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Only a Day In.. Ketchikan

This month, IÔÇÖve been doing a great deal of research on Alaska and the cruise offerings currently available. ┬áItÔÇÖs truly a fascinating destination, and my friend, writer Lynn Seldon, has written this wonderful story on KetchikanÔǪ I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! ┬áThanks Lynn!

AlaskaÔÇÖs “First City” Always Has Something New to Pursue

By W. Lynn Seldon

Even those in Quite simply, we love calling on Ketchikan. ThereÔÇÖs always something newÔÇôor time-testedÔÇôto pursue in this classic Alaskan port. Whether itÔÇÖs simply a stroll along historic and bustling Creek Street, staring up at one of many totem poles, or booking an adventure out in the sprawling wilderness that serves as KetchikanÔÇÖs backyard playground, a day here, in the “Salmon Capital of the World” is most definitely a “catch” on any cruise line calendar.

With a history that dates back to the 1800s, the Southeast Alaska port is named for Ketchikan Creek, which flows right through town and parallels popular Creek Street. It actually sits on an island (Revillagigedo) and lies about 235 miles south of AlaskaÔÇÖs capital city, Juneau. Ketchikan is actually closer to Prince Rupert, Canada (just 90 miles away), earning its other nickname by being the “first city” encountered by voyagers heading north into Alaska.

As a relatively remote island, Ketchikan is still only reached by sea and air. Along with being a popular cruise ship port of call, the city is home to the headquarters for the Alaska Marine Highway System. Ketchikan International Airport is located across Tongass Narrows on Gravina Island-which is still only reached by ferry service!

With about 8,000 inhabitants, historic Ketchikan is AlaskaÔÇÖs sixth most populated city. However, the cityÔÇÖs land mass of about four square miles makes it the stateÔÇÖs most densely populatedÔÇôespecially on days when multiple cruise ships are in town. But with so much rugged land surrounding Ketchikan, itÔÇÖs easy to understand why the state is known as the The Last Frontier.

First-time and veteran visitors alike will never lack for something to see and do in Ketchikan, including several new possibilities for the 2012 cruise-ship season. That “newness” starts as soon as cruise ship passengers arrive at the busy dock.

The Ports and Harbors department started renovation on KetchikanÔÇÖs oldest and most central cruise-ship pier, Berth Two (right in the heart of downtown), as soon as the 2011 cruise ship season ended. The three-year projectÔÇÖs first phase included replacement of half of the wooden dock and pilings with more durable concrete and steel. Taking place from October to April so scheduled port calls arenÔÇÖt interrupted, additional phases of the projects will complete upgrades to the dock, replace the Ketchikan Visitors BureauÔÇÖs information and tour center, and improve the flow of vehicle and passenger traffic.

Other upgrades of note will also be quickly apparent upon disembarkation. The Ketchikan Historic Commission has installed 15 signs on some of the most historically significant buildings. The signage project spotlights famous locales such as DollyÔÇÖs House and the New York Hotel, as well as recognizing some lesser known gems like the former location of the Ketchikan Shingle Mill.

A second signage project resulted in five storyboards that feature the historic and present-day relationship between Ketchikan and salmon. Signs highlight the earliest commercial canning operations, the location of the largest charter fleet in Southeast Alaska, Ketchikan Creek, and more. Signs can already be seen at Mountain Point boat harbor, on Stedman Street near Trident Seafoods, at Thomas Basin Marina, and at Knudson Cove Marina. All of this is in addition to the stunning array of varied public art that already graces the dock areas and promenades.

Any stroll around town eventually leads to Ketchikan Creek and the famed Creek Street above-water boardwalk on pilings. Along with some of the cityÔÇÖs best shopping, highlights here have to include varied dining options, picturesque Stedman Bridge, DollyÔÇÖs House (one of many historic buildings that once housed prostitutes, bootleggers, and fishermen), plus lots of people-, kayaker-, and salmon-watching possibilities. The Married ManÔÇÖs Trail leads off Creek Street to Park Avenue by way of a boardwalk and staircase.

Strolling along Front Street and other adjacent avenues is another popular choice, thanks to a variety of shopping options, art galleries, further historic buildings (more per capital than anywhere else in Alaska), and local candies and other treats. Native master carvers and artisans welcome curious visitors to their studios and shopsÔÇôno purchase required. The cityÔÇÖs official “Walking Tour” map is well worth requesting once in port.

