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European Impressions

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Tour Pace: Active
Cologne, Germany and the Rhine River
Tour Style: Value
18 Days from $2,495 per person

The birthplaces of arts, culture and history are on show in this discovery of Europe's Renaissance masterpieces, from the spires of Cologne and Vienna's Baroque Opera House, to St. Peter's Basilica and the magnificent Doge's Palace in Venice.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to London. Relax and unwind after check-in.
    hotel:Hilton Olympia
  3. Spend the day exploring the sights and delights of this wonderful city on your own.
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  4. This morning meet your Travel Director and traveling companions to board your Trafalgar coach and set off from London. A scenic drive through Kent brings you to Dover. See the White Cliffs as you board the ferry and cross to Calais, France. Admire the countryside as you traverse Belgium and The Netherlands. In Amsterdam, one of Europe's friendliest cities, enjoy an orientation of the historic city center. 

    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Ibis Airport
  5. Pass Arnhem into Germany and view Cologne Cathedral, the city's most famous landmark. Continue past Bonn to Boppard where you embark on a relaxing cruise along the River Rhine past ancient castles and vineyards. Disembark at St. Goar where you view the Lorelei Rock and hear the legend of the fabled siren. Dine tonight at your Rhineland hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Achat Premium Neustadt
  6. Head south into the region of Bavaria. Glimpse Neuschwanstein Castle built by King Ludwig II, before taking the scenic Fern Pass into Austria. In the Tyrolean capital, Innsbruck, see the sights during your orientation tour including the Golden Roof and St. Jakob's cathedral.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Alphotel
  7. Explore the splendors of Salzburg and marvel at the sights associated with ‘the Sound of Music' and the city's most famous son, Mozart. Your scenic journey continues towards the River Danube, arriving later in the elegant city of Vienna.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Courtyard by Marriott Schoenbrunn
  8. Your Local Specialist shows you the city's important landmarks including the Opera House, the Hofburg, Parliament and the Imperial Boulevards. Spend free time afterwards sightseeing or shop for souvenirs on the fashionable Kärtnerstrasse.
    meal(s):BB
  9. Journey through the heart of the Austrian Alps past mountains and small picturesque towns to the Austrian Lake District. Cross the Italian border and arrive later in Venice, your home for the next two nights.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Best Western Plus Quid Airport
  10. Discover this Byzantine city as you cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square. Admire the Bridge of Sighs and the ornate Doge's Palace. Watch the Venetian craftsmen at work creating local craft at a glassblowing workshop on Giudecca island.
    meal(s):BB
  11. Admire the scenery as you cross the fertile Po Valley and journey over the dramatic Apennine Mountains to Rome, the Eternal City. This evening you might like to explore the city's vibrant nightlife.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Black
  12. Your Local Specialist takes you on a visit of St. Peter's Basilica where you see Michelangelo's sculpture, the Pietà. Your sightseeing tour continues across the Tiber where you will view the Colosseum and see the ancient sites of Rome. In your free time visit the magnificent Sistine Chapel or relax at a sidewalk café on Via Del Corso.

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  13. Drive through Tuscany's Chianti region to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. Enjoy spectacular views of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo. In your free time visit Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo and Giotto's Bell Tower.

    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Starhotels Vespucci
  14. North from Florence via Bologna and Milan and across the Swiss border, you travel through beautiful, ever-changing scenery. See picturesque Lake Lugano, then take the famous St. Gotthard route through the Alps to Lake Lucerne. Later why not experience a Swiss folklore and fondue evening?
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Swissever Zug
  15. See the highlights of Lucerne this morning on your orientation tour including the medieval Old Town and a visit to the renowned Lion Monument. Spend free time afterwards relaxing or perhaps take an Optional Experience up a nearby mountain for breathtaking views.
    meal(s):BB, D
  16. Travel west across the French border, past Belfort and the remnants of the Maginot Line. Continue through the Burgundy wine region, with views of the vineyards. Arrive later in the capital Paris.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Mercure La Defense 5
  17. This morning see the Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower and more on your sightseeing tour. Explore on your own afterwards. Stroll along the banks of the Seine or visit one of the city's world-class museums. Tonight why not celebrate the end of your journey with a traditional Parisian cabaret?
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  18. After breakfast say farewell to your fellow travelers. Airport 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.

