Janette Wider

Top 10 Reasons to Take a Cruise for Your Next Vacation

Have you ever wondered why so many people take a cruise for their vacation or come back raving about what a nice time they had the last time they went on one? More often than not, they were already planning their next cruise before they even got off the ship! Read these ten reasons to cruise to see what all the fuss is about.

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Ruth Baucom

Tips for Travel-Lovers Planning Their Honeymoons

I was never one of those girls who had their entire weddings planned out by the age of 10. I was more concerned with studying, working, traveling, volunteering – you know, all the important things – until it happened. I fell in love. (Warning: You may meet your prince charming at a fall festival chili cook-off under a circus tent in the backyard of a church. At least that’s where I met mine.)

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Ruth Baucom

A Guide for Feasting on Your Next Carnival Cruise

My second Carnival cruise was even better than my first. The Western Caribbean lived up to its reputation and my Fun Ship cruise was, well, fun. Part of the fun is eating, especially when it’s complimentary and unlimited. Here are some tips to navigating the Carnival gastronomy that you might not realize without a few cruises under your belt.

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Grand Getaways

Florida: Miami, 5 days / 4 nights Rockaholica Cruise on Carnival Ectasy

Miami, Key West, Cozumel – PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR! Rock fans 21 and up will enjoy five days and four nights of up to forty shows featuring various performances throughout this unique Carnival rock festival cruise!

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Alyssa Villarreal

Netherlands: Amsterdam, 8 days / 7 nights Tulip Time Cruise

Tulip Time Cruise

Netherlands: Amsterdam, 8 days / 7 nights Tulip Time Cruise

Amsterdam, Netherlands — Looking for picturesque views and pealing church bells of a significant European capital? Then you are good to go! Amsterdam is the city of Gold Age art that gave birth to revered portrait and landscape painters in the 17th century. Take a voyage to see the rainbow of vibrant floral gardens, and also venture into some of Belgium’s most beautifully preserved medieval cities on this luxurious Tulip Time river cruise. You’ll have plenty of time to stop and smell the tulips, just like the locals.

Day 1 – Arrive in Amsterdam, Netherlands - Hallo, welcome to Amsterdam! Netherland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city is best known for its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, restaurants and lively marketplace. The works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception at 6 p.m. Before dinner, your ship glides out of Amsterdam harbor heading for Schoonhoven. This small charming town is well-known for its tradition of silversmith crafts.

Amsterdam

Day 2 – Schoonhoven: Excursion to Keukenhof and Kinderdijk – After breakfast, get ready for an inspiring excursion to the gardens of Keukenhof near Lisse, which encompass over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses and a windmill to explore. You won’t find such an abundance of colors and fragrances anywhere else. More than seven million flowers form a glorious decor for the most beautiful photos. For lunch time, rejoin your ship and sail to Kinderdijk. This small town boasts a picturesque view of 19 pristinely preserved windmills.

Day 3 – Veere – Goedemorgen! This morning you will visit the Delta Works near Veere. This site is a series of construction projects in the southwest Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. After the flood of 1953, during which more than 1,800 people drowned in one night, the Delta Plan was born to prevent another disaster of this magnitude. The final defense in the battle against the water is the storm flood barrier, almost six miles long, it’s considered a technical miracle. Before rejoining your ship for lunch, enjoy some free time in Veere, once an important wool-trading center. In the afternoon, visit Middelburg with a local expert. The once-major trading city was originally built as a stronghold to protect the population of Zeeland from the rising water, and foreign enemies. Later, it became a prosperous merchant city that spent great wealth on the construction of important buildings such as the town hall. Before dinner, get ready to set sail for Ghent.

Amsterdam
Day 4 – Ghent, Belgium - In a unique way, Ghent, the “diamond” of Flanders, has managed to preserve its medieval charm and power while keeping up with the times. A certified local guide will proudly point out that the city center is a showcase of medieval Flemish wealth and commercial success. Your guide will then take you into St. Baaf’s Cathedral, a Gothic-style cathedral with a side chapel that features the original Ghent Altarpiece painting. From here, an optional excursion to fascinating Bruges, with its criss-cross canals and charming old patrician houses, is available.

Day 5 – Antwerp - Today you arrive at Antwerp! Belgium’s second-largest city and one of the world’s most important ancient seaports. Enjoy a sightseeing adventure that shows you its superb architecture, the Grote Markt, its beautiful city hall, and the Church of Our Lady. An optional excursion to nearby Brussels, Belgium’s capital and home of the European Union, is available.

