Exploring Nantes by bicycle before boarding Loire Princesse on Thursday

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Before Boarding Loire Princesse: Getting To Know Nantes, By Bike

Tomorrow, I board CroisiEurope's Loire Princesse — again. I was on the new vessel this past weekend for inaugural events, which I wrote about here. Loire Princesse is the first of its kind, a paddle-wheeler plying the Loire. She's a beauty and a technological success, not only for Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope but also for the region of Nantes and for travelers, like you and me.

I'll be reporting from the new ship beginning on Thursday, April 9. For now, I wanted to share with you how I've come to know and appreciate Nantes — on the seat of a bicycle.

Nantes is as bike-friendly as Copenhagen or Amsterdam, with dedicated bike roads and bike-aware drivers. I've spent a few hours each day exploring the city and riding out into the countryside along the rivers. The weather gods could not have been kinder during my stay here. I've pedaled under sunshine and blue skies on a bike that I rented for 31 euros for three days (actually the nice folks at Detours de Loire threw in an extra afternoon on the day when I picked up the bike.)

Read more about exploring Nantes on a bike.

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Silver Wind Middle East Adventure Day 3: Salalah, Oman

Ships of Sand and Fog in Salalah “After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.” - William S. Burroughs Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Last night after filing my daily report, I took a stroll around Silversea’s elegant Silver Wind at 0130 in the morning. …

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Silver Wind Middle East Adventure Day 2: At Sea

At Sea en-route to Salalah, Oman Position as of Noon: 19° 59’02” N, 58° 50’25” E Speed: 15.80 knots Wind: 50 km/h / Seas: 1 metre Distance Sailed from Muscat: 268 Nautical Miles   Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports Monday, April 6, 2015 Our first day onboard Silversea’s elegant Silver Wind is a relaxing one, as we spend a day …

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The People Of CroisiEurope: The Strasbourg Company Shows Its Soul

She's a beauty, the new Loire Princesse, that is. I will be showing you plenty of her when I step aboard April 9 for a six-day cruise along the lazy Loire River, with its shallow depths (hence, the vessel's new paddlewheel technology) and UNESCO World Heritage attractions. Loire Princesse is the first hotel ship ever to explore the Loire and its tributaries, …

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7 Days Of All-Inclusive Barging, Plus Three Hotel Nights & Tours, $3,995 Per Person

Ready to go barging with our group of intrepid travelers? We have a great trip planned — a really great trip — and at a great price, $3,995 per person, double occupancy.

You'll need to contact me directly to get this price, and it's easiest to do so by using this link

Here's what is included:

• Six nights/Seven days of all-inclusive barging from Arles to Sete*

• Tours included everyday of the barge trip.

• PLUS two pre-hotel nights in a five-star hotel in Arles, including breakfast**

• PLUS one post-hotel night in a four-star hotel in Montpelier, including breakfast**

• PLUS three additional exclusive tours: Avignon, Pont du Gard & Chateauneuf du Pape, Sete Gourmet Markets Tour & Montpelier Tour

• For only $3,995  per person

* Transfers to Arles at the beginning of the trip and from Montpelier at the end of the trip are not included ** Note that a few lunches and dinners are not included for the pre/post days

I believe this trip offers an exceptional value. Barge trips nearly always start at more than $4,000 per person. And those are the beginning prices for the barge portion only. We're adding three extra nights at four- and five-star hotels, plus we're also adding special tours. All for $3,995 per person. CroisiEurope's price for the barge cruise alone is $2,824.

You'll find all of the details of the trip here.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you'd like to book space by contacting me through the form at this link.

I'm excited about taking you along and showing you some of my favorite places in one of my favorite regions of the world - and via a mode of travel that I think you'll find particularly appealing, barging.

Bon voyage, Ralph Grizzle

Six Tips To Extract More Joy From Your Cruise

In this free special report, I’ve put together a half dozen actionable items that can make the difference between cruise vacations that are memorable and others that fail to measure up to all you had hoped they would be. I’ve cruised on hundreds of ships, as a solo traveler and with family and friends.  — Ralph Grizzle, The Avid Cruiser

Click to download the report.

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Complete this thought: My best packing trip for cruises is ... click here to answer.

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