plus Southern & Eastern Germany

May 20 – June 6, 2019

Land Tour

Monday, May 20 – Home City/Zurich

Depart today from your home city on your overnight flight to Zurich, Switzerland.

Tuesday, May 21 – Zurich/Lake Constance

Upon arrival, after clearing immigration formalities, you will embark on a tour of Zurich. Zurich is the biggest city in Switzerland and home to many key Reformation sites such as the Zwingli’s church, and the Grossmünster and the Zwingli Statue. Zurich is ranked among the richest and most livable cities of the world and has a beautiful old town core on the shores of Lake Zürichsee. A guided walking tour of the Old Town is interesting as you come face to face with Zürich’s past, and present through a selection of buildings, stories, and anecdotes. You will be fascinated by the rich testimonies to bygone days which document the early international significance of the city. Your day ends at your hotel in Constance where you will enjoy dinner this evening. (D)

Wednesday, May 22- Constance

Mainau Island lies just off the shores of Lake Constance near the far south-west of Germany, close to Switzerland and Austria. The over 150-year-old Arboretum with giant sequoias has around a million tulips, rhododendrons, scented roses, perennials and colorful dahlias that bloom in the park and gardens. Palms and citrus plants lend a Mediterranean flair to the island in summer. The Teutonic castle completed in 1746 and the castle church St. Marien are architectural highlights of the Baroque era and stand in close proximity to 15 meter tall palm trees. After lunch this afternoon, you will have a city tour of Lindau. Lindau has much to discover in its historical old town streets and squares. Romantic little lanes and dreamy courtyards give you wonderful insight into a lovely old town which is still young at heart.  With its picturesque location as a peninsula, Lindau is said to be “the most northern Italian city”. Following your tour you will return to the hotel where the balance of your day will be yours to enjoy as you wish. (B.L)

Thursday, May 23 –  Constance/Munich

After breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for Munich.  Upon arrival, you will enjoy a panoramic tour of this magnificent, almost 1000-year-old city.  You will see the Pinakotheks (art galleries), Olympic Stadium, Nymphenburg Palace in the modern part of Munich. Then you will have a walking tour through the heart of the city to discover its historic center.  The Viktualienmarket (open air market), St. Peter Church, City Hall and Church of our Ladies are only some of the famous sights you will see. Tonight, enjoy a Bavarian evening with a glimpse behind the scenes of a traditional Munich brewery. You will see the brewing process from the raw ingredients to the finished product, complete with samples! You will enjoy a hearty Bavarian dinner complete with a Bavarian Folklore show  (B.D)

Friday, May 24 –  Munich

Today, enjoy a full-day excursion through the Bavarian countryside to visit the fairytale castle of King Ludwig II. The enchanting old-world town of Fuessen lies in the foothills of the Alps, framed by one of the most breathtaking natural settings in the world. Towering far above the village, seemingly sculpted out of the very mountains that rise magnificently to the heavens, is a sight made from the stuff of dreams: the fabulous and ethereal Neuschwanstein Castle. This glorious folly was built in the 19th century by the famed “mad” King Ludwig II, a man intoxicated by mythology and who himself became a legend. The shimmering white towers of the castle among the clouds are instantly recognizable to many who haven’t ever heard the name Neuschwanstein. It was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, and is famous the world over as the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Castle. (B)

After the visit of Neuschwanstein Castle, you will return to Munich and en route you will stop in the town of Oberammergau. Oberammergau is a town in the Bavarian Alps and known for its once-a-decade performance of the Passion Play in the Passion Play Theater. The House of Pilate has frescoes by Franz Seraph Zwinck and live demonstrations by woodcarvers and artists. Nearby, the Kölblhaus has a gabled roof and a painted exterior, also by Zwinck. The Oberammergau Museum features woodcarvings by local artisans. Your day ends in Munich late this afternoon. Dinner this evening will be on your own in Munich. (B)

Saturday, May 25 –  Munich/Nuremberg

A relaxed start, this morning, before you travel to Nuremberg. Upon arrival, you will have a tour of one of Germany’s most famous cities. Its name is associated throughout the world with the drama of 20th-century history. This was where the Third Reich strutted all of its pomp against an epic backdrop of grandiose marching grounds, and this was where an international war crimes tribunal later held that same Nazi leadership to account amidst the rubble of the defeated city. There is much more to see, however. Nuremberg is an old and beautiful city with a rich and vibrant history. You will see the other Nuremberg, the one of which the locals are rightly proud.  The massive medieval fortifications of the striking old town, magnificent Gothic churches, colorful marketplaces, and hilltop castle of the old imperial city are as awe-inspiring today as ever. Your day ends with dinner in a local restaurant .  (B,D)

Sunday, May 26 – Nuremberg

After breakfast, leave the hotel for a tour of the Rally Grounds at the Documentation center.  Up to present day the Nuremberg Rallies, the Nuremberg Laws and the Nuremberg Trials link the city name to the period of Nazi rule. The tour presents the rallies as propaganda shows but also gives an insight into the system of concentration and extermination camps which went hand in hand with the propaganda. You will explore the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the Courtroom of the Nuremberg Trials, the main square, and its beautiful fountain. Enjoy the afternoon & evening at leisure. (B)

