Passion Play Oberammergau (2020)

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Once a decade since 1634 the eyes of the world are drawn to the charming Bavarian village of Oberammergau when nearly half the town’s 5,200 residents stage the moving and internationally acclaimed PASSION PLAY, a reenactment of the final days of Jesus and a celebration of God sparing the region from the ravages of the Black Plague.

In 2020 we are excited to offer our fifth Passion Play package – building on our companies’ successful tours in 1984 (the 350th Anniversary), 1990, 2000 and 2010 – with the very best seats and accommodations. After waiting 10 years for this once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll want to make sure you book with the most recognized and capable tour operator.

In addition, we would be pleased to book your tour with one of our faith-based journeys for Catholic and Protestant groups that include the Holy Land, Reformation sites, Germany, Greece/Turkey, Austria, Switzerland, Bavaria, England, Scotland, Rome, London, Florence, Venice, Munich, Cologne, Berlin, Fatima, Lourdes and many other exotic locations.

Paul and Susie Lam on a recent visit with family that owns the Wittelsbach Hotel located in the heart of Oberammergau. The town’s best property has been the favored spot for our chairman’s tour groups since 1984 and again in 2020.

Chairman Paul Lam with Walter Rutz, Managing Director of Oberammergau Passion Play 2020, on a private inspection tour of the iconic Passion Play theater undergoing significant renovation.

Protestant Passion Play Programs

P1 - BEST OF EUROPE (8 days / 6 nights)

8 Day Tour of SWITZERLAND, AUSTRIA AND GERMANY

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Zurich, Switzerland. Meals and beverages served on board.


Day 2  Zurich / Berne

We arrive in Zurich and are met by our PATHFINDERS Manager who assists with our baggage and the transfer to our hotel. Our motor coach takes us to Berne to see the Federal Palace and the Bear Pit. We stay overnight in Berne.


Day 3  Berne / Interlaken / Mt. Pilatus / Brunig Pass / Lucerne

This morning we pass through Interlaken. We climb over the Brunig Pass and then descend to Alpnachstad from where we ascend by cogwheel train to Mt. Pilatus. Descending by cable car from Mt. Pilatus to Kriens, we board our bus for the short drive to Lucerne for the night. Take a walk this evening and enjoy the ornate patrician houses lining the cobbled streets, the Lion Monument and the impressive mural-decorated, covered wooden bridge dating from 1331.


Day 4  Lucerne / Fussen / Innsbruck

Today we journey through stunningly beautiful scenery, so sit back and relax. We drive through the lovely Bavarian forest near Fussen where we stop to visit the Cinderella-style Neuschwanstein Castle of King Ludwig. We continue to Innsbruck for overnight.


Day 5  lnnsbruck / Oberammergau

After breakfast we enjoy seeing Innsbruck, an 800-year-old city of great charm and vitality. Here we see Maria Theresa's famous Golden Roof, the court palace and the church. There is some time for shopping. Then,  we visit King Ludwig’s Linderhof Castle where the gilded splendor begins at the fountains and continues through every room. Our destination for the day is the little village of Oberammergau, site of the famed Passion Play.


Day 6  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we've been waiting for!  We see the Passion Play performed by residents of Oberammergau. This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its international fame to the Passion Play. Once every decade 1,100 amateur actors from the local population reenact the final days of Christ. We stay overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 7  Oberammergau / Appenzell / Zurich

After breakfast we depart for Zurich.  Sit back, relax and enjoy as we pass richly forested mountains, rivers and small market towns. On the way, we stop in the quintessential Swiss village of Appenzell.  See many cows, farmhouses and people dressed in traditional costumes. This evening, take a walk and enjoy Zurich’s attractive historic center and lakeside promenade.  Overnight in Zurich.


Day 8  Zurich / Hometown, USA

We transfer  to the Zurich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P2 - EUROPEAN HIGHLIGHTS (6 days / 4 nights)

6 Day Tour of AUSTRIA AND GERMANY

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Munich, Germany. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2  Munich / Salzburg

We arrive in Munich and are met by our PATHFINDERS Manager who assists with our baggage and the transfer to Salzburg. In Munich we visit the gorgeously decorated baroque Nymphenburg Palace, the Frauenkirche and Old Peter, Munich’s oldest parish church founded in 1169.  We conclude our visit at the historic Glockenspiel on MarienPlatz. Lunch is on your own before we continue to Salzburg for overnight.


Day 3  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we've been waiting for!  We see the Passion Play performed by residents of Oberammergau. This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its international fame to the Passion Play. Once every decade 1,100 amateur actors from the local population reenact the final days of Christ. Dinner and overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 4  Oberammergau / Innsbruck

Our drive today takes us through beautiful and unforgettable scenery. We stop first at the fabulous Bavarian Castle of King Ludwig, Liderhof, where gilded splendor begins at the fountains and continues through every room. We continue via picturesque Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Innsbruck, an 800-year-old city of great charm and vitality. Here we see Maria Theresa’s famous Golden Roof, the court palace and the church. There is time for some shopping before returning to our hotel in Innsbruck for the night.


Day 5  Innsbruck / Fussen / Munich

After breakfast, we drive through beautiful scenery to Fussen to visit the Royal Castle of Neuschwanstein with its rich treasures of priceless murals and art. Then, we’re on to Munich to spend our last night in Bavaria.


Day 6  Munich / Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P3 - ALPINE SPLENDOR (9 days / 7 nights)

9 Day Tour of SWITZERLAND, ITALY, AUSTRIA AND GERMANY

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Zurich, Switzerland. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2  Zurich / St. Moritz

We arrive in Zurich and are met by our friendly PATHFINDERS Pathfinder’s Manager, who brings us to our awaiting motor coach. We drive to St. Moritz, home of the most famous Swiss ski resort Sankt Moritz-Dorf, which has the world's oldest skiing school. We have time for lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure at the direction of our Tour Manager. Dinner and the night are spent in St. Moritz.


Day 3  St. Moritz / Tirano / St. Moritz

Today we embark on the Bernina Express Train, which travels along one of the most scenic railway lines in the world. On our way to Tirano, Italy the train climbs one of Europe's steepest rail ascents out of the Engadine Valley toward the Bernina Pass. Enjoy the dramatic views of Morteratsch Glacier and many others throughout the journey in the Italian Alps. We have free time for lunch en route to Tirano and transfer back to St. Moritz for dinner and overnight.


Day 4  St. Moritz / Innsbruck

Leaving St. Moritz behind, we board our motor coach for the ride to Innsbruck, Austria. The most popular Austrian holiday destination, lnnsbruck, lies at the very heart of the Austrian Alps. Tucked between the northern Alps and the Tuxer Mountains, Innsbruck is famous for its winter sports and has twice been home to the Winter Olympics. After arriving we take a guided city tour followed by time for lunch on our own. Dinner and overnight are in Innsbruck.


Day 5  Innsbruck / Fussen / Oberammergau

We feel the excitement as we travel to the small, beautiful village of Oberammergau to view the highlight of our tour, the Passion Play. We drive through the lovely Bavarian forest near Fussen where we visit the Cinderella-style Neuschwanstein Castle of King Ludwig. Then, upon arrival in Oberammergau, we check into our hotel and enjoy lunch on our own. Our Tour Manager is available to direct us as we enjoy an afternoon of leisure. Dinner and the night are in Oberammergau.


Day 6  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we've been waiting for!  We see the Passion Play performed by residents of Oberammergau. This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its international fame to the Passion Play. Once every decade 1,100 amateur actors from the local population reenact the final days of Christ. Dinner and overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 7  Oberammagau / Appenzell / Lucerne

We board our motor coach for the ride to Lucerne, Switzerland. On the way we visit Appenzell, which has long been one of Switzerland's most active centers for yodeling, alphorn playing and other expressions of Swiss musical tradition. We stop at the Appenzell Cheese Dairy where we are sure to sample some of their finest creations. We enjoy lunch before continuing to Lucerne for the night.


Day 8  Lucerne

This morning we embark on a guided walking tour of Lucerne. Considered by many to be among the most charming places in Europe, Lucerne is surrounded by snowcapped Alps and situated on a beautiful glacial lake. An afternoon excursion takes us to Mt. Titlis, a glacier paradise at 10,000 feet that offers a snow and ice experience from the highest viewpoint in Central Switzerland. We have lunch before returning to Lucerne for our Farewell Dinner.


