We just returned from a Generations cruise aboard Uniworld’s River Empress. This is a special river cruise for families, including young children. Normally, I would not recommend taking children on a river cruise but this particular sailing welcomed them aboard with special staff and activities to make their time enjoyable. This is a summary of our trip. If you are not interested, just scroll down to other news.
Day 1-2 The six of us (grandparents, parents, and two children 4 and 7) boarded our flight to Amsterdam where we transferred to our ship. While waiting for our rooms to be readied, we took a walk to the historic center of Amsterdam to see the sights. This afternoon, our ship sailed for Cologne.
Day 3 Since we had two young children with us we participated in the must-generational excursions provided by Uniworld. Those on the ship without children had different excursion choices. Today we enjoyed a short walking tour of Cologne ending in the Cologne Cathedral, a stunningly beautiful cathedral that took 600 years to build. Afterwards, mom and dad took a little time off to pursue an adult excursion while the rest of us enjoyed an amazing gondola ride that gave us panoramic views of the city and the Rhine River.
Day 4 Today, our ship docked in the city of Koblenz where we all participated in a little scavenger hunt to discover interesting facts about the city. Afterwards, we explored Marksburg Castle, with an ambitious climb up the stairs to reach the only hill castle in Germany that was never destroyed. Of course, the kids came away with shields and swords! We then rejoined our ship in a new location of Boppard.
Day 5 We sailed to Rudesheim this morning. We were all instructed to wear our head sets so that we could hear the narrative about all of the amazing castles along the river. We had a great sunny morning to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the sun deck.
This afternoon we took the minitrain to town and participated in a visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Instruments Museum which amazed kids and adults alike. We then took another gondola ride up to Niederwald Monument for panoramic views of the river and town.
Day 6 Today we docked in Speyer where we visited the Speyer Technical Museum, just a short walk from our ship. The museum held a huge collection of vehicles of every kind from cars to 747s to submarines. We also took a bus trip to a vinegar estate where we donned Harry Potter type robes and descended into the cask rooms to learn about the making of vinegar! Afterwards, we had a vinegar tasting of 5 different types of vinegar.
Day 7 Today we visited Strasbourg, one of the prettiest cities yet. While three of our group climbed the 300+ steps of the cathedral, the other three found a quiet little cafe for croissants and tea. Afterwards, our little ones rode the carousel located in the town center. After lunch onboard our ship we returned to find Le Petit France, a very beautiful section of Strasbourg.
Day 8 Today we arrived in Breach where we went to a living history village, the Ecomuseum. We saw many storks in their gigantic nests, and sampled some of the bakery treats. The kids had a great time exploring the 70 traditional Alsatian buildings.
Day 8 We said goodbye to our ship and our new friends and headed for the Basel airport for our return home. The week was filled with activity, learning, and relaxing. There was much to see and do for all ages and we are looking forward to our next adventure.
In other news, this week the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it is implementing new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items. Travelers will be required to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. Following pilot programs at 10 airports, TSA plans to expand these measures to all U.S. airports during the weeks and months ahead. These new security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck who are using TSA PreCheck lanes. Another good reason to enroll in precheck today!
Heading to Disney soon? When you stay at a Disney Resort hotel, you will now be able to use Disney’s Online Check-In service on the My Disney Experience mobile app, expediting your arrival while providing additional convenience, flexibility, and customization of your experience. The features enable you to start the check-in process up to 60 days before arrival, bypassing the need to visit the front desk and giving you the opportunity to begin your vacation immediately. You complete your check-in by unlocking your room, when it is ready, using the MagicBands sent to you prior to arrival. With just a few taps of the screen, you can make room requests, add credit card information, and authorize charges, submit an estimated arrival time to help prompt room access, receive a notification when your room is ready, and more. Please note that room requests are not guaranteed and Guests must provide consent to receive notifications.
Fuller Travel Escorted Tours
October 26-November 4, 2017. Hawaiian Adventure. We will visit the islands of Oahu, Kauai, and Maui on this 10 day tour. Visit Pearl Harbor and embark on a journey of the North Shore of Oahu. Enjoy the Grand Canyon of the Pacific-Waimea Canyon on the island of Kauai. On Maui, we wild visit the stunning Lao Valley and attend a traditional Polynesian luau. There will also be beach time allotted on this trip. Just a few spots remain. Check out the entire itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/730906
April 25-May 5 Shades of Ireland Visit the Emerald Isle and enjoy Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, Limerick, the Cliffs of Moher, and Galway. Kiss the Blarney Stone, sleep in a castle, and much more. https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/764793 We are taking deposits now! A few spots remain.
May 16-24, 2018 Israel: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This tour is being arranged by Fuller Travel but is being escorted by Fr. Anthony Strouse. Join Fr. Strouse as you journey to these most important Christian sites: Visit Jaffa, Caesarea, Nazareth, Cana, Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem, Jerusalem. Follow the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross. Call now for reservations.
Ready Now! June 7-18, 2018 Germany’s Cultural Cities and the Romantic Road Embark on a guided tour of Hamlin, explore the town of Lubeck famous for its marzipan, join a local guide who leads you on a Beatles tour in Hamburg. Tour Berlin and Munich’s famed landmarks. Discover Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a medieval gem in Fanconia. Tour Nueschwanstein Castle. Much more. Deposit now! I have spots reserved for just a short time on this new tour. https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/769444
July 29-August 8Alaskan Cruise on the Island Princess. Spend three nights on land in Anchorage, Princess McKinley Lodge, and Princess Denali Lodge. From Denali you will board a train and journey down to our ship where we will embark on a 7 day journey. We will experience the Hubbard Glacier and Glacier National Park from our ship. We will visit the ports of Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan before disembarking in Vancouver. Deposit now for the best choice of stateroom. Join us on this cruise as we will be donating a portion of each cabin to our local Rotary Foundation to help with our service projects.
September 8-16 New!! Castles Along the Rhine River Cruise Travel from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland along the Rhine River. This cruise, aboard the SS Antoinette will encompass 4 countries. Those of you who love picturesque and historic sites will find medieval castles, cathedrals, and scenes that have inspired great poets, painters, and composers. I only have 15 rooms for this cruise so do not delay if you are interested. This is not the grandparent/child cruise. This is a regular Uniworld cruise. Current 10% discount extended.
October 5-10 Washington DC and Gettysburg This five day guided trip will take in the White House, US Capitol, monuments and museums, Arlington, and the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. We will have a battlefield tour of Gettysburg as well as some free time to explore Historic Gettysburg. This is a bus tour-no air involved. $1500 cost includes 5 nights hotel, motorcoach, 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, all sightseeing and gratuities. $200 reserves your spot. Taking deposits now!
April, 2019 Lynn and Lidia’s Italy
June, 2019 Baltic Cruise. This cruise will visit Norway, Sweden, Denmark, St. Petersburg, Estonia, and Berlin. Will open for deposits this fall.
Jaffa, Caesarea, Nazareth, Cana, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Church of the Transfiguration, Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, Celebrate Mass Daily
Day 1 Explore the surprisingly metropolitan city of Anchorage, by getting out to see the shops, restaurants and cultural attractions.
Day 2 Travel via motorcoach to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, where the mountain is visible from nearly anywhere on the property. Relish in the many amenities our lodge has to offer.
Day 3 This morning, enjoy a scenic motorcoach ride to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, just steps from Denali National Park. Take in an afternoon Natural History Tour to learn more about the flora and fauna of the area. [SEE COMPLETE ITINERARY…]
DAY 1 – BASEL (BREISACH) Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, where you will be transferred to the ship.
DAY 2 – BREISACH (KAYSERBERG AND RIQUEWIHR OR COLMAR) FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Alsatian “Village Day” OR Colmar city tour Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road, your launching point for one of two excursions. You can visit Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, two of the most picturesque villages in the region, sampling local delicacies and getting a feel for daily life, or take a tour of the larger town, Colmar, considered one of the most beautiful [SEE COMPLETE ITINERARY…]
• Memorials: WWII, Korean, Lincoln, Vietnam, Jefferson, Iwo Jima, and Pentagon
• U.S. Capitol
• Library of Congress Great Hall
• Supreme Court picture stop
• Arlington National Cemetery
• Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
• Smithsonian and Holocaust Memorial Museums
• White House-definite picture stop-hoping for tour
• National Military Park Visitor Center, Museum/Film and Cyclorama
• Battlefield Tour
• Shriver House
• Living History Presentation with General and Mrs. Lee
• Dinner at General Pickett’s Buffett
• One hour Ghost Tour