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AmaWaterways is the Real Deal!
Holland and Belgium River Cruise…
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on a European river cruise? I had a preconceived notion thinking this was an old person’s vacation. Although river cruises do attract older people and accommodate those who may have mobility issues, this is definitely not an elderly cruise! I can tell you that this was one of the most fascinating vacations I have ever been on. The AmaStella was our vessel, or ship, and is basically like a floating hotel. Your room is always in the same location on board so no need to pack your bags and change rooms every few days. AmaWaterways offers a variety of cruise itineraries that will keep you interested time and time again. Right now they are celebrating 20 years in business with some amazing prices!
We flew out a day before the cruise and did a little sightseeing in Amsterdam. I highly recommend doing this to get acclimated to the time change. We took a canal cruise which was interesting, but not recommended if you have jet lag! The warm sun made my eyelids heavy and I am sure I missed a thing or two!
Saturday morning we took the Anne Frank Guided Walking Tour which took us through the Jewish Quarter. Our guide, Roza, did a great job telling us about what it was like in Amsterdam during WWII.
One stop was at the Auschwitz Monument. The monument is made of broken mirrors signifying that 'heaven is no longer unbroken since Auschwitz.'
The last stop of the tour was in front of the Frank house where Anne and her family survived for 761 days! Unfortunately we did not get to go in the house, but seeing the outside of the house in person as well as renderings of the inside makes it even more remarkable that they survived there for so long.
Our first stop on the AmaStella was in Utrecht, Amsterdam. In the morning we visited Floriada, the international horticultural exhibition. Castle De Haar, the largest castle in the Netherlands, was where we spent the afternoon.
Castle De Haar was once the private residence of the Van Zuylen family, whose descendants still stay here yearly. The castle also frequently hosted members of the international jet-set with their lavish lifestyle; from Coco Chanel to Roger Moore, they too left their mark on the plush rooms of the most beautiful spot in Utrecht.
Lastly, we had dinner at the chef’s table aboard the beautiful AmaWaterways, AmaStella! A wonderful experience with several passengers in a private dining room. This is available for all guests at least one night on the cruise. Delicious!
It's a good trip when you can't remember what day of the week it is while on vacation! On Tuesday, June 28th we were in Ghent, Belgium! A beautiful and quaint city with so much to offer! Our day started by visiting the St. Bavo Cathedral and the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. The Ghent Altarpiece, or ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ by the Van Eyck brothers, completed in 1432, is recognized worldwide as a great work of art, and one of the most influential paintings ever made. Hubert van Eyck painted part of the Ghent Altarpiece that includes the Mystic Lamb, but was never able to finish it. His younger brother Jan, completed this masterpiece a few years after Hubert’s death.
This church was originally named Saint John the Baptist in 942. The diocese of Ghent was founded in 1559 and the church became St Bavo's Cathedral.
After this, we had free time to explore. We ate waffle fries, bought and tasted some chocolate, visited the smallest bar in Ghent (which used to be a jail) and then off to visit the Gravenstein Castle. The moated castle was built by Count Phillip of Alsace in 1180. I am so impressed with how well these castles have stood the test of time. When I think about how long ago they were built with no modern way of constructing such a large building, it really is amazing!
One of our days was spent at the Battle of the Bulge site. What rich history is here in Belgium! The perspective of this museum is one of great appreciation of the United States and what they did to save their country during World War II. Our tour guide was a walking encyclopedia! He had so much knowledge of World War II and how each country became involved.
The photos below are from the museum, the actual battle field where foxholes still exist, a memorial to the 101st Airborne Division, memorials to honor General Patton and General McAuliffe. The people of Belgium are incredibly grateful to the United States and paid to have these memorials in their country.
Our day in Antwerp was spent participating in a walking tour of the city and ending our time with a Belgium beer tour! We saw the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady, Steen’s Castle, Grote Market and Brabo Fountain. This particular city paid homage to the Virgin Mary. Citizens from long ago would place a statue of the Virgin Mary on a light post so they would not have to pay taxes! Some statues were elaborate and some very simple, but all placed for the same reason. We ended our day with a beer tour tasting local beers. Some were good, others not so much! After all that beer, I finally found my Belgium waffle! It was delicious!
