Notch Above Tours Vacation Guide

We are specialists in all New England, New York and Eastern Canada destinations. Scroll down through our exciting roster of single-day and multi-day vacations for and beyond or click on the month of your choice to the right.

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Lakes and Mountains Harley-Davidson Vermont Vacation. . . .
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey!

Harley Davidson Vacations

Rev up and ride through the pristine countryside, motor through ragged notches carved by glaciers, watch your reflection in the still waters of a mountain lake. Scenic byways wind to first-class accommodations, culinary creations and handcrafted brews. Time at leisure leads you to gondolas and galleries, waterfalls and watering holes, maple syrup and cool mountain breezes.

Day One:
Start your vacation when you pick up your ride at Green Mountain Harley Davidson in Burlington. Or, if you have you own bike, ride through the Green Mountains and meet your co-travelers at the renowned Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT. Have dinner on your own at the Lodge’s casual Tavern Restaurant.

Day Two:
Smuggler's Notch Rise and shine for a hearty breakfast buffet at the lodge. Head out for a spectacular ride through Smugglers’ Notch. You will find yourself swallowed up by a wondrous landscape of hidden caves, huge boulders and narrow crevices to squeeze through.

The Notch will bring you to the quintessential Village of Cambridge. There will be time to stop for coffee and a freshly baked pastry, to explore the talents of local artists featured in the galleries or to visit the Vermont Maple Outlet.

Cambridge Covered Bridge

Continue on through the Green Mountains and witness spectacular panoramas of rich farmland framed by rolling hills and silver streams. As an option, visit the Johnson Woolen Mills where you will find selections of Brighton, Woolrich, Pendleton and Cahartt.

The trail leads you to the Village of Hyde Park, nestled along the banks of the Lamoille River. The Village has welcomed visitors for over 200 years and it offers majestic mountaintop views of Mount Mansfield and Smugglers’ Notch. Stop in Morrisville for lunch on your own at a local’s favorite restaurant.

Trapp Family Lodge

Ride back to the Trapp Family Lodge where you will arrive mid-afternoon. There will be time to take an optional gondola ride to the summit of Mount Mansfield, partake in a “von Trapp History Tour, ” to walk along the hiking trails at the Lodge or just sit back and relax. Gather late afternoon for a beer tasting at the Trapp Brewery.

Have dinner on your own at one of Stowe’s many restaurants and pubs.

Day Three:
Prepare to check out of the Lodge after breakfast. Head out to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Travel a short distance to Montpelier for a photo opportunity at the Vermont State House. Situated in the smallest capital city in America, this is one of the nation’s oldest and best-preserved state capitols.

Continue East along scenic Route 302 that winds through the Green Mountains and into the White Mountains. Stop in Lincoln, NH for lunch on your own and time to visit their quaint Main Street.

Franconia Notch

Start your engines for a short ride into Franconia Notch, a major mountain pass through the White Mountains. The notch was home to the Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation whose profile is a symbol of the state of New Hampshire, until 2003, when the formation collapsed. You have the option to ride the aerial tram to the 4,180' summit of Cannon Mountain. On a clear day, you may enjoy views of the mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Canada and New York!

Riding Motorcycles

Prepare for one of the most beautiful rides of your vacation. Ride along the spectacular Kancamagus Highway, a 34.5-mile scenic drive along NH's Rt. 112 that is well known as one of the best viewing areas in the country. The Kancamagus Highway is designated an American Scenic Byway for its rich history, aesthetic beauty and culture.

From the "Kanc" continue on through quaint New England villages and past historic homes until you arrive at Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. Arrive at hotel, located just a short walk from the beach. Enjoy a relaxing swim in the pool or sip a beverage by the fireplace. Have dinner on your own at a restaurant near the hotel.

Day Four:
Prepare to check out of the hotel after an included breakfast. You day begins with a "cruise back in time."

Ride into Holderness to "Squam Lake." Covering 6,791 acres, Squam is the second-largest lake located entirely in New Hampshire and is where the 1981 movie On Golden Pond was filmed. Board a canopied pontoon boat and sail off on a fascinating and picturesque 50-minute cruise and learn about the natural forces that created these lakes, the wildlife that makes them so special and the people who have enjoyed these lakes for over 5,000 years.

Sight Seeing

Following the cruise, travel along scenic Route 4 and back into Vermont. Your first stop is at the Quechee Gorge, "Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon." Witness beautiful vistas from 168 feet above the river and walk along the paths to the waterfall.

Visit the renowned Simon Pearce Glass Studio, where you will see craftsmen blow glass into beautiful pieces of art and glassware. The "New York Times" described Simon Pearce as a prominent American designer of glassware, and his works have been given as gifts to foreign dignitaries and to presenters at the Academy Awards. Have lunch on your own at the Studio’s restaurant or one of the many eateries nearby.

Stop in the nearby historic Village of Woodstock, which has been coined "the prettiest small town in America" thanks to its nostalgic Main Street, rural attractions and untouched panoramas. Stroll through the Village Green and witness an abundance of historic homes.

Woodstock

Travel a short distance into Killington and to the Summit Lodge, your home for the evening. You will feel instantly welcomed as you travel up the knoll and arrive at this resort-hotel. Enjoy commanding views of Killington Peak and the surrounding Green Mountains. The lodge’s decor of antiques, hand hewn beams, barn board and fieldstone fireplaces all combine to provide a warm and friendly ambiance, seconded only by the adorable St. Bernards, the official welcoming party at the lodge. Known as the Summit Saints, for over 40 years, Saint Bernards have graced the grounds of the property. Refresh in the heated pool or hot tub, or relax in the cocktail lounge and take in the amazing views. Dinner is included, served at the lodge and prepared by the owner and formally trained chef.

Summit Lodge

Day Five:
Enjoy breakfast at the Lodge, pack your gear and check out. Travel north toward Burlington to catch departing flights, or ride out of Killington to your next destination. On the way, stop at the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory for a tour and taste of Vermont’s finest ice cream.

Your Package Includes:

  • 4 Nights accommodations
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • 1 Dinner
  • Rides in Smuggler’s Notch, Franconia Notch State Park and along the Kancamagus Highway
  • Beer tasting at the Trapp Family Lodge
  • Photo op at the Vermont State House
  • Cruise on "Golden Pond"
  • Visit to Simon Pearce Glass Studio
  • Tour and Taste and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

Pricing Information:

  • 548.00 per person double occupancy
  • 960.00 per person single occupancy

So screw it-let’s ride!
Green Mountain Harley-Davidson

September 2014

Rugged Mountain Majesty
America’s Canyon Country Vacation
Thursday, September 18 – Friday, September 26, 2014 (M)

Rugged Mountain Majesty, America’s Canyon Country Vacation

America's legendary canyons await you in this three-state tour of the nation's rugged majesty. Bryce, Glen, and the mighty Grand Canyon join a list of national parks and monuments that will delight and amaze.

Itinerary

Thursday, September 18 – Las Vegas
Arrive today in exciting Las Vegas and spend the night on the glittering "Fremont Street Experience." You’ll have the remainder of the day at leisure for relaxation or enjoying the free entertainment available on Fremont Street.

Friday, September 19 – Grand Canyon, North Rim
Heading into Arizona, we’ll visit the old Mormon fort at Pipe Spring National Monument, then continue on to the North Rim of magnificent Grand Canyon National Park, where we’ll spend the next two nights just steps away from one of the world’s great spectacles. Dinner is in the Grand Canyon Lodge dining room.

Saturday, September 20 – Grand Canyon, North Rim
A full day to experience the wonders of the Grand Canyon begins with an excursion to Cape Royal and Point Imperial, offering incomparable views of this gaping chasm, about one mile deep and ten miles across. You’ll have the afternoon free for hiking to nearby Bright Angel Point, taking part in ranger-conducted programs or simply relaxing.

Sunday, September 21 – Glen Canyon and Lake Powell
A scenic drive along Vermilion Cliffs National Monument brings us to the impressive Colorado River Gorge at Navajo Bridge. Near Page this afternoon, we’ll visit massive Glen Canyon Dam before a "Canyons Adventure" cruise on sky-blue Lake Powell through Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Dinner has been arranged at the Antelope Point Marina.

Monday, September 22 – Monument Valley
This morning we’ll visit Navajo National Monument to view the Betatakin Ruin. Later we continue on to incredible Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, where numerous Western movies, television shows and commercials have been filmed. A traditional Navajo lunch and Navajo-guided, four-wheel drive tour are included in our visit. En route to Bluff, Utah, we’ll pause at Goosenecks State Park for stunning views of the San Juan River Canyons. Dinner tonight is at the Cottonwood Steak House.

Tuesday, September 23 – Capitol Reef National Park
After a visit to the Puebloan ruins at Edge of the Cedars State Park, we will have time for sightseeing and a picnic lunch at Natural Bridges National Monument. An afternoon scenic drive brings us to impressive Capitol Reef National Park, where white sandstone "domes" cap massive reef-like cliffs. We’ll spend the night in Torrey.

Wednesday, September 24 – Bryce Canyon National Park
A memorable day begins on Utah’s incredible Highway 12 Scenic Byway, winding through spectacular Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. Reaching the famed "Pink Cliffs" of Bryce Canyon National Park, we’ll follow the Rim Drive to view vividly colored, fantastic rock formations. Later we’ll motor through the slickrock canyons and historic tunnel of Zion National Park, and soon check in for two nights in Springdale.

Thursday, September 25 – Zion National Park
Today features awe-inspiring Zion National Park, where the Virgin River has cut a dramatic rugged gorge through multi-hued sandstone, shale and limestone. We will tour this incredible natural wonder aboard open-air sightseeing trams, plus enjoy time for exploring on our own or shopping in picturesque Springdale. Tonight’s farewell dinner will be served at our lodge.

Friday, September 26 – Las Vegas
This morning we’ll leave Utah and travel through the Virgin River Gorge en route to Las Vegas McCarren International Airport for your flight home.

Details

Sep 18

Rugged Mountain Majesty
America’s Canyon Country Vacation

  • When:
    • Thursday, September 18 – Friday, September 26, 2014 (M)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 nights accommodation (1 night in Las Vegas, 2 nights in Grand Canyon, 1 night in Page, 1 night in Bluff, 1 night in Torrey, and 2 nights in Springdale)
    • 15 Meals (8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 5 dinners) -Including a traditional Navajo lunch
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Fremont Street Experience
    • Visit to Pipe Spring National Monument
    • Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim with a local guide
    • Scenic cruise on Lake Powell and visit to Glen Canyon Dam
    • Visit to Monument Valley with a guided four-wheel-drive jeep tour
    • Visits to Natural Bridges National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park
    • Touring in Bryce Canyon National Park
    • Travel through Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument
    • Narrated tour of Zion National Park
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 2,198.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 3,047.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

Old Deerfield Arts and Craft Fair
"New England’s Most Beautiful Craft Fair."
Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield, MA

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Old Deerfield Arts and Craft Fair

Join us as we travel to The Old Deerfield Arts and Craft Fair where artisans are recognized for their creativeness and skill in artistry. Ranked as one of New England's top traditional craft fairs by Sunshine Artist magazine, this is a show you won’t want to miss!

At this juried show, witness over 250 exhibitors displaying and selling a wonderful variety of crafts including quilts, baskets, wood carvings, pottery, dolls, dried flower arrangements, teddy bears, decoys, tin, theorem, stenciling, jewelry and more. This is the perfect destination for holiday shopping or to get ideas to make your own gifts.

Enjoy lunch on your own at the craft fair at one of the many food vendors located in the food tent.

Our outing includes a stop at the renowned Yankee Candle. Smell the aroma of over 200 different scents from over 400,000 candles when you walk through the door.

Details

Sep 20

Old Deerfield Arts and Craft Fair
"New England’s Most Beautiful Craft Fair."
Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield, MA

  • When:
    • Saturday, September 20, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Admission to the Old Deerfield Arts and Craft Fair
    • Wine and Cheese tasting at the Craft Fair
    • Stop at Yankee Candle
    • Full time escort
    • Round trip motor coach transportation
    • Per person: Cash or Check 116.00/Credit Card 121.00
  • Depart: South Burlington 7:30 am, Berlin 8:00 am,
    White River Junction 9:00 am
  • Return: White River Junction 6:30 pm, Berlin 7:30 pm,
    South Burlington, 8:30 pm

Lion King
Boston Opera House
Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lion King Boston Opera House

Experience the phenomenon right in our backyard! Visually stunning, technically astounding and with a musical score like none other you’ve ever heard.

Giraffes strut, birds swoop, gazelles leap. The entire savannah comes to life and as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist.

See the Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation that Newsweek calls "a landmark event in entertainment." The New York Times says, "There is simply nothing else like it."

Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by a cast of more than 40 actors. Wonder at the inspiration of award-winning director Julie Taymor, who created visual images for this show that you will remember forever.

Thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and "Circle of Life."

KIDS 12 AND UNDER RIDE FREE!

Details

Sep 20

Lion King
Boston Opera House

  • When:
    • Saturday, September 20, 2014
  • Package Inclusions:
    • Reserved seat for the 2:00 pm matinee performance of Lion King at the Boston Opera House
    • Free time in Boston to have lunch on your own
    • Notch Above Tour Manager
    • Round trip motor coach transportation
    • Per person: 224.00 Cash or Check/229.00 Credit Card
    • Kids 12 and Under: 154.00 Cash or Check/159.00 Credit Card
  • Depart: South Burlington 7:30 am, Berlin 8:15 am,
    White River Junction 9:15 am
  • Return: White River Junction 7:00 pm, Berlin 8:00 pm,
    South Burlington 8:45 pm

The Heart of the American West
8-Day Trains and Canyons
Of The West Vacation
Saturday, September 20 – Saturday, September 27, 2014

8-Day Trains and Canyons

Journey to the heart of the American West! Ride the rails and explore the country’s most breathtaking National Parks. Come along on an adventure through the untamed Wild West and the unparalleled majesty of the Rocky Mountains!

Itinerary:

Saturday, September 20 – Salt Lake City
Welcome to Salt Lake City, Utah, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics and where big city ambience meets alpine snow resort. Meet your tour manager this evening for dinner with your traveling companions.

Sunday, September 21 – Moab
Departing Salt Lake City we venture into Dead Horse Point State Park. Here, the Colorado and Green Rivers converge to form a plateau, which offers spectacular views across the park. Later, we continue to Moab, a green, verdant valley in the heart of Utah’s canyonlands.

Monday, September 22 – Arches National Park
Arches National Park contains the largest concentration of stone arches in the world. A local guide shows us the massive sandstone arches and describes the culture of those that have occupied the region. Enjoy lunch before boarding a raft for a float trip on the Colorado River.

Tuesday, September 23 – Mesa Verde National Park
Today we explore the amazing Spruce Tree Cliff Dwellings of the Anasazi Indians at Mesa Verde National Park. Learn the history of “the Ancient Ones” and view the famous Cliff Palace, one of the largest of the 700-year-old dwellings. Then we spend two nights at the Sky Ute Casino Resort.

Wednesday, September 24 – Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
It’s “full steam ahead” as we board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Voted one of the “Top Ten Most Exciting Train Journeys in the World” by the “Society of American Travel Writers,” the train winds through the spectacular and breathtaking canyons in the remote wilderness of the two-million-acre San Juan National Forest.

Thursday, September 25 – Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
Today we ride the original Rio Grande Line over the Rockies aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. This is America’s most spectacular narrow gauge steam railroad and it explores 50 miles of wild and rugged territory between Chama, New Mexico, and Antonito, Colorado. We will travel through Cumbres Pass, the highest point on the railroad and enjoy lunch at Osier.

Friday, September 26 – Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the most attractive and historic towns in the Southwest, is also the oldest state capital. We will take a walking tour down the Old Santa Fe Trail to see San Miguel Mission, Loretto Chapel and Santa Fe Plaza. The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for dinner hosted by our tour manager and a chance to sample some authentic southwestern cuisine.

Saturday, September 27 – Albuquerque
We depart this morning from Santa Fe with a group transfer to the Albuquerque airport for our flight home.

Details

Sep 20

The Heart of the American West
8-Day Trains and Canyons
Of The West Vacation

  • When:
    • Saturday, September 20 – Saturday, September 27, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 7 nights accommodation (1 night in Salt Lake City, 2 nights in Moab, 2 nights in Ignacio and 2 nights in Santa Fe)
    • 12 Meals (7 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners) -Including a picnic lunch along the Colorado River
    • Roundtrip airport transfers
    • Visit to Dead Horse Point State Park
    • Tour of Arches National Park with a local guide and a scenic float trip
    • Visit to Mesa Verde National Park
    • Ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
    • Ride the original Rio Grande Line aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
    • Santa Fe walking tour with a local guide to visit Loretta Chapel and San Miguel Mission
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 1,899.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 2,598.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

The Blue Danube Legendary River Cruise
Hungary • Slovakia • Austria • Germany • Czech Republic
September 24 – October 4, 2014

The Blue Danube Legendary River Cruise

Experience the Danube River aboard a river ship on a seven-night cruise through four countries.  Includes escorted shore excursions in five cities with English-speaking guides and two nights in Prague.

Prague, Czech Republic
Your tour begins as you arrive in Prague, a city you will never forget, for a two-night visit. In addition to being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Prague also offers a cultural and historic past. The Old Town Square is home to pastel-colored buildings, the Church of Our Lady of Tyn, the Town Hall and famous Astronomical Clock that displays the actual time as well as the movement of the sun and the moon around the signs of the Zodiac. Another focal point of this charming city is the vast complex of the 9th-century Prague Castle with its regal palaces, gardens and churches, still used by the government today. On an included city tour you’ll see Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, the medieval Charles Bridge adorned with statues that each tell a story of Prague’s colorful past, and visit Prague Castle.

The Blue Danube
The journey continues as you travel via motor coach to Passau where you embark on an exclusively chartered Amadeus river ship. Once onboard, unpack just once in your comfortable river view stateroom and journey with us on a relaxing seven-night cruise along the most romantic section of the Danube River.

Cruise from Passau, Germany, past centuries old villages and through the idyllic rolling landscapes. Stroll medieval old quarters of winding lanes and alleys lined with medieval houses. The river cruise ends in the twin cities of cosmopolitan Buda and Pest, Hungary. All meals onboard are included as well as complimentary wine during dinner.

Passau, Germany
Passau is one of Germany’s oldest cities situated at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Passau is a beautiful and fascinating fairytale town with a history dating back more than 2,000 years. During an included city tour, admire graceful arcades, cobblestone streets and see the breathtaking Baroque cathedral of St. Stephan, which contains the largest pipe organ in the world with 17,000 pipes. Enjoy an organ concert in this beautiful Cathedral.

Linz and Salzburg, Austria
In the 2nd century, Roman soldiers built a fortified camp on the riverbank, and in the 15th century, Emperor Frederick III built a castle high above the river. Today the city’s history is told through its Baroque architecture, which surrounds an ancient market square. From Linz, you may choose to join an optional excursion to Mozart’s Salzburg where you can walk the famous Getreidegasse shopping lane, past Mozart’s birthplace in the Old Town.

Melk, Austria
Join an optional excursion to visit the glorious and magnificent 900- year-old Benedictine Abbey (UNESCO World Heritage Site). This abbey, perched high above the Danube, boasts a breathtakingly opulent Baroque interior. See the Marble Hall and Library with its thousands of identically bound books and also its terraced gardens, which command breathtaking views over the river.

Dürnstein, Austria
The pretty, medieval town of Dürnstein - “The Pearl of the Wachau” - is set in Austria’s spectacular vine-terraced Wachau Valley. With its cobblestone streets and old burgher houses, it is dominated by the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. The ruins of Kuenringerburg Castle, which served as a prison to England’s Richard the Lionheart in 1193, can be seen on the hilltop.

Vienna, Austria
For over 600 years, the magnificent baroque capital city of Vienna was the seat of the mighty Hapsburg Emperors, a heritage that has bestowed it with many dazzling palaces and monuments: the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House and the majestic Ringstrasse. The capital is also known as the "City of Music" for having once been the home of composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart and Johann Strauss. On our included excursion, see some of the famous sights of this impressive city and visit Shönbrunn Palace, with its magnificent interiors and gardens. In the evening there is an optional excursion to the Vienna Mozart Concert held at the legendary Müsikverein, the venue where the Vienna Philharmonic performs its world famous New Years Eve concert.

Bratislava, Slovakia
Enjoy the views as your river ship sails to Bratislava, Slovakia's capital (formerly known as Pressburg and for more than three centuries during the Middle Ages, capital of Hungary.) On an included panoramic tour of the city see the imposing Bratislava Castle built more than 1,000 years ago, the National Slovakian Theatre and Blumenthal Church. After passing through the Vienna Gate, discover Bratislava's charming old quarter on foot, admiring St. Martin's Cathedral, the coronation site of Hungarian monarchs, and quaint central square with its fairytale Town Hall.

Budapest, Hungary
Your Danube River cruise ends in Budapest, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The city straddles both banks of the Danube linked by seven bridges, including the famous Chain and Elizabeth Bridges. An included sightseeing tour presents you with a fantastic opportunity to become acquainted with Hungary’s beautiful capital. Enjoy a photo stop at Gellert Hill, see historic Buda Castle, 500-year-old Matthias Church, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the distinctive Fisherman’s Bastion and the marvelous Royal Palace. In the evening enjoy dinner onboard followed by a Hungarian Folklore show. Your cruise adventure is complete but you’ll bring back memories of European history and scenery to last a lifetime.

Day by day:
Day One:
  • Transatlantic flight to Prague, Czech Republic
Day Two:
  • Tour begins in Prague with a transfer to the hotel
  • Afternoon at leisure to begin exploring this beautiful city
  • Dinner at the hotel
Day Three:
  • Full breakfast buffet at the hotel
  • City tour of Prague including Prague Castle
  • Afternoon at leisure or join an optional walking tour of the Jewish Quarter
Day Four:
  • Full breakfast buffet at the hotel
  • Morning at leisure
  • Depart via motorcoach for Passau, Germany
  • Included city tour of Passau with organ concert
  • Embark the Amadeus river ship
  • Depart Passau this evening and begin your cruise on the beautiful Blue Danube
  • Captain’s Welcome Reception and dinner
Day Five:
  • Arrive Linz, Austria, in the early morning
  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
  • Optional excursion to Mozart’s Salzburg
  • Depart Linz in the early evening
Day Six:
  • Arrive Melk, Austria early morning
  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
  • Optional excursion to the famous Melk Abbey
  • Depart Melk in the early afternoon for Dürnstein, Austria
  • Arrive Dürnstein, nestled in the spectacular Wachau Valley
  • Explore on your own or join an included walking tour
  • The ship remains docked in Dürnstein overnight
Day Seven:
  • Depart Dürnstein early morning and cruise to Vienna, Austria
  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
  • Arrive Vienna this morning
  • Enjoy an included panoramic excursion of Vienna and visit to Schönbrunn Palace
  • Optional evening excursion to a Vienna Mozart Concert
  • Depart Vienna in the late evening
Day Eight:
  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
  • Arrive Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Included city tour of Bratislava
  • Local entertainers perform onboard
  • Depart Bratislava in the late evening
Day Nine:
  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
  • Arrive Budapest, Hungary
  • Enjoy a panoramic city tour of Budapest
  • Enjoy a Hungarian Folklore show onboard this evening
Day Ten:
  • Breakfast, lunch and tea with pastries onboard
  • Free day to explore Budapest on your own
  • Captain’s Farewell dinner onboard
Day Eleven:
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Disembark your river vessel and transfer to the Budapest Ferihegy Airport for flight home

Details

Sep 24

The Blue Danube Legendary River Cruise
Hungary • Slovakia • Austria • Germany • Czech Republic

  • When:
    • September 24 – October 4, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 7 Night Riverboat cruise
    • 2 Nights accommodations in Prague
    • 9 Breakfasts
    • 6 Lunches
    • 8 Dinners
    • Included shore excursions in Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Durnstein and Passau
    • On board concert by local artists in Bratislava
    • Schonbrunn Palace visit
    • Organ concert in the cathedral in Passau
    • Complimentary regional wines with dinners on board the boat
    • Afternoon tea and late evening snack served on board
    • International cruise director and local guides
  • Pricing Information
    • Per person double occupancy: From 3,074.00 (includes taxes and port charges)
    • Round trip air from Boston: 1,320.00 per person

October 2014

Experience The Unforgettable Beauty
Of Two Of Europe’s Most Renowned Waterways
Thursday, October 2 – Monday, October 13, 2014 (AMA)

Experience The Unforgettable Beauty Of Two Of Europe’s Most Renowned Waterways

Begin in Paris, the "City of Lights," then take a high-speed TGV train to Luxembourg, where you will board your vessel. Enjoy views of steep vineyards along the Mosel River, visit ancient wine villages and vineyards and sample delicious regional wines. On the Rhine, you will tour historic Cologne and its magnificent Cathedral. Conclude your river cruise vacation in vibrant Amsterdam, amidst the city’s legendary system of canals.

