Sunday, June 03. (D)* DEPART FOR AMSTERDAM
Depart this evening aboard any airline of your choice to Amsterdam, Holland. Dinner and light breakfast served on the plane.
Monday, June 04. (B,D). AMSTERDAM
Independent arrival at the Schippol International Airport. Take a taxi to the deluxe centrally located RADISSON BLU HOTEL, where we stay three nights. We will reimburse you the taxi fare. Briefing and Gala Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Amsterdam is colloquially known as the Venice of the North with its impressive architecture and more than 1500 bridges. In the 17th Century this small fishing village exploded into the most important trading center in the world during the Dutch Golden Age of trading with South Africa, India, Indonesia and China. In the 19th and 20th Centuries, the city expanded in all directions, with many neighborhoods and suburbs designed in Modernistic styles. Amsterdam is not the capital of Holland, which is The Hague. This gives the city an informal atmosphere, tolerant and progressive.
Tuesday, June 05. (B). AMSTERDAM
Morning sightseeing of this multi-cultural city to see the canals lined with old houses designed in Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and Modern Architecture. Afternoon free to take a glass top boat ride for a delightful cruise of the winding canals.
Wednesday, June 06. (B). AMSTERDAM
Today is free to visit the Anne Frank House or any of the fine museums including the Van Gogh Museum, or the Rijsmuseum with its most famous painting the “Night Watch”, a masterpiece by Rembrandt. This evening we will see the opera The Tales of Hoffman by Jacques Offenbach with American tenor John Osborn singing.
Thursday, June 07. (B.D). BRUGES - BRUSSELS
Morning departure to visit Bruges, a fairy-tale town in Belgium to see Our Lady’s Church, housing the famous Madonna statue by Michelangelo and the Town Hall Square with its Chapel of the Holey Blood. We continue our journey to arrive in Brussels where we stay at the deluxe HOTEL WARWICK for two nights. Dinner at a gourmet restaurant.
Brussels, the capital of Belgium is more renowned as capital for the European Union. Brussels operates as a bilingual city where both French and Dutch (as in Holland) are official languages and displayed on all streets and signs. The Grand Place or the Market Square is surrounded by the city tower and a range of beautiful 300 year old buildings, which when lit by bright illumination in the evening make it an unforgettable sight. Just a short walk away is the most famous small bronze statue of the city, Mannekin Pis, performing one of a child’s most basic functions. Near the square are shops that sell the famous Belgium Lace even though today some of them are outsourced abroad. Ask for the country of origin, if interested in purchasing.
Friday, June 08 (B). BRUSSELS
Morning sightseeing to include the Atomium, a gigantic structure that still remains from the 1958 World Expo, the Palace of Justice, Royal Palace, Grand Palace and the famous Mannekin Pis fountain. This evening we will see the opera Bluebeard’s Castle by Bela Bartok at the La Monnaie De Munt opera.
Saturday, June 09. (B). VERSAILLES - PARIS
Morning departure to visit Versailles, France to see the magnificent gardens and the Grand Hall of the Palais built by King Louis the 14th. We continue our drive to Paris, where we stay three nights at the super deluxe HOTEL PALAIS ROYAL, right near Le Louvre Museum. This evening we will see the opera Don Pasquale by Donizetti at Palais Garnier Opera House.
Paris, the City of Light, dominates France’s intellectual artistic, scientific and political life. What began as a peaceful settlement starting end of the 5th century, was constantly sacked by the Danish Vikings sailing up the Seine River to pilfer its abbeys until the Vikings back in Denmark themselves accepted Christianity around 9th century. In 1136, Abbot Suger rebuilt the church of St. Denis in the revolutionary Gothic style which was soon copied by churches in Europe. The century of Louis XIV, beginning with the year 1661 produced extraordinary advancement of arts and literature, besides the splendor of court life. Two kings later, the monarchy came to an end with a public demonstration in front of the fortress Bastille on 14 July 1789. It took Napoleon Bonaparte to put down the revolution on 9 November 1799. He went on to create a vast French Empire extending up to Moscow, Russia. Having failed to establish control over Russia, his Grand Army marched back to face eventual defeat at Waterloo, Belgium in 1814.
Sunday, June 10. (B). PARIS
Morning sightseeing of this city full of monuments and museums. Among the sights are the Notre Dame Cathedral churches of Sainte Chapelle, St. Germain-des-Pres, Eglise du Dome, housing Napoleon’s tomb, and Sacre -Coeure; Grand Palais, Les Invalides, Le Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. This evening we will see the opera Boris Godounov by Moussorgski at the Palais Garnier Opera house with Ildar Abdrazakov singing the title role.
Monday, June 11. (B,D). PARIS
Today free to shop at the chic boutiques near our hotel or see any of the many famous museums of Paris.Gala Farewell Dinner at a gourmet restaurant.
Tuesday, June 12. (B). PARIS - BACK HOME
Morning departure aboard your flight back home arriving the same afternoon. Au revoire. See you on another H.A.T. Tour.
* B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner (including wine)