Posts Tagged ‘European river cruises’

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Honors 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy

January 9, 2014
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise.

Nearly 70 years ago, a mighty armada embarked on an invasion that forever changed world history. The Nazi grip on western Europe was cracked on June 6, 1944, as brave soldiers crossed a slender ribbon of sea from England into Normandy and initiated one of the most influential battles of WWII. D-Day has been recalled by the veterans who fought it, the newsreels that depicted it, and thousands of dedicated historians – yet few have actually set foot on the infamous beaches.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise. Guests explore the D-Day museum in Mulberry Harbor and venture to the Juno and Omaha Beach landing sites. The American Cemetery serves as a haunting reminder of the Allied forces’ hard-won fight for freedom, and Uniworld guests attend a wreath-laying ceremony and moment of silence to honor the fallen American soldiers.

This itinerary deftly combines history with culture, cuisine and the brilliant landscapes of northern France. Watch the evening lights dance along the Seine River in Paris, marvel at Notre Dame’s sneering gargoyles, and behold the scenery that inspired some of the world’s greatest artists. Breathe in the fragrance of Monet’s garden in Giverny and walk in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise.

“Paris & Normandy” is an 8-day river cruise from Paris to Paris. Prices start at $3,199 per person, land only.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is part of a joint initiative with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism within its family of brands and in the places we visit. To date, TreadRight has donated more than $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world (www.TreadRight.org).

For more details about the cruise, visit uniworld.com or connect with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises at facebook.com/uniworldrivercruises or twitter.com/uniworldcruises.

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France Cruises Offers Free Land Tour with Purchase off Cruise and Hotel

November 23, 2013
A guided walking tour of Dijon brings me up to the tower atop the magnificent  Palais de Ducs for the fabulous view of the historic city © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A guided walking tour of Dijon brings me up to the tower atop the magnificent Palais de Ducs for the fabulous view of the historic city © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

For a limited time, France Cruises is offering guests a free land tour with purchase of a cruise and hotel. The free full-day land tour is available in Paris, Carcassonne, Dijon, Avignon, Tours, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Nice.

A France Cruises booking agent will assist either you or your travel agent in arranging all of the trip’s details. Once you have chosen your cruise and land tour, France Cruises will also help recommend and book a hotel for your pre or post cruise excursion.

For more information, call 877-579-7447 or visit http://www.FranceCruises.com.

See our series, Barging through Burgundy on France Cruises:

Barging through Burgundy: A visit to Chagny Market and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 2: Chateau de Rully and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 3: Hotel-Dieu, Beaune and slideshow

Barging Through Burgundy, Day 4: Clos de Vougeot, ‘mother church’ of wine and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 5-6: Walking Tour of Dijon’s Old City and slideshow

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France Cruises Expands Its 2012 Offerings with New Vessel and First-Ever Winter Canal Program in France and Belgium

December 15, 2011

France Cruises is introducing the industry’s first hotel barge cruise during the winter season along the inland waterways of France and Belgium aboard the luxurious Esperance, and its newest ship, the 8-passenger MS Elisabeth. Each expedition combines the opportunity to enjoy France with gourmet dining, fine wines and sightseeing excursions to ancient villages, castles, cafes, and markets. © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

France Cruises is introducing the industry’s first hotel barge cruise during the winter season along the inland waterways of France and Belgium aboard the luxurious Esperance, and its newest ship, the 8-passenger MS Elisabeth. Sailing from December through March, the vessels will tour the renowned regions of Provence and Flanders, respectively.

The 6-passenger Esperance will journey through the south of France between Avignon and Montpellier. Travelers can look forward to passing colorful autumn landscapes and rich wildlife of horses and bulls aboard their all-inclusive floating hotel on the Rhone River. The cruise features enriching shore excursions to historical and cultural sites, such as the Pope’s Palace in Avignon, the largest gothic palace in Europe, and the Roman city of Arles, home of legendary artist Vincent Van Gogh. Programs for four- and six-night cruises are available. Prices for this itinerary start at $4,335 per person, based on double occupancy.

Aboard the MS Elisabeth, guests will float past rolling hills and medieval towns on the canals of Belgium between Namur and Bruges. Highlights of the 6-night cruise include a guided tour of the impeccably-preserved, 13th-century town of Bruges, dubbed the “Venice of the North”; a visit to a local snail farm in Namur; and an exploration into Brussels’ popular attractions, including the city’s famous landmark, the Atomium. The vessel also offers a Christmas and New Year’s Eve cruise, which features exciting visits to local festivities spotlighting the holiday season. Rates for the cruise begin at $3,360 per person, double occupancy.

