"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." — Louisa May Alcott
I've been thinking a lot about cruises this week! On Friday night, Columba from AmaWaterways was my guest at The Montauk Club's monthly Travel Night I started. AmaWaterways has fewer ships than the other river cruise line you're probably familiar with - and they like it that way. They're smaller, family owned and operated, and where they do sail, they do it incredibly well. Many cruise lines offer a low initial price to get on the ship, but you end up "paying to get off the ship," as we say, once you've added in drink packages, even coffees, Wi-Fi, shore excursions, etc. With AmaWaterways, the price may at first appear higher, but it includes nearly everything.
I've sailed with AmaWaterways twice on Portugal's unforgettable Douro River; with Madrid and Lisbon pre and post cruise extensions, and sailing to and from Porto (pictured above) is a magical experience. Below are some cruises that really spoke to me personally during Columba's presentation last week.
Brand new Magdalena River itineraries in Colombia
Impressions of the Seine & Paris with a three-night post trip to St. Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel
Secrets of Egypt & the Nile on ships that carry fewer than 100 passengers
A unique safari cruise on Africa's Chobe River on the intimate, 28-passenger Zambezi Queen
Christmas markets in Europe
I've also had cruising on my mind because my next trip is finally only a week away, and it's on a cruise ship. I haven't traveled anywhere in 2024 yet, and after the record number of trips I took last year, I've been getting antsy and missing packed bags, airports, and new sights. Next week I embark on my first Princess cruise aboard their newest ship, Princess Discovery, for a Virtuoso travel consortium conference at sea. I have meetings with colleauges at Avanti Destinations (a Nine Muses community favorite), the Globus family of brands (Globus, Cosmos, Avalon Waterways), Accor Hotels, Canyon Ranch Resorts, NIZUC Resort & Spa, tourism boards (Puerto Rico, Madrid, Seville, Barbados, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Scottsdale), cruise lines (Cunard, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania, Seabourn, Silversea, Lindblad Expeditions, Atlas Ocean Voyages, AmaWaterways, etc.), and many, many more.
I'm also putting finishing touches on my post-cruise adventures in Panama after sailing this May for the first time on the new cruise line, Explora Journeys, from Los Angeles to Panama City (stopping in Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica) on A Journey of Pacific Pleasures and the Panama Canal. Right now, Explora Journeys extended a huge sale I had to share with you. Explora Journeys is like an elegant hotel at sea with only 461 luxuriously spacious suites (not a mega-cruise!) and 18 restaurants, bars and lounges (lots of room to spread out), and all suites are oceanfront. This is a truly all-inclusive experience with a welcome bottle of champagne upon arrival, thermal spa access, unlimited fine beverages, all on-board gratuities, Wi-Fi, wellbeing and fitness programs on board and at the destinations, and lots more. CLICK HERE for this special offer (up to 40% savings, on-board and air credits, reduced deposit) extended to Feb. 29th!
I've really come around to enjoying cruises A LOT because I think they're an introvert's dream, as counterintuitive as that may sound. Curious how I reached that opinion? Contact me to find out!
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