AMSTERDAM TO BERLIN & WARSAW
Includes a visit to Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe and is one
of the world’s largest flower gardens during the tulip time festival. An unforgettable day!
A 16-day package with a 12-day river cruise/tour of northern
Netherlands and Germany with a 3-night hotel stay in Warsaw, Poland
April 24 – May 9, 2018
Day 1 Depart CANADA
Day 2 Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS Embark & Overnight
Day 3 Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS Overnight in Port
Day 4 Groningen, NETHERLANDS River Cruise
Day 5 Papenburg, GERMANY River Cruise
Day 6 Oldenburg, GERMANY River Cruise
Day 7 Bremen, GERMANY River Cruise
Day 8 Nienburg, GERMANY River Cruise
Day 9 Hannover, GERMANY River Cruise
Day 10 Magdeburg, GERMANY River Cruise
Day 11 Potsdam, GERMANY River Cruise
Day 12 Berlin, GERMANY River Cruise
Day 13 Berlin, GERMANY Disembark
Day 13 Warsaw, POLAND Hotel Overnight
Day 14 Warsaw, POLAND Hotel Overnight
Day 15 Warsaw, POLAND Hotel Overnight
Day 16 Depart for CANADA
Brand new European river cruise itinerary and your best value in river cruising with CroisiEurope.
UPPER DECK – Double Occupancy $7,495
Single Occupancy – Wait List
Deposit requirement is $1,000 CA per person – Final balance is due by DECEMBER 20, 2017
ALL PRICES ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS PER PERSON AND INCLUDE:
Return airfare from TORONTO, for departures from OTTAWA, please add $200 per person (other cities available upon request).
3-Nights first class hotel stay in WARSAW, POLAND with breakfast.
Guided shore excursions during river cruise and in Warsaw, Poland.
12-Day river cruise aboard MONA LISA in outside comfortable accommodations.
All meals included with superb French cuisine, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Unlimited complimentary onboard beverages, including beer, select wines, spirits, bottled mineral water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas.
Fully guided shore excursions in each port during your river cruise.
Prepaid shipboard gratuities for the riverboat cruise director and the crew as well as for the local guides/drivers while in Warsaw, Poland.
All departures taxes, port, and government fees.
Fully hosted by Expo Cruises & Tours.
DAY 1 – TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2018 DEPART CANADA
Evening departure from Toronto for your flight to Amsterdam. (In-flight Meals)
DAY 2 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2018 AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION
Arrive in Amsterdam, meeting with your local guide in the arrival hall and take a short drive to the village of Keukenhof. Keukenhof, the best day out among the flowers! There are more than 7 million bulbs in bloom this spring, with a total of 800 varieties of tulips. A unique and unforgettable experience! Besides the spacious 32 hectares of flowers, you can enjoy the spectacular flower shows, surprising inspirational gardens, unique artwork, and wonderful events. Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Enjoy your day at your own leisure visiting many of the indoor and outdoor most beautiful gardens and tulip displays (entrance fee to the gardens is included). After a memorable first day in Holland, we drive back to Amsterdam and transfer to the pier for embarkation of your CroisiEurope river boat. Boarding at 6.00 pm. Welcome cocktail and presentation of the crew followed by a dinner. Evening excursion by riverboat in Amsterdam. Accommodation: onboard MS MONA LISA – 12 days. (D)
DAY 3 – THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2018 AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Departure for the excursion to Volendam and the Zaanse Schans. We’ll leave by coach for Volendam, a charming village that has preserved its character for over six centuries thanks to the tough vitality of its fishermen. We’ll then visit a cheese factory in the area to discover how the famous Gouda cheese is made. We’ll enjoy tasting the different flavours and ages available of one of the most popular cheeses in the world. We’ll then head for Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum with wooden windmills, barns, and houses. Take a walk through the stunning buildings and the unique peat landscape or watch traditional clog making techniques. Don’t miss the small but impressive clog museum that features one of the largest and most attractive collections of wooden shoes in the Netherlands: painted, carved, ice clogs with iron trimmings, horse clogs, and decorative clogs. Take advantage of some free time on this excursion to indulge in authentic Dutch traditions. We’ll return to our ship in Amsterdam by coach. In the afternoon, excursion to The Hague