Get Ready

AUG 3 – 15, 2024


Our journey begins in:


We’re often asked, “What should we expect from a VACAYA Small-Ship experience?” Our Small-Ship vacations are an unapologetically exclusive celebration of the wonders of our planet – welcoming to all, of course, but built for discerning travelers seeking intimate experiences, splendid accommodations, and unparalleled service. They’ll reach the far corners of the globe – giving VACAYA guests an opportunity to expand their horizons in completely new ways.

The VACAYA Small-Ship rhythm is… Bold. Refined. Intimate. Exotic. Treasured. Calm. Cool. Grand. A chance to live life to the absolute fullest.


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As a VACAYA guest, discounts are available to you with various air carriers when booking your flights using our Group Codes/Links. Those codes/links, as well as the instructions for booking, can be found HERE.


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Amsterdam’s Airport is Schiphol (AMS).

Antwerp’s Airport is Antwerpen Internasjonale Lufthavn (ANR).

And with most guests taking the train to Brussels for the Flower Carpet Festival once our cruise ends, if you’re flying out of Brussels, that’s BRU.

Since we’re overnighting in Antwerp on August 14, you can leave the ship for train rides or onward flights at any time after we dock on the 14th. All guests will disembark the ship by 9:30am on August 15.


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Our recommended post-cruise hotels in Amsterdam are the Pulitzer (luxury), W Amsterdam (mid-level), and the Movenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Center (economy).

You can book your Amsterdam hotel using THIS SPECIAL LINK.


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VACAYA has secured a canal-side boat for viewing the Amsterdam Pride Parade on August 3. It’s called THE LOUNGE and here are all the deets:

  • The per-person price for this exclusive event is 147 USD.
  • THE LOUNGE will be docked in front of the H’Art Museum at Amstel 51F. This is a 30-minute picturesque walk through the city from where Advance will be docked at De Ruijterkade. THE LOUNGE is in Zone B of the parade route (map below).
  • THE LOUNGE is exclusively ours from 10am until 5pm on August 3.
  • The Pride Parade starts at Noon.
  • Beer, Rosé/White Wine, Sodas, and Water are included.
  • You’re free to bring any food you’d like onto the boat. There are several nearby delis/markets and we’ll provide details for them just before the event.
  • THE LOUNGE includes access to an onboard toilet (one of THE MOST VALUED COMMODE-ITIES on Pride Day!).
  • For guests who purchase a ticket to THE LOUNGE, you’ll be able to drop off your luggage at Advance beginning at 8am on August 3. For all others, check-in will begin at 3pm.
  • Our initial tranche of tickets is 60, which will be sold on a first come, first saved basis. We do, however, have the ability to increase the capacity to 80 if demand warrants.

To add this exclusive event to your reservation, simply follow these instructions:

  • Go to MY TRIPS and log in using your Username/Email and Password.
  • Find your 2024 Europe River Cruise reservation from the list and click on the pink VIEW/MODIFY button.
  • Look for the pink ADD MORE OPTIONS button and click on the down arrow to reveal the dropdown.
  • Select ADD ACTIVITY.
  • Click on the pink SELECT button.
  • Choose the guests you’re purchasing passes for by clicking on the box next to each name.
  • Click on the pink CHECK OUT button and simply follow the prompts until successful completion of your purchase.
  • That’s it!


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Our recommended post-cruise hotels in Antwerp are the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp (luxury), Hotel Rubens – Grote Markt (mid-level), and Hampton Inn by Hilton Antwerp Central Station (economy).

You can book your Antwerp hotel using THIS SPECIAL LINK.


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Advance will be docked at De Ruijterkade, near Centraal Train Station.


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We will receive this information onboard Advance. 


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Our recommended post-cruise hotels in Brussels are the Hotel Amigo (luxury), The Dominican, Brussels (mid-level), and Ibis Brussels Off Grand Place (economy).

You can book your Brussels hotel using THIS SPECIAL LINK.


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The currency on this trip is the Euro:

1 USD = .90 Euro

1 Euro = 1.10 USD

American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are widely accepted. You’ll find that ATMs are readily available at the airport and in the city centers.


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All emails to our Booked Guests are available here:

July 17, 2024 – Pre-Cruise Zoom Meetup Reminder

July 4, 2024 – Excursion Booking Deadline Extended to July 8

June 21, 2024 – 42 Days To Go!

May 31, 2024 – General Reminders

May 1, 2024 – Amsterdam Pride Viewing Boat


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We’re so pleased to feature the following artists on our journey through Holland and Belgium. Please click on their pic to link to their website for more information. 


