May 22 – June 6, 2019
River Cruise & Land Tour
Depart today from home on your overnight flight to Prague, Czech Republic.
Monday, May 20 – Prague
Upon arrival in Prague, after collecting your luggage and passing through immigration formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure as you get acclimated to local time. (D)
Tuesday, May 21 – Prague
Is it possible not to be completely enchanted by Prague, with its fabled skyline of spires, fortress-like castle, beautifully preserved architecture and iconic Charles Bridge? A magnet for generations of artists, writers, scientists and composers, Prague is famous for its dynamic energy and elegant ambiance (and the beers here are pretty amazing, too), making it a fun as well as a beautiful place to visit. You will have a choice between 2 excursions today:
PRAGUE CITY TOUR:
A panoramic tour that carries you past such sights as the State Opera House, the National Museum and Wenceslas Square on your way to massive Prague Castle. Step inside the castle’s protective walls and enter a self-contained city, with courtyards, palaces, towers, churches and gardens designed for kings and emperors, along with housing and workplaces for all those who tended the rulers. After strolling through Golden Lane, a street of quaint cottages where Prague’s 17th-century goldsmiths lived (alas, there’s no truth to the legend that it was named for the royal alchemists), you may continue your guided walk through the picturesque Lesser Quarter, the district around the castle, to the Charles Bridge. Cross the landmark bridge named for Charles IV, who ordered its construction in 1357; strictly for pedestrians now. Next, you visit Old Town Square. This was the original market square; the buildings that surround it form a case study in Prague’s architectural history. You’ll find Prague’s most famous Gothic church, Our Lady Before Týn, there, along with the 14th-century Old Town Hall (which boasts a famous medieval astronomical clock), the beautiful baroque St. Nicholas, the rococo Kinsky Palace and a group of Renaissance houses.
EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR OF PRAGUE’S ESTATES THEATRE AND MUNICIPAL HOUSE
Prague adored Mozart, and Mozart adored Prague; he wrote his opera Don Giovanni specifically for the city and its handsome new theater and conducted its premiere there in 1787. Get an exclusive insider’s look at the exquisite jewel-box theater, where operas are staged to this day. The proscenium, the king’s box and the putti decorating the rows of boxes all evoke Mozart’s era. Listen to a short concert of music composed by Mozart and his contemporaries in the Mozart Salon before enjoying traditional Czech refreshments at the café in Municipal House, the premier art nouveau building in Prague. (B,L,D)
Wednesday, May 22- Prague/Nuremberg
Nuremberg will forever be associated with the post-WWII Nuremberg trials, but the city’s profound historical and cultural significance stretches back many centuries before that. You’ll gain a newfound understanding and appreciation of both aspects of the city today on an in-depth tour. Following breakfast this morning, you will travel via motorcoach to Nuremberg. Before you embark on your river voyage you will enjoy a city tour. Hitler considered Nuremberg the perfect expression of German culture, partly because of its significance in the Holy Roman Empire (which he called the First Reich), and so beginning in 1927, he chose to hold his massive rallies in the city. By 1933, his favorite architect, Albert Speer, had designed the vast Nazi Party Rally Grounds, where thousands upon thousands of Nazi troops saluted Hitler. Leaving behind the Third Reich’s mementos, you’ll discover the medieval city built by the Holy Roman emperors. Prosperous, secure and vibrant, Nuremberg lured artists and thinkers, merchants and scientists, for centuries. Trace the great ramparts and gate towers around the Old Town. Stroll through the castle gardens and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, then walk through a maze of cobblestone lanes down to the central Market Square, gathering around the well-named Beautiful Fountain, first erected in 1396. The red sandstone Church of Our Lady stands on the east side of the square—the 14th-century façade survived WWII bombing and, like much of Old Town, was meticulously reconstructed after the war, with the original stones plucked from the rubble. You will have time to explore independently, after your tour; your guide can suggest some delightful spots where you can enjoy lunch on your own before your day ends at your elegant home Uniworld’s SS Beatrice. (B,L,D)
Thursday, May 23 – Main-Danube Canal/Regensburg
The Main-Danube canal is a masterwork of engineering: It allows ships of all shapes and sizes to cruise from the Black Sea all the way to the North Sea, through no fewer than 15 countries. Sixteen locks punctuate the 106-mile (160-kilometer) stretch between Kelheim and Bamberg, linking the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Efforts to connect the rivers began with Charlemagne in AD 793, but the present-day canal was only completed in 1992. Come up on deck and watch as your ship negotiates a set of locks on its way to Regensburg. Once you reach the beautiful UNESCO-designated city, you have a variety of ways to see a town that has been an international trading hub for 2,000 years.
