You couldn't ask for better recommendations: Richard Wagner described the Orchestra as "one of the best in the world", while Johannes Brahms declared himself an "old fan"; Gustav Mahler felt bound to its members "by the ties of art", and the composer Richard Strauss said: "praising the Philharmonic is like bringing violins to Vienna."
Now, to celebrate the 200th birthday of the orchestra's founder, the composer Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai, the Austrian tour company MS6_Travel and Music has teamed up with TUI cruises to organise an exclusive ten-day cruise with the Philharmonic aboard the Mein Schiff. The ship leaves the German port of Kiel on July 7th and is scheduled to stop at Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Kaliningrad - formerly known as Koenigsberg - where Nicolai was born and where the Orchestra will perform an anniversary concert.
As well as the orchestra - whose annual New Year concert at the Musikverein in Vienna has become one of the most prestigious cultural events in the world - guest conductors and soloists will take part in the tour, and travellers will be able to attend public rehearsals onboard the ship. Concerts will include performances by Valery Gergiev, Christian Thielemann, Rudolf Buchbinder and Ildiko Raimondi. As well as the anniversary concert, there will be onshore concerts at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki and the Konserthuset in Stockhol, and Ildiko Raimondi will give a recital in Tallinn.
As well as full board in the ship's main restaurants, the trip price covers taxes, tips, medical service and concerts. Onboard facilities include various saunas, oriental steam baths, hamam, fitness centre and private spa suites. Guests staying in suites or junior suites also have a series of extra services such as free access to the XL-Lounge on deck 12, with private terrace.
The cabins are spacious - the master suite is almost 50 square metres - and, although all are double occupancy, some can accommodate up to five people. The price per person ranges from 3,980 € for an inside cabin to 7,280 € for a junior suite.
MS6-Travel and Music