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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February 2015

"Sun Seekers’ Delight"
Cruise to Florida and the Bahamas
Aboard The "Norwegian Breakaway"
Departs New York City

8-Day/7-Night Sailings Available February through March 2015 (NC)

Sun Seekers’ Delight Cruise to Florida and the Bahamas

Soak up the sun and fun with the beaches and excitement of Florida, and experience a paradise of shopping, scuba diving and tropical adventure in the islands of the Bahamas. Sail aboard Norwegian’s exciting new "Breakaway" and see why "Cruise Critic" editors named this Best New Ship. Breathe in the fresh ocean air and connect with the sea like never before on Norwegian’s "Breakaway" that brings everything you love about New York City to sea.

Day One: Depart New York City
Arrive in New York and enjoy time to explore this exciting city on your own. Everyone, loves New York and there are a million reasons why. Board the Norwegian Breakaway by 1:00 pm for your 3:00 pm departure.

Day Two: At Sea
Explore a host of restaurants, bars and shops along the ship’s "Waterfront" a quarter mile oceanfront promenade. Indulge in 29 dining experiences, including three new, dedicated seafood venues created by New York’s Iron Chef, Geoffrey Zakarian. Enjoy dazzling hit Broadway shows like "Rock of Ages," "Burn the Floor," "Cirque Dreams" and "Dinner Jungle Fantasy." Unwind at the ships exclusive comedy club "Second City," feel the rhythm of the beat at "Howl at the Moon", the ship’s dueling piano bar or sip a beverage at the premier Ice Bar, which is kept at a chilly 17 degrees Fahrenheit and features ice sculptures of New York City. You will delight in all of this and more as this spectacular ship whisks you away to paradise.

Day Three: Port Canaveral, Florida
Arrive in Port Canaveral by 12:00 pm and explore the various sites, or relax on a nearby beach. Visit nearby Kennedy Space Center for a day of inspiring and educational exhibits. Amuse yourself at any one of the world-class theme parks or spend the day watching for alligators from an airboat. Return to your ship for a 9:00 pm departure. Cruise overnight to the exotic Bahamas.

Day Four: Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
Arrive in Great Stirrup Cay Norwegian’s private island by 10:00 am. Play in the water, snorkel and witness underwater delights. Get revved up on a WaveRunner adventure walk along white sandy beaches. To satisfy your appetite, grab a bite at "Breakaway’s" buffet. The ship departs at 6:00 pm for an overnight cruise to Nassau.

Day Five: Nassau, Bahamas
Arrive in Nassau by 8:00 am. Disembark the ship and stroll from the waterfront to the end of Bay Street, where you will find some of the best duty-free shopping and a charming mix of architecture, both old and new. Swim with the dolphins, try your luck in a casino or snorkel with colorful fish. Return to the ship for a 6:00 pm departure and begin your cruise back to New York City.

Days Six and Day Seven:
At Sea

Day Eight:
Arrive back in New York by 8:00 am and disembark the ship

Details

"Sun Seekers’ Delight"
Cruise to Florida and the Bahamas
Aboard The "Norwegian Breakaway"
Departs New York City

  • When:
    • 8-Day/7-Night Sailings Available February through March 2015
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 7 Nights on board the "Norwegian’s "Breakaway"
    • All on-board meals included in complimentary dining options
    • Art Auctions
    • On board day and night entertainment
    • Free style cruising – flexibility to do what you want when you want
    • Fitness Center, sport court, pools and hot tube

Pricing Information:

  • Per person double occupancy: from 1,164.00 interior stateroom INCLUDING taxes, port fees and fuel surcharges)

Note: The price above does not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air or ground transportation, as well as pre and post night stays upon request.

