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WINTER 2017

Explore ISTRIA & TUSCANY Family Travel in

ST. BARTH’S Diving with Sharks in

AUSTRALIA

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 XX


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Smith, We are pleased to present the inaugural issue of Ensemble Vacations®, an inspiring travel magazine for preferred clients like you. In this issue, take a leisurely stroll through Italy’s Chianti region, and join a mother & daughter trip to Tuscany. Discover the cuisine of Istria with none other than famed chef Lidia Bastianich. Learn why St. Barth’s is the perfect blend of family-friendly luxury. And take a trip to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru. Feeling adventurous? Go down under and dive with sharks in Australia. Love to cruise? Learn about the newest cruise ships making their debuts in 2017. And for a trip closer to home, you can’t beat Chicago, the home of deep dish pizza and the 2016 World Series Champs. Be sure to check out our “Planning Ahead” calendar for not-to-be-missed events worldwide. Wherever your wanderlust leads you, be assured that as your travel specialists, we are ready with the knowledge, insider connections, and exclusive offers to make all of your travels seamless, unique, and above and beyond your expectations.

Your Agency Name Here

Cover: Siena, Italy

Ensemble Travel® Group membership enables us to bring you added amenities, custom touches, unexpected experiences, and a genuinely warm welcome wherever your travels take you. When your next opportunity for travel arises, be sure to inquire about the Ensemble® Exclusives that can make your trip an absolute dream come true.

XX Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


ED ITOR’S L ET T ER

E DI T O R I A L

Editor In Chief

Senior Editor

Creative Director

Art Director at Large

Advertorial Coordinator

Feature Art Director

Senior Copy Editor

Associate Editor

Editorial Assistant

Staff Writer

Georganne Shirk Alice Stroh Laura Torrisi Yin Wong Allyn Bacher Ann Suh Alice Stroh Kimberly Buerkle

Haley Tomsheck Daniel Stein

D E S IG N

Torrisi Design Associates, Inc. P RODU C T ION

Production Manager

San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Wendy Russo

An Ensemble Travel® Group Publication Ensemble Vacations® is a publication of Ensemble Travel® ­Group. © January 2017 Ensemble Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without written permission of the publisher. Ensemble Travel Group, 256 West 38th Street, New York, NY 10018. Ensemble® Ensemble Travel® Ensemble® Hosted Cruises Ensemble® Hotel & Resort Collection Ensemble® On Location Ensemble® Villas & Vacation Homes Ensemble® Exclusives Ensemble® Experience Ensemble® Luxe Life and the floret design are registered and unregistered trademarks of Ensemble Travel, Inc.

AS WE ARE IN THE SEASON OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS, I challenge you to add one to your list: Travel more! What better way to start 2017 than with a plan to unwrap the gift box of new experiences, unique adventures, and different perspectives on our constantly changing world?! I make this resolution after I frantically worked my way through the end of 2016, only to find myself with a mountain of vacation time left to spend while running on empty. I hadn’t fed my soul with my greatest joy, travel. Happily, I found a last-minute trip to the Galápagos Islands with one of our preferred partners! (FYI, that time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a great time to book travel with air deals and tour specials galore!) Despite only 8 days between booking and departure, I managed to check off a bucket-list item at a great discount. The trip was wonderful and provided a much needed change in scenery and perspective, plus a few new friends too! Whether you are a planner or a fairly spontaneous traveler, make sure you have your travel wish list in mind and make a few of those wishes come true this year. Make yourself a priority and work in those “feed the soul” experiences. As I refine my 2017 resolutions, I vow to stay open to last-minute, opportunistic trips, relishing the excitement of the unplanned. I also vow to put a holiday on my calendar so I can savor the anticipation and know that regardless of the day-today, I have an adventure on the horizon. I hope our new magazine, Ensemble Vacations, provides you with travel inspiration for 2017. I am certain that your Ensemble-member travel consultant can make those travel resolutions a wonderful reality. Wishing you all the joys of travel,

Georganne Shirk Editor In Chief

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 1

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 1


C ONT E N TS

Winter 2017

42

D E ST I NAT I O N I N D E X

Alaska 10, 13, 38,62

Antarctica 15 Australia 11, 56 Bahamas 17 Bermuda 10 British Columbia

32

Features 48

10 Planning Ahead for 2017 & Beyond

Don’t miss out on these once-in-alifetime events around the world.

56 Rock in a Hard Place

MAX ANDERSON goes cage-diving with Great White sharks in South Australia.

18 New Ships, New Temptations The latest & greatest in cruising.

26 Istria à la Lidia

MARIO STOJANAC and MARY LUZ MEJIA explore the Italian culinary

66 High-Country Hikes and History in the Peruvian Andes TED CLEARY shares his adventures in

influence in Istria with famed chef Lidia Bastianich.

29 Walking through Italy

MARTHA CHAPMAN walks & sips her

way through Chianti.

32 The Montepulciano Wine Caper by NANCY HELLMRICH

Mother-daughter duo Michelle & Danielle share a memorable trip to Tuscany.

42 St. Barth’s: Luxurious Family Travel with French Flair by MICHELE PETERSON

Discover the perfect Caribbean family getaway.

Machu Picchu and beyond.

Departments 1

Letter from the Editor

4

Contributors

32, 35

Kentucky 10 Kenya 5 Louisiana 10 Massachusetts 11 Mexico 17, 39 Monaco 10 Mongolia 10, 11 New Mexico 11 New York 11 Peru 66 Quebec 10 Russia 10 Scotland 11, 21 South Africa 11 Spain 11 St. Barth’s 42 Tahiti 54, 74 Taiwan 10 Texas 10 Utah 10

48 U.S. City Spotlight: Chicago for All Seasons by AMY BIZZARRI

68 Frequent Traveler: The World is his Classroom Ted Cleary by SUZANNE GANNON

78 Traveler’s Notebook 2 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

5, 9

California 10 Costa Rica 10 Cuba 16 Denmark 13 England 10, 21 Florida 10 France 10, 11 Germany 11 Greece 13, 47 Hawaii 75 Hong Kong 10 Iceland 10 Illinois 48 Ireland 11, 21 Istria 26

Italy 10, 29,

Ensemble® Exclusive deals & offers.

56


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

EN J OY EU R O PE VOYAG ES aboard Crystal Symphony® From Baltic treasures and North Cape wonders to the art and romance of Antwerp and Paris, or the vineyards and museums from Bordeaux to Bilbao, take off next summer to explore Northern Europe with The World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise LineTM .

On journeys of 12 to 18 days, the contemporary Crystal Symphony becomes your home upon the sea, where elegantly spacious staterooms and suites – most with private verandah and all with indulgent amenities – cradle you in sublime comfort. Traveling from one fascinating destination to the next, you’ll relish the extraordinary service, space, quality and choices that have earned Crystal Cruises® more World’s Best awards than any other cruise line in history. On board, that means the gracious attentions of a Six Star staff, Michelin star-inspired cuisine and the only Nobu Matsuhisa restaurant at sea, an engaging program of personal enrichment and dazzling entertainment, and incredible options to rest and rejuvenate – think the only Feng Shui-designed Crystal Spa, or play and invigorate – the only Outdoor Fitness Garden and a true 360° Promenade Deck. Ashore, it means exciting, and insightful, discovery. Consider a brand new Baltic Legends itinerary next June, perfectly timed to coincide with Sweden’s Midsummer Eve and featuring multiple overnight stays in Zeebrugge, Copenhagen, Warnemünde (for Berlin) and St. Petersburg. For rare adventure, journey to Nordkapp by way of Norway’s spectacular fjords enjoying maiden calls in Kristiansund, Hammerfest and Brønnøysund, and an overnight in artsy Antwerp. Go sea kayaking in Geirangerfjord, white water rafting in Voss and take a helicopter over the Sunnmørsalpene Mountains from Ålesund. An August itinerary from Antwerp to Honfleur spotlights Edinburgh’s famed Military Tattoo with a dinner at the mythical castle, and includes a 2-night post-cruise overland adventure to Paris. Journey across the Bay of Biscay late next summer to visit the iconic Mont Saint-Michele near Saint-Malo and the Guggenheim’s treasures in Bilbao. For special offers from Crystal Cruises, please see page 84 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 3


C ON TRI BUTO R S

MAX ANDERSON has been a

MICHELE PETERSON is an

writer for 25 years. He was Deputy Travel Editor of Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper before moving to Australia to become a gold prospector in an outback town of 13 – the basis of his book Digger. He’s still fascinated by words, gold and the world’s largest island continent. Rock in a Hard Place, page 56.

award-winning writer who specializes in culinary, family and sun destination travel. Her work has appeared in more than 100 publications including Lonely Planet, Conde Nast, Fodor’s, Taste & Travel, 55 Plus and Virgin Atlantic as well as several popular travel anthologies. St. Barth’s: Luxurious Family Travel with French Flair, page 42.

Based in New York, awardwinning journalist SUZANNE GANNON covers travel and leisure, food and wine, and culture and design. Her work has appeared in Town & Country, The New York Times, Art & Antiques, The Wall Street Journal, and Executive Traveler. She has been a guest on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and published In the Garden with photographer Stacy Bass. The World is His Classroom, page 68.

NANCY HELLMRICH splits her time between Colorado, Florida, and travel adventures. A former advertising creative director and current owner of Awfully Nice Copy, she has studied in Europe, camped in the Sahara, sailed the Mediterranean, spa’d in the Caribbean, wintered in Scandinavia, hiked New Zealand, and wandered the vineyards of Australia. New Ships, New Temptations, page 18; The Montepulciano Wine Caper, page 32.

4 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

Since her first flight to Bermuda at age 12, Toronto-based MARTHA CHAPMAN is lucky enough to have checked 62 countries off her to do list. A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, she cites Italy as one of her favorites. “Stunning scenery, kind people and wonderful food. What more could you ask for in a vacation?” Walking Through Italy, page 29.

A NYC-based teacher, writer and artist, TED CLEARY has long been intrigued by maps, nature, and history, interests that fuel travel and feed right back into teaching and writing. Some recent travel has focused on glaciers, rain forests, and other areas being impacted by climate change. High-Country Hikes and History in the Peruvian Andes, page 66.

AMY BIZZARRI is an extreme

Having adopted a motto of “the couple that cooks and travels together, stays together,” MARIO STOJANAC and MARY LUZ MEJIA have been globetrotting for over a decade now. Their travels have taken them to over thirty countries, where they have been fortunate enough to spend a fair amount of their travel time in kitchens with top notch home cooks as well as high powered chefs. They can now be found traveling as a trio with their young daughter Nathalie, who has also fallen under the spell cast by airports, time zone changes, foreign languages and ever-changing menus. Istria à la Lidia, page 26.

Chicago history buff, foodie and freelance writer. When she’s not writing, you’ll most likely find her steaming Chicago-style hot tamales in her kitchen, biting into a jibarito, or sharing an atomic sundae at Margie’s candies. Amy is a regular contributor to the Choose Chicago, Chicago Board of Tourism and Hilton Mom Voyage. She also recently published two Chicago history and travel related books, Discovering Vintage Chicago and Iconic Chicago Dishes, Drinks and Desserts. Chicago For All Seasons, page 48.


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Beautiful Journeys for the Naturally Inquisitive

Honed by nearly 70 years of expertise, Alexander + Roberts’ enriching journeys bring you closer to the natural wonders and fascinating cultures of our world. Offered as upscale private journeys or small group tours of no more than 16 guests, these finely crafted experiences ensure unforgettable thrills with ample of time and space for personal reflection.

Each Alexander + Roberts trip is further enhanced by authentic regional dining and carefully selected accommodations – from luxury and boutique hotels to serene mountain lodges and the finest African safari camps.
Along the way, experienced guides who hail from the lands you’ll visit bring the people, history, traditions, and natural wonders of their homelands to life.

CANADA BY LAND, WATER & RAIL

CHIMPS & THE BIG FIVE IN KENYA

This extraordinary tour starts with a day cruise into British Columbia’s rugged fjords and the pristine wilderness of the Khutzeymateen Valley. Next, you’ll sip wine and share conversation with fellow travelers as you drink in panoramic views during a rail journey through Western Canada. Then it’s on to guided nature walks in Jasper National Park, Athabasca Falls, Columbia Icefield, Lake Louise, and a float trip along the beautiful Bow River.

This classic luxury game safari begins in the shadow of Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya highlands and finishes with a bang in the most abundant wildlife habitat on earth. Along the way, you’ll see herds of elephants up to 200 strong, commune with Kenya’s endangered chimpanzees, explore the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, and enjoy aerial views of the Great Rift Valley as you fly into the spectacular Maasai Mara.

To learn more about Alexander + Roberts journeys in a range of exotic global destinations, see page 78 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 5


WRITE THE NEXT

GREAT CHAPTER IN YOUR LIFE STORY

Terms & Conditions *Fares are based on Promo RH. Featured fares are per person, may vary by sailing date, based on double occupancy, are capacity controlled and are subject to change without prior notice, cruise only. Fares are in U.S. dollars. All savings amounts are included in the fares shown. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional and range from $210 to $255. Restrictions apply to early booking amenities, please contact your travel profession for full terms and conditions. Subject to availability. For more information


EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH HOLLAND AMERICA LINE Cruise in classic style to more than 400 destinations in the comfort of a wellappointed, mid size ship. Encounter fascinating lands and cultures. And make lasting memories on a Holland America Line cruise.

12-Day Fjords & Highlands Roundtrip Copenhagen ms Zuiderdam

OCEAN-VIEW FROM

2,329

5/17/17

$

Ensemble Exclusive: $75 onboard credit per stateroom

7-Day Alaskan Explorer Roundtrip Seattle ms Eurodam

OCEAN-VIEW FROM

1,229

5/20/17

$

Ensemble Exclusive: $75 onboard credit per stateroom

7-Day Canada & NE Discovery Boston to Montreal ms Veendam

5/27/17

OCEAN-VIEW FROM

999

$

Ensemble Exclusive:Up to $50 onboard credit per stateroom

For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

about our stateroom categories and suite descriptions, to view deck plans and for full terms and conditions applicable to your cruise, please refer to your hollandamerica.com or the appropriate Holland America brochure. Offers are capacity controlled, and may be modified or withdrawn without prior notice. Other restrictions may apply. Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands.


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

RU DI SODA MIN

Master Chef and Culinary Council Chairman, Chef Rudi was born in Austria and trained in France. His innovative approach has made him the most decorated chef on the world’s oceans.

C

ulinary

E

xcellence

to the

Power of Six Who’s the genius behind that Langoustine with Asian Pear? What’s the secret ingredient in the Petuna Ocean Trout? Whose Amaranth Salad was that tickling my taste buds? With the collective experience, passion, and creativity of six world-class chefs, Holland America Line’s Culinary Council® brings global expertise to dining across its fleet. Now, there are six delicious reasons to savor a journey with Holland America.

D AV I D B U R K E

A pioneer of contemporary American cuisine, Chef David is a restaurateur, author, and inventor (a dry-aging process for meat). He trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has been featured on both Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters.

MARK BEST

Standard-bearer of the new Australian cuisine, Chef Mark trained in France at L’Arpège and three-Michelin-star Gastro Temple before opening Sydney’s highly acclaimed Marque Restaurant.

J A C Q U E S TO R R E S

French-trained Master Chef and artisan chocolatier Jacques is a James Beard award winner. After rising to executive pastry chef at New York’s legendary Le Cirque, he opened a chocolate factory and stores throughout New York.

JONNIE BOER

Dutch-born Chef Jonnie is the driving force behind De Lebrije. Recognized as one of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” De Lebrije has earned a three-star Michelin rating every year since 2004.

E L I Z A B E T H FA L K N E R

Chef Elizabeth earned accolades for her San Francisco shop, Citizen Cake. A frequent judge and competitor on the Food Network, she also took first place in the prestigious World Pizza Championships in Naples, Italy.

For exclusive Holland America Line offers, please see pages 85-86, or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. 8 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


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Discover the

Canadian Rockies by Rail

Join us onboard Rocky Mountaineer and experience the awe-inspiring scenery of the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Rockies, complemented by delicious cuisine, captivating storytelling and five-star service. This unforgettable journey takes us back to a time when traveling was just as much about the journey as the destination. Guests from across the globe come to appreciate the exceptional onboard experience and to revel in the stunning Western Canadian and American scenery with endless views of old growth forests, glacier-capped mountain peaks and shimmering waterfalls. The voyage comes alive with Rocky Mountaineer’s onboard Hosts keeping guests engaged and entertained with stories of the passing region. With its impeccable onboard service, gourmet cuisine and luxurious surroundings, it is no wonder a Rocky Mountaineer rail vacation is considered by many to be one of the world’s ultimate travel experiences. One of Rocky Mountaineer’s most popular packages is the Circle Journey, which includes all of its exciting destinations, including Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Whistler, Vancouver, and Seattle. With a minimum of four days on the train, there is no limit to the wildlife sightings and breathtaking scenery along the journey.

Another option is the Coastal Package route, which connects the Emerald City of Seattle with the Canadian Rockies. The train hugs the Pacific Northwest coastline and, at times, water will be on both sides, giving the illusion that the train is floating on the glistening ocean. With all routes including Vancouver, experience Canadian culture, dine in vibrant restaurants, and stroll along stretches of metropolitan beaches. The Canadian Rockies offer unlimited options for both relaxation and adventure, and are the perfect way to start or end a journey. Rocky Mountaineer is more than an extraordinary trip – it is a feast for the senses. For special offers from Rocky Mountaineer please see page 81, or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 9


S E A S O N A L E V E N T S 2 01 7

PLANNING AHEAD FOR

2017+ BEYOND

South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Hunting with Eagles

Nov - Jan Western Mongolia

Feb 22 - 26 South Florida A star-studded, festival with seminars, tastings, and meals at some of the area’s hottest spots.

J A N

F E B

Jan 19 - 29 Sundance Film Festival Park City, Utah

Feb 1 Super Bowl LI Houston

Jan 28 - Feb 12 Quebec Winter Carnival Quebec City

Feb 11 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival Taipei, Taiwan

Winter sports, jaw-dropping snow sculptures, and general merriment abound in the world’s snow capital presided over by its official mascot, Bonhomme Carnaval.

Between 100,000 and 200,000 candle-lit lanterns inscribed with the hopes and desires of those in attendance illuminate a moon-lit sky. Feb 28 - Mar 8 Paris Fashion Week

Oct - Mar Central California Coast Monarch Butterfly Migration 10 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

Leatherback Sea Turtle Nesting and Hatching

Mar - Jul (Caribbean) Sep - Mar (Pacific) Costa Rica

America’s Cup

Hundreds of thousands of mother turtles arrive on both the Caribbean and Pacific shores to dig nests, drop eggs, and incubate them before the hatchlings emerge.

