Day 1:ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND.
Welcome to Amsterdam! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Meet your Local Guide and hear about the fascinating history of the 700-year-old capital during a leisurely CANAL CRUISE. Admire the patrician mansions and the gabled facades; the “Golden Bend,” the most prestigious part of the Herengracht and a monument to the Golden Age; the Stopera, Amsterdam’s proud concert hall; the Hermitage, a branch museum of the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg; and much more. Also visit a major DIAMOND centre. For those who wish to experience Dutch life in the countryside, an optional excursion is available to picturebook Volendam, a fishing village at the former Zuiderzee, including visits to a working windmill, a clogmaker, a cheese farm, plus dinner.
Day 3:AMSTERDAM-HEIDELBERG, GERMANY.
On the way to Germany, pass the Dutch region best known as the locale of A Bridge Too Far. Highlight of the day is a romantic RHINE CRUISE past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards, and half-timbered towns. Drive to Heidelberg and take pictures of the famous red-walled castle ruins. Then, join the locals for a beer at the famous Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg.
Day 4:HEIDELBERG-BLACK FOREST-RHINE FALLS, SWITZERLAND- LUCERNE.
Enter the lush valleys and pine-clad hills of the BLACK FOREST, famous for cuckoo clocks, where another highlight awaits: be welcomed by a local woodcarver, Adolf Herr, watch a WOODCARVING DEMONSTRATION, see samples of his work, and have Kaffee und Schwarzwaldkuchen (coffee and the traditional homemade Black Forest Cake). On the Swiss border, marvel at the thundering RHINE FALLS before continuing to picture-book Lucerne. Tonight is your chance to join an optional Swiss folklore party.
Day 5:LUCERNE-VADUZ, LIECHTENSTEIN-INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA.
Follow your Tour Director for a walk and admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. Walk along ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Time to shop for Swiss watches and chocolates or climb Mount Pilatus by cable car. On your way to Austria, stop in the Principality of Liechtenstein and enter Tyrol. In Innsbruck, walk through the Old Town and see Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF.
Day 6:INNSBRUCK-VENICE, ITALY.
Cross spectacular Brenner Pass to Italy and enter Venice in style by PRIVATE BOAT to ST. MARK’S SQUARE. Admire the byzantine basilica, lavish Doges’ Palace with its Bridge of Sighs, and watch skilled GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects. Why not join an optional gondola ride? dinner has been prepared at Rossopomodoro restaurant.
A scenic drive across the Apennine Hills and through vine- and olive-clad Tuscany with views of hilltop towns brings you to the “Eternal City.”
Guided sightseeing starts with a visit to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, followed by a visit to monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pieta. Then, visit the amazing COLOSSEUM, where gladiators once fought. An optional walking tour with a Local Guide is at hand to further explore Rome’s famous sites.
In Florence, meet your Local Guide and visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. During your walking tour admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s bronze “Gates of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Afterwards, shop for Florentine fine leather goods and gold jewellery, sold by the ounce.
Day 10:FLORENCE-PISA-MONTE CARLO, MONACO.
In Pisa, marvel at the amazing Leaning Tower, 180 feet high and 12 feet out of the perpendicular. Then, follow the Italian Riviera and arrive in Monte Carlo for your overnight stay. Tonight, you may wish to join an optional excursion to see the palace and the church that houses the tombs of the rulers of Monaco, have dinner, and visit the casino.
Day 11:MONTE CARLO-NICE, FRANCE-LYON
Enjoy spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea on your way to Nice. Drive along the famous Promenade des Anglais. Then, follow the scenic Route du Soleil to Lyon, where an orientation introduces you to the OLD TOWN. Spend some time to explore its little streets.
Drive through Burgundy with its vineyards and impressive chateaux, and arrive in Paris. Optional excursions are available: visit the Louvre Museum to see the Mona Lisa; have dinner at one of Paris’ fine restaurants, followed by an orientation drive to get a first impression of this fascinating city.
Guided sightseeing features Paris’ main highlights, such as the Arc de Triomphe, Opera, Champs-Elysees, and a SEINE CRUISE with spectacular views of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Don’t miss an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.