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Insight Vacations Romantic European London to London and Eurostar (Summer 2017) (E912)

24 Days starts and ends in London Print
Tour Style: Discovery Trip
Europe & Britain 2017/18
Visits: England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France

Your love affair with Europe begins in Brussels, and will continue to kindle your spirit of adventure in Amsterdam, Prague and Budapest, with a grand finale embracing three of the world's most romantic cities - Venice, Rome and Paris.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brussels: Walk through the Grand Place to view the Mannekin Pis Statue.
  • Amsterdam: See Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Mint Tower.
  • Würzburg: See the Residenz Palace. Explore the old town. Stand on the statue-lined Alte Mainbrucke. See the Marienburg fortress.
  • Nuremberg: See the city walls and walk through the old town to the Hauptmarkt to see the Beautiful Fountain.
  • Prague: Enjoy views over the Old Town and Vltava River. Visit the Old Town Square and see the Astronomical Clock.
  • Bratislava: Enjoy free time amid the cobbled squares and labyrinthine streets of Bratislava's Old Town.
  • Budapest: Enjoy panoramic views over the city from Gellért Hill. Walk through the cobbled streets of the medieval Castle Hill district. Visit Heroes' Square in Pest. Spend some time in the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci utca.
  • Vienna: Tour the Ring Road seeing the Hofburg, Opera House, Parliament building and St Charles' Church.
  • Venice: Cruise, with commentary, to St. Mark's Square. See the Doges' Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Rome: Visit St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican City. See the mighty Colosseum and overlook the Forum.
  • Florence: Enjoy panoramic views over the whole city from Piazzale Michelangelo. Walk with your guide to the Cathedral, see the ‘Gates of Paradise' and open-air gallery of Signoria Square.
  • Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument. See the covered Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church.
  • Lyon: City orientation.
  • Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the façades of the Louvre Museum, the Place de la Concorde. Drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Scenic Drives: Italian Lake District, Swiss Alps, Burgundy.

HIGHLIGHT HOTELS AND LOCATIONS

  • Brussels: The Marriott is only a short stroll away from the beautiful Grand Place.
  • Budapest: The Corinthia blends classic hotel opulence with the finest five-star luxury. Located in the heart of the city, its refurbished Royal Spa is simply stunning.
  • Venice: Set on Giudecca Island in Venice, the Bauer Palladio is a luxury hotel boasting opulent decor and stunning facilities.
  • Rome: The Kolbe, a magnificent luxury four-star hotel, a former 15th century convent, just steps from the Roman Forum.

SIGNATURE DINING

  • Lucerne: You are offered a selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around evening. Choose your own ambience, cuisine and drinks for an intimate culinary experience.
  • Paris: Rendezvous at a typical French bistro on the Champs Élysées for a rousing Celebration Dinner. Bon Appétit!
  • 20 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 4 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Restaurant Dinner, 1 Dine-Around evening (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels.
  • Rhine Valley: Watch medieval hilltop castles, sleepy villages and vineyards slip by as you enjoy a scenic cruise.
  • Nuremberg: Explore the local market, shop for gingerbread and see the 'Beautiful Fountain' in the Hauptmarkt.
  • Prague: Bewitched by the gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral and ghosts of Bohemian Kings, experience a private guided tour through the courtyards of Prague Castle with a Local Expert.
  • Budapest: Visit the colourful Matthias Church and gaze out over the Danube, to the giant domed Parliament, from the heights of the Fisherman's Bastion.
  • Vienna: A private guided exploration of Schönbrunn Palace will have all your senses tingling. Stand beneath frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers and gilded Rococo frames where Mozart performed as a child prodigy.
  • Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.
  • Rome: Be among the select few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums, see the Bramante Staircase and Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Florence: Visit the Accademia Museum with a local historian to study Michelangelo's original Statue of David.
  • Stanserhorn: A spectacular journey by a funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the Stanserhorn for expansive mountain views.
  • Paris: Venture with a Local Expert through the Latin Quarter and see the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.
  • Paris: Ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train to London via the historic Channel Tunnel to Paris.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Insight Vacations Tour Itinerary

