Top 20 Tourist Destinations in Prague

It’s entirely possible to experience the beauty, history and magic of Prague on a whim and without a plan. With every cobble-stoned step and around every corner of the Golden City, there is something to be discovered. However, just like all other capital cities around the world, there are also top attractions, famous sites, key points of interest — tourist destinations, if you will — that should have ample place in your itinerary. What are those top tourist destinations in Prague? Grab a map for marking as we’ve got 20 to share with you!

The view from Prague Castle

1. Prague Castle – Pražský hrad

Last year alone, an estimated 6 million people visited the Prague Castle grounds and encompassing attractions, including St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George Basilica, and the royal gardens. Peruse the grounds for free or purchase a ticket to enter the various other historical buildings and monuments. Be sure to check out the castle (and St. Vitus) lit up at night, props to the Rolling Stones.

2. Petřín Funicular and Rose Gardens – Lanová dráha na Petřín a Rosarium

Take the easy way up Petřín Hill via the historic railway from Lesser Town (Malá Strana). Once at the top, head to the Rose Gardens, meander Petřín park and/or climb to the top of the observation tower (Prague’s “Eiffel Tower”) for incredible views of the surrounding lands.

Traditional Czech food at the Old Town Square from one of the street food vendors

 

3. Old Town Square – Staroměstské náměstí

With rich history and a mix of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic architecture, stepping into Old Town Square feels like an enchanted fairytale. St. Nicholas Church, Astronomical Clock, Týn Church and Jan Hus’ statue, plus horse-drawn carriages, street performers and tourists aplenty adorn the historic square.

4. Golden Lane – Zlatá ulička

Part of the Prague Castle complex, Golden Lane is a quaint street lined with 11 historical little houses which, throughout the centuries, were home to castle guards, goldsmiths, alchemists and artists, including Franz Kafka.

5. Powder Tower – Prašná brána

Constructed in 1475, the Powder Tower is one of the original 13 city gates to separate the Old Town from the New Town. During the 17th century, it was used to store gunpowder, thereby earning its “new” name. Climb the 186 steps to enjoy views over Old Town.

6. Municipal House – Obecní dům

Next to the Powder Tower, find one of Prague’s most famous and beautiful concert halls decorated in Art Nouveau style. Take a guided tour and visit the grandiose café (Kavárna Obecní dům) overlooking the Republic Square.

7. Prague Main Train Station – Praha hlavní nádraží

While not a traditional or sought-out tourist destination of Prague, the main train station surely hosts a lot of tourists. If you happen to be one of them, take note of the Art Nouveau décor, the original dome and stained glass windows when passing through.

8. National Museum – Národní museum

While the museum extends several locations, the neo-Renaissance historical building at the top of Wenceslas Square is the most recognized. Natural history, science, art, culture and various other exhibitions are housed here.

9. National Theatre – Národní divadlo

Not to be confused with the museum, the theatre with its unmistakable golden rooftop is located on the bank of the Vltava River. One of the most beloved cultural institutions in the capital city, the theatre has a rich history of art, music and theatre performances which continue today.

The Dancing House

10. Dancing House – Tančící dům

The Dancing House’s design (featuring the dance duo, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair) was a source of controversy when it was built in 1996 as it was thought to clash with the Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings typical to Prague. Now, the modern structure is well-regarded, filled with offices as well as a gourmet restaurant.

11. Havelská Market – Havelské Tržiště

Czech trinkets and tchotchkes galore, artwork, postcards, even fresh produce to go, Havelská Market is a convenient place near Old Town Square to find a quick Czech gift or souvenir.

The Charles Bridge is often crowded at summer, but the view from the riverside is always picturesque

12. Charles Bridge – Karlův most

Without a doubt, the Charles Bridge is within Prague’s “top 3 tourist attractions”. The 14th century wonder connects Old Town (Staré Město) with the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana). By day, it’s bustling with artists, local vendors and tourists. At night or sunrise, enjoy more tranquility. Don’t miss the historical Gothic Old Town Bridge Tower (Staroměstská mostecká věž) on the Old Town side of the bridge (climb to the top as you wish).

13. Jewish Quarters – Josefov

Tucked near Old Town Square, formerly the Jewish ghetto, there is remarkable history preserved here. Visit the oldest existing synagogue in Europe, the Jewish Cemetery and Jewish City Hall, and observe monuments which survived Nazi occupation.

14. Clementinum National Library – Klementinum

Prague’s second largest complex (after the castle), the National Library houses an astronomical tower, Mirror Chapel, and Baroque Library Hall. A Jesuit college in 1556, the Charles University Library in 1622 and the National Library in 1781, many astronomers, scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, historians and musicians have gotten their smarts on here. Guided tours and daily concerts.

Wenceslas Square comes alive at night with many restaurants and street vendors

15. Wenceslas Square – Václavské náměstí

Wenceslas Square has been eyewitness to some of the Czech Republic’s most important historical events (including Prague Spring of 1968, the Velvet Revolution, and Václav Havel’s memorial). The historical boulevard in the heart of New Town is today lined with shops, restaurants and clubs.