M A R

Mar 4 - 19 Iditarod Anchorage to Nome, Alaska Mushers and their dog-sled teams traverse 1,000 miles of rough terrain in wind, darkness, snow, and sub-zero temperatures in what is called the “Last Great Race on Earth.” Mar 23 - 25 Art Basel Hong Kong Asia’s preeminent international art fair featuring modern and contemporary works in a variety of media by established and emerging artists alike.

A P R

Apr 16 Easter Mass with Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica Rome Apr 28 - May 7 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival New Orleans Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, and Fats Domino were among the headliners at the first edition of this event in 1970 and the luminous tradition continues to this day.

May - Jun Bermuda The 35th America’s Cup will bring the best sailors and fastest boats together in a race for the oldest trophy in international sport.

M A Y

May 6 Kentucky Derby Louisville, Kentucky May 25—28 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix Monaco Hairpin corners, dizzying spirals and narrow tunnels require the best skills in the sport—and leave little margin for error—all against a glamorous backdrop. May 23—27 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show London Considered the most prestigious of the world’s flower shows, this is a showcase of the best in garden design.

J U N

Typically the second week of June to the first week of July White Nights St. Petersburg, Russia The sun does not descend below the horizon during this singular time of year, a romantic setting for river strolls and ballet premiers. Approximately Jun 21 Summer Solstice Iceland The longest day of the year in the Land of the Midnight Sun brings a host of activities including concerts and festivals, and hikes to waterfalls and geothermal pools.


Each year, like clockwork, in countries all over the world, locals pull out all the stops to celebrate culturally significant events. By timing your trips to coincide with these annual events, you can experience the ultimate in authentic cultural immersion.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Aug 4 - 28 Edinburgh, Scotland

Hunting with Eagles

Founded in 1947, it’s the world’s largest arts festival and features performances in theater, music, comedy, dance, spoken word, and circus acts.

J U L

Jul 4 - 15 Running of the Bulls Pamplona, Spain Jul Knysna Oyster Festival Knysna, South Africa 10 days of shucking, eating, farm tours, and recipe competitions on South Africa’s stunning western cape.

A U G

Aug 9 - 26 Women’s Rugby World Cup Belfast and Dublin Aug 28 - Sep 10 U.S. Open Tennis Flushing MeadowsCorona Park, Queens, New York Aug 30 La Tomatina Bunol, Spain Now into its eighth decade this is perhaps the world’s sloppiest food fight, drawing hurlers and tossers from around the world.

Nov - Jan Western Mongolia An ancient Kazakh tradition employing trained golden eagles in a hunt for prey. Fewer than 500 practicing falconers remain in this sport, which is as old as Genghis Khan.

S E P

Sep 5 - 10 Brimfield Antique Show Brimfield, Massachusetts A picker’s paradise, this vast outdoor show features everything from the finest artifacts to the stuff of which junkyards are made. Sep 8 - 12 Maison & Objet Paris

O C T

Oct 7 - 15 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Albuquerque, New Mexico The planet’s largest ballooning event and the world’s most photographed spectacle, this kaleidoscope of color in the sky launches from an area 54 football fields in size.

N O V

Late Nov - Late Dec Germany’s Christmas Markets Berlin, Stuttgart, Freiburg, Cologne, Dresden and nearly every city in between Held in towns and villages across the country these magical fairs put the emphasis on craft, selling traditional toys, wood carvings, candles, and lambskin shoes.

D E C

Dec 31 New Year’s Eve Sydney, Australia More than a million people gather at the harbor to witness the first major fireworks extravaganza broadcast to the world each New Year’s Eve.

Oct - Mar Central California Coast February is the peak of the October to March monarch butterfly migration season. If these two-way commuters spend the warmer months west of the Rockies, they’re likely to fill the skies on their way to the eucalyptus trees of places like Pacific Grove. Monarch Butterfly Migration Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 11


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

UNLOCKING THE WORLD’S CULINARY SECRETS

L

ike many travelers, you love sinking your heels into a new destination through the local food scene. Recently recognized as the cruise line of choice for foodies by Cruise Critic and Town & Country Travel, Oceania Cruises is an upscale cruise line that embraces the growing taste for culinary travel. The acclaimed line has garnered awards and attention for its unique culinary experiences both on board and in destinations around the world. Whether you’re in Barcelona, Bangkok or St. Barts, you’re

Aboard Oceania Cruises’ boutique hotel-style ships, you can

likely to be the one from your travel circle to discover the

enjoy several distinct gourmet restaurants serving everything

perfect restaurant that’s off the tourist radar but hip with the

from European-inspired dishes such as herb-crusted rotisserie

locals. You chat up the owner of the generations-old bakery

chicken and rustic Italian favorites like hand-rolled gnocchi

down a cobblestone alley that hordes of visitors trample

al pesto to exotic offerings like spicy duck and watermelon

right by. You’d take a good jaunt to a countryside winery

salad. Inspired by Jacques Pépin, the famed chef from several

or morning of cooking at a family-owned restaurant over

popular PBS cooking programs, author of countless cookbooks

museum lines and panoramic tours any day. If you’re honest,

and Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises, the

sometimes sightseeing is just a way to fill in the gaps between

talented chefs create culinary masterpieces from fresh artisanal

sampling tasty local dishes wherever you’re traveling.

ingredients and everything is impressively prepared à la minute.

12 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


New epicurean experiences are also waiting for you each morning. Spanning the languid shores of the Aegean Sea to the wild frontier of Alaska, here’s a look at some of Oceania Cruises’ top culinary explorations.

A Rugged Culinary Adventure: KETCHIKAN, ALASKA

New Nordic Panache: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Though Alaska may not typically be a region recognized for its culinary flair, a few Oceania Cruises tours offer the chance to fuse the great outdoors with the frontier state’s homegrown traditional cuisine – and fish that simply couldn’t be any fresher. One featuring an open-air skiff fishing trip along Alaska’s stunning southeastern coast is actually personalized to your skill level. Your catch eventually becomes your entrée during a gourmet campsite meal set among towering spruce and cedar trees. The freshly-caught fish is served bouillabaisse-style and paired with fire-warmed sourdough rolls and rhubarb-blueberry bread pudding.

The world’s culinary scene has been fascinated by Copenhagen in recent years, a compact city that showcases a considerable amount of gastronomic talent and 16 Michelinstarred restaurants, including Noma – which snagged the “World’s Best Restaurant” title for four consecutive years and Geranium, which has been awarded three stars. The Danes claim to culinary fame, New Nordic cuisine, focuses on simplicity, freshness, and hyper-local, sustainable ingredients. Beer aficionados will enjoy Oceania Cruises’ tour that offers an inside look at the city’s breweries, including Carlsberg and one of the top micro-breweries, Nørrebro Bryghus.

Greek Family Cooking Secrets: RHODES, GREECE

WITH OCEANIA CRUISES, you have access to six stylish ships traveling to over 365 alluring destinations across six continents – that’s thousands of unique epicurean tours, secrets from local culinary chefs and regional specialties to sate your appetite for culinary discovery.

The flavors of the Aegean come to life on this stunning Greek island graced with both gorgeous beaches and historic ruins. On one of the line’s popular Culinary Discovery Tours, learn the prized secrets of traditional Greek cooking as you spend the morning with a Greek family at Hatzikelis, their garden restaurant in the heart of the atmospheric Old Town. Learn how the family shops for fish and the menu of the day, help with some hands-on cooking and then enjoy a luncheon of authentic Greek classics and local wines amongst the splendor of this ancient city.

For special offers from Oceania Cruises, please see page 88 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 13


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Young, Fun & Carefree Maybe you’re too old for this … but you might know someone who isn’t. Someone whose life philosophy can be summed up with the hashtag #noregrets. Someone who spends way too much time online. Someone who recognizes that you only live once, but if you do it right, once is all you need.

We celebrate the extroverts. The introverts. The people who dance in the rain. The people who aren’t afraid to dream.

Our legacy is built on the moments we’ve seized, the opportunities we’ve grasped with two hands and never regretted.

Want a sneak peek at just a few bucket list items you can tick off with Contiki? Ready, set, go! See the Pyramids of Giza, bathe in the Blue Lagoon, stare in wonder at incredible Machu Picchu, learn to surf from the pros at a surf camp in Australia, visit Koh Phi Phi’s ‘the beach’, watch the world’s most iconic sunset in Santorini, awaken for the sunrise over the Sonoran Desert, watch a pizza demonstration in Rome at a family run pizzeria, go on an energy-packed Shotover Jet in New Zealand. The list goes on and on. Contiki trips give 18-35 year olds a chance to experience the world because they know that travel is all about experience. It’s a single moment that can change a life. It’s the people you meet who change your entire perspective. It’s a way of thinking, a philosophy. The original travel company for the young, fun, and carefree – Contiki has perfected the art of travel for 18 to 35-year-olds. Today, they offer more than 300 trips on 6 continents, 8 ways to travel, 5 ways to stay, well-honed teams on the ground, tons of immersive experiences, plus endless free time and options. And there’s no need to think twice about traveling alone. Over half of Contiki’s travelers go solo; the trips are all about shared experiences and making new, lifelong friends. Looking for a great gift for someone between the ages of 18 to 35? For special offers from Contiki, please see page 79 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

14 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


Explore Antarctica with the Leader in Luxury Expedition Cruising Choose from two extraordinary Antarctic expeditions that reveal the region at its stunning best. Set out on twice-daily shore excursions with the finest naturalist guides in the region, and explore the White Continent with the company with more than 25 years of polar cruising experience.

Classic Antarctica 12 Days | Dec 27, 2017; Jan 6, 2018 From $11,995 (was $14,495) Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands 17 Days | Dec 12, 2017; Jan 16, 2018 From $17,995 (was $20,995) Book a 2017–18 Antarctica voyage by March 31, 2017, and save up to $6,000 per cabin. For more information, please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Antarctica early booking discount is limited to double occupancy bookings only in cabin categories 1-3. Offer is not valid for single bookings, is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Other restrictions may apply. Š2016 Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC CST#2007274-20


7 NIGHTS FROM Sail into the heart of Cuba with Fathom. Become a part of history. Immerse yourself in the local cultures of Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.

1399

$

pp*

SAILINGS THROUGH MAY 28, 2017

For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent *

Terms & Conditions: Per person based on double occupancy. Price excludes taxes, fees, port expenses, gratuities and visa. Estimated taxes, fees and port expenses vary by sail date and range from $144.19 to $208 per person. Visa is $75 per person and gratuities estimated at $80.50 per person. Only applicable on Cuba Sailings 11/27/2016 - 5/28/2017. New bookings only. Not combinable with any other offers. Limited capacity and subject to change or cancellation at any time. © 2016 FATHOM TRAVEL LTD. FATHOM™ AND THE FATHOM LOGOS ARE TRADEMARKS OF FATHOM TRAVEL LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SHIP’S REGISTRY: BERMUDA.

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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To find your perfect paradise with a Travel Impressions getaway, please see page 81 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 17


New Ships, New Temptations

by NANCY HELLMRICH

Many a bottle of bubbly has met its demise in recent months as fabulous new ships were welcomed in lavish christening ceremonies all over the globe. With so many dazzling new vessels featuring everything from bold family adventures to quiet moments of intimate luxury … this could be your year to try something new.

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Unforgettable family adventures meet their match aboard Royal Caribbean’s big, bold Harmony of the Seas, where fun-loving cruisers are treated to the Ultimate Abyss 10-story water slide and multi-level Perfect Storm. Highlights of this Oasis-class ship include the treelined Central Park and seven iconic onboard neighborhoods, the Bionic Bar, the sea debut of the Broadway hit musical Grease, ice-skating, rock-climbing, two surf simulators, and VOOM – the fastest internet at sea.

18 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

ms Koningsdam

Seven Seas Explorer

Ushering in a new era of Pinnacle-class cruising, Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam offers light-filled spaces, fluid curves, and a sophisticated interplay between technology and elegance. With architectural elements inspired by the view from inside musical instruments, the ship’s public spaces make even a stroll between venues memorable. Other new features include the all-new Lincoln Center Stage, the World Stage with a 270-degree, high-definition screen, and new family staterooms accommodating up to five guests.

Christened by Princess Charlene of Monaco in July 2016 in a ceremony featuring world-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli, Seven Seas Explorer delivers on Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ special brand of all-inclusive luxury. Carrying just 750 guests, the ship boasts all-suite, all-balcony accommodations, one of the highest space ratios in the cruise industry, extravagant lounges, showplaces, restaurants, and a 3,875-square-foot Regent Suite with its own sauna, steam room, and spa.

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Christened in May 2016 in a ceremony featuring Norwegian soprano Sissel, the 930-guest, all-veranda MV Viking Sea is the second ship in the new Viking Ocean Cruises fleet. On board, cool Scandinavian design invites guests to relax and revel in light-filled, airy venues. Highlights include a main pool with a retractable roof, afternoon tea in the Wintergarden, al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace, a two-level Explorers’ Lounge, an open sports deck, Scandinavian spa services, and a groovy Snow Grotto.

Fresh from a Singapore christening featuring beloved soprano Sarah Brightman, Seabourn Encore boasts a new softness and curvaceous elegance that reflects the bespoke, ultra-luxury aesthetic found aboard private yachts. With just 300 ultra-luxurious suites and 12 expansive decks, guests enjoy copious amounts of personal space and highly personalized service. Onboard delights include private spa cabanas; exclusive new shows; and a new restaurant from the three-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller.

Five New Ships

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Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 19


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Better Views Are Just the Beginning R

edefining the window of opportunity for river cruisers worldwide, each Avalon Waterways Suite Ship® has two full decks of Panorama SuitesSM featuring beds that face the windows and the incredible views river cruising is famous for. In fact, 70 percent of Avalon Waterways’ staterooms offer travelers a unique point-of-view: One where the view is the whole point. In the average cruise cabin, the view from the bed never changes. Travelers are looking at the same scene throughout their voyage: The wall. Avalon had a better idea. They turned their beds so they face floor-to-ceiling windows. They angled the wall behind the bed – a design innovation that provided two additional benefits. It opened up each stateroom and bathroom, exclusively giving Avalon travelers more space and better views. 20 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

In terms of space, at 200-square-feet, Avalon’s Panorama Suites are 30 percent larger than the average stateroom. In fact, the smallest stateroom in the Avalon fleet is 172-square-feet. And in Southeast Asia, all staterooms measure a whopping 245-square-feet. Avalon also takes a different approach to the typical balcony. Instead of providing travelers with a traditional balcony, Avalon Waterways’ Suite Ships offer two full decks of suites with Open-Air Balconies®: Floorto-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows that open 7-feet wide.

With a focus on bringing the beauty of Europe or Southeast Asia inside, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies offer travelers a fresh air, panoramic cruising experience complete with epic views, in every weather condition, without compromising space. And when each room’s wall-to-wall panoramic window is closed, the OpenAir Balcony is transformed into a light, inviting and inspirationally designed sitting room that’s perfect for relaxing, reading a book or taking pleasure in a romantic dinner. Avalon’s Open-Air Balcony can be enjoyed any hour of the day, year round, adding comfort to the overall guest experience. Please see page 82 for exclusive Avalon Waterways offers, and contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.


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8 or 9 Day Vacation – 4 Star Tour

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Start in Glasgow, travel to the Isle of Skye and through the Highlands, visit castles, Culloden Battlefield, cruise Loch Lomond, and enjoy a tour and whisky tasting at Blair Athol Distillery. 3 departures per week, March to October From $1,698 – $2,628

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IRELAND & BRITAIN Independent Holiday

TASTE OF WALES & IRELAND Travel through the countrysides of Wales and Ireland, take a train ride through Snowdonia National Park, visit Welsh castles, kiss the Blarney Stone, and enjoy a Medieval Castle Banquet. Departs Fridays, April to October From $1,878 – $2,518

LUXURY CHAUFFEUR-DRIVE • Premium hotels • Customized itinerary with hotels and driver for 2-9 persons • Pre-booked attractions and visits also available

For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent

Scottish Highlands

• Diverse selection of vacation options including, escorted tours, group travel, self-drive and chauffeur-drive • Fully inclusive tours, yet plenty of free time • A wide range of options from 3-Star budget-friendly vacations to 5-Star indulgences Discover the CIE Tours $550+ Advantage – Did you know that most tour operators sell optional extras to clients while on tour? That policy can cost couples over $550 for options such as medieval banquets, dinner/ shows, walking tours and more. These features are included on all CIE Tours’ escorted programs to Ireland and Britain. This means you are free to enjoy your vacation without daily sales pitches or unexpected additional costs. With the CIE Tours $550+ Advantage, your vacation money goes a lot further!


live life luxuriously

Enjoy every day exactly as you wish while exploring the world’s most beautiful places. Everything is included — from flights to excursions and from gourmet dining to WiFi throughout the ship. Allow us to take care of every detail as you sail aboard our luxuriously appointed, perfectly-sized ships to more than 375 destinations in the company of an intimate group of newfound friends. You really can have it all aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises®.

T H E M O S T I N C LU S I V E LU X U RY E X P E R I E N C E T M


FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE-MEMBER TRAVEL AGENT.


BE PART OF THE LEGEND E M B A R K O N T H E WO R L D ’ S G R E AT E ST J O U R N E Y T H R O U G H B R E AT H TA K I N G S C E N E RY W I T H T H E VENICE SIMPLON-ORIENT-EXPRESS. OUR JOURNEYS TAKE YOU TO GREAT EUROPEAN CITIES INCLUDING VENICE, PRAGUE, BUDAPEST, BERLIN AND ISTANBUL.

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Belmond Road to Mandalay, Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar

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F O R M O R E I N F O R M A T I O N P L E A S E C O N T A C T Y O U R E N S E M B L E - M E M B E R T R AV E L A G E N T.

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H E L P S Y O U P L A N T H E P E R F E C T G E T A W AY.

Rome

INTR O D UC IN G T H E N EW C RYSTA L C RU I S ES ®, W H E R E A LL I N C LU S IVE I S A L L EXC LU S IVE. Join us aboard the illustrious Crystal Symphony® and Crystal Serenity® and discover how The World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™ has taken ocean travel to entirely new levels. And soon, our new Crystal Exclusive Class™ ships will refine every exquisite pillar — service, space, quality and choices — of the celebrated Crystal Experience.® These standards of perfection give discerning travelers all the reasons they need to set sail for the world’s most spectacular destinations. Remaining the World’s Best requires nothing less than this continued commitment. Welcome to the new Crystal,® where all inclusive is All Exclusive.

E N JOY E U ROP E VOYAG E S A B OA R D C RY STA L S Y M P H O N Y ®

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THE VOYAGES BELOW FEATURE THE SERVICES OF AN ENSEMBLE HOST, A COMPLIMENTARY SHORE EVENT AND A PRIVATE COCKTAIL RECEPTION.

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Fares From

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Oslo to Antwerp

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Antwerp to Honfleur†

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Western Europe

London/Tilbury to Lisbon

$11,380

$4,690

Voyage

Date

Days

Destination

Itinerary

7212

Jun 10

14

Baltic Sea & Russia

7215

Jul 16

18

North Cape

7216

Aug 3

12

7218

Aug 25

12

1

Includes complimentary 2-night post-cruise Honfleur/Paris land package

BOOK NOW FOR THE BEST AVAILABLE FARES. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE-MEMBER TRAVEL AGENT.