Itinerary:

Thursday, October 2: Depart USA
Board your overnight flight to Paris, France.

Friday, October 3: Arrive in Paris
Arrive in Paris and check-in to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.

Saturday, October 4: Paris
Enjoy some of Paris’ most famous sights during your morning guided tour, which includes views of the Champs Élysées, Place de la Concorde and Eiffel Tower. Conclude your tour with a visit to the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. The afternoon is free for you to explore the city on your own.

Sunday, October 5: Paris
Spend your last day in Paris exploring at your leisure. As an alternative, join the optional "Seine Cruise & Eiffel Tower" tour this morning and/or the optional "Montmartre & Illuminations" tour this evening.

Monday, October 6: Paris - Luxembourg
After checking out of your hotel, you will be transferred to the train station to board a high-speed TGV train bound for Metz. From there you will travel by motor coach to Luxembourg, where you will enjoy a guided tour and stop at the American Military Cemetery, General Patton’s burial place. Tonight, meet your fellow passengers at a welcome dinner. The ship departs later tonight for Bernkastel.

Tuesday, October 7: Bernkastel
This afternoon, arrive in charming Bernkastel, where you will visit a local winery and enjoy a wine tasting. High above the town, look for the ruins of Castle Landshut, the former summer home of the Archbishop of Trier that was destroyed by fire in the 17th-century. The ship departs late tonight.

Wednesday, October 8: Cochem - Koblenz
This morning, tour picturesque Cochem, located amidst the steep vineyards and wine villages of the Mosel River Valley. You may take a walking tour of the village and see the spectacular view from the hilltop Reichsburg Castle. This ship departs Cochem during lunch and arrives late in Koblenz where it moors overnight.

Thursday, October 9: Koblenz - Mainz
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Koblenz, a historic town on the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine. See the Four Towers, the Church of Our Lady and hear the story behind the Schängel Fountain and City Hall. This afternoon we continue cruising through the Rhine Gorge, a stunning stretch of river lined with castles and home to the legendary Lorelei Rock. The ship arrives in Mainz later tonight and moors overnight.

Friday, October 10: Mainz or Heidelberg - Rudsheim
Today, you have a choice of two excursions. The first is a guided walking tour of beautiful Mainz and a visit to the famous Gutenberg Museum, home of the world’s first printed bible. Arrive in Rüdesheim after lunch and enjoy a wine tasting hosted by a local vintner. Explore the Drosselgasse, a narrow alley lined with wine taverns and restaurants during your free time. The second option is a full day excursion to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town. Your excursion includes a walking tour of Old Heidelberg. This evening, all passengers have an opportunity to visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim, which houses a great collection of robotic and self-playing musical instruments from the 18th-20th centuries. The ship departs around midnight for Cologne.

Saturday, October 11: Cologne
Arrive in Cologne this morning, where you will have a walking tour of Old Town and Cathedral Square and visit the spectacular 13th-century gothic cathedral. Afterwards, you will have free time to linger in the cathedral, shop for souvenirs in the many nearby shops or perhaps enjoy a glass of Kölsch, Cologne’s famous smoked beer. The ship departs mid-afternoon and heads to Amsterdam.

Sunday, October 12: Amsterdam
Arrive in vibrant Amsterdam this morning. After breakfast, your tour begins with a scenic canal cruise through the city known as the "Venice of the North." See the fabled Skinny Bridge, elegant narrow townhouses and the famous house where Anne Frank once spent years in hiding during World War II. Afterwards, enjoy a panoramic motor coach tour of Amsterdam that will take you past numerous iconic landmarks and includes a photo stop at the Rembrandt Windmill. You will also have free time to explore Dam Square and browse the shops for keepsakes.

Monday, October 13: Depart Amsterdam
Your river cruise ends today as you prepare for your flight home.

Details

Oct 02

Experience The Unforgettable Beauty
Of Two Of Europe’s Most Renowned Waterways

  • When:
    • Thursday, October 2 – Monday, October 13, 2014 (AMA)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 3 nights hotel in Paris, including daily buffet breakfast
    • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom
    • Transfer to Luxembourg, followed by high-speed TGV train to Paris
    • Gourmet dining with all meals included during your cruise
    • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain's Gala Dinner
    • Free-flowing red & white wines from France's great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
    • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
    • Tours and excursions daily
    • Special highlights including lectures, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and piano music
    • Bicycles to explore on your own & guided bicycle tours
    • Services of professional Cruise Manager
    • State-of-the-art Infotainment System in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library & English language TV stations
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
    • Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding
    • All local taxes, including port charges
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 4,460.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 6,610.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

America’s Pacific Paradise
11-Day Hawaii Four Islands Vacation
Thursday, October 9 – Sunday, October 19, 2014

11-Day Hawaii Four Islands Vacation

See the lush tropical forests, stunning waterfalls, steaming volcanoes, and idyllic beaches of America's Pacific paradise – Hawaii.

Itinerary:

Thursday, October 9 – Honolulu
Upon arrival in Honolulu, you are warmly welcomed with a fragrant fresh flower lei. Your tour manager will be available at the hotel to offer dining suggestions.

Friday, October 10 – Honolulu
Today we are introduced to the city of Honolulu, a cosmopolitan locale, blended superbly with tropical ambiance. Honolulu is also home to one of the world’s best beaches, Waikiki Beach. We begin with a visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. We also see Punchbowl National Cemetery, Iolani Palace and the King Kamehameha Statue. Tonight, enjoy a festive evening with dinner and The Society of Seven show, a Broadway-style production spiced with Las Vegas pizzazz.

Saturday, October 11 – Honolulu
Today is yours to explore Honolulu at your leisure. Visit more historic sites or find a cozy spot to relax on Waikiki Beach.

Sunday, October 12 – Kauai
Today we fly to Kauai, "The Garden Isle." Enjoy a relaxing scenic cruise on the Wailua River to visit the Fern Grotto, before continuing to our hotel.

Monday, October 13 – Waimea Canyon
At ten miles long and more than 3,500 feet deep, Waimea Canyon was described by Mark Twain as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." We travel through fields of sugarcane and pineapple plantations on your return trip to the hotel. The late afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy the amenities of the hotel.

Tuesday, October 14 – Hawaii
A morning flight takes us to "The Big Island" of Hawaii. Kona’s diverse characteristics include a beautiful stretch of bays and resorts along with the fishing village of Kailua-Kona.

Wednesday, October 15 – Volcanoes National Park
Drive along the striking black-sand Kona coast en route to Volcanoes National Park, the Big Island’s most popular attraction. We’ll encounter the earth’s most primal forces, see the active volcano spewing plumes of steam into the atmosphere and look for molten rock from ongoing lava flows.

Thursday, October 16 – Maui and Iao Valley
This morning we fly to the island of Maui, "The Valley Isle," where natural wonders will set your spirit free. En route to the hotel we visit lush Iao Valley, an enchanted and tranquil State Park.

Friday, October 17 – Maui
Today is yours to explore on your own or take part in many optional excursions.

Saturday, October 18 – Maui
Today is yours to do as you please. The hotel location allows easy access by shuttle to the historic town of Lahaina, offering a wide variety of boutiques and cafes along the famous Front Street. This evening we enjoy a traditional luau complete with authentic food, music and dancing of the Hawaiian people.

Sunday, October 19 – Maui
After a morning free, your tour manager will arrange a transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Details

Oct 09

America’s Pacific Paradise
11-Day Hawaii Four Islands Vacation

  • When:
    • Thursday, October 9 – Sunday, October 19, 2014
  • Your Vacation Includes:
    • 10 nights accommodation (3 nights in Honolulu, 2 nights in Kauai, 2 nights in Kailua-Kona and 3 nights in Maui)
    • 15 Meals (5 dinners, 2 with entertainment and 10 breakfasts)
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Fresh flower lei greeting upon arrival
    • Spend 3 nights on the island of Oahu, known as "The Gathering Place," and home to famous Waikiki Beach
    • Oahu touring including Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial
    • Honolulu city tour including Punchbowl National Cemetery, Iolani Place and the King Kamehameha statue
    • Enjoy a festive evening with dinner at The Society of Seven show, a Broadway-style production
    • Spend 2 nights on the "Garden Isle" of Kauai with its white sand beaches and tropical mountains
    • See Waimea Canyon, considered the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"
    • Spend 2 nights on the "Big Island" os Hawaii with its black sand beaches and active Kilauea Volcano
    • Drive the striking Kona coast and visit Volcano National Park, the Big Island's most popular attraction
    • Spend 3 nights on the "Valley Island" of Maui and visit the lush Iao Valley
    • Enjoy a relaxing scenic cruise on the Wailua River and visit Fern Grotto, a lava rock grotto covered with tropical ferns
    • Experience a traditional Hawaiian luau complete with culturally authentic food, music and dancing
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,149.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 4,468.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

Visit Salem, Massachusetts And Get the Halloween Feeling If You Dare!

Friday, October 10 – Sunday, October 12, 2014
3-Days/2-Nights

Visit Salem

Here’s your chance to get in the spirit of the season. Travel with us to Salem and explore this fascinating community settled in 1626. It may be most widely known as the site of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, but this colorful, coastal city has much to offer visitors: a culturally diverse population, a rich maritime heritage, an impressive display of historic architecture and amazing stories that span almost four centuries.

Day One: Arrive in Salem mid-afternoon and check into your hotel. Refresh and relax before an included dinner at a local’s favorite restaurant.

After dinner, embark on a Haunted Footsteps Tour. Costumed guides recount tales of documented hauntings, murders, cemeteries and the Witch Trials in an evening about the truly macabre underside of Salem.

After the tour return back to your hotel.

Day Two: After breakfast served in the hotel, join your local guide as you begin the day with a Salem Driving Tour. Salem is inextricably linked to the Witchcraft Hysteria of the 1690’s. The city also has glorious maritime history and splendid architecture. Drive down Essex, Federal and Chestnut streets to view some of the fines examples of the 18th century architecture built by ship captains who had amassed great wealth. Hear about the House of Seven Gables where Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote his famous novel of the same name.

Next, embark on a guided tour of the Salem Witch Museum. Witness the testimony of the hysterical girls, the suffering of the blameless victims, and the decisions of the fanatical judges who sent innocent people to their deaths. When the witch-hunt began no one was safe from being accused. With 13 stage sets and based on actual trial documents, you will enter the web of lies and intrigue of the Salem Witch Hunt, one of the most enduring true stories in American History.

As you make your way to Pickering Wharf an exciting harborside marketplace filled with boutique shops, witness the Friendship, a reconstruction of a 171-foot three-mast Salem East Indiaman built in 1797. Enjoy a shore-side lunch on your own in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying the magnificent waterfront views of Salem Harbor.

After lunch, visit the Corwin Witch House. Home to Judge Jonathan Corwin, this house is the structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witchcraft Trials of 1692. As a local magistrate and civic leader, Corwin was called upon to investigate the claims of diabolical activity when a surge of witchcraft accusations arose in Salem and neighboring communities. He served on the Court of Oyer and Terminer, which ultimately sent nineteen to the gallows, all of which refused to admit to witchcraft and maintained their innocence.

The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore this town full of mystery at your leisure. Visit the Phillips house, the only house on Chestnut Street open to the public and get a glimpse into the private world of the Phillips family during the early decades of the Twentieth Century. The kitchen, pantry and a domestic staff bedroom, present a rarely seen picture of how the great houses functioned as new technologies were being introduced. Visit the shops where you will find one-of-a-kind gifts, antiques and Halloween decorations.

Enjoy an included dinner this evening at a local’s favorite restaurant.

After dinner, visit the Nathaniel Hawthorne House where you will be interrogated by magistrate, John Hawthorne, Nathaniel’s great-great grandfather in the Legacy of the Hanging Judge. John Hawthorne was infamous for his role in the condemnation and deaths of many “witches.” Encounter the tormented, the accused and their accusers in this interactive theatrical experience based the historical transcripts of the witch trials. Beware, you may find yourself being accused!

After, return back to your hotel.

Day Three: After breakfast in the hotel, prepare to check out and begin your travels back home. With a comfort stop along the way arrive back in Burlington mid-afternoon.

Details

Oct 10

Visit Salem, Massachusetts And Get the Halloween Feeling If You Dare!

  • When:
    • Friday, October 10 – Sunday, October 12, 2014
      3-Days/2-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 2 Nights accommodations
    • 2 Breakfasts
    • 2 Dinners
    • Haunted Footsteps Tour
    • Salem Driving Tour with a local guide
    • Time of leisure on Pickering Wharf
    • Admission to the Salem Witch Museum
    • Admission to the Corwin Witch House
    • Admission to the Legacy of the Hanging Judge
    • Baggage Handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
    • Roundtrip motor coach transportation
    • Full time escort
    • Accommodations for the coach driver
    • Taxes and Gratuities (Note: Gratuities for the coach driver, full time escort and local guide are not included and are left at your discretion based on service.)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Per person double occupancy: 496.00
    • Per person triple occupancy: 436.00
    • Per person quad occupancy: 430.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 514.00
  • Depart: South Burlington 10:15 am, Berlin 11:15 am,
    White River Junction 12:30 pm
  • Return: Return White River Junction 11:00 am, Berlin 12:15 pm, South Burlington 12:45 pm

Note: If paying by credit card there will be a 5% convenience fee added to the above prices.

Bagpipes and Irish Jigs
11-Day Best of Ireland And Scotland Vacation
Saturday, October 11 – Tuesday, October 21, 2014

11-Day Best of Ireland And Scotland Vacation

Immerse yourself in Edwardian, Georgian, and Medieval history as we explore the highlands, lochs and castles of Scotland and Ireland by boat, ferry and motorcoach.  You'll experience bustling cities, windswept vistas and 40 shades of green in this amazing experience.

Glasgow – Bagpipes and Mountains
Experience the best that Glasgow has to offer on a city tour. We spend our next day exploring the Trossachs region, also known as the "Highlands in Miniature," situated on the boundary between the Highlands and the Lowlands of Scotland. Cruise Loch Katrine, deep in Clan MacGregor Country. We sail aboard the SS Sir Walter Scott, built in 1899, and has been sailing the Loch since 1900. Later we visit Glengoyne Distillery, whose scotch whiskey is produced from a nearby waterfall. Rest easy – we'll have a chance to sample its great taste.

Edinburgh – Scotland's Capital City
Explore Scotland's capital with a city tour. You see the delightful contrast between the 18th-century Georgian style with its wide tree-lined streets and elegant squares and the medieval "Old Town." The famed Royal Mile is the backbone of the Old Quarter, running from the Palace of Holyrood House to Edinburgh Castle, which we visit. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to roam Edinburgh on your own. In the morning, we ferry across the Irish Sea to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The Capital of Northern Ireland – Belfast
The city's architecture is rich in Victorian and Edwardian buildings with elaborate sculptures over the doors and windows. Your panoramic city tour includes Donegal Square, dominated by the elaborate City Hall and Albert Clock. Though the names of these areas were much in the news during "the Troubles," the gate in the Peace Wall between them now stands open. Drive by the infamous Titanic Quarter, home to colossal cranes of Harland & Wolff where the RMS Titanic was built and launched. Enjoy lunch on your own and chat with the locals at a pub.

Dublin – Contemporary, yet Filled with History and Tradition
Once a walled medieval city, Dublin is an eclectic mix of elegant Georgian homes, wide streets and gracious squares. See the National Museum, with collections of antiquities, decorative arts and history; the National Gallery, which displays over 2,000 works; the Parliament Building; and St. Stephen's Green. Your tour continues past Trinity College, founded in 1591 by Elizabeth I, whose library contains the Book of Kells, the famous 8th-century hand-illuminated gospel manuscript. Travel along O'Connell Street with its monuments to notable figures from Ireland's turbulent history as well as the General Post Office, site of rebel headquarters in the 1916 Easter Rising. The Mespil Hotel, your home for the next two nights, is convenient to Temple Bar, Dublin's cultural quarter and lively nightlife.

An Evening of Irish Music, Dance and Song
Join us for traditional Irish cuisine, merriment and fun. Enjoy a three-course dinner in an 18th-century pub, followed by a musical performance by one of Ireland's finest groups. Next on the stage are traditional Irish dancers to mesmerize you with their fast jigs and intricate steps.

Blarney Castle – Kiss the Stone for the Gift of Gab!
Blarney Castle was built more than 600 years ago by the King of Munster and is considered Ireland’s greatest treasure. Legend has it that if you climb to the top of the castle and kiss the “Stone of Eloquence,” you’ll never be at a loss for words. After visiting the castle, you’ll have time for lunch on your own and shopping in Blarney before continuing to Killarney.

Killarney – Ireland's Most Beautiful Countryside
Renowned for the splendor of its scenery, Killarney has been the inspiration of poets and painters for centuries. This levely town will delight you with its pubs, craft galleries and shops. See St. Mary’s Cathedral and Muckross House and Gardens which are majestically situated on the shores of Killarney National Park. Ride in a horse-drawn Jaunting Cart, while listening to your “Jarvey” (Driver), whose tall tales add hilarity to the tour. Ride along the shores of the Lower Lake to the ruins of the 15th-century Franciscan Abbey. Then shop for wool sweaters and fine crystal along charming High Street.

The Dingle Peninsula – One of the most beautiful places on earth
Staggering cliffs, rocky hills and sandy beaches create this magnificent landscape. Learn about the Blasket Islands, scene of many shipwrecks and once a close-knit fishing community. See relics from both the Stone Age and Bronze Age as well as the Ecclesiastical period, when Ireland was known as the “land of Saints and Scholars.” It’s easy to see why movies like Ryan’s Daughter and Far and Away were filmed in this sweeping panorama. Enjoy lunch on your own and free time at a pub in the Gaelic town of Dingle. Spend your last night in Ireland in an elegant Irish country manor, the former ancestral home of the Dunboyne family.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Saturday, October 11 – Fly to Glasgow, Scotland

  • International flight to Glasgow, Scotland

Sunday, October 12 – Glasgow, Scotland

  • Tour begins with arrival in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Enjoy a panoramic city tour of Glasgow
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Welcome dinner

Monday, October 13 – Glasgow, Scotland

  • Full Scottish breakfast at your hotel
  • Explore the Trossachs region, including a cruise on Loch Katrine, with a visit and tasting at Glengoyne Whiskey Distillery
  • Dinner at the hotel

Tuesday, October 14 – Glasgow, Scotland

  • Full Scottish breakfast at your hotel
  • Discover Edinburgh on a city tour and enjoy a visit to Edinburgh Castle
  • Afternoon at leisure in Edinburgh before returning to Glasgow
  • Dinner at the hotel

Wednesday, October 15 – Dublin, Ireland

  • Full Scottish breakfast at your hotel
  • Depart Glasgow for Cairnryan for embarkation of the ferry across the Irish Sea to Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Tour Belfast upon arrival before continuing by coach to Dublin
  • Dinner in Dublin

Thursday, October 16 – Dublin, Ireland

  • Full Irish buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Panoramic tour of Dublin
  • Afternoon at leisure in Dublin
  • Dinner and evening of Irish dance, music and song

Friday, October 17 – Killarney, Ireland

  • Full Irish buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Depart Dublin and drive through the scenic Irish countryside to Blarney
  • Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the "Stone of Eloquence" and walk around the mystical grounds
  • Arrive in Killarney, the "Jewel of Ireland"
  • Dinner at the hotel

Saturday, October 18 – Killarney, Ireland

  • Full Irish buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Tour of Killarney including Muckross House and Gardens and a Jaunting cart ride
  • Evening at leisure

Sunday, October 19 – Killarney, Ireland

  • Full Irish buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Full day excursion to the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland's most spectacular coastal scenery
  • Return to Killarney, evening at leisure

Monday, October 20 – Dublin, Ireland

  • Full Irish buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Depart Killarney for a scenic drive to Dublin
  • Overnight in an Irish country manor
  • Farewell dinner at the hotel

Tuesday, October 21 – Depart Dublin, Ireland

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Transfer to Dublin Airport for flight home

Details

Oct 11

Bagpipes and Irish Jigs
11-Day Best of Ireland And Scotland Vacation

  • When:
    • Saturday, October 11 – Tuesday, October 21, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 nights accommodation (3 nights in Glasgow, 2 nights in Dublin and 3 nights in Killarney)
    • 16 Meals (9 breakfasts and 7 dinners)
    • Most airport transfers
    • Panoramic city tour of Glasgow with a local guide
    • Tour of the Trossachs region
    • Cruise on Loch Katrine
    • Visit to the Glengoyne Whiskey Distillery, with an included tasting
    • Ferry ride across the Irish Sea to Belfast, Northern Ireland
    • Tour of Belfast with a local guide
    • Panoramic tour of Dublin with a local guide
    • A traditional Irish evening with dinner, dance, music and song
    • Visit Blarney Castle with your chance to kiss the “Stone of Eloquence”
    • Included tour of Killarney with a local guide
    • Visit Muckross House and Gardens
    • Jaunting Cart ride
    • Full-day excursion to the Dingle Peninsula
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 2,299.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 2,998.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

Getaway to Greece
History, Culture, Nature…
"All Time Classic"
Tuesday, October 14 – Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Getaway to Greece

The history of Greece is not measured in decades or even centuries, but in millennia. Explore thousands of years of civilization on this escorted tour that takes you from Athens, to Crete, to the ancient ruins of Turkey and across the Aegean Sea.

Athens
Named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom, the capital city of Greece has a history that dates back almost four millennia. The highlight of Athens is the Acropolis, which stands tall, overlooking the city. You’ll take a guided tour of the Parthenon (UNESCO World Heritage site), see the Acropolis Museum, visit the site of the 2004 Olympics and stand in awe at the Temple of Zeus. But Athens is more than ancient ruins. The picturesque neighborhood of Pláka features a unique mix of Turkish, Neoclassical and Greek-island architecture along with fascinating museums. You’ll also have ample opportunity to explore Athens on your own for a visit to the National Archeological Museum, lively markets and ornate monasteries.

Cruising the Greek Islands
Cruising is the best way to see the Greek Islands. When you’re not out exploring the ancient cities of the Aegean, the ship provides an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. From live shows, a disco and a casino to international cuisine, you’ll find the ship an ideal haven and perfect base from which to enjoy the islands.

Mykonos
Often called the "Jewel of the Aegean," Mykonos is the most popular of the Greek Islands. Well-preserved windmills, red-roofed churches and whitewashed buildings make the island a joy to behold. By night, stroll the esplanade filled with restaurants and shops.

Kusadasi, Turkey
Shop to your heart’s content among the colorful markets in the bazaar. Or, join us for an optional excursion to Ephesus, one of the most fascinating archeological sites in the world. An ancient city that dates back to 2000 BC, Ephesus still possesses a mystical atmosphere. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and the theatre that could hold more than 24,000 people.

Patmos
A majestic fortress monastery stands high atop the hill, surrounded by dazzling whitewashed houses, grand sea captains’ mansions and flowering courtyards. Spend time exploring the narrow streets and shops in Patmos. Or take an optional excursion to the Monastery and Cave of the Apocalypse (UNESCO World Heritage site) where St. John wrote the Book of Revelations.

Heraklion, Crete
Heraklion is the capital of Crete -- the largest of the Greek islands, and the birthplace of Zeus -- king of the ancient gods. Close by are the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered in 1899 and partially reconstructed, the elaborate Palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the seat of ancient Minoan culture.

Santorini
The island of Santorini, "Black Pearl of the Aegean," is perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. History and nature combine to make this one of the most unforgettable places in the world. The town of Thira, accessible by cable car or mule, is postcard perfect with its whitewashed houses, narrow streets, open air cafés and glittering boutiques that cling to the steep cliffs.

