COLORADO SPRINGS. On the fifth and sixth full days of Bishop Michael Sheridan’s 2018 Danube Pilgrimage Cruise, pilgrims will experience one of the world’s most incredible abbeys as well as the magic of Vienna, Austria, including the opportunity to attend a classical concert in a private villa.
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.
According to Select International, the tour company, a limited number of cabins remain and the ship is expected to sell out by early 2018. The Diocese of Colorado Springs will be one of several groups filling the ship, so remaining cabins are claimed on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Herald will keep readers update on the status of available cabins.
After waking up and enjoying breakfast at the port in Emmersdorf, Austria on Nov. 5, pilgrims will board the bus and head first to Melk Abbey, a magnificent Baroque-style structure surrounded by a scenic Renaissance-era town with winding streets reminiscent of the Middle Ages.
The abbey is part of a massive church complex that provides spectacular views of Vienna and the Danube River. The abbey features artwork dating back to the 9th through 15th centuries, and after a tour pilgrims will celebrate Mass in a chapel there.
After lunch, pilgrims have an open afternoon to relax on the ship while it departs for Vienna. After an early dinner on the ship, pilgrims will have the option to purchase a ticket to listen to professional opera singers and a classical orchestra perform “The Sounds of Vienna” in the small ballroom of a private villa.
Waking up in Vienna for the sixth full day on Nov. 7, pilgrims will spend the morning immersed in its rich cultural history — especially with its classical composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and many more — during a tour of the Old Town. Pilgrims will have some free time to explore the city, and, in the afternoon, they can remain in Vienna or purchase a ticket to take a side trip to Schonbrunn, the Baroque summer home of the Hapsburg emperors. Marie Antoinette lived at this palace as a young girl, and Mozart played here as a 6-year-old prodigy.
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.
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 sixth of a series that will flesh out the incredible itinerary of this pilgrimage.]