2937

Battlefield & stories of the Great War

Belgium's Waterways | Belgium, Europe

7 days
from
£829
per person
  • Flanders field
  • Ploegsteert Memorial
  • Mons
  • Menin Gate
  • Ploegsteert Memorial
Flanders fieldPloegsteert MemorialMonsMenin GatePloegsteert Memorial
Note that there may be small differences between our general Itinerary for this cruise and a specific departure. To view departure specific itineraries please go to the Dates and Prices tab and click "View Itinerary" on a specific departure.

 

Battlefields & Stories of the Great War Itinerary

One hundred years after the end of the First World War, join our commemorative cruise to explore the stories around the battlefields of the Western Front. Mons is particularly symbolic for Britain as it was where our first and last soldier died, so we take some time to visit their graves and hear about their stories at the Mons Memorial Museum. A guided tour of Antwerp then reveals what life was like for the citizens of this city. We also visit Ypres, which was at the heart of the salient, before exploring the area known to our troops as Plugstreet. And as we walk around these now beautiful places, it can be hard to believe what happened all those years ago; but it’s vital we remember.

Day 1: UK – Amsterdam
We travel to Amsterdam, the vibrant capital of the Netherlands, and enjoy a relaxing evening onboard our ship.

Day 2: Kinderdijk & Dordrecht
This morning we reach the village of Kinderdijk, which is renowned for its 19 beautifully preserved windmills – the largest concentration in the Netherlands. Our optional excursion takes you ashore to visit one of the mills, where we learn about the lifestyle of a miller and the mechanism of a mill. We continue cruising to Dordrecht and enjoy an afternoon at leisure or you can visit the nearby city of Delft on our optional excursion to Royal Delft, the only remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century. Later in the day you can relax onboard as we cruise towards Brussels.

Day 3: Brussels
Today’s included excursion visits the town of Mons, where the first and last British soldiers died in the First World War: Private John Parr on 21 August 1914 and Private George Ellison on 11 November 1918, 90 minutes before the armistice. You can learn more about their stories along with the history of the area at the Mons Memorial Museum where entrance is included. We also visit St Symphorien Cemetery on the outskirts of the town. It was originally a cemetery for German soldiers after the Battle of Mons in August 1914. Today there are 284 German graves and 229 Commonwealth graves, including those of John Parr and George Ellison. In the afternoon we visit Brussels, Belgium’s beautiful capital, which has a stunning medieval old town (a return shuttle is included from our ship to the centre). Later today we begin cruising towards Antwerp.

Day 4: Antwerp
We start the day with an guided tour which looks at the position of the people of Antwerp during the First World War. You are then free to explore the city at leisure (a return shuttle is included from our ship to the centre). The Grote Markt is a great place to while away time, admiring the many guildhalls and the centrepiece fountain, and there are many more striking buildings which remind visitors of the city’s heyday in the 16th century.

Day 5: Ghent
We wake up close to Ghent, a fairytale city filled with medieval buildings, monuments and canals. From here our included excursion takes you to Ypres, which played a key role in the First World War. We visit the Menin Gate, where the names of 54,896 missing soldiers are engraved in its walls, and entrance is also included to the In Flanders Fields Museum. Next we visit the Plugstreet (Ploegsteert) Memorial to the Missing and Hyde Park Corner Cemetery before heading to the Plugstreet 14-18 Experience which details what happened in this area during the war. A packed lunch is included for this excursion. Alternatively you can spend the day in Ghent and later this evening we begin cruising back towards the Netherlands.

Day 6: Rotterdam
Rotterdam is known as ‘Manhattan on the Meuse’ because of its impressive skyline, which showcases cutting-edge architecture. Join our optional excursion to enjoy some of the highlights: take a trip up the Euromast observation tower where you can see as far as Antwerp.

Day 7: Amsterdam – UK
We bid farewell to the captain and his crew after breakfast and set off on the return journey.

Battlefield & stories of the Great War

View our Brochures

• We will stop at many of the moving memorials in the area including the Menin Gate in Ypres, which is dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers and the Ploegsteert Memorial, for missing soldiers who died on the northern Western Front.

• Beyond the First World War sites, you will also see some of the most beautiful parts of the Netherlands and Belgium, including Amsterdam, the windmills of Kinderdijk and Ghent.

• Explore Antwerp in Belgium and discover more about life for the citizens of the city during the war. The city was besieged by the German army in 1914, and fell under German control in October of that year.

•  In August 1914, Private John Parr was killed in Mons. His death is thought to be the first British casualty in the war. In a sad coincidence, the last British soldier to die in the war, Private George Ellison, was also killed near the town fewer than two hours before the Armistice was declared. Learn more about their stories at the Mons Memorial Museum.

Ships

We offer a number of flexible travel options for you to join your cruise, whether you want to travel to the port of departure or directly to the ship. Please see below:

Coach via Dover, Hull or Harwich

On many of our cruises you can take advantage of our convenient and FREE regional coach departures aboard our modern executive coaches from a town or city near you to the port of departure and onwards to meet the ship.

Ferry crossing at Dover, Hull or Harwich

When you travel by coach or car, you will join a ferry at Dover, Hull or Harwich, depending on your chosen cruise, and cross over to Europe. Our coach will then take you to meet our ship at the embarkation point as shown in the cruise itinerary. Hull crossings take place overnight, adding 2 days to the cruise duration.

Overnight hotel in Dover or Ashford

Travel at your own pace, in the comfort of your own vehicle and stay overnight at Dover or Ashford, in accommodation close to the port of departure and be collected/returned by our coach. Prices for Ashford start from £59 per person per night and for Dover for £65 per person per night on a bed and breakfast basis and include parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise.

