28-Nights European Supreme With Aegean Cruise Premier End Paris
$7268 per person
This all-embracing Europe trip leaves nothing out, from the canals of Amsterdam to glittering Paris. You’ll travel across Europe on a journey filled with musical notes from Vienna and the vibrant energy of Dubrovnik, exploring tavernas, beaches and historic sites along the way.
- 1 Welcome Reception (WR)
- 28 Breakfast (B)
- 10 Dinner (D)
- 2 Regional Dinner (RD)
- 1 Be My Guest (BMG)
- 3 Lunch (L)
- 1 Farewell Dinner (FD)
- Ljubljana: In the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana we enjoy a Be My Guest dinner with a local family in their home.
- Amsterdam: The charming countryside of North Holland reveals its secrets behind perfecting Dutch cheese and crafting the traditional clog.
- Amsterdam: Cruise along the old waterways with your Travel Director and fellow travellers. Discover the architectural gems of the old city, including mansions dating from the Golden Age of the 17th Century.
- Amsterdam: Led by your Travel Director, wander the city to see the floating flower market, Dam Square and the Royal Palace.
- Rhineland: Cruise beneath the semi-ruined castles and terraced vineyards. Sleepy villages slip by as you saunter upstream to the Lorelei Rock where the enchantress lured sailors to their doom.
- Heidelberg: See the magnificent castle built in red sandstone, overlooking the Student Prince’s town.
- Munich: During your orientation of the city with your Travel Director, see Feldherrnhalle in the Odeonsplatz, the Palace of the Dukes of Wittelsbach, the English Garden, the Hofbräuhaus, St. Peter's Church and the famous Marienplatz.
- Innsbruck: Nestled amidst majestic mountains, Innsbruck is a beautiful city offering a unique combination of nature, history, and culture. Stroll the streets of the picturesque Old Town and learn about its history with your Travel Director.
- Brenner Pass: Marvel at the stunning beauty of the Brenner Pass on your scenic drive through the Alpine landscape.
- Venice: An introductory orientation of Venice reveals the famed canals and labrinthine streets of this eminent city.
- Vienna: Walk through the first district, Inner Stadt, as your Local Specialist reveals the historic core of the city. Tour the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
- Ljubljana: Explore this elegant capital with your Local Specialist. See the castle City Hall, Cathedral of St. Nicholas and Triple Bridge.
- Dubrovnik: Explore the Pearl of the Adriatic with your Local Specialist during a sightseeing walk in a small group. Walk the stone-paved streets of the Old Town to see Onofrio's Fountain, Rector's Palace and the medieval city walls.
- Kotor: Visit the Stari Grad, also referred to as the Old Town, of Kotor, perfectly positioned on a beautiful bay.
- Tirana: Meet a local resident who will show you Skanderbeg Square and walk you through their home city as they share insights into life in the Albanian capital.
- Thermopylae: See the Leonidas Monument dedicated to the brave warrior and his 300 Spartans.
- Delphi: With your Local Specialist, walk to The Sacred Way once lined with offertory temples. See the reconstructed Athenian Treasury and pass the superb Polygonal Wall to reach the Temple of Apollo, where people once sought divine wisdom from the mysterious Oracle.
- Mykonos: View the Windmills of Kato Mili and wander the beautiful blue and white streets of Chora.
- Ephesus: Discover one of the world's finest ancient sites. Led by your Local Specialist, walk the Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and Amphitheatre and visit the House of the Virgin Mary.
- Heraklion: While in Crete, enjoy your guided visit to the Palace of Minos at Knossos.
- Assisi: With a Local Specialist, find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered to be one of the crowning artisitic achievements of 13th-century Europe.
- Monte Cassino: View the abbey on Monte Cassino, founded by Saint Benedict in 529.
- Pompeii: Walk with a Local Specialist through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
- Vatican: Visit Vatican City and tour St. Peter's Basilica with a Local Specialist. Witness the early genius of Michelangelo as you take in the Piet.
- Rome: Discover ancient treasures of Rome with a passionate local. See Circus Maximus and the Ancient Forum, and stand beside the Colosseum, which bears witness to the limitless courage of the gladiators.
- Tuscany: View the stunning landscape of Tuscany on your drive today.
- Florence: Join a Local Specialist to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square.
- Florence: See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods, and witness a gold and leatherwork demonstration.
- Switzerland: Marvel at the Alpine landscape as you drive past breathtakingly beautiful mountains and valleys.
- Lucerne: During an orientation with your Travel Director, see the Lion Monument, Old Town Hall and Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe.
- Paris: Join a Local Specialist to discover the hidden squares and secret lanes of Paris.
