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Belgian Holiday Markets

8 Day Cruise from Brussels to Brussels

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AARP Members Save on select departures
SAVE UP TO $1,383
From $3,716
WAS $5,099
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8 Days
2 Countries

Belgium, Netherlands

5 Cities

Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Hasselt, Maastricht

0 Meals

Comfortable

Mainly 2 and 3 night stays in each location. Comfortable travel days with numerous stops. Requires walking to participate in top sites.

Average group size 120 passengers

Uniworld River Cruises

If all-inclusive, luxury travel is your standard go-to, or are traveling to celebrate a milestone or special occasion, a boutique, luxury river cruise is the perfect choice. The world’s best and most awarded luxury river cruise line, for more than four decades, Uniworld has specialized in providing intimate and in-depth one-of-a-kind journeys for travelers seeking to explore the rivers of the world in exceptional style. On every all-inclusive Uniworld river cruise, you’ll be whisked away to a variety of destinations in one trip onboard a beautiful river ship. Along the way, you’ll enjoy five-star cuisine, unique local experiences, and exceptional service from the longest tenured crew in river cruising.

View all Uniworld River Cruises

S.S. Victoria

The S.S. Victoria, sister ship to the S.S. Elisabeth, joins our European fleet in 2024 with an ambiance of contemporary luxury and features the largest suites on the rivers of Europe. Two Royal Suites onboard offer an incredible 506 square feet each. Reserve the adjoining standard Suite next door, and that turns into 759 square feet total, with two bedrooms connected by a separate living room. All the Suites and Signature French Balconies offer abundant space—much higher than standard—with ultra-comfortable, water-facing beds dressed in Uniworld’s fine custom linens.

See Ship

The holiday season in Belgium is something truly special. Each city throws an enchanting winter festival, which could include anything from market stalls and elaborate light displays to Ferris wheels and ice skating rinks. Bordered by the bigger tourism magnets France, Germany, and the Netherlands, Belgium is a small country bursting with cultural impact and well worthy of being the highlight of any European trip—whether it’s your first time on the continent or your tenth. Chocolates, french fries, specialty spirits, and beers are amongst the many things this stretch of the Earth is known for doing well. You’ll get to experience it all during Belgium’s most festive time of the year, when you can sip vin chaud and the world’s most delicious cups of hot chocolate between bites of warm liege waffles and spiced gingerbread.

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0
Average group size
120 passengers
Tour brand
Uniworld River Cruises
Travel style
S.S. Victoria
Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Brussels (Embark)

Arrive at Brussels Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Brussels (Embark)

Day 2

Ghent

Visit one of two national gems: beautiful Bruges, the capital of West Flanders and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe, or fascinating Ghent, the capital city of East Flanders, whose long history does not weigh on its vibrant present. Belgium’s second-largest city, Ghent abounds in medieval architecture, which makes for a particularly magical canvas for the town’s Christmastime decorations.

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Ghent
Featured Excursions
Bruges Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Walk through the UNESCO-designated city center of Bruges with a local guide to see why this lovely city is a popular favorite of visitors to Belgiu...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Ghent Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Since cars are completely banned in Ghent’s historic center, it’s a particularly pedestrian-friendly area. Stroll with your guide from ...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 3

Antwerp

You’ll find a penchant for all things high quality in the country’s biggest port city. Diamonds, art, fashion, and more compete for attention here, so you’re sure to find just the thing to make your time in Antwerp memorable.

Antwerp
Featured Excursions
The Nottebohm Room

Once named the World Book Capital by UNESCO, Antwerp has a dedicated relationship with literature. The Nottebohm Room of the Hendrik Conscience Her...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Chocolate Nation

In the center of Antwerp, you’ll find a whole museum dedicated just to Belgian chocolate. Walk inside to discover the love story that is Belg...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 4

Hasselt

Today, you’ll explore the trendy-yet-quaint town of Hasselt. A blend of city interest—with plenty of cafés and shopping—and an easygoing, small-town atmosphere, the mostly car-free Hasselt is a charming place to explore on foot.

Featured Excursions
Hasselt Walking Tour

Make your way around Hasselt with a local guide who knows all the best spots in town. As you go, admire the city's plentiful green spaces, keep you...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Liège Christmas Market

Visit the oldest Christmas Market in Belgium, an honored tradition in the French-speaking town of Liège. Approximately 200 wooden chalets in...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 5

Maastricht

Venture into the Netherlands to visit Maastricht, known as one of the most beautiful and romantic cities of Holland and loved for its convivial lifestyle and historic center, which has long played a strategic role in European politics. Not only will you explore this city’s Christmas market, but you will also have the opportunity to head into Germany to visit the famous Aachen Christmas Market.

