Remarkable experiences. extraordinary value.

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

19 Nights featuring Paris, the Loire Valley, Barcelona and Valencia

Includes: International Airfare, Hotel, Tours, Transfers and More!

Start Date: August 30, 2020
(Sailing September 7, 2020)

About This Journey

If it’s romanticism, grandeur and epicurean delights you crave, then travel to the heart of France to explore the rich cradle of French history that is the Loire Valley. There’s no wonder this beautiful land has attracted aristocracy, artists and winemakers for centuries. Begin your journey in Paris with a starlight dinner cruise along the Seine to put you in the “joie de vivre” spirit before heading south to your home base in the city of Tours. From here, each day you will encounter the opulent chateaus and noble estates that sprinkle the landscape. From the Royal Chateau de Blois, home to 7 French kings and where Joan of Arc was blessed before battle, to the Chateau de Chenonceau, iconic for its renaissance gallery spanning the river below it. Enjoy the bucolic scenery and a tasting of the region’s celebrated wines while cruising on the peaceful Cher river. Roll up your sleeves for a lesson in local cuisine with a cooking class experience. Tour the fairytale castle rumored to have inspired Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty and spend the afternoon wandering the lush Villandry Gardens to see why they call this region the “Garden of France.” We’ll explore the Chateau du Clos Luce, residence of Leonardo da Vinci in his final years, and have free time to discover the picturesque village of Amboise. You’ll partake in a wine tasting in Vouvray, a region known for its Chenin blanc and sparkling varieties. On your last day, an exclusive experience awaits you at a chateau where the proud owners will host you for a farewell lunch. You’ll then fly to Barcelona to enjoy free time in the city before embarking the Vision of the Seas for a relaxing 11-night cruise back to the U.S.

Visits: Vision of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, King’s Wharf, Bermuda; Cape Liberty, New Jersey; SPID 31647; Leap Sale

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

Itinerary

Start Date: August 30, 2020
(Sailing September 7, 2020)

Day Port Arrival Departure
1 Arrive Paris – Transfer to hotel; Welcome Seine Dinner Cruise
2 Paris to Tours – Coach Transfer with Blois Chateau and Tours Walking Tour
3 Tours – Tour of Chenonceau, Wine Tasting Cruise and French Cooking Class
4 Tours – Tour of Chateau d’Usee and Villandry Gardens
5 Tours – Tour to Amboise, Wine Tasting in Vouvray
6 Tours – Tour of Chateau de Rivau and Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau
7 Tours – Transfer to Paris for Flight to Barcelona
8 Barcelona – Day at Leisure
9 Barcelona – Transfer to Port for Embarkation 5:00 PM
10 Valencia, Spain 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
11 At Sea
12 At Sea
13 At Sea
14 At Sea
15 At Sea
16 At Sea
17 At Sea
18 King’s Wharf, Bermuda 10:00 AM 6:00 PM
19 At Sea
20 Cape Liberty, New Jersey 6:00 AM

**Please note that this itinerary is subject to change at anytime, including port of call changes. Please call a Personal Vacation Manager with any questions.

Land Program

Day 1 – Arrive Paris

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Seine River

Upon arrival at the airport, meet your Enrichment Journey guide, who will assist with transferring you to the hotel. After check-in, you’ll have time to get settled in and relax before joining your fellow travelers for a special Seine cruise welcome dinner. Sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of Paris with window seating to give you unobstructed views of the City of Light during your meal. Return to the hotel by coach. Want more time in Paris? Ask about a 2-night extension (D)

 

Day 2 – Paris to Tours

Town Hall of Tours, France

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before check-out and your transfer south to the city of Tours. As you drive into the Loire Valley, you’re entering one of the world’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Sites that stretches for 173 miles along the river, including all the chateaus and towns that lie within this section of the central Loire Valley. Along the way you will make a stop in the village of Blois to visit the exquisite Royal Chateau de Blois. The chateau has a special place in French history as it is the location where the Archbishop of Reims blessed Joan of Arc in 1429 before her battle against the English for Orleans. You can clearly see the four distinct architectural styles that vary as additional wings of the Chateau were added throughout the centuries; from the original 13th-century medieval design, to Gothic, Renaissance and Classical.  We’ll have lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to Tours where your guide will give you a walking tour of the Old Town. Check in to your hotel and home base for the next five nights, where you’ll then enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. (B, L)