and its hidden courtyards. We’ll leave by coach for The Hague, the seat of the Dutch parliament and one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The Hague is also known as the “Royal City by the Sea,” since the Royal Family enjoys the location for many of their vacations. The Hague counts no less than 155 courtyards, making it the courtyard capital of Holland. Your guide will show you some of the most splendid, including the Hof Van Wouw, Hof van Nieuwkoop and the Rusthofje. We’ll also stroll through the Binnenhof, where the House of Representatives meets, the prime minister works and the ministers hold their weekly consultations. It has been the seat of the Dutch government for over 400 years. Our guide will also show us royal monuments, including the Lange Voorhout Palace which houses the Escher Museum. Lastly, we’ll pass by the iconic Hotel des Indes, the International Court of Justice, and the Kloosterkerk. Free evening in Amsterdam with an optional trip to the city centre for a stroll around the Red-Light district. (B/L/D)
DAY 4 – FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018 AMSTERDAM – GRONINGEN – DELFZIL, NETHERLANDS
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Morning spent cruising to Groningen. Enjoy a tour of the main city in the northern region of Holland. Groningen was already an independent city-state and key trading centre by the late Middle Ages; the Martinitoren stands as a reminder of this early boom. The iconic church tower was one of the few remnants of the Golden Age to survive fierce fighting late in World War II before Groningen’s liberation on 17 April 1945. Now an ambitious rebuilding scheme looks to transform the zone east of the Grote Markt. Departure of the boat towards Delfzil. Evening of entertainment. (B/L/D)
DAY 5 – SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2018 DELFZIL – PAPENBURG, GERMANY
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Cruise to Papenburg. Tour of the naval shipyard of Meyer Werft. Departure by coach from the Papenburg lock towards Meyer Werft Shipyard. Founded in 1975, the shipyard has been owned and managed by the Meyer family for six generations. The first ships that were built there were small wooden vessels. Less than a hundred years later, the first iron ship was launched notwithstanding the other manufacturers mocking the idea, thinking that iron could not float. Meyer Werft gained international recognition through the construction of roll on/roll off ferries, passenger ferries, gasoline tankers, container ships, livestock ferries and most recently luxury cruise ships. Due to its upstream location on the river Ems, the giant ships to be delivered have to make a 36-kilometer voyage to the Dollart. A passionate guide will tell you all about the various stages in the construction of these floating sea monsters during your one and a half-hour tour. Return on board by coach after the Doerpen or Delfzijl locks and cruise to Oldenburg. (B/L/D)
DAY 6 – SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2018 OLDENBURG – BREMEN, GERMANY
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Free time for a brief stroll around Oldenburg. Departure of the boat for Bremen. Tour the oldest maritime city in Germany and the second largest trading port in Germany after Hamburg. Depart from the boat on foot in the company of your guide to visit the historic centre of this Hanseatic city. One of the oldest German maritime cities, Bremen was granted the right to hold market as early as 965 and joined the Hanseatic League in 1358. It became a Free Imperial City in 1646 and established a direct commercial relationship with the USA in 1783. Traditionally, the city is known for its cotton and coffee trade and together with its Bremerhaven fore-port is an incredibly unified Land. Our visit will start with the working-class district of Schnoor, located on the banks of the Weser River. This is the oldest district in Bremen and its narrow streets filled with small half-timbered houses and a big Church form a charming ensemble. The neighbourhood owes its name to old handicrafts associated with shipping, and the alleys between the houses were often associated with occupations or objects. There was an area in which ropes and cables were produced, giving the district its name (string = Schnoor). We’ll continue towards Marktplatz where you’ll get to see St Peter’s Cathedral and the wonderful City Hall in Weser Renaissance style. Also, standing on Marktplatz is the 1404 statue of Roland, protector of the city, the oldest in Germany. Bremen is also famous for another statue located right behind the City Hall – the Town Musicians of Bremen. The statue depicts a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster with respect to the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale. Don’t forget to make a wish! Our visit ends after a walk down the Böttcherstrasse, a street famous for its unusual architectural ensemble belonging to a variant of the expressionist style. We’ll pass the entrance gate with its impressive golden fresco depicting the Lichtbringer, Bringer of Light. Free time and return on board on foot. Free evening in the city. (B/L/D)
