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European DiscoveriesDiscovery Trip
Discover 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.
Welcome to London.
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Bid farewell to this enchanting city with departure transfers by water taxi, arriving at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 and 09:30.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
A wonderful introduction to the “Golden City”. Begin with spectacular views over Prague and the Vlatava River from the heights of the historic Strahov Monastery. Then explore the cobbled streets of the lesser town by mini-bus of motorized train. Enjoy a short photo stop in the old Town Square. By night the atmosphere is magical. Finally, enjoy a drink and old Czech music as you cruise along the Vlatava – the perfect vantage point to admire Prague’s buildings and Monuments. (Occasionally this excursion may be operated without the river cruise at EURO 33).
Adult Price: EUR 51.00
Let's explore some Czech countryside, starting with a visit to Lidice, a town totally destroyed in World War II as an infamous act of retribution, with all it's menfolk murdered and the women and children taken away. See the memorials erected in their honour in a town rebuilt with international donations. Then on to a nearby village for a hearty and delicious Czech dinner. This is accompanied by famous Czech pilsners or local wine. Musicans and dancers ensure a lively atmosphere with traditional song and dance from Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Na zdraví!
Adult Price: EUR 62.00
Hearty and delicious, Czech cuisine borrows heavily from its Central European neighbours, but also boasts a few unique twists of its own. In a local restaurant, enjoy a traditional Czech meal accompanied by the planet's most perfect pilsner. During dinner, lively musicians in traditional dress set the mood with songs and dances from Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.
Adult Price: EUR 59.00
Enjoy a wonderful concert of Viennese Classical music performed by highly acclaimed soloists and dancers. During this special evening, enjoy a glass of champagne along with some of the most famous works by Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (On occasion dinner will be included EURO 103)
Adult Price: EUR 58.00
Cross the Danube, passing the famous Prater Park en route to one of Austria's most famous restaurants. Former patrons include Napoleon, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Liz Taylor and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once through the door of this historic country mansion you're transported to a different world! Old memorabilia, autographed photos and other paraphernalia cover the ceilings, walls and even the rest rooms. Choose from traditional Austrian fare, enjoy unlimited drinks and be serenaded by musicians at your table. A fun-filled experience never to be forgotten!
Adult Price: EUR 63.00
Escape central Vienna and drive out to the thickly forested hills which surround the city's western flank for a lively evening of food, wine and song. In a typical "Heuriger" village tavern, enjoy a wonderful dinner of authentic fare, complete with live Schrammelmusik and the famous full-bodied wines.
Adult Price: EUR 58.00
The Imperial Summer Palace of Schönbrunn offers an amazing journey through the centuries of Hapsburg rule. It is perfectly preserved and richly decorated with treasures from around the globe. Each room has a story to tell, so of course, you’ll have a Local Specialist to bring it to life and VIP entrance to make the most of your time.
Adult Price: EUR 47.00
To only experience Venice's big set pieces -- St Mark's Square; the Rialto; the Grand Canal -- is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi’, small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.
Adult Price: EUR 34.00
Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy coloured houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialities with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!
Adult Price: EUR 72.00
Glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways; full of character and colour. While your gondolier navigates the canals, you can take in the city’s elegant architecture. And they may even serenade you with an Italian classic.
Adult Price: EUR 44.00
London (Central) - England
Amsterdam (Traditional) - The Netherlands
The Grand Hotel Amrâth is your five-star, Art Nouveau-style hotel, conveniently located minutes from Amsterdam city centre and offering breathtaking views over the canal.
Wurzburg (Traditional) - Germany
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 (Contemporary) - Czech Republic
The brand new, boutique-style Hotel Royal Prague is a short drive from Old Town Square, set across from the Vltava River.
Budapest (Traditional) - Hungary
Hotel President is in an ideal location at the heart of the new city, Pest. Key sights such as the Hungarian Parliament Building, Danube River and St. Stephen Basilica are all within 5-10 minutes walk from the hotel's front door. Rooms and interiors are very trendy with splashes of bright colour and unique furnishings.
Vienna (Contemporary) - Austria
Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.
Venice (Historic) - Italy
Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio Venice is a hotel with traditional and modern elements complete with a door opening onto a canal.