Wednesday, June 17 – Departure
Check in at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport for the overnight transatlantic flights
Thursday, June 18 – Amsterdam
After we collect our luggage, we’ll meet our tour manger and transfer to a waiting motorcoach. The first drive of our tour takes us on a panoramic city sightseeing tour to acquaint us with the layout of “A’dam” and its key centers. Then we will take a cruise through the many narrow canals, under numerous bridges, and out into the landlocked harbor. You will be struck by the symmetrical rings of canals and the 1200 bridges lacing them together. There are 160 canals lined by some 7,000 buildings, many dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Following the cruise, we’ll have some free time for exploration in smaller chaperoned groups. Later, we’ll check in at our hotel for the overnight.
Friday, June 19 – Amsterdam
Our day begins with a visit to the Anne Frank House for a guided tour. Anne Frank and her family hid in this 17th century canal house until they were betrayed to the Nazis on August 4, 1944. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Van Gogh Museum to see Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and The Potato Eaters along with over 200 paintings by one of the best-known Dutch painters. Later, we’ll have some time to explore Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest park, in smaller chaperoned groups. Dinner will be provided at the hotel this evening.
Saturday, June 20 – Enkhuizen, Zwolle
After breakfast, we’ll head to Enkhuizen, one of those old fortified ports on the former Zuiderzee. We’ll have an opportunity here to explore the narrow cobblestone streets and visit the ramparts and fortified gates. We will also visit the Zuiderzee Open-Air Museum, which is only accessible by special ferry boats. The museum appears to be a typical village nestled beneath dikes and lined with tiny canals, but is, in fact, a collection of buildings in the styles of several fishing villages—130 buildings in all. Then, continue northward and over the colossal 20-mile Afsluitdijk, which shuts off the North Sea from the former Zuiderzee. Our final destination of the day is Zwolle. Upon arrival, we’ll check in at our hotel for a two-night stay. This evening we plan to give a concert performance in the area.
Sunday, June 21 – Giethoorn, Zwolle
This morning we’ll participate as a choir in a worship service in Zwolle. Afterward, we’ll head to Giethoorn. Referred to as the “Venice of the Netherlands,” Giethoorn is unique for its many waterways, little bridges and 18th and 19th-century farm houses, most of which are located on small islands. Our plans call for a walking tour through this “pedestrian only” town. This evening we plan to give a joint concert performance with a local choir.
Monday, June 22 – Zwolle, De Hoge Veluwe, Alphen aan den Rijn
Before saying goodbye to Zwolle, we’ll explore its historic town center, which is surrounded by moats. Next, we’ll make our way to De Hoge Veluwe National Park, the oldest national park in the Netherlands. We’ll explore this park, which has 25 miles of cycling paths, on bicycles. Our final destination of the day is Alphen a.d. Rijn, where we’ll check in at our hotel for dinner and a three-night stay.
Tuesday, June 23 – Kinderdijk, Delft, Alphen a.d. Rijn
First on our agenda today is a visit to Kinderdijk, home to 19 windmills that were built around 1740 and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These windmills were built to keep these low-lying lands dry. Following time to look around, we’ll continue on to Delft, the birthplace of the world-famous Delft Blue china, where it has been manufactured since the 17th century. Upon arrival we’ll visit one of the Delft Blue factories to learn how this pottery is made and then take a guided walking tour of Delft. Later, we’ll have dinner at a local restaurant and then we plan to give an evening concert performance before returning to Alphen a.d. Rijn.
Wednesday, June 24 – Gouda, Alphen a.d. Rijn
An excursion today takes us to the beach in Scheveningen for some free time. Next, we’ll head to Gouda, a city that owes its fame to the world-famous Gouda cheese, its candles, and the beautiful stained-glass windows in the St. Janskerk. Upon arrival, we’ll have some free time for exploration in smaller chaperoned groups. Later, we plan to give a late afternoon concert performance at the St. Janskerk. Afterward, we’ll return to Alphen a.d. Rijn for dinner at the hotel this evening.
Thursday, June 25 – Return
After breakfast we’ll return to Amsterdam to check in at the airport for the flights home.