Louis Cruises announces new Celestyal Cruises with two ships

  Just days after my Louis Cristal cruise ended, Louis Cruises has announced that it will be reaching for the stars and launching a new brand that promises to gives travelers an authentic Greek experience. I’m glad the company is heading in this direction since my Louis Cristal cruise showed me first hand what will be offered to travelers. And I think the new name is quite appropriate. “In September 2014 we will give a name to …

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End of Louis Cristal Cruise: Saying goodbye to Greece

ATHENS, Greece – What a perfect ending to a perfect cruise. Here I am on my last night in Greece, having dinner almost in the shadow of the Acropolis. Dining at Restaurant Atticos, I’m enjoying Greek salad, tender roast beef and potatoes, eggplant, fresh olives, chunks of cheese, olive oil and crispy bread. Other dishes are being passed around the table but I already know what I like, finished off with sweet baklava. And I am certainly …

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Louis Cristal Cruise: Ruins of ancient Ephesus filled with historical treasures

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL – Carved into stone, the drawing of a footprint may be the first public billboard advertisement ever recorded in history. “It pointed the way to the local brothel,” guide Bulent Yurttas said, leading us around the ancient city of Ephesus. The dots on the stone represent the number of prostitutes in the brothel and the heart carving means the women are eager for love. Never know what you are going to learn on …

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Louis Cristal Cruise: Are Santorini ruins the fabled Atlantis?

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL – Could this actually be the fabled Atlantis? Some people think it is and some research does support that belief. However, others believe the mysterious Atlantis never really existed. That it was a make-believe place used by the early Greek philosopher Plato to teach a lesson in humility. “I don’t have an opinion one way or another,” guide Maria said showing us around the ruins. “You can hear the story, see the site, …

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Louis Cristal Cruise: Christian catacombs, Venus de Milo & much more on Milos

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL – It gave me shivers just to be standing here. Tucked into a hillside on the Greek isle of Milos are the graves of  early Christians. These catacombs are from the 1st century AD. It is mind boggling to consider what took place here and how long ago it happened. This shore excursion is just another reason why my Louis Cristal cruise has been so special. “The catacombs are considered to be the …

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Star Clipper Sails the Med: Going with the Wind

This is a “slice of life” on board the Star Clipper, as it sails in the Mediterranean. The Star Clipper is a four masted barquentine. It is 111.57 m (366 ft 1 in) long and accommodates 170 passengers if full. Its weight is 300 metric tons. I recently came upon this quote, comparing sailing to motoring: “People with motor boats get on their boat to go somewhere. People with sailboats get on their boat and they are …

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Louis Cristal Cruise: Mesmerizing Mykonos a major mecca for travelers

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL – I could never understand what Jackie Kennedy saw in Aristotle Onassis. But I can certainly see why the former First Lady fell in love with the Greek island of Mykonos. Mesmerizing Mykonos is definitely one of the most popular and most-visited Greek isles. “The first cruise ship docked here in the 1920s,” guide Amaryllis said. But jet setters really put the spotlight on Mykonos in the 1960s. Some say Jackie Kennedy and …

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Yes, Oui Cannes

This is a video I did in a brief stop in Cannes, France. These were all done in a single day of wandering around the city on foot. It was the week before the Cannes Film Festival.

Louis Cristal cruise: Learning how beautiful Turkish carpets are made

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL – Just watching her makes my eyes, back and fingers hurt. But what a beautiful creation she is weaving and what an historic tradition she is continuing. “Every year it gets harder and harder to find weavers,” said Hakan Ogunc guiding us through a tour of Bulbul Mountain Looms. “Today, young people want to sit in front of computers. They don’t want to learn to do this.” The government-authorized carpet cooperative in Izmir, …

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