Begin your vacation in London with two overnights and leisure time to make your own discoveries in this lively city. Cross the English Channel by Eurostar train to Paris. Your 2-night stay here includes guided sightseeing that highlights the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower. Then enjoy time to explore the French capital at your own pace. Head southeast through Burgundy to picture-perfect Lucerne in Switzerland. Then visit Lugano in the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino before crossing into Italy. Stop in Verona to see Juliet’s balcony, and in beautiful Venice for two overnights, a canal boat ride to St. Mark’s Square, and free time to maybe try an optional gondola ride. In Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance,” enjoy a guided walking tour that introduces you to Santa Croce, Signoria Square, Palazzo Vecchio, and more. Admire the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa before spending two nights in the “Eternal City” of Rome, with guided sightseeing that highlights St. Peter’s Square, the Roman Forum, and the mighty Colosseum.
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–Paris, France. Board the Eurostar train to Paris. Here you’ll be met by your Tour Director and luxury coach. Overnight in Paris. (B)
Day #4 Paris. Paris is a world-class city that probably has more familiar landmarks than almost any other city in the world. This morning, see them during the including city tour. View the famous Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées, and much more with a Local Guide. In the afternoon, feel like a French aristocrat as you join the optional walking tour through the immense Palace of Versailles. This evening, why not join an optional welcome dinner? (B)
Day #5 Paris–Lake Lucerne, Switzerland. Fascinating, ever-changing scenery today. Views of Fontainebleau Forest, the wine-growing area of Burgundy, then prosperous farms and tidy half-timbered villages as you head through the Alpine heart of Switzerland to picture-book Lake Lucerne. (B,D)
Day #6 Lake Lucerne. One of Switzerland’s finest cities nestled amid its snowcapped Alps, surrounded by its lake, and embellished by the clear mountain waters of the River Reuss. The orientation includes the Lion Monument, erected in memory of the 800 Swiss Guards who defended Louis XVI and his wife at the wooden Chapel Bridge. A grand selection of optional activities completes the day: a cable-car ride to the 10,000-foot summit of Mount Titlis; a cruise on the fjord-like lake; and, of course, time to shop for that very Swiss watch. (B)
Day #7 Lake Lucerne–Lugano–Verona, Italy–Venice Area. More wonderful Alpine scenery as you drive into the mountain ranges that surround the massive St. Gotthard. Once through its great tunnel, you’ll start your scenic descent into the warmer and sunnier ambiance of the Canton Ticino. Stop in beautiful Lugano and take a stroll along the lakeside promenade. Later, cross into Italy and drive through the Lombardy plains to Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, also known as "Little Rome" for its splendid amphitheater still standing in its former glory. Overnight in the Venice area. (B)
Day #8 Venice Area. Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real live city, with criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and busy little piazzas. The orientation starts with a boat ride and is 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 #9 Venice Area–Florence. Start the day by journeying south across the Apennines into the gentle and hilly countryside of Tuscany. Then, to Florence for an included walking tour with a Local Guide. (B,D)
Day #10 Florence–Pisa–Rome. Leave this Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis this morning. Later, stop in Pisa to see the famed Square of Miracles and view the Leaning Tower. Then, journey south to Rome. Tonight an optional evening drive through the city, a floodlit spectacular of shimmering fountains, magnificent churches, and piazzas, followed by dinner. (B)
Day #11 Rome. Today's sightseeing with a Local Guide features St. Peter’s Square, and includes an inside visit of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. (B)
Day #12 Rome. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)