After your European River Cruise, join us on an optional post-trip extension to one of Europe's most charming cities: Bruges. Located in the northern part of Belgium, Bruges is said to be one of the most well-preserved cities in Europe—however the city has gone through many renovations in order to keep its medieval architecture intact. As you stroll through the bustling streets, you'll encounter its busy market squares, cozy homes, and circle of canals. During your extension, you'll explore this former capital, as well as enjoy included tours of Ghent, Belgium and Delft, the Netherlands, along with a full-day optional tour of the lovely old city of Brussels.
- It's Included:
- Accommodations: 3 nights in Bruges at the First-Class NH Bruges or similar
- 3 meals: 3 breakfasts
- Included tours: Bruges, Ghent & Delft
- Exclusive services of a Grand Circle Program Director
- All transfers
- Now included for 2015
- Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on your extension and all optional tours
As your journey along The Great Rivers of Europe comes to a close, you’ll enjoy breakfast and transfer to Bruges, Belgium.
En route, you’ll stop in Delft—mainly known for its city center and canals, and for the famous painter, Vermeer. After a brief walking tour, you’ll visit a porcelain factory, known for its distinctive blue Delftware pottery. You’ll then have free time for your own explorations.
You’ll then stop in Ghent, which was originally a settlement set at the confluence of the Scheldt and Lys rivers, and during the Middle Ages, it became one of the largest and wealthiest cities in northern Europe. After lunch on your own, you’ll enjoy a walking tour of Ghent before you transfer to your hotel in Bruges.
You’ll arrive in Bruges this evening, check into your hotel, and enjoy dinner on your own.
After breakfast, you'll set off on a walking tour of this former capital of Flanders, a city still defined by its canals. Dating from the 13th century, Bruges is a living museum and a treasure trove of fine architecture. From the 13th to the 15th centuries, Bruges was the most important trading center of northern Europe, based largely on its thriving wool and textile industries. You'll see signs of this mercantile history in the beautiful houses built by wealthy textile merchants.
Your walking tour takes you to the Church of Our Lady and to Market Square, with its distinctive belfry tower and carillon of 47 bells. You also see the Holy Blood Chapel. Then, you'll visit a lace shop to see some of the world's finest lacemakers at work, followed by a delicious tasting of one of Belgium’s well-known treats: Belgium waffles. Your tour continues with a look at Bruges from another vantage point—a tour aboard a canal boat.
You'll then enjoy some free time to have lunch on your own and to explore independently. Or, join us this afternoon and evening for an optional excursion to Flanders Field, a museum commemorating World War I. You'll travel to the city of Ypres, now known as the “City of Peace,” and visit the interactive Flanders Field Museum, where you'll learn about the Great War and then tour the battlefields. After dinner at a local restaurant, you'll visit the Menin Gate Memorial and listen to the buglers from the local fire brigade who play there every night in remembrance of those lost in the war. The cost of this optional excursion includes dinner.
Continue your discoveries of Bruges independently today. Lunch and dinner are on your own.
This evening, join your fellow travelers in the lounge for a Farewell Drink.
After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.