• September 24, 2021–October 6, 2021
  • Off Campus

Explore and Discover how the Dutch Made the Netherlands

Tour status

This tour has been rescheduled from fall 2020 to September 24 - October 6, 2021. We expect the tour will follow the same itinerary as the one described below. An updated tour brochure with pricing and registration information will be available in November. Please email alumni@calvin.edu with questions or interest in being notified when final details are available.

Theme and Highlights

There is an old Dutch saying, "God created the earth, but the Dutch created the Netherlands." 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 productive, low-lying country only exists due to the water management of its drained and flood-prone lands. To bring this point home, we will visit new and old engineering feats such as the 17th and 20th Century land reclamation projects, ancient occupation mounds (terpen), water storage schemes at Kinderdijk, river harnessing efforts, the Deltaworks and other coastal defenses.

Having made a productive and safe land, the Dutch proceeded to establish a flourishing life, and we will give you a taste of this vibrant Dutch culture. After worship at the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam, we will focus on some lesser known but fascinating sites such as Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (a hidden Roman Catholic house church). Elsewhere, 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.

Our travels (see map below; click on map to enlarge image) will take us from Middelburg in the south to Groningen in the north, starting from our home bases in Leiden and Zwolle. 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

$4,695/person from Grand Rapids based on double occupancy; $5,365 for single rooms (pricing is from 2020 and will be updated for 2021)

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.

More information

Email alumni@calvin.edu to request a print copy of the tour brochure.

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.



September 2021
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