CHRISTMAS MARKETS AND WINTER WONDERLAND - Boutique Journeys for Solo Travellers

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Fully escorted small group tour with a maximum of 14 passengers

Come along with us on a magical journey through Switzerland, Austria, Germany plus Prague, showcasing picture perfect scenery which will make you feel like you are in a fairytale.  Experience Christmas Markets with festive lights and decorations, unique and handmade gifts, crafts, activities and local holiday treats to celebrate the season. Enjoy an enchanting 7 day river cruise beginning in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna and cruising through the wintery landscape of the picturesque Wachau Valley, finishing in northern Bavaria.  Enjoy a scenic train journey on the panoramic Golden Pass train through the powdery white snowy mountains of the Swiss Alps and so much more.  This is truly a trip of a lifetime and something everyone should do at least once in their lives.  Our tours are exclusively designed for solo travellers so come and share the joy of travel with people just like you.

Twin $18,995 per person                                                                 

Single $24,549

Costs include an open-air balcony cabin on the river cruise

Please enquire for Business Class upgrade costs

 

TOUR HOST:  Tracey Burfield-Mills

Tracey has been creating holidays for clients for over 30 years and is now specialising in tours for solo travellers.  She is the owner/operator of World Travellers Remuera and puts together all the itneraries for our tours based on years of travelling experience.  She is a full member of the New Zealand Intitute of Travel and Tourism (MNZITT).   "Solo travellers have been sadly neglected in the past, says Tracey.    We are the first (and currently only) company in New Zealand that offers tours exclusively for solo travellers.  The difference for a solo traveller travelling on one of our tours is huge.  Being part of a small group of solo travellers provides a wonderful intimate experience where it is like travelling with a group of friends.  Everyone is in the same situation which provides a relaxing and comfortable environment.  I also love the fact we all get together prior to departure.  Getting to know each other prior to the tour eases any anxiety about who will be on the tour etc so that by the time we all meet at the airport we are all familiar with each other and can look forward to doing and seeing some amazing things and having fun.  I absolutely love escorting every tour I take away. We see and do great things, stay in lovely hotels, have great meals (and of course great wine) and have sooo much fun! I cannot wait for the next one".

 

Tour inclusions:

Return economy class airfares from Auckland with Emirates

All taxes and levies

6 night Avalon River Cruise on MS Passion - Panorama Suite with Open-Air Balcony

4-5 star hotels in Dubai, Montreux, Grindelwald, Lucerne, Hohenschwangau, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague

Sightseeing and transportation as specified

Breakfasts Daily

5 Lunches

8 Dinners

Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on the river cruise

Gratuities

Services of a Tour Host

 

Itinerary

Tuesday 27 November

After checking in at Auckland International Airport enjoy some relaxing time at the Strata Lounge.  Tonight we depart Auckland at 9.10 pm and fly to Dubai

 

Wednesday 28 November

Early this morning we arrive in Dubai and are transferred to our hotel.  Rest of the day at leisure.  One night Taj Dubai Hotel (Luxury Room), conveniently located in the Burj Khalifa precinct, five minutes from the famed Downtown area and Dubai Mall.

 

Thursday 29 November

Early this morning we are transferred to the airport for our 8.25 am flight to Geneva.  On arrival in Geneva at 12.25 pm we are transferred to our hotel in Montreux (approx. 1 hour from Geneva), located in the French speaking part of Switzerland on Lake Geneva and at the foot of the Swiss Alps.  Three nights Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (Deluxe Lakeview Rooms) located in the heart of Montreux.

 

Friday 30 November

This morning we travel up the delightful mountain Rochers-de-Naye, located in the Swiss Alps.  A 55 minute journey that ascends more than 1,600 metres  by charming cog railway travelling through fields, villages and forests.  A short walk is required to reach the summit but you will be rewarded with a stunning view out over Lake Geneva and the Vaud, Valais, Bern and even the French Alps.  This afternoon enjoy time looking around the Montreux Christmas Markets.

