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Brush up on your photographic skills – you're going to need them on this fast-paced jaunt through Europe's celebrity cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris and lesser-known Lucerne. Get snap-happy sightseeing at such highlights as the Vatican City, Eiffel Tower and the Duomo, people watch in the ‘piazze' and marvel at a multitude of picture-perfect landscapes.
Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City. Relax after your journey. In the evening enjoy an orientation drive where you see some of the major sites before enjoying a Welcome Reception with your fellow travelers and Travel Director.
Your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist takes you to visit St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, one of the largest and most significant churches in the Christian world. Witness Michelangelo's Pietà, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. View the ancient sites in Rome including the Colosseum, where ancient gladiatorial contests took place. Spend time on your own experiencing the wonders of the Eternal City. In your free time perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Sistine Chapel or throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and make a wish.
From Rome travel north into Tuscany, through rolling countryside and along the valley of the River Arno to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Enjoy stories as you view the Duomo and then visit Piazza della Signoria during your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Arrive later at your hotel.
Upon arrival in Venice cruise the Giudecca canal and view the imposing Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace before exploring this incredible city. Enjoy a Cultural Insight glassblowing demonstration. Perhaps sample dinner in one of the many restaurants or sip coffee 'al fresco' while listening to the orchestras in St. Mark's Square.
Leave Venice and travel across the Veneto plains, then north to the Italian and Swiss Lake Districts via Como and Lugano. Marvel at the picturesque alpine scenery along the St. Gotthard route into central Switzerland, arriving later at Lucerne. Visit the Lion Monument, a memorial to Swiss Guards massacred in Paris in 1792 while guarding Louis XVI. Explore the Old Town and perhaps join an Optional Experience to one of the surrounding mountain peaks. Dine tonight at your hotel.
From Lucerne head northwest past Basel into France. See the extensive vineyards of Burgundy, one of the country's biggest wine producing areas. Arrive in the City of Light for a two-night stay. Tonight consider going to one of the city's most famous cabaret shows.
During your sightseeing with your Local Specialist ascend to the second level of the Eiffel Tower by elevator and get a bird's eye view of the golden dome of Les Invalides. See the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. Tonight dine with your Travel Director and fellow travelers at a Farewell Dinner.
Say ‘au revoir' as you pass the Somme battlefields en route to Calais. Sail across the Channel to Dover, continuing by coach through Kent to London, your final destination.
Many major sights are included on your morning guided sightseeing tour including views of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace with a Local Specialist. Your included sightseeing will finish in central London, so the rest of the day is free for you to explore this magical capital city.
Time to bid farewell to London and your fellow travelers as your memorable European vacation comes to an end. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
9 nights, 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 3 dinners, On-trip transport.
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: € 64
Join us for a scenic drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant where a selection of regional favourites is served, accompanied by a selection of local wines and live music. A truly unforgettable experience, with an atmosphere that is the essence of all things Tuscan.
Adult Price: € 40
Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We have fast track entry to the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you’ll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist.
This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Adult Price: 112 CHF
Take a scenic cruise with us across Lake Lucerne to Stans, and one of Switzerland's oldest mountain railways. Travelling by railway and Cabrio cable car, we'll reach 1900m (6300ft), where you’ll have free time to admire the stunning Alpine scenery and enjoy some refreshments. (On certain departures Optional may be operated in reverse, ending with the cruise.)
Adult Price: € 139
Join us for dinner with wine included at one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in town, where you’ll watch an evening of exciting acts, stunning tableaux and wonderful entertainment – including the world famous Can-Can. A Parisian night you’ll never forget.
Adult Price: € 162
Enjoy dinner and cabaret, including wine and champagne, at the world-famous Moulin Rouge – the original Paris cabaret. Immortalized by the award-winning film of the same name, this Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers and over 1000 costumes!
Adult Price: € 33
A guided drive through Paris' bohemian Left Bank with our Local Specialist brings us to amazing Notre Dame to discover one of the world's most famous Cathedrals and the epitome of Gothic architecture. Afterwards, take a stroll through the delightful Latin Quarter, a medieval maze of winding cobblestone alleyways where you'll have free time to enjoy the sidewalk bistros, boutiques and hidden squares.
