Storybook Journeys - Cherish a family getaway to storied lands along the Danube and Rhine rivers with customizable Adventures by Disney River Cruises
Experience fairytale-like destinations when you embark on an all-inclusive Adventures by Disney River Cruises voyage through Europe. Forested hilltops host dramatic castles and villages seem to appear straight out of a storybook as you sail toward charming destinations dotting the Rhine and Danube rivers. Your river cruise adventure is filled with enticing activities geared toward kids yet fun for the whole family, from learning to make chocolate in Germany to zipping through an Austrian mineshaft. Let us plan your enchanting eight-day river cruise for a family vacation unlike any other.
Treasures of the Rhine
Traversing the waters between Switzerland and Netherlands on the Rhine River Cruise, let AmaKristina take you through picturesque and historical lands.
Sipping refreshing local wines as you gaze upon the vast cobalt blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef or lounging after a unique luxury spa treatment in Maui doesn't have to be just another workweek daydream. Escape the daily grind with an exquisite and refreshing vacation at select world-class resorts around the globe. And for a limited time only, you can indulge more with exclusive perks like spa credit and private dinners. The Travel Gallery will craft an experience that suite your individual needs. Plus, with our connections, we will take your relaxing retreat to the next level with room upgrades, early check-in, late chick-out and more.
Here is one of my favorite. The Lizard Island Resort in Queensland, Australia. Consistently voted in the Top 10 Resorts of the World, enjoy the finest local produce and contemporary cuisine accompanied by Australian wines, indulgent treatments at the award-winning Azure Spa and more. TAKE A CLOSER LOOK
Give us a call, and we can do all the planning for you. All you need to do is say where you want to go.
Peace Out, Dave
We get many requests for river cruises and now I know why. I decided to try one for myself in early April and chose a seven day Tauck River cruise on the 118 passenger MS Treasures cruising from Amsterdam to Brussels. River cruising is all about the “ride” and Tauck does it best. Why sit on a tour bus when you can travel on a five star boat, unpack once, enjoy gourmet dining , first class entertainment in the evening and locally hosted sightseeing tours by day – all included in the one price prepaid to Tauck River Cruising. I knew I didn’t have to worry about carrying euros with me when our Tauck tour guide not only handed out 20 Euro bills to each of us to pay for lunch one day but also paid each of our 20 cent bathroom break charges!
Unlike many popular river cruises my itinerary did not offer scenic daytime cruising. Instead, we glided smoothly on canals and rivers with unrecognizable names through primarily industrial areas. We cruised “working” waterways with cargo ships, tankers and tug boats. We traveled at night so we could enjoy the long day light hours for touring in and around each port.
We boarded the MS Treasures in Amsterdam where the river boats were eight deep on each side of the river boat docks. Day one started with an early departure to Keukenhof Gardens in nearby Lisse. The gardens are truly a rolling carpet of color between all the tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. I especially enjoyed the unusual and creative indoor exhibits in the four pavilions. In the afternoon we had a private tour of some of the highlights of the Rijksmuseum and a private canal waterway tour on a luxurious canal boat. How can you not love Amsterdam, a city swarming with bicycles and tourists. I was glad I had time on my own before the cruise to explore the city, tour Anne Frank’s House, a diamond factory and enjoy their famous pancakes and caramel syrup Stroopwafels!
Day three was grey and rainy in the south Holland island city of Dordrecht. In the morning we were taken to the nearby village of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where 19 original 18th century windmills line a long canal. We toured a working windmill and learned about the life of a typical miller centuries ago. The next day we docked in Ghent and chose to take an excursion to Bruges which is known as “the Venice of the North.” Bruges is a charming small town with winding canals and tiny medieval streets. I will always remember the bucket of mussels and Belgian fried potatoes with mayonnaise we enjoyed for lunch in a small restaurant overlooking one of the waterways. This was truly a memorable Tuesday in Belgium!
