Experience Europe’s major highlights on this extraordinary vacation. Begin in London with two overnights and free time to discover the UK’s capital. Cross the English Channel and travel by motorcoach to Amsterdam for a guided sightseeing tour and canal cruise. Journey through the German Rhineland, passing castles and vineyards, then drive through the Tyrolean Alps from Innsbruck on the way to the floating city of Venice. On to Assisi, St. Francis’ town in the Apennine hills. Spend two nights in the “Eternal City” of Rome, visiting archaeological jewels such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Next up: Tuscany with a visit to Florence, the “Cradle of the Renaissance,” and a walking tour that features the Duomo and Signoria Square. On to Pisa with its famous Leaning Tower, then an overnight in fascinating Lake Como, a stop to discover the Swiss subtropical town of Lugano, and Lucerne with its medieval wooden bridge and surrounding mountains. Stop in Interlaken before reaching Lausanne on Lake Geneva, then drink in the beauty of the French vineyards in Burgundian Beaune. Your adventure concludes in fabulous Paris with two overnights and included guided sightseeing.
Day #1 Arrive in London, England. Check into your hotel. In the afternoon you may want to start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Day #2 London. A full day to savor our rich program of optional activities: take a panoramic tour of London’s landmarks, visit the Tower of London, or choose an excursion to Windsor Castle. Tonight, maybe a leisurely cruise on the River Thames? (B)
Day #3 London–Amsterdam Area, Holland. Leave London in the early morning and head through the lush English countryside to the Channel port, where you embark on your ferry for the Continent. Meet your Tour Director and board your luxury coach for the drive to the Amsterdam area. (B)
Day #4 Amsterdam Area–Rhineland, Germany. Today, enjoy a canal cruise to see the town from water level, then watch the cutting and polishing of precious stones at a diamond center in Amsterdam. Later, sightseeing with a Local Guide points out the city highlights. In the afternoon, travel southward to the Rhineland area for an overnight. (B,D)
Day #5 Rhineland–Innsbruck, Austria. A choice today of the included scenic drive along the shores of the Rhine or, even more thrilling, the optional Rhine cruise with vistas of the Lorelei rock, hilltop castles, half-timbered wine villages, and terraced vineyards. In the afternoon, ride along the Autobahn to Austria. Overnight in Innsbruck. (B,D)
Day #6 Innsbruck–Venice Area, Italy. Early morning departure via the Tyrolean Alps to the unique floating city of Venice. This afternoon’s orientation includes a boat ride followed by a chance to watch Venetian glassblowers fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)
Day #7 Venice Area–Assisi–Rome. An interesting drive southward, cutting across the Po plain, then through the gentle Umbrian hills to Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous basilica with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome. (B)
Day #8 Rome. The “Eternal City”—a city steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the Roman Forum and the mighty Colosseum. (B)
Day #9 Rome–Florence–Montecatini. An easy drive on the Highway of the Sun to Florence. This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled for a whole day. Traffic is banned in part of the historic center, so visitors can wander at leisure and admire the city’s timeless beauty in relative peace and quiet. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide that features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” Overnight in the spa town of Montecatini. (B,D)
Day #10 Montecatini–Pisa–Milan–Lake Como. Start the morning by driving to Pisa to visit the Square of Miracles and admire the Leaning Tower. Next, journey northwards through the Tuscan hills and across the Po plain to Milan to admire the majestic gothic Duomo. Then, continue to the shores of romantic Lake Como. (B,D)
Day #11 Lake Como–Lugano, Switzerland–Lucerne. Leave beautiful Lake Como to cross the border into Switzerland. Stop in Lugano, in the Italian-speaking Ticino, then continue to Lucerne, one of Switzerland's finest cities, nested amid its Alps, surrounded by its lake, and embellished by the clean waters of the River Reuss. Why not take an optional excursion to the top of one of the surrounding mountains? (B)
Day #12 Lucerne–Interlaken–Lausanne. This morning, spend some time in this beautiful town. Later, stop in Interlaken and follow the shoreline of Lake Thun. A few more miles to Lausanne, overlooking Lake Leman. (B)
Day #13 Lausanne–Beaune, France–Paris. Vistas of famous vineyards on the way to Beaune. Visit the medieval Burgundian town, known the world over for its wine production. Later, take the autoroute to Paris. Tonight, maybe an optional cabaret show? (B)
Day #14 Paris. Explore the city that’s known throughout the world for its fashions, art and museums, delicious food, and joie de vivre. Included sightseeing with a local expert shows off many of the best-known Parisian sights: La Sorbonne, Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramid near the Louvre, the Invalides, and Champs Elysées. An optional excursion to the Palace and Gardens of Versailles is available. (B)
Day #15 Paris. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)