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The Travel Event of the Decade – Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

Preparations are underway for the travel event of the decade. 

Every 10 years, in the small Bavarian village of Oberammergau, the residents perform The Passion Play. 

The tradition dates back to the 17th century and it’s one of the world’s grandest religious spectacles.   

It started in 1633, when the villagers made a vow that they would perform the Passion Play if they were spared an epidemic of the plague.  After the vow, not a single person fell victim to the plague.  The Passion Play has been continued every 10 years as the community all come together to perform this ritual. 

Visitors from around the world descend onto Oberammergau to witness the performance.  The Passion Play will run from May to October 2020. 

The play is performed 5 days per week in an open-air theater which seats about 4,700 people.  The setting, with the mountains in the background, make this an unforgettable scene.   

There are several ways you can experience the Oberammergau Passion Play.  Several river cruise lines have itineraries that include this great spectacle.  Or if you prefer a land tour, most tour companies have itineraries that will include the Passion Play. 

We’d love to help plan your trip!  If you have any questions, please call us at 305-814-8184 or send us a note here!

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Crystal River Cruises announces 4 and 6 night Europe River Cruises

Looking for a shorter river cruise?  Crystal Cruises has you covered!

Explore more, savor more, enjoy more on a collection of luxury 4- or 6-night river cruises in the heart of Europe. All inclusive!

Fares start at just $1,349.

ITINERARIES INCLUDE
– Wachau Valley Getaway for 4 days from Vienna to Passau on March 29
– Danube Getaway for 6 days from Passau to Vienna on April 2
– Wachau Valley Getaway for 4 days from Vienna to Passau on April 30
– Danube Getaway for 6 days from Passau to Vienna on May 4

ALL-INCLUSIVE SIGNATURE HALLMARKS
– Europe’s only all-suite river ships featuring king-sized beds 
and personal butler service in every suite
– Farm-to-table dining featuring Crystal’s innovative 
and acclaimed Michelin-inspired cuisine
– Unlimited fine wines, champagnes, premium spirits and beers
– Unmatched Complimentary Crystal Collection of Destination Experiences in each destination, and a Crystal Signature Event on every full itinerary
– Twice as many staff per guest as the industry average, 
and all staff are Crystal employees
– All gratuities, shipboard and shoreside, included. .

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Tauck Family Christmas River Cruise 2019 – Limited Availability!

So, how many people were excited that Hallmark Channel just recently announced that they will play Hallmark Christmas movies year-round!  I know several members of my family were super excited for that. 

It may be a bit early in the year to get excited for Christmas, but Tauck is giving you and your family a bigger reason to start that countdown!  By the way, it’s 316 as of today… 

Tauck has announced a family river cruises for 2019 on the Danube river.  It’s the Holiday Magic Danube Family River Cruise.  The itinerary starts in Munich and sails eastbound to Budapest on an 8-day river cruise. 

Your family will discover Europe’s 700-year-old holiday markets tradition in historic town centers, decorated, lit up, and brimming with the sights, flavors, scents, and music of the season.  

Magic’s in the air along with the aromas of roasting sausages, gingerbread, cinnamon, hot gluhwein, crackling fires, and evergreens.  

Sightseeing is designed for all generations to enjoy together – in Oberndorf, home of “Silent Night”… at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna and magnificent Melk Abbey… in Old Town Bratislava with medieval games and a scavenger hunt… and in Budapest, “the Pearl of the Danube.”  

Your family will toast the season during a Tauck Exclusive evening at a private palace in Vienna with dinner, a performance, and a waltzing lesson!

River Cruise Includes: 

  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors, and Tauck Cruise Director 
  • Tauck’s private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $2,115  
  • A Tauck Exclusive evening at a private Viennese palace – with dinner, entertainment, and a waltzing lesson 
  • Visit to Oberndorf, birthplace of the carol “Silent Night”  
  • A visit to Baroque Salzburg and, weather permitting, a funicular ride up to the city’s hilltop fortress  
  • In Passau, a choice of a walking tour of Old Town and a sweets-making workshop at a local café; a guided geo-caching game in Old Town; or a guided hike with a holiday theme and storytelling 
  • In the Wachau Valley, a choice between a guided visit to Melk Abbey or a walking tour of Old Town Krems; and a choice between a wine tasting or a hike to Kuenringer Castle in Dürnstein (weather permitting) 
  • Visits to Schönbrunn Palace and the Prater amusement park in Vienna 
  • Medieval games, a walking tour, and a scavenger hunt in Old Town Bratislava 
  • A tour of Budapest taking in the castle district, Fisherman’s Bastion, Heroes Square, and more  
  • Traditional European holiday dinner and events aboard the riverboat 
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks  
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted 
  • 20 meals (7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners); service charges, admission fees, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges 

There are only 2 family sailings and they will book up quickly!  Call or email us for a quote or if you have questions!

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Tauck will start sailing the Douro River in Portugal come 2020!

There’s a river that river cruisers often overlook when planning their European river cruise.  It’s known as the river of gold.  The river I’m referring to is the Douro River in Portugal! 

Tauck just recently announced that they will be cruising the Douro River starting in 2020! 

Tauck is an award-winning, All Inclusive river cruise line.  Tauck is a premium river cruise line and it’s the best of the best! 

The 8-day river cruise starts and ends in Porto and showcases an authentic taste of daily life in the Douro River Valley. 

Tauck is building a new ship specifically made for cruising the Douro called the ms Andorinha. 

The region is steeped in a legacy of wine making for over 2,000 years.  Enjoy wine tastings hosted by expert wine makers; go hiking and bicycling; visit villages, a museum, a palace and a prehistoric site. 

2020 itineraries are already available to book!  They’re super popular and some are selling out so please feel free to call or email us and we’ll help you plan your dream Tauck Douro River Cruise!

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Prague’s Astronomical Clock – standing the test of time

One upon a time, a master clockmaker (known by the name of Master Hanus), built a beautiful astronomical clock in Prague.  The year was 1410. He was highly respected and was asked by representatives of other countries to build an astronomical clock in the main squares of their own important cities, too.  

He pledged to the municipal councilors of Prague that he would not build another clock anywhere else in the world, that Prague would have THE MOST beautiful Astronomical Clock for their own people.  But the councilors did not believe Master Hanus so they blinded him to ensure no other city would enjoy the masterpiece he created for Prague.

Master Hanus was so furious that he took revenge and destroyed the clock by tinkering with the mechanism so that no one would be able to fix the clock…  Well, that’s what legend says. 

Today you can visit this clock, the third oldest astronomical clock in the world, the oldest clock still operating, in Prague, at the historical Old Town Hall.

The Prague Astronomical Clock is a marvelous medieval work of art that’s been running for over 600 years, surviving hundreds of years of wars and destruction.

Every hour, 12 Apostles parade in the windows of the astronomical clock along with figures, most notable Death as a skeleton, striking the time on the outer side of the clock.

You can view the Prague Astronomical Clock when you start or end your Danube River Cruise.  If you start in Budapest and sail towards Germany, be sure to add a few days in Prague after your cruise.  If you start in Germany, fly into Prague and spend a few days there before your river cruise begins. 

Most river cruise lines have pre or post cruise extensions that visit this unique, romantic city… this jewel of Europe, Prague.  

If you prefer to add Prague to your trip on your own, Up Close Travel can help you plot your course.  We can help you plan a vacation that dreams are made of, full of memories to last a lifetime and customized for your unique wants and desires.

If you’d like to learn more about Prague and some travel options that include Prague, please feel free to call us at 305-814-8184 or send us an email here.

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