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The Old Masters: Art Treasures of Holland by River

Program Number: 19504RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/14/2015 - 5/23/2015; 6/25/2015 - 7/4/2015; 9/24/2015 - 10/3/2015; 10/8/2015 - 10/17/2015;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Netherlands
Price starting at: $3,216.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats
Meals: 21; 8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Voyage through the provinces of North and South Holland on a private barge and discover the landscapes that inspired Old Masters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Flinck, Hals and Bol. In museums, professional art experts introduce the great artists of the Low Lands, while field trips explore churches, medieval towns and Holland’s oldest earthenware factory.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day and standing for up to two hours a day; uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones common. Embark/disembark barge via ramp. Cabins located on lower deck and reached by steep, narrow stairs with hand rails. Barge does not move at night and only motors during the day.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Amsterdam, 1 night; aboard vessel, 7 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Day 2: Arrival Amsterdam (Netherlands):

Explore Zaanse Schans, a Dutch village with windmills, a klompen (wooden shoes) maker and a traditional pancake house where you enjoy lunch. Join fellow travelers at the welcome dinner.



Day 3: Embark vessel:

Travel by motorcoach to the Kröller-Müller Museum, home to the largest private collection of van Gogh paintings. Return to Amsterdam and board the barge, your home for the next seven nights.



Day 4: Haarlem:

Barge to Haarlem in the morning. After lunch aboard the barge, visit the Frans Hals Museum learn about this famous Dutch painter.



Day 5: Aalsmeer / Leiden:

Visit the largest flower auction in the Netherlands to watch the bidding in Aalsmeer. Our journey continues to the Cruquius Museum, a former steam pumping station used to drain the area around Amsterdam which was threatened by flooding.



Day 6: The Hague / Delft:

We barge to Delft to explore Delft Porcelain Works, the oldest surviving porcelain factory in the Netherlands. After lunch aboard the barge, board a motorcoach to The Hague for a visit to the Mauritshuis.



Day 7: Rotterdam:

A lecture at the Pilgrim’s Church reveals its unique history. Explore the Boijmans Museum with its fine collection of Old Masters (Van Eyck, Fabricius, J. Bosch).



Day 8: Gouda / Oude Wetering:

Discover Sint Janskerk with its windows depicting biblical scenes. At the Museum Gouda, admire a triptych by Dirck Barendsz.



Days 9-10: Amsterdam / Disembark / Departure:

Barge to Amsterdam and explore this intriguing city independently. Seize the opportunity to explore the Anne Frank House or visit another museum of your choice.



Fiep

The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, a sitting lounge and dining area. The 10 twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.


Netherlands

When Antwerp fell to Catholic Spain in 1585, wealthy Calvinists fled north to the United Provinces, which kept up the Dutch Revolt until victory 63 years later. This influx of the wealthy and educated spurred the Dutch Golden Age and turned tiny Amsterdam -- the “new Antwerp” -- into the world’s most important port. Today, the Netherlands sports an international outlook as a member of the EU and home to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.



