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Highlights of Europe featuring London, Paris, Switzerland & Italy

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You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
20242025
13 days From $5,395 per person
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Six world-class cities and innumerable allures beckon on this European rail journey featuring stays in England, France, Switzerland, and Italy.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2024 Tour code: EEG24

About the tour

From cities whose monuments are instantly recognizable to the stunning heights of the Swiss Alps and the idyllic landscapes of the Tuscan countryside, this international expedition is as enamoring as it is scenic. Nearly two weeks of travel takes you along Europe's railways, opening the door to places where undertones of culture, tradition, and history meld with modern life. Each destination offers a new layer to this experience and introduces you to exciting ways to explore. Sail along a city-enveloped river and cruise across a renowned lake, whose surroundings are composed of medieval towns and staggering alpine scenery. Creep up a mountainside at 48 percent gradients to get a bird's eye view over Switzerland and through scenic countrysides wrapped in vineyards by train. Pair these travel experiences with guided visits to cultural icons, touring in world-class metropolises, and unforgettable dining experiences to create an odyssey of exploration and a journey for romantics and historians alike.

Unforgettable Experiences

Sightseeing in London
Sightseeing in London
Learn the stories of London and its beguiling past while venturing through the city with a local guide and discovering sites like the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and more.
A Dinner Cruise on Paris's River Seine
A Dinner Cruise on Paris's River Seine
Indulge in a dinner with a view as we take to the River Seine in Paris, weaving through the city's center and past famous Parisian attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum.
Views Over the Alps from Pilatus Kulm
Views Over the Alps from Pilatus Kulm
Enjoy a journey to the summit of Mt. Pilatus, beginning with a cruise across Lake Lucerne and concluding with a ride aboard the world’s steepest cog railway to a mountaintop observation deck from which 70 peaks are visible.
Wine Tasting and Dinner at Castello di Verrazzano
Wine Tasting and Dinner at Castello di Verrazzano
Experience the traditions of a 900-year-old wine estate while visiting Castello di Verrazzano, touring its castle and wine cellars, tasting its full-bodied vinos, and dining on quintessential Tuscan cuisine in its restaurant.
Sightseeing in Rome
Sightseeing in Rome
Step back to the days of gladiators and the wealthy Roman Empire while on a walking tour in Rome featuring time at the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and famous piazzas, amongst other sites.
Vatican City Touring
Vatican City Touring
Revel in the opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel, home to Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam,” and all the artifacts and masterpieces housed in the Vatican Museums while touring beautiful Vatican City.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in London

Your journey through some of Europe's most iconic cities begins today as you arrive in London. Make your way to your centrally located hotel, where you will meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers for a welcome meeting detailing the adventures to come. You may begin exploring the city alone before tonight's group dinner. Overnight London. 

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - London Sightseeing Tour

Whether you have seen them on TV or read about them in books, London's sites make the city instantly recognizable. From Tower Bridge to Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and all the beautiful and historic buildings that lie between, there is much to uncover during this morning's sightseeing tour. A knowledgeable guide leads us through the city, pointing out all the best attractions and offering little-known facts along the way. You are welcome to continue exploring independently for the remainder of the day. You could visit a museum, such as the Museum of London or the Museum of Natural History, or explore London's eclectic neighborhoods. Notting Hill, Hampstead, Soho, South Kensington, and Islington are all popular options. Overnight London.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Paris/Seine River Cruise

Begin your day on the rails, traveling from London to Paris aboard a Eurostar train. Your seat in Standard Class and provides an excellent perspective on the delightful urban scenery during the 2 1/2-hour route. Enjoy a few hours to get acquainted with this famous destination on arrival. Why not grab a baguette to nibble on as you wander through the Arrondissements and seek your first glimpses of the Eiffel Tower? This evening, rejoin the group for a dinner cruise on the Seine. The ship departs from the base of the Eiffel Tower and showcases the buildings and homes that line the river - all illuminated for the night. Sip an aperitif as we set underway, then savor course after course as the scenery unfolds. This cruise is truly a romantic introduction to the City of Love. Overnight Paris. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Paris City Tour

