14 Days, Sydney to Sydney

WASHINGTON 13 Nights / 14 Days, Sydney to Sydney DAY 1: Departure from Australia: We depart Sydney today aboard QF7 at 13:00, arriving into Dallas at ...
Author: Roy Lawrence
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WASHINGTON 13 Nights / 14 Days, Sydney to Sydney DAY 1: Departure from Australia: We depart Sydney today aboard QF7 at 13:00, arriving into Dallas at 13:35 then connecting with QF4339 at 15:10 finally arriving at our destination – Washington – at 19:13. On arrival you will be met by our local transfer company and taken by private sedan transfer to your hotel, where we have you for 9 Nights – the St Regis Washington. The St. Regis Washington, DC: An icon of restored elegance where glamour meets tradition. Desirably located just two blocks north of the White House the gracefully reimagined St. Regis Washington, D.C. is the hotel of choice for royalty, presidents, and prime ministers in the nation's capital.Since President Coolidge cut the ceremonial grand opening ribbon, every American president has visited our exemplary residence. From efficient, discreet business services to fine private dining, the experience is always exceptional. Discover the grand scale preservation and transformation of the 182 rooms and suites combining classic luxury with contemporary amenities. We offer our suite guests an elevated level of bespoke St. Regis Butler Service. DAY 2: Best Of Washington After what was hopefully a good nights rest followed by a filling breakfast we head out to take in some of Washington’s most iconic locations, with a special touch of course! Viator VIP: Best of DC Including US Capitol and National Archives Reserved Access, the White House and Lincoln Memorial Duration: 8 Hours. Your VIP experience begins outside of the Library of Congress, where you'll meet your guide for a 45-minute reserved entry and tour of the US Capitol Building. With your VIP experience comes no chance of the Capitol tour being sold out, so save time and gain immediate entrance to one of the most symbolically important and architecturally impressive buildings in the nation. On your guided walking tour of this historic building -- home to the Senate and the House of Representatives -- watch a film about the history of government in the US and then peruse the building to learn about the country's legislature. You'll see the Crypt, the Rotunda and National Statuary Hall, and your tour begins and ends at the Capitol Visitor Center. Next, you will join up with our fantastic city sightseeing tour on a comfortable, air conditioned coach. See all of DC's major monuments and memorials up-close; take about 10 to 15-minutes at each stop to hop off the coach for walks with your

guide. Highlights include the outside of the White House, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Iwo Jima Statue, Korean War Veterans Memorial and US Navy Memorial. Your guide will entertain you with interesting trivia and historical facts about DC's most famous sites. Instead of cramming a quick lunch at some mall food court, it's time for a leisurely cruise down the Potomac River (March 15 to October 6 only). Sit back, relax and enjoy a cruise along the Potomac River with your guide, who'll answer any questions you have. A box lunch will be served on board; you'll have the choice of a sandwich with chips and a cookie. (In the winter, when it's colder, you'll instead visit a local indoor market for lunch.). After the sightseeing tour, you'll gain reserved entrance to the National Archives Building. Your guide will lead you past long lines that often wrap around the building and allow you to enjoy immediate entrance for a unique chance to view the original Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution at your own pace, without needing to follow the tour group around. These historic documents are housed in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. You'll also have access to the Public Vault permanent exhibit gallery, the Lawrence F O'Brien temporary exhibit gallery, the Boeing Learning Center and the William G McGowan Theater. Your tour concludes at the National Archives Building. DAY 3: Lincoln and a view of Washington We have seen Washingtons major monumental highlights and today we set out to see a few of its other spectacular scenes starting out with a Lincoln Assassination Tour, and a 2 Day city hopper pass that will allow you to get around the major attractions and hopefully visit some of those that are not included in your tour programme such as National Geographic Museum (inclusion to two sites is included our suggestions would be Madam Tussads and the International Spy Museum), then we wrap up today with a dinner cruise on the Potomac. Lincoln Assassination Walking Tour in Washington DC. Departs 10:30 AM, Duration 2 Hours: Get intriguing insider details about Lincoln's mysterious assassination on this walking tour in Washington DC. Led by an expert Civil War historian, you'll journey back in time through the streets and witness the murderous plot unfold. Starting at Lafayette Square, see main Lincolnrelated sites like the White House, the National Theatre and