Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $280 per person.
Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline. Deluxe touring motorcoach.
All breakfasts. All dinners.
Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.
Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.
passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.
Half-day city sightseeing: Local Guide, Visit to the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens
Excursion to Dachau: Dachau Memorial Concentration Camp
Excursion to Neuschwanstein, Oberammergau and Linderhof
Courier-led walking tour in Ulm, Ulm Cathedral, Tour director-led walking tour in Old Strasbourg
Departure transfer, TGV Train Strasbourg-Paris, Arrival transfer
Seine River cruise
Paris City Sightseeing, Excursion to Versailles, RER train to Paris
Visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral
Optional Excursion to the Loire Valley: Visit to the Château de Chenonceau, Lunch in Chenonceaux, Visit to the Château de Chambord, Chambord HistoPad interactive tablet
Eiffel Tower Level Two: Optional Eiffel Tower Summit, Optional Dinner on the Eiffel Tower
Depart the U.S. for Europe via scheduled carrier. This is the big day! Watch the morning light gather slowly, first off the left-hand side of the airplane, then everywhere. It's the next day, and Germany!
You'll be struck by your first impression of Munich and its landmarks, which have been beautifully restored to their pre-war conditions.
A sightseeing tour in München takes you around the impressive Theresienwiese, site of the famous annual Oktoberfest. In the center of the city discover the grand set-piece boulevards of the Ludwigstrasse and Maximilianstrasse with their Neoclassical palaces, and the monumental Feldherrnhalle where, in 1923, Hitler failed in his attempt at the coup d'état known as the Munich Putsch. See the student area of Schwabing, Königsplatz, the Residenz, the Frauenkirche, whose 300-foot-high onion-domed towers symbolize the Munich skyline, and the historic Marienplatz. The tour ends with a performance of the red-coated mannequins in the Town Hall Glockenspiel.
A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Munich, will accompany your group.
Visit Nymphenburg Palace, once the summer residence of the Bavarian sovereigns. See rooms decorated in their original Baroque style from the 17th century, as well as Rococo and Neoclassical decor. The gardens were landscaped in the 18th century by an employee of André Le Nôtre, who designed the gardens of Versailles.
Set out for a town located a mere twelve miles from Munich.
Visit KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, the somber concentration camp which has been preserved as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
The town of Dachau itself, paradoxically, has long been renowned for the beauty of its scenery and the gaiety of its summer festival.
An excursion takes you along a scenic route into fantasyland.
Enjoy a guided visit to the dream castle built by Bavaria's "mad" King Ludwig II. About Neuschwanstein, the model for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty's castle, it is said that Ludwig employed a stage set designer rather than an architect. The result is pure theatrical fantasy, stimulated by the King's fancy for Wagnerian music: from artificial grottoes to ornate rooms to dazzling views of the Alps from the belvedere.
Arrive at the "Passion Play" town of Oberammergau.
Discover with your guide a 19th-century rococo palace with lavish apartments that reflect King Ludwig's longing for the opulence of the 18th century. Within the Linderhof Park, you'll come across pools, waterfalls, and terraced gardens inspired by the Italian Renaissance.
Today, travel west to Ulm, the birthplace of Nobel Prize laureate Albert Einstein, and an important commercial center due to its location at the meeting point of the great Stuttgart-Munich highway and the Danube River.
Enjoy a walking tour with your courier, who will introduce city landmarks including the Stadthaus, known for its avant-garde (and controversial) architecture, the elegant Rathaus and the picturesque "Crooked House" built in the 15th century.
Visit the beautiful Münster, whose spire is the world's tallest church steeple at nearly 530 feet.
Your coach takes you across the French border to the city of Strasbourg, a busy port on the Rhine River where France's national anthem, La Marseillaise, was first sung in 1792. Strasbourg is now one of the European Union's capital cities.
A walking tour in the historic district will allow you to marvel at half-timbered houses and medieval streets. See the mighty single-spired cathedral, the lively Place Kléber as well as the covered bridges and canals in the neighborhood called La Petite France. You will also hear about the Château des Rohan, and the modern district with European Union entities such as the Parlement Européen and the Conseil de l'Europe.
