Tag Archives: cruises

Hurtigruten: Exclusive Norway Voyage with NASA Astronaut Dr. Thagard

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Hurtigruten cruise line is offering a once-in-a-lifetime cruise on their ship Astronaut next March! Join a NASA astronaut exploring the skies above Norway’s west coast! This season is a wonderful time to visit—not as cold as midwinter, but still crisp and clear. Get a chance to glimpse the brilliant and beautiful Northern Lights — a Hurtigruten Promise.

March 21, 2017 Departure — 8 days / 7 nights — Exclusive Voyage with NASA Astronaut Dr. Thagard

This special voyage follows Hurtigruten’s Classic Voyage South, and includes special lectures from Dr. Thagard, with viewings of documentaries about the 115-day Russian Mir-18 mission and Dr. Thagard’s experience as a cosmonaut on the mission. If you love space, there’s no excuse to miss this opportunity!

Dr. Thagard is a decorated Marine Corps veteran, and has logged over 140 days in space on 5 space flights. He performed many NASA ‘firsts’ including deployment and retrieval exercises, conducting medical tests, and launching the first planetary probe from the Shuttle.

Book with your agent at Willamette Intl Travel — we’ve sent many clients on Hurtigruten’s ships and can confidently say that they are one of the best for expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctica.

Explore the Arctic Sky with a NASA Astronaut

Travel the Norwegian coast with former astronaut Dr. Norm Thagard, veteran of 5 space flights and 140 days in space, and hear his stories about life in the sky.

Northern Lights Promise

Hurtigruten is confident you will witness the elusive and  hauntingly beautiful northern lights on your 12-day winter Coastal Voyage with them.

A Stargazer’s Journey

These special astronomy winter voyages in Norway include long polar nights for stargazing, astronomy talks from experts, a visit to the Northern Lights Planetarium, plus their Northern Lights Promise.

Seeking Northern Lights

Get a front row seat to the northern lights on a 6-day winter Coastal Voyage, plus exhilarating, exclusive excursions across the snowy terrain, and sparkling winter views.

Winner of Multiple Awards

More than 5,500 travel agents voted Hurtigruten the ‘Best  Expedition Cruise Line’ in the 2016 WAVE Awards.

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Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kirkenes – Berlevåg
  • Day 2: Mehamn – Tromsø
  • Day 3: Tromsø – Stamsund
  • Day 4: Bodø to Rørvik
  • Day 5: Trondheim – Ålesund
  • Day 6: Ålesund – Bergen

Includes

  • Transfers
  • 1 Night in Kirkenes before your voyage, incl. breakfast
  • Aurora Safari private tour in Kirkenes, with a visit to the SnowHotel
  • Kirkenes to Bergen voyage, with full-board
  • Cocktail reception with Dr. Thagard and Hurtigruten ship captain
  • Hammerfest City Tour & Excursion to Meridian Monument
  • 2 lectures and film screenings
  • 3-hour city tour in Bergen, transfer to hotel
  • 1 Night in Bergen after your voyage, incl. breakfast

Check out Hurtigruten’s gorgeous Instagram page!

Call Willamette Intl Travel for more details and to find out if there’s still “space.” 😉 Call 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. 

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Client Report: Viking Ocean’s Star in the Mediterranean

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Our agents at Willamette Intl Travel booked a cruise with Viking Ocean for long-time client Nancy T. Now Nancy’s come back from her amazing trip through the Mediterranean. Hear what she has to say about the voyage:

How was the Ship?

The Viking Star is absolutely stunning. It is very well thought out. Even though there were over 900 people on the ship, you never felt crowded. Our room was quite large and the bathroom was exceptional – full size shower and heated floor! The food was amazing. We loved the sauna and snow grotto room. Because we took an extensive excursion every day, we really didn’t have time to try out all the amenities on the ship. You could spend your entire trip onboard! There are so many beautiful places on the ship.

You did the pre-cruise extension, Two Nights in Istanbul, with Viking. How was the hotel?

Istanbul was beautiful. A side note to Viking—the Conrad hotel is not well placed for visitors. I know Viking will be getting a lot of feedback regarding that. It’s a beautiful hotel but not situated well for those wanting to explore Istanbul. Lots of business people and conferences being held there. It’s  a 30 – 40 minute walk to the nearest transit station and then another 20 minute ride to the old section. Taxis from the hotel to the old section are expensive because of where the hotel is placed and all the traffic.

