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The Castles of Europe Tour London-Basel

Day 1 - Welcome to London  (3 nights)

Start your journey through Great Britain in the lively capital of London, which you will have an opportunity to explore before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner this evening.

 

Day 2 - Discover the Sights of London

Today join a Local Specialist for a tour of the city's iconic sights. See Big Ben and the imposing Houses of Parliament on the banks of the Thames, then Buckingham Palace, the official UK residence of the UK's sovereigns since the mid-19th century. Our last stop today is the brooding Tower of London where we'll rub shoulders with the Beefeaters and see the Crown Jewels. Included Meals – Breakfast

 

Day 3 – Dover Castle

Venture to Dover for a full day excursion to visit Dover Castle. Dover is one of the most significant castles in England’s history. It all started when a hill fort was established around 800 BC. The lighthouse, the first building on the Dover Castle site, was built in the year 43 AD.  The Castle Keep, also known as the Great Tower, was started by Henry II in the 12th century. In more recent times the castle was the headquarters for some of the most important planning during World War II.

 

Day 4 - Onwards to Glastonbury and Cardiff (1 night)

Enjoy a scenic drive through the pretty Devon and Somerset countryside to mystical Glastonbury, where we'll visit the ruined Abbey, said to be the final resting place of King Arthur. We journey to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, where we'll explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments. Done in the 1800s by architect William Burgess, his influences included Islamic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. You’ll also walk on the battlements and climb the 900-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff. This evening enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humor. The venue for the evening is a stunningly-renovated deconsecrated church. After a warm reception, we'll enjoy a first-class meal of seasonal Welsh specialties, sourced and produced locally. Quality wine or soft drinks are included and the meal will be accompanied by our enchanting Welsh harpist. You'll then be entertained by the finest local singers presenting the beautiful music of Wales.

 

Day 5 - Onwards to Historic Wales and Ruthin Castle (2 nights)

Today we stop in the historic town of Llangollen, famous for its annual Eisteddfod, and then cross the Horseshoe Pass to a medieval castle and one of Trafalgar's Stays with Stories, where we'll spend the next two nights (subject to availability). Dine like lords and ladies this evening enjoying a delicious Welsh dinner with your new travel friends.

 

Day 6 - Enjoy a Day in Chester

Go back in time today during your visit to Chester, whose medieval city walls and famous red cathedral will give you a sense of what it must have been like to live in the Middle Ages. You'll take to its ancient walls with a Roman centurion Local Specialist, learning all there is to know about 2,000-year-old Deva, Britain's biggest Roman fortress on which modern-day Chester was built. The highlight of today will undoubtedly be the opportunity to Connect With Locals at an exclusive Be My Guest experience featuring an English cream tea (subject to availability). We return to our regal home-away-from-home this afternoon for free time to relax, or ramble along its ancient walls and through the beautiful castle grounds.

Included Meals - Breakfast, English Tea

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE

Famous Sights and the Fab Four

Come along with our Local Specialist for a guided tour of Liverpool. From its glorious maritime past to its famous cultural present, you’ll discover the two magnificently different cathedrals, see Mathew Street, birthplace of The Beatles, and enjoy the Mersey beat.

 

Day 7 – Halifax – Leeds – York (1 night)

Today make stops in Halifax and Leeds for orientation tours and time for lunch on your own or exploring. End your day in York, where the rest of the day is at your leisure.

 

Day 8 – Alnwick and on to Edinburgh (2 nights)

We travel to the medieval market town of Alnwick this morning, where we'll see the impressive castle home to the Duke of Northumberland and the Tenantry Column, upon which the Percy Lion sits and surveys the town. Then continue on to Edinburgh. Tonight is your chance to put on that tartan and join us for an evening of singing, dancing and bagpipe playing at an internationally famous venue. You’ll enjoy Scottish food and wine, join in the singing and watch a Highland dance or two. There's even a chance to sample Scotland’s national dish – haggis.

 

Day 9 - Uncover Edinburgh’s Treasures

Delve into the magic of Edinburgh's iconic sights and stunning landscapes as you join a sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Ramble up the Royal Mile and see the tall spires of the Scott Monument, visit Edinburgh Castle, where you will hear tales of bravery, treason and intrigue. Get lost in 'Auld Reekie', strolling through its secret lanes and past medieval façades or join your Travel Director for an Optional Experience.

