European Delight

A leisurely paced hosted tour.

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The following is an example of an itinerary from our 2016 group tour.
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Terms & Conditions apply. Price & itinerary are subject to change and minimum numbers being met.

21 Nights in Europe. Fully Escorted Group Tour

TOUR INCLUDES:
14 nights in First Class Hotels
Rail travel
Internal flight * FLR to ZRH
7 nights Balcony Cabin Avalon Waterways
Meals and sightseeing as stated

Depart Melbourne
Arrive Milan and transfer to Lake Como
Lake Como Hotel Palace – Breakfast
Lake Como Hotel Palace – Baveno Tour and Isola Bella – Breakfast

 

(Day 1 of the tour)

In the evening, you are invited to a warm and friendly Welcome Reception with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

Hotel: Hotel Palace, Como Welcome Reception and Dinner

– Verona and on to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.

Head east to elegant Verona in the morning for a leisurely walk past the well-preserved Roman Arena that is still used for opera performances. Stand beneath the balcony in the courtyard of Juliet’s house, the supposed location of the famous balcony love scene. After some free time for browsing around the local market, it’s on to the glorious city of Venice.

Hotel: Best Western Premier Hotel Sant’Elena, Venice                 Buffet Breakfast

This evening  we have an included Dinner in Venice

Enjoy a delicious four course meal at Restaurant Colombo just few steps from St. Mark’s square and close to Goldoni Theatre and Rialto Bridge.

Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima (Relaxed Start)

Even for the experienced traveller, there can be no better joy than waking up in Venice. Transfer to Giudecca Island to witness the art of glassblowing. Then appreciate the splendour as you cruise by Palladio’s San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark’s Square. Your Tour Director will explain the glorious history of ‘La Serenissima’, once one of the greatest trading centres of the world – its wealth and power is echoed by the riches of St. Mark’s Basilica. See the Doge’s Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. Spend the afternoon as you wish. Later, on your romantic gondola serenade, glide along the atmospheric canals while musicians set the mood with traditional songs.

Hotel: Best Western Premier Hotel Sant’Elena, Venice                       Buffet Breakfast

– Tranquil Tuscany, Pisa and Florence

Follow the fertile valley of the River Po, into the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Continue to Pisa to see the world famous Leaning Tower in the ‘Meadow of Miracles’ and also the 11th century cathedral and baptistry. Then venture on to beautiful Florence – a treasure house of the Renaissance.

Hotel: NH Anglo American, Florence – Buffet Breakfast

– Florence, David & the Wines of Tuscany (Relaxed Starts)

In the morning, meet a Local Expert for a walking tour of the historic centre. Visit the Academy Museum to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece ‘Statue of David’. Admire the marble clad cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti’s ‘Gates of Paradise’ have been recreated in all their glory. Next stop is Signoria Square filled with Renaissance sculpture. Learn all the secrets of traditional Florentine leather-work. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano – the wines of Tuscany are famous worldwide. During your stay, sample some of these robust reds and learn about their origin. In your free time, suggestions include haggling for leather goods at the markets around Santa Croce or relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere in one of the many street cafes. Be sure not to miss the magnificent museums and galleries that house some of the most famous works of art in the world.

Hotel: NH Anglo American, Florence – Buffet Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we bid farewell to our fellow travellers and stay on for an extra night in Florence

– Today  we take  a full day Cinque Terre Excursion  with lunch

Our trip to the CINQUE TERRE is an unforgettable whole day devoted to the discovery of one of the most amazing and enchanting landscapes in the world. Five (Cinque) villages, hanging between sea and land, a place where you can immerse yourselves in paradise, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Our visit begins at daybreak, with the arrival at La Spezia, where we will take a train to RIOMAGGIORE. The village, dating back to the early thirteenth century, is famous for its historic character and local wine. You can admire the houses leaning one against the other and stroll along the narrow cobble alleyways and sheltered paths. We then reach MANAROLA a romantic town. The tiny harbor has a boat ramp and picturesque buildings clinbing to the ravine. Our journey continues to MONTEROSSO, an ancient fishing village considered The Pearl of the Cinque Terre, where you will be awed by its enchanting beaches and the lush vegetation encircling the little town. Here you will have free time to plunge into the crystal sea and sunbathe, before taking the boat to VERNAZZA, a seaside town surrounding a small natural port.

