Monthly Archives: March 2014

Chocolate Connoisseurs Cruise

ship_amabella_1Chocolate Connoisseurs Cruise

Join us this week for an amazing cruise on the Romantic Danube River.  Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards, and medieval castles, the Danube River has captivated musicians, artists, and poets throughout the centuries.  An added bonus on this cruise is Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate everywhere.  Not only do we have legendary destinations to visit, but we are educated about, see live cooking demonstrations, and eat lots of chocolate.  Now that sounds like something I could really “sink” my teeth into.  So all you chocolate lovers out there, put this cruise on your list of must do’s for next year.  Here are the added features of this exclusive chocolate cruise.

.Special Norman Love Confections Desserts

.Chocolate Mini-buffet Extravaganza

.Culinary Delights – Bites & Sights “Sachertorte & Schlumberger Cellar Tour”

.Educational Seminars on Chocolate

.Private Chocolate-making Demonstrations

.Decadent Chocolate Tastings

.Hosted by Norman Love-Chef, President & Founder of Norman Love Confections and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love

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The rest of this fabulous itinerary:

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Day 1.  Overnight flight to Prague, Czech Republic.

Day 2.  Arrive in Prague and check-in to your hotel. Balance of day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.

Day 3.  Prague -Morning Sightseeing tour visiting historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit 1,000 year old Prague Castle, walk over Charles Bridge to the Old Town Square.  Evening, optional “Folklore Dinner Show” provides an opportunity to learn about Czech music, dance and traditions.

Day 4. Prague – Day at leisure or take an optional excursion to Terezin, the infamous NAZI WWII concentration camp, now a memorial to those who perished. Or choose optional excursion to Lobkowicz Palace.

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Day 5. Prague-Regensburg, Germany-We leave Prague this morning with a stop in Regensburg for guided walking tour of one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  After lunch, we visit 1,200 year old Bavarian town of Vishofen and board our luxurious ship.  We have a private “Oktoberfest” celebration in Vishofen, with traditional beers and Bavarian folk music and dancing.

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Day 6. Vilshofen-Passau – Morning free to explore Vishofen’s beautiful old town before cruising to Passau.  We will have either a walking tour of this 2,000 year old city-home to St. Stephan’s Cathedral (home of the world’s largest pipe organs”, or a guided bike tour along the Inn River to Weinstein.

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Day 7. Linz-Austria-Gmunden – We have a choice of 3 different excursions in Linz- a visit to the historic town of Gmunden in the scenic Austrian Lake District-a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a visit to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov, a beautifully preserved medieval town, or an excursion to Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, where we will take a walking gour of the historic center made famous by the “Sound of Music.”

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Day 8. Melk-Krems – Guided tour will take us to Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries.  We cruise the beautiful Wachau valley to Krems.  We have a choice of two excursions in Krems.  First a walking tour of the city, or a guided bike tour from Krems to Durnstein and back.  We also will enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery.

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Day 9. Vienna- Morning city tour of Vienna where we see the famous Opera House, the Ringstrasse, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.  The afternoon we are free to stroll through the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  We can take an optional excursion to Schonbrunn Palace.  This evening we have the opportunity to enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert.

Vienna_Austria_2DSC_1356_bDay 10. Bratislava, Slovakia – Scenic morning cruise to Bratislava, then a walking tour that includes the Old TOwn Hall, Mrbach Palace and St. Martin’s Cathedral.  Or we can take a “communist” tour that includes such architectural landmarks as the Radio Building, Liberty Square and the Soviet War Memorial.  Remainder of day is free to explore on your own.

Day 11. Budapest, Hungary – Sightseeing tour of the historic Buda Castle, with offers splendid views of the river and twin cities of Buda and Pest.  We visit Fisherman’s Bastion, Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and Heroes’ Square.  Aftger dinner, our ship will sail a special “Illuminations Cruise” past the illuminated river front of Budapest.  This is a magnificent site to see.

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Day 12. We bid farewell to Budapest and say goodbye to our new friends and fellow “Chocoholics.”

Remember:  We do all this and have CHOCOLATES.
Hope you can join us on the one of a kind cruise.

Added bonus:   Early Booking Discount on cruise plus $100 shipboard credit.96ZwLoTNQ5Z8Zk9IDYWXBSZOJQ4

#Rivercruises

5_of_15_-_Belvedere_Palace,_Vienna_-_AUSTRIA  Call me for details on this fabulous Chocolate Lovers Cruise at 919.708.8217

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Chocolate Connoisseurs Cruise

Chocolate Connoisseurs Cruise.

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MAGNIFICENT MEKONG

MAGNIFICENT MEKONG.

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TULIPS AND WINDMILLS RIVER CRUISE

TULIPS AND WINDMILLS RIVER CRUISE.

