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 picture-book Volendam, a fishing village at the former Zuiderzee, including visits to a working windmill, a clogmaker, a cheese farm, plus dinner.
Day 3:AMSTERDAM-RHINELAND, GERMANY.
Pass the Dutch region near Arnhem, best known as the locale of A Bridge Too Far, and enter Germany. Today’s highlight is a romantic RHINE CRUISE. Sit back, relax, and enjoy views of centuries-old castles, cozy towns, and vineyards. Continue to Heidelberg for a pleasant walk through the OLD TOWN to the Marktplatz (market square), from where you can take pictures of the famous red-walled ruins of Heidelberg Castle, followed by dinner with beer at Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg restaurant.
Day 4:RHINELAND-BLACK FOREST-RHINE FALLS, SWITZERLAND-LUCERNE.
Enter the lush valleys and pine-clad hills of the BLACK FOREST, famous for cuckoo clocks. Be welcomed by a local woodcarver, and see samples of his work during a WOODCARVING DEMONSTRATION. Then, enjoy Kaffee und Schwarzwaldkuchen (coffee and the traditional homemade Black Forest Cake). On the Swiss border, take pictures of the thundering RHINE FALLS before continuing to Lucerne. Start your walking tour with a visit to the impressive BOURBAKI PANORAMA, Edouard Castres’ circular painting dating back to 1881, depicting scenes of the Franco- Prussian War. Also admire Thorwaldsen’s LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. See the ornate patrician houses lining the cobblestone streets of the walled Old Town, and cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church.
A whole day at leisure in this picturesque town with lots of things to do: shop for Swiss watches, knives, and chocolate. Choose from a selection of optional excursions to Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” a lake cruise, or a folklore dinner party with a chance to yodel or blow an alphorn.
Day 6:LUCERNE-BEAUNE, FRANCE-DIJON.
Leave the Alps behind you and enter the scenic French countryside on your way to the vineyards of Burgundy. Stop in the pretty town of Beaune, where a WINE TASTING awaits at the renowned Marche aux Vins wine cellar. Also visit the HOTEL DIEU, originally founded in 1443 as a hospital for the poor, before continuing to Dijon for your overnight stay.
Enjoy views of castles on your way to Versailles, where a guided visit of the 17th-century PALACE AND GARDENS has been included. This former hunting chateau, built by Louis XIII, was transformed into a magnificent palace by the Sun King, Louis XIV, and housed the French kings until the French Revolution. Arrive in Paris, where an optional excursion is available to try out local specialties in one of its lively restaurants, followed by a drive for a first look at the French capital.
Discover the world’s heart of chic and style with a Local Guide. Admire its major sites: the Opera, Arc de Triomphe, and Champs-Elysees. Enjoy a relaxing SEINE CRUISE with spectacular views of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. Time to further explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the impressive Louvre Museum with the Mona Lisa. Tonight, dinner and a lively cabaret show at one of Paris’ nightclubs might just be the ticket!
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.