The last day was in a small beautiful harbor town called Dordrecht. I was in awe of this beautiful community. We walked the city streets learning all about the rich history and sightseeing the amazing homes and businesses. Dordrecht is Holland’s oldest city, being founded in 1220. The last tour of the day was visiting the iconic windmills in Kinderdijk. This small town is known for having the largest concentration of windmills dating back to the 18th century. The first windmill still exists today! What I found so interesting is that the windmills are used to pump water back to the sea to keep the town from flooding. We climbed inside a windmill to see how it works and received some interesting information from a “miller” who is someone who operates the windmill.
If you are now inspired to find an AmaWaterways river cruise that fits your interests, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-645-9524.
Get in touch with Amber Brune
Travel has always been an important part of my life. Before I loved traveling personally, I loved hearing travel stories from my grandparents who traveled frequently. The precious souvenirs they brought back are some of my favorite gifts, because they always had great memories to go with them!
My travel love really started when I was able to join several groups for mission trips to Mexico and Brazil and then visit various countries with my husband! Since having children, we have enjoyed sharing the travel bug with them! What a blessing it is to see the world with my family! Our favorite family vacation was in 2021 to Hawaii. We had so much fun exploring Maui.
My favorite country to date is St. Lucia, where my husband and I spent our honeymoon. It is a beautiful island to explore. I love to help with honeymoons and Destination Weddings because it's such a special time in your life.
Over the years, one of my passions has been helping families make memories on Disney vacations. There are so many details that go into Disney planning from what restaurants to visit, how to use a Genie pass or planning your cruise activities and excursions. I love assisting clients in all the details and then seeing the magic unfold. A child seeing their favorite character for the first time is something special.
I've truly love helping couples, families and friends make memories all over the world! The best is yet to come!
Back by popular demand! Download our FREE ULTIMATE Guide to AmaWaterways. We are an AmaWaterways River Cruise Specialist Agency, ready to create your perfect itinerary! Our over 120 page page guide to river cruising through Europe, Asia & Africa. The latest on ships, new destinations and itineraries. More information about their award winning fleet, RHINE CASTLES & SWISS ALPS, VINEYARDS OF THE RHINE & MOSELLE, ESSENCE OF BURGUNDY & PROVENCE, AFRICA SAFARIS & WILDLIFE CRUISE
AmaWaterways is the Real Deal!
OKC Travel Agent Near Me
Travel has always been an important part of my life. Before I loved traveling personally, I loved hearing travel stories from my grandparents who traveled frequently. The precious souvenirs they brought back are some of my favorite gifts, because they always had great memories to go with them! My travel love really started when I was able to join several groups for mission trips to Mexico and Brazil and then visit various countries with my husband! Since having children, we have enjoyed sharing the travel bug with them! What a blessing it is to see the world with my family! Our favorite fa... Read More >>>
An expert destination wedding travel agent near me with five star luxury travel packages with a luxury travel company, Vincent Vacations.
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“Amber is amazing!!! We were planning 2 trips at once and she was on top of everything. Wonderful trip recommendations and handled everything perfectly! We love Amber and she is our go to on all travel!” -Patty Woodbridge
Disney vacation, gave us lots of great tips and was extremely helpful at every turn
Amber Brune helped us plan our Disney vacation this summer and it was wonderful! She answered all my questions (and I had many 😂), even those that came up after we got there. She gave us lots of great tips and was extremely helpful at every turn. I highly recommend Amber and would use her services again! -Tracy Tate Clapp
Disney vacation, assisted us in so many ways before, during and even after our trip!
