Author Archives: Ralph Grizzle

There are 340 articles by Ralph Grizzle published on this site.


 

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announces itineraries and shore excursion categories for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Whether visiting a celebrated destination or one that is off the beaten path, guests will benefit from a dedicated Concierge Ashore in addition to five distinct categories of shore excursions, including Iconic Sights; Stirring the Senses; Cultural Connections; Active Explorations; and Epicurean Experiences.

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Windstar Cruises recently appointed Captain James Griffiths to a new role as Expedition Captain, in preparation for Windstar’s return to Alaska this spring with Star Legend. On these voyages, Windstar will feature its new Signature Expeditions program that combines adventurous shore excursion offerings more commonly found on expedition ships and pairs them with Windstar’s own classic cruising ambiance.

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They both begin with the letter “S,” and they’re both big contenders in the luxury cruise segment. Of course, we’re talking about Seabourn and Silversea.

To the casual observer, these two lines may appear to be a lot alike. After all, both operate all-inclusive (we’ll get back to that in a moment) vessels, each carrying fewer than 600 guests (we’ll come back to that in a moment too).

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Six Tips for Smoother River Cruising

With the 2018 European river cruise season about to begin in a few weeks, we’re gearing up for a number of adventures on the rivers. How to make the most of those? Certainly, pre-planning is key to extracting the maximum enjoyment from time on the rivers. It’s important to note that pre-planning extends to both getting to the river cruise and being on the river cruise.

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The last time I was at a shipyard with Silver Spirit, I had breakfast (consisting of pizza, olive oil and coffee as black as motor oil) with shipyard workers in the bowels of the ship. As someone who had become accustomed to Silversea’s ultra-luxury style of cruising, I found the company’s new flagship to be uncharacteristically spartan. I overnighted on a lumpy cot in a Veranda Suite. I bathed with a giant bar of Palmolive soap (no Bvlgari to be seen) and dried myself with a towel about half the size of a newspaper. The carpet in my suite was covered with plastic that crinkled with my every step; the lights and electrical outlets worked fine, though – most of the time.
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The Best Mississippi River Cruises 2018

Where can you find the best Mississippi River Cruises 2018? Well, you won’t need to whittle down the contenders too much. That’s because only two river cruise companies operate on the Mississippi River, American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company.

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Silver Spirit To Go Under The Knife

This weekend, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit goes under the knife. I will be there to witness the event and to report it back to you.

At a shipyard in Palermo, on the sunny side of Sicily, Silver Spirit will be sliced in two, and a pre-built 49-foot-long midsection will be inserted to stretch the ship.

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Ocean cruisers who have been reluctant to river cruise because of the ship’s cozy confines (read: small cabins) may find that a new river cruise ship due out in 2019 to be the perfect fit. When AmaWaterways’ AmaMagna debuts in 2019, she’ll be twice the width of traditional river ships. That extended width puts her in another league altogether. AmaMagna arguably will have as much in common with small luxury cruise ships as with river cruisers. Indeed, AmaMagna is poised to herald in a new era of river cruising that is as close as it gets to small ocean ship cruising.

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Six Tips For Booking Your 2018-19 River Cruise

Five years ago, we came up with a list of Six Tips for Booking Your 2013 River Cruise. Half a decade later, many of these tips are still relevant –  and some of them are even more relevant than they were back then.

As we head into the start of the 2018 river cruise season, there are six things you should consider when planning your 2018 or 2019 river cruise. And as with 2013, the main tips we can provide to prospective river cruisers: plan ahead – and take action.

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Scenic has announced that its flagship, Scenic Eclipse, will be joined by a sister, Scenic Eclipse II. Launching in 2020, Scenic Eclipse II will embark on her maiden voyage from Athens to Lisbon, before the debut sailing season, which will include the European and Russian Arctic, a region of diverse wildlife and habitat, well suited to discovery by Scenic’s fleet of “6-star luxury meets expedition” ships.

