Nearly 400 years ago the history of the Passion Play, considered one of the most important religious and cultural events in Germany, began. The plague
raged in many parts of Europe and did not spare Oberammergau. In 1633, the Oberammergau villagers promised to perform the suffering, death and resurrection
of Christ every tenth year. In return, no one was to die of the plague any longer. The villagers were divinely answered by God, and soon after the
first Passion Play took place. Their promise has been kept until today. In 2020, the 42nd Passion Play will take place in the beautiful Bavarian village
of Oberammergau. Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience as we tour through scenic Germany and beautiful Austria, and the festivities of the annual
alpine parade of cows.
- Oberammergau’s Passion Play**, including the official program
- Witness the festivities surrounding the “Cows” coming home from their summer pasture
- Spectacular glacial cable car ride up to the Kitzbühler Alps
- Learn about Austrian beer, schnapps and glass production
- Meet local farmers at their Alpine homes and farms
- Salzburg—city of the Sound of Music and the Von Trapp Family
- Innsbruck—scenically nestled at the foot of the Northern Chain Mountain
- Ride the original Achenseebahn cog railway powered by steam engines
- Experience “Tyrolean Show” with traditional music and dance
- Baggage Handling (1 per person) at hotels
**Note: The Passion Play, as is traditional, is performed in German. English worded programs are provided.
DAYS 1 & 2–WELCOME TO GERMANY/OCTOBERFEST PARADE/STARNBERGER LAKE REGION
Upon arrival in Germany, we‘ll meet our European Tour Director and travel into Munich for the traditional costume parade taking place during Munich’s Octoberfest. We continue south to the spectactular Starnberger Lake region with a stop at Andechs Monastery along the way. D
DAY 3–NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE
After a good night’s rest and a delicious breakfast, travel into Bavaria and the fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein. Built in the 19th Century by “Mad” King Ludwig II, the castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and also featured in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We spend the next two evenings in the Oberammergau area. B
DAY 4–THE PASSION PLAY
Today we experience the unforgettable Passion Play at Oberammergau. The play’s fascinating history begins in 1633, when the town’s residents swore an oath to perform the “play of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” every decade if their town was spared by the Plague. The play was first performed in 1634 and has been faithfully reenacted every decade since. Today, some 2,000 residents of Oberammergau—actors, singers, musicians and technicians rehearse for 10 months to bring the five-hour production to life. From our reserved seats in the impressive outdoor theater, you’ll enjoy a prime view of the moving and inspiring story. B, L, D
DAY 5–INNSBRUCK/REITH IN ALPBACH
After breakfast, continue on to Innsbruck, the capital city of Tyrol, nestled scenically at the foot of the Northern Chain Mountains. This charming alpine city, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976, prides itself on its friendly welcome. See some of the highlights including the Hofkirche, or court church and the iconic Golden Roof on a guided tour of the city. Later, it’s onto Bergisel, historically important as the location of four freedom battles against Napoleon’s troops in 1809. It is also home to the imposing Bergisel ski jump, redesigned in 2001 by British Architect, Zaha Hadid. Enjoy breathtaking views from the top. Check into the Hotel Kirchenwirt in Reith in Alpbach for the next 6 nights. B, L, D
DAY 6–ACHEN LAKE/GRAMAI ALM
Travel down the Inn Valley to Jenbach and join the original Achenseebahn cog railway, which dates back to 1889. These are some of the oldest steam engines in the world still to be used for public transport. The train winds its way up above the Inn Valley to the shores of the largest alpine lake in Tyrol, Lake Achen. Take a short boat trip to Pertisau. You will then travel by coach along the mountain range of the Karwendel Alps and visit the Gramai Alm, where cheese is made in the summer months. B, D
DAY 7–SALZBURG AND THE SOUND OF MUSIC
After breakfast drive to Salzburg – city of the Sound of Music. Take a guided tour which will show you around one of the most beautiful cities in Austria. The life of the Von Trapp Family is entwined with that of Salzburg, as is Mozart’s. Enjoy some free time in Salzburg before returning to the hotel for dinner. Afterwards, get set for a traditional Tyrolean music and dance show. B, D
DAY 8–KERMIS/ALM FESTIVAL
Today is a big day in the village, a day of fun for locals and visitors! The cows are coming home! Watch as the farmers bring their cows down from the high pastures where they have spent the summer months, join in the festivities, see the cattle decorated with headdresses of flowers and bells as they are ceremonially brought through the village and back to their farmhouses. Once they are safely back home you will visit with one of the farmers. B, D
DAY 9–KIRCHTAG FESTIVAL/RATTENBERG
At the nearby original Farmhouse Museum in Kramsach, join the locals for a traditional open air festival with church service, Tyrolean food specialties, music and a show of handmade local goods. In the afternoon you will make a stop in the middle-aged town of Rattenberg. Tyrol’s smallest town, where you can watch glass being blown and engraved at the Kisslinger glass factory. B, D
A peaceful day with a visit to the neighboring village of Alpbach, known for its yearly “Forum” and voted as the most beautiful village in Europe, is planned. Take the cable car up to the Wiedersbergerhorn and enjoy the view of the Alps. A special farewell dinner awaits you at the hotel this evening. B, D
DAY 11–AUF WIEDERSEHEN
At last, we must say Auf Wiedersehen, as we travel home fulfilled by our new Austrian friends, scenic vistas and the incredible Passion Play! B
PASSION PLAY 2020
Over 2,000 local participants present the story of Jesus of Nazareth in a visually spectacular five-hour performance on an open-air stage. The theater where the play is held is known as the world’s largest open-air stage with a covered auditorium. Since 1634, the Oberammergauers have performed this story of Jesus with great devotion. Over 2,000 years, the Passion Play’s message remains the same: to provide inspiration, hope and strength. This performance covers the period of Jesus entering Jerusalem and continues up to his death on the Cross and his resurrection. Oberammergau is located at the scenic edge of the Bavarian Alps and expects approximately 450,000 visitors for the passion play, over half of which will be international guests.
Night 2: Seehotel Leoni, Starnberger Lake
Nights 3 & 4: Vicinity of Oberammergau
Nights 5-10: Hotel Kirchenwirt, Reith in Alpbach
September 19-29, 2020
Price Per Person:
Depart/Return: Chicago, IL
high mid 60s/low mid 40s
+7 hours from Central Time
Flights available 90 days prior to departure.
Flights available 90 days prior to departure.
Crowne Plaza O’Hare offers complimentary shuttle service for Pre/Post Hotel accommodations.
Free parking is offered during the tour at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare with Pre or Post tour night accommodations.
Moderate walking at a leisurely pace is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking will be on uneven paths.
Hair dryers, TV/cable, telephone and Spa services available at hotels.
Flight time from O’Hare to Munich is 8.5 hours, Munich to O’Hare is 9.5 hours. These flights are non-stop.
Land Tours begin one day later. Airport transfers not included with Land Only Tours. Air & Land Tours include government imposed taxes, fees and airline fuel surcharges at time of printing.
Theater tickets are in Category 1.
Dress on tour is casual.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further information approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing your final documents.
Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at www.CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/OBP.
Travel Protection Available?
Terms & Conditions
Tour reservations are subject to the terms and conditions on our website at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/terms.
Have a group? We can make your group's vacation cost-effective and easy, with discounts for groups as small as five and other benefits. Learn more at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/groups.