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Regent Voyager Mediterranean Cruise October 23-November 2nd

 
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Off to sail on the RSSC Voyager

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.

 

Seven Seas Voyager

Naples Pizza!

For those of you who may not read Saveur Magazine, here is an amazing and exclusive experience I designed for them in conjunction with this month’s issue featuring beautiful Naples and its incredible pizza. It is of course available to all of you. If you would like more details, please let me know.

 

SAVEUR

A WORLD-CLASS EXPERIENCE FOR THE SAVEUR READER
A gastronomic trip has been designed for travelers to see and
taste one of Italy’s greatest cities—Naples. Known as the famed
birthplace of pizza, its popularity is resurging in destinations
around the world. After this visit, you’ll be able to bring home the
real, everyday story of Napolitano pizza.
WITH A LOCAL GUIDE YOU’LL ENJOY
•  Authentic tastings throughout neighborhood eateries
•  An intimate pizza making lesson
Other exciting experiences include lunch at Don Alfonso
restaurant, one of Italy’s most prestigious restaurants, and a visit
to Le Peracciole Farm on the Amalfi coast.
BOOK NOW!  Offers are available for a limited time only.
Italy
Foodie: Trisha Iannazzi
Trisha Iannazzi
has traveled the world in
search of authentic and unique
experiences for her clients.
Iannazzi Enterprises
585.624.1285
Pizza
SAVEUR Travel Advisory Board
Virtuoso

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.

Your Invitation to Buckingham Palace!


For most Brits it is a lifetime dream to snag an invite to a Buckingham Palace and few will ever realize it. Now here is YOUR chance!!! This very incredible package at the Ritz London includes tickets to the 60th Anniversary Coronation Festival on the grounds of the Palace. Wow!! This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!!!

Celebrate in style with The Ritz at London’s event of the year – the Coronation Festival! 

Festival Fantastic July 2013


 

 

The summer of 2013 heralds the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation and this incredible feat will be marked by a series of celebrations, the pinnacle of which will be the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace from Thursday 11th July until Sunday 14th July 2013. The Coronation Festival, THE event of the summer, will involve an occupation of the gorgeous grounds of Buckingham Palace by Royal Warrant holders – the official suppliers of goods and services to the Royal Households. Royal Warrants have become a mark of quality given the high standards demanded by our Royal Family and so visitors to the Coronation Festival can expect a stellar showcase of everything from haute cuisine to high quality home ware, luxurious automobiles to the finest vestments.

As a proud participant of the Coronation Festival, The Ritz has created the ‘Festival Fantastic’ residential programme offering you the opportunity for ‘Puttin’ on The Ritz’.

The Festival Fantastic Programme includes:

Two nights’ accommodation
English breakfast each morning
Dinner in The Ritz Restaurant on one night
A unique Ritz Coronation Festival gift
Tickets to the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace
Ritz Champagne and Canapés at the Festival
Value Added Tax
Rate from £1,155 for a twin or double room
The programme is available for arrivals from Thursday 11th July to Saturday 13th July 2013.

Please contact IANNAZZI ENTERPRISES for more information and reservations 

Due to the special nature of this event specific terms and conditions apply including full, non-refundable, prepayment.
Bookings and the names of all attendees must be confirmed to The Ritz by 31st May 2013

Portugal-a wine lover's heaven

Any wine aficionado who has taken the trouble to explore the glorious wines of Portugal will be able to confirm that this small country, nestled up against its Iberian neighbour, Spain, can hold its own in the wine stakes with dignity and flair. Perhaps Portugal is a latecomer to internationally acclaimed wines in comparison to, say, France, but there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that their superb viniculture is well up to the mark and deserves a closer look.

Wine is produced throughout Portugal from the Minho region down to the south coast of the Algarve; each region has its own distinctive identity, although perhaps the northern and central regions are the better known and appreciated.

