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Grand Tour of Europe

16 days
On this sweeping tour, world-famous sights like Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum are just the beginning of what you’ll experience. Get a taste of several languages and cultures as you journey from Great Britain to France to the Netherlands, across Germany then through Switzerland and Italy.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 14 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Private deluxe motor coach and high-speed Eurostar train

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to London today.

London 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in London

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to England! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of London

Included meals: Breakfast

View the regal landmarks of England’s vibrant and cosmopolitan capital on a guided sightseeing tour. 

• Pass the grand Trafalgar Square and Baroque-style St. Paul’s Cathedral, perched atop Ludgate Hill

• See Westminster Abbey, the setting for royal coronations and weddings

• View icons like Big Ben, the London Eye and the Tower of London

• Stop by Buckingham Palace, where you may catch the Changing of the Guard

Spend a free afternoon in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle $99*pp Details

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided visit to the world’s largest and longest inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the British Royal Family’s preferred retreat for the past 900 years. Step inside the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel (closed Sundays), where the Knights of the Garter ceremony takes place. View the exhibit of royal treasures on display within the castle. You’ll then have time to stroll through the town of Windsor and have a look at Eton College, a prestigious prep school attended by Princes William and Harry. Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Paris 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Paris via the Eurostar train

Included meals: Breakfast

Board the famed high-speed Eurostar train and be whisked beneath the English Channel as you journey to Gare du Nord in Paris.

Enjoy a free evening in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise $115*pp Details

Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris’ bridges, you’ll behold the gloriously illuminated monuments of Paris glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: The dress code may vary depending your restaurant. Your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

A guided tour introduces you to the architecture, scenery and history of the City of Light’s many neighborhoods, called arrondissements.

• Drive down the sycamore-lined Champs-Élysées in view of the Arc de Triomphe

• Pass the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on an island in the Seine River 

• See the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier opera house and Place de la Concorde, the city’s grandest square 

• Marvel at the eclectic and iconic architecture of the Louvre

Spend the afternoon exploring Paris on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Versailles Palace & Gardens $109*pp Details

The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Amsterdam 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Amsterdam

Included meals: Breakfast

Ride a high-speed train to the Dutch capital, where a walking tour with a local guide introduces you to the city’s iconic canals and unique character.

• Stroll by the canals and bridges, taking in the houseboats that dot the banks

• View Dam Square, home of many landmarks including the neoclassical Royal Palace, the 15th-century New Church and the National Monument

Day 7: Free day in Amsterdam

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Amsterdam or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - A Day in Charming Delft $105*pp Details

Pay a visit to the world-famous flower market at Aalsmeer for a close-up look at one of Holland’s best-known national exports: its brilliantly hued tulips. From there, travel to The Hague for a quick photo stop at the majestic Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice. Finally, continue to Delft, a charming town of canals, cobbled alleyways and medieval architecture. Visit the Old and New Churches on a guided tour, and then enjoy free time to grab lunch and explore the town, perhaps visiting the former home of the famous painter, Vermeer.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Optional Excursion - Canal Cruise & Dinner $115*pp Details

Cruise along the canals of Amsterdam on a houseboat, enjoying the view of row houses lit up for the night. Your cruise will take you through the center of the city as you enjoy dinner by lantern light.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Heidelberg Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Heidelberg Region via Cologne

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross into Germany on your way to the Heidelberg region today, making several stops along the way. 

• Enter Cologne Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage site

• Take in views of six ancient castles during a cruise on the Rhine River, from Boppard to Sankt Goar (seasonal, please note that from mid-October through March you will enjoy a German wine tasting in Boppard instead of the cruise)

Lucerne 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Heidelberg

Included meals: Breakfast

Discover the medieval charms of Heidelberg on a guided sightseeing tour before traveling to Lucerne, Switzerland this afternoon.

• Walk through Heidelberg’s Old Town, passing Market Square and Heidelberg University

• Take a funicular ride to top of Heidelberg Castle for panoramic views of the Old Bridge and the Rhine River below

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne

Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to this charming lakeside city.  

• Explore Lucerne’s Old Town

• View the sandstone lion statue commemorating the Swiss Guards

• Stroll over Chapel Bridge, a 17th-century covered footbridge

Enjoy a free afternoon in Lucerne or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus $109*pp Details

This scenic excursion begins with a cruise on Lake Lucerne. After docking, ascend 7,000-foot Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Legend holds that the mountain was named for Pontius Pilate, blown here by the devil after the Crucifixion. From the peak, the views of the Alps are stunning; on a clear day, you can see for 200 miles. Toward the end of your trip, you’ll return to the base of the mountain via gondola. Please note: The cruise and cogwheel railway only run from mid-May through October. During the winter months, this excursion includes the cable car ride only. If the cogwheel railway is unavailable, you’ll enjoy lunch on the mountain.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Lake Como Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 11: Boat cruise on Lake Como

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer over the Alps to Lake Como in Italy and take a scenic cruise of Lake Como, viewing the towns of Lario, Como and Bellagio from the water.

