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It's generally warm all over Europe in spring, summer, and fall; it can be very hot in the south, especially inland. The high temperatures (measured in Europe in degrees Celsius) begin in May, often lasting until sometime in October. Winters in the north are cold, with rain and snow, but in the south the weather is warm all year, averaging 50°F (10°C) in winter. For the most part, it's drier than in North America, so high temperatures don't seem as bad because the humidity is lower. In the south, temperatures can stay in the 90s°F (30s°C) for days, but nights are most often comfortably cooler.
Tour prices are per person based on double occupancy and are in dollars. All accommodations, transportation, high-speed trains (when applicable), Story® Way dinners, daily breakfast, sightseeing, portage, admissions and entrances, services of our professional guides, drivers, and the Story® Tour Captain are included. Arrival and departure transfers are optional and may be arranged for you. Please inquire with reservations for details.
Your Tour Captain
Your professional tour manager is the Story Tour Captain, trained to provide
world-class service while hosting the tour from beginning to end. Your Tour Captain is an employee of Story® Worldwide Tours.
Dining the Story® Way: The Industry Leader!
No other tour company provides a dining experience like Story®. Enjoy 5 included dinners at unique, off-the-beaten-path restaurants that have been sought out for both their cuisine and ambiance. Each dinner experience is at a local restaurant which has been personally selected and reflects the region's finest in both cuisine and wine.
Most other tour operators offer dinner in the hotel restaurants (that cuisine is rarely authentic, tasty cuisine), or at restaurants which cater to large tour groups from the US and Canada (no locals dine at those restaurants). In contrast, Story Tours' guests will dine at some of the finest restaurants, where real locals dine, for each of our included (and optional) dinner experiences.
All breakfasts are included. Deluxe Tours will feature a full, hot breakfast buffet or table service. Classic Budget Tours will feature a continental breakfast.
Special Experiences: Wineries, Bodegas, Private Boats, etc.
We are proud to include a Story® Exclusive at one of our winery estates in Italy, bodegas in Spain, or one of our private boats in Venice, the Italian Lakes district, or even Australia's Great Coral Reef. With these unique experiences, you can tour a majestic estate and its winemaking facilities before joining the Tour Captain in a beautiful banquet room for a tasting paired with plated delicacies; or you might enjoy entering Venice by private boat, as one of the most romantic cities in Europe welcomes you; or perhaps take a boat tour around the Isle of Capri or off the coast of Mexico's Cabo for whale watching. Whatever the special experience, you are sure to have a memorable time that can equal few others!
All customary gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff and local guides are included. Tipping for your Story® Tour Captain is voluntary. We recommend $USD8 to $USD15 per person per day. We recommend that gratuities be extended on an individual basis. Make note, many mainstream tour operators do not reveal this policy until you are already on their tour!
Your hotel properties are included in the tour price and will feature private bathrooms, air-conditioning (some properties are seasonal), and the amenities you've come to expect
such as shampoo and conditioner, hair blow dryer, body lotion and other essentials. Your
hotel experience will differ greatly from property to property as we stay in unique propertiesthat reflect the culture and architecture of the destination. Most rooms are designed for double-occupancy. Triple occupancy normally features 2 beds configured as a queen with a roll-away cot.
No Annoying Up-Sell
Rest assured, with Story®'s industry-leading policy of no upselling while on your vacation, you will enjoy the destination as our Tour Captain "unwraps" the treasures of Europe the South Pacific, South America, or even some of our North American tour locations. Your Tour Captain will be on-hand to assist you with any free time activity, but will not try to sell you anything (like the mainstream tour operators do)!
Walking on Tour
Walking is the best way to experience our destinations! We walk a lot, but it's unhurried, and there are ample opportunities to sit and relax. You must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many stairs and cobblestone streets that are found in Europe.
Portage of Your Luggage
On-Tour Luggage: You are entitled to one suitcase per person weighing no more than 75 pounds and with overall dimensions not exceeding 62 inches.
Remember, Story®'s policy is far more flexible than your airlines: please check with them before traveling as they are free to revise their policies without notice.
Please ensure your Story® Luggage Tag is securely attached to your suitcase before you leave your home.
Carry-On Luggage: You are free to bring your carry-on bag onboard our small group tour vehicle. There is room for storage of small carry-ons such as camera bags and purses, small backpacks and the like located above your seat onboard the vehicle. Alternatively, some carry-on bags will be stored under the seat or at the rear of the vehicle. You are limited to one carry-on bag + one purse + one camera/computer bag per person for your on-tour carry-on luggage. Items too large to fit in the overhead rack or under your seat will be stored in the luggage bay and will be inaccessible during daytime travel, especially on longer routes.
If you are an American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, or Mexican resident a valid passport is required and must remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your Story journey for entry in the European Union. A Visa is automatically provided when you book your airfare. We recommend you take a photo of your Passport photo page and attach it to an email draft in your email account should you lose your's while on travel.
Optional arrival and departure transfers are available for purchase. Please inquire with reservations.
Pre-Tour or Post-Tour Hotel Rooms
We recommend purchasing a pre-tour hotel room to recover from your Transatlantic flight. We are able to book these for you on a space-available basis.
