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AmaWaterways Danube River Cruise – Vacation in Central Europe Part II

Inside AmaWaterway’s New Ship, “AmaViola”

Santa Barbara Travel’s Marketing Manager Tells All

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Too many river cruises to choose from? In the last 10 years, the river cruise business has expanded tremendously.  River cruises can be experienced all around the world: Africa, Asia, India, Europe, to even the major rivers in the U.S. and Canada.  Accommodations and amenities can range from premium to ultra-luxury. For my first experience on the river, I chose AmaWaterway’s 7-night “Romantic Danube” cruise, departing from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary, on one of their newer ships, AmaViola.

 

Being that it was my first trip to Slovakia and Hungary, I could not wait to board our cruise which departed at the end of May. We anticipated cooler weather than the 75-88 degrees we actually had – it was lovely. One of my favorite parts of the cruise was traveling through all of the locks on the river. I believe we traveled through 15 locks, an awe-inspiring experience when you witness how close the bridges are overhead as we pass under them (so close that all guests on the top deck are mandated to sit), and how narrow the locks are when transiting, the walls are within just a couple feet of the ship. Be sure to take the roundhouse tour to visit with the captain and see how he maneuvers the ship through narrow passages.

Captain of the AmaViola

AmaViola is a beautiful new vessel, built in 2016, the 443 foot long ship accommodates no more than 160 guests or so. The public areas are spacious, the Main Lounge next to the reception area has comfortable seating that can accommodate all guests and boasts floor to ceiling glass.  The staterooms were light, modern and well-appointed; I was able to take a peek at the different accommodations.   Our 170 sq ft room had a French Balcony which is basically a full size sliding glass door that opens to the outside with a waist high railing.  However, most of the ship featured twin balconies staterooms – combination of an outside balcony and French Balcony.  I personally don’t think you will use an outside balcony that much as you are out and about during the day, but these rooms, including the bathrooms, are more spacious in square footage.  Each room is equipped with an Apple Computer/TV and complimentary WiFi (WiFi can be accessed throughout the ship). Laundry service is available and at reasonable rates (dry cleaning is not available). The Main Restaurant, decorated in simple elegance, offers open seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Late-risers in the morning or those that enjoy tapas can grab a bite in the Main Lounge. Regional wines, beer and soft drinks are poured complimentary at lunch and dinner. Bottled water, specialty coffees and teas (hot or cold) are free and available throughout the day.

The dining experience was wonderful, you can choose to dine alone or join a booth sitting 4 guests or a larger table of 6 or more. My husband and I did a little of each. AmaWaterways is a member of the exclusive La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a prestigious International association of gastronomy. Every dinner was a multi-course presentation; you can choose from regional or western entrees.  Each menu featured a chef recommendation – usually a regional dish taken to the highest level. My suggestion is go with the recommended selections. The onboard specialty restaurant, Chef’s Table is an intimate venue accommodating no more than 30 guests, the set tasting menu, some may think a little on the exotic side, serves 3 appetizers, 3 main courses, and 3 desserts. Each course is paired with pre-selected wines.  Preparation of the meal can be seen through the nearby glass enclosed kitchen.  Reservations are required, but don’t worry about day of the week, as the same menu is served throughout the entire cruise.  Staff on the AmaViola will ensure that each guest experience the Chef’s Table restaurant at least once on the cruise.  A memorable culinary delight and should not be missed.

Appetizers from the main restaurant

The service was excellent throughout the ship. However, we did have a favorite waiter in the Main Restaurant, Vladimir. He always made sure that we were well taken care of, and by our second day, he knew what we liked to drink for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The staff was always smiling and ready to assist with dietary, sightseeing or personal needs. Our cruise manager, Sebastian, was top-notch. His dedication was commendable. He made it a point to pop-in on most of the tours on a daily basis and see how the group was doing and most importantly if the tour guide was performing at the highest level.  The onboard cruise manager can help arrange optional private tours if you desire, as well as recommend restaurants and attractions in ports where one may have some free time.  We decided to skip dinner on the ship, and enjoy Vienna.  We stopped in at the Sacher Hotel, across from the Opera House, and snacked on cappuccinos and their world-famous Sacher Torte.  For dinner we wanted schnitzel, per Sebastian’s recommendation, dined at Figlmüller for the largest schnitzel we have ever seen; the popular restaurant was established in 1905!

