Cosmos

Imperial Capitals (4930) - 2014 / 2015

16 Day Tour from London to London


Imperial Capitals
Marvel at the architecture of the infamous Big Ben in London
Marvel at the architecture of the infamous Big Ben in London
The Belvedere gardens in Vienna, Austria
The beautiful Austrian landscape
Vienna
The Austrian countryside
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge spanning the River Danube in Budapest
Visit the Porta Nigra in Trier, the oldest city in Germany
Dresden, Germany, situated along the River Elbe
View the magnificent Gothic and Baroque architecture on the Grand Place in Brussels
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

This fascinating adventure covers Central and Eastern Europe, focusing on the monumental architecture, history, and traditions of the former Prussian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Begin with two overnights in London, then ferry across the English Channel and join your motorcoach bound for Brussels, capital of Belgium. Pass through the Duchy of Luxembourg to enter Germany with a stop in ancient Trier. Overnight in the Frankfurt area and travel through Bavaria, visiting Nuremberg, and arriving in Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg in Austria. Included sightseeing in Vienna shows off the State Opera, Hofburg Palace, Parliament, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. On to Hungary for two overnights in Budapest, where you’ll admire the Parliament Building, Fishermen’s Bastion, Matthias Coronation Church, and more. Stop in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, then encounter the brilliant gothic and baroque architecture in Prague, including the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock. Back in Germany, visit Dresden, Berlin, and medieval Hamelin to hear the story of the Pied Piper. Continue to the Rhineland for the night, then ferry back across the English Channel for a final night in London.

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Headsets throughout the tour

Sightseeing:
Visits to Trier, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Bratislava, Dresden, Hamelin

Scenic Highlights:
Moselle Valley, Salzkammergut, Rhineland, Lake Balaton, Bohemia

Guides:

Host service in London. Local Guides for city sightseeing in Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Berlin. Professional Tour Director while touring

NOTES:

  • November 30 & December 7 Departures - Include a visit to Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Berlin Christmas markets


Day 1Arrive in London, England

Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, you may want to start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.

Day 2London

A full day to savor our rich program of optional activities: take a panoramic tour of London’s landmarks, visit the Tower of London, or choose an excursion to Windsor Castle. Tonight, maybe a leisurely cruise on the River Thames? (B)

Day 3London–Brussels, Belgium

Leave London in the early morning and head through the lush English countryside to the Channel port, where you board your ferry for the Continent. Here, meet your Tour Director and board your luxury coach for the drive to Brussels. (B)

Day 4Brussels–Luxembourg–Trier, Germany–Frankfurt Area

Drive south this morning into the Duchy of Luxembourg. Cross the German border and make a stop in ancient Trier before continuing through the splendid scenery of the Moselle Valley. A choice this afternoon of the included scenic drive along the shores of the Rhine or, even more thrilling, the optional Rhine cruise with vistas of the Lorelei rock, hilltop castles, half-timbered wine villages, and terraced vineyards. Just a few more miles by coach to the overnight in the Frankfurt area. (B,D)

Day 5Frankfurt Area–Nuremberg–Salzburg, Austria

Journey through the heart of Germany on the highway to reach Nuremberg, at one time Germany’s most beautiful city and, much later, famed for the war criminal trials that took place in 1945. Stop for a short visit. Drive south this afternoon through Bavaria, across the German-Austrian border, and head towards Salzburg for an overnight. (B)

Day 6Salzburg–Vienna

A morning to enjoy some optional sightseeing in Salzburg, Mozart’s hometown. In the afternoon, journey through the Salzkammergut Lakelands, of The Sound of Music fame, past Mondsee to follow the Danube almost all the way to Vienna. (B)

Day 7Vienna

Start the morning with an included sightseeing tour featuring the State Opera, Parliament, and the Town Hall. Stop for a stroll in Heroes’ Square to view the Hofburg. Finally, an inside visit of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Complete the day by joining the optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace. (B)

Day 8Vienna–Lake Balaton, Hungary–Budapest

East today into Hungary through the historic city of Györ. Next, the vast stretch of Lake Balaton unfolds as you drive through some of its summer resorts. Reach Budapest by way of Martonvasar, where Beethoven wrote his Appassionata. Tonight, an optional cruise on the Danube to enjoy the fascinating city illuminations. (B,D)

Day 9Budapest

Buda Castle dominates the twin cities of Buda and Pest, separated by the broad ribbon of the Danube. Heroes’ Square typifies the modern capital, while along the riverbank you find the old inns and wine cellars. Included sightseeing takes in the Parliament building, Margaret Island, Fishermen’s Bastion, the Royal Castle, and Matthias Coronation Church. (B)

Day 10Budapest–Bratislava, Slovakia–Prague, Czech Republic

Start the day by traveling into Slovakia. Once across the border, have a break in Bratislava, its capital. Drive north to cross yet another border into the Czech Republic. The highway will take you through Bohemia, an enchanted land of castles, spa towns, and picket-fenced villages. Evening arrival in Prague. (B,D)

Day 11Prague

The wealth of gothic and baroque architecture here perhaps inspired Dvorak and Smetana, both Prague composers. Included sightseeing features landmarks such as the Jewish Quarter, Charles Bridge, and the Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock. (B)

Day 12Prague–Dresden, Germany–Berlin

Discover more of Bohemia as you journey towards the German frontier. Next, the mountains and fortresses of the Erzgebirge range. Today’s highlight is a stop in Dresden, a magnificently restored city after its almost total destruction in World War II. In the afternoon, travel north across the River Elbe to reach Berlin for two overnights. (B)

Day 13Berlin

Included sightseeing focuses on the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, and the Europa Center. Reunited Berlin has regained not only its territorial integrity but also the status of a German capital. Afternoon at leisure or join an optional excursion. (B)

Day 14Berlin–Hamelin–Rhineland

Back on the Autobahn this morning past Brunswick on the way to Hamelin. Stop and hear the story of the Pied Piper. Next, the grand scenery of the Teutoburger Forest and into the Ruhr, then farther west to the Rhineland for an overnight. (B,D)

Day 15Rhineland–London, England

A comfortable drive this morning to the Channel port for your ferry crossing from the Continent to England. Through Kent, return to London for an evening arrival. (B)

Day 16London

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Transportation:
Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in London if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Round-trip transportation between London and the Channel ports; on the Continent, private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Cross-Channel ferry


LONDON Novotel London West (F)
BRUSSELS Golden Tulip Brussels Airport (F) at Diegem
FRANKFURT AREA Mercure (F) at Friedrichsdorf or Holiday Inn City South (F) at Frankfurt
SALZBURG Austria Trend Salzburg West (F)
VIENNA Kavalier (ST)
BUDAPEST Mercure Buda (ST)
PRAGUE Clarion Congress (F)
BERLIN Abba (F) or Holiday Inn Express City Center (ST)
RHINELAND Leonardo Hotel (F) at Cologne-Bonn Airport
LONDON Jurys Inn Chelsea (F)

Buffet breakfasts; 4 dinners

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As recommended by Budget Travel