Cosmos

Tour: 5105 - 2012 (5105) - 2012 / 2014


Venice is world-famous for its canals
Venice is world-famous for its canals
Venice Canal
Visit the Roman Forum, where Roman legions marched in triumph
Pisa at sunset
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be available. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

Availability is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; you can use our online currency converter for exchange rate information.

Castelli Romani with Dinner The excursion will leave from the hotel around 15.30 hrs to drive south-east out of Rome to the Alban Hills. Castel Gandolfo is a small town occupying a height overlooking Lake Albano and was voted one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It is best known as the summer residence of the Pope. A short stop will be made here before proceeding via Marino and Grottaferrata to the nearby town of Frascati. Frascati is renowned for its white wine and is also an important historical and artisic centre. The restaurant we take you to for dinner is near to the characteristic market square and has a particularly charming rustic atmosphere with history in each of its stones. The quality and originality of the Roman kitchen allows you to sample local dishes with unlimited local white wine and mineral water plus coffee. During the evening you will be entertained by an accordion player.

Approximate value: per person


The Catacombs With a local guide discover the imperial and early Christian Rome by exploring the Eternal city's underground burial chambers with its long winding catacombs and crypts. Two examples of these Catacombs are the "Catacombe of San Callisto" which is one of the biggest with a network of galleries about 17 kms long and 20 meters deep. It contains the crypt of nine popes, early Christian frescoes and paintings. The other Catacomb is "Catacombe of San Domitilla" which has the oldest catacomb and is visited by passing through a 4th century church. One of the highlights of this catacomb is a second century fresco of the Last Supper. Note that the various catacombs have different closing periods so it is not possible to guarantee which will be visited during the excursion. Also included on this excursion is a visit to The Papal Basilica "St. Paul Outside the Walls" . At the beginning of the 4th century the Emperor Constantine ordered the excavation of the place where Christians venerated the memory of Saint Paul the Apostle and above his grave, located ouside the Aurelian Walls surrounding Rome, Constantine built a Basilica which was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. Every year in the Basilica on the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul i.e. on 25th January, the week of prayer for Christian Unity opens.

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Treasures of Rome by Night & Dinner An early evening tour will show you other aspects of Rome, perhaps not seen on the included sightseeing tour. Either before or after dinner you will have an orientation drive to probably include Castel Sant' Angelo, Palace of Justice, Mausoleum of Augustus, Aurelian walls, Villa Borghese, Via Veneto, Piazza Barberini and Via Nazionale. Dinner will be taken at one of the local restaurants and you can sample a delicious 3 course menu with dessert including local wine and mineral water plus coffee or tea. During the evening there will be music to add to the romantic Roman atmosphere.

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Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel On this fascinating excursion with a local guide you can stroll through the Vatican Museum and marvel at Michaelangelo's famous creation in the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum houses over 2000 rooms and 9 miles of the most extensive collections of art in the world. The Museums are brilliantly decorated and brim over with treasures and history and the local guide will share with you the stories and secrets contained within the Museum's walls. In the Sistine Chapel you can marvel at Michaelangelo's masterpiece, which is perhaps the greatest example of art anywhere and certainly the largest contiguous body by one painter. There are also some lesser masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel which are also worth seeing.

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Dinner & Swiss Folklore Contrary to belief, not all Swiss can yodel or blow the alp horn, but those you will see are real experts. At the Stadtkeller Restaurant, located in the old town of Lucerne, they will entertain you with merry melodies on the accordion and traditional dances whilst you enjoy a delicious meal and sample the Swiss Cheese Fondue.

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Mount Stanserhorn Unforgettable is a ride with the world's first CabriO® - a double-decker cable car with an open top. The journey is a combination of an old-time funicular, which has romantic 100-year-old carriages (1893) and the modern cable car. Once on the summit you will have an enchanting view of 100 kilometers of the Alpine chain and a view of 10 Swiss lakes. There is a sun terrace with a fabulous panorama and a relaxation area. Get captured by the friendliness and Swissness of your hosts at Mount Stanserhorn, they're looking forward to welcome you.

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Pilatus A thrilling trip up to one of the most famous Swiss mountains. Mount Pilatus is 2,132 m. (7,000 ft) high and enjoys a superb panorama over central Switzerland. According to legend, the body of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, lay in the mountain lake, hence the name of the mountain.

