Dutch Waterways: Antwerp to Amsterdam

Glide through the waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium during a seven-night cruise aboard the exclusively chartered, first-class river ship MS Amadeus Silver III. Enjoy the seaport of Antwerp, the charming village of Giethoorn and the canals of Amsterdam. Design your time in The Hague , Delft and Bruges from a selection of included excursions, from cycling to chocolate tasting to tulips.  Optional Amsterdam post-tour extension.

Dates
Apr 29 - May 7, 2019  (9 Days)
Cost

from $2,795 per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Monday, April 29
Depart US for Brussels, Belgium

Depart your home for Brussels, Belgium.  Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city.

Tuesday, April 30
Brussels, Belgium | Antwerp

Upon arrival, transfer to the pier in Antwerp and embark the MS Amadeus Silver III. Located close to the North Sea, Antwerp has long been an important seaport and trading center. More recently, it has emerged as a cultural and fashion design hub. With a guide, meander through quaint squares and down cobblestone streets to view its wealth of medieval architecture. See the Cathedral of Our Lady that soars over the skyline; the stately 16thcentury town hall; and the Grote Markt square, a standout with its elegant row of slim guild houses. During a lecture on Contemporary Belgium, learn about this fascinating country that includes Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. The ship remains docked in Antwerp overnight.  MS Amadeus Silver III (D)

Wednesday, May 1
Bruges | Middelburg, Netherlands | Veere

This morning, take a scenic drive to Bruges. The city’s tranquil canals, stone bridges and winding lanes imbue it with a romantic, dreamy ambience, and its beautiful, well-preserved historic center is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.  All of today’s excursions include a guided walk through Bruges’ Old Town to admire its medieval architectural gems, including Market Square, the guild hall buildings, the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Belfry tower. Choose one of three included tours, followed by free time for lunch in Bruges on your own. On a tour of Cultural Bruges, gaze at outstanding art from the Flemish primitive and expressionist periods at the renowned Groeninge Museum, and linger in front of your favorite pieces. On the active Bruges and Beer outing, tour the family-owned De Halve Maan Brewery and learn about Belgium’s enduring brewing traditions. Relish sweeping views of the city from the roof, then relax over a glass of their freshly brewed beer. The Bruges and Belgian Chocolate tour allows you to discover the artistic skill and history behind Belgium’s famed chocolate during a visit to a chocolatier’s shop, and indulge in a yummy, handmade sample. Rejoin the ship in Middelburg. Later, as the ship cruises to Veere this evening, gather for the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner.
MS Amadeus Silver III (B,D)

Thursday, May 2
Veere | Willemstad

Join a half-day optional elective tour (additional charge) or spend a relaxing day in this pretty seaside town. You may choose to take a leisurely walk by the marina, browse through the shops in town or relax in a café. On the optional elective tour, The Zeeland Coast and the Dutch Battle Against the Sea, journey to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and its Delta Expo. Learn about the Delta Works, a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers built after the 1953 North Sea flood. These 65 huge gates can be slammed shut on the North Sea when powerful storms strike. An engineering marvel, they protect the third of the country’s landmass that sits below sea level. Grasp the devastating impact of the 1953 flood through a moving, panoramic 3-D exhibit. We then sail to Willemstad, where the ship docks tonight. MS Amadeus Silver III (B,L,D)

Friday, May 3
Schoonhoven | Kampen

Depart Willemstad for Schoonhoven. Today you can choose from one of two included excursions.  On the Hague and the Mauritshuis tour, you visit the center of Dutch politics, see notable landmarks including the Peace Palace and the Binnenhof, the parliamentary complex, then pass through the chic Waasenaar neighborhood that the Dutch royal family calls home. At the renowned Mauritshuis, study a superb art collection by Dutch and Flemish masters that features Vermeer’s beloved “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”  On the Delft tour, enjoy a pleasant, guided walk through Old Delft that takes you into the grand Market Square and past its historic highlights. Afterward, tour the Royal Delft porcelain factory, founded in 1653. Watch this iconic blue-and-white pottery in production, observe a master artisan painting by hand, and marvel at the factory’s splendid porcelain collection. The ship cruises to Kampen.
MS Amadeus Silver III (B,L,D)