- Venice: Learn about the history and ancient skill of Venetian glassblowing, playing your role in ensuring the survival of this traditional craft through your visit.
- Plitvice Lakes National Park: Admire the irresistible beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO-listed protected area and home to bears, wolves and many rare bird sp...
Paris, world capital of art and culture, gathers some of the most famous museums and monuments in the world. Like all the world's great capitals, Paris lives at a fast pace, by day, by night and especially at rush hours. Bear in mind that museums and monuments are often less crowded during the week. Sights that should not be missed include: The Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay. Visit any of the many others according to your tastes and interests: the Musee Picasso, Musee Rodin, Musee Carnavalet, Musee Marmottan and the Arab Institute are just a few. Essential Paris monuments are the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe or the Grande Arche de la Defense.
Cosmopolitan Amsterdam is most famous for its narrow, gabled houses lining the canals. Interesting attractions include the medieval weighhouse, Royal Palace on Dam Square, and New Church. Its most glamorous industry is the diamond trade. Not too far from Amsterdam are the flower centers of Aalsmeer, the picturesque fishing villages of Volendam and Marken, cheese markets at Edam and Gouda, and historic Haarlem, the main center of the bulb-growing industry. Enjoy the city’s sights from a glass-topped sightseeing boat which passes characteristic gabled houses and negotiates picturesque arched bridges. Facing Dam Square, the Royal Palace was built in 1648 and is still officially the royal residence, although the royal family resides in The Hague. The marbled Citizens Hall with inlaid maps of the world is worth seeing. One of Amsterdam’s most visited sites is historic Anne Frank House. Rijksmuseum, the city’s most prestigious museum, houses the largest collection of Dutch paintings in the world. Van Gogh Museum houses a striking collection.
Classed as a world heritage treasure by UNESCO, Dubrovnik is a place of ancient streets lined with stone palaces, Venetian-style buildings and bell towers. The city is enclosed by stone walls, and the highlight is a leisurely walk atop these massive walls for a great view of the city and the sea. Entering Dubrovnik, you are greeted by an impressive pedestrian promenade, the Placa, which extends before you all the way to the clock tower at the other end of town. The Orlando Tower here is a favorite meeting place. Just inside the city walls near the Pile Gate is the Franciscan Monastery housing the third-oldest functioning pharmacy in Europe, operating since 1391. For a fantastic panorama of the city, take a cable car ride to the summit of the 1,340-foot Mount Srdj.
Sprawled across seven legendary hills, romantic and beautiful Rome was one of the great centers of the ancient world. Although its beginning is shrouded in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle, Rome has always been and remains the Eternal City.
Rome enjoyed its greatest splendor during the 1st and 2nd centuries when art flourished, monumental works of architecture were erected, and the mighty Roman legions swept outward, conquering all of Italy. These victorious armies then swept across the Mediterranean and beyond to conquer most of the known world. With Rome's establishment as capital of the western world, a new ascent to glory began.
Today's Rome, with its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafes and elegant shops, is one of the world’s most attractive and exciting cities. Among the most famous monuments is the Colosseum. As you walk its cool, dark passageways, imagine the voices that once filled the arena as 50,000 spectators watched combats between muscled gladiators and ferocious animals.
Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once the city's political and commercial center. In later times, Rome's squares were enhanced with such imposing structures as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di Trevi. Join the millions who stand in awe of Christendom’s most magnificent church and admire the timeless masterpieces of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
Rome jars the senses and captures the soul. Grasp all you can during the short, precious time you have available in the Eternal City. With so much to see and do, a day or two will only allow you a sampling of the city's marvelous treasures.
Caution: As in many big cities and tourist destinations purse snatching and pickpocketing is common. Valuable jewelry and excess cash are best left in a safety deposit box in your hotel.
Shopping For most visitors shopping for beautiful Italian leather articles, designer shoes, fashions for men and women, linens, knitwear, silk scarves and ties is a favorite pastime. Except for tourist-oriented shops, the majority of stores are closed on Sundays. Some of the department stores, such as Rinascente, open in the late afternoon on Sundays.
Cuisine Rome's choice of restaurants is mindboggling as is the variety of cuisine. Whether your meal is at a top-rated restaurant or a rustic trattoria, you can be sure that you will enjoy your food, especially when accompanied by wines from the hill towns surrounding Rome.
Other Sights Rome's attractions are endless, and depending on how much time you have at your disposal a careful selection has to be made about what to see. Be aware of horrendous traffic conditions and major construction work all around the city in preparation of Jubilee 2000, the Holy Year. Some of the sights not to be missed:
Piazza Venezia - This busy square is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. The white marble structure was inaugurated in 1911 as a symbol of Italy’s unification.
