Posts tagged with "river"

Miyagi – Japan’s Most Relaxing Vacation

Geothermal wonders that rejuvenate the body and mind, Japan’s onsens (naturally occuring hot springs) are a must for any traveler, and Miyagi Prefecture has no shortage of them. With many dotted throughout Miyagi’s diverse terrain, each onsen provides a unique experience with different water sources producing baths of different temperatures, mineral content, texture and more. As these onsens are often located in the mountains, by the ocean and in forests, they provide a great place for travelers to practice the tradition of toji, extended stays at onsens to recuperate from illness or overexertion. Below is a sample of Miyagi’s best onsens for travelers to dream of relaxing in once travel restrictions are lifted.

Reflective pond at Tenshukaku Gardens (©Visit Miyagi)

One of the more popular onsen towns due to its proximity to Miyagi Prefecture’s capital Sendai, Akiu Onsen is tucked in the region’s mountains. The town features about a dozen hot spring hotels located along the scenic Natorigawa River with many offering day use of their hot spring baths. Nearby, Tenshukaku Gardens is home to its own onsen, known as Ichitaro no Yu. After strolling through the traditional Edo-style garden, guests can warm up in the hot spring with a view of Mount Osawa. Lucky bathers may even get to catch a glimpse of kamoshika, a rare Japanese goat-antelope often seen roaming on the mountainside. While the onsen’s water will leave skin soft and silky, Akiu Onsen water is also said to improve quality of sleep, circulation and reduce stress levels.

Sakunami Onsen is located deeper into the mountains and the train ride to this town passes through thick pine and maple tree forests with views of the Hirosegawa River below. This onsen town was often visited by weary monks, members of the shogunate and the shogun himself centuries ago as the water was said to treat a variety of illnesses. After cleansing their mind and body at the onsens on the rocky banks of the river, travelers can opt to hike one of the many trails or take a day trip to the Nikka Whiskey Miyagikyo Distillery.

Naruko Onsen’s diverse hot spring water makes for a rich experience (© JNTO)

Known as one of the “Three Most Scenic Spots of Japan,” Matsushima Bay has its own onsens facing towards the bay with views of countless small islands

Several hotels near the bay have their own natural onsen facilities and staying the night is highly recommended. Guests should make their way out to the open-air baths during the night to see thousands of stars light up the bay. For early birds, the baths are also an ideal spot to watch the sunrise. While Naruko Onsen can be a little hard to get to as it’s hidden away in the hills of northwestern Miyagi, the trip is worth it. Naruko Onsen boasts one of the richest onsen experiences anywhere as the town has eight of the ten types of hot spring water found in Japan. Additionally, the town has more than 400 different springs providing an almost endless variety of bathing facilities. Naruko Onsen also has a wide range of ryokans from traditional inns to luxurious private baths.

The Miyagi Onsen Experience: Watch HERE

For more information on Miyagi Prefecture’s onsens, travelers are encouraged to use the website’s Trip Organizer which has plenty of resources and travel tips. Travelers can also watch this short video highlighting experiences at onsen towns in the prefecture.

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Take a Trip with CruiseCompete!

River cruise ships offer a more private and intimate ambiance, along with personalized service and the advantage of being able to port almost anywhere. Passengers get a feel for the water and experience destinations in a very up-close and personal way onboard and in the towns and areas visited with CruiseCompete

Overall, cruise ship sizes range from megaships (almost 7,000 passengers) to very small vessels and luxury yachts whose passengers number in mere dozens (as small as 16). Knowing the differences is key to planning your best cruise vacation. 

CruiseCompete has divided today’s ships into categories and provides information on the benefits each provides, from the very small and intimate, to medium and up to the very large, mega ships.

For River Cruise Ship Size, from Extra Small to Small with guest capacity from just 18 to almost 260, and only a couple over that number, see details here.

From Avalon Waterways Treasure of Galapagos with 18 guests, to the American Queen Steamboat Company American Queen river ship that sails USA rivers with 417 guests , there is a ship size for everyone.

