ABOUT US

Our HISTORY, and PHILOSOPHY, our TEAM, THEME LEADERS and partners

About Us

Wittmann Travel e.K.
is a Special Tour Operator for astronomy, culture & nature and for topics related to science. In Hamburg, not far from the Port of Hamburg, we let go of the lines for you, so to speak. With you, we look forward  to the most interesting travel destinations in the world…

HISTORY

At the beginning of November, the tour operator Wittmann Travel e.K. was founded. by Ralf Wittmann. Before that, Ralf Wittmann worked as a sub-contractor in advertising and in the telecommunications industry throughout Germany during the years after his undergraduate studies in psychology (Osnabrück), followed by as a product manager in tourism for a few years. A major impetus for founding Wittmann Travel e.K. was the astronomical thematic and intellectual input from Joachim Biefang and the resulting contact to Sterne and Weltraum-Magazin / Spektrum Verlag (Heidelberg), from which a steady partnership developed.

Every beginning is difficult:

  • The first self-organized and fully booked group tour took place: the special tour to Tunisia to the ring-like solar eclipse.
  • Another self-organized travel project was a group tour to Hawaii.
  • There were more group tour to Chile and Namibia.
  • The first company website was completed in the beginning of the year. The website created by Matthias Nothhaft (MAHONO, Berlin) in collaboration with WT had been the company’s shop window for six years until it was replaced by a newly designed presence in early 2011.
  • The company’s second largest travel project till date was developed this year and was intensively prepared at the end of 2004 / beginning of 2005. With three groups (around 110 participants in total) on three different travel routes and a 10 to 16 day cultural travel programme, these tours were lead to a total solar eclipse in Egypt.
  • Another special tour, complex in preparation and implementation, was successfully mastered: The tour via Paris to French Guiana for the annular solar eclipse.
  • This year the thematically newly conceived astronomical group trip to Tenerife / La Palma took place for the first time with Joachim Biefang.
  • The first WT travel calendar (catalogue) was published for the ATT trade fair in May.
  • The range of tours extended from the popular astronomy tours to equally demanding nature and culture tours, which, like the previous tours on study tour level, took place under the tried and tested motto Experience – Culture – Science.
  • There was a collaboration with the Natural History Museum Vienna for the natural history travel section under the thematic supervision of Dr. Andreas Hantschk and Dr. Peter Sziemer.
  • A collaboration with the Erich Kästner Museum in Hannover and an archaeological study trip to Egypt with Dr. Christian Loeben were brought into being and carried out successfully.
  •  The first order for an incentive tour to Tenerife from the optics company Essilor GmbH was accepted and carried out successfully.
  • 2007 was also the start of the first aurora tour to Lapland (Norway / Finland), which was carried out in collaboration with Joachim Biefang.
  • This travel year was particularly marked by the great solar eclipse in Asia. There were three different and large special tours:
     1.    a city tour to Russia: from Moscow via Novosibirsk to St. Petersburg.
    2.    to Mongolia with the Altai Mountains and the Gobi Desert (in cooperation with Daltus-Reisen and Regina Gärtner).
    3.    and a round tour to China with a special route from Beijing around the Quingai Mountains to Jiaguan and Shanghai.
  • Another feat of strength for this year was the conception / introduction of short astronomical tours in Germany. We started with three short tours in April and May:
     –       Heidelberg – a stronghold of astronomy
     –       Nördlingen – On the trail of the Ries meteorite (with Dr. Tilmann Althaus, SuW editor)
     –       Hamburg – The north German gateway to the universe
     –       We were particularly pleased that this year, as in previous years, a group tour to Hawaii took place and was carried out by WT.

The solar eclipse of the century on July 22nd, which was across Nepal / Bhutan, China and Japan, caused the biggest travel event of the year and of the last and probably future years. With a total of seven travel groups, this SoFi project was the tour operator’s most expensive and complex special travel project to date and a challenge of extraordinary proportions.
For China as a travel destination, three different travel programs were prepared and worked out at the beginning of 2008, with a total of six travel groups being created. Another special travel programme was developed for the special travel countries Bhutan and Nepal, from which a smaller travel group was created.
The different travel routes at a glance:
–       Three group tours with a classic China itinerary: Beijing / Xian / Chongqing / Yangste Cruise / Wuhan (SoFi) / Nanjing / Shanghai
–       Two group tours with south-east China travel route Shanghai / Suzhou / Huangshan / Hangzhou / Wuhan (SoFi) / Guilin / Hong Kong. (One of the south-east China tours took place in cooperation with Interstellarum / Oculum Verlag, the route was selected and thematically supervised by the chief editor / managing director, Ronald Stoyan.)
–       A group tour with a short China travel route: Shanghai / Suzhou / Wuhan (SoFi) / Shanghai
–       A group tour with Nepal / Bhutan travel route: Kathmandu (Nepal) / Bhaktapur / Paro (Bhutan) / Panakha Tal / Punkha / Bhutanese / Kathmandu / Delhi / India), (in cooperation with Daltus-Reisen, Regina Gärtner)
A small company anniversary was celebrated dry: 5 years of Wittmann Travel e.K.!
Hard to believe (but true) how quickly time flies …

