Amsterdam – The Hague – Kinderdijk – Brussels – Maastricht – Aachen
Heidelberg – Neuschwanstein Castle – Innsbruck – Salzburg – Hallstatt
Venice – Verona – Lake Como – Bellagio Cruise – Milan – Paris
Tour 1: July 02 – July 17, 2018 Price: $5,495 + Tax
Tour 2: Aug 16 – Aug 31, 2018 Price: $5,295 + Tax
Tour 3: Oct 01 – Oct 16, 2018 Price: $5,295 + Tax
Check-in at Los Angeles Airport. Depart for Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Amsterdam, the capital city of The Netherlands, is built on the banks of the Ij and the Amstel. It is a port city of great character and charm, with its network of canals resembling a spider’s web, its tall narrow brick houses with richly ornamented gables, its port, and its busy streets, numerous cultural events and museums. After arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol, we’ll transfer to the city center for a 4-hour sightseeing including entrance to the Diamond Factory. During a tour at Gassan Diamonds, visitors will get to know everything about carats, colors, clarity and cuts and also something about the history of this Amsterdam craft. Enjoy a delicious local dinner tonight. (D)
Start your day with a walking tour in Amsterdam. including a visit to the Reijksmuseum (renowned for its Dutch Masters, particularly Rembrandt’s “Night Watch”). After your tour, embark on a canal cruise. These boats are ready to take you on a tour of this beautiful and unique city. Amsterdam’s canals have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and we will show you why. Have some free time for some shopping and enjoy another local dinner.
We will stop by Anne Frank’s House, the former hiding place of Anne Frank and her Jewish family during World War II. It is also the place where she wrote her now-famous diary. The diary has been translated into 50 languages and sold over 13 million copies. (B/D)
Today we will visit two important cities of Holland: Delft and The Hague. First, we’ll stop at the picturesque town of Delft for a visit to one of the famous Delft blue potteries, Delftse Pauw. The blue-and-white pottery became famous as a 17th-century duplicate of Chinese porcelain. From Delft, continue to The Hague, former capital of the Netherlands, passing such famous sites as the Houses of Parliament, Peace Palace and the Binnenhof. Continue to Kinderdijk. a UNESCO Heritage site.
The Netherlands is famous for its windmills which have mounted up to 1,000 mills today. Nowhere in the world will you find as many windmills as near the Dutch village Kinderdijk. By 1740, only 19 sturdy mills were built here. They have been well preserved to the present day. The mills drain the excess water from the Alblasserwaard polders – which are situated below sea-level – after which the water is sluiced into the river Lek (the Rijn). The powerful mill sails serve to transmit the force of the wind on to large paddle-wheels which scoop up the water. Nowadays power-driven pumping engines do the job, including one of the largest water screw pumping-stations in Western Europe. (B/D)
In the afternoon, transfer to Brussels. Brussels is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the must-see destinations in Europe, with its small-town charm, trendy restaurants, fabulous food, fantastic shopping, numerous museums, and other attractions. Brussels is also becoming known as a mecca of style, art, and design. The streets of Brussels feature art and architecture created from an unmistakably Belgian point of view that cannot be replicated. This beautiful city is a center for fashion, art, and Belgian culture. Upon arrival, take a guided tour of the highlights of Brussels, including the Grand Place (surrounded by the Hotel de Ville, Maison du Roi and Maisons des corporations), Manneken Pis, Atomium, Eglise Notre Dame, and entrance to the Musée Instrumental du Conservatoire de Musique.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit Maastricht, an ancient city in the valley of the river Maas, situated next to Germany and Belgium. The heavy Roman influences can still be found in this romantic city. (B/D)
Transfer to Aachen, a spa town in Germany. Aachen sits at the juncture where Germany meets the Netherlands and Belgium. The city has its history dating back to 814 AD. (B/D)
To Heidelberg, a town situated in the highlands of Germany and known for the Heidelberg Castle. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Neuschwanstein castle that King Ludwig II built in order to hide away from the public. The castle was built on a rugged hill above the Hohenschwangau village, and influenced by the Romanesque Revival style. It was nominated as one of the New Seven Wonders of the world. This castle is so famous that it served as the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle’s design at Disneyland.
We will have a chance to cross Marienbrücke (Marie’s Bridge), the bridge over the Pollät Gorge which offers a spectacular view to Neuschwanstein. Make sure to have your camera handy to capture this picturesque scene and enrich your photo album of this Europe trip.
Some surprising facts you should know about Neuschwanstein: First, this used to be the place where the Nazis secured Hitler’s stash of art masterpieces. Hitler’s dream was to build a museum for himself in Linz, Austria, with the plundered treasures. When King Ludwig II was building his castle, the state of Bavaria had to undergo a financial crisis. Although the king used his own funds, not the public money, the cabinet advised against this extravagant spending. However, King Ludwig resisted ferociously and the cabinet decided to overthrow him on the reason that he was mentally ill. On 13 June 1886, his dead body was found in Lake Starnberg. King Ludwig II is still remembered as the one who created the largest landmark of Germany.
