It’s not how I wanted to head into 2023, but I need to cancel our planned June tour of Germany. In the end, there just wasn’t enough customer interest to support even a scaled-down version of what I had in mind, so I’ve refunded deposits and will return any late-arriving checks.
It may be that the idea of touring Germany just didn’t move the needle with enough people, though I suspect it’s more that ongoing high inflation rates offset the benefits of the strong dollar. And maybe there’s still some COVID-related uncertainty about planning travel months in advance.
In any event, know that I do plan to return to Europe in the near future. The summer of 2024 is already dedicated to a private tour, but I’m planning the next public tours for 2025 and/or 2026. I’d most likely aim for a similar length and price as the trip I’d meant to take in Germany.
In broad strokes, below is a brief overview of the topics I’m currently considering for future tours. If any or all interest you, just complete this brief form to help me gauge the appeal of the four ideas and get on our mailing list for future announcements.
I still love the idea of doing a one-week travel version of Bethel’s venerable Christianity and Western Culture survey. But rather than set it in Germany, I’d like to try it in Great Britain, where we can study everything from the Roman Empire to the Reformations, Gothic architecture to the Scientific Revolution, monasticism to missions.
Perhaps even more than Germany, Britain offers unique potential to experience ancient, medieval, and modern history within a relatively small space. Even if we decided to cut down on travel time as much as possible, a tour of southern England could incorporate two or three days in London, plus a loop of sites like Canterbury, Salisbury, Glastonbury, Wells, Bath, Oxford, and Cambridge. But I’d also think about hitting Wales, northern England, and perhaps even Scotland.
This kind of tour may ring a particular chord here in the Upper Midwest, where so many people are like me and have Scandinavian heritage on one or both sides of their family tree. But between the natural beauty of the countryside and the rich history of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, I can imagine a motorcoach tour along an Oslo-Stockholm-Copenhagen triangle appealing even more widely. As usual, I’d imagine a partial focus on the history of Christianity, but we can also touch on everything from the Vikings to 19th century immigration to occupation during WWII. Speaking of…
World War II
My first PS Travel tour included sites from both world wars, but I’d be happy to try again with a trip focused on the Second World War alone. I’d still start in London, but from there we could take the ferry either to Dunkirk (via Dover) or Normandy (via Portsmouth), follow part of the Liberation Route through northern France or Belgium into Germany, and hopefully wind up in Berlin itself.
The American Civil War
My first attempt at pitching a US tour didn’t get much traction, but I haven’t given up on the idea of a week-long tour of sites related to the American Civil War. As with European tours, I wouldn’t want to ask people to spend too much time on even a nice bus, but it’s only nine hours from Charleston to Gettysburg, with Appomattox, Richmond, Manassas, Washington, Antietam, Harper’s Ferry, and sites related to figures like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass available along the way.