“We’re offering our clients a one-of-a-kind canal experience in the standard off-season not available anywhere else,” said Jean-Francois Dabrowski, president of France Cruises. “With fewer crowds, colorful scenery and pleasantly cool weather, there’s no better time than winter to visit Europe’s countryside.”

The MS Elisabeth

MS Elisabeth, the latest addition to France Cruises’ collection of hotel barges, will navigate the heart of France and Upper Loire region, as well as the northern part of Belgium. The vessel boasts four comfortable cabins with en-suite bathrooms, a large sun deck and terrace, and a spacious salon and dining room area surrounded by 12 impressively wide windows providing for the most beautiful views of the idyllic countryside. Cruisers will enjoy a gastronomic menu of regional dishes like Fish Waterzoii and cheese fragranced with ginger and coriander, and even be afforded the opportunity to accompany chef and host, Martine, to the local produce markets to choose the specialties for the evening. In addition, MS Elisabeth offers an array of special theme cruises that tailor to the interest of passengers, including golf, wine appreciation and culinary cruises – the latter giving guests the chance to learn the art of French and Belgian cuisine with Martine.

To learn more about the winter cruises in France and Belgium, and the new MS Elisabeth visit www.francecruises.com.

France Cruises, Inc. specializes in canal and river cruises in France. France Cruises’ fleet of over 40 luxury hotel barges and riverboats float along the narrow canals of France, providing an intimate way to discover the splendid and historic countryside. Along with superb opportunities for relaxation, the carefree elegance of each expedition combines the opportunity to enjoy France with gourmet dining, fine wines and sightseeing excursions to ancient villages, castles, cafes, markets. For more information visit www.FranceCruises.com. Additionally, France Cruises offers a concierge service, which assists in acquiring car rentals, train tickets, hotel stays and more together with its new land tours and hotel packages division: www.FranceCountryTours.com.

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www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

French Country Waterways Offers Upper Loire Valley Cruise Aboard 8-Passenger Princess

January 7, 2011

French Country Waterways, which has offered elegant vacation experiences aboard its own fleet of luxury canal barges for more than 25 years, is returning to the Upper Loire Valley in 2011, and using its luxury eight-passenger Princess on this itinerary for the first time.  The well-appointed barge, formerly the private barge of shipping magnate Daniel K. Ludwig, sails between Châtillon-sur-Loire and Montargis every Sunday from April 3 through Oct. 30.

Highlights of the sailing include a private cellar tour and wine tasting in the charming village of Sancerre; dinner ashore at the Michelin-starred Auberge des Templiers in les Bezards; a visit to the medieval town of Gien, a leading center for French faience; and a day trip – including lunch – to the magnificent Chateau de Chambord, the largest of the Loire Valley chateaux.  Guests are escorted via private motorcoach to and from Paris.  Prices for the weekly Sunday departures, April through October, range from $5,495 to $6,695 per person, double.

Guests aboard the Princess also enjoy a host of  luxury amenities that are par for the course on all of French Country Waterway’s cruises: creative cuisine prepared by talented young chefs, who blend classic cooking techniques with the trend to lighter fare; four-course candlelit dinners accompanied by Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines from Burgundy and other major French wine regions; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners, including one dinner ashore at a Michelin-starred restaurant; attentive service from a crew fluent in English and French; daily sightseeing excursions and private wine tastings; and time to relax on the sundeck and walk or bicycle along canal towpaths. Hot-air ballooning is also an option.

The Princess has four suites with king-size beds, a salon with large picture windows and well-stocked bar, formal dining room, separate library, powder room and canopied sundeck for relaxing and al fresco meals.  All meals are included on board, as well as the Michelin dinner and local lunch.  Wine is served at lunch and dinner as well at other time and other drinks from the well-stocked bar are complimentary.  The Princess chef shops in farmers’ markets and local bakeries each morning to provide guests with freshly baked breads, buttery croissants and local cheeses, produce, meats and fish to prepare his tempting menus.

The barges are available for individual bookings and for charter by families, friends and groups of eight to 12.  Special room rates are offered at several deluxe hotels in Paris for guests wishing to extend their stay.  Information, brochures and reservations can be obtained from French Country Waterways, Ltd., P.O. Box 2195, Duxbury, MA 02331; (800) 222-1236 in the U.S. and Canada and (781) 934-2454 in MA; or, visit www.fcwl.com.

