On Silver Wind: A Moving Day In Jerusalem, Israel

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Silver Wind dumped half of its passenger load in Limassol, Cyprus. The reason: Our next two ports of call were in Israel, and apparently quite a few people were afraid to travel to this country in the Middle East. So they booked a half voyage. I can only say, Boy did they miss out.

My own mother opted out of this voyage for fear of “something happening.” A pity, because her lifelong dream had been to visit the Holy Land.

Silver Wind Dining: Steaks & Lava Stones, An Evening At ‘The Grill’

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Aghios, Greece

Morning in Aghios, on the island of Crete in Greece. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

Silver Wind docked this morning in Aghios, Greece. All aboard was at 12:30, so we only had a few hours in this small town situated in Crete.

After a leisurely breakfast, we did what many of the other guests did, headed to a café for internet and the obligatory coffee. Returning to the ship at noon, we had lunch and a relaxed day on board as we sailed past Greek isles on a beautiful October day. Our big decision for the day: Where would we have dinner?

Host Notes Part 2: Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage

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Cruise Specialists Voyage host Tom Mullen has become a fixture on world cruises and grand voyages, helping to entertain and guide our guests. On the Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage on the Holland America Line ms Amsterdam he has been sending post cards to document their stops!

Read part one to see their kick off in Alaska.

Now Tom catches us up on their first stops in Japan.

Open For Booking: Uniworld’s River Cruises Through India

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Consider this a friendly reminder: one of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s newest and most unique river cruise itineraries is now open for booking.

Dubbed India’s Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges, this 13-day itinerary traverses the exotic and complex country of India – one of the first of its kind to be offered by a North American-based river cruise line. Debuting in January 2016 aboard the newly-built Ganges Voyager II, this is the river cruise for those looking for something far removed from the ‘ordinary’ voyages along the Danube.

Coming Home To Silver Wind

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Suite 601 © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

The comforts of home in suite 601 on Silver Wind. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

Walking into Silver Wind’s reception area late Tuesday afternoon felt a lot like coming home. There were familiar faces, the first of which belonged to Flavio, the affable hotel director who hails from picturesque Positano. Flavio is a genuine reflection of Silversea’s Italian heritage. I had sailed with him in Australia and New Zealand on Silver Shadow a couple of years ago.

Viking River Cruises Outlines Special Fall Offers

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With fall officially here, this is typically the time of the year when those looking to take a springtime cruise in 2015 can really cash in.

Viking River Cruises is kicking off fall by offering a new promotion on their most popular river cruise itineraries in Europe, Russia, China and Southeast Asia. From now until October 31, guests can take advantage of an Early Booking Discount that applies to all European departures in March and April of 2015, and all 2015 Southeast Asia departures. Savings include 2-for-1 cruise fares and up to 2-for-1 on international airfare.

Host Notes from the Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage

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Cruise Specialists Voyage host Tom Mullen has become a fixture on world cruises and grand voyages, helping to entertain and guide our guests. On this grand cruise he is sharing moments from the trip with us via old fashioned postcards and we are thrilled. There is something truly wonderful about opening the mailbox to find a handwritten note!

Launching the Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage on the Holland America Line ms Amsterdam.

Shore Excursions From Kusadasi, Much More Than Ephesus

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Holland America Line’s Ryndam calls on Kusadasi © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

A lot of cruise passengers depart the dock in Kusadasi, visit the ancient historic site of Ephesus, and think they’re done. Having padded the fabled Marble Road (which connects the Celsus Library and the Great Theater in Ephesus), they check Kusadasi off their lists. Been there, done that.

I confess to being among that group. I characterized Kusadasi as offering only two things: 1) the town itself, a seaside resort, and 2) the ancient Greek, later Roman, city of Ephesus, about 30 minutes away from Kusadasi’s waterfront.

Cruise Specialists Introduces Amazing Aussie Adventure: 2015 “Boomerang Voyage”

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Today, Cruise Specialists is publicly announcing details of its “Boomerang Voyage” to Australia, February 8, 2015 to April 6, 2015.


The special two-month vacation package is incredibly unique, because it allows travelers to cruise roundtrip between the United States and Australia with no international flights aboard two of Cunard’s famed ships – the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria. Plus, Cruise Specialists’ discerning clientele taking advantage of the special Boomerang Voyage will enjoy an amazing 8-day Australian land package inserted between the two cruises.

Uniworld Offers Family Friendly Sailings

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River cruising isn’t just great for couples – it’s ideal for families as well. Being able to unpack once, yet sail to a number of exciting European towns, cities and landmarks takes away the logistical hassles that can plague land vacations. There’s no early hotel check-outs, no repeated loading of luggage onto motorcoaches. For families with kids or teenagers (and plenty of luggage), a river cruise is like the ideal vacation, wrapped up in a neat little package.