Adult Price: € 38
Paris at night is a city transformed. Enjoy this superb 'City of Light' on a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Afterwards, as we drive through this amazing city, we’ll stop at some vantage points for you to capture the fascinating sights on camera. In summer, this trip may take place before sunset.
Adult Price: € 33
Starting with a lovely drive and continuing on foot, you'll discover hidden backstreets, piazzas and fountains of the 'Eternal City' with a Local Specialist. Along the way, you'll marvel at the timeless Pantheon, the best-preserved Roman temple in the world. Many additional highlights are revealed on this relaxed tour that also offers free time in a gorgeous Baroque square with street artists, trattorias and gelaterias!
Adult Price: € 61
Spend a light-hearted evening with us in Rome. Relax and enjoy typical Italian cuisine with drinks and music. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a drive and provide a glimpse into how Romans enjoy their city.
Adult Price: € 79
We skip the lines at the Vatican Museums for this tour that shows not just remarkable works of art collected and commissioned over the history of the Papacy, but also Michelangelo’s amazing ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Later we hear fascinating tales of gladitorial combat and more on our visit to the Colosseum, again with time-saving VIP entrance.
This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Adult Price: € 69
On arrival in Venice, a private boat will be waiting to take you to St Mark's Square, where you’ll enjoy a gondola ride while being serenaded by local musicians. Later, private water taxi's will take you along Venice's Grand Canal, where you’ll admire the magnificent palazzos and Rialto Bridge.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|29 Oct 17||8 Nov 17||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 Nov 17||15 Nov 17||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|12 Nov 17||22 Nov 17||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|19 Nov 17||29 Nov 17||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|26 Nov 17||6 Dec 17||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|3 Dec 17||13 Dec 17||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|10 Dec 17||20 Dec 17||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|18 Dec 17||28 Dec 17||$2,195$2,030pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|19 Dec 17||29 Dec 17||$2,250$2,081pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|23 Dec 17||2 Jan 18||$2,250$2,081pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Dec 17||8 Jan 18||$2,350$2,174pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|7 Jan 18||17 Jan 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|14 Jan 18||24 Jan 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|21 Jan 18||31 Jan 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Jan 18||7 Feb 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|4 Feb 18||14 Feb 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|11 Feb 18||21 Feb 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|18 Feb 18||28 Feb 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|25 Feb 18||7 Mar 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|4 Mar 18||14 Mar 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|11 Mar 18||21 Mar 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|18 Mar 18||28 Mar 18||$2,095$1,938pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|21 Mar 18||31 Mar 18||$2,125$1,966pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|25 Mar 18||4 Apr 18||$2,125$1,966pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
* Christmas & New Year’s Eve Highlights: The December 19th 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in Paris. The December 20th 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in Paris. The December 24th 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in Rome. And the December 30th 2017 departure will toast New Year’s Eve in Rome. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.
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 $440 p.p.
Triple Discount: $10 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 per person.
Airport transfers: On arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel.
Cruise Connection: This trip starts or ends in a popular cruise port, so a cruise can be combined with a more in-depth guided experience in Europe.
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.
Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
The currency in Italy and France is the Euro (€), in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF) and in London is the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive 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.
One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the cuisine.
While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. In fact, each of the 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine. 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. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink.
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.
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.
Restaurants around London serve specialties such as 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.
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. 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.
In Italy tipping is less common or generous as in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave an extra euro or two for your waiter.
A service charge is typically included in the bill at restaurants in Switzerland. While there is no need to leave an additional tip, you can round up to the next franc for service if you choose.
In France, a 15% service compris is included by law in the price of food and drink. Tipping in addition to this service charge is never expected, but always appreciated. If you’d like to leave something extra, keep in mind that even in the fanciest restaurants, people rarely tip more than 5-10%. A good rule of thumb is to leave an extra €1 for every €20 spent. Rather than adding gratuity to your credit card slip, leave coins in the tray where the check was presented to ensure that your waiter receives it.
Restaurants in London often include a service charge of 12.5 percent, especially for large groups. If service isn’t included, it’s customary to leave 10-15 percent of the bill.
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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