Grand Tour of Europe

16 days
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About This Experience

Think of Europe as a cultural buffet, and of this tour as your chance to sample the continent’s most flavor-packed and historically rich regions. Whether you’ve always dreamed of traveling to the top of the Eiffel Tower, watching gondolas glide down the Grand Canal, looking out from Juliet’s balcony or just kicking back in a Dutch brown cafe or English pub, you’re sure to get a taste of all you come searching for (and much, much more).

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 14 nights in handpicked hotels

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

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Select entrance fees

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

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Liftoff and you’re London-bound

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to London aboard an internationally recognized airline.

London2 nights - hotel info

Day2

Europe’s biggest city extends its biggest welcome

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Welcome to London! After clearing customs and collecting your bags, look for the “Hotel by Bus” transfer desk. They’ll be providing the transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with the city before tonight’s included welcome dinner.

Day3

A Londoner lets you in on what the locals know

Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle

Breakfast

A local guide leads this morning’s guided sightseeing tour of London. Highlights of the panoramic tour include views of Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and a stop outside St. James’ Palace, where you might glimpse the ceremonial Changing of the Guard (seasonal and weather dependent). After your sightseeing tour, join an optional excursion to Windsor Castle, the centuries old retreat of Britain’s Royal Family.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Windsor Castle $99* pp

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.

Paris2 nights - hotel info

Day4

Tunnel through the English Channel and surface in France

Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise

Breakfast

This morning, transfer to St. Pancras Station. Here, you’ll board the Eurostar, Europe’s quarter-milelong, high-speed train that whisks its passengers below the English Channel and resurfaces in France. Relax aboard comfortable, state-of-the-art transportation, arriving at Gare du Nord in Paris just three hours later. Tonight, consider joining our optional Evening in Paris, featuring dinner at a local restaurant and a cruise along the Seine.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise $109* pp

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, and your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Day5

Champs-Élysées, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe—oui, oui and oui

Optional Excursion - Versailles Palace & Gardens

Breakfast

This morning, meet your local guide for a tour of the French capital. Motor along the fashionable Champs-Élysées and view the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and more. The afternoon is free to explore Paris on your own. Or, join an optional excursion to Versailles, the opulent estate of Sun King Louis XIV.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Versailles Palace & Gardens $105* pp

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.

Amsterdam2 nights - hotel info

Day6

Look out on the Low Countries as you amp up for Amsterdam

Breakfast

Take a picturesque ride on the Thalys train to Amsterdam. Watch the Low Countries zip past your window as make your way to the Dutch capital. After checking in to your hotel, a local guide leads you on an afternoon walking tour of Amsterdam, including Dam Square.

Day7

Take a moment to stop and smell the tulips

Optional Excursion - Canal Cruise & Dinner

Optional Excursion - A Day in Charming Delft

Breakfast

Today you’re free to explore the Dutch capital at your leisure. Alternatively, consider joining the optional excursion, A Day in Charming Delft. Stop at 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. Delft is a charming town of canals, cobbled alleyways and medieval architecture. Tonight, you might choose to join our optional canal cruise featuring dinner.

Optional Excursions

Canal Cruise & Dinner $115* pp

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.

Optional Excursions

A Day in Charming Delft $105* pp

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.

Heidelberg Region1 night - hotel info

Day8

Fix your eyes on crumbling castles as you float down the Rhine

Breakfast, Dinner

Cologne Cathedral

Board a bus this morning for Cologne, where a guided tour brings you inside the city’s landmark Gothic cathedral. You’ll also view the remnants of the city’s Roman-era and medieval walls. Then, transfer to Boppard, where you’ll board a river ship for a scenic cruise up the Rhine to Sankt Goar. There are six castles perched on the banks of this section of the Rhine, and you’ll view them along with dramatic scenery as you cruise southward. Then, take a bus to the Heidelberg region. Dinner is included on land tonight. (Please note: From mid-October to April the Rhine River cruise will be replaced with a German wine tasting tour in Boppard.)

Lucerne2 nights - hotel info

Day9

Venture into the red-roofed villages of Germany’s college town

Breakfast

Heidelberg Castle

Discover the medieval charms of Heidelberg on a guided tour. Visit the town’s ancient castle, perched on a precipice over the Rhine, before traveling Lucerne this afternoon.

Day10

Discover the piece of rock Twain dubbed the “saddest” in all the world

Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus

Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to this charming lakeside city. Explore Lucerne’s Old Town and the captivating Löwendenkmal, a sandstone statue commemorating the Swiss Guards slain in the 1792 defence of the Tuileries. The rest of your day is free to spend as you like or join our optional excursion to Mount Pilatus.

Optional Excursions

Mount Pilatus $99* pp

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.