Day five we docked in Maastricht, one of the Netherlands’ oldest cities and home of the famous violin player and conductor, Andre Rieu. The highlight for me was a Tauck exclusive lunch in the 17th century Chateau Neercanne. The dining room was connected to a maze of underground grottoes which were fun to explore and outside we overlooked a quaint village just beyond the beautiful Baroque topiary gardens of the chateau.
We spent the next two days in Antwerp, the capital of the Belgian province of Flanders and diamond trading capital of the world. We spent a morning at the Red Star Line Museum which featured interactive exhibits telling the story of two million immigrants from all over Europe whose long journey to America began right here in the former shipping line warehouses. The next day most of the Treasures’ passengers were transferred back to Amsterdam for their flights home which is a shame because they missed visiting the beautiful city of Brussels.
Tauck had advised all of us by email just prior to our leaving the US of their decision not to dock in Brussels due to the terrible airport bombing just a few days prior. It was probably the right decision and they handled it very professionally but it wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying a city I had never seen before. There were other guests who agreed with me so Tauck arranged a private van to drive the six us an hour from Antwerp to our respective hotels in Brussels.
The city was quiet so there were no lines to go up the Atomium , a 338 foot tall shiny silver structure built for the 1958 World’s Fair representing atoms in an iron crystal. The Grand-Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has to be seen to be believed. Dubbed one of Europe’s most beautiful city squares, tourists marvel at the gold leaf decorated Gothic town hall surrounded by Renaissance-era guildhalls. The view at night with all the buildings strategically lit up was especially spectacular.
Brussels airport presented us with some challenges but I was just glad the airport was open. Our Delta flight to JFK was empty so we could stretch out. I had plenty of time to reflect on my journey with Tauck River Cruises. It was a trip of a lifetime for me but I have only one problem -- traveling with Tauck spoiled me! Now I know why so many of my clients request Tauck Tours and Tauck River Cruises.
Do’s and Don’t’s
I have always preferred the smaller cruise vessels like those with only 200 to 500 passengers. But, when my wife suggested taking a cruise with only 100 passengers, I balked. “There are no verandahs”, I said. “The staterooms are smaller”, I said. “There will be no activities, no entertainment, etc., etc……” until finally I gave in! But, to my pleasant surprise, the cruise turned out to be a huge success. We have been on many, many cruises, but this had to be one of the most enjoyable. We have never been treated so warmly and courteously. The food was outstanding, the ambiance was elegant yet casual and the staff was extremely attentive. And, oh yes…the fellow passengers were wonderfully friendly.
By now you must be curious to know the name of this ship. Well, it is the Sea Dream II! It is one of two ships that are in the SeaDream Yacht Club fleet. This cruise line bills itself as a luxury yacht line. And, luxury is no over statement. It is comparable to a private club on water. Every one of the crew members addressed us as Mr. and Mrs. Dowrick and never missed an opportunity to offer service. Even the Captain spent time with the passengers and he personally invited us to have dinner with him on our wedding anniversary….not an invitation to the “captain’s table” but a “one on one” dinner on deck (which was our choice of table). We were truly treated as if we were the owners of this magnificent yacht throughout the cruise.
If my words of satisfaction have piqued your interest to learn more about this wonderful cruise line, you should go to the SeaDream Yacht Club’s website and examine their links there. Then call Joan at The Travel Gallery if you have any questions regarding their offerings. Perhaps you will be a fellow guest on our next Seadream cruise. I will look forward to that occasion.
South Africa is an exciting place to visit. Cape Town, with its vibrant nightlife, stylish young people and beautiful surroundings, has become one of the most desirable destinations in the world. South Africa's natural attractions are as appealing as ever: the green vineyards and rocky coast of the Cape; the arid landscape of the Karoo; the rich farmlands of Gauteng and Mpumalanga; the snowcapped peaks of the Drakensberg range; and the verdant hills and wide beaches of KwaZulu-Natal. The country also has more than 300 game and nature reserves, along with some of the finest lodges on the continent. Your surroundings can be as wild or as genteel as you want -- or both. The hottest tourist attraction in South Africa these days is Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela spent almost 20 years as a political prisoner.
