Burgundy and Provence

We have just returned from a delightful eight-day river cruise aboard Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection‘s stunning S.S. Catherine sailing from Lyon to Avignon. From the moment we boarded, we were impressed with the magnificent Murano chandelier, the glass elevator with a glimmering waterfall cascading down its side, a Murano horse and long stretches of mirrors and marble.

Murano Horse
Murano Horse in s.s. Catherine’s Lobby
Murano Chandelier
Murano Chandelier in s.s. Catherine’s Lobby















Each stateroom is uniquely decorated with rich textiles, lovely French furnishing and handcrafted Savoir of England beds with fine linens. Shimmering marble bathrooms have a glass-enclosed shower, a towel-warmer, and L’Occitane toiletries.

On Monday, in Macon, France, we elected to take a bespoke experience: Southern Burgundy Delights at Chateau de Rully. The Chateau de Rully belongs to the same family from the beginning. The changes of the name over the centuries show that ownership was sometimes transferred through the female line; the main family names have been: Rully, Saint-Leger, Montessus and today de Ternay. Monsieur Le Comte de Ternay welcomed us and guided us through the Chateau. During the tour, we learned about the family history, anecdotes and secrets.

Chateau de Rully

Chateau de Rully Courtyard
Chateau de Rully

Monsieur Le Comte de Ternay
Monsieur Le Comte de Ternay

Our Tuesday port-of-call was Lyon, the culinary capital of France. Our included tour, “Do as the Locals do,” was a Lyon city tour. We discovered why Lyon has been named France capital of gastronomy while we visited Les Halles Paul Boucuse and strolled through Lyon’s historic old quarter, with many spectacular examples of medieval and Renaissance architecture and les traboules, the city’s old passageways.

LyonMarketplace Cheese ShopPuppets








Tain L’Hermitage, France was our Wednesday destination. Our included Twin Cities walking tour with wine tasting. Nestled on opposite side of the river in the heard of the Cotes du Rhone, the twin cities of Tournon and Tain L’Hermitage make an ideal destination for wine connoisseurs.

Tain L'HermitageL'Hermitage Landscape

Back on board, we were treated to a Crepe Suzette cooking demonstration and tasting with Pastry Chefs Raluca and Nuno in the Van Gogh Lounge.
Crepes Suzettes

On Thursday, we explored the charming village of Viviers with an organ concert performed in the Cathedral just for Uniworld guests. Viviers climbs a hill above the river, crowned by 12th century St. Vincent’s Cathedral. It happens to be the smallest cathedral in France, but it contains a marvelous organ. Sitting under the soaring vaults, we listened while a local organist demonstrated just how fine an instrument it is. From there we wandered down through the town and were treated to a special visit to our guide’s home!

St. Vincent's CathedralViviersSt. Vincent's Organ











We elected to visit a Truffle Farm and Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine tasting on Thursday afternoon.
Truffle HunterGrape Varieties










Our excursion choice on Friday in Avignon was a walking tour and the Palace of the Popes. It’s hard to believe, looking at the charming cafes and entertaining street performers in the Clock Tower Square, that this lively scene owes its existence to a 15th-century siege. This area was the heart of medieval Avignon~and the site of the original Roman town~crowded with cottages and narrow treets, until a pope had it all demolished in order to give his troops a cleared field of fire!

Avignon cafePalace of the Popes










Arles rounded out the week on Saturday. Van Gogh paid tribute to Arle’s atmospheric beauty in some 200 paintings, including Starry Night Over the Rhone. It’s an ancient city boasting a remarkable collection of Roman ruins. We strolled through the district where medieval houses crowd in among the ancient structures and the city gates date to the 13th century.
Van Gogh CafeArles Roman Ruins










The final verdict? Uniworld’s attentive service, unique decor, wonderful beds and bathrooms, and superb cuisine make the s.s. Catherine a brilliant choice for vacationing in one of France’s most alluring regions.

