4 NIGHT HALF TERM FAMILY GETAWAY CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Southampton , England | Rotterdam , Netherlands | Bruges/Zeebruge (Brussels) , Belgium | Paris (Le Havre) , France | Southampton , England

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DAY 1 - Departure Day

Southampton, England

DEPARTS:
4:30 PM

MEDEIVAL MYSTERIES

If you're arriving at the Southhampton International Airport, it's located on the outskirts of the city, making it easy to arrive into town. If you're flying into London a few days earlier, grab a train from Waterloo Station. During your time in Southampton, explore its medieval architectural spots like Bargate and the Old Town walls. Or learn more about the day the Titantic set sail from here in 1912.

The Bargate medieval gatehouse in Southampton, England
The exterior of the Tudor House in Southampton, England
A waterfront quayside in Southampton, England

If you're arriving at the Southhampton International Airport, it's located on the outskirts of the city, making it easy to arrive into town. If you're flying into London a few days earlier, grab a train from Waterloo Station. During your time in Southampton, explore its medieval architectural spots like Bargate and the Old Town walls. Or learn more about the day the Titantic set sail from here in 1912.

The Bargate medieval gatehouse in Southampton, England
The exterior of the Tudor House in Southampton, England
A waterfront quayside in Southampton, England
Things To Do

in Southampton

View of Stonehenge in England

Prehistoric Adventure

Located just an hour from Southampton, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Europe. Wander around the miraculous stone circle and transport yourself back in time when Neolithic engineers used only simple tools to build the huge monument — it's believed they hauled those massive stones over 240 miles from Wales without the use of machines.

The entrance to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England

A Port of Importance

Southampton is home to one of the largest ports in the UK and millions of travelers pass through each year. In 1912, the most famous of those travelers would pass through as they set out to America onboard the Titanic. Southampton's SeaCity museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about the events that happened aboard that famous ship.

Close up view of The Bargate gatehouse in Southampton, England

Play Knights in Armor

Step back into the medieval era and walk the old walls of the city. Built to protect the town from attack by sea, most of the wall is still standing, leaving visitors a spectacular view of Southampton and the sea. Watch as boats enter the port city, and see how it would have been if you were a knight on watch hundreds of years ago.

Traditional fish and chips in England

Local Cuisine

Head to the pub for a refreshing glass of ale to pair with crispy, mouthwatering fish and chips. If fried food isn't your thing, go in for a salad with fresh watercress, the peppery green that the Hampshire region is famous for. You'll also find upscale fare based on England's most-loved flavors: Try chicken with Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and tandoori puree or braised Hampshire beef with ale cream.

Various antiques at a market

Shopping

Shop for big-name brands galore at Westquay Shopping Centre, the premier shopping destination of the South Coast. Head to Bedford Place for independent shops and boutiques — the country's oldest traditional shoemaker is located here. On weekends, wander down the road to Bar Street to check out the local market for antiques, crafts, vintage accessories and jewelry.

DAY 2 - DOCKED

Rotterdam, Netherlands

ARRIVES:
10:00 AM
DEPARTS:
9:00 PM

NOBLE ROTTERDAM

The Netherlands' second-largest city is both modern and classic. Marvel at the futuristic architecture and explore the free, outdoor avant-garde art galleries. Browse the chic and trendy shops. To see the quaint, old-school side of Rotterdam, head to Kalingse Plas park to see centuries-old windmills. Then cross the iconic Erasmus bridge to the Wilhelminapier, a small peninsula with restaurants and theaters housed in boldly designed skyscrapers.

A several large windmills on a river in the Netherlands
The skyline in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Several famous cube houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Netherlands' second-largest city is both modern and classic. Marvel at the futuristic architecture and explore the free, outdoor avant-garde art galleries. Browse the chic and trendy shops. To see the quaint, old-school side of Rotterdam, head to Kalingse Plas park to see centuries-old windmills. Then cross the iconic Erasmus bridge to the Wilhelminapier, a small peninsula with restaurants and theaters housed in boldly designed skyscrapers.

A several large windmills on a river in the Netherlands
The skyline in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Several famous cube houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Things To Do

in Rotterdam

The colorful painted arch of the Markthal

Marvel at Market Hall

Head to the Markthal, a striking landmark that accommodates 96 stalls and several restaurants. Sample local delicacies, such as delicious Dutch cheeses or fresh fish. The ceiling bears the world's largest artwork, the "Horn of Plenty" by Arno Coenen, depicting colorful fruit tumbling from a sky, grazing cows and flowers.

View of the Oude Haven Harbor and Openlucht Binnenvaart Museum

Art En Plein Air

Stroll through Rotterdam's Museum Park and visit the Kunsthal, designed by architect Rem Koolhaas. It hosts regularly changing experimental modern art exhibitions. Close by is the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, which displays world-class artworks by Dutch artists such as Piet Mondrian and Vincent van Gogh.

