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Destination News - Europe.

New York, Geneva (AirGuide - Destination News Europe) Jan 23, 2011

Aurora Borealis is even more spectacular from a boat. The Aurora Borealis is erratic and unpredictable but also astounding and magnificent. Nature's light show, also called the Northern Lights, are common in Norway, Greenland, Alaska and other northern regions. Although the phenomenon is nearly impossible to predict, the long nights of winter increase the chances of capturing a view, and the scene from a boat provides an even more sublime experience, according to this article Jan 19, 2011

Barcelona Is it the movies filmed there, the fabulous restaurants, or the recent consecration of GaudiOs Sagrada Familia? Suddenly, Barcelona is the hot travel destination. TourCrafters has seized the moment with a 5-night/6-day Barcelona package that costs USD1,099 and includes round-trip transatlantic air from New York, fuel surcharge, accommodations in the Hotel Condes de Barcelona, an arrival transfer, a two-hour guided walking tour of Modernist Barcelona, and a Hop-On Hop-Off bus ticket. The package is valid until March 31. EverybodyOs talking about Barcelona these days. Not only does the city have beautiful tree-lined boulevards, the picturesque Gothic Quarter, fine art museums, and architect Antoni GaudiOs Modernist creations like the Sagrada Familia, but it is also the cradle of Spanish cuisine, often called the worldOs best. Its innovative restaurants and traditional markets alone make a trip worthwhile. Add to this the lively nightlife and smart shops, and you have a winning destination. For additional information about this and other good-deal European packages, visit . For reservations, call 800-482-5995. Jan 17, 2011

Black Sea Coast Turkey is promoting its rugged Black Sea Coast. Encompassing much of the countryOs northern boundary and isolated by the Kackar mountains, the narrow coastal Black Sea region of Turkey, is well off the beaten path of many international travelers. In addition to reminders of TurkeyOs history, the region is known for its scenic seaside and hilltop towns, World Heritage sites, lakes, national parks and some of the wildest natural landscapes in the country that draw trekkers, climbers and mountaineers from all over Europe. Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, Genoese, the Venetians and the Ottoman Empire all put their cultural imprint on the region. They left behind castles, churches, monasteries and mosques and distinctive architecture -- much still intact or restored. Today, visiting TurkeyOs Black Sea by cruise ship (a number of lines based in North America offer itineraries that include one or two Turkish Black Sea ports) is one option but, for a more in-depth experience, travelers are advised to fly in to Samsun or Trabzon, two of the larger towns, from Istanbul or Ankara, and rent a car or four-wheel-drive vehicle. Comfortable accommodations are plentiful except in some of the more remote mountain villages. Finally, visitors to the Black Sea region will discover culinary traditions: Black Sea cuisine, including the roots of the world-famous Turkish tea. Strongly influenced by geography and climate, mountains and sea, food featured in this region includes the black anchovy, or Ohamsi,O corn served in endlessly interesting ways, pickled green beans, an abundance of other vegetables and Akcabat Kofte (meatballs). Sweet helva, made with corn, butter and local honey, is another local favorite, as are, of course, a great variety of Black Sea and river fish (including farm-raised trout), considered by many to be the tastiest in the world. The Turkish tea industry is based in the town of Rize in the Black Sea region where a moist moderate climate provides perfect growing conditions. Turkish tea is a strong, smoky black variety that, traditionally served with sugar, is as much a social event and opportunity for human interaction as it is a beverage. But tea is not the only appeal of Rize and its surroundings. Not far away are the dramatic Kackar Mountains, with their waterfalls, highlands and peaks -- magnets for hikers and climbers from around the world. Glacier lakes are adorned with yellow rhododendrons, found nowhere else in Turkey at these altitudes, and Mt. Kackar itself, one of the worldOs ecological treasures, is home to bears, wolves, lynxes and mountain goats. For more information, call 877-FOR-TURKEY or visit or Jan 19, 2011