In addition, we’ll also feature a couple fun local acts we know you’ll love. ❤️

And of course, all artists are subject to change at any time. 


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Excursions will be sold onboard. Please see the Shore Excursions Manager to explore and book Advance by Transcend’s optional excursions.


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You have pre-paid basic gratuities. However, if someone goes above and beyond for you, you are more than welcome to offer them a few dollars (or more if appropriate) as an extended note of appreciation and grace. Collectively, those small thank yous add up and can make all the difference in the lives of these hard-working crew members.


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Standard drinks are included for all guests. That’s house spirits, beer, select wines by the glass, sodas, juices, bottled waters, and specialty coffee drinks/teas.

Wines by the bottle are available for purchase from any of the bars or from your sommelier in the main restaurant.


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Laundry services are available aboard Advance by Transcend.

You’ll find laundry pricing, bags, and slips inside your stateroom. During your cruise, your room attendant can help you with laundry and ironing services, which are typically completed in 36-48 hours.

In addition, there’s a self-service launderette and iron/ironing board mid-ship on the lower deck. 


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Lost & Found is located at Reception on Deck 2. If you’re missing anything, be sure to check there first. And of course if you find anything, be sure to turn it into Reception so they can get it back to its owner with haste.


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There is no medical facility onboard. However, in the case of an emergency, the ship can pull over to the side of the river and arrange ambulance services to the nearest hospital.


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For each of our adventures together, VACAYA hosts an Official Facebook Group. This group is your chance to connect with other Europe river cruisers before we meet each other in-person. Once the group has been set up, you can join the group using the link found on this page.


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The parties on our small-ship cruises are certainly more of the cocktail variety, but if you’d like to throw on a costume and dance, by all means… you do you. On each of our small-ship cruises, we hold our signature THIS IS ME party and BATHROBE NIGHT. And because this is a rather long adventure and luggage space will be at a premium for nearly everyone, we’re going easy on the themes this time around. For our various cocktail parties, the music will be themed by decade. So, you can count out on nights of 70s, 80s, and 90s music. If you’d like to zhoozh yourself to the era, by all means… party on! But please, don’t feel any pressure to dress to the nines. 

Our signature Night 1 cocktail party brings all our guests together for the very first time. This is your chance to meet, mix, and mingle with fellow travelers. Wear a little somethin’ somethin’ to let us know where you’re from.

In one of our favorite VACAYA Small-Ship Cruise traditions, you’ll throw on your bathrobe (the one from your room) at 6pm and wear it all night long – to pre-dinner drinks, to dinner, to the show, and to our after-party! Bring accessories for your robe… people have been taking this night to the next level!


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Your onboard magnetic card (we point out it’s magnetic to warn against placing it too close to your mobile phone, which could erase the information), which will be handed to you upon boarding is your room key. It’s also your onboard charge card and you’ll be asked for it to make onboard purchases. Whenever you leave the ship or re-board it in our ports of call, you’ll show your card to Security when leaving/returning.

When you board, you’ll want to register a credit card with Reception to cover any onboard purchases. You’ll receive a final invoice in your room on the last evening of your cruise. Assuming all of the charges are correct (and if not, be sure to speak with Reception), your card on file with Transcend will be automatically charged the morning of disembarkation. If you’d prefer to pay cash to close out your account, you will need to do that on our last night before they charge your card the following morning.


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There will be a designated smoking area onboard. Please see your Daily Program for details.


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VACAYA is all about connections. To help strengthen the bonds between our guests, we’re creating a “This Is Me” Community Board where pictures and fun facts of each of our guests will be featured. We’re hoping this new board will be a welcome addition to your VACAYA Luxe experience.

While participation is certainly not compulsory, we hope each of you will choose to join us. If you’d like to be included, please send the following to us prior to Friday, June 14:

  • A Photo of you as an Individual or as a Couple (the orientation of the pics will be portrait, so think about that as you choose the best pic). Be sure the photo you choose is a clear face pic and no larger than 5MB.
  • Your Name (or Names if a couple. Please indicate who’s who in the pic.)
  • Your Hometown
  • Your Relationship Status
  • Occupation
  • Family Info (children, pets, etc.)
  • Interest/Hobbies
  • Social Media Handle

You can send your photo and the above information to V Team Member Jen at Simply click on that pink link to connect with Jen. And also, be sure to let her know which trip this is for (since we create a board for each of our Luxe trips). 