We’ll transfer to Munich where we’ll have dinner and an overnight stay. (B/D)
Visit the mountainous city of Innsbruck that was called “the jewel of the Alps.” The city is ideal for skiing and known for its poetic landscape and picturesque old village. We’ll stop by the Swarovski Crystal World. Continue to Hallstatt, a town in the North of Austria which is listed as one of the top 10 beautiful old towns in the world. The town has a 7000-year history. (B/D)
Transfer to Salzburg for a guided tour including the Mozart Birthplace. Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, is a delight from the first sight of the outline of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the symbol of the power of the prince-archbishops. The city’s picturesque streets with their wrought-iron signs, its spacious squares with sculptured fountains and the noble architecture of its buildings inspired by bishops with a passion for construction, leave memories which linger for years. Transfer to Gosau for dinner and overnight. Gosau is in the region called “Salzkammergut”. As the home of spring rains and summer resorts, rich in salt, gentle meadows and forests, blue-green lakes and native traditions, Austria’s ‘tenth state’ is well-known to many people. Each of its ten tourism regions is a world of its own. Still, they all have one thing in common: a beautiful landscape which invites visitors to wander in its mountains, dive into its lakes, enjoy its natural surroundings and get carried away by its irresistible charm.
Transfer to Venice. Tonight you will enjoy an Italian dinner at the hotel. (B/D)
Wake up this morning in Venice. Venice is eternally preoccupied with the contemplation of its own beauty. Founded on marshes, it rose to dominate the Adriatic and hold the gorgeous East in fee. At the height of its power in the 16th century, Venice was a wealthy city-republic glorying in feasts and pageants, reveling in the splendor of its painting, sculpture and architecture. Those days of glory are gone, but its art survives and the grace and refinement remain. A visit to Venice will fill your soul. Transfer to the main island of San Marco via a private boat. A morning walking tour includes St. Mark’s Square, with entrance to the incredibly rich Basilica of St. Mark. Visit a glass-blowing factory on one of Venice’s many islands. Lunch on your own. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Venice for some shopping. Dinner in a typical Italian restaurant before returning with private boat to your hotel. (B/D)
Transfer to Verona. Visit the most poetic, yet romantic place in Europe where you can take a walk on the ancient cobbled streets. Make a stop at Juliet’s House, which features the balcony where Romeo promised his beloved Juliet eternal love in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
In the late afternoon, we’ll arrive at Lake Como, the most famous of the Italian Lakes. We will spend 3 nights at a hotel by the lake, and dinner will be served at where you can have a nice panoramic view. After dinner, if time allows, you can walk and take photos at leisure. (B/D)
Transfer to the city of Milan. Milan (called Milano in Italian) is one of the most economically developed cities in Europe. It is also known as a mecca of lifestyle, art, and design of the world and also houses the Alfa Romeo Museum. All these values are contained in this modern, yet bustling city.
Visit the Gothic Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano), the symbol of Milan. It is decidedly the most impressive structure in Milan as it is the largest church in Italy and took nearly six centuries to complete. The entire building is made up of pink-hued white marble. At least 78 architects from across Europe were invited to create such incredible grandeur for the church.
Also, don’t miss the chance to see Milan’s most famous painting – The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci – at the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Our next stop is La Scala opera house. (B/D)
Embark on a Bellagio Water Limousine to behold the spectacular beauty of the surroundings. Lake Como is listed in the top 10 beautiful lakes in the world. It has absolutely stunning views of the majestic mountains with their deep valleys running through them. The clear lake water is mesmerizing and varies in color from light green to dark green/blue. On the rare occasion when the lake is still, it mirrors the magnificent scenery that surrounds it. The towns and villages along the lake’s shores are very picturesque and each one of them feels like it could be home to any number of celebrities. (B/D)
Transfer to Milan Airport for your flight to Paris. Upon your arrival in Paris, meet a local guide and enjoy a panoramic tour. With its grand boulevards, streetside cafés, magnificent architecture, and river vistas, it takes little to understand why Paris is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There is nothing more inspiring than walking the streets of Paris and taking in the dynamic atmosphere. Paris is a place that breathes history and legend, a perfect combination of the modern and the ancient. If time allows, we will enjoy a Bateaux Mouche cruise before transferring to your hotel for dinner.
If you still have some energy, hop on a coach for an illumination tour of Paris. Overnight at your hotel. (B/D)
All day in Paris to fully embrace the richness in culture, art, and history of the city.
Paris – The city of light, among many other symbols such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame de Paris by the romantic Seine. Visit Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris (Sacré-Coeur Basilica). Shopping is another feature of Paris that attracts millions of visitors every year. Indeed, Paris is one of the finest shopping meccas in the world. Ladies, be sure check out the fabulous boutiques and stores for all budgets, from the Champs Elysees with luxury names like Louis Vuitton to Rue Saint-Honoré with classic designers like Versace and Hermes.
Enjoy a French dinner on the last night of our Europe trip. (B/D)
Depart from Paris for Los Angeles (B)