Catholic Pilgrimages Eastern Europe 2004

Journeys of Faith is organizing a Catholic Pilgrimages Cruise to Eastern Europe from October 15 to Novebmer 5, 2004. Pilgrimage Chaplain: Fr. Renato Jose E. Lopez, SSL

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Eastern Europe Catholic Pilgrimage Itinerary:

October 15 (Fri) Manila – Budapest
Depart Manila for Budapest in the evening.

October 16 (Sat) Budapest
By noon, arrive in Budapest - ancient Buda on a hill to the West and modern Pest to the East, spanning the mighty Danube, form of the great metropolitan cities of Central Europe. Rest of the time free to explore the charming city on the Buda side. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Mercure Buda or similar in Budapest.

October 17 (Sun) Budapest
Beneath Budapest’s exterior lies layers of history – from Roman ruins and medieval castles to the Turkish baths built during the Ottoman occupation. Visit Heroes’ Square, the Parliament Building, Castle Hill, Coronation Church and Fishermer’s Bastion. Enjoy a Danube River boat cruise. Entertain yourself with an interesting folklore show while at dinner. Overnight at hotel in Budapest.

October 18 (Mon) Budapest –Pannonhalma -Vienna
Have a half-day guided excursion to the 1,000 year old Benedictine abbey at Pannonhalma, listed among the global cultural heritage sites by the UNESCO World Heritage Commission. Long distance transfer to Vienna. Dinner and overnight at Eventhotel Pyramide or similar in Vienna.

October 19 (Tue) Vienna
Have a full-day guided tour of the Schonbrunn Palace, the Belvedere Palace (garden only) and St. Stephens Cathedral. Drive around the Ring. See the most important building on the Ringstrasse such as the Opera House, the museums of Fine Art and Natural History, the Hofburg, the Parliament buildings, the Burgtheatre, the Town Hall, the university and the stock exchange. Enjoy a Grinzing dinner with wine and Schramml music. Overnight at hotel in Vienna.

October 20 (Wed) Vienna – Ceske Budejovice - Cesky Krumlov
Long distance transfer from Vienna to the UNESCO protected historical towns of Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Enjoy beer-tasting at Budweiser Budvar Brewery where you will have lunch. Half-day guided tour of the Cesky Krumlov Castle where you will see a massive complex of the Rozmberk family. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Dvorak or similar in Cesky Krumlov.

October 21 (Thu) Cesky Krumlov – Pribram - Prague
Morning drive to Pribram (Svata Hora) to celebrate mass at the Holy Mountain, a mining silver town where the Marian pilgrimage site of the Madonna and Child has continuosly attracted thousands of pilgrims every year. Continue on to Prague for a visit to the Loretto Monastery and Church of our Lady of Victorious to see the Sto Nino de Praga. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Duo in Prague.

October 22 (Fri) Prague
Celebrate Mass at a chapel. Sightseeing of Prague, full of Gothic and Baroque buildings and cobblestone streets that wind over seven hills, takes us from the 14th century Charles Bridge to Wenceslas Square. See the Tyle Theatre where the first performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni took place in 1787. Visit the Hradcany Castle where you find the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral. Walk the Golden Lane, a collection of tiny 14th and 15th century houses and winding streets and see where Kafka lived. Continue on to the Old Town, where a walking tour shows us the famous Astronomical Clock. Enjoy an evening dinner with folkshow. Overnight at hotel in Prague.

October 23 (Sat) Prague - Krakow
Allow the soft rolling hills of Bohemia to provide lovely vistas for the day’s long drive from Prague to Krakow in Poland. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Novotel Cracow Bronowice or similar.

October 24 (Sun) Krakow
Today, visit the convent of the Sisters of the Divine Mercy, where Sr. Faustina died while serving as a nun. From Sister Faustina’s cell below, view where Jesus appeared in a vision and gave her the message of the 3:00 o’clock prayer. In the chapel, see the original painting of the Lord outpouring His graces through the red and blue rays coming from His Heart. It was painted the way Sr. Faustina saw the Lord. Celebrate Mass at the church. Ascend the Warwick Hill and visit the Royal Wawel Castle. See the Wawel Cathedral that housed the coffin of St. Stanislaus and visit the very impressive St. Mary’s Church. Rest of the day is free to explore the city. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Krakow.

