Christkindlmarkt & Northern Lights

Tour Leader: Icelandic Master Quilter Gudrun Erla

Day 1
United States - Iceland - Munich

Icelandair Plane

Afternoon departure from various US airports by Icelandair via Iceland to Munich on an overnight flight.

Departures from: Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Tampa, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, Orlando, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Dallas Airports for your nonstop/overnight flight via Keflavik Airport by Icelandair, WOW Airlines, American Airlines, Air Canada, or Delta Airlines.

Day 2
Munich

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Arrive in Munich at noon. Transfer to traditional 4-star Hotel Platzl, located in the heart of the city, – next door to famous Hofbräuhaus and 980ft to Marienplatz where the Christkindlmarkt takes place. Rest before “Welcome to Germany” dinner at Hofbräuhaus, “The World‘s most famous Tavern” – built in 1589 and accommodates up to 5,000 revelers. Enjoy the beer and the crisp roast of Bavarian suckling pig. Have fun!

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Gudrun Erla Gisladottir, the expert quilt designer, has her business in Minnesota. She is originally from Iceland and has lead several successful groups from the United States to Iceland and other European countries. You will find Gudrun efficient, well organized and a fun girl to travel with.

 

Maximilian Bukszpan is the Bavarian expert tour guide who will meet the group on arrival in Munich and stay with the group until you leave Munich for Iceland. “Max” is a native “Münchner” who has traveled the world. For the last 20 years he has offered his services as private tour guide throughout Bavaria, – including Munich, Rothenburg and Nuremberg.

Day 3
Munich

Christmas Market

Morning tour of Munich with Maximilian Bukszpan, your expert Munich guide. Visit some of the best holiday markets across the city and soak up the holiday spirit. The afternoon is yours at the Christkindlmarkt on Marienplatz. Shop for handmade Bavarian gifts, sip Glühwein, and try Lebkuchen, the gingerbread cookies, a treat since the 14th century.

The traditional Christmas Market at Marienplatz dates back to the 14th century and is considered the most original and authentic in Munich, where about 40 such markets take place annually. The romantic setting in front of the neo-Gothic town hall adds to the magic of the many stalls radiating traditional Bavarian charm.

 

Living tradition and ancient craftmanship are firmly established here, as is Germany’s largest “Kripperlmarkt” (“Manger Market”). Everything imaginable to create a nativity scene is available, from manger lanterns to gifts of the Three Magi.

Other of the better-known Munich Christmas markets is the Viktualienmarkt which offers a vivid experience of Munich’s way of life. The Christmas Market at the Chinesischer Turm is particularly popular. Seasonal melodies played by a wind ensemble in the tower sound from the Chinesischer Turm, while horse-drawn carriages make their rounds. At the stalls, there are lamb-wool slippers, hand-made dolls and wooden angels waiting to be bought by visitors, who can otherwise enjoy gastronomical delights. Then there is the Medieval Christmas Market, where merchants in historic costumes sell their wares …  Max will know where to take you, so your limited time is well spent.

Day 4
Munich – Rothenburg

Munich

Proceed from Munich along the Romantic Road for further adventures.  Stop at pristine Harburg Castle, which has never been conquered, and visit quaint Dinkelsbühl, a medieval walled city with fascinating architecture. Afternoon arrival in famous Rothenburg.  Check in at Hotel GoldenerHirsch, built in 1479 and located in the heart of the medieval town.  Walking tour with “The Nightwatchman”.  Dinner at Restaurant Glocke – one of the best in town.

In the years before the dawn of the 20th century, the night watchman was responsible for the safety of the inhabitants of this walled, fortified city. His job was dangerous, as he had to guard the city at night like a policeman. The night watchman made his rounds from nine in the evening until three in the morning. He relied on the town hall clock to tell him when to sing his “Hour Song,” reminding the people who slumbered safe in their houses that he was still alive and taking care of them. There were six of these men patrolling Rothenburg up to the year 1920. 

You will follow Hans Georg Baumgartner on his entertaining and informative rounds through the darkness. You will follow him through alleyways and across dimly lit squares and enjoy the special mood of the town at night.

Day 5
Rothenburg

Rothenberg”

Free day without a program in Rothenburg.  You will find the local Christkindlmarkt delightful and located within walking distance of your hotel. The smell of mulled wine and roasted almonds, the illumination by thousands of fairy lights and festive music by local brass bands all make for a pleasant Christmas spirit.

You will be enjoying an early Christmas in Bavaria and all the wonderful festivities that are described on these pages. It is a fact, however, that you will be traveling in the middle of winter, when mother nature may not always accommodate. The last thing that you wish for are long bus rides, having to change hotels every day, and having to face the elements at the same time.

You will stay in a cozy hotel in Rothenburg for three nights; long enough to unpack, relax and take in the local flavors. Everything will be within walking distance; not only the local Christmas market.

The day is free, and you may decide to take off on your own to explore this lovely city, by many described as the most beautiful in Germany. Quilters may join Gudrun in the morning to visit “Der Patchwork Engel,” a local quilt store, while others will join Maximilian on a walking tour of medieval Rothenburg in the afternoon. A quilting workshop will be offered in the late afternoon.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are several museums to consider; a wonderful Christmas Museum, the Dolls and Toy Museum, and the Medieval Crime Museum (perfect for the men in the group!), with over 1000 years of crime and punishment in Europe on display.

