May 19 – June 2, 2018 (15 days)
Join host Matthew White of Early Music Vancouver for a scenic river cruise from Prague to Berlin on the Moldau and Elbe Rivers featuring a Concert Program selected by impresario George Zukerman, OC, OBC
FEATURING PERFORMANCES BY:
- Guest Artists Alexander Weimann, Chloe Meyers and Nate Helgeson
- Collegium 1714, in Prague
- Harpsichordist Jean Rondeau in Dresden
- Ensemble Amarcord at Mendelssohn Haus and Thomasschule in Leipzig
- Musical Offering with the Sans Souci Ensemble in Potsdam
Places: Genthin - Hohenwarth - Litomerice - Bad Schandau - Meissen - Wittenberg - Potsdam - Leipzig - Magdeburg - Berlin - Dresden
Departure for Europe.
We transfer to the hotel. After check in there is time to relax before dinner. (D)
We begin with a Morning Tour of the beautiful “City of a Hundred Spires”.
1000-year-old Prague Castle presides over the city, encompassing the Old Royal Palace and state residence, the Basilica of St. George and Cathedral of St. Vitus in all its Gothic glory. From the castle’s hilltop situation you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city’s domes, spires and red roofs. Nearby is medieval Golden Lane, a cluster of petite houses, in one of which (No. 22) Kafka resided for a time and picturesque Neruda Street, named for the famous Czech poet and journalist who lived there. Below, the lively pedestrian-only Charles Bridge, often arrayed with musicians and artists, crosses to Old Town. The Old Market Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site instantly recognizable for its famous Astronomical Clock and the distinctive spiky towers of the adjacent Church of Our Lady before Týn. The artistic heart of Bohemian culture is evident in Prague’s range of colourful architecture and exquisite craftsmanship in everything from crystal and printmaking to traditional puppet theatre and artisan beer.
After time for lunch on your own the afternoon is at leisure for you to stroll through Old Town, shop, sightsee, or rest and ready yourself for the evening. Our rst concert follows dinner. (B,D)
The morning is at leisure to relax, sightsee or visit one of the museums. Around noon we will gather to enjoy a wonderful tour of the Art Nouveau Municipal House and then Strahov Monastery before embarking on the Elbe Princesse. Once settled comfortably into our cabins we’ll have a Welcome cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a relaxing evening in port. (B,D)
We’ll spend the morning cruising. Luxuriate in the landscape as it unfurls before us while enjoying a concert by our featured performers. Once we arrive in Horin, we’ll skip ahead to Tour Litomerice, one of the oldest Bohemian cities, established in the 10th century on the site of a Slavic fort. The multi-colored Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings in the city center are not to be missed. We return to the ship for dinner and a brief cruise to our port for the night. (B,L,D)
Enjoy a concert by our featured performers as we cruise toward Horin and Litomerice.
We’ll spend the morning cruising through the magni cent Saxon Switzerland area (which is in fact part of Germany) gliding by the prairies, woods, lakes, vineyards and chateaux. We’ll stop in Bad Schandau for a jaunt into the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. On a hill overlooking the river we’ll see the Königstein Fortress, one of the largest hilltop fortresses in Europe. Thought to have been built in the 13th century, it was used as a state prison for centuries. We’ll then stop at the Bastei rock formation, formed by water erosion over one million years ago. Returning to the ship we’ll resume our cruise, arriving in Dresden in the evening and remaining in port overnight. (B,L,D)
Enjoy a Tour of historic Dresden, the Florence of the Elbe. Capital of the state of Saxony in the Second World War, it was the site of some extensive and controversial Allied bombing, which destroyed 1,600 acres of the city centre and claimed the lives of approximately 25,000. Dresden became the capital of the Margravate of Meissen in the 13th century and the seat of the Dukes of Saxony in the 15th century. Its great architectural and artistic heritage makes it one of the most appealing destinations in Germany.
Our itinerary maybe subject to minor alterations to accommodate concert programming. (B,L,D)
A concert by our featured artists will enhance our cruise. Pending itinerary changes, this may take place instead another day.
Upon arrival in Meissen we’ll enjoy a Tour of the City, famous for its trademark porcelain. We’ll have a glimpse at the production to learn how this porcelain has been made for more than 300 years and admire the magnificent pieces displayed in the museum. Then heading for the city centre, we’ll note landmarks such as the Albrechtsburg and Cathedral.
Once again, our itinerary may need to remain flexible on the 25th and 26th, but will include time in both Dresden and Meissen with City Tours in each. (B,L,D)
We may have the opportunity to see Jean Rondeau at the Dresdener Musikfestspiele, in a scintillating Baroque-Jazz crossover event.
We set out for a day to explore Leipzig, once one of Europe’s great centres of music and publishing, sited at the crossroads of rivers and ancient trade routes. The renowned Amarcord Ensemble will sing for us at Mendelssohn Haus and at the Thomasschule, site of J.S. Bach’s grave. The singers will accompany us as we walk through the historic old city centre. Finally, we return to the ship, which will cruise through the night. (B,L,D)
We enjoy a remarkable day exploring the musical heritage of Leipzig, with a variety of short concerts throughout.
Today we have a Tour of the City where Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to a church door and in so doing sparked the Reformation. We’ll see the noble Renaissance-style houses of the city centre and have an opportunity to visit Luther’s house, a former Augustinian monastery which is now the Reformation Museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising and moor in Magdeburg for the night. (B,L,D)
Our featured performers once again transport us as the ship continues on to Magdeburg.
Our ship departs for Hohenwarthe early in the morning. On arrival, we can Tour Magdeburg, situated on the Elbe River and another crossing of the ancient Roman roads. The Lutheran Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice here is the tallest church building in eastern Germany. Embarking once again in Genthin, we’ll continue towards Berlin and remain in port overnight. (B,L,D)
The final concert with our featured artists aboard ship.
After a nal breakfast buffet on board, we’ll disembark and enjoy a brief Tour of Potsdam with a visit further afield to either Sanssouci or the Grand Palace of Friedrich II. Finally, we return to Berlin and check into our hotel. (B,D)
The Sans Souci Ensemble will perform the Trio from the Musical Offering. Christoph Huntgeburth, flute and Nate Helgeson, bassoon, will play concertos by Frederick The Great and Johann Friederich Fasch with an orchestral ensemble led by Alexander Weimann at the keyboard.
We begin with a City Tour to enjoy Berlin’s major sites, and then enjoy time for lunch on our own. Dinner will be at the hotel, but the afternoon and evening are at leisure to enjoy this great city. (B,D)
Today we have an opportunity to visit the famous Pergamon Museum, followed by some time at leisure and a concert. This evening we will gather for a farewell dinner. (B,D)
We have a wonderful opportunity to attend a Dress Rehearsal of the Sans Souci Ensemble.
We transfer to the airport for our flight home. (B)