Post Cruise Tour ‘Highlights of Holland’

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The Netherlands

Post Cruise Tour ‘Highlights of Holland’

 

This tour combines the best cities of Holland in a two-day post-cruise tour. You get to see the best that Amsterdam has to offer, and two of the most historic cities of Holland: The Hague, our Royal city and the seat of our government and medieval Delft famous for the famous painter Vermeer and the Delftware.

The tour to Delft and The Hague cannot take place on a Sunday.

 

Day 1: Arrival

8am Meet and greet with your English-speaking driver in the lobby of your River/Cruise Ship, from where you will be taken for a short drive by luxurious private car to your hotel in the city center of Amsterdam.

The Rijksmuseum

8.45am Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide in the hotel lobby, from where you will be taken for a scenice walk to, and guided tour of the famous Rijksmuseum.

The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of Dutch art and history and houses in a late 19th century building built on the edge of the famous Amsterdam Canal District. The Rijksmuseum is a masterpiece in itself, both inside and out. Over 800 years of Dutch art and history are on display in 80 recently renovated rooms. Your guide will introduce you to a time period known as the Dutch Golden Age, a time of great wealth and prosperity but also of unbridled cultural and artistic growth.

In the so-called Eregallerij (Gallery of Honor) you will find a large selection of paintings dedicated to this time period. Here you will find renowned Dutch artists such as Vermeer (The Milkmaid), Rembrandt, Hals, Steen, but also Ruisdael, Heda and others. The Gallery of Honor extends to a room that was specifically created to display Rembrandt’s most famous painting, The Night Watch.

Apart from this must-see section, there are different areas to acquaint oneself with other art forms, which are just like the paintings, such as furniture, tapestries, Delftware, silver, glass, uniquely late 17th century Dolls houses and much more. They will fill you with delight!

Depending on your interests and / or if there are any must see exhibits, we will take you to the recently opened “Philips (temporary exhibitions) Wing”. www.rijksmuseum.nl

Vincent Van Gogh

11.15am We continue the tour with a 5-minute scenic walk to, and guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum where you will step into Van Gogh’s world. You enter the Van Gogh Museum through the glass entrance building, located on Museum Square that beautifully complements the exhibition wing created in 1999 by Kisho Kurokawa Architect and Associates.

Discover what Vincent wanted to express in the redesigned exhibit of Van Gogh Museum’s collection.

In the layout, you step directly into Van Gogh’s world. You obviously see his masterpieces like the Potato Eaters and the Bedroom, but also his drawings and letters. You discover the ideas and ambitions behind his art. Van Gogh experienced life and the world intensely and wanted his art to portray the great themes of life, such as anxiety, suffering, love and hope. You follow the on-going search of an artist who was constantly trying to improve himself. In this way, you get a new view of an artist you thought you knew. www.vangoghmuseum.nl

12.45pm After this exciting visit, there will be leisure time for lunch. On and around Museum Square there are many local restaurants. Your guide will be happy to make a suggestions.

1.30pm Fully refreshed, we continue with an interesting walking tour through the city center.

You will see some sights most tourists have never seen!

Van Loon Mansion

Amsterdam, the city that was named after the Amstel river, is world-famous for its canals, locks, bridges and well-preserved centuries-old buildings. Most of which can be seen in the ‘canal district’. This unique area was laid out in the early 1600s and would obtain its final shape by the 1660s. Amsterdam, by then, was Europe’s third most populated city and admired for being so well organized, tolerant in religious matters and for the system of aid for the poor it had developed to deal with the needs of the urban poor and sick. An international and accommodating city that forms the splendid embodiment of what has been named ‘The Golden Age’.

The architecture of the elegant town homes that were built in the residential sections of the ‘New Town’, continues to impress up to today. The Van Loon Mansion is housed within the former residence of the Van Loon family and together with its garden and carriage house, constitutes an ensemble that is typical of the ‘Golden Age Grand Town Home’. Today, it is the only remaining architectural ensemble in town. The rooms inside all reflect on fashions associated with wealth and refinement. The walls are graced with family portraits that are grouped so as to showcase the unions between Van Loon and other powerful families

Since Amsterdam is an excellent walking city, strolling down the paved streets, your guide will point out famous landmarks such as the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the former civic orphanage on Kalverstraat and the neighboring Begijnhof (scenic courtyard complex of centuries-old homes still in use by a community of women, formerly addressed as “begijnen” – a lay catholic sisterhood established in 1389), the Sephardic synagogue in the former Jewish district and the former home of Rembrandt van Rijn. All are within walking distance of most hotels.

De Jordaan or de Pijp neighborhoods are lovely areas than can easily be incorporated in your tour, should you so desire. Both are home to famous street markets and offer plentiful opportunities for a lunch or coffee break. The Nine Street district with its local stores and boutiques is also interesting to walk through.

Before starting your walking tour, your guide will discuss the walk with you to finetune it.

