Monthly Archives: December 2014

Romantic Paris and Southern France

FreyaImage-600x398_tcm43-21108  Romantic Paris and Southern France

This week we start our adventure in the “City of Love” Paris.  We will be enjoying all the sights of Paris for 3 nights before embarking on our Southern France cruise.  We sail along France’s scenic Saône and Rhône Rivers past some of the most beautiful vistas the French countryside has to offer. During our 8-day cruise journey, explore the famed region of Burgundy and the colorful fields of Provence. Visit Gallo-Roman ruins in both Vienne and Arles; walk the cobbled streets of Arles to see how it inspired Vincent van Gogh. And visit the historic Papal Palace in Avignon, “City of Popes.” Learn about the region’s time-honored winemaking traditions, sample Burgundy varietals and try the world-famous regional cuisine in Lyon. C’est magnifique! “Paris is always a good idea.”

Check out this amazing itinerary:

DAY 1

We transfer to the first-class Le Méridien Etoile (or similar) located in the 17th arrondissement, only a few minutes away from the legendary Champs Elysées.  The rest of the day is yours. As for me, I will be exploring the museums and cafes’.  Join me for coffee and croissants.

Champs-Elysees

DAY 2

 

This morning, enjoy a guided walking tour of Paris’s Marais district on the Right Bank. You will see aristocratic neighborhoods dating back as far as the 13th century as well as the historic Jewish area and trendy art galleries. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure—visit museums like the Pompidou, Orsay or Picasso, admire historic buildings like Fontainebleau and the Paris Opera. Experience the world-famous Louvre, home of da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” the “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” I.M. Pei’s iconic glass pyramids and much more. (B)

louvre_museum_courtyard

DAY 3

You have a full day to further explore the “City of Light.” Stroll through Montmartre, shop along the Champs Elysées, ride up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and sample some of the famous French cuisine. You might like to take a Seine cruise aboard a bâteau-mouche this evening to see some of the city’s landmarks and lovely bridges. (B)

eiffel tower

DAY 4

After breakfast, we will take you to your ship to begin your river cruise. (B)

DAY 5 CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE

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

chalon-sur-saone-05-2011-02

DAY 6 BEAUNE & BURGUNDY WINE TOUR

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 your ship for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure—as always, your 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)

beaunebeaune 1

Day 7 LYON

 

After early morning cruising through the picturesque countryside arrive in Lyon during breakfast, take a morning tour of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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)

basilique de Fourvière

DAY 8 LYON & VIENNE

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)

Vienne

DAY 9 TOURNON & VIVIERS

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. Join your 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)

Tournonviviers-4a

DAY 10 ARLES

 

Arrive during breakfast and meet your 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 you depart. (B, L, D)

arles

DAY 11 AVIGNON

 

This morning, 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. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)

15810-4

DAY 12 AVIGNON

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.* (B)  Or extend your stay in the French Riviera for an additional 3 days.

Cote_dAzur_West

Added Bonus:  Discount for early booking (2-for-1 cruise and 2-for-1 airfare)

Expires Soon

 

Call 919.708.8217 for details about this fascinating tour through Paris and Southern France.

#River Cruises, #Paris, #Palace of the Popes, #Rhone River, #Saone River, #Avignon, #Eiffel Tower, #Louvre, #Cote d’Azur, #French Riviera

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

Romantic Paris and Southern France

FreyaImage-600x398_tcm43-21108  Romantic Paris and Southern France

This week we start our adventure in the “City of Love” Paris.  We will be enjoying all the sights of Paris for 3 nights before embarking on our Southern France cruise.  We sail along France’s scenic Saône and Rhône Rivers past some of the most beautiful vistas the French countryside has to offer. During our 8-day cruise journey, explore the famed region of Burgundy and the colorful fields of Provence. Visit Gallo-Roman ruins in both Vienne and Arles; walk the cobbled streets of Arles to see how it inspired Vincent van Gogh. And visit the historic Papal Palace in Avignon, “City of Popes.” Learn about the region’s time-honored winemaking traditions, sample Burgundy varietals and try the world-famous regional cuisine in Lyon. C’est magnifique! “Paris is always a good idea.”