CruiseCompete member-agents are the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruisetour, please visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003 (see media praises). Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. More than 1.5 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers, and agents have delivered 17.5 million quotes since 2003. They can compare offers from trusted travel agents, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies responding, then contact travel agents directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, the leading authority and resource for family travel information and is home to the Sea Tales 2020 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations. CruiseCompete takes top honors in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers” with an honorable mention. The Wall Street Journal praised CruiseCompete as “Best Cruise Travel Site,” The New York Times says, “… independent travel agents compete to offer you the best deal,” and follows similar praise from Travel + Leisure, Kiplinger and The Washington Post. The Street says, “Score luxury cruises at bargain prices.” 

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Canyon Of The Eagles

Looking for an unconventional getaway in the splendor of the Great American Wilderness? The Canyon of The Eagles in Burnet County, Texas, can provide you with that experience, and more.

The Canyon Of The Eagles property is located on the scenic shores of Lake Buchanan, the largest body of water in Texas’s Highland Lakes Region. It is also conveniently accessible by car, just 90 minutes outside of Austin, Texas, and 25 minutes from the town of Burnet.

The big draw to this location? Its breathtaking natural beauty and the chance to escape the everyday and immerse yourself in a peaceful and recharging environment. Guests will enjoy quiet accommodations in cozy cabins on the property, styled with a rustic Texas Southwestern charm. While the cabins are equipped with modern amenities, including wi-fi, the only television access exists at the Eagles Nest Lounge, it’s Hospitality Suite. This encourages conversation and quality time with loved ones and at the same time, inspires communal engagement in ways often lost to the digital age.

On the property, guests can also start the morning off with a rejuvenating Yoga session, or a relaxing lake pontoon ride. If you’re looking to add some more adventure to your stay, there are many opportunities to get out of your room and explore the scenery. You might find yourself mountain biking on Burnet County Trails. Catch breathtaking views on one of the hiking trails. Rent a kayak, and go on a Guided Tour or a solo paddle out on the beautiful Lake Buchanan. Book a spot on one of the Canyon Cruises, a 2 hour sightseeing and wildlife watching journey with the chance to see intricate naturally-weathered rock formations and waterfalls.

Some of the most incredible parts of Canyon of the Eagles comes out when the sun goes down and the night comes alive. The remote location of the resort and lack of light pollution opens up the night sky in ways one could never imagine. Stargazing is a popular nighttime activity, and the activity can be elevated by attending the Eagle Eye Observatory, where an on-site scientist and astronomer can explain to you the constellations. Fireside chats are another evening activity, covering topics such as local snakes and other wildlife to watch out for.

Food and drink options are also plentiful on the property and nearby. Experience authentic barbeque delights from Opie’s BBQ such as mesquite smoked brisket and pork chops or make your way to the best breakfast you’ll find at Bluebonnet Café where you can enjoy 14 varieties of fresh baked pies — including lemon, coconut, fudge and more. The walking tour of downtown Marble Falls features a snack at Choccolatte’s, where you can enjoy premium gelato or if you would like to get a drink and relax, you could head over to Bear King Brewery. Whatever your tastes are, you can be satisfied in the Highland Lakes Region.

Canyon of the Eagles is a family-friendly resort and vacation option for anyone looking to change up the fast-paced routine of modern life and sink into a simpler time. This location allows for great opportunities for families to get back together and enjoy each others company. The resort also offers options for corporate events and retreats, and would provide an excellent backdrop for a wedding or any other celebration. Whatever you make out of your stay, you won’t forget it when staying at the Canyon of the Eagles in the magnificent Texas Highland Lakes. For more information on what Canyon of Eagle’s could provide at your luxury stay, please check out their amenities and book your stay here.

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CLASSIC JOURNEYS × LUXURY TOURS

CLASSIC JOURNEYS LAUNCHES

“LUXURY PRIVATE TOURS WITHIN A CRUISE”

ON EUROPE’S GREAT RIVERS

Luxury tour operator Classic Journeys is introducing a unique slant on European river cruises, providing a limited admission “private tour within a cruise” aboard some of the most elegant vessels journeying to Europe’s most magnificent cities and landscapes.

The river-based adventures combine a relaxing luxury five-star river cruise experience with a wide array of exclusively handcrafted cultural and walking activities. Classic Journeys’ “tours within a cruise” are capped at 18 participants, making them among the most intimate cruise experiences available. River travel is becoming increasingly popular – enabling travelers to see substantial and glorious sections of Europe “from the inside,” without the bother of packing and unpacking.

