Flower Power


What could be lovelier than an April picnic amid fields of tulips? Last fall, the landscapers at Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands planted seven million bulbs for visitors to enjoy this spring (photo, above). They also arranged about a hundred thousand crocuses, tulips, and muscari into a mosaic showing a 17th-century sailing ship docked alongside gabled canal houses, representing the Dutch Golden Age (see below). If you stay on for the Amsterdam postlude on our “Dutch & Flemish Landscapes” cruise, you’ll visit Keukenhof for a picnic lunch, during which you’ll be able to admire this floral representation of Dutch cultural history.

Dutch & Flemish Landscapes
The Netherlands & Belgium
Aboard M.S. AmaPrima
April 10 to 18, 2016
(Amsterdam postlude April 18 to 20)
With Harvard professor Thomas Kelly,
Yale professor Gene M. Moore, and Metropolitan Museum of Art curator
Freyda Spira

Please click to view brochure



Meet Inés Powell

Watch Metropolitan Museum of Art educator and popular Travel with the Met lecturer Inés Powell reflect on her Spanish homeland in this Connections episode, produced by the Museum—and join her on a nine-night tour from Brussels to Amsterdam in October.  “Anytime that I feel a little bit nostalgic about Spain,”  she notes in the video clip, “all I have to do is walk around the galleries.” And, anytime that you want to thrill at seeing art, especially European art of a certain age, turn to Inés Powell!

Originally from Bilbao and trained at NYU Institute of Fine Arts, what really gets Inés Powell going is 17th-Century European Painting.  She was still in graduate school when she gave her first gallery talk at the Met and today, almost thirty years later, she’s developed a devoted following for both her talks at the Met and her lectures on Travel with the Met tours around the world.

She will next lecture next on Belgium & The Netherlands, October 11 to 21, 2015, including Brussels and Antwerp and a visit to the recently reopened Mauritshuis in The Hague (where Girl with a Pearl Earring is back on display!).

Belgium & the Netherlands:
In Search of Flourishing Genre Painting

338_thumb_5Discover outstanding museums and palaces in Holland and Belgium. Begin in Brussels, where highlights include a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts and a chocolate-making demonstration. In Ghent, admire the magnificent Cathedral of St. Bavo and Jan and Hubert van Eyck’s famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, better known as the Ghent Altarpiece. Stop in Antwerp to visit the Rubens House, Rockox House, and Museum Mayer van den Bergh. In The Hague, with its stately townhouses, see the outstanding collection at the newly reopened Mauritshuis, home to Vermeer’s celebrated Girl with a Pearl Earring. Marvel at works by Bruegel the Elder, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh at Rotterdam’s Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. In charming Haarlem, explore the Frans Hals Museum, with the world’s largest collection of works by the Golden Age artist, and the Teylers Museum, the first and oldest museum in the Netherlands. Conclude in Amsterdam with visits to the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House Museum, and Museum van Loon. Sample Dutch cheese during a specially arranged tasting, and enjoy an excursion to stunning Het Loo Palace.

Belgium_Netherlands_coverOther highlights during this exceptional journey include a private tour and lunch at Chateau Beloeil and an after-hours, behind-the-scenes visit and private dinner at Panorama Mesdag. In addition, we are planning an opportunity to draw at the Boijmans Van Beuningen with a museum instructor.  Click here for a PDF of the trip brochure. For additional details about this tour, please contact Abigail Grazl at (212) 514-8921 or abigail@arrangementsabroad.com


Slow Going: Travel by Riverboat

There’s no disco on a riverboat, no rock climbing wall, no water park, no casino and no choice of 25 restaurants. What you do get is a serene vacation, a cabin with a water view, personalized attention and meals handcrafted with locally sourced ingredients and wines.

Riverboats can maneuver into smaller ports thereby allowing direct entrée to exquisite places like châteaux, floating markets and vineyards. You have immediate access to the imposing cathedrals and masterpieces of art in the charming villages on your route. Join a walking tour or grab a bike and go explore – no need to travel out of the way to get to where a big cruise ship can dock, and then tender back and forth in a sea of people.

No crowds, no herding, no hurry. Just sophisticated, like-minded travelers who discuss Rotterdam’s inventive architecture or the van Goghs seen in Arles that day.

Take time to smell the tulips on a glorious springtime cruise along Dutch and Belgian waterways. Admire chateau gardens, Roman ruins and the enchanting cities and pastoral landscapes of Provence.

I bet you won’t miss for a minute getting lost en route to the ice show or waiting more than an hour to disembark.

By Anastasia Mills Healy

Beyond Tulips

By Anastasia Mills Healy

If you have to wonder how anyone might be able to write 388 pages about tulips or why anyone would want to read said tome, then perhaps a trip with a garden focus is not for you.

The distinguished British garden authority Anna Pavord in fact did write a fascinating history of tulips, a bestseller no less, complete with tales of trekking in desolate areas searching for rare species; Turkish sultans who required guests to dress in colors that matched their tulips; and a single bulb selling for the same price as the most expensive house in Amsterdam in the 1630s.

Anna Pavord

The author of numerous other books on gardening and the gardening correspondent for The Independent, Pavord will be the study leader on an upcoming cruise that focuses on the lush tropical gardens of the Caribbean. Obviously passionate about her subject, Pavord is a riveting lecturer. Even the most unapologetic black thumb will be drawn into her observations about rare orchids and bromeliads, Ixora, Heliconia, and Balisier.  You will never look at a Bird of Paradise the same way again.

Pink Orchid