Boats docked at the Delfshaven historic district

Charm by the Canal

Head to Delfshaven, a picturesque marina and one of the few parts of the city that survived the 1940 bombardment. Admire the historic canal houses, and browse the art studios and boutiques full of antiques and bric-a-brac. Fuel up in one of the down-to-earth eateries, or sample some local craft beer in a brewery.

Eight bitterballen on a plate with a dipping sauce

Local Cuisine

From exotic foreign cuisine to traditional Dutch dishes, you can find something for every taste here. Rotterdam's internationally inspired comfort food is patatje oorlog, french fries covered in satay peanut sauce, mayo and diced onion. At a pub, order bitterballen, a deep-fried croquette of shredded meat and roux served with mustard. For dessert, try appeltart, a super-moist apple pie that's reminiscent of bread pudding.

An assortment of souvenir ceramic shoes in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Shopping

Shops in Rotterdam are open every day. The city center offers plenty of choice in the Beurstraverse, Lijnbaan and Meent, as well as the exclusive Van Oldenbarnevelt street. Witte de With is the cultural shopping street with a wide choice in art boutiques. For vintage clothes and art, go to concept store Toko 51. With your Netherlands cruise, keep an eye out for the signature Dutch trinket: a tiny set of decorative pottery clogs.

INSIDER TIP

The Euro is the official currency in the Netherlands. Many stores and restaurants also accept major credit cards.

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Bruges/Zeebruge (Brussels), Belgium

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

A MEDIEVAL MASTERPIECE

Begin your day in Bruges at Markt, the historic main square, before exploring the canals. Marvel at the impressive medieval and Dutch architecture: Highlights include the Church of our Lady, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and Bruges Vrije. A 40-minute train ride will take you to Zeebrugge and its popular oceanfront. There, enjoy pristine beaches, hip brasseries and Seafront Maritime Theme Park.

Various colorful homes reflecting on a canal in Bruges, Belgium
View of a canal in Bruges, Belgium with buildings on both sides
Street view of buildings in Bruges, Belgium

Begin your day in Bruges at Markt, the historic main square, before exploring the canals. Marvel at the impressive medieval and Dutch architecture: Highlights include the Church of our Lady, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and Bruges Vrije. A 40-minute train ride will take you to Zeebrugge and its popular oceanfront. There, enjoy pristine beaches, hip brasseries and Seafront Maritime Theme Park.

Various colorful homes reflecting on a canal in Bruges, Belgium
View of a canal in Bruges, Belgium with buildings on both sides
Street view of buildings in Bruges, Belgium
Things To Do

in Bruges/Zeebruge (Brussels)

The market square in Bruges, Belgium

Behold the Belfry

Standing 83 meters tall and founded in 1240, Bruges' Belfry tower is home to a carillon with 47 bells. Learn about the tower's history in the reception area, then ascend 366 steps up the narrow staircase for a breathtaking Bruges view.

An assortment of Belgium chocolates

Check Out Choco-Story

Belgium is synonymous with chocolate. Learn more about the history of chocolate at Bruges' chocolate museum, Choco-Story. Housed in the 16th-century Huis de Crone building, the museum lets you see chocolate being made. There's also a section dedicated to chocolate's health benefits.

An aerial view of Bruges, Belgium

Get a Seafront Education

Located in a former fish auction hall, at Seafront you'll learn about Belgium's fishing industry and this important world port. Check out the various activities and exhibitions — there are installations on Zeebrugge and World War II. Cruise to Belgium and visit the Russian submarine and West Hinder, the lighthouse-ship. Kids will love the pirate island and the ball pit.

A container with fries topped with mayonnaise

Local Cuisine

Sample some classic Belgian fries, served with mayo rather than ketchup. Got a sweet tooth? Seek out Belgian waffles, or indulge in a delicious bowl of hot chocolate at The Old Chocolate House. Meanwhile, seafood is Zeebrugge's main food group of choice — the dish moules frites combines mussels with the city's signature fries.

Various miniature traditional home souvenirs in Bruges, Belgium

Shopping

The best shopping in Bruges is within walking distance of the historic town center. Purchase chocolate at The Chocolate Line, Dumon or Choco-Story's gift shop. Pick up a miniature Bruges house at a traditional handicraft store. If you're visiting between March and November, explore the flea market along the Dijver every Saturday and Sunday.

INSIDER TIP

There's always something happening at Markt in Bruges, whether it's amusement rides, performances or a market.

DAY 4 - DOCKED

Paris (Le Havre), France

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
9:00 PM

EXPLORE AN ICONIC CITY

Just over a two-hour drive from the port, Paris is called the City of Light for a reason — old lamps adorn every avenue and boulevard, illuminating the city's most celebrated sites. Saunter the romantic streets — from almost every corner you can spot the Eiffel Tower. Discover famous avenues like fashionable Champ Elysees and secret lanes like the colorful Rue Cremieux. Walk up the steps to the Basilica de Sacre Coeur, the highest point in Paris, and get a panoramic view of the city from above.

View of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
View of the front of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris, France
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France

Just over a two-hour drive from the port, Paris is called the City of Light for a reason — old lamps adorn every avenue and boulevard, illuminating the city's most celebrated sites. Saunter the romantic streets — from almost every corner you can spot the Eiffel Tower. Discover famous avenues like fashionable Champ Elysees and secret lanes like the colorful Rue Cremieux. Walk up the steps to the Basilica de Sacre Coeur, the highest point in Paris, and get a panoramic view of the city from above.

View of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
View of the front of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris, France
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France
Things To Do

in Paris (Le Havre)

Famous gargoyles overlooking the city of the Paris, France

Astounding Architecture

Climb the steps of the heaven-scratching Eiffel Tower for panoramic views of Paris. Then, head to the gargoyle-clad Notre Dame, perhaps the most famous cathedral in the world. And don't miss the Romano-Byzantine influences of the unique Sacre Coeur Basilica.

View of The Louvre museum in Paris, France

Home of the Arts

Paris is home to perhaps the most famous museum on Earth, the Louvre. It houses the equally well-known "Mona Lisa." But Paris is also home to Musee d'Orsay, an impressionist art hub, as well as the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, focused on the decorative arts.

View of a typical Parisian cafe in Paris, France

Hang With the Locals

Escape the beaten paths and discover a side of Paris few tourists get to see. Cruise to Paris and head to Canal St. Martin to find hip boutiques and cafes with verandas overlooking the water. Then, head to the less-crowded top decks of Montparnasse Tower or the Arc de Triomphe for Paris vistas.

Escargots on a white plate with a side of sliced bread

Local Cuisine

You'll find Paris' Michelin-starred restaurants in the neighborhoods lining either side of the Seine. Head there at the noon hour for lower-priced lunch menus. Feeling adventurous? Try French classics like escargot and bone marrow on toast. If you have a sweet tooth, don't miss le Paris-Brest, a circular cake filled with praline cream during your Paris cruise.

A typical designer storefront in Paris, France displaying shoes and handbags

Shopping

The Champ Elysees may be the most famous shopping avenue in Paris, with designer boutiques and global chain stores But it's in lesser-known neighborhoods — like North Marais and Rue du Chateau d'Eau — where you can find one-of-a-kind and handcrafted jewelry and goods, as well as the city's funkier fashion options.

INSIDER TIP

Take the time to stroll the streets of Paris and find restaurants, boutiques and bars hidden inside little nooks.

DAY 5 - Arrival Day

Southampton, England

ARRIVES:
5:30 AM
PRIME ENGLISH

COUNTRYSIDE

Your adventure doesn't have to end once you've gotten back to Southampton. Before you go, spend a few days exploring the quaint English towns of the Hampshire region like Winchester, the ancient capital, or the pretty market town of Romsey. This village is also home to the Romsey Abbey, one of the most magnificent churches in Southern England thanks to its round Norman arches and lofty nave.

Yachts docked at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, England
The Netley Abbey ruins in Southampton, England
The historic Calshot Castle at the entrance of Southampton, England

Your adventure doesn't have to end once you've gotten back to Southampton. Before you go, spend a few days exploring the quaint English towns of the Hampshire region like Winchester, the ancient capital, or the pretty market town of Romsey. This village is also home to the Romsey Abbey, one of the most magnificent churches in Southern England thanks to its round Norman arches and lofty nave.

Yachts docked at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, England
The Netley Abbey ruins in Southampton, England
The historic Calshot Castle at the entrance of Southampton, England
Things To Do

in Southampton

View of Stonehenge in England

Prehistoric Adventure

Located just an hour from Southampton, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Europe. Wander around the miraculous stone circle and transport yourself back in time when Neolithic engineers used only simple tools to build the huge monument — it's believed they hauled those massive stones over 240 miles from Wales without the use of machines.

The entrance to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England

A Port of Importance

Southampton is home to one of the largest ports in the UK and millions of travelers pass through each year. In 1912, the most famous of those travelers would pass through as they set out to America onboard the Titanic. Southampton's SeaCity museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about the events that happened aboard that famous ship.

Close up view of The Bargate gatehouse in Southampton, England

Play Knights in Armor

Step back into the medieval era and walk the old walls of the city. Built to protect the town from attack by sea, most of the wall is still standing, leaving visitors a spectacular view of Southampton and the sea. Watch as boats enter the port city, and see how it would have been if you were a knight on watch hundreds of years ago.

Traditional fish and chips in England

Local Cuisine

Head to the pub for a refreshing glass of ale to pair with crispy, mouthwatering fish and chips. If fried food isn't your thing, go in for a salad with fresh watercress, the peppery green that the Hampshire region is famous for. You'll also find upscale fare based on England's most-loved flavors: Try chicken with Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and tandoori puree or braised Hampshire beef with ale cream.

Various antiques at a market

Shopping

Shop for big-name brands galore at Westquay Shopping Centre, the premier shopping destination of the South Coast. Head to Bedford Place for independent shops and boutiques — the country's oldest traditional shoemaker is located here. On weekends, wander down the road to Bar Street to check out the local market for antiques, crafts, vintage accessories and jewelry.

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