Day 1 : London – Amsterdam (1 Night)
It's time to say goodbye to 'Old Blighty' and hello to the free-thinking capital of the Netherlands. Your journey to the continent begins with a drive through the lush Kent countryside. You'll board your ferry in Dover next and cross to Calais, travelling north through the endless plains of Belgium and the Netherlands to Amsterdam. If you can tear your eyes from its scenic canals, you'll be staring at the city's teetering gabled homes that proclaim their birth year with pride on their colourful façades. There's no better way to immerse yourself fully in Amsterdam's gezelligheid than taking an optional canal cruise in a glass-topped boat this evening.
Accommodation : Ibis Schiphol
Day 2 : Amsterdam – Cologne – Rhine Cruise – Rhineland (1 Night)
From Amsterdam's leafy canals to the towering spires of Cologne, your morning will be jam-packed with sights you'll want to capture on camera as you head east into the lush landscapes of Germany. View the imposing Gothic Cologne Cathedral then head to Boppard where you'll board your river cruise down the Rhine. Pass medieval villages, terraced vineyards and medieval castles where feuding lords must have surveyed their lands once upon a time. Watch the soul-stirring scenery of the Rhine Valley unfold as you kick back and watch the world go by. Arrive later at your hotel in the Rhineland where you'll join your travel companions for dinner.
Accommodation : Achat Premium Neustadt Weinstrasse
Day 3 : Rhineland – Black Forest – Rhine Falls – Lucerne Region (2 Nights)
Straight out of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Germany's Black Forest is the perfect backdrop for this morning's scenic drive. You'll see why its enchanting landscapes have inspired myths and fables throughout the centuries before crossing into Switzerland. A quick stop in Schaffhausen means there's time to capture the cascading waters of Rhine Falls, Europe's biggest waterfall, before you arrive in the scenic region of Lake Lucerne. This evening, consider an Optional Experience to a Swiss folklore show which will highlight many Swiss traditions including yodelling and alpine horn playing.
Accommodation : Krone Giswil
Day 4 : Lucerne Orientation and Free Time
Join your Travel Director for an orientation through the Old Town and to the ancient Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument. See the mournful, mortally wounded lion hewn from rock to commemorate the sacrifice made by the Swiss Guard who died defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution, then enjoy some time on your own. You'll then have the full day to discover why Lucerne earned its place on the 'Grand Tour' of Europe. You could choose to ascend to the alpine heavens, joining an optional scenic cruise across Lake Lucerne to Stans, then travelling by railway and cable car into the mountains for exhilarating mountain views.
Day 5 : Lucerne Region – Paris (2 Nights)
Enjoy a brief second encounter with the Rhine River when you head north, passing Basel en route to France. Admire the scenic views of the Burgundy wine region that follow your journey north to the French capital. Get a head start on your sightseeing and delve into Paris's grand past, dynamic present and exciting future on your own this evening. Why not join an Optional Experience, including a scenic river cruise and an illuminations drive, stopping at all the best photo spots?
Accommodation : Novotel Pont de Sevres
Day 6 : Paris Sightseeing and Free Time
Embrace elegance today with a full day to get under the skin of the City of Lights. Your Travel Director will deliver an excellent introduction during your sightseeing tour which includes views of the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower and Champs Élysées. There's time to see the sights on your own this afternoon. You could choose to hit the shops or tread in the footsteps of Picasso and Dalí in Montmartre, exploring its maze of streets and Artist's Square. Tonight, the frills and flounces of the Can-Can girls at a cabaret promise an entertaining evening should you wish to join this Optional Experience.
Day 7 : Paris – London
With a taste of Europe under your belt, you'll long for more, but for now you'll have to be contented with the good times you've enjoyed with new friends. Reminisce over the experiences you've shared from London to Amsterdam, Lucerne to Paris as you journey across the Somme battlefields and cross the English Channel to Dover. Your final destination is London, where your exhilarating encounter with Europe will come to an end.