SOLD OUT! Wait List Started. A classical music adventure culminating at the Prague Spring International Music Festival

Prague and Poland with Alison Young

SOLD OUT! Wait list started. Join Classical Minnesota Public Radio host Alison Young and fellow classical music lovers May 21 – June 1, 2019, to celebrate the life of Chopin, Dvorak and Smetana! On this twelve-day classical voyage, you’ll walk in Chopin’s footsteps and relive his extraordinary life. You’ll visit the very places where Frederic Chopin lived, loved and worked: the family home where he was born, the village church where he was baptized and the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. You’ll also discover Poland’s stunning cultural capital, Krakow. You’ll visit the cathedral where the kings of this ancient land are buried, stroll the campus of the University of Copernicus and marvel at throne of Europe’s largest medieval squares. This musical quest culminates in Prague, where you’ll walk in the footsteps of the Czech Republic’s greatest composers, Smetana and Dvorak! And to top things off, you’ll attend the legendary Prague Spring International Music Festival. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary musical adventure!

Trip Host

Alison Young

Alison Young hosts weekday mornings 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Classical Minnesota Public Radio. She is also the host of American Public Media’s SymphonyCast® and the annual Saint Olaf Christmas concerts broadcast nationally each December. Regionally, Alison hosts the live concert broadcasts of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Prior to broadcasting, she enjoyed a successful career as a professional flutist before an illness cut her career short. She has performed as principal flutist with the Houston, Boston and Atlanta Symphonies, where she was hailed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a “recitalist of great poise and technical security, dazzling precision and virtuosic flair.” Young attended the Interlochen Arts Academy and earned her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Southern California and master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is an avid kayaker, backpacker and rock climber and lives in Saint Paul with her husband.

Itinerary

Day 1: May 21 – Group Air Flight Departs the USA for Warsaw, Poland

Day 2: May 22 – Arrive in Poland

Dzien dobry! (Good day!) Your musical journey through central Europe begins appropriately as you land at Frederic Chopin International Airport in Warsaw, Poland. You’ll be met and transferred to our centrally located hotel. Depending upon flight times, you’ll enjoy a casual introductory walking tour of the old city center before meeting your Earthbound Expeditions guide, who will host an orientation and welcome dinner with Classical MPR host Alison Young. Sleep in Warsaw.

Day 3: May 23 – Discover Warsaw

Warsaw is a fascinating city steeped in history, culture and, of course, memories of Chopin. To get an overall impression of Poland’s bustling capital city, we’ll start by indulging ourselves in a morning tour that will highlight the city’s most famous landmarks. See the Royal Route with the aristocratic residences, historic churches and famous statues. In addition, we’ll visit the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, the Warsaw Uprising Monument, the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, the Grand Theatre, Chopin’s monument, the Belvedere Palace and Old Town. After a delicious lunch, we are off to the Chopin Family Parlor. The parlor was part of the apartment where Chopin spend some years before leaving Poland. Today it contains furniture and instrument from his time there, including a 19th century Buchholtz piano. The exhibition is complemented by portraits, including those of Frederic Chopin’s parents and siblings, as well as graphics depicting Warsaw in the early 19th century. Sleep in Warsaw.

Day 4: May 24 – In Pursuit of Chopin

Frederic Chopin is undoubtedly the best-known resident of Warsaw. He spent the first 20 years of his life in the city. Here he studied music, learned the manners of proper society and gave his first concerts. All the Warsaw newspapers wrote about the child prodigy. Walking the streets of Warsaw, you will pass many buildings where he lived, loved and worked. Our journey today begins at Ostrogski Castle, which houses both the Frederic Chopin Museum and the Chopin Society. The museum contains the world’s largest collections of Chopin memorabilia. Next we visit the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, which is among the oldest and largest schools of music in Europe. In the afternoon we depart for Zelazowa Wola, a village 30 miles west of Warsaw, to visit Chopin’s birthplace, complete with a rich collection of memorabilia associated with the great composers. Tonight, you’ll celebrate the genius of Chopin by attending a classical concert. Sleep in Warsaw.

Day 5: May 25 – Krakow, Poland’s Cultural Capital

After a hearty breakfast, we drive south to one of Poland’s most famous fortresses. The medieval castle of Ogrodzieniec was built in the 12th century to protect his region from the invading Tatars. After our visit, we continue to Krakow. A true survivor of war, Krakow is a colossus of art and architecture and is Poland’s best-preserved city. Because kings of Poland resided here, the city became the cultural and scientific center of the entire territory. Sleep in Krakow.

Day 6: May 26 – Imperial Krakow

This morning we will join an engaging local guide for a walk back in time. We’ll visit Central Europe’s largest medieval marketplace at Rynek Glowny and continue to Wawel Castle, where generations of Polish kings were crowned and buried. The afternoon is yours to further explore this breathtaking city and your own pace. Sleep in Krakow.