 

A big difference between river cruises and most ocean cruises is shore excursions being included in your cruise fare. AmaWaterways offers a multitude of tours in every port, designed to accommodate different experiences and different activity levels, from “gentle” walkers to active cycling and hiking. Each tour member is equipped with their own headset that tunes into your guide’s microphone, so you can move and look at each attraction at your own pace.  I have to say that we had outstanding guides on all of our tours, their extensive knowledge of the region and history was impressive, plus their command of English was excellent -some were ex-pats married to locals. Here are some of our highlights: A day trip offered out of Linz to Český Krumlov – a quaint medieval town, UNESCO World Heritage Site, in southern Bohemia, Czech Republic. Set in a forest, bordered by the Vltava River, the elevated castle is surrounded by small shops, restaurants and a zig-zag of cobblestone streets. Definitely a destination I would like to return to and try river rafting. Cooking Class in Bratislava, Slovakia, where we learned how to make a savory sheep cheese soup and sweet dessert dumplings. An optional guided tour of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcasing the lifestyle and riches of the Habsburg family – this tour had an additional cost but was offered complimentary to guests that booked with Santa Barbara Travel. The architecture, furnishings and paintings are impressive capturing key points in royal history, the expansive outdoor gardens breath-taking, and the carriage house showcased the Imperial Family’s fanciest mode of transportation, plus treasured garments.

Cooking Class at Bratislava

Imperial Coach Display at the Carriage House

The Beautiful Town of Český Krumlov

Why we liked this river cruise – you stop in small towns you would probably bypass on a land tour or if touring on your own. My husband and I have traveled to Germany several times, and never would have visited Linz, hometown of Adolf Hitler and where he gave his famous 1938 speech announcing the union of Germany and Austria. Nor would we have visited the three-river city of Passau and St. Stephen’s Cathedral housing the largest Catholic Church organ in the world and Europe´s biggest organ with over 17,500 pipes and 233 stops. We enjoyed the vineyard views from the ship as we entered the Wachau Valley, and were impressed with the massive Benedictine Abbey in Melk. We became fascinated with Richard the Lionheart when we heard the tale of his capture in Dürnstein. And we couldn’t stop laughing with our wine host Trinka as we sampled wine in Weissenkirchen. Our last evening onboard was topped with the stunning “Illuminations Cruise” in Budapest. AmaViola would cruise up and down the Danube so we could see this beautiful city lit up from the shore to the hillside, bridges, castles and government building shimmering reflections in the sky and water, so brilliant and so memorable!

In Part 3, I will write about Budapest.

Parliament Building on the Illumination Cruise

 

 

Czech Out Prague with Santa Barbara Travel

Vacation in Central Europe – Part 1

5 Countries, One Ship – Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia & Hungary

Voiced by Santa Barbara Travel’s Marketing Manager, Cynthia:

Considering a visit to Central Europe?  Why not a river cruise where one can see some of our world’s most historic sites.  Buildings dating back to the early middle ages and towns that speak a thousand stories.  My husband and I decided to take a 7-night AMAWaterways river cruise down the Danube from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary.

