European Whirl Winter 2016-2017

Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River, Florence
15 Days from $2,750 per person

A bestseller for a reason, this journey around Europe's most popular countries and cities brings together the best of its history, scenery, legends, locals and experiences.


You'll enjoy Insider moments like… learning about the daily routines of the notorious Roman Gladiators at the Colosseum, the most famous of who were treated like modern day ‘Pop Idols', brought vividly to life by your Local Specialist.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Relax after your journey or spend time exploring this exciting city.
  3. See a host of sights including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace during your morning guided sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Finishing in central London, you have the rest of the day to discover the city's delights.
  4. This morning meet your Travel Director before traveling to London's St. Pancras International to board the Eurostar™ for a high-speed train journey to Brussels. Continue by luxury coach to Amsterdam. Enjoy an orientation of the historic city center before joining your fellow travelers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception dinner cruise.
    meal(s):FB, WR
    hotel:Mercure City
  5. Cross the border into Germany, enjoy picturesque scenery all the way to Boppard, where an included cruise takes you past vine-clad hills and crumbling medieval castles to St. Goar. Later enjoy views of the red sandstone castle towering above Heidelberg.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Achat Premium Walldorf/Reilingen
  6. Crossing the Swabian Alps arrive in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, for an orientation drive including the Olympic Stadium and City Hall. View the Glockenspiel on Marienplatz. A short drive through splendid scenery and across the Austrian border brings you to Innsbruck. Admire the architecture of the Old Town including the Emperor Maximilian's famous Golden Roof. You might consider experiencing traditional Tyrolean entertainment this evening.
    hotel:Grauer Bär
  7. Drive along the Brenner Pass into Italy and across the Dolomite Mountains. Arrive in the enchanting city of Venice. Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square, viewing the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Palace along the way. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop for a Cultural Insight demonstration, then spend the afternoon exploring the sights of your choice.
    hotel:Novotel Venezia Castellana
  8. South across the Veneto plain you pass by Bologna and over the dramatic Apennine Mountains, continuing into the Lazio region to Rome, the Eternal City.
    hotel:Executive Style/Crowne Plaza St. Peter's
  9. Today's sightseeing includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica − the most significant Christian church in the world − to view Michelangelo's Renaissance masterpiece, the Pietà. In ancient Rome see sites including the Colosseum with your Local Specialist. Spend the rest of the day exploring or perhaps take an Optional Experience to see the Sistine Chapel inside the Vatican Museums.
  10. From Rome travel north into Tuscany, through rolling countryside and along the valley of the River Arno to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Discover the city's rich artistic and medieval history with your Local Specialist. Visit the Piazza della Signoria with its impressive sculptures and stunning palazzi. Marvel at the baptistery and the multimarble Duomo, with its dome designed by Brunelleschi. Dine tonight at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Cosmopolitan Concept
  11. Drive through the picturesque Italian Lakes district and across the Alps into Switzerland. Spend the next two nights in the beautiful lakeside town of Lucerne.

    meal(s):BB, D
  12. View the poignant Lion Monument during your morning orientation. Walk along the 14th century covered Chapel Bridge, crossing the River Reuss. Don't miss the opportunity to take an exciting Optional Experience to one of the surrounding mountains with breathtaking views. Later there is time to shop for Swiss souvenirs including watches and chocolates.
  13. Pass Basel and cross the border into France this morning. In every direction, vineyards and picturesque villages provide a memorable backdrop for your journey. Consider an Optional Experience this evening to a famous Parisian Cabaret.
    hotel:Renaissance La Defense
  14. See all the iconic sights during your morning sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. View the Champs Élysées, Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. Ascend to the second level of the Eiffel Tower for a breathtaking view of the city. Spend the rest of the day exploring the sights that interest you. This evening celebrate with your Travel Director and traveling companions at a Farewell Dinner in a local bistro.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  15. Today bid farewell to your fellow travelers and Travel Director at the end of your vacation. An airport transfer is available. Conditions apply.

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.

Add air to your reservation

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.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

13 nights' accommodations, 13 breakfasts, 5 dinners.

Your included sights

  • City tour in London, Rome, Florence and Paris.
  • Orientation of Amsterdam, Heidelberg, Munich, Innsbruck, Venice and Lucerne.
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • View the canals in Amsterdam, the Golden Roof in Innsbruck, St. Mark's Square in Venice, the ancient sites in Rome and the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne.
  • Cruise along the canals of Amsterdam and the River Rhine.
  • See the Lorelei Rock and the Vineyards of Burgundy.

Your Insider Experiences

  • Local Specialist: For included sightseeing in London, Rome, Florence and Paris.
  • Cultural Insight: Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop in Venice.
  • Hidden Treasure: Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
5 Nov 16 19 Nov 16 checkmark $3,075pp
12 Nov 16 26 Nov 16 checkmark $3,050pp
26 Nov 16 10 Dec 16 checkmark $3,050pp
$3,050 pp
3 Dec 16 17 Dec 16 checkmark $3,050pp
$3,050 pp
10 Dec 16 24 Dec 16 checkmark $3,050pp
$3,050 pp
15 Dec 16 29 Dec 16 checkmark $3,175pp
$3,175 pp
17 Dec 16 31 Dec 16 checkmark $3,175pp
$3,175 pp
20 Dec 16 3 Jan 17 checkmark $3,295pp
$3,295 pp
23 Dec 16 6 Jan 17 checkmark $3,295pp
$3,295 pp
27 Dec 16 10 Jan 17 checkmark $3,250pp
$3,250 pp
31 Dec 16 14 Jan 17 checkmark $2,750pp
$2,750 pp
7 Jan 17 21 Jan 17 checkmark $2,750pp
$2,750 pp
21 Jan 17 4 Feb 17 checkmark $2,775pp
$2,775 pp
4 Feb 17 18 Feb 17 $2,775pp
$2,775 pp
11 Feb 17 25 Feb 17 $2,775pp
$2,775 pp
18 Feb 17 4 Mar 17 $2,895pp
$2,895 pp
25 Feb 17 11 Mar 17 $2,895pp
$2,895 pp
11 Mar 17 25 Mar 17 checkmark $3,050pp
$3,050 pp
16 Mar 17 30 Mar 17 $3,050pp
$3,050 pp
18 Mar 17 1 Apr 17 $3,050pp
$3,050 pp
20 Mar 17 3 Apr 17 $3,050pp
$3,050 pp
25 Mar 17 8 Apr 17 checkmark $3,050pp
$3,050 pp
30 Mar 17 13 Apr 17 checkmark $3,150pp
$3,150 pp
1 Apr 17 15 Apr 17 $3,150pp
$3,150 pp
1 Apr 17 15 Apr 17 $3,150pp
$3,150 pp

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 $700.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $92 per person.

Christmas & New Year's Eve Highlights: The December 16th, 2016 departure will celebrate Christmas in Lucerne. The December 18th, 2016 departure will celebrate Christmas in Rome. The December 21th, 2016 will celebrate Christmas in Innsbruck and New Year's Eve in Lucerne. The December 24th, 2016 departure will toast New Year's Eve in Rome. The December 28th, 2016 will toast New Year's Eve in the Rhineland. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

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

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP members SAVE $100 per person on any guided vacation or river cruise!

Past 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 (€).  Two exceptions apply: 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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