Cruise-Only Fares are per person in U.S. dollars, double occupancy, for category E2 on Crystal Symphony, include all promotional savings, apply to new bookings and do not include additional taxes, fees and port charges of $450-$845. Optional Personal Select Air program is available to purchase for full-fare, full-cruise guests whose travel originates from a U.S. or Canadian airport, and includes all government fees and taxes. All offers and fares may not be combinable with other promotions, apply to first two full-fare guests in stateroom or suite, are capacity-controlled, subject to availability and may be withdrawn or changed at any time without notice. All fares, itineraries, programs, policies and shore excursions are subject to change. Pricing and promotions are accurate at time of printing. Restrictions apply. See crystalcruises.com for complete terms and conditions of all offers. ©2016 Crystal Cruises, LLC. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas


ISTRIA

à la Lidia by MARIO STOJANAC and MARY LUZ MEJIA

Roman amphitheater in Pula

Istria à la Lidia 26 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


“Puno hvala!” I say, happy to thank the locals in our common native tongue. “Prego. Ništa” comes the response; its Italo-Croatian, the perfect embodiment of today’s Istria. This Croatian peninsula borders Italy and Slovenia, from where it draws its wonderfully eclectic influences. In fact, Istria has had strong links to Italy ever since the Roman Empire fought off tribes of fierce pirates (the Histri) in 177 B.C., though it was somewhat foretelling that the region would fall to various conquerors, including Napoleon and the Austro-Hungarian empire. Every time, as if under some kind of spiritual pull, the region would fall back under Venetian or Italian rule. Post World War II, it was Yugoslavia that benefitted from the spoils of battle, resulting in a large scale exodus of Italians, including one of Italy’s most famous daughters, Lidia Bastianich.

Calamari at Gina Restaurant

Mary Luz (right) at Gina Restaurant

Which brings this abrupt historical lesson full circle to modern-day Croatia, as we stand inside the city of Pula’s Arena, an impressive Roman cultural footprint in the shape of an amphitheatre. As the August sun beats down on us and reflects off our white stone surroundings, it’s difficult not to contemplate shade, chilled beverages and a civilized meal. With a knowing nod to each other, amongst the piles of amphora, I study my little red ‘food bible’, christened as such because it holds details of mealtime must-do’s, as recommended by Pula’s own Lidia Bastianich. Her home town recommendation is Restaurant Gina, three generations in and still going strong. On our drive there we ascend a hill into more suburban neighborhoods. We thank our lucky stars that Mary Luz knows Lidia, for gems like this, far from the walk-in tourist throngs, can be difficult to find. Deciding to eat inside, the stunning view of Stoja Cove accompanies our meal of just-caught, grilled squid dressed simply in olive oil and lemon juice. Apart from the food, our favorite feature is

Istria à la Lidia Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 27


the Malvazija wine on tap, crisp and refreshing – with very little alcoholic kick – a result, I suspect, of reduced sulphite levels in the unbottled vino. We eat well throughout Istria as Lidia’s knowledge extends beyond her birthplace. Just outside the northern town of Umag, we give our GPS, rental car (and marriage vows) a workout as we navigate tiny country roads through forested vistas in search of Konoba Bušcina. As we race around a bend, we’re greeted by neatly parked, German-plated luxury cars. We have arrived ... and we leave shortly after as we didn’t anticipate needing reservations!

Seaside town, Istria

Scampi Bušcina

Steak with truffles

Upon our return two days later, we are reminded of Istria’s appeal. Blessed with fantastic weather, access to fresh produce and proteins, and menus that reflect an Italian longing, it’s like visiting a compact and more affordable version of Tuscany. Surrounded by incredible olive oil, wines and a glut of truffles, delicious dining is always on the menu. We order scampi on palenta (polenta), and when the massive crustaceans arrive on their tomato broth-draped bed of yellow polenta, we wonder how to eat them without looking like savages. The answer, gleaned from observing our German neighbors, is to go at it with shears, both hands and plenty of gusto! Our final recommendation, Konoba Morgan, steers us towards the little town of Brtonigla. Konoba Morgan lies at the top of a steady hill (the base of which houses the award-winning Veralda winery). We dine outside amidst remnants of the previous night’s wedding trying to maintain its pure white dignity. The view of Cypress trees and neat rows of vines provides a perfect vista as we gorge on the reddest of tomatoes, caressed by olive oil, and salt crystals reflecting the Mediterranean sunlight. My steak, when it arrives, is perfect, all the more so for its accompanying crown of shaved truffles. Though the history of Istria is filled with hardship and conflict, recent times are undoubtedly happier. With its strong Italian roots and current Croatian ambience, this idyllic part of the world is ready to embrace its future as it anchors itself securely in its past – and visitors are all the more fortunate for it. b

View from Konoba Morgan

Istria à la Lidia 28 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

To plan your trip to Istria, please contact your Ensemblemember travel agent.


Walking through ITALY

by MARTHA CHAPMAN

Traveling at a human pace brings the countryside to life. “Chianti wine traditionally packaged in straw baskets,” say my scrawled notes, “as bottom of the bottle is round (cheaper to make) and needs base for stability.” Oh dear, I think, looking at my loopy writing. Just how much chianti had I consumed at this point? And then I remember. As I was writing we were walking through a sun-dappled vineyard

in Tuscany, learning about the famous wine – and I had yet to sample a drop of the stuff. I do remember the tasting afterward as being interesting, delicious and tons of fun. A pretty good description of our weeklong walking tour of Italy. In an era of high-speed trains, GPS

equipped rental cars and huge WiFi equipped motorcoaches, I’ve chosen a whole “new” method of touring Italy: my feet. “People are wanting to disconnect from technology and connect with nature,” says responsible travel expert Donna Lawrence. “And walking tours are the perfect way to do that.”

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Florence

Matera

One of the most fun aspects of these walking tours is that you are in a small group from around the world ... Mind you, the tours I have chosen are not exactly hardship hiking. On each of my three holidays I’ve stayed in comfortable inns and villas, had the luggage transported between stops, and traveled longer distances by public transport or mini-van.

group from around the world, so we have traveled with Brits, Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans. The time spent walking through the jaw-droppingly beautiful countryside is made even more enjoyable with chats about people’s hobbies, families and even the politics back home.

On our Chianti tour, days were spent wandering past olive groves and through medieval towns, sipping lattes in a sidewalk café or writing postcards poolside at our villa inn. There were also day trips included into nearby Florence (The culture! The museums! The leather market!) and charming Siena.

Obviously you don’t cover a huge amount of ground: it’s all about savoring moments, pausing to soak in the view, and enjoying insights into Italian culture.

One of the most fun aspects of these walking tours is that you are in a small

Walking through Italy 30 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

On another tour we stayed in Matera, the 2,000 year old, beautiful white city of caves. The old town seems to tumble down a valley of laneways and stairs, with restaurants, shops and even hotels located in the caves, once home to the peasant

citizenry. A bizarre sensation to wake up in a spacious cavern, furnished with a sitting area, private bath and – of course! – a flat-screen TV. Wilma Flintstone never had it so good. Though there are tour companies offering walking tours in Italy for independent travelers (they research routes, provide maps and even transport your luggage), I’ve have opted for guided group travel. The convenience and security of having the tour guide who speaks the local language, knows the destination intimately and yet is flexible enough to let you go and do your own thing if you wish is invaluable. One day, feeling walked-out, I opted to wander around the famous towered town of San Gimignano and


San Gimignano

Siena

It’s all about savoring moments, pausing to soak in the view, and enjoying insights into Italian culture. people watch, while the group racked up a few more kilometers in the sunshine below the town. No problem.

didn’t always boast elevators. The daily average distance we have covered ranges from 2.5 to 6 miles.

Each evening our guide would assemble the group outlining the plan for the next day, giving us an idea of how much walking we’d be doing, what to bring in our day packs and even how much money to bring along.

No special gear was needed, although these tours were admittedly rated leisurely. I did bring hiking boots and walking poles which prove invaluable along uneven or steep surfaces. A hat, lots of sunscreen and refillable water bottle and you are set as far as equipment goes.

Who’s suited to a walking tour? Obviously you have to enjoy a certain level of fitness – the companies will rate each itinerary according to the physical challenge. You should also be prepared to lug your own luggage up and down several flights of stairs, as buildings built in medieval times

Statistically, walking tour companies will tell you that their clients are 40+ (many 50+), and a mix of couples and singles – usually women traveling solo who love the convenience, security and sociability of small group travel (“It’s like a dinner

party every night!” one Aussie lady enthused). Yes it does help to be sociable as your group will be spending a lot of time together, and easy-going as itineraries may change according to the weather and group consensus. On my trips I travel with my sister, leaving our husbands behind as we do some great sisterly bonding and exploring. “Walking holidays are great for you physically and mentally – and easy on the environment,” says Donna Lawrence. Not a bad prescription for happy holiday memories! b To find a walking tour that’s right for you, contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Walking through Italy Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 31


THE

MONTEPULCIANO wine caper by NANCY HELLMRICH

Utterly unafraid and bursting with confidence, Danielle Beckmann grew up in Southern California knowing she wanted to be an actor. As an only child, her parents gave her lots of support. “They never said, ‘Have a fallback career!’ They just kind of let me fly.” So, a week after earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts, she took off for New York City, snagged a bartending gig to pay the bills, and started collecting acting credits.

The Montepulciano Wine Caper 32 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


Eight years later, with a healthy assortment of stage and screen performances under her belt – and a weakness for wine from Montepulciano, Italy – Danielle called her mother, to say she was planning a solo trip to Europe for her 30th birthday. Michelle, a yoga enthusiast, offered to spring for a week-long retreat in Italy as a gift. “This was a really big deal for us,” says Danielle, who happily agreed.

“You’re still the bold person you were.” After a couple of weeks exploring Amsterdam and Paris, Danielle took the train to Florence and met up with her Mom. “We did the Uffizi. We did the Accademia, saw the statue of David.” They bought leather purses and flashy sunglasses. They also ate gelato. “It was so good! We were stunned by the flavors – we were left speechless!”

Church of San Biagio, Montepulciano

On their second day, while wandering through Boboli Gardens, Michelle began to feel faint. “I think I’m jet lagged ...” Danielle recalls her Mom saying. “I also think I’m a little scared … because I haven’t traveled like this in a long time.” In her younger years, Michelle had been as gusty as Danielle. She’d traveled extensively and lived in Valencia, Spain for over a year. Now, she saw herself in contrast to her fearless daughter and felt her confidence waning. “I said, Mom, you are still the bold person you were!” says Danielle. So the two of them sat there in the shade for over an hour, working that special mother-daughter magic that builds confidence and powers dreams. After three days in Florence, they caught a train to Tuscany and joined the group from from Lotus7, Michelle’s yoga studio. Each morning they would meet for 7:30 a.m. yoga in the airy courtyard of their villa, then they’d take off on day trips into the surrounding countryside. Each evening, they returned home for 6:00 p.m. yoga followed by al fresco dinners, wine, music, and dancing.

The Montepulciano Wine Caper Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 33


“Do you know a Cecceralli?” Michelle’s grandparents were from a small town called Tassignano. So, one day, Michelle and Danielle set off to search for branches of their family tree. “Basically … we got out and started walking into cafés and knocking on doors, asking ‘Do you know a Cecceralli?’” Finally, they met an old man whose face lit up in response. “Cecceralli! Cecceralli!” he said, ushering them toward a home. They knocked on the door and two ladies answered. One of them was 92 years old – her mother had been a Cecceralli. Then another woman arrived on a bicycle. “Andiamo! Andiamo!” she gestured for the Americans to follow. Soon they came upon Flavia, another relative who had spent time with family in California where Michelle had grown up. Flavia spoke English so they shared memories and took photos together.

“There was Montepulciano, two bottles …” On the last day, Danielle suggested a tour of the Fanetti estate, where her favorite Montepulciano wine was made. “We got a tour of the cellars, we drank the wine … a bunch of us bought cases and sent them back to America. Elisabetta Fanetti gave me a bottle of wine [as a gift]. Mom got two bottles that she put in her suitcase to check.” The next morning, Danielle and Michelle headed to the airport. In the craziness of getting there on time, Michelle ended up not checking her bag, and the two parted ways for their respective flights. Of course, when Michelle reached security her wine was confiscated. Meanwhile, across the airport, Danielle’s flight had been cancelled. The airline graciously offered to put her up in a hotel for the night and fly her out the next day. She called Michelle to share the news, learned about the confiscated wine, and promptly marched her way over to security. Through a conversation with the security guards in broken Italian and English, Danielle was able to save the Montepulciano! Relieved, she tucked the bottles in her suitcase and caught a cab to the hotel.

“I feel more like a citizen of the world.” Prior to the trip, Danielle had moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn so arriving back home felt like another new adventure. “I didn’t come off the trip and say, ‘Oh, I wish I was back in Italy!’ I came off the trip saying ‘I have so much to look forward to … and I feel more like a citizen of the world, like I can really go anywhere.’” A month later, when Michelle came to visit, they broke out the last bottle of wine that had been rescued from the Florence airport and drank a victorious toast to their bold mother-daughter adventure. “If we were to do another mother-daughter trip,” says Danielle, “it would probably be Spain. I would love to see that country through my Mom’s eyes.” b

To plan your trip to Montepulciano, please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

The Montepulciano Wine Caper 34 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Ultimate

ITALY

Luxury Gold brings the secrets of Italy together to create a truly remarkable vacation. Whether you’re returning to Italy or visiting for the first time, these experiences will surely satisfy your wanderlust and make your vacation unforgettable.

VATICAN CITY, THE MUSEUMS & THE SISTINE CHAPEL

Among the metropolis of Rome lives the tiny, fortified country known as Vatican City. Surrounded by ancient walls and guarded by Swiss mercenaries, it holds some of the world’s greatest treasures. The impressive architecture of its palazzos, and the collection of artwork within them, makes a visit to the Vatican Museums a highlight for many travelers. Hundreds if not thousands of globetrotting tourists arrive every day to stand in a line that stretches for nearly a mile. While others waste precious vacation time lingering, Luxury Gold provides the ultimate VIP experience – private, early access to the Vatican Museums, and most importantly, to the elaborate Sistine Chapel, so you can admire Michelangelo’s masterfully painted ceiling without the crowds.

A VILLA IN TUSCANY

A FEAST FOR THE EPICURIOUS

The wide open spaces of Tuscany are a sweet retreat from the bustling city centers. The rustic Italian countryside is famous for spectacular landscapes, warm weather and world-renowned wines. Drive past acres of vineyards and sunflower meadows to Villa le Maschere, your home away from home for three leisurely nights.

The flavors of Italy are as varied as the country itself, with each region boasting its own unique cuisine. The chefs that inspire and excite our palates are praised equally for the Michelin Stars they earn and the family recipes they perfect.

This grand, late Renaissance, country house traces its origins to the 16th century and was carefully restored to its original magnificence. Delight in local specialty cuisine, robust Chianti and an atmosphere fit for a Medici – the perfect oasis for daily excursions to nearby Florence, Pisa and San Gimignano.

Internationally acclaimed restaurants and neighborhood trattorias both offer authentic dining experiences iconic to Italy. In Rome, visit a boutique pizzeria and sample Italian specialties in a relaxed, family-style setting. Across the Gulf of Naples, incredible vistas match the innovative cuisine of Michelin Chef Salvatore La Ragione. He brings flavors of the Mediterranean to life at Ristorante Mamma, perched atop the Isle of Capri.

For special offers from Luxury Gold, please see page 80 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 35


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

ONLY IN

On an Alaska Princess® cruise, the opportunity for discovery is endless with a variety of cruises that visit Glacier Bay National Park and the charming coastal towns of Alaska’s breathtaking Inside Passage, as well as the top-rated cruisetours that give the explorer an in-depth experience of the beautiful Alaskan landscape including the majestic Denali. And only on Princess, voted the Best Cruise Line in Alaska nine years running by the readers of Travel Weekly, guests will experience the award-winning North to Alaska program that brings local personalities, culture and cuisine onboard to immerse you in all things Alaska.

accompaniments for their fresh-caught seafood and a Princess chef will prepare it for lunch or dinner. From the ocean, to your table – it doesn’t get much fresher than this! Princess’ North to Alaska program also offers a chance to meet the REAL Alaskans onboard and ashore! Learn about life aboard the Aleutian Ballad with Captain David Lethin from Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”, hear first-hand the exhilarating tales from the mountain climbers who have conquered Denali and more. Plus, with Puppies in the Piazza, a NEW addition to the North to Alaska program, you’ll meet (and cuddle) some of Skagway’s newest sled dogs onboard as they prepare for a life of dog mushing!

In the spirit of the wild, Princess provides a variety of fresh Alaska seafood and living like a local is easy onboard because Princess partners with some of the best local eateries in Alaska to provide the true tastes of Alaska.

With so many exciting new programs and a greater variety than ever before, Princess offers even more ways to transform the way you see the world and ensure you come back new®.

And with Cook My Catch guests can reel in a fish on an excursion during the day, choose their preferred preparation and

For special offers from Princess Cruises, please see pages 89-91 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

38 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


ENCOUNTER

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE WONDERS OF MEXICO.

Delta Vacations offers unforgettable getaways. From spectacular white-sand beaches and vibrant offshore reefs to the crystal-clear waters of a cenote, Mexico is full of treasures destined to be discovered. Create your ideal escape with Delta Vacations by saving on a flight and hotel package, and: • Earn up to 7,500 bonus miles per person, in addition to credited flight miles, through the SkyMiles® program • Choose between more than 300 hotels and resorts in 15 destinations, from beachfront haciendas to luxurious all-inclusives • Get there faster with direct flights from New York (JFK) to Cancun and from Los Angeles to Los Cabos†

CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE-MEMBER TRAVEL AGENT TODAY

Offer subject to change without notice; other restrictions may apply. All SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/memberguide. Bonus miles do not count towards Medallion status or Million Miler™ status. Offers void where prohibited by law. †Flight routings subject to change without. ©2016 Delta Vacations DV30539 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 XX


FEEL FREE TO BASK IN ULTIMATE LUXURY. Hidden away at the top of the ship is The Haven by Norwegian®, our most luxurious and spacious accommodations. Enjoy exclusive keycard access to The Haven complex and tranquil courtyard with private pool and sundeck. Experience the personal service of a certified 24-hour butler. Consider it your own ship within a ship as you sail for 9 days aboard the award-winning Norwegian Getaway to Scandinavia and Russia. See Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Discover the splendors of St. Petersburg on an overnight stay. Stand in the same hall as Nobel Prize recipients while touring Stockholm’s City Hall. Whatever you choose to do you’ll experience the ultimate in freedom and flexibility with Norwegian. Come see why we were voted Europe’s Leading Cruise Line nine years in a row by the World Travel Awards.