Prior to the cruise, we decided to tour Prague in the Czech Republic on our own.  We stayed at the Augustine Hotel, a Luxury Collection hotel that was originally built as a monastery in 1284 AD.  The eclectic hotel decorated with hints of Czech Cubism is ideally located in the quiet Malá Strana neighborhood, just below the magnificent Prague Castle and less than a 10 minute walk to the famous Charles Bridge.  Most of the monastery was converted to a luxurious hotel, however 4 monks still keep residence on the property.  Our room was located at the front of the hotel.  If you keep the windows open you can hear the electric street car; however the windows are triple-pane glass and when closed, you can enjoy a good night’s sleep. (Some rooms have a view of Prague Castle or the inside courtyard/sundial garden). The king-sized bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was enormous and luxurious. The marble bathroom had heated floors and heated towel racks (we had three), plus a large soaking tub . . . a perfect solution for a day’s end of cobblestone walking. The hotel sales manager, Pavla gave us the grand tour of the hotel, including other rooms and suites, the downstairs multi-function room (once the monk’s private brewery) is used for private events and receptions, and the hotel’s hip “Refectory” bar offers the delicious St. Thomas Beer (this beer can only be purchased at the Augustine and is a must for beer lovers).  Next door,  just on the other side of the bar’s wall is the beautiful and ornate St. Thomas Church, part of the Augustinian monastery.  The ceiling frescoes are beautiful!

Augustine Hotel at night

St Augustine Hotel at Night

 

 

st thomas

 

 

 

st thomas 2

The Church next door – St. Thomas Church

 

st thomas beer

St. Thomas Beer

The restaurant is managed by Czech celebrity chef,  Executive Chef Marek Fichtner.  The daily breakfast buffet was amazingly delicious with the freshest of ingredients.  We also enjoyed a relaxing lunch on the outdoor patio overlooking their small garden of herbs.  Check out my mango salad.

mango salad

 

Augustine Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic, breakfast

Attractions:

Charles Bridge – Spend the day and evening on the historic Charles Bridge, crossing the Vltava river, commissioned by King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, to connect Prague Castle to the city’s Old Town.   Enjoy spectacular views of the fully lit Prague Castle in the evening and the Baroque statues that line the pedestrian walkway during the day. The bridge towers on each end of the bridge also offer great views of the river and city.

Here are some of our highlights:

Prague Castle –

  • Take either a guided tour or self-guided with audio or map.  Tickets can be purchased right at the castle if not during peak tourist season; otherwise book with the hotel concierge.  Be sure to visit St Vitus’s Cathedral and see the impressive tomb of St John Nepomuk made of 2 tons of silver; the architecture of the Old Royal Palace; and “Golden Lane” a narrow street of archer homes who defended the castle.  If weather permits, take the trail through the vineyards down to the main street – a 15 minute stroll downhill, unless you decide to stop at the different wine stops.  And if you decide to walk, visit the marvelous Wallenstein Garden at the bottom of the hill – A baroque style palace that is now the House of the Senate with a brilliantly landscaped garden that includes an artificial grotto with stalactites.
Prague Castle

Prague Castle

 

Old Town – Every morning at 10am (double-check with the Tourist Office in the square) – free tours are given in the Town Square

  • Old Town Square – Jan Hus Memorial
  • Astronomical Clock/ Old Town Hall
  • National Gallery
  • Municipal House is a famous Art Nouveau building and home to one of Prague’s finest concert halls.  We attended a concert performing Mozart and Vivaldi, plus opera in the grand Smetana Hall.  You will pay quite a bit less than you would for a similar concert in Vienna. Perhaps when you visit Prague, you may hear the music of one of  Bohemia’s most famous composers, Antonin Dvorak, who was born very close to Prague.

 

old town prague clock old town prague

old twon prague 2

old town prague 4

Municipal House - Art Noveau, Smetana concert hall

Municipal House – Art Noveau, Prague, Czech Republic, Dvorak, Mozart, Vivaldi

 Old Town Prague

 

New Town – Wenceslas Square for shopping.

  • National Theatre- Famous Opera House

Visit Café Louvre for coffee and pastries (also opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Built over 100 years ago, this café has been a gathering place for the town’s luminaries, such as Franz Kafka, Albert Einstein, and Czech/German intellectuals.

And of course try a Trdelník, a snack sold throughout the Czech Republic and Hungary – pastry dough wrapped around a metal rod is dusted with sugar, spice and nuts, and then grilled over an open-flame.  Some shops sell them filled with ice-cream or Nutella.