(Note from Wittravel: The Conrad is a superb hotel, but indeed may be suitable for those travelers who wish to relax before their voyage. For those who want quicker access to the sights and smells of Istanbul, we can arrange nights in many excellent hotels closer to the city center. Call us for a one-on-one consultation.) 

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Tell us about the Excursions — how was Istanbul?

We did the guided tour provided by Viking on the first day – well thought out. The second day, we walked and took the light rail to see the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Also went to a small bazar. The next day was spent entirely at The Topkapi Palace which is huge. We were too tired to get to the Grand Bazaar or go to the recommended spice market. It was good we had done the smaller bazaar since it had spice stores there.

We did see some of the Syrian refugees. It broke our hearts. Turkey is trying hard to deal with them compassionately but their patience is running out. There are already over 2 million refugees and a million more are expected. I have a greater regard for Turkey and its place in our world.

We loved all the other, added-on excursions we did. I fell in love with Montenegro. Our excursion was 5 hours that day. Santorini was amazing – that was an 8-hour day. Athens was a 6-hour tour. Kusadasi ( Ephesus) was a 3.5-tour.

Final Thoughts?

It was an amazing, exciting trip. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to explore that part of the world. Another side note – the majority of passengers on the ship had already on it for ten days before we got on it. They had combined this trip with another one which started in Barcelona.

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Viking Cruises launched its first ocean-going itinerary in May of this year. Ocean voyages have been fully booked up well into 2016! Viking’s world-renown cruise line has ranked highly on multiple travel lists, including Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List, Travel + Leisure World’s List, Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards, and National Geographic’s The 10 Best of Everything. The ocean cruises continue the Viking tradition of an all-inclusive experience, from all onboard meals, cultural enrichment, complimentary room service, to shore excursions, wifi, self-service laundry, wine, beer & soft drinks, and all port charges and government taxes.

The Viking Star is an all-veranda ship that accommodates up to 928 passengers. Combining Viking world-class standards with refreshing itineraries, the Viking Star is the ultimate luxury voyage that enhances each destination port. From the lavish 270-square-foot veranda to the premium Owner’s Suite spanning a whopping 1448 square feet, there’s something for everyone on the Star. She will be equipped with multiple restaurants, serene Wintergarden lanai, Piano Bar, Explorer’s Lounge, and a Nordic Spa. The Star will also have as its token jewel an Infinity Pool that is cantilevered over the ocean—the only one of its kind among cruise ships worldwide.

Call us for more information on Viking and their ocean and river itineraries. Contact 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Cruises, Europe, Travel by Ship, Viking Cruises

Exciting Sail: 15-Day British/Irish Cruise with Lindblad Expeditions

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Last week we featured lesser known islands on our blog: the Shetlands, Faroes, Orkneys, and Svalbard. Hopefully that got your travel blood a-pumping, because we have a special Lindblad cruise to share with you!

Lindblad Expeditions was founded in the 1950’s and has remained a leading figure in the world of eco-tourism and small ship cruising. The company is dedicated to finding creative ways to explore areas already mapped. Trained naturalists onboard strive to connect their guests with amazing and incredible places through adventure and education. Travelers choose Lindblad because of the on-ship innovative technology, all-inclusive rates, up close and personal experiences, informal atmosphere, hand-crafted itineraries and ecologically minded experts. And their partnership with like-minded National Geographic experts in the peak of their field certainly doesn’t hurt!

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Exploring the British & Irish Isles

15-Day Itinerary

London – Portsmouth – Fowey – Isles of Scilly – Skelligs and Dingle Peninsula – Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands – County Donegal – Iona and Staffa, Inner Hebrides – Outer Hebrides: St. Kilda and Callanish – Inverewe – Orkney Islands – Fair Isle and Mousa – Shetland Islands – Bergen, Norway

Board the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer in the heart of London to head on an expedition to discover these Isles that few have seen. See tropical gardens, sixth-century Celtic stone huts, towering cliffs thronged with puffins, and remote wild reaches only accessible by expedition ship and Zodiac. Voyage through centuries of culture and experience a magical blend of deep history and vital modernity on a thrilling and unexpected expedition.