Day 6
Rothenburg – Nuremberg

Nuremberg

Spend the day in Nuremberg. Visit the world famous Christkindlmarkt which takes place in the Hauptmarkt, the Central Square in Nuremberg´s old town.

Return to Rothenburg.

It will be a very special day. With about two million visitors a year the Nürnberger Christkindlmarkt is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany and one of the most famous in the world. Your tour guide Maximilian will be in charge.

 

 

 

 

Day 7
Rotherburg – Munich – Iceland Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Proceed to Munich Airport and fly by Icelandair to Iceland´s Keflavik Airport.  Afternoon arrival after a 4-hour direct flight. Drive 2 hours to Southern Iceland and arrive at cozy Hotel Lækur, located in the perfect place to observe the Northern Lights – away from all city lights.  Welcome to Iceland Dinner.

Days are short in Iceland this time of the year. It will be dark when you arrive at Hotel Laekur. With some luck and if the conditions allow you will see the spectacular Northern Lights. If not, you will enjoy a great dinner in a very special place – a barn refashioned as a country hotel.

When you depart from Munich you will say your by-byes to Maximilian. When you arrive in Iceland, Gudrun Erla will be in her home country and a local guide will not be needed.

Day 8
Geysir Geothermal Area – Gullfoss – Selfoss – Reykjavik

Icelandic Horses

Drive to Geysir Geothermal area, where you will see any number of bubbling, spouting and boiling hot springs in eerie moonlike landscapes. Visit Geysir, the first geyser for which all geysers are named. See Strokkur geysir erupting every 4-8 minutes. Drive on to nearby Gullfoss, the majestic waterfall, one of the world´s most scenic.  Lunch at Friðheimar Farm an amazing greenhouse complex, followed by a horse show that provides an insight into the story of the remarkable Icelandic horse breed.  Enjoy a “Meeting with the Horses.”  Continue to Selfoss and visit family and friends of your fearless leader Guðrún Erla. Drive on to Reykjavik and settle in at Hotel Arnarhvoll for a 2-night stay.  Dinner at The Icelandic Bar.

Day 9
Reykjavik – Free Day

Renowned Icelandic Quilting Master Gudrun Erla

Tour Reykjavik in the morning and see all the major city attractions. The afternoon is free without a program.  Reykjavik will be all decked out in Christmas lights and in full holiday spirit.

Day 10
Reykjavik – Blue Lagoon – Return Home

Blue Lagoon Hot Springs

The morning is free in Reykjavik, – or, you can visit (optional) the famous Blue Lagoon for a 2-hour bath. Afternoon transfer to Keflavik Airport and departure to the various US destinations.

Gone With The Quilt – Short

DID YOU KNOW THERE IS A LONGER VERSION OF THIS TOUR?
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"Autumn in the South"

Day 1
New Orleans LA

French Quarter New Orleans
New Orleans

Afternoon check-in to the historic “Maison Dupuy” hotel located just blocks from Jackson Square and Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. (B)

**For an evening of fun with genuine Cajun food and live Cajun music and dancing dinner at Mulate’s is the place to go. Mulate’s
serves as the ideal introduction to Cajun Country.

Day 2
New Orleans LA

Steamboat
Natchez Steamboat Cruise

Breakfast at “Vacherie” located close to the hotel and then depart on a walking tour of the French Quarter with your guide. Lunch aboard the “Natchez” for a steamboat cruise on the mighty Mississippi with a live jazz band. Afternoon at leisure. New Orleans, the home of the Francophone Creole and the Anglophone American has over 85 square blocks designated as a National Historic District. Much to see, Jackson Square to Bourbon Street world famous restaurants such as Paul Prudhomme’s, Emeril LaGasse or Arnaud’s..take your pick! Exploring the French Quarter by night is a must, visit a jazz or blues club for the best local music or listen to a street musician who plays for tips . (B, L)

Day 3
New Orleans LA – White Castle LA

White Castle Louisiana
Oak Alley Plantation

This is your last morning in New Orleans, breakfast at Vacherie then checkout. Depart from New Orleans then drive along the banks of the “Ole Miss” passing the “Great River Road Plantation Parade”. Today’s visit is the “Oak Alley Plantation” – “The Grand Dame of the Great River Road.” Imagine Scarlet O’Hara having barbecue at Twelve Oaks Plantation and charming the red headed Tarleton boys – Oak Alley fulfills that visual image. What a beautiful way to spend a fall day than at one of the most spectacular settings in the old south. Tour the mansion, the slave quarters and the civil war encampment. Enjoy a luncheon buffet and then explore on your own. Depart in the afternoon for Nottaway Plantation located in White Castle for your overnight accommodation. (B)

Day 4
White Castle LA – Lafayette LA

Evangeline Oak
The Evangeline Oak

Enjoy a plantation style breakfast then depart for the heart of Cajun Country. Travel the back-road’s of Louisiana through swamp lands and tall cypresses trailing Spanish moss, vast expanses of sugarcane and small communities with old cajun style cabins. Arrive in Lafayette and meet your “Cajun” guide, Danny Bonaventure, who will fill you in on the history of Lafayette, St. Martinville and the history of the Cajuns. Visit the Evangeline Oak, the St. Martin de Tours Church and the Acadian Quilt.

