Visit Italy’s fashion capital of Milan, relax in the tranquil surroundings of Lake Como and discover the charms of Bellagio and Como on this 9-day tour. Experience a scenic rail journey on the
Bernina Express. Sit back and relax as you experience the journey of a lifetime along this single-track railway through the magnificent Alps. Browse in the shops and boutiques and dine on local specialties for lunch while surrounded by beautiful scenery.
1 Depart the USA
Depart the USA on an overnight flight to Milan, Italy.
2 Milan, Italy
Upon arrival into Milan’s Malpensa Airport, you’ll be met by a representative of Mayflower Cruises & Tours and transferred to the hotel. The day is free for you to relax and become acquainted with your new surroundings. This evening, join your Tour Manager and traveling companions for a welcome dinner. Meal: D
3 Milan – Lake Como
The day begins with a discovery tour of Italy’s fashion capital. Your local guide leads you on a walking tour through the heart of the city, seeing some of the main sites and monuments. Stroll through the Brera District, home to art museums and galleries; the Teatro alla Scala, one of the world’s most famous theaters, is among the highlights of the Piazza della Scala, along with the monument to Leonardo da Vinci, a former resident of Milan.
Visit the Duomo of Milano, Italy’s largest cathedral and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. After free time for shopping and lunch, depart by coach for Lake Como, home for the next three nights. Meal: B
4 Lake Como
Discover the beauty and charm of the area, starting with a short boat ride across the lake to Bellagio. Known as the “pearl of Lake Como”, stroll along the main street of the town, lined with shops and restaurants. Wander through the cobblestone alleyways, visit the waterfront promenade and see the Basilica di San Giacomo in the town center, famous for its Romanesque exterior and gold-accented interior.
Return by boat to the hotel area and after free time for lunch on your own, journey to the picturesque lakeside town of Como, the birthplace of Pliny the Elder and the Younger. Eclectic architecture, a glittering waterfront and magnificent mountain scenery await your discovery. This evening, enjoy dinner in the scenic ambiance of a crotto – a restaurant built into the surrounding rock. Meals: B, D
5 Lake Como / St. Moritz, Switzerland via Bernina Express
Depart the hotel by coach for Tirano where it’s “all aboard” the Bernina Express
, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sit back and relax as you experience the journey of a lifetime along this single-track railway through the magnificent Alps. Spiral up dramatic inclines, over sky-high bridges and through mountain tunnels as the landscape transforms from glaciers and lakes to mountains and forest. Cross the highest point on the rail line at approximately 7,400 feet above sea level and traverse the Bernina Pass all while witnessing breathtaking scenery showcasing its alpine splendor. Upon arrival in St. Moritz, enjoy free time to wander through this glitzy Swiss-mountain resort town, home to two former winter Olympics.
Browse the shops and boutiques and dine on local specialties for lunch while surrounded by beautiful scenery. After an adventure into Switzerland, return to Lake Como by coach for an evening at leisure. Meal: B
6 Lake Como – Zermatt, Switzerland
The Swiss journey begins with a departure by coach from Italy and Lake Como and one final lake visit. Travel to Stresa where you’ll embark on a boat ride on Lake Maggiore to Isola dei Pescatori, the most picturesque of the Borromean Islands. Enjoy an included brunch in this ancient village before returning to Stresa and continuing to Zermatt, home for the next two nights.
Meals: B, Brunch
Today’s highlight is the ascent to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, the highest cable car station of the Alps. Ascend via cable car to a height of 12,740 feet above sea level for spectacular views of the Matterhorn, the world’s most photographed mountain and symbol of Switzerland.
From the viewing platform at the summit, fresh mountain air and awe-inspiring views across the Swiss Alps await! Return to the base of the mountain via cable car and relax in town for the remainder of the day. Meal: B
8 Zermatt – Chamonix Mt. Blanc, France – Geneva, Switzerland
Departing Zermatt, travel to the final destination of Geneva, with a visit to France en-route. Upon reaching the town of Chamonix Mt. Blanc, board the nostalgic rack-and-pinion railway for a scenic journey through the French Alps to Montenvers.
At the summit, approximately 6300 feet above sea level, you are rewarded with incredible views of the legendary peaks of the Drus and Grandes Jorasses mountains, and the Mer de Glace glacier below. Visit the Glaciorium’s interactive exhibits to learn about the history and formation of this amazing glacier, and how it has receded and been affected by climate change.
Returning to Chamonix, reboard the coach and continue to Geneva, home for the final two nights. Meal: B
Become acquainted with this cosmopolitan city on a morning orientation tour. Home to the European headquarters of the United Nations, see the highlights including the Opera House, United Nations building, Jet d’eau (fountain) which is the symbol of Geneva, and the beautiful Flower Clock made up of over 6,500 flowering plants. This clock commemorates Geneva’s role in the watch-making industry and pays tribute to the multitude of parks and floral displays throughout the city.
The remainder of the afternoon is left free of planned activities for your independent exploration. This evening, join your Tour Manager and traveling companions for a farewell dinner. Meals: B, D