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  • *
    Hit the sails
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    Antwerp’s architecture
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    Beautiful Belfry
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    Glorious Ghent
  • *
    Iconic Amsterdam

Undiscovered Gems of Belgium and the Netherlands

Dutch Waterways

  • A plane in a circle with a strikethrough No fly
  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A plate with a knife and fork Full board

Uncover the highlights of Holland and the best of Belgium

Step aboard our luxury ship, Spirit of the Rhine, for a 14-night river cruise which will reveal the highlights of the lowlands – both those you might already know, and plenty more you may not.

Your holiday begins and ends in the vibrant Dutch capital Amsterdam and winds its way through scenic waterways, visiting the smaller towns and cities of Zaandem, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, Medemblik, Lelystad and Willemstad.. See the iconic and historic windmills of Kinderdijk before crossing into Belgium, where you can look forward to included excursions in beautiful Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent.

Take a walk around Bruges then return to Holland for an included excursion visiting The Hague. Contrast mighty Rotterdam and Schoonhaven en route back to Amsterdam where you can soak up the food, drink and culture during a two night mooring - the perfect way to round off your fortnight of discovery...

Cruise to all four corners of Holland and into Belgium on this diverse cruise which combines fascinating cities with the rich maritime history of the Netherlands and some fascinating off-the-beaten-track places like Medemblik.

Andrew Iwasyszyn, Expert Holiday Creator


A car with a tickVIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Dinner plate 41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners

Cocktail Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner

Person Saga Team


  • Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • All gratuities on board
  • Return coach travel via Eurotunnel or ferry*

MapIncluded Excursions

  • Visit to Giethoorn
  • Kinderdijk Windmill visit
  • Walking tour of Brussels
  • Tour of Antwerp
  • Ghent guided walking tour OR Canal Cruise
  • Walking tour of Bruges
  • Amsterdam city tour and canal cruise OR Amsterdam Culinary Walking Tour

*Return flights or direct Eurostar train to Amsterdam for a supplement.

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

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View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Amsterdam to Zaandam

Zaandam city, Netherlands

Travel to Amsterdam (a journey from Calais of approximately five hours plus comfort stops if travelling by coach) and embark Spirit of the Rhine.

Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board as you depart early this evening for Zaandam where you moor overnight.

Zaandam Netherlands Europe

Day 2 Zaandam to Hoorn 🎧

Slanting historic buildings in the old town of Hoorn, Netherlands

This morning an optional tour explores the historic village of Zaanse Schans. The Zaan region was an industrial area and its hundreds of windmills were used in the production of a wide variety of different items. See the traditional houses, warehouses, workshops and reconstructed windmills and you'll get an idea of what it was like to live here in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Depart during lunch for Hoorn arriving late afternoon and mooring overnight.

This region of Friesland is largely agricultural and particularly famous for its black-and-white Friesian cattle.

Hoorn Netherlands Europe

Day 3 Hoorn to Enkhuizen 🎧

Enkhuizen, Netherlands

When the Dutch navigators Willem Schouten and Jakob Le Maire first sailed past Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America back in 1616, Schouten named it after this, his home town of Hoorn.

You might like to join an optional walking tour this morning or visit a tulip farm and enjoy a cycling tour of Hoorn on another optional excursion.

Your ship sails on to Enkhuizen at lunchtime arriving later this afternoon and mooring overnight.

Enkhuizen Netherlands Europe

Day 4 Enkhuizen to Medemblik

Zuiderzee Museum, Enkhuizen, Netherlands

Spend the day at leisure in the former fishing port of Enkhuizen. Once known as Herring Town, Enkhuizen was one of the Dutch East India Company's main operational ports in the 17th century and rivalled Amsterdam in status.

Stroll the prettily preserved streets, indulge in some retail therapy or visit the fascinating Zuiderzee Museum on an optional excursion. There is also a delightfully quirky bottle ship museum – home to the world's largest collection of ships in bottles!

Depart Enkhuizen during dinner and sail to Medemblik, where you will moor overnight.

Medemblik Netherlands Europe

Day 5 Medemblik to Lelystad

Canals in the city of Medemblik, Netherlands

Wake up in Medemblik and after breakfast perhaps join an optional tour tour by 'Stoom-tram' to see more of the area.

Set sail from Medemblik early this afternoon afternoon and cruise on to arrive in Lelystad during dinner and moor overnight.

Lelystad Netherlands Europe

Day 6 Lelystad

Lelystad, Netherlands

Wake up in Lelystad and join a morning’s excursion to the car-free village of Giethoorn, known as the ‘Venice of the Netherlands’, where distinctive thatched houses line the network of canals.

You’ll have time to explore historic Urk or join an optional visit to the Bataviawerf shipyard before departing mid-afternoon. The fishing town has existed for more than a Millennium and was originally an island in the Almere, a lake which became part of the Zuiderzee in the 13th century.

Depart Lelystad before dinner and sail through the night to Kinderdijk.

Lelystad Netherlands Europe

Day 7 Kinderdijk to Willemstad

Traditional windmills at Kinderdijk, Netherlands

This morning you’ll arrive at Kinderdijk, the location of 19 windmills dating from the 15th century. On an included excursion you can go ashore 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 this excursion you’ll see how a windmill works, learn why they were used and how they have been replaced by more modern pump stations. You’ll visit the former steam pump station Wisboom, as well as the historic waterboard house, and walk along the flood wall.

