Avalon goes its own suite way

April 10, 2014 on 8:49 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Cambodia, France, Paris, Vietnam | Comments Off

Avalon Waterways will double its presence in France next year, introducing two additional ships and a new French itinerary as part of its 2015 season of river cruises.

Avalon will extend its Suite Ship concept to France for the first time in 2015, deploying two of its newest vessels, Avalon Poetry II and Avalon Tapestry II, on the Rhine and Seine rivers.

Avalon’s 2015 season will involve the biggest selection of Suite Ships yet offered, each with two entire decks of all-suite accommodation.

Two new ships launching in 2015 – the Avalon Tapestry II and Avalon Tranquility II – will give Avalon a total of 10 Suite Ships in an overall European fleet of 15 vessels.

Beyond Europe, Avalon will introduce a new ship on the Irrawaddy in 2015, allowing its first itineraries in Myanmar.

The 36-cabin Avalon Myanmar will be small enough to cruise the upper Irrawaddy throughout its season, allowing a 14-day itinerary that includes Yangon and the temples of Bagan.

Avalon will introduce a similar new ship on the Mekong, Avalon Siem Reap, operating its Vietnam and Cambodia itineraries between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap.

Avalon’s 2015 early booking deals are on sale for a limited time

Afloat in France Kicks-Off New Season‏

April 9, 2014 on 10:33 am | In Adventure Travel, Cruise Boats, Europe, France, Paris | Comments Off

Belmond’s Afloat in France is a fleet of five luxury barges available for private hire or on a per-cabin basis. Ideal for family and group trips, the boats evoke a private-villa feel with ever-changing scenery as they cruise along the scenic waterways of France. Itineraries can be customized for every interest from Roman architecture and Renaissance art to cycling, golf, food, and wine. The season begins in April and runs through October.

There are a variety of different itineraries on each barge, including the following:

Belmond Alouette

Route: Carcassonne to Béziers

Highlights: The Alouette cruises the Canal de Midi as it runs through southwest France, passing vineyards, medieval castles, and historic towns along the way. The town of Carcassonne hosts cafes, markets, boutiques and bistros while the Minervois wine region offers wine tasting, walking, and cycling.

Departs: April 27; May 11, 25, June 8, 22; July 6, 20; August 3, 17, 31; September 14, 28

Duration: 7 days/6 nights

Capacity: 4 passengers, 4 crew

Rates: The Alouette is for private hire only; $23,800/2 people $28,600/4 people

Belmond Amaryllis

Route: Djon to Saint-Léger

Highlights: A dream trip for wine lovers, the Amaryllis cruises through Burgundy, known for producing some of the world’s finest vintages. Only 20 miles north is Dijon – the mustard capital of the world – which boasts medieval and Renaissance buildings. The city’s daily open-air market, located in the 19th century Les Halles building, is foodie heaven.

Departs: March 30; April 13, 27; May 11; July 6; August 3; September 28; October 12

Duration: 7 days/6 nights

Capacity: 8 passengers, 6 crew

Rates: The Alouette is for private hire only; $51,700/6 people $63,600/8 people

Belmond Fleur de Lys

Route: Djon to Vandenesse

Highlights: Foodie and wine lovers will relish this journey. A degustation in the commune of Vougeot offers some of the region’s delicacies, including escargots and jambon persillé (jellied ham with parsley).

Explore the medieval château Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the Chevaliers du Tastevin, a private club of Burgundy wine enthusiasts, which houses ancient wine presses once used by Cistercian monks.

Departs: April 13, 27; May 11; June 22; July 6; August 3; September 14, 28; October 12

Duration: 7 days/6 nights

Capacity: 6 passengers, 6 crew

Rates: The Fleur de Lys is for private hire and on a per cabin basis; $7,950 per person or $40,300/4 people $47,700/6 people

Belmond Hirondelle

Route: Besançon to Chagny

Highlights: The Hirondelle makes its way down the sleepy Rhone-Rhine canal and the river Doubs as it cruises to Dole, birthplace of the great scientist Louis Pasteur. A walking tour and of Dole and Arbois offers a chance to try the region’s famous vin jaune, a special type of white wine. Walk or cycle alongside the barge as it cruises to Chagny, then visit the world-famous village of Chassagne Montrachet for a private wine tasting.