Day 9  Lucerne / Zurich / Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Zurich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P4 - ROMANTIC ROAD (10 days / 8 nights)

10 Day Tour of GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

Day 1 Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Frankfurt, Germany. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2 Frankfurt / Mainz / Heidelberg

We arrive in Frankfurt and are met by our PATHFINDERS representative who assists us to our motor coach. We will travel to Mainz where we visit the Gutenberg Museum. Two original editions of the world-famous Gutenberg Bible, printed from 1452 to 1455, are the museum’s main attraction. There is free time for lunch before continuing our travels to Heidelberg for dinner and the night.


Day 3 Heidelberg

Our day begins with a tour of Heidelberg including entrance to Heidelberg Castle (Schloss), one of Germany's most romantic locations with a long and turbulent history. First constructed in the early 15th century as a residence for the Palatine princes, it was destroyed twice during wartime and once struck by lightning. Its stones have been removed to construct other buildings and thus, it has a variety of architectural styles. There is free time for lunch and an afternoon at leisure to experience Heidelberg. Take a walk down the Hauptstrausse and enjoy the shopping or take a walk across the Neckar River Bridge. Your tour manager is available to direct you on options for sightseeing. Dinner and the night are in Heidelberg.


Day 4 Heidelberg / Rothenburg Ob De Tauber

Today we transfer to one of the oldest towns on the "Romantic Road," Rothenburg O.T. We enjoy a guided tour, seeing many town sites. There is free time for lunch before an afternoon at leisure under the guidance of our Tour Manager. Dinner and overnight are in Rothenburg.


Day 5 Rothenburg O.T. / Augsburg / Oberammergau

We depart Rothenburg and travel to Augsburg where the disputations between Luther and the Papal legate took place and the Protestant confession of faith was proclaimed for the first time. We see Town Hall, Fuggers' Town Mansion and the Cathedral during a guided tour. We then continue our journey to Oberammergau and the highlight of our trip, the Passion Play. There is free time for lunch on the way. We have dinner and spend the night in Oberammergau.


Day 6 Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we have been waiting for! This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its fame to the internationally renowned Passion Play. Performed only once every ten years, involving 1,100 amateur actors from the local population, the play reenacts the final days of Christ. This is sure to be a day we’ll never forget. Dinner and overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 7 Oberammergau / Fussen / Innsbruck

After an unforgettable day in Oberammergau we board our coach to travel to Fussen and tour Neuschwanstein Castle. This fortress of great stature is a mass of gray granite bristling with towers and pinnacles rising from a spur cut at its eastern end. King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the fairytale king, started construction in 1869. We have time for lunch before continuing our journey to Innsbruck for dinner and the night.


Day 8 Innsbruck / Munich

This morning we embark on a guided walking tour of Innsbruck, including a visit to the Swarovski Crystal Factory.  Swarovski Crystal was started when Bohemian-born Daniel Swarovski invented an automatic cutting machine in 1892 and established a crystal-cutting factory near Innsbruck.  There is free time for lunch before our afternoon ride to Munich for dinner and overnight.


Day 9 Munich

Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Munich, the cultural center and capital of Bavaria. Munich is the largest center for industry and commerce in southern German and was host to the XX Olympic games in 1972. We tour Nymphenburg Castle was the one-time summer residence of Bavarian rulers and has been finished in the style of an Italian palace. There is a time for lunch on our own before an afternoon to explore at leisure under the guidance of our Tour Manager. Tonight there is a farewell dinner and our final night in Munich.


Day 10 Munich / Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P5 - EUROPEAN REFORMATION (12 days / 10 nights)

12 Day Tour of GERMANY

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Berlin, Germany. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2  Arrive In Berlin, Germany

We arrive in Berlin and are met by our PATHFINDERS Manager who assists with our baggage and the transfer to our hotel. We enjoy an orientation tour on the way to our hotel in Berlin. The rest of the day is free to explore on our own.  Overnight in Berlin


Day 3  Berlin / Wittenberg

Sightseeing with a Local Guide in the once-divided metropolis includes the elegant Ku’damm, the restored Reichstag, Charlottenburg Castle, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and the 21-foot Victory Column in the vast Tiergarten Park. Visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church with its bomb-damaged spire, drive along Unter den Linden Boulevard, and pass the State Opera House and Checkpoint Charlie. In the afternoon, continue to Wittenberg, Martin Luther’s hometown for more than 30 years and birthplace of the Reformation.  Overnight in Wittenberg.


Day 4  Wittenberg / Leipzig

Enjoy a guided walking tour and visit the Luther House where Martin Luther and his family lived. Also, visit St. Mary's Church, a twin-towered Gothic church where Luther preached reform, got married and baptized his six children. Finally, see the door of Castle Church where Luther posted his 95 Theses, launching the Reformation in 1517. Continue to Leipzig for a walking tour and a visit to the Thomaskirche where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as a cantor. Also, see the market square that today is a site for celebrations and festivals but once was the scene of executions and political demonstrations. Overnight in Leipzig.


Day 5  Leipzig–Eisleben–Erfurt

Today on our way to Erfurt, we will stop in Eisleben, where Luther’s life began and ended. Visit his BIRTH HOUSE and DEATH HOUSE MUSEUMS, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites; as well as St. Peter and Paul Church, where Luther was baptized, and St. Andrew Church, where Luther preached his last sermon in 1546. Later, drive to Erfurt, whose 36 churches, 15 monasteries, and other ecclesiastical buildings have earned it the nickname “Thuringian Rome.” The beautiful Old Town preserves the atmosphere Luther must have experienced during his student days. A highlight is an inspirational visit to the Augustinian Monastery where Luther lived as a monk, and the unique Merchant's Bridge, lined with half-timbered homes on both sides.  Overnight in Erfurt.


Day 6  Erfurt / Coburg / Wiesbaden

Today we will continue south to Coburg and visit fascinating Coburg Fortress where Luther lived and was protected during the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530. As an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire, he could not attend the Imperial Diet of Augsburg but instead spent his time continuing his work translating the Bible and writing on Reformation issues.  We continue on to Wiesbaden for overnight.


Day 7  Wiesbaden / Rhine Valley / Worms / Mainz

Enjoy a scenic Rhine Cruise past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards and half-timbered towns. In Worms, where the Imperial Council passed judgment on Luther in 1521, visit the Cathedral where Luther presented his case, as well as Trinity Church and the Reformation Monument. Continue to Mainz to visit the Gutenberg Museum, which houses original copies of the Bible.  Overnight in Mainz.


Day 8  Wiesbaden / Rothenburg / Nuremberg

Wiesbaden. Journey to the medieval walled town of Rothenburg where your walking tour takes you to St. Jacob's Church with its masterpiece “Altar of the Holy Blood.” Afterwards, there is time to shop for the town’s famed Christmas ornaments. Then, we’re on to Nuremberg, the first town to accept the Reformation in 1525. Your walking tour features the Gothic St. Lorenz Lutheran Church where you can pause for quiet meditation.  Overnight in Nuremburg.


Day 9  Nuremberg / Oberammergau

Drive to picturesque Oberammergau where the afternoon and evening are dedicated to the world-famous PASSION PLAY held every 10 years and performed by the people of the town.  This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its international fame to the Passion Play. Once every decade 1,100 amateur actors from the local population reenact the final days of Christ.  Overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 10  Oberammergau / Munich

Today we travel by motor coach to Munich and explore Germany’s “Secret Capital” with your Local Guide, including Olympic Stadium, the 1,000-foot Television Tower, Marienplatz with its old and new Town Halls and the Gothic Frauenkirche. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel in Munich.


Day 11  Munich

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P6 - LUTHERLAND (12 days / 10 nights)

12 Day Tour of GERMANY

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Berlin, Germany. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2  Berlin

We arrive in Berlin, so long a symbol of the world's division into two opposing camps, is a modern metropolis with a lively economic and cultural life. En route to our hotel we enjoy a panoramic tour with our PATHFINDERS representative. We view such sites as Brandenburg Gate, the State Opera House, and Berliner Dom. After checking in to our hotel we have time at leisure before gathering for dinner. We stay overnight in Berlin.


Day 3  Berlin / Wittenberg

Today we take a half-day sightseeing tour that includes the Pergamon Museum, one of several on Museum Island. It houses original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Ishtar Gate. Our morning includes a 45-minute Spree River cruise before we have lunch on our own. This afternoon we travel to Wittenberg for dinner and the night.


