Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the birthplace of the Reformation alongside Ligonier Tours from July 27—August 10, 2017. We are embarking on three historical and educational tour experiences that will take us from Prague to Berlin. During this special time, we will commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of the Ninety-Five Theses at Wittenberg.

Itinerary

July 27 – Day 1 (Pre-Tour)

Arrival in Prague


Guests arrive at Václav Havel Airport Prague and will be greeted by Sovereign who will provide welcome amenities as you wait to be loaded into private luxury sedans that will deliver you to our Prague hotel.

Upon arrival at the hotel, guests are pre-keyed into their appointed rooms and will be given the Day 1 European Tour newsletter that will identify the day’s events at the Sovereign guest reception desk. We will then enjoy a full dinner and first night’s lecture with your Ligonier Teaching Fellows.

MEALS: Reception, Dinner

July 28 – Day 2 (Pre-Tour)

Prague


Our morning walk begins at Bethlehem Chapel where Jan Hus, an important precursor to Martin Luther and John Calvin, preached before being excommunicated and burned at the stake in Constance.

Here we’ll explore anti-papal sentiment in Prague and greater Bohemia in the 15th and 16th centuries. We’ll also consider the arrival of the Habsburg dynasty in Prague during this period and how their patronage of the Jesuits—who converted Bethlehem Chapel into apartments, impacted the city, leading to the Bohemian Revolt and 30 Years War.

We will continue through the Old Town Square, where the leaders of the Revolt were executed in 1621. Ominous crosses in the pavement mark the event.

We’ll look more deeply at the Jesuit movement and the Papal Counter-reformation, exploring a wide range of issues, from the Jewish reaction to this conflict, to pogroms and how Catholic leaders like the Habsburg Rudolf II, moved his court from Vienna to Prague.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

July 29 – Day 3 (Pre-Tour)

Prague


After a full breakfast, we’ll head to St. Nicholas Cathedral, a fantastic example of Baroque architecture built to embody the Counter-Reformation.

Here we will dig deeper into the ideological war between Protestants and Catholics as it simmered into the 17th century. We hope to come away with a deeper sense of the conflict and struggle that makes this one of the most fascinating time periods in Prague’s history.

We’ll focus on the figure of Charles IV (1346-1378), the 14th century Holy Roman Emperor who centered his empire in Prague and re-made it as a Paris-style cultural capital. We start at Prague Castle, which overlooks the river and the rest of the city. Although predating Charles, much of this structure was reworked by him, including St. Vitus Chapel, a masterwork of Gothic architecture.

Prague was home to a Lollard congregation. The Lollards were followers of John Wycliffe, another pre-Reformation Reformer alongside of Hus. Paul Crawer, a member of the Lollard church, studied medicine at Prague, then went to Scotland as a medical missionary. He was burned at the stake at St. Andrew’s in 1433. Lectures by the Ligonier Ministries Teaching Fellows will remind us of the labors and sacrifices of these faithful servants of the past.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner (Additional pricing for hotel rates and for joining the last night of the Pre-Cruise tour group’s dinner will be provided at final payment) (July 31-Aug. 7)

July 30 – Day 4 (Cruise Embarkation)

Prague to Decin


After a full breakfast, we will enjoy worship this Sunday with our Ligonier Ministries Teaching fellows. Then we will board luxury motor coaches and ride to Decin. Along the way, we will visit Litoměřice, one of the prettiest towns in the Czech Republic. After free time to have lunch and explore on your own, we will board our ship and enjoy a welcome reception and dinner.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

July 31 – Day 5 (Cruise)

Saxon, Switzerland


This morning we will cruise through the magnificent soaring rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region, and then dock at the spa town of Bad Schandau.

From here we make our way to the famous rock tower known as the Bastei (bastion) to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Elbe. Return aboard for dinner and a lecture during our evening cruising.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 1 – Day 6 (Cruise)

Dresden


Awaken in Dresden, nicknamed “Florence on the Elbe,” and embark on a tour just after breakfast. Drive through the 19th-century residential area to the Dresden Castle complex; enter the Green Vault to see a comprehensive collection of the Saxon monarchs’ crown jewels.

Continue on foot to see Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirche, the great testimony to Lutheran Protestantism, with its distinctive bell-shaped dome that survived World War II bombings but collapsed the following day, and was later rebuilt.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 2 – Day 7 (Cruise)

Meissen & Torgau


After an early breakfast, we will arrive in Meissen where we’ll stop in at the Meissenware factory, producers of fine porcelain since the early 1700s. During the Reformation, the town council closed all cloisters in 1523.

Citizens of Torgau destroyed the paintings and statues of saints in the churches and stormed the Franciscan monastery during the period of iconoclasm under the direction of Andreas Karlstadt. After Luther had driven Karlstadt from Saxony in 1524, he enforced the expulsion of Karlstadt’s followers in Torgau in 1529.