Check out this amazing itinerary:

DAY 1

We transfer to the first-class Le Méridien Etoile (or similar) located in the 17th arrondissement, only a few minutes away from the legendary Champs Elysées.  The rest of the day is yours. As for me, I will be exploring the museums and cafes’.  Join me for coffee and croissants.

Champs-Elysees

DAY 2

 

This morning, enjoy a guided walking tour of Paris’s Marais district on the Right Bank. You will see aristocratic neighborhoods dating back as far as the 13th century as well as the historic Jewish area and trendy art galleries. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure—visit museums like the Pompidou, Orsay or Picasso, admire historic buildings like Fontainebleau and the Paris Opera. Experience the world-famous Louvre, home of da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” the “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” I.M. Pei’s iconic glass pyramids and much more. (B)

louvre_museum_courtyard

DAY 3

You have a full day to further explore the “City of Light.” Stroll through Montmartre, shop along the Champs Elysées, ride up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and sample some of the famous French cuisine. You might like to take a Seine cruise aboard a bâteau-mouche this evening to see some of the city’s landmarks and lovely bridges. (B)

eiffel tower

DAY 4

After breakfast, we will take you to your ship to begin your river cruise. (B)

DAY 5 CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE

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

chalon-sur-saone-05-2011-02

DAY 6 BEAUNE & BURGUNDY WINE TOUR

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 your ship for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure—as always, your 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)

beaunebeaune 1

Day 7 LYON

 

After early morning cruising through the picturesque countryside arrive in Lyon during breakfast, take a morning tour of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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)

basilique de Fourvière

DAY 8 LYON & VIENNE

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)

Vienne

DAY 9 TOURNON & VIVIERS

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. Join your 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)

Tournonviviers-4a

DAY 10 ARLES

 

Arrive during breakfast and meet your 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 you depart. (B, L, D)

arles

DAY 11 AVIGNON

 

This morning, 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. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)

15810-4

DAY 12 AVIGNON

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.* (B)  Or extend your stay in the French Riviera for an additional 3 days.

Cote_dAzur_West

Added Bonus:  Discount for early booking (2-for-1 cruise and 2-for-1 airfare)

Expires Soon

 

Call 919.708.8217 for details about this fascinating tour through Paris and Southern France.

#River Cruises, #Paris, #Palace of the Popes, #Rhone River, #Saone River, #Avignon, #Eiffel Tower, #Louvre, #Cote d’Azur, #French Riviera

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

Classic Christmas Markets

innsbiruck

CLASSIC CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Now that Christmas is this week, what better time to start thinking about Christmas 2015.  If you have run out of ideas for your loved one, a Christmas Markets tour of Germany and Austria would be the perfect gift for them and for you.

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, shop for one of a kind Christmas ornaments, toys, and handicrafts, visit picturesque villages and towns, and sample regional foods, beer, and wines. Here is your chance to sample Gluhwein (hot mulled wine), This is truly a  one-of-a kind tour.  Hope you can join me as we go on a unique Christmas Markets shopping experience.  Check out this amazing itinerary and see for yourself.  Get those shopping lists together.  This is my Christmas gift to me in 2015!

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HIGHLIGHTS:  Black Forest, Strasbourg, Franconia Region, Wurzburg, Nuremberg, Neuschwanstein Castle, Oberammergau, Munich, Innsbruck, Christmas Markets in each town.

Itinerary:

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

Day 2: Black Forest, Germany – Tour Begins

Garmisch1-30 black-forest-germany-feldberg

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.
black_forest_germanyBiergarten food - Copy
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
HIGH 51 LOW 31

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.
Marienberg_wuerzburg
BREAKFAST & DINNER

HIGH 48 LOW 28

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.
nurembergxmas_36778316_fotoliarf_2771_480x340aw_nuremberg1

BREAKFAST

HIGH 48 LOW 28

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.
neuschwanstein_bild (1)19-oberammergauPferdekutschfahrt_bei_Oberammergau

 BREAKFAST & DINNER

  • HIGH 48 LOW 28

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.
innsbruck_maria_theresienstrasse_2_01

