Pre Cruise Tour ‘Highlights of Holland’

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The Netherlands 2019

Pre Cruise Tour ‘Highlights of Holland’

 

This tour combines the best cities of Holland in a three-day pre-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 painter Vermeer and the Delftware. 

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

 

Day 1: Arrival

Meet and greet with your English-speaking driver at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport from where you will be taken for 30-minute drive (depending on traffic) by luxurious private car to your hotel in Amsterdam.

Museum Van Loon

12.30pm Meet and greet with your professional English-speaking guide in the hotel lobby, from where you will be taken on an interesting walking tour through the city center. You will see some sights most tourists have never seen!

Discover the hidden treasures behind the facades of Amsterdam’s most impressive mansions and gardens. See and learn more about 17th- 20th century gable architecture, interiors, garden history and how the merchant families lived. The huge gardens behind some of the (private) mansions are Amsterdam’s best-kept secret! We will make a guided visit to the 17th century Van Loon Mansion, as well as an almshouse in the Golden Bend, the best area in Amsterdam. Also, during this tour, you will visit the Beguines Court with the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam, the Nine Street district (with local stores and boutiques), the Jordaan area, Dam Square the historical canal belt area, unique buildings, upon request the famous Red-Light district and lots more.

In the heart of the Amsterdam canal district lays the Van Loon Mansion, a magnificent private residence built in 1672 by the architect Adriaen Dortsman. The first resident was painter Ferdinand Bol, a pupil of Rembrandt. The interior of the house has remained largely intact during the last centuries and still evokes the splendor of the Golden Age.

In the rooms, a large collection of paintings, fine furniture, precious silvery and porcelain from different centuries is on display. Behind the house is a beautiful garden, an oasis of quiet in the modern inner city. The garden is laid out in formal style and is bordered on the far side by the classical façade of the coach house. This original unity of canal house, garden and coach house is nowhere else to be seen. If you want a glimpse of the world behind the façades of the world-famous canals, a visit to the Van Loon Mansion is definitely worth your while.

Anne Frank House

4pm 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

5.30pm 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

The Hague Mauritshuis

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.

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 17th century 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 19thcentury 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: Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum

8.30am After breakfast, your English-speaking guide is ready to take you for a scenic 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 19thcentury 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

11am 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 From here you will be taken back to your hotel, to collect your luggage.

From your hotel, your English-speaking driver will take you for a short drive by luxurious private car to your River/Cruise Ship.

 

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