A Taste of Dutch Christmas

When I open the cabin drapes this morning, I’m treated to a view of the heart of Amsterdam.  The Central Station is just a walk away! The surprising shape of the EYE Film Museum glows even in the early light, and the Dutch are already zipping by on their bikes.  This is one of my favorite cities in Europe and I’m excited to see it ‘glammed’ up for Christmas. Some passengers will be heading out to the …

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Cologne and Dusseldorf, Decked out for the Holidays

Since we had been to Cologne recently, we decided to tour nearby Dusseldorf as our choice of excursion today. This is a very cool town, with Frank Ghery modernism combined with medieval churches to produce a dynamic atmosphere.  There are several Christmas Markets in the heart of the city, each with a different personality. One is the Angel Market, another is a traditional market, and one is very controversial . The designers attempted to make this market …

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Wine and Food Pairing at La Rive

This evening we are invited to experience La Rive, a special dining experience where the chef designs a tasting menu which is paired with the perfect wine to match the flavours of each dish. There were six courses, as well as an Amuse Bouche to start -which was served with a prosecco cocktail. The first course was a lemongrass Creme Brulee served with a 2010 Grauburgunder, followed by salmon carpaccio paired with a 2011 William Fevre Chablis. …

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Scenic Tours, Christmas Markets Cruise-A day in historic Wurzburg

WURZBURG-Today we are docked in historic Wurzburg, a charming old city that straddles the river.  It is infamous for the witch trials that took place here in the early 1600’s.  Much of the city was destroyed in fire bombings at the end of World War 11, but the city has been painstakingly and lovingly restored. The graceful old bridge, the Alte Mainbrucke, is adorned with statues of saints and historic figures and resembles the Charles Bridge in …

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Scenic Christmas Markets cruise

We awoke this morning in Bamberg, to slightly chilly weather and little flakes of snow, quite perfect for a tour of this lovely old town.  We did a walking tour with guide Christian, who told us the history of the town and showed us the cathedral, the royal residences, and the historic buildings, including an ancient brewery, famous for its smokey beer.  We ended at the Main square with its traditional Christmas market and wandered for an …

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The Christmas Markets Cruise: Aboard the MS Scenic Crystal with Scenic Tours Initial Impressions and a Warm Welcome

Within minutes of boarding the ship, we had met many of the crew members, we had been given a quick overview of the boat and our private butler had introduced us to the details of daily life on the Crystal. (Two pieces of ironing can be done gratis each day, the mini bar is restocked daily, there’s a “Do Not disturb” light to engage when you want to be left alone, etc. ) We unpacked – the cupboards …

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The Christmas Markets Cruise: Aboard the MS Scenic Crystal with Scenic Tours, Nuremberg to Amsterdam

Before I embarked on this cruise on board the MS Scenic Crystal, I was assured that the experience would be five star, and that it would totally inclusive.  So I have decided that I will put my wallet away once I am on board and see if it’s possible to do this eight day cruise without having to supplement the initial cost. (Except for shopping in the Christmas markets of course.) The first indication that this would …

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New river cruise line announced today: Emerald Waterways enters the mid-priced market with two new ships

The rumors of a new river cruise line have been floating around for a number of months – and now they are confirmed. Emerald Waterways is the first new European river cruise company to set sail in more than six years and aims to make a big splash in the fast-growing market. With the industry’s newest ships, custom-built to exceed guest’s expectations and offering such amenities as a heated swimming pool and a movie theater, Emerald Waterways …

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Scenic launches two of its five rebuilt ‘Space-Ships’ — brand new look for 2013

Scenic Cruises has officially launched two of its five ‘Space-Ships’ that spent the winter being nearly completely rebuilt. The revamped Scenic Diamond and Scenic Sapphire have officially welcomed their first guests of the season, earning rave reviews for the changes that took place over the course of the last few months. Because his company remains committed to maintaining the highest level of guest experience, owner Glen Moroney opted to spend $10 million to update five of Scenic’s …

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Scenic Tours opens reservations for its 2011 river cruises

Scenic Tours has opened river cruise reservations for the 2011 season. The new brochure will be available at the end of May. The Scenic Pearl will join four sister ships in spring 2011. Also new for 2011 are an eight-day “Tulip Time” cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam; a 14-day “Romantic Rhine & Moselle” cruise from Amsterdam to Basel; a ScenicEnrich experience to Marksburg Castle in Braubach on the Rhine; a choice of three included sightseeing tours in most …

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