Germany, Switzerland & Italy

Germany, Switzerland & Italy
Travel to Neuschwanstein and see the fairytale inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland. Explore the maze of canals in romantic Venice, and visit the town of Verona to see the balcony said to have inspired Shakespeare’s tragic Romeo and Juliet.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Guten tag Frankfurt
Meet your tour director, travel to Rothenburg & check into hotel
Details: Rothenburg tour director-led sightseeing
Christmas reigns all year round in Rothenburg, a jewel of a town on Germany’s picturesque Romantic Road. Beyond the year-round Christmas markets, the town boasts one of the most intact medieval city walls in Europe and a fairly unique clock. During the Thirty Years’ War, a former Rothenburg mayor was offered the chance to save the city by chugging close to a gallon of wine; he succeeded (and then slept for three days straight), and his accomplishment is reenacted seven times daily by mechanical figures on the clock in the Marktplatz -- adding a new twist to the concept of “cuckoo clock.” The enormous Gothic St. Jacob’s Church watches over the exploits from across the square.
Day 3 Rothenburg--Munich
Travel to Munich
Details: Neuschwanstein Castle visit
This elaborate castle was built atop a rock ledge over the Pöllat Gorge in the Bavarian Alps by order of Bavaria's King Ludwig II, referred to as "Mad Ludwig," whose favorite pastime was midnight sleigh rides through the countryside. This stronghold was the crowning jewel of the king’s building spree across Bavaria and was the inspiration for Cinderella’s castle in Disney World. Begun in 1869 and left unfinished at Ludwig's death in 1886, this lavish palace is an eccentric reconstruction of a medieval castle, and it boasts major technological and architectural achievements for the time, including running water, flushing toilets, a hot water system for the kitchen, and bathrooms with warm-air heating systems.
Day 4 Munich landmarks
Munich guided sightseeing tour
ResidenzNymphenburg PalaceAlte PinakothekDeutsches MuseumBMW HeadquartersOlympic site of 1972FrauenkircheNeues RathausMarienplatzHofbräuhaus
Bavarian bratwurst dinner
Details: Munich guided sightseeing tour
Join a professional licensed tour guide for a whirlwind look at Munich. Founded in the 12th century by Henry the Lion, Munich now roars with the hustle and bustle of modern German life. As you pass by Marienplatz (named after the square’s gilded Virgin Mary and Child statue), mechanical knights joust and coopers dance to the folk-music chimes of the Neues Rathaus’s Glockenspiel. The twin onion-bulb towers of the Frauenkirche Cathedral frame this whimsical display, while the scents, sounds and colors of the nearby food market attempt to draw your attention elsewhere. Resist temptation and continue on to Olympiapark, a new suburb built for the 1972 Olympic Games. Pass by several museums, such as the BMW Museum, Alte Pinakothek (home to Munich’s most precious art collections), and the Deutsches Museum of science and technology.
Details: Dachau Concentration Camp & Memorial visit
A grim glimpse into the past, Dachau was the first of Nazi Germany’s camps and a model for the 3,000 work and concentration camps to come. Your Tour Director will lead you through the gas chamber (although never used) and crematorium, which have been restored as a chilling memorial to the 206,000 prisoners who were interned in the camp from 1933 to 1945. The museum examines pre-1930 anti-Semitism, the rise of the Nazi party, and the documented lives of prisoners.
Day 5 Munich--Venice
Travel to Venice via Innsbruck
Day 6 Venice landmarks
Venice guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
St. Mark’s SquareSt. Mark's BasilicaDoge's Palace visitglass-blowing demonstration
Details: Venice guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Bubbling up on more than 100 islands in a lagoon off the Adriatic, Venice is an absolutely unique and unquestionably beautiful city. The weight of its opulent architecture – bulbous domes, gothic spires, and lacy marble – may be sinking the city by 10 inches a century, but your local guide will make sure you don’t sink out of sight as you tour the intricate labyrinth of streets and bridges. Step into Piazza San Marco, an airy expanse of arches, sunlight, and pigeons. The multi-domed Basilica on one end, completed in 1094 but decorated for centuries afterward, is the final resting place of the apostle St. Mark, Venice’s patron saint. The mosaics beneath the basilica’s outside arches depict the arrival of St. Mark’s body, stolen from Egypt in 828 by Venetian traders. The frothy Venetian Gothic Doge’s Palace stands next door. Continue on to a glass-blowing demonstration. Venetian glass has long been considered the best in the world, and its production was such a state secret that during the Middle Ages, any Venetian glassblower who attempted to ply his trade outside the city was immediately arrested.
Day 7 Venice--Lucerne
Verona tour director-led sightseeing
Romeo and Juliet balconyVerona Arena visit
Details: Travel to Lucerne via Verona
Stop in Verona to see the Romeo and Juliet Balcony. Verona is known primarily for its role as the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The Montagues and Capulets were based on real feuding families, but were Romeo and Juliet real? A 14th-century house claims to be Juliet's--you can decide for yourself while gazing down at a statue of her from the balcony said to have inspired Shakespeare's famous balcony scene.