Chateau de Chenonceau

Day 3 – Chenonceaux

Today we will travel by coach to Chenonceaux, a small commune in the heart of the Loire Valley, to visit one of the best known and most visited chateaus in France, Chateau de Chenonceau. The iconic renaissance gallery spanning the river below it was built by Jean Bullant, whose work on other famous projects include the Tuileries and Louvre palaces in Paris. The chateau boasts an extraordinary collection of furniture, tapestries and paintings of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The home had many aristocratic owners including Catherine de’ Medici and was also given to the favorite mistresses of King Henry II and King Henry IV.

Cooking class in Tours

It became designated a “Monument Historique” in 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture because of its importance to France’s historical, architectural and cultural heritage. Enjoy free time for lunch before boarding a boat on a tributary of the Loire, the Cher river, where you’ll take in the beautiful surroundings while participating in a tasting of the region’s delicious wines. After the cruise return to Tours for a special cooking class experience where you’ll learn how to prepare a French dish as your dinner this evening. (B, D)

Day 4 – Rigny Usse and Villandry

Chateau and gardens of Villandry

After breakfast, we set off to Rigny Usse to see the castle that is said to have inspired Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty. Situated on the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the valley, the Chateau d’Usse seems purposely built for a fairytale story. Following the tour, we’ll drive to Villandry to visit the spectacularly restored Renaissance Villandry Gardens. Originally constructed in 1532, the estate fell into disrepair until the Spanish doctor Joachim Carvallo purchased the home in 1906 with the mission to recreate the property’s gardens. First, you’ll enjoy a Farmer’s Market Menu lunch of salads and cheeses from the Touraine area, and homemade desserts in the chateau’s restaurant before you embark on your tour of the grounds. Discover the ornamental Kitchen Garden, the crown jewel of the estate. In true Renaissance style, it consists of nine patches all the same size, but each with a different geometric motif of vegetables and flowers in alternating colors, giving the impression of a multicolored checkerboard. Today, Joachim’s great-grandson is the current owner and continues the family tradition of improving and expanding the home’s gardens. Return to Tours for the remainder of your evening at leisure. (B, L)

Day 5 – Amboise and Vouvray

Village of Amboise and Chateau d’Amboise

Today we spend the morning in the picturesque village of Amboise, nestled on the Loire river. We’ll start with a tour of Chateau d’Amboise, home to King Charles VIII. As the place where he held court during his reign, Amboise was once the center of French power. The chateau’s chapel is also the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci. You’ll further explore this town’s link to Leonardo with a visit to the nearby Chateau du Clos Luce. This home was the official residence of the Italian inventor for 3 years when he was invited by King Francis I in 1516 and accepted the role of “First Painter, Engineer and Architect to the King”. He brought with him to Amboise three of his favorite paintings, “The Mona Lisa”, “The Virgin and Child with St. Anne”, and “St. John the Baptist”, all of which are now exhibited at the Louvre in Paris. Explore the home turned museum before enjoying lunch in the chateau’s restaurant. Following lunch, enjoy free time in Amboise to stroll the town’s quaint streets and admire the beautifully preserved timber-framed houses. You’ll then depart for Vouvray to learn the region’s winemaking process. You’ll then depart for Vouvray to learn the region’s winemaking process from the vine to bottle. You’ll get a tour of the vineyard and visit the wine cellar dug into the limestone cliffs (typical for the region), before a tasting of the winery’s specialties. Return to Tours for the evening at your leisure. (B, L)

Day 6 – Lemer and Azay le Rideau

Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau

Today we journey to Lemer where a special treat awaits. Upon arrival at the Chateau de Rivau, you’ll be greeted by the owner for a tour of the beautifully preserved medieval castle, including the 14 amazing gardens. The gardens are designated “Remarkable Gardens” by the French Ministry of Culture and include 450 varieties of fragrant roses. After your tour, you’ll enjoy a farewell lunch on the property before you continue to the Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau, one of the jewels of early French Renaissance style. Built on an island in the Indre river in 1527, its façade and location make it one of the most photographed chateaus in the region. The home’s most ornate feature is the grand staircase that rises 3 floors and offers double bay windows on each landing overlooking the courtyard. Inside you’ll find many 16th and 17th century tapestries. Return to Tours for an evening at your leisure and time to pack for tomorrow’s flight. (B, L)

