Category: Art & Culture

5 Reasons to Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 463 0

From awe-inspiring natural wonders to unmatched feats of human engineering, UNESCO’s World Heritage List is your guidebook for the trip of a lifetime. Seabourn Cruise Lines has selected Five Reasons why you need to include a UNESCO World Heritage site to your must-see travel list.

WHAT IS UNESCO?
UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Founded in 1945, it is the arm of the United Nations dedicated to fostering peaceful communication between nations and preserving cherished heritage sites around the world. The agency promotes growth in five core areas: education, culture, natural sciences, social and human sciences, and communication and information.

WHY SHOULD TRAVELERS KNOW ABOUT UNESCO?
In 1972, UNESCO inaugurated the World Heritage List, a prestigious index of places around the world with resounding universal value. The World Heritage sites are bastions of natural beauty, cultural significance, or a combination of both, and they epitomize the values, history, and triumphs of their home countries. With over 1000 sites and counting, the World Heritage List is the ultimate traveler’s guide—a bucket list of destinations worth seeing.

FIVE REASONS TO VISIT:

DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS
In addition to the landmarks on every world traveler’s radar, like the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu, the World Heritage Committee surfaces sites you’ve likely never heard of. From the wooden churches on Chile’s Chiloé Island to the Jodrell Bank Observatory in northwestern England, the list will broaden your travel horizons beyond the usual tourist destinations.

 

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
The World Heritage List unearths some of man’s earliest creations: rock engravings in the Great Plains dating to the Contact Period; the oldest salt mine in Europe; Buddhist cave art from the 5th and 6th centuries. It’s one thing to know that we’ve been around for a long time—it’s another thing altogether to see proof of it.

 

SUPPORT PRESERVATION
Preserving the cultural and natural integrity of threatened sites is one of UNESCO’s core objectives. The World Heritage List has a special designation for properties at risk of destruction—whether by natural disasters, armed conflict, or any other forces—and reserves funds to support and protect these sites. The ongoing conservation efforts ensure that cherished cultural landmarks will thrive for generations to come.

 

MARVEL AT SUPERLATIVE SIGHTS
To make the World Heritage List, a site must pass several stages of rigorous evaluation and meet at least one of 10 selection criteria. In short, every location is unequivocally superb. From archaeological ruins and sacred monasteries to animal sanctuaries and volcanic parks, there are marvels of all kinds for travelers of all interests.

 

GAIN SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE
The World Heritage Committee works with a range of stakeholders to preserve the integrity of cherished landmarks and foster sustainable tourism. Seabourn has recently extended its partnership with UNESCO, pledging to continue supporting World Heritage sites through philanthropic donations and educational initiatives. As the official cruise partner of UNESCO, Seabourn offers more than 250 shore experiences at over 170 UNESCO designated sites and has also created special World Heritage Discovery Tours at a number of ports worldwide. Lastly, you’ll enjoy enhanced content on seabourn.com thanks to our partnership with UNESCO, aimed to increase awareness of some of the world’s most storied destinations.

 

 

B.B. Kings onboard Holland America

Holland America Offers Music For Your Soul

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 270 0

With so many irresistible options to choose from, evenings on board a Holland America ship can and should be all about live music. Memorable performances from world-class musicians fill your journey with an unforgettable rhythm all its own. Spend your time in one place or enjoy several venues over the course of the night. We asked our advisors to share some of their favourite ways to experience music onboard Holland America.

B.B. King’s Blues Club: Bringing you the best of Memphis music, from funky and fast to soulful and smooth, you’ll enjoy dancing while listening to an eight-piece band with two vocalists, rhythm and horn sections.  And don’t forget to try one of their specialty cocktails like the Lucille and Rock Me Baby.

Postmodern Jukebox on Deck: One of the world’s hottest musical groups is bringing its exciting signature show to sea, two ways. At The Rendezvous you’ll experience a day in the life of Postmodern Jukebox at a ‘20s jazz club. Or during a state-of-the-art shipboard concert – The Golden Age – you’ll hear Postmodern Jukebox’s most iconic songs. And of course each performance features unbelievable lavish costumes and arrangements.

Billboard Onboard: Sing along with two pianists while they play the music you love from fifty years of chart-topping hits. And between sets show off your trivia skills, answering questions on the digital screens.

Rolling Stone Rock Room: The newest addition to Music Walk on the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam you’ll feel like your stepping into the pages of Rolling Stone magazine.  The Rolling Stone Rock Room features a five-piece live band playing iconic hits by your favorite bands covering four decades of rock and roll.

These amazing venues, along with exciting performances at The Mainstage, Lincoln Center Stage and World Stage ensure you experience the Best in Live Music and entertainment.

NCL Japan Cruises

Cruising to Japan: 11 Incredible Ports to Explore

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When you journey to Japan you will experience a land of culture, history and sites beyond your imagination. To ensure you see all you are meant to, read on to discover 11 incredible ports to explore when you sail Japan with Norwegian Cruise Lines

If you’re looking through Norwegian’s Asia cruises, you’ll find no shortage of beautiful and exotic ports, many of which are in Japan. In fact, you can even book a cruise that primarily explores some of Japan’s most iconic destinations. One option is a 13-day cruise from Yokohama. If you’re planning a cruise to Japan, here’s a look at 11 incredible ports in Japan you can’t miss.