 BREAKFAST

  • HIGH 48 LOW 28

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.
innsbruck_maria_theresienstrasse_2_01 Munich Marienplatz munich-germany
BREAKFAST & DINNER
HIGH 48 LOW 28

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.

christmas in germany

BREAKFAST

HIGH 48 LOW 28

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

**Enjoy lunch in Strasbourg with my compliments. 

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

classic-christmas-markets_14 (1)

Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Leave a comment

Cities of Light River Cruise

CITIES_EU-Cochem-Germany_OVR_478x345_tcm21-9187

CITIES OF LIGHT

This 12-day journey includes two nights each in two of Europe’s most glorious cities, Paris and Prague, plus a scenic river cruise along the Moselle, Rhine and Main Rivers. Drink in the picturesque landscape of vineyard-clad hillsides and sample fine German appellations in the villages of this famous wine-producing region. Discover the romance of Paris and its many historic landmarks. And fall in love with the graceful architecture of Prague, home to countless spires and a vibrant cultural scene.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

DAY 1 | PARIS, FRANCE

Arrive in Paris, the romantic capital of France. Transfer from the Charles de Gaulle airport to your hotel for a 2-night stay.* After check-in, enjoy free time to explore this exciting city, or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented.

Paris, France

DAY 2 | PARIS, FRANCE

Today’s tour begins with a drive along the Champs-Élysées, past the Arc de Triomphe to the world-famous Louvre. The remainder of the day is yours to experience more of this timeless city: visit a museum, explore Montmartre or take a moonlit cruise along the Seine River. The banks of the Seine, with their graceful bridges and unrivaled city views, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. (B)

UNESCO

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

DAY 3 | LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG

Today, visit the Luxembourg American Cemetery and pay homage to the many Americans who lost their lives during the WWII Battle of the Bulge. See the city of Luxembourg on a guided tour, then you’ll continue on to Trier and embark your ship. Dinner is served aboard. (B, D)

Imperial Baths, Trier, Germany

DAY 4 | TRIER & BERNKASTEL, GERMANY

Enjoy a morning tour of Trier, Germany’s oldest city, set on the banks of the Moselle River. See the wonderfully preserved Roman Porta Nigra, Trier Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady. Lunch is served aboard as we depart. Enjoy scenic cruising along the Moselle this afternoon. We dock in Bernkastel around dinnertime. After your evening meal you can take a walk through the town’s cobblestone streets, or join an optional wine-tasting excursion in this famous wine region. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Cochem, Germany

DAY 5 | COCHEM, GERMANY

A walking tour takes you through the quaint Moselle town of Cochem. Then, visit imposing Reichsburg Castle. After lunch you sail the scenic Moselle to Koblenz, arriving in the evening during dinner. Explore the cobbled streets and cafés, or stay on your ship and hear folktales about the Moselle. (B, L, D)

Marksburg Castle, Koblenz, Germany

DAY 6 | KOBLENZ, BRAUBACH & RÜDESHEIM, GERMANY

After breakfast, disembark in Koblenz for a tour of Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress that was never destroyed. Since its fortifications have remained so intact, stepping inside is a veritable journey back to the Middle Ages. Take in views of the Rhine Valley from this castle’s stunning vantage point. Meet your ship in Braubach, where it has sailed during your excursion. Have lunch and enjoy cruising through the storied Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with medieval castles, historic towns and vineyards. Arrive in Rüdesheim in the late afternoon. Before dinner, take time to enjoy the bars and shops lining Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse. Or, you may choose to join your concierge this afternoon for an optional wine-tasting experience. Rejoin your ship in Wiesbaden to enjoy dinner and evening cruising. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Heidelberg Turret Gate, Germany

DAY 7 | HEIDELBERG, GERMANY

Today’s full-day excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university. Tour the imposing red sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, built in the 12th century but twice destroyed by lightning and then later rebuilt. A guided walk through Heidelberg’s Old Town and marketplace is included, as is lunch in a local restaurant. Return to your ship for dinner and departure. (B, L, D)

