Most expeditions on the National Geographic Explorer are epic, an immersion in wildness. Many cover great swaths of geography, sometimes logging thousands of miles in a voyage. But this voyage is different. The 9-day Exploring the Low Countries: Holland and Belgium slows it down and offers a different kind of immersion, where lesser distances are covered and hidden facets of familiar places are explored.
Set to depart May 4, 2014 on the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer, the expedition will discover an ideal mix of cultural highlights including the perfectly preserved medievalism of Brugge and Gent, Amsterdam art, and the nature that formed the culture of the Low Countries, while exploring Holland and Belgium by sea. Guests will visit islands renowned for their rustic beauty and birdlife; transit city canals by Zodiac; and experience all the charm for which these sites are renowned.
On five of the seven nights the ship will remain in port well into the night, so guests can enjoy the lingering evening light, and the joys of life as spring blooms in Northern Europe. During the days, the expedition team will provide a variety of options, from bicycling along meandering canals, to special experiences in remarkable museums. It’s the perfect time to catch the re-opening of Amsterdam’s grandly renovated Rijksmuseum. And it’s prime tulip season as well, giving the rare sight of vast fields in bloom. And, for the grand finale, the National Geographic Explorer will journey up the Thames with the pageantry of modern and historic London displayed along its banks, arriving near Tower Bridge at midnight.
· Venture into medieval towns to admire legendary art and architecture up close, plus, savor local specialties: Belgian waffles, mussels, chocolates, and the famous beers brewed for centuries by Trappist monks.
· Enjoy a warm welcome at the harbor city of Harlingen, where we will be the first ever passenger ship to dock. Explore its network of canals via Zodiac, by special permission.
· Explore the little-traveled West Frisian Islands located amid the very important tidal landscape called Waddenzee—a UNESCO World Heritage site.
· Art historian Koen Kleijn will expertly examine the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Durer as we visit the Rijksmuseum, newly reopened after 9-year renovation.
Joining the voyage as Global Perspectives Guest Speaker will be Russell Shorto, an American best-selling author, historian and journalist, whose latest book, Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, is an entertaining portrait of the city. He is a contributing writer for The New York Times magazine and is the Director of The John Adams Institute in Amsterdam, where he has lived since November 2007. National Geographic photographer, Sisse Brimberg, will also be onboard to share insider tips and techniques on photography, along with a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor.
Rates begin at $7,320 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin. For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions’ voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on earth call 1-800-EXPEDITION, visit www.expeditions.com or call your travel agent.
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