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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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river cruises

This is one of the beautiful images you'll find on StrideTravel.com. Photo by Dennis Cox.

This is one of the beautiful images you’ll find on StrideTravel.com. Photo by Dennis Cox.

“The Savvy Path to Breathtaking Travel, Without the Hassle”

“Less Planning, More Experiencing”

“A Journey of a Thousand Smiles Begins With a Single Click”

These are some of the taglines that express the essence of the new travel website, StrideTravel.com, where I worked for more than a year as Content Director. (My job is now in the capable hands of Content Coordinator Samantha Scott, who, together with co-founders Gavin Delany and Jared Alster, comprise a formidable team.)

In practical terms, Stride aspires to be — and in many ways already is — the best place on the Web to survey the wealth of multi-day, pre-planned trips that are now available from hundreds of travel suppliers around the world.

“Pre-planned trips” may encompass guided group or private tours as well as independent journeys… Continue reading

The Royal Clipper in full sail. Photo courtesy of Star Clippers.

The Royal Clipper in full sail. Photo courtesy of Star Clippers.

Two of my favorite cruise lines, Star Clippers and CroisiEurope, have just come out with Valentine’s specials, and with Cupid Day coming right up, you’ll have to move quickly to take advantage of them.

Star Clippers, whose fleet consists of three of the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels, has a Valentine’s Day offer of French Champagne, sweet treats, and a one-hour massage for two for all new bookings made by February 15, 2016, based on double occupancy. 

If you’re traveling solo, you can treat yourself to one massage along with the Champagne and sweets as well.

The offer is good for select Mediterranean sailings between April and October of this year. To review European itineraries and to book, go to the Star Clippers website or call 1-800-442-0551.

Note: I was on one… Continue reading

Yangtze River, China: Sunrise over the Three Gorges. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Yangtze River, China: Sunrise over the Three Gorges. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

I spent much of the fall of 2015 taking river cruises, in China and Europe. China’s Yangtze and Europe’s Danube, Rhine, Moselle, and Main rivers were all on the itineraries.

I’ve already blogged about the Yangtze cruise here and will write about the two European river cruises as time goes along (one was for a magazine, so I’ll have to wait for that article to appear in the spring of 2016 before writing about it here, but my Danube cruise accounts will appear in this space shortly).

I was already sold on river cruising before taking the last three — two of my past favorites were the Nile in Egypt and the Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans — but with every new river cruise I take, the more I like them.

As much as… Continue reading

A Viking longship cruises the Rhine. Photo from Viking Cruises.

A Viking longship cruises the Rhine. Photo from Viking Cruises.

River cruising has exploded in popularity over the past decade. River cruise lines are rapidly expanding from their strongholds in Europe into North America, Asia, Africa, and South America, adding new ships and innovations such as all-weather “indoor balconies” – sitting rooms facing floor-to-ceiling windows — every year.

It’s recently become the hottest segment of the cruise industry, with no signs of slowing down. Here are some reasons why:

  • River cruising is more intimate than ocean cruising. Rather than the multi-thousand-passenger megaships that resemble floating cities — with built-in malls, casinos, and giant waterslides – the long, sleek river cruise ships typically hold from 120-200 passengers. And most won’t be getting any larger, due to the constraints posed by passing through locks and canals and under bridges. With fewer passengers, you won’t have to fight… Continue reading

Last of a 3-part series.

In our first post in this series, we began our quick guide to the 12 most popular European cruising rivers, starting with the Danube, Rhine, Seine, and the Volga and other Russian waterways — probably the best known of the top cruising rivers in Europe.

In our second post, we’ took a look at four more rivers  (actually five rivers and one canal) ranging from France to Portugal, Germany and the Czech Republic to Sweden.

In this third post, we’ll complete the top 12 list with cruising rivers in Spain, Germany-Luxembourg, Italy, and, once again, France.

Spain’s Guadalquivir

Seville, Spain's, Plaza de Espana. Photo from Seville Tourism.

Seville, Spain’s, Plaza de Espana. Photo from Seville Tourism.

A Guadalquivir cruise offers one of the most pleasant ways to explore Andalusia – Spain’s southernmost province and site of some of the country’s most fabled cities. The river itself, though one of… Continue reading

Part 2 of a 3-part series

In our last post, we began our quick guide to European cruising rivers, starting with the Danube, Rhine, Seine, and the Volga and other Russian waterways — probably the best known of the top 12 cruising rivers in Europe.

In this post, we’ll take a look at four more rivers — well, actually five rivers and one canal — ranging from France to Portugal, Germany and the Czech Republic to Sweden.

The Rivers of Bordeaux: the Dordogne, Garonne, and Gironde

Bordeaux vineyard and chateau. Photo from Bordeaux Tourism.

Bordeaux vineyard and chateau. Photo from Bordeaux Tourism.

You can get an intimate look at Bordeaux, perhaps the world’s premier red-wine-producing region, on this three-river cruise that begins in the city of Bordeaux itself. Bordeaux, situated along the Garonne River — which connects to the Bay of Biscay via the Gironde River along France’s western coast — is a treasure trove of architectural… Continue reading

A CroisiEurope boat glides peacefully down a canal as passengers sit on deck. Photo from CroisiEurope.

A CroisiEurope boat glides peacefully down a canal as passengers sit on deck. Photo from CroisiEurope.

Americans have always been able to go on CroisiEurope river cruises — Europe’s largest river cruise line with 30 ships — but now the family-owned company has added a U.S. website and call center for consumers to book with them directly.

Until now, travel agents could book U.S. passengers onto CroisiEurope ships, but the company’s new U.S. presence means that it’s going after the American market in a big way — including, of course, baby boomer travelers, who are the lifeblood of just about all river cruising operations.

At this past weekend’s River Cruise Convention in Cologne, Germany, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) UK director Andy Harmer told delegates that boomers are “incredibly impactful for our business,” praising them as a “wealthy, active and physically fit generation of consumers.” He urged agents selling river… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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