Ford's Theatre, where he was shot by John Wilkes Booth. Your guide will teach you all about the conspiracy and characters behind the president's shocking and tragic demise. Washington DC Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour and Attractions Pass : Explore the best of Washington DC at your own pace with this 48-hour hop-on hop-off bus pass and admission to up to five city attractions. Admire famous landmarks including the White House, US Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery as you travel three bus loops through the city, hopping on and off as you wish. Choose admission to popular sights such as the Newseum, National Geographic Museum and Madame Tussauds DC. Madame Tussauds Washington DC: Madame Tussauds gives you an interactive, full-sensory experience where you can touch, see and hear historical events and celebrities in a way unlike ever before in Washington DC. Visit the Spirit of Washington, DC and travel through history from the Founding Fathers to modern day politics with hands-on exhibits featuring George Washington's inauguration, Abraham Lincoln's assassination and the Watergate scandal. Hang out with President Theodore Roosevelt and don't miss the newest addition to the Oval

Office - President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle! Have you ever wondered how Madame Tussauds makes the wax figures look so real? Go 'Behind the Scenes' and learn some of the trade secrets. Check your own hand-eye coordination in the Feel Like a Sculptor interactive test and compare your hands, feet and eyes to lifelike replicas of celebrities and world leaders. Come visit and experience the art behind Madame Tussauds incredible wax figures. If you want a break from politics, world history and want to check-in with Hollywood's A-listers, walk through the Glamor section. Step into a chic nightclub setting and mingle with Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and many more at a high profile celebrity party. Take photos with Will Smith, dance with Jennifer Lopez or sing with Beyonce. You traveled through history, went behind the scenes to learn some of the trade secrets and attended a high profile celebrity party, you are finally ready to get physical with your favorite sports stars. Be coached by Evander Holyfield as you box the reactive light beams. Test your short game by helping Tiger Woods line up his next putt for birdie. Stop by America's 'sweetheart', Katie Couric for an exclusive interview while friends and family watch on a nearby TV monitor. Washington DC Dinner Cruise (3 hours): Come aboard Washington's premier dining ship! This 3-hour dinner cruise takes you along the Potomac River for panoramic views of the nation's greatest monuments as you dine on a freshly prepared 3-course dinner. The boat's unique design allows you to travel beneath the historic bridges spanning the Potomac River, while the glass-atrium dining rooms offer spectacular views. Dressed in your most festive attire, arrive early and enjoy a cocktail. You'll discover the ship's unique elegance is merely a taste of the experience to come. The Captain and crew will greet you as you step aboard, and the ship's photographer will record the moment for your party. Once on deck, your hostess will greet you and escort you to your private table, where your wait staff will introduce themselves and give you the opportunity to decide how you'd like them to pace your service. The boat has three climate-controlled dining rooms, an open-air deck to explore and a distinctive atmosphere that's reminiscent of the European canal ships. Be sure to visit the Captain's bridge, open to all passengers throughout most of the cruise. The menu of creative seasonal starters, entrees and desserts is freshly prepared onboard daily, perfectly complemented by an excellent wine list. With soft piano music, spacious dance floors and live music provided by a five-piece band, the entertainment doesn't end until well after the ship returns to the marina. Dance to everything from classic jazz to contemporary favorites. As you depart, feeling relaxed and refreshed, you'll find your boarding photo ready for purchase. DAY 4: Spies and Ghosts We continue our free exploration of Washington today using the Hop on and Hop off pass. We suggest that for those with a mind for Mysteries visit the CSI Museum this morning (own expense) with a visit to the International Spy Museum in the afternoon using up their second included site visit. Following an afternoon at the International Spy Museum we have a guided tour for you about spooks of another kind as we set off on an evening’s Ghost Tour of DC’s Haunted Capitol International Spy Museum At Washington DC's International Spy Museum, enter a world of gadgets, weapons, cameras, vehicles and technologies used for espionage throughout the world. Hear stories of secret missions, examine artifacts and mystery-revealing photos and

