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EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS

WITH ANDREA BOCELLI
& ANDRÉ RIEU

22 November - 18 December 2024

Come with us and be thrilled by an extraordinary array of musical experiences including Andrea Bocelli and André Rieu in concert plus operas and ballets. Be thrilled by some of the most romantic cities in Europe as we soak up the atmosphere of Christmas with lights, decorations, concerts, and famous Christmas markets.

$24,395 per person twin share
Single Room Supplement Add $6970

Initial Deposit On Booking $3000
Second Deposit Due: 3 June 2024 $4000
Final Balance Due: 9 August 2024

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Days

24 Days

Highlights

André Rieu, Andrea Bocelli, opera, ballet, Christmas and Advent concerts, Christmas markets, Christmas lights, art, museums

Group Size

20

Travellers

Travel of Note

Boutique Tour

Meals

All Breakfasts

11 Lunches

13 Dinners

Mobility

Active Tour

TOUR HOSTS

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SUSAN BOLAND

DIRECTOR/SOPRANO

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JOHN CAMERON

DIRECTOR/TENOR

MAP GUIDE:

1. BUDAPEST (5 nights)

2. VIENNA (4 nights)

3. SALZBURG (3 nights)

4. PRAGUE (4 nights)

5. DRESDEN (2 nights)

6. KASSEL (1 night)

7. VAALS (3 nights)

8. MAASTRICHT (1 night)

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SPECIAL FEATURES

• We experience those magical Advent weeks leading up to Christmas with all the music, splendour and wonder of fairytale lights. If you have lost the joyous anticipation of Christmas, rekindle it with Sue and John on this amazing musical and Christmas fantasy!

• At least 12 operas, ballets or classical concerts: Christmas with André Rieu in Maastricht (confirmed), Andrea Bocelli in Budapest (confirmed), Turandot at Hungarian State Opera House, The Barber of Seville at the National Theatre, Hansel and Gretel at Semper Opera, Dresden, Vienna State Opera or Volksoper, Vienna Boys Choir, Advent Mozart concert and dinner, Salzburg, Concert of Strauss at Schonbrunn Palace, Salzburg Marionette Theatre, Christmas concert at Prague Castle, all in premium seats, plus private dinners with music.

• Long stays in 4 and 5-star hotels with time to absorb the atmosphere of the most romantic cities in Europe with guided tours, Christmas markets, music and festivities: Budapest (5 nights), Vienna (4 nights), Salzburg (3 nights), Prague (4 nights), Dresden (2 nights), Kassel (1 night), Vaals/Aachen (3 nights), Maastricht (1 night) plus day trips to Meissen, Bratislava, Cesky Krumlov, Melk, Aachen, Valkenburg, Nordhausen, Cologne and Amsterdam. 

• Numerous experiences including Christmas light canal cruise Amsterdam, visits to art galleries, museums, Meissen porcelain factory, castles, horse show, recitals in churches, after hours tour at Schonbrunn Palace, opera house tours, local restaurants, underground Christmas market, Cologne Cathedral, beer hall - the list goes on!

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TRIP ITINERARY

Experience the Exceptional:

FRIDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2024

Fly out of Auckland to Budapest via Dubai for our amazing musical Christmas journey. 

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SATURDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2024 (D)

Budapest - The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (5 nights)

Situated on the east and west banks of the Danube River, Budapest is one of the largest and most beautiful cities of Eastern Europe. Budapest consists of two principal parts, which were merged in 1873: Buda, located on three hills and overlooking the west bank of the Danube River, and Pest, located on the opposite side.

Highlights Include: 

• Arrival in Budapest and transfer to our beautiful hotel, home for the next 5 nights. 

• Dinner is included this evening at the hotel before an early night after our long flight. 

SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2024 (B, L) DANUBE CRUISE & ANDREA BOCELLI CONCERT

Highlights Include: 

• An easy beginning to our trip as we enjoy a beautiful cruise on the Danube, taking in the wonderful sights before our local lunch.

• A rest before our gala event, Andrea Bocelli in concert. Celebrating 30 years of performing in 2024, this legendary tenor will perform at the MVM Dome and will enchant the Hungarian audience and us! His concert programme will include popular opera songs and songs from his well-known pop albums, and today’s most popular tenor will be accompanied by a Hungarian symphony orchestra and choir. (Time for a light snack at the stadium before the show at your own cost).

