Just back from a wonderful adventure in Venice with my 6-year old granddaughter on an amazing Uniworld Family Cruise on board the beautiful River Countess. For those of you who did not follow along on my Facebook posts, here is a brief synopsis of a week full of surprises.
After resting up at the exquisite Londra Palace hotel, we boarded the lovely River Countess at the Port of Venice for a week of incredible discoveries in and around the magical city of Venice.
Along with visiting several of the Venice highlights, including an exclusive after-hours visit to the basilica, and a visit to the Rialto Market with the chef, we and the children were treated to such cultural delights as mussel fishing and dining at a fisherman’s shack on stilts in the lagoon, historical Bologna and a pasta making class, pizza making and visits to the beautiful lagoon islands. River Countess set up a special room on board for the kids complete with legos, all kinds of crafting activities and a playstation with video games. They all had a wonderful time together and dined with each other at a special kids table in the dining room where the waiters (probably all missing their own children back home) all showered them with attention. Guests on board without children all marveled at how well behaved they were and well organized by the special Children’s hosts on the ship.
On the island of Torcello while the adults enjoyed a visit to view the amazing mosaics in the church, the kids went on a treasure hunt and climbed the bell tower. In colorful Burano, we dined on fresh calamari and shopped for treasures. And while the adults enjoyed a special wine tasting at a gorgeous vineyard on Mazzorbo, the kids honed their rowing skills on a canal in the Lagoon. Visits to the local market in Chioggia, time at the beach and bike rides, rounded out a week filled with activities. For the older children and adults, excursions to Padua, Ravenna and Verona were also offered. All around fun time for all!!
I highly recommend this amazing itierary for all ages. It is an incredible way to see Venice and so much more. Uniworld thought of every little detail to keep clients of all ages happy at all times.
For families with children young and old, this is a fantastic vacation opportunity you may never have considered. Dedicated family cruises are offered on several of their River Cruise itineraries. Ask me about the perfect one for you.
Join us on this amazing voyage from Southampton to Barcelona sipping and tasting the wines and foods of Western France (Bordeaux), Basque Country, Rioja, Porto and the Douro, Lisbon, Cadiz (sherry) and the Barcelona Penedes regions. Special food and wine oriented pre and post cruise packages are also on offer for all foodies and wine enthusiasts. On board, special food and wine events and shore excursions (all included) are offered. Experience life traveling on the best all-inclusive luxury cruise line in the world! Contact me for more details.
Cabins are filling fast … don’t miss the boat – contact us for more details!
I have just returned from an incredible trip to the amazing region of LaChampagne in France followed by 5 wonderful days in beautiful, sunny Paris.
While I often get asked about a day trip to Reims from Paris (just one hour by train) to visit a champagne cellar, never have I been asked to design an itinerary around a week or so in this spectacular region totally void of tourists. If you have plans to return to France and enjoy a glass of bubbly, this region should be high on your list. With the 3 beautiful cities of Reims, Epernay and Troyes anchoring the area, miles and miles of scenic vineyards and countless, gorgeous stone villages interspersed, there is enough to see and do to keep you busy for days or even weeks. We even squeezed in a visit to Renoir’s House and Studio in Essoyes. Between our educational talks at the International Wine Tourism Conference, and the many visits to world-famous champagne houses such as Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, Collet and Mercier along with several visits to small independent wineries producing amazing champagnes – some selling for just 15 Euros a bottle – we learned a wealth of facts and figures about this fabulous product. During our stay there, we sampled champagnes paired with all kinds of foods … with the exception of a very rare table wine called Rose de Riceys produced from only certain pinot noir grapes in one small village, the bubbly was served exclusively at every meal. Usually 5 different varieties with 5 different courses. Only very few producers make Rosé des Riceys wines, and in limited quantities, so they are very rarely seen outside France. Stretching from Reims in Marne due east of Paris south to the Aube and the border of Bourgnone (Burgundy), La Champagne covers a large and beautiful area of France that should definitely be on your must-see list!! With the help of all my new found friends in the area, we can design a fantastic itinerary for you!
Following my week in LaChampagne, I traveled by train into Paris where I took time to explore in depth the areas of St. Germain de Pres and the Marais as well as visit some of the lesser known museums, such as the Musee de Cluny, L’Orangerie, and Musee Rodin which were all small and amazing. A visit to Monet’s house and Gardens in Giverny rewarded us with a blaze of color thanks to the incredibly warm weather. Finally a return to the summit of the Eiffel Tower after 45 years! Here despite having the required timed ticket entry, the lines for the elevators to reach the summit took over an hour … and then there are the lines to get down again. BUT I have discovered the secret sauce … how to get up the Eiffel Tower without waiting in the elevator lines! Ask me how for your next trip to Paris.
