Monthly Archives: May 2014

Russia Explorer

350px-St._Basil2RUSSIA EXPLORER This fascinating 13-day itinerary includes several days in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia before embarking on an 8 day cruise visiting towns that only a river cruise can provide.  You will see opulent palaces, discover fortified monasteries and visit beautiful cathedrals.  It is an unforgettable way to experience the history and culture of this unique and mysterious country. Itinerary:  St. Petersburg to Moscow – 13 Days/11 Guided Tours

Day 1: St. Petersburg – Arrive in St. Petersburg for 3 nights.  Today you have free time to explore the city

Day 2: St. Petersburg – Guided Hermitage Museum tour, afternoon at leisure; evening ballet or opera performance day2_performance_240x180_tcm70-31705

Day 3: St. Petersburg – Pushkin excursion featuring Catherine’s Palace, city tour, optional Russian folkloric performance catherine-palace

Day 4: St. Petersburg – Embark ship; day at leisure or optional Peterhof Palace tour or scenic canal city cruise with a home-hosted visit to a Kommunalka 350px-PeterhofGrandCascade

Day 5: Svir River – Scenic cruising along the “Blue Route”

KirovUglich_SML_tcm70-17772

Day 5: Mandrogy – Free time to explore museum village

Day 6: Kizhi Island – Walking tour of Open Air Museum a-rare-sunny-day-on-the

Day 7: Volga-Baltic Waterway – Scenic cruising along rivers, lakes & canals Day 7: Kuzino – Kirillo- Belozersky Monastery tour

Day 8: Yaroslavl – Tour of city center, a UNESCO Site, plus Church of St. Elijah the Prophet churches-of-st-petersburg

Day 9: Uglich – Guided walk with Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood & home-hosted visit Day 10: Moscow Canal – Scenic cruising

Day 10: Moscow – Panoramic city tour; folkloric performance ef3d341b7e455da2720ba780a5e63ced

Day 11: Moscow – Disembark ship; hotel check-in.  Full day at leisure or optional tours to Sergiev Posad, the Tretyakov Gallery

Day 12: Moscow – Guided Kremlin tour; free time

Day 13: Moscow – Time to bid Russia farewell. St.-Basils-Cathedral-2-Moscow-flickr-verygreen

Included: 8-day cruise with river-view stateroom 3 nights in St. Petersburg, 2 nights in Moscow, 11 guided tours with audio headset Most meals-12 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners, including hotel breakfasts. Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service.Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Culture Curriculum: Enjoy onshore music and dance performances; learn a little Russian; listen to lectures about Romanov Czars, the Soviet Union & current affairs; attend a Russian cooking workshop; participate in Russian tea time

EXTRA BONUS: Special 2-for-1 cruise and land and up to 2-for-1 on all-inclusive air  (limited time offer)  #rivercruises, #russia

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Russia Explorer

350px-St._Basil2RUSSIA EXPLORER This fascinating 13-day itinerary includes several days in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia before embarking on an 8 day cruise visiting towns that only a river cruise can provide.  You will see opulent palaces, discover fortified monasteries and visit beautiful cathedrals.  It is an unforgettable way to experience the history and culture of this unique and mysterious country. Itinerary:  St. Petersburg to Moscow – 13 Days/11 Guided Tours Day 1: St. Petersburg – Arrive in St. Petersburg for 3 nights.  Today you have free time to explore the city Day 2: St. Petersburg – Guided Hermitage Museum tour, afternoon at leisure; evening ballet or opera performance day2_performance_240x180_tcm70-31705 Day 3: St. Petersburg – Pushkin excursion featuring Catherine’s Palace, city tour, optional Russian folkloric performance catherine-palace Day 4: St. Petersburg – Embark ship; day at leisure or optional Peterhof Palace tour or scenic canal city cruise with a home-hosted visit to a Kommunalka 350px-PeterhofGrandCascade Day 5: Svir River – Scenic cruising along the “Blue Route” KirovUglich_SML_tcm70-17772 Day 5: Mandrogy – Free time to explore museum village Day 6: Kizhi Island – Walking tour of Open Air Museum a-rare-sunny-day-on-the Day 7: Volga-Baltic Waterway – Scenic cruising along rivers, lakes & canals Day 7: Kuzino – Kirillo- Belozersky Monastery tour Day 8: Yaroslavl – Tour of city center, a UNESCO Site, plus Church of St. Elijah the Prophet churches-of-st-petersburg Day 9: Uglich – Guided walk with Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood & home-hosted visit Day 10: Moscow Canal – Scenic cruising Day 10: Moscow – Panoramic city tour; folkloric performance ef3d341b7e455da2720ba780a5e63ced Day 11: Moscow – Disembark ship; hotel check-in.  Full day at leisure or optional tours to Sergiev Posad, the Tretyakov Gallery Day 12: Moscow – Guided Kremlin tour; free time Day 13: Moscow – Time to bid Russia farewell. St.-Basils-Cathedral-2-Moscow-flickr-verygreen

