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Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Helsinki, Finland

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­With an all-aboard call for 12:45 p.m., today’s visit to the Finnish capital was a hasty one.  Although this was Melinda’s first visit, I’d been here on a number of occasions, so I volunteered to lead an independent tour of the city. Nestled around its scenic harbor, with most popular attractions within […]

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Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Tallinn, Estonia

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­Onboard Wind Surf ­ Having absorbed all the hype surrounding its medieval Old Town, said to be the best preserved in all of Europe, Tallinn was for us the most anticipated destination of the voyage. On our way into the historic center, we caught glimpses of a gleaming modern side of the […]

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Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: A day at sea

ONBOARD WIND SURF-A relaxing day at sea now and then is always a good thing, and we’re enjoying one today as we sail from Klaipeda to Tallinn, Estonia.  We didn’t get that much extra sleep, however, as we wanted to be on hand for a 9:30 a.m. galley tour with Executive Chef Olven Dsouza.  By […]

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Crystal Mozart is first luxury river ship to go ‘live’

Less than two months after embarking on her maiden voyage from Vienna, Crystal River Cruises’ Crystal Mozart has launched live view cameras – a river industry first – from three vantage points aboard the luxurious vessel. Travelers seeking a glimpse of the enchanting medieval villages, expansive landscapes and stunning cities on Crystal Mozart’s route along […]

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Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Klaipeda, Lithuania

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­Today’s visit to Klaipeda marks a couple of firsts: it’s the initial visit to Lithuania for both Melinda (Mel) and me, and it celebrates my 149th country visited.  The real milestone for me (150) comes on Sunday, however, when we tie up in Tallinn, Estonia.  No minor accomplishment, I suppose, in view […]

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Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Gdansk, Poland

ONBOARD WIND SURF-My partner and assistant Melinda and I are greeted this morning in Gdansk by sunny skies and a predicted high temperature of 72 degrees ­ quite a relief to this Floridian who has been suffering through an exceptionally hot, muggy summer. Those of a certain age might recall that Gdansk was the scene […]

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Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Bornholm Island, Denmark

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­ Following a restful night’s sail westward from Copenhagen into the Baltic Sea, we find ourselves this morning anchored just off the tiny port town of Gudhjem on the Danish island of Bornholm. Like most of our fellow passengers, we’d never been there and hadn’t even heard of the place until we […]

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Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: departing Copenhagen

ONBOARD WINDSURF-Reflecting recently on the nearly 50 cruises I’ve logged during a 36- year career as a freelance travel journalist, it occurred to me that, while I’ve sailed the world’s five oceans and most of its seven seas, there’s one major cruising destination I’d missed.  The Baltic. I’ve traveled extensively in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, […]

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Bob Ecker’s Bio

Bob Ecker

Bob Ecker is a Napa, California based freelance writer and photographer providing worldwide magazines, newspapers and websites with compelling destination travel, cruise, wine, culinary, hospitality, ski, automotive and feature content. His work appears regularly in the Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today and the Napa Valley Register; Business Jet Traveler Magazine, Business Traveler and […]

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Taste of Bordeaux cruise: Bordeaux

ABOARD AMADOLCE-Last day blues. Though I’m going off to Paris tomorrow morning, I’m always a bit sad to leave my home-away-from home after cruises like this, when the weather (and the scenery) has been simply gorgeous on both the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. I’ve seen so many stately chateaux and verdant vineyards, enjoyed tasting distinguished […]

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Caribbean cruise aboard the MSC Divina

ABOARD MSC DIVINA: There was a time in the world of cruising where most passengers hurried to the nearest shop as soon as disembarking – especially here in the Caribbean and purchased such goodies as jewelry, fragrance, liquor and even electronics, returning shipboard with arms full. I recall a stop in St. Martin where my […]

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Taste of Bordeaux cruise: Libourne and St. Emilion

ABOARD AMADOLCE-Two perfect days of tasting wine and delicious food. On Tuesday, we had our usual wine lecture and tasting from our resident expert, Christopher Silva of the St. Francis winery in Sonoma. This time it was Cabernet Sauvignon, about which I knew next to nothing. And now I know a few things that might […]

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Caribbean cruise aboard the MSC Divina: St. Martin

Posh shopping nesrby

ABOARD MSC DIVINA: The crowds gathered around the stairwells awaiting the announcement of arrival in Phillipsburg, the capital of Dutch St. Martin, have gathered early. Eager to head to beaches, to shop or tour, they all want to be first off the ship. It is the same in Barcelona, in Monaco, Ketchikan or Singapore, and […]

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