EUROPE’S LEADING CRUISE LINE (9 YEARS IN A ROW) World Travel Awards

©2016 NCL CORP. LTD. SHIPS’ REGISTRY: BAHAMAS AND USA. 32204 9/16


The Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suite

NORWEGIAN GETAWAY 9-DAY BALTIC CAPITALS

ROUND-TRIP FROM COPENHAGEN

Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm (Nynshamn), Sweden

Concierge Service & 24-hour Certified Butler

The Haven Courtyard

St. Petersburg, Russia


ST. BARTH’S:

Luxurious Family Travel with French Flair by MICHELE PETERSON

Beach butlers, Michelin-trained chefs, designer boutiques, haute resorts – all set amidst a constellation of the Caribbean’s prettiest beaches. A family vacation on the posh island of Saint Barthélemy proves you don’t have to sacrifice luxury for kid-friendly appeal.


I sip a perfectly chilled glass of French rosé, my toes tucked in sand as powdery as chiffon. At the next table, two boys equipped with surfboards from the kids club snack on frites. A willowy model struts past, pivots and strikes a pose, her fuchsia sheath a bright silhouette against the turquoise blue Caribbean. Glamorous beachside fashion shows and kids watersports may not be typical ingredients of a family vacation, but on chic Saint Barthélemy, French flair and family time go together as naturally as caviar and champagne. A 10-minute flight from St. Maarten’s modern new Princess Juliana International airport, Saint Barthélemy (usually abbreviated as St. Barth’s or St. Bart’s) serves as a high wattage playground to celebrities, A-listers and billionaires. But this overseas collectivity of France is just as welcoming to travelers vacationing en famille. The French ideal of mixité promotes diversity of age, gender and social classes, meaning there are no adultonly resorts. A welcoming spirit is especially true at Cheval Blanc, a member of the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) collection. Set on glitzy Flamands beach, the resort’s soothing salmon pink and taupe décor is understated yet glamorous. No need to tote your own baby gear. Little ones are welcomed with beach strollers with parasols, mini-bathrobes with matching flip flops and baby cots decorated with seahorses and stars. Cheval Blanc’s alchemists create highly personalized experiences that go well beyond the usual kids club. Their goal is to celebrate creativity. When I arrive, a young girl is painting a watercolor under the direction of Kate Kova, an artist recognized as Artist of Distinction by the Quebec government. Other enrichment

activities include a mermaid encounter, an experience chosen by Kim and Kourtney Kardashian whose daughters swam with a “real” mermaid. It’s not all structured time. Kids can burn off energy while exploring lush tropical grounds offering unexpected glimpses of turtles, hummingbirds and iguanas. The surf-ready set can master gentle rolling waves with ease. When it’s time to retreat, don’t worry about disturbing the neighbors if your kids play endless games of Marco Polo – your two-bedroom Tropical Garden Suite comes equipped with its own pool for the ultimate in privacy. If you’re traveling with an entourage or just want to sprawl out, opt for a Flamands Villa; it comes equipped with a Majordome (concierge) who can arrange an excursion to secluded Colombier Beach, score dinner reservations or stock your fridge with Brie (and baby’s favorite juice). For those who want to venture beyond the resort, diversions include zipping around the island in an open-air Mini Moke beach buggy. Launched in the 1960s, these British-built precursors to the Mini Cooper look like Tonka trucks but have become a cult ride due to their fun factor. St. Barth’s is easy to explore, offering hashtag-worthy lookouts along with a few hairpin turns. If your kids are feeling adventurous, hike to the lighthouse for breezy, spectacular views.

For lunch, be sure to stop at La Plage, a beachfront restaurant on Baie de St. Jean, where the water is so calm even the tiniest tot can paddle peacefully. This highwattage beach is a fave among celebrities so don’t be surprised if you see Jessica Alba or Beyoncé and Jay-Z enjoying paparazzi-free family time here. Come evening, La Plage buzzes with DJs, fire spinners and dance parties, but afternoons are low key, a time to slip off your sandals, indulge in some grilled lobster and relax. With so much star power around, you’ll want to look your beach best. St. Barth’s is a duty free port so before the kids tucker out, head to Gustavia Harbour to browse the luxury boutiques within the Carré d’Or shopping enclave. You’ll find designer brands such as Hermès as well as boho chic Vanita Rosa, a French collection popular with Kate Moss and Jane Fonda. For the younger set, Black Swan carries Pate de Sable, the playful kid’s swimwear label founded in the French Riviera. Gustavia’s pretty port is also the spot to gawk at the mega-yachts owned by billionaires such as Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Still wondering if high-end St. Barth’s is a slice of paradise for families? The answer is mais oui! b To plan your family trip to St. Barth’s, contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 43


EXPERIENCE

NATURE’S MOST MAJESTIC DESTINATIONS IN SEABOURN STYLE They are literally poles apart, and yet Alaska and Antarctica share the same tantalizing attraction for travelers seeking nature’s most extravagant and unspoiled displays of beauty and grandeur. Today, you can experience the serene majesty and thrilling adventure of both of these far-flung destinations in consummate elegance and ease, aboard the world’s most luxurious ships.


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T

he intrepid polar explorers of yesteryear could never imagine watching whales breach right outside the windows of a world-class spa. Or enjoying gourmet cuisine as your elegant restaurant glides slowly past massive tabular icebergs adrift in a mirror-like sea. The hardy prospectors of the Klondike Gold Rush never sipped a refreshing artisanal cocktail while watching twilight gild the forested peaks of the Misty Fjords. Or greeted the cobalt-blue expanse of Hubbard Glacier over a breakfast of Eggs Benedict and fresh-squeezed juice served on a private veranda. During the Boreal Summer in Alaska and British Columbia, Seabourn guests can visit the colorful outposts born of America’s last great Gold Rush, and survey the shining glaciers, snowcapped peaks and virgin forests of the continent’s Last Frontier. They can encounter proud First Nations peoples preserving ancient traditions, and marvel at the eagles, bears, moose, salmon, otters, seals and whales that maintain an unbroken and abundant kinship with them amid the natural splendors of the Great Land. While the Southern Hemisphere basks in its Austral Summer, Seabourn guests can sail between two of South America’s most sophisticated and cosmopolitan cities, exploring the rustic towns and soaring peaks of the Patagonian Andes. They can thread the twisting Chilean Fjords between gleaming glaciers and polished granite cliffs. The crowning experience of their journey will be a span of days spent in the last unclaimed natural domain on earth – the White Continent of Antarctica. Here fantastically sculpted icebergs and vistas of mountains and glaciers glow in endless daylight. The skies are alive with seabirds and the shorelines and seas teem with penguins, seals, and whales. Daily Zodiac landings are escorted by a team of experts, including photography coaches ensuring you capture all your incomparable experiences.

Intimate Ships - Exceptional Places Only Seabourn voyages offer you these exceptional destinations in our signature blend of thrilling adventures with soulsoothing amenities. A veteran expedition team supplements Seabourn’s awardwinning hospitality staff throughout the cruise, offering insights about the wildlife and destinations in lectures and on open, un-crowded decks, and guiding special Ventures by Seabourn excursions in Zodiacs and kayaks from the ship’s Marina on select voyages. Seabourn’s skilled culinary staff takes full advantage of seasonal local bounty of fresh produce and seafood to prepare exceptional meals, enhanced by our culinary partnership with Michelin-starred American chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller. Alaska and Antarctica are among the bucket-list places that many seasoned travelers dream of seeing. Why not make your visit to these unforgettable locations as exceptional as the places themselves? See them on a Seabourn voyage – in an incomparable style that is as magnificent as the destination.

For special offers from Seabourn please see page 94, or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 45


GREECE

FLEXIBLE ISLAND HOPPING

our flexible Island programs are the perfect programs for you, whether this is your first time to Greece, or you’ve visited many times before! Pick and choose the islands you’d like to visit, sit back and relax! We will take care of all the details…

Athens with Three Islands

11 Days

from

$1,600

(2) Athens • (3) Island • (2) Island • (3) Island

INCLUDED FEATURES

•Hotel accommodation for 10 nights (*) •Daily buffet breakfast •All transfers •Inter-island transportation by ferry or flight •Document holder and luggage tags •Hotel taxes and service charges (*) Choose any three islands from the following: Crete (must be included), Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos

For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Conditions: Price is per person, land only based on double occupancy. Additional restrictions may apply.


U.S. CITY SPOTLIGHT

CH IC AG O FOR ALL SEASONS

by AMY BIZZARRI

SHOP

➊ IWAN RIES

Iwan Ries and Company has supplied pipe smokers with fine tobacco and select pipes since 1857, making it the oldest family-owned tobacco shop in the country. This atmospheric shop, located in the Adler and Sullivan designed Jewelers Building, offers the largest selection of pipe tobaccos in the world, as well as over 15,000 in-stock pipes.

➋ OPTIMO HATS

Beloved for its bold architecture, brilliant museums, foodie hotspots and legendary music and sports scenes, Chicago offers a hip, urban vibe amidst stately skyscrapers. Located along a gorgeous blue stretch of the great Lake Michigan, the so-called Windy City shines no matter the season.

Chicago has always been a trend-setting, hat-wearing town. Handcrafted with love in Chicago, Optimo hats are collectors’ items. The display windows of this small shop in the historic Monadnock Building are lined with perhaps the most beautiful hats you’ll ever encounter.

S AVO R

➊ TRENCHERMAN Housed in a former bathhouse in trendy Wicker Park, Trenchmen offers a sleek, vintage vibe with a menu inspired by Chicago’s eclectic, ethnic neighborhoods.

➋ THE BERGOFF

Since 1898, the iconic Berghoff has been serving GermanAmerican cuisine with a side of culture. Sip a pint of the namesake draught lager barside, dig into a delectable corned beef sandwich and let yourself be transported back to Gilded Age Chicago.

48 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

➌ GIBSON’S

In a city known for its chophouses, Gibson’s goes above and beyond. Prepare yourself for juicy, top-notch steaks and plenty of people watching at this swanky Gold Coast original.

➍ MINDY’S HOT CHOCOLATE This hip, family-friendly American eatery is beloved for its savory seasonal fare and ultra-rich desserts. Ten prized hot cocoas featuring house made marshmallows round out the sweet menu.

➌ MARSHALL FIELD’S

Ask any Chicagoan the name of the third largest department store in the world that stands proudly on Chicago’s great State Street, and they’ll likely answer “Marshall Field’s.” Though it was acquired by Macy’s, Inc. in 2005, most Chicagoans refuse to acknowledge the name change to Macy’s. Expect unparalleled customer service, a wide selection of upscale goods and gorgeous interior architectural details, including a Louis Comfort Tiffany mosaic vaulted ceiling.


STAY A RT S A N D C U LT U R E

➊ ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO Founded in 1979, the world class Art Institute of Chicago boasts over 260,000 works of art, from the mummy case of Paankhenamun to Grant Wood’s American Gothic. Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884, Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks are other mustsee masterpieces.

➋ CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM The Chicago History Museum documents the city’s rapid growth from fur trading settlement to modern metropolis. Items of note in the museum’s treasure trove include George Washington’s compass, Abraham Lincoln’s deathbed, and the first passenger car to operate on the Chicago ‘L’ system in 1893.

PARK HYATT CHICAGO Chicago, Ilinois, U.S.A. The most sophisticated and exclusive of this city’s luxury hotels — is the perfect embodiment of pampered services and indulgent amenities. The hotel boasts museum quality works of art, warm and inviting decor, award-winning dining in NoMI Kitchen, a prime Magnificent Mile setting, and a personal service team dedicated to ensuring a remarkable experience. Spectacular city views await guests in accommodations that feature butler and clothes pressing services, 24-hour concierge, DVD player, plush robes, and wireless Internet. Sleek décor includes king-sized beds, glass desks, and elegant baths with walk-in shower and oversized tub.

Ensemble Exclusives: • Full American breakfast for two daily • Room upgrade at time of check-in when available • $100 hotel credit per room, per stay • Early check-in and late check-out when available

C H I C AG O A N Y T I M E O F T H E Y E A R

Greet the spring flowers at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. Step into this secret garden from the Prairiestyle gate on Fullerton Avenue and you’ll be greeted with perhaps the most meditative green spot in the city. Let yourself be lulled into a Zen mood by the gentle sound of the splashing waterfall and the spring pastels the great Midwestern prairie flower palette.

➌ CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER Once the city’s central library, the Chicago Cultural Center now serves as a city cultural magnet, showcasing music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions and family programming — all free of cost. Preston Bradley Hall, on the third floor, features the largest Tiffany stained-glass dome in the world at 38 feet in diameter crafted with over 30,000 pieces of glass

➍ MILLENNIUM PARK

Four major art installations make Millennium Park Chicago’s grand, stroll-worthy tribute to the second millennium: the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a state-ofthe-art bandshell; the digital, interactive Crown Fountain; the lush, 2.5 acre Lurie Garden; and Cloud Gate, Anish Kapoor’s 110-ton bean-shaped sculpture, which reflects the city’s skyline in its seamless, stainless steel plates.

Soak up the summer sun at North Avenue Beach. Nothing says summer in Chicago more than a sunny day spent splashing in the waves of a Lake Michigan Beach. All 26 miles of Chicago’s sandy lakefront are managed by the Chicago Park District and are always free and open to the public.

Leaf peep in Lincoln Park. Step out onto the upper floor observatory of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, formerly the Chicago Academy of Sciences, and catch a bird’s eye view of the park in all its fall splendor.

Enjoy cozy cocktails with a view of the winter woods at North Pond Restaurant. Originally a warming hut for chilly ice skaters built in 1912, the North Pond Restaurant lies at the very edge of a pond, nestled in the woods of Lincoln Park. With its Arts and Crafts design and captivating views of both the park and the city skyline, it’s the perfect place to enjoy warm cocktails fireside as snowflakes descend upon the city.

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 49


THIS IS THE BIGGEST, BOLDEST ADVENTURE YET


Ultimate A byss

Bionic Bar

Broadway Musical Gre ase

THIS IS NOT A CRUISE. THIS IS AN ACTION-PACKED JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME. It’s plunging down the sea’s tallest slide — Ultimate Abyss SM. Or the twisting, turning waterslide trio, The Perfect Storm SM. Feasting on dishes from Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine and toasting the robotic bartenders at Bionic Bar ®. Hand jiving to hit Broadway musical Grease. It’s retreating to jaw-dropping accommodations in Royal Suite Class — complete with Royal Genies who take your VIP status shipwide. All while island hopping to the most exciting locales in the Caribbean — including the private destination of Labadee ®. This is Harmony of the Seas SM.

For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

*Features vary by ship. ©2016 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas. 16054063 • 11/22/16


Exclusive

NON-STOP Flights to

Exotic Destinations

FROM OVER 20 U.S. CITIES

CANCUN & RIVIERA MAYA Atlanta | Buffalo | Charlotte | Cincinnati | Columbus | Indianapolis | Memphis Miami | Nashville | New Orleans | Newark | Pittsburgh | Tampa | Windsor [ONTARIO]

PUNTA CANA Atlanta | Baltimore | Buffalo | Charlotte | Cincinnati | Cleveland | Columbus | Dallas | Detroit Houston Indianapolis | Miami | Nashville | New Orleans | Newark | Pittsburgh | Tampa

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND Baltimore | Boston | Chicago | Cincinnati | Cleveland | Dallas | Detroit | Houston Nashville | New Orleans | Newark | Philadelphia | Pittsburgh

JAMAICA Atlanta | Cincinnati | Cleveland | Dallas | Pittsburgh Vacation Express is now your first stop for great vacation packages which include airfare to Mexico & the Caribbean. In addition to scheduled-air flights nationwide, we offer exclusive non-stop charter flights from over 20 cities across the US! These exclusive non-stop flights offer 4, 5, 6 and 7-night vacation packages including airfare, an amazing resort and all taxes to save you more so you can make the most out of your vacation.

Go for the Fun, Go All-Inclusive!

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Experience OVER 25 YEARS of Flying with EXCLUSIVE VACATION PACKAGES Exclusive Non-Stop Flights from Over 20 Gateways

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For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. Vacation Express public charter operated by Allegiant Air, Dominican Wings, Sunwing Airlines, Swift Air, LLC, VivaAerobus or Volaris. See Operator Participant Agreement for details.

vacexpress_ensemble_winter16.indd 1

11/29/16 5:43 PM


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We know that you don’t want to just observe the world. You want to dive into it, climb it, relish its flavors, and get to know its people. That’s why every itinerary, every experience, every day and overnight, we believe in opening up the world. The world is officially open.

A

DreamVacation

is not something you take lying down. We’ve partnered with the best local experts around the world to deliver one-of-akind, authentic experiences unique to Celebrity Cruises®, from invigorating Wellness Rituals to exciting family Tour Challenges. Whether enjoying a fully-customizable Private JourneySM, indulging in a premium Celebrity ExclusiveSM, savoring traditional local cuisine with World Flavors, or taking advantage of our new overnight port calls with Evenings Around the World experiences, our Uniquely Celebrity tours will turn an already memorable vacation into the extraordinary. Exhilarating days of discovering the world deserve an equally wonderful place to recharge. Revel in stylish design. Sink into exquisite bedding. Bask in the breathtaking views. Our array of luxurious accommodations has been artfully created to make your stay warm and welcoming. And the over-the-top perks of our AquaClass®, Concierge Class, and Suite Class will transform your stay into an entirely new category of bliss. Every day here is filled with a fun-loving agenda of options that could have you dancing in a high-energy Zumba class or shopping in our world-class boutiques. Here, every member of the family can always be doing what they love at the same time. From wine tastings to exciting Xbox competitions, we make fun possible. For everyone. For special offers from Celebrity Cruises please see page 83, or contact your Ensemblemember travel agent.

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 53


SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Adelaide

Sydney

EYRE PENINSULA

ROCK in a HARD PLACE

Spurred on by AC/DC and Steven Spielberg, writer Max Anderson visits a far-flung island off South Australia to get a little face-time with a Great White shark. For those about to rock – we salute you!

by MAX ANDERSON

Australia’s Great White sharks like to rock. In fact, after five years of pumping music into the ocean via waterproof speakers, the skipper of Adventure Bay Charter’s Shark Warrior says that the world’s most feared predator has developed a special taste for those wild men of heavy rock, AC/DC.

domes of granite are dotted with hundreds of New Zealand fur seals, mostly females with pups. When a lurid rainbow fills the sky, it adds to a feeling of having slipped your moorings and drifted into a strange and exotic world – one where sane people get into the water with Great White sharks.

“Yep, they love it,” says Kym Shepperd as he straps me into a harness of lead weights. “Back in Black, TNT, Thunderstruck… It’s the vibrations in the water. The theory is they sense them and swim in to check out the source, thinking it’s injured prey.”

There are four places in the world where you can cage-dive with Great Whites: South Africa, California, Mexico and here, in South Australia.