16. Communist Museum – Muzeum komunismu

Original artifacts, statutes, a reconstructed classroom, interrogation room and historical videos offer a window into the communist era of Czechoslovakia. Ironically, the museum is located along one of Prague’s main shopping streets next to McDonald’s.

The Lennon Wall is often covered in people’s markings and graffiti

17. Lennon Wall – Lennonova zeď

A gritty and colorful haven of creative expression, the Lennon Wall’s origins date back to the 1970s when it was first known as the Wailing Wall, chalk-scribbled with poetry from Czech people. Following Lennon’s assassination in 1980, the wall’s chalk was replaced by colorful graffiti of Lennon’s lyrics and rallies for peace, love and freedom. Today, the wall’s messages and art continue to change daily.

18. Prague Zoo – Zoologická zahrada Praha

Perhaps more local than foreign tourists visit (with more than 1 million visitors annually), Prague Zoo is a favorite attraction set in the green Troja district of Prague. It’s possible to spend a full day at the zoo but the river cruise, Trója Chateau, vineyards and Botanical Gardens nearby are additional highlights.

The Zizkov Tower is most famous for the David Cerny sculptures crawling up the side

19. Žižkov Television Tower – Žižkovský vysílač

Soaring high above the Žižkov district of Prague, the TV tower has earned its fair share of criticism throughout its approximately 30-year history, mainly for its communist era roots and bizarre design. Speaking of bizarre design, David Černý’s crawling baby sculptures were added in 2000. The top of the tower has an observation deck and relaxation “pods”, a gourmet restaurant and luxury accommodation. And fortunately, unlike most other towers in Prague, this one has an elevator!

20. Vyšehrad

Still not overly touristy (but certainly getting there), it’s easy to spend at least a couple of hours here. Inside the stone-walled castle complex, there’s much to explore, including the Church of Saint Peter and Paul, the cemetery where many famous Czechs are laid to rest (Dvořák, Smetana and Mucha), green parks, 360 views of the area, restaurants, cafes and an outdoor beer garden and grill.

Fallen in love with Prague like we have? We’ve got a trip for that! When you book the Gay River Cruise – 2015 Gay Oktoberfest & Danube River Cruise you can also book a 4 day pre-tour in Prague! For all of the details, go here. 

This article was originally posted on Eating Prague Tours

 

19 Reasons Life Would Be Better If You Were In Amsterdam

This article was originally published on the Huffington Post.

Where can you go for an escape that has world-renowned art museums, vibrant nightlife, important historical monuments and unique architecture?

The answer: Amsterdam — the city that’s basically wonderland for adults.

Amsterdam is especially beautiful in spring, when it warms up enough to hop on a bike, wander the canals and admire the city at it’s best. Life would just be better if you could be in Amsterdam right now, wouldn’t it?

Not convinced? Check out these 19 reasons below.

1. Amsterdam is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world.

In fact, Buisness Insider ranked it the number one most bike-friendly city in 2013. There are an insane number of bikes and cyclists in Amsterdam, where cars and bikes ride in harmony.

2. You could take a little city break and be in tulip heaven.

Keukenhof’s flower extravaganza is located about half an hour from Amsterdam. The epic garden is only open from March 20 to May 18 and features a vast, colorful array of flowers, including the Netherlands’ famous tulips.

3. Because anyone over the age of 18 can buy and smoke weed legally, if that’s what you’re into.

Did you think you’d make it very far down this list without coming across marijuana? Many U.S. states are decriminalizing and even legalizing recreational marijuana, but there’s still something novel about being in a place that has long had a liberal soft drug policy. Whether or not it’s your scene, it’s still cool. If you’re going to indulge, head to one of the city’s famed coffeeshops, where buying and smoking marijuana is legal.

4. But if you’re more of a beer drinker, you’ll have plenty to drink.

Amsterdam is the home of Heineken, so of course you’ll find some passionate beer drinkers here. You can tour the Heineken factory or visit smaller, local breweries if you’re into craft brews.

5. Because a canalside walk would make any day better.

Often called the “Venice of the North,” Amsterdam is known for its gorgeous 17th century canals. Walking along them and across their bridges is the perfect way to see the city.

6. And if you can’t get enough of the canals, you can actually live on one.

In a houseboat, of course. There are also houseboats you can rent for short-term stays.

7. It’s impossible to get tired of Amsterdam’s stunning architecture.

Canal houses, windmills, Renaissance buildings and contemporary structures all contribute to Amsterdam’s unique architecture.

8. All of the waffles.

Stroopwaffles: two deliciously sweet waffle-esque wafers with an even sweeter caramel-like “stroop” (aka syrup) in the middle. There are also Belgian-style Liège waffles, that can be topped with chocolate, powdered sugar, fruit, whipped cream and various other delicious confections.

9. Pannekoeken and poffertjes.

Pannekoeken are large (i.e. size of a dinner plate) Dutch pancakes that can be topped with sweet items, like fruit, or savory ones like meat or cheese. Poffertjes are miniature pancakes that are made with yeast so they’re extra fluffy.

10. Also, Doner Kebab.

Sure, you can get Doner in many European countries. But they’re pretty ubiquitous in Amsterdam, especially to round out a night of drinking.

