Scottsdale, Arizona Travel Agent
River and Ocean Cruising
Cruising offers an easy, stress-free and luxurious way to explore the world. You don’t waste time traveling from place to place. Instead, you relax in your floating hotel, waking up in new places every day and enjoy fine dining and a choice of entertainment and lectures, along the way.
River cruising is great for people who want to get into the heart of a region. You watch the landscape as you slowly move along the water and excursions are designed to connect you with the local culture. For example, you can join the ship chef to shop in the local market or take walking tours that depart right from your dock in the center of town.
In Europe, one of my favorite itineraries is along the Douro River. The cruise takes you through the interior of Portugal through the countryside that is still just now being discovered by visitors. The seafood and wines are amazing, and the scenery will have you snapping pictures all along the way.
Another of my favorite river cruise itineraries visits Vietnam and Cambodia. You can start in Hanoi, with its ancient pagodas, lovely French colonial buildings, great cuisine, and lively nightlife. In contrast, Ha Long Bay, named for the tiny islands that look like the ridges of a dragon’s back poking through the water, is serenely beautiful. And as you cruise along the Mekong River, you will stop to visit glorious soaring temples, bustling markets, and small villages and see people working in the rice paddies. And no trip to the region is complete without visiting the awe-inspiring temple at Angkor Wat.
Ocean cruises are great for families. The larger ships offer kids programs and lots of ways to keep children and teens engaged. And they can take you to places that would be hard to explore overland. Alaska is a prime example. Cruising up the Inside Passage takes you into protected territory where you can sail close enough to a glacier to hear it “calving” as a big chunk falls away. The whale watching is also spectacular, and there are lots of adventures on shore, from kayaking to heli-hiking. Most of all, you’ll have chances to see amazing wildlife. You might see a bear catch a salmon, or seals sunning on a beach.
The Greek islands and Turkey are another itinerary that I often suggest exploring on a cruise. Many of the islands can only be reached by sea and cruising allows you to combine many destinations without worrying about ferry schedules. My favorite island is Santorini, built on the rim of the former caldera. Many of the cruises continue to Turkey, allowing you to visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus as well as Istanbul, one of the most exotic cities in the world.
As a cruise expert, I can help you select the cruise line and itinerary that will best match your travel interests and style.
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I first fell in love with France during my French classes in school. I loved the language, the history and everything about it. We had a poster of Mont-Saint-Michel in my classroom, and I would often look at it and think “I’m going to go there one day.”
When I finally got ... Read more from my Food and Fantasy in France story.