Delphi and Temple of Apollo
After the Acropolis, Delphi (UNESCO World Heritage site) is the most popular archaeological site in Greece. It is considered to be the center of the world, the place where heaven and earth met. Recognized as the center of worship for the god of Apollo, son of Zeus, people today believe the "Oracle of Delphi" still creates a spiritual experience. The Doric Temple of Apollo was the home of Pythia, the priestess who channeled the spirit of the gods, predicting the future. Before the fire which destroyed the temple, the walls were inscribed with the ancient wisdom of "Know Thyself" and "Nothing in Excess", still meaningful today.

Optional Tour to Argolis
To get a better understanding of the Greek Empire, take an optional trip to the Argolis region, the oldest continually inhabited city in Greece. See the Corinth Canal, a narrow passageway carved out of solid rock and the city of Mycenae, best known from Greek Mythology and its ruler King Agamemnon of The Iliad fame. See the Lion’s Gate, the imposing entrance to the city. The open-air theater of Epidaurus (UNESCO World Heritage site) is known for its outstanding acoustics and is the best preserved in all of Greece. Today it is still used for live performances.

Day-By-Day Itinerary:

Tuesday, October 14 – Fly to Athens

  • International flight to Athens, Greece

Wednesday, October 15 – Athens

  • Tour begins with arrival in Athens and transfer to your hotel
  • Meet your tour manager, who will suggest dining and sightseeing options

Thursday, October16 – Athens

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Panoramic city tour of Athens, including Panathenaic Stadium, Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Gate and new Parliament Buildings, Constitution Square and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Guided tour of the Parthenon and Acropolis Museum
  • Welcome dinner

Friday, October 17 – Board Louis Olympia

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Transfer to Piraeus (port for Athens) to embark your ship
  • Set sail with lunch and dinner onboard
  • Port of Call – Mykonos (evening arrival)

Saturday, October 18 – Aboard Louis Olympia

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Ports of Call – Kusadasi and Patmos
  • Kusadasi – Optional tour to the ancient city of Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary
  • Patmos – Optional excursion to St. John’s Monastery and Grotto of the Apocalypse

Sunday, October 19 – Aboard Louis Olympia

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Ports of Call – Heraklion and Santorini
  • Optional city tour or ‘Taste of Crete’ in Heraklion
  • Optional excursion of Thira and Oia Village in Santorini

Monday, October 20 – Athens

  • Breakfast on board before disembarking in Piraeus (port for Athens)
  • Full day tour of Delphi and Temple of Apollo, ending at the hotel

Tuesday, October 21 – Athens

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Free day to explore Athens on your own
  • Optional tour to Argolis and the City of Mycenae

Wednesday, October 22 – Depart Athens

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Transfer to Athens Airport for flight home

Details

Oct 14

Getaway to Greece
History, Culture, Nature…
"All Time Classic"

  • When:
    • Tuesday, October 14 – Wednesday, October 22, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 4 nights hotel accommodation in Athens, Greece
    • 3-night cruise of the Greek Islands with ports of call in Kusadasi, Patmos, Heraklion (Crete) and Santorini (Inside or Outside Cabin)
    • 14 Meals (7 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners)
    • Most airport transfers
    • Panoramic city tour of Athens
    • Tour of the Parthenon and Acropolis Museum with a local guide
    • Full-day tour of Delphi and Temple of Apollo
    • Port charges included
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Inside Cabin:
      Per person double occupancy: from 1,627.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 2,526.00
    • Outside Cabin:
      Per person double occupancy: from 1,747.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 2,696.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

Keene Pumpkin Festival
Saturday, October 18, 2014

Keene Pumpkin Festival

Bring the whole family and immerse yourselves in the “spirit” of Halloween at the Keene Pumpkin Festival. During the day, explore the pumpkin-lined streets and grounds that are loaded with food stands and craft booths. Smell the aromas of apple crisp and maple cotton candy. Take in the special activities for the kids including a costume parade, face painting and pumpkin seed spitting and pie eating contests. Live music on three stages fills the air with celebration.

When the sun starts to set, witness the dark become illuminated with a tower of pumpkins so spectacular it is called "spell-binding!" In 2013, Keene residents and visitors from around the world set a new world record when 30,581 pumpkins were stacked and lit. Join us for this magnificent evening that ends with a spectacular fireworks display. Enjoy lunch and dinner on your own at the festival.

Details

Oct 18

Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • When:
    • Saturday, October 18, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • A full day to enjoy the Keene Pumpkin Festival
    • Full time escort
    • Roundtrip motor coach transportation
    • Per person: Cash or Check 117.00/Credit Card 122.00
  • Depart: South Burlington 10:00 am, Berlin 10:45 am,
    White River Junction 12:15 pm
  • Return: White River Junction 8:30 pm, Berlin 9:30 pm,
    South Burlington 10:15 pm

Fun In The Big Easy – Gumbo, Voodoo, Plantations And Bayous
The Best Of Cajun Country
Sunday, October 19 – Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fun In The Big Easy...

Dive into the sights, smells and tastes of Cajun culture with this tour of Louisiana!  We start in legendary New Orleans and then explore the bayous and plantations that inspired generations of writers, artists and musicians.

Itinerary:

Sunday, October 19 – New Orleans
Welcome to "The Big Easy," New Orleans. We will meet our tour manager this evening for a welcome dinner at the Court of Two Sisters, a New Orleans tradition.

Monday, October 20 – New Orleans
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of New Orleans. We’ll see historic Jackson Square, featuring St. Louis Cathedral, the French Quarter and the Garden District. After some free time in the French Quarter for lunch on your own, we’ll visit Mardi Gras World.

Tuesday, October 21 – Louisiana’s Plantation Country
Today we travel along the Great River Road to visit three majestic homes in New Orleans’ Plantation Country. At Houmas House Plantation we experience the southern splendor of "The Sugar Palace," a grand antebellum estate filled with period antiques and Louisiana artwork. The South’s largest remaining antebellum mansion, Nottoway, is a stunning historic plantation. We tour the home and have lunch in the Mansion Restaurant featuring a Creole-inspired meal and stunning views of century-old oak trees. At Laura Plantation, a 200-year-old sugar plantation, our guided tour includes the newly restored Big House, parlors, common rooms and the grounds.

Wednesday, October 22 – Swamp Tour
Today we travel into South Louisiana for a boat tour on the black waters of the Cajun bayous and swamps. At the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum we learn of the area’s historically important cultural and economic ties with the seafood and water transportation industries.

Thursday, October 23 – Morgan City
Leaving Houma, we travel to Morgan City for a visit to "Mr. Charlie," an authentic offshore drilling rig. The Turn of the Century House depicts the lifestyle of the early 1900s and the home contains antiques and Mardi Gras costumes dating from 1928 to the present. Later, we travel to Avery Island, home of the famous TABASCO Pepper Sauce factory. Tonight, listen to live music and enjoy award-winning Cajun cuisine at Prejean’s Restaurant.

Friday, October 24 – Acadian Cultural Center
Today we visit the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center to learn about the "Cajuns" who were expelled from Cape Breton and settled in Louisiana’s Mississippi delta. We’ll also visit the Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site.

Saturday, October 25 – Louisiana State Capitol
We begin the day with a visit to the Louisiana State Capitol. Later we visit the Louisiana State Museum with state-of-the-art exhibits exploring Louisiana’s fascinating culture and history. See the Civil War exhibit complete with a Confederate submarine as well as the slavery, civil rights and Mardi Gras exhibits. Tonight, our farewell dinner is at Boutin’s Cajun Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a taste of South Louisiana steeped in tradition along with authentic live Cajun music.

Sunday, October 26 – New Orleans
Our group transfer takes us to the New Orleans airport for your flight home.

Details

Oct 19

Fun In The Big Easy – Gumbo, Voodoo,
Plantations And Bayous
The Best Of Cajun Country

  • When:
    • Sunday, October 19 – Sunday, October 26, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 7 nights accommodation (3 nights in New Orleans, 1 night in Houma, 1 night in Lafayette and 2 nights in Baton Rouge)
    • 12 Meals (7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners) -Including lunch in the Mansion Restaurant and farewell dinner at Boutin’s Cajun Restaurant
    • Roundtrip airport transfers
    • Narrated city tour of New Orleans
    • Visit to Mardi Gras World for a behind-the-scenes look at the float building
    • Tour of the Plantation homes of Houmas House, Laura Plantation and Nottoway
    • Narrated swamp tour on the black waters of a Cajun bayou
    • Visit to Terrebonne Waterlife Museum
    • Tour of Morgan City
    • Tour of the TABASCO Pepper Sauce factory
    • Tour of Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center
    • Visit to the Longfellow-Evangeline State Historical Site and the Evangeline Oak
    • Visit to Louisiana State Capitol and the Louisiana State Museum
    • Cajun music and dancing at Boutin’s Cajun Restaurant
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 1,859.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 2,568.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise
Wednesday, October 22 – Saturday, November 1, 2014 (M)

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise

A wine lover’s odyssey - explore Portugal's famed wine country. Spend two nights exploring Lisbon, then set sail through the Portuguese Frontier. Visit Spain’s walled city of Salamanca with an included Flamenco luncheon.  Your cruise includes all shore excursions and two nights in Lisbon. Also included – dinners on shore at a monastery and a historic vineyard estate.

Lisbon
Welcome to Portugal and the capital city of Lisbon. This is the city that launched the great Age of Discoveries. See the Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on a tour of this historical city.

Coimbra
Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for the University of Coimbra. On a visit to the university, one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world, you’ll learn the history of how the university was founded.

Guimarães
Settled in the 9th century, Guimarães is one of the country's most important historical cities that had an important role in the formation of Portugal. The city is often referred to as the "birthplace of the Portuguese nationality" or "the cradle city" and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its extremely well-preserved city center. Tour Castelo de Guimarães which was ordered to be built by Dona Mumadona Dias in the 10th century in order to defend its monastery from Muslim and Norman attacks. In 1910 the castle was declared a national monument. During a visit to a Port Wine cave, you can sample this local vintage during an included wine tasting.

Entre-os-Rios
The Benedictine Alpendurada Monastery was founded before the Portuguese nationality, as indicated by the first written document dating from 1096. It was first recognized in 1123 by the mother of the first king. During an included tour of the former monastery, you’ll get a feel of what life was like for the Monks. Afterwards, enjoy a cocktail reception on the terrace overlooking the valley followed by dinner in this historic venue.

Régua
Best known for its fortified Port wines, the Douro River Valley is one of the world’s oldest defined wine regions – and one of today’s trendiest regions for a variety of wine styles. Sail through the pretty, terraced landscape of this picturesque region as you make your way to Régua. During an included excursion, visit the magnificent 18th-century Manor House depicted on Mateus Rosé wine bottles. One of the best examples of baroque architecture in Portugal, the mansion also features a 100-foot cedar tunnel and stunning formal gardens. A visit to the Douro Museum is also included.

Lamego
Surrounded by vineyards, Lamego is an attractive town, rich in history. It houses one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal - the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. During the included tour you will have the opportunity to walk down the sanctuary's iconic 700-step granite staircase decorated with the traditional Portuguese blue and white "azulejos" tiles.

Salamanca
Salamanca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at the center of the "Castilla y León" region of Spain. During your guided city tour you will see the University buildings, the 12th-century Romanesque church of San Martin and the House of Shells. This charming town is untouched in its architectural purity, and throughout the centuries the sandstone buildings have gained an exquisite golden glow, giving the city the nickname the "Golden City." You'll be immersed in local culture as you enjoy a lunch of deliciously authentic Spanish cuisine and a Flamenco show in a local restaurant.

Figueira Castelo Rodrigo
This municipality in Portugal, Figueira Castelo Rodrigo has a total population just under 7,000. Located in the Riba Coa, near the River Coa, it is known for its castle which is listed as a national monument. The surrounding area showcases pine-wood forests and rolling hills. Enjoy a visit to the walled medieval village, the castle and a local church.

Pinhão
Located at the confluence of the Douro and Pinhão Rivers and upstream from Peso da Régua, the small town of Pinhão is the epicenter of the Port winemaking area, and a place where the soil and climatic conditions are considered to be at their very best. Although a sleepy town for most of the year, Pinhão bursts into life in autumn during the annual grape harvest, attracting pickers from all over the country. Popular for its peaceful riverside location and surrounding scenery, Pinhão is a mecca for lovers of fine wine. An included wine tasting and dinner at Avessada Winery is sure to be a highlight.

Porto
Located along the Douro river estuary in northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centers and registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. The included city tour travels along the coastal road of the Atlantic to the mouth of the Douro River. Visit the city’s cathedral and Sao Bento train station with its elaborate interior tile mosaics.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Wednesday, October 22 – Flight to Lisbon, Portugal

  • International flight to Lisbon, Portugal

Thursday, October 23 – Lisbon, Portugal

  • Tour begins with arrival in Lisbon; meet your Tour Manager
  • Afternoon at leisure in Lisbon
  • Welcome dinner

Friday, October 24 – Lisbon, Portugal

  • Buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Included sightseeing tour of Lisbon with a visit to Jerónimos Monastery
  • Remainder of the day at leisure

Saturday, October 25 – Board the MS Douro Cruiser

  • Buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Transfer from the hotel in Lisbon to the ship in Porto, Portugal
  • Included sightseeing of Coimbra en-route and a visit to the oldest university in Portugal
  • Embark the MS Douro Cruiser
  • Welcome reception and dinner onboard
  • Ship overnights in Porto

Sunday, October 26 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

  • Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and snacks onboard
  • Included excursion to Guimarães - visit the famed castle
  • Included visit to a port wine cave with tasting
  • Ship departs for Entre-os- Rios in the afternoon – evening arrival
  • Included tour and dinner at a 14th-century monastery
  • Ship overnights in Entre-os Rios

Monday, October 27 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

  • Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, snacks and dinner onboard
  • Ship departs for Régua
  • Sail through the picturesque region of the Douro River Valley
  • Ship arrives Régua
  • Included touring to the Douro Museum and Mateus Manor House
  • Experience local culture onboard – Portuguese folkloric and Fado show
  • Ship overnights in Régua

Tuesday, October 28 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

  • Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, snacks and dinner onboard
  • Included touring of Lamego - visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, important pilgrimage site in Portugal
  • Ship departs for Pinhão
  • Ship sails along the most scenic section of the river en-route to Vega Terron, Spain for overnight

Wednesday, October 29 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

  • Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, snacks and dinner onboard
  • Included touring of Salamanca - visits to the University, House of Shells and Plaza Mayor
  • Included lunch and Flamenco show
  • The ship relocates to Barca d’Alva for overnight
  • Barbeque dinner of Portuguese specialties

Thursday, October 30 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

  • Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and snacks onboard
  • Included touring of the medieval town of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo - visit the castle and local church
  • Enjoy the afternoon sailing to Pinhão
  • Included tour and dinner at Quinta Avessada - a working vineyard estate, featuring Muscatel wine tasting
  • Ship overnights in Pinhão

Friday, October 31 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

  • Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, snacks and dinner onboard
  • Enjoy the morning sailing along the Douro River
  • Ship sails to Porto with a stop in Cais da Lixa to disembark for touring
  • Included tour of Porto - visit to the cathedral
  • Ship overnights in Porto

Saturday, November 1 – Depart

  • Breakfast onboard
  • Disembarkation after breakfast
  • Transfer to the Porto airport for flight home

Details

Oct 22

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise

  • When:
    • Wednesday, October 22 – Saturday, November 1, 2014 (M)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Lisbon, Portugal
    • 7-night cruise of the Douro River on the MS Douro Cruiser (Main Deck or Upper Deck)
    • 23 Meals (9 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 8 dinners)
    • All onboard dinners are served with complimentary local wines and beers
    • Most airport transfers
    • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower, Guimarães, Porto, one of the oldest European centers all in Portugal and "the cradle city," the "Golden City," Salamanca, Spain
    • All shore excursions included with local English-speaking guides
    • Spacious public areas, Sun Deck with swimming pool, lounge bar and dance floor
    • All staterooms with river view. Staterooms on the Upper Deck feature private balconies
    • Complimentary WiFi on the ship
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Main Deck:
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,199.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 5,118.00
    • Upper Deck:
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,499.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 5,838.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

The Best of Broadway, The Lure of the Locomotive
And the Grandeur of the Greenbrier
Thursday, October 24-Wednesday, October 30, 2014
7-Days, 6-Nights

The Best of Broadway, The Lure of the Locomotive And the Grandeur of the Greenbrier

This amazing vacation offers something for everyone. The bright city lights of Manhattan, the wild mountain wilderness of Virginia, and the manicured estate grounds of the Greenbrier, come together in one outing that showcases the diverse destinations of our country.

Treat yourself to the timeless elegance of one of the finest luxury resorts in the world---the famed Greenbrier Resort. The Greenbrier is an award-winning resort located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. As a National Historic Landmark, The Greenbrier Resort's classic architecture, exquisite interior design, carefully sculpted landscape, impeccable service and outstanding amenities have hosted distinguished guests from around the world since 1778.

Day One:
Depart Essex Junction, VT via Amtrak and travel to New York’s Penn Station. Transfer to your Midtown Manhattan hotel. This evening is yours to explore the Big Apple. Discover your new favorite restaurant, attend a Broadway Show or visit the shops and boutiques.

Day Two:
After breakfast on your own at a traditional New York Deli, transfer via included shuttle to Yonkers, where you will meet your co-travelers. Board the coach and journey through the Pocono and Alleghany Mountains en route to West Virginia. Stop along the way for an included dinner. Experience the "Switzerland of the U.S.," as you arrive in quaint Buckhannon, West Virginia. Check into your hotel, home for the next two nights. Stretch your legs with a workout in the fitness center, a swim in the indoor pool or simply relax in the whirlpool. 

Day Three:
After breakfast in the hotel, get ready to experience two of the most outstanding and scenic rail excursions in the world.

First, travel into the high country forests of legendary Cheat Mountain on the most distinctive rail excursion in the Eastern United States, the Cheat Mountain Salamander.  This 45-mile trip includes unspoiled mountain scenery and lunch on the train. You will stop at the inspirational High Falls of the Cheat and then continue south through the heart of the Cheat Mountain Wilderness.

Next experience the sights and sounds of one of the most rare steam locomotives in existence – the Durbin Rocket. Powered by "Old #3," you will ride behind this 55-ton antique locomotive in authentic 1920-era coaches and vintage wooden cabooses, as she puffs her way along the many beautiful rivers and breathtaking mountain views in the Monongahela National Forest. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the Rail Yard Restaurant before you head over to the American Mountain Theater for a toe tapping, hands clapping concert featuring a mix of music and comic variety.

Day Four:
Following breakfast in the hotel, pack your luggage, board the coach and travel to the Greenbrier. Your journey takes you through the beautiful Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. There will be photo stops along the way.

Arrive at the Greenbrier early afternoon. Here you will experience the timeless elegance of the resort that hosted 26 of our country’s Presidents. Set amid 6,500 acres in the pristine Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, The Greenbrier is a Mobil Four-Star and AAA Five-Diamond winner and a National Historic Landmark.  

Discover an unparalleled selection of luxury leisure pursuits and outdoor adventures.   The Greenbrier offers exclusive services and amenities such as championship golf, fine dining, more than 50 activities, designer boutiques, a 40,000 square foot world-class spa and a 103,000 square foot gaming and entertainment venue.

Combining the graciousness of the past with exceptional comforts of today, your room includes a TV, complimentary wireless internet access, hair dryer, in-room safe, nightly turn-down service and personal concierge services. 

The afternoon and evening are yours to pamper yourself your way! Choose one of the many recreational activities, visit the on-site Casino or soak in the natural beauty of the resort. Your stay at the resort includes:

  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Evening Entertainment
  • Casino Club Access with Nightly Champagne Toast
  • Daily Culinary Demonstrations
  • A Historical Estate Tour
  • Tour of the Presidents’ Cottage Museum

The resort offers 13 unique restaurants and cafes with menus from light snacks to elegant dining.

Day Five:
This entire day is for you to enjoy all that the Greenbrier has to offer. The options are limitless, such as golf, tennis, the spa, an off-road driving school, indoor and outdoor pools, croquet, trap and skeet shooting, bowling, hiking, horse-drawn carriage rides, fishing and more. Note that some activities may require additional fees.

Join your friends for an optional tour of the famous declassified "Bunker." Go behind the scenes and relive a fascinating period in our nation's history.  Carved deep into the mountainside beneath the resort is the once top secret U.S. government relocation facility for Congress and emergency Cold War fallout shelter.  Hidden for 30 years, its existence was uncovered in a Washington Post story. Your tour guide provides a unique and in-depth look behind the hidden doors and lets you explore an aspect of The Greenbrier that no other resort can claim.  This tour option is 20.00 per person.

Day Six:
Enjoy every moment of your last morning at the Greenbrier. Walk through the gardens or relax on the veranda. Mid morning, board the coach and travel back to Yonkers. With a lunch, dinner and comfort stops along the way, you will arrive early evening. Transfer to your Midtown Manhattan hotel.

Venture out to take in the sights and city lights. Do some last minute shopping, go to a show or have a decadent dessert served in one of the city’s renowned bakeries.

Day Seven:
This morning, there will be time for breakfast on your own and to walk around Times Square. Transfer to Penn Station for your 11:30 am departure for Vermont, via Amtrak. You will arrive home about 8:15 pm.

Details

Oct 24

The Best of Broadway, The Lure of the Locomotive
And the Grandeur of the Greenbrier
Thursday, October 24-Wednesday, October 30, 2014
7-Days, 6-Nights

  • When:
    • Thursday, October 24-Wednesday, October 30, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 2 Nights accommodation in a Midtown Manhattan hotel
    • 2 Nights accommodation in Buckhannon, WV
    • 2 Nights accommodation at the Greenbrier
    • 2 Breakfasts
    • 1 Lunch
    • 2 Afternoon Teas
    • 2 Dinners
    • Time to attend a Broadway Show
    • Ride on the Cheat Mountain Salamander
    • Ride on the Durbin Rocket
    • Tickets to the American Mountain Theater
    • Plenty of time at your leisure to pamper yourself at the Greenbrier
    • Evening entertainment at the Greenbrier
    • Casino Club Access with nightly Champagne Toast at the Greenbrier
    • Daily culinary demonstrations at the Greenbrier
    • Greenbrier Historic Estate Tour
    • Tour of the President’s Cottage Museum
    • Round trip Amtrak Tickets from Essex Junction, VT to Penn Station in NYC
    • Round trip transfers from Penn Station to NYC hotel
    • Round trip transfers from the NYC hotel to the motor coach departure/return in Yonkers
    • Full-time tour manager from Yonkers
    • Round trip motor coach transportation from Yonkers
    • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities for transfer services and full-time tour manager are not included and are at your discretion based on service.)
  • Pricing Information:
    • Per person double occupancy: 1,579.00 (cash or check) / 1,626.00 (credit card)
    • Per person single occupancy: 2,380.00 (cash or check) / 2,451.00 (credit card)

December 2014

Light Up Your Holidays
5-Day San Antonio Christmas
On The Riverwalk Vacation
Monday, December 1 – Friday, December 5, 2014

5-Day San Antonio Christmas

Light up your holidays! Celebrate at the famous Riverwalk, featuring more than two miles of beautifully landscaped waterfront with San Antonio's most spectacular hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping and entertainment. Come see why the Riverwalk is the number one travel destination in Texas!

Itinerary:

Monday, December 1 – San Antonio
This holiday season, the Riverwalk shines brighter than ever as thousands of colorful Christmas lights decorate the facades and reflect off the river in San Antonio. Stay the next four nights, right in the center of all the action on San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk. Meet your tour manager in your hotel lobby this evening for a welcome dinner. Later, enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Paseo del Rio.

Tuesday, December 2 – San Antonio
This morning, embark on a sightseeing tour of the city, accompanied by a local guide. Explore the area’s rich history with visits to Mission San Jose, followed by shopping at El Mercado, an authentic Mexican Marketplace. This afternoon is free to soak up the Spanish flavor of this picturesque city or do a little holiday shopping.

