Dates: July 9 - July 19, 2014
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
North Cross UMC Choir Tour to Germany & Austria
Dates: July 9 – July 19, 2014
(Note: Itinerary subject to change based on availabilities)
Wednesday, July 9: Departure day: fly from Kansas City to U.S. gateway city with a direct flight to Munich, Germany. Dinner on board Delta flight.
Thursday, July 10: Arrive at Munich’s airport where Lisa and a private chartered bus will meet the group. Group members will have a choice and either be taken to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site or to city center Munich where a guide will meet group and lead a tour of Marienplatz, the historic heart of the Bavarian capital. At midday, the Dachau group will be dropped off in Marienplatz for time in Munich and everyone will have lunch on their own at one of the many restaurants or even fun times at the famous Hofbräuhaus! In the early afternoon, the group will depart from Munich and travel into the Bavarian Alps for a photo opportunity to view King Ludwig II’s fairytale castles, Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau (note: tours of both of these castles will be offered as an Optional Tour later in your itinerary). After this, our private bus will take the group to Ettal, a quaint village nestled in the Ammergau region of Bavaria. The group will stay four nights in Ettal at the 4-star rated hotel, Ludwig der Bayer Klosterhotel. This hotel is quintessential Bavaria with well-appointed rooms, two restaurants featuring gourmet Bavarian cuisine, an indoor swimming pool and spa and a summer beer garden all operated by the monks at the Benedictine Monastery there at Ettal. After check-in, group will have time to relax and look forward to a wonderful dinner at the hotel. Breakfast on board Delta flight; Lunch on your own in Munich; Dinner included at Klosterhotel.
Friday, July 11: Breakfast at Klosterhotel. In the morning the group will visit another former home of King Ludwig II at Linderhof Palace which is only 8 miles from Ettal. The tour of Linderhof is included in the base cost of your trip and will include a guided English-language tour inside the opulent palace as well as time to walk around the lovely gardens and fountains. In the afternoon, an Optional Tour will be offered to go to the top of Germany – the summit of the Zugspitze, the tallest Alp peak in the country. Going to the Zugspitze is a thrilling experience using a cogwheel train leaving from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the Zugspitzplatt glacier, then taking a cable car to the summit where spectacular views await you! On the summit are viewing terraces on both the Austrian and German sides, three restaurants and even a couple of gift shops! Those not wishing to go to the Zugspitze can hike in the Ettal area or take advantage of the complimentary bus passes from the hotel to visit Oberammergau or go shopping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Lunch on your own in Ettal; Dinner included at Klosterhotel.
Saturday, July 12: Breakfast at Klosterhotel. On this day the group will visit the charming village of Mittenwald known for its many master violin makers, frescoed buildings and quaint shops and cafes. This afternoon at 4:00 the North Cross Choir will perform their first concert at the Ettal Abbey located directly across the road from the hotel. Founded in 1330, Ettal Abbey was established by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in fulfillment of an oath on his return from pilgrimage in Italy. The church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and is under the care of today’s Benedictine community in Ettal. Lunch on your own in Mittenwald; Dinner at Klosterhotel.
Sunday, July 13: Breakfast at Klosterhotel. Today an Optional Tour will be offered which includes a full day of sight-seeing in Hohenschwangau where King Ludwig II’s fairytale castles are located. The “King’s Ticket” covers admission to first King Ludwig’s boyhood home of Hohenschwangau followed by a tour of the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle. This full day of magical castles will include two guided tours of the castles, time for lunch on your own at one of the many cafes in the area and a chance to see gorgeous views of this part of Bavaria as well as transportation to/from your hotel. The group will return to Klosterhotel in Ettal by mid- to late-afternoon. Those not wishing to visit Hohenschwangau can take advantage of a relaxing day in Ettal, visit Oberammergau via the tourist bus or hike in the area. In the evening, the group will enjoy a Bavarian-themed Dinner at Klosterhotel with local musicians and dancers! Lunch on your own; Dinner at Klosterhotel.
