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Insight Vacations European Treasures and Cruise Premier (Summer 2017) (L916)

22 Days from London to Athens Print
Tour Style: Discovery Tour
Europe & Britain 2017/18
Visits: England, Scotland, Wales, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece

An escorted journey that takes you from one side of Europe to the other, passing through a colourful variety of countries, cultures and landscapes.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amsterdam: See Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Mint Tower.
  • Heidelberg: See the red sandstone castle and explore the baroque Old Town.
  • Füssen: See the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein.
  • Innsbruck: Walk the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with medieval houses and arcades, to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
  • Salzburg: Walk through the Mirabell Gardens with a guide, see Mozart's Birthplace and the Cathedral.
  • Vienna: Tour the Ring Road seeing the Hofburg, Opera House, Parliament building and St Charles' Church.
  • Ljubljana: A local expert reveals the medieval castle, City Hall, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the Triple Bridge.
  • Zagreb: See Roosevelt Square and Ban Josip Jelacic Square. Tour the Upper Town to view the Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St Marks Church and the Lotrščak Tower.
  • Trogir: See the Cipiko Palace and Romanesque Cathedral.
  • Split: See St. Duje's, the baptistery and the Golden Gate on your guided tour through the labyrinthine streets.
  • Dubrovnik: See Onofrio's Fountain, Rector's Palace and city walls. Admire the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries.
  • Kotor: Visit the old town situated on its fjord.
  • Tirana: Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour.
  • Athens: See Hadrian's Arch and Temple of Zeus.

HIGHLIGHT HOTELS AND LOCATIONS

  • Amsterdam: The bar on the 23rd floor of the luxurious Hotel Okura offers magnificent views.
  • Heidelberg: The Crowne Plaza is a few minutes' walk from the Neckar River, where you can cross medieval bridges to reach the centre of this Renaissance university city.
  • Ioannina: Situated next to the 'Lake of Legends', the Du Lac Hotel is a modern hotel offering excellent facilities.
  • Athens: The Divani Caravel is a luxury hotel situated in the heart of the Greek capital.

SIGNATURE DINING

  • Athens Cruise: Your cruise now includes all non-alcoholic drinks! You are welcome to upgrade this to include alcoholic drinks for an additional cost onboard the cruise.
  • Volendam: Visit a Cheese Farm with a Local Expert in the Dutch Countryside.
  • 15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Dinner (D); 1 Welcome Dinner (WD) and 4 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
  • While Cruising: 3 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 3 Buffet Lunches (L), 3 three-course table d'hôte Dinners or Buffets (D). Your cruise includes a complimentary soft-drinks package (with tea and coffee). Once on-board, your drinks package can be upgraded for an additional cost, to include alcohol if you wish.

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.
  • Vienna: A private, guided exploration of Schönbrunn Palace is a feast for the senses - frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers and gilded Rococo frames.
  • Plitvice: A UNESCO World Heritage site, marvel at the water wonderland as you walk along stunning cascades.
  • Split: With a local historian, explore above and below ground within the walls of the Roman Emperor Diocletian's palace - now the heart of modern day Split.
  • Athens: Ascend the ‘Sacred Rock', the Acropolis, to admire the Parthenon built in 5th century BC as well as the smaller Temple of Athena Nike and Caryatid Beauties.
  • Ephesus: Enjoy an included shore excursion to the ancient site of Ephesus. Your Local Expert brings history alive as you walk in the footsteps of Cleopatra to the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • 3 nights aboard your mid-size cruise ship featuring air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, outdoor pool, fitness centre, beauty salon, casino, bars & restaurants.
  • Cruises include all port taxes and crew gratuities.
  • Whilst cruising Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D) are served daily.
  • All-inclusive soft-drinks package.
  • Shore excursion to Ephesus with a Local Expert.
  • Insight hotels include all service charges, taxes and porterage.
  • Sightseeing by air-conditioned coach with on-board toilet.
  • Locally hosted in Athens.
  • Services of a Cruise Director while cruising.
  • Headsets for all guided visits and walking tours in Athens.
  • Arrival and departure transfers between the airports and your Insight tour hotels.

