Northern Tour - The Lira Ensemble
Itinerary of Lira's Northern Tour of Poland
Poland, visit, tours
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THE LIRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS invites you to be part of its

2024 TOUR OF CENTRAL & NORTHERN POLAND
Thursday, July 18th – Sunday, July 28th

featuring touring, music, dance, art, architecture, history, great cuisine and lots of fun
personally escorted by LUCYNA MIGALA
Artistic Director/General Manager of the Lira Ensemble & an experienced Tour Director

Lira will show you the Poland of your dreams during this tour of:
WARSAW – GDANSK/GDYNIA/SOPOT – TORUN – POZNAN
GNIEZNO – CHOPIN’S BIRTHPLACE  – AND MORE

We travel in Poland on an ultra-modern, air-conditioned motor coach
with an emergency bathroom on board.

THIS TOUR INCLUDES:
FIRST CLASS HOTELS – ALL TOURS & TRANSPORTATION IN POLAND
ADMISSIONS TO CONCERTS & OTHER PERFORMANCES
ALL BAGGAGE HANDLING – MOST TIPS – THREE MEALS A DAY
(EXCEPT FOR THREE LUNCHES, AS INDICATED IN THE ITINERARY)
SOFT DRINKS AT MEALS ARE INCLUDED – SOME ALCOHOLIC DRINKS ARE INCLUDED.

The tour price DOES NOT INCLUDE YOUR AIRFARE!
You may choose to fly to Poland as you wish – and perhaps use your United Miles
Lira recommends that you fly non-stop to & from Warsaw on LOT Polish Airlines Boeing Dreamliner jets.
Whatever you choose, Lira can make your reservation/purchase your airline tickets.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All hotel desk personnel and waiters at all restaurants on this tour speak English!

Thursday, July 18th

If you fly with the tour, we depart from O’Hare Airport on a LOT Airlines Boeing Dreamliner. You may choose any other flight. Just be sure to join the tour in Warsaw on Friday morning, July 19th. If you take LOT, you’ll enjoy dinner over the Atlantic. All meals and all non-alcoholic refreshments onboard are covered in your airfare. Alcohol is also available at reasonable prices. Bring small bills to purchase such drinks. We nap/sleep or watch a movie or two on your onboard private computer, then have breakfast over Europe. The Dreamliner has lots of electronic “toys” and services, so you may be tempted not to sleep. We land at Chopin Airport in Warsaw, Poland’s dauntless capital city, on Friday.

Friday, July 19th

Upon our arrival in Warsaw, we board our tour bus and drive to see Warsaw’s Old Town. After a light lunch, we tour the magnificent, restored Royal Castle. Meanwhile, our bags are taken to our hotel – the Sofitel Victoria, one of Warsaw’s best. (For those who have been to Warsaw, we can offer an alternate itinerary if you like. However, you may want to see the Castle again, because there is so much to see and sometimes they open new rooms.) We view a brief film about the tragic history of Warsaw during World War II. You will have a chance to change for our evening events. We attend a private concert of Chopin piano music in one of Warsaw’s many historic sites. Our welcoming dinner is at an elite Warsaw restaurant. Then we overnight at our hotel.

polish city square

Saturday, July 20th

We enjoy a breakfast buffet at our hotel, with a large choice of Polish, Continental, and American dishes. We drive the Royal Route of Warsaw, passing many palaces (now often embassies), churches and monuments, and see more of the capital city. We arrive at Wilanow, known as the Polish Versailles, and tour this summer residence of King Jan III Sobieski (one of Poland’s great heroes). (For those who have seen Wilanow, we can suggest an alternate itinerary, such as the unique Warsaw Uprising Museum.) We lunch at a fine local restaurant, after which we tour Warsaw’s newest attraction – The Museum of Polish History. Then we tour the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, one of Poland’s most highly praised museums. We have dinner at another of Warsaw’s exquisite restaurants. Since it is Saturday night, a walk through Old Town and the Square is a great idea to see how Poles enjoy the weekend before returning to the hotel.

Sunday, July 21st

We attend Mass (if you like) at Holy Cross Church where Chopin’s heart is buried or another of Warsaw’s historic churches if you have already seen the Holy Cross Church. Then back to our hotel for breakfast. Then we leave Warsaw, driving north into the countryside to St. Lipka, the most beautiful baroque church in northern Poland, where we attend an inspiring organ concert. We enjoy a traditional Polish lunch in St. Lipka, then continue our drive north to the Tri-City of Gdansk/Sopot/Gdynia – the capital of northern Poland. Dinner is at one of Gdansk’s famous restaurants. We will be staying at the Gdansk Hotel, which is a charming, modern boutique hotel with a nautical aesthetic – because, after all, Gdansk is Poland’s major port city on the Baltic Sea.

