Holland America Line

14-Day Bourgundian Explorer

 
 
14-Day Bourgundian Explorer
Starting from $2,199*

Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy


Ship: ms Rotterdam


Departure Date :

Oct 05 2019

Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.

 

Itinerary

 
Day Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Departs 05:00 PM
A stop in Amsterdam offers the chance to explore the sights of one of Europe’s most colorful, dynamic and historic cities—one with a well-earned reputation as a laid-back and inviting place for people of all stripes. Visitors are naturally drawn to the historic city center where you’ll find some of the world’s top art museums, including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. And at Dam Square, the Amsterdam’s largest public square, you can tour the Royal Palace before continuing to the tourist attractions on the Canal Belt. The iconic network of waterways that surrounds the downtown area offers a picturesque backdrop for sightseeing by bike or canal boat. Be sure to visit the floating Bloemenmarkt to peruse famed Dutch tulips, and take time to wander and window-shop among the narrow lanes of de Jordaan. And you won’t have to look far in Amsterdam to find delicious Dutch treats along the way. Just duck into a cozy brown café to sample a plate of bitterballen with mustard and a beer, and grab a gooey sweet stroopwafel from a street vendor as you stroll.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
 
 
Day Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium
Arrives 07:00 AM Departs 04:00 PM
"With its picturesque canals, cobblestone streets and fairy-tale gabled houses, Bruges might have been custom built just to charm visitors. But this small and pleasingly quiet capital of West Flanders, 11 kilometers from the North Sea port of Zeebrugge, was actually once a mercantile center that dominated all of Western Europe under the powerful Dukes of Burgundy—which explains the profusion of priceless art and medieval architecture tightly packed within the city's moatlike ring of waterways. Easily managed in a day, Bruges is a city for strolling: A walk in any direction from the handsome Market Square leads to immaculately preserved 13th-century churches and turreted merchants' houses. Former hostels for the sick and poor were long ago converted into museums containing works by local Old Masters like Jan Van Eyck. Bruges is famous for its sweet tooth, with numerous chocolate shops and sidewalk vendors selling hot-off-the-iron waffles topped with whipped cream. Its pubs serve Belgium's famously quaffable beers in an atmosphere of warmth and coziness that the Flemish call gezellig. You'll be charmed. "
Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium
 
 
Day Le Havre (Paris), France
Arrives 07:00 AM Departs 07:00 PM
"When you arrive in Le Havre, France, opportunities to tour the attractions of the Normandy countryside await as soon as you leave your ship, while the sights of Paris are only 2.5 hours by high-speed train. Omaha Beach is 124 kilometers (77 miles) away and a visit there can be combined with one to the medieval town of Bayeux, home to a famous tapestry depicting the Norman Conquest. Closer to Le Havre is the Château du Breuil, a family-owned calvados distillery that gives tours and tastings in English (call ahead to check the times). Just across the Seine is the town of Honfleur, its Old Port lined with restaurants, shops and 300-year-old houses. The great medieval city of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was tried for heresy, is also easily reached by train (and deserves a full day of sightseeing and exploration). If you want to make the journey to Paris, the TGV leaves early in the morning and takes you from Le Havre to Gare du Nord in the heart of the city. From there, you can spend the morning shopping on the Champs-Élysées, then have lunch in a restaurant with a view of Notre Dame or the Trocadéro and stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg or the Musée d’Orsay. A full day of things to do in Paris can include a dinner cruise on the Seine before catching a late-evening train back to Le Havre. "
Le Havre (Paris), France
 
 
Day Dover (London), England, UK
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 07:00 PM
As Britain's historic gateway to Europe, Dover and its famous white chalk cliffs have been the last glimpse of England seen by many a sea traveler over the centuries. When the Romans arrived, they erected a lighthouse to mark the coastline. One of the mightiest medieval castles built in Europe still stands atop those cliffs. Utilized by the British High Command to direct the evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940, the tunnels remained a military secret until recently. Dover is a convenient starting point for touring England's scenic southeastern region.
Dover (London), England, UK
 
