Operation: Euro 2010: Bond, Bourne and Beyond
Conclusion of the 11-day 007 tour of Europe.
The 11 day Venice to Paris tour, Operation: EURO2010- Bond, Bourne and Beyond came to its conclusion on September 1st with a grand finale reception at the Paris Novotel, France.
The tour, created by Richard and Leslie Skillman of Themepartypeople with travel logistics provided by GLOBUS Tours, began its event in Venice, Italy, with several days of touring the film locations of Casino Royale (2006) and Moonraker (1979). Guests were ushered in to their deluxe 5 star hotel off the San Marco Square by private water taxis.
After several days of guided tours through Venice’s historic film sites, the tour boarded a custom motor coach and traveled throughout the Dolomite Mountains with a day at Cortina d’Amprezzo staying at the Miramonti in Cortina, as seen in For Your Eyes Only (1981). Sites visited here included the ski jump and skating rinks seen in the film, as well as an ascent up to Mount Tofana by cable car.
The resort areas of Lake Como followed with the group enjoying a day at the Villa Del Balbeniello from Casino Royale (2006) with film and historical information presented from a guide present at the Bond filming. The tour stopped at the Villa Gaeta, known as “Mr. White’s Villa” and George Clooney’s estate, finishing the evening with a Vesper martini party lakeside reception.
Switzerland was the next stop for the tour, with events at the Verzasca Dam, Locarno, seen in GoldenEye (1995) as the famous bungee jump opening of the film. Several members of the tour enjoyed jumping the 700 foot drop.
The tour continued through the picturesque Gotthard and Furka Pass regions, enjoying scenery and photo stops from the film, Goldfinger (1964). Staying at Interlaken, the tour ascended via cable car up to the Piz Gloria Restaurant, portrayed as Blofeld’s lair from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and is considered among the top iconic film locations of Bond lore. The group enjoyed “James Bond Spaghetti” and a private martini reception in the 007 theater. The next day, additional Swiss stops included Bern for its bear pits and Geneva for an Embassy Row reception.
The tour group boarded the bullet train, TGV, for a 3 hour tour up to Paris where it joined a Seine river cruise similar to one Mayday crashes onto in A View to a Kill (1985). Other activities in Paris included a gourmet luncheon atop the Eiffel Tower and an evening Illuminations tour of Paris’ monuments. Outside of Paris, the castles Chantilly and Vaux Le Vicomte seen in A View to a Kill (1985) and Moonraker (1979) respectively were toured with several Bond experts. The tour concluded its tour with an open finale event consisting of memorabilia, trivia and 007 networking, joined by local French Bond fans.
“I don’t believe that this has ever been attempted before,” commented tour director Richard Skillman.”I believe we visited over 40+ sites from the Bond films and also included Bourne, Indiana Jones and other films along the way. While it was mindboggling to witness so many iconic locations, it was important to us to not only visit sites but to bring a James Bond lifestyle to the tour”.
Leslie added,”We stayed at beautiful hotels and focused equally on the cuisine and wines of the locations we visited. This made the tour as enjoyable for non-Bond fans as it did the passionate followers of all things Bond. We included such fun events as a gondola boat ride in Venice, tours of Notre Dame and the Doges Palace and front row seats at the Moulin Rouge. It was an incredible experience for everyone”.
“The highlight, of course, is the difficult to reach Piz Gloria, which for the most part remains unchanged over the years and has made a conscious effort to represent its 007 past. Other locations, such as the Miramonti Hotel in Cortina, the Grand Canal of Venice, the Villa Del Balbaniello on Lake Como and the Seine River in Paris, continue to dazzle and impress with each visit. I think our tour group came away totaled satisfied with their immersion in the lifestyle of our favorite film secret agents.” Concluded Skillman.
“Hopefully, like the next James Bond film, 007 will return!”
For more details on the tour, Operation Euro: Bond Bourne and Beyond - visit Themepartypeople.
This article published by Anders Frejdh in Sep 2010.