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European Experience

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Tour Pace: Active
Bavarian Beer Garden, Munich, Germany
Tour Style: Value
15 Days from $2,195 per person

Mountains and monuments dot your route from London to Rome. Admire Munich's musical Glockenspiel in Marienplatz, take an exhilarating journey through an Alpine highway and marvel at St. Mark's Square in Venice, with stops in Rome, Lucerne and Paris.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Relax after check-in or take a leisurely stroll through this fascinating city.
    hotel:Hilton Olympia
  3. The day is yours to explore the delights of London. See the sights, visit a museum or go shopping – the list is endless and the choice is yours.
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  4. This morning meet your Travel Director and traveling companions to board your Trafalgar coach and set off from London. Admire the famous White Cliffs as you approach Dover where you board a ferry for the short Channel crossing to Calais in France. Drive through Belgium's Flanders fields into The Netherlands, renowned for tulips, clogs and windmills. Later arrive in Amsterdam, one of Europe's friendliest cities.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Ibis Airport
  5. Cross into Germany and view Cologne Cathedral, the largest Gothic church in Europe. In Boppard embark on a scenic cruise down the River Rhine past terraced vineyards and towering castles. Finish the day at your hotel in the Rhineland.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Achat Premium Walldorf/Reilingen
  6. In Munich admire the Glockenspiel in the Marienplatz and the Hofbräuhaus. Continue along the Inn Valley to the Austrian Tyrol and on to Innsbruck, a picturesque town where you view the sights including the Golden Roof and see the ski-jump.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Bon Alpina
  7. Enjoy an exhilarating journey through the Brenner Pass – one of the principal alpine highways – to Italy. In the Byzantine city of Venice cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square. Marvel at St. Mark's Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop and see a demonstration, then spend time discovering the delights of Venice. You might like to take a romantic ride in a gondola.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Alexander
  8. Traverse the Veneto plain via Bologna and cross the dramatic Apennine Mountains into Tuscany. Continue through Umbria to Lazio and the capital, Rome. This evening take the opportunity to explore the city's beautiful squares and fountains and perhaps savor the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Raganelli
  9. Your Local Specialist brings Rome's rich history to life during your wonderful sightseeing tour. Visit St. Peter's Basilica, featuring magnificent works of art. Your tour continues across the Tiber to view the Colosseum and see the ancient sites of Rome. Spend the rest of the day as you wish. From the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums to the incredible fountains in Piazza Navona.
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  10. Drive north through Umbria into the rolling countryside of Tuscany. In the Renaissance city of Florence enjoy spectacular views of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo. Afterwards there is time to explore the Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo and Giotto's Bell Tower. Don't forget to shop for leather goods and 18-carat gold jewelry.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Novotel Firenze Nord
  11. Cross the Apennines to the great northern plain and pass the city of Milan. Continue north to the Swiss border and follow the scenic St. Gotthard route to Lake Lucerne in the heart of Switzerland. The landscape is breathtaking.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Krone Giswil/Krone Sarnen
  12. Admire the sights of Lucerne during your morning orientation tour including views of the Chapel Bridge, the Jesuit Church and a visit to the Lion Monument, built to commemorate the Swiss Guards who died defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Spend free time shopping or perhaps take an Optional Experience up a mountain peak.
    meal(s):BB, D
  13. Journey into France and pass the Vosges Mountains. See the vineyards as you travel through the great wine region of Burgundy. Arrive later in the elegant capital, Paris. This evening you might like to take a tour of the city and see the dazzling illuminations.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Mercure Ivry Quai De Seine
  14. See the sights during your sightseeing tour with views of the Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Afterwards there is time for you to explore on your own. Tonight is the last evening of your vacation so you might consider a delicious dinner at a cozy bistro.
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  15. Say farewell to your Travel Director and traveling companions at the end of an amazing vacation. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
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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.

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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.

