Having previously travelled extensively within Australia and overseas both with tour groups and independently we were absolutely blown away with the quality and service provided on this tour, our very first “Captains Choice Tour”.
R & R Stephenson, Back of Beyond by Private Plane
Fly from Australia, Frankfurt bound, anticipating medieval towns, traditional farmhouses and the quiet of evergreen forests.
We arrive in Frankfurt and as soon as we touch down make our way to Heidelberg. Here, we check in to Hotel Der Europäische Hof for two nights. This evening, we are welcomed with a charging of glasses, followed by a celebratory dinner at Kurfürstenstube restaurant within our hotel.
The picturesque German countryside reveals itself as we journey through it. For lunch, we ride the chair lift up to the ruins of Rietburg Castle for sweeping views of the Rhine Valley. After lunch we head to the charming streets of Rhodt unter Rietburg, especially Theresienstrasse, lined with locally-owned shops and wine restaurants. Our evening begins with drinks at the German Pharmaceutical Museum inside Heidelberg Castle, a far more interesting space than the name suggests. We then walk over to the castle’s one Michelin star restaurant, Scharff’s Schlossweinstube, for an exquisite dinner.
This morning, we are whisked off to Baden-Baden, where we check in to the Brenners Park Hotel for three nights. Lunch follows at Restaurant Rizzi, set in a leafy park. After lunch, choose a Your World experience for the afternoon.
Tonight we dine at Michelin-starred Le Jardin de France.
We devote our day to feeling the wind in our hair. A collection of cars from the 1930s and 1940s will be made available. Chauffeurs are on hand, but for a more thrilling experience, we can also choose to drive. Expect to see a Porsche Speedster, Mercedes Benz 280C Cabrio and many more. This evening, we get dressed for a night in the Belle Époque surroundings of the Casino Baden-Baden for a delectable meal at The Grill restaurant. With our taste buds satiated, a private croupier introduces us to blackjack or roulette, before we spend the rest of the evening at the tables or simply soaking in the atmosphere.
Germany’s great horse racing carnival, the Grosse Woche, culminates today at Iffezheim, and we have arranged a spectacular way to partake in the festivities. Our hotel has arranged for us to be hosted at the Brenners Lounge at Bénazet Grandstand. The day culminates with dinner at Brenners Park Restaurant in our hotel, headed by two Michelin star chef Paul Stradner.
This morning, a short drive over the border places us in France. Strasbourg welcomes us with a leisurely canal cruise. The gastronomic adventure continues with lunch at a handpicked local restaurant. A special, private evening at the Strasbourg Opera House awaits us later. Dinner is on the Opera’s stage, followed by performances from the three branches of the Opera National du Rhin of Strasbourg. Our home in Strasbourg for three nights is the Regent Petite France & Spa.
The cuisine of the Alsace region comes to life today when we dine at another local haunt for lunch. This afternoon, we are treated to a tour of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, a fine example of High Gothic architecture, but with a difference. We will visit spaces within the church that most tourists never see. The countryside beckons for dinner, where we taste the real tarte flambée.
In the morning, we visit Strasbourg’s food markets - the produce, the cheese, the local Gendarme smoked sausage, and so much more. Lunch is at Les Haras Brasserie, crowned Best Restaurant at the international Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2014. The afternoon is devoted to the other great French pursuit - wine. We visit a wine cellar that dates back to 1395, where you can be among the world’s very few to have experienced the bouquet of a 1472 vintage. That is, of course, before you taste a wine or two.
We leave Strasbourg for Colmar, said to be the most beautiful town in all of Alsace, and perhaps, the whole world, if the writer Georges Duhamel is to be believed. This afternoon, we visit the Musée Unterlinden, home to the stunning Isenheim altarpiece. While the cruxifixion is the main scene depicted on its central panel, the piece features multiple painted panels which can be displayed in different configurations. This evening, we dine at the two Michelin starred Restaurant JY’S. La Maison des Têtes welcomes us for a three-night stay.
