4 DAYS FROM $2,499
4 DAYS FROM $1,799
Journey to the heart of Bavaria to experience a fairy-tale town that hosts a very special celebration once every decade. On this once-in-a-lifetime extension, be enchanted by a breathtaking village frozen in time, home to famous Lüftlmalerei wall paintings and wood carvings that depict traditional mythical stories. And, on one evening every ten years, the town puts on a Passion Play about the life of Jesus, fabled to have kept a plague at bay more than four centuries ago.
This year is even more unprecedented, as the current global state of affairs delayed the event from 2020 now to 2022. You'll have the opportunity to take part in this tradition that remains alive and well and has been an international allurement for the faithful and historians alike since 1634.
Not only will you have a seat on one of the most dramatic and unforgettable performances, you'll also be able to explore modern and storied Munich and discover what makes this city so wonderful. Enjoy some of the best seats in the house on the Oberammergau Passion Play and more of the most enriching features on this spectacular extension in Germany.
Fly overnight to Munich, Germany
You'll begin your journey to Europe with an overnight flight to Munich, Germany.
Arrive in Munich to a warm welcome
Welcome to Munich! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange your transfer to your centrally located hotel. Settle in and relax before joining your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and Dinner this evening.
Experience the famous Passion Play in Oberammergau
After breakfast, transfer to the small German village of Oberammergau for the legendary Passion Play performance, held once every decade. Here, you'll have a short leisure period to have lunch on your own and meet your City Host, who will lead you to the Passion Play.
Legend has it that the village was spared by a large plague nearly 400 years ago, with a promise to God that the villagers would present a Passion Play every 10 years to show their gratitude. The global health crisis has delayed the production to 2022, but we're thrilled now to have you experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, played out in town at a large theatre with the incredible story unfolding before your eyes. There are two parts to the performance, with time in-between for a sumptuous three-course dinner. You'll stay overnight in Oberammergau tonight, with your City Host guiding you back to the hotel.
Take a city tour of Munich
After witnessing the incredible Passion Play yesterday, you'll have the chance to go back to Munich and see its charming highlights. En route, you’ll stop at Ettal Abbey — a vast baroque monastery and and impressive display of architectural grandeur — and have the chance to explore the inside. Then onto Bavaria's capital, teeming with history and impressive architecture. You'll have free time for lunch on your own in the city center before a panoramic tour introduces historic sites like Frauenkirche — the city’s most famous church — as well as some of the dozens of museums here, which showcase everything from art to technology. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Transfer to Barcelona to continue your journey
After bidding farewell to Germany, we'll fly to Barcelona, Spain to join the base tour.
Immerse yourself in the exoticism, fascinating history, and resplendent architecture of Istanbul, where Europe meets Asia along the bustling Bosphorus Strait. You’ll step into the world of Ottoman sultans at the Topkapi Palace, marvel at the towering domes and minarets of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, and roam the endless passageways of the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market, teeming with colorful carpets, leather goods, jewelry, and lanterns. Your three nights in this intoxicating cultural capital is the perfect way to round out your ocean expedition.
Fly to Istanbul
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Istanbul.
Arrive in Istanbul
Welcome to Istanbul! If you purchased your flights through Vantage, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Settle in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to acclimate before an evening Welcome Briefing and Dinner.
Royal and cultural splendors of Istanbul
After breakfast, head to the Fatih district, home to the Historic Areas of Istanbul, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your explorations at the Topkapi Palace, once home to Ottoman sultans and today a magnificent museum. Your guided tour leads you into some of its many chambers, including the Harem Apartments. After lunch, continue to the spectacular Blue Mosque, named for the countless blue iznik tiles that adorn its vast interior. Cultural Discovery: Conclude the day among the teeming stalls and passageways of the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul’s historic marketplace.
Spectacular Sultanahmet on foot
Stretch your legs this morning during a walking tour of the Sultanahmet district. You’ll stop at the 6th-century Hagia Sophia, built as a church and later converted into a mosque. It has been a magnificent museum since 1935. After, follow your nose to the Spice Bazaar, where mounds of colorful turmeric, saffron, and countless other spices vie for your olfactory attentions. Be sure to sample some Turkish Delight, the nation’s favorite sweet, while you’re here! After lunch, enjoy an afternoon at your leisure.
This evening, reunite with your fellow expeditioners at a local restaurant for a Farewell Dinner, which will feature a spread of classic Turkish dishes and traditional folkloric entertainment!
Fly to Athens, join the base program
Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight to Athens, where you join the base program.
Here’s your chance to discover more of Spain’s stately and iconic capital. On this 3-night extension, let Vantage introduce you to this energetic, artistic metropolis — and one of Europe’s most indulgent culinary capitals. Get your fill of tapas on a walking tour that leads you to the bustling Mercado de San Miguel, and see the city’s exquisite sights, from the grandeur of Plaza Mayor to leisure opportunities to seek out museums. Come experience Madrid in true Vantage style!
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Fly to Spain
Today, you’ll board an overnight flight from the U.S.A. to Madrid.
Bienvenidos a Madrid! Welcome to Spain
Arrive in Madrid today. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, you’ll be met at the airport by a representative who will assist with your transfer to the hotel. After checking in, enjoy time at leisure before tonight’s Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Get to know Madrid on a walking tour and tapas tasting
Explore vibrant Madrid on foot, walking through Plaza Sol and Plaza Mayor, savoring city views, and passing multiple other historic monuments. Later, visit the city’s Mercado Central for an included tapas tasting! The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to further explore. Tonight, enhance your tapas discoveries with a chance to have dinner on your own in this city of gastronomical delights.
Explore Madrid at your leisure
Enjoy a free day to pursue your own interests with recommendations provided by your Cruise Director. Wander the city’s many squares, shop for espadrilles and other classic Spanish products, and get your fill of tapas. The evening is at leisure with dinner on your own.
Seek the panoramic delights of Madrid, then board a high-speed train to Barcelona
Enjoy a panoramic tour that shows you even more Madrid highlights on your way to the train station. Here, you’ll embark on a high-speed train to Barcelona, where you’ll join Day 2 of the base tour.
This evening, reunite with your fellow travelers at a local restaurant for a Farewell Dinner, which will feature a spread of classic Turkish dishes and traditional folkloric entertainment!
Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight home.
Board a high-speed train to Madrid, then discover its highlights on a panoramic tour
Today, you’ll leave Barcelona on a high-speed train bound for Madrid. Upon arrival, you’ll be whisked away on a panoramic tour of Spain’s capital city. Afterward, check into your hotel and enjoy dinner on your own in this city of gastronomical delights.
Explore vibrant Madrid on foot, walking through Plaza Sol and Plaza Mayor, savoring city views, and passing multiple other historic monuments. Later, visit the city’s Mercado Central for an included tapas tasting! The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to further explore. Tonight, enhance your tapas discoveries with another opportunity to have dinner on your own.
Enjoy a free day to pursue your own interests with recommendations provided by your Cruise Director. Wander the city’s many squares, shop for espadrilles and other classic Spanish products, and get your fill of tapas. The evening is at leisure, with dinner back at the hotel.
Transfer to Madrid’s airport for your return flight home.