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The tour commences today in our 4 star boutique hotel in the heart of Munich. Get to know your fellow travellers at Welcome Drinks and Dinner. [D]
A sightseeing tour this morning of this thousand year old city. Munich is the capital of Bavaria with strong Wagner, Carl Orff and Richard Strauss associations. Munich is home to the Bavarian State Opera, the Bavarian State Ballet, and the Bavarian State Radio Orchestra. Details of our Classical Music performance will be provided closer to departure. The afternoon is free for the Christmas markets.
Munich (Visit Nuremberg Markets) [B]
Ask any German which city has the very best Christmas markets and the unequivocal answer will be ‘Nuremberg’. Following a morning in the shops or museums of Munich we have an early afternoon departure for the one hour train journey to Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second city. The markets come alive as the lights come on. Back to our Munich hotel this evening.
Munich & King Ludwig’s Castle [B]
An excursion by local rail today into the foothills of the Bavarian Alps to visit the fairy tale Neuschwannstein Castle, built by ‘mad’ King Ludwig. Back to our Munich hotel. Will this be the night for a classical concert or an opera?
Our luggage is taken on ahead as we join Austria’s flagship train, the Railjet, to Salzburg the city of Mozart and Maria von Trapp. On arrival we enjoy a walking tour through the Old City, and a funicular ride to the Hohensalzburg Fortress for a panoramic view across the city. Then some of the major Mozart sights and Christmas markets before our included dinner.
A day for Sound of Music fans, as we join a tour of the main locations used in the film. Another bash at the Christmas markets.
How about a day in the Austrian Alps? We take the Railjet again to the Hapsburgs Winter Capital, Innsbruck where after a short walking tour, we take a cable car up the Alps for lunch with a view across the city from 7,000 feet. Back to Salzburg, her markets, and our hotel.
Again today we join Austrian Rail’s Railjet to Vienna, the Imperial Capital of the Hapsburgs and still - after more than two centuries – still the world capital of Classical music. It was home to Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Schubert, Bruckner, Korngold, Gluck and Strauss. Not a bad roll call! We settle into our city-centre hotel, where our luggage awaits. Vienna’s fine buildings look magnificent by night, as do her Christmas markets.
Our morning city sightseeing programme introduces us to this stately city - the Ring, the Hofburg and St Stephen’s (setting of Mozart’s wedding and his funeral). Watch the fountains and listen to the music.
A free day in Vienna. Her Christkindlmarkt (Christmas markets) are world famous, as are her opera companies and orchestras. Will this be the night for our classical music performance? We will be advised as programmes are released.
After a short rail journey we arrive in the Hapsburg’s second capital - and home to Franz Liszt, Dohnányi, Kodály and Béla Bartók - Budapest. Our city sightseeing includes the Chain Bridge, Buda Castle, the Gothic St Matthew’s Church, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. Visit one of the famous historic coffee houses and the Christmas markets before re-joining our train to our hotel in Vienna.
Today’s rail journey brings us in the early afternoon to magical Prague. Our afternoon stroll includes the nearby Old Town Square which has buildings from the fourteenth to the twentieth century. Enjoy the view over coffee in an outdoor café.
This morning we begin to discover this magnificent city. Prague was never bombed, and much of the Old City is untouched from the fourteenth century. The Castle, the Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square, and the Jewish Quarter feature in our sightseeing. Classical music opportunities abound. Mozart loved Prague, and his love was reciprocated.
Enjoy your free day in this beautiful city, shopping or enjoying the music and the markets. Prague is the centre for world famous Bohemian crystal.
Our luggage is taken on ahead as we join Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) for a panoramic rail journey down the gorges of the Vlatava River and on to the city of Bach, Mendelssohn and the Schumanns - Leipzig. Enjoy the markets before our included dinner.
This morning’s city sightseeing includes the Thomas Church where we pay homage at Bach’s grave, the University of Leipzig which counts both Bach and Goethe among its alumni, and the Nicholas Church – famous for its role in the end of Communism. The afternoon is free for the Christmas markets.
Leipzig (Visit to Dresden)[B]
While Leipzig was the cultural capital of the Kingdom of Saxony, its princes ruled from the palace in their capital Dresden. Today we visit this stately city which is still being rebuilt from its near-total destruction one night in February 1945. Sensational museums, the Semper Opera House and plenty of Christmas markets. Back to Leipzig tonight.
Our short rail journey today has us in Berlin before lunch time. Our afternoon’s sightseeing introduces us to the city which divided Europe for 45 years - the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Unter den Linden. Tonight’s classical music performance, if available, will be chosen from some of the world’s finest orchestras and opera companies.
More sightseeing today in the city with a greater concentration of museums than London, and one of the world’s great zoos. Will the Berlin Philharmonic be in town?
A final day for that last minute Christmas shopping. Couldn’t find it in the markets? Visit the greatest department store in the world [in your Tour Director’s humble opinion] – KaDeWe, a short walk from our hotel. Our farewell dinner tonight.
Our tour ends after breakfast. Thank you for your company on the Great Trains of Europe.
$AUD 11,900 per person, twin share or single.
Land Content only (i.e. join the tour in Munich, leave in Berlin)
Note solo travellers are guaranteed their own room without paying a single room supplement.
Enquire about our very competitive airfares and travel insurance.
$2,500 with booking, final payment 3 months before travel.
For all bookings before May 31st 2020 there is a free Europe return economy class airfare included. Upgrade to Business Class is available on payment of the difference.
Tour Director: Your Tour Director, Mr Stan Klan of Toowoomba, Qld, is a published Australian historian and the Principal of Great Trains of Europe Tours. Stan has more than 30 years’ experience in history teaching and tour guiding.
Commences December 21st, 2020
Why not enjoy a White Christmas in a beautiful Swiss Alpine village (with opportunities to visit Christmas markets) before embarking on the Winter Wonderland Tour?
On your arrival at either Zurich or Geneva Airport on December 21st, there is a transfer to the picturesque Swiss Alpine village of Grindelwald, nestled under the North Face of the Eiger.
Settle in to the traditional chalet-style hotel which has been run by the same family for generations. Your hostess, current manager Gabriella, has been taking care of the Great Trains of Europe White Christmas Tour members for a number of years now. All have spoken very highly of her warm welcome, personal care and attention to detail.
The hotel is rated 3 stars and oozes Swiss charm. There are breathtaking Alpine views and a roaring log fire. We have reserved superior standard rooms with private facilities for your tour members. Every morning there is a buffet breakfast, and every evening a four course dinner is provided for your tour members. This includes the festivities of a special Christmas Dinner, as Swiss tradition dictates, on the night of Christmas Eve.
There is a beautiful church 50 metres away with a midnight service on Christmas Eve, should you wish to attend (pictured right).
Grindelwald is a snow sports fan’s heaven. But if you are not a snow bunny, there are a million other things to do. Grindelwald is a hub for the Swiss mountain train networks, and there are many gondolas and cable cars to the Alpine peaks all around. It is an easy train ride to the cities of Berne, Basel and Zurich with their Christmas markets. The village itself offers excellent shopping and a wide variety of restaurants and coffee shops for lingering lazy lunches, before returning to the hotel to read or snooze in front of the log fire.
White Christmas Add-On Cost: $AUD$3,000 per person twin share. Single supplement $AUD750