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The Benelux Tour comprises of Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, making this tour the ideal way to explore the cultural differences among north-western Europe. The cities included in this tour are all cultural hubs with strong and separate identities, perfect for a city-hopping short break.
Your tour will start in Amsterdam which is a short drive, just over 20 miles, from our port in IJmuiden, which is serviced with daily, overnight sailings from Newcastle, ideal if you’re travelling from the north of England or Scotland. Alternatively, sail from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais and you can be there in approximately 4 hours, via Belgium.
Day 1: UK - Amsterdam
From your chosen port, head to Amsterdam. The city is well-served by public transport, so rather than driving into the centre, you may prefer to book a hotel at the edge of the city and explore the city on foot, or mix in with the locals by hiring a bike!Do your sightseeing by canal boat for a new and interesting way to see the city, with a variety of themed canal tours, including a cocktail cruise, a candlelight cruise and a pizza cruise!
Day 2: Amsterdam
There’s so much to do in the Dutch capital, so spend an extra day exploring. Amsterdam’s shopping is world-famous, with everything from huge department stores to independent boutique offerings, and once you’ve finished shopping you can relax by the canal with a coffee.The city is also steeped in culture and has been a base for many famous artists, including Van Gogh, Rembrandt and the other Dutch Masters, who are now honoured in the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.Amsterdam.
Approximately 45 miles outside of Amsterdam is The Hague, known throughout Holland as the Royal City by the Sea, as it is the home of the Dutch royal family. As well as being the political centre of Holland, it is also home to Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring, which is housed in the Mauritshuis Museum.
The Hague has wider streets than Amsterdam, giving it a continental feel, so stroll down the promenades and people-watch, stopping off for a coffee here and there. The city is also located by the seaside, with Scheveningen a popular beach resort for both locals and tourists.Overnight in The Hague.
The Hague will be your last stop in Holland, so head 80 miles south and you’ll find Antwerp, the City of Diamonds. Spend the day exploring, taking in all of the sights and sounds of Belgium’s second city. Antwerp is Belgium’s coolest area, with a stunning architectural and cultural contrast between the old and the new. Winding, cobbled streets are lined with cosy bars and cafes or boutique stores and galleries, the home of the city’s famous fashion scene.
After spending a day in Antwerp, drive the 66 miles west to Bruges, Belgium’s chocolate capital, if not the world’s!Overnight in Bruges.
Belgian chocolate is world-renowned for its quality, and Bruges is perhaps the best example of why. With over 70 specialist chocolate shops in the city, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Look out for chocolate shops certified by the Bruges Guild of Chocolatiers for an extra guarantee of quality.
The city also takes its beer very seriously, so treat yourself to a tipple at the end of the De Halve Maan brewery tour, with a stunning panoramic view of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Known as the Venice of the North due to its canal-lined streets, the city’s beauty was rewarded by being named a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it a must-see Belgian destination.Overnight in Bruges.
If you can tear yourself away from the chocolate and beer in Bruges, then head 66 miles south to Belgium’s and Europe’s international and cosmopolitan capital, Brussels. The city is home to over 40 museums, with a diverse range of culture from fine art to the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, which tells the story of Tin Tin! The spectacular Grand Place is a must-see, arguably one of the most beautiful town squares in the world, packed full of gorgeous Flemish architecture. Head to Avenue Louise for a spot of retail therapy, with brand names and independent Belgian stores side-by-side. As you’d expect from such an international city, Brussels boasts a wide range of restaurants and bars from all corners of the globe, so you’re sure to find something you’ll love even if you’re not keen on the local delicacy moules et frites! Overnight in Brussels.
Day 7 Brussels-Luxembourg: Luxembourg may be a small country, but it is packed full of a wonderful fairytale charm. Located just 139 miles south of Brussels, Luxembourg City is the capital of the country and is referred to as the locals as “going en ville”. The city centre is called Haute Ville and is home to gorgeous town squares and buildings of heritage. The Old Town of the city is UNESCO-listed for its beauty, and the Wenzel Walk will take you through all of it. To learn more about the city, you can also visit the Musée d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, which tells the engrossing tale of the city’s history.
Day 8 Luxembourg-Uk: Luxembourg’s involvement in the Second World War is remembered throughout the country, with the American Cemetery Memorial being one of the most poignant and famous reminders for tourists. Located just 10 minutes outside the city, it is easy to get to. When it’s time to go, you can get to any of our 3 ports with a short drive. IJmuiden is 266 miles away, Calais is 256 miles and Dunkirk 233 miles away, all reachable in under 5 hours.