Discovering Eastern Europe
Experience an overview of four distinct and fascinating nations – Poland, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic. Explore Warsaw’s Old Town and view Budapest’s scenic Danube Bend. Attend a classical music performance in Vienna and tour majestic Schönbrunn Palace. Experience Prague’s acclaimed museums and architectural treasures. Visit Germany’s capital on an optional 4-day/3-night Berlin post-tour extension.
After arriving in the Polish capital late this morning, we have free time before we gather for tonight’s welcome dinner at our hotel. Polonia Palace Hotel (D)
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, the Jewish Cemetery, and the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, one of the most ambitious cultural institutions to rise in Poland. This afternoon is free for independent exploration; before dinner on our own tonight we enjoy a private classical piano recital. Polonia Palace Hotel (B)
Today we journey south to the industrial city of Oswiecim – Auschwitz in German – and the concentration camp that is now a state museum chronicling the horrors of the Nazi genocide. We tour Auschwitz-Birkenau before traveling on to Krakow, arriving late this afternoon. Hotel Pod Roza (B,L,D)
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. Lunch and dinner today are on our own. Hotel Pod Roza (B)
This morning we tour the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is a virtual underground city, with galleries, lakes, chapels, and murals – all carved from salt. The mine’s centerpiece is the Chapel of Saint Kinga, with its chandelier and mural of The Last Supper, carved by three miners over a period of 68 years. Then we return to Krakow, where the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration, with lunch and dinner on our own in this historic capital. Hotel Pod Roza (B)
Schedules permitting, we meet with foreign service staff at the U.S. Embassy before we head south through the snowcapped 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 and dine there together tonight. Hilton Budapest (B,L,D)
Today’s half-day tour of the Hungarian capital begins with a visit to Matthias Church and a stroll around Fisherman’s Bastion for outstanding views of the Pest side of the city across the Danube. Then we cross the Chain Bridge into Pest where we tour Dohany Synagogue, Europe’s largest. Following an afternoon at leisure, tonight we enjoy a typical Hungarian dinner at a local restaurant. Hilton Budapest (B,D)
Today we take in another U.S. Embassy visit (if schedules permit) before discovering the “Paris of the East” on your own today. Hilton Budapest (B)
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. Dinner tonight is on our own, an opportunity, perhaps, to try Vienna’s famed Wiener Schnitzel. Hilton Vienna Plaza (B,L)
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. Hilton Vienna Plaza (B,D)
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. Hilton Vienna Plaza (B)
We leave this morning for Prague, proud capital of the Czech Republic. We reach Prague late afternoon and join our tour director for an informal walk through Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Grand Bohemia Hotel (B,L)
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, and a private tour of the Lobkowicz Palace. 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. Grand Bohemia Hotel (B)
This morning’s visit to Josefov, Prague’s historic Jewish ghetto, includes the Old Jewish Cemetery with its centuries-old head stones 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 farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Grand Bohemia Hotel (B,D)
We transfer to the airport early today for our connecting flights to the U.S. (B)
Cost and Details
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle $5,597
Boston, New York $5,197
Please call if your city is not listed. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $502, which are subject to change until final payment is made. All tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.
Land Only: $4,495 (transfers not included)
Single Room Supplement: $1,395
Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight:
Premium Economy - $995 per person
Business Class - $3,595 per person
Upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change. Upgrade prices are in addition to the costs above.
Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; 14 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and unrated hotels; 24 meals: 14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners; Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Educational lecture program with a minimum of 15 guests; Additional Commonwealth Club representative at 20 guests; 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
Airfare when purchasing a Land Only package; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per traveler, per day); and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.
Optional Pre-Tour Extension
Cost: $895 per person (based on double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $345
Rail transportation Prague / Berlin; 3 nights’ accommodations at Hotel am Steinplatz (Superior First Class); 3 meals: 3 breakfasts; Berlin city orientation tour with local guide; Transfer from rail station and to airport
This is a moderately active tour and participants must be able to keep up with an active group of travelers. For the safety and enjoyment of each participant and the group, participants must be able to:
- Walk on average 2-3 miles at a steady pace. On this tour, guests won’t be hiking, per se; they’ll be walking in cities and town and should be able to walk at a steady pace for approx. 2-8 hours.
- Be able to walk on cobblestone, gravel and pavement. Some of walking excursions require good balance as you walk over cobblestone sidewalks/roads and uneven pavement. All the visiting cities are approx. at sea level.
- Stand for up to approx. 2 hours at a time each day.
- Walk up and down steep stairs without hand rails, without the assistance of another person.
- Get off and on tour vehicles without assistance
Terms and Conditions
Cancellations, Refunds and Changes
If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges:
Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge
Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 25% of tour price
Cancel 64-45 days before departure: 50% of tour price
Cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price
Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund.
If a guest makes any changes to their reservation within 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure. Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website
The liability of the Commonwealth Club, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The Commonwealth Club and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.
Health and Medical Issues
We request that you be in good health to participate in an Odysseys Unlimited tour. There is a reasonable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that our itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the Commonwealth Club assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.
Air Transportation – Important Information
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities as shown and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignments on your international flight are usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own flight arrangements for an alumni tour and not use those provided by the tour company, we recommend that you do not do so until making your final payment to the tour company confirming details of your trip’s scheduled departure. However, if you choose to make your own flight arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes to tour dates.
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40