Duration: May 9, 2020 - May 27, 2020

 

2020 President’s Land Tour

Come and join us on our exclusive land adventure as we explore the gems of the Balkan region of five different countries, once known as Yugoslavia.  This tour will introduce you to many ancient cities, local traditions and history.  Enjoy breathtaking scenery along the Adriatic coast, beautiful landscapes and many national parks.  Taste delicious local cuisine and wines as we travel across the mountain ranges, national parks and sea.  Reserve your space soon as each departure has a limited number of participants.

Day 1       Depart CANADA
Day 2       Belgrade, SERBIA                                 Hotel Stay
Day 3       Novi Sad / Belgrade, SERBIA                 Hotel Stay
Day 4       Sarajevo, BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA         Hotel Stay
Day 5       Sarajevo, BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA         Hotel Stay
Day 6       Mostar / Kotor Bay MONTENEGRO        Hotel Stay
Day 7       Kotor Bay MONTENEGRO                     Hotel Stay
Day 8       Cavtat / Dubrovnik, CROATIA                 Hotel Stay
Day 9       Dubrovnik, CROATIA                             Hotel Stay
Day 10     Split, CROATIA                                     Hotel Stay
Day 11     Hvar / Split, CROATIA                            Hotel Stay
Day 12     Trogir / Split, CROATIA                          Hotel Stay
Day 13     Sibenik / Zadar, CROATIA                      Hotel Stay
Day 14     Zdar, CROATIA                                      Hotel Stay
Day 15     Plitvice Lakes / Zagreb, CROATIA           Hotel Stay
Day 16     Zagreb, CROATIA                                  Hotel Stay
Day 17     Ljubljana, SLOVENIA                             Hotel Stay
Day 18     Lake Bled / Ljubljana, SLOVENIA            Hotel Stay
Day 19     Depart for CANADA

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Day 1 – May 9 / September 11, 2020                       DEPART CANADA
Meet your host at the Toronto airport for your flight departure to Belgrade, Serbia. 

Day 2 – May 10 / September 12, 2020                    BELGRADE, SERBIA                                                                          (D)
Welcome to Belgrade!   Belgrade is the capital and the “soul” of modern Serbia.  Because of its strategic position by the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers, where the Panonian Plain meets the Balkans, the city has been battled over in 115 wars and was destroyed all together 44 times.  Consequently, during its lively history it was inhabited by Celts, Romans, Slavs and then has been a possession of Byzantine, Frankish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Ottoman and Serbian rulers.  It was a principal city of Ottoman Europe, the capital of Yugoslavia and then a metropolitan capital of the Serbian Republic. Today, it is a modern city of about 2 million inhabitants.  Enjoy a panoramic city tour – view the most interesting parts of Belgrade, the Republic Square, Terazije Square and Slavija Square.  View the National Assembly of Serbia, old and new palace, St. Marko’s and the temple of St. Sava which is the largest Orthodox place of worship in the Balkans and one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world.  Walk through the city centre and Kalemegdan fortress, the pedestrian zone and Kalemegdan Park which is the largest park and the most important historical monument in Belgrade.  In the afternoon, you will check-in to your hotel.  Tonight, dinner will be served at the hotel.  Accommodation: CONSTANTINE THE GREAT HOTEL or similar (2 nights).