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE

Royal Yacht Britannia

You’ll explore this magnificent ship, which has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. Now berthed in Leith, you’ll be welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of royal residences – the former honeymoon sanctuary for four royal couples.

 

Day 10 – Venture into the Scottish Highlands (2 nights)

Tread in the footsteps of the world's golfing greats and head to St. Andrews en route to the glorious Scottish Highlands. A scenic drive takes us north and across the Firth of Tay, past the city of Dundee to Pitlochry. After lunch, enjoy some free time to explore its river-side setting or join an Optional Experience to Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Clan Murray. Our day in beautiful surrounds comes to an end with a cozy dinner at our hotel.

 

Day 11 – Loch Ness

Today enjoy a guided cruise across the still waters of Loch Ness and to the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle. Keep your eyes peeled for "Nessie," the fabled Loch Ness Monster, along the way. Enjoy free time to tour the crumbled castle to learn about its 500-year-long role as a medieval fortress.

 

Day 12 –Journey to Thriving Glasgow (2 nights)

Our first stop today sees us commemorate World War II history at the Commando Memorial near Fort William, from which we admire spectacular views of Britain's highest peak - Ben Nevis. We journey through the volcanic ruins and precipitous mountains that lie just beyond Glencoe to see the 'Glen of Weeping'. Here we remember the MacDonald clansmen who were massacred in 1692. Continuing towards the River Clyde, we arrive at our final stop for the day - Glasgow. This evening you'll enjoy a chance to experience a night out in the city of Glasgow. Your Travel Director will take you for an evening of good food, a drink, and undoubtedly interesting conversation.

 

Day 13 - Walk the Walls of Stirling Castle

Madainn mhath! While your Gaelic may be a little rusty, your orientation tour around this edgy city will be anything but. Begin your day seeing Glasgow's iconic sights. Enjoy views of the Necropolis, the regal George Square and River Clyde, for over 200 years the centre of shipbuilding. Journey to Stirling, to see its hilltop fortress, which stands as a symbol of national pride. Stirling Castle was once the seat of Scottish kings and queens, including Mary, Queen of Scots. View the Wallace Monument from the castle walls, paying tribute to the Scottish hero who fought for Scotland's independence. Later, we Dive Into Culture at Glengoyne Whisky Distillery and enjoy a wee dram before joining the Wood family at their 15th-century farm on the shores of Loch Ard to Connect With Locals over a home-cooked Be My Guest Farewell Dinner (subject to availability), amidst tales of Rob Roy and a few foot-tapping ceilidh tunes.

 

Day 14 Farewell Glasgow

The rugged beauty and warmth of Scotland's people forever in your memories, we enjoy one last hearty breakfast with our travel companions before your group transfer to the airport for your inter flight Amsterdam for your 8day Rhine river adventure

 

8 DAYS ON THE AMADEUS MS IMPERIAL ON THE RHINE RIVER 

 DAY 14 Amsterdam

  Welcome Dinner

This afternoon, embark and unpack. Enjoy a Welcome Cocktail, followed by a specially-prepared Welcome Dinner and our special cultural show this evening as the ship overnights.

 

Stay Amsterdam

 Overnight

 

 DAY 15 Amsterdam- Utrecht

  Canal boat tour in Amsterdam

This morning is all about choices. Choose to spend the morning exploring Amsterdam with a relaxing canal cruise and a visit to the flower market or venture out into the surrounding countryside to the picturesque towns of Volendam and Edam with a tasting of delicious Dutch cheese, meeting the vessel in the town of Utrecht. 

Other choices include a morning visit to the Famous Floriade Garden Show which takes place once every 10 years, or perhaps an excursion to Haarlem and the Cathedral of St. Bavo. This afternoon, the vessel continues with a cruise on the Ijsselmeer, one of the largest inland freshwater lakes in Holland. This evening, join your fellow travelers for dinner.

Stay Amsterdam

 Departure 8.30am

Stay Utrecht

 12.30pm - 1pm

Excursions

 Amsterdam with canal trip and flower market
   OR Excursion North Holland with Volendam, Edam and cheese tasting
   OR Haarlem - art, history and Dutch lifestyle
   OR Visit to the Floriade Garden show

 DAY 16 Cologne

  Visit Cologne Cathedral, the town's landmark

After breakfast, view our arrival at the beautiful cathedral city of Cologne. Explore the historic Old Town with its High Gothic architecture, the famous twin-spired Cologne Cathedral, and sample the famous Kölsch beer brewed in Cologne. 