CITY TOUR OF REGENSBURG
People have been describing Regensburg as “old and new” for a thousand years. A single structure perfectly illustrates this: Porta Praetoria, the gate built by the Romans during Marcus Aurelius’s reign. The gate and adjacent watchtower have been incorporated into a much newer building, but the plaster has been removed to reveal the ancient stones laid so long ago. As you walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, the city’s 2,000-year history similarly revealed: the Stone Bridge built by ambitious residents in the 12th century that made Regensburg a trading powerhouse, the Gothic town hall where the Imperial Diet met for three centuries, the 13th-century fortified patrician houses, and the spectacular Cathedral of St. Peter, whose magnificent 14th-century stained glass windows alone are worth your walk. You’ll have free time to explore on your own; it’s very hard to get lost in Regensburg because the spires of the cathedral are visible all over town, so don’t hesitate to roam. The historic quarter not only boasts almost a thousand beautiful old buildings but also many cozy pubs and some great shopping—and the ship is docked conveniently close, so it’s easy to drop your treasures off and go back for more.
BMW FACTORY VISIT
Here is your opportunity to see German engineering, famous the world over, in operation as you tour the state-of-the-art BMW factory on the outskirts of Regensburg. About a thousand cars a day roll off the assembly line here, many of them in the BMW 3 series. You’ll see the fascinating production process from beginning to end, starting with rolls of sheet metal that are stamped out into body parts and continuing as the body is built and the various other elements are robotically assembled. You’ll follow a car into the finishing department to see it painted, polished and have the final touch applied—the BMW roundel.
NOTE: If the tour lands on a day when the BMW factory is closed, we will visit the Audi factory instead. (B,L,D)
Friday, May 24 – Straubing/Cruising the Danube River/Passau
You have two tantalizing excursions to experience today, including a walking tour and brewery visit in Straubing, plus a choice of adventures in Passau.
Perfectly situated on the banks of the Danube, Straubing is an old town filled with centuries worth of history, culture and tradition. How old is it? The first known settlements here can be traced all the way back to 6000 BC. Your local expert will show you the highlights, followed by a visit to a local brewery.
PASSAU CITY TOUR WITH OLD TOWN WALK
Board your motorcoach for a drive along the Danube, crossing over the river and climbing the hill to the Oberhaus fortress. It may look like typical red-roofed Bavarian palace now, but for hundreds of years, the prince-bishops used it to enforce their rule over the region; the citizens of Passau assaulted it twice— without success—in an effort to gain their freedom from the bishops. From the walls here you can see how the fortress dominated the city below, and you also get a fabulous view of the three rivers merging. Your panoramic tour continues with a drive through Passau, over the Inn River, and into the heart of the old city. A stroll through historic Passau shows you the highlights: the town hall, the lovely baroque churches, and the twisting medieval layout. It’s no mistake that St. Stephan’s Cathedral stands on the highest ground in the old town. Passau has flooded often over the centuries, therefore you can see the high-water marks on the buildings as you pass them, and you will learn about the city’s plans to control flooding in the riverfront areas as you head back to the ship. (B, L, D)
Saturday, May 25 – Engelhartszell/ cruising the Danube River
This may be the most leisurely day of your entire journey, as you spend it onboard, admiring the scenery, chatting with new friends and perhaps enjoying a massage in the spa. Your ship leaves Germany behind today, sailing into Austria and cruising through the Schlögener Schinge-a hairpin loop in the Danube that was once very hazardous for ships. (B,L,D)
Sunday, May 26 – Spitz or Melk/Cruising the Wachau Valley
Your ship will dock in Spitz, midway through the glorious landscape, where you are faced with a difficult choice: Do you explore a charming riverbank village of Spitz or visit one of the most beautiful libraries in the world in Melk? Later in the day, you’ll want to find a comfortable seat in the lounge or on the Sun Deck as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley. Over the eons, the Danube cut a gorge through the foothills of the Bohemian Mountains, resulting in a 19-mile (30-kilometer) stretch of riverine scenery so beautiful, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Landscape. (B,L,D)
Monday, May 27 – Vienna
A city tour will show you the architectural highlights of the Austrian capital as well as the legendary opera house in the heart of the city. Or, indulge your passion for art with visits to two distinctively different collections—a “cabinet of curiosities” collected by the Habsburgs and the Belvedere’s extraordinary cache of paintings by Klimt and other renowned artists. The grand dame of the Danube, Vienna was the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and remains, to this day, the political and cultural center of Austria. Klimt painted here; Beethoven and Mozart composed here; Freud developed his theories here. It’s a treasure trove of splendid architecture, astonishing art collections and inviting cafés—and today it is yours to explore. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, May 28- Budapest
