Monthly Archives: March 2015

Mt. Rushmore, Grand Tetons & Yellowstone

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Day 1 – Rapid City, South Dakota
See some of America’s grandest sights! Your western adventure begins in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Day 2 – Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse
Enjoy a morning visit  to Mt. Rushmore National Monument and the sculpted faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln. Next, drive to Crazy Horse Memorial. Started over 50 years ago, and still under construction, the memorial is the world’s largest sculpture in progress. Chief Standing Bear told the sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too.” The monument is a tribute to the Sioux Lakota Indian leader known as Crazy Horse. Here, Indian artisans showcase their arts and crafts and visit with guests. Visit the Indian Museum of North America. Return through the Black Hills to Rapid City. Free time to explore the historic district and stroll the Presidential Walk with life-size statues of American Presidents. B

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Day 3 – Little Big Horn, Montana
Enter the range lands and oil fields of Wyoming as you head west across the high plains. Visit the old western cowboy town of Sheridan. Enjoy lunch. Next, enter Montana, “Big Sky Country.” Brief visit to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in the Crow Nation. Here, in 1876, in the Valley of Little Big Horn, combined Sioux and Northern Cheyenne forces led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse overwhelmed General Custer and his cavalry. Continue to Billings, nestled between the Yellowstone River and the Rimrocks. Explorers Lewis & Clark camped near here in 1806. BL

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Day 4 – Yellowstone National Park
Journey alongside the Yellowstone River in Montana as you follow the Lewis and Clark Trail to Livingston, film location of “A River Runs Through It” and “The Horse Whisperer.” Continuing following the Yellowstone River south this morning thru Paradise Valley into Yellowstone National Park. Established in 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park in the world. Now over 90 countries have national parks. This 2,219,766 acre park contains almost 300 geysers and over 10,000 hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots. Look for moose, elk, bison, bears and wolves. You will visit the major attractions of both Yellowstone’s upper and lower loops on your leisurely visit to the park. Visit Mammoth Hot Springs, one of the best areas in the park for close-up viewing of elk. See the unique terraced pools at Mammoth. Arrive for a relaxing two night stay at your lodge, Old Faithful Inn. Old Faithful Geyser is within easy viewing and walking distance of Old Faithful Inn. Every 90 minutes, Old Faithful Geyser shoots thousands of gallons of steaming water into the air. Elevation at Old Faithful is approximately 7,300 feet. B

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Day 5 – Yellowstone National Park
Continue your exploration of Yellowstone Park today on the lower loop. Visit Norris Geyser Basin. Stop at Fishing Bridge Visitor Center alongside Yellowstone Lake. Visit Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, where you can marvel at the rushing waters of Yellowstone Falls, twice the height of Niagara Falls. Return to Old Faithful Inn by mid afternoon. Leisure time to enjoy your lodge and the nearby geysers. B

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Day 6 – Grand Tetons, Jackson
This morning enter Grand Teton National Park. See the jagged, soaring Teton Range with peaks over 12,000 feet. Scenes from the movie “Shane” were filmed here. Stop at pristine Jenny Lake. Then, enjoy a picnic lunch near the banks of the Snake River. Weather and river conditions permitting, an unforgettable float trip awaits you on the majestic Snake River. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound as you float through the park. Watch for waterfowl, beaver, osprey and eagles. Then, to Jackson. Free time to explore the charming downtown. Stroll the art galleries and western shops. See the Antler Arch at the entrance to historic Jackson town square. You may wish to visit the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, with bar stools made from horse saddles. Elevation in Jackson is approximately 6,300 feet. BL

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Day 7 – Tetons, Oregon Trail, Idaho
Head south this morning through the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Enter Idaho and travel along the route of the original “Oregon Trail.” Visit the National Oregon Trail Center. Drive by Soda Springs and visit the resort town of Lava Hot Springs. Continue to Salt Lake City, Utah, the state capital. Afternoon visit to Temple Square with its spacious gardens and fountains. See the Mormon Tabernacle, home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (unless closed to the public due to a religious ceremony). Enjoy a farewell dinner. BD