1. Shimizu (Mount Fuji)
Shimizu is a popular port because it’s the gateway to Mount Fuji (pictured above), but it’s also one of Japan’s most beautiful ports. Here, you can visit Japan’s first sushi museum, check out the archeological site of Toro that dates back to 200 BC, or wander through a 650-year-old black pine forest. If you’re interested in regional specialties, you’ll find traditional wooden handicrafts, fabrics, and local eats like a sweet jellied confection known as yokan.

2. Kobe
Kobe, Japan, is famous for its iconic beef, but it’s also the gateway to the popular city of Osaka. Here you can visit Ikuta Shrine, one of Japan’s oldest shrines, and spend the rest of the day eating and drinking your way through one of Japan’s most beloved food destinations. Enjoy an endless amount of street foods, and don’t miss Kobe’s Nada District, which is the top sake-producing region in the county.

3. Kanazawa
Travelers who want to learn more about Japan’s Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1886, should book a cruise that stops in Kanazawa. This is the second-largest city to survive World War II intact. You can explore the old castle town, the Nagamachi samurai district, and teahouses in the geisha district. You’ll find no shortage of temples and museums, plus a historic market that dates back to 1721.

4. Sapporo
Sapporo is one of Japan’s youngest cities and was the host city for the 1972 Winter Olympics. World class skiing and the annual ice festival are two reasons people flock to Sapporo, especially in the winter months. From Sapporo, you can also visit other iconic destinations, such as Hokkaido, or mineral-rich hot springs like Noboribetsu.

5. Beppu
Beppu is famous for its countless hot springs. The most famous of these is Jigoku, or Hell Circuit, but you won’t be taking a dip here, as it’s only for admiring. Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be able to view thousands of cherry blossoms in the spring or the stunning leaves of autumn. For local food specialties, don’t miss stopping by the historic Tomonaga Panya. This bakery dates back to 1916, and its signature specialty is the wanchan (doggie) bun.

6. Sasebo
Sasebo was once an old fishing village, but it transitioned into a large naval port in the 19th century. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the wide range of outdoor activities here. Visit the zoological and tropical botanical gardens with over 1,200 plant species and 80 animal species. Love Dutch tulips? Huis Ten Bosch is a recreation of a 17th-century Dutch village, complete with its own tulip fields. For traditional Japanese fare, explore the Yorozu-cho District where you can find a fun market with fresh seafood, produce, and plenty of handmade pottery and clothing.

7. Hakodate
The best views in Hakodate are seen from atop Hakodate Mountain. You can take a scenic ride up the gondola to the observation deck and marvel at the views below. Don’t miss interesting Hakodate attractions like Fort Goryokaku, built in the shape of a star, or the Hakodate market. Be sure to eat local specialties like kaisen-don, a seafood rice bowl.

8. Sakaiminato
The western part of Japan is seafood heaven, and Sakaiminato is the main fishing port for this part of the country. If you’ve eaten succulent snow crab in Japan, it comes from the Sakai Port. Beautiful sculptures from local artist Shigeru Mizuki line Kitaro Road, and the city is famed for its “Yokai” bronze sculptures of Japanese folklore spirit monsters.

9. Kochi
Kochi is another fun Japanese port, especially if you want to experience a Japanese beach. Katsurahama Beach is beautiful and is home to the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial that honors the famous Japanese peace negotiator. Settlement in this area started in 1601, and you can visit the area surrounding the historic Kochi Castle. Don’t miss trying Katsuo no tataki, which is a type of tuna tataki.

10. Miyako-Jima
Okinawa is renowned for its natural beauty, and Miyako-Jima is a beautiful port in the Okinawa Prefecture. Visitors are blown away by the turquoise water and world-class snorkeling. After you’ve worked up an appetite in the water, be sure to try Okinawa soba, a local specialty.

11. Hiroshima
Hiroshima is an emotional port for many travelers. It’s a historically rich region, but also a solemn reminder of World War II. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, where you’ll find numerous monuments to honor those who perished during the war. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Hiroshima is renowned for its local cuisine, including okonomiyaki, a crepe-like dish that some people refer to as Japanese pizza. It has vegetables, cabbage, and usually seafood. If you like oysters, don’t miss trying grilled oysters in Hiroshima either.

If your budget and vacation time allows, consider an East Asia cruise that primarily explores some of these ports in Japan. Many itineraries start or end in Tokyo, so you can add extra days to explore one of the world’s most dynamic cities on your own.

 

 

 

 

Original Blog Post can be found here

The New Wave Of Cruise Experiences

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 356 0

Thirteen experiences you didn’t know you could have on a cruise.

Today’s cruising boom is good news for everyone, from aficionados who love setting sail to those ready to give a new vacation style a go. And as cruising’s popularity grows – approximately 27 million people stepped aboard in 2018 – cruise lines have diversified. It’s all about variety these days, not just in ship size – ranging from intimate, 60-passenger yachts to next-level, 6,000-person megavessels – but in style too. You can sip coffee on your balcony as you float down a European river, go searching for wildlife on an expedition ship, or get lost in a floating city at sea. Itineraries are also more creative: Culinary academies and wellness centers on board, for example, pair well with surprising shore excursions, from hiking up mountains to attending orchestra concerts. These 13 experiences are offered by cruise lines that participate in Virtuoso Voyages – an exclusive program that offers complimentary benefits and perks to travelers who book cruises through a Virtuoso travel advisor – and they’ll make you think twice about what you can do on your next sailings.

 

Welcome to the new era of cruising, where almost everything goes.