Bishops Residenz, Würzburg, Germany

DAY 8 | WÜRZBURG, GERMANY

Disembark in Karlstadt and take a half-day excursion to the enticing Franconian wine town of Würzburg where you tour the Bishops’ Residenz, a beautiful baroque palace with numerous paintings and frescoes. Enjoy some free time in Würzburg this afternoon, or join an optional journey along the “Romantic Road” to the walled medieval village of Rothenburg. Meet your ship in Würzburg and dine aboard. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Bamberg, Germany

DAY 9 | BAMBERG, GERMANY

This morning, enjoy scenic cruising along the Main River as you make your way eastward through the Franconia region of Germany. After lunch we stop in the historic town of Bamberg, founded in 902 and an important center of the German Enlightenment. Enjoy a walking tour of Bamberg’s beautifully preserved Old Town area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then take time to explore or perhaps sample the town’s famous locally brewed smoky beer, rauchbier. Dine aboard. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Nuremberg Palace of Justice, Germany

DAY 10 | NUREMBERG, GERMANY & PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

After breakfast, disembark in Bamberg for a tour of the Bavarian city of Nuremberg. See the ruins of Zeppelin Field, Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s, and the Palace of Justice, the venerable vestige of the Nuremberg Trials. Enjoy lunch on your own, then transfer to Prague. Check in to your hotel for a 2-night stay and take time to explore the city and see what you discover. (B)

Prague Clock, Czech Republic

DAY 11 | PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

This morning, tour the “City of a Hundred Spires.” A guided walk takes you through Old Town to the famed Charles Bridge. Then, travel to Hradčany for a guided tour inside Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure; you can see the Town Hall’s intricate 15th-century astronomical clock, spend some time in historic Wenceslas Square or discover the city’s Jewish heritage in the Josefov Quarter. (B)

UNESCO

Prague, Czech Republic

DAY 12 | 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)

Added Bonus—2 for 1 cruise and 2 for 1 airfare.  Limited time offer.

Call for details at 919.708.8217

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Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine and History

7_scenery_new - Copy - Copy Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History

Imagine lashing down the wagon with all your earthly belongings and embracing the American West, drawn by the promise of a better life. Traveling nearly 1,000 miles—roundtrip Portland, Oregon—our inclusive river cruise aboard an 88-guest replica coastal steamer bring such events to life. Historians, guest experts, and legendary personalities recreate history. Included shore excursions to museums, forts, and wineries carry us through time sharing a varied past and how agriculture and engineering have shaped this vast region. Natural wonders, historical landmarks, and amazing human endeavors.  We will walk in the footsteps  Lewis and Clark and see all the wonders of the magnificent Pacific Northwest.

7-night scenic river cruise along four rivers with visits to nine wineries

ameritage_wine_sm_web2
INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Experience four Pacific Northwest rivers: the Columbia, Snake, Willamette, and Palouse
  • A local wine expert joins you onboard for a week of presentations and tastings
  • Tastings and tours at nine Washington and Oregon wineries, plus a craft, infused olive oil tasting
  • Enjoy a hosted lunch in Walla Walla and at Terra Blanca Estate Winery and Vineyard
  • Discover stunning Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • Explore towering Multnomah Falls and skiff into the canyon to Palouse Falls
  • Roundtrip Portland, Oregon

Itinerary:

Day 1: Portland, Oregon-Welcome to Portland.  After arriving at the airport, our cruise representatives will be there to greet us and transfer us downtown.  We will have some time to explore the city before setting sail on our four rivers wine cruise.

pp_40_53snake_rivercolumbia_river

Day 2: Hood River/Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area-Start your day with a stop at the towering Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in Oregon, before making your way to two fabulous local wineries for a date with the winemakers. Enjoy a tasting at Hood River’s beautifully rustic Springhouse Cellars—a working winery housed in a former turn-of-the-century fruit cannery and distillery. Head across the river and into the Gorge for a tour and tasting at unexpected AniChe Cellars—a boutique family winery making wines with an eye to European tradition combined with Washington terroir and style. Back on board, cruise upriver through the spectacular Columbia River Gorge. At 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep, this river canyon cuts the only sea level route through the Cascade Mountains.

