The following TOUR ITINERARIES are dated for the year 2016.
EL PRESIDENTE CRUISE 4.0 Cuba Cruise & Tour (Jan. 10th - 23rd, 2016)
Professionally Directed By Bob & Linda Hayes
Meals as indicated: (B) breakfast, (L) lunch, (D) dinner.
January 10th: Depart Canada for Havana. Today we start our Cuban adventure departing from Saskatoon/ Regina for Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival into Havana, we will be transferred to the Nacional Hotel.
January 11th: Havana (B/L/D). This morning we tour the City of Havana in style in old American cars. The tour will end at port of Havana where we will board the Louis Cristal. The rest of the day is yours to explore the ship or venture into the city of Havana. Maybe tonight take in an optional visit to the famous “Tropicana Show” of exotic dancers and listen to the exciting sound of Cuban music at its best!
January 12th: Havana (B/L/D). Free day. Today is yours to explore the City of Havana. Enjoy wandering the markets with their abundance of wonderful leather, jewellery and colourful fabrics. The ship sails for Maria la Gorda at 5 PM.
January 13th: Maria la Gorda (B/L/D). We leave Maria la Gorda and travel to Guanahacabibes National Park Nature. The National Park Coastline features a variety of landscapes, including Mangrove Swamps, home to unique flora and fauna. Visit the Las Perlas Cave, with its beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and a breathtaking lake. An expert local guide will accompany us for the entire trek.
January 14th: Cienfuegos (B/L/D). We begin this tour by strolling the streets of this pretty city, known as the Pearl of the South. From the Boulevard to Marti Park we’ll see the Triumph Arch, Bar Meson El Palatino which is the oldest building in the city. La Casa del Dundador, residence of Don Luís de Clouet, San Lorenzo School, the Pure Conception Church, and the theatre Tomas Terry built in 1890. By bus, we’ll then take in the views of the Cienfuegos Promenade by Jagua Bay. At Palacio de Valle we’ll be welcomed with a cocktail and learn about the palace, built in 1913 and considered an architectural jewel.
January 15th: Montego Bay, Jamaica (B/L/D). FREE DAY. With unique culture, amazing beaches, picturesque mountains, and incredible duty free shopping, we couldn’t pass this up. Go horseback riding on the beach, take in a round of golf, explore a plantation, or meander around the shops and enjoy. Jamaica is yours for the day.
January 16th: Santiago de Cuba (B/L/D). Today is full of history and culture as you experience the fantastic city of Santiago de Cuba. Walk through the main streets and avenues of the city. Drive through San Juan Hill, former residential neighbourhoods, Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, and the bar of the former Bacardi Rum Factory La Barrita de Ron Caney. We then travel by motor coach to visit El Morro Castle a UNESCO world heritage site dating back to the late 16th and 17th century. Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where we will witness the changing of the guard to honour a Cuban national hero, Jose Marti. For lunch today, we will enjoy an outdoor seafood lunch overlooking the picturesque Cayo Granma. If time permits, we will have free time at the main square downtown.
January 17th: At Sea (B/L/D). Sailing along the Northern Cuban coastline, will give us an opportunity to enjoy all that the Louis Cristal has to offer.
January 18th: (Disembarkation) Havana - Varadero (B/D). This morning after breakfast, we will disembark the Louis Crystal and head into the Cuban country side for our next destination, Varadero. Before checking in at our resort, the Melia Varadero for the next 5 nights, we will enjoy a City Tour of Varadero.
January 19th: Varadero (All Inclusive). We anchor just off the island and transfer to the beach at Port Frances. This is a glorious beach of pure white sand surrounded by crystal clear warm waters - perfect for snorkelling. Enjoy a beach barbecue in the sunshine while listening to live music.
January 20th: Varadero (All Inclusive). After breakfast, our first stop is an old Sugar Mill called ''Australia'' where you will find a museum of steam train locomotives of the 20th century. Have the opportunity to ride in a genuine steam train through the fields of the area while tasting tropical fruits. Visit the largest crocodile breeding sanctuary in Cuba, then boat down the river to a replica of a Taino Indian village. Visit the farm ‘‘Fiesta Campesina’’ with an interesting array of birds and animals. Enjoy a typical Creole lunch with a farmers show included. There will be free time to take pictures and enjoy the Cuban peaceful countryside.
