Exploring France by River Cruise

I recently had the opportunity to sail on the Seine River from Paris to Normandy on an 8-day River Cruise with Avalon Waterways.

This is the itinerary that we enjoyed on our River Cruise:

Day 1 – Paris (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
Day 2 – VernonLes Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the parish church of Le Petit Andely
Day 3 – Caudebec: excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”
Day 4 – Caudebec: choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy”
Day 5 – Rouen: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral
Day 6 – Conflans: choice of excursions to visit Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de Malmaison
Day 7 – Paris: “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame Cathedral
Day 8 – Paris (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

My personal favorite was Monet’s Garden the scenery was absolutely beautiful. I highly suggest exploring France by river and when you’re ready to sail away I would be happy to help with your travel plans.

Here are just a few pictures from my trip:

Experience Walking Tours

As an avid traveler, one of the best ways to explore a new destination is a walking tour. You can visit landmarks, chat with the locals, and hopefully unveil a hidden gem. I’ve had the pleasure of doing a couple walking tours myself, including Istanbul and London.

If you’d like to hear more about my experience with walking tours, please contact me. I’d be happy to share my experiences with you and would love to help you plan your own.


Missy Skoog’s visit to Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia

Ayers Rock is one of the most impressive landmarks in Australia. A huge chunk of sandstone and a ‘true’ monolith, it resides in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Ayers Rock is located down towards the southwest corner of the Northern Territory and close to the geographic centre of Australia.

The rock is huge, jutting up about 350m from its barren surrounds. And more interestingly, Ayers Rock extends even further than this amount below ground. Although there are other, similar entities to Ayers Rock – most notably the nearby Olgas and Mount Augustus in Western Australia – it is the only singular monolith with its composition.

A World Heritage site, Ayers Rock also goes by the Aboriginal name of Uluru. Aboriginal tribes were living in the area 10,000 years ago. White men did not come onto the scene until the 1870s, when William Gosse named it for Henry Ayers, the then-South Australia Chief Secretary. Ayers Rock is sometimes incorrectly written as Ayres Rock, Ayes Rock, Ares Rock, Eyers Rock, Eyres Rock, Aires Rock and Airs Rock. The Pitjantjatjara Aboriginals own the land around and about Ayers Rock today

Cheers to Uluru!

Cheers to Uluru!

Beautiful aboriginal woman showing us symbols in the sand drawing

Beautiful aboriginal woman showing us symbols in the sand drawing

"on" Uluru

“on” Uluru

"the bush"

“the bush”

Punu – trees Puti – shrubs Tjulpun-tjulpunpa – flowers Ukiri – grasses

Punu – trees
Puti – shrubs
Tjulpun-tjulpunpa – flowers
Ukiri – grasses

Close up of one section of Uluru

Close up of one section of Uluru

Morning sunrise tour to Uluru. Rose on the opposite side of the rock. Amazing!

Morning sunrise tour to Uluru. Rose on the opposite side of the rock. Amazing!

My favorite sales rep from Travel2 Ward!

My favorite sales rep from Travel2 Ward!

Entered into the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame, Sounds of Silence offers the best of the Red Centre distilled into four magical hours. An evening of dining under the sparkling outback sky

Entered into the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame, Sounds of Silence offers the best of the Red Centre distilled into four magical hours. An evening of dining under the sparkling outback sky

Sounds of Silence

Sounds of Silence

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Me with the president of Travel2

Me with the president of Travel2

I told them they were all hunks. As I was walking away the one man said I should be careful what I say or I would have to stay in the bush with him. RUN!

I told them they were all hunks. As I was walking away the one man said I should be careful what I say or I would have to stay in the bush with him. RUN!

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Traditional dance

Traditional dance

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Little friend

Little friend

Camel riding at sunrise is very popular. Although this was at night..just thought you might like to no that.

Camel riding at sunrise is very popular. Although this was at night..just thought you might like to no that.

Cutest cowboy on the ranch

Cutest cowboy on the ranch

sunset at Camel farm

sunset at Camel farm

Yee-haw! Having a great time at the Camel farm!

Yee-haw! Having a great time at the Camel farm!

We are defiantly not bush woman!

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Rocking the outback hat!

Rocking the outback hat!