11. Okay, one more: Fries.

Also known as Vlaamse frites. Top your cone of fries with whichever sauce you find most appealing. Beware, they’re all pretty delicious.

12. Amsterdam is home to the only floating flower market in the world.

It makes shopping for pretty flowers that much more fun.

13. For a dose of artsy culture, you can head to the Jordaan

The Jordaan was once home to famous creative figures, like writer Joost van den Vondel and artist Rembrandt van Rijn. The area today is considered a peaceful escape from the bustle of the city. Go for a stroll and pop into galleries and boutiques while you’re there.

14. Or relax and people watch at Vondelpark.

Amsterdam’s largest city park, Vondelpark, is the perfect place to relax on a beautiful day. The park features an open-air theater, cafes and plenty of gorgeous natural scenery.

15. Amsterdammers have access to some of the best art museums in the world.

The Rijksmuseum (which means “State Museum”) is probably the Netherlands’ most iconic and famous place to view art. It reopened in April 2013 after a decade of renovations. It houses more national treasures, historic objects and works of art than you can even imagine. There’s also the Van Gogh Museum, which maintains the world’s largest collection of van Gogh’s art.

16. Explore land, sea and outerspace at Artis Royal Zoo.

Construction began on Artis in 1838 and was originally meant to be a city park containing animals. Since then, the zoo has grown to include a planetarium, aquarium, butterfly pavilion and flower gardens.

17. Because Amsterdam has the largest historical inner city in Europe.

And with tons of streets to wander, museums to visit and sights to see, you’ll never have a dull moment. Especially if you’re a history nerd.

18. Gezelligheid.

Gezelligheid is a Dutch abstract noun that encompasses Dutch culture. While it has no true English translation, it can mean quaint, cozy, friendly, warm and/or welcoming. Gezelligheid can refer to a nice atmosphere, a friendly community or that wonderful feeling of contentment. The fact that this term exists is just proof that life is better in Amsterdam.

19. Because your city’s parade can’t compare to Amsterdam’s canal parades.

The King’s Day and Gay Pride parades take to the water with floats that literally float.

Like the sights of Amsterdam as much as we do? Check out our DRAG STARS AT SEA: EUROPE ALLSTARS, which has an optional Taste of Europe pre tour that includes this fabulous city!

 

 

 

Top 12 Things to Do in Budapest

This article was originally published on http://luxeadventuretraveler.com/

After five years of living in Europe, Budapest remains our favorite city on the European continent. Yes, we like it more than Paris, Rome, or even London. It’s the only place, aside from St. Maarten in the Carribbean and Iceland, that we have returned to time and time again. So just what it is about the city that has us answering its our favorite without a second thought? It’s not just any one thing that makes Budapest our favorite European city. It’s known as the Paris of the East and that it certainly is with the Danube splitting Buda from Pest, its elegant architecture, and sophisticated scene. Budapest is also far less expensive than Paris and we love the variety of activities to do there. So we’ve compiled this list of what we think are the top things to do in Budapest:

1. Soak in the Széchenyi Baths

One of the last remnants of the Turkish influence in Hungary, a visit to the thermal baths is a quintessential Budapest experience. We haven’t visited all of the baths in Budapest, but we have been to several of the most famous Budapest baths and the grandiose Széchenyi Baths are by far our favorite. Early morning or just before sunset are our favorite times for a soak in the thermal, healing waters of Széchenyi’s outdoor pools.

2. Take a Danube River Cruise

Budapest is beautiful by day, but absolutely stunning by night as the buildings lining the banks of the Danube twinkle and reflect on the dark waters. We’ve taken a Danube River sightseeing cruise twice, both times at night. One hour evening sightseeing cruises are available with audio headsets that give interesting facts about the history of Budapest, the buildings, and little known facts like that the Rubik’s Cube was invented by a Hungarian in Budapest in 1974. Longer and more romantic buffet-style dinner cruises are also available. We’ve done both and recommend both.

 

3. Walk Across the Chain Bridge

Ah, the Chain Bridge – one of my very favorite bridges in the world. It was the first bridge to permanently connect Buda and Pest and was completed in 1849. At the time, the Chain Bridge was considered to be one of the wonders of the world and the architect was so immensely proud of his work that he challenged anyone to find fault with the bridge. It is said that when it was discovered that the lions that stand guard at either end are missing their tongues, the architect committed suicide. We haven’t missed an evening stroll across the bridge when it is all lit up on a trip to Budapest yet.

4. Go Hungarian Wine Tasting

Faust Wine Cellar is part of the vast labyrinth system winding beneath Buda Castle. Gábor Nagy, owner and wine sommelier at Faust Wine Cellar, travels throughout Hungary’s 22 wine regions regularly in search of only the best to supply their cellar with. The cellar is such a relaxed and romantic setting and you’ll be sure to leave your tasting with a rich understanding of Hungarian wine.

5. Go Caving Beneath Budapest

Those soothing thermal waters of Budapest’s famous baths are responsible for me than a city full of relaxed Hungarians. The rushing waters formed a huge cave system, which is thought to be more than 100 kilometers long. Pulling on overalls, helmets, and headlamps, we prepared to get dirty and we inched on our bellies and wormed our way through tight crevices in “Superman” poses in the longest cave of Hungary, the Mátyás-hegyi cave in the Pál-völgyi cave system. The cave tour lasts 2.5 – 3 hours and is lead by a caving guide. This adventurous activity is definitely not for the claustrophobic since it goes through natural parts of the cave. You won’t find any nicely paved paths a la “show” caves.

