One of our Travel Director's favourite itineraries, this journey is full of charm and splendour. With two nights spent in most cities, take the time to get to know each destination and uncover its secrets, whether it is mouth-watering Sachertorte over coffee in Vienna or delicious homemade pasta in Orvieto. Along the way you'll be welcomed by passionate locals who love showing you the best Europe has to offer.
Welcome to London.
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
London to Amsterdam.
At 07:00, meet your Travel Director and transfer to London’s St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar for a rail journey via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel. Once in Amsterdam, join your Travel Director in the evening for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests during a cruise, along some of the many quaint, tree-lined canals. Admire the elegant merchant houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, their facades are a reflection of when trade flourished during Amsterdam's Golden Age. Relax as you pass stunning gables, beautiful churches and the iconic Magere Brug, better known as the Skinny Bridge. Disembark and venture to Humphrey's Restaurant for your Welcome Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Legends along the Rhine.
Relax with a scenic drive along the Rhine Valley to Würzburg. See the mighty Marienburg Fortress – the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops and one of the most important landmarks in Germany. On arrival, visit the imposing Würzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a Local Expert. Marvel at intricate decorations and lavish staterooms boasting with French, Austrian and Venetian influences.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Rothenburg and Golden Prague.
In the morning venture to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. Continue east to the Czech border, passing the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, before reaching the Golden City of Prague. In the evening, perhaps take a river cruise through the heart of the city?(Breakfast)
Prague, City of a Hundred Spires.
Join a Local Expert in the morning for guided sightseeing of one of the most beautiful and intact historical centres in Europe. Start with the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, to admire the stained glass of St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy amazing views over the Old Town. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock’s glockenspiel delights onlookers each hour. Then, the city is all yours to explore with the rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps you may choose to rummage through the renowned antique shops or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal?(Breakfast)
Through Bohemia to Budapest.
Start the day with a journey through the beautiful forested countryside of Bohemia. Journey to Hungary, following the River Danube to Budapest. In the evening, join a local expert to enjoy a scenic dinner cruise gliding past World Heritage Sites. The city’s spectacular nighttime beauty earns it the nickname 'Pearl of the Danube’.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
The flavours of Budapest.
Drive along the beautiful Andrassy Avenue to Heroes' Square. Then stroll through the alleys of the Old Town of Buda and admire sweeping views from the Fisherman’s Bastion with a Local Expert. Stand atop Gellért Hill where the colossal Liberty Statue stands in front of the Citadella watching over the city. Marvel at extensive panoramic views as you look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the newer, elegant Elizabeth Bridge. Continue your travels, past the eagle overlooking the town of Tatabanya, to the Austrian border and through pleasant farming country to the imperial capital of Vienna.(Breakfast)
Vienna and the Habsburgs.
In the morning, there is the option to join a private tour of Maria Theresa’s Schonbrunn Palace & formal gardens. Later, get your camera ready for a drive around the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built alongside the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capitol’s architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence and Parliament. Then join your Local Expert for a walk through Innere Stadt, the first district and historic core of Vienna. Explore Vienna with Insight Choice. Choose between a visit to a traditional Viennese Café to enjoy local specialities of coffee and sachertorte. Alternatively, listen to the musical masterpiece of Mozart as you take to the floor in a Viennese Waltz dance lesson.(Breakfast / Morning Tea)
Lake Wörthersee to Venice.
This day's route takes you past quiet villages, through Styria's forested mountains and into the Carinthian Lake District. Continue past Europe's warmest lake, the Wörthersee, to cross into Italy near Tarvisio. Then follow mountain valleys and cascading streams down to the Veneto Plain en route to the unique city of Venice. Head via private boat to arrive at your central hotel. This evening, stroll past the entrance doors of the famous Opera House to La Fenice restaurant for a magical dinner. Indulge in traditional Venetian dishes that are enriched with inspiration from seasonal produce. Savour a cocktail at Café Florian at twilight whilst you are serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians. Admire the tranquility of St. Mark's Square long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels before returning to your hotel along the Grand Canal.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
The magic of La Serenissima.
Wake up to one of Europe's most romantic cities. Witness the skill of glassblowers and learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Only minutes away by private launch is St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. Also admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. With the rest of the day free, why not cruise along the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialities and wine?(Breakfast)
To the Eternal City of Rome.
Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Meet your Local Expert for a guided tour through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, with an included special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince'. Visit the Italian garden with views of the Florence Cathedral and the historic cellar, which has a secret underground tunnel connecting the cellars to the oldest restaurant in Italy. Savour a tasting of wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Your journey continues as you follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.(Breakfast / Morning Tea)
Papal and Imperial Rome.
Receive red-carpet treatment with a VIP visit and fast-track entry to the superb Vatican Museums and enjoy behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican normally closed to the public. A Local Expert guides your tour, culminating in a viewing of Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Continue inside the cavernous St. Peter's Basilica, mother church of the Catholic faith, to see another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome. Leave Vatican City to cross the Tiber and stand outside the Colosseum, imagining yourself back in the days of the gladiators. The afternoon is at leisure.(Breakfast)
Orvieto and on to Florence.
Stop in Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyard-covered plain. Here you will savour the flavours of the region and learn about the Italian food culture as you join Chef Lorenzo for a fascinating live pasta-making demonstration. Sit down to your Highlight Lunch, served with a glass of Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience! Continue on to your hotel in Florence.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Begin the morning by joining a Local Expert in Florence to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the Renaissance capital. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit Pisa and see the famous Leaning Tower?(Breakfast)
Across the Alps to Lucerne.
Head north towards the Italian Lake District via Lake Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world, before travelling alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne. Upon return to Lucerne, see the town's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Then, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit Church.(Breakfast)
Lucerne and Mt. Stanserhorn.
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Breathe in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Choose between taking a walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see marmots and other native animals. Alternatively, join a Swiss ranger and hear a talk to learn about local wildlife and flora in the area. With the day free, there is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? At night, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Sights and delights of Paris.
In the morning, travel through Alsace and the wine growing region of Burgundy to Paris, the vibrant Ville Lumière or City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, facades of the Louvre and the banks of River Seine, with its many romantic bridges. See the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?(Breakfast)
The food and flavours of Paris.
Start your day with an Insight Choice. Choose between shopping in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian for fashion, perfume or cosmetics with your Local Expert. Alternatively, join a Local Expert, an avid foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. With the afternoon free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city, perhaps join an Optional Experience to see the Paris cabaret?(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Au revoir Paris.
In the morning, bid farewell to your travelling companions as your journey comes to an end. Travel by high-speed Eurostar train for your journey back to London. On arrival, you are transferred to the Park Plaza Victoria where your trip ends.(Breakfast)