Heart of Europe, France & Russia
RIVER CRUISING EUROPE 2009 FULLY ESCORTED LUXURY FLY/CRUISE/TOURS APRIL TO SEPTEMBER 2009 FROM $8,990 PP
Red Carpet Cruising in Europe 2009 The Heart of Europe, France & Russia Cruise Express invites you to sail the great rivers of Europe in 2009 as part of our biggest-ever range of escorted river cruise tours.
quaint villages and cosmopolitan cities. And you arrive in the centre of each town, providing you with more precious time to really experience each destination.
River cruising is booming and it’s easy to see why. It’s simply the most elegant, relaxing, convenient – and affordable – way to explore Europe. Join us as we journey through history along mighty rivers in western, central and eastern Europe that thread together the jewels of Europe – treasured places like Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Prague, St Petersburg and Moscow.
It’s the perfect way to travel, no matter which cruise you select. There’s our ever-popular Heart of Europe cruises which will see you trace the Rhine, Danube and Main Rivers between Amsterdam and Budapest aboard Avalon Imagery. Or our unforgettable Jewels of Russia cruise aboard the Viking Surkov between Moscow and St Petersburg. And then there are our new, enticing French river cruises which will tantalise you with the best that la belle France has to offer.
Unpack your bags – just the once – sit back and your deluxe floating hotel will take you on an enthralling and intimate voyage that will reveal to you the heart of Europe. There’s no rushing, no big crowds, no stress and no day where there’s nothing to see. The ever-changing scenery is entrancing – from romantic vineyards, grand churches and beguiling mon- asteries to enchanting castles,
Our all-inclusive, top-value cruise tours come with pre and/or post cruise itineraries and options that make the most of your time on the continent. We’ll organise your flights – be sure to check out our fantastic Business Class upgrade offer with Thai Airways – and invite you to exclusive pre-departure and welcome aboard cocktail parties. And looking after
Flying with Thai Airways International
you the whole way will be a smiling and professional escort from Cruise Express who will take care of all your travel details and ensure your trip is the memorable, hassle-free holiday you expect and deserve. Cruise Express is one of Australia’s leading specialist cruise agencies. For more than a decade, our passionate and award-winning team has helped tens of thousands of people enjoy their dream holidays afloat. There’s no better way than a river cruise to savour the real essence of Europe and in 2009, Cruise Express looks forward to booking your encounter with one of the continent’s celebrated waterways. Bon voyage from the Cruise Express team!
"There is nothing – absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." from Kenneth Grahame's ‘The Wind in the Willows’
JUST FOR YOU! Tailor-made travel arrangements
*Seating configuration is subject to aircraft rotation.
SPOIL YOURSELF! Business Class Upgrade flying with Thai Airways International A little luxury can be quite affordable. We have negotiated an exclusive Business Class supplement for just $4,990*pp *Please note, Business class only available on Thai Airways International (does not apply to intra European flights).
With a choice of 38 flights a week from Australia to Bangkok, we have flights to cater to everyone’s needs. All of THAI’s international flights operate to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport, one of the most technologically advanced gateways in the world, allowing smoother connections to THAI’s 70 destinations world-wide. THAI’s recently upgraded Royal Silk Class and Royal First Class, offer a new level of comfort to our premium class travellers. Experience Thai hospitality, the luxury of newly designed seats and award winning service. Stretch out and relax as you enjoy fine dining and world class video and audio on demand. THAI now operates to 12 destinations in the UK and Europe. Return from any of Thai’s European destinations* including Rome, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Zurich and Athens. *Additional taxes and seasonal/destinational surcharges may apply.
Depart ahead of the group and/or return home later, leaving you free to enjoy an Asian stopover, visit friends and relatives or perhaps join a coach tour whilst in Europe. Include a stay in London or perhaps a week in Tuscany – it’s your choice! Let us package flights, rail, hotels and transfers in Europe. We can offer you a choice of hotels to suit your needs. Whatever you fancy, let our travel professionals create the perfect itinerary for you.
BANGKOK STOPOVER PACKAGE Consider a stopover in the Thai capital on your way to or from Europe
2 night package including return airport transfers and breakfast daily
HEART OF EUROPE Cruise the Rhine, Main & Danube Rivers Amsterdam to Budapest on Avalon Waterways “Imagery”
NOW THIS IS THE WAY TO SEE AND FEEL THE HEART OF EUROPE – aboard the plush Avalon Imagery as we float effortlessly from the land of tulips and windmills, Holland, through enchanting landscapes in Germany and Austria and on to the gorgeous old cities of Budapest and Prague that will take your breath away. It’s our most popular river cruise. See why for yourself as the majestic splendours of central Europe unfold like a symphony from the decks of your floating hotel. Every corner of the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers reveals a new picture-postcard scene begging to be photographed. Ensure your camera has lots of memory! We cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge and dock in the middle of historic story-book villages like Miltenberg and Wurzburg. There are more beautiful ‘bergs’ to explore – breathtaking Bamberg, famous Nuremberg and medieval Regensburg, not to mention the cobblestoned streets of Passau, the baroque elegance of Vienna, quaint old Bratislava, cosmopolitan Budapest and the bewitching charms of Prague. Your 14-night cruise on Avalon Imagery follows a sojourn in the world’s most romantic city – Paris – and if you really love Europe’s alluring panoramas, then why not extend your holiday with our exclusive new five-day extension along Germany’s famous and aptly-named ‘Romantic Road’. Our special ‘Cars, Spas and Castles’ tour in Bavaria has something for everyone – the fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, the prestigious car factories and museums of Porsche, Mercedes and BMW, the world’s best-preserved medieval town, Rothenburg, swish Bavarian spas and colourful shops, including speciality stores where it’s Christmas all year round.