Day: 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to England (please ask about our great deals).
Day: 2 Welcome to London!
Check in to your hotel, then there is time to relax.
Day: 3 Discovering London
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.(Full Breakfast)
Day: 4 Depart from London by Eurostar for Brussels
After a warm welcome from your Tour Director, transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Once you board the train, sit back and relax, while you are whisked through the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels in just over two hours. Alternatively, join at the Brussels hotel. In the afternoon, walk with your Tour Director through the Grand Place, voted Europe's most beautiful square, lined with gilded buildings from the late 17th century and Gothic Town Hall. Stroll on through the back streets to the capital's most celebrated water feature, the cheeky Manneken Pis statue. 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.(WD)
Day: 5 To Amsterdam, City of Canals
Leave Brussels driving north into the Netherlands and on to lively Amsterdam. Continue through pleasant Dutch countryside to lively Amsterdam, the ‘City of Canals'. Drive across Dam Square, the heart of the city, past the Royal Palace and Mint Tower. Round-off the day with a taste of glamour as you visit one of the great diamond houses for a demonstration of cutting and polishing!(BB)
Day: 6 Cruise the Rhine Valley and on to Würzburg
Cross in to Germany and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. In the quaint wine village of Boppard, take to the water for a delightful cruise past fortified towns and leafy vineyards. Rejoin the coach at St. Goar and continue to Würzburg. In the evening, see the Residenz Palace – the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops, one of the most important landmarks in Germany. There's also time to stroll through the heart of the old town, down to the Alte Mainbrücke, the 16th century bridge over the River Main, adorned with sandstone statues. From here, you can admire the city at night and appreciate the mightyMarienburg Fortress on the opposite side of the river.(BB / DW)
Day: 7 Nuremberg and Golden Prague
First stop today is Nuremberg, still entirely enclosed by its massive town ramparts. Tour the old town, carefully rebuilt after wartime destruction and explore the bustling Hauptmarkt in the heart of the Altstadt - a picturesque setting for the aptly named Beautiful Fountain as well as local farmers' market and a gingerbread shop, dating back to 1610. Continue east to the Czech border, past the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, to reach the ‘Golden City' of Prague.(BB / DW)
Day: 8 Prague, City of a Hundred Spires
In the morning, join a Local Expert for guided sightseeing of one of the most beautiful and intact historical centres in Europe. Start with the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, where you admire the stained glass of St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy amazing views over the Old Town. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock's glockenspiel delight onlookers each hour. The city is all yours to explore. You can take a river cruise through the heart of the city, rummage through the renowned antique shops or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal.(BB)
Day: 9 Bratislava to Budapest
It's away through the beautiful forested countryside of Bohemia in the morning. After crossing the Slovakian border, continue to the capital of Bratislava, dominated by its imposing 9th century castle, perched high above the Danube. There's free time to take a leisurely walk through the Old Town to see the Maximillian Fountain. Cross into Hungary and follow the River Danube to Budapest for the evening.(BB)
Day: 10 The Highlights of Buda and Pest
You are chauffeured along elegant boulevards to visit Heroes' Square. Now cross the mighty Danube to walk with your Local Expert along the medieval cobblestoned streets of the Castle District. Visit Matthias Church and enjoy sweeping views from the Fisherman's Bastion over the exquisite Parliament building, one of the largest in Europe. Spend the afternoon at the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci Utca where the city's fine museums, historic squares and monuments are within easy reach.(BB / DW)
Day: 11 Stately Vienna
Before leaving the Hungarian capital, look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the newer, elegant Elizabeth Bridge. Drive on, past the eagle overlooking the town of Tatabanya, to the Austrian border. Continue through pleasant farming country to the imperial capital of Vienna.(BB)
Day: 12 Vienna and the Habsburgs