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Budapest each has a distinctive character and allure all its own. Explore this dynamic and multi-faceted city with your choice of excursions—you can see it from a local’s perspective on our exclusive walking tour, or cover more ground with a panoramic tour. Vibrant Budapest, Hungary’s capital, offers an enchanting combination of East and West, old and new. Even its geography is made up of two parts—Buda (the hills) and Pest (the flatlands)—divided by the Danube. Appropriately enough, you have your choice of two different ways to explore it today. This evening enjoy a special Captains Farewell Dinner (B,L,D)
Wednesday, May 29 – Budapest
This morning you disembark your ship and continue your visit to Hungary’s capital. You will be transferred to your hotel with the balance of your day at leisure. (B)
Thursday, May 30- Budapest
After breakfast this morning, you will embark on a discovery walking tour of Budapest’s national treasures. Visit the Parliament House for a fully guided tour, and then a visit to the Art Nouveau of Architecture will complete your morning before returning to the hotel You will have this afternoon to further explore this vibrant city that constantly offers a contrast between recent and ancient history. (B)
Friday, May 31– Budapest/Hamburg
After breakfast this morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Hamburg, Germany, site of the 110th Rotary International Convention. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (B)
Saturday, Jun 1 – Hamburg
This and every morning, breakfast will be served in your hotel. Today is a complete day explore Hamburg on your own, or just relax and gear up for the exciting convention week ahead. (B)
Sunday, June 2 – Hamburg
Enjoy breakfast this morning and prior to the opening ceremonies, discover the Hanseatic city of Hamburg on a guided tour immersing yourself in the unique atmosphere and enjoy a piece of Hamburg’s lively culture. Hamburg has a lot to offer from Jungfernstieg with its upmarket shops, the downtown lakes (the Binnenalster and the Aussenalster), the Reeperbahn (Hamburg’s entertainment district), to the largest harbour in Germany and the old Speicherstadt (warehouse district). Strolling through time, you will discover the historical beauty of Hamburg’s Speicherstadt accompanied by a guide clad in the traditional robes of Hamburg’s merchants of old. This strikingly picturesque commercial and warehouse complex with its unmistakable red-brick architecture, green copper crowns, charming modest towers, bay windows and gabled roofs offers you unique views of historical urban beauty. Aromas of roasted coffee, tea and various spices from around the world fill the air. On a little hill, not far from the harbor, you will find the “Michel”, Hamburg’s landmark. It is 132 meters high and Germany’s most important protestant baroque building. The view from the platform, 82 meters high is worth the exhausting ascent of 432 stairs. If you prefer just the view, rather than the walk and the view you can visit the tower by elevator. A bold glass structure is rising above the historic Kaispeicher A, a monumental redbrick block at the western tip of HafenCity Hamburg. An architectural vision has become reality – the Elbphilharmonie concert hall is Hamburg’s new cultural landmark. The design by Swiss star architects Herzog & de Meuron combines tradition and modernity just where the Hanseatic city is at its most authentic: directly on the water and in the heart of the city. The Elbphilharmonie opened in January 2017 as one of the world’s finest concert halls.Join us this evening, following the Opening Ceremonies, for the now famous Hamden Rotary Club Tours Cocktail Reception. (B, CKTL)
Monday, June 3 – Hamburg
Breakfast will be available in your hotel this morning, prior to a day filled with several Plenary Sessions during the convention hours. Tonight you may wish to choose one of the many Host Committee Events available. (B)
Tuesday, June 4- Hamburg
Breakfast will again be available in your hotel. Plenary Sessions and events of the Rotary International Convention continue. Tonight, you may wish to choose one of the optional tours available. (B)
Wednesday, June 5- Hamburg
Again, breakfast is served in your hotel this morning. The Plenary sessions and events of the convention continue. Tonight, enjoy the unforgettable Closing Ceremonies. (B)
Thursday, Jun 6 – Hamburg/USA
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your journey back to the United States, with fond memories of your German Rotary experience. (B)
LAND & CRUISE ONLY PRICE
This price is based on a French Balcony Cabin
Upgrades to Deluxe French Balcony and Suite Cabins are available upon request.
We offer International Air Fare from all major US Cities. Please ask us about Economy and Business Class airfare.