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Package Tour | Insight Vacations | 8 Days European Breakaway

8 Days European Breakaway

Price: US$2042*, US$2018**
Book by 2nd May 2010 to enjoy discounted price!

Departure Dates:
June: 13, 20
July: 18
August: 8
*valid for June departure only
**valid for July & August departure only


A short but sensational sojourn designed to capture the very essence of Europe, from the cobbled streets of Bruges to the elegant boulevards of Paris. A sprightly tour touching on six countries in just eight days. Yet the itinerary is well planned to enable you to see as much as possible in a short space of time. Driving days feature frequent stops and two night stays in Amsterdam, Lucerne and Paris allows for in-depth sightseeing in these areas.

Hotels on this tour are mostly modern and all well-appointed. They range from the Marriott Rive Gauche in Paris, located on the left bank of the River Seine, to the Astoria in the heart of Lucerne. The elegant Convent Hotel in the centre in Amsterdam was formerly a monastery and printing house.

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Itinerary
Day 01 London - Bruges - Amsterdam
(Highlight Dinner)
Director and drive to Dover for the short Channel crossing to Calais. Pass historic Dunkirk, famous for its Second World War evacuations, and follow the coast into Belgium. Stop a while in medieval Bruges to walk through the cobbled streets to the old market square. A perfect introduction to Europe! Now enter your fourth country, the Netherlands, passing windmills on the way to lively Amsterdam, ‘City of Canals’. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Drink with your Tour Director before savouring a traditional Dutch ‘Rijsttafel’ (literally ‘rice table’) dinner at a local restaurant. Your meal is complemented by an informative presentation on the origins, ceremony and contents of this colonial–style feast.
Hotel: The Convent.

Day 02 Amsterdam Sightseeing - Voldendam Excursion
(Breakfast)
An orientation tour reveals the Mint Tower, Dam Square and Royal Palace, before boarding a special sightseeing boat and cruising under low bridges and past mansions built by the wealthiest merchants alongside the canals. Now a pleasant drive through the Dutch countryside, with its windmills and canals, brings you to the old, traditional village of Volendam, situated on what was once the Zuider Zee. Later, make a photo-stop beside one of the picturesque windmills and then visit a cheese farm and a ‘Klompenhuis’, where wooden clogs are made. Return to Amsterdam for a visit to a diamond cutting factory, whose industry dates back to the 16th century. This evening, consider a visit to the famous Sailors’ Quarter.

Day 03 Amsterdam - Cologne - Heidelberg (Breakfast / Dinner)
Leave Amsterdam bound for Germany. Pass the border town of Arnhem, renowned for its ‘Bridge Too Far’ (the Rhine bridge which was the object of bitter fighting at the end of the Second World War), then cross the extensive Ruhr Basin to Cologne. This city was also badly damaged in the war, but its superb Gothic Cathedral survived. Take time to marvel at the soaring vaults and spires, and to stroll in the bustling pedestrian malls of the city centre. Then it’s on to Bonn, birthplace of Beethoven and former capital of West Germany for more than 40 years. Travel to the picturesque Rhine Gorge to board a Highlight Cruise at Boppard, and glide past medieval hill-top castles and steep leafy vineyards to the legendary Loreley Rock. Rejoin the coach at St. Goar and continue to the town of Heidelberg, for dinner and an evening at leisure. Hotel: Marriott.

Day 04 Heidelberg - Lucerne (Breakfast)
Enjoy some time this morning in the city of the ‘Student Prince’, to view the ruined clifftop castle. Take the scenic route along the Rhine Valley to the ancient city of Freiburg, before climbing into the heart of the Black Forest, home of the cuckoo clock industry. Enjoy an informative presentation on their origins and see how these clocks are made, then continue past Lake Titisee and cross the Swiss border. See the Rhine River thundering over the Rhine Falls before driving via Zurich to lakeside Lucerne. Check into your hotel, shop for chocolate or a special timepiece, and consider joining an optional Swiss Fondue Party in the evening. Hotel: Astoria.

Day 05 Lucerne Sightseeing (Breakfast / Dinner)
See Lucerne’s proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the Swiss Guards massacred defending the King during the French Revolution. Take time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit church. Enjoy an exciting Premium Highlight – an exhilarating ride by cog-wheel train and cable-car to the summit of Mount Pilatus. Admire the stunning panorama of snow-capped peaks – including the Eiger and Jungfrau – before descending over mountain crags and pine forests back to terra firma.

Day 06 Lucerne - Paris (Breakfast)
Leaving the Alpine region, cross the Rhine at Basel and continue into France. Travel past the fortified town of Belfort, gateway to Alsace, and along the forested ridges of the Jura Mountains into Burgundy. Continue through leafy vineyards and past the forests of Fontainebleau to arrive in the glittering French capital of Paris for a two-night stay. Why not sample the fabulous local cuisine tonight? Hotel: Marriott Rive Gauche.

Day 07 Paris Sightseeing (Breakfast)
A sightseeing tour with a local guide takes you by the Île de la Cité to see Notre Dame Cathedral with its famous tale of Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame. Pass the immense facades of the Louvre and marvel at Garnier’s splendid Opera House. See the Obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the elegant Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. A Premium Highlight takes you up to the viewing platforms of the wonderful Eiffel Tower for spectacular views of the city. Spend the afternoon exploring Paris at your own pace. Perhaps take an optional tour to admire the Mona Lisa and other great treasures of the Louvre Museum and, by night, why not join in the fun at a world famous cabaret show?

Day 08 Glasgow (Breakfast)
Cross the World War One battlefields of the Somme to arrive at the port of Calais for your return Channel crossing to England. The white cliffs of Dover will welcome you as you sail back into England. From here it’s a short drive through the Kent countryside to London, where the tour ends a short time later.
Updated 19 April 2010
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* Rates are subject to seat or room availability & cannot combine with other promotions
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