 

1 – Explore Marine Life From Inside A $3 Million Submarine

Realize your James Bond fantasies with a trip on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Esprit, a 62-passenger yacht that touts a three-person submersible as one of its water-based activity options. (Jet Skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are also at the ready.) A pilot takes two passengers at a time on explorations up to 1,000 feet below the surface, including on a seven-day, Dubrovnik-to-Venice sailing. The Esprit is an ideal vessel for scuba divers and snorkelers, and its slim size means it can call on smaller ports, including the yacht marina in Kotor, Montenegro; Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik; and all the way north to Venice.

Departures: Multiple dates, July 7, 2019, to August 30, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $125 shipboard credit. Submersible experience, $350.

 

2 – Set Sail With Your Pup In Tow

Crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s eight-day, New York City to Southampton sailing is slow travel at its finest – rest, relaxation, and enrichment, from tango lessons and yoga sessions to fi lm screenings and music recitals. Share the adventure with your four-legged BFF on the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2, which has an onboard kennel for 24 pets. Like their owners, cats and dogs receive VIP treatment, including a portrait session, fleece coat, and “turndown service” of freshly baked biscuits. The pet lounge and play area welcome animals from both sides of the pond with a Liverpool lamppost and an NYC fire hydrant.

Departures: Multiple dates, June 7 to December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include private port transfers in New York City and London and an onboard specialty-dining credit.

 

3 – Get Your Daily Cardio In

You’ve worked too hard to let your fitness routine slide for a week. Do as much (or as little) as you like with AmaWaterways, the river-cruise line that stables bicycles for shore excursions and employs dedicated wellness hosts to lead core and circuit training classes on board. On the new, 196-passenger AmaMagna, which debuted in May and is twice as wide as most European river ships, cruisers can log a mile on the top-deck walking track, take a stretching class in the Zen Wellness Studio, hydrate at the juice bar, or get a massage. Disembark on an eight-day, Vilshofen-to-Budapest Danube River sailing to bike along the river or hike to a castle.

Departures: Multiple dates, June 2 to December 29, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a guided tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace.

 

4 – Discuss World Affairs With A Career Diplomat

There’s nothing like sailing with an astronaut, scholar, government official, or filmmaker to vanquish the shuffleboard-and-buffets cruising stereotype. Seabourn raises the intellectual bar with its Seabourn Conversations series, featuring notable guests who don’t just lead onboard lectures, but engage with fellow passengers over meals and excursions as well. Ashok Sajjanhar – India’s ambassador to Sweden and Latvia and president of the Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi – will educate guests on the 599-passenger Seabourn Ovation during a 19-day, Dubaito-Singapore cruise with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

Departure: December 2, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Mumbai.

 

5 – Stay Out LATE Without Fear Of Missing The Boat

Azamara Club Cruises pioneered overnight port stays, letting guests revel in the local nightlife in addition to the standard daytime scene. The boutique cruise line is amping up its after-dark experiences with a new series of exclusive evening shore excursions, such as taking in an acrobatics performance in Valencia, Spain. On an 11-day, round-trip-from-Athens sailing on the 702-passenger Azamara Pursuit, travelers can attend a traditional Jewish folk music performance by a klezmer group at Jerusalem’s Ashdod Performing Arts Center. It’s part of an immersive, three-day stop in the holy city that includes visits to the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.

Departure: September 4, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion to Jerusalem.

 

6 – Finally Figure Out The Difference Between A Julienne And A Brunoise Cut

Make tasty use of your time at sea on Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Marina or Riviera ships by enrolling in a cooking class or three at the onboard Culinary Center. Kick things off with Slice: Mastering Chef Knife Skills to learn the basics of mise en place before trying your hand at making pasta or grilling. The 12-day, Rio de Janeiro-to-Buenos Aires voyage on the Marina offers a balanced diet of cultural excursions in Paraty, Brazil; beach time in Punta del Este, Uruguay; and food and wine tours in Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

Departure: December 7, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include prepaid gratuities.

 

7 – Celebrate Your Anniversary With A Polynesian Blessing Ceremony

Cast away to the South Pacific for the most memorable of occasions aboard the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin Cruises. During an eight-day, roundtrip from Papeete sailing through the Society Islands – full of archaeological sites, lagoons fit for snorkeling, and white-sand beaches – local onboard hosts know as Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins can bless couples in a traditional Polynesian ceremony by reciting a love poem, singing, and after a Champagne toast, wrapping celebrants in a traditional patchwork tifaifai quilt. They’ll also teach you how to say “I do” in Tahitian, dance island-style, and make a basket out of pandanus leaves.

Departures: Multiple dates June 8 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Moorea.

 

8 – Spend All Day At The Spa

Bookending stops in Sint-Maarten, Dominica Saint Lucia, Antigua, and Saint Bart’s, four of the 11 days on Regent Seven Seas Cruises 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer’s roundtrip from Miami journey are spent at sea, offering prime time to find some inner peace in the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa. This at-sea outpost mirrors the famous destination retreat, with yoga classes, seaweed wraps, hot stone massages, reflexology, and hydrotherapy features ranging from saunas to cold rooms. Between oxygen facials and pedicures, check out the ship’s impressive art collection, including several Picasso’s, or learn about the healthful secrets of Mediterranean cooking in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.