One of Venezuela's most dramatic sights, Angel Falls is truly spectacular. Water plummets 3,212 ft/979 m, making it the world's highest waterfall—so high that during the dry season the cascade can evaporate into mist before it reaches bottom. The water originates from Auyantepui ("Devil's Mountain"), a great mesa or plateau with its own ecosystem, and ends in almost impenetrable jungle.
The waterfall was unknown to the outside world until U.S. pilot Jimmy Angel spotted it in 1935. Today Angel Falls is one of Venezuela's most popular tourist sights, but it remains difficult to reach. You can take a one-day flight from several Venezuelan cities that leaves early in the morning, makes passes over the falls, lands in Canaima for lunch and then returns. Another option is to fly, arriving in Canaima just after dawn, then go by land to visit the falls and return in late afternoon. We prefer a two- or three-day trip that includes a flight over the falls and the Orinoco River as well as accommodations in Canaima, allowing you to explore the area at a more leisurely pace. (Be aware that there's some risk of disappointment in the flightseeing tours—clouds may cover the falls.)
If you're a hardy traveler and you're visiting during the rainy season, it's possible to see the falls up close in another way. It involves a Jeep ride to the river, then a trip upstream in 40-ft/12-m curiaras (motorized canoes). After a portage by Jeep around some rapids, a stop at Orchid Island, then a trip through rapids, you hike for an hour through the hilly jungle to emerge at the base of the falls. (As a bonus, a walk behind the 100-ft/31-m Sapo Falls near Canaima is often included in the tour.) The best time to visit the falls is June-November—during the wet season, when the volume of water coming off the top of the falls is greatest. But that's also when visibility can be the worst.
For those staying overnight, the indigenous community of Canaima has its own waterfalls. You can visit the hollowed-out cave behind Sapo Falls and then climb to the top, where masses of orchids grow. Canoe trips and visits to other nearby Amerindian villages are also possible. There is no road access to Canaima, but if you don't want to fly, several operators now offer tours that involve a combination of travel in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, on foot and by boat. Angel Falls is 450 mi/725 km southeast of Caracas.
For assistance in planning your trip to Angel Falls, contact one of our travel consultants.
Book a Tailor Made Journey to Europe Before July 31 and Receive Complimentary Sightseeing
There's no better way to see Europe than on an A&K Luxury Tailor Made Journey customized for your own private party and departing when you choose. Led by expert A&K local guides, our journeys provide access to people and sites far beyond the reach of the average traveller. With all the planning taken care of by our experts, you need do nothing more than enjoy each inspiring day.
Now, book a 2016 Luxury Tailor Made Journey to select destinations in Europe before July 31, 2016, and receive a complimentary, half-day guided city sightseeing tour when you stay three or more consecutive nights at the same hotel.
Here are a few examples of the inspiring Tailor Made Journeys we can create:
Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Internal and international air not included. Offer valid for Tailor Made Journeys booked by July 31, 2016, via Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC, for travel to Europe between June 1 and December 31, 2016. Offer excludes Scandinavia, Iceland, the Baltics, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova. Complimentary half-day sightseeing available once per destination when the guest is staying three or more consecutive nights in the same hotel. Other restrictions may apply. Contact A&K for details.
ltra-chic and ultra-elegant, Crystal River Cruises has just revealed the design details of the much anticipated Crystal Mozart, the first of five all-suite river yachts set to elevate European river cruising to entirely new standards of all-inclusive excellence. With unmatched space and luxury, the strikingly reimagined Crystal Mozart will host 158 guests in pampered luxury, traveling round-trip from Vienna on her July 13, 2016 maiden voyage to explore the Danube River & Wachau Valley.
As Europe’s largest and most luxurious river vessel, Crystal Mozart marries the classic elegance for which Crystal is known with innovative, state-of-the-art design and technologies—expansive windows and skylights, a living rooftop garden with teak bench seating to relax and enjoy the scenery, a midship elevator connecting three of the four decks, and an exceptionally clever “pop-up” bar on the river yacht’s top Vista Deck, complete with a vanishing movie screen for al fresco evening entertainment.
