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European DiscoveriesDiscovery Trip
This is the perfect journey for those seeking the allures of Europe through meaningful encounters with locals. Come face to face with a Royal Horse Guard in London, take a gourmet foodie walk through the backstreets of Paris and meet a nature ranger on top of Switzerland’s soaring Mount Stanserhorn. Then it’s on to Venice to meet a gondolier and learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation. Taste of Europe is your chance to experience the best of Europe.
Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Welcome to London.
After checking into your hotel, enjoy a free afternoon exploring the pomp and pageantry of England's capital city. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window-shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, stroll along the River Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London. At 18:00, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers during a pleasant evening.
London has plenty to offer. Journey through London's West End, where your Local Expert will show you all the major sights, starting with a panoramic drive from Piccadilly Circus to Parliament Square and on to Westminster Abbey. Stop for the perfect photo opportunity beside an iconic Red Telephone Box, with Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in the background. Continue past Downing Street to Trafalgar Square, where the four Landseer Lions protect Nelson's Column, erected to honour the victory of 1805. Visit the Horse Guards Parade to meet a serving Royal Horse Guard and learn what it takes to be a part of HM The Queen's Mounted Bodyguard. At the Household Cavalry Museum, discover the significance and secret messages hidden within a Cavalryman's uniform, there's even a chance to try it on for yourself. Next, stroll beside St James's Park along The Mall to reach the official London Residence of HM The Queen, Buckingham Palace. When available, you will have the opportunity to watch the historical Changing of the Guard ceremony in front of the palace. With the rest of the afternoon at your leisure, why join an Optional Experience and venture to the Queen's other royal residence of Windsor Castle to see the State Apartments, witness works of art from the Royal Collection and admire St. George’s Chapel?
Depart from London for Paris by Eurostar.
In the morning, transfer to London’s St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel to Paris. During your time in Paris, see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the facades of the Louvre, the banks of the River Seine with its many romantic bridges, Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. In the evening, wine and dine at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris.
Paris, the City of Light.
In small groups, join a local foodie and venture into neighbourhoods where Parisians go about their daily lives. Explore a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier - all tiny and filled with character. Treat your senses as you sample the delicacies along the way. With the afternoon and evening free, why not head up the Eiffel tower or see the can-can performed at a famous French cabaret? Perhaps see the city from the second elevation of the iconic Eiffel Tower, or why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?
Beautiful Burgundy and on to Lucerne.
Journey through the Burgundy wine region, before passing the Jura Mountains and crossing into Switzerland to arrive in glorious lakeside Lucerne. See the town's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Then, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit Church. The rest of the day is at leisure to shop for fine watches and delectable chocolates. For dinner, choose your own style of cuisine from our selection of local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
Mountains and Lakes.
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn, where you will meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about local wildlife. Breathe in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace in France and the Black Forest in Germany. Continue your journey, across the Italian border. On the other side of the Dolomites, enter the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous where alpine scenery combines with lush subtropical vegetation. Arrive at Lake Maggiore's Baveno, noted for its narrow cobbled streets and charming 16th century square.
Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.
Enjoy a morning at leisure, making the most of your final moments amongst the charming Italian Lake District before your travels continue east through Northern Italy, to the glorious city of Venice.
Venice & the Magic of La Serenissima.
Prepare to embrace one of Europe's most romantic cities. Visit St. Mark's Square, dominated by its magnificent basilica and overlooked by the great Clock Tower. Also in the square stands the immense Campanile and Doge's Palace which is connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. While here, visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. Meet a gondolier to learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation and how this skill is handed down from generation to generation. Your final evening starts with a water taxi ride along the Grand Canal to sip Bellini cocktails at sunset in St. Mark's Square, long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels. Toast the wrap-up of your adventures with good food, wine and company at your Celebration Dinner.
Bid farewell to this enchanting city. Your departure transfer arrives at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 or 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 trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.
Why not enjoy an evening of excitement and glamour and a glass of champagne at a dazzling French cabaret show? Depending on availability it might be dinner with wine and cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge – the original Parisian cabaret – immortalized by the award winning film!
