Monthly Archives: July 2015

Alpine Lakes and Scenic Trains

como 6

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 Golden Pass 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 Como and Lago Maggiore. Relax in some of Europe’s most stunning and exclusive resort villages, including Zermatt, St Moritz and Lago Maggoire, Italy. Explore Lucerne, the “Swiss Paradise on the Lake.” Visit a cheese farm, enjoy a wine tasting, hike in Zermatt, or perhaps ride a cable car in St. Moritz. Enjoy traditional regional cuisine such as Swiss cheese fondue and Italian delicacies.



  • Your tour – at a glance

    • Enjoy panoramic Alpine views with rides on the GoldenPass, Glacier Express and Bernina Pass trains.
    • Cruise Lake Como on a traditional open-air commuter ferry.
    • Soak up the mountain air with two nights in the Alpine village of Zermatt and two nights in the resort town of St. Moritz.
    • Stroll the lakeside boulevards of Lucerne, St. Moritz and Como.
    • Walk along the streets of Montreux, located on the shores of Lake Geneva.

    como 2 cows on mountain lucerne 1

    If this sounds like an amazing trip – you are right!!!!

    I have 3 different dates in 2016 available for this tour.  Select dates in June – July – or August are available.

    Give me a call to learn more about this stunning Alpine adventure that awaits you.


Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Leave a comment

Paris and Portraits of Southern France

french countryside

Sail along France’s scenic Saône and Rhône Rivers past some of the most beautiful vistas the French countryside has to offer. During your 8-day 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!

*If you are staying 3 nights in Paris, you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel for 3 nights.

eiffel-tower-paris-night-wallpaper - Copy


Fly to Lyon. Transfer from the airport to your 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 get oriented. (D)

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 your ship for lunch and enjoy this afternoon’s scenery as you sail along the Saône River, arriving in Tournus in the early evening. Or, take an optional excursion to the picturesque Burgundy town of Cluny. Return aboard for dinner. (B, L, D)

Lyon, France


After an early morning cruise through the picturesque countryside, you’ll arrive in Lyon during breakfast, then take a morning tour of this city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for marvelous views. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. A walking tour is next, through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), where you’ll have 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)


Lyon Basilica Notre Dame, 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 engaging riverside town on your own. Dine aboard and depart this evening. (B, L, D)

Tournon, France


Awaken in Tournon. During a guided tour of the area, learn about the region’s wine-making 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 is served aboard as we cruise through the afternoon; arrive after dinner in Viviers, an engaging little town in a mountainous setting. Join your Program Director for an evening stroll through Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Enjoy free time before retiring for the evening. (B, L, D)

Arles Arena, Franceb


Arrive during breakfast and take a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and 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 an afternoon on your own to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served as you depart. (B, L, D)


Palace of the Popes, Avignon, France


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 that 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 are served aboard. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)


Avignon, France


After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.* (B)

*If you are extending your stay in France, you will be transferred from the ship to your hotel for 3 nights.


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

Great Lakes and Georgian Bay Cruise

The Great Lakes form the largest freshwater ecosystem on Earth with a melding of natural wonder and majestic beauty. Cruise through four of the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, & Lake Michigan) and Georgian Bay and discover grand landscapes filled with indigenous wildlife. Witness geographic history as retreating glaciers have left their footprint along the shores with unique rock croppings and water falls. The most popular cropping is Flowerpot Rocks, located at the entrance to Georgian Bay.  You’ll visit Niagara Falls, one of the the largest and most dynamic water fall in the world. Step back in time on Mackinac Island. No mechanized transportation is allowed on the island, so horse and buggies and bicycles will allow you to explore this pristine island with its quiet streets adorned with opulent gardens and homes.

Stretching over 150 km, the Bay is considered the sixth Great Lake and contains tens of thousands of islands.  It was named Georgian Bay by Lieutenant Henry Wolsey Bayfield of the Royal Navy in 1822.

Fill your days with exploration and discovery or simply relax and enjoy the view, either way, this cruise has it all.

Trip Highlights:

    • Revel in the immensity of Niagara Falls by boat or from one of the many vista points at Niagara Falls State Park.
    • Home to the only authentic Dutch windmill in the U.S., Holland still holds onto its roots made when Dutch immigrants arrived in the mid-1800s. 
    • Visit Sainte-Marie among the Hurons near Midland for an interactive glimpse into Ontario’s first European Community.

Great Lakes and Georgian Bay Map 102313

This is an excellent cruise if you want to cruise in North America.

Give me a call at 919.708.8217 for pricing and dates.


Categories: River Cruise Travel Posts | Leave a comment

On Sale – 2016 Portugal’s River of Gold

douro - Copy 10-douro-rabelo

Discover one of Europe’s most pristine destinations, Portugal. Begin with two fascinating days and nights exploring the capital city of Lisbon, then proceed to Porto at the mouth of the Douro River to embark your cruise ship. The river takes you on a winding easterly course between steeply terraced vineyards, stopping at ports of call largely unchanged for centuries with charming town squares, colorful castles, baroque mansions and historic monasteries. At the Spanish border you’ll indulge in a scenic ride into Spain to visit the medieval city of Salamanca before your leisurely voyage back to Porto. See unspoiled vistas and sample Portuguese specialties like salt cod, hearty soups and stews and of course the area’s sensational ruby and tawny ports. If you have never visited Portugal, you are in for a treat; or, see a dramatic new side of this beautiful country on the Douro River.

Lisbon, Portugal


Welcome to Lisbon; we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the superior first- class Hotel Tivoli Lisboa (or similar) in the heart of Lisbon.* Relax this afternoon and evening or explore the city a bit on your own.

