European Spotlight (Summer 2017)
About Paris, France
ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS
- Amsterdam: See Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Mint Tower.
- Heidelberg: See the red sandstone castle and explore the baroque Old Town.
- Füssen: See the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein. Oberammergau: See the immense Passion Play theatre and colourful chalets.
- Innsbruck: Walk the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with medieval houses and arcades, to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
- Verona: See the ancient Roman Arena and Juliet's Balcony.
- Venice: Cruise, with commentary, to St Mark's Square. See the Doges' Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St Mark's Basilica.
- Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument. See the covered Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church.
- Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the façades of the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde. Drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
- Scenic Drives: Fern Pass, Europa Bridge, Brenner Pass, Burgundy.
AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS
- Heidelberg: Your Freestyle evening offers you the ultimate in dining choices.
- Venice: Enjoy dinner on the colourful island of Burano.
- Lucerne: Experience a regional meal at a traditional Swiss Brew House.
- Lucerne: Choose from a selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around evening. Choose your own ambience, cuisine and drinks for an intimate culinary experience.
- Paris: Witness a sparkling illuminations cruise down the Seine followed by dinner.
- Paris: In the Latin Quarter, rendezvous with your friends at a typical French bistro for a little wine and a rousing Celebration Dinner. Bon Appétit!
- 10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 3 Restaurant Dinners (RD), 1 Freestyle Evening (FSD), 1 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 2 Signature Evenings (SE), 1 Dine-Around Dinner and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth high-speed Eurostar train from London, via the Channel Tunnel to Brussels.
- Rhine Valley: Watch medieval hilltop castles, sleepy villages and vineyards slip by as you enjoy a scenic cruise.
- Neuschwanstein: Visit the archetypal fairytale castle that allegedly inspired Walt Disney. Walk through the magnificent halls, take in the lavish decoration and enjoy the views.
- Venice: Be serenaded through the canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces where the likes of Casanova would have come calling.
- Stanserhorn: A spectacular journey by a funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the Stanserhorn for expansive mountain views.
- Paris: Venture with a Local Expert through the Latin Quarter and continue on to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.
- Paris: The Eiffel Tower draws some 7 million visitors annually, but your tickets are reserved in advance. Skip the queues and ride the elevator to the viewing platforms, for breathtaking panoramas over the city.
STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES
- Amsterdam: Enjoy the hospitality of the modern Mövenpick City Centre, within walking distance from the old centre.
- Heidelberg: The Crowne Plaza is a few minutes' walk from the Neckar River, where you can cross medieval bridges to reach the centre of this Renaissance university city.
- Paris: The 4-star Pullman Paris Montparnasse hotel is located in the heart of Paris. The hotel has been completely renovated and offers a bar, restaurant and fitness room.
You will visit the following 8 places:
The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country, a land of colourful tulip fields and canals, sophisticated cities and some of the most striking coastline in Northern Europe. The people, language, and culture of the Netherlands are referred to as "Dutch". At the head of the state sits the country's constitutional monarchy, whose palaces dominate many of the larger cities, including The Hague and the gorgeous capital city, Amsterdam. Its small size, welcoming attitude to travellers and many wonderful sights make it a unique and fairly easy to discover destination and a great addition to any European trip.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. While still named the Swiss Confederation for historical reasons, modern Switzerland is a federal directorial republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities, called '"federal city". Situated in Western-Central Europe, Switzerland is also a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. One of the most developed countries in the world, Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development. Its cities contain medieval quarters, with landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails.
Misunderstood by many, Germany is one of the most unique and charming countries on the continent. Since reunification Germany has at last gained a higher profile as a place to visit, thanks partly to the remarkable resurgence of its capital, Berlin, one of the most fascinating and exciting cities in Europe. It's no surprise at all that today’s Germany is more diverse and cosmopolitan than old stereotypes suggest; mixing time-honoured nationalism and tradition with multicultural modernism and self-confidence.
Austria is a German-speaking federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.66 million people in Central Europe. It is characterized by its mountain villages, baroque city architecture, Imperial history and rugged alpine terrain. Vienna, its Danube River capital, is home to the Schonbrunn and Hofburg palaces, and has counted Mozart, Strauss and Sigmund Freud among its residents. The country’s other notable regions include the northern Bohemian Forest, Lake Traun and eastern hillside vineyards.
Belgium is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is one of Europe’s most underrated travel destinations. Beer, chocolate and moules-frites might be the starting points for many first-time visitors, but while you’ll eat and drink well, the country’s other selling points are no less weighty. Medieval cities like Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent play home to some stunning architecture, while a military legacy that covers everything from Waterloo to WWII holds its own interest. It’s compact, easy to travel around and boasts no fewer than 60 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Italy is a country in Southern Europe. It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Much like its food, this country is an endless feast of experiences. It is famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). There is also the country’s enormous cultural legacy: Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world; there are considerable remnants of the Roman Empire all over the country, notably in Rome itself; and every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition generally acknowledged to be among the world’s richest.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the North Sea to the east, with the English Channel to the south separating it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years. It received 83 million visitors in 2012, although these figures are highly skewed by the number of people who frequent the country for the weekend, particularly to visit Disneyland Paris, Europe's most popular visitor attraction. All these people come to France for many a reason: its cities contain some of the greatest treasures on the continent, its countryside is prosperous and well-tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions. France is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe, containing areas as different from each other as urban chic Paris, the sunny French Riviera, long Atlantic beaches, the winter sports resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, rugged Celtic Brittany and the historian's dream that is Normandy. The country seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture, woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour chalked on the board. France citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, civil liberties, and human development.