Monthly Archives: June 2014

Romantic Danube River Cruise

Romantic Danube River Cruise.

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Romantic Danube River Cruise

WeltenburgAbbey_240x180_tcm46-11680The Romantic Danube

On this 8-day journey, we visit the grand cities and quaint villages along the famous Danube River.  We will 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.  We will learn about local customs and legends, and see for ourselves 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 available.

Day 1: Nuremberg:  Welcome to Bavaria’s second largest city.  We transfer from the airport to our ship.  After boarding, we have free time to explore the city on our own-or join a “welcome walk” to stretch our legs and  start getting oriented.

pegnitz-nurnberg kaiserburg-castle-nuremberg

Day 2: Nuremberg & Main-Danube Canal: Our morning tour of Nuremberg features the former Nazi parade grounds and the Palace of Justice, historic home of the Nuremberg Trials.  We will have a brief stop at the Court House before walking from the imperial castle grounds past the Albrecht Durer House to the Main Market Square in the Old Town area enclosed by ancient city walls.

 

After lunch aboard, we participate in lively and entertaining discussions about the European Union as we sail through a number of locks that comprise the Main-Danube Canal.  The canal, an engineering marvel stretching 106 miles from Bamberg on the Main River to Kelheim on the Danube, enables river travel from the North Sea to the Black Sea.

Day 3: Kelheim & Regensburg: This morning, we meet our guide dockside for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg, considered one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities.  We see one of the largest groupings of 13th and 4th century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps.  We visit Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral with plenty of time to stroll the streets and shop.

5715377625_10cf0ab48c_b regensburg

Day 4: Passau: We arrive early in Passau to take a guided walk through the Old Town.  We see the Oberhaus Fortress and St. Stephens’ Cathedral where we will be treated to a special organ concert.  The rest of the day is free to explore Passau.

The Three Rivers, Passau 14885003_S 3886765

Day 5: Melk & Vienna: We start our day with a guided tour of the Benedictine abbey at Melk.  Then an afternoon cruise through the scenic Wachau Valley.  We will be joining a workshop about Viennese coffee and apple strudel.  We can attend an evening concert at the Vienna Opera House in this “City of Waltzes.”

melk 332_Wachau_Valley__Austria

Day 6: Vienna: We start our day with a half day city tour of Vienna.  An optional visit to Schonbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburgs is highly recommended.

Vienna 1

Day 7: Budapest: Hungary’s vibrant capital is divided by the Danube River.  We take a panoramic city tour through the modern Pest side of the city, then cross the bridge into Buda’s Castle District.  We will have plenty of time to explore Budapest on our own after the tours.

budapest parlaiment

Day 8: Budapest: Our Romantic Danube River cruise ends today as we depart for the airport with our bags full of souvenirs and our hearts full of wonderful memories.

We can extend our stay in either Budapest or Prague, Czech Republic for a few days.

**2 for 1 cruise and 2 for 1 airfare available for this cruise (limited time only)

Call today for details at 919.708.8217

 

 

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Mexico’s Sea of Cortez

Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

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Elegant Elbe River Cruise

Elegant Elbe River Cruise.

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Elegant Elbe River Cruise

la-trb-viking-12-new-vessels-2015-river-cruises-20140423Elegant Elbe

As it flows from the Czech Republic through Germany’s northeast region, the Elbe River provides a wealth of aesthetic pleasures. Rococo palaces, charming medieval towns, towering cliffs, lush countryside and the stunning scenery of Saxon Switzerland are just a few of the wonders we will find on this cruise.

Here’s this week’s itinerary traveling from Berlin to Prague on this 10 day excursion with nine guided tours and visiting 2 countries- Germany and the Czech Republic.  Join me on this amazing adventure this week.

DAY 1 | BERLIN, GERMANY

Arrive at the Berlin airport, then transfer to your hotel.  After check-in, we have free time to get acquainted with the city, or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented.

Potsdam Magdeburg Sanssouci Palace, Germany

DAY 2 | POTSDAM & MAGDEBURG, GERMAN

After breakfast, travel to Potsdam. Tour either Sanssouci Palace, a perfect example of German rococo architecture, or the nearby New Chambers. Both are built by Prussian king Frederick the Great in the 18th century. Have lunch on your own, then transfer to Magdeburg to embark your ship, where dinner is served as we depart. (B, D)

UNESCO

Dessau Worlitz, Germany

DAY 3 | DESSAU, GERMANY

Arrive this morning in Dessau and take a journey to Wörlitz Park, Germany’s first landscaped park with English-style gardens. Tour inside Wörlitz Castle, fashioned after an English country home, and stroll the grounds. Return to the ship for a lunchtime departure and scenic afternoon cruising; enjoy a traditional German dinner as we sail into Wittenberg. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Wittenberg & Torgau Martin Luther, Germany

DAY 4 | WITTENBERG & TORGAU, GERMANY

After breakfast, follow in Martin Luther’s footsteps to view many of Wittenberg’s historic landmarks. Tour inside Luther’s House and St. Marien’s Church, where he preached. See the Castle Church where Luther posted his 95 Theses; then enjoy free time. Return to your ship and for our lunchtime departure we cruise along a very pretty stretch of the Elbe.