Eurostar from London St Pancras

Enjoy the benefits of rail travel – boarding at London St Pancras International, you will be whisked effortlessly along by Eurostar whilst relaxing in your reserved seat. You have the freedom to stretch your legs whenever the mood takes you and purchase drinks and snacks from the buffet carriage.

By Air

Air travel is included as an air inclusive option with flights and return transfers to the ship included.

Meet at your cruise ship

Make your own travel arrangements at your convenience to join your selected cruise, simply board your cruise ship at the embarkation point.

Dates and pricing

The details below show the travel options, pricing and the available departure dates for this itinerary. If you have any questions about this cruise please do not hesitate to call our Holiday Advisors.

Departures

From
To

Ship

DepartureTravel optionsBooking
2018-04-02
02 April 2018
for 9 days


Coach
Enter postcode and click go to show pick ups closest to you
Ferries
Join ship at Amsterdam
9 days from
£979
Passengers
Select Travel options and Passengers, then click Book.
2018-04-03
03 April 2018
for 7 days


Coach
Enter postcode and click go to show pick ups closest to you
Ferries
Join ship at Amsterdam
7 days from
£829
Passengers
Select Travel options and Passengers, then click Book.
2018-04-03
03 April 2018
for 7 days


Flights
Join ship at Amsterdam
7 days from
£1019
Passengers
Select Travel options and Passengers, then click Book.
2018-04-03
03 April 2018
for 7 days


Eurostar
Join ship at Amsterdam
7 days from
£1069
Passengers
Select Travel options and Passengers, then click Book.
2018-04-03
03 April 2018
for 7 days


Coach
Enter postcode and click go to show pick ups closest to you
Ferries
Overnight hotel
Join ship at Amsterdam
7 days from
£829
Passengers
Select Travel options and Passengers, then click Book.

Enhance your holiday experience with a range of optional and included excursions that allow you to discover the history of our ports of call, experience the tradition of local regions and explore further afield. They’re the perfect complement to your cruise itinerary, but they are subject to availability so we recommend you book early!

Windmills

Windmills of Kinderdijk

£17

No trip to the Netherlands is complete without visiting these beautiful wooden windmills, which date back to the 1500s and symbolise the way in which the Dutch have managed water. We visit the Museum Windmill Nederwaard, where we meet the miller and discover all about mill life, and the Museum Windmill Blokweer to learn about the impressive mechanism of a mill and Kinderdijk’s heritage.

Delft Pottery

Delft & the Royal Delft Pottery

£24

Join our coach to visit the pretty city of Delft where we enjoy free time along with a visit to the Royal Dutch Delftware Manufactory. Royal Delftware is still painted entirely by hand according to centuries-old tradition, and during our visit you can watch a master painter at work and admire many antique pieces along with a comprehensive collection in the showroom.

Antwerp

Antwerp guided tour

£21

The age-old affair between man and diamond is evident around the world, but nowhere is it more palpable than in the city of Antwerp. With the help of our guide, we are shown around the diamond district, the 17th century Ruben house and central square in the old town.

Rotterdam

Rotterdam Skyline

£21

Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Brussels has the Atomium and Rotterdam has the Euromast! Take the superfast lift up to the viewing platform and enjoy the view – you can see as far as The Hague and Antwerp on a clear day. We also visit the curious cube houses, an architectural wonder in the heart of the city, one of which we have the chance to look around.

Mons

Mons & St Symphorien

Included

Visit the town of Mons, which is especially symbolic for Britain as it was where our first and last soldiers died in the First World War: Private John Parr on 21 August 1914 and Private George Ellison on 11 November 1918. Entrance is included to the Mons Memorial Museum and we also visit St Symphorien Cemetery on the outskirts of the town. The cemetery is unique for having German graves and Commonwealth graves, including those of John Parr and George Ellison.

Antwerp

Antwerp during the Great War

Included

This guided walking tour looks at the Siege of Antwerp and explores the lives of locals including artists and writers during the First World War.

Ypres

Ypres & Ploegsteert

Included

The city of Ypres was at the heart of the salient during the First World War. Here we visit the Menin Gate, where the names of 54,896 missing soldiers are engraved in its walls. Entrance is also included to the In Flanders Fields Museum. Next we visit the Plugstreet (Ploegsteert) Memorial to the Missing and Hyde Park Corner Cemetery before heading to the Plugstreet 14-18 Experience which details what happened in the area during the war. A packed lunch is included for this excursion. 

Excursion Package

Excursion Package Price

£65

SAVE £18 PER PERSON
Don't miss a thing by booking our special excursion package which includes all the listed excursions for this cruise. Not only can you take part in all the exciting trips we have organised, you can enjoy all this at a reduced cost!

At a glance

Length: 7 days

From: Amsterdam

Ends: Amsterdam

Travel options available:

  • Coach via Dover, Hull or Harwich
  • Ferry crossing at Dover, Hull or Harwich
  • Overnight hotel in Dover or Ashford
  • Eurostar from London St Pancras
  • By Air
  • Meet at your cruise ship
7 days
from
£829
per person

Customer feedback

Included in the Price

  • Return travel from the UK
  • Welcome drink, Captain’s get-together and party night
  • En suite cabin accommodation aboard the MS Serenity
  • Six nights’ cruise on a full board basis
  • Early risers and mid morning tea/coffee
  • Entertainment on every night of your cruise
  • Visits to Amsterdam, Kinderdijk, Dordrecht, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent & Rotterdam
  • Excursions: Mons and St Symphorien, Antwerp during the Great War, and Ypres and Ploegsteert
  • Services of our experienced and friendly Cruise Director and Cruise Manager

 


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