Departs: April 13, 27; May 11, 25; June 8, 22; July 6,20; August 3, 17, 31; September 14, 28; October 12

Duration: 7 days/6 nights

Capacity: 8 passengers, 5 crew

Rates: The Hirondelle is for private hire and on a per cabin basis; $5,400 per person or $37,900/6 people $43,200/8 people

Belmond Napoléon

Route: Tain to Arles

Highlights: A trip rich in cultural history, the Rhône Valley unfolds as the Napoléon cruises from Train to Arles. Tour Arles, home of Van Gogh from 1888 to 1889, and visit Saint-Rémy, the birthplace of Nostradamus and once Van Gogh’s home as well. Explore Avignon, home to the famous bridge Pont Saint-Bénezet, and the location where the Popes of Avignon lived in the 1300s. Stops in local villages include visits to a lavender distillery, 18th-century olive mill, and truffle farm.

Departs: May 4, 18; June 1, 15, 29; July 13, 27; September 7, 21; October 5

Duration: 7 days/6 nights

Capacity: 12 passengers, 6 crew

Rates: The Napoléon is for private hire or per cabin; $6,050/per person, $59,400/8 people, $66,000/10 people, $72,600/12 people

For more information visit www.afloatinfrance.com  or contact 1-800-524-2420 or oereservations@belmond.com

About Belmond

Belmond, formerly Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., is a luxury hotel company and sophisticated adventure travel operator which seeks to deliver memorable experiences that are the ultimate expression of each destination’s authentic culture. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly thereafter recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris, and Venice, along with other European cities. Today the Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. brand embraces 44 hotel, cruise, and luxury rail businesses in 22 countries, including distinctive properties such as Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, Hotel Ritz Madrid, Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, and Maroma Resort and Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The Company also operates six luxury tourist trains, three river cruise operations, and one of New York’s iconic restaurants, The 21 Club. www.belmond.com

Insight Vacations Offers Air and Land Discounts on Unforgettable Vacations to Europe‏

April 8, 2014 on 10:31 am | In Airlines, France, Germany, London, Paris, Rome, United Kingdom | Comments Off


Insight Vacations is offering spectacular discounts on their extraordinary 2014 European tours. Guests can save $500 per couple on Premium Italy and Insight Gold Luxury itineraries or $400 per couple on any other Insight Europe and Britain journeys when they book and pay by May 15, 2014. Discover Europe in all its authenticity with Insight’s Signature Experiences – exclusive excursions that reveal the unique character of each destination. Every Insight tour is designed to provide inspiring interactions and an amazing array of engaging and memorable experiences.

This air offer is valid for a limited time only. Book your dream vacation with Insight Vacations now until May 15, 2014 and travel before October 31, 2014 to take advantage of substantial discounts on air and land. These savings are even combinable with other 2014 Europe and Britain discounts!

For more information, please visit our website at www.insightvacations.com . For reservations, contact your favorite travel agent or call Insight Vacations at (888) 680-1241.

Follow us on Twitter: @InsightVacation and like us on Facebook: facebook.com/InsightVacations

Terms and Conditions
*Save $400 off per couple on air + land bookings on 2014 Europe and Britain itineraries excluding Italy and Insight Gold Luxury, and save $500 off per couple on air + land bookings for premium Italy or Insight Gold Luxury European itineraries . Offer is valid for new bookings only made from now until May 15, 2014. Full payment for entire vacation package (land + air) must be made by May 15, 2014 or by the normal final payment date, whichever comes first. Travel must begin between May 1, 2014 and Oct 31, 2014. Offer valid on all air carriers to Europe on 2014 Europe and Britain itineraries and to all destinations in Europe. Normal name change policy applies. Fuel surcharges and taxes are included in quoted rate. Offer is not applicable to groups. Promotion is combinable with discounts found in our 2014 Europe and Britain brochure except with the Early Payment Discount. Not applicable to USA and Canada Gold tours, mini tours, Eastern Mediterranean tours and Last minute deals. Once payment is received, air tickets are non-refundable. Offer may be withdrawn at any time and subject to availability. Other restrictions apply. Offer ends May 15, 2014. Please call for details. PROMO CODE: $400 per couple Europe: AP14AIR200B | $500 per couple Italy/Gold Luxury: AP14AIR250B. CST No. 20687545-20

About Insight Vacations
Insight Vacations is proud to provide the most authentic and unique premium escorted tours and cruises to Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, India, United States and Canada. Expert Tour Directors passionately help you tailor each trip to your interests, arrange exclusive access into the history and daily lives of the locals, and escort you to the most extraordinary destinations and monuments. With the perfect balance of guided experiences and independent exploration, Insight ensures you will experience every country like never before.

