Monthly Archives: February 2014

Romantic Danube Waltz

Romantic Danube Waltz.

Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Leave a comment

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.

budapest parlaiment

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.

03vienna008

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

Austria_20-_20Durnstein

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

53465449

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

Day 7: Main-Danube Canal: Scenic cruising through this engineering marvel.6655171643_8896543004_o

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

Nuremberg Germany 1208954000 Nuremberg Germany1 1208954000

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

**Added bonus – 2 for 1 cruise  – 2 for 1 airfare**

Call for pricing at 919.708.8217

#river cruises, #vienna,#austria,#passau,#christmas markets

nurembergchristmasmarketopening8of7yup7_lkl Prague-Castle

Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

budapest parlaiment

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.

03vienna008

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

Austria_20-_20Durnstein

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

53465449

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

Day 7: Main-Danube Canal: Scenic cruising through this engineering marvel.6655171643_8896543004_o

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

Nuremberg Germany 1208954000 Nuremberg Germany1 1208954000

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

**Added bonus – 2 for 1 cruise  – 2 for 1 airfare**

Call for pricing at 919.708.8217

#river cruises, #vienna,#austria,#passau,#christmas markets

nurembergchristmasmarketopening8of7yup7_lkl Prague-Castle

Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Amazon River and Peru Adventure

AW_Cruises_Aria (1)Amazon Jungle and Peru Adventure

Join us as we embark on a journey to one of the world’s vastly unexplored regions, the mighty Amazon.  Our adventure begins in Peru where we visit Machu Picchu-the “Lost City of the Incas”, visit Cusco-the capital of the Inca Empire and enjoy a 3 night cruise on the Peruvian Amazon River.  Some of the highlights of the cruise will be taking naturalist-guided panga rides (small canoes) through the Amazon tributaries, swim with pink dolphins, and visit some native communities to see how they really live in the jungle.  We will venture deep into the Amazon jungle where we will see more species of birds than any other ecosystem, along with more than 4,000 species of butterflies, and much wildlife-including jaguars, monkeys, black caiman’s, anacondas.  In the river there are more than 2,000 species of fish, manatee, and Piranha.   Learn from Amazon Naturalist how Peru is one of only 12 countries that ranks as a biological megadiversity.

butterflies

Highlights and Sightseeing:

Cruise: Enjoy a 3 night cruise in an outside stateroom cruising the Amazon River aboard the Aria.  Pacaya Samiria Reserve Reserve-guided sightseeing each day with a local Naturalist.

Day 1 : Lima: Welcome to South America

peru_lima_sanfranmonastery

Day 2: Lima: Sightseeing with a Local Guide, visit San Francisco Monastery and Larco Herrara Museum; welcome dinner at Casa Garcia Alvarado.

download

Day 3: Lima-Cusco-Sacred Valley: fly to Cusco; visit Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, Awanakancha, and Picas; dinner and Peruvian Paso Horse Show.

colca horse el herraje,sofía malaga cáceres,autocolca,horseback riding,colca valley,colca canyon,thye colca specialist.

Day 4: Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu: visit Ollantaytambo and an Incan home, Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes; sightseeing of Machu Picchu with a local guide.

machupicchu2medwt31040

Day 5: Machu Picchu-Cusco: second included entranced to Machu Picchu; return train trip.Day 6: Cusco: sightseeing with a local guide, visit Santo Domingo Monastery and the Cathedral.

Train-ride-to-Machu-Pichu

Day 7: Cusco-Lima-Iquitos (Embarkation)-Cruising the Peruvian Amazon:  Board the Aria; welcome meeting and dinner.

p_ext_4 p_int_1

Day 8: Cruising the Peruvian Amazon: Naturalist-guided walks and panga rides in search of wildlife; nocturnal panga cruise.

 

Day 9: Cruising the Peruvian Amazon: Naturalist-guided walks and panga rides in search of wildlife; nocturnal panga cruise.

Day 10: Cruising the Peruvian Amazon: Naturalist-guided panga ride; native village visit, visit the Manatee Rescue Center, fly to Lima.

dinghy-panga-rides

Day 11: Lima: Our Amazon adventure comes to an end in Lima.

