19504
Netherlands
The Old Masters: Art Treasures of Holland by River
Discover the cultural heights of Holland’s Low Lands as you join experts to learn about artistic masterworks, renowned museums, historic architecture and an iconic earthenware factory.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19504XMJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,195
Special Offer
Flights start at
750
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10 days
9 nights
21 meals
8 B 5 L 8 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Amsterdam
L,D
Conscious Hotel Museum Square

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 1 hour

Morning: Transfer to the picturesque village of de Zaanse Schans just north of 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, which can measure almost a foot in diameter, and 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 everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during scheduled free time for informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Please be aware that indicated motorcoach and barging 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.

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 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.

DAY
3
Kröller-Müller Museum, Transfer to Barge in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
B,D
Fiep

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 2.5 hours; 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, yogurt, cereals, breads, juices, water, coffee and tea.

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 in the museum cafeteria. The Kröller-Müller Museum cafeteria offers sandwiches, salads, soups, and 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: Aboard the barge, enjoy a three-course set menu featuring tasty local cuisine with coffee, tea or water. Other beverages are available for purchase that can be charged to your tab and settled prior to departure with cash (in Euros only) on the last night on board.

Evening: At leisure. Your evenings are free to spend time with new Road Scholar friends, relax, or go exploring on your own.

DAY
4
Barge to Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum, Coster Statue
Haarlem
B,L,D
Fiep

Activity note: Barging time: 4.5 hours

Breakfast: Aboard the barge, the breakfast buffet will offer a variable hot entrée each day as well as meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, 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 plus water, coffee or tea; other beverages available for purchase.

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 Johannes Gutenberg.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Aalsmeer Flower Auction, Cruquius, Leiden, Vermeer Lecture
Leiden
B,L,D
Fiep

Activity note: Barging time: 2 hours; Motorcoach time: 2 hours

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 museum 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: Enjoy soup, salad or a sandwich for lunch at the Theehuis Cruquius. Your meal includes water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Back aboard the motorcoach, we travel to Leiden, Rembrandt's birthplace. Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Leiden. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: Attend a lecture by an art historian about the 17th-century artist Johannes Vermeer.

DAY
6
Barge to Drievliet, Mauritshuis, Porcelain Works, Delft
Delft
B,D
Fiep

Activity note: Barging time: 3 hours; Motorcoach time: 1 hour

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: We barge to Drievliet, where we will disembark 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.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in The Hague.

Afternoon: After lunch, we board a motorcoach to Delft where we 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 walking back to our floating home for dinner.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: Join the Group Leader for a walk downtown to admire the magnificent Renaissance architecture of the Delft City Hall.

DAY
7
Barge to Rotterdam, Pilgrim's Church, Boijmans Museum
Gouda
B,L,D
Fiep

Activity note: Barging time: 2.5 hours; Motorcoach time: 1.15 hours

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

DAY
8
Sint Janskerk, Museum Gouda, Cheese Shop, Nieuwe Meer
Nieuwe Meer
B,L,D
Fiep

Activity note: Barging time: 4.5 hours

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 Nieuwe Meer. Weather-permitting, enjoy ever-changing scenes from the deck. We will moor in Nieuwe Meer for the night.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Barge to Amsterdam, Amsterdam Free Time
Amsterdam
B,D
Fiep

Activity note: Barging time: 4 hours

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.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Amsterdam.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Amsterdam. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. 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.

DAY
10
Program Concludes, Departures
In Flight
B

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 30 minutes

Breakfast: Aboard the barge. This concludes our program.

Morning: Morning transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!