2018 Preview

Preview itineraries and content are based on selected vacations featured in our 2017 Collection, however, items such as (but not limited to), hotels, meals, sightseeing inclusions, trip destinations, transfers and transportation, are subject to change. The final composition of your trip will be published in our 2018 Collection due out in September. By paying your deposit, you are agreeing to accept the finalized version of your trip itinerary.

  • 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, 14 buffet breakfasts, 5 three course dinners, .

Sightseeing Highlights

  •  Dover: See the White Cliffs 
  • Amsterdam: See the historic city center
  • Cologne: View the Gothic cathedral
  • Rhine Valley: Cruise the romantic Rhine River
  • Innsbruck: View the Golden Roof and the Hofburg Palace
  • Salzburg: Visit the Baroque town of Mozart's birth
  • Vienna: Sightseeing with your Local Specialist features the Opera House, Hofburg, Parliament and the Imperial Boulevards
  • Venice: Cruise by private boat to St. Mark's Square. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop on Giudecca Island
  • Rome: Morning Sightseeing with your Local Specialist. Visit St. Peter's Basilica. View the Colosseum and see the ancient sites
  • Florence: Enjoy panoramic city views from Piazzale Michelangelo. See Piazza Santa Croce
  • Lugano: See this magnificent Swiss lake
  • Lucenrne: Orientation includes the Lion Monument and the Old Town
  • Paris: Sightseeing includes views of the Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
5 Apr 18 22 Apr 18 $2,595pp Request Quote Book Now
19 Apr 18 6 May 18 $2,595pp Request Quote Book Now
3 May 18 20 May 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
10 May 18 27 May 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
17 May 18 3 Jun 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
24 May 18 10 Jun 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
31 May 18 17 Jun 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
7 Jun 18 24 Jun 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
14 Jun 18 1 Jul 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
21 Jun 18 8 Jul 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
28 Jun 18 15 Jul 18 $2,575pp Request Quote Book Now
5 Jul 18 22 Jul 18 $2,575pp Request Quote Book Now
12 Jul 18 29 Jul 18 $2,575pp Request Quote Book Now
26 Jul 18 12 Aug 18 $2,575pp Request Quote Book Now
9 Aug 18 26 Aug 18 $2,575pp Request Quote Book Now
23 Aug 18 9 Sep 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
30 Aug 18 16 Sep 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 18 23 Sep 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 18 30 Sep 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 18 7 Oct 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
27 Sep 18 14 Oct 18 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 18 21 Oct 18 $2,595pp Request Quote Book Now
17 Dec 18 3 Jan 19 $2,495pp Request Quote Book Now

Alternative London Hotel: These departures start and end at the 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.

Single Room Supplement: from $760 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $10 p.p.

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 motor coach at no extra cost. Additional accommodations will be required as arrival in London will be late afternoon/early evening.


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.

  • 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, Scotland and Northern Ireland 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. 

    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.

    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. 

    In Austria you’ll find hearty cuisine, but nothing beats the desserts. Try delicious treats like Viennese Sachertorte (dense chocolate cake) and apple strudel.

    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.

    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.

  • 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.

Reviews

Sunday, June 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : All documents were sent to me in plenty of time and all questions were answered when I called.
Vacation : Trafalgar lived up to its reputation of being a superb tour company.

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.

Mount Stanserhorn And Lake Cruise

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.)

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

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

Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drinks

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-coloured houses - a real photographer's paradise.

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.

Vienna

Viennese Concert

Adult Price: € 54

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.

Schönbrunn Palace And Gardens

Adult Price: € 42

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 VIP entrance to make the most of your time.

Dinner And Viennese Concert

Adult Price: € 100

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.

Viennese Dinner with Musical Entertainment

Adult Price: € 61

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.

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