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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 of the Star Clippers ships in the Caribbean this December — the 227-passenger Royal Clipper, the world’s largest full-rigged sailing ship — and it is without a doubt the most beautiful sailing ship I’ve ever been on.

As we sailed into harbors that bigger ships couldn’t even think of entering, you could almost hear the spectators on other ships and onshore gasping — it’s that impressive. It reminded me of the tall ships from around the world that sailed into New York Harbor in 1976 in celebration of America’s bicentennial (a spectacle that most baby boomers remember, I’m sure).

I’ll be doing a full report on that trip next month, after I return from Antarctica.

Star Clippers’ other two ships, the Star Flyer and Star Clipper, which both carry a maximum of 170 passengers, are also gorgeous. All three ships come with informal dining, teak decks, tropical bars on deck, piano bars, and swimming pools.

In short, they all provide about as romantic a setting as you could find at sea, so a cruise through the Mediterranean aboard one of them this year — complete with French Champagne and massages — would be a highly appropriate Valentine’s Day gift.

Half price companions on CroisiEurope

CroisiEurope, already known as one of the best values in European river cruising, is offering a half-price deal for companions if you book one of three romantic cruises by February 21, 2016.

Bordeaux, Venice, and the Rhine. Photo courtesy of CroisiEurope.

CroisiEurope Valentine’s deals extend to Bordeaux, Venice, and the Rhine. Photo courtesy of CroisiEurope.

You can choose among “The Exceptional Region of Bordeaux;” “A Short Break in Venice;” or “Holland and the Romantic Rhine Valley.”

The five-day Bordeaux cruise winds its way along three rivers — the Gironde, Garonne, and Dordogne — that pass through one of Europe’s greatest wine regions. Departures are April 1 and 6 and prices start at $1348 (just $674 for your companion).

The five-day Venice-area cruise, which travels the Po River and Venice Lagoon, departs May 15 and June 30, with prices starting at $1,263 ($631 for a companion).

And the week-long Holland and the Romantic Rhine Valley cruise, which journeys from Amsterdam to Germany, has an April 20 departure with prices starting at $1,862 ($931 for a companion).

Based in Strasbourg, France, CroisiEurope has nearly 40 years of experience navigating some 25 European canals and rivers, running through France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium. The cuisine is French, the crew is multi-national and multi-lingual (English included), and the company prides itself on its eco-consciousness.

Some regular CroisiEurope perks include unlimited complimentary onboard beverages, free Wi-Fi, a complimentary tablet for use during the voyage, and shore excursions with wireless audio system.

For more information on CroisiEurope or to book a cruise, go to its website here or call 1-800-768-7232.



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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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