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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

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

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Day 3: Ijsselmeer Scenic cruising along Holland’s waterways

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

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

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

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

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Day 5: Antwerp-Evening at leisure

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

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

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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

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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 on-board 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 

Additional nights in Amsterdam available.

Call for details at 919.708.8217       

#river cruises.

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CLASSIC CHRISTMAS MARKETS

CLASSIC CHRISTMAS MARKETS.

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CLASSIC CHRISTMAS MARKETS

030_strasbourgCLASSIC CHRISTMAS MARKETS

This Classic Christmas Markets trip will surely get you into the holiday spirit.  We will visit the traditional Christmas markets and historic towns of Central Europe.  On this journey, we will try Gluhwein (hot mulled wine), shop for one of a kind Christmas ornaments, toys, and handicrafts, visit picturesque villages and towns, and sample regional foods, beer, and wines. This is truly a  one-of-a kind tour.  Hope you can join me as we go on a unique Christmas Shopping experience.  Check out this amazing itinerary and see for yourself.  Get those shopping lists together.  This is my Christmas present to me!

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HIGHLIGHTS:  Black Forest, Strasbourg, Franconia Region, Wurzburg, Nuremberg, Neuschwanstein Castle, Oberammergau Diner’s Choice, Munich, Innsbruck, Christmas Markets.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Overnight flight to Zurich, Switzerland where our Christmas tour begins.

Day 2: Black Forest, Germany – Tour Begins

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Arrive into Zurich, Switzerland and then travel through the scenic countryside of Germany to the heart of the Black Forest. Here we enjoy the peacefulness of the surrounding forested mountains, stroll the village lanes to the local church or shop for authentic handicrafts and wood carvings. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Black Forest dinner.
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DINNER
HIGH 51 LOW 31Day 3: Black Forest – Strasbourg, France – Black Forest

Travel the picturesque valleys of the Black Forest and the vineyard fields of the Alsace to the provincial capital of Strasbourg, France where centuries of Roman, French, German and Alsatian influences blend together to lend this city its unique character. Enjoy a guided tour of the old quarter, “Petite France,” featuring the Cathedral of Notre Dame, considered one of the noblest achievements of Western architecture. Time is available to explore the Christmas markets before returning to Germany.
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  • BREAKFAST
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Day 4: Black Forest – Wurzburg – Franconia

Depart the Black Forest for the Franconia region of Germany. Our destination is Wurzburg where a guide will lead a leisurely paced walking tour of the city. This ancient wine town is rich in historic sites, including the magnificent 18th-century residence of the prince-bishops, boasting the largest ceiling fresco in the world, and the ornate Alte Mainbrucke, the oldest bridge on the River Main. We will have time to shop in the lively Christmas market.
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BREAKFAST & DINNER 

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Day 5: Franconia – Nuremberg – Franconia

Start our day with a city tour of historic Nuremberg featuring the old town, the 900-year-old ramparts that surround the city, the Imperial Castle, and the Justice Palace, where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946. Our city tour concludes with a visit to Nuremberg’s Christmas Market, one of the oldest and most famous markets in Germany that dates back to 1628. Here you can spend the day sipping Gluhwein and sampling roast sausages. Over 200 wooden stalls have given the Christmas market its name – “Little Town from Wood.” Here you can find items like Nuremberg spicy gingerbread, fruit loaves, bakery goods and sweets, Christmas tree angels and toys.
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BREAKFAST

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Day 6:Franconia – Rothenberg – Neuschwanstein Castle – Oberammergau

Begin our day with a stop in lovely Rothenberg, one of the most well-preserved medieval walled towns in all of Germany. After some free time in town, we continue on to Oberammergau. En route, we make a picture stop at Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairy tale retreat of Ludwig II of Bavaria. Oberammergau is the perfect picture of a Bavarian Alpine village, offering the opportunity to glimpse into the past while experiencing the living history of the region. It is the ideal place to shop for cuckoo clocks, nutcrackers and Hummel figurines. This evening, it’s Diner’s Choice…a tour exclusive. Dinner is included and you will choose the perfect spot from  a “menu” of Oberammergau’s local restaurants.
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 BREAKFAST & DINNER

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Day 7: Oberammergau – Innsbruck, Austria – Oberammergau

Traverse the Bavarian landscape to the Tyrolean town of Innsbruck, nestled in the heart of the mountains. A local guide provides a tour highlighting the city’s history, culture and popular attractions including Maria Theresienstrasse, the Hofburg and the “Golden Roof.” The remainder of the day is at leisure to shop in the many specialty stores and the cozy Christmas market.
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 BREAKFAST

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Day 8: Oberammergau – Munich – Oberammergau

This morning, travel to Munich and enjoy a panoramic tour visiting the Marienplatz, the Glockenspiel and Olympic Park. Enjoy leisure time to independently explore Munich’s historic area and the Christmas market. Later,we return to Oberammergau where we will have time to stroll about the village, perhaps shopping for the intricate wood-crafts the town is known for.
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BREAKFAST & DINNER
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Day 9:

Oberammergau – Tour Ends with breakfast. We are taken to the airport with suitcases full of German gifts and memories that will be a lifetime gift.