About your ship:  The 147 foot long Aria is a true luxury river cruise ship on the northern Amazon River in Peru.  This ship accommodates a maximum of 32 guests in sixteen oversized suites featuring floor to ceiling panoramic picture windows.  Cruise along the Amazon enjoying views of the vast rainforest full of wildlife and natural beauty from the comfort of your air-conditioned suite.

brazil-alligator-s Amazon-Rainforest-Animals

The Amazon is calling my name.  Call me at 919.708.8217 for information on this amazing adventure.

Added bonus:  Great discounts on 2014 sailings

#rivercruises, #Amazon River, #Peru, #Inca Empire, #Machu Picchu, #Lost City

Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Portugal & Spain’s River Of Gold – The Douro

douro - CopyPortugal & Spain’s Douro River

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

cruise-trip-tagus-river-lisbon-cacilheiro-monument2 - Copy

Day 1:

Lisbon
Arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport, where you will be transferred to the hotel.
Day 2:

Lisbon
FEATURED EXCURSION: Lisbon city tourStand on the banks of the Tejo River and take a deep breath. Now turn around and look at the city climbing the hills above you. This is where your adventure begins. Start with a guided tour to the iconic Belém Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monument to Portugal’s great explorers. Step inside the spectacular Manueline Baroque Jerónimos Monastery. Sample a traditional sweet, the pastéis de Belém, at a famouspasteleria (pastry shop), then see the hills of the Alfama district and Rossio plaza, with its wavy black-and-white paving and lively street life.(BB)
235px-Torre_Belém_April_2009-4a
Day 3:
Lisbon
Spend the day at your leisure, enjoying this breathtaking cosmopolitan city. (BB)
Day 4:

Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto
FEATURED EXCURSION: Coimbra tour with Joanina Library visit and family-style lunchTravel through the countryside to Porto. En route, you’ll stop in Portugal’s third-largest city, Coimbra, the birthplace of six of Portugal’s kings and
home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, Universidade de Coimbra. There you’ll see the university’s 18th-century library, the Biblioteca Joanina. It’s a magnificent place boasting frescoed ceilings, gilded archways, and elaborate carvings. From this hilltop center of learning you’ll head off to enjoy a typical Portuguese lunch at a local restaurant. (BB, L, D)
douro-valley
Day 5:

Porto, Bitetos
FEATURED EXCURSIONS:  Choice of Porto city tour or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tour, and wine cellars of Cais de GaiaBirthplace of Henry the Navigator (who launched Portugal’s voyages of exploration) and longtime hub of the Port wine trade, Porto combines  well-preserved historic buildings with cutting-edge architecture and a booming cultural revival. Your tour will take you to the 19th-century Palácio da Bolsa and then on to the cathedral and the bustling shopping street, Santa Catarina. Or, if you prefer, see Porto from a different perspective, starting with a climb to the top of Clérigos Tower. Visit the world’s most opulent bookstore, Livraria Lello; then see the sweeping Avenida dos Aliados followed by a tasty stop at a pastelaria. A scenic cable-car ride returns you to the riverfront, where you can walk to spectacular São Francisco Church. After lunch, you’ll visit one of the city’s famed Port cellars. In the evening, enjoy a Gala Dinner onboard your ship. (BB, L, GD)
i-FLThK2s-M
Day 6:

Régua, cruising the serene Douro River, Pinhão
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Douro Museum, Mateus Palace and Gardens, and exclusive dinner at Quinta da Avessada
palace_of_mateus_portugal
The Douro River winds through 100 miles of granite mountains, carving out a valley whose steep slopes hold terraces that were cut by hand into the rocky soil and planted with grapes centuries ago. Visit the Douro Museum to learn about the river and its wines. See, too, Mateus Palace, which has one of the most beautiful gardens in the country. In the evening, you’ll tour the family-owned Quinta da Avessada, which produces premium Moscatel. Stroll the vineyard and enjoy its views. Meet the owner and learn about the winemaking process.  Inside the winery’s old stone walls, partake in a rustic dinner featuring fine local wines and live traditional music. (BB, LD, D)
Day 7:

Pinhão, Vega de Terrón (Spain)
FEATURED EXCURSION:  Wine tasting at a local quinta
PicForNewsletterPortugalSept2006DouroRegionCrazyDrive
Pinhão is the center of Port winemaking. Today, you’ll take a winding road up to a quinta perched high in the hills to learn about and sample the country’s most celebrated beverage. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy breathtaking scenery while sailing through the remote Douro Valley toward Spain. (BB, L, D)
Day 8: Salamanca, Spain

FEATURED EXCURSION:  Full-day Salamanca tour with flamenco show
800px-Salamanca_Catedral
From Vega de Terrón on the Spanish border you’ll travel overland to Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage city. The architectural purity of this charming town has endured through centuries, and the sandstone buildings have gained an exquisite golden glow, giving the city its nickname, the “Golden City.”  Salamanca boasts monumental churches, a historic university, and a broad plaza where bullfights were once held
and where students now hang out. Walk under Plateresque (as Gothic architecture is known in Spain) arches and past ornately decorated masonry walls as you explore the university. Then enjoy a flamenco show. (BB, L, D)
Day 9:

Barca d’Alva (Castelo Rodrigo), Régua
FEATURED EXCURSION:  Castelo Rodrigo tour
22_08_2007_castelo-rodrigo-004
Visit the 12th-century walled village of Castelo Rodrigo, a captivating place with Medieval streets, stone-walled houses, and a remarkably distinctive fountain, Chafariz dos Pretos. (BB, L, D)
Day 10:

Porto (Guimarães)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Guimarães city tour or walking tour of the Ribeira district, the “Soul of Porto”Visit historic Guimarães. As Portugal’s first capital (back in the 12th century) and home to its first king, Don Afonso Henriques, Guimarães has been called the birthplace of the Portuguese nation. Dominated by Afonso Henriques’s grand castle, Guimarães was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a panoramic city tour, or, if you prefer, explore the UNESCO-designated Ribeira district on foot; here, the colorful heart of the old port city will enchant you with Medieval lanes and zigzagging stairways. (BB, L, D)
portugal porto
Day 11:

Depart Porto
Disembark the ship and transfer to Porto Airport for your flight home. (CB/BB)

Additional nights in Porto or Lisbon available.

ADDED SAVINGS:  Early booking discount of $300 per couple and $1500 discount per couple on airfare

Added Bonus:  Wine tasting and dinner – compliments of Cruise Like A VIP

#River cruises, #lisbon, #portugal, #spain, #salamanca, #wineries, #port wine

Give me a call to learn more about this fabulous cruise at 919.708.8217 or at www.facebook.com/cruiselikeavip
Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Leave a comment

Portugal & Spain’s Douro River

douro - CopyPortugal & Spain’s Douro River

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

cruise-trip-tagus-river-lisbon-cacilheiro-monument2 - Copy

Day 1:

Lisbon
Arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport, where you will be transferred to the hotel.
Day 2:

Lisbon
FEATURED EXCURSION: Lisbon city tourStand on the banks of the Tejo River and take a deep breath. Now turn around and look at the city climbing the hills above you. This is where your adventure begins. Start with a guided tour to the iconic Belém Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monument to Portugal’s great explorers. Step inside the spectacular Manueline Baroque Jerónimos Monastery. Sample a traditional sweet, the pastéis de Belém, at a famouspasteleria (pastry shop), then see the hills of the Alfama district and Rossio plaza, with its wavy black-and-white paving and lively street life.(BB)
235px-Torre_Belém_April_2009-4a
Day 3:
Lisbon
Spend the day at your leisure, enjoying this breathtaking cosmopolitan city. (BB)
Day 4:

Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto
FEATURED EXCURSION: Coimbra tour with Joanina Library visit and family-style lunchTravel through the countryside to Porto. En route, you’ll stop in Portugal’s third-largest city, Coimbra, the birthplace of six of Portugal’s kings and
home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, Universidade de Coimbra. There you’ll see the university’s 18th-century library, the Biblioteca Joanina. It’s a magnificent place boasting frescoed ceilings, gilded archways, and elaborate carvings. From this hilltop center of learning you’ll head off to enjoy a typical Portuguese lunch at a local restaurant. (BB, L, D)
douro-valley
Day 5:

Porto, Bitetos
FEATURED EXCURSIONS:  Choice of Porto city tour or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tour, and wine cellars of Cais de GaiaBirthplace of Henry the Navigator (who launched Portugal’s voyages of exploration) and longtime hub of the Port wine trade, Porto combines  well-preserved historic buildings with cutting-edge architecture and a booming cultural revival. Your tour will take you to the 19th-century Palácio da Bolsa and then on to the cathedral and the bustling shopping street, Santa Catarina. Or, if you prefer, see Porto from a different perspective, starting with a climb to the top of Clérigos Tower. Visit the world’s most opulent bookstore, Livraria Lello; then see the sweeping Avenida dos Aliados followed by a tasty stop at a pastelaria. A scenic cable-car ride returns you to the riverfront, where you can walk to spectacular São Francisco Church. After lunch, you’ll visit one of the city’s famed Port cellars. In the evening, enjoy a Gala Dinner onboard your ship. (BB, L, GD)
i-FLThK2s-M
Day 6:

Régua, cruising the serene Douro River, Pinhão
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Douro Museum, Mateus Palace and Gardens, and exclusive dinner at Quinta da Avessada
palace_of_mateus_portugal
The Douro River winds through 100 miles of granite mountains, carving out a valley whose steep slopes hold terraces that were cut by hand into the rocky soil and planted with grapes centuries ago. Visit the Douro Museum to learn about the river and its wines. See, too, Mateus Palace, which has one of the most beautiful gardens in the country. In the evening, you’ll tour the family-owned Quinta da Avessada, which produces premium Moscatel. Stroll the vineyard and enjoy its views. Meet the owner and learn about the winemaking process.  Inside the winery’s old stone walls, partake in a rustic dinner featuring fine local wines and live traditional music. (BB, LD, D)
Day 7:

Pinhão, Vega de Terrón (Spain)
FEATURED EXCURSION:  Wine tasting at a local quinta
PicForNewsletterPortugalSept2006DouroRegionCrazyDrive
Pinhão is the center of Port winemaking. Today, you’ll take a winding road up to a quinta perched high in the hills to learn about and sample the country’s most celebrated beverage. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy breathtaking scenery while sailing through the remote Douro Valley toward Spain. (BB, L, D)
Day 8: Salamanca, Spain

FEATURED EXCURSION:  Full-day Salamanca tour with flamenco show
800px-Salamanca_Catedral
From Vega de Terrón on the Spanish border you’ll travel overland to Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage city. The architectural purity of this charming town has endured through centuries, and the sandstone buildings have gained an exquisite golden glow, giving the city its nickname, the “Golden City.”  Salamanca boasts monumental churches, a historic university, and a broad plaza where bullfights were once held
and where students now hang out. Walk under Plateresque (as Gothic architecture is known in Spain) arches and past ornately decorated masonry walls as you explore the university. Then enjoy a flamenco show. (BB, L, D)
Day 9:

Barca d’Alva (Castelo Rodrigo), Régua
FEATURED EXCURSION:  Castelo Rodrigo tour
22_08_2007_castelo-rodrigo-004
Visit the 12th-century walled village of Castelo Rodrigo, a captivating place with Medieval streets, stone-walled houses, and a remarkably distinctive fountain, Chafariz dos Pretos. (BB, L, D)
Day 10:

Porto (Guimarães)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Guimarães city tour or walking tour of the Ribeira district, the “Soul of Porto”Visit historic Guimarães. As Portugal’s first capital (back in the 12th century) and home to its first king, Don Afonso Henriques, Guimarães has been called the birthplace of the Portuguese nation. Dominated by Afonso Henriques’s grand castle, Guimarães was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a panoramic city tour, or, if you prefer, explore the UNESCO-designated Ribeira district on foot; here, the colorful heart of the old port city will enchant you with Medieval lanes and zigzagging stairways. (BB, L, D)
portugal porto
Day 11:

Depart Porto
Disembark the ship and transfer to Porto Airport for your flight home. (CB/BB)

Additional nights in Porto or Lisbon available.

ADDED SAVINGS:  Early booking discount of $300 per couple and $1500 discount per couple on airfare

Added Bonus:  Wine tasting and dinner – compliments of Cruise Like A VIP

#River cruises, #lisbon, #portugal, #spain, #salamanca, #wineries, #port wine

Give me a call to learn more about this fabulous cruise at 919.708.8217 or at www.facebook.com/cruiselikeavip
Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment