Category Archives: Cruising

Experience culture up close and personal on a river cruise

Travelers are finding river cruises more and more attractive because they offer a great immersive experience into the local culture. GetAway Travel offers a great group trip on one of the industry’s premier river cruise lines. There’s more information here — https://getaway.travel/unique-getaways/spring-city-wine-house-burgundy-river-cruise

AmaCello

This river cruise slated for 2022 takes you through some prime wine country in France. You can sit on the deck in your recliner and catch some sun with vineyards and great cities and villages rolling by like a travel movie.

Entertaining, relaxing and intimate

If you haven’t taken a river cruise, at GetAway Travel we can whole-heartedly recommend one, because we’ve taken many. There’s a lot to like about a river cruise and a lot to enjoy!

There is a smaller group of people on board the ship and you can make new friends. Everyone gets a room with a view. Because you are traveling on a river, there are no buffeting waves like you’d experience on the ocean.  And everything is just a short walk from your cabin.

Wi-Fi is free so you can share your experiences real time with family and friends.

Once you dock, no pressure

Once you dock, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the city with plenty to do and see.

Excursions are included in the cruise package and you can pick your activity level. Choose a tour with an activity level that is gentle, regular or active. Do you want to take a walking tour with a guide? You get your own personal headset and it’s a local guide with plenty of local insight into the area and the culture.

Continue reading

Did you need a reason to go to Lyon France? OK, well here’s a few.

Lyon, France is one large UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a very large renaissance era old town and Roman ruins.   The city was founded 2,000 years where the Rhône and Saône Rivers meet. 

Lyon built its fortune on the silk trade.  During the 16th century it was estimated that there were at least 180,000 looms in the city.

The Fourvière Basilica is a magnificent church, ever visible on the hill to west of the city.  In December, the famous Fête des Lumières takes place in praise of the Virgin Mary, to whom the Basilica is dedicated, for protecting the city from the bubonic plague in the 17th century.

On the left bank of the Saône is the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, which even after 2000 years is still being used as a performance venue.

At the Lyon Cathedral, many of the stain glassed windows you see are from the 1300’s.  They were taken down and packed away during WWII to save them from bomb damage.  

The word “FUN” is found in Funicular.  This one will take you from the river to the top of the Fourvière hill.

This is really just a small bit of highlights you’ll enjoy in Lyon.  

To see them all – why not join us in November of 2022 on our exclusive Spring City Wine House Burgundy & Provence River Cruise.  Lyon is just one of the many stops during our week that you will enjoy.

See our web page for more details

Here is how accessible the city is from a River Cruise – parked right in the heart of the old town area – amazing!  We look forward to seeing YOU in Lyon.

Ever take a cooking class on a River Cruise Ship?

Last September we had the joy of sailing with a small group aboard the Uniworld S.S. Joie de Vivre cruising from Paris to Normandy.  Everyone loved the experience onboard – the service was outstanding and the food was amazing.  One of our (many!) highlights of the trip was a group cooking class in the on board Wine Cave – La Cave des Vins.

group dinner in le cave_1

Being in Normandy, we had a welcome cocktail made with Calvados (local Apple Brandy) followed by a 4 course food and wine pairing.  The whole group assisted with all the food prep and cooking.  Our first course was an amazing sauteed foie gras atop a vanilla apple – which Continue reading

Cruising to Bratislava

Bratislava is one of the smaller capitals of Europe but still is the largest city in Slovakia.  It sits on both banks of the Danube and is the only national capital that borders 2 other sovereign states: Austria and Hungary.  It’s also a popular stop on River cruises along the Danube.

AMASonata docked in Bratislava

There are several fun and iconic statues in the old town area

Man at Work

Café Meyer was opened in 1873 and serves fantastic coffee and cakes

Licorice – Sue’s favorite candy!

Anytime is a good time to go – and of course there are always tasty treats to eat

What are you doing for New Years? Perhaps a Danube Cruise?

We truly hope you are having a fantastic holiday season!  

As this season draws to a close, so does the decade as we get ready to welcome the 2020’s.  What better way to celebrate the New Year than to take a River Cruise.  While Paul stays home and takes care of the new puppy Sue is onboard the AMASonata sailing from Budapest, Hungary to Vilshofen, Germany.  Here are a few photos from her journey thus far.

The Hungarian Parliament is the largest building in Budapest.  Situated on the Pest side of the Danube it first opened its’ doors in 1902

Located in the heart of the Buda castle district is the Saint Matthias Church.  The site dates back to the year 1015, but the current building was constructed in the 2nd half of the 14th century.   Check out those gorgeous tiles on the roof.