Meals and Lodgings
   Conscious Hotel Museum Square
  Amsterdam, Netherlands 1 night
   Fiep
  Amsterdam, Netherlands
Haarlem, Netherlands
Leiden, Netherlands
Delft, Netherlands
Gouda, Netherlands
Oude Wetering, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands
7 nights
 Conscious Hotel Museum Square
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Green Key Gold Certified eco-friendly hotel located in the Museum Quarter near Vondelpark. Ten-minute walk to the Rijksmuseum or van Gogh Museum.
  Ship Information: .
  Contact info: De Lairessestraat 7
Amsterdam,  1071 NR Netherlands
phone: +31 020 671 95 96
web: www.conscioushotels.com/hotelsMuseumsquare
  Room amenities: LCD TV, telephone, WiFi, safe deposit box, minibar, central heating, air conditioning and en-suite bathroom (shower, sink, toilet, shampoo and soap dispensers).
  Facility amenities: Garden, luggage storage, organic breakfast, non-smoking rooms.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact IBT for rates. Please contact IBT directly to confirm the room rates and inquire about availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Fiep
Type: Barge
  Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013.
  Contact info: No street address available as
the barge continually moves,   Netherlands
phone: +31 06 2037 8041
  Room amenities: Central heating, air conditioning, closet/storage space for luggage, porthole that opens and WiFi (limited connectivity in Belgium). Each cabin has a private bath with hairdryer, shower, sink and toilet.
  Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Fiep is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, flat-screen TV, two sun decks and a small bar. There are ten twin-bedded double occupancy cabins with lower beds and two single cabins with lower beds. Please note that there are no laundry facilities on board.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
10:30 AM - group meets at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. You will be staying at Conscious Hotel Museum Square that night.
  End of Program:
Early morning group transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. You will be staying at Fiep the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. International Barging Tours, the entity that will provide the barging trip during this program, is required by its insurance carrier to obtain signed liability release waivers from all customers. Participants will be required to sign IBT's liability release waiver to participate in the program's barging activity. That waiver will be included in the preparatory material participants will receive after enrolling in the program and must be returned prior to the program's commencement.
  Parking availability:
No parking available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Taxi, bus, tram and train available. Review schedules and fares online: Amsterdam Municipal Public Transport (GVB) http://www.gvb.nl/ or Dutch Railways (NS) http://www.ns.nl/.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Amsterdam
  Nearest airport:  Amsterdam Schiphol
  Transportation to site: If you cannot make the 10:30 AM meeting time, there are four options for traveling from the airport to the hotel: 1) Take a taxi from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the Conscious Hotel Museum Square. Travel time is about 25 minutes and taxi will cost approximately €50. 2) Take Bus 197 (direction Leidseplein via Airport/Plaza) from the Airport/Plaza bus stop to Museumplein (De Lairessestraat). Travel time is about 35 minutes and fare will cost approximately €3. 3) Take a train from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station. From Amsterdam Centraal Station, take Tram 5 and disembark at Museumplein (Van Baerlestraat) or take Tram 16 and disembark at Jacob Obrechtstraat/De Lairessestraat. Travel time is about 60 minutes and fare will cost approximately €6. 4) Take a train from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Zuid Station. From Amsterdam Zuid Station, take Tram 5 toward Centraal Station and disembark at Museumplein (Van Baerlestraat). Travel time is about 40 minutes and fare will cost approximately €5. Conscious Hotel Museum Square De Lairessestraat 7 Tel: +31 020 671 95 96 If you are departing the U.S. prior to the group departure and plan to connect with the group at the airport on the day the program commences, be sure to be at the meeting point at the time indicated. If you plan to meet the group at the Conscious Hotel Museum Square, please notify our office prior to your departure: (860) 767-7005 or info@internationalbicycletours.com.
  From End of Program
  Location: Amsterdam
  Transportation from site: There are two options for traveling from the barge to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport: 1) Take a taxi from the barge in Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport. Travel time is about 25 minutes and taxi will cost approximately €50. 2) Take a train from Amsterdam Centraal Station to Schiphol Airport. Centraal Station is a 15-minute walk from the barge. Travel time is about 20 minutes and fare will cost approximately €4.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: International Flight
(Thursday, September 24)
   
 Depart From: Overnight flight from U.S.

Day 2: Arrive in Amsterdam / Transfer to Zaanse Schans / Orientation / Welcome Dinner
(Friday, September 25)
   
 Arrive To: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
 Morning: Transfer to the picturesque village of Zaanse Schans just outside Amsterdam. We will visit a "klompenmaker" and observe the art of wooden shoe production.
 Lunch: Enjoy an authentic taste of the Netherlands at a village restaurant located in an 18th-century grain barn. The restaurant specializes in Dutch-style pancakes, savory or sweet treats can measure almost a foot in diameter, often eaten as a main course.
 Afternoon: We proceed to Amsterdam by motorcoach and check into our hotel in the Museum Quarter, close to the Rijksmuseum.

Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that indicated times are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

During free time, the Group Leader will often be available to guide informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently.