SPECIAL FEATURES Anzac Day at the Somme* Dutch Tulip Festival* *April only
Cars, Spas & Castles Magical Bavaria
Our April tour also features the exclusive opportunity to visit the historic French town of Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day 2009 for the moving dawn service and ceremony. This sombre place witnessed the world’s first tank battles during World War 1, with 1200 Australians losing their lives here to recapture the village from the Germans – a heroic feat that has forever since bonded locals and Aussies. On a brighter note, our April departure also boasts the colour of Holland’s Keukenhof spring tulip festival. Meanwhile, our August tour will showcase the medieval gems of Brugge in Belgium. No matter when you travel, the Heart of Europe will live with you forever!
Heart of Europe DEPART AUSTRALIA 22 APRIL or 12 AUGUST 2009 DAY 1 – DEPART AUSTRALIA DAY 2 – PARIS, FRANCE After arriving in Paris, we will transfer to our hotel for immediate check-in. This evening meet with your Tour Director and travelling companions for a perfect introduction to Paris! Enjoy a welcome dinner and an Illuminations tour of the City of Lights. Overnight: Millennium Opera Hotel (D) DAY 3 – PARIS Our orientation tour this morning will feature the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Champs-Elysées. For a panoramic view take the elevator to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight: Millennium Opera Hotel (B)
SPECIAL APRIL DEPARTURE FEATURES
ANZAC DAY & KEUKENHOF TULIPS DAY 4 – We leave Paris early this morning and travel to Villers Bretonneux to attend the ANZAC dawn ceremony. After this moving experience we visit the Franco-Australian Museum and the memorial in the school. Attend the special town ceremony and visit Hamel Memorial Park before joining the ANZAC ceremony at Bullecourt. Today’s journey will conclude at St Omer with a memorable overnight stay at Chateau Tilques. (B,D) DAY 5 – After breakfast we continue our journey to Holland where the spring tulip festival will just amaze you. The world’s largest colourful display of flowers at Keukenhof is an awe-inspiring sight. Embark on our river cruise ship “Imagery” this afternoon. Space is limited on this departure. Be sure to book early to be part of this historic journey. (B)
AUGUST DEPARTURE DAY 4 – PARIS AT YOUR LEISURE Another day to enjoy what this extraordinary metropolis has to offer. Perhaps take a tour to the lavish baroque Palace of Versailles or visit the Louvre Museum. Overnight: Millennium Opera Hotel (B) DAY 5 – PARIS TO AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND Following an early breakfast, board your coach and journey to the medieval city of Brugge in Belgium where you will enjoy a sightseeing tour, a canal cruise and free time for lunch. Continue on to Amsterdam. Holland's delightful 700 year old city is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. The works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum. This afternoon the crew of your vessel wait to welcome you onboard “Imagery”. (B,D)
DAY 8 – RHINE GORGE TO RÜDESHEIM The dramatic Rhine Gorge is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary Rock of the Lorelei where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. Pretty Rüdesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. Explore the Drosselgasse, pick up some souvenirs and be sure to try one of the vintages in any of the little wine taverns. (B,L,D) DAY 9 – MILTENBERG Located on the Main River, Miltenberg is a picturesque village that thrived on income from river traffic. Its cultural wealth and affluence are reflected in the beautiful medieval and Renaissance houses and the Gothic splendour of the Merchant Hall. (B,L,D) DAY 10 – WÜRZBURG Known as the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The magnificent Bishop’s Residenz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B,L,D) DAY 11 – BAMBERG Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is medieval Bamberg with its breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall straddling the river and serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (B,L,D) DAY 12 – NUREMBERG Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous Gothic churches and elegant patrician houses. Nuremberg's traditions include its famous Lebkuchen, toy making and metal working. (B,L,D) DAY 13 – REGENSBURG One of Germany's best preserved medieval cities, Regensburg's architectural highlights include the Old Town Hall and the beautiful old white and gold chapel. (B,L,D) DAY 14 – PASSAU TO LINZ, AUSTRIA Ideally located at the confluence of the rivers Inn, Ilz and Danube, Passau is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. St. Stephen's Cathedral houses the world's largest church organ with over 17,000 pipes. An optional full day excursion to Salzburg takes in the popular "Sound of Music" sights. (B,L,D)
APRIL & AUGUST DEPARTURES DAY 6 – AMSTERDAM There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by canal boat, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes. Afterwards our river cruise sets sail for Cologne. (B,L,D) DAY 7 – COLOGNE, GERMANY Cologne is one of Germany's largest cities whose river skyline is dominated by the soaring twin spires of its magnificent Gothic cathedral. The Romano-Germanic Museum located next to the cathedral is a must for history buffs! Try a Kölsch in one of the many taverns and shop for a bottle of 4711, the original "eau de cologne". (B,L,D)
DAY 15 – MELK TO DÜRNSTEIN, VIENNA Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey dominates the town from its commanding hill site and is one of Europe's largest monasteries. Dürnstein, known for the baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, lies right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. Above town are the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Vienna, known as the "City of Music," inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss. (B,L,D) DAY 16 – VIENNA Once the centre of the mighty “Hapsburg Empire”, Austria's capital has much to offer; the lavish Hofburg Palace, the
impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse and awe inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighbourhood café. Perhaps enjoy a concert tonight. (B,L,D) DAY 17 – BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA Situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava is the dynamic capital of Slovakia. The charming Old Town with its Town Hall and Mirbach Palace and the Gothic cathedral of St. Martin are not to be missed. (B,L,D) DAY 18 - BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Budapest, spanning the banks of the Danube, is the liveliest and most cosmopolitan metropolis of Eastern Europe. Seven bridges connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The massive hilltop castle complex with Fishermens Bastion are impressive sights. Shop for renowned peasant embroidery, Herend Porcelain and paprika. (B,L,D) DAY 19 – BUDAPEST TO PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC Following breakfast, disembark from the ship and board the coach for our transfer to Prague. Overnight Palace Hotel (B) DAY 20 – PRAGUE Morning sightseeing with our local guide features 1,000 year old Hradcany Castle, the former residence of Bohemian Kings, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Town, the Jewish ghetto and the astronomical clock, once the envy of all Europe. Afterwards you may want to mix with the locals in Wenceslaus Square. Overnight Palace Hotel (B) DAY 21 – PRAGUE TO AUSTRALIA This morning enjoy free time in Prague. Transfer to Munich airport for our flight home. DAY 22 – IN FLIGHT DAY 23 – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
OPTIONAL TOUR EXTENSIONS Why not extend your stay in Europe with one or more of the following?
