The Netherlands - Belgium – France:
Agriculture, Tourism and Memorials

AALP Alumni and Friends 2018 - The Netherlands - Belgium – France: Agriculture, Tourism and Memorials
Europe has been a battleground, a place of remembrance and an envied destination for the simplest and most avid traveler.

This very special tour combines these with the agricultural richness of upper Europe, showcasing the majesty of bygone ages, significant cultural differences and heritage centuries before North America was discovered.

Come with us on the 2018 AALP Alumni journey as we experience some of the very best of The Netherlands, Belgium and France.

Itinerary

AALP Alumni and Friends 2018 - The Netherlands - Belgium – France: Agriculture, Tourism and Memorials

Sunday, September 16: Arrival – Amsterdam (D)
Arrival at Amsterdam airport. Meet and greet with our English speaking tour manager. Bus transfer in a modern, comfortable tour bus to Amsterdam. Guided city walking tour in Amsterdam: Amsterdam is the multicultural capital of the Dutch kingdom, besides Den Hague where the government has it residence. Waterways, the so called “Grachten”, pervade the whole old town with many impressive, famous buildings and points of interest. Today we see the palace, Rijksmuseum, Oude and Neuwe Kerk, art museums, small restaurants, lovely shops and encounter friendly people. Check in at our hotel in the wider Amsterdam area. Dinner and over-night.

Monday, September 17: Flowers – Modern Agriculture – Dutch Tradition (B)

  • 06.00 Packed breakfast
  • 06.30 Transfer to Aalsmeer
  • 07.00 Visit to the flower auction The flower auction is one of the largest in the world. Daily about 20 million flowers and plants are auctioned. From the Visitor Centre, walk across a gallery through the auction complex. At the end of the gallery we arrive at the auction halls where we'll see the flowers come before the unique auction clock.
  • 08.30 Transfer to the Lelystad region.
  • 09.30 Visit two neighboring farms with dairy and arable production: 230 heads of dairy cattle, sugar beets, potatoes and cereals. On our way to Lelystad we will hear about the Dutch polder system; the artificial gaining of land by locking parts from the sea and permanently pumping out the water.
  • 12:00 Visit the Nieuw Land Erfgoedcentrum, a modern museum explaining the history of gaining land at Netherlands biggest Polder Flevoland.

    Free time for individual lunch and exploration in the area.
  • 14.30 Transfer to the Zaandam region passing by the dam that separates the Ijselmeer and the Markermeer.
  • 15.30 Walk through Zaanse Schans. In previous centuries the surrounding Zaan region was an important industrial area and hundreds of windmills here helped produce linseed oil, paint, snuff, mustard, paper and other products. Many of the village's characteristic houses are now museums, gift shops or workshops while others are still used as private residences.
  • 17.30 Return to our hotel and an independent evening

Tuesday, September 18: Memorial – Intensive Production (B / D)
Breakfast at our hotel and check-out.

  • 08.00 Transfer to the Nijmegen region.
  • 09.30 Visit the Groesbeek Canadian War Memorial & Cemetery
  • 11.30 Drive through the intensive horticultural Brabant / Limburg region.
  • 13.00 Visit a working tomato farm.

    Independent time for lunch
  • 16.00 Transfer to Eindhoven.
  • 17.30 Check in to our hotel for the evening.
Dinner

Wednesday, September 19: Dairy – Cemetery – Zeeland (B / D)

  • 08.00 Breakfast and check-out
  • 08.30 Visit a camel milk farm. Founded in 2006 the farm is the only camel dairy in Europe. In 2012 they had 70 camels on the farm. The milk is processed for liquor, bread, chocolate, soap and creams to be sold worldwide. Here workshops, visiting programs and a restaurant are offered.
  • 10.30 Drive to Bergen-op-Zoom.
  • 11.30 Visit the WWII Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery.
  • 13.00 Round trip though Zeeland, the warmest region of the Netherland with a 650 km coast line, clean beaches and scenic villages. The Delta works (storm surge) protects the inner country from disastrous floods.

    Independent lunch – here we suggest a nice fish restaurant due to the fresh quality in the area.
  • 16.00 Transfer to Ghent.
  • 17.00 Arrival and check in at our hotel for a three night stay.
Dinner and overnight.

Thursday, September 20 Brussels & European capital (B)
Breakfast

  • 08.00 Transfer to Brussels
  • 09.00 Meet with a representative of the European Agri-commission responsible for the rural zones in Europe.
  • 11.00 Visit to the “Parlamentarium”, The European Parliament's Visitors' Centre (90-minute modern interactive multimedia tour).

