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Summer travel thoughts, trip reveiws, tips and much more.
From the desk of Frances Wood ...
My "Spring Break" on the Crystal Symphony
While the USA was abuzz with travelers on spring break, I was delighting in the Canary Carousel cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona. It was a treat to call at new ports that offer such diverse cultures. The small villages on Tenerife, the "basket ride" in Funchal, the stability of the Arab government in Casablanca (no, I did not see Ilsa & Rick!!) were "first time" experiences. And in repeat ports such as Cadiz and Malaga, new excursions to Marbella & Puerto Banus introduced me to the luxury Spanish resort area while Jerez featured the Andalusian horses and delicious sherry!
Crystal remains one of the best in luxury cruising especially with the new "all inclusive" policy. The service is impeccable and the activities/entertainment are the best in the business. Spring Break on Crystal is a great idea. How about next year!
Bringing home wine from outside the U.S.?
Forget shipping wine back, in the U.S. an import license is needed for even a single bottle. Instead ask an expert to pack your treasures and check them along with your luggage. Such companies wrap bottles in polystyrene confetti to limit shake. Declare your wine when you arrive. U.S. customs allows up to one liter duty free and after that a duty of 3% of the cost of the wine.
Ushuaia, in Argentina, is the southernmost
town in the world at 54 degrees
47 minutes south of the Equator.
From the desk of Trish Timmerman ...
Last Minute Silversea Deals
Looking for a last minute cruise value? Would you like to get away for the right price? Pack quickly because space is limited! Here are some quick getaway deals available from Silversea. All inclusive amenities include gratuities, wine and spirits.
Copenhagen to Stockholm June 4th and August 30th - 7 night cruise - Silver Whisper - Baltic Itinerary. Ports include: Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg (2 full nights and 3 days), Tallinn and Stockholm. $699 round trip business class air add on is available from either Newark or Chicago on Scandinavian Air. Veranda suites start at $3499 per person.
Athens to Venice July 2nd - 7 nights on Silver Spirit - Dalmatian Coast Itinerary. Ports include: Athens, Monemvasia, (Greece), Corfu, Kotor, Split, Venice (overnight on ship). Veranda suites starting at $3,499 and vista suites starting at $2,999.
From the desk of Janet Pringle ...
River Cruising in Italy
River cruising in Italy is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of visiting Italy, but it should be! Beginning in 2013, Uniworld's Boutique Collection, 134-guest river ship, River Countess will begin sailing the Po River.
For repeat visitors as well as first-timers, a river cruise on the Po offers you visits to the legendary cities of Verona, Bologna, Ravenna and Padua as well as Venice. It's truly a traveler's dream destination with something to delight everyone. In addition, the climate is ideal; the people are warm, fun-loving and friendly and excursions are included as well as wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner in most ports.
Uniworld is the only U.S. based cruise line currently offering cruises on the Po River. To create this new unique itinerary experience, they are actually going to ferry the 361-foot-long River Countess from her current venue on the Danube to Italy.
Uniworld is offering two Italian river cruises vacation options. The first one is the "Po River and Venice Lagoons" 7-night cruise sailing round trip from Venice. This is ideal for guests who don't have time for a longer trip. Your elegant cruise ship will be your hotel while in Venice for two nights at the beginning and end of the cruise. The second option is a 6 day extension taking you into Florence and Rome.
Enjoy the AmaWaterways river cruises Culinary Delights - Bites and Sights tours. These tours include cooking classes, walking tours and tastings. You can also enjoy choosing local produce with the chef to preparing regional specialties such as the Bulgarian dish 'banista' and smoked salmon rolled with 'cervelle de canuts'. While onboard enhance your cooking skills and explore the region's flavors and culture. AmaWaterways is the only river cruise line inducted into La Chaine des Rotisseurs, one of the world's most prestigious culinary organizations.
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