Day 4  Wittenberg / Leipzig

Wittenberg will be forever famous as the place where Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” on the door of Castle Church on October 31, 1517. A simple call for debate became the spark that ignited the Reformation. We tour Castle Church, as well as Stadtkirche (City Church), known as the "Mother Church of the Reformation'' due to the fact that Martin Luther did the majority of his preaching here. We also visit Lutherhouse, the world’s largest museum for reformation history. We have lunch on our own before traveling to Leipzig. Upon arrival we stop for a tour of St. Thomas Kirche. Johann Sebastian Bach was Leipzig's musical director and choirmaster of the St. Thomas' Boys Choir between 1723 and 1750. This city is dedicated to keeping alive the music and history that Bach created for them. We have time to relax before gathering for dinner. We spend the night in Leipzig.


Day 5  Leipzig / Eisleben / Erfurt

Departing Leipzig we travel to Eisleben, hometown of Martin Luther. We tour Luther's House, where he was born on November 10, 1483 and died in 1546. We enjoy lunch on our own before we travel to Erfurt. Upon arrival we have some time at leisure. The first documentary reference to Erfurt dates to 742 AD. The former wealth of the city is reflected in the many carefully restored Renaissance and half-timbered houses. There are many other historical buildings, which together with the Kramerbrucke, make up one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Germany. Erfurt is also known as "erfordia turrita" (Erfurt, city of towers and spires). This title was given on account of the city's 36 parish churches and chapels as well as its 15 monasteries and other ecclesiastical buildings. We have dinner and stay the night in Erfurt.


Day 6  Erfurt / Eisenach / Erfurt

Our day begins with an excursion to Eisenach, where we visit Wartburg Castle and Luther House. The castle's history has been colored with theological and artistic highlights, rather than military. During 1521 and 1522 Martin Luther lived here while in exile, making good use of his time by translating the New Testament into German. As a schoolboy he lived in Luther House with the Cotta family from 1498 to 1501. The half-timbered house preserves the two rooms used by Luther and displays Reformation artifacts. We have lunch on our own and an afternoon to explore. Our Tour Manager is available to direct us. We then return to Erfurt for dinner and overnight.


Day 7  Erfurt / Rothenburg O.T.

Today we transfer to one of the oldest towns on the "Romantic Road,"
Rothenburg O.T. We enjoy a guided walking tour and view many of the towns' historical sites including St. Jakob's Church, the most important church in Rothenburg. There is free time for lunch before an afternoon at leisure under the guidance of our Tour Manager. Dinner and the night are in Rothenburg O.T.


Day 8  Rothenburg O.T. / Augsburg / Oberammergau

We leave behind Rothenburg as we travel to Augsburg, where the disputations between Luther and the Papal legate took place and the Protestant confession of faith was proclaimed for the first time. We see Town Hall, Fuggers’ Town Mansion and the Cathedral during a guided tour. We then continue our journey to Oberammergau and the highlight of our trip, the Passion Play. There is free time for lunch on our way. We have dinner and spend the night in Oberammergau.


Day 9  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we have all been waiting for! This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its fame to the internationally renowned Passion Play. Performed only once every ten years, involving 1,100 amateur actors from the local population, the play reenacts the final days of Christ. This is sure to be a day we will never forget. Dinner and the night are in Oberammergau.


Day 10  Oberammergau /Wies / Fussen / Munich

After a day we won’t soon forget, we board our coach for travel to Wies and a tour of Wies Church.  In 1738 tears were seen on a dilapidated wooden figure of the Scourged Savior, a miracle that resulted in a pilgrimage to see the sculpture. We then stop in Fussen for a tour of Neuschwantein Castle. The fortress of great stature is a mass of gray granite bristling with towers and pinnacles rising from a spur cut at its eastern end. King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the fairytale king, started construction in 1869.  We then continue our journey to Munich for dinner and the night.


Day 11  Munich

Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Munich, the cultural center and capital of Bavaria. Munich is also the largest center for industry and commerce in southern German and was host to the XX Olympic games in 1972. We tour Nymphenburg Castle, the one-time summer residence of Bavarian rulers, finished in the style of an Italian palace.  There is time for lunch on our own before an afternoon to explore at leisure under the guidance of our Tour Manager.  Overnight in Munich.


Day 12  Munich / Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P7 - EUROPEAN REFORMATION (13 days / 11 nights)

13 Day Tour of GERMANY

Day 1

We start our journey as we board our plane to Berlin, Germany.


Day 2  Berlin / Wittenberg

Today we will sightsee with a Local Guide in the once-divided metropolis includes the elegant Ku’damm, the restored Reichstag, Charlottenburg Castle, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and the 21-foot Victory Column. Visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church with its bomb-damaged spire, drive along Unter den Linden Boulevard and pass the State Opera House and Checkpoint Charlie. In the afternoon, continue to Wittenberg, Martin Luther’s hometown for more than 30 years and birthplace of the Reformation. Overnight in Wittenberg.


Day 3  Wittenberg / Leipzig

This morning we will enjoy a guided walking tour and visit the LUTHER HOUSE, where Martin Luther and his family lived. Also visit ST. MARY’S CHURCH, a twin-towered Gothic church where Luther preached reform, got married and baptized his six children. Finally, see the door of Castle Church, where Luther posted his “95 Theses,” launching the Reformation in 1517. Continue to Leipzig for a walking tour and a visit to the THOMASKIRCHE, where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as a cantor. Also, see the market square that today is a site for celebrations and festivals, but once was the scene of executions and political demonstrations. Overnight in Leipzig.

Wittenberg Schlosskirche - Wittenberg, All Saints Church or Palatial Church


Day 4  Leipzig / Eisleben / Erfurt

Today we will depart for Erfurt, stopping in Eisleben where Luther’s life began and ended. Visit his BIRTH HOUSE and DEATH HOUSE MUSEUMS, as well as ST. PETER & PAUL CHURCH, where Luther was baptized, and ST. ANDREW’S CHURCH, where Luther preached his last sermon in 1546. Later, we drive to Erfurt, whose 36 churches, 15 monasteries and other ecclesiastical buildings have earned it the nickname “Thuringian Rome.” The beautiful Old Town preserves the atmosphere Luther must have experienced during his student days. A highlight is an inspirational visit to the AUGUSTINIAN MONASTERY where Luther lived as a monk and the unique MERCHANTS’ BRIDGE, lined with half-timbered homes on both sides. Overnight in Erfurt.


Day 5  Erfurt / Eisenach

Today's excursion takes us to Eisenach where we will meet our Local Guide. Visit LUTHER HOUSE, ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH, where Luther was a choirboy and later preached and see the Luther and Bach Memorials. Also, visit WARTBURG CASTLE, where he lived in disguise as “Knight George.” It was during this period that Luther translated the New Testament from Ancient Greek into German in just ten weeks. Overnight in Erfurt.


Day 6  Erfurt / Coburg / Wiesbaden

Continue south today to Coburg and visit fascinating COBURG FORTRESS where Luther lived protected during the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530. As an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire he could not attend the Imperial Diet of Augsburg, but instead spent his time continuing his work translating the Bible and writing on Reformation issues. Overnight in Wiesbaden.


Day 7  Wiesbaden / Rhine Valley / Worms / Mainz

Enjoy a scenic RHINE CRUISE past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards and half-timbered towns. In Worms, where the Imperial Council passed judgment on Luther in 1521, visit the CATHEDRAL, where Luther presented his case, as well as TRINITY CHURCH and the Reformation Monument. Continue to Mainz to visit the GUTENBERG MUSEUM, which houses original copies of the Bible. Overnight in Mainz.


Day 8  Wiesbaden / Rothenburg / Nuremberg

Journey to the medieval walled town of Rothenburg where your walking tour takes you to ST. JACOB’S CHURCH with its masterpiece “Altar of the Holy Blood.” Afterwards, there is time to shop for the town’s famed Christmas ornaments. Then it’s on to Nuremberg, the first town to accept the Reformation in 1525. Your walking tour features the Gothic ST. LORENZ LUTHERAN CHURCH where you can pause for quiet meditation. Overnight in Nuremberg.


Day 9  Nuremberg /Augsburg / Oberammergau

Today we travel to Oberammergau, stopping in Augsburg, for guided sightseeing that reveals the city where Luther and his followers proclaimed their faith. Continue to picturesque Oberammergau for overnight.