The city of Paris has centuries of history and a plethora of monuments and landmarks that recount it. Begin the day with a front-row seat to some of the most well-known on a panoramic coach tour. Marvel at 360-degree views of sites like Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs Elysees, Opera Garnier, Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and other Parisian essentials as we tour. Following, you may continue venturing through the city at your leisure. Perhaps look upon some of the world's most famous paintings at the Louvre or wander through the public gardens. Paris's largest cemetery, Père Lachaise Cemetery, is fascinating to explore. Since Paris is beloved for its gastronomic treasures, you could also spend the day tasting your way through the city, visiting restaurants, patisseries, and sidewalk cafès. Overnight Paris.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Lucerne

A day of travel takes you from the opulence and grandeur of Paris to the lakeside ambiance of Lucerne, Switzerland. After boarding the train at the Paris station, sit back and relax as the first leg of the route takes you to Basel, just beyond the French-Swiss border. We switch trains in Basel and continue into the heart of the country to Lake Lucerne and the eponymous town. Lucerne is surrounded by snowy peaks and has an enchanting medieval center. On arrival this afternoon, we walk to the historic Wilden Mann Hotel in the old town, located just minutes from the train station. This establishment has been in business - and the same location - for over 500 years. Enjoy a group dinner after getting settled in at the hotel. Overnight Lucerne.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Pilatus Kulm

Perhaps the most iconic peak looming over Lake Lucerne, Mt. Pilatus is our destination today. Our excursion to its summit takes us by water and rail, offering multiple perspectives on the gorgeous scenery as we travel. We begin by cruising across Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad. Our voyage unveils incredible views of the Swiss Alps, particularly Mt. Pilatus and the Stanserhorn, and the idyllic blue water they surround. The ancient towns surrounding the lake add their touch to the vistas. On arrival in Alpnachstad, take to the steepest cogwheel railway in the world - traveling at a gradient of up to 48 percent - to climb to the top. Board an iconic cherry-red carriage for the 45-minute journey, which passes through tunnels and showcases the changing alpine landscapes. Once at the top, the views are breathtaking. More than 70 mountain peaks are visible on a clear day, and you can soak them in from the observation deck or one of the hiking trails.

To descend the mountain, we take a different route. A mixture of cable cars and trains see us down the mountainside, and then we are returned to Lucerne by bus. If you prefer, you can ride the train back down to meet the bus back to Lucerne. Upon arrival back in our lakeside base camp, you are free to continue exploring at leisure for the remainder of the day. The city's footbridges, Chapel Bridge and the Spreuer Bridge, are must-sees, and Old Town is brimming with traditional buildings and old churches to discover. Overnight Lucerne.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Venice

Today, a route of unimaginable beauty lies ahead as we depart Lucerne by train bound for Italy. We first travel along the shores of Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug, with distant mountains and historic buildings complementing the water views as we approach Arth-Goldau. Disembark and switch trains here, then sit in awe as we weave through the Swiss Alps. This route is shrouded in magnificence and includes glimpses of staggering mountain peaks, colorful valleys, alpine lakes, and all the charming towns tucked amongst it.

As the route ventures south, the terrain becomes more Mediterranean, giving way to palm trees and colorful cities. Pass through resort towns and booming metropolises, like Milan, before eventually arriving in Venice this afternoon. We are transferred to our hotel on Murano Island on arrival, and once settled, you have a few hours to explore this Floating City ahead of your first Italian dinner tonight. Overnight Venice.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Venice Sightseeing Tour

Enjoy a leisurely morning to have an espresso or a cappuccino alongside a canal or watch Venice come to life in one of the local piazzas. Later this morning, join the group and a local guide on a two-hour walking tour of the city. Step by step, see how Venice's islands were sewn together by canals and bridges, making this one of the most unique destinations in Europe. Highlights of the tour include places like St. Mark's Basilica, St. Mark's Square, Doge's Palace, or any of Venice's famous bridges, including Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs. You have the remainder of the day to continue sightseeing at leisure. A private boat transfer to your hotel is available at 4:30; however, you are welcome to continue exploring for as long as you would like and can transfer back independently. Overnight Venice.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 - Florence

From the northeastern coast to the heart of Tuscany, we set out by train deep into central Italy to Florence. A showcase of the Italian landscape lies ahead as the train traverses small villages and great cities, eventually making its way into the rolling countryside and farmlands around Florence. We walk to our hotel, the Hotel Leonardo di Vinci, for check-in on arrival, then have free time to enjoy lunch in one of the local eateries. Tuscany is renowned for its culinary contributions, and as such, there is no shortage of places to taste the local flavors.