(Please note: Depending on the season, a lunch may be included instead of a dinner today.)

Venice 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Venice via Verona

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Verona this morning for a guided sightseeing tour before continuing on to Venice. 

• View the ancient Verona Arena, left from the time of the Romans

• Visit Casa di Giulietta, said to be home to the balcony of Shakespeare’s Juliet

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Venice

Included meals: Breakfast

Experience historic churches, winding canals and picture-perfect piazzas on a guided tour of the city known as the “Queen of the Adriatic.”

• Step into the iconic St. Mark’s Square and view its soaring basilica

• View the stately Doge’s Palace, built in the Venetian Gothic style in 1340

• Marvel at the Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto Bridge, which spans the Grand Canal

• See a glassblowing demonstration to learn about the city’s most celebrated art

Enjoy a free afternoon in Venice or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music $65*pp Details

More than 100 waterways crisscross Venice, and boarding a sleek black gondola to explore them has become a time-honored tradition. On this memorable excursion, join your fellow travelers for a tour through the canals of Venice. A musician serenades you as your gondola cruises through the city. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits. A private two-person gondola ride is available for an additional $100 per person.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two $165*pp Details

More than 100 waterways crisscross Venice, and boarding a sleek black gondola to explore them has become a time-honored tradition. On this memorable excursion, you’ll enjoy a private, serenaded gondola cruise through the canals of Venice. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $175)

Rome 2 nights Hotel info

Day 14: Travel to Rome

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Rome by train, crossing the Apennine Mountains for sweeping views of the Italian countryside.

Day 15: Sightseeing tour of Rome

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, explore the city on a guided tour, uncovering landmarks that were once at the epicenter of an empire.

• Pass by Trajan’s Column and Piazza Venezia, the Eternal City’s central hub

• Stop at the ruins of the Forum, from which the Caesars ruled their empire 

• View the Arch of Constantine and the Temple of Venus and Roma

• Enter the Colosseum and take time to explore on your own

Enjoy a free afternoon in Rome or add an excursion.

Say goodbye to your group at tonight’s farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $99*pp Details

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you’ll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world’s most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you’ll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo’s greatest masterpiece. Finally, you’ll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sundays. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Day 16: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue on to Florence.

Add Florence $329 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

It only takes one glimpse of the legendary Duomo to realize the Renaissance never ended in Florence. Take a few days to discover the city that gave life not only to the Italian language, but also to the artists and movements that define Italy to this day. And, for a well-rounded taste of Tuscany, head to the countryside to visit the hill towns and vineyards that illuminate the region’s characteristic charms.

Florence 2 nights Hotel info

Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Florence

Included meals: Breakfast

Take the train to Florence this morning, arriving in time for a guided tour.

• Visit the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• Step inside the Basilica of Santa Croce, burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo

• See the medieval Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, center of Florentine life 

Enjoy a free afternoon in Florence or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Dinner in Fiesole $75*pp Details

Head to the hilltop town of Fiesole, home to stunning views of nearby Florence that have been prized since pre-Roman times. Here, you’ll be treated to some of the region’s best cuisine over a relaxing three-course dinner.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Day 17: Free day in Florence

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Florence on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns $109*pp Details

Discover the essence of Tuscany on a full-day excursion. In Siena, a local guide introduces you to the town and its black-and-white marble duomo, where you’ll find brilliantly colored 16th-century frescoes in the Piccolomini Library. You’ll have some free time to explore the Campo, the square that serves as the center of civic life in Siena. Then, journey through the countryside to the town of San Gimignano, where you’ll have some free time to explore the city’s medieval towers or simply admire the Tuscan hills. Later, you’ll head to a nearby vineyard, where an included wine tasting awaits. Please note: This excursion involves moderate walking.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Day 18: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • London, England
  • Paris, France
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Heidelberg, Germany
  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Como, Italy
  • Venice, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa

This tour includes the following countries: England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Baggage handling

Please note that porter service cannot be guaranteed on the trains from London to Paris, Paris to Amsterdam and Venice to Rome. Please be prepared to handle your own baggage.

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland or Italy. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

You’ll have the opportunity to taste a wide variety of cuisines on this tour. In London, reasonably priced traditional fare can be found at local pubs (Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie, haggis and Cumberland sausages). French cuisine is a national (and international) obsession, done with style and flair. Croissants and café au lait begin the day, followed by delicacies such as foie gras, pâté, escargot and truffles. French wines and coffees are some of the finest in the world. Traditional Dutch cuisine is hearty fare, primarily based on meat, potatoes and stew. The Dutch are known for cheeses such as Gouda, Edam and Leyden. Swiss food, influenced by surrounding countries, is varied and sophisticated; the most famous local dish is fondue, made from molten cheese, flavored with wine, garlic and liquor, into which pieces of skewered bread are dipped. Cuisine varies by region in Italy—in Lombardy, you’ll find rice dishes such as risotto, while pastas such as spaghetti all’ amatriciana are more common around Rome.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in London and depart from Rome (or Florence on extension). When you first arrive in London, a Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative may be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. Included transportation is by train and private deluxe motor coach.

