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Berlin: A Hosted Journey on the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall.

This November, Germany and the world celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. We head to Berlin in November 2019 for a close look at the story behind the construction and destruction of the Wall, and we do so in the company of our magificent hosts, Kerstin Schellhorn-Piontek and Kai Schellhorn.

     Kerstin and and Kai Schellhorn invite you into to their home city for a living history lesson. Kerstin grew up in East Berlin, Kai in West Berlin, and they have what they call a “mixed marriage.” Kerstin is the city’s top guide and an exclusive event planner; Kai, a professor of political science, has served as CEO of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and as acting director of the Aspen Institute Berlin.

     The tearing down of the Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany are changes our hosts never thought they’d live to see. The impact on their personal lives, on their city, on their country, and on the rest of the world has been immense. On this journey, Kerstin and Kai pull out all the stops to create a singular insider experience. That includes joining in the city’s incredible fall of the Wall celebrations on November 9th.

Journey Highlights

  • See Berlin in the company of two of its most interesting citizens. Their stories dramatically deepen your understanding.
  • Witness the anniversary of the fall of the Wall. Be at the Brandenburg Gate on November 9th to join in the celebration.
  • See firsthand how the city has reunited and rejuvenated itself to become one of Europe’s most fabulous capitals.
  • Learn about Bauhaus architecture and its impact on contemporary design on this, the school’s 100th anniversary.
  • Stay in just one luxury hotel. It’s in Berlin’s most engaging neighborhood. Get to know the city, and unpack only once.


Dates:3-10 November 2019

Type:Hosted Journeys/Special Interest Group Tours/Set Departure


Our Hosted Journey

Day 1: United States
Sunday, 3 November 2019
Depart on an overnight flight, and land in Germany on Monday.

Day 2: Berlin, Germany
Monday, 4 November 2019
Arrive in Berlin, transfer to hotel, city touring, reception.
Regent Berlin.
Upon arrival, you are met by an R. Crusoe representative and driven to the Regent, a luxury hotel overlooking Berlin’s most beautiful square, Gendarmenmarkt, once part of East Berlin. Meet fellow travelers at a welcome reception.

Day 3: Berlin
Tuesday, 5 November 2019
Berlin Wall including Wall Museum and Checkpoint Charlie, Hackesche Höfe, Good Bye Lenin! screening and discussion.
Regent Berlin.
Examine the Berlin Wall—its origin, its significance, its construction, and its ultimate destruction—during visits to the Wall Museum East Side Gallery and Checkpoint Charlie, the best-known Cold War crossing point. Take a close look at life under Communism and the role of East Germany’s secret police (the Stasi). In Hackesche Höfe, an historic series of courtyards, learn about Berlin’s urban renewal. After a private screening of the film Good Bye Lenin!, Kerstin and Kai lead an exclusive discussion about how East and West Berliners viewed the film. It promises to be a grand finale to the day.

Day 4: Potsdam, Berlin
Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Potsdam city tour including the Bridge of Spies, Sanssouci, and Cecilienhof, return to Berlin.
Regent Berlin.
Drive to nearby Potsdam for a visit to Frederick the Great’s colorful summer palace, Schloss Sanssouci, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Potsdam, too, Churchill, Attlee, Truman, and Stalin convened after World War II to work out the details that would divide Europe. The 1945 Potsdam Conference took place at a country manor called Cecilienhof, which we tour. We also walk across Glienicke Bridge. During the Cold War, it formed the border between West Berlin and East Germany and was used several times for the exchange of spies, earning its nickname, the Bridge of Spies.

Day 5: Berlin
Thursday, 7 November 2019
Topography of Terror, the Reichstag, optional tour of Museum Island, optional Berlin Philharmonic concert.
Regent Berlin.
Visit Topography of Terror, a poignant documentation center illustrating the perilous life under the Third Reich. Take an insider’s tour of the Reichstag, the home of Germany’s Parliament, restored after Germany’s reunification. Sit down to lunch under the magnificent dome designed by Sir Norman Foster. If you’ve never been to Museum Island, Berlin’s hub of fine art,  join Kerstin this afternoon for an optional guided tour. Berlin is a classical music capital, so consider an option to attend a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic. The orchestra plays Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8, and Maestro Zubin Mehta conducts.

Day 6: Berlin
Friday, 8 November 2019
Bauhaus Museum and architecture tour, lunch at Michelin-starred restaurant, leisure time.
Regent Berlin.
Time to focus on another anniversary. The Bauhaus school of art was founded exactly 100 years ago. It existed in Berlin from 1932 to 1933. The Nazis forced Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the last head of the school, to close shop, but that didn’t stop this movement from having an enormous impact on future architecture and design. Visit the Bauhaus Museum and then view some of the city’s finest Bauhaus architecture. Also view contemporary architecture from the world’s “starchitects,” many of them influenced by the Bauhaus school. Pause for lunch at Michelin-starred restaurant, then enjoy some evening leisure time.

Day 7: Berlin
Saturday, 9 November 2019
Jewish Museum, old Jewish Quarter walking tour, fall of the Wall celebrations, farewell dinner.
Regent Berlin.
Our day begins at the Daniel Libeskind-designed Jewish Museum, then tour the old Jewish neighborhood. Later, participate in the fall of the Wall celebrations, including the Festival of Freedom, featuring artists whose work is connected to the events of 1989 or whose works stand for freedom. Our very special farewell dinner this evening is near the iconic Brandenburg Gate.

Day 8: Berlin; United States
Sunday, 10 November 2019
Fly home.

This itinerary is subject to change.

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Tour per person sharing room from $6,490
Single supplement $1,180

For more information or to book, please call Rebecca Surles at 888-490-8015 or email her at rsurles@rcrusoe.com.

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Your Hosts: Kerstin Schellhorn-Piontek and Kai Schellhorn.

Kerstin Schellhorn-Piontek and her husband, Kai Schellhorn, are R. Crusoe’s favorite Berliners. Their views of historic and contemporary Berlin from both the East and the West make for a fascinating tour and—of course—an interesting marriage.

     In 1990, after the fall of the Wall, Kerstin founded a Berlin-based company, Events & Tours. In addition to her work as Berlin’s top guide, she is responsible for creating exclusive events for VIP groups. Since 2000, she also has served as R. Crusoe & Son’s beloved guide for patrons of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and other special groups and individuals. Kerstin holds degrees from Dresden University and Berlin’s Institute for Music Hans Eisler.

     Kai is a professor of international politics at Potsdam University, having previously served as the CEO of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and acting director of the Aspen Institute Berlin. His has also worked for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Asia, Russia, and the South Pacific and has published five books and many articles on international politics. Kai studied political science, psychology, philosophy, American culture, and history, completing his doctorate in political science after a year in Washington D.C.

     We are thrilled to have Kerstin and Kai host R. Crusoe travelers on this unusual journey.

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