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RYBAK EUROPE TOUR 🌎 MAY 11 - 27, 2023


MAY 11 - 27, 2023




Thursday, May 11
Depart from Houston airport and fly in direction of Europe, France, Nice.
Friday, May 12
Arrival in Nice, France. The luxury bus with attendant team (including your tour guide) will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to the hotel in the area of Côte d'Azur. Beyond the coast, the region is also home to some spectacular hilltop villages and mountain scenery, along with vineyards, flower farms that feed the French perfume industry and more than its fair share of great art museums.  Check- in our hotel, and then enjoy free time for yourselves to discover this lovely city on the French Riviera!
Saturday, May 13
Leave the hotel in the morning for a tour of the state of Monaco. The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign state whose territory covers only 0.75 sq miles. We will tour this little state, see the Cathedral of MonacoPrince`s Palace in the Old Monaco-Ville which also offers a breathtaking panoramic view overlooking the Port and Monte-Carlo. Of course, we cannot skip seeing the famous Monte Carlo Casino. In the afternoon we will continue on the way to Italy, port of Savona where we will embark COSTA SMERALDA, one of the newest and largest ships currently in the Mediterranean! Check-in our balcony cabins, security training, tour of the ship and time to relax and enjoy the view of the Italian Riviera!
Leaving the amazingly beautiful port of Savona is truly an unforgettable and magical experience!
Sunday, May 14
Marseille, FRANCE  8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
When cruising southern France, you have to know that Marseille is the most renowned and populated metropolitan area in the country after Paris and Lyon. When you alight from your COSTA cruise ship, the cafés around the Vieux Port, where glistening fish are sold straight off the boats on quai des Belges, are wonderful spots to observe the city’s street life. A pleasant thing to do is simply sit down at one of the cafes overlooking the port of Marseilles and, sipping a Pastis, observe the landscape and the people who inhabit it. Also called the "Porpoise City ", Marseille is France’s sunniest town, charming with its gullies where you can swim, its history and culture and restaurants with cosmopolitan cuisine. You cannot leave without having first toured on the “Cours Julien”, the street for shopping!

Monday, May 15
Barcelona, SPAIN  7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Spain’s second city, and the self-confident capital and port of Catalunya - vibrates with life, and there’s certainly not another city in the country to touch it for sheer style, looks or energy. A cruise excursion to Barcelona city center will take you to discover its world-class art museums and its fashionable designer restaurants, bars, galleries and shops. And in Antoni Gaudí’s extraordinary church of the Sagrada Família and the world-famous boulevard that is the Ramblas, you have two Mediterranean sights that are high up on any list!
Tuesday, May 16
Palma de Mallorca, SPAIN  8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
In Spain there is only one place that does holidays, leisure, shopping and culture at once: Palma de Mallorca! Upon arrival in Palma de Mallorca, you can focus on the Island’s various activities: shopping, medieval buildings, walks on the beach or mountain climbing, whatever you desire. Go downtown for a stroll to the port of Palma de Mallorca, while architecture lovers will know that many historic buildings in the city have an impressive courtyard inside, like the Museum of Contemporary Art. Get some "ensaïmadas" to eat on the way to the Cathedral or on one of the island’s beaches. Don’t forget to visit the “Paseo del Borne” to do some shopping!
Wednesday, May 17
Day at sea.  RELAX & PARTY ON THE SHIP!Website