Vienna owes much of its present day charm to the long reign of the Habsburgs, so in the morning, join a Local Expert for a visit to Maria Theresa's Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. The grandiose Rococo interior of the palace is a dazzling confection of gilded mirrors, crystal chandeliers and frescoed ceilings. Your city sightseeing continues around the famous Ring Road, seeing the Parliament, Winter Palace and Opera House. The afternoon is at leisure.(BB)
Day: 13 Along the shores of Lake Wörthersee to Venice
This day's route takes you past quiet villages, through Styria's forested mountains and into the Carinthian Lake District. Continue past Europe's warmest lake, the Wörthersee, to cross into Italy near Tarvisio. Then follow mountain valleys and cascading streams down to the Veneto Plain on your way to the unique city of Venice, where your hotel is close to the Grand Canal.(BB / RD)
Day: 14 Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’
Cruise by Palladio's San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark's Square. Alight to see Lord Byron's Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace to the prisons and the dazzling domed basilica. While here, visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. Then, set off through the canals by gondola while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. The afternoon is at leisure to browse through the shops on the Rialto Bridge or sit a while at a canal side café to sip the local wine.(BB)
Day: 15 On to the Eternal City of Rome
Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. En route, learn about the Chianti wines that make this region so famous. Follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.(BB)
Day: 16 Papal and Imperial Rome
In the morning, you are joined by a Local Expert who guides you through the superb Vatican Museums culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. Continue inside the cavernous St. Peter's Basilica, mother church of the Catholic faith, seeing another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome. Leave the Vatican City to cross the Tiber and stand outside the Colosseum, imagining yourself back in the days of the gladiators. The afternoon is at leisure.(BB)
Day: 17 Through Tuscany to explore Renaissance Florence
Drive north into Tuscany and Piazzale Michelangelo for panoramic views over Florence. In the afternoon, join a local art historian to meet Michelangelo's original 'David' in the Accademia Museum. Then walk on to the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's 'Gates of Paradise'. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica - famous for the quality of its luxury goods and witness a demonstration of leather work.(BB / DW)
Day: 18 Free Time in Florence
The day is at leisure in the Renaissance capital. Traverse the medieval streets to the Ponte Vecchio, haggle for leather goods at the market around San Lorenzo or relax amid the terraces of the Boboli Gardens. Maybe have lunch al fresco or perhaps venture into the beautiful Tuscan countryside? The choice is all yours!(BB)
Day: 19 Across the Alps to Lucerne
Head north for the Italian and Swiss Lake Districts via the lake of Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world. You then travel alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne. At night, for your Dine-Around evening, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants for your dining pleasure.(BB / DA)
Day: 20 Lucerne’s Lakes and Lions
In the morning, view the emotive Lion Monument before enjoying some time shopping or strolling along the Chapel Bridge to the Jesuit Church. Later, we to the town of Stans, to embark on a stunning journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn.(BB)
Day: 21 Cross into France and on to Beaune
(Relaxed Start) Travel to medieval Beaune, at the centre of the Burgundy winemaking region. Your hotel is located across the road from the entrance to the historic Old Town, so why not explore the cobbled streets or sip a glass from one of Burgundy's finest vintages?(BB)
Day: 22 Paris for a ‘Diner de Célébration’
In the morning, travel to glittering Paris. During your time in Paris, see the imposing façades of the Louvre, the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a ‘Diner de Célébration' served with wine in a Parisian bistro, abundant with French ambience.(BB / CD)
Day: 23 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 to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a 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 for last minute shopping or your own pursuits.(BB)
Day: 24 Eurostar Return to London
Included coach transfer to Paris Gare du Nord station for your high speed Eurostar train journey to London. On arrival you are transferred to the Victoria Park Plaza Hotel where your journey ends.(BB)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, TwinShare, Triple

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Guaranteed Departure 12/18/2017 $6,600.00
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