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Safari! The best of South Africa

July 11 – 20, 2014. Cape Town extension: July 8-11, 2014

Waitlist Only!

Hosted by Paul and Christine Niskanen

After traveling extensively through Eastern and Southern Africa and hosting safaris in five different countries for more than 20 years, we really appreciate the outstanding game reserves of South Africa. The game viewing is excellent, the camps offer wonderful comforts and warm hospitality and the value for your travel dollar is excellent.

We have carefully selected three camps in South Africa based upon the richness of the game, the quality of our guides and our personal comforts in the camps. Moreover we reserved space at an ideal time of year to view the wildlife. Finally we include just about every expense in South Africa including nearly every meal, complimentary wines and spirits, most safari flights within South Africa, many special events, even your laundry while in our game camps.

We'll see Africa's wildlife at its best and meet South Africa's wonderful people. Sadly, it may not stay this way forever. We invite you to become one of those fortunate travelers to join us!

(Before this program was announced, 12 guests reserved their space. Book soon while limited space is still available.)

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Exploring the Serengeti in search of Africa's legendary wildlife and the Great Migration

July 22 - August 1, 2014

Waitlist Only!

Hosted by Paul and Christine Niskanen

IMAGINE: You're surrounded by wildebeest and zebra, all making their bizarre honking sounds. Mothers, fathers and babies as far as you can see. The often wacky wildebeest buck and jump, then go running off from some imagined danger. The predators wait nearby, looking for an opportunity to swoop in quickly. This scene has repeated itself each year for centuries; sadly, like so many experiences in Africa, it will not last forever.

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New England and Canada's Maritimes

October 16 - 26, 2014

Hosted by Paul and Christine Niskanen A SIGNATURE Journey

Sailing from New York City to Quebec City on the Crystal Serenity

Imagine embarking upon a Signature Journey without a long overseas flight!

There’s crispness to the air and the trees are filled with color as we land in New York City to begin a 10-day cruise through our historic and scenic northeastern states into Canada. While in New York City, we’ve included one of our private Signature Journey days highlighted by superb dining and a visit to the 9/11 Site including the acclaimed new 9/11 Memorial Museum. That evening we’ll sail past our Statue of Liberty bound for Newport, Boston, Portland (Maine) and Bar Harbor (think lobster!).

Entering Canadian waters we’ll visit historic Halifax and Sydney (Nova Scotia) before we sail up the fabled St. Lawrence Seaway into lovely Quebec City, where our private guide takes us to see the best of this picturesque and very French city. Along the way we’ve included an evening in Crystal Cruise’s famed “Vintage Room” where the ship’s head chef prepares a multicourse dinner (just for us), which is presented by the ship’s head sommelier who compliments each course with specially-matched vintage wines – it’s an amazing event limited to just over a dozen guests.

Speaking of Crystal Cruises, the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine have consistently voted this line the best in its size category for more than 20 years! We’re not surprised; we’ve sailed on Crystal on many occasions and find that she has few rivals.

You’ll find the crew focused on service, whether it’s the fitness instructor, your room stewardess, the dining room staff or all the others. It seems that they just have not learned to say ‘no’. You’ll soon find that the crew remembers your name, that you like your coffee delivered at 7:15 and that you enjoy two olives in your martini. Finally, this ship shimmers with style. In the last two years, alone, Crystal Cruises has invested some $52 million to refresh and enhance you onboard experience.

We invite you to join us in mid-October for a splendid journey.

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Savor the Pleasures of Provence - Explore the Treasures of Normandy

September 20-October 2, 2014

Just 2 rooms remaining, 1 pending deposit!

Hosted by Paul and Christine Niskanen

C’est Magnifique!

Can you imagine a more pleasant way to enjoy early autumn than enjoying the pleasures of France?

We invite you to join us in September as we explore the charms of Provence. For our base at a fine hotel in Aix-en-Provence, we’ll explore charming villages, take part in a festive market day and, of course, dine well.

Next we’ll race through the countryside on board one of France’s high-speed TGV trains to Paris where we’ll board a superb riverboat, the AmaLegro, to cruise through the beautiful Seine River valley to explore another precious region of France, Normandy.

Of course, no visit to Normandy would be complete without a visit to remember the monumental landings by Allied forces on the beaches of Normandy. It’s especially appropriate that we visit (or revisit) this site on the 70th anniversary of the landings.

