Not every travel opportunity is created equal. Some are rare gems that come along only once in a while. That is the case with this one. It only happens once in a decade – and it happens in the most scenic settings in Europe. This is OBERAMMERGAU 2020 and we have the perfect itinerary to enjoy the best that the region has to offer. If you want to be a part of it, you’ll need to be on board WELL IN ADVANCE. We are taking reservations in 2018 and it will be full well over a year in advance of the trip. We hope you can join us for this UNIQUE and UNFORGETTABLE travel experience.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020: Today we board our overnight flight into Frankfurt, Germany arriving the morning of July 30th.
Thursday, July 30: Welcome to Germany!
Today we Arrive in Frankfurt and transfer to our hotel in nearby Mainz on the storied Rhine River. The remainder of the day is on your own to rest and relax. Those interested will have a chance to see the Gutenberg Museum as this is the home to the printing press invention in the 15th century. In the evening, an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager introduces you to the delightful itinerary that lies ahead, followed by a Welcome Dinner for our group. We stay at the Hilton Mainz tonight (D)
Friday, July 31: Rhine River Cruise & Heidelberg City Tour
This morning begins with a cruise on the scenic Rhine River. See stunning vistas of hilltop castles, terraced vineyards and villages of timber-framed houses along the course of the river. Pass the mighty Lorelei Rock rising vertically from the waters named for the siren "Lorelei" who bewitched sailors passing by. In Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, view the imposing red sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle originally built in the 12th century. This hilltop Gothic masterpiece has encountered turbulent times but still stands as a dominant symbol of the city. Balance of the day is at leisure in Heidelberg to discover the enchanting alleys and lanes in the Old Town with its small gardens, museums and lovely galleries. We will stay at the Maritime Hotel in Manheim. (B)
Saturday, August 1: Black Forest
Today we head south on a scenic drive through the fabled Black Forest region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its dense forests of thick pine trees. Nestled in the forest, you will see some of the charming traditional homes with their long sloping roofs. Continue on a drive to Schaffhausen, surrounded by vineyards. Here, we will see the thunderous Rhine Waterfalls; one of Europe's largest and most powerful. Then, on to beautiful Lucerne, with its pristine lakeside setting and gorgeous mountainous panorama. Spend two relaxing nights here in the center of the Swiss Alps. (B, D)
Sunday, August 2: Full Day in Central Switzerland
A full day at leisure to explore the heart of central Switzerland. Begin the day at the inspiring Lion Monument, one of the best-known monuments in the country, created in remembrance of the heroic death of Swiss guard killed in 1792. Continue to the 14th century medieval Chapel Bridge one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe, forming the centerpiece of Lucerne's townscape. Later, time to shop for chocolate, watches and the famous Swiss and German cuckoo clocks or sip coffee at an outdoor cafe. In the afternoon, there is an opportunity to join the exciting optional tour to Mount Pilatus. Ascend the world's steepest cogwheel railway which winds up through lush meadows and sparkling mountain streams to the summit of Mt. Pilatus at nearly 7000 feet. After admiring the splendid panorama, descend by aerial cableway and return to your hotel. Those not wishing to ascend Mount Pilatus can choose to take an hour long pleasure cruise on beautiful Lake Lucerne. (B)
Monday, August 3: Neuschwanstein Castle, Travel to Oberammergau
Today we drive through glorious Alpine scenery to visit Bavaria's "Mad" King Ludwig's fantasy castle of Neuschwanstein perched high above the valley below. This is one of the most visited castles in Germany and a symbol of idealized romantic architecture. Among the castle's finest rooms are two magnificent halls with extravagant decorations dazzling in gold and blue. Later, travel to your Oberammergau region where we stay for two nights at the Parkhotel in charming Soier See, 10 miles from the village. (B)
Tuesday, August 4: World-Renowned Passion Play
This morning, enjoy time at leisure. This afternoon, attend a moving performance of the world-famous Passion Play that dates back to 1634. This epic play is held every 10 years and performed by the inhabitants of Oberammergau. During the break, we’ll have a nice dinner before witnessing the stirring second half of the Passion Play performance. Afterwards, return to your hotel. (B, D)
Wednesday, August 5: Salzburg City and Eagle’s Nest
After breakfast, travel to Salzburg. This baroque jewel was the birthplace of Mozart. The guided walking tour takes you to view the house where Mozart was born, as well as to the squares and gardens of this beautiful city, crowned by the 11th century Hohensalzburg Fortress. The city is also known for the singing von Trapp family and the setting for the film, The Sound of Music. You’ll enjoy some time for lunch on your own and some shopping along the famous, narrow streets of the Old City. We will then drive a short distance through the stunning countryside to Bertchasgaden, once a mountain retreat for senior Nazi SS officers. Special motor coaches adapted for the scenic mountain climb and ascend to Hitler's notorious "Eagle's Nest” where the views are simply beyond words. We then return to Salzburg for our overnight stay at Castellani Parkhootel. (B, D)
Thursday, August 6: Explore Munich
This morning, we continue to Munich, arriving at Marienplatz Square, the cultural center of the city, dominated by the gothic New Town Hall which is home to Munich's world-famous Glockenspiel (which dates back to 1908). This colorful mechanical clock has life-size figures that dance to music with shows several times a day. In the afternoon, a guided city tour takes you past the Olympic Stadium situated in the heart of Olympia Park in northern Munich built as the main venue for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Then, visit the stunning Nymphenburg Palace with its gorgeous baroque facade, once summer residence of Bavarian rulers. Driving through the city, you see countless museums, galleries, palaces and impressive historic monuments. Evening is at leisure to experience the vibrant nightlife of the city. We stay for two nights at the Sheraton Munich Westpark Hotel. (B)
Friday, August 7: Dachau and Munich
Our tour this morning shows us the dark history of the last century, with a chilling visit to the Dachau Memorial Concentration Camp, the first of the internment camps opened after Hitler's rise to power in 1933. The camp became a symbol and model of the horrors of the Nazi period, until its liberation by American soldiers in 1945. It serves now as a memorial to the victims of this tragic period in history. The tour will give you the opportunity to reflect on the events that happened here and the more than 40,000 victims who lost their lives under the tyrannical Nazi regime. We’ll then return to Munich where you’ll have some free time this afternoon to enjoy the city as you wish. A farewell dinner is included tonight. (B, D)
Saturday, August 8: Saturday - Today we transfer to the airport for our flights home. (B)