This is a Marco Polo Club Invitational Journey. The gracious, almost lyrical works of the Flemish masters, such as Rubens and Rembrandt, are on display throughout Belgium and the Netherlands. On this journey, explore museums to view artistic masterpieces and enjoy the spectacular architecture that lines the many canals of Brussels, Bruges, Delft and Amsterdam.
Tour Director Simon Butler-Madden
A diplomat specializing in East-West relations before joining Abercrombie & Kent in 1989, Simon Butler-Madden has accompanied groups throughout Europe and Russia. His involvement in the arts, politics and culture of Europe gives him a unique insight that he shares with his travellers. Simon is a connoisseur of European wines and cuisine, even producing his own olive oil on a small farm in Spain.
Join a guest lecturer for a discussion about the Flemish masters
Embark on a private canal cruise in Bruges to admire the beautiful architecture
Explore the recently renovated Rijksmuseum
Exclusively tour a private collection of old master paintings
Sip a glass of champagne as you privately cruise Amsterdam's canals on a historic launch
You are met at the airport and driven to your hotel, located in the heart of the city. The balance of the day is at leisure to relax. Alternatively, join a walking tour to view the stunning Grand Place and the famous statue Mannekin Pis. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers for drinks and a welcome dinner.Hotel Amigo | Meals: D
A guest lecturer joins you to discuss the Flemish masters. Afterward, visit the Musée d’Art Ancien, specializing in the Flemish primitives of the 15th century. The balance of the day is at leisure to relax. You may wish to visit the Musée d’Art Moderne’s collection of Belgian and French art, including works by Magritte and Ensor. You may, instead, explore the Magritte Museum. Another possibility for the day is to learn about traditional production of Gueuze Lambic beer at the Cantillon Brewery.Hotel Amigo | Meals: B
Head into the heartland of the Dutch-speaking region to medieval Bruges, often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” where Flemish painting had its roots. Visit the Groeninge Museum and admire the array of Belgian art that spans the romantic, realist, surrealist and contemporary eras. If renovations are completed, stop at the Church of Our Lady to view Michelangelo’s stunning marble Madonna of Bruges. End the morning with a private cruise along Bruges’ enchanting canals. Your afternoon is at leisure, but you may wish to explore the Memling Museum, housed in the former 13th-century Saint Jans Hospital.Hotel Amigo | Meals: B D
With a distinct Flemish style, Antwerp prospered from maritime and diamond trade over the centuries, evident in the grand buildings and boulevards in the city center. Stop to visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, housing various works of Rubens, including his Descent from the Cross; then go to the Rubenshuis (Rubens House), dedicated to the artist’s life and works. Continue to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where 19 magnificent windmills stretch along the water’s edge.Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam | Meals: B L D
Join your local guide for an in-depth exploration of the Rijksmuseum, home to masterpieces such as Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Proceed to the nearby Van Gogh Museum to see remarkable works that include The Sunflowers and The Potato Eaters. Return to your hotel late this afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure.Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam | Meals: B L
Drive to the Hog e Veluwe, a national park that is home to the magnificent Kröller- Müller Museum, housing a private collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century paintings. View works by Van Gogh that were inspired by the landscape of the park. Stroll through the sculpture gardens, featuring works by Rodin, Moore and Hepworth. Return to Amsterdam and continue your independent exploration. You may wish to visit the Hermitage Amsterdam, an outpost of the world-famous Hermitage in St. Petersburg, or the Rembrandtshuis, where the artist lived and worked from 1639 to 1658.Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam | Meals: B L D
Travel to The Hague, where the parks and squares are spacious and elegant. Visit the Gemeentemuseum den Haag, currently housing the Mauritshuis Museum collection, whose treasures include Vermeer’s View of Delft. Later, one of The Hague’s premier art dealers takes you on an exclusive tour of a private collection of old master paintings. Pause for lunch in The Hague’s oldest restaurant before continuing to picturesque Delft. Visit Vermeer’s house, now a museum dedicated to his life and works, and then stop at the Royal Delft china factory. This evening, board a historic boat, sipping champagne as you cruise along the canals, and moor at the fine restaurant hosting your farewell dinner.Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam | Meals: B D
Board your onward flight home.Meals: B
Jul 1-4: You are met on arrival in Paris and escorted to your hotel, where you may relax for the remainder of the day. While you are in the “City of Light,” visit the Musée d’Orsay, a former train station now housing a glittering collection of Post-Impressionist masterpieces. Wander the streets of Montmartre, the Bohemian artists’ quarter of the city, where Monet, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec frequented. See Van Gogh’s auberge in Auvers-sur-Oise and Monet’s house in Giverny. Conclude your stay by exploring the world-famous Louvre. Finally, head to Gare du Nord for a train to Brussels. Sofitel Le Faubourg
Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.
|Jul. 04, 2013 - Jul. 11, 2013||$6,495||--||Available|
Optional Pre-tour Extension to Paris
4 days, from $3,595)