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 (4.89)
Program No. 19504RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,195
Flights start at
750
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10 days
9 nights
22 meals
8 B 6 L 8 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Amsterdam
L,D
Grand Hotel Amstelveen

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 1.5 hours (40 miles)

Morning: Join the Group Leader and your fellow Road Scholars at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to board the motorcoach and 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 Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as "Free time" and "At leisure" offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to settle into your room 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 water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

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

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 2.5 hours (125 miles); Please note that the barge does not move at night and only motors during the day.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet’s choices will feature various meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, pancakes, cereals, breads, juices, and hot beverages. Breakfast aboard the barge each morning will follow this description.

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 captain and crew during a barge safety orientation.

Dinner: Aboard the barge, enjoy a plated 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. Dinner each night will fit this description.

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, Dutch History & Economy
Haarlem
B,L,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Barging time: 4.5 hours

Breakfast: Aboard the barge, the breakfast buffet’s choices will feature various meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, pancakes, cereals, breads, juices, and hot beverages. Breakfast each morning will fit this description.

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. After boarding the barge, we have a lecture on the history and economy of the Netherlands.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Aalsmeer Flower Auction, Cruquius, Leiden
Leiden
B,L,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Barging time: 2 hours; Motorcoach time: about 1.5 hours (45 miles).

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: At leisure.

DAY
6
Vermeer, Barge to Drievliet, Mauritshuis, Delft Porcelain
Delft
B,L,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Barging time: 3 hours; Motorcoach time: about 1.5 hours (40 miles).

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Begin the day with a lecture by an art historian about the 17th-century artist Johannes Vermeer. 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: Enjoy soup, salad or a sandwich at lunch in The Hague. Your meal includes water; other beverages available for purchase.

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
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Barging time: 2.5 hours; Motorcoach time: 45 minutes (20 miles)

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
Liza Marleen

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, Free Time
Amsterdam
B,D
Liza Marleen

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: Aboard the barge. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Barge check-out time is 9:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. Transfer from the barge to the airport is about 20 miles; about 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!






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