DAY 7 – MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2018 BREMEN – NIENBURG – STOLZENAU – MINDEN, GERMANY
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Departure of the boat in the early morning for Nienburg. Transfer by coach to Nienburg. Tour of the “red town” which, among other things, has a magnificent Town Hall from the Weser Renaissance. Departure by coach in the company of your host towards downtown Nienburg. You’ll be free to discover this beautiful little Lower Saxony town at your own pace. Nienburg is famous for its asparagus. Charming little Nienburg was nicknamed “red town” after the red bricks of most of the houses in the city center. St Martin Church and the streets were built and paved with a style typical of northern Germany. You’ll get to follow in the “bear’s footsteps” down an educational pathway that was created by the tourist office, a chance for you to discover some of the town’s monuments such as the Town Hall from Weser Renaissance, St Martin Church with a statue of Charlemagne standing before it as a reminder of his fight against the Celts in the region, the Kleine Nienburgerin, the bronze statue of a young child from a beloved folk song and the former Post Office which ensured communication between the Kingdoms of Hanover and England. Return on board in Stolzenau or Hoja. Cruise in the direction of Minden. (B/L/D)
DAY 8 – TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2018 MINDEN – HANOVER – ANDERTEN – BRAUNSCHWEIG
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Departure of the boat early in the morning for Hannover. Tour of the city of Hannover. The capital of Lower Saxony is one of the main economic centres in Germany. Departure by coach from the northern port of Hanover in the company of local guides to discover the capital of the Land of Lower Saxony. From the 17th century onwards, Hanover played a major role in politics. In 1714, the son of Ernst-August of Hanover became King of Great Britain under the name of George I, a personal union which was a considerable source of prestige for the principality of Hanover. First you will pass alongside the famous Baroque Gardens of Herrenhausen before heading for the 18th century New City Hall, where your guides will explain Hanover’s history with the help of four models showing the city at different times (1875, 1939, 1945 and today). You will continue with a panoramic city tour to see the main sights such as Niki de Saint Phalle’s Nana statues on the banks of the Leine, the Maschsee – an artificial lake dug by unemployed workers on a job creation scheme in the 1930s – the Opera House, the Grand Theater, the ruins of the Aegidien Church bombed during the war and where the Peace Bell now hangs, and many more. You will stop for a stroll through the Old Town, to see the Market Church and its curiosities, the 15th century Old City Hall and Leibniz’s House. The visit ends at the bus station where our coach will drop you off and you’ll bid your guide goodbye. Free time in the central station area and the modern city center. Departure from Hanover to return on board at Hanover Anderten or Minden. (B/L/D)
DAY 9 – WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2018 BRAUNSCHWEIG – BULSTRINGEN – MAGDEBURG
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Departure of the boat in the early morning for Bulstringen. Tour of Magdeburg, a town situated on the middle course of the Elbe and the “romanesque trail”. The cathedral is one of the most important of Gothic edifices. Departure by coach for Magdeburg where we will meet up with local guides. Magdeburg was once the cradle of the German nation. The first Germanic Holy Roman Emperor, Otto the Great, had an imposing cathedral built here and made the town into an archbishopric. Magdeburg became a center for Western Christianity and the High Court of judicial power in the Middle Ages. We’ll begin our tour with the Magdeburg Cathedral, home to the tomb of Emperor Otto the Great. Magdeburg is a Hanseatic city located midway on the Elbe River and the Roman Roads—in the heart of Germany rich with a multi-faceted history. Its other sacred monuments include the Magdalenekapelle, St. Petrikirche, Wallonerkirche, Monastery of Our Lady and St. John’s Church. We’ll continue our panoramic tour by seeing the city’s main monuments, including the citadel. Once located in East Germany, the city has retained its grey, square, Soviet-style buildings which are embellished today with molding and decorations. We’ll visit the marketplace to see the magnificent replica of the Magdeburger Reiter, as well as the town hall and its bronze door. You’ll finish-up the tour with some free time on your own. (B/L/D)
