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08 October 2016

Avalon Waterways river cruise from Paris to Normandy

Avalon Waterways' 'Tapestry II' Suite Ship river cruise vessel. This photo is the property of Avalon Waterways. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Avalon Waterways' Tapestry II "Suite Ship" river cruise vessel. Photo: © Avalon Waterways. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

The spotlight shines on river cruising, my personal favorite way to see the sights of Europe. Among my favorites is Avalon Waterways' "Paris to Normandy" river cruise. Won't you come along?

01 October 2016

October is Plan a Cruise Month and your #CruiseSmile just may launch your next vacation

Flash your #CruiseSmile and you just may find yourself embarking on a cruise of your choice! All you need to do is SMILE!
Flash your #CruiseSmile and you just may find yourself embarking on a cruise of your choice! All you need to do is SMILE!

Can your smile launch a thousand ships? I bet it can! What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word cruise? Do you think of a luxury cruise to the Far East? How about a slower, more intimate river-cruise [my fave] from Normandy to the City of Light? Perhaps your mind sails south to a Caribbean sunset as you sip a glass of wine while the waves gently lap the shore. Wherever your dreams transport you, I can most assuredly say with the utmost confidence that you smiled and are probably still smiling as your dream of setting sail into new horizons!

25 September 2016

Cottage by the sea—the rorbuer fishermen's cabins of Norway

Welcome to your cottage by the sea—Norway's charming rorbuer or fishermen's cabins. All photography unless noted is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Welcome to your cottage by the sea—Norway's charming rorbuer or fishermen's cabins. All photography unless noted is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Picturesque and cozy with over-the-top rustic charm doesn't begin to describe these winsome retreats that became my home while exploring the Lofoten Islands above the Arctic Circle in Norway. Nestled amid the most idyllic settings imaginable and steeped in Norway's cod industry, Rorbu cabins (plural rorbuer), more commonly known to travelers as fishermen's cabins, are those pretty little red cottages that cling to the shores throughout the Lofoten Islands. Throughout the centuries, they have provided accommodations for fishermen and tourists alike and although they have come a long way since the days when they provided shelter for the rugged men of the sea, they retain all the character and charm of their predecessors albeit with modern-day conveniences. Primarily concentrated in the Lofotens, they are sprouting up throughout Norway because of the appeal of their unique architecture and cozy habitation surrounded by the solitude of the sea.

10 September 2016

Exploring Italy's Veneto region

View along Sirmione in Lake Garda, Italy. All photography is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
View along Sirmione in Lake Garda, Italy. All photography is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Soaring Alpine peaks sink into the northern shores of glistening Lake Garda, echoes of passion resound as Romeo proclaims his love to Juliet, the homemade tortellini makes my mouth water—benvenuti a Veneto where you'll discover the delicious flavors of bella Italia. I didn't think it was possible to love Italy any more than I do, but after visiting the Veneto region just west of Venice, I fell passionately in love.

10 July 2016

Beyond the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway

And God said 'Let there be light.' And so it was at 1,400 feet above sea level from the mountain ledge of Storsteinen overlooking Tromsø Sound. Adventure beyond the Arctic Circle begins here! All photography unless noted is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
And God said "Let there be light."
And so it was at 1,400 feet above sea level from the mountain ledge of Storsteinen overlooking Tromsø Sound. Adventure beyond the Arctic Circle begins here!
All photography unless noted is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Friluftsliv (free-loofts-leave), the Norwegian word for being outdoors and experiencing nature, and as often as possible; is a philosophy embraced by Norwegians and an essential way of life in this Scandinavian country. Recently, a colleague reminded me of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Combined, these philosophies embody the richness, the diversity, the adventure—all that is Northern Norway.