Vermillionville – History Comes Alive

Lunch at La Cuisine Maman in Vermillionville prior to touring the park – it’s part of the authentic experience.  This heritage and folk-life park brings to life the early days of Cajun and Creole settlers in Louisiana from the mid 1700’s to late 1800’s.  Costumed crafts people and artisans conduct demonstrations of their talent.  Several historic homes and numerous artifacts from the time period are laid out as they would have been if someone were living there.

Your last stop today is to J & B Quilting & Fabric located in Sunset a few miles north of Lafayette. Check in at the Drury Inn & Suites for overnight.  Freshen up then depart for dinner a Prejean’s Cajun Restaurant with live Cajun Music and Cajun/Creole food – “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!” (Let the Good Times Roll!). (B, D)

Day 5
Lafayette LA - Houston TX

Atchafalaya River
The Beautiful Atchafalaya Wilderness

After breakfast and check out depart for a morning adventure by boat  into the Atchafalaya Wilderness. You are accompanied with a naturalist expert to see birds, alligators and other animals in this unique environment with its beautiful nature.

After your tour depart in the mid-afternoon by the shortest route to Houston. Check in to your hotel The Best Western Inn & Suites Galleria your home for the last three nights of your tour. This evening you will attend “Preview Night” at the “International Quilt Festival”. You have been pre-registered and will have your tickets in hand. The convention center has many food courts and restaurants where you can have dinner.

Return to hotel and overnight. (B)

Day 6
Lafayette LA – Houston TX

FULL DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL
Enjoy breakfast then depart by the shortest route to Houston for your early afternoon arrival at the “International Quilt Festival”.
This is a full day at the show where you can have both lunch and dinner at one of the many food courts or restaurants at the George Brown Convention Center.

Return to hotel and overnight. (B)

Houston International Quilt Festival
Houston International Quilt Festival

Credit: Texas Tripper

Day 7
Houston TX - International Quilt Festival

LAST DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL
The International Quilt Festival Houston is one of the premier quilting trade events in America with over 60,000 visitors each year.Talented quilt artists are present in huge numbers at this convention.There are over 500 varieties of quilts represented not to mention quilting machines, sewing tools, fabrics and over 22 special exhibits. Enjoy a full day at the show.

Return to hotel and overnight.(B)

Day 8-Houston TX – Home

Full American Breakfast at the hotel. If time allows take a cab from the hotel to The Galleria for shopping or relax at the hotel. Group transfer provided to George Bush Intercontinental Airport for your return flight home. (B)

We offer additional days at both the beginning of tour and at end for clients that wish more time at quilt show. Also can arrange your arrival transfer in Atlanta. Ask for details.

Gone With The Quilt

DID YOU KNOW THERE IS A SHORTER VERSION OF THIS TOUR?
CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

"Autumn in the South"

Day 1
Atlanta GA

State Capitol Building in Atlanta
State Capitol Building in Atlanta

Your Tour starts at the Country Inn & Suites in Atlanta Ga., just a few miles from Marietta, Ga. your home for the next two nights. Arrival transfer is on your own by taxi or shuttle. We can arrange a private transfer for you if requested.

Relax in your room after check-in or explore your surroundings before meeting your tour escort and fellow travelers in the hotel lobby to provide a opportunity for tour members to get acquainted with each other.

Dinner is suggested at “Folks Southern Kitchen”…located near hotel in Windy Hill.

Day 2
Atlanta GA

Historic Ebenezer Church
Historic Ebenezer Church

Credit: Historic Ebenezer Church

Breakfast Buffet at the hotel. Today’s excursion is a Sunday service at the “Ebenezer Baptist Church” where Martin Luther King once was the Pastor. Depart church service for Marietta, Ga and lunch at the “Marietta Diner”.

After lunch visit “Tiny Stitches” a unique quilt shop where quilters come to find the best selection and highest quality of fabric in the southeast. Find a wide variety of fabric choices – batiks, seasonal, bright florals, flannels, wovens and novelties. This large 5000 sq. ft. store further features the latest in quilting patterns, books and notions in a warm and welcoming environment.

If time allows go to Stone Mountain Georgia Park named for the vast monolith at its center. Etched into the rock’s side, the Confederate Memorial Carving depicts Civil War generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, plus President Jefferson Davis.

Return to hotel to refresh and relax before departing for dinner in Marietta Square at “Shillings on the Square” for a welcome dinner. Joining you this evening is Marti Michell, a internationally acclaimed quilt expert. Marti will give a “trunk show” for you after dinner. (B, D)

Day 3
Atlanta GA-Griffin GA-McDonough GA

Amish Quilt
Amish Quilt

Credit: Amish Country Quilts

Buffet breakfast at the hotel then checkout. Depart for Griffin, Georgia for a full day workshop at “Shades Textiles” (Shades Textiles is a exhibitor at major international quilt shows in both Tokyo and Houston). Stacey Michell, the pioneer in developing the “Hawaiian Quilt” will conduct two private workshops – “2 for 1 Hula Lesson” – learn how to trace, cut and fuse a Hawaiian design quilt. After lunch have a” fabric dying class” that produces designs perfect for a Hawaiian style applique quilt. All working kits and materials will be furnished.