The Origin of Port Wine

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With a wine trade going back hundreds of years, perhaps the best known of Portugal’s wines has to be Port. Produced in the Upper Douro region of Northern Portugal (which was incidentally the very first wine region in the world to be demarcated) and taken by boat down the Douro River to the coast, this classic, fortified wine was the subject of the first European trade agreement, made between England and Portugal, and became known as Port wine from the connection with Oporto, which was the shipping harbour through which Port was exported to England and later the rest of the world. Port is still one of the most popular drinks, particularly to round off a good meal to perfection, and whether you are on board a cruise ship or tucked away in a gourmet restaurant anywhere in the world, it is a given that you will be able to enjoy a glass or two of this sweet wine.

Vinho Verde – New Vintage Wines

Vinho Verde (green wine) is the Portuguese equivalent to Beaujolais Nouveau and is equally palatable, being available anywhere in Portugal throughout the year. Casal Garcia is perhaps one of the more popular of the vinho verdes, produced by Quinta de Aveleda although Quinta de Azevedo is equally palatable. For the avoidance of any confusion, Portuguese Vinho Verde refers to wine that is less than one year old and may be red, white or rose. By far the best known is the white, but the red is perhaps superior in taste should your personal preference be for reds.

What to Choose

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With so many great wines produced throughout Portugal it would be difficult to definitely state that one region is better than another. However, if you want a good run for your money, the Lisbon region is excellent for whites and a good Bucelas is hard to beat, closely matched by Colares. For a red wine drinker who enjoys a world class wine with a sophisticated bouquet and medium to heavy tannin, Bairrada wines would have to come somewhere at the top of the wine list with Dao a close second. These are definitely wines to store as they will improve with age – if you can resist popping the cork that is.

Of course it would be impossible to sample everything on offer and there are limits to how much you can do during the course of a holiday. One way of maximizing your time in Portugal and enjoying the widest range of wines is to take a food and wine tour or cruise. There are quite a few advantages to choosing to have a gastronomic adventure, apart from the obvious plus of having the luxury of drinking without any driving. On a wine and food cruise, for example, you will be able to visit a number of different regions with an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide who will be able to give you a real insight into the local viniculture. Your tour will include visits to vineyards which you may not ordinarily be able to gain access to; pre-arranged wine tastings will enable you to sample the best of what is available and a broader range of wines than you would have the pleasure of trying on your own. Your wine and food cruise organizer will almost certainly be able to offer you advantageous memberships to wine clubs back home; and last but certainly not least, you will be able to enjoy world class cuisine which will undoubtedly complement the fine wines served with your meals. You can combine this with learning something of the culture and getting to grips with how to prepare some of the local cuisine through the cookery courses and tasting sessions which will form part of the tour. As the Portuguese would say: bom apetite e saúde!

By WINEPLEASURES | Published: APRIL 25, 2013

Mexico Hotel News

Mexico Hotels Making News for Excellence 
Continuing its tradition of offering outstanding resorts and hotels, several properties in Mexico have recently been awarded by major international publications for their excellence. Mexico now proudly has 13 AAA Five Diamond hotels and a total of 37 properties have made it on to the Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List.

Umbria

Umbria, in the heart of Italy, is set like the centre stone on a beautiful ring. This region has long been known as the “Green Heart of Italy”, a flourishing oasis of woods and expanses of fields awash with the gleaming and marvellous colors of the various seasons, symbolising all that is genuine and natural in this practically untouched countryside. Enclosed by the perfect frame of the Apennines, the Umbrian land lends visitors the rare sensation of protection and the freedom to travel its highways and byways far from the hectic day-to-day life of the cities. The series of towns, villages and castles that literally climb the rolling hills grant glimpses of rare harmony, peace and enticing relaxation.  Umbria is crossed by valleys full of vegetation and protected oases, such as Valtiberina, Valle Umbra and the most intriguing of the three, Valnerina, which has remained almost completely intact and where nature is free to express itself to its full. The air of this region is cool and pleasant all year round thanks to the lakes, Trasimeno and Piediluco, and the rivers, Tevere, Nera and Clitunno. Visitors to Umbria can’t help but lose themselves in the sweetness of the air, the friendliness and hospitality of the people, and the marvel of the places that appear right before their eyes.