He gives the weight belt a final tug. “The other theory is they’ve just got good taste in music. Who doesn’t like AC/DC at 9 o’clock in the morning?” Rays of sunshine occasionally punch through the slate-grey clouds, lighting up the barren Neptune Islands. These remote

The Neptune Islands are 2.5 hours sailing time off a hardworking town called Port Lincoln – which in turn is on the tip of Eyre Peninsula, a vast shark tooth of land that pokes out into some of the world’s cleanest and richest seas. The Shark Warrior leaves at dawn from Port Lincoln Marina, home to the largest fishing fleet in the Southern Hemisphere. On our way out, we pass through an honor-guard of trawlers that salutes the sunrise Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 57


with derricks used to haul in prawns, crayfish, tuna, crab and abalone.

I peer down into the opening of the cage. How did that AC/DC song go? I’m on the highhhhhway to hell…

Of course, cage-diving is all about the food chain. Some 500 Great White sharks are known to stop at the Neptune Islands to snack on seals, sustaining them on a migratory path that still baffles Australian scientists and haunts Australian surfers. It means shark sightings are reasonably dependable year-round, supporting three cage-dive operators in Port Lincoln and attracting some 15,000 visitors wanting to see a Great White.

I step down into the water, insulated against the cold by fresh coffee, a ham-and-cheese toasty and a thick wetsuit. But the shock of immersion still causes me to hyperventilate into my regulator, sending up noisy streams of silver bubbles.

Two of the operators use fish guts ‘chum’ or ‘berley’ – to draw sharks to their boats. The Shark Warrior however has rumbled a less bloody way to excite the predators’ curiosity. Skipper Kym drops the speaker over the side of the dive boat and the rock starts pumping. He then uses a crane to lower a glass viewing pod (offering space for six people to maintain a dry vigil) as well as a very substantial steel cage which can accommodate six divers. Submerged in water that is clear and cold, the cage bumps occasionally against the back of the boat. The skipper takes a dangling air regulator, and gives it a quick squirt: PSSHHHT! “OK,” he says. “Here’s your reg. Mask is on. You’re looking good.”

58 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

Soon there are six of us in the cage and since none of us have diving licenses, we flounder a little as we acclimatize to the alien surrounds of clarion blue waters, freezing currents and schools of trevally that circle the steel bars. If anything was out there watching us, we’d appear stricken – indeed, as stricken as a cage full of seal pups separated from their mothers. When my breathing slows, I realize I can hear something. It’s the strains of AC/DC – Angus Young’s guitar riff revving up for another howl down the highway. The output from the speakers is tiny, barely discernible, yet it’s definitely there; calling them. If there’s one piece of music we identify with Great White sharks, it’s the piece that is only two notes long – an F followed by an F-sharp, played on a double bass. Ask any kid how it goes: Durrr-nuh. Actually, this indelible cultural signature owes some of its origins to these exact waters.


EYRE PENINSULA Begin your Eyre Peninsula adventure at the capital Port Lincoln, reached via a 45-minute flight out of Adelaide or by a six-hour drive.

If there’s one piece of music we identify with Great White sharks, it’s the piece that is only two notes long – an F followed by an F-sharp, played on a double bass. In 1974, a young director called Steven Spielberg sent a film unit to the waters off Port Lincoln to get live footage of Great Whites for his new movie project, Jaws. To stay faithful to the scale of his super-sized shark, he had a small cage specially fabricated and put a short-stature diver inside it. While filming about five miles from the Neptunes, a Great White savaged the cage and provided footage so dramatic that Spielberg rewrote the ending of the film so he could use it. (Richard Dreyfus’ character was originally scripted to be eaten by the giant shark of Amity Island, but thanks to the ferocious attentions of the real shark of Neptune Island, he ends up living to survive the movie.)

While in Port Lincoln, you can do the Great White encounters, as well as half-day ‘swim with sea lions’ tours and a variety of off-road adventures into the dunes and cliffs of Port Lincoln National Park. Fishing charters also take guests out into the wild blue yonder to wrangle the like of deep-sea tuna; if you’d prefer to stay on the golden beaches. At stunning Baird Bay, you can swim with dolphins and sea lions in the same body of water. And in the nearby town of Streaky Bay, you can motor out into the turquoise waters to hunt and gather your own seafood platter (nicely washed down with an Australian sparkling wine). Inland, at the top of the peninsula, you’ll find the 1.5 billion-year-old Gawler Ranges. This little-visited part of the world is home to low hills, salt lakes, ancient river beds, curious rock formations and evocative old sheep stations – as well as kangaroos, wallabies and emus.

… Something grips my shoulder. It’s the diver next to me, and he’s pointing: There! There!

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 59


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I’m also shocked that something so big can manifest out of nowhere, although I was warned about this by Skipper Kym during our briefing: “Don’t expect to see them coming or hear them coming,” he said, “and they don’t come with Jaws music. They are the ultimate stealth predator. One minute there’s nothing, the next minute you’re looking at a dirty big shark.” Or a dirty big shark is looking at you. The Great White veers its course ever-so-gently and casts a cold eye on the strange cage of seal pups suspended on their air-lines. The exhilaration of the encounter is intense. And so is the next – and the next, and the next, and the next. And at 4 p.m., after the cage and pod are hoisted out of the water, the boat makes its way back to Port Lincoln, buoyed with the thrill of it all.

The shark is nearly 15 feet long – longer than an SUV – and weighing around a ton. It’s languid and self-satisfied, almost presidential with power. Am I scared? No I’m not, but I’m excited enough to illicit a long howl into my regulator, emitting a stream of celebratory bubbles.

Maybe it’s the party atmosphere, maybe it’s the shared beers – or maybe it’s the rock music being played in the wheelhouse as we cut a homeward course through the waves; but, I swear, a few of us have a swagger as we disembark. b

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: THE STATE THAT MAKES YOU GO WOW A little over two hours flying time from Sydney, Adelaide in South Australia is your gateway to a trifecta of experiences including wine, outback and wildlife – rather conveniently abbreviated to WOW . WILDLIFE

OUTBACK

WINE

Kangaroo Island has come to prominence in the past decade for its unrivalled opportunity to see Australian native wildlife. Kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and echidnas are all prolific; dolphins, whales and sea lions are also regular visitors. Seal Bay hosts a thriving population of Australian sea lions and is known for its guided ranger walks through the colony.

The Australian Outback is an idea as much as a place, a triangulation of solace, isolation and pioneering resilience. That said, you know it once you’re in it! The Flinders Ranges are low, ancient mountains some six hours’ drive north of Adelaide and definitely belong to the ‘brutal-yetbeautiful’ category of landscapes. You can hike trails over ridgelines and into gorges to experience what the Outback really means, with wildlife encounters at every turn.

South Australia produces over half the nation’s prodigious output of vino. Within an hour’s drive of Adelaide, you’ll discover the producer of Australia’s most expensive wine (Penfolds, still producing ‘Grange’ after 65 years), some of the world’s oldest continually-producing vineyards (Langmeil’s vines were planted by German settlers in 1843) and arguably the world’s most famous creek, an idyllic spot in the Barossa once farmed by a gentleman called Jacob.

To book your trip to South Australia, please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. 60 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Life, Uninterrupted Every moment is yours to do with exactly as you wish. Behind you, the shoreline melts into the horizon. Ahead, lies uninterrupted ocean and days filled with music, dancing, laughter, dining, and priceless rejuvenation. This special time, set aside just for you, is a weeklong Transatlantic Crossing aboard the most luxurious of ocean vessels.

SAIL AWAY ON A TRANSATLANTIC VOYAGE

Aboard Cunard’s iconic ocean liner, an endless array of options presents itself. You could mingle with an historian, meet a musical idol, or pick the brain of an entrepreneur. That author you admire is hosting a Q&A, and graduates from the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts are leading a workshop. Then, of course, there’s Champagne Tea, appointments at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, and glorious evenings filled with dazzling performances, music, and dance. SPECIAL EVENTS CRUISES HEIGHTEN THE ALLURE

Cunard transatlantic journeys are made even more enticing by special event sailings, featuring scintillating onboard guests, themed activities, and bespoke shore excursions.

If haute couture is your weakness, consider Cunard’s annual Transatlantic Fashion Week – departing August 31, 2017 and September 2, 2018 – featuring glamorous fashion shows, exhibitions, fashion industry guests, hosted dinners, and mingling with Fashion College graduates and models from a leading agency. If your predilection is stargazing, don’t miss Cunard’s Transatlantic Space Week, departing October 6, 2017 to coincide with International World Space Week. On board, you’ll have the chance to converse with experts in astronomy, astrophysics, aerospace, and astronautics and revel in the mysteries of the cosmos in the world’s only Planetarium at Sea. Cunard’s event cruises span the gamut from two very exciting anniversary voyages to arts and literature, flower festivals, big band- and opera-themed voyages, and more. For more details, please see page 92 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.


discover the great land with the #1 cruise line in alaska

12-night Denali Explorer Cruisetour Coral or Island Princess® | Vancouver to Fairbanks | May – Sep 2017 Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $238 per person are additional, and are subject to change.

fares from

$1,948*

Contact your Ensemble-member travel agent to plan your Alaska vacation today! exclusive amenities: • Music of Denali dinner theater. • Tundra Wilderness Tour upgrade. • 4 breakfasts and 1 dinner at Mt. McK inley Princess Wilderness Lodge®

*$1,948 fare is based on category ID on Island Princess® sailing 5/10/17 on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other dates may vary. Fares are per person, non-air, cruise-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two passengers in a stateroom. These fares do not apply to singles or third/fourth-berth passengers. This offer is capacity controlled and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past passenger discount, including onboard credits. Offer is not transferable and is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older and receive this offer. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please refer to princess.com for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings. Offer may combine with other offers such as group onboard credits, limited time offers and Military benefits. Fares for other categories or sail dates may vary. ©2016, Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry


REDEFINING THE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY The last we checked, people still traveled to see. Which is precisely why we made our Panorama SuitesSM on our Suite Ships® 30% larger than the industry standard, and created an expansive opening that blurs the line between outside and in—and yesterday and today. Our wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows open wider than any other window, creating river cruising’s one and only Open-Air Balcony®— an open invitation to discover and dream.

For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

RECEIVE PREPAID GRATUITIES ON SELECT 2017 EUROPE RIVER CRUISES* *Book a select 2017 Avalon Europe river cruise through an Ensemble Agency and get the standard prepaid cruise gratuities included for the full length of the cruise portion of the vacation. Must be booked, under deposit and discount applied by December 31, 2017 for travel at select times in 2017. Combinable with other offers EXCEPT Travel Agent Discounts and groups. Applies to 2017 bookings only. Offer reliant on space availability. Not applicable to groups or custom tours. Not applicable on TBA space. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. May be withdrawn at any time.


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

GET THE

PARTY STARTED

with Breathless Resorts & Spas and Apple Vacations!

Welcome to the party! Located in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, Punta Cana and Montego Bay, Breathless Resorts & Spas raise the bar on the allinclusive getaway and offer adult-only oceanfront vacation experiences in spectacular beachfront settings for the sophisticated and social traveler. Focused on an affable, club-like atmosphere with an elevated focus on energy, nightlife and themed events, Breathless Resorts & Spas are the perfect setting to mix, mingle and meet new people from around the world. Its unique, vibrant atmosphere, characterized by spirited activities, live music, nightly performances and entertainment, and special weekly and monthly themed events, creates the hottest beach scene in Mexico and the Caribbean for singles, couples and friends. In addition to its captivating atmosphere, Breathless Resorts & Spas boast luxe and modern accommodations and a high-end dining and drinks experience. Specialty themed restaurants feature communal tables and unique culinary experiences while trendsetting bars and lounges serve top-shelf spirits and handcrafted cocktails. At Breathless Resorts & Spas, guests will revel in elevated levels of service, personalized attention and world-class spas as well as the contemporary and luxurious inclusions of the Unlimited-Luxury® experience, where everything is included.

Apple Vacations is your one-stop-shop for booking a vacation. Whether you book an

air-inclusive or hotel only vacation package, Apple Vacations includes round-trip transfers between the destination airport and hotel. You can relax knowing that your transportation is taken care of for no additional cost, unlike other travel sites that charge up to $100 per person for transfers. Tired of layovers and inconvenient flight times?

Our Exclusive Vacation Flights are frequently among the few – or only – non-stop options to your destination. Plus, most feature convenient morning departures and evening returns, to give you the most time in paradise. Don’t see Exclusive Vacation Flights from your city? No worries, we work with most major scheduled air carriers on our airinclusive vacation packages, so we’ll get you beachside in no time. Throughout our years as the leading name in all-inclusive vacations, we’ve won an award or two. As reigning “Best Tour Operator” to Mexico for 12 years running, we’ll do everything possible to uphold our reputation and make your vacation great. For special offers please see page 78, or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 65


High-Country Hikes and History in the

Peruvian Andes

by TED CLEARY

Qorikancha

Las Salineras de Mara 66 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

Ollantaytambo


A

t Cuzco airport, the big basin of coca leaves at arrivals was a nice touch: a little something to help acclimate to the altitude. At 3,399m (11,152ft), Cuzco and the Sacred Valley boast elevations up to twice as high as Denver’s, so it can take a day or two to adjust to the thinner air. Our first afternoon, we enjoyed an easy leg-stretcher in hand-tended cornfields, among shaven rows of post-harvest stubble; even by the next day we were doing 10km hikes in the highlands, so we adapted just fine, as do most visitors, so no one should let altitude keep them from this beautiful and culturally-rich region of the Andes. Despite her knee pain from lingering workout strain, my girlfriend Maneesha joined me for twice-a-day hikes atop windy ridges, along canyons and rivers, and into the bucolic Huertas de Yucay – very peaceful garden-fields that back up a good mile into the hill, watered by gravity-fed irrigation channels carefully maintained by farmers for generations. Several fields were lorded over by solitary bulls. Along with Ollantaytambo, an impressive Inca fortress and still-living town, we threaded our way through Las Salineras de Mara, a long mountain-flank of salt pools and drying terraces extending hundreds of meters down the side of a valley. At the top, a thin, intensely saline stream, perhaps only a foot wide, issues from a fissure in the rock to flow through a matrix of tiny canals to feed the shallow, shelf-like pans harvested for salt since Inca times. In Cuzco, the ancient Inca capitol, we saw layers of history vividly and symbolically revealed at Qorikancha, the heart of Inca religion at the time Pizarro galloped in with Spanish steel and horses. Dedicated to Inti, the sun god, the temple complex of perfectly-fitted stones and lavish gold was looted and partly destroyed to make way for El Convento de Santo Domingo. Several temple chambers were spared and plastered over to provide interior walls for the church and friary: thus the conquering

Machu Picchu

All around soar the high Andes, reaching for the sun, and the steep defiles and passing clouds plunge much of the sharply-folded landscape into deep shadow. culture literally entombed “the pagan past.” After several generations, the walled-up Inca temple had been almost entirely forgotten, erased from history, but then a massive 1950 earthquake demolished much of Cuzco and El Convento, exposing the masterful Inca masonry underneath, now on full view. A day trip from Cuzco is the mountaintop masterpiece of urban architecture harmoniously integrated to landscape: Machu Picchu, cloud city of the Incas. Snug clusters of honeycombed ruins, and green, llama-grazed plazas sweep across the saddle between singular peaks. All around soar the high Andes, reaching for the sun, and the steep defiles and passing clouds plunge much of the sharplyfolded landscape into deep shadow.

terraced ruins, crosses several mountain passes (one as high as 13,800 feet), and enters microclimates where you can find orchids and other rare plants growing nowhere else but in that exact nook of the Andes. Awakening one morning, I unzipped my tent to see that we’d camped above the clouds: the sun had risen through a sea of vapor to shine between the peaks, black and jagged like islands.

This year we rode a bus up the steep, snaking road from Aguas Calientes, but a decade back I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; if you have the time, legs, and lungs for it, this multi-day trek is unmatchable: following stone-paved 14th century footpaths, the hike touches

After an inspiring week of high-country hikes, history, and photography, we made the most of our time in Peru by visiting its vastly different Amazon region for a sensory bath of rainforest, riverboats and pink dolphins, but that’s another story for another time. b

To plan your trip to the Peruvian Andes, please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 67


P RO F ILE : F R EQUEN T TRAVE LE R

The World is his Classroom Ted Cleary On the road, a teacher becomes a student. by SUZANNE GANNON

If there’s a single attribute that comes across in a conversation with New Yorker Ted Cleary, it’s his affability. The trait has served him well in a career of teaching, tutoring, and academic coaching. But it has also served him well on the road when charming a passport control officer in Northern Ireland with a landing card that listed his occupation as “leech gatherer,” for instance, or when sussing out the most scenic route to a destination with the help of a rental-car agent. When Cleary’s affability blends with his innate curiosity and accompanying philosophical bent, it equips him to be the world-class frequent traveler who has set foot on five continents.

When did your love affair with travel begin? When I was three I traveled with my mother to Ireland. Some of my earliest memories date to that plane trip, including my first glimpse of clouds from above – they looked like mashed potatoes – and the I Dream of Genie flight attendant smiling at me, and then remarking to my mother, “He likes peas.”

Why do you keep it up? This is not an original thought, but travel broadens the mind. I’ve found that if you have a really knock-out experience when you’re 25, it stays with you. It can inform your choices and your sensibilities as you go forward in life.

Is there a single day that stands out in your life’s itinerary? In Myanmar with friends I went to Bagan and climbed a nearby volcano plug surrounded by a spiral stairway of 777 steps with monkeys eating peanuts. It was like Devils Tower in Wyoming only at the top there were these white shrines with golden spires. We then took a balloon ride at sunset over the 1,000 temples that gleamed with gold.

Highlights? Last year, I traveled to southern Patagonia 68 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

and found it shockingly beautiful. I have also been to the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon in one trip—the mountains and then a massive basin, which was such a contrast. Then there was India for a family wedding and Bhutan where the scent of a million pines at 16,000 feet was the best smell in the world.

Do you repeat? I usually don’t because it’s a big world, money is finite, and life is short. But in 2001 I was so blown away by the sights, sounds, and strangeness of the isolated nation of Myanmar that I forsook the camera and just let all the impressions wash over me like warm ocean waves. The next year I went back and spent more time with the camera. The viewfinder frames the world in a narrower way than does the naked eye, but good photographs enable pleasure and sharing with others. b


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Live Big. Breathe Deep.™

ES C APE TO BREATHLESS AND J OIN THE PARTY! Located on prime beachfront locations in Punta Cana, Riviera Maya, Cabo San Lucas and Montego Bay, Jamaica, chic and ultra-modern Breathless Resorts & Spas elevate the party to unparalleled levels. Experience the many pleasures of Unlimited-Luxury® for adults 18 & over, where most everything is included... Every gourmet meal served at a multitude of trendy restaurants, every fine wine and cocktail, every daytime activity and nighttime adventure. Plus, of course, your elegant suite featuring exceptional amenities, chic décor, complimentary mini bar and 24-hour room service served on your private balcony or terrace. Meet, mix and mingle in a tropical paradise featuring live music, gala parties and spectacular shows. Stay connected with free WiFi and free international calling. Experience more of your destination with Sip, Savor & See, and enjoy included drinks, dinner and live entertainment at select neighboring resorts.