Departure: January 8, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint Bart’s

 

9 – Learn How To Steer A Sailboat

Sixteen sails bound to four masts help power the 360 foot Star Flyer clipper ship, one of three throwback vessels in the Star Clippers fleet. Nautical culture meets luxury aboard this 17- passenger vessel, which has two swimming pools on its teak decks. Friendly deckhands, who hoist the sails manually each time the ship leaves port, offer knot-tying classes, ship-maneuvering lectures, and demonstrations on navigating with a sextant – a tool to measure angular distances at sea. Test your newfound skills on a 15-day, Barbados to Panama voyage, which visits Grenada, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), and Colombia and culminates in a sailor’s dream transit through the Panama Canal.

Departure: November 23, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint George’s, Grenada.

 

10 – Turn Your Expedition Photos Into Professional Masterpieces

Go beyond VSCO and your smartphone’s filters: The fully equipped Photo Studio aboard Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger (200 in polar waters) Silver Cloud offers master classes in composition, editing, and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop programs. High-tech printers encourage shutterbugs to create postcards and panoramic prints, regardless of whether they were taken using an iPhone or a DSLR. Photograph the wildlife that inhabits the bottom of the earth on a ten-day, roundtrip-from-Ushuaia expedition to Antarctica. The ship’s resident photo manager will coach passengers on adjusting shutter speeds so they can capture images of seabirds in the Drake Passage, penguins on the South Shetland Islands, and otherworldly icebergs in the Antarctic Sound.

Departures: Multiple dates, December 10, 2019, to January 20, 2021. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $300 shipboard credit per person.

 

11 – Read Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn On The Mighty Mississippi

The sense of freedom and possibility brought to life in Twain’s iconic novel can still be found on Ol’ Man River, and you’re likely to experience both during American Queen Steamboat Company’s nine-day cruise from New Orleans to Memphis. On board the 436-passenger American Queen, an authentic paddlewheel riverboat, watch the Mississippi roll past from the ship’s decks, read a classic tome in the Mark Twain Gallery, and take in a show in the Grand Saloon. Along the way, holiday themed events and excursions reveal the history and heritage of the U.S. South. See NOLA’s ceremonial lighting of bonfires on the levee, learn how to perfect buttery biscuits in the Natchez home of award-winning chef Regina Charboneau, and more.

Departure: December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception; contact your Virtuoso travel advisor regarding an additional, soon-to-be-announced amenity.

 

12 – Travel Back In Time On The Nile River

From the hand-built pyramids at Giza to tranquil Nile excursions aboard a traditional felucca sailboat, travelers will revel in the ingenuity of past centuries during their time in Egypt. Seven of the 12 days on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s round-trip-from-Cairo itinerary are based on the elegant 82-passenger River Tosca. Egyptologist-guided excursions decode the colossal statues of Memnon, the mummified remains of King Tutankhamun in his Valley of the Kings tomb, and the hieroglyphics adorning temples from Luxor to Aswan. Changing pace, ride a felucca and take tea at the hotel where Agatha Christie set Death on the Nile. Go now, while tourism is growing, but before the masses return.

Departures: Multiple dates, September 28 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $200 shipboard credit per person.

 

13 – Get Cooking With A Celebrated Chef

The James Beard Foundation ships out its award-winning chefs and sommeliers on culinary-themed Windstar Cruises sailings, which include cooking demos, beverage pairings, and market tours. Gain firsthand knowledge by joining a talented chef and beverage expert on a ten-day, San Diego-to-Vancouver sailing aboard the 212-passenger Star Breeze, which plies the U.S. West Coast with stops in Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The chef will host a wine-paired dinner, lead a shopping trip, and provide a cooking demonstration. Work off the meals while exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Departure: May 5, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a custom-curated shore event.

 

 

Original Article from Virtuoso Traveler July 2019 issue

Northern Europe - Copenhagen

Why You Should Cruise Northern Europe With Seabourn

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 310 0

Celebrate summer in Scandinavia’s capitals and quaint towns. Stockholm cafes set tables on the sidewalks. Oslo and Helsinki bloom with brilliant flowers and the sounds of children. Gilded fountains sparkle at St. Petersburg’s Summer Palace. Glide between towering cliffs in Norway’s Trollfjord. There’s no lovelier season than a Scandinavian summer, and no better way to experience it than on Seabourn.

1. Hand-selected itineraries include boutique ports, sheltered coves and hidden harbors where larger ships cannot go

2. Both Seabourn Quest and the Seabourn Ovation will be sailing in the region, giving you a wide choice of itineraries and departure dates

3. In-depth explorations of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, mixing history, the arts and sheer natural beauty

4. Exciting Iceland and Greenland voyages, including many maiden ports on unique cruises to and from Reykjavik, Iceland

5. More optional Ventures by Seabourn™ excursions available in select destinations expressly curated to provide ample opportunities
for active kayaking, Zodiac cruising and scenic trekking experiences

6. Shopping with the Chef excursions in Bergen, Oslo, Dublin, Helsinki, Reykjavík, Nuuk and Stockholm allow you to learn about regional markets and see how the freshest ingredients are selected, with an expert Seabourn chef as your guide

7. Regionally inspired cuisine using local seasonal produce

8. Seabourn’s Signature culinary event, the Galley Market Lunch▲ — a tour de force of temptation guaranteed to please any palate

9. Let’s Dance! deck party, Caviar on the Ice and other special deck events

10. Seabourn Conversations with special guest speakers, including our knowledgeable Expedition Team including Naturalists, a Marine
Biologist, Kayak Guide, Historian, Ornithologist and more

11. Optional 3-day mid-cruise excursion in St. Petersburg, With exclusive content though partnership with UNESCO

12. Optional excursion Exclusive Visit to Stonehenge: A UNESCO Partner Tour, from Portland. Through our partnership, this tour providing you access before the site opens for general admission to venture beyond the ropes and walk among the stones, with your guide

13. Shore excursions to UNESCO World Heritage Sites with enhanced content through an exclusive partnership, including Historic Center (Old Town) of Tallinn, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, Old and New Towns of Edinburgh and more

14. Expedition team on deck helping spot wildlife, outfitted with high precision, long-range Swarovski Optik binoculars for complimentary use

 

Enhance and extend your Northern Europe VOYAGE with an optional shore excursion, Ventures by Seabourn excursions or mid-cruise tour. Here is a sampling of some of favorites.