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Day 8 – Salt Lake City, Utah
Your tour ends after breakfast at your hotel in Salt Lake City. Thanks for vacationing with Caravan and Cruise Like A VIP. B

Downtown Jackson, near Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. jackson hole 0_61_geyser_old_faithful

Booking this vacation now.  Call for details and prices at 919.708.8217

#escorted tours

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ALPINE LAKES AND SCENIC TRAINS

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Charming Villages in the Heart of Europe

Experience the enchanting Alpine cultures of Switzerland and Italy as you journey through spectacular mountain scenery and picturesque towns. Ride aboard three of the legendary Alpine railways: the GoldenPass Panoramic Train from Gstaad to Montreux; the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz; and the Bernina Pass Train, which takes you into Italy. Cruise across two of the most scenic lakes in the world, Lake Zurich and Lake Como. Relax in some of Europe’s most stunning and exclusive resort villages, including Zermatt, St. Moritz and Lake Como, Italy. Explore Lucerne, the “Swiss Paradise on the Lake.” Enjoy traditional regional cuisine such as Swiss cheese fondue and Italian delicacies.

Check out this amazing itinerary:

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Day 1: Overnight Flight

Breathtaking Alpine vistas paint the canvas of your trip of a lifetime through Switzerland and Italy. Explore dramatic railways and scenic lakes, and enjoy cultural experiences in charming villages in the heart of Europe. Your journey begins with an overnight flight.

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Day 2: Zurich, Switzerland – Tour Begins

Arrive in Zurich and take some free time to explore this lakeside town on your own. Relax this evening and soak in the scenery during a lovely dinner cruise on Lake Zurich where you will enjoy the traditional Swiss culinary invention – cheese fondue.

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Day 3: Zurich-Golden Pass Train – Montreux-Zermatt

This morning, travel to Gstaad where you climb aboard the GoldenPass panoramic train to enjoy breathtaking Alpine views along the route to Montreux. Upon arrival you have free time in this legendary town on the shores of Lake Geneva. Then, continue on to the pedestrian village of Zermatt.

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Day 4: Zermatt

After a short tour of this village at the base of the Matterhorn, spend the remainder of your day at leisure. Sit back in a café and soak up the rejuvenating mountain air while enjoying views of the Alps or perhaps explore the sights of the town on your own. As for me, I will be taking the train up to the Matterhorn.

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Day 5: Zermatt-Glacier Express Train-St. Moritz

Traverse bridges and tunnels while aboard the world-renowned narrow gauge Glacier Express, the most charming express train in the world. Enjoy the natural beauty of this route through the heart of the Swiss Alps. Filled with forests, fragrant meadows, gurgling streams and deep valleys, it’s a mountain dream come to life. Tonight, explore the many splendors of famous St. Moritz during an overnight stay.

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Day 6: St. Moritz-Bernina Pass Train-Lake Como, Italy

Embark on a journey through the Bernina Pass while traveling along one of the most scenic railway lines in the world en route to Tirano, Italy. Enjoy striking views of the Swiss and Italian Alps throughout your adventure, including the famed Morteratsch Glacier. A ferry ride across the waters of Lake Como introduces you to its stunning beauty. Next, arrive at your hotel.

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Day 7: Lake Como

The day is yours to independently explore the region along the shores of Lake Como. Keep an eye out for some of the region’s famous residents whose chateaus dot the hills around the lake. Perhaps you’ll spend some time strolling the lakefront boulevards or relaxing at your hotel. I know a great lakeside cafe we can have lunch at.

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Day 8: Lake Como-Lucerne, Switzerland

This morning, complete your journey over the Alps by traveling to Lucerne. The remainder of the day is at leisure in this picturesque town. Perhaps embark on a walk through the romantic old town or simply take in the beautiful scenery.

