It won't take long to fall in love with the Dutch capital and you'll have a full day to fall even deeper with this historic, yet edgy city that just oozes gezelligheid. Your orientation tour will have you exploring leafy canals and gabled 17th-century façades, then take to the water with an optional canal cruise in a glass-topped boat. This Optional Experience is a mesmerising way to see this old-world capital and its iconic sights.
You won't want to blink as you head east into the lush landscapes of Germany and you'd be forgiven for wanting to jump ship and stay forever as you cruise down the Rhine River. With medieval villages, steep vineyards and storybook castles, the Rhine Valley has enchanted painters and writers for centuries. See it in all its glory as you board a leisurely river cruise on one of the best sightseeing tours in Europe, winding your way through romantic Rhineland landscapes.
Slice through the heart of Switzerland bound for Lucerne on your very own 'Grand Tour' of Europe. Take a step back in time when you join your Travel Director for an orientation tour, exploring the Old Town, the ancient wooden Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument. The mournful, mortally wounded lion hewn from rock commemorates the sacrifice made by the Swiss Guard who died defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution. This afternoon, you'll have some time to explore the city your way, perhaps with some retail therapy. You could choose to ascend to the alpine heavens instead, joining an optional scenic cruise across Lake Lucerne to Stans, then travelling by railway and cable car up into the mountains for exhilarating mountain views.
You'll touch the sky when you follow the St. Gotthard highway, winding past epic mountain scenery south to Chiasso, on the border of Italy. Cross the border and continue past Italy's enchanting Lake District and the Veneto Plains to the 'Queen of the Adriatic', Venice. You'll have some time to explore on your own or perhaps admire the beauty of Venice from its maze of canals. Join an Optional Experience to cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal and board a gondola, watching life unfold along the city's narrow calle and magical waterways.
This morning, you'll watch the talented master craftsmen at work, engaged in the same craft as their ancestors from centuries ago. Witness them crafting the beautiful glass creations that are characteristic of Venice. Then cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square. All the main attractions are within walking distance of the Piazza so you'll have easy access to view the famous Byzantine Basilica of St. Mark. Spend your time getting lost in the calle of Venice or consider taking an optional cruise across the lagoon to colourful Burano Island.
This Europe value tour just keeps getting better and today the 'Eternal City' beckons as you cross the Apennines through Tuscany to Rome. There's time to hit the streets on your own or go for a leisurely stroll to one of the city's thronging piazzas for a spot of people watching. Or consider joining an optional guided sightseeing tour of Rome. Whatever you choose, it's all about embracing life lived the Italian way - to the fullest.
Meet your Local Specialist for a guided sightseeing tour that begins in the Vatican City. The dome of St. Peter's Basilica looms over the expansive St. Peter's Square - the impressive backdrop for time spent learning about the world's smallest country. Consider an Optional Experience that will reveal the artistry and heritage of the famous Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums. See Michelangelo's mournful Pietà up close then continue to Ancient Rome, to view the mighty Colosseum, followed by some time to explore on your own. Perhaps join an optional light-hearted meal in the evening, revealing all the flavours that would make any Italian mamma proud.
Set your sights firmly on Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and a city that has inspired poets, authors and artists for centuries. There are few cities in the world with an artistic legacy equal to that of Florence and now's your chance to experience it in all its glory. Head to Piazzale Michelangelo and see Florence's signature skyline, then spend your time exploring the city, from the Baptistery and Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore to Giotto's Bell Tower and Ponte Vecchio. You could choose to delve into Florence's Renaissance heritage, visiting Santa Croce church and the political centre of Florence. Spend your evening in the Tuscan hills, joining an Optional Experience dinner.
If you've always dreamed of visiting that famous leaning tower, we'll take you to snap a few strategic photos featuring you and the extraordinary Leaning Tower of Pisa. Admire Pisa's Romanesque Square of Miracles in all its striped marble glory. Its structures are said to symbolise the three main stages of human life - the Baptistery (birth), the Cathedral (life) and the Camposanto (death). Next, head south to the stylish shores of Monaco. Keep your eyes peeled as you drive along its glitzy boulevards and take in all the sophistication that seems to ooze from every corner. Next stop, the glamorous French Riviera.
What a treat! You have a full free day to do as you wish on the French Riviera. There's no shame in spending the day sprawled out on a sun lounger with a cocktail, but if you can tear yourself away from the beach, you may choose to join your fellow travellers for an optional exploration of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Life is rather idyllic in this enchanting walled hill-town and, like some of its famous residents, you'll want to linger here a little longer. You never know who you might spot seated in those sleek Ferraris and private yachts dotted around the French Riviera.
Today you'll travel to the heart of Provence and the city of Avignon. A brief brush with the Papacy in the 14th century has gifted Avignon with one of the world's most incredible religious architectural legacies. While it may no longer hold the importance that the Vatican does today, views of its Palace of the Popes and St. Bénezet Bridge are just as inspiring. Later today, you'll arrive in medieval Beaune where the official joie de vivre is the local wine - making and drinking it.
We've then got another treat in store for you today - our Optional Experience Palace of Versailles tour, where you'll join a Local Specialist to explore the grand Palace of Versailles. Its splendour and beauty was created to reflect the self-proclaimed majesty of King Louis XIV, the 'Sun King'. See the exquisite sprawling gardens and the Hall of Mirrors with its impressive chandeliers and glinting mirrors. Carry on to Paris later to enjoy the city by night.
The Parisians know a thing or two about beauty, elegance and a life well lived - and you'll see it all up close with your full day in Paris. Take to the streets on a sightseeing tour with your Travel Director, to see the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Élysées and Eiffel Tower. Then spend the rest of the day discovering the city on your terms. Don't resist the urge to tread in the footsteps of Picasso and Dalí during an optional visit to Montmartre this afternoon, exploring its maze of streets and Artist's Square. There's time to shop for artwork and savour some local specialties before a real highlight this evening - an optional dinner and cabaret performance.
Crossing the tragic battlefields of World War I, your journey continues to Calais where you’ll board a ferry across the English Channel to Dover. You’ve gone full circle as you arrive in London after an incredible journey across Europe’s most beautiful landscapes and iconic cities, delving beneath the surface with Local Specialists along the way.