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Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018
Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018
AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person
AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person
Past Guests Save an additional 5%
Past Guests Save an additional 5%
This journey is perfect for those who want to experience the best of Europe. Explore quaint Germanic towns, appreciate the splendor of the quiet Italian Lakes and marvel at the most impressive cities on the Continent. Enjoy a private cruise along the canals of Amsterdam and enter Vatican City ahead of everyone else with special VIP access. Venture to Veneto to learn how to make the perfect Bellini and dine on rich and delicious Italian cuisine in the hills of Tuscany. Join a castle owner on the Rhine for a private estate viewing and unlock the secrets of Rhineland's modern kings and queens. Do as the Romans do and join a local family in their home for a lively dinner in the heart of Rome. Ascend legendary Mount Stanserhorn in Switzerland and meet a ranger for an in-depth exploration of the region's fauna and ﬂora.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
Meet your Tour Director and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your two-hour rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. Mingle and get to know your fellow travelers as you cruise along some of the many quaint, tree-lined canals, to explore the heart of the Old City, before enjoying a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a local restaurant.
Cross into Germany and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. Visit a castle set upon the Rhine for a private estate viewing with the owner. Unlock the secrets of Rhineland's modern kings and queens as you learn the history of the castle and surrounding area. Continue to the university town of Heidelberg, dominated by its red sandstone castle.
Skirt the northern Black Forest and head towards the rolling Bavarian Alps. Stop beneath the royal castles of Hohenschwangau and King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein, rumored to have inspired Walt Disney's iconic castle. Once over the Austrian border, continue to the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. Tour the architectural jewels of the city, seeing the Imperial Palace, Golden Roof and the 14th century houses of the Old Town.
Continue your journey, crossing the Italian border and on through the Dolomites. In the hills of Conegliano Veneto, stop at a local winery where meticulous viticulture and manual harvesting produce distinguishable prosecco with a natural balance. Savor a tasting of these luxurious sparkling wines and discover how to make the perfect Bellini. Continue to the romantic city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic.
Drive down through the Dolomites, crossing the Italian border and descend to the romantic city of Venice. Your prestigious hotel occupies an old convent building in the greenest part of the city centre.
Waking up to the sights and sounds of Venice is a thrill for even the most experienced traveler. A morning boat transfer brings you to Giudecca Island to witness the age-old skills of glassblowers. Then cruise by Palladio's San Giorgio Maggiore to explore St. Mark's Square including Lord Byron's Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace to the adjacent prison. In the square, the bell tower comes into view, plus the beautiful mosaics of St. Mark's Basilica and the Clock Tower Moors, who have been striking the hour for over 500 years. Meet a gondolier to learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation and how this skill is handed down from generation to generation. The rest of the day is free, perhaps shop in the small arcades or take an Optional Experience cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano to dine on local specialties and wine?
Head into the Apennine Mountains and venture through the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany and Umbria. Follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome. Food and family come hand in hand in Italy and are pillars of the Italian way of life. Experience this for yourself as you are invited into the home of a Roman local for an authentic Italian meal, during your Dine-at-Home experience.
During your two-night stay, join a Local Expert for a private tour of the priceless art of the Vatican Museums and the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican usually closed to the public. Then explore St. Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. Cross the River Tiber to see the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum then the afternoon is free for you to explore.
Drive to the Chianti Hills and the city of Florence. A Local Expert will accompany you to the Duomo where the Gates of Paradise adorn the baptistery. Continue to Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city, lined with fountains and statues it acts as a virtual open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. A leisurely afternoon give you time to shop for quality goods, like gold and leather, which Florence is famous for. Alternatively, there is the option to visit the Accademia Gallery with an art historian to see Michelangelo's famed masterpiece, 'David.' In the evening, savor an authentic family-style dinner of home-made cuisine at a local trattoria. Perfectly set among the beautiful Tuscan countryside, you are served fresh ingredients prepared to traditional recipes.
Travel past Milan, the capital of Lombardy, as you journey north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favorite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with luxuriant subtropical vegetation. Relax and enjoy an afternoon at leisure at this popular resort and beautiful lake. Perhaps choose to take a cruise to the lovely Isola Bella for a guided tour of the incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens? Later the choice is yours for your Dine-Around Evening. Enjoy your preferred dining experience from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants, each offering their own unique cuisine and ambiance.
In the morning, enjoy your last moments among the charming Italian Lake District before your travels continue across the Swiss border. Appreciate the Alpine terrain as you embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the regional flora and fauna. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Continue to lakeside Lucerne where the afternoon is at your leisure.
The emotive Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff, is a memorial dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution, which is a source of great pride to the people of Lucerne. See this beautiful work before strolling across the Chapel Bridge to see the ornate Jesuit Church. With the day free, there is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? Alternatively, you may choose to enjoy a cruise on Lake Lucerne with its dramatic vistas.
In the morning, travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to Paris, the vibrant Ville-Lumière or City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the imposing facades of the Louvre and the banks of the River Seine with its many romantic bridges. See the obelisk in the center of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?
Split into small groups for a more personal experience and meet your Local Expert, an avid foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives. Indulge local delicacies in a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier. With the afternoon free, perhaps see the city from the second elevation of the iconic Eiffel Tower? In the evening, embrace the charm of the Latin Quarter, during your Celebration Dinner at a typical Old Paris style bistro, Le Petit Prince de Paris. Enjoy home-style cooking, using local ingredients, accompanied by delicious French wines.
Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00, or depart for London via Gare du Nord for Eurostar option.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|4 May 18||19 May 18||$5,150pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|18 May 18||2 Jun 18||$5,150$4,764pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|1 Jun 18||16 Jun 18||$5,150$4,764pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|15 Jun 18||30 Jun 18||$5,150$4,764pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Jun 18||14 Jul 18||$4,950$4,579pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|13 Jul 18||28 Jul 18||$4,925pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|3 Aug 18||18 Aug 18||$4,895$4,528pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|17 Aug 18||1 Sep 18||$4,975$4,602pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|31 Aug 18||15 Sep 18||$5,050$4,671pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|14 Sep 18||29 Sep 18||$5,150$4,764pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 Oct 18||20 Oct 18||$5,150$4,764pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|2 Nov 18||17 Nov 18||$4,275$3,954pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|23 Nov 18||8 Dec 18||$4,275$3,954pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|14 Dec 18||29 Dec 18||$4,425$4,093pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Dec 18||12 Jan 19||$4,695$4,343pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||Request Quote Book Now|
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 $1,000 p.p.
Triple Room Discount from $10 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $162 per person.
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.
14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
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.
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.
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 24 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.
Optional Experiences are subject to change and seasonal availability. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip and pricing. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can only be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Enjoy a convivial evening at a popular traditional restaurant where we sample traditional Bavarian specialties and great beer whilst being entertained by live Bavarian Music.
Drive over the German border, past picturesque farmhouses and villages to Obersalzberg. Nearly 75 years ago, this small mountain paradise was the summer playground for top Nazi brass. Here we will transfer to special coaches for the scenic drive up the mountain to Hitler's notorious "Eagle's Nest". Used as a restaurant since the 50's, there are splendid views through the arches up to the 'Hohen Goll' and across the snow capped peaks.
Venice can be Europe's most romantic city in the evening, offering dramatic landscapes with buildings that dazzle as the sun sets and the lights go on. Sit back and take it all in as private water taxis whisk you to the center of it all, Piazza San Marco, where we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra and in view of those illuminated St Mark's sights. Our private water taxis will also take us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and back to our hotel, having seen Venice at its most magical.
Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy colored houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialties with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!
With our local expert, let's take a “passeggiata” (stroll) to enjoy the backstreets and secrets of pedestrian Rome. Be amazed at sights such as the fascinating Pantheon and the beauty of 17th-century fountains and beautiful Piazzas. Come and enjoy the Rome of the Romans.
With our local expert, We'll explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Enjoying priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds, we'll hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat inside the mighty Colosseum. Then, we'll walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and gaze over the incredible ruins of the forum, once the center of political, religious and social life, while hearing tales of the mighty Roman Empire. Truly an incredible vision as history comes alive!
Enjoy an evening of delicious Roman cuisine with drinks and great Italian ambiance. Then visit the beautifully-restored Trevi Fountain to toss a coin over your shoulder and assure your return to the eternal city. The fountain is a true wonder, a breathtaking jewel of water and stone that is nestled between the palaces of this historic city. Immortalized in Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’.
With our local guide enjoy priority reserved entry into the most important Renaissance museum of Florence, the ‘Accademia di Belle Arti’, Academy of Fine Arts. Amongst the masterpieces you will see are an outstanding collection of 15th& 16th Century Florentine paintings by the likes of Uccello, Ghirlandaio, and Sandro Botticelli, and Michelangelo’s four unfinished ‘Prisoners’. The highlight of the visit is Michelangelo’s ‘David’. Created between 1501-1504 it was once the symbol of Republican Florence and is considered by many to be the greatest sculpted masterpiece in the world.
Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we travel into the hills near Florence to the northernmost part of the Chianti, where a local chef will introduce you to the dishes that make Tuscan cuisine famous throughout the world. A great cooking class, superb food and wine, with genuine and warm Tuscan hospitality.
The premier attraction of Lake Maggiore is the Borromean Islands. We take a private boat over to Isola Bella, the largest and most famous island, renowned for its incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens. A guided tour of this privately owned palace with free time to admire the gardens is a must.
Widely considered to be the loveliest of the mountain lakes, much of the shoreline of Lake Lucerne can only be fully appreciated from the water. Admire the spectacular homes of the fortunate few, privileged to live on its scenic shores, as we cruise gently by. Two drinks will be served during the trip.
There's nothing better than convening with friends around a pot of bubbling fondue with a glass of chilled white wine and having a good yodel! Join us for a tasty Swiss meal in a typical restaurant. While you dine, enjoy a lively folklore show of flag throwing, yodelling, Alpenhorn blowing and other great Swiss entertainment.
In a typical rural community, meet local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn ride. Clip-clop your way through bright green pasture, where the angular spire of a traditional white church shoots skyward and rickety old wooden storehouses still dot the landscape. Call in at a local farm where a wonderful spread of homemade drinks and snacks is served.
The City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. First, a specially designed sightseeing boat takes us for an unforgettable cruise along the Seine and beneath famous bridges to appreciate the Left and Right Banks and the Île de la Cité & St Louis. Then, with a Local Expert, we'll enjoy an illuminations tour, when the rubies & diamonds of the Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower are at their magnificent best.
Discover the bohemian quarter of Montmartre with your local expert. Walk through the historic lower area before ascending by funicular to the Place du Tertre, a favourite haunt of Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, and Utrillo. Browse for original art or ask a local street artist to capture your likeness in minutes - a great souvenir to take home. Close by you can appreciate the view from the steps of Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
Why not enjoy an evening of excitement and glamour and a glass of champagne at a dazzling French cabaret show? Depending on availability it might be dinner with wine and cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge – the original Parisian cabaret – immortalized by the award winning film!
Dinner with wine included at one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in town! Enjoy an evening of exciting acts, stunning tableaux and wonderful entertainment - including, of course, the world famous Can-Can. A Parisian night that you will never forget!
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