Start this amazing family vacation with a welcome dinner, then discover London on a traditional London double-decker bus. See the major sites like Big Ben beside the River Thames, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. Enjoy a “flight” on the London Eye, the world’s tallest observation wheel with stunning views of the city. Then enjoy time for independent sightseeing. Next, an exciting ride on the high-speed Eurostar train to Paris. Upon arrival, ride the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The next morning, sightseeing with a Local Guide features all the major sites of Paris, like the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and the Opéra. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral and taste a French crêpe.Travel to Strasbourg on the border with Germany, and enjoy a canal cruise. Next: Lucerne in the heart of the Alps for a walking tour and excursion to Mount Pilatus, with spectacular panoramic views of central Switzerland. On the way to Austria, visit an original Swiss chocolate confectionary and learn all about chocolate making. Also stop in Vaduz, capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, before arriving in Innsbruck in Tyrol. See Maximilian’s Golden Roof and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride. In Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, visit Hohenwerfen Fortress, which dates to 1077 and where you will learn about traditional hunting methods using birds of prey. In Munich, Germany, guided sightseeing features Marienplatz, and you can try a German brezel. Another highlight is a visit to King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle, used as inspiration for the Disney Castle. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 1Arrive in London, England
Welcome to jolly old England! Enjoy free time today to rest before your adventure begins, or you may choose to set out on your own to discover London. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and fellow traveling companions for a WELCOME PARTY & DINNER at your hotel. (Dinner)
DAY 2Ride a Double-Decker Bus & Experience the London Eye
Hop aboard a traditional London double-decker bus for a memorable morning of sightseeing that includes all the famous landmarks: Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Prime Minister’s home and office at Number 10 Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Then, a ride on the LONDON EYE, Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel. The afternoon is free for independent sightseeing. Consider a visit to the Tower of London or to Windsor Castle. This evening, maybe dinner followed by a cruise on the River Thames? (Breakfast)
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."
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!"
"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."
DAY 3Travel the “Chunnel” & See Paris from Atop the Eiffel Tower
All aboard the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN today! You’ll zoom up to 150 miles per hour, traveling through the undersea Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) and arriving in just over two hours in fabulous Paris, the “City of Light.” Later, take the elevator to the TOP OF THE EIFFEL TOWER, the tallest structure in Paris, for an unforgettable experience overlooking the city. Tonight, sample French cuisine at your included dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 4Visit a Cathedral & Try a Crêpe
This morning, your Local Guide shows you what makes Paris so captivating. Admire the most famous sights: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and visit NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, setting for The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Try counting the many gargoyles, or marvel at its beautiful stained-glass Rose Window. Later, sample one of France’s specialties—a freshly made CRÊPE. (Breakfast)
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.
DAY 5Cruise the Canals of Strasbourg
Travel to Strasbourg, near the border with Germany, and admire the city from a different point of view. Enjoy a CANAL CRUISE onboard a comfortable boat, past the must-see sights of the Alsatian capital. This evening, sample tarte flambée and choucroute at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 6Come Face to Face with a Lion
Upon arrival in German-speaking Lucerne, enjoy free time for lunch, then a guided walking tour to stretch your legs. Admire the LION MONUMENT, which honors the fallen Swiss Guards who were killed during the French Revolution; the picturesque Old Town; and the CHAPEL BRIDGE, originally built in 1333 and the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe! (Breakfast, Dinner)
“The Lion of Lucerne” (Lowendenkmal) is a compelling statue in the north section of Old Town dedicated to the 42 members of the Swiss Guard who were assigned to protect Louis the XVI, Maria Antoinette and their family at the Royal Palace. When the Tuileries was stormed on August 10, 1792 by rioting Parisians at the start of the French Revolution, the king ordered the soldiers to lay down their arms. They were subsequently slaughtered by the crowd and the royal family was captured. Louis had made a big mistake. In 1821 Danish sculpture Berthel Thorwaldsen finished the sculpture, a 30-foot likeness of a wounded and dying lion with a broken lance in its heart and his paw resting atop the fleur-de-lys shield of the Bourbon king. The Latin inscription translated “To the bravery and fidelity of the Swiss.”