    Open time in Brussels for an independent lunch.
  • 15.00 Guided city tour of Brussels. Apart from its famous chocolates and beer there are many attractions that most visitors cannot begin to imagine. Brussels is a centre of European culture, officially nicknamed ‘the European Village’, with almost 90 museums, beautiful parks, fascinating walks, trendy restaurants and bars. Small Manneke Piss statue and shining Atomium, the symbol for peaceful use of nuclear power built for the Expo ’58, are not to be missed attractions. Visit a local brewery including tasting. Some free time in Brussels to enjoy the city.
  • 18.00 Return to Ghent.
Independent evening.

Friday, September 21 Mare’s Milk – University – Bruges (B / D)
Breakfast in our hotel

  • 08.30 Visit a private mare’s milk dairy with a big Haflinger horse herd kept on 30 ha grassland.
  • 10:00 Presentation on Belgian agriculture at Ghent University. Independent lunch.
  • 14.00 Transfer to Bruges.
  • 14.30 A guided walk through beautiful Bruges. If you set out to design a fairy-tale medieval town it would be hard to improve on central Bruges – the capital and largest city in the province of West Flanders. Picturesque cobbled lanes and dreamy canals link exceptionally photogenic market squares lined with soaring towers, historic churches and old whitewashed almshouses. Time for individual exploration.
  • 17.00 Dinner in a restaurant with typical, local specialties (likely a brewery restaurant).
  • 19.00 Return to Ghent and overnight.

Saturday, September 22: Potato – WWI memorials (B / D)

  • 07.30 Transfer to the Kortrijk region.
  • 08.30 Visit of an important potato farmer. Belgium is the world’s second largest exporter of potatoes and potato products, especially deep frozen.
  • 11.00 Transfer to Vimy region.

    Independent lunch on the way.
  • 13.30 Visit the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. The memorial site is dedicated to the memory of WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force members and serves as a testament commemorating WWI Canadian soldiers killed or presumed dead in France but with no grave. The monument is the centrepiece of a 100 ha preserved battlefield park.
  • 17:00 Transfer to the Arras region.
  • 17.30 Check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Sunday, September 23: Reims – Champagne – Paris (B / D)

  • 09.00 Transfer to Reims.
  • 11.30 Guided city tour of Reims and visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The Gothic art masterpiece where the kings of France were crowned was one of the first monuments registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yearly it welcomes one million visitors. Erected between 1211 and 1516, in accordance with an architectural program of immense artistic richness, the Cathedral of Reims survives as one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic art.

    Independent lunch.
  • 14.30 Visit of a Champagne producer including tasting. The wine region Champagne consists of historical Champagne, Picardie and île-de-France with about 34.000 ha of vineyards, mostly white varieties. The traditional champagne production was founded in the 17th century.
  • 16.00 Transfer to Paris.
  • 19.00 Check in at our hotel for a two night stay.

Monday, September 24: Food Wholesale – Paris (B / D)

OPTION (Additional Cost EURO 82 p.p.)
A very early morning today.
  • 04.30 Visit the world’s largest wholesale food market “Rungis” including breakfast at the market restaurant: 232 ha in total, 72 ha built, 30,000 employees and buyers, 24,000 vehicles per day; 1290 enterprises are located here, 520 of which are wholesalers; sold goods (sales halls): vegetables (9), meat (7), milk and dairy products (5), fish and sea food (1) with additional halls for flowers.
Breakfast at our hotel.
  • 09.30 Guided tour in the French capital: Paris. Paris boasts magnificent buildings and statues including the Eiffel tower (Tour Eiffel), the cathedral Notre Dame and also modern buildings - the Centre Pompidou or the glass pyramid in the centre court of the Louvre. Each quarter has its special charm and attractions. Following our tour you will have free time today for museum visits, a private Seine river cruise or shopping.
  • 19.30 Farewell dinner in a good local restaurant.

Tuesday, September 25: Paris – Departure (B)
Breakfast and hotel check-out with our final transfer to the international airport. You may also elect to extend you stay in Europe.

Strictly Limited Availability:

Our program is strictly limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to ensure the quality of our tour, this program is limited to an maximum of 30-participants.
As with the tour itself, wait lists will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.


Cost

Tour Price
  • Based on double / twin occupancy: Canadian $4,150
  • Based on single occupancy: Canadian $4,890
Land ONLY Cost*:
  • Based on double / twin occupancy: Canadian $3,300
  • Based on single: Canadian $4,040

* Transfers to / from the start and end of the tour are provided as group transfers only.

Payment Requirements
  • Per Passenger deposit requirements:
    CAD $750
  • Final Payment Due: July 06, 2018
Air Arrangements / Land Only Pricing

The tour includes air transportation Toronto. We are happy to provide competitive air quotes from any departure city. Should individuals wish to make their own air arrangements to and from the start of the tour a land only cost is available. In the event that clients make their own way to the start and end of the tour, transfers are only provided based on the group arrivals / departures or on arrival and departure at a similar time.

