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River Cruising on 5 Continents

As river cruises have exploded in popularity in recent years, more and more ships have hit the water and more companies have entered the market. It is also being marketed to all generations with special family themed departures for kids from 4 years on up and hip, new U-Cruise ships designed strictly for the millennials. It’s a great way to get around to several destinations on the same trip without having to figure out transportation and hauling luggage around. Plus, there are a lot of inclusions, from excursions to meals and even drinks in a lot of cases. Typically, when people think of river cruises, they think of Europe. There are certainly a lot of great itineraries there, but it’s important to note that Virtuoso-preferred lines are operating river cruises on five continents. All those options can be overwhelming, so let’s break it down.

Europe

This continent’s rivers are still by far the most heavily trafficked. No fewer than nine Virtuoso-preferred companies offer river cruises in Europe. Some itineraries are unique. For example, Uniworld is the only line with cruises on the Po River in Italy and is also launching cruises aimed specifically at millennials in 2018. Some are off the beaten path. French Country Waterways, Abercrombie & Kent and Belmond offer barge cruising in France. Viking has a Kiev to the Black Sea journey through Ukraine. Crystal is new to river cruising after many successful years on the ocean, and its river product rivals Uniworld’s in terms of most-inclusive. Both include gratuities and alcoholic drinks throughout the ship at all times. Ama Waterways is building another ship for its always-sold-out Douro itineraries in Portugal. Past travelers with Tauck can receive the Gift of Time, one complimentary hotel night on either end of cruise. It’s also putting loft spaces into lower-deck cabins so passengers can open their windows above the water line. Avalon Waterways’ Panorama suites are designed to maximize space, with uniquely shaped bathrooms and beds facing large windows so you can see the river as soon as you wake and have an open-air sitting area inside the cabin.

Most lines include excursions in each port plus beer and wine at meals. Several have optional excursions for an additional fee, and some even have bicycles onboard if you just want to go for a ride and take in the sights yourself. Among the most popular itineraries are Christmas Markets, Tulip Time in the Netherlands and Belgium, and Danube cruises between Prague and Budapest. Special interest sailings such as wine-themed and Jewish heritage abound.

Asia

Experience India from along the Ganges, China along the Yangtze, Myanmar along the Irrawady
or Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong and visit some of the most breathtaking sites in the
world. Uniworld’s 13-day India’s Golden Triangle & The Sacred Ganges itinerary visits bustling
New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur before a 7-night cruise starting and ending in Kolkata. Belmond and
Avalon’s Irrawady itineraries open up the “Golden Land” of Myanmar, from shimmering
pagodas to possible spottings of the rare Irrawady dolphin. Ama is adding itineraries on the
Ganges and Irrawady in the next few years. Viking’s three itineraries in China range from 14 to
19 days between Beijing and Shanghai. All three feature the beautiful Wu Gorge and Xi’an, and
the Roof of the World spends two days in Lhasa, Tibet. Uniworld’s three China itineraries range
from 11 to 18 days, one stopping in Tibet and another ending in Hong Kong. The Mekong is quite
popular thanks to such gems as Angkor Wat and Siem Reap. Ama, Avalon, Aqua Expeditions,
Viking and Uniworld all operate all the river.

Africa

Ama’s 28-passenger Zambezi Queen does four-night itineraries on the Chobe River brings the wildlife to you as you’re floating along a primary water source. The journeys built around the cruise include options for exploring Cape Town, going on safari, seeing Victoria Falls and a luxury train ride through Zimbabwe and South Africa. Uniworld and Viking each have 12-day Egypt journeys that begin and end in Cairo. The Nile cruises feature ancient temples in Luxor, the Aswan High Dam, the magnificent Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and of course the Great Pyramids of Giza. Uniworld deploys the 82-passenger River Tosca along the Nile, while Viking uses the 148-guest ms Mayfair and its own 48-passenger Viking Ra.

North America

As its name implies, UnCruise Adventures does things a little differently. UnCruise goes places other lines don’t go, and its itineraries through the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers do not disappoint. On the 88-passenger S.S. Legacy, a replica of an 1898 coastal gold rush steamer, UnCruise has three themes: Legacy of Discovery, Rivers of Wine and Rivers of Adventure, all roundtrip from Portland. The Legacy of Discovery traces the path of Lewis and Clark, delving into the culture and history of the area. Rivers of Wine features winery tours and tastings in five American viticultural areas: Columbia Gorge, Walla Walla, Red Mountain, Columbia Valley and Willamette Valley. Rivers of Adventure offers white-water rafting on the Deschutes River and water sports in Palouse Falls State Park. Don’t worry, you get to drink wine and see Multnomah Falls on all three options.

