From your base in historic Haarlem, immerse yourself in the world of Dutch fine arts, exploring cultural hubs from Delft to Rotterdam, and experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime, largest-ever exhibition of Vermeer’s masterpieces at the Rijksmuseum.

Starting at: $4,990 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Main square in Delft
 Canal in Haarlem
 Traditional windmill scene in The Netherlands
 Markthal in Rotterdam
 The Mauritshuis in The Hague
 Vermeer's The Milkmaid in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Credit: Frans Lemmens/Alamy
 Traditional canal houses in Amsterdam
 Typical scene in Amsterdam
 Path through hills with blooming heather in Hoge Veluwe National Park
 Market square in Gouda

A Stay in Holland: Featuring the Special Exhibition "Johannes Vermeer"

9 days from $4,990

From your base in historic Haarlem, immerse yourself in the world of Dutch fine arts, exploring cultural hubs from Delft to Rotterdam, and experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime, largest-ever exhibition of Vermeer’s masterpieces at the Rijksmuseum.

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by October 28, 2022!

Overview

Across the Netherlands, the legacy of world-renowned Dutch art is a palpable part of contemporary culture. World-class museums from the Mauritshuis to the Rijksmuseum house spectacular collections of the Old Masters, and painters like Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer are integral to the identity of their hometowns. From your base in the picturesque city center of Hals’ native Haarlem, immerse yourself in the world of Dutch fine arts, beginning with a once-in-a-lifetime, largest-ever exhibition of Vermeer’s masterpieces at the Rijksmuseum. On full-day excursions, explore the arts and culture of the Hague and Delft, the architecture of Rotterdam and the cheesemakers of Gouda; and discover an enormous collection of Van Gogh’s work deep inside a national park.

Highlights Include:

  • Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum: Enjoy two opportunities to view the largest exhibition ever of the works of Johannes Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, open only from February through June 2023. On guided tours, savor his works, from lesser-known paintings to iconic pieces like “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” and “Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid,” on loan from museums around the world.
  • Haarlem: Settle into the rhythms of everyday life in Haarlem, a picturesque Dutch town of gabled houses, beautiful churches, windmills and timeless cobbled streets. Just 15 minutes by train from Amsterdam and a short distance from the beach, Haarlem is an ideal base for discovering the cultural hubs of the Netherlands.
  • The Hague and Delft: On a day trip, admire the work of Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Fabritiusa during a guided tour of the Mauritshuis, home to a world-famous collection of 17th-century  masterpieces. Sit down to an Indonesian “rice table” and experience another side of Dutch cultural heritage. Then travel to Delft, hometown of Vermeer, to visit a special exhibition at the Museum Prinsenhof Delftone on the history and culture of the Netherlands during Vermeer’s lifetime.
  • Hoge Veluwe National Park: Traverse this sweeping landscape of grasslands, heath, and woods to the Kröller-Müller Museum, where a stunning array of 19th- and 20th-century European art includes pieces by Monet and Picasso as well as the second-largest collection of works by Van Gogh. Soak up the symbiosis of art and nature on a stroll or a bike ride through lovely sculpture gardens.
  • Gouda and Rotterdam: On a city tour, decipher stories from the Bible and Dutch history in the famous stained-glass windows of Sint Jan Church and enjoy a tasting and history lesson about Gouda’s namesake cheese. Continue to Rotterdam to encounter the innovative architecture of buildings like the Markthal, and cap off your excursion with a harbor cruise.
  • Amsterdam: Take advantage of two free afternoons to explore Amsterdam as you wish, visiting museums dedicated to Rembrandt or Van Gogh, taking a canal cruise, or simply strolling its picturesque bridges and lanes, soaking up the charms of everyday life.

Itinerary

Day 1-2 — Depart U.S. for Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Depart on an overnight flight to Amsterdam, where you’ll be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director. Transfer by motorcoach to the quintessentially Dutch town of Haarlem, your home during your stay in the Netherlands. Upon arrival at your hotel, receive a welcome kit with a map and information about the city. In the early evening, meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert at the welcome reception and afterwards enjoy a festive dinner. (R,D)

Day 3 — Haarlem

After breakfast, set out on a guided tour of the Frans Hals Museum, set within the poorhouse where the artist lived at the end of his life. The collection includes works by some of the great artists, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Brueghel the Younger, and the “house master,” Frans Hals himself. Enjoy a free afternoon to stroll the cobblestoned streets of Haarlem on your own. Consider a visit to the Teyler’s Museum, first opened in 1778 and home to an eclectic collection of inventions. (B)

Day 4 — Amsterdam

A short journey by rail brings you into the heart of Amsterdam. Your destination this morning is the Rijkmuseum, which opened after an extensive renovation in 2013, and will be hosting a much-anticipated Johannes Vermeer exhibition—its first ever—for just four months in early 2023. Galleries all over the world have loaned pieces for this exhibition, which promises to be the most comprehensive display ever of the artist’s work. Along with iconic masterpieces including “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” “The Geographer,” and “Woman Holding a Balance,” you will have the chance to view paintings never before shown to the public in the Netherlands, such as the newly restored “Girl Reading a Letter at the Open Window.”

