In Search of Polar Bears: Exploring Svalbard On Silver Explorer, Plus Boarding Tauck Savor

On The Rivers, Low Water, Change Of Plans & Some Bigs News From Crystal

In progress, two Live Voyage Reports. Aaron Saunders was on board Viking Vidar. That changed Sunday when low water caused him to shift to another ship. Which one? Find out on our sister site, River Cruise Advisor. My voyage on Tauck's ms Savor started not as planned in Regensburg but in Passau. How did guests react? Check it out in my story below and see my video of Tauck's innovative Loft cabins.  Also, be sure to see Aaron's polar bear sighting on Silver Explorer and my wrap-up of 10-days of barging in the south of France on CroisiEurope's Anne-Marie. - Ralph Grizzle

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Crystal Cruises is charting a new course, adding a luxury yacht in November this year, river cruise vessels in 2017, world trips on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and three 1,000-passenger expedition vessels from Lloyd Werft, starting in 2018. 

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Tauck's ms Savor: Danube Reflections, Day Three, Prague & A Diversion, Plus, My Loft Stateroom In Video

In progress: Two Live Voyage Reports, one from Ralph Grizzle traveling from Prague to Vienna, with seven days on Tauck’s ms Savor and the other from Aaron Saunders on a 15-day journey from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking’s Vidar (with interruptions and changes along the way).  Some news today. We would not be going to Regensburg as planned. Following our …

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Check out my video of Tauck's Loft Cabins

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Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 9: Polar Bear Hunting

Nanook of the North Friday, July 10, 2015 This morning, I awoke at 6:45 a.m. to discover Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Explorer was stopped in the middle of the ocean. Surrounded by fog with a visibility of maybe half a kilometre on either side of the ship, I figured this morning’s scenic cruising was scratched. At breakfast, the fog lifted. We …

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Barging In The South Of France: CroisiEurope's Anne-Marie, Day 10, Our Trip Comes To An End, Wrapping Up

My barge trip from Arles to Sete took place on CroisiEurope’s Anne-Marie June 17 through June 26, with pre- and post-trip overnights and activities. This post picks up on day 10, the last day of our adventure, June 26

Often I find that good trips become better in retrospect. I reflect on one particular moment, and I long to be back in that moment. I remember, for example, sitting in Frontignan’s town square among French families and couples enjoying late-evening karaoke outdoors. That moment was not scripted into our trip, as were the many tours that I also enjoyed. We had simply walked into town on an impulse after dinner. Sitting in that square with a glass of wine, listening to a young girl perform “La Vie En Rose,” well, life doesn’t get any better than that.

During each of our ten days traveling in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, I knew there would be moments I would remember long after I returned home: an exquisite lunch in Chateauneuf du Pape; marveling at the Roman arena in Arles; a hay ride through olive groves — I could go on.

If permitted to use a metaphor, I would say that like a good red wine, our trip in the south of France grows better as it breathes. The aroma becomes intense and each sip presents the palate with something that is full-bodied and delicious to the very last drop.

I will need moments of tranquility and joy to reflect on. We all need them. In my busy life back home, I am continually looking for tools to subdue stress. I seek out methods to combat the barrage of activity that forces agendas on me. There are many philosophers who emphasize the importance of living in the now as a means of eliminating the anxiety that too much to do creates. For me, though, it helps to live in the past, to immerse myself in those moments that brought such joy, or as they say in France, la joie de vivre. Following are a few of those memories.

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Join Me On A Silversea Voyage To Greenland On Silver Explorer

Wanna meet up? Why not Greenland? I'm headed there August 27, 2015, for a seven-day expedition on Silver Explorer. This is the perfect trip to couple with a longer Baltic itinerary roundtrip Copenhagen. That's because flying from the Danish capital is the easiest way to get to and from Greenland.

Of course, you'll need to check with your favorite cruise seller to see if there is still space remaining on Silversea Expeditions Voyage 7519. Then do a little research for Baltic cruises to marry with the expedition. No need to worry about packing winter gear for Greenland: Silversea gives you a complimentary Silversea-branded parka that will keep you warm out among the icebergs, and there will be plenty of those.

If you can't make it, then at least follow along here on Avid Cruiser as I file daily reports from our voyage.

The Silversea expedition will mark my third trip to Greenland, and I hope it's not my last. Anything but green (80 percent of Greenland is covered in ice), the world's largest island is part of the North American continent, but it is connected to Europe. An autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland is a fascinating place, and there's no better way to experience than on a Silversea expedition.

Here's what Silversea is promising on this voyage:

Read more and check out some gorgeous photos of Greenland.

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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 tip for cruises is ... click here to answer.

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