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The Seine: Paris to Normandy 2015

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Pre-trip: London, England

Extend your discoveries in London, the bustling, historic capital of England. Enjoy an included city tour of London’s highlights, and enjoy time to explore sites such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria & Albert Museum, or the British Museum on your own. Plus, you’ll enjoy a daily English breakfast buffet.

It's Included:
Accommodations: for 4 nights at the Superior First-Class London Lancaster Hotel or similar
4 meals: 4 breakfasts
Included tour: London
Exclusive services of a resident Grand Circle representative
All transfers
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    Fly overnight from the U.S. to London.

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    Upon arrival in London, you'll be met by a Grand Circle representative. After transferring to your hotel, take an orientation walk around the hotel neighborhood.

    Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

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    On an included panoramic tour this morning, you'll get an introduction to London's major landmarks, including Parliament and Westminster Abbey—the most beautiful Gothic church in London and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded by Edward the Confessor in the eleventh century, it features Poets’ Corner, where some of England’s greatest writers are buried. Then discover legendary Buckingham Palace, home to England’s royal family, along with St. Paul’s Cathedral and Trafalgar Square.

    After lunch on your own, enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Or, join an optional tour to Windsor Castle, the largest and longest inhabited castle in the world. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1078, the castle is known to be the current royal family’s favorite residence. As you explore the interior, as well as the lovely grounds perched on the River Thames, consider the 900 years of history lived at Windsor. Your tour includes Queen Mary’s Doll House, built in 1924 for the Queen of England, as well as the magnificent State Apartments built for Charles II in the mid 1600s. Admire the apartments’ fine china, art, and furniture before passing through St. George’s Chapel, final resting place of many royal family members.

    Enjoy dinner tonight on your own.

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    Today is at leisure in London. Perhaps you'll visit the infamous Tower of London. William the Conqueror’s magnificent citadel, the Tower of London offers almost 1,000 years of London history and has served as a fortress, prison, and museum for centuries in the middle of London. Here you’ll view the preserved prison cells and the spectacular British crown jewels. Nearby is another of London’s most beloved landmarks—the Tower Bridge. This massive drawbridge, flanked by two striking towers, first opened in 1894 but is still considered the most spectacular of London’s many bridges.

    Later, you may want to get better acquainted with some of London’s justly famous theaters, music halls, and museums. The Royal Albert Hall was inspired by the early works of the Romans. This large amphitheater is home to some of the world’s finest concerts and musical events, and is a true English monument. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the Royal Albert Hall in 1867 in memory of her late husband, Prince Albert. Nearby is the Victoria & Albert Museum, a spacious building full of art galleries and artistic displays. Some of the country’s great artistic treasures are here. Entry to the museum is free, as is entry to the adjacent National History Museum and Science Museum, both of which are well worth a visit.

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    Enjoy a last day at leisure in England’s capital.

    Or, join an optional tour to one of England’s most magnificent palaces—Hampton Court. Rich in royal history, Hampton Court offers a feast for the eyes, from the opulent State Apartments to the sprawling, manicured grounds. Enjoy a tour of the interior and exterior, and discover how Henry VIII and William III lived in the palace so many years ago. You’ll have time on your own to enjoy the famous garden maze and stroll amidst beautiful flowers and greenery.

    Enjoy dinner tonight on your own.

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    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to Paris, where you'll begin your Seine: Paris to Normandy River Cruise.