The Forum - Once the civic heart of ancient Rome, today the remains include a series of ruins, marble fragments, isolated columns and some worn arches.
Colosseum - No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this awe-inspiring theater, which is among the world’s most celebrated buildings. Here ancient Rome flocked to see gladiatorial contests and numerous other spectacles.
Trevi Fountain - Take a stroll to Rome's famous fountain. A spectacular fantasy of mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water, the fountain is one of the city's foremost attractions. Legend has it that visitors must toss a coin into the fountain to ensure their return to Rome.
St. Peter's Square - Part of Vatican City, this square created by Bernini is considered one of the loveliest squares in the world. Twin Doric colonnades topped with statues of various saints and martyrs flank either side of the square. In the center stands an 84-foot obelisk, brought from Egypt in 37 A.D.
St. Peter's Basilica - At the head of the square stands Christendom's most magnificent church, which was begun in 1452 on the site where St. Peter was buried. Throughout the following 200 years, such Renaissance masters as Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design and created an unparalleled masterpiece. Of special note are Michelangelo's Pieta and the bronze canopy over the high altar by Bernini. The immense dome was designed by Michelangelo.
Vatican Museum - To see this museum's immense collection would take days. As you enter, there are special posters that plot a choice of four color-coded itineraries. They are repeated throughout the museum and are easy to follow. It is a good idea to pickup a leaflet at the main entrance and concentrate on exhibits of major interest. Of course, the Sistine Chapel is a must. Most likely you may have to wait in line to enter.
Sorrento is a town of extraordinary beauty and is known as a popular gateway to Italy's most spectacular stretch of coastline - the Amalfi Drive lined with fishing villages and famous resorts. The seaside resort of Amalfi sits with weathered houses scrambling up steep cliffs. Visitors marvel at its location and its magnificent cathedral. The religious sanctuary of Cloister of St. Francis is worth a visit. The tiny, exclusive resort of Positano has its famous world-class hotel, San Pietro. Excavations of the ruined city of Pompeii, which was destroyed in 79 A.D. during the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, give visitors a vivid impression of life in a very wealthy ancient city and the tragic end of its population. The Isle of Capri ranks as one of the most beautiful islands and has captured visitors for centuries with excellent climate, spectacular landscape and fantastic sea caverns. Capri has lavish villas, elegant hotels, chic boutiques and quaint restaurants. Museo Correale contains a death mask of poet Torquato Tasso and some special editions of his works, pictures, furniture and porcelain.
With a great historic past and incomparable art treasures, Venice is renowned as one of the world’s great cities. Its 118 islands are separated by more than 150 canals and spanned by 400 bridges. During Venice's artistic golden age many magnificent structures were erected to create world-famous masterpieces. One of the best sightseeing routes is along Grand Canal, with many palaces lining the famous waterway. St. Mark’s Square offers access to some of Venice’s most famed attractions - St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. From Piazza San Marco, a maze of narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. A popular pastime is sitting at an outdoor café facing the square while people-watching and letting the whole marvelous scenario unfold. Venice’s Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands comprise an area famous as home of Venice’s glass-blowing industry and known for their charm, skilled lace-making and medieval monuments. Relax on a gondola ride, see art treasures in museums, churches and palaces, and have a sumptuous meal - all in this incomparable city.
The creative explosion of the Italian Renaissance happened right here, leaving petite Florence more art treasures than most national capitals. View the masterworks of local heroes like Michelangelo and Botticelli, visit countless unforgettable basilicas, then climb up into Brunelleschi's soaring dome to watch the sun set among cypress-clad Tuscan hillsides.
Visitors come to Kusadasi for beaches and nearby ruins of Ephesus. The major attraction is the archaeological site of ancient Ephesus, considered to be most important in Turkey. The history of this ancient city dates back to 10th century BC; many remarkable structures seen today are result of an excavation and restoration program. Along a white marble road grooved by ancient chariot wheels, the two-story Library of Celsus presents a striking sight. There are temples, houses of noblemen, and community buildings lining ancient streets. Nestled in the mountainside is a 25,000-seat amphitheater, still used for performances during Festival of Culture and Art. Bible buffs may know Ephesus as inspiration for St. Paul’s Epistle to Ephesians and the site of one of the first seven churches of Asia Minor. Treasures are kept in the Seljuk Archaeological Museum. Among the better-known ancient sites near Kusadasi are ancient Miletus and Dydima. Remains include a well-preserved Roman theater at Miletus and Dydima's sacred temple of Apollo.
