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TRAVEL BLOG

Romance on the Rivers of Europe

When it comes to an extraordinary river cruise in Europe, Uniworld is one of our top choices for Romance All Year. This global company brings over 50 years of experience owning and operating luxury boutique hotels worldwide, but their European packages are all-inclusive, from airfare (details below), to daily on-shore excursions, to butler service, food, and gratuity. The intimate size of these ships brings them closer to a boutique hotel than a cruise ship.

tulips and windmills

You will find something to suit your travel passion, from trips themed around Holland’s Tulips and Windmills, the Castles along the Rhine, a wine-voyage through France, or the newest trip added for off-the-beaten-path travel through Eastern Europe. With over twenty options to take you and your partner down the Rhine, Moselle, Main, and Danube Rivers, or France’s Seine, Rhone, Dordogne Rivers, or Italy’s Po River, there won’t be a challenge finding the perfect itinerary, especially not with our expertise.

castles along the rhine

The beauty of a river cruise (versus an ocean cruise) is the intimacy and comfort of the setting. Consider your trip a voyage down one of Europe’s picturesque rivers in a “luxury boutique hotel” that takes you from place to place, allowing you and your travel partner to explore a new town every day without the typical exhaustion or hassle of getting there. When the day is done, step aboard.

interior

Aboard the ship, you’ll be treated like Royalty, seriously! We are happy to report that all guests in suites onboard the European fleet (except Russia and Portugal) will have their own butler trained to the same exacting standards required by the Buckingham Palace, starting this year…You wanted to travel in style?

dining room

If you are thinking about “cruise ship food” with a cringe, don’t worry– the “Foodie” in you will rejoice. Uniworld is dedicated to farm-to-table culinary experiences, which means fresh, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients are used to plan meals that truly embody the unique character of each region along the way.

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So, what do you think? Can you see yourself on the deck, cruising down the Rhine at sunset… waking up to the best riverside view you’ve ever seen?

Make your reservation by February 29th, and your Economy Air ticket to Europe will be FREE on most itineraries.

Contact Nancy Herrmann in the Santa Barbara Office to discuss the details of your Romantic European River Cruise by calling 805.869.1100 or emailing nherrmann@sbtravel.com.

Charlie’s Bucket List Destination: The Wickaninnish Inn

Wick-a-nin-nish Inn

Usually we don’t consider the hotel the “destination” but in the case of the Wickaninnish Inn, it’s worth the trip. Known to friends (which all guests become) as the “Wick Inn,” this family-owned and operated lodge will speak to the part of you looking for a nice, quiet place to take your time and relax. Enjoy a nice stroll through the old-growth forest behind you, or walk the Pacific coastline in front of you. Have no commitment except to the warmth of the fireplace.

Wick Inn canopy suite view

Ocean View from the Canopy Suite

Located on the West Coast of Vancouver, this rustic last-frontier-style lodge is the perfect place to be on the edge of wilderness while still experiencing top luxury. Each season varies quite greatly, so you will want to know what kind of experience you are craving. No matter when you travel, enjoy the hand-carved artwork and furniture made by Henry Nolla over his 25 years at the Wick Inn, including the beautiful fireplace mantles in each room.

Henry Nolla in the Wood Carving Shed

Henry Nolla in the Wood Carving Shed

This lodge first came on our radar through Charles de L’Arbre, owner and CEO of Santa Barbara Travel Bureau, when we asked him what his dream destinations were. A trip to the Wick Inn was top on his travel list. It turns out that Charles has a soft spot for extreme weather, and watching trans-pacific waves crash outside while sitting by the warmth of a private fireplace is right up his alley. The best season for this kind of experience is the Winter Season (November to February). Living in the dry hills of Santa Barbara doesn’t quite offer the same… weather.

wick inn storm watch 2

Winter Storm Watching Season (November to February)

The peak season, however, is in the Summer. The Wick Inn is a beautiful beach resort, hosting weddings, proposals, vow renewals, birthdays, family reunions and more. You can easily explore the surrounding area, or enjoy the rustic luxury of the Inn. If you are looking for romance– this is your spot. Save with the “All You Need is Love” package or take a healthy, spa- and yoga-based approach with the “Ancient Cedars Active Health” package, which includes massages, yoga classes, and gourmet meals for two.

Beautiful ceremonies available at the Wickaninnish Inn to celebrate the occasion

Beautiful ceremonies available at the Wickaninnish Inn to celebrate the occasion

If you love adventuring, we suggest the “Wilderness to Wickaninnish Package.” The Wick Inn and the new Clayoquot Wilderness Resort have partnered to offer the most incredible experience to those who want to explore Vancouver Island. Stay in a luxurious tent (no, we are not kidding), and during the day explore by hiking, kayaking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing amidst the spectacular wilderness, followed with massages and gourmet meals for two. After a few days in the wilderness, relax at the Wick Inn.

Walk amongst the Old Grown Rainforest

Walk amongst the Old Grown Rainforest

With only 75 rooms, each with an ocean-view balcony, fireplace, and giant soaking hot tub, you will feel the excitement of a new frontier amidst a rustic backdrop and modern luxury.

Call Charles de L’Arbre at 805.969.7746, or email him at charlesd@sbtravel.com to talk about this beautiful property.
Thank you to the Wickaninnish Inn for providing these beautiful photos.

Tropical Romance for Love All Year: Kauai

Kaua’i, United States

Recommended Travel Season: September & November or April to June

Best time to make your reservations: Winter and Spring.

Call Your Santa Barbara Travel Advisor or Tina at 806.966.3116 for details

The beautiful island of Kaua’i, nicknamed the “Garden Isle,” is on the top of our list for romantic vacation destinations. Take a hike along the dramatic cliffs of the Na Pali Coast, pick your own guavas hiking through tropical jungles with a waterfall as your destination, swim in the warm ocean waters, and enjoy the amenities at your resort for luxurious relaxation.

Kauai-1

Welcome to Kaua’i! Extreme landscapes, luscious terrain, and beautiful culture

When considering Kauai, we recommend visiting between September and November or from April to June, when the climate is mellow and the prices are reasonable. If you can’t travel during that time, you’ll still enjoy Hawaii, just expect more heat or rain.

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St. Regis Princeville

The St. Regis Princeville is one of our favorite properties on Kaua’i, introducing an “unparalleled level of sophistication and serene luxury.” We love the location overlooking Hanalei Bay, and the spacious 9,000 acre resort community offers all of the best amenities you would want in reach. Together you two can ride horses along the Na Molokama mountain range, kayak the Hanalei River, go snorkeling in the pristine Hawaiian waters, visit tropical botanical gardens, Kayak, and surf. If you are bringing the kids, look forward to Ukelele lessons, Hanalei Stargazing, Lei Making, snorkeling, jungle adventures, and beachside bonfires. Or, just hang with your Pina Colada at the poolside.

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Give yourself more than a long weekend– that fourth night will be free when you make your St. Regis Princeville reservation through Santa Barbara Travel Bureau by December 22, 2016. You will also receive the following exclusive amenities:

  • Upgrade at time of check-in (based on availability)
  • $100.00 Resort Credit to be used during your stay
  • Complimentary breakfast for 2 at Makana Terrace

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Call your Santa Barbara Travel Advisor or Tina for details:

805-966-3116

tnordholm@sbtravel.com