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon or perhaps join the visit to the Chocolate Museum in Cologne to learn about this sweet treat or venture farther afield for a more active excursion to Siebengebirge National Park and the remains of Castle "Drachenfels" (Dragon Rock). After a wonderful day in Cologne, enjoy dinner on board as the vessel continues cruising the Rhine River.

Stay Cologne

 10am - 8pm

Excursions

 Cologne – historic capital of the Rhineland with Kölsch tasting
 Visit to the Chocolate Museum (Cologne)
   OR Siebengebirge and Drachenfels castle ruins

DAY 17 Cochem

 Scenic cruise along Moselle river & visit to Reichsburg Castle

This morning our AMADEUS vessel takes a special trip down the romantic Moselle River, the largest tributary of the Rhine. This area is the 5th largest German wine region with some of the steepest, terraced vineyards along the river. 

After lunch, your vessel will arrive in Cochem. Explore the town which is filled with narrow streets, twisting alleys, medieval town gates, churches and walls on your own, or discover the beauty of Cochem and visit the stunning Reichsburg Castle on a guided tour. After dinner on board, join a visit to a local winery and sample some of the spectacular wines produced in this region. Before midnight, the vessel continues toward Koblenz.

Stay Cochem

 2pm - 9.45pm

Excursions

 Cochem walking tour with visit to the Reichsburg
 Wine tasting of typical Moselle wines in a local winery

 

 DAY 18 Koblenz- Rudesheim

 Romantic cruise along the Upper Middle Rhine Valley

Early this morning, arrive in Koblenz, ideally situated at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle Rivers. Join this morning's tour exploring the town of Koblenz on foot and then by cable car, to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, situated high above the town.

This afternoon, spend time on deck as we cruise the most beautiful section of the river - the legendary Upper Middle Rhine Valley. This area is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its dramatic riverbanks dotted with vineyards and picturesque castles. Late afternoon, arrive in the winegrowers town of Rüdesheim. Choose a walking tour of the town, with a visit to the unique Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum's private collection of self-playing instruments. Or visit a local vineyard for a tasting of the local wines and a walk through the famous Drosselgasse with its wine taverns, garden restaurants, beer bars and live music venues. Back on board, your AMADEUS crew awaits with a delicious dinner.

Stay Koblenz

 6am - 11am

Stay Rüdesheim

 5pm - 10pm

Excursions

 Koblenz walking tour

Excursions

 Rüdesheim walking tour with Music Cabinet Museum
   OR Visit to a vineyard with tasting & Drosselgasse in Rüdesheim

 

 DAY 19 Mannheim- Speyer

  Visit to Heidelberg Castle & Captain's Gala Dinner

After breakfast, your vessel docks in the bustling town of Mannheim, your gate to an excursion to nearby Heidelberg, another old university city with its beautiful Heidelberg Castle. 

This afternoon's call is at Speyer, a city known for its cathedral where eight Roman emperors and German kings are interred. Choose to explore the city on a guided tour including a visit to the medieval Jewish Mikvha, or venture out on your own. Back onboard, enjoy the Captain's Gala Dinner after your exciting day. 

Stay Mannheim

 6am - 1pm

Stay Speyer

 3.30pm - 7.30pm

Excursions

 Heidelberg with visit to the castle

Excursions

 Speyer walking tour with visit to the Imperial Dome

 

 DAY 20 Strasbourg

 Boat tour on the river Ill

This morning we arrive in the dynamic capital of Alsace. This beautiful city's sights include the famous cathedral Straßburger Münster and the Petite France quarter, a former mill and tanner district that still maintains its medieval charm. Half-timbered houses, the Ponts Couverts, the Palais de Rohan, and the Council of Europe are among the wonders that Strasbourg holds in store for you. The Grand Island, the city center, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is connected to the rest of the city by 22 stone bridges. 

See Strasbourg by canal boat on this morning's guided excursion or join the tour to the nearby town of Freiburg, a visit to the colorful market included. After lunch on board, take in the views of the romantic Rhine as we move toward Switzerland, our final destination.

Stay Strassbourg

 7.30am - 1pm

Excursions

 Strasbourg with canal boat tour
   OR Freiburg with visit to the market

 

 DAY 21 Basel

 Farewell

After breakfast, the entire AMADEUS crew bids you farewell and wishes you a safe journey home. Arrival 9am

 

AMADEUS MS IMPERIAL DETAILS