Classic Cars of Northern Europe
Travel through northern Europe on a dream experience for automobile enthusiasts! This exclusive tour features private car collections, auto museums, and factories, and a prime spot at the Formula I Belgian Grand Prix.
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Our newest tour for automobile enthusiasts features an exhilarating journey through northern Europe. Across Germany, Holland, and Belgium, learn about pioneers in the auto industry and delve into the experiences of famous race car drivers.
Join noted automotive historian, author, and automobile collector Jonathan Stein on guided tours of automobile museums, both famous and obscure and explore the collections of car enthusiasts such as Evert Louwman, Janus Kennis, and Frans Billen-Bomans, whose classic Spykers, Eysinks, Bugattis, Mercedes, and BMWs represent a fascinating range of motor vehicles through the ages. Learn about the automobile’s earliest days and follow the evolution of machines built for utility, practicality, and pure speed. Spend a day at Autostadt, Germany’s immense auto park, where you’ll explore various museums, use interactive software to design your own car and see hundreds of cars stored in glass towers. In Belgium, enjoy a day at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the most challenging racing circuits in the world, and take your seat in a prime location to watch the Formula I Belgian Grand Prix.
August 20-21 — U.S., Germany
Depart the U.S. for Berlin. Upon arrival, transfer to Wolfsburg, European headquarters of the Volkswagen Group. Enjoy the amenities in your hotel, the Ritz Carlton, before gathering with fellow car enthusiasts for a welcome reception and dinner. (R,D)
August 22 — VW Museum, Autostadt Wolfsburg
The modern city of Wolfsburg was founded in 1938 for workers in the Volkswagen auto factory. On a tour of the factory, explore VW’s history and see the first Beetle ever made. View prototypes and concept cars, including a wooden Beetle Cabriolet. Next, head to the Autostadt, Germany’s automobile theme park and an amazing complex of pavilions, museums, and hands-on experiences. At the ZeitHaus discover more than 50 cars from manufacturers all over the world and learn about important eras in the development of the automobile. Inside Autostadt’s glass towers, hundreds of cars are stored before being turned over to buyers. Several pavilions feature the development and production of makes such as Bentley, Lamborghini, Skoda, and Audi. Your visit to Autostadt includes a guided tour plus independent explorations. (B)
August 23 — Osnabrück, Germany, Hasselt, Belgium, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Drive to Osnabrück to visit the Auto Museum in the small town of Melle. No two visits are alike: the ever-changing exhibits feature cars and motorcycles of all makes and models on loan from their owners. The museum showcases the history—and art—of auto design, including some incredibly creative styles! After a curator led tour of the museum, visit the museum’s workshop. Later visit the private collection of automobile dealer Frans Billen-Bomans in Hasselt, Belgium. On the upper floor of the Mercedes Centre you will find his private collection of 35 classic Mercedes, including some rare racing cars. Continue to Maastricht and check into the Derlon Hotel. (B)
August 24 — Spa-Francorchamps Race Track, Belgium, Maastricht, Netherlands
Home to the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, among other races, Spa-Francorchamps is considered one of the most challenging, if not enthralling, tracks in the world. Begin at the Racetrack Museum in the cellars of the Abbey of Stavelot. Follow the racing circuit’s evolution—and cars and drivers who’ve tackled it—through interpretive displays, featuring a large-scale model of the track. Take a turn on the circuit via a computer simulation, then head to the track itself in the wooded foothills above town and take your seat (in a prime location) to enjoy the thrilling race. (B)
August 25 — Bergeyk, Netherlands, Trooz, Belgium
Today continue your tour in Holland with a visit to the Auto Museum in Bergeyk, which started as Janus Kennis’s private collection of both newer and vintage models. Stroll among the international array of cars of German, British, Italian, and American origin from the 1920s and later. In Belgium take a special tour of the Auto Museum in Trooz, home to more than 75 classic cars from the 1920s to the 1960s. On display you’ll discover Citroën, Renault, VW, NSU Prinz, and the diminutive BMW Isetta, built in the 1950s under license from the Italian Iso company. This tiny automobile helped to save BMW post World War II. (B)
August 26 — Brussels – Autoworld, Mahumobiles
Visit the stunning Belgian capital of Brussels, which began as a 10th-century fortress town and today is headquarters of the European Union and NATO. Dozens of museums and attractions grace this cosmopolitan city, and you’ll first head to Autoworld, among the most popular stops in Brussels. On a guided tour of the newly renovated museum, view more than 250 autos and trace the careers of world-class drivers and their machines, including Fernando Alonso’s F1 Renault, a 1930s FN, and a Bugatti T35, to name a few. Other exhibits feature the origins of automobiles, pioneers in design and manufacture, and rare specimens from royal families. Later enjoy a guided visit to Mahymobiles. This private collection displays a wide variety of vehicles, from the late 19th century to the present day. There is also an exceptional collection of miniature cars, historic bicycles and motorcycles, and a gallery dedicated to the evolution of coach-building and a special exhibit on famous rallies from around the world. Return to Maastricht for dinner. (B,D)
August 27 — Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Netherlands
In Eindhoven your guided explorations of the DAF Museum reveal the workings of two brothers whose early 20th-century machinery shop produced some revolutionary tractor-trailer trucking and haulage systems: van Doorne’s Aanhangwagenfabriek (trailer factory), or DAF. The museum includes a walk-through replica of the local village square, the van Doorne brothers’ restored workshop, and an exhibit on the evolution of engines. View the extraordinary collection of cars, including the DAF 55, which Rob Slotemaker and David van Lennep drove in the London-to-Sydney Marathon, and the ‘Siluro,’ created by Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti. Continue to Amsterdam this afternoon and check in to the Park Hotel. (B)
August 28 — Louwman Museum, The Ford Museum
Named after Dutch automobile importer, collector, and enthusiast Evert Louwman, the Louwman Museum houses his private collection—first started by his father—of cars, buses, and motorcycles. View the collection, which includes over 230 autos and features a 1914 Dodge, the Spyker (a fine, innovative Dutch sports car from the early 20th century), and the only remaining Eysink, a Dutch car made between 1903 and 1919. Louwman recently acquired the Bianco Rosso collection, once owned by Italian car enthusiast Peter Kaus, which includes many spectacular two-seater sports and racing cars. Then continue to Haarlem for a visit to Den Hartogh Ford Museum, the largest private collection of Ford automobiles in the world. Back in Amsterdam gather for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
August 29 — Amsterdam, U.S.
Transfer to the Amsterdam airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)