- Round trip motor coach transportation from Peoria to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
-Free Parking in Peoria
- 4 nights of First Class hotel accommodations: 3 nights Paris, France 1 night Ghent, Belgium
4 nights of accommodation on the MS Beethoven river cruise in an outside cabin with French Balcony on the Upper Deck.
- Breakfast daily at the hotels.
- Welcome dinner in Paris with beverages and wine.
- Dinner in Ghent.
- Three meals daily onboard the cruise beginning with dinner on April 23.
- Mineral water, house wine, beer, coffee, and tea with included lunches and dinners on board the cruise.
- Panoramic tour of Paris.
- Guided city tour of Paris including the Eiffel Tower.
- One hour Seine River Cruise in Paris.
- Half day guided tour of the Palace of Versailles.
- City tour of Brussels
- City tour of Ghent and Antwerp
- Chocolate tasting in Brussels
- Beer tasting in Ghent.
- Excursion to Kukenhof Tulips Garden in Holland.
- City tour of Amsterdam
- Canal Cruise of illuminated Amsterdam by night.
- Current airline fuel surcharges subject to change.
- Luggage handling of one suitcase per person.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY:
April 18 – Peoria/Chicago
Depart Bradley for Chicago’s O’Hare Airport where you board your Delta non-stop flight to Paris.
April 19 – Paris: Arrive in Paris, where you clear Customs. You are welcomed and escorted to your motor coach for a panoramic tour of Paris, the “City of Lights.” Experience a cosmopolitan world that blends fascinating architecture and historic achievements with a contemporary flair. Drive by the Opera House, the Tuileries Gardens, and stop by the 19th century Sacre Coeur Basilica, built atop Montmartre hill. This famous basilica is considered to be the city’s white castle in the sky. You have time for lunch on your own.
The remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy Paris. (Dinner)
April 20 – Paris: Highlights of this morning's sightseeing tour include the Eiffel Tower, the most famous symbol of Paris. Next is the Arc de Triomphe, the stately monument which was a vision of Napoleon’s, begun in 1806 and completed after his death in 1836. Beneath the Arch today lays the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, France’s main war shrine. Continue the drive by the Champs Elysees, the world's most elegant boulevard, visit Notre Dame Cathedral one of the most perfect medieval works of art in the world. Its' beautiful stained glass Rose Window is a marvel to behold. Your tour ends with a one hour bateaux Parisien Seine River cruise where you enjoy a different prospective of Paris from the river. The afternoon is free for you to shop. (Breakfast)
Notre Dame Cathedral
April 21 – Paris - Palace of Versailles: Much of the morning is dedicated to the palace and gardens of the Palace of Versailles, the retreat of French royalty. Admire the sumptuous reception rooms, the intriguing Hall of Mirrors, the famous fountains and the formal gardens. Return to Paris in the late afternoon. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to take an optional guided tour of the Louvre Museum, the world’s largest art museum. Must-sees include the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Winged Victory of Samothrace. (Breakfast)
April 22 – Paris/Brussels/Ghent: Today drive to Brussels and enjoy a walking tour of Belgium’s capital and center of culture. On your tour see the Grand-Place, the guild houses, and the Gothic Town Hall. Visit Le Chocolatier Manon, which makes handmade, hand-molded chocolates that are hand-dipped at the Brussels factory. Enjoy a chocolate making demonstration. Then, continue to Ghent to visit St. Bavo’s Cathedral, home of the world famous ‘Mystic Lamb’ painting. During the city tour you will see all the important buildings from the Middle Ages, such as the Belfry, St Nicholas’ and the Earl’s Castle Visit one of Ghent’s breweries, where we will enjoy a tour and a beer tasting. (Breakfast & Dinner)
April 23 – Ghent/Antwerp/embarkation: Spend a leisurely morning in Ghent before departing to the city of Antwerp, the diamond capitol of the world. It is the second largest city of Belgium and the second largest harbor in Europe after Rotterdam. Antwerp’s architecture is filled with reminders of the Golden Era of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Enjoy some free time before boarding M/S Beethoven, your home for the next 4 nights. You have time to settle in your cabin and unpack, before you meet the crew. Enjoy a welcome drink before dinner. (Breakfast & Dinner)
April 24 – Cruise to Rotterdam: Set sail early in the morning through small inland seas and immense locks. Enter the Holland Diep (inland sea) passing the locks in Volkerak and Krekak after your cross the Belgian-Dutch border. Enjoy the scenery as you sit back and relax on the sun deck. Lunch is served onboard. You reach Rotterdam around 4:00 pm. Explore the city on foot with your cruise director. Enjoy a welcome gala dinner this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
April 25 – Rotterdam cruising to Amsterdam: Set sail to the Dutch city of Utrecht on the Rhine River. After you enjoy lunch onboard, join your included excursion to the Kukenhof Gardens. On this excursion you will see Europe’s largest garden displays, namely the Keukenhof close to Amsterdam. Seven million tulips, narcissi and hyacinths form a colorful carpet of blooms. Round and oval, triangular and rectangular borders line the park’s driveways, making a cheerful ensemble of colors, shapes and scents. Numerous sculptures also lurk between the borders, as harmony between art and nature is a major feature of this park. During this time, the ship continues sailing to Amsterdam where you rejoin it at the end of the tour. Enjoy dinner onboard before joining your included tour of Amsterdam by night on a canal cruise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
April 26 – Amsterdam: Breakfast is served on board followed by an included sightseeing tour of Amsterdam. The Dutch capital is a truly delightful city with a rich and fascinating past, offering its visitors a striking contrast between traditional Dutch architecture and other more unusual landmarks such as the Red Light District. Lunch is served onboard. In the afternoon visit more of Amsterdam on your own or you might want to participate in an optional excursion to Volendam, a traditional pretty village in North Holland, that was a major fishing port before the construction of the Ijsselmeer dike in 1932. Its main street is lined with cafes and shops, and many of their staff can still be seen wearing traditional costume. Then visit the Zaanse Schans which is an open air museum that has 120 wooden houses, windmills and warehouses from the 17th and 18th centuries. Enjoy dinner onboard the ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
April 27 – Amsterdam/Chicago
Bid farewell to your cruise staff as you are transferred to the airport to board a KLM non-stop flight back to Chicago.