Monday, May 27 – Nuremberg/Dresden

After breakfast this morning, travel north to Dresden. Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor. The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its Baroque and Rococo city center. The controversial British and American bombing of Dresden in World War II towards the end of the war destroyed the entire city center. After the war, restoration work helped reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche, the Semper Oper and the Dresdner Frauenkirche as well as the suburbs. This afternoon enjoy a tour of the city to get a feeling of Dresden and its surroundings by a very extraordinary vehicle: the Trabant car Sightseeing a different and active way – Along with the interesting architecture of the city center’s past and present you wander through little side streets, numerous parks, the villa quarter in Blasewitz, along the river Elbe. Your day ends at the hotel in time to enjoy dinner. (B)

Tuesday, May 28 – Dresden/Leipzig

After breakfast this morning, we depart for Leipzig, a city where tradition rubs shoulders with modern trends, and where great art can be enjoyed just a few steps away from an exciting world of outdoor activities. With a history going back almost 1,000 years, this Saxon metropolis has earned more than a few claims to fame – as a city of music, of commerce, of heroes, as the site of the Peaceful Revolution, as Little Paris, Athens on the River “Pleisse”, and the Venice of the North. This afternoon, enjoy the guided tour of the city of Leipzig discovering the City Center with its prime and new tourist hot spot. Discover the very city center by a brief walking tour through the backyards and side streets with its architectural highlights such as the old City Hall of Leipzig. This fabulous Renaissance building was once the hub of life in Leipzig. Now it contains a great museum dedicated to the history of the city. On to visit the famous St. Thomas Church where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as a Kapellmeister, and is the current location of his remains. We will continue to the ” Battle of the Nations “, The historic Monument to the Battle of the Nations which commemorates Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig. It’s also a great vantage point, as there is a viewing platform from which you can see across the city.. Late this afternoon, you will return to the hotel. Dinner this evening is followed by a visit of the famous concert house “the Gewandhaus” to listen to the finest interpretations of Bach’s soundtracks and creations. (B.D)

Wednesday, May 29  – Leipzig/Potsdam/Berlin

Followed by the inspirational sounds of yesterday’s concert you will be guided through the city from the perspective of “music”, understanding why Leipzig is known as the city of music. The tour will follow the footsteps of Bach and other great composers that have lived or visited Leipzig and are literally part of the fascinating music touch that this city has. A visit to the Bach Museum will cap off your visit. From Leipzig you will travel to Potsdam. Only 45 minutes from the center of Berlin, Potsdam, the former residence of the Prussian Kings invites you to escape the German capital’s hectic atmosphere by enjoying some special history and the beautiful architecture of Rococo and Baroque. The City is practically an open-air museum.  The number of monuments, sculptures and historic buildings on display is endless. Your guided tour will be partly walking and partly by bus. You will see the Lustgarten, the old town with its squares and exciting bars and cafes, the Dutch quarter as well as Potsdam’s Brandenburg Gate. The tour ends at the Sanssouci Gardens. One of the largest and most important parks in Europe, offering both a combination of fascinating landscaping and unconventional architecture. Take a stroll through the park and feel the royal spirit by marveling over the castles and more. This afternoon, you arrive in Berlin. Upon arrival, you will check-in to your hotel and enjoy dinner. (B,D)

Thursday, May 30 – Berlin

Berlin, the capital of Germany is perceived both nationally and internationally as a pulsating creative metropolis. Since the fall of the wall and German reunification, an interesting design landscaped with agencies, ateliers, showrooms, fairs, and sales platforms has emerged on the Spree. You will begin your visit with a tour of historical Berlin; it’s fascinating monuments, the Political Berlin; with its government area and along the Embassy Quarter, and the cultural Berlin; passing many theaters, museums and the divided Berlin; with Checkpoint Charlie and the former border crossings. This evening enjoy dinner in the city. (B)

Friday, May 31 – Berlin

Breakfast will be served this morning in your hotel. You will begin your day with a taste of one of the things that makes Berlin different from other cities: their graffiti and street art at its finest. While you may be used to graffiti as a “crime”, in Berlin they have allowed their young people, fascinated with this art form, to channel it into something quite interesting. Your tour will highlight the building high paintings, unintelligible colorful bold letters making unknown words, or funny words. These artists make surreal figures cut out of rough wallpaper and plastered on a wall. Even traffic lights become objects of art. Your guide will point out these and many others as you make your way through the city. This afternoon you will receive a “day pass” to independently explore Museum Island. Between 1823 and 1930, a unique ensemble of museums emerged on Spree Island. This UNESCO World Heritage site consists of five individual museum buildings: The Altes, the Alte Natonalgalerie, the Neues Museum, (designed as a “sanctuary for art and science), the Bode Museum and the Pergamonmuseum are oriented towards the Kupfergraben. Your pass is valid for unlimited entry to all of the museums on Museum Island. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner in Berlin! (B,D)

Saturday, Jun 1 – Berlin/Hamburg

After breakfast this morning you will depart for Hamburg, site of the 110th Rotary International Convention. Upon arrival you will check-in to your hotel in preparation for the exciting convention ahead. (B)

Sunday, June 2 – Hamburg

This and every morning, breakfast will be served in your hotel. 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 harbor 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 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, Jun 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, Jun 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, Jun 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 Swiss and German Rotary experience. (B)

Land Only Price:

$7999 Per Person based on double occupancy

We offer International Air Fare from all major US Cities. Please ask us about Economy and Business Class airfare.

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