MU Band VIP Tour of Vienna/Salzburg/Prague May 2019

MU Band VIP tour to Vienna/Salzburg/Prague
May 21-30, 2019
$3500 (includes flight)


MAY 21, Depart for Vienna   

We will depart today from St. Louis International Airport for our flight to Vienna.  Sit back and relax on your trans-Atlantic flight. You will enjoy movies and will be served dinner and breakfast prior to your arrival in Vienna.  (D, B)

MAY 22, Vienna           
Arrival in Vienna International Airport.  After baggage claim and passport check, you will meet your tour manager and bus driver. Load your chartered motorcoach and enjoy a short orientation tour as we pass some of Vienna’s most important sites on our way to the city centre.  Here you’ll have time to purchase lunch and do some shopping. This afternoon we enjoy a Guided Highlight Tour of this wonderful city including the Ringstrasse.  This area is flanked by wonderful buildings like the Vienna State Opera, Hofburg Palace, the House of Parliament, City Hall and others. We also see the historic city center with its elegant streets and lanes and the St. Stephen’s CathedralSt. Stephen's Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, OP. The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral, seen today in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147. The most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephen's Cathedral has borne witness to many important events in Habsburg and Austrian history and has, with its multi-coloured tile roof, become one of the city's most recognizable symbols.
Later we’ll transfer to our beautiful 4-star hotel for check-in followed by dinner. This hotel is conveniently located for easy access to the Vienna City Centre with many shops and restaurants within walking distance. (D)
Hotel Kaiserhof Wien, Frankenberggasse 10, Vienna, 1040 Austria
MAY 23, Vienna – Schonbrunn Palace
Buffet breakfast at your hotel. This morning we will enjoy a guided tour of the Schonbrunn Palace is a former summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. The Palace and Gardens are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s it has been a major tourist attraction. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.
Later today we will visit to the pedestrian-only Karntnerstrasse where you will have time to browse and shop.  The Karntnerstrasse is known to be the most fashionable shopping street in Vienna.  It is also filled with monuments and cathedrals.  This evening the University of Missouri Wind Ensemble will present it’s first performance which we are all invited to attend.   Dinner on your own this evening. (B)
MAY 24, Vienna State Opera- Spanish Riding School
After our buffet breakfast at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a visit to the Vienna State Opera.  It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera. In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian Republic, it was renamed the Vienna State Opera. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra.  Next we’ll enjoy a “Composers Tour” of Vienna, featuring memorials and graves of such famous musicians as Beethoven, Strauss, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and others.   Later this morning we’ll enjoy some free time for strolling and lunch on your own at Vienna’s historic city center.
This afternoon we’ll visit the Spanish Riding School.  This is a world famous traditional riding school for Lipizzan horses, which perform in the Winter Riding School in the Hofburg. Not only is it a centre for classical dressage, the headquarters is a tourist attraction in Vienna that offers public performances as well as permitting public viewing of some training sessions. The presentation builds on four centuries of experience and tradition in classical dressage. The leading horses and riders of the school also periodically tour and perform worldwide.
Tonight’s dinner will be served at the elegant restaurant “Johann-Kursalon”.  After dinner we’ll enjoy a Waltz Concert in the festival hall where the “Waltzking” Johann Strauss performed with his orchestra in the 19th century.  (B, D)
MAY 25, Salzburg
After breakfast, we’ll check-out of our hotel and transfer to Salzburg. Upon arrival we’ll have a Guided Walking Tour of historic Salzburg. Sightseeing features Mozart's birthplace, a walk through Residenz Square and through the courtyard of St. Peter's Monastery.  We will visit the vast Cathedral with its pale marble facade on Domplatz.  Our tour will end at the Getreidegasse where you will have time to purchase lunch, shop and browse in the quaint shops. You can enjoy the remainder of the afternoon exploring Salzburg on your own.  You may wish to take the Funicular to visit the grounds of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, a castle which was begun in 1077 by Archbishop Geghard.  It stands on a block of dolomite rock almost     400 feet above the Salzach Valley. You may also want to visit Mozart’s birthplace.  Check-in to our Salzburg hotel for the night. Purchase dinner on your own. (B)
MAY 26, Salzburg-Prague
Breakfast will be served at the hotel followed by check-out and depart for Prague – the capital of the Czech Republic.  Lunch on your own and rest stops will be scheduled. Enroute, we’ll make a stop in UNESCO World Heritage site Cesky Krumlov for a walking tour (depending on travel route). On arrival in Prague, check in to your central hotel. You will be taken on an evening orientation tour of the Old Town area of this magical city. Dinner on your own.  (B)
Hotel Perla, Perlova 1, Prague, 11000, Czech Republic
MAY 27, Prague
Breakfast will be served at the hotel. Board your coach and then drive to the city center.  Here we enjoy a guided stroll through the historic area (City Hall, former Jewish Ghetto, Charles Bridge). A special concert performance will be scheduled for today by the University of Missouri Wind Ensemble and everyone is invited to attend.  Dinner tonight on your own.  (B)
MAY 28, Prague
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.  Today we will have some free time to enjoy Prague.  If desired, we can plan an excursion to the Terezin Concentration Camp which is located 30 miles north of Prague and used during  World War II. It was originally a holiday resort reserved for Czech nobility. Terezín is contained within the walls of the famed fortress Theresienstadt, which was created by Emperor Joseph II of Austria in the late 18th century and named in honor of his mother, Empress Maria Theresa.
By 1940 Nazi Germany had assigned the Gestapo to turn Terezín into a Jewish ghetto and concentration camp.  It held primarily Jews from Czechoslovakia, as well as tens of thousands of Jews deported chiefly from Germany and Austria, as well as hundreds from the Netherlands and Denmark. More than 150,000 Jews were sent there, including 15,000 children, and held there for months or years, before being sent by rail transports to their deaths at Treblinka and Auschwitz extermination camps in occupied Poland, as well as to smaller camps elsewhere.  Less than 150 children survived.
Although Terezin was not an extermination camp, about 33,000 died in the ghetto. This was mostly due to the appalling conditions arising out of extreme population density, malnutrition and disease. About 88,000 inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps.  At the end of World War II, there were 17,247 survivors of Terezin (including some who had survived the death camps).
Many educated Jews were inmates of Terezin. Unlike other camps, Terezin’s detainees included scholars, philosophers, scientists, visual artists, and musicians of all types, some of whom had achieved international renown, and many of these contributed to the camp's cultural life. The Nazis kept a tight rein on the world’s perception of activities within Terezin.  In a propaganda effort designed to fool the Western allies, the Nazis publicized the camp for its rich cultural life.
The Czech composer Rafael Schächter was among those held at the Terezin camp.  In 1943, he conducted an adult chorus of 150 Jews which engaged in 16 performances of the massive and complex Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi — learned by rote from a single vocal score and accompanied by a legless upright piano —before audiences of other prisoners, SS officers, and German army staff members. Their purpose: to sing to their captors words that could not be spoken.
Dinner on your own this evening. (B)
MAY 29, Prague – Dinner Cruise
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.  Afterward, we enjoy a guided tour of the famous Hradcany Castle with St. Vitus Cathedral and the Golden Lane.  We’ll also have some free time and see the impressive “Change of the Guards” ceremony.  This afternoon we’ll have some additional free time for shopping & strolling.  On your last evening in Europe, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable Dinner Cruise on the Moldau/Vlatava River.  (B, D)
MAY 30, Depart for USA
Breakfast at the hotel followed by departure for the Prague International Airport for our flights back to the USA. (B)