Travel to six European cities to view outstanding collections of Egyptian art. In Germany enter the August Kestner Museum and the Romer und Pelizaus Museum, Berlin’s Museum Island and The Neues Museum. See three museums in Copenhagen, and enjoy private viewing of objects not on public display at the National Museum’s Collections Centre in Edinburgh. For the US equivalent of this tour, consider our Egyptian Art Tour in Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, New York City and please get in touch if you have any questions.
Far Horizons proudly presents a truly unique 11-day tour of some of Europe’s greatest museums. Visiting Hannover, Hildesheim, and Berlin in Germany, Copenhagen, and Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, with an emphasis on each city’s great museums and collections of Egyptian art.
Begin in Hannover to view a special exposition – Bes, Demon God, Protector of Egypt – and then join the museum director for a viewing of artifacts not on public view.
Continue to Hildesheim for a private tour of the Romer und Pelizaus Museum, containing one of the world’s most famous collections of ancient Egyptian cultural monuments. In Hildesheim, we will be hosted by the city’s art historian on a private tour of St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Michael’s Church, a UNESCO property, and the City Museum to gaze upon the Hildesheim Treasure, the largest collection of Roman silver found outside imperial frontiers.
Spend a full day at Berlin’s Museum Island, a UNESCO site, and the Neues Museum. Here, the spectacular 2,500 piece Egyptian collection, including the iconic bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, covers three floors.
In Copenhagen, visit three museums: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, the Denmark National Museum, and the Thorvaldsens Museum, where we will have an introduction by the museum director.
Finally, we move on to Scotland where the Director of the National Museum will open for us the Collections Center of the National Museum for a specially-arranged private viewing. In Glasgow, see the exhibits at both the Hunterian and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Led by Professor Bob Brier and art historian Patricia Remler, learn about these Egyptian assemblages and their migration to these European museums. Overnights will be in charming, centrally located hotels in order to experience all that these great European cities have to offer.
The first day is comprised entirely of travel to Europe from the United States.
Arrive Hannover this morning. Lower Saxony’s capital is a university city and economic center that was once an imperial seat. Three men of the royal line, the House of Hanover, became kings to Great Britain.
After lunch, we will stroll through the old center of Hannover to see the half-timbered houses, the magnificent neo-classical Opera House, and the splendid New City Hall, built in the early 20th century.
Located within the historic center, the August Kestner Museum was founded in 1889 to house art works of the Kestler family. Celebrated for its Egyptian relics, the museum also displays superb Greco-Roman pieces. Here, we meet privately with the museum director, Egyptologist Dr. Christian Loben, who will show us the special exhibit – Bes, Demon God, Protector of Egypt – and give a private viewing of artifacts in the museum’s storeroom. We spend two nights in Hannover. (L)
In 1907, collector Wilhelm Pelizaeus gave his antiquities to his hometown of Hildesheim, and the Romer und Pelizaeus-Museum was established.
Our all-day walking tour begins here where we meet privately with one of the museum’s curators who will show us the outstanding treasures of the Old Kingdom. The most important epochs of Egyptian culture, from the predynastic to Christian times, are represented by more than 8000 objects.
Lunch will be on our own in the museum’s Restaurant Nil. In the afternoon, we will walk through the medieval center of Hildesheim, one of the oldest cities in northern Germany. Although much was destroyed during World War Two, it was quickly rebuilt and the restored half-timbered houses in the old town are excellent examples of medieval Germany.
This charming university town contains two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. St. Michael’s Church is an early-Romanesque church that was completed in the early 11th century. Installed in the early 1200s, and removed during the war which saved it, the glorious painted wooden ceiling in the nave shows the Tree of Jesse, the genealogy of the family of Jesus.
St. Mary’s Church was built in the 9th century, and although almost completely destroyed in 1945, it was reconstructed soon after the war. The building contains many gems including the original 11th century cast-bronze doors depicting biblical scenes and a cast-bronze column depicting scenes from the life of Christ.
A huge rose covering the outside wall of the apse is believed to have been established by King Louis the Pious in 815. Whether it’s that old or not, documentation proves that ‘The Thousand Year Rose’ existed at least 400 years ago. Dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, it is the icon for the city.
Our final stop is the City Museum to see the Hildesheim Treasure, unearthed in 1868 in this city, and the largest collection of Roman silver found outside imperial frontiers. Gather this evening for our welcome dinner party. (B/ /D)
Transfer to Berlin after a light lunch, enjoy a short city tour. The Berlin Wall was a barrier that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989, and the Berlin Wall Memorial Museum contains a small piece of the barricade along with displays on the history of Germany’s division.
The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s most famous landmark, was an emblem of Berlin and German division during the Cold War. Today, it is a national symbol of peace and unity. Dinner is on our own. Overnight for two nights at the Radisson Blu Berlin Hotel, located in the city center within walking distance of Museum Island. (B/L)
Five world-renowned museums make up Berlin’s Museum Island in the Spree River. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the buildings were constructed between 1824 and 1930 by the most renowned Prussian architects.
