Paris, Switzerland and the Riviera Educational Tour

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Paris, Switzerland and the Riviera tour map

Paris, Switzerland and the Riviera

9 Days Paris 2 • Lausanne 2 • Dauphine Region 1 • Nice 2

Accommodations

Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $280 per person.

Transportation

Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline. Deluxe touring motorcoach.

Meals

All breakfasts. All dinners.

Guides

Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.

Inclusions

Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.

Travel Protection

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.

Days 1-2: Arrival Paris

Arrival transfer

Day 3: Paris

Paris City Sightseeing, Excursion to Versailles, RER train to Paris

Visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral

Seine River cruise

Day 4: Paris - Lausanne

Departure transfer, TGV train Paris-Lausanne, Arrival transfer

Day 5: Lausanne

Excursion to Montreux, Chillon and Gruyeres: Chillon Castle guide, Gruyère Cheese Demonstration Dairy

Day 6: Lausanne - Dauphine Region

Sightseeing stop in Geneva

Day 7: Dauphine Region - Nice

La Route Napoléon, Fragonard Perfume factory visit, Sightseeing stop in Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Day 8: Nice

Day 9: Departure

Departure transfer

Days 1-2: Arrival

Weeks, or even months of preparation come to fruition at last as you board your airplane bound for Europe and the glittering jewel at her heart, Paris, the "City of Light." Bienvenue!

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.

Day 3: Paris City Sightseeing, Excursion to Versailles, RER train to Paris, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Seine River Cruise

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.

Visit to the State Apartments and Hall of Mirrors

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.

Visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral

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.

Seine River cruise

See Paris transformed into a wonderland like no other during a cruise along the River Seine.

Day 4: Train to Lausanne

There's an exciting ride aboard a high-tech TGV train, which will whisk you away through the hills of Burgundy. Your destination: Switzerland and the lakeside city of Lausanne, on the shores of Lac Léman.

The reflection of the French Alps in the lake's dark blue waters is a sight not soon forgotten.

Free time in Lausanne

The afternoon is unscheduled.

The International Olympic Committee is headquartered in Lausanne's lakeside district of Ouchy. You may want to visit the Olympic Museum, which retraces more than 2,200 years of sports history, from the games of the ancient Greeks through to the modern revival of the Olympic Games in 1896 to our time. Don't miss the park to view its landscaped grounds and sport-related statuary.

Walk along the shop-lined streets around the cathedral, which is Switzerland's finest Gothic building.

Day 5: Excursion to Montreux, Chillon and Gruyeres

Time to explore your surroundings today on a magnificent drive through lakeland, monuments and mountains.

Sightseeing stop in Montreux

Enjoy a sightseeing stop in the glamorous heart of the Vaud Riviera , the lakeside resort of Montreux, famous for its annual jazz festival.

Chillon Castle

Visit the romantic castle of Chillon, which so moved Lord Byron. Notice the poet's initials carved into the rock walls of the dungeon.

A guide will accompany you on your Chillon Castle visit.

Sightseeing stop in Gruyères

Travel up into the mountains to the town of Gruyères, which stands high on a rocky crag, its Renaissance houses and single main street nestled within ramparts.

Gruyère Cheese Demonstration Dairy

Learn all about Switzerland's most famous cheese at the visitor center that showcases its history and production via an interactive exhibition and demonstrations. Watch cheesemakers at work: about 800 liters of milk (210 gallons) are used to make a wheel of genuine Gruyère cheese weighing 176 pounds. And it will be confirmed that a genuine Swiss Gruyère cheese has no holes!

Day 6: Geneva, Savoie and the Dauphine

On to the international capital of Geneva. Calvinism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the International Red Cross were all born in Genève. City landmarks include the Reformation Monument, the Palais des Nations, la Cathédrale Saint-Pierre (where visitors can still view Calvin's seat) and the city's famous Jet d'eau - the tallest fountain in Europe at 460 feet.

Travel on in the footsteps of Napoleon (but in the opposite direction) as you journey south through the splendid Alpine landscapes of the Savoie and Dauphiné provinces.

Day 7: Route Napoleon, Grasse, St. Paul-de-Vence, Nice

Proceed across the southern Alps along la Route Napoléon, which the Emperor followed on his short-lived thriumphal return from exile. He had landed in March 1815 near Nice and made his way via Grasse, Castellane, Digne, Sisteron, and Gap to Grenoble and from there to Paris, to be in control of France for another 100 days before his final exit at the battle of Waterloo.

Free from such concerns, you'll admire the beauty of the landscape, noticing along the way kilometer markers bearing the Imperial Eagle and all sorts of Napoléon-related advertisements.

Wend your way to Grasse as glorious Mediterranean vistas begin to open up.

Visit the Fragonard factory to see the process of distillation, absorption and extraction of perfume essences. Hear about the esoteric artistry of the "nez."

Discover a village celebrated for its high-perched setting typical of the fortified towns that once guarded the kingdom of Provence. Saint-Paul-de-Vence can boast about its nearly intact medieval ramparts and its famous resident artists, such as Modigliani, Bonnard, Chagall, and the American writer James Baldwin, who died in St. Paul in 1987.

Continue to the capital of the French Riviera. You've heard of the Côte d'Azur, celebrated for its sunny climate, the turquoise Mediterranean and the vedettes de cinéma who inhabit the surrounding hills. Now you're there!

Day 8: Nice

Enjoy some free time in Nice today.

Of course, there's the beach: it may be a touch pebbly, but the water looks great!

Art lovers may want to visit the colorful Musée Matisse or the Musée Chagall, the latter highlighting one of the artist's major works, Le Message Biblique.

Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, said to be Europe's most handsome boulevard (see the luxury yachts from the world over).

Day 9: Departure

Le retour, hélas... Your plane awaits. This time the earth rotates towards you, allowing an arrival in the U.S. only shortly after you left Europe! You're eager to share your adventures with family and friends.

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