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MONDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2024 (B, L, D) BUDA TOUR 

Highlights Include:

• A half day city tour of Buda including the Fisherman’s Bastion, Citadel Hill and Matthias Church.

• Lunch at the Urban Betyar Restaurant with traditional Hungarian food. 

• Organ concert at St Matthias Church.

• A walk around the famous Christmas markets.

• Welcome gala dinner at the Bastion with violinist and orchestra.

TUESDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2024 (B, L)

PEST TOUR - LISZT - OPERA

Highlights Include:

• A half-day guided city sightseeing tour of Pest including tour of opera house, Heroes Square and the Parliament Buildings.

• Private concert and tour of the Liszt Academy. 

• Free time for dinner and a relaxing evening. 

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WEDNESDAY 27 NOVEMBER 2024 (B, L) CASTLE GODOLLO AND HORSE SHOW

Highlights Include: 

• Excursion to Godollo, visit to Castle Godollo with a baroque concert.

• An equestrian horseshow, displaying the culture and the history of the Hungarian horse sport, with lunch of traditional cuisine, famous Hungarian wines, gypsy music and folklore dance (subject to availability).

Turandot at Hungarian State Opera House (now confirmed). 

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THURSDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2024 (B)

BUDAPEST - BRATISLAVA - VIENNA

Vienna - Hotel Bristol, Vienna (4 nights)

Vienna, home of Johann Strauss, magnificent palaces and buildings, the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

Highlights Include: 

• Enjoy wandering through the historic town and the Christmas markets with free time for lunch. Hopefully a chance to catch up with the lovely Ivana who works for us, based in Bratislava. 

• Check into our lovely hotel and then a chance for you to wander in Vienna. We are close to everything!

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FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2024 (B, D) VIENNA CITY TOUR

Highlights Include: 

• Half-day guided city sightseeing tour (both walking and coach) including the City Ringstrasse, Town Hall, House of Parliament and also including entrance to the magnificent Saint Stephen’s Cathedral. 

• A chance to wander the Christmas markets of which there are several, some of the most famous in the world. 

• A very special event. An exclusive after hours private tour at the Schönbrunn Palace with dinner and concert of Strauss and Mozart in the Orangery.

SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER 2024 (B)

FINE ARTS MUSEUM AND OPERA

Highlights Include: 

• Visit and tour of the magnificent Museum of Fine Arts and Christmas markets next door. 

• Free afternoon to shop and enjoy the Christmas decorations and lights. 

• Opera or operetta at the Volksoper this evening, famous for its operetta programme of Strauss and Lehar (subject to final programme announcement).

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SUNDAY 1 DECEMBER 2024 (B, D) VIENNA BOYS CHOIR - OPERA HOUSE AND HOFBURG TOUR

Highlights Include: 

• Vienna Boys’ Choir singing Mass in their resident chapel, The Royal Court Chapel which is part of the Royal Apartments, in the Hofburg Complex. 

• A guided tour of the State Opera House and the Hofburg Complex. 

• Dinner this evening in the dining room of our hotel.  

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MONDAY 2 DECEMBER 2024 (B, L)

VIENNA - MELK ABBEY - SALZBURG

Salzburg - Radisson Blu Hotel Altstadt (3 nights)

Salzburg is a magical music town filled with charm at Christmas. We stay right beside the fantastic Christmas markets. Salzburg was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. It is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the setting for parts of the musical and film The Sound of Music, which features famous landmarks in Austria.

Highlights Include: 

• On route to Vienna, we visit Melk Abbey, an Austrian Benedictine abbey, and one of the world’s most famous monastic sites. It is located above the town of Melk on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river Danube.

• Check in to the hotel with free time to enjoy the ambience of this most beautiful town. Our hotel is located in the heart of the old town. 

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TUESDAY 3 DECEMBER 2024 (B, D) SALZBURG TOUR - MOZART DINNER AND CONCERT

Highlights Include: 

• Guided city sightseeing tour: Hohensalzburg Castle, the Cathedral and Mozart’s Birthplace.