Day 7 – Paris to Barcelona

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer back to Paris for your afternoon flight to Barcelona. En route we will make a photo stop at the last estate on our list, the Chateau Chambord. Upon arrival in Barcelona, you’ll be transferred to the hotel for check-in and an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 8 – Barcelona

Today is a free day to explore Barcelona at your leisure. (B)

Day 9 – Barcelona Embarkation

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the port, where you will board the ship for an 11-night transatlantic cruise. (B)

Day 10–20 -Cruising onboard the Vision of the Seas (see below for cruise highlights)

For meals not included in your land programs, all hotels chosen include a restaurant on property where you may relax and enjoy a meal. In addition, your guide is available to make suggestions on nearby dining, shopping or sightseeing.

Port Highlights

Parque Guell by Antoni Gaudi

Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona is a charming, cosmopolitan port on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This prosperous and bilingual (Spanish and Catalan) metropolis measures up to a city such as Madrid: its museums, theaters, art galleries and nightlife area of an impressively high standard. Besides that, this art and design center has a lot of interesting sights to offer to its visitors. The best place to watch people go by, to stroll or simply relax, is ‘Las Ramblas’, a pedestrian street with dozens of outdoor cafes. Here, you’ll find flower-stands, book kiosks and small market stalls where they sell birds and small animals. Nearby is ‘Plaça Real’, with plenty of bars and restaurants, and ‘Palau Guell’, built by the Catalan architectural genius Antoni Gaudi in his undulating art-nouveau style. After having seen these sights, stroll the narrow winding streets of the ‘Barri Gotic’, the medieval Gothic quarter full of interesting tapas bars and cafes. Check out Picasso’s old hangout, ‘Els Quatre Gats’, which has been renovated without losing its bohemian charm.

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain: Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia offers a little bit of everything, from historic sites and bustling city squares to placid beaches. Soak up the sun at Malvarrosa Beach along the urban seafront, or head to El Saler for a more remote beach experience surrounded by white-sand dunes and pine trees. Cruise to Valencia and get your culture fix at Gothic Valencia Cathedral, and see the 15th-century renaissance paintings housed in its interior. Head to Plaza de la Reina in the city’s old town and do some people-watching over a fresh glass of <em>horchata</em>, a classic Valencia beverage made from almond milk with cinnamon and spices, or take a picnic lunch of fresh pears and local cheese to the quiet Turia Gardens.

King’s Wharf, Bermuda

King’s Wharf, Bermuda: From its pastel-painted estates to its pink sand beaches and turquoise shores, Bermuda is a land bursting with color. It’s also one of the world’s top diving and golf destinations. Set out beyond King’s Wharf and you’ll discover 1700s-era British colonial landmarks, pretty towns and secluded beaches— you can explore them by rented scooter, but be prepared to drive on the left side of the road. Come with an appetite and enjoy superb delicacies like fish chowder made with sherry peppers and the favorite local dessert, Horton’s award-winning black rum cake.

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

Included Features

  • International airfare, transfers and baggage handling
  • 8-night pre-cruise land program in France and Spain
    • Paris, France – 1-night hotel stay
      • Welcome Dinner cruise on the Seine
    • Tours, France – 5-night hotel stay
      • Full-day tour to Blois Chateau and Tours walking tour
      • Full-day tour of Chenonceau, wine tasting cruise and French cooking class
      • Full-day tour of Chateau d’Usee and Villandry Gardens
      • Full-day tour of Amboise, vineyard tour and wine tasting in Vouvray
      • Full-day tour of Chateau de Rivau and Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau
    • Barcelona, Spain – 2-night hotel stay
  • Tour Leader throughout France land program and Local Tour Hosts during included tours
  • Most meals while on tour (see itinerary highlights) and all meals while onboard
  • 11-night sailing aboard Vision of the Seas
    • 10% 20% Off Shore Excursions (see “Special Offers”) until 2/25!
    • Special Offer Until 2/25! Book an Oceanview for an additional $300 Onboard Credit or a Balcony for an additional $500 Onboard Credit from Enrichment Journeys.

