Day 1: Depart US
An overnight flight will bring us to Frankfurt, Germany by the next morning. Meals are served on board.
Day 2: Arrive Frankfurt
We arrive in Frankfurt where we are met by our tour bus and driven on an introductory city tour throughout Frankfurt, Germany. During our city tour we will visit The Roemer (Town Hall), the seat of the Lord Mayor of Frankfurt. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to rest and prepare for the rest of the tour. We spend two nights in Frankfurt.
Day 3: Heidelberg, Worms, Mainz
Our first stop is in the world-famous university city of Heidelberg, where Melanchthon studied. We’ll visit Heidelberg Castle and view the old city before we drive on to Worms, an important city during the Reformation. It was here that Martin Luther was tried for heresy. We’ll visit the cathedral and view the monuments erected in memory of Luther. Our final city of the day is Mainz where we visit the Gutenberg Museum. It was here that Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type and printed the world-famous Gutenberg Bible.
Day 4: Frankfurt, Eisenach, Erfurt
We depart Frankfurt this morning and drive through the wonderful German countryside to Eisenach, the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach. We visit the formidable Wartburg Castle. It was here that Luther, under “house arrest,” translated the New Testament into the German language in 1523. Next we travel a short distance to Erfurt one of the most important landmarks on the "Luther Trail" in Germany and a city that boasts one of the most attractive medieval city centers in Germany, with patrician townhouses, half-timbered buildings, Europe's longest inhabited bridge, and enough churches to be called "The Rome of Thuringia." On arrival we take a short city tour and visit one of the beginning steps of Luther’s Reformation history, the Augustinian Monastery where Martin Luther took his vows as a monk in the church and lived in the cloister from 1505 to 1511. We overnight in Erfurt.
Day 5: Erfurt, Eisleben, Leipzig, Berlin
Leaving Erfurt this morning, we continue the Reformation Trail to Eisleben, which is where Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546. We will visit the house of his birth and death as well as St. Andrews Church where he preached his last sermon. We also view the Luther Monument and St. Anne’s Church with the famous Biblical scenes hewn in stone. A drive through the Thuringian countryside brings us to Leipzig with a visit to St. Thomas Church. This is where Johann Sebastian Bach was choirmaster and organist for 26 years. We’ll see the beautiful Bach organ and maybe even hear the current organist practicing on this priceless pipe organ. We travel to Berlin for overnight.
Day 6: Wittenberg, Pergamum Museum
This is Martin Luther’s city. He lived and taught here for 36 years. You will visit the Castle Church and see the door where Luther posted his 95 Theses, giving birth to the Reformation. This beautiful church is also the burial site of Luther and Melanchthon. We’ll view the university where Luther taught and visit the Luther House which is the greatest museum of Reformation History in the world. This afternoon we return to Germany’s capital, Berlin. We view the Olympic Stadium and visit the Pergamum Museum to see the famous altar of Zeus from Pergamum, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation.
Day 7: Berlin, Dresden, Prague
This morning we’ll see the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s greatest landmark and once part of the Berlin Wall, and also visit Checkpoint Charlie, one-time border crossing, before traveling on to Dresden. The remainder of the day you relax on our touring coach and enjoy the beautiful scenery of both Germany and the Czech Republic. We make a short stop in Dresden where we view the beautiful, rebuilt Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). When we arrive in Prague, the remainder of the day will be yours at leisure to explore the city or just relax in your hotel.
Day 8: Prague, Vienna
This is John Hus’ city. A morning sightseeing tour takes us to the historic Castle of Hradcany and into the old part of the city to view the Jewish Ghetto, Wallenstein Garden and other sights of this captivating city. Reformer John Hus was educated at the University of Prague and became rector of the University. A powerful preacher, from this pulpit John Hus began to reform the church and was burned at the stake as a result. This afternoon we will drive to Vienna where we will check into our hotel for the next 3 nights.
Day 9: Imperial Vienna
Today we will see the Hofburg Palace, once the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Belvedere Palace, views of Prater amusement park, UN buildings and other vivid reminders of the city’s imperial history. We visit the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to wander the streets of the wonderful city of Vienna.
