Physical rating: Gentle
Tour code: BFLS
Extra tourhub saving: $63
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Combine a visit to Floriade with a leisurely cruise along the waterways and rivers of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, visiting a host of historic gardens and fascinating museums. We sail aboard the A-ROSA AQUA, a spacious and well-equipped river cruise ship, and enjoy Premium all-inclusive service with breakfast, lunch and dinner; snacks and afternoon tea, as well as unlimited high-quality drinks (tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails) all included.
Our cruise begins in Cologne, reached by a comfortable and stress-free train journey from London, and sails to the IJsselmeer, the great inland lake of the Netherlands, formerly the Zuidersee. A visit to Floriade is book-ended by visits to the historic and iconic windmills at Zaanse Schans and Kinderdijk along with a cruise around the bustling port of Rotterdam before we continue to Belgium. Here we visit the historic cities of Ghent and Antwerp, both with venerable botanic gardens and great works of art. Returning to the Netherlands we enjoy a walking tour of the Hanseatic city of Nijmegen and another well-stocked garden before returning to Cologne, where we disembark and return by train to London.
Middle Deck Supplement £395.00
Upper Deck Supplement £495.00
Single Cabin Supplement (main deck) £595.00
Single Cabin Supplement (middle deck) £990.00
Single Cabin Supplement (upper deck) £1090.00
We depart by Eurostar train from London St Pancras to Brussels where we change trains and continue to Cologne. On arrival we will be met by our coach and transfer the short distance to our ship, the A-ROSA AQUA, a spacious and well-appointed river cruiser accommodating around 200 passengers.On board we will enjoy Premium all-inclusive service, with breakfast, lunch and dinner; snacks, afternoon tea all included - and unlimited high quality drinks (tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails) included throughout the day and evening. All meals are enjoyed in a relaxed gourmet buffet dining style, giving you the flexibility to choose where and when you wish to dine. There is the option to have a served meal for a small supplement.All cabins have a large window to the outside and a full range of amenities such as flat-screen TV, en-suite shower and WC and air-conditioning. Bathrobes, toiletries and mineral water are provided in every cabin. Up-grades to upper deck cabins with Juliet balconies are available at a supplement. There is a spacious sun deck where there are ample sun-loungers as well as a heated whirlpool, putting green, shuffleboard and giant chessboard. The atmosphere on board is relaxed and informal.In the early evening the ship casts off and our voyage along the Rhine and the Dutch and Belgian waterways begins, as we head for Hoorn on the beautiful IJsselmeer in the Netherlands.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our ship sails along the Rhine and IJssel waterways arriving in Hoorn at lunchtime. In the afternoon we visit the outdoor museum complex at Zaanse Schans, set against an iconic backdrop of historic windmills. At the Weaver’s House we discover everything there is to know about the traditional Dutch craft of sailcloth and windmill cloth weaving; at the Cooperage we see how vats and barrels are made and the Jisper House depicts the scene of a fisherman’s household of the 1850s.We return to the ship in the early evening and have a short overnight sailing across the serene Markermeer lake to Lelystad.
After breakfast on board, we have a full day at Floriade 2022 in Almere, which has been designed by award-winning Dutch architect and urban planner Winy Maas to be a green extension of Amsterdam. With its focus on ‘Green Cities of the Future’ there are four main themes: Green, Food, Energy and Health. Exhibits will demonstrate how cities can be made more attractive and resilient by creating more parks and vertical gardens; the latest ideas for sufficient, healthy and affordable food; solutions and inventions in the field of sustainable energy; and how good food, exercise, flowers, plants and trees can help with life in the city. Additional features include orchard houses and jasmine flower hotels, a restaurant in a rose garden, a lily pond swimming pool and a city arboretum with a walkway of over 2,000 trees, planted according to their botanical name. Botanical contributions around the site will come from growers all over the world and we can expect a riot of colour and inventive planting. A packed lunch will be provided by the ship today.In the late evening our ship sets off for Rotterdam, cruising through the night and the following day.
After breakfast we have a leisurely morning on board ship, as we cruise along the scenic Dutch waterways to Rotterdam. We enjoy a cruise through this huge, bustling port and then return to Kinderdijk. Here we will go ashore and visit one of the monumental Museum Windmills of this UNESCO World Heritage site, which tells the story of seven centuries of Dutch water management and the never-ending struggle to keep the polders dry.In the evening we depart from Kinderdijk and cruise overnight to Ghent in Belgium.