Depart Griffin for McDonough, Georgia where you will overnight at the Country Inn & Suites. Dinner at your leisure. DaVincis Italian and the Waffle House are within walking distance of your hotel. (B,L)

Day 4
Atlanta GA-McDonough Ga-Carrollton GA

Quilt Shop
A Scarlett Thread

Credit: All People Quilt

Breakfast at the hotel then checkout. Depart hotel for a visit to “A Scarlett Thread” the largest sewing and quilt shop in Georgia. The owner, Karen Taylor will greet you with her warm southern hospitality. The displays in this store are built vertically and lit by natural light through the many windows that shows off the vast inventory of more than 7,500 fabrics. Enjoy lunch at McDonoughs local “Cracker Barrell” restaurant.

Depart for a Carrollton, Georgia, home of the “Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum.” The museum is the only museum in Georgia singularly dedicated to quilting and textiles.  Check in at the Best Western Plus. Transfer to Adamson Square in Carrolltons historic district, where you have time to visit the shops and have dinner.

Just a short walk from Adamson Square is the Quilt and Textile Museum where you will have a tour of the quilts they have on display. Next just a few short blocks away you will meet with the South Georgia Quilt Guild and participate in their monthly meeting. The Guild members will shower you with some southern hospitality and QUILTS!!! (B)

Day 5
Carrollton GA – Selma AL

African American Quilt
African American Quilts

Checkout of  hotel after breakfast for the short drive to Carrollton.   Meet our local guide for a two hour tour of this historic area. Depart from Carrollton then continue the journey south, along Interstate Route 85, until we cross the Chattahoochee River into the State of Alabama.  The “Deep South” doesn’t get any deeper than Alabama. This is where cotton was king and where the Confederacy was born.

Arrive in the Alabama capital, Montgomery, and head directly to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Have a delicious lunch in the Museum Cafe overlooking the lake. After lunch meet your docent for a private showing of African American Quilts. Proceed to Selma and check in at the Holiday Inn Express Selma –  then meet with Jo Taylor in the lobby for a guided tour of Selma.(B)

Day 6
Selma AL-Camden AL–Monroeville AL-Mobile AL

Gee's Bend Quilters
Gee’s Bend Quilters

US Embassy Canadavia Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Full breakfast in the hotel. Travel today to Camden and Gee’s Bend just 40 miles south of Selma. Cross the Alabama River to the Boykin side of the river for a visit with the famous “Gee’s Bend Quilters”. Gees Bend is a isolated African American hamlet where the quilting tradition goes back to the 19th century when it was a cotton plantation owned by Joseph Gees. In the post-bellum years and into the 20th century the Gees Bend women made quilts to keep themselves and their children warm in the unheated shacks where they lived. View their quilts, listen to their stories. Cross the Alabama River on the 12 p.m. Gees Bend Ferry to Camden. Proceed to the Gaines Ridge Dinner Club for a lunch full of southern hospitality – a la “Gone With the Wind.” After your meal the owner/manager, Betty Kennedy, an avid quilter invites you to her log cabin house for a view of her magnificent and unique collection of quilts.

Proceed to “Black Belt Treasures.” Enjoy a hands-on print-making workshop with quilting designs. by using a simple print-making technique to take home for a memory quilt, all supplies are provided. After workshop browse the beautiful arts center.

Depart for Monroeville where you will visit the “Old Monroe County Courthouse” the backdrop for the famous trial scene from the book and movie “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Monroeville is the hometown of Harper Lee and Truman Capote two childhood friends who grew up to be two of the of the most well known authors of our times. Continue to Mobile Alabama and overnight in Mobiles historic district at the charming boutique hotel The Malaga Inn – located just a few blocks from Dauphin Street referred to by some as “Mini Bourbon Street” with its many bars and restaurants. (B)

Day 7
Mobile AL

Quilt Design
Malaga Inn

Breakfast in the hotel then meet your local tour guide in the lobby for a comprehensive tour of one of America’s oldest cities. Mobile has two of the oldest churches in the South: The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, actually proclaimed a Minor Basilica by Rome, of which there are only 64 on Earth, and Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, which houses the finest collection of antique stained glass windows in the nation. See 600 square blocks of historic districts containing over 6,000 listings on the National Register of Historic Places and five antebellum museum homes.

Opening times and weather permitting, we will visit the city’s oldest graveyard and Joseph Stillwell Cain’s grave, usually covered in Mardi Gras beads and doubloons. Cain revived Mardi Gras after the War of the Northern Aggression. We will visit the only Carnival Museum in the country where you’ll learn all about Mardi Gras which had its American beginnings in Mobile (not New Orleans) 311 years ago!

Remainder of day at your leisure to explore on your own. Overnight at the Malaga Inn. (B)

Day 8
Mobile AL – New Orleans LA

French Quarter New Orleans
New Orleans

Checkout and depart south towards New Orleans. Travel along the scenic coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. Pass the towns of Pascagoula, Biloxi and Gulfport before stopping for lunch at “Shaggy’s” a popular beachside Gulfport eatery.

