Day 1 :
- Depart for London, United Kingdom:
Day 2 :
Arrive in London
- Hello London:
Meet your tour director and check into your hotel.
Day 3 :
- Tour London:
Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Buckingham Palace. Then get up close and personal with the Tower of London. Towers, rather. Twenty stone towers, as well as tunnels, winding staircases and narrow passageways comprise this huge fortress covering 18 acres on the banks of the Thames. A royal residence from the 11th - 16th centuries, the Tower also served as a jewel safe and a prison. The headless skeletons of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard (Henry VIII's former wives who were executed here) are believed to be buried here. The Crown Jewels are housed here, including the largest cut diamond in the world (530-carats). Beefeaters (guards) lead tours through the Tower.
Day 4 :
- Tour Paris:
Take the Eurostar under the English Channel. Faster than you can say... anything, in French, you'll whiz through a tunnel and arrive in Paris. Then enjoy guided sightseeing tour of the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, and Notre Dame Cathedral.
Day 5 :
- Optional Giverny visit:
Claude Monet discovered this tiny farming village when he looked out the window of a stopped train. Impressed by its beauty, in 1883 he and his family moved into the pink stucco house where he spent the next 40 years planting his extensive gardens and creating some of the world's most beautiful Impressionist paintings. Spend some time wandering through the riot of natural color in the Clos Normand and watching soft light shine on the delicate Japanese bridge and lush water lilies that inspired some of his most famous works. See Monet's studio, preserved just as he left it, with supplies and sketches scattered around. Neglected for years and badly damaged during WWII, the house and gardens took 10 years to restore, but are now back in their full glory. Which just leaves one question: With all that weeding and fertilizing, how did Monet have time to paint?
- Optional Eiffel Tower Ascent:
Travel to the top of the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views of Paris.
LEAP Activity | Cover the Canvas
Live the artist life. Explore line, color, perspective, negative space and form, then paint a masterpiece inspired by the beauty of Paris.
Day 6 :
- Versailles Guided Excursion:
The ultimate palace, Versailles was built by Louis XIII, and housed the royal family and its groveling court from 1682, when the Sun King moved in, to the French Revolution. Everything in Versailles is worth a look, from the 250-foot-long Hall of Mirrors, with themed salons- "war" and "peace" -on either side, to Marie Antoinette's faux country hamlet. When being a queen became too much to bear, she would pretend to be a commoner, tending her sheep and wearing peasant clothes. (Please note Versailles is closed on Mondays.)
- Louvre Museum:
The world's largest art museum, the Louvre is housed in a Medieval fortress-turned-castle so grand it's worth a tour itself. You walk through the 71-foot glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei and added in 1989, and step into another world--one with carved ceilings, deep-set windows, and so many architectural details you could spend a week just admiring the rooms. The Mona Lisa is here, as well as the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory (the headless statue, circa 200 BC, discovered at Samothrace). The Louvre has seven different departments of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and antiquities. Don't miss the Egyptian collection, complete with creepy sarcophagi, or the collection of Greek ceramics, one of the largest in the world. (Please note the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.)
- Flight from Paris to Berlin):
LEAP Activity | Seize the Château!
This costume workshop is a lively role-play activity that puts you in the shoes of the monarchy, clergy, nobility, bourgeoisie, or peasantry to explore the issues underlying the French Revolution.
Day 7 :
- Tour Berlin:
Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Unter den Linden, and the Pergamon Museum. This museum is the most popular art museum in Germany and boasts famous monumental buildings, such as the Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate, which have been reconstructed to their original sizes within the museum. Walk up the massive stone steps to Zeus’s Altar, follow the famous Processional Way and see examples of the intricate weavings of ancient Islamic carpets.
Day 8 :
- Optional Potsdam half day excursion :
Head to Potsdam to visit Sanssouci, the summer palace of Frederick the Great, an ornate Rococo style palace surrounded by lush gardens and a terraced vineyard.
LEAP Activity | Ich bin ein Berliner
Step into the shoes of the people whose lives were impacted by the Berlin Wall. Participate in a group activity that involves reciting personal accounts of the event and discussing its repercussions. Live through their experiences and gain a personal insight into Germany’s history.
Day 9 :
End Tour or Extend Your Stay
- Depart Berlin for home:
Board your flight home or extend your stay in Berlin.
Extend your stay | Extra day in Berlin
Extend your stay in Germany by adding extra days in Berlin.