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2017 Graduation Trip

June 26–July 13, 2017

Tour Operator: AESU

From the sun-kissed beaches of Greece to the glorious art of Florence, snow-capped Austrian Alps to the pomp and pageantry of London, Europe’s infinite variety of people, places and traditions is the perfect setting for a journey that celebrates and educates. Before settling into that new job or graduate school, celebrate your college successes with an unforgettable voyage through nine wondrous countries. Capture the flavor of the cities and beauty of the countryside, climb the Eiffel Tower then bask under the Grecian sun, sample delicacies and specialties of Germany and England. Europe, in all its splendor, awaits.

Itinerary

Day 1
In Transit

Depart for London, England.

Day 2
London

Enjoy a free afternoon to relax and unwind. In the evening you will have a welcome orientation followed by a fun London pub crawl.

Day 3
London

Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly Circus: These familiar names become familiar places on your morning tour of London. During an afternoon at leisure, browse the stalls at popular Camden Market, walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter at Leadenhall Market – aka Diagon Alley or take a ride on the London Eye for a birds-eye view of the city.

Day 4
London/English Channel/Paris

Travel to southeast England today and board your ship to the continent. Motor through northern France and arrive in Paris, “City of Lights.” You’ll dine together at a French bistro dinner, and then enjoy a romantic Seine River cruise.

Day 5
Paris

During your morning tour of Paris, see the hunchback “Quasimodo’s” Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Concorde, where the guillotine once stood, and the Eiffel Tower’s steel lacework. Free time in the afternoon – visit Left Bank bookstalls, or shop the chic boutiques of Paris.

Day 6
Paris

This morning you visit the Palace of Versailles. Your museum pass gives you access to the Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Grand Chambers and more. The afternoon is free to explore the ‘City of Lights.’ Have a portrait done by Place du Tertre artists or sample sinful French pastries.

Day 7
Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam

Motor to Belgium and Brussels, and see the Grand’ Place, a perfect medieval square, and the statue of naughty Mennekin-Pis. Continue to Amsterdam and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Day 8
Dutch Countryside

Go biking through 13th-century Dutch fishing villages along the Ijssel Lake beaches today, watch wooden shoes being carved and sample Edam cheese at a cheese farm. This evening you will be invited to a scrumptious Dutch-Indonesian rice table dinner. Afterwards admire the Netherland’s capital gliding through some of the 165 romantic canals aboard a glass-topped canal boat.

Day 9
Cologne/Rhine River Cruise/Heidelberg

Cross the German border into Cologne. Embark on a cruise along the fabled Rhine River, passing steeply sloped vineyards, ancient castles, and the legendary Lorelei Rock. Continue to Heidelberg and climb to the ruins of the Castle of the Palatine Elector for a bird’s-eye view of the city.

Day 10
Heidelberg/Rothenburg/Munich

Germany’s Romantic Road takes you to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Enjoy lunch at a local Gasthaus before continuing your journey to the fun-filled Oktoberfest city of Munich.

Day 11
Munich

Enjoy a full day at your leisure. Consider visiting the BMW museum, seeing the Glockenspiel Chimes at the market square, the 1972 Olympic Village or shopping for Bavarian beer steins and lederhosen on Maximilianstrasse.

Day 12
Munich/Berchtesgaden Salt Mines/Salzburg/Alpine Center

This morning, you continue to Berchtesgaden. Dressed in miner’s clothing, enjoy a ride on a funicular and down slides through the salt mine. Your next stop is Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace and site where the classic movie, “Sound of Music” was filmed. Enjoy two nights of fitness and fun while nestled in the snow-capped Austrian mountains at the Alpine Center.

Day 13
Alpine Center

All day today is at your leisure; go for a hike in the Alps or join the fun and excitement of whitewater rafting. A hearty Austrian dinner awaits after all that activity.

Day 14
Austrian Lake District/Venice

The picturesque landscape of the Austrian Lake District brings you to sunny Italy’s Venice—“Sinking City in the Sea.” Cruise to Murano Island, Venice’s glassmaking center since the 13th century where you will visit a workshop and watch famous Venetian glass being made. Back in Venice, walk along the narrow maze of back streets and bridges that take you to St. Mark’s Square with the Campanile, Doge’s Palace and flocks of friendly pigeons.

Day 15
Venice/Florence

Through the fertile Po Valley approach Florence, Golden City of the Renaissance and birthplace of Michelangelo. Your Florence art tour includes the Gates of Paradise, the marble Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and Giotto’s bell tower, then there’s free time for shopping and museums.

Day 16
Florence      

A free day to explore the Uffizi Gallery and see the collections of Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael and da Vinci. The Galleria dell’Accademia houses several sculptures by Michelangelo including his famous David.

Day 17
Florence/Rome

Travel past Chianti vineyards along the Highway of the Sun to the Eternal City of Rome. After check in you have time to relax or explore baroque Rome: Stop to toss three coins in the Trevi Fountain, to ensure your return to Rome, see the Pantheon and sample the famous “gelati” ice cream at Piazza Navona.

Day 18
Rome/Vatican City

This morning explore Capitol Hill with the most spectacular view of Caesar’s Roman Forum. Also see Nero’s Circus Maximus where chariot races were held. A trip across the Tiber River takes you to Vatican City. Visit St. Peter’s Basilica housing Michelangelo’s magnificent “Pieta.” During afternoon free time, use the Roma Pass to visit the Colosseum, where gladiators fought to the death.

Day 19
In Transit

Bid farewell to friends and “arrivederci” to Italy before jetting back home with memories to last a lifetime.

Program Itinerary is subject to change. See final brochure for complete details.

Optional Post-Tour Extension:

Spend five days and five nights in Southern Italy and Greece.

Cost Details

Land Only: TBA
Single Supplement: TBA

Please consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your trip. Learn more.

Map of tour region

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