St. Baaf’s Cathedral
Day 6 – Maastricht, Holland - This morning you will arrive in Maastricht, the bustling cosmopolitan capital of the province of Limburg. A local expert will guide you through the sights of this vibrant university town. Get your cameras ready for picturesque sights like the lovely cathedrals, old houses and buildings, and impressively cobblestoned town center. Later, you will have free time to explore on your own before departing for a leisurely afternoon sail back to Amsterdam.

Day 7 – Amsterdam - After breakfast, set out to discover the treasures of this city by canal boat, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” The afternoon is free for your personal exploration or you may prefer to choose one of a number of optional excursions.

Day 8 – Amsterdam – Doe-doei, voyagers! Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Suggested Sights:

  • Anne Frank House
  • Nederlands Goud-Zilver-en Klokkenmuseum
  • Concertgebouw
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • St. Michael’s Bridge
  • Gravensteen Castle
  • Minnewater Lake
  • St. Pietersberg Caves
  • Middelburg Abbey

…and much more!

 

Expires: 10/23/2013

Members: Book this trip now

Learn More about Member Benefits

Alyssa Villarreal

Avalon Waterways: Cruise Specials for Couples

Avalon Visionary
Avalon Waterways: Cruise Specials for Couples

There’s nothing more romantic than setting sail with someone special on Avalon Waterways River Cruises. Pamper yourself with spacious staterooms, savor a romantic dinner with elegant dining, and discover the world with world-class excursions. Avalon Waterways offers an entire new concept to its legendary river cruises – the choice is yours, decide what and where to dine, select your room configuration and your cruise excursions. With endless options on-board, you’ll be sure to take part in special experiences that will enrich your trip! Book your Avalon Waterways cruise now and save $1,000 per couple on select 2013 Europe River Cruises:

Avalon Visionary DiningAustrian Highlights & Bavaria
Vienna to Munich
Dates: June 10; August 19; October 14, 2013

Balkan Discovery
Budapest to Bucharest
Date: June 27, 2013

 

Balkan Discovery
Bucharest to Budapest
Dates: June 8; July 13; August 17; October 26,2013

Blue Danube to the Black Sea
Bucharest to Vienna
Dates: April 25; July 4; August 8, 2013

Blue Danube to the Black Sea
Vienna to Bucharest
Dates: July 2; October 15,2013

Avalon Blue Danube

Capitals of Central Europe
Budapest to Prague
Dates: July 30; October 11, 2013

Capitals of Central Europe
Prague to Budapest
Date: October 18, 2013

European Splendor
Vienna to Amsterdam
Dates: July 15; August 19; September 23, 2013

Magnificent Europe
Amsterdam to Budapest
Dates: August 31; October 2, 9, 12 & 30, 2013

Magnificent Europe
Budapest to Amsterdam
Dates: June 8; July 3,7 &24; August 21; September 25; October 16 & 23, 2013

Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches
Paris to Paris
Dates: August 13 & 27; October 22, 2013

Romantic Rhine
Amsterdam to Basel
Date: October 20, 2013

Affinity SuiteRomantic Rhine
Zurich to Amsterdam
Dates: April 28; June 9; October 27, 2013

The Blue Danube Discovery
Budapest to Prague
Dates: June 7, 10, 13 & 17; July 19; August 19, 22 & 30; October 11, 14, 25 & 31, 2013

The Legendary Danube
Prague to Budapest
Dates: August 4 &28; October 20, 2013

The Rhine & Moselle
Zurich & Amsterdam
Date: October 28, 2013

Tulip Time Cruise
Amsterdam to Amsterdam
Dates:April 14 & 21 (reverse this date only), 2013

Tulips of Northern Holland
Amsterdam to Amsterdam
Dates: April 14 & 24; May 5, 2013

Windmills, Vineyards & Paris
Amsterdam to Paris
Date: June 30, 2013

 

 

Ruth Baucom

Eastern Europe: Budapest to Amsterdam, 15 days / 14 nights Magnificent Europe Cruise

 

 

Magnificent Europe

Eastern Europe: Budapest to Amsterdam, 15 days / 14 nights Magnificent Europe Cruise

Budapest to Amsterdam — Magnificent Europe takes you through 16 cities in five countries aboard a luxurious river cruise that makes traveling a dream. From the canals of Amsterdam to the cathedrals and castles of Germany, you’re destined to see, taste and experience the rich culture and painstakingly constructed architecture of Eastern Europe.