We loved our Disney vacation!!! Thank you so much Amber Brune for helping us in planning our amazing trip! She assisted us in so many ways before, during and even after our trip!!! She answered all of our questions and gave us so much information needed for our first Disney trip! Very impressed with her level of expertise! -Abbra Green
Amber was very helpful for our group Disney World trip. She helped us narrow down options that worked for us. She also let us communicate by email and text after hours since it’s hard for us to communicate at work. I was so overwhelmed until I got Amber to take over. I highly recommend Amber! -Lisa Mayes
Large group to Universal Studios Orlando
We just got back from Universal Studios Orlando and had a blast with the vacation Amber helped us plan!!! She helped me through the whole process of planning and answered all my questions. She truly cared about our large group having an amazing experience and I appreciate all her help. We had a fabulous time and are already planning on when we can plan the next trip. I wholeheartedly recommend Amber and Vincent Vacations!! -Amy Sitzmann Proctor
It was so helpful to have Amber working with us to set up this dream vacation. She was knowledgeable and quick to respond and helped to get us exactly what we wanted! We cannot thank her enough for helping our family create these wonderful memories!! -Jami Webb
First Trip to Disney World!
Amber Brune with Vincent Vacations was extremely helpful in planning our first trip to Disney World. We were originally set to go in April of 2020, right as the pandemic hit! She was on top of all of the changes, cancellations and closures during this time and kept us informed along the way. We had to reschedule our trip several times and Amber was always very helpful when doing so. We were finally able to enjoy our trip in May of 2022! Amber was very helpful with all aspects of the trip and even called a week before our trip to explain the new Genie+ App and LL features! We will definitely reach out to Amber for any future trips! -Danielle Lovelace
We are so very thankful that we found Amber!! She has been the most friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful agent through the entire process of booking our Disney Cruise!!! We highly recommend her for ALL things DISNEY!!! You can’t go wrong with her!! -Vicki Sitzmann-Davarpanah
Amber is very helpful for Disney World trip. She helped us narrow down options that worked for us. She also let us communicate by email and text after hours since it’s hard for us to communicate at work. I was so overwhelmed until i got Amber to take over.
When is the best time to visit Disney World? What is your favorite time to go?
These are questions we get asked the most in regards to traveling to Disney World. There are many opinions on when you should visit but here is mine!
I love Disney in the fall months. Crowds are generally low if you steer clear of the holidays. And there are lots of special events to take in.
One of the best times to go to Disney World for low crowds is in September. If you can go during early fall when everyone else has started school, you can see low crowds and low prices. Plan some pool time or a day at the fabulous waterparks because it is really hot during these months.
September and October bring two of my favorite things: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party is a great activity for the whole family to celebrate Disney magic Halloween style. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is by far the best way to try different types of food in a little time.
Moving into November, you have the continuation of Food and Wine but guess what? The elves have visited the parks and you get a taste of Christmas. Should you decide to brave the crowds and visit Magic Kingdom on Halloween, you’ll see the park all decorated for Fall. Come back a few days later and you’ve got Christmas. Don’t believe me? You should! I know a former Disney elf!
Further into November, you’ll see more Christmas decorations popping up all over. If you decide to go during this time, you should consider special decorations before you decide where to stay. Want to see a gorgeous lodge with an enormous tree? Try Wilderness lodge! Want to see the life size gingerbread house? Visit the Grand Floridian. All the resorts get a special touch of Christmas. You will also want to check out the special Christmas items you can purchase or make a trip to the Christmas store at Disney Springs to pick out an ornament for your tree. And of course, you want to see Santa at Disney World right? Make plans to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Life size toy soldiers, Santa AND Mickey all in a parade together! (OH and don’t forget snow on Main Street! It’s Magical!)
Although, Christmas festivities are in full swing, don’t forget that holiday we like to call Thanksgiving! Should you choose to travel during Thanksgiving, you’ll want to make a reservation to eat at a fabulous restaurant that serves Thanksgiving dinner. (Any holidays at Disney World will have higher volume crowds!)
You can continue these fun Christmas activities in December and also catch a candlelight processional at Epcot with a celebrity narrator (think John Stamos aka Uncle Jesse). Just remember, the closer to the holiday you get, the crazier you are (I mean, the crazier the park will be…)
Another perk of planning your trip in the fall? You may be able to get a free dining plan! Disney traditionally comes out with a free dining promotion sometime in the Spring months. That makes it an even better time to go! (Make sure you watch our social media pages for information if there are more free dining dates released!)
There are other great times to visit Disney World, of course, but these fun Fall activities make your money even more worth it. Follow along for more blogs with specific details of these activities that you can do at Disney World during one of the best times to visit!
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