Compagnie du Ponant Compagnie du PonantOs Le Levant will cruise the waters of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea from April 27 through Oct. 15. The ship is offering 20 mostly seven-night voyages visiting rarely visited ports in Greece and nine other countries -- France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. Among the ports are the Greek island of Tinos, known as the OLourdes of Greece,O where passengers will see the Panagia Evangelistria dating from 1820, the site of an annual pilgrimage celebrating the Dormition of the Virgin Mary; Siros, where visitors can explore two towns that rise around the port; Ano Syros, a 13th century Venetian settlement with narrow medieval streets; and Ermoupolis, which boasts restored, neo-classical buildings, 19th century mansions and palm-fringed platias. Carrying 90 guests in 45 outside staterooms, the 330-foot Le Levant features two restaurants, a spacious lounge, several bars, a library, a swimming pool and a beauty and fitness area with sauna. The 4,300-square-foot Sun Deck provides ample room to take in the sea air and the sun. Aboard the yacht, guests dine on French cuisine, tasteful accommodations and a chic, yet informal atmosphere. The intimate size of Le Levant and a staff-to-guest ratio of 1:2 translate to very personalized service. Le Levant will kick off the season with a seven-night Nice-to-Venice cruise on April 27, visiting seven ports in three countries, including the islands of Corsica and Sicily, as well as two ports in Croatia. On May 4, the yacht sails from Venice to Athens, making stops at four ports on the Dalmatian Coast (Piran, Trogir, Dubrovnik and Kotor) before arriving at the Greek island of Corfu and transiting the Corinth Canal. Nineteen Greek Islands are featured on six Athens-Istanbul, six Istanbul-Athens and two Istanbul-Istanbul departures from May 11 into September. Three Black Sea cruises to and from Istanbul call at ports in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine (June 1, July 14 and Sept. 9). Le Levant will also offer an eastern Mediterranean (Athens to Alexandria) cruise departing Oct. 7 and an Alexandria-Tunis cruise departing Oct. 15, sailing along the coast of northern Africa with stops in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Fares start at USD3,820 per person, double, depending on the itinerary and stateroom. Currently, the line is offering the Ponant Bonus Fare of USD2,674, per person, double. Cruise prices include all wine, beer, mineral water, soft drinks and specialty coffees served with meals. Compagnie du Ponant offers travel agent commissions ranging from 10 to 15 percent. For more information, call 888-400-1082 (West Coast agents may call 888-400-1082) or visit Jan 19, 2011

Dsseldorf The cityOs once-yearly, one-day phenomenon falls on Monday, March 7, (called ORose MondayO) this year: A city known for its cosmopolitan character and sophisticated living (Dsseldorf ranks No. 6 on a list of global cities in quality of life) lets its hair down, unleashes its wild side, and transforms into a place where rip-roaring behavior is suddenly acceptable. The Rhine region is known as GermanyOs center of carnival festivities, or Rhenish Carnival, and Carnival in Duesseldorf is one of the strongholds. More than 300 carnival sessions and costume balls take place during Carnival season, also called FoolsO season, which kicks off on November 11 and ends on Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent: March 9, 2011). The season culminates in Rose Monday, its highlight. The city has no fewer than 60 carnival clubs, and their members are among the 5,500 parade participants who also make up the 45 bands and 70 floats. One million people, many dressed up in costumes and called fools, line up to watch the Rose Monday parade, shout OHelauO (the local carnival greeting), and catch the candy (called OKamelleO) that is thrown into the crowds from the floats. The parade is more than a mile and a half long. Jan 17, 2011

European Waterways European Waterways launched its 2011 season with spring specials that offer savings of up to USD5,000 for whole-boat charters, USD1,000 off per cabin, and other values. The discounts are valid for many April and May departures, and booking deadlines vary. Travel agents receive a minimum of 10 percent commissions on all sales. In addition to discounts for many Burgundy cruises, specials include USD5,000 off the charter price for the newest member of the fleet, La Bella Vita, which cruises Venice to Mantua. Additional spring specials include cruises on the Canal du Midi, which translates as the Canal of the Two Seas. A UNESCO Word Heritage Site, the canal connects the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. European Waterways also offers USD3,000 off whole boat charter prices for cruises in Scotland and England, as well as a Holland tulip cruise with April departures at 25 percent off full charter price for 10 to 12 passengers. RosaOs Canal du Midi cruise includes a visit to La Cit de Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the Gallo-Roman era and features the most complete medieval fortified city in existence today. It also includes an excursion to the wineries of the Limoux region, which offer the famous OblanquetteO wines, which are made from the white grapes of the region. European Waterways offers USD3,000 off the whole boat charter for all April and May departures if booked by Feb. 25. European Waterways also offers 50 percent off the companionOs fare for select cruises in April and May. For more information, call 877-879-8808 or visit Jan 19, 2011

Heidelberg The year 2013 will mark the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism and a major exhibition will be held in Heidelberg and Apeldoorn (Holland) as well as an OInternational Academic ConferenceO to prepare for the exhibition that will be held March 3 to 5, 2011, in the Johannes a Lasco Library, Emden. Cooperative partners in the enterprise are the Palatinate Museum of the City of Heidelberg (Kurpflzisches Museum), the State Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Wrttemberg, the Johannes a Lasco Library in Emden, the international project Refo500, and the Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. The Catechism came into being in 1563 by mandate of the Palatinate Prince Elector Friedrich III in Heidelberg. Following its official approval in 1619 at the Synod of Dordrecht, the Netherlands, and the Catechism was circulated worldwide. Since that time, the Heidelberg Catechism has been a shaping factor in spiritual and political life and a symbol of the spirit of awakening and change in Europe, America, and Asia. From May 11 through Sept. 16, 2013, three exhibitions are to be held simultaneously in three locations -- Heidelberg Castle, HeidelbergOs Palatinate Museum, and the Het Loo Palace, Apeldoorn. Each exhibition will focus on one of three thematic areas linked by the subtitle, O450th Anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism.O The focus of the partner exhibition in Apeldoorn will be the religiousness of the House of Orange, the earlier as well as the contemporary significance of the Heidelberg Catechism, and the CatechismOs worldwide dissemination. A preparatory conference for the international exhibition project O450th Anniversary of the Heidelberg CatechismO will be held March 3 to 5, 2011, in the Johannes a Lasco Library, Emden, and will focus particularly on theological and cultural-historical aspects. For more information, visit Jan 19, 2011