Nearby, on Deermont Street, KetchikanÔÇÖs Totem Heritage Center remains a must-see. Established back in 1976 to preserve endangered 19th century totem poles that were retrieved from uninhabited Tlingit and Haida villages, the original poles are displayed with other totems and Native Alaskan artifacts. In addition to serving as a museum, the center also offers traditional arts & crafts, Native Arts classes, and anything that adds to the centerÔÇÖs mission of preserving the areaÔÇÖs cultural heritage.

Those in search of even more totem poles and their unique history should head to Totem Bight State Historical Park, located about 10 miles outside of town. Originally a Civilian Conservation Corps project of the 1930s, the park is stunningly situated on Tongass Narrows and features 14 totem poles, interpretive signs, a replica of a clan (community) house, and a bookstore. Then thereÔÇÖs historic Saxman Village just two miles south of Ketchikan, which also features many restored totem poles. Even a short walk through town will reveal more totems on public and private lands. All of this adds up to the largest collection of standing Northwest totem poles in the world.

And donÔÇÖt miss the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center on Main Street. The welcoming lobby features authentic totem poles, lots of natural wood, scenes of Alaska, an information desk, and shop. There are many interpretive exhibits about the history, ecology, and people of the vast area.

Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery & Eagle Center is well worth a visit. Guided and narrated tours lead visitors through the fascinating hatchery operations as well as the eagle compoundÔÇôAlaska has the largest population of Bald Eagles in the world.

Several popular shore excursions booked through most visiting cruise ships simply stay in town to explore many of these possibilities, as well as amphibious tours on “duck” vehicles; The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show; guided hikes; kayaking; and more. Further afield, a quick look at Holland AmericaÔÇÖs long list of possibilities includes shore excursions with enticing names like “An Alaskan Fish Camp;” “Backcountry Jeep & Canoe Safari;” “Bering Sea Crab FishermanÔÇÖs Tour;” and “Misty Fjords Boat & Floatplane Adventure” (many popular Misty Fjords tours are offered by visiting ships).

Often called the “Yosemite of the North,” Misty Fjords National Monument remains a hotspot for visiting cruise passengers. Encompassing more than two million acres and reached only by boat or floatplane, this nearly roadless area is highlighted by long saltwater fjords shadowed by towering cliffs and mountains, Native rock art pictographs and abundant wildlife that might include eagles, sea lions, whales, brown and black bear, mountain goats, and more. The wide variety of tour options include boat and floatplane rides, sea kayaking, and wilderness dining.

Two new shore excursions introduced in the 2011 season have proven quite popular and will again be offered by many cruise lines this year. One, the “Alaska Lodge Adventure & Seafeast,” begins immediately at the cruise-ship dock, where participants board a motor coach and enjoy a narrated tour of Ketchikan en route to Clover Pass ResortÔÇôone of the oldest operating fishing resorts in the state. Here guests board a 29-foot vessel for a water-based adventure through bays and inlets while a narrator offers insights on the land, the air, and the sea. Eagles, blacktail deer, porpoise, and seals may be spotted, and whales are often sighted along the route from May through September.

The tour makes its way by the Back Island Naval Facility and into the heart of Grant Island State Marine Park at Silverking LodgeÔÇô which has plenty of attractions of its own, including a trail to the largest known red cedar in the Tongass National Forest. Lunch includes a delectable seafood boil, where corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, sausage, clams, shrimp, musssels, and Dungeness crab are all boiled together and served piping hot. The tour winds down with another scenic boat ride back to Clover Pass and a quick bus trip to the ship.

On the unique “Alaska Wilderness Survival” excursion, participants head out into the wild aboard a research vessel in pursuit of the invasive green crab during a hands-on tour of Alaskan waters and wilderness. Visitors learn basic survival skills inspired by the areaÔÇÖs Native culture and use them in a relaxed and engaging atmosphere.

Participants spend part of the tour on a catamaran jetboat learning about one of the most recent threats to the local ecosystem: the nefarious green crab. This invasive species, which decimated MaineÔÇÖs soft-shell clam population, is slowly making its way to Ketchikan; now, the more research done on green crabs, the better they will be able to be intercepted. Tour guests, while pulling crab pots, look for evidence of the green crab and record the findingsÔÇôwhich will later be reported to the University of Alaska. Once back home, itÔÇÖs easy to track the research project online.

