Themed Cruises – Ocean, River, or Bike & Barge

It’s fun to focus on themed cruises – whether it is ocean, river, or bike and barge.
We’ve just finished up the month of February, or “wave month” as it is known in the travel industry. There were lots of terrific sales on the more mass market ocean cruise partners such as Royal Caribbean, NCL, Celebrity, and HAL.  Let me know if you’re looking for an ocean cruise holiday – regardless of whether “wave month” is over, there are terrific options and offers.
And a truly special offer for those of you who like luxury ocean cruising, why not consider the best cruise line out there (as touted by T&L, 21 years in a row.) I have a terrific offer with Crystal, following up on my Hawaiian BBQ Event on Feb.14th. (Contact me for more details.)
As we move into March, there’s a little overlap with the blending of ocean and river cruise focus. As “wave” February gives way to easier roll of “river cruise” March :-), let me know if you are considering a river cruise for your next vacation. Having done my first river cruise last year with Tauck (after having experienced many ocean cruises), I completely “get” why it is the hottest trend in travel. It is a wonderful, incredibly relaxing, small ship experience (with the largest Viking ships having 190 passengers onboard, to Tauck having an average of 130 – compare that to some ocean lines having 6000 people onboard).  I’ve heard it described that ocean cruising is like sailing onboard a floating city, while river cruising is sailing onboard a floating boutique hotel. You can open your sliding door on a river cruise, and hear birds chirp, hear cars go down the street, and see everything you cane on holiday to see – right in the heart of where you want to be. And, there’s no such thing as getting seasick on a river cruise because you always see land.
Have a look at this little video I filmed from my stateroom on my Tauck river cruise last July.
sailing towards Rothenburg, Germany on Tauck's MS Savor
sailing towards Rothenburg, Germany on Tauck’s MS Savor

I had two Scenic River Cruise presentations last week. (See blog post and youtube link for more details click here). Yesterday, I had a presentation with Avalon Waterways. And there are other offers with Tauck, Ama Waterways, Uniworld, and Viking.  You can find some details on my Avalon event in a separate blog (or contact me for details).

Turning our attention to some themed cruising, let’s consider different kinds of cruising – whether it’s ocean, river, or bike ‘n barge; or maybe even expedition cruising. I’m highlighting some bike and barge holidays around Europe in the 3 active trips highlighted below. The bike and barge holidays are more budget-moderate in their comfort level (and the price reflects that style of travel accordingly). And, I will mirror the cruising theme in the VAST (Virtuoso Active & Speciality Travel) holidays below as well.

But, here are some themed-cruises to pique your interests:

ocean cruising:
river cruising:


Loire Valley Bike & Barge 
8 Days – June 13th 2015 (other dates also available)  

Cycling the quiet roads of the Loire Valley we encounter this region’s rich history, culture and delightful scenery. Our itinerary takes in the highlights including the magnificent 12th century chateau and gardens at Apremont, the ancient Roman town of La Charité-sur-Loire and the local market in Châtillon-Coligny. By night retire to our private barge, custom built for cruising on the French canals. The relaxed atmosphere on board will make you feel at home quickly as will the comfortable cabins, most of which have private facilities.

Cost from CAD $1560 p.p. twin share (Land Only). Read more:

The Danube by Bike & Boat 
8 Days – June 6th 2015 (other dates available) 

Europe’s second longest river the Danube courses through ten nations en route to the Black Sea. This itinerary follows its journey through Austria and some of the most romantic European landscapes. From the cobblestoned streets of charming Passau head out into Germany’s Bavaria winding your way past enchanting monasteries and majestic castles. By boat cruise the Danube through Upper Austria to Linz, a city of Baroque architecture and diverse history. Cycling across the Wachau Valley past meadows and forests you will encounter atmospheric landscapes and sites of arresting history.

Cost from CAD $1390 p.p. twin share (Land Only). Read



Bike & Barge – Amsterdam to Bruges
8 Days – May 9th 2015 (other dates available)

Walk the The highlights of Holland and Belgium are uncovered on this unique cycling tour of the lowlands and North Sea coast. Beginning in Amsterdam, we visit Gouda which is well known for its cheese and then cycle to the world famous windmills of Kinderdijk before heading through Dordrecht and the natural reserve of Biesbosch to Willemstad. We continue by barge across the impressive waterways of Zeeland and onto the lively town of Antwerp in Belgium. In the delightful town of Ghent we have a walking tour before continuing to Bruges where small chocolatiers and waffle sellers offer a great reward for your cycling efforts!
Cost from CAD $1460 p.p. twin share (Land Only) Read more:–barge-amsterdam-to-bruges
Top 5 VAST Active Trips
Virtuoso Active & Specialty Travel (VAST)
Click to Read
The New 2015 Vast Collection Catalog is out. Click on the photo on the right to see more.
Besides the great trips sampled above, I also work with VAST suppliers to add even another layer of wonder and discovery. VAST is a special subsection of my Virtuoso network partners, and that unique collection offers some really specialized active adventures and extraordinary experiences.
There are so many ways to work with VAST partners, and have a different kind of getaway. Here is a sampling of some trips that will help you consider themed cruises by ocean, river, & expedition cruising! (Remember, the bike & barge holiday is more basic accommodations – so I have them highlighted above.)
2. Tauck – A Taste of France
Contact me for more details.
Sheila Gallant-Halloran