6-star travel experience!

Traces of War

Day 1


A town known for their gin, historic canals and tallest windmills in the world

Arrival in the early afternoon hours, introduction with the barge, champagne and canape welcome. An afternoon trip to Rotterdam where guests can follow in the footsteps of war torn city that got heavily damaged and bombed by Germans. Guests will be explained why the bombardment took place and see the Destroyed City – the most important war memorial, bronze memorial sculpture by Ossip Zadkine that commemorates the German bombing of Rotterdam which destroyed the medieval centre of the city…Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk (church where they see the pictures before and after the bombing)..palatial City Hall Rotterdam (building which survived the bombing with bullet holes still visible)…also stop at Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 Now (The unique experience at Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 NU transports you back in time, to the Rotterdam of May 1940. Personal stories, intense images and dramatic sound immerse you in the moment and one gets to feel when your life turns upside down in seconds – to see your home and city turned to rubble.)

  • schiedam aurora barge cruises water
  • schiedam city

Day 2

Schiedam to Delft

Known for the Delft Blue Pottery

In the morning we cruise towards Delft, lunch aboard and then after the cruise we drive south-east of Holland. Here possible options include a visit to a Nazi concentration camp, Kamp Vught near ‘s Hertogenbosch. The camp was opened in 1943 and held 31,000 prisoners. 749 prisoners died in the camp, and the others were transferred to other camps shortly before the camp was liberated by the Allied Forces in 1944. After the war the camp was used as a prison for Germans and Dutch collaborators. Today there is a visitors’ centre with exhibitions and the memorial Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught remembering the camp and its victims.

From Kamp Vught either a visit to: A) Uden cemetary (with 703 fallen allied soldiers from British Commonwealth)

Or second option B) Bevrijdende Vleugels/ Wings of Liberation museum in Best. A museum with an impressive story about the period 1930-1945. Completely renovated and on a central location between Best and Son. The museum is located near a former landing-zone used on 17 September 1944 during the Market-Garden operation. In several halls the occupation, the German repression and the liberation of the Netherlands are told. Shown are vehicles, weapons, photographs and 3D-movies.

or third option C): is a visit to Breda and General Maczek Museum + Memorial on Polish War Cemetery -this museum is dedicated to the brave men and women of the 1st Polish Armoured Division who, under command of general Stanislaw Maczek, liberated parts of Dutch land from German occupation and oppression during 1944 and 1945. The Polish soldiers brought freedom and nourishment and gave The Netherlands the possibility to start the reconstruction of the country. (with a trip back to Delft passing by the beautiful Biesbosch, amazing natural reserve)

  • delft city center night
  • delft camp vucht
  • delft maczek
  • delft uden cemtary

Day 3

Delft to Leiden

A city known for their rich history, the courtyards, the oldest university of the country and vibrant city center.

In the morning the cruise continue to historic city of Leiden. After lunch we set out on a discovery of Atlantikwall along the coast starting from Hoek of Holland with its Atlantikwall Museum and fortress – during the visit one can learn in chronological order about the history of Atlantikwall, bunker construction, labour, communications and effects of the local population, as well as get an understanding of the structure of this line of defence as it was implemented along major parts of European coast. Most important position in whole of NL as it denied invaders access to Rotterdam port and the land behind it. Many bunkers, cemeteries with war graves, monuments along the coast all the way up into Leiden (our mooring for the night where guests will meet us back on Aurora and where they can go for nice evening walk)- via Hague, Scheveningen, Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee (Katwijks Museum focuses on impact of the Second World War). Including a possible walking route / wandelroute: Atlantikwall Noordwijk

  • leiden atlantikwall museum
  • leiden city windmill
  • leiden cycling beach dunes
  • scheveningen boulevard beach

Day 4

Leiden to Haarlem

A city known of famous museums, culinary restaurants and the Golden Streets

Morning cruise through a beautiful lake district of Kaag and the colourful Keukenhof Tulip Gardens (in spring) until we reach spectacular town of Haarlem. After lunch there is a scheduled visit to Corrie Ten Boom House. During the Second World War, the Ten Boom home became a refuge, a hiding place, for fugitives and those hunted by the Nazis (estimated 800 Jews and refugees were saved). By protecting these people, Casper and his daughters, Betsie and Corrie, risked their lives. This non-violent resistance against the Nazi-oppressors was the Ten Boom’s way of living out their devoted testimony of Christian faith and active social work in Haarlem.

