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Switzerland – the very mention of this land-locked European beauty evokes images of snow-capped mountains, rolling green meadows and quaint medieval villages. We’ll explore all that and more during a weeklong itinerary that has more wow-factor that Roger Federer’s trophy cabinet. Roam along cobblestone streets in the centuries-old city of Bern, learn about the Swiss art of cheesemaking in the Emmental region and sup with artistic royalty in Fribourg. Journey to the highest railway station in Europe aboard the Jungfrau Railway and stare in wonder at jagged mountain peaks, glaciers and snow-blanketed valleys that will (literally) take your breath away.

Pre Conference Tour

Extend your experience before joining the main conference group - join the optional pre conference tour.

Day 1

Geneva - Bern

Arrive at Geneva Airport and transfer via coach to Bern. Check in to the hotel and get to know your fellow delegates over a drink at our welcome cocktail function.

 

Day 2

Bern

Morning conference session

Step outside the hotel and get acquainted with the Swiss capital during an afternoon walking tour. Stroll along ancient cobblestone streets, through a labyrinth of covered arcades and past ornate fountains as you discover the charms of this 12th-century World Heritage-listed city. See Bern’s medieval Clock Tower, adorning the old western gate of the city, and watch the 600-year-old timepiece come alive on the hour with a whimsical troupe of revolving bears. Admire the old town’s charming sandstone architecture, see the historic bear pits, wander through the world’s largest covered shopping centre and enjoy breath-taking vistas of the city and Aare River from the Rose Garden. Enjoy free time in the late afternoon to relax or further explore the city at your leisure.

Day 3

Bern

Morning conference session

You’ve seen Swiss cheese with its classic holes, now see where it comes from on an afternoon tour of the Emmental region. We’ll pass through quintessentially Swiss countryside – think rolling green hills studded with dairy cows – before arriving at a cheese factory. Learn how cheese of yesteryear was made – in great vats over an open fire – and see how technology has streamlined the process today. Taste the fruits of the cheese makers’ labours and enjoy lunch overlooking the meadows.

Day 4

Bern - Jungfraujoch

Grab your camera, today we’re making for the mountains on a full-day excursion to Jungfrau. Be prepared for jaw-dropping scenery as we travel by road to Interlaken, winding higher and higher into the Bernese Alps, before arriving at Grindelwald. Here, we board the cogwheel train to Kleine Scheidegg, then transfer to the Jungfrau Railway – an extraordinary nine-kilometre journey that bores through the heart of The Eiger to the highest train station in Europe, Jungfraujoch.

Disembark at a dizzying 3,454 metres above sea level and step into a mini subterranean city enveloped by mountains. Walk through the Ice Palace, a frozen passage carved by mountaineers almost a century ago, and marvel at modern works of art crafted by ice sculptors in sub-zero conditions. Warmup on a 250-metre meander through the Alpine Sensation corridor, where you’ll learn about the visionaries behind the railway, which opened in 1912 after a massive 16-year build. See plaques commemorating the 30 workers who died during construction, before soaring 108 metres up the elevator to the Sphinx Observation Deck – the grand climax of our visit. Stare in awe at jagged 4000-metre peaks, snow-blanketed valleys and the 23-kilometre-long tongue of the Aletsch Glacier. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Black Forest in Germany.

Take a seat by the window and enjoy a three-course lunch overlooking the glacier for a meal that promises to be one of the most memorable in your lifetime. When it’s time to leave, re-board the train or up the adrenaline on an optional helicopter flight. Soak up the five-star vistas as you soar over the alps and head down the mountain in style.

Day 5

Bern - Fribourg

Morning conference session

If you’ve ever wanted to have an authentic apéro (evening gathering) in a fairytale Swiss home, today is your chance. We’ll visit the Fribourg home of well-known Swiss artist Jean-Marc Schwaller, for an enchanting meet and greet money can’t buy. Explore the gardens and gallery of the internationally acclaimed painter and revel in home-style Swiss hospitality as Jean-Marc fires up his pizza oven to cook us a rustic afternoon treat. Enjoy free time to wander the charming cobble-stone streets of Fribourg. Explore the city’s ancient ramparts and soar to the top of the heritage funicular.

Day 6

Bern

Morning conference session

In the afternoon, visit UCB biopharmaceutical company for a fascinating insight into the making of biological agents for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Take a behind-the-scenes tour and learn about the important work going into pioneering new treatments for conditions like epilepsy, osteoarthritis and lupus.

In the evening, dress to impress for our special farewell dinner and to celebrate Unconventional Conventions’ 100th conference.

Day 7

Bern - Geneva - Australia

Travel to Geneva for the return flight to Australia

OR

Join the post-conference tour to Zermatt

Post Conference Tour

Continue your experience before returning to Australia - join the optional post conference tour.



End of arrangements. Please note this program may be subject to change

Dr Gary Kilov (1:42)
Dr Asha Nair (1:31)
Dr Ralph Audehm (1:11)
Dr Diana Hart & Dr Roger Scurr (1:39)