Drive along Lake Pontchartrain in the direction of New Orleans. Arrive in New Orleans one of America’s favorite cities. Proceed to the famous French Quarter and check in at Hotel Maison DuPuy ***1/2 located just a few blocks from Bourbon Street and Jackson Square. The hotel features the distinctive tropical French Quarter courtyard. Evening at your leisure to enjoy all that the French Quarter has to offer.(B)

**For an evening of fun with genuine Cajun food and live Cajun music and dancing dinner at Mulate’s is the place to go. Mulate’s serves as the ideal introduction to Cajun Country.

Day 9
New Orleans LA

Steamboat
Natchez Steamboat Cruise

Breakfast at “Vacherie” located close to the hotel and then depart on a walking tour of the French Quarter with your guide. Lunch aboard the “Natchez” for a steamboat cruise on the mighty Mississippi with a live jazz band. Afternoon at leisure. New Orleans, the home of the Francophone Creole and the Anglophone American has over 85 square blocks designated as a National Historic District. Much to see, Jackson Square to Bourbon Street world famous restaurants such as Paul Prudhomme’s, Emeril LaGasse or Arnaud’s..take your pick! Exploring the French Quarter by night is a must, visit a jazz or blues club for the best local music or listen to a street musician who plays for tips . (B, L)

Day 10
New Orleans LA – White Castle LA

White Castle, Louisiana
Oak Alley Plantation

This is your last morning in New Orleans, breakfast at Vacherie then checkout. Depart from New Orleans then drive along the banks of the “Ole Miss” passing the “Great River Road Plantation Parade”. Today’s visit is the “Oak Alley Plantation” – “The Grand Dame of the Great River Road.” Imagine Scarlet O’Hara having barbecue at Twelve Oaks Plantation and charming the red headed Tarleton boys – Oak Alley fulfills that visual image. What a beautiful way to spend a fall day than at one of the most spectacular settings in the old south. Tour the mansion, the slave quarters and the civil war encampment. Enjoy a luncheon buffet and then explore on your own. Depart in the afternoon for Nottaway Plantation located in White Castle for your overnight accommodation. (B)

Day 11
White Castle LA – Lafayette LA

Evangeline Oak
The Evangeline Oak

Enjoy a plantation style breakfast then depart for the heart of Cajun Country. Travel the back-road’s of Louisiana through swamp lands and tall cypresses trailing Spanish moss, vast expanses of sugarcane and small communities with old cajun style cabins.

Arrive in Lafayette and meet your “Cajun” guide, Danny Bonaventure who is of Cajun descent and has over 35 years experience. Danny is well qualified to help you appreciate some of the treasures that this region has to offer.

Visit Vermillionville a heritage and folk-life park that brings to life the early days of Cajun and creole settlers in Louisiana (mid-1700-late 1800s).
Costumed crafts people and artisans conduct demonstrations of their talent. Several historic homes and numerous artifacts from the time period are laid out as they would have been if someone were living there.

Your last stop today is to J & B Quilting Fabric located in Sunset a few miles north of Lafayette.Check in at the Drury Inn & Suites for  overnight. Freshen up then depart for dinner at Prejean’s Cajun Restaurant with live Cajun Music and  delicious authentic Cajun/Creole food. (B)

“laissez les bons temps rouler” – “Let the Good Times Roll”.

Day 12
Lafayette LA - Houston, TX

Atchafalaya River
The Beautiful Atchafalaya Wilderness

After breakfast and check out depart for a morning adventure by boat into the Atchafalaya Wilderness for a 2 hour tour by boat into the Atchafalaya Wilderness. You are accompanied  with a naturalist expert  where you will see birds, alligators and other animals in this unique environment with  its beautiful nature. A peaceful and beautiful tour by boat in one of the worlds natural wonders.

After your tour depart in the mid-afternoon by the shortest route to Houston. Check in to your hotel The Best Western Inn & Suites Galleria, your home for the last three nights of your tour. This evening you will attend preview night at the “International Quilt Festival”. You have been registered and will have your tickets in hand. Return to hotel and overnight. (B)

Day 13
Lafayette LA – Houston TX

FULL DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL
Enjoy breakfast then depart by the shortest route to Houston for your early afternoon arrival at the “International Quilt Festival”. This is a full day at the show where you can have both lunch and dinner at one of the many food courts and restaurants a the George Brown Convention Center. (B)

Houston International Quilt Festival
Houston International Quilt Festival

Credit: Texas Tripper

Day 14
Houston TX - International Quilt Festival

LAST FULL DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL
The International Quilt Festival Houston is one of the premier quilting trade events in America with over 60,000 visitors each year.
Talented quilt artists are present in huge numbers at this convention. There are over 500 varieties of quilts. (B)

Day 15
Houston TX – Home

Full American Breakfast at the hotel. If time allows take a cab from the hotel to The Galleria for shopping or relax at the hotel. Group transfer provided to George Bush Intercontinental Airport for your return flight home. (B)

We offer additional days at both the beginning of tour and at end for clients that wish more time at quilt show. Also can arrange your arrival transfer in Atlanta. Ask for details.

