“Essen Spiel and Gaming in Germany” Tour 2015

beer stein | istockphoto.com

Hello all gamers. Please note that we now have limited space on this tour. If you would like to join us please book asap.

Geek Nation Tours will be off to a huge mecca for boardgame geeks in October 2015 – Essen Spiel Germany. Game to your heart’s content at the Internationale Spieltage Spiel. Four days of one of the world’s biggest gaming conventions for board gaming, role playing games, card games and much much more. There will be gaming designers and publishers demonstrating their newest games, retailers selling games at discount, live action role playing, computer games and comic books.

Essen Spiel forms the anchor of our 14 day tour but if you think the tour will be just “Pass the dice” and “It’s your turn!” you have another thing coming! Join us as we cruise down the Rhine, eat bratwurst and drink beer at Oktoberfest itself, and visit Koln Cathedral, before we crash the gates of the Essen Internationale Spiel.

Gaming will not be overlooked however as we will roll dice almost every day of the tour.  We hope to be joined by the local German Boardgaming community as we play spotlighted German themed games though out our stay in that very same country.

Oh, and we will have guest speakers throughout the tour and our big news is that the crew of Board Game Geek will be joining us on one of our dinners.  That’s right the crew of the king kahuna of internet sites will be there to talk about BGG and maybe even roll some dice with us and share a beverage or two…

We are very excited about this tour as it will take place once every two years and 2015 is our maiden voyage to this event.  So join us and mark off Oktoberfest, cruising down the Rhine and Essen off your bucket list!

Tuesday September 29th – Day 1

Today we will arrive from all around the world to Munich, Germany. You will be given detailed instructions on how to meet up with our Geek Nation Tours representative and the rest of the tour participants at our hotel (note that you’ll always be in constant contact with our representative).  From there you will have a free day to explore some of what Munich has to offer…. You may just want to head down to a local pub or perhaps you would like to visit some fascinating and historic sites. If you need some suggestions, why not take a stroll through the beautiful gardens of Schloss Nymphenburg, have a coffee at the Marienplatz in the centre of Munich, or a glimpse of the huge Deutsches Museum of Technology and see everything from windmills to warplanes. Or, for car enthusiasts, why not try the BMW Museum?Mug of Beer!

Whatever your pleasure you’ll find it in Munich – and when everyone has arrived, your Geek Nation Tours representative will set off to do some exploring himself and you are more than welcome to come along.

Don’t be too late getting back to the hotel, however. We will be having our “Welcome Dinner” tonight. This is a great time to get to know each other and discuss in detail what we will be doing over the next few days.  After our welcome dinner we will head out to find an Oktoberfest beer garden….

We will be staying at the Hotel Leonardo Munchen

Overnight in Munich (Welcome Dinner included)

Wednesday September 30thDay 2

Free time on your own with an Oktoberfest Experience Dinner included!

Today you will have some free time to explore by yourself but we will gather at the hotel to have a truly awesome Oktoberfest lunch.  Oktoberfest is known worldwide for beer, sausages and a whole lot of German fun!  Be prepared to join the crowd and sing your lungs out…

We will leave the party around 5:00 pm to return to our hotel for a night of gaming!  As we have just returned from Oktoberfest and some silliness is in order tonight’s spotlight game will be Tanto Cuore – Oktoberfest.  We will also be inviting people from the local Munich gaming community to come and join us to roll some dice and our tour participants are encouraged to bring a few small games with them in order to join in the fun.

Dinner at Oktoberfest will be included and we are sure to find a beer or two to wash it down with!

Overnight in Munich

Thursday October 1stDay 3

We will depart early to visit one of the most famous castles in the world, Neuschwannstein!  It is the epitome of a German castle and the inspiration for the Disney Castle.  We will learn more about Ludwig II and the fascinating story of the castle before returning to Munich to experience the famous Hofbrauhaus, where we will hang out with some local gamers and even roll some dice between a beer or two.