While staying in Umbria, enjoy a great choice of six unique half-day tours in and around Perugia, created for you by the people that have always lived here, to show you the actual soul of one of the oldest cities of Italy.

“Perugia Unique Local Experiences” are much more than simple guided tours of the city, they are the best way to experience its culture and traditions, the way you like it…

One for each day of the week…

 

 

Monday: “Authentic Farms and Villages of Umbria”: Enjoy a visit to a beautiful farm in relaxing Italian countryside. The tour includes a “full tasting ” of local products (ham, salami, olive oil, cheese,bruschetta) and wine tasting.

Contact us for more details and fantastic options for the rest of the week!

Umbria – not to be missed on your next visit to Italy.

Now Any American Can Go to Cuba...

If traveling to this fascinating country which has been off limits to Americans for over 50 years has intrigued you,

there are now legal ways visit Cuba with one of these sanctioned programs. Contact us for more details.

Now Any American Can Go to Cuba…
With Special Savings on these 10 Departures!
 
From Old Havana and Colonial Trinidad to the tranquil countryside and the artistic vibrancy of Santiago de Cuba, these 4 programs offer you the widest choice available in the market…
And every journey is enriched by authentic and engaging connections with island residents!
Save on 4 journeys to Cuba
Now SAVE $600 per couple when you pay-in-full
at time of booking for select departures through September!

 


Scenic Cuba – 8 days for $3,195 Now $2,895
Jun 8 to 15; Jul 6 to 13; Sep 14 to 21

Discover bustling Havana and the beautiful countryside on this memorable trip enriched by authentic encounters with island residents from all backgrounds.

 


Classic Cuba – 8 days for $3,595 Now $3,295
Jul 2 to 9; Aug 6 to 13; Aug 20 to 27; Sep 23 to 30

Encounter the island’s warm spirit as the residents of Havana, Cienfuegos and Colonial Trinidad open their hearts and shed light on their fascinating lives.

 


Cuban Music & Art – 9 days for $4,295 Now $3,995
Sep 20 to 28

Cuba comes alive on this unique journey planned for music lovers and art enthusiasts. Meet island residents who live and breathe artistic expression.

 


New! Undiscovered Cuba – 12 days for $4,295 Now $3,995
Jul 15 to 26; Aug 19 to 30

This exclusive cross-island odyssey gets you behind the scenes and into the art and culture of smaller towns across Cuba usually missed by American travelers.

 

Last Chance to Experience the Douro with USD2000 Savings

This is a truly amazing itinerary. The scenery is breathtaking, the port visits are fabulous and it is absolutely one of the best trips I have ever taken. If you are a wine enthusiast it is a must-do. This is a fantastic offer. Don’t pass it up!

 

AmaWaterways - Leading The Way In River Cruising
Discover the Dramatic Douro
 Exceptional Savings on Summer Douro Cruises
Save up to $2,000 per stateroom
Cruises from $1,899 per person
AmaWaterways has two exciting river cruises debuting on Portugal’s Douro River in 2013. Experience one of Europe’s most unspoiled and undiscovered rivers on a journey filled with ancient monasteries, sleepy fishing villages, centuries-old wineries and vibrant cultural centers. With its ruggedly beautiful terrain and laboriously terraced hillsides, no wonder the locals boast, “God made the earth, but man made the Douro.”

ENTICING DOURO ENTICING DOURO
7-night roundtrip Porto cruise on the brand-new AmaVida
Optional 3 nights in Lisbon available for $690 per person
U.S. departure dates: August 2 and 9, 2013
Starting from $1,899 per person

OR $1,000 SAVINGS PER STATEROOM
U.S. departure date: July 5 and 26, 2013
Starting from $2,399 per person

PORT WINE & FLAMENCO PORT WINE & FLAMENCO
$1,000 SAVINGS PER STATEROOM
7-night cruise from Vega Terrón to Porto on the brand-new AmaVida
Optional 3 nights in Lisbon & 3 nights in Madrid
available for $1,380 per person
U.S. departure dates: July 12 & 19, 2013
Starting from $2,399 per person