For our AUGUST departure only (pre tour)
• Return Economy class flights & airport taxes • 14 nights onboard Avalon Imagery including port charges and onboard gratuities • Superb meals and premium wines with dinner onboard Avalon Imagery • Comprehensive sightseeing as listed in the itinerary • 4-5 star accommodation with immediate check-in in Paris and breakfast daily • Group transfers throughout • The services of a professional Cruise Express Escort • Pre Departure gathering & Welcome aboard Cocktail Party • Cruise Express Souvenir T-Shirt or Backpack, Cap & Lanyard
Poland Panorama Refer to page 7 of this brochure.
For our AUGUST departure only (post tour)
Scandinavian & Russian Delights Refer to page 6 of our Discover Europe brochure.
For our APRIL & AUGUST departures (post tour)
CARS, SPAS, CASTLES AND SHOPPING IN GERMANY
Upgrade Your Cabin
This 5 day package features visits to Germany’s renowned car manufaturers – Mercedes, BMW and Porsche. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Bavaria and visit the fairytale castles of Linderhof and Neuschwanstein.
Category (per person twin share)
Let us take you to a Spa or perhaps a shopping excursion that will be just a treat.
Royal Deck (Jr Suite)
DAY 21 – PRAGUE – ROTHENBURG We leave Prague and start our journey with a stop in the town of Plzen. Visit the famous Brewery of Pilsner Urquell, for a tour and tasting. We continue to the fairytale town of Rothenburg obder Tauber on the “Romantic Road”. Step back in time and join the night watchman for a walking tour of Rothenburg. Overnight Hotel Tilmann Riemen-Schneider (B) DAY 22 – ROTHENBURG Depart for a full day tour to Stuttgart. Visit to the Porsche museum featuring 20 cars, continue to the Mercedes factory and Mercedes Museum. Perhaps enjoy a spa treatment or shopping in Rothenburg and visit Kathe Wohlfahrts Christmas shop or drop in at Metzingen’s outlet shopping centre. Overnight Hotel Tilmann Riemen-Schneider (B)
Sapphire Deck (Aft)
Sapphire Deck (Forward)
(per person twin share – Cat E)
Fly/Cruise with Paris
Fly/Cruise with Prague
Fly/Cruise with Paris and Prague
CARS, SPAS, CASTLES & SHOPPING IN GERMANY EXTENSION 5 day tour (per person twin share)
DAY 23 – MUNICH Drive south to Munich to take in the BMW Welt (World) and factory tour or if you prefer transfer to the hotel to enjoy a leisurely day shopping and sightseeing in Bavaria’s capital. Overnight Regent Hotel Munich (B) DAY 24 – MUNICH Today you will be enchanted by the most beautiful countryside with visits to the castles of Linderhof and Neuschwanstein. A stop at the Wies Rococo church will conclude a most scenic day. Join us tonight for a farewell dinner. Overnight Regent Hotel Munich (B,D) DAY 25 – MUNICH A day at leisure in Munich before transferring to the airport for our flight home. DAY 26 – IN FLIGHT DAY 27 – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
BEST OF FRANCE & GRAND FRANCE from the Mediterranean to Normandy Fully escorted 17 & 22 day fly/cruise/tour packages depart 25 May 2009 from
DISCOVER THE MAGIC OF FRANCE FROM THE SUNNY MEDITERRANEAN TO THE BEACHES OF NORMANDY. Bonjour and welcome to our first escorted river cruise program in France – the world’s most powerful magnet for lovers of fine food, wine and fashion and, well, love itself. And what better way to start our French sojourn than with a stay in a moated French chateau. Your love affair with France’s unique joie de vivre starts here, at the Chateau d’Esclimont. Let’s grab a baguette, some cheese and wine, of course, and delve deeper into France on our Grand France tour by visiting the spellbindingly beautiful chateaux of the Loire Valley and the famous fortified town of Carcassonne. You’ll fall in love with the French countryside as we journey along the beautiful Seine, Rhone and Saone rivers aboard two elegant river vessels – the River Baroness and the River Royale. In the bright Provencal town of Arles, one of Van Gogh’s favourite painting subjects, we embark on River Royale. Our French River escapade that will take us north to the medieval walled city of Avignon and charming Viviers. We explore Provence and Burgundy aboard the River Royale that will take us to the once-Roman city of Lyon. Connoisseurs of quality chocolate and wine will be in heaven as we amble through wineries and visit a chocolate school.
