Monthly Archives: December 2013

Wine Cruise of Burgundy and Provence

Wine Cruise of Burgundy and Provence.

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Wine Cruise of Burgundy and Provence

AS_2011_Rhone_038Wine Cruise of Burgundy and Provence

Opportunities abound on this delightful vacation to learn about France and the French.  Our adventure begins with three overnights and guided sightseeing in Paris, the “City of Light.” Then we ride the TGV train to Dijon, where we continue on by motorcoach to fascinating Beaune for a Burgundy wine tasting or you may chose to visit Hotel-Dieu.  Next, we will board our ship in quaint Chalon-sur-Saone and set sail for lovely Tournus, Macon, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as medieval Tournon, charming Viviers, Avignon, and Arles.  Before we disembark our ship in Arles, we will sail through the peaceful Carmague area. Our journey ends with an overnight in the French Riviera, also known as the Cote d’Azur where will will have time to visit Monte Carlo and Monaco.  This cruise vacation has it all-historic sites, delightful towns, picturesque wine country, and so much more!!!!  Seeing is believing.

This is a Wine Special Interest Cruise sailing on October 26, 2014.  On this cruise, a distinguished wine authority explains how grape varieties are cultivated, and teaches us what to look for in a good wine from each region we sail through.  We will mingle with others who share the same passion for wine and enjoy onboard wine tastings, wine and food paring dinners, and  visits to a local vineyard where we meet the winemaker.  Check out this amazing itinerary.


Days 1-3 Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2 and 3.

Day 4 Paris–Dijon–Beaune–Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus: TGV train from Paris to Dijon; choice of visit of the Hôtel-Dieu or Burgundy wine tasting in Beaune; onboard welcome reception

Day 5 Tournus–Mâcon: guided sightseeing of Tournus, visit the abbey of St. Philibertravenna

Day 6 Beaujolais Region–Lyon: guided sightseeing in Lyon, picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard lecture

Day 7 Lyon: day at leisureenhanced-buzz-25863-1308928054-8

Day 8 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; onboard chocolate tasting; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral

Day 9 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes


Day 10 Camargue Region–Arles: sail through the Camargue region during breakfast; guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheater

Day 11 Arles (Disembarkation)–Côte d’Azur: evening in Côte d’AzurCote_dAzur_West

Day 12-13 Côte d’Azur: your vacation ends on day 13 and we travel home with a heart and head full of memories.

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Learn “all about the French” at an onboard lecture, and attend a lively performance  of gypsy music.

#River Cruises, #Moulin Rouge, #Paris, #Burgundy Wine, #France, Beaune, Vineyards

BONUS:  Early booking discount.


Added Bonus:  Private vineyard visit and wine tasting compliments of Cruise Like A VIP

Call for details at 919.708.8217

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Holiday Cruise on the Mississippi River

Holiday Cruise on the Mississippi River.

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Holiday Cruise on the Mississippi River

Christmas-Lights-at-Roosevelt-1-1023x685 HOLIDAY CRUISE ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER

The season is at its peak and the treasured ports of the Lower Mississippi are bright with holiday cheer. From New Orleans to Memphis, the timeless river rolls smooth as a southern drawl creating the perfect ambiance to enjoy special moments with friends and family. Encounter gracious towns with palatial mansions that sparkle with festive decorations, caroling choirs and tranquil tree-lines streets. Explore the land of bawdy blues and southern belles during the most magical time of year.

Highlights of this Holiday cruise:

Complimentary shore excursions in every port

Complimentary overnight stay in a select luxury hotel before your voyage – includes breakfast, taxes, porterage and transfers to the American Queen

Complimentary wine and beer with dinner

Complimentary cappuccino, espresso, specialty coffees, bottled water and soft drinks throughout your voyage

The family recipes of acclaimed Southern chef Regina Charboneau

The only steamboat with multiple specialty dining options, all at no additional charge

Gracious service from a friendly all-American staff

Casual elegance abounds, no formal wear required

Daily lectures by the Riverlorian, our onboard historian

Professional showboat-style entertainment and dancing nightly

Our own dedicated fleet of Steam-coaches

The most all-inclusive American river voyage

The only authentic steam-powered overnight paddlewheel riverboat in America

The greatest vacation value in America

*ADDED BONUS:  Premium tour of your choice compliments of Cruise Like A VIP

15% Discount on your Holiday River Cruise on select sailings.

