A celebration of culture and nature beckons on this summertime tour through Belgium, featuring the highly anticipated Floriade Expo.
About the Tour
The heavenly scent of flowers guides you through Belgium and the Netherlands on this perfectly timed vacation that features both the Floriade Expo and the Flower Carpet of Brussels. After a train ride from London, commence your journey in the capital city of Brussels, where history and culture spill from every square and street. We then spend the day in Bruges, learning about authentic Belgian chocolate-making processes and exploring canals and Medieval sites. A pinnacle of this vacation comes as we travel to Almere in the Netherlands to visit the Floriade Expo, a decennial celebration of all things horticulture. From beautiful plants to interesting vendors, this show leaves visitors inspired. Before our tour concludes, one more floral showcase is presented in Brussels: the Flower Carpet. This massive floral arrangement scents the air with its perfume and makes the Grand Place an even more impressive sight. Visiting Europe in the summer is always a good idea, but it is even better when paired with these eagerly awaited events.
- Rail travel on the high-speed Eurostar
- Hotel accommodations for 4 nights
- 5 meals, including dinner at Chez Leon
- Chocolate-making demonstration at Chocolaterie Sukerbuyc
- Bruges sightseeing tour
- Full-day excursion to the Floriade Expo
- Admission to Brussels Town Hall
- Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office at London St. Pancras
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour escort with knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 – London to Brussels by Train
Arrive at London St. Pancras, and make your way to your dedicated Departure Office to meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers. Here, we board a high-speed Eurostar train bound for Brussels, Belgium - a journey that takes approximately 2 hours to complete. A coach awaits to transfer us from the station to our centrally-located downtown hotel.
This evening, a short walk takes us from the hotel to a restaurant that has been serving traditional Belgian cuisine to locals since 1893, Chez Leon. Enjoy a group dinner to kick off this memorable adventure. Overnight Brussels. (D)
Day 2 - Bruges Sightseeing
After breakfast at the hotel, we are transferred to the train station for a day trip to Bruges. One of seven cities noted as “The Venice of the North,” Bruges is a delight of Medieval architecture, cobbled streets, pretty parks and winding canals. On arrival, we walk from the station to the city center, where you are free to explore for a bit ahead of our chocolate-making demonstration at the Chocolaterie Sukerbuyc. Enjoy a more in-depth look at the culture of Belgium and the city’s sites as you embark on a walking tour with an expert guide. The excursion presents Bruges’s beautiful squares and intricate buildings, dating back centuries. Take our remaining time in this destination at leisure. You may wish to explore one of the authentic Belgian breweries in the city or to take a boat ride along one of the canals. We return to Brussels by train this evening. You are welcome to end your day relaxing at the hotel or exploring one of the fantastic eateries nearby. Overnight Brussels. (B)
Day 3 - The Floriade Expo
One of the most anticipated annual events in the Netherlands lies ahead today as we attend the magnificent Floriade Expo in Almere. The Floriade Expo is known to be the “World’s Fair” of horticulture shows and has been showcasing flora once every ten years since 1960. This year’s theme focuses on building green cities and is certain to be filled with both beauty and innovation. We transfer to the expo by motorcoach, and on arrival, you have the full day to explore. Listen to live music, immerse yourself in Dutch culture and sample your way through the expo’s food vendors and trucks. Ride the cable car to look at the exhibits from above while traveling between the north and south ends of the park. Walk through the arboretum to experience a living encyclopedia of horticulture. In addition to the Dutch hosts, participants from over 40 countries around the world will also be showcasing their ideas for how to make cities greener and more sustainable in the future. There is no shortage of ways to fill your time. Overnight Brussels. (B)
Day 4 - Brussels at Leisure/Carpet of Flowers
Spend your last day in Belgium sightseeing independently in Brussels. Beloved points of interest include the Atomium sculpture, the Royal Palace of Brussels and the Parc du Cinquantenaire. There are wonderful museums throughout the city, such as the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, to occupy your time. For a look at the eccentricities of Brussels, seek out some of the unique statues throughout the city, including the Het Zinneke, Manneken Pis and Jeanneke Pis.
You may also take your explorations to the Grand Place, with its Gothic structures and beautiful arched buildings. As the main square of Brussels, this attraction is brimming with activity. Once every two years, the Grand Place undergoes a showstopping transformation into an intricate tapestry of brightly hued flowers: the Flower Carpet. Made of thoughtfully placed begonias, dahlias, grass, bark and other plants, this living artwork is a true spectacle. Admission to the Town Hall’s balcony is included with the price of your tour so that you can take in the carpet in all its lavish glory. If you stick around in the Grand Place until evening, a memorizing sound and light show accompanies the floral display. Overnight Brussels. (B)
Day 5 - Tour Conclusion
Breakfast is served at the hotel ahead of our transfer to Brussels’ train station. Together, we board our Eurostar train to London St. Pancras, where on arrival, your summertime tour through Belgium concludes. (B)
Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre, Brussels
The 4-star Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre is located in the heart of Brussels, within walking distance of the Grand Place and the main sights and restaurants. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, as well as a top floor relaxation centre with fitness room and sauna.
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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