Svolvaer (Lofoten), Norway — Ventures by Seabourn: Lofoten Exploration and Trollfjord by Zodiac
Depart from the ship in Zodiacs, to cruise the spectacular Lofoten Islands and fjords of Norway with a resident naturalist. Artists flock to the Lofoten archipelago for its stunning light, majestic peaks, sea – and skyscapes and lovely beaches. You’ll step ashore at one of these as naturalists interpret the flora and fauna, perhaps including resident moose. Then Zodiac northward to Trollfjord, and
watch Seabourn Quest enter the steep, narrow passage from sea level before re-boarding.

Stavanger, Norway — Ventures by Seabourn: Preikestolen/Pulpit Rock Hike
Perhaps no scene is more iconic to Norway’s fjords than the view from flat-topped Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen, towering 2,000 ft (604
m) above Lysefjord. Take a short ferry crossing to the village of Tau and a scenic transfer to the trailhead at Preikestolhytta. Then a two hour hike of 2.4 miles (3.8 km) ascending 1,100 ft (330 m) will find you standing atop Pulpit Rock and taking in the spectacular view of Lysefjord and the surrounding mountains. Then descend down the trail to return to your ship.

Qaqortoq, Greenland — Ventures by Seabourn: Hvalsey Norse Ruins by Zodiac
Depart Qaqortoq by Zodiac with a resident archaeologist and naturalists, exploring the coastline to the head of the fjord. Landing
at a jetty, scramble up and discover the nearby ruins of the Hvalsey farm and church, where a marriage in 1408 supplied the last written record of Norse presence in Greenland. Amid the ruins, the archaeologist will conjure for you the site as it was in the past,
surrounded by dwarf willows and harebells, perhaps with ghostly icebergs floating just off the gravel beach.

St. Petersburg, Russia — Extraordinary St. Petersburg & Moscow: A 3-Day UNESCO Partner Tour
In St. Petersburg, visit Catherine’s Palace and its Amber Room. Continue to the Peter & Paul Fortress and Cathedral. Then explore
the spectacular Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood before returning to your ship. Next day, take the high-speed train to Moscow to tour the Kremlin’s palaces, cathedrals and resplendent Armory museum, as well as Red Square, before returning by train. On day three, tour the Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace and its Treasury Diamond Room, and the Summer Palace and fountain gardens at Peterhof.

Uniworld Generations Collection voyages

Generations Collection with Uniworld

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruises believes that world travel is a family affair and have created their Generations Collection of voyages to reflect that. Every Uniworld Generations cruise includes special programs, events and excursions designed specifically for your world travellers in training.

SPECIAL GENERATIONS AMENITIES

  • 25% off the fare for travellers 4 to 17 years old when traveling with an adult (suites excluded)
  • Exciting shore excursions tailor-made for families and hosted by local experts
  • Kid-friendly menus for each meal and unlimited beverages onboard
  • Young Travellers’ Table, a special dining table reserved on certain nights just for our younger guests and Family Hosts
  • Onboard activities just for kids, such as cooking classes and dessert-making with the ship’s chef and pastry chef
  • Hands-on craft workshops tailored to the destinations you visit
  • Young travellers’ lounge and game room, complete with PlayStation, games, movies and local treats
  • Two dedicated Family Hosts to oversee all activities for Junior Cruisers (ages 4 to 12 years) and Teen Cruisers (ages 13 to 17 years)
  • Opportunities to “Live the Lingo” and learn words and phrases in other languages from our Family Hosts
  • Kids-only movie nights, where kids can enjoy popcorn-fueled screenings of family-friendly films along with their new onboard friends and Family Hosts
  • A special VIP ship tour with the Captain or Hotel Manager
  • Complimentary bicycles, helmets and Nordic walking sticks for use onshore
  • Young travellers will receive special surprise pillow gifts for each night of the cruise
  • Convenient departures scheduled during summer and winter breaks

Uniworld specializes in personalized travel, with the Generations Collection of voyages they have included extra special options for the younger travellers. Since everyone has different likes there are a range of onshore excursion and onboard activities available. Some are geared toward children while others are tailored for tweens and teens. Options such as these …

ART LOVERS – excursions and hands-on activities to inspire creative expression
Sample: Glassblowing and Mask-making in Venice on select Gems of Northern Italy voyages

CURIOUS MINDS – Excursions designed to cultivate a greater sense of curiosity
Sample: NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam on select Delightful Danube & Prague voyages

LET’S GO – Exhilarating outdoor pursuits geared especially towards tween and teens
Sample: Gondola rowing in Venice on select Gems of Northern Italy voyages

THRILL SEEKERS – Exciting adventures that will appeal to junior adrenaline junkies
Sample: Climbing Forest in Germany on select Castles along the Rhine voyages

ASPIRING FOODIES – Tasty activities for adventourous eaters seeking new flavours
Sample: Pretzel-twisting workshop in Wertheim on select Classic Christmas Markets voyages

MYSTERIOUS STUFF – Excursions for young people who love intriguing tales with a historical twist
Sample: Nuremberg’s secret tunnels on select Delightful Danube & Prague voyages

 

With a Uniworld Generations Collections voyage you can be sure children, teens, tweens and adults alike will come home with memories to last a lifetime.