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

What to Expect on Your Trip

Pacing

Most days during the land portion will include full-day tours. There is a healthy mix of both visits to historical sites and time to enjoy the landscape and scenery. The overall pace is less strenuous than most Enrichment Journeys, as the focus is not on rushing to see sights but rather simply enjoying the chateaus and gardens.  Most days include two meals, allowing the third meal, typically dinner to be at the guests own leisure leaving the evening free. All hotels will have a restaurant on property where you may dine, then have the rest of the evening to relax. If you wish to go out, your guide or the hotel staff is available to make suggestions for nearby dining.

During the cruise you will have two relaxing days at sea and seven exciting days on land to explore the port cities. You may choose from optional shore excursions, which will allow for cultural immersion, exotic meals and numerous activities.

Physical Activity

The land portion of the trip should be considered moderate to active and includes a considerable amount of walking. In the Loire Valley, many places visited are smaller towns with cobblestone streets. Roads and walkways on inclines could transform a short walk into a strenuous one.

Enrichment Journeys will do everything in our power to ensure comfort through our third-party providers, including air-conditioned buses and comfortable accommodations where applicable. However, some areas cannot be accessed by coach, so our drivers will get you as close to sites as is legally allowed. Sensible, rubber-soled walking shoes are strongly recommended. Historical sites often do not have elevators, escalators or ramps due to the age of the building/structure. Steps can be steep and uneven. Wheelchair access at many sites is limited to extremely limited. Based on crowds and traffic, order of visits may be changed. A fold-up wheelchair may be able to be stored on the bus but requires prior arrangements. Motorized wheelchairs and scooters cannot be accommodated on this group program. Guests must be able to transfer from their chair to the transportation.  Guides/drivers are not allowed to lift or push wheelchairs, so guests requiring physical assistance must travel with a companion who can assist. For the cruise portion of the trip, passengers will board and leave the ship up stairways and gangways, and you may have to walk a moderate distance to transfer to train, bus and car stations. Time spent on the road and traveling can be long, so you will need to be prepared for stretches of down time in between destinations.

Cultural Focus

The entire Loire valley was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the region’s significance in French history and culture. You will encounter dishes and ingredients typical to the region that you may not have encountered before, and you will be introduced to local artistry of the region. Enrichment Journeys encourages an open mind when in unique situations and meeting people abroad. Sometimes the attractions and cities themselves can be crowded, especially while on the cruise.

Unique Factors

If you have special needs or physical limitations, you will need to check in with your personal vacation manager before booking the trip. The temperature can vary between day and night, so pack accordingly with items that can be layered. Some guests may wish to have a light sweater or windbreaker with them.

Transportation

Included airfare is from select airports only. To inquire about a different airport, please contact your Personal Vacation Manager.

Enrichment Journeys is committed to providing remarkable experiences at extraordinary value. As a result, airlines and routes are selected to maximize that value and may involve multiple stops and extended layovers versus non-stop or direct flights. Passengers wishing to utilize specific carriers, direct/non-stop flights, Business Class upgrades, or to extend their time in any of our beginning or ending destination cities may do so by contacting Enrichment Journeys and inquiring about the Custom Airfare Program. There is a $50 per person charge for this service, however this charge will be applied toward any flights or upgrades you choose to purchase. The $50 charge must be paid prior to receiving a custom air quote.

Transportation while on tour:

Paris – Tours: 2.5 Hour Coach Transfer

Paris – Barcelona: 2 Hour Flight

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

Special Offer Until 2/25! Book an Oceanview for an additional $300 Onboard Credit or a Balcony for an additional $500 Onboard Credit from Enrichment Journeys.

2-night Paris Extension (pre-cruise)

Although everyone on the Enrichment Journey will fly into the Paris airport, the itinerary does not include any time in the city other than the first night. With this optional extension you will arrive to Paris 2 days early and stay in the city, giving you time to explore Paris on your own before transferring to Tours to start the Enrichment Journey program. Note: tours are not included. Price of $315 per person includes:

  • 2-night hotel accommodations in Paris with daily breakfast
  • Private transfer from airport to hotel

 

Receive 10% off all shore excursions from Shore Excursions Group!