Anne Frank House

4.30pm The walk will end at the famous Anne Frank House, which we will visit next.

The former hiding place, where Anne Frank wrote her diary, is a well-known museum and one of the top sights in Amsterdam. The museum tells the history of the eight people in hiding and those who helped them during the war. Anne Frank’s diary is among the original objects on display.

Because active guiding inside is no longer allowed, your guide will give you a detailed explanation outside. Going through the rooms and hiding place, you have to make use of the provided audio guide. Where possible, your guide will give you some additional information or will point out interesting facts. www.annefrankhuis.org

5.45pm From here, you will be taken back to your hotel, where you have the remainder of the day for your own leisure.

 

Day 2: Historical Delft and The Hague

Delftware

8.45am After breakfast, your English-speaking guide / driver is ready to take you for a short hour drive by luxurious private car to medieval Delft.

Before we make a visit to the historical city center, there will be a stop at one of the original remaining Delftware manufacturers in the world, Paauw 1651.

Did you know that more than 95% of all produced Delftware in the world is imitation? There will be an interesting tour through the small family company where you will see the process of making Delftware and of course the painters’ room. It is a small but most fascinating place! www.heinendelftsblauw.com/delft-blue/paauw-1651

Delft

10.15am From Paauw 1651, it is only a 5-minute scenic drive to the medieval city center. Stroll along the canals and discover the most beautiful spots of historic Delft. The city is also known as miniature Amsterdam, because of its canals and the grand monumental merchants’ mansions in the old city center. The city center of Delft is one of the best-preserved examples of a medieval Dutch town. It is a city with rich historic and cultural heritage. Delft is also the city of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Think of his masterpiece “Gezicht op Delft” (View on Delft) and the Girl with the Pearl Earring.

Delft is the burial ground of members of the Royal family. Their crypt is located in the New Church. Besides the Royal family, several other famous people have also been buried in Delft. In the Old Church, the graves are located of the famous painter Johannes Vermeer and great ocean commanders such as Piet Hein and Maarten Tromp. Here, you will also find some spectacular stained-glass windows by the famous artist Joep Nicolas. Your guide will take you to both churches.www.nieuwekerk-delft.nl

Noon We continue with a 20-minute drive to the “Royal City” The Hague, where your guide will take you on a walking tour through the historical city center.

The Hague is a historical city from the 13th Century, but also the city where King Willem Alexander lives and where you will find many world-famous museums. Most consider The Hague more upscale and local than Amsterdam. A surprising city!

Before we start, there is leisure time for lunch. On the main square, you will find many local restaurants for a fresh and tasty lunch.

1.30pm We will start our walking tour in the oldest part of The Hague, the medieval parliament buildings“Inner court”with the Knights Hall from the 13th century.

The Hague Mauritshuis

Here, we will make a guided tour through the famous Mauritshuis Museum, one of the most prominent and oldest museums in the Netherlands or even in the world!

Their collection is in the top 3 world-wide.

The Mauritshuis Museum is home to the very best Dutch Golden Age paintings. The compact, yet world-renowned collection is housed in a 17th century building. Masterpieces such as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp by Rembrandt, The Goldfinch by Fabritius and The Bull by Potter are on permanent display in the intimate rooms.

More than two hundred top works from Dutch and Flemish masters are on display in the historic yet intimate interior, with its silken wall covering, sparkling chandeliers and monumental painted ceilings. Genre paintings by Jan Steen, landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael, still lives by Adrian Coorte and portraits by Rubens offer a rich and varied representation of the best 17thcentury Dutch and Flemish painting. www.mauritshuis.nl

3pm After this exciting tour, you will be taken for a guided walk towards the spectacular Panorama Mesdag Museum. Along the way, we will walk through the Passage (1884) and there will be a stop at the Palace Noordeinde, the working Palace of King Willem Alexander.

3.45pm The Panorama is a cylindrical painting, more than 14 meters high and 120 meters in circumference. The vista of the sea, the dunes and Scheveningen village where painted by Hendrik Willem Mesdag in 1881. His wife Sientje Mesdag and several other painters of The Hague School also worked on this amazing painting. It is the oldest 19th century panorama in the world in its original site.

Amazing and for sure a must-see in The Hague and for many the highlight of their stay in the Netherlands! www.mesdag.nl

4.15pm Next, your guide will take you through the Lange Voorhout, back in the direction of the car. The Lange Voorhout is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Here you find the Escher Museum, which was the former winter Palace of Queen Emma, the luxurious Des Indes Hotel and the smallest housein The Hague. Did you know that this area stood sample for the Champs Elysees in Paris and Unter der Linen in Berlin?

4.45pm From here, you will be taken back to your hotel in Amsterdam, where you have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will arrive back before 6pm.

 

Day 3: Departure

After breakfast and check out, your English-speaking driver is ready to take you for a 30-minute drive (depending on traffic) by luxurious private car to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

  

 

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