Maastricht
Featured Excursions
Christmas in the Caves

Here’s your chance to experience something utterly unique: the underground Christmas market of Valkenburg. Cozy stalls and twinkling lights l...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Aachen Christmas Market

The only German Christmas market we’ll visit on this itinerary, Aachen's market has frequently been named among the best in Europe. The area ...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Nights Out: Maastricht Christmas Lights

After dinner, head into town with your Cruise Manager for an evening stroll through Maastricht, when twinkling lights make the city even more charm...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 6

Antwerp

Discover an eclectic mix of historic and modern in Belgium’s “Second City,” Antwerp, a town where well-preserved medieval buildings are interspersed with artful modern architecture. After your included explorations today, you may find your final Christmas market for this journey centered in Antwerp’s Old Town, lighting up nostalgic facades and the local castle to create the perfect backdrop for this festive event. Please note that Antwerp’s Christmas Market will not be open during the December 2 sailing of this itinerary.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Antwerp
Featured Excursions
Antwerp Walking Tour with Christmas Concert

Meander your way around Antwerp with a local guide, arriving at the St. Paulus Church. Located in Antwerp’s Old Town, St. Paulus is a beautif...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 7

Brussels

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, offers a treasure trove of historic architecture, along with a rich culinary tradition—chocolate!—and a vibrant culinary capital. Food lovers will be lured by the divine aromas drifting from the many holiday market stalls, while others will be attracted to the city’s enchanting architecture and elaborate Christmas displays.

Brussels
Featured Excursions
Brussels Christmas Market

As far north as Brussels, night falls early during this time of year—which means we have the good fortune to be able to catch the Christmas m...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Brussels City Tour with Chocolate Treats

On our way into the city center, we'll take you on a panoramic tour of the major sightseeing spots in Brussels, such as the Royal Residence, Chines...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Brussels Walking Tour with Belgian Beer Museum

Take in the top sights of Brussels on an engaging walking tour with a local guide, during which you’ll see La Grand-Place and enter the old s...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 8

Brussels (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer, or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Brussels Airport for your flight home.

Brussels (Disembark)

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Included Highlights

Top Highlights

Featured Excursions
Bruges Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Walk through the UNESCO-designated city center of Bruges with a local guide to see why this lovely city is a popular favorite of visitors to Belgiu...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Ghent Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Since cars are completely banned in Ghent’s historic center, it’s a particularly pedestrian-friendly area. Stroll with your guide from ...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
The Nottebohm Room

Once named the World Book Capital by UNESCO, Antwerp has a dedicated relationship with literature. The Nottebohm Room of the Hendrik Conscience Her...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Chocolate Nation

In the center of Antwerp, you’ll find a whole museum dedicated just to Belgian chocolate. Walk inside to discover the love story that is Belg...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Hasselt Walking Tour

Make your way around Hasselt with a local guide who knows all the best spots in town. As you go, admire the city's plentiful green spaces, keep you...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Liège Christmas Market

Visit the oldest Christmas Market in Belgium, an honored tradition in the French-speaking town of Liège. Approximately 200 wooden chalets in...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Christmas in the Caves

Here’s your chance to experience something utterly unique: the underground Christmas market of Valkenburg. Cozy stalls and twinkling lights l...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Aachen Christmas Market

The only German Christmas market we’ll visit on this itinerary, Aachen's market has frequently been named among the best in Europe. The area ...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Nights Out: Maastricht Christmas Lights

After dinner, head into town with your Cruise Manager for an evening stroll through Maastricht, when twinkling lights make the city even more charm...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Antwerp Walking Tour with Christmas Concert

Meander your way around Antwerp with a local guide, arriving at the St. Paulus Church. Located in Antwerp’s Old Town, St. Paulus is a beautif...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Brussels Christmas Market

As far north as Brussels, night falls early during this time of year—which means we have the good fortune to be able to catch the Christmas m...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Brussels City Tour with Chocolate Treats

On our way into the city center, we'll take you on a panoramic tour of the major sightseeing spots in Brussels, such as the Royal Residence, Chines...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Brussels Walking Tour with Belgian Beer Museum

Take in the top sights of Brussels on an engaging walking tour with a local guide, during which you’ll see La Grand-Place and enter the old s...