  • Breakfast Daily Breakfast Daily
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

Meal Summary

2 full breakfasts, 11 buffet breakfasts, 5 three course dinners.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Dover: See the White Cliffs
  • Amsterdam: See the city center
  • Cologne: View the Gothic cathedral
  • Rhine Valley: Cruise the Rhine River
  • Munich: See the Glockenspiel in the Marienplatz and the Hofbräuhaus
  • Innsbruck: View the famous Golden Roof and see the ski-jump
  • Venice: Cruise by private boat to St. Mark's Square. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop
  • Rome: Sightseeing with your Local Specialist. Visit St. Peter's Basilica. View the Colosseum and see the ancient sites
  • Florence: Enjoy panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo. Admire Florentine leatherwork
  • Swiss Alps: Picture-book scenery
  • Lucerne: Visit the Lion Monument and Old Town
  • Paris: Sightseeing includes views of Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower
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Alternative London Hotel: Marked departures start and end at our London Reception Center or the Ibis Earls Court

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

Airport Transfers: A return transfer on the last day will arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 8:00 am.

Complimentary London Return: Guests are welcome to return to London by Trafalgar motor coach at no extra cost. Additional accommodations will be required as arrival in London will be late afternoon/early evening.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $86 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 or the UK.

  • The currency for most countries you will visit in Europe is the Euro (€).  Several 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. 

    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.

    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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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.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam Discovery And Canal Cruise

Adult Price: € 30

Absolutely the best way to see Amsterdam’s wonderful sights! A private cruise by glass-roofed boat travels the historic canal ring, showing imposing warehouses, stately merchant homes, houseboats & bridges. Then, on foot with our Local Specialist, explore the heart of the city, including the not-to-be-missed coffeehouses and shop-windows of the Red Light District!

Florence

Florence's Renaissance Treasures

Adult Price: € 42

This trip is all about exploring the jewel in Florence's crown: its Renaissance heritage. First, you'll get to view the Michelangelo collection, including the statue of David at the Academy of Fine Arts. You’ll continue to the Duomo where you’ll see first-hand its spectacular design. The trip ends in Signoria Square, the political centre of Florence.

Lucerne

Swiss Folklore Evening And Dinner

Adult Price: 99 CHF

Tonight we’ll enjoy a tasty Swiss meal, including the famous Swiss cheese fondue, in a typical restaurant. While enjoying dinner, you can also join in a lively folklore show which includes yodelling, flag-throwing and Alpine horn-blowing. Two drinks are also included.

Alpine Farm & Carriage Ride

Adult Price: 67 CHF

A chance to get to know the Swiss, you’ll meet local farmers and enjoy a delightful countryside tour in horse drawn carriages. Soak up the stunning scenery as we trot around a typical rural community, en route to a working farm where you’ll savour local drinks and snacks.

Mount Pilatus And Lake Cruise

Adult Price: 112 CHF

We’ll ascend by cog-wheel train to Mount Pilatus’ summit, where you’ll have time to explore, admire the views, and breathe the pure air. Then, we’ll descent by cable-car to enjoy a scenic lake cruise. On certain departures this Optional may be operated in reverse.

Paris

Seine Cruise And Paris Illuminations

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.

Nouvelle Eve Cabaret And Dinner

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.

Moulin Rouge Cabaret And Dinner

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!

Notre Dame And Latin Quarter

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.

Rome

Explore Ostia Antica

Adult Price: € 42

Join us on a journey along the Mediterranean coast and visit the excavations of Ancient Ostia, the former harbour of Rome. These ruins offer perhaps a more complete picture of Roman urban life than either Rome or Pompeii. See the remains of the baths, theatre, apartment houses, drinking room, mosaics and wall paintings at this beautiful site, mirrored by cypress trees and umbrella pines.

Piazzas and Fountains of Rome

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!

Roman Evening with Dinner

Adult Price: € 61

This easy-going evening in Rome begins with a beautiful drive to see amazing city sights. We arrive at one of our favourite restaurants, where you'll enjoy a warm welcome and delicious dinner of local cuisine with drinks and music.

Inside The Vatican & Colosseum

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.

Venice

Gondolas & Grand Canal

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.

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