Day 10  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we have all been waiting for! This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its fame to the internationally renowned Passion Play. Performed only once every ten years, involving 1,100 amateur actors from the local population, the play reenacts the final days of Christ. This is sure to be a day we will never forget. Dinner and the night in Oberammergau.


Day 11  Oberammergau / Wies / Fussen / Munich

After a day we won’t soon forget, we board our coach for travel to Wies and tour Wies Church. In 1738, tears were seen on a dilapidated wooden figure of the Scourged Savior, a miracle resulting in a pilgrimage to see the sculpture. We then stop in Fussen for a tour of Neuschwantein Castle. The fortress of great stature is a mass of gray granite bristling with towers and pinnacles rising from a spur cut at its eastern end. King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the fairytale king, started the building in 1869. We then continue our journey to Munich for dinner and the night.


Day 12  Munich / Hometown, USA

We transfer early to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P8 - GREAT REFORMERS: JOHN WESLEY AND MARTIN LUTHER (12 days / 10 nights)

12 Day Tour of ENGLAND, LUXEMBOURG, BELGIUM, GERMANY

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We begin our journey as we board a plane for our flight over the Atlantic to London, England.


Day 2  London / Bristol

Upon arrival, we are met by our friendly PATHFINDERS representative who assists us in boarding our awaiting motor coach. Sit back and enjoy the beautiful English countryside as we travel to Bristol. En route we visit Stonehenge, the most celebrated prehistoric monument in Britain as well as a World Heritage Site. Some believe that Stonehenge may have been constructed as a sanctuary for a sun-worshipping cult or as an astronomical observatory or perhaps a combination of the two. Our next stop is Salisbury Cathedral, a beautiful, historic building and an international symbol of Christianity. There is free time for lunch on our own before continuing to Bristol for dinner and the night.


Day 3  Bristol / Bath /Bristol

Today we enjoy a visit to John Wesley's Chapel (“New Room”) and his House. An 18th century Anglican clergyman, John Wesley was also a Christian theologian and early leader in the Methodist movement. The Chapel “New Room” was built when he started preaching outdoors to the poor people of Bristol. The House, which he built in 1779, takes us back to the 18th century. (He lived here the last eleven winters of his life.) The House also provided a home for Chapel preachers and their families and servants. There is time for lunch on our own before an afternoon excursion to Bath, a fashionable spa town where people come to enjoy the social life or seek a cure for ill health in one of the many natural hot springs. We return to Bristol for dinner and overnight.


Day 4  Bristol / Oxford / London

The day includes travel to London starting in Oxford, the “City of Dreaming Spires.” Oxford’s origins go back 1,000 years with its streets being dominated by the stone walls of its colleges. Oxford is a brilliant and vibrant multi-cultural city full of history and heritage. It is home to world-renowned museums, charming shops and cafes, beautiful gardens and meadows and much more. Our tour includes Christ Church where we see the Great Hall, which was the location used as a double for Hogwarts School in the “Harry Potter” movies. Christ Church is Oxford's largest college, re-founded in 1546 by Henry VIII. We visit Christ Church Cathedral, the smallest cathedral in England, and we have free time for lunch on our own before continuing to London for dinner and overnight.


Day 5  London

This morning we take a half-day guided tour of London including the entrances to Wesley's Chapel and House. (Different from the Bristol constructions.) The Chapel was built under the direction of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, and opened on November 1, 1778. It is the first Methodist Church built specifically for the celebration of Holy Communion, as well as for preaching services. Our next stop is Westminster Abbey where the Kings and Queens of England have been crowned since 1066. We have lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight in London.


Day 6  London / Brussels / Luxembourg

Our tour continues as we board the Eurostar train for Brussels, capital of Belgium. There is time for lunch on our own during our train ride. Arriving in Brussels, we enjoy a brief sightseeing tour before transferring to Luxembourg by coach for dinner and the night.


Day 7  Luxembourg / Worms / Heidelberg

This morning we visit the grave of General George Patton, Jr., who was born on November 11, 1885 and died December 21, 1945. Patton was a leading US Army General in World War II. Many viewed Patton as a pure, ruthless and ferocious warrior, known by the nickname "Old Blood and Guts.'' We transfer to Worms where Martin Luther appeared at the Imperial Diet in 1521. There is free time for lunch and a visit to the Luther Monument and the Luther Room, where Luther faced Kaiser Karl V during the Diet of Worms. We continue to Heidelberg for dinner and overnight.


Day 8  Heidelberg

Our day begins with a tour of Heidelberg including entrance to Heidelberg Castle. The Castle (“Schloss”) is one of Germany's most romantic locations with a long and turbulent history. First constructed in the early 15th century as a residence for the Palatine princes, it was destroyed twice during wartimes and once struck by lightning. Stones have even been removed to construct other buildings, thus it has a variety of architectural styles. There is free time for lunch and an afternoon at leisure to experience Heidelberg. Take a walk down the Hauptstrausse and enjoy the shopping or take a walk across the Neckar River Bridge. Your tour manager is available to direct you on options for sightseeing. Dinner and the night are in Heidelberg.


Day 9  Heidelberg / Augsburg / Oberammergau

Departing Heidelberg we travel to Augsburg where the disputations between Luther and the Papal legate took place and the Protestant confession of faith was proclaimed for the first time. We see Town Hall, Fuggers' Town Mansion and the Cathedral during a guided tour. We then continue our journey to Oberammergau and the highlight of our trip, the Passion Play. There is free time for lunch on our way. We have dinner and spend the night in Oberammergau.


Day 10  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we have all been waiting for! This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its fame to the internationally renowned Passion Play. Performed only once every ten years, involving 1,100 amateur actors from the local population, the play reenacts the final days of Christ. This is sure to be a day we will never forget. Dinner and the night in Oberammergau.


Day 11  Oberammergau / Munich

After an unforgettable day in Oberammergau we board our motor coach for travel to Munich, the cultural center and capital of Bavaria. Munich is also the largest center for industry and commerce in southern German and was host to the XX Olympic games in 1972. We tour Nymphenburg Castle, the one-time summer residence of Bavarian rulers that has been finished in the style of an Italian palace. There is a time for lunch on our own before an afternoon to explore at leisure under the guidance of our Tour Manager. Tonight there is a farewell dinner and final night in Munich.


Day 12  Munich / Hometown, USA

We transfer early to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P9 - EUROPE’S GREAT CITIES (12 days / 10 nights)

12 Day Tour of GERMANY, CZECH REPUBLIC, SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Berlin, Germany. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2  Berlin

We arrive in Berlin, so long a symbol of the world's division into two opposing camps. Today it is a modern metropolis with a lively economic and cultural life. En route to our hotel we enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour with our PATHFINDERS Tour Manager and view such sites as Brandenburg Gate, the State Opera House, and Berliner Dom. After checking into our hotel we have dinner and spend the night in Berlin.


Day 3  Berlin

Today we take a half-day sightseeing tour that includes Reichstag, a massive neo-Renaissance style palace that houses the new Parliament of the reunified Germany. Our morning tour includes a 45-minute Spree River Cruise before we have lunch on our own. The afternoon is at leisure to explore more of Berlin with the guidance of our Tour Manager. Dinner and the night are in Berlin.


Day 4  Berlin / Dresden / Prague

Departing Berlin we travel via Dresden to Prague. Upon arrival in Dresden we take a city tour that includes either Semper Opera or Zwinger. There is free time for lunch on our own before boarding the motor coach and continuing to Prague for dinner and overnight.


Day 5  Prague

This morning we visit Prague Castle with St. Vitus Cathedral, one of the universally recognized symbols of this magnificent city, a spiritual center of art and an architectural monument of Gothic splendor. Prague Castle represents thousands of years of the history of the Czech nation with the Old Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. George and various chapels, statues and many other historical monuments. The Castle is said to be one of the largest in the world. Prague is especially beautiful due to its dramatic setting on the River Vitava. We walk across the famous Charles Bridge, lined with beautiful statues, to historic Old Town Square where people love to gather to view impressive sights, such as Tyn Church, the Astronomical Clock and St. Nicholas Church. The afternoon is at leisure and dinner and the night are in Prague.


Day 6  Prague / Munich

Boarding our motor coach we transfer to Munich. On the way we stop for lunch on our own. After arrival we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.