Another part of the tour is spent at a remote island, where a wilderness guide leads the small group through an old-growth forest and reveals a few tricks of the survivalistÔÇÖs tradeÔÇôlike how to build a shelter, how to identify wild edibles, and how to gather tinder and make a fire. Participants help prepare food that emulates the wild harvest. While eating by the campfire, guests are regaled with tales of Alaska legends and lore. Rain poncho, binoculars, snack, and beverages are provided.

Given all of this, itÔÇÖs easy to see why we love catching Ketchikan on the itinerary when itÔÇÖs time for another cruise to the The Last Frontier.

About Lynn Seldon: Lynn Seldon has spent more than 20 years covering all aspects of travel through writing and photography. He was named 2006 Travel Writer of the Year by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Azamara: more inclusive amenities

Although I have not had the pleasure of cruising on Azamara, I thought this was interesting news we received it from the line.

This is one of the lines I would love to experience.  My friends who have sailed with Azamara really loved the ship, the voyage and all of the amenities they offered.  I thought you might enjoy this news!

Warmest regards,

Heidi

AZAMARA RETURNS TO EUROPE IN 2013 WITH THE MOST EXTENSIVE LINE-UP OF CULTURALLY IMMERSIVE EVENTS AND MORE INCLUSIVE AMENITIES

Plus they are giving Travelers up To $2,000 per Stateroom Cruise Credit when Booking Air Travel through ChoiceAir

Azamara Club Cruises clearly strikes a chord among up-market travelers through its distinctive longer stays, more overnights in port to offer guests the opportunity for night touring. And the cruise lineÔÇÖs 2013 Europe season will mark a crescendo in AzamaraÔÇÖs evolution as the best choice for destination immersion. ┬áBeginning March 27 and May 15, newly refurbished Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest will respectively launch AzAmazing Evenings, exclusive, custom-designed events which will immerse guests in the cultures that intrigue them. The inclusive night touring experiences are bespoke, intimate and authentic to the destinations where they take place. AzamaraÔÇÖs upcoming Europe season also marks the inclusion of boutique wines, international beers and select standard spirits in the ships restaurants, bars and lounges when open. Travelers eager to experience Europe anew also can take advantage of up to $2,000 per stateroom against the voyage fare when booking air through the cruise lineÔÇÖs ChoiceAir feature.

“Travelers should not miss out on AzamaraÔÇÖs 2013 European season, where guests will be the first to enjoy our unique AzAmazing Evenings and even more onboard inclusives,” said Edie Bornstein, senior vice president of Marketing and Sales for Azamara Club Cruises. “The voyages on our ships also will coincide with some of the continentÔÇÖs most exciting special events and our longer stays and more overnights in port will provide guests the opportunity to not only see, but join in the celebration.

The cruise lineÔÇÖs twin jewel-box ships will ply European waters through November 2013, calling at familiar favorites such as Monte-Carlo, Ibiza and Santorini, as well as some of the less-trodden gems such as Sochi, Russia, host to the 2014-Winter Olympics; Cassis, France; and Propriano and Palamos, Spain.┬á For an even more culturally-rich experience, guests can combine two, three or more consecutive voyages that repeat nearly no ports and multiply their choices of AzAmazing Evenings and destination immersion.

Throughout the season, guests also may pair their vacation with a voyage that coincides with some of the regionÔÇÖs top cultural events including Holy Week in Seville on March 27, the Monaco Grand Prix on May 23 or the British Open on July 14.┬á For example, Azamara QuestÔÇÖs seven-night, Seville April Fair voyage, includes an opportunity for guests to experience SevilleÔÇÖs annual spring celebration including a spectacular midnight fireworks show. ┬áThe ship, which sails to many destinations larger ships cannot get to, docks in the heart of the city just a short walk from all the festivities.

Two exclusive voyages are hosted by Azamara Club CruisesÔÇÖ President and CEO Larry Pimentel and his wife Sandi featuring signature parties and activities with the Pimentels.┬á The first of these PresidentÔÇÖs Voyages aboard Azamara Quest, departs April 3, on the Spring Time Along the Cote dÔÇÖAzur voyage. ┬áGuests will enjoy an incredible evening watching the ancient and colorful sport of water jousting at Sete Joute while partaking in finest array of local cuisine and libations. The second PresidentÔÇÖs Voyage takes place October 1, aboard Azamara Journey during its Tuscany, Monte-Carlo and the French Rivera voyage. Here guests will be treated to an unforgettable operatic performance while dining at a medieval castle in the Tuscan countryside.

