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1-800-CATHOLIC

regina@groupist.com

Dates

Air & Land

Land Only

Aug 31, 2022

Reserve Online

From $8,598From $7,498

The Passion Play in Oberammergau with a 7 day/night Rhine River Cruise w/ Fr. Mickey Bancroft

Trip Length

11 Days

Current Weather

Trip Type

1-800-CATHOLIC

Trip Overview & Highlight

Journey with us to Oberammergau for the Passion Play on an enchanting riverboat cruise through the heart of Europe. Setting sail from Amsterdam and stopping by ports in three different countries, you’ll get to choose your own adventure every day as a collection of unique excursions will avail themselves to you.

Disembarking in Basel, you’ll take in the holiest sites in the heart of Bavaria (Shrine of the Black Madonna, St. Kondrad Monastery, St. Anna Basilica) Before arriving in Oberammergau for the unforgettable Passion Play. This breathtaking Eleven-day will surely satiate your heart, mind and spirit.

Highlights

  • Visit the Cologne Cathedral, one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpiece
  • Visit the UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge
  • Enjoy some of the region’s most notable delicacies: Rüdesheimer Coffee, Reibekuchen, and Kölsch beer
  • Visit the iconic castles, cathedrals, and historic village squares that embody Central European culture
  • Cycle or hike through the countryside and the legendary Black Forest
  • Take in the awe-inspiring Alotting shrine to the Black Madonna and St. Anne’s Basilica
  • Cap it all off with the experience of a lifetime, the Passion Play at Oberammergau.

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What’s Included

  • International airfare from New York gateway
  • 8 nights hotel accommodations
  • Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • Ground & Air Transportation
  • Sightseeing & Entrance fees
  • Professional English Speaking Tour Director throughout
  • Private motorcoach & driver
  • Porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person

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Prices & Dates

Prices are based on double occupancy: all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.

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Itinerary

DAY 1: NEW YORK

Today we will meet at the international for our flight to Amsterdam. Meals and entertainment will be served on flight.

DAY 2: AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION

Arrive Amsterdam airport, transfer to the seaport to board our ship the AmaSiena where we will stay for 7 nights.Time to rest before dinner. Dinner and overnight on the ship (D)

DAY 3: AMSTERDAM

After breakfast we will visit Amsterdam. There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and we will get to enjoy some of them on the canal cruise. Lunch will be served on the ship. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: COLOGNE, GERMANY

Enjoy cruising to Cologne, home to one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral. Join a guided tour through the Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral. Continue to the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, the Overstolzenhaus and the Festival Hall. For a different view of the city, visit a local tavern to taste its famous Kölsch beer, only made in Cologne, and Reibekuchen, potato pancakes typically served with applesauce.

DAY 5: RHINE GORGE – RÜDESHEIM

Cruise through the captivating UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river before reaching the wine- making town of Rüdesheim. Drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwaldden- kmal Statue and afterwards be treated to a wine tasting. For a more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River to Schloss Johannisberg. Later in the day, let Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum charm you with its remarkable collection of self-playing musical instruments; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer Coffee, ceremo- niously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: LUDWIGSHAFEN

Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of three excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Discover the iconic red sand- stone Heidelberg Castle and Great Vat, an 18th-century 49,000-gallon wine cask. For a more active adventure while in Heidelberg, join a guid- ed hike up the Philosopher’s Path, aptly named during the Romantic Period, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, you can visit one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Altpörtel, Old Gate. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: STRASBOURG, FRANCE

Strasbourg, the capital city of Alsace, offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République before walking through its iconic “La Petite France” district, which appears to have been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through these charming streets and past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. Alternatively, the active adventurer can take a guided bike ride through the city and Parc de l’Orangerie. (B, L, D)

DAY 8: BREISACH, GERMANY

Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions. Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Alsatian town of Riquewihr, which looks almost the same as it did in the 16th century. On your walking tour, admire historic architecture and famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, head to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral said to have “the most beautiful spire on earth.” Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through the countryside, or hike in the Black Forest*, a magical land full of cultural traditions. (B, L, D)

DAY 9: BASEL/ALTOTTING

Today our cruise will end. After breakfast we will disembark and have a panoramic tour of Basel. Continue our drive to Altotting. Altotting is referred to as the “Heart of Bavaria,” with Germany’s most famous Marian Shrine dating back over 500 years. Each year over a million pilgrims visit the Alotting shrine to venerate the “Black Madonna,” a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, and to pray for healing. The shrine displays many crutches as a testimony to successful healings and answered prayers. Mass will be celebrated at the center of the pilgrimage complex, the Chapel of Mercy. While there, we have the opportunity to visit St. Konrad Monastery, where the saint’s relics are housed under the altar, and St. Anna Basilica, the largest church built in Germany in the 20th century. We end our tour with a visit to the Panorama of the Crucifixion of Christ, the Pilgrim Museum, and more. Dinner and overnight in Altotting. (B,D)

DAY 10: OBERAMMERGAU

This morning after breakfast we will depart for our scenic drive to Oberammergau. Arrive in Oberammergau in time for the world-famous performance of the Passion Play. Performed every 10 years since 1634 in this beautiful hamlet, the entire population takes part in the play in thanksgiving to God for saving them from the black plague. (B,D)

DAY 10: MUNICH/NEW YORK

After breakfast we transfer to the Munich airport for our flight home arriving the same day. we take with us many memories and blessings to last us a lifetime. (B)

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Essential Information & Weather 

Weather

Weather in the region is a mix of two major climatic conditions – the continental (in the south) and the maritime (in the north). Overall, it is a country of good climate over all, with the best time to visit in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn.