January 21st: Varadero (All Inclusive). This morning, we will get together for breakfast. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy your beautiful resort or explore Varadero.
January 22nd: Varadero (All Inclusive). This morning, we will get together for breakfast. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy your beautiful resort or explore Varadero.
January 23rd: Return Home (B). After and early breakfast this morning, we will transfer to the Varadero Airport for departure home.
CRUISE/TOUR INCLUDES: 1) Return flights between Saskatoon/Regina and Havana/Varadero, Cuba. 2) 5 nights at the Melia Varadero (all inclusive). 3) 1 night accommodation at the Hotel Nacional (breakfast). 4) 8 days/7 nights aboard the Cuba Cruise Louis Cristal (including all meals and entertainment on board). 5) All tour and shore excursions as per itinerary. 6) All airport/hotel/ship transfers. 7) All gratuities (includes motor coach drivers, guides, host couple and mandatory ship board), taxes and port charges. 8) $0 Prior Non-Medical Package Insurance. 9) 2 professional Tour Directors. 10) Local Cuban Departure Fee.
El Presidente's Promise: With every cabin sold $50.00 will be donated to the local animal humane society.
Poppies & Tulips - River Cruises of France, Belgium & the Netherlands (Mar. 31st - Apr. 19th, 2016)
Professionally Hosted By: Doug & Nancy Porcina
Meals as indicated: (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner.
Day 1, March 31st: Depart Canada (D). Your adventure begins with your flight out of Saskatoon/Regina to Paris.
Day 2, April 1st: Arrive Paris (B). Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine, the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air. We will be transferred to our hotel for the evening. A welcome reception will give you a chance to get to know your fellow travellers.
Day 3, April 2nd: Paris (EMBARKATION) (B/D). This morning is yours. Catch-up on sleep or grab any last minute items you may need for the journey. This afternoon, board our river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Before dinner, our ship glides smoothly out of Paris.
Day 4, April 3rd: Vernon - Les Andelys (B/L/D). This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at Giverny for almost 43 years (1883-1926), and viewed his flower and water gardens as works of art - just like his paintings. Or, visit Bizy Castle, built in 1740 and nicknamed “Normandy’s Versailles.” It is known for its famous stables - inspired by those at Versailles - and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a Guided Walk of the town.
Day 5, April 4th: Caudebec (B/L/D). Today, join either a guided excursion along the Route des Chaumières, “Thatched Cottage Route”, to see some of Normandy’s charming and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”, a short drive from Caudebec.
Day 6, April 5th: Caudebec (B/L/D). Today includes a full-day excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches - with poignant sites such as Juno Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the Canadian Cemetery.
Day 7, April 6th: Rouen (B/L/D). Rouen, capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy the included Guided Walk through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take photos of the intricate Gros Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. Visit the Gothic Cathedral.
Day 8, April 7th: Conflans (B/L/D). After breakfast you may either join our included guided excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s Chateau de Malmaison just outside Paris.
Day 9, April 8th: Paris (B/L/D). Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included City Sightseeing shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, you may wish to join a Guided Walk through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Île de la Cité, the center of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to Notre Dame Cathedral. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Optional Cabaret dinner and show to finish off the Paris experience.
Day 10, April 9th: Paris - Dieppe - Amiens - Somme Area (B/D). After Disembarkation in Paris, we head to Dieppe to visit the Museum at the Canadian Cemetery, and the actual beach battle site to pay tribute to 913 Canadian soldiers who died that tragic morning of August 19th, 1942. Lessons learned here were instrumental in the successful landing two years later on the beaches of Normandy. On September 1st, 1944, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division liberated Dieppe. Before leaving Dieppe visit the Jubilee Centre. Later arrive in Amiens and visit the medieval Amiens Cathedral and the Memorial to Allied Forces, which commemorates the men who fought one of the decisive battles in August 1918, ultimately leading to the end of World War I. Then, visit the Newfoundland Memorial in Beaumont-Hamel, dedicated to the Dominion of Newfoundland members who were killed in WWI. The site contains a stunning caribou monument and new interpretive centre.
