Previous month:
July 2012
Next month:
October 2012

August 2012

Scenic Cruises adds Rhône to Rhine


ABOVE:: Scenic Emerald cruises past the Papal Palace in Avignon, France.

Scenic Cruises, a subsidiary of Scenic Tours, has added a seven-night itinerary on France's Rhône and Saône Rivers to its European program for 2013. The voyage from Chalon-sur-Saône to Arles is being combined with Scenic's existing seven-night itinerary from Amsterdam to Basel, with a coach connection between the two. During the transfer from Basel to Chalon-sur-Saône , passengers will visit Beaune, the historic wine capital of Burgundy.

Highlights of the cruise and its shore excursions include dinner in the home of a French family near Tournon, a visit to a winery in the Beaujolais village of Oignt, riding on electrical-assist bicycles along the Rhine River near Koblenz, and an insider tour of the Hockenheim Formula 1 track.

Fares include unlimited beverages, all meals, private butler service, Wi-Fi, airport transfers, shore excursions, private concerts and performances, and all tips on board or on shore. 

The 14-night cruise package is priced from US $6,290 to $10,240 per person for American guests, with free flights for U.S. residents who book standard staterooms by September 30, 2012. (Departures are in March, April, and September.)

For more information, including details on extended tours, visit (You can download an illustrated brochure in PDF format from the Web site.) Australians should visit, and residents of the United Kingdom should go to

BELOW: A balcony on Scenic Emerald, and dinner with a French family.


Dinner with a French family.

Photos: Scenic Cruises.

Travel Dynamics International announces eight classical cruises in the Mediterranean for 2013

CORINTHIAN of Travel Dynamics International

ABOVE: Corinthian would make a perfect megayacht for a billionaire, but don't tell Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg: We wouldn't want our readers to miss the chance for a Mediterranean cruise on a vessel that holds fewer passengers than most ships' lifeboats.

Travel Dynamics International is a New York-based cruise line that began life as Classical Cruises & Tours more than 35 years ago. The company specializes in cruises for adults with an educational and historical focus.

A typical TDI cruise has onboard lecturers (usually professors, journalists, or authors), and fares include shore excursions to cultural attractions that range from Byzantine monuments to Antarctic scenery. The company's three small ships carry only 34 to 100 passengers each, or fewer people than you might find at a Behemoth of the Seas bingo game.

Next year, Travel Dynamics will offer eight Mediterranean cruises on Corinthian, a 50-cabin ship that was refurbished in 2009. The ship has a crew of 60 to serve a maximum of 100 passengers.

TDI's 2013 Mediterranean season begins on April 30 with two 10-night cruises, "North Africa's Mediterranean Coast Through the Centuries." After that, the ship will cruise to Sicily, Malta, and the Aeolian islands, and then on to Sicily, Sardinia, and the Balearics.

In May, Corinthian will offer back-to-back "Treasures of Catalonia, Rousillon, Languedoc & Provence" cruises, followed by a cruise from Barcelona to Dubrovnik, a voyage in Croatia and Montenegro, a Black Sea round trip from Istanbul, a cruise in the Balkans, and two itineraries with Greek themes.

For more information, visit the company's Web site at

(Note: As we're writing this post in early August, TDI has four Mediterranean cruises left in its 2012 season, with last-minute deals for three of the four voyages. Three cruises are on Corinthian's sister ship, Corinthian II; one is on 34-passenger Callisto.)

BELOW: Suite 604 on Corinthian.

Suite 604 on CORINTHIAN

Photos: Travel Dynamics International.

New L'AUSTRAL review at Europe for Cruisers

L'Austral from Dubrovnik Cable Car station

ABOVE: An aerial view of L'Austral and a tender in the bay of Dubrovnik, Croatia. The photo was taken from the Dubrovnik Cable Car's upper station.

We've had three cruise ships on our "to review" list this year: Silversea's Silver Spirit, Compagnie du Ponant's L'Austral, and Uniworld's River Baroness. The Silversea review was published in June, the Uniworld review should be online by late October, and the Compagnie du Ponant review--featuring the line's newest ship--is now on our cruising site at

The illustrated review describes the ship, accommodations, food, and other topics, including the question "Is Compagnie du Ponant right for you?" It will be followed in late August by a photo gallery that will include a ship's tour, gastronomic photos, and a day-by-day photo diary of our cruise's roundtrip Croatian itinerary from Venice.

To read our 8-page L'Austral review, please click here.