Monthly Archives: August 2015

Tulips and Windmills Cruise

Holland’s floral splendor only happens in the springtime. Come see the rainbow of colors, and visit some of Belgium’s most beautifully preserved medieval cities for the ultimate 10-day spring journey in the Low Countries. Explore Amsterdam’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and world-famous museums. Experience Belgium’s Golden Age in historic Antwerp and the lovely patrician cities of Ghent and Bruges. Learn more about Holland’s age-old battle against the sea with tours of ingenious windmills and the massive Delta Works project. Plus, enjoy savory Dutch cheeses, delectable Belgian chocolates and Belgium’s exquisite, intricate lace on this delightful cruise.  If you are a lover of flowers, a visit to Keukenhof Gardens will be one of your favorite stops.

Holland

DAY 1 | AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Anne Frank House. (D)

A canal tour of Amsterdam, Netherlands

DAY 2 | AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

After breakfast, embark on a canal tour by glass-topped boat to see architecture from the city’s Golden Age. Return aboard for lunch, then take free time to visit the Anne Frank House, see the Van Gogh Museum or just explore the city’s charming neighborhoods. As always, your Viking Concierge can help you plan your afternoon. Dine aboard your ship; we depart this evening. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Hoorn, Netherlands

DAY 3 | HOORN, THE NETHERLANDS

Early this morning, sail across the IJsselmeer (once known as the Zuiderzee) to the ancient shipping village of Hoorn. After breakfast, enjoy a guided walk through Hoorn’s cobbled streets; see age-old cheese warehouses on the town’s main square, which dates back to Holland’s Golden Age. Lunch is served aboard; you have a free afternoon to explore Hoorn, visit a local bakery and shop for souvenirs. Or, take an optional excursion showcasing the small towns and bucolic landscapes of the northern Holland area. Depart during dinner and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Paleis Het Loo, Arnhem, Belgium

DAY 4 | ARNHEM, THE NETHERLANDS

After early arrival in Arnhem, visit the 17th-century Paleis Het Loo,† the Dutch royal family’s summer residence for the past 300 years. Take a guided tour through its sumptuously furnished rooms and beautifully landscaped gardens. After an onboard lunch, enjoy free time, or join the optional battlefield tour that also visits the Airborne Museum. Dine aboard as we set sail for Kinderdijk this evening. (B, L, D)

†Closed Mondays; battlefield visit or museum tour will be substituted.

Kinderdijk, Netherlands

DAY 5 | KINDERDIJK, THE NETHERLANDS & ANTWERP, BELGIUM

Arrive this morning in Kinderdijk and disembark for a tour of this ingenious 18th-century community. Learn why the windmills were built and see how they work to help control flooding, then tour a working windmill to see its pumping mechanism and living quarters at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an onboard lunch as we sail toward Antwerp. After dining aboard, relax on your ship or spend some time exploring the cafés and brew pubs of this extraordinary Flemish capital. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium

DAY 6 | ANTWERP, BELGIUM

This morning, enjoy a half-day tour of Antwerp featuring the Cathedral of Our Lady with its three monumental altarpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens; the Grote Markt (Grand Square) surrounded by the Golden Age Town Hall and guild halls; and Het Steen (Steen Castle), Antwerp’s oldest building. You have afternoon free time before dining aboard your ship tonight as we sail for Ghent. (B, L, D)

Old Town, Ghent, Belgium

DAY 7 | GHENT & BRUGES, BELGIUM

From Ghent, travel to Bruges, one of the oldest towns in Flanders. Your city walk visits the Church of Our Lady, with its famous Madonna and Child, sculpted by Michelangelo. Also see the Beguinage, a hidden courtyard inhabited by nuns, and the town’s scenic network of canals. Stay in Bruges for lunch on your own, or return to Ghent for lunch aboard and an afternoon exploring this exceptionally charming, canal-filled capital of East Flanders. Enjoy a beautifully lit evening departure from Ghent as we cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

DAY 8 | DELTA WORKS & ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

After breakfast travel to the region of Walcheren, formerly an island of the southwest Netherlands. Stop in Veere and enjoy a walking tour of this engaging, time-honored town. From here, travel to the Delta Works, the ingenious system of enormous doors that can be lowered during spring tides to protect the area from floods while allowing the tides to ebb and flow. Rejoin your ship, which has sailed on to Bruinisse, for lunch and afternoon sailing. Arrive this evening in Rotterdam, the world’s second largest port. After an onboard dinner, you have free time to explore the city. It has been significantly rebuilt after much World War II destruction, and some of its architecture is quite innovative. (B, L, D)

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, Netherlands

DAY 9 | KEUKENHOF GARDENS & AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

After breakfast, visit the picturesque Keukenhof Gardens, the world’s largest floral park. Admire the stunning beauty at both indoor and outdoor exhibits of millions of vibrant blooms including tulips, hyacinths, croci and daffodils. Return aboard for lunch.

