We’ve just become aware of a new variation on vacation packages: Convertible Caravans of Europe! No, it’s not tent camping. It’s not even touring in convertibles~although that is an option. It’s a collection of independent travelers brought together to tour some of the most scenic parts of Europe driving in a private car at their own pace. Created for those who want to explore in safety, comfort, and in the company of like-minded explorers. Special interest itineraries~for Golfers (and non-golfing companions,) Mancations (fast paced men-only itineraries,) Classic, MYWay (custom tailored itineraries,) Soft Caravans for those with special needs, and my favorite ~ itineraries for foodies! These are small group trips with a minimum and maximum number of participants based on the program. Check out the possibilities and picture yourself touring Europe in a whole new way.
While river cruising is still relatively new to the U.S. market, it has become one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry. Viking River Cruises has grown its market share to a whopping 45% of the river cruise lines promoted to North Americans.
Their advertising in print media, through direct mail and most notably through PBS Masterpiece® sponsorship during Downton Abbey has stimulated awareness of river cruising and its opportunities for unique cultural experiences that reveal the history, culinary traditions and character of each destination.
With the increased popularity of river cruising, Viking has responded to the culinary demand for fine-dining experiences, local specialties, culinary demonstrations and wine tastings and cuisine focused shore experiences.
Viking River Cruises premieres “Episode 5 – A Culinary Journey” on Downton Abbey on Masterpiece® with this introduction:
“It’s been said that the best way to know a culture is through food. Food and wine are the windows into the traditions that form the essence of a country. It’s a way to experience the heart of faraway lands. And, it’s Viking’s privilege to share the world’s food stories with you. Viking Cruises proud sponsor of Masterpiece®.”
Someone once said, “Chocolate doesn’t make the world go around … but it certainly makes the ride worthwhile!” Well stated, don’t you agree? For all chocoholics, AmaWaterways® presents the first-ever 2014 Chocolate Cruise with guest host Norman Love!
Some of the most extraordinary chocolate confections made today are created with bygone European methods. So what better place to celebrate the fine art of chocolate-making than on an indulgent Danube River cruises through the heart of Europe? AmaWaterways® first-ever Chocolate Cruise will set sail on April 25, 2014, aboard the AmaCerto with award-winning guest host Norman Love, the Chef, President and Founder of Norman Love Confections & Artisan Gelato. Chocolate lovers booked on this truly extravagant seven-night cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest will enjoy private chocolate-making demonstrations and tastings, chocolate-themed shore excursions, educational seminars on chocolate, and a chocolate mini-buffet extravaganza.
EXCLUSIVE CHOCOLATE CRUISE FEATURES:
Norman Love will share his knowledge & love of chocolate
Special Norman Love Confections Desserts
Chocolate Mini-buffet Extravaganza
Culinary Delights – Bites & Sights
“Sachertorte & Schlumberger Cellar Tour”
Educational Seminars on Chocolate
3 Private Chocolate-making Demonstrations
Decadent Chocolate Tastings
The Romantic Danube itinerary, priced from $3,099 per person, double occupancy, cruise only, is a 7-night cruise beginning in Vilshofen, Germany and sailing to Budapest, Hungary. The U.S. departure date is Apr. 25, 2014. Ports-of-call include Passau, Linz, Melk, Krems, Vienna, and Bratislava. Optional 3-night land program in Prague for $750 per person. Shore excursion options are included in every port.
If you are considering the Chocolate Connoisseurs Cruise river cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.
Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:
Here’s a taste of the possibilities:
Austria: Salzburg Candlelight Dinner & Concert at Fortress $71
Vienna Vienna Heurigen Show $96
Belgium: Brussels Gourmet Evening Tour $111
France: Paris Behind the Scenes Bakery Tour $31
Gastronomy Tour in Montmartre District $125
Greece: Athens Greek Cooking Lesson $95
Ireland: Dublin Merry Ploughboy Dinner Show $77
Italy: Rome Pizza Making & Meal $111
Florence Handmade Pasta-Cooking Course & Lunch $70
Venice Falling in Love in Venice – Gondola Tour & dinner for couples $160
Portugal: Lisbon Lisbon by Night with Fado Dinner show $109
Russia: Moscow Vodka Tasting Tour $128
Spain: Barcelona Gourmet Walking Tour $28
Turkey: Istanbul Cooking Lesson $83
London Afternoon Tea at the Sherlock Holmes $25
From Prices are per person; can be changed or modified at any time, and subject to currency fluctuation. Valid through December 31, 2013. Tours and activities are subject to availability at time of booking; may be discontinued without notice. From prices shown are in US Dollars.