INCLUSIONS Best of France • Return Economy class flights and airport taxes • 7 nights on River Baroness and 7 nights on River Royale in river view staterooms including all meals, wine with dinner and onboard gratuities • Group transfers throughout • Comprehensive sightseeing • The services of a professional Cruise Express Escort • Cruise Express Souvenir T-shirt or Backpack, Cap & Lanyard
Grand France All inclusions outlined above PLUS • 5 nights accommodation with meals as indicated • Comprehensive sightseeing • Entrance fees and inclusions listed
Aboard the River Baroness, we then trace the footsteps of the great painter, Monet and visit his home in his beloved village of Giverny. On the beaches of Normandy we pause to reflect on the events of the D-Day invasion in World War 2 before visiting the hauntingly beautiful city of Rouen where Joan of Arc met her fate on a stake in 1431. We’ve saved the best to last and climax in the splendour of the world’s cultural capital, Paris. See all the famous landmarks – the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Champs Elysee and Notre Dame Cathedral and savour the gentility of Parisian life for yourself. Your Cruise Express host will have the unenviable task of tearing you away the next day for your flight home to Australia. Au revoir! *Please note Qantas Frequent Flyer points do not apply to these packages.
Best of France & Grand France Grand France May 2009 MON 25 – DEPART AUSTRALIA TUE 26 – PARIS Arrive Paris and start your holiday with a stay in a French chateau outside of Chartres. Your room will be ready for immediate check-in. Enjoy a leisurely day or discover Chartres, with its magnificent Cathedral. Chateau d’Esclimont is a Renaissance-style chateau hotel, set in the heart of a 60hectare park. Tonight join your Tour Director and fellow passengers for a welcome Dinner. Overnight: Chateau d’ Esclimont (B,D drinks incl.) WED 27 – SAINT SYMPHORIEN LE CHATEAU – LOIRE VALLEY After breakfast we set off to explore the Loire Valley to Courcelles de Touraine. Visit Blois a charming town on the way. The region, named a UNESCO world heritage site, served rich princes, kings and dukes as a playground from the 15th to 18th century. Lavish country houses and chateaux are dotting the gentle landscape. Overnight: Chateau des Sept Tours (B,D drinks incl.) THU 28 – LOIRE VALLEY (Courcelles de Touraine) Today we visit Chambord – the amazing Castle of King Louis XVI and visit the charming town of Tours. The wide 18th century avenues and formal public parks invite for a stroll or perhaps enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to the chateau. Overnight: Chateau des Sept Tours (B) FRI 29 – BORDEAUX REGION A visit to the spectacular castle of Chemonceaux on the River Cher awaits us. An impressive sight with turrets, drawbridge and stylized moat from the 16th Century. A very picturesque journey will see us leave the Loire Valley and head to Margaux. Overnight: Relais de Margaux (B) SAT 30 – MARGAUX - CARCASSONNE Saint Emilion, a picture post card medieval village east of Bordeaux has long been know for its vineyards. A visit and a wine tasting is included along the way. Travelling towards Toulouse, a town steeped in rich history, we will walk the streets of the Vieux Quarter, with its beautiful churches and views of the tranquil Canal du Mid. Our journey will take us to the magnificent walled medieval town of Carcassonne, a truly magnificent town. Built by the Gauls, its turrets are visible for miles before we actually reach it. Overnight: Hotel de la Cite (B,D Drinks incl.) SUN 31 – CARCASSONNE – ARLES After breakfast, we head for Arles to see some of the city’s famous sights. Visit the Roman aqueduct at Pont du Gard, before transferring to our ship. Embark on River Royale. (B,D)
Best of France SAT 30 – DEPART AUSTRALIA Fly to Marseilles via Paris and transfer to Arles to embark on River Royale (D).