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Day 9: Lucerne

Today explore the “Swiss Paradise on the Lake.” Enjoy an Alstadt (Old Town) walking tour that follows the ancient pathways of the city. Over 800 years of history lives on with such treasures as the covered Chapel Bridge (1333); the famous Water Tower that once served as a prison; the watchtower and treasury; the Renaissance-style Town Hall; the Baroque Jesuit Church; and the Lion Monument, carved from sandstone to commemorate the heroic soldiers who were protecting King Louis XVI in 1792.

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Day 10: Lucerne

Our thrilling Alpine journey ends today in the city of Lucerne. You can opt to stay over an additional day in Lucerne.

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Call for dates and rates at 919.708-8217

#Switzerland

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Heart of Germany Christmas Markets Cruise

Heart of Germany Christmas Markets Cruise.

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Heart of Germany Christmas Markets Cruise

Heart of Germany Christmas Markets Cruise.

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Heart of Germany Christmas Markets Cruise

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Welcome to my Christmas Markets Cruise this week.  Now that the holidays are fast approaching, this is a perfect time to start planning for our 2015  Christmas Holiday.  What better way to experience Christmas than a Christmas Markets cruise of Germany.  This week’s cruise is especially interesting as it visits all the Christmas markets from Frankfurt to Nuremberg, Germany.  We will be visiting some of the most picturesque and quaint towns and villages on the Main River of Germany.  I will also be on this cruise in December, 2015. I hope you and your family or friends can join me for some great shopping and spectacular scenery along the river.  If you don’t want this fairy tale to end, you can extend your trip in either Nuremberg or Cologne, Germany or Prague, Czech Republic. What a great way to start a new holiday tradition and the perfect Christmas present for your loved one.

Sail along the picturesque Main River—Germany’s heart and soul—on this enriching itinerary. This is the land of Franconian wine and Bavarian beer, where the famed Romantic Road leads to charming Old Towns that evoke a fairy-tale Europe. Explore the cobbled streets of Rothenburg and Bamberg and marvel at the splendid palace of Würzburg. See the dramatic sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle lording over its namesake town. Browse the Market Square of Nuremberg, brimming with a rich past. History lines the banks of the Main, one of Europe’s most intimate waterways. Join us for this intimate view of Germany.  As an added bonus, we will be visiting the best Christmas Markets of Germany from Frankfurt to Nuremberg.

Frankfurt, Germany

DAY 1 | FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Arrive in Frankfurt, also known as Frankfurt am Main, Germany’s fifth-largest city. Transfer from the airport to embark your ship.* After boarding, relax and get settled in, or spend some time exploring the city, a stunning blend of traditional charm and modern elegance, on your own. After dinner, relax and enjoy musical entertainment in the Lounge. (D)

Heidelberg Turret Gate, Germany

DAY 2 | HEIDELBERG, GERMANY

Today, take a full-day excursion to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, founded in 1386. Tour the imposing red sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, originally built in the 12th century. Your guided walk ends at Heidelberg’s Old Town and marketplace, where you will encounter the first of our Christmas markets. Shop for gifts, sample scrumptious local treats, or treat yourself to lunch at a local café. Return aboard for dinner as we continue cruising. (B, D)

Wertheim Castle, Germany

DAY 3 | WERTHEIM, GERMANY

We arrive in Wertheim, located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers, as you finish breakfast. During your morning walking tour, experience life in a typical small German town. Take some free time to visit Wertheim’s Christmas market or explore the town before returning aboard for lunch. We sail into the evening, docking at Würzburg in the early morning hours. (B, L, D)

