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On Silver Discoverer In Russia’s Far East: In Pursuit Of The Reindeer Herders

Posted by on August 13, 2014

We couldn’t have asked for a more diverse or event-filled day on Silver Discoverer. Our morning started off with a hike through a glacial valley, past bubbling streams, and across Arctic tundra, to a lake on a day warm enough to merit a splash. The landscape – and the day were absolutely stunning.

On Silver Discoverer: Visiting Remote Tymlat Village, Plus, An Interview With Conrad Combrink

Posted by on August 11, 2014

On Silver Discoverer, Cruising Russia’s Far East

There are only a little more than 8,000 Koriak people in the world. A handful of them greeted us when our zodiacs pulled ashore this afternoon in Tymlat Village. 

Before entering the village, our spirits were cleansed through a ritual that required us to place a blade of grass on a fire. After that, we were lightly switched as we made our way uphill to the community.

Day 3 – Our Medallion Suite On Silver Discoverer

Posted by on August 8, 2014

Our Home For Two Weeks: Silver Discoverer’s Medallion Suite from Ralph Grizzle on Vimeo.

Our home for our two-week expedition is the most spacious suite on Silver Discoverer. Measuring 408 square feet, including the 27-square-foot balcony, the Medallion Suite features a living room with a sitting area, twin or queen-sized bed and complimentary backpacks and parkas, two flat-panel televisions with on-demand movies, and a large marbled bathroom with a walk-in shower. Laundry and pressing is included for guests occupying the Medallion Suite. If it’s living space that you appreciate on your expedition, then you’re going to like the Medallion Suite.

Silver Discoverer Day 1 – Boarding In Nome To Cruise Russia’s Far East

Posted by on August 6, 2014

Day 1 — Nome, Alaska, U.S.A. Once all guests have embarked, we depart on our spectacular 15-day, Great Northern Expedition. This afternoon we will be introduced to our expedition team and participate in the safety drill before setting sail.

It is 2 a.m. Some things are clear. Others remain shrouded in mystery.

Of those things that are clear.

1. We left Nome, Alaska hours ago — precisely how many hours I cannot say. I am comatose, having traveled 2.5 days to get to Nome (from where, I will tell you in a moment).

AmaVida Day 6 – Castelo Rodrigo, Scenic Cruising & Quinta da Avessada

Posted by on August 5, 2014

Ralph Grizzle is currently sailing onboard AmaWaterways’ AmaVida along Portugal’s Douro River.

What’s on tap for today?

After breakfast, tour Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small fortified village perched high on a hilltop. See 16th-century walls and walk down very narrow and steep medieval streets. Among the sights is the Chafariz dos Pretos in the market square, a one-of-a-kind fountain decorated with striking black faces. Enjoy a tasting of honey, nuts and olives, then have lunch on board followed by a wine tasting as the ship sails to Regua. After arriving this evening, you will be treated to Moscatel de Favaios (a sweet fortified wine) and traditional Portuguese foods at a wine estate, Quinta Avessada. Your dinner with the quinta’s owner and his delightful family will be an unforgettable highlight of your trip. The ship moors overnight.

AmaVida Day 5 – Salamanca Flamenco Show, Rejoining AmaVida in Barca d’Alva

Posted by on July 31, 2014

Ralph Grizzle is currently sailing Portugal’s Douro River onboard AmaWaterways’ AmaVida.

What’s on tap for today?

Drive to Salamanca for a full day tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at the center of the Castilla y León region of Spain. During your guided city tour, you will see the University buildings, the Salamanca Cathedral and the House of Shells. Enjoy a flamenco show as you dine on a lunch of delicious and authentic Spanish cuisine in a local restaurant. Later, spend some time exploring on your own, perhaps visit the locals’ “living room,” known as the Plaza Mayor. Rejoin the ship in Barca d’Alva, where we moor overnight.

AmaVida Day 4: Shrine Of Our Lady Of Remedies & Scenic Cruising On The Douro

Posted by on July 29, 2014

Ralph Grizzle is currently sailing onboard AmaWaterways AmaVida through Portugal’s Douro River Valley.

What’s on tap for today?

Today, we visited picturesque Lamego, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). There are more than 600 steps to ascend to the top – but fortunately we’d be starting at the top and walking down! It was still a very memorable experience. To think that the pilgrims who visit here actually go up on their knees…

Cruising’s Quest For More Varied Cuisine

Posted by on July 29, 2014

Cruise Ship Dining Options Demystified

Food aboard cruise ships has never tasted so good! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Food aboard cruise ships has never tasted so good. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Two decades ago, dining aboard a cruise ship was a straightforward affair: Dinners were either early-seating (served at around 5:30 p.m.) or late seating (at around 8 p.m.) Tables were set, and you dined with the same guests and enjoyed the same wait staff for the duration of your voyage.

AmaVida Day 3 – Timelapse On The Douro & Visiting Mateus Palace

Posted by on July 25, 2014

What’s on tap for today?

Cruise to Régua this morning and enjoy a tour of Palacio de Mateus and its gardens, located in the beautiful region of Trás-os-Montes just outside the city of Vila Real. Later, visit the Sandeman Company’s impressive visitors’ facility and winery, Quinta do Seixo, which offers a wine tasting and a comprehensive and fascinating look at port wine production. Cruise to Pinhão where the ship moors overnight.

About Our Douro River Cruise On AmaVida

This Week Cruising The Douro River On AmaWaterways

Posted by on July 21, 2014

This week, we’re traveling from Copenhagen to Portugal to river cruise along the beautiful Douro River. We’ll be cruising through the heart of the Duoro Valley, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known for its wine production. In fact, ours is a special wine-themed cruise on AmaVida, operated by AmaWaterways.

Join us for an inspiring week in Portugal.We’ll be posting daily “video vignettes” each day of our voyage.  

Where We’re Cruising On AmaVida