Monthly Archives: June 2013
This week we are cruising the Douro River visiting Portugal and Spain. A three night stay in Lisbon starts our adventure into the Douro River Valley. Rising in Spain and reaching the Atlantic Ocean in Porto, the Douro River created the spectacular Douro River Valley over a period of many millenia. Historic, amazingly scenic, and bursting with vineyards through the River Valley, the Douro River is the most unspoiled UNESCO World Heritage designated river valley in Europe–and it’s yours to explore. Enjoy, and drink some wine!
Breathe the sea air in Lisbon, once the heart of an empire that spanned the globe. Climb the city’s steep hills, where jazz clubs line the narrow lanes and the sound of fado drifts into the streets. Sip a bica (espresso) at a café on a tiny square. In Porto’s Ribeiro district, at the mouth of the Douro, find the best of the Old World, including Medieval alleyways, old houses built on top of Roman ruins, and picturesque rabelo boats. You’ll also encounter restaurants serving cutting-edge cuisine, and a thriving art scene fostered by hipsters who are revitalizing the ancient city center.
Sail from Porto through the beautiful and dramatic landscape of the Douro Valley. Vines cling to terraces carved by hand into the steep, rocky hillsides that line the water, producing Portugal’s legendary Port wine. Along the way, visit the quintas where grapes are grown and talk to the winemakers, discovering that Portugal also makes some fine red wines.
See the university in Salamanca, Spain, where Columbus sought advice for his voyages, and listen to modern-day students singing in the streets. Watch as flamenco dancers perform their passionate dance while you indulge in Spanish cuisine.
Discover a hidden gem in the unspoiled Douro River Valley, and revel in the intriguing cities and beautiful architecture of the Iberian Peninsula.#Rivercruises
ADDED SAVINGS: Early booking discount of $300 per couple OR Pay in full at booking and save $800 per couple.
Here’s an overview of where we will be each day. Click on the pictures for each day.
Your adventure begins with two overnight stays and guided sightseeing in Paris, the “City of Light.” Ride the TGV trail to Dijon, then continue to Beaune for a Burgundy wine tasting. Board your ship in quaint Chalon-sur-Saone and set sail for lovely Tournus, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as medieval Tournon, charming Viviers, Avignon, and Arles. Before disembarking in Arles, you will sail through the peaceful and beautiful Camargue area. Your vacation ends with an overnight on the French Riviera, also known as the Cote d’Azur. This cruise has it all – historic sites, delightful towns, and beautiful wine country.
11 day Itinerary from Paris to Cote D’Azur.
Day 1: Arrive in Paris-Welcome to Paris
Day 2: Paris-Included sightseeing to Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Free time to stroll down the Champs-Elysees with its lavish cafes, or visit Montmarte and Sacre Coeur Basilica. Paris if full of colorful nightlife that includes some of the worlds most famous cabaret shows.
Day 3: Paris-Dijon-Beaune-Chalon-sur-Saone. This morning board the TGV train to Dijon. You will visit Beaune, a beautiful wine growing region. On to Chalon-sur-Saone where you board your cruise vessel. Enjoy a welcome reception before you depart for Tournus.
Day 4: Tournus-Macon-Visit Tournus with its Abbey, St. Philibert, one of the oldest and most important monastic centers in the region. Free time to stroll the quaint town.
Day 5: Beaujolais Region-Lyon-Lyon is France’s gastronomic capital. Guided tour of the old town with its maze of medieval alleyways and Place des Terneaus, a popular area with cafes, monuments, and fountains.
Day 6: Lyon-Free day in Lyon to explore on your own, perhaps take a bike tour or a visit to one of Lyon’s Parks.
Day 7: Tournon/Tain-Hermitage-Viviers-The twin cities of Tournon and Tain-Hermitage lie l=nestled among vineyards between the Rhone River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. A guided tour of Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities in sure to impress you. There’s a treat in store for chocoholics-an onboard Chocolate Tasting while cruising to Viviers. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the charming town of Viviers Old Town.
Day 8: Avignon-The fortified city of Avignon is the most picturesque part of Provence with its intact ramparts encircling the city. Your guided tour visits the Palace of the Popes, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes residence.
Day 9: Camargue Region-Arles-Enjoy your sail through the Camargue region. Take in the tranquil scenery through this nature park. Arrive in Arles for a city tour. Enjoy the Roman Ampitheater that is still in use today. Free time to explore on your own.
Day 10: Arles- Cruses ends in Arles. A comfortable motorcoach ride takes you to the Cote d’Azur for the last night in France. Also known as the French Riviera, the Cote d’Azur stretches along France’s Mediterranean coast, known for its prestige and beauty.
ADDED BONUS: $500 per couple discount for early booking.
Call for additional details at 919-708-8217
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
**ADDED BONUS** EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
2-for-1 cruisetour prices, plus 2-for-1 roundtrip air.
Call 919.708.8217 for details.