03 June 2016

Culture, Nature and History in Northern Norway

Expedition Northern Norway! Welcome to the land of the Midnight Sun in Lofoten, one of stops along the way of my journey. Photo © Jørn Allan Pedersen and VisitNorway.com. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Expedition Northern Norway! Welcome to Lofoten in the land of the Midnight Sun, just one of stops along the way of my journey to the Arctic. Photo © Jørn Allan Pedersen and VisitNorway.com. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Culture, history and nature take center stage on this Arctic expedition to Northern Norway. Beneath the midnight sun, we'll embark on exciting adventures and journeys of discovery in this Arctic realm of the north. From whale safaris and kayaking to history and culture, and even kissing wolves, this action-packed visit to the northwest coast of Norway will undoubtedly yield unforgettable memories and forever, change this explorer's view of the world! Join me on this exciting expedition to northern Norway!

11 April 2016

Enchanting Rüdesheim along the River Rhine in Germany

Willkommen to Rüdesheim, one of many storybook villages along the legendary Rhine River in Germany. All photography, unless noted, is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Willkommen to Rüdesheim, one of many storybook villages along the legendary Rhine River in Germany. All photography, unless noted, is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

From Amsterdam to Basel, the shores of the River Rhine are lined with some of the most enchanting places I have ever visited and as our Viking Longship Viking Mani plied the currents, each bend in the river ahead revealed a new storybook village beckoning for exploration; a continuation of my search for winsome villages absurdly picturesque and charming. When it comes to fairy-tale villages, Germany certainly exceeded my expectations, each one more delightful than the last! Here are a few highlights of one such place from my recent Rhine Getaway voyage with Viking River Cruises. Anchors aweigh, the storybook unfolds. Pages teeming with life!

05 April 2016

Viking Sea sails to Greenwich, England, for Christening

The Viking Sea sets sail on her maiden voyage. Photo: © Edelman and Viking Cruises. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
The Viking Sea sets sail on her maiden voyage. Photo: © Edelman and Viking Cruises. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

The Viking legacy continues this year with the maiden voyage of Viking Ocean Cruises' second ship, the Viking Sea, right on the heels of the recent Viking Longships christening in Amsterdam last month. The maiden voyage of the line's second ocean-going vessel sailed in early April 2016 from Istanbul to Venice and then continued through the Mediterranean, around the Iberian Peninsula and eventually to London's Thames where she'll be christened in Greenwich on May 5. Following the christening, the ship will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

15 March 2016

Voyage on the North Sea with Hurtigruten

Voyage like a Viking with Hurtigruten! The  Nordlys sails along the Hjørundfjorden near Ålesund, Norway. © Furmanek, Visitnorwaycom and Hurtigruten USA. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Voyage like a Viking with Hurtigruten! The Nordlys sails along the Hjørundfjorden near Ålesund, Norway. © Furmanek, Visitnorway.com and Hurtigruten USA. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

The allure of maritime exploration beckons to us all at one time or another with the promise of a seafaring voyage to lands afar, perhaps the same charted courses followed by the Vikings and other legendary explorers from the past. I have long dreamed of sailing upon the cresting waves of the North Sea along a rugged Norwegian coast; a majestic setting where spectacular fjords carve their way between the mountains and the only sounds breaking this idyllic silence is the crashing of the waves, thundering waterfalls heard on high, and perhaps a cacophony of seagulls flying alongside my vessel. This is the stuff of dreams, the voyage of a lifetime.

09 February 2016

Expedition Lofoten Islands, Norway

Capture the splendor of the Lofoten Islands in Norway! Aerial view of Reine, Norway. All photography in this post is the property of Classic Norway. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Capture the splendor of the Lofoten Islands in Norway! Aerial view of Reine, Norway. All photography in this post is the property of ClassicNorway.com. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Far above the Arctic Circle and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and most photographed regions in Norway, the Lofoten Islands are ridiculously picturesque with majestic fjords cutting deep into rugged peaks scraping the skies above; and along the shores, tiny fishing villages chock-full of charming rorbuer, one-time wooden-cabin homes to thousands of migrant fishermen who made their living upon these waters for centuries. Visit in the summer and you'll revel in the land of the midnight sun, and from September to mid-April, chase the ever-elusive Northern Lights as they blaze across dark winter skies high above the frozen landscapes laden with snow.