Reboard Spirit of the Rhine late morning and cruise through lunch to arrive in Willemstad, where you can join an optional walking tour.

Early this evening your ship departs for Brussels, sailing overnight.

Willemstad Netherlands Europe

Day 8 Brussels to Antwerp

Grote Markt, Brussels

After cruising through the night, arrive in the Belgian capital before breakfast.

This morning you can join an included walking tour of the city centre. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon and early evening to explore independently to take in Brussels' many highlights.

The wide cosmopolitan avenues are lined with huge buildings, including the Palais de Justice and the headquarters of the European Parliament, while its historic city centre is compact and perfect for a stroll.

Perhaps enjoy some window-shopping or seek out the iconic and cheeky statue, Manneken Pis, round the corner from the Grote Markt – or Grand Place – before returning to your ship.

Set sail over dinner and cruise to Antwerp, where you will moor overnight.

Antwerp Belgium Europe

Day 9 Antwerp to Ghent

Morning in Antwerp, Belgium

After waking up in Belgium’s second city, enjoy an included tour to explore some of its 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 as you can discover before your cruise resumes at lunchtime, bound for Ghent, where you will moor at dinner.

Ghent Belgium Europe

Day 10 Ghent

Old square in Ghent, Belgium

Spend the day in the typically Flemish city of Ghent where quaint timber-framed buildings mixed with stone fortifications jostle for space among a network of canals.

After breakfast join an included city tour to discover the best of the city’s Flemish flavour. As you wander through the cobbled streets and attractive squares, keep an eye out for the 91-metre-high bell tower of the medieval Cloth Hall – it's hard to miss. There are also other fine Gothic buildings and canals to explore and you can enjoy stunning views from St Michael's Bridge.

You might prefer to join a canal cruise which will allow you to enjoy the sights from an entirely different perspective. Enjoy a glass of bubbly and some local delicacies while your guide gives you commentary on the scenery as you sail by.

Enjoy an optional excursion to the beautiful city of Bruges this afternoon. 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 in Terneuzen before dinner.

Sail through the evening and overnight bound for Rotterdam.

Ghent Belgium Europe

Day 11 Rotterdam

Rotterdam, Netherlands

At lunchtime Spirit of the Rhine will make a spectacular entrance into Rotterdam, the world’s largest port and Holland’s second city.

Enjoy an afternoon to explore independently. The city was heavily restored after World War II and is home to a dazzling array of modern architecture including the Markthal, a combined indoor food market and apartment block, Erasmus Bridge – the philosopher Desiderius Erasmus was born here in Rotterdam – and the Cube Houses, built at a jaunty angle across a pedestrian bridge.

There are also a number of beautiful sculptures in the city including works by Picasso, De Koning and Gabo.

Alternatively you might like to join an optional excursion to the Hague for a city tour this afternoon.

Rotterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 12 Rotterdam to Schoonhoven

Schoonhoven, Netherlands

Leave Rotterdam at breakfast and cruise through the morning, arriving in Schoonhoven early this afternoon.

Schoonhoven has been famous for its silver since the 17th century and is known as Silver City as it’s home to traditional silversmiths, the International Silver School and Dutch Silver Museum. Historic buildings here include the 15th-century town hall, the old Weigh House and the Veerpoort, an early 17th-century gate that stands by the River Lek. Schoonhoven is also known for its production of clocks and a beautiful example of clockwork is the Van den Gheyn Beiaard in the tower of the medieval town hall.

You may like to join an optional walking tour.

Spirit of the Rhine remains moored here overnight.

Schoonhoven Netherlands Europe

Day 13 Schoonhoven to Utrecht to Amsterdam

Traditional old street and buildings in Utrecht, Netherlands

Spirit of the Rhine departs over breakfast bound for Utrecht, arriving at lunchtime giving you the afternoon to explore.

Perhaps wander through the medieval heart of the city with its 112-metre high Domtoren tower or visit one of the city’s museums. The Botanical Gardens are also well renowned.

Before dinner return to your ship and set sail for the final time, cruising to arrive in Amsterdam where you will moor for the next two nights.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 14 Amsterdam 🎧

Pretty Amsterdam at night, Netherlands

This morning you can join an included culinary themed walking tour of the Dutch capital to enjoy the local food and culture, tasting local delicacies including herring, cheese and croquettes.

Alternatively, opt for an included tour of Amsterdam by coach and see the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the floating flower market, the Central Railway Station, which is built on thousands of wooden piles, and the 19th-century Rijksmuseum.

Afterwards, enjoy a canal cruise to see the city centre with its pretty bridges and attractive gabled houses up close.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 15 Amsterdam to UK

Disembark Spirit of the Rhine after breakfast ahead of your return journey to the UK.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

🎧 Interactive maps and audio headset tours available for exploring independently in Zaandam, Hoorn and Amsterdam.

Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.

If you should wish to participate in both the Ghent morning excursion and Bruges afternoon excursion, a packed lunch from the ship will be provided.

Walking Grades

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.

Undiscovered Gems of Belgium and the Netherlands

Dutch Waterways