Viking Staff

viking-river-cruises-20130430144708_big.jpgToday I want to take this chance to discuss the staff working for and with Viking Cruises. We have, of course, had an excellent time, but it is almost all due to the absolutely wonderful people that have made this trip possible.

The staff on board have been so organized, here for all of our questions and keep us up to date on all the happenings. We have become quite close to some of the staff that is our age. They have given such great inside tips about local places to visit, their favorite cities and what excursions not to be missed. The Maitre d’ Davor set up our entire honeymoon celebration one night at dinner and orchestrated the set up in our room, that I shared with you all on the first night.

Other people who have been excellent, are our city guides. These are local people who work for Viking in their home cities and share their knowledge with travelers on walking and bus tours. They, like the staff on board, have great insight into the best coffee shops, shopping locations and really anything you’re looking for. There is a concierge on board the ship that is there to help with all of this as well, but I always enjoy talking to the local guides. River cruises are a very comfortable way of travel, but they don’t always leave you a lot of time in each city. So getting a lot of information from the local guides is a great way to get the best parts of a city in a smaller amount of time.

Per usual, we are having a great time and although the days are winding down we are looking forward to a New Year’s celebration tonight and I will have more about that tomorrow. For any questions about Viking Cruising please call Ambassador Travel 920.236.7777.

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Excursion Experience

Although when you plan a Viking Cruise you already expect a lot going on whether that is exciting dinners or unforgettable excursions, they have even more if you are willing to partake. Viking is somewhat of an all inclusive experience, much like other cruising, but they have add-ons that can enhance your journey even more. When you book a Viking cruise you are getting not only a great experience, but also a lot going on.

IMG_2758.JPGThere are included excursions everyday as well as added excursions that you can purchase. These adventures can be added before you board or once you’re on the ship. This time there are 6 different excursions that you can add on, but outside excursions vary per cruise. The six provided on my cruise include; the Wachau Valley Winery Visit & Wine Tasting, Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, a Mozart and Strauss Concert in Vienna, a Home Hosted Visit in Bratislava, the Budapest Spa Experience, and the Godollo Palace and Gardens visit. IMG_2770.JPGEach of these different experience spans a wide variety of tastes. They are especially great because each traveler can find something they like and add it on to enhance their trip. Many itineraries also included free extra excursions. Today I was able to go to a Market in Vienna with the head chef of my ship. He brought us to his favorite shops and had a cheese and wine hour set up for us while he shopped for various menu items for tonight’s dinner.

IMG_2428.JPGAnother great add on for the Viking traveler is the silver package. This is the optional drink add on that allows you to pay for your drinks as a whole rather than individually. Through Viking cruises you are given soft drinks, tea, bear, wine and coffee during meals. Outside of meals you have to pay for all drinks aside from water, coffee and some teas. When buying the silver package, you are able to get premium coffees, teas, soft drinks, premium alcohol, along with regional beer and wine throughout your stay without worrying about paying per drink. After the first night Danny and myself realized that the silver package was definitely worth it. To make up for the price you have to drink about 5 drinks per day per person. This does not mean only alcoholic beverages, but also all the other drinks that you consume outside of meal time. If you enjoy a pre dinner cocktail or a couple Irish coffees after dinner, then it is definitely worth it.

Again, Viking has provided us with excellent service and a lot of variety to tailor our travel experience to our individual needs. If you are interested in travelling with Viking Cruises please call 920.236.7777 or visit ambassadortravelltd.com

Amber Abroad

Welcome to day 2 of Amber Abroad. Today I am going to discuss a few of the cities and excursions that I’ve got to experience the last few days. For those of you who love organization and knowing exactly what each day holds then you will love Viking Daily. This daily newsletter arrives in the evening and highlights all the next day’s activities. It is good to note for those of you who do not like being on a schedule that all of these activities are optional.

IMG_2520.JPGOur first city we visited was Passau, Germany. Located about an hour and a half from Munich this Bavarian gem was both beautiful and rich in culture. We were able to take a walking tour with local guides who provided insight into the city that they live in and experience everyday. And that is one of the great things about Viking, they really give you a great mix of tourist locations as well as local experiences.