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Thursday, May 18
Palermo, ITALY  8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The Port of Palermo is an ancient city with a history reaching back almost 3,000 years and holds an unrivalled display of Norman art and architecture and Baroque churches, combined with a warren of medieval streets and markets. With Sicily’s greatest concentration of sights, and the biggest historic center in Italy bar Rome, Palermo is a complex, multilayered port that can easily feel overwhelming if you try to do or see too much in one Mediterranean cruise visit. The best thing to do here is just to wander as the fancy takes you, sifting through Palermo’s jumbled layers of crumbling architecture, along deserted back alleys, then suddenly emerging in the midst of an ebullient street market!
Friday, May 19
Civitavecchia (near Rome), ITALY  8:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Civitavecchia, a former Etruscan port, is the seaport for Rome. And what about it? Everything here reflects the glorious power of people who ruled the world.
Located in cove, protected to the north by Mignone and south by the Marangone, the Civitavecchia port was built on the Tyrrhenian coast in Etruscan times and still preserves traces of this history. In particular, the Michelangelo fort and the old town with its 9th-century walls bear witness to the splendor of a medieval past.
On a shore excursion you book with COSTA, you can visit Rome (1.5 hour drive), the grandiose capital with its world-famous monuments: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trajan's column, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Venezia, the Spanish Steps and so much more!
Saturday, May 20
Arrival to the port of Savona in the morning. Our bus will be waiting for us and take us to the city of Milan, located in Lombardy in Northern Italy. It´s the country’s financial and fashion capital. Home to designers like Prada, Armani and Versace, Milan’s impressive shopping centers attract nearly as many visitors as the city’s centuries-old cultural institutions. With attractions in Milan like the Duomo CathedralLa Scala opera it’s no wonder that Milan is Italy’s third most visited city after Rome and Venice. We will have a short walking tour of Milan to see the main attractions: La Scala opera house, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – the oldest shopping mall with luxurious boutiques such as VersacePrada and other famous brands. We will also see the Duomo Cathedral and Duomo square after which you will have some free time for yourselves and shopping in the city. Continue on our way and spend a night in the area of Lake Como.
Sunday, May 21
Departure to Tirano, where we get on the Bernina Express train for an unbelievably beautiful scenic ride! A particular high-point of the ride is the panoramic view as it passes mighty glaciers on its ascend from a land of swaying palms in Tirano. We will experience one of the most spectacular ways to cross the Alps. This winding mountain railway connects northern and southern Europe without the use of any toothed-wheel mechanism. The train crosses the Alps thru the Bernina Pass (elevation of 7,391 feet), past the Morteratsch Glacier and takes us to our stop which is St. Moritz – one of the most famous winter holiday destinations in the world!  We will continue with our bus to Innsbruck, Austria, a beautiful Tyrolean town lying in the valley of river Inn. Check-in our hotel, then attend a show called Tyrolean Evening with typical Austrian music, dances, yodeling, and playing different special musical instruments, all while nestled in the foothills of the Alps!
Monday, May 22
Leave Innsbruck and drive through beautiful countryside of Austrian Alps. Stop enroute at one of the best holiday destinations in Austria – Wolfgangsee Lake, surrounded by forests, meadows, and mountains. On its shores you’ll find chocolate-box villages such as St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, and Strobl. The boat will take us around the villages and drop us off in the biggest town St. Wolfgang where old town houses alternate with colorful shops and welcoming inns. As soon as you arrive in the town you will realize that folk culture and traditions play a big role in everyday life of the locals. In the afternoon leave the town and continue on our way, spending a night in Linz area.
Tuesday, May 23
Leave for the Czech Republic. On the way we will experience the region of Southern Moravia, known for the production of wine and beautiful landscape.  Stop and tour the Lednice Chateau, which is one of the most beautiful complexes in the English Neo-Gothic style in all of Europe. Tour routes lead through the chateau interior, from representative halls to the princely apartments, rooms of the small princes and princesses. In the afternoon continue on our way to Roznov pod Radhostem. This is the area of probably the biggest emigration to Texas in the last century and a place where many Texas Czechs have their ancestry. In the evening PARTY and DANCE to typical Czech and Moravian music in the hotel restaurant!
Wednesday, May 24
Today we will enjoy the beauties of Wallachia. First, we will visit one of the most popular tourist destinations in this part of the country – the Wallachian Open-Air-Museum. The buildings from 18th century old stand here all originally furnished. The museum consists of two parts. You will have a choice to tour one of the parts. First is Wallachian Little Wooden Town including the church, convenient store, post office, mayor`s house and other period buildings. Or second option for those with technical interests will be to tour the Mill Valley with real and working examples of how people used the water power for different kinds of businesses between 17th and 19th centuries. In the barn are also all kinds of historical carriages pulled by horses and cattle on display. In the main building you can also visit an exposition devoted to the life in town Roznov pod Radhostem in the course of more than last seven centuries. Parts of buildings, rooms and businesses are equipped with original furnishings which will make you feel like you are walking through time. If weather permits, we will leave for mountain Pustevny after lunch. We will reach the peak by chairlift which is actually the oldest of its type in Europe.  At the top, there are a few chalets, the most famous being the folk wooden buildings by the architect Dusan Jurkovic.  If it’s a clear day, you can enjoy great views of the mountains and town in the valley. We will return to our hotel. In your free time you can use the wellness area with sauna and swimming pool or just rest before another party, this time at Koliba Kordulka – authentic Wallachian restaurant just across from our hotel.
Thursday, May 25
Today we will see where the national Czech drink Slivovice is being made. We will stop to see the factory of the biggest producer of this and other fruit spirits in the Czech Republic – Jelinek distillery. This distillery is based in little town of Vizovice, the so-called “Gate to Wallachia”.  Vizovice is known for its tradition of Slivovice making and summer festival of plum harvesting. You will see the production; you will be told the history and you will get to taste a few samples as well! After lunch we will continue on our way to Prague, check-in our well-located hotel in the historical center.  In the evening, we will be treated to a dinner and folklore show where you can enjoy a great program with examples of Czech typical dancessongs and playing different instruments – all while you enjoy cold pivo, Moravian vino, and wonderful Czech Cuisine!
Friday, May 26
This day we will tour the city of Prague! Guided walking tour of Prague begins with Prague Castle and then on to St. Vitus CathedralHradcany quarter, and the Church of Our Lady Victorious which houses the famous wax statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. We will walk across the famous 14th century Charles Bridge and continue on to Old Town Square to see the Astronomical clock. After lunch in the restaurant serving traditional Czech cuisine, we will continue and end up the tour at Wenceslas Square, which has historically been the sight of many events including the 1989 Velvet Revolution demonstrations. Then you will have some free time for individual sightseeing and great shopping at the numerous stores lining the Wenceslas square.
The SECOND OPTION is to just enjoy Prague on your own as our hotel is situated in the heart of this majestic city, in the Old Town district and join us possibly for lunch by the Old Town Square.
In the evening, a historical tram will take us through old Prague just by the Vltava River where we will take a
2-hour buffet dinner boat cruise. You will be able to view the beautiful sights of Prague illuminated at night!
Saturday, May 27
Departure home from the airport in Prague on a flight to Houston. HOME SWEET HOME!