Mykonos's many captivating attributes make it one of the most celebrated Greek holiday islands. Its main village is a colorful maze of narrow streets lined with white-washed houses, many with bright blue doors and shutters. As an attractive backdrop, famous windmills are lined up like toy soldiers on the hillside, vestiges of a time when wind power was used to grind grain. Mykonos has churches and chapels scattered about the island; quite a number of them are located right in town. Radiant flowers spill over white-washed walls and shady courtyards. In addition to swimming, sunning, water-skiing and surfing, visitors find endless shopping opportunities. Artists have relied on Mykonos' beautiful setting to inspire them. The most photographed site is the Paraportiani, a cluster of white-washed churches resting below windmills. Mykonos's museums include an Archaeological Museum, which houses relics from the Trojan War, a Folk Art Museum and a Maritime Museum. The best beaches are Aghios Stephanos, Psarou, Kalafatis, Onros, Panormos and Elia.
Santorini is everything that has made the Greek islands legendary. The world famous island of Santorini is the southern most island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea, and is located north of Crete. Its population is distributed among thirteen villages and just exceeds nine thousand. The marvelous dry climate and unbroken sunshine create year around conditions which are perfect for observation, photographs and videos under an extraordinary variety of natural lights and colors.
This island is known as the site of the apocalyptic Revelations of St. John the Divine, written here during his exile from the Roman Empire. The cave where he lived is near the site of the Monastery of the Apocalypse. The Monastery of St. John, built on one of the island's highest points, houses priceless icons and manuscripts in its Treasury.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, lying at the southern limit of the Aegean Sea. Among the artists who lived on Crete was El Greco, who was born near Heraklion in 1541. The area around the harbor and the side streets are lined with souvenir and handicraft shops. Jewelry, olive and honey products may be of interest.Tavernas along the harbor front offer tasty local dishes. Spinalonga Island is located 15 miles from Ághios Nikólaos. Formerly the site of a leper colony, the island is popular with sun worshippers who enjoy its picturesque setting. Other attractions include the remains of a 16th-century Venetian fort.
Vienna is dominated by imperial castles and places: Schonbrunn, the magnificent summer residence, the Imperial Coach Collection, the Palm House, the Butterfly House, Belvedere Palace, magnificent state rooms in Hofburg, and the imperial crown in the Treasury. Stop by Ringstraße - the showplace of the monarchy built where Emperor Franz Joseph ordered the demolition of city walls. Important buildings include the State Opera, the Museums of Fine Arts and Natural History, Parliament, City Hall and Vienna University. The world capital of music. A long line of great composers Johann Strauss, Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, Mahler and Schonberg all worked here. A city with splendid concert halls, such as the Golden Hall, from which the Philharmonic's New Year's Day concert is broadcast annually. International stars love to appear here in the State Opera, Volksoper, Konzerthaus, and at festivals like the Vienna Festival, the Klangbogen concerts during the Musical Summer, the Jazz Festval and the Haydn, Mozart and Schubert festivals.
Without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland, Lucerne lies in the heart of the country on famous lake of Lucerne. Dotted with Renaissance and Baroque fountains, colorful paintings on the gables and commanded by the exquisite wooden bridge, the Kapellbrücke and Wasserturm, the 13th century octagonal water tower, Lucerne's character is pure charm. Spectacular views and sights abound from almost every vantage point in and around Lucerne. The Old Town Hall is a fine example of a Renaissance building while the City Wall, built between 1350 and 1405 stands proud above the city. A stroll along the quay leads past the modern health resort and onto the largest, most important Transport Museum in Europe and the only Planetarium in Switzerland. The famous Lion Monument and Glacier Garden make for remarkable viewing as do the mountain peaks surrounding the city. A short drive from town takes visitors to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, and a short drive from Viewaldstätter Lake leads to nearby winter resorts and many more lakes.
Assisi is a well-preserved medieval town that's, after the Vatican, Italy's second most-popular religious-pilgrimage destination. Located high on a hilltop, it has an air of mystical serenity in keeping with its history. Assisi was the home of St. Francis (the founder of the Franciscan order of friars), and the churches and crypt that bear his name draw a steady stream of pilgrims and sightseers every year. Although the town was rocked by an earthquake in 1997, much of the damage has been repaired. One of the most severely damaged buildings, however, was the treasured Basilica of San Francesco, known for its vivid frescoes by Giotto that depict the life of the saint. The upper basilica has recently reopened and, though restoration continues, many of the beloved frescoes can be admired again. The lower basilica and St. Francis' tomb are also open to the public.