Missy Skoog’s 2nd visit for Sydney Australia

It’s not to often a girl from the Midwest can say she has been to Sydney twice in her lifetime! Such a far distance and seems to exotic. Let me say it’s one of my top 10 favorite cities I have visited. Sydney is a cosmopolitan city surrounded by iconic beaches, world heritage sites, and acclaimed wine regions. Besides being Australia’s largest city, Sydney is also its most visited. (And, contrary to popular belief, not the country’s capital!) With an incredible variety of attractions and sights to see, including the very famous Bondi Beach.

Crocodile pizza and some alternative delicacy's.

Crocodile pizza and some alternative delicacy’s.

 

Situated in one of Sydney's important thoroughfares in the heart of the city, the foundation stone was laid by Sir Henry Parkes in 1889, and the opening of the new establishment was performed two years later by Sarah Bernhardt, whose name was first in the new hotel's register, subsequently displayed in a glass showcase in the main foyer.

Situated in one of Sydney’s important thoroughfares in the heart of the city, the foundation stone was laid by Sir Henry Parkes in 1889, and the opening of the new establishment was performed two years later by Sarah Bernhardt, whose name was first in the new hotel’s register, subsequently displayed in a glass showcase in the main foyer.

 

Sydney harbor bridge

Sydney harbor bridge

Sydney opera house

Sydney opera house

Close look at Sydney opera house

Close look at Sydney opera house

Under the Sydney harbor bridge

Under the Sydney harbor bridge

Sailing on Sydney harbor

Sailing on Sydney harbor

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If all else fails, hit the beach! Bondi Beach!

If all else fails, hit the beach! Bondi Beach!

Bondi beach waiting to "catch a wave"

Bondi beach waiting to “catch a wave”

Gap Park Sydney, Australia

Gap Park Sydney, Australia

What a view!

What a view!

Mrs Macquaries Chair, the place where the wife of Governor Lachlan Macquarie used to sit and watch the boats sailing into the harbour, is the prime attraction. The chair is a piece of sandstone in the shape of a bench and hand carved by convicts in the good old days when Sydney was pretty much a desolate island prison.

Mrs Macquaries Chair, the place where the wife of Governor Lachlan Macquarie used to sit and watch the boats sailing into the harbour, is the prime attraction. The chair is a piece of sandstone in the shape of a bench and hand carved by convicts in the good old days when Sydney was pretty much a desolate island prison.

Put your camera down, take a breath and just enjoy! What a beautiful city Sydney is!

Put your camera down, take a breath and just enjoy! What a beautiful city Sydney is!

The two most iconic symbols of Sydney, Australia. The Harbor bridge and the opera house.

The two most iconic symbols of Sydney, Australia. The Harbor bridge and the opera house.

Missy Skoog’s Avalon River cruise on the Danube

I had the opportunity to travel on an Avalon Waterways cruise from Budapest to Vienna on the Danube.  Wow, what an experience!  We stops at different ports along the river and did small guided tours.  Some of the amazing cities we visited were Budapest, Bratislava, Durnstein Austria, Melk and Vienna.

The Avalon Artistry II delivers an intimate setting, along with two full decks of suites featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to the enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities include a complimentary Internet Corner and Wi-Fi access, an expanded Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and the delightful Sky Bistro.

Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region

Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region

Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region

Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region

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Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia

The streets of Bratislava, Slovakia

The streets of Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia follow the coronation of the king from the church thru the town with the crown emblems in the street

Bratislava, Slovakia follow the coronation of the king from the church thru the town with the crown emblems in the street

Bratislava, Slovakia. ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries

Bratislava, Slovakia.
ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries

Budapest- 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs...Welcome to my home!

Budapest- 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs…Welcome to my home!

city of Bratislava

city of Bratislava

The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on an isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava

The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on an isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava

Avalon River cruise, Avalon Vista

Avalon River cruise, Avalon Vista

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Dice in our cabin, nice breeze with the water next to us! I wouldn't cruise any other way!

Dice in our cabin, nice breeze with the water next to us! I wouldn’t cruise any other way!

Muster Drill

Muster Drill

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Spa heaven on the Avalon Vista!

Spa heaven on the Avalon Vista!

Large bathroom for the balcony cabin on the Avalon Vista

Large bathroom for the balcony cabin on the Avalon Vista

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Love to River cruise!

Love to River cruise!

