Day 1:ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE.
Welcome to Paris! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, followed by an orientation drive for a first impression of this magnificent city.
In the morning, an optional excursion is available to the lavish Palace and Gardens of Versailles. Later, guided sightseeing features Paris’ main highlights, such as the Arc de Triomphe, Opera, Champs- Elysees, and a relaxing SEINE CRUISE with spectacular views of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Tonight, why not join an optional dinner and show at the famous Moulin Rouge?
Day 3:PARIS-LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND.
Enjoy a scenic drive past Fontainebleau Forest and into Burgundy, on your way to the Swiss Alps. In picturesque Lucerne, follow your Tour Director for a pleasant 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.
Morning at leisure. Take advantage of an optional excursion to Mount Pilatus. Later, admire the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps and St. Gotthard on the way to Lugano in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, sign up for an optional boat cruise, followed by dinner.
Day 5:LUGANO-PISA, ITALY-FLORENCE.
Pass the commercial capital of Milan and turn towards the Mediterranean Sea. Arrive in Pisa, and marvel at its legendary Leaning Tower. In nearby Florence, there is time to explore the many gold and leather shops on Piazza Santa Croce before joining dinner with Tuscan specialties and wine at Finisterrae restaurant.
Meet your Local Guide, and visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Continue your walking tour through the historic centre and admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gates of Paradise,” and sculpturestudded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Continue to Rome, 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 monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pieta. Then, visit the amazing COLOSSEUM, where gladiators once fought. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore Rome’s famous landmarks.
In Ferrara, walk through impressive Este Castle to the marble cathedral and browse among the attractive little shops. Tonight, in Venice, why not try out local specialties at one of the city’s fine restaurants?
Enjoy a PRIVATE BOAT RIDE and a walking tour with a Local Guide to visit ST. MARK’S SQUARE, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the famous BRIDGE OF SIGHS, followed by a traditional GLASSBLOWER DEMONSTRATION. Afternoon at leisure. An optional gondola serenade is available and later, an aperitif at the famous CAFFE FLORIAN awaits.
Day 10:VENICE-INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA-MUNICH, GERMANY.
Cross the spectacular Brenner Pass into the Tyrolean Alps. In Innsbruck, a pleasant stroll through quaint medieval lanes takes you to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Continue to Munich, and visit MARIENPLATZ with its Old and New Town Halls, and the famous HOFBRAUHAUS, dating back to 1589. Free time for dinner before going to your hotel.
Enter the Swabian Jura with its lush hills and arrive in picturesque Rothenburg for a walk through this walled town. Time to join the locals at one of the many restaurants and to shop for Christmas ornaments, for which the town is famous.
Day 12:RHINELAND-AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND.
Admire castle-crested hills and terraced vineyards during a scenic and relaxing RHINE CRUISE, followed by a drive to Amsterdam.
Meet your Local Guide and hear about the fascinating history of the 700-year-old capital during a leisurely CANAL CRUISE past patrician mansions and gabled facades. Also visit a major DIAMOND centre. For those who wish to experience Dutch life in the countryside, an optional excursion is available to picture-book Volendam, a fishing village at the former Zuiderzee, including visits to a working windmill, a clogmaker, a cheese farm, plus dinner.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.