The bright lights of London launch your adventure through Europe. Broaden your horizons and explore the culture and heritage of the British capital or spend your day relaxing after your journey.
Hotel: Cumberland/Hard Rock
Join a Local Specialist this morning to see the iconic sights of London. From Big Ben and the imposing Houses of Parliament that stand alongside the Thames, to regal Buckingham Palace at the end of the grand Mall. Spend the day exploring London's bustling city streets, relax in one of the beautiful Royal Parks or visit one of the captivating museums and galleries for which the city is so famous.
Meet your Travel Director before departing London for mainland Europe. Board your ferry to France, then journey through the Belgian and Dutch countryside bound for Amsterdam, where you'll spend a memorable evening exploring the capital's scenic canals on a Welcome Reception cruise with your fellow travellers.
Hotel: Mercure City
Explore the maritime history, tree-lined canals and gabled façades of Amsterdam on an orientation of the city's 17th-century canal ring district. 'Dive Into Culture' and learn about Dutch diamond heritage and traditions during a visit to a diamond-polishing factory. Enjoy the rich aromas and flavours of Dutch cheese this afternoon in Volendam, where you'll 'Dive Into Culture' yet again and gain insights into traditional cheese-making and the crafting of Holland's characteristic wooden clogs.
We cross the German border and board a cruise in Boppard. Journeying along the mighty Rhine past vineyard-clad hills and medieval castles, we disembark in St. Goar, avoiding the allure of the legendary Lorelei. We travel past the university city of Heidelberg to admire its magnificent ruined sandstone castle which stands imposingly overlooking the Neckar River.
Hotel: Mercure Am Rathaus
Arriving in the Bavarian capital of Munich today, we see the Hofbrauhaus, City Hall and iconic Marienplatz with its Glockenspiel. Crossing the Austrian border, we arrive in Innsbruck for an orientation that will include views of St. Jakob's Cathedral and Emperor Maximilian I's glittering Golden Roof. This evening, consider a rousing evening of Tyrolean entertainment.
Cross the snow-capped Alps to Italy today, travelling via the Brenner Pass to Venice, where you will join your travel companions for a delicious Regional Meal at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Novotel Mestre Castellana
'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into the centuries-old tradition of Venetian glassblowing. Glide through the waters of the Adriatic by private launch arriving in the gateway of Venice, St. Mark's Square. Delve into the history of this beautiful Byzantine city, see the ornate Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Square and the famous Bridge of Sighs. Spend the rest of your afternoon on your own exploring in the labyrinthine calle of this city of islands.
Journey through the Veneto plains, across the Styrian Alps and to Austria's imperial capital of Vienna. Celebrate the city's iconic reputation as the world's music capital and perhaps consider an evening Optional Experience including dinner and entertainment.
Hotel: Hilton Danube Waterfront
Join a Local Specialist on an exploration of this elegant capital, including views of the State Opera House, St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Hofburg, once the home of the powerful Habsburg Dynasty. Spend the rest of your day at leisure, soaking up the cosy coffee culture or visiting such iconic sights as the Schonbrunn Palace with its exquisite gardens. This evening, perhaps indulge in Vienna's intoxicating musical talent, enjoying a concert of classical music at one of the city's concert halls, churches or palaces.
Leave the City of Music behind, crossing the Slovenian border to Ljubljana. Join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour and delve into the 'Beloved' city's iconic and unexpected highlights. Wander along the Baroque façades of its Old City and admire the medieval castle that stands till today, the City Hall and Cathedral of St. Nicholas, with its exquisite 18th century frescoes. Good food and good company are guaranteed as we 'Connect With Locals' during a Be My Guest dinner with a local Slovenian family. Learn about their life in one of the world's greenest cities, as well as the role that honey plays in the country's cuisine.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Plaza
Journey across the Croatian border and via Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes National Park, where you'll join a Local Specialist for a guided walking tour. Connect with the exquisite beauty of this UNESCO-listed natural wonder, admiring the cascade of spectacular waterfalls and crystal-clear waters reflecting green, grey and blue against the lush landscape. Witness panoramic views over the park from Tomicevo Pgledalo, then settle in for your overnight stay amidst this stunning backdrop.
Journey south along the picture-perfect Dalmatian coast, past seaside villages to the ancient city of Dubrovnik - its terracotta rooftops appear to tumble into the waters of the cerulean Adriatic.
Hotel: Croatia Cavtat
Stroll through the marble streets of the Pearl of the Adriatic on a Small Group Sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Admire the Rector's Palace, Onofrio's Fountain and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. Consider taking a sunset cruise along the spectacular Dalmatian coast to enjoy a delicious local dinner.
Journey to Kotor, an enchanting medieval city, perched on the deepest natural fjord-like bay in the Mediterranean. Travel through Montenegro into Albania and overnight in its colourful capital of Tirana. Explore the previously communist-dominated capital with a Local Specialist, including such highlights as the Skanderbeg square and the Palace of Culture. Wander up the main boulevard and see the Prime Ministry building, President office and the Pyramid Building.
Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn
We travel to Greece, enjoying views of the scenic Plains of Thessaly en route to Kalambaka with its gravity-defying Meteora monasteries that cling impressively to immense, rounded rock towers.
Hotel: Amalia/Meteora/Grand Meteora
We cross the fertile Thessaly region and see the battle site at Thermopylae, where the heroic Leonidas and brave Spartans battled against the invading Persians. We arrive at the centre of the world and Mount Parnossos, joining a Local Specialist to explore the ancient sanctuary of Delphi and seat of the most important oracle in the ancient classical world. Wander through the centuries-old ruins of the Sacred Way to the 5th-century Temple of Apollo and marvel at the site where athletes once competed in the Pythian Games held in honour of Apollo and the Arts. We arrive in Athens this evening.
Hotel: Divani Palace Acropolis/Radisson Blu Park
Leaving the vibrant cityscape of Athens, we arrive in Mykonos - the island of fun, with its charismatic winding alleyways lined by whitewashed houses, bright pink bougainvillea-clad walls and the windmills that stand imposingly overlooking the tiny port. Soak up laid-back island life and enjoy the flavours of local seafood dishes.
Arrive early in Kusadasi in Turkey for your Complimentary Shore Experience to the ancient settlement of Ephesus, site of the famous Temple of Artemis. Continue your cruise to Patmos, where you can relax on the beach, or consider an Optional Experience to the 11th-century Monastery of St. John.
Wake this morning in Heraklion, on the island of Crete, join a complimentary Shore Experience to the palace of Knossos. Continue to the volcanic island of Santorini, where you could explore the village of Oia on a Shore Experience. Later, witness one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Mediterranean.
This morning, disembark from your cruise ship and rejoin the trip.
Arrive in the port of Ancona and enjoy a scenic drive to Assisi. Dine tonight in your hotel.
Hotel: Grand Dei Congressi
Join your Local Specialist today and enjoy a sightseeing tour to see the Basilica of St. Francis. We pass the Benedictine Abbey in Monte Cassino before arriving in the sophisticated seaside retreat of Sorrento.
Hotel: La Residenza
We join a Local Specialist in Pompeii to hear the story of this remarkable ancient Roman settlement buried under ash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Continuing through the green and golden countryside of Lazio, we arrive in Rome, the Eternal City this evening.
Hotel: Barceló Aran Mantegna
Visit the centre of Christianity, the Vatican City. 'Dive Into Culture' with your Local Specialist and ascend the spiral staircase designed by famous architect Donato Bramante. Then, admire Michelangelo's exquisite frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, before crossing the Tiber to visit the Colosseum. Spend the afternoon as you wish. Sit on the Spanish Steps or indulge in a cappuccino on the Piazza Navona. This evening, we enjoy a delicious Regional Meal in Rome.
Journeying north through the beautiful landscapes of Umbria and Tuscany, we arrive in the Renaissance city of Florence. Join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of some of the city's iconic sites. View Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistery with its renowned bronze doors, and visit Piazza della Signoria. Learn about the quality and workmanship of one of this city's historic industries at a demonstration of Florentine leathercraft.
Travel north across the snow-capped Alps into Switzerland, past beautiful Lake Lugano, continuing along the scenic St. Gotthard route into central Switzerland. We spend the next two nights in the popular winter sports resort town of Engelberg.
Hotel: H+ Hotel & Spa
The lakeside setting of Lucerne is ours to explore today. Pay tribute to the brave Swiss Guard at the Lion Monument and admire the wooden Chapel Bridge with its exquisite ceiling. Spend the rest of the day ambling through the medieval streets with their characteristic painted façades, or perhaps embark on an Operational Experience up one of the surrounding peaks.
We cross into France and traverse the rolling Burgundy vineyards en route to the glittering capital of Paris. The City of Light shines brightly tonight as you explore the grand boulevards on your terms. Enjoy dinner at a cosy bistro or consider attending a colourful Parisian Cabaret performance.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Neuilly
Join a Local Specialist today for an informative sightseeing tour of the French capital. Drive along the Champs Élysées and see the Place de la Concorde. Visit the 13th-century church of St. Severin and enjoy a stroll through the Latin Quarter. This evening, we celebrate an epic European voyage with newfound friends and our Travel Director at a Farewell Dinner.
Transfers provided to Paris Gare du Nord station where you board the Eurostar™ train to London. The journey time to London St. Pancras International is 2 hours and 15 minutes. On arrival in London you are transferred to your hotel.
Enjoy an English breakfast of at the end of your holiday.
One of our AAA Travel Vacation Specialists will be contacting you shortly. We are here Monday through Friday 8:30AM to 8:00PM and Saturday and Sunday 9:00AM to 5:00PM.
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