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Famous for its tulips, windmills, and wooden clogs, The Netherlands is a delightful country with scenic landscapes, historic monuments, and vibrant cities. You’ll get to know the country on this affordable tour starting and ending in Amsterdam. The capital of Holland is a pleasant, 700-year-old city whose elegant and classic architecture, cafés and restaurants, renowned museums, and picturesque canals—not to mention the bike paths throughout the city—make for a pleasurable atmosphere. Hop on a boat cruise—the best way to see Amsterdam—through the elegant canals lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” Stay in Rotterdam, South Holland’s capital, a young city with the world’s busiest port and known for its modern architecture and design, as well as in some of the minor but interesting towns where you’ll discover the rural atmosphere of this country. The Netherlands is known for legendary flower production, which you will experience on the visit to the fascinating Aalsmeer flower auction where more than 20 million plants and flowers are sold daily. (Note that from April to May, the Aalsmeer flower auction visit is replaced by a visit to the spectacular 70-acre Keukenhof garden to see the incredible display of a kaleidoscope of seven million flower bulbs.) You’ll also enjoy a visit of the Royal Delft Pottery Factory to see how this precious pottery is made. Visit Gouda, known for its namesake cheese and seasonal cheese market, regularly held on the medieval Markt square. Take a stroll in Volendam, known for its old fishing boats, characteristic small houses, drawbridges, and canals. Additionally, drive over the 19-mile Barrier Dam, constructed to protect the part of Holland that is below sea level. For the value-minded travel lover wanting to have an in-depth experience of the Netherlands, this is the perfect adventure!
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AMSTERDAM Canal cruise and city tourAALSMEER Visit flower auction (except departures April 4 to May 2 where you'll visit KEUKENHOF gardens instead)DELFT Visit Royal Delft Pottery factoryROTTERDAM Guided sightseeingGOUDA Cheese experienceGIETHOORN & GRONINGEN VisitZAANSE SCHANS Visit Wooden Clog workshopVOLENDAM Visit the fishing villageNotes:
On departures April 1 to 29 the Aalsmeer flower auction will be replaced by the visit of Keukenhof.
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; Amsterdam canal boat cruise.
Buffet breakfasts daily; 3 dinners, including dinner at a local restaurant in Amsterdam
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM AREA, NETHERLANDS Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore Amsterdam on your own with the help of the CosmosGO app. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
AMSTERDAM AREA For centuries, this tiny nation of seafaring traders played a leading role in world history. It reclaimed 40% of its territory from the sea, and produces a healthy agricultural surplus in the midst of Europe’s most densely populated area—yet Holland manage to remain quaint and scenic. Your day begins with a canal cruise to see Amsterdam from water level. Complete the experience watching skilled craftsmen cut and polish precious stones at a diamond center, and follow a Local Guide who will point out Amsterdam’s highlights on the included city tour. Enjoy time this afternoon to explore on your own or attend an optional traditional Dutch dinner.
AMSTERDAM AREA–AALSMEER/KEUKENHOF–DELFT–ROTTERDAM Begin your day with a visit to the fascinating Aalsmeer flower auction or, when the tulips bloom, see some of the 7 million flowers planted annually at the world-famous Keukenhof—one of the world’s largest flower gardens (departures 0401 to 0429 and weather permitting). Continue to historic Delft to visit the famous Royal Delft pottery factory. See how this exquisite pottery is made, and marvel at the magnificent collection of hand-painted earthenware. Continue on to Rotterdam, the world’s busiest port, to marvel at the city’s futuristic architecture during your sightseeing with a Local Guide.Today’s Distance: 99 mi/ 160 km
ROTTERDAM–GOUDA–ARNHEM AREA Arrive in Gouda, renowned for its cheese! Stroll around the picturesque narrow streets to the medieval Market Square, see the Gothic-style Town Hall with its red and white shutters and the Goudse Waag used for cheese weighing in the 17th-century. Then, enjoy your interactive cheese experience. Next, is Arnhem, site of the WWII Battle of Arnhem, where you will see John Frost Bridge, named after the commander of the British forces that held the bridge for four days. Enjoy time on your own to do some independent exploring.Today’s Distance: 71 mi/ 115 km
ARNHEM AREA–GIETHOORN–GRONINGEN This morning, head for the village of Giethoorn, built on canals but quainter than cities like Venice or Amsterdam. Spend the night in the provincial capital of Groningen. Today’s Distance: 118 mi/ 190 km
GRONINGEN–ZAANSE SCHANS–VOLENDAM–AMSTERDAM AREA Explore Groningen this morning, an important trade center in the 13th century, but hailed today as the “World Cycling City.” Cross over the 19-mile Barrier Dam, which is part of an incredible system of 1,200 miles of dikes, dams, and dunes built over the last 900 years to protect the part of the Netherlands that is below sea level. Visit a wooden clog workshop in Zaanse Schans. Continue to the fishing village of Volendam, then arrive back in Amsterdam and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Today’s Distance: 137 mi/ 220 km
AMSTERDAM AREA Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 15 years
"I enjoy sharing my stories about each country and city, and seeing travelers' reactions as they savor new cultures and experiences every day. Few other things in life make such a major impact in such a short time. It's so wonderful to meet a group of people who start the vacation as strangers but then often come away as lifetime friends. This gives me the passion to do what I do!"
Escorting tours for more than 10 years
"As a Tour Director I get to call worldwide famous monuments, breath-taking sceneries and hidden gems of Europe my "office". My job is to make sure your travel experience will be as stress-free, memorable and fun as possible. I'll give you tips and tricks on how to make the most of your trip. What is the best local delicacy? What I love most is being able to play a role in creating wonderful memories, goose-bump moments and tears of happiness!"
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"Always thirsty for new challenges, my path led me to the role of Tour Director. I love people, enjoy sharing the history and anecdotes of the different places visited on tour. Everyday is different, and this provides me with the motivation to hopefully meet everyone's dream. I do believe that travelling is like a book, if you do not travel you will always remain on the first page. All we need is to open our eyes to the world, and enjoy every moment we have, as life is a journey."