ART CAPITALS OF EUROPE
Amsterdam - Paris
May 24 - June 2, 2019
THE NETHERLANDS (4 days & 4 nights)
Victoria Price and Vincent Price Legacy UK curator Peter Fuller invite you to join them on a four-day four-night tour exploring the premier art and cultural highlights of Amsterdam and nearby Haarlem.
90 years ago, a young art-loving Vincent Price started the European leg of his Seven Capitals Tour in Amsterdam, and it was here that he got up close and personal with Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose celebrated works inspired him to become a lifelong art lover. We hope our bespoke tour of the city will do the same for you.
Victoria and Peter will guide you through the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt Museum, Anne Frank Museum and the Mauritshuis over the four days. In each museum, Victoria will offer suggestions for viewing as well as interactive experiences that will allow you to learn how to see more deeply and discover new ways of enjoying art and culture.
Amsterdam is best experienced on foot, by bike and by boat - so we will explore Amsterdam’s rich heritage ambling through the city’s quirkiest quarters and wonderful waterways, including the historic old town, which contains some beautifully-preserved guild buildings and civic guard structures - all remnants of the city’s glory days as a 17th-century trading capital; the Red Light District; the city’s picturesque UNESCO-listed Canal Ring waterways, and visit significant sites associated with Amsterdam's most prominent former residents, including renowned Dutch painter, Rembrandt van Rijn, US ambassador John Adams, who visited during the American Revolution, and young Jewish heroine Anne Frank. We will also visit the beautiful nearby city of Haarlem and explore its art, museums, and public places.
Vincent loved his food, and we hope you do too. So, alongside your fill of art and culture, you will also visit local foodie hotspots to sample the taste sensations of the city’s local cuisine, which was heavily influenced by the East Indies Spice trade during the 16th century.
We ask you to be ready to join our group by Friday evening, May 24.
Here is our itinerary:
FRIDAY MAY 24
We will meet for a welcome dinner at a well-regarded farm-to-table restaurant on your first night in Amsterdam so that we can all get to know one another and begin to immerse ourselves in Dutch cuisine and culture.
SATURDAY MAY 25
Two must-visit Amsterdam museums -- the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum -- are our primary focus today. We will bypass the main queues at the Rijksmuseum, where we will share stories about the museum’s best and quirkiest pieces as you explore a selection of paintings and artefacts from the 8,000 objects on display, and admire masterpieces like Rembrandt’s Night Watch and Vermeer’s The Milkmaid.
We will have lunch together at the museum and share some of our favorite experiences, after which you will have free time to explore the Museum District on your own. Later in the afternoon, we head to the Van Gogh Museum to learn more about the man behind the famous sunflowers and self-portraits that are featured in galleries around the world. Here’s your chance to walk through the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s works while learning about his life, from his days in Holland to his dramatic ending in France. (*)
We conclude the day with an evening boat tour including dinner and drinks while floating along the city’s iconic canals.
(*) Depending on whether the artwork is on loan or being restored, your tour may include Van Gogh's large collection of self portraits, early and obscure works, objects from his studio, Sunflowers, Yellow House, and Wheatfield with Crows.
SUNDAY MAY 26
Today is all about art and adventure in Amsterdam. We will begin our day touring the Rembrandt House together. The Rembrandt House Museum was originally the marital home of Rembrandt and his wife, Saskia. Today, we will have the opportunity to browse an incredible collection of Rembrandt’s works, and explore the beautifully restored rooms of the house. We shall follow this with a short walking tour to South Church, the site upon which Rembrandt reputedly painted his prominent masterpiece, The Night Watch, and then the Weighing House, the place where The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp was painted. followed by a local lunch spot.
In the afternoon and evening, you will have your choice of activities depending on your interests and activity level. Peter will lead an afternoon group on a walking tour of the Amsterdam including the famed Amsterdam Dungeon, while Victoria will explore the incredible art collection at the Mauritshuis. In the evening, Victoria will conduct a bike tour through Amsterdam’s famed canals and gorgeous city parks, where we will have a local/picnic dinner while Peter will take a group to explore the Red Lights Secrets Tour followed by dinner and the Red Light District Walking Tour. If neither of these evening tours is to your liking, please feel free to take the evening to explore the city at your own pace.
MONDAY MAY 27
On what would have been Vincent Price’s 108th birthday, we head out to nearby Haarlem — a beautiful little canal city full of quaint narrow streets, boutiques and restaurants, windmills, beautiful waterways, public squares and churches — and of course the famed Frans Hals Museum.
We will conclude this day (our last full day in Amsterdam) with a very special dinner at the Amstel Hotel, where Vincent and Mary Price also visited and included in their acclaimed culinary tome, A Treasury of Great Recipes.
TUESDAY MAY 28
Our final day in Amsterdam will give each of you a chance to visit to the Anne Frank House followed by shopping with Victoria, or go antiquing with Peter. We will check out of our hotels in the late morning and have a last Dutch lunch (not included) before catching our first-class train to Paris in the late afternoon (included).
PARIS (4 days & 5 nights)
Vincent Price ended his Grand Tour in Paris, where he visited so many of Paris' justly famous cultural sites. We will do the same -- and add a few more that have become part of the pantheon of the City of Lights.