 

Saturday 1 December

This morning we visit Chateau de Chillon, a romantic castle located on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva in Montreux.  The water castle is the most visited historic building in Switzerland.  For nearly four centuries Chillon was the residence and profitable toll station of the Counts of Savoy. We then make our way to Vevey, one of the “Pearls of the Swiss Riviera” with its lakeside location and breathtaking views of the Alpine panorama. We then travel along the north shore of the lake to visit the picturesque Roman town of Lausanne, the capital of the Vaud county and home to the International Olympic Committee with its beautiful gothic cathedral, pedestrian old town, shopping streets and port Ouchy.  Finish the day with a winetasting at a Lavaux vineyard.

 

Sunday 2 December

This morning admire the breathtaking scenery of the Swiss Alps, travelling in first class on the panoramic Golden Pass train via Zweismmen and Interlaken to Grindelwald, a charming village located in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Alps.  Two nights at Kreutz and Post Hotel (Superior Southfacing Rooms), located in the centre of Grindelwald.  Afternoon free to enjoy the charming small town of Grindelwald.  Tonight, dinner is included at the hotel.

 

Monday 3 December

Today we travel by cogwheel train up to UNESCO listed Jungfraujoch –  a mountain  known as the “Top of Europe”.  The railway station is the highest in Europe, located 3,454 metres above sea level offering magestic views of ice, snow and rock. From the Sphinx Observatory, look out over Aletsch Glacier and past the snow-capped Alpine peaks toward France and Italy.  Tonight, dinner is included at the hotel.

 

Tuesday 4 December

This morning continue our train journey on the scenic Golden Pass train via Interlaken to Lucerne, a beautiful lakeside city in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.  Three nights Hotel Des Balance (Riverview Rooms), located in the heart of the old town and directly on the river Reuss. Afternoon  free to enjoy Lucerne.

 

Wednesday 5 December

This morning enjoy a 2 hour walking tour of Lucerne.  Walk across the famous Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) - built in the 14th century it’s Europe’s oldest covered wooden bridge and the oldest surviving truss bridge in the world.  On one side of the bridge you’ll see the Water Tower, a site that served as a dungeon during the Middle Ages.  Learn about Switzerland’s Jesuit and Protestant religious heritage at historical Jesuit Church, and then witness the pristine acoustics in the concert hall of the Culture and Congress Centre (known simply as the KKL).   Our route also includes a sight of the imposing Musegg Wall, that marks the remains of Lucerne’s medieval ramparts.  After the tour spend time looking around the Christmas Markets.  This afternoon enjoy a one hour cruise on Lake Lucerne on MS Saphir.

 

Thursday 6 December

Today we take a short taxi ride to to Kriens from where we take the panoramic gondolas to Mt Pilatus, enjoying 30 minutes of  jaw dropping views out of the panoramic windows, especially designed to give the feeling of flying. At the peak of Mount Pilatus (2132m) a mystical, white winter paradise awaits you.  Travel the same way back to Kriens and Lucerne.

 

Friday 7 December

Today we say farewell to Switzerland and begin our road journey to Germany and Austria.  Our first stop is Lindau in Southern Bavaria (Germany), located near the borders of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  It has a unique location in the middle of a clear lake surrounded by a luscious green environment and snow-covered mountains.  Enjoy a short guided tour of the old town showcasing historic buildings, lively squares, picturesque alleys and the Harbour Christmas Markets.  After lunch we continue our Bavarian journey to Hohenschwangau, home to the famous fairytale castle Neuschwanstein.  One night Villa Ludwig Suite Hotel (Junior Suite Parisfal), located right below Neuschwanstein castle. This fine boutique hotel will enchant you with its romantic and charming character and stunning view of the famous castle.

