In order to see the spectacular bi-annual Flower Carpet, the 2016 tour will begin in Brussels and end in Amsterdam, so please arrange your flights accordingly. All itinerary items will be included, but in a different order.
From 1 to 3 in the afternoon, we’ll await you in the lobby of our hotel. Check in and make yourself comfortable before an introductory stroll along Amsterdam’s glittering canals and cobbled lanes.
We’ll enjoy our first Grachtenfestival concert – perhaps a string quartet in a garden, then an Indonesian Feast (included) will introduce us to the wide variety of delicious world cuisine in the city.
Concert – perhaps a piano trio in the historic South Africa House
Lunch in a greenhouse (included) – we’ll feast on Chef Ronald Kunis’ fresh local cuisine in a gleaming, soaring glass house.
Amsterdam from the water – a Canal Boat Tour of the gabled mansion-lined Golden Century Canals
Time to explore Amsterdam’s wonderful shops – we’ll direct you to our favorite areas and best buys (chocolates, clothing, tulips, and more).
Dinner on your own, then an evening concert – perhaps a piano recital in the Cristofori center
A day trip to the windmill-filled villages of the Zaandijk, with lunch (included) at a quintessentially Dutch Pancake House
Free time and dinner on your own in Amsterdam
Concert – perhaps chamber music at Anne Frank House
Breakfast (included) and a walk to the museum quarter before another unique concert of the Grachtenfestival – perhaps Chamber Music in the exquisite garden of the Prince Bernhard Culture Foundation
Free time for shopping or museums, then we’ll complete our appreciative exploration of Amsterdam’s cuisine by candlelight (included) at an intimate frescoed canal-side restaurant.
Breakfast (included) and pack your luggage to leave at the hotel for our afternoon transfer to Brussels.
Two Surprise Location Concerts – perhaps a Mozart trio in an antique shop, or a trumpet solo in a garden – don’t you love surprises?!
After lunch we’ll train to the capital of Belgium, multi-cultural Brussels, and check in to our elegant hotel in the historic center.
Dinner (included) at a cozy brasserie, then an evening stroll through the historic center.
Breakfast (included) before a wander through the elegant Sablon neighborhood, where we can check out the weekend antique market at the Place du Grand Sablon, as well as the surrounding intriguing galleries and mouthwatering chocolate boutiques.
After lunch we’ll visit the Art Nouveau Musical Instrument Museum, a treasure house of amazing instruments from the centuries.
Dinner (included) featuring Belgium’s signature Moules-Frites and beer (choose from over 400 kinds produced in the country!)
Breakfast (included), then all aboard the train for a day trip to canal-laced Bruges. We’ll step back in time to the heyday of this glorious medieval relic when thriving wool merchants built towering churches and elaborate homes. Exquisite lace and glowing tapestries fill the shops here – wonderful memories to take home!
In addition to lunch (included) and a walking tour, we’ll enjoy a leisurely float along the canals, viewing the gracious buildings from the water.
Take time to shop or visit museums on your own before we meet to return to Brussels, where before dinner (included) we’ll take a peek at the Grand Place, which Victor Hugo praised as the most beautiful in the world! Surrounding the square are guildhouses in all their Flemish Renaissance gilded glory, along with one fabulous chocolate boutique after another.
Breakfast (included) and we’ll again board the train for a day-trip, this time to Ruben’s city, Antwerp, one of Europe’s oldest and richest ports.
In the center of town is Antwerp’s main landmark, the soaring Gothic Cathedral of our Lady, home of Ruben’s triptychs Descent from the Cross and Assumption of the Virgin.
We’ll stop for lunch at an intimate brasserie tucked up against the cathedral before visiting Ruben’s home, where he painted more than 2,500 pictures and also designed the baroque portico.
After returning to Brussels, we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner (included) of innovative French-inspired Belgian cuisine and fresh-from-the-North-Sea seafood.
Breakfast (included) then goodbyes to new-found friends before departing Brussels for home.
* finalized in late June following the release of the concert schedule