Saturday, May 4
Kampen | Giethoorn

The ship arrives in Kampen early this morning.  Take excursion to Giethoorn, and be utterly charmed by small-town Dutch life in this picture-perfect village, free of cars and interlaced with footpaths and narrow canals covered by tiny wooden bridges. Wend your way through by boat and then explore on foot on your own. You can also make your own plans in Kampen.  Enjoy a lecture on the Dutch Masters and learn how these Golden Age artists endeavored for detailed realism in portraits, landscapes and still lifes. The ship arrives in Amsterdam late this evening.
MS Amadeus Silver III (B,L,D)

Sunday, May 5
Amsterdam

Today you head out to explore the Canals of Amsterdam.  Glide on a canal cruiser and admire the city’s gabled houses, dozens of islands and many bridges. Or, you can enjoy free time, perhaps for a stroll through Amsterdam’s neighborhoods, such as the Jordaan district, one of the city’s hippest areas to dine, shop and unwind.  Learn about Contemporary Holland during a lecture about the current affairs in the Netherlands, one of the founding members of the European Union. Tonight you may also choose to have dinner in Amsterdam, enjoying a wonderful meal of authentic Dutch cuisine (additional charge). MS Amadeus Silver III (B,L,D)

Monday, May 6
Amsterdam

Choose one of three included excursions: On the tour of Keukenhof Gardens you walk amid this 80-acre paradise of brilliant tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other gorgeous blooms with a guide. If you choose the active Waterland Bicycle Ride, you’ll pedal through this scenic wetland, surrounded by historic fishing villages and stunning views. Or you might choose to visit the Rijksmuseum to view fabulous art and artifacts representing 800 years of Dutch history, including national treasures by Rembrandt and Vermeer.  Of course you are also free to pursue your own interests in the city. Tonight, celebrate your special journey together at a Farewell Reception and Dinner on the ship. MS Amadeus Silver III (B,L,D)

Tuesday, May 7
Depart Amsterdam

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to your gateway city. (B)

Map
Post-Trip Extension in Amsterdam: May 7 – 8

After your Dutch Waterways river cruise, get to know picturesque Amsterdam more intimately. Stay two nights DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station, the perfect base for venturing out into Amsterdam’s lively, bike-filled neighborhoods and enjoying its celebrated museums and attractions. Plus, stroll through the Old Harbor and learn about Dutch nautical heritage at the National Maritime Museum.

All prices quoted are in US Dollars, per person, based on double occupancy and do not include air transportation costs (unless otherwise stated).  The single supplement is waived for solo travelers (this offer is limited, capacity controlled and tends to sell out quickly).

Category-Deck                   Full Price                   Special Savings        Special Price
E-Haydn (Midship)               $3,045                            $250                      $2,795
D-Haydn (Midship)               $3,145                            $250                      $2,895
C-Strauss (Aft)                      $3,445                            $250                      $3,195
B-Strauss (Midship)             $3,545                            $250                      $3,295
A-Mozart                               $3,845                            $250                      $3,595
Suite-Mozart (Midship)        $4,245                            $250                      $3,995

Special early pricing is valid until 9/5/18.

VAT and Port Tax supplement is an additional $395 per person.

Suites feature a balcony. Categories A, B, and C feature a drop-down panoramic window. Categories D and E feature an elevated stationary window.

Included
Accommodations (with baggage handling); 7 nights aboard the first-class MS Amadeus Silver III; Extensive Meal Program: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner; Opportunities to sample authentic cuisine and local flavors; Expert-led Enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region; Discovery excursions highlight the local culture, heritage and history: Explore colorful, medieval Antwerp along its cobblestone lanes; Wend your way through the fairy-tale village of Giethoorn by boat; Cruise the quaint canals of Amsterdam; Choice of excursions in these towns: Bruges / Cultural Bruges / Bruges and Beer / Bruges and Belgian Chocolate;  The Hague / Delft / The Hague and the Mauritshuis / Delft;  Amsterdam / Keukenhof Gardens / Waterland Bicycle Ride / Rijksmuseum; Free time to pursue your own interests; Welcome and Farewell Receptions to mingle with fellow travelers; A personal VOX headset to hear your English speaking guide clearly; Tipping of guides and drivers; Complimentary travel mementos.