– Former Irish Prime Minister and EU Ambassador John Bruton, who was instrumental in the Irish Peace Process, joins the expedition to share his personal insights.

Travel with and learn from acclaimed photographer Sisse Brimberg, who has shot more than 30 stories for National Geographic.

– PLUS an exclusive 7-day Extension in Wales.

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Call our WIT Agents to find out more about this amazing cruise, or to discuss similar options that may be right for you and your family. Reach us at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. Photos courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions. 

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Embark on an Incredible Voyage on the West Coast of South America

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Looking for that adventure of a lifetime? In 2016, Canadian-based G Adventures is sending its MS Expedition to the West Coast of South America. The ship will voyage from Ushuaia up the Chilean coast to Peru, and onward to Panama and Colombia.

The Expedition carries a maximum of 134 guest passengers, not including crew, so you can expect a personalized, one-of-a-kind voyage. Trips often include pre/post nights in hotels, guided tours, land excursions, transfers, and educational programs onboard. Meals are international and provided by professional chefs.

The trip is comprised of 3 core legs. You can join any of them for a two-week expedition or embark on a longer adventure by combining two or all three.

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Leg A: 15 Days Chilean Fjords, Ushuaia to Santiago. Ushuaia – Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales – Angostura Guia – Laguna San Rafael – Puerto Chacabuco – Ancud, Isla de Chiloe – Talcahuano – Santiago/Valparaiso.

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Leg B: 15 Days Santiago to Guayaquil. Santiago – Valparaiso – Caldera – Arica – San Juan de Marcona – Callao/Lima – Trujillo – Salinas/Guayaquil. Between Lima and Trujillo, your guides take you on a 3-day included trip overland to the Sacred Valley and explore Cusco, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu (local flights are additional).

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Leg C: 12 Days Guayaquil to Cartagena. Guayaquil/Salinas – Isla de La Plata – Bahia Solano – Punta Alegre – Pearl Islands – Panama Canal & Panama City – San Blas Islands – Capurgana – Cartagena.

Combos:

28 Days Ushuaia to Guayaquil. Combination of the first two trips.

25 Days Santiago to Cartagena. Combination of the last two trips.

38 Days Ushuaia to Cartagena. Combination of all three trips.

Solo Adventurers: Traveling solo but want to bunk with a fellow voyager? G Adventures will guarantee a shared cabin with one of the other guests. If you’d rather have a private cabin, G Adventures can offer one at a supplement.

Read about G Adventures in Antarctica here: https://wittravel.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/g-adventures-in-antarctica/

Departures are in March and April 2016. Call your Willamette agent at 503-224-0180 to discuss options!

In the Portland area this Fall? Drop by our office on Wednesday September 9 at 6:30pm. Join staff from Willamette Intl Travel and G Adventures for an evening of adventure travel! We’ll highlight Galapagos and Antarctica as well as G Adv’s special Arctic Cruise.

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Filed under Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru, South America, Travel by Ship

Exclusive Offer with Azamara!

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Willamette Intl Travel has paired up with Azamara Club Cruises to provide our clients with an exclusive offer on select sailings! Sail with Azamara’s Journey or Quest through the seven seas, and earn onboard credit of up to $500 per stateroom! Call us now to find out which voyages are eligible.

> Oceanview Cabins receive a $300 credit. All oceanview staterooms feature a picture window providing natural light, two lower beds convertible to queen, flat-screen TV, refrigerator with mini-bar, A/C, phone, desk, safe, and hair dryer.

> Veranda Cabins receive a $400 credit. All veranda staterooms feature similar amenities to oceanviews, plus floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, a sitting area, and private veranda.

> Suites receive a whopping $500 credit. Choose from Continent, Ocean, and World Owner’s Suites. All suites feature the basic amenities of each cabin onboard, plus floor-to-ceiling glass doors, outdoor veranda, specialty dining and dedicated English butler services.

> Singles receive the full amount for the stateroom in which they are booked.

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Terms & Conditions: Onboard credit is in USD, valid for new bookings only, and based on double occupancy. It is not redeemable for cash, not transferable and will expire at 10PM on the last evening of the voyage.

Hurry — offer expires April 20! Contact your agent at Willamette Intl Travel to book this exclusive offer today or to find out more. Call 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. 