Enjoy the Art of Touring in Style with extended business-class legroom on Insight’s luxury coaches and relax and unwind in the finest properties. Insight offers nearly 60 spectacular Signature hotels, including beautiful châteaux and manor houses set in breathtaking locations. Our Signature Experiences vividly capture the imagination of travelers, whether olive oil tasting in Provence or observing sheepdog training in the Scottish highlands. With hundreds of dollars of included meals, sightseeing experiences, and unexpected flourishes, you will be astounded by the value of an Insight Vacation.

About The TreadRight Foundation
Insight Vacations is a part of a joint initiative with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism within our own family of brands and in the places we visit. To date, TreadRight has donated more than US $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world. To find out more about our work with TreadRight visit: www.TreadRight.org

Connect to France with Eurail

April 7, 2014 on 10:32 am | In Adventure Travel, France, Paris, Rail Tours | Comments Off

26 countries to choose from – now, also includes France!

There is some great news for international travelers visiting Europe: you can now select France as one of the eligible countries when booking a Eurail Select Pass.

Also, the Eurail Select Pass is now exclusively available as a four-country pass, letting you choose 4 European destinations connected by train or boat from a selection of 26 countries. Start your journey in any of your chosen 4 countries and enjoy unlimited travel for 5, 6, 8, or 10 days within 2 months.

This makes the Eurail Select Pass one of the most flexible passes available, allowing you to not only select the number of days you will travel but also the destinations you will visit.

The eligible countries include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

- Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg, also known as Benelux, are counted as one country

- Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia are counted as one country

- Croatia and Slovenia are counted as one country

The Eurail Select Pass is available in First Class for Adult & Child fares. In addition, Youth travelers between the ages of 12 and 25 enjoy a discount of up to 35% off adult fares for travel in Standard Class and groups of 2 to 5 travelers save up 15% off adult prices for each person thanks to the Saver Pass discount.

Paris in Spring: The Perfect Place For Retail Therapy

April 7, 2014 on 10:15 am | In Europe, Fashions, France, Paris, Shopping | Comments Off

Shoppers, especially visiting shoppers, take to the boulevards of Paris with devotion and a ritual flair that almost elevates the great department stores into cathedrals. You only have to watch the crowds as they walk the aisles of Printemps, Le Bon Marche and the Galleries Lafayette to appreciate the city’s status as the pre-eminent capital of shopping.

Paris is also a city of art and a singular boutique hotel, located just off the Champs Elysées, the Pavillon des Lettres is celebrating the confluence of art and shopping by launching a new series of photo exhibitions in its lobby, and of course, the photos are for sale. It begins with an exhibit by Marie Gruel, which pays homage to the Historic La Samaritaine Department Store. Gruel’s “Ma Samaritaine” exhibit will be up at Le Pavillon des Lettres through June 25.

The literary-themed Pavillon des Lettres will rotate exhibits of original artwork that complement the hotel’s permanent art and sculpture collection. Gruel’s “Ma Samaritaine” show consists of 15 photographs of La Samaritaine, the department store overlooking the Seine that is famous for its Art Deco interiors and is currently on the verge of transformation by LVMH into a grand commercial space. Gruel, along with 11 other photographers, was given carte blanche to shoot the historic space, which she used as a backdrop for artistic displays of clothing, accessories, and souvenirs. The Gruel exhibit will be followed by a show of nudes from Paris-based photographer Michael Dak (June 15 to Oct. 15.

Each of the hotel’s 26 rooms celebrates an international writer from Charles Baudelaire to Victor Hugo. Each room features an excerpt from one of the author’s books, poems or plays, which is painted above the bed, and a hard copy of the work is on the nightstand. The penthouse suites on the top two floors offer sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais. Rates at the hotel begin at €230.

Over at the Mandarin Oriental, Paris, a new luxury shopping experience comes in the form of a package that allows guests VIP access to the city’s famous department store, Printemps Haussman. Printemps has been a leading department store since 1865. With its remodeled façade, classified as a historic monument, the Printemps has 45,000 square meters dedicated to the rites of shopping as well as seven restaurants.

The J’aime la MOde package combines a stay in the hotel with an exclusive private shopping experience at the department store. Printemps offers premium services including a VIP welcome, bespoke in-store personal service, store VIP Card, ‘hands-free’ shopping, local delivery, and shipping.