6. Slink Around the Labyrinth of Buda Castle

Speaking of the worlds beneath Budapest, the Labyrinth of Buda Castle is one of the 7 wonders of the underground world and adding to its’ allure and mystery, was closed down in 2011 after police raided it and forced everyone to evacuate immediately. It since re-opened and 1 mile of the 6 mile long labyrinth can be visited. Raining outside, we (including Emma) slinked around the slightly misty former prison where its most famous prisoner Vlad Tepes, better known as Count Dracula, was held in captivity by Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus during the 15th century with nothing but the light of candle-lit lanterns to guide us.

7. Take a Segway Tour of Budapest

No experience with a segway? No problem! A Budapest segway tour starts out with an orientation on a quiet street to get the hang of operating it. And then we were off, zipping along Budapest’s streets to all the major attractions with our guide Agnes giving us plenty of info along the way. The 2.5 hour tour gave us an excellent introduction to the city and there were plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

 

8. Lookout from the Fisherman’s Bastion

The neo-Gothic terrace of the Fisherman’s Bastion is located on the Castle Hill and provides panoramic views of the city. Blown away by the views, don’t forget to explore the seven ornate turrets, of the fairytale like structure.  The turrents symbolize the tents of the seven Magyar tribe leaders who settled the Carpathian Basin in 896, which ultimately lead to the existence of modern-day Hungary.

9. Shop at the Central Market Hall

Built in the 19th century, the Central Market Hall is the largest indoor market in Budapest and the focus is on typical Hungarian products. The first floor is the food hall with vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables to Hungarian sausages and Hungarian paprika to Hungarian wines. The market is a great place to visit several vendors for an inexpensive lunch of traditional Hungarian foods. The second floor is full of vendors selling wares like souvenirs and traditional Hungarian embroidery.

10. Try a Traditional Hungarian Dish Paired with Hungarian Wine

Budapest, like any other major European city, is filled with touristy restaurants. But it is also filled with local haunts serving sophisticated Hungarian cuisine at reasonable prices. We apply the same logic here as when traveling anywhere else. Avoid restaurants along the beaten tourist path and ask the locals where to eat. Pálinka Bistrot offers home made traditional Hungarian dishes and we had a delicious meal of Hungarian goulash soup, rabbit with dumplings, gravy, and cream, and paired it all wonderfully with Hungarian Tocai.

11. Indulge on Pastries From Budapest’s Oldest Confectioner

Budapest is full of cafes to have a delicious cuppa joe and try one of the sweets Budapest is famous for. Cafe Ruszwurm, on the Castle Hill, is one of Budapest’s oldest traditional confectioners still operating as a cafe. We sought out the cafe, which has just about a dozen seats, and though we had a little wait for a table we weren’t disappointed. There is a wide selection of the day’s fresh pastries, truffles, and coffee concoctions to choose from. The decor is charming too with antique furniture and tools of the old confectionery trade in the glass curio cabinets.

Cafe Ruszwurm is located at Szentháromság u. 7 and is open 9am – 8pm Spring through Fall and 10am – 7pm in Winter.

12. Hike Up Gellért Hill to the Citadella

From the Elisabeth Bridge, hike up the sets of stairs and paths for a stunning panorama over both Buda and Pest from the Citadella. Once a fortress built by the Habsburgs in 1854, it was an important strategic point to see over all of Budapest. Nowadays there is a market set up at the top where you’ll find Hungarians pedaling their handicrafts like dolls, wooden toys, and handmade clothing and scarves.

What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?

For a great River Cruise that will lead you to the wonderful city that is Budapest from AlandChuck.travel, click here.

 

HUffington Post’s 10 Dazzling Photos That Are Proof Prague Is Europe’s Prettiest City

There's No Place like Prague
(Photo: Getty Images)
Prague isn’t typically at the top of travelers’ bucket lists, but just because it isn’t Europe’s biggest metropolis doesn’t mean that this stunning city should be ignored. Seriously, the place is downright dazzling. Oh, and the beer is delicious (and historically cheaper than water).

With red-roofed buildings, expansive bridges and cobbled streets, Prague is a visual delight. Visitors can explore its rich history by touring museums, strolling through charming neighborhoods and visiting diverse art galleries. This is an ideal place to let go of the plugged-in worldand get in touch with one beautiful city.

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Previously Posted on The Huffington Post 

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THE RHINE RIVER
Today you set out to begin your spectacular river cruise adventure. On arrival to Arnhem, you board the lovely 108 passenger SWITZERLAND II. This evening enjoy a special Welcome Aboard Dinner. Set sail this evening southbound on the Rhine River.

Day 2 | Cologne, Germany
THE RHINE RIVER
One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine. Enjoy the day here as you can visit the magnificent cathedral and so much more.

