Dutch & Belgian Holiday Celebration

11 Days | Brussels to Amsterdam

Dutch & Belgian Holiday Celebration
  • 11 days
  • 2 countries

Spend Christmas in Belgium and New Year’s in the Netherlands on an itinerary that is sure to fill you with holiday spirit.

Enjoy sweet treats as you indulge in the wintertime festivities of Belgian towns, where the Christmas markets are often elaborate festivals complete with ice rinks and Ferris wheels. Warm your hands with mugs of hot chocolate and stroll through the UNESCO-designated city center of Bruges, decked in twinkling lights for the holidays. Then fill your mind with art and culture in the Netherlands, where you can find the porcelain artisans of Delft crafting their famous blue-and-white pottery, a little palace dedicated entirely to Dutch art, and the canal-lined streets of a wintry Amsterdam.

Dutch & Belgian Holiday Celebration Map
LEGEND
  • UNESCO
  • Motorcoach
  • Embark/Disembark
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
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Day 1

Brussels (Embark)

Brussels

Arrive at Brussels Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.
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Day 2

Brussels

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, offers a treasure trove of historic architecture, along with a rich culinary tradition—chocolate!—and a vibrant culinary capital. Food lovers will be lured by the divine aromas drifting from the many holiday market stalls, while others will be attracted to the city’s enchanting architecture and elaborate Christmas displays.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Featured Excursions

Brussels Walking Tour with Chocolate Tasting

On our way into the city center, we'll take you on a panoramic tour of the major sightseeing spots in Brussels, such as the Royal Residence, Chinese Pavilion and Japanese Pagoda. From there, we'll set out on foot to see the city up close—and taste some iconic Belgian chocolates along the way! ...

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Brussels Walking Tour with Chocolate Tasting

On our way into the city center, we'll take you on a panoramic tour of the major sightseeing spots in Brussels, such as the Royal Residence, Chinese Pavilion and Japanese Pagoda. From there, we'll set out on foot to see the city up close—and taste some iconic Belgian chocolates along the way! At one of the chocolatiers, Neuhaus Chocolate, you’ll learn about the benefits of sustainable chocolate practices. Neuhaus uses beans harvested from their own cacao farm, which means they can ensure their chocolate is of both of a superior quality and produced by fair labor.

This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; and Global Goal 15: Life on Land.

Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support sustainable tourism, offering our guests opportunities to directly impact the communities we explore in a positive way.

mtm-logo

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support sustainable tourism, offering our guests opportunities to directly impact the communities we explore in a positive way.

Brussels Christmas Market

As far north as Brussels, night falls early during this time of year—which means we have the good fortune to be able to catch the Christmas market light up for the evening. Our driver will drop you right off at the city center, where your Cruise Manager will walk you to the market to explore...

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Brussels Christmas Market

As far north as Brussels, night falls early during this time of year—which means we have the good fortune to be able to catch the Christmas market light up for the evening. Our driver will drop you right off at the city center, where your Cruise Manager will walk you to the market to explore on your own. The largest in Belgium, Brussels’ market has over 200 stalls. Perhaps you’d like to enjoy the city’s most famous sweet holiday-style, with a delicious cup of hot chocolate from one of the market’s many vendors.

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Day 3

Ghent

Ghent

On Christmas day, visit one of two national gems: beautiful Bruges, the capital of West Flanders and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe, or fascinating Ghent, the capital city of East Flanders, whose long history does not weigh on its vibrant present. Belgium’s second-largest city, Ghent abounds in medieval architecture, which makes for a particularly magical canvas for the town’s Christmastime decorations.

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Ghent Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Since cars are completely banned in Ghent’s historic center, it’s a particularly pedestrian-friendly area. Stroll with your guide from the Church of Saint James, with its two Romanesque towers, to the Friday Market square, which, as its name suggests, was the site of a huge market every ...

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Ghent Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Since cars are completely banned in Ghent’s historic center, it’s a particularly pedestrian-friendly area. Stroll with your guide from the Church of Saint James, with its two Romanesque towers, to the Friday Market square, which, as its name suggests, was the site of a huge market every Friday in the Middle Ages. You’ll pass the magnificent 15th-century Great Butchers’ Hall and the elegant medieval trading houses that line Graslei and Korenlei streets. Your last stop is the Belfort, the great bell tower that rises above the Old Town.

You’ll have time to explore Ghent’s winter festival, complete with well over a hundred Christmas market stalls following your tour. Breathe in the wintry smell of pine that distinguishes this town’s holiday festivities.

