PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE FLIGHTS – TBD
Haydn Deck (Cabin) – $4,995
Strauss Deck (Stateroom) – $5,195
Mozart Deck (Stateroom) – $5,495
Mozart Deck (Suite) – $5,895
Prices based on double occupancy.
See brochure for information on solo pricing, tips, fees, and optional excursions and Poland extension. Final payment due TBD.
October 20 – 30, 2024
*Optional Poland Extension October 30 – November 3, 2024
*Extension pricing below.
This unique Danube pilgrimage begins in magical Munich, the capital of Bavaria. Then we will travel to the nearby Dachau concentration camp and remember the more than 2,000 heroic Catholic priests who refused to go along with Nazi tyranny. After a visit to Germany’s most historic Marian Shrine, we’ll board our elegant cruise ship for an enchanting cruise down the Danube docking in the imperial cities of Vienna and Budapest. Our pilgrimage themes:
– Finding God in the beauty of His creation
– How the Catholic Church built Western civilization
– and How the greatest fortresses of Europe have been its saints and Catholic heroes
Our voyage on the Danube, one of the most historic rivers in the world, we’ll explore how the Catholic Tradition is like a river of living water, flowing from Christ in the apostles to us and carrying us forward into new adventures. As we sail along, we’ll also be admiring the many picturesque castles and vineyards that dot the riverbanks and be visiting some of the most impressive of European abbeys. So don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience saints, castles, and cathedrals, quaint towns and delectable food, all aboard a ship that will be entirely reserved for us. And yes, our Eucharist each day will be celebrated in some of the most stunning churches of Europe.
And don’t miss out on the optional post-cruise extension – four glorious days in one of the hidden gems of Europe, Krakow, made famous by its most illustrious archbishop, St. John Paul II. We will visit Czestochowa, shrine of the famous Black Madonna, and Wadowice, where Karol Wojtyla spent his childhood. At Divine Mercy Shrine we will honor St Faustina Kowalska who died in Krakow and venerate the Divine Mercy image, copies of which have gone all over the world from the Shrine in Krakow.
Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio and his wife, Susan
Known on Catholic radio and TV as “Dr. Italy,” Dr. D’Ambrosio is a NY Times best-selling author and a renowned commentator on Catholic issues, appearing as a guest on national news and a variety of Catholic radio networks such as Relevant Radio, EWTN, and the Sirius Catholic channel. He’s hosted an EWTN series on the Early Church Fathers for nearly 20 years, and has partnered with Ascension Press on immensely popular book & video study series, including the Jesus: The Way the Truth and the Life study series. A doctoral student of the renowned Jesuit theologian Avery Cardinal Dulles, Marcellino is an expert on the history of the Church in Europe and has a special familiarity with the shrines we will be visiting on this unique pilgrimage. Dr. Italy will be our principal guide, providing expert commentary on the saints, sites, and shrines of our Danube River journey through Germany, Austria, and Hungary.
Depart on an overnight flight to Munich. Dinner & Breakfast will be served on the flight. Add-on flights and optional premium economy and Business class fare quotes are available upon request. Specific seat requests are available at the airport or possibly upon receipt of travel documents three weeks before departure; you may be able to go online and choose seats.
Welcome to Germany! We are greeted at the airport by our English-speaking tour guides and transferred to the city for Mass and time at leisure before our 4 PM hotel check-in. Our hotel is located in the center of Munich, enabling us to drop off our luggage at the hotel while we explore the city. Overnight Munich. (Dinner is at the hotel)
This morning we travel by bus to Dachau Concentration Camp, where we visit the camp where more Catholic priests died at the hands of the Nazi regime than in any other place. Mass will be celebrated. In the afternoon, we have a one-hour walking tour of the Munich City Center followed by a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Munich. (B. Special dinner)
Following breakfast, we board our bus and drive through the beautiful Bavarian countryside to Altotting, often called “The Lourdes of Germany” due to the thousands of pilgrims coming here every year for healing. Today the shrine attracts over one million pilgrims each year. Many crutches and other votives on display here testify to the healings attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Altotting. In 1980 Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage here. A young Joseph Ratzinger came here with his father when growing up, and it is known to be one of his favorite shrines long before he became Pope or even a Cardinal. Many young people from Germany make pilgrimages here in the summertime, often walking for 50 miles or more on their journey. Here we see the “Black Madonna,” a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. Opposite the altar, the hearts of the Bavarian Dukes, Kings, and Electors are stored in richly decorated silver urns as a special sign of their deep loyalty to the Bavarian National Shrine. Among them is also the heart of the fairy tale King Ludwig II. We also visit the Basilica of St. Anna, the Holy Chapel, the Collegiate Church, and the treasury, housing the gifts donated to the Basilica. Celebrate Mass at St. Konrad Monastery. Following time for an independent lunch, we depart for Passau, where we embark on the cruise ship, our comfortable home for the next seven nights. Settle into our luxurious cabins, and enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner on the ship. Overnight Cruise. (B.L.D)
We wake up in the city of Regensburg this morning! Meet our local guide for a private walking tour of Regensburg, the ancient city founded nearly 2000 years ago. We see the University of Regensburg, where Pope Benedict XVI taught theology from 1969 to 1977. Visit St. Peter′s Cathedral for a guided tour of one of Germany’s most prominent examples of Gothic architecture. We celebrate Mass in Regensburg before returning to the ship for lunch (included) or have an independent lunch (at leisure) on land. This afternoon there is an Optional Tour to Weltenburg Abbey*, the oldest beer-producing Abbey in Germany, or you may choose to stay on the ship and relax. We will experience a Bavarian evening with lively traditional music and a dinner of local specialties tonight. Ship sails from Germany to Austria—overnight cruise. (B.L.D)
*Optional Tour to Weltenburg Abbey $ 79.00 (must be purchased in advance-not on the ship):
Board the coach and depart for the Abbey of Weltenburg for a guided visit. The Abbey was founded by a mission of Irish and Scottish monks in about 620 AD and is considered the oldest monastery in Bavaria. Following time to taste the brew made by the monks of the Abbey, we return to the ship.
