Duration: 10 DaysDiscover Europe’s grandeur and the legacy of the powerful Habsburg dynasty on this soul-stirring journey of Europe’s imperial cities. Be inspired by the family heritage of royalty as you meet a castle owner in the Rhine Valley and enjoy dinner at a family home in beautiful Budapest. Your journey culminates in timeless Venice with its romantic and lavish palaces. Discover fairy-tale Germany, walking through the cobbled streets of Rothenburg with your Local Expert. Step back in time in stately Vienna as your Local Expert brings the city’s elaborate Habsburgs heritage to life and enjoy a slice of Sachertorte at one of Vienna’s decadent cafes. Learn about Venice’s fascinating gondola traditions from a gondolier during a private gathering.
European Rhapsody – Summer 2019
Depart London by Eurostar to Amsterdam.
At 07:00, meet your Travel Director and transfer to London’s St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar for a rail journey via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel. Once in Amsterdam, join your Travel Director in the evening for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests during a cruise, along some of the many quaint, tree-lined canals. Admire the elegant merchant houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, their facades are a reflection of when trade flourished during Amsterdam's Golden Age. Relax as you pass stunning gables, beautiful churches and the iconic Magere Brug, better known as the Skinny Bridge. Disembark and venture to Humphrey's Restaurant Spuistraat for your Welcome Dinner.(Dinner with Wine)
Legends along the Rhine.
Cross into Germany and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. Visit a castle set upon the Rhine, for a private estate viewing with a local guide dress in 19th century costume. Unlock the secrets of Rhineland's modern kings and queens as you learn the history of the castle and surrounding area. Continue to Würzburg where there is time to stroll through the heart of the Old Town and down to the Alte Mainbrücke, the 16th century bridge over the River Main, adorned with sandstone statues. From here, admire the city at night and appreciate the mighty Marienburg Fortress on the opposite side of the river.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Rothenburg and Golden Prague.
In the morning, see the Residenz Palace – the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops and one of the most important landmarks in Germany. Venture to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. With an artisan baker, enjoy a demonstration and learn the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting. Continue east to the Czech border, passing the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, before reaching the Golden City of Prague. In the evening, perhaps take a river cruise through the heart of the city?(Breakfast)
Prague, City of a Hundred Spires.
Join a Local Expert in the morning for guided sightseeing of one of the most beautiful and intact historic centres in Europe. Start with the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, to admire the stained glass of St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy amazing views over the Old Town. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock’s glockenspiel that delights onlookers each hour. Then, the city is all yours to explore with the rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps you may choose to rummage through the renowned antique shops or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal?(Breakfast)
Through Bohemia to Budapest.
Start the day with a journey through the beautiful forested countryside of Bohemia. Journey through Slovakia and travel on to Hungary, following the River Danube to Budapest. Stand atop Gellért Hill where the colossal Liberty Statue stands in front of the Citadella watching over the city. Marvel at extensive panoramic views as you look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the newer, elegant Elizabeth Bridge. In the evening, join a Local Expert to enjoy a scenic dinner cruise and take in the city's nighttime beauty as you float along the Danube.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
The flavours of Budapest.
Stroll through the alleys of the Old Town of Buda with a Local Expert. Then, enjoy free time to browse the boutiques of Vaci Street. Continue your travels, past the eagle overlooking the town of Tatabanya, to the Austrian border and through pleasant farming country to the imperial capital of Vienna.(Breakfast)
Vienna and the Habsburgs.
In the morning, there is the option to join a private tour of Maria Theresa's Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Get your camera ready for a drive around the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital's architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence and Parliament building. Later, join your Local Expert for a walk through Innere Stadt, the first district and historic core of Vienna. At a typical Viennese Coffeehouse, your Local Expert will share tales from a bygone era as you enjoy coffee and delicious Sachertorte - a Viennese chocolate speciality.(Breakfast / Morning Tea)
Along the shores of Lake Wörthersee to Venice.