A local expert Classic Journeys tour guide and escort will travel with the guests and be their on-board host providing unique insights into the each area’s history, customs and sights. He or she will guide private shore excursions available uniquely to Classic Journeys travelers, including exclusive wine tastings and dining experiences unavailable to other passengers.

Classic Journeys has selected ships providing the finest amenities, including gourmet dining, concierge service, fitness facilities and spas. Each ship offers panoramic lounges as well as an open-air sun deck where travelers can watch European shores drift by outside. Once ashore, guests have the opportunity to experience Europe like never before – with everything from countryside hiking trails, to visits to olive oil plantations and even home visits to Michelin-starred chefs. Perfect for reunions, multi-generational travel, girls’ getaways and more, the river cruise option allows travelers with different interests and activity levels to pick and choose their individual tours each day.

Classic Journeys’ European River Cruises include:

Portugal & SpainDouro: Porto to Salamanca – Glide upriver from coastal Porto to a scenic land of olive groves, vineyards and medieval hilltop villages all the way to Salamanca and the glorious Spanish countryside

Austria, Hungary & Czech RepublicDanube: Cultures of Central Europe – Explore Austrian villages and vineyards, Vienna and Budapest, and perfectly preserved Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic

FranceRhone: Burgundy and Provence – Discover the legendary countryside bordering the Rhone river from Lyon to Avignon, meet olive growers, discover culinary thrills with a Michelin-starred chef and discover some of the world’s most glorious and celebrated wines and vineyards

For more information about Classic Journeys’ exclusive European River Cruises and all other Classic Journeys itineraries, visit: www.classicjourneys.com.

ABOUT CLASSIC JOURNEYS

Since its founding in 1995 with one style of travel in a total of three countries, Classic Journeys has expanded to offer five styles of travel (culture + walking, culinary, family, multi-sport, and river cruising) and 100 itineraries in 50 countries across six continents. With its focus on providing every guest a handcrafted trip of a lifetime, Classic Journeys has won awards from a variety of publications including Saveur, National Geographic and Travel + Leisure – the latter having named it a “World’s Best Tour Operator” every year since 2007.

Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions Notes Positive Outlook For a Stellar River Rafting Season Thanks to an Exemplary Snow Pack

 Forget crystal balls. The snow says it all.

For over half a century Holiday River Expeditions has looked to the mountains to forecast upcoming rafting seasons. Winter snows turn into spring runoff. Thus far, a stormy and snow-packed winter in the Rockies predicts a robust 2019 rafting season in the mountain and desert southwest.

“We’re expecting to have a lot of fun in 2019, thanks to Mother Nature and year-to-date bookings that are up 10 percent over the same time last year,” said Holiday River Expeditions’ longtime sales manager and spokeswoman Karen Johnson.

Higher river flows mean that guests on all of Holiday’s rafting trips will have more off-river time to hike, enjoy the beach, relax or explore the side canyons from camp and enroute between camps.

“Plus high water gives our guests an Adrenaline-rush and thrill in a carefully secured, calculated manner,” Johnson added.

As of today, snow pack affecting the Colorado River Basin is running 116 percent of the February 27th average, a good sign for the upcoming rafting season on the Colorado, Yampa and Green rivers. Among Holiday River Expeditions’ whitewater rafting trips most affected by high runoff are those on the Yampa River in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. This undammed, free-flowing river benefits greatly from unfettered spring runoff that also makes its way to Desolation Canyon (on the Green River) and Cataract Canyon (after confluence with the Colorado River).

Other rafting trips influenced by abundant snow pack are those on the Colorado River in both Westwater Canyon and further along in Cataract Canyon cutting through the heart of Canyonlands National Park.

For the best high-water trips see:

One fact, worthy of note, helps set Holiday apart from most other operators on the river. They are the only rafting outfitter that literally goes with the flow exclusively on all trips by running these rivers by oar-power only, without motorized rafts or motorized support.

“Oar-power is the most natural way to experience the river and the absence of motors makes high water trips as exciting as it gets. Rafters experience the rush of wind, a chatty raven or a churning rapid absent the drone and smell of a motorized raft,” said Tim Gaylord, Director of Operations and Holiday guide since 1978.

Even in high water, when other companies call on motorized boats to stay the course, Holiday instead employs triple rigs, usually from late May to early July in Cataract Canyon when water levels get above 25-30,000 CFS and higher. The rigs are three 18-foot rafts lashed side by side to form one larger raft. It is maneuvered by two guides, sweep-style, each using one oar.