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THE MOSEL RIVER
Overnight visit to lovely Andernach. Next your floating hotel arrives in Cochem. Here you will see a charming and picturesque town with half-timbered houses and winding streets full of history and legends. Dominated by the Reichsburg Castle (built in 1000 AD) you begin to enjoy the world famous MOSEL. Step mountains and gorges will be seen everywhere.

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THE MOSEL RIVER
In the middle of the Mosel region is this charming wine village complete with fascinating narrow streets and halftimbered houses that have stood since the middle ages. Enjoy the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style town hall that was built in 1416. This region is Germany’s most prolific wine growing area. Perhaps you visit the interesting wine museum.

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THE MOSEL RIVER

This is the most spectacular visit on the Mosel. Trier, Germany’s oldest city may even be older than Rome. Some say Trier was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. But it was Constantine from Rome that makes Trier so famous today. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000 seat amphitheater, the Porta Nigra, the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement; the imperial baths; and the Roman bridge… Germany’s oldest bridge. The entire historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will understand why.

Day 6 | Remich, Luxembourg
THE MOSEL RIVER

Today enjoy one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, Luxembourg. Remich is the Mosel gateway for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and you will have many choices for Sightseeing and shopping and more.

Day 7 | Trier
THE MOSEL RIVER

Today you return to Trier for another opportunity to visit this grand historic city.

Day 8 | Zell
THE MOSEL RIVER

Many consider Zell “the photograph” of beautiful villages on The Mosel. With only 5000 inhabitants the village sits between the river and a steep mountain and is only approximately 500 yards in width and 1 mile long. But the beauty of the village is stunning. Ample time to explore here.

Day 9 | Koblenz
RHINE & MOSEL RIVERS

Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers, 2000 year old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the mid-Rhine region. There is so much history here and so much to see and do.

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Dusseldorf is a major hub of Germany’s upper Rhine. Known for great shopping and fashionable coffee cafes you are sure to enjoy your final day on the river. Tonight you enjoy a Farewell dinner celebration.

Day 11 | Rotterdam
This morning after breakfast aboard SWITZERLAND II you will arrive in lovely Rotterdam. Today you return home with many wonderful memories of cruising on the Rhine and Mosel Rivers!


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CRUISE RATES:

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Category On Ship: Category EM Main Deck: $849

RUBY DECK
Category On Ship: Category RU Upper Deck Outside: $899

RATES ALREADY INCLUDE government taxes & vendor fees.

ADDITIONAL CRUISE GRATUITIES: $99 per person and must be prepaid at final payment by all guests.

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PAYMENTS: Full payment due upon time of booking.

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100 – 61 days prior 50%
60 – 31 days prior 75%
Within 30 days 100%

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ABOUT SELECT VOYAGES & SWITZERLAND II
Length 300 feet ~ Width 34 feet ~ Speed 15 mph ~ Crew Members 30 ~
Staterooms 53 including standard, mini-suites & suites ~ 3 passenger decks
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The ms Switzerland II is an excellent river cruise vessel full of style and character. It has helped to create cherished holiday memories for countless passengers. Offering 4 star accommodation, you can relax among the attractive interiors and with a maximum capacity of 108 passengers, you can enjoy an intimate environment combined with the excellent service delivered by the friendly and professional crew.

Lounge Bar: The stylish lounge is surrounded by windows and has comfortable seating, making for a light and spacious place to relax. There is also a bar and dance floor which become popular during the evening entertainment. Restaurant: Enjoy a combination of buffets and themed dinners in the elegant restaurant located on the Emerald Deck.

Sun Deck: Play a game of table tennis or lie back in a sun lounger – the Sun Deck is the perfect place to unwind in the fresh air and soak up the scenery.

Stair Lift: leads from the Ruby Deck to the Sun Deck and the restaurant on the Emerald Deck to the Ruby Deck. The cabins on the Emerald Deck are only accessible via a stairway.


 

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All meals included. Enjoy beautiful cruise of the Dutch countryside and cross the border to Germany. Overnight in Cologne and visit the magnificent Cathedral.

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All meals included. Today arrive in the 2000 year old town of Koblenz, which is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. This is the most beautiful part of the Rhine Valley.

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All meals included. Sailing past the world famous Lorelei Rock and Heildelberg Castle to the Rhine Gorge are the highlights today.

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All meals included. Today is dedicated to lovely Strasbourg. Enjoy one of France’s most beautiful cities.

Day 6 | Breisach & Black Forest
All meals included. Germany’s beautiful Black Forest region is our focus today and many unique and picturesque villages to visit.

Day 7 | Basel, Switzerland
All meals included. Cross the border into Switzerland and enjoy an overnight in this lovely city.

Day 8 | Basel, Switzerland
Breakfast aboard this morning. Today you return home with many wonderful memories of your river cruise.


FEATURES:

  • 8 Day Cruise on ultra deluxe EMERALD STAR as a PRIVATE CHARTER exclusively for ALandCHUCK guests. Features include: All meals aboard ship including breakfast buffet, 4 course lunch served menu or buffet, 4 course dinner served menu or buffet
  • AIRFARE ADDITIONAL: $1299 Low Cost Airfare available from Tampa, Orlando, Miami, & Jacksonville (other cities on request) to Amsterdam including all transfers. (Upgrade to $49 Premium Air plus flight change costs and you select number of stops, times, airlines, or any flight preferences. Ask your ALandCHUCK agent for details). Book your own airfare and schedule arrival and departure airport transfers for $49 (both transfers included).
  • OPTIONAL: Ask your ALandCHUCK agent about adding pre & post hotel stays for added convenience!