Lake Como Region1 night - hotel info

Day11

Ascend the Alps and linger on lovely Lake Como

Breakfast, Lunch

Transfer over the Alps to Lake Como, where you’ll board a cruise to experience the lake’s tranquil beauty. Depending on your departure date and hotel location, a lunch or dinner is included on land.

Venice2 nights - hotel info

Day12

Pin up a love note on literature’s most famous balcony

Breakfast, Dinner

A motor coach brings you to Verona this morning, where you’ll embark on a guided sightseeing tour. Highlights of your tour include the Romanera Verona Arena and the Casa di Giulietta, where couples young and old pin love notes to the wall below what is said to be Juilet’s balcony. Then, continue on to Venice, arriving in time for dinner.

Day13

The romance of Venezia is just as undeniable as it is irresistible

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music

Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two

Breakfast

Doge's Palace

Experience the romance of Venice during this morning’s panoramic guided tour, with stops at the Bridge of Sighs and legendary St. Mark’s Square. You’ll view the Gothic Doge’s Palace as well as several important churches. This afternoon, you might consider joining an optional gondola tour of the canals, complete with music.

Optional Excursions

Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music $65* pp

Glide down Venice's famous canals in one of the city's iconic black gondolas. Formerly the main mode of transportation around the Venetian Lagoon, all gondolas were once brightly colored. Following the Doge's decree that only nobility could travel in colored gondolas, ordinary Venetians developed the elegant black silhouettes we know today. A musician serenades you as your gondola cruises through the city. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits. Each gondola holds between four and six passengers.

Optional Excursions

Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two $165* pp

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.

Rome2 nights - hotel info

Day14

Ride the rails through the countryside to the epicenter of an empire

Breakfast

Journey to Rome by train this morning. As you travel south from Venice and cross the Apennine Mountains, you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of the Italian countryside.

Day15

This ancient city’s ruins are the world’s riches

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City

Breakfast, Dinner

The Colosseum

This morning, embark on a guided tour of Imperial Rome, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Then, consider this afternoon’s optional excursion to Vatican City. Tonight, enjoy an included farewell dinner.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Iconic Sights: Vatican City $89* pp

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 Sunday.

Day16

Roam on home or take the fast-track to Florence

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

This morning, a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your return flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add Florence $329*

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.

Florence2 nights - hotel info

Day16

The morning sun casts a new light on Italy’s Renaissance city

Optional Excursion - Dinner in Fiesole

Breakfast

Bascilla of Santa Croce

Transfer to Florence this morning, arriving in time to enjoy a guided tour of the city’s famous duomo and Church of Santa Croce. This evening, join our optional dinner in Fiesole.

Optional Excursions

Dinner in Fiesole $65* pp

Take a scenic ride to the town of Fiesole, where you'll be treated to some of the region's best cuisine over a relaxing three-course dinner. Unmatched views of nearby Florence serve as the perfect complement to your indulgent meal. Fiesole sits on a hill overlooking Florence, and its views of the city have been prized since pre-Roman times.

Day17

Sip your wine, savor the scenery, get a taste for Tuscany

Optional Excursion - Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns

Breakfast

Enjoy a day at leisure in Florence. Consider joining our optional excursion to Siena and San Gimignano, followed by a wine tasting.

Optional Excursions

Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns $105* pp

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. As the sun begins to set, you'll head to a nearby vineyard, where an included wine tasting awaits. Please note: This excursion involves moderate walking.

Day18

Florence will miss you more

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Board your flight home.

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.

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.

Transportation / Walking on tour

Round-trip flights arrive in London and depart from Rome (or Florence on extension). Your transfer upon arrival in London is provided by Hotel by Bus transportation, and you can find their desk when you make your way through customs and baggage. Included transportation is by train and private deluxe motor coach.

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).

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.

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.

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.

trip of a lifetime

this Grand European Tour was a trip I will treasure for the rest of my life. we made great friends on the tour so much it was almost like being with family. our tour director Rob was such a sweet and funny guy who spoke 6 languages and treated us like his best friend. he was so incredibly knowledgable about every exciting country we explored. he took our hand and guided us on this mystical magical tour of Europe.i will always remember Rob fondly!!!!! the hotels were incredible the buses trains and boats were also incredible what a way to see Europe.i have to say that all the Hotels breakfast buffets were fantastic.Rob also went above and beyond the call of duty to make our trip a truly awesome experience.if you tuly want to see the magical beauty of Europe then you must see it threw the eyes of Go Ahead Tours. I cannot say enough about this company they really treated us like vip royalty. try them you want regret it. I know I will again someday.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/4/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: LA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome TRIP!

