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Tauck will start sailing the Douro River in Portugal come 2020!

There’s a river that river cruisers often overlook when planning their European river cruise.  It’s known as the river of gold.  The river I’m referring to is the Douro River in Portugal! 

Tauck just recently announced that they will be cruising the Douro River starting in 2020! 

Tauck is an award-winning, All Inclusive river cruise line.  Tauck is a premium river cruise line and it’s the best of the best! 

The 8-day river cruise starts and ends in Porto and showcases an authentic taste of daily life in the Douro River Valley. 

Tauck is building a new ship specifically made for cruising the Douro called the ms Andorinha. 

The region is steeped in a legacy of wine making for over 2,000 years.  Enjoy wine tastings hosted by expert wine makers; go hiking and bicycling; visit villages, a museum, a palace and a prehistoric site. 

2020 itineraries are already available to book!  They’re super popular and some are selling out so please feel free to call or email us and we’ll help you plan your dream Tauck Douro River Cruise!

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Prague’s Astronomical Clock – standing the test of time

One upon a time, a master clockmaker (known by the name of Master Hanus), built a beautiful astronomical clock in Prague.  The year was 1410. He was highly respected and was asked by representatives of other countries to build an astronomical clock in the main squares of their own important cities, too.  

He pledged to the municipal councilors of Prague that he would not build another clock anywhere else in the world, that Prague would have THE MOST beautiful Astronomical Clock for their own people.  But the councilors did not believe Master Hanus so they blinded him to ensure no other city would enjoy the masterpiece he created for Prague.

Master Hanus was so furious that he took revenge and destroyed the clock by tinkering with the mechanism so that no one would be able to fix the clock…  Well, that’s what legend says. 

Today you can visit this clock, the third oldest astronomical clock in the world, the oldest clock still operating, in Prague, at the historical Old Town Hall.

The Prague Astronomical Clock is a marvelous medieval work of art that’s been running for over 600 years, surviving hundreds of years of wars and destruction.

Every hour, 12 Apostles parade in the windows of the astronomical clock along with figures, most notable Death as a skeleton, striking the time on the outer side of the clock.

You can view the Prague Astronomical Clock when you start or end your Danube River Cruise.  If you start in Budapest and sail towards Germany, be sure to add a few days in Prague after your cruise.  If you start in Germany, fly into Prague and spend a few days there before your river cruise begins. 

Most river cruise lines have pre or post cruise extensions that visit this unique, romantic city… this jewel of Europe, Prague.  

If you prefer to add Prague to your trip on your own, Up Close Travel can help you plot your course.  We can help you plan a vacation that dreams are made of, full of memories to last a lifetime and customized for your unique wants and desires.

If you’d like to learn more about Prague and some travel options that include Prague, please feel free to call us at 305-814-8184 or send us an email here.

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AmaWaterways adds Istanbul, Nice and much more in 2020 river cruises

AmaWaterways has some super exciting things coming in 2019.  A new itinerary on the Danube.  A new Golf Concierge Program for the golfers that dream of teeing it off in some of Europe’s championship golf courses.   And of course, there are 3 new EXCITING ships joining the fleet: 

  • AmaMagna – sailing on the Danube River 
  • AmaMora – Sailing on the Rhine River 
  • AmaDouro – Sailing on Portugal’s Douro River 

If your 2019 vacation plans are set and 2020 is your year for a river cruise, AmaWaterways has just released their preview brochure for 2020 and you can now book! 

2 new river cruise itineraries for 2020: 

  • Treasures of the Main and Rhine – 3 nights in Prague & 7-night cruise from Nuremburg to Amsterdam. 
  • Vineyards of the Rhine & Moselle – 2 nights in Amsterdam, 7-night cruise from Amsterdam to Luxembourg, 3 nights in Paris. 

New land extensions: 

  • Gems of Southeast Europe adds an option for 3 nights in Istanbul, Turkey.  Tour the fascinating old city of Istanbul as well as a visit to the 16th century museum, Topkapi Palace 
  • Colors of Provence & Spain adds an option with an extension in Nice where guests can explore the French Riviera, including visits to Aix-en-Provence, Monaco and Monte Carlo. 