Not Included
Airport transfer costs for those not participating in AHI's FlexAir. Fees for passports and, if applicable, visas, entry/departure fees; personal gratuities; laundry and dry cleaning; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters and meals not mentioned in this brochure under included features; travel insurance; all items of a strictly personal nature.

Post-Trip Extension in Amsterdam
$845 per person, double occupancy
$1,270 single occupancy

Included
Two nights at the first-class DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station; daily breakfast; museum admission and a guide; the services of an AHI Travel Director and AHI Hospitality Desk; guide gratuities; baggage handling to the hotel; and all taxes and service charges.

What to Expect

There is moderate walking on most excursions with cobblestones, uneven pavement, some stairs, hills, standing and walking. Walking tours are at least 1.5 hours over uneven pavement. All cities/villages have cobble stones, small sidewalks, uneven paths, some rail tracks to cross. Passengers need to be able to walk up/down narrow and sometimes steep gangplanks. The program is not recommended for those requiring wheelchairs. For all excursions (and transfers) where coaches are involved travelers have to board the coach with 3-6 steep steps.

Joining the Commonwealth Club as our Guest Lecturer is William J. Perry, the 19th Secretary of Defense. 

There will also be local guest speakers during the cruise. Topics include:

  • Contemporary Belgium
  • Dutch Masters
  • Contemporary Holland
Trip Educators
William J. Perry, MS, PhD
William J. Perry, MS, PhD
William Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor (emeritus) at Stanford University. He is a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Hoover Institution, and serves as director of the Preventive Defense Project. He is an expert in U.S. foreign policy, national security and arms control. He was the co-director of CISAC from 1988 to 1993, during which time he was also a part-time professor at Stanford. He was a part-time lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Santa Clara University from 1971 to 1977.

Perry was the 19th secretary of defense for the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as deputy secretary of defense (1993-1994) and as under secretary of defense for research and engineering (1977-1981). Dr. Perry currently serves on the Defense Policy Board (DPB). He is on the board of directors of Covant and several emerging high-tech companies. His previous business experience includes serving as a laboratory director for General Telephone and Electronics (1954-1964); founder and president of ESL Inc. (1964-1977); executive vice-president of Hambrecht & Quist Inc. (1981-1985); and founder and chairman of Technology Strategies & Alliances (1985-1993). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

From 1946 to 1947, Perry was an enlisted man in the Army Corps of Engineers, and served in the Army of Occupation in Japan. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1948 and was a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves from 1950 to 1955. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1997 and the Knight Commander of the British Empire in 1998. Perry has received a number of other awards including the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1980 and 1981), and Outstanding Civilian Service Medals from the Army (1962 and 1997), the Air Force (1997), the Navy (1997), the Defense Intelligence Agency (1977 and 1997), NASA (1981) and the Coast Guard (1997). He received the American Electronic Association's Medal of Achievement (1980), the Eisenhower Award (1996), the Marshall Award (1997), the Forrestal Medal (1994), and the Henry Stimson Medal (1994). The National Academy of Engineering selected him for the Arthur Bueche Medal in 1996. He has received awards from the enlisted personnel of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. He has received decorations from the governments of Albania, Bahrain, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Poland, Slovenia, and Ukraine. He received a BS and MS from Stanford University and a PhD from Pennsylvania State University, all in mathematics.

Cancellation
All cancellations for any reason will be subject to a $300 per person administrative fee. You may choose, at the time of cancellation, to apply the withheld administrative fee to a future AHI Travel program that will operate in the current calendar year or year following.