PLEASE NOTE: If arranging your own air, please arrive on March 23, 2015 – most flights depart March 22, 2015 and fly overnight, arriving March 23, 2015


CRUISE RATES:

RUN OF SHIP: $799* per person (*Rates after BOGO discount starting at $1598)

RIVIERA DECK
Category On Ship: Category E Outside: $849
Category On Ship: Category D Outside : $899

VISTA DECK
Category On Ship: Category C Balcony: $949
Category On Ship: Category B Balcony: $999
Category On Ship: Category A Balcony: $1049

HORIZON DECK
Category On Ship: Category R Balcony: $1099
Category On Ship: Category P Balcony: $1149
Category On Ship: Category S Balcony Suite: $1199
Category On Ship: Category SA Owners Suite: $1249

(NOTE: BOGO is capacity controlled and can be withdrawn without notice and full rates will be in effect.)

RATES ALREADY INCLUDE government taxes & vendor fees.

ADDITIONAL CRUISE GRATUITIES: $99 per person and must be prepaid at final payment by all guests.

NO HIDDEN CHARGES! These charges are HIDDEN FROM YOU by others.
Ask them for a total rate & compare!

PAYMENTS: Full payment due upon booking.

CANCELLATION PENALTIES:
Deposit is non-refundable
100 – 61 days prior 50%
60 – 31 days prior 75%
Within 30 days 100%

CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


About SCENIC CRUISES & EMERALD WATERWAYS
Brand New EMERALD STAR
Length 443 feet ~ Width 38 feet ~ Speed 15 mph ~ Crew Members 47
Staterooms 20 ~ Suites 72 ~ Guests 182

In 2014 Emerald Waterways will be making its debut on Europe’s rivers and you’re invited to be among the very first guests to experience the next generation of river cruising. As the first new river cruise company to take to the waters in more than six years, they have created an exceptional river cruising experience that surpasses all expectations.

NEW FEATURES NEVER SEEN BEFORE
Launching a new fleet of custom-built Star-Class Ships gave a blank canvas to create a completely new design, and introduce an array of spectacular innovations you wouldn’t expect on a river cruise ship. To begin with, the ship boasts an ONBOARD HEATED SWIMMING POOL WITH RETRACTABLE ROOF, which in the evening, transforms into a cinema. And as an alternative to the main restaurant, Reflections, they offer ALFRESCO DINING ON THE TERRACE at breakfast and lunch.

GLASS WALL BALCONIES (NOT FRENCH BALCONIES LIKE EVERYONE ELSE)
The ship offers a great range of cabins for you to choose from, including the Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite – A COMPLETELY NEW TYPE OF CABIN. To replace the run-of-the-mill French Balcony (where you can only stand at a partial railing) that is commonplace on river cruise ships, you can experience A NEW KIND OF INDOOR BALCONY, COMPLETE WITH A DECKED AREA AND THE INGENIOUS OPEN-AIR SYSTEM. WITH THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON, THE UPPER HALF OF THE CABINS FLOOR-TO-CEILING WINDOW DROPS DOWN TO LET IN FRESH AIR AND PROVIDE FULL PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE LANDSCAPE. It is unique in the entire world on this ship.

INCREDIBLE OPEN SPACES ON EMERALD
The moment you step onboard your ship, you’ll be met with an overwhelming sense of light and space. The Horizon Bar and Lounge features floor-to-ceiling windows. The Terrace looking out onto the river is lined with the most comfortable lounge chairs and the Sun Deck has 360 degree views of the ever changing scenery. Enjoy the stylish Sky Bar and the most amazing (and only) pool and cinema complex on a rivership (complete with retractable dome).

TWO INCREDIBLE DINING OPTIONS
Reflections Restaurant features table service and buffets beyond compare. Unique is a second dining option The Terrace Restaurant which features alfresco dining for breakfast and lunch.

INCREDIBLE CABIN OPTIONS
Owners One-Bedroom Suites include two rooms with every appointment imaginable. Grand Balcony Suites are large suites that will make the cruise experience outstanding. You may choose Panorama Balcony Suites that are incredible bedrooms with the amazing (one button touch) retractable glass walls on the river (all suites also have this feature.) And finally you can choose Emerald Staterooms that have picture windows. The cabin choices are the best of any river cruise ship in Europe!