Day 7: May 27 – Historic District of Kazimierz, Krakow

This morning we’ll explore the historic district of Kazimierz, which served as a hub for Jewish civilization in Europe for several centuries and the heart of Jewish Krakow until World War II. Few Jewish families survived the conflict, and the trickle of families that returned in 1945 was too small to be called a community. When democratic changes came to Poland in 1989, much of Krakow, including Kazimierz, was in especially bad shape. In recent years, the district has seen a revival with artists and musicians opening shops in once abandoned buildings. After lunch, the afternoon is free for you to explore the medieval quarter of Krakow. Or enjoy an optional trip south and explore Poland’s famous salt mines or charming Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains. Tonight we’ve planned an evening of traditional Jewish music and a festive kosher feast in the heart of Krakow’s Jewish quarter where we will attend an entertaining Klezmer concert. Sleep in Krakow.

Day 8: May 28 – West to Moravia, Czech Republic

This morning we make a pilgrimage to the infamous concentration camp of Auschwitz in order to fully understand the origins of the suffering that took place at the hands of the Nazis. After this tour, we drive east to the province of Moravia, Czech Republic. Our Bohemian destination is the prominent university town of Olomouc, which is famous for it’s collection of mosaics. Before dinner, we’ll enjoy a walking tour and an evening concert. Dinner tonight includes Moravian delicacies and regional wines. Sleep in Olomouc.

Day 9: May 29 – In the Footsteps of Dvorak and Smetana: West to Prague

After breakfast, we make our way west to the soaring spires of Prague. We stop to explore the beautiful Vysehrad Cemetery, the final resting place of the most honored Czech composers, artists, sculptors and scientists, including Smetana and Dvorak. Prague is the birthplace of Franz Kafka and the city Mozart loved best. It’s also the home of the Prague Spring International Music Festival. For our first evening in Prague, let’s enjoy a Bohemian feast together! Sleep in Prague.

Day 10: May 30 – Prague’s Historic Heart

Our historic walking tour of Prague will start at its medieval center, the Old Town Square. We’ll cover some of Prague’s most interesting sights, including the Estates Theatre, home of the Prague Opera, where Mozart himself conducted The Marriage of Figaro in 1786. Our tour will continue Prague’s stirring medieval Jewish quarter including a stop at the Old Synagogue, which has been a place of worship for over 700 years. You’ll have a free afternoon before meeting this evening for an included concert. Sleep in Prague.

Day 11: May 31 – Prague’s Castle District

We start the day with a stroll to Prague’s most famous landmark, the Charles Bridge, followed by a visit to the historic castle district. Enjoy a farewell lunch hosted by Alison Young. The afternoon is yours to further explore the city’s charming streets. Perhaps you’ll want to take in the Bohemian market, a world-class museum, or simply wander the wondrously preserved historic old town. This evening we meet for our final concerts at the Prague Spring International Music Festival. Sleep in Prague.

Day 12: June 1 – Return Home

A complimentary airport transfer will be offered to those on the group flight.

Included in your Journey

  • Pre-trip dinner with Alison at MPR headquarters in downtown St. Paul, MN
  • Trip fully guided by an expert Earthbound Expeditions program manager
  • All breakfasts plus 10 additional multi-course meals
  • Ten nights of accommodation in charming, centrally located 4-star hotels
  • Fascinating city walking tours with expert local guides
  • All entrances to museums, castles, cathedrals and palaces listed in itinerary
  • An evening dinner concert in Krakow featuring traditional Jewish klezmer music
  • Three additional classical concerts highlighting the works of Chopin, Mozart, Dvorak, Smetana and Beethoven
  • All transportation on an air-conditioned motor coach
  • Gratuities for your driver, local guides and Earthbound Expeditions program managers
  • Regional and city maps
  • An interesting group of like-minded public radio classical music listeners

Pricing and Terms

Price and Discounts

Reserve by October 15 and save! Discounts for paying final balance by check. All Minnesota Public Radio and Performance Today Travel Alumni receive an additional discount.

$4995 per person double occupancy
$995 Single Supplement (waived if roommate is found)
Optional group flight departs USA on May 21, 2019
Trip begins in Warsaw on May 22
Trip ends in Prague on June 1

Optional Group Air: $1195 (estimate)
Delta Airlines with just one stop each way
Taxes, fees and airport transfers in Europe included

Ways to Save $250
MPR, Performance Today and Earthbound Expeditions travel alumni save $100 per person
Pay your final balance by check and save $100 per person
Reserve by October 15, 2018 and save $50

Need more information?

Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.