Monthly Archives: July 2013

Rhine River Getaway

Rhine River Getaway.

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Rhine River Getaway

RHINE RIVER GETAWAY

This week we will be on the legendary Rhine River visiting France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland.  This is one of my favorite cruise itineraries.  This cruise is packed with castle visits, winery visits, and as always the great local food we will be sampling.  I hope you find this cruise as exciting as I do.

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

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.

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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.

Included:

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 #River Cruises

Free wi-fi connection

**ADDED BONUS**  EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT

2-for-1 cruise prices, plus reduced rates on roundtrip air.  Limited time offer.

Call 919.708.8217 for details.

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TULIPS AND WINDMILLS RIVER CRUISE

longships__11_600x398_tcm43-32045TULIPS AND WINDMILLS RIVER CRUISE

Join me on a 10 day cruise to Holland and Belgium.  Check out this great itinerary.  Be sure to get those camera’s ready because the tulips and windmills will be well worth the pictures.  We will be sailing on one of Viking Cruise Line’s new Longships.

Itinerary:  Amsterdam-Antwerp-Amsterdam *10 days/8 guided tours/2 countries

Day 1: Amsterdam – Fly to Amsterdam, board river cruise ship, and enjoy free time in Amsterdam.

Day 2: Amsterdam Canal cruise via glass-topped boat, free time, perhaps visit the Anne Frank House or Van Gogh Museum

Day 3: Ijsselmeer Scenic cruising along Holland’s waterways

Day 3: Hoorn-Guided walk featuring cheese warehouses and the main square

Day 4: Arnhem-Tour of Paleis Het Loo & gardens; afternoon at leisure or optional battlefield & Airborne Museum tour

Day 4: Nijmegan-Evening at leisure to stroll cobbled streets

Day 5: Kinderdijk-Tour Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO Site

Day 5: Antwerp-Evening at leisure

Day 6:Antwerp-Half-day city tour including Cathedral of our Lady & Steen Castle; afternoon free time

Day 7: Ghent-Excursion to Brugge, a UNESCO Site, including guided walk with CHurch of Our Lady & Beguinage

Day 8:Middelburg-Delta Works excursion

Day 8:Holland’s Waterways-Scenic afternoon cruising

Day 8:Rotterdam – Evening at leisure to explore on your own

Day 9:Amsterdam-Keukenhof Gardens excursion & Free time to visit Museum Square or sample local fare

Day 10:Amsterdam-Fantastic cruise is coming to an end as we leave for the airport.

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INCLUDED:

10 day cruise with river-view stateroom

8 guided tours with audio headset

All meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches,  9 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 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Culture Curriculum: Learn how wooden shoes are made; find out how windmills work; attend lectures on Belgium’s political landscape and Holland’s 17th century tulip craze; enjoy a folkloric performance; sample Dutch cheese and jenever

All port charges

Free wi-fi connection

Added Early Booking Bonus: 2 for one cruise and discounted airfare        

#river cruises

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Paris and The Sparkling Seine Wine Themed Cruise

Paris and The Sparkling Seine WIne Themed Cruise.

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Paris and The Sparkling Seine WIne Themed Cruise

french countrysideParis and the Sparkling Seine Wine Themed Cruise

Our featured cruise this week is a dual adventure.  It will have wine lovers captivated by the wine tastings and lectures.  For history lovers, the Normandy Beaches will give you an opportunity to see where our soldiers fought for our freedom and many are buried there at the American Cemetery.  We will visit the beaches, the Cemetery, visit the museums and immerse ourselves in events of June 6th, 1944.  Our amazing cruise begins in Paris – “the City of Lights.”  This itinerary is one of the best in France, combining history, beautiful scenery, culture, adventure, and by the end of this cruise, we will all be a novice wine Sommelier.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Depart USA for our overnight flight to France.

Day 2: Paris, France – Embarkation – We arrive in Paris and embark on our luxurious ship.  Me meet our fellow passengers at the Welcome Aboard Wine Toast.  Our ship cruises overnight (D)

Day 3: Vernon – This morning, enjoy a scenic cruise along the Seine to the provincial town of Vernon.  We visit the nearby village of Giverny to tour the famous house and gardens of master Impressionist Claude Monet.  The artist lived here for more than four decades, immortalizing the flowers, footbridges, and stone structures of his country estate in some of his most famous paintings, including the much beloved Water Lillies series.  This afternoon’s agenda includes an onboard wine lecture and tasting.  We moor overnight in Vernon. (B,L,D) Monet-blog-water-lilies-Japanese-bridge

Day 4: Vernon-Caudebec – After a scenic morning cruise on the Seine, we arrive in Caudebec.  We will have a choice of two different tours.  The first option is to visit the village of Honfleur, located on the southern bank of the Seine across from Le Havre.  This historic port, with its picturesque houses with slate-covered Facades, was a favorite subject of artists such as Courbet, Boudin and Monet.  Honfleur’s 15th century Sainte Catherine church, with its detached bell tower, is the largest wooden church in France.  You may also choose to visit the Fecamp Monastery for a tasting of Benedictine, an herbal brandy based liqueur created by the monks in the 16th century.  Today, the beverage continues to be made by a private company on the grounds of the abbey.  Our ship moors in Caudebec overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 5: –Caudebec – Normandy Beaches – Today we have the choice of three different excursions. “D-Day Remembered” is a full day excursion tracing the events of June 6th, 1944.  The first excursion is to the US sector, Omaha and Utah beaches.  Our first stop will be Arromanches, with free time to visit the museums and have lunch before visiting St. Laurent-sur-Mer, the US Cemetery at Omaha Beach.  The last stop of our excursion is the Ranger monument at Pointe du Hoc before returning to the ship in Rouen.  If you prefer, you may tour the Gold, Juno  & Sword beaches in the British and Canadian sectors.  Your first stop will be Arromanches, with free time to visit the museums and have lunch before visiting the Juno Beach Centre. The last stop of your excursion is the Pegasus Monument in Ranville.  As an alternative to the “D-Day Remembered” excursions, opt for the “Taste of Normandy” excursion, which includes a tour to a Calvados distillery and a tasting of Normandy’s famous cider and the apple brandy Calvados. (B,L,D)

