Welcome to London
Begin the morning with a visit to St Paul's Cathedral, a masterpiece designed by Wren in 1673. This remarkable structure, with its epic dome towering above London, was rebuilt in the 17th century after the Great Fire of London. More recently it was the location of the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as the Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth II. Highlights of the tour will include listenening to the 1695 organ that Mendelssohn once played, and visiting the tombs of Nelson and Wellington.
From St. Paul's, you will make a photo stop outside Westminster Abbey before heading to The Mall to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Watch as one of the Queen's Foot Guard Household Regiments march from St. James Palace to Buckingham Palace to military music, dressed in their world-famous tunics and busbies. Free time will be taken for lunch.
After the lunch break, arrive at the Tower of London, where you will meet your group's very own Yeoman Warder. Your Beefeater will lead you into this World Heritage site before it opens to the public, and take you on a private guided tour explaining the history behind this fortress of imprisonment and torture. You are also part of the first group to see the Crown Jewels. You will then have some free time to explore on our own. Why not visit Traitors Gate, the Armory, or the Bloody Tower? Keep an eye out for the famous ravens. Tradition has it that if the ravens leave the Tower, the monarchy will fall!
Next, enjoy a short cruise on the River Thames, where you will have excellent views of Tower Bridge, The Shard, St. Paul's Cathedral, Shakespeare's Globe, and the Houses of Parliament. The tour concludes at the London Eye, overlooking the Houses of Parliament on the south side of the river. At the end of this comprehensive and convenient tour of London, you'll have seen all of the city's best attractions. This tour truly captures the best of London in one fun-filled day.
Please Note: If the Changing of the Guard is not taking place, you will still see Buckingham Palace and then visit the Horse Guard's Parade. On Sundays, St. Paul's has restricted viewing, so guests will have the opportunity to enter and enjoy part of the service.
This tour departs from the Victoria Coach (Bus) Station, a 5-minute walk from the Victoria Train Station. This tour is intended for your pre/post cruise experience. Please be advised that the tour departure location is an approximately 2-hour drive from the port. You must find your own way to the tour departure location (at your own expense). There are many options, such as taking a taxi, train, bus, or any combination of the above.
Reviewer: Mary Pilch
Well organized. We saw quite a bit of London. Knowledgeable guide. This excursion could be two days with more time spent at designated stops.
We were in London for 4 days and did the Welcome to London Tour and the Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Greenwich and Thames Cruise tour, which is reviewed separately. The early admittance to the Tower of London was the selling point for us, but the entire day was very enjoyable and a good value. This tour should be considered as an ""introduction"" to the many sites covered. This does not mean you are short changed, only that you could literally spend a full day in a site like the Tower. If like us, your time is limited this is a great way to see a lot in a short time. Our guide Frank was fantastic. He was very informed and very entertaining.