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Photos: Nighttime in Venice, Italy

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Recently, I took a cruise aboard Norwegian Star from Venice, Italy. If you’re not caught up, read my five first impressions of the ship here. We were able to spend a few days in Venice after disembarking, and I had the idea to take some long exposure nighttime shots on our very last evening. I’m not a professional photographer by any means, and things like long exposure are always trial and error for me. I just love how much more light it lets in, making things look so sparkly and romantic.

So, as to not keep all my photos to myself, I decided to share a few pictures from that evening. I hope you enjoy them.

had to get a cannoli in Italy, and surprisingly they were not around every corner like I thought they would be. I had almost given up hope on that last night, but we ended up coming across a delicious one with orange zest and chocolate chips in it – I loved the extra kick of flavor that the citrus provided!

Continue to check back for more posts about the Norwegian Star cruise from Venice. We’ve got more on the ship, the food, and the excursions. I hope you’re enjoying seeing a peek into this trip – maybe it’ll inspire you to visit some of the same places someday!

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Cruise Excursion Review: Dubrovnik, Croatia

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I recently took a 7-night cruise aboard Norwegian Star around the Adriatic/Eastern Mediterranean, and it was a trip of a lifetime for me.  It was my first time in Europe and had an absolute blast.  Our first stop was Dubrovnik, Croatia, and we took one of CruisingExcursions.com’s tours, called Essential Collection – Panoramic Dubrovnik & City Tour.  

My Review

The first thing we did after hopping onto the bus was taking a short drive up, up, up the steep coast to a beautiful overlook of the city and sea below, called Park Orsula.  Since this was literally my first taste of Europe besides our embarkation port of Venice, I was especially blown away by how beautiful it all was. We had probably 10 minutes to just walk around and get some pictures, which I got a lot of (as usual).  If this is what southern Europe was like, I was in for a real treat during this voyage.

 

After that, we headed down into the Old Town of the city for a tour with our guide and group.  Being from a pretty average town in America, and having not traveled a ton out of the country before this, the Old Town was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in real life before.  The streets (for walking only!) are made of limestone and there is a lot of marble, too. The buildings are all sort of connected and almost like just a few huge buildings divided into sections, with shops, restaurants, and apartments above. A bell tower with a beautiful clock on it was our landmark that showed us where we were if we ever got lost.

Side note: If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you will absolutely love Dubrovnik, Croatia. The city has seen a huge spike in tourism numbers since filming started.

We were also given a little tour of Sponza’s Palace, with a beautiful courtyard and small museum located right in the heart of the Old Town. It was a neat introduction to Dubrovnik. One neat thing to note there, is that there are public fountains (in a lot of the ports we visited, actually!) that are very ornate and beautiful, but they are for drinking. You literally lean over the side and can fill your water bottle right with the water that’s shooting out of the side.

Once the guided part of our tour was over, we were given about an hour and a half of free time before it was time to head back to the ship. We ended up wandering around, browsing in some stores, trying a delicious mojito at a local bar, and checking out the harbor and end of the fort where a lot of locals were gathered. Some guys were playing a pickup game of soccer (or football in Europe), and a lot of families were hanging out by the water just enjoying the day. Quite a few little kids were even swimming. We sat there for a while, and I was just reveling in the fact that I was in a completely new place watching the locals go about their leisurely day. It’s so neat to see a tiny glimpse of what other’s lives are like!

For more information on this excursion, click here.

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The Time is Now to Take a Cruise in Europe

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According to the readers of Cruise Critic, eight out of ten people dream of taking a European cruise, but half don’t think they can afford it.  The Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) travel agency Cruise One/Dream Vacations says that this isn’t so.  They’ve compiled a list of why now is the time to experience Europe from an ocean cruise, or river cruise.

1. Affordable Airfare

Travelers looking for the best value will typically find it during the fall season, where airfare is discounted both domestically and internationally.  Additionally, many airlines have specifically cut prices on flights to Europe this year, in an effort to stimulate the European economy.

2. Cruise Line Promotions

Following the summer travel boom, the travel season dies down and this means that cruise lines will be offering better pricing for fall and winter cruises.  For river cruises, CLIA travel agents are also finding that guests can plan a fall escape with great rates, with promotions that include free airfare, making first-time European cruisers look more closely at taking that dream vacation.

3. Avoiding the Crowds

There are two great reasons to visit Europe during autumn: it’s a beautiful time of year there, and most European destinations will be far less crowded with tourists.  Those taking advantage of off-peak season will enjoy a more relaxed vacation, and the great weather and reduced crowds will lend itself to a better sightseeing experience.

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4. Far-Reaching Dollar

The US dollar is exchanging for higher rates right now in many European countries than in the past.  This means converting currency is more favorable for American travelers, giving them more bang for their buck.

5. Upcoming Events

Europe is alive with lots of spirited celebrations and events during the fall and winter months.  For example, the world’s largest Volksfest in Munich, Oktoberfest, happens from September to November.  If Christmas is more your thing, travelers can take a river cruise stopping at the famous Christmas Markets in Nuremberg as early as late November, and these cruises are proving pretty popular already this year.  Other events including the illuminated Brussels Light Festival offer guests a chance to partake in special cultural events around Europe.

Would you consider taking a European river or ocean cruise in the near future? Why or why not? Let us know!

Information courtesy of CLIA

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Cruise News

Princess Reveals 8th Wonder of the World

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Princess Cruises and Condé Nast Traveler are pleased to introduce the “8th Cruise Wonder of the World,” the Grand Canal of Venice.  Guests voted on their favorite destination to visit by cruise ship, to be added to last year’s “7 Cruise Wonders of the World,” and it seems that Venice took the cake.

With over 38,000 submissions, the Grand Canal received the most votes, and one lucky entrant, Steve Turner of California, won a Princess cruise vacation.  Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said “We were honored to partner with Condé Nast Traveler to present the ‘7 Cruise Wonders of the World’…From its piazzas to its palaces, Venice’s beauty is fully revealed through an arrival by cruise ship, offering a perfectly fitting introduction to the ‘8th Cruise Wonder of the World’ – the Grand Canal.”

8th cruise wonder of the world

The cruise line’s small ship, Pacific Princess is the perfect way to arrive in Venice, cruising through the Guidecca Canal.  Many landmarks of the city can be seen from onboard, including the spires of St. Mark’s Basilica, and the mouth of the Grand Canal.  It joins the other Cruise Wonders of the World destinations, including:

  1. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand – the surreal beauty of this park is perhaps best seen from the decks of a ship, where the snowcapped mountains plunge into the crystal waters of ice-carved fjords.
  2. Panama Canal – The waterway that links the two grandest oceans in the world together is an engineering feat that remains a must-see.
  3. Shiretoko Peninsula, Japan – The wilds of the country’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, gives way to awe-inspiring glimpses of whales and the gorgeous coastline.
  4. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska – Pristine waters, grand glaciers, and keeping an eye out for a variety of wildlife are a few of the things you’ll experience while cruising through this national park.
  5. Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – This South American icon stands high above the city with arms outstretched, welcoming visitors and locals alike.
  6. Trunk Bay, St. John – This spot in the US Virgin Islands is perfect for people who long for white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and endless sunny days.
  7. Hagia Sofia, Istanbul, Turkey – This awe-inspiring Byzantine cathedral stands silent but mighty, as it has for the past 1,500 years.

Photo: Princess Cruises and Condé Nast Traveler

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Hi, this may be of interest to you: Photos: Nighttime in Venice, Italy. This is the link: https://cruiseradio.net/photos-nighttime-venice-italy/