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Splendid Europe

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Lucerne, Switzerland
Tour Style: Premium
15 Days from $3,893 per person

Just as Rome was the foundation for modern civilization, so too is it the ideal start for this superb journey. Spend three days in this ancient city, visiting the Vatican Museums before they are opened to the public. Then follow in the footsteps of Julius Caesar, venturing north to the Rhine Valley, where he built the first bridge to cross the Rhine River. Splendid Europe is packed with fascinating experiences and thrilling interactions with passionate locals.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe. 

  2. Rome is one of the world's most historic cities, filled with classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers to your hotel depart Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Then this historic city is yours to discover. At 17:30, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a relaxed evening of dinner and wine.

    meal(s):DW
    hotel:Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio, Rome
  3. A Local Expert introduces the grandeur of the city, starting with the Vatican State, the richest community on the world. Visit the Vatican Museums, full of priceless treasures collected by the Popes. Insight provides special VIP, fast-tracked entry to avoid the crowds, together with behind-the scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to the general public. Once inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door, visit St. Peter's Basilica to admire Michelangelo's emotive 'Pieta' and see Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar. The rest of the day is yours to shop in the trendy boutiques or relax at a sidewalk cafe. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum?

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio
  4. The day is yours to enjoy Rome at your own pace. Perhaps take an optional experience to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Alternatively, spend some time in the boutiques of the Via del Corso, the Via Nazionale or the elegant designer stores near the Spanish Steps? As night falls, why not sip a glass of prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in the Piazza Navona - the Living Room of Rome - and enjoy life's pageantry pass by?

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio
  5. Journey through peaceful Tuscan landscapes, to descend past Bologna into the fertile Valley of the River Po. Arrive at the glorious city of Venice by water taxi along the Grand Canal and sip a Bellini cocktail at sunset, long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels. In the evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio
  6. Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Witness the skill of glassblowers on a visit to a traditional arts center before cruising by private launch to St. Mark's Square where St. Mark's Basilica exudes the city's former wealth and power. Admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. A highlight is meeting a gondolier to learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio
  7. Depart Venice by water taxi and continue your journey, crossing Slovenia. Stop to explore the remarkable natural wonder of the Postojna Caves. Venture through a series of caverns and passages, which were hollowed out by the Pivka River over two million years. Next, travel to the Croatian capital of Zagreb. A Local Expert shows you Roosevelt Square, the attractive facades of Ban Josip Jelačić Square and the cathedral. Ride the funicular to the medieval Upper Town to see the Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St Mark's Church and the Tower of Lotrščak.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Sheraton Zagreb
  8. Follow the Drava River and cross over the Slovenian border to reach the 700-year-old university town of Maribor. Continue past Graz through Styria's forested mountains and onto Vienna.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hilton Vienna
  9. In the morning, there is the option to join a private tour of Maria Theresa's Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Ready your camera for a drive around the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital's architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence and Austrian Parliament Building. Visit the famous Café Central, frequented by many of the elite since 1876, including revolutionary Trotsky and psychoanalyst Freud. A meeting place for philosophers and storytellers, a local shares tales of a by-gone era, as you enjoy delicious Viennese specialties of coffee and Sachertorte.

    meal(s):BB, MT
    hotel:Hilton Vienna
  10. Pass the impressive Benedictine monastery of Melk before reaching the enchanting city of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and the iconic musical 'The Sound of Music'. A Local Expert will show you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace, including the fountains and statues where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene was filmed. Cross Residence Square with its fountain, where Maria sings 'I Have Confidence' and see the imposing fortress, the immense cathedral and Mozart's birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse. Continue to the mountain ringed Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:AC by Marriott
  11. Journey past flower-filled meadows and picturesque chalet-style villages to the Principality of Liechtenstein. Spend some time in its tiny capital, Vaduz, then cross into Switzerland and through glorious mountains to lakeside Lucerne. On arrival, visit Lucerne's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. For your Dine-Around Evening, choose your own style of cuisine from our selection of local restaurants.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Astoria, Lucerne
  12. In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn, where you will meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife. Take in the pristine mountain air and on a clear day you can see as far as Alsace and the Black Forest. Once you 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 fine watches and delectable chocolates.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Astoria, Lucerne
  13. Journey to Schaffhausen where the Rhine River thunders over the Rhine Falls with an awe-inspiring roar. 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. Next, follow the Rhine Valley north to Bonn, former capital of Germany and home of Ludwig von Beethoven.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hilton Bonn
  14. Embark on a cruise to explore Amsterdam. In the evening, toast your adventure and new-found friends during a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grand Hotel Amrath, Amsterdam
  15. After breakfast, transfers arrive at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at 08:00 and 10:00. 

    meal(s):BB
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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.

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  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
9 May 18 23 May 18 checkmark $4,550$4,095pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 May 18 6 Jun 18 checkmark $4,550pp Call 1-877-622-9109
6 Jun 18 20 Jun 18 checkmark $4,550pp Call 1-877-622-9109
20 Jun 18 4 Jul 18 checkmark $4,550$4,095pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
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1 Aug 18 15 Aug 18 checkmark $4,325$3,893pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Aug 18 29 Aug 18 checkmark $4,325pp Request Quote Book Now
29 Aug 18 12 Sep 18 checkmark $4,375pp Request Quote Book Now
12 Sep 18 26 Sep 18 checkmark $4,550$4,095pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
26 Sep 18 10 Oct 18 checkmark $4,550$4,095pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 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 $970 p.p.

Triple Room Discount $130 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.

  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • 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

Included Dining

13 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) 1 Morning Tea (MT) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

Rome

  • Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase
    that is usually not open to the public.

Venice

  • Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art.
  • Meet a gondolier and learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation.

Zagreb

  • Your Local Expert will show you Roosevelt Square, the attractive facades of Ban Josip Jelačić Square and the cathedral. Ride the
    funicular to the medieval Upper Town to see the Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Tower of Lotrščak.
  • Explore the remarkable natural wonder of the Postojna Caves. Venture through a series of caverns and passages, hollowed
    out by the Pivka River for over two million years.

Vienna

  • Café Central has been frequented by many of the elite, including revolutionary Trotsky and psychoanalyst Freud, since 1876. Still a
    meeting place for philosophers and storytellers, a local shares tales of a by-gone era, as you enjoy delicious Viennese specialities of coffee
    and Sachertorte.

Salzburg

  • Join your Local Expert for a visit to the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace and Residence Square - both locations used in 'The
    Sound of Music'. You will also see the imposing fortress, the immense cathedral and Mozart's birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse.

Lucerne

  • Meet a Swiss Ranger on your spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn, where you will learn about the local
    wildlife.

Rhine Valley

  • The beautiful scenery of the Rhine River is punctuated by the many castles dotted along its banks. Delight in a private estate
    viewing of one of these Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments located along the Middle Rhine.

Amsterdam

  • Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the old waterways, where the wealthy merchants built mansions during the Golden Age
    of the 17th century.

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