“These rafts are incredibly stable and the rigging allows them to flex in many ways. They allow us to continue to use only oar-powered rafts in even the highest water,” noted Gaylord.

See this short video that will help illustrate this technique.

A few other companies continue to use row/paddle rafts and dories in high water; but they support their use with larger motorized rafts for, among others, assistance in moving non-motor rafts downstream in the flatwater sections. Holiday is the only one that does not use a motor at all (except when exiting the Lake Powell section on the last day of the Cataract trip and then it is only introduced by using a tow-boat that motors up from the downstream takeout at Hite Marina.)

For more information, availability, reservations or a copy of the 2019 catalog please call 800-624-6323, Email: Holiday@BikeRaft.com or log onto http://www.bikeraft.com/.

About Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with 50+ years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity to explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday River Expeditions has a commitment to protect the environment through education and conservation, and as such, uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

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Western River Expeditions

One river rafting company anticipates one of its best years in its history is just around the bend, thanks to the unprecedented strength of its early season bookings.
 
Western River Expeditions reports that its 3, 4, 6 and 7-day Grand Canyon trips for 2020 are full on many dates. And 2019 is already completely sold out. Western River is taking a wait list for spots that open up due to cancellations.
 
Opening day to place 2020 reservations was Nov. 15, 2018. “We booked over 1,000 seats on that day alone,” says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions.  “Online bookings are way up, with over 70 percent of some trips being booking online. Compared to the 40 percent average norm, this is a huge increase!”
 
He adds that, “other rivers are also seeing booming interest and bookings.” Bookings for 2019 five-day trips on Desolation Canyon, Green River are up three-fold over 2018. ”We have as many bookings for Desolation Canyon now as we usually end the year with.”
 
Other rivers favored in this booking uptick, comparing same time 2018 and 2019 include 

Lake attributes these record sales in part to:

  • Good overall US economy (to this point),
  • Swell of retiring Baby Boomers,
  • Popularity of the bucket list and desire to experience lifelong dreams like running the Grand Canyon and Cataract Canyon, 
  • Increasing interest in National Parks, particularly Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park which many guests visit while in Moab, Utah, before their trip to Desolation Canyon or Cataract Canyon.
  • Many new, excellent accommodation choices and availability for pre- and post-trip stays on adventures that depart from Moab, Utah (Cataract Canyon and Desolation Canyon). 

For those chomping at the bit to get on a raft in 2019, Western River advises that people call soon to reserve their space. “There are still some spots on some of our most popular expeditions and this is going to be an incredible year to experience the river.”
 
Lake explains that Western River is bound by the permits granted to them. These permits limit the number of guests that can travel with them each year. “This number doesn’t change, but guest demand for what is essentially a limited opportunity does.”
 
Utah’s Cataract Canyon, deep within Canyonlands National Park, is near enough in scale, appearance and proximity to the Grand Canyon that it works the same kind of magic found in the Grand herself. Just one canyon upstream on the Colorado River in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is hands down the best alternative to a Grand Canyon rafting vacation,” he says.
 
Farther north from the confluence, Utah’s Desolation Canyon was carved by the 730-mile Green River, born from glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the Wyoming Rockies. The Green has created such rare and unique universe that Desolation Canyon has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The Green’s whitewater promises soft adventure thrills over 60 fun-filled Class II and III rapids.
 

Calling Desolation Canyon “the ultimate, back-country family river trip,” Jason Taylor, an operations manager who oversees all of Western River Expeditions’ trips in Utah, noted that the five-day program is appropriate for children as young as 5. It’s also a great river trip for extended families and first-time rafters.
 
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2019 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS

Soldier, geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell is an American legend. One-hundred-fifty years ago this year, he and a brave band of men set out from Green River, WY, with a mission to map and log the canyons, tributaries and features of the unexplored Green and Colorado rivers. History tells the amazing tale of adventure, hardship and ultimate success.

In 2019, to honor and celebrate the spirit of that epic journey, Holiday River Expeditions will re-create a portion of Powell’s trip on an 18-day, oar-powered rafting adventure from July 5 to 22. The John Wesley Powell 150th Celebration Trip will retrace Powell’s route through Lodore, Desolation, Gray, Labyrinth, Stillwater and Cataract Canyons in Utah. The 308 miles can be done as a whole, spanning the entire state of Utah, or as one or more of four stand-alone segments.

