DAY 1 | April 24
Depart for Brussels, Belgium.
DAY 2 | April 25
Upon arrival in Brussels, transfer to Antwerp and the pier to embark the MS Amadeus Silver.
Excursion: Antwerp. This afternoon, stroll through Antwerp, one of Europe’s leading art centers. Home of painter Peter Paul Rubens and the School of the Southern Netherlands, Antwerp dates back to the 13th century and features a wealth of medieval architecture.
Educational Focus: Contemporary Belgium. Learn about this region of Europe, which is located at the historical crossroads of many major trading routes. Belgium is a bilingual country, with deep cultural, geographic and linguistic divisions between the Dutch speakers of Flanders and the French speakers of Wallonia.
DAY 3 | April 26
Excursion: Bruges. This romantic town’s nickname, the Venice of the North, is well deserved. Stroll along winding cobbled lanes and across tiny arched bridges over ivy-clad canals to discover charming buildings and impressive art collections. See the colorful shops and cafés of the Markt and Burg Central Square. Rejoin the ship in Middelburg and cruise to Veere, where the ship remains overnight. Gather with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.
DAY 4 | April 27
Educational Focus and Excursion: Holland’s Battle against the Sea. Travel along the Zeeland coast to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and its Delta Expo. Learn about the Delta Works, a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers, conceived after the 1953 North Sea flood and built over a period of 30 years. These 65 enormous gates can be slammed shut on the North Sea when powerful storms strike — an engineering masterpiece that now protects the third of the landmass of the Netherlands that sits below sea level. Depart Veere this afternoon and cruise to Schoonhoven, where the ship remains overnight.
DAY 5 | April 28
Educational Focus: The Dutch Masters. Consider how the pioneering brush strokes of artists like Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jans Steen and Frans Hals forever changed the art of painting.
Excursion: Delft and The Hague. Discover Delft, the home of Vermeer and the site of a collection of lovely canal houses, as well as the purveyor of a world-renowned tradition of ceramics. Stroll its Market Square and admire the sights of Old Delft, including the Palace Prinsenhof, once home to William of Orange. Continue to The Hague, home of the royal residence and a number of world-class museums. Visit the Mauritshuis, which houses some of Rembrandt and Vermeer’s finest works. Rejoin the ship in Vreeswijk and cruise to Kampen.
DAY 6 | April 29
Excursion: Giethoorn. Stroll through this charming, road-free village located in a nature preserve. With four miles of canals and exquisite 18th-century farmhouses, Giethoorn seems to have popped out of the pages of a storybook.
Independent Exploration: Spend some time at leisure in the historic city of Kampen.
Depart Kampen and cruise to Amsterdam, where the ship overnights.
DAY 7 | April 30
Excursion: Canal Cruise. Admire Amsterdam by the light of morning as you cruise through its scenic ring of canals to see its important sites.
Independent Exploration: Your afternoon is at leisure in Amsterdam.
Educational Focus: Contemporary Holland. Review the current state of affairs in the Netherlands and discuss its future as a member of the European Union.
DAY 8 | May 1
Excursion: Keukenhof Gardens. Journey through Dutch flower fields to the renowned Keukenhof Gardens, an 80-acre paradise of tulips and other flowers, complete with Europe’s largest fountain and a 700-tree labyrinth.
Independent Exploration: Your final afternoon is at leisure to pursue your own interests in Amsterdam. Tonight, gather for a Graduation Ceremony and a Farewell Reception and Dinner.
DAY 9 | May 2
Disembark the ship and transfer to Amsterdam for the return flights to your gateway city.
Note: Itinerary subject to change. Some events on this program involve an element of walking.