  • Cancellation from 120 days to 76 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 15% of the entire cost of the trip per person
  • 75-30 days, 50% of the trip cost per person
  • cancellation from 29 days up to the time of departure will result in 100% forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip

TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI Travel and Commonwealth Club of California. CANCELLATION OF TRIP OPTIONS-Purchases of optional excursions, trip extensions and additional hotel nights become fully nonrefundable 45 days prior to departure. Air transportation and private transfer purchases are subject only to penalties assessed by the airlines and transfer suppliers.

Mobility and Fitness to Travel
The right is retained to decline to accept or to retain any person as a member of this trip who, in the opinion of AHI Travel is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others on the trip, subject only to the requirement that the portion of the total amount paid which corresponds to the unused services and accommodations be refunded. Passengers requiring special assistance, including without limitation those who permanently or periodically use a wheelchair, must be accompanied by someone who is fit and able to assist them, and who will be totally responsible for providing all required assistance.

Air Transportation
The price of air transportation offered by AHI Travel is based on Advance Purchase Excursion fares. After tickets are issued, penalties up to 100% of the ticket price may be levied. If connecting flights are requested, special promotional fares may be used, in which case penalties of as much as 100% may be assessed by the airlines if reservations are changed or canceled after ticketing. After departure, if the reservations are changed, you will be charged the higher, all year Economy class fare. VARIATIONS TO THE GROUP ITINERARY MUST BE REQUESTED NO LATER THAN 60 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. Passengers who choose to make their own airline reservations independently will be wholly responsible for arrival and departure transfers, and any airline fees or penalties incurred as a result of program cancellation and/or change in travel dates, or airline schedule(s).

Baggage
Baggage restrictions vary according to the airline policy and the class of service flown. Details will be provided with your pre-departure information. Baggage allowances are subject to change by the carrier without notice. Excess baggage charges for additional or oversized/overweight pieces are expensive and not included in your trip price; plan your wardrobe accordingly. Transport of baggage and personal effects is at the owner's risk throughout the travel program.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a national membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Authority to Use Images and Audio Recordings
On occasion, AHI Travel obtains, from its staff, or from trip participants, photographic or video images of passengers and trip activities. By participating in this travel program, you authorize AHI Travel, without providing compensation to you, or obtaining additional approvals from you, to include photographic and video recordings of you, as well as voice recordings included with any videos, in AHI Travel's sales, marketing, advertising, publicity and/or training activities.

Responsibility
AHI Travel and The Commonwealth Club of California do not own or operate any entity which provides goods or services for this program, and act only as agents for the independent suppliers of travel conveyance, transport, accommodations or other services. All such persons or entities are independent contractors. As a result, AHI Travel and the Sponsoring Association are not liable for any negligence or willful act of any such person or entity or any third person. In addition and without limitation, AHI Travel and the Sponsoring Association are not responsible for any delays, delayed departure or arrival, missed carrier connections, loss, death, damage or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or for any substitution of hotels or of common carrier equipment, with or without notice, or for any additional expenses occasioned thereby. Dates, Program Details and Tour costs, although given in good faith and BASED ON TARIFFS, EXCHANGE Rates and other information CURRENT AT THE TIME OF PRINTING, ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT OR BEFORE THE TIME OF DEPARTURE. No revisions of the printed itinerary or its included features are anticipated; however, the right is reserved to make any changes, with or without notice, that might become necessary, with the mutual understanding that any additional expenses will be paid by the individual passenger. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. If the entire program is cancelled for any reason, participants shall have no claim other than for a full refund. By forwarding the deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she has no physical, mental or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for himself/herself or other passengers and accepts the terms of this contract set out herein and in more specific pre-departure passenger information. The airlines and other transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event, during the time passengers are not on board their conveyances. The passage contract in use, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the company(ies) and the passenger and/or purchaser of this trip.

Registration
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40 AHI: CST Registration No. 2028271-20. Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST-33300 Iowa Seller of Travel No. 520 Ohio Seller of Travel Reg. No. 8889139. Washington State Seller of Travel Reg. No. 601-820-781. PARTICIPATING AIRLINES-all IATA and ARC Member Carriers.