New England Quilt Tour

"Indian Summer for Quilters"

Day 1
Boston MA

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Credit: New York Times

Tour members arrive at Boston Logan Int’l Airport in the early afternoon. Take a short taxi ride to your downtown hotel, The Boxer Hotel. The hotel is conveniently located within a 5-minute walk of the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and the waterfront.

Meet your tour escort at “Finch” located in the hotel this evening for a get acquainted drink and to meet your travel companions.

Dinner is suggested at McCormick & Schmick’s (Faneuil Hall Market Place) – a 5 minute walk from your hotel.

Day 2
Boston MA - Hampton NH

Boott Cotton Mill Museum
Boott Cotton Mill Museum

Jlpapple (Own work)/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Your local tour guide will join you in the lobby for a walking tour through historic Boston along the “Freedom Trail”. You will see 16 historically significant sites such as Boston Common and Paul Revere House. Have a quick lunch then check out of hotel and depart for the short trip to Lowell, Ma. known for its heritage connected to the textile industry. Proceed to the “New England Quilt Museum.” Enjoy a guided tour of the museum by a docent, followed by a quilting workshop with a professional quilter.

Next is a tour through Lowell National Historical Park, commemorating Lowell’s role in the American Industrial Revolution. Visit the Boott Cotton Mill Museum, including a 1920s weave room containing 88 looms operating with the help of belts, shafts and pulleys – self guided. Depart for the charming village of Hampton, New Hampshire. Your accommodations for the next two nights will be at Lamie’s Inn, a traditional New England Inn known for its cozy atmosphere and warm hospitality.

Meet for drinks at “The Old Salt” followed by a festive Welcome Dinner. (B, D)

Day 3
Hampton NH - Portsmouth NH - Cape Neddick ME

The Cape Neddick Lighthouse
The Cape Neddick Lighthouse

Breakfast buffet from 7:30-8:30 in the “Old Salt”. Depart for Portsmouth, NH a delightful city on the ocean, driving along the scenic ocean Route 1A. Arrive in the Portsmouth downtown harbor area a busy and colorful area perfect for browsing and shopping. Visit Portsmouth Fabric Company, one of the largest and most unique fabric and quilt stores in New England.  Lunch is suggested at The Oar House Restaurant.

Next take the short drive to Cape Neddick, Maine to view The Cape Neddick Lighthouse that stands on Nubble Island about 100 yards (91 m) off Cape Neddick Point. Continue for the short ride to Knight’s Quilt Shop. Owner Michele Knight is waiting to welcome the group. Knight’s Quilt Shop has a large inventory of fabrics, quilts and accessories! Depart Cape Neddick for your last stop today – the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge for a refreshing walk along the saltwater marshlands, a wonderful experience during the fall foliage season. Return to Lamies Inn for the 2nd night. (B)

Day 4
Hampton NH-Center Harbor NH-North Conway NH

Keepsake Quilting
Keepsake Quilting

Credit: Google Maps

Depart after breakfast heading north on the back roads of New Hampshire towards the beautiful Lake District. Arrive at Center Harbor located on Lake Winnipesaukee for a visit to Keepsake Quilting – ” a quilters paradise”.  Take the short drive to Weirs Beach and board the MS Mount Washington for a scenic cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee – lunch available onboard. Disembark from ship in Wolfeboro and then continue north through the foothills of the White Mountains and arrive in North Conway for a shopping trip at Settlers Green Outlet Village with over 60 major stores. Overnight at the Golden Gables Inn. Evening at leisure. (B)

Day 5
N. Conway-Montpelier, VT- Shelburne, VT-Rutland, VT

Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works
Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works

Credit: The Morse Farm (Facebook)

Travel through the spectacular White Mountains along the Kancamagus, one of the most scenic highways in America. Make a stop for a easy 1/2 mile hike to Sabbaday Falls. Continue on to Montpelier a picturesque New England town and the capital of Vermont and visit the Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works –  see how maple syrup is processed and enjoy the free samples. Continue via I-89 to Burlington and arrive at the Shelburne Museum, a large complex of galleries and 25 historic structures spread over 45 acres. The museum’s quilt collection is known internationally for its exceptional artistic quality.This visit is one of the major highlights of your tour. Spend the remainder of the day at the museum including a guided tour of the quilt collection. After visiting the quilt galleries continue on to explore the many other collections the museum has to offer; a textile gallery; hooked rugs, fabrics; embroidery and American Folk Art. Lunch at the cafe where you can order sandwiches, soups and snacks.  Depart late afternoon for Rutland, Vt and overnight at the Holiday Inn – Rutland. (B)

Day 6
Rutland, VT - Weston, VT- Canterbury, NH - Ogunquit ME

Canterbury Shaker Village
Canterbury Shaker Village

After breakfast depart early  (7:30am) for the drive to Weston (VT)for a visit to The Vermont Country Store. The store offers a journey into the “general store of yesteryear” offering brands from the past…such a fun place to shop! Continue to Canterbury Shaker Village (NH). A guided tour will explain how the Shakers lived a nearly monastic lifestyle that stressed pacifism, communal ownership, celibacy, gender equality, industriousness and plain, simple living. You will see 25 restored, original buildings and learn how the Shakers lived, worked and worshiped.

