Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Fly to Prague:
Enjoy full meal service on your scheduled wide-bodied flight to Prague.
Day 2 :
You will be met at the airport by your guide who will accompany you to your hotel in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic built on seven hills astride a great river.
- City Tour:
Our city tour will take us through Wenceslas Square where the great demonstrations organized by the Civic Forum movement brought down the Communist Government in late 1989. We will also view the Gothic Gunpowder Tower, Count Wallenstein's Palace, and the National Theatre before visiting Hradcany Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral.
Day 3 :
- Shrine of the Infant of Prague:
Our day begins with a visit to the Shrine of the Infant of Prague, where the original miraculous statue is enshrined in the chapel of the Carmelite Convent of Our Lady Victorious. Originally given to the Carmelites in 1628 by a Spanish noblewoman. The statue was partially destroyed and hidden in debris during an invasion of the Swedes.
The Museum which houses the gorgeous vestments for the statue, many of which are handmade and jewel-encrusted and were given as ex-votive offerings by the faithful. We will attend Mass at the shrine before having lunch.
- Walking Tour:
During our afternoon walking tour, we will step back in time to explore the tangle of quaint narrow streets surrounding the castle. We will cross the ancient Charles Bridge to arrive at the Old Town Square where we will view the historic Town Hall, the famous astronomical clock, and the 14th century Tyn Church.
Day 4 :
Prague – Brno – Vienna
- Baroque Cathedral:
In route to Vienna we will make a stop in Brno, capital of Moravia, to visit the Baroque Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.
- Travel to Vienna:
Upon arrival in Vienna, your guide will be pleased to accompany you on some introductory sightseeing. Vienna has an incomparable musical heritage and is the city of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Hayden, Brahms, and Johann Strauss. We certainly suggest you sample some of the magnificent strudels and pastries as you relax in one of the beautiful cafes absorbing the atmosphere of Old Vienna.
Day 5 :
- Spanish Riding Tour:
Our day will start by admiring the impressive view from the Belvedere. We will continue to the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Hapsburgs and home of the famous Spanish Riding School, where (subject to timing) we will attend a morning training session.
- Old City Walking Tour:
Our walking tour of the Old City will begin at St. Stephen's Cathedral, scene of the double marriage between the Hapsburg, Bohemian, and Hungarian dynasties in 1515 that laid the foundation of the Austrian Empire.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Karmelitenkovent, where we will attend Mass. The convent is home to the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Bowed Head.
Day 6 :
Vienna – Gyor – Budapest
- Gyro Cathedral:
On route to Budapest, we will stop at Gyor Cathedral to see the famous Irish Madonna of Hungary. The history of this compelling image goes back to Oliver Cromwells oppression of the Irish in 17th century.
- Travel to Budapest:
We continue on to Budapest. Buda and Pest both face the Danube, central Europes great river, forming the physical and spiritual center of the Hungarian capital. Our sightseeing will begin with a panoramic city bus tour, where among other sights we will view the Royal Palace, which was reduced to rubble by bombs in 1944-45 and carefully rebuilt to incorporate all the styles of its historic past. It now houses the Historical Museum of Budapest and the National Gallery.
- Danube Cruise:
In the evening, we will enjoy a cruise along the lovely Danube River.
Day 7 :
Budapest – Krakow
- Old Town Walking Tour:
Upon arrival in Krakow, we will take a walking tour of the grand Market Square, dominated by the magnificent Cloth Hall. Your guide will accompany you on an Old Town walking tour, followed by a visit to St. Marys Church that boasts a gorgeous 500-year-old altarpiece depicting the Dormition of the Holy Virgin. Of particular interest is the chapel of St. Anthony, in which condemned criminals would spent their last moments, praying, before being led to the gallows.
Day 8 :
- St. Andrew's Church:
Our day begins with an early visit to St. Andrews Church, perhaps best known for its outstanding depiction of the Twelve Apostles at the entrance.
- Museum of the Archdiocese:
Afterwards we will explore the Museum of the Archdiocese to view the collection of sacred art. Of particular interest is the Bishops Palace, in which his holiness resided while he was Bishop of Krakow.
- Shrine of Divine Mercy:
The afternoon will be spent at the Shrine of Divine Mercy. Ample time will be provided for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. At 3 PM we will join the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in praying the chaplet of Divine Mercy, and will attend Mass with them afterwards.
Day 9 :
Day Trip to Czestochowa
- Paulite Monastery:
This morning we travel to Jasna Gora to the Paulite Monastery in Czestochowa, the largest Marian shrine in Poland and home to the miraculous Black Madonna. The day begins in the core of the Monastery, the Chapel of the Virgin, where the sacred icon, which by tradition was painted by St. Luke, is kept for veneration by the faithful. There will be ample time for prayer and meditation (Mass in English scheduled subject to availability).
- Holy Cross and the Nativity of Mary:
We will then continue on to the beautiful Basilica of the Holy Cross and the Nativity of Mary with its magnificent Baroque altar depicting the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. We will tour the Monasterys Museum, which houses the jewel-encrusted robes that adorn the image. The Treasury houses many votive offerings left by pilgrims, including those given to the Monastery by the late Pope John Paul II.
Day 10 :
Krakow – Auschwitz – Warsaw
n route to Warsaw, we visit the famed Concentration Camp and Museum at Auschwitz, which stands as a sobering reminder of mans inhumanity to man. Here, 4 million victims (mostly Jews) were executed by the Nazis in World War II. We will visit St Maximilian Kolbe's Shrine at Cell #18, the site of his martyrdom at the hands of the Nazis.
- Travel to Warsaw:
Upon arrival in Warsaw, your tour manager/guide will be pleased to take you on some introductory sightseeing of this historic city. Warsaw is the capital of Poland and was almost completely destroyed during World War II. However, the rebuilding of Warsaw has been one of the miracles of the 20th century, and this great city has been restored to its former magnificence.
Day 11 :
- St. John's Cathedral:
Our day will begin in the citys oldest Gothic church, St. Johns Cathedral near the Old Market Square. The Cathedral is the burial place for such national heroes such as Henryk Sienkiewicz, the author of Quo Vadis.
- Royal Castle:
Afterwards, we will visit the Royal Castle. From the early 17th until the late 18th century, the Royal Castle was the residence of Polish kings. We will explore the museums stunning Royal Apartments that recreate the world of the Polish aristocracy.
- Church of the Nuns of the Visitation:
In the afternoon, we will continue with a visit to the Church of the Nuns of the Visitation, considered by many to be the most beautiful church in all of Warsaw. It is one of the very few buildings, which were not destroyed during World War II. The cloistered nuns say that it was a miracle of Gods protection that saved the church.
- Church of the Assumption:
Our final visit will be to the Church of the Assumption and Holy Cross Church.
Day 12 :
Departure from Warsaw
- Fly Home:
Your enjoyable and rewarding tour will come to an end as your tour manager/guide accompanies you to the airport for the return flight home.