pp_40_58

Day 3: Walla Walla, Washington
Named one of the top ten wine regions in the world, this world-class wine country was shaped by its distinctive micro-climates, rich volcanic soil, and abundant river irrigation. Today you’ll swirl a glass and meet the owners at award-winning Bergevin Lane. And while the passion may be in the bottle, you can enjoy the owner’s original artwork and a smooth pour at Dunham Cellars. Make your way to Walla Walla for a wine and lunch soiree. This afternoon, you’ll have a chance to stroll about pastoral Whitman Mission.

pp_40_56Dunham286-5_Dunham Cellars_jpg

Day 4: Palouse Falls State Park
According to the Palouse tribal legend, four giant brothers pursued a mythic creature called “Big Beaver.” Fighting gallantly, each time Big Beaver was speared, the canyon walls were gouged until he tore out a huge canyon, the river tumbled over a cliff, and the falls were born. As you motor into the canyon by inflatable skiff, notice the jagged canyon walls and the deep marks of Big Beaver’s claws. This afternoon—relax like royalty—there’ll be an onboard tasting and presentation by a local wine authority.

palouse_falls_web

Day 5: Richland / Washington Wine Country
Bound by the river, learn about the natural, scientific, and cultural history of Eastern Washington from a special guest speaker at the Hanford Interpretive Center. Then it’s off to enjoy the pride of the Red Mountain appellation with a tour, tasting, and lunch at the exquisite Terra Blanca Estate Winery and Vineyard. Explore another of the AVAs distinctive wineries for a tour and tasting before stepping back on board and sailing downriver.

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Day 6: The Dalles, Oregon
Wine and art have long been a feted blend, and that’s precisely what’s in store today. Sitting atop a bluff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll tour the Maryhill Museum—a castle-like chateau with an eclectic collection of European paintings, Rodin sculptures, Native artifacts, and the Queen of Romania’s personal effects. Along the museum’s adjacent slopes, taste award-winning varietals at Maryhill Winery and discover this scenic winery. In The Dalles, the Sunshine Mill Winery adds to the long, colorful history of a former wheat mill, and before setting sail towards the Pacific coast, you’ll stop in for a tour and taste of inspiration.

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Day 7: Cannon Beach / Astoria
Today is the ultimate coastal experience. The tasting room at The Wine Shack presents your last opportunity for learning about Washington and Oregon wines with a tasting and presentation by the owner and winemaker. And only a stroll away, you’ll have a chance to sample craft, infused olive oils at the Oil and Vinegar Bar at Cannon Beach. There’ll be plenty of time to take in the magic of the Pacific seacoast before returning to Victorian Astoria for some free time and a grand finale Captain’s Dinner!

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Day 8: Portland, Oregon – Disembark
Sated, your week of wineries and rivers exploration has come to an end. Enjoy breakfast with friends and say farewell to your crew before disembarking for your included transfer to the Portland airport.

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**Early booking discount** – Call for details at 919.708.8217

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#river cruises

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NEW Taste of Scotland and Ireland – BOOKING NOW

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Join me next August on a 11 day Taste of Scotland and Ireland escorted tour. Our journey begins in Glasgow, Scotland and ends in Dublin, Ireland.  We will be flying into Glasgow a day early to start our adventure.  Check out this awesome itinerary.

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Day 1: Glasgow Highlights
Your Scottish trip starts at 2:30 pm when you meet your tour director at your Glasgow hotel and set out on an introductory tour of central Glasgow. This is a city that flourished in Victorian times due to the shipbuilding industry and international trade. Drive around George Square with its ornate City Chambers and visit Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest house built in 1471. The house was originally part of a hospital and has been extensively restored and furnished. Join your tour director and travel companions for a welcome drink before dinner.(D)

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Day 2: Loch Lomond & Loch Ness Cruise
Travel alongside the famous Loch Lomond, renowned for its unsurpassed beauty. Travel through the deep valley of Glen Coe, notorious for the Campbell massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. Continue through Fort William and stop at the Spean Bridge Woollen Mill, which offers a good selection of quality Scottish goods. At Fort Augustus embark on a short cruise on Loch Ness to keep an eye out for “Nessie.” Continue your journey north to Inverness or Nairn for your next overnight stay.(B,D)