до свидания
do svidaniya

Included: 8-day cruise with river-view stateroom 3 nights in St. Petersburg: Hotel Angleterre, 2 nights in Moscow: Radisson Royal 11 guided tours with audio headset Most meals-12 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners, including hotel breakfasts Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Culture Curriculum: Enjoy onshore music and dance performances; learn a little Russian; listen to lectures about Romanov Czars, the Soviet Union & current affairs; attend a Russian cooking workshop; participate in Russian tea time EXTRA BONUS: Special 2-for-1 cruise and land and up to 2-for-1 on all-inclusive air  (limited time offer)  #rivercruises, #russia

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Wine Cruise of Burgundy and Provence

Wine Cruise of Burgundy and Provence.

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Wine Cruise of Burgundy and Provence

french countryside - Copy  Wine Cruise of Burgundy and Provence

Welcome to this weeks wine cruise.  We are showcasing a Wine Appreciation Cruise of Burgundy and Provence.  On this cruise we will be visiting all the major wine regions on the Saone and Rhone Rivers of France.  Your palate will applaud as this enriching adventure teaches you what to look for in a good wine.  A distinguished wine authority will teach us the ropes as we visit a wine village and attend tastings to test our new-found talent.  A remarkable journey that starts in Chalon-sur-Saone and takes us through the Burgundy wine regions.  To Provence where we will admire slopes covered with lavender, olives, vineyards, and sunflowers.  The Provence region not only has great scenic beauty, but a wealth of culture and history as well.  Our journey ends on the Cote d’Azur, France where we have 3 optional overnight stays to enjoy the French Riviera.  This is another one of my favorite cruises.

Check out this amazing itinerary:

DAY 1 | CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE, FRANCE

Fly to Lyon. Transfer from the airport to our ship docked in Chalon-sur-Saône.  After boarding, take free time to explore this quaint town, or join a “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented. (D)

DAY 2 | BEAUNE, FRANCE

After breakfast, take a scenic drive along France’s Burgundy wine route through Pommard, Volnay and Meursault. Arrive in Beaune, wine capital of Burgundy, for a guided tour of beautiful Hôtel Dieu, founded as a hospice in 1443. Learn about local viticulture and enjoy a wine tasting at one of Beaune’s famous cellars. Return to the ship for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. As always, our Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or, take an optional excursion to the picturesque Burgundy town of Cluny. Return aboard for dinner. (B, L, D)

DAY 3 | LYON, FRANCE

After early morning cruising through the picturesque countryside, arrive in Lyon during breakfast and take a morning tour of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Then take a walking tour through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), with free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world famous. Dinner served aboard. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

DAY 4 | LYON & VIENNE, FRANCE

The morning is free to further explore this remarkable 2,000-year-old city in the heart of France. Depart just before lunchtime. This afternoon, take a walking tour of Vienne, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. Visit the Temple of Augustus & Livia, the Roman amphitheater and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice; then spend some time discovering more of this charming riverside town on your own. Dine aboard and depart this evening. (B, L, D)

DAY 5 | TOURNON & VIVIERS, FRANCE

Awaken in Tournon. During a guided tour of the area, learn about the region’s winemaking traditions and taste some famous regional red wines. Then visit the Musée de Tain l’Hermitage located in the oldest house in the region. Lunch aboard and cruise through the afternoon; arrive after dinner in Viviers, a quaint town in a mountainous setting.  We join our Program Director for an evening stroll through the Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Enjoy free time before retiring for the evening. (B, L, D)

DAY 6 | ARLES, FRANCE

Arrive during breakfast and meet our guide for a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and the striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Return aboard for lunch, followed by afternoon free time to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. Dinner is served as we depart. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

DAY 7 | AVIGNON, FRANCE

This morning, we set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed “City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, stop at the picturesque Pont d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture which served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner served aboard. Our ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

DAY 8 | AVIGNON, FRANCE

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for our return flight.* Or, extend your time in France with 3 nights in the French Riviera. (B)  I will be staying over to visit Monaco and Monte Carlo.

The following meals are included: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner

BONUS:  Early booking discount: 2 for 1 cruise and discounted airfare.  Limited time offer. Added bonus:  Private Vineyard Visit and Wine Tasting with my compliments.

#river cruises, Avignon, Burgundy, Provence, Lavender, Vineyards, French Riviera

english-lavender-field-with-tree-at-sunset-valensole-valensole-plateau-alpes-de-haute-provence-provence-alpes-cote-d-azur-provence-france-martin-ruegner - Copy - CopyMonte-Carlo-Monaco-300x225

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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.  I will be taking this cruise July 10, 2015 if you would like to join me.

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.

2644023246_2d1a5c5cc4 - Copy

Day 2 –  Kinderdijk:  Tour Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO Site.

imagesCAOXMU0E

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.

rhine 11

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.

Heidelberg-castle

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.

france-strasbourg-30

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.

black-forest

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.

lucerne_w000

Included:

8 day cruise with french balcony 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 on board 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, #Germany, #France, #Amsterdam

Free wi-fi connection

**ADDED BONUS**  EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT

2-for-1 cruise prices, discounted airfare.  Limited time offer.

Call 919.708.8217 for details.pilatus-12

#river cruises

 

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

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.  I will be taking this cruise July 10, 2015 if you would like to join me.

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.

2644023246_2d1a5c5cc4 - Copy

Day 2 –  Kinderdijk:  Tour Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO Site.

imagesCAOXMU0E

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.

rhine 11

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.

Heidelberg-castle

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.

france-strasbourg-30

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.

black-forest

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.

lucerne_w000

Included:

8 day cruise with french balcony 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 on board 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, #Germany, #France, #Amsterdam

Free wi-fi connection

**ADDED BONUS**  EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT

2-for-1 cruise prices, discounted airfare.  Limited time offer.

Call 919.708.8217 for details.pilatus-12

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Windmills, Vineyards, and Paris

Windmills, Vineyards, and Paris.

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Windmills, Vineyards, and Paris

Scenery_Rhone_Lyon_FranceWindmills, Vineyards, and Paris

Experience France, Luxembourg, Germany, and Holland on this fantastic river cruise vacation. Your adventure starts with two overnights and guided sightseeing in Paris, the incomparable “City of Light.” Take the high-speed train from Paris to Metz, then travel to Remich, Luxembourg, to board your river vessel. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Trier, the oldest city in Germany, and Cologne, the capital of the Rhineland. Cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of river—and pass the legendary Lorelei rock. Visit a local wine cellar in Bernkastel, Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, and Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in the pretty wine village of Rüdesheim.  We will conclude our vacation with a visit of a windmill near the little fishing village of Volendam, and a canal cruise in Amsterdam, and time to explore on your own.

Itinerary:
Days 1-2 Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2

eiffel-tower-paris-night-640x480

Day 3 Paris–Metz–Remich (Embarkation): travel by high-speed train from Paris to Metz; by motorcoach from Metz to Remich; onboard welcome reception
Day 4 Trier: choice of guided city sightseeing or “Roman Trier” sightseeing, see the Porta Nigra
Day 5 Bernkastel: guided walk, local marketplace; visit a wine cellar
Day 6 Cochem: guided walk, visit Reichsburg Castle

Reichsburg Castle
Day 7 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge
Day 8Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk

images
Day 9 Volendam–Amsterdam: visit a windmill in Volendam; canal cruise in Amsterdam

amsterdam-canals
Day 10 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

windmill2

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
Attend a wine tasting, and savor a delectable dinner of regional specialties prepared by a local chef.

#River Cruises, #Holland, #Paris, #Germany

Added Bonus: 2 for 1 Cruise and Special Discounts on Airfare – Limited time only

 

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