The rest of the day is yours to discover Amsterdam’s hidden treasures. You may choose to explore Museum Square, take a bike ride or shop for colorful clogs and tulip bulbs. Enjoy dinner aboard your ship, followed by free time to enjoy Amsterdam’s nightlife. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)

Amsterdam canals, Netherlands

DAY 10 | AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

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

Or, you may want to extend your vacation with a few extra days in Amsterdam.

Call me for more details about this Rhine River adventure. You can reach me anytime at 919.708.8217 or cruiselikeavip@windstream.net.  You can also contact me at facebook.com/cruiselikeavip.

This cruise will be March 27, 2016.

One of the bonuses of this tour – airfare is only $295.00.  This is the lowest I have seen for this part of the world.

Thanks for reading my newsletter this week. I appreciate all my readers.

 The following meals are included: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
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ON SALE – PARIS AND THE HEART OF NORMANDY

20090427-134448-pic-585130532_t607 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - CopyWelcome to Paris and the Heart of Normandy.

You have seen this cruise several times this year because this is one of my favorites. The airfare for this cruise is so affordable, I wanted my readers to take advantage of some of the lowest airfare to Europe I have seen.

Imagine, seeing the Eiffel Tower, Cathedral of Notre Dame, walk along the Champs Elysees, and perhaps an optional visit to the magnificent Palace of Versailles.  Then, visit the beautiful gardens of Giverny where Claude Monet lived and painted many of his masterpieces. The highlight of this trip will be the visit to the Normandy Beaches, the museum and the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer where you will see row upon row of identical white crosses and Stars of David to commemorate the American dead. President Roosevelt’s two sons are buried side by side here.  If you have family members buried at Normandy, you are provided a map with their location in the cemetery.  This will be one of the most emotional and heartfelt places you will ever visit.

Give me a call to take advantage of this great airfare to Paris, I have planned either March 25 or March 27 departures for our river cruise. 919.708.8217

Here’s our itinerary for the week:

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

DAY 1 | PARIS, FRANCE

Arrive in Paris, romance capital of the world. Transfer from the airport in Paris to your ship.* After boarding, take free time to explore Paris, or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented. (D)

Paris Louvre, France

DAY 2 | PARIS, FRANCE

Wake up to a full day in Paris. After breakfast, embark on a half-day tour of this dazzling city and take in its most remarkable sights, including the iconic Eiffel Tower. You’ll also see the École Militaire, Orsay Museum and Latin Quarter and the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame. Then we’ll drive past the Louvre and Opera House and along the famed Champs-Élysées. Return aboard for lunch. This afternoon you’re free to take in the Louvre, shop the fashionable boutiques, visit the artists’ district of Montmartre or enjoy a cruise along the Seine. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served aboard your ship. (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Vernon Notre Dame, France

DAY 3 | GIVERNY & VERNON, FRANCE

Arrive in Vernon before breakfast; take a short ride into the town of Giverny, where Claude Monet resided from 1883 until his death in 1926. Visit the beautiful gardens and charming stone farmhouse where he lived and worked; see the water garden with the recognizable Japanese bridge, water lilies, wisteria and azaleas that inspired many of his masterpieces.†

After lunch, spend some time with your Program Director in the provincial town of Vernon. Take a stroll to see the Maison du Temps Jadis (House of Past Times), Vernon’s oldest house, and the 11th-century Church of Notre Dame. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)

† Monet garden not available before April 1 or after November 1; a visit to the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, favored by van Gogh and other artists, will be substituted.

DAY 4 | ROUEN, FRANCE

Indulge in leisurely morning cruising along the Seine. You’ll spend the afternoon in the medieval city of Rouen, preeminent capital of Normandy. Begin with a walking tour through the center of Old Town, where you see the spectacular Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, often painted by Claude Monet, and the famous Gros Horloge, a 16th-century astronomical clock. As you walk among the half-timbered storybook buildings, you’ll feel transported back through time; see the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and the nearby Market Square where she was martyred.