OMG...I just don't know where to start! It was a whirlwind trip...non stop,adventurous, amazing... there's just not enough words to describe how wonderful this trip was....From the flight there, to the hotels, food and a great bus driver along with a Great tour director...where do you begin its hard to explain....We had an awesome group and made new friends and Rob our tour Director was "the best" he went above and beyond to make sure we got to see everything that was scheduled in our trip...And had great advice on what we could do on our spare time...Great Big Thanks to Rob....From the moment we arrived in London till we returned home Every excursion we did was worth every penny we spent for it....Mount Pilatus was my highlight and on a beautiful day what more could any one ask for....The view is Unbelievable . I highly recommend the Grand Tour of Europe and Thanks to Go Ahead Tours for letting me have the opportunity to experience it.

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/4/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: LA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour For Your Money

I have traveled to Europe twice before, but never on a land tour. This Tour was so much more informative and the personal treatment was amazing! You really get a feel for the countries visited. Stay in beautiful Hotels, eat in wonderful restaurants enjoying delicious traditional foods. Endless regional wines and or beers are an added plus. Mingle with the people and travel the country roads in comfort. The tour director will be your constant companion making sure all arrangements are taken care of. Of course leaving you free to enjoy your dream vacation without a worry in the world! Their expert Tour Director Robert made sure of that ;-) Looking forward to another Go Ahead Tour in the future~ Happy travels to all~ Sincerely, Satisfied Customer.

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/4/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

FANTASTIC TOUR AND TOUR DIRECTOR

THIS IS THE TYPE OF TOURING I LIKE. THIS WAS MY FIRST TRIP TO EUROPE AND I GOT TO SEE MOST OF THE AREAS I WANTED. THE TOUR DIRECTOR WAS VERY INFORMATIVE AND FUN. THIS COMBINATION MADE FOR A GREAT 2 WEEKS. MOST OF THE LOCAL TOUR GUIDES WHERE GOOD. I HAD SUGGESTED GETTING SOME TYPE OF SMALL PAMPHELET FOR THE LOCAL TOURS TO GO BACK AND READ ABOUT EVRYTHING WE SAW. ROB, THE TOUR GUIDE, SAID IT WOULD BE HARD BECAUSE EVERY LOCAL TOUR IS NOT THE SAME. MAYBE A SMALL PAMPHELET WITH EVERYTHING ON THE TOUR AND CAN CHECK WHAT WAS SHOWN. FROM THE ARRIVAL AT AIRPORT EVERYTHING WAS BASICALLY TAKEN CARE OF ALONG WITH WAKE UP CALLS AND BREAKFAST BEFORE THE START OF THE DAY. ALL THE TYPES OF TRANSPORTATION, TRAIN, BUS AND BOAT RIDES WHERE GREAT AND COMFORTABLE. THANKS AGAIN GO AHEAD AND ROB KEITH FAULK LAFAYETTE LA

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/4/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: LA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous trip

My husband and I went on the Grand Tour of Europe. It was awesome and gave us a sample of Europe in one package. We now know we want to go back and take our time next time around to explore certain places. There is a lot of walking, so be prepared for that and wear good walking shoes. We saw some people wearing heels and with cobble stones, that didn't work out so well for them. You have to port your own luggage when using trains and we read this and knew ahead to pack light but folks that didn't, had a hard time and complained about that. The people in our tour were great, they helped each other with the luggage and with those on this tour that needed a little extra help getting around. Thanks to all of them, we were able to enjoy this wonderful vacation. All the Hotels were clean with comfortable beds but be sure and bring wash clothes with you as none of the Hotels in Europe provide them. The breakfast buffets were fabulous. The dinners provided were great and our tour director was the best! Thank you Marcellus!

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour Director

Marcellus was wonderful and could speak 6 languages which cam in handy on our tour. He was well informed and made the tours so interesting at each stop. A fabulous tour and my wife and I got a taste of Europe and hope to return back soon someday. This is a fast pace tour, so be ready for lots of walking, wear comfortable walking shoes. The hotels were all clean and in good locations. The only place that was not quite up to snuff was the hotel in Paris but even that had comfortable mattresses and was within walking distance of a good restaurents. If you want to get a taste of Europe in all it's glory, I would recommend this tour.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Euro trip

The tour started in a great start. But I believe after arriving to Pairs is where the tour went wrong. They changed our hotel the very last min. And the neighborhood we were at was not the most appealing. Then the days we were there one of the most famous museums closed. Also in Rome we weren't able to see the Vatican. However our tour group did try her best to accommodate us and make the tour enjoyable.

