Paris Explorer Winter 2016-2017

Alexander Bridge
9 Days from $1,995 per person

This unforgettable week in Paris gives you the insider perspective of one of the greatest cities in the world. Our native Parisian will share with you the sights, sounds and numerous hidden gems. 

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… learning the secrets behind the hidden courtyards and charming neighborhoods of Ernest Hemingway's Paris immortalized in his book ‘A Moveable Feast'.

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Leisurely
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Paris, capital of France and the City of Light. After checking-in to your hotel, you can relax or take a stroll in the local neighborhood. This afternoon meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers to attend a Welcome Reception in the heart of this magnificent city.

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  3. After a leisurely start this morning, your Travel Director takes you on a tour of this mesmerizing city for views of the Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. Your Local Specialist reveals not just where, but how real Parisians live and shop, showing you the enchanting hidden squares and secret passages of one of Paris' oldest historical neighborhoods. This short insider walk finishes at one of the loveliest squares, little known to outsiders but a real favorite of the locals. Later visit the second level of the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views across the city. This evening you may decide to take an Optional Experience to the Latin Quarter for a visit inside Notre Dame and a cruise down the River Seine.

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  4. Today is completely yours to explore Paris further, or you may opt for a full day Optional Experience and travel to the historical and poignant D-Day Landing Beaches. During the festive vacations, experience the spectacular Christmas illuminations that light up the city this evening. Luminous arches, multi-colored bulbs, incandescent flames and sparkling projections of light deck out the avenues of the French capital in festive splendor.

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  5. Visit the best-known and most resplendent palace in France, Versailles. Our Local Specialist guides you through the majestic palace followed by the picturesque Royal Gardens. Later visit Petit Trianon Palace, where you can relax for lunch before continuing to Marie Antoinette's hamlet to gain further insight into the lives of the French Royalty before the revolution. This evening you may wish to utilize your Parisian Brasserie voucher, which gives you a choice of centrally located brasseries to visit for dinner.

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  6. Explore another aspect of French culture today - its cuisine.  Meet a real Parisian chef for a Cultural Insight to learn some culinary secrets, then savor your creations for lunch. The remainder of the day is  yours to enjoy as you wish. Perhaps take a relaxing stroll along the River Seine or enjoy some shopping at Printemps, one of the biggest department stores in the city. Your Travel Director will be there to give you advice. This evening you may wish to consider an Optional Experience to attend a performance of a true French cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge.

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  7. This morning after a relaxing start take a private street trolley car to visit the fascinating and colorful “village” of Montmartre, the highest point in Paris. Your Local Specialist will show you the hidden square's, artists haunts and romantic hideaways of this most beautiful Parisian neighborhood. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy. This evening visit the world renowned Louvre museum with a Local Specialist when the museum is quieter and the crowds have disappeared.
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  8. Today is your last chance for last minute souvenir shopping. During the holiday season, explore the city's different Christmas festivities. Perhaps browse the Christmas markets that are held all over the capital; in Montparnasse, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and in La Défense. Or you could visit the Nativity scenes in Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, the Madeleine church, and Basilique Sacré-Coeur. Whether they be traditional, baroque or modern, these veritable works of art welcome a large number of visitors. Later a short themed walking tour pairs perfectly with your Farewell Dinner. Visit the hidden courtyards and charming neighborhood of Hemingway's Paris immortalized in his book ‘A Moveable Feast,' including the delightful Rue Mouffetard market street. Then enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and travel companions at a nearby restaurant, which Hemingway himself frequented.

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  9. After breakfast, say farewell to Paris and your newfound friends as you prepare to return home after a memorable week in one of the world's greatest cities. Airport transfers are available at 8am and 11:30am. 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.

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

7 nights' accommodations, 7 hot buffet breakfasts, 1 Parisian Brasserie voucher, 1 lunch, 2 dinners.

Your included sights

  • Insider walking tour in Paris with a Local Specialist.
  • Orientation tour in Paris.
  • Visit the Royal Estate of Versailles including the Royal Palace, Petit Trianon and Marie Antoinette's Halmet "Le Petit Hameau", ascend to second floor of Eiffel Tower, the "village" of Montmartre, the Latin Quarter and the shopping district of Paris.
  • View the Champs Elysees, Paris Opera House, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde and Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • Included Parisian Brasserie voucher which gives you a choice of centrally located Parisian brasseries to visit for either lunch or dinner.

Your Insider Experiences

  • Local Specialist: For included sightseeing in Paris, Montmartre and the Louvre.
  • Cultural Insight: Visit some of the hidden gems of Paris including the delightful rue Mouffetard market street. Discover the secret of Parisian cuisine and savor a delicious light lunch.
  • Hidden Treasure: Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price AvailabilityPrice
17 Dec 16 25 Dec 16 checkmark $1,995pp
25 Mar 17 2 Apr 17 checkmark $1,995pp
$1,995 pp

Christmas & New Year's Eve Highlights: The December 25th, 2016 departure will celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve in Paris, enjoy a festive meal with all the trimmings and toast the new year. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

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 $600.

Shared Rooming: Room Share and Triple Rooms are not available on this trip.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $61 per person.

Airport Transfers: On arrival to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport transfers will operate at 8am, 11am and 2pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport at 8am and 11:30am.

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..

Reviews

  • U.S. citizens traveling to France 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 France.

  • The currency in France is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in France, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in France. 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.

  • 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.

    Wine is the most popular drink in France and is consumed at both lunch and dinner. Coffee is generally served black, unless a café au lait or café crème (with milk) is requested. For a simple and inexpensive lunch or snack, stop by a local bakery or food cart for a baguette au jambon (ham sandwich), crêpes, or a savory buckwheat galette filled with melted gruyère cheese and mushrooms. Many restaurants also offer a simple three course menu at a reasonable price.

  • 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. 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.

  • In France, a 15% service compris is included by law in the price of food and drink. Tipping in addition to this service charge is never expected, but always appreciated. If you’d like to leave something extra, keep in mind that even in the fanciest restaurants, people rarely tip more than 5-10%. A good rule of thumb is to leave an extra €1 for every €20 spent. Rather than adding gratuity to your credit card slip, leave coins in the tray where the check was presented to ensure that your waiter 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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