All 2013 Europe voyages are available for booking.  I like CruiseCompete as the agents really know their stuff about Azamara.

Have you sailed on Azamara?  What were your impressions?  Leave me some comments below!

Royal Caribbean recently introduced new all-you-can-drink soda machines on their ships, and theyÔÇÖve turned out to be a huge hit!┬á So much so, that the line ran out on their first voyageÔǪ why are they so popular?

Well, these arenÔÇÖt just any soda machines.┬á TheyÔÇÖre a modified version of the Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers that Coca-Cola started offering in 2009 and can offer 125 flavors of various Coke products using an on-the-spot mixing technology; the machines produce everything from raspberry-flavored Coca-Cola to peach-flavored Fanta Zero.

Royal Caribbean is the first cruise line to debut the machines, which have become increasingly popular due to the speed of service and the custom mixing options.

Royal Caribbean charges only $6.50 per adult per day for a soda package (which includes access to the machines). Even better, there has been no package cost increase; this is the same amount as soda packages cost in the past (children pay $4.50 per day for a package).

Royal Caribbean worked in partnership with Coca-Cola for three years, modifying the machines so they comply with marine environment health codes and interact with the special souvenir soda cups that passengers get when buying all-you-can-drink soda packages on Royal CaribbeanÔÇÖs ships. The new cups contain a passenger identification device that lets guests serve themselves at the machines.

The new soda machines already are on the lineÔÇÖs Majesty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas and will spread throughout the fleet at a rate of about one or two per month.

Seabourn will now visit all seven continents!

Seabourn is well-known for their far reaching and exotic itineraries, and theyÔÇÖve just announced some exciting news.┬á The line will be voyaging to Antarctica beginning in November 2013, with their ship the Seabourn Quest making four 21- to 24-day voyages sailing between Valpara├¡so, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The addition of these new itineraries will expand SeabournÔÇÖs sailings to all seven continents.

The all-suite Seabourn Quest will cruise the Chilean coast, past glaciers, peaks and channels of the Chilean Fjords.  The route will also include a transit of the Beagle Channel and its Glacier Alley.

Seabourn Quest will then cruise by Cape Horn (weather permitting) bound for the Southern Ocean. The ship will spend five days in Antarctica, landing in smaller inflatable boats to experience the cold beauty of the continent. Scientists, naturalists and lecturers from various arenas will speak on board, as well as accompanying passengers ashore to provide more information and insight.

During the South Atlantic portion of the voyage, guests will visit Port Stanley (Falkland Islands), and Montevideo, (Uruguay), en route to or from Buenos Aires.

The 24-day holiday version also includes two days exploring the sub-Antarctic environment of South Georgia Island, home a variety of seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.

If youÔÇÖre interested, take action now!┬á SeabournÔÇÖs new Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia sailings go on sale Sept. 4, 2012, for the sailings beginning in November 2013.

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  • Silversea Spa Voted #1 by Conde Nast Traveler

    The spas aboard todayÔÇÖs cruise ships have evolved into facilities that rival even their finest counterparts on land, and are evaluated with very high expectations.┬á That makes SilverseaÔÇÖs latest award all the more significant: the Spa aboard SilverseaÔÇÖs Silver Spirit was chosen by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler as the top spa at sea in the magazineÔÇÖs 2012 Spa Poll.Not only that, but the Silver Spirit was the only ship to score a perfect 100 for its treatments.

    The line is understandably pleased with such an honor:┬á┬á “We are delighted to receive this accolade,” said Ellen Bettridge, SilverseaÔÇÖs president of the Americas. “The Spa aboard Silver Spirit was designed to be the ultimate retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation. This award is validation that we are succeeding in providing a spa experience of unsurpassed quality, and one that we hope will foster a truly holistic sense of balance and well-being for our guests.”

    The spaÔÇÖs winning features include a facility that encompasses 8,300 square feet, with floor-to-ceiling windows, nine treatment rooms, indoor/outdoor relaxation areas, and an outdoor whirlpool.┬á Treatments include restorative therapies such as facials, body wraps, massages and acupuncture.