Lisbon, Portugal


After breakfast, embark on a half-day tour of Lisbon. Begin at Belém with a tour of the Jerónimos Monastery, one of the most prominent examples of Portuguese late Gothic Manueline style of architecture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Tower of Belém that you also explore. Then take a walking tour through the narrow streets of the Alfama District where you learn about Lisbon’s long, multicultural history. (B)


Porto & Bitetos, Portugal


Have breakfast, then check out of your hotel and take a scenic ride to Porto. You will stop for lunch in Coimbra, birthplace of six Portuguese kings and home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. Upon arrival in Porto, proceed to the dock at Vila Nova de Gaia to board your ship. Then, after boarding, you can relax and get settled in your stateroom before a welcome cocktail and dinner is served. (B, L, D)

Porto, Portugal


After breakfast, take a city tour of Porto, a charming riverside community whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire its graceful bridges, baroque cathedrals and romantic 16th- through 19th-century buildings nestled together on narrow cobbled streets. You will see Foz do Douro, an old fishing village where the wealthy families of Porto have always kept their summer homes. Visit a typical port wine-making facility, then return to your ship for lunch.

This afternoon you have time to explore Porto on your own, or take an optional excursion to Guimarães, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guimarães has a medieval quarter with narrow streets, a main square and palaces and monasteries dating back to the 10th century. In the 12th century, it was Portugal’s first capital and home to its first king, Don Afonso Henriques. Rejoin your ship in Bitetos, where it is docked.

This evening, disembark and proceed to the 11th-century Alpendurada Monastery, now a small inn and museum with a sweeping view of the river. Enjoy a leisurely dinner and fado(traditional folk music) concert. (B, L, D)


Régua & Pinhão, Portugal


This morning we sail along the Douro, arriving late morning in Régua. After lunch, disembark for a tour to Vila Real, site of the extraordinary Meteus Palace (the building depicted on the Mateus Rosé wine labels). This stunning baroque palace was the home of the last count of Vila Real; its pinnacled facade, grand stairway, richly appointed interiors and priceless objects on display will astonish you, as will the palace’s enchanting formal gardens featuring cedar-lined walkways, exquisite sculpted hedges and statuary and serene bodies of water. As you depart, catch glimpses of the town’s ornamental carvings, tiled walls and Manueline windows. Visit Quinta do Seixo, one of the area’s iconic port wine–making institutions. See the vineyard and tour the facility to learn how these unique Portuguese products are crafted, then sample the libation in their tasting room. Rejoin your ship in Pinhão for dinner. (B, L, D)


This morning, we sail east along the Douro. You will see dramatic, sheer rock formations, picturesque terraced vineyards and graceful bridges and trestles along the way; you will also pass through two of the river’s locks at the Valeira and Pocinho Dams. We’ll arrive at Barca d’Alva, not far from the Spanish border, during lunchtime.

This afternoon, enjoy a half-day tour to Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. Located approximately 2,200 feet above sea level and surrounded by almond trees, Castelo Rodrigo is one of Portugal’s 12 historic parishes; its streets are narrow and steep and its houses still present 16th-century façades and the distinctively Portuguese Manueline-style windows. Here you will see Sinagoga Street, a remembrance of the Jewish community established by refugees from the Spanish Inquisition; you can visit the local church as well. As we ride back to our ship, we’ll stop here and there to admire panoramic views. (B, L, D)


Today you have a full-day excursion to Salamanca, Spain. This ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living museum that takes visitors back to the Middle Ages; yet it is also a cosmopolitan and multicultural city with a large population of international students. Take a ride through the Iberian countryside to Salamanca, then spend some time exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) on your own. Lunch is served at a local restaurant that features an unforgettable flamenco show. Your afternoon guided city tour takes you to the Gothic House of Shells, the 13th-century Salamanca University and the New Cathedral, built from 1513 through 1733. The Old Cathedral still exists and can be visited during free time. Rejoin your ship in Vega de Terrón. (B, L, D)



This morning, we sail west along the Douro passing some of the area’s quintas (vineyards), where you may catch glimpses of vintners tending their vines.

After breakfast, disembark for a scenic drive up to the little village of Favaios, and make your way to one of the last traditional bakeries in the Douro River Valley. Discover how bread was made in the old days and how it tasted with a sample fresh from the oven. Visit the local museum for a wine-and-bread repast, and explore a typical Portuguese village not yet discovered by the masses. Then continue for lunch at Quinta da Avessada, a rustic centuries-old winery in the heart of the Douro Wine District (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and sample some local varieties of port, such as moscatel. Rejoin your ship in Pinhao where you remain docked overnight. (B, L, D)


Régua, Portugal


Arrive in Régua after breakfast then disembark for a visit to Lamego, a small town known for its baroque Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, dating back to the 14th century and still used by pilgrims today. Visit the shrine, decorated with exquisite tilework in the Moorish manner, and descend the grand baroque staircase. You also see the town’s Gothic cathedral and the ruins of 12th-century Lamego Castle with its unusual vaulted cistern. Return to your ship for lunch and scenic afternoon sailing along the Douro, back toward Porto. Arrive in port during a festive farewell dinner; we are docked overnight so feel free to take an evening stroll or enjoy the activities in the Lounge. (B, L, D)

Porto, Portugal


After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your time in the region with a 2-night extension to Braga, Portugal and Santiago de Compostela, Spain. (B)

Join me on this amazing cruise on the Douro River, drink port, eat tapas, and take in the beautiful scenery along the way. This is one of the most popular river cruises.  They sell out fast, so give me a call soon at 919.708.8217.

Added bonus:  Wine tasting and dinner with my compliments in Portugal.

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