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The perfect introduction to Europe is none other than Amsterdam, the historic, yet edgy Dutch capital. There's time for a quick orientation through its UNESCO-listed historic centre, characterised by concentric belts of canals or Grachtengordel. Take to the waterways and join an Optional Experience canal cruise in a glass-topped boat. This is a mesmerising way to see this old-world capital and its iconic sights.
You'll see the towering spires of Cologne Cathedral above the rest of the city skyline when you journey east into Germany. This imposing Gothic church is one of the largest in the world and is said to house the Shrine of the Three Kings. Head to Boppard next where you'll board your river cruise down the Rhine. Watch the soul-stirring scenery of the Rhine Valley unfold - quaint villages, terraced vineyards and medieval castles line your route. Arrive later at your hotel in the Rhineland where you'll join your travel companions for dinner.
Ascend to the heavens, crossing the Fern Pass in the Tyrolean Alps. The scenery defies imagination and you'll arrive in Innsbruck in time to explore the city on your own. Wander through the Old Town and see the Hofburg Palace, St. Jakob's Cathedral and the Golden Roof, covered with over 2,657 fire-gilded tiles in the 16th century by Emperor Maximilian to mark his wedding. Admire the fascinating crystal installations and browse for precious gifts and souvenirs at the Swarovski Crystal Worlds Store.
Hit all the right notes today as you visit two cities whose heritage are inextricably linked to music. Take a stroll through Salzburg's Mirabell Gardens, where the von Trapp children once sang 'Do-Re-Mi' in 'The Sound of Music'. See sights that featured in the life of Mozart then head to Vienna, where famous composers rose to musical fame. Don't resist the urge to join an optional Viennese concert of classical music and feel as inspired as the great masters of music once were to share their genius.
A free morning could see you discover why the streets of Vienna are paved with culture or consider a guided visit to Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Habsburgs, whose lasting legacy can be seen across their dynastic capital. Your Local Specialist will reveal all the sights of this imperial city later today. View the Parliament, the Vienna Opera House, the Hofburg and City Hall before enjoying some time on your own. You'll need no excuse to embrace the locals' love of the good life as you indulge in the city's kafee culture with a heavenly slice of Sachertorte to tame your chocaholic tendencies.
From one elegant city to another, you'll continue through the Austrian Lake District and into Italy. Your final destination today is Venice, once a maritime powerhouse and republic, whose influences can be seen across the Eastern Mediterranean. The Winged Lion of St. Mark stands watch over the city and you'll see this enduring symbol of Venice over the next few days. You'll arrive just in time for an optional Gondola and Grand Canal cruise - grand palazzi, churches and ornate bridges lining your journey.
Witness the talents of the master craftsmen during a visit to their glassblowing workshop. Board your private launch next, cruising to St. Mark's Square, the gateway to the city. Admire the ornate Doge's Palace, the Basilica of St. Mark and the Bridge of Sighs, whose bittersweet views once elicited sighs from prisoners who were unlikely to see their beloved city ever again. There's time on your own for a final exploration of the city or to join an Optional Experience to the vibrant rainbow-coloured façades of Burano Island, which beckon to resident fishermen seeking a safe beacon for their return journey home through the lagoon's thick fog.
Tread in the footsteps of ancient Romans as you cross the fertile Po Plain and cross the Apennine mountains to Rome. The 'Eternal City' has captivated travellers for centuries and you'll not be disappointed. There's time to join an optional sightseeing tour of Rome's famous piazzas and fountains, including such highlights as Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. Later make your way back to your favourite square and follow your nose for the best pasta in town.
There's no better way to see Rome than to dive right in, which is what you'll do when you meet your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour that begins in Vatican City. The dome of St. Peter's Basilica looms over the expansive St. Peter's Square - the impressive backdrop for time spent learning about the world's smallest country. See Michelangelo's mournful Pietà up close and consider an Optional Experience that will reveal the artistry and heritage of the famous Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums. Continue to Ancient Rome, to view the mighty Colosseum, followed by some time to explore on your own. Later tonight, consider joining an optional dinner in a favourite local restaurant.
No expense was spared to exalt the glory of Florence through art and architecture and you'll see first-hand how this city paved its way to a modern age. For the best panoramic shots of the city's skyline, head to Piazzale Michelangelo, then spend some time exploring on your own, squeezing in some of the landmarks that make Florence a Renaissance beauty. Perhaps, see Ponte Vecchio, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistery. This evening, there's a choice of Optional Experiences featuring traditional cuisine in exquisite Tuscan surrounds.
Skirt the Italian Lake District, heading north this morning into Switzerland. You won't be able to tear your eyes from the soul-stirring scenery as you pass Lake Lugano and head over the snow-capped mountains that fringe the St. Gotthard route. This is the land of cowbells, cheese, chocolate and cable cars and you'll arrive in the Lucerne region just in time to experience it first-hand if you join an optional folklore and fondue evening.
Take a step back in time when you join your Travel Director for an orientation tour, exploring the Old Town, the ancient wooden Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument. The mournful, mortally wounded lion hewn from rock commemorates the sacrifice made by the Swiss Guards who died defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution. You'll have some time to explore the city your way, perhaps with some retail therapy. You could choose to ascend to the alpine heavens instead, joining an optional scenic cruise across Lake Lucerne, then travel by railway and cable car into the mountains for exhilarating views.
It doesn't get more idyllic than the French countryside and you'll soak it all up as you continue through the vineyards of celebrated wine regions before arriving in Paris. The 'City of Lights' shines brightly this evening and it will sparkle even more should you choose to join an Optional Experience to cruise down the Seine and see the glittering skyline from the water.
