Summary : Medieval history comes beautifully alive as you explore the famed cobbled streets and canals of Brugge, Antwerp, and Brussels; with visits to a Belgian chocolate making workshop, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the Grand-Palace Coudenberg. Take a historic walking tour of Amsterdam with stops at Teylers Museum and St. Bavo’s Church. Discover the old Dutch tradition of whaling and flensing at the Hannemahuis Museum and visit a local Dutch tile workshop. Glide past North Germany’s exquisite storybook landscape on the Kiel Canal and marvel at UNESCO World Heritage Site, the medieval city of Lubeck, where you’ll also visit a marzipan modeling workshop. Get an insider’s perspective on some of Europe’s most stunning cities, including three historical centers designated UNESCO World Heritage sites: Brugge, Amsterdam, and Lübeck.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
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Board National Geographic Orion in the center of Copenhagen. As you sail toward the North Sea, take in panoramic views of the cityscape. (L,D)
Arrive in Lübeck, an enchanting city that once served as the medieval capital of the Hanseatic League. Take a walking tour of the old town for an insider's perspective on its Hanseatic and Renaissance architecture, including the Holsten Gate and St. Mary's Church. After lunch, explore Lübeck on your own, or perhaps paddle a kayak. Gain a further view of German life with a guided tour through the beautiful region of Schleswig Holstein, visiting local fisherman's villages and smokehouses. Or join a pastry chef in a marzipan-modeling workshop.
Enjoy breakfast on deck as you navigate the Kiel Canal, a 61-mile waterway connecting the North Sea with the Baltic. This morning the beautiful Schleswig-Holstein region beckons. Enjoy the beautiful views from the ship as you slowly traverse this German peninsula. Relax, head to the spa or wellness center, browse the library, and of course, hear talks from the staff en route to Harlingen.
Dock in Harlingen, a picturesque seaside city in the Friesland region. By special permission, cruise the canals in Zodiacs past 16th- and 18th-century buildings, docking to take a walk through the city center. The city is eager to welcome you and the Mayor of Harlingen will greet you. After lunch, soak in the city at your own pace. Your ship departs late in the evening, allowing for an afternoon of exploration as you take to the North Sea.
With its gabled roofs, squares cluttered with bicycles, and canal-lined streets, Amsterdam is bursting with unique character. Learn about the city's architecture, art, and history on a guided overview via canal and on foot before seeking out its charms on your own. Alternatively, head to Haarlem, home to the Teylers Museum and St. Bavo's Church. Or take a guided bike ride through the Vecht region along winding canals. An abundance of choices await today: a guided visit to the Rijksmuseum, or Amsterdam after dark with a guide in the Red Light District. Tonight don't miss the exclusive dinner at the historic 17th-century Dutch West Indies House, where the decision was made to build the fort 'Nieuw Amsterdam' on the island of Manhattan. A musical performance will add a festive air to a memorable evening.
In the early afternoon, travel overland to Brussels, poised at the junction of Germanic and Latin cultures. Uncover the many layers of the city's history on a guided excursion, visiting sites like the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Grand-Place, and the remains of the palace on the Coudenberg. Alternatively, you may choose to stay put and explore Antwerp, the largest city in Flanders, known for Flemish artists such as Rubens and van Dyck.
Anchor in Oostende and transfer to the medieval town of Brugge, known for its Gothic architecture and picturesque market squares linked by cobbled streets and serene canals. Explore the old town with an expert before sampling Belgian fare at a local restaurant. This afternoon discover Brugge on your own, or cycle through the scenic Flemish countryside. Chocolate fans, this is the country where you belong. Opt to join a private chocolate making class with one of Brugge's top chocolatiers, using the finest hand-selected ingredients.
After breakfast, disembark in London's city center nearby the Tower Bridge. Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or remain in London for an added stay. (B)
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
The photo team, a National Geographic Photographer and a Photo Specialist, will enhance your voyage by working with you on photo composition and exposure; helping you develop your own unique vision; showing you how professionals edit and store images while on the go; and sharing the stories behind some of their greatest images. Whether expert or interested beginner, you'll find added benefits such as walks ashore and Zodiac cruises dedicated to photography, presentations on the creative and technical aspects of photography, and one-on-one mentoring and coaching in the field.
Accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship; excursions; special access permits; transfers to and from group flights; use of kayaks; services of expedition leader, National Geographic photographer, naturalist staff and expert guide; services of a ship physician; gratuities; port charges and service taxes. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; extensions; passport and visa fees; immigration fees; travel protection plan; items of a personal nature including internet, laundry, etc; fuel surcharge may apply.