The gentle green slopes of Kaysersberg are lined with vineyards, and it is amongst the grapes that we spend the morning. We take a private tour of a leading estate, led by the owner himself. And of course, a tasting follows. This afternoon, we explore the town, visiting the Albert Schweitzer museum, winner of the 1952 Nobel Prize. Dinner is a rustic feast at a country estate in the Vosges mountains.
Begin the morning with a relaxing canal cruise through Colmar taking in the picture-perfect village. We stop for lunch at Riquewihr, then explore the town, which is charmingly positioned between the Vosges and the plains of Alsace. This evening, we dine at a local favourite guaranteed to please.
Freiburg is the gateway to the Black Forest, and we call the city’s Colombi Hotel home for the next two nights. The Ringhotel Zum Roten Bären, Germany’s oldest guest house, founded in 1311, welcomes us for lunch. Spend the afternoon on one of these Your World experiences.
Spend the day on one of these Your World experiences.
After lunch, we learn about the area’s famed cuckoo clocks, visiting Hubert Herr, a leading clock maker since the 19th century.
The town of Hinterzarten is known for the Adler ski jumping hill, and it is training season when we visit, so we are likely to see the jumpers practising runs. We’ve planned for the afternoon to be a leisurely one - take a stroll around town or simply relax in your hotel. The Parkhotel Adler hosts us for three nights.
An adventurous day highlighting the best of the Black Forest awaits. Choose from one of these Your World experiences.
After yesterday’s activity-filled day, today is set aside for rest, and maybe a round of golf. We spend the day at the scenic Golfclub Hochschwarzwald, with cocktails in hand and sandwiches for lunch. At dinner, we may select from a list of handpicked local restaurants.
It is hard to find a prettier setting for a town than an island in the middle of a lake - a distinction that is Lindau’s only. We spend the afternoon walking around the island, stopping at many vantage points where quaint Bavarian buildings frame views of Lake Constance. This evening, we may choose from two carefully selected restaurants. Our residence for the next three nights is the Hotel Bayerischer Hof where we’ve secured lake view rooms.
Today, we board the M/V Emily for a private cruise from Lindau, on the southeastern shore, to Mainau. The unbelievably green island is a result of the city’s decision to maintain it as a place for parks, gardens and greenhouses. We stroll through a delightful vineyard, stopping to taste the wine. Since we are in Germany, we also sample the local schnapps and liquors in the historic arched cellar of Torbogenkeller. The day concludes with a private concert by a classical ensemble, after which, the M/V Emily returns us to Lindau. This evening, we dine at the one Michelin star Casala, located in the Romantik Hotel Residenz am See in Meersburg.
It is a rare number who will ever see a Zeppelin airship, let alone fly in one. Today, we visit Friedrichshafen Airport, where the airships are based. After a private tour of the hangar, choose from one of these Your World experiences.
This is our last evening in Germany, and a spectacular reception and farewell dinner will take place at the Zeppelin Museum on the airport grounds. We toast our journey and savour dinner under a reconstruction of the famous Hindenburg airship, which once flew transatlantic journeys to the United States.
We leave the charms of southern Germany and France’s Alsace region for Frankfurt, where we will take a connecting flight home to Australia. We arrive home tomorrow, on the 18th of September, with many stories to tell.
Sometimes travelling can be a chore, distracting you from the fascinating places you are in. That’s why everything mundane has been moved behind the scenes. You will never have to carry a map, luggage, small change for tips or bargain for a taxi fare.
There are no hidden costs. Everything is included – flights and other travel arrangements, luxurious accommodation, travel insurance, all dining and drinks, and even sightseeing trips - including those by helicopter or husky sled. Even the Your World experiences within your itinerary and internet access when available.
Fares are based on a standard room. With Flights per person, twin share. Fares include Emirates flights from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Prices from other cities available on request.
Land Only guests join the tour in Heidelberg for dinner on Day 2 and depart Lindau after breakfast on Day 21.
Solo suites at above prices are limited. Contact our Tour Sales Consultants for details on other suite upgrades.
Note: This journey is exclusively reserved for a group of just 20 travellers.