Excursion

Discover Antwerp and Rubens

Take a guided walk into the character-filled city that Rubens called home, and find many parts little changed from his 17th-century heyday. Tour the Rubens House and admire his masterworks enshrined in an ancient cathedral.

Complimentary
  • Code
    ANR-01
  • Level
    Extreme
  • Walking Type
    Little
  • Activity Type
    Cultural
  • Age
    All ages
  • Duration
    4 Hours
Like most medieval cities, Old Antwerp is best toured on two feet. Your guide will lead you through the historic quarter surrounding Grote Markt (Great Market Square) – home to an extravagantly ornate Town Hall, ranks of gabled guild houses, and the mythically-inspired Brabo fountain. 

Hidden nearby, discover Vlaaikensgang (Pie alley) – a tiny actual street you enter via inconspicuous medieval front doors opening onto other streets. Just beyond, find yourself gazing in awe at one of the most impressive Gothic edifices in Northern Europe: the Cathedral of our Lady, dating back well over six centuries. Your guide will lead you inside this towering landmark to see several of the world's greatest Rubens paintings, including his Elevation of the Cross and Descent from the Cross. 

For an even more intimate view of the life of this master, you'll saunter across Groenplaats Square (once the city's main cemetery!) to the house where Pieter Paul Rubens lived, worked, and entertained prominent guests from 1610 to his death in 1640. Even from the outside, it's palatial – and your inside tour of its period-furnished rooms reveals a museum's worth of magnificent original paintings. Rubens' adjoining studio is every bit as arrayed in art, and steeped in art history. 

At tour's end, it's a pleasant 15-minute walk back to your Crystal ship. 
 
Important Notes: 
This excursion includes approximately 2.5 miles of walking over mainly flat and cobblestone streets. Weather in the Low Countries can change rapidly, so bring along an umbrella and sunscreen. Remember to dress appropriately for entering the Cathedral. Order of tour stops may vary.