European Cars and the German Grand Prix
Discover German automotive engineering with behind-the-scenes access of modern factory production lines, attend the German Formula I Grand Prix at Hockenheim, and admire the world’s largest Bugatti collection.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
This tour is wonderful for classic car enthusiasts. An outstanding experience!”
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Start your engines and experience German automotive engineering and French style at its very best on this exclusive behind-the-scenes specialty tour. Join us to trace the history of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi as you take in-depth curator-led tours and visit modern factory production lines. Plus, a highlight for any car enthusiast—entrance to the German Formula 1 Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
- Factory Tours: Go behind the scenes at the BMW factory in Munich, spend a day at the Daimler-Benz factory and museum, and watch experts restore vintage Mercedes at the Mercedes Classic Car Center.
- Museum Visits: Learn about Ferdinand Porsche and his influence on the first Volkswagen and on Mercedes design before creating his own famous 356 and 911 models. Visit the auto collection at the Deutsche Museum, Germany’s great technology museum.
- Grand Prix: Attend Germany’s Formula 1 Grand Prix race at the famed Hockenheim circuit, where the world’s greatest drivers compete.
- Mulhouse, France: Admire the world’s largest Bugatti collection at the Musée National de l’Automobile.
Day 1 — Depart U.S. for Munich, Germany
Day 2 — Munich
Arrive in Munich and transfer to the centrally located Hotel Europa for the first of three nights. In the evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner. (R,D)
Day 3 — Munich
Begin your exploration of German engineering and technology at the famous Deutsches Museum The impressive automotive collection includes the precious original Benz tricycle of 1886. Carl Benz donated it to the museum only twenty years after its first drive. The museum houses 40 passenger cars, each one representing an important step in the evolution of automobiles. (B)
Day 4 — Munich
Enjoy an3 exclusive visit to the Bavarian Motor Work’s factory. BMW began as an aircraft manufacturer during the First World War, but soon after turned to motorcycle and then automobile manufacturing. The production of their distinctive automobiles resumed after World War II. After touring the factory, visit the BMW Museum, which houses a collection of early BMW motorcycles and cars. Enjoy a private viewing of BMW vintage cars at the BMW Group Classic and see the company’s own restoration facilities. (B,L)
Day 5 — Munich / Stuttgart
Take the autobahn north to Ingolstadt to discover the true meaning behind Audi’s tagline vorsprung durch tecknik (advancement through technology). Today's visits include a guided tour through the Audi Mobile Museum and an exclusive tour through the factory. Continue to Stuttgart, Germany’s “auto city." Check into the stylish Arcotel Camino Hotel in Stuttgart for three nights. (B)
Day 6 — Stuttgart
Gottlieb Daimler and Otto Benz both built their workshops in Stuttgart in the 19th century. An irony of automotive history is that the two never met, yet their companies merged in the 1920s to form Daimler-Benz. Begin the day with a visit and guided tour of the Mercedes factory, one of the most modern in the world. Then travel to nearby Fellbach to visit the Mercedes Classic Car Center where vintage Daimler-Benz cars are lovingly restored. Enjoy the evening and dinner at leisure. (B)
Day 7 — Stuttgart
Begin today with a guided tour of the Porsche Museum. From the atrium lobby, ascend the fast moving escalator affectionately known as “a stairway to heaven” for Porsche enthusiasts and arrive in front of an aluminum-body Type 64 racecar, considered the ancestor of all Porsches. Visit the Kienle Automobiltechnik – one of the world’s finest independent Mercedes-Benz restoration and sales facilities. This afternoon, visit the impressive Mercedes Museum in nearby Unterturkheim. A curator-led tour includes the world’s oldest practical car, Karl Benz’s 1886 Motorenwagen, and Nicolaus Otto’s gasoline engine that made it possible. Each floor of the museum features beautifully restored early racing cars, classic limousines, and great Mercedes models. Enjoy the evening and dinner at leisure. (B,L)
Day 8 — Hockenheim
Spend the day at the world famous Hockenheimring, home to the German Grand Prix. From your excellent seats in the grandstand, watch the Formula 1 world’s best teams and top drivers race for the win. Travel to Strasbourg and check into your hotel before gathering for dinner as a group. (B,D)
Day 9 — Strasbourg, France
Spend the day in Mulhouse discovering the magnificent car collection at the Musee National. The museum houses the largest and finest assembly of Bugattis and other French cars. Learn the story of brothers Hans and Fritz Schlumpf, who obsessively tried to corner the market on Bugattis at the expense of their once flourishing textile empire. This afternoon, tour a local vineyard followed by a wine tasting and light lunch. Return to Strasbourg and gather this evening at a local restaurant for a farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)
Day 10 — Depart for U.S.
After breakfast transfer to the Strasbourg airport for individual flights home. (B)
Please note that a number of these exclusive visits require special permission and are subject to change.