Day 7  Munich / Fussen / Oberammergau

Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Munich, a cultural center and the capital of Bavaria. Munich is also the largest center for industry and commerce in southern Germany and was host to the XX Olympic games in 1972. We tour Nymphenburg Castle, the one-time summer residence of Bavarian rulers that has been finished in the style of an Italian palace. There is time for lunch on our own before we transfer to Oberammergau for the highlight of our trip, the Passion Play. We drive through the lovely Bavarian forest near Fussen and stop to visit the Cinderella-style Neuschwanstein Castle of King Ludwig. Dinner and overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 8  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we have all been waiting for! This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its fame to the internationally renowned Passion Play. Performed only once every ten years, involving 1,100 amateur actors from the local population, the play reenacts the final days of Christ. This is sure to be a day we will never forget. We have dinner and spend the night in Oberammergau.


Day 9  Oberammergau / Lucerne

After an unforgettable day in Oberammergau we travel to Lucerne. There is a stop en route for lunch on our own. Considered by many to be among the most charming places in Europe, Lucerne is surrounded by snowcapped Alps and situated on a beautiful glacial lake. We have a brief afternoon walking tour upon arrival. Dinner and overnight are in Lucerne.


Day 10  Lucerne / Paris

Departing Lucerne we travel to Paris, the largest city in Europe and more than 2,000-years-old.  We stop for lunch on our own before arriving in Paris for dinner and the night.


Day 11  Paris

Today we take a sightseeing tour of Paris, which includes Notre-Dame Cathedral. For 2,000 years prayers have been offered at this spot. A Gallo-Roman temple, Christian basilica and Romanesque church preceded the present sanctuary, which was founded by Bishop Maurice of Sully. We have time for lunch on our own before an afternoon of leisure. Your Tour Manager will be available to guide you. Tonight we have a farewell dinner and final night in Paris.


Day 12  Paris / Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P10 - MUSICAL CAPITALS OF EUROPE (13 days / 11 nights)

13 Day Tour of HUNGARY, AUSTRIA, GERMANY AND CZECH REPUBLIC

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Budapest, Hungary. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2  Budapest

After arrival in Budapest we are met by our friendly PATHFINDERS Tour Manager who helps us board the motor coach for transfer to our hotel. En route we enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour with our Tour Manager. We have dinner and spend the night in Budapest.


Day 3  Budapest

The cities of Buda and Pest lie on opposite sides of the Danube River, combining to comprise the capital of Hungary. We have a sightseeing tour that includes Fisherman's Bastion, one of the Castle District’s most popular spots with a grand, panoramic view of almost the entire city. Its name is derived from the medieval ramparts that rose above the suburb Fisherman's Town and a fish market that once stood behind the ramparts. We tour Matyas Templom, used over the centuries as a coronation church for the Hungarian kings. The slender, graceful architecture of this beautiful church dominates the main square. We stay the night in Budapest.


Day 4  Budapest / Eisenstadt / Vienna

This morning we travel to Eisenstadt on the south slope of Leithagebirge with a forest that makes you think of a huge park. The great Central European Plain begins at this point. We visit the Chateau of the Esterhazy Princes. Prince Paul Esterhazy commissioned the Italian architect Carlone to build the round court of honor. The Haydnsall (Haydn Room) was the great hall of state in the time of the princes (decorated in the 18th century) where nearly every evening Joseph Haydn conducted the orchestra of the princely court, often performing his own works. We continue to Vienna for dinner and overnight.


Day 5  Vienna

Today we take a tour of Vienna including Schonbrunn Palace, built by Emperor Leopold I for his son Josef I. Marie-Antoinette spent her childhood here. In its concert room the six-year-old Mozart astonished the empress and her courtiers with his amazing talents. The prodigy directed his opera “Der Schauspieldirecktor” in the Castle's Little Theater in 1786. Napoleon I, in 1805 and 1809, established his headquarters in Schonbrunn. We have time for lunch on our own and spend the afternoon at leisure. Our Tour Manager is available with tips on what to see. We have dinner and stay overnight in Vienna.


Day 6  Vienna

Our second day in Vienna starts with a half-day sightseeing tour. We visit Mozart's House (Figaro's House) and the House of Music. Mozart lived in Figaro's House from 1784 to 1737, composing “The Marriage of Figaro.” We have time for lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure with guidance by our Tour Manager. We have dinner and stay in Vienna overnight.


Day 7  Vienna / Salzburg

This morning we travel to the beautiful city of Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on January 27, 1756. By age 14 (1770) Mozart already had accomplishments and volumes of music that more than one composer might envy. We tour Mozart's birthplace and then have dinner and stay the night in Salzburg.


Day 8  Salzburg / Oberammergau

Our morning is at leisure before we depart Salzburg for Oberammergau. There is free time for lunch on our way. We arrive in Oberammergau for the highlight of our trip, the Passion Play. We have dinner and stay the night in Oberammergau.


Day 9  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we have all been waiting for! This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its fame to the internationally renowned Passion Play. Performed only once every ten years, involving 1,100 amateur actors from the local population, the play reenacts the final days of Christ. This is sure to be a day we will never forget. We have dinner and spend the night in Oberammergau.


Day 10  Oberammergau / Munich

After an unforgettable day in Oberammergau we board our motor coach for travel to Munich, the cultural center and capital of Bavaria. Munich is also the largest center for industry and commerce in southern Germany and was host to the XX Olympic games in 1972. We tour Nymphenburg Castle, the one-time summer residence of Bavarian rulers that is finished in the style of an Italian palace. There is a time for lunch on our own before an afternoon to explore at leisure under the guidance of our Tour Manager. We have dinner and stay the night in Munich.


Day 11  Munich / Regensburg / Prague

Boarding our coach, we travel to Regensburg, a city with settlements dating back to the Stone Ages. We enjoy a panoramic tour upon arrival. There is time for us to have lunch on our own before we continue to Prague, where we have dinner and stay the night.


Day 12  Prague

This morning we visit Prague Castle with St. Vitus Cathedral, one of the universally recognized symbols of this magnificent city, a spiritual center of art and an architectural monument of Gothic splendor. Prague Castle represents thousands of years of the history of the Czech nation with the Old Royal Palace, Basilica of St. George and various chapels, statues and many other historical monuments. Prague is especially beautiful due to its dramatic setting on the River Vitava. We have lunch on our own and an afternoon to experience Prague. Take a walk across the famous Charles Bridge, lined with beautiful statues, to historic Old Town Square, where people love to gather to view impressive sights such as Tyn Church, the Astronomical Clock and St. Nicholas Church. Tonight we gather for a farewell dinner and final night in Prague.


Day 13  Prague / Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Prague Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives

P11 - COMMEMORATING JOHN KNOX AND JOHN CALVIN (13 days / 11 nights)

13 Day Tour of SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, BELGIUM, FRANCE, SWITZERLAND AND·GERMANY

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Glasgow, Scotland. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2  Glasgow / Edinburgh

We arrive in Glasgow and are met by our PATHFINDERS Tour Manager for a sightseeing tour. We visit the Glasgow Photo Library, home to the “Burrell Collection.” The display includes Chinese ceramics and pottery, tapestries, Chinese jade, Persian and Indian rugs, Egyptian statuettes and Greek and Italian pottery. We have time to explore on our own before we travel to Edinburgh the capital of Scotland. It’s a beautiful city, open and green, set on a series of volcanic hilltops. Dinner and overnight in Edinburgh.


Day 3  Edinburgh

Today we take a guided city tour of Edinburgh, visiting Edinburgh Castle and St. Giles Cathedral. The Castle sits high above the city and can be seen from most anywhere. St Giles Cathedral stands in Parliament Square and is part of the Royal Mile. It’s especially linked to John Knox, its minister from 1559 to 1572, who launched the Scottish Reformation. Referred to as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, St Giles has been spiritually watching over Edinburgh for more than 900 years. There is time for lunch on our own before an afternoon excursion to St. Andrews that will include a visit to St. Andrew's Parish Church. We return to Edinburgh for dinner and the night.


Day 4  Edinburgh / Abbotsford / York

This morning we travel to York, stopping in Abbotsford, a fantasy in stone. Abbotsford is a community typical of Sir Walter Scott, who did so much to romanticize and popularize all things Scottish. We continue our trip to York with a stop for lunch on our own. We visit York Minster, the largest Gothic church north of the Alps. No one knows when Christianity first arrived in York but by 306, when Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor, it’s believed there was a small Christian community among those who declared him. York Minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York. It’s the largest medieval cathedral in Northern Europe and displays some of the best examples of medieval craftsmanship in the world. Dinner and overnight are in York.