Wednesday, December 3 – San Antonio (day trip to Austin)
Today we travel through the Texas hills to Austin, the state capital. We will visit the LBJ Library and Museum. We also take a driving tour of Austin with its many historical attractions. Our next stop is Stonewall, the birthplace of Lyndon Baines Johnson - the 36th President. Dinner this evening is in the beautifully preserved German village of Fredericksburg.

Thursday, December 4 – San Antonio
History comes to life as you visit The Alamo, where Davy Crockett and 185 other “Texans” fought against Mexico. You'll tour the museum and enjoy the spectacular IMAX movie, Alamo – The Price of Freedom. The afternoon is free to enjoy Texas hospitality. We celebrate our last evening in San Antonio with a farewell dinner.

Friday, December 5 – San Antonio
Enjoy your morning at leisure. Your tour manager will assist you with transfers to the airport for your flight home.

Details

Dec 01

Light Up Your Holidays
5-Day San Antonio Christmas
On The Riverwalk Vacation

  • When:
    • Monday, December 1 – Friday, December 5, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 4 nights accommodation in San Antonio
    • 7 Meals (4 breakfasts and 3 dinners)
    • Roundtrip airport transfers
    • Cruise along the Paseo del Rio
    • Guided tour of San Antonio, including the Mission San Jose and El Mercado Mexican marketplace
    • Touring in LBJ country including the LBJ Library, Museum and Ranch
    • Visit to the Alamo, including the IMAX presentation, Alamo – The Price of Freedom
    • Panoramic driving tour of Austin
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 1,079.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 1,678.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

Lights, Cameras, Shopping and Sky-High Kicks
New York City

Friday, December 12 - Saturday, December 13, 2014

Boston

There is nowhere else in the world like New York City at Christmas: the twinkling lights, the elaborate holiday window displays and the festive decorations. Witness Rockefeller Center New York City's most famous and popular destination for holiday decorations. Take a stroll up Fifth Avenue and admire the brilliance of the holiday window displays -- true works of art in many cases. Stare in awe at the Rockettes Holiday Spectacular!

Day One: We arrive in New York City late afternoon and meet our local New York City guide. Embark on a walking/windshield Holiday Highlights tour. Marvel at the glittering lights of Fifth Avenue, the magical mechanical store windows of Lord and Taylors, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Barney’s, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the tremendous glittering Swarovski’s UNICEF Snowflake. Head into the Grand Central Terminal where you will witness the legendary light show.

Your “Welcome to New York Dinner” is served at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This is a show in itself as the singing waiters and waitresses deliver fabulous cuisine.

After dinner, we take our reserved seats for an evening performance at the Radio City Music Hall for the "Holiday Spectacular Show featuring the Rockettes."

After the show check into your New Jersey hotel.

Day Two: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a leisurely morning in the city. Attend a church service, stroll through Central Park, ice skate at Rockefeller Center or do some holiday shopping. We depart the City at 2:00 pm to return home.

Details

Dec 12

Lights, Cameras, Shopping and Sky-High Kicks
New York City

  • When:
    • Friday, December 12 - Saturday, December 13, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 1 Night lodging at a New Jersey hotel
    • 1 Breakfast
    • 1 Dinner
    • 3-Hour NYC Holiday highlights tour with local guide
    • Reserved seats for an evening performance of the Radio City Music Hall, “Holiday Spectacular featuring the Rockettes”
    • Plenty of free time to enjoy the City your way
    • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
    • Full time escort
    • Round trip motor coach transportation
    • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities are not included for the tour manger, local guide or coach driver. They are left at your discretion based on service.)
    • Per person cash or check: 484.00 double occupancy/458.00 triple occupancy/445.00 quad occupancy/558.00 single occupancy
    • Per person credit card: 508.00 double occupancy/481.00 triple occupancy/467.00 quad occupancy/586 single occupancy
  • Depart: South Burlington 7:00 am, Middlebury 8:00 am, Rutland 9:00 am, Glens Falls 10:00 am, Saratoga Springs 10:30 am
  • Return: Saratoga Springs 5:30 pm, Glens Falls 6:00 pm, Rutland 7:00 pm, Middlebury 8:00 pm, South Burlington 9:00 pm.

San Antonio New Year’s Eve
Walk in the footsteps of Texas Heroes!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 – Saturday, January 3, 2015
5-Days/4-Nights

San Antonio New Year’s Eve

Ring in 2015 in style at the best party in the South! Celebrate at the famous Riverwalk, featuring more than two miles of beautifully landscaped waterfront framed by San Antonio's most spectacular hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues. Come see why the Riverwalk is the number one travel destination in Texas!

Day One: Fly to San Antonio
Upon arrival at the San Antonio airport, meet your full-time tour manager and transfer to your four-diamond hotel, the Hilton Palacio del Rio, that is located on the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many eateries located along the Riverwalk. During the holiday season, the Riverwalk shines brighter than ever, as thousands of colorful Christmas lights decorate the facades and reflect off the river in San Antonio.

Day Two: San Antonio
After breakfast in the hotel, it’s off to see the sights of Texas.

History comes to life as you visit this famous fort, where Davy Crockett and 185 other "Texans" fought against Mexico. Tour the museum and enjoy the spectacular IMAX movie, Alamo – The Price of Freedom.

Next, enjoy a tour of the Mission San Jose. Established in 1720, it is considered the most beautiful of all Texas missions.

Explore San Antonio Shoes and watch skilled shoemakers handcraft shoes to make every step a comfortable one. Started in 1970 by Terry Armstrong and Lew Hayden, SAD strives to make sure the SAS name continues to stand for superb craftsmanship and extraordinary comfort. For the perfectly sweet ending to your tour, enjoy an ice cream in the ice cream parlor or get a bag of candy in the candy store.

Enjoy lunch on your own at the El Mercado, an authentic Mexican Marketplace.

Get a sweeping 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the city from 750 feet at the Tower of the Americas.

Return to your hotel with time to relax before tonight’s New Year’s Eve Party.

Enjoy a New Year’s Eve dinner with your co-travelers. Then dance the night away and ring in 2015 with a champagne toast at midnight!

Day Three: River Cruise
Happy New Year! This morning is yours to relax at the hotel or take a stroll along the Riverwalk.

Late morning, savor a hearty brunch at the hotel before your afternoon cruise.

Enjoy a narrated electric boat cruise on the 2-½ mile Paseo del Rio. Cruise along the Riverwalk, past it’s many hotels, sidewalk cafes and musical amphitheaters. View the impressive holiday decorations that line the Riverwalk.

This afternoon and evening is yours to explore this beautiful Riverwalk and it’s unique architecture.

Day Four: Fredericksburg
After breakfast, enjoy the day exploring the magnificent Hill Country of Central Texas and the quaint German town of Fredericksburg, originally settled in 1846.

Visit the renowned Admiral Nimitz Museum, dedicated to the 2 million men and women who served under Nimitz in the Pacific during World War II. Exhibits here chronicle the Admiral’s life and career in the U.S. Navy.

Enjoy lunch on your own in Frederick’s and time for shopping.

Then, drive to the nearby LBJ National Park, home of Lyndon Baines Johnson, our 36th President. You will see the first schoolhouse LBJ attended and a portion of his beloved ranch, famous for it prized Hereford Cattle.

Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with you co-travelers.

Day Five: Return Home
This morning is at leisure to the visit the 10-acre River Center Shopping Complex for those last minute souvenirs or to relax at the hotel.

Bid farewell to San Antonio as you board your plane for your afternoon flights home.

Details

Dec 30

San Antonio New Year’s Eve
Walk in the footsteps of Texas Heroes!

  • When:
    • Tuesday, December 30, 2014 – Saturday, January 3, 2015
      5-Days/4-Nights
  • Your Package Inclusions:
    • 4 Nights accommodations at the Hilton Palacio del Rio
    • 3 Breakfasts
    • 1 Brunch
    • 2 Dinners including a New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner Dance
    • San Antonio guided city tour including the Alamo
    • Visit Mission San Jose
    • Visit the SAS Store
    • Tower of the Americas
    • Paseo del Rio cruise
    • Fredericksburg Tour
    • Admiral Nimitz Museum
    • LBJ National Park
    • Fully escorted
    • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
    • Taxes and Gratuities
  • Pricing Information:
    • Price per person double occupancy: 1,255.00
    • Price per person single occupancy: 1,750.00

Note: A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

The above prices do not include air transportation, however, Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

February 2015

Disney on Ice Presents "Frozen"
TD Garden, Boston, MA

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Frozen

Gather the family and join us for a one colossal performance, as your favorite Disney characters come to life on ice in "Frozen." Enter a fantastical winter wonderland and be magically whisked away into the wintry world of Arendelle, as Anna searches for her sister in an attempt to save the Kingdom of Arendelle. Join royal sisters Anna and Elsa, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven and the mystical trolls, as they journey to discover that true love is ultimately the most magical power of all! Hosted by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, with special guest appearances by beloved Disney princesses and characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Lion King, this unforgettable celebration of love and friendship will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime! This is an ideal family gift for the holidays!

Details

Feb 22

Disney on Ice Presents "Frozen"
TD Garden
Boston, MA

  • When:
    • Sunday, February 22, 2015
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Reserved ticket for the 5:00 pm performance
    • Tour Manager
    • Taxes
    • Round trip motor coach transportation
    • Per Person: 164.00 cash or check/172.00 credit card/Children 12 and under: 149.00 cash or check
  • Depart: South Burlington 11:00 am, Berlin 12:00 pm, White River Junction 1:00 pm
  • Return: White River Junction 9:30 pm, Berlin 10:15 pm, South Burlington 11:15 pm

April 2015

Cherry Blossom Time
Washington, DC and Williamsburg

Friday, April 10 – Thursday, April 16, 2015
7-Days/6-Nights

Cherry Blossom Time - Washington, DC and Williamsburg

Our Nation’s Capital is at its most splendid in the spring during Cherry Blossom Time. All of Washington celebrates the beauty of the season with visitors from across the nation and around the world that arrive for the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.

Day One: Arrive in Washington, DC
Your visit begins with an included transfer from Washington Reagan National Airport and a welcome dinner at 6:00 pm hosted by your Tour Manager.

Day Two: Cherry Blossom Parade and The Smithsonian
The beauty and aroma of these blossoming cherry trees will amaze as you enjoy the National Cherry Blossom Parade from reserved seats. Marching down Constitution Avenue, the parade showcases floats, helium balloons, international performance groups and some of the country’s finest marching bands. Later, you may opt to visit the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex and research organization. Numbering over 142 million objects, the complex includes exhibitions such as Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis and the command module from Apollo 11.

Day Three: Arlington National Cemetery and U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Sightseeing in our nation’s capital continues with a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and the John F. Kennedy Memorial. View the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Women in Military Service Memorial. During your time in DC’s mall you will see the FDR, Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials. You will also make a stop at the National WWII Memorial, the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during World War II. After dinner, an incredible Illumination Tour of Washington, DC tops off this exciting day, as you see the memorials and monuments bathed in floodlights, including the U.S. Capitol and the White House.

Day Four: Mount Vernon and Shenandoah National Park
No tour of colonial America is complete without a stop at Mount Vernon, the expansive estate of George and Martha Washington. Visit the Ford Orientation Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum where you will have the chance to experience Washington’s life through movies and exhibitions. Explore his mansion filled with 18th-century treasures and stroll the gardens of this 45-acre estate, taking in the views of the Potomac River from the mansion’s piazza. Next, travel south along a section of the scenic Skyline Drive through picturesque Shenandoah National Park (weather permitting) en route to Charlottesville and your lodging for the evening.

Day Five: Monticello and Michie Tavern
Today you begin with a visit to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. Tour the home and see the parlor, the library, greenhouse and Jefferson’s bedroom. Experience a “Day in the Life” of Jefferson through artifacts, personal possessions and “mechanical inventions” found throughout the home. Stop for lunch at historic Michie Tavern that has welcomed travelers for more than 200 years. Crossing the threshold you enter another time as the costumed hostess welcomes you into the past as “stranger,” an early 18th-century term for a traveler. Later, arrive at Jamestown, the site of America’s first permanent English colony. Explore life at the dawn of the 17th century inside the palisade of a re-created colonial fort and discover the world of Pocahontas in the Powhatan Indian Village.

Day Six: Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the country and one of America’s most popular attractions. Stroll streets dating back to the 1700’s and converse with residents playing the roles of their ancestors, as they go about their daily activities exactly as they did more than 200 years ago. It’s an exciting glimpse into the early days of our nation. A traditional Colonial tavern dinner sets the mood for your stay in historic Williamsburg.

Day Seven: Washington, DC and Home
Travel back to Washington, DC today, as your visit ends with a group transfer to Washington Reagan National Airport for flights out after 2:00 p.m.

Details

Apr 10

Cherry Blossom Time
Washington, DC and Williamsburg

  • When:
    • Friday, April 10 – Thursday, April 16, 2015
      7-Days/6-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 6 Nights accommodation
    • 5 Breakfasts
    • 1 Lunch
    • 3 Dinners
    • Reserved grandstand seats to the National Cherry Blossom Parade
    • Admission to the Arlington National Cemetery and the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider
    • Tour of Washington, DC with a local guide
    • Visit the National WWII Memorial, the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during World War II
    • Evening illumination tour of Washington, DC with local guide
    • Admission and tour of Mount Vernon
    • Travel along scenic Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park
    • Tour the house and grounds of Monticello
    • Michie Tavern
    • Jamestown Settlement and Powhatan Indian Village
    • Full day at Colonial Williamsburg, the nation’s largest living history museum
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Full-time escort
    • Ground transportation on a luxury motor coach
    • Taxes and Gratuities (Note: Gratuities for the full time escort, local guide and coach driver is not included and are left at your discretion based on service.)
  • Pricing Information:
    • Per person double occupancy cash or check: from 1,698.00
    • Per person single occupancy cash or check: from 2,327.00

*****There will be a 5% convenience fee added to the above prices for credit card payments.****

Note: The above prices do not include air transportation. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation to and from Washington, DC. We will gladly arrange pre and post night stays upon request.

Flavors of the South
Featuring New Orleans, Memphis and the
Louisiana Creole Nature Trail

Saturday, April 11 – Saturday, April 18, 2015
8-Days/7-Nights

Flavors of the South ..New Orleans, Memphis and the Louisiana Creole Nature Trail

Live jazz, creole cooking, murky bayous, and Elvis. Join us on a trip through America's deep south exploring the cultures that have made this a unique and beloved part of the country.

Days One: Arrive Missouri
Arrive in Missouri where your Southern adventure begins. Enjoy a welcome dinner. Dinner

Day Two: Arrive New Orleans
Travel to your New Orleans hotel. Dinner tonight is in the historic French Quarter at the Crescent City Brewhouse, featuring live jazz and traditional New Orleans dishes served in a casual and fun atmosphere. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Three: National WWII Museum and New Orleans School of Cooking
This morning, take a narrated tour of the Big Easy with a local guide to see historic Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Garden District and the historic French Quarter. Enjoy free time on own in the “Quarter” for lunch or maybe some beignets and coffee at Café du Monde. Later, visit the National WWII Museum, which focuses on the contribution made by the U.S. in the victory by the Allies in World War II, particularly the Battle of Normandy. See the permanent galleries The Home Front, Planning for D-Day and The D-Day Beaches along with the atrium and its WWII aircraft. Tonight, the flavors of the region come alive in a fun and interactive experience at the New Orleans School of Cooking with a meal of local cuisine. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Four: Historic Lake Charles and the Isle of Capri Resort
Leaving New Orleans this morning, travel west to the city of Lake Charles where a local guide takes us through the Charpentier Historic District. On the National Register of Historic Places, the district is awash with houses featuring turrets, towers, gables, leaded glass and gingerbread accents. At the Mardi Gras Museum, see the largest Mardi Gras costume display in the world before designing your own King Cake. Who will find the baby? Then, Lake Charles’ own Diamond Dancers treat us to an exciting and energetic dance performance of numbers from All That Jazz to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. Tonight, dinner is at LeBleu’s Landing, a local favorite with a rich history specializing in tasty regional cuisine served in a friendly atmosphere. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Five: Creole Nature Trail Tour All American Road
Today a local guide takes us along the coastal wetlands of the Creole Nature Trail All American Road. Visit the Cameron Prairie Visitor Center and follow the Pintail Wildlife Drive in search of waterfowl, turtles and alligators. At Jetty Pier Park, enjoy your boxed lunch and see the many tankers, freighters and fishing vessels plying the Calcasieu Channel. While crossing the channel by ferry, be on the lookout for porpoises. Feel the sand between your toes, so some shelling at Holly Beach. Enjoy a stroll on the Wetland Walkway through the marsh. Tonight, enjoy dinner and the evening on your own at our wonderful Casino Hotel. Breakfast and Lunch

Day Six: Duck Commander Warehouse and Store
Depart Lake Charles today and make a stop at the town of West Monroe, home to the eccentric characters of TV’s Duck Dynasty program, the Robertsons. There will be time to explore the Duck Commander Warehouse and Store before continuing to West Memphis. Breakfast

Day Seven: Graceland and Memphis
This morning, visit Elvis’ 14-acre estate, Graceland. See the living rooms, music room and "jungle" den along with Elvis’ gold records, awards and costumes. A local guide then joins us for a narrated tour of Memphis to see Beale Street, Cotton Row and the Lorraine Motel. Enjoy a tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory where skilled craftsmen create some of the finest guitars in the world. Tonight, dinner is at Alfred’s on Beale, a Memphis favorite. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Eight: Journey Home
Depart this morning bound for home. Arrive this evening filled with wonderful memories of the many diverse flavors of our Southern adventure. Breakfast

Details

April 11

Flavors of the South
Featuring New Orleans, Memphis and the
Louisiana Creole Nature Trail

  • When:
    • Saturday, April 11 – Saturday, April 18, 2015
      8-Days/7-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 13 Meals (5 dinners, 1 lunch and 7 breakfasts)
    • Enjoy 2 nights in New Orleans and have dinner at the Crescent City Brewhoouse featuring live jazz
    • Narrated tour of New Orleans with a local guide including Jackson Square and the historic French Quarter
    • Visit the National WWII Museum
    • Enjoy dinner and fun at the New Orleans School of Cooing featuring traditional cuisine
    • Spend 2 nights at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel and enjoy a guided tour of Lake Charles Charpentier Historic District
    • Visit the Mardi Gras Museum, decorate a King Cake and see the Diamond Dancers
    • Dinner featuring regional cuisine at LeBleu’s Landing, a local favorite
    • Enjoy a guided tour on the Creole Nature Trail through Louisiana’s coastal wetlands
    • Visit TV’s Duck Dynasty Store
    • Spend 2 nights in West Memphis and enjoy a narrated city tour
    • Visit Elvis’ 14-acre estate, Graceland
    • Guided tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory
    • Dinner at Alfred’s on Beale, featuring Southern Cuisine
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices are for cash or check transactions. There will be a 5% convenience fee added for credit card transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 1,339.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 1,858.00

Prices and itineraries are subject to change

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

Big Bend National Park and Carlsbad Caverns
(Featuring the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort)

Friday, April 17 – Saturday, April 25, 2015
9-Days/8-Nights

Big Bend National Park and Carlsbad Caverns

Explore the incredible caverns, magical white sands, and unexplained phenomena of America's desert Southwest, while staying on real working ranches, eating West Texas barbecue, and gazing at stars like you've never seen them before.

Day One:
Travel to El Paso, Texas. Your tour director and chartered coach are awaiting arrivals at El Paso International Airport to provide transfers to our overnight hotel nearby. This evening, enjoy a delicious "Welcome to Texas" dinner in the Cattleman’s Steak House at the working Indian Cliffs Ranch. Dinner

Day Two: MARFA,TEXAS
Heading southeast through West Texas, there will be a sightseeing stop in picturesque Marfa, home to artists and craftsmen as well as the puzzling "Marfa Lights." Our destination today is the magnificent wilderness of Big Bend National Park. The eighth largest national park in the "lower 48," it is located along 118 miles of the Rio Grande, where it makes a "big bend" roughly 325 miles southeast of El Paso. You will be guests for the next two nights at the park lodge located in the spectacular Chisos Basin. Breakfast

Day Three: BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
As the Park Service puts it, "Here, you can explore one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States, and experience unmatched sights, sounds, and solitude." Big Bend is a park for hikers, birders, photographers, for lovers of all things natural. Over 450 bird and numerous desert animal species, plus hardy varieties of cacti, wildflowers and other annual plants inhabit these harsh climes. Our guided tour along Ross Maxwell Drive features the Sam Nall Ranch, Sotol Vista Overlook, historic Castalon and breathtaking Santa Elena Canyon. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Four: FORT DAVIS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK AND WEST OF THE PECOS MUSEUM
Departing Big Bend, travel north into the Davis Mountains for a visit to fascinating Fort Davis National Historical Park, a major frontier military post established in 1854 to protect travelers, freight and mail from Comanche raiders along the San Antonio-El Paso Trail. Then, we stop in the town of Pecos to explore the West of the Pecos Museum. This museum occupies the restored 1896 Orient Hotel and Saloon and features a wide array of western artifacts. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY FIVE — CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK
Today’s featured sightseeing is splendid Carlsbad Caverns National Park, where you will descend by elevator for a self-guided tour of the incredible Big Room on a paved trail. This massive, eight-acre chamber has a 255-foot ceiling and is filled with beautiful, delicate formations, as well as huge columns, stalactites and stalagmites. Breakfast

DAY SIX — UFO MUSEUM AND RUIDOSO
Continuing north, a visit to the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell may bring visions of flying saucers and little green men, but our afternoon sightseeing at the fine Hubbard Museum of the American West and Straddling Museum of the Horse in Ruidoso Downs will be much more "down to earth." You will be guests for the next two nights of the exceptional mountain casino resort operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe in nearby Ruidoso, offering a wealth of guest facilities. Breakfast

DAY SEVEN — BILLY THE KID COUNTRY AND THE VALLEY OF FIRES
A day for varied interests begins as we travel the Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway to New Mexico’s Lincoln State Monument, the historic frontier community where Billy killed his guards and escaped from the Lincoln County Courthouse in 1881, only to be shot dead in nearby Fort Sumter by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Next is a visit to the Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan to learn the story of America’s original symbol of forest fire prevention. Smokey died in 1975 and is buried here. Finally, sightseeing at the Valley of Fires Recreation Area in Carrizozo showcases the gigantic Malpais Lava Flow. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY EIGHT — WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT AND OLD MESILLA
Motoring through the Mescalero Apache Reservation, stop at the historic St. Joseph Mission en route to Alamogordo. A final sightseeing highlight will be our afternoon visit to incredible White Sands National Monument, an awesome expanse of snow-white, gypsum sand dunes that cover 275 square miles and rise to a height of 60 feet. Next, travel the 16-mile Dunes Drive and have an opportunity to scale convenient dunes along our route. Overnight accommodations await in Las Cruces, and a delicious "farewell" dinner will be served at La Posta de Mesilla in historic Mesilla. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY NINE — FLY HOME FROM EL PASO
Complementing an outstanding vacation experience, transfer from Las Cruces to El Paso International Airport to catch homeward-bound flights. Breakfast

Details

Apr 17

Big Bend National Park and Carlsbad Caverns
(Featuring the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort)

  • When:
    • Friday, April 17 – Saturday, April 25, 2015
      9-Days/8-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 13 Meals (5 dinners and 8 breakfasts)
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Spend 2 nights in Big Bend National Park at the Casa Grande Lodge
    • Guided tour of Big Bend National Park featuring the Sam Nall Ranch and Santa Elena Canyon
    • Enjoy a delightful barbecue cookout dinner in Big Bend National Park
    • Tour Fort Davis National Historic Park, a major frontier military post
    • Visit the West of the Pecos Museum in the restored 1896 Orient Hotel and Saloon
    • Explore beautiful Carlsbad Caverns National Park and see the incredible Big Room with its huge columns and cavern formations
    • Spend 2 nights at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino
    • Visit the UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell and the Hubbard Museum of the American West
    • Travel the Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway
    • Tour Smokey Bear Historical Park to learn about the symbol of forest fire prevention and visit Valley of Fires Recreation Area with its gigantic Malpias Lava Flow
    • Visit White Sands National Monument, an awesome expanse of snow-white gypsum sand dunes
    • Farewell dinner at La Posta de Mesilla in historic Misilla, New Mexico
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions. Itineraries are subject to change due to conditions on the river.