This day's route takes you past quiet villages, through Styria's forested mountains and into the Carinthian Lake District. Continue past Europe's warmest lake, the Wörthersee, to cross into Italy near Tarvisio. Then follow mountain valleys and cascading streams down to the Veneto Plain en route to the unique city of Venice. Your evening is truly a special experience, starting with a private boat to arrive at your central hotel. Your Celebration Dinner is at a local restaurant, where you can toast the wrap-up of your adventures with good food, wine and company. Finish in true Venetian style - sip Bellini cocktails at twilight whilst being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians, and admire the peace of St. Mark's Square long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels. Return to your hotel along the Grand Canal.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
The magic of La Serenissima.
Wake up to one of Europe's most romantic cities. Admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. Witness the skill of glassblowers and learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Only minutes away by private launch is St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. With the rest of the day free, why not cruise along the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialities and wine?(Breakfast)
Bid farewell to this enchanting city with departure transfers by water taxi, arriving at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 and 09:30.(Breakfast)
- Amsterdam: Toast to the travels ahead during your Welcome Dinner of modern European cuisine at Humphrey’s Restaurant Spuistraat, a trendy eatery located in the heart of the city and surrounded by 17th century homes.
- Budapest: Enjoy a scenic dinner cruise and take in the city's night time beauty as you float along the Danube.
- Vienna: Traditional coffeehouses are still a meeting place for philosophers and storytellers. Feast on delicious Viennese specialties alongside a local who shares tales from a bygone era.
- Venice: Savour dinner at a local restaurant and then enjoy a short stroll to St Mark’s Square at twilight.
- Venice: Sip Bellini cocktails alongside the canals, while being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians and soak up the calming atmosphere long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels.
- Dining Summary: 9 Breakfasts (B), 1 Morning Tea (MT) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
- Rhine Valley: The beautiful scenery of the Rhine River is supplemented by the many castles dotted along its banks. Delight in a private estate viewing at one of these Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments situated along the Middle Rhine.
- Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art.
- Venice: Learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre.
- Amsterdam: The Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam is a five-star, Art Nouveau-style hotel, conveniently located minutes from the city centre and offering breathtaking views over the canal.
- Würzburg: The Maritim Hotel Würzburg is situated directly in front of the banks of the river Maine and offers views of the imposing Marienberg fortress.
- Prague: The brand new, boutique-style Hotel Royal Prague is a short drive from Old Town Square, set across from the Vltava River. It offers quiet and comfortable rooms, perfect for your two-night stay.
- Vienna: Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.
- Venice: A hotel with traditional and modern elements, the Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio is complete with a door opening onto a canal.
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train as you journey from London to Europe via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- Amsterdam: Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the city's historic waterways, where wealthy merchants built mansions during the Golden Age of the 17th century.
- Würzburg: See the Residenz Palace as you explore the old town with your Travel Director. Stand on the statue-lined Alte Mainbrucke and see the Marienburg fortress.
- Prague: Bewitched by the gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral and ghosts of Bohemian Kings, this majestic city is where you’ll join a Local Expert on a private guided tour through the courtyards of Prague Castle. Enjoy views over Vltava River before visiting Old Town Square to see the Astronomical Clock.
- Budapest: Spend some time in the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci Utca. From the heights of Gellért Hill, in front of the Citadella, see the mighty Danube with its many bridges linking Buda and Pest. Visiting the Central Market Hall is a foodie's dream. Accompanied by your Local Expert, wander three levels of stalls, brimming with mouthwatering salamis, spicy paprika, Hungarian wines and a whole lot of Pálinka.
- Vienna: Walk through the first district, Inner Stadt, as your Local Expert reveals why this is the historic core of the city. You will also tour the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
- Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
- Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you drive along the Romantic Road and later pass the areas of Bohemia and Carinthian Lake District.
Start Date: 2019-12-23
End Date: 2020-01-01
Adult Price: $5475
Child Price: $5015
Adult Price: $5475
Adult Price: $5355
Child Price: $4895
Adult Price: $6575