South America

With capacities of 44 and 32 respectively, the Delfin III (Avalon) and Aria Amazon (Aqua Expeditions) take guests down the Peruvian Amazon in comfort. Aqua’s seven-night Expedition Cruise, four-night Explorer Cruise and three-night Discovery Cruise all start and end in Iquitos, with different itineraries depending on water level. The long you cruise the more opportunity there is for piranha fishing, jungle trekking and glimpsing pink dolphins. Avalon’s itineraries, ranging from 11 to 20 days spend four days on the river with journeys Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, the Nazca Lines and even a second cruise in the Galapagos possible.

Punta Cana

Just back from a whirlwind visit to beautiful Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Here I visited hotels large and small all along the coast of this very popular resort getaway. In Punta Cana, there is definitely something for everyone, from luxury boutique hotels in gated communities to enormous all-inclusive resorts offering every imaginable amenity, activity and entertainment.

Whether you are planning a quick romantic getaway for two, a destination wedding, a honeymoon in paradise, a family vacation or a holiday with a group of your favorite party animals, there is the perfect resort for you in Punta Cana ….. contact me for all the details

Venenice Lagoon and Po River Family Cruise with Uniworld

 

           

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.

Top 10 European Rail Journeys

A&K Destination management company
Top European Rail JourneysRomantic, comfortable and sublimely picturesque, rail travel is one of Europe’s great pleasures.

It is also a fast and relaxing way to combine destinations to create your perfect itinerary.

Meanwhile our outstanding Concierge Rail Service ensures your travel between destinations with the ease and comfort you have come to expect from an us.

For inspiration, take a look at our top 10 European rail journeys.

Top 10 European Rail Journeys

1.    Zermatt to St Moritz
2.    Moscow to Vladivostok
3.    Zurich to Milan
4.    Paris to Barcelona
5.    Amsterdam to Germany
6.    Budapest to Vienna to Prague
7.    London to Edinburgh
8.    Verona to Munich
9.    Santiago di Compostela to León
10.  Fort William to Mallaig

Should you wish to incoroparte any of these fantastic journeys into a European adventure we would love to hear from you.

Silversea's Galapagos

THIS IS SUCH EXCITING NEWS – TO BE ABLE TO EXPLORE THE AMAZING GALAPAGOS ISLANDS WHILE STAYING ON AN EXQUISITE SILVERSEA VESSEL AND ENJOY ALL THE LUXURY AND PAMPERING THAT SILVERSEA CAN OFFER YOU IS THE VERY BEST OF BOTH WONDERFUL WORLDS!! CALL US FOR MORE DETAILS AS THESE VOYAGES WILL SELL OUT VERY FAST.

The 100-guest Silver Galapagos. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waterways throughout the Galápagos Islands, she is naturally suited for in-depth explorations of this spectacular region. She offers all the intimate conviviality and elegant sophistication that has made Silversea the preferred choice for today’s discerning travellers.

All accommodations are ocean-view suites, most feature private balconies – and all offer the personalised services of a professional butler. Relax completely and leave the unpacking to your butler as you sail away on your unforgettable adventure. Like-minded guests from across the globe are your travelling companions, and the intimate ambience is much like a country club where conversations flow as easily as the complimentary drinks.

Silversea
Announcing Our Premiere Voyage
HIGHLIGHTS & SPECIAL EVENTS
Guest lecturers, Dr. Paul D. Stewart and Richard Wollocombe
Expedition team including renowned zoologists, naturalists, writers and photographers
Premiere Lecture Programme supported by Royal Geographical Society
A memorable cultural experience at a local Ecuadorian school
Voyage hosted by senior executives of Silversea
Commemorative Silver Galapagos logo apparel
Commemorative “old world” chart of the Galapagos Islands
Hand-crafted sculpture by a local Ecuadorian artisan
DAYS VOYAGE FROM/TO SILVER PRIVILEGE
EXPLORER SUITE FARES FROM
SILVER PRIVILEGE
VERANDA SUITE FARES FROM
SILVER SKY*
AIR FROM
7 8404 Baltra to Baltra $5,950 $8,150 $1,100
* The Silver Galapagos Air Package from Quito to Baltra and return to Guayaquil, park entrance fees and immigration fees are additional costs and not reflected in the fares shown above. Please contact Silversea Reservations for pricing.
— SPECIAL GUEST LECTURERS —
PAUL STEWART DR. PAUL STEWART, Award-winning Zoologist, Writer, Producer and Photographer
Having earned his Doctorate from Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Dr. Stewart has won the national Prince Philip Zoology prize. He has written and photographed for wildlife magazines around the world, including his book “Galapagos — Islands That Changed the World.” He is also a multiple Primetime Emmy and BAFTA award-winning cameraman and producer across 40 countries.
RICHARD WOLLOCOMBE RICHARD WOLLOCOMBE, Renowned Wildlife Cameraman, Naturalist and Galapagos Resident Mr. Wollocombe is an Emmy and RTS award-winning cameraman with 15 years experience filming on land and underwater. His natural history filmmaking credentials include extensive work for Discovery in the South Pacific, as well as his award-winning Galapagos, voted best film at the Jackson Hole Film Festival. As a resident of the Galapagos, Mr. Wollocombe knows first hand the natural riches the islands possess.
BOOK A LUXURY EXPEDITION TODAY!
For more information, please call us