Appealing? Want to plan a river cruise for 2018? I would love to make this happen for you.

Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963
  • How’s The Food?

    That’s one of the first questions our clients ask when we discuss a new-to-them river cruise line. Some clients are worried that there will only be “foreign” foods with too many sauces. Others are concerned that the selections will not be authentic regional dishes. Happily, the menus satisfy most guests. There will be a variety of choices but if they won’t suit, passengers can opt for one of the “always available” entrees which may include a fish, poultry or beef dinner.

    To give you an idea of the food served, here are recipes from popular river cruise lines.

    From Uniworld Boutique River Cruises:

    Manhattan Transfer
    From summer through fall, Bucharest’s markets present a parade of seasonal fruits. None is more Romanian than the sour cherry. The tasty berry garnishes this classic Manhattan made with rye whiskey and vermouth. You might try it in an Old Fashioned, too. Find this cocktail onboard the River Duchess on the Highlights of Eastern Europe itinerary or make it at home!

    Manhattan

    INGREDIENTS:
    • 6cl (2.03 fl oz) straight rye whiskey
    • 3cl (1.01 fl oz) sweet vermouth
    • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
    • 1 sour cherry
    PREPARATION:
    Build over ice in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a sour cherry.

    From AmaWaterways:

    One of the most delicious aspects of traveling is to indulge in the incredible cuisine of the places you visit. Inspired by French velouté soups, this rich and flavorful cream of Chardonnay soup is made and paired with Chardonnay, of course. Leeks at the peak of their freshness and the bright sweetness of white grapes combine with butter and cream to create the perfect springtime comfort food. You can serve it as an appetizer or make it the star of the meal, served along with rustic French bread. Chardonnay Soup

    CREAM OF CHARDONNAY SOUP

    Try this recipe for Cream of Chardonnay Soup that’s often served onboard AmaWaterways ships. Chardonnay contributes the most richness of any dry white wine commonly used for cooking. For rich, creamy soups, wine can provide a welcome note of freshness and contrast – almost like a squeeze of lemon or an extra layer of flavor. The creamier a soup is, the more full-bodied a wine it can take.
    INGREDIENTS:
    3½ tablespoons of unsalted butter
    ½ cup onions, chopped
    ½ cup white leeks, chopped
    1 cup white flour (or wheat flour)
    2 cups Chardonnay
    10 ½ cups vegetable stock
    1 ½ cups of heavy cream
    1 ½ cups of white grapes
    ½ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
    Salt to taste
    Pepper to taste

    PREPARATION METHOD
    • Wash produce thoroughly
    • Chop onions and leeks into small cubes and set aside
    • Peel white grapes, remove seeds and slice
    • Wash parsley, chop and pat dry

    Use a large pot on medium heat to sautéed onions and leeks with butter until golden, then gradually add in the flour to thicken. Pour 1 cup of Chardonnay and all of the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain soup through a mesh cloth and add in the rest of the Chardonnay. Add heavy cream to soup. Garnish with warm grapes and parsley before serving.

    Makes 10 servings.

    From Viking River Cruises:

    French Gougères Cheese Appetizers

    Gougères are among the most popular hors d’oeuvres in France. A traditional specialty of the Burgundy region, gougères are often made with Gruyère cheese. You can also use other cheeses (such as parmesan) to add an extra depth. Enjoy these with a glass (or two) of good French wine.
    Ingredients
    • 1½ C water
    • ½ C unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
    • 1 tsp (5 g) salt, divided
    • 1½ C flour
    • 6 lg eggs
    • 1 C (130 g) grated Gruyère cheese, packed
    • ½ C (90 g) good quality parmesan cheese, packed
    • ½ tsp (2 g) fresh ground pepper
    • ½ tsp (2.5 g) salt
    Directions
    Place one oven rack in top third and a second rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°F (204°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with lightly greased parchment paper. In a 3- or 4-qt saucepan over medium heat, bring water, butter, and half the salt to a simmer, stirring until butter melts. Add flour all at once, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a smooth, thick paste with no lumps. Remove pan from heat; allow mixture to cool until it feels just warm. Using a hand-held mixer, beat in one egg at a time until all are incorporated. Stir in cheese, pepper and remaining salt. Drop spoonfuls of dough 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until dough is puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes, swapping the position of baking pans halfway through.
    • Prep time: 16 minutes.
    • Cook time: 30 minutes.
    • Makes 10 servings.

    Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten

    Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten might not exactly roll off your tongue, but it will melt in your mouth. The name, pronounced VEE-ner TZVEE-bell-roast-brotten, literally means “Viennese roast beef with onions.” Very popular in Austria and Bavaria, this recipe enhances the beef flavor of the sirloin steaks through slow oven braising with that staple of Viennese cuisine, beef stock.

    Ingredients
    • 4 T butter
    • 2 med onions, peeled & thinly sliced
    • 1 tsp (2⅖ g) sweet Hungarian paprika
    • 6 8-oz boneless beef sirloin steaks, pounded ¼-inch thick
    • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 3 T(44 ml) vegetable oil
    • 4 C (946 ml) beef stock or consommé, fresh or canned, boiled down to 2 C (473 g)
    • ½ C (60 g) sour cream
    Directions
    Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). In a large cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onions until light brown, stirring often; add paprika; cook another minute. Remove onions from pan; set aside. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Add vegetable oil to same skillet and add steaks; brown on both sides. Turn off heat, add beef stock to skillet, arrange onions on top and cover. Bake until tender, about 2-2½ hours. To serve, place steaks on a pre-warmed serving platter with onions arranged on top. Cover loosely to keep warm. Return skillet with remaining liquid to high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in sour cream; immediately remove from heat and pour over steaks. Serve immediately.
    Serving Suggestion
    This dish is traditionally served with roast potatoes or buttered parsley potatoes; you can garnish with crispy fried onions if you like.
    • Cook time: 2-2 1/2 hours
    • Makes 6 servings.

    From Uniworld Boutique River Cruises: Uniworld Desserts

    Mrs. Tollman’s Signature Honeycomb Ice Cream

    1 cup corn syrup
    8 oz granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    1 tablespoon baking soda
    1-quart premium vanilla ice cream

    Dissolve the syrup, sugar, and vinegar over a medium heat. Turn the heat up high and boil until the syrup turns to a light caramel.
    Take the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda, then pour the mix into a high-sided baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and greased with butter. Leave to cool and harden: do not refrigerate!
    Once hardened, this brittle, crunchy slab becomes your honeycomb base.
    Slightly soften the vanilla ice cream in a chilled ceramic bowl. Carefully break the honeycomb slab into various sizes, none more than 2cm square, and quickly fold half into the ice cream.
    Pour the ice cream into a desired ice cream mold or back into the original ice cream container and freeze again.
    Keep the remaining honeycomb in an air tight container for topping when serving.

    Sound appealing? Want to plan a river cruise for 2017 or 2018? I would love to make this happen for you.

    Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963
  • River Cruises For Vegans

    Vegan Entree

    When it comes to preparing meals for guests who have eschewed all animal products in support of a vegan lifestyle, ocean cruise lines are well equipped to handle the task. But, river cruise vessels have very small kitchens and until recently have not focused on accommodating special diet requests unless they are required for medical reasons. There are no industry standards when it comes to specialized meal offerings.

    With any special request, including dietary, it is important to alert the cruise line of the need at the time of booking. And, once onboard, follow-up with the head waiter and restaurant staff to make sure your preference is noted.

    Here are the best river cruise lines in Europe for vegans.

