A&K's Connoisseurs Plan Features Private Chopin Concert

Reed Travel Features

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Abercrombie & Kent unveiled a nine-night Connoisseurs Po-land program.

Although Poland was part of the firm's other central and eastern Europe itineraries last year, this is the first time the country is being offered on its own, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

A&K launched the Poland program in response to a growing demand for the destination, she said.

Like all of the company's Great Journeys of Europe luxury programs, the Poland itinerary includes the best mode of transportation available; a traveling bellboy who takes care of the luggage; limited group size (up to 24 people); the highest standard of accommodations available, and a la carte dining, she said.

In addition, the company hires experienced guides and organizes unique activities that travelers could not arrange on their own, she added.

For example, on the Poland trip, travelers take a private tour of the Jasna Gora monastery; listen to a lecture by a member of Solidarity, the labor union once led by former president Lech Walesa, and attend a private Chopin concert, she said.

The program is priced higher than a typical first class Poland tour, which costs about $2,000 per person, double, including roundtrip air fare for nine nights.

The cost of A&K's nine-night tour is $3,995 per person, double.

Roundtrip air fare from New York costs an additional $798 in economy class and $3,098 in business class.

The itinerary begins in Warsaw, where participants will stay at the Hotel Bristol.

While in the capital city, travelers will explore Old Town, city parks and Wilanow Palace.

The following day, the group will head to Chopin's birthplace, meet Count Novak at his country residence and have a private luncheon at Nieborow Palace before returning to Warsaw for a private concert of Chopin's music in Lazienki Palace.

After departing Warsaw, the tour heads south to Czestochowa, where each year millions of people visit the Black Madonna icon in Jasna Gora monastery.

In Krakow, visits are made to the Gothic church of St. Mary and Cloth Hall in the square in Old Town.

Those interested in visiting the former Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau will have the opportunity to do so.

Accommodations in Krakow are at the Hotel Grand.

In the evening, the group has dinner and watches a folklore performance in a Jewish restaurant.

From Krakow, the group travels by train to the town of Malbork.

Here, accommodations are at the Hotel Zamek, which is housed in the 13th century Marienborg Castle, former seat of the Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights.

From Malbork, the group drives to Gdansk to spend the day exploring the city.

Visitors will see the old streets of this ancient Hanseatic town and St. Bridget's Church.

In the afternoon, an organ concert in the Baroque Cathedral of Oliwa is provided.

A final morning is spent in Malbork exploring Marienborg Castle before taking the train back to Warsaw.

Tour dates are Sept. 5 and Sept. 26.

For details, contact Abercrombie & Kent at (800) 323-7308 or (630) 954-2944; fax (630) 954-3324.

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