    • Per person double occupancy: from 1,898.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 2,737.00

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Downton at the Biltmore
Sunday, April 19 – Friday, April 24, 2015
6-Days/5-Nights

Downton at the Biltmore

"“Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times," is coming to the Biltmore this spring. No other American family home so closely matches the Crowley’s residence and lifestyle. The thematic storylines of Downton Abbey overlap with the time George and Edith Vanderbilt were raising their daughter, Cornelia, in this 250-room mansion. Come along and learn the history of the mansion on a special behind-the-scenes tour then dance the night away at the Biltmore Jazz Age Dinner Show.

Day One: Depart Burlington, VT early morning and begin your travels south. With a lunch and comfort stops along the way, arrive in Arlington, VA late afternoon.

Check into your Arlington hotel and enjoy dinner on your own at a restaurant located near the hotel.

Day Two: After breakfast in the hotel, board the coach and travel to our Nation’s Capital. Our Nation’s Capital is at its most splendid in the spring during Cherry Blossom Time. The beauty and aroma of these blossoming cherry trees will amaze you. See why millions of visitors from across the nation and around the world come each year to see the blossoms. Enjoy time exploring the National Mall and see places like the FDR, Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials.

Depart Washington mid-morning and with a lunch and comfort stops along the way, arrive at the Inn at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina for a three-night stay.

Have dinner on your own in the Inn’s elegant dining room or their casual library lounge.

Day Three: After breakfast in the Inn, board your coach and travel to the Biltmore estate. Embark on a walking audio tour of this magnificent 250-room mansion that was built by George Vanderbilt.

Next, enjoy a Behind-The-Scenes Servant’s Tour and see the areas where the serving staff worked. Learn about their various jobs, working conditions and relationships. During the tour, picture Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore getting the house in order.

Lunch is served in a historic barn original to the Biltmore estate. Enjoy a Southern, family–style lunch and savor the flavors drawn from the Carolina Coast, Low Country and Southern Appalachians.

The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore the beautiful grounds and buildings on your own. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop for souvenirs!

Dinner this evening is on your own at one of the Inn’s two restaurants or venture into Asheville for some local cuisine.

After dinner, return to the house for an evening tour of several more restored rooms. The elegant architecture, priceless antiques and spacious rooms are transformed into breathtaking compositions in the evening light.

Day Four: After breakfast in the Inn, board the coach and travel back to the estate. Start the day with a Vanderbilt Family and Friends Tour. Tour several bedrooms outfitted with clothing and accessories from the early 1900’s. Listen to stories about the customs of the time and the many fascinating people who visited there.

Next witness “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times.” This exhibit showcases the award-winning costumes of the Crowley Family and their servants who inhabit the fictional English country estate of Downton Abbey. These costumes reflect the times that uprooted British Society and ushered in the Roaring Twenties and the Jazz Age. The displays range from country tweeds to servants’ uniforms and showcase lavish gowns and evening attire made of fine fabrics decorated with intricate embroidery, lace and beading.

This afternoon, step into the everyday lives of families who lived on the estate raising livestock, tending crops and working at the Biltmore dairy in the 1890’s. The Barn in Antler Hill Village – once the social and work center for these families, is alive again with blacksmiths, woodworkers and other craft demonstrations; an old-fashioned mercantile shop offering Appalachian crafts, dry goods and candy; and a smokehouse offering Carolina barbeque, quick sandwiches and other Southern favorites. Enjoy lunch on your own during your visit.

Next, stroll through the historic winery building that was once the original Biltmore dairy barn. Enjoy a complimentary glass of their award-winning Biltmore wines.

Your farewell dinner is served in the Lioncrest Ballroom on the estate. Start the evening with an open bar cocktail reception. A lavishly prepared dinner follows! Hear songs played by a historical Jazz combo, watch a pair of dancers gracefully circle the floor and listen to a Jazz Age vocalist.

Day Five: After breakfast in the Inn, check out of your rooms and begin your travels home.

With a lunch and comfort stops along the way, arrive in Alexandria, VA late afternoon.

Check into your Alexandria, VA hotel located approximately 5 minutes from Old Town Alexandria.

Enjoy the evening at your leisure. You may dine in the hotel’s restaurant or take the complimentary shuttle into the historic area and King Street and sample the variety of restaurants.

Day Six: After breakfast in the hotel, pack your luggage and check out of your rooms. With a lunch and comfort stops along the way, arrive back in Burlington early evening.

Details

Apr 19

Downton at the Biltmore

  • When:
    • Sunday, April 19 – Friday, April 24, 2015
      6-Days/5-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 5 Nights accommodations at the Inn at Biltmore
    • 5 Breakfasts
    • 1 Lunch
    • 1 Dinner (Biltmore Jazz Age Dinner Show)
    • Time to explore the National Mall
    • Audio tour package for the Home and Garden Tour
    • Behind-the-Scenes Servant Tour
    • Free time to explore the grounds of the estate
    • Guided evening tour
    • Behind-the-Scenes Vanderbilt Family Tour
    • "Downton Abbey" Costume Exhibit
    • Visit to Antler Hill Village
    • Tour and taste at the winery building
    • Full time escort
    • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
    • Roundtrip motor coach transportation
    • Accommodations and breakfasts for the coach driver
    • Taxes and Gratuity (Note: Gratuities for the full time escort and coach driver are not included and are left at your discretion based on service.)
  • Pricing Information:
    • Person double occupancy: 1,577.00
    • Person triple occupancy: 1,468.00
    • Person quad occupancy: 1,390.00
    • Person single occupancy: 2,049.00

*** Note: A 5% convenience fee will be applied to above prices if paid with credit card. ***

May 2015

Virginia’s Coastal Harvest Feast
Saturday, May 2 – Friday, May 8, 2015
7-Days/6-Nights

Virginia’s Coastal Harvest Feast

It's a feast for the mind and the appetite as you explore the best of American history while sampling some truly American culinary delights. From seafood and cheese to the capitol and the Atlantic Coast, this tour nourishes both mind and body.

DAY ONE — DEPART FOR OHIO
We head to Youngstown, Ohio, for our first overnight and a welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Manager. Dinner

DAY TWO — VISIT WASHINGTON, DC
Today we cross through the gently rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania and into Maryland, the “Old Line State,” reportedly named by General George Washington. A local guide joins us for a tour of the mall area of our nation’s capital where we see the White House, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and more. We make a stop at the National WW II Memorial that was erected to honor all military veterans of the war, the citizens on the home front and the nation at large. Later, continue into the state of Virginia for an overnight. Breakfast

DAY THREE — LET THE COASTAL HARVEST BEGIN
We arrive in Virginia Beach, the state’s largest city which boasts the world’s longest boardwalk flanking miles of pristine, sandy beaches. Apart from the waterfront, the region has much more to offer. On the famed Virginia Beach Boardwalk, embark on the critically acclaimed Boardwalk Food Tour. It encapsulates within just a few hours the history of the boardwalk, from its humble roots to its prominent rise as a great American destination, while giving you a large helping of sun, sand and surf. Throughout the Food Tour, you will learn about the area’s history and culture while enjoying specially created dishes from restaurants lauded by both visitors and locals alike. No trip to the boardwalk would be complete without visiting Forbes, the century old candy maker, for a taffy pulling demonstration and tasting. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY FOUR — VIRGINIA’S TASTY EASTERN SHORE
Although the Eastern Shore is removed from the rest of the state, this narrow strip of land has a history and culture all its own. Today, begin with a memorable drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for a visit to an aqua farm to see how Virginia clams are grown and harvested while on a VIP “behind the scenes” tour. In the historic village of Cape Charles, enjoy a relaxing lunch of locally farmed seafood and homemade desserts while overlooking the bay. A stop at a local winery offers a tour and tasting highlighted by a variety of local cheeses, charcuterie, seafood, and of course more wine while relaxing in beautiful vineyards. Our day comes to an end with a Virginia-style barbeque dinner served at the only restaurant located on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Enjoy slow roasted beef and pork, fresh and grilled vegetables, breads, and plenty of local beers. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY FIVE — THE ROOTS OF VIRGINIA CUISINE
Begin today at Rowena’s, a local cake maker that has received praise from celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Enjoy a guided tour and sample a variety of their famous Bundt cakes, drizzles, and other delights. Continue to Smithfield and make a stop at historic St. Luke’s Church, the nation’s only surviving Gothic brick church before embarking on the food tour of this historic town. Have lunch at the Smithfield Inn, taste unique peanuts at the Smithfield Ham Shoppe, visit the Isle of Wight Museum, and conclude with dessert at the Smithfield Bakery. At Darden’s Country Store, one of the last traditional Virginia ham producers, learn about the curing process, and see how the hams are preserved and sample the specialty paired hams and sausages with fresh grown fruits. Breakfast and Lunch

DAYS SIX: DEPART FOR PITTSBURGH
Bid farewell to the Atlantic coast and venture west to the Keystone state of Pennsylvania. Arrive in Pittsburgh, where you will overnight. Enjoy a farewell dinner with your co-travelers. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Seven: Home
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flights home. Breakfast

Details

May 02

Virginia’s Coastal Harvest Feast

  • When:
    • Saturday, May 2 – Friday, May 8, 2015
      7-Days/6-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 12 Meals (4 Dinners, 2 Lunches and 6 Breakfasts)
    • Driving tour of the Washington, DC mall area to see the White House, Capitol building and Washington Monument.
    • Visit the National WWII Memorial
    • Spend 3 nights on the Atlantic Ocean in the heart of Virginia Beach
    • Enjoy the critically acclaimed Virginia Beach Boardwalk Food Tour for a large helping of sun, sand, surf and of course, food
    • Cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore for a tour of a Virginia Clam Aqua Farm
    • Relaxing lunch of locally farmed seafood and homemade desserts in the historic village of Cape Charles
    • Tour and tasting at a local winery including a variety of local cheeses, charcuterie and seafood while relaxing in beautiful vineyards
    • Enjoy a Virginia-style barbecue dinner served at the only restaurant on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
    • Take a tour and sample the cakes at Rowena's, a local cake maker that has received praise from Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart
    • Visit historic St. Luke's Church, the nation's only surviving Gothic brick church
    • Have lunch at the Smithfield Inn, taste unique peanuts at the Smithfield Ham Shoppe and enjoy dessert at the Smithfield Bakery
    • Visit Darden's Country Store, one of the last traditional Virginia ham producers complete with samples of the meats and fresh grown fruits
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices are for cash or check transactions. There will be a 5% convenience fee added to credit transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 1,429.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 1,868.00

Prices and itineraries are subject to change

Note: Prices above do not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation as well as pre and post night stays upon request.

Cuba Experience
Sunday, May 17 – Monday, May 25, 2015
9-Days/8-Nights

Cuba Experience

People To People travel encourages our personal relationship with the peoples of this island nation. You will interact on a daily basis with its citizens, and learn of the creativity and effort it has taken the Cuban people to achieve a positive lifestyle amid the changes that have affected them these past six decades.

DAY ONE: MIAMI
Travel from your hometown to Miami, Florida, where you will meet our fellow People To People participants at the hotel. Our program begins at 6:00pm with a reception and orientation session. You will hear from an expert about US-Cuba relations and the impact it has had on both countries. There is also paperwork and documentation that you will fill out together in anticipation of our Cuban visit.

DAY TWO: MIAMI TO CIENFUEGOS, CUBA
Transfer to Miami International Airport for our charter flight to Cuba. You will be amazed that a country so remarkably different than America is less than an hours' flying time away. Upon arrival in Cienfuegos, Cuba, our home for the next two nights, we take a panoramic tour, followed by an Orientation Walk. There is a visit to the Thomas Terry Theater, as well as a chance to learn about shopping in Cuba and the different types of stores and availability of products. There is an evening performance by the Cienfuegos Choir at our hotel. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY THREE — CIENFUEGOS AND TRINIDAD TOURING
This morning visit a cigar factory where we can interact with the employees. Then, stop at Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens where we interact with a specialist to learn about plant life and conservation in Cuba, as well as about the close ties the Gardens have with Harvard University. On the way to Trinidad visit a Ceramic Studio and Gallery and learn about their long traditions with this art form. Walk through Trinidad's cobblestone streets before lunch at a local paladar where you can interact with these young entrepreneurs. Visit to Casa de la Trova and meet with local musicians and dancer, during an interactive salsa session. Back to Cienfuegos where dinner this evening is at a local private restaurant. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY FOUR — SANTA CLARA AND CAYO SANTA MARIA
Our first stop is in Santa Clara where you can see the Che Guevara Memorial and Mausoleum. Interact with the Kids Choir or a Theater Performance followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Before leaving Santa Clara we visit the School of Art, Dance and Music. We come to our home for the next two nights, the Playa Cayo Santa Maria, a resort located on a grouping of islands that jut into the Atlantic. Dinners, breakfasts and beverage service are included in our stay here. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY FIVE — REMEDIOS AND CAIBARIEN EXCURSIONS
Let's take a bicycle-taxi tour of Remedios and learn about Parrandas (a festival of competition among neighborhoods featuring floats and brilliant costuming.) Visit the Cathedral and learn of the many community projects they have for residents of all ages. This afternoon board an antique sugar cane steam train. En route the train stops at El Curujey Restaurant for a typical farm lunch. Learn how the trains were restored, and visit the Sugar Factory and Museum to understand this important part of Cuba's history. Arrive in Caibarien with an overview of the city. See an old printing press that came from the United States and learn of its usage. Meet with local artists to learn of their community Project Por La Costa. Back to our resort lodging. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY SIX — TRAVEL TO HAVANA
On our way to Havana visit the farm Fiesta Campesina, where you will have the opportunity to interact with the farmers and have lunch. There will be artisans from the area there as well. In Havana visit the Angeles del Futoro community program for kids, where they learn gymnastics and acrobatics. Cuba has an estimated 66,000 cars in operation that are from the 1950s and 1960s, and it seems most of them are on the lightly traveled streets of Cuba's capital. Check into the Melia Cohiba for a three-night stay.

Tonight, visit the home of a young couple, one of which is an artist, to learn about life in Cuba today. Then, enjoy dinner at a local paladar. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY SEVEN — OLD HAVANA
Meet with a local architect for a most enlightening walk through Old Havana. Learn about its restoration works and future plans. There is a visit to Arte Corte Community Project before lunch at a local paladar in the Santo Angel neighborhood. Later will be a presentation at your hotel by the Cuban Institute of Music, with a chance to interact with the musicians and staff. The evening is free for dinner, and those who wish can attend the Cannon Firing Ceremony at Cabana Castle. Breakfast and Lunch

DAY EIGHT — HAVANA TOURING AND ANTIQUE CAR RIDE
This morning will be a panoramic tour of Havana with overviews of the city, Plaza de la Revolucion, the Capitol, the Malecon, University of Havana and the Vedado neighborhood. Meet and mingle with the artisans of the San José Craft Market, with time to shop for indigenous arts and crafts. Immerse yourself in Cuban Cinema with interactive discussions. Lunch at a local café before visiting Casa Fuster and the Jaimanitas neighborhood. This evening, there will be a fleet of antique cars to greet us outside the hotel. There will be time to inspect the cars, talk shop with their owners and find out just how they manage to keep their cars running without replacement parts available to them. Then travel in style in these antique cars to your farewell dinner. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY NINE — HAVANA TO MIAMI
Take our short flight back to Miami mid-morning with time to catch connecting flights*. Connecting flights should depart Miami after 3:30pm. Memories of one of the most unique excursions you could ever take will reside with you for years to come. Breakfast

Details

May 17

Cuba Experience

  • When:
    • Sunday, May 17 – Monday, May 25, 2015
      9-Days/8-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 Nights accommodations
    • 20 meals (Several meals at Cuban "paladars", privately-owned and operated restaurants which add to the flavor of our visit. All meal gratuities included)
    • Smaller group experience – no more than 26 travelers per departure
    • Round trip transfers between Miami hotel and airport
    • Non-stop charter flights from Miami to Cuba and return
    • Airport transfers in Miami and Cuba
    • Visa fee and accompanying work to obtain visas
    • Four-star hotels throughout. All lodging is air conditioned and has full service amenities
    • Porterage for all hotels and gratuities for porters
    • Transportation by Deluxe Air-Conditioned Motor coach
    • Universal Health Care in Cuba—cost of mandatory health insurance included
    • A Mayflower Tour Manager is with you throughout. In addition we are accompanied by an English-speaking Cuban guide
    • Many People to People activities, including interaction and traveling in Cuba’s antique car fleet. All gifts and gratuities for these experiences are included
    • The ability to purchase Travelers Protection coverage that is also valid in Cuba
    • $1,000,000 Travelers Assistance Program – a condition for membership for the United States Tour Operators Association
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    Prices and itineraries are subject to change.
    • Per person double occupancy: 4,199.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 4,998.00

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

June 2015

Colorado’s Historic Trains
Friday, June 19 – Saturday, June 27, 2015 (M)
9-Days/8-Nights

Colorado’s Historic Trains

Follow the historic routes of the Old West with excursions on five different railroads and see the amazing rock formations and natural beauty of three national parks.

DAY ONE: ARRIVE IN DENVER
Welcome to Denver, Colorado, the “Mile High City.” Meet your fellow travelers at 5:00 p.m. for a get-acquainted dinner hosted by your Tour Manager. Dinner

DAY TWO: ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
As you depart Denver, you will venture into Rocky Mountain National Park, a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. With elevations ranging from 8,000 feet on the wet, grassy valleys to 14,259 feet at the weather-ravaged top of Longs Peak, the park is filled with breathtaking scenery and experiences. Following the Trail Ridge Road a stop at the Alpine Visitor Center offers an opportunity to learn more about this fascinating place. Breakfast

DAY THREE: LEADVILLE COLORADO & SOUTHERN RAILROAD
Today, travel to historic Leadville to board the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad. While onboard, learn about the fascinating history of the railroads, ghost stories and tales from the wild from your conductor while traveling north along the Arkansas River Valley. Rising up 1,000 feet from the valley floor you will be greeted by spectacular views of Fremont Pass and the two tallest peaks in Colorado, Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert. Later, travel through scenic Monarch Pass and Curecanti National Recreation Area while en route to Montrose. Breakfast and box lunch

DAY FOUR: DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD
This morning visit the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, Then, it is “full steam ahead” as you board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Voted one of the “Top Ten Most Exciting Train Journeys in the World” by the Society of American Travel Writers, this route winds through the spectacular and breathtaking canyons in the remote wilderness of the two-million acre San Juan National Forest. The locomotives used today remain 100% coal-fired, steam-operated and are maintained in their original condition. Later, check into the Sky Ute Casino Resort where you may wish to give lady luck a try. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY FIVE: MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
Today visit the land of the ancient Pueblo Indians in Mesa Verde National Park. The fascinating cliff dwellings and culture of these people provide us with a look into a society that existed approximately 1,400 years ago. Building elaborate stone communities, the Pueblos developed their own society that existed for some 700 years, before disappearing. Archeologists called them Anasazi, from a Navajo word sometimes translating as “the ancient ones.” Breakfast

DAY SIX: CUMBRES & TOLTEC SCENIC RAILROAD
Your day begins when you board the motor coach and ride to the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, the original Rio Grande Line. This is America’s most spectacular narrow gauge steam railroad. Enjoy lunch onboard as you explore 50 miles of wild and rugged territory between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado, the highest point on the railroad. Breakfast and Lunch

DAY SEVEN: ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILROAD
Today enjoy another journey by train aboard the Royal Gorge. The 12-mile route follows the most famous portion of the old Denver and Rio Grande Western train line. Ride through the “Grand Canyon of the Arkansas” on an unforgettable journey over the famous Hanging Bridge, which clings precariously to the steep granite walls of Royal Gorge. Breakfast

DAY EIGHT: COLORADO SPRINGS
This morning travel aboard our motor coach to the U.S. Air Force Academy and its famous Cadet Chapel (when available). Next, it’s on to the stunning Garden of the Gods, a 1,300 acre park where flora and fauna reflect the rich diversity of the terrain, and red sandstone formations tell a unique geological story. The Garden lies at the base of Pikes Peak, which is your next adventure. “Ride to the Clouds!” aboard the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the highest cog railroad in the U.S. that stretches nine miles long as it vertically climbs to almost 14,000 feet. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your co-travelers while sharing memories of this unforgettable rail journey. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY NINE: DENVER AND HOME
Following breakfast say goodbye to Colorado with fond memories of your western railroads adventure with a group transfer to the Denver airport for flights home after 12:00 p.m. Breakfast

Details

Jun 19

Colorado’s Historic Trains

  • When:
    • Friday, June 19 – Saturday, June 27, 2015
      9-Days/8-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 13 Meals (3 dinners, 2 lunches and 8 breakfasts)
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Experience five scenic rail excursions following historic routes of the Old West
    • Travel north along the Arkansas River Valley aboard the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad
    • Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, voted one of the “Top Ten Most Exciting Rail Journeys in the World”
    • Ride through the Rockies aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
    • Ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad across the famous Hanging Bridge
    • Climb 7,539 feet on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway
    • Visit the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park, a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains
    • Tour Mesa Verde National Park with its amazing cliff dwellings, home to “the Ancient Ones,” the Anasazi Indians
    • Visit the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park
    • Visit the U.S. Air Force Academy and Cadet Chapel (when available)
    • Drive through Garden of the Gods Park with its unique red sandstone formations
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices are for cash or check transactions. There will be a 5% convenience fee added to credit transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 2,249.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 2,948.00

Prices and itineraries are subject to change

Note: Prices above do not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation as well as pre and post night stays upon request.

Alaska National Parks Escorted Land Tour
Featuring Anchorage, Seward, Talkeetna and Denali National Park

Monday, June 29 – Monday, July 6, 2015 (PA)
8-Days/7-Nights

Alaska National Parks Escorted Land Tour

Day One: Fly into Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Meet your Alaska guide and transfer to your hotel where you will overnight. Your guide will make suggestions for places to eat on your own this evening.

Day Two: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a city tour of Anchorage that includes the historic downtown district. Visit the Anchorage Museum, a world-class museum that seeks to preserve, exhibit and interpret the art and history of Alaska.

Next, board the motor coach for your grand adventure to Seward, the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. As you travel along the scenic Turnagain Arm, keep an eye out for Dall sheep high up in the rocky cliffs, as well as moose, bear and eagle.

Check into your Seward hotel and enjoy an included dinner at a local’s favorite restaurant.

Day Three: After breakfast in the hotel, spend the morning exploring the coastal community of Seward. Late morning, board a glacier and wildlife cruise and travel through the majestic Kenai Fjords National Park. Explore the face of a glacier and keep your eyes open for seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, walrus, bears, eagles and puffins throughout this half-day exploration cruise. Enjoy an included lunch onboard the boat.

Return back to the hotel and enjoy dinner on your own.

Day Four: After breakfast in the hotel, pack your bags, board the coach and travel north to Talkeetna, which began as a trading post when gold was first discovered in the Susitna River. The route takes you along the scenic Parks Highway where you will make several stops along the way. Enjoy an afternoon of exploring this quaint town at your leisure by participating in an optional tour such as flightseeing, hiking, or a jet boat adventure.

Check into your Talkeetna hotel and enjoy dinner on your own.

Day Five: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a morning ride in a deluxe dome railcar during your trip to Denali National Park. Watch for a glimpse of the majestic Mt. McKinley or black bear along the banks of the Susitna River. Enjoy an afternoon of exploring this pristine area at your leisure by either participating in a complimentary park service activity or optional tour. There are many to choose from including mild or wild-river rafting, flight seeing, a jet boat safari on the Nenana River or a visit to an Iditarod champions award winning dog kennel.

Check into your Denali hotel and enjoy dinner on your own.

Day Six: Today travel deep into Denali National Park on the Tundra Wilderness Tour and search the vast wilderness for bear, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. This six to eight hour journey is narrated allowing for insight into the animals, flora and fauna of this spectacular region including a snack on the bus.

Return back to the hotel and enjoy dinner on your own.

Day Seven: After breakfast in the hotel, pack your bags and travel to Anchorage. Tonight, share stories of your Alaskan adventure with your traveling companions at an included farewell dinner.

