Holland America Line

14-Day European River Explorer

14-Day European River Explorer
Starting from $2,599*

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy to Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ship: ms Veendam

Departure Date : May 22 2021

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

Itinerary

Day Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Departs 05:00 PM
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
Day At Sea

Day Alicante, Spain
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 04:00 PM
"Fresh sea breezes, mountain backdrops and vibrant locals have made this magical city a must-see for both international tourists and residents of Spain alike. It's easy to slip into the local rhythm. Spend your day exploring everything from the Old Town and Santa Bárbara Castle to the trendiest of Spanish stores. Promenade down the marble Explanada de España, an iconic and bustling boulevard dotted with palm trees. Enjoy a proper Spanish lunch that spans several courses and hours, prepared by some of the best chefs in the country. Take advantage of the proximity to the sea to dine on the freshest seafood, or try one of Alicante's many traditional rice dishes. And don’t forget to sample the outstanding regional wines, which are also very tasty souvenirs."
Alicante, Spain
Day Malaga, Spain
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM
While Málaga was long considered just a stopover on the way to southern Spain’s Costa del Sol beach resorts, in recent years a buzz has developed around the Andalucian city. There is a brand-new $100 million port promenade filled with restaurants and a bold new branch of Paris’s Centre Pompidou built in the form of a colorful glass cube. A handful of other major new museums include one devoted to one of the city’s most famous sons, Pablo Picasso—it’s also the hometown of another famous Spanish export, actor Antonio Banderas. Where once many buildings were dilapidated, an entire swath of the historic center is now pedestrianized and filled with shoppers, diners and street musicians. Tapas bars with outdoor tables line the old town’s Calle Strachan, while all over Málaga a boom in fine dining is taking place. The city makes a fine base for day trips to many of Andalucía’s most famous sites. Unlike many southern Spanish cities, Málaga doesn’t really shut down over the hot summer months; its waterfront location helps keep temperatures from soaring to uncomfortable heights. The 10-day summer Feria is becoming more popular each year, drawing visitors with its calendar of bullfights as well as dancing and drinking—activities the city’s residents enjoy before and after the Feria too.
Malaga, Spain
Day Gibraltar, British Territory
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 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 Portimao, Portugal
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
With a population of almost 40,000, Portimão in Portugal's Algarve region, is one of the country's largest coastal towns. Its perennially sunny climate, beautiful beaches and historic buildings make it a tourist destination in its own right. The Bio-park Monchique is famous for its abundance of flora and spectacular views. Off shore, fishing and dolphin spotting make for exciting pastimes.
Portimao, Portugal
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 Leixoes (Porto), Portugal
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
"Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is sometimes dismissed as Lisbon’s business-minded sibling. But underneath its commercial and industrial surface, there flourishes a lively scene for the arts, food and music amidst Art Deco buildings and a UNESCO World Heritage-designated historic core. Take time to visit the port wine cellars where the city’s famous export is blended and stored. Then explore a turn-of-the-century bookstore, the neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace or the sprawling arts complex. Tumbling from the newer sections of the city down to the banks of the Douro, Porto’s oldest quarter, Ribeira, can feel contemporary one minute with starkly modern galleries and chic bistros and ancient the next with narrow alleyways strung with laundry lines and worn stone stairways connecting the cobblestone streets. Wander the neighborhood, from more commercial strips to residential back streets where old ladies chat and children bobble soccer balls. Down by the Douro at Ribeira Square, the streets open up, the sky is blue and cafés set their tables and chairs out on the plaza, eager to serve you. This is no stern, humorless, all-business city. Porto knows how to relax and enjoy life. "
Leixoes (Porto), Portugal
Day At Sea

Day Bordeaux, France
Arrives 12:45 PM
"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 12:30 PM / 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 Brest, France
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
Brest is Brittany’s second largest administrative centre, and has a great deal to offer. Although it was heavily bombed in 1944, this is by no means the town’s most interesting feature: it has rebuilt itself around a vision of the future, with incredible constructions like the Pont de l'Iroise bridge, which crosses the river Elorn. An amazing feat of architecture, this magnificent cable-stayed bridge was opened in 1994. Admire it from Albert Louppe bridge, which is for pedestrians and cyclists only. It’s a great place to take a walk and enjoy the view of the famous Brest harbour, the ‘Rade de Brest’, a sheltered area of the sea big enough for great ships to lie at anchor.
Brest, France
Day Portland (Weymouth), England, United Kingdom
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 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 Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium
Arrives 10:00 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 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Arrives 07:00 AM
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
 
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