Tours

Classic European Capitals, The Grand Tour

Tour departs: 22 July 2018
Tour length: 29 Days

As the title indicates, this is the “Grand” tour of Europe and should appeal to both first-time travellers to Europe as well as those who want to return and spend a bit more time in some of Europe’s most impressive and historic cities. The leisurely pace of the tour is a feature as almost all city stays are for 3 nights. A very comprehensive programme of sightseeing has been included balanced by free time to allow for independent exploration.

Overview

Tour Departs: 22 June 2018

Tour Length: 29 Days

As the title indicates, this is the “Grand” tour of Europe and should appeal to both first-time travellers to Europe as well as those who want to return and spend a bit more time in some of Europe’s most impressive and historic cities. The leisurely pace of the tour is a feature as almost all city stays are for 3 nights. A very comprehensive programme of sightseeing has been included balanced by free time to allow for independent exploration. Starting our journey in Rome, we travel north to classical Florence and Venice before crossing into Austria and on to Vienna from where the Hapsburg monarchy dominated Europe for centuries. Prague has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe while Berlin is busy, bold and cosmopolitan. For something different, we travel by train to Amsterdam, the city of canals, and romantic Paris, the City of Lights, before we finish our European odyssey in London.

At the conclusion of the tour, there is the additional option to return home or join our UK Tour group as they board the magnificent “Royal Princess” for a 12-night cruise showcasing the British Isles and Ireland. Unpack your bags for a wonderful exploration in absolute comfort.

Touring Highlights
  • Rome – St Peters, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Coliseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and so much more
  • Florence – Duomo Cathedral, Bell Tower and Baptistery, Academy of Fine Arts & Michelangelo’s “David”
  • Venice – St Mark’s Square, Doges Palace, Bridge of Sighs, Island of Burano
  • Vienna – Ringstrasse, St Stephens, Schonbrunn Palace, Strauss, Mozart
  • Prague – Hradcanny Castle, Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square
  • Berlin – Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdam, Schloss Cecilienhof
  • Amsterdam – Dam Square, Royal Palace, canal cruise
  • Paris – Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre and Sacre Coeur
  • First Class Rail to Amsterdam, Paris and Eurostar to London

Itinerary

Sunday 22 July                               Home – Singapore

Time for any connecting flights if required before the early afternoon departure for Singapore. On arrival this evening, we are met and transferred to our hotel for an overnight stay.


Monday 23 July                             Singapore – Rome (B)

Our Singapore tour offers something different this morning. We start with an aerial view from the world’s largest giant observation wheel – the Singapore Flyer. Standing at a stunning 165m from the ground, the Flyer offers you breath-taking, panoramic views of Marina Bay, towering skyscrapers, tropical greenery and even the hills of neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia in the 30-minute “flight”. Afterwards, we visit Singapore’s latest National Garden – Gardens by the Bay. Visit the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest cooled conservatories; the vertical gardens of our Supertrees and relax and wander around the outdoor themed gardens. The afternoon is at leisure with our hotel rooms held for late checkout. This evening, we return to Singapore Airport and report for our overnight flight to Rome.


Tuesday 24 July                            Arrive Rome (D)

We arrive in Rome early this morning, where we are met and transferred to our hotel for a 3-night stay. Welcome to Rome – one of the world’s great cities. The rest of the day is free, a chance to relax after our journey from home. Later we get together for a welcome drink and dinner at the hotel.


Wednesday 25 July                     Rome (B,D)

We embark on a full day sightseeing tour of Rome. We glimpse into the history and wonder of the most powerful force in the development of Western civilization. We visit the Vatican and its museums and marvel at the beauty of Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel before visiting St. Peters Basilica. In the afternoon we discover Imperial Rome with a treasure trove of historical sites and monuments including the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus. This evening, we dine at a local restaurant.


Thursday 26 July                         Rome (B.L)

And now for something totally different today. The Italian’s love their food – for them it is one of the pleasures of life and a meal is an “event” and a very social occasion. This morning, we transfer to Ristorante La Carovana for a cooking class – a chance to learn about the delights of Italian food and its preparation, no experience required! Afterwards enjoy a 4-course lunch.


Friday 27 July                                Rome – Florence (B,D)

Leaving Rome this morning, we join our coach for the leisurely drive north through Umbria along the Highway to the Sun and into Tuscany. The hills are dotted with vineyards which produce the famous Chianti wine for which the region is famous. Our destination for our 2-night stay is the wonderful city of Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. This evening, we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant featuring Tuscan specialties.


 Saturday 28 July                           Florence (B)

This morning, our local guide will bring to life many of the highlights of the city –  of course the multi-coloured marble-clad Duomo Cathedral, Giotti’s Bell Tower, the famous Baptistery with its magnificent bronze doors, Signoria Square and the historic Ponte Vecchio bridge dating back to the Middle Ages. And what visit to Florence would be complete without a visit to the Academy of Fine Arts, home to Michelangelo’s masterpiece sculpture, “David”.  The remainder of the day and evening are free to enjoy Florence at your leisure.