Bishops Residenz, Würzburg, Germany

DAY 4 | WÜRZBURG & ROTHENBURG, GERMANY

After breakfast, disembark for a full day in two of Northern Bavaria’s most charming destinations. Tour the Bishops’ Residenz, an exquisite baroque palace with many paintings and frescoes. Then, ride in a deluxe motorcoach along the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Stop for a hearty lunch in a local restaurant, then explore this medieval town with its joyful Christmas market. Rothenburg is also home to Germany’s Christmas Museum, open all year, and you’re invited to try the local pastry, the Schneeball (snowball). Rejoin your ship in Gerlachshausen and dine aboard as we cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Bamberg, Germany

DAY 5 | BAMBERG, GERMANY

Sail through the morning; after lunch, we visit Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the picturesque city hall built on an island in the middle of a river. We remain docked well into the evening, so feel free to walk around Bamberg or visit its traditional Christmas markets, especially beautiful when lit up after dark. You can also follow Bamberg’s popular “Route of Nativity Scenes” to view diverse crèche displays at a few dozen churches, museums and other public spaces. (B, L, D)

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Nuremberg Palace of Justice, Germany

DAY 6 | NUREMBERG, GERMANY

Arrive in Nuremberg during a leisurely breakfast. Take a tour of the city’s most prominent landmarks, and delight in the iconic Christmas market in the Old Town’s Main Market Square. Browse booths with colorful ornaments, handmade gifts and sweet-smelling treats; there is no better place to shop for wooden toys and nutcrackers, and you may even spot the golden curls of the Christkind, an angel who brings children toys. Taste the traditional Lebkuchen (gingerbread), savory bratwurst and glühwein (hot spiced wine); chances are you’ll hear carolers harmonizing a favorite holiday song. Lunch and dinner are served aboard; you can come and go as you please. (B, L, D)

Nuremberg, Germany

DAY 7 | NUREMBERG, GERMANY

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey to spend 2 additional nights in Nuremberg or experience another country with 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic, including a tour of Old Town and Prague Castle. (B)

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Call me at 919.708.8217 for more details about this Cruise.  I am so excited and would love to share my excitement with you.

**Added bonus- 2 for 1 cruise and 2 for 1 airfare–Limited time offer.  Call soon.

**The airfare is unbelievably reasonable for Europe travel.  You don’t want to miss out-it will not be this low in 2016.

#river cruises

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Golden Trails of Africa

Golden Trails of Africa.

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Golden Trails of Africa

Golden Trails of Africa

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Your journey begins with an overnight stay in Johannesburg (or 3 nights in Cape Town). Next, fly to Kasane, Botswana via Johannesburg and board the Zambezi Queen. Your wildlife river cruise vessel on the Chobe River provides elegant accommodations surrounded by an incredibly diverse population of animals. Enjoy two nights at Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. From here, you will fly to Johannesburg where you will stay the night in your intimate, all-suite hotel. The following morning, you will fly to Tanzania to begin your East African safari. Enjoy two nights at each of the four luxury Tanzania lodges; Arusha Coffee Lodge, Tarangire Treetops, The Manor at Ngorongoro, and the famed, luxury-tented Serengeti Migration Camp. Your Tanzanian safari days include game drives in the world famous Serengeti National Park, the drama of Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, Treetops’ private 87,000 acre game concession as well as a safari excursion to Lake Manyara National Park.

Check out this itinerary:

Day 1 OVERNIGHT FLIGHT TO JOHANNESBURG
Board your overnight flight to Africa.
Day 2 JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Welcome to Africa! Upon arrival you will be met by an AmaWaterways representative and escorted to your hotel in Sandton. Enjoy the night to relax, tomorrow morning your African journey begins.