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BREAKFAST

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Join us December 4-12 for an exciting winter adventure.  

This tour includes: 7 nights lodging, 11 meals (7 breakfasts,4 dinners) Round trip airfare, Round trip transfers, Vacation protection, Sedan service round trip so you don’t even have to drive to the airport.

Call for details about your rates with departure airport.  919.708.8217

Rates from RDU NC: $3234 per person.

**Enjoy lunch in Strasbourg with my compliments. 

#German christmas markets, #Strasbourg,# Innsbruck, #Neuschwanstein Castle, #Oberammergau, #Black Forest, #Nuremberg.

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CRUISING HAWAII’S PARADISE

Hawaii - Copy - CopyCRUISING HAWAII’S PARADISE

This week is a departure from my normal river cruises.  I have had many requests for a Hawaiian vacation, so I am showcasing a great cruise/tour for my guests.  Our island paradise vacation begins when we arrive in Honolulu where we are greeted in the traditional Polynesian way – with a warm aloha and a LEI of fresh flowers.  We are then taken to the Sheraton Waikiki to enjoy 3 days of paradise.  A tour of PEARL Harbor’s famous Battleship Row is included.  A visit to the USS Arizona and the impressive MEMORIAL dedicated to the 1,102 men still entombed is the highlight of your Honolulu stay.  A 7 night cruise will take you to beautiful Maui – (the Valley Island) for 2 days, Kauai – (the Garden Island) for 2 days, Hilo – island to the world’s most continuously active volcano for 1 day, and Kona – home to coffee plantations for 1 day.  I selected this cruise/tour for my guests because I have been on this cruise and it had a great itinerary.  With the three additional days in Oahu,  this is a great value for my guests.  ALOHA!

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Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Honolulu, Hawaii. – Upon arrival you are greeted by a local host and taken to the Sheraton Waikiki for 3 nights.  The remainder of the day is at leisure to adjust to the time change and rest from your journey.

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Day 2: Honolulu-Excursion to Pearl Harbor. Your excursions today are included in the package price which include a tour of Pearl Harbor’s battleship Row, the USS Arizona Memorial, Punchbowl National Cemetery, Chinatown, Hawaii State Capitol, royal “Iolani Palace, and the statue of Kamehameha the Great.  Enjoy an included dinner at the hotel.

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Day 3: Honolulu:  You have a free day to relax, swim, enjoy the beach, or take an optional excursion to the Polynesian Cultural Center for authentic island arts, crafts, history, music, a dinner buffet and spectacular Polynesian show.  An additional option is a sunset cruise with dinner cruising along the Waikiki coastline and Diamond Head.

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Day 4:  Honolulu:Today you have a free day before boarding your ship-the Pride of America.  Ship departs at 7 pm – Anchors aweigh!

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Day 5: Maui: The valley island hs been voted the best island in the world.  This tropical paradise has it all, hundreds of spectacular beaches, cascading waterfalls, jungles bursting with color and birds.  You have two days to explore Maui.

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Day 6: Maui: Another day in Maui where you may want to consider an excursion to view Haleakala Crater at sunrise.  The views are stunning.

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Day 7: Hilo: Our cruise takes to the Big Island where we begin our stay in Hilo. I recommend a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls.  A drive along the 11-mile Crater Rim will give you a unique view of this volcanic landscape.

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Day 8: Kona: Discover the historic city of Kona along Hawaii’s beautiful sun-drenched Gold Coast.  The Gold Coast takes you past ancient temples, fields of coffee and macadamia nuts, and breathtaking coastal scenery.  Kona is where you will buy your coffee and macadamia nut souvenirs.  I recommend bringing a large carry-on, you will need it.

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Day 9: Kauai: The “Garden Isle” is a feast of tropical forest, cascading waterfalls, golden-sand beaches, majestic mountains, and almost-daily rainbows.  One of the must see attractions in Kauai is Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), and a ride up the Wailua River to the famed Fern Grotto.

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Day 10: Kauai: Free day to enjoy the beaches or shop for those last minute souvenirs. As we leave Kauai, our cruise sails past the majestic Na Pali Coastline.  If you watched the Jurassic Park movies, you will recognize some of the scenery, they were filmed in the Na Pali valley.  This is the most magnificent scenery you will see in Kauai.

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Day 11: We arrive back in Honolulu for our return visit back home with many memories of a fabulous vacation experience.

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Call me for details and dates for this Hawaiian Paradise cruise/tour.

919.708.8217 or facebook/cruiselikeavip

#Hawaii, Luau, Hula, USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Waimea Canyon, Fern Grotto

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