Last Minute Specials in Europe

Europe is, by convention, one of the world’s seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally ‘divided’ from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast. Yet the borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are somewhat arbitrary, as the primarily physiographic term “continent” can incorporate cultural and political elements.

Europe is the world’s second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth’s surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Of Europe’s approximately 50 states, Russia is by far the largest by both area and population, taking up 40% of the continent (although the country has territory in both Europe and Asia), while the Vatican City is the smallest. Europe is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of 733 million or about 11% of the world’s population.

Europe, in particular Ancient Greece, is the birthplace of Western culture. It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 15th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania, and large portions of Asia. Both World Wars were largely focused upon Europe, greatly contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence.[5] During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the west and the Warsaw Pact in the east. European integration led to the formation of the Council of Europe and the European Union in Western Europe, both of which have been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Europe lies mainly in the temperate climate zones, being subjected to prevailing westerlies.

The climate is milder in comparison to other areas of the same latitude around the globe due to the influence of the Gulf Stream.[130] The Gulf Stream is nicknamed “Europe’s central heating”, because it makes Europe’s climate warmer and wetter than it would otherwise be. The Gulf Stream not only carries warm water to Europe’s coast but also warms up the prevailing westerly winds that blow across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean.

Therefore the average temperature throughout the year of Naples is 16 °C (60.8 °F), while it is only 12 °C (53.6 °F) in New York City which is almost on the same latitude. Berlin, Germany; Calgary, Canada; and Irkutsk, in the Asian part of Russia, lie on around the same latitude; January temperatures in Berlin average around 8 °C (15 °F) higher than those in Calgary, and they are almost 22 °C (40 °F) higher than average temperatures in Irkutsk.

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The Essence of the Eternal City with 10% Savings
For the most enlightening experience of Rome, use an expert, English-speaking tour guide from Carey Italy, backed by 80 years of service and reliability. Virtuoso guests are entitled to a 10% discount on any vehicle for this personal eight-hour exploration of the Eternal City; drivers greet you at your hotel in Rome and attend to every detail of your trip. Virtuoso rates FROM EUR 1,240 (approx. $1,597) per vehicle. Available until December 31, 2012.
A Suite Swiss Ski Break with Complimentary Night
A St. Moritz icon since 1913, with a grand reopening in 2007, the Carlton Hotel is an alpine jewel. Stay four nights for the price of three, giving you ample time to indulge in your suite accommodations, savor the views of the lake of St. Moritz and the Upper Engadine, ski the powdery runs of Corviglia and dine at Restaurant Romanoff. Virtuoso Junior Suite rates FROM CHF 1,200 (approx. $1,278) per person for four nights, double occupancy. Available December 14 – 20, 2012.
Art Deco Jewel in Mayfair
Step through the revolving doors at Claridge’s and enter a world of stunning Art Deco design and flawless service unmatched anywhere else in London. As a Virtuoso guest, receive a room upgrade upon arrival, if available; breakfast for two daily; and a GBP 60 credit to be used in one of the hotel bars or restaurants or in the spa. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for best available room rates. Available throughout 2012.
A Parisian Palace for the 21st Century
Indulge in an ambience fit for royalty at Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris. Your escape includes a EUR 100 spa credit with spa access, breakfast for two daily, one very special dinner or lunch for two at Fouquet’s restaurant, complimentary mini bar beverages and more. Plus, receive a one-way hotel transfer when staying three or more nights. Virtuoso Deluxe Junior Suite rates FROM EUR 1,470 (approx. $1,893) per room, per night. Available until December 27, 2012.
Elegance Defined in Paris
Michelin-starred dining at Epicure, magnificent gardens, the new trendy Bar du Bristol and a sought-after location on the elegant rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore – the stage is set for your stay at Le Bristol Paris, one of the City of Light’s most historic and adored hideaways. Virtuoso guests receive a guaranteed room upgrade upon arrival; American breakfast for two daily; and more. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for best available room rates. Available throughout 2012.
Prime Room Rates in Paris
Now’s the perfect time to visit Le Meurice. Room rates are starting at EUR 790 (approx. $1,018) and include a room upgrade upon arrival, if available; breakfast daily; a EUR 85 dining credit and more. Each of the seven floors has its own distinct style, and outside the Tuileries Garden and the Musée du Louvre vie for your attention. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor to book your stay. Available throughout 2013.
Magic Winter in Prague: 4th Night Complimentary
Spend an extra evening on the house, enjoying Mandarin Oriental, Prague‘s quiet location on the romantic, cobblestone Mala Strana. At this historic hotel, Virtuoso guests are offered a room upgrade on arrival, if available, breakfast daily, a $100 credit and more. Winter is a magical time to visit; the snow sets the mood for cozy evenings by the fireplace. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for best available room rates. Available January 4 – March 28, 2013.
Marvels of the Aegean: $2,000 in Bonus Savings
Sail to the sun with Oceania Cruises as the distinctive Marina makes her way from Istanbul to Athens for seven nights this fall. Virtuoso guests receive complimentary airfare and pre-paid gratuities, as well as 2-for-1 cruise fares and bonus savings of $2,000 per stateroom. Shipboard amenities include wine and food pairings by Wine Spectator, art classes and the only hands-on cooking school at sea. Virtuoso fares FROM $1,611 per person. Departs November 1, 2012.

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