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Day 3 JOHANNESBURG – ZAMBEZI QUEEN – EMBARKATION
After breakfast at your hotel, you will fly to Kasane, Botswana via Johannesburg where you will board the elegant ZAMBEZI QUEEN on the Chobe River. Late this afternoon, savor the enchanting riverside scenery on a sunset cruise, before a Welcome Cocktail and Dinner on board. (B,L,D)
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Day 4 ZAMBEZI QUEEN
This morning embark on a boat safari to explore the Chobe River’s spectacular game viewing. Journey back to the Zambezi Queen for lunch as well as time to relax on board and take in the scenery surrounding you at every turn. After lunch, enjoy an unforgettable visit to Kasenu village to experience the local culture first-hand. This evening you’ll head ashore for an African Boma Dinner, which features various flavorful local specialties. (B,L,D)

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Day 5 ZAMBEZI QUEEN
Today, take a safari game-drive adventure into the Chobe National Park, home to one of the densest populations of wildlife in Africa. Experience your first game drive by vehicle as you set off in search for an array of different animals in Botswana’s most famous National Park. In the afternoon, join a safari by boat as you explore the banks of Chobe National Park, or go an expedition to catch the ferocious tigerfish. Unwind on board later with High Tea and a delicious dinner. (B,L,D)

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Day 6 ZAMBEZI QUEEN
This morning enjoy an exciting private boat safari as well as a bird watching excursion to introduce you to then area’s local birdlife. Later you will also enjoy a slightly different version of a river safari aboard a special river barge which will allow you to venture into the southern channels. This excursion will offer you a new viewpoint to observe hippos and elephants in their natural habitat. Tonight, your Cruise Manager will host your Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

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Day 7 ZAMBEZI QUEEN – DISEMBARKATION – VICTORIA FALLS
This morning, transfer to the legendary Victoria Falls, one of the greatest natural wonders on earth. Settle into your hotel and spend the afternoon exploring the city or experiencing one of the many activities offered by your hotel. (B)

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Day 8 VICTORIA FALLS
A local guide will take you on a tour of the remarkable Victoria Falls National Park today. You’ll learn about its history and the flora and fauna that make this area so unique. Tonight, embark on a private and festive Sundowner Dinner Cruise along the Zambezi River. Relax on board as you observe a variety of game and enjoy a delicious dinner with drinks and music. (B,D)

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Day 9 VICTORIA FALLS – JOHANNESBURG
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa. After arriving at your hotel, settle in to your suite or enjoy the lawns on the property grounds. A special dinner is arranged for you tonight. (B,L,D)

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Day 10 JOHANNESBURG – NAIROBI – ARUSHA, TANZANIA
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in the morning before flying to Nairobi, Kenya. Upon arriving in Nairobi you be met by an AmaWaterways representative who will escort you to your connecting flight to Tanzania. After arriving in Tanzania you shall be picked up by a lodge representative from Kilimanjaro Airport and chauffeured to Arusha Coffee Lodge. Your stay at The Arusha Coffee Lodge will be for two nights and is on an all-inclusive basis. The Arusha Coffee Lodge is said to be haven for calming composure for the start of a Tanzanian safari. (B,L,D)

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Day 11 ARUSHA, TANZANIA
After breakfast this morning, you will be welcomed with a briefing session on your safari followed by a ‘bean-to-cup’ coffee tour. Later, choose one of the activities available just for our guests such as a day of shopping at the famous Masai markets. This afternoon, perhaps sip champagne as you reminisce about the bygone eras of settlers, pioneers and explorers. Indulge yourself and unwind in the warm and home-style comfort of the Arusha Coffee Lodge with a dinner prepared by the lodge’s chef. (B,L,D)

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Day 12 ARUSHA – TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA
After breakfast you will be chauffeured just minutes away to Arusha Airport to board our Executive Grand Caravan and fly to Kuro Airstrip in Tarangire National Park. On arrival, the Tarangire Treetops team will meet you for an exciting game drive and a lunch in the wilds of Africa, after which you will enter Treetops’ private reserve. Spend two magical nights on an all-inclusive basis in a Tree House that rests on the branches of thousand-year old marula and baobab trees. Listen as the winds seem to carry bedtime stories through ancient tree limbs to calm your senses and cradle your slumber. Nowhere, does fantasy come alive as it does here. Awaken to beautiful bird song and leave only your footprints as you walk alongside the creatures of the African wilderness. (B,L,D)