With lunch and the afternoon at leisure, you are free to linger at the Rijksmuseum to see more of its world-famous collection. Alternatively, delve into the life and work of another Netherlands native at the Van Gogh Museum, visit the Municipal Museum for Modern Art, or step back in time at the Anne Frank House. Or you may decide to just sit at a canal-side café and savor a stroopwafel while watching everyday life unfold. Return by train to Haarlem and meet for a festive dinner at a local restaurant this evening. (B,D)

Day 5 — The Hague/Delft and Haarlem

Journey south on a full-day excursion to the Hague and Delft. At the Mauritshuis, follow a guide through one of the largest and most formidable collections of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings in the world. The museum has owned Vermeer’s masterpiece “Girl with a Pearl Earring” since 1902, though you will have seen it the previous day on loan at the Rijksmuseum. Dutch cultural heritage is inextricably linked with Indonesia, once a Dutch colony and the headquarters of the powerful Dutch East India Company. For lunch today, sit down to a traditional Indonesian “rice table,” a feast of sweet, savory, and spicy small plates that showcase Indonesian cuisine.

This afternoon, drive to nearby Delft, known for its distinctive blue-and-white pottery but also as the hometown of Vermeer. The city’s Museum Prinsenhof Delftone has timed an exhibition on Vermeer’s Delft to coincide with the Rijkmuseum exhibit. This will be the first-ever exhibition to explore the cultural and historical of Vermeer’s life. View works by Delft contemporaries as well as Delft pottery, Delft carpets, and letters dating back to the 17th century. Return to Haarlem for an evening at leisure. (B,L)

Day 6 — Hoge Veluwe National Park and Haarlem

After breakfast, drive through the green heart of Holland to the country’s largest national park, the Hoge Veluwe, where heath and woodlands meet the wild coast. Inside the park, tour the Kröller-Müller Museum, home to the second largest Van Gogh collection in the world, with almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings. The Van Gogh Gallery displays varying selections of about 40 works by Vincent van Gogh, as well as works by Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian within.  

After lunch together, walk or ride a bicycle through the sculpture garden, one of the largest in Europe, with some 160 sculptures displayed in stunning natural settings. En route back to Haarlem this afternoon, stop at the charming village of Laren for a coffee and the Dutch delicacy of “poffertjes”—small pancakes covered with powdered sugar and butter. Gather for a lecture on contemporary Holland by a local expert, and afterwards enjoy an evening and dinner independently. (B,L)

Day 7 — Gouda/Rotterdam and Haarlem

Travel by coach to Gouda, city of cheese. Stroll through the historic market square and visit Sint Jan Church, the longest church in the Netherlands, which is renowned for its medieval and Renaissance stained glass depicting scenes from the Bible and Dutch history. Your guided visit concludes with a gouda cheese tastingwith an expert guide.

Continue to the delightful harbor city of Rotterdam. Largely destroyed during World War II, Rotterdam rebuilt with daring and inventive modern architecture. Visit the Markthal, an innovative food market built within an arched apartment building that features an 11,000-square-meter mural. Browse the market on your own to pick up lunch before embarking on a harbor cruise. Take in views of Rotterdam's sparkling skyline and unusual buildings, and then see the shipyards and docks where of thousands of containers are shipped using hypermodern techniques. Return to Haarlem for an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 8 — Amsterdam and Haarlem

Journey back to Amsterdam by rail to experience more of all this dynamic city has to offer. You’ll have another chance to visit the Rijksmuseum, to get a last look at the historic Vermeer exhibition or discover other wings of the sprawling museum.  Lunch and the afternoon are yours to explore Amsterdam as you choose. You might take a cruise on the network of canals dug in the 17th century and now a World Heritage site. Or stop by the Rembrandt Museum, housed in the artist’s former residence.  Travel back to Haarlem to toast your art-filled adventure at a farewell reception and dinner.  (B,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart for home

Transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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