Fall in love with the Lowlands, launching your holiday in the magical city of Amsterdam, whose labyrinthine canals and vibrant squares you will have an opportunity to explore on your own. Later, you'll meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception cruise, including a light meal and welcome drink. Cruise the city's famous waterways admiring the picture-perfect surrounds and gabled façades.
Explore Amsterdam's historic city centre this morning. Dive Into Culture and enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing tour of the Rijksmuseum with a Local Specialist. Come face-to-face with such masterpieces as Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch', Van Gogh's self-portrait, and 'The Milkmaid' by Vermeer. Celebrate spring and enjoy an included visit to Keukenhof (subject to season) where you'll stroll through an enchanting wonderland of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths with millions of blooms planted across the 32-hectare site.
Today's excursion will deliver deep insights into the role of horticulture in city building. Dive Into Culture at the once-in-a-decade International Horticultural Expo, Floriade Expo 2022, where you'll learn all about what it could be like to live in a green city of the future as you enjoy the tranquillity of all that greenery and a multitude of live events. Tour the location's three districts – Food, Energy and Health – and its Green Island to understand how the urban landscape could change when a city is built entirely with environmental sustainability at its heart. You'll return home inspired by the prospects of a better future for the planet and having enjoyed an unforgettable encounter with a unique collection of trees, plants and flowers sourced from across the world.
The fortified city of Maastricht, with its beautiful old churches, ancient city walls, and stunning merchant houses, takes centre stage this morning. We spend some time strolling through its town centre before continuing to Bastogne, the site of bloody skirmishes in the World War II Battle of the Bulge. Visit the 12th-century Cistercian Orval Abbey, renowned for being one of the few breweries that produce Trappist beer before journeying to the Duchy of Luxembourg, where tonight we'll dine in our hotel.
This morning, we pay tribute to Allied Forces hero, General George S. Patton, whose final resting place is the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. Later, we embark on a leisurely walking tour of Luxembourg City with a Local Specialist. Our route takes us past the Cathedral and the Grand Ducal Palace, with its Flemish Renaissance façades, and includes spectacular views of the gorge of the rivers Alzette and Petrusse. Spend the rest of the day at leisure soaking up the quaint atmosphere of this tiny country or indulge in a coffee while you people-watch in the leafy Place d'Armes – the choice is yours.
En route to the enchanting medieval village of Bruges, we stop in Dinant whose famous son, Adolphe Sax, is credited with having invented the saxophone.
Wake up in beautiful Bruges and join a Local Specialist for a walking tour of the town. Take to the water and enjoy a whimsical sightseeing cruise along the city's wonderful canals lined with Gothic façades. Dive Into Culture next and admire the delicate art of Belgian lace. Spend the rest of the day on your own, immersing yourself in the old-world allure of this town. This evening, we Connect With Locals, joining Marc Nyssen at his 18th-century Bruges farmstead to learn about Flanders farm life and enjoy dinner at an exclusive Be My Guest experience.
Delve into centuries of trade heritage in the port city of Ghent, with its picturesque riverine backdrop. See the medieval city's three famous towers – Saint Nicholas Church, the Belfry and Saint Bavo's Cathedral – before continuing to Brussels, a multi-cultural melting pot, which you will have an opportunity to explore after your Travel Director shows you the city's highlights. See the Atomium, designed for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, Mannekin Pis and the exquisite Grand Place with its opulent and ornate guildhalls. This evening, consider sampling mouth-watering Belgian cuisine washed down with the city's best beers. Our Stays With Stories accommodation is the elegant Sofitel Brussels Europe. The hotel has long been the lodgings of choice for the world's movers and shakers, including Mark Zuckerberg and Angela Merkel. It's surrounded by leafy parks, cafes and museums, in the heart of the tranquil European District.
Embrace a full free day to explore the Belgian capital as you wish. Stroll past the Royal Palace and through the leafy lanes of Brussels Park or indulge in tasting delicious chocolate. Your Travel Director will assist you to make the most out of your free day at leisure. This evening we celebrate a memorable sojourn through three fascinating countries during a Farewell Dinner.
We bid Belgium a fond adieu this morning as we prepare to close the curtain on a memorable holiday. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.