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Day 13 TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA
After breakfast at Treetops you will enjoy a full day of activities including game drives, a visit to an authentic Masai village, a game-walk, sundowners in the bush and a night game drive. Lunch and dinner will be served at Treetops in Tarangire. This national park in Tanzania has a stunning baobab-studded landscape and is a bird watcher’s paradise, containing the highest number of breeding bird species of any habitat in the world. It is also home to thousands of resident elephants and huge herds of buffalo, a good place to see leopards, lions and a wide variety of plains game. The park holds the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and is the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed. Dinner at Treetops is always a delight, whether it is in the Masai Manyatta under the stars with local Masai warriors to entertain you, or in the more sophisticated dhow-wood furnished restaurant overlooking the floodlit waterhole under a canopy of giant baobab trees. (B,L,D)

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Day 14 TARANGIRE – NGORONGORO, TANZANIA
Today you will enjoy a morning game drive through Tarangire National Park en route to the airstrip. Upon arrival at Manyara Airstrip, the team from The Manor at Ngorongoro will meet you and take you to Lake Manyara National Park for a game drive and where lunch will be served overlooking the lake. You will arrive at The Manor in time for high-tea. Here, your two-night stay will be in a cottage on an all-inclusive basis. The Manor at Ngorongoro, located on a huge coffee estate adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation area, enjoys magnificent views from coffee bushes to far-flung African horizons. Designed to celebrate the Cape Dutch settlers’ influence in the region, its sparkling, white-painted, ornate gables are set off perfectly amongst the mature, indigenous and exotic trees. (B,L,D)

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Day 15 NGORONGORO CRATER, TANZANIA
After breakfast, your safari vehicle will take you on a full day of exploration of the Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania. Once a gigantic volcano, it is the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Today, long since having collapsed and eroded, it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600 meter deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth and is home to a wide variety of animals. A picnic hamper lunch will be served on the crater floor. After lunch, you will explore more of the crater before heading back to the Manor for evening cocktails, dinner and overnight sojourn. Enjoy the splendor of watching the sun go down from your private terrace before an evening of sophisticated up–country hospitality in the magnificent main house. (B,L,D)

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Day 16 NGORONGORO – SERENGETI, TANZANIA
After breakfast you will be chauffeured to Manyara Airstrip from where your flight to the Serengeti departs. Upon arrival at Lobo Airstrip you will be welcomed by the team from Serengeti Migration Camp and will get to enjoy a game drive en route to the camp where your lunch will be served. This afternoon, it is time to stretch your legs on a game walk, should you choose to join. Spend the next two nights at Serengeti Migration Camp in a luxurious safari tent, on an all-inclusive basis. Serengeti Migration camp is hidden in a beautiful place where silence and peace are so enchanting that they create a private symphony whose audience is your every sensation. Discover the pleasure of raw wilderness on a level never imagined. (B,L,D)

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Day 17 SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA
After breakfast you will spend the full day exploring the vast Serengeti. Enjoy a lunch in the bush, after which the afternoon will be spent game viewing. You will return to Serengeti Migration Camp in time for sundowners and dinner. It is not possible to say with any accuracy where the Great Migration of the Wildebeest will be at any one time. There are a number of determining factors; however, one can be assured that if there is a good chance of seeing it then this can be accomplished from Migration Camp. Today will be spent in an open safari cruiser, well stocked with a picnic hamper and cool drinks, for the great expedition to find the Migration. It’s important to remember that not all the animals in the Serengeti opt to join the wildebeest in their time-honored circuit to find the best grazing. Zebras certainly tag along and a good number of predators who are looking for the weak and unwary. But many species are quite happy with their own territory, which makes a day’s game driving in the Serengeti an absolute delight and an experience to be treasured and remembered. (B,L,D)

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Day 18 SERENGETI – ARUSHA, TANZANIA
After breakfast enjoy a game drive en route to the Lobo airstrip in the Serengeti for your flight back to Arusha. Once again the team from Arusha Coffee Lodge will welcome you and show you your dayroom to freshen-up and relax. Lunch will be served in the gardens of the lodge before your final transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport where your African safari comes to a close. We trust you will bring home memories that will last a lifetime. (B,L)

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Day 19 USA/CANADA
Time to head home from your wonderful African Safari adventure.