Day 3 – May 11 / September 13, 2020                    BELGRADE – NOVI SAD – BELGRADE, SERBIA                         (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.  This morning you will depart for Sremski Karlovci, the cultural, educational and spiritual centre of North Serbia.  Walk through Sremski Karlovci, the Patriarchal Residence, the Saint Nicholas Church, the Gymnasium and the Four Lions Fountain.  Enjoy a wine tasting of delicious wines of the Fruska Gora region in an authentic wine cellar and different kinds of honey followed by lunch at a local restaurant.  After lunch proceed to Novi Sad, walk through the city centre and pedestrian zone.  Novi Sad is the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, its economic, cultural, scientific, educational, health and administrative centre with nearly 200,000 inhabitants.  The city is situated on the left bank of the Danube River in South Backa, in the northern part of Serbia. Thanks to its exceptional geographic and transportation position, it is a significant intersection of land and water traffic.  It is located on the transcontinental Euro-Asian transversal starting from Western Europe, and leading across central Europe, to the Balkan Peninsula and Bosporus straits and all the way to the Near East.  Novi Sad is positioned on the 50 kms of the Danube River, which is essential in the Trans-European mega hydro system of rivers and canals (the Rhine-Main-Danube Rivers) for transportation, commerce, energy, and tourism.  On our way back to Belgrade we will visit the Nikola Tesla Museum named for one of their greatest Serbian scientists.  Dinner will be at the hotel.

Day 4 – May 12 / September 14, 2020                    BELGRADE – SARAJEVO, BOSNIA / HERZEGOVINA            (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out.  This morning we have a visit to the Royal Palace, home of Crown Prince Alexander and his family.  We then have our drive along the countryside to Sarajevo.  Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant half way.  Upon arrival in Sarajevo we check in to our hotel.  Tonight, dinner will be served at the hotel.  Accommodation: EUROPE HOTEL or similar (2 nights).   

Day 5 – May 13 / September 15, 2020                    SARAJEVO, BOSNIA / HERZEGOVINA                                     (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.  A morning tour will take you on a visit of Sarajevo, which is one of the most historically interesting cities in Europe. It is the place where the Western and Eastern Roman Empire split; where the people of the Eastern Orthodox, the Southern Ottoman and the Western Roman Catholic met, lived and fought many wars.  It has been an example of historical turbulence and the clash of civilizations, as well as a beacon of hope for peace and tolerance through multi-cultural integration.  Today the city has physically recovered from most of the war damage caused by the Yugoslav Wars of the early nineties.  It is a cosmopolitan European capital with a unique Eastern twist that is a delight to visit.  The people are very friendly, be they Bosnian, Serb, or Croat.  Lunch and free time are on your own.  Later we transfer to the Tunnel Museum Sarajevo for a visit also known as Tunnel of Hope.  It was constructed between March and June 1993 during the Siege of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War.  It was built by the Bosnian Army in order to link the city of Sarajevo, which was entirely cut off by Serbian forces, with Bosnian-held territory on the other side of the Sarajevo Airport, which is controlled by the United Nations.  Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Day 6 – May 14 / September 16, 2020                    SARAJEVO – MOSTAR – KOTRO BAY, MONTENEGRO        (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out.   We depart this morning for Mostar, where we will have a short visit with lunch at a local restaurant.  It is situated on the Neretva River and is the fifth-largest city in the country. Mostar was named after “the bridge keepers” (natively: mostari) who guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the river. The bridge was ruined during the war and then rebuilt in 2004. Today it is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Together with the Old town became a listed UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The Old Town with its towers, oriental shops, and restaurants, which specialize in aromatic cooking, take you back for many centuries. Traces of ‘old’ times are imprinted in the market, the mosques, Herzegovina’s museum and in the typical Turkish houses, a few of which have been kept in original style. The city excels in the spheres of art, cuisine, music, theatre, museums, and literature. It is also widely celebrated in popular lore, featured frequently as the setting for books, movies, and television programs.  Tonight dinner will be at the hotel.    Accommodation: SPLENDIDO HOTEL or similar (2 nights). 

