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Holland in Spring with Agricultural Highlights
With fields of bright flowers and traditional windmills, join us to discover the culture and agriculture of Holland and Belgium.
Tour Dates & Pricing
With fields of bright flowers and traditional windmills, join us to discover the culture and agriculture of Holland and Belgium. Arrive in Amsterdam and visit Zaanse Schans, a picturesque open-air musuem. Tour Amsterdam and go on a narrated canal boat ride. Visit the Anne Frank House and the Aalameer Flower Auction where 20 million flowers are bought and sold every day. Cross into Belgium to learn about the Belgian horses and chocolates with an overnight in Bruges. Visit an experimental floating dairy farm in Rotterdam’s harbor. Explore Delft’s 350 year-old earthenware factory and and stroll the pathways of Keukenhof, popularly known as “the Spring Garden of Europe.”
Day 1 : Fly to Holland
We board our flight to the Netherlands. Excitement builds as we cross the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 2 : Windmills & Dairy Cows
We arrive in Amsterdam and meet our European guide and driver. Step back in time at our first stop at Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum that brings Dutch heritage to life. Traditional buildings and restored windmills demonstrate the villages that once dotted the land. Visit the museum, wander the village, explore the working mills, and watch artisans make cheese, wooden shoes, and other traditional crafts. After lunch we explore Polderzicht, a dairy farm with Holstein cows owned by the Korrel family. Tonight we get to know our fellow traveling companions at a Holiday Vacations Welcome Dinner.
Day 3 : Grand Amsterdam
After breakfast, visit the Anne Frank House and see where Anne Frank went into hiding and wrote World War II’s most famous diary. Next we join our guide for a walking tour of Amsterdam, whose 70 islands are connected by 50 miles of canals and 1000 bridges. We dine on a traditional Dutch lunch. After, enjoy a narrated boat ride and explore the canals, floating by gabled warehouses, arched bridges, and colorful boathouses.
Day 4 : Aalsmeer Floral Auction
Experience the wonder of the world’s largest flower auction in Aalsmeer, where 20 million flowers from suppliers as far away as South America and Africa trade hands every day in a facility as large as 100 football fields. Learn how modernized livestock practices are improving swine hygiene and welfare at the Hy-Care Barn of Schippers in Bladel. Then travel south to the idyllic and lively town of Valkenburg, stopping at the picturesque village of Thorn on the way. We stay in Valkenburg this evening and have dinner at our hotel.
Day 5 : Marvelous Maastricht
Today we visit to the Cemetery of Margraten, home to fallen American armed forces in World War II, and lay flowers on the graves of heroes. Next, we enter the city of Maastricht, the birthplace of the Euro currency. Maastricht lies on the Belgian border and is one of the Netherlands’ oldest cities. We’ll go on a walking tour of the city, seeing the Stokstraat Quarter, Our Beloved Lady Church, the old city walls, and churches on the Vrijthof Square. Next we learn how the Niesten family grows crops at Farm Poshoof. Dinner is at Chateau St. Gerlach, a historic monastery converted into a luxurious boutique estate.
Day 6 : Bruges
After breakfast travel to Steenhuffel and explore The Palm brewery. Travel by rail to the Diepensteyn Stud Farm to learn about its draught horses and explore the nearby castle. Travel to Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its decorated houses, guild halls, churches, and canals. Following an orientation to the city the rest of the day is at our leisure.
Day 7 : Rotterdam & The Hague
Begin the day with a tour of Bruges, the “Venice of the North,” with sights including the Beguinage housing complex, the Church of Our Lady and its statue of Michelangelo, the romantic and tranquil Lake of Love, and more. There is time to browse lace and chocolate shops and have lunch before we cross back into the Netherlands to the city of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port. Here we explore an experimental floating dairy farm that resides in Rotterdam’s harbor. Tonight we have dinner and overnight in The Hague.
Day 8 : Keukenhof
The world’s largest spring garden is ours to explore today. At Keukenhof, seven million blooming flowers in 800 varieties are on display across nearly 80 acres, including tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. This breathtaking tour highlight features several romantic landscapes and thematic gardens in beautiful arrangements. Next we visit the city of Delft, famous for Delftware, the iconic brand of blue and white pottery. We tour De Porceleyne Fles, Delft’s 350 year-old earthenware factory, and learn about the history and techniques surrounding this iconic line of pottery. Later, join your traveling companions for a Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner at the Kurhaus in Scheveningen, a historic beachside hotel.
Day 9 : Return Home
We return to the United States with wonderful memories of our springtime getaway in Europe.