IMG_2616.JPGDay two was a bus trip into Salzburg, Austria. The bus ride was just short of 2 hours, but there was also an optional walking tour of Linz, Austria, for those who did not want to travel so far. Half way through the bus ride we made a stop at Moon lake, which was one of the most picturesque locations. The Austrian Alps have provided a scenic backdrop for all of my most instagramable moments. Once in Salzburg we did about a 1 hour walking tour with a local guide and then were given 2 hours to explore the city ourselves. My husband Danny and I decided to grab lunch at a local restaurant and then hit up some of the shops. We visited Mozart’s birthplace, St. Peter’s Church as well as some of the gorgeous squares throughout the city. Once back on the boat later that evening we were able to watch the Sound of Music in our rooms, which was a fun treat to be able to see all the locations we had just toured.

So far the trip has been delightful. There are so many options for various types of travelers. For history lovers like myself we have had many opportunities for education, but all while having a lot of fun. For more on my trip, please check back tomorrow and follow us on all of our social media for pictures and even more from Amber Abroad.

To make your own memories with Viking Cruises please give us a call at 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com

I’m on a Boat

Gruss Gott, Guten Morgen, Good Morning! Welcome to the first of my week long travel journal as I sit causally on the Danube and write to you about all of my adventures. For those of you who do not know I am traveling with Viking river cruises on an exciting adventure for my honeymoon. Today is our third day aboard and we have already seen some beautiful cities, ate amazing food and enjoyed all of the activities offered by our ship.

IMG_2626.jpgLets start with the most important–the food. Although I can admit that I was a little hesitant about eating almost all my meals on our boat, I have been wowed by the selection and overall deliciousness. I am someone who loves to go out to dinner so I wasn’t sure how I felt about eating in the dining room every day, but it has been amazing. The set up at dinner was also something I worried about. In the main dining room there are no need for reservations and each table has somewhere between 6-10 place settings. Each night we dine with new people and we have honestly loved it. The idea of eating with strangers each night was a little daunting, but I have come to meet some amazing people who have only added to our experience. Plus for lunch there are lighter options that don’t make you feel like you are eating every meal out because I know that can take a toll on you. The aquavit terrace offers sandwiches, salads, soups and a variety of smaller options for when you just aren’t feeling a big meal. Overall I am loving all these delicious meals that are centered around each new city’s specialty and I can’t wait to share more with you as the week goes on.

IMG_2429.jpgThe trip overall has been a dream. Viking has been so accommodating it has been the perfect way to spend our honeymoon. Before arriving we were told by several friends and family members that the average age for Viking cruisers is somewhere around 70 years old. We figured we would be the youngest ones on board by a long shot, but that is definitely not the case. In fact, there are at least 2 other couples on board who are also celebrating there honeymoons as well. And speaking of that, once the crew found out we were here for our honeymoon they have gone above and beyond to make this a memorable experience. Last night at dinner we were treated to a delicious custard cake and champagne toast as well as the entire kitchen staff singing to our well wishes. Once back in the room the scene was definitely set–champagne, towels folded into kissing swans, candies as well as jazz playing in the background. Overall we are loving our adventures and I can’t wait to share more with you. Make sure to check back each day this week to find out more on our exciting Danube experience.

For information on Viking cruises please call Ambassador Travel at 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com

 

Christmas Cocktails

Christmas-Cocktails-green-backgorund-165004.jpgJust in time for the holidays, here are a few festive drinks from around the world. In the U.S. we enjoy eggnog, but it seems every Christian culture has their own specialty drink for this time of the year. Add some of these traditions to this year’s Christmas tradition by trying one, or maybe all, of these holiday spirits.

Let’s start with our neighbors to the south—Mexico. Known as Ponche Navideño, this hot beverage is made in a variety of different ways. Served homemade or available in restaurants and from street vendors, this Christmas time treat is made in a variety of ways.  Most include sugar cane, pears, various citrus fruits, raisins, prunes, and a fruit used by the Aztecs called tejocotes. This is a festive drink for the whole family. To make it more adult friendly add tequila, brandy or rum.

Moving a little further south to Chile, the Cola de Mono, literally Spanish for Monkey’s Tail, is somewhat similar to eggnog. It is served cold and has the consistency of a white Russian. Made with Chilean aguardiente, which is a generic term for alcohol, brandy, whiskey or rum is suggested. Other ingredients include milk, coffee, vanilla bean, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. These are shared with family and friends around the holidays.