 

For More Information Please Call 866-949-1429

Drag Stars At Sea: EUROPEAN ALLSTARS (OFFICIAL PAGE)

 


ALandCHUCK.travel proudly presents

BREAKING NEWS

Drag Stars At Sea: Europe / aboard Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
October 2 – 9, 2015 sailing London, Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona

Drag Stars At Sea: North America / aboard Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
January 23 – 30, 2016 San Juan, St Thomas, St John, St Croix, Antigua, St Lucia, Granada

DRAG STARS AT SEA: Europe  /  “Cruising With the Queen”
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas,  October 2 – 9, 2015
THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CRUISE

8 Days from $799 plus government taxes & fees

We are very pleased to announce the 2nd Installment of Drag Stars At Sea Europe aboard the HUGE 139,000 ton Explorer of the Seas sailing from London to Barcelona featuring Southampton; Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Seville & Cadiz, Spain; and Gibraltar.  This incredible cruise experience will also feature optional tours including our famous London PILLAGE & PLUNDER “Off With Her Head” pre party.  Your 3 Day / 2 night stay is the perfect way to start your Vacation experience.  You can choose a 7 Day / 6 night Taste of Europe pre tour that includes Amsterdam, Paris, and London Pillage & Plunder or a 5 Day / 4 night Paris & London pre tour.  After the ship arrives in Barcelona you can add a 3 Day / 2 night Best of Barcelona post tour or a 5 Day / 4 night Taste of Spain tour including both Barcelona and Madrid.  Best of all, Drag Stars At Sea Europe “Cruising With The Queen” includes the largest gathering of Drag Stars in Europe’s history, fantastic shows, incredible theme parties, unique and exclusive shore excursions, and many other special activities to make this a vacation of a lifetime.  There is NOTHING like this in Europe and it promises to be a vacation of a lifetime!

ON LINE RESERVATIONS will open on Friday, January 9, 2015 EXCLUSIVELY for past Drag Stars At Sea guests.   All other guests can start to make reservations on Monday, January 12 (exclusively on line).  Phone reservations will not be accepted until beginning Friday, January 16.  See ALandCHUCK.travel website starting on Friday, January 9 for all cruise details and the booking reservation link. (note: the Facebook 2014 group pages will close on Friday, January 9.  We invite you to the new 2015 Europe and 2016 North America group pages which are now open and where all the conversation will be.)

IMPORTANT FEATURES OF DRAG STARS AT SEA:

  • Reservations are available ONLY with exclusive booking through ALandCHUCK.travel  Guests with reservations from any other travel company or the cruise line directly will not be participants for Drag Stars At Sea.
  • NO OTHER ALandCHUCK.travel GROUPS (or its subsidiaries) WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CRUISE.  ONLY Drag Stars At Sea guests will be allowed to make reservations for this cruise and you will be our ONLY special guests aboard the ship.
  • THIS WILL BE A MORE INTIMATE EXPERIENCE achieved by allowing a MUCH smaller number of guests than the full ship experience we have done in the past.  It allows our cruise to be more intimate and filled with very personal vacation experiences. Our goal is to create a more intimate vacation and travel experience where you can interact with all guests and stars.
  • YOU ARE HOSTED BY ALL THE QUEENS, no Queen selection is needed.  New for DSAS, you will have interaction and be hosted by ALL the queens on the cruise.  More time is provided for interaction, meet/greets and many special activities aboard ship.  Our goal is for you to see ALL the talent and have a more intimate experience aboard Drag Stars At Sea.
  • SPECIAL MEET & GREET WITH EVERY STAR ON THE WORLD FAMOUS ROYAL PROMENADE ABOARD SHIP.  This unique four story high indoor mall-like room is perhaps the most amazing public room on any ship in the world and runs nearly the entire length of the ship.  You will enjoy a special meet/greet with EVERY STAR in one place along the Royal Promenade becoming the largest photo meet/greet in history!
  • EXCLUSIVE VIP EXPERIENCE WITH THE STARS.  New to Drag Stars At Sea we are providing a very intimate experience with your favorite star.  This VIP experience is just $99.  The VIP Experience is with just a maximum of 8 guests as you interact with your star.  Begin with a 30 minute cocktail meet/greet with your star and exclusive guests (cash bar).  Next you have a special dinner table and enjoy dinner with your star.  It is the ultimate opportunity to talk to and KiKi with the performer at your own dinner table.  Finally you enjoy a show that includes your star with VIP front/near row seating. This VIP Experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  (advance reservations will be available on line)
  • SPECIAL EXCLUSIVE SHORE EXCURSIONS AVAILABLE ONLY TO GUESTS OF DRAG STARS AT SEA.  Special private tours are available in every port at special reduced pricing exclusively with ALandCHUCK.travel guests hosted by our staff and selected Queens.  You can start to make reservations for these special trips on Friday, January 9.
  • FOUR SPECIAL PARTIES ABOARD SHIP. Participating in Drag Stars At Sea will allow you to participate in four special parties. Enjoy ROYAL BALL which will be our welcome aboard Masquerade party.  We also will have three additional theme & costume parties aboard ship.  These elaborate events welcome you however you see fit.  But if you wish to fully participate, you will enjoy some of the most amazing costumes, drag presentations and a special $500 prize to the best presentation for EACH party aboard.  It makes Drag Stars At Sea a cruise like no other.
  • ALandCHUCK.travel CONCEIRGE DESK ABOARD SHIP.  An exclusive benefit for our Drag Stars At Sea guests is a Concierge Desk that we operate daily.  It will provide information on every aspect of the cruise and goes much farther than what is available through the cruise lines Guest Services.  This concierge service is provided exclusively by ALandCHUCK.travel staff.
  • WELCOME ABOARD MEETING & STARS MEET/GREET. On the day you board the cruise ALandCHUCK.travel will host a Drag Stars At Sea Welcome Aboard Presentation that will include a welcome to all guests, the latest information on the cruise and meeting all the stars of the cruise.  It is an exclusive for DSAS guests.
  • “AT A GLANCE” COMMUNICATION BULLETIN. Your electronic documents will arrive 7 to 10 days prior to departure and will include “AT A GLANCE” the exclusive on board communication tool for Drag Stars At Sea.  This concise summary of all events aboard the ship will help you plan and remember every detail to ensure it is a vacation of a lifetime.
  • MAKE UP CLASS.  We offer an exclusive Make Up Class hosted by a star that if you choose to participate can be outstanding for those in Drag or for every day needs (additional charge and advance reservations will be available on line)
  • BAR & DRINK PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE.  ALandCHUCK.travel is happy to announce that unlimited soda, wine, bar and other packages will be available to Drag Stars At Sea guests.  (advance reservations will be available on line).
  • OUTSTANDING DINING CHOICES.  Guests of Drag Stars At Sea will be able to participate in a fantastic featured dining choices including:
  • MY TIME DINING:  You enjoy open seating for dinner (all meals are included aboard ship FREE in the buffet or main dining room) to dine when you want and who you want to dine with. The ultimate choice.
  • PORTOFINO Gourmet Italian Dinner:  One evening this specialty restaurant is a feature for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy with ALandCHUCK.travel staff and select Stars (small additional charge and advance reservations will be available on line)
  • CHOPS GRILLE Gourmet Steakhouse Dinner:  One evening this specialty restaurant is a feature for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy with ALandCHUCK.travel staff and select Stars (small additional charge
    and advance reservations will be available on line)
  • CHEFS TABLE Gourmet Dinner Experience: One evening this specialty WORLD CLASS dining experience is a feature exclusively for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy.
  • DRAG STAR AT SEA JACKPOT BINGO PARTY.  During the sailing you will enjoy a jackpot Bingo party hosted by select Queens.  It will be a fun and entertaining event aboard Drag Stars At Sea.
  • STUDIO B WHITE ICE PARTY.  During the cruise you will enjoy a special WHITE ICE PARTY that will be held in the largest Ice Skating venue aboard a ship in the world.  Enjoy skating (small additional charge for skates) and music/bar to make the party fun. Dress the part as we offer this special WHITE PARTY unlike has ever been done before.
  • BRITISH OPEN GOLF PARTY.  During the cruise you will enjoy a special round of golf (well, 9 holes of Goofy Golf) as we host a party called the “British Open.”  It promises to be lots of fun!

