Friday 10 January 2014

‘LONDON! PARIS! ROME! VENICE!’ includes Mediterranean cruise and European river cruises

A summertime Italian river cruise starting in Venice; a Mediterranean cruise aboard the magnificent Norwegian Epic; an exploration of Normandy countryside and Parisian scenery along the River Seine – plus stays in some of Europe’s finest cities.

The latest 26-day fly-cruise from Cruise Abroad ( combines all of those outstanding travel experiences. Called ‘LONDON! PARIS! ROME! VENICE!’ the holiday  includes stays in each of those cities.

‘LONDON! PARIS! ROME! VENICE!’ costs from $8299 per person twin share, including flight to Venice from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth, with return flight home from Paris. It’s valid for booking until the end of March 2014. 

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The fun starts on 10 June 2014, when you cast off Australian winter by jetting to Venice, arriving in the middle of European summertime. In Venice, board CroisiEurope’s MS Michelangelo for a four-night Venice & the Lagoon River Cruise.

You’ll see a lot of Venice – the ship moors in the heart of the city. The cruise visits the Venetian Lagoon (the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which Venice is located) and Chioggia, a little fishing port known for its seafood restaurants and the Chiesa di San Domenico, which has paintings by Tintoretto and Carpaccio and sits on its own island.

Value is outstanding because the cruise is on a full-board basis, so all meals are included. Even better, unlimited French wines (red and white), beer, fruit juice and mineral water are covered in the cruise price, plus tea or coffee after each meal. Whether the drinks are served by CroisiEurope during on-board meals in the restaurant, or consumed in the lounge bar (excluding Champagne and premium wines), they are all included in the price. Welcome cocktails and a gala dinner are a feature of this river cruise and the other cruise later, in France, on this holiday.

After the Italian cruise, head from Venice to Rome on First Class rail for three nights in the Select Hotel Rome, including daily breakfast. The Select is located near Palazzo Barberini, with easy access to Piazza della Repubblica and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.

Three days to explore the Eternal City before boarding Norwegian Cruise Line’s massive and magnificent Norwegian Epic. Now for a seven-night Mediterranean cruise. This 153,000-ton ship has 14 on-board restaurants to enjoy, a luxurious Mandara Spa with 24 treatment rooms, a huge Aqua Park, a sports complex, squash court, rock-climbing wall, fitness centre, two three-lane bowling alleys, a two-storey Wii and a lot more.

Destinations on the Mediterranean cruise are equally awesome: great artworks in Florence and Pisa; cosmopolitan Naples and the ruins of Pompei; stylish Cannes in the South of France; warm Spanish vibes and culture in Mallorca and Barcelona.

Disembarking back in Rome, jet now to London for a three-night stay in Thistle Kensington Gardens Hotel, London including daily breakfast. Located on Bayswater Road near Hyde Park and Paddington, this four-star hotel is the perfect base to explore Britain’s capital.

After London, zip across to Paris on the Eurostar train for a night at the Grand des Gobelins Hotel, just steps from the lively Latin Quarter, near the Gare de Lyon.

After breakfast (it’s included), explore Paris at leisure, then in the early evening board CroisiEurope’s MS Seine Princess, settle into your cabin and sip a welcome cocktail  as you admire Paris by night, gliding silently past the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, the Orangerie, the Louvre and Notre-Dame cathedral in Ile de la Cité.

The first day of the four-night cruise is particularly rich in new sights and sounds but there are other wonderful days to come as you as you explore the fishing port of Honfleur and enjoy an optional guided walking tour of the old city of Rouen by night. The wine and meals are just as generous as on the earlier CroisiEurope cruise – and on both, free audio headphones are supplied for shore excursions.

Perhaps sip a final Champagne and toast Paris before flying back to Australia.

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