Important: Join our email list for alerts about changes and updates.

Update! Registration for ARS-members only will begin on Sept. 1st and extend until Nov. 15th. The registration form will be made available on September 1st at 12:01 am at http://ars2018.org/registration.php. See the registration page.

Download the Conference 4-Page Brochure (PDF)

ARS 2018 Frequently Asked Questions

This Conference is probably the most complex ARS Convention ever with 3 optional pre-tours, the main Convention, and an optional post-tour in 5 countries with 3 different currencies. The Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and Finnish Chapters are Chapters of the ARS. The Deutsche Rhododendron Gesellschaft (DRG) is the German Rhododendron Society and is not part of the ARS. However, the DRG is hosting a joint Convention with the ARS and European ARS Chapters are hosting the pre-tours and post-tour.

The following are some questions that came up.

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When will registration begin?

Registration will commence after all arrangements are finalized. The last piece to fall in place will be the air portion of the Finland post-tour. Airlines will not provide fares more than 12 months in advance. Return to Top

I am only interested in the tours, not the Convention. How do I register just for the tours?

You can't. This event combines ARS and DRG Conventions and the tours are only available to attendees of the Conventions. Return to Top

How do I pay in US$ or CDN$?

We hope to have arrangements so people can pay with US or Canadian credit cards. This is a work in progress. Return to Top

Why do I have to make my own air arrangements?

We have people coming from many place at different times. There are 8 different packages, each with different timing. Hence, it is prudent to have individuals arrange their own flights. If they can work together, so much the better. We have made arrangements with a travel agent that knows about our convention and has researched what arrangements are available including industry discounts and can also arrange travel insurance. She is:
    Kathy Blosenski
    KoKo Travel
    Honey Book, Pennsylvania
    http://www.kokotravelservice.com/
    610-273-2135
    kathy@kokotravelservice.com

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Why would I get travel insurance?

There are many things that can interfere with travel plans such as illness, illness of a loved one, death in the family, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, etc. The organizers of the conference can not be held responsible for changes made necessary by events beyond their control. Travel insurance is recommended. Most Travel Insurance policies will cover you for such risks. You should talk to your travel agent about Travel Insurance when you get your air package and mention what you paid for conference registration. Talk to your travel agent to see if you want to include the conference package in your Travel Insurance. Return to Top

Who is facilitating registration?

The ARS itself is facilitating the collection of the registration information and payment for conference registration and the tours. Then the payment and registration forms will be transfered to the individual ARS Chapters in Europe and the DRG. Return to Top

How far in advance do I need to register?

We are not sure. Early registration insures your opportunity to go. Early registration will be limited to ARS members only until November 15, 2017. After this time, registration will be opened to non-ARS members. The longer you wait, the higher the likelihood that some opportunities may fill up. We will try to publish on the website, ARS2018.org, if any such a limitation appears to be approaching. Also, be sure to join our email list  for alerts about changes and updates. Return to Top

Who is booking the hotels?

All hotels on any of the tours or at the conference are included and are booked for you. However, if you arrive early or stay after, you will need to book these additional nights yourself. The next question tells you where you are to arrive for the first hotel that is included in each tour and the conference. Return to Top

How do I get from one tour to the next?

All tours connect seamlessly:

  • The Holland Pre-Tour starts in Amsterdam and ends in Bremen. The first hotel is the night of Monday, May 7, 2018, at the Hampton by Hilton Hotel, Schiphol/Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • The German Pre-Tour starts in Bremen and ends in Bremen. The first hotel is the night of Saturday, May 12, 2018, at the Swissotel Bremen, Bremen, Germany.
  • The Danish/Swedish Pre-Tour starts in Bremen and ends in Bremen. The first hotel is the night of Sunday, May 13, 2018, at the Swissotel Bremen, Bremen, Germany.
  • The Convention is in Bremen. The first hotel is the night of Sunday, May 20, 2018, at the Swissotel Bremen, Bremen, Germany.
  • The Finnish Post-Tour starts in at the Convention in Bremen and included a flight to Helsinki. It ends in Helsinki. The last hotel is the night of Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Helsinki , Finland.

Is their another tour before the ARS2018 Convention tours?

Nobody asked this question, but there is a tour of Welsh gardens run by the Scottish Rhododendron Society. It runs from April 22 to April 29, 2018. That leaves about a week between the Welsh gardens tour and the first ARS2018 tour in Holland. Complete details are posted at SRS 2018 Welsh Garden Tour. The ARS and organizers of ARS2018 don't have anything to do with this tour. We are just posting it as a service to the SRS and our members. Return to Top

Is it Holland or The Netherlands?

The country is The Kingdom of Netherlands. Noord (North) Holland and Zuid (South) Holland are provinces on the coastal region of The Netherlands. The largest cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, are in "Holland". People from these cities and ships from these ports often say they are from Holland. The people and the language are called Dutch. Return to Top

If I arrive early in Amsterdam, what are some things to see?

Wow, where do we start: Anne Frank House, Bloemenmarkt, Concertgebouw, Heineken Experience, Rembrandt House, Rijksmuseum, Royal Palace, Van Gogh Museum and on and on. The hop-on/hop-off canal boats reach most of the sights and make it easy to visit the city. If there is a concert at the Concertgebouw, that is always fun. Return to Top

While in Bremen, what are some things to do?

You must see the "Town Musicians of Bremen" statue near the Rathaus (town hall). The old city surrounds Marktplatz (market square). The 1699 Am Wall Windmill in the middle of beautiful Wallanlagen Park is a restaurant called Kaffeemühle. On the Weser River is the Old Pirate Ship which has a restaurant called Pannekoekschip Admiral Nelson. You might catch a concert at Die Glocke. Return to Top

If I stay in Helsinki after the post-tour, what are some things to do?

The hop-on/hop-off city tour in Helsinki is a must. There is actually a bus based tour and a boat based tour. There are too many things to see on your own. Things like City Botanic Garden, University Botanic Garden, Rock Church, Sibelius Monument, Parliament, Hietalahti Flea Market, Uunisaari  Island, Finlandia Hall, the Presidential Palace, Uspenski Cathedral, and many more. A personal favorite is Stockmann's Department Store. The clerks wear little flag pins for each language they speak. You will see people from all over the world. Their amazing bookstore has newspapers from all over the word. Their visitors service on the 8th floor offers a 10% discount for one day to visitors. They have very nice souvenirs of Finland. Return to Top

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Last Updated: August 10, 2017