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BELGIUM

Adventures Afloat: Belgian Cities and Waterways by Barge

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Road Scholar
Program #20370RJ
9 Days | 8 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Sep 26 — Oct 4, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Friday, September 26 - International Flight
Depart From: Overnight flight from U.S.

Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Two: Saturday, September 27 - Arrive in Brussels / Transfer to Bruges / Bruges ...
Arrive in Brussels / Transfer to Bruges / Bruges Independent Exploration / Orientation / Welcome Dinner

Note: Please note that the barge does not move at night and only motors during the day.

Arrive To: Brussels International Airport.

Morning: We proceed to the picturesque medieval city of Bruges by motorcoach to our barge. Participants drop off their luggage as the barge cannot be boarded before 3 pm.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Bruges. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Bruges to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. If you want to relax, seek out one of the popular local cafés to sip a glass of wine or cup of coffee while watching the locals. During free time, the Group Leader will often be available to guide informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently.

Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that indicated times are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: For our welcome dinner board the Fiep, and for other dinners aboard the barge, we will have plated three-course meals featuring tasty local cuisine: appetizer, entrée, and dessert plus water; other beverages available for purchase (that can be charged to your tab and settled prior to departure with cash payment in Euros on the last night aboard).

Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or set out exploring Bruges on your own. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Sunday, September 28 - St. John's Hospital Museum / Transfer to Ghent / ...
Breakfast: Aboard the barge, the breakfast buffet will offer a changing hot item each day as well as meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurts, cereals, breads, juices, and hot beverages.

Morning: Begin your discovery of the Flemish Primitives with a visit to the St John’s Hospital Museum in Bruges. View the six exquisite paintings by artist Hans Memling, as you immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a former medieval hospital.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Bruges. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Motorcoach to Ghent, an attractive medieval city which sits on the junction of the Leie and Scheldt Rivers. In the 14th century, Ghent was one of Europe's largest cloth producers. Marvel at Jan van Eyck's 12-panel altarpiece "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" during a visit to St. Bavo Cathedral.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure. Your evenings are free to spend time with new Road Scholar friends, relax, or go exploring on your own.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Monday, September 29 - Transfer to Oudenaarde / Museum of Oudenaarde / ...
Transfer to Oudenaarde / Museum of Oudenaarde / Saint Walburga Church / Transfer to Castle Laarne / Transfer for Sint-Amands

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Motorcoach to the delightful Flemish town of Oudenaarde, known for its magnificent wall tapestry industry in the mid-16th century. Marvel at the Gothic town hall, home to an impressive collection of genuine tapestries. Further your knowledge of Oudenaarde's verdures, green carpets with beautiful landscapes, during a guided introduction at the Museum of Oudenaarde (MOU) and Saint Walburga Church.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Oudenaarde. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: After lunch continue by motorcoach to Castle Laarne, a pentagonal fortress built to defend Ghent in the 12th century. View the Flemish tapestries depicting hunting scenes of Emperor Maximilian before returning to our barge moored in Sint-Amands by motorcoach.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Tuesday, September 30 - Barge to Antwerp / Antwerp Grote Markt / Antwerp ...
Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Our destination today is the city known as Europe's place to be. Antwerp (Antwerpen in Flemish and Anvers in French) is a cultural hub for lovers of art, diamonds, chocolate, and architecture. Sit back and relax on the sun deck as we barge leisurely to Antwerp. Take this opportunity to survey the towns and villages along the waterways.

Lunch: Aboard the barge, light lunches will typically be soup and salad or sandwich.

Afternoon: Enjoy a walk to explore the impressive Renaissance Grote Markt and Brabo Fountain. Visit the Cathedral of our Lady, the largest Gothic cathedral in Belgium, which is home to four early canvases by Rubens, including his "Assumption."

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Wednesday, October 01 - Rockox House / Red Star Line Museum
Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Start the day with a lecture at the Rockox House Museum, the former home of Nicholaas Rockox, a 17th-century burgomaster and patron of Pieter Paul Rubens. Rockox was an avid collector of art and was instrumental in the success achieved by Rubens by commissioning major works. View the fascinating collection of 16th- and 17th-century Flemish artists.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Antwerp. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Further your discovery of Belgium at the Red Star Line Museum where you will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of two million emigrants leaving Antwerp between 1873 and 1934 for a better life in the New World.

Dinner: Dinner aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Thursday, October 02 - Rubens' House / Barge to Willebroek
Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Walk in the footsteps of Rubens as you visit his former home and studio in Antwerp. Marvel at this stately house with its palazzo on the River Scheldt. Visit the Italian baroque studio where Rubens indulged his passion for collecting.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Antwerp. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Board the barge and motor to Willebroek where the locals are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Friday, October 03 - Transfer to Breendonk / Transfer to Brussels / Br...
Transfer to Breendonk / Transfer to Brussels / Brussels Independent Exploration / Farewell Dinner

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Start the day with a motorcoach excursion to the former concentration camp, Breendonk. This well-preserved World War II camp housed many Belgian Jews before being deported to extermination camps in the East. Continue by motorcoach to Brussels where the street signs are both in Dutch and French.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Brussels. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Brussels to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. If you haven’t already been there, venture to the Musée des Beaux Arts, Parc of the Cinquantenaire or the Royal Palace and Brussels Park.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner aboard the barge. Get a good night's sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Nine: Saturday, October 04 - Program Concludes / Departures
Breakfast: Aboard the barge. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfers to Brussels International Airport for onward travel.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you return on more rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
7 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
13 Field trips

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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