Day Eight: Your adventure comes to an end with a transfer to the airport for your flights home.

Details

Jun 29

Alaska National Parks Escorted Land Tour
Featuring Anchorage, Seward, Talkeetna and Denali National Park

  • When:
    • Monday, June 29 – Monday, July 6, 2015 (PA)
      8-Days/7-Nights
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash or check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 2,250.00

Note: A convenience fee of 5% will applied to above prices for all credit card payments.

Note: Above prices do not include airfare, however we will gladly make flight arrangements for you as well as pre and post night stays if requested.

July 2015

The Ultimate Independence Day Celebration
The Boston Pops and Brilliant Fireworks
Boston, MA

Friday, July 3-Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Boston Pops

Join us as we celebrate America’s Independence and Harborfest in Boston. Named as one of the top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association, this is a celebration you won’t want to miss! This Fourth of July Festival showcases the colonial and maritime heritage of the cradle of the American Revolution: the historic City of Boston. The award-winning festival strives to honor and remember the past, celebrate the present, and educate the future with reenactments, concerts and historical tours.

Day One: Arrive in Boston early afternoon and check into your Boston suburb hotel. There will be time to refresh before heading out for the afternoon and evening’s festivities. Late afternoon travel to the Hatch Shell Stage area and enjoy time at your leisure to stroll around the grounds, watch the revelers decked out in red white and blue or sit back and take in the sites. A summer barbeque will be served prior to the 8:30 pm Rehearsal Concert. Note: This is the very best night to enjoy the concert, as on the 4th of July you will not have access to the stage and concert area. After the concert return to your hotel for the evening.

After the tour return back to your hotel.

Day Two: After a full breakfast in the hotel, travel to Boston Harbor to board your harbor cruise ship. On this 2-hour cruise you will see the USS Constitution aka "Old Ironsides " along with other historic sites along the harbor. Enjoy a bountiful buffet lunch including steamed whole lobster and musical entertainment.

After the cruise visit the JFK Library and Museum. The museum captures the powerful story of the Kennedy years, giving you an uplifting experience of President Kennedy’s life, leadership and legacy.

Return back to the hotel to refresh and relax before the evening activities!

This evening travel back to Boston and with your chair in hand, claim your spot on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge where you will witness the most spectacular fireworks set off a barge in the Charles River. This magical light show in the summer sky will amaze you! Enjoy a Star Spangled Box Dinner while listening to the sounds of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops through speakers lined on the bridge. Return to your hotel after this magical and awe-inspiring evening.

Day Three: Enjoy a full breakfast in the hotel before venturing out on a Historic Boston Tour led by a local guide. Witness segments of the Freedom Trail, visit Old North Church, Harvard University and Harvard Yard, the Charlestown Navy Yard, home of the USS Constitution, the USS Constitution Museum, the USS Cason Young and Faneuil Hall.

Enjoy lunch on your own at Quincy Market, witness the roaming performers and shop for treasures and souvenirs. Depart for Vermont at 2:30 pm.

Details

Jul 03

The Ultimate Independence Day Celebration
The Boston Pops and Brilliant Fireworks
Boston, MA

  • When:
    • Friday, July 3-Sunday, July 5, 2015
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 2 Nights accommodations
    • 2 Breakfasts
    • 1 Luncheon cruise
    • 2 Dinners
    • Admission to the Boston Pops Rehearsal Concert
    • Admission to the JFK Museum
    • July 4th Fireworks Display
    • Tour of Historic Boston led by a local guide
    • Tour of Harvard Yard
    • Full time escort
    • Roundtrip motor coach transportation
    • Accommodations for coach driver
    • Taxes and Gratuities (Note: Gratuities for the full time escort, local guide and coach driver are not included and are left at your discretion based on service.)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Priced from Per Person Double Occupancy: 635.00
    • Priced from Per Person Triple Occupancy: 624.00
    • Priced from Per Person Quad Occupancy: 613.00
    • Priced from Per Person Single Occupancy: 787.00

The Best of Scandinavia
Friday, July 10 – Sunday, July 19, 2015
10-Days/9-Nights

The Best of Scandinavia

The remarkable cities of Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen and Copenhagen will come alive filled with history, the Viking legends, Hans Christian Andersen and The Little Mermaid. You won't believe the natural beauty of the Scandinavian countries.

Welcome to Sweden
Once home of the Vikings, today’s Sweden is a captivating mix of old and new. Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, is the very epitome of a vibrant cosmopolitan center, a city alive with world-class art museums, cutting-edge fashion boutiques and sizzling night life. Remarkable architecture abounds, exemplified in the dazzling City Hall, site of the Nobel Prize reception, with its glittering gold walls and stunning colored-glass mosaics.

But even in this thrilling center of culture, you’ll find traces of Sweden’s fabled past. In the Gamla Stan, the city’s Old Town, medieval Stockholm comes to life in this beautifully preserved historic district.

Optional Excursion: The Royal Canal and Vasa Warship Museum
Enjoy a one-hour cruise along the shady canal of Djurgarden and visit the remarkable Vasa Warship Museum, built around a restored 17th-century warship that sank in Stockholm’s inner harbor.

Oslo – Where Culture and Nature Meet
It’s hard to say what is more stunning in Oslo: its glorious urban cityscapes or towering mountains and pristine countryside. Explore the amazing granite and bronze artworks of the Vigeland Sculpture Park. Catch a glimpse of the regal and impressive Royal Palace. All these pleasures await, plus the bustling trade of a thriving port city.

The Awe-Inspiring Fjords
Any visit to Norway would be incomplete without a cruise through the world-famous Sognefjord as well as Naerøey Fjord. Carved out over centuries by waves of majestic glaciers, the fjords are a testament to the awe-inspiring power of nature. The emerald green cliffs of the fjord sweep sharply down to glittering waters, where you just may glimpse a sight of seals as they sun themselves on flat, warm rocks.

In the heart of this rugged countryside, the historic Stalheim Hotel offers a stunning panoramic perspective of astounding fjordland views. For nearly 200 years, artists, painters and poets have drawn inspiration from the awe-inspiring majesty of this remarkable natural spectacle.

Breathtaking Railway Journeys
One of the best ways to take in the wonders of Scandinavia is aboard one of the several scenic railways that traverse this breathtaking countryside. Passengers take in dizzying vistas that open out on all sides as they speed from Oslo toward Myrdal, a remote mountain station located 3,000 feet above sea level. Famous for its remarkable panoramic views, Myrdal is the stepping off point for yet another glorious train ride on the world-renowned Flåm Railway. Descending 3,500 feet during a 13-mile journey into mountainous countryside, passengers glimpse wild rivers that cut through deep ravines, waterfalls cascading down sheer cliffs, and mountain farms clinging perilously to steep slopes.

The Rich Historical Heritage of Bergen
The second largest city in Norway, Bergen offers a fascinating mix of history, culture and natural beauty. A UNESCO World Heritage City, Bergen proudly preserves its rich past, seen in the timbered 15th-century houses, centuries-old warehouses built by seagoing merchants, and a charming labyrinth of cobblestone streets. Nearby, you’ll find Troldhaugen, the former home and estate of one of Norway’s most famous sons, composer Edvard Grieg.

Wonderful Copenhagen
A bustling metropolis, Copenhagen offers a mix of old-world grandeur with the excitement of a thriving modern cultural center. Parks and green spaces are everywhere, and canals and waterways crisscross its streets, recalling the city’s seagoing roots.

The city is alive with such sites as Tivoli Gardens, one of the world’s oldest pleasure parks; and Christiansborg Palace, home to the Danish Parliament and the Royal Theater. Fans of literature make a pilgrimage to the statue of The Little Mermaid, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairytale, while shoppers enjoy browsing the quaint boutiques along the famous Stroget, Copenhagen’s renowned pedestrian district.

Optional Excursion to North Zeeland
Enjoy a scenic drive to Helsinor, one of the oldest towns in Denmark, and nearby Kronborg Castle, legendary home of Prince Hamlet. Your tour also includes views of Fredensborg Castle and an included visit to Frederiksborg Castle.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day One:
  • Transatlantic flight to Stockholm, Sweden
Day Two:
  • Arrive in Stockholm and transfer to your hotel
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Welcome dinner in the hotel
Day Three:
  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Stockholm City Tour, including the historic City Hall and scenic Old town
  • Afternoon optional tour of the Royal Canal and Vasa Warship Museum
  • Evening at leisure
Day Four:
  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Depart Stockholm, Sweden to Oslo, Norway
  • City tour of Oslo including Vigeland Sculpture Park
  • Evening at leisure
Day Five:
  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Scenic train journey from Oslo to Myrdal
  • Breathtaking Flåm Rail journey from Myrdal to Flåm
  • Cruise of the Sognefjord and Naerøey Fjord
  • Transfer to Stalheim Hotel, spectacularly located with panoramic views over Norwegian mountain valleys
  • Dinner in the hotel
Day Six:
  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Scenic transfer to Bergen, lunch on your own en-route
  • Dinner in the hotel
Day Seven:
  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • City tour of Bergen including historic Bryggen and composer Edvard Grieg’s former home
  • Afternoon and evening at leisure
Day Eight:
  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Flight to Copenhagen
  • Copenhagen City Tour, including The Little Mermaid statue
  • Evening at leisure
Day Nine:
  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Optional excursion to North Zeeland, including a visit to Frederiksborg Castle
  • Farewell dinner
Day Ten:
  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Transfer to Copenhagen Airport for flight home

Details

Jul 10

The Best of Scandinavia

  • When:
    • Friday, July 10 – Sunday, July 19, 2015
      10-Days/9-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 12 Meals (8 breakfasts and 4 dinners)
    • Airport transfers on tour dates when air is provided by Mayflower
    • Remarkable experiences in Sweden, Norway and Denmark
    • Included city tour in Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen and Copenhagen with a local guide
    • See the historic City Hall and scenic Old Town in Stockholm
    • Visit Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo
    • Scenic rail experience from Oslo to Myrdal
    • Included scenic rail experience on the Flâm Railway from Myrdal to Flâm
    • Included cruise of the Sognefjord and Naerøey Fjord
    • Overnight at the Stalheim Hotel with panoramic views of the Norwegian valley
    • Tour historic Bryggen and see composer Edvard Grieg's former home in Bergen
    • See The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions. Itineraries are subject to change due to conditions on the river.

    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,179.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 4,078.00

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

Washington Waterways and National Parks
Thursday, July 16 – Friday, July 24, 2015
9-Days/8-Nights

Washington Waterways and National Parks

Explore the Pacific Northwest from Seattle's vibrant waterfront to the English charm of British Columbia's capital. Along the way, see an impossibly green rain forest; the deep, dark waters of Puget Sound; mesmerizing glass art and much more!

DAY ONE: TRAVEL TO TACOMA, WASHINGTON
Arrive at Sea-Tac International Airport and transfer to our hotel in Tacoma. Tonight, our Tour Manager hosts a welcome dinner at The Lobster Shop. Dinner

DAY TWO: MUSEUM OF GLASS AND LEMAY AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM
Today starts with a unique “hands on” session in a Tacoma “glass hot shop,” where you will design and make your own art glass pieces. Then, visit the renowned Museum of Glass and cross the Chihuly Bridge of Glass filled with the artist’s glass works. Later, explore the massive collection of classic vehicles at the spectacular LeMay-America’s Car Museum nearby. After lunch, groups will switch places so that everyone will enjoy identical opportunities. Breakfast

DAY THREE: NORTHWEST TREK WILDLIFE PARK AND MT. RAINIER SCENIC RAILWAY
Begin today at the unique Northwest Trek Wildlife Park with an open-air tram tour through its “free-roaming area” to view numerous American bison, Roosevelt elk, caribou, and moose found here. Later, our excursion aboard the steam-powered Mt. Rainier Scenic Railway will feature views of the state’s highest peak and a barbecue dinner at Mineral Lake. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY FOUR: SEATTLE CITY TOUR AND MUSEUM OF FLIGHT
Our guided tour of Seattle includes the downtown, Pioneer Square Historic District, Waterfront Park, the Space Needle and the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Locks. Following free time for lunch and browsing at famed Pike Place Market, spend the afternoon viewing the numerous displays and historic aircraft, Space Gallery and Boeing’s original Red Barn factory at Seattle’s outstanding Museum of Flight. Breakfast

DAY FIVE: MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
One of the nation's premier scenic attractions, Mount Rainier stands at 14,410 feet and is the focal point of the park. Fields of brilliant wildflowers, forests of giant Douglas fir, icy glaciers and peaceful valleys teeming with wildlife are found here. Visit the Jackson Memorial Visitor Center and enjoy a tasty dinner at the Emerald Queen Casino. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY SIX: OLYMPIC’S PORT CITIES AND SEQUIM LAVENDER FARM
Cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the Olympic Peninsula and visit the charming village of Port Gamble before a guided tour in historic Port Townsend, with its handsome Victorian-era homes. This afternoon tour a colorful lavender farm in the Sequim area before coming to our waterfront hotel. Breakfast

DAY SEVEN: FERRY TO VICTORIA, BC AND BUTCHART GARDENS
Have your passports handy this morning as you will cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca via the spacious MV Coho ferry en route to Vancouver Island. Here, picturesque Victoria maintains a delightful English flavor, spiced with red double-decker buses, Tudor-style buildings and immaculate gardens. Our guided tour features such sights as the Parliament Buildings, the British Columbia Provincial Museum, Beacon Hill Park, Christ Church Cathedral and the Helmcken House Museum. Next, you will discover why the Butchart Gardens are world-famous for ornate landscaping and superb Italian, Japanese, and rose gardens. Before returning to Port Angeles this evening, dinner is included at the Victoria Harbour House Restaurant. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY EIGHT: OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
Today, embark on a scenic drive through extraordinary Olympic National Park. See the lush Hoh Rain Forest, beautiful Lake Crescent, panoramic vistas of the towering Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the mile-high Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Tonight, our farewell dinner is served at the Bushwhacker Restaurant. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY NINE: RETURN HOME FROM SEATTLE
Crossing Puget Sound via the Washington State Ferry from Bainbridge Island and arrive at Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport for flights out after 1:00 p.m. Breakfast

Details

Jul 16

Washington Waterways and National Parks

  • When:
    • Thursday, July 16 – Friday, July 24, 2015
      9-Days/8-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 13 Meals (5 dinners and 8 breakfasts)
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Spend 5 nights at the Hotel Murano in downtown Tacoma
    • Tour the Museum of Glass featuring a "hands on" session and the impressive Chihuly Bridge of Glass
    • Visit LeMay-America's Car Museum, the largest collection of classic and vintage automobiles in the world
    • Open-air tram through Northwest Trek Wildlife Park with its American bison, Roosevelt elk, caribou and moose
    • Take an excursion on the steam-powered Mt. Rainier Scenic Railway with a barbecue dinner at Mineral Lake
    • Narrated city tour of Seattle including Pioneer Square Historic Park and free time for lunch in Pike Place Market
    • Visit the Museum of Flight viewing the historic aircraft, Space Gallery and Boeing's original Red Barn factory
    • Tour Mount Rainier National Park with its giant Douglas firs, icy glaciers and Jackson Memorial Visitor Center
    • Enjoy a tasty dinner at the Emerald Queen Casino
    • Visit Port Townsend and a Sequim area Lavender Farm
    • Ferry to Victoria, known for its English flavor, double-decker buses, Tudor-style buildings and gardens
    • Discover world-famous Butchart Gardens with its ornate landscaping and superb Italian, Japanese, and rose gardens
    • Touring in Olympic National Park featuring Hoh Rain Forest, Lake Crescent and the beautiful Olympic Mountains
    • Farewell dinner at the Bushwacker Restaurant
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices are for cash or check transactions. There will be a 5% convenience fee added to credit transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 2,349.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 3,328.00

Prices and itineraries are subject to change

Note: Prices above do not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation as well as pre and post night stays upon request.

****PASSPORTS ARE NEEDED FOR THIS TRIP****

Grand Alaska Escorted Land Tour
Anchorage, Valdez, Fairbanks and Denali National Park

Friday, July 24 – Sunday, August 2, 2015 (PA)
10-Days/9-Nights

Grand Alaska Escorted Land Tour

Day One: Fly into Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Transfer via hotel courtesy shuttle and overnight in Anchorage (or purchase meet/transfer service).

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Day Two: After breakfast in the hotel, board a deluxe motorcoach for today's grand adventure to Valdez. Drive through the Matanuska Susitna Valley where world record monster size vegetables grow in the 24-hour daylight. Stop by Worthington Glacier for a look at this gigantic piece of ice.

Arrive early evening in Valdez, nestled between the waterfront and mountains, giving it the nickname, Alaska's Little Switzerland.

Check into your Valdez hotel and enjoy a complimentary welcome reception.

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

STAN STEPHENS GLACIER CRUISE

Day Three: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy time of leisure exploring the quaint community of Valdez with an included admission to the Valdez Museum.

Late this morning, board a glacier and wildlife cruise and travel through the majestic Prince William Sound. Explore the three-mile face of the mighty Columbia Glacier and hear tales of the region as told by the Alaskan crew. Keep your eyes open for seals, sea lions, otters, whales, and puffins throughout this half-day exploration cruise with an included lunch.

Return back to the hotel and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Day Four: After breakfast in the hotel, board the motorcoach for a journey north to the largest city in the interior, Fairbanks; better known to Alaskans as the Golden Heart City. The route takes you along the Wrangell- St. Elias National Park, the largest park in the U.S. and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

Check into your Fairbanks hotel and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Day Five: After breakfast in the hotel, learn how the gold rush affected Alaska’s interior on a sightseeing tour with an included visit to the Museum of the North. Enjoy leisure time in the downtown area for shopping and to have lunch on your own.

After lunch, experience the thrill of river travel aboard a sternwheeler as you cruise on the Chena River. Travel back to the time when traditional riverboats plied the waterways of Alaska’s interior during the late 1800’s.

Return back to the hotel and enjoy dinner on your own. As an option you may want to purchase the authentic salmon bake.

Day Six: After breakfast in the hotel, board the motorcoach and travel south to Denali National Park. Enjoy an afternoon of exploring this pristine area at your leisure by either participating in a complimentary park service activity or optional tour. There are many to choose from including mild or wild-river rafting, flight seeing, a jet boat safari on the Nenana River or a visit to an Iditarod champions award winning dog kennel.

Check into your Denali hotel and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Day Seven: After breakfast in the hotel, board the motorcoach and travel deep into Denali National Park on the Tundra Wilderness Tour and search the pristine wilderness for bear, moose, caribou, and sheep. This tour is approximately eight hours and includes a snack box dinner and hot beverage.

Return back to the hotel.

Day Eight: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a morning of leisure to explore Denali on your own.

This afternoon travel by deluxe dome railcar for a day trip to Anchorage. As you travel along the Susitna River, you may catch a glimpse of the majestic Mt. McKinley or black bear along the banks of the Susitna River.

Check into your Anchorage hotel and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.  

Day Nine: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a city tour of Anchorage. Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a gathering place that celebrates, perpetuates and shares Alaska Native cultures.

Tonight, share stories of your Alaskan adventure with your traveling companions at an included farewell dinner.

Day Ten: Your adventure comes to an end with a courtesy shuttle transfer to the airport.

Details

Jul 24

Grand Alaska Escorted Land Tour
Anchorage, Valdez, Fairbanks and Denali National Park

  • When:
    • Friday, July 24 – Sunday, August 2, 2015 (PA)
      10-Days/9-Nights
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash or check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 2,394.00

Note: A convenience fee of 5% will applied to above prices for all credit card payments.

Note: Above prices do not include airfare, however we will gladly make flight arrangements for you as well as pre and post night stays if requested.

August 2015

Pacific Coast Journey
Featuring Oregon’s Coast and San Francisco

Monday, August 3 – Tuesday, August 11, 2015
9-Days/8-Nights

Flavors of the South ..New Orleans, Memphis and the Louisiana Creole Nature Trail

Revel in the natural beauty of the Pacific Coast experiencing the wonders of the Columbia River Gorge, glorious mountains, magnificent redwood trees, lush vineyards and the exciting City by the Bay.

Day One: Arrive in Portland
Welcome to Portland, Oregon, the “City of Roses” to begin your Pacific Coast Journey. Meet your Tour Manager at 5:00 p.m. and get to know your fellow travelers during a fun-filled welcome dinner at the Rheinlander German Restaurant, a unique, festive dining experience complete with singing servers. Dinner

Day Two: Columbia River Gorge
This morning features the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, where sheer cliffs rise as high as 2,000 feet! First a stop at Crown Point offers spectacular gorge views from the Vista House, then you will see splendid Multnomah Falls, mammoth Bonneville Lock and Dam. This afternoon a guided tour of Portland includes Lloyd Center, the downtown area on the Willamette River, Old Town Historic District and famed International Rose Test Gardens. Breakfast

Day Three: Explore the Oregon Coast
Today begin your exploration of the magnificent Oregon Coast, viewing beaches, sheer cliffs, and pounding surf. Enjoy a tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory, before taking the breathtaking Three Capes Scenic Drive. Nearby you will see the 1873 Yaquina Head Lighthouse, tallest in the state. Oceanfront accommodations have been arranged tonight in Newport. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Four: Oregon Dunes Buggy Tour
Continuing our coastal adventure through Yachats, Florence and Reedsburg, today’s sightseeing includes exploration of the fabulous 250-foot sand dunes at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area by four-wheel-drive vehicle, a visit to the lovely botanical gardens of Shore Acres State Park, and a stop at a myrtle wood gift factory. This evening you will overnight in the quaint town of Roseburg. Breakfast

Day Five: Crater Lake National Park
Today features the natural wonders of Crater Lake National Park, where rain and snow filled the empty caldera of an ancient volcano with brilliant blue waters to a depth of 1,932 feet, creating the deepest lake in North America. Follow the Western Rim Drive for unmatched panoramic views. This afternoon travel back to the coast at Coos Bay and enjoy a delicious dinner. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Six: Rouge River Jetboat Trip and the Redwoods
Following the spectacular Oregon coastline you will arrive at Gold Beach where you will embark on a jetboat excursion along the Rogue River. Follow a portion of the old mailboat route before your travels bring you to northern California, home of Redwood National Park. Continuing along the coastline through miles of giant forests, today’s destination is Eureka, where accommodations and dinner await. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Seven: Avenue of the Giants and Wine Tasting
Depart Eureka this morning and drive along a portion of the “Avenue of the Giants,” through huge stands of magnificent redwoods in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This afternoon you will motor your way through the famed Sonoma Valley wine country, where a stop has been scheduled for a tasting at a local winery. Check-in for a two-night stay at a charming inn at Novato. Breakfast

Day Eight: San Francisco Touring and Bay Cruise
Today cross the Golden Gate Bridge, spend the morning touring San Francisco, discovering the many sights for which the “City by the Bay” is renowned. Free time for browsing at Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 begins the afternoon, before an invigorating cruise of San Francisco Bay. Our farewell dinner tonight is in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Nine: Travel Home
Depart for home from this memorable vacation with a group transfer to San Francisco International Airport for flights out after 1:00 p.m. Breakfast

Details

Aug 11

Pacific Coast Journey
Featuring Oregon’s Coast and San Francisco

  • When:
    • Monday, August 3 – Tuesday, August 11, 2015
      9-Days/8-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 13 Meals (5 dinners and 8 breakfasts)
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Welcome dinner at Rheinlander German Restaurant, a festive dining experience with singing servers
    • Columbia River Gorge including beautiful Multnomah Falls and the mammoth Bonneville Lock and Dam
    • Guided tour of Portland including the Old Town Historic District and the International Rose Test Gardens
    • Tour the Tillamook Cheese Factory
    • Explore the magnificent Oregon Coast including Three Capes Scenic Drive and Yaquina Head Lighthouse
    • Enjoy a four-wheel drive dune buggy ride through Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
    • Visit Crater Lake National Park and take the Western Rim Drive
    • Rouge River Jetboat excursion following the route of the old mailboats (Subject to water levels)
    • See the gigantic redwoods and sequoias of Redwood National Park
    • Follow the Oregon coast, with some of the most dramatic scenery in the country
    • Wine tasting in California’s Sonoma County
    • San Francisco touring including the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay cruise and farewell dinner in Chinatown
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices are for cash or check transactions. There will be a 5% convenience fee added for credit card transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 1,998.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 2,747.00

