Berlin - Black Forest - Dresden - Frankfurt - Hamburg - Heidelberg - Leipzig - Munich - Nuremberg - RHINE - Rothenburg
Spectacular scenery, medieval towns, fairytale castles, a fascinating history, and world-class beer…this is Germany! On this Germany tour, you'll see Germany's highlights and visit its most famous cities, as well as its medieval towns and scenic areas. Your vacation begins and ends in Frankfurt with overnights also in the Rhineland, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Munich, and the Black Forest area. Magnificent scenery awaits you on this Germany vacation. Enjoy a cruise on the Rhine River, passing castle-crested hills, terraced vineyards, and pretty wine towns. In Bavaria, visit King Ludwig II's 19th-century Neuschwanstein Castle, nestled high in the Alps.
Day 1: ARRIVE IN FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to see some of Frankfurt. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2: FRANKFURT-RHINE CRUISE-COLOGNE-RHINELAND
Today's highlight is an included RHINE CRUISE from Oberwesel to Boppard to enjoy scenic views of the Rhineland, including the famous Lorelei rock. The next highlight is Cologne and a visit to its impressive gothic CATHEDRAL, started in 1248 and completed in 1880.
Day 3: RHINELAND-HAMELIN-HAMBURG
Journey into Niedersachsen to visit Hamelin. Admire its town center with its colorful historical buildings and magically fancy gables echoing the story of the Pied Piper. Continue to Hamburg, where you may want to join an optional harbor cruise.
Day 4: HAMBURG-LÜBECK-BERLIN
Start the day with an orientation drive in Hamburg, one of Germany's greatest maritime cities. Later, leave for Lübeck, formerly a free Hanseatic city and independent state. Lübeck, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is considered the cultural capital of northern Germany. Thomas Mann, Günther Grass, and Willy Brandt—all Nobel laureates—were among the famous residents of this city. Later, arrive in Berlin and enjoy your first evening in the capital of Germany.
Day 5: BERLIN
No longer divided but every bit as fascinating, Berlin was once the city of contrasts with the wall separating two different worlds. Now, the city has developed into a harmonious blend of new and old, preserving its historical buildings and impressive boulevards as well as creating brand new buildings in the most daring architectural styles. See all of this on the included city sightseeing with a Local Guide. Maybe join an optional excursion this afternoon.
Day 6: BERLIN-DRESDEN-LEIPZIG
Travel southwest to Dresden, the old capital of Saxony and at one time rightly called the "Florence on the Elbe." See the ZWINGER CARILLON PAVILION and much more on your included sightseeing. Then it's on to Leipzig, where composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn lived the last years of their lives. It was Mendelssohn who founded the Leipziger Conservatory in 1843.
Day 7: LEIPZIG-WEIMAR-COBURG-NUREMBERG.
Leave Leipzig to visit Weimar, home to many intellectuals of the past but mainly known for the name given to the historical period of the "Republic of Weimar." This city is also famed as the home of the Bauhaus architectural movement in the 1920s. Next stop is Coburg. Visit the dominating and mighty VESTE COBURG CASTLE, built in 1225. Continue to Nuremberg for a visit to its famous town center, dominated by the imperial castle.
Day 8: NUREMBERG-ROTHENBURG-MUNICH
Drive along the Romantic Road, through towns and villages protected by medieval towered gates and battlements, with squares of half-timbered houses and richly decorated fountains. Visit a fine example of this architecture in the quaint medieval center of Rothenburg. Overnight in Munich.
Day 9: MUNICH
With a Local Guide, take advantage of the included sightseeing tour of the city known as Germany's "Secret Capital." Time to admire the beautiful main square, MARIENPLATZ, do some shopping, and sample its most famous product—beer!
Day 10: MUNICH-NEUSCHWANSTEIN-BLACK FOREST AREA.
Leave Munich and drive into the heart of the Bavarian Alps to visit the most famous 19th-century, neo-romantic castle of the world, King Ludwig II's fairytale NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE. Enjoy more idyllic scenery on your way through the Black Forest.
Day 11: BLACK FOREST AREA-HEIDELBERG-FRANKFURT.
The day starts with a visit to Heidelberg. This city is the location of Germany's oldest university and became an inspiration and myth for the German Romantic movement. From here, continue to Frankfurt.
Day 12: FRANKFURT - DEPARTURE
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Inclusions / Exclusions
September 14, 16, 21, 23 & 28 Departures - Oktoberfest
November 30 & December 7 Departures - Include visits to Cologne, Lubeck, Dresden, Nuremberg, Rothenburg, and Munich Christmas markets
December 27 Departure - New Year's Eve in Berlin including special dinner
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Berlin, Dresden, Munich; professional Tour Director while touring
SIGHTSEEING & ACTIVITIES
Rhine cruise, visits to Cologne Cathedral, Hamelin, Hamburg orientation drive, Lübeck, Leipzig, Weimar, Coburg Castle, Nuremberg, Rothenburg, Neuschwanstein Castle, Heidelberg
Buffet breakfasts daily; 5 dinners
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; Rhine cruise