Unforgettable Events

Tauck
Tauck Events
 

What happens when you combine Tauck’s 87+ years of travel expertise
with once-in-a-lifetime, history-making experiences?

Unforgettable Events, Impossible to Replicate, Uniquely Tauck – Filling Fast

Imagine making it possible for you… to dine in an exclusive art-filled gallery in the Vatican Museums traditionally reserved for heads of state or church officials… or ring in the New Year with a gala dinner in the ballroom of a famous star-studded Hollywood hotel that annually hosts the glamorous Golden Globe Awards… or listen to a keynote address by The Civil War filmmaker Ken Burns during a cocktail reception and a private after-hours tour of the National Archives in Washington, DC…

You can do this and more by booking a Tauck Event where once-in-a-lifetime experiences make Tauck Events, including the Celebration of RosesRoman Holiday and The Civil War Event, one-of-a-kind anywhere in the world.

Unique travel experiences based in one destination and built around cultural, historical or sports-oriented themes, Tauck Events showcase what Tauck does best – offering authentic, theme-driven experiences that inspire learning and create an emotional connection with the topic and destination. Small group sightseeing tracks – featuring Tauck’s uncommon access to places and experiences you can’t have on your own, behind-the-scenes insights from noted experts, and personalized service by Tauck Directors – are highlighted with extraordinary gala evening events in places not privately accessible to the public – and virtually impossible to replicate.

Limited space is still available, but is filling fast. Book today!

1
 

Celebration of Roses
Celebration of Roses,
featuring a gala New Years
Eve Party in Beverly Hills,
Grandstand Seats at the Rose
Parade and optional tickets to
the Rose Bowl

Dec 9, 2012 – Jan 2, 2013
4 nights, priced from $3790
per person, double

Roman Holiday
Roman Holiday,
highlighted by Taucks private
dinner in the Vatican Museums,
visits inside private palaces and
cocktails and dinner in Ancient
Rome at Cinecitt Studios

October 25 – 30, 2012
5 nights, priced from $4,990
per person, double

The Tauck Civil War Event
The Tauck Civil War Event,
featuring an evening with
Ken Burns at the National
Archives, and a lecture by
historian Harold Holzer at the
National Building Museum

October 14 – 18, 2012
4 nights, priced from $3,990
per person, double

CALL US TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE UNFORGETTABLE EVENTS OR ANY OTHER OF TAUCK’S AMAZING ADVENTURES.
Tauck World Discovery Tauck Small Ship Cruising Tauck Riverboat Cruising
Tauck Bridges Tauck Events Tauck Culturious

Galapagos Safari Camp

Galapagos Safari Camp
GPS baby sea lion GSC Glamping Galapagos
 Here is an exciting and different way to experience this amazing destination!
 A 135 Acre Farm in the interior of Santa Cruz Island adjacent to National Park with Nine Ensuite Luxury Tents with    Terrace perched on a Ridge, Sweeping Vistas, Infinity Pool, Open-plan Central Lodge, Hands-on Service.
Wildlife Safaris by Land and by Boat, Diving, Biking, Hiking,  and Horseback Riding
Contact us for more details…..
________________________________________________________________________

Cayman Summer Splash!

Classic Vacations
 

Discover all that is CAYMANKIND!
Receive every 5th night free and a $100 resort credit when you stay 5 nights or more at a participating property! Plus, you’ll receive a Caymankind Discount Card at check-in, and kids will have a chance to become Protectors of the Sea by attending Cayman Islands Sea School.

Book now through 9/25/12 for travel 5/01/12 – 9/30/12


The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Garden View Guestroom
Every 5th night FREE
$100 resort credit at check-in
 
5 nights from $789 per person
Save up to $438 per couple!


Grand Cayman Beach Suites

1 Bedroom Ocean View Suite
Every 5th night FREE
$100 resort credit at check-in
Children under 12 eat free
5 nights from $859 per person
Save up to $427 per couple!


Grand Cayman Marriott
Beach Resort

Deluxe Room
Every 5th night FREE
$100 resort credit at check-in
 
 
5 nights from $589 per person
Save up to $1318 per couple!


