Attention 2020 Travelers! Enrollments received by May 15 get a $175 discount.
Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $280 per person.
Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline. Deluxe touring motorcoach.
All breakfasts. All dinners.
Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.
Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.
passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.
Heidelberg Castle Courtyard, Wine Barrel and German Apothecary Museum: Heidelberg Castle Gardens
Tour director-led walking tour in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, The Romantische Strasse, Sightseeing stop in Dinkelsbühl
Half-day city sightseeing: Local Guide, Visit to the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens
Excursion to Dachau: Visit to the Dachau Memorial Concentration Camp
Guided tour at Neuschwanstein Castle, Guided tour at Linderhof Castle
Round-trip cable-car ascent at Zugspitze
Professionally guided walking tour in Salzburg: Visit to Mozart's Birthplace
Excursion to Hallein: Visit to the Dürrnberg salt mine in Hallein
A dream comes true as your wide-bodied jet thunders off the airstrip, Europe-bound. Time for a meal, a movie, and a nap. Soon, it gets light again, first off the left-hand side of the airplane, then everywhere. It's morning over Europe! Your destination is Frankfurt, the largest city in the German state of Hesse.
Transfer to Heidelberg, the seat of the country's oldest university, founded in 1386.
Settle into your centrally located hotel and then set out to explore the city. Landmarks include the impressive ruined castle and the famous jail where rowdy students were detained.
Pay a visit to the regal Schloss which overlooks Heidelberg and the Neckar Valley. Your visit includes the castle's courtyard, the German Pharmacy Museum housed in the castle, and the 50,000-gallon wine barrel!
Visit the Hortus Palatinus, which was once regarded as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Designed in 1614, with terraces, grottoes, fountains, water organs, heated baths and exotic plants, this park suffered the same fate as the castle during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and the War of Succession with France in the late 1680s. Nevertheless, the Castle Gardens, which overlook the town, remain a beautiful spot from which to take a close up look at the castle and enjoy a wonderful panorama of the Neckar River Valley.
Enjoying the comfort of the modern Autobahn, view little villages and farms as you travel to the unforgettable medieval city of Rothenburg, which peers down upon the River Tauber from behind 16th-century stone walls.
Enjoy the car-free Old Town as you step back to the 1500s on a stroll that includes feudal walls, towers, and the Street of the Nobles, Herrengasse. See comfortable burgher houses that mark the birth of the German middle class.
Board your coach to follow the Romantische Strasse, famous for its castle-topped hills and rural greenery.
Pause along the Romantic Road to view the ramparts and watchtowers of the enchanting town of Dinkelsbühl.
Journey on to Bavaria's capital city, Munich. You'll be struck by your first impression of the city and its landmarks, which have been beautifully restored to their pre-war conditions.
A sightseeing tour in München takes you around the impressive Theresienwiese, site of the famous annual Oktoberfest. In the center of the city discover the grand set-piece boulevards of the Ludwigstrasse and Maximilianstrasse with their Neoclassical palaces, and the monumental Feldherrnhalle where, in 1923, Hitler failed in his attempt at the coup d'état known as the Munich Putsch. See the student area of Schwabing, Königsplatz, the Residenz, the Frauenkirche, whose 300-foot-high onion-domed towers symbolize the Munich skyline, and the historic Marienplatz. The tour ends with a performance of the red-coated mannequins in the Town Hall Glockenspiel.
A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Munich, will accompany your group.
Visit Nymphenburg Palace, once the summer residence of the Bavarian sovereigns. See rooms decorated in their original Baroque style from the 17th century, as well as Rococo and Neoclassical decor. The gardens were landscaped in the 18th century by an employee of André Le Nôtre, who designed the gardens of Versailles.
Set out for a town located a mere twelve miles from Munich.
Visit KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, the somber concentration camp which has been preserved as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
The town of Dachau itself, paradoxically, has long been renowned for the beauty of its scenery and the gaiety of its summer festival.
Today, follow a scenic route into fantasyland.
Enjoy a guided visit to the dream castle built by Bavaria's "mad" King Ludwig II. About Neuschwanstein, the model for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty's castle, it is said that Ludwig employed a stage set designer rather than an architect. The result is pure theatrical fantasy, stimulated by the King's fancy for Wagnerian music: from artificial grottoes to ornate rooms to dazzling views of the Alps from the belvedere.
The "Passion Play" town surrounded by lofty Alpine summits is also renowned for its woodcarving industry. Landmarks include the Parish Church and the many ancient houses adorned with frescoes.
Keep your camera ready as you travel into Ettal, home of King Ludwig's Linderhof Castle, nestled in the Ammergau Alps.
Discover with your guide a 19th-century rococo palace with lavish apartments that reflect King Ludwig's longing for the opulence of the 18th century. Within the Linderhof Park, you'll come across pools, waterfalls, and terraced gardens inspired by the Italian Renaissance.
Enjoy a cable-car ascent of the 9,718-foot-high summit of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, for a spectacular 360º panoramic view of four countries: Germany, Austria, Italy and even Switzerland!
A scenic ride will take you to Salzburg, Austria.
This evening, a stroll in town, or along the Salzach River, would be a nice way to cap the day.
Get acquainted with the City of Bells (thus nicknamed for the innumerable church bells that regularly chime throughout the day) on a walking tour led by a local guide. Landmarks include Dom zu Salzburg, regarded as the first Baroque cathedral built north of the Alps, the unforgettable Getreidegasse, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, and the sculptured Horse Trough once reserved exclusively for the horses of the Archbishop of Salzburg.
Visit Mozart's Geburtshaus, the house in which he was born in 1756 and where he composed most of his child-prodigy works. See personal documents, pictures of his family and his childhood instruments.
Today, an excursion takes you to Hallein.
Have fun as you dress in miner's clothes and slide down a chute into the Dürrnberg mine to explore its dark underground chambers and cross the mine's subterranean lake. Multimedia installations complete the entertainment.
Travel to the Chiemsee, which is the largest lake in Bavaria. In the small town of Prien, take a boat to Herreninsel, the island where King Ludwig II built the most sumptuous of his Bavarian castles, Herrenchiemsee Schloss.
A guided visit to the castle includes the Hall of Mirrors (a dazzling gallery modeled on Versailles' Galerie des Glaces), Ludwig's ornate bedroom and the formal gardens.
Travel on to Munich, Germany's third-largest city.
This evening, you may wish to stroll in the Old Town, seeing landmarks such as the Frauenkirche, whose 300-foot-high onion-domed towers symbolize the city skyline, and Karlsplatz with its 14th-century town gate, Karlstor.
Memories of clean cities and fast, sleek automobiles all blur together as you bid auf Wiedersehen to Germany at Munich's airport. Your suitcase filled with memorabilia, arrive home later today, eager to share your discoveries with family and friends.
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