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

March 2015

"Season of Enchantment"
Boston Flower Show

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Season of Enchantment - Boston Flower Show

Leave the gray days of winter behind and welcome Spring with the "Season of Enchantment." Join us as we travel to the Boston Flower and Garden Show. Enter the gardens, the stage on which Mother Nature reveals her most wow-worthy wonders; where a talented designer can cast a spell over a dull patch and transform it into a colorful and lively oasis. Keep an eye out – there may just be a fairy or two lurking amongst the blossoms.

The show has undergone an "EXTREME GARDEN MAKEOVER." The revitalized show will feature 20 vibrant, idea-packing landscaped gardens, 250 vendors selling plants and garden-related merchandise, lectures and demonstrations. The Elegant Florists’ Invitational features arrangements by dozens of the region’s top professional florists and brings additional color and drama to the show. Each of the show’s lush and inspiring landscaped gardens, created by professional landscape designers, nurseries and florists, will feature an example of this year’s hot gardening trend. The show’s vibrant Amateur Floral Design Division will present dozens of colorful floral arrangement entries inspired by beloved fairytales from "Peter Pan" to “Frozen.” Have lunch on your own at the show’s concessions.

Details

Mar 14

"Season of Enchantment"
Boston Flower Show

  • When:
    • Saturday, March 14, 2015
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Admission to the Boston Flower Show
    • Plenty of free time to enjoy the show
    • Full time escort
    • Round trip motor coach transportation
    • Taxes and Gratuities (Note: Gratuities for the full time escort and coach driver are not included and are left at your discretion based on service.)
    • Per person: 133.00 cash or check/143.00 credit card
  • Depart: South Burlington 7:00 am, Berlin 7:45 am,
    White River Junction 8:45 am
  • Return: White River Junction 6:00 pm, Berlin 7:30 pm,
    South Burlington 8:15 pm

April 2015

Cherry Blossom Time
Washington, DC and Williamsburg

Friday, April 10 – Thursday, April 16, 2015 (M)
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 (M)
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

Cuba Experience
Sunday, May 17 – Monday, May 25, 2015 (M)
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

Cities of Light
Thursday, June 11 – Monday, June 22, 2015 (VC)
12-Days/11-Days

Cities of Light

This journey takes you to two of Europe’s most glorious cities, Paris and Prague, plus a scenic river cruise along the Moselle, Rhine and Main Rivers. Drink in the picturesque landscape of vineyard-clad hillsides and sample fine German appellations in the villages of this famous wine-producing region. Discover the romance of Paris and its many historic landmarks. Fall in love with the graceful architecture of Prague, home to countless spires and a vibrant cultural scene.

Day One: Paris, France
Arrive in Paris, the romantic capital of France. Transfer from the Charles de Gaulle airport to your hotel for a 2-night stay. After check-in, enjoy free time to explore this exciting city, or join our "welcome walk" to stretch your legs and get oriented.

Day Two: Paris, France
Today’s tour begins with a drive along the Champs-Élysées, past the Arc de Triomphe to the world-famous Louvre. The remainder of the day is yours to experience more of this timeless city: visit a museum, explore Montmartre or take a moonlit cruise along the Seine River. The banks of the Seine, with their graceful bridges and unrivaled city views, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. (B)

Day Three: Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Today, visit the Luxembourg American Cemetery and pay homage to the many Americans who lost their lives during the WWII Battle of the Bulge. See the city of Luxembourg on a guided tour, then you’ll continue on to Trier and embark your ship. Dinner is served aboard. (B, D)

Day Four: Trier and Bernkastel, Germany
Enjoy a morning tour of Trier, Germany’s oldest city, set on the banks of the Moselle River. See the wonderfully preserved Roman Porta Nigra, Trier Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady. Lunch is served aboard as we depart. Enjoy scenic cruising along the Moselle this afternoon. We dock in Bernkastel around dinnertime. After your evening meal you can take a walk through the town’s cobblestone streets, or join an optional wine-tasting excursion in this famous wine region. (B, L, D)

