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Charms of Flanders by Rail


  • Overview


    • Stroll around historic Nijmegen
    • Explore stylish Ghent
    • Discover dazzling Antwerp

    Before reaching the North Sea the mighty Rhine splits and branches out into gentle waterways, passing traditional Dutch fishing villages and colourful sailboats. Flanders is known as a region of rich architectural heritage with a wealth of historic cities.

    Great for:

    • Great for - City
    • Great for - Culture
    • Great for - Food & Drink
    • Great for - History
    • Great for - Nature
    • Great for - Scenery
    • Great for - Shopping
    • Great for - Walking

  • Itinerary



  • The Ship


    MS A-ROSA Aqua

    • MS A-ROSA
    Launched in 2009, the A-Rosa Aqua provides a welcome escape from everyday life. She currently sails on the scenic waterways of the Rhine. On board, you’ll find it so easy to relax, whether you’re simply lounging on the spacious sun deck, taking a dip in the whirlpool, challenging your fellow cruisers to a game of shuffleboard, a game of giant chess, or a round on the putting green. And with the casual dress code, there’s no pressure to get dressed up to the nines, creating a truly relaxed atmosphere in which you’re sure to feel right at home!
    • Length: 135m
    • Width: 11.4m
    • Passenger Capacity: 204
    • Passenger decks: 4


  • Gallery
  • Excursions & Extras


    Peaceful canal scene in Bruges

    Enjoy charming Bruges, which is an exquisitely preserved medieval city with winding cobbled streets, pretty gabled houses and charming tree-lined canals crossed by humpback bridges.


    Historic Nijmegen

    The Netherlands’ oldest city, Nijmegen is over 2,000 years old and is a delight to explore. Despite being almost completely destroyed during World War II, the city has been lovingly restored over the years, and today there are still many sights to be discovered during our guided walking tour.

    Our tour begins in Valkhof Park, where we’ll find a Carolingian chapel dating from 1030, and the remains of Nijmegen’s imperial castle, which was demolished in 1798. After this, we walk west along Burchtstraat Street, passing the 15th-century town hall and continuing to the Grote Markt (Great Market). On the north side of the market is a 16th-century weighing hall that now serves as a restaurant, as well as St Stevenskerk (the Church of St Stephen).

    Mechelen & St Rumbold’s Tower

    We explore Mechelen, a small and picturesque city that is big on charm and history, thriving with quaint shops, car-free areas and pleasant little squares. The grace of centuries-old palaces and majestic churches appeals to everyone. There are no less than 336 listed buildings and monuments, including eight gothic and baroque churches from the 14th-17th century. The Begijnhofkerk is especially unique, with its feminine art schemes and pastel colours.

    The 97-metre St Rumbold’s  Tower is a key landmark and UNESCO world heritage site. The city's most important documents used to be kept in this fortified tower, which was also the belfry. Unique in Europe, the Skywalk affords a panoramic view of the Grote Markt, the city and surrounding area. The Carillon Legend has it that the people of Mechelen were always late, arriving at what was called "Mechelen time". Consequently in the eighteenth century they hung the largest timepiece in the world on the four sides of St Rumbold's Tower. The gigantic clock-faces were larger than those of Big Ben in London. The timepiece is no longer there but the carillon plays tunes every quarter of an hour. Unique to Mechelen is the strike between each quarter, every seven-and-a-half-minutes. That is the 'Mechels halfke' – the 'Mechelen half'. The oldest extant bells date from the seventeenth century. In 1981 the tower was restored and a new carillon fitted.

    Peaceful canal scene in Bruges
    Medieval Bruges Guided Walking Tour
    Join us on our excursion to Bruges, one of the best-preserved medieval cities in all of Europe. Bruges' historical city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its grand old buildings, meandering narrow cobbled streets and beautiful canals lined with cafes and bars. During our guided walking tour of this fascinating city we see the 'Minnewater', local legend tells the story of the tragic romance of Minna and her warrior love Stromberg saying that you will experience eternal love if you walk over the lake bridge with your partner. We continue to the impressive Beguinage, with its whitewashed house fronts and tranquil convent garden, the Church of our Lady; the 122 metres high brick tower is a perfect illustration of the craftsmanship of Bruges’ artisans. The church displays a valuable art collection: Michelangelo’s world-famous Madonna and Child (entrance fee not included). We also visit Market Square with its frietkoten's and the statues of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck. The square is overlooked by the famous Belfry, the towers stands at 83 metres tall and offers breathtaking panoramic views. 

Find your perfect getaway

What's included

  • Return travel from the UK by coach with overnight stay on the outbound journey in Belgium; by Air to Amsterdam returning from Cologne/Dusseldorf; or by Rail from London St Pancras via Brussels.
  • Four nights all inclusive cruise
  • Services of a Shearings Cruise Manager
  • One included excursion
  • Three optional excursions
  • FREE Home Connect Service
  • FREE drinks on board including beer, wine, selected spirits, cocktails, soft drinks, water and speciality coffee and teas


Launched in 2009, the A-Rosa Aqua provides a welcome escape from everyday life. She currently sails on the scenic waterways of the Rhine.

Learn more about the ship
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  • British Travel Awards
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