• Late afternoon we enjoy the famous Marionette Theatre (either The Sound of Music or The Magic Flute where these historic puppets bring these shows to life). 

• Stiftskeller with entrance to their famous Mozart Advent Christmas concert, including a gourmet dinner. 

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WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2024 (B)

THE SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR

Highlights Include: 

A special tour which includes original shooting locations from the beloved film The Sound of Music.

• Mirabell Garden and Pegasus Fountain, where Maria and the children danced in the movie.

• Nonnberg Convent, where Maria was a novice.

• Schloss Leopoldskron, the house, where the Trapp Family lived in the movie which is now a luxury hotel.

• Hellbrunn Palace (singing scenes in the movie).

• Gazebo (now placed in Hellbrunn), where the Baron von Trapp kissed Maria for the first time.

• Church Mondsee, where Maria and the Baron married.

• Afternoon and evening at leisure to shop and enjoy the Christmas decorations and lights around this beautiful city.

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THURSDAY 5 DECEMBER 2024 (B, D) SALZBURG - CESKY KRUMLOV - PRAGUE

Prague - Carlo IV Dedica Anthology Hotel (4 nights)

Prague is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and its famous Wenceslas Square is a fairy tale Christmas spectacle.  Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. 

Highlights Include: 

• We travel to Prague via Cesky Krumlov where we will have a guided tour and lunch at Tavern Satlava. Ceský Krumlov is a city in the South Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. It is one of the most gorgeous towns in Europe, dominated by its 13th-century castle.

• Check in and dinner this evening at our lovely hotel. 

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FRIDAY 6 DECEMBER 2024 (B, L)

PRAGUE CITY TOUR - OPERA

Highlights Include: 

• A half day sightseeing tour including Pohorelec Square, Strahov Library, Prague Castle tour and St Vitus Cathedral (Prague’s most recognisable landmark), Charles Bridge. 

• Lunch at the Municipal House casual restaurant. 

The Barber of Seville with its beloved arias like Figaro, Figaro and Una voce poco fa at the magnificent National Theatre.

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SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER 2024 (B)

VINTAGE CAR TOUR - DVORAK - CHRISTMAS CONCERT 

Highlights Include: 

• Special vintage car tour, as we drive through the small streets and lanes, inaccessible on our coach. 

• An early evening special Christmas concert held at St George’s Basílica in Prague Castle.

SUNDAY 8 DECEMBER 2024 (B, D)

FREE TIME - CONCERT AND DINNER

Highlights Include: 

• Free time to go to Mass and enjoy the Advent choir and music (if you wish).

• Free time in Prague to enjoy shopping, Christmas markets and the atmosphere. 

• Late afternoon special concert Bolero and Carmina Burana at the magnificent Spanish Synagogue, followed by dinner at the Art Deco Restaurant in Municipal House. 

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MONDAY 9 DECEMBER 2024 (B, L) PRAGUE - DRESDEN TOUR

Dresden - Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe (2 nights)

Dresden is distinguished by the art museums and classic architecture of its reconstructed old town. Completed in 1743 and rebuilt after WWII, its rebuilt opera house is one of the most beautiful in the world. Its Christmas markets and Christmas trees and lights are famous throughout Europe. 

Highlights Include: 

• Walking tour of Dresden including entrance to Royal Palace and the breathtaking green vaults. 

• Lunch at a typical Dresden restaurant with local fare. 

• Visit Frauenkirche, Zwinger Palace, view Raphael’s Sistine Madonna in the Old Masters Picture Gallery. 

• Free time in Dresden this evening to visit the markets, considered one of best in Europe. 

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TUESDAY 10 DECEMBER 2024 (B, L) MEISSEN PORCELAIN TOUR

Highlights Include: 

• Day trip to Meissen and enjoy a Porcelain Factory tour. 

• We stroll through the town of Meissen and enjoy a typical local lunch. 

Hansel and Gretel at Semper Opera, Dresden

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WEDNESDAY 11 DECEMBER 2024 (B, AT, D)

PRAGUE - NORDHAUSEN - KASSEL

Kassel - Schlosshotel Bad Wilhelmshöhe (1 night)

Highlights Include: 

• We transfer through to Kassel today with a stop in the 1000 year old charming town of Nordhausen with free time for a wander and lunch (own cost). 

