Tulips & Chocolates
Sail to Belgium and the Netherlands in the spring on an indulgent and highly rewarding short escape and make the most of extended stays in charming Antwerp and attraction-packed Amsterdam to uncover a host of world-famous highlights.
After sailing overnight from Southampton to the Netherlands you’ll enjoy a wonderful early-morning glide through the complex locks and waterways of the Nordzeekanaal before Balmoral stops in Amsterdam, the culture-rich Dutch capital. There’s a host of iconic attractions to discover here, from the grand structures of the historic, UNESCO-listed Canal Ring and the unique sights of the ‘Red Light’ district to the fascinating Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum, and a full day stay will offer you the chance to tick many of the highlights off of your ‘must-visit’ list. Not to be missed is the gorgeous Keukenhof Gardens, especially at this time of the year. Amsterdam’s famous tulips burst into their fragrant full bloom in the spring and Keukenhof is one of the best places in the city to see various species in their colourful seasonal splendour. [ReadMore]
In Belgium, a relaxing cruising along the winding Western Scheldt River will lead you into the heart of Antwerp. An overnight stay in Belgium’s beautiful second city will ensure you have plenty of time to explore the pretty cobbled streets and see the sights at your own pace. The mighty Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts – which houses the works of Rubens and other Flemish masters – are among many gems to discover in Antwerp, a city famed for its legendary diamond district; while no visit is complete without stopping by one of the friendly cafés and chocolate shops to sample authentic Belgian chocolate. Antwerp is also your gateway to enchanting Ghent, where on a tour you could marvel at St Bavo’s Cathedral and learn more about Belgian chocolates from one of the city’s artisan chocolatiers.