Details: Verona tour director-led sightseeing
Brush up on your Shakespeare before heading to Casa de Giuletta to gaze up (or down from, for a few euros more) the famed balcony that set the stage for star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Hear about the many versions of this tragic story that existed long before Shakespeare put his pen to it. Go from this battleground of love to a real gladiator’s Roman Arena. Theatre performances still take place in this third largest amphitheater in all of Italy, built in the 1st century B.C.
Day 8 Lucerne landmarks
Lucerne tour director-led sightseeing
Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument)River ReussKapellbrücke
Optional  Mt. Pilatus excursion  $75
Details: Lucerne tour director-led sightseeing
Before a backdrop of snow-capped Alpine mountains and green, cow-filled pastures, join your Tour Director on a tour of Lucerne’s famous sights. Weave your way through a maze of narrow, winding streets until you reach the River Reuss and the Medieval Kapellbrücke Bridge. Stop to marvel at the bridge walls, decorated with murals that recreate the 14th-century originals destroyed in a fire. Journey the cobblestone streets in the Old Town to see the Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument), the somber sandstone wild cat gazing down into a reflecting pool. Sense sheer courage as you ponder this artfully chiseled statue created to honor the Swiss Guards who died defending the Tuileries in 1792.
Details: Traditional Swiss dinner with fondue
Enjoy an authentic Swiss meal and sample fondue as your appetizer.
Day 9 Lucerne--Heidelberg
Travel to Heidelberg via the Black Forest
Cuckoo clock demonstration
Heidelberg tour director-led sightseeing
Heidelberg Castle & wine barrel visitUniversityMarktplatz
Details: Heidelberg tour director-led sightseeing
Surrounded by mountains, forests, and the Neckar River, Heidelberg showcases a quintessential German landscape. Join your Tour Director as you drive through this granddaddy of all college towns, with its scores of bars, cafés, and shops. Get a beautiful view Germany’s oldest university —founded in 1386—from the Marktplatz, Heidelberg’s main square. Notice that behind the university lurks the Students’ Prison, used from 1778 until 1914 to imprison students for up to four weeks for minor offenses like drunkenness, practical jokes, and dueling. (Imprisoned students still had to attend lectures — think of it as the 19th-century equivalent of being grounded.) Then head up to Heidelberg Castle, which is still a little wobbly from its partial destruction during the Thirty Years’ War, a 17th-century attack by the French, and a major lightening hit in 1764. The castle’s courtyard is home to the largest wine barrel in world, the Great Vat, which holds about 50,000 gallons of wine (possibly another contributing factor to the castle’s romantically off-balance appearance).
Day 10 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 10 Start extension to Paris
    Travel to Paris by train
    Paris city walk
    Île de la CitéNotre Dame Cathedral visitÎle St. LouisLatin Quarter visit
    Dinner in Latin Quarter
    Details: Paris city walk
    This city was made for walking. Stroll grand boulevards with sweeping views of the city, pristine parks with trees planted in perfect rows, and narrow streets crowded with vendors selling flowers, pastries and cheese. Then head to the Île de la Cité, a small island in the Seine, to see Notre Dame Cathedral.
    Day 11 Paris landmarks
    Paris guided sightseeing tour
    Arc de TriompheChamps-ÉlyséesEiffel TowerChamp de MarsÉcole MilitaireLes InvalidesConciergerieTuileriesPlace VendômeOpera House
    Details: Paris guided sightseeing tour
    What's that huge white arch at the end of the Champs-Élysées? The Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 after his victory at Austerlitz. Your licensed local guide will elaborate on this, and other Parisian landmarks. See some of the most famous sites, including the ornate, 19th-century Opera, the Presidential residence, the ultra-chic shops of the Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, and the gardens of the Tuileries. You'll pass the Place de la Concorde, where in the center you’ll find the Obelisk of Luxor, a gift from Egypt in 1836, and the Place Vendôme, a huge square surrounded by 17th-century buildings. Spot chic locals (and tons of tourists) strolling the Champs-Élysées. Look up at the iron girders of the Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 World's Fair to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. See Les Invalides (a refuge for war wounded), the École Militaire (Napoleon's alma mater), and the Conciergerie (the prison where Marie Antoinette was kept during the French Revolution).
    Details: Louvre visit
    The world's largest art museum, the Louvre is housed in a Medieval fortress-turned-castle so grand it's worth a tour itself. You walk through the 71-foot glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei and added in 1989, and step into another world--one with carved ceilings, deep-set windows, and so many architectural details you could spend a week just admiring the rooms. The Mona Lisa is here, as well as the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory (the headless statue, circa 200 BC, discovered at Samothrace). The Louvre has seven different departments of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and antiquities. Don't miss the Egyptian collection, complete with creepy sarcophagi, or the collection of Greek ceramics, one of the largest in the world. (Please note the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.)
    Details: Seine River cruise
    See the city from the water on an hour-long cruise along the River Seine. The Seine cuts right through Paris, dividing the city in half. See the Eiffel tower rising up on the Left Bank, the walls of the Louvre on the Right Bank. A guide will point out other monuments and architectural marvels as you pass, many of which are illuminated by clear white light at night.
    Day 12 End tour
    Map of Germany, Switzerland & Italy Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 8 overnight stays (10 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Guided sightseeing tours with high-tech headset as per itinerary
    • Tour Diary™
    • Seine cruise on extension
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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    2805.00 total fee
    Basic Options


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