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Oak Lawn, IL
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Amsterdam touring, including guided visit to Rijksmuseum and candlelight canal cruise
  • Medieval windmills at Kinderdijk
  • Three-night stay in medieval Bruges
  • Bruges touring and canal cruise
  • Champagne tasting
  • Visit to Mardasson Memorial and Bastogne War Museum
  • Paris city tour
  • Pleasing mix of guided touring and free time
  • Relaxed pacing
  • Centrally located lodgings
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Day 2: Arrive Amsterdam After arriving in the Dutch capital, there’s time to relax at our center-city hotel before this afternoon’s walking tour of the area. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel. D

Day 3: Amsterdam We discover this canal-laced capital city on a morning tour, passing such highlights as the Royal Palace, Floating Flower Market, central Dam Square, and the historic canals lined with houseboats. Then we visit the renowned Rijksmuseum, where a guide illuminates for us the Golden Age of Dutch painting through works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and other masters. Our tour ends here; we are free to continue exploring the museum on our own; tour the famed Anne Frank House; explore the Hermitage Amsterdam, a Western branch of the famed Russian museum; or to do anything else we wish. This evening we enjoy a candlelight canal cruise with wine and cheese before dinner on our own. B

Day 4: Amsterdam On tours departing in April and May, this morning we enjoy a half-day visit of the dazzling gardens at Keukenhof; on tours departing June through October, we visit the acclaimed Vincent Van Gogh Museum. With more than seven million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths blanketing more than 79 acres with dazzling color, Keukenhof – also known as the “Garden of Europe” – ranks as the world’s largest flower garden and one of the most beautiful spring gardens anywhere. At the Van Gogh Museum, we see the world’s largest collection of works by the Dutch artist known for his bold colors and raw emotion – and who had an incalculable impact on 20th-century Western art. The museum houses some 200 paintings, along with works by such contemporaries as Corbet, Monet, and Gauguin. Then the afternoon is at leisure for independent exploration. Tonight we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 5: Amsterdam/Kinderdijk/Bruges, Belgium Today we travel to the village of Kinderdijk to see The Netherlands’ iconic windmills, approaching by boat. A local expert tells us about this UNESCO World Heritage site, whose 19 original windmills date to medieval times and still operate today. After lunch, we depart for Bruges, arriving late afternoon. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

Day 6: Bruges This morning we embark on a walking tour of this gem of a medieval city then visit a chocolatier to watch the chocolate-making process and, of course, to sample the goods. Next: a leisurely private cruise along the city’s romantic canals. After lunch on our own, the remainder of the afternoon is ours to do as we wish in this beloved city. We meet up tonight for dinner together at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 7: Bruges/Ghent This morning is at leisure to enjoy Bruges on our own. With its historic city center now a UNESCO World Heritage site, treasure-filled museums, well-preserved historic architecture, and evocative network of canals, the intimate town offers diversions aplenty. This afternoon we visit vibrant Ghent, capital of Belgium’s East Flanders region and the country’s “flower city” for its renowned international trade. Our walking tour here includes a visit to St. Bavo’s Cathedral, filled with priceless artworks including a 24-panel altarpiece by Jan Van Eyck and works by Peter Paul Rubens. We return to Bruges in time for dinner together at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 8: Bruges/Bastogne/Luxembourg We travel today to tiny Luxembourg, the world’s only Grand Duchy and once the crossroads of Western Europe. En route we honor the 77,000 American troops killed or injured in the deadliest battle of WWII, which took place in the Ardennes, the deeply forested region flanking Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. The Battle of the Bulge, as it became known, left an indelible mark on the region, as we see on our visit to the Mardasson Memorial, commemorating those who died here. We also tour the adjacent Bastogne War Museum, which provides a dramatic look at the war through personal testimony, artifacts, and interactive exhibits and displays. We reach Luxembourg City this afternoon; dinner tonight is on our own. B

Day 9: Luxembourg Once the crossroads of Western Europe, Luxembourg today is known for its rich history and surprising natural beauty. It also boasts one of the world’s highest standards of living. We discover some of this tiny nation-state on today’s city tour that features the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, where the graves of 5,076 American soldiers lie along with that of General George S. Patton, who commanded the U.S. Third Army from Luxembourg City. Tonight we dine together at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 10: Luxembourg/Reims, France/Paris En route to Paris today, we stop in the French city of Reims, the unofficial capital of the Champagne-Ardennes region. One of France’s leading centers of traditional champagne production, Reims also is where the Germans surrendered to General Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 7, 1945. Here we visit Notre-Dame de Reims, the celebrated cathedral where kings of France were crowned and which Joan of Arc liberated. After lunch together we visit a champagne house for a tour and tasting of the prized libation. Then we continue on to Paris, where dinner is on our own tonight in this city renowned for its fine cuisine. B,L