Other places of interest include the Church of Santa Chiara, a medieval fortress (La Rocca Maggiore), the Piazza del Comune (the old town center) and St. Peter's church. Or just stroll the narrow, picturesque streets and listen to the musicians practicing nearby (though they may be drowned out by construction noises -- many buildings are still under renovation).
You may want to visit during one of Assisi's numerous celebrations: the Feast of Calendimaggio, a five-day coming-of-spring festival with medieval costumes, dances and songs (around the first week of May); a month of folklore and musical events in August; or the Feast of St. Francis (4 October), which celebrates the saint's transition from this life into the next. During this two-day festival, the entire town is illuminated by oil lamps. If you are going to Assisi at one of these times, reserve accommodations well ahead of time -- the city will be filled with pilgrims.
Germans call this area The Rhineland-Pfalz, the river valleys created by the Ahr, Lahn, Moselle (Mosel) and Rhine Rivers. In the Middle Ages the Moselle and Rhine river valleys were controlled by feudal lords who built castles at strategic intervals along the rivers, establishing dozens of "tollbooths."
A city of enormous historical import as well as a renowned reputation for wintersports which has earned it the title "the world's winter capital". Landmarks include the famous Golden Roof, Hofburg Palace, Triumphal Arch and St. Anne's column which celebrates the freeing of the province from the Bavarians who occupied it during the War of the Spanish Secession in the early 18th century. To most people Innsbruck is synonymous with winter sports, and indeed, it could almost be called the world's winter capital: but there is much more to this historic city than skiing. It is the last large city to the west of the country and is the major centre of the Tyrol region including East Tyrol.
Plitvice National Park
The natural attributes of Plitvice Lakes National Park, uniqueness and sensibility of that phenomenon, deserve full attention of visitors. Its natural diversity and harmony of shapes and colours in any of the seasons are enough to make any visitor amazed by the beauty. UNESCO has declared it with all rights as the World's natural inheritance.
This charming, inexpensive city with its relaxed pace, active cafe life and fondness for poets could be "the next Prague" with its own distinctive character. Several remaining structures show Roman and Baroque influences. The heart of the city lies on both sides of the Ljubljanica River. Over time, architects have used the Ljubljanica as an opportunity to build a handful of tasteful bridges. On one side of the river are the narrow cobblestone streets of the old town, which sits in the shadow of Ljubljana Castle. On the other side of the Ljubljanica is Tivoli castle, a graphic arts center, and the main shopping streets, lined by graceful art-nouveau buildings. The ultramodern Cultural and Congress Center, near the neo-rococo Opera House, is the setting for cultural performances. Worth seeing are the Franciscan Church and the Baroque town hall, with its monumental fountain. Hike to the top of 3,600-ft Mt. Katarina from Ljubljana. A trail begins in the suburb of Podutik before winding through spruce forests and up to a small church at the mountain's peak.
Kalambaka is a small modern town with near Meteora. The most interesting feature of the town is the dramatic backdrop of the steep Meteora rocks that frame the northern part of the skyline. The town is clean and quiet, with one main street that runs through it like a backbone, and several squares adorned with lavish fountains that become pivot points for families and boisterous children late in the evening. Most restaurants and cafes are located along the main street and in the few side streets in the center of town.
Even though you've probably come here to see the "glory that was Greece," perhaps best symbolized by the Parthenon and the superb statues and vases in the National Archaeological Museum, allow some time to make haste slowly in Athens. Your best moments may come sitting at a small cafe, sipping a tiny cup of the sweet sludge that the Greeks call coffee, or getting hopelessly lost in the Plaka -- only to find yourself in the shady courtyard of an old church, or suddenly face to face with an ancient monument you never knew existed. With only a little advance planning, you can find a good hotel here, eat well in convivial restaurants, enjoy local customs such as the refreshing afternoon siesta and the leisurely evening volta (promenade or stroll) -- and leave Athens planning to return, as the Greeks say, tou chronou (next year).
Engelberg is known as a "mountain of angels," and is a resort town located in Central Switzerland. It is characterized by the historic Benedictine monastery located in its heart, founded in 1120. Engelberg is an adventure playground, with outdoor activities for all ages. Mt. Titlis offers something for everyone during each season - miles of hiking trails for all levels in the summer, and a snowboard paradise for the whole family in the winter.
Tirana (pronounced: Tih-rana) is the capital and the largest city (1991 est. pop. 300,000) of Albania. It is the administrative, cultural, economic, and industrial center of the Republic of Albania.
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Price are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability and change without notice. Prices reflect land only accommodations, airfare is additional. Blackout dates/seasonal supplements may apply.
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