Includes:
Transportation by coach, Motor vessel ticket, Train ticket, English  speaking assistant.

Hotel: NH Anglo American, Florence – Buffet breakfast

Morning transfer to the airport for our 9.50 am flight to Zurich where we will be met by our Avalon host and transferred to the ImageryII  for our river cruise to Amsterdam

ARRIVE IN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND. TRANSFER TO BASEL (EMBARKATION).

Welcome to Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Transfer by motorcoach to Basel, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (NOTE: Flights into Zurich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.) (D) 

 

STRASBOURG, FRANCE.

Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your walking tour you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kleber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. This afternoon, optional excursions into the Alsace wine country or to the Black Forest are available. (B,L,D)

EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG, GERMANY.

After a leisurely morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the ‘World’s Largest Wine Barrel.’ At nearly 7 metres high and 8.5 metres wide (23 feet high and 28 feet wide), the cask holds over 219,554 litres (58,000 gallons) of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! (B,L,D)

MAINZ-RUDESHEIM.

Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with ‘civilised’ origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here and during a GUIDED WALK you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. During lunch, depart Mainz and cruise on to pretty Rudesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colourful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere. (B,L,D)

RHINE GORGE-KOBLENZ.

Downstream from Rudesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 122 metres (400 feet) above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet – the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive equestrian statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments; or visit nearby SAYN MANOR HOUSE, belonging to the counts of the same name. (B,L,D)

COLOGNE.

One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built – a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafes, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kolsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (B,L,D)

AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND.

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafes, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s ‘Golden Age.’ There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (B,L,D)

AMSTERDAM (DISEMBARKATION).

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Depart from our cruise and take the rail to Bruges

Hotel : Kempinski Hotel Dukes Palace or similar

An afternoon tour  to familiarise ourselves with this beautiful city

This mini-coach tour brings you to the most beautiful places of Bruges, taking in numerous monuments, churches and Discover the ‘Venice of the North’ comfortably seated in a mini-coach and enjoying comments in the language of your choice. You will be charmed by the artistic wealth of the innumerable monuments, historical buildings and churches. You will pass by the Belfort, the Straffe Hendrik Brewery, the Church of Our Lady, the Gruuthuse museum, the fish market, the Jan Van Eyck statue, the Botanical gardens, the Guido Museum, the Jerusalem Church, and beautiful windmills such as ‘St Janshuismolen’ dating from the 1770s. You will also admire, on your journey, the numerous canals and the typical God houses, late medieval-looking houses bearing a name and a year on the outside wall, which can be seen everywhere in the city.historical buildings without forgetting the beautiful canals of this city, the ‘Venice of the North’.

– Bruges

Free day to enjoy Bruges

Hotel: Kempinski Hotel Dukes Palace or similar – Breakfast

Morning departure by rail onto Paris

Hotel: Pullman Eiffel or similar – Breakfast

– Paris

Hotel: Pullman Eiffel  or similar – Breakfast

– Paris

Hotel: Pullman Eiffel or similar – Breakfast

Our last night in Paris we will have  a special dinner together

Located on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant offers a spectacular view of the Seine river, the Trocadero and the Ecole Militaire. MENU TENTATION Glass of champagne as an aperitif Starter +Main course+Dessert

Includes: One glass of Champagne and a three course meal. Lift ticket for the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower.

Morning free to do same last minute shopping and then early evening transfer to the airport for our return flight to Australia Departing Paris at 9.50pm

In flight

– arrive Melbourne

Terms & Conditions apply. Price is subject to change.

 

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