Electricity

England uses 240 volts. All other destinations operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

The United Kingdom operates on Greenwich mean time, which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard time. France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Italy are all one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). 

Currency

The British pound, euro and Swiss franc are the currencies you’ll use on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination country, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards and ATM/bank cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/ CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/11/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing trip...amazing director

This was a trip of a lifetime! Our tour director Marcelous was outstanding, knowledgeable, helpful and caring. When we take another trip we will request him! Food choice where great loved most of the hotels. We had no worries..no worries about our.transportation, exchanging of money, or our safety. Marcelous took our trip of a lifetime and multiplied it!! Thank you for the office who worked on our hotel accommodations... every hotel had a spare bed for our daughter.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Grand Tour/Grand Experience

First, let me say from first meeting of our tour director, John, he was above expectations. He individualized ideas for our free time to make certain we were each getting "our value" from the experience. He reviewed customs, language, safety and recommended fun and educational places for us to visit. Because we were going to the Moulin Rouge at 11pm show, he personally escorted us via subway train, made sure we secured our seats and made arrangements to be sure we had cabs secured to go back to hotel. To us this was all above and beyond. Our lives have been greatly enriched by the entire trip where history became more real and alive, where different cultures more understanding and where the definition of lifestyle took on new meaning. While we are very proud and happy to be Americans, we learned how we can improve our lives by some of the examples. We enjoyed Rome so much and that too was partly because of the wonderful local guide, Stewart, who knew so much and so clearly shared his knowledge. We traveled with an amazing group of people and quickly became a family. We were the oldest couple on tour and felt very included. It was grand and as we are making our photo albums we are reliving the experience. This journey has made us a more wealthy people in the experience.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Way To Travel Europe For The First Time

This is the best way to get your feet when when wanting t travel abroad. I wouldn't have done it any other way!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Europe Tour

The Grand Tour of Europe was excellent !! Everything was top notch. Transportation, hotels, tour director, sights, attractions - you name it , it was amazing.

2 / 5

2 / 5

Traveled On: 7/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CO

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

Not impressed

Have stayed in hostels that were nicer than some of the 4?hotels we stayed at on this trip. Had to go hours between bathroom stops, which is not a good thing when you have a small bladder. Tour director was rude and made the trip not enjoyable.

 

Thank you for traveling with us, and for taking the time to review your recent Grand Tour of Europe. We are surprised to learn that you did not enjoy your Tour Director, and that you found him to be rude. We have looked into past customer evaluations for this individual, and have found that customers consistently rate him very well and enjoyed his company. We monitor traveler comments on evaluations and reviews such as this, and use your insight to inform decisions made on future tours. While this is a high ranking Tour Director, we will certainly be addressing your concerns with him and his manager. In regards to your comment about the quality of the hotels, we do our best to seek out properties that are good value, and put our travelers centrally located or close to public transportation. We are sorry to see that the hotels did not meet your expectations, and will keep an eye on the ratings of these hotels moving forward. We would like to reiterate our appreciation for your review, and hope that you will travel with Go Ahead again in the future.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 30, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Tour Director

Tour director went the extra mile to unite the group despite of different ages and different interest. He efficiently control some situations (I.e hotels with no A/C etc...). I think that, from my point of view, the tour went ok.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Deniseo (spelling??) was great!! Very helpful and took very good care of us. I'd look for his tours when we travel again! Most hotel's were good except our Florence hotel. Food was pretty good, the best was in Heidelberg, Germany. .

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/14/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Exceeded our expectations

This tour exceeded our expectations in every way. The guide, Valerio was EXCELLENT! He went beyond the norm to inform us, and show us a good time. And, he was a genuinely nice guy! The hotels were very good. The food on the included meals was very good. The itinerary was very busy, but allowed enough time to "experience" all locations. This is a very good way to get an overview of Europe.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/22/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best tour director and way to get a taste of europe

Amazing tour! Great way to see a lot of countries in a short amount of time. Hotels were all centrally located. The people on our tour were great (ages ranged from 15-65+) and by the end we were like a big family. Our tour director Marcellus went above and beyond in making sure our experience was top notch. He brought us to see things that were not on our itinerary on his own time, helped us manage travels after our tour ended even though it was not expected, made sure to base the pace of our travels on the needs of our group, and added thoughtful touches to our daily experiences that went above his job description. He was knowledgable and patient and made an already great tour amazing. Highly recommend this tour and try to book Marcellus as a tour director! You won't regret it

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip Of A Lifetime

We saw many wonders of historical significance and beauty. Our days were filled with sightseeing and we had the option of free time. Our tour director was excellent. She went above and beyond her duties and made everyone feel welcome. The local guides were splendid.

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