From Gdansk’s “Royal Way” to the longest
pier in Europe; from the vibrant, historic capital of Warsaw to
Kraków’s charming Old Town with its Market Square and 16th-century
Cloth Hall, you’ll see it all on this Mayflower holiday.
Visit historic castles, beautiful cathedrals and sites of great
religious significance. And journey to Auschwitz and the
Kazimierz Jewish District to gain insight into a painful period in
Polish History. You’ll truly experience the Pride of Poland
during this 9-day adventure.
1 Depart the USA
Depart the USA on your overnight flight to Gdansk, Poland.
2 Gdansk, Poland
Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a Mayflower Cruises & Tours
representative and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day
is free for you to relax or explore on your own. Tonight, join your Tour
Manager and fellow travelers for dinner. Meal: D
3 Gdansk – Gdynia – Sopot
After breakfast, participate in a sightseeing tour of Gdansk, during
which you’ll learn more about Lech Walesa – the Solidarity activist
and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Walk along the “Royal Way”,
taking in major sights like the 17th-century Golden Gate, the
Neptune Fountain situated in front of the Artus Court, and the City
Hall, which dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries. One of the
most interesting buildings in Old Gdansk is the largest Gothic
church in Poland, St. Mary’s Church, and the City Hall Tower offers
spectacular views of the city.
Later travel to Sopot and walk along
the longest pier in Europe! Make sure to stop for a coffee in one of
the town’s many cafés. Your journey continues to Gdynia, whose
harbor is home to many ships open to the public. The destroyer
is a national treasure and the only remaining ship built
before World War II. And the Dar Pomorza
is a Polish sailing frigate
that is now preserved as a museum ship in Gdynia. Return to the
hotel in Gdansk after a day of exploration. Meal: B
4 Gdansk – Malbork - Warsaw
The day begins as you travel to Malbork to visit the Castle of the
Teutonic Order of Knights, a mighty Polish Gothic fortress built in the
13th and 14th centuries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An
outstanding example of medieval defensive and residential
architecture, the 51-acre area consists of three castles surrounded by
separate fortifications. After exploration of the castle, continue on to
Warsaw, the largest city in Poland. Dinner is included this evening.
Meals: B, D
Steeped in history, Warsaw is one of the most strategic cities in Europe.
Discover this capital city on an included full-day sightseeing excursion. As you stroll along the Royal Way, linking the Royal Castle with Wilanów Palace, view some of the most beautiful sites in the Old Town and quaint Market Square. Pass St. John’s Cathedral and visit the Royal Castle, faithfully restored to its pre-World War II splendor and retaining many of its original furnishings.
Formerly the official residence of Poland’s kings and home of the Polish Parliament, it now
houses the Castle Museum. Lakes, pavilions, mansions, an Observatory, the Orangery, formal manicured gardens, a multitude of palaces, including the stunning Lazienki Palace on the Island, and a classic-style amphitheater all await your discovery during the visit to
Lazienki Park. The statue of Frederic Chopin, built to honor Warsaw’s
favorite son, is another highlight in the park. It’s easy to see why this
is one of the most beautiful parks in the heart of the city!
Wilanów Palace, a wonderful Baroque residence and former summer home of
King Jan III Sobieski, is one of the country’s greatest national treasures.
Enjoy a visit to the palace with its rich collection of Polish portraits,
original furniture and interior décor, and its lovely surrounding park.
After a full day of touring, the evening is yours to experience Warsaw
on your own. Meal: B
6 Kraków and Częstochowa
After breakfast, depart for the charming town of Kraków for a threenight
stay. Along the way, lunch is included at a local restaurant. After
lunch, stop at the famed Monastery of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa –
the third largest Catholic pilgrimage site in the world and the national
shrine of Poland. The miraculous icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa is
housed in the Chapel of the Black Madonna. For centuries, the Polish
people have believed that this reverent painting holds supernatural
powers. After checking into your hotel in Kraków, the evening is free
to enjoy dinner on your own. Meals: B, L
Kraków is known for many things throughout history, including being
a former capital of Poland, the home of the late Pope John Paul II and
the only major city in Poland to remain unscathed by World War II.
This thousand-year-old city retains its beauty and charm and is proud
of its Old Town which was included on UNESCO’s first list of World
Heritage Sites in 1978.
The highlight of the Old Town is Market Square, the largest in Europe, and the 16th-century Gothic ‘Cloth Hall’
- the world’s oldest “shopping mall.” Discover the city as you meander among the cobblestone lanes on the included walking tour. See the imposing Wawel Castle, coronation site of Polish monarchs, perched atop a hill overlooking the Vistula River, St. Mary’s Church and the Jagiellonian University.
At exactly noon you’ll hear the Kraków Hejnal (bugle call) played by the fireman trumpeter, who can be seen in a window of the highest tower of St. Mary’s Church. As you visit Wawel Cathedral, get up close to the Sigismund Bell, the largest bell in Poland and enjoy a wonderful view of the Old Town from the tower. This afternoon enjoy an included visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous attractions near Kraków. Walk through 20 chambers on three underground levels to explore the amazing grottoes of crystalline carvings, the subterranean lake with stunning colors and the Chapel of St. Kinga, an impressive ‘cathedral’ with every feature carved out of solid salt. Meal: B
8 Kazimierz and Auschwitz
Today’s journey takes you to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration
Camp Museum of Martyrdom which provides one of the most
memorable lessons in modern European history. Between 1940 and
1945 more than one million prisoners perished in the gas chambers of
this Nazi concentration camp. In 1947, the Polish government
preserved these grounds as a State Museum and in 1979 it also became
a UNESCO World Heritage Site, symbolizing the horrors of the
The visit includes a film showing the camp’s liberation, the
flower-strewn Death Wall, national memorials, the railway line and the
remains of hundreds of barracks, all of which constitute a moving
testimony to the number of lives lost. This afternoon, visit the
Kazimierz District which showcases the historic center of Jewish
culture since the 16th-century. The main attractions of the district are
Szeroka Street (where Schindler’s List
was filmed); Isaac, High and Old
Synagogues; Remu’h Synagogue and its cemetery and the ‘Pod Orlem’
(Eagle) Pharmacy. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a
farewell dinner. Meals: B, D
9 Kraków / USA
This morning, transfer to Kraków Airport for your flight home. All
too soon your adventure comes to an end but you’ll bring back
memories of Poland’s history, charm and beauty to last a lifetime.