As we cruise down the Seine we’ll savor marvelous scenery from the ship’s Sun Deck and stop to visit great sights such as Monet’s home and beautiful gardens.

Finally we’ve designated this Signature Journey as a ‘special value’. You’ll see that with just about everything included, the cost of the entire journey is just a bit more than the cost of the weeklong cruise on the AmaLegro.

Just nine rooms are open for sale and some have been reserved even before this program has been completed. We invite you to join as we savor the rich pleasures of France.

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MYANMAR - You may feel as if you have passed through a time warp ...

... as we explore a friendly country little changed since Burma was a British colony.

January 4-18, 2015
Including a 10-day cruise on the new AmaPura through the heart of Myanmar.

Waitlisted!

We'll explore a land of stunning golden temples, red-robed monks and a unique culture all their own. Early each morning you'll see shaven-headed monks lining up for alms, women with a sheen of rice paste on their faces (used as a sun screen and mild perfume), elderly vegetable sellers and a wild array of headgear ranging from conical straw hats to elaborate turbans. You'll soon see why, in a very short period of time, Myanmar's quirky, old-world atmosphere has become a top-rated destination on many travelers' bucket lists. We'll see the best of it before it's spoiled.

We'll begin in Rangoon (now called Yangon). From our base at a deluxe hotel, we'll explore the city and its amazing Buddhist treasures. Of course, we've planned a few unique events just for our small circle of travelers. Next we'll board a beautiful, new and luxurious riverboat to sail up the Ayeyarwady River through the heart of Myanmar.

We've carefully selected the best time of year for this journey to avoid the region's high heat, humidity and torrential rains.

Due to the shallow draft on the Ayeyarwady, our riverboat only accommodates 38 spacious suites. Coupled with the popularity of Myanmar, the eight suites allocated to us will fill quickly.

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Amazing China: the Terra Cotta Warriors, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong

By land and aboard the 5-star Crystal Symphony.

March 27 – April 11, 2015

Limited Space!

Join us as we explore a mighty country with one foot in their rich historical past and another firmly planted in the future.

When we see the amazing Great Wall that snakes into the distance over the hillsides, we remind ourselves this impressive old structure would reach from coast to coast in the USA. And then there’s the amazing legion of Terra Cotta Warriors and the nearly 10,000 rooms in Beijing’s Imperial Palace.

On the other hand, we’ll see the forest of futuristic new skyscrapers built by the world’s foremost architects, the high-speed trains that connect vast areas of the country and all the other modern developments.

We’ve selected fine hotels and restaurants where hospitality is an art. Photographers will fill their memory cards and shoppers will find themselves filling their credit cards.

Our ship, the Crystal Symphony, is outfitted to care for less than a 1,000 pampered guests. The remainder of the space is devoted to our comfort including at least five options for exceptional dining, a well-equipped cinema, the latest spa and fitness facilities and much more.

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Magnifico!

A superb cruise on Portugal’s Douro River and a week in a magnificent villa in Spain

April 21 - May 5, 2015

Hosted by Paul and Christine Niskanen

It’s a pity that many travelers overlook Portugal; after all, the countryside is beautiful, the old architecture is rich and handsome and the Portuguese warmly welcome visitors. Late in April, as spring covers the hillsided with new foliage, we’ll board a superb 106-passenger riverboat in the picturesque city of Porto. As the AmaVida sails up the beautiful Douro River Valley, steep vine-covered hillsides line both sides of the river. Along the way we’ll be welcomed by a family at their wine estate, watch flamenco in Spain’s Salamanca, dine in a picturesque monastery, taste superb port wines and even visit a beautiful palace belonging to the Mateus family.

Next we’ll fly to Barcelona to spend a delightful week in one of the most beautiful villas we’ve ever seen. This stunning place which dates back to the 15th century took more than 30 years to restore. The time was well spent because Mas Torroella is a jewel. Overlooking the distant Mediterranean, the villa’s spacious rooms have been designed for comfort.

For a week, the villa is our home. We can wander into the kitchen to speak with the chef, take a refreshing dip in the heated swimming pool, soak in the indoor thermal spa pool or even take an authentic Finnish sauna. From our comfortable base at Mas Torroella, we’ll offer a rich buffet of excursions including Barcelona (from an insider’s point of view), charming medieval villages and stunning villages situated along the sea. Along the way, we’ll introduce you to Spain’s rich way of life.

Before our brochure was published a number of rooms were booked – just a few remain. Reserve your room soon!

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