Adult Price: EUR 162.00
The City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. First, a specially designed sightseeing boat takes us for an unforgettable cruise along the Seine and beneath famous bridges to appreciate the Left and Right Banks and the Île de la Cité & St Louis. Then, with a Local Expert, we'll enjoy an illuminations tour, when the rubies & diamonds of the Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower are at their magnificent best.
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
One of the oldest and most elegant revue theatres in Paris, Nouvelle Eve is a hidden gem where you’ll meet the Director and two of the cast members before enjoying a four-course dinner with wine. You will then experience unparalleled Parisian entertainment – including the world-famous Can-Can.
Adult Price: EUR 139.00
Ascend to the viewing platforms of the famous Eiffel Tower for spectacular panoramas of the city. Then with our local specialist visit Notre Dame, one of the world's most famous Cathedrals to view its amazing stain glass windows and see why it's considered the epitome of Gothic architecture. Afterwards, we'll take a stroll through the delightful Latin Quarter, a medieval maze of winding cobblestone alleyways, where you'll have free time to enjoy the sidewalk bistros, boutiques and hidden squares. Please note: this optional is subject to availability. In the event that the Eiffel Tower cannot be visited, Montmartre will be offered as an alternative.
Adult Price: EUR 47.00
Widely considered to be the loveliest of the mountain lakes, much of the shoreline of Lake Lucerne can only be fully appreciated from the water. Admire the spectacular homes of the fortunate few, privileged to live on its scenic shores, as we cruise gently by. Two drinks will be served during the trip.
Adult Price: CHF 49.00
A short hop on our private motor launch brings us to the world-renowned hanging gardens of Isola Bella, where white peacocks preen. In the Borromean Palace, our local expert reveals the grottoes and masterpieces lovingly nurtured by this wealthy Italian dynasty. Our island hopping continues to the quaint Fisherman’s Island where we are treated to a typically local Italian meal - Buon Appetito!
Adult Price: EUR 84.00
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: 71.00
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 (Traditional) - England
Located at the west end Oxford Street and just 2 minutes' walk from Hyde Park, Amba Hotel Marble Arch (formerly the Thistle Marble Arch) is less than a mile from London's famed West End.
Paris (Contemporary) - France
Located on the Left Bank of the River Seine is the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel. This modern, recently renovated, property offers luxurious accommodation and close proximity to the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres.
Lucerne (Contemporary) - Switzerland
This hotel is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.
Baveno, Italian Lakes (Traditional) - Italy
Venice (Traditional) - Italy
Our guests rate us
10664 independent user reviews received during the past year.
17 July, 2018
Trip: The farewell dinner location in Venice should be changed The food and wine were not what would be expected by guests who are expecting a high level experience. I had two rooms in the Hotel Bellini in Venice and both were sub par. The tile floor in one room was broken and in disrepair in the bathroom and the walls in the second room assigned to us were water stained. The beds were uncomfortable. We should have complained. These are things you need to know if you want to elevate the level of your tour company,.
Service: The tour guide made the trip very enjoyable.
15 July, 2018
Trip: it was a terrific tour, we saw and did a lot of things, our tour director Philip was exceptional, he was so helpful to everybody and very informative, he was the icing on the cake for our perfect tour. the only down side was the stops in between cities, they were at road houses, would have much preferred to go into a town and have lunch.
Service: Our tour director was fantastic, he was so helpful at all times
11 July, 2018
Trip: We really enjoyed all of the locations on this itinerary. Lucerne was absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad we went. However, the trip from Paris to Lucerne was long. Consider having an interest stop somewhere along that route. We liked London, but it was not our favorite and the queen cancelling our optional experience was disappointing. We will travel with Insight again -- we have always been very pleased with the trips we have taken with you.
Service: My rating is based directly on our Tour Director. Phillip did an amazing job - we loved his easy-going personality and his expertise about each of the areas we visited. He took great care to make sure everyone was comfortable, had what they needed and had a great time!
02 July, 2018
Trip: Even knowing this was a "taste" of Europe, we seemed to be running from one place to the next which was a little difficult for some in our travel group. We hit the highlights but that was all. However, it did give us some ideas for future trips; what we would want to do again and what we definitely do not want to do again.
Service: The customer service was excellent. I would travel with Insight Vacations again and have recommended this company to friends.
01 July, 2018
Trip: Good and enjoyable. If the starting time each day can be later, it’ll be better.
Service: Will buy again and recommend.
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