By Jean Strauber, Travel Editor
Herzerl Tours is offering a seven-day luxury once-in-a-lifetime experience from December 27, 2014 to January 3, 2015. If you’ve ever had a dream to celebrate a very special New Year’s Eve in royal splendor, this one-week “imperial” adventure in Vienna will be for you. Here is the itinerary:
DAY 2- Arrive at Vienna Airport, Schwechat, and you’ll be transferred with private car to Hotel Johann Strauss. In the afternoon, your private guide will pick you up at the hotel for your first experience in Vienna — a walking tour through the Inner City, passing St. Stephen’s Cathedral and ending at Griechenbeisl, Vienna’s oldest restaurant, established in 1447 and located in the untouched medieval quarters of Vienna.
DAY 3- Attend the Mass sung by the Vienna Boys Choir at Imperial Chapel — a truly spiritual experience. In the afternoon, take a Vienna City sightseeing tour that includes the famous Ringstrasse and its elaborate palatial buildings, and a visit of Schönbrunn Palace, the Habsburg royal family’s summer residence.
DAY 4- Visit the famous Blue Bar at the Hotel Sacher for hors d’oeuvres and a glass of bubbly, followed by a waltz lesson at Dance School Elmayer, Vienna’s foremost dance school. In the evening, you have the option of attending a performance of the famous Lipizzan horses at the Spanish Riding School at the Imperial Stables. Dinner will be at the haute-cuisine restaurant Vestibuel at the Vienna Burg Theater. The restaurant, attached to the theater, was once the carriage vestibule of the emperor’s court theatre.
DAY 5- Enjoy a day at leisure. Visit one of Vienna’s many marvelous museums, or go to a coffee shop to sample delicious Viennese pastries with a cup of hot cocoa. Or go shopping on elegant Karntner Strasse to shop for such souvenirs as Augarten porcelain or crystal from world famous Swarovski. In the evening you will be driven by private car to the Imperial Hofburg Palace (pictured), the former winter residence of the Austrian Emperors for the Imperial Ball. As you enter the palace you’ll be greeted by the Imperial Guards with other guests: women in long dresses and men in tuxedos or tails, all moving around the ballroom where royalty used to dance to the music of a Strauss waltz. You will be shown to your reserved seats at a table in one of the spectacular halls to enjoy a dinner, including beverages, which will be served to you in a royal style.
DAY 6- This morning is at leisure. At noon you will meet your tour director and your new friends to enjoy brunch at Hotel Intercontinental’s MediterraNeo — an elaborate buffet prepared by a famous chef including a special aperitif and the possibility to watch and hear a transmission of the New Year’s concert on big screen television. To end this first day of 2015, attend an age-old Viennese tradition — a performance of Johann Strauss’ “Fledermaus” at Vienna’s major opera house, Volksoper.
DAY 7- Your morning is free to return to the Karntner Strasse to make some last-minute purchases. Later you will meet your guide for a walking tour including the newly reappointed Mozart House and the Haus der Musak, where you can visit a collection of classic Austrian composers and even be able to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Enjoy dinner at the glamorous new restaurant at the Palais Coburg, a renovated century-old palace, a place for culinary indulgences prepared by a Michelin chef, and a presentation of rare wines from the world famous wine archivist.
DAY 8- After breakfast, transfer to Vienna Airport for your return flight home.
Herzerl Tours is a division of Omnific Assoc., Incorporated. Four- and five-star hotels can be arranged for an increased price. The package includes ball tickets for CAT (Category) II (Hall of Ceremonies); Ticket for CAT I (Festival Hall) increases the price by $550 per couple. For more information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 684-8488 or (914) 771-8558.