Today, travel aboard a TGV train to Paris, the "City of Light!"
Settle into your hotel, then set out to explore one of the world's most beautiful capital cities.
You may want to head to Montmartre, Paris' highest hill and its most celebrated bohemian district. Artists still flock to the charming Place du Tertre, as they did when Toulouse-Lautrec painted the French Cancan dancers at the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. Visitors enjoy panoramic views of the city as they make their way to the Sacré-Coeur, the white-domed basilica that anchors the Parisian skyline.
See Paris transformed into a wonderland like no other during a cruise along the River Seine.
Set out on a coach tour of the city in the company of a local guide. On the Right Bank of the River Seine, see Napoléon's Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées, the Place de la Concorde, and the exuberant Opéra Garnier. On the Left Bank, discover the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Enjoy a bit of relevant French history today at the palace where the Sun King, Madame de Pompadour and Queen Marie-Antoinette all come to life. In this ultimate example of Baroque architecture, you will marvel at the lavish decoration, abundant gilding and exuberant ornamentation, particularly in the Royal Apartments of Louis XIV and in the Hall of Mirrors. Imagine the sense of self-importance that must have inflated the egos of these kings and queens.
Then, take a stroll around the Main Gardens.
Return to Paris using the efficient RER transit system.
Cross the River Seine to get to the boat-shaped island known as the Ile de la Cité, the very heart of the ancient city which the Romans called Lutetia. There, visit Notre-Dame de Paris. This cathedral has presided over centuries of glorious and somber French history, from its construction in the Middle Ages to its desecration during the French Revolution, and the coronation of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1804 (the 35-year-old upstart crowned himself emperor, with the Pope and all of Europe watching). Admire its bas-reliefs, statuary, gargoyles and remarkable rose windows.
Enjoy some free time in Paris today.
For a change of pace, go have a look at 21st-century Paris at the Quartier de la Défense, on the outskirts of the city. Admire la Grande Arche, a feat of modern architecture with its hollow cube large enough to contain Notre-Dame. See how it is situated in near-perfect alignment with the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre (you may want to take the elevator to the top for a better perspective). Check out Les Quatre Temps, a huge shopping center located nearby.
You may wish to visit the Musée de la Parfumerie Fragonard housed in the Théâtre des Capucines, a theater built in 1900 that was transformed into a museum in 1993. Its collections illustrate the history and manufacture of perfume. A mini-factory with a 19th-century copper distilling apparatus demonstrates the extraction of essences. Visitors also learn all about the esoteric artistry of the "Noses."
An excursion takes you into the very essence of the history and culture of France. See two of France's loveliest châteaux, which define the sophistication of the Renaissance.
Visit the prettiest of the Loire Valley châteaux, which spans the River Cher. In 1547, King Henri II gave this property to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. On her orders, splendid gardens were added and a bridge was built to link the castle to the other bank of the Cher. The famous gallery later erected upon that bridge by Queen Catherine de Medici served as an escape route during World War II between Nazi-occupied northern France and unoccupied southern France.
Lunch is included on this excursion.
Visit the largest of the Loire Valley castles, with 440 rooms and 80 staircases. At the age of 25, King François I decided to build this sumptuous residence, but over the 32 years of his reign he spent only 42 days at Chambord! Today, visitors marvel at the park (enclosed by a wall 18 miles long), at the grand façade, and at the spirals of the Grand Escalier, which cross and recross as they rise from the Salle des Gardes to a 100-foot turret crowning a roof adorned with 365 chimneys!
Let the 3D and virtual reality technology of your HistoPad Chambord fill up castle rooms as they were in their heyday, back in the 16th century, while you listen to automatically triggered commentaries.
Take an elevator to the deuxième étage of the most famous cast iron structure ever built, la Tour Eiffel, for an unforgettable panorama of Paris.
Availability permitting, you'll ascend to the third level of the tower.
Enjoy a three-course dinner at the restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel.
Most good things must come to an end. Your suitcase full of memorabilia and of photos ready to be processed, you'll arrive home later today, eager to share your discoveries with family and friends.
passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.
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