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The Draw of Dresden

July 30, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

One of Europe's greenest cities, Dresden has much to celebrate

More so than any other city in Germany,
Dresden can offer an unparalleled cultural
experience, blending all the old-world charm of Europe
with the modernity of a city still rebuilding after a devastating bomb blast
during World War II.

 Dresden has been revitalized over the past 60 years

Just last August, the city celebrated its 800th anniversary
and was able to reconstruct many of its landmarks in time for the festivities,
which are taking place again this year. The Dresden City Festival
happens August 17-19 and will feature events, artists and shows that will turn
the city's center into one big party.

The City's Rebirth

It's true that Dresden
has a lot to celebrate. The revitalization that has taken place over the last
60 years has the city—largely a hub for business travelers—emerging as a luxury
destination as well, as such hoteliers as InterContinental and tour companies
like Abercrombie and Kent establish operations there.

One doesn't have to look hard to see why. Situated on the
River Elbe, 63 percent of Dresden's surface area
is devoted to open spaces, making it one of the greenest cities in Europe. Too, the city is brimming with culture, housing
the historical Semper Opera House; The Zwinger theater, home to the world's
largest porcelain collection; and the Brühl Terrace, considered the balcony of Europe; as well as numerous museums that many regard as
having some of the finest collections of Renaissance art in the world.

What to Do, Where to Stay

By booking Abercrombie
& Kent's
new 2007-2008 tour, "Treasures of Germany"—part of
the company's "Connoisseurs" series—clients will be able to
experience these cultural aspects of Dresden.

On the fifth day of the 12-day tour, guests travel south
from Berlin to Dresden,
which A&K has dubbed the "Florence
of the North." While there, excursions include visits to the Semper Opera
House, the collection of Old Masters in the grand baroque Zwinger Palace, the priceless "Green
Vault" collection of objets d'art and the famous Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady Lutheran church.

Other city stops on the tour include Heidelberg
and Munich. The
last departure for this year is September 16, with prices starting at $10,550
per person for land only. In 2008, departures start in May and continue through
October. Agents must call for 2008 pricing.

With A&K, clients stay at Hotel Taschenbergpalais
Kempinski Dresden
, in the heart of Dresden's
Oldtown. Other upscale hotel options in Dresden
include Relais & Chateaux
and RadissonSAS. Come
2008, InterContinental will
open its first property there, on the Kleine Brudergasse in the center of the
city. British architect, Lord Norman Foster, is overseeing the 200-room
property conversion from an empty building; plans call for a sixth floor summer
roof terrace, a wellness center and a gourmet restaurant and lobby bar.

To get there, book a flight with Swiss International Air Lines, Emirates or Lufthansa, but note that no
carriers fly direct from the U.S.
to Dresden's international

Note: The airport itself is unique and worth mentioning to
your clients: it boasts a beach volleyball court (yes, you read that right!)
and an airport chapel. The airport is relatively new, having more than 500 euro
invested into it since the German reunification in late 1990.

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