Discover the majestic Canadian Rockies by luxury rail. Western Canada’s award winning Rocky Mountaineer train travels by daylight only, allowing guests to enjoy the breathtaking scenery while experiencing impeccable service, dining on delicious cuisine and making new friends from around the world.
Executive Chefs Jean Pierre Guerin and Frédéric Couton have created a cookbook that exemplifies the Rocky Mountaineer culinary experience. Eat Play Love: Regionally Inspired Cuisine by Rocky Mountaineer is a collection of recipes that celebrate the unique character of Western Canada.
The inspiration for this book is easily found outside the windows of the train, as guests travel through nature’s wonderland of breathtaking scenery. Many of the 37 regionally inspired dishes are served in the GoldLeaf Service dining room onboard. Each recipe is easy to prepare and all the ingredients can be substituted with locally sourced products.
The highly acclaimed river cruise line, AmaWaterways has just announced that Celebrity Chef Bob Blumer will be the host of its Gourmet Cruise Oct. 22-Oct. 29, 2013 onboard the brand new AmaVida. This seven night itinerary sails through Portugal and Spain along the Douro River, one of Europe’s most undiscovered and unspoiled rivers. Passengers will experience a journey filled with medieval monasteries, charming fishing villages, centuries-old wineries and lively cultural centers. The Gourmet Cruise will feature onboard cooking demonstrations, excursions to historic towns, private wine tastings and regionally inspired cuisine.
One of today’s most innovative food personalities, cookbook author and host of the Food Network’s The Surreal Gourmet and Glutton for Punishment, Chef Blumer will share his infectiously passionate approach to cooking through complimentary cooking demonstrations for interested guests.
As the only river cruise line inducted into La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, one of the world’s most prestigious culinary organizations, AmaWaterways continues to lead the industry in innovative food and wine experiences both on-board and on-shore. The Gourmet Cruise promises to be an attractive travel option for culinary adventurers and oenophiles alike. Continue reading AmaWaterways Serves Up a New Gourmet Cruise
Make a date with Ireland in 2013. The Irish have contributed so much to the world with their culture, myths and literature, music, dance, and more. To pay tribute to the country and her people, past and present, Ireland has put together “The Gathering,” a year-long celebration with hundreds of festivals and events across the island. Whether you are Irish born, Irish bred, or Irish in spirit, there is no better time to visit the Emerald Isle. DISCOVER Ireland’s culture and heritage. RECONNECT with its people. CELEBRATE Ireland’s impact on the world.
You never need an invitation to visit Ireland, but for those seeking the perfect moment, The Gathering offers a year’s work of golden opportunities for foodies and culture-vultures alike.
Here’s a package to savor:
Galway Oyster Festival
7 Days/6 Nights from $995 USD Per Person
For arrivals on September 26-27 in Dublin only
Galway comes alive with seafood & oysters as it celebrates the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, the most internationally recognized food festival in Ireland and the world’s longest running International Oyster Festival. Start off in Dublin with a bit of whiskey. You can add other options while in Dublin, before heading by car to Galway. Continue reading The Gathering. . . Ireland 2013
Couples Tower Isle takes the South Beach dining culture to a new level with a gourmet in-room menu and personalized mini-bar.
Five star dining in the privacy of your room features organic produce, the freshest seafood and a tantalizing blend of island spices and herbs.
Personalize your mini-bar with a top shelf selection of fine wines and spirits.
It’s a little taste of heaven here on earth. Why not reserve your gourmet south of South Beach getaway today?
Food and wine are integral parts of the Celebrity Cruises® vacation experience. In fact, the line’s brand has been built on a strong epicurean reputation. Since 2004 then partnering with Bon Appetit magazine, “Savor the Caribbean” culinary experiences at sea have featured gastronomic enrichment programs on select winter sailings.
This fall, oenophiles will rejoice! Wine enthusiasts and culture seekers alike will take pleasure in the “Immersive Europe Wine Cruises” aboard Celebrity Constellation®.
France has all the ingredients for the trip of a lifetime. And savvy foodie travelers preferring authentic travel experiences will want to personalize their vacation with this Taste of Dordogne package offered by Avanti Destinations®.
Best known as the truffle and foie gras capital of France, Dordogne’s splendid history and picturesque charm complement any vacation to France. The wine regions along the Dordogne River produce wines that pair well with the local cuisine. With a vineyard visit and tasting plus lunch at a truffle farm, this distinctive package is a quintessential French experience and makes for a magnificent extension from Paris, Loire Valley or Bordeaux.