“This kind of epic, multi-week rafting adventure is rarely offered in this day and age of quick escape vacations. For this season only, it’s our honor to offer guests this voyage back in time offering a true slice of American history through stories and expert insights,“ explains Lauren Wood, Trip Director and granddaughter of company founder, the late Dee Holladay. “While this journey is lengthy, modern equipment and services guarantee it’s nowhere near as arduous and challenging as Powell’s expedition was.”

On each leg of the trip, Holiday River Expeditions has invited a renowned river historian along to help recreate what Powell encountered on his journey via captivating stories and readings.

The full July 5-22 18-day adventure is $3,850 per person (plus Land Use Fee). Included in all four legs of the trip are delicious campfire meals, snacks and beverages, all required equipment, expert guides and shuttle transportation.

4-day Gates of Lodore – Guests begin with Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument, arriving by van from Vernal, UT. The put-in is in Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge where almost immediately some of Powell’s more infamous rapids — Disaster Falls and Hell’s Half Mile — challenge rafters (the Powell party named most all of the rapids and features found here and downstream). Tranquil waters prevail up to the confluence of the Yampa River in Echo Park, named for its incredible acoustics and scenery. Then come the swirling, unpredictable currents Powell dubbed Whirlpool Canyon. The last day in Dinosaur National Monument carries guests into what Powell described as a place where the river stretched out shallow and as wide as the Missouri River.The per person rate for Leg 1 is $1,005 (youth, senior and group rate $885). River historian Roy Webb joins this segment. He has spent his life running the rivers of the western United States and has authored four books and many articles and book reviews, virtually all on the history of river running in Utah. He is a charter member of the Colorado Plateau River Guides Association. 5-day Desolation Canyon includes a 30-minute scenic flight from Green River, UT, to the embarkation point for Desolation Canyon at Sand Wash. Much of Desolation Canyon is a National Historic Landmark established in 1969, the centennial of the Powell expedition. It was selected because it is relatively unchanged from the time of Powell and the place where the most authentic experience can still be had today. As the cliffs’ colors shift dramatically, it is easy to see why Powell named Gray Canyon. Even more eccentric rock towers lead to sporty rapids like Wire Fence, Three Fords and Coal Creek. Mystical seeps in the rock layer bring verdant life to the canyon walls.The per person rate for Leg 2 is $1,180 (youth $980, senior, group $1,085). Dennis Willis, a noted river historian, joins this sector. For 30 years Dennis worked for the BLM’s Price Field Office as the caretaker of Desolation Canyon. He supported and nurtured scientific research in fisheries and hydrology, geology, botany and archaeology. With over 120 Desolation trips logged, it is still his magical, special place.

5-day Labyrinth Canyon brings guests through a rarely visited section of the Green River and into the upper stretches of Labyrinth Canyon that slowly rises up and closes in, moving from alien flat lands of the upper section to breathtaking red-canyon walls with exquisite side stops like Trin Alcove, 10-mile Canyon and Bowknot Bend.The per person rate for Leg 3 is $950. Joining this section is John Weisheit, an active member of the Conservation of Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper of the Waterkeeper Alliance. 5-day Cataract Canyon begins with tranquility on the flat water and in the secret tiered grottoes of Stillwater Canyon. Here signs of Ancestral Puebloan peoples abound. The confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers marks the beginning of Cataract Canyon and the heart of Canyonlands National Park. After few short miles of flat water, from downstream comes an ominous thunder of Powell’s Cataracts – 30-plus rapids. With full chapters written about them, these massive wave-trains and churning holes are an epic crescendo for this extended and historic excursion.

The per person rate for Leg 4 is $1,180 (youth, senior, group $1,040).Weisheit will also provide insight and interpretation along this final leg of the journey.

About Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with 50+ years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity to explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday River Expeditions has a commitment to protect the environment through education and conservation, and as such, uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

Delfin Amazon Cruises Joins Relais & Châteaux

Delfin Amazon Cruises, pioneer of upscale river cruising in the Upper Peruvian Amazon, becomes the first cruise company to join Relais & Châteaux’s iconic portfolio.

Known for its strict admission standards, Relais & Châteaux members must meet the association’s criteria and encompass the following core values: local focus, humanity, sharing, and commitment.