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

Dates & Prices
8/30/2020 Retail Value EJ Price Savings Per Person Single Rates
Oceanview (6N) $6,665 $4,999 $1,666 CALL FOR DETAILS
Oceanview (2N) $6,705 $5,029 $1,676 CALL FOR DETAILS
Balcony CALL FOR DETAILS CALL FOR DETAILS CALL FOR DETAILS CALL FOR DETAILS
Suite CALL FOR DETAILS CALL FOR DETAILS CALL FOR DETAILS CALL FOR DETAILS

Prices are in USD.

Interested in the land program without the cruise? Call us for a quote.

Air Add-Ons
City Add-On City Add-On City Add-On
Atlanta $350 Houston Intercontinental $300 Orlando $300
Boston $200 John F. Kennedy $50 Phoenix $400
Charlotte $250 Chicago $250 Los Angeles $350
Dallas-Ft. Worth $300 Tampa $350 San Francisco $400
Newark $0 Miami $300 Seattle $400
Washington – Dulles $200
– Business Class Air Available on Request
– Additional Gateways Available on Request
– Air Add-On Rates are subject to change without notice. While we try to include the most common airports by default, we have many clients coming from different parts of the country. If you desire air from an unlisted airport, you must first reserve your Enrichment Journey with one of the listed airports as your default gateway and then ask, or have your Travel Agent ask, Enrichment Journeys to provide a quote for your preferred gateway.

All prices on our website and e-Journey Travel Guide are subject to change without notice. While we make every effort to provide you the most accurate and up-to-date information, occasionally, a trip or pricing category may be misprinted or unavailable at the time of booking. In the event of an incorrect price due to typographical, photographic, or technical error, or error in pricing information received from our suppliers, we retain the right to correct the price and to refuse or cancel any bookings placed at the incorrect price. In addition, all offers, prices, and conditions of sale may be subject to change without notice including tours, included features, highlights, minimum or maximum stays, itinerary, times in port, and/or other conditions/restrictions.

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

The following hotel list is preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract for hotels a year or more in advance, unforeseen circumstances do occasionally require a change of hotel. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality or value will be substituted and you will receive confirmed hotel information with your final itinerary.

Accommodations
Le Meridien Etoile

81 Boulevard Gouvion Saint-Cyr, 75848 Cedex 17, Paris 75017 France

Telephone: +33 1 40 68 34 34

Le Méridien Etoile welcomes you to the City of Light with effortless elegance, impeccable service and a magnificent location, across the street from the Palais des Congrès. This hotel has the proud distinction of being the flagship Le Méridien hotel in Paris, with captivating mid-century modern design and boutique amenities reflective of our lively surroundings. Artfully appointed accommodation includes modern technology, luxurious bath products and the Le Méridien Signature Bed. Start your morning with a meal at the light-filled Espace Latitude, and return in the evening to savor a dinner at the restaurant. Visit the remarkable Jazz Club Etoile, where live music provides the backdrop for cocktails and conversation. Last but not least, the prime hotel location facilitates discovery; in addition to being across from the Palais des Congrès, the hotel is within walking distance of the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe.

Oceania Hotel De L’Univers

5 Boulevard Heurteloup, 37000, Tours, France

Telephone: + 33 02 47 05 37 12

In a lavish “Grand hotel” spirit, this unique establishment, redolent of history, has successfully retained its character, right in the center of Tours. Opposite the town hall, this 4-star hotel is ready to welcome you following the creation of a spa and the complete renovation of its common areas and 91 rooms, which perfectly blend tradition, design and modernity: high ceilings, warm colours, some with hydrotherapy baths. The restaurant has also been fully refurbished. Everything has been done with the goal of conserving and showcasing the authenticity and charm of the building, with the addition of deft touches of color and elegance. The spa and well-being area boasts a superb stainless steel swimming pool that places the accent firmly on modernity. The Jacuzzi, hammam and fitness room are perfect for a break that blends relaxation and well-being. The Oceania L’Univers Tours hotel and restaurant is one those historic hotels that’s deeply marked by the illustrious figures who have stayed here, to whom the hotel pays homage with an impressive gallery of portraits overhanging the immense lobby. Thanks to the new colors, materials, furniture and facilities, this hotel will offer you a truly remarkable level of comfort during your stay in Tours.