 

WLC Vacations River Cruise Company Promotes Family Cruising to Europe, Galapagos

July 23, 2010

A river cruise of Europe’s important cities may be one of the fantasy trips you might think to put off until you are an “empty-nester” and the kids are off on their own, but now, such experiences are being tailored for families.

World Luxury Cruise Vacations (WLCVacations) is now offering a variety of family cruises – essentially, introducing special activities into the itinerary that are engaging to young travelers.

“Experiencing a vacation with family can be one of the best ways to learn about each other and make life long memories,” says Jean-Francois Dabrowski, co-founder of World Luxury Cruise Vacations and France Cruises. “WLCVacations recommends trying a riverboat cruise. These cruises can be conveniently tailored to any family, making vacationing a breeze. And there are always many activities to keep everyone completely satisfied.”

For example, Dabrowski is recommending families consider the Castles Along the Rhine cruise aboard the magnificent River Ambassador. This package includes the seven-night cruise in a river-view stateroom; a children’s walking tour in Koblenz with characters, a scavenger hunt and an ice cream treat; a visit to the Technik Museum in Speyer with more than 3,000 exhibits, including walk-in exhibits of aircrafts and a German submarine; a visit to the Siegfried Mechanical Music Museum in Rudesheim, showcasing a collection of mechanical musical instruments; a visit to the Chocolate Factory Museum in Cologne; an onboard cooking class with the pastry chef where kids can make their own desserts; a ship tour for the children and family members with the captain; games, movies and a playroom with a PlayStation; and German language classes onboard. Prices for this 7 day cruise start at $1,899 per person (50% off for all children 4 – 18 on the European cruises)

An optional excursion to Europa-Park, a theme park in rust, Germany, can be purchased onboard. The excursion departs from Strasbourg.

WLCVacations has partnered with Metropolitan Touring to promote the new Young Pirates program to the Galapagos. This program is for young Galapagos Explorers between ages 7 to 12 years old.  It showcases a fun and exciting way of absorbing Galapagos kids’ style. Children enjoy specially designed menus and earlier dinner hours. The chefs and kitchen staff have created a “kids’ continental breakfast” with Galápagos muffins, fruit yogurt, orange juice and chocolate milk, and for dinners a choice of meals children all over the world enjoy, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and fish and chips, plus vegetarian options. The children are provided a Journal of Expedition and Young Pirates booklet. Activities will include bracelet weaving, molding with play-dough and bead necklace making, coloring (Multicolored Ecuador and Galapagos: Discover it and Paint it), Ecuamemory cards, maps (Where am I?), animal puzzles, Galapagos videos and movies for children, treasure hunts, Galapagos trivia, reading time, stargazing and conversations (What have I learned?).

Prices for the Santa Cruz 3 Night Galapagos Islands Cruise start at $1,500 per person; prices for the Isabela II 4 Night Galapagos Cruise start at $2,143 per person; prices for the La Pinta 7 Night Luxury Galapagos Islands Cruise start at $4,656 per adult, with 50% charged for the first child and the second child goes free.

Also, a cruise aboard the canal barge Magna Carta can be customized for any family. This program is distinguished by an onboard chef who prepares meals according to the tastes of the family. There are always many activities to keep everyone’s interest. Adults can relax in peace and quiet with coffee and liqueurs while a few feet away, children may find themselves steering the vessel along a tree-lined canal, perhaps in the barge jacuzzi or biking together. Ashore, in addition to traditional cultural visits, families can arrange for horse riding, water sports, tennis and many other activities. Child equipment such as high-chairs, car seats, child bike seats, travel cots, children’s bicycles and more are available on request at no extra cost. Prices for this 6 day cruise start at $3,800 per adult, 50% less for children.

Complete details and prices for these cruises and more can be found at www.WLCVacations.com and www.FranceCruises.com.

World Luxury Cruise Vacations (WLCVacations), founded in 2008, is a global business model approach to luxury canal and riverboat cruises that was initiated nearly a decade ago by industry leader France Cruises (FranceCruises.com). The founders, Jean F. Dabrowski and Ana P. Valente, have traveled on ships throughout the world to bring tailored, in-depth research to their clientele. Since 2000, they have created and customized tours and cruises in Europe to meet the needs of sophisticated travelers who expect the best. Now the team applies its expertise by launching WLCVacations, offering unparalleled, personalized service combined with magnificent itineraries on the fascinating waterways of the world.

Visit www.wlcvacations.com, 877 579 SHIP (7447), or email: info@wlcvacations.com

–Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate

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