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Overview
Itinerary
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  • Delve into the music, history and culture of Prague and the Vltava (Moldau) region on this spectacular tour, including a seven-day cruise

  • Enjoy private recitals alongside large-scale performances courtesy of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival

  • Visit the newly restored Dvořák Museum in Nelahozeves, and explore Prague’s awe-inspiring Strahov Monastery on an exclusive guided tour

“The whole tour was well organised and the ACE guides were very attentive and caring”

– ACE customer on a previous Vltava Cruise

We are delighted to invite you to join ACE for this brand new edition of our tour to Prague, including a seven-day stretch cruising along the Vltava (or Moldau) River and featuring multiple Tour Directors. Our dates will coincide with the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, and we plan to offer at least one festival concert in the city’s famous Rudolfinum – home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra – in addition to an opera in the city. These will be complemented by a series of excellent private recitals and illustrated lectures from our resident musicians, pianists Emilie Capulet and Paul Jackson.

 

Beginning with two full days in Prague, the tour will offer illuminating glimpses into the country’s multi-layered history, from the medieval through to the Baroque and the modern era. In particular, we will explore both the city’s old town and castle district, the latter home to St Vitus Cathedral, one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in Europe and the largest church in the Czech Republic.

 

We then transfer to our charming paddleboat, the MS Elbe Princesse I, for a cruise along the Vltava, visiting several sites along the waterway and taking in the enchanting landscape of Central Bohemia during relaxed periods of cruising. Our journey will take us south to the market town of Štěchovice before making an excursion to one of the country’s most important historical sites: Konopiště Castle. Established at the end of the 13th century – and frequently remodelled by its ambitious aristocratic owners – the castle evokes a sense of romance and luxury with its French-inspired symmetry, gateways, soaring towers and rose gardens. Yet the opulent interiors have borne witness to much more recent history: the castle was the final residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who made substantial modifications of his own and filled it with his extensive art collections.

 

Returning to Prague through the stunning natural landscape around Slapy and Štěchovice, we will explore the city’s Jewish Quarter including the Spanish Synagogue with its breathtaking Arabic art-inspired interior. Constructed on the site of a much earlier synagogue, the present building was substantially restored in the late 20th century and contains displays about the modern history of Jews in the Czech Republic. Another important religious and cultural site, the magnificent Strahov Monastery, will welcome us for an exclusive guided tour taking us ‘beyond the rope’ of the standard visitor route, including the famous Baroque library resplendent with ceiling frescoes.

 

The final stage of our cruise whisks us north to the picturesque town of Mělník where the Vltava and Elbe meet; from here, we will visit a number of sites including the nearby town of Litoměřice. Situated on the confluence of the Elbe and Ohře, in a landscape known particularly for its wine, Litoměřice boasts a characterful centre of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings including several beautiful churches. It is home to the Diocesan Museum, which houses a painting of St Anthony by Lucas Cranach the Elder. We will also make an excursion to Nelahozeves, site of a Renaissance castle and an excellent museum dedicated to Dvořák, newly restored and re-opened by the time of our visit.

 

Throughout the tour we will explore the music of well-known composers associated with Prague and its surroundings, through lectures and recitals given by our on-board musicologists Paul Jackson and Emilie Capulet. Art historian Tom Abbott, meanwhile, will guide us at several of the sites and provide us with the background for understanding the historical treasures we will encounter. In addition, we plan to feature one or more special guest lectures, to be confirmed nearer to departure.

 

OUR TOUR DIRECTORS

 

Tom Abbott, BA, MA, is an independent art and architectural historian associated with the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens. A resident of Berlin for over thirty years, he is a proficient lecturer and tour leader, with extensive experience directing cultural and art tours in Europe, to destinations including Germany, France, Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic. His expertise concerning art and architecture ranges from the medieval to the current, and is highlighted in his knowledge and fascination with the Baroque and Rococo, the Romantic Movement, garden history and the musical heritage of Germany, as well as all aspects of European modern and contemporary art, architecture and history.

 

Paul Jackson, MA, PhD, is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was, for over twenty years, Head of Music and Performing Arts and Director of Music and Performance at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Paul has also enjoyed an extensive career as a conductor of choirs, orchestras and opera, and as a solo and chamber music pianist, performing in the UK, Europe and America. Equally at home with music from the 19th century to the present day, Paul is an enthusiastic supporter of young and aspiring composers, and has commissioned and performed many new works for a variety of musical forces.

 

Emilie Capulet, MA, MMus, PhD, is an award-winning international concert pianist, lecturer and musicologist. Emilie has performed in international music festivals and concert halls in Europe, the USA, Canada, Latin America and Asia. She has recorded Beethoven and Chopin for BNP, solo and chamber music works by Richard Lambert on Quartz, and made the first recording of the complete piano music of the French Corsican composer Henri Tomasi. She has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Radio Canada, France Musique, Radio Télévision Suisse and Bayern Klassik, and is currently the recipient of a prestigious Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write the first critical study and biography of Henri Tomasi. Emilie studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is the BMus (Hons) Programme Leader at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Days
9
Cost
£4795
Tour Code
VLTA-25

 

Please call us on 01223 841055 to discuss cabin availability.

 


Included: return airfare, accommodation onboard MS Elbe Princesse I based on sharing a main deck twin cabin, full board cruise with unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks, tea & coffee, 5 star hotel accommodation for two nights including two dinners with wine, water, tea & coffee, two shore excursions & admissions, at least two public performances in Prague (including Dvořák Festival performance with Category 1 tickets – final details subject to scheduling), all gratuities & all taxes.


Not Included: travel insurance, hotel & main deck twin cabin for single use supplement £945, hotel & upper deck twin cabin for single use supplement £1215. Twin upper deck supplement of £650 (based on sharing a cabin).

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