We will visit the gravesite of the beloved Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther, who is buried in St. Marien, Torgau. We will also learn of the Torgauer Artikel, a draft of the Augsburg Confession composed by Luther, Melanchthon, Bugenhagen and Jonas in the electoral superindenture in 1530 (Wintergrün). The Lutheran Formula of Concord was written in Torgau in 1576.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 3 – Day 8 (Cruise)

Wittenberg


Our journey now takes us to Wittenberg, located in northeastern Germany on the Elbe River. Five hundred years ago, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg, igniting the Protestant Reformation.

Luther taught at the University in Wittenberg for years as well. During our time in Wittenberg, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Reformation Museum/Luther House, St. Mary’s Church where he preached, and Castle Church where he posted his 95 Theses. Also visit Martin Luther’s Tomb, the home of Philipp Melanchthon, Martin Luther’s right-hand man and a scholar of the early Reformation.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 4 – Day 9 (Cruise Disembarkation)

Wittenberg, Dessau, Magdeburg, Berlin


Today, we will travel via luxury coaches to Dessau, which was the last of the principalities to adopt the Reformation when Prince George III officially professed the Lutheran doctrine in 1534. Prior to then, the Catholic widow and regent princess, Margaret of Münsterberg, had resisted the reform movement with all of her strength.

In 1525 she founded the ‘League of Dessau’ (Dessauer Bund), an alliance of Catholic rulers who stood against the proliferation of Luther’s teachings. As a preacher, Martin Luther paid frequent visits to St. Mary’s church in Dessau. In 1545, Luther ordained George III of Anhalt-Dessau as Bishop of Merseburg, whereby the latter became the only German prince to serve as an official member of the Lutheran clergy.

Our final journey takes us to a town rich with Lutheran heritage: Magdeburg. Martin Luther attended school in Magdeburg, where he was exposed to the teachings of the Brethren of the Common Life.

In 1524, he was called to Magdeburg, where he preached and caused the city’s defection from Catholicism. The Protestant Reformation had quickly found adherents in the city, where Luther had been a schoolboy. The rule of the archbishop was replaced by that of various administrators belonging to Protestant dynasties.

In the following years Magdeburg gained a reputation as a stronghold of Protestantism and became the first major city to publish the writings of Luther.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 5 – Day 10 (Continued Cruise Tour)

Berlin – Potsdam and UNESCO Site


After breakfast, travel to Potsdam where “The Big Three”—Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (replaced on July 26 by Prime Minister Clement Attlee), and U.S. President Harry Truman—met in Potsdam, Germany, from July 17 to August 2, 1945, to negotiate terms for the end of World War II. Tour Sanssouci Palace, a perfect example of German rococo architecture, built by Prussian king Frederick the Great, who left his father’s calvinist legacy, in the 18th century.”

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 6 – Day 11 (Cruise)

Berlin, Museum Island, Pergamon


GUESTS NOT CONTINUING ON THE LIFE OF LUTHER POST TOUR – Berlin – Museum Island – Pergamon

The Museum Island was a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique ensemble of buildings and cultural artefacts. The opening of the Altes Museum in 1830 made historically significant collections and art accessible to the general public for the first time. The museum collection includes the original Ishtar Gate, the Processional Way, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the bust of Nefertiti.

MEALS: Breakfast, and Dinner

GUESTS CONTINUING ON THE LIFE OF LUTHER POST TOUR – Berlin – Eisleben – Weimar

After a traditional German Breakfast, we will explore Luther’s home town of Eisleben. Martin Luther was born in Eisleben in 1483 and also died here in 1546. He spent most of the intervening years elsewhere, in cities like Erfurt and Wittenberg, but Eisleben always remained a place for which Luther retained a special affection.

It is thus quite poetic that he happened to be in his hometown to settle a dispute, when he died. Eisleben is a small city in Saxony—Anhalt, Germany, with a population of about 21,000. Since 1946, Eisleben’s official name has been Lutherstadt Eisleben (“Luther-City Eisleben”), in honor of its close association with the great reformer Martin Luther.

We will briefly stop at St. Andrew’s church where Luther gave his last sermons.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 7 – Day 12 (Cruise)

Departure from Berlin


GUESTS NOT CONTINUING ON THE LIFE OF LUTHER POST TOUR: DEPARTURE FROM BERLIN

After enjoying a continental breakfast, Sovereign will assist you to your private chauffeured cars to depart to Berlin Tegel Airport.

