Black Watch, City Break in Netherlands & Belgium ex Southampton Return
- Departs Southampton, England
- 14th Feb 2020
- 5 nights
- Black Watch
5 Night Cruise sailing from Southampton rountrip aboard Black Watch.
An indulgent escape to Belgium and the Netherlands, this magical cruise on board Black Watch offers you chances to go in search of fragrant flowers, delicious chocolates, sparkling diamonds and much more in Amsterdam and Antwerp at the most romantic time of the year.
For a memorable start to your five-night break, you’ll spend Valentine’s evening on board your smaller, more intimate cruise ship, enjoying delicious food, a few glasses of your favourite tipple and fantastic entertainment in the company of loved-ones, friends and fellow guests as you sail to the Netherlands. Then, after negotiating the locks and narrow waters of the Nordzeekanaal, Black Watch will dock in Amsterdam – the Dutch capital. Here you can uncover an abundance of attractions, from the unique urban landscape of the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring to fascinating museums such as Anne Frank House and the Tulip Museum, where you can learn about the history of the tulip and how it became a Dutch icon. Your ship’s favourable docking location close to the centre of Amsterdam is the perfect place to begin your exploration. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a romantic boat tour of the iconic canals and visit the floating flower market too.
The sense of romance will continue to linger as you sail into the beautiful Belgian city of Antwerp via the Western Scheldt River, admiring picturesque countryside scenes en route. Once docked in Antwerp, where Black Watch will again bring you closer to the city’s highlights, you’ll have an overnight stay to explore at your own pace. You could visit a traditional chocolate shop to pick up a box of authentic Belgian chocolates for a loved-one perhaps; enjoy some retail therapy, with plenty of designer stores to choose from; or, if you’re feeling really indulgent, treat yourself to something extra special from Antwerp’s world-famous Diamond District. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a romantic stroll around the city in the evening, taking in highlights such as the Grote Markt, neo-Gothic Central Station and the iconic Cathedral of Our Lady under moonlight. Away from Antwerp, nearby Ghent is within reach on tour. This medieval town is well worth a visit, with its array of impressive Gothic monuments, fantastic museums and artisan chocolatiers.
Highlights of this cruise:
Golden Age canals lined with elegant merchant homes is the familiar backdrop for the Netherlands's 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, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is not to be missed. Seemingly stuck in 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.
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 true legend of baroque painting. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated to this local celebrity, and houses many of his finest works, along with those of other Flemish masters. There are more than 20 other museums in the city, and other attractions to this cultural gem of a city 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 dramatic restaurant, The Jane, brings it all together with a slice of rock and roll.
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise line's discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.