Experience Unlimited-Luxury® where everything is included in: Dominican Republic: Punta Cana Jamaica: Montego Bay (Late 2016) | Mexico: Los Cabos • Playa del Carmen (2017) Riviera Cancun (Apr 2016)

Apple Vacations, the World’s #1 Vacation Company to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, makes getting there easy and affordable with non-stop Exclusive Vacation Flights from departure cities coast to coast! Non-stop airport/hotel transfers are included-an Apple Vacations Exclusive! For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

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Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 69


A R I V ER CR U I SI N G E X PER I E N CE LI K E N O OT H ER . Let AmaWaterways introduce you to a world where dramatic sights are met with innovative and luxurious ships – your beautiful home away from home. Savor our award-winning chef prepared cuisine with the freshest local ingredients. Enjoy included shore excursions along with hiking and guided biking – bold adventures as active as you choose to be. Join us aboard the highest rated ships in Europe.


SAIL ABOARD THE HIGHEST RATED SHIPS IN EUROPE

top 10 out of 310 ships reviewed

For more information, please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

ART LOVER’S AN

DREAM COME TRUE

Imagine luxuriating in the presence of a Chirico as you cruise Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Getting lost in a Miró en route to Barcelona. Or discovering a Beatriz Milhazes off the coast of Brazil. All from the comfort of your seat in an inspiring new seaside café. Beginning this spring, your love of the arts has a delightful new place to play.

Art appreciation takes to the sea By day, the Art’s Café aboard the ultraluxurious small ship Silver Muse rivals your favorite fine art gallery as a place to see and be seen perusing thought-provoking exhibitions featuring works from a variety of artists. Here, an inviting interior café gives way to a relaxing open-air terrace, making the Art’s Café an ideal gathering place to satisfy mid-day cravings with refreshing beverages and deli-style cuisine. As evening roles around, the venue is transformed into a lively cocktail lounge, perfect for toasting the day’s activities as you drink in the coastal scenery.

72 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

Arriving in April 2017, Silver Muse, the newest addition to Silversea’s distinctive fleet, infuses your ocean journey with an abundance of personal space, hypnotic seascapes, and mesmerizing moonlit nights. Accommodating just 596 guests, and boasting a wealth of highly coveted larger suites, she is the smallest new ship in ultra-luxury cruising. This unique focus on quality over quantity ensures every guest is treated to the very essence of the Silversea brand – the intimacy and extraordinary level of personal service, the luxury and all-inclusive lifestyle.

Revel in the sublime Silversea lifestyle Aboard Silver Muse, you’ll find a cornucopia of trendsetting concepts, including: spacious suites, most with private verandas; connecting suites that keep you close to your loved ones; a larger share of premium-style suites that are so often in demand; a service ratio of nearly one-to-one; and the highest passengerto-space ratio at sea. What’s more, a breathtaking scope of outdoor spaces – including an enormous pool deck and three outdoor dining venues – ensure you are never denied the endless allure of the ocean.


A breathtaking scope of outdoor spaces – including an enormous pool deck and three outdoor dining venues – ensure you are never denied the endless allure of the ocean. Amidst this luxury of space are opportunities to indulge in facials, body wraps, and massages in The Spa by Silversea. Refine your exercise regimen with personal training sessions in the elite Fitness Centre. Relax with a good book beside the pool. Mingle with new friends in the Observation Lounge or gather in the Art’s Café for pre-dinner cocktails and conversation about your day. After dark, thrilling shows in L’Opera Theatre rival the day’s adventures ashore and cognac toasts are shared in the Connoisseur’s Corner. Onboard gratuities are, of course, included, as are champagne, wine, and

spirits, in-suite bars with your preferred beverages, complimentary WiFi, and butler service for every suite.

Savor an array of transcendent cuisines Aboard Silver Muse, eight alluring dining venues offer the finest and widest culinary options available in ultra-luxury cruising today. La Dame by Relais & Châteaux features a bespoke menu by chefs who are skilled in the French culinary arts. La Terrazza brings sustainable ingredients together in authentic Italian recipes.

Regina Margherita serves traditional favorites that reflect Silversea’s Italian heritage. Indochine evokes a sense of exotic mystery with tantalizing new tastes, while Kabuki brings the Japanese passion for tradition and performance to life. Atlantide presents the best the sea has to offer, including royal crab, blue lobster, and Verbena-infused red snapper. Silver Note offers small plate, tapas-style dishes bursting with mouth-watering flavors. And Hot Rocks serves up fresh, healthy ingredients cooked before your eyes on a sizzling lava stone.

To learn more about Silversea and the divine, new Silver Muse, please see page 95, or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 73


Hav a le affa wÄąth otic a TAHITI | FRENCH POLYNESIA | FIJI | SOUTH PACIFIC

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50% off all-inclusive fares on all voyages plus included airfare from Los Angeles on all sailings of The Gauguin!

m/s Paul Gauguin

For more information please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Discover paradise at the Grand Hyatt Kaua’i Resort & Spa, where nature’s spectacular setting is its legacy. Set on 50 acres fronting a soothing white sand beach, the resort unfolds among lush gardens and pristine lagoons. Classic Hawaiian style architecture featuring open courtyards and walkways keeps the elegant atmosphere informal and reflective of Hawaii’s climate and culture. Sheer beauty and an unprecedented commitment to service excellence make this resort a standout. Strongly committed to environmental conservation and preservation of natural resources, this luxury resort has it all, from a veritable water playground with a lava-rock river pool, waterslide, and saltwater lagoon to 18-holes of championship golf at the Poipu Bay Resort. Sample the delicious flavors of the island at the resort’s restaurants. And for a Hawaiian spa experience like no other, Anara Spa offers treatments rooted in traditional healing methods in an open-air garden setting.

LIVE

Aloha

W I T H H YAT T R E S O RT S

Located on 40 spectacular oceanfront acres on famed Ka’anapali Beach, the AAA 4-Diamond award winning Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa offers unlimited activities and amenities in a setting of tropical luxury. This standout among Maui hotels truly offers something for everyone: a 16-inch computerized telescope for studying the stars; 750,000-gallon pool with a 150-foot lava tube water slide; children’s activity pool; an extensive collection of Asian art; manicured grounds and exotic wildlife; tennis; children’s program; 150,000 square feet of meeting space; nightly entertainment including “Drums of the Pacific” Luau; nine award winning restaurants and lounges; and plenty of space to take advantage of Maui’s glorious sunsets. Kamaha’o Spa and Athletic Club offer breathtaking views of the Pacific and the island of Lanai. Guestrooms feature a sleek, contemporary Hawaiian design that results in a welcoming guestroom that feels uniquely local. Each room features a private lanai to enjoy panoramic views.

For special offers on these Hyatt Resorts, please see page 79 or contact your Ensemble-member travel agent. Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 75


2016 TRAVEL + LEISURE

#1 RIVER CRUISE LINE

Inspired by Europe. Perfected by Uniworld. A L L- I N C L U S I V E L U X U RY A B OA R D T H E WO R L D ’ S B E S T R I V E R C R U I S E L I N E When it comes to luxurious river cruising, the difference is all in the details. Uniworld delivers an unsurpassed travel experience in Europe, with spectacular scenery, superb quality and all-inclusive value. Uniworld’s iconic ships are floating boutique hotels, renowned for their welcoming ambiance and old-world craftsmanship. Equally acclaimed for its exceptional service, Uniworld has one of the most enviable staff-to-guest ratios in river cruising. Guests enjoy ultra-personalized attention and thoughtful amenities such as concierge service and 24-hour in-room

dining, and guests staying in suites receive extra pampering from butlers trained to Buckingham Palace standards. All-inclusive fares also include gourmet cuisine showcasing farm-to-table ingredients, served with a selection of fine wines, brand name spirits and craft beers curated by Uniworld’s onboard sommeliers. Uniworld’s unsurpassed combination of one-of-a-kind ships, meticulously planned itineraries and choice of excursions has earned the company such accolades as the “#1 River Cruise Line” from Travel + Leisure readers.


SPECIAL ENSEMBLE MEMBER-ONLY SAVINGS Save up to $600 per person, plus enjoy shipboard credit of up to $200 per person on select 2017 itineraries and departures.*

For more information, please contact your Ensemble-member travel agent.

Savings and shipboard credit listed in USD. Savings and shipboard credit are per person, and applicable to select 2017 itineraries and departure dates only; if forfeited, no cash reimbursement will be given. Savings and shipboard credit are combinable with Uniworld’s River Heritage Club savings and other promotional offers, excluding all air offers. Promo code must be mentioned at time of booking to receive savings and shipboard credit; promo code cannot be applied after booking has been made. Offers are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time. Other restrictions may apply. For complete details, general information, and terms and conditions applicable to all Uniworld trips, please contact your Travel Agent. CST #2075415-20


T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Chimps + The Big Five in Kenya

Canada by Land, Water + Rail

• 9 days on safari in Kenya

• 9 days touring Canada

• Roundtrip Nairobi

• Prince Rupert to Calgary

• Select departures February 20 – October 2, 2017

• Select departures June 6 – August 25, 2017

• From $5,899 per person, land only

• From $4,799 per person, land only

• Web ID: EV1338

• Web ID: EV1339

This classic luxury safari takes you from the shadow of Kilimanjaro and the Mt. Kenya highlands, home to rare and endangered species, deep into the Maasai Mara – the most abundant wildlife habitat on Earth. Our private conservancy in the central highlands under the watchful gaze of Mt. Kenya is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa.

Discover the wildlife and stunning coastal scenery of British Columbia’s temperate rainforest, home to the largest grizzly population on the planet. Enjoy a thrilling 2-day, all-daylight rail journey through Western Canada and across the Continental Divide. And behold the spectacles of Lake Louise and Maligne Lake.

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NSEMBLE®

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Save $250 per person off the price shown. Save an additional $300 per person when you pay in full at time of booking. Book by March 31, 2017.

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NSEMBL E ®

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Save $250 per person off the price shown. Save an additional $300 per person when you pay in full at time of booking. Book by March 31, 2017.

Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

Breathless Los Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa

• 5 nights at Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

• 5 nights at Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa

• Riviera Maya, Mexico

• Los Cabos, Mexico

• August 19 – October 31, 2017

• August 19 – October 31, 2017

• From $1,275 per person, UnlimitedLuxury®, Allure Junior Suite Tropical View

• From $1,465 per person, UnlimitedLuxury®, Allure Suite • Web ID: EV1288

• Web ID: EV1287 Vibrant, chic and ultra-modern, Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa invites you to elevate the party to unparalleled levels. Lux and modern suites are divided among three unique areas, each with distinct character and appeal. This adults-only oasis offers all of the benefits of Unlimited-Luxury® where everything is included — unlimited premium beverages at hip bars and lounges, and unlimited gourmet meals at trendy restaurants.

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Save $50 per person + Free nonstop transfers + $200 resort coupons per room per stay + One complimentary round of golf per adult per day. Book by February 28, 2017.

78 Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017

The chic, modern and hip Breathless Cabo San Lucas is located on Medano beach, the safest swimmable beach in Cabo San Lucas and just steps away from the infamous Cabo San Lucas nightlife. 169 ultracontemporary suites with private furnished balconies and ocean or marina views are complemented by the Unlimited-Luxury® experience. Breathless Cabo San Lucas is the hottest resort in Cabo San Lucas with an exclusive Party Calendar - from sensuality shows to mega dance parties, the experience is always hot, exciting, and vivacious.

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Save $50 per person + Free nonstop transfers + $200 resort coupons per room per stay. Book by February 28, 2017.


For reservations, call us today.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

• 5 nights at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

• 5 nights at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

• Koloa, Hawaii

• Lahaina, Hawaii

• January 3 – December 20, 2017

• January 3 – December 20, 2017

• From $1,409 per person, Partial Ocean View Room

• From $959 per person, Resort View Room

• Web ID: EV1295

• Web ID: EV1296

Discover the wonders of the Garden Isle at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, set along the soothing white sands of Poipu, on Kauai’s sunny south shore. Spend the day zip lining, surfing, kayaking or scuba diving among rare sea turtles and luminous fish. Play 18 holes on the championship Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, adjacent to the hotel. And relax, refresh and recharge with a visit to Anara Spa.

This breathtaking resort has been awarded AAA Four Diamond Rating for 21 consecutive years, and is a vacation paradise where you are free to relax, indulge, and be adventurous. Spend the day pampering yourself at the Marilyn Monroe™ Spa, play a round of championship golf at Royal Ka’anapali Course and Ka’anapali Kai Course, or hit the court for a tennis match with family. Go snorkeling at Black Rock, enjoy our authentic Polynesian Lu’au, and ride the Pacific waves at the white sand beach.

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Every 5th night Free + Air Credit + Daily Buffet Breakfast for two. Book now.

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European Inspiration

Big Indochina Adventure

• 20 days touring Western Europe

• 27 days touring Indochina

• London to Paris

• Bangkok to Hanoi

• April 1 – December 31, 2017

• April 1 – December 31, 2017

• From $3,359 per person, twin share, land only

• From $4,039 per person, twin share, land only

• Web ID: EV1297

• Web ID: EV1298

A few weeks up your sleeve to really discover the west of Europe - no running around maniac style? Coasting around the best spots on The European Inspiration trip is your answer. With 2-nights in each major location – Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Venice, Rome, Florence, Lucerne, Paris - you’ll settle into the groove of Europe & know which places deserve a round two.

Sharpen your chopstick skills & clear a month of your calendar; this is so much more than a vacation. Included internal flights & a well planned trip will see you fishing with locals in Vietnam, being blessed by Monks in Thailand, exploring limestone caves in Laos and pulling up at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat in a tuk-tuk. No big deal.

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Save 10% + $50 optional excursion voucher. Book by March 31, 2017.

Ensemble Vacations Winter 2017 79


T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Ultimate Italy

Spain & Portugal in Style

• 13 days touring Italy

• 14 days touring Spain & Portugal

• Rome to Venice

• Barcelona to Madrid

• April – October, 2017

• April – October, 2017

• From $5,650 per person, land only • Web ID: EV1313

• From $4,975 per person, land only

Thanks to local expertise that few can match, Insight brings the secrets of Italy together to create a truly remarkable experience. Make the most of your out-of-hours access and be among the first to gaze upon the intricacies of the Sistine Chapel. Unlock the mysteries of exceptional Italian cuisine. Uncover the delights of Cinque Terre. Travel from Rome to Capri, Perugia, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, and Venice.

It’s undeniable, Spain and Portugal offer countless ways to draw you in, and you can experience them all with Insight. From the unmatched creative flair on display at every turn in Barcelona to the architectural wonder of Evora, our Spain & Portugal in Style itinerary introduces you to the most enticing and beguiling aspects of the Iberian Peninsula, with an equally charming level of luxury – from Barcelona to Valencia, Granada, Seville, Lisbon, Evora and Madrid.

• Web ID: EV1314

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7.5% Early Payment Discount (off the price shown). Ask our agency about other exclusive offers. Book by February 28, 2017.

7.5% Early Payment Discount (off the price shown). Ask our agency about other exclusive offers. Book by February 28, 2017.

Romantic Moorea

Moorea & Bora Bora

• 5 nights at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa

• 4 nights at InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa and 3 nights at InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort

• Select departures April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018

• Select departures April 1 – December 10, 2017

• From $1,199 per person, Garden Bungalow with private plunge pool

• From $2,399 per person, Lanai room/ Beach Bungalow

• Web ID: EV1315

• Web ID: EV1316

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, the only 5-star resort on Moorea, is located in front of the lushest coral garden of the island with beautiful views of the lagoon. The resort’s complimentary facilities including gym, tennis court, paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkeling gear allow guests to be active when they choose to, or to relax with a Spa visit and traditional massage. Honeymooners receive a small bottle of champagne.

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Receive a 7,000 XPF resort credit + Breakfast daily + Complimentary black pearl + Roundtrip transfers + Early checkin/late check-out subject to availability. Book now.

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The InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort is located to the south side of the main island, at Matira point. This is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Nestled between scenic mountains and a tropical lagoon, the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa rests in an idyllic location to experience authentic French Polynesia. Honeymooners receive a gift and small bottle of champagne in Moorea and a small bottle of champagne in Bora Bora.

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Receive a special Polynesian gift and beach bag + 20% off at Helene Spa + Souvenir T-shirt and Pareo (sarong) + Breakfast daily + Interisland flight transfers. Book now.


For reservations, call us today.

Canadian Rockies Getaway

Coastal Passage Western Explorer

• 9 days touring the Canadian Rockies, including 4 days onboard Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf Service

• 11 days touring the Canadian Rockies, including 3 days onboard Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf Service

• Roundtrip Vancouver

• Seattle to Calgary

• Select departures April 24 – October 9, 2017

• Select departures May 19 – September 15, 2017

• From $5,079 per person, GoldLeaf Service

• From $5,319 per person, GoldLeaf Service

• Web ID: EV1327

• Web ID: EV1328

Breathtaking scenery of glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountains and ferocious rivers. All daylight, all delight. The custom-designed, bi-level, glass-domed GoldLeaf Service coach puts you right in the middle of the awe-inspiring scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Take in the dazzling vistas upstairs, and enjoy delicious meals downstairs. GoldLeaf Service is quite simply, as good as it gets.

This route serves up the crème de la crème of Western Canada with a little bit of Americana on top. This unique rail experience connects the cosmopolitan cities of Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, B.C. to the breathtaking Canadian Rockies. Guests will experience an all daylight journey onboard Rocky Mountaineer traveling along the Pacific Ocean’s sparkling coastline.

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Receive one free dinner at your hotel. Book by March 31, 2017.

Receive one free dinner at your hotel. Book by March 31, 2017.

The Cove Atlantis

Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort

• 5 nights at The Cove Atlantis

• 5 nights at Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort

• Paradise Island, Bahamas

• Los Cabos, Mexico

• February 1 – July 31, 2017

• August 19 – December 22, 2017

• From $1,808 per person, Ocean Suite

• From $994 per person, Junior Suite Garden View with Unlimited Luxury®

• Web ID: EV1356

• Web ID: EV1357 The Cove Atlantis is the island’s most fashionable sophisticated and chic escape. Here, a stylish and decidedly upscale guest experience makes every moment as extraordinary, from the exquisite open-air lobby to the exclusive amenities offered. Included in your stay is also exclusive access to Cain at The Cove (an adults-only ultra-pool and beach club), as well as Cascades family pool.

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$450 resort credit + $100 food & beverage credit per room + Daily Continental breakfast for two in Mosaic + Upgrade to Deluxe Ocean Suite (subject to availability) + Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability). Book by July 31, 2017.