Hit Paris's grand boulevards on a city sightseeing tour with your Travel Director. See the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Élysées then spend the rest of the day discovering the city on your terms. Don't resist the urge to tread in the footsteps of Picasso and Dalí during an optional visit to Montmartre this afternoon, exploring its maze of streets and Artist's Square. There's time to shop for artwork and savour some local specialties before a real highlight this evening - an optional dinner and Can-Can cabaret performance.
After breakfast say farewell to your fellow travellers. Find out more about your free airport transfer at costsavertour.com/freetransfers.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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.
Taking a drive through the Dutch countryside with our Local Specialist, we'll arrive at a century-old farm to see Gouda cheese being made by hand, using traditional methods. We'll enjoy a taste of the farm's distinct cheeses and also have the opportunity to see wooden shoes being handcrafted in the traditional Dutch fashion. Returning to the city, we'll take a private cruise by glass-roofed boat through the historic canal ring, where we'll discover imposing warehouses, stately merchant homes, houseboats and bridges. It's absolutely the best way to see Amsterdam’s wonderful sights!
Adult Price: € 38
You’ll enjoy a lively evening of traditional entertainment as singers, dancers, and musicians dressed in national costume provide a colorful show of folklore and fun. Includes two drinks.
Adult Price: € 45
A wonderful evening of all things Viennese! Enjoy a superb dinner with drinks, followed by a concert of Viennese classical music. Works by Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be performed and your 'A Class' tickets and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine or juice during the interval will only enhance the experience. Please note: on occasion, a small gift will be offered in place of a glass of sparkling wine. Should you decide to cancel the optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: € 103
You’ll enjoy a wonderful concert of Viennese classical music including some of the most famous works of Strauss and Mozart, performed by some of the most highly acclaimed soloists and dancers in Austria. You’ll receive 'A Class' tickets and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine during the interval.
Adult Price: € 58
The Imperial Summer Palace of Schönbrunn offers an amazing journey through the centuries of Hapsburg rule. It is perfectly preserved and richly decorated with treasures from around the globe. Each room has a story to tell, so of course, you’ll have a Local Specialist to bring it to life and to make the most of your time. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. Should you decide to cancel the optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: € 47
Enjoy dinner in an atmospheric Viennese restaurant, with drinks and traditional musical entertainment included. A unique experience in one of Europe’s most elegant cities.
Adult Price: € 63
Join us for a breathtaking cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal. You'll admire the magnificent palazzi, as well as catching a glimpse of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Later on, you'll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice's dreamy, narrow waterways.
Adult Price: € 70
Join us as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious meal with a selection of drinks on the fishermen's island of Burano, famous for its multi-colored houses - a real photographer's paradise.
Adult Price: € 72
Discover the most charming areas in the city with a Local Specialist. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares of Rome's historic center, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.
Adult Price: € 33
We skip the lines at the Vatican Museums for a tour with our Local Specialist 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 gladiatorial combat and more on our visit to the Colosseum, again with time-saving VIP entrance.
Adult Price: € 87
Spend a light-hearted evening with us in Rome. Relax and enjoy typical Italian cuisine with drinks and music. Afterward, we’ll enjoy a drive and provide a glimpse into how Romans enjoy their city.
Adult Price: € 62
This trip is all about exploring the jewel in Florence's crown: its Renaissance heritage. With your Local Specialist, wander the cities enchanting streets and soak up the not-to-miss sites, Ponte Vecchio, Mercato del Porcellino, Piazza della Signoria and more. Uncover the fascinating history and experience first-hand the spectacular design of the Duomo. Top off your sightseeing with a cup of Italy’s favorite frozen treat – gelato!
Adult Price: € 42
This evening we'll take a scenic drive to experience a fun and relaxed evening at a friendly, family restaurant in the Tuscan countryside. After a welcome drink in the historic courtyard, the renowned local chef will delight your senses with regional dishes, made with traditional ingredients from the nearby produce markets. The excellent wines come from the Saraceni family vineyards and there's live music and song to complete the atmosphere. In short, a Tuscan dream come true in an authentic setting.
Adult Price: € 65
Through the Chianti hills, we'll drive past vineyards to a delightful hamlet. Our destination is the ancient stone house of Machiavelli, where the great political theorist wrote his immortal work, ‘The Prince.' After a welcome drink and a visit of the villa and its wine-cellars, we'll enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine accompanied by great music and drinks, including of course, Chianti from the Villa's own vines.
Adult Price: € 65
We’ll ascend by cog-wheel train to Mount Pilatus’s summit, where you’ll have time to explore, admire the views, and breathe the pure air. Then, we’ll descend by cable-car to enjoy a scenic lake cruise. On certain departures, this optional may be operated in reverse.
Adult Price: CHF 113
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 savor local drinks and snacks.
Adult Price: CHF 67
Paris at night is a city transformed. We'll enjoy this superb 'City of Light' on a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Afterward, driving through this amazing city with our Local Specialist, you'll see some of the fascinating sights this beautiful city has to offer. In summer, this trip may take place before sunset.
Adult Price: € 38
Today we'll explore the Montorgueil neighborhood on a foodie walking tour with our knowledgeable guide. We'll sample some of the city's finest bread, charcuterie, cheese and pastries; meeting local vendors and artisans along the way.
Adult Price: € 50
Dominated by the soaring Sacre Coeur Basilica, you’ll join your Local Specialist to explore Montmartre’s winding streets, unusual galleries and world-famous Artist’s Square - once home to the works of Toulouse Lautrec and Picasso. You’ll have time to browse, barter for original art and taste local cuisine, for a real flavor of Montmartre life.
Adult Price: € 37
With our Local Specialist, we'll 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. The highest rooftop terrace in Paris offers a breath-taking 360-degree view, with all of Paris at your feet! Then we’ll 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
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 1,000 costumes!
Adult Price: € 165
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