 
Day Portland (Weymouth), England, United Kingdom
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 08:00 PM
"Portland and the nearby town of Weymouth sit on the south coast of England in Dorset County near the area's beautiful beaches. From here, visitors can wander on Chesil Beach or venture further afield to explore some of the most interesting sights of the British countryside. Outdoorsy types will enjoy walking along the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see natural arches, cliffs and fossils spanning 180 million years of geological history. Those fascinated by the life of the English aristocracy may prefer a visit to the fabulous Minterne House and Gardens, home to the Digby and Churchill families for 350 years. Portland is also a good jumping-off point to see Stonehenge, one of the world’s most recognizable ancient structures, shrouded in mystery and likely already on your must-see list. Other sites that will appeal to British history buffs are Sherborne Castle, built by Sir Walter Raleigh and housing his family artifacts, and the unusual Cerne Abbas Giant. At the end of your day exploring, we recommend a stop at the 500-year-old Black Dog Pub back in Weymouth for a pint of local cask ale. "
Portland (Weymouth), England, United Kingdom
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day La Rochelle, France
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
La Rochelle has been an important harbor on the Bay of Biscay for over a thousand years. It has housed naval fleets ranging from the crusading Knights Templar to the German U-boat fleet in World War II. The Vieux Port at La Pallice is still a scenic highlight, and the U-boat pens are still on view. Nearby is Les Minimes, Europe’s largest pleasure yacht marina. A majestic cathedral and a well-preserved Old Town are well worth exploring. The city also has a long history of producing fine porcelain faience. In the surrounding region, many visitors enjoy at scenic boat ride on the shaded canals known as Venise Verte, the Green Venice, in the marshlands of Poitevin near La Garette. A short causeway also connects the town to the Ile de Ré. Others prefer to head to Cognac, for a tour and tasting of the eponymous spirits produced by the local vineyards.
La Rochelle, France
 
 
Day Bordeaux, France
Arrives 08:00 AM
"Situated on the Garonne River in the southwest of France, Bordeaux is above all famous for one thing: wine. Its full-bodied reds (and to a lesser degree its whites, rosés and sparkling wines) have made this a flourishing port since ancient times when it was the capital of the Roman province of Aquitania. But there's much more to see than wine cellars and vineyards. Explore the quays of the Port de la Lune and the crescent-shaped area along the Garonne’s Rive Gauche, resplendent with neoclassical buildings, elegant fountains and grand squares. As you wander the streets here, step into the landscaped green spaces or fine art institutions that give Paris a run for its money. The restaurants here are among the country's best (naturally, to pair with the region’s wines, from the three-euro refreshers to the premier grand crus), and include old-school brasseries and sleek on-the-cutting-edge newcomers."
Bordeaux, France
 
 
Day Bordeaux, France / Cruising Gironde Estuary
Departs 08:00 AM / Cruising
"Situated on the Garonne River in the southwest of France, Bordeaux is above all famous for one thing: wine. Its full-bodied reds (and to a lesser degree its whites, rosés and sparkling wines) have made this a flourishing port since ancient times when it was the capital of the Roman province of Aquitania. But there's much more to see than wine cellars and vineyards. Explore the quays of the Port de la Lune and the crescent-shaped area along the Garonne’s Rive Gauche, resplendent with neoclassical buildings, elegant fountains and grand squares. As you wander the streets here, step into the landscaped green spaces or fine art institutions that give Paris a run for its money. The restaurants here are among the country's best (naturally, to pair with the region’s wines, from the three-euro refreshers to the premier grand crus), and include old-school brasseries and sleek on-the-cutting-edge newcomers."