There is one new ship joining the fleet in 2020, the AmaSiena.  The AmaSiena will sail on the Main, Moselle, and Rhine rivers.  The new ship will sail on both new itineraries for 2020 – Treasures of the Main & Rhine and Vineyards of the Rhine & Moselle. 

The AmaMagna, which will start sailing in May 2019, will add 2 new itineraries in 2020 for a total of 5 different itineraries: 

  • Romantic Danube – 7-night cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest.  Options of 2 nights in Munich or 3 nights in Prague pre-cruise. 
  • Melodies of the Danube – 7-night cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen.  Option to add 2 nights pre-cruise in Budapest and/or 3-nights in Prague post-cruise. 
  • Gems of Southeast Europe – 7-night from Budapest to Giurgiu.  Land extensions available in Budapest, Brasov, Bucharest, Vienna, and Istanbul. 
  • Grand Danube Cruise – 14-night cruise from Vilshofen to Giurgiu.  Land extensions available in Prague, Brasov, and Istanbul. 
  • Christmas Markets on the Danube – 7-night cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen.  Land extension in Budapest and Prague.  

For more on AmaWaterways and to search for cruises, CLICK HERE!

If you’d like to start planning your 2020 river cruise (or 2019 as there’s still good availability), feel free to call us at 305-814-8184 or send us a note!

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Visiting Amsterdam? Get your Anne Frank Museum tickets in advance

Are you heading to Amsterdam and looking for some great places that are must visits? 

Then make sure to include the Anne Frank Museum in your itinerary. It’s a very emotional experience, but also very educational and humbling.

If you’re taking a tour or a river cruise, or just visiting Amsterdam independently, take a look at your itinerary to see if the Anne Frank house is on your schedule.  There’s a good chance that it’s not included as part of your tour.

 

If you do plan on visiting the Anne Frank Museum, make sure you get your tickets in advance.  You cannot buy tickets at the museum, they’re only sold online.

LINK TO PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Tickets become available exactly 2 months ahead of time.  

80% of tickets are released at the 2 month mark on their website and the remaining 20% are released on that actual day on their website.  

Do not wait. Reserve your tickets ahead of time and get the visiting time slot that you want.

 

Link to get tickets are below in the description.

If you’ve visited the Anne Frank Museum, drop a comment below and let us know your experience.

To keep updated on travel tips and some great destination ideas, please subscribe to our newsletter!

To keep updated on travel news, tips, and some amazing adventure & destination ideas – subscribe to our newsletter

U by Uniworld back for 2019 PLUS Camping on the Top Deck!

U by Uniworld river cruise line is back for 2019, and expanding!

U by Uniworld’s inaugural 2018 season was a success.  And they have awards to prove it!

They’re back in 2019 on the Seine, Main, Rhine and Danube rivers.  

There’s a new itinerary for 2019 and it’s the “Northern France at a Glance” on the Seine River.

This cruise starts on a Sunday in Paris but returns back to Paris on Friday so that you get Friday and Saturday day and night in the city of lights.  

This itinerary will be in demand as 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  Lot’s of river cruise lines have sold out many of their Seine cruises. If not sold out, there’s limited availability.

U by Uniworld visits some amazing iconic cities and small villages.  But they’re also about having fun on board.

So they’re bringing back the Painting & Wine, Silent Disco, Mixology Classes and Yoga on the Top Deck.  They’ll be adding a rooftop BBQ, Karaoke, Giant Board Games, Themed Parties, Romance Packages, and much more!

  

And in my opinion, one of the coolest new things they’re going to be doing is Rooftop Camping.  You’ll spend the night under the stars with a nightcap and a breakfast picnic in the morning for 2!  How awesome is that?

In 2020 they’ll be adding a 3rd ship sailing on the Mekong river.  Stay tuned for information on that.

If any of that sounds fun to you, well then, U by Uniworld is perfect option for you!

If you have any questions about the le laperouse or the cruise line Ponant, please feel free to call us or send us a message here.

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