Monday, July 22nd

After a large buffet breakfast at our hotel, we tour the fascinating city of Gdansk – including the famous Solidarity Monument. Remember, Gdansk is the birthplace of the Solidarity Movement. You will be intrigued by the history of this city and its late-renaissance and baroque architecture. It is also the amber capital of Poland, and we will show you the famous street with dozens of amber boutiques and shops. Lunch is on your own – and we can recommend many lovely spots at various price ranges. Here you will also have time for shopping. After lunch we visit the Museum of the Second World War – a recently opened Gdansk attraction that provides an emotional and educational experience. We dine at another one of Gdansk’s many fashionable restaurants before our return to our hotel.

Tuesday, July 23rd

After our breakfast buffet at the hotel, we visit the new European Solidarity Center – learning about the Solidarity Movement that freed Poland and eventually nearly all of Central and Eastern Europe from communism. We lunch together at another Gdansk spot. Afterwards we drive to Gdynia, the second of the Tri-City towns, for a short visit, and then to Sopot, a renowned sea resort. We stroll over the Baltic Sea on the longest wooden pier in Europe. There we dine beautifully, then drive back to the Gdansk Hotel.

Wednesday, July 24th

After our hotel breakfast, we drive to Malbork Castle, a former seat of the Order of Teutonic Knights. We tour this huge, imposing, and very interesting fortress – the biggest brick castle in Europe. We drive into the heart of the picturesque Kaszubian Region of Poland to enjoy a picnic lunch. We then visit an outdoor Ethnographic Park with an authentic, historic Kaszubian village. We drive to the town of Zukowo for a classic Kaszubian meal with an opportunity to purchase beautiful Kaszubian folk crafts. Then back to the hotel in Gdansk.

Thursday, July 25th

Breakfast at the hotel will be followed by a drive to Torun, hometown of Nicholas Copernicus, the great Polish astronomer. Torun is also the home of Polish gingerbread, which you can munch on as we make a short tour of this lovely, historic town. Torun’s Old Town is on the UNESCO list of world treasures, one of several Polish cities to make the list. You will have time for shopping and/or lunch on your own and there are many cute spots. We drive to Biskupin, the best known archaeological reserve in Central Europe, which is the site of a 2,700 year-old fortified settlement. Then on to Poznan, one of the major cities in Poland, a business center that is the capital of Greater Poland. We check into the Sheraton Hotel. Our dinner includes local treats, then back to the hotel for the night.

polish-city-square

Friday, July 26th

We enjoy a breakfast buffet at our hotel, then we drive to Gniezno, where Poland was founded (it was the first capital of Poland), with its Gothic Cathedral with bronze doors that date back to the 12th century – one of the best examples of Romanesque art in Europe. Lunch is on your own in this historic town. Then we return to Poznan for a tour of the city, including its Renaissance Town Hall and bustling town square. We see an example of how Poland is updating without losing its heritage – a modern shopping mall in an historic brewery. Then, free time for shopping, resting or private touring. We gather again for a lovely dinner at one of Poznan’s finest restaurants. Then you can spend some private time in the Old Town Square if you like or return to the Sheraton to begin packing for our flight home.

Saturday, July 27th

Breakfast is at the hotel before we drive east to Lichen, called the “Czestochowa of the North” because it has become a major place of pilgrimage. Its huge basilica was built as Poland’s thanks to the Blessed Virgin for freeing the country from communism. We then drive toward Warsaw, stopping at Zelazowa Wola, the birthplace of Frederick Chopin. We lunch in the countryside before our drive back to Warsaw, where we check back into the Sofitel Victoria Hotel. There will be time to change for our farewell dinner at the Mazurkas Hotel, which will include a last taste of Polish folklore. Then back to the Victoria for a good night’s sleep before your return flight.

Sunday, July 28th

Today is one of the longest days of your life, because of your trans-Atlantic flight. We attend early Mass (if you like) at another of Warsaw’s historic churches. Do have a big breakfast at our hotel before we visit the National Museum of Art to view some of Poland’s most treasured paintings. After touring the museum, we drive to Chopin Airport. There will be an opportunity to do some shopping at the duty-free shops, which is recommended. As before, if you are flying with the tour you will be on a Dreamliner, where all food and non-alcoholic drinks onboard your flight are included in your ticket price. You may use US or Polish small bills and coins to pay for alcoholic beverages. When you arrive in Chicago, it will be 10 hours later, but it will still be Sunday afternoon.

Tour prices and important notes

$4,829.00 base charge per person, two to a room, departing from Chicago.
This price is for a group of 15.
If fewer than fifteen people sign up for this tour, the price will be higher, so do encourage family and friends to join you on the tour. Believe me – they will thank you for doing so.

Lira prices are closely tied to the value of the dollar abroad; if it falls steeply, there may be an additional charge.
$900.00 extra charge for a single room.

We will purchase your airline ticket if you like, but not before we have a group of 15.
The sooner we have 15, the better, because airfares are higher closer to the departure date.
Register for this tour as soon as possible; you will save considerably on your airfare.

