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CAA/CALL Travel: Netherlands - Off the Beaten Path

  • April 3, 2022–April 15, 2022
  • Off Campus
  • $4,895 from Grand Rapids (double occupancy)

Explore the geological wonders of the Netherlands

Theme and Highlights

This is a blended educational and cultural trip that explores how the Dutch made the Netherlands, offers some of the best sightseeing in the country, and gives participants the opportunity to experience Dutch life from hotels in the historic city centers of Leiden and Zwolle!

Throughout this tour we learn that much of this country exists due to the water management of its flood-prone lands. We will visit new and old engineering feats such as ancient occupation mounds (terpen), water storage schemes at Kinderdijk, river harnessing efforts, the Deltaworks and other coastal defenses.

This tour will also give you a taste of this vibrant Dutch culture. We will focus on some lesser known but fascinating sites such as Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (a hidden Roman Catholic house church).We will visit Castle Amerongen, explore the Hoge Veluwe National Park in the center of the country along with its famous Kröller-Müller art museum, and explore the quaint city of Delft where you will be given time to shop at the open-air markets. And on arrival in Amsterdam we'll visit Keukenhof Gardens to see tulips at the national flower exhibition while daffodils and crocuses are in bloom in the outdoor gardens.

Our travels (see map below; click on map to enlarge image) will take us from Middelburg in the south to Groningen in the north. All of our excursions will include opportunities to sample diverse Dutch cuisine. Your evenings and free days can be spent enjoying shopping, museums, and the wonderful restaurants and pubs of Leiden and Zwolle.

tour map

Tour leaders

Henk Aay is Calvin professor of geography and environmental studies emeritus and Senior Research Fellow at the Van Raalte Institute at Hope College, where he focuses on Dutch American history and culture. He grew up in the Netherlands, is fluent in Dutch, and has spent a number of semesters doing research in the country.

Robert Hoeksema is a civil engineer and professor of engineering. He has worked for a Dutch regional water management authority and wrote Designed for Dry Feet: Flood Protection and Land Reclamation in the Netherlands.

Pricing and deadlines

$4,895/person from Grand Rapids based on double occupancy; $5,700 for single rooms

Registration is now open via the Witte Travel website.

For passengers departing from another city or adding personal days to their trip, Witte Travel can work with you on alternate flight arrangements after a tour is booked. See the "special flight arrangements" section of the tour brochure for details.

Note: The initial tour deposit is fully refundable up to 90 days before the tour departs. (Service fees for special arrangements are not refundable.) 

Optional travel protection is available through Travelex Insurance Services. See their website for an overview of what coverage is included or excluded related to COVID-19, and see the tour brochure for a link to the full policy.

More information

See the tour brochure [PDF] for full itinerary and additional details. Email to request a print copy of the tour brochure. Contact Henk or Bob with any questions about the itinerary, activities, and pace of the tour.

Calvin tours are open to any friends of CALL and the Calvin Alumni Association who wish to travel with us. Explore other Calvin-sponsored tours, too.


The registration deadline has passed.



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