We're reporting live from Silver Wind leaving Muscat & Loire Princesse in France

Silver Wind Middle East Adventure Day 1: Embarkation in Muscat

Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself. - Henry Miller 

Aaron Saunders reports this week and next from Silver Wind, as he cruises from Muscat, Oman, to Athens, Greece. Getting to the vessel was a journey in and of itself: 29 hours of travel, including three flights and stops in two airports on two separate continents. His Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul touched down at Muscat Seeb International Airport in the Sultanate of Oman shortly before two this morning. By the time he reached his hotel – the Shangri-La Barr al Jissah Muscat – it was closing in on 3 a.m. What's ahead for Aaron? Follow his reports each day of the voyage. You can start doing so here.

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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, and while mine promises to be an exciting journey, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the people behind the river cruiser and their ever-expanding company. Meet them here.

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Shore Excursions From Barcelona: Montserrat & Its Monastery

Shore Excursions From Barcelona: Montserrat & Its Monastery

About 45 minutes to an hour from the port of Barcelona, Montserrat is a national park and a pilgrimage site in a spectacular setting. The name derives from the serrated look of the mountains. You can visit the basilica at Montserrat or simply come here for the stunning views over the valley. It is said that Christopher Columbus named the Caribbean island … read more.

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Sunset On Chateauneuf du Pape

The Best Of Marseille: UNESCO World Heritage, Fine Food & Wine & The Charm Of Provence

I learned that Marseille is a wonderful destination, full of history — if you know what to look for. Otherwise, the city can appear edgy and unsafe. Marseille is also the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the birthplace of world-class wines, and cities such as Avignon and Aix-en-Provence that exude the charm of this beautiful region. See them all in these posts: … read more.

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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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