TUE 02 – AVIGNON Nestled in the lush hills of the Rhône Valley, lies the medieval walled city of Avignon. Named the “City of the Popes,” it was the centre of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when the Palace of the Popes was the equivalent of today’s Vatican. Your walking tour of Avignon starts at Clock tower Square, with its many cafes, shops and namesake clock tower dating back to the 1300’s and now part of the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall). Next, it’s on to Pope’s Palace Square for an inside visit of the grand Palace of the Popes. (B,L,D) WED 03 – VIVIERS – TOURNON Charming Viviers has retained much of its old charm and was developed around its Romanesque cathedral. Our tour in Viviers starts at the Old Town with an introduction to the city. We’ll stop by Rue Chevrerie, Porte Riquot, Maison des Chevaliers, Rue du Chateau and Maison Elementaire du Commercant. Finally, we’ll walk through the medieval streets of this charming town on our way back to the ship. (B,L,D) THU 04 – TOURNON, TAIN L’HERMITAGE, LYON Among the famous vineyards, the twin cities of Tournon/Tain L’Hermitage provide the perfect setting for those who are true connoisseurs of chocolate and wine. Celebrate the region by indulging in some Côte du Rhone wines. Cross the Marc Seguin suspended bridge and visit Tournon and its historic castle. Discover the secrets of world-famous Valrhona chocolate during an informative onboard lecture and tasting arranged by the Valrhona School of Chocolate. (B, L, D) FRI 05 – LYON The city was founded by Julius Caesar about 2000 years ago, and as a result, it has a wealth of Roman remains, as well as many impressive museums, renaissance architecture galore, and – of course – world-renowned cuisine. We’ll start our tour with a drive to the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, Lyon’s hallmark church, for a dramatic view of the town built at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône Rivers. From the bus, we’ll view Terreaux Square, the Fine Art Museum, and the Opera House. During the afternoon, you’ll have free time to explore. Rent one of the public bicycles to ride in the many parks and squares along the Rhône, walk through the renaissance quarter with its maze of medieval passageways, or simply relax with a glass of Beaujolais at one of the many taverns. (B, L, D) SAT 06 – CHÂLON-SUR-SAÔNE In the heart of Burgundy, Châlon is an important centre for France’s wine trade. From here, we will journey to nearby Beaune to visit the famous Hospices de Beaune. Marvel at the multicoloured roofs of this architectural jewel that has become one of the symbols of Burgundy. Founded in the 15th century, the Hospices were given some vineyards so they could make wine to auction off to support charities, and today the tradition still continues. (BB, L, Captain’s Farewell Dinner) SUN 07 – CHALON-SUR-SAONE (BEAUNE) Disembark River Royale in Châlon-sur-Saône and transfer to Paris for embarkation on River Baroness (D) MON 08 – LES ANDELYS This strategically important town prompted Richard the
Lionheart to build a fortified castle. Walk to the English King’s stronghold and admire the remains of the impressive Chateau Gaillard (B, L, Captains welcome dinner) TUE 09 – ROUEN Our visit to Rouen will take you to the stunning gothic cathedral of Rouen, painted so vividly by Monet, the haunting medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed tiles houses, and the Gros Horloge, a renaissance clock tower that arches overhead. The walk ends at Vieux Marche, where Joan of Arc was punished for her defiance. (B, L, D) WED 10 – ROUEN (NORMANDY BEACHES) Spend the day at the location where one of the most famous days in recent world history took place—the beaches at Normandy—site of the D-Day Invasion by the Allied forces during World War II. The Invasion of Normandy holds the distinction of being history’s largest amphibious combat operation. You’ll visit the American Cemetery at Colleville, the allied landing sites at Omaha beach, the battlefield of Pointe du Hoc and Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches, all haunting reminders of freedom hard fought for. (B, D) THU 11 – CAUDEBEC (HONFLEUR) Travel overland to Honfleur, a charming French harbor town favoured by artists such as Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet. Go on a walking tour from the former smuggler’s harbor of Vieux Bassin—the most often painted scene in Honfleur where the fishing village backdrop is seemingly unchanged from over 100 years ago—through the pedestrian streets to the medieval town center. (B, L, D) FRI 12 – VERNON (GIVERNY) Visit Monet’s home in his beloved village of Giverny, where he lived for 43 years, until his death in 1926. You’ll explore Monet’s house, furnished as it was when the leader of the Impressionist school lived here, including his precious collection of Japanese engravings. Strolling the gardens, you’ll see the familiar Japanese bridge and water garden shaded by weeping willows, with its pond still full of water lilies that so inspired this master’s work. (B, L, Captain’s Farewell Dinner) SAT 13 – PARIS We begin our city tour with a drive up the grand boulevard Champs Elysée and past the Arc de Triomphe. We’ll stop for a photo opportunity at the Eiffel Tower before continuing to Place Vendome, Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Latin Quarter. We’ll then go to Les Invalides, the Louvre courtyard and the Luxembourg Gardens, where we will see a slice of daily Parisian life—gentleman playing boules and children sailing boats on the glassy pond—as well as view Bartholdi’s model for the Statue of Liberty. (B, L, D) SUN 14 – PARIS Disembark the ship after breakfast and transfer to the airport in Paris for your flight or extend your stay for a few more days in Paris. (B) MON 15 – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
HOLIDAY COSTS (per person twin share)
Best of France
MON 01 – ARLES – AVIGNON The name Arles is closely connected with that of Vincent Van Gogh. Inspired by the unique Provençal light, he spent a period of intense and impassioned work under the bright sunny skies of Provence. During your walking tour discover Van Gogh’s Arles as well as the fascinating wealth of Romanesque monuments, such as the Roman Amphitheatre and Constantine’s Roman Baths. (B,L,Captain’s Welcome Dinner)
17 day Fly/Cruise/Tour
Grand France $9,990
22 day Fly/Cruise/Tour
To upgrade your cabins onboard River Baroness and River Royale add Category 2: $560 pp Category 1: $1,065 pp Lead in fares based on Category 3. Single supplements subject to availability and on application.
EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT $550 PER COUPLE IF BOOKED BY 01 JANUARY
JEWELS OF RUSSIA & POLAND PANORAMA Fully escorted 15 & 21 day fly/cruise/tour packages depart 28 July 2009
RUSSIA IS A MIGHTY LAND BRIMMING WITH HISTORY AND INTRIGUE WHILE POLAND IS FULL OF EYE-OPENING CHARMS THAT WILL LIVE WITH YOU FOREVER. This very special cruise tour will take you beyond the old Iron Curtain and showcase the jewels of Eastern Europe. Our hosted tour naturally features Russia’s two great cities – the colourful onion domes and famous Red Square of Moscow and the imperial palaces and tree-lined canals of St Petersburg. Linking these two destinations are the waterways of the tsars – the Volga and Svir Rivers which we will trace aboard the deluxe Viking Surkov, exploring authentic Russian villages along the way. Enjoy choir performances in historic churches and feast your eyes on the astonishing 22 domed Transfiguration Church at Kizhi – an extraordinary wooden log structure built in 1714 on a tranquil island without a single nail. And don’t miss the chance to unravel the mystique of Poland on our seven-day extension. Discover the gems of Krakow with its grand Renaissance and Gothic buildings and the second largest market square in Europe. Come face-to-face with the haunting spectre of Auschwitz concentration camp and see for yourself the stunning resurrection of Warsaw, which was rebuilt after World War 2. Travelling through Poland and Russia can be bewildering but looking after you and pampering you the whole way will be your friendly Cruise Express Escort who will take care of all the details and ensure your holiday is hassle-free. If you’re seeking new destinations to explore, then this is the tour for you!