enjoy a slew of interactive displays, putting you right in the action! Don't miss out on the newest exhibit, 'Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains,' which celebrates fiction's greatest spy, James Bond. When you arrive at DC's International Spy Museum, adopt a cover identity and test out your spy skills as you browse artifacts, spy gadgets and mystery-revealing photos; plus, visual and audio presentations will teach you how to keep a cover! Browse themed rooms, enjoy interactive activities and hear real stories about past spy missions. In the School For Spies™ gallery, trace more than 50 years of spy technology developed by agencies from the OSS to the KGB, some of which is still in use today. Travel back through the centuries and uncover tales of famous men and women who unexpectedly doubled as undercover agents, such as Josephine Baker and Julia Child! Through 2014, you can immerse yourself in the museum's latest addition, 'Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains,' commemorating 50 years of James Bond films. On display, see exclusive vehicles, props and costumes on loan from the original production company, many of which are on public display for the first time! Wind through the maze of interactive exhibits such as 'Spy vs. Spy,' where outside visitors can lay traps to thwart the 'spies' within. Decode the riddles, test your bravery in a shark tank, or hold on for dear life at the 'Hangtime' display. You'll also hear recounts of real spies that have had their share of real-life 'Bond moments'! It's not all about Bond, though -- you can also learn about the hero's enemies. Get an in-depth historical context of Bond's adversaries and learn how they have changed over the years to reflect the times. Watch classic film clips, listen to interviews, and browse psychological profiles of the villains for a look at the famous series from a different angle. Washington DC Haunted Capitol Walking Tour. Duration: 2 Hours. Departs: 7:30pm Capitol Hill: Day and night, one of Washington's oldest neighborhoods buzzes with activity. Hang around the Hill long enough, and you'll encounter everyone from Congressional staffers grabbing a fast lunch to neighbors taking a late-night stroll. But if you look a little closer, you might discover that you're sharing the neighborhood—and the buildings-with some otherworldly visitors. Who is that shadowy sentry in front of the Supreme Court? What's the story behind the "whisper spot" in the Capitol? Is that a cat—or a demon—in the Capitol basement? And why should you never step foot in Statuary Hall on New Year's Eve? You'll find out the answers to these questions and more on this decidedly unnerving—and historical— walk. DAY 5: American Founders We take a day trip from Washington today to Virginia as we discover the history and background of one of the most influential men in American History – Thomas Jefferson Monticello and Thomas Jefferson Country Day Trip from Washington DC (11 & 1/2 Hours, Wednesday): At Washington DC's Union Station, board your comfortable, air-conditioned coach for the 117-mile (188-km) drive to Charlottesville, Virginia. Along the way, listen to your driver talk about the life of Thomas Jefferson, and watch a video on this founding father and American president. Stop at Michie Tavern for a tour of this rustic, 18th-century landmark and a hearty lunch of southern favorites (own expense) served family style; you may also choose to wait and eat at the cafe at Monticello if you prefer. After leaving Michie Tavern, take a gorgeous drive up an 850-foot (260-meter) mountain to Monticello, Jefferson's lavish plantation home, and spend 3 to 4 hours exploring it on your own. Join a guided tour of the magnificent neoclassical-style mansion, and see the extensive slave quarters on Mulberry

Row. Walk around the lush vegetable and flower gardens and pay a visit to Jefferson's grave. Your day trip also includes a drive through the lovely grounds of the University of Virginia, which was founded and designed by Jefferson. Relax on the drive back to Washington DC, and conclude your 11.5-hour day trip at Union Station. DAY 6: The Civil War We travel out of Washington today to visit a monumental site in the history of the US Gettusburg, a pivotal location in the US Civil War. Gettysburg Day Trip from Washington DC (10 & 1/2 Hours, Thursdays). Board your comfortable, air-conditioned coach at Washington DC's Union Station and travel 2.5 hours through the scenic Maryland and Pennsylvania countryside to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Listen to your guide provide historical background on the momentous Battle of Gettysburg during your drive. Fought in 1863, this three-day battle between Confederate and Union troops caused the highest number of casualties of any American Civil War battle — more than 46,000. Your first stop in Gettysburg is Farnsworth House, where you'll watch a presentation about what life was like for Civil War soldiers and see where Confederate sharpshooters hid out during the battle. After this visit, enjoy a break for lunch (own expense). Continue to the Gettysburg Battlefield and enjoy time to explore on your own. At the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, watch a film about the battle narrated by actor Morgan Freeman and see a variety of informational exhibits about the battle commonly considered a turning point in the