Classic River Cruise – Holland to Belgium

Classic River Cruise – Holland to Belgium

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Embark on a captivating week-long journey through the Netherlands and Belgium aboard La Nouvelle Etoile, a luxurious hotel barge. The adventure begins in Haarlem with a champagne welcome, followed by a walking tour of the charming town. The itinerary includes a visit to the vibrant flower auction in Aalsmeer, a cruise through picturesque canals to Lisse for the stunning Keukenhof Gardens, and a stop at the Delft Pottery Works. Explore Rotterdam, visit the Ketel One distillery, and cruise to Willemstad. Cross into Belgium to discover the artistic heritage of Antwerp, including a tour of Rubens’ home. Navigate the Sea Schelde to reach Ghent, known for its rich history and art. The journey concludes in the “Venice of the North,” Bruges, where you can explore museums, purchase handmade lace, and enjoy a Farewell Captain’s Dinner on the last night before disembarking.

Trip Name
Classic River Cruise – Holland to Belgium
Vessel Type: Hotel Barge Length: 129 feet Passenger Capacity: 8 La Nouvelle Etoile has been designed to offer a very high level of comfort and convenience, to provide a blend of traditional elegance and modern-day facilities. The spacious, air conditioned saloon with its attractive cocktail bar, piano and elegant furnishings provides a truly sophisticated setting, while other amenities include an exercise room and a lift. Each of the four generous 200sq ft cabin suites is lavishly equipped and the en-suite bathrooms feature double hand-basins and oversized showers. On deck there is a large sun deck with comfortable loungers and a spa pool, as well as bicycles for you to pedal along the nearby towpath. This cruise on the luxurious La Nouvelle Etoile is a journey back in time through a picturesque landscape along two delightful canals, including France’s oldest, the Canal de Briare. She also cruises in Alsace, Champagne, Holland, Belgium, Picardy, Germany and Luxembourg in Spring and Autumn.


Day 1 - Sunday, Day 1 Haarlem to Cruquius
 Guests are met in Amsterdam and transferred to the hotel barge moored in the quaint town of Haarlem where there will be a champagne welcome. There will be time to relax and then take a short walking tour of Haarlem. Upon return, La Nouvelle Etoile will set off for a short cocktail cruise through Haarlem and moor for the night near Cruquius. Tonight will be your first, of many, gourmet meals on board.
Day 2 - Monday, Day 2 Cruquius to Delft
 After an early breakfast, we drive to the colourful flower auction in Aalsmeer and then return back for morning cruise along the canals to Lisse where you will be taken after lunch to visit the Keukenhof Gardens, the largest display of flowers in the world. Here you will see hundreds of varieties of tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs. Meanwhile, La Nouvelle Etoile has continued cruising to Delft and before returning to the hotel barge we visit the Delft Pottery Works, where the world famous pottery is still handmade and painted.  Dinner on board.
Day 3 - Tuesday, Day 3 Delft to Willemstad
 We leave Delft and cruise to Rotterdam.  During the morning you will have time to visit the ancient distillery of Ketel One, where one of the most prestigious vodkas in the world is made.  Upon returning to the barge, we continue our cruise through the busy port of Rotterdam and across the Hollandsch Diep, part of the Dutch estuaries, to the charming old fortress town of Willemstad.  Dinner on board.
Day 4 - Wednesday, Day 4 Willemstad to Antwerp
 Today, we will leave Holland and cross the border into Belgium and cruise to Antwerp.  Antwerp is the city of Rubens. After lunch, we tour Rubens’ home and take a stroll in the old quarter of this beautiful Flemish city.  Dinner on board.
Day 5 - Thursday, Day 5 Antwerp to Ghent
 After breakfast, we can catch the flood tide up the winding “Sea Schelde”, which takes us to the town of Ghent. Here you can look at the “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”, the famous painting by the Van Eyck brothers, or take a walk through this wonderful town in the afternoon.  Dinner on board.
Day 6 - Friday, Day 6 Ghent to Bruges
 This morning we will cruise to the beautiful little town of Bruges, known as the “Venice of the North”. You’ll have ample time to explore the many museums and maybe buy some of the handmade lace or take a boat trip on the small canals which meander through this picturesque town. Tonight is the Farewell Captain’s Dinner on board.
Day 7 - Saturday, Day 7 Bruges
 After breakfast, disembark La Nouvelle Etoile and transfer to the drop off point in Bruges.
Day 8 - Please Note:
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Floral Delight: Experience the vibrant Aalsmeer flower auction and the breathtaking Keukenhof Gardens with a myriad of tulips and hyacinths.
    • Artistic Sojourn: Explore the artistic heritage of Delft, Antwerp, and Ghent, with visits to Delft Pottery Works, Rubens' home, and the Van Eyck brothers' masterpiece.
    • Charming Canals: Cruise through picturesque Dutch and Belgian canals, discovering historic towns like Haarlem, Willemstad, and the "Venice of the North," Bruges, each offering unique cultural and scenic delights.