Popular venues on Crystal’s ocean ships find a natural home aboard Crystal Mozart, including Palm Court for drinks and dancing, The Cove piano bar and lounge, the Vintage Room for wine dinners, and Bistro Mozart for coffees and charcuterie. The Waterside Restaurant will serve superb, locally influenced cuisine, and the Crystal Life Spa, complete with full-service salon, fitness center, private treatment rooms and indoor pool, marks Crystal’s first-ever spa operated and staffed by Crystal’s own trained crew.
Boasting the largest suites of any river ship—including two 883-square-foot Two-Bedroom Crystal Suites and 12 Penthouse Suites of 330 square feet—Crystal Mozart’s exquisitely appointed deluxe accommodations measure a generous 219 square feet, nearly all of them featuring a floor-to-ceiling French Balcony creating a seamless connection with the passing beauty of the Danube. Other unique suite features include full-height closets, in-suite bar set-up, and dedicated butler service for any special arrangements, daily hors d’oeuvres service and more.
Contact one of our travel consultants for the best offers. 800 882-5677
One of my clients just returned from the Silver Galapagos and she said it was an amazing trip. I wanted to share a few of the pictures from her journey...
A Galápagos expedition cruise, enjoyed aboard Silver Galapagos, brings you to one of the most isolated places in the world to encounter an abundant variety of wildlife species that is incredibly unique and found nowhere else on earth. Lying just off the western coast of South America, the Galápagos archipelago is inaccessible to most, yet this isolation has allowed nature to develop in ways exclusive to the islands. Experience it all with complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking and nature hikes led by highly experienced guides certified by the National Park of the Galápagos.
Dave's Hot Pick
Auckland is New Zealand's largest, most culturally diverse and cosmopolitan city. Its European, Pacific and Asian influences make it a destination unlike any other. But its urban credentials—a flourishing cultural life and abundant commerce—are often upstaged by its breathtaking geography. Sprawled across an isthmus, the city envelops more than 40 extinct volcanoes, several of which stand in green, pastoral parks overlooking a broad harbor, gulf islands and a seemingly endless shoreline.
Auckland's residents appreciate the city's two-sided personality: They view nature as one of life's privileges rather than a barrier to development, and the city's population is dispersed into neighborhoods of manageable size. All in all, Auckland is a gateway to nature and outdoor adventure, with fine dining and culture there for the asking, too.
MUST SEE - MUST DO
Sights—Panoramic views of the city and harbor from the Auckland Harbour Bridge and SkyCity and Sky Tower; a ferry trip to Devonport, Rangitoto Island or Waiheke Island; a drive through the Waitakere Ranges to the vast, wild west-coast beaches of Piha and Muriwai.
Museums—Cultural and natural-history exhibits at the Auckland Museum; New Zealand and international art at the Auckland Art Gallery; maritime history exhibits at the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum; Navy history and exhibits at the Navy Museum.
Memorable Meals—Savor meals with panoramic views at Orbit atop Sky Tower; quick bites at Federal Delicatessen below on Federal Street; fresh seafood at Sails Restaurant overlooking Westhaven Marina; fabulous food and fun at Libertine in the revitalized Victoria Park Market; Italian fare at Prego in Ponsonby.
Late Night—Dancing at Ink Bar; local rock bands and good beer at dive-y King;'s Arms; fantastic, interesting cocktails with a Japanese twist at Fukuko.
Walks—Visiting plant exhibits in the Auckland Domain Wintergardens or Auckland Botanic Gardens (Manurewa); strolling along Tamaki Drive or through Cornwall Park; hiking in the Waitakere Ranges; walking or cycling the Coast to Coast trail; wandering through historic Devonport, along beaches or on Rangitoto, Motutapu and Waiheke islands.
Especially for Kids—Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World; Rainbow's End; Butterfly Creek; SheepWorld; the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT); interactive children's exhibits at Auckland Museum; Auckland Zoo; Crystal Mountain; Stardome Observatory and Planetarium.
Curator of Adventures in the Art of Travel
Exquisite journeys for those with a yearning to experience what a destination has to offer in a soft adventure experience.