Tour: HC - 2013 (HC) - 2013 / 2014

Questions? 866.755.8581


Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in London, England

Welcome to London! Your Tour Director will meet you upon your arrival at the hotel, and is available to help you make the most of your stay. This evening, enjoy a unique chance to combine a traditional dining experience with a relaxed, night-time river cruise. A three-course welcome dinner with wine at a contemporary London restaurant is followed by a private, narrated CRUISE on the River Thames to admire some of the capital’s most beautiful illuminated sights, including Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Houses of Parliament. (Dinner)

The Tower of London houses the United Kingdoms crown jewels, including orbs, swords, rings, and crowns London’s Tower Bridge over the River Thames Ride the iconic double decker bus in London The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel 
[STORIES]
[CULTURAL]

DAY 2London

After a hearty English breakfast, morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the River Thames, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. A special highlight is the Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite LONDON EYE CHAMPAGNE EXPERIENCE—a ride on the world’s tallest observation wheel, with stunning views of the city while you sip a glass of champagne. Free time in the afternoon for independent activities. Later, why not take in one of London’s West End theater shows? (Breakfast)

The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel Overlooking The Houses of Parliament along the north bank of the Thames River Ride the iconic double decker bus in London Pomp-and-ceremony in London 
Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament


"Big Ben may be the most famous feature of the Houses of Parliament, but equally impressive is the hammerbeam ceiling of Westminster Hall. The Hall dates back to 1097 and, at that time, the roof was supported by pillars. During the reign of King Richard II (14th century), however, it was replaced by the hammerbeam roof seen today. This roof – its beauty and sustainability – is even more impressive when you know its history. It was built with beams made from trees that were ancient at the time, reputedly acorns, dating back to the 6th century (or earlier). If only these walls (beams, rather) could talk!"
Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace


"Amid the splendor of modern cities it’s hard to imagine what places looked like before they became what we know today. In a previous incarnation, the ground where Buckingham Palace now stands was a mulberry garden cultivated by King James I as food for silkworms. The silk industry he hoped to nurture never materialized, and eventually a roadhouse was built there, followed in due course by the Blake House, Goring House and Arlington House.Originally known as the Buckingham House, built as a townhouse by the Duke of Buckingham in 1709, the estate was acquired by King George III in 1762."
[CULTURAL]

DAY 3At Leisure in London

Today offers you the opportunity to join one of our optional excursions. Consider a visit to the Tower of London, which has been guarded by the Beefeaters since the 14th century and houses the fabulous Crown Jewels; to Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world and the Queen’s favorite residence; or one of the exciting full-day excursions available for your enjoyment. (Breakfast)

[PHOTOS]
Tower of London

Tower of London


"Since its founding in the 11th century, the Tower of London has served many roles: impregnable fortress, royal residence, armory, treasury, home of the famed Crown Jewels, and a prison for those who offended the monarchy. To this day it is guarded by the “Beefeaters,” a name that likely originates from when Tower guards were paid part of their salary with chunks of beef, a practice that continued until the 1800s."
[CULTURAL]

DAY 4London–Paris, France

Board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN for an exciting ride to Paris. On arrival, an orientation drive features the highlights of the splendid capital of chic and style, and for a bird’s-eye view, take the elevator to the second floor of Paris’ most famous landmark: the EIFFEL TOWER. This evening, you may wish to join an optional dinner at one of Paris’ fine restaurants followed by an illumination drive to see the “City of Light” by night. (Breakfast)

The Eiffel Tower in Paris 
[STORIES]
[CULTURAL]

DAY 5Paris

Start with a guided visit of magnificent NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL with its Rose Window. Next, enjoy a CRÊPE at a local crêperie, before continuing to MONTMARTRE, the most famous Parisian artist area. Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Ride the little TRAIN uphill through narrow lanes, then follow your Local Guide on a walking tour to visit famous SACRE COEUR BASILICA, with the chance to take pictures of the spectacular view of Paris. End up at Place du Tertre, where artists display their art. Enjoy a special lunch in one of the many restaurants here, consisting of the traditional soupe à l’oignon (onion soup), accompanied by French baguette, and tarte tatin as dessert. In the evening, an optional dinner and show at the world-famous Moulin Rouge in the famous Pigalle area is available. (Breakfast, Lunch)

[PHOTOS]
Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral


Europe’s most famous cathedral, whose twin Gothic towers loom above France’s most beloved river, the Seine, actually owes a lot of its international success to the author Victor Hugo. Back in 1831, when Hugo wrote his classic novel about a hunchbacked bell-ringer at Notre Dame who falls in love with a beautiful gypsy, the medieval cathedral had fallen on hard times. During the Revolution in 1789, it had been seized, looted of its treasures and converted into an atheistic “Temple of Reason.” Even worse, after the monarchy was restored in 1815, Notre Dame was used as riverside warehouse – its once-splendid glass windows now dimmed and its facades decaying pathetically above the Île de la Cité. But Parisian’s indifference to their landmark ended suddenly in 1831, when Victor Hugo published his romantic novel the “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” (called “Notre-Dame de Paris” in French). The book was an international bestseller and lured armies of tourists to Paris in search of its Gothic cathedral setting. Hugo used this groundswell of public interest to lobby the French government for renovations of his beloved Notre Dame. From 1845 to 1864, repairs were indeed carried out – the clogged medieval streets nearby were cleared, revealing the marvelous edifice we see today.
[CULTURAL]

DAY 6At Leisure in Paris

Immerse yourself in this fascinating city. You may wish to join our optional excursions to the imposing Louvre Museum to admire the Mona Lisa, or to the immense Palace and Gardens of Versailles, the most famous palace in Europe, built by the Sun King, Louis XIV. Tonight, a special farewell dinner with wine has been prepared at a local restaurant, the best way to say, “Au Revoir, Paris.” (Breakfast, Dinner)

[PHOTOS]
Louvre

Louvre


Today, a thick pane of bullet-proof security glass keeps artlovers a safe distance from the most famous painting in the world, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, Wife of Francesco Giacondo,” known in French as “La Joconde” and English as the “Mona Lisa.” But back in 1911, it was simply hung on the walls of the Musée du Louvre like any other canvas. That was until a former museum employee named Vincenzo Perrugia strolled into the gallery before opening hours on August 21, noticed the room was empty, took down the Mona Lisa and walked out of the Louvre with it under a painting smock. When the loss was finally noticed, the police were mystified. For two years, the whereabouts of the masterpiece was unknown, while French detectives made various wild guesses. (It had been stolen by the Germans. By anarchists. By evil geniuses. By lunatics.) They actually arrested the country’s top art critic, Guillame Apollinaire, then let him free. Then, out of the blue in 1913, an Italian art dealer in Florence was contacted by a man calling himself “Leonardo” who claimed to have the Mona Lisa and wanted to see it hang in the Uffizi, Italy’s top art museum. Although he found it hard to believe that the thief could be so reckless, the dealer tipped off the police and agreed to meet the strange Leonardo in a Milan hotel room. There, the nondescript fellow opened his suitcase, emptied out his socks and underwear, opened up a false bottom in the case to reveal the Mona Lisa – and was immediately arrested.
[CULTURAL]

DAY 7Paris

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

[PHOTOS]
[STORIES]
[CULTURAL]