Jewels of Russia
• Return Economy class flights within Europe with LOT Polish Airlines • 6 nights accommodation with breakfast daily • 5 dinners and 1 lunch • Group transfers throughout • Comprehensive sightseeing
• Return Economy class flights from Australia with Thai Airways International, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Rossiya Russian Airlines • Airport taxes • 12 nights onboard Viking Surkov from Moscow to St Petersburg in a river view cabin including all meals onboard and comprehensive sightseeing • Group transfers throughout • The services of a professional Cruise Express Escort • Pre-departure & welcome cocktail parties • Cruise Express souvenir T-shirt or Backpack and Cap
Assumption Cathedral and a museum. Spend the remainder of the day cruising along the Volga-Baltic Waterway, spanning 229 miles and 7 locks. (B,L,D) WED 05 – KIZHI Admire the tranquil waters of Lake Onega, Europe’s second largest lake. In the afternoon arrive at the island village of Kizhi. Set out on a walking tour through the Open Air Museum of Architecture, highlighted by the famous three tiered Preobranzhenskaya (Transfiguration) Church. This fairytale structure was built in 1714 without a single nail. (B,L,D)
Jewels of Russia and Poland Panorama JULY 2009 TUE 28 – DEPART AUSTRALIA WED 29 – MOSCOW Arrive Moscow and transfer to our ship – Viking Surkov – for embarkation. After boarding there is time to relax and get to know the ship. (B,L,D) THU 30 – MOSCOW This morning, explore the city with a half day tour of Moscow. See the famed Bolshoi Theatre and stop at Red Square for a view of the colourful onion domes of St Basil’s Cathedral. You will also get the chance to experience the city’s Metro. Stay in the city centre with a meal prepared by the ship and enjoy an evening of traditional Russian folkloric music. (B,L,D) FRI 31 – MOSCOW After breakfast, travel to the city’s famous red brick enclosure known as the Kremlin. See its many tall towers, brightly coloured cathedrals and elegant palaces. Tour inside the Armory, home to a collection of royal jewels, crowns and armour. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before returning to the ship. This afternoon is yours to explore Moscow or you can join one of the optional tours including one to the Tretyakov Gallery, the world’s foremost museum of Russian Fine Art. Dine onboard. (B,L,D)
THU 06 – SVIR RIVER A full day of relaxing cruising across Russia’s intricate waterways. The scenic Svir River, known as the “Blue Route” takes us 139 miles southwest from Lake Onega to Europe’s largest Lake, Lake Ladoga. (B,L,D) FRI 07 – ST. PETERSBURG Visit the world famous Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace. Marvel at the vast collection of art, antiquities, jewellery and sculptures. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, followed by a city tour. See the sights of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Nevsky Project, and visit Peter & Paul Fortress. Enjoy an evening performance of traditional Russian ballet or opera. (B,L,D) SAT 08 – ST. PETERSBURG Our day takes us to Pushkin to visit elegant Catherine’s Palace, the elegant rococo summer residence of the Russian Czars. Tour its ornate halls including the Amber Room. (B,L,D) SUN 09 – ST. PETERSBURG Today is a free day to see the sights that interest you. Visit one of the many palaces, churches or museums. You can take an optional morning tour to Petershof Palace with its landscaped gardens and beautiful fountains. (B,L,D) MON 10 – Disembark Viking Surkov and transfer to the airport for your flight to Australia via Moscow or to Krakow for our optional Poland Panorama tour. TUE 11 – IN FLIGHT WED 12 – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
AUGUST 2009 SAT 01 – MOSCOW & MOSCOW CANAL This morning is free to further explore Moscow or join one of our optional tours including Sergiev Posad, a quaint Golden Ring city. Your ship departs after lunch for scenic cruising along the Moscow Canal. (B,L,D) SUN 02 – UGLICH Cruise through the morning and after lunch disembark for a walking tour through the provincial village of Uglich, another city in Russia’s Golden Ring. See the former Kremlin in Uglich and visit the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s son Dmitry was mysteriously killed. (B,L,D) MON 03 – YAROSLAVL Arrive this morning in Yaroslavl, one of the Golden Ring cities. Drive along the river banks where you will see the Church of the Epiphany. Then visit the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet, featuring wonderful frescoes and icons. Here, you will be treated to a choir performance. Take free time and shop for handcrafted souvenirs before returning to the ship for lunch and departure. (B,L,D) TUE 04 – GORITZY & VOLGA-BALTIC WATERWAY We arrive in Goritzy , a typical Russian village. From here, visit the renowned Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded by Saint Cyril in 1397. Your guided walk takes you through the historic grounds, seeing many small wooden chapels, the