Guests will be helped by a personal shopper, fashion advisor, and luxury and beauty treatments (on appointment).

The package includes one night at Mandarin Oriental, Paris, breakfast for two in-room or at Camélia, a daily spa credit of €150, premium services at Printemps Haussmann, VIP welcome, Printemps VIP Card with a special offer, multilingual personal shopper, hands-free shopping, priority tax refund, local delivery and international shipping, and a Printemps candle gift. The ‘J’aime la MOde’ package is available year-round with a starting rate of €995.

Luxury 70th Anniversary D-Day Package – Normandy‏

April 3, 2014 on 10:27 am | In Adventure Travel, France, Paris | Comments Off



Arrive from Paris to Tourgéville, where you’ll become immediately mesmerized by the picturesque setting of the Pays d’Auge and this charming property. Upon arrival, you’ll be escorted to your room or suite, featuring countryside views from your private terrace. After settling in, take advantage of all the leisure activities Les Manoirs has to offer before sitting down for a delectable meal at Les Manoirs’ signature restaurant – 1899. Named after the birth year of Sylvain Floirat, founder of the Groupe Floirat dynasty, 1899’s warm décor and panoramic countryside views compliment Chef Emmanuel Andrieu’s traditional menu inspired by Normandy specialties.


After a delectable breakfast, begin the day with a visit to Caen Memorial, both a museum and war dedicatory site commemorating World War II. Next, travel to the village of Arromanches, a small commune nestled in a bay framed by cliffs, known for its artificial port that was built before the landings. Enjoy a lunch in the village, where you’ll indulge in savory fare, followed by a visit to the D-Day landing beaches and the American War Cemetery. The memorable day is concluded at 1889 to indulge in dinner and some of the finest desserts in Northern France.


After breakfast at Les Manoirs, the day commences with a guided tour of Deauville, known as the “city of the horse” and popular for its American Film Festival. Enjoy lunch in a local French Brasserie followed by leisure time to take advantage of some ultra-chic designer shopping and a stroll down the beach to visit the village fishermen of Trouville before driving back to Les Manoirs. That evening, enjoy dinner at an upscale Seafood Brasserie to experience the local tastes, reaffirming why French Cuisine is bar to none.


After an early breakfast at Les Manoirs, embark on a guided tour of picturesque Honfleur Harbor, capturing the beauty of old farmhouses and towers. The inspiration behind countless artists and the impressionistic movement, Honfluer remains a place where you will find artists painting on the pier. Enjoy lunch on the old harbor and spend the rest of the day walking the docks and stone streets. A final look at the sea, and you’re back to Paris.

The D-Day Package for 2 Includes:

· Three nights in a Triplex or Manor Suite

· A bottle of Champagne upon arrival

· Daily buffet breakfast

· Two dinners at the gastronomic “1899” restaurant

· Private visits of the region with an English-speaking guide

· Admission tickets to the Museums

· Lunches & dinners during the private tours (excluding drinks)

· Transfers during the visits (by rental car)

· Two one-hour spa treatments per person, featuring REN Skincare

· Free access to the fitness center and leisure infrastructures

From 4 210€ for 2 persons

About Groupe Floirat (www.groupe-floirat.com)

Founded by Sylvain Floirat over 50 years ago, Groupe is now owned by Sylvain’s grandson Antoine Chevanne, Executive General Director of Byblos Saint Tropez, and CEO of Groupe Floirat. In addition to the legendary Byblos, properties within the Groupe Floirat portfolio include La Reserve de Saint Jean de Luz and Les Manoirs de Tourgeville in Deauville, as well as Les Caves du Roy nightclub in Saint Tropez and Le Black Legend Monaco.

Les Manoirs de Tourgéville Offers D-Day Package

March 31, 2014 on 7:17 pm | In Adventure Travel, France, London, Paris, United Kingdom | Comments Off

In 2014, France is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings that liberated the country from the tyranny of Nazi Occupation on June 6, 1944. France has invested almost €50 million recently to polish up the battlefields, monuments and memory trails of both the First and Second World Wars.

A new three-night D-Day package from Les Manoirs de Tourgéville, a hotel located in Normandy’s historic region, offers travelers a chance to take part in the commemorations. Located in the Pays d’Auge, the hotel is well situated to serves as a headquarters for exploring the whole region during the commemorations. From Les Manoirs guests visit the Caen Memorial, the village of Arromanches, the landing beaches and the American War Cemetery where 3,987 Americans are interred. There are several guided tours of places like Deauville and Honfleur Harbor.