Our morning will be spent in the Neues Museum, home to selected objects from the Egyptian Museum and the Papyrus Collection. The celebrated masterpiece here is the bust of Nefertiti, the 3,300-year-old painted stucco-coated limestone statue of the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten.
Lunch and the afternoon is on our own for further explorations. While on Museum Island, a visit to the Pergamon Museum is highly recommended. This museum houses an incredible collection of exquisite classical treasures such as the striking reconstructions of archaeological buildings – the Pergamon Altar of Zeus, Roman market gate of Milet, Ishtar Gate with the Processional Way of Babylon, and the Mshatta façade. (B/ /D)
Fly this morning to Copenhagen. After a short stop for a light lunch, spend the afternoon in the Royal Castle of Kronborg. Immortalized by Shakespeare as Hamlet’s Elsinore Castle, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both a graceful Renaissance palace and a vast fortress, it was strategically located to ensure Denmark controlled the passage of ships at the gateway to the Baltic Sea.
Almost two million ships passed through this waterway during the 16th-18th centuries, and all paid a toll making Kronborg Castle an indisputable sign of Denmark’s influence.
We will go behind closed doors to the ‘hidden’ areas of the citadel on a specially arranged walk through forgotten tower rooms, attics and dungeons. During the adventure, learn shadowy secrets about the private lives of the royalty who lived here. Overnight for two nights in the Hotel Danmark, within walking distance of the museums we will visit. Dinner is on our own. (B/L)
The morning is free to explore Copenhagen on our own. In the afternoon, we will stroll to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, where more than 1,900 Egyptian artifacts await us. The museum contains the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. Primarily a sculpture museum, the focal point is sculpture from the ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, including Egypt, Rome and Greece, as well as more modern sculptures such as a collection of Auguste Rodin’s works.
The more than 300 Egyptian objects exhibited comprise representations of Egyptian pharaohs, officials, scribes and gods. Among the most important works are the colossal dyad of Ramses II and the god Ptah, the god Anubis with the head of a jackal, as well as the iconic black head of a king which represents Pharaoh Amenemhat. And the Egyptian Cult of the Dead is shown by the mummies, coffins, and other funerary paraphernalia to be seen. (B/ /D)
Our short walk takes us to the National Museum of Denmark, housed in an 18th century palace. Of course, we are here to see the Egyptology collection, but the museum offers much more. The exhibition on Danish Antiquity includes prominent treasures such as the 3,000 years old Sun Chariot, the Bronze Age Egtved Girl, and an amazing collection of archaeological finds from the Viking Age.
Another highlight is the Huldremose Woman, whose well-preserved remains are estimated to date back to the first century AD. Located within the museum. Restaurant Smör offers light meals of Danish food. After lunch on our own, we will walk five minutes to the Thorvaldsens Museum where we will be met by the Director, Kristine Bøggild Johannsen.
The museum is dedicated to the works of the illustrious 18th century Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen along with his private collection of Mediterranean antiquities, including from Egypt. The building housing these works encircles an inner courtyard, notable for being painted in Egyptian motifs. Inside is a comprehensive collection of the artist’s works in marble as well as paintings, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiques, drawings, and prints that Thorvaldsen collected during his lifetime.
In the afternoon, we fly from Copenhagen to Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon arrival we will drive to Glasgow and overnight for three nights at the elegant Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor, located in the iconic West End. (B/ /D)
After a 15-year renovation, in 2019 the National Museum of Scotland opened new galleries including the Ancient Egypt Rediscovered court with its visually engaging exhibits of 4,000 years of ancient Egyptian culture. The collection was begun in 1819 with relics found by the pioneering Scottish archaeologist Alexander Henry Rhind.
The assembly is immense with many stunning highlights, including the only known example of an ancient Egyptian double coffin, and the Akhenaten Stela with an early representation of the king’s new deity as a falcon-headed sun god.
In 1908, an undisturbed ancient Egyptian crypt was discovered by the British archaeologist, Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie in Qurna Thebes. It was sent to the museum the following year and is the only intact royal entombment outside of Egypt. Part of this burial was a 3500-year-old coffin thought to have contained a royal woman. Her identity remains a mystery because the name glyph on her coffin has been damaged.
Then we drive to the off-site Collections Centre in nearby Granton where we will meet with Dr. Margaret Maitland, senior curator of Egyptology. She was lead curator for the Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery that opened at the National Museum of Scotland in 2019.