Day 11: Paris We pass by many highlights on this morning’s city tour, including the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, Champs-Elysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Then this afternoon is at leisure to enjoy Paris as we wish. Tonight we celebrate our European adventure over a farewell dinner. B,D

Day 12: Depart Paris for U.S. We transfer to the airport this morning for our return flight to the United States. B

Special Tulip Season Departures

April and May 2019: All departures during April and May feature a special visit and tour of Amsterdam’s renowned garden at Keukenhof, when the more than seven million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths planted there are in full bloom.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 10 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels
  • 18 meals: 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Sep 26
Oct 3
Jun 6
Jul 4
Aug 29
Sep 5, 19
Apr 15*+
Apr 22*
Apr 25*, 29*
May 2*
May 6*
May 9*
Boston, New York$4,189$4,289$4,389
Phil, Wash, DC$4,389$4,489$4,589
Atlanta, Baltimore,
Charlotte, Chicago,
Cinc, Cleve, Dallas,
Detroit, Hou, Miami,
Orlando, Tampa
$4,489$4,589$4,689
Denver, Los Ang,
Minn, Phoenix,
Portland (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$4,589$4,689$4,789

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $494, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,295. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

*Includes visit to Keukenhof during tulip season

+Accommodations in Bruges: Hotel Navarra

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,595 per person; Premium Economy – $1,595 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    NH Collection Barbizon Palace, Amsterdam / Days 2-4 / Superior First Class

    Ideally located in the center of Amsterdam just a five-minute walk from Dam Square, the NH Collection Barbizon Palace comprises nineteen 17th-century townhouses tastefully transformed into contemporary accommodations while still embracing their historic legacy. The 274-room hotel has two restaurants; fitness room and wellness area with solarium, sauna, and Turkish steam bath; and a private boat dock. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, internet access, TV, and phone.

    Grand Hotel Casselbergh, Bruges / Days 5-7 / Superior First Class

    The 18th-century Grand Hotel Casselbergh comprises three historic residences (Casselbergh, Zeven Torens, and t Fransch Schildt) that were previously owned and lived in by leading citizens and local aristocracy. Well located in the heart of the city, the 118-room Grand Hotel Casselbergh provides easy access to popular attractions including Grote Market, Belfort, Stadhuis, and The Burg. Hotel facilities include bar and lounge; wellness center with fitness room, sauna, Turkish bath, and relaxation room; laundry and dry cleaning services; and internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Le Royal Hotel, Luxembourg City / Days 8-9 / Deluxe

    Recognized as one of the Leading Hotels of the World for its elegant aesthetics and world-class service, Le Royal Hotel offers an ideal base from which to explore the tiny yet fascinating capital of Luxembourg.  Set in the heart of the Old City, close to the Parc Municipal and a host of shopping and dining options, the hotel offers two restaurants, a piano bar with cigar lounge, fitness center, spa, sauna, solarium, heated indoor swimming pool, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Elegant, air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Splendid Etoile, Paris / Days 10-11, Extension / Superior First Class

    Ideally located in the heart of one of the world’s great cities, the Splendid Etoile sits just a few steps from the Arc de Triomphe.  The 57-room hotel features Haussmann style architecture and includes a restaurant and bar, laundry and dry cleaning services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, minibar, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Paris – On Your Own

3 days/2 nights for $435 total price
Single Supplement: $295

Savor more time in the “City of Light,” at your own pace, in your own time.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • 2 nights’ accommodations at Hotel Splendid Etoile (Superior First Class)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Annelies Burgers

“We really enjoyed our time with Annelies. She was very efficient and handled each situation effectively. Materials she prepared in advance were very helpful.”
Steven Scholten
Grand Rapids, MI

Marieke Geleijsne

“Marieke went above and beyond the call to ensure everything went smoothly. Her individual attention to all the guests was superb.”
David Pagano
Hilton Head Island, SC

Ron Lazet

“Ron is a true professional and at the top of the various tour directors I have met on various tours. Patient, learned names, humorous!”
Sam Boatwright
Charlottesville, VA

Ingrid van Mil

“Because this was our first (but not our last) Odysseys tour, we feel fortunate to have had the best of the best! You are so fortunate to have her working for your company. Ingrid is excellent!”
Roger & Janet Smith
Indianapolis, IN

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Russell Shorto
Amsterdam, A History of the World’s Most Liberal City
Russell Shorto opens this delightful ode to an adopted city with his daily journey, by bike of course, through his neighborhood to drop off his toddler son. He spins a tale of a diverse city wrestled collectively from the sea, its coffee shops, canals, personalities and politics, with panache.