The package includes lodging in a Triplex or Manor Suite, a bottle of Champagne on arrival, daily buffet breakfast, two dinners at the gastronomic “1899” restaurant, an English-speaking guide, admission to museums, lunches and dinners during the private tours, transfers, two one-hour spa treatments per person and complimentary access to the fitness center and more.

Tour de France spectator hubs revealed

March 30, 2014 on 9:48 am | In France, Paris, Sports Travel | Comments Off

Organisers of the opening stages of this year’s Tour de France in England have confirmed the locations of 17 spectator hubs.

The free admission hubs will offer live coverage of the race on big screens, refreshments and entertainment.

The venues vary in capacity from a few thousand in more rural areas to 40,000 at the Don Valley Bowl in Sheffield.

Hub locations include Skipton and Leyburn, Hawes, Otley, Ilkley and York.

The race begins in Leeds on July 5 and continues from York to Sheffield on July 6.

A third stage between Cambridge and London takes place on July 7.

The spectator hub locations are in addition to the race start points at the Headrow in Leeds, York Racecourse and Parker’s Piece in Cambridge.

The delivery authority for the Grand Depart, TdF HUB 2104 Ltd, said the official hubs would be supported by other spectator events hosted by local authorities, town and parish councils, community groups and privately-organised events.

Holidaymakers Can Do Cannes With Eurocamp

March 29, 2014 on 11:03 am | In Beachbooker, France, London, Paris, United Kingdom | Comments Off

For anyone wanting to join the film industry’s elite for the 67th Cannes Film Festival this May, a break with Eurocamp offers the ideal way to get in on the action – with seven nights staying at the outdoor holiday specialist’s nearby Cap Esterel holiday village from just £530 per party.

Within easy reach of Cannes – where this year’s Film Festival takes place between 14 and 25 May – Cap Esterel offers a peaceful retreat with a fantastic pool complex, sauna and spa complemented by lush green surroundings not to mention a nine-hole golf course and direct access to the beach.

As well as the Cannes Film Festival, with its free open air cinema on the Mace beach showing classic films, cosmopolitan Cannes is ripe for exploration – from its many museums and picturesque waterfront to its grand and impressive villas. Meanwhile, stylish St Tropez is also well worth a visit, as is nearby St Raphaël.

A seven night break from 17 May 2014 staying in a Comfort studio apartment (sleeps 4/5) with a sea view at Eurocamp’s Cap Esterel parc will cost from £530 per party including a 15% discount if booked by 31 March 2014.

Ferry crossings and fly-drive packages are available at a supplement.

Check out the Eurocamp website at www.eurocamp.co.uk  – packed with great new videos, more images and holiday ideas to inspire – for more information or to book, or call 0844 406 0552.

The Art Of A Great Holiday With Eurocamp – Seven Nights In Languedoc During June For £679 Per Party

March 29, 2014 on 9:09 am | In Cabinweb, France, London, Paris, United Kingdom | Comments Off

For a holiday celebrating theatre, dance, opera, music and more this summer look no further than the Carcassonne Festival – ideal for culture lovers, not to mention a unique opportunity to explore prestigious venues across the beautiful fortified city. And with seven nights with Eurocamp from £679 per party during June, grabbing an early break this summer doesn’t mean breaking the bank.

Staying at the outdoor holiday specialist’s Domaine de la Yole parc at Valras Plage the excitement of the Carcassonne Festival and the region’s beautiful coastline are both within easy reach.

After a day soaking up the culture on offer at the Festival, which runs from June to August with many free events to enjoy, Domaine de la Yole offers the perfect retreat with a fantastic pool complex and sauna, Jacuzzi and spa. The nearest beach is just a stroll away; meanwhile, the on-parc vineyard is the perfect excuse to partake in a spot of wine tasting. Out and about, as well as Carcassone with the Festival and its many historic buildings to enjoy, the attractive town of Béziers with its impressive cathedral is a short drive away, and a little closer is the resort of Valras Plage, just 4km away.

A seven night break from 21 June 2014 staying in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom Esprit mobile home (sleeps up to six adults) with decking and air conditioning at Eurocamp’s Domaine de la Yole parc will cost from £679 per party.

Ferry crossings and fly-drive packages are available at a supplement.

Check out the Eurocamp website at www.eurocamp.co.uk  - packed with great new videos, more images and holiday ideas to inspire – for more information or to book, or call 0844 406 0552.

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