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Day 6: Rouen – Les Andelys – Enjoy a morning walk through this medieval city and see the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and the square where Joan of Arc was martyred.  Afterwards, we visit a local winery to sample different wines from France’s various wine regions.  This afternoon, we enjoy scenic cruising on the Seine to Les Andelys.  Tonight, we join our fellow guests on board for a sumptuous Chaine Des Rotisseurs Dinner with wine pairings. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Les Andelys – An afternoon stroll on the riverside offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley, centuries-old half-timbered houses and the ruins of Chateau-Gaillard perched above the town.  The once-massive stronghold of Richard the Lionhearted was completed in 1198, and consisted of three different enclosures divided by dry moats.  More active guests may wish to hike up the hill to tour the ruins of this historic castle.  Our ship departs after lunch for Paris.  This afternoon we attend an onboard wine lecture and tasting.  This evening, we join our fellow guests on board at the Captain’s Gala Dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Paris – The morning is yours to enjoy however you wish, perhaps to visit one of Paris’ most spectacular museums – the Musee D’Orsay.  Located on the Seine’s Left Bank, the museum was built in the former Gare (railway station) d’Orsay and houses an extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces.  Later this afternoon, we will also enjoy a special Champagne tasting.  Our ship moors overnight in Paris. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Paris – Disembarkation – After disembarkation this morning, guest who have chosen the Paris extension will have a panoramic tour of this historic and beautiful city.  Enjoy free time to explore the city and have lunch on our own, then rejoin the group for a visit to the Wine Museum of Paris.  In the museum’s dense limestone cellars, we will learn the history of French winemaking techniques and sample wine from the museum’s own vineyard in the South of France.  After touring the museum, we will transfer to our hotel. (B)  For guests not on the Paris extension, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Day 10: Paris – Today is yours to enjoy as a free day in the “City of Lights,” where a multitude of landmarks, museums, cafes and shops beckon.  If you wish, we can join one of several optional tours that are also available. (B)

Day 11: Depart Paris– Our Seine wine cruise ends with a new appreciation for wines and wine pairings, meeting new friends, and lasting memories. #River Cruises.

eiffel-tower-day

 

 

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Christmas In The Heart of Germany

Christmas In The Heart of Germany.

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Christmas In The Heart of Germany

travel-graphics-200_429105aChristmas In The Heart of Germany – This holiday season, sail along the picturesque Main River between Frankfurt and Nuremberg.  Explore the Bavarian regions of Germany, tour the dramatic sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, the Romantic Road to Rothenburg, historic Nuremberg, and best of all, experience Germany’s world-famous Christmas markets.  Many of our seasonal traditions began in Germany.  So come along and explore the magnificent Christmas markets of Germany on this amazing cruise.

Day 1- Nuremberg – Arrive in Nuremberg and transfer from the airport to embark your ship.  After boarding, relax, or begin exploring this historic city on your own.  After dinner, relax and enjoy musical entertainment in the lounge.

Day 2- Nuremberg – Morning tour of the city’s most prominent landmarks, enjoy the iconic Christmas market in the Old Town’s Main Market Square.  Browse booths with colorful ornaments, gifts, and fragrant treats; there is no better place to shop for handmade wooden toys and nutcrackers.  Savor the traditional lebkuchen and gluhwein.  Free time this afternoon to further explore Nuremberg before boarding your ship for dinner.

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Day 3 – Bamberg – Visit Bamberg with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Your walking tour includes a visit to the 11th- century cathedral and picturesque city hall built on an island in the middle of a river.  Free time to walk around Bamberg or visit its traditional Christmas markets.

Day 4 – Wurzburg & Rothenburg – Disembark in Gerlachshausen for a full day in two of Northern Bavaria’s most charming destinations.  Walk through Wurzburg and tour the Bishops’ Residenz, a beautiful baroque palace.  Then take a deluxe ride along the Romantic Road to Rothenberg.  Lunch at a local Bavarian restaurant and shopping in its joyful Christmas Market.  Rothenberg is also home to Germany’s Christmas Museum.  Return to Wurzburg for onboard dinner.

Day 5 – Wertheim – Enjoy scenic cruising this morning; sail into Wertheim, located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers.  You will experience life in a typical small German town on your walking tour.  Free time to visit Wertheim’s Christmas market.  Onboard enjoy Wertheim’s traditional glassblowing art as you sail toward Frankfurt.

Day 6 – Heidelberg – Arrive at Frankfurt for a full-day excursion to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university.  Tour the red sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, originally built in the 12th century.  Your tour ends at Old Town and marketplace where you will have time to shop at the Christmas market.  Shop for gifts, sample delightful treats, lunch at a local cafe.  After dinner onboard, you will have free time to explore Frankfurt this evening to discover Frankfurt’s charming elegant city.

Day 7 – Frankfurt – Our Christmas in the Heart of Germany ends and we return home with suitcases full of gifts and our hearts full of memories. #rivercruises

Itinerary can be reversed.  Additional nights in Cologne or Prague                                    ???????????????????????????????

*****SPECIAL SAVINGS DISCOUNT*****

2-FOR-1 CRUISE AND SPECIAL AIRFARE $199 PER PERSON

Limited time offer – Expires July 31, 2013

Call me for details about this amazing cruise with this special airfare.

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