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Jewels of Poland

including visits to: Gdansk, Warsaw, Czestochowa,

Krakow, Zakopane and more!

13 Days ~ September 8 - 20, 2024


Program Cost from Chicago

$5,189.00 - per person, twin occupancy

$949.00 - supplemental cost for single room

Rates are based on a minimum of 27 passengers

Payment Schedule

$500.00 per person - due with reservation

$2000 per person - due by February 15, 2024

Balance due by May 15, 2024

Program Highlights

  • Round trip air transportation from Chicago

  • 11 nights accommodations in first class (3 & 4 star) hotels

  • Buffet breakfast daily; 6 dinners and 1 lunch

  • Transportation by deluxe private motor coach

  • Professional tour manager in Europe

  • Comprehensive sightseeing as noted, including applicable entrance fees

  • Masses to be arranged during the tour

  • Baggage handling at all hotels (where available) - 1 bag per person

  • Travel Documents, baggage tags, etc.

Sunday, September 8 - Depart Chicago: Today we gather at O’Hare Airport to begin our journey to Europe. Meals will be served as appropriate during our overnight flight.

Monday, September 9 - Gdansk: Upon arrival in Gdansk, we will meet our professional tour manager and motor coach driver. During the drive to our hotel, our tour manager will share information about our tour and details of today’s schedule. Dinner is included this evening. Welcome to Poland! (B, D)

Tuesday, September 10 - Gdansk: This morning’s city tour will explore the layers of history of this Baltic seaport, once better known by its German name of Danzig. With its medieval core now beautifully restored, we will see the Gothic gables and decorated facades, the Old Harbor Crane and Church of Our Lady which bear witness to the medieval prosperity based on the trade in amber. We will also experience the more recent troubled history, as we view Westerplatte where World War II began and visit the Solidarity Museum, which chronicles the beginning of the end for Communism in Poland. If scheduling permits, we will enjoy an organ recital at Oliwa Cathedral. The remainder of the day and evening are free for sightseeing and shopping. (B)

Wednesday, September 11 - Gdansk / Malbork / Warsaw: Today we will drive first to Malbork to visit one of the biggest and best preserved fortresses in the whole of Europe. Built by the Teutonic Knights in 1276, it remains a symbol of the military strength which later became the basis of Prussian power and the most dangerous threat to Poland’s independence. This afternoon we will continue our journey to Warsaw, arriving in the early evening. Dinner and overnight in Warsaw. (B, D)

Thursday, September 12 - Warsaw: Our morning city tour will reveal not only the beauty of Poland’s capital, but also its determination to survive. Risen like a phoenix from the ashes of wartime destruction and communist neglect, Warsaw’s old town has been faithfully and lovingly reconstructed to resemble its former glory. Highlights will include the Market Square, St. John’s Cathedral, the Royal Castle and Royal Way, memorials to the Warsaw Ghetto and Warsaw Uprising, the monstrous Palace of Culture and the beautiful grounds of Lazienki Palace. The afternoon and evening are free for individual exploration – perhaps an emotional visit to the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising or the state-of-the-art experience of the new POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Overnight in Warsaw. (B)

Friday, September 13 - Warsaw / Czestochowa / Krakow: Leaving Warsaw this morning, we will visit the Shrine of the Black Madonna at the Monastery of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa. The icon of Mary has made the monastery one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in the world, a symbol of Polish nationalism and a particular favorite of St. John Paul II. Following our guided tour of the monastery, we will continue to Krakow for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Saturday, September 14 - Krakow (City Tour & Auschwitz Excursion): For five hundred years Krakow was the seat of the Polish kings and remains proud of its royal heritage. Miraculously unscathed during World War II and now on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, it is certainly one of Europe’s most charming cities. This morning’s walking tour will visit the area of Wawel Castle and its Cathedral, before walking down into the old town to see the old University, Market Square, Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Church, with its magnificent high altar by Veit Stoss. We’ll have free time for lunch before driving to Auschwitz, site of the notorious Nazi concentration camp. After a haunting visit to the memorial of the death camp, we will return to Krakow for an evening at leisure. (B)

Sunday, September 15 - Krakow (Wadowice & Sanctuary of Divine Mercy Excursion): This morning we will drive the short distance to Wadowice to visit the Basilica where St. Pope John Paul II was baptized, and the museum dedicated to his memory, which is where he was born in 1920. After free time for lunch in Wadowice, we will visit the Convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Lagiewniki, where St. Faustina lived and is buried. During our visit we will celebrate Mass, before returning to Krakow for an evening at leisure. (B)

Monday, September 16 - Krakow / Wieliczka Excursion / Krynica Zdroj: Today we will travel the short distance from Krakow to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Salt Mines are a unique phenomenon, once described as being ‘as remarkable as the Pyramids, but more useful.' It’s incredible to imagine that the gnomes, the chandeliers, the altars are all carved from salt. In the late afternoon we arrive in Krynica Zdroj, often called the Pearl of Polish Spas and an increasingly popular ski resort in the Beskid Mountains. (B, D)

Tuesday, September 17 - Krynica Zdroj: Most of today will be dedicated to visiting the villages and surroundings of Tylicz and Muszynka, where Fr. Ciaston spent his childhood and youth. We will meet members of his family, sharing lunch with them and seeing the churches where he celebrated his faith and his early places of education. We will return to Krynica for an evening at leisure. (B, L)

Wednesday, September 18 - Krynica Zdroj / Muszyna / Zakopane: This morning we will drive to the Jaworznya Cable Car to take the gondola to 3600 feet for breathtaking views of both sides of the Polish / Slovak border. Next, we’ll continue the short distance to Muszyna to visit its collection of gardens, which make the town well-known amongst the locals – Biblical, Magic, Greek and Chinese, as well as the Garden of Senses. Later we continue our journey through the foothills of the Tatra Mountains to Zakopane for the last two nights of our tour. (B, D)

Thursday, September 19 - Zakopane: We spend the last day of our tour in Poland’s most spectacular scenery, the heart of the High Tatra Mountains and a favorite destination of the young Karol Woytyla. We will visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, which was commissioned by John Paul II, and there will be time to enjoy the market and the unique wooden architecture of the old town. The afternoon will be free for last minute shopping and exploration, before we enjoy our farewell dinner in a local restaurant. (B, D)

Friday, September 20 - Krakow / USA: This morning we drive to Krakow’s airport to begin our journey home. We arrive in Chicago later today. Welcome Home!

Key: B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner

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