Negresco Princess Hotel

Roger de Lluria 16-18, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Telephone: +34 932 150 052

Just steps from Plaça Urquinaona, Plaça Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia. Hotel Negresco Princess’ privileged location makes it the perfect choice for visiting Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s Cathedral, the Gothic Quarter, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and shopping at the best boutiques on Passeig de Gràcia. Whether from the avant-garde atrium, one of the 128 welcoming rooms, relaxation area, gym or terrace with privileged views of the whole city, a solarium and infinity pool, the hotel is the perfect base for discovering all of Barcelona’s secrets. Plus the great food at Nesgresco Restaurant on the ground floor and La Terrazza by Bobby’s on the seventh floor. Cool and cosmopolitan, Hotel Negresco features a free minibar in every room and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Vision of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas isn’t just a cruise ship. It’s an adventure that sails way ahead of the curve. You need more than just epic ports to have an unforgettable journey. Because the journey is as important as the destination. From rush-inducing activities to world-class dining and exhilarating nightlife, fill your sea days and your nights with more to do, taste and experience in between each new shore—on Vision of the Seas.

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

Before You Go

Money Matters

How you handle your currency and financials while on the trip is up to you. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to make them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

ATM Machines

These are often readily available, especially in major cities. Some will charge fees on top of what your hometown bank may charge for using ATMs abroad. Look for well-marked machines that have the Visa or MasterCard symbols.

Foreign Banks

Currency can be exchanged at most banks, if needed. Ask a local host or tour manager if there is a nearby bank that is open.

Credit Cards

During your trip, you’ll find that most major credit cards are accepted. Call your specific card issuer ahead of time to find out its limitations and benefits overseas.

Incidentals

Do be aware that some additional charges for mini-bars, laundry and room service will not be included in the tour package. Plan accordingly for these extra charges.

Packing Guidelines

Pack as simply as possible for easy transfers and customs screenings. Check with your domestic and international carriers regarding baggage guidelines, allowances, and check for additional fees. All bags will be screened before boarding flights and the cruise ship.

What to pack

Basics and layers are key to a comfortable Journey. Be sure to check the weather in the destinations you will visit, and pack accordingly. There are always unpredictable variables as well, so make sure you have one sturdy jacket and an outfit for a formal occasion too, just in case.

Here are a few key items to take on your trip:

  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Hooded jacket/fleece pullover
  • Pants with pockets
  • Skirt with pockets
  • Hat with visor & sunscreen/bug spray
  • Warm socks
  • Sturdy sandals
  • Practical shoes for walking/easy hiking
  • Extra pair of prescription sunglasses and/or glasses (if needed)
  • Camera(s)

Have back-ups for everything to avoid disappointment. Charge batteries in advance and bring extra film or digital memory cards. If bringing a high-end camera, consider investing in insurance to protect your asset.

Luggage Screening Process

To pass through screening, have liquids either in small containers and bagged, or in checked luggage. All valuables necessary for the trip should be on your person at all times, if possible. This includes medications and documentation. We recommend one main bag and a carry-on, per airline guidelines for weight and size.

Labeling

Have all your bags labeled with your name and address clearly marked. Add something to you luggage that is recognizable in the event your bags are misplaced. You may also consider marking your bags with “Enrichment Journeys” for efficiency.

Carry-on items

In many countries, including the US, large liquid containers are not allowed in carry-ons. On the way back into The States, food or agriculture items are prohibited. If you have questions about a certain item, visit www.tsa.gov for a list of items that cannot be packed.

Airport transfers

Airport transfers are included as part of your Enrichment Journey. Local representatives will advise you of the departure time from your hotel the night before departure. Generally speaking, arrangements have been made to have you at the airport approximately three hours in advance of departure, though this may vary depending on local circumstances. At the end of the cruise, an airport transfer will also be provided. Please advise your Personal Vacation Manager if you do not require transfer arrangements at the time of booking your Journey.

Cell phones

Some cell phones will work overseas, but incur additional charges for the use. Choose whether you would like to add an international plan by calling your carrier, or consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone overseas. However, in some destinations, many smartphones and tablets can pick up wireless Internet for free.

Protecting the Value of Your Travel Investment

Enrichment Journeys offers a comprehensive travel insurance package you can purchase alongside your trip. It eases the mind and lets you cancel your trip for a covered reason up until the departure date with a full refund of the Journey.