    The spa also includes an exclusive ceramic-tiled Thermal Suite furnished with heated lounge chairs. With its connecting private Hammam (Turkish bath) Chamber, it serves as the setting for the Private Hammam Experience, one of several unique Silver Spirit treatments.

    Conde Nast TravelerÔÇÖs 2012 Spa Poll results were derived from its 2011 ReadersÔÇÖ Choice survey. Spas were rated excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor on three criteria: Spa Facilities, Spa Staff, and Spa Treatments.┬á It is operated by Steiner Leisure Limited, a leading provider of spa services.

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  • Princess has put a lot of thought into the “sports zone” on their newest ship, the Royal Princess, set for her maiden voyage in early summer 2013.

    She will feature a multi-sports area atop the ship that has been christened “Sports Central”, and will feature ping pong, croquet, volleyball, basketball, tennis, and batting cage.┬á This area will also feature a putting green and an adjoining indoor driving range, and will be encircled by a two-lane track (one for walkers, one for joggers).

    The ship will also feature a fitness center located on Deck 17 aft.  This expansive space will house treadmills, ellipticals, recumbent bicycles, strength equipment and free weights.  Most of the cardio machines will offer video screens, some with interactive, virtual programs.  The private aerobics studio will feature a spinning course modeled on stages of the Tour de France, chi ball yoga using aromatherapy-infused balls, and TRX.

    The line will also conduct seminars on wellness, health and nutrition.

    An Update on the American Queen- 2013 Voyage Highlights

    Tickets for the 2013 of The Great American Steamboat CompanyÔÇÖs ship, The American Queen, went on sale this past Friday, with fares starting at $1,095 per guest.

    This is a line for lovers of American history, and those who travel with them wonÔÇÖt be disappointed with the content for next yearÔÇÖs cruises- here are some highlights.

    • There will be a total of 30 departures from Memphis and New Orleans, presented the Lower MississippiÔÇÖs well-known plantations, civil war battlefields, history and Southern culture
    • The line is featuring Five special departures highlighting NatchezÔÇÖs Spring Pilgrimage Pageant
    • “Blue Hawaii”, an Elvis Tribute
    • A variety of new themes, including Blues & Barbeque, Louisiana History & Culture, Mystical Krewe of Steamboating Mardi Gras SM, Dixie Fest, Southern Spirits, Gardens of the River, In the Good Old Summertime SM, Baseball Legends, Manifest Destiny, The Great Steamboat Era.┬á There will also the first annual Delta Queen Steamboat Company and Paddlewheel Steamboat Society Of AmericaÔäó Reunion voyages.
    • An Epic Civil War voyage between Memphis and Chattanooga
    • More accommodations for single travelers! There is now the option of Single Outside Staterooms
    • Red, White and Blue Pricing ÔÇô offering greater value for travelers
    • Every steamboat voyage includes a free one night deluxe hotel stay in the city of embarkation, all shore tours their trademark Steamcoaches SM in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities.

    Another development of note:  effective July 1, the company will be renamed the American Queen Steamboat Company.

    I recently spoke to Rudi Schreiner, President and Co-Founder of AmaWaterways. A trained architect and a native of Vienna, Rudi is a travel industry pioneer, having introduced the concept of modern-day River cruising to the market in 1994. Since that time, he has propelled his fleet to its current award-winning status, earning accolades from media, travel consultants and satisfied passengers all around the world. (Note: After the interview, thereÔÇÖs a listing of current AmaWaterways specials.)

    What makes AmaWaterways different from other river cruise lines?
    Our custom-designed ships, impeccable service, deluxe amenities, great food and well-planned itineraries provide exceptional trips no one else can match. In our 10-year history, we have earned many prestigious awards and a reputation for being the best at what we do. We were the first river cruise line to offer Twin Balcony staterooms, complimentary Internet and Wi-Fi access, and complimentary bicycles for guests to take ashore and enjoy.

    People come to us in search of a different kind of vacation, something more authentic, meaningful, and luxurious. We want our guests to go beyond simply visiting a destination ÔÇô we want them to experience it. Our many years in the travel industry have enabled us to design itineraries that make the most of each countryÔÇÖs scenery, history and culture. We help create wonderful memories for people.

    Talk some more about the food and entertainment. What can people expect?
    People rave about our food and our award-winning team of chefs. We are the only river cruise line inducted into La Cha├«ne des R├┤tisseurs, one of the worldÔÇÖs most prestigious culinary organizations, and all of our ships in Europe are members. We offer champagne breakfasts, lavish lunch buffets, afternoon tea service, and multi-course dinners with free-flowing wine and beer, all complimentary.