The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to settle into and relax or explore independently.
 Dinner: For our welcome dinner at a local restaurant, enjoy an authentic rijsttafel (rice table), a bountiful assortment of tasty dishes served with rice. The rijsttafel came out of the colonial era in the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), based on the traditional Nasi Padang feast. Your meal includes ice water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or set out exploring Amsterdam on your own. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Conscious Hotel Museum Square
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Transfer to Kröller-Müller Museum / Transfer to Barge in Amsterdam
(Saturday, September 26)

Note: Please note that the barge does not move at night and only motors during the day.



   
 Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, choose from a buffet with meats, cheeses, pancakes, eggs, yogurts, cereals, breads, juices and hot beverages.
 Morning: After hotel check-out, everyone brings their luggage to the lobby and staff will load the motorcoach. We then embark on a field trip to the remarkable Kröller-Müller Museum. This magnificent art museum is home to the world’s second-largest collection of van Gogh paintings as well as works by other artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Situated in a national park with woodlands, heath, and plains, the museum is a testament to one of Europe’s most significant art patrons, Helene Kröller-Müller (1869-1939), who collected more than 11,000 art objects that formed the core of the institution bearing her name. The museum has continued to grow and today has one of the largest sculpture gardens in Europe.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The museum’s cafeteria offers sandwiches, salads, soups, hot and cold beverages.
 Afternoon: We return to Amsterdam and board the barge that will be our home for the next seven nights. You will have some time to settle in to your cabin before meeting the crew during the captain's safety orientation.
 Dinner: This evening, and for other dinners aboard the barge, we will have plated three-course meals featuring tasty local cuisine: appetizer, entrée and dessert plus water; other beverages available for purchase (that can be charged to your tab and settled prior to departure with cash payment in Euros on the last night aboard).
 Evening: At leisure. Your evenings are free to spend time with new Road Scholar friends, relax, or go exploring on your own.
   
Accommodations: Fiep
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Barge to Haarlem / Frans Hals Museum / Coster Statue
(Sunday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge, the breakfast buffet will offer a changing hot item each day as well as meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurts, cereals, breads, juices, and hot beverages.
 Morning: While barging to Haarlem, you will see locks, bridges and lots of traffic on rivers and canals. The Dutch are passionate about the water and all kinds of crafts will pass us from sailboats to yachts. Heavy cargoes such as stone and steel are still transported by barge. When arriving in Haarlem, look to your left for a large building with a glass dome. It’s a prison! The panoptic design was originally conceived by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785, allowing one prison guard to observe any of the inmates without them knowing.
 Lunch: Aboard the barge, light lunches will typically be soup and salad or sandwich.
 Afternoon: Haarlem dates back to before the medieval era and was granted city status in 1245. One of its cultural jewels is the Frans Hals Museum, in an impressive building that was once an Oude Mannenhuis (old men's house). Frans Hals (1581-1666) was the most famous painter of the 17th century “Golden Age” when Haarlem was a prosperous and powerful center of culture and the arts. He specialized in portraits -- individuals and groups -- depicting people from all walks of life.

An expert lecture followed by a guided excursion will introduce this great Dutch artist. After the presentation, you will have free time to continue exploring this fine museum on your own.

On our way back to the barge, we will stop at the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster, who it is said, to have discovered printing with movable type before Gutenberg.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fiep
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Transfer to Aalsmeer Flower Auction House / Cruquius Museum / Transfer to Leiden / Leiden Independent Exploration / Vermeer Lecture
(Monday, September 28)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: We board the motorcoach for a field trip to Aalsmeer and the largest flower auction in the Netherlands. Watch European traders bid against the clock for more than 20 million of the best blooms. After the auction concludes, flowers are transported by truck to the nearby airport for worldwide distribution. Some of the flowers you see today will be on sale at florists in your hometown tomorrow.

Our journey continues to the Cruquius Museum, where a docent will present the history of this former steam-powered pumping station, operational from 1850-1933. Learn about the technology used to drain the area around Amsterdam that was threatened with flooding in the past.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. Theehuis Cruquius offers hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, salads and soups.
 Afternoon: Back aboard the motorcoach, we travel to Leiden, Rembrandt's birthplace.

Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration in Leiden to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions, give directions and will also lead an informal excursion or activity you are welcome to join at your cost (if any).
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: Attend a lecture by an art historian about the 17th-century artist Johannes Vermeer.
   