Please note that we won’t be able to add anyone to the board after the deadline. Shortly after June 14, the information we’ve received will be laid out by a graphic designer and the boards completed. Also, each This Is Me board is independent from past boards. So even if you’ve sent in your information for a past cruise, it won’t carry forward to this one. So, you’ll need to send it in again.

This Community Board will be posted near the ship’s Lobby.


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Transcend ships have a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant onboard, which helps preserve the pristine waters through which we sail. To assure it can properly do its job, we need your full cooperation.

  • Only use the biodegradable toilet tissue provided.
  • Do not flush facial tissues, sanitary wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, cigarettes (you shouldn’t be smoking in your bathroom anyway), or any other materials, as they can affect the entire system and may cause embarrassing backups in your room AND in your neighbors’ rooms.
  • Keep the toilet lid closed when not in use, and be careful not to drop towels, wash cloths, or personal grooming articles (including floss and Q-tips) into the toilet while flushing.


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In today’s ever-shifting world, it’s imperative to protect your hard-earned vacation dollars. You can do that by insuring your investment. VACAYA partners with Travel Guard.

If you ever need to make an adjustment to your Travel Guard policy (for example, if your travel dates have shifted or you’ve added to your travel plans beyond our cruise), you can submit a policy modification request via Travel Guard’s online modification form. Modification requests must be submitted prior to your travel dates. Through this form, you can also change or add any pre- or post-cruise travel days or add additional trip costs (flights, hotel, etc.). Adding coverage for other items beyond your cruise (if that’s all that was covered in your original policy) may incur additional premium costs.

If you have questions, we encourage you to visit Travel Guard’s Resource Center, where you’ll find answers to many frequently asked questions. You can also speak with a licensed Travel Guard insurance agent by calling 800.826.5248.

If you’ve not purchased trip interruption insurance (that helps defray costs of hotel accommodations in case of a positive test result at the end of the trip), there’s still time to add it to your existing policy or originate a policy with most travel insurance carriers. Although we can’t consult on insurance, we are pointing out that these policies offer peace of mind for a reasonable price.


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After disembarking Advance, if you’re planning to visit Brussels and the renowned Flower Carpet Festival, you can purchase your train ticket HERE.

Upon arrival in Brussels, make your way to the iconic Grand Place, where the Flower Carpet Festival takes place. Marvel at the breathtaking display of colorful flowers meticulously arranged into stunning patterns and designs. The vibrant carpet, covering the entire square, is a true feast for the eyes.

While in Brussels, take the opportunity to explore other attractions such as the Atomium, Manneken Pis, and the Royal Palace. Indulge in delectable Belgian chocolates and sample mouthwatering waffles before heading onward or home.


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We’ve been working closely with Transcend for months to refine our itinerary, and we’re so pleased to announce the FINAL itinerary, which gives us the opportunity for day trips to one of the most beautiful cities on earth… Brugges, Belgium (reached via excursion from Ghent).

This new schedule allows us to really experience the best cities of the region, with extended stays in each:


Aug 3 Amsterdam 15:00 (embark) Docked
Aug 4 Amsterdam Docked Docked
Aug 5 Amsterdam Docked 18:00
Aug 6 Enkhuizen 2:00 Docked
Aug 6 Enkhuizen Docked 12:00
Aug 6 Utrecht 22:00 Docked
Aug 7 Utrecht Docked 13:00
Aug 7 Nijmegen 18:00 Docked
Aug 8 Nijmegen Docked Docked
Aug 9 Nijmegen Docked 1:00
Aug 9 Kinderdijk 9:00 12:00
Aug 9 Dordrecht 14:00 Docked
Aug 10 Dordrecht Docked 15:00
Aug 10 Rotterdam 17:00 Docked
Aug 11 Rotterdam Docked 18:00
Aug 12 Ghent 7:00 Docked
Aug 13 Ghent Docked 20:00
Aug 14 Antwerp 6:00 Docked
Aug 15 Antwerp 8:00 (disembark)  


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The weather at this time of year in Northern Europe is best described as “pleasant.” Highs typically are around 70° Fahrenheit (21° Celsius) and although it can occasionally get warmer, that’s relatively rare. Lows average in the upper 50s (around 14° Celsius). We’ll have a better sense of how things look weather-wise as we get closer to our adventure.


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Although Advance by Transcend is quite elegant, we maintain a relaxed comfy vibe onboard.

Long pants, collared shirts, and sundresses are the norm for dinner and the evening’s activities.


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Complimentary WiFi is included. Please keep in mind, however, that the speed is more akin to old-school dial-up. If you have a global plan with your mobile service provider, you’re likely to remain connected on your mobile through most of our journey.

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