 Day 7 – May 15 / September 17, 2020                    KOTRO BAY, MONTENEGRO                                                       (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.  Morning tour of Kotor with a boat ride in Kotor Bay and visit Lady of the Rock Island.  Surrounded by mountains ranging from 1000m to 1700m high and situated at the eastern tip of Kotor Bay, lies the picturesque city of Kotor.  Its city-core is the best preserved of the cities along the Montenegrin coast and it is rich in medieval monuments. The walled medieval city centre with its winding, narrow little streets, squares and small churches, appears on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  It’s most notable religious monuments is the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon and dates back from the 12th century.   After the tour you will have free time where you can experience one of the small and authentic cafes.  Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Day 8 – May 16 / September 18, 2020                    KOTRO BAY – CAVTAT – DUBROVNIK, CROATIA                  (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out.  Morning drive will take us to the quaint town of Cavtat.  Enjoy a walking tour with a lunch at a local restaurant.  We continue our scenic drive along the coast to Dubrovnik and check into the hotel, with dinner to follow at the hotel.  Accommodation: VALDEMAR HOTEL or similar (2 nights). 

Day 9 – May 17 / September 19, 2020                    DUBROVNIK, CROATIA                                                                  (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.  Morning city tour of Dubrovnik.  The city of Dubrovnik is situated in the very South of the Republic of Croatia.  The uniqueness of Dubrovnik is in its permanent live connection to its rich past and its cultural heritage, while it keeps vibrantly in pace with contemporary life, echoing its spiritual identity and its presence in the European cultural environment. Dubrovnik, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is rich in cultural and historical monuments.  The most recognizable feature which defines the History of Dubrovnik and gives it its characteristic are its intact city walls which run uninterrupted for 1940 meters encircling the city. This complex structure, one of the most beautiful and strongest fort systems in Europe is the main attraction for the city’s visitors. This is a tour which will show you the finest sites of the Old Walled City and will reveal why Dubrovnik is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”.  We will lead you through the streets of the Old Town introducing you to the history and culture of this magnificent city.  Other splendid buildings such as Onofrio’s Fountain, St. Blaise’s Church, Sponza Palace will be viewed along the way.  You will be able to visit the Franciscan Monastery with Europe’s oldest pharmacy, the Cathedral with its famous Treasury and the Rector’s Palace which once used to be the seat of the government in the Dubrovnik Republic.  After the tour your, afternoon is at your leisure.  Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Day 10 – May 18 / September 20, 2020                 DUBROVNIK – SPLIT, CROATIA                                                    (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out.  We take a transfer to Split with free time on your own for lunch.  Later, enjoy a guided tour of Split.  Split is the largest and most important town in Dalmatia. The town was developed around the palace, which was erected in the 4th century by the Roman Emperor, Diocletian.  You can also visit the ancient cellars, Cathedral, Temple of Jupiter and the Golden Gate.  The town of Split is situated in the central part of the eastern Adriatic coast and is bordered by the mouths of the small river Îrnovnica in the Southeast and the river Jadro in the North.  Split offers you its many charms; the pines of the Marjan forest in the Western part of the peninsula, the murmur of the sea and the sound of the Dalmatian song in the stone streets of the city.  Split has a very favourable climate characterized by an extremely bright sky with about 2,700 sunny hours per year.   Transfer to the hotel for check in.  Dinner will be served at the hotel.   Accommodation: CORNARO HOTEL or similar (3 nights).   

Day 11 – May 19 / September 21, 2020                 SPLIT – HVAR – SPLIT, CROATIA                                                   (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.   Morning departure on a catamaran ride to Hvar town on Hvar Island.  Island Hvar belongs to the central island group of the Adriatic and lies in an east-west direction at right angles to the coast.  It is the longest Adriatic island and also the fourth largest in the area.  Hvar is the town of a unique cultural and historical heritage, but also an important tourist resort with a centuries-old tradition in tourism.  Hvar is frequented during the whole year and in the summer and winter months it’s very special climate favours the development of health and tourism.  The so-called Hygiene Society was established in Hvar as early as 1868.  Major task of the society was to take good care of the visitors from abroad.  This marked the beginning of tourist development.  The first hotel, Empress Elisabeth, was opened in 1903.  Lunch will be at a local restaurant with free time to enjoy this beautiful island.  Later in the afternoon return back to Split and your hotel with the rest of the day and evening at your leisure.