DECEMBER 13 - 22, 2022




Tuesday, December 13

Depart from Houston airport and fly in direction of Europe, Germany, Dresden.

Wednesday, December 14

Arrival in Dresden, Germany. The luxury bus with attendant team (including your tour guide) will be waiting for you at the airport and take you to the first destination which is the downtown area in Dresden. Dresden has the largest number of Christmas Markets in the eastern part of the country and is one of the cities that are able to lay claim to the title of being the oldest seasonal event in Germany. Certainly, it is one of the most traditional, with many of the customs surrounding the main city market stemming from local industries like mining, woodworking and pottery. After checking-in our hotel, you will have leisure time to relax and enjoy the magical Christmas atmosphere in Dresden!

Thursday, December 15

On this day we will explore the city of Dresden, the capital of the eastern German state of Saxony which is distinguished by the celebrated art museums and classic architecture of its reconstructed old town. The historical buildings of Dresden’s baroque center are world famous – for example the Frauenkirche, Dresden Cathedral, Dresden Castle and the buildings that line Bruehl’s Terrace – have been restored to their former glory and create an unmistakable skyline that is beautifully reflected in the water of the Elbe River. Besides these wonderful monuments, we will also see Zwinger Palace, an elegant example of baroque architecture which is famous for housing a range of world-class art collections, Saxon State Opera known better as Semper Opera House and many more during our sightseeing tour. We will end up our tour at the biggest and most famous Christmas Market in Dresden – at the Striezelmarkt which originally started back in the 15th century. The word 'Striezel' actually refers to a cake made at this time of year called a 'Stollen', which is also found in other parts of Germany, but in this area is reputed to represent the entrance to the mines in the nearby Erzgebirge range. In the afternoon we will leave Germany for Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. In the evening, you will be treated to dinner at U Marcanu, where you can enjoy a great program with examples of typical dances and playing different instruments & an unforgettable wine experience!