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Bruges Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Walk through the UNESCO-designated city center of Bruges with a local guide to see why this lovely city is a popular favorite of visitors to Belgium. The town grew up around a fort built by the first Count of Flanders to defend against Viking invaders. By the 14th century, Bruges had become the...

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Bruges Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Walk through the UNESCO-designated city center of Bruges with a local guide to see why this lovely city is a popular favorite of visitors to Belgium. The town grew up around a fort built by the first Count of Flanders to defend against Viking invaders. By the 14th century, Bruges had become the center of the international cloth trade. Merchants and traders worldwide came to Bruges for Flemish cloth, and the town’s bounty of beautiful churches and mansions testify to its prosperity. It's even more wonderful in the wintertime, when the crowds of tourists have dwindled and locals decorate the city in festive fashion. Christmas trees, twinkling lights and the sweet scent of holiday treats fill the streets.

Your guide will bring the tour to a close at the wonderful Christmas market of Bruges, which you’ll have some free time to explore before returning to the ship.

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Day 4

Hasselt

Today, you’ll explore the trendy-yet-quaint town of Hasselt. A blend of city interest—with plenty of cafés, shopping and the area’s largest Christmas market—and an easygoing, small-town atmosphere, the mostly car-free Hasselt is a charming place to explore on foot. It is also, as you can discover at one of the tasting booths in the market, known as the unofficial capital of Belgium’s famous spirit, Jenever.

Featured Excursion

Hasselt Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Hasselt Winterland is truly something to behold, often boasting such attractions as an ice skating rink, a carousel, a small roller coaster and more. It’s not short on the classic holiday market staples either, with plenty of vendors selling seasonal food and drinks, Christmas decorations and ...

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Hasselt Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Hasselt Winterland is truly something to behold, often boasting such attractions as an ice skating rink, a carousel, a small roller coaster and more. It’s not short on the classic holiday market staples either, with plenty of vendors selling seasonal food and drinks, Christmas decorations and other crafts. We’ll visit in the evening, when the whole affair is splendidly lit.

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Day 5

Maastricht

Maastricht

Venture into the Netherlands to visit Maastricht, known as one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in Holland and loved for its convivial lifestyle and historic center, which has long played a strategic role in European politics. Choose to explore this city’s Christmas market or head into Valkenburg for a unique underground Christmas Market experience.

Choose between...

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Christmas in the Caves

Here’s your chance to experience something utterly unique: the underground Christmas market of Valkenburg. Cozy stalls and twinkling lights line the stone walls of this enchanting cave, where you can shop for classic holiday gifts and treats while escaping the weather. And if you venture...

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Christmas in the Caves

Here’s your chance to experience something utterly unique: the underground Christmas market of Valkenburg. Cozy stalls and twinkling lights line the stone walls of this enchanting cave, where you can shop for classic holiday gifts and treats while escaping the weather. And if you venture outside, you’ll find even more Christmas spirit spreading out from the cave across the entire festively-decked town.

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Maastricht Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Maastricht Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Maastricht Walking Tour with Christmas Market

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Day 6

Antwerp

Antwerp

Discover an eclectic mix of historic and modern in Belgium’s “Second City,” Antwerp. The town intersperses its well-preserved medieval buildings with artful modern architecture.

Featured Excursion

Antwerp Walking Tour

Antwerp Walking Tour

Antwerp Walking Tour

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Day 7

Antwerp

You’ll find a penchant for all things high quality in the country’s biggest port city. Diamonds, art, fashion, and more compete for attention here, so you’re sure to find just the thing to make your time in Antwerp memorable.

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The Nottebohm Room

Once named the World Book Capital by UNESCO, Antwerp has a dedicated relationship with literature. The Nottebohm Room of the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library illustrates this well. Walk in to see two open stories of wooden bookshelves, filled to the brim with leather bound volumes. A wrought...

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The Nottebohm Room

Once named the World Book Capital by UNESCO, Antwerp has a dedicated relationship with literature. The Nottebohm Room of the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library illustrates this well. Walk in to see two open stories of wooden bookshelves, filled to the brim with leather bound volumes. A wrought metal balustrade bisects the two, giving librarians access to the incredible collection of rare items inside. Some particularly exciting members of this collection are accessible to you on the ground floor, including an iconic pair of globes by Dutch cartographer Willem Blaeu.

