13 Nights/ 14 days
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE. Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the French capital. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
PARIS. Paris is a world-class city that probably has more familiar landmarks than almost any other city in the world. This morning, see these sites during the included city tour with an expert Local Guide. In the afternoon, feel like a French aristocrat on the optional walking tour through the opulent Palace of Versailles. Tonight, consider joining the optional dinner at a typical restaurant. (B)
PARIS–BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Enjoy a leisurely morning in Paris before heading to Brussels, capital of Belgium and major center for international politics since WWII. Tonight, dinner is included at a local restaurant. (B,D)
BRUSSELS. Join your Local Guide this morning and explore this vibrant city, headquarters of the European Union. Along the way, hear about the ornate Grand’Place and see the tiny yet world-famous Manneken Pis statue. The afternoon is free to make your own discoveries. (B)
BRUSSELS–ANTWERP–ROTTERDAM, HOLLAND–AMSTERDAM AREA. Start the day by getting to know the international port city of Antwerp. See the centuries-old Diamond Quarter, the largest diamond district in the world; the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1663; the 14th-century Cathedral of Our Lady with its triptychs by Rubens; and much more. Cross the border into South Holland and stop in Rotterdam, the “Gateway to the World,” for an introduction to Europe’s busiest port, boasting an eclectic tapestry of architectural styles. Later, arrive in Amsterdam, vibrant capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. (B)
AMSTERDAM AREA. Enjoy a CANAL CRUISE to see the city from water level, then watch skilled craftsmen cut and polish precious stones at a DIAMOND CENTER. Continue the discovery with a Local Guide showing you the city’s highlights. Maybe get to know the beautiful Dutch countryside on an optional excursion. (B)
AMSTERDAM AREA–GRONINGEN–BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY. Depart Amsterdam and stop in Groningen, an important trade center in the 13th century that today is hailed as the “World Cycling City.” In the center of town, admire the Martini Tower with its 62-bell carillon, the Spanish Moorish synagogue, and much more. Reach Bremerhaven for a guided visit of the interactive GERMAN EMIGRATION CENTER, Europe’s largest museum about emigration, particularly German emigration to the United States. (B,D)
BREMERHAVEN–BREMEN–BERLIN. Travel to the Hanseatic city of Bremen, which majestically straddles the Weser River. Attractions here include the opulent Town Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the massive, 15th-century statue of Roland, the city’s protector; the oldest wine cellar in Germany, the Ratskeller, whose wine list boasts more than 650 German wines; and the bronze sculpture of the Bremen Town Musicians from the Grimm Brothers’ famous fairytale. You’ll see the highlights on your included guided walking tour, then it’s on to the city of Berlin! (B)
BERLIN. On the included guided tour, learn how Berlin is no longer divided but every bit as fascinating. Once a city of stark contrasts, since the fall of the wall, Berlin has developed into a harmonious blend of old and new. It has preserved the old buildings, such as the State Opera House and Brandenburg Gate; its neoclassic-style boulevards, such as the Kurfüstendamm and Unter den Linden; and it has created brand new buildings in the most daring, contemporary architectural styles. It is once again Germany’s capital and one of Europe’s most lively cities. This afternoon, maybe join an optional excursion. (B)
BERLIN–DRESDEN–PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC. Travel southwest toward the Czech border to Dresden, hailed as the “Jewel Box” city for its splendid baroque and rococo center. With four nature reserves and 63% of the city consisting of green areas and forests, Dresden is one of the greenest cities in all of Europe. On your included guided sightseeing tour, see the ZWINGER PALACE GLOCKENSPIEL with its bells made by the famous Meissen porcelain factory, as well as many other city highlights. Cross into the Czech Republic and head towards Prague. Your Tour Director can suggest optional excursions, including a fun evening of traditional Czech music and entertainment. (B)
PRAGUE. The wealth of gothic and baroque architecture in the “Golden City” of Prague inspired local composers Dvorak and Smetana—and will inspire you, too, today during your included guided sightseeing tour. See the Jewish Quarter, Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square with its fantastic Astronomical Clock, and more. (B,D)
PRAGUE–TÁBOR–VIENNA, AUSTRIA. Visit Tábor this morning, founded in 1420 as an egalitarian peasant commune. Walk through the pretty Old Town with its narrow cobblestone streets to its main square. In the afternoon, cross the Austrian border to arrive in Vienna, Austria’s capital. This evening, how about an optional classical concert? (B)
VIENNA. Once the seat of the mighty Habsburg Empire and home to Strauss, Brahms, Beethoven, Hadyn, and Mozart, Vienna blends ornate baroque architecture with an irresistible musical heritage—you can almost hear the classical music as you stroll its streets. There’s much to enthrall you today on the included guided sightseeing tour. Admire the fabulous State Opera House, Hofburg Palace, and Parliament. Later, maybe try some of Vienna’s heavenly Sachertorte at a traditional coffee house, or you could join the optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace. This evening, the included Viennese farewell dinner might be just the ticket! (B,D)
VIENNA. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)