European Traveler Winter 2016-2017

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne
11 Days

A taste of the world's most romantic cities, this encounter with Europe isn't just for couples; it shows unseen sides of iconic emblems like the Eiffel Tower and Venetian canals.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… feeling goose bumps as you enter the cool cavernous Basilica in the Vatican City and stand before Michelangelo's Pietà, and hearing our local friend share the ins and outs of this strange secret nation.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Relax or spend the afternoon exploring this magical capital city.
    hotel:Hilton Kensington
  3. See a host of sights including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace during your morning guided sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Finish in central London and spend the rest of the day discovering the city's delights.
  4. This morning meet your Travel Director, leave London and travel to the White Cliffs of Dover before crossing the Channel to Calais. Pass by the First World War battlefields of the Somme and arrive in the beautiful city of Paris. Enjoy a Welcome Reception with dinner in the evening with your fellow travelers and Travel Director. Later an orientation drive will show you some of the sights which await you - a perfect introduction to your magical vacation.
    meal(s):FB, WR
    hotel:Evergreen Laurel
  5. Drive along the famous Champs Élysées to view the Arc de Triomphe, beneath which lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist includes a trip up the Eiffel Tower to the second level for breathtaking views of the city. Spend the afternoon visiting the sights of your choice.
  6. See the sprawling vineyards of Auxerrois and Burgundy as you journey south, passing the medieval castle of Châteauneuf. Cross the border into Switzerland where the scenery takes a dramatic turn. View the the famous wooden Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument in Lucerne, built to commemorate the Swiss Guards who died defending Louis XVI.
    meal(s):BB, D
  7. Travel the scenic St. Gotthard Region through the Alps and cross the border at Chiasso into Italy. Catch a glimpse of the Italian Lake Region, a popular retreat for aristocrats since Roman times. Pass Verona and arrive later in Venice, Queen of the Adriatic.
    hotel:Novotel Venezia Castellana
  8. Your private motor launch takes you to St. Mark's Square to view the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Palace. Witness a Cultural Insight during a glassblowing demonstration at one of the oldest workshops on the island, then spend your free time discovering Venice's hidden gems. Afterwards, cross the Apennine Mountains to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance and your home for the night.
    hotel:Grand Hotel Mediterraneo
  9. Your Local Specialist reveals a wealth of fascinating insights during your guided walk around Florence, a city with a rich Renaissance history. View the marble Duomo engineered by Brunelleschi and the magnificent doors of the Baptistery. Admire the Ponte Vecchio which spans the River Arno and marvel at the impressive palazzi when you visit Piazza della Signoria. Shop for 18 carat gold jewelry and the finest Italian leather goods before heading to Rome, the last stop on your trip.
    hotel:Crowne Plaza St. Peter's
  10. Your Local Specialist takes you on a tour of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, one of the largest and most significant churches in the Christian world. Here you will view Michelangelo's Renaissance masterpiece, the Pietà. Perhaps consider an Optional Experience to the Sistine Chapel. View the ancient sites of Rome including the Colosseum, site of ancient gladiatorial contests and public events. Spend time this afternoon visiting the sights of your choice. This evening join your traveling companions and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  11. Say ‘arrivederci' to Rome and your traveling companions and return home with memories you will cherish for years to come. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
27 Oct 16 6 Nov 16 checkmark $2,150$2,043pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
17 Nov 16 27 Nov 16 checkmark $2,150$2,043pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,150 $2,043 pp
16 Dec 16 26 Dec 16 checkmark $2,195$2,085pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,195 $2,085 pp
20 Dec 16 30 Dec 16 checkmark $2,250$2,138pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,250 $2,138 pp
5 Jan 17 15 Jan 17 checkmark $1,995$1,895pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$1,995 $1,895 pp
26 Jan 17 5 Feb 17 $1,995$1,895pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$1,995 $1,895 pp
2 Feb 17 12 Feb 17 $1,995$1,895pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$1,995 $1,895 pp
9 Feb 17 19 Feb 17 $1,995$1,895pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$1,995 $1,895 pp
16 Feb 17 26 Feb 17 $2,075$1,971pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,075 $1,971 pp
23 Feb 17 5 Mar 17 $2,075$1,971pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,075 $1,971 pp
2 Mar 17 12 Mar 17 $2,150$2,043pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,150 $2,043 pp
9 Mar 17 19 Mar 17 $2,150$2,043pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,150 $2,043 pp
16 Mar 17 26 Mar 17 checkmark $2,150$2,043pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,150 $2,043 pp
16 Mar 17 26 Mar 17 $2,150$2,043pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,150 $2,043 pp
20 Mar 17 30 Mar 17 $2,150$2,043pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,150 $2,043 pp
23 Mar 17 2 Apr 17 checkmark $2,150$2,043pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 27
$2,150 $2,043 pp

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $480.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $61 per person.

Christmas & New Year's Eve Highlights: The December 17th, 2016 departure will celebrate Christmas in Rome. Departure on December 20th, 2016 will celebrate Christmas in Venice. The December 21st, 2016 departure will celebrate Christmas in Lucerne. The December 28th, 2016 departure will toast New Year's Eve in Paris. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

Airport Transfers: Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 7am and 9:30am.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.


  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals

9 nights' accommodations, 9 breakfasts, 3 dinners.

Your included sights

  • City tour in London, Paris, Florence and Rome.
  • Orientation of Lucerne and Venice.
  • Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
  • View the White Cliffs of Dover, the Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice and the ancient sites of Rome.
  • See the Somme Battlefields and the Vineyards of Burgundy.

Your Insider Experiences

  • Local Specialist: For included sightseeing in London, Paris, Florence and Rome.
  • Cultural Insight: Visit a traditional glassblowing factory in Venice.
  • Hidden Treasure: Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Europe must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering countries in the Schengen Area, or the UK.

  • The currency for most countries you will visit in Europe is the Euro (€).  Two exceptions apply including the Pound (£) in Great Britain, and the Swiss Franc (CHF) in Switzerland.

    While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • English specialties include fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stilton cheese, and scones with clotted cream. Culinary experiences to not to miss include a traditional pub meal, afternoon tea, and full English breakfast.

    The French have an ongoing love affair with food and wine. Meals are lovingly prepared and consumed leisurely through a bevy of appetizers and main courses, usually accompanied by a number of wines. Boeuf bourgignon (beef stew with wine, herbs and vegetables), coq au vin (chicken cooked with bacon in a white wine and herb sauce) and bouillabaisse (fish stew) are featured on many menus. Cheese lovers will not be disappointed with hundreds of varieties to choose from.  And no visit would be complete without a visit to a pâtisserie, with its delicate pastries you will definitely be tempted.

    While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water.

    Swiss cuisine is a flavorful blend of German, Italian, and French influences and a wide variety of regional offerings.  Specialty dishes include fondue and raclette (cheese dipping dishes), sausages and rösti (fried potato), bündnerfleisch (air-dried beef) and fondue bourguigon (cubes of steak with various sauces). Swiss pastries and desserts are excellent. There are also spirits made from fruit; the most popular are Kirsch, Pflümli and Williamine. And don’t miss out on the world-class selection of Swiss chocolate.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. A few important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping through-out Europe is less common or generous than it is in the United States.  Some countries will add a service charge of up to 15%, so be sure to check your bill before leaving extra.  In most places it is appropriate to leave a few euros or between 5% and 10% for exceptional service.  Keep in mind you will likely want to leave cash on the table to ensure your server receives it. 

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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