Call me for exciting details about this once in a lifetime adventure. 919.708.8217

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South Pacific Wonders

South Pacific Wonders.

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South Pacific Wonders

Sydney South Pacific Wonders

Explore two great countries of the Southern Hemisphere—Australia and New Zealand. From the tropical splendor of the Great Barrier Reef on Australia’s northeast coast, to the ethereal beauty of glacial fjords on New Zealand’s South Island, this 15 day journey to the lands “Down Under” brings you the best of both countries at an enjoyable pace. Cruise Sydney Harbour and Milford Sound. Meet Australia’s wildlife up-close. Discover the wonders of Aboriginal culture. Indulge in regional flavors at a wine tasting and experience Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. We will also be visiting Fiji for a 3 day extension.  Join me as we discover the “other side of the world.”

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We board our flight and begin the adventure of a lifetime.  Crossing the International Dateline, we skip a day ahead.
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Cairns, Australia – Tour Begins
Your tour opens in Cairns, the tropical gateway to one of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions and a World Heritage site – the Great Barrier Reef. Established as a marine park in 1975, the reef is a haven for thousands of species of sea life, as well as turtles and birds.

 Great Barrier Reef
Board a high speed catamaran for an exciting excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. This is an immense series of 2,800 coral reefs which are home to amazingly diverse marine life. Explore the reef from your base on Green Island. Enjoy a glass bottom boat ride*, stroll the island walking trails, relax on the beaches, snorkel or just watch the fish and sea turtles swim past from the pier. For a more adventurous encounter with the reef, optional scuba diving and an outer reef tour are also available. Whichever way you choose, you’ll see some of the world’s most fascinating marine and plant life.

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Cairns

Come to know the history of Australia’s original inhabitants at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center. See the traditional dances, learn how to play a didgeridoo or even throw a boomerang. Browse the renowned art gallery and visit the interpretation center which houses a collection of interesting artifacts. At Hartley’s Croc Farm, get up-close and personal with crocodiles in their natural habitat! Boardwalks take you on a path of adventure through rainforests and woodlands to see animals such as wild birds, reptiles and wallabies. While visiting you also have the chance to meet some of the local koalas and have a private talk with a wildlife naturalist to learn more about these cuddly creatures. Take an exciting cruise on the lagoon looking for crocodiles before enjoying a delicious Aussie barbecue.

Sydney Ayers Rock Under a Blue Sky
Cairns – Sydney

Your morning is at leisure. Make your own adventure or simply relax and take in the tropical atmosphere. Later today, fly to the bustling city of Sydney.

  • BREAKFAST
  • HIGH  68  LOW  50
  • 2.2″
  • NOVOTEL ROCKFORD DARLING HARBOUR
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Sydney

This morning see where the original English colonists first settled in 1788 during a city tour of Sydney. Highlights of your tour include Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens and the fashionable suburb of Paddington. Discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sights as you take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. Next, learn how raw opals mined from the depths of the Earth are transformed into beautiful works of art at the National Opal Centre. The evening is free to explore Sydney at your leisure. The opportunities are endless!!