The Dohány Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in all of Europe.  It’s Moorish architectural features would definitely not look out of place  in Spain.

Heroes’ Square is one of the major squares in Budapest, Hungary, noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven chieftains of the Magyars.

Well I’m not sure what’s the meaning of this flask on Sue’s head, but there will certainly be stories to tell when she gets back

Enjoying the dancing and we’ll post updates on Sue’s Danube cruise soon!

 

 

 

 

Too many Pictures and not enough time

This happens every time we GetAway.  We take a ton of pictures while we’re travelling and then after we get home we struggle to find time to sort through them, find the best ones and share.  So for today’s post we just grabbed some random ones from our recent Paris to Normandy river cruise that we hope you’ll enjoy.  So, well…enjoy away!

Queens hamlet versailles_2_1

This was our third time to Versailles, but our very first to see the Queen’s hamlet.  It’s a beautiful setting and makes for a great day of touring. You can read more about it here –The Queens Hamlet

ss joie de vivre_11

I think you can tell we love River Cruising.  But it’s not just us (although we are pictured above), our friends and clients love it too.  The Joie de Vivre was an amazing home for 7 days.

Paris France_7

Yup it’s just a picture of cheese in France.  Call us guilty – we are from Wisconsin and we love cheese enough to take pictures of it.

Honfleur France_73

Artwork as seen through a store window in Honfleur, France.  This gorilla looks to need a glass of single malt scotch to go with his cigar.  We didn’t buy this painting as we don’t know where we’d hang this in our house, however if you have a place for it – a trip to Honfleur might be just the thing you need.

Honfleur France_26

Speaking of Honfleur – here it is.  It’s a gorgeous town to visit.

American cemetary normandy_18

The American cemetery in Normandy is a humbling beautiful place to visit.  Words cannot express the gratitude.

Omaha beach normandy_14

This is a view down a stretch of Omaha beach.  The coast line is rugged and looks much the same as it did in 1944

Sainte-Mère-Église normandy france_2

Sainte-Mère-Église is now famous for a true incident portrayed in the movie The Longest Day.  The incident on D-Day involved paratrooper John Steele whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church, and could only observe the fighting going on below. He hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. Steele later escaped from the Germans and rejoined his division when US troops attacked the village.  Look closely and you’ll see a mannequin with a parachute hanging from the church tower today

Giverny_47

Water lillies and France – must be the home of Monet.  Some of Monet’s most famous paintings are of his garden at Giverny.

Domaine Les Crayères hotel reims_25

Random visit to a pop-up market behind the exclusive Domaine Les Crayères hotel in Reims.  Yes we’re in the heart of Champagne and this is a craft beer tent.  It was a very happy moment for Paul!

au piano des chefs cooking class_8

There is a lot of limestone in the soils of Champagne.  Our Wine expert is showing us the ancient sea creature shells embedded in the stone on the Reims Cathedral.  He explained the calcium in the limestone is present in the wine and now that we’ve been drinking Champagne, there is a bit of the region of Champagne in all of us.

notre dame de reims cathedral_18

You should definitely go for the night time light show at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims.  But during the day you get better close up shots of the statues and this one is missing the top of his head.  Perhaps his hat blew off in a strong wind.

hautvillers france

Speaking of hats, this one looked great on Pierre, but we don’t think he actually brought it home.

au 36 restaurant hautvillers_14

Sitting outside in Hautvillers, France for a wine and food tasting.  That’s a lot of glasses! It was all so we could taste some of the individual varietals that go into Champagne.  Hautvillers itself is famous for the Abbey of St. Peter which existed here until the French Revolution.  The Abbey was the home of Dom Perignon, a rather famous Benedictine monk whose work in wine-making helped to develop champagne.  Perhaps you’ve heard of him?

Billecart-Salmon_8

Speaking of Champagne how about a place called Billecart-Salmon?  They create fantastic wine and it was a great Champagne house to visit.  We discovered that in his college years, our host (center of photo above) spent a year in Milwaukee.  You can imagine we quickly bonded over that.  Yes it is a small world!

Ruinart_7

Hmm….you may be wondering…yes it is a foosball table – perhaps the best one ever.  We discovered this one at Ruinart.  Come for the bubbles and stay for the foosball!

