I've been creating dream holidays to share with you!
Now that I’ve turned 65, it’s time I started to think about creating some of my dream holidays, and sharing these with our travel club members. (Please don’t forget my new motto: “65 is the new 50”!)
2017 will mark the start of our twentieth year, and a perfect time to implement these “Founder’s Tours”, where I’ll sit down with my travel planners, and work out just what can be incorporated into making an unforgettable holiday for our travel club members as well as my family and I.
Our first “Founder’s Tour” has already been agreed to by “my three girls at home” – a White Christmas in Europe for 2017.
Just close your eyes and think of the following: (I know it will be difficult to read this with your eyes closed, but you know what I mean…).
We’ll fly into Zurich, then take the Swiss trains to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, and you’ll be able to see the mighty Matterhorn from our hotel – not a bad start to a “White Christmas” holiday! We’re having a couple of nights in car-free Zermatt, with a guided walking tour, and a free day, where you may choose to take the mountain cogwheel train to Gornergrat, with its stupendous views, or take the cable car to Keline Matterhorn, one of the highest cable car stations in Europe, or maybe just “chill out” a bit – should be pretty easy in the Swiss Alps in December!!!
To get you in the “White Christmas” mood, here’s a video of Zermatt in Winter filmed in 2014.
Next, we’ll be saying “Alles einsteigen!” which is German for “All aboard”, as we catch the famous Glacier Express, from Zermatt all the way through to St Moritz. Yep, this is the train journey that takes nearly eight hours (the world’s slowest “express train”) as it travels 281 glorious kilometres across 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and across the Oberalp Pass at 2033 metres. Beautiful in summer, stunning in winter!
After a night in St Moritz, famous for where the “rich and famous” go to ski for the winter, it’s off to Salzburg for a couple of nights, where of course we’ll be enjoying “Sound of Music” highlights and touring.
Because this is a “dream holiday”, we’ll be able to include special extras such as a visit to “Swarovski – The Crystal Worlds”, which is just amazing – we were there a few years ago, and it’s so good, we’re going back!
Then it’s off to Passau, just down the road from Salzburg, where we’ll be boarding our Europe River Cruise ship, the Select Explorer, for a four night cruise to Vienna and back, taking in some of the amazing Christmas Markets, followed by a seven night cruise from Passau to Budapest and back, taking in Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as we cruise from Budapest. The Europeans really know how to enjoy the Christmas season.
There will probably be shore excursions in Vienna (Christmas Markets), Durnstein, Linz, Melk, Vienna (24 hour stopover), Budapest (24 hour stopover), Bratislava (full day) and Durnstein.
The formal group tour will end here, with flights included back to Australia, or you may prefer to extend your holiday while you are “over there”.
My family and I will be doing the following optional extension, and if you’d like to join us here, you will be most welcome to extend as well.
An optional extension after the second cruise returns to Passau will include travelling to Cesky Krumlov, for a couple of nights, followed by a few nights in Prague, where we’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve!
This will certainly set the standard for future “Founder’s Tours”!
Let me know if you are interested in joining my family and I on our first ever “Founder’s Tour”, as we’ll be finalising the package very soon.
Perry’s Travel Tip: As you can imagine, we’ve done quite a bit of travel over the past couple of decades, including five Europe River Cruises, so it was a bit of a “no brainer” to include a couple of these in this hand-crafted European holiday. They are just such a wonderful way to experience Europe. And the Glacier Express has been on my personal “bucket list” for ages.