- Grote Markt, Antwerp
- Medieval Bruges
- The gabled buildings of Ghent
- The iconic sights of Amsterdam
The Inaugural Cruise
Dutch and Belgian Waterways
- VIP on selected river cruises
- Full board
Be part of this momentous occasion…
Be among our first guests to be welcomed aboard the newest addition to our river cruise fleet, Spirit of the Danube. Relax on board as she navigates the intricate Dutch waterways through a gentle tulip-filled landscape and look forward to on-board entertainment and activities to celebrate this special occasion.
Admire the windmills of Kinderdijk and the fortified town of Willemstad before crossing the border into Belgium for included tours of Ghent, medieval Bruges and Antwerp, where the 16th-century Grote Markt is home to the famous Brabo fountain and Belgium’s largest Gothic cathedral. Cruising back into the Netherlands perhaps admire work by Dutch masters such as Aelbert Cuyp and Ferdinand Bol at the Dordrechts Museum before exploring the iconic sights of Amsterdam.
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
- All gratuities on board
- Return coach travel via Eurotunnel or ferry
- Windmills of Kinderdijk
- Ghent walking tour OR canal cruise
- Bruges walking tour
- Antwerp city walk
- Amsterdam city tour and canal cruise OR Amsterdam culinary walking tour
Interactive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration
Day 1 UK to Arnhem
Travel by coach from Folkestone via Eurotunnel or ferry to Arnhem (a journey from Calais of approximately four and a half hours). Embark Spirit of the Danube and enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board.
Cruise overnight towards Kinderdijk.
Day 2 Kinderdijk to Willemstad
This morning you’ll arrive at Kinderdijk on the north bank of the river Noord, the location of 19 windmills dating from the 15th century.
Go ashore on an included excursion and inspect the different models designed for pumping water from the land. The windmills, built between 1722 and 1761, form the largest park of windmills still in use in the Netherlands. During your excursion you’ll see how a windmill works, learn why they were used and how they have been replaced by more modern pump stations. Enjoy a 30 minute cruise past the windmills of the Overwaard and visit the Nederwaard Museum Mill, a stone mill from 1738.
Continue cruising through lunch to arrive in Willemstad for an optional walking tour.
Day 3 Willemstad to Ghent
After an early departure from Willemstad, you’ll spend the morning cruising, crossing the border into Belgium to arrive in the typically Flemish city of Ghent this afternoon.
See the timber-framed buildings and stone fortifications during an included walking tour or perhaps opt to see the sights from a different perspective on an included cruise along the canals, as your guide gives you commentary on the passing scenery.
Day 4 Ghent to Antwerp
Enjoy an included excursion to the beautiful city of Bruges this morning.
The city’s medieval heritage will be evident at every turn of your walking tour, with the Gothic Grand Place sprawling at the foot of the Belfry Tower, nearly 300 feet tall. Explore narrow, cobbled streets lined with lace makers, chocolatiers and cafes before returning to your ship.
Sail through the afternoon along the River Scheldt, arriving in Antwerp this evening.
Day 5 Antwerp
Join an included morning tour to see some of the city’s many highlights, which include the stately 16th-century Grote Markt which is home to the famous Brabo fountain, and the largest Gothic cathedral in Belgium. The city was a great centre for the arts in the Renaissance period, with Rubens and Van Dyck both living and working here. Antwerp is also one of the leading centres in the world diamond industry.
Spirit of the Danube will set sail after lunch, bound for Dordrecht.
Day 6 Dordrecht
Following an early arrival in Dordrecht perhaps join an optional morning visit to The Dordrechts Museum, one of the oldest in the country, having been established in 1842, with a rich collection spanning six centuries of Dutch art.
This afternoon, begin your journey along the Dutch waterways to Amsterdam.
Day 7 Amsterdam 🎧
Arrive in Amsterdam early this morning, and after breakfast you can either take a tram to Central Station for an included culinary-themed walking tour of the Dutch capital, or you could join an included coach tour to see the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the floating flower market, the Central Railway Station and the 19th-century Rijksmuseum, followed by a canal cruise to the city centre with its historic bridges and gabled houses.
You’ll also see the famous Skinny Bridge, the Montelbaanstoren tower and the Jewish Quarter. This afternoon an optional excursion visits Volendam, Edam and the Katwoude cheese farm.
Moor here overnight.
Day 8 Amsterdam to UK
Disembark Spirit of the Danube after breakfast for your return journey to the UK.
Willemstad walking tour
Take a tour of this small fortified town set within star-shaped walls. It was William 1 of Orange who ordered the fortifications to be built to protect the town’s strategic position on the River Maas from the Spanish. When he died in 1584 the town passed to his son Maurits and was renamed in his honour, receiving city rights in 1585. The Reformed Church, built in 1607, was the first new Protestant church building in the Netherlands.
Walking Grade 3
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
The Dordrechts Museum
Browse the works of the Dordrecht masters, such as Aelbert Cuyp, Ferdinand Bol, Ary Scheffer and Aert Schouman on this optional excursion.
Walking Grade 2
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Volendam, Edam & Katwoude Cheese Farm
This excursion for cheese lovers takes you to a beautiful farmhouse in Katwoude, where cheese is still made. Here you’ll enjoy a practical demonstration of the craft, and taste various cheeses. Head for Edam, one of the Netherlands’ best-preserved towns, which grew wealthy as a trading town and became famous for its red-waxed cylindrical cheese. Enjoy a walking tour through the pretty streets and visit the famous Edam cheese weigh house. The final stop is in the nearby, picturesque village of Volendam, which lies on reclaimed land along the former Zuiderzee, now known as the Ijssel Lake. Keep an eye out for locals wearing traditional Dutch costume, and enjoy some free time in the harbour area. During the excursion a local guide will explain the fascinating history of man’s fight to reclaim this low-lying land from invasion by the sea.
Walking Grade 3
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Post-holiday extension with breakfasts
After your cruise stay two nights at the locally rated 4-star Westcord Fashion Hotel (4Q) with breakfasts included. The hotel is located five minutes from a tram which arrives into Amsterdam Central 15 minutes later.
Available only when you fly, or travel by Eurostar. Please call for details.
🎧 Interactive maps and headsets available for exploring independently in Amsterdam.
Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.
1 – Walking at your own discretion. For example, on panoramic coach tours when the only walking is at photo stops.
2 – Minimal walking. Up to approximately 1,640 feet (500 metres) on mainly flat terrain.
3 – Moderate walking. Between 1,640-4,920 feet (500-1500 metres) over mixed terrain with the possibility of some steps.
4 – Considerable walking. More than 4,920 feet (1500 metres) over uneven terrain with many steps.
5 – Strenuous walking. Long distances over rough terrain with climbing, steps and trekking.