Accommodations: Fiep
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Barge to Delft / Delft Porcelain Works / Transfer to Mauritshuis / Transfer to Delft
(Tuesday, September 29)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: We barge to Delft, where we will disembark and visit the Porceleyne Fles, the oldest surviving porcelain factory in the Netherlands, producing Delftware since 1653. After an expert lecture, we will explore the factory before returning to our floating home for lunch.
 Lunch: Aboard the barge.
 Afternoon: We disembark after lunch and take a motorcoach to The Hague, seat of Dutch government and the International Court of Justice. Here we will explore the Mauritshuis. Accompanied by a docent, marvel at works by Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter, Frans Hals, Hans Holbein the Younger and more. After our visit, we return to the barge in Delft by motorcoach.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: Join the Group Leader for a walk downtown to admire the magnificent Renaissance architecture of the Delft City Hall.
   
Accommodations: Fiep
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Barge to Rotterdam / Rotterdam Pilgrim's Church / Dutch Painting Lecture / Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum / Transfer to Gouda
(Wednesday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: We barge this morning to Rotterdam, where we disembark and walk to the Pilgrim Fathers’ Church. It was here in 1620 that the Pilgrims said their last prayers before sailing for England, where they boarded the “Mayflower” to the New World. During a presentation, learn little known facts about these events that led to our celebration of Thanksgiving before walking back to the barge.

To set the stage for our afternoon field trip, an art historian will present a lecture on board to familiarize you with the various schools of Dutch painting from early Renaissance to Baroque, including the Old Masters.
 Lunch: Aboard the barge.
 Afternoon: Boarding the motorcoach after lunch, we embark on our field trip to the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum that houses a diverse collection of art ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. A knowledgeable docent will discuss the museum’s masterpieces by Dutch and European artists.

After the field trip, we transfer via motorcoach to the barge that will be docked in Gouda for the night.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: Join the Group Leader for a walk to the 15th century Market Square and view the Old City Hall, one of the oldest Gothic municipal buildings in the Netherlands.
   
Accommodations: Fiep
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Sint Janskerk / Museum Gouda / Cheese Shop / Barge to Oude Wetering
(Thursday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: Our field trip this morning is to Sint Janskerk (St. John's Church), a treasure of the late Gothic, where a local expert will provide background on the famous Goudse Glazen - Gouda stained glass - 71 panels depicting Biblical and historical scenes, some dating back to the 16th century.

Our exploration continues at the "Catharina Gasthuis" that once sheltered the sick and homeless, also serving as chapel and library. It is now the home of Museum Gouda. Among its exceptional holdings are altar pieces from the "Golden Age" painted by Dirck Barendsz, Antonie Blocklandt, Pieter Pourdus, and Jan Steen.

Having sated our quest for knowledge, we walk to a cheese shop to sample the renowned local cheese that takes its name from the city.
 Lunch: Aboard the barge.
 Afternoon: Relax as we barge towards the village of Oude Wetering. Weather-permitting, enjoy ever-changing scenes from the deck. We will moor in Oude Wetering for the night.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fiep
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Barge to Amsterdam / Amsterdam Independent Exploration
(Friday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: An early departure from the village brings our barge back to where it all started one week ago, Amsterdam, or as the Dutch call it, Mokum. Accompany your Group Leader to the center of Amsterdam to view Rembrandt Square, the Bloemenmarkt (flower market) and finally the Begijnhof (Béguinage).This tranquil courtyard dates back to the 14th century, when it was built for the Béguines, pious women who chose to live like nuns but without taking formal vows.

From there, embark on your own independent exploration. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Amsterdam. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Amsterdam to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. If you haven’t already been there, venture to the Anne Frank House or the Rijksmuseum. If you want to relax, seek out one of the local cafés to sip a Heineken or cup of coffee while watching the locals.
 Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner aboard the barge. Get a good night's sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.
   
Accommodations: Fiep
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Program Concludes / Departures
(Saturday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge. This concludes our program.
 Morning: Transfers to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for onward travel.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you return on more rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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