Finally, we will hop across the pond for our last featured holiday beverage. Wassail is a hot mulled cider that is similar to drinks featured in the past like gluehwein or glogg. This drink has a rich history beginning in the 1400s in Britain. The tradition of “wassailing” was started by going door-to-door singing carols and sharing the mulled cider. This was done as an expression of good health, well wishes as well as a good apple harvest for the following year. Although the act of wassailing isn’t done as frequently anymore, the drink is still quite popular around the Christmas season.

For more information on any of these locations please call Ambassador Travel at 920.236.7777 and have a very Merry Christmas

 

 

Mums the Word

mummers 094.JPGWith New Year’s right around the corner, you may be scrambling for plans to ring in 2016. If you would like to get away for a weekend without having to worry about the craziness of places like NYC, then I have a great location for you. Did you know that Philadelphia hosts the oldest folk festival in the United States every New Year’s Day?

The Mummers Parade began in the mid-17th century on the south side of Philadelphia. This area was settled by Italian and Irish immigrants, who would don elaborate costumes and parade the streets.  Mummers can be traced all the way back to Roman times and are related to the mummers’ plays well known in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Today, the festival is celebrated with a parade put on by various clubs.  Each club dresses in costumes that fall into one of four categories: comics, fancies, string bands and fancy brigades. In addition to the costume parade, the festival includes performances and family viewing areas. All the festivities begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude around 6:00 p.m. That being said, the party doesn’t actually stop there.  This is a big bar holiday, so even though the daytime activities are family friendly, make sure to find out where the best hang outs are for all day fun. Think New Year’s Eve is a good time?  Just wait til you celebrate New Year’s Day in the city of brotherly love.
For more information on travel to Philadelphia and the Mummers Parade, give us a call at 920.236.7777 or visit our website, ambassadortravelltd.com, to schedule an appointment.

Where I Rome(o)

This week I asked what city was Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in. If you guessed Verona, Italy then you would be correct. If you have ever traveled to Verona then you would know why this romantic city was the setting for Romeo and Juliet as well as Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew. Shakespeare fell in love with this city, just like you will. Located in northern Italy about 100 miles east of Milan and 75 miles west of Venice, it is northern Italy’s 3rd largest city.

verona-italy-1.jpgOn top of its relevance in the literary world, it is also a cultural hub in many other aspects.  It is a main tourist attraction in Italy, which houses operas, amphitheaters, festivals and much more. Verona actually gives Rome’s Colosseum a run for it’s money. The amphitheater in Verona, built in the 1st century AD was constructed 50 years before the world famous one in Rome. History and architecture lovers rejoice in this town. Visit locations like Castelvecchio a 14th century castle that is now a gorgeous art museum. Travelers looking to purchase gifts and souvenirs make sure to stop by the Piazza delle Erbe, which is a market containing hundreds of permanent vendors.

Finally we all know that going to Italy means great lessons in art, history, culture and fashion, but one of the best reasons to visit is of course the wine. Verona hosts the annual Vinitaly every April. This is an International wine and spirits festival, which showcases some of the best wines in the world.

Now I don’t know about you, but between the Shakespeare, beautiful art exhibits located in 14th century castles as well as world renowned wine, this sounds like one of the most romantic vacation destinations in the world.

Looking for a great honeymoon, proposal or anniversary getaway? Well look no further than Ambassador Travel we are happy to set you up with the romantic destination of your dreams. Give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule your appointment today.

Makin’ Memories Monday

Last week we talked about Connie’s amazing adventures at Disneyland and now we are going to talk about her recent Uniworld river cruise. Yes, Connie got to experience two completely different destinations in the last couple of months. We are happy to have her back in the office, and she has provided us with so many great details and tips from her adventures.