Day 12 – May 20 / September 22, 2020                 SPLIT – TROGIR – SPLIT, CROATIA                                               (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.  Morning departure to the historical and very quaint town of Trogir.  Lovers of cultural and historical monuments, art, architecture and nice alleys are given the opportunity to learn about manifold and complex heritage from Romanesque to modern interiors.  The unique historical core, Radovan’s portal and the art collections, which have been arousing excitement among visitors and travellers for centuries offer a tourist beauty, personified in the relief of Kairos as an appropriate souvenir.  Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.  Later in the afternoon you will return, back to Split with the rest of the day and evening at your leisure.

Day 13 – May 21 / September 23, 2020                  SPLIT – SIBENIK – ZADAR, CROATIA                                          (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out.  Coach transfer to Šibenik. The historic town of Sibenik, connected with the expansion and development of the early Croatian state, is rich in cultural and historical monuments.  The most representative among them is the famous Cathedral of Sibenik, one of the most original architectural projects of the late middle ages, primarily linked to the local master Juraj Matejev Dalmatinac (George of Dalmatia).  Sibenik today is a tourist centre situated in the area where the best-indented archipelago in Europe the Islands of Kornati.  Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.  We continue our scenic drive to Zadar and check-in to the hotel.  Dinner will be served at the hotel.  Accommodation: FALKENSTEINER HOTEL or similar (2 nights). 

Day 14 – May 22 / September 24, 2020                 ZADAR, CROATIA                                                                             (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.  Morning guided tour of the city.  Zadar has been for centuries the capital city of Dalmatia, but today it is the centre of the region.  The city’s rich heritage of world importance can be visible at every step.  A visitor can be easily impressed by the Roman Forum from the 1st century or St. Donatus’ Church from the 9th century, the most famous medieval basilica and trademark of the city.  View the reconstructed Romanesque St. Grisigono’s Church from the 12th century and the St. Mary’s bell tower from the year 1105; the St. Anastasia’s Cathedral from the 13th century; the People’s Square with the City’s Lodge and Guardhouse from the 16th century, as well as the mighty fortification walls with preserved seafarer’s and land gates from the 16th century.  This is followed by the Three and Five Wells Squares and many palaces, villas and other historic monuments.  After the tour you will have free time for lunch and to enjoy more of the city.  Tonight, we will have dinner at the hotel.

Day 15 – May 23 / September 25, 2020                  ZADAR – PLITVICE LAKES – ZAGREB, CROATIA                     (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out.  We continue our drive to Plitvice National Park.  Located in a deep mysterious ancient forest known as the “Devil’s Garden” between Zagreb and Zadar lies Plitvice Lakes National Park, composed of 19.5 hectares of woods, lakes and waterfalls.  Imagine Niagara Falls diced and sprinkled over a heavily forested Grand Canyon.  This lush valley of terraced lakes is laced together by waterfalls and miles of pleasant wooden-plank walks.  It is one of Croatia’s top sights and the oldest national park in Europe, deservedly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979.  Countless cascades and strangely clear and colourful water make the Plitvice Lakes National Park a misty natural wonderland.  Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant.  After lunch we will continue our drive to Zagreb and check-in to the hotel.  Dinner will be served at the hotel.  Accommodation: DOUBLE TREE BY HILTON or similar (2 nights).

