This vacation is a sample of some of Europe’s major highlights. Start with two nights in London, where sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral and time to watch the Changing of the Guard (if held). Next, board the Eurostar train to Brussels, followed by a comfortable drive to Amsterdam, where sightseeing by way of a leisurely canal cruise awaits you. In Germany, cruise the romantic Rhine River, and take pictures of Heidelberg Castle. Stop in the Black Forest for a woodcarving demonstration by a local woodcarver, followed by a lunch of bratwurst and sauerkraut. In Switzerland, visit the Rhine Falls and spend two nights in charming lakeside Lucerne. Admire the Lion Monument, receive a Swiss chocolate surprise, and enjoy the Alpine scenery before driving through the Burgundy wine area to Paris. Here, sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the highlights, plus a ride up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.
Day #1 Arrive in London, England. Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Day #2 London. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the River Thames, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Visit magnificent ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL and see the Changing of the Guard, if held. Optional excursions are available to the Tower of London or to Windsor Castle and maybe later, enjoy dinner followed by a Thames cruise. (B)
Day #3 London–Brussels, Belgium–Amsterdam, Holland. Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and head for the railway station to board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to Brussels, Belgium. From here, a comfortable drive will bring you to Amsterdam, Holland’s 700-year-old capital. Enjoy a CANAL CRUISE aboard a glass-roofed launch, which is the best way to get a good impression of how Amsterdam was built and how much still remains from the Golden Age. Why not join an optional Dutch dinner with local specialties, followed by a walk through Old Amsterdam? (B)
Day #4 Amsterdam–Heidelberg, Germany. Pass the Dutch region near Arnhem, best known as the locale of A Bridge Too Far, and enter Germany. Today’s highlight is a romantic RHINE CRUISE along the most scenic part of the river with its centuries-old castles. Continue to Heidelberg for a pleasant walk through the OLD TOWN to the Marktplatz, from where you can take pictures of the famous red-walled ruins of Heidelberg Castle. (B,D)
Day #5 Heidelberg–Lucerne, Switzerland. Leave the city and continue to the lush valleys and pine-clad hills of the BLACK FOREST, famous for cuckoo clocks, where another highlight awaits you: [LF] be welcomed by a local woodcarver, Adolf Herr, enjoy a WOODCARVING DEMONSTRATION, and see samples of his work. Then, [LF] a special lunch consisting of the traditional Bratwurst with Sauerkraut, followed by a slice of delicious home-made Black Forest Cake awaits you. On the Swiss border, stop at the thundering RHINE FALLS before continuing to picture-book Lucerne. Tonight is your chance to yodel or blow an alphorn during an optional folklore dinner party for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking. (B,L)
Day #6 Lucerne. During your walking tour, admire Thorwaldsen’s emotional LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and the ornate patrician houses lining the cobblestone streets of the walled Old Town. Cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Of course, you will also receive a [LF] Swiss CHOCOLATE SURPRISE. Balance of the day is at leisure. You can shop for Swiss watches and choose from our optional activities: climb Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” by cable car, or take a cruise on the fjord-like lake. (B,D)
Day #7 Lucerne–Paris, France. Say Auf Wiedersehen in Basel and cross the border into France. Drive past the vineyards of the Burgundy wine region, with views of beautiful castles and Fontainebleau Forest. Arrive in Paris, where an optional excursion is available to try out local specialties in one of Paris’ lively restaurants, followed by a drive through the “City of Light.” (B)
Day #8 Paris. Discover the world capital of chic and style with a Local Guide and admire its most famous sights: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. For a bird’s-eye view, take the elevator to the second floor of Paris’ most famous landmark: the EIFFEL TOWER. Time to further explore Paris on your own or to join an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles. Tonight, a lively cabaret show might just be the ticket. (B)
Day #9 Paris. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)