• On arrival in Kassel, we enjoy a late afternoon tea and a visit to the Brothers Grimm Museum. 

• Dinner this evening on arrival at our hotel after a big driving day. 

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THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER 2024 (B, L, D)

KASSEL - COLOGNE - VAALS

Vaals - Kasteel Vaalsbroek (3 nights)

Highlights Include: 

• We drive to Vaals via Cologne which is a major cultural centre of the Rhineland and has a vibrant arts scene. 

• We visit the Cologne Cathedral which is one of the world’s largest churches and the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. 

• We will enjoy a group lunch in one of the many beer halls this city has to offer. 

• Then we drive on to Vaals which is close to Aachen.

• After check in we enjoy dinner at the hotel after a big driving day. 

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FRIDAY 13 DECEMBER 2024 (B, L, D)

KASSEL - COLOGNE - VAALS

Highlights Include: 

• We enjoy a morning off at our hotel this morning and a chance to wander the grounds or enjoy the spa and indoor pool. 

• This afternoon we are off to the Valkenburg Christmas Market which is held in the city’s atmospheric and historic underground caves, although there are other events going on in other parts of the town. 

• This award-winning event sees the entire town transformed into a beautifully decorated Christmas wonderland!

• The market is the largest underground market in Europe and also boasts Santa’s Village, street parades and street entertainers, all getting into the spirit of the season. 

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SATURDAY 14 DECEMBER 2024 (B, D)

Highlights Include: 

• Again we enjoy a leisurely start to the day, enjoying our hotel before we are off to Aachen to enjoy some free time and get your own lunch. 

• Tonight in our hotel we celebrate our early Christmas and our farewell dinner in a private room. We will reminisce about the wonders we have seen together on this magical trip. 

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SUNDAY 15 DECEMBER 2024 (B, D) VAALS - MAASTRICHT

 

Maastricht - Hotel Van der Valk (1 night)

Highlights Include: 

• Short drive to Maastricht with free time to have lunch and enjoy the vibrancy of this wonderful town. 

• Transfer by coach to the Stadium early afternoon for our concert: Christmas with André Rieu, commencing at 3pm. Wow, time to pinch ourselves that we are actually here! We enjoy premium seating for this gala event. 

• After the concert we are transferred by coach to our hotel where we will enjoy dinner after check in. 

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MONDAY 16 DECEMBER 2024 (B, L, Light Dinner)

MAASTRICHT - AMSTERDAM - FLIGHT HOME

Highlights Include: 

• Today we leave Maastricht and enjoy a full day in Amsterdam before our flight this evening. 

• First up we are off to the Van Gogh Museum to learn about his life and see some of his most famous paintings, followed by lunch. 

• We board our boat late afternoon for our exclusive final fabulous experience. 

• We cruise on our historic boat around the beautiful canals of Amsterdam, seeing historic houses, sipping fine wine, enjoying a light dinner and marvelling at the light instillations of the Amsterdam Light Festival. What a way to end our Christmas tour!

• We transfer to the airport with plenty of time to check in for our flight home. 

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TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER 2024 - IN FLIGHT 

WEDNESDAY 18 DECEMBER  2024 

We arrive home filled with the spirit of Christmas, food, wine and great cheer, maybe some presents for the grandkids and lots of stories to tell about our amazing adventure. 

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PLACES WE STAY

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Budapest (5 nights)

is a 5-star luxury hotel, opened in 1918 as a grand insurance office and police HQ.It is centrally located and is now a luxurious hotel with plenty of original features.

Hotel Bristol, Vienna (4 nights)

Opened in 1892, the magnificent luxurious 5-star Hotel Bristol, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is set directly next to the Vienna State Opera and is ideally located to explore the major sights of the city. 

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Radisson Blu Hotel Altstadt, Salzburg (3 nights) 

The beautifully restored Salzburg hotel offers 5-star accommodation with well-preserved medieval details, dating back to 1377. It is located in the heart of the old town of Salzburg.

