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An awe-inspiring journey

When we think of Holland, we may envision tulips, wooden shoes and windmills, but the Netherlands is also a modern, progressive country. We’ll explore the fascinating legacy of Holland’s Golden Age and 21st century Holland as we navigate its scenic waterways—a labyrinth of canals and locks that’s a marvel of hydro-engineering.

It being the height of the spring blooming season, we’ll view brilliantly hued fields of Holland’s iconic tulips that exemplify the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture and biogenetics. We’ll travel through the idyllic countryside that inspired a genre and a generation of Dutch and Flemish masters whose works we’ll view at the region’s world-class art museums.


April 16–25, 2024


10 days


From $11,595 per person

Trip size

28 participants

Minimum age

18 years
Reserve(opens new window)

Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Ed Steidle

Stanford Continuing Studies

Ed's background is in comparative literature and medieval literature, and he teaches on the arts and literatures of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

An expert in his field, Ed brings humor and excitement to his presentations.

—Ellen Loucks, ‘74


A river cruise through the Netherlands

Start and end in Amsterdam, journeying along the way to historical treasures in Gouda, Delft, and The Hague. Admire the iconic windmills of Kinderdijk, attend a flower auction in Alsmeer, and view the famous works of Dutch and Flemish masters.

  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Arrive in Amsterdam and transfer to our hotel in the heart of the city. Rest after the flight or stroll through town before our welcome reception and dinner.


    Conservatorium Hotel

    Included meal: Dinner
  • Amsterdam

    After breakfast, depart on a city excursion to survey the rich artistic heritage of the Netherlands. Visit the Van Gogh Museum to explore the world’s largest collection of the painter’s work. After lunch on our own, enjoy free time in the Museumplein. Dine independently this evening.


    Conservatorium Hotel

    Included meal: Breakfast
  • Amsterdam / Embark

    Spend the morning at the Rijksmuseum, which is filled with masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age. After lunch on our own, take a canal boat ride to visit the Noordermarkt (Northern Market), the farmers market where protesters held their first public meetings against the Nazi deportation of Jews in 1941. Embark on the Magnifique II in the late afternoon. Enjoy dinner on board.


    MS Magnifique II

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Haarlem

    Relax on deck as our vessel makes its way west along scenic waterways into the harbor of Haarlem. This charming medieval market town gave its name to New York’s Harlem neighborhood in the 17th century, when Manhattan was a Dutch colony. After lunch on board, we begin our walking tour, which takes us by the Town Hall, seat of the city’s government since 1100, and into the impressive Grote Kerk, a Protestant church and former Catholic cathedral. Inside its walls is Holland’s famed Müller pipe organ. Standing more than 100 feet high, with 5,000 pipes, this magnificent instrument was once played by Mozart and Handel. Continue to the Frans Hals Museum, located in a 17th-century almshouse and home to many of the master portrait painter’s best-known works.


    MS Magnifique II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Lisse / Leiden

    After an early breakfast, set out to experience the sights and fragrances of Lisse’s amazing Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden, world-renowned for its seasonal display of more than 7 million blooming tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other colorful spring bulbs. Stroll through acre after acre, taking in a stunningly beautiful scene that comes into being for only a brief moment each spring. Following lunch on our own, we drive the famous Flower Route, stopping in the elegant city of Leiden, home to the oldest university in the Netherlands. Dine together this evening on our barge.


    MS Magnifique II

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • The Hague / Delft / Rotterdam

    Begin the day in The Hague (Den Haag), the country’s seat of government and home of the royal family. Our morning tour includes the Mauritshuis collection, which features works by Vermeer, Rembrandt and other celebrated Old Masters. Time permitting, we also stop at the extraordinary late-19th-century Panorama Mesdag, an immersive cylindrical landscape painting some 45 feet high and 400 feet around. Spend the afternoon in Delft, birthplace of Dutch Golden Age artist Johannes Vermeer and an important center for the production of ceramics, specifically the world-famous Delftware. Return to our barge in Rotterdam Harbor in time for dinner.


    MS Magnifique II

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Rotterdam / Kinderdijk / Gouda

    Rise this morning to the colorful, bustling activity of Rotterdam Harbor and enjoy breakfast while cruising to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kinderdijk, the largest concentration of traditional windmills remaining in the Netherlands. Tour the 19 windmills, built in the late 1700s, then take an optional bike ride along the canals to soak in the beauty of this historic area. Reboard our barge and have lunch while cruising to Gouda, famous for the cheese produced here since the late 12th century. Our afternoon tour includes a visit to Gouda’s Gothic Stadhuis (City Hall) and to Saint John’s Church, with its world-famous stained glass windows. Dine independently at one of Gouda’s fine restaurants this evening.


    MS Magnifique II

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Gouda / Oude Wetering

    Begin the day with a walking tour of Gouda, including the medieval Markt square. This afternoon choose to take a bike ride through the Groene Hart (Green Heart) of the Dutch countryside, a lovely rural landscape of lakes, fields and small villages, or opt to relax on deck or enjoy a hands-on experience with our chef, helping out with tonight’s traditional Dutch dessert. After we’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy a Dutch cheese-and-beer tasting and dinner on board.


    MS Magnifique II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Aalsmeer / Amsterdam

    Early this morning pay a visit to Aalsmeer’s flower auction, the largest such event in the world, then enjoy a relaxing cruise back to Amsterdam. This afternoon stroll the city’s charming streets or explore some of its most beloved sites before joining the group back on our barge for tonight’s farewell reception and dinner.


    MS Magnifique II

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Amsterdam / Disembark / Home

    Disembark the Magnifique II and transfer to Amsterdam’s international airport for flights home.

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

colorful buildings and reflection


Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

interior view of dining restaurant
Category A

Standard cabins on the Lower Deck with twin beds, private bath, climate control, flat-screen TV and fixed portholes. (118 sq. ft.)

  • Double: $11,595 per person

  • Single: $14,495 per person

Category AA

Junior suite on the Upper Deck with twin beds, private bath, climate control, flat-screen TV and large windows. (151 sq. ft.)

  • Double: $14,195 per person

Join us in the Netherlands

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