The insurance covers a wide variety of incidents, including travel delay, emergency medical services, and even baggage delay. You will also receive a pre-existing medical conditions waiver if travel insurance is purchased within 14 days of your initial deposit. For a full list of coverage provided, visit the FAQ section of the website.

Medical Issues and Handicaps

As with any extensive trip abroad, our excursions with Enrichment Journeys will require some physical capabilities, including transfers from cruise ships, walking on cobblestone streets and navigating through some busy cities with guides. Although we encourage all types of travelers to join us, we do ask you are aware of your own physical limitations. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual care to those who may have walkers, wheelchairs or other aids. Enrichment Journeys also cannot accommodate pregnant women past their six month gestation period. Please speak with one of our Personal Vacation Managers to see if certain itineraries are suitable for you and your needs. We are happy to suggest other viable options for you that are more accessible.

Per the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, travelers have the right to be reasonably accommodated in terms of tours in public situations. However, the laws do not apply for trips and outside the United States. So you must let Enrichment Journeys know ahead of time of any physical limitations, including information added to our questionnaire that needs to be filled out by all passengers. Failure to inform Enrichment Journeys of these limitations could result in refusal to participate, whether it be at the airport through the airline, on board the ship or at the accommodations booked.

If you have any sort of prescription medication, this should be a number one priority in packing. Bring extra, just in case. A small medical kit is also advisable for quick access to remedy minor aches and pains.

Briefing sessions

A local host or tour manager will be happy to guide you through the trip and answer all of your questions. Upon arrival to your destination, an Enrichment Journeys representative will meet with the group and go over items such as the daily schedule, weather and local customs.

Hotels

All hotels booked by Enrichment Journeys are held to a high standard of comfort and quality, in accordance to international accommodation standards and rating systems. However, each accommodation varies so you may experience various types of properties throughout your excursions.

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

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Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

Regional Information

Travel Documentation

Have your passport and visas ready and available at all checkpoints. Scan and copy these documents to print out. It is recommended that you e-mail a copy to yourself and someone back home in the event these documents are misplaced. Also, it may be worth bringing an international ID or license.

Passport and Visa

To travel internationally, you must have a passport in good condition, and it must be valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your trip. Visa requirements change frequently and for various reasons. As a result, our Personal Vacation Managers are not always able to provide visa information, and you should not rely on the information provided below to be the most current and accurate. The best way to obtain up-to-date information regarding visa requirements is to visit the official US government website for Americans traveling abroad, Travel.State.Gov, (Canadian citizens should visit https://travel.gc.ca/, for all other countries please visit your government website or local embassy), which details specific information on the countries you would like to visit, including visa requirements.

You may also use a third-party visa service, such as Expedited Travel. These services require an additional service fee but make the process of applying for a visa much simpler.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are recommended to protect one’s health from preventable diseases abroad. It is always good to have routine vaccinations up to date when traveling for ailments such as chickenpox, measles, and the flu shot. Use your own discretion when deciding on what vaccinations to have based on your preferences and personal medical history. During your Enrichment Journeys tour, the utmost care will be taken with prepared food, atmosphere and other elements, so the likelihood of contracting diseases is scarce.

For a list of recommended vaccinations based on destination, visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel or feel free to contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention directly at 1-800-232-4636.

Electric Current

You will need an adaptor for some parts of your trip.  To see what the plugs will look like at your destination, visit https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/ and click on each country from the right menu.

You may also need to use a converter. Most countries outside of North and Central America use 220-240 V, whereas the U.S. and Canada use 110 V. However, most chargers these days have a box which will act as a converter so that it can be used in all countries around the world. If your charger box says “Input: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz” then you do NOT need to use a converter (but you may still need an adaptor so that the plugs fit in the socket).

Some hotels may have two and three pronged outlets to use for various appliances. Ship cabins also have outlets for you to use with their converter. However, we recommend having at least one or two adaptors with you, as we cannot guarantee that all hotels will be able to accommodate this.

Local Currency

France and Spain use the Euro (€), currency code EUR

Bermuda uses the Bermudian Dollar, but as it is fixed to the U.S. Dollar, the U.S. Dollar is commonly accepted.

Please visit https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/  for the current exchange rate.