 

PRE TOUR OPTIONS Available for Drag Stars At Sea Europe

  • LONDON PILLAGE & PLUNDER “OFF WITH HER HEAD” PARTY. This 3 Day / 2 Night package is just $299 and additional nights are just $99.  Your pre stay includes: first class city center hotel, Pillage & Plunder Party, London Sightseeing, Transfers from hotel to Southampton pier.

 

  • TASTE OF EUROPE PLUS LONDON PILLAGE & PLUNDER. This 7 Day / 6 Night package is just $899. Your pre stay includes 2 nights in Amsterdam, 2 nights in Paris, 2 nights in London (all first class city center hotels), Sightseeing in each city, Transfers from Amsterdam to Paris, Paris to London, and from hotel to Southampton pier.  Of course, you also enjoy the London Pillage & Plunder Party.
  • BEST OF PARIS PLUS LONDON PILLAGE & PLUNDER. This 5 Day / 4 Night package is just $599.  Your pre stay includes 2 nights in Paris, 2 nights in London (all first class city center hotels), Sightseeing in each city, and Transfers from Paris to London, and from hotel to Southampton pier.

POST TOUR OPTIONS Available for Drag Stars At Sea Europe

  • BEST OF BARCELONA. This 3 Day / 2 Night package is just $299.  Your post stay includes 2 nights in Barcelona at first class city center hotel, Barcelona Sightseeing, Transfers from pier to hotel and transfers hotel to airport.
  • TASTE OF SPAIN. This 5 Day / 4 Night package is just $699.  This post stay includes 2 nights in Barcelona and 2 nights in Madrid (all first class city center hotels), Sightseeing in each city, Airfare from Barcelona to Madrid, and all transfers in Spain.

SAILING ITINERARY FOR DRAG STARS AT SEA EUROPE:

Friday  /  October 2, 2015  /  Sail from Southampton, England  /  4:30 pm
Saturday  /  October 3, 2015  /  Fun day at sea
Sunday  /  October 4, 2015  /  Vigo, Spain  /  10 am – 5 pm
Monday  /  October 5, 2015  /  Lisbon, Portugal  /  9 am – 5 pm
Tuesday  /  October 6, 2015  /  Seville (Cadiz), Spain  /  10 am – 8 pm
Wednesday  /  October 7, 2015  /  Gibraltar  /  8 am – 5 pm
Thursday  /  October 8, 2015  /  Fun day at sea
Friday  /  October 9, 2015  /  Barcelona, Spain  /  6 am arrival

*special events are subject to change or modification as required for the operation of the ship.

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