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European Dream (Premium)

Operated by: Insight Vacations

11 Days from $3,353 per person

Countries Visited

Italy, Switzerland, France ...more Italy, Switzerland, France

Locations Visited

Venice, Rome, Orvieto, Florence, Lucerne ...more Venice, Rome, Orvieto, Florence, Lucerne
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Venice.

    Welcome to the Queen of the Adriatic, known for its unique waterscapes and rich cultural heritage. Transfers depart from Venice Airport and journey to the hotel by water taxi at 11:00 and 13:00. What better way to start your dream holiday than in true Venetian style? Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at the magical La Fenice restaurant. Sip Bellini cocktails at twilight whilst being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians, and admire the tranquility of St. Mark's Square long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels. Return to your hotel by the Grand Canal.(Dinner with Wine)

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice.
  2. Day 2 The magic of La Serenissima.

    Wake up to one of Europe's most romantic cities. Admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. Witness the skill of glassblowers and learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Only minutes away by private launch is St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. With the rest of the day free, why not cruise along the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialities and wine?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice.
  3. Day 3 To the Eternal City of Rome.

    Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Meet your Local Expert for a guided tour through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Nicolo Machiavelli, with an included special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince'. Visit the Italian garden with views of the Florence Cathedral and the historic cellar, which has a secret underground tunnel connecting the cellars to the oldest restaurant in Italy. Savour a tasting of wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Your journey continues as you follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine
    hotel Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.
  4. Day 4 Papal and Imperial Rome.

    Receive red-carpet treatment with a VIP visit and fast-track entry to the superb Vatican Museums and enjoy behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican normally closed to the public. A Local Expert guides your tour, culminating in a viewing of Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Continue inside the cavernous St. Peter's Basilica, mother church of the Catholic faith, to see another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome. Leave Vatican City to cross the Tiber and stand outside the Colosseum, imagining yourself back in the days of the gladiators. The afternoon is at leisure.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.
  5. Day 5 Orvieto and on to Florence.

    Stop in Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyard-covered plain. Here you will savour the flavours of the region and learn about the Italian food culture as you join chef Lorenzo for a fascinating live pasta-making demonstration. Sit down to your Highlight Lunch, served with a glass of Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience! Continue on to your hotel in Florence.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine
    hotel Hotel Adler Cavalieri, Florence.
  6. Day 6 Renaissance Florence.

    Begin the morning by joining a Local Expert in Florence to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the Renaissance capital. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit Pisa and see the famous Leaning Tower?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Adler Cavalieri, Florence.
  7. Day 7 Across the Alps to Lucerne.

    Head north towards the Italian Lake District via Lake Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world, before travelling alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne. Upon return to Lucerne, see the town's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Then, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit Church.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
  8. Day 8 Lucerne and Mt. Stanserhorn.

    In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Breathe in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Choose between taking a walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see marmots and other native animals. Alternatively, join a Swiss ranger and hear a talk to learn about local wildlife and flora in the area. With the day free, thee is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? At night, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
  9. Day 9 Sights and delights of Paris.

    In the morning, travel through France to the City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, facades of the Louvre and the banks of River Seine, with its many romantic bridges. See the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Le Méridien Etoile, Paris.
  10. Day 10 The food and flavours of Paris.

    Your exploration of Paris today begins with an Insight Choice. Choose between shopping at Galeries Lafayette and a guided tour around the Right Bank led by a Local Expert. Alternatively, join a Local Expert, an avid foodie, to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. With the afternoon free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. In the evening, embrace the charms of the City of Light as you toast the end of your journey through Europe at a festive Celebration Dinner, of course accompanied by delicious French wines, at iconic restaurant La Coupole, frequently visited by French entertainer Josephine Baker.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Le Méridien Etoile, Paris.
  11. Day 11 Au revoir Paris.

    Bid farewell to your travelling companions as your journey comes to an end. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
route_map
Price Includes

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival flights are as per the itinerary start date, then arrival transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport. You may purchase transfers to London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on departure day, or when additional night accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Authentic Dining

  • Venice: Savour dinner at a local restaurant and then enjoy a short stroll to St Mark’s Square at twilight.
  • Venice: Sip Bellini cocktails alongside the canals at Café Florian, while being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians and soak up the calming atmosphere long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels.
  • Tuscany: Enjoy a tasting of locally made wines and sample delicious Tuscan snacks in the underground cellar of Machiavelli's home. While here you will visit the Italian gardens and be privy to a private opening of the office where he wrote 'The Prince.'
  • Orvieto: At a restaurant in the medieval heart of Orvieto, explore the art of Italian cooking with chef Lorenzo and observe how he makes fresh pasta by hand. Afterwards, enjoy a Highlight Lunch paired with a glass of Orvieto Classico wine.
  • Lucerne: Choose from a selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening and hand-pick your preferred ambience, cuisine and drinks for an intimate culinary experience.
  • Paris: Rendezvous at Le Petit Prince de Paris, an atmospheric French bistro, with the motto 'There is no love more sincere than that of good food'. Your Celebration Dinner offers home-style cooking with traditional French ingredients, and of course accompanied by delicious French wines.
  • Dining Summary: 10 Breakfasts (B), 2 Lunches with Wine (LW) and 3 Dinners with Wine (WD) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art. in Insight Experiences
  • Venice: Learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre.
  • Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. During your visit to St Peter's Basilica, see Michelangelo's 'Pieta' and Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
  • Orvieto: Visit this pleasant Umbrian hilltop town.
  • Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
  • Florence: Enjoy watching the masters at work as you visit a leather workshop.
  • Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
  • Paris: See the many attractions Paris has to offer such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you pass the areas of Tuscany, Umbria, the Chianti Hills, the Swiss Alps, the Italian Lake District and Burgundy.

