amsterdam. This vibrant and stunning living and working community that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, with many farms and windmills. Tonight the Captain will be delighted to welcome you to a gala dinner. Emerald Plus: Tour to Zaanse Schans Windmills.
Day 3 | Veere – Delta Works Highlights:
Today you will arrive in Veere where you will enjoy a guided tour. In 1953, the province of Zeeland was heavily flooded during a storm which led the Dutch government to commission the Delta Works to protect the province from the open sea by a series of dikes, sea walls and locks all the way up to Rotterdam in South Holland. We continue with a tour of the outer wall of the Delta Works project, known as the Storm Surge Barrier, before watching an educational and interesting film on its construction and the floods that preceded it. Afterwards, you will return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon of sailing as you journey towards Belgium. Emerald Active: Guided Biking Tour in Veere.
Day 4 | Antwerp Highlights:
This morning we arrive in Antwerp - Belgium’s biggest port, positioned on the River Sheltz with a large harbour linking to the sea. As Belgium’s second largest city, it has been pivotal in the country’s history of occupations and conquests. Home to the famous Baroque artist Pieter Paul Rubens, it attracts art lovers and diamond dealers from all over the world. Having been decimated during WWII, today the city is modern and organised, yet still retains an intriguing Medieval heart. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the city centre through its café-filled cobbled lanes, admiring the Renaissance Town Hall and the unique Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady, the symbol of Antwerp before passing through the charming 16th century inner yard, the ‘Vlaeykensgang’.
Discover More: Excursion to the medieval town of Bruges (extra expense)
Day 5 | Arnhem Highlights:
After a relaxing morning spent sailing through the Dutch waterways, passing its wonderful windmills and quaint traditional villages, you will arrive in Arnhem. Most famous for its great battle during World War II, its iconic bridge - the sight where the British forces were captured. Your tour with a local guide includes the main sights of the city such as the as the Airborne Museum Hartenstein which is dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem In 1944. The main building was the headquarters of the British command during the battle, and now houses exhibits of military uniforms and weapons. Back on-board your ship you will enjoy the Captain’s Gala Dinner.
Day 6 | Hoorn - Amsterdam Highlights:
This morning you will arrive in Hoorn, which was once a base for the Dutch East India Company, making it a prosperous and powerful trading town. Today, this 13th century town is home to many listed buildings and the former Oostereiland prison. Once in Hoorn, you will be transferred by coach to Edam - a town known all over the world for its cheese, where you will enjoy an orientation walking tour. As well as cheese, Edam was made famous for its ship building, where it was once home to a total of 33 shipyards. On your walking tour, you will get to browse the city’s many cheese shops, authentic 17th century architecture, monuments and quiet canals. Afterwards, you’ll be taken on a guided tour of the fishing village of Volendam, where you’ll also enjoy free time exploring the small fishing port and the old centre where some residents still wear traditional Dutch costume. Emerald Plus: Clog Painting on board. Emerald Active: Biking Tour in Hoorn (unguided)
Day 7 | Amsterdam Highlights:
This morning we journey to Keukenhof Gardens - the most beautiful spring garden in the world and Europe’s largest. Situated in the heart of the tulip farm area of Holland, it boasts incredible displays of different flowers and plants, with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths filling over 79 acres with colour and fragrance. After lunch, you will enjoy an afternoon orientation tour of Amsterdam. Emerald Plus: Visit to Keukenhof Gardens.
Day 8 | Amsterdam Highlights:
After breakfast, it is time to farewell your fellow passengers and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport for your onward or homebound flight.