Monday, July 14: Breakfast at Klosterhotel. Today the group will leave Bavaria via a scenic route through the Austrian Alps to the Baroque splendor of Salzburg! The next two nights, the group will stay at the 4-star rated Castellani Parkhotel which is located on the Alstadt side of Salzburg (a 15-minute walk to the historic downtown along the Salzach River). In addition, everyone will receive a 48-hour Salzburg Card giving you unlimited free transportation using the city’s handy tram buses which pick up/drop off right near the hotel entrance as well as discounted or free admission to many historic sites and tourist venues. The rest of the day you can explore the pocket-sized city of Salzburg and its many sites associated with its hometown hero, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Lunch on your own; Dinner on your own or consider the Mozart Concert Dinner beginning at 8:00 p.m. (arrive at venue by 7:15) offered as an Optional Tour.
Tuesday, July 15: Breakfast at Castellani Parkhotel. Today an Optional Tour to visit Eagle’s Nest, the former site of Hitler’s mountain retreat will be offered by Panorama Tours in the morning. You will depart from the hotel and travel along the Königsee River Valley through the Bavarian mountains to the village of Obersalzberg where another bus and elevator take you to the Eagle’s Nest. At the summit you will have splendid views across the snowcapped peaks of the Bavarian mountains. Lunch is on your own in the area or in Salzburg if you are not taking this Optional Tour. In the afternoon, everyone will take part in Panorama Tour’s The Sound of Music Tour! The SOM tour is a four-hour sight-seeing extravaganza aboard their colorful bus that includes many of the sites associated with the beloved film as well as the beautifulSalzkammergut Lake District. Lunch & Dinner on your own.
Wednesday, July 16: Breakfast at Castelanni Parkhotel. On this day the group will depart Salzburg and head further east into Austria stopping at Melk Abbey, the impressive Benedictine Monastery complex that boasts a commanding perch over the Danube River. Cost of admission to Melk Abbey is included in your trip package. Following this, the group will board Brandner’s ship, the SS Austria for a Lunch Cruise along the Danube River taking in the most scenic and beautiful part of the Danube: the Wachau Valley lined by castles, ruins and vineyards. The cruise will end after approximately three hours at the town of Krems where our private bus will meet the group and you will continue on to the imperial city of Vienna. The group will be taken to your hotel base for the next three nights at the InterContinental Wien, a well-situated 5-star rated hotel right off the Ringstrasse across from Stadtpark, where Johann Strauss Jr. first performed in Vienna. Dinner tonight on your own.
Thursday, July 17: Breakfast at the InterContinental. In the morning, the group will be met at the hotel by a professional guide who will lead a tour of the famous sites along the Ringstrasse aboard our own bus. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon the group will perform their second concert at one of the oldest churches in Vienna, Maria am Gestade, a church with superb acoustics and a long history associated with the sailors who plied their trade in the Danube. Dinner on your own in the evening and time to explore more of exquisite Vienna!
Friday, July 18: Breakfast at the InterContinental. This morning the group will visit stunning Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the royal Hapsburgs. Only Versailles outside Paris rivals Schönbrunn for its enormity and opulence. A private guide will meet the group at the hotel and lead the group through the Imperial Apartments with time to view the spectacular gardens. In the afternoon, one final Optional Tour is offered to Vienna’s premier art museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum with a combination ticket to the Hofburg Imperial Treasury located across the street at the Hofburg Palace complex. Lunch and Dinner on your own today. Tonight: the group will meet at the InterContinental for a complimentary drink to toast our wonderful Alpine choir tour. Prost!
Saturday, July 19:Breakfast at the InterContinental. On this day the group will depart for the US via Vienna’s International Airport to another European gateway city then home to the US. Lunch on board flight. You will return home in Kansas City by evening.