American Civil War. Admire the Gettysburg Cyclorama, a stunning miniature military diorama that depicts the fierce battle with the help of narration and sound effects. Throughout your visit, expert guides are on hand to answer your questions about the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath. To get a fuller picture of the battle's impact, you'll also visit the nearby Shriver House Museum. Tour the restored house of George Washington Shriver, located in the midst of the fighting during the Battle of Gettysburg. Learn about the harrowing experience of Shriver's family during the battle, visit the home's attic where two Confederate sharpshooters died, and see authentic Civil War bullets discovered in the house more than 100 years after the war. Relax on your drive back to Washington DC, where your 10.5-hour tour concludes at Union Station. DAY 7: Mount Vernon and Arlington Today we have you leave the city confines to visit sites of Historical Interest in the surrounding countryside – Arlington National Cemetery, and George Washington’s Plantation at Mount Vernon Washington DC Supersaver: Mount Vernon and Arlington National Cemetery Tour (9 Hours). Enjoy a full day in Virginia, visiting two of the greatest attractions in the state. On this day trip from Washington DC, you'll go back in time at Mount Vernon and see the most famous cemetery in the country. Spend your morning at Mount Vernon — George Washington's plantation home. During your visit you can tour the Mansion, as well a dozen other original structures, see Washington's Tomb, and walk through the beautiful gardens and restored landscapes. While at Mount Vernon you will have time to eat lunch (not included). Next, pass by Old Town Alexandria, the oldest section of Alexandria and its chief historical district. In

Virginia you'll see Christ Church, where famous figures from America's past like George Washington and Robert E. Lee attended services. You'll also admire the beautiful 17th- and 18th-century homes that line the quaint streets. Your next stop is at Arlington National Cemetery, where you'll board the cemetery's tram that will take you to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You'll also see the unforgettable Changing of the Guard ceremony and the eternal flame that lights up the gravesite of John F. Kennedy. After visiting the cemetery you'll stop for photo opportunities at Iwo Jima Memorial (Marine Corps War Memorial), President John F Kennedy Gravesite, US Coast Guard Memorial, General Pershing Gravesite and the Arlington House (Robert E Lee House). DAY 8: Washington Museums Washington is renowned for its museums, but without perspective some museums can be a little daunting which is why we have you visiting them on a specialist guided tour of Washingtons Best Museums – the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Centre Best Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center (Tour Duration 7 Hours). Meet your guide at Washington DC's US Navy Memorial in the morning. Hop in a vehicle and head to Chantilly, Virginia to visit the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum that was built to display hundreds of aircrafts and space artifacts previously tucked away in the Smithsonian's archives due to limited space. It's the largest construction project in Smithsonian history, and the only one funded entirely by private donors. See the center's highlights with your guide including the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the world's fastest jet-propelled aircraft; the Air France Concorde, the first supersonic commercial airliner; the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb during WWII; and the elite Space Shuttle Discovery, surrounded by missiles, rockets, space capsules and satellites. Have a break for lunch before heading back to DC for the second portion of your tour, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Listen to a brief overview of the attraction-packed National Mall and head inside for a tour of the extensive galleries and exhibits. Covering more than 160,000 square feet (45,000 sq meters), the museum holds the world's largest collection of historical aircraft and spacecraft. Visit the Wright Brothers Gallery, the Milestones of Flight Gallery, the Pioneers of Flight Gallery, and learn about history's most legendary space programs, including the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions that sent John Glenn into space and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon. If you want to see just one attraction or the other, you can choose to just visit the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center on a 5-hour morning tour, or visit the National Air and Space Museum on a 2-hour afternoon tour. Both tours end at the National Air and Space Museum in DC. DAY 9: National Gallery of Art No trip to Washington is complete without taking in the Art scene, from modern masters to classic art there is plenty to see and do. Today is free for you to explore some of these fantastic Galleries before joining a special guided tour of the National Gallery of Art in the afternoon led by an expert Art Historian Guide.

