Category — Europe
By Lynda Lynn, Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web, Inc.
Just before Thanksgiving, some of my coworkers and I were given the opportunity to experience a Uniworld river cruise down the Rhine River visiting towns along the border between France and Germany. Each day on this 7-night cruise included a stop in a new town or city. We were busy throughout, touring new places in the day and by night we were relaxing and having fun on the immaculately designed, yet super comfortable S.S. Antoinette river ship.
The wonderful thing about river cruising is that you are immersed in your destination, experiencing the history and culture of each town. At every stop, the cruise director, who also served as one of the tour guides, lead the group through cities like Cologne and Strasbourg, exploring castles, visiting magnificent churches and walking the streets of quaint towns like Mainz and Koblenz.
It was so stunning to see buildings that are hundreds and hundreds of years old. In each town you can see the collision of cultures with architecture from the middle ages through the present day. The river cruise really allowed me to experience the authentic culture, and history, of the towns we visited. The shops we visited and the restaurants in which we ate are all places to which the local people go everyday. And don’t get me started on how good the food was… just take a look at some of the beautiful pictures I took on this amazing Rhine river cruise. [Read more →]
December 18, 2012 No Comments
By Don Dean, Senior Director of Finance and Human Resources, The Cruise Web, Inc.
I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Europe several times; I even lived there for a while. As all of my past experiences in Europe were limited to the large cities, I have never had the opportunity to experience Europe in quite the same way as I did on my last cruise along the Mediterranean, and it was because of the in-depth excursions offered by our partner Ensemble that I was able to experience Europe in a new way. [Read more →]
June 20, 2012 1 Comment
By Sherry Jefferson, Senior Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web.
Last month I wrote about the advantages of small-ship cruising and this month, in a similar vein, I wanted to share my very recent (and very first) river cruise experience with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
I left on March 22nd to spend two days in Amsterdam prior to the March 25th sailing of the new SS Antoinette from Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. The SS Antoinette is one of the new long ships and this was to be her first sailing of the season going from Amsterdam to Basel for the Castles Along the Rhine tour, but more about that later.
I arrived in Amsterdam to beautiful sunny mild weather and looked forward to seeing as much as possible in the two days there. I was fortunate to secure a ride to the pier which is about a 30 minutes from the airport and had the opportunity to tour the other river ships docked there. I then took a cab to the hotel and then set off to see the sites. Amsterdam is very lively and everyone rides bikes there. I’ve never seen so many bike riders anywhere, it was amazing. [Read more →]
April 18, 2012 No Comments
Spring time is the best time for nature lovers to get out of their gardens and explore some of the world’s best gardens. We’ve listed the top five gardens with the cruises that will take you there. So put down those pruning shears and pick up your camera.
1. Keukenhof Gardens – A trip to the Netherlands is not complete without a trip to this 79-acre jewel. With over 7 million bulbs planted each year, the experience dazzles. This is the place to see tulips in all their glory, but the garden is only open from March until May.
Suggested Cruise to Visit: Tulip Time river cruise from Zürich to Vienna with Avalon Waterways
2. Singapore Botanic Gardens – This tropical garden offers visitors a lush and welcoming environment with some stunning flowers, like the more than 1,000 species of orchids. The grounds also feature a healing garden with a collection of plants that have been used as medicine. In the morning it’s not uncommon to spot a yoga or tai chi class.
Suggested Cruise to Visit: Singapore to Vietnam and Hong Kong with Azamara Club Cruises
3. Kew Gardens (a.k.a. The Royal Botanic Gardens) – Once a summer getaway for King Henry VII, the garden is nearly 300 acres and has the largest living plant collection in the world. This spring, over 500,ooo,ooo bulbs will be blooming and the staff will be putting on special tours of the spring flowers.
Suggested Cruise to Visit: Transatlantic cruise on Cunard from New York to Southampton in England
4. Seychelles National Botanical Garden – This island, located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, has flora and fauna everywhere, but in this garden you can find Coco de Mer trees which produce a fruit used in Cantonese cooking. The garden also features giant sea turtles and fruit bats.
Suggested Cruise to Visit: Capetown to Singapore with Oceania Cruises
5. Versailles – Outside the decadently designed Versailles palace in France is a garden to match. The garden is large and well manicured to this day. The lawn is molded into intricate shapes and the topiaries have no leaf out of place. The garden even features a canal King Louis used for gondola rides.
Suggested Cruise to Visit: Paris to Nuremberg with Uniworld Cruises
April 6, 2012 No Comments
What is the key sign of spring?
Is it the spike in temperatures? Having more hours of sunlight? The chirping of blue birds? Nope. The true sign that spring is here is the blooming of flowers like the cherry blossoms, the tulips and the daffodils.
And this year, 2012, is a special year for flowers. Floriade, the ultimate flower festival, which only happens once every 10 years, is going on right now in the Netherlands. The show covers 163 acres with 1.8 million bulb flowers, 5,000 rose bushes and 3,000 trees. Floriade is a celebration of flowers, gardening and nature and seeks to educate people on the importance of the environment. One exhibit even allows visitors to do the work of bees using scanning devices to digitally collect pollen. Floriade features exhibits from 35 different countries along with cultural programs from dancers, singers and theater troupes.
But you have to act fast to make sure you can be a part of this once-in-a-decade event which runs from April 5 to October 7, 2012. The best way to take in the sights of Floriade is to visit via a river cruise. River cruise operators Uniworld and Avalon Waterways have created special itineraries to take advantage of this amazing and rare event. Keep reading for the details. [Read more →]
April 3, 2012 No Comments