Cruising Gironde Estuary

Eighty kilometers (50 miles) long and 13 kilometers (eight miles) at the point where it enters the Atlantic, the Gironde Estuary in southwest France is so vast that as you sail along it you may think you’re at sea. The estuary, formed by the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, was officially declared a Marine Nature Park in 2015. Sail upstream and you’ll reach Bordeaux, the UNESCO World Heritage city whose waterfront and historic center have gone through a successful urban renewal. Along the way, you pass one of France’s great wine regions, the Médoc. For centuries, Irish and British navigated these waters as wine growers and traders, and some of them also as pirates.
Bordeaux, France / Cruising Gironde Estuary
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Scenic cruising Tagus River / Lisbon, Portugal
Cruising / Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
"Lisbon presents a lively symphony of sound and color—soft light, red-tiled rooftops, building facades of patterned tiles, creaking yellow streetcars, narrow streets that open into grand sunny praças (squares) at the edge of the formidable Tagus River. It’s easy to see why the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is one of Europe’s favorite cities. Lisbon is understandably proud of its beaches, public art, singular modern architecture and 300 days of sunshine a year. The city manages to juggle the relaxed vibe of Southern Europe while recognizing the gravity of its history and heritage. What makes Lisbon unique is that it managed to preserve layers of all the empires that conquered this land: the Romans, Visigoths, Moors and all the Portuguese Christian kings. Most recently, Lisbon has been stormed by a young generation of artists, cultural entrepreneurs and restaurateurs who are taking back the city and converting it into an oceanside playground."

Lisbon, Portugal

"Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a wealth of sights, tastes and sounds. An ensemble of neighborhoods both old and new, it’s a city full of history, culture and tradition. After the devastating earthquake that struck in 1755, reconstruction began and the rebuilt Baixa area quickly became one of the city's busiest districts. From there, you can glance up at São Jorge Castle on one hill while in another direction you'll find Chiado, one of the trendiest and most elegant neighborhoods. The spirit of Lisbon can be encapsulated by the soulful musical genre, fado, which can best be enjoyed in the Alfama, the city's oldest neighborhood. Enter one of the area's old-school taverns and listen to passionate renditions of Fado Vadio, sung by amateurs, often after a round of aguardiente, an anise-flavored liquor."
Scenic cruising Tagus River / Lisbon, Portugal
 
 
Day Gibraltar, British Territory
Arrives 01:00 PM Departs 06:00 PM
"Strategically located at the southern tip of Europe, facing Africa, Gibraltar offers a fascinating mix of cultures. With a history that includes Moorish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and English influences (among others), this tiny, 6.7-square-kilometer British Overseas Territory is most famous for the giant Jurassic limestone rock soaring above the territory’s main commercial and residential areas. The Rock contains an abundance of history (military and otherwise), not to mention significant flora and fauna, and a labyrinth of caves and tunnels. Venture into Gibraltar’s densely populated streets for Spanish, British, Middle Eastern and Italian cuisine, as well as tax-free shopping on everything from luxury brands to handmade arts and crafts and artisanal edibles. Browsing and snacking around town is the perfect chance to hear Yanito, the singsong Spanish-English hybrid spoken here. There are also historic and holy places in Europa Point, and the Museum of Gibraltar provides an opportunity to learn about the region’s history and prehistory, as well as the migration habits of its birds and marine life. "
Gibraltar, British Territory
 
 
Day Cartagena, Spain
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
"There are more than two millennia of history to embrace in this port city in Spain's southeastern Murcia region. While Cartagena is famously home to the second-largest Roman amphitheater on the Iberian Peninsula, the city is much more than just spectacular ancient ruins. In addition to Cartagena’s architecture—along with that amphitheater, there are striking Art Nouveau buildings, neoclassical churches and ultramodern edifices throughout the city—you’ll find many opportunities to shop for local and regional artisan wares. In the city, investigate the restored medieval fortress looking out on the bay from the city’s highest point. Or take a short trip by car or bus to the historic Agrupa Vicenta Mines, the remarkable palm forest at Elche and the holy city of Caravaca. "
Cartagena, Spain
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Arrives 07:00 AM
Originally built by Emperor Trajan who had a villa here, Civitavecchia has flourished as a major port for Rome since the 13th century. Today it is an important ferry terminal and for many travelers the gateway to the Eternal City, Rome. The Renaissance fortifications that surround the harbor area were begun by Bramante and completed by Michelangelo in 1535.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
 
 
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