Best of Berlin by Train
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 12½ Hours
Your tour starts in Hamburg with a coach transfer to the rail station and an approximately 2½-hour escorted train ride to Berlin. Upon arrival in Berlin, you will meet your guide and see the architectural and logistical wonder that is the Hauptbahnhof Central Train Station.
On a panoramic motor coach drive, view the last remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall and snap some photos of Checkpoint Charlie -- possibly the world's best-known checkpoint for Allied military, foreigners and diplomats crossing on foot or by car between East and West.
Criss-cross Friedrichstrasse for some souvenir shopping and continue to Potsdamer Platz, formerly a no-man's land between East and West. The first gap in the Berlin Wall was made here in 1989; today, a pristine block of futuristic glass-and-steel skyscrapers includes the headquarters of Sony Europe. Europe's first traffic light was installed on this very spot in 1924.
Close to the site where Hitler's bunker was hidden, a somber memorial commemorates the Jews who perished in Europe during World War II. Stop at this Holocaust Memorial for photos.
The famous Brandenburg Gate, more than anything else, symbolizes Berlin's history. Close by, you will see the Reichstag building, seat of the German Parliament, sporting the world's largest glass dome designed by famous architect Sir Norman Foster.
Stop for lunch at a traditional German restaurant before you drive into the former western part of Berlin.
Pass the Kurfürstendamm (Ku-Damm) -- West Berlin's Germany's most famous shopping boulevard -- and the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaechtniskirche ('the hollow tooth'), which serves as a stark reminder of the damage done by the war.
Spend time shopping at KaDeWe -- the largest department store in continental Europe. This shopping nirvana is quite famous in Germany.
Return by train to Hamburg, followed by a coach transfer back to the pier.
This excursion includes numerous photo stops where participants leave the coach. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair. The round trip to Berlin by train is approximately 2½ hours each way. This is not a chartered train and is not exclusive to Holland America guests. Booking deadline is 40 days prior to call date. No cancellations will be possible after this date due to pre-reserved obligations. Tour operates rain or shine, but may be cancelled by the operator in the event of extremely bad weather or unsuitable conditions. Bring local currency, as many vendors do not accept credit cards or US dollars. Use of public restroom facilities costs 50 cents - €1 cash. Shops are closed on Sundays and holidays; a few souvenir shops may be open.