  • Right at the beginning of the year, the special and fully booked special North-South India tour took place successfully for the circular SoFi.
  • In thematic collaboration with Stefan Krause (graduate biologist, Icelandic expert and managing director of travel agency Südstadt Bonn / Eclipse Reisen), the round tour with a special travel route to Iceland was created, which was specially scheduled in September to allow for highland tours in connection with – Enjoy watching the Northern Lights.
  • At the suggestion of Uwe Reichert (chief editor of Sterne und Weltraum-Magazin), the astronomical short tour to Berlin with the theme of legendary observatories and the flair of the capital was designed and carried out for the first time.
  • After the economically somewhat more difficult years of 2009 and 2010, we were still looking ahead. Wittmann Travel and the team and partners continued developing and launching new and interesting tours for customers who love to travel.
    Three examples of new travel creations in 2011 are:
  • Round tour to Ireland “The magic of the green island” with Alexandra Kampmeier (storyteller)
  • Short tour to Geneva to CERN “In search of the origin of the universe” with Prof. Dieter B. Herrmann (astro-physicist, science historian and author) and Prof. Dr. Jürg Schacher (core physicist)
  • Short tour to the Ruhr area with the topic of astronomy and change in the area. 

    FINALLY! The new WT website was getting ready to be launched in mid-January with a new design and more modern menu navigation, as well as an expanded service.
  • our The year 2012 was a year of change for the company. It comes up with a private highlight: Ralf Wittmann and Mili’s wedding took place in India in February, which also had a strong positive influence on Wittmann Travel.
  • In the same year, the headquarters of Wittmann Travel was relocated from central Hamburg Altona to the rural “OLD LAND” of Hamburg.
  •  The year ended with an interesting special tour to Australia with the “solar eclipse over the Great Barrier Reef”. The natural event was on board the cruise ship of the MS Princess Dawn on this tour. It was the first solar eclipse that we organized and performed on a cruise ship.
  •  A full and intensive travel year with many well-known travel programmes that have become annual “standard trips”.
  • A new travel programme was created this year: the 5-day short tour to Moscow with the topic of Soviet and Russian space travel and the title: “From Ziolkovski to Mars. This special pilot tour was largely made possible by Dr. Sigmund Jähn and especially Prof. Dr. Dieter B. Herrmann helped shape it thematically. Both accompanied this tour and Dieter B. Herrmann enriched this tour with a lecture on the history of science. In the 2 year mode, this tour also took place in 2015, 2017 and 2019 with Dieter B. Herrmann as a lecturer.

Mili Wittmann enriches the company with her enormous wealth of experience from over 20 years in tourism sector. The hotel marketing brand TATTVA TS was incorporated into the company. The clientele includes Indian boutique hotels, Ayurveda resorts, jungle lodges and luxury palaces.

These years were further years of the continuity of our special travel events. In these three years, however, only a special tour to the Venus transit in Hawaii was formed. From an astronomical-thematic point of view, too, it was a century-long travel project. Such a journey will not happen again anytime soon. It was therefore, the best booked trip to Hawaii that we have been able to organize so far.

For this year we developed two more innovative themed tours:

  •  The archaeoastronomical journey to Mexico, which we call “the archaeoastronomical journey through time to the Mayas and Aztecs”. We have been able to win over the archaeoastronomer Jesus Galindo, who works at the University in Mexico City, for this purpose. Galindo has been at home in this field for many years and is a recognized capacity. Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Schröder from Guanachuato (Mexico). Born in Hamburg, astro-physicist and solar specialist, this year also supervised the astronomical trip to Chile for the first time, as well as the astronomical program on Tenerife. Jan Hattenbach, science journalist, astro-physicist and amateur astronomer, took over the astronomical programme on La Palma for the first time.
  • We are pleased that, in addition to the scientific travel programme to Geneva, we developed a second scientific tour to Switzerland with a travel programme to Bern,  that was launched in September. The theme: “In the footsteps of Albert Einstein”. As with our travel programme in Geneva, Prof. Dr. Jürg Schacher from Bern and Prof. Dr. Dieter B. Herrmann from Berlin, contributed their expertise.

A year of restructuring some of our long-term themed tours. We were happy that our new trip to Mexico, once again took place this year.

… (so far without words)

Philosophy

The travel motto “Experience – Culture – Science” is generally part of all of the tours we organize (in various proportions). All three aspects can be found in our various travel offers. Our tours are carefully conceived and designed with a selected itinerary and content for the specific topic categories. Since all tours are by and large special tours, each tour generally takes place once a year at a selected travel time. We deliberately refrain from using the title Study Tours, although our tours generally have a study tour level in terms of knowledge transfer.

Despite the emphasis on special tours, another thing to say about our astronomy tours is that we want to address both the astronomical layman, the hobby astronomers, the scientists, and also the traveling companions who are perhaps less interested in astronomy, for example Interested. That is why, for example, on our astronomy tours we also represent a common proportion of general national culture in a balanced manner. The tours are designed in such a way that they are generally suitable for everyone who likes to travel. The only thing that the traveler should bring with them is: interest, health and openness for culture, nature, people, and with the astronomical programme items also: interested eyes for the sun, moon and stars, as well as cosmic space…

TEAM

Ralf Wittmann

Founder & Propreiter

With an experience of more than 20 years, Ralf has in-deth knowledge and expereince of creating & organising special astronomy and science tours. 

Mili Wittmann

Sales & Marketing

Mili has been in the tourism industry for nearly 30 years. She has the pulse of varied travel markets & requirement of travellers.

Abid Saifi

World-web Consultant

A creative marketing brain that weaves technology and online marketing systems. A multi lingual and multi talented person.

Gaby Schult

Back Office Consultant

Gaby supervises, monitors and evaluates back-office activities. She   developed & implemented systems.

THEME PRESENTERS
& LECTURERS

Joachim Biefang

Theme Leader & Lecturer

Joachim, Autodidact and Multi-Talent, has traveled the world and is with us since the conception of Astronomy Tours

Dr. D. B. Herrmann

Lecturer

Former Director of the Archenhold Observatory in Berlin and Zeiss Gross Planetary. .Writer of Astronomy Books

Regina Gärtner

Theme Leader & Lecturer

coming soon

Stefan Seip

Theme Leader & Lecturer

Stefan is living in Stuttgart. As a Astro-Photographer and  author of several  books, he also specialises in Photo-Seminars

Alexandra Kampmeier

Theme Leader & Lecturer

coming soon

Dr. K. P. Schröder

Theme Leader & Lecturer

coming soon

Jan Hattenbach

Theme Leader & Lecturer

coming soon

Dr. Jesus Galindo

Lecturer

coming soon

Stefan Krause

Theme Leader & Lecturer

coming soon

Bruno Giovanoli

Theme Leader & Lecturer

coming soon

Dr. Reinhart Claus

Lecturer

coming soon

Join us

Theme Leader & Lecturer

We are open for new Team Leaders and Lecturers. Let`s get in contact and create new Tours…

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EXPERIENCE - CULTURE - SCIENCE

experience and time

"YOU CAN`T BUY TIME, BUT YOU CAN INVEST IT IN EXPERIENCE." (Pascal Hilgendorf)

culture and sense

"THE ONE WHO HAS DISCOVERED THE BEAUTIFUL SENSE OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS HAS CULTURE. THERE IS STILL HOPE FOR THEM." (Oscar Wilde)

Science and wisdom

"SCIENCE: IT IS NOT THE GOAL TO OPEN A DOOR TO INFINITE WISDOM, BUT TO SET A LIMIT TO INFINITE ERROR." (Berthold Brecht)

testimonials

NEWS & UPDATES

HOTEL PACKAGES

We are happy to now present our Exclusive Hotel Packages, specially from India with interesting, Themes and different categories.

OUR NEW
WT BLOG

We have created a new Section for different Themes of Articles, News, Travel Reports and more. Please have a look here and enjoy the new Blog

TOUR CALENDAR

In our new created Tour Calendar you will find all the Tours sorted after Travel dates with more information, specially the Tour Status.

OUR NEW
WT SHOP

Here you will find interesting Travel and Theme books, special WT Eclipse T-Shirts and Travel Document folders. More Articles will follow soon...

PARTNERS