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Day 3: Whisky Tasting & St Andrews
Drive to Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry to see how whisky is distilled and sample some. Continue south to St Andrews, renowned as the “Home of Golf” and for its university, Scotland’s oldest. Spend some time to explore on your own. Drive south to Edinburgh and to your gracious manor house hotel, set on 1,000 acres with two golf courses and spa facilities a few miles from the city. Dine at a Scottish Evening on some excellent Scottish cuisine followed by a lively show with songs, stories and traditional dancing.(B,D)

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Day 4: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour
This morning tour the principal sights of Edinburgh with a local guide. Drive along the bustling Princes Street and through the gracious, wide streets of the 200-year-old Georgian New Town. Walk along part of the Royal Mile where compact medieval houses reach 11 floors tall. Visit Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city and contains the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. The balance of the day is free. On August 4 to 25 departures, seats are reserved for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.(B)

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Day 5: Ferry to Ireland & Titanic Belfast
Depart Edinburgh early this morning and drive south through Ayrshire and along the coast. At Cairnryan take a ferry ride to Belfast for a visit to Titanic Belfast. Learn about this famous liner which was built in the adjacent docks. State-of-the-art displays describe Belfast, working conditions and many other aspects of the ship. Drive south to Dublin and check in to your hotel, located overlooking Dublin Bay. The evening is at leisure for independent dining.(B)

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Day 6: Dublin Sightseeing & Canal Dinner Cruise
Tour central Dublin today to see fashionable shopping areas around Grafton and Nassau Streets, view elegant Georgian squares and pause at the evocative figures of the Famine Memorial. Walk through the campus of Trinity College with a student guide to view the illuminated manuscript of the 8th century Book of Kells and learn how monks created this and other masterpieces. In the evening enjoy a canal dinner cruise with traditional Irish music aboard a former Guinness barge through central Dublin.(B,D)

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Day 7: Farmhouse Tea & Blarney Castle
Travel through the midlands of Ireland, stopping for photos at the stately Rock of Cashel. Visit a farmhouse for tea with scones and watch skilled sheep dogs herd sheep. Continue south to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Also visit the Blarney Woollen Mills where you can find quality Irish-made goods. Drive to Killarney, picturesquely set beside lakes and mountains. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner. Afterwards you may like to explore some of Killarney’s famous “singing pubs.”(B,D)

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Day 8: Ring of Kerry & Skellig Experience
Take a jaunting car ride to view Ross Castle set on Lough Leane. Then embark on the Ring of Kerry drive – a winding route with breathtaking sights of mountains and coastal views. Cross to Valentia Island by bridge to visit the Skellig Experience which describes the austere lives of early Christian monks on the nearby islands. Enjoy a casual lunch and stop in Sneem to admire brightly painted houses. Pause at Moll’s Gap for stunning views before returning to Killarney where you have an evening free for independent dining and activities.(B,L)

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Day 9: Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Castle Banquet
Take a ferry ride across the River Shannon to reach the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular wall of sandstone that reaches 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Check in to Bunratty Castle Hotel, close to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. If you wish, you may visit the Folk Park, have a drink in the 200-year-old Durty Nelly’s Pub or shop at the Bunratty Mills. In the evening head to Bunratty Castle for a memorable medieval-style feast where the lords and ladies will serenade you with song and harp music, evocative of the Middle Ages.(B,D)

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Day 10: Dublin Extension via Galway
Drive to Galway for a panoramic tour around the central part of the city. Visit Clonmacnoise Monastic Site, founded in 546 AD by Saint Ciaran. View elaborate Celtic crosses, round towers and ruins of medieval churches. Drive to Dublin and check into a different hotel and you are free for independent activities and dining.(B)

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Day 11: Depart Dublin for Home
Your tour ends after breakfast.(B)

*Pre tour night in Glasgow recommended.

*For the golfers in our group, arrangements can be made for you to play a round of golf while in Scotland and Ireland.

**Cruise Like A VIP will host a special complimentary thank you dinner for my guests.

Call for details about this amazing tour.

919.708.8217

#scotland, @ireland

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