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America Tours
Package Tour | Insight Vacations | 11 Days European Spotlight

11 Days European Spotlight

Price: US$2731*, US$2650**
Book by 2nd May 2010 to enjoy discounted price!

Departure Dates:
June: 21, 28
July: 12, 19, 26
August: 9, 16
*valid for June & August 16 departure only
**valid for July & August 9 departure only


The contrasts on this tour are remarkable, ranging from the lowlands ofHolland to the Austrian High Alps and from the canals of Venice to the wide boulevards of Paris. This tour slows down considerably after the first two days in Amsterdam and the Rhineland. With two-night stays in the key cities of Innsbruck, Venice, Lucerne and Paris, you have the choice of free time to relax or participating in optional excursions organised by your Tour Director.

There is an excellent selection of modern and traditional hotels which range from the modern NH Amsterdam Centre, located within walking distance of Amsterdam’s old city, to the more traditional Venetian style of the Petit Palais on the Venice Lido.

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Itinerary
Day 01 London - Amsterdam
(Highlight Dinner)
Drive to the famous white cliffs of Dover to cross the English Channel. Disembark at Calais and follow the coast into Belgium, entering the Netherlands and seeing your first windmills en route to fun-loving Amsterdam. Pass the Mint Tower and Royal Palace in Dam Square on the way to your hotel.This evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink with your Tour Director before boarding a special sightseeing boat. Cruise past high gabled mansions, then alight for a Dutch ‘Rijsttafel’ dinner at a restaurant in the city. Your meal is complemented by an informative presentation on the origins, ceremony and contents of this colonial–style feast. Hotel: NH Amsterdam Centre.

Day 02 Amsterdam - Cologne - Heidelberg
(Breakfast / Dinner)
Pass Arnhem, renowned for its ‘Bridge Too Far’, and continue over the German border to Cologne. Despite the city being badly damaged in World War Two, its Gothic Cathedral survived. After marvelling at its soaring spires, continue through the former West German capital of Bonn to the scenic Rhine Gorge. Board a cruiser at Boppard and glide past vineyards and imposing castles, and hear the legend of the Loreley Rock before rejoining the coach at St Goar to continue to your hotel in Heidelberg, city of the ‘Student Prince’, set on the banks of the River Neckar watched over by its famous castle fortress. Hotel: NH Heidelberg.

Day 03 Heidelberg - Innsbruck (Breakfast / Dinner)
Skirt the northern Black Forest and pass Ulm with the world’s highest church spire. Stop at the base of the Bavarian Alps to see the Royal Castles, including King Ludwig’s fabulous fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein. Once over the Austrian border continue to in Innsbruck, capital of the Tyrol. Tour the architectural jewels of the city, seeing the Imperial Palace, delightful Golden Roof and the 14th century houses of the old town before enjoying dinner at the hotel. Hotel: Hilton.

Day 04 Salzburg Excursion (Breakfast / Dinner)
First up, a visit to Innsbruck’s superb Wilten Basilica – its interior richly decorated with cherubs and angels. Then follow the Inn Valley to Salzburg for a guided tour of Mozart’s home city. From the formal gardens of the Mirabell Palace, photograph the city skyline crowned by its castle. Cross the river to the Getreidegasse and Mozart’s birthplace, and stroll through the Old Town’s narrow lanes to the cathedral and Residenz fountain. Return to Innsbruck in the afternoon, after which you can opt to join a lively folklore party.

Day 05 Innsbruck - Verona - Venice (Breakfast / Dinner)
Leave Innsbruck and travel across the impressive Europa Bridge, and cross the Brenner Pass into Italy. Follow the Adige River through spectacular scenery down to the great plain. Visit fascinating Verona, with its first century Roman Arena, maze of elegant squares and, of course, Juliet’s famous balcony. Now you pass Padua on your way to your hotel on the fashionable Venice Lido. Hotel: Petit Palais

Day 06 Venice Sightseeing (Breakfast)
Romantic Venice! Relax on a private launch as it cruises past the island of San Giorgio to alight at St Mark’s Square. Stroll along the water’s edge to see the Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doges’ Palace with the prisons. It was from here that Casanova made his daring escape! See St Mark’s Basilica and belltower before watching one of the few remaining craftsmen hand-blow Venetian glass. The tour concludes with a gondola ride through the canals. Don’t miss the chance to try the city’s delicious seafood, freshly caught in the lagoon.

Day 07 Venice - Lucerne (Breakfast)
Travel through some of the richest farmland in Europe as you cross northern Italy. Glimpse the beautiful Italian Lake District as you continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, past gushing streams and soaring peaks, through the St. Gotthard Tunnel to scenic Lake Lucerne. Consider spending the evening at a fondue party and folklore night. Hotel: Astoria.

Day 08 Lucerne Sightseeing (Breakfast / Dinner)
Walk with your Tour Director to the emotive Lion Monument, carved into a cliff to commemorate the courage of the Swiss Guards who lost their lives defending King Louis XVI during the bloody days of the French Revolution. Spend time shopping or strolling along the Chapel Bridge to the richly ornate Jesuit Church. Embark on a Premium Highlight excursion by cog-wheel train and cable-car to the summit of one of Switzerland’s most famous mountains, Mount Pilatus. Admire the views over the snow-capped Jungfrau and Eiger peaks before returning to Lucerne.

Day 09 Lucerne - Paris (Breakfast)
Drive to Basel before crossing the Rhine to France. Travel across the fertile fields of Burgundy to Paris, the vibrant heart of French life, and a city which glitters by night. Here, you have the option of a night-time illuminations tour. Hotel: Marriott Rive Gauche.

Day 10 Paris Sightseeing (Breakfast)
A comprehensive guided sightseeing tour shows you the highlights of the city including the Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Garnier’s Opera, Notre Dame Cathedral and the immense facades of the Louvre. A Premium Highlight sees you ascend by elevator to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower for panoramic vistas over the city. There is time in the afternoon for sightseeing at your own pace.

Day 11 Paris - London (Breakfast)
Cross the battlefields of World War One en route to Calais for the return voyage back to Dover. After a short drive through the pretty Kent countryside, the tour ends in London.
Updated 19 April 2010
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Terms & Conditions:
* Rates are subject to seat or room availability & cannot combine with other promotions
* Tour prices, services & conditions are correct as the time of publication and are subjected to change without notice in the event of unforeseen circumstances like currency fluctuations, increases in hotel rates, airfares, local taxes & etc
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