AARP Members Save $200 per couple on Airfare to Europe - Ends June 15
Varied landscapes, magnificent scenery, history galore, and a treasure-trove of art and architecture... a glorious reflection of Europe at her best.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
Check into your hotel, then there is time to relax, explore or shop.
An included half day sightseeing tours of London’s West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Tour Director is also on hand today for help and advice.
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 to Brussels. In the afternoon, stroll through the beautiful Grand Place, with its gilded buildings and see the cheeky Manneken Pis. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a warm evening of dinner and wine.
Travel into Germany and continue along the Rhine, via Bonn, to Boppard. Join a cruise, passing medieval hilltop castles and steep leafy vineyards to the village of St. Goar, near the legendary Loreley Rock. Continue on to Heidelberg to see the clifftop castle.
Stop in medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber, still surrounded by its old walls and watch towers, frozen in time since the 16th century. Continue along the Romantic Road to the Bavarian capital of Munich. See the Ludwigstrasse, Marienplatz and soaring Town Hall. Stroll through Munich's open-air food market, the Viktualienmarkt, with its beer garden. At night, maybe sample a stein of beer in a local beer hall?
A short drive leads over the Austrian border to Salzburg, the city of Mozart and the ‘Sound of Music'. Sightseeing with a Local Expert shows you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace which includes the fountains and statues where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene in the film was created. Witness the imposing fortress, cathedral and Mozart's birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse before having free time for lunch. Next you will continue to Innsbruck, surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Nordkette mountains, where you will see the 14th century houses of Old Town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof with your orientation tour.
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 traveller. 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 St. Mark's Square. Alight to see Lord Byron's Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace to the prisons. 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. To the tune of accompanying musicians, you are serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces. The rest of the day is free to shop in the small arcades.
Head south over the Apennine Mountains and follow the 'Highway of the Sun' to the 'Eternal City' of Rome.
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 Signoria Square, the political heart of the city, lined with fountains and statues it acts as a virtual open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Take the time to gaze at Neptune and David. Afterwards, there is time to shop.
Journey past the capital of Lombardy, Milan, as you journey north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite 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 or perhaps take a cruise out to the lovely Borromean Islands?
In the morning, cross the Swiss border and enjoy Alpine scenery all the way to Lucerne. On arrival, see what Mark Twain described as 'the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world', the emotive Lion Monument. In the evening, get together with your friends and choose from a selection of authentic local restaurants for your dining pleasure.
In the morning, head to the town of Stans, where we embark on a spectacular journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn. On a clear day, in addition to the beautiful mountains and surrounding hills, there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Then back to Lucerne, there is free time to stroll across the Chapel Bridge to the ornate Jesuit Church or spend time shopping in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside to meet the local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride?
Drive to Basel before crossing the Rhine to enter France. Travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to Paris, the vibrant ‘Ville-Lumière' (City of Light). During your time in Paris, see the imposing façades of the Louvre, the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a ‘Diner de Célébration' served with wine in a Parisian bistro, abundant with French ambience.
In the morning, meet your Local Expert who will take you on a walking tour of the bohemian Latin Quarter. Explore the myriad of streets situated on the left bank of the Seine, before continuing onto the Notre Dame Cathedral to see this masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Insight ensures you leave the long queues at the Eiffel Tower behind - ascend by express elevator to the famous viewing platforms for breathtaking panoramas over the city. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping or your own pursuits.
Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00, or depart for London via Gare du Nord for Eurostar option.
14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 3 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Dine-Around evening (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|31 May 17||17 Jun 17||$4,925pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|14 Jun 17||1 Jul 17||$4,925pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|21 Jun 17||8 Jul 17||$4,825pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Jun 17||15 Jul 17||$4,750pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 Jul 17||22 Jul 17||$4,725pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|9 Aug 17||26 Aug 17||$4,695pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|23 Aug 17||9 Sep 17||$4,895pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|13 Sep 17||30 Sep 17||$5,050pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
Christmas/New Year’s Eve highlight dinner included, these additional dinners will replace dinners shown in the itinerary.
Christmas Markets: These departures will see Christmas Markets in selected cities.
These departures stay in Munich during Oktoberfest and will visit the festival instead of the City Center.
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 $1,100 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $132 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, 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 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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