Best National Gallery of Art Small-Group Walking Tour (3 hours, Sunday Afternoon 3pm) On this small-group art tour limited to six people, see some of the most outstanding works in the history of Western art - works cited repeatedly as the pinnacles of beauty and talent. As you follow your art historian/ expert guide through the National Gallery of Art's West Building in Washington DC, admire everything from 17th-century Dutch and Flemish still lifes and portraits to boxing rings and gritty urban settings created by American realists of the 19th century. The Gallery's West building is home to many famous works of art, such as the only Leonardo da Vinci piece in the Americas - Ginevra de' Benci or Claude Monet's The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil. Touring the gallery with an art historian/ expert guide provides you with unique perspectives on the art, as well as an understanding about what it takes to create a national collection and how this collection has evolved over 70 years. Learn about the philanthropy of the arts in the early 20th century, and see portraits of the gallery's earliest benefactors. These generous individuals had vision - the vision to bring to the United States a prominent collection comparable to other national collections at the Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery in London. Decide for yourself if that vision was achieved! DAYS 10-11: Colonial Williamsburg After breakfast this morning we leave our comfortable Washington Hotel and catch a local train to Colonial Williamburg, where we spend the last two nights of our trip at the Williamsburg Lodge while we explore this historic area. Williamsburg Lodge: An official Colonial Williamsburg Hotel surrounded by the comforting warmth that is a hallmark of American folk art relax at the newly renovated Williamsburg Lodge. Guest room furnishings are inspired by the collections of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and include modern amenities too. Just steps from the Lodge the Historic Area s costumed interpreters lead guests through colonial homes and businesses providing a unique way to explore our country s beginnings. Features and BenefitsNew guest houses and renovations provide 323 guest rooms and suites with comfort and convenience Free wireless high speed Internet connectivity in all guest rooms and Conference Center New restaurant and bar serving guests Specially discounted Colonial Williamsburg admission tickets available to Lodge guests Closest to Colonial Williamsburg s famed Historic Area home to the world s largest living history museum and the town that changed the world Adjacent to the renowned Golden Horseshoe Golf Club home to 45 holes of championship golf designed by course architect legends Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Rees Jones Steps from 26 Shops of Colonial Williamsburg and 40 boutiques of Merchants Square Luxurious new spa adjacent to hotel Colonial Williamsburg City Tour: Get an in-depth experience of colonial America and the Revolutionary War when you delve into Colonial Williamsburg's interactive world. Visit colonial-era government buildings, family homes and craftsman shops as you explore the extensive exhibits at this living museum. Meet interpreters in period costume who bring history to life as they speak as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other famous and common people. When you arrive, head to the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center where friendly and informative staff orient you to the day's attractions and demonstrations. More than 20 guided and self-guided tours are offered every day. Some programs require pre-registration, so be sure to look at the options as you plan your visit. Colonial Williamsburg's historic area covers more than 300 acres, with 88 original 18th-century

structures, plus hundreds of houses, shops and public buildings that have been rebuilt on their original foundations. Highlights include the Governor's Palace, the mansion where seven British governors lived during colonial times, followed by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson; the Capitol, colonial Virginia's seat of power; the Magazine, where weapons and gunpowder were stored for the militia; and the Bruton Parish Church, an Anglican Church from 1669 that is still active today. In addition, you can catch a performance of the Fife and Drum Corps; see the collections at the The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum; and learn how 18th-century crafts were made in trade shops including an apothecary, silversmith, blacksmith, tailor and wigmaker. Colonial Williamsburg also boasts a number of excellent dining options as well as small shops. Day 12: Departure This morning is spent in visiting any of the Colonial Williamsburg sites you had yet to take in before taking a Train back to Washington to catch Qantas flight QF4364 at 18:50 to Los Angeles, arriving at 21:22 where you then transfer to Qantas Flight QF8 departing for Sydney at 22:40 DAY 13: In Transit Today is spent, or lost of you prefer, in Transit as we fly between L.A and Sydney, crossing the International date line. DAY 14 Arrive Sydney Today we finally arrive back in Sydney with QF8 due to touch down at 0630, where your tour programme ends.