Day 1: Australia – – London
You European adventure starts today! Make your way to the airport and catch a flight to London.
Day 2: London (B)
Welcome to London! Upon arrival at the airport, take a transfer to your hotel. Today you have free time to explore the city at your own pace. Local Hosts will visit your hotel to help you book sightseeing trips and answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, you may choose to explore London town yourself. Don’t forget to tick off draw-card attractions such as Big Ben, Tower of London, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace to name a few.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 3: London – – Brussels – – Amsterdam (B)
This morning sees you met by your dedicated Travel Director to accompany you to London’s St. Pancras International where we will board the Eurostar™ for a high-speed train journey to Brussels and a luxury coach for your journey to Amsterdam. Travel aboard the famous Eurostar™ is an exciting experience that allows you to catch a train under the sea! Upon arriving in Amsterdam, enjoy an orientation tour of this historic Dutch city before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception dinner cruise on its canals.
Day 4: Amsterdam – – Heidelberg – Rhineland (B, D)
Take a coach transfer through the lush landscapes of The Netherlands and Germany to arrive in Boppard, a quaint German town situated on the Rhine river. From here, board a cruise along the Rhine to St. Goar, passing picture-perfect vineyards and riverside towns along the way. Have your camera at the ready to snap pictures of medieval castles perched above riverside towns as you go, a truly remarkable sight. Arrive in the Baroque city of Heidelberg later in the day and take the time to soak in its iconic and sights before journeying to your Rhineland hotel.
Day 5: Rhineland – Munich – Innsbruck (B)
Today, travel by coach through the Swabian Alps on the edge of the Black Forest to arrive in the Bavarian capital of Munich, and home of the largest fair in the world, Oktoberfest. The orientation drive takes you past key sights including the Olympic Stadium and neo-Gothic City Hall, which dominates the Marienplatz. Next, cross the Austrian border arriving in Innsbruck, the capital of the Alps. Admire the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture of the Old Town, including Emperor Maximilian’s famous Golden Roof with its ornate façade and consider an evening of traditional Tyrolean entertainment.
Day 6: Innsbruck – Venice (B)
After an early morning breakfast, today will see you take a journey through the emerald-green landscape along the Brenner Pass into Italy and across the Dolomite Mountains to Venice. An exciting activity is on the agenda today, a cruise of the beautiful Venetian lagoon by private launch to the gateway of Venice, Piazza San Marco, also known as St. Mark’s Square. The piazza has been a tourist hot-spot for decades, with thousands of tourists flocking every year to admire St. Mark’s Basilica. You’ll have the chance to view the ornate Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, so named for the sounds made by condemned prisoners as they took one last longing look at their beautiful city before meeting their fate. Next, cruise over to witness the craft of Venetian glassblowing and perhaps pick yourself up a souvenir vase or bowl or necklace before enjoying the rest of the day at leisure.
Take time to get lost in Venice: follow canals, take a photo on the ornate Rialto Bridge or enjoy a dish or pizza or pasta with a glass of Venetian Spritz.
Optional: Gondolas & the Grand Canal
A private boat will be waiting to take you to St Mark’s Square, where you’ll enjoy a gondola ride while being serenaded by local musicians. Later, private water taxi’s will take you along Venice’s Grand Canal, where you’ll admire the magnificent palazzos and Rialto Bridge. Additional cost applies.
Day 7: Venice – Rome (B)
Travelling south across the Veneto Plain, we pass by Bologna and the dramatic Apennine Mountains, continuing through the green and golden fields of Lazio before reaching Rome, the Eternal City.
Optional: Roman Evening with Dinner
This easy-going evening in Rome begins with a beautiful drive to see amazing city sights. We arrive at one of our favourite restaurants, where you’ll enjoy a warm welcome and delicious dinner of local cuisine with drinks and music. Additional cost applies.
Day 8: Rome (B)
Venture to the Vatican City, visiting St. Peter’s Basilica with a Local Specialist to view Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece, the Pietà. Next, journey to Ancient Rome to view the iconic Colosseum and Circus Maximus, once the site of exhilarating chariot races centuries ago. The afternoon is yours to explore the city on your terms. Sit on the Spanish Steps savouring a tasty gelato, shop up a storm on the trendy Via Corso or perhaps join an Optional Experience to see the magnificent frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Optional: Piazzas and Fountains of Rome
Discover the most charming areas in the city with a Local Specialist. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares of Rome’s historic centre, leading to highlights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, as well as hidden corners of the Eternal City.Optional Tour (additional cost applies): Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drinks. Join us as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious meal with a selection of drinks on the fishermen’s island of Burano, famous for its multi-coloured houses – a real photographer’s paradise. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Explore Ostia Antica
Join us on a journey along the Mediterranean coast and visit the excavations of Ancient Ostia, the former harbour of Rome. These ruins offer perhaps a more complete picture of Roman urban life than either Rome or Pompeii. See the remains of the baths, theatre, apartment houses, drinking room, mosaics and wall paintings at this beautiful site, mirrored by cypress trees and umbrella pines. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Inside The Vatican & Colosseum
We skip the lines at the Vatican Museums for this tour that shows not just remarkable works of art collected and commissioned over the history of the Papacy, but also Michelangelo’s amazing ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Later we hear fascinating tales of gladitorial combat and more on our visit to the Colosseum, again with time-saving VIP entrance. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Roman Delights With Dinner
Spend an evening getting to know Rome. We’ll take you via coach where you’ll have the chance to see some of the city’s much-loved sights. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a delicious light dinner of Italian specialities, alongside local music and drinks. Additional cost applies.