DAY 7Excursion to Mount Pilatus
On a clear day you can see forever—or so it seems! Via the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, as well as the aerial tramway and panoramic gondolas, climb 7,000 feet and enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of central Switzerland from MOUNT PILATUS. Legend says dragons once lived in the rugged clefts and crevices of this mountain, so be sure to watch for them as you climb! Enjoy free time to stroll up the winding Dragon Path or maybe try the giant Pilatus Tubing alpine slide. (Breakfast)
DAY 8Satisfy your Sweet Tooth & Stop in tiny Liechtenstein
Today you will journey to an authentic Swiss CHOCOLATE CONFECTIONARY, where you can try your skill at making a mouth-watering treat. On your way to Innsbruck in Austria, stop for a break in Vaduz, capital of the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein—only 62 square miles in area and the only country in the world to lie entirely within the Alps! (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 9See a Golden Roof & Take a Tyrolean Carriage Ride
In Innsbruck, an orientation walk of the city shows off Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF, a 3-story balcony built as a royal box where the emperor could sit in luxury and enjoy tournaments in the square below. Later, trot along in a HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE and admire the beautiful Tyrolean valley—a great photo opportunity. (Breakfast)
DAY 10Hohenwerfen Fortress & Falconry Demonstration
Today, visit HOHENWERFEN FORTRESS, which dates back to 1077 and is perched atop a 508-foot-high, jutting rock. A diagonal elevator whisks you to the upper castle courtyard for a tour of the fortress and its grounds. This is also home to the First Austrian Falconry Museum and the Birds of Prey Nature Trail. Here, watch and learn about traditional hunting methods using birds of prey during flight demonstrations by professional falconers. Later, arrive in The Sound of Music’s Salzburg for an overnight. (Breakfast)
DAY 11Explore the Land of Oktoberfest
Today, travel to Munich, home to giant pretzels, beer gardens, and oom-pah-pah music. Guided sightseeing features the Olympic Stadium with its 1,000-foot-high Television Tower and MARIENPLATZ with its spectacular Glockenspiel that chimes three times a day during summer, its life-size statues re-enacting a story from the 16th century. Also, try a tasty Bavarian BREZEL. (Breakfast)
"Munich, Germany's Secret Capital"
"Munich is the only German metropolis that seems to have everything – wealth, beauty, prominence, fame. Some even call it Germany’s “secret capital.” Unlike Berlin, which some dub “architecturally challenged,” Munich bursts with historical buildings reconstructed after the devastation of World War II. Its grand Residenz, the former home of Bavarian kings, dominates the city center, which also boasts the flamboyant, gilded Cuvillié Theater. Nearby, the neo-gothic Neues Rathaus gives a medieval touch to the Marienplatz, the heart of Munich. "
DAY 12Step into a Fairytale at Neuschwanstein Castle
Located in the Bavarian Alps on a hilltop overlooking Hohenschwangau Valley, enjoy a guided visit of mad King Ludwig II’s magical NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE. This fairytale refuge was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Also marvel at the king’s nearby childhood residence, Hohenschwangau Castle. This evening, a SEND-OFF CELEBRATION DINNER at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
"As it rises from its alpine backdrop, Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen has all the drama of a well-planned stage scene. And so it is. The late 19th century dream castle joins various architectural styles with the eccentric fancy of Ludwig II, Bavaria’s most peculiar sovereign. From afar he adored the anorexic Austrian Empress Elisabeth, he wrote about suicide in his diaries and he bankrolled the composer Richard Wagner. He also loved building castles. In the process, he nearly bankrupted his government. Today, he’s the equivalent of a pop star in Bavaria for giving Germany its most popular tourist attraction."
Auf Wiedersehen. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Double-decker bus; high-speed Eurostar train; canal cruise; motorcoach with free Wi-Fi
LONDON Park Plaza Westminster Bridge (SF)PARIS Novotel Gare Montparnasse (F)STRASBOURG Hilton (SF)LUCERNE Grand Hotel Europe (F)INNSBRUCK Grauer Baer (F)SALZBURG Best Western Imlauer (F)MUNICH Sheraton Munich Westpark (F)
Full buffet breakfast; 6 three-course dinners, including a welcome party & dinner in London, a dinner at local restaurants in Paris and Strasbourg, and a send-off celebration dinner at a local restaurant in Munich
|Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the European Family Discovery:
- Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg
- Paris Banks of the Seine
- Strasbourg Grande île