Welcome to Frankfurt and savour an opportunity to see the sights on your own before meeting your Travel Director this afternoon for an orientation of Römerplatz and the financial district. This evening, we enjoy a Welcome Reception with our fellow travellers, including a light meal and welcome drink to kick off our discovery of the best of Germany.
Cruise along the Rhine and journey to Cologne and Düsseldorf
Resist the alluring calls of Lorelei and board your leisurely cruise along the Rhine. Glide past vineyard-clad hills, stopping to Connect With Locals over lunch at a Be My Guest experience in a 13th-century castle perched high above the river valley. Share stories of knights and feuding lords and ladies over lunch before continuing to Cologne, where we’ll view the Gothic spires of its magnificent cathedral during our orientation of the city, then continue to Düsseldorf.
Trip Summary Accomodation IconHotel - Leonardo Royal Königsallee/Leonardo Düsseldorf
Trip Summary Meals IconIncluded Meals - Breakfast, Be My Guest
Onwards to the Port City of Hamburg
Journey through the lush green landscape of Lower Saxony as we make our way to the international trade centre of Hamburg, where we'll join our Travel Director for an orientation tour of the city's iconic sights. Spend the rest of the day at leisure exploring the city's seafaring heritage. Wander along the trendy Mönckebergstrasse, visit one of the city's brewhouses or consider a guided cruise along the city's waterways and discover why Hamburg is called Germany's 'Gateway to the World'. Tonight, we will dine at our hotel.
Trip Summary Accomodation IconHotel - Crowne Plaza City Alster/Holiday Inn Berliner Tor
Follow the picturesque Elbe Valley from Hamburg, crossing the former ‘Iron Curtain' to the historic city of Berlin, whose once-turbulent history has shaped its rebirth as a charismatic capital city. Join your Local Specialist to explore the iconic landmarks of a unified Berlin. See the neo-Renaissance Reichstag, the Tiergarten, Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden. Enjoy some time at leisure this afternoon to explore the city on your terms.
Trip Summary Accomodation IconHotel - Sheraton Grand Esplanade/Hilton
Trip Summary Meals IconIncluded Meals - Breakfast
Discover the Grit and Glamour of Berlin
Ascend the iconic Berlin TV Tower for 360° views of the city and Spree River. You'll learn how this landmark changed from being a symbol of the communist regime of East Germany to a symbol of a reunited Berlin before enjoying some time this afternoon to explore Berlin your way. You could choose to join an Optional Experience to delve into the secrets of Berlin’s past, including a visit to the site of Checkpoint Charlie.
Trip Summary Meals IconIncluded Meals - Breakfast
Off to Dresden
A short drive south brings us to Dresden, the ‘Florence on the Elbe', where we'll hear about the city's restoration following its devastation during World War II as you admire its beautiful Baroque façades. See the Semper Opera, Zwinger Palace and the fully reconstructed Frauenkirche. Consider delving into the treasures of Dresden, joining an Optional Experience to explore this elegant city.
Visit the village of Mödlareuth, which inherited the moniker of 'Little Berlin' due to its wall separating 'east' and 'west' Germany. Gain insights into a divided Germany at its open-air museum and see a section of the original wall with its security features. This afternoon, arrive in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire and today the economic, social and cultural capital of Franconia. During your orientation see the mighty castle ramparts and stand in the Hauptmarkt main square which is dominated by the impressive Frauenkirche, a great example of the Gothic brick-style architecture of the region. Spend the rest of your evening at leisure indulging in grilled Nürnberger Rostbratwurst with sauerkraut.
Embark on an orientation walk past the half-timbered houses of Rothenburg, perhaps the most well-preserved medieval town in Germany. Shop for wooden Christmas ornaments, before following parts of the Romantic Road through villages and countryside to Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps. Dine at your hotel tonight. Hotel - See 'Trip Notes'
Experience the Oberammergau Passion Play Performance
Witness a Trip Highlight and display of unwavering faith as you take your premium seat for a poignant afternoon spent watching the Passion Play. The villagers of Oberammergau give thanks to God for sparing them from the ravages of the plague in the 17th century. Their gratitude is reflected in this dramatic depiction of the life and death of Jesus Christ. Dine at a local restaurant this evening before returning to your seat for the captivating second half of this performance as night falls.
Snap your fingers and be transported to a land of fables and folklore. This morning, we tread in the footsteps of shy King Ludwig II visiting his Neuschwanstein Castle, built as a retreat for the king to withdraw from public life. We continue through the magical countryside to the Black Forest, whose mystical landscape inspired fantasy and fiction from the famous Brothers Grimm. This evening, we dine at our hotel.
Witness a Black Forest treasure as you Dive Into Culture and learn about the centuries-old craft of cuckoo clock making. Later, travel into the Rhineland to view the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps, as well as the Baroque-style Old Town with its bustling market squares and colourful façades. Spend the rest of the afternoon finishing up some last-minute shopping before continuing on to Frankfurt. Tonight we enjoy a Farewell Dinner with our newfound friends, reminiscing over the iconic and unexpected highlights of our trip.
Oberammergau Accommodation: Trafalgar has secured hotel accommodation either in Oberammergau or close by in the picturesque villages of the Bavarian Alps. Please note that single and triple rooms are not available for the Oberammergau stay. Solo travellers and triple share guests will be matched and accommodated in a twin room with a fellow solo Trafalgar traveller, of the same gender, for the duration of the stay.
Gratuities: You have the option to pre-pay the gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. Please speak with your travel agent.
Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink in all of the destinations on this trip. Please remember to bring a water bottle.
Unless otherwise stated, trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, South Africa, Kenya & Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips. Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA). Does not apply to trips operated by Inspiring Journeys & our Mini-stays.
For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless traveling as part of a family group.
Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange your flights to arrive on or before day 1.
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What is an Active Trip? This is an "Active" lifestyle itinerary, with walks and hikes most days. Hikes will range from easy/moderate to strenuous. No technical climbing skills are required but a reasonable level of fitness is required to make the trip more enjoyable. Understanding that not all people want to hike at the same pace or even on the same trail we will, where possible, host map orientation and then let everyone disperse to enjoy the trails best suited to them. What to Pack Guests should bring lightweight hiking shoes or boots, broad brimmed sun hats, sunglasses, layered clothing, reusable water bottle(s), a hiking day pack and hiking poles (optional)
Weather & Altitude While the itinerary is laid out below, we are at the mercy of the weather and so reserve the right to adjust the program as necessary. Please keep in mind that the higher elevations and possible variations in weather and temperature can increase the perceived level of difficulty of our activities. Elevation ranges up to 9,000 feet for Utah’s Mighty Five and up to 11,000 feet for California High Country Adventure.
Everyone reacts differently to altitude and so if you do have any health issues you should check with your doctor that this trip is suitable for you.