Day 5  York / Cambridge / London

Today we travel to London, stopping in the university town of Cambridge with its collage of images. View the Bridge of Sighs, spires and turrets, willows, dusty second-hand bookshops, the lilt of Elizabethan madrigals, lanes where Darwin, Newton, and Cromwell walked, the grassy ''Backs” of the colleges and the tattered robes of hurried upperclassmen flying in the wind. There is time for lunch on our own before we travel to London for dinner and the night.


Day 6  London

Today we tour London and visit some of the most well known sights in England including Westminster Abbey, where the Kings and Queens of England have been crowned since 1066. We will view the famous House of Parliament, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, and the Tower of London. There is time for lunch on our own and the afternoon is at leisure to explore London under the direction of our Tour Manager. Dinner and overnight are in London.


Day 7  London / Brussels / Strasbourg

Our tour continues as we board the Eurostar train for Brussels, the capital of Belgium. There is time for lunch on our own during the train ride. Upon arrival, we travel by coach to Strasbourg for the night.


Day 8  Strasbourg / Geneva

We begin the day with a guided tour of Strasbourg including a visit to Strasbourg Notre-Dame Cathedral, St. Thomas Church and Reformer's Statue. At the heart of the historical center the superb Cathedral of Notre Dame is a “pinky-red angel hovering over the city” in the words of the French poet and playwright Paul Claudel. It is surely one of the finest of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe. Located in the old part of the city, St. Thomas Church is now a Protestant church. One of the treasures of the church is the organ, which was played by Mozart in 1778. We travel to Geneva, Switzerland for dinner and the night.


Day 9  Geneva

Geneva is unquestionably one of the most privileged Swiss cities due to its exceptional location. We are sure to be charmed by opulent mansions, the harbor and its fountain and the shimmering shores of the lake. We take a guided tour that includes St. Pierre (St. Peter's) Cathedral, Calvin's Academy and the Reformation Monument. St. Peter’s Cathedral is best known as the church where John Calvin gave his inspired sermons during the mid-16th century. One of the most important institutions of Geneva, the Academy founded by Calvin in 1541, strengthened the Reformed religion at home and extended it abroad. Reformation Monument is found under the Promenade de la Treille. There is time for lunch on your own and an afternoon at leisure to explore Geneva before dinner and overnight.


Day 10  Geneva / Montreux / Lucerne

After leaving Geneva we travel to Montreux and tour Chillon Castle.  The Castle (Chateau de Chillon) is located on the shore of Lake Geneva and consists of 25 independent buildings that have been connected and now form a single building. It was made famous by Lord Byron’s poem “The Prisoner of Chillon,” which told the story of Francois de Bonivard, a monk and politician who was imprisoned there from 1530 to 1536. We continue to Lucerne with time for lunch on our own. We have some time at leisure upon arrival, followed by dinner and overnight in Lucerne.


Day 11  Lucern / Zurich / Oberammergau

We depart Lucerne for Oberammergau, the highlight of our trip, traveling via Zurich and a city tour that includes entrance to Grossmunster, Fraurnunster and Helferei, where Reformer Uldrich Zwingli lived. Zurich is home to many historic buildings including Grossmunster, a cathedral once Catholic and now Protestant, dating to the 11th century.  We go to Oberammergau for dinner and the night


Day 12  Oberammergau / PASSION PLAY

Today is the day we have all been waiting for! This small town of peasants and craftsmen, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau, owes its fame to the internationally renowned Passion Play. Performed only once every ten years, involving 1,100 amateur actors from the local population, the play reenacts the final days of Christ. This is sure to be a day we will never forget. We have dinner and spend the night in Oberammergau.


Day 13  Oberammergau / Munich / Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P12 - EUROPEAN AND HOLY LAND HIGHLIGHTS (14 days / 12 nights)

14 Day Tour of ISRAEL, AUSTRIA AND GERMANY

Day 1  Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Tel Aviv, Isreal. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2  Tel Aviv/Jerusalem

We arrive in Tel Aviv and are met by representative of Pathfinders who take us to the hotel in Jerusalem for our first night in the Holy Land.


Day 3  Jerusalem/Bethlehem/Jerusalem

Today we drive up the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city of Jerusalem, the same view that Jesus saw when he looked out over the city so long ago.  We continue down the Palm Sunday walk to the Church of Dominus Flevit.  Then on to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees and the Church of all Nations.  We cross the Kidron Valley to go to the Mount of Olives to visit King David's tomb and the Upper Room.  In the afternoon, on our drive to West Jerusalem, we pass by the Israeli Parliament, called the Knesset, on our way to the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls.  There we also survey the newly relocated open-air model of Jerusalem, representing the city on the eve of the first revolt, 36 years after the Passion of Jesus, before driving to Bethlehem.  Here we visit Shepherds' Fields and the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where Jesus was born.  We have time for olivewood shopping before returning to Jerusalem for the night.


Day 4   Jerusalem/Jericho/Massada/Dead Sea/Qumran/Bethany/Jerusalem

This morning we proceed north along the Jordan Valley to visit the 10,000-year-old city of Jericho and Elisha's Springs.  We then drive through the Judean Desert to the lowest point on the face of the earth, the Dead Sea.  Here we ride a cable car to the summit of Massada, Herod's luxurious winter palace and the site of the Zealots' heroic last stand against the Romans.  We dip in the Dead Sea before continuing to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.  Lastly we visit the Tomb of Lazarus and the House of Mary and Martha in Bethany.  Overnight in Jerusalem.


Day 5  Jerusalem

This morning begins one of the high points of our trip as we take a walking tour in the Old City of Jerusalem.  As we enter, we visit the Western (Wailing) Wall and see the original stairs where Jesus once preached.  We continue up the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock and the Mosque of El Aqsa.  Proceeding through St. Stephen's Gate, we visit the Pools of Betheseda and St. Anne's Church.  We also stand on stones where Jesus stood at Pilate's Judgment Hall under the Ecce Homo Arch.  We then walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  After lunch and a candlelight visit inside an authentic rolling stone tomb from the time of Jesus ("Tomb of the Kings"), we conclude our day with a communion service at the Garden Tomb to commemorate our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection. Overnight in Jerusalem.


Day 6   Jerusalem/Bet Shean/Jordan River/Tiberias

Our next stop is Bet Shean, to view the magnificent remains of the ancient Roman City.  We conclude our day at the baptismal site of the Jordan River, before going to our hotel in Tiberias.

Day 7   Tiberias/Nazareth/Tiberias

Following in the footsteps of Jesus, we board a boat for the "other side" of the Sea of Galilee.  Crossing the Jordan River near the site of Bethsaida, we arrive in Capernaum, the city of Jesus.  We stop at the House of Peter and the synagogue where Jesus taught.  We read the Sermon on the Mount at the Mount of Beatitudes and go to the Tabgha where Jesus performed His miracle of the feeding of the 5,000.  This afternoon we drive to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, to see Mary's Well, the Church of Annunciation and St. Joseph.  We then return to Tiberias for the night.


Day 8   Tiberias/Tel Aviv/Munich

This morning we drive to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.  Here we conclude our visit to the Holy Land and board our flight to the Bavarian capital, Munich, Germany for the night.


Day 9   Munich/Salzburg

This morning we visit the gorgeously decorated baroque Nyphemburg Palace, the Fraunkirche, and Old Peter, Munich's oldest parish church founded in 1169.  We conclude our visit at the historic Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz.  Lunch is on your own, and then we continue to Salzburg for overnight.


Day 10   Salzburg/Oberammergau

This morning we have a guided sightseeing tour of Salzburg, including an inside visit to Mozart's birthplace.  Time permitting, we see the Cathedral, Mirabell Palace and Gardens, and of course, all the places associated with the "Sound of Music".  We will continue to nearby Berchtesgaden, located in, what is for many one of the most stunningly beautiful corners of Europe.  Nearby is the village of Au, with the Salzburgwerk (salt mines) and where the citizens dress in delightful old-time costumes.  We then drive to Oberammergau, a charming wood carving village for overnight.