You may also upgrade your seat from Economy Class to Premium Economy or Business Class (the LOT equivalent of First Class). Please ask us about the rates.

The first deposit of $2,000.00 is due as soon as possible upon registration.
A second payment of $2,500.00 on April 1, 2024.
The balance is due on May 1, 2024.

Tour payments must be made by check only. Sorry, no credit cards.

Once you’ve decided to join us, be certain to discuss TRAVEL INSURANCE with the Lira Office. The Lira Ensemble recommends that, despite the cost, you DO purchase travel insurance. You have a choice of which company, but Lira will need some information from you about what every plan you purchase before departure – just in case.

U.S. and Canadian citizens need only a valid passport to visit Poland; no visa is required. If you do not have a valid passport, please apply for one as soon as possible – the closer to summer, the longer the lines at the passport office and the longer it takes to get your passport.

IMPORANT: Your passport expiration date must be at least six months after your return to the United States.

A portion of the tour price is deductible from your federal taxes. A tax receipt will be issued after the tour, once all bills are paid.

You can arrive in Poland before the tour, and/or remain in Poland after the tour. Lira can help arrange HOTELS, TRANSPORTATION and TOURS for your extended stay. If you want to find your family, your ancestral city, town or village in Poland, Lira can suggest a trusted specialist in Poland with excellent English.

Many people want to stay in Poland on their own, after the end of the tour. Please let us know if you care to do this because we may be able to save you some money by extending your stay at our hotel.
If you are traveling on LOT with the tour, you must let us know your return date to the US when you register.
Changing your return date on LOT (or any airline) incurs a fee, which may be large.

2024 Northern Tour – Terms and Conditions

HOTELS: Twin-bedded or double-bedded rooms with bath or shower in first class or deluxe hotels. A limited number of single rooms are available at the supplementary charge. Hotels are subject to change.

TIPS & TAXES: Service charges, as imposed by hotels and taxes by local administrations and government authorities on accommodations, meals, and transportation, are included. Tips to local guides and baggage handlers at the airport and at hotels are included. It is customary for tour members to tip the tour guide (“pilot”) and bus driver who travel with the tour, on the last day of the tour. These tips are not included.

SIGHTSEEING & TRANSFERS: Sightseeing is as specified in the itinerary, including entrance fees, and subject to change. Transfer upon arrival and departure overseas by motor coach between airport and hotel and vice versa if traveling with the tour group.

RESERVATIONS & PAYMENT: A deposit of $2,000.00 per person is required at the time of booking. A second installment of $2,500.00 is due April 1, 2024 and the balance is due on May 1, 2024. Reservations and payments are accepted with personal or bank checks only. Sorry, credit cards are not accepted for tour deposits or payments.

TRIP CANCELLATION, BAGGAGE AND MEDICAL INSURANCE: It is advisable to purchase insurance coverage for cancellation or emergency evacuation due to illness or accident. Applications for suggested insurance as well as baggage and travel insurance will be provided once tour deposits are received.

CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS: Cancellations must be in writing. Cancellation charges will apply: Within 90 days prior to departure – 30% of the cost; within 60 days prior to departure – 50% of the cost; within 30 days prior to departure – no refunds.

YOUR RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE: Passport fees, taxes or tips on services not included in the itinerary; laundry or valet service; excess baggage charges; insurance of any kind; wines, beers, liquors or any food or beverages not on regular menus of included meals.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: A valid passport is required for all U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling to Poland. Your passport expiration date must be at least six months after your return date to the US.

RESPONSIBILITY: The Lira Ensemble acts only as an agent for the hotels, airlines, bus companies or owners, operators or contractors providing accommodations, transportation, meals, tours, or other services. All vouchers, coupons, contracts and tickets issued are subject to any and all tariffs, terms and conditions under which the foregoing or any services whatsoever are provided by such hotels, airlines, bus companies or owners, operators or contractors. By the acceptance of the above, the tour member agrees to the foregoing and also agrees that the Lira Ensemble shall not be or become liable or responsible for any loss, injury or damage to person, property or otherwise in connection with any transportation, accommodation, meals, tour or other services referred to herein, or resulting from neglect or default of any person, corporation or other entity engaged to supply the same. The tour operator reserves the right to make changes in the itinerary, whenever, in their sole judgment, conditions warrant; or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience or safety of the passengers. They can accept no responsibility for losses of additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine or other causes. All such losses must be borne by the passenger as tour rate provides for arrangement only for the specified. All alterations may be made without penalty to the tour operator. The airline concerned is not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not aboard their planes or conveyance. The passenger contract in use by the airline concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and purchaser of this tour and/or passage.

If you’d like to join Lucyna Migala and the Lira Ensemble on this amazing Northern Tour

CLICK HERE to Download the Registration Form