Train Travel While On Tour
Your train tickets on the high-speed train from Venice to Florence is included. We feature Magic Portage that allows you to leave your suitcase at the hotel in Venice and when you enter your hotel in Florence, your bag will be waiting for you!
Personal Expenses While On Tour
Personal expenses such as phone calls, room service, beverages not specifically included, dry cleaning, laundry service, airline excess luggage charges, visa fees and services, arrival and departure taxes, and other optional incidentals, are not included.
Museum & Venue Closures or Changes
We may need to change the itinerary, or substitute activities, hotels, and/or transportation as deemed necessary, should closures, strikes, or other situations inhibit the execution of the itinerary. The Tour Captain is the authority while on tour, and is empowered to execute any changes necessary. Changes not made by Story® resulting in an expense or loss should be submitted to your travel insurance provider.
Photography for Marketing Purposes
We will use photographs and/or video taken by fellow guests or your Tour Captain while on your tour for use in promotional purposes. If you prefer that your image not be used in any marketing activities, please notify your Tour Captain at the beginning of your journey with us.
Children on Tour
Children 10 years of age or older are welcome on this Story® Tour. At least one guest in your party must be 21 years of age or older in order to participate. Have a family with children younger than the minimum age for this tour? Inquire about our awesome Family Tours. You are entirely responsible for the security and protection of your child or children traveling in your party. All members of the tour, called guests, must have a valid Passport. Anyone disrupting the participation of the other tour guests will be removed from the tour without compensation.
Complimentary basic Internet WiFi where available in hotel rooms. Service will, generally, not be as robust as North America.
The Money on Tour
Hands down, the best way to get cash in Europe is via the ATM. Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN) before leaving and plan on withdrawing euros (cash) for your purchases. Credit cards are the next best way to make purchases in Italy but not all locations accept them. Visa and MasterCard for sure are accepted with American Express a distant third and no one has ever heard of Discover.
How much money to take with you? It's truly up to you. You know your habits and preferences and therefore we recommend using the ATM and/or credit card approach.
Should you get Euros before leaving the US? We recommend you visit your local bank and order about $USD250-350 worth of Euros to take with you. This is just in case you get delayed somewhere in Europe while on route. Of course your credit card will work fine in most establishments.
About the VAT - Value Added Tax
Every year, tourists visiting Europe leave behind millions of dollars of refundable sales taxes. While for some, the headache of collecting the refund is not worth the few dollars at stake, if you do any serious shopping, it's hard cash - free and easy. The process isn't difficult; you just have to get the necessary documents from the retailer, carry your purchase with you, and track down the right folks at the airport, port, or border when you leave. These days you've got to check in early at the airport; this will give you something to do while you're hanging around. The standard European Union Value-Added Tax ranges from 15 to 25 percent per country, averaging about 20 percent overall. Rates change, so you'll want to check with merchants when you're there.
When you make your purchase, have the merchant fill out the necessary refund document, called a "cheque." You'll need to present your passport. Make sure the paperwork is done before you leave the store so there's nothing important missing. If they leave any blanks for you to fill out, be sure you understand what goes where. Attach your receipt to the form and stash it in a safe place.
Know where to get your refund. If you buy merchandise in a European Union country and you're bringing the goods home with you, process your documents at your last stop in the EU, regardless of where you made your purchases. So if you buy sweaters in Denmark, pants in France, and shoes in Italy, and you're flying home from Greece, get your documents stamped in Athens. Be aware that if the currencies are different in the country where you made your purchase and where you process your refund you may have to pay an extra conversion fee.
Get your documents stamped. The customs export officer will stamp your documents after you present your purchased goods to verify that you are, indeed, exporting your purchase (try to keep the goods in your carry-on).
Collect the Cash. Once you get your form stamped by customs, you'll need to return it to the retailer or its representative at the airport, port, or border crossing. If the retailer handles VAT refunds directly, it's up to you to contact the merchant for your refund. You can mail the documents from home, or quicker, from your point of departure (using a stamped, addressed envelope you've prepared or one that's been provided by the merchant) - and then wait. It could take months, so be advised.
European Climate Control (Air Conditioning)
European air conditioning should be considered as a climate-control system. Most have three settings for the fan, plus a "cool" setting. Very few of the European systems actually have a temperature setting. In general, the amount of cool air that is produced from a European air conditioning system is far less than what you may have in your living environment back home.
Terms & Conditions
Please carefully review and sign the Tour Agreement (found online) to secure your participation in your selected tour. Story® reserves the right to terminate the tour of any person who does not participate in the tour according to the Terms & Conditions.
This tour has a deposit of $700 per person with balance due at 90 days prior to departure. You are entitled to a 100% refund up until 90 days prior to departure for the land portion of your tour, excluding any optional excursions booked on your behalf.
Trip Cancellation & Insurance Coverage
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND TRAVEL CANCELLATION & INTERRUPTION COVERAGE TO PROTECT YOUR LAND TOUR VACATION. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ARRIVING ON TIME TO POINTS OF TOUR ORIGINATION DESIGNATED BY Story® TOURS' ITINERARY OR AGENTS OF Story® TOURS, REGARDLESS OF WHO ARRANGED YOUR AIRFARE. PLEASE PURCHASE TRIP INSURANCE.
Purchase Travelex Insurance by Clicking Here
Ready to Book?
Call us on 1 877 865 6711 to effect your reservation and get your journey planned!