We arrive in Linz, Austria, and enjoy a walking tour of the lovely town, followed by Mass. After lunch, we board our buses to travel to St. Florian Monastery to visit the monastery and enjoy a private choir concert. We return to the ship for some leisure time and dinner. Ship sails. Overnight cruise. (B.L.D)
We arrive in Emmersdorf, a small Austrian town, where we board our bus for a short drive to Melk Abbey. The magnificent Baroque-style structure is surrounded by a gorgeous town with Renaissance homes and winding streets reminiscent of the Middle Ages. The Abbey is the setting for Umberto Eco′s novel ′The Name of the Rose′. Among the treasures housed here are paintings, sculptures, and decorative art from the 9th to 15th centuries. We celebrate Mass before returning to the ship for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure on the ship to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. We disembark in Weissenkirchen to enjoy a wine tasting in a charming local winery. Dinner is on the ship tonight. Overnight Cruise. (B.L.D)
Our day in Vienna starts with Mass at the Polish Church, which contains a small St. John Paul II relics museum and a lovely little gift shop. Our panoramic tour of Vienna is followed by a visit to St. Stephen Cathedral and a guided walking tour of the city center, including Donners′ Fountain, Belvedere Palace Gardens, Hofburg Palace, and the Spanish Horses training site (external visits only). You may choose to stay in the city for lunch on your own, followed by an afternoon at leisure to explore or return to the ship for an included lunch. Following an early dinner on the ship, we recommend an *optional private visit to the famous Schonbrunn Palace and the Sound of Vienna classical music concert in a nearby private villa. * in Vienna. Overnight Cruise. (B.L.D)
*Private evening at Schonbrunn Palace, including a private classical music concert The summer residence of the Hapsburg Emperors. Here, Marie-Antoinette lived as a young girl, and the six-year-old Mozart played for the empress inside the Palace plus the “Sound of Vienna” Concert, the magnificent orchestra, accompanied by opera singers and ballet dancers, will ensure you will have an evening to remember. Optional excursion $ 179.00 per person (must be purchased in advance and not on the ship)
The ship arrives in Bratislava. We tour Bratislava Castle this morning and hear a lecture by Dr. Marcellino on St. Elizabeth of Hungary. We see the famous statue of the saint at the Castle (arduous walking). We celebrate Mass at St. Martin Cathedral. Enjoy time at leisure to explore Bratislava on your own. The ship is docked in the city center. You may have lunch on the ship or in town on your own. Tonight, enjoy a beautiful gala captain’s dinner. The ship departs Slovakia sailing for Hungary. Overnight cruise. (B.L.D)
The ship arrives in the magnificent city of Budapest in the morning. On our city tour, we see the Fisherman′s Bastion, which takes its name from the guild of fishermen responsible for defending this stretch of city walls in the Middle Ages. We tour Matthias Church and take in the breathtaking view of the Buda side. We continue our exploration of this beautiful city with a tour of the Buda side of the city and a Mass celebration. Tonight enjoy one of the highlights of the cruise as we see Budapest by night from our ship. Overnight Cruise. (B.L.D)
After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport for our flight home. (B)
We depart for Krakow this morning, crossing from Hungary into Poland. We stop for a delicious lunch in Slovakia at a local brewery. Upon arrival, check into our hotel and enjoy leisure time in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Dinner at leisure. Overnight in Krakow. (B.L)
Our sightseeing tour of Krakow includes visiting sites in the Medieval Old Town and on Wawel Hill, where we see the Cathedral with the St. Stanislaus Shrine, which contains the relics of Poland’s patron saint. We see the Pope’s room and the famous Pope’s Window honoring St. John Paul II. We travel a short distance to visit the Divine Mercy Shrine, where St. Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, lived and died. We celebrate Mass at Divine Mercy Shrine (TBC) and visit the new center, “Have No Fear,” dedicated to St. John Paul II, to venerate his relics. Dinner and overnight in Krakow. (B.D)
We visit Jasna Gora Monastery to see the miraculous icon of the Black Madonna. We have time to explore the monastery and celebrate Mass. Time for prayer and reflection is scheduled. Lunch today is in a wonderful traditional Polish restaurant near the shrine. Return to Krakow for dinner and overnight. (B.L.D)
Today, we drive to Wieliczka. We visit Europe’s oldest salt mine, which UNESCO has listed as a World Heritage Site. The mines are a unique place where many generations of Polish miners have created a world of underground chambers and decorated chapels carved out of salt, including the famous Chapel of St. Kinga. We celebrate Mass at St. John Paul II Chapel before we continue to Wadowice, the hometown of Pope St. John Paul II, and visit his childhood home, which is now a museum. We visit the Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, where he was baptized. Farewell dinner evening tonight in a local restaurant with a folklore show. Overnight in Krakow. (B. Farewell dinner)
After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport for our flight home. (B)