June 3: New Orleans — Frankfurt, Germany
- Bags packed and spirits high, we depart New Orleans for our overnight flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
June 4-5: Nurnberg/Rothenburg, Germany
- We arrive in Frankfurt this morning and board our waiting coach for Nurnburg, the official residence of German kings and emperors for over 500 years. In route, we can stop at Rothenburg, one of the oldest towns on the Romantic Road. The cobblestone streets, gabled roofs, staircase turrets and oriel windows combine to convince travelers that they have stepped back into the 16th century.
- On our tour of Nurnberg, you will find yourself in a land of gingerbread, Albert Durer, a world famous Christmas fair and half-timbered burghers’ houses. The Kaiserburg Castle looms above the city and numbered among its guests was the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. Visitors may also view the huge amphitheater built by Hitler for his massive rallies and the Justice Palace site of the War Crimes Tribunal after World War II.
June 6-7: Munich/Oberammergau, Germany
- Bavaria, arguably the most beautiful area of Germany, has Munich as its capital. Munich, a magic word, is a city of art, culture, history, and joie de vivre, casting its spell over visitors, attracted by past Olympic Games, the annual Christmas market and Octoberfest. Guests meet in the city center, the Marienplatz, in front of the Gothic town hall with the largest Glockenspiel in Germany. A sausage and beer at the Hofbrauhaus, the world’s most famous beer hall, is a must. Munich’s Old Pinakothek is one of the world’s great museums with works of the masters of the Renaissance. One of Bavaria’s kings, “Mad” Ludwig II, had a passion for castle building (Hohenschwangau and Newschwanstein). We can thank him for giving the region much of its storybook charm.
- Oberammergau is host to the famed Passion Play. This delightful Bavarian village with its painted houses is set in the wooded foothills of the Alps and is a popular starting point for visits to the Rococo Wies Church and the Baroque Benedictine gem at Ettal.
June 8-9: Verona / Venice, Italy via Innsbruck
- As we cross Austria on our way to Venice and Verona, we have time to stop and visit Innsbruck. Innsbruck has been the capital of the Tyrol area of Austria for eight centuries. Innsbruck, which literally means “bridge over the Inn,” was the site of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. A stroll down its arcaded covered streets and cobblestone passages present outstanding views of the surrounding snow-capped Alps. Among the impressive sights are the Golden Roof (2,657 gold-plated tiles), the Court Church with 28 larger-than-life bronze figures of history, and the Tyrolean Folk Museum with its fine examples of interior design, furniture, and costumes of early Austrian life. To visit is to recapture the memory of the scenery in “The Sound of Music.”
- Back on the road, we travel the fertile Valley of the Po River to Verona, the home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Verona is enclosed in its 16th century fortifications, stands on the banks of the Adige River, and boasts that its Roman Amphitheatre is the third largest in the Roman world after the Coliseum in Rome.
- Today, we coach to waterborne Venice. If there is a more romantic spot on earth, humankind has yet to find it. There is only one Venice–enchanted city of 117 islands, 150 canals and 400 bridges in a crescent-shaped lagoon. We will see the gilded splendor of St. Mark’s and the Palace of the Doges, with time to enjoy the boutiques around the Square. You may want to take a romantic gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs or pass “Golden House” palace on the Grand Canal.
June 10-11-12: Florence, Italy
- In Florence, we have the wonderful opportunity to feast our eyes on the treasures of the Renaissance: Michelangelo’s “David” in the Accademia; the Baptistery’s intricately crafted bronze doors; Giotto’s Campanile; the Duomo; and vaulted Santa Croce Church, where Michelangelo is entombed. Discover the Florence of Dante and the powerful Medici family. Stroll along the Arno; visit the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Palace; stop for a cooling gelato (ice cream) before heading to the Ponte Vecchio, where local artisans sell their wares. Florence, birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, offers its art and architecture as evidence of its grandeur. A stroll through its cobblestone streets is to be transported back in time to the age of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Dante. West of Florence is Pisa and its famous leaning tower, site of experiments by Galileo. South is San Gimignano, the medieval City of Towers surrounded by the Chianti Hills.
June 13-14: Swiss Alps, Switzerland
- Today we motor to the highs of the Alps. Alpine foothills soon appear on the horizon and grow ever taller as we continue our northward route. Soon the grandeur of the Alps welcomes us to our Swiss destination. Our stay in Switzerland includes plenty of time for us to explore picturesque Alpine villages with wooden chalets surrounded by breathtaking scenery. See for yourself the spectacular view of the snowcapped Alps from the top of the Bernese Oberland. Yes, you will see snow in June!
June 15-16: Alsace, France
- Now, on our coach we travel the Rhine north, on to Alsace and the Route du Vin (the Wine Route). Our route takes us to Strasbourg, with its romantic petite France and Gothic cathedral, which was the tallest building in the world for 400 years. It is one quaint wine village after another as we make our way through the rich heritage of ancient fortified towns and half-timbered houses adorned with vividly colored geraniums. Situated between the German Black Forest and the French Vosges Mountains, the marriage of these two countries’ cultures makes Alsace unique. Besides being the birthplace of La Marseillaise, this German-French area was the original home of John Law’s Alsatian immigrants to South Louisiana in the 1720′s, three decades before the arrival of the first Acadians.
June 17: Frankfurt, Germany
- The romantic Rhine River invites us to cruise its legendary waters before we arrive in Frankfurt. Frankfurt was the city of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and is today the banking capital of Germany.
June 18: Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans
- We transfer to the airport for our return flight to New Orleans, arriving that same day.