Tonight’s spotlight game will be Thurn and Taxis and we will have several copies with us to get us into the swing of things.

Overnight in Munich

Friday October 2nd – Day 4

Today will be a boardgamers dream! After a late breakfast we will head off to the LUDO FACT to see how games are made, packaged and sent off to publishers… Imagine a car factory that employs robotic construction and packaging – but to build games!  LUDO FACT produces 70000 games a day – we will get a full tour and discover what happens before you “de-box” your games at home.

But that’s not all! We will be headed off to the Steiff Museum – the birthplace of the teddy bear!  We will find out how the company started and learn of their amazing history.  We will ooh and ahh and feel like 10 year olds again when we see their stuffed wonders!

After visiting Steiff we will travel to Stuttgart to meet with local gamers and our first brewery tour and dinner. Next on our list of spotlight German themed games is Hansa Teutonica. Will you emerge as the best trader on the tour?

Overnight in Stuttgart at the Hotel Maritim Stuttgart

Saturday October 3rd – Day 5

After a late breakfast, we are off to Heidelberg.  Here we will see Heidelberg castle and stroll through the town to see various churches (the architecture illustrating the conflict between Calvinism and Catholicism in the 16th century).  We will have lunch (included) at the oldest restaurant in Germany – the Ritter St. Georg.  We will arrive back in Frankfurt around 5:30 pm and gather at a local restaurant to roll dice with local gamers. We won’t be traveling by train while in Germany so we thought we would bring in a game as a substitute… Tonight’s spotlight game will be Ticket to Ride: Marklin Edition!

Overnight in Frankfurt at the Hotel Leonardo Royal Frankfurt

Sunday October 4th – Day 6

The tour will start in the morning with a drive through one of the best winemaking regions of Germany – passing the Eberbach monastery where “The Name of the Rose” was filmed.

Upon reaching the town of Rudesheim we will stroll down Drosselgasse, its cultural heart. We then head up the gondola over the vineyards to visit Niederwald Denkmal monument which commemorates the victory over France in the Franco – Prussian War in 1871.  We follow that with a visit to the engineering spectacle of Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instruments museum.  These self-playing music cabinets are a wonder to see and hear.

From here we board a Rhine river steamer to enjoy a leisurely cruise up the Rhine River.  We will be served a 3 course lunch onboard while we enjoy the sites and a local wine. After lunch, we will reach Sankt Goarshausen, and one of the most scenic spots on the Rhine – Lorelei Rock.

Continuing up the Rhine to Koblenz, we will be treated to a four course dinner at our hotel.

Overnight in Koblenz at the Hotel Diehl’s

Monday October 5th – Day 7

Today we’re off to visit the wonderful Eltz Castle.  The castle is a fantastical place right out of a story book and we are sure you will dream of knights, legends and treasures tonight. After a castle tour we will stroll the streets area and lunch prior to heading back to Koblenz, stopping at the Deutsches Eck or “German Corner” to explore the monuments to German unity, a section of the Berlin Wall and even see where the Moselle meets Rhine.  From here we will take the cable car across the Rhine to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.  There is a multitude of things to do at the Fortress, from Gunsmith Living History workshops to cannon demonstrations, to just roaming the grounds.  If we have time, there is also a tremendous military museum in Koblenz and many may wish to head over to the Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung Koblenz to see its collection of tanks, war planes and weapons.

Tonight will you will have a bit of free time to dine and explore Koblenz on your own. Keep in mind thought that we are working on a special optional gaming experience this evening – more details soon!

Overnight in Koblenz

Tuesday October 6th – Day 8

Today we will again travel down the Rhine River, stopping to visit the Drachenfels (dragon’s rock) by cogwheel train.  Not only are there spectacular views, but this is the place in German lore where Siegfried battled a dragon and, after taking a bath in its blood, became invulnerable.  I know I will be looking for some of that to steel me for Essen!