Tour Includes:

  • Return air to / from Europe as detailed including all taxes
  • Accompanied by Rob Black, former Officer with the Rural Ontario Institute
  • 9 x Accommodation in excellent 3*** hotels
  • 9 x Breakfast
  • 7 x Dinners without beverages indicated as D in the itinerary
  • 14 x Technical and tourism visits
  • 11 Days with qualified English speaking tour manager / guide
  • Transport in a modern, comfortable tour bus

Exclusions:

  • Porterage
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals and beverages other than listed above
  • Anything listed as "optional" and "facultative"
  • Any tips
  • Baggage handling at hotels

Insurance

We strongly recommend adequate travel insurance and will provide details of insurance suggestions at the time of booking.

Cancellation Penalties

In the event that we are able to find a replacement from wait-lists or other requests received for the tour between date of booking and 31-days prior to date of departure, a flat US $50.00 p.p. administration charge will be accessed.

Within 31-days prior, we regret that all payments become non-refundable with or without a replacement.

We cannot guarantee a replacement for any cancelled passenger regardless of the date the cancellation is received in our office.

  • From date of booking to July 05, 2018: Loss of deposit paid
  • From final payment date to departure: 100% Non-refundable

Flights

Toronto September 15
Amsterdam September 16
KLM 692
Depart: 17:15
Arrive: 06:30
Paris (CDG) September 25
Toronto
Air France 356
Depart: 13:50
Arrive: 16:10

Accommodations

Figi Hotel, Zeist
Figi Hotel
Zeist

A luxurious 4-star hotel that combines entertainment and accommodations in a special way. Spend the night in a lovely room and enjoy the theater and cinema right at the hotel. It is surrounded by parks and is close to the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. You can make beautiful trips by bike or by foot. The center of the city of Zeist is within walking distance of Figi and has beautiful historic buildings.

Hampshire Crown
Hampshire Crown
Eindhoven

Think: walls full of eyecatching artwork, XL beds with crisp white sheets and a restaurant where the food is both a treat to eat and see. A real 4-star gem, with a edgy twist. Our hotel has a trendy restaurant, fitness room and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Europahotel, Ghent
Europahotel
Ghent

The Europahotel is a modern and trendy business and leisure hotel located on the beautiful banks of the Leie River in the green edge of Ghent. The unique location offers plenty of opportunities during your stay. The brasserie Courant d'Eau ensures a pleasant dining experience.

Holiday Inn Express Arras
Holiday Inn Express Arras
Arras

Surf the web with complimentary wireless Internet in your bright, air-conditioned Guest room at Holiday Inn Express Arras. You can relax watching satellite channels and help yourself to complimentary tea and coffee. Some rooms have views across the city.

Ibis Styles Paris Bercy
Ibis Styles Paris Bercy
Paris

The Ibis Styles Paris Bercy hotel boasts a peaceful location ideal for exploring Paris. Very close to Gare de Lyon and Gare de Bercy train stations, as well as the AccorHotels Arena, with the heart of Paris just a 10-minute metro ride away. Bercy Village, Parc de Bercy, the François-Mitterrand library and loads of other fantastic places are also just a stone's throw away.

Vimy Ridge
Vimy Ridge
Belgium

The memorial site is dedicated to the memory of WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force members and serves as a testament commemorating WWI Canadian soldiers killed or presumed dead in France but with no grave. The monument is the centrepiece of a 100 ha preserved battlefield park.


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Tour Leader

Rob Black

Rob Black, Former Officer at Rural Ontario Institute

Rob Black was the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) in Ontario for many years. In this role, he directed the activities of the Institute in accordance with the policies and vision of the Board of Directors.

Rob is an accomplished speaker, trainer and workshop leader and has worked in the rural, agricultural and leadership arenas and with organizations for much of his working career. He readily admits that he wouldn't be where he is today, but for his early involvement in 4-H and other leadership development opportunities. Rob was the recipient of a Queen’s Jubilee medal in June 2012 in recognition of his contributions to 4-H across Canada.

Rob is a past president of the Canadian 4-H Council; the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association; and the Wellington County Historical Society.

Most recently Rob was successful in his first bid for political office in October 2014 and currently sits as a ward representative on Wellington County Council. He chairs the Information, Heritage & Seniors Committee on Council and sits as Councilor on the County Social Services Committee.

Rob and his wife Julie live north of Fergus, ON and have four grown children and one grandson.

Exclusive Reservations:
We are delighted to have the AALP team up with Frederick Travel Waterloo on this AALP Alumni Tour!

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