Set along the Pacific coast within the exclusive community of Puerto Los Cabos, the all-suite Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort provides the ultimate adults only, Unlimited-Luxury® escape. From the moment you wake in your spacious suite, the days and nights are filled with nearly endless opportunities. From beach walks and yoga to snorkeling and championship golf – the choices are all yours.

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$300 resort coupons + Save up to $1,155 per person. Book by February 28, 2017.

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The Enchanting Rhine

Melodies of the Danube

• 7 nights cruising the Rhine River aboard AmaKristina, AmaPrima or AmaSonata

• 7 nights cruising the Danube River aboard AmaCerto, AmaSerena, AmaViola or AmaStella

• Amsterdam to Basel (or reverse)

• Budapest to Vilshofen • Select departures May 29 - November 6, 2017

• Select departures May 13 - November 4, 2017

• From $2,899 per person, River View Stateroom

• From $2,999 per person, River View Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1286

• Web ID: EV1285 Discover the lively city of Amsterdam, with its legendary canals and historic sites. Visit Cologne and its majestic Gothic cathedral, then cruise the stunning Rhine River Gorge, lined with ruins of medieval castles. Next you’ll experience the university town of Heidelberg before wandering the streets of Strasbourg.

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Lined with charming red-roofed villages, steeply terraced vineyards, picturesque churches and the crumbling ruins of medieval castles, the Danube River has captivated writers, musicians and artists throughout the centuries. Explore such legendary capitals as Vienna and Budapest, as well as remarkably preserved towns and villages that appear untouched by the passage of time.

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Receive $150 onboard credit per person. Book now.

THE HIGHEST RATED RIVER CRUISE SHIPS

THE HIGHEST RATED RIVER CRUISE SHIPS

Romantic Rhine Northbound

The Legendary Danube

• 8 days cruising the Rhine River aboard an Avalon Suite Ship

• 11 days including 7 nights cruising the Danube River aboard an Avalon Suite Ship

• Zürich to Amsterdam

• Prague to Budapest

• Select departures April 2 – December 16, 2017

• Select departures April 8 – December 3, 2017

• From $2,699 per person, Deluxe Stateroom • Web ID: EV1289

• From $3,058 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits on this mesmerizing journey along the Rhine. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Cologne, as well as an excursion to the Black Forest and to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river dotted every mile with castles. Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam.

Enjoy three nights in Prague with guided sightseeing as well as time to explore this marvelous city on your own. Then drive to Nuremberg and set sail for medieval Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, and Budapest, with guided sightseeing in each city. Sail through the fascinating Main Danube Canal and witness the scenic beauty as you cruise past quaint towns. Attend a beer tasting, tour Melk’s splendid Benedictine Abbey, and experience the music, art, culture, and historical sites in romantic Vienna.

• Web ID: EV1290

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Receive prepaid gratuities on select departures. Book now.

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Receive prepaid gratuities on select departures. Book now.


For reservations, call us today.

Italy & Greek Isles

Alaska Tracy Arm Fjord

• 10 nights cruising Italy and the Greek Isles aboard Celebrity Reflection®

• 7 nights cruising Alaska aboard Celebrity Solstice®

• Roundtrip Rome

• May 26, July 21 & September 15, 2017

• Roundtrip Seattle

• May 19 & September 29, 2017

• From $1,849 per person, AquaClass Stateroom

• From $4,299 per person, AquaClass Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1292

• Web ID: EV1291 As you sail from Rome to Sicily, Valletta, Mykonos, Rhodes (overnight), Santorini, Athens, and Naples, enjoy AquaClass veranda staterooms that offer spa elements infused into the stateroom experience, and priority seating in the exclusive and chic specialty restaurant, Blu.

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Take the adventure you’ve always dreamed of. Witness dramatic displays of ice-shelves breaking off into icebergs. Marvel at moose and bear on the land, bald eagles soaring above, and humpback whales peacefully rolling with the sea. Sail from Seattle to Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjords & Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria.

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$150 onboard credit for AquaClass & Suites; $100 onboard credit and two category upgrade (when available) for all other stateroom categories. Plus, book Go Best fares and receive premium beverage package, prepaid gratuities, unlimited internet and $300 per stateroom onboard credit. Book now.

$150 onboard credit for AquaClass & Suites; $50 onboard credit and two category upgrade (when available) for all other stateroom categories. Plus, book Go Best fares and receive premium beverage package, prepaid gratuities, unlimited internet and $300 per stateroom onboard credit. Book now.

Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses of up to $89.64 per person are additional and subject to change.

Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $208.17 per person are additional and subject to change.

Western Caribbean

Scandinavia & Russia

• 7 nights cruising the Caribbean aboard Celebrity EquinoxSM • Roundtrip Miami

• 12 nights cruising Scandinavia & Russia aboard Celebrity Silhouette®

• June 4, July 16, August 13 & December 2, 2017

• Roundtrip Amsterdam • May 7 – 19, 2017

• From $1,399 per person, AquaClass Stateroom

• From $4,649 per person, AquaClass Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1293

• Web ID: EV1294

Discover Hemingway’s laid-back Key West. Snorkelers, divers, and sunbathers alike will love the beautiful beaches of Costa Maya, and Cozumel’s sheltered coral reefs. Explore Grand Cayman’s SevenMile Beach, and conclude your trip with Miami’s unrivaled nightlife, unique culinary experiences and Latin flavor.

Begin your journey in Amsterdam, a treasure chest of superb architecture and famous for its canals and extraordinary museums. Continue on to the eclectic city of Berlin, Tallinn, St. Petersburg (overnight), Helsinki, Stockholm, and on to the blooming flowers in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, before your return to Amsterdam.

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$150 onboard credit for AquaClass & Suites; $50 onboard credit and two category upgrade (when available) for all other stateroom categories. Plus, book Go Best fares and receive premium beverage package, prepaid gratuities, unlimited internet and $300 per stateroom onboard credit. Book now.

$150 onboard credit for AquaClass & Suites; $75 onboard credit and two category upgrade (when available) for all other stateroom categories. Plus, book Go Best fares and receive premium beverage package, prepaid gratuities, unlimited internet and $300 per stateroom onboard credit. Book now.

Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $128.20 per person are additional and subject to change.

Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $195.37 per person are additional and subject to change.

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Baltic Legends

North Cape Discovery

• 14 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Crystal Symphony

• 18 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Crystal Symphony

• London to Stockholm

• July 16 – August 3, 2017

• June 10 – 24, 2017

• From $8,220 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

• Oslo to Antwerp

• From $5,695 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1300

• Web ID: EV1299

A brand new itinerary boasting overnight stays in Zeebrugge, Copenhagen, Warnemünde (for Berlin), St. Petersburg and Stockholm, perfectly timed for Sweden’s Midsummer Eve. Onboard amenities include grand lounges, full-service fitness facility, Resorts World At Sea casino, Feng Shui-inspired spa, 360° teak Promenade Deck, lap pool, Jacuzzi®, acclaimed cuisine and spectacular entertainment.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble Experience shore event in St. Petersburg, plus save up to $1,500 per person (reflected in price shown). Book now. ®

®

A majestic voyage through Norway’s fjords and forests with three maiden calls in Kristiansund, Hammerfest and Brønnøysund, capped with an overnight in artsy Antwerp. Sail from Oslo to Stavanger, Bergen, Flåm, Hellesylt/Geiranger, Kristiansund, Tromsø, Honningsvåg, North Cape, Hammerfest, Bodø, Brønnøysund, Ålesund, Shetland Islands/Lerwick, Kirkwall, and Antwerp.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Tromsø, plus save up to $1,500 per person (reflected in price shown). Book now.

Highlighting the Edinburgh Tattoo

Across the Bay of Biscay

• 12 days: 10 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Crystal Symphony plus 2-day post-cruise land program in Paris

• 12 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Crystal Symphony • London to Lisbon • August 25 – September 6, 2017

• Antwerp to Paris • August 3 – 15, 2017

• From $4,690 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

• From $5,370 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1302

• Web ID: EV1301 An inclusive two-night trip to Paris caps this voyage rich with tradition and culture and art. Sail from Antwerp (overnight) to Edinburgh/Rosyth (overnight – your chance to experience the famous annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo), Amsterdam (overnight), London/Tilbury, Guernsey/St. Peter Port, Honfleur, and Paris.

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Explore vineyards and chateaux with three days in Bordeaux, and marvel at both the art and architecture of Bilbao’s iconic Guggenheim Museum. Sail from London/Tilbury (overnight), Honfleur, Guernsey/St. Peter Port, St. Malo, Bordeaux (overnight), St. Jean-de-Luz, Bilbao, and Lisbon.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Bordeaux, plus save up to $1,000 per person (reflected in price shown). Book now. ®


For reservations, call us today.

Bermuda

Glacier Discovery Northbound

• 7 days cruising Bermuda aboard ms Veendam

• 7 days cruising Alaska aboard ms Zaandam

• Roundtrip Boston • May 13, 20; June 17 and July 15, 2017

• Select departures May 14 – September 3, 2017

• From $999 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• From $949 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1305

• Web ID: EV1306

For a memorable close-to-home vacation that’s far from ordinary, consider a cruise to Bermuda — the only 4-star destination that’s a bit of Old England, a dash of living history 400 years old, and a wealth of sublime natural wonders from pink sand beaches to labyrinthine coral caves. Not to mention, some of the best golf in the entire world. Discover the island’s special pace of life — and its nearly constant sunshine and divine ocean breezes — just off the coast of North Carolina.

Our elegant mid-sized cruise ships were designed not to tower over the scenery, but to bring you closer to Alaska’s natural wonders — from calving glaciers to breaching humpback whales. So just relax and enjoy scenes of unimaginable grandeur from the ship’s expansive, wide-open decks, as our warm and gracious staff tends to your every need, as you sail from Vancouver to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Anchorage.

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• Vancouver to Anchorage

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Receive up to $50 onboard credit per stateroom. Book now.

Receive $75 onboard credit per stateroom + Pinnacle Grill lunch for two. Book now.

Viking Sagas aboard ms Koningsdam

Canada & New England Discovery

• 7 days cruising Norway aboard ms Koningsdam

• 7 days cruising Canada & New England aboard ms Maasdam

• Roundtrip Amsterdam

• Boston to Montreal

• May 14, July 23 & August 20, 2017

• Select departures May 20 – August 26, 2017

• From $1,399 per person, Ocean View Stateroom • Web ID: EV1307

• From $899 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

Vikings once sailed these fingers of sea on the way to foreign lands. Today, these traces of indigo between emerald slopes belong to you. The music of Edvard Grieg runs through your mind as you pass waterfalls and alpine farms of unspeakable beauty. Sail from Amsterdam to Flam, Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Oslo.

Visit the majestic sites and scenes found only along the fabulously rocky and history-drenched coastlines of Canada and New England. Begin your journey in Boston and Bar Harbor, cruising past storybook lighthouses or searching for beluga whales near Halifax, before moving on to Sydney, Charlottetown, Quebec City, and Montreal.

• Web ID: EV1308

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Receive up to $50 onboard credit per stateroom. Book now.

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Viking Sagas aboard ms Rotterdam

Alaskan Explorer

• 7 days cruising Norway aboard ms Rotterdam

• 7 days cruising Alaska aboard ms Oosterdam

• Roundtrip Rotterdam

• Roundtrip Seattle

• May 20 – 27, 2017

• May 21, June 18, July 16 & September 10, 2017

• From $1,199 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• From $1,219 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1309

• Web ID: EV1310

Discover medieval castles, majestic fjords, enchanting villages, soaring cathedrals and bustling capitals in a storied region. With a vast selection of Journeys Ashore™ in every port, you can tailor your European cruise vacation to fit your schedule, preferences and bucket list. Sail from Rotterdam to Flam, Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Oslo.

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Receive $75 onboard credit per stateroom + Pinnacle Grill lunch for two. Book now.

Experience forests, fjords and ice-blue glaciers plus must-see towns on the Inside Passage. The blue of glacial ice glistens in the sunlight. A pod of porpoises surfaces, then disappears. Snow that fell centuries ago moves from mountains to the sea, as you sail from Seattle to Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria.

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Mediterranean Dream

Inside Passage

• 12 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard ms Westerdam

• 7 days cruising Alaska aboard ms Volendam

• Venice to Rome • Select departures May 23 – October 14, 2017

• Select departures May 24 – September 13, 2017

• From $2,129 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• From $1,099 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1311

• Web ID: EV1312

Journey to the wellspring of dreams, where inspired Old World empires blossomed into bustling centers of culture, commerce and treasured art. Timeless beauty unfolds as you sail from Venice to Argostoli, Olympia, Nafplion, Athens, Mykonos, Ephesus, Santorini, Pompeii, and Rome. Onboard, enjoy five-star dining and awardwinning service.

See the best of Alaska, from the 3,000-foot peaks and thundering waterfalls of Tracy Arm to the unique ecosystem of Glacier Bay. Onboard, partake of delicious cuisine and relax in your elegantly appointed stateroom. Sail from Vancouver to Tracy Arm Inlet, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan.

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• Roundtrip Vancouver

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Receive $75 onboard credit per stateroom + Pinnacle Grill lunch for two. Book now.


For reservations, call us today.

Baltic Capitals from Copenhagen

Western Mediterranean from Barcelona

• 9 days cruising the Baltics aboard Norwegian Getaway

• 7 days cruising the Western Mediterranean aboard Norwegian Epic

• Roundtrip Copenhagen

• Roundtrip Barcelona

• Select departures May 16 – October 8, 2017

• Select departures April 23 – October 1, 2017

• From $1,749 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $1,399 per person, Balcony Stateroom • Web ID: EV1318

• Web ID: EV1317

See the Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg Palace and other Copenhagen landmarks on a guided tour. Step into a realm of wonder in The Hermitage Museum as you discover the splendors of St. Petersburg. Stand in the same hall as Nobel Prize recipients while touring Stockholm’s City Hall and then head to the Island of Djurgarden that’s considered the city’s outdoor recreation center.

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From the spires of Gaudi’s grand cathedral to ancient libraries and colosseums, this part of the world is a treat for the senses. And the best way to explore is aboard the Norwegian Epic. You’ll treasure stops in picturesque ports – Naples, Rome, Florence/Pisa, Cannes, and Palma. And enjoy your time at sea with one-of-a-kind entertainment and dining.

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Pick two: Ultimate Beverage package, Specialty Dining package, 250 minute Internet package, $50 per port Shore Excursions, or 3rd & 4th Guest Free (select sailings). Book by March 31, 2017.

Pick two: Ultimate Beverage package, Specialty Dining package, 250 minute Internet package, $50 per port Shore Excursions, or 3rd & 4th Guest Free (select sailings). Book by March 31, 2017.

Classic Western Mediterranean

Greek Isles from Venice

• 10 days cruising the Western Mediterranean aboard Norwegian Spirit

• 7 days cruising the Greek Isles aboard Norwegian Star

• Roundtrip Rome

• Select departures April 16 – October 15, 2017

• Roundtrip Venice

• Select departures May 18 – November 2, 2017

• From $1,349 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $2,099 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1320

• Web ID: EV1319 Everyone should experience Rome at least once, or a hundred times. Gaze up at the Vatican’s Sistene Chapel or journey back to AD80 where the glory of Rome echoes in the stands of the Colosseum. Finally, you can cross even more the world’s masterpieces off your bucket list in Florence/Pisa, Cannes, Provence, Barcelona, Palma, Cagliari, Valletta, Messina, and Naples.

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Pick two: Ultimate Beverage package, Specialty Dining package, 250 minute Internet package, $50 per port Shore Excursions, or 3rd & 4th Guest Free (select sailings). Book by March 31, 2017.

Enjoy a romantic gondola ride on Venice’s ancient canals and savor rich gelato from a local shop before departing for the Greek Isles. Stroll Mykonos’ charming streets lined with its famous white houses and picturesque churches, then unwind on the island’s beautiful beaches. Marvel at Ravenna’s brilliant 4th- to 6th-century Byzantine, early Christian mosaics – named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Pick two: Ultimate Beverage package, Specialty Dining package, 250 minute Internet package, $50 per port Shore Excursions, or 3rd & 4th Guest Free (select sailings). Book by March 31, 2017.

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Southern Flair

Sacred Sanctuaries

• 10 nights cruising Bermuda aboard Regatta

• 10 nights cruising the Mediterranean aboard Riviera

• Roundtrip Miami

• Roundtrip Athens

• April 14 – 24, 2017

• April 19 – 29, 2017

• From $2,699 per person, Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Airfare

• From $4,299 per person, Veranda Stateroom with Airfare • Web ID: EV1322

• Web ID: EV1321

Every vacation should have a flair for the dramatic, and on this glorious cruise through the stylish charms of Bermuda, the Bahamas and the American South, distinctly unforgettable scenes come to the forefront. Sail from Miami to Port Canaveral, Charleston (overnight), Hamilton (2-nights), St. George, and Nassau. From Nassau’s colonial charm to Miami’s sleek skyline, style is the order of the day.

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Pre-paid onboard gratuities plus Free Airfare, Unlimited Internet, and choice of one: Six Shore Excursions, Free Beverage Package, or $600 Shipboard Credit per stateroom. Book now.

Discover how the sacred spirit has influenced so much of the culture, architecture and art of the Mediterranean on this odyssey to its holiest of sites. Journey from Athens to Patmos, the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel (2-nights), the House of Dionysos in Cyprus, the goddess Athena’s temple in Rhodes, and stunning Santorini and Mykonos.

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Pre-paid onboard gratuities plus Free Airfare, Unlimited Internet, and choice of one: Six Shore Excursions, Free Beverage Package, or $600 Shipboard Credit per stateroom. Book now.

The Great Northwest

Scandinavian Glory

• 11 nights cruising Alaska aboard Regatta

• 12 nights cruising Scandinavia aboard Nautica

• San Francisco to Vancouver

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• London to Copenhagen

• May 10 – 21, 2017

• June 13 – 25, 2017

• From $2,799 per person, Inside Stateroom with Airfare

• From $4,799 per person, Inside Stateroom with Airfare

• Web ID: EV1323

• Web ID: EV1324

During springtime, the Alaskan wilderness springs to life, and there is no better way to explore this magnificent untamed country than from the comfort of luxurious Regatta. Sail from San Francisco to Astoria, cruising the Outside Passage, Ketchikan, Juneau, cruising the Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Sitka, Prince Rupert, cruising the Inside Passage, and conclude your voyage in Vancouver.

The ports of Northern Europe present you with a rich variety of enchanting historical sites, as you sail from London to Vlissingen, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg (overnight), Tallinn, Klaipeda, Gdansk, and Copenhagen, where you can venture into the countryside and enjoy its panoramic vistas and fairy tale castles.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Juneau plus Free Airfare, Unlimited Internet, and choice of one: Six Shore Excursions, Free Beverage Package, or $600 Shipboard Credit per stateroom. Book now.