 

Saturday 8 December

Today we visit the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein.  The fairytale look of the castle inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom and was his model for the Sleeping Beauty Castle.  The castle was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the “Fairytale King”.  It remained  unfinished at the time of his death in 1886 and was opened to the public seven weeks later.  The bewitching nature of the castle has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  Enjoy a short tour of the apartments and state rooms of the king on the third and fourth floor.  This afternoon head to Salzburg, nestled in the eastern Alps on the banks of the Salzach river,  this historic city was ranked one of most inspiring cities to visit in the world and looks much like it did when Mozart lived there 250 years ago.  Three nights Sheraton Grand Salzburg (Classic Rooms), located next to the world-famous Mirabelle Gardens in the heart of Salzburg.

 

Sunday 9 December

Today we enjoy seeing film locations from “The Sound of Music” and places from Maria Von Trapp’s real life.  Passing Mirabell Castle our first stop will be Mirabell Gardens (where Maria and the children sang “Do-Re-Mi”).  From there we will drive to Residenz Square (“I have confidence in me”) and Felsenreitschule (“Edelweiss”) in the old city of Salzburg.   The next stop will be Leopoldskron Castle and Leopoldskron Lake (where the children fell into the water) and then further on to Hellbrunn Castle, (“I am 16 going on 17”).  We then leave Salzburg city heading for Salzkammergut/Lake District, driving through country villages along Lake Fuschi to St Gilgen (also famous for the Mozart family) with breathtaking views over Lake Wolfgang.  Enjoy wandering around the St Gilgen Christmas Markets.  Finally we take the Romantic Road toward Mondsee (village and lake) where in the Mondsee Basilica (wedding church) you can follow Maria and Baron von Trapp’s footsteps to the wedding altar.

 

Monday 10 December

Today is free to enjoy Salzburg at your own pace.  You may like to wander the Christmas Markets or take a horse drawn sleigh ride in the Aps (Optional extra),

 

Tuesday 11 December

This morning we leave Salzburg and head to Vienna.  On the way, stop at the extraordinary small village of  Hallstatt which is Austria’s oldest and possibly most photographed village and which has been described as “the most beautiful lake town in the world”.  After exploring this amazing town we continue our journey to Vienna,  located in the country’s east on the Danube River.  Two nights Grand Hotel Wien (Superior Room), centrally located close to the Vienna State Opera and famous Karntner Strasse, the most famous shopping street in Vienna.

 

Wednesday 12 December

This morning we visit Schönbrunn Palace.  A former Imperial summer residence, the 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country.  The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.   Enjoy a tour through the authentically furnished residential and representational rooms of the Imperial family in the Palace and through the maze and the labyrinth in the garden.  This afternoon at 2.00 pm enjoy a tour of the Imperial Palace and see the Sisi Museum and the residential apartments and state rooms used by Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth. 

 

Thursday 13 December

This morning enjoy a unique and informative walking tour of Vienna, offering a complete overview of Vienna`s historical Old Town, including: the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the impressive centre of power of the Habsburg family… and Heroes’ Square where Hitler made his infamous “Anschluss” speech to the Austrians in 1938.  Visit the hidden Minoriten Church with its remarkable mosaic copy of Leonardo da Vinci ́s “The Last Supper,” and of course St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the unchallenged gothic masterpiece in the very heart of the city. Our guide will offer a wide range of stories spanning from Vienna`s medieval, renaissance, WWII, and modern day Vienna.  We finish the tour at the Spanish Riding School, where we get to see the morning exercise of the horses.  This afternoon enjoy a tour of the Vienna State Opera House.  Take a glimpse behind the scenes of the world’s largest repertoire theatre and discover many things that remain hidden from the evening audience. On this approximately 40-minute tour, you will hear many interesting facts about the building’s history, its architecture and how an opera house is run. From the foyer, we take the grand staircase to the state rooms (Tea Salon, Marble Hall, Schwind Foyer, Gustav Mahler Hall) before we reach the auditorium (catching a look at the stage).  Later this afternoon, we board our cruise vessel – Avalons MS Passion (Panorama Suite with Open-Air Balcony), and meet our crew at an evening welcome reception.

