Oberammergau Passion Play with Austria, Germany & Switzerland
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Depart USA / Vienna, AustriaJune 25 — June 26
Board your independent flight to Austria. Arrive in Vienna on Day 2 and check in to the Hotel Sacher Wein. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this gracious city on your own. Gather at the hotel this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.
ViennaJune 27 — June 28
Spend two full days exploring Austria’s political, economic, and cultural capital. Take a walking tour of the city center—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—with a local guide and enjoy a private tour of the Hofburg Palace, viewing the imperial apartments, silver collection, and state banquet halls. The next day, embark on a scenic Danube cruise, passing the historic town of Krems and picturesque farm landscape. Make a stop at the Melk Abbey, located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Wachau Valley. Founded in the 11th century, today’s abbey was built in the 18th century in grand Baroque style.
Vienna / SalzburgJune 29
This morning, join a local historian for a tour of magnificent Schönbrun Palace, the Baroque masterpiece of the Habsburg dynasty known as the “Versailles of Vienna.” After lunch, depart overland for Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and filming location for a number of scenes from The Sound of Music. Check in to the Hotel Sacher Salzburg and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. This evening, take advantage of the Dine Around Program, perhaps sampling a classic wiener schnitzel with strudel for dessert.
Take a walking tour of the Altstadt (Old Town), a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its well-preserved architecture spanning the medieval, Romanesque, Baroque, and Renaissance periods. Visit the filming locations of some of Salzburg’s most iconic scenes from The Sound of Music, before ascending to Fortress Hohensalzburg for a guided tour and breathtaking views over the city. This evening, you are treated a private concert during dinner.
Salzburg / Oberammergau, GermanyJuly 1
Depart overland for Oberammergau this morning, making a stop en route at the infamous Nazi Kehlsteinhaus, or Eagle’s Nest. Enjoy lunch in charming Innsbruck and take a stroll along the pedestrian-friendly streets to view colorfully decorated buildings and picture-perfect plazas backdropped by the peaks of the Nordkette Mountains. Continue to Oberammergau, nestled within a stunning alpine valley, and check in to the Alpenhof Murnau for dinner and overnight.
After a morning at leisure and lunch on your own, gather at the open-air theater to witness the trial, suffering, and death of Christ in The Passion Play, which has been performed in Oberammergau every 10 years since 1634. Enjoy a dinner of traditional Bavarian specialties during the three-hour intermission.
Oberammergau / Liechtenstein / St. Moritz, SwitzerlandJuly 3
A short drive through verdant meadows dotted with cows and storybook alpine villages brings you to “fairytale” King Ludwig II’s iconic Schloss Neuschwanstein. The model for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle, this romantic 19th-century masterpiece is set atop a hill offering expansive views over the surrounding countryside. Tour the whimsical and elaborately decorated rooms, many inspired by Wagner’s operas. Stop for lunch in tiny Liechtenstein, with an area of just 62 square miles. Continue to St. Moritz and check in to the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, a historic luxury hotel dating back to 1896.
St. Moritz / ZermattJuly 4
After breakfast embark on one of the world’s most scenic train rides—the Glacier Express. Enjoy this 181-mile journey accompanied by incredible mountain views as you traverse narrow valleys, navigate tight curves, and cross 291 bridges. Check in to the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof for dinner and overnight.
Today, visit the highest cable car station in Europe—Matterhorn Glacier Paradise—on a clear day, views can stretch as far as the Mediterranean. The summit also the home of the international ski area, open 365 days a year and Europe’s largest summer ski area. Getting to the top (an elevation of 12,739 feet) involves riding three gondolas which offer spectacular views of glaciers, alpine meadows, and lakes throughout your transit. Enjoy lunch with a view at the on-site restaurant and spend some time exploring on your own to discover a number of spectacular vistas.
Zermatt / GenevaJuly 6
This morning, set out for Geneva via the Montreaux Riviera, a route that offers expansive views of steeply terraced vineyards meeting the deep blue waters of Lake Geneva and the majestic Chablais Alps rising from the far shore. The most impressive stretch, known as the Lavaux region, has received UNESCO status for its scenic beauty. Upon arrival in Geneva, embark on a short city tour including a stop to observe the city’s most famous landmark, the Jet d’Eau. Check in to your lake-view room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel de la Paix with the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, attend a festive farewell dinner at the hotel.
Geneva / USAJuly 7
Board your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.