What better place to start your jaunt through Holland than Amsterdam? Spend your day strolling through its pretty streets and tree-lined canals, stopping for a coffee and speculaas along the way. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening on a scenic canal cruise, including a light meal and welcome drinks, admiring the centuries-old façades.
Delve into the Golden Age and its extraordinary art, architecture and history traversing the city's inner labyrinth of canals and narrow streets, along which hundreds of sturdy Dutch bicycles rattle day and night. Enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing tour of the Rijksmuseum, featuring the works of great Dutch masters, including Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch' before visiting a historic diamond-polishing factory. Here you'll 'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into Amsterdam's centuries-old diamond cutting traditions.
We rise with the birds this morning, taking a trip to Aalsmeer to visit the vibrant flower auction and see the vividly hued blooms for which Holland is so famous. Alternatively, during the flowering season (end March until mid-May), we'll enjoy an included visit to the tulip fields of Keukenhof - the mesmerising sight of several million flowering bulbs planted across 32 hectares will leave you in absolute awe. This afternoon, we travel through The Hague to the historic town of Delft and 'Dive Into Culture' at the Royal Delft Pottery workshop where we'll gain insights into the manufacturing of this delicate hand-painted blue and white porcelain. We continue to edgy Rotterdam, where we'll have an opportunity to 'Dive Into Culture' twice in one city this afternoon. Board a Spido boat cruise along the most important river port in Europe and ascend the iconic Euromast Tower for panoramic views of the city. This evening, we stay on board the SS Rotterdam - one of Trafalgar's 'Stays With Stories' and a former flagship of the Holland America line.
Explore the tragic history of Operation Market Garden in Groesbeek, whose residents were forced to flee intense battles which obliterated the city during World War II. We'll visit the National Liberation Museum, built on one of the landing sites of this airborne operation and learn about the occupation and liberation of Holland. We travel north to Arnhem to see John Frost Bridge, so named to pay tribute to the commander of the British forces that held the bridge for four days with a mere 750 soldiers, during the World War II Battle of Arnhem. This afternoon, we'll also visit the Hoge Veluwe Park and the Kröller-Müller Museum, featuring the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world.
We head north to the beautiful Hanseatic city of Zwolle, where we'll join our Local Specialist for a walking tour through its medieval centre. Ending our day in Gronginen, we'll 'Connect With Locals' joining Dignie and Gina on their farm for a hearty Be My Guest dinner and meet-and-greet with their neighbour's cows, just in time to see them being milked.
'Dive Into Culture' and saddle up to explore the university city of Groningen during a guided bicycle tour of its medieval centre. Ramble along the city's ring of canals like a local, before enjoying a stunning drive through the mesmerising Frisian Lake District en route to Volendam, a former fishing port on the edge of IJsselmeer. 'Dive Into Culture' learn about the craft of wooden clog making and Dutch cheese, followed by a celebratory Farewell Dinner.
For now we say a fond tot ziens to Amsterdam and our newfound friends, closing the door on a memorable Dutch experience. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
Keukenhof: Tickets for Keukenhof Bulb fields are included during the flowering season (21 March - 19 May 2019). Departures 07 April, 14 April, 21 April, 28 April, 05 May and 12 May 2019 will include tickets to the magnificent Keukenhof tulip fields instead of the Aalsmeer flower auction.