It’s National #GoToAnArtMuseumDay, and on Holland America Line’s global cruises guests can visit some of the top art museums around the world. Europe, in particular, is a hub for the finest artists and art museums. Imagine spending a private evening at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg or witnessing the works of Van Gogh, Michaelangelo or Monet. For the art lover, there’s certainly no shortage of art museums to visit, and these are five of our favorites in Europe.
AN EXCLUSIVE EVENING AT THE HERMITAGE
St. Petersburg, Russia
The Hermitage Museum (above) opens at night for an evening viewing exclusively for Holland America guests. The museum was created by Czarina Catherine the Great in 1764 and now ranks among the world’s finest museums. Her original purchase of 225 canvasses by Dutch and Flemish masters provided the nucleus of today’s collection, which consists of almost three million exhibits and represents many cultures. Today, 353 rooms are filled with masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Giorgione, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and others.
BILBAO HIGHLIGHTS AND THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM
In the Abandoibarra district of Bilbao, you will find the famous Guggenheim Museum. Designed by Canadian American architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao building represents groundbreaking 20th-century architecture. Step inside to explore the impressive permanent and temporary exhibits, all housed within a love-it-or-hate-it architectural environment that symbolizes the urban and economic revitalization of Bilbão.
AMSTERDAM HIGHLIGHT & VAN GOGH MUSEUM
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
During the Amsterdam Highlights & Van Gogh Museum shore excursion, guests visit the famous Van Gogh Museum to see the brilliant collection by the 19th-century master. The museum houses the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh in the world. Van Gogh is as famous for lopping off his own earlobe as he is for his amazing, colorful, post-Impressionist renditions of sunflowers and potato-eaters, as well as tortured self-portraits.
BEST OF ETERNAL ROME & THE VATICAN MUSEUMS
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Explore the richest storehouse of art in the world — the magnificent Vatican Museums, including the Pine Cone Courtyard, the Belvedere Courtyard with its famous statues, the Candelabra Gallery, and the Tapestry and Geographical Map Galleries. Don’t miss the gilded papal canopy, called the Baldacchino, suspended over the altar where Pope celebrates mass, created by Bernini in the 17th century. Finally, step inside the glorious Sistine Chapel, which holds a priceless collection of masterpieces including Genesis and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.
MALAGA SITES & THE PICASSO MUSEUM
The Museo Picasso Málaga is run by two foundations created for the purpose of showcasing the works of the master. At the museum, you will have time to appreciate all Picasso’s styles and techniques — painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramic, graphic works — along with an exhibition with pieces dating from 1890 to 1973.
BONUS: LAND OF IMPRESSIONISM – A DAY WITH CLAUDE MONET
Le Harve (Paris), France
While not an actual museum, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include this tour highlighting one of the most famous artists of all time. The inspiration for Claude Monet’s Impressionist genius began in the tiny village of Giverny. Travel through rural France to Monet’s famous garden and farmhouse that are so memorably captured in the works of the master. Discover for yourself the lily ponds, the footbridge, the winding paths and the immaculately tended, landscaped gardens of the artist’s home and studio. Inside the house, you will see pastel-colored rooms and rustic furniture, as well as the Japanese engravings which Monet himself hung on the colorful walls.