DAY 10 – THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2018 MAGDEBURG – BRANDENBURG – POTSDAM, GERMANY
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Departure of the boat in the early morning for Brandenburg. In the afternoon, excursion to Potsdam and the gardens of the Sanssoucis palace. We’ll leave by coach with local guides who will help you discover the history of Former Prussia and its illustrious monarchs. In Potsdam, the visit will begin with a walk through the gardens at the Sanssouci Palace. You’ll walk the flower-lined pathways and staircases leading through the terraced garden to the residence of Frederick the Great, built between 1745 and 1747. The personal tastes of the king had such an influence on the design and the decoration of the palace that its style is often referred to as “Frederician Rococo”. We’ll get back on the coach and take a spin around the Sanssouci Park to admire its fabulous structures before heading to Cecilienhof Palace. Cecilienhof Palace was built from 1914 to 1917 for Crown Prince William and his wife, Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin, as a gift from Emperor Wilhelm II. After the end of the war in Europe, the Potsdam Conference – attended by Stalin, Churchill, and Truman – was held in the palace from July 17 – August 2, 1945. Here, Churchill and Truman also defined the terms of surrender together for Japan. After our visit, we’ll head back to downtown Potsdam for some free time in the Dutch district before returning to the ship by coach. During this time, the boat will continue its course for Potsdam where we will rejoin the boat. (B/L/D)
DAY 11 – FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2018 POTSDAM – BERLIN, GERMANY
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Departure of the boat for Berlin Spandau. Excursion to the city which was long divided, illustrating the division of the world into two blocks. We’ll leave by coach from Berlin-Spandau with a local guide who will help us discover the history, monuments, and fascinating facets of this particularly historic city. We’ll travel up the 17th of June Street to see the famous Victory Column, the Bismarck Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building with its steel and glass cupola. We’ll then arrive at the renowned Unter den Linden and head to Museum Island—a complex of five internationally significant museums that occupy the island’s northern part—including the Pergamon Museum, and the Alte Nationalgalerie. Beyond Museum Island are the modern Alexanderplatz and its famous Fernsehturm (Berlin TV Tower). You’ll be able to go through Checkpoint Charlie, the symbol of the Cold War and passage between the American and Soviet zones during this time. This might seem like just a glance, but you’ll be able to discover the monuments that make Berlin one of the most cultural cities in Europe. Return on board the boat. After dinner, you will enjoy a tour of Berlin by night. Coach transfer for a guided walk on the Potsdamer Platz and explore contemporary Berlin. A guided walk will enable you to discover the contemporary architectural prowess of Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, etc. A true no mans‘ land after the fall of the wall, this square now houses the headquarters of the DB, the Sony Center, and a cinema complex. At night, it comes to life and is illuminated. A futurist vision of the German capital. (B/L/D)
DAY 12 – SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2018 BERLIN, GERMANY
Breakfast onboard the river boat. Departure by coach from Berlin Spandau in the company of your guides. We’ll start off with a stroll in the gardens before a tour of Charlottenburg Palace with headset. A walk through the wonders enclosed in its various rooms will take you back to the era of the Prussian Kings. We’ll first discover the white room, which used to be the throne room and the sovereign’s dining room, as well as the Golden Gallery in flamboyant Rococo style. We’ll continue to the Winter Chambers and sumptuous bedroom of Queen Luise, where you’ll catch a glimpse of the furniture partly designed by Schinkel. The library, a collection of snuffboxes belonging to Frederick the Great along with even more surprising features will await you further in the palace. Return on board by coach. Free afternoon and evening in Berlin. (B/L/D)
