Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to The Netherlands. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they took this tour. Although we do our best to make sure what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.
TRAVEL TO THE NETHERLANDS: This tour is organized by our British company, Sunbird and starts and ends at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport.
ENTERING THE NETHERLANDS: US citizens need a passport; no visa is required. Citizens of other nations should contact the nearest Dutch embassy for entry requirements.
MAPS AND COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can view maps of The Netherlands in the University of Texas series here. You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information here, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on The Netherlands here.
CLIMATE: We can expect almost any kind of weather during this trip. Warm, sunny days are quite possible but these can often build up into afternoon thunder storms. Evenings and mornings can be cooler.
PACE OF TOUR: This tour is not a strenuous one. On most days we will have breakfast before heading out for the days birding. Lunch will be in the form of a picnic, or in roadside cafes (which serve some great soup and sandwiches). We will return to our hotel in time to shower before dinner and checklist. Dinner will be taken at/or near our accommodation.
HEALTH: At this time of year ticks can be numerous in the woodlands and on the heath. Lyme disease is present and anyone finding a tick ‘in’ them should make a note of the date, location, etc. It is important to check yourself each day. The leader will carry special ‘tick tweezers’. If the weather is good it can be very hot and exposed, so please bring sun cream. Water is safe to drink at all the places we stay.
It may be difficult to obtain any prescriptions or other special medications during the tour, so bring all you are likely to need. For further information on health in The Netherlands, please consult your personal physician and visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control.
ACCOMMODATION: Throughout the tour we’ll be staying in standard hotels. All rooms will have a private shower and toilet. Rooms are typically small and do not contain air conditioning nor fans. Hotel lifts are not commonplace and porters are as rare so think carefully when packing. Only bring what you can carry.
FOOD: Breakfasts consist of a buffet with a selection of cereals, breads, fruit, yoghurt and juices. Lunch will either be in a café/restaurant where there will be a choice of sandwiches, soups, salads and hot meals, or we may take a picnic from our hotels. Dinner will be eaten at the hotels, there will be plenty to choose from and both hotels specialize in using local products. The leader will provide local snacks.
DRINKS: The tap water is some of the best in Europe and it is recommended that you bring your own drinks bottle to fill up from the hotel, petrol stations etc. Soft drinks, water, tea and coffee will be available at lunch and dinner, and most restaurants offer local and imported beers. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room and during the day is the responsibility of the individual.
DRESS: Informal throughout.
TRANSPORT: Our transport will be by minibus, driven by the leader. The leader will operate a rotation system for seating in the vehicles.
SMOKING: Smoking is not allowed in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF WINGS AND SUNBIRD TOURS: Please take a moment to read the About WINGS Tours portion of our website. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours, and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.
FINAL INFORMATION: Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be sent to you about three weeks before the start of the tour. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions about any aspect of the tour, please contact us.
Updated: 08 June 2016