Prices and itineraries are subject to change

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

Yellowstone National Park and Sun Valley
(Featuring Hells Canyon, the Salmon River and
Sun Valley Resort)

Saturday, August 8 – Sunday, August 16, 2015
9-Days/8-Nights

Yellowstone National Park and Sun Valley

DAY ONE — ARRIVE IDAHO AND WELCOME BASQUE DINNER
Upon arrival in Boise, you are met and transferred to your hotel. At 5:00 p.m. board the Boise Trolley to explore the sights of the modern downtown area, the Idaho State Capitol, parks along the Boise River, impressive residential neighborhoods and the Old State Penitentiary Historic Site. Boise is also home to a large Basque community, so a special Basque “welcome” dinner will be served outdoors in a group shelter at a local park to complete the day. Dinner

DAY TWO — HELLS CANYON JET BOAT TRIP AND SALMON RIVER LODGE
Today enjoy an exciting jet boat trip on the Snake River through Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. North America’s deepest river gorge, the steep black basalt walls reach a maximum depth of 7,913 feet. Our “Wild Sheep Tour” departs from just north of the Hells Canyon Dam, and also includes a delightful riverside lunch buffet. Then your journey resumes with a two-night stay in Riggins, spectacularly situated at the confluence of the Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers. Breakfast and Lunch

DAY THREE — SALMON RIVER WHITEWATER RAFTING
One of the highlights of our trip is sure to be a splendid, full-day whitewater-rafting excursion (moderate rapids, classes II and III, suitable for all ages) through pristine wilderness backcountry on the Salmon River. A picnic lunch will be served on the riverbank. A special treat this evening will be a barbecue cookout dinner overlooking the rivers at our hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY FOUR — SAWTOOTH NATIONAL RECREATION AREA AND SUN VALLEY RESORT
The rugged mountains and rushing rivers along our route today prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Idaho should be famous for far more than potatoes. Our scenic drive through McCall, Cascade, Stanley and Sawtooth National Recreation Area offers breathtaking panoramic vistas at Banner and Galena Summits, and concludes with an overnight stay at luxurious, world-famous Sun Valley Resort, a favorite year-round vacation hideaway of Hollywood celebrities and government leaders for decades. Breakfast

DAY FIVE — CRATERS OF THE MOON NATIONAL MONUMENT
After breakfast, make your way to extraordinary Craters of the Moon National Monument, home of some of the nation’s most awe-inspiring lava fields, craters, cinder cones and lava tubes, the result of intense volcanic activity more than 2,000 years ago. Arrive in magnificent Yellowstone National Park this afternoon, your home for the next two nights. Breakfast

DAY SIX — FULL DAY IN YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
A full day of sightseeing in Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, features outstanding natural spectacles, including renowned geysers and thermal basins. Our tour begins with the awesome 1,200-foot-deep Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, including views from Inspiration and Lookout Points. Next, travel through Dunraven Pass and Tower Junction to the terraced formations of Mammoth Hot Springs. Finally, explore Norris Geyser Basin, filled with an incredible variety of steam vents, mud pots, geysers, and hot springs, before returning to our park lodge for dinner this evening. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY SEVEN — GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK AND JACKSON HOLE
Continuing your tour of Yellowstone National Park, head for Old Faithful Geyser, named for its regular eruptions every 80 to 90 minutes for some 150 years. Then, traveling along Rockefeller Memorial Parkway into beautiful Grand Teton National Park, you will see Jackson and Jenny Lakes, the Chapel of the Transfiguration, and, of course, the rugged, towering Teton Mountains. This afternoon arrive at Jackson Hole, where overnight accommodations await in this picturesque resort community. Breakfast

DAY EIGHT — MUSEUM OF IDAHO AND SHOSHONE FALLS
Departing Jackson and heading west, this morning you will visit the fascinating Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls, documenting milestones in the history of the Gem State, the first white explorers of which were Lewis and Clark in 1805-06. Following an afternoon stop at spectacular Shoshone Falls, known as the “Niagara of the West,” you will arrive at nearby accommodations in Twin Falls and savor a delicious “farewell” dinner at the Canyon Crest Dining Center, overlooking the Snake River Canyon. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY NINE — HOME
Filled with memories of an exceptional travel experience, our group transfer takes us to the Boise International Airport for flights home departing after 1:00pm. Breakfast

Details

Aug 08

Yellowstone National Park and Sun Valley
(Featuring Hells Canyon, the Salmon River and
Sun Valley Resort)

  • When:
    • Saturday, August 8 – Sunday, August 16, 2015
      9-Days/8-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 14 Meals (4 dinners, 2 lunches and 8 breakfasts)
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Narrated Trolley Tour of Boise with a special welcome Basque dinner
    • Exciting jet boat trip on the Snake River through Hells Canyon, North America's deepest river gorge
    • Spend 2 nights at the Salmon River Lodge, nestled in Idaho's mountain heartland
    • Whitewater rafting excursion with riverside picnic lunch on the Salmon River
    • Marvel at the rugged mountain of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area
    • Spend 1 night at the luxurious, world-famous Sun Valley Resort, a favorite year-round vacation hideaway of celebrities
    • Travel through Craters of the Moon National Monument, home of awe-inspiring lava fields and craters
    • Spend 2 nights in Yellowstone National Park, America's first national park and home to famed geyser, Old Faithful
    • Full day sightseeing in Yellowstone, including renowned geysers, thermal basins, the 1,200-foot-deep grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs
    • Travel the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway into beautiful Grand Teton National Park and spend the night in Jackson Hole
    • Visit the Museum of Idaho, documenting milestones from the first explorers Lewis and Clark
    • See the spectacular Shoshone Falls, known as the "Niagara of the West"
    • Farewell dinner at the Canyon Crest Dining Center, overlooking the Snake River Canyon
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices are for cash or check transactions. There will be a 5% convenience fee added to credit transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 2,198.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 3,177.00

Prices and itineraries are subject to change

Note: Prices above do not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation as well as pre and post night stays upon request.

Alaska Explorer Escorted Land Tour
Featuring Fairbanks, Denali National Park and Anchorage

Monday, August 24 – Sunday, August 30, 2015 (PA)
7-Days/6-Nights

Alaska Explorer Escorted Land Tour

Day One: Fly into Fairbanks, the heart of the interior and transfer to your Fairbanks hotel via the hotel courtesy shuttle. (Or purchase meet/transfer service)

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Day Two: After breakfast in the hotel, learn how the gold rush affected Alaska’s interior on a sightseeing tour with an included visit to the Museum of the North. Enjoy leisure time in the downtown area for shopping and to have lunch on your own.

After lunch, experience the thrill of river travel aboard a sternwheeler as you cruise on the Chena River. Travel back to the time when traditional riverboats plied the waterways of Alaska’s interior during the late 1800’s.

Return back to the hotel and enjoy dinner on your own. As an option you may want to purchase the authentic salmon bake.

Day Three: After breakfast in the hotel, board the motorcoach and travel south to Denali National Park. Enjoy an afternoon of exploring this pristine area at your leisure by either participating in a complimentary park service activity or optional tour. There are many to choose from including mild or wild-river rafting, flight seeing, a jet boat safari on the Nenana River or a visit to an Iditarod champions award winning dog kennel.

Return back to the hotel and enjoy dinner on your own.

Day Four: After breakfast in the hotel, travel deep into Denali National Park on the Tundra Wilderness Tour and search the vast wilderness for bear, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. This six to eight hour journey is narrated allowing for insight into the animals, flora and fauna of this spectacular region including a snack on the bus.

Return back to the hotel and enjoy dinner on your own.

Day Five: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a morning of leisure to explore on your own.

This afternoon ride deluxe dome railcars during your day trip to Anchorage. Watch for a glimpse of the majestic Mt. McKinley or black bear along the banks of the Susitna River.

Check into your Anchorage hotel and enjoy dinner on your own.

Day Six: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a city tour of Anchorage. Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a gathering place that celebrates, perpetuates and shares Alaska Native cultures.

Tonight, share stories of your Alaskan adventure with your traveling companions at an included farewell dinner.

Day Seven: Your adventure comes to an end with a courtesy shuttle transfer to the airport.

Details

Aug 24

Alaska Explorer Escorted Land Tour
Featuring Fairbanks, Denali National Park and Anchorage

  • When:
    • Monday, August 24 – Sunday, August 30, 2015 (PA)
      7-Days/6-Nights
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash or check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 1,554.00

Note: A convenience fee of 5% will applied to above prices for all credit card payments.

Note: Above prices do not include airfare, however we will gladly make flight arrangements for you as well as pre and post night stays if requested.

September 2015

Cruising Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands
Monday, September 7 – Monday, September 14, 2015
8-Days/7-Nights

Cruising Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands

See Mother Nature frozen in time, in a place unlike any other on Earth. Join us on an unforgettable trip to the Galápagos Islands, a place so unique it changed the way we think about our world.

Galápagos Island Cruise Tour
Imagine snorkeling with playful sea lions, coming face-to-face with iguanas and watching gigantic tortoises slowly making their way in their natural habitat. Experience the ultimate in wildlife that Charles Darwin described as the “archipelago that strikes me with wonder.” See it all come to life in the Galápagos Islands, some 650 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.

Quito—Colonial Capital City of Ecuador
As the first city to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, Quito boasts a historic center and centuries-old landmarks that date back 500 years. You’ll feel the Spanish Colonial influence throughout the city, blended in with today’s contemporary structures. Visit “Mitad del Mundo” and the Equator Monument which stands at 0 degrees and feel what it’s like to be standing in the middle of the world. During your included city tour you’ll see a bull fighting ring, gilded Spanish colonial church and the Solar Museum that showcases physics and folklore.

Welcome Aboard the Coral 1—Luxury yachting in an intimate setting Ballena Bay/Edén Islet, Santa Cruz—A Natural Paradise
Get your first taste of this Galápagos Island at Ballena Bay where you’ll be on the lookout for marine iguanas, lovely pelicans and herons. Snorkel in sparkling blue-green waters and observe a glorious underwater world of tropical marine life.

Espinosa Point on Fernandina—the Most Well-Preserved of the Islands
Discover one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems as you hike through a thick canopy of mangroves at Espinosa Point. Observe hundreds of prehistoric marine iguanas sunbathing on black lava rocks. All around are Galápagos penguins, pelicans, sea lions and fur seals, ready to pose for pictures. Watch out for colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs scurrying across the path. Quiet now as you encounter Flightless Cormorants on their nesting site, the only place in the world to find this species. These birds once flew, but over time, adapted to their environment and lost their ability to fly. Be on the lookout for the major predator on the island, the Galápagos Hawk.

Tagus Cove on Isabela Island
The largest island in the Galápagos, Isabela was created by the merging of six volcanoes, many which remain active today. Evidence of volcanic activity is all around. Tagus Cove provides outstanding views of the lava fields and the geological tuff cones that created wide, steep sloped craters. Take a dinghy ride along the shoreline where you’ll spot sea birds soaring in the sky. Small Galápagos Penguins are the only penguin in the world to extend into the Northern hemisphere. More than 2,000 of these adorable creatures live on the island and they’ll entertain you with their antics. Once a site of early pirates and whalers, you can snorkel in these deep waters and find treasures left behind.

Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island
Take a dinghy ride along the coast surrounded by red and white mangroves. Great blue herons, pelicans and brown noddies come to roost, looking for food. Watch as the sea turtles lay their eggs and nest.

Urbina Bay, Isabela Island—Spectacular views of Alcedo Volcano
Land on the black sand beaches, caused by volcanic activity and search for shells and other organisms. In 1954, a volcano uplifted the coral reef, leaving marine skeletons that tell of its ancient past. Look for Darwin’s finches, land iguanas and the Galápagos cotton flower in bloom. Outstanding snorkeling awaits you in the crystal clear waters, showcasing fascinating marine life. Amazing views of the Alcedo Volcano, which spewed an unusual combination of rhyolite and basalt lava, stands as a powerful backdrop and reminder of nature’s power.

Buccaneer Cove and Espumilla Beach, Santiago Island
The fourth largest island in the Galápagos, Santiago Island provides spectacular views of powerful volcanic activity. Observe Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and white-checked Pintails as you take in the awesome high cliffs. Walk along the red sand beach of Buccaneer Cove, named for the pirates who once stashed their loot here. Spot fur seals, tropical fish, sharks and moray eels.

Espumilla Beach
At Espumilla Beach, you’ll watch natural wonders come to life—marine sea turtles nesting on the beach and the dance between prey and predator. In the air, hunting herons swoop down on Sally Lightfoot Crabs as testament to Darwin’s theory.

Sullivan Bay, Santiago—Fascinating geologic formations
More than a hundred years ago, a volcanic eruption created the dramatic landscape in Sullivan Bay. Leaving its geological footprint, the steep cliffs, black lava and tuff cones showcase the impact of volcanic activity in this barren terrain.

El Chato, Santa Cruz—Giant Tortoises in the Wild
At a private farm, you’ll have an opportunity to observe immense sea turtles in their natural habitat as they slowly meander through the forest. Sounds of Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and Galápagos rails fill the air. As your journey comes to an end, you’ll be filled with wonder at the sights and sounds of this original paradise.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day One:
  • Flight to Quito, Ecuador
  • Arrive late evening and transfer to your hotel
  • Evening at leisure
Day Two:
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • City tour of Quito by coach
  • Visit “Mitad del Mundo” (Middle of the World) and the Equator Monument situated at 0 degrees
  • Enjoy visits to the Solar Museum and a bullfighting ring
  • Evening at leisure
Day Three:
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Flight to Baltra and transfer to the M/Y Coral I
  • Set sail for Santa Cruz Island
  • Experience a wet landing at Ballena Bay for an opportunity to see marine iguanas and sea birds on a walking tour and time for snorkeling and swimming
  • Lunch and dinner onboard
Day Four:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Morning visit to Fernandina Island with a dry landing at Espinosa Point
  • During the walking tour, see marine iguanas, sea lions, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Flightless Cormorants, Galápagos Penguins and the “King” of predators, the Galápagos Hawk
  • See the “Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations, plus the Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangroves
  • Afternoon dry landing on the island of Isabela
  • See Darwin’s salt-water crater lake, lava fields and volcanic formations during a walking tour
  • See many varieties of birds as you take a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife
  • Enjoy an opportunity to snorkel in deep water to view the pirate graffiti left by 19th-century pirates
Day Five:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Start your day with dinghy ride along the coast of Isabela Island in Elizabeth Bay’s mangrove forest to admire Flightless Cormorants, Galápagos Penguins and a nesting area for sea turtles (depending on season)
  • This afternoon, experience a wet landing on the volcanic black beach in Urbina Bay
  • Encounter native wildlife and flora during a walking tour
  • Opportunity to snorkel and swim with the sea lions, sea turtles and countless tropical fish
Day Six:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Today’s wet landings are on Santiago Island at Buccaneer Cove, a safe haven for pirates, sailors and whalers in the 18th and 19th centuries and at Sullivan Bay with its extensive lava flows
  • Enjoy walking tours and time for swimming and deep water snorkeling in each location
  • Farewell dinner onboard
Day Seven:
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Today is a dry landing on Santa Cruz Island
  • Visit a private farm and see giant tortoises in their natural habitat
  • Transfer to the airport for a flight to Guayaquil
  • Upon arrival transfer to the hotel
  • Afternoon city tour of Guayaquil
  • Evening at leisure
Day Eight:
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Transfer to Guayaquil airport for flight home

Details

Apr 10

Cruising Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands

  • When:
    • Monday, September 7 – Monday, September 14, 2015
      8-Days/7-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 15 Meals (7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners)
    • Airport transfers on tour dates when air is provided by Mayflower Tours
    • Experience the wonder and beauty of the Galápagos Islands aboard the exclusively chartered M/Y Coral 1 on a four-night cruise.
    • Included landings on Santa Cruz, Fernandina, Isabela and Santiago Islands with walking tours to see the magnificent wildlife, flora and geology
    • Incredible, up close encounters with seabirds, iguanas, giant tortoises and more
    • Dinghy excursions along the extensive mangroves to view turtle nesting areas
    • Outstanding snorkeling and swimming at each island
    • City tours with an English-speaking local guide in Quito and Guayaquil in Ecuador
    • All dinners onboard with wine
    • Knowledgeable Naturalist Guide onboard
    • Pre- and Post-cruise hotel stays in five-star accommodations
    • Snorkel with native species in their underwater habitat
    • See indigenous wildlife upclose on the beaches
    • Learn about Darwin’s archipelago from the onboard Naturalist Guide

Pricing Information:
The following prices apply to cash/check transactions. Itineraries are subject to change due to conditions on the river.

Standard Cabin:
Per person double occupancy: from 3,399.00 Per person single occupancy: from 6,507.00

Standard Cabin Plus:
Per person double occupancy: from 4,308.00 Per person single occupancy: from 7,077.00

Junior Cabin:
Per person double occupancy: from 4,608.00

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

San Francisco and Wine Country
Monday, September 21 – Friday, September 25, 2015
5-Days/4-Nights

San Francisco and Wine Country

Explore San Francisco, one of America's great unique and historic cities, including a bay cruise; then journey into California's wine country with tastings, shopping and a scenic rail excursion.

DAY ONE: ARRIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO
Upon arrival in San Francisco, transfer to your lodging in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Your Tour Manager will be available at 6:00 p.m. in the lobby to offer dining suggestions.

DAY TWO: SAN FRANCISCO TOURING
Following breakfast, embark on a guided tour of San Francisco you will see so many of the landmarks that made the city known throughout the world. Begin with a ride on a cable car and continue to Union Square, Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park, Chinatown and the world’s most crooked street. This afternoon embark on a narrated San Francisco Bay cruise, taking in the city’s waterfront, Fort Mason, the Presidio, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Tonight, dinner is in Chinatown with a Chinese banquet dinner at the Cathay House. Breakfast and Dinner

DAY THREE: NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN AND CHARLES M. SCHULTZ
Today travel to beautiful Napa Valley. Upon arrival board the meticulously restored vintage rail cars of the Napa Valley Wine Train. While on board, your waiter will bring a freshly prepared gourmet lunch while the views of the vineyards and wineries pass by. Continue your day into California’s wine country and visit the Sonoma area surrounded by rolling valleys and hundreds of vineyards. Before checking into our Sonoma hotel, visit the Charles M. Schultz Museum, the creator of the beloved Peanuts comic strip. Lunch

DAY FOUR: CHATEAU ST. JEAN AND FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA WINERIES
Begin the day at beautiful Chateau St. Jean Winery. Here, take a historical guided tour of the winery. Take time to stroll through the Mediterranean-inspired gardens, visit the demonstration vineyards where you will learn about the wine varietals and grape-growing styles. You will observe the barrel room and stroll through the historic Chateau while tasting five different wines. Our next stop is historic Sonoma Town Plaza with its restaurants and shops. A stroll around the town square will take you past former Mexican barracks, 19th-century hotels, the San Francisco Solano Mission and the site of the Bear Flag Revolt. Later, travel to the winery and museum of Academy Award winning director Frances Ford Coppola for a wine tasting and visit. Sample some of the region’s finest wines while touring the Movie Gallery, which displays a vast collection of the filmmaker’s memorabilia, including the 1948 Tucker car from the movie of the same name, Don Corleone’s desk from The Godfather as well as Mr. Coppola’s five Oscars. Tonight, a farewell dinner hosted by your Tour Manager completes the day. Dinner

DAY FIVE: RETURN HOME
Your tour ends with a group transfer to the San Francisco International Airport for flights home after 12:00 p.m. Breakfast

Details

Sep 21

San Francisco and Wine Country

  • When:
    • Monday, September 21 – Friday, September 25, 2015
      5-Days/4-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 5 Meals (2 dinners, 1 lunch and 2 breakfasts)
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Spend 2 nights in San Francisco's delightful Fisherman's Wharf area
    • Tour San Francisco with a local guide including Golden Gate Park, Union Square, Lombard Street an a cable car ride
    • Embark on a narrated San Francisco Bay cruise, taking in the city's waterfront, Angel Island, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge
    • Experience the Napa Valley Wine Train excursion with an included gourmet lunch and local wine
    • Visit the Charles M. Schultz Museum
    • Spend 2 nights in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country
    • Enjoy a tour and wine tasting at Chateau St. Jean with its Mediterranean-inspired gardens and varietal wines
    • Visit Sonoma Town Plaza, home of the Bear Flag Revolt with museums and shops
    • Enjoy a visit and wine tasting at Frances Ford Coppola Winery featuring the Movie Gallery of the filmmaker's memorabilia
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices are for cash or check transactions. There will be a 5% convenience fee added to credit transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 1,499.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 2,258.00

Prices and itineraries are subject to change

Note: Prices above do not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation as well as pre and post night stays upon request.

Cruising the Adriatic and the Dalmatian Coast
Friday, May 1 – Saturday, May 9, 2015
Or
Friday, September 25 – Saturday, October 3, 2015
9-Days/8-Nights

Cruising the Adriatic and the Dalmatian Coast

Experience the history, culture, food and architecture of old-world Europe combined with amazingly blue seas, thick forests and the region's best beaches. It's the best of an exploring vacation and a relaxing vacation in one!

Dubrovnik
Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," situated on the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration program and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

According to historical lore, Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century on a rocky island named Laus, which is said to have provided shelter for refugees from the nearby city of Epidaurum.

During your visit, you will tour the interior of The Rector's Palace, a Gothic-Renaissance structure that displays finely carved capitals and an ornate staircase and the pharmacy of the Franciscan Monastery constructed in 1317. The rule of the Franciscan order was to take care of the sick brethren. However this particular pharmacy was designed and founded as the public pharmacy, as well as for the needs of the monks. Today the Friars Minor pharmacy is the third oldest functioning pharmacy in the entire world.

Mljet and Pucisca
The most southerly and easterly of the larger Adriatic Islands of the Dalmatia region of Croatia, Mljet has a population of just over 1,000 consisting of primarily Croats. On your guided visit of the Mljet National Park located on the Western wooded area of the island, you will learn of the five types of forests, the island's geological structure, which consists of limestone and dolomite forming ridges, crests and slopes and the many species of birds and eagles nests. The east end of the park is characterized by two deep bays that are called “lakes” because of their narrow channel. A channel connects the small lake with the big lake, on which St. Mary’s Island is situated with its Benedictine Monastery from the 12th century. Many tales involve the island of Mljet. One of them saying it was the favorite holiday destination of the Greek hero Ulysses. Enjoy a wine tasting at Grgich Hills Winery. The beautiful small town of Pucisca, with a population of 2,200, arose from stone in a deep cover on the north island of Brac. Known for its culture of stone masonry, the nicely built stone houses with paved white roofs give Pucisca its charm.

Omis
The picturesque, ancient town of Omis is situated at the mouth of the Cetina River, the centre of the Omis Riviera, and surrounded by small fishing villages with beautiful beaches. Numerous monuments from its past are the witnesses of its long and glorious history. Nowadays one can find an interesting and colorful market place, a large number of small restaurants, coffee shops, bistros, various shops (including duty free) and fashionable boutiques. The Cetina River and its magnificent canyon are cut into the picturesque mountainous massif in the very background of the town. On its way to the sea the river has created numerous long sandy beaches that are characteristics of this part of the coast and make it one of the most beautiful, unusual and incomparable.

Split
This is the largest Dalmatian city and the second largest city of Croatia, on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea. Spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings, Split's greater area includes the neighboring seaside town and its city center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll visit the seafront promenade and the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace. Bol—The Golden Horn Known for the best beach in Croatia, the Golden Horn, this vast, golden pebble beach is some 580 yards long and is unique as it changes shape and position depending on the winds.

Hvar
The international jet set meeting point, "The Croatian Maderia" is one of the longest islands stretching along the shores of Croatia. You will see the first public theater in Europe, older than Shakespeare’s theater, the Franciscan Monastery and have free time to explore.