Day 11, April 10th: Somme Area - Vimy Ridge - Ypres, Belgium (B/D). Today we visit Vimy Ridge, site of an outstanding Canadian victory in World War I. The battle, which began April 9th, 1917, marks the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in the battle together, and has since become the symbol of the Canadian nationalistic achievement and sacrifice. Visit the newly restored Memorial that dominates the area. Around its base are the names of 11,000 missing Canadians who died in France during the Great War and have no known graves. Time to walk along the restored trenches and tunnels (subject to availability) and to visit the Interpretive Centre. End with a visit to the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, from where the remains of an unknown Canadian soldier were returned home in 2000 as a symbol of all the missing and unknown soldiers who died during the Great War in Europe. This evening, your Tour Director will accompany you to Menin Gate. Here, the “Last Post” is played every evening to honour the memory and sacrifice of the war’s dead.
Day 12, April 11th: Ypres - Brussels (B/D). Visit the famous Cloth Hall and its In Flanders Fields Museum. Afterwards, stop at the Essex Farm Cemetery, where McRae wrote his poem in May 1915. On to Passchendaele, where a Local Guide will tell you the story of the tragic battle that took place here in 1917. Up the hill at Crest Farm is the Passchendaele Canadian Memorial, which marks the place where the men of the Canadian Corps took possession of the high ground at Crest Farm after two weeks of ferocious fighting. Also stop at Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth military graveyard in the world with its 12,000 graves and a memorial dedicated to another 35,000 missing. Late afternoon arrival at your hotel in Brussels.
Day 13, April 12th: Brussels (Embarkation) (B/D). For some, your tour ends today after breakfast with a transfer to the airport while others continuing to your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.
Day 14, April 13th: Antwerp (B/L/D). Antwerp is Belgium’s second-largest city and one of the world’s most important ancient seaports. It merges the new with the old and offers the attractions and atmosphere you’d expect from a European city - friendly people, fabulous architecture, chic shops, interesting museums, vibrant cafés, charming galleries, and historic monuments. Sightseeing with a Local Guide shows you the superb architecture of the central Grote Markt.
Day 15, April 14th: Ghent (B/L/D). In a unique way, Ghent, the “diamond” of Flanders, has managed to preserve its medieval charm and power while keeping up with the times. A Local Guide will proudly point out that the city centre alone is a showcase of medieval Flemish wealth and commercial success. Visit ST Baaf’s Cathedral, which houses remarkable art treasures, including the most important work in Flemish art.
Day 16, April 15th: Middelburg, Holland - Veere (B/L/D). This morning, a Walking Tour of Middelburg will acquaint you with this Dutch East India Company trading city. Rejoin your ship for lunch and the short cruise to Veere, where you will visit the nearby Delta Works.
Day 17, April 16th: Willemstad - Kinderdijk (B/L/D). This morning, dock in Willemstad and join a Local Guide for a Guided Walk of this small historical town with well-preserved fortifications. One of the oldest buildings in town is the old gatehouse at the entrance of Willemstad, and as you walk around you will notice a wide variety of building styles. The town even has its own windmill towering high above the marina and in the very centre of the seven pointed, star-shaped town, stands the Koepelkerk (Rounded Church). This afternoon, visit Kinderdijk, whose 19 windmills were built in 1740 as part of the water management system to help prevent floods. Visit a Windmill and learn how they played a vital role in the development of the country, becoming a symbol of Holland.
Day 18, April 17th: Excursion to Keukenhof Gardens or Delft. Enjoy a leisurely morning on board before an included excursion takes you to the gardens of Keukenhof near Lisse - over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a windmill to explore. Every year, 7 million flower bulbs are planted, and you have the chance to see the spectacular display of colours from the tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and more. If you’re a garden enthusiast, you may opt for an extended stay in Keukenhof, going in the morning, and lunching in the gardens on your own before rejoining the ship with the rest of the guests in the later afternoon.
Day 19, April 18th: Amsterdam. Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambience. The streets, squares, and canals - not to mention the bike paths throughout the city - make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age”.
Day 20, April 19th: Amsterdam (Disembarkation & Return Home). After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport our departure back to Canada.
TOUR INCLUDES: 1) Airfare from Saskatoon/Regina into Paris return from Amsterdam. 2) 1 Night accommodation in Paris, Somme, Ypres, and Brussels. 3) 8 day cruise aboard the Avalon Tapestry. 4) 8 day cruise aboard the Avalon Impression. 5) All transfers. 6) Shore excursions and tours with Local Guides (including complimentary headsets). 7) All meals (with the exception of 4 Lunches). 8) All gratuities. 9) 2 Professional Hosts.