Take free time to discover more of Rouen or visit one of its museums of art or antiquities. Dine aboard or at a sidewalk café. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)

DAY 5 | NORMANDY BEACHES, FRANCE

After breakfast, begin your full-day tour to the historic beaches of Normandy. Drive past Gold Beach, Courseulles sur Mer and Juno Beach on your way to visit such World War II landmarks as Omaha Beach, the American Military Cemetery and Arromanches Debarkment D-Day Museum. Have dinner and relax aboard your ship or take an evening stroll. (B, L, D)

Les Andelys Chateau Galliard, France

DAY 6 | LES ANDELYS & CONFLANS, FRANCE

Enjoy a leisurely morning cruise to the small town of Les Andelys, known for its imposing castle, Château Gaillard, built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart. After lunch, join a guided walk to this fatally flawed masterpiece of Middle Ages architecture. Return aboard for scenic cruising and dinner. Late in the evening we dock in Conflans, a riverside town whose unique culture reflects its status as a local hub for barge transportation along the Seine and its tributaries. (B, L, D)

Conflans Palace Versailles, France

DAY 7 | CONFLANS & PARIS, FRANCE

After breakfast, set out on a walking tour through the charming neighborhoods of Conflans. Or, join an optional tour to the luxurious Palace of Versailles, former home of Louis XIV. Lunch aboard your ship as you sail back to Paris this afternoon. Dine aboard and then enjoy some free time in the “City of Light.” (B, L, D)

UNESCO

Paris, France

DAY 8 | PARIS, FRANCE

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Paris airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your time in France’s romantic capital with a 3-night Paris extension. (B)

All this can be yours with just a phone call or text to me.  Current price is $3056 for french balcony stateroom per person Airfare is $395 per person. 919.708.8217 or cruiselikeavip@windstream.net.  You can also facebook me at facebook.com/cruiselikeavip.  As always I appreciate you reading my posts. You are what makes me successful. Thank you.

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

* Airport meet & greet transfers included when air is purchased from Viking River Cruises

Cruise Itinerary

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Cruise Like A VIP’s 2016 River Cruise Lineup

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Welcome to my 2016 River Cruise Lineup.

I have selected a variety of River Cruises for 2016 for every taste and budget.  I chose these specific itineraries for their locations and the important sites they visit.  Not only are you getting a once in a lifetime experience, you also immerse yourself in other cultures of the world.

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Nothing compares to a river.  On river cruises, you are gently carried along on an elegant, intimate ship, docking in the center of town, strolling off to begin your explorations. Comfortable and convenient, river cruising offers you the opportunity to go beyond the cities and see quaint riverside towns, breathtaking landscapes and wide-open skies.  And because the rivers offer smooth sailing, there is no motion sickness.  Small wonder so many people have fallen in love with this enjoyable form of travel.  When you think about your next voyage, think about what you want to really see.  A charming European sidewalk cafe on a cobblestone street, imposing castles overlooking the rivers’ banks,.  Sipping wine from vineyards that climb the steep hillsides or strolling a farmers’ market with the locals.

The world is ours to discover.  Think about discovering parts of it on a river cruise.  It will be a wonderful experience for you.

Paris & Normandy Beaches – March 27, 2016

Rhine Rhapsody – April 4, 2016

Imperial Jewels of China – June 12, 2016

Magnificent Mekong – July 18, 2016

Portugal’s River of Gold – March 25 or October 30, 2016

Cities of Light – November 3, 2016

Danube Waltz – November 25, 2016

Heart of Germany – December 1, 2-16 (Christmas Markets)

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All these river cruises are on Viking River Cruises.  I am a fan of Viking as they offer a great product at a reasonable price.  Call me when you are ready to discuss your next adventure at 919.708.8217.

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Grand Canyon Adventure with Zion and Bryce Canyon

Grand Canyon Adventure with Zion and Bryce Canyon Parks

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Here’s our itinerary:

Day 1 – Phoenix, Arizona

See the greatest national parks of America’s Southwest! Spend four nights in national park lodges, including two nights at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and two nights at Zion Park Lodge. Your adventure begins in Phoenix, Arizona. Transfer from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport by hotel courtesy shuttle to your hotel. Rooms are available for check in after 3:00 p.m. Join Caravan for a 6:00 p.m. welcome briefing.

Day 2 – Sedona, Grand Canyon
Drive through Scottsdale and along Camelback Mountain on your morning sightseeing. Next, visit Montezuma Castle, site of 12th and 13th century Native American cliff dwellings. Continue to the artist colony of Sedona, surrounded by towering red rock formations. You have free time in Sedona to explore galleries, shops and restaurants. Continue through scenic Oak Creek Canyon. Arrive at the Grand Canyon for a relaxing two-night stay. Your lodge is inside the Grand Canyon National Park, near the South Rim. Enjoy dinner at the Grand Canyon. Elevation at the South Rim averages 7,000 feet. BD