Hurtigruten Line Hurtigruten continues to waive the single supplement on six- to 12-day itineraries along NorwayOs fjord-filled west coast. This offer is good on 2011 itineraries departing through April 14. The single supplement fee is waived on all non-suite cabin choices on the six-day southbound, seven-day northbound, 11-day ONorwegian DiscoveryO and 12-day OClassicO voyages. Fares include all meals on board, cruise taxes and port charges, entrance to the Hurtigruten Museum on six-, 11- and 12-day voyages, and a Hurtigruten guide book. The offer may be combined with the AARP Member Discount, which allows guests to save up to 25 percent off select Norway voyages and receive up to USD70 onboard credit, and the Repeater Discount, which gives guests who have traveled onboard Hurtigruten within the last three years savings of up to 10 percent off a subsequent voyage. For more information, call 800-323-7436 or visit Jan 20, 2011

Oceania Cruises Oceania Cruises took delivery of the Marina, the lineOs fourth vessel and its first newbuild, at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente shipyard near Genoa, Italy. The 66,000-ton vessel accommodates 1,250 guests and features a number of firsts, including the Bon Appetit Culinary Center, the first hands-on cooking school at sea; Chef Jacques PepinOs first namesake restaurant at sea; Ralph Lauren Home-furnished OwnerOs Suites; accommodations by designer Dakota Jackson; a Wine Spectator wine program; a Lalique grand stairway; and a Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Moreover, the Marina has a total of 10 restaurants. The Marina becomes OceaniaOs new flagship and will set sail on its maiden voyage from Barcelona on Jan. 22. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Miami on Feb. 4. Inaugural festivities will include a christening by OEntertainment TonightO host Mary Hart, a fireworks display, and a gift from Oceania Cruises to the shipOs U.S. homeport. After the christening festivities, the Marina will sets sail on Feb. 8 on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco or San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. The ship will then operate a 12-day Caribbean cruise, roundtrip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin its inaugural Mediterranean season. For more information, call 800-531-5658 or visit Jan 19, 2011

White Star Line In what will probably be the last commercial opportunity to view what is arguably the most famous ship in the world, the luxury operator OLuxury and More TravelO is offering the chance to take one of the worldOs undoubtedly most fantastic journeys. On the night of April 14, 1912, a clear moonless night in the north Atlantic, the worldOs most famous and largest passenger liner, labeled OunsinkableO by its owners, the White Star Line, struck an iceberg at 11:40 pm. At 2:17 am TitanicOs huge stern heaved up into the air, where she broke apart, and began her plunge to the ocean floor some two-and-a-half miles below. On that ride of death to her final resting place, she took with her 1,558 passengers and crew still clinging to her decks. The lifeboats had departed with only 650 persons aboard, and with only 55 people surviving the icy waters of the north Atlantic, the number saved from over 2,200 souls on board was only 705 persons. Luxury and More Travel, the high-end luxury operator who supplies purpose-made luxury travel and self-drive in Australia and New Zealand, together with other special products, will give its clients booking this incredible journey a special item of Titanic tableware china, exclusively reproduced by the original manufacturers of TitanicOs original china for her OA la Carte Dining Room,O as a memento of their journey of a lifetime. For more information on this unrepeatable opportunity contact . Jan 20, 2011

Windstar Cruises Windstar Cruises is offering special fares with shipboard credit of up to USD1,000 on select sailings in Italy booked by Feb. 28. Eligible sailings include: The Wind SurfOs seven-day Rome roundtrip departing May 15 and visiting Ischia, Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento, Ajaccio and Livorno; fares start at USD2,299 per person, double occupancy. Wind SurfOs seven-day Rome to Venice voyage departing June 4 and visiting Capri and Messina, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; and Dubrovnik and Hvar, Croatia; fares start at USD2,399. Wind SurfOs seven-day Venice to Rome voyage departing June 11 and visiting Rovinj, Korcula and Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Messina and Sorrento, Italy; fares start at USD2,499. Wind SurfOs seven-day Rome to Nice voyage departing June 18 and visiting Portoferraio, Porto Rotondo, Port Vecchio, Livorno and Portofino, Italy, and Monte Carlo, Monaco; fares start at USD2,499. Wind StarOs seven-day Venice roundtrip departing July 23 to Dubrovnik, Korcula, Trogir and Rovinj, Croatia; fares start at USD2,999. Shipboard credit offer is USD600 (USD300 per person, maximum USD600 per stateroom) for Category B and A staterooms and USD1,000 (USD500 per person, maximum USD1,000, Wind Surf only) for suites. Taxes of USD35 to USD300 per person are additional. The offer is good on new bookings only and expires Feb. 28. For more information, call 800-258-7245 or visit Jan 20, 2011

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Title Annotation:Aurora Borealis; Black sea coast; European Waterways offers discount
Comment:Destination News - Europe.(Aurora Borealis)(Black sea coast)(European Waterways offers discount)
Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jan 24, 2011
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