Want to see Oberammergau? Book a river cruise

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Numerous river cruise lines are offering sailings that include attending the once-every-decade Passion Play performance in Oberammergau, Germany, in 2020.
Numerous river cruise lines are offering sailings that include attending the once-every-decade Passion Play performance in Oberammergau, Germany, in 2020. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Oberammergau Passionsspiele
Michelle Baran
Michelle Baran

It's a great hack for scoring tickets to the coveted, once-every-decade Passion Play performance in Oberammergau, Germany, where the curtain will rise again in 2020. Most river cruise lines sell Oberammergau sailings that include entry to the epic event.

The tradition dates back to 1633, when the people of the Bavarian village vowed to recreate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ every 10 years, a promise they have made good on until today.

Not only has the ritual lasted, it has a strong following. The 42nd performance of the play is taking place from May 16 to Oct. 4, 2020, and river cruise lines have been scurrying to work it into their itineraries.

Avalon Waterways is offering a 12-day Danube Dreams with Oberammergau sailing in 2020, with nine departures between May and September of 2020. Avalon will serve its guests dinner during intermission, as the play is a five-hour, live performance.

Viking's got 10 sailings between June and August that include the play. Tauck has three, two of which are already sold out, while Scenic is offering five sailings, including an Alpine Highlights and Oberammergau cruise and a Bavarian Highlights and Oberammergau cruise from Munich to Vienna. Scenic's sister line, Emerald Waterways, is also offering it on four sailings.

Crystal River Cruises became the most recent line to join the Oberammergau frenzy, announcing it will offer the opportunity to attend the Oberammergau performance on select Crystal Mahler, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel sailings.

French river cruise line CroisiEurope has also reportedly secured tickets for some sailings as well.

It's likely we'll hear of more Oberammergau sailings in the coming weeks and months as the excitement for the 2020 event continues to build. And for those thinking of attending the play, combining it with a relaxing river cruise, and having the operator handle all the logistics to boot, seems like an ideal way to do it.

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