12341510_10153935948181833_6771537604704439828_n.jpg“Uniworld, well they are simply amazing!!! Although we visited many Christmas Markets, Nuremberg was my absolute favorite! In fact, Nuremberg was definitely my favorite city.  It was amazing!   Another excursion provided by Uniworld was going to visit a glass victory, Theresienthal, in the Bavarian Forest, that made various glassware for royals from King Ludwig I to William and Kate. The staff I met onboard the river cruise ended up being great guides. One of the many convenient things about Uniworld is that tours, tips and all drinks are included which isn’t necessarily common for a river cruise.  All of our meals on the ship were included on the trip, and we also got to eat some great food while we were out touring. They do have a few optional excursions that if you choose to go on you have to pay, but otherwise this is an all-inclusive vacation!” –Connie Ruedinger

12359834_10153935946946833_8934692716635194362_n.jpgOne of the best parts about vacation is getting to taste absolutely delicious food that you may have never tried before. I know from my experience traveling and living in Germany that I crave it all the time. Luckily in Wisconsin we have many options for getting delicious German food here at home. Stopping by Ski’s Meat Market in Downtown Oshkosh you can pick up a variety of sausage and bratwursts that will bring you right back to sampling the delicious flavors of Germany and Austria. Check out all the great finds at Ski’s in between booking your vacations with us, Ambassador Travel.

For more information about Uniworld, river cruising or travel throughout Europe make sure to give us a call at 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com, and don’t forget to pick up some wuerst (German for sausage) at Ski’s Meat Market located at 502 N. Main Street in downtown Oshkosh.

Amber’s Travel Journal

VikingRiver11.jpgAlthough we stick pretty regularly to our blog schedule, I am shaking things up in the next few weeks by doing a day by day journal of my European river cruise. As some of you already know I will be taking my honeymoon over Christmas on a Viking river cruise through along the Danube. Here I will be chronicling my day by day experience as well as my favorite foods, drinks and excursions. I will make sure to include pictures, videos and whatever else I find exciting. With the average age of river cruise passengers being around their mid 50s I will be providing all of our followers with a new twist on traveling in Europe. My husband and I are 25 so this is a great way for everyone to learn a little more about river cruising as well as for people our age to see what a great way it is to travel.

For full details on my river cruise make sure to check out our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest pages as well. Links listed below for our social media sites. These posts will begin Monday, December 28th and go throughout that week. For any questions regarding these posts please feel free to contact me at amber@ambassadortravelltd.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmbassadorTravelLtd/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ambassadortravelltd/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmbassadorTravl
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/ambassadortrave/

As always for more information please visit ambassdortravelltd.com or give us a call at 920.236.7777

New Years Eve Drinks

Are you hosting this year’s New Year’s Eve bash? Are you looking for some delicious cocktails that will wow your guests? Look no further.  I have found some delicious drinks to start your new year on the right foot. Everyone serves champagne at their NYE parties.  Stand out from the crowd by dressing up your bubbly with a bit of fun. I am going to provide you with 3 champagne cocktails to win over even the most skeptical crowd.

54f645e0eb3c8_-_fizzy-sorbet-cocktail-recipe-zodiij-lmdn.jpgSorbet Fizzy Cocktail
Start out by placing martini glasses in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until chilled. Fill the now chilled glass with 5-6 mini scoops of assorted sorbet colors/flavors. Top with champagne. This drink is not only fun to drink, it’s also fun to look at. Perfect for the glitzy night you have ahead of yourself. Plus, you can serve any kids in attendance their sorbet in the martini glasses to make them feel like part of the party.

54f645e1c54e2_-_orange-cherry-champagne-cocktails-recipe-clx1211-oatmji-xl.jpgOrange-Cherry Champagne Cocktail
Combine orange and cherry juice together in large bowl, stir in ½ cup of vermouth and ¼ cup of scotch. Pour ingredients into glasses and top with champagne. For an even fancier look, garnish with an orange peel. These drinks are fruity and bubbly, just what the doctor ordered. For a kids’ version, combine orange and cherry juice and top with seltzer or sparkling juice.

champagne-punch-bellini-6-of-9.jpgChampagne punch Bellini
If you’re looking to do a couple of these drinks, this one and the first one above both call for sorbet. You can definitely do both without needing too many ingredients. For this drink you will need champagne, raspberry sorbet and frozen raspberries. Scoop sorbet into glass, top with champagne and garnish with frozen raspberries.

Simple drinks like these will make a big impact on all your guests wherever you’ll be ringing in 2016.