This memorable vacation starts in London and travels to Brussels for an overnight. Continue through Germany’s scenic Rhineland, spend the night in Würzburg, and discover charming medieval Rothenburg along the Romantic Road. Next up: the beautiful landscapes of Bavaria, a visit to King Ludwig’s fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, then Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. The included panoramic alpine train ride on the spectacular Bernina Express—which leaves from St. Moritz and crosses the Bernina mountain range into the Italian Valtellina—is an unforgettable experience. Enjoy a change of scenery as you arrive in subtropical Lake Lugano, then back over the mountains to Lucerne, Interlaken, and Gruyère in the Swiss Alps. Spend the night in international Geneva, with an included orientation drive. Then head north with a stop in medieval Beaune and continue to Paris for two overnights. A Channel ferry returns you to London for one last overnight and the finale of your trip.
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–Brussels, Belgium. Leave London in the early morning and head through the lush English countryside to the Channel port, where you board your ferry for the Continent. Here your Tour Director and comfortable coach wait to take you to Brussels. (B)
Day #3 Brussels–Rhineland, Germany–Würzburg Area. Start the day by traveling south into Germany to reach the shores of the mighty Rhine for a scenic drive. Even better, opt for a Rhine cruise. Admire the pretty villages, the castles perched high above the river, and the numerous terraced vineyards. Then, head for the Würzburg area for an overnight. (B,D)
Day #4 Würzburg Area–Romantic Road–Rothenburg–Neuschwanstein Castle–Innsbruck, Austria. Drive along the Romantic Road through villages protected by medieval tower gates and with squares of half-timbered houses and richly decorated fountains. Stop awhile to visit the picturesque town of Rothenburg. Travel into southern Bavaria for an included visit to the legendary Castle of Neuschwanstein. Just a few more miles into Austria for an overnight in Innsbruck. (B,D)
Day #5 Innsbruck–St. Moritz, Switzerland. A magnificent drive this morning through Austrian and Swiss grand Alpine scenery. South into Switzerland’s lower Engadine Valley and past Swiss National Park to the world-famous resort of St. Moritz. Plenty of time to enjoy vistas of the great mountain peaks and the blue water lake just below the town. Take a stroll and let it all sink in. (B)
Day #6 St. Moritz–Bernina Express Train to Italy–Lugano, Switzerland. Enjoy the highlight of the whole tour and a wonderful way of crossing the Alps. One of Europe’s most spectacular train rides begins in St. Moritz and takes you across lofty Bernina Pass via the Swiss Poschiavo area to Tirano in the Italian Valtellina. Here, rejoin your coach for the journey to the shores of Lake Como and then Lugano, where you’ll overnight. (B)
Day #7 Lugano–Lake Lucerne. Another lovely journey today through the valleys of the Canton Ticino, through the Gotthard Tunnel, and into more magnificent Alpine scenery as you descend to the shores of Lake Lucerne. Today, visit 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. Your visit takes in the impressive city walls, a covered wooden bridge, ornate patrician houses lining cobblestone streets, and the Lion Monument—a masterful stone sculpture in honor of the heroic Swiss Guard of Louis XVI. A grand selection of optional activities completes the day: a funicular and cable-car ride to the 6,227-foot summit of Mount Stanserhorn, a cruise on the fjord-like lake, and, of course, time to shop for that very Swiss watch. (B,D)
Day #8 Lake Lucerne–Interlaken–Gruyère–Geneva. A day packed with a variety of scenery and places to visit. First to Interlaken, a vacationer’s dream. It’s all picture postcard perfect, lying beneath the towering Jungfrau and between two sparkling lakes. Motor along the shores of Lake Thun, then on to the small but lovely village of Gruyère with only a few more miles before reaching Switzerland’s most international city, Geneva, for an orientation drive and overnight. (B)
Day #9 Geneva–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, via the autoroute, to Paris. Tonight, maybe an optional cabaret show? (B)
Day #10 Paris. One full day to 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. Optional excursions are also available to the Palace and Gardens of Versailles and, to celebrate the success of your tour, a French farewell dinner might be just the ticket. (B)
Day #11 Paris–London, England. Relax and let the countryside whiz by on the road north to the coast, where you board your Channel ferry. Through Kent, return to London for an evening arrival. (B)
Day #12 London. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)