See More
Included in Trip

Authentic Dining

All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions

Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners

Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks, and mineral water

Excursions

6 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts

State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions

Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks

Accommodations

7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the elegant S.S. Victoria

Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options

Free Wi-Fi

Experiences

6 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts

State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions

Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks

Cruise: Western & Central Europe

Dining  

When dining onboard, you’ll be treated to world-class cuisine made from fresh ingredients, locally sourced from the destinations you visit. 

Complimentary Beverages  

All beverages are included during your cruise. Complimentary beverages onboard include wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks, and mineral water.  

Gratuities 

Gratuities for all onboard personnel including the ship staff, crew, and Cruise Manager, are included. 

Curated Excursions 

Complementary and comprehensive shore excursions led by local English-speaking experts designed to provide the best possible experiences ashore. 

Scheduled Airport Transfers 

Complementary airport arrival and departure group transfers provided for flights that meet guidelines.

Uniworld sails rivers in several Western & Central European Countries, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland 

  • Official Languages: Croatian (Croatia), Dutch (Belgium, Netherlands), French (Belgium, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland), Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Luxembourgish (Luxembourg), Portuguese (Portugal), Spanish (Spain), Romansh (Switzerland) 

  • Capital Cities: Vienna (Austria), Brussels (Belgium), Zagreb (Croatia), Paris (France), Berlin (Germany), Rome (Italy), Vaduz (Liechtenstein), Luxembourg City (Luxembourg), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), Bern (Switzerland).  

  • Time Zones: Western European Time (EET), UTC+0, and Western European Summer Time (EEST), UTC+1, Central European Time (CET) UTC+1, Central European Summer Time (CEST) UTC+2 during daylight saving time. 

  • Currencies: 
    Austria: Euro (EUR) € 
    Belgium: Euro (EUR) € 
    Croatia: Croatian Kuna (HRK) kn 
    France: Euro (EUR) € 
    Germany: Euro (EUR) € 
    Italy: Euro (EUR) € 
    Liechtenstein: Swiss Franc (CHF) CHF 
    Luxembourg: Euro (EUR) € 
    Netherlands: Euro (EUR) € 
    Portugal: Euro (EUR) € 
    Spain: Euro (EUR) € 
    Switzerland: Swiss Franc (CHF) CHF 

All Uniworld river cruises require a passport with at least two blank pages for entry stamps. Must be valid for at least six months beyond the conclusion of your trip.  

Visa Requirements: Access the latest entry requirements for all your destinations with our user-friendly Destination Entry Guide. Powered by CIBT, the leading authority in travel visas and US passports; check back as often as you like before your trip to ensure you have everything you need before you depart.  

  • Austria: Austria features a temperate continental climate with cold winters and mild summers. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with more rain in the summer months. 

  • Belgium: Belgium has a temperate maritime climate characterized by mild winters and cool summers. Rainfall is distributed evenly throughout the year. 

  • Croatia: Croatia has a varied climate, with continental influences inland and a Mediterranean climate along the coast. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild along the coast but colder inland with snowfall. 

  • France: France experiences a variety of climates, ranging from oceanic and Mediterranean to alpine. Generally, it has mild winters and warm summers, but specific regions may have different weather patterns. 

  • Germany: Germany has a temperate seasonal climate with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Winters are usually cold, while summers are mild to warm. 

  • Italy: Italy has a diverse climate, with Mediterranean conditions prevailing along the coast and continental climates in the interior. Summers are typically hot and dry, while winters are mild in the south and colder in the north. 

  • Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. Precipitation is moderate throughout the year, with slightly more rain in the summer months. 

  • Luxembourg: Luxembourg has a temperate maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. 

  • The Netherlands: The Netherlands has a maritime climate influenced by the North Sea, with mild winters and cool summers. Rainfall is frequent throughout the year. 

  • Portugal: Portugal has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The southern region experiences hotter temperatures compared to the north. 

  • Spain: Spain has a diverse climate, ranging from Mediterranean in the south to maritime and continental in the north. Summers are typically hot and dry, while winters vary from mild to cold depending on the region. 

  • Switzerland: Switzerland has a temperate climate with distinct regional variations. The Alpine region experiences cold winters and cool summers, while the lowlands have milder temperatures with more precipitation throughout the year. 