AmaWaterways River Cruise and Budapest experience coming shortly – Part 2 and Part 3.

Click here for Augustine Hotel special amenities and AmaWaterways specials.

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For more information, please contact Erin Zetter or Tina Slimp:

Erin Zetter, Leisure Travel Advisor

Email: ezetter@sbtravel.com

Phone: (805) 869-1140

Erin Zetter, Santa Barbara Travel

Erin Zetter, Santa Barbara Travel

 

 

 

Tina Slimp, Leisure Travel Advisor

Email: tnordholm@sbtravel.com

Phone: (805) 869-1112

Tina Slimp Santa Barbara Travel

Tina Slimp, Santa Barbara Travel

Santa Barbara Travel Aboard Crystal Serenity

Santa Barbara Travel on Crystal Serenity

Santa Barbara Travel Advisors, Sheila, Kathy, and Tina, on Crystal Serenity

Crystal Serenity sailing the Northwest Passage

Crystal Serenity sailing the Northwest Passage

Crystal Serenity often visits our hometown of Santa Barbara on its journeys along the West Coast. This last weekend, three of our advisors—Tina, Kathy, and Sheila—were invited aboard for a special tour. The ocean view was spectacular, but more impressive were the enrichment programs, exclusive Nobu Matushisa Restaurant, and the diversity of themed itineraries that will spark or fulfill your cultural passions.

“Travel is about discovering the world, as well as yourself. Crystal’s renowned roster of complimentary enrichment invites you to pursue individual interests and challenge yourself to try new things…allowing you to write as many new stories about yourself and the world as you wish.”

For those who revel in days-at-sea for the sheer bliss of getting away and changing your typical routine, you will appreciate the vast offerings from Crystal Cruises. Feed your passion and learn something new while on vacation!

Enjoy complimentary progressive courses offered by experts: develop a second language, learn the secrets of floral arrangements, become a wine connoisseur, study Tai Chi, pick up a paint brush, dive into the subjects of health and wellness, or catch up with the digital world with Crystal’s Computer University@Sea.

For the (physically) adventurous, you’ll love the Discovery Channel™ with expert shark divers, underwater photographers, and deep-sea treasure hunters!

Crystal Cruises also offers one of the most diverse groups of themed cruises in the industry. Like the perfect pairing of fine wine and cuisine, themes are connected to the region you sail, presenting you with opportunities to raise a glass of Australian Shiraz en route “Down Under” or to golf the legendary courses of Great Britain, not to mention the unbelievable talent aboard the opera and ballet cruises. You can also expand your passion for jazz, big band, up your golf game with PGA pros, and more.

…And it only gets better! Crystal Cruises just announced they will be redesigning Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, including larger suites, upgrades to the user experience, like open dining versus the current reservation system, and updates the restaurants.  Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, the specialty dining venues by famed Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, will be rebranded as Umi Uma – reflecting the Japanese word for Crystal’s eponymous seahorses. The authentic venues will still serve the inspired cuisine of Nobu, prepared by his personally trained chefs, and will remain the only Nobu restaurants at sea. As always, each guest may receive a complimentary experience at each restaurant.

Talk to our experts about the many wonderful options available through Crystal Cruises!

Tina Slimp

Tina Slimp

Email: tnordholm@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1112
Santa Barbara Office

 

Kathy Reimer

Kathy Reimer

Email: kreimer@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1151
Ventura Office

 

Particularly Passionate? You Will Love these Themed Cruises

Themed cruises are one of the best secrets, and those in the know—know. Receive incredible bonuses—like performances by Accademia Teatro alla Scalla opera singers, golf lessons from PGA pros, or culinary experiences that will surely impress. The possibilities are endless, so here are our favorites of the week. To find the best cruise for your interests, contact your advisor at Santa Barbara Travel Bureau.