 

Friday 14 December

This morning enjoy a special culinary tour at the Viennese Christmas markets where you can taste all the best flavours that Austria has to offer during Christmastime. The Christmas markets in Vienna truly are an age-old tradition. The forerunners of the present-day events date back to the Middle Ages when in 1298 Albrecht I granted Vienna's citizens the privilege of holding a December Market or "Krippenmarkt". Since then, the character and prevalence of these markets has changed considerably. Nowadays, over 20 official Advent Markets sell a vast array of seasonal gifts and mouth-watering treats.

 

Saturday 15 December

Melk – Grein, Austria

This morning sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk, where you’ll enjoy a guided visit to the magnificent 11th-century Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries.  Dominating the town and hosting an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts, you’ll be captivated by the splendour of the church with its frescoed ceilings. After this visit relax onboard your ship while sailing into Grein, a quaint little village, and after a walking tour, visit the oldest theatre of Austria.

 

Sunday 16 December

Passau, Germany

Passau, located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge,  is a maze of cobblestone streets, lined with beautiful patrician houses, and at this time of year, the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) is set up against the magnificent backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on a guided walk including the Christmas markets.

 

Monday 17 December

Regensburg

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. The only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights on our guided walk are the 13th-century Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants.   After the walking tour enjoy the Regensburg Christmas market, including the ones hosted by Thurn and Taxis Palace. The tempting aromas of mulled wine, sausage, roasted almonds, and gingerbread create a memorable atmosphere.  When back onboard enjoy a lecture about Christmas traditions and before dinner be introduced to some of Germany’s famous beers!

 

Tuesday 18 December

Nuremberg

Although 90% of its Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has  been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose from a guided sightseeing tour and marvel at the city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a Nuremberg  Rally Grounds tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights, and the Christmas market is one of the biggest in Germany, featuring 200 stalls selling traditional wares and foods. After your free time at the Christmas market, a shuttle bus service will be at your disposal to take you back to the ship.

 

Wednesday 19 December

After breakfast, say goodbye to your crew and travel by motorcoach to Prague, the “Golden City”,  a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time.  Two nights Intercontinental Praha, overlooking the Vltava River, in the heart of central Prague.

 

Thursday 20 December

Today see the Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; Hradcany Castle grounds; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the Christmas market’s brightly decorated wooden huts, which sell Christmas ornaments and decorations, handcrafted wooden toys, and other Czech crafts. Get a little inner warmth with a cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) and a traditional hot sausage. The beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the Old Town is an impressive sight.

 

Friday 21 December

This morning is free to relax before being transferred to the airport for our flight to Dubai.  Depart Prague at 3.15 pm.  Arrive Dubai at around midnight.  Overnight at the Dubai International Hotel located inside the terminal building.

 

Saturday 22 December

Depart Dubai this morning at 10.05 am for Auckland.

 

Sunday 23 December

Arrive Auckland at 11.10 am

 

 

All prices are in New Zealand dollars.  Prices are  based on payment by cash, eftpos, cheque or direct deposit only.  A surcharge of 2% applies for payment by Visa or Mastercard.  If you would prefer to share a room we will endeavour to match you up with someone of the same gender.  If we cannot, you would be required to pay the single price.  A non-refundable deposit of $3,500 per person is due at time of booking.  Balance due 13 September 2018.  Costs are based on a group of 12 passengers.  If the group falls below this number World Travellers Remuera reserves the right to cancel the tour in which case a full refund would be given.  This would be known at least 3 months prior to departure.  Once paid the full amount is non-refundable.

Please note:  A good level of fitness is required for this tour.

More Information?

For more information please phone Tracey on 09 520 5600 or 021 1398539.

Alternatively you can email remuera@worldtravellers.co.nz

Travel Dates

27 November 2018 - 23 December 2018

Priced From

$18,995

Sale Ends

31 December 2018

Free Space

BOOKINGS CLOSED

Room Sharing

GUARANTEED DEPARTURE

Map of Tour