DAY 13 – SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2018 BERLIN – POZNAN – WARSAW, POLAND
Breakfast onboard the river boat, before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. Meet your local guide and transfer to Warsaw via our private coach. On-route we will stop in Poznan for a short walking tour and lunch at a local restaurant before continuing onto Warsaw. Our hotel is in the heart of Warsaw, overlooking Pilsudski Square and the quiet Saxon Gardens, the luxurious Hotel Sofitel Warsaw Victoria is ringed by the Polish capital’s historical and cultural attractions. The hotel features 343 comfortable, elegant rooms over five floors, including 41 deluxe rooms and 11 suites. Accessible rooms and non-smoking rooms are available. Rooms feature the latest technology and complimentary ADSL internet. All rooms boast a Nespresso coffee machine and Bose radio. Upon arrival in Warsaw in the evening, we check-in to our rooms and enjoy dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: SOFITEL VICTORIA HOTEL or similar (3 nights). (B/L/D)
DAY 14 – MONDAY, MAY 7, 2018 WARSAW, POLAND
Breakfast at the hotel. Over 85% of the city was in ruins by the end of the war, and while the newer, post-war buildings bear the unmistakable stamp of austere, quasi-Gothic, Stalinist style, many of the prewar buildings were faithfully rebuilt brick by brick, closely following old painting and prints. Don’t be misled into thinking that Warsaw has nothing to offer to the culturally inclined visitor. Sightseeing tour of Warsaw will include the Castle Square where you can see the first non-ecclesiastic statue in Warsaw King Sigismund’s Column and the originally Gothic castle dated to the 15th century expanded throughout the centuries; the seat of kings of Poland. Admire St. John’s Cathedral and walk through the Market Square where you can have a break for tea or cake at one of the finest restaurants or do shopping at the gift shops or galleries. Afterwards, you will pass the late-Gothic structure by John Baptist of Venice – the Barbican. In the New Town Market, you can see the Church and Monastery of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and the house where Maria Sklodowska-Curie was born. At the Krasinski Square stop by the Monument of Warsaw’s Uprising. Drive via the Royal Route with its aristocratic residences, Tomb of Unknown Soldier and Warsaw’s Grand Opera and the National Theatre House erected by Antonio Corazzi. Lunch at the local restaurant in Warsaw. Afternoon is at your leisure. (B/L)
DAY 15 – TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2018 WARSAW, POLAND
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Wilanow Palace and Park Wilanow which is surrounded by the most interesting Baroque structures in Warsaw. What makes it even more valuable is that it was not destroyed during World War II. It was originally the home of the Leszczynskich family whose most illustrious members include Stanislaw Leszczynski who was twice elected the King of Poland and his daughter Maria who married Louis 14th, King of France. In 1677 Polish King Jan III Sobieski became the owner of the Wilanow estate. He renovated the palace several times and finally turned it into the Baroque structure. Today the palace houses the museum with many valuable collections of paintings and sculptures. Among is the collection of precious Polish coffin portraits. The palace is surrounded with a beautiful park. Its major fragment was built at the same time as the palace and together they form an integral design. Each part of the park which was constantly expanded was designed in the style of the Italian, French and English gardens. Back to the hotel after the tour. Lunch and the afternoon is at your leisure. Tonight, we have our special farewell dinner. (B/D)
DAY 16 – WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2018 WARSAW, POLAND – CANADA
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight. (B/In-flights Meals)
CroisiEurope takes you away for so much less, but we still include it all. We are able to do this because we are an independent, family-owned business, and this gives CroisiEurope the ability to manage costs efficiently, and give you the best value for your money. You won’t find extravagance and fuss on CroisiEurope. Instead, what you’ll find is just wonderfully right. You’ll be able to enjoy your trip that much more because of it! Other cruise lines may offer good food. On CroisiEurope, you’ll cruise the rivers of Europe with your own French restaurant onboard. We carefully design and plan our cuisine and menus in the exacting tradition of fine French gastronomy. Each meal on your cruise will give you a delightful experience of French haute cuisine.