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21 Day European Gardens, Castles and Quilts Tour with Rhine River Cruise 2017 (Tour Code: EQT)

Day 01, 06 August: Australia – Doha – London
Depart Australia on Qatar Airways via Doha.

Day 02, 07 August: Doha – London (D)
Connect your Qatar Airways flight to London in the morning. Arrive in London Heathrow airport in the afternoon. Rest unpack. Free time, R&R, or explore local area. Have your dinner at hotel or local restaurant.

Day 03, 08 August: London (B.D)
Enjoy an orientation tour of London by bus. Stop off at various famous sights for photo shoots. Sightseeing Houses of parliament, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, Pall Mall etc. In the afternoon free time to explore the Victorian & Albert Museum, Harrods, Madame Tussauds at your own choice. Have lunch at your own cost. Have your dinner at hotel or local restaurant.

Day 04, 09 August: London (B.D)
Today you will first visit Hampton Court. Explore the palace, the gardens, the maze, the tennis court, the kitchens etc. (Entry cost Hampton Court included, all other entry costs at your own expense). Take short bus drive to Kew Gardens (only entrance cost included and mini train fee at your own cost). View the Gardens. Then enjoy a visit to Tikki Patchwork in the town of Kew. Have your dinner at hotel or local restaurant.

Day 05, 10 August: London – Windsor Castle – Bristols (B/D)
After breakfast we will travel by coach to visit the largest castle in the world Windsor Castle. This is the stately home of the Queen. Afterwards we will travel by coach to the historic city of Bath. Visit the Royal Crescent and the Circus, Queen Square, Abbey Churchyard, Abbey Green or the Cross Bath tucked away down Bath Street. Also visit the “Fashion Museum”, Pulteney Bridge and the Weir, along with the colourful Parade Gardens. If we still have energy, walk up Lansdown Hill and turn into Camden Crescent for some of the best views of Bath. Stay overnight in Bristols.

Day 06, 11 August: Bristols – Roman (B.D)
Enjoy a guided tour around Bath. Leave Bath to visit the American Quilt Museum and grounds (request a special viewing). Our personal tour guide will give you some time to study the wonderful quilt collection they have on display. After this visit, have your lunch at your own cost. Visit a quilt shop and do some shopping. Have your dinner at hotel or local restaurant. At your free time, you may wish to visit Jane Austen House.

Day 07, 12 August: Bristols – Birmingham (B/D)
After breakfast, you are transferred by coach to Birmingham, where we will book into our hotel for the next two nights and then transfer to the Exhibition Hall for the first day of the FESTIVAL OF THE QUILTS. Return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 08, 13 August: Quilt Show in Birmingham (B/D)
After breakfast at the hotel we make our way back for the 2nd day of the FESTIVAL OF THE QUILTS. Return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 09, 14 August: Birmingham – Kent – Sissinghurst Gardens – Dover (B/D)
After breakfast, travel to Kent where we will visit Sissinghurst Garden today. It is close to landscape designated of outstanding natural beauty. The garden was created by Vita Sackville – West & Harold Nicolson in the 1930's. A stone manor surrounded by a moat was built in the Middle Ages. Two legs of the moat survive - a third leg originally ran where the 'Moat Walk' lawn is now. The original building was replaced in the 15th century by a large manor built by the Baker family - related by marriage to the Sackvilles of Knowle. The garden is in fact a series of some ten separate gardens, all delightfully different. Walls and hedges separate the gardens, giving the visitor the impression of peace and seclusion. On a sunny day there is almost nowhere better to be. Stay overnight in Dover.

Day 10, 15 August: Dover – Canterbury – Calais Area (B/D)
Head southwest to Canterbury and have a guided tour of Canterbury Cathedral. Have your free time to wander the city and visit the local quilts shop. In the late afternoon, we leave for France.

Day 11, 16 August: Calais Area – Bruges – Amsterdam (B/D)
After breakfast, you are transferred to the Belgian countryside to medieval Bruges where we can walk along the cobbled streets beside the peaceful canals. Then travel on to Amsterdam. Upon arrival, you will have a bus city tour in Amsterdam. After that you can choose to explore canal by your own or do the optional tour, canal tour (own expenses). You will embark on a Rhine River cruise (Embark starting from 4 p.m. Enjoy your first dinner on board). After dinner, there is a chance for you to do a walking tour to the centre of Amsterdam and visit red light district area (own expenses). Accommodation: On Board

Day 12, 17 August: Amsterdam (B.L.D)
After breakfast on board, you will start a tour to Zaanse Schans to admire typical architecture and crafts (windmills, cheese factory, clogs, etc). And then you will be transferred back to cruise and enjoy a welcome cocktail on board. Accommodation: On Board

Day 13, 18 August: Amsterdam – Cologne (B.L.D)
In the afternoon you will arrive in Cologne (Koln), then enjoy a walking city tour including Haymarket, Festival Hall, Jewish Baths, Old market, Cologne’s Dom, a remarkable Gothic cathedral (outside explanation with individual inside visit). After that you can explore the city on your own. Or take an optional bus tour to the city of Bonn to visit the most important sights, including Beethoven's house, cathedral, city hall and Poppelsdorf Palace (own expenses). Accommodation: On Board
Note: The ship is docked in within walking distance from the city center, if you explore the city by your own; please make sure you return to the ship before dinner time. Accommodation: On Board