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
    Uniworld Chef

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s chefs on company-owned ships are educated in vegetarian and vegan cuisine workshops including at the Hiltl in Zurich, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. Included are choices such as vegan margarine, cookies, cakes, bread, and tofu (smoked or silk), tempeh, eggless pasta, quinoa and products made without yeast. Buckwheat, amaranth, bulgur and couscous are used to craft selections from bread to pancakes. Each dinner has a distinct four-course vegetarian menu while six or seven vegetarian courses are offered for formal dinners.

    AmaWaterways AmaPrima Cooking Class
    AmaWaterways has built a complete menu for vegan passengers. Known for its culinary offerings, AmaWaterways vegan selections range from lentil salad, marinated salad, vegetable soups, stir-fry with glass noodles, eggless pasta, and grilled tofu to fresh fruits and sorbets.

    Avalon Waterways Avalon Fresh
    This year, Avalon introduced Avalon Fresh which they’ve dubbed, ” A New Menu of Guiltless Indulgence.” The menus were designed by Chefs Karl and Leo Wrenkh, two brothers raised in the first high-quality vegetarian restaurant in Austria. “Avalon Fresh allows our guests to guiltlessly indulge in creative dishes that combine surprising flavors with a dash of innovation. With the philosophy of procuring the freshest ingredients to create inspired vegetarian and vegan dishes, Avalon Fresh brings the passing landscape to your plate for a fulfilling and healthful dining experience.” There are Avalon Fresh healthy cuisine options and vegetarian options at every meal, as well as vegan and allergy-free selections. Avalon Fresh

    Don’t hesitate to ask questions. The menus in the dining rooms are usually clearly labeled as dairy, nuts, gluten, meat, etc., but the description cards in the breakfast and lunch buffet often are not. You can assume that vegetables are prepared with butter, but find a restaurant crew member to request a plain serving made-to-order just for you.

    Vegan Entree

    Appealing? Want to plan a river cruise for 2017 or 2018? I would love to make this happen for you.

    Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • How To Take Your Wine Tasting Club To The Next Level

    You and your friends have organized a successful wine tasting club. You’ve done everything right for each monthly meeting:

    Red Wine

  • Decided on a formal or informal format
  • Created a theme such as “Wines of Chile,” “The Best of the California Cabernets,” or “Favorite Holiday Wines”
  • Secured appropriate wine tasting supplies and accessories such as glasses, rinse pitchers, dump buckets, drinking water, bland bread or crackers, and a tasting evaluation form for each member
  • Allocated time for enrichment from research shared by members or an outside presenter such as a wine merchant or local winery vintner
  • Focused on food and wine pairing with the meeting theme
  • Mailed a newsletter or sent an enewsletter with the next meeting’s location, agenda, theme, and other details as well as a review of the last meeting’s tastings, upcoming community wine-related events, etc.

    You’ve done well. Membership has grown and your group of like-minded individuals are now the best of friends. Where can you go from here? Plan a tour for your group to a wine region! Start with a short trip, perhaps a three or four-day cruise in Napa Valley. After one or two successful wine holidays, plan more extensive travel to wine regions of France, Germany, South Africa or even Australia and New Zealand.

    Wine appreciation themed river cruises add an exceptional epicurean dimension to European river cruises. A distinguished wine authority leads interesting discussions onboard and expert chefs pair fine regional wines with superb cuisine. You’ll visit wine villages where vintners and growers will walk you through the winemaking process and taste some of their special varieties. AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection offer themed cruises on select itineraries and dates. AmaWaterways Wine Tasting


    Is your wine club ready to step up to a European river cruise? If you are considering an wine-theme 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:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 269-372-1963 | 800-372-1963

  • Jewish Heritage-themed River Cruises

    As the new Jewish year, 5777, launches, families and friends will gather to celebrate the beginning of the New Year. Jewish Rosh Hashanah Those interested in delving deeply into Central Europe’ s rich Jewish history will be pleased to know that two river cruise lines will offer Jewish Heritage specialty themed departures. (NOTE: Kosher foods are not included.)

