ART CAPITALS OF EUROPE
Amsterdam - Paris
May 23 - June 1, 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 the Netherlands, with a special focus on Amsterdam.
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 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.
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.
Here is our itinerary:
We will ask you to arrive in Amsterdam by Friday, May 24.
FRIDAY MAY 24
We will meet for a welcome dinner 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. With Victoria as your host, 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 and 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
Windmills are order of the day as we head out of the city for a full day-tour, exploring the Dutch countryside visiting UNESCO World Heritage windmills, as well as Delft and other historic villages where you will see how Dutch cheese and wooden shoes are made. See the natural beauty of Holland before returning to the city in the evening, you will have free time to explore the cobblestone streets of the vibrant city centre, including the infamous Red Light District.
MONDAY MAY 27
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.
Following a stroll around Dam Square, we shall celebrate Vincent Price's 108th birthday with a high tea at the Amstel Hotel, where Vincent and Mary Price also visited and included in their acclaimed culinary tome, A Treasury of Great Recipes.
We shall follow this with informal tour of the city’s UNESCO-listed Canal Ring waterways aboard a hop-on, hop-off boat -- allowing us to be a little more spontaneous on this, our last full day in the city. We will spontaneously find a place to eat as a group -- just like Vincent did on his travels. (This dinner is not included.)
TUESDAY MAY 28
Our final morning will give each of you a chance to choose one activity before we catch a train to Paris, City of Lights. The activity choices will be a visit to the Anne Frank House or an early morning bicycle tour of Amsterdam and the Vondelpark (or you can just choose a free morning). We will check out of our hotels in the late morning and have a last Dutch lunch (not included) before catching our train (included).
PARIS (5 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.
After arriving in Paris by train and checking in to our lodgings, we will head out for a welcome dinner at a family-owned brasserie -- to give you a taste of the famous Paris cuisine and night life.
WEDNESDAY MAY 29
Victoria and Peter will lead our tour of Paris by foot and using local transportation, so that you can get a sense of the diverse and incredible beauty of this city. We will make a few key stops along the way -- in the morning, we will visit Opera Garnier and Pere Lachaise Cemetery before taking the local bus to see some of Paris' most famous sites. We will end up 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 Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe.
In the later afternoon, we will take a lovely river cruise along the Seine and afterwards, as we did in Amsterdam, we will discover the perfect place for our evening dinner (not included).
THURSDAY MAY 30
We begin our morning visiting the cathedral of Notre Dame and the glorious Saint-Chappelle.
From there, we head to the great museums of the world: The Musee d'Orsay. Housed in a 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. We will have lunch at the restaurant near the balconies overlooking the Seine and all of Paris. (not included)
From the d'Orsay, we will head out to walk the streets of the famous Left Bank -- see the book stalls and art galleries, have coffee or an aperitif. -- and then we will visit Have coffee and people watch, stroll through the book stall, see small art galleries, and get a taste of Parisian life. We will enjoy a coffee or an aperitif and people watching at one of Paris' justly famous cafes, Cafe Deux Magots -- before continuing on our journey through the wonderful streets and parks of this famous part of Paris.
You can stay on the Rive Gauche for dinner or you can splurge on our optional dinner at the most famous restaurant in A Treasury of Great Recipes, the Tour d'Argent.
FRIDAY MAY 31
Today we will venture out to Paris Disney -- for a special opportunity to hear Vincent Price's narration that has been reinstalled at the Haunted Manor. We will spend the day enjoying the amusement park, and riding a few rollie coasters in Vincent's honor.
We will return to Paris for a free evening on the town, with some suggestions for places to explore and wonderful cuisines to try.
SATURDAY JUNE 1
On our last day in Paris, we will visit the world-famous Louvre Museum -- visiting some of the most famous paintings and sculptures in the world. Then we will head to the Paris' oldest arrondissement (the Marais) to stroll around the Place des Vosges and then visit the Bastille Monument. We will end our day -- and our trip -- overlooking Paris from Montmartre enjoying a show and having one last fantastic Parisian meal (included)
SUNDAY JUNE 2 (ADD ON DAY)
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. (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.
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
* 8 days complete hosting service in Amsterdam & Paris led by Victoria Price & Peter Fuller
* Entry into all museums
* Evening canal trip In Amsterdam & evening Seine trip in Paris
* One hop-on, hop-off boat ride in Amsterdam & one hop-on, hop-off bus ride in Paris
* Welcome dinner in Amsterdam & farewell dinner Paris
* High Tea at the Amstel
* Private coach day trip to the Dutch countryside & windmills
* Train from Amsterdam to Paris
* Farewell dinner & show in Montmartre in Paris
•Metro cards in both cities
•Entry to all monuments and attractions on our tours in both cities.
ARE HOTELS INCLUDED?
No. However, we will give you a list of recommended lodging that we will ask you to use so that we are all staying in the same areas. There will be lodging to suit any budget.
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.