French River Cruising with Antwerp
Journeys along beautiful rivers in daylight hours and calls at a trio of charming destinations in France and Belgium make for a spellbinding escape, packing gorgeous countryside scenes, cultural delights and wealth of historic highlights into this eight-night cruise aboard Balmoral.[ReadMoreMob]
Beginning your summer adventure in France, you’re sure to feel inspired throughout your time on the gorgeous River Seine. You’ll start with several hours of scenic cruising along the Seine, passing by unspoilt countryside and pretty communes as Balmoral heads for Rouen. Quaint, narrow streets packed with half-timbered houses and historic landmarks await discovery at your first port of call; Place du Vieux Marché, where the Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake in 1431, and Rouen’s spectacular Cathédrale de Notre Dame are not-to-be-missed. [ReadMoreDesk] You could also tour to Paris from Rouen, for a romantic evening in the iconic French capital. Back along the Seine, charming Honfleur beckons before Balmoral continues on to Belgium. Honfleur offers plenty to fill your full-day here; eye-catching landmarks such as St Catherine’s Church – France’s largest timber church – and the historic Vieux Bassin maritime district are particular highlights. Stopping here until late also affords you time to tour to Claude Monet House and Gardens.
Your time in Belgium begins with wonderful river cruising too, diverting inland via the Western Scheldt River to Antwerp. Vast mud flats, salt marshes and nature reserves, which are home to variety of bird species, come into view on this winding route. When Balmoral finally arrives in Belgium’s picturesque second city, you’ll dock close to the city centre. Within easy reach will be Grote Markt – the ‘Great Market Square’ – with its elaborate 16th century guildhalls and extravagant City Hall, and the mighty Cathedral of our Lady. Venture even deeper into the city and you’ll be rewarded with Antwerp’s most prized possessions, such as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the legendary Diamond District. Away from the city, you could take the chance to tour to nearby Ghent, for artisan chocolatiers and some of Belgium’s most iconic landmarks, including the UNESCO-listed Belfry.