Experience both the 42nd rendition of the Oberammergau Passion Play, performed once every 10 years since 1634*, and Munich’s iconic Oktoberfest with Tailored Travel. Also included: Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Český Krumlov, and Salzburg.
*1634-1674 performed in years ending in 4; 1680-2010 performed in years ending in 0; 1770 & 1940 cancelled; 1810, 1920 & 2020 rescheduled; Off-cycle performances in 1934 & 1984.
Our journey begins as we board our flight to Berlin, Germany.
We meet our tour manager and coach driver. A local guide joins us for a tour of the city. We see the famous Brandenburg Gate, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Cathedral, the Reichstag building and the lively boulevards. This city has undergone momentous change in the 25 years since reunification. We stop to visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum with the afternoon to relax before our welcome dinner. D
We begin the day with the magnificent Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, one of most beautiful palace complexes in Europe. We see the antique furniture and extravagant decor inside the magnificent castle. This afternoon we return to the city center for free time to explore on our own. Perhaps a visit to the Pergamon Museum with its fabulous treasure or a visit to KaDeWe, the continent’s largest department store would be your preference. B,D
We drive to the Meissen Porcelain Factory. Opened in 1710, this factory was the first in Europe to produce true porcelain. We have the opportunity to observe artisans at work and marvel at some unique porcelain items created over the past 300 years. Then we continue to Dresden, the “Florence of the Elbe,” a city of music and culture on the Elbe River. Devastated by a fire-bombing raid in WWII, it has recovered much of its former splendor. A local guide joins us as we explore the city and take in views of the Semper Opera House, the Frauenkirche, and the elegant Baroque palace, the Zwinger. B,D
Republic Today we drive to Prague where a local guide joins us on a walking tour through the castle grounds of Hradčany Castle, where the 30 Year Religious War started. We visit the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral and stroll across the famous Charles Bridge to reach the Old Town Square. Afterwards we check into our hotel and have time to explore before dinner. B,D
This morning we walk through Josefov, the old Jewish quarter and tour one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries from the 11th century. Then we have a free afternoon to stroll along Wenceslas Square and explore Staroměstské náměstí (the Old Town Square). Perhaps you want to look for bargains in Bohemian crystal or garnet jewelry or sit in a local establishment and enjoy some “pivo!” In the evening a special treat awaits us—a Czech folklore show including dinner with Czech specialties. B,D
We drive south today and stop in České Budějovice where we learn about the process of making the original “Budweiser” beer at the České Budějovice Brewery. Our next stop is in Český Krumlov, the “pearl” of the Czech Republic. After an introduction from a local guide, we have free time to shop or explore this delightful medieval town. We overnight in Český Krumlov. B,D
We travel through the scenic Mühlviertel (Mill Quarter) in Upper Austria and tour the local hops farm of the Josef Reiter family. We continue along the Austrian Romantic Road stopping in Steyr, known for their tractors and innovative firearms production since 1864. We experience the beauty of the Salzkammergut, as we pass through one of Austria’s favorite vacation areas and stop in Mondsee to visit St Michael’s Basilica (where Maria married Captain von Trapp in the Sound of Music film). We continue to Schleedorf and stop at a “Käserei” to sample the local cheese and learn about the process of cheese-making in Austria. This evening you might consider an optional ($75) dinner show of Sound of Salzburg at the Sternbräu Restaurant. B
In the morning a local guide takes us on a walking tour of Old Salzburg. We stroll through the picturesque Mirabell Garden to reach the Getreidegasse, walk past Mozart’s birthhouse to visit St. Peter’s Cemetery and see the catacombs. Then we drive to Schönau and relax during a cruise on the Königssee before continuing to Oberammergau. B,D
We enjoy a relaxed morning in Oberammergau, admiring the bright frescoes that adorn many of the homes and businesses, perhaps shopping for a souvenir woodcarving for which the village is famous. We might choose to take the regional bus to nearby Linderhof Castle, the glitziest of King Ludwig II’s castles or to Ettal for a visit to the impressive Benedictine abbey. During WW II, the Protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the Jesuit Priest, Rupert Mayer, both active in the resistance against the Nazi regime and later martyred, were given refuge there. This afternoon we attend Part One of the Passion Play, the legacy of a vow made by the people of Oberammergauer in 1633 to enact the Passion story. As a result of the ravages of the Thirty Years War, the plague had taken its toll in lives. But many of the people were spared, and the following year, 1634, the first Passion Play was performed on a stage set up in the cemetery. After dinner we attend Part Two. B, L, D
After breakfast, we drive to Munich and meet our local guide for a panoramic and walking city tour of Bavaria’s fun-loving capital. We drive along the elegant Maximilian Street, pass by the colorful Viktualien Markt and see the twin-towered Frauenkirche – Munich’s landmark, plus much more. We want to be at the Marienplatz to watch the fascinating Glockenspiel performance in the tower of the City Hall. After the tour, we have free time for exploring Neuhauser Strasse, Munich’s mile-long pedestrian zone, filled with shops, department stores, and outdoor cafes! Perhaps there will be specials on lederhosen. B
Today we visit the grounds of the sprawling Nymphenburg Palace—the birthplace of King Ludwig II, where we walk around the magnificent gardens and fountains, and admire the detailed Baroque buildings. We proceed to the famed Oktoberfest for lunch and camaraderie. There is time to sample the great pretzels, the foaming festival beer, spit-roasted chicken, beef, and all the other delicious foods available at this, the “world’s biggest celebration!” For lunch, we have a reservation at one of the tents and enjoy “Gemütlichkeit”, that Bavarian blend of fun, relaxation, and good cheer! We return to the hotel in time to pack for our flight home. B,L
Regretfully, our adventure comes to an end and we transfer to the Munich airport for our return trip to the United States. We return with memories of fabulous castles, magnificent landscapes, historic & enchanting cities, a great taste for European beers, Gemütlichkeit, and a wealth of new friends! “Auf Wiederseh’n!” B
Abbreviations for Meals
B– Breakfast . – L– Lunch – D-Dinner
Your Tour Includes:
Your Tour Does Not Include:
(Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond return date.)
$4300.00 – Space is limited and early registration is encouraged.