Day 11   Oberammergau/PASSION PLAY

Today we attend the world-renowned Passion Play.  This spectacle has been performed almost every decade without interruption since 1634.  it is a perpetual sign of gratitude to God for the cessation of the Black Plague, which took so many lives but stopped just short of this village.  Overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 12   Oberammergau/Innsbruck

Our drive today takes us through beautiful and unforgettable scenery.  We stop first at the fabulous Bavarian Castle of King Ludwig, called Linderhof, where gilded splendor begins at the fountains and continues through every room.  We continue via picturesque Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Innsbruck, an 800-year-old city of great charm and vitality.  Here we see Maria Theresa's famous Golden Roof, the court palace and the church.  There is time for some shopping before returning to our hotel in Innsbruck for the night.


Day 13  Innsbruck/Fussen/Munich

After breakfast we drive through beautiful scenery to lovely Fussen to visit the Royal Castle of Neuschwanstein with its rich treasures of priceless murals and art.  Then on to Munich, where we spend our last night in Bavaria.


Day 14  Munich/Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P13 - HOLY LAND AND EUROPE (14 days / 12 nights)

14 Day Tour of ISRAEL, AUSTRIA AND GERMANY

Day 1   Departure from the USA

We start our journey as we board our plane to Tel Aviv, Israel. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2   Tel Aviv/Jerusalem

We arrive in Tel Aviv and are met by representatives of Pathfinders who take us to the hotel in Jerusalem for our first night in the Holy Land.


Day 3   Jerusalem/Bethlehem/Jerusalem

Today we drive up the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city of Jerusalem, the same view that Jesus saw when he looked out over the city so long ago.  We continue down the Palm Sunday walk to the Church of Dominus Flevit.  Then on to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees and the Church of all Nations.  We cross the Kidron Valley to go to the Mount of Olives to visit King David's tomb and the Upper Room.  In the afternoon, on our drive to West Jerusalem, we pass by the Israeli Parliament, called the Knesset, on our way to the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls.  There we also survey the newly relocated open-air model of Jerusalem, representing the city on the eve of the first revolt, 36 years after the Passion of Jesus, before driving to Bethlehem.  Here we visit Shepherds' Fields and the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where Jesus was born.  We have time for olivewood shopping before returning to Jerusalem for the night.


Day 4   Jerusalem/Jericho/Massada/Dead Sea/Qumran/Bethany/Jerusalem

This morning we proceed north along the Jordan Valley to visit the 10,000-year-old city of Jericho and Elisha's Springs.  We then drive through the Judean Desert to the lowest point on the face of the earth, the Dead Sea.  Here we ride a cable car to the summit of Massada, Herod's luxurious winter palace and the site of the Zealots' heroic last stand against the Romans.  We dip in the Dead Sea before continuing to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.  Lastly we visit the Tomb of Lazarus and the House of Mary and Martha in Bethany.  Overnight in Jerusalem.


Day 5   Jerusalem

This morning begins one of the high points of our trip as we take a walking tour in the Old City of Jerusalem.  As we enter, we visit the Western (Wailing) Wall and see the original stairs where Jesus once preached.  We continue up the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock and the Mosque of El Aqsa.  Proceeding through St. Stephen's Gate, we visit the Pools of Betheseda and St. Anne's Church.  We also stand on stones where Jesus stood at Pilate's Judgment Hall under the Ecce Homo Arch.  We then walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  After lunch and a candlelight visit inside an authentic rolling stone tomb from the time of Jesus ("Tomb of the Kings"), we conclude our day with a communion service at the Garden Tomb to commemorate our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection. Overnight in Jerusalem.


Day 6   Jerusalem/Bet Shean/Jordan River/Tiberias

Our next stop is Bet Shean, to view the magnificent remains of the ancient Roman City.  We conclude our day at the baptismal site of the Jordan River, before going to our hotel in Tiberias.


Day 7   Tiberias/Nazareth/Tiberias

Following in the footsteps of Jesus, we board a boat for the "other side" of the Sea of Galilee.  Crossing the Jordan River near the site of Bethsaida, we arrive in Capernaum, the city of Jesus.  We stop at the House of Peter and the synagogue where Jesus taught.  We read the Sermon on the Mount at the Mount of Beatitudes and go to the Tabgha where Jesus performed His miracle of the feeding of the 5,000.  This afternoon we drive to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, to see Mary's Well, the Church of Annunciation and St. Joseph.  We then return to Tiberias for the night.


Day 8   Tiberias/Tel Aviv/Vienna

This morning we drive to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.  Here we conclude our visit to the Holy Land and board our flight to Vienna.  We transfer to our hotel and have some free time on our own.  Dinner and overnight are in Vienna.


Day 9   Vienna

This morning we have a guided sightseeing tour of Vienna that includes entrance to the Schonbrunn Palace and St. Stephen's Cathedral.  The Schonbrunn Palace was built by Emperor Leopold I for his son, Josef 1.  Marie-Antoinette spent her childhood here.  It was in the concert room that Mozart, at the age of 6, astonished the empress and her courtiers with his amazing talents.  Later, in the castle's little theater, the prodigy directed his opera Der Schauspieldirecktor in 1786.  In 1805 and 1809, Napoleon I set up his headquarters in Schonbrunn.  We have time for lunch on our own and spend the afternoon at leisure on our own.  our tour manager is available with tips on what to see.  Visit the Hofburg or take a look at the Opera House or just sit in a typical Viennese Coffee House for coffee and cake.  We have dinner and stay overnight in Vienna.


Day 10  Vienna/Salzburg

Today we depart for Salzburg.  Upon arrival we have a guided city tour, including entrance to Mozart's Birthplace.  Time permitting, we will see the Cathedral, Mirabell Palace and Garden, and of course, all the places associated with the "Sound of Music".  Dinner and overnight are in Salzburg.


Day 11  Salzburg/Berchtesgaden/Oberammergau

We continue to nearby Berchtesgaden, located in what is for many, one of the most stunningly beautiful corners of Europe.  Nearby is the village of Au, with the Salzburgewerk (salt mines) and where the citizens dress in delightful old-time costumes.  We then drive to Oberammergau, a charming wood carving village, for the night.


Day 12   Oberammergau/PASSION PLAY

Today we attend the world-renowned Passion Play.  This spectacle has been performed almost every decade without interruption since 1634.  It is a perpetual sign of gratitude to God for the cessation of the Black Plague, which took so many lives but stopped just short of this village. Overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 13   Oberammergau/Munich

Today we travel to Munich.  Upon arrival we visit the gorgeously decorated baroque Nymphenburg Palace, the Frauenkirche, and Old Peter, Munich's oldest parish church founded in 1169.  We conclude our visit at the historic Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz.  Overnight in Munich.


Day 14  Munich/Hometown, USA

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P14 - FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PAUL featuring PASSION PLAY (12 days / 10 nights)

12 Day Tour of AUSTRIA, GERMANY, GREECE and ITALY

Day 1   Departure from the USA

Today we embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures and Christian history with an overnight flight to Greece. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight. Tomorrow you will be walking where the apostles walked! Meals and drinks served in flight.


Day 2   Thessaloniki


Day 3   Thessaloniki / Philippi / Kavala

We begin the day by following the massive Byzantine battlement wall to the citadel for a panoramic view of the city. Next, we will visit Philippi and Kavala. Kavala is Greece’s prettiest mainland port with a most elegant harbor. Paul landed here with his disciples Timothy and Silas. Luke, the Evangelist, also came here from Troas. In ancient times, it was known as Neapolis, later renamed Christoupolis because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. Imagine walking on the same sod as these men of the Bible! We will see the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of the Acropolis in this beautifully located city. We continue on to Philippi where Paul preached his first evangelical sermon and baptized the first Christians on European soil. We will view the baptismal site where Lydia surrendered her life to Christ and visit a crypt dating from the Roman period that is thought to have served as a prison for Paul. See the famous Acropolis, the Market Place, Basilica, and the Theater. We return to Thessaloniki and visit St. Demetrius Basilica, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convert. Overnight in Thessaloniki.


Day 4   Thessaloniki / Berea / Athens

Before we leave Thessaloniki, we drive through town to see remnants of the original Roman road that spanned the nation during Paul’s time. We view the old city ramparts, the newly excavated Forum, St. George Church (an ancient Roman monument transformed into a church) and the Galerius Arch rising over the famous Via Egnatia. We continue to Berea to view the ancient synagogue where Paul spoke and the Bema surrounded by mosaics of Paul and the plaque of scripture regarding the “more noble” church. Overnight in Athens.