    We have an eclectic schedule of onboard entertainment every evening. We also have a convenient and complimentary “Infotainment” system in every stateroom in Europe, with high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi access; a wide selection of new movies, classic films, travel videos, and various English-language news, sports, satellite TV and music channels.

    Give us some details about your small group shore excursions.
    In my opinion, there is no better introduction to European culture and heritage than an in-depth tour with a knowledgeable local guide. On our Seine cruise, guests can visit Ch├óteau Malmaison, former home to Napoleon and his wife Josephine. ThereÔÇÖs an “ArtistsÔÇÖ Walk” that follows in the footsteps of the Impressionists, an excursion to Van GoghÔÇÖs gravesite, and a guided tour of the Musee dÔÇÖOrsay in Paris. ThereÔÇÖs something for everyone and all for no extra charge.

    You mentioned bicycles?
    Yes. Bicycle riding is enormously popular in Europe and many of its rivers are lined with scenic pathways. We offer complimentary bicycles and safety helmets for our guests to use and enjoy, either on their own or with a local guide. ItÔÇÖs a fun way to experience Europe from a whole different perspective.

    What about your “Culinary Delights ÔÇô Bites & Sights” program?
    ThatÔÇÖs a new offering this year and everyoneÔÇÖs really excited about it. “Culinary Delights ÔÇô Bites & Sights” are special food-themed shore excursions that provide guests with an up-close, hands-on experience. They can learn about regional specialties at a French cooking school or visit specialty shops to sample NormandyÔÇÖs famous cider, apple brandy, and artisanal cheeses.

    Describe some of your newest itineraries.
    Our inaugural cruises down the Seine in France are truly something special. Whether itÔÇÖs MonetÔÇÖs magnificent water gardens and NormandyÔÇÖs rural charm, there is much to be discovered in these beautiful and often overlooked corners of Western Europe.

    he Seine cruise visits Paris and Normandy?
    It starts in the City of Lights, where the Seine and its romantic bridges and riverside walkways have inspired artists, writers, and musicians for centuries. The river flows west through NormandyÔÇÖs lovely countryside, with its cows and orchards and monasteries and ch├óteaux, one of the most memorable routes in all of France. We visit MonetÔÇÖs home and gardens in Giverny; Honfleur, a charming French harbor town beloved by artists; and Les Andelys, home to the impressive Ch├óteau Gaillard. Other highlights include the historic city of Rouen, known for its Gothic cathedral (and where Joan of Arc was martyred), and thereÔÇÖs an unforgettable excursion to World War IIÔÇÖs Normandy beaches.

    What about the ships, what are they like?
    When it comes to river cruising, the journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. All of our European ships feature elegant lounges and other public spaces where guests can enjoy unforgettable views of castles, fortresses, and steep hillside vineyards. The wrap-around scenery is just spectacular.

    Our guests are surrounded by luxury from the moment they step aboard. The AmaLegro was designed for maximum comfort and enjoyment, and provides more elbow room than any other rivercruise line. The ship has a salon and spa, lively bar areas, stylish restaurants and an inviting lounge. Health and fitness buffs can take advantage of our Sun Deck walking track, sauna, swimming pool, whirlpool and fitness room.

    The AmaLegro in France features French Balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors so guests can enjoy sunshine and stunning river views in complete privacy. Staterooms are a generous 170 square feet. For a bit more room, guests can reserve one of our 255 square foot suites. Suites come with a sitting area, ample closet space, and a large bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower and separate tub. All staterooms and suites come with high-end amenities, flat-panel TVs and in-room Internet.

    *****

    SAVE $2,000 PER STATEROOM ON PARIS & NORMANDY CRUISE
    7-night cruise starting from $1499 per person

    SOLO TRAVELERSÔÇÖ SPECIAL
    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT WAIVED ON CRUISE & LAND

    7-night cruise starting from $2,499 per stateroom

    This offer applies to Paris & Normandy cruises and is also applicable to select
    Wine Cruises on the Seine River: Paris & The Sparkling Seine

    Cruise the Seine River aboard the beautiful AmaLegro, a custom-designed vessel that sets a new standard for European river cruising. Journey from Paris through the heart of Normandy, exploring the beautiful countryside that inspired famous painters such as Monet and Van Gogh. Visit Giverny, Rouen, Les Andelys, and World War IIÔÇÖs Normandy Beaches before returning to the “City of Lights.”

