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Tenerife — Lofty Heights & Lava

Pico del Teidi (12,198 ft) is Spain

ABOARD THE STAR FLYER – A short overnight voyage landed us on Sunday, October 26, at the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Largest of the seven Canary Islands, Tenerife is also the highest, topped by soaring Pico del Teide, a dormant volcano of 12,198 feet, making it Spain’s highest peak. Teidi also ranks as […]

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Barcelona

A 40-minute walk from our hotel, including one wrong turn, finally brought us to our restaurant in el Raval district, about 20 minutes late for our 8:00 PM reservation. We found the lights out and the door locked. A man greeted us. He said they had a problem with the water and were closed. He […]

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Las Palmas’ hidden charms

ABOARD THE STAR FLYER – I questioned the appeal of Las Palmas, which has mushroomed from a cozy seacoast getaway of 60,000 people in 1970 to its present population of more than 400,000. Although the city center and its historic Old Town district of Vegueta are easily reached from the harbor, I decided to join […]

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Tangier plus sherry & horses

Cadiz was built with wealth generated by gold and silver from the New World, Cadiz, Spain.

ABOARD THE STAR FLYER — Once underway from Malaga, a quick overnight run to Tangier, Morocco set the stage for our first shore call. On Sunday, October 19, most passengers joined the ship’s “Secrets of Tangier” excursion – a three-hour mostly walking tour through the city’s ancient medina – an intriguing labyrinth of narrow streets […]

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Marrying romance & modernity

Star Flyer was the first of three sailing vessels built by Star Clipper founder Mikael Kraft, a Swedish-born entrepreneur and life-long sailing enthusiast. She was built in Ghent, Belgium in 1991, followed a year later by sister ship Star Clipper – and in 1994 by Royal Clipper– a larger five-masted 439-foot rendition of the same […]

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Crossing the Atlantic aboard a sailing ship, the Star Flyer

Mercado de Atarazanas, Malaga, Spain.

Crossing the Atlantic on a sailing ship had been on my bucket list for many years – inspired largely by a couple of voyages I made with Star Clipper vessels Star Flyer and Royal Clipper in 1991 and 1995 respectively. When the opportunity came about to join Star Flyer on a 22-day transatlantic crossing from […]

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Last night Crystal Cruises premiered a new production show, “My Life: The Music of Billy Joel”

ABOARD THE CRYSTAL SERENITY – Last night the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers premiered a new production, “My Life: The Music of Billy Joel,” to a full house. From the standing ovations given, I would say it was a smash hit. Headliner James Fox, who played the piano and sang as Joel, nailed his […]

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Crystal’s passengers are loyal and sailings fill up fast

ABOARD THE CRYSTAL SERENITY – Crystal Cruises only operates two luxury ships but it certainly does know how to fill them up. Crystal passengers are extremely loyal and return time after time. So far on this cruise, I have only met one person who is on their first Crystal cruise. At the Crystal Society cocktail […]

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Rhone River cruise features wine

When our travel agent friend, Donna asked if we’d be interested in a wine-themed cruise on France’s Rhone River, we said, “Are you kidding? Sign us up.” And so, here we are about to embark on our first European river cruise, something that’s been on our short list since we hired a self-drive barge in […]

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Lovely wedding at sea aboard the new Regal Princess

ABOARD THE REGAL PRINCESS — Has anyone ever said a wedding was awful? No. Weddings, like babies and newborn kittens, are all pretty wonderful to watch, those marvelous magic moments we remember for years. When fellow travel writers – Fran Golden and David Molyneaux (who is a writer for this website) — were wed on […]

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When lunch at a cruise port is a welcome excursion

When you are planning a port day for an upcoming cruise, and are looking to step away from the typical tour paths, consider lunch. One way to get a feel of a port is to taste it. I look for casual spots that attract locals, have reasonable prices, and menus with regional specialties. For cruisers, […]

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Art abounds on Regal Princess

Walking through the Regal Princess, it is hard not to notice the stunning art and architecture. The moment that you step onboard, you will walk into the Piazza, a dazzling display of glass, water and crystal features. The beauty extends beyond the social center of the ship, though. Around every bend and in every corridor, […]

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