Avalon Waterways introduces shorter itineraries in Europe

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 358 0

It’s no secret that Canadians love their vacation breaks. From weekend getaways to shorter stays in more exotic destinations, it seems we like to vacation for a shorter time – and more often.

In 2020, Avalon Waterways will be the only river cruise company offering time-starved travellers – or those wanting to dip their toes in river cruise waters for the first time – a choice of 4, 5 and 6 day river cruise itineraries comprising A Taste of the Rhine, Heart of Germany and A Taste of the Danube.

Priced from $2,586 Cdn (all prices exclude airfare), the new A Taste of the Rhine is a 5-day cruise featuring immersive opportunities to explore must-see sites along the Rhine River including: a culinary walk through Amsterdam, a guided tour of Cologne, a wine-tasting in Boppard, free time in Rudesheim and of course, cruising through the picturesque, castle-dotted Rhine Gorge.

Formerly a Christmas markets cruise, the new 6-day Heart of Germany will be offered year-round in 2020. Priced from $2,743 Cdn, this itinerary features stops along the Main River and Main-Danube Canal including a guided walk through a picturesque Bavarian village, time in Würzburg with its towering fortress and Baroque Bishop’s residence, enjoying Bavarian wines in Kitzingen, partaking in an onboard beer-tasting near Volkach, and taking in the sites of Bamberg, a Bavarian oasis built on seven hills. The cruise concludes in Nuremberg.

Priced from just $1,449 Cdn, the 4-day A Taste of the Danube has become a very popular itinerary for first-time river cruisers and time-starved travellers alike, with visits to Budapest, Bratislava, Melk and Dürnstein. The cruise ends in Vienna.

For those travellers who are testing the river cruise-waters but want to add on time on land in popular European destinations, Avalon Waterways is introducing three Your Way options in 2020: 1) An Avalon Waterways land extension; 2) A Monograms independent vacation package or 3) A Globus escorted touring vacation.

“With our new Your Way program, we’re making it easier for travellers to extend their river cruise vacation with land itineraries that are perfectly suited to their preferences and budget,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In addition, with our exclusive onboard Avalon Choice feature on every itinerary, our guests have their pick of the widest array of included excursions, from classic sightseeing to immersive discoveries and active adventures.”

All cruise itineraries – short and long – sail on Avalon Waterways’ signature Suite Ships which provide guest two full decks of 200-square-foot, one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites featuring the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the incredible views for which river cruising is famous.

Outlander author to escort Avalon Waterways European river cruise

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AVALON INVITES TRAVELLERS TO BOOK A NOVEL VACATION IN 2020 PLUS OTHER NEW “SPECIAL INTEREST” CRUISES

It’s bound to be the most memorable trip of 2020 (or a lifetime): author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling OUTLANDER series Diana Gabaldon is exclusively hosting a NEW Author Cruise on the Rhine River, giving fans the chance to get insider OUTLANDER insight with their favourite author for a week in June of 2020.

“Diana Gabaldon has added to the storytelling tapestry of our lives while also inspiring travel with her literature,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In her OUTLANDER series of novels and novellas – now an award-winning series on W Network – she has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland, North America, France, Germany as well as dozens of destinations across the globe. On the June 9, 2020 departure of Avalon’s Romantic Rhine Author Cruise with Diana Gabaldon from Basel to Amsterdam, this inspiring storyteller will share an inspired cruise – and daily excursions – with an intimate group of her fans.”

A MAGICAL JOURNEY: From the German Black Forest of fairy tales to the historic canals of Amsterdam, Avalon Waterways and Diana Gabaldon invite travellers to savour the magic of the Rhine River. This week-long vacation on board the Avalon Expression (with a capacity of just 166 passengers) delivers cruisers to the heart of Europe to explore towns and cities along the Rhine River while they enjoy panoramic views and spectacular, castle-lined backdrops day and night.

Also NEW for 2020 is themed cruise Reflections on the Seine for Photography Enthusiasts hosted by Brenda Tharp, photography veteran and co-author of EXTRAORDINARY EVERYDAY PHOTOGRAPHY.
Avalon Waterways invites photography enthusiasts and aspiring shutterbugs on this picture-perfect itinerary along the Seine River to learn from a seasoned photographer, cruise through postcard-perfect backdrops and enjoy the beauty and scenes of France, from Paris, the “City of Light,” to Le Havre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stops in between include the WWII Landing Beaches in Normandy, Monet’s Giverny, Rouen’s astronomical clock, Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise and Napoléon’s Chateau de Malmaison.

“Avalon’s Special Interest itineraries complement stories with stout, history with harmony and impressions with impressionism,” said Hoffee. “In addition to announcing new author and photography cruises in 2020, we are also unveiling new culinary-themed vacations and favourites featuring wine, beer, history, heritage and of course, Christmas markets. Regardless of the theme, our passion-filled vacations have the great distinction of uniting our guests with their pastimes and other like-minded travellers.”

