Rhine River Pilgrimage
w/ Fr Ed Zaorski
BEST TIME TO GO
Spring & Fall
ET +6 hours
Fr Ed Zaorski invites you on pilgrimage along The Rhine River. On pilgrimage we will discover Europe's rich history and Catholic roots while sailing one of the great waterways of Europe! Explore beautiful cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht, Cologne, Cochem, Koblenz, Rudesheim, Mannheim, Speyer, Strasbourg, Basel and more - all from the comfort of your luxury river cruise ship.
Our pilgrimage will include sites such as the Cologne Cathedral, the Reichsburg Castle, . We will also enjoy a wine tasting in Austria, a private Strauss and Mozart concert, and tours of Passau, Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. We hope you will join Fr Ed on this spectacular pilgrimage of faith, culture and history.
DAYS 1 & 2 : Detroit > Munich
We depart USA en route to Munich, with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft. Upon arrival at the Munich International Airport, we will be greeted by our tour escort and transferred to our hotel for check-in. We will have time for lunch on our own before celebrating Mass at a local church. The rest of the afternoon is free for exploring or relaxing before our Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. D
DAY 3: Munich/Altotting/Passau
Following breakfast and check-out from the hotel, we board our coach 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.
Here we see the “Black Madonna,” a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. 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 the parish church of St. Philip and James. 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 dinner on the ship. (B|D)
DAY 4: Passau
Today we have a guided tour of Passau, the ′Bavarian Venice′, beautifully situated at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz and Inn rivers. In 1662 a fire reduced the town to rubble, and the Baroque town we visit today was built from scratch by Italian architects. We will visit the magnificent St. Steven’s Cathedral containing the world’s largest church organ (17,774 organ pipes, 233 stops and 4 carillons). Our tour will also include the Museum of the Treasure of the Cathedral, which shows the treasures of Passau’s past when it was the capital of the largest diocese of the Holy Roman Empire.
After Mass at the Cathedral, we return to the ship for lunch before departing for Veste Oberhaus – one of the largest fortress complexes in all Europe. Accessible via the exterior walls, never conquered, and never completely destroyed; the Veste Oberhaus is a prime example of long-term historical construction. We will have a tour of the fortress and then return to the ship for dinner and an overnight sail to Lintz. (B|L|D)
DAY 5: Linz/Salzburg/Maria Plain
Breakfast on the ship before we depart by coach for Salzburg where we will enjoy a guided tour of Salzburg′s Old Town. We will view the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mirabell Gardens and Salzburger Dom (exterior views only). After a break for lunch in town on our own and some free time, we continue on to Maria Plain Shrine.
Upon arrival we celebrate Mass at Maria Plain Basilica hosting the miraculous painting of the "Virgin with Child" by an unknown painter. It miraculously survived a fire in the Bavarian town of Regen undamaged. We then board the coach and depart for Linz riding through the picturesque lake region Salzkammergut. Upon arrival we rejoin the ship with dinner and overnight sail to Emmersdorf. (B|D)
DAY 6: Emmersdorf (Melk)/Durnstein/Vienna
Breakfast on the ship before we board the coach for Melk Abbey. We will celebrate Mass and then enjoy a guided tour of Melk Abbey. The 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 ′The Name of the Rose.′ Among the treasures housed here are paintings, sculptures, and decorative art from the 9th to 15th centuries. We will have free time at Melk Abbey before returning to the ship.
We depart for Durnstein with lunch onboard. Upon arrival in Durnstein, we coach to Weissenkirchen. Located in the Wachau Valley, Weissenkirchen is known for its picturesque vineyards and high-quality wines. We will have an opportunity to savor the region's renowned wines while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. We return to Durnstein for some free time (time permitting) before departing for Vienna. Dinner and overnight on the ship. (B|L|D)
DAY 7: Vienna
After breakfast on the ship, we celebrate Mass at Votivkirche. After Mass, we will have a panoramic tour of Vienna with our local English-speaking guide. The tour includes Vienna Old Town between the University and Opera House passing major monuments to include Donners′ Fountain, Belvedere Palace Gardens, Hofburg Palace, Spanish Horses training place and St. Stephen′s Cathedral (exterior views). We return to the ship for lunch or, if you prefer, you may stay in the city with lunch on your own. After lunch enjoy free time at leisure before dinner on board the ship.
After dinner, we will enjoy a private Strauss and Mozart concert at one of the concert halls at the Kursalon. Return to the ship after the concert or stay in the city center for a while and return on your own. Overnight on the ship as we sail to Bratislava. (B|L|D)
DAY 8: Bratislava
After breakfast on the ship, we disembark and celebrate Mass at St. Martin’s church. After Mass we meet our local guide for a 2-hour walking tour of Bratislava. As we stroll to the Old Town, we pass St. Martin's Cathedral, Michael´s Gate, Academia Istropolitana historical building, Main Square, Primatial (Archbishop in the past) Palace, churches, palaces of famous families, the Slovak National Theatre and Bratislava Castle on the hill with a panoramic view of Bratislava (only exterior views). After the tour, it’s lunch on our own in the city with free time in the afternoon for our own exploration of this enchanting city. We then return to the ship for dinner and overnight as we sail to Budapest. (B|D)
DAY 9: Budapest
After breakfast on board the ship, we celebrate Mass at Matthias Church. From there we start our exploration of beautiful Budapest with a morning tour of the Buda side of the city. Enjoy a guided tour of Budapest starting from Matthias Church, passing by Gellert Hill, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. Soak in the unbeatable views of the Danube and Pest Rivers and admire St. Stephen’s Basilica (outside view) and Hungary’s ornate Parliament building (outside view) prominently situated on the opposite bank.
We continue the tour of Pest’sites, Hosok Tere (Heroes Square) which is ringed with statues of famous Hungarians. Lunch is on our own at the Market (not included) with the rest of the day at leisure. We will be back on the ship for a folklore show and dinner. Overnight on the ship. (B|D)
DAY 10: Budapest > Detroit
After breakfast, we disembark and transfer to the airport for our return flights home with incredible memories of our pilgrimage along the Danube River. (B)