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Filed under Azamara, Cruises, Europe, North America, Travel by Ship

Round the World in 180 Days with Oceania Cruises

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Looking for that Special Cruise to Round out your Travel Resume?

Oceania Cruises’ Insignia is embarking on an amazing voyage Around the World in 180 Days roundtrip from Miami on Jan 4, 2016.

For as low as $250 per person per day!

That is less than a 3-star hotel in Paris plus 3 meals a day! TIPPING INCLUDED.

Alert your WIT Travel Agent TODAY! 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

Booking opens tomorrow. World cruises tend to sell out quickly.

The Insignia will take you from the southern Caribbean and South America to the western shores of Africa and around the Cape of Good Hope. Continuing to Asia, the itinerary features several overnight stays, including two-night stays in Rangoon (Yangon) and Shanghai. After stops in the Philippines, Borneo and Bali, guests will visit Australia and New Zealand before exploring the islands of French Polynesia. Insignia calls on four of the Hawaiian Islands en route to Los Angeles and then returns to Miami via the Panama Canal, completing her circumnavigation of the globe.

This fascinating voyage includes:

  • 92 ports in 45 countries
  • Five maiden ports of call
  • 14 overnight stays
  • Crossing the Equator six times
  • 74 days at sea
  • Sailing more than 47,000 nautical miles
  • Oceanview Cabins start at $44,999 per person in Category E.

PLUS!! Guests reserving this journey will receive 2 for 1 Cruise Fares with Free FIRST CLASS Roundtrip Airfare* and Early Booking Savings up to 71%. They will also enjoy the Exclusive Prestige Package, which includes:

  • Free Pre-Paid Gratuities – a value up to $8,300
  • Free Onboard Medical Services
  • Free Unlimited Internet
  • Free Laundry Services
  • Free Exclusive Shoreside Events
  • Free Visa Package
  • Free Luggage Delivery
  • Free 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel Stay
  • Free Roundtrip Transfers

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Filed under Cruises, Europe, Oceania, Oceania Cruises, SALES, Travel by Ship, Vendors

Oceania Cruises’ Maiden World Voyage

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Announcing Oceania Cruises’ first ever World Voyage! Reservations open TODAY!! Call Willamette International Travel now to book 800-821-0401 or ask one of our experienced agents for some firsthand feedback on-board. 

Oceania will be launching its 180-day voyage aboard the 684-passenger Insignia. The ship will set sail roundtrip from Miami, embarking on Jan 10, 2015, sailing eastward and disembarking on July 8, 2015. Explore picturesque coastal towns or play in the spectacular cities of the world. This leisurely voyage will allow you to see everywhere from French Polynesia to Zanzibar in the elegance and comfort of your own private cabin. And you never have to unpack!

This journey of a lifetime will feature:

–         5 continents

–         44 countries

–         89 ports of call, 13 of which are new for Oceania

–         11 overnight calls

–         4 two-night calls in Cape Town, Yangon, Singapore and Shanghai

–         4 equator crossings

–         24 time zones

–         45 islands

–         47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Oceania Cruises is a remarkable line known for its leisurely pace and its small ships. As Oceania President Kunal Kamlani describes the voyage: “We wanted to create a unique port- intensive voyage that reflects the dreams of the true explorer, rather than speed across the seas racing to the next convenient port as is the norm in a typical 100- to 110-day world cruise. By eliminating the 100-day time constraint, we freed ourselves to conceive a remarkable dream voyage designed to visit the world’s most fascinating destinations.”

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Early booking fares start at $39,999 per person for lead-in cabins based on double occupancy (that’s $222pp per day!) and can include any of these exclusive offers:

–         2 for 1 cruise fares

–         Free first class roundtrip airfare

–         Early booking savings up to 70%

–         one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Miami

–         first class airfare to reach the ship

–         pre-paid gratuities

–         luggage valet service

–         on-board medical service at no extra charge

–         free unlimited internet

–         free exclusive shoreside events

–         free comprehensive visa package

–         free roundtrip transfers

Call Wittravel at 800-821-0401 to book your cabin on the world maiden voyage or to find out more. You can also click here. WIT Agent Nancy sailed on the Insignia in 2009, and would love to share with you her personal experiences!

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Filed under Cruises, Oceania Cruises, SALES, Travel by Ship