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Pre-paid onboard gratuities plus Free Airfare, Unlimited Internet, and choice of one: Six Shore Excursions, Free Beverage Package, or $600 Shipboard Credit per stateroom. $99 Premium Economy Air Upgrade available. Book now.


For reservations, call us today.

Inside Passage with Glacier Bay

Hawaiian Islands

• 7 days cruising Alaska aboard Ruby Princess®

• 15 days cruising Hawaii aboard Star Princess®

• Roundtrip Seattle

• Roundtrip Los Angeles

• May 20 – 27, 2017

• January 3 - 18, 2018

• From $1,849 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $2,799 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1340

• Web ID: EV1341

Ships have been sailing from Seattle to Alaska since the gold rush. Now it’s your turn to follow in the wake of history on a seven-day cruise vacation filled with glacier-carved fjords, forested islets and quaint ports along Alaska’s famed Inside Passage. Sail from Seattle to Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, plus scenic cruising in Glacier Bay.

Why settle for seeing just one island on a Hawaii resort-based vacation when you can cruise in style and explore FOUR island jewels? Sailing with Princess is a far better vacation value, and you’ll visit the top-rated Hawaiian Islands, calling on Honolulu, Kauai, Maui, Hilo, plus Ensenada — without all the time-consuming hassle of island hopping by plane.

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$60 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.

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$75 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.

Pacific Wine Country

Mexican Riviera

• 6 days cruising the Pacific Coast aboard Emerald Princess®

• 7 days cruising Mexico aboard Emerald Princess®

• Vancouver to Los Angeles

• Roundtrip Los Angeles

• September 25 – October 1, 2017

• From $999 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• October 1 – 8, 2017

• From $999 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1343

• Web ID: EV1342

It’s amazing what a little sea spray can do for the soul. Voted “Best Cruises from the West Coast” by Cruise Critic, our California Coastal cruise vacations hug the shores of the sun-kissed Pacific Coast, where lush vineyards and fascinating cities await in Astoria, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. A great value and memorable vacation for West Coast Cruisers!

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$50 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.

From mariachis to margaritas, visit the best of the Mexican Riviera roundtrip from Los Angeles, with stops in colorful Puerto Vallarta, the playground to the stars, Cabo San Lucas, and Mazatlan. Leisurely days spent onboard in the Piazza-style atrium are relaxing and entertaining, with the nearby International Café and Vines wine bar fulfilling your cravings for warm cookies, toasted paninis, and even hand rolled sushi.

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$50 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Southern Caribbean Medley

European Capitals

• 10 days cruising the Caribbean aboard Royal Princess®

• 11 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Caribbean Princess®

• Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale

• Roundtrip London

• April 9 – 19, 2017

• April 20 – May 1, 2017

• From $1,534 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $1,899 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1344

• Web ID: EV1345

Music and dance as colorful as the reefs, tranquil waters just a shade deeper than the sky, and a rich history as diverse as the breathtaking landscapes make the Caribbean cruises one of the most popular vacations to find both discovery and relaxation. Experience it all as you sail to Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St. Thomas and Nassau.

With its signature storybook castles, sweeping landscapes and welcoming shores, this is a place steeped in lore. Visit the region’s palaces, pubs and historical treasures on a cruise from London to Cork, Dublin, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Brussels, Paris and Normandy. Onboard, enjoy Movies Under the Stars®, where you can relax in a cushioned lounger with freshly-popped, complimentary popcorn under the night sky.

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$60 onboard credit per stateroom. Book now.

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$85 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.

Small Ship Cruising to Ireland & Scotland

North Cape & Norwegian Fjords

• 8 days cruising Ireland & Scotland aboard Pacific Princess®

• 14 days cruising Norway aboard Crown Princess®

• Roundtrip London

• August 12 – 26, 2017

• Roundtrip London

• August 12 – 20, 2017

• From $3,199 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $2,029 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1347

• Web ID: EV1346

There’s a certain romance to sailing on a small ship, and cruising on Pacific Princess® offers a refined elegance with services and amenities of a fine small resort. Call on St. Helier, Waterford, Dublin, and Edinburgh. Indulge in a guided excursion to Edinburgh Castle to see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Marvel at a fireworks display, traditional Scottish dancing, and stirring enactments of historical events.

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$50 onboard credit per stateroom. Book now.

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Have your breath taken away by the pristine beauty of the Norwegian Fjords on a cruise to Stavanger, Flaam, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Trondheim, Honningsvag (North Cape), Tromso, Gravdal (Lofoten Islands), Aalesund, and Bergen. The North Cape is the northernmost point in Europe, and the true land of the midnight sun.

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$60 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.


For reservations, call us today.

Scandinavia & Russia

Greek Isles

• 11 days cruising Scandinavia & Russia aboard Regal Princess®

• 7 days cruising the Greek Isles aboard Royal Princess®

• Roundtrip Copenhagen

• Roundtrip Athens

• June 13 – 24, 2017

• July 8 – 15, 2017

• From $2,199 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $999 per person, Balcony Stateroom • Web ID: EV1349

• Web ID: EV1348

Explore the wonders of far-off lands, where Vikings and czars reigned. Travel back in time to medieval Tallinn, and stand in awe of Catherine Palace, Peterhof Palace and the spectacular oniondomed churches of St. Petersburg. Walk the medieval streets in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan, and call on Oslo, Berlin, and Helsinki.

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$85 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.

Ancient ruins recall the once-powerful empires that ruled this legendary region. Stand atop the Acropolis in Athens, and relax on the sun-kissed shores of the Greek Isles. Sail to Katakolon, Kotor, Rhodes, and Khios. The breathtaking piazza-style Atrium and dramatic views from the glass-floored SeaWalk® aboard Royal Princess are sure to delight.

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$50 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.

Circle Japan

Small Ship Full World Cruise

• 9 days cruising Japan aboard Diamond Princess®

• 111 day World Cruise aboard Pacific Princess® • Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale

• Roundtrip Tokyo

• January 5 – April 27, 2018

• October 17 – 26, 2017 • From $1,449 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $28,999 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1350

• Web ID: EV1351

Japan is a study in contrasts: tranquil retreats of profound beauty lay just outside cities where skyscrapers soar over stunning temples and shrines. Neon-bright architecture and pink cherry blossoms vie for attention amid the colorful Harajuku district and traditional kimonos. Visit Aomori, Akita, Toyama, Busan, and Kagoshima.

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$75 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Princess Cruises Anniversary Sale: Up to $600 additional onboard credit, FREE specialty dining (for balcony, mini-suite or suite), and $100 refundable deposit per guest. Book by February 28, 2017.

Kick off 2018 with an extraordinary 111-day World Cruise featuring 51 ports of call. Discover the hidden gems of over 40 of the world’s most fascinating destinations. Explore the famous natural caves in the Azores Islands of Portugal, eat breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo or take an overland excursion to visit the legendary Taj Mahal.

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$75 onboard credit per stateroom. Book now.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Quintessential Provence

Flamencos & Paella

• 10 nights cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seven Seas Voyager®

• 10 nights cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seven Seas Voyager®

• Venice to Barcelona

• Rome to Barcelona

• July 8 – 18, 2017

• August 1 – 11, 2017

• From $9,899 per person, Deluxe Veranda Suite including FREE Business Class Air on Intercontinental Flights

• From $9,899 per person, Deluxe Veranda Suite including FREE Business Class Air on Intercontinental Flights

• Web ID: EV1325

• Web ID: EV1326

This is cruising as it was meant to be — a sumptuous and very personal experience where your every wish, your every whim and your every want are met with gratifying luxuries, satisfying comfort and complete fulfillment of your wanderlust. Sail from Venice to Dubrovnik, Corfu, Taormina, Amalfi/Positano, Rome, Florence/ Pisa, Monte Carlo, Provence, Palamos, and Barcelona.

Only Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers FREE UNLIMITED SHORE EXCURSIONS in EVERY port of call. And unlimited means you can take as many excursions as time and your penchant for adventure allows. There are up to 58 shore excursions on this cruise from Rome to Florence/Pisa, Porto Vecchio, La Spezia, Monte Carlo, Antibes, Provence, Palamos, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, and Barcelona.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Monte Carlo. Book now.

Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Provence. Book now.

Iceland & the Fjords

Barcelona, Italy & Croatia

• 14 nights cruising Iceland and Norway aboard Queen Elizabeth®

• 12 nights cruising the Mediterranean aboard Queen Victoria®

• Roundtrip Southampton

• August 7 – 19, 2017

• Barcelona to Trieste

• July 28 – August 11, 2017

• From $2,699 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $3,399 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1304

• Web ID: EV1303 Cruise through the majestic Fjords, which are the best way to appreciate the Norwegian coast’s silent beauty, legends, waterfalls and glaciers. This 14-night cruise extends via Amsterdam, into Norway’s breathtaking fjords, visiting Bergen and Geiranger. Calls to Akureyri, Isafjordur and Reykjavik offer a glimpse of Iceland’s geysers and hot springs, while the remote Faeroe and Orkney Isles illuminate your return.

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Receive up to $300 onboard credit + Tray of canapés. Book now.

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Leaving Barcelona on this 12-night adventure, the Corsican harbor of Ajaccio and Monte Carlo’s casino await. The gems of Florence or Pisa draw you towards eternal Rome, then on to the Messina Strait and Brindisi, known as the “Gateway to the East.” The storybook beauty of Kotor and Dubrovnik lead to the conclusion of your voyage in charming Trieste.

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Receive up to $300 onboard credit + Cunard bathrobe. Book now.


For reservations, call us today.

Western Caribbean

Bermuda & Caribbean

• 7 nights cruising the Caribbean aboard Allure of the Seas®

• 9 nights cruising Bermuda & the Caribbean aboard Anthem of the Seas®

• Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale

• Roundtrip Cape Liberty

• Select departures February – December, 2017

• Select departures May – August, 2017 • From $1,919 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $1,129 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1353

• Web ID: EV1352 Allure of the Seas®, our award winning ship, offers a captivating experience that’s unlike any other. Discover seven distinct neighborhoods from airy walks across Central Park to the ultimate rush of the Pool and Sports Zone. Experience Broadway musicals at sea, like the hit musical Mamma Mia! Only Royal Caribbean offers complimentary Tony Award® winning musicals.

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The world’s most revolutionary ship – Anthem of the Seas® allows you to feel the rush skydiving right on the deck of the ship with the RipCordSM by iFLY® skydiving simulator, join the fun at the SeaPlexSM where activities meet excitement or enjoy breathtaking 360° views 300 feet above sea level.

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Receive a complimentary Specialty Dinner for Two. Book by February 28, 2017.

Receive a complimentary Specialty Dinner for Two. Book by February 28, 2017.

Southern Caribbean

Eastern Caribbean

• 7 nights cruising the Caribbean aboard Adventure of the Seas®

• 7 nights cruising the Caribbean aboard Oasis of the Seas®

• Roundtrip San Juan

• Roundtrip Orlando

• Select departures February – December, 2017

• Select departures February – December, 2017

• From $969 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $1,169 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1354

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Soak up the fun in Splashaway Bay aquapark. Learn to surf on FlowRider® or race down Dual Racer Waterslides-Cyclone and Typhoon. You’ll never be bored onboard the reinvented Adventure of the Seas®.

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Receive a complimentary Specialty Dinner for Two. Book by February 28, 2017.

Oasis of the Seas® is a ship for bold explorers. Hang ten on the FlowRider®, zip line nine decks high or rock climb 43 feet. No two days are ever the same onboard. See high divers in the AquaTheater, Broadway hit musical CATS or laugh out load at the adults-only club.

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Receive a complimentary Specialty Dinner for Two. Book by February 28, 2017.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn

Spanish Isles & Italy

• 11 nights cruising Alaska aboard Seabourn Sojourn

• 10 nights cruising Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Encore

• Vancouver to Anchorage

• Barcelona to Rome • July 16 & September 14, 2017

• June 1, July 21 & August 15, 2017

• From $5,499 per person, Veranda Stateroom

• From $4,999 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1330

• Web ID: EV1329 On Seabourn, you’ll experience all the iconic wonders of Alaska in ultra-luxury, including a “Caviar on the Ice” deck party. On optional Ventures by SeabournTM excursions, you’ll glide up close to Misty Fjords’ glittering waterfalls in a Zodiac, or paddle a kayak on a wildlife-spotting expedition in tranquil Tracy Arm, on a voyage from Vancouver to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Sitka, Seduction Point, Haines, Juneau, Inian Islands, Icy Strait Point, and Anchorage.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Sitka. Book now.

Mediterranean Idyll

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Marseille. Book now. ®

• 24 nights cruising Antarctica and South America aboard Seabourn Quest

• Athens to Barcelona • September 23 – October 4, 2017

• Santiago to Buenos Aires

• From $5,499 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• December 20, 2017 – January 13, 2018 • From $18,499 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• Web ID: EV1331

The hallmarks of cruising with Seabourn are felt from your very first moment on board, when you’re greeted with a warm smile and chilled glass of champagne. Seabourn Odyssey enchants her guests, sailing from Athens to Hydra, Victoria, Valletta (overnight), Florence/Pisa, Portofino, Frejus, Marseille, Palamos, and Barcelona.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Valletta. Book now. ®

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24-Day Holiday Antarctica, Patagonia & South Georgia Island

• 11 nights cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Odyssey

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With Seabourn as your guide, cruise marquee ports as well as unsung gems where larger ships cannot follow. Discover the joys of an intimate yacht experience as you sail from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca, Cuitadella de Menorca, scenic cruising the Calanques, St Tropez, Sete, Marseille, Ile-Rousse, Florence/Pisa, Santa Margherita, and Rome.

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• Web ID: EV1332 Seabourn’s ultra-luxury cruises to South America and Antarctica skirt the long Atlantic coastline of South America, unveiling the amazing variety of cultural, historical and natural wonders to be found there. Sail from Santiago to Puerto Montt, Castro, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, 5-night Antarctic Experience, The SBN South Georgia Experience (2-days), Montevideo, and Buenos Aires.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Punta Arenas. Book now.


For reservations, call us today.

Temples of the Gods

Flamboyant Foliage

• 12 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Silver Muse

• 14 days cruising Canada & New England aboard Silver Muse

• Athens to Rome

• Montreal to Fort Lauderdale

• July 15 – 27, 2017

• September 28 – October 12, 2017

• From $8,750 per person, Classic Veranda Suite

• From $11,950 per person, Classic Veranda Suite

• Web ID: EV1333

• Web ID: EV1334 This odyssey fittingly departs Homer’s country and takes in some of the most beautiful historic regions of the past. Explore Heraklion and the Palace of Knossos, unwrap legend in Rhodes, relax in the cafés of idyllic Sorrento during an overnight. Visit the riches of the Vatican City and live la dolce vita as you imbibe in the splendors of the Eternal City.

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Whether it is nature or sophistication that you want, this cruise has it all. From the pretty shores of Nova Scotia, the spellbinding autumn colors of New England, to historic Boston and wild New York, every aspect of this spectacular region is covered. Explore the beautiful old streets of Savannah before arriving in sundrenched Florida.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Mykonos. Book now.

Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Norfolk. Book now.

Patagonian Paradise

A Kaleidoscope of Color

• 17 days cruising South America aboard Silver Muse

• 19 days cruising Brazil aboard Silver Muse • Buenos Aires to Bridgetown

• Valparaiso to Buenos Aires

• November 17 – December 6, 2017

• October 31 – November 17, 2017

• From $10,550 per person, Classic Veranda Suite

• From $13,850 per person, Classic Veranda Suite

• Web ID: EV1336

• Web ID: EV1335 A bucket list of countries and experiences: visit the snowcapped city at the end of the world to enjoy penguin and seal spotting. Cross the spectacular Chilean fjords, spend a night in the “St. Tropez of Uruguay,” Punta Arenas, dance the Tango in Montevideo. End your journey in the unique vitality of Buenos Aires on the extended stay.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Ushuaia. Book now.

Begin your journey with a relaxing prelude in Buenos Aires before embarking on over two weeks of sensational destinations. Absorb the vivacity of Ilhabela and enjoy Rio by helicopter during an extended stay. With six days at sea harmoniously blended into the exiting cities, this cruise is a rich tapestry of culture, variety and lifestyle.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Rio de Janeiro. Book now.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

European Jewels

Grand France

• 15 days cruising Europe aboard River Princess

• 15 days cruising France aboard S.S. Catherine or S.S. Joie de Vivre

• Budapest to Amsterdam

• Paris to Avignon

• October 25 – November 8, 2017

• August 27 – September 10, 2017

• From $7,399 per person, River View Stateroom • Web ID: EV1358

• From $9,499 per person, River View Stateroom

Indulge your passion for majestic art, architecture, music and history on an all-encompassing journey through four countries along three great rivers— the Danube, Main and Rhine—and to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites. Sail from Budapest to Vienna, Weissenkirchen, Engelhartszell, Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Würzburg, Wertheim, Frankfurt, Rüdesheim, Cologne, and Amsterdam.

Experience France from north to south, sailing three rivers and embarking upon in-depth shore excursions. For Francophiles in love with the culture, history, cuisine and romance of France, this grand voyage is a dream come true. Soak up the joie de vivre that makes France one of the most adored countries in the world. Sail from Paris to Vernon, Les Andelys, Rouen, Caudebec-en-Caux, Mantes-laJolie, Mâcon, Lyon, Tournon, Viviers, Tarascon, and Avignon.

• Web ID: EV1359

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Save $600 per person + $200 shipboard credit per person. Book now.

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Save $600 per person + $200 shipboard credit per person. Book now.

The Rhine & Moselle • 13 days cruising The Rhine & Moselle Rivers aboard ms Grace or ms Inspire • Amsterdam to Basel • Select departures April 19 – October 16, 2017 • From $4,990 per person, Standard Cabin • Web ID: EV1337

So many delights lie along the Rhine and Moselle rivers: an insider tour of the Gothic-Renaissance Heidelberger Schloss; an exclusive dinner at historic Burg Satzvey in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region; wine tasting at a family-owned winery in Cochem; a guided tour in Luxembourg and a visit to the American War Cemetery and Memorial; excursion to De Hoge Veluwe National Park and the Kröller-Müller Museum to view world-famous art; and a visit to the Rhine Falls in Switzerland.

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Longitude Book gift set with maps and guides (valued at over $100). Book now.

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FOR ALL ENSEMBLE VACATIONS® OFFERINGS: Prices are per person, double occupancy unless otherwise stated. Prices and terms are displayed throughout this catalog as received from individual suppliers. Certain offers carry restrictions and penalties to be advised at time of booking. Validity differs with each offer. Offers are subject to change without notice, subject to availability, and may be withdrawn at any time. Offers apply to new bookings only. Some blackout dates apply. Ensemble Travel® Group does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy of prices and terms. Ensemble Travel Group and its sub-agents act solely as agents for the companies providing services and facilities to travelers and have no responsibility or liability for loss of or damage to property, injury, or death due to errors, omissions, or intentional acts of the companies providing services.


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