The Westin Casuarina Resort &
Spa, Grand Cayman

Island View Room
Sunsational Savings
Every 5th night FREE
$100 resort credit at check-in
Discounts on island activities
5 nights from $519 per person
Save up to $1235 per couple!

CALL US TO BOOK YOUR CAYMAN SUMMER SPLASH TODAY!

Two New European Canal & River Cruises Offer Great Savings

For families and friends this is a fantastic vacation option…….

Reserve by May 31 and Save on Two New European Canal & River Cruises
Reserve by May 31 and Save on Two New European Canal & River Cruises

The charming old towns and villages of Western Europe are linked by a vast chain of water – rivers and canals that flow from bustling cities to quaint hamlets, passing through tranquil yet breathtaking landscapes. Set out to discover this intimate side of Europe on board two new comfortable barges for a leisurely, all-inclusive vacation – a great value in today’s European travel market.

Save Now on Two New Cruise Itineraries for 2012: Call us for more details – we just love barging….

Benefits of European Canal and River Cruising

A great value in Europe today
All-inclusive: accommodations, gourmet meals with wine, guided sightseeing and paid entry fees
Great for families or a group
Comfortable, leisurely holiday
An intimate view of Europe away from the crowds
'Panache': Alsace-Lorraine
‘Panache’: Alsace-Lorraine
7 days | 12 guests
Save $1,000 per cabin or 10% per charter
Cruise aboard ‘Panache’ through the German-influenced French region of Alsace-Lorraine. Find time to relax in the on-deck hot tub while you take in the incredible scenery. Reserve by May 31 and save $1,000 per cabin on hotel sailings or 10% on charter sailings from June 17-October 28.
'C'est la Vie'
‘C’est La Vie’
7 days | 8 guests
Save 10% per person or 20% per charter
Enjoy the ever-changing scenery of the Canal de Bourgogne in the Burgundy region of France, passing vineyard-clad hillsides and quaint villages along the way. Dine on gourmet cuisine on board and save 10% per person on May hotel sailings or 20% on any 2012 charter sailing when you reserve by May 31.

Daily $50 Spa Credit + Kids Stay & Eat Free at Grand Velas Riviera Maya

ultimate luxury

 Experience the breathtaking views and world-class service of Grand Velas Riviera Maya! With luxury infused into every aspect and amenity, this AAA Five Diamond all-suite resort features expansive accommodations across three distinct sections and offers an international culinary tour at eight gourmet restaurants. Enhanced by an award-winning spa and over 1,000 feet of pristine white sand beach, this memorable escape will truly be the Ultimate All-Inclusive Getaway!
Exclusive Upgrade + $50 Daily Spa Credit + Kids Stay & Eat Free!

 

Exclusive Luxury Vacation Includes:   

  • Guaranteed upgrade at time of booking – Zen Grand Suite to Zen Grand Pool Suite, Ambassador Suite to Ambassador Pool Suite, and Ambassador Pool Suite to a Grand Class Suite
  • Daily $50 spa credit per adult
  • Two children (ages 12 & under) stay and eat free in Zen Grand Suite*
  • Second child (ages 4-16) stays and eats free in Ambassador Suite and Ambassador Pool Suite**
  • Complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner (buffet or à la carte)
  • 24 Hour in-suite dining
  • Unlimited domestic and selected international premium beverages
  • One tour to Rio Secreto and one Tour to Xplor per adult, per stay***
  • Island Destinations complimentary post departure insurance

Price: 

4 nights in a Zen Grand Suite, 2 adults + 2 kids (12 & under), from $2,283

4 nights in an Ambassador Suite, 2 adults + 2 kids (ages 4-16), from $4,016

4 nights in an Ambassador Pool Suite, 2 adults + 2 kids (ages 4-16), from $4,123

 

Valid for new bookings through 4/30/12 and travel from 5/1/12 through 12/19/12.
images
*Listed rate In the Zen Grand Suite are based on occupancy of 2 Adults and 2 Children (ages 12 and under).
**Listed rates in the Ambassador Suite and Ambassador Pool Suite, are valid on children ages 4-16. 
***Tour to Rio Secreto is valid on 3-night minimum stays and Tour to Xplore is valid on 4-night minimum stays when staying in the Zen Grand and Zen Grand Pool only.  ID Exclusive offer is valid for new bookings through 10/31/12 for travel 5/1/12 through 12/29/12. Upgrade from Ambassador Pool Suite to Grand Class is valid on children ages 12-16. 
Certain restrictions apply. Blackout dates may apply. Not responsible for errors or omissions.

Spa credit is non-refundable, non-accumulative or non-transferable and is not valid for use in hydrotherapy area, spa boutique and beauty salon.

Call us today to take advantage of this special offer!