Victoria in the Spring (Apr. 21st – May 3rd, 2016 - 13 days)
Tour Directors: Colin & Dianne Markusson
Meals indicated as (B) Breakfast, (D) Dinner.
Day 1, Thursday, April 21st: SK - Calgary AB. Meet fellow travellers along the way to Calgary.
Day 2, Friday, April 22nd: Calgary AB - Jasper AB (B). Enjoy a scenic drive to Lake Louise, with its spectacular views of forests and snow-capped mountains reflecting into the glacial waters. Visit the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre, where you can view the remnant of the last ice age, nestled at the foot of Mount Athabasca. Stop at the Athabasca Falls before continuing onto Jasper known as the gentle giant of the Rockies.
Day 3, Saturday, April 23rd: Jasper AB - Kamloops BC (B). Today you will enter Mt Robson Provincial Park. Drive along Moose Lake to the Visitor Centre where you can get a view of the unique geological structure called Mt Robson. It is one of the most beautiful mountains in the Rockies. Travel through Valemount, Blue River and Clearwater before stopping in Kamloops for the night.
Day 4, Sunday, April 24th: Kamloops BC - Vancouver BC (B). You will be travelling through Lillooet, a small community along the Frasier River. Then onto the resort town of Whistler, where there’s a special energy you can feel when you walk the Stroll. Then you are off to Vancouver for two nights.
Day 5, Monday, April 25th: Vancouver BC (B). Enjoy your guided city tour of Vancouver and area, which includes China Town, Gas Town, Fish Hatchery and Queen Elizabeth Park.
Day 6, Tuesday, April 26th: Vancouver BC - Victoria BC (B). Catch the Tsawwassen - Schwartz Bay Ferry followed by a guided city tour of Victoria. The tour will include Oak Bay, Beacon Hill Park and Mile 0. Then it is off to your hotel where you are just steps away from downtown, with a wide variety of shopping, dining and exciting activities.
Day 7, Wednesday, April 27th: Victoria BC (B). Begin your day with the Butterfly Gardens. It is An indoor tropical wonderland, where Caribbean flamingos walk through the streams and ponds among the beautifully coloured koi fish. Stroll past the organic vanilla beans growing on the vine, papaya trees, pineapple, coffee beans, and ginger. This afternoon you will visit the 55 acre beautiful floral displays of the Butchart Gardens.
Day 8, Thursday, April 28th: Victoria BC (B). Free Day to explore on your own, visit relatives or soak up the sun. Your Tour Directors will give you some suggestions of activities to see and do.
Day 9, Friday, April 29th: Victoria BC (B). Royal British Columbia Museum presents the natural and human history of the area. There are three different galleries of natural history, first peoples, and modern history. Free afternoon.
Day 10, Saturday, April 30th: Victoria BC - Nanaimo BC (Vancouver Island) (B). A full day of sightseeing. Sights are totem poles in Duncan, murals in Chemainus, quick visit to Port Alberni, Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park. A visit to the Old Country Market in Coombs. Overnight in Nanaimo.
Day 11, Sunday, May 1st: Nanaimo BC - Kelowna BC (Mainland) (B/D). Board at Departure Bay - Horseshoe Bay Ferry. Drive along the Coquihalla Hwy with a stop at Hope. Travel through the vineyards along Boucherie Rd on route to Kelowna for overnight. Windup banquet.
Day 12, Monday, May 2nd: Kelowna BC - Calgary BC (B). Enjoy all the beautiful scenery through the National Parks of Mt Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho and Banff. Overnight in Calgary.
Day 13, Tuesday, May 3rd: Calgary - Home (B). Homeward bound cherishing wonderful memories of your travels with new found friends.
13 DAY TOUR INCLUDES: 1) Motor coach transportation. 2) Hotel accommodations. 3) 2 professional Tour Directors.
4) 2 City Tours. 5) Admissions to attractions listed. 6) Ferry transfers. 7) All breakfasts and windup dinner. 8) Trip interruption insurance (after departure). 9) All tips for driver, directors and guides.