Dr. Maitland will open the vaults for us to see objects not displayed to the public. In the late afternoon, we return to Glasgow with dinner on our own to experience one of Glasgow’s excellent restaurants. (B/L/ /)
The Hunterian Museum, founded in 1807, is Scotland’s oldest public museum. The Scottish collector and traveler, the Rev. Colin Campbell, journeyed through Egypt at the turn of the last century. He donated his collection to the Hunterian Museum in 1925, including paintings he created that copied the scenes in the Egyptian tombs which he visited such as the beautiful tomb of Menna. His collection also includes many ostraca, inscribed scraps of stone or pottery used as informal writing surfaces, from Deir el-Medina.
The nearby Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is an architectural masterpiece and a great monument to Victorian wealth and grandeur. Initially opened in 1901, it reopened in July 2006 after a £30 million restoration. It features 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying an astounding 8000 objects, and we are here to view the Egyptian treasures. One of the most iconic objects in the museum’s entire collection is the massive granite sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian noble Pa-ba-sa.
Additionally, the collection includes a limestone stela of Senenmut, several monuments created by the workmen of Deir el-Medina and a statue of Paraherwenemef, son of King Ramesses II.
The afternoon is free for further independent explorations. Gather this evening for our farewell dinner in one of Glasgow’s best restaurants. (B/ / D)
Transfer to the airport for our return flight to the USA.
Price is based on double occupancy and includes:
Trip prices are based on a minimum number of participants. If this minimum number is not met, trip prices are subject to change. Should the prices need to change, Far Horizons will reach out to registered guests to discuss directly.
Should a roommate be requested and one not be available, the single supplement must be charged.
As a tour company that benefits from the cultural and natural riches of our destinations, we have a policy of donating to the scientific and cultural sites and projects which we visit. This has created a bond between Far Horizons and the academic and local communities that has helped us establish an extensive list of lecturers and contacts in each of our destinations. We ask that each participant donate to the noteworthy project we designate. The donation amount is $150.00 per person. Note that the donation is required as part of your registration for the trip and that it is non-refundable.
Prices are based on currency exchange rates keeping below a projected level. While it is unlikely, if the exchange rates should change substantially, Far Horizons reserves the right to charge an additional amount to the trip cost.
A deposit of $1000 per person is required along with your registration & health forms, which will be linked in the email confirmation you receive once you pay your deposit on our booking platform. Final payment is due 120 days before departure. Prior to departure, you will be sent a reading list and a tour bulletin containing travel information.
Cancellations received in writing at least 120 days before departure will receive a refund less a $500 per person administrative fee. Cancellations received less than 120 days before the departure date will not receive a refund. If for any reason you are unable to complete the trip, Far Horizons will not reimburse any fees. Upon registering for the tour, the purchase of travel protection with both trip cancellation and emergency evacuation is strongly advised. Links to recommended insurance policies will be included in the email you receive confirming receipt of your deposit.
International round trip flights are not included in the cost of the trip. If Far Horizons must change the trip dates or cancel the trip for any reason, Far Horizons is not responsible for any air ticket you may have purchased. Please send your complete air schedule as soon as you have it. NOTE: Please contact Far Horizons if you would like for us to handle your air ticketing.
The private tours of archaeological sites and talks by specialists are scheduled in advance and include a donation to each. Specialists working at these sites are excited about showing their work to interested enthusiasts. However, please be aware that there may be times when the director or a member of the staff may not be on site when our groups arrive due to other commitments.
Far Horizons expects all participants to be physically active and able to walk and climb independently throughout the full touring days. This includes walking over uneven terrain (uphill and downhill) for 2 miles or more at each site. You should expect to be on your feet for much of each day, averaging as much as 5 miles of walking per day. As such, each participant should be able to walk unaided at a pace of 3 miles per hour for at least an hour at a time, and to stand unsupported for at least 60 minutes. Bearing this in mind, we suggest that, if you have not already done so, you begin walking several miles every day, ideally including stairs and hills. If you have questions about your ability to keep up with the group or the strenuous nature of this trip, please contact the Far Horizons staff.
This tour is designed for flexible, energetic people who like to be active, have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. We have designed this trip to be as comfortable as possible, while also aiming to visit some remote or unique sites that other companies do not attempt to include in their itineraries. There may be days where we have very long drives and the conditions of the roads may vary. Hotels and transportation in some remote areas may not be up to western standards. There may be times when no bellhops are available; please pack with the understanding that you need to be able to handle your own luggage at times. At times we may be walking over uneven trails for a mile or more; hiking boots are strongly recommended. Not every meal will not be haute cuisine and several lunches may be picnics or box lunches. By maintaining a flexible attitude we will soon be captivated by the beauty of the natural scenery, the hospitality of the local people, and the fascinating sites we will see. Your flexibility and patience will be appreciated.
Changes in our itinerary, accommodations, and transportation schedules may occur. While we are committed to keeping as close to the published details as possible, sometimes it is simply not possible. Weather events, government affairs, or other factors out of our control sometimes come into play. A good book to read as well as patience, flexible attitude, and a sense of humor are essential.