Other 2020 Special Interest cruises include:

Palate-Pleasing Adventures: NEW Culinary Cruises.
Enter a food-lover’s paradise in the land of haute cuisine – France! These river cruises invite travellers to enjoy delectable flavours, decadent aromas and delightful textures sure to send taste buds into overdrive.
NEW A Culinary Experience in Burgundy & Provence (March 31 departure)
NEW A Culinary Experience on Rhine & Rhone Revealed (March 24 departure)

The World in Red & White: Wine Cruises.
Whether travellers are weekend-sippers or wannabe sommeliers, it’s time to take a cruise where the river and Rieslings flow. On these 2020 wine cruises, vino lovers of the world will unite with some of the world’s most renowned winemakers and wine masters on the rolling vineyards of Europe.
NEW Danube Dreams for Wine Lovers (April 30 and October 29 departures)
Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (October 6, October 20 and October 25 departure)
Grand France for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)

Adventure is Brewing: Beer Cruises.
Pairing fascinating history with a beverage that goes just as far back in time, an Avalon Beer Cruise promises incredible scenery and visits to the greatest beer scenes in Europe.
Tulip Time Cruise for Beer Enthusiasts (April 4 departure)
Enchanted Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (July 16 departure)
Magnificent Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (October 27 departure)

Holiday Joy and Jolly Abound on Festive Time Cruises.
Experience the holiday season the European way! Travellers will enjoy the jolly atmosphere on their festively decorated Suite Ship as they delight in the sights, smells, tastes and local traditions of Europe’s Christmas markets. In 2020, Avalon Waterways is offering 16 Christmas Market Cruises throughout Europe.

Wonder in Bloom: Garden & Nature Cruises.
Spring in Holland and Belgium is no time to tiptoe through the tulips. It’s time to sail and stroll through their glorious splendour.
Tulip Time Cruise for Garden & Nature Lovers (April 11 and 18 departures)

Remembrance on the River: World War I and II Cruises.
All river cruises venture back in time. These World War I and II-themed history cruises make a special trip to honour and commemorate the significant sites of the fearless and fallen who fought for freedom.
Tulip Time in Holland & Belgium WW1 Remembrance & History Cruise (April 19 departure)
Paris to Normandy WWII Remembrance & History Cruise (June 2 departure)

Once Upon a Castle: Habsburg Cruises.
In fairytale settings of Germany, Austria and Hungary, Avalon Waterways is rolling out the red carpet for travellers sailing along the Danube. From the palaces of Budapest and Vienna to the castles and estates of the surrounding countryside, it’s time to sip Champagne in the same reception rooms and walk the same art-filled corridors of Europe’s royal past.
Danube Dreams with Habsburg & Royalty (July 11 departure)
From the Danube Delta to Prague with Habsburg & Royalty (July 2 departure)

Under the Star: Jewish Heritage Cruises.
History’s most moving chapters come to life sailing down the Danube, Rhine and Rhône Rivers on an Avalon Jewish Heritage cruise. Deep in the Jewish quarters of Europe’s most historic cities, explore museums and monuments, cemeteries and synagogues and learn the touching stories behind them all.
Romantic Rhine with Jewish Heritage (July 21 departure)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Jewish Heritage (July 14 departure)
The Legendary Danube with Jewish Heritage (August 13 departure)

Passion for the Passion Play.
Finally, for travellers who have been waiting years (and years) to experience Oberammergau’s Passion Play – a theatrical tradition that has taken place every 10 years since 1634 – Avalon Waterways is delivering an unforgettable cruise experience and preferred seating at the Passion Play.
Danube Dreams with Oberammergau 2020 (multiple departures throughout 2020)

 

Around the World

Around the World in 180 Days – 2021

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Discover the World from a new perspective on Oceania Cruises 180 Day World Cruise in 2021. Reservations opened on February 13, 2019.

2021 Around The World Cruise
Discover the profound difference between a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and a life-changing exploration. Oceania Cruises new 2021 Around the World in 180 Days (departing from Miami) or 164 Days (departing from Los Angeles) voyages feature countless complimentary amenities that are included with the Exclusive Prestige Package* along with a limited-time inclusive OLife Choice amenities. All of this is in addition to 2 for 1 Cruise Fares and extra touches such as, Free First Class Roundtrip Airfare*, which will ensure that every moment of your voyage is utter perfection. A bonus value up to 64% and much more!

2 for 1 CRUISE FARES
FREE FIRST CLASS Roundtrip Airfare*
Bonus Value up to 64%

Plus choose one:
FREE – 70 Shore Excursions
FREE – Beverage Package
FREE – $7,000 Shipboard Credit
Amenities are per stateroom

EXCLUSIVE PRESTIGE PACKAGE*
 FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities (a value of up to $8,200)
 FREE Onboard Medical Care
 FREE Internet
 FREE Laundry Services
 FREE Exclusive Shoreside Events
 FREE Visa Package
 FREE Lugagge Delivery
 FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel Stay
 FREE Roundtrip Transfers

 

Notable New Shore Excursions

Seabourn Introduces Notable New Shore Excursions

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From a yoga trip to Taku Glacier Lodge in Alaska to a Lukimbi Safari in South Africa. Seabourn is encouraging travelers to experience extraordinary destinations with a selection of notable, new shore excursions!

SEATTLE, February 1, 2019 – Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury travel experience, is encouraging travelers to experience extraordinary destinations with a selection of notable new shore excursions available throughout the year ahead. Introducing a selection of never-before-offered excursions, Seabourn guests are invited to engage in authentic culture and glimpse remarkable natural beauty for explorations creating lifelong memories.

