COLORADO SPRINGS. On the fourth full day of Bishop Michael Sheridan’s 2018 Danube Pilgrimage Cruise, pilgrims will ride through the famous countryside of Salzburg in addition to spending a day exploring the streets of this spectacular city — birthplace to the legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Bishop Sheridan and Msgr. Bob Jaeger will lead this special Catholic Danube River cruise pilgrimage of Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary from Oct. 31-Nov. 10, 2018.
After waking up and enjoying breakfast at the port in Linz, Austria, pilgrims will board the bus and head into Salzburg. Along the way, they’ll pass through rolling hills with mountain backdrops — a region made famous in the musical and movie “The Sound of Music.”
Once in Salzburg, pilgrims will tour the old town, passing by the Hohensalzburg fortress, Mirabell Gardens and Salzburger Dom. Following lunch, you will have time to explore the city on your own and delve deeper into its musical center. There are museums at both the birthplace and former residence of Mozart (1756-1791), and his footprint is all over the city. His baptismal font and an organ he played can be found at the Salzburg Cathedral in the heart of the Old Town. Salzburg is also home to famous chocolates dating back to the 1800s that were the first to bear Mozart’s likeness on the wrapper. The original chocolate store is in Salzburg and will be a quick stop for the group to load up on gifts.
After some free time, the group will gather again to celebrate Mass at Maria Plain Basilica, known for housing an image of the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus that was miraculously unharmed during a fire in Regensburg during the 30 Years War (1618-1638). Pilgrims will take a coffee and cake break after Mass and then return to the ship for dinner and an overnight cruise to Emmersdorf, Austria — with a full day ahead in stunning Vienna.
Daily Mass is included throughout the pilgrimage, and beautiful churches where Masses are being finalized 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 rich Catholic part of the world. Tour organizer Bill Howard will also prepare pilgrims in advance with emails highlighting travel tips and spiritual formation to prepare for the journey.
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 lowering 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.
Due to the size of the ship and other Select International 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).
[NOTE: This article is the fifth of a series that will flesh out the incredible itinerary of this pilgrimage.]