The company we booked our (very first) coach tour with was Phoenix Holidays UK. We boarded the coach fairly close to our home and were driven to Newcastle to board the overnight DFDS Seaways to Amsterdam.
DFDS Seaways: The ferry trip across the North Sea took 16 hours. Our ferry was the Princess of Norway, an older but comfortable ship. Our berths were tiny but comfortable and adequate for a short stay. We had booked our breakfast and dinners ahead of time and the buffet had many good choices. However, the drinks were quite expensive and were not included in the buffet price. The ferry had several restaurants, bars, live entertainment, and a small casino.
After arriving in Amsterdam we drove through the Netherlands. The scenery except for the old windmills, was less than exciting to say the least. We continued on through Germany, France, Switzerland and into Italy.
On our return trip we drove through Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and back to Amsterdam. The return ferry trip was quite rough and many of us felt unwell. I felt fine after lying down and the sea was calm in the morning.
Descriptions of our experiences in each country and reviews of accommodations and meals are in separate posts.
All three of us enjoyed our trip but are not without complaints. A full tour would have included 49 passengers but ours was only 22. A week before our trip began Phoenix changed two of our hotels (to cheaper ones).
Phoenix Holidays: Overall we were pleased as the driver Michael was fantastic - good driver, friendly, helpful, pleasant. The tour manager, Colin was very effecient, friendly, fluent in the language of each country. His delivery of facts about history, culture of each area could use improvement. We also felt he should have complained about the horrid meals we were given at our Rome hotel instead of laughing it off.
Our holiday was advertised as 4*. It wasn't. The hotel in Rome was possibly a 2*.
Photos of our holiday are posted here:
Lots of holiday photos