Stays in two of my favorite Left Bank Hotels, Relais Christine and L’Espirit St. Germain just made our visit very special.
Definitely missing my glass of champagne today …….
Join us on this Virtuoso Voyager Club adventure as we travel to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras, and experience each country’s undeniable allure. Wander amid Mayan ruins and have lunch on a Cozumel beach. Go fly-fishing in Costa Maya, and soar over stunning Tikal National Park in a helicopter. You can even enjoy the relaxation and revelry of Key West, the “Conch Republic”. This sweeping Central American adventure is one you’re sure to enjoy.
Exclusive Offer: Enjoy a 10% Single Supplement on this Voyage.
Do you prefer to stay Stateside for your next great adventure? Join us for the perfect combination of history, fabulous scenery and great wines of the American Northwest. Explore 4 Rivers and 9 Wineries sailing round trip from Portland, Oregon on a unique 88-passenger river ship. Our exclusive offer to you is $400 per cabin off the cruise rate along with $100 per cabin on board credit if booked before May 1, 2015.
Calling all foodies … don’t miss this opportunity to sail with celebrity chef, Jaques Pepin, on this wonderful itinerary through the Mediterranean from Lisbon to Rome … and then book the fabulous Culinary Creations experience in Rome following the Cruise. Enjoy special on board culinary presentations and excursions, great pricing and our group bonus of prepaid gratuities and $150 on board credit!! A Food lover’s dream … contact us for more details.
We have an exclusive extension of the early booking discount until August 31st, 2015. Also we are now able to give you $150 per person on board credit. COME AND JOIN US …. CAN YOU SAY “CHAMPAGNE!!”
It is lovely to visit the Mediterranean late in the season when the weather is usually wonderful, there are less crowds everywhere and between summer and the holidays, it is just a nice time to travel. And it is especially lovely to do so on an exquisite luxury ship. Arriving in Rome for two leisurely days in one of our very favorite cities, gave us time to rest up and lose the jet lag before boarding the beautiful Regent Voyager just out of dry dock with a major refurbishment which made her look brand new.
This is a small ship by today’s standards accommodating just 700 passengers in elegant veranda suites of varying sizes. We splurged on a huge Seven Seas suite with 1-1/2 bathrooms and a butler which was pure heaven for our 10-day voyage. The ship is small enough to be intimate and have no crowded spaces or lines anywhere, ever, yet large enough to have various dining and entertainment venues to please everyone. A lovely touch is Regent’s “block party”, right after muster the first afternoon, all passengers were invited out into their hallways and asked to bring a glass from their bar. And there waiting to greet us were waiters with canapés and bottles of champagne as we greeted our new neighbors and the officers who passed by to greet us.
Throughout the cruise all the staff were amazingly courteous and efficient, not one staff member ever passed us in the halls without smiling and saying “good morning, afternoon, evening”. We all swore the butlers had hidden cameras in the suites as they appeared out of nowhere with our evening hors d’oeuvres the minute we stepped in! The food in all the restaurants on board was exceptional at all times as were the free-flowing wines offered throughout the journey. The ship also boasts a magnificent Canyon Ranch Spa for those wishing even more pampering.
Our journey through the Mediterranean and Aegean seas took us from Rome to Monte Carlo, on to Pisa and Lucca, Sorrento, Taormina, Sicily for wine tasting at a vineyard on the side of Mt. Etna; Corfu, Greece; Kotor, Montenegro – indisputably everyone’s favorite; Dubrovnik, Croatia and back to Italy for visits to Ancona and Venice. It was a dream itinerary revisiting many favorite spots and discovering new ones. The dawn arrival at St. Mark’s Square had everyone up on deck to witness this amazing scene …. One which may not be possible much longer as Venetians are trying to ban the cruise ships passing that way anymore.
We have been fortunate to travel in Europe by ship from Lisbon to Istanbul over the years visiting just about every port along the way and we never tire of this incredibly civilized and comfortable way to see the world. Try it, we guarantee you will like it!
Packing now to leave in a few days to host over 100 Virtuoso Voyager Club clients on a marvelous voyage from Rome to Venice on the beautiful Regent Seven Seas Voyager. All our guests will be comfortably accommodated in their luxurious suites with verandas, many with the additional luxury of Butler service.
I will keep you updated on our adventures as we sail the Mediterranean and Adriatic on this exciting itinerary.