Friday, December 16

In the morning, we will have a guided walking tour of Prague - beginning with Prague Castle and then on to St. Vitus CathedralHradčany Quarter, and the Church of Our Lady Victorious which houses the famous wax statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. We will walk across the famous 14th century Charles Bridge and continue on to Old Town Square to see the Astronomical clock and also admire the tallest Christmas tree in the Czech Republic. Spend some time at the Christmas markets. Lunch in this area. We will end the tour at Wenceslas Square, which has historically been the sight of many events, including the 1989 Velvet Revolution demonstrations. You will have free time for individual sightseeing and great shopping at the numerous stores lining the square. In the evening, enjoy the beautiful boat cruise on Vltava River, including a buffet dinner! See the beauties of the capital – beautifully illuminated Prague Castle, Vyšehrad-Upper Castle, National Theater and other amazing sights of Prague!

Saturday, December 17

Leave for the Moravian part of the country, more accurately the Wallachian region, which lies in a hilly country in the eastern part of Moravia. This region is known for its specific culture. But for many Texans it is a place where their ancestors came from as it is a region with the biggest emigration to Texas from the whole Moravia. We will arrive in the town of Roznov pod Radhostem in the afternoon, check-in our hotel and have a PARTY IN THE EVENING with Czech music at the local Koliba (with special guest 'Accordion Cowboy' Chris Rybak) – at an authentic Wallachian restaurant!

Sunday, December 18

Leave for Slovakia. On the way to the city of Košice (Edita's hometown) in the eastern part, we will have a stop in the High Tatra Mountains, the highest Slovakian mountain range! If weather permits, we will take a cable car which operates in the lower section from Tatranská Lomnica (2963 ft above sea level) to Skalnaté Pleso (5745 ft above sea level). Skalnaté Pleso is one of the most popular locations in the Tatras and a good starting point for several hiking trips. You can also view the beautiful mountain lake situated right under the cliff  of  Lomnický  Štít,  the  second highest peak of Slovakia and enjoy breathtaking views of the valley below. Be ready for some cold and snow!
Continue on the way through this magical and beautiful winter wonderland to Košice and check-in our hotel.

Monday, December 19

Tour the beautiful city of Košice which is the second most important city in the country situated not far from the borders of Hungary, Poland and Ukraine. The historical core of Košice represents the biggest reservoir of historical monuments in Slovakia. In terms of art and history, the most valuable buildings are situated around the original Middle Age Square – present Main Square. View the most important sights including St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral built in the Gothic style. Leisure time in the afternoon to spend the day at charming Christmas Markets on the square! Shop in numerous stores or just relax at hotel situated in the city center. And then PARTY in the evening!

Tuesday, December 20

Departure to Poland, stop enroute in Zakopane. Zakopane is a resort town in southern Poland, at the base of the Tatra Mountains. It’s a popular departure point for winter sports and summertime mountain climbing and hiking. The town is also known for its turn-of-the-20th-century wooden chalets, symbols of Zakopane-style architecture, one of the most famous streets in Poland - Krupowki street - the main pedestrian zone of Zakopane full of shops along with many amazing restaurants and banks. Filled with tourists, horse carriages and street performers, it's always bustling with life and especially in the Christmas Time! Continue on the way to Krakow, one of the largest and most attractive cities in Poland! Check-in our hotel.

Wednesday, December 21

We will start the day with a guided tour of the wonderful Wieliczka Salt Mine located just short distance from Krakow and which includes some 205 miles of galleries on nine levels. The immense salt deposit was first mined around 1290. You can see a number of chapels and chambers decorated with sculptures carved in salt. Then we will take you back to the main square of the Old Town of Krakow which dates back to the 13th century, and at (9.4 acres) is the largest medieval town square in Europe! The main square is a square space surrounded by historic townhouses and churches. The center of the square is dominated by the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), rebuilt in 1555 in the Renaissance style, topped by a beautiful attic or Polish parapet decorated with carved masks. Rising above the square are the Gothic towers of St. Mary's Basilica. Besides other historical monuments on the square you can admire beautiful Christmas Markets with medieval atmosphere for the rest of the afternoon or rest and get ready for the flight back home. Dinner at the hotel in the evening.

Thursday, December 22

Depart from Krakow airport early in the morning heading back to Houston, HOME SWEET HOME!

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