After dinner aboard, arrive in Torgau with its wonderful Renaissance houses. Join your Program Director for an evening stroll to see fortified Hartenfels Castle, Market Square and the riverside monument that commemorates the day in 1945 when Russian and American troops shook hands. We depart at midnight. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Meissen Meissenware, Germany

DAY 5 | MEISSEN, GERMANY

Today, cruise the Elbe and arrive in Meissen after lunch. Then stop in at the Meissenware factory, producers of fine porcelain since the early 1700s. Discover how this trademarked porcelain is created by hand, then tour the museum. Proceed to Castle Hill for a walking tour through the Old Town. Return aboard for dinner and a short cruise to an evening arrival in Dresden. (B, L, D)

Dresden Opera House, Germany

DAY 6 | DRESDEN, GERMANY

Embark on a tour of Dresden, nicknamed “Florence on the Elbe.” Drive through the 19th-century residential area to the Dresden Castle complex; enter the Green Vault to see a comprehensive collection of the Saxon monarchs’ crown jewels. Continue on foot to see Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) with its distinctive bell-shaped dome, which survived the World War II bombings but collapsed the following day and was later rebuilt.

Enjoy some free time to explore more of Dresden, or join one of our Viking master chefs on a shopping trip to the local farmers’ market. You also have the opportunity to see some local arts and crafts in the afternoon. Dinner is served aboard, then feel free to enjoy Dresden’s many charms and attractions as we remain docked until early morning. (B, L, D)

Saxon Switzerland

DAY 7 | SAXON SWITZERLAND, GERMANY

This morning, cruise through the magnificent, soaring rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region, then dock at the spa town of Bad Schandau. From here we make our way to the famous rock tower known as the Bastei (bastion), formed by water a million years ago, to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Elbe. Return aboard for dinner and evening cruising. (B, L, D)

Litomerice, Czech Republic

DAY 8 | LITOMERICE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Arrive after lunch in Litomerice, one of the prettiest towns in the Czech Republic. See St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Jesuit Church, historic Market Square and many residential buildings from the baroque, Renaissance and Gothic periods. The tour ends with a tasting of Bohemian beers. This evening, join your ship’s Captain for a festive onboard dinner. (B, L, D)

Melnik & Prague Hradcany Castle, Czech Republic

DAY 9 | MELNIK & PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Awaken in Melnik; after breakfast, disembark for transfer to Prague. Upon arrival, you tour Prague, the “City of a Hundred Spires.” After a guided walk through Old Town, take some free time to explore on your own. Then ride to Hradcany Castle for a tour of its interior. Return to the hotel for check-in and dinner on your own. (B)

UNESCO

Prague, Czech Republic

DAY 10 | PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Prague and discover more of this celebrated city. (B)  I will be extending my stay in Prague to explore more of this fascinating city.

Enjoy your cruise on the Elbe River this week.  Thank you.

**Added Bonus***

2 for 1 airfare and 2 for 1 cruise.  Limited time offer.

Call me today for details – 919.708.8217

berlin

Brandenburg Gate.  We can buy a piece of the Berlin Wall. That’s what I call a real souvenir.

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PARIS AND THE HEART OF NORMANDY

PARIS AND THE HEART OF NORMANDY.

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PARIS AND THE HEART OF NORMANDY

paris_ship_240x180_tcm46-11646PARIS AND THE HEART OF NORMANDY

Welcome to Paris and the Heart of Normandy cruise.  We begin our journey through northern France in Paris, the “City of Light,” where we will embark on our Seine River cruise.  We will be visiting the village of Giverny, where Monet lived for 43 years. We explore Honfleur, a charming French harbor town made famous from artist’s paintings.  We visit Rouen, home of Joan of Arc, the historic capital of Normandy, followed by an unforgettable excursion to the famous Normandy beaches. By the way, June 6, 2014 is the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.   We visit the charming town of Les Andelys home of the impressive Chateau Gaillard before we end our cruise back in Paris.  If you are ready for a slower pace cruise with no crowds, no worries, no hustle and bustle, with included guided sightseeing, excursions and complimentary beverage service, then this cruise will be your ideal dream vacation.  France and history are calling!

Highlight:  Normandy’s Historic Beaches

normandy

 

We will see World War II landmarks and Omaha Beach. Spend time at the Arromanches Debarkment Museum and pay our respects at the American Military Cemetery.  View Gold, Juno and Courseulles sur Mer Beaches.  As 2014 is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, World War II history lovers will enjoy this perfect time to visit the Normandy Beaches.

Itinerary: 7 night cruise

Day 1: Arrive in Paris and board our river cruise ship.

Day 2: Paris: Panoramic city tour including landmarks along the Seine, a UNESCO Site, and free time to visit the Eiffel Tower or Louvre.

Day 3: Giverny: Monet Foundation excursion touring the home and gardens of Claude Monet.

Day 3: Vernon: Free time to stroll this provincial town.

Day 4: Seine River: Scenic cruising through France’s Normandy region.

Day 4: Rouen: Walking tour through medieval city including Joan of Arc’s Market Square & free time to enjoy the city.

NormandyBeachesCrossesWithTrees_240x180_tcm46-11653memorial

Day 5: Rouen: All day Normandy Beaches excursion and American Military Cemetery.

Day 6: Les Andelys: Guided walk to Chateau Gaillard.

Chateau-Gaillard-1308343906

Day 6: Scenic cruising through Northern France.

Day 6: Conflans: Evening at leisure for a riverside walk.

Day 7: Conflans: Guided city walk or optional Palace of Versailles tour.  I highly recommend a visit to Versailles.

Day 7: Paris: Evening at leisure, perhaps take a city cruise on the Seine.

Day 8: Our cruise ends.

Day 9-10-11: Optional: Paris extension for 3 nights to enjoy the Louvre, Notre Dame, enjoy an evening at the Moulin Rouge. and free time to be a Parisian for a few days.

eiffel-tower-day

 

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 on-board dinner and lunch service.

Visit 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Culture Curriculum: Taste French cheeses, learn how to create French pastries, attend lectures on Joan of Arc & French Impressionists, learn to speak a little French, visit local markets.

Free wi-fi connection.#Rivercruises

Call me at 919.708.8217 for exciting details about this historical cruise as you re-live the events of 1944 at the Normandy Beaches.

 

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