Silversea Cruises and Accademia Teatro alla Scala

Photo provided by Silversea Cruises

Theme: Opera & Ballet
Company: Silversea Cruises
Silversea Cruises and the highly acclaimed Accademia Teatro alla Scala have partnered to create the most outstanding and unforgettable Opera cruise—with only 3 voyages in 2017. A lucky few will see exclusive opera performances by talented soloists from the most famous opera house in the world, meet them over cocktails, and enjoy lectures on the music any lyrics of the recital program. To those who are passionate about ballet, Silversea offers two exclusive onboard performances by soloists from L’Opéra de Paris and the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia with an unprecedented opportunity to meet these acclaimed dancers during your voyage.

Featured Opera Voyage

  • Select Sailing: September 21, 2017  |  7 Days  |  Silver Spirit Voyage 5727B
  • Featured: Four soloists from the Accademia Teatro alla Scala will perform the enigmatic, evocative and beautiful librettos from the world’s most magical operas on two occasions, with the opportunity to meet the stars aboard.

Featured Ballet Voyage

  • Select Sailings: September 03, 2017  |  7 Days  |  Silver Spirit Voyage 5725
  • Featured: Two acclaimed Ballet Stars from the famed State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia.
AmaWaterways Bordeaux Wine Cruise

AmaWaterways Taste of Bordeaux Sauternes Vines

Theme: Taste of Bordeaux
Company: AmaWaterways
AmaWaterways new “Taste of Bordeaux” is our choice for wine aficionados, and is an incredible boutique river cruise company. Sail in and out of Bordeaux along the Garonne River in France. Enjoy tastings of some of the region’s most distinguished wines, and visit notable UNESCO World Heritage sites. Shore excursions and wine tastings are included, of course, and you don’t have to pack your bags as you visit many of Frances best port towns.

Taste of Bordeaux Details

  • Select Sailings: Multiple Departures  |  7 Days  |  AmaDolce
Crystal Serenity Themed Cruises

Crystal Serenity at Geiranger Fjord – Norway

Theme: Passion Pursuer
Company: Crystal Cruises
Crystal Cruises offers the ultimate selection of themed cruises from golf with the pros to big band and ballroom dancing, to wine & food festivals with VIP guest Nobu Matsuhisa. The best part? You don’t pay any extra to get all this talent on board.

Featured Golf Voyage

  • Select Sailings: October 03, 2017  |  10 Days  |  Crystal Serenity  |  Canada/New England
  • Featured: Qualified instructors and PGA pros work with you, plus golf celebrities discuss the PGA Tour. Optional Crystal Adventures take you to world-famous courses.

The beauty of travel is the many ways, shapes, and forms that your greatest passions can be perfectly met. When we meet this need, we are able to feel at home in a completely foreign experience. Contact your Santa Barbara Travel advisor, or call our experienced advisors below. 

Tina Slimp

Tina Slimp

Email: tnordholm@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1112
Santa Barbara Office

Kathy Reimer

Kathy Reimer

Email: kreimer@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1151
Ventura Office

Culinary Cruise Pairings to Poach in 2017

These days, culinary themed cruises cater to specific passions, offering not only exceptional and exclusive menus, but also hands on learning and teaching from the finest. If you are a food aficionado, aka “foodie,” then you’ll love these culinary partnerships on the water this 2017.

Chef Thomas Keller Joins Seabourn

Chef Thomas Keller Joins Seabourn

World-renowned American chef and restaurateur, Thomas Keller, has designed the culinary experience aboard Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest. The culinary genius behind a trio of Michelin-starred restaurants – The French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon – Chef Keller brings his award-winning French and American cuisine to the ultra-luxury cruise line adding new flavors and flair to complement Seabourn’s already celebrated cuisine.

Chef: Tom Keller
Company: Seabourn

Master Chef Jacques Pepin Partners with Oceania Cruises

Enjoy gourmet cuisine curated by world-renowned Master Chef Jacques Pépin for the Oceania fleet. Accompanied by a master chef, tour a winery in Madeira or a fish market in Rio de Janeiro, taste the authentic flavors of a region, learn techniques in local cooking classes and then hone your skills at The Culinary Center.