Day 10: Day Trip to Budapest
After breakfast we travel east, cross the border between Austria and Hungary, and reach Budapest. Situated on the opposite banks of the Danube River, the former cities of Buda and Pest are linked by a series of graceful bridges. Our morning sightseeing tour includes all the main attractions: the Parliament, Royal Palace, Castle Hill area, Coronation Church, Hero’s Square and Gellert Hill. We visit the Fishermans Bastion, a Medieval Castle whose walls were guarded by the guild of fishermen. In the afternoon you are free to explore Budapest on your own or just relax before returning to Vienna.
Day 11: Vienna - Salzburg
Today we drive west through the beautiful hills and valleys of Austria. Our destination is Salzburg, the city famous for its composers, operas, and The Sound of Music where a walking tour is featured. We will arrive in time for you to relax before dinner. Our hotel for the next two nights will be in Salzburg.
Day 12: Salzburg
Our sightseeing begins at a small memorial chapel in Oberndorf. The original church on this site was where the favorite hymn, Silent Night, was first sung in 1818. We return to the old, walled city of Salzburg, considered to be one of the most exquisite cities in Europe. After lunch, we’ll visit the hideout of the notorious Adolph Hitler, the Eagle’s Nest. The excursion to the top of this infamous retreat is accessible by special bus up the mountains of Obersalzberg at Berchtesgaden. The rest of the journey will be on foot via a 400 foot tunnel and another 400 feet up via elevator.
Day 13: Salzburg, Innsbruck
Today we will see the most beautiful scenery possible. We’ll journey from Salzburg to Innsbruck for a tour of this panoramic Alpine city. Innsbruck is nestled in a narrow valley right below lofty mountain peaks, with streets lined by historic churches and buildings. The Reformed faith spread rapidly in the Tyrol in the 1520’s, although many followers deserted the area due to persecution. Highlights of the area include a visit to Saint Jacob’s Cathedral and the famous “Golden Roof.” Our hotel this evening is in Innsbruck.
Day 14: Innsbruck, Vaduz, Zurich
This morning we make our way to the tiny country of Liechtenstein and its capital city, Vaduz. After time at leisure we cross the border into Switzerland and Zurich, the most prominent Swiss city. This is Ulrich Zwingli’s city. Our tour of Zurich will be mainly of the old part of the city. It was here that Felix Manz was martyred in the Limmat River. We’ll visit the Grossmunster Church and its statue of Ulrich Zwingli, one of the most important Reformers. Our guide will take us on a walking tour to see the many other attractions Zurich has to offer. Our hotel for the evening will be in Zurich.
Day 15: Lucerne, Grindelwald, Interlaken
Traveling to nearby Lucerne, we’ll enjoy a tour of this charming city to see the impressive city walls, the famous covered wooden bridge, and Thorwaldsen’s masterful Lion Monument. From here we continue on to the panoramic village of Interlaken, enjoying the charming scenery along the way. We also have a visit to the village of Grindelwald, also known as the “Glacier Village.” Weather permitting, you may choose an optional travel up and up via cog railway to the spectacular peak of the Jungfraujoch. The view from 11,000 feet will take your breath away. We return to Interlaken for our lodging.
Please note: The cost of the Mountain Excursion is not included in the price because this tour is based on weather conditions. The cost of the cog railway is $185 per person currently.
Day 16: Berne, Chillon Castle, Geneva
Our first stop today is in Berne, Switzerland's capital. Here you will find a wonderfully preserved Medieval town and one of the earliest cantons to embrace the Protestant Reformation due mainly to the influence of Zwingli. Sightseeing with a local expert starts at the popular Bear Pit and then focuses on the monumental Federal Palace and the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take your pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. The next highlight today will be a visit to the much photographed Chillon Castle, the 12th-century water fortress near Montreaux. We continue our tour along the upper ridge of placid Lake Leman (Lake Geneva). There will be stops along the way to freshen up and take in this extraordinarily beautiful site. Finally you will come to the south end of this magnificent lake and encounter the city known to Protestants as the "Town of Calvin" - Geneva. We overnight two nights in Geneva.
Day 17: Calvin’s Geneva
The grand finale of our tour will be the historic city of Geneva. We begin sightseeing at St. Peter's Cathedral, where John Calvin taught the doctrine that made him famous throughout the Protestant faith. Other Reformation sites of interest include Calvin's Academy, the Reformation Monument and the Reformation Museum. We'll also take a walk by the Flower Clock and Gardens. Geneva is known as John Calvin’s city. The remainder of the day you are free to explore Geneva at your leisure.
Day 18: Depart for Home
We transfer this morning to the airport for our flight home.