October 25 (Mon) Krakow – Wieliczka – Wadowice - KraKow
A short drive will take us to Wieliczka Salt Mine, a world-class tourist attraction. Here we discover an underground world made of salt, with rich interior decorations of the chapels, the original linings of the galleries and workings, and the underground salt lakes. In Wadowice, visit the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Celebrate mass at the Church of Our Lady of Sacrifice. Visit Our Lady of Kalwaria, favorite praying spot of Pope John Paul II. Return to Krakow and rest of the day is free. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Krakow.

October 26 (Tue) Krakow - Auschwitz - Czestochowa
Drive to Auschwitz-Birkenau and visit the former Nazi concentration camp. On to Czestochowa, Poland’s spiritual capital. Pilgrims flock to the southern city of Czestochowa from all over the world. The object of their veneration is the Black Madonna icon, housed in Jasna Gora Monastery, which stands on a hilltop. The tower of the baroque basilica can be seen for miles around. Said to originate in New Testament time, the sacred image arrived at the monastery in 1384, during the Byzantine period. The image of the Virgin, coroneted and bejewelled, is displayed to permanent crowds of worshippers in the Chapel of the Mother of God. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Mercure Patria or similar in Czestochowa.

October 27 (Wed) Czestochowa – Niepokalanow – Warsaw
Morning drive to Niepokalanow, a village with the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Franciscan Monastery founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe. Leave for Warsaw, the present Polish capital. Have a half-day guided tour to the most interesting sites: the Old Town, the Royal Route with the Baroque churches and varied palaces, the Lazienki Park and the Willanow Palace (outside). Celebrate mass at St. John’s Cathedral. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Novotel Centrum or similar in Warsaw.

October 28 (Thu) Warsaw
The rest of the day is free at leisure until flight departure for Manila or flight to St. Petersburg in Russia, if extending trip.

October 29 (Fri) Home Sweet Home!!!

PACKAGE PRICE: (Minimum 15 full-paying passengers to operate)
USD 2,895.00 per adult
Single Room Supplement USD 515.00 per person
Russia Supplement USD 1,195.00 per person

Discover Russia: Its Vibrant Faith and Rich Cultural Heritage

October 27 (Wed) Manila - Warsaw
Depart Manila for St. Petersburg in the evening

October 28 (Thu) Warsaw – St. Petersburg
Arrive St. Petersburg at night in time to check in and have a late dinner at Neptune Hotel or similar in St. Petersburg. St.Petersburg has been the cultural soul of Russia, a repository of priceless art, a home to poets, musicians and composers and a witness to the rise and fall of Imperial Russia, two shattering revolutions and a civil war.

October 29 (Fri) St. Petersburg
Full-day guided tour of the Hermitage Museum, the Tsar’s former Winter Palace housing one of the finest art collections in the world; Peter and Paul Fortress, the formidable bastion on the Neva; Saint Isaac Cathedral, the city’s largest church and one of the world’s largest domed structures; Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood which sports an ornate and exaggerated “Russian-style exterior built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assasinated. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at hotel in St. Petersburg.

October 30 (Sat) St. Petersburg
Full-day guided tour of the ornate baroque palace with a blue façade and gold onion domes called Catherine’s Palace. Admire the White Vestibule, the Amber Room, the Portrait Hall, the Crimson Pillaster Room and its park at Pushkin. Admire Peter the Great’s Palace and its park at Petrodvorets. Built to rival Versailles, the palace sits atop a hill overlooking the Gulf of Finland. Tour the Throne Room, the Portrait Room and the White Dining Room. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at hotel in St. Petersburg.

October 31 (Sun) St. Petersburg – Novgorod
Long distance transfer to charming Novgorod, once an important center of icon production and famous for its churches even in medieval times. Have a half day guided tour of the beautiful lakeside of Novgorod Kremlin, the first in Russia dating to the 11th century. Beyond the imposing red brick walls of the fortress is the golden-domed Cathedral of St. Sophia, a Byzantine structure of white stone. See the Yaroslav Yard, Yuriev Monastery and Museum of Wooden Architecture. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Beresta Palace in Novgorod.

