Thursday 27 April 2017
Depart from your local pick-up point and travel to the ferry port for your overnight sailing to Holland.
Friday 28 April 2017
After disembarkation we will travel by coach to Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum, one of the world’s greatest museums, with over 8,000 items on display from an astonishing total collection of one million objects. Its collection of world famous Old Masters is second to none and includes a host of works from the Dutch Golden Age by artists such as Vermeer, Franz Hals and Rembrandt, including his 1642 masterpiece ‘The Nightwatch’.
In the afternoon you are free to explore the city at leisure, an opportunity to explore some of the many attractions of this historic and cultured city. Amsterdam is truly a haven for museum buffs - other museums in the city include the Van Gogh Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Theatre Museum, the Modern Art Museum and there is even a Tea and Coffee Museum. Visit the De Oude Kerk, one of the many spectacular churches in Amsterdam or stroll through the narrow streets which link the major canals. Here you will find unexpected little shops which specialise in everything from kites to beer. Alternatively we have arranged an optional one hour Canal Cruise through the narrow canals in the centre of Amsterdam - the perfect way to see this unique city (price to be confirmed).
Later we transfer to our hotel, the 4-star NH Noordwijk Hotel & Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst, where dinner is served in the evening.
Saturday 29 April 2017
This morning following breakfast we will visit the Kröller-Müller Museum which offers a unique combination of nature, art and architecture. The museum collection constitutes one of the most impressive overviews anywhere of Vincent Van Gogh’s extensive œuvre, and there are also important works by great artists including Picasso, Mondriaan and Seurat. Within the national park there is also one of Europe’s largest sculpture parks featuring exhibits by Rodin, Moore and Hepworth.
In the afternoon we will visit the gardens at Het Loo Palace near to the charming town of Apeldoorn. This was the medieval castle of Prince William of Orange and is now recognised as one of Europe's finest formal gardens. When the Dutch Royal Family decided that it would no longer use the palace in 1969 the Government opted to turn it into a museum fully restoring the formal seventeenth century garden to its original state. The palace's type of baroque garden is unique to the Netherlands. It is a late Dutch interpretation of the Italian-French garden dating from the first quarter of the seventeenth century. The exotic flowers and plants and the constant supply of fresh water for the fountains must have made the gardens of Het Loo a spectacular sight worth seeing even then. Lunch is available here (not included).
We return to our hotel for dinner.
Sunday 30 April 2017
After breakfast this morning we depart for Leiden Botanical Garden, one of Europe’s first botanic gardens and now part of the University. Part of this garden is a historical reconstruction of the very first version of Leiden university botanical garden, being a 16th century garden for medical purposes. There is also a systematic garden, named after the botanist and taxonomist Carl Linnaeus. The collection includes plants from all around the world, with subtropical plants from the Mediterranean, forest plants of Japan and tropical flora from the equatorial jungles, such as carnivorous plants, beautiful orchids and the giant lily Victoria amazonica.
We then transfer to Delft, where there will be an opportunity for lunch (not included) in this attractive, typically Dutch town, with its tree lined canals, tiny white bridges, pointed gables and small courtyards.
In the afternoon we visit the Royal Delft Factory. The Royal Dutch Delftware Manufactory "De Porceleyne Fles", established in 1653, is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century and the world famous Royal Delftware is still entirely hand-painted according to centuries-old tradition. Our tour includes a journey through the history of Blue Delft and Royal Delft and its development and production process; a visit to the factory where Master painters can be seen at work; the dining room of Vermeer and the Dutch Royal family Chamber; the museum with antique Delft pieces and the showroom, which offers a comprehensive collection of hand-painted Delft Blue by Royal Delft, as well as an extensive selection of Dutch earthenware and souvenirs.
We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.
Monday 1 May 2017
Following breakfast this morning we check out of the hotel and head to possibly the most famous gardens in the world - Keukenhof. This is the bulb grower’s display of all the different tulip, daffodil and hyacinth varieties. Over 6 million bulbs are planted annually and around 1 million visitors pass through it from mid-March to mid-May. We will also tour through the area surrounding Lisse including Noordwijkerhout and Hillegom where you will be astounded by the fields of colour which open up in front of your very eyes.
Later we will return to the ferry port in time for our return ferry to the UK.
Tuesday 2 May 2017
This morning we rejoin our coach for the return trip home at the end of a memorable holiday.
Departure dates, ferry crossings & prices:
27 April – 2 May 2017 Hull from £695.00
27 April – 2 May 2017 Newcastle from £745.00