The new shore excursions offer a diverse mix of opportunities including wellness-focused tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Alaska, a Picasso Museum exclusive visit, and culinary and art experiences secured through local connections, among others.

“Shore excursions are always a highlight as we visit each destination and a key element of the Seabourn luxury experience,” noted Chris Austin, Seabourn’s senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. “This complement of new excursions combines what Seabourn does best, presenting innovative, exclusive and unique programming for people to experience exotic destinations in truly memorable ways.”

 

Each new shore excursion has been thoughtfully detailed to ensure guests come away with a truly memorable experience. The notable new excursions being offered in 2019 include:

  • Kruger National Park & Lukimbi Safari Lodge – Soak in Africa’s exotic landscape and spot the best game in the country with three days spent at Lukimbi Safari Lodge in the southern portion of Kruger National Park. From poster panels carved with mystical creatures and African patterns to open wooden decks for tranquil game viewing, Lukimbi is a photographer’s delight with spectacular wildlife and wilderness around every corner. Kruger, South Africa’s largest game reserve, is the land of baobabs and fever trees, the Big Five, the Little Five, and the Big Six of birding, plus more mammal species than any other on the continent. Cape Town, South Africa; Available on Seabourn Sojourn, February 21, 2019 sailing

 

  • Taku Glacier Lodge, Glacier Seaplane Discovery & Yoga: A Mindful Living Tour – Designed as an extension of Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil available on board, this Mindful Living Tour begins with a flight in a classic de Havilland seaplane over five glaciers from Juneau to Taku Glacier Lodge. Located along the Taku River, just across from Alaska’s largest and one of the world’s few remaining advancing glaciers, the famed wilderness lodge was built in 1923. Soak up the surrounding splendor, taste wild Alaska salmon grilled to perfection, join a certified yoga instructor for a soulful session surrounded by views of the blue-hued glacier, and enjoy a guided interpretive nature walk with wildlife sightings likely. Juneau, Alaska; Available on all 2019 Alaska sailings

 

  • The Historical, Forward-Looking Augustine Monastery: A Mindful Living Tour – Designed as another land-based extension of Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, guests can explore one of the oldest settlements in North America with a Mindful Living tour of charming Québec City. See Dufferin Terrace where Samuel de Champlain built his fort in 1620; spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River, Île d’Orléans, and Laurentian Mountains; and celebrated Château Frontenac Hotel. Enter the historic walls of Le Monastère des Augustines for a unique experience in holistic health and rare opportunity to connect with the monastic heritage of the Augustine Sisters whose offering of cutting-edge healthcare has been at the heart of their values for ages. The excursion also includes an interactive conference on medicinal herbs and teas, and a concert with commentary from the Augustinian Choir. Quebec City, Quebec; Available on Seabourn Quest’s August 6 and 30; September 10 and 21; October 3, 14 and 25 sailings

 

  • Bocelli’s Favorite Things & Seaside Experience (A Small-Group Tour) – Guests will explore the charming town of Lucca, Italy and learn about its history, culture and marvels, including the Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro, the Church of San Michele in Foro, and the famous City Wall of Lucca. . Learn more about the life and career of one of the greatest opera composers, Giacomo Puccini, with a visit to his local apartment, the Puccini Villa and Puccini Theatre. Continue on to the exclusive Bocelli Alpemare Beach Club, run by the Bocelli family, for a four-course lunch and a tasting of wines from the Bocelli family farmhouse in Tuscany. Following some relaxing time on the beach, guests will make a final stop at Pisa, home to the iconic Leaning Tower. Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy. Available on Seabourn Encore’s July 18, August 22, September 26; Seabourn Odyssey’s October 12; and Seabourn Ovation’s October 23 sailings.

 

  • Picasso Museum Exclusive Visit & A Taste Of Malaga – Seabourn guests can discover marvelous landmarks and ancient history in Málaga. Views of the stunning architecture of the Alcasaba Palace, erected in the 11th century for the Arabian Caliphs, are just a warm up to the Picasso Museum, where an exclusive visit will offer access to the collection, archeological remains, and a terrace not normally open to the public. A special souvenir memento will seal memories for guests before heading off to nearby Pateo de las Beatas for an authentic culinary experience of local delicacies and a small bottle of olive oil to go as a souvenir. Málaga (Granada), Spain; Available on Seabourn Odyssey’s April 17 and October 19 sailings; Seabourn Ovation’s May 5, 2019; and Seabourn Encore’s July 25, August 29 and October 3, 2019.

A broad array of shore excursions are offered in the many ports Seabourn visits each year and more details can be found on the Seabourn website.

Seabourn continues to represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe to many of the world’s most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

Guests who sail on Seabourn will continue to find a number of innovative offerings and programs, including partnerships with a select group of companies and individuals whose dedication to superior quality, exceptional service and consistent customer satisfaction matches Seabourn. These programs include ‘An Evening with Tim Rice’, the new evening entertainment experience created exclusively for the line in association with Belinda King Creative Productions; Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, offering guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being; and The Grill by Thomas Keller, reminiscent of the classic American restaurant from the 50’s and 60’s. Exclusive to Seabourn, The Grill is a unique culinary concept for Chef Keller, focusing on updated versions of iconic dishes. Guests will be treated to table-side preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes, as well as a range of other favorites like premium steaks, whole roasted chicken, and Lobster Thermidor, presented à la carte.