Next, we stroll through the picturesque village of Königswinter before we continue on to Cologne, where we will check in to a hotel in one of the suburbs. In the early evening we will do a quick tour of the city, and at least three brewery tours where we will sample some of the local brews and have dinner. Today we will play our final spotlight game in preparation for your visit to the Cologne Dom – The Pillars of the Earth.  Will you be able to be the builder to contribute the most to build the cathedral?

Overnight in Cologne at the City Class Europa am Dom

Wednesday October 7th – Day 9

After a late breakfast, we head off to the Cologne Dom for a detailed tour of this spectacular cathedral.  From here we will leave for the boardgaming mecca – Essen.  After we settle in at our hotel, we will take the subway to the Essen Spiel site so everyone knows how to get there the next day…

Tonight we will be off to another brewery restaurant but this time you are instore for something special!  We will have the crew of the super awesome BoardGameGeek internet site come join us for a quick hello and perhaps even roll some dice with us…  Here is a chance to see how BGG is operated and maybe give them a bit of thanks for perhaps the most important internet site for boardgame geeks.Board Game Geek!

Overnight in Essen at the Movenpick Hotel Essen

Thursday October 8th to Sunday 11th  Days 10, 11, 12, and 13

Time to “Spiel” out!  We will have opportunities to meet at various times during the “Spiel” to go to dinner or hang out, but you are free to organize your time in Essen to suit your interests.

We will be organizing a taxi each day, however, to pick up your loot and bring it back to the hotel for you so you can spend the whole day experiencing the awesomeness that is Essen Spiel!

We have an even bigger treat these days!  If you are booking the tour as a double occupancy client you will be put into single rooms for the duration of our stay in Essen!  Geek Nation Tours arranged some privacy for those traveling on their own!

We will continue to meet for dinner each night and even hit another Brewery Restaurant…We got you covered for your meals and will even supply you with great gamers to roll dice with (Oh except Friday night… We are going to let you out on the town by yourself on Friday night… Fly my pretties! Fly!!!).

However, there is a lot to do in Essen for those non-geek spouses or those that want a break from the gaming or time away beyond the rarified confines of the Essen spiel. So, if 4 full days at the Spiel is not your thing, we will be available to help coordinate other excursions around Essen and area – whether it is finding a mall, visiting the local botanical garden or taking in a soccer game.  Please let us know the specific interests of non-geek spouses when booking so we can begin to plan alternative activities.  Look here to wet your appetite.

Overnight in Essen

Monday October 12th – Day 14 – Unfortunately, all good things must end, and today we return to the Dusseldorf airport by motor coach and depart for home. The friends, memories and photos you’ve gathered, even before hitting the convention, are yours to keep forever!

Included in the tour: All accommodations, LUDO FACT tour and all other entrance fees, all motor coach and river transfers, Rhine cruise, Welcome and Farewell Dinners, Oktoberfest Dinner.  Dinners on all nights except days 7 and 9, lunches on days 2 to 6, all breakfasts, five Brewery Tours and one Hofbrauhaus Tours, local gaming nights.

Book NowPrice: $4300.00 USD + taxes and fees ($473.00) per person based on double occupancy

Don’t have a friend to get the double occupancy rate? That is what Geek Nation Tours does. Book as a double occupancy and we will match you up a roommate… This way you get the best of both worlds – someone to BS about the con with – and more cash to spend!

Deposit: $500.00 final due June 25th 2015

Single Occupancy upgrade: $300.00 USD

Air and Tour Price: Not sure how to get to the tour from your origin city? Geek Nation Tours can arrange flights from any city worldwide. Geek Nation Tours will be happy to take care of all your transportation needs. Whether you would like to travel by bus, air or train we would be happy to arrange this for you (prices vary). Airfare not included in tour price.

Not included in the tour price: Airfare, some local taxi and subway fares

Non- Geek Spouse argument: Look at the history and splendour of the tour…There is even stuff to do while I geek out at Essen!