Delfin Amazon Cruises joins the prestigious collection having set the highest standards for impeccable service, stylish design and superb authentic cuisine, in one of the world’s most fascinating and remote locations, the Amazon River. Relais & Châteaux members include over 550 world-class hotels and restaurants spanning the globe, each with a distinct setting, atmosphere and flavor.

“It is a true privilege and honor to become a member of Relais & Châteaux, a brand that is synonymous with quality and that champions the finest hospitality in unique places around the world,” said Aldo Macchiavello, Founder and CEO of Delfin Amazon Cruises. “We are also proud to be recognized for our commitment to upholding the delicate balance at play in our pristine Amazon wilderness through our local community projects and sustainability efforts.”

Founded in early 2006 by husband and wife team, Aldo Macchiavello and Lissy Urteaga, Delfin Amazon Cruises fulfilled a lifelong passion of theirs to run a boutique travel business in their inspiring country, Peru. With the introduction of the exclusive four-suite Delfin I and the launches that followed of the Delfin II and most recently the Delfin III, the company was the first to bring upscale river cruising to the most remote and spectacular tributaries of the Upper Peruvian Amazon. Aligned to Relais & Châteaux’s mission to promote the richness and diversity of the world’s cuisine and traditions of hospitality, Delfin prides itself on its world-class hospitality, combining authentic Peruvian gastronomy and understated luxury aboard uniquely designed vessels that allow guests to explore the Amazon in true style and comfort. The brand has a strong commitment to preserving the rich biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest and works closely with its non-profit partner, The Kuyapa Foundation, which supports local communities and strives to protect Amazonia’s fragile ecosystem for generations to come.

Delfin Amazon Cruises thrives in splendid harmony with nature as guests get to explore one of the world’s most intriguing environments, whether it’s from their adventure skiff, the beautiful decks or outdoor lounger or simply relaxing in their suite with panoramic windows. Authenticity, thoughtfulness and attention to detail is reflected in every element onboard the three stately boutique vessels.

ABOUT DELFIN AMAZON CRUISES
Delfin Amazon Cruises was launched in early 2006 by its founder and CEO, Aldo Macchiavello. The company is the culmination of a dream shared with his wife Lissy Urteaga – to run a boutique travel business that should showcase the natural beauty of their country, Peru. Delfin Amazon Cruises sets the highest standards for impeccable 5-star hospitality, authentic Peruvian design and superb local cuisine. The Delfin I, II and III effortlessly combine comfort and grace with the breathtaking wilderness setting of the Amazon. Each vessel thrives in harmony with nature and their panoramic suites and terraces, offer guests a special “non-cruise” atmosphere with the opportunity to explore one of the world’s most pristine environments. Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, the boutique luxury vessels take guests on 3 and 4-night itineraries into one of the world’s largest protected flooded forests, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Experienced naturalist guides and experts showcase the immense biodiversity of the area with excursions and activities that include (but are not limited to) visits to local villages, kayaking, swimming with pink river dolphins, fishing, daytime hiking and night safaris.

For more information about Delfin Amazon Cruises, please visit www.delfinamazoncruises.com

ABOUT RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX

Established in 1954, Relais & Châteaux is an association of more than 550 landmark hotels and restaurants operated by independent innkeepers, chefs, and owners who share a passion for their businesses and a desire for authenticity in their relationships with their clientele. Relais & Châteaux is established around the globe, from the Napa Valley vineyards and French Provence to the beaches of the Indian Ocean. It offers an introduction to a lifestyle inspired by local culture and a unique dip into human history. Relais & Châteaux members have a driving desire to protect and promote the richness and diversity of the world’s cuisine and traditions of hospitality. They are committed to preserving local heritage and the environment, as encompassed in the Charter presented to UNESCO in November 2014. For more information, please visit www.relaischateaux.com

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum World Masters: Matisse, Picasso, Chagall Bring Visitors to Bilbao, Spain

Over 19 Years Providing Expert Cruise and Travel Planning, Family Owned and Operated Cruises-N-More—Land, River and Ocean Experts at Cruise and Travel Planning

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. According to the cruise specialists at Cruises-N-More, today, most major cruise lines offer cruises to Bilbao. Because many cruise ships cannot navigate the Nervion River into the city center, they dock at the modern cruise terminal about nine miles north of Bilbao and shore excursions depart from there.