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Definite Departure
  • Festive Celebrations
Price Discount Availability Price
Start Date: Sun, May 3, 2020
Return Date: Wed, May 13, 2020
$3,995$3,596pp SAVE: $399Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 checkmark Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, May 31, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Jun 10, 2020
$3,995$3,596pp SAVE: $399Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, Jun 28, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Jul 8, 2020
$3,875$3,488pp SAVE: $387Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, Jul 12, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Jul 22, 2020
$3,825$3,443pp SAVE: $382Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, Jul 26, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Aug 5, 2020
$3,725$3,353pp SAVE: $372Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, Aug 9, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Aug 19, 2020
$3,725$3,353pp SAVE: $372Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, Aug 23, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Sep 2, 2020
$3,795$3,416pp SAVE: $379Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, Sep 6, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Sep 16, 2020
$3,995$3,596pp SAVE: $399Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, Sep 20, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Sep 30, 2020
$3,995$3,596pp SAVE: $399Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Start Date: Sun, Oct 4, 2020
Return Date: Wed, Oct 14, 2020
$3,995$3,596pp SAVE: $399Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
Start Date: Wed, Dec 30, 2020
Return Date: Sat, Jan 9, 2021
$4,095$3,686pp SAVE: $409Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
Start Date: Wed, Dec 30, 2020
Return Date: Sat, Jan 9, 2021
$4,095$3,686pp SAVE: $409Pay by Dec 18AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Optional Add-Ons

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.

Venice

Experience Venice by Gondola Serenade

Glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways; full of character and color. While your gondolier navigates the canals, you can take in the city’s elegant architecture. And they may even serenade you with an Italian classic.
Adult Price: €44

Burano Excursion & Meal

Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy-colored houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialties with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!
Adult Price: €71

Hidden Venice

To only experience Venice's big set pieces—St Mark's Square, the Rialto, the Grand Canal—is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser-known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi’, small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.
Adult Price: €34

Rome

Piazzas & Fountains

With our local expert, let's take a "passeggiata" (stroll) to enjoy the backstreets and secrets of Pedestrian Rome. Be amazed at sights such as the fascinating Pantheon and the beauty of 17th-century fountains and beautiful Piazzas. Come and enjoy the Rome of the Romans.
Adult Price: €33

Dinner In Rome And Illuminations

Begin with a delicious dinner with drinks included at a local 'ristorante'. Savor a selection of dishes freshly prepared in the Roman way accompanied by live music. Round off the evening with a sparkling illuminations tour of Rome's floodlit ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches. Your journey takes you past the Colosseum, Piazza Venezia and Michelangelo's 'Cordonata' and more. A night not to be missed.
Adult Price: €60

Roman Dinner Party and Trevi Fountain

Enjoy an evening of delicious Roman cuisine with drinks and great Italian ambiance. Then visit the beautifully-restored Trevi Fountain to toss a coin over your shoulder and assure your return to the eternal city. The fountain is a true wonder, a breathtaking jewel of water and stone that is nestled between the palaces of this historic city. Immortalized in Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’.
Adult Price: €61

Guided Visit To Colosseum & Roman Forum

With our local expert, We'll explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Enjoying priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds, we'll hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat inside the mighty Colosseum. Then, we'll walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and gaze over the incredible ruins of the forum, once the center of political, religious and social life, while hearing tales of the mighty Roman Empire. Truly an incredible vision as history comes alive! n.b. On the first Sunday of the month, the price of this optional experience will be reduced. Please note: This optional is subject to availability and involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: €54

Florence

Pisa and The Arno Valley

Visit the historical city of Pisa where our Local Specialist will give you an insight into its leaning tower, medieval squares and markets. You'll also have plenty of free time to shop and explore on your own.
Adult Price: €43

Dinner In The Tuscan Hills

A fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialties awaits you. We drive into the hills surrounding Florence for a delicious typical Florentine meal complete with Chianti wine, music and lots of fun! An evening to remember. Viva Italia!
Adult Price: €65

Lucerne

Carriages & Countryside

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: CHf67

Lake Lucerne Cruise and Drinks

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: CHf49

Swiss Evening

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, yodeling, Alpenhorn blowing and other great Swiss entertainment.
Adult Price: CHf99

Paris

Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Cabaret

One of the oldest and most elegant revue theatres in Paris, Nouvelle Eve is a hidden gem where you’ll meet the Director and two of the cast members before enjoying a four-course dinner with wine. You will then experience unparalleled Parisian entertainment—including the world-famous Can-Can.
Adult Price: €139

Moulin Rouge

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: €162

Seine Cruise And Illuminations

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.
Adult Price: €38

Montparnasse Tower & The Right Bank

Take the fastest elevator in Europe to the Panoramic Observation Deck for unbeatable views of the Eiffel Tower and all of the city’s iconic monuments (without any queues). The highest rooftop terrace in Paris offers a breathtaking 360-degree view with all of Paris at your feet! Then, with our Local Expert, explore some hidden gems on the Rive Droite of the city, taking in a delightful stroll across the iconic River Seine to see Notre Dame Cathedral.
Adult Price: €38

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Denise Disbro
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Service
What a fabulous trip! From the time we made the decision to travel with you, every detail went off without a hitch! Our Insight tour guide, Bob Willemse, did an excellent job of ensuring that we got the best of experiences. Thanks so much for the trip of a lifetime!
Response from Grand European Travel:
We loved your photo and so appreciate your kind words. We love hearing about those trips of a lifetime! Thank you!
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Vacation
The best of the best, from beginning to end. Thank you!
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