Your next stop is the village of Henniker for a visit to Quilted Threads, called a “Quilter’s Dream.” Within the walls of a converted farm house and barn – shoppers find the most carefully selected materials for all their quilting needs. After your visit its a must to see the beautiful covered bridge in Henniker for photos. Enjoy! The final phase of today’s journey takes us east towards Portsmouth and to the Atlantic Ocean. Arrive in Ogunquit and check in for your last three nights at the Admirals Inn. The inn is just steps from the shops, restaurants the rocky coastline and “the beach” which have made the area a famous vacation destination. Dinner is at your leisure, we suggest “Jonathans Restaurant” located just a short walk from the hotel. (B)

Day 7
Ogunquit ME

Ogunquit, Maine
Ogunquit, Maine

Any tour should be well balanced to include ample leisure time for shopping or a walk on the beach. Today you’ll want to explore this cozy, turn-of-the-century village whose streets are lined with white clapboard cottages and picket fences. Shore Road leads to Perkins Cove, a quaint working harbor with a footbridge spanning its entrance. Perkins Cove offers specialty shops, waterfront restaurants and art galleries. “The Front Porch Piano Bar and Restaurant” is a good choice for dinner this evening, (B)

Day 8
Ogunquit ME

Perkins Cove - Ogunquit, Maine
Perkins Cove – Ogunquit, Maine

Your last day in New England to spend as you wish in beautiful picturesque Ogunquit. (B)

Day 9
Ogunquit - Boston MA - Home

Today our journey ends enjoy a leisurely breakfast then depart beautiful Ogunquit for the Boston International Airport and your flight home. We offer hotel accommodations for guests wanting to extend their stay in Boston. (B)

European Patchwork Quilter’s Tour

Tour Lead By Icelandic Master Quilter Gudrun Erla

Day 1
U.S.A. to Iceland

Begin in Iceland
Begin in Iceland

Departures from various airports in the U.S.A. including:

Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Dallas Airports for your nonstop/overnight flight to Keflavik Airport via Icelandair, WOW Airlines or Delta Airlines. Both airlines will be adding more departure cities and we will update this list as they come on board.

A tour with quilt designer Gudrun Erla Gisladottir to her homeland – Iceland, featuring many of the major natural attractions of this unique country – the majestic waterfalls, boiling hot springs, mountains and glaciers.

After Iceland visit continue tour to Heidelberg, Germany // St. Marie aux Mines (Alsace-Lorraine, France) // & European Patchwork Meeting // Paris, France

Day 2
Reykjavik, Iceland

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Early morning arrival at Keflavik. Clear customs then take a short drive to Viking World, a museum that features exhibitions about the times of the Vikings – Breakfast is served at the museum. Depart from the museum for Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, located just 32 miles north from the airport. Once in Reykjavik head directly for Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland. You get a great view of the city, the ocean and the surrounding mountains from top of the water tanks that supply the city with hot water.

After tour check-in at the Center Hotel Plaza, located on the main square in the heart of the old city, The hotel is perfectly situated to enjoy all that the Reykjavik city center has to offer. Enjoy a “welcome dinner” at Geysir Bistro. (B,D)

Day 3
Reykjavik, Iceland

Downtown Reykjavik
Downtown Reykjavik

Today is free to enjoy on your own without regimentation to pursue your own interests. Reykjavik is a lively, colorful city with plenty to do to keep you busy. Many options are available to you such as: (B)

*The Whale Museum and a Whale Watching Tour
*Visit the National Museum of Iceland or the Harpa Concert Hall
*The Saga Museum
*The National Gallery + many other art museums to choose from
*The famous geothermal spa “The Blue Lagoon”

Day 4
Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss - The "Golden Circle"

Gulfoss
Gulfoss

Depart Reykjavik after breakfast for todays tour of the “Golden Circle” which includes:

* Thingvellir National Park – this national shrine of Iceland has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thingvellir is the location of the oldest Parliament in the world, first assembled here in 930 AD.
*Geysir Geothermal Area – the hot springs area famous for the first geyser ever mentioned in text: the one for which all geysers are named. Geyser erupts every 4 to 8 minutes.
*Gulfoss – the roaring and magnificent waterfall “Gullfoss”, a major highlight on the tour

Check in at Country Hotel Laekur for dinner and overnight stay. Time to hit the outside hot tub to round off a busy day. (B,L,D)

Day 5
Thorsmork - Njals Saga Tapestry

Heydalur Activities”
Thorsmork

Depart for Eyjafjallajokull, the 6th largest glacier in Iceland, beneath its cap hides the volcano that erupted in 2010 and disrupted air traffic throughout the northern hemisphere. Today you will visit Thorsmork, a hidden valley between three glaciers. You reach this verdant nature reserve by crossing lava fields and glacial rivers in a modified “Monster” truck – a exhilarating but safe experience, a adventure of a lifetime. Thorsmork is a popular place for hikers, the “Ring of Basar” is a easy 1.5m walk. Buffet lunch is served at Volcano Huts in Husadalur. On your return visit Gigjokull glacier with its giant icicle ravines – a good introduction to the “Land of Fire and Ice.” Continue to Selfoss & spend time with Gudrun’s family and friends. Dinner at famous Fjorubordid known for its magical lobster soup. Drive by shortest route to Gardur hamlet, located within a 10 minute drive to Keflavik Airport. Checkin at the Lighthouse Inn***. Wake up calls for Northern Lights if appropriate. (B,L,D)