Day 14, 19 August: Cologne – Koblenz – Ruedesheim (B.L.D)
In the morning join a panoramic tour of Koblenz, followed by tour to Marksburg castle. Then you will be transferred back to the ship and go to Ruedesheim. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour with the most important sightseeing in Rudesheim followed by visiting music museum. Accommodation: On Board

Day 15, 20 August: Ruedesheim – Mannheim – Speyer (B.L.D)
In the morning the ship will stop at German city Mannheim from where we offer a bus trip to the city of Heidelberg, including walking tour through old town and ascend to the Heidelberg castle – visit to the castle. Continue with the bus to the town of Speyer. In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour through the city and visit to the famous cathedral. Accommodation: On Board

Day 16, 21 August: Strasbourg (B.L.D)
You will arrive in Strasbourg in the morning and stay a whole day in Strasbourg. After breakfast, a morning panoramic city bus tour, including Palace de la Republique, Orangerie, EU Parliament with numerous stops near Hospice, Quai St. Nikolas, Palais Rohain, Cathedral de Nôtre Dame). Some free time in Strasbourg. In the afternoon, you can choose to explore Strasbourg city by your own or take an optional bus trip to Alsace wine route with visit to the city of Obernai and stop at Mont St. Odile hill with monastery (own expenses). Captain’s gala dinner in the evening. Accommodation: On Board

Day 17, 22 August: Strasbourg – Basel (B.D)
Arrive in Basel in the morning. Today you will have a tour to Luzern. Luzern is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland; you will visit the old centre with old bridge, cathedral and Lion's Monument. Lunch is on your own expenses. In the afternoon, you will have walking tour in Basel and free time to explore Basel. Return to the ship for dinner. Accommodation: On Board

Day 18, 23 August: Basel – Paris (B.D)
Disembark the cruise ship after breakfast. You are transferred to Basel airport for your flight to Paris. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to hotel for the night.

Day 19, 24 August: Paris Sightseeing & Quilts Shop Visit (B.D)
Our local guide is ready to show you first hand this exciting city today. The tour reveals the splendour and historical events of the jewel city. We see Notre Dame, one of the most beautiful churches in the world and a masterpiece of medieval art. The Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, Place de la Concorde, Trocadero Gardens, the Opera House and the Grande Dame of Paris - Eiffel. You will be also taken to Le Rouvray, a very well-known quilts shop in Paris. In the later part of the day, why not hop on the Bateaux Mouche, for a cruise on the river belt of Paris - River Seine (at your own expense). Paris is a city of lights, it is indeed a city that never sleeps, so why should you?

Day 20, 25 August: Paris – Doha – Australia (B)
You are at leisure until transfer to airport for your flight to Australia via Doha on Qatar Airways and fly overnight.

Day 21, 26 August: Australia
You arrive in Australia in the evening. Your unforgettable European Gardens, Castles and Quilts tour ends.

Tour Price: $8,780 per person based on twin/double share
Single Supplement: $1,490
PS: The daily itinerary on the cruise is subject to Cruise Company’s final itinerary.

Inclusions:
1. Qatar Airways economy class air-ticket: Sydney or Melbourne – Doha – London//Paris – Doha – Sydney or Melbourne;
2. International airport tax and airlines levy (currently $250, subject to change);
3. First class hotels with daily breakfasts;
4. Entrance fees for all sightseeing spots, special dinners, entertainment and quilt shows as indicated in the itinerary;
5. Seven night accommodation in an upper deck cabin with scenic window for Rhine river cruise;
6. All the meals mentioned in the schedule;
7. All transfers and transportation by air-conditioned coach;
8. All programmes and sightseeing tours with English-speaking tour manager;
9. A tour leader and quilter from Australia;
10. Tips to guide and driver.

Exclusions:
1. Travel insurance. (Highly recommend)
2. Optional tours
3. Personal expenses.
3. Any meals and services not mentioned in the itinerary.

Optional tours,
1. Canal boat tour in Amsterdam (minimum 2 people)
Cost: $30 per person

2. Night walking tour with red light district area in Amsterdam (minimum 2 people)
Cost: $35 per person

3. Bonn tour in Koln (minimum 2 people)
Cost: $95

4. Bus tour from Strasbourg to Alsace wine route - Mont St Odile + Obernai (minimum 2 people)
Cost: $95

Cruise information
MS “ALEMANNIA”
Technical information
Comfortable 4-deck vessel, cruising along Rhine, Main and other European rivers. Length – 110m., Width – 11.6 m., Draft – 1.7 m., Passenger capacity – 184

Facilities on board
• Panorama restaurant and a saloon • Bar • Swimming pool • Shop • Sun deck • Promenade deck

Accommodation
MS "Alemannia" offers accommodation for 1, 2 or 3 persons in outside cabins, equipped with private facilities, internal telephone, TV, and air-conditioning.
Junior Suite has a DOUBLE bed and a refrigerator



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