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It was one of my best trips ever, Antarctica on Seabourn Quest. We set sail on a stormy December night from Buenos, Argentina. From there, we cruised to the Falkland Islands, which we explored for a day, and then endured the rite of passage known as the Drake Passage en-route to the Antarctic Peninsula.

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What I Pack When I River Cruise, What About You?

Back in the 1980s, I traveled around the world with a hefty backpack weighing down my shoulders. As I traveled, my backpack became lighter and lighter and lighter. I started dispensing of stuff because I got tired of carrying it, and I learned that I could do with a lot less than I had originally thought I would need. So if there is one lesson that I have learned in my four decades of traveling, it is pack less.

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Video: A Cruise Along Portugal’s Douro River

A Douro River Cruise gives you an immersive experience in Portugal. During the course of your cruise along the Douro, you’ll come to appreciate the beauty of the country, the warmth of the people, the taste of Portuguese wines, the fresh seafood and Portuguese specialities (think Pastel de Nata, the rich Portuguese egg tart pastry), and the enduring charm of villages where time seems to have stood still. At least for the moment. See it before it changes.

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Currently, there are more than 20 ships operating Douro River Cruises, and that number is growing. See our story, Six Reasons Why You Should Do A Douro River Cruise Now. No wonder the Douro’s popularity is soaring. The Douro is a great destination for those wanting to explore Portugal’s natural beauty, its delectable food and wine, and the country’s warm and friendly people.

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Yes, you should do a Douro River Cruise. As soon as possible. Why the urgency? Because the Douro is still relatively undiscovered. That’s changing, though.

“In 2017, we hope to achieve more than 1 million passengers on the Douro river,” says Helena Gomes Fernandes, marketing manager for the Port Authority of Douro, Leixoes and Viana do Castelo. Don’t panic. Not all of those are passengers on overnight Douro River cruises. The vast majority are on one-day river cruises, sight-seeing cruises more or less. Hotel-style river cruisers, in comparison, carried only a little more than 63,000 guests in 2016. That’s up considerably, however, from 2012, when river ships carried only 28,000 passengers on weeklong voyages. In 2018, more than two dozen river cruisers will ply the Douro on weeklong cruises between Porto and Barca d’Alva, a distance of about 240 miles roundtrip. Indeed, interest in the Douro is surging. So get your game on and get yourself to the Douro while the river is still relatively quiet.

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With more than 20 ships operating Douro River Cruises, your choices are abundant. Why choose Emerald Waterways? After spending eight days on the new Emerald Radiance during November, I identified six ways that the company differentiates itself from its competitors on the Douro.

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An Interview With Uniworld’s Ellen Bettridge

Ellen Bettridge clearly is enthusiastic about her new home, as she calls her job. Speaking at a recent Signature Travel Network Owners Meeting in Phoenix, the President and CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection put her sales skills to work when passionately talking about a company that, like her, has gone through a lot of changes in recent years.

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Riverside Chat: Six Reasons To Cruise The Seine

With the Douro, the Danube, the Rhine, the Main, the Rhone, the Saone, the Moselle and more, why would you want to cruise on the Seine River? I’m Ralph Grizzle, of rivercruiseadvisor.com and here are just a few reasons why you’ll want to cruise with AmaWaterways on one of France’s most storied rivers.

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Watch the recap of our September 2017 barge trip along France’s Petit-Seine & Yonne rivers on CroisiEurope’s Raymonde.

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Video: A Cruise Along The Seine With AmaWaterways

The Normandy region is renown for its beauty, its palatable flavors, its gorgeous countryside and the D-Day Landing Beaches. Bookended by Paris, a cruise along the Seine speaks to the sublime pleasures of exploring a narrow ribbon of river that inspired a handful of French Impressionists and that continues to inspire Francophiles today. Check out our feature video.

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A Rhone River cruise delivers you to the epicenter of a fascinating destination. I’m Ralph Grizzle of River Cruise Advisor, and I experienced the Rhone on AmaWaterways during a weeklong voyage from Lyon to Arles. Join me for adventure on one of France’s most famed rivers. Read the rest of this entry »