We have a full day in Ghent today, the seat of the Counts of Flanders and the largest town in western Europe during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Ghent was at the heart of the Flemish cloth trade and rivals Bruges in the splendour of its architecture and canals. We begin with a visit to the botanical garden of the University of Ghent, home to over 10,000 species of plants, spices and flowers. We continue to St Baafskathedraal, which houses Ghent’s greatest treasure, an altarpiece known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Jan van Eyck, painted around 1432. It is one of the earliest oil paintings to exist by a painter reputed to have invented the technique. Following our visit there will be free time to enjoy the atmosphere of this historic city before we return to the ship.In the early evening we cast of once again and cross the Westerschelde, a sheltered inlet off the North Sea, on our way to Antwerp.
We arrive in Antwerp in the early hours of the morning ahead of a full day in the historic centre of Antwerp, with visits to the Rubens House, which celebrates the life and work of the brilliant and versatile artist Peter Paul Rubens, and the 200 year-old Botanic Garden, which boasts a substantial number of exceptional trees and shrubs.In the evening we pass through the port of Antwerp and continue towards Nijmegen.
We arrive in Nijmegen and depart on a guided walking tour of this historic Hanseatic city which is the second oldest in Holland and dates back to Roman times. Sights include St. Stevenskerk, the Belvedère, the Latijnse School and the Grote Markt. After the walk we will transfer to the Hortus Nijmegen, which contains both a well-stocked botanical garden and a peaceful tea garden.In the afternoon we depart Nijmegen and cruise along the Rhine towards Cologne.
After breakfast on board we disembark the ship here in and transfer to the nearby railway station. We take the train to Brussels, where we connect with a Eurostar service to London St Pancras, where we expect to arrive in the early evening.
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You will receive detailed joining instructions around 10 days prior to you departure, but you are of course welcome to contact us at any time should you have any queries.
Generally, our coaches have reclining seats, air-conditioning and toilets, however this cannot always be guaranteed as sometimes we have to use smaller vehicles. Toilets are recommended for emergency use only and regular comfort stops will be made throughout your holiday while travelling around.
Absolutely not. You are more than welcome to spend the day at your hotel or exploring independently should you wish. All we ask is that you inform your Tour Manager, so they are not left waiting for you to join the group.
Although our itineraries may seem jam-packed, boasting access to some of the most exclusive sites across the UK and beyond, a Brightwater Holiday is just that: a holiday. Each trip will counter in more than enough free-time for you to explore places at your own leisure. And with most nights and the majority of meals being included in our tour prices, you can relax in hand-picked accommodation.
Absolutely not! Although some of our tours are specifically focused on one thing, all you need to enjoy a Brightwater holiday is interest and bags of enthusiasm! Even on our most specialist tours, we take travellers from all skill levels, from experts to beginners.
You need to be able to get on and off the coach unassisted, and most – but not all – coaches have a kneel facility that lowers the front step for ease of boarding
Yes, we do – tailored to your exact requirements!
There’s no fixed limit, but we generally say one large suitcase to go in the luggage compartment and a smaller bag that you can take onto the coach with you. For flight-inclusive holidays, we include a luggage allowance of at least 20kg.
UK garden holidays generally depart from London, with additional pick-ups depending on the route of the coach, while holidays to Scotland depart from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth, with Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen sometimes included. All Eurostar holidays depart from London St. Pancras and flight-inclusive holidays depart from one or more of the main London airports, with regional flights .
For single travellers, those with a companion or even those travelling in a larger group, you'll find that the signature of any Brightwater Holiday is the company. You won't ever be travelling with a group of strangers, instead, you'll find yourself surrounded by like-minded people with a strong shared interest who will soon become your firm friends.
Bursting with enthralling, educational and enlightening itineraries, a Brightwater Holiday, by its very nature, is packed with bucket-list-worthy destinations, behind the scenes passes and expert-led experiences. From creating bespoke quality garden and special interest tours for groups and individuals alike, we have made it our business to make our guests' travel dreams come true.
Unfortunately, single room supplements are charges that are often imposed on us as a company when we book rooms for group holidays. However, most hotels do charge less for single occupancy, and we always pass this saving on to our solo travellers in the form of a modest single supplement.
Prices start from as little as £20, but please contact our friendly team for questions about specific itineraries or excursions.
Yes, you can. In the case of front seats, guests with limited mobility are given priority. Please get in touch with our friendly team to discuss any requirements you may have.
With a Brightwater Holiday, the journey is just as important as the destination and we make getting you to your tour start point easy. From organising group flights and individual travel plans, to offering accessible local departure and pick-up points, we go out of our way to ensure that your journey is as convenient and hassle-free as it can be.
Travel insurance is required for all overseas holidays and is also strongly recommended for UK holidays – primarily to protect yourself against cancellation charges should you be unable to travel.
Multiple Room Types
Multiple room types available. Choose your preferred room type when you book.