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 to Amsterdam
Meet your Tour Director and transfer to London’s St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable 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, join at the Amsterdam hotel. Later, meet 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 Amsterdam and the Dutch Countryside
(Relaxed Start) After your orientation of Amsterdam, drive through the pleasant Dutch countryside to the traditional fishing village of Volendam. This is followed by a photo-stop at one of the windmills and a visit to a cheese farm and ‘Klompenhuis', where wooden clogs are made. Back in Amsterdam, round-off the day with a visit to a diamond cutting factory, whose industry dates back to the 16th century. With free time this afternoon, perhaps visit the Rijksmuseum or the Anne Frank House?(BB)
Day: 6 Cruise past the Castles of the Rhine Valley and on to Heidelberg
Leave Amsterdam, en route for Germany. Cross the extensive Ruhr Basin and head for the Romantic Rhine Gorge. In the quaint wine village of Boppard, board your cruise past fortified towns and leafy vineyards. Pass the twin strongholds of the ‘Enemy Brothers', the Cat and Mouse castles and hear the legend of the Loreley Rock. Rejoin the coach at St. Goar and continue to the university town of Heidelberg, dominated by its red sandstone castle.(BB)
Day: 7 Innsbruck, Mountain-ringed Capital of the Tyrol
Skirt the northern Black Forest and head for the rolling Bavarian Alps. Stop beneath the royal castles of Hohenschwangau and King Ludwig's fairytale Neuschwanstein. Once over the Austrian border, continue to the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. Tour the architectural jewels of the city, seeing the Imperial Palace, Golden Roof and the 14th century houses of the Old Town.(BB)
Day: 8 Salzburg, City of Music, then on to Vienna
Make your way to Salzburg and join a Local Expert in the Cathedral Square by the domed cathedral and splendid Residenz Fountain. Stroll through the Old Town's narrow lanes to see Mozart's birthplace on the Getreidegasse. Cross the river to the formal gardens of the Mirabell Palace and see the beautiful fountains and statues. Here, there is also a great chance to photograph the city skyline crowned by the castle heights. Later, drive along the Danube Valley, past the imposing Melk Abbey to the stately capital of Vienna.(BB)
Day: 9 Vienna and the Habsburgs
In the morning, a Local Expert reveals the highlights of Schönbrunn Palace, full of frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers, mirrors and gilded ornaments. Spend some time in the formal gardens before going on to view St. Charles' Church, the Hofburg Palace, Parliament and State Opera House. The afternoon is all yours to explore the city at your leisure.(BB)
Day: 10 A Scenic drive to Ljubljana
(Relaxed Start) Drive through Styria’s forested mountains and over the Slovenian border to the 'beloved' city of Ljubljana. Sightsee with a Local Expert who reveals the Baroque elegance of the Slovenian capital. The medieval castle stands as ancient guardian, the City Hall and Cathedral of St. Nicholas testify to its historical importance.(BB / DW)
Day: 11 Zagreb and Plitvice, with its crystal blue-green lakes
(Relaxed Start) Follow the Drava River to Croatia and its pretty capital of Zagreb. On an orientation tour, see the green squares and 19th century charm of the modern Lower Town. Move on to the Upper Town, a medieval treasure chest of churches, cathedrals, palaces and stone gates. Leave Zagreb and continue on to one of Europe's finest natural wonders.(BB / DW)
Day: 12 The Dalmatian Coast
With a Local Expert, explore Plitvice Lakes National Park, a scenic wonderland of 16 inter-connecting lakes, flanked by thundering waterfalls and primeval forest. Visit Korana Canyon to see the 230 foot high falls and Tomicevo Pogledalo for panoramic views over the park. The landscape changes on the drive to the Dalmatian coast, as forests give way to rugged cliffs and turquoise coves. Visit Trogir, founded by the Greeks in 400BC. Admire the Romanesque cathedral and Renaissance Cipiko Palace before continuing to the port of Split.(BB)
Day: 13 Explore Split and on to the Adriatic Coast
Some 1,700 years ago, the Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace here; with your Local Expert, explore the cobbled streets and buildings within the palace. Venture into the underground rooms thought to have housed his slaves. Drive along the sun-drenched coast, studded with rocky islands to your hotel.(BB / DW)
Day: 14 Dubrovnik, Pearl of the Adriatic
(Relaxed Start) A guided sightseeing tour in the Old Town explores the stone-paved streets inside the 16th century bastions. See Onofrio's Fountain, the Rector's Palace, the city walls, and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. The afternoon is at leisure – maybe take a sunset cruise in the evening?(BB)
Day: 15 Kotor and the Albanian Capital of Tirana
Just over the border, visit the old town of Kotor, perched beside the only European fjord outside of Norway. Continue through the spectacular scenery of Montenegro. Then cross into the mysterious, emerging country of Albania and stay in the warm hearted capital Tirana. With a Local Expert, see Skanderbeg square, the Palace of Culture and the National History Museum. Continue to the main boulevard to see the Prime Ministry building, President office, Pyramid Building and University.(BB / DW)
Day: 16 Through the mountains of Greece to Ioannina
Travel through spectacular scenery to the northern mountainous region of Greece and stop for lunch in Albania at the historic Unesco city of Girokastra. Next, continue to the pretty resort of Ioannina.(BB / D)
Day: 17 Athens, Cradle of Europe
Take a scenic drive to Kalambaka. While here, perhaps take an optional experience to the monasteries of Meteora, before continuing on to the ancient Greek capital of Athens.(BB)
Day: 18 The Glory of Athens
(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert in the morning for Athens sightseeing. Enjoy glory in abundance, from the Parthenon and Acropolis to the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of the Wingless Victory and Hadrian's Arch. The afternoon is at leisure to explore at your own pace.(BB)
Day: 19 Cruising to Mykonos
(Relaxed Start) Board your cruise ship and set sail for the lovely island of Mykonos with its dazzling sugar cube houses and whitewashed windmills. Tonight, the maze of walkways, welcoming tavernas and nightlife are yours to explore. Late in the evening, your cruise sails across the Aegean to Turkey. While cruising, enjoy an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are served on board daily. Your cruise includes complimentary soft-drinks, tea and coffee. Once on-board, your drinks package can be upgraded for an additional cost, to include alcohol if you wish.(BB)
Day: 20 Kusadasi and Patmos
Wake up to find you have docked at the Turkish port of Kusadasi where you visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus with a Local Expert. In the afternoon, sail to the island of Patmos where St. John the Devine was exiled by the Emperor Domitian. Later, your cruise sets sail for the island of Crete.(BB)
Day: 21 Crete and Santorini
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, you dock at Heraklion in Crete. Perhaps take an optional experience to the Palace of King Minos? Later, cruise beneath the sheer cliffs of Santorini. Explore the capital of Thira, with its clifftop restaurants and cafés, breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. In the evening you sail onto Athens.(BB)
Day: 22 Depart Athens
Bid farewell to Athens as you disembark and transfer to the airport.(BB)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, TwinShare, Triple

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