Perks: Multiple open-seating dining venues for breakfast, lunch and dinner, at no additional charge & free 24-hour room service. The spectacular port-intensive itineraries feature overnight visits and extended evening port stays.

Chef: Jacques Pépin
Company: Oceania Cruises

 

“The enjoyment of good food is a universal pleasure. We merely try to share what we like, what gives us that pleasure day after day.”

LANSHU CHEN  –  LE MOÛT RESTAURANT, TAÏWAN

 

Chef David Blisland hosts Silversea's Culinary Trainer Program

Chef David Blisland hosts Silversea’s Culinary Trainer Program

Learn from the “Grands Chefs” of Relais and Châteaux by joining the select Culinary Arts Voyages with Silversea Cruises. On 14 exclusive voyages around the globe, Silversea guests can experience an innovative cooking school at sea concept, L’Ecole des Chefs by Relais & Châteaux. This culinary discovery experience offers a unique and interactive program, hosted by Silversea’s Culinary Trainer, Chef David Bilsland. In addition to cooking, enjoy the thrilling and memorable meals of “La Collection du Monde,” created exclusively for guests of Silversea. It is not just the menu that is extraordinary, it is the “selection of ingredients, honed techniques, perceptive associations of flavors [that] all combine to create an art of true excellence in perfect harmony with an idyllic setting.”

Perk: Silversea Cruises is the only cruise line to partner with the exclusive, globally renowned collection of “Grands Chefs” from Relais and Châteaux

Chef/Teacher: David Blisland
Company: Silversea Cruises

 

Culinary delight on Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Enjoy specialty restaurants and gourmet cuisine.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;

teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

Don’t just eat the best food, learn the secrets of making it yourself. The Culinary Arts Kitchen aboard Seven Seas Explorer will provide guests with all the ingredients to expand their culinary skills in a welcoming environment reminiscent of the most prestigious cooking schools in France in both layout and design. With highly individualized hands on instruction, you’ll learn the advanced techniques of the best, with themed menus for each destination.

Perks: Regent Seven Seas Explorer is the newest ship aboard the all-inclusive luxury cruise line.

Chef: You!
Company: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Santa Barbara Travel customizes the most magnificent culinary experiences on both sea and land. Call your Santa Barbara Travel advisor or visit our advisor page to find the best fit for you.

Enchanting India with Tamara Kinsell

tamara

If you had a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Santa Barbara Travel Associate, Tamara Kinsell chose India when the opportunity was presented. It was 1985, and the unknown destination of India became a two-week journey that would change her life—and perhaps yours. Join Tamara, your escort, on this unforgettable journey to “Enchanting India”.

On this guided trip in the Fall of 2017, step away from the boulevards lined with 5-Star hotels, which will be your home in India, and explore the labyrinth of streets teeming with vibrant colors,  exotic smells and tastes found in local markets and the unfolding panoramic views of the vast countryside. Ride an elephant, overnight in a luxurious tent in the fabled desert kingdom of Jaisalmer, and stay in a palace that was actually built for a king!

Mela GIrls in India. Photo by Tamara Kinsell

Mela GIrls in India. Photo by Tamara Kinsell

Find wonder and delight as you walk amongst the true palaces of India in the state of Rajasthan, the “dazzling land of princes and palaces – ancient traditions and quiet villages.”

Cast your eyes upon the famed Taj Mahal in Agra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and see it in the light that makes it float like a pearl.

Photo by Tamara Kinsell

Photo by Tamara Kinsell

When you travel with Tamara, you can dive deeper into the heart of India
This Fall, travel to India with Tamara Kinsell as your guide. Her 30+ years of experience will expose the intimate beauties of this golden country.

Meet Tamara and representatives from the India Tourist Board and Taj Hotels & Resorts by joining our March 9th  Enchanting India Evening. Call Santa Barbara Travel for location and event information. Call 805.869.1140 or ezetter@sbtravel.com

Erin Zetter

Erin Zetter

Travel Advisor, Santa Barbara

Email: ezetter@sbtravel.com

Phone: 805.869.1110
Direct: 805.869.1140

Meet the Silversea Expedition Fleet

For adventurous travelers who wish to visit remote parts of the world, Silversea Expeditions will take you there, and show them to you intimately. Each of their four Expedition Ships is specifically designed for adventurous terrain.

