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Mixing iconic sights and seasonal delights in central Europe, this encounter features festive markets and illuminated landmarks in Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Innsbruck and Lucerne.
It's Insider moments like… chatting to the stallholders of Vienna's Christkindlmarkt about the origins of their traditional toys, made of wood just as they have been for centuries, or their spicy gingerbread and mulled wine.
Welcome to the magical Austrian capital, Vienna. After check-in this afternoon, relax and unwind after your journey. Later, meet your fellow travelers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception with drinks and a light meal followed by an evening orientation drive.
Explore the Ringstrasse during your festive sightseeing tour of Vienna. Your Local Expert shows you the Hofburg Palace, which was the former home of the Habsburgs. You will also see the Parliament, City Hall and the grand State Opera House. Visit the ‘Christkindlmarkt' and buy handmade wooden toys, seasonal gifts, delicious gingerbread and warming Glühwein from traditional decorated wooden stalls.
Drive along the scenic Danube Valley to the beautiful city of Salzburg and visit the enchanting Christmas market. See the beautifully manicured Mirabell Gardens, Mozart's birthplace and the Old City on your walking tour with a Local Expert. Then cross fairy-tale Alpine landscapes to Munich, capital of Bavaria. Dine this evening at your hotel.
Discover Munich on an orientation with your Travel Director. Admire the Marienplatz with its impressive Town Hall and the ornate Glockenspiel. Spend the rest of your day enjoying the festive spirit at the Christmas market. Consider a visit to a famous beer hall and experience the warmth and hospitality for which this city is renowned.
Leave Munich behind and travel through the picturesque Bavarian countryside en route to Oberammergau, home of the Passion Play that takes place in the village every ten years. This village is also famous for a long tradition of woodcarving and has homes with elaborate frescoes depicting traditional Bavarian themes. Spend free time exploring the quaint streets before arriving in Innsbruck. Admire the 15th century Golden Roof. Visit the Christmas market in the Old Town Square and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere. Tonight dinner will be served at your hotel.
This morning see the ski jump that towers over Innsbruck before visiting Vaduz, the capital city in the mountain principality of Liechtenstein. See the picturesque castle that sits above the city. Later arrive in Lucerne where you will visit the Lion Monument and view the famous wooden Chapel Bridge during an orientation tour.
Visit the Christmas markets at Franziskanerplatz, located in the Old Town of Lucerne. Swiss delights are on offer at the wooden stalls, as well as a carousel which plays traditional music while children enjoy the ride. Later enjoy free time or join your Travel Director for an Optional Experience to the peak of a nearby mountain top. Tonight join your fellow travelers for a festive Farewell Dinner.
Say farewell to your traveling companions as you return home with magical Christmas memories. There is a morning transfer to Zurich airport from Lucerne. Conditions apply. Please do not book flights which depart before 10am from Zurich airport.
11 Meals: 7 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|23 Nov 17||1 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|25 Nov 17||3 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|26 Nov 17||4 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|27 Nov 17||5 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Nov 17||6 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|30 Nov 17||8 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|2 Dec 17||10 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|4 Dec 17||12 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 Dec 17||13 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|6 Dec 17||14 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|7 Dec 17||15 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|8 Dec 17||16 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|9 Dec 17||17 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|12 Dec 17||20 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|13 Dec 17||21 Dec 17||$1,675$1,549pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
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 $360.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 per person.
Airport Transfers: On arrival to Vienna Airport transfers will operate at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers from Lucerne will arrive at Zurich Airport at 8am.
Note: Christmas Markets are generally open from the beginning of Advent until December 24th, 2017. Grand European Tours reserves the right to substitute sites and excursions in keeping with the events of the season.
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.
U.S. citizens traveling to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland 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 these countries.
The currency in Germany and Austria is the Euro (€).The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Please note that Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, however many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros to help travelers compare prices. Some Swiss merchants may accept euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back will most likely be in Swiss francs.
While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Europe, 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 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 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.
Traditional German cuisine is rich and delicious. Try specialties including a variety of bratwurst with sauerkraut, cold cuts, spätzle and potato dumplings. For dessert you cannot miss the world famous Black Forest Gateau. Beer is a big part of German culture; sample a variety of German offerings including pilsner, Kölsch and sour beers. In Frankfurt, try the local cider (Apfelwein). Wine is also popular throughout Germany, and world-class whites are produced in the Rhine and Mosel regions.
Austrian cuisine is hearty and satisfying and reflects regional influences from Italy, Hungary, Germany and the Balkans. Try a variety of sausages including the popular Wiener Schnitzel and Viennese specialties such as goulash and apple strudel.
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.
A service charge is typically included in the price of food at restaurants in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. When leaving a tip, it is appropriate to simply round up or add up to 10 percent to your bill. Rather than leaving your money on the table, be prepared to leave it with your waiter when you pay your bill. If you are expecting change, simply tell them how much you will need back after gratuity.
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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