Braemar, Netherlands and Belgium City Break ex Southampton Return

EU West & Atlantic Islands

Details

5 Night Cruise sailing from Southampton roundtrip aboard Braemar.

5 Night Cruise sailing from Southampton roundtrip aboard Braemar.

Providing a taste of Fred. Olsen’s small ship cruising experience, and a chance to savour the cultures of two captivating cities, this five-night cruise makes for a perfect short break. Visiting Belgium, you’ll enjoy a scenic journey along the Western Scheldt River before Braemar docks in the heart of Antwerp, closer to the city’s attractions. Head ashore and you’ll soon discover highlights such as the iconic Cathedral of Our Lady, traditional Belgian chocolate shops; Grote Markt; and the legendary Diamond District, where you could not only see some of the world’s greatest gems, but help to polish a rough diamond too.

Then it’s on to the Netherlands, where Braemar will once again dock closer to the centre of one of Europe’s most attraction-packed cities, Amsterdam. An abundance of attractions, from Anne Frank House to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, await just a short distance from the gangway. Don’t miss the chance to explore iconic canals and marvel at the magnificent architecture of the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring. Perhaps see the sights by bicycle, or opt for a romantic canal boat tour in the evening.

Highlights of this cruise:

Antwerp, Belgium
Belgium’s charming, medieval city of Antwerp is the country’s biggest port and often recognised as its capital of cool. It has proved an alluring city for centuries, attracting lovers of art, fashion and, of course, diamonds – over 80% of the world's rough diamonds pass through the city's famous diamond district at some point or other. Renowned for its charm and sparkle, Antwerp was one of Europe’s principle cities in the mid-16th century and has maintained the essence of its medieval past, despite severe bombing during World War II.

A riverside fortress and numerous intriguing cobbled streets are overshadowed by the 123m high tower of the imposing Cathedral of Our Lady, the biggest church in Benelux. Its construction started in 1352 on the site of a 10th century chapel, but like many medieval religious buildings, it took several centuries to complete. The cathedral interior has four altarpieces by Peter Paul Rubens, a legendary artist from the Baroque era. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated to Rubens and houses many of his finest works, along with those of other Flemish masters.

There are more than 20 other museums in the city, while the abundant attractions of this cultural gem also include a vibrant fashion and entertainment scene, a robust café culture, excellent shops and delightful parks and gardens. Fine dining is also on the menu, and one of Antwerp's most popular restaurants, The Jane, brings it all together with a slice of rock and roll.

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Golden Age canals lined with elegant merchant homes is the familiar backdrop for the Netherlands' historic capital, Amsterdam. Established in the 17th century with the construction of the River Amstel dam, this celebrated port offers everything from treasure-packed museums and antiquarian bookshops to chic boutiques and convivial cafés. Equally, art is never far away in this hub of uber-creative design. One noticeable thing about the city is that, some 150 years after its industrial heyday, Amsterdam is once again awash with producers.

Amsterdam has some 40 museums, and the Museum Quarter boasts three of the most famous: the Rijksmuseum has paintings from Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals; the Van Gogh Museum; and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, displays work from Manet to Picasso. The Anne Frankhuis where Anne Frank and her family hid from German troops during the World War II, is an experience many visitors seek.

Whether on boat or bike - there are more bikes than permanent residents - exploration of the city is relatively straightforward, and a tour of the Canal Ring district, an UNESCO World Heritage site, is not to be missed. Seemingly unchanged since the 17th century, the district has been recognised for its unique cultural and historical values, and is home to many exclusive gabled facades and their celebrity owners.

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