Silver Cloud

The Silver Cloud is joining the Expedition fleet! After an extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud will be the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Explore far-flung regions of the world, while eating lavishly on board in her five dining options. Watch whales breach from the veranda of your suite. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today. A limited number of guests, particularly with just 200 in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest ratios of space to guest; and crew to guest in expedition cruising.

protofinoSilversea

Silver Discoverer

Explore the remote islands of the vast Pacific aboard the 120-guest Silver Discoverer. Her shallow drift allows her to get closer to shore than the other vessels, and offers many vantage points to view the untamed landscapes of the Pacific Ocean. The fleet of 12 Zodiacs can deliver guests to secluded shores and wetlands to explore submerged ecosystems.

See wild life and wild places   on your Silversea Expedition Voyage

See wild life and wild places on your SilverSea Expedition Voyage

Silver Galapagos

A Galápagos expedition cruise, enjoyed aboard Silver Galapagos, brings you to one of the most isolated places in the world to encounter an abundant variety of wildlife species that is incredibly unique and found nowhere else on earth.The Galápagos archipelago is inaccessible to most, yet this isolation has allowed nature to develop in ways exclusive to the islands. Experience it all with complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking and nature hikes led by highly experienced  guides certified by the National Park of the Galápagos.

Explore the Galapagos aboard Silver Galapagos

Explore the Galapagos aboard Silver Galapagos

Silver Explorer

Explore some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions aboard Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship, specially designed for this purpose.  A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer Expedition cruise ship to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure.

From the Pacific to Alaska, Silver Discoverer is perfectly designed for the experience

From the Pacific to Alaska, Silver Discoverer is perfectly designed for the experience

To learn more about Silversea, call your Santa Barbara Travel Advisor!

Kathy Reimer

Kathy Reimer

Travel Advisor, Ventura

Email: kreimer@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1151

SeaDream Yacht Club Wine Voyages

“It’s Yachting, Not Cruising”

With SeaDream, look forward to a casual yachting experience that goes above and beyond expectations.

The twin yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, were voted “Best Small Luxury Cruise Ship of 2015” in ForbesLife. The intimate mega boutique yachts with 95 crew members and 112 guests makes each guest feel like they are on their very own private luxury yacht. Chic and stylish, SeaDream’s 56-stateroom yachts are favored for its elegant informality, highly personal service, inclusive open bar and gratuities, all ocean views staterooms and suites, luxury accommodations and world-class cuisine.

SeaDream I and II Nice

This Fall, sail from Nice to Malaga on a wine voyage designed to enhance both your culinary and yachting experience. Explore the flavors and history from some of the worlds most renowned wineries through exclusive wine tastings, and highlights such as a Winemaker’s Dinner with Chateau Gassier and Finca Valpiedra, offering a special menu complemented with top cuvees.

Nice to Malaga on SeaDream I

Nice to Malaga on SeaDream I

WINE VOYAGE ACTIVITIES

8th of Oct. Wine tasting with Chateau Gassier

9th of Oct. Visit to Castellet & Winery Visit, Sanary Sur Mer

10th of Oct. Winemaker’s Dinner with Chateau Gassier

12th of Oct. Visit to Cavas Recaredo & Chocolate Factory, Barcelona.

13th of Oct. Wine tasting with Finca Valpiedra

14th of Oct. Winemaker’s Dinner with Finca Valpiedra

15th of Oct. Cooking, strolling & tasting, Cartagena.

Itinerary is subject to change. For updated itinerary, please contact Santa Barbara Travel Bureau

For more information about SeaDream, please call your Santa Barbara Travel advisor.