Carlo IV Dedica Anthology Hotel, Prague

(4 nights) 

Part of the Autograph Collection managed by Marriott, this 5-star hotel is in a neo classic design of the nineteenth century. It is located about a ten minute walk from the Wenceslas Square and Christmas markets.

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Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe, Dresden (2 nights)

is located right next to the Frauenkirche, which puts us right at home in Dresden’s city centre. Behind its historic façade, the Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe combines modern comfort with a lively history.

Schlosshotel Bad Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel (1 night) 

Enjoying a unique location in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 4-star Superior hotel offers great views of Kassel and has a luxury spa.

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Kasteel Vaalsbroek, Vaals (3 nights)

is a 4-star hotel and castle in an idyllic setting, on an 18-hectare estate, in the picturesque hills of Limburg, near the tri-point of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, as well as Maastricht and Aachen.

Hotel Van der Valk, Maastricht (1 night)

is a 4-star hotel, set on the edge of Maastricht’s historic centre. It features an indoor swimming pool and sauna area and three fine dining restaurants. 

This Trip Includes:

• Return Economy Airfares: Direct flights via Dubai Auckland/Budapest - Amsterdam/Auckland with Emirates including all taxes. 

• 24 day tour, staying in 4 and 5-star historic hotels and castles: Budapest (5 nights), Vienna (4 nights), Salzburg (3 nights), Prague (4 nights), Dresden (2 nights), Kassel (1 night), Vaals/Aachen (3 nights), Maastricht (1 night) plus day trips to Meissen, Bratislava, Cesky Krumlov, Melk, Aachen, Valkenburg, Nordhausen, Cologne and Amsterdam. 

• At least 12 operas, ballets or classical concerts: Christmas with André Rieu in Maastricht (confirmed), Andrea Bocelli in Budapest (confirmed), Turandot at Hungarian State Opera House, The Barber of Seville at the National Theatre, Hansel and Gretel at Semperoper, Dresden, Vienna State Opera or Volksoper, Vienna Boys Choir, Advent Mozart concert and dinner, Salzburg, Concert of Strauss at Schonbrunn Palace, Salzburg Marionette Theatre, Christmas concert at Prague Castle, all in premium seats, plus private dinners with music. (Some of the European opera programme to be confirmed at time of printing).

• Numerous tours as listed in the itinerary including city tours of Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Dresden, Cologne and Amsterdam, plus guided tours. 

• Numerous special experiences including Christmas markets, lights, carol singers, Christmas lights cruise in Amsterdam, visits to Castles, churches, Advent church concerts, vintage car ride, Liszt house and concert, green vault, art galleries, museums, Meissen porcelain factory, Mozart’s birthplace, Sound of Music tour, opera house tours and Van Gogh museum. 

• All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 13 dinners included. 

• All tours, transfers, tips, concerts, taxes, as listed in the itinerary are included. 

• Escorted by Operatunity owners Susan Boland and John Cameron.

• Travel of Note tour limited to 20 travellers. 

Important Information

• All itinerary details are subject to change, but changes will be replaced with a comparable or better option. 

• Initial & Second deposits are fully refundable up until final balance due date, minus an administration fee of up to $500 plus any non-recoverable costs. 

• All monies are non-refundable at final balance due date. This becomes an insurance claim. 

• Bank transfer payments incur no surcharge. Credit card payments incur surcharge of 1.5%.

• Travellers need to be independently mobile and fit to travel. 

• Bookings will only be accepted with initial deposit & booking form. 

• All travellers must obtain comprehensive travel insurance for international travel and insurance for domestic travel is recommended. 

• Please refer to our terms and conditions on booking form.

Mobility - Active Tour

All our trips are specifically designed for our core market, but this trip does contain travel challenges, either because of the region visited or the walking distances or uneven surfaces that arise at some sites. We do advise that you evaluate your level of fitness with your doctor before you consider booking this tour. This is still a moderately paced tour, but you will be required to walk longer distances, walk on cobblestones and ancient ruins and stand in museums. To really get the best out of this tour you need to be able to stand or walk for a couple of hours comfortably, be it at a leisurely pace. You also need to be able to climb up to three flights of stairs at a leisurely pace. If you are unsure, please ring the office to discuss your suitability for our tours. 

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