Baggage Allowance 

Baggage storage space onboard is limited. For their own comfort and convenience, Uniworld requests guests bring one (1) suitcase per person and one (1) carry-on bag per person (excluding purses). Airline baggage restrictions change frequently. Guests should check on the specific air carrier’s website for limitations concerning baggage weight, baggage size, carry-on regulations, and excess or overweight baggage charges.  

Packing Tips for a River Cruise 

Packing for a river cruise will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Here is a general packing list to help you get started: 

  • A valid and current passport. 

  • A copy of your travel insurance and any necessary travel documents. 

  • Your Cruise Travel Companion, easily accessible should you need to reference it. 

  • Prepare for a variety of weather conditions, depending on your travel season and the regions through which you will be cruising. Layering clothing items is always your best bet, as this allows you to adjust to most temperatures, by removing or adding items throughout the day.  

  • Comfortable, sporty, smart-casual daywear is fine both onshore and onboard. Everyday slacks, khakis, walking shorts and everyday skirts/dresses are recommended. For warmer months, bring lightweight clothing that can be layered. For early spring and late fall departures, heavier cotton or wool tops and long-sleeved shirts, and pants are perfectly suitable. 

  • Comfortable walking shoes with good ankle support. You will participate in a significant amount of walking over uneven terrain during your time ashore.  

  • A lightweight waterproof jacket (preferably a hooded one) for all seasons, and a heavier weight jacket for colder temperatures and destinations.  

  • Evening wear: Resort-type wear is perfectly suitable. Men may want to bring a sport jacket for dressier venues and for special events onboard such as the Captain’s Welcome and Farewell festivities. Women may wish to bring a cocktail dress or two for finer dining or entertainment experiences.  

Laundry Services Onboard 

A launderette containing a self-service washing machine, dryer, and iron is available for your use while aboard the ship. The ship also provides washing, drying, and ironing services for a fee. There are no dry-cleaning facilities. 

Electrical Currency on European Ships 

Electrical current is 220V, the European standard. To accommodate guests’ needs, each stateroom or suite has one 110V outlet.  

Using a Hair Dryer Onboard 

Every stateroom or suite bathroom is stocked with a hair dryer, bath and body products, and a luxurious bathrobe for each guest. 

Air Conditioning  

Every stateroom and suite has an individual thermostat for air-conditioning and/or heat.  

Connecting to the Internet & Wi-Fi 

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available.  

From visiting a museum without the crowds to an after-hours tour of a famous landmark, these included, once-in-a-lifetime experiences are arranged privately for Uniworld guests. All shore excursions are carefully coordinated to the ship’s daily schedule. Each motorcoach or walking group has its own English-speaking local expert.  

Masterpiece Collection (Additional, Optional Experiences) 

Uniworld’s curated Masterpiece Collection of optional excursions go above and beyond the included experiences and are available for an additional charge. 

We highly recommend having travel insurance that covers medical expenses while abroad. 

Spa Treatments & Massages While Cruising* 

Spa treatments and massage services are available onboard the ship. 

Special Dietary Needs 

Please notify GET or Uniworld if you have special dietary concerns or considerations that need to be considered while traveling. Uniworld staff will do their best to ensure that your request is accommodated, but GET cannot guarantee that requests can be met in all cases.  

Mobility Concerns 

Passengers must advise GET at time of booking of any physical, medical, or other special needs that require accommodation.  

Uniworld does not employ staff nurses or doctors onboard its ships, nor can they provide personal medical or mobility devices (such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or prescription eyeglasses) or services of a personal nature (such as pushing a wheelchair or assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing). A companion capable of providing such assistance must accompany any passenger who requires services of a personal nature. Please note, embarkation/disembarkation facilities may not be navigable using wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, or the like. As well, excursions often include rough terrain, extensive walking over cobblestone streets, uneven pavement, or stairs. 

Traveling with Medications 

In accordance with international laws, no over-the-counter medications are available on Uniworld ships. Pack a plentiful supply of any medication you may need while on vacation. Click the link to learn more about traveling with medications 

*Available on select ships. Additional fee for spa services.  

Gratuities for all onboard personnel including the ship staff, crew, and Cruise Manager, are included during your cruise. 

Local Specialists & Coach Drivers 

It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity of €1-2 (Euro) per person per half day.

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