Chartered in 1300 along the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao grew slowly but steadily with a strong economic base built on shipbuilding, steel and chemical industries. At the beginning of the 20th century, Bilbao was said to be the wealthiest city in Spain. Then the steel and shipbuilding industry floundered and industrial decline set in, Bilbao was hit with a deep economic crisis. The once-bustling waterfront became derelict in what could have been known as a death blow, but Bilbao turned the tide with the Guggenheim, which became in important cultural facility.

Opened in October 1997, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was designed by Frank Geary and cost an amazing 130 million Euros paid for by the Basque government. Geary liked that it was next to the river, and sometimes it is said the river is the reason Bilbao exists.

The result is an eye-popping shimmer of titanium, glass and limestone that looks like a magnificent winged ship sailing down the old port. The museum exterior is dazzling as is the artwork surrounding it. The entrance is guarded by an iconic Puppy floral sculpture, created by Jeff Koons. The 43-foot-tall living plant creation was modeled after a West Highland terrier and changes according to the time of year and the blooming plants, including colorful marigolds, begonias, impatiens, petunias, and lobelias.

Guggenheim is home to art by world masters. Inside the Guggenheim are soaring outer galleries plus a suite of 10 galleries in the building’s core that house a permanent collection of works by world masters like Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, Paul Klee and Roy Lichtenstein. The structure was created to make maximum use of natural light.

Bilbao and the Guggenheim are a great destination to visit.

A sampling of cruise lines ships and sailings that visit Bilbao, Spain, where the Guggenheim Bilbao makes for a memorable visit are shown below:

• AmaWaterways, AmaDolce 14-night Taste of Bordeaux, Bilbao to Paris

• Azamara Club Cruises, Azamara Journey 11-night Wine & Romance Voyage starting in Southampton

• Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Eclipse 12-night Iberian Peninsula Cruise starting in Amsterdam

• Crystal Cruises, Crystal Serenity 26-night Explorer Combination, starting in Stockholm

• Cunard Line, Queen Elizabeth 7-night Voyage Q819 Spain and France roundtrip from Southampton

• MSC Cruises, MSC Magnifica 11-night starting from Hamburg, Germany

• Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Jade      9-night France & Iberia from Southampton

• Oceania Cruises, Oceania Insignia World Cruise roundtrip New York

• Princess Cruises, Crown Princess 15-night Western Europe Passage from Fort Lauderdale

• Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seven Seas Explorer      16-night Barcelona to London

• Seabourn, Seabourn Ovation 14-night Vintage Europe, starting in Lisbon

• Silversea Cruises, Silver Cloud Expedition 12-night sailing 1809 Lisbon to London

• Windstar Cruises, Star Breeze 12-night London to Lisbon

For more information about cruises that visit Bilbao, contact Cruises-N-More. Cruises-N-More offers select benefits for our clients and has over 19 years of dedicated service in the travel industry. To work with Cruises-N-More, a Travel Leaders Group President’s Club and Inner Circle top agency, please contact a Cruises-N-More cruise specialist at 800-733-2048 (toll-free USA/Canada), 0-808-189-1292 (toll-free U.K.), 800-076-002 (toll-free Australia) or +1-407-771-4454.

Bilbao, Spain, and Guggenheim information courtesy Jackie Sheckler Finch.

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About Cruises-N-More

Family owned and operated, with over 19 years of dedicated service in the travel industry, Cruises-N-More offers respected expertise and superior deals, prices and amenities and consistently ranks among top producers with the major cruise lines.

A member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) and endorsed by IATAN (International Airline Travel Agent Network), Cruises-N-More is proud to be a Travel Leaders Group President’s Club and Inner Circle top agency. Cruises-N-More has received many cruise line awards and recognition, including Regent Seven Seas Cruises Council Member and Top Producer; Princess Cruises Gold I-Excel Agency; Royal Caribbean International & Celebrity Cruises Online Agency of the Year/Key Account; Carnival Cruise Line Top Agency & Select Agency; Norwegian Cruise Line President’s Club Agency; Holland America Line Centurion & Premium Preferred Agency; Top Producer for Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises.

Cruises-N-More has been featured in USA Today and Frommer’s “Cruises for Dummies” as having great cruise prices, has been ranked by MSNBC as a top web broker and was recently featured as a great source of Caribbean travel package cruise tours on TravelVacationDream.com.

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