Tina Slimp

Tina Slimp

Travel Advisor, Santa Barbara

Email: tnordholm@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1112

Sailing with Seabourn to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

When you travel with Seabourn, expect the experience to be “luxurious, yet relaxed — elegant, yet casual — sumptuous, yet understated.” Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites on all over the globe, and feel good about your cruise– this company understands what it is to be a conscious traveler. To this effect, Seabourn and UNESCO have partnered in a mission to promote sustainable tourism at World Heritage properties.

“For our guests, this partnership with UNESCO means their travels with Seabourn will be enhanced by deeper insight and information about these intriguing destinations while supporting their conservation through sustainable tourism.” The partnership helps to “engender a wide understanding and commitment for the UNESCO World Heritage Convention’s mission to identify, safeguard, and promote unique cultural and natural heritage around the world deemed to possess outstanding universal value for all humankind.”

Seabourn’s fleet features 5 ships of the award winning Odyssey Class — which includes Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest. The newest ships, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, will maintain a high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service by close to one staff member for each guest on board. With the addition of these two new ships, Seabourn will have the youngest and most modern ultra-luxury fleet in the industry.

Perhaps best of all, each ship offers all-suite accommodations, Seabourn’s signature water sports Marina, an open-bar policy serving premium wine, champagne and spirits, and renowned menus.

Sail to the heart of landmark cities, as well as to hidden gems where larger vessels cannot follow. Travel with interesting people like yourself, “who seek to share experiences beyond the ordinary.”

Featured Itinerary

Seabourn Ovation 11-Day Inaugural Mediterranean Voyage Destination Map

Seabourn Ovation 11-Day Inaugural Mediterranean Voyage Destination Map

05 MAY 2018
SHIP: Seabourn Ovation
DEPARTS: Venice, Italy
ARRIVES: Barcelona, Spain
From US$7,999 per person Veranda Suite
Prices may vary. Call your advisor for details and availability.

To learn more about sailing with Seabourn, call your Santa Barbara Travel advisor, or contact Corinne by email to chart@sbtravel.com or by calling 805.969.7746
If you are in Santa Barbara, ask about our local Small Ships Travel Shows to learn more from the industry’s leading companies.

Introducing Windstar’s James Beard Collection of Culinary Cruises

“Sip fine wines and eat like a locavore, with Windstar delectable food and wine themed cruises. Foodies: get ready to indulge your senses with a glimpse into the art and flavors of incredible cuisine from around the globe”

Wind Spirit photo (3)

Seattle, WA, February 7, 2017 — Windstar Cruises and the venerable James Beard Foundation are building an unprecedented travel-culinary partnership in 2017. The just-announced, exclusive partnership will result in scrumptious bites at sea for cruise guests and raise awareness of the epicurean delights to be discovered in ports around the world where the leading small ship line sails.

“Our partnership as the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation solidifies our goal to support culinary excellence and innovation, and be the world’s best small ship cruise line in everything that we do. We’re thrilled to offer our guests exclusive access to the Foundation’s diverse roster of award-winning chefs and cross-cultural culinary leaders who will help chart a course for extraordinary new menu offerings and dining experiences featured daily across our fleet wherever we sail in the world,” says Windstar President John Delaney.

“The James Beard Foundation welcomes unique opportunities to celebrate the chefs, writers and restaurateurs who advance both American and international culinary arts,” says James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro. “This Windstar partnership’s emphasis on innovation, superior service, intimate ambiance and the unique style of small ship cruising offers distinctive epicurean experiences while enjoying the cultures of France, Spain and Portugal.”

A hallmark of the partnership is a special themed food and wine cruise hosted by acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and author Hugh Acheson. Other major components include the James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection, a series of cruises throughout 2017 featuring James Beard award winners and nominees. Additionally, cruise guests on every single sailing enjoy culinary demonstrations by Windstar chefs of James Beard Award-winning chef recipes, and the addition of James Beard Foundation Signature Recipes aboard all Windstar sailings.

To learn more about Windstar’s James Beard Collection of Culinary Cruises in 2017, email chart@sbtravel.com or call 805.969.7746