Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to England (please ask about our great deals).
Welcome to London!
Check in to your hotel, then there is time to relax.
An included half day sightseeing tour of London's West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Tour Director is also on hand today for help and advice.
Depart from London by Eurostar for Amsterdam
After a warm welcome from your Tour Director, transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your two-hour rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels. From here, it's a comfortable drive into the Netherlands. See the first of the windmills on the way to lively Amsterdam. Alternatively, begin your journey at the Amsterdam hotel. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Day 5 - Relaxed Start
Amsterdam, City of Canals
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, see all the sights on an orientation sightseeing past the Mint Tower, floating Flower Market and Royal Palace in Dam Square. Then board a canal cruiser to glide under low bridges, past the magnificent gabled mansions of the 17th century merchants. For a touch of glamour, visit one of Amsterdam's famous diamond houses to watch craftsmen cut and polish the stones. Learn all about the '4 C's' (carat, colour, clarity and cut), some of the absorbing history and admire the sparkling finished product. The afternoon is at leisure before dinner in the evening.
Glide past the Castles of the Rhine Valley to Heidelberg
Pass Arnhem, renowned for its 'Bridge Too Far', before crossing the German border bound for the romantic Rhine. In the lovely little village of Boppard, nestled on the largest loop of the Rhine, embark on your scenic cruise. Drift past steep leafy vineyards, medieval hilltop castles and hear the legend of the Loreley Rock. Now drive along the Neckar River to Heidelberg, dominated by its red sandstone castle. At night, whether you prefer a gourmet restaurant or a typical traditional German tavern, your Freestyle evening offers you the ultimate in dining choices!
Drive through the Bavarian Alps to Oberammergau
Skirt the northern Black Forest and head for the rolling Bavarian Alps. Stop for a photo beneath the royal castle of Hohenschwangau, then continue to King Ludwig's fairytale Neuschwanstein, perched on an Alpine mountainside, to see the exuberantly decorated apartments, including the Throne Room and Lohengrin Grotto. Then on to Oberammergau, home of the Passion Play since 1634; see the immense theatre and colourful chalets before checking into your hotel for the night.
Day 8 - Relaxed Start
Verona and Venice
(Relaxed Start) Travel through Austria and across the impressive Europa Bridge to cross the Brenner Pass into Italy. Journey through spectacular scenery before stopping in fascinating Verona, with its Roman Arena, maze of elegant squares and of course Juliet's balcony. Next up is glorious Venice, known for over a thousand years as 'La Serenissima'.
Day 9 - Relaxed Start
Venice & the magic of ‘La Serenissima’
(Relaxed Start) Visit a Venetian arts centre where local craftsmen blow glass into incredible works of art. Then relax on a private launch as it cruises to St. Mark's Square. Stroll along the water's edge to the Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace with the prisons. See St. Mark's Basilica and bell tower before embarking on a gondola serenade. Glide along the atmospheric canals, exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. Then enjoy free time for your own pursuits. In the evening, join us on a private boat trip to the lagoon in Venice and you'll see the island of Murano, where the renowned glassblowers live. You'll enjoy dinner with drinks at the nearby 'Island of the Fishermen', Burano, which is famous for its multi-coloured houses and is a photographer's paradise.
Through the Alps to Lucerne
Travel through some of the richest farmland in Europe as you cross northern Italy. Glimpse the beautiful Italian Lake District as you continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps. Towering mountains and rushing torrents give way to pretty Lucerne, a romantic collection of spires, steeples, medieval bridges and half-timbered houses, set beside its lake. On arrival, view the emotive Lion Monument. At night, experience a regional meal with wine at the newly refurbished Rathausbrauerei, a traditional Swiss Brew House, with its unique cellars, curved sandstone arches and rustic furniture.
Lucerne’s Lake and Lion
Embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn. On a clear day, in addition to the beautiful mountains and surrounding hills, there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Back in Lucerne, perhaps stroll across the Chapel Bridge to the ornate Jesuit Church and spend time shopping in the traffic-free Old Town. In the evening, get together with your friends and choose from a selection of authentic local restaurants for your dining pleasure.
Paris for a ‘Diner de Célébration’
Drive past Basel before crossing the Rhine to enter France. Travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to Paris, the vibrant ‘Ville-Lumière' (City of Light). Before dinner enjoy an orientation of the city, passing the imposing façades of the Louvre. During your time in Paris, see the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. You will truly appreciate Paris at night with dinner, followed by a sparkling illuminations cruise down the Seine.
Paris, the ‘City of Light’
Meet your Local Expert who will take you on a walking tour of the bohemian Latin Quarter. Explore the myriad of streets situated on the left bank of the Seine, before continuing by the Île de la Cité to Notre Dame Cathedral to view this masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Insight ensures you leave the long queues at the Eiffel Tower behind - ascend by express elevator to the famous viewing platforms for breathtaking panoramas over the city. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy at your own pace. In the evening, savour a ‘Diner de Célébration' served with wine in a Parisian bistro, bursting with French ambience.
Au revoir Paris
Transfers arrive Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00 hours.