Poland Panorama MON 10 – KRAKOW Arrive Krakow and transfer to the hotel. Join our orientation walk through the old city, including Market Square, the Cloth Halls and St Mary’s Church. Welcome dinner at the local Wesele restaurant at the Market Square. Overnight Holiday Inn (D) TUE 11 – KRAKOW After breakfast join our half day sightseeing tour of Krakow, the ancient capital of Poland. A royal city on the Vistula River lying at the foot of Wawel – a limestone hill on whose peak rises a splendid royal palace and the cathedral church of St. Waclaw. Visit the Old Town with Market Square surrounded by magnificent houses and palaces. This afternoon we travel to OSWIECIM – AUSCHWITZ – BIRKENAU MUSEUM. Visit the former Nazi concentration camp now included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Dinner at Wentzl Restaurant at Market Square. Overnight Holiday Inn (B,D) WED 12 – KRAKOW Enjoy some time to explore the city, before we continue to Wieliczka to visit the oldest Salt Mine in Europe. This impressive underground world of salt lakes, chambers, galleries and unique salt works was created by many generations of Polish miners, another UNESCO treasure. Our next stop will be Tyniec with its Baroque Abbey. Enjoy the Benedictine Scholars’ Chants, before a special “Feast at the Monks” dinner awaits us. Overnight Holiday Inn (B,D) THU 13 – KRAKOW – CZESTOCHOWA – CZARNY LAS Today visit Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa. This is one of the most important places of religious worship in the Christian World with traditions of pilgrimage that go back to the 14th century. The interior of the baroque Basilica is richly decorated and famous for it’s “Black Madonna”. The Palace of Czarny Las will offer beautiful and charming surroundings for the night. Overnight Czarny Las Palace (B,D) FRI 14 – CZARNY LAS – LOWICZ – WARSAW As we travel to Warsaw, we visit our friends Vojek and Kate in Lowicz where we enjoy a home hosted lunch served in old Polish style. To add to this unique experience, check out their castle ruins and admire the collection of regional landscape paintings. After lunch we continue our journey to Warsaw. Overnight Sofitel Victoria Hotel (B,L)
HOLIDAY COSTS (per person twin share) Jewels of Russia 15 day all-inclusive fly/cruise
Jewels of Russia and Poland Panorama 21 day all-inclusive fly/cruise/tour $13,980 Upgrade your cabin BX $590 pp AX $1,295 pp
SAT 15 – WARSAW Our sightseeing tour of Warsaw includes the Castle Square and Gothic castle which once was the seat of the Kings of Poland. Visit St. John’s Cathedral and Market Square. Enjoy the sights of the Royal Route with its aristocratic residences. Our farewell dinner at the Sekret Restaurant will end our tour on another high note. Overnight Sofitel Victoria Hotel (B,D) SUN 16 – WARSAW Transfer to the airport and depart Warsaw (B) MON 17 – IN FLIGHT TUE 18 – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
Lead in fares based on DX grade. Single supplements for all categories available on application.
AVALON IMAGERY DECK PLAN
VIKING SURKOV DECK PLAN
Features * Stateroom size: 290 sq. ft. * Deluxe staterooms have hotel-style beds * Large picture windows that open * Large bathroom with enclosed shower
* Air conditioning * Hotel style bed 5.25 ft. x 6.56 ft. * Height under bed for suitcases: 0.82 ft. * Wardrobe space (size 3.87 ft. x 5.71 ft. x 1.38 ft.)
RIVER BARONESS DECK PLAN Technical Data Inaugurated: 1994 Refurbished: 2005 Number of Decks: 2 plus Sundeck Maximum Passengers: 128 Staterooms: 64 double cabins Number of Categories: 3 Cabin Size: Approx. 128 sq ft
Voltage: 220 volts Elevator: No Restaurant: Open seating Library: Yes Laundry Service: Yes Ironing Facilities: No Gymnasium: Yes Sauna: No Currency onboard: Euro
RIVER ROYALE DECK PLAN
Technical Data Built: 2005 Speed: 25 km/h Draught: 1,30 m Tonnage: 1.566 t Length: 110 m
Facilities 1 - Sun Deck with Deck Chairs 2 - Fun Pool 3 - Navigation Bridge 4 - Lido Bar 5 - Golf Putting Green 6 - On-Board Camera 7 - Walking Track 8 - Panorama Bar 9 - Amadeus Club
Height Above Water: 5,85 m Crew: 40 Cabins: 68 (+4 Suites) Breadth: 11,40 m
10 - Nautik Cafe 11 - Restaurant 12 - Reception 13 - Hospitality Desk 14 - E-Mail Station 15 - Board Shop 16 - Vital Club 17 - Hairdresser 18 - Doctor/Massage
Earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on these *
cruiseco The Cruise Specialists
BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS for Travelations Pty Ltd t/a Cruise Express International (ABN 31 095 788 177. Lic # 2TA5206) Please read all booking terms and conditions carefully. By payment of your deposit we understand you have read, understood and accepted these conditions. Travelations Pty Ltd t/a Cruise Express International (herein referred to as the Facilitator) is a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and the International Cruise Council of Australasia (ICCA). We are a licensed travel agent giving you the consumer protection offered by the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF). We are committed to the provision of excellent service and quality travel products.
time at which notice of your cancellation is received and on the individual cancellation policies of the operators (eg. cruise line) involved. Cancellation fees for air tickets issued will be determined by Airline Tariff Regulations. No refund is payable for flight coupons issued but not flown. Additional cancellation fees may be applied by airlines where special conditions apply to early ticketing time limits accepted by the passenger.
restricted to one piece per person for Economy class and two pieces per person for Business class. In addition to this, passengers are also allowed one piece of carry on luggage restricted to 5kgs per person. Any additional luggage may only be carried on the understanding that passengers are personally responsible for additional porterage costs and/or excess luggage charges imposed by the airline(s) and other carriers.
