Exploring the Imperial Cities of Eastern Europe with our Cameras
This photographic adventure is a tale of three cities! We will explore the stately, elegant and photogenic imperial cities of Prague, Vienna and Budapest. We’ll stay in centrally located 4-star (or better) hotels in each imperial city. Highlights include a visit to Prague Castle, night photography in Prague, a scenic coach drive to Vienna, photography in Vienna, hydrofoil transfer on the Danube River from Vienna to Budapest and an intimate walking tour of Budapest. Please consider joining noted photographer Harold Davis for a fun photographic time in these three great cities!
Dates: Sunday June 14, 2015 (leave United States June 13) – Tuesday June 23, 2015 (10 days and 9 nights).
Group size: Maximum of 12.
Cost: $5,499.00 per person (excluding airfare, single supplement $1,085.00 additional). Includes all accommodations, many meals, transportation and extras per the Itinerary and Inclusions shown below. Special early-registration discount of $500 for registrations with paid deposit before January 31, 2015 (so early-bird per person cost is only $4,999).
Registration: Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and requires a $500 deposit and an application form. Click here to register.
Day 1—Sunday June 14, 2015 (D)
After making your own way to Prague, we’ll meet as a group at our centrally-located hotel, our home for the next three nights. After checking in, a coach and local guide will meet us for a three hour orientation tour of Prague.
The panoramic tour will introduce you to the medieval charm of the Czech capital, and you will be able to make note of the photogenic places you’d like to visit later in the tour with your camera. Upon return to the hotel, enjoy a welcome dinner with the group to get to know your fellow travelers a little better.
Hotel in Prague (three nights): Grand Hotel Bohemia or similar, www.grandhotelbohemia.cz
Day 2—Monday June 15, 2015 (B)
This morning we’ll enjoy a walking tour of Prague’s Old Town, accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide. See the monumental Church of St Nicholas, the picturesque Old Town square with its town hall and the astronomical clock, faultlessly showing not only the time and date for centuries, but also the positions of the sun and the moon. After the walking tour, enjoy time at leisure for revisiting the eye-catching sights you have already spotted, either alone or with Harold Davis. Tonight’s dinner is at leisure.
Day 3—Tuesday June 16, 2015 (B, L)
This morning we’ll have a coach to take us up to Prague Castle for a guided visit of the city’s, if not the country’s, most iconic landmark. We’ll tour the St Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica and the Golden Lane with a local guide, before enjoying a group lunch in a nearby traditional restaurant.
The afternoon is free to explore more of the city independently or with Harold Davis, and the evening will include a night photography session of the Charles Bridge and Vlatva River.
Day 4—Wednesday June 17, 2015 (B, D)
We’ll board our coach to depart Prague this morning, taking a scenic coach drive through the Czech countryside until we reach the Austrian border and then Vienna. After checking into our hotel for the next three nights, we’ll meet a coach and local guide for an orientation tour of the “City of Dreams”.
Vienna has been home to many famous faces over the years, notably including composers Beethoven and Haydn, and artist Gustav Klimt, and as such, the artistic legacy is almost tangible around every corner of the Austrian capital. Back at the hotel, enjoy a welcome to Vienna dinner tonight.
Hotel in Vienna (three nights): Best Western Hotel Kaiserhof or similar, www.kaiserhof-wien.at/
Day 5—Thursday June 18, 2015 (B, L)
To begin our deeper exploration of Vienna, this morning we’ll walk over with a local guide to the impressive Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna’s most visited attraction (and for good reason). With a grandeur to rival that of France’s Versailles, this extraordinary example of late Baroque architecture offers opulent interior decoration and stunning gardens.
After lunch in a local restaurant, take the afternoon at leisure for self-assignments and photography with Harold. This evening there is an optional night photography meet.
Day 6—Friday June 19, 2015 (B)
Today, take advantage of the morning light with free time to capture more of Vienna’s treasures with your camera. Self-assignments and sessions with Harold are also a possibility. Then, after an independent lunch we’ll enjoy a sightseeing cruise on the Danube, to take in the city from a different point of view.
Day 7—Saturday June 20, 2015(B, D)
This morning we’ll transfer to the hydrofoil departure point, for our boat transfer down the Danube and into beautiful Budapest. We’ll check into our city-central hotel for the next three nights, before again enjoying an orientation tour of this historic city, with a coach and local guide. The people of Budapest suffered many years of fascist and communist tyranny, which has resulted today in a passionate, modern society which makes the city buzz. After your Budapest taster session, enjoy a welcome dinner in the hotel.
Hotel in Budapest (three nights): Corinthia Hotel Budapest or similar, www.corinthia.com/hotels/budapest
Day 8—Sunday June 21, 2015 (B, L)
This morning explore the Hungarian capital on foot with a local guide. We’ll see the moving Heroes Square before making our way down the impressive and high-end Andrassy Street, a sign of how far the city has come since its troubled years. Try to fit the whole of the remarkable Parliament building in your camera lens, and marvel at the ornate detailing on St. Istvan’s Basilica – time to test your zoom!
After a Hungarian lunch at a local restaurant, discover more of the city’s architectural delights with self-assignments and photography with Harold Davis, before taking in the two sides of the city from the Danube with an evening sightseeing cruise.
Day 9—Monday June 22, 2015 (B, D)
We’ll head up Castle Hill this morning with a local guide, to discover the Buda side of town and experience the breath-taking views across the city, from the Fisherman’s Bastion lookout points. We’ll also visit the ornate and lavish Matthias Church, the capital’s most beautiful church.
The final afternoon will be yours at leisure for more self-assignments and sessions with Harold, before a festive farewell dinner in a local Hungarian restaurant to round off an unforgettable trip.
Day 10—Tuesday June 23, 2015 (B)
After checking out of the hotel, we’ll bid farewell to the Imperial capitals of Europe and head to the airport via coach transfer for the flight home. Your camera will be full to bursting with memories of the ornate delights of Eastern Europe, ensuring you won’t forget your trip any time soon.
Meal codes: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
- 3 nights in Prague at Grand Hotel Bohemia (or similar)
- 3 nights in Vienna at Best Western Hotel Kaiserhof (or similar)’
- 3 nights in Budapest at Corinthia Hotel Budapest (or similar)
- All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners as indicated
- Local guides as indicated
- Tranfers per the itinerary for Prague Castle visit, Schonbrunn Palace visit and Castle Hill/Matthias Church visit
- Entrance fees per the itinerary for Prague Castle, Schonnbrun Palace and Mathias Church
- Transport between Prague and Vienna by private coach
- Transport between Vienna and Budapest by Hydrofoil (see note)
- 10-days photographic coaching by Harold Davis
- International airfare
- Meals, transfers and entrance fees except as mentioned in the itinerary
- Alcohol and soft drinks at meals
- Souvenirs and incidental expenses
Note: Transfer from Vienna to Budapest by Hydrofoil is subject to availability based on 2015 schedule (not yet published).
Registration: Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and requires a $500 deposit and an application form.