Sunday 29 July                               Florence – Venice (B,D)

We continue our journey by coach as we travel north through the wooded Appenine Hills to our first stop at the city of Bologna, home to the oldest university in the Western world, with its terracotta-roofed architecture and, not least, its exquisite cuisine. Then to Padua of St Anthony fame, home to Scrovegni Chapel with its priceless frescoes by Giotto. Finally, we reach the city of Venice, a magnet for romantics and art lovers from around the world and our base for the next 2 nights.


Monday 30 July                             Venice (B,D)

This morning, we cruise the canals to St Mark’s Square where we join our local guide for a walking tour. We see the beautiful byzantine Basilica, the lavish Doges Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. We also see a skilled Venetian glassblower in action demonstrating this age-old  craft for which the region is famous. There is time to explore Venice at your leisure this afternoon. This evening, we take a lagoon cruise to the island of Burano, famous for its coloured houses and beautiful lace products and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.


Tuesday 31 July                            Venice – Vienna (B,D)

Sadly we farewell Venice today as we continue our coach journey north across the plains of Northern Italy and into Austria. Over the Carnic Alps and through the Austrian Lake District. We pass through Austria second largest city, Graz, en route to the City of Music, Vienna, which is our home for the next 3 nights.


Wednesday 01 August              Vienna (B)

On this morning’s tour, we drive along the Ringstrasse, pass the State Opera House, the Jewish Quarter and stop at Heldenplatz (Heroes Square) in front of the Hofburg Palace, once the winter residence of the Austrian royal family and now the residence of the Austrian President. We leave the coach for a walk through to St Stephens Cathedral, the iconic heart of the city. There is time for lunch – you must visit a traditional Viennese coffee house – before this afternoon’s visit to the Schonbrunn Palace, perhaps Europe’s most impressive palace complex. 640 years of Hapsburg monarchy ended here in 1918 with the abdication of the last monarch and the start of the Austrian Republic.


Thursday 02 August                  Vienna (B,D)

Today has been left entirely free for you to enjoy Vienna at your leisure. Maybe visit one of the many galleries and museums, perhaps a tour of the Spanish Riding School, enjoy the elegant shopping “strasses” of the Old City, or just sit at an outdoor café and watch the world go by. This evening, we enjoy all things Viennese with a superb dinner followed by a concert of Viennese classical music with works by Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A wonderful finale to our stay in Vienna.


Friday 03 August                         Vienna – Prague (B,D)

We resume our coach journey as we travel north and cross the border into the Czech Republic. We pass through the town of Brno, which was the site of Napoleon’s headquarters for the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. Then it’s on to the Golden City of Prague, city of 100 spires, a UNESCO monument and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. We have 3 nights here.


 Saturday 04 August                   Prague (B)

Each of Prague’s districts has its own characteristic atmosphere and unique charm. We start our exploration of the city in the grounds of  Hradcany Castle where we visit the monumental  St Vitus Cathedral. Then it’s back across the river to the Old Town and the Astronomical Clock that adorns the Town Hall. Other highlights include Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, State Opera and the famous Charles Bridge lined with baroque statues. The afternoon and evening are at leisure.


Sunday 05 August                       Prague (B,D)

Today is left free to further explore this most special of European cities. It is a wonderful city to walk around in. Or you may care to take a day tour to either of the unique UNESCO World Heritage towns of Czesky Krumlov or Kutna Hora. This evening, we enjoy a dinner cruise as we drift under the Charles Bridge and traverse the Vitava River’s oldest locks whilst enjoying stunning views of the castle and National Theatre and other illuminated landmarks.


 Monday 06 August                      Prague – Berlin (B,D)

From Prague we travel north and cross into Germany for a stop in the city of Dresden which was severely damaged by Allied bombing during WII. The city has since been restored to its former splendour and our walking tour will show us the Zwinger Palace and Semper Opera. Then, it’s on to the German capital, Berlin, for a 3 night stay.


 Tuesday 07 August                     Berlin (B)

Although badly damaged in the final years of World War II and broken apart during the Cold War, Berlin has reconstructed itself greatly, especially with the reunification push after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Our local guide will show us many of the highlights of this rejuvenated and vibrant city … Victory Column, Brandenburg Gate, Parliament/Government district, Checkpoint Charlie Wall Museum, Synagoge Oranienburger Str., the memorial for the murdered Jews in Europe, East Side Gallery and the remains of the Berlin Wall in the street Niederkirchnerstraße.


Wednesday 08 August              Berlin (B,D)

It’s a short drive to Potsdam, the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg situated on the River Havel.   We see the Tiergarten and enjoy a visit to the Palace Schloss Cecilienhof, the last palace built by the German royalty before its fall after WWI and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1990. We also visit the gardens of the magnificent Schloss Sanssouci modelled on the Palace of Versailles. Later we return to Berlin and this evening enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.