Deluxe Stateroom on Avalon Vista

Deluxe Stateroom on Avalon Vista

Deluxe Stateroom bathroom on Avalon Vista

Deluxe Stateroom bathroom on Avalon Vista

Deluxe stateroom on Avalon Vista

Deluxe stateroom on Avalon Vista

The Liberty Statue or Freedom Statue (Hungarian: Szabadság Szobor, Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈsɒbɒt͡ʃaːɡ ˈsobor]) is a monument on the Gellért Hill in Budapest, Hungary. It commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary

The Liberty Statue or Freedom Statue (Hungarian: Szabadság Szobor, Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈsɒbɒt͡ʃaːɡ ˈsobor]) is a monument on the Gellért Hill in Budapest, Hungary. It commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary

What a magnificent ship the Avalon Vista is!

What a magnificent ship the Avalon Vista is!

Princess bridge in Budapest

Princess bridge in Budapest

Happy Clients return from Hawaii

Lafean Hawaii

ALOHA!!!!

We had a great trip! The Castle Hilo Hawaiian was very nice and the Marriott was even better. We saw whales every day and saw a lot of the Island. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

Missy Skoog’s visit to Vienna, Austria!

Vienna, the city of music and was home to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert & Johann Strauss.  Vienna – a romantically imperial city: Vienna is a dream city for anyone with a romantic streak or an interest in history. Sightseeing opportunities are to be found in abundance. Wander along narrow, medieval alleyways or across imperial squares, view Schönbrunn Palace or the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) in the footsteps of Sissi and Emperor Franz Josef, and marvel at the majestic architecture along the Ring boulevard. Be inspired by an atmosphere steeped in history – which also boasts the comforts and infrastructure of a modern city!

Missy Skoog’s visit to Hamburg, Germany

 

 

 

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Missy Skoog’s visit to Berlin, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Missy Skoog’s visit to Brussels, Belgium

Brussels city is quickly becoming a trendy spot for weekend getaways and holidays. Apart from its famous chocolates and beers there are many attractions that most visitors cannot begin to imagine. It is a centre of European culture, officially nicknamed ‘the European Village.

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Missy Skoog’s trip to Frankfurt, Germany!

Thrusting, dynamic FRANKFURT is the beating heart of Germany’s financial sector and home to the European Central Bank. It has an impressive skyline bristling with eye-catching skyscrapers, earning it the nickname Mainhattan, while business travelers flock here for the trade shows, which include the world’s largest book fair. It’s an important transport hub too, with Germany’s busiest Autobahn intersection and its largest international airport, which is linked directly to the high-speed ICE rail network.

For all its high-octane modernity, Frankfurt has played a long, often distinguished role in German history. In the Middle Ages it was a free imperial city, and even today its fierce civic pride echoes that doughty medieval independence. In 1562 it succeeded Aachen as the city in which Holy Roman Emperors were crowned, a role it retained until 1792, and in 1848 it was the setting for the first democratically elected German national assembly. A century later, it narrowly lost out to Bonn in the competition to become capital of the new Federal Republic of Germany. Frankfurt also has a proud Jewish history: the Rothschild banking dynasty originated here, and though the Jewish tradition was all but wiped out under the Nazis it has of late made a spirited comeback.

First impressions of limousines, office towers and briefcases can suggest Germany’s fifth largest city is all work and no play, and among business travelers it sometimes commands more respect than affection. Though Frankfurt’s charms can occasionally be elusive, they’re real, from alfresco Apfelwein imbibing in the Sachsenhausen district to museum-hopping on the Museumsufer or Ibiza-style DJ bars atop city-centre car parks in summer. Spend time discovering them and you’ll find this sophisticated, cosmopolitan city repays your investment with interest.

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Missy Skoog’s visit to Florence, Italy!

Florence, the city of the lily, gave birth to the Renaissance and changed the way we see the world. For centuries it has captured the imaginations of travelers, who have come seeking rooms with views and phenomenal art. Florence’s is a subtle beauty—its staid, unprepossessing palaces built in local stone are not showy, even though they are very large. They take on a certain magnificence when day breaks and when the sun sets; their muted colors glow in this light. A walk along the Arno offers views that don’t quit and haven’t much changed in 700 years; navigating Piazza della Signoria, always packed with tourists, requires patience. There’s a reason why everyone seems to be here, however. It’s the heart of the city, and home to the Uffizi—the world’s finest repository of Italian Renaissance art.

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Missy Skoog’s visit to Vatican City


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Missy Skoog’s Visit to Barcelo Maya Palace, Riviera Maya

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