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Yuletide Spirit: Brussels to Amsterdam Cruise

$ 4,700

8D | 7N

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Festive fixes… glühwein, waffles, Belgian beers, stroopwafels, chocolate lace, and cheese… heartwarming carols and concerts joyfully orchestrated… villages dressed in the season's best… Dutch canals, cathedrals, and candles aglow with yuletide spirit… Belgian squares and medieval markets making merry… aboard a riverboat cruise all decked out with holiday cheer. The ribboned waterscapes of Holland and Belgium take on a special glow in December when storybook villages and fairy tale towns celebrate the joys of the season with holiday traditions centuries old. Experience yuletide spirit onboard and ashore on a river cruise that delights day and night… during a visit to a town steeped in 17th-century Holland life and historic windmills... and an illuminating Amsterdam canal cruise… while having cheese and stroopwafels in Gouda… in Delft or Rotterdam, as you choose… on sightseeing excursions in Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp dressed in their holiday best… in market squares where merry-making entices with hot mulled wines, waffles hot off the press, beers locally produced and chocolates laced with care… and at special receptions, dinners and cultural presentations aboard a riverboat decked out with cruising delights that make you feel right at home wherever we roam.


  • December 20-28, 2023

  • December 27 - January 3, 2024


  • Hotel Accommodation Available Upon Request


Day 1 | Welcome to Brussels / Embark Riverboat

The tour begins at 4:00 PM, in Brussels. A transfer is included from Brussels Airport or Brussels Central Train Station to Tauck's riverboat where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM. Settle into your cabin and join us tonight for a welcome reception followed by dinner.

MEALS: Dinner


Day 2 | Brussels in Winter

Wake up for a tour of the city that visits the enchanting cobblestoned square, Grand-Place, surrounded by ornately gilded 17th-century guildhouses, and the festive holiday markets of Winterfest, infused with the joys and spirit of the season. Time at leisure this afternoon lets you experience winter's wonders in Brussels as you wish. Your riverboat cruises to Antwerp tonight.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3 | Gems of Antwerp

Sugar and diamond trading put Antwerp on the map in the mid-16th century when it was one of Europe's most important cities. Today it is also famous for being the home of Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, inviting you to walk in the artist's footsteps and see his masterpieces where he painted them. Traditionally held every December, the Antwerp Christmas Market is spread over different squares of the city, within walking distance of the Grote Markt and other landmarks you'll see today. Guided sightseeing showcases the highlights of Antwerp this morning before time at leisure to explore on your own. Return to the riverboat by shuttle at your convenience and enjoy musical entertainment onboard the ship tonight after dinner.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 4 | City Sightseeing in Ghent & Bruges

Your riverboat arrives in Ghent this morning where you can walk off the boat into the heart of history in one of Belgium's oldest cities. Join a local guide for a city tour followed by free time. Home to gabled guild houses and private mansions and linked by canal bridges, Ghent is a city best enjoyed on foot. Continue to the fortified medieval city of Bruges for lunch and guided exploration along its meandering canals, magnificent squares, and narrow cobblestone lanes. As you wander in the shadow of its soaring towers, past whitewashed almshouses and historic churches, all remarkably preserved, you will see why it is called a fairy-tale town. Return to your riverboat for a special chef's signature dinner in the Compass Rose this evening.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


EXCURSION CHOICES: Choice #1 - Full-Day Exploration in Bruges

EXCURSION CHOICES: Choice #2 - Full-Day Exploration in Bruges and Ghent

Day 5 | A Taste of Rotterdam or a Day in Delft

A choice of shore excursions today includes a locally guided walking tour of Rotterdam or a visit to Delft and its porcelain factory. In Rotterdam, view world-class architecture and urban design, along with outdoor sculptures randomly placed, and as you make your way to the city's covered Markthal; topped with sought-after glass-walled apartments, the market is lined with some 96 stalls enticing with a taste of Dutch culinary specialties under an arched fruit-and-vegetable muralled ceiling. Little changed since Golden Age artist Johannes Vermeer lived here in the 17th century, the historic center of Delft is a veritable time capsule of medieval treasures and Golden Age glories. Tour the city's Royal Delft factory to learn more about the distinctive blue and white Delftware pottery first introduced by local artisans in the 17th century. Continue to the royal city of Den Haag for a walking tour that includes a visit to Escher in the Palace; housed in an 18th-century palace that was once home to the Dutch royal family and is now a museum, it features a permanent exhibition of works by Dutch graphic artist MC Escher.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


EXCURSION CHOICES: Choice #1 - Walking Food Tour of Rotterdam

Day 6 | Gouda

A leisurely morning cruise brings you to Schoonhaven in south Holland for a drive to historic Gouda, famous for its namesake cheese, but also inviting with its lesser-known candles – and stroopwafels. Join a local guide for a walking tour of its compact canal-ringed city center. Visit 15th-century Sint-Janskerk (the Church of St. John), astonishing with 64 magnificent stained glass windows, many of which date back to the mid-1500s, and see the pride of the town, the monumental 17th-century Waag, (weighing house) and the Town Hall. Credited with inventing stroopwafels, an iconic waffle sandwich with syrup in the center, Gouda was the only city to make them until 1870. Enjoy a demonstration and a tasting during your visit to Gouda today! Set sail for Amsterdam this afternoon.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 7 | Amsterdam, historic windmills & a Light Festival

Travel to the Zaanse Schans neighborhood to get an idea of what life was like in 17th- and 18th-century Holland; you'll see the historic windmills and green wooden houses from the period. After lunch onboard the ship, the afternoon is free for you to explore Amsterdam as you please. Illuminated artwork and sculptures lining the canals add a special glow to the city's winter landscapes at night and are a highlight of this evening's festive canal cruise.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


EXCURSION CHOICES: Choice #1 - Guided Tour of the Rijksmuseum

EXCURSION CHOICES: Choice #2 - Visit Zaanse Schans

Day 8 | Journey Home

Tour ends Amsterdam. Disembark your riverboat by 9:00 AM this morning and fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the riverboat to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, or Centraal Train. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport.

MEALS: Breakfast


  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director

  • Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $1,758

  • Holiday market fun in annual markets along the waterways with shopping, music, traditional fare and often ice skating and ferris wheel rides

  • Get a sense of 17th-century Holland on a visit to the Zaanse Schans neighborhood & historic windmills

  • A private visit inside a beautiful canal house in Amsterdam

  • Locally guided sightseeing in Ghent, Bruges Antwerp and Brussels

  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks

  • Airport & train station transfers as noted upon arrival and departure 20 meals; service charges, taxes, porterage and applicable fuel surcharges

  • A stroopwafel demonstration and tasting in Gouda An evening canal cruise to view the Amsterdam Light Festival

  • A walking tour of Rotterdam or a visit to Royal Delft to see pottery-making


  • Roundtrip Airfare

  • Schengen Tourist e-Visa

  • Philippine Travel Tax

  • Expenses of a personal nature like telephone calls, mini bar, etc.

  • Travel Insurance

  • Other travel components not mentioned

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