Thursday 09 August                  Berlin – Amsterdam (B,D)

A change of mode of transport today as we join the train for the journey across Germany and onto The Netherlands capital of Amsterdam. Sit back in First Class comfort and enjoy the ride. On arrival Amsterdam, we are met and transferred to our hotel for a 2 night stay .


Friday 10 August                         Amsterdam (B)

This morning, our local guide will show us the highlights of this, another unique city. The city is famous for its three rings of canals lined by elaborately decorated merchants’ residences and warehouses built during the 17th century. We see Dam Square, the Royal Palace, Skinny Bridge and much more. We also take a cruise on the canals in a glass topped boat to view the city from a different perspective. The afternoon is at leisure; art lovers will want to visit the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum.


Saturday 11 August                   Amsterdam – Paris (B,D)

This morning, it’s back to the Railway Station as we join the fast train for the journey south to the French capital, Paris, the City of Lights, the City of Romance. The city boasts a timeless familiarity for both first time and repeat visitors and there is that special feeling when you first see the Eiffel Tower as you drive to your hotel. We enjoy a 3 night stay in Paris.


Sunday 12 August                       Paris (B)

The famous sights of Paris are a living history.  Our full day city sightseeing tour shows us magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Opera Madeleine, Champs Elysees and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age.  We follow this up with a cruise on the River Seine were you can appreciate the beauty of Paris from the water.  Later in the day we visit the Montmartre area and the wonderful Sacré Coeur Basilica which offers panoramic views over Paris.

 


Monday 13 August                      Paris (B,D)

A full day free to explore the things in Paris that interest you. Maybe spend time at the Louvre in the company of the Mona Lisa or one of the many other museums and galleries, stroll the banks of the River Seine or enjoy the shops of Galleries Lafayette. This evening, our final night on Mainland Europe, we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant.


Tuesday 14 August                     Paris – London (B,D)

Now for something different today, we transfer back to Paris Gare du Nord.  Sit back and relax and enjoy the ride in Standard Premier Class comfort on board Eurostar for the 3 hour train journey under the English Channel to London’s St Pancras Station. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel for a 3 night stay.


Wednesday 15 August              London (B,L)

You may have been to London before, but let’s refresh your memory with a full day sightseeing around the ‘grand old lady’.  We view many of the sights for which London is famous – Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square to name but a few. And to break the day we enjoy a luncheon cruise on the River Thames where we see a different view of the city from the water.


Thursday 16 August                  London (B,D)

We have left this day totally free to allow you to visit the places that are of particular interest to you. There is so much to choose from – so many museums, monuments and attractions deserving of a visit.  This evening, we get together for a farewell dinner.


Friday 17 August                          London – Singapore (B)

Sadly it’s time to commence the homeward journey as we are transferred to London’s Heathrow Airport in time to join our overnight flight to Singapore.

 

**For those travellers who have opted to join the “British Isles with Dublin” Royal Princess cruise, you will be transferred to Southampton today to board the ship.


Saturday 18 August                    Singapore – Home

We arrive into Singapore early this morning and we have the day free before continuing the journey this evening. Hotel rooms at the airport are provided for the day to allow time for rest and relaxation. This evening, we join our aircraft for the overnight flight.


Sunday 19 August

Arrive Home Mid-Morning

 

 

Map

Classic European Capitals MAP

Prices

Tour Costs

Sharing Twin or Double Room $17,500
Supplement for Single Accommodation $3,750

 

Costs include
  • Economy Class air travel. Upgrade to Business Class available – price available on request
  • Prepaid airport, government , security, fuel surcharges (as at 01.09.17)
  • First class or superior grade hotels
  • First class air conditioned coach transportation
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary – B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary
  • Services of touring guide and local guides as appropriate
  • All tips and gratuities to coach drivers, touring and local guides
  • Baggage handling of one suitcase per person
  • Escorted by a Maher Tours Leader
Costs exclude
  • Any meals, sightseeing tours and fees not specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance – advice and assistance offered
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone charges etc.

Testimonials

We recently had the pleasure of a couple of Maher Tours and we are happy to recommend that organisation to everyone who enjoys travel.

Our first tour was a fortnight in Tasmania. We came across this by chance in a magazine and it sounded like a good one so we joined that tour. It was better than expected – it was excellent! One comment was what would you do for two weeks in Tasmania. Well in that time we saw lots of places that we would never have found by ourselves, (we had self-driven previously) and every day was a highlight.

After the Tasmanian experience we had no hesitation in joining a month long tour of Canada and New England in the Autumn. Again very enjoyable. The “Fall Colours” were amazing, the places where we stayed were extremely interesting.

Both tours were very well organised, first class accommodation, varied and beautiful places to visit, and with very enjoyable company.

We had the added pleasure on both tours of having part of the Maher Family Company as tour leaders. This added an extra dimension of personal attention and family atmosphere to the tours, which made the tours all the more enjoyable.

We judge the experiences that we had as first class. We are happy to recommend Maher Tours, in fact we are now looking forward to our next Maher Tour.

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