We will arrive late into Paris and check into our hotel(s). For those of you who did not eat on the train, you can grab a bit to eat locally. Peter will not be joining us in Paris, so our Paris trip with be co-led by native Parisian tour guide Olivier Anceschi.
WEDNESDAY MAY 29
We begin our first day in Paris with a tour of the famed Opera Garnier, followed by a shopping excursion into the world-famous Galeries Lafayette.
At 1:30PM sharp, we will dine at the Eiffel Tower for lunch at the First Floor Restaurant (included), so you can take in this iconic structure and its amazing view.
In the afternoon, we will visit the famed Musee d’Orsay. Housed in a former grand train station, this museum displays some of the most famous works from the 19th century -- including the heyday of French Impression and Post-Impressionism. Our museum visit will be followed by a leisurely early evening boat ride up the Seine.
We will dine at a local brasserie famed for its confit and other traditional Parisian food on the Left Bank this evening (included).
THURSDAY MAY 30
We begin our morning visiting the cathedral of Notre Dame and other beautiful places of worship.
From there, we will spend the majority of our day (including lunchtime) at the one-and-only Louvre Museum, home to many of the most famous pieces of art in the world such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
In the late afternoon, we will stroll through the Tuileries Gardens and across the Lovers Bridge to walk the streets of the famous Left Bank -- see the book stalls and art galleries, have coffee or an aperitif and get a taste of Parisian life at one of Paris' justly famous cafes, Cafe Deux Magots.
You can choose to have a free night to explore the city on your own, or you can join either Olivier or Victoria for one of our add-on dinners:
Enjoy traditional Parisian night on the town including dinner with Olivier, or splurge on our optional Tasting Dinner at one of the most famous restaurants in the world — Lasserre—with Victoria (not included in tour price).
FRIDAY MAY 31
Today we will venture out of town to enjoy learning more about the history, art, and architecture of the surrounding areas. We will visit Fontainebleau southeast of Paris, known for the opulent chateau. Built by French royalty, with parts dating back to the 1100s, the palace houses Marie Antoinette’s Turkish boudoir, the Napoleon Museum and a lavish theater. Its formal gardens feature ornamental lakes and sculptures. Surrounding the town and chateau is Fontainebleau forest.
In the evening, we will all dine together family style at a traditional French restaurant in a non-touristy part of Paris.(dinner included)
SATURDAY JUNE 1
On our last day in Paris is our walking excursion. In conjunction with EverWalk, we will be walking from the Bastille to Montmartre through the beautiful Marais district with its stunning Place des Vosges to the Pompidou Center (modern art museum) up to Pere LaChaise Cemetery, where we will visit some of the most beautiful and famous gravesites in the world, and then ending up at Montmartre. This is a chance to explore the nooks and crannies and alleyways along with some of the most beautiful parts of Paris. (For those of you who do not wish to walk the whole way, we will provide taxi transportation and meeting points all along the way.)
For your final evening in Paris, you have three options:
Dinner and a show at the famed cabaret Moulin Rouge, which Vincent visited many times on his first trip to Paris. (not included in tour price)
Off-the-beaten track Paris with Olivier.(not included in tour price)
Or a free night.
SUNDAY JUNE 2 & MONDAY JUNE 3 (ADD ON DAYS)
For those of you who wish to stay an additional day, Victoria will take a group to attend the French Open at the famed Roland Garros Stadium on one of these days, and out to Paris Disney on the other day to visit the Haunted Mansion featuring the narration by Vincent Price, which has just been reinstated.
French Open: The price for these all-entry Grandstand tickets is NOT included in the overall price. However, we can guarantee fantastic seating for five people on a first-come, first-served basis.) Watch some of the greatest tennis players in the world play on the Terre Battue, the famous French red clay.
Paris Disney: Skip the lines and hear Vincent Price scare you in French with his daughter!
WHY CHOOSE ESC TOURS?
ESC Tours is a collaboration between Victoria Price and Peter Fuller, two lifelong travelers whose cultural adventures were inspired by the "Explore Savor Celebrate" philosophy of Vincent Price.
We offer a bespoke hosting service, leading new and experienced travelers alike, as we explore, savor and celebrate the art, culture, food and film history of each destination we visit. We create flexible bespoke itineraries with ample free time as well as group activities. We provide guided tours and unique experiences.
Unlike other tour groups, we keep our groups very small so that the experience is more like traveling with friends. In this way, we learn about various cultures through the pleasure of shared adventures, ideas, and meals.
WHAT WE OFFER
* 9 days complete guiding service in Amsterdam & Paris led by Victoria Price & Peter Fuller/Olivier Anceschi.
* Entry into all museums
* Evening canal trip In Amsterdam & evening Seine trip in Paris
* Three included dinners in Amsterdam & one included dinner in Paris plus two optional dinners in Paris as add-ons
* First-class train from Amsterdam to Paris
•All transportation in both cities
•Entry to all monuments and attractions on our tours in both cities.
ARE HOTELS INCLUDED?
You have the option of including hotel in your price. Please let us know if you are interested in this option.
ARE FLIGHTS or TRAINFARE TO/FROM AMSTERDAM from US, UK or any other country outside the Netherlands INCLUDED?
No. However, we can provide advice and guidance on airlines, trains and transfer services.