Day 1 – Budapest - Arrive in Hungary’s capital of Budapest, a lively, cosmopolitan metropolis. Board your river cruise during the afternoon in time for a welcome reception with the crew at 6 p.m. 

Day 2 – Budapest – Buda, the right bank, is connected to Pest, the left bank, by eight bridges. On an included tour, see Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. Start collecting souvenirs – pick up paprika, embroidery or porcelain.

Day 3 – Bratislava – Your cruise then takes you to Slovakia’s capital. See St. Martin’s Cathedral where several Hungarian kings were crowned, right below Bratislava Castle.

ApfelstrudelDay 4 – Vienna - Graceful and refined, Austria’s capital of Vienna is known as the “City of Music.” Tour the Vienna Opera House, Hofburg Palace, boulevard of Ringstrasse and more. Taste sachertorte, a cholocate-apricot torte, and apfelstrudel, an apple strudel.

Day 5 – Melk, Dürnstein - Today you will take a train through the Sacred Valley to the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu. Explore this intact fortress complete with temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct. Hikers can enjoy a brisk one-hour walk to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas.

Day 6 – Linz, Passau - Linz, Austria’s third-largest town, is a busy river port. Enjoy its views of the Danube or choose a full-day excursion for Salzburg to witness the sights made popular by the Sound of Music. As you move into Germany, admire the colossal organ inside of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau.

Day 7 – Regensburg - The Danube and Regen rivers converge at the site of the medieval town of Regensburg. Visit the historic center and seek out Porta Praetoria, part of an ancient Roman fortress wall. For dinner, you may like Germany’s oldest restaurant, translated “Old Sausage Kitchen”.

Day 8 – Nuremberg – Although its name was tainted by the famous trials that took place there proceeding WWII, Nuremberg is a charming German city with gothic churches and patrician houses. Learn why it’s also known for toy making, gingerbread, metal working and Lebkuchen, a Christmas cake. After dinner, you can participate in a German beer tasting.

Day 9 – Bamberg - The Old Town of Bamberg is a medieval treasure, honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour its cathedral and town hall, as well as Klein-Venedig, a picturesque 19th-century fisherman’s colony.

Day 10 – Würzburg - Germany’s Würzburg is known as the “Pearl of the Road”. Seek out its churches and castles, scattered between rolling hills and mature vineyards. The Würzburg Residenz, commissioned by two prince-bishops, boasts the world’s largest fresco, decorating an ornate staircase, and the Marienberg Fortress is a castle overlooking town.

Day 11 – Miltenberg - Stop at the Bavarian village of Miltenberg for a guided tour of its medieval, renaissance and gothic architecture. You’ll see the Mildenburg castle and the oldest German inn called Hotel Zum Riesen. In the afternoon, learn how to bake a local soft cookie.

Day 12 – Rüdesheim, Rhine Gorge - Enter the winemaking town of Rüdesheim to visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and the open-air garden taverns of Drosselgasse. Enjoy the dramatic stretch of river called Rhine Gorge. At its narrowest point, you’ll see the 120-meter rock of Lorelei, which has inspired folklore about a beautiful siren luring sailors to their death.

CologneDay 13 – Cologne - The Rhine will place you in front of the towering gothic spires of Cologne Cathedral. Tear yourself away from the impressive view to shop for a bottle of “4711”, the original eau de cologne. Sample a Kölsch in a tavern or visit a museum. Schokoladenmuseum, a chocolate museum, is a treat, as well as Römisch-Germanisches Museum, which briefs you on the city’s Roman influence.

AmsterdamDay 14 – Amsterdam - Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland’s capitol and the “Venice of the North.” Sit back and enjoy the maze of grachten, or canals, and stately homes aboard your canal boat. Off the ship, wander through its 90 islands and 400 bridges or choose an attraction such as a Dutch art museum, diamond factory or the Anne Frank House.

Day 15 – Amsterdam - Your Magnificent Europe trip concludes with breakfast.

Suggested Sights:

  • Anne Frank House
  • Cologne Cathedral
  • Drosselgasse
  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Germanisches Nationalmuseum
  • Hofburg Palace
  • Klein-Venedig
  • Lorelei
  • Marienberg Fortress
  • Mildenburg
  • Mirbach Palace
  • Nuremberg Castle
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Römisch-Germanisches Museum
  • Schokoladenmuseum
  • Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Würzburg Residenz

…and much more!

 

Expires: 10/23/2013

Members: Book this trip now

Learn More about Member Benefits

Contact


Coast to Coast Grand Getaways
7560 Commerce Court
Sarasota, FL 34243
877.718.1400