How you handle your currency and financials while on the trip is up to you. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. We suggest having at least some local currency with you during the trip, at least enough to take a taxi if needed. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to make them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is always appreciated but not always required. Expect several instances throughout the hospitality industry that allow for tipping. Have small bills ready for hotel staff, boat crew, restaurant servers, drivers, guides, and baggage handlers. If you have a meal outside the itinerary or hire a resident driver, a few dollars in the local currency is customary.

Gratuities are included for group meals, at hotels, and at airports. The host, guide, or tour manager can be tipped roughly $8.00-$12.00 USD per person, per day, as can any ship staff member (which is often split at the end of the day by all). Drivers can be tipped $5 USD per person, per day.

For more information about when and how much to tip in each country, feel free to speak with your tour guide at the start of your Journey. A good reference for international tipping is https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2008-11-11/etiquette-101-tipping-guide.

Time Differences

Please be aware that you may be crossing through several time zones throughout your Journey. To view a time zone map, visit https://m.worldtimezone.com/m-index12.php.

Climate

With the tour covering various regions, you will most likely come in contact with warm and/or cool weather, occasional rain, wind and/or damp environments. Check the weather online before departing for an up-to-date look at the conditions in major destinations.

Many countries outside of North America use Celsius. Here is a °C to °F quick reference guide:

-5° C = 23° F 5° C = 41° F 15° C = 59° F 25° C = 77° F 35° C = 95° F
0° C = 32° F 10° C = 50° F 20° C = 68° F 30° C = 86° F 40° C = 104° F

High/Low Temperatures in Fahrenheit:

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Paris 45/37 46/37 54/41 61/45 68/52 73/57 77/61 77/61 70/55 61/50 52/43 46/37
Barcelona 59/48 59/47 63/50 67/55 73/60 80/68 84/73 85/74 79/69 73/62 65/54 60/49

Practice the Local Language

Knowing a few phrases in the local vernacular can be a wonderful way to connect with people and feel immersed in the culture. Here are some key words and phrases:

France: French

  • Bonjour (Boh(n)-zhoo): Hello
  • Oui (wee): Yes
  • Non (No): No
  • Où sont les toilettes? (Oo soh(n) lay twa-let?): Where are the restrooms
  • Merci (Mare-see): Thank you
  • Je vous en prie (Zhuh vooz ahn pree): You’re welcome
  • S’il vous plaît (Seal voo play): Please
  • Pouvez-vous m’aider? (Poo-vay voo meh – day?): Can you help me?

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/french/ for more phrases with sound.

Spain: Spanish

  • Hola (OH-lah): Hello
  • Adiós (ad-ee-OHS): Goodbye
  • Si (see): Yes
  • No (noh): No
  • Por favor (PAWR-fah-VAWR): Please
  • Gracias (GRAH-syahs): Thank you

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/spanish/ for more phrases with sound.

Facts and Figures

Check out these interesting facts about the destinations you will visit on your Journey.

Spain

  • The first novel was written by a Spaniard. Cervantes’ Don Quixote, written in 1605, is considered to be the first modern novel.
  • The first known stapler was made in the 18th century in Spain’s Basque region for the French King Louis XV – and every single staple was engraved with the royal emblem. Spain has also given the world the mop and bucket (1956) and the astronaut’s space suit (1935).

France

  • Paris was originally a Roman city called “Lutetia”.
  • The French government gives medals to citizens who have “successfully raised several children with dignity.”
  • There’s only one STOP sign in the entire city of Paris.
  • French toast isn’t a French cuisine. Joseph French advertised the modern toast but forgot to add the apostrophe “s.” It should have been advertised as “French’s Toast” not “French Toast.”

Recommended Reading List

Vacation should be easy, peaceful and, most of all, completely stress-free. Let us handle the details, so you can sit back, relax and curl up with a good book as you count down the days to your next Journey! We’ve compiled the following list of books and movies to introduce you to the destinations you are about to visit.

Books

  • France: The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • France: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • France: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
  • Spain: Cities of Spain by David Gilmour
  • Spain: Iberia by James A. Michener
  • Spain: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Travel Guides

Films

  • France: Les Miserable (2012)
  • France: Amelie (2001)
  • France: An American in Paris (1951)
  • France: Midnight in Paris (2011)
  • France: A Good Year (2006)
  • Spain: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2009)

Journey to the Loire Valley and Transatlantic Crossing

eJourney Guide

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