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Scenic Lake Cruise An hour's guided cruise on the most beautiful lake in Switzerland gives you an introduction to this lovely city from a completely different aspect. With its many bays, it offers superb panoramas of the surrounding landscape. The cruise is operated on a comfortable private covered boat and a commentary will be given by one of the crew staff who will explain the history of all the enchanting villages and you will learn some interesting stories of the Swiss History.

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Cabaret Show A trip to Paris is not complete without a visit to one of the famous Parisian Cabaret to enjoy an enchanting night. Whilst you see a colourful costume and decor show of music and dances, you will be served a glass of champagne to fully enjoy your evening. This excursion is not operated as a private charter which means you may join others on the same tour which may require pickign up and dropping off at several hotels.

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Farewell Dinner & Orientation Tonight you will have the opportunity to taste some delicious specialities of the French cuisine. In a Parisian restaurant with a fascinating atmosphere you will enjoy a four-course dinner with an aperitif and wine. Some music will enliven the evening. An orientation drive of Paris will also be part of this special night.

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Versailles Sun King's Palace (Sat-Sun-Tue) Week-end visit: Historic Versailles is the beautiful, restored palace of Louis XIV, the Sun King. After the guided tour of the palace where you will have the opportunity to admire the magnificent internal decorations, furniture and huge shining chandeliers, you can stroll in the magnificent terraced gardens with their fountains and statues.

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A Taste of London A unique chance to combine a traditional London pub experience with a relaxed, night-time river cruise, viewing some of the capital's most beautiful illuminated sights. Enjoy a three-course dinner with several local menu choices, including fish and chips and steak and ale pie at an historic London pub in the City of London. Following dinner you will enjoy scenic views from the comfort of your private cruiser. Highlights include Tower Bridge, St. Paul's and the Houses of Parliament, with commentary from your guide as you cruise along the River Thames.

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A Taste of London A unique chance to combine a traditional London pub experience with a relaxed, night-time river cruise, viewing some of the capital's most beautiful illuminated sights. Enjoy a three-course dinner with several local menu choices, including fish and chips and steak and ale pie at an historic London pub in the City of London. Following dinner you will enjoy scenic views from the comfort of your private cruiser. Highlights include Tower Bridge, St. Paul's and the Houses of Parliament, with commentary from your guide as you cruise along the River Thames.

Approximate value: per person


Afternoon Excursion to Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. One of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II the castle is still used regularly for ceremonial and state occasions. Visit the magnificent State Apartments furnished with priceless works of art by Holbein, Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck. See wonderful St.George's Chapel the burial place of ten monarchs including Henry VIII and Charles I.

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Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen. During August and September when the Queen makes her annual visit to Scotland, the Palace's state rooms are open to visitors. These are the heart of the Palace, lavishly furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection which are used for ceremonial occasions and official entertaining. Before entry to the Palace you will visit the Royal Mews, one of the finest working stables still in existence. See the State vehicles, both horse-drawn carriages and cars, used for coronations, royal weddings and State Visits, including the magnificent Gold State Coach which has been used for every coronation since 1821 and was last used for The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.

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Morning City Sightseeing 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. Highlights are a visit to St. Paul's Cathedral and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, if held.

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Tower of London and Crown Jewels The Tower of London is one of the most famous historic buildings in the world. Built by William the Conqueror in 1066-1067, it has been guarded by Yeoman Warders (popularly known as the Beefeaters) since the 14th century. It has been a fortress, a royal palace, a prison, a place of execution, and an armory. It is most famously known as the home to the priceless Crown Jewels, including the solid gold crown used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Imperial State Crown and Sovereigns Sceptre, the incredible Cullinan diamonds, and the Koh-i-Noor.

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Lorelei And Its Castles The Rhine is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe, running for over 1,232 kms. and flowing through 6 countries. The Rhine cruise we offer lasts approx. 1 and a half hours and is in the Rhine gourge - a steep sided valley filled with vineyards and castles overlooking the river. Pass the legendary Loreley Rock, which soars some 120 metres above the waterline, and is also the name of a feminine water spirit. One drink per person is included during the cruise.

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Gondola Serenade One of the highlights of a trip to Europe and something not to be missed during your visit to Venice is a gondola serenade. The gondola ride either takes place in the morning or the afternoon and lasts approximately 30 minutes when during this time you can relax whilst cruising not only on the Grand Canal but also down many small canals to see Venice from the water. During the gondola ride a local musician will serenade you with the traditional romantic music of Italy.

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As recommended by Budget Travel