Downton Abbey Christmas Ball with London
Attend the exclusive Downton Abbey Christmas Ball, plus 4 nights in London with optional Paris day trip & Iceland extension
|Value VacationTravel in larger groups than our Small Group tours, but at fantastic value prices. These group tour packages are operated by our carefully selected partners and may be shared with other English speaking passengers ensuring guaranteed departures. More of these packages
Tour escorts & guides for some segments
|History & Culture, Festivals, City Stays
|What to Expect
|This leisurely-paced, partially guided tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
|Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.
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London positively comes alive at Christmas time. Beautiful lights, decorations galore, music everywhere and plenty of opportunities for downing pints in pubs throughout the city await the lucky visitor. Even more exciting, a highlight of holiday celebration awaits you at the exclusive Downton Abbey annual Christmas Ball. Officially known as Highclere Castle, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will open their home, one of England's most beautiful Victorian castles, welcoming you to enjoy a classic British Christmas evening in the setting of the hit PBS television series. You'll dress in elegant attire for this special evening and enjoy a lavish 3-course dinner complete with Christmas Carols sung by a celebrated local choir. To complement your cinematic experience at Highclere Castle, take advantage of an opportunity to revel in the romantic delights that await you on a full day optional trip to Paris, via the high-speed Eurostar train and including sightseeing, a reserved 2-course lunch at the Eiffel Tower, and a relaxing cruise along the romantic River Seine.
- Round-trip flights from New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR) to London including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees
- Arrival & departure transfer with meeting & assistance
- 4 nights accommodations in a First Class Hotel
- Breakfast daily
- Gala Annual Christmas Ball at Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey was filmed)
- Exclusive visit to Highclere Castle
- Elegant 3-course dinner with wine
- After dinner Christmas caroling around Highclere Castle’s Christmas Tree
- Half Day Vintage Bus Tour of London with Champagne Tea
- 2 night extension in Reykjavik, Iceland.
- Full Day optional Luxury Paris Day Trip with 2-Course Champagne Lunch with reserved seating at Eiffel Tower’s Altitude 58 Restaurant: Reserved seats on Eurostar train with guide, Panoramic tour of Paris, and One hour cruise on Seine River
Why you'll love it
- Explore London on a Half Day Vintage Bus Tour
- Indulge in a Champagne Tea
- Attend the Gala Annual Christmas Ball at Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle)
Day 1: Depart USA/Overnight Flight
- Board your overnight flight for London
Day 2: London
4 nights Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London or similar.
- Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel
- Balance of the day at leisure
Full Day Itinerary: Upon arrival in London you'll be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day to relax, unwind, and enjoy the facilities of the hotel. Or, venture out for your first exploration of the city. Your hotel is conveniently located near Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben. A short ride on the underground provides easy access to Piccadilly Circus and many of London's other main attractions.
Day 3: London & Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey was filmed).
Breakfast and dinner.
- Enjoy the annual Gala Christmas Ball at Highclere Castle
Full Day Itinerary: After a leisurely breakfast, spend your morning getting to know London.
Change into formal attire for the highlight of your trip, the annual Gala Christmas Ball at Highclere Castle, the site of the hit PBS television series, Downton Abbey. Join the revelers who have come to London to enjoy in this unique pre-Christmas event, all dressed up in true Downton style. Be ready to go at 3:30 PM when your motor coach arrives to take you to Downton Abbey for a truly unforgettable evening.
Officially known as Highclere Castle, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will open their home, one of England's most beautiful Victorian castles, and welcome you to enjoy a classic British Christmas evening in the setting of the hit PBS television series. After driving up the winding tree-lined entrance, you'll be ushered through the commanding doorway, into the saloon (salon to us yanks), in the heart of the castle for a champagne and canapé reception followed by a grand, 3-course dinner, while prizes are raffled off. Savor the sumptuous creations prepared using local produce. After dinner, enjoy coffee and petit fours. Who knows... maybe even Lord and Lady Carnarvon themselves will surprise you with a visit, which they have been known to do during past Christmas Galas. For the finale of your lavish Christmas evening, gather around the Christmas tree in the cozy saloon with your fellow revelers. While there is no dancing, you'll still have a ball, listening to the Newbury Choristers as they perform favorite Christmas carols. Later, return to London.
Day 4: London
- Enjoy a half-day Vintage London Bus Tour & Champagne Tea
Full Day Itinerary: Enjoy your morning at leisure before setting out on your half-day Vintage London Bus Tour with Champagne Tea. Whether you've visited London before or are a first timer, you'll be delighted by the great views of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul's Cathedral, London Bridge, The Shard, Tower Bridge and the London Eye as you drive through the city aboard your 1950's era double decker Route-master bus.