Free One-Night Hotel Stay

The night before you step aboard the Steamer American Queen, enjoy the comfort and convenience of a complimentary one-night stay in a fine hotel in your embarkation city. Arriving the day before your voyage begins, you are able to relax, have dinner and get a full night’s sleep.

*Select voyages offer a 1-night post-voyage hotel night instead of the pre-voyage hotel night.

DAY 1: Hotel Stay – Memphis, TN

For this itinerary, we will reserve a room for you at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel.  The following day, you will board the American Queen.


DAY 2: Memphis, TN

Departure: 9:00 p.m.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Memphis today. This afternoon, you will board the American Queen to begin your voyage.


DAY 3: Helena, AR

Arrival: 8:00 a.m. — Departure: 1:00 p.m.

Let gospel voices lift your heart, hear soulful Delta blues, and sample King biscuits and sausage during an eventful day.

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: Our tour of this historic city begins with a drive through Cherry Street Historic District. An area so picturesque it was used in several scenes of “Walk the Line”, a 2005 Johnny Cash biopic. Along the way you’ll find more treasures from the same film, including the The Malco Theater as well as several boutiques; The Delta Gypsy Caravan and the Cotton and Kudzu Mall. We’ll have the opportunity to shop The Handworks Boutique, featured on “ABC World News Tonight.” Also, Gist Music Company whose rare collectibles will transport you back in time.

Then, discover museums that beautifully represent the heritage of the 27-county region of eastern Arkansas at the Delta Cultural Center. Then, stop at the Moore-Hornor House and the nearly full-sized replica of the Union’s Fort Curtis, rebuilt just a short distance from where it originally stood. Our next stop highlights some of the most beautiful historic architecture in the region at the Pillow-Thompson House. This late 19th century mansion has been beautifully restored and is a fine example of Queen Anne Architecture. Our last stop is the Helena Museum and its eclectic collection of artifacts from prehistoric times through the Civil War and on to the present.


DAY 4: Vicksburg, MS

Arrival: 12:00 p.m. — Departure: 5:00 p.m.

Discover a unique blend of old and new in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Take in the diversity from National Historic Landmarks to the Waterways Experiment Station. Billed as the “Red Carpet City of the South,” Southern hospitality is alive and well and awaiting your arrival.

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour:  Board your hop-on hop-off Steamcoach for a narrated tour experience of Vicksburg Mississippi, a city bursting at the seams with local culture, character, art, entertainment and outdoor adventure. The Red Carpet City of the South, Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. Your deluxe Steamcoach will first take you through Vicksburg’s shopping district. You will stop at The Church of the Holy Trinity, a place of spiritual refreshment to Vicksburg for more than 125 years. Two blocks from the church you will find the Southern Cultural Heritage Center.
The next stops are Pemberton’s Headquarters; as you return to the downtown area, continue to the Old Courthouse Museum, which showcases thousands of artifacts from pre-Columbian times to Civil War implements. Finally, visit Washington Street for more shopping, or discover other interesting museums including the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, Yesterday’s Children Antique Doll and Toy Museum, the Old Depot Museum, and Lower Mississippi River Museum.


DAY 5: Natchez, MS

Arrival: 8:00 a.m. — Departure: 9:00 p.m.

Step into the plantation lifestyle of the antebellum south in Natchez, site of numerous restored mansions. Visit historic Jefferson College, or just amble down the Natchez Trace.

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour:  Natchez is the center of the Antebellum South. From Spring Pilgrimage to Christmas, there’s no shortage of excitement in this small town as you tour the antebellum mansions of Natchez, drink in the history and enjoy the entertainment. Stop at the Natchez Visitors Center to peruse the gift shop and bookstore, or view exhibits and films illustrating the rich history of Natchez. Take a narrated tour of Stanton Hall which was built in 1857 and is considered the grandest of the Natchez mansions. See the Magnolia Hall,Rosalie Mansion and William Johnson House. Also on our route is Twin Oaks, the antebellum mansion of Regina Charboneau, the Chef de Cuisine of theAmerican Queen, and the Eola Hotel for shopping.

St. Francisville

DAY 6: St. Francisville, LA

Arrival: 8:00 a.m. — Departure: 5:00 p.m.

This quaint town located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River is your window to the past. With over 140 buildings on the National Register, beautiful plantation homes nestled in the rolling countryside, and bustling Main Street shops, you’ll find plenty to keep you on the go in St. Francisville.

Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour: As you board your deluxe hop-on hop-off Steamcoach, you will turn onto Royal Street where you may want to stop off at Grandmother’s Buttons, a Victorian button museum and jewelry boutique, or the West Florida Republic Park. Visit the Old Market Hall, where you will see art, jewelry, handmade items and music albums. When you reach Commerce Street, there are several places for lunch, snacks, spirits, coffee and ice cream. Once you are refreshed, hop back on the Steamcoach which will take you up to the Spring Creek Shopping Center. Finally, you will visit the West Feliciana Historical Society Museum on Ferdinand Street and the Grace Episcopal Church.

Baton Rouge

DAY 7: Baton Rouge, LA

Arrival: 8:00 a.m. — Departure: 9:00 p.m.

The capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge is the center of all the great things the state has to offer—visitors delight in the seamless blend of past and present experiencing authentic Louisiana at every turn. With its semi-tropical climate, the outdoors is tempting and the attractions abound. No wonder this is one of the south’s fastest growing cities.

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: In Louisiana’s capital city, you will see something unique at every turn! Begin your day with a tour for the military enthusiast at the USS Kidd, a WWII Fletcher-class destroyer. You will also visit historic exhibits in the adjoining Veterans Memorial Museum. Then, visit the Old Governor’s Mansion, built in 1930 by Governor Huey P. Long as “Louisiana’s White House.”
The next stop is the beautiful St. Joseph Cathedral, built in 1853. Next, walk through the Main Street Market where dining options include down-home Southern cooking, sandwiches, salads, Chinese, Greek and Lebanese. This is also a great opportunity to pick up Louisiana souvenirs. Then, the loop will take us around Capitol Lake through Arsenal Park for a beautiful view of the current Governor’s Mansion which was built in 1963, when Jimmie Davis was Governor. Also included is a stop by the Old Arsenal Museum, which was built in 1838 and used by the U.S. military during the Mexican and Civil Wars.
Tour the Louisiana State Capitol building, standing proud as the nation’s tallest capitol building. Get a bird’s-eye view of the city and mighty Mississippi River from the 27th floor observation deck. Next, stroll across the intricateCapitol Gardens and tour the Capitol Park Museum, a Louisiana State Museum. Here you can step onto a simulated Mardi Gras float, discover the difference between Cajun and Creole, and lose yourself in multimedia presentations. For the art lover, your next stop is the LSU Museum of Art, located inside the Shaw Center for the Arts and featuring a diverse art collection. The last stop on the loop is Louisiana’s Old State Capitol building, the 160-year-old statehouse that has withstood war, fire, scandal, bitter debate, abandonment and the occasional fistfight.

Houmas House

DAY 8: Houmas House, LA

Arrival: 8:00 a.m. — Departure: 3:00 p.m.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens is so much more than just a tour of a grand antebellum estate. Experience the southern splendor of “The Sugar Palace” when you step into 16 rooms filled with period antiques and Louisiana artwork.

Complimentary Tour (No Hop-On Hop-Off Option): Disembark the American Queen and experience the magic of time gone by when you enter the grounds of historic Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. Your 4-hour stay will take you on a journey through a time when the Sugar Barons reigned supreme along the Great River Road. As you begin your walking tour of the grounds, you will be greeted with the sights and scents of 16 acres of lush gardens, cool fountains and moss-draped live oaks that stand witness to the extraordinary lives spent in this beautiful setting.
Circle the mansion to find the Turtle Bar nestled beside a garden path, where you will find a cool respite and an opportunity to try a Mint Julep, the famous bourbon cocktail that was first concocted at Houmas House. Take your drink with you while continuing your stroll among the formal gardens, where you may happen upon the kitchen crops from which the sous chefs harvest each evening in preparation for meal service inside the mansion. You will enjoy full access to every room of the mansion and photography is permitted throughout.
Finally, should you want to take a piece of Houmas House home with you, the 8,000-square-foot gift shop is filled with treasures to commemorate your visit.

New Orleans

DAY 9: Disembark in New Orleans, LA

Arrival: 8:00 a.m.

Tie up in New Orleans near historic Jackson Square and bid your steamboat adieu. But give in to the temptation to hang around and explore.

Premium Tour Options:

Premium Choice Tour #1 – The Big Easy City Tour – Disembarkation Day

Call me for more information about this exciting cruise down the Mississippi River at 919.708.8217.

#River Cruises,#Mississippi River,#Memphis,#Christmas

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Romantic Danube Waltz

Romantic Danube Waltz.

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Russia Explorer

Russia Explorer.

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