20370
Belgium
Belgium: Art & Architecture Along the Waterways
Wind your way through the scenic canals and rivers of Flanders by barge and learn from experts about the artistic and architectural masterpieces of Belgium along the way.
Rating (4.86)
Program No. 20370RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,995
Special Offer
Flights start at
850
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9 days
8 nights
15 meals
7 B 1 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Brussels, Free Time, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Bruges
D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 1.5 hours; Please note that the barge does not move at night and only motors during the day.

Morning: We proceed to the picturesque medieval city of Bruges by motorcoach to our barge. Upon arrival, participants drop off their luggage and then travel by motorcoach into the center of Bruges. Please note that the barge cannot be boarded before 3:00 PM.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Bruges. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Bruges. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. 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. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during scheduled free time for informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Please be aware that indicated barging and motorcoach 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: Aboard the barge, enjoy a three-course set menu featuring tasty local cuisine plus coffee, tea or water. Other beverages are available for purchase that can be charged to your tab and settled prior to departure with cash payment in Euros on the last night on board.

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.

DAY
3
St. John's Hospital, Ghent, St. Bavo Cathedral
Ghent
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 1 hour

Breakfast: Aboard the barge, the breakfast buffet will offer a variable hot entrée each day as well as meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, 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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Bruges.

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.

DAY
4
Oudenaarde, St Walburga Church, Castle Laarne, Sint-Amands
Sint-Amands
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 1.45 hours

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) followed by a field trip to Saint Walburga Church, an early Gothic church.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Oudenaarde.

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.

DAY
5
Barge to Antwerp, Grote Markt, Belgium History Lecture
Antwerp
B,L,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Barging time: 5 hours; Motorcoach time: 30 minutes

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 plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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." Back on the barge, take in a lecture about the history and culture of Belgium.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Antwerp, Rockox House, Red Star Line Museum
Antwerp
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 30 minutes

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Start the day with a lecture at the Rockox House Museum, the former home of Nicolaas 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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Antwerp.

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.

DAY
7
Antwerp, Rubens' House, Barge to Willebroek
Willebroek
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 15 minutes; Barging time: 4.5 hours

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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Antwerp.

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

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Breendonk, Brussels Free Time, Farewell Dinner
Brussels
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 1 hour

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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Brussels.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. 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.

DAY
9
Program Concludes, Departures
In Flight
B

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 30 minutes

Breakfast: Aboard the barge. This concludes our program.

Morning: Morning transfer to Brussels International Airport for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!