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Antwerp Beer Tasting

Belgium is a beer lover’s dream, where a wide variety of brewing styles and tastes offers a seemingly endless selection of unique beers to explore for every palate. Get a crash course on some outstanding local brews today during a tasting in Antwerp.

Antwerp Beer Tasting

Belgium is a beer lover’s dream, where a wide variety of brewing styles and tastes offers a seemingly endless selection of unique beers to explore for every palate. Get a crash course on some outstanding local brews today during a tasting in Antwerp.

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Day 8

Rotterdam

Rotterdam

Rotterdam is thoroughly modern—you’ll soon understand why it’s sometimes called “Manhattan on the Meuse”: The Maas Tower, the Montevideo, the Millennium Tower, and the spectacular Erasmus Bridge make for a dazzling skyline. And nearby: the city of Delft, where the Netherland’s traditional blue-and-white pottery is crafted by master artisans.

Choose between...

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The Hague with Mauritshuis Visit

Though Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, The Hague is the seat of the country’s government and a fantastic place to visit in its own right. A favorite local highlight of ours, and your destination on this tour, is the Mauritshuis. This museum houses a significant collection of...

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The Hague with Mauritshuis Visit

Though Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, The Hague is the seat of the country’s government and a fantastic place to visit in its own right. A favorite local highlight of ours, and your destination on this tour, is the Mauritshuis. This museum houses a significant collection of Dutch Golden Age masterpieces—an array of stunning still lifes and portraits, including Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring. Besides its remarkable collection, what makes this museum so special is its setting. The Mauritshuis itself was once a city palace, allowing the works of art inside to be presented in the manner they were originally intended, hanging on the walls of stately houses.

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Visit Famous Delft

Delft is noteworthy for several reasons: it's the birthplace of world-renowned painter Johannes Vermeer, home to the famous blue Delft pottery, and burial place of Dutch royalty. Explore picturesque Old Delft, with its tiny foot-bridges arching over peaceful, water-lily-filled canals, and visit...

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Visit Famous Delft

Delft is noteworthy for several reasons: it's the birthplace of world-renowned painter Johannes Vermeer, home to the famous blue Delft pottery, and burial place of Dutch royalty. Explore picturesque Old Delft, with its tiny foot-bridges arching over peaceful, water-lily-filled canals, and visit Royal Delft to see the blue-and-white porcelain being made.

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Day 9

Rotterdam, Amsterdam

Amsterdam

The Netherlands’ largest city, Amsterdam has been an international port and financial center for 400 years, endowing it with a lively cosmopolitan feeling to match its historic architecture.

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Day 10

Amsterdam

Wake up to a beautiful New Year, which we’ll commemorate with a celebratory brunch before embarking on a private cruise of Amsterdam’s charming canal system. From our little boat, look up at the streets above to admire the warm glow of city life on a frosty winter day. There’s a popular phrase in the Netherlands, gezellig, that encompasses the quaint and cozy nature of Dutch culture. And truly, it doesn’t get more gezellig than this.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Featured Excursion

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

It’s called the “Venice of the North” for a reason: Canals crisscross the heart of the old city, and bridges link some 90 islands. As the principal city in a newly independent Holland, Amsterdam was a boom town in the early 17th century, rapidly outgrowing its medieval walls. The...

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Amsterdam Canal Cruise

It’s called the “Venice of the North” for a reason: Canals crisscross the heart of the old city, and bridges link some 90 islands. As the principal city in a newly independent Holland, Amsterdam was a boom town in the early 17th century, rapidly outgrowing its medieval walls. The city’s fathers responded by demolishing most of the old city and building an entirely new one, creating Europe’s first planned city. That “new” district is now 400 years old, and as you glide along the main canals, you’ll pass stately merchants’ houses built centuries ago (some of them are now house museums you can visit on your own). But the canals are not merely scenic; they are essential thoroughfares—people take water buses to work and live in houseboats along the banks—so a canal cruise also gives you a look at the busy modern city.

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Day 11

Amsterdam (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for your flight home.

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What's Included

Dining

Dining

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 10 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks, and mineral water

Excursions

  • 13 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions

Accommodations

  • 10-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the elegant S.S. Victoria
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Wi-Fi
Amsterdam

Experiences

  • 2 countries: Belgium and The Netherlands
  • 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • Cultural enrichment, including captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Group Transfers are included on arrival and departure days (please see terms and conditions for transfer guidelines)
  • Gratuities for onboard personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager) are included during the cruise/tour

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Dutch & Belgian Holiday Celebration

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