    Book Now ÔÇô Limited Time Offer!
    For reservations, please call your travel agent
    or AmaWaterways at 800-626-0126

    Terms & Conditions:
    All prices listed are in U.S. dollars per person, discount is already applied. Offers are valid on new cruise bookings only made by July 31, 2012. Offer is not combinable with any other promotions or discounts except Early Booking Discount and Privilege Program benefits. Rates may vary per departure date. $2,000 Savings is per stateroom, based on double occupancy only! Single occupancy staterooms receive waived single supplement on the cruise and the land portion of the itinerary and is not combinable with any other promotions or monetary discount except Early Booking Discount or Privilege Program benefits. 5% early booking discount is valid until 7/31/2012 and applies to the cruise only portion of the fare. The Privilege Program is AmaWaterwaysÔÇÖ loyalty program; past passengers receive an additional $100 discount per person. Availability is limited on these cruises, capacity controlled and subject to change or discontinuation without notice. Some restrictions may apply. AmaWaterways is registered as a seller of travel in the State of California. CST#2065452-40


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  • Cunard recently announced that it will be screening the feature film “Madam Butterfly 3D” aboard the Queen Mary 2, beginning July 6, 2012.┬á The film was shot during live performances at LondonÔÇÖs Royal Opera House and has been received worldwide with critical acclaim

    Combining the excitement of live staging with the immediacy of a feature film, “Madam Butterfly 3D” is a production designed to appeal to novices and opera buffs alike.

    “There are few British institutions more respected and admired in the world than the Royal Opera and Cunard,” says Joseph Peixoto, president of worldwide cinema at RealD, the worldÔÇÖs most widely used digital 3D projection technology.┬á “To bring this world-class production to Queen Mary 2 ensures it will be seen on cruises throughout the world ÔÇô just as it will be enjoyed in cinemas around the world this year. The 3D filmmakers of this beautiful and powerful film make you feel like youÔÇÖre standing on the stage at Covent Garden.”

    The story centers around a Japanese geishaÔÇÖs love for an American naval officer , and ButterflyÔÇÖs tragedy unfolds to a devastating conclusion. This work is one of operaÔÇÖs most emotional scores, featuring the famous Humming Chorus, ButterflyÔÇÖs soaring aria “Un bel di vedremo” (“One fine day”), and such wonderfully lyrical passages as Cio-Cio-SanÔÇÖs first entrance, PinkertonÔÇÖs seduction of her, and Cio-Cio-SanÔÇÖs passionate farewell to her son.

    A stunningly beautiful story- donÔÇÖt miss this when traveling aboard Cunard.

    I love fine dining, and so for all you like-minded foodies: AmaWaterways, the only river cruise line inducted into prestigious culinary organization La Cha├«ne des R├┤tisseurs, has announced that it will be offering Culinary Delights ÔÇô Bites & Sights tours on its European itineraries.

    These exclusive 20-person tour will include cooking classes, walking tours and tastings; the perfect opportunity to polish cooking skills and explore the regionÔÇÖs flavors and culture.

    Passengers will also tour the city from a different perspective, visiting cooking schools, distilleries and local markets. The tours include visits to culinary specialty shops, chocolatiers and charcuteries.

    Select tours include a visit to Studio of Cabestan in Avignon, France, where chefs first take passengers to Les Halles market to select the freshest ingredients, and then have them don aprons and chef hats for a hands-on cooking demonstration in Provencal cuisine.

    In Amsterdam, travelers are provided a panoramic city tour topped off with a tasting of Jenever, Dutch liquor, and there is a tour of Antwerp for a Belgium waffles and chocolates tasting.

    Additional options on the European river cruises include a hands-on demonstration to prepare Lyonniase cuisine and Banistra pastry; presentation on how to pair chocolates and wine; demonstration of mustard production; a tasting tour of traditional Dutch foods like Frietzak (Dutch fires with mayonnaise), poffertjes (pancakes) and rollmops (pickled herring); and the opportunity to prepare, cook and taste Goulash in the historical city of Budapest.

    The Culinary Delights ÔÇô Bites & Sights tours vary on each itinerary, for more information on AmaWaterways, contact your travel agent.

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