Day 16 – May 24 / September 26, 2020                  ZAGREB, CROATIA                                                                           (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.  Morning tour of the city.  Zagreb is the capital city of the Republic of Croatia. For centuries it has been a focal point of culture and science, and then became a centre of commerce and industry as well.  Zagreb is also the hub of the business, academic, cultural, artistic and sporting worlds in Croatia. Many famous scientists, artists and athletes come from the city, or work in it.  The city boasts a charming medieval ‘old city’ with architecture and cobbled streets reminiscent of Vienna, Budapest, Prague and other Central-European capitals, though mixed with a strong Italian influence. It can offer its visitors the Baroque atmosphere of the Upper Town, picturesque open-air markets, diverse shopping facilities, an abundant selection of crafts and a choice vernacular cuisine.  Zagreb is a city of green parks and walks, with many places to visit in the beautiful surroundings.  In spite of the rapid development of the economy and transportation, it has retained its charm, and a relaxed feeling that makes it a genuinely human city.  You now will have free time for your lunch and to explore more of the city.  Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Day 17 – May 25 / September 27, 2020                  ZAGREB – LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA                                               (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out.  We take a short drive to Ljubljana.  One of Europe’s best-kept secrets, the ancient walled city of Ljubljana lies at the very heart of Slovenia and boasts a vibrant history that traces 3,000 years of Roman, Medieval, Baroque and Italian influences.  A friendly and cosmopolitan city Ljubljana offers a broad selection of diversions that range from strolling the shimmering reaches of the Ljubljana River to exploring the formal gardens and fortified battlements of the city.  There are also the cobbled streets of the Old town and a bright café society to be enjoyed plus plenty of atmospheric bars, a broad range of regional restaurants and a host of cultural events.  Upon arrival enjoy a guided city tour with lunch.  Late afternoon check-in to the hotel.  Dinner will be at the hotel.  Accommodation: BEST WESTERN HOTEL SLON or similar (2 nights).

Day 18 – May 26 / September 28, 2020                 LJUBLJANA – LAKE BLED – LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA               (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.  Morning departure for Postojna caves.  The Postojna cave system is the largest known cave system in Slovenia.  A visit to a cave such as Postojna deserves full attention due to the diversity of shapes, expansive cave areas, stalactite and stalagmite formations and water characteristics.  Admire its unique Karst underground world of beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites.  You can also see an unusual and rare underground animal Proteus Anguinus – the so-called “human fish”.  A visit to Postojna cave is a special experience, as an electric train takes visitors on an hour and a half circle tour visit of the cave.  From the train station inside the cave, guides accompany visitors as they walk amongst magnificent creations of nature.  Lunch will be enjoyed at one of the local restaurants.  After lunch, visit the beautiful town of Bled.  The picture-postcard of the Alpine town of Bled was once the preferred choice of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s elite.  Its many charms include a medieval castle, perched high on a rocky cliff, a scenic lake studded by a tiny wooded island, and the alpine splendour of the nearby Triglav National Park, a natural wonderland of glacial valleys, glittering peaks, limestone canyons, ice-cold tarns, flowered meadows, Alpine forests, pretty hamlets and cascading waterfalls.  It is a tourist place, surrounded by the wreaths of the Julian Alps and Karavanke Mountains, placed in a dish shaped basin of a glacial lake, the warmest in Europe.  Return to Ljubljana in the late afternoon.  Tonight, we gather for our Farewell dinner as we end our grand adventure to the Balkan region.

DAY 19 – May 27 / September 29, 2020                 LJUBLJANA – CANADA                                                                  (B)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out from the hotel.  Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.


All prices are in Canadian dollars, per person and include:

Return airfare from TORONTO, for departures from OTTAWA add $200 per person.  Other cities are upon request.
17 Nights in first class hotel accommodation.                           
Full buffet breakfast daily at each hotel.                                   
Locally guided tours as per our detailed itinerary.
15 Dinners and 10 Lunches during our land tour.                       All luggage porter service at each hotel.  
Local wine/beer or soft drinks with your meals.                         All gratuities for local guides and drivers.
Fully hosted by Expo Cruises & Tours.                                        All departure taxes and surcharges. 


Double Occupancy $8,995                     Single Occupancy $10,795

Deposit of $500 per person is required. Final payment is due for MAY 9th departure is January 30th and for SEPTEMBER 11th departure is JUNE 4th, 2020. Save an additional 2% if you deposit and pay for your package by cheque. Please Note: A fee of $200 per person will apply to any cancellation prior to your final payment.


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