Spring begins on the colder end of things, with March still cold and stiff, but the end of the month brings some life back to the land. The real spring season begins come April and trees start to blossom. May is at its best spring behavior and the weather is never better. Hence if you wish to visit the region and avoid crowds, April-May make for a great time. Spring season also marks the celebration of Easter and many business and trade fairs take the country by storm.

Summer makes for the peak tourist season in the region, as it does in the rest of Europe. Weatherwise, expect highs in the 80’s — perfect for exploring the outdoors, as well as the many music festivals that come through.

Autumn is a shoulder season and a good time to visit to avoid crowds. October is the time of drying leaves and everything green is overnight turned to gold. The average day temperature stays in the 60’s and drops to low 50’s come nightfall. Autumn is also the major season of rain in the country so please come prepared.

Wintertime can get brutal. The major northern chunk of the region, due to close proximity to the sea, is a windy green landscape, while southern parts see freezing temperatures that sometimes dip to -4°F. The season is not for ideal for travel, but those who brave the cold can enjoy beautiful Christmas markets and Carnival in February.

 

Packing List

The following suggested packing list is for a general week to an 11-day experience in Europe. Please consider the season of travel and type of trip to adjust, given the significant difference between warm summers and fiercely cold winters.

• 7-9 x pairs of underwear, sock
• 2-3 x loose, lightweight trousers or skirts– one full length and one cropped pair would be ideal
• 2-3 x shorts (if in warmer season)
• 2-3 x long, loose shirts
• 4-5 x t-shirts or tops (think layers in wintertime)
• 2-3 evening tops
• 1-2 pairs of comfortable walking/running shoes
• 1 x pair of more formal shoes
• 1 rain/wind-proof jacket
• 2-3 sweaters or other colder-weather gear
Scarf – Men and women wear scarfs throughout the year, especially in fall and winter.
• sunglasses
• sun hat
• toiletries
• 1 x day bag
• 1 x evening bag
• European adapter
• Phone, camera and any other electronics needed
• passport and travel docs
• insurance

Passports

Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months following your return from the Schengen area, and that you have at least two blank pages available for the entry stamp.

Visa

Visas are not required for stays less than 90 days.

Currency & Exchange

The currency of the region is the Euro, which breaks into 100 cents. You will be able to exchange dollars for Euros in most hotels, as well as at banks and registered money exchanges. ATMs can be found throughout the country, and most major credit/debit cards can be used to withdraw cash.

Cash is always king in the region, and many smaller businesses may not be too obliging if you use plastic, particularly for smaller purchases. That said, most major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express to certain extent) are accepted, and ATMs are ubiquitous. The cash machines are also often your best for lowest exchange rates, so try to skip the exchange houses at first.

Tipping is not obligatory, but is appreciated. There is no standard for you to follow, but consider rounding up on restaurant bills, and adding a euro while paying for a taxi-ride. Please note that tips should be in cash.

Phone & Internet Connectivity

Wifi access can be tricky. As such, Free wifi at cafes and hotels can sometimes be limited if available at all. Public wifi zones are often accessed at cost, which can run up a hefty tab after days of use.

Internet connectivity on your mobile device is available throughout most of the country, but unless you have unlimited roaming, your bill may leave you a nasty surprise. If your mobile phone allows for it, and you are in need of constant connectivity, you can always purchase a local SIM card and a prepaid plan. This provides you with. Local phone number and internet access, allowing for your mobile phone to double as a modem through the mobile hotspot function.

Electricity and Adapters

In the region the power plugs and sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Dress & Modesty Norms

The region is a land of contrasts when it comes to dress. On the one hand, the area is quite liberal, with ethnic diversity and cosmopolitan attitudes. Yet Central European culture is historically more conservative and still holds on to its rigid characteristics. Travelers won’t be bothered for their dress, as long as you keep to modest clothes when entering religious sites. But to blend in remember that , as in the rest of Europe, locals dress more formally. Particularly in major cities, fashion-forward clothing is ubiquitous.

Food & Water

Tap water in here is among the safest and cleanest in the world. However, locals may still opt for bottled water when dining out. Food hygiene matches water safety, but pleas take the usual precautions when eating out.

Timezone

The region is +2 hours UTC. You can find up-to-date time information here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/germany

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From The Pilgrimage

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