3 nights from: $745 Single Supplement: FREE
Watch travelers take a canal tour of Bruges and visit a local lacemaker on their optional extension.
Originally a ninth-century fortress built to protect the Flemish coast from marauding Vikings, Bruges today retains its reputation as one of Europe's best-preserved Old-World cities. The city's centuries-old canal system, which was essential to its once thriving textile industry, has beckoned tourists to meander its narrow, winding streets in search of art, history, and fine chocolates for nearly two centuries.
- It's Included:
- Accommodations for 3 nights
- All breakfasts
- Included tours: Bruges • Ghent & Delft
- Dedicated services of a local Program Director
- Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers
- All transfers
Depart on your flight to Bruges. Please refer to your individual air itinerary for exact departure and arrival times.
Arrive in Bruges, where you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time and hotel check-in policy, you may not be able to check into your hotel room immediately upon arrival at your hotel. Your Program Director will advise you of your check-in status and activity schedule for the day when you arrive. Enjoy a brief walk to get acquainted with the area around your hotel. The rest of your day is at leisure to relax after your overseas flight or explore on your own.
Join your Program Director, who will accompany you throughout both your extension and your main trip, and your fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink before enjoying dinner on your own. Your Program Director will have suggestions as you select a restaurant in the city.
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, see Bruges from a different perspective—by boat. Enjoy a short cruise along Bruge's charming canals before visiting 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: Belgian waffles. You'll then enjoy some free time to have lunch on your own and to explore independently.
Continue your discoveries of Bruges on your own today, 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 an included 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.
After breakfast, you'll depart for your transfer to the Netherlands' capital of Amsterdam. En route, you'll stop in one of Belgium’s oldest cities, Ghent, known as "the jewel of Flanders" for an included walking tour of this historic city. Originally a settlement set at the confluence of the Scheldt and Lys rivers during the Middle Ages, Ghent became one of the largest and wealthiest cities in northern Europe. Today, it's the country's fourth-largest urban center and a culinary hot spot. You'll also have free time to explore independently.
Then, you'll travel to Delft. Here, you'll enjoy lunch on your own, followed by a short city tour and a visit to a porcelain factory known for its distinctive blue Delftware pottery.
You'll arrive in Amsterdam in the late afternoon. Members of your group on The Great Rivers of Europe have arrived today, and tonight, you join your fellow travelers, following the activities as described on Day 2 of the main itinerary.
Bruges, Belgium is a pre-trip extension on the Amsterdam to Vienna itinerary and a post-trip extension on the Vienna to Amsterdam itinerary.