Discovering Eastern Europe

Whether you’re seeking to recapture your ancestral heritage or simply to discover a beautiful and poignant part of our world, this  CAA tour of Eastern Europe offers ample opportunity for enrichment, enlightenment, and enjoyment.

Vienna

Travel with the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) from June 26 - July 12, 2018 on a small group tour of Eastern Europe. Your odyssey to this remarkable region spans five countries and weaves together the area’s deep history with the monumental events of the 20th Century.  Discover the charms and history of Budapest, Vienna, Warsaw, Krakow, and Prague. Explore significant cultural and historical sites such as Vienna’s majestic Schönbrunn Palace, the unique Wieliczka Salt Mines near Krakow, and the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Space is limited to just 24 guests and shared with a cosponsoring alumni association.  Please contact the Alumni Travel Study Program office for more details and to reserve your place on this beautiful tour of Europe!

Dates & Prices:

Dates: June 26 - July 12, 2018

Price: Land-only tour package - $4,195* 

Air-inclusive package starting at $4,997*  from Boston, New York ($4,495 air & land inclusive plus $502 airline taxes and fees). Please see the brochure or contact us for rates from other cities. Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,595 per person; Premium Economy – $895 per person (upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change). Upgrade costs are in addition to the costs above.

* ALL RATES ARE PER PERSON BASED UPON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY. A limited number of single occupancy accommodations are available for an additonal supplement of $1,195.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Warsaw, Poland

Depart the US today and fly overnight to Warsaw, Poland

Day 2: Arrive Warsaw

After arriving in the Polish capital late this morning, we have free time before we gather for tonight’s welcome dinner at our hotel. D

Day 3: Warsaw

Virtually destroyed during World War II, Warsaw was rebuilt in the decades that followed. With the fall of Communism, the city has become more dynamic and progressive while retaining much of its distinct character. We tour this phoenix city today, visiting the faithfully rebuilt Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site; and the Royal Castle, whose origins date to the late 13th century. We also tour the area of the former Jewish Ghetto and the Jewish Cemetery. This afternoon is free for independent exploration; before dinner on our own tonight we enjoy a private classical piano recital. B

Day 4: Warsaw/Auschwitz/Krakow

Today we journey south to the industrial city of Oswiecim – Auschwitz in German – and the concentration camp that is now a museum chronicling the horrors of the Nazis’ Final Solution. We tour Auschwitz and also visit the vast camp at Birkenau before traveling on to Krakow, arriving late this afternoon. B,L,D

Day 5: Krakow

A major center of Polish culture and education, Krakow survived World War II intact, leaving it with more historic buildings and monu­ments than anywhere else in the country. Its authen­tic Old Town is a UNESCO cultural site, and the Main Market Square the largest medieval square in Europe. This morning’s tour includes the historic area; St. Mary’s Church; the Royal Chambers of Wawel Castle, seat of royalty for more than 500 years; and Wawel Cathedral, the national church. The remainder of the day is free to explore this charming city independently. B

Day 6: Krakow

This morning we tour the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This afternoon is at leisure. B

Day 7: Krakow/Slovakia/Budapest

Heading south today we travel through the snow-capped Tatra Mountains into the country of Slovakia, where we stop for lunch. Continuing our journey, we reach our hotel in Buda’s elegant Castle District early this evening. B,L

Day 8: Budapest

Today’s half-day tour of the Hungarian capital begins adjacent to our hotel with a visit to Matthias Church, the symbol of Buda’s Castle District, and a stroll around Fisher­man’s Bastion for outstanding views of the Pest side of the city across the river. Then we cross the Chain Bridge into Pest where we tour Dohány Synagogue, Europe’s largest. Following an afternoon at leisure, tonight we enjoy a typical Hungarian dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 9: Budapest

We’re free to discover the “Paris of the East” on our own today. With splendid architecture, a lively café culture, museums, and a royal castle, this city on the Danube offers endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. B

Day 10: Budapest/Danube Bend/Vienna

Today we pass through the countryside of Western Trans­danubia as we travel by coach to Vienna. En route we visit Szentendre, a small town packed with artisans’ shops and a museum showcasing the work of ac­claimed ceramicist Margit Kovacs. We continue on to the ­village of Neszmely where we stop for lunch; we reach the Austrian capital late this afternoon. B,L

Day 11: Vienna

A half-day tour of this jewel of the Habsburg Empire includes a visit to the ornate Vienna Opera House, one of Europe’s grandest; and an inside visit to majestic Schönbrunn Palace. The afternoon is at leisure. Following dinner at a local restaurant, we attend a concert of classical music in this most musical of all cities. B,D

Day 12: Vienna Woods

This morning we en­joy a tour of the Vienna Woods, which gained renown during the heyday of the Austrian Empire. We visit the medieval abbey of Heiligenkreuz and the health spa town of Baden before returning to Vienna, where the remainder of the day is free to explore as we wish. B

Day 13: Vienna/Bratislava

Mid-morning we depart for Bratislava, capital of the independent nation of Slovakia. Upon arrival we embark on a coach and walking tour of the historic Castle area, including a visit to the 18th-century classical-style Archbishop’s Palace. After checking in at our hotel, we have time to refresh before dinner tonight at the restaurant of a local family. B,D

Day 14: Bratislava/Prague

We leave this morning for Prague, proud capital of the Czech Repub­lic. We reach Prague this afternoon and join our tour director for an informal walk through Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. B,L

Day 15: Prague

We spend the morning exploring the Hradcany (castle) district, home of the distinctive castle towering above the Vltava River. Dating to the 9th century, the castle today is the seat of the presi­dent of the Czech Republic. Among the highlights of our tour: a visit to Gothic St. Vitus’ Cathedral and a stroll along Golden Lane, with its picturesque artisans’ cottages. The remainder of the day is free to continue exploring this enchanting city as we wish. Restaurants abound for lunch and dinner on our own today. B

Day 16: Prague

This morning’s visit to Josefov, Prague’s historic Jewish ghetto, includes the Old Jewish Cemetery with its centuries-old headstones and generations buried atop one another, as well as several of the once-thriving synagogues now part of the Jewish Museum of Prague. Then the remainder of the day is at leisure, perhaps to stroll through Old Town Square or visit Wenceslas Square, site of the demonstrations that led to the Velvet Revolution. Tonight we enjoy a special farewell dinner together. B,D

Day 17: Depart for U.S.

We transfer to the airport early today for our connecting flights to the U.S. B

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Please note: This tour involves considerable walking. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.

Included Features:

  • Round-trip air transportation from select US cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 15 nights accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and unrated hotels
  • 25 meals: 15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of a Professional Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Not included: Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; excess baggage charges on aircraft; transfers and baggage handling to/from hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you have booked as a "land only" participant or if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included Features” section of our full brochure.

Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.