AMENDMENTS After deposits are paid, the first amendment will be free. Should you wish to make further alterations, an amendment fee of $100.00 will apply for each alteration.
PRICING & ITINERARIES All prices are in Australian dollars and are based on operator prices correct at the time of publication and on currency exchange rates as at September 2008. In the event that operators, service providers or currency fluctuations alter prices, the Facilitator reserves the right to adjust pricing at any time up to and including the day of departure. When circumstances beyond the control of the Facilitator occur, the Facilitator also reserves the right to alter itineraries accordingly. Frequent Flyer points will not be awarded on Thai flights.
TOUR INCLUSIONS Economy class air flights inc. airline taxes & government charges, cruise accommodation in selected cabin grade inc. onboard gratuities, port & handling charges, group transfers, coach transportation, hotels and sightseeing where indicated porterage of one piece of luggage per person, meals as specified and the services of a Tour Escort or independent Tour Guide(s) throughout the itinerary (see Tour Escort). Accommodation is on a twin-share basis unless otherwise requested and confirmed. All hotels are subject to change.
TRAVEL WARNINGS The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issues regular updates for overseas travel. Please refer to the DFAT website – www.smarttraveller.gov.au for the most up-to-date travel advice. If you do not have website access please contact the Facilitator for a print- out of the latest advice relating to your travel destination(s).
BOOKINGS All bookings must be made directly with the Facilitator and are subject to availability of the appropriate services (eg. airline seats, cabins and hotel accommodation) at the time of booking.
NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR COSTS All items not specifically referred to as Tour Inclusions above including excess baggage, porterage other than for one piece of baggage per person, meals, gratuities and tips except where indicated, passports, visas, travel insurance, laundry, drinks and items of a personal nature.
CONFIRMATION & PAYMENT OF DEPOSITS The Facilitator will prepare and forward a written confirmation. A non-refundable deposit payment of $1500.00 per person will be required within 7 days of confirmation in order to secure the booking. If a deposit is not received within this period, the booking will automatically lapse. An administration fee of $500.00 per person is retained by the Facilitator in the event of cancellation. Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Card) payments are accepted. Amex and Diners payments attract a 3% administration fee. A relevant booking form must be completed, signed and returned to the Facilitator with all deposit payments. FINAL PAYMENT Full payment is due and must be received no later than 100 days prior to your departure date (unless otherwise specified). Documentation will be distributed at a Group Pre-Departure Cocktail Party approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure. CANCELLATIONS In the event of cancellation after a deposit payment is made, the cancellation must be made IN WRITING to the Facilitator. Cancellation charges apply and will be dependent upon the
CRUISE EXPRESS Winner of the ICCA National Cruise Agency of the Year - 2004
TOUR ESCORT It is intended that this departure will be accompanied by at least one Tour Escort nominated by the Facilitator. However, should minimum group numbers not be reached, the Facilitator reserves the right to operate the itinerary as an unescorted group departure utilising local independent Tour Guides and/or Escorts. Due to operational requirements Tour Escorts may not travel on group flights. TRAVEL INSURANCE It is a condition of travelling with the Facilitator that each passenger MUST HAVE a current travel insurance policy. Because of the cancellation policies outlined above, we strongly recommend that insurance is purchased at the time of paying initial deposits, to cover cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances. HEALTH Passengers may NOT rely on the Tour Escort for personal physical assistance and warrant that they are in good health and/or fit to travel on tour. BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE All passengers are permitted one piece of check-in luggage
NOTICE OF RESPONSIBILITY Travelations Pty Ltd t/a Cruise Express International (herein referred to as the Facilitator) is not itself a carrier or hotelier, nor does it own cruise ships, aircraft, hotels or coaches. The services that the Facilitator supplies consist of arranging and coordinating cruises, flights, accommodation, transfers and tours, making bookings and issuing documents to be redeemed by suppliers. The Facilitator exercises every care in the selection of reputable cruise lines, airlines, hotels and transfer and tour operators. However, it is important to note that all bookings with the Facilitator are subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of liability imposed by the shipping and cruise companies, airlines, hoteliers and transfer and tour operators whose services we utilize, some of which limit or exclude liability in respect of death, personal injury, delay and loss or damage of baggage. The Facilitator does not accept any liability of whatever nature for the acts, omissions or default, whether negligent or otherwise, of those shipping and cruise companies, airlines, hoteliers, coach operators or other persons providing services in connection with your travel arrangements pursuant to a contract between themselves and yourself (which may be evidenced in writing by the issue of a ticket, voucher, coupon or the like) and over which the Facilitator has no direct and exclusive control. The Facilitator does not accept responsibility in contract or in tort for any injury, damage, loss, delay, additional expenses or inconvenience caused directly or indirectly by force majeure or other events which are beyond its control or which are not preventable by reasonable diligence on the part of the Facilitator, including but not limited to war, civil disturbance, fire, flood, unusually severe weather, acts of God, acts of Government or any other authorities, accidents to or failure of machinery or equipment or industrial action (whether or not involving our employees).
Travelations Pty Ltd t/a Cruise Express International Suite 92/24 Buchanan Street, Balmain NSW 2041 Ph: 02 9810 5377 Fax: 02 98105366 Email: [email protected]
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Express International – Priority: 1300 766 537