  • BREAKFAST
  • HIGH  68  LOW  50
  • 2.2″
  • NOVOTEL ROCKFORD DARLING HARBOUR
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Sydney

Take hold of the exciting city of Sydney during a day of independent exploration. Your tour manager will be on hand to offer suggestions. Tonight, experience the best of Sydney. As you say your farewell to Australia, chat with new friends and take in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the scenic vistas the harbour has to offer including Sydney’s magnificent skyline and iconic attractions, the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

  • BREAKFAST & DINNER
  • HIGH  68  LOW  50
  • 2.2″
  • NOVOTEL ROCKFORD DARLING HARBOUR
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Sydney – Christchurch, New Zealand

Today you leave Australia behind and fly to the historic city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Devastated by an earthquake in early 2011, see firsthand how the city known as “the Garden City” is recreating itself. Make yourself right at home this evening when a New Zealand family welcomes you into their home for dinner! This is sure to be an unforgettable evening during which you will make new friends, learn about the customs of the “Kiwis,” and enjoy a home-cooked meal.

Christchurch – Mt. Cook Region
This morning you will have some leisure time to explore Christchurch on your own. You may wish to visit the International Antarctic Centre to learn about the 7th continent. Later, depart for the Mt. Cook region. En route, visit a Canterbury farmyard for a fantastic opportunity to learn how a New Zealand family farm operates. You may even catch a sheep shearing demonstration! Next, traverse the spectacular countryside to New Zealand’s most famous national park, Mt. Cook. Admire the jagged contours and nearly vertical slopes of Mt. Cook amid this impressive mountain landscape.

  • BREAKFAST & DINNER
  • MACKENZIE COUNTRY HOTEL
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Mt. Cook Region – Queenstown

This morning, if the dynamic New Zealand weather cooperates, you may choose to view the massive glaciers and extensive snow-covered mountaintop terrain on an optional glacier flightseeing tour. Or, perhaps enjoy nature during free time in Mount Cook National Park. Later, depart for Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s loveliest cities and a top adventure destination. En route, stop at a local fruit stand to gain an inside look at New Zealand produce. You could say it’s a slice of life!

  • BREAKFAST
  • HIGH  60  LOW  41
  • 3″
  • MILLENNIUM HOTEL QUEENSTOWN
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Queenstown

Today Queenstown offers up several options to enhance your tour. Shop or people-watch in the village, enjoy an optional and exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River, or join the optional “Journey through Middle Earth” tour which takes you through the majestic Remarkable Mountains and the breathtaking Queenstown countryside showcasing many of the spots where The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.

  • BREAKFAST
  • HIGH  60  LOW  41
  • 3″
  • MILLENNIUM HOTEL QUEENSTOWN
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Queenstown – Milford Sound – Queenstown

En route to Milford Sound, enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley. You’ll travel through ancient beech forest via the Homer Tunnel. During a cruise of the breathtakingly beautiful Milford Sound you will see why this fjord is one of the most visited sights on the South Island. With rock faces that rise nearly 4,000 feet on either side, the scenery will take your breath away. Following your cruise, you return to Queenstown. You may choose to return via a short optional flight (weather permitting) for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

  • BREAKFAST & LUNCH
  • HIGH  60  LOW  41
  • 3″
  • MILLENNIUM HOTEL QUEENSTOWN
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Queenstown – Arrowtown – Queenstown

Enjoy a leisurely touring day as you set off for the beautiful turn-of-the-century Gold Rush settlement of Arrowtown. Take time to explore independently and stroll its quaint, historic streets. Next, explore the Central Otago region where many of New Zealand’s best wines are grown and produced. During a stop at a local winery, visit their storage cave for a tasting of some of their famous wines. This evening, take in the city of Queenstown from above and soak in the breathtaking views during a gondola ride to dinner at the Skyline Restaurant overlooking Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountains.

  • BREAKFAST & DINNER
  • HIGH  60  LOW  41
  • 3″
  • MILLENNIUM HOTEL QUEENSTOWN
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Queenstown – Tour Ends

Our tour ends, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful adventure.

  • BREAKFAST

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Fiji – Enjoy a 3 night stay in the beautiful tropical paradise of Fiji.  Relax on the expansive sandy beaches and enjoy the clear ocean waters, or join an optional excursion visiting the coral reef or outlying islands.  A true paradise.

Call for dates and details about this one in a lifetime adventure.

919.708.8217

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