Day 6 & 7
Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany

Day 6
Early morning flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Clear customs and meet your guide, Angela, who lives in Heidelberg. Angela will tell you about the Rhine Valley, the mighty river, the Lorelei and the wine industry in Germany. Arrive in Heidelberg, the oldest university town in Germany and proceed to the new Star Inn Hotel. Dinner in the Alstadt at the Red Ox Inn, built in 1703 and still owned/operated by the same family for 170 years. Enjoy good German food and music…visitors who have raised a glass here includes Mark Twain, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe…an eclectic mix! (B,D)

Day 7
Visit Max Beck Textile Museum. P.M. free. (B)

Day 8
Kaysersberg, France

Kaysersberg, France
Kaysersberg, France

After breakfast at the hotel depart for a 2 hour walking tour through Heidelberg with Angela. Visit the Church of the Holy Spirit as well as Germany’s oldest university. Say goodbye to Heidelberg and drive south on the “German Wine Route” passing through the heart of the Palatinate (Pfalz).

Cross the border into France in the direction of Strasbourg, the capital and seat of the European Parliament. Continue west to the “Gateway to Alsace’s Wine Route”…lunch in the picture postcard town of Obernai. Afternoon arrival in St. Marie aux Mines, the venue of the Patchwork Meet (Quilt Show), the largest event in Europe that is devoted to quilting. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the show. Transfer to the small village of Kaysersberg located on the Alsace wine route and check-in to the charming Le Chambard Hotel & Spa a traditional French manor house located in the heart of the Alsatian wine growing area, your home for the next two nights. (B)

Day 9
St. Marie aux Mines, France

Marie aux Mines, France
St. Marie aux Mines, France

After breakfast at your hotel transfer to the show in St. Marie aux Mines. The entire day is devoted to the Patchwork Meet. Spend a full day at the Quilt Show and then transfer to your hotel in Kaysersberg. Dinner own your own in town.

24th EUROPEAN PATCHWORK MEETING
This important quilting event was launched 24 years ago to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Jacob Amman’s founding of the Amish community in St. Marie aux Mines. Quilting has played an important role in Amish life ever since, making St. Marie the perfect location to celebrate the best that contemporary patchwork quilting has to offer. The event has developed to become the largest festival in Europe attracting over 22,000 visitors. (B,L,D)

Day 10
Paris, France

Alsace Countryside Paris, France
Alsace Countryside Paris, France

Breakfast at hotel then take a walking tour of Kaysersberg followed by a visit to the castle ruins that tower above. Depart Kaysersberg and visit the historic villages of Equilheim, Riquewihr and Colmar – Colmar is the largest and most popular of France’s storybook towns. Enjoy lunch and a tour of Colmar then proceed to Strasbourg where you will board the French TGV to Paris – enjoy rail travel French style.

Arrival in Paris and transfer from the train station to the Monsieur Cadet Hotel****. This elegant boutique hotel is well located in the 9th district, close to shopping and entertainment. Dinner at the Petit Cadet Restaurant – superb service and food. They speak English! (B)

HOTEL MONSIEUR CADET
Your hotel is located in a tiny, quiet street in the theater district of Paris. The hotel has 29 rooms that come with a flat screen TV, minibar, hairdryer, bathrobe, slippers and free WiFi.

Day 11
Paris, France

Paris, France
Paris, France

Breakfast then depart for a 4 hour city tour of Paris that includes the old Marais district, the Latin Quarter with the Sorbonne University, the Luxembourg Gardens and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The afternoon is free without a set program. If Paris is new to you just sitting in a sidewalk cafe sipping an aperitif or simple people watching in the splendid atmosphere of this remarkable city is a good choice. For the more ambitious a visit to the famous Louvre would easily fill the afternoon. Beneath the Louvre is a major shopping center.

Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 12
Paris, France

Paris, France
The Palace of Versailles

Today is the last day of your tour and is at your leisure to spend as you wish. For those in Paris for the first time and would like to see more of the many wonderful attractions that Paris has to offer – we offer optional tours to “The Palace of Versailles” and the “Moulin Rouge Dinner Show”.

Option 1) The Palace of Versailles – One of the most famous monuments in the world, the residence of the kings of France, Louis XIV, XV and XVI and their courts from 1682 to 1789. The Palace is over 721,000 square feet – for a comparison the White House is 55,000 square feet. The Coronation Room, the Queen’s bedroom, once occupied by Marie Antoinette, the Hall of Mirrors and the Gardens of Versailles are yours to explore on this tour.

Option 2} Moulin Rouge Dinner Show – A 10 minute drive from your hotel. Experience the most famous cabaret in the world in this atmospheric theater with a dazzling spectacle of drama, dance and music. Enjoy a fine french meal and champagne for a truly indulgent experience. (B)

Day 13
Paris to Home

A leisurely breakfast in your hotel then time to pack and say bye-bye to your new friends. Transfer from the Monsieur Cadet Hotel to Charles de Gaulle Airport. (B)

Late afternoon arrival in the United States and Canada.