Luxury Barge Cruise in Europe

BELGIUM / HOLLAND CRUISE

Bruges to Haarlem

This extensive cruise offers the very best of Belgium and Holland. From the world famous cities of Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp, to the open waters of Hollands Diep and the delicate hand painted porcelain of Delft, to scholastic Leiden and medieval Haarlem – there is never a dull moment. Great tours, fantastic cruising and delicious cuisine make this a week to remember. Avoid the crowds and relax aboard your little piece of heaven.

Sunday: Brugge to Ghent (embarkation around 14.15 hrs)

You cannot pass through this part of the world without a visit to the beautiful city of Brugge, known as the “Venice of the North”. Why not book a hotel and spend a day or two here before your cruise. You will not regret a stay in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. So much so that it has been designated as a World Heritage Site. On Sunday, at 14.00 hrs, your chauffeur will drive you from the allocated pick up point to the Adagio where you will meet your Captain and crew. After a Champagne reception and settling in, we cruise towards Ghent. For those of you who have not yet spent time in Brugge, we have arranged that your tour guide is available to escort you into the city and afterwards drive you to meet Adagio where you can join the cruise. Welcome dinner aboard.

Monday: Ghent to Antwerp

This morning we visit Ghent to see the “not to be missed” St Bavo’s Cathedral where you can view the world-famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck around 1432. It’s the highlight of the Flemish Primitives and a milestone in art history. The Polyptych survived the Protestant Iconoclasm, fell into French hand under Napoleon and was requisitioned by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. But it has now been hanging peacefully for more than 50 years in the place where it belongs: St. Bavo’s Cathedral. Today we shall dine ashore for lunch (remember Ghent is famous for its Moules Frites). Afterwards we rejoin Adagio and cruise onwards to Antwerp, where we shall moor for the night. Lunch ashore. Dinner aboard.

Tuesday: Antwerp to Willemstad

We shall have an early breakfast before visiting Reuben’s House.
Rubens is to Antwerp what Gaudi is to Barcelona. Or Warhol to New York. His art has defined the skyline and prestige of Antwerp. The Rubens House is one of the most renowned artist’s residences worldwide. We shall also visit the Cathedral, with its’ iconic treasury and impressive collection of major artworks, including a series of paintings by Rubens. Now, after twenty years, the seven-naved church has been restored to its former architectural glory. Fascinating features include Rubens’ ‘Elevation of the Cross’ and his ‘Descent from the Cross’. We then rejoin the Adagio for a late lunch and cruise onwards towards our mooring at Willemstad in the Netherlands. This town is preserved in its original state, with windmill dykes, an old church and a 15th-century arsenal. Wonderful bars along the quayside. Dinner aboard.

Wednesday: Willemstad to Delft

This morning we set off at the crack of dawn across the mighty Holland’s Diep, part of the Dutch estuaries and onward past Dortrecht and Rotterdam, arriving in Delft. This afternoon we take a tour of the Delft Royal Porcelain Factory (www.royaldelft.com), where beautiful hand-painted ceramics are still made. Afterwards take a stroll around the cobbled streets of Delft before joining the Adagio for aperitifs and canapés. Dinner on board

Thursday: Delft to Leiden

This breakfast, enjoy a peaceful cruise out of Delft where quaint homes cling to the canal sides. Later we pass through the oldest lock in Holland at Leidschendam. From there our cruise continues to our overnight mooring in Leiden. This quaint city is home to one of the oldest universities in the country and the birthplace of the famous Rembrandt Van Rijn. Leiden is an ancient and impressive historical city (city rights since 1266) full of charm and character. Dinner aboard

Friday: Leiden to Haarlem

Our final cruise this morning takes us to Haarlem, a town of exceptional beauty with its main square, once used for jousting. After lunch we visit the famous Frans Hals Museum, founded in 1862, with its vast collection of Old Masters. There will be plenty of time to enjoy this wonderful place and to shop around its many boutiques. Tonight we welcome you all to our Captain’s Dinner. Sparkle and decoration adorn the table alongside of laughter, great cuisine and many a good sea dog tale! What a great conclusion to a great cruise!

Saturday: Haarlem (disembarkation at 9.30am)

After breakfast we bid you farewell. Your driver will take you onwards to either Amsterdam city center or Amsterdam Airport.

Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions.