As the name implies, this European tour is a sample of some of the major highlights of Europe. You’ll spend two nights in London, Lucerne, and Paris, as well as a night each in Amsterdam and Heidelberg. On your sightseeing tour in London, you’ll visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married, and see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, if held. In Amsterdam, your sightseeing is via a canal cruise, the only way to experience Amsterdam! In both Heidelberg and Lucerne, you’ll discover the must-see sights on a walking tour, including Heidelberg’s Old Town and Lucerne’s Bourbaki Panorama, a circular painting dating to 1881 and depicting a memorable event from the Franco-Prussian War. Your Paris sightseeing includes an elevator ride to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, where you’ll be treated to great views of the city. This European tour also includes majestic scenery, such as a romantic Rhine cruise, a stop at spectacular Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall, and an exciting ride on the high-speed Eurostar train. Of course, on a European sampler tour you have to taste the food unique to each area, and with Globus, you get the special opportunity to do just that! You’ll enjoy dinner and a beer at a charming local restaurant in Heidelberg, coffee and traditional homemade Black Forest Cake in Germany’s Black Forest, and chocolate pralines from one of Switzerland’s most famous chocolate makers.Fascinating sightseeing, spectacular scenery, tasty local food, expert Local Guides, and a Tour Director ready to bring these destinations to life…what more can you ask for in a European vacation?
Similar Vacations that may interest you:
DAY 1Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Visit magnificent ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL and see the Changing of the Guard, if held. Optional excursions are available to the Tower of London or to Windsor Castle and maybe later, enjoy dinner, followed by a Thames cruise. (Breakfast)
Changing of the Guard
"Changing the Guard dates to Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509) and was designed to show military discipline as well as ceremony. The tall bearskin hats were introduced in the 18th century to make the soldiers look taller and thus more frightening, and they were adopted for ceremonial use in 1832. The ceremony we know today started in the late 1800s and involves real soldiers who fulfill all military duties, guarding the Queen being just part of their service."
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 3London–Brussels, Belgium–Amsterdam, Holland
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and head for the railway station to board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to Brussels, Belgium. From here, a comfortable drive will bring you to Amsterdam, Holland’s 700-year-old capital. Enjoy a CANAL CRUISE aboard a glass-roofed launch, which is the best way to get a good impression of how Amsterdam was built and how much still remains from the Golden Age. Why not join an optional Dutch dinner with local specialties, followed by a walk through Old Amsterdam? (Breakfast)
DAY 4Amsterdam–Heidelberg, Germany
Pass the Dutch region near Arnhem, best known as the locale of A Bridge Too Far, and enter Germany. Today’s highlight is a romantic RHINE CRUISE along the most scenic part of the river with its centuries-old castles. Continue to Heidelberg for a pleasant walk through the OLD TOWN to the Marktplatz (market square), from where you can take pictures of the famous red-walled ruins of Heidelberg Castle, and enjoy dinner with beer at Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
A Short Wine Guide
"Historically, Germany’s wine has suffered with an “inferiority complex” fueled by the reputation of wine powerhouses France and Italy. And in modern times, they’ve tacked of “how to compete with a Bordeaux or a Chianti” by improving quality, while keep prices reasonable. Finally, German vintners are starting to reap the rewards. The world famous Riesling region, centered on the Rhine and its tributaries and in eastern Germany near Dresden, is the biggest success story to come out of Germany’s 13 wine growing regions. White grapes form 80 percent of the harvest, but reds are on the rise, as well as the general reputation of German wines."
Mark Twain's Heidelberg
"“One thinks Heidelberg by day – with its surroundings – is the last possibility of the beautiful; but when he sees Heidelberg by night, a fallen Milky Way, with that glittering railway constellation pinned to the border, he requires time to consider upon the verdict.” Mark Twain wrote this ode to Heidelberg in his humorous travel book, “A Tramp Abroad” (1880). During the three months that Twain spent in the city in 1878, many of his recorded experiences aren’t entirely dissimilar from activities that travelers and residents still enjoy today. He gazed out over the Nektar River; strolled across the Old Bridge; and watched university students dueling in a tavern."
DAY 5Heidelberg–Black Forest–Rhine Falls, Switzerland–Lucerne
Enter the lush valleys and pine-clad hills of the BLACK FOREST, famous for cuckoo clocks, where another highlight awaits you: be welcomed by a local woodcarver, Adolf Herr, watch a WOODCARVING DEMONSTRATION, and see samples of his work. Then, enjoy Kaffee und Schwarzwaldkuchen (coffee and the traditional homemade Black Forest Cake). On the Swiss border, stop at thundering RHINE FALLS before continuing to picturesque Lucerne. (Breakfast, Dinner)
During your walking tour, visit the impressive BOURBAKI PANORAMA, Edouard Castres’ circular painting dating back to 1881, depicting scenes of the Franco-Prussian War. Also admire Thorwaldsen’s emotional LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and the ornate patrician houses lining the cobblestone streets of the walled Old Town. Cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Of course, you will taste CHOCOLATE PRALINES from Läderach Chocolatier Suisse, one of Switzerland’s most famous chocolate makers. Balance of the day is at leisure. You can shop for Swiss watches and choose from our optional activities: climb Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” by cable car, or take a cruise on the fjord-like lake. Tonight is your chance to yodel or blow an alphorn during an optional folklore dinner party for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking. (Breakfast)
“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 7Lucerne–Paris, France
Say Auf Wiedersehen in Basel and cross the border into France. Drive past the vineyards of the Burgundy wine region, with views of beautiful castles and Fontainebleau Forest. Arrive in Paris, where an optional excursion is available to try out local specialties in one of Paris’ lively restaurants, followed by a drive through the “City of Light.” (Breakfast)
Discover the world capital of chic and style with a Local Guide and admire its most famous sights: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. For a bird’s-eye view, take the elevator to the second floor of Paris’ most famous landmark: the EIFFEL TOWER. Time to further explore Paris on your own or to join an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles. Tonight, dinner and a lively cabaret show at one of Paris’ nightclubs might just be the ticket! (Breakfast)
There’s more than one way to conquer the world. The flabby, charismatic “Sun King,” Louis XIV, knew that he could impress the French people with his insanely lavish royal lifestyle, but he also wanted to make his mark on Europe. Throughout his 55 year rule in the 17th Century, he campaigned vigorously to establish Paris as the continent’s capital of style, promoting its gourmet food and wine, haute couture, cutting-edge perfumes, opulent furnishings and exquisite jewelry. Every new innovation required Louis’ personal imprimatur, making him the world’s first fashion dictator. Author Joan DeJean claimed in “The Essence of Style” that Louis’ devotion to elegance has shaped the culture of indulgence today – “Without the Sun King’s program for defining France as the land of luxury in glamour, there would never have been a Stork Club, a Bergdorf Goodman, a Chez Panisse or a Christophe of Beverly Hills.”
Imagining Paris without the Eiffel Tower is like London without Big Ben or San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge. But no sooner had the architect Gustav Eiffel beaten his 700 competitors in the design competition for the 1889 Centennial Exposition, celebrating a century since the French Revolution, than a vocal outcry began to halt construction of the edifice. Three hundred famous French artists and writers signed a petition in the newspaper “Le Temps” denouncing Eiffel’s radically modern design as “useless and monstrous,” a blight upon the elegant fabric of the City of Light. Others critics were even more vicious, describing the proposed tower as a “tragic street lamp,” a gymnasium apparatus…incomplete, confused and deformed,” “a giant ungainly skeleton,” “a half-built factory pipe,” “a carcass” and even “a hole-riddled suppository.” Nature-lovers argued that it would disturb the flight patterns of Parisian birds. Even as the iron lattice began to rise, Parisians continued to refer to it by the less-than-flattering nickname, “the metal asparagus.” Of course, no sooner had the tower opened in 1889 than the rabid criticism evaporated.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
High-speed Eurostar train; motorcoach; canal cruise in Amsterdam; Rhine River cruise. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
Full buffet breakfast daily; 2 three-course dinners with wine, including a special dinner in Heidelberg
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 18 years
Discover Europe with me and enjoy the safety, excitement, value, and fun of an organized European vacation. With many years of experience in tour guiding, I know how to travel smart and hassle-free. I will show you as we skip the lines and get the maximum value out of our time. You will discover more hidden treasures, different cultures, and natural wonders.
|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. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the European Sampler:
- Paris Banks of the Seine
- Upper Middle Rhine Valley
- 17th Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam