Monthly Archives: January 2013

Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong River

p_ext_1Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong River.

From its source high up in the Tibetan Plateau the powerful Mekong River courses for over 3,000 miles through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, providing a lifeline for millions of people.This week we are going on an adventure on the Mekong River visiting Thailand,
Cambodia, and Vietnam. This cruise is quite different from our previous cruises, but equally beautiful and full of culture and history.  We will be visiting many cities and towns along the Mekong Delta.  Ancient ruins, historic sites, and an opportunity to learn about new cultures, activities, and religions – this cruise vacation has it all!  Put this cruise in your bucket list.  I will definitely be on this tour in 2014.

Itinerary: 14 days Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok.

Cruise: Deluxe 7-night cruise from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap in an outside stateroom on the luxurious Avalon Angkor.

Ho Chi Minh City: Sightseeing with a Local Guide; walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking class; welcome dinner; Cu Chi Tunnels excursion; visit a rubber plantation; begin cruise on the Mekong.

Cai Be: Visit An Kiet House and a cathedral; see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made.

Sa Dec: Visit a brick factory, rice factory, local market, and the ancient house of Mr. Hyunh Thuy Le.

Chau Doc: Visit a local fish farm and the religious sites of Sam Mountain; walking tour of a local market.

Phnom Penh: Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields; sightseeing by private cyclo including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum.

Prek Bang Kong: Walking tour through the village to see silk weaving.

Angkor Ban: Walking tour through the village

Kampong Cham: Visit Phnom Pros, Phnom Srey, Nokorbachey, and Wat Hanchey; partake in traditional water blessing by local monks

Udong: Visit a monastery; lecture on Buddhism.

Kampong Tralach: Ride on a traditional ox cart through the countryside.

Siem Reap: Sightseeing with a Local GUide; visit Angkor Thom, Bayon Tample, Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei; Les Artisans d’Angkor, Apsara dance performance.

Bangkok, Thailand: Cruise/tour ends.  Optional stay in Bangkok available. #rivercruises


Complimentary night in Bangkok, Thailand

Call for details on each stop and to take advantage of complimentary night in Bangkok.

919.708.8217 or

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Romantic Danube Waltz

austria-aggstein-castle_22559_600x450Romantic Danube Waltz

On this 8-day journey, visit the grand cities and quaint villages along the famous Danube River.  Explore both sides of Hungary’s capital – traditional Buda and cosmopolitan Pest.  Experience Vienna’s imperial architecture and gracious culture, tour riverside towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley.  In Germany, stroll cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses.  Learn about local customs and legends, and see for yourself why Strauss immortalized the “Blue Danube” in his famous music. A beautiful journey on a magnificent river.

Itinerary: 7 night cruise with extension in Budapest or Prague.

Day 1: Budapest: Arrive in Budapest, transfer to your ship.  Enjoy free time in Budapest the rest of the day.

Day 2: Budapest: City tour of Buda & Pest including Castle District, a UNESCO Site.

Day 2: Cruising the scenic Danube Bend.

Day 3: Vienna: Panoramic city tour featuring the Ringstrasse & St. Stephan’s Cathedral; afternoon at leisure. Optional classical concert.

Day 4: Danube River: Cruising the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO Site.

Day 4: Melk: Benedictine abbey tour with library & frescoes

Day 5: Passau: Walking tour, organ concert & free time

Day 6: Regensburg: Walking tour through medieval city center & free time

Day 6: Kelheim: Optional Danube Gorge & Weltenberg Abbey excursion

Day 7: Main-Danube Canal: Scenic cruising through this engineering marvel.

Day 7: Nuremberg:  City tour & guided walk to Market Square or optional WWI history tour; free time

Day 8: Nuremberg: Cruise ends in Nuremberg or optional 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic.

EARLY BOOKING BONUS:  2 for 1 airfare
#river cruises

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Portugal’s River of Gold

Portugal's River of Gold.

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Portugal’s River of Gold

douroPortugal’s River of Gold

Discover one of Europe’s most pristine destinations – Portugal.  Begin with two fascinating days and nights exploring the capital of Lisbon, then proceed to Porto at the mouth of the Douro River to start your river cruise.  The Douro river takes you on a winding easterly course between steeply terraced vineyards, stopping at ports of call largely unchanged for centuries with charming town squares, colorful castles, baroque mansions and historic monasteries.  At the Spanish border you’ll indulge in a scenic ride into Spain to visit the medieval city of Salamanca before the voyage back to Porto.  If you have never visited Portugal, you are in for a treat; or, see a dramatic new side of this beautiful country on the Douro River.

Itinerary: 10 days/8 guided tours/2 countries

Day 1: Lisbon: Hotel check-in for 2 days.  Free time to discover Lisbon.

Day 2: Lisbon: Panoramic city tour featuring the Tower of Belem & Geronimo’s Monastery, a UNESCO Site, free time, optional fado dinner show.

Day 3: Porto: Hotel check-out, scenic motorcoach transfer via Coimbra; check-in on ship, evening at leisure.

Day 4: Porto: Tour of city center, a UNESCO Site, port wine tasting, afternoon free time or optional Guimarles excursion.

Day 4: Bitetos: Dinner at Alpendurada Monastery.

Day 5: Regua: Excursion to Lamego featuring the Sanctuary of Our Land & its baroque staircase.

Day 5: Pinhao: Rejoin the ship; enjoy a Portuguese folkloric music show.

Day 6: Pinhao: Morning at leisure, perhaps visit the railway station with its spectacular azulejos tilework.

Day 6: Barca d’Alva: Quinta do Seixo excursion & wine tasting.

Day 7: Salamanca: Full-day excursion to Salamanca, a UNESCO Site. Guided city tour & lunch; afternoon free time.

Day 7: Vega de Terron: Evening at leisure.

Day 8: Vega de Terron: Castelo Rodrigo excursion, dinner & wine tasting at Quinta da Avessada in the Douro Wine District, a UNESCO Site.

Day 9: Regua: Excursion to Vila Real; guided tour of Mateus Palace & Gardens.

Day 9: Porto: Evening at leisure.

Day 10: Porto: Portugal’s River of Gold cruise comes to an end.

Optional pre & post packages available in Lisbon or Santiago.


ADDED BONUS: Receive- 2-for-one AIRFARE and 2-for-one CRUISE and LAND – Hurry-Limited Time!

This is a great river cruise for wine lovers and non-wine lovers alike.

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Castles Along The Rhine

 Castles Along The Rhine.


I am revisiting this itinerary this week as there is plenty of space on the fall 2013 sailings.

Amsterdam to Basel – Itinerary (8 days/6 guided tours/4 countries)

Visit all the highlights of the legendary Rhine in just 8 days.  In Germany, see the many charming castles along the riverbanks as you sail by, tour both Marksburg castle and the ruins of Heidelberg Castle.  Admire Cologne, with its awe-inspiring Dom, and experience the landscape of the Black Forest region.  Explore Holland’s famous windmills and waterworks, visit beautiful Strasbourg in France.  On this itinerary you see a lot-without spending a lot of time.

Day 1 –  Amsterdam:  Arrive in Amsterdam and enjoy free time after boarding the ship.

Day 2 –  Kinderdijk:  Tour Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO Site.

Day 3 –  Cologne:  Walking tour and Gothic Cathedral visit, free time to visit a local brewery and sample Kolsch.

Day 4 –  Koblenz:  Marksburg Castle excursion.

Day 4 –  Rhine River:  Cruising the Middle Rhine, a UNESCO Site.

Day 4 –  Rudesheim:  Evening at leisure to stroll the Drosselgasse, perhaps sample local wines.

Day 5 –  Heidelberg:  Half-day city tour featuring Heidelburg Castle and free time.

Day 5 –  Speyer:  Evening at leisure to stroll the cobbled streets; see Speyer Cathedral, a UNESCO Site.

Day 6 –  Strasbourg:  Walking tour featuring Strasbourg Cathedral; afternoon at leisure to shop or sample Alsatian treets.

Day 7 –  Breisach:  Black Forest scenery tour with clock-making demonstration; optional vineyard tour or optional Colmar excursion.  Excellent place to purchase a Black Forest cuckoo clock

Day 8 –  Basel:  River cruise ends.  Return to airport.

**Extend your journey with a 2 day stay in Amsterdam or Lucerne.  This itinerary can be reversed.


8 day cruise with river-view stateroom

6 guided tours with audio headset

All meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners featuring regional specialties and including Welcome Cocktail Reception and Dinner and Captain’s Farewell Dinner

Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service

Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Culture Curriculum: Enjoy a classical music performance; learn how to create your own Alsatian Flammkuchen; observe a traditional glassblower, attend lectures on Germany’s current affairs & origins of Rhine River cruising.  Note: some dates offer wine curriculum’s.

All port charges included

Free wi-fi connection


2-for-1 cruisetour prices, plus 2-for-1 roundtrip air.  Book by February 28, 2013

Call 919.708.8217 for details.


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