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will offer “Rhine-Main Discovery & Munich,” a 10-day cruise-tour between Munich and Cologne. The sailing will feature onboard Signature Lectures highlighting an in-depth exploration of the fascinating history of Jewish people in Europe.

    Dachau Konzentrationslager
    Dachau Konzentrationslager
    Tailored shoreside excursions will range from visits to the Dachau concentration camp and Courtroom 600, where the Nuremberg trials took place to the archaeological traces of the Frankfurt ghetto and the Rothschild family. Two sailings in July 2017, are designated award-winning Generations Family Programs providing wonderful opportunities for families to discover their cultural heritage.

    Avalon Waterways theme cruise is on the “Blue Danube Discovery and Jewish Heritage” itinerary in August 2017. Distinguished experts will present enlightening lectures about the sites and events that played roles in Central Europe’s Jewish heritage. Budapest Holocaust ShoesIn Budapest, visit the world’s second-largest synagogue. Visit the Stadttempel in Vienna, whose extraordinary location saved it from devastation during the Kristallnacht in 1938.

    Vienna Jewish Cemetary
    Vienna Jewish Cemetary
    Delve into the Document Neupfarrplatz museum in Regensburg with its vestiges of a medieval Jewish ghetto and ancient synagogue. In Prague, explore the city’s Jewish Museum and cemetery, then travel to Terezin, one of Czechoslovakia’s largest concentration camps. Hear chilling stories about the daily lives of the Jews imprisoned there, and visit the poignant memorial.
    Prague Synagogue
    Prague Synagogue

    We help culturally curious travelers to plan an amazing vacation that offers enrichment and a chance to explore a special interest such as ancestral or religious heritage, photography, wellness, gardening, literature. It’s our goal to create personalized vacation experiences and lasting memories for travelers who not only want to see the world but to appreciate it with all their senses.

    If you are considering a Jewish Heritage-themed 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:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • Uniworld River Cruises 2017 Preview

    New itineraries. New ship. New inclusions for the most all-inclusive river cruise line Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.

    New Itineraries

    Paris & Impressions of the Seine

    Discover the inspiration for innumerable works of art. From the historic Montmartre district of Paris to the panoramic landscapes of the Alabaster Coast and endless cherished jewels in between, this itinerary is a delightful combination of charming scenery and invigorating shore excursions. Cultural enrichment includes a Signature Lecture: “The Seine River in Impressionist Paintings.”

    Rhine-Main Discovery & Munich

    Experience the enormity of Bavaria along the Main and Rhine rivers and in its capital, Munich. Experience exclusive insight with Uniworld‘s Jewish Heritage program. Select departures in July are designated Generations Family sailings with special savings for children ages 4 to 18 and specially designed family-friendly shore excursions. Cultural enrichment includes a Signature Lecture: “AD 1517: Martin Luther’s Revolution and the Quest to Build a Modern World.”

    New Ship

    Uniworlds SS Joie de Vivre

    S.S. Joie de Vivre: Uniworld’s Super Ship , new in 2017—S.S. Joie de Vivre—is designed to echo the “joy of living” as it cruises the Seine River in northern France. This sumptuous 128-passenger vessel is a showcase for handcrafted furniture, opulent fabrics, charming antiques, gilded accents and every contemporary convenience. This vessel is intimately scaled so it can dock in the heart of Paris and sail all the way to Caudebec-en-Caux. Cultural enrichment includes a Signature Lecture: “Changing History: Operation Overlord.” Exclusive Connoisseur Collection and Generations Family Program are available on select summer departures.

    New Inclusions

    Uniworld Room Service

    Uniworld augments all-inclusive river cruising in Europe to a wholly new echelon. New in 2017:

      Port Charges Included
      24-Hour Room Service
      Concierge Services

      If you are considering a Uniworld 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:

    • Click Here To Email Us

    • or by phone – 800-372-1963

    Uniworld’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is amplifying its award winning excursions in 2017 with a generous menu of meticulously planned and expertly guided cultural experiences.