November 1 (Mon) Novgorod –Moscow
Full day long distance transfer to Moscow, capital of Russia. Dinner at local restaurant and overnight at Hotel Aerostar or similar in Moscow.

November 2 (Tue) Moscow
Sightseeing tour of the enormous Red Square with the colorful onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of Christ the Savour, the Bolshoi Treater, the old and modern districts, and the 16th century Novodevichy Convent. Rich in the spirit of the past and hidden behind a wall in the 20th century inner city, Novodevichy is a charming place and its cemetery houses the sculptured gravestones of famous Russian artists, writers and politicians. Dinner at a local restaurant after which you will watch the world-famous Old Circus. Overnight at hotel in Moscow.

November 3 (Wed) Moscow
Full-day guided tour of the Kremlin, a city within a city, with medieval towers, cathedrals and palaces. Visit the Annunciation and Assumption Cathedrals in Kremlin’s Square, a testimony of the vibrant faith of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Annunciation Cathedral was decorated by the great icon painters and was intended to be the royal family’s private chapel. The Assumption Cathedral is the oldest structure in the Square where Russian tsars were crowned, metropolitans and patriarchs were elected and important edicts read out. Visit the treasure-filled Armory Museum which displays the lavish court life of Imperial Russia. It is famous for its collection of Old Imperial Russian regalia, thrones, jewelry, costumes, state gifts, arms, Faberge eggs, royal carriages, ball gowns, jewel-encrusted swords that are relics of the wealth and power that once belonged to the tsars. Don’t miss a visit to the lavishly decorated metro stations that are unique to Russia. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at hotel in Moscow.

November 4 (Thu) Moscow –Manila
Half-day excursion to Sergueev Possad, formerly Zagorsk, a town founded in the 14th century centered around the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius, nowadays the center of the Russian Orthodox Church and one of the finest examples of early Russian architecture. Visits to the museum, cathedral and monastery are included, as time permits. Return to Moscow for the afternoon flight out.

November 5 (Fri) Home Sweet Home!!! (or Medjugorje extension possible)

 Round-trip economy class airfare
 Accommodation in first class hotels on twin or triple-sharing
 Breakfast and dinner and one (1) lunch, except beverages.
 Tours on air-conditioned motor-coach & entrance fees to sites
 Two-way airport-hotel transfers
 Porter-age of one luggage at airports and hotels
 Services of a local English-speaking tour guide
 Daily private masses by a pilgrimage chaplain

 Europe Departure tax (USD 120.00 per person)
 Philippine Travel Tax (PHP 1,620.00 per adult)
 NAIA Airport Tax (upon departure) PHP 550.00 per person
 Visa Fees (Hungary and Poland) USD 220.00 per person
 Visa & Courier Fees (Schengen & Czech) PHP 5,000.00 per person
 Visa Fees (Russia) – minimum for 10 working days PHP 2,500.00 per person
 Travel Insurance
 Tips to local guide and driver ($6 per person per day)
 Personal and incidental expenses

 Passport at least six months valid after end of journey
 Accomplished Schengen, Poland, Czech, Hungary and Russia visa application forms
 Ten (10) passport-sized pictures
 Recent bank certification; past 6 months statement of account
 Latest Income Tax Return
 Employment Certification and Approved Leave of Absence (if employed)
 Business/ SEC registration and monthly declaration of income (if self-employed)
 International Credit Card, if any
 Travel Insurance
 Other documents that the Embassy may so demand to establish affinities with home country

1. USD 500.00 is required upon reservation, payable in USD
2. Full payment is required at least 15 days before scheduled departure date as pre-requisite to issuance of tickets to passengers.
3. 10% deposit shall be forfeited if passenger voluntarily cancels trip less than two weeks before departure
4. Schedules, itinerary sequences, timings and prices are subject to change, as conditions so demand. Additional fees for visa processing may be charged if prescribed submission deadlines are not followed.
5. Journeys of Faith, Inc. shall not be liable for injuries or damages due to cause beyond its control and without fault or negligence on its part.


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[ First posted on 06/07/2004 by Manuel Viloria ]

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