Day Five: Cochem, Germany
A walking tour takes you through the quaint Moselle town of Cochem. Then, visit imposing Reichsburg Castle. After lunch you sail the scenic Moselle to Koblenz, arriving in the evening during dinner. Explore the cobbled streets and cafés, or stay on your ship and hear folktales about the Moselle. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Koblenz, Braubach and Rudesheim, Germany
After breakfast, disembark in Koblenz for a tour of Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress that was never destroyed. Since its fortifications have remained so intact, stepping inside is a veritable journey back to the Middle Ages. Take in views of the Rhine Valley from this castle’s stunning vantage point. Meet your ship in Braubach, where it has sailed during your excursion. Have lunch and enjoy cruising through the storied Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with medieval castles, historic towns and vineyards. Arrive in Rüdesheim in the late afternoon. Before dinner, take time to enjoy the bars and shops lining Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse. Or, you may choose to join your concierge this afternoon for an optional wine-tasting experience. Rejoin your ship in Wiesbaden to enjoy dinner and evening cruising. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Heidelberg, Germany
Today’s full-day excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university. Tour the imposing red sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, built in the 12th century but twice destroyed by lightning and then later rebuilt. A guided walk through Heidelberg’s Old Town and marketplace is included, as is lunch in a local restaurant. Return to your ship for dinner and departure. (B, L, D)

Day Eight: Wurzburg, Germany
Disembark in Karlstadt and take a half-day excursion to the enticing Franconian wine town of Würzburg where you tour the Bishops’ Residenz, a beautiful baroque palace with numerous paintings and frescoes. Enjoy some free time in Würzburg this afternoon, or join an optional journey along the "Romantic Road" to the walled medieval village of Rothenburg. Meet your ship in Würzburg and dine aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Bamberg, Germany
This morning, enjoy scenic cruising along the Main River as you make your way eastward through the Franconia region of Germany. After lunch we stop in the historic town of Bamberg, founded in 902 and an important center of the German Enlightenment. Enjoy a walking tour of Bamberg’s beautifully preserved Old Town area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then take time to explore or perhaps sample the town’s famous locally brewed smoky beer, rauchbier. Dine aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Nuremberg, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic
After breakfast, disembark in Bamberg for a tour of the Bavarian city of Nuremberg. See the ruins of Zeppelin Field, Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s, and the Palace of Justice, the venerable vestige of the Nuremberg Trials. Enjoy lunch on your own, and then transfer to Prague. Check in to your hotel for a 2-night stay and take time to explore the city and see what you discover. (B)

Day 11: Prague, Czech Republic
This morning, tour the "City of a Hundred Spires." A guided walk takes you through Old Town to the famed Charles Bridge. Then, travel to Hradčany for a guided tour inside Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure; you can see the Town Hall’s intricate 15th-century astronomical clock, spend some time in historic Wenceslas Square or discover the city’s Jewish heritage in the Josefov Quarter. (B)

Day 12: Prague, Czech Republic
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Prague and discover more of this celebrated city. (B)

Details

Jun 11

Cities of Light

  • When:
    • Thursday, June 11 – Monday, June 22, 2015
      12-Days/11-Days
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8-day cruise with river-view stateroom
    • 2 nights each at the Le Méridien Étoile and Hilton Prague (or similar)
    • 10 guided tours with audio headset
    • All onboard meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 dinners, featuring regional specialties and including Welcome Cocktail Reception and Dinner plus breakfast at the Paris & Prague hotels
    • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service
    • Visit 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
    • Culture Curriculum: Enjoy a folkloric performance; attend lectures on the European Union & the Main River; learn how to make your own German bread pudding & Rüdesheimer coffee; get to know a local glassblower and his craft
    • All port charges
    • Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary
  • Pricing Information:
    • Bookings made prior to January 31:
      • Per person double occupancy: from 3,056.00 Standard State Room (Does not include port fees or taxes.)
    • Bookings made after January 31:
      • Per person double occupancy: from 5,799.00 Standard State Room (Does not include port fees or taxes)

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.