    Golf Club and Ball Is golf your game? Uniworld is adding new golf excursions to its Paris & Normandy itinerary in 2017 aboard the new Joie de Vivre, debuting in March 2017. Uniworld passengers will be able to hit the links during an eight-day river cruise throughout France at two of Europe’s top courses: Golf de Rouen Mont-Saint-Aignan in Rouen and Golf d’Etretat, which overlooks the coastline of Étretat. All golf equipment for men and women is available onboard.

    Explore Europe by river and by bike, via an exclusive partnership with award-winning tour operator Butterfield & Robinson on the Danube River. Cycling routes that showcase Europe’s spectacular old-world scenery. Customized bicycles, detailed maps, support vehicle and expert bike guides. Biking Excursions

    After-Hours Visit Inside St. Mark’s Basilica
    Uniworld guests have an exceptionally rare opportunity to observe a private after-hours lighting ceremony inside St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy. St. Marks Basilica The lights serve to enhance the elaborately adorned interior of this beautiful church, a sight that’s especially resplendent when viewed after the daytime crowds have departed. Experience it on these itineraries: Gems of Northern Italy and Splendors of Italy.

    Guided Kayaking on the Gardon River
    “Go Active” as you paddle your own kayak on a guided excursion along the tranquil Gardon River. This is a delightful opportunity to view the UNESCO-listed, millennia-old Pont du Gard from a fresh, fun and truly unforgettable perspective.Kayaks Experience it on “Burgundy & Provence” (May through September departures only).

    Morning with the Masters
    Venture inside the acclaimed Kunsthistorisches (Art History) Museum in Vienna for a special early opening and private tour. After viewing the Habsburg’s imperial treasures and works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Titian and Tintoretto, enjoy a Bellini cocktail on the museum’s stunning cupola terrace. Experience it on “Enchanting Danube”. Vienna Art

    Doktorenhof Vinegar Estate Visit & Tasting
    Discover the complex, elegant and unexpectedly flavorful aperitifs made with premium wine vinegars at this unique estate’s atmospheric tasting room. Holzfigur Monk The hooded monks’ robes, candlelit cellars and fascinating vinegar-inspired lore all contribute to a most memorable excursion in Germany. Experience it on these itineraries: Castles Along the Rhine and Legendary Rhine and Moselle

    Artisanal Wine-Pairing Lunch at Chateau Royal de Cazeneuve
    We treat our guests to a delectable wine-pairing lunch at Château de Cazeneuve, an 85-acre estate where local experts are happy to share their knowledge of Sauternes—the highly prized, golden-hued sweet wine that takes its name from the region. French Sauternes Experience it on these itineraries: “Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux,” “A Portrait of Majestic France,” and ” Ultimate France.”

    Concert, Dinner & Royal Ballroom Dancing in a Viennese Palace
    Danube Holiday MarketThere’s no better way to celebrate the holidays and the “City of Waltzes” than to spend a perfectly choreographed evening in a sumptuous Viennese palace. Enjoy a private concert of classical music by Austrian composers, a gourmet meal with fine wines and after-dinner dancing in an opulent Royal Ballroom. Experience it on select sailings of “Grand Christmas & New Year’s Cruise”.

    If you are considering an European 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:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • Top 10 Reasons To Take A Christmas Markets River Cruise

    In late fall and early winter, river cruise lines end their annual season by delivering the magical yuletide traditions and pageantry of the famous Christmas markets of Europe. A totally different experience than the same itineraries in the peak summer season, the villages and hamlets along the rivers take on a festive atmosphere as cruisers meander through time-honored marketplaces originally developed hundreds of years ago to celebrate the beginning of Advent.

    AmaWaterways Christmas Markets
    AmaWaterways Christmas Markets

    Even though the weather is cooler, there are compelling reasons to take a holiday markets river cruise:

    1. Commemorate All Things Christmas
    Embrace the holiday spirit in Europe with the smells of freshly baked gingerbread, trees radiant with twinkling lights, and a warm mug of mulled glühwein in hand as you wander quaint booths filled with distinctive gifts.