From here you can walk through the beautiful streets of the centre until you get to Ripperda Barrack buildings, several war graves cemeteries dedicated to the fallen during the war times and also past the former House of Hannie Schaft (who was very active in the resistance during World War II)

  • haarlem spaarne bridge
  • haarlem hannie statue
  • haarlem ripperda
  • haarlem canals sun

Day 5

Haarlem to Zaandam

A town known of the cheese dairy, various windmills and the colorful wooden houses

In the morning we depart from Haarlem via a Sparndam lock and onto the big North Sea Canal until we reach our stop in Zaandam, our mooring place for the night. After lunch the guests will go visit a very historically important place of Ijmuiden – full of points of interest, bunkers, museums, monuments and cemetery. Fort Island IJmuiden (Dutch: Forteiland IJmuiden) is situated at the estuary of the Noordzeekanaal and is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. This sea fort island was built in 1885 as the most important advanced defence post of the entrance to Amsterdam. The beautiful, half underground fort is the biggest of the Defence Line and an UNESCO-World Memorial. During the Second World War, the Fort island was part of the Atlantikwall ( fortifications along the coast of Europe) which explains the presence of the later built bunkers.

  • zaandam city houses
  • zaandam zaanse schans from water

Day 6

Zaandam to Alkmaar

A city known for their cheese market and the beautiful old city with many canals

After the morning cruise through a beautiful countryside into the heart of Alkmaar (town famous for cheese) the guests will disembark from the barge at the lock so they can spend the most of the day learning about Amsterdam and how it got impacted by the Second World War. Possible visits:

A) former hiding place, Anne Frank’s house, to learn about horrors of war and Jewish persecution as portrayed in young girl’s diary. Through Anne’s eyes one learns the history of the 8 people in hiding and those who helped them through the war…combined with a visit to Verzetsmuseum/ Dutch Resistance museum – The Dutch Resistance Museum, chosen as the best historical museum of the Netherlands, tells the story of the Dutch people in the Second World War. From 14 May 1940 to 5 May 1945 the Netherlands were occupied by Nazi Germany. The choices and dilemmas facing the population became more and more far reaching. How did Dutch people respond? Who resisted? Why and how? You’ll see, hear and read fascinating stories about the exceptional, as well as about everyday life.

OR B): Jewish cultural quarter tour with a visit of Jewish Historical museum (a high-profile museum situated in 4 buildings that provides picture of past and present Dutch Jewish life, extensive collection), majestic Portuguese Synagogue (still used for religious services with a beautifully illuminated interior and a unique collection of ceremonial objects), National Holocaust memorial Hollandsche Schouwbrug (collection centre for Jews deported to concentration camps, but will be closed for renovation in 2021) and Ets Haim Livraria Montezinos, the world’s oldest functional Jewish library.

  • alkmaar water canals from above
  • alkmaar city boat

Day 7


Unfortunately, your experience has come to an end

Guests have final breakfast aboard the luxury barge cruise Aurora during and in the late morning hours they shall depart and be taken back to airport/hotels of their choice.

“Thank you for those people who make us happy for they are the gardeners of our souls! Thank you so very much for creating the ambience and barging our family through one of the most amazing weeks. We loved the food and the wine, the wonderful attention you gave us!”

- Lawrence Rockefeller, Rockefeller Centre, New York, USA -

“There is no water on the Moon! Canals on Mars are a hoax! Nothing can compare with a barge trip – a great relaxing trip with neat friends from Los Angeles. Thanks ever so much!”

- Buzz Aldrin, APOLLO XI

“Beautiful ship… Great to meet you! Sorry you were unable to come to the set!”

- Robert de Niro, USA -
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