Mariet Westermann
A Worldly Art
This appreciative analysis of Dutch art in its Golden Age (1585-1718) features 100 exemplary illustrations by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals and other Old Masters.

Adam Gopnik
Paris to the Moon
Gopnik writes with candor and humor about Paris and Parisian ways in these charming reflections on adapting to life in glorious exile.

Sasha Heseltine
Frommer’s Easyguide to Amsterdam, Brussels and Bruges
EasyGuides are full of practical, easy to absorb information and emphasize authentic experiences. This lightweight guide highlights important attractions with expert advice on accommodations and meals.

Fodor’s
Fodor’s Paris’ 25 Best
This shirt-pocket map and guide includes essential information on the city’s history, highlights and sightseeing, ideal for a short visit to the City of Light.

Michelin Travel Publications
Benelux Map
Covering the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at a scale of 1:400,000.

Borch Maps
Paris Map
A sturdy laminated map of the city center at a scale of 1:12,000 and all of Paris at a scale of 1:15,000.

Inc. Dorling Kindersley
Eyewitness Guide Belgium and Luxembourg
Another gem in the Eyewitness series, this superb guide is handsome, convenient and up-to-date; it’s the guide to carry. Featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country’s attractions.

Mike Dash
Tulipomania
The story of the world’s most coveted flower and the extraordinary passion it aroused, this history traces the tulip from its origins on the Turkish steppes to status as an absurdly desired object in Europe and its role in the financial follies of 17th-century Holland.

John Baxter
Paris at the End of the World, The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918
John Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World) explores how the city of light managed to shine even brighter during the four years when WWI threatened her destruction.

Colin White
The Undutchables
A laugh-out-loud, irreverent guide to Dutch character and habits, including how to drink coffee and why you shouldn’t even think about haggling over prices.

Joan Dejean
How Paris Became Paris, The Invention of the Modern City
A vibrant chronicle of how Parisian rulers transformed the city into a cosmopolitan metropolis.

John S.D. Eisenhower, Stephen Ambrose (Introduction)
The Bitter Woods
An enthralling narrative history of the Battle of the Bulge, the largest battle in American military history with more than one million soldiers and 80,000 casualties.

Ernest Hemingway
A Moveable Feast
A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows, The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens
Ranging from his home in Antwerp to London, Madrid, Paris and Rome, Lamster uncovers the gripping tale behind one of the world’s most famous painters and his double life as a secret agent, diplomat and political operative in 17th century Europe.

Pete Jordan
In the City of Bikes, The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist
Pedaling around the city on a “lumbering and sluggish” single-speed bicycle named Brownie, American expat and bike nut Pete Jordan turns his love of Amsterdam – and of bicycles – into an acutely observed cultural history of the city.

Dorothy Dunnett
Niccolo Rising
From the reigning queen of historical fiction comes this fast-paced, thoroughly-researched novel of ambition and worldly goods in 15th-century Bruges. This is the first volume in her House of Niccolo series.

Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl, The Definitive Edition
The classic story of an adolescent Jewish girl’s life and thoughts while in hiding with her family in Nazi-occupied Holland. A new edition with added material.

Harry Pearson
A Tall Man in a Low Land
Pearson, a British travel writer, journalist and comic is an entertaining guide to Belgium and its traditions, culture, beer and chocolate.

Michael White
Travels in Vermeer, A Memoir
In the wake of a vengeful divorce and custody battle, an American poet travels to Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, London, Washington and New York to find solace and inspiration in the paintings of Johannes Vermeer.

Nina Siegal
The Anatomy Lesson
A fictionalized account of the events surrounding Rembrandt’s first commissioned piece, the Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. Well-researched and vivid with period details that transport the reader back to 1600s Amsterdam at the height of Dutch artistic vigor.

Manfred Wolf (Editor)
Amsterdam, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
Organized by district, these 17 contemporary short stories by modern Dutch writers, including Cees Nooteboom and Geert Mak, are set amid the canals, cafes and neighborhoods of Amsterdam.

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