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TWO CAPITALS TOUR

Amsterdam & Vienna:

Art Capitals of Europe

 

THE NETHERLANDS 23-26 September 2018 (4-days, 4-nights)

Victoria Price and Vincent Price Legacy UK curator Peter Fuller invite you to join them on a four-day (4-night) tour exploring the premier art and cultural highlights of the Dutch capital, 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 blew him away. We hope our bespoke tour of the city will do the same for you.

Armed with your Museenkaart, Vincent's daughter, Victoria -- an art historian and art dealer, 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:

SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER

We will meet for 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.

SUNDAY 23 SEPTEMBER

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 of 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.

MONDAY 24 SEPTEMBER

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.

TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER

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 take 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.

WEDNESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER

Our final day we see us visit the Anne Frank House to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust and see the hidden annex where the Frank family lived before being captured and sent to concentration camps, before we head off to the airport and Vienna to begin our three-day (3-night) tour exploring the premier art and cultural highlights of the Austrian city of Vienna, which is also known as the City of Dreams, as coined by psychoanalyst Freud, and the City of Music, as it is a mecca for aspiring musicians with a wealth of classical history.

VIENNA 26 - 29 September 2018 (3-days, 3-nights)

Although Vincent Price missed out on Vienna on his first tour of Europe, he visited it while studying Durer as an art history graduate student at the Courtauld Institute of the University of London.. In honour of his world philosophy to be ‘forever curious’, we felt it a destination worthy of visiting and getting to know – it also has a delicious mix of the very things that always lit up Vincent’s life: art, rich culture, stately past and incredible cuisine.

Armed with your three-day Vienna City Pass, and with Victoria and Peter as your guides, you will visit three of the city’s principal attractions: the Albertina Museum, the Schoenbrunn Palace and the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Other highlights will include St Stephen's Cathedral, the symbol of Vienna, and one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria; the Hopberg Imperial Palace, where the Habsburgs ruled their empire from for over seven centuries; the Vienna State Opera House; the Sigmund Freud Museum, Mozart’s only remaining Viennese residence, and the 826 feet high Danube Tower, which commands spectacular views of the city.

For an extra fill of art, there’s also the holy trinity of the Leopold Museum, Kunsthalle Wien, and MUMOK, three contemporary galleries located in the old Imperial stables, now the Museumsquartier, which is home to changing art installations, covering comics, typography, sound art and street art. And taking a break from all these visual delights, we shall enjoy the tranquillity and splendour of the Stadtpark, which also plays host to regular Strauss concerts.

Of course no visit to Vienna is complete without a ride on the 19th-century Riesenrad, the giant Ferris wheel that featured in the classic 1949 film noir, The Third Man. For film aficionados, there will also be an opportunity to check out The Third Man Private Collection, which houses an extensive collection of memorabilia from the film and its real-life influences.

Vienna is also a mecca for mouth-watering pastries, hearty Austrian dishes (from schnitzel to goulash) – and chocolate. As such, we will visit an emporium dedicated to Victoria’s favourite sweet, lunch like locals in the city’s popular canteens, and savour the city’s best vegan eateries.

THURSDAY 27 SEPTEMBER

Hop On-Hop Off Bus: Overview of City: We will begin our exploration of Vienna with a comprehensive tour of the city and its sight using a sightseeing hop on hop off bus. With a choice of five routes, this will give a great opportunity to journey and discover everything there is to see of Austria’s historic capital!

In the afternoon, we shall visit the Albertina Museum, one of the largest Habsburg residential palaces, which contains some of the most valuable graphical collections in the world, including works such as Dürer’s ‘Hare’ and Klimt's studies of women. 

That afternoon, we will stop in at one of Vienna's justly famous pastry cafes to enjoy some incredible sweets.

That evening, we will stroll the stately avenues of Vienna enjoying the architecture, sights, and sounds of this world-famous city.

FRIDAY 28 SEPTEMBER

Free Morning: This morning is a free morning for you to get in your souvenir shopping before we head out for an afternoon and evening at the world-famous Schoenbrunn Palace.

Schoenbrunn Palace: This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of Europe's most beautiful Baroque complexes and was the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph and ‘Sisi’. We will spend a half-day visiting its 1,441 staterooms, including the Gloriette and Schönbrunn Zoo, while also learn about the Habsburgs’ tastes and habits and how they lived their day-to-day lives. This is an all-day activity, and one that will surely be a highlight of your Austrian experience.

Evening: Mozart & Strauss Concert (add-on fee of £120)

A Mozart concert plus dinner at the Schoenbrunn Palace Orangerie is a must-do in Vienna. The concert features works by Vienna's two most famous composers in a stunningly beautiful setting. Not to be missed.  

SATURDAY 29 SEPTEMBER

Our day begins with a visit to the Spanish Riding School and its world-famous Lipizzaners. This globally famous equestrian academy offers the highest standard of horse-riding art in the Baroque ambience of the Imperial Palace. We will have tickets to the daily morning exercise accompanied by classical Viennese music, which offers an insight into the years of training of the Lipizzaners and their riders.

After our final lunch together as a group at one of Vienna's famous dining canteens, we will visit one of Vincent and Victoria's favorite museums in the world -- and home to many of their favorite paintings.

Kunsthistorisches Museum: In the afternoon, we shall visit this beautiful building, which is home to some priceless art treasures, including the world's largest collection of Bruegel paintings.

Built in 1891 near the Imperial Palace to house the extensive collections of the imperial family, it numerous major art works of European art history include Raphael’s Madonna in the Meadow, Vermeer’s The Allegory of Painting, the Infanta paintings by Velazquez, as well as masterworks by Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Titian and Tintoretto. Also included are the Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection, which contain fascinating treasures from mysterious cultures long past. 

Evening: Vienna State Opera (add-on fee of £150)

The Vienna State Opera is one of the world's finest opera companies, known for exceptional performances with superstar singers and conductors, and made up of members of the Vienna Philharmonic. This evening, we will attend a performance of Werther. This is regarded as J Massenet’s most intimate work. Based on Goethe’s novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, it tells the story of a young forlorn poet, tortured by his love for Charlotte; a love that can never be fulfilled since she is engaged to marry another.

A fitting and beautiful way to end our time together!

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

* 4 days complete hosting service in Amsterdam led by Victoria Price

* Entry into four museums: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt Museum, Anne Frank Museum (plus more with your Museenkarte)

* Evening canal trip

* One hop-on, hop-off boat ride

* Welcome dinner in Amsterdam

* High Tea at the Amstel

* Private coach day trip to the Dutch countryside & windmills

* Flight w/airport transfers Amsterdam-Vienna-Amsterdam

* 3 days complete hosting service in Vienna led by Victoria Price & Peter Fuller

* Entry into three art museums: Albertina, Schoenbrunn Palace and the Kunsthistorisches Museum (plus more with your 3-day Vienna City Pass)

* Spanish Riding School visit & show

* Group Lunch in Vienna

•Metro cards 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.

TOTAL PRICE: £1,750

(This does not include hotel in Amsterdam or Vienna, air or trainfare to Amsterdam, transfer from airport to lodging in Amsterdam, taxis in either city, and some meals)

DEPOSIT OF $50 REQUIRED TO HOLD THE SPACE

We will contact you regarding individualized payment plans suited to fit your needs. All final payments are due by August 1, 2018.

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