    Gingerbread Houses are a cornerstone of Christmas festivities. Watch the creation of a perfect Gingerbread house for your holiday with Viking‘s pastry chef, Joanna Hajn.

    2. Reminiscing Memories
    Experience the sparkle and spectacle of timeless traditions. Recapture all the joy of your most cherished childhood memories in towns where many holiday traditions originated. AmaWaterways Christmas Markets

    Continue reading Top 10 Reasons To Take A Christmas Markets River Cruise

    All In The Family

    Adventures by Disney® created quite a buzz amongst our clients when it was announced that they were entering the popular river cruise market through a partnership with AmaWaterways in 2016. A river cruise vacation has, for the most part, been geared toward culturally curious adults who enjoy the ease of travel, inclusive pricing, and uncrowded authentic experiences. Yet, for the last few years both Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection® and Tauck Bridges® have offered designated family-friendly departures complete with kid-oriented onboard and on shore activities. Can a river cruise be the right venue for a family vacation? Let’s consider the pluses and minuses.

    Pro:
    • Education. Today’s parents and grandparents view travel as a supplement to the children’s schooling and a way to help them learn about the world in an empirical way.
    • Unpack once. The less moving from place to place, the less stress.
    • Intimate, safe confined space.
    • Heritage. Parents and grandparents can explore their own family’s significant religious and cultural sites with the children.
    • Convenience. Travel arrangements, accommodations, meals, excursions and activities can be handled in one transaction saving planning time and hassle.

    On the other hand, a river cruise ~ even a designated multigenerational cruise ~ may not be right for every family.
    Con:
    • Accommodations. While the newest river vessels are being designed to accommodate three, even four people, most ship cabins are small, intended for just two and do not have connecting inner doors. This means most families will need to book at least two cabins adding to the cost.
    • Amenities. Families accustomed to sailing on large ocean ships have come to expect large pools and sophisticated play areas along with babysitting services. River cruise lines are just beginning to respond with family features such as children’s theme nights, karaoke, youth counselors and children’s menu options. Still, a river cruise may not be suitable for children under age eight.
    • Touring Tolerance. Parents and grandparents must know their child’s patience for sightseeing and ability to entertain themselves. They should include the kids in the itinerary discussions using books and maps it the children are old enough to understand them. But, some children need effervescent stimuli or they get restless and a river cruise would not be a good fit.

    A multigenerational family vacation on a river cruise is a magnificent way for grandparents and parents to share the gift of enriching travel with the special young people in their lives. It offers the opportunity for families to explore extraordinary countries, gain worthwhile insights, and learn firsthand about different cultures personally as a family. Because the history, culture, art, architecture of Europe comes alive, families create lasting memories and share astonishing experiences together.

    Uniworld Family River Cruise

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

    If you are considering a family 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:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • River Cruises 2015 Berth Announcements

    2015 brings with it new ships, new destinations, and new opportunities for those hooked on river cruising. Here’s what’s new.

    Avalon Waterways
    March 24, 2015, in France marks the christening of the Avalon Tapestry II She’ll be the first “Suite Ship” to sail the popular Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches itinerary. In April, the Avalon Tranquility II will debut sailing on the Rhine and Rhone Rivers. In Asia, the Avalon Myanmar with just 36 passengers will sail the Irrawaddy River.

    Avalon Waterways Panorama Suite

    AmaWaterways
    Spring 2015 brings two new vessels, the AmaSerena and AmaVista to AmaWaterways fleet. Each will offer family and group-friendly connecting staterooms and will feature the line’s signature Twin Balconies, one French-style, the other step-out as well as salon and massage services, fitness rooms, and heated swimming pools with swim-up bars.

    Continue reading River Cruises 2015 Berth Announcements