Day 5   Athens / Corinth / Patra

This morning we get on our bus for the tour of Athens, the foundation of democracy.  We visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon and Erectheum before viewing Athens atop Mars Hill where Paul stood and preached the truth to the Gentile nation. Additional sites include the Agora (ancient market place and center of Athenian public life), the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Olympic Stadium and Presidential Palace. We immediately travel west with a rest stop and photos at the Corinth Canal. We then travel to the ancient city of Corinth, another treat for the New Testament scholar. Corinth is the city that inspired many of Paul’s most familiar letters. See the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema, and the Temples. To enjoy a devotional in the midst of the ruins of the Church of Corinth and see the pillars, steps and public worship place where Paul preached will enhance your understanding and love of I & II Corinthians. The ruins of this important cultural center are fascinating as we follow along the stone path that the Apostle Paul walked. The engineering skill and intellect of these people are evident in the water systems that still flow from ancient to modern day. Our guide will be sure to show you the room dedicated to the medical care of that period. Then we drive to Patra for our ferry to Venice. Overnight in Patra.


Day 6   Ferry from Patra to Venice


Day 7   Venice / Oberammergau

We arrive in Venice and embark our bus that will drop us off at Tronchetto where we board our private hydrobus (Vaporetto ) towards the Piazzo San Marco at the heart of this breathtaking floating city. You will enjoy an orientation tour viewing the Piazzo, Bridge of Sights, Doge’s Palace and the Byzantine Basilica. Then we drive to Oberammergau for dinner and overnight.


Day 8   PASSION PLAY OBERAMMERGAU

The afternoon and evening are dedicated to the world-famous PASSION PLAY, held every 10 years. This small town of peasants and craftsmen owes its international fame to the PLAY, when most of the village’s 5,200 residents join in staging and performing a reenactment of the final days of Christ.  Overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 9   Oberammergau / Bologna

Long drive this morning after breakfast as we need to cross Austria to reach our final destination of Bologna. Passing through Innsbruck you will have free time to explore the city on your own and view famous landmarks such as Golden Roof, Wilten Basilica and Hofburg Palace. Then we continue to Bologna, stopping in Verona for lunch. Dinner and overnight in Bologna.


Day 10   Bologna / Florence / Rome

Morning drive from Bologna to tour Florence through the times of the Renaissance! We begin the day with a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia. This gallery houses paintings by Florentine artists spanning 13th to 16th centuries, but its main draw is Michelangelo’s David, carved from a single block of marble when the artist was only 29. After our visit, we see the Duomo with its pink, white and green marble façade and the famous Brunelleschis Dome. We will have some time to stop at the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), the famous 14th-century bridge lined with gold and silversmiths. We drive to Rome for overnight.


 Day 11   Rome

Your Biblical tour of Rome begins today by visiting the Vatican Museum, home to many historical and artistic masterpieces. Enter the Sistine Chapel and admire Michelangelo’s frescoes wrapping the walls around you. Conclude your tour with a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica where you find “Pieta,” the only work of Michelangelo actually signed by him. Afternoon visit Collosseo, Forum, Mamertina Prison and continue to Pantheon, Navonna and Trevi Fountain. Overnight in Rome.


Day 12   Rome

We transfer to the Rome airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.

P15 - PENTECOSTAL HERITAGE featuring PASSION PLAY (12 days / 10 nights)

12 Day Tour of England and Germany

Day 1   Departure from the USA

We begin our journey as we board a plane for our flight over the Atlantic to London, England. Arriving in London we are met by our PATHFINDERS Manager who assists with our baggage and the transfer to our hotel. We enjoy an orientation tour en route. Overnight in London. Meals and beverages served in flight.


Day 2   London / Oxford

The day includes travel to London starting in Oxford, the “City of Dreaming Spires.” Oxford’s origins go back 1,000 years with its streets being dominated by the stone walls of its colleges. Oxford is a brilliant and vibrant multi-cultural city full of history and heritage. It is home to world-renowned museums, charming shops and cafes, beautiful gardens and meadows and much more. Our tour includes Christ Church where we see the Great Hall, which was the location used as a double for Hogwarts School in the “Harry Potter” movies. Christ Church is Oxford’s largest college, re-founded in 1546 by Henry VIII. We visit Christ Church Cathedral, the smallest cathedral in England. Overnight in London.


Day 3   London

This morning we take a half-day guided tour of London including the entrances to Wesley's Chapel and House. The Chapel was built under the direction of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, and opened on November 1, 1778. It is the first Methodist Church built specifically for the celebration of Holy Communion, as well as for preaching services. Our next stop is Westminster Abbey where the Kings and Queens of England have been crowned since 1066. We have lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure. Overnight in London.


DAY 4   Berlin

We fly to Berlin. Sightseeing in the once-divided metropolis includes the elegant Ku’damm, the restored ReichstagCharlottenburg Castle, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and the 21-foot Victory Column in the vast Tiergarten Park. Visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church with its bomb-damaged spire, drive along Unter den Linden Boulevard, and pass the State Opera House and Checkpoint Charlie. In the afternoon, continue to Wittenberg, Martin Luther’s hometown for more than 30 years and birthplace of the Reformation.  Overnight in Berlin.


Day 5   Wittenberg / Leipzig

This morning we will enjoy a guided walking tour and visit the Luther House, where Martin Luther and his family lived. Also visit St. Mary's Church, a twin-towered Gothic church where Luther preached reform, got married and baptized his six children. Finally, see the door of Castle Church, where Luther posted his “95 Theses,” launching the Reformation in 1517. Continue to Leipzig for a walking tour and a visit to the Thomaskirche, where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as a cantor. Also, see the market square that today is a site for celebrations and festivals, but once was the scene of executions and political demons. Overnight in Leipzig.


Day 6   Eisleben / Erfurt

Today we will depart for Erfurt, stopping in Eisleben where Luther’s life began and ended. Visit his Birth House and Death House Museums, as well as St. Peter and Paul Church, where Luther was baptized, and St. Andrew's Church, where Luther preached his last sermon in 1546. Later, we drive to Erfurt, whose 36 churches, 15 monasteries and other ecclesiastical buildings have earned it the nickname “Thuringian Rome.” The beautiful Old Town preserves the atmosphere Luther must have experienced during his student days. A highlight is an inspirational visit to the Augustinian Monastery where Luther lived as a monk and the unique Merchant's Bridge, lined with half-timbered homes on both sides. Overnight in Erfurt.


Day 7   Coburg / Wiesbaden

Today we will continue south to Coburg and visit fascinating Coburg Fortress where Luther lived and was protected during the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530. As an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire, he could not attend the Imperial Diet of Augsburg but instead spent his time continuing his work translating the Bible and writing on Reformation issues. Overnight in Wiesbaden.


Day 8   Rhine Valley / Worms / Mainz

Enjoy a scenic Rhine Cruise past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards and half-timbered towns. In Worms, where the Imperial Council passed judgment on Luther in 1521, we visit the Cathedral where Luther presented his case, as well as Trinity Church and the Reformation Monument. Continue to Mainz to visit the Gutenberg Museum, which houses original copies of the Bible.  Overnight in Mainz.


Day 9   Rothenburg / Nuremberg

Journey to the medieval walled town of Rothenburg where your walking tour takes you to St. Jacob's Church with its masterpiece “Altar of the Holy Blood.” Afterwards, there is time to shop for the town’s famed Christmas ornaments. Then, we’re on to Nuremberg, first to accept the Reformation in 1525. Your walking tour features the Gothic St. Lorenz Lutheran Church where you can pause for quiet meditation.  Overnight in Nuremburg.


Day 10   Oberammergau

Drive to picturesque Oberammergau, nestled in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, encircled by the wooded foothills of the Ammergau.  Spend the day enjoying the quaint shops, scenery and excellent cafes. Overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 11   PASSION PLAY OBERAMMERGAU

The afternoon and evening are dedicated to the world-famous PASSION PLAY, held every 10 years. This small town of peasants and craftsmen owes its international fame to the PLAY, when most of the village’s 5,200 residents join in staging and performing a reenactment of the final days of Christ.  Overnight in Oberammergau.


Day 12  Munich

We transfer to the Munich Airport for our flight home, taking with us wonderful and inspiring memories of our pilgrimage, which will be treasured and relived for the rest of our lives.