Korcula
This is the acclaimed birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo with its narrow, cobbled streets. Visit the majestic Cathedral of St. Mark, probably the most important building in the Korcula Old Town. It is built in Gothic-Renaissance style, completed in the 15th century. Immerse yourself in Korcula’s narrow walkways and discover adorned palaces and elegant houses. In the evening, follow the fading light to reveal a glorious Adriatic sunset.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day One:
  • Transatlantic flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia
Day Two:
  • Arrive in Dubrovnik and transfer to Gruz harbor
  • Board the MS Princess Aloha
  • Enjoy a welcome reception
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Dinner this evening is onboard the ship
  • Overnight Dubrovnik
Day Three:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Enjoy a walking tour of Dubrovnik
  • Visit the Rector’s Palace and the Franciscan Monastery’s Pharmacy
  • Visit Mljet National Park and learn of the flora and fauna
  • Cruise the “Big” and “Small” lakes to St. Mary’s Island to view the Benedictine Monastery from the 12th Century
Day Four:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Enjoy sailing this morning with magnificent views of the Island of Korcula
  • In the afternoon sail onto the Island of Brac with a visit to the town of Pucisca, enjoy time for a swim
  • This evening spend leisure time onboard
Day Five:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Begin the day with a visit to Omis and a short walking tour of the ancient town with interesting churches and fortresses
  • Enjoy a boat ride into Cetina River Canyon, a protected nature area
  • The afternoon brings a guided visit of Split, the capital of Dalmatia
  • Visit the seafront promenade and city center including the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace
  • Enjoy the evening at leisure onboard.
Day Six:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Sailing on to Bol, you will have a wonderful opportunity for a swim at the Golden Horn. Enjoy a guided visit of Hvar, considered to be the “Croatian Maderia” You will visit the first public theater in Europe and the Franciscan Monastery
  • Evening in Hvar is at your leisure.
Day Seven:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Sail on to Korcula, the acclaimed birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo
  • Enjoy a guided walking tour that includes a visit to the majestic Gothic-Baroque Cathedral of St. Mark
  • Enjoy your evening at leisure
Day Eight:
  • Breakfast and lunch onboard
  • Enjoy a pleasant cruise along the shores of Mljet Island, with a chance for a swim (weather permitting)
  • Visit Grgich Hills Winery, owned by the famous American wine producer in Trstenik, for a tasting
  • Arrive in Dubrovnik
  • Farewell dinner is onboard
Day Nine:
  • Breakfast on board
  • Transfer to Dubrovnik airport for flight home

Details

Cruising the Adriatic and the Dalmatian Coast

  • When:
    • Friday, May 1 – Saturday, May 9, 2015
      Or
      Friday, September 25 – Saturday, October 3, 2015
      9-Days/8-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 20 Meals (7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners)
    • Airport transfers on tour dates when air is provided by Mayflower Tours
    • International Cruise Director and Mayflower Tours expert staff onboard, plus local guides for shore excursions
    • Experience Croatia and The Dalmatian Coast aboard the exclusively chartered MS Princess Aloha for a seven-night small ship cruise
    • Once on board, unpack just once in your tastefully furnished stateroom
    • Cruise the Adriatic Sea to the islands of Mljet, Korcula and Brac
    • Spend time in Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Included shore excursions in Split, Omis, Hvar and Korcula with English-speaking local guides
    • Boat excursion into the Centina River Canyon, a protected nature area
    • Visit to Grgich Hills Winery with a tasting
    • All meals included on board featuring local and international specialities served at one leisurely seating
    • Dinners complimented with local wines, beers and soft drinks
    • Complimentary WiFi onboard
    • Wine tasting at a local winery
    • Interior visit of the Rector’s Palace
    • Visit to the Franciscan Monastery’s Pharmacy built in 1317
    • Enjoy a snack of local specialties during the excursion from Omis

Pricing Information:
The following prices apply to cash/check transactions. Itineraries are subject to change due to conditions on the river.

Lower Deck:
  • Per person double occupancy: 2,394.00
  • Per person single occupancy: 4,119.00
Main Deck:
  • Per person double occupancy: 2,594.00
  • Per person single occupancy: 4,469.00

Note: Prices above do not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation, as well as pre and post night stays upon request.

A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

The Inca Empire and The Amazon River Cruise
(Featuring an excursion to Machu Picchu)
Tuesday, June 9 – Thursday, June 18, 2015
Or
Tuesday, September 29 – Thursday, October 8, 2015
10-Days/9-Nights

The Inca Empire and The Amazon River Cruise

Cruise the majestic and mysterious Amazon, the world's largest river, as you explore the jungles, cities and ruins of Peru, including the famous mountain bastion of Machu Picchu. Feel a rush of adventure as you float down the Amazon River, weaving your way through South America. Along the way, you’ll pass lush rain forests, intriguing ecosystems and jungle landscapes, teeming with an unparalleled diversity of wildlife. Be on the lookout for colorful birds, fascinating primates and rare pink dolphins. This is the mighty Amazon, the largest river in the world and it’s all waiting for you to explore.

Lima, Peru – The Vibrant Capital City
Lima is the capital of Peru; the cultural capital of the country and its main business center. This bustling metropolis is also recognized as the Garden City with its many flowing fountains and interesting museums that showcase Peru’s ancient cultures.

Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Follow the trail of the Incas and take in the panorama of dramatic mountains and spectacular canyons. Cobbled streets and plazas feature both colonial and religious landmarks, built on the solid foundations of the Incas. Once the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco sets the stage; taking you back in time to when the glorious Incas ruled. The entire valley is filled with architectural wonders around every vista. Visit Sacsayhuaman, a gigantic walled city overlooking Cusco that served as a royal fortress. In Pisac, get a glimpse of daily life as both a historic town and archaeological site. Their daily market beckons with beautiful hand-woven knits and traditional Peruvian treats. You will be mesmerized by intricate paths leading to terraces, tunnels and tombs. The Andean village of Ollantaytambo once served as a country retreat for Inca royalty. Now it’s the only site retaining the original Inca walls and street grid. This is where many trekkers begin their journey.

Maras Salt Pans and Chinchero
Explore the Maras Salt Pans, where you’ll see how families harvest and maintain their own salt pans. Visit Chinchero, a small Andean Indian village with its massive wall that stands proudly in the center of the village.

Machu Picchu Comes to Life
For centuries, Machu Picchu has remained a mystery, holding tight its secrets. Journey to the Lost City of the Incas and uncover the secrets of this ancient citadel, as Machu Picchu wraps its magical spell around you. Perched high on an isolated mountaintop, this citadel in the clouds is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring an intricate complex of stone stairs, ruins and tunnels. Stand in awe of these spectacular, world-renowned sights: Temple of the Sun, fountains of the Royal Sector, cave of the Temple of the Condor and the sundial of Intihuatana.

Iquitos/Nauta/Natural Amazon Park
Board your ship in Nauta, your home for the next four nights as you get carried along the great Marañon River. Taste delicious local cuisine made with acai berries, Inca corn and red-tailed catfish. Keep your cameras ready for an abundance of unique species; exquisite birds, stealthy iguanas, and colorful pink dolphins. Learn more about the life-sustaining preservation efforts in these habitats from expert naturalists.

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve—The Mirrored Forest
Deep within the Amazon rainforest lies the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Enjoy a boat excursion down the Yanayacu River for sightings of the Amazon’s most unusual wildlife. Get up close and personal with the three-toed sloth, bright toucans, and howler monkeys. Learn about the traditional fishing techniques to catch piranhas. At dusk, glide on Corriente Lake in search of caimans, snakes, anacondas and the endangered Amazonian manatee. Along Yanayaquillo Creek, you’ll meet tribes from a local village to find out about their native culture.

Bird watching paradise
Float along the enchanting Yarapa and Ucayali Rivers with a naturalist to spot rare birds like the Harpy Eagle Laughing Falcon and tropical woodpecker. Walk the Yucuruchi Trails in search of the exquisite giant water lilies that rise out of water and the Shansho (pre-historic looking birds).

Amazon Natural Park and Reserve – Greatest bio-diversity on the planet
In this protected reserve, discover the successful reforestation efforts working in harmony with native flora and fauna. More than a dozen endangered wildlife species live here, including black caimans, river otters and ocelots. Take a canoe ride to the mystical Laguna Encantada to observe various species of iguanas, exotic birds and colorful fish of the Amazon.

Iquitos – King of the Jungle
This lively jungle city is the capital of the rainforest, accessible only by air or boat. In the early 20th century, Iquitos was a booming rubber town that brought great wealth to the city. The Iron House in the main square, made of iron walls, as well as other colonial mansions, serve as remnants of this once prosperous town. Enjoy the floating Belen Market, a colorful landscape of canoes floating from hut to hut, where you’ll find local handicrafts. As your remarkable journey comes to an end, you’ll return home with splendid memories of Machu Picchu, the exquisite Amazon and fascinating life along the river.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day One:
  • Flight to Lima, Peru
  • Transfer to the hotel
  • Evening at leisure
Day Two:
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Transfer to the airport for flight to Cusco
  • Depart for the Sacred Valley with an included lunch
  • Evening at leisure
Day Three:
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Experience the Sacred Valley on a full-day tour as you visit the Maras Salt Pans, Ollantaytambo Fort and Andean Indian village of Chinchero (Lunch included)
  • Evening at leisure
Day Four:
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Once-in-a-lifetime experience of an excursion to Machu Picchu via Vistadome train
  • Lunch and dinner included
Day Five:
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Morning at leisure
  • Return to Cusco via Vistadome Train
  • Panoramic tour of Cusco
  • Evening at leisure
Day Six:
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Iquitos
  • Upon arrival transfer to the pier to board the river ship on the Marañon River
  • Lunch onboard followed by the orientation discussion
  • During the first boat excursion, travel to the junction of the Marañon and Ucayali Rivers where you’ll see birds, iguanas and beautiful pink dolphins
  • Return to the ship for a reception, music and dinner on board
Day Seven:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board
  • Morning bird-watching excursion along the Ucayali River
  • Experience the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve on a walking tour along the Yucuruchi Trails as you look for the amazing Victoria Regia (Giant Water Lilies) and Shansho (a pre-historic looking bird)
  • Afternoon visit to a family house on the shore of the Marañon River to see how locals live in the Amazon
  • Evening boat excursion to listen to the "night fauna symphony" and look for caimans, frogs, tarantulas, snakes and anacondas
Day Eight:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board
  • Continue exploring the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
  • Morning bird-watching excursion along the Yarapa River
  • Enjoy a fishing excursion ‘Amazon style’ using traditional equipment and local techniques
  • Learn secrets of Amazon cuisine at an onboard cooking class
  • Visit the Amazon Natural Park and experience a canoe excursion to Laguna Encantada for a wildlife viewing
Day Nine:
  • Boat excursion through Yanayaquillo Creek to view monkeys, toucans, three-toe sloths and more in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve complete with a picnic breakfast
  • Visit to a local village fol- lowed by lunch onboard
  • Afternoon fishing excursion to catch piranhas or any of the 2400 species of Amazon fish
  • Reception, music and Farewell dinner onboard
Day Ten:
  • Breakfast on board
  • Disembark the ship
  • Enjoy a panoramic city tour of Iquitos en-route to the airport for flight home

Details

The Inca Empire and The Amazon River Cruise
(Featuring an excursion to Machu Picchu)

  • When:
    • Tuesday, June 9 – Thursday, June 18, 2015
      Or
      Tuesday, September 29 – Thursday, October 8, 2015
      10-Days/9-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 21 Meals (9 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 5 Dinners)
    • Airport transfers on tour dates when air is provided by Mayflower
    • International Cruise director and Mayflower Tours expert staff on board, plus local guides for shore excursions
    • Experience the wonders of Peru featuring an excursion to Machu Picchu
    • Explore the Amazon aboard the exclusively chartered M/V La Amatista for a four-night cruise
    • Once onboard, unpack once in your stateroom aboard this remarkably designed river vessel
    • Enjoy the culture and sights in Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu with overnight stays
    • Discover the natural beauty, flora and fauna of the Marañon and Ucayali Rivers including iguanas and pink dolphins
    • Spend time exploring the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve with views of the amazing Victoria Regia (Giant Water Lillies) and the Shansho (pre-historic looking birds)
    • Enjoy a bird watching and "Amazon-style" fishing excursion with traditional equipment. Plus, another opportunity to catch piranhas
    • An onboard cooking lesson enlightens your knowledge of Amazon cuisine
    • Experience the amazon Natural Park by canoe to Laguna Encantada for wildlife viewing
    • Visit a local village and meet the native tribesmen
    • All meals included onboard featuring local specialities served at one leisurely seating
    • Dinners complimented with wines
    • Visit a local village on the Amazon River
    • Attend a weaving demonstration by local craftsmen in Chichero
    • Cooking demonstration of a native Peruvian dish

Pricing Information:
The following prices apply to cash/check transactions. Itineraries are subject to change due to conditions on the river.

Main Deck:
  • Per person double occupancy: 4,064.00
  • Per person single occupancy: 6,663.00
Top Deck:
  • Per person double occupancy: 4,464.00
  • Per person single occupancy: 7,323.00

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

October 2015

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise
Saturday, October 25 – Wednesday, November 4, 2015
11-Days/10-Nights

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise

A wine lover’s odyssey - explore Portugal's famed wine country. Spend two nights exploring Lisbon, then set sail through the Portuguese Frontier. Visit Spain’s walled city of Salamanca with an included Flamenco luncheon.  Your cruise includes all shore excursions and two nights in Lisbon. Also included – dinners on shore at a monastery and a historic vineyard estate.

Lisbon
Welcome to Portugal and the capital city of Lisbon. This is the city that launched the great Age of Discovery. During the included city tour, visit Jerónimos Monastery – a masterpiece of Manuelino architecture. See the intricately carved statues on the "Monument to the Discoveries" which pays homage to the explorers from the Golden Age of Discovery. See Belem Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which still regally stands guard over the waterfront.

Fátima
Home to one of the most important Catholic shrines, it welcomes millions of visitors every year. The city’s fame originates from the apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to three shepherd children in the nearby fields. Today it is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in the world.

Coimbra
Although it served as the nation’s capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better known for the University of Coimbra. The university is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world. Learn the history of how the university was founded in 1290 by King Dinis and its importance to higher education in Portugal today. A highlight of the tour will be the included visit to the amazing library of this famous university.

Guimarães
Settled in the 9th century, Guimarães is one of the country’s most important historical cities and had a major role in the formation of Portugal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its extremely well-preserved city center. During the included walking tour you’ll see the Castelo de Guimarães, built in the 10th century and declared a national monument in 1910. Your local guide will explain the history and point out the main monuments, buildings, churches and former palaces as you stroll through the main squares, park-like settings and quaint streets of this historic city.

Entre-os-Rios
The Benedictine Alpendurada Monastery was founded before the Portuguese nationality and was first recognized in 1123 by the mother of the first king. During an included visit to the former monastery, you’ll get a feel of what life was like for the Monks. There’s also a special treat in store as you enjoy a welcome drink and dinner in this historic venue.

Régua
Best known for its fortified Port wines, the Douro River Valley is one of the world’s oldest defined wine regions – and one of today’s trendiest regions for a variety of wine styles. Sail through the pretty, terraced landscape of this picturesque region as you make your way to Régua. During an included excursion, visit the magnificent 18th-century Manor House depicted on Mateus Rosé wine bottles. One of the best examples of baroque architecture in Portugal, the mansion also features a 100-foot cedar tunnel and stunning formal gardens.

Lamego
Surrounded by vineyards, Lamego is an attractive town, rich in history. It houses one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal – the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. During the included tour you will have the opportunity to walk down the sanctuary’s iconic 686-step granite staircase decorated with the traditional Portuguese blue and white "azulejos" tiles.

Salamanca
Salamanca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at the center of the "Castilla y León" region of Spain. During your guided city tour you will see the University buildings, the 12th-century Romanesque church of San Martin and the House of Shells. This charming town is untouched in its architectural purity, and throughout the centuries the sandstone buildings have gained an exquisite golden glow, giving the city the nickname the "Golden City." You’ll be immersed in local culture as you enjoy a lunch of deliciously authentic Spanish cuisine and a Flamenco show in a local restaurant.

Figueira Castelo Rodrigo
The municipality of Figueira Castelo Rodrigo is known for its castle which is listed as a national monument. After driving through the small village and the surrounding area which showcases pine-wood forests and rolling hills, arrive at the walled medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo. You’ll visit the well-preserved Church of Our Lady of Rocamador and have free time to wander through the meandering streets. This unique village consists of ruins from historic times, including a castle, clock tower and jail, as well as a small population of inhabitants still living here today.

Porto
Located along the Douro River estuary in northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centers and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Its settlement dates back many centuries when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. The included city tour travels along the coastal road of the Atlantic to the mouth of the Douro River. See the city’s cathedral and São Bento train station with its elaborate interior tile mosaics. During a visit to a Port Wine cave you can sample this local vintage during an included wine tasting.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day One:
  • International flight to Lisbon, Portugal
Day Two:
  • Tour begins with arrival in Lisbon; meet your Tour Manager
  • Afternoon at leisure in Lisbon
  • Welcome dinner
Day Three:
  • Buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Included sightseeing tour of Lisbon with a visit to Jerónimos Monastery
  • Remainder of the day at leisure
Day Four:
  • Buffet breakfast at your hotel
  • Transfer from the hotel in Lisbon to the ship in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
  • Stop in Fatima and included sightseeing of Coimbra en-route and a visit to the oldest university in Portugal
  • Embark the MS Douro Spirit
  • Welcome reception and dinner onboard
  • Ship overnights in Vila Nova de Gaia
Day Five:
  • Breakfast and lunch onboard
  • Included excursion to Guimarães
  • Ship departs for Entre-os- Rios in the afternoon – evening arrival
  • Included dinner at a 14th-century monastery
  • Ship overnights in Entre-os-Rios
Day Six:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Ship departs for Régua
  • Sail through the picturesque region of the Douro River Valley
  • Ship arrives Régua
  • Included touring to the Mateus Manor House
  • Experience local culture onboard with a Portuguese folklore and Fado show
  • Ship overnights in Régua
Day Seven:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Included touring of Lamego - visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, important pilgrimage site in Portugal
  • Ship departs for Pinhão
  • Ship sails along the most scenic section of the river en-route to Vega Terron, Spain for overnight
Day Eight:
  • Breakfast and dinner onboard
  • Included touring of Salamanca - visits to the University, House of Shells and Plaza Mayor
  • Included lunch and Flamenco show ashore
  • The ship relocates to Barca d’Alva for overnight
  • Barbeque dinner of Portuguese specialties
Day Nine:
  • Breakfast and lunch onboard
  • Included touring of the medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo - visit local church and see the castle ruins
  • Enjoy the afternoon sailing to Pinhão
  • Special evening at Quinta Avessada a working vineyard estate. Enjoy a Muscatel wine tasting, tour of the wine making area, dinner and entertainment.
  • Ship overnights in Pinhão
Day Ten:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Enjoy the morning sailing along the Douro River
  • Ship sails to Porto with a stop in Cais da Lixa to disembark for touring
  • Included tour of Porto with a visit to a wine cave for a tour and tasting
  • Ship overnights in Porto
Day Eleven:
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Disembarkation after breakfast
  • Transfer to the Porto airport for flight home

Details

Oct 25

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise

  • When:
    • Saturday, October 25 – Wednesday, November 4, 2015
      11-Days/10-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 23 Meals (9 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 8 dinners)
    • Airport transfers provided on tour dates when air is provided by Mayflower
    • International Cruise Director and Mayflower Tours expert staff onboard, plus English-speaking guides for shore excursions
    • Spend two nights in Lisbon, Portugal before the cruise
    • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower, Guimarães, Porto and Salamanca, Spain
    • Experience the Douro River aboard the exclusively chartered river vessel the MS Douro Spirit on a seven-night cruise
    • After boarding, unpack just once in your comfortable river view stateroom with a French balcony
    • All shore excursions included with English-speaking guides
    • All meals included while on the river cruise featuring local and international specialties served at one leisurely seating
    • All onboard dinners are served with complimentary local wines and beers
    • Evening events and Insights onboard
    • Spacious public areas, Sun Deck with swimming pool, lounge with bar and dance floor
    • Complimentary WiFi on the ship (public areas only)
    • Enhanced tour experience with the use of individual audio headphones
    • Dinner at a 14th-century monastery
    • Two wine tastings at local venues
    • Dinner at a working vineyard estate
    • Lunch of local specialties and Flamenco show while ashore in Spain
    • Culinary demonstration by the ship's Chef
    • Portuguese folklore and Fado Show onboard
    • Onboard dinner of barbecued Portuguese specialities

    Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions. Itineraries are subject to change due to conditions on the river.

    Main Deck:
    • Per person double occupancy: 3,399.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 5,608.00
    Top Deck:
    • Per person double occupancy: 3,699.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 6,103.00

    Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare and pre or post night accommodations upon request.

    A convenience fee will apply to all credit card payments.

December 2015

126th Anniversary of the Tournament of Roses Parade
Wednesday, December 30, 2015 – Sunday, January 3, 2016
5-Days/4-Nights

126th Anniversary of the Tournament of Roses Parade

Witness the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade, the Granddaddy of all Parades, from your reserved seats right on Colorado Boulevard.

Day One: Arrive in Southern California
Welcome to the grand dame of parades, the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade. The Rose Parade features the beautiful pageantry and tradition of magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrians and spirited marching bands. For four nights you will stay at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel. This evening join your Tour Manager for a welcome orientation.

Day Two: Los Angeles City Tour and New Year’s Eve Festivities
Today, meet your local guide for a tour of Los Angeles and Hollywood. From the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral to the new Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the tour is a blend of old and new. You will also see the Hollywood and Highland Complex, Dolby Theater and the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theater. This evening we ring in the New Year with your newfound friends at a private New Year’s Eve gala event. Put on your dancing shoes as a live orchestra fills the room with sounds from yesterday and today. Enjoy a spectacular dinner and champagne toast to celebrate the dawning of a New Year. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Three: Tournament of Roses Parade and “Showcase of Floats”
After breakfast, depart for the event you came for, the Tournament of Roses Parade. Take your reserved bleacher seats along Colorado Boulevard and view the animated floats, the precision of the marching bands and the equestrian teams as you become part of an event that is seen throughout the world by millions.

This afternoon, go behind-the-scenes in Pasadena for the fabulous post-parade “Showcase of the Floats” to see your favorite flats up close. Marvel at the thousands of various flowers from around the world that were used to create the world’s most imaginative floats.

Return back to the hotel and enjoy the evening on your own. Breakfast

Day Four: J. Paul Getty Museum and the Queen Mary
This morning, visit the incredible J. Paul Getty Museum, a testament to the enjoyment and understanding of the visual arts. The museum contains a collection of western art from the Middle Ages to the present and is one of the most visited museum in the nation.

This afternoon has been left free for you to enjoy the California sun. If you wish, you cold join us on an optional excursion to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Perched atop a hill with sweeping views of the southland, the Reagan Library chronicles his storied career that spanned more than five decades of a man who inspired Americans to achieve more than they imagined.

Tonight, you are transported back in time aboard the legendary Queen Mary. Once the grandest ocean liner in the world, the Queen Mary in now a full-service hotel, historical landmark and fine dining venue. Enjoy a fabulous farewell dinner and gain a unique glimpse into a bygone era when steamships were the most regal way to travel. Breakfast and Dinner

Day Five: Homeward Bound
Bid farewell to California as you transfer from the hotel to the Los Angeles International Airport for your flight home.

Details

Dec 30

126th Anniversary of the Tournament of Roses Parade

  • When:
    • Wednesday, December 30, 2015 – Sunday, January 3, 2016
      5-Days/4-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 4 Nights accommodation in Long Beach
    • 4 Breakfasts
    • 2 Dinners
    • Narrated Sight and Sounds tour of Los Angeles with a local guide
    • Gala private New Year’s Eve dinner and dancing
    • Reserved seating for the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade
    • See the fabulous “Showcase of the Floats” and view your favorite floats up close
    • Admission to the J. Paul Getty Museum
    • Full-time escort
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Ground transportation on a luxury motor coach
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices are for cash or check transactions. There will be a 5% convenience fee added to credit transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: 1,439.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 1,948.00

Prices and itineraries are subject to change

Note: Prices above do not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation to and from Los Angeles, as well as pre and post night stays upon request.





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