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3 / 5

Traveled On: 6/15/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Wonderful Tour Director Makes a DIFFERNCE

Because of MS. ODA, and being a nice tour, I chose to take my two college sons and nephew on this July 12th tour. 1. Same as my first tour, people in the group ***health issues with walking causing others to wait and complain, which was disturbing. ***GoAhead staff must be sure to INFORM all clients of the walking involved on the tour. 2. Same as my last tour ***Local tour guides talked to much and often walked to fast for some people ***NOT allowing us enough free time to enjoy the surrounding area ***A couple times NOT allowing enough time for a relaxed lunch ***ROME ~ we had the same tour guide (Ionna) >>> TRULY loves to be the CENTER of attention >>> Talks to much, to much information of which most will not remember >>> NO TIME to enjoy the location. Moring tour of ROME, same as my last tour RUSHED allowing >>> only 5-10-15 minutes free time, to actually look see, enjoy & take pictures of the location, NOT GOOD >>>She tends to be very controlling and curt. She needs to remember, we are there on VACATION. 3. Hotels are quaint, bit, MUST be a LITTLE closer to the city. *** Some hotels, very bad ventilation, even my boys and I had a few difficult nights. ***Many people stayed at the hotel because of the long walk to town. I enjoy walking,no problem here >>>>>>> Miss Oda did her best to help, and made good suggestions. 4. Arrival time at various locations often to late, most stores and restaurants CLOSED, and the walking distance does not help the matter... 5. I have been in the Travel / Entertainment business for 40 years and therefore , I am HONESTLY sharing what I have personally experienced twice within a year. My two boys 21 & 23 and nephew 31 shared the same comments, as they were rudely lectured in ROME. along with 2 other group members they stepped to the side to enjoy the COLLOSIAM and the guide spoke to them with a curt tone.....SHE TRULY TALKS TO MUCH IN DETAIL, PEOPLE WANT TO EXPLORE & TAKE PICTURE TO ADD TO THEIR FAMILY NOOK OF MEMORIES......NOT ENOUGH TIME HERE Because of Ioanna's attitude, I chose NOT to take the VATICAN option this time. On my last tour one of the members had aligetoa HEALTH issue, the Tour direct was cut and send to un uncaring, mane rude comments forgetting her listening "WHISPER" device was on.... >>>She is informative, but, to much information can be very boring, people take this tour to ENJOY sightseeing, shopping, eating, laughing and some BASIC important history of the selected locations is all we need....5-10-15 minutes are definitely NOT enough free time to ENJOY the selected location. 6. This is my opinion as a well traveled person of over 30 years, but, only my third tour group, GoAhead...My second GRAND TOUR OF EUROPE in less then a year. *** I would still recommend this tour, but, also mention all the above information. *** I would NOT want my friends and family returning home upset with me for the same reasons. *** I conduct a Hawaiian Culture & Performing Arts School, amd I was considering taking group of 20-25 People next June, but, now having seconds thoughts as per my above comments. *** only a few minor changes could make this tour truly wonderful. NOTE: Consider makini ALL the stops 2 & 3 nite, allowing ample time to RELAX & ENJOY Charge aligetoa more to Color YOUR costs. If people are willing to take 16 days off for this tour, Another 3-5 days should not make a great difference. For most people, this tour will be a one time venture. They should TRULY ENJOY and go home with fond memories.... LOCAL TOUR GUIDES need to look at each group differently and work accordingly. But, it has been my long time experience that MOST PEOPLE would like a little basic but good history of the locations, and enough free time to ENJOY looking and dinning with their family and friends. This GRAND TOUR OF EUROPE could make this happen for MANY people, with a few more added days and less talk from the local guides..... I am now 65 and in OKAY health, This is ONLY my opinion, and hopefull will serve as a positive ... Once again, the professionalism and kind consideration of our Tour Director Miss Oda, made a major difference to many in the group on this tour. Yes, as in every group, we had a few cry babies, but, Oda worked very well with them....

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: HI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Tour Director!

Just returned from the Grand Tour of Europe and it was superlative. Accommodations, weather, buses, trains, and connections were pretty much seamless. Our Tour Director, Marcellus, is simply "the best." He literally "mothered" our group. He bought subway tickets, pointed out unique attractions to visit (cathedrals, fountains, squares, restaurants, etc.). He traveled with our group on his own time for those who were interested in sites which were difficult to fit into our regular schedule. As with every tour, there are "glitches" and Marcellus handled all of ours masterfully, making the trip thoroughly enjoyable. We had a great group of people and made many friends. After 16 days it seemed like we were all "family." If Marcellus is indicative of the caliber of Tour Directors at GoAhead, they are to be commended for the quality of their personnel. Take the tour and pray that you get Marcellus for your Tour Director.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/7/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Grand Tour of Europe

This tour was even better than we imagined. It is extremely well-organized. The hotels were excellent. The Tour Director as well as each of the guides in the various countries were extremely knowledgeable of history, current events, the various cultures as well as the languages. Our Tour Director paced the entire trip perfectly. We were on buses, trains, trams, canal cruises, gondolas - and it all went as smooth as silk. I could do the trip all over again. My husband and I highly recommend this tour. It is the best way to see so many wonderful places - and you have free time or tours as you wish! Loved it.

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

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