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%
A glorious reflection of Europe at her best, come autumn, winter or spring, with magnificent landscapes, a wealth of history, and a trove of art architecture.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Check into your hotel, then there is time to relax, explore or shop.
Meet your Travel Director and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you through the Channel Tunnel en route to Amsterdam. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests as you cruise along some of the 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 Heidelberg Palace, or Heidelberger Schloss in German. This red sandstone castle is one of the world's most impressive palace ruins, synonymous with the Romantic Movement. In the evening, savor flavors of the region as you enjoy a beer hall-style dinner at a local restaurant.
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.
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 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 of 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. Italian culture is deeply rooted in hospitality with food, friends and family being central to everyday life. You're invited into the home of a Roman local to experience Italian hosting at its best, as you enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal with your EatWith host.
During your two-night stay, join a Local Expert for a private tour of the priceless art housed in 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 amphitheater of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum, and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.
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 gives you time to shop for quality goods, like gold and leather, which Florence is famous for. Alternatively, there is an Optional Experience 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.
The day is free for you to fully immerse yourself in the Tuscan capital. Be sure not to miss the magnificent museums and galleries housing some of the most famous works of art in the world. Or perhaps just relax and soak up the atmosphere in one of the many street cafe's? 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.
Travel past the charming Italian Lake District before continuing across the Swiss border to reach to lakeside Lucerne. See the emotive Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff. This memorial is dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution, and is a source of great pride to the people of Lucerne. You are then welcome to enjoy an evening at your leisure.
Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of stunning Mount Pilatus for expansive mountain views over Lake Lucerne. Take in the pristine mountain air and witness a panorama of snow-capped peaks. Upon return to Lucerne, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit Church. The rest of the day is at leisure to shop for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town.
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 8:00 am and 11:00 am, or depart for London via Gare du Nord with the Eurostar option.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|2 Nov 18||17 Nov 18||$4,275$3,954pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 30||Request Quote Book Now|
|23 Nov 18||8 Dec 18||$4,275$3,954pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 30||Request Quote Book Now|
|14 Dec 18||29 Dec 18||$4,425$4,093pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 30||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Dec 18||12 Jan 19||$4,695$4,343pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 30||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 $1,100 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $132 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.
Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year’s Eve will enjoy festive Highlight Dinners which will replace an included meal.
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.
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