Return to Europe

For a 5 week tour, combine segments 1, 2,  3, 4A and 5.

1. Norwegian Fjords - 7 days round trip Copenhagen

Cruising is a great way to visit the Norwegian Fjords and avoid the high cost of accommodation and meals in Norway.  A 7 day round trip cruise from Copenhagen combines nicely with flights to North America and integrates well with further travel in Europe.  The Navigator of the Seas is an excellent option in the early spring.  Ports of call from Copenhagen: Flam, Geiranger, Alesund; Bergen, Copenhagen.

2. Scandinavia - 9 days by air

Although many cruise ships offer Scandinavian itineraries from Amsterdam and Copenhagen, travel by air in this region can provide a better quality experience and actually cost less.  Cruises typically spend one or two nights in St Petersburg, depending on passenger interest in traveling to Moscow during the cruise.  Travel by air affords the extra time needed to adequately visit both these Russian cities.  Take a one way air trip starting in Amsterdam or Copenhagen.  Spend two nights in Stockholm and 3 nights each in St Petersburg and Moscow. Catch a flight to Budapest at the end of this segment.

3. The Danube - 7 days by rail or river cruise

Budapest is the most common city to start a trip up the Danube.  River cruises sell out well in advance, so planning almost a year ahead is important. River cruises take 7 days or can be extended to 14 days, by combining with a Rhine River cruise and traveling all the way to Amsterdam.  Train allows the flexibility to travel when you want.  Plan the number of days you'll be on the train and buy a Eurail pass.  Major stops on a 7 day rail trip would be Bratislava, Vienna, Passau and Salzburg.  It's easy to book local river cruises too, so that you don't miss attractions like the Melk Abbey.  The Danube is a great area to join a bike tour.  Catch a flight out of Zurich or Munich at the end of this segment.

4A. The Alps - 7 days by rail

From Salzburg take a train to St Moritz.  Then take the Glacier Express through the Alps to Zermatt and the Matterhorn for a couple days.  Next its on to Interlaken for the Eiger and the Schilthorn.  Catch a flight out of Zurich to end this segment.

5. The Rhine - 7 days by rail or river cruise

River cruises on the Rhine sell out well in advance, so book a year ahead.  Don't forget the river flow makes your trip downstream toward Amsterdam much faster than upstream.  To cover the Rhine by rail, purchase a Eurail pass.  There are frequent opportunities to take day cruises on the Rhine.  Stay at Heidelberg, Koblenz, Cologne and Rotterdam.  Catch a flight out of Amsterdam to end this segment.

4B. Italy - 10 days by rail

Start in Munich or join in from the Danube segment.  Travel on the night train to Venice on a Eurail pass.  Spend two nights in Venice, two in Florence, three in Rome and two in Naples.  While in Naples, take a day trip to Capri.  Finish this Italian segment with a flight out of Pisa or continue by train to France.