MEALS: Breakfast

GUESTS CONTINUING ON THE LIFE OF LUTHER POST TOUR: Weimar – Erfurt

A student at Erfurt’s famous university between 1501 and 1505, Luther first studied the “seven liberal arts”, then theology and, at his father’s wish, jurisprudence. But a dramatic personal incident brought about a radical change in Luther’s life: terrified by a dreadful storm close to the city, during which he was struck by lightning, he took monastic vows and entered the Augustinian Monastery on 17 July 1505. In April 1507, Martin Luther was ordained as priest in Erfurt Cathedral.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 8 – Day 13 (Post-Tour)

Weimar - Eisenach


Today we head to Eisenach and visit Wartburg Castle, including the Great Hall, the Elizabeth Hallway and the Luther Room where Martin Luther, disguised as a knight, translated the New Testament into German. This evening you will have the opportunity to enjoy a local rustic “Luther feast” in Eisenach. We will also visit the Bach House in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, a museum dedicated to the composer Johann Sebastian Bach who was born in the city. The museum displays around 250 original exhibits, among them a Bach music autograph.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 9 – Day 14 (Post-Tour)

Weimar - Berlin


After a full breakfast, we will head back on the autobahn for Berlin where you will have an afternoon free to explore Berlin before we end our time together at our last dinner lecture.

MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

August 10 – Day 15 (Post-Tour)

Departure from Berlin


This morning we will leave Erfurt and head back to Berlin after breakfast. For those of you flying home, Sovereign will be arranging all of your transfers from our hotel to Berlin International Airport.

MEALS: Breakfast

Speakers

W. Robert Godfrey

Dr. W. Robert Godfrey is a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow and president emeritus of Westminster Seminary California. He is the featured teacher for the Ligonier six-part teaching series A Survey of Church History. His many books include God’s Pattern for Creation, Reformation Sketches, An Unexpected Journey, and Learning to Love the Psalms.

Albert Mohler

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He is a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow and host of the daily program The Briefing and the popular blog AlbertMohler.com. Dr. Mohler is author of numerous books, including Culture Shift, Atheism Remix, and We Cannot Be Silent. He is on Twitter @AlbertMohler.

Stephen Nichols

Dr. Stephen J. Nichols is president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer for Ligonier Ministries and a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow. He formerly served as research professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania. He teaches on the podcast 5 Minutes in Church History. He is author of numerous books, including For Us and for Our Salvation, Jonathan Edwards: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought, Peace, and A Time for Confidence, and he is coeditor of The Legacy of Luther and Crossway’s Theologians on the Christian Life series. He is on Twitter @DrSteveNichols.

Plan Your Trip

About The Ship

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Learn more about the Viking Beyla, a state-of-the-art river vessel featuring deluxe accommodations and streamlined Scandinavian interiors. See ship highlights, a deck plan, and specific information about its different cabin options.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is there WiFi on board? Will I need a power converter kit? Is there a dress code on the ship? What should I pack? Read answers to these and other popular questions.

Pricing & Travel Information

PACKAGE 1: Jan Hus and the Forerunners of the Reformation Study Tour (Pre-Tour)

SOLD OUT

July 27 – July 30, 2017
Accommodations
  • Standard Price
  • Standard Rate Sold Out

PACKAGE 2: Elbe River Study Cruise (Cruise)

SOLD OUT

July 30 – August 7, 2017Viking River Cruises
47 Cabins (94 Guests)
  • Standard Price
  • Category E (Standard Room) Sold Out
  • Category D (French Balcony Stateroom) Sold Out
  • Category C (French Balcony Stateroom) Sold Out
  • Category B (Verandah Stateroom) Sold Out
  • Category A (Verandah Stateroom) Sold Out
  • Category AA (Verandah Suites) Sold Out

PACKAGE 3: Walking in the Footsteps of Martin Luther Study Tour (Post-Tour)

SOLD OUT

August 6 – August 10, 2017
Accommodations
  • Standard Price
  • Standard Rate Sold Out

PACKAGE 4: Jan Hus and the Forerunners of the Reformation Study Tour (Pre-Tour), Elbe River Study Cruise (Cruise), and Walking in the Footsteps of Martin Luther Study Tour (Post-Tour)

SOLD OUT

July 27 – August 10, 2017Viking River Cruises
47 Cabins (94 Guests)
  • Standard Price
  • Category E (Standard Room) Sold Out
  • Category D (French Balcony Stateroom) Sold Out
  • Category C (French Balcony Stateroom) Sold Out
  • Category B (Verandah Stateroom) Sold Out
  • Category A (Verandah Stateroom) Sold Out
  • Category AA (Verandah Suites) Sold Out

About Ligonier Tours

One of the best ways you can learn about a person or even an event is being there—to be on site. We can certainly learn from reading and studying. We can even create the scene in our mind’s eye. But nothing brings a person or an event to life like being there. Ligonier Tours takes you to the places where significant events occurred, events that have shaped history. You can literally walk in the footsteps of our heroes of the past, of Luther, of Calvin, of Jonathan Edwards. You will meet these figures in ways you have never met them before.

Ligonier’s teaching fellows and other ministry leaders serve as your guides as you explore these important sites. On these tours, you’ll have time with these trusted teachers over a meal or at the sites along the journey. You will also have rich times of fellowship with your fellow travelers, meeting kindred spirits and making friendships.

Ligonier Tours brings the past to life, they serve to encourage us as disciples in our own day, and they offer us reminders that we are not alone, but that we are on our pilgrim journey together.