Day 9: Rome – Florence (B,L)
From Rome, we travel north through the rolling countryside of Tuscany and along the Arno valley to the Cradle of the Renaissance, Florence. Delve into the rich Medici heritage of this beautiful medieval city with your Local Specialist. Visit what was once the political hub of the city, Piazza della Signoria, with its impressive sculptures and stunning palazzi. View the imposing Duomo with its Brunelleschi dome and Baptistery renowned for its bronze doors filled with relief sculptures. Learn about the quality and workmanship of one of this city’s historic industries at a demonstration of Florentine leathercraft. This evening, enjoy true Tuscan hospitality with a local family on their private estate on the outskirts of Florence.
Optional: Michelangelo’s ‘David’ & Accademia
Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We visit the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you’ll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred. Additional cost applies.
Day 10: Florence – Lucerne (B,D)
Drive via the picturesque Italian Lakes District, across the snow-capped Alps into beautiful Switzerland where we’ll spend the next two nights in the beautiful medieval lakeside city of Lucerne.
Day 11: Lucerne (B)
This morning, view the mournful, mortally wounded lion hewn from rock to commemorate the Swiss Guards who lost their lives defending Louis XVI. Walk along the flower-lined 14th century covered Chapel Bridge, crossing the Reuss. Or join an exciting Optional Experience to one of the surrounding peaks for breath-taking views of the Swiss countryside. We have some time later to discover the best Swiss chocolates in town.
Optional: Swiss Folklore Evening And Dinner
Tonight, enjoy a tasty Swiss meal including the famous Swiss cheese fondue, in a typical restaurant. While enjoying dinner, you can also join in a lively folklore show which includes yodelling, flag-throwing and Alpine horn-blowing. Two drinks are also included. Occasionally, this optional may be offered as a Lunch. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Mount Pilatus And Lake Cruise
We’ll ascend by cog-wheel train to Mount Pilatus’ summit, where you’ll have time to explore, admire the views, and breathe the pure air. Then, we’ll descent by cable-car to enjoy a scenic lake cruise. On certain departures this Optional may be operated in reverse. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Swiss Countryside & Carriages
A chance to get to know the Swiss, you’ll meet local farmers and enjoy a delightful countryside tour in horse drawn carriages. Soak up the stunning scenery as we trot around a typical rural community, en route to a farm where you’ll savour local drinks and snacks. Additional cost applies.
Day 12: Lucerne – Paris (B)
Cross the border into France this morning, and meander through the picturesque vineyards and quaint country towns of Burgundy en route to the City of Light. Spend some time this evening strolling along the Seine and grand boulevards in search of a cosy bistro for fine French cuisine or perhaps consider an optional experience to a colourful Parisian cabaret.
Optional: Moulin Rouge Cabaret And Dinner
Enjoy dinner and cabaret, including wine and champagne, at the world-famous Moulin Rouge – the original Paris cabaret. Immortalized by the award-winning film of the same name, this Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers and over 1000 costumes! Additional cost applies.
Optional: Nouvelle Eve Cabaret And Dinner
One of the oldest and most elegant revue theatres in Paris, Nouvelle Eve is a hidden gem, where you’ll meet the Director and two of the cast members before enjoying a four-course dinner with wine. You will then experience unparalleled Parisian entertainment – including the world-famous Can-Can. Additional cost applies.
Day 13: Paris (B,D)
See all the famous sights during your morning sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. View the Champs Élysées, Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. Ascend to the second level of the Eiffel Tower for a breathtaking view of the city. Spend the rest of the day exploring the sights that interest you. This evening celebrate with your Travel Director and travelling companions at a Farewell Dinner in a local bistro.
Optional: Seine Cruise And Paris Illuminations
Paris at night is a city transformed. Enjoy this superb ‘City of Light’ on a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Afterwards, as we drive through this amazing city, we’ll stop at some vantage points for you to capture the fascinating sights on camera. In summer, this trip may take place before sunset. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Versailles Palace And Gardens
Built for the Sun King, Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles was the envy of every European ruler. Your Local Specialist will take you through the State apartments and famous Hall of Mirrors, with free time to stroll the symmetrical tree-lined gardens. Please note: this optional is subject to availability and involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee. Additional cost applies.
Day 14: Paris – London (B)
Departing mainland Europe, venture past poignant World War I battlefields to the coast where you’ll board a ferry to Dover and travel by coach on to London where the adventure comes to an end.
Day 15: London – – Australia (B)
Bid London farewell today as you take a transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way from the hotel to your next travel arrangements.
Day 16: Australia
Arrive back in Australia today.