Stop for photos at Westminster Abbey, burial place of Britain's monarchs and host for coronations and many royal weddings since its construction in the eleventh century. Another photo stop will be at the the Tower of London, famous as a place of imprisonment and execution, it has also been used as an armory, a mint, a royal residence, a menagerie, and observatory; and is still in use today as a safe-deposit box for the Crown Jewels.
Head to Buckingham Palace for another memorable photo stop outside the official London residence of Her Majesty the Queen.
Finish your tour with a traditional Afternoon Tea at a local restaurant. Enjoy a choice of selected teas, sandwiches, scones and cakes, with a glass of champagne. Return to your hotel.
Day 5: London/Paris Optional Excursion
- Full day at leisure or join an optional tour
Full Day Itinerary: Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore the sights and sounds of London on your own or join an optional tour, purchasable directly at your hotel. Get a 360 degree view by taking a ride on the London Eye or stay grounded for a more intimate approach to the city. View antiquities from around the world at The British Museum, one of the greatest collections of art at the National Gallery, and for mordern art, visit the Tate Gallery of Modern Art. If you have a taste for London's macabre past, be sure to visit the Tower of London.
Optional Excursion: Luxury Paris Day Trip with Champagne Lunch at Eiffel Tower, $400. Take part in an exciting optional tour to Paris, via the Chunnel on Eurostar rail. Early this morning, transfer to St. Pancras International Train Station in London, where you will be met by a representative who will guide you to your reserved seats. You will travel at speeds up to 186 mph and arrive in the City of Lights in only 2 hours and 15 minutes. After boarding your motor coach in Paris, begin a panoramic tour that will orient you to the city's landmarks and neighborhoods, including the Champs Elysees, the River Seine, and the Arc de Triomphe. Arrive at the Eiffel Tower, with priority access. Take your reserved seats in the Altitude 58 restuarant and enjoy the view while sipping a glass of champagne before your delicious 2-course lunch. After taking in the ambience and views of one of the world's most beautiful cities, you'll embark on a romantic cruise on the River Seine. The cruise offers a unique perspective of Notre Dame Cathedral, Musee d'Orsay, and Place de la Concorde. In the late afternoon, drive to the world's largest art museum, The Louvre, where you'll view the unique inverted pyramid designed by world-renowned architect, IM Pei. Choose to join an optional guided tour of the home to the Mona Lisa, or spend the balance of your afternoon exploring Paris independently, perhaps strolling the expansive and magnificent Tuileries Garden. Join your group at your meeting point for your return journey to London. Upon return, transfer to your hotel.
Note: Extensions to stay in Paris are available, please call for information.
Day 6: London/USA
- Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA
Not ready to return home? You can enjoy a 2 night extension to Reykjavik, Iceland, the land of the midnight sun. You will return to the USA 2 days later than the dates listed. This extension is available from select Iceland Air gateways: Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), New York, (JFK), Newark (EWR), Seattle (SEA), and Washington D.C. Dulles (IAD). Ask us about availability and prices.
Day 6: London/Reykjavik
2 nights Hotel Reykjavik Marina or similar. Breakfast.
- Transfer to the airport for your flight to Reykjavik
Full Day Itinerary: This morning, transfer from your hotel in London to the airport for your flight to Reykjavik. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, you'll be transferred to your centrally located hotel. Spend the remainder of the day exploring the city on your own. This evening, why not join an optional excursion to view the Northern Lights?
Optional Excursion: Northern Lights, $65. This evening, join a quest to view the elusive Northern Lights on this dark winter Icelandic night. Far from the glow of the city you will hunt the ethereal Aurora Borealis, one of nature's most fantastic displays. If the weather is just right you will see the lights swirling and ancing across the twilit sky endlessly changing their shape, color, and size. Return to Reykjvaik. Subject to weather conditions.
Day 7: Reykjavik
- Morning at leisure
- Enjoy a tour of Reykjavik
Full Day Itinerary: Spend the morning getting to know Reykjavik independently. During December, daylight in Reykjavik is from approximately 11:00am to 4:00pm. This afternoon, get a comprehensive introduction to the past and present of Reykjavik. Visit the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the largest in Iceland and one of its tallest structures. Drive alongside the harbor, and walk through the renowned 101 Reykjavik downtown neighborhood, filled with colorful buildings. Then stop at The Pearl (or Perlan), a dome-shaped glass building with an observation platform. Take in views of the Salmon River, which divides the city in two, and the mountainous backdrop to the east, a constant reminder of Iceland's volcanic past.
Day 8: Reykjavik/USA
- Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA
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- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Depart from another city? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 21 or older. Your traveling companions must be 16 or older at time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about England? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Iceland? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
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