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Waterways of Hamburg, Rotterdam & Bruges

Waterways of Hamburg, Rotterdam & Bruges

Cruise Only
3 nights

Luxury Holiday
Hamburg, Germany
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Bruges, Belgium

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!


If there is magic on the planet, then it is contained in water. On this journey, we discover liquid highways that have flowed for thousands of years through the most desirable destinations.

Hamburg, seated on the Elbe River and straddling the North and Baltic seas, was built atop a group of narrow islands by medieval shipping merchants of the still proud Free and Hanseatic League. With six times as many canals as Venice, Hamburg owes its affluence to water. Today, the most notable network of canals wind through the gentrified neighbourhood of Speicherstadt. Once the largest warren of water-facing warehouses in the world, it is now a thriving UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with boats, bistros, shops and nightlife. Heavily hyped as the newest darling of achievement is the sensational waterfront Elbphilharmonie concert hall.

Crowned with a wildly beautiful wave-like glass tiara, she lives up to her accolades as the most acoustically advanced concert hall in the world. Landmark architecture in Rotterdam is similarly set beside life-sustaining canals. Once a way to control tidal flooding, the canals, they now thoroughly reflect a lifestyle of marvellous urban living. Curious and cubist, the Kubuswoningen apartments seem to fall like stacked yellow squares into a quaint barge-lined canal. Here the promenade leads to Oudehaven, where the White House, the oldest high-rise building in the Netherlands, towers as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our quest for canals and culture continues to Zeebrugge that is forever linked by the Baudouin Canal to Bruges. Fairytale, charming, UNESCO, the accolades cascade like the currents. Everything here puts its best face toward the water. The Quay of the Rosary, the most photo-worthy point, was once where salt trading was valuable than gold. Even more revered, however, is the Basilica of the Holy Blood that is reported to have a venerated relic of Christ’s body brought here by the Count of Flanders. Water sustains the dream of the adventurer and there is no place it is more appreciated than aboard this journey.

EJ110 Operated by Explora Journeys


Waterways of Hamburg, Rotterdam & Bruges Itinerary

Day 1 - Hamburg

Known as the gateway to the world and bearing the most bridges, immerse yourself with Hamburgers to the sound of canals and cuisine, architecture and music. Prepare to be submerged in culture; from affluent villas to modest Almshouses, the last castle, an inner-city lake, a floating landing platform, the neo-Renaissance Town hall, an industrial underground tunnel and baroque masterpiece, St Nicholas Church. Wander to the solid brick warehouse district of UNESCO Hafen City; touch the shining wave of glass of the futuristic Elbphilharmonie, listen to crystal clear acoustics that pair with Sydney’s Opera House and enjoy views of the River Elbe. Hamburg offers unique, memorable entertainment - for all your senses.

Day 2 - Rotterdam

Approach this modern metropolis crammed with diverse Dutch character… and Pilgrim beer. Where canal creased streets create unique architecture and cube-shaped houses. Art critics will muse over masterpieces from the great Dutch Masters at The Mauritshuis, The Rijksmuseum and The Vermeer Centre. Whilst food lovers and technologists can appreciate Tomatoworld’s greenhouse horticulture and their ambitious plans to feed the world. Then bend away from glassy, high-rise buildings to pre-war Holland for ancient windmills, Picasso sculptures and medieval Loevestein Castle. Home to shiny new shopping centres, apartment blocks, wide streets and a diverse population, Rotterdam really is ‘Manhattan on the Meuse’. And, of course, they do have the girl with a pearl earring.

Day 3 - Zeebrugge

Fill your senses with wonderful Flemish flavour in UNESCO-praised Bruges. Relax amongst tree-lined canals and cobbled pathways to learn secrets of the city’s world-famous chocolate. Partake in beer tasting, beer blending and beer sinking. Explore the medieval streets of the old town for classic cathedrals, gabled facades and unique Art Deco taverns. Head out to the pretty countryside, ride along canals and shop for comic books, lace and yet more chocolate. And as you slowly savour the taste of Belgian sustainable culture, enjoy a classic waffle that melts in your mouth.

Day 4 - Southampton

Sail into this vibrant quay with enough shops and entertainment to form its own village. Modern and lively, this coastal town bustles with waterfront restaurants, heritage charm, bars, cinemas and offers great access to other spots in the South of England. Sit back and drift through heavenly countryside to ancient Stonehenge, see if the Queen’s at home in Windsor, learn secrets from the Bombay Sapphire gin distillery or slip up to London for some rich British culture. Then enjoy a cup of tea as you reflect on formal traditions, perfect your cockney accent and recall England’s green and pleasant lands.


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Call us now on 01756 706500