COLORADO SPRINGS. Bishop Michael Sheridan will be leading a special cruise pilgrimage of Germany, Austria and Hungary in the Oct. 31-Nov. 10, 2018.
An information night, featuring a short presentation on the itinerary and a travel Q&A session, will take place with Bishop Sheridan, Msgr. Bob Jaeger and pilgrimage organizer Bill Howard 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 at St. Paul Church in Colorado Springs.
The itinerary begins at Newark Airport on Oct. 31. Some pilgrims may want to use frequent flier miles to get from Colorado to JFK, but Select can also book air from Denver at an additional cost. Pilgrims arrive in Munich on Nov. 1 and take a city tour before checking into the hotel for one night.
On Nov. 2, the group will board a comfortable coach bus and travel into the beautiful Bavarian forests, home of Pope Benedict XVI. The first stop will be Altotting, often called “The Lourdes of Germany” due to thousands of pilgrims who come annually in search of healing from Our Lady of Altotting. Following lunch, the group will head to Passau, where the Amadeus Silver III cruise ship awaits.
Pilgrims will continue to explore Bavaria the next day, visiting Regensburg — where Pope Benedict XVI taught from 1969-77 — and Weltenberg Benedictine Abbey, considered the oldest working brewery in the world (dating back to 1050 A.D.).
The ship then leaves Germany and makes its next stop for three days in Austria. The group will explore Salzburg, home of Mozart and “The Sound of Music” musical; scenic Emmersdorf, a town that still has a Middle Ages feel and is home of the famous Melk Abbey; and, of course, Vienna — the music capital of the world. On Nov. 5, pilgrims have an option of purchasing a ticket to attend a private classical music concert in Vienna that evening.
From Austria, the ship travels overnight to Bratislava, Slovak Republic, where the group will spend one day touring one of the most scenic and ancient cities along the Danube River. The group will also dine with the captain this night. The cruise concludes with two days exploring Budapest.
Pilgrims who want to explore more of Eastern Europe can also add extensions to Prague, Czech Republic (Nov. 10-12), or Krakow and Czestechowa, Poland (Nov. 10-14).
Daily Mass is included, and beautiful churches where Mass will be celebrated include the shrine in Altotting, Maria Plain Basilica in Salzburg, St. Martin Cathedral in Bratislava and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Budapest. Pilgrims will get to explore a deeply Catholic part of the world, and they will receive advance preparation and formation via regular emails.
The Amadeus Silver III ship combines the luxuries of a 5-star hotel with first-class crew service. There are three room decks, with the top featuring 12 luxury suites with walkout balconies. The majority of the other cabins have automatically lowerable panorama windows, offering a spectacular view of the passing river landscapes. All cabins have a modern bathroom and a walk-in closet. The top deck of the Silver III features a glass-shielded River Terrace, and the main restaurant offers panoramic views.
Due to the size of the ship and other Select groups participating in this cruise, the number of rooms for Bishop Sheridan’s pilgrimage are limited and first-come, first-serve. Pricing is based on double occupancy and rooms range from $3,695 to $4,195 cash/check (credit card pricing is also available at a slightly higher cost).
For more details, go to: http://selectinternationaltours.com, click on “Cruises” and select the Oct. 31-Nov. 10 Danube Cruise brochure. You can also call Susan at 1-800-842-4842 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get details, place your deposit and reserve your room.
[NOTE: This article is the first of a series that will flesh out the incredible itinerary of this pilgrimage.]