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A sensational stay capturing the very essence of Europe in a short period of time. Travel from the canals of Amsterdam to the Swiss Alps, and elegant boulevards of Paris.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
Check into your hotel, then there is time to relax, explore or shop.
An included half day sightseeing tour of London’s West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Insight Vacations Represtentative is also on hand today for help and advice.
After a warm welcome from your Tour Director, transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. After boarding the train, sit back and relax while you are whisked through the Channel Tunnel to Brussels in just over two hours! In the afternoon, walk with your Tour Director through the Grand Place, voted Europe's most beautiful square, lined with gilded buildings from the late 17th century and the Gothic Town Hall. Stroll on through the back streets to the capital's most celebrated water feature, the cheeky Manneken Pis statue. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Leave Brussels and drive north into the Netherlands. Continue through pleasant Dutch countryside to lively Amsterdam, the ‘City of Canals'. Drive across Dam Square, the heart of the city, past the Royal Palace and Mint Tower. Round-off the day with a taste of glamour as you visit one of the great diamond houses - an industry dating back to the 16th century - for a demonstration of cutting and polishing!
Leave Amsterdam, en route for Germany. Pass the border town of Arnhem, renowned for its 'Bridge Too Far'. Cross the extensive Ruhr Basin and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. From the wine village of Boppard, enjoy a delightful river cruise past hilltop castles, sleepy riverside towns and leafy terraced vineyards. Continue on to Heidelberg.
Head for the ancient city of Freiburg, before climbing into the heart of the Black Forest, home of the cuckoo clock industry. Learn about its origins from a master carver and see how these clocks are made. Continue into Switzerland to view the thundering Rhine Falls. Drive on to lakeside Lucerne where there's time to shop for chocolate or that special timepiece. For dinner, you are treated to a typical Swiss supper of hearty specialties at a local restaurant.
In the morning, head to the town of Stans and embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn. On a clear day, in addition to the beautiful mountains and surrounding hills, there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Back in Lucerne, see the stirring Lion Monument, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who died defending the King of France. During your free time, maybe take a stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge to the baroque Jesuit church? Perhaps hire a bicycle and enjoy a pleasant ride beside the lake.
Drive to Basel before crossing the Rhine to enter France. Travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to Paris, the vibrant ‘Ville-Lumière' (City of Light). During your time in Paris, see the imposing façades of the Louvre, the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a ‘Diner de Célébration' served with wine in a Parisian bistro, abundant with French ambience.
Meet your Local Expert who takes you on a walking tour of the bohemian Latin Quarter. Explore the myriad of streets situated on the left bank of the Seine, before continuing by the Île de la Cité to see Notre Dame Cathedral with its famous tale of Quasimodo. Next, ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower for spectacular panoramas of the city. The rest of the day is at leisure for a shopping spree in the grand department stores or the elegant designer boutiques. By night, why not try one of the world famous cabaret shows for an evening of excitement and glamour?
Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 & 11:00.
7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Adult Price: € 40.00
In 1815, Napoleon fought his famous final battle here against the Duke of Wellington. You’ll visit the battlefields and monuments, and discover how the face of Europe was changed forever. You’ll also see the huge iron monument built by the widows of veterans and hear their stories as you gaze at the spectacular panoramic view.
Adult Price: € 69.00
Savour a meal of typical Dutch specialities with drinks in historic surroundings. Later we board our private canal boat and glide gently along illuminated canals, past traditional Dutch-gabled houses built right on the water's edge and under picturesque bridges.
Adult Price: € 26.00
Visit the symbol of German Romanticism. The grand ruins of Heidelberg Castle rise up on a rocky hilltop offering spectacular views over the old town and River Neckar. A local expert shows you the garden terraces, ruined castle defences and inner courtyard with its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque facades.
Adult Price: CHF 49.00
Widely considered to be the loveliest of the mountain lakes, much of the shoreline of Lake Lucerne can only be fully appreciated from the water. Admire the spectacular homes of the fortunate few, privileged to live on its scenic shores, as we cruise gently by. Two drinks will be served during the trip.
Adult Price: CHF 99.00
There's nothing better than convening with friends around a pot of bubbling fondue with a glass of chilled white wine and having a good yodel! Join us for a tasty Swiss meal in a typical restaurant. While you dine, enjoy a lively folklore show of flag throwing, yodelling, Alpenhorn blowing and other great Swiss entertainment.
Adult Price: CHF 67.00
In a typical rural community, meet local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn ride. Clip-clop your way through bright green pasture, where the angular spire of a traditional white church shoots skyward and rickety old wooden storehouses still dot the landscape. Call in at a local farm where a wonderful spread of homemade drinks and snacks is served.
Adult Price: € 37.00
Discover the bohemian quarter of Montmartre with your local expert. Walk through the historic lower area before ascending by funicular to the Place du Tertre, a favourite haunt of Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, and Utrillo. Browse for original art or ask a local street artist to capture your likeness in minutes - a great souvenir to take home. Close by you can appreciate the view from the steps of Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
Adult Price: € 162.00
Why not enjoy an evening of excitement and glamour and a glass of champagne at a dazzling French cabaret show? Depending on availability it might be dinner with wine and cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge – the original Parisian cabaret – immortalized by the award winning film!
Adult Price: € 139.00
Dinner with wine included at one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in town! Enjoy an evening of exciting acts, stunning tableaux and wonderful entertainment - including, of course, the world famous Can-Can. A Parisian night that you will never forget!
Adult Price: € 38.00
The City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. First, a specially designed sightseeing boat takes us for an unforgettable cruise along the Seine and beneath famous bridges to appreciate the Left and Right Banks and the Île de la Cité & St Louis. Then, with a Local Expert, we'll enjoy an illuminations tour, when the rubies & diamonds of the Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower are at their magnificent best.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||AvailabilityPrice|
|27 Apr 17||7 May 17||$3,095$2,940pp||Early PaymentPay by Apr 27|
|18 May 17||28 May 17||$3,125pp||
|8 Jun 17||18 Jun 17||$3,125pp|
|7 Sep 17||17 Sep 17||$3,150$2,993pp||Early PaymentPay by Apr 27||
$3,150 $2,993 pp
|21 Sep 17||1 Oct 17||$3,125$2,969pp||Early PaymentPay by Apr 27||
$3,125 $2,969 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 $940 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $70 per person.
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 Land Only price of the vacation.
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, the UK, Ireland, or Croatia.
The currency for most countries you will visit in Europe is the Euro (€). Several exceptions apply including the Pound (£) in Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland; the Swiss Franc (CHF) in Switzerland; the Swedish Krona (SEK) in Sweden; the Danish Kroner (DKK) in Denmark; the Norwegian Krone (NOK) in Norway; the Czech Koruna (CZK) in the Czech Republic; the Forint (HUF) in Hungary; the Zloty (zł) in Poland; and the Kuna (KN) in Croatia.
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.
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.
Dutch cuisine is simple and rustic. You might like to try specialties such as rookworst (smoked sausage), kibbeling (fried fish), and pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes). And, if you’re feeling adventurous you can try local raw herring prepared with onions and gherkins. For something sweet, try stroopwafels, a delicious chewy cookie made with two thin layers of waffle and sticky syrup filling.
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.
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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