Well that’s just a sample of some of our activities and the sites we visited.  These pictures don’t even include our cooking class in Reims – you can see that on youtube here.  Champagne is a quick train trip outside of Paris.  While it was not part of the river cruise – we went there for a few days first prior to the 7 days on the river Seine.  If we can help make your France (or any other location) travel dreams come true – please give us a call or drop us a note.

 

 

Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and discover River Cruising with us

Avalon room-view

Please join us for an exclusive on-line River Cruise Night with Avalon Waterways

Presented by Nancy Baumann & Sharon Pendergast – Avalon Waterways

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | 7:00 PM CST

If you want to see the world, cruise down its legendary rivers. If you want to see more of the world, look no further than Avalon Waterways. Their ships feature one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites with the widest opening windows in river cruising, open-air balconies, and beds facing the incredible views.

Beyond the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows is a world waiting to be explored—your way. Whether you want to enjoy a guided walking tour of one of Europe’s great cities, join a cooking class or paddle a canoe, their Avalon Choice selections of Classic, Discovery and Active excursions offer a wide range of possibilities. When you prefer to explore on your own, they can help you with all the recommendations, information and gear you need. And when it’s time to refuel, your dining options on board are as wide open as your views.

Click Here to Register

Register with Agency Name – GetAway Travel LLC
Travel Advisor – Sue

Avalon pic1

Learn about what makes Avalon Waterways’ ships and itineraries so special, and hear about their incredible current promotions.

Receive Free Air & Save $500 per couple
on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises!

Plus, Contact Our Agency to Receive an Exclusive $100 Savings
when you attend this online event and reserve your cruise by November 30, 2019

 

GetAway Travel

Wining around Hobart Tasmania

Tasmania has perfect climate for growing grapes and making wines with mild summers and long autumn days.  Tasmania features elegant cool climate wines including pinot noir, riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot gris, gewurztraminer and sparkling wines in both the Northern and Southern growing regions.

There are 3 main clusters of vineyards in the Southern growing region which encompasses the Hobart area:

  • The Freycinet Peninsula northeast of Hobart
  • Around Hobart including the Coal Valley and Derwent River
  • South of Hobart around the Huon Valley and the d’Entrecasteaux Channel

Exhibit at MONA

We visited Freycinet Peninsula previously, so for this trip we focused on Coal Valley and Derwent River.  Basically no matter which direction you drive from Hobart (as long as you don’t drive into the ocean) you will quickly reach a vineyard.  We were hosting a cruise group on the Celebrity Solstice which sailed originally from Auckland, New Zealand and we only had a 1 day stop in Hobart.   We’d been on the ship for about 1 week at this point, so did double duty on the day – taste wines and get some laundry done.  So off the ship we went, grabbed an Uber to the car rental, dropped off some laundry, made a very quick trip to MONA ( see our previous blogs on MONA here and here ) and then off to taste some excellent Tasmanian wines.

First stop was Derwent Estates Wines, located right along the River Derwent which is seen in the background of the tasting room below and which we’re sure you’ll agree is fantastically charming.  Several of these wines made it home to the states with us – where we recently opened the Calcaire Pinot Noir which is particularly stunning and by itself makes the entire trip to Hobart well worth it!

Derwent Vineyard Tasmania_6

Derwent tasting room

Derwent Vineyard Tasmania_13

Continue reading

Dusky Sound – Fjordland National Park New Zealand

Fjordland National Park in New Zealand is a truly magnificent place to go. On our recent cruise we were favored with fantastic weather outside, but inside Sue Adams​ was a bit under the weather so some of the viewing was done just from our stateroom balcony. As we were passing by another stunning waterfall, some dolphins just happened to swim by and put on a show for us. Wow! #love2getaway

 

You know, some people still wonder…Do I really need to have a balcony cabin? uh, yes you do!

The Largest Passenger Cruise Ship in the World

Recently we sailed aboard the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas on it’s inaugural voyage from Miami, Florida.  She is the reigning queen of large ships with so much to see and do on-board that it would take several vacations just to experience it all.

Here’s a sample of what we experienced: water slides, robot bartenders, world class fine dining, high energy Vegas show, Broadway show – Hairspray, Water show with high diving into an ever changing pool , fireworks, balloon drop, wine tasting, fresh seafood lunch, organic italian pasta, laser tag, a real boardwalk carousel ride, a musical staircase, a bar that’s also an elevator, mini-golf, the international space station, and the Wright brothers flying a plane above the theater audiences heads.  I’m sure i’m forgetting something – and we were only there for 4 nights!

As there is so much, we’ve created a photo & video gallery if you wish to see more

visit our web page

Kids Pool