Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the van Gogh Museum next door. (Dinner)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
Cruise Amsterdam's charming canals this morning, passing under pretty bridges and enjoying streets lined with gabled houses of centuries past. This afternoon, visit the picturesque Keukenhof Gardens, the world's largest floral park. Admire the stunning beauty at both indoor and outdoor exhibits containing millions of vibrant blooms including tulips, hyacinths, crocuses and daffodils.* Or join an optional excursion-perhaps a visit to one of Amsterdam's world-class museums to explore the Dutch Golden Age, or uncover the city's fascinating Jewish history. Your Viking Program Director can help you plan your afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*Keukenhof Gardens is available on select departures during Tulip season in March through early May.
Early this morning, sail across the Ijsselmeer (once known as the Zuiderzee) to the ancient shipping village of Hoorn. After breakfast, enjoy a guided walk through Hoorn's cobbled streets; see age-old cheese warehouses and the town's main square, which dates back to Hoorn's heyday. Enjoy a warm welcome during a home visit to a local family and get acquainted with daily life. Alternatively, you may choose to join a cycling excursion through the Dutch countryside to see the country's famed windmills. Depart after dinner and cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, enjoy a scenic cruise along the Lek River as you sail into Dordrecht. An important merchant city during the late Middle Ages, Dordrecht is brimming with historic sights. During a walking tour, see the inner city harbors, the Grote Kerk (Great Church) and the 13th-century Augustine monastery known as "Het Hof.” This afternoon, your ship departs for Rotterdam. Here, you will enjoy time to explore the modern face of Holland. The city has been extensively rebuilt after the destruction suffered during World War II, and some of its architecture is quite innovative. Alternatively, you may choose to join a full-day excursion that combines Dordrecht and Delft, rejoining your ship later this afternoon. This evening, your ship will set sail for a scenic dinner cruise around the harbor. Admire the twinkling lights of the cosmopolitan skyline of Europe's largest port. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive this morning in Kinderdijk and disembark for a tour of this ingenious 18th-century community. Learn why the windmills were built and see how they work to help control flooding, then tour a working windmill to see its pumping mechanism and living quarters at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy scenic afternoon cruising along the Lek and Waal Rivers and dinner on board your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Awake in Wesel and disembark for a walking tour of the city. Completely destroyed during World War II, Wesel fell under a barrage of heavy bombing by the Allied forces in 1945; during your tour, you will learn about the city's rise from the ashes. This afternoon, you may choose to visit Xanten Archaeological Park-one of the largest open air museums in the world-or head to Essen and the UNESCO-listed Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, recognized as one of Europe's most important industrial heritage sites. This evening, set sail for Nijmegen. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, take a walk through the cobblestone streets of Nijmegen and see several historic landmarks in The Netherlands' oldest city. Or, you may choose to step back in time during an optional tour as you discover more about Operation Market Garden: the planned attack by the Allied forces in late summer 1944 portrayed in the epic war movie A Bridge Too Far. The National Liberation Museum brings the events of WWII to life through a series of exhibits, interactive presentations and original films. Alternatively, you can spend a full day exploring the life and works of van Gogh before rejoining your ship in Venlo. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Disembark your ship and enjoy a walking tour around historic Maastricht. Stroll the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town, and see the Gothic-style Sint Janskerk church and the Romanesque Basilica of St. Servatius. This afternoon, enjoy free time at your leisure to explore or join an optional excursion to Aachen to see Charlemagne's chapel, a UNESCO Site. Or pay your respects at the American Military Cemetery of Margraten, the final resting place of 8,000 American soldiers who gave their lives to liberate Europe from the Nazis. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Antwerp this morning and enjoy a walking tour of the historic quarter. See the Cathedral of Our Lady with its three monumental altarpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens and the Grote Markt (Grand Square) surrounded by the Renaissance Town Hall and its majestic guild halls. This afternoon, spend time at your leisure exploring more of charming Antwerp. Alternatively, you may enjoy an optional excursion to sample Belgium's delightful cuisine. This evening, enjoy dinner on board your ship or step ashore and dine at one of Antwerp's many restaurants on your own as we remain docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Perhaps see more of Belgium on a 2-night city stay in the capital, Brussels. Or enjoy a 3-night extension in the fairy-tale medieval city of Bruges, with visits to Ghent, Bruges and Flanders Fields.* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
10 Days 8 Guided Tours / 3 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 8 included guided tours
Port Charges: Included on all itineraires
The 4 day pre-trip beginning in Geneva and ending in Zurich was the best we have ever had. The services provided by Viking was exceptional and the view of the Matterhorn Mountain was tremendous. We lucked out with the weather being exceptional during that time and the train ride from Zermatt to Zurich was everything anyone could ask for, the seats were comfortable, the food was great and the viewing unbelievable. Of all our travels, this was stood out the most!
The Viking Rhine River Cruise exceeded our expectations. The service was excellent through and through and they assisted almost effortlessly with my 91 year old mother who loved all of the service and wonderful personal attention. They also made her a cake and sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Thank you to our travel consultant at Affordable Tours who was a real joy and provided excellent service and much patience with all of our questions!
Viking is very organized and takes care of details. We were very impressed with the cruise line, crew, and staff throughout our trip.
The River Rhine cruise was far better than I expected.
American Airlines was the only poor experience of the whole trip. Each flight was an older plane with out of date accommodations / entertainment. There staff was not very pleasant for the most part either. Ship and staff were great. Food was great. Rooms were very nice. Affordable Tours was always there to help. Very professional and helpful. Enjoyed our trip Thank You.
The Viking River Cruise was a trip of a lifetime. The staff and crew were so friendly and helpful. The excursions were very informative and beautiful. The places were spectacular and memorable. We couldn't have seen all of these places if we had tried to do this trip of our own. The food and all the new people we met were beyond words. It's a must trip for anyone wanting to experience a trip of a lifetime!
Second time we've used Affordable Tours and will continue to use for future bookings.
The river cruise was wonderful and I have recommended it to my friends.
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