Day 3 – Grand Canyon National Park
Enjoy breakfast at historic El Tovar Lodge on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Entire day to explore the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Almost 280 miles long, the Grand Canyon varies in width from one to eighteen miles, with the Colorado River winding below. You have a morning orientation drive of the Grand Canyon. Visit Desert View Lookout. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy Grand Canyon National Park. You can take a free shuttle bus to the many lookout points on the West Rim. You have plenty of time to hike on Bright Angel Trail into the Grand Canyon, or enjoy activities offered along the rim trails, including bike rentals. You also can visit the historic Grand Canyon Park buildings, Hopi House and Lookout Studio. Relax and enjoy Grand Canyon vistas, or attend one of the daily park ranger talks. Your two night stay inside Grand Canyon National Park allows time for a comprehensive visit. Best of all, you will enjoy two opportunities to see Grand Canyon sunsets and sunrises. B

Day 4 – Monument Valley, Jeep Tour
Drive along the scenic East Rim of the Grand Canyon. Then, visit a Navajo and Hopi Trading Post. Here, you will find a large selection of high-quality Hopi Kachina dolls, fine Native American jewelry and handicrafts. Next, drive through the Hopi Indian Nation to the Navajo Indian Nation. Enjoy a guided jeep tour of the restricted backcountry of Monument Valley, a beautiful, pristine area of buttes and arches, with Navajo guides. John Ford, the filmmaker, discovered the rugged beauty of Monument Valley in the 1930’s. Western classics, such as “Stagecoach,” “The Searchers,” and “Once Upon a Time in the West” were filmed in Monument Valley. Hollywood legends, such as Maureen O’Hara, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and James Stewart filmed Westerns here. Then, to Lake Powell Resort on the shores of picturesque Lake Powell. Enjoy a relaxing two night stay. B

Day 5 – Lake Powell, Canyon Cruise
Breakfast in your resort’s famous Rainbow Room with 180 degree sweeping views of Lake Powell. This morning, enjoy a scenic boat cruise through Lake Powell’s Antelope Canyon, lined with rich red sandstone walls. Rest of the day is at Leisure to enjoy Lake Powell Resort. B

Day 6 – Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park
Enjoy breakfast in the Rainbow Room. Then, drive to Kanab, known as Little Hollywood. Over 100 western movies and TV shows were filmed here including “Gunsmoke,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Wagon Train,” and “How the West Was Won.” Next visit Bryce Canyon. See the Bryce “Hoodoos,” fantastic red, orange and pink limestone spirals. Stop at Bryce Point and Sunrise Point, overlooking the stunning Bryce Amphitheater. Continue to Zion National Park. With Caravan, enjoy a relaxing two night stay at the only lodging inside the park, Zion Lodge. Stroll the beautiful grounds of your lodge ideally situated in the center of the valley floor. Marvel at the cliffs towering above. Enjoy dinner at Zion Lodge. BD

Day 7 – Zion National Park
This morning enjoy a private tram tour of Zion Park. See a wonderland of rock monoliths. Zion features stunning scenery found nowhere else. Zion is a geological showplace with sandstone cliffs among the highest in the world. Early settlers were so inspired by Zion’s beauty that they bestowed exalted names on the park’s natural features. See East Temple, the Court of the Patriarchs and the Great White Throne. Afternoon at leisure to relax in your magnificent setting or pursue park activities. You may wish to take the free Zion Canyon shuttle or hike the Park’s scenic walking trails near your lodge. Enjoy dinner at Zion Lodge. BD

Day 8 – Zion Park to Las Vegas, Nevada
After breakfast at Zion Park Lodge, Caravan transfers you from Zion Park to Las Vegas, Nevada. Enjoy a brief sightseeing drive of the dazzling Las Vegas strip. Arrive at the Las Vegas airport at 11:30 a.m. Please schedule flights after 1:30 p.m. Thanks for vacationing with Caravan. B

If you would like to stay over a few days in Las Vegas, I will be glad to arrange it for you.  I am planning on staying 2 days.  Call me at 919.708.8217 to book this Grand Canyon Adventure.  Only $300 holds your Caravan tour.

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Heart of Germany Christmas Cruise

CITIES_EU-Cochem-Germany_OVR_478x345_tcm21-9187Heart of Germany Christmas Cruise

Welcome to my Heart of Germany cruise this week.  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 quaint and picturesque towns and villages on the Main River of Germany.  As this cruise is on sale already, there is no better time to plan your next year Christmas shopping with an ultimate vacation.  Along with shopping, we will be seeing spectacular scenery along the river.   This cruise begins on November 25, 2016.  You can also extend your vacation in Nuremberg or Prague, Czech Republic and still have plenty of time to be home for the holiday festivities.

Here’s just a preview of the places we will be visiting on our Christmas cruise.

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Date of cruise:  November 25, 2016.  Price:  $2595 per person (includes airfare, taxes, cruise, transfers) french balcony cabin.  Call me soon as these prices are the lowest I have seen since I have been selling river cruises.  Call before the spaces are gone at 919.708.8217.  Thank you for your interest.

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