This afternoon, dive into Florence's best sights on a walking tour. Move along at a leisurely pace, soaking in the art and history of the city while exploring renowned sites and beautiful city squares. Look upon landmarks like the Duomo Cathedral, the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, or perhaps the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. There are so many sites to see that there is no shortage of places your walk can take you. Take the evening to continue exploring this vibrant city. Maybe find a restaurant in which to sample steak florentine, the region's most iconic dish, or have some gelato or wine in one of the piazzas, watching as Florence's night scene springs to life. Overnight Florence.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 - Pisa/Castello di Verrazzano

We begin our day in another Tuscan gem, Pisa, near the Ligurian Sea coast. This city is known worldwide for its leaning tower, yet its depth of history and architectural intrigues span far beyond this structure. As we arrive by train, a local guide greets us for a walking tour through the city. Awe-inspiring Gothic and medieval buildings adorn Pisa's four historic districts, so keep your camera at hand. Our tour may venture through the city's main piazzas, such as Piazza dei Cavalieri or Piazza dei Miracoli, or to the 1,000-year-old Pisa Cathedral. The Baptistery of St. John, an 11th-century octagonal building adorned in green and white marble, may also be featured. After, we return to Florence with the afternoon for you to continue sightseeing or tasting your way through Tuscany at leisure.

This evening, a coach takes us deeper into Tuscany to the charming town of Chianti, home to Castello Verrazzano. This remarkably preserved estate has been in use since the 10th century, and except for a restoration effort in the 1950s, the castle has remained virtually untouched since its construction in 1170. The timeless landscapes and ancient buildings provide a magical setting for your evening. We arrive in time for a tour of the property's gardens and wine cellars and enjoy a tasting of the wine produced onsite, including a selection of organic whites, reds, and rosés. Continue to the castle's restaurant, Hosteria, for dinner. Each dish is a symphony of the region's products and flavors, beautifully composed to offer a memorable conclusion to your time in Tuscany. Overnight Florence.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Rome

We continue to Italy's capital, Rome, by train this morning. Incredible scenes of Tuscan countryside guide the way, leading us through vineyards, olive groves, and the romantic villages that dot the rolling terrain. The vistas become more urban as we approach ancient Rome, a city whose appeals span millennia, beginning with the ancient Romans. As we arrive, you will quickly see how history has been layered over the centuries, setting a backdrop where history and the present meld for you to explore. A coach transfer takes us from the rail station to the Colosseum, where our walking tour begins. Enjoy up-close views of this ancient amphitheater, then continue to other Roman sites, including the Roman Forum and the Pantheon. Make a wish in the Trevi Fountain and enjoy a stop at a local coffee shop before our tour concludes in Piazza Navona, home to some of the city's most impressive fountains.

Take the afternoon and evening to enjoy the city's ambiance independently. Its allures span far and wide, extending to museums, intricately carved buildings, and landmarks sites. Perhaps climb the Spanish Steps or wander through the immaculate gardens at Villa Borghese. Rome's culinary scene is just as captivating as its history and includes more than 13,000 eateries in which to taste local favorites, such as pizza and carbonara. Overnight Rome.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 12 - Vatican City

A holy city revered by lovers of art, religion, and architecture alike, Vatican City is where we begin our day. Prepare to be in awe as we venture through the gorgeous Sistine Chapel and set our sights upon the world's most well-known fresco, "The Creation of Adam." Our visit also includes admission to the Vatican Museums, including the Gallery of Maps, to explore the various artifacts and artworks housed here. Look upon the Pinecone Courtyard before returning to Rome for an afternoon at leisure. This evening, join the group at a local restaurant for a final meal together. Savor delectable cuisine and fantastic Italian wine while celebrating this extraordinary expedition. Overnight Rome.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 - Tour Conclusion

After experiencing the vibrancy of London, the romance of Paris, the immeasurable wonders of the Swiss Alps, and all the appeals of Italy, your European tour comes to a close this morning. Make your way to Rome's international airport to begin your journey home.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Hotel Traiano, Rome

Hotel Traiano, Rome

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