Cruise the Mississippi River
Aboard the "American Queen"
"Summertime and Sweet Tea"
5-Days/4-Nights
June 19 - June 23, 2015

Cruise the Mississippi River Aboard the American Queen Summertime and Sweet Tea

Let your worries drift away as you step aboard this beauty of a boat, the "American Queen." The largest steamboat ever built, the grand "American Queen" is a gracious and elegant triumph of American ingenuity. Although filled with today's modern amenities, her rooms and accommodations display all the opulence of the American Victorian Era. Glistening woodwork, fresh flowers and antiques adorn her interior spaces. Outside, lacy filigree evokes memories of the many stately riverboats that preceded her and so inspired her designers. While on board, you can select a volume from the vast collection in the Mark Twain Gallery, the boat's library. Or enjoy a sing-a-long in the Main Deck Lounge, and then tap your toes to a lavish show in the two-deck-tall Grand Saloon, the most elegant showplace on the river. The "American Queen" is the only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America and her warm and inviting ambiance is that of an antebellum mansion. Public rooms and accommodations are decorated with Victorian charm and carefully decorated antiques. Onboard riverlorians are always present to share the history of the river and enrich your experience as you are transported back in time. Onshore, experience the best plantations, gardens, historic sites and cuisine, as well as "American Queen's" signature, inclusive Hop-on Hop-off Tour. Climb aboard and cruise into the relaxing pace of life in the South.

Day One: New Orleans, Louisiana
Your vacation begins with a deluxe hotel stay in New Orleans.

Day Two: New Orleans, Louisiana
Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans today, as you explore on our own. This afternoon, board the "American Queen" and begin your voyage.

Day Three: Vacherie, Louisiana
During your time on shore from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, stroll just across the street onto Oak Alley Plantation. A canopy of 300-year-old oak trees lead you to the "Big House." Here you will learn about the rich history and culture of this spectacular antebellum mansion on a guided tour. Explore the magnificent grounds and sip a Mint Julep, a quintessential southern staple. Also located in Vacherie are the St. Joseph Plantation and Laura, a Creole Plantation. Admission to the Oak Alley Plantation and guided tour of the "Big House" are included.

Day Four: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, is one of the South’s fastest growing cities. Visitors delight in the seamless blend of past and present and experience authentic Louisiana at every turn. Here you will be docked from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, and may choose to explore on your own, or to board a motorcoach for the "American Queen's" signature Hop-on Hop-off Tour, that is locally narrated. Sites will include: "USS Kidd", the Veterans Memorial Museum, the Old Governor's Mansion, St. Joseph Cathedral, Main Street Market, Capitol Park Museum, State Capitol, Old Arsenal Museum, Museum of Art and the Old State Capitol. Admissions are included.

Day Five: New Orleans, Louisiana
Tie up in New Orleans near historic Jackson Square and bid your riverboat adieu. Begin your travels home or extend your vacation with an overnight stay.

Details

Jun 19

Cruise the Mississippi River
Aboard the "American Queen"
"Summertime and Sweet Tea"

  • When:
    • 5-Days/4-Nights
      June 19 - June 23, 2015
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Overnight stay in New Orleans before your voyage
    • Transfer to the "American Queen"
    • 3-Nights onboard accommodations
    • Multiple specialty dining options, all at no additional charge and prepared by American chef Regina Charboneau
    • Complimentary wine and beer with dinner
    • Complimentary bottled water and soft drinks throughout your voyage
    • Daily lectures by the riverlorian, the onboard historian
    • Professional showboat-style entertainment
    • Live nightly dinner entertainment
    • Shore excursions in each port, including guided tour at the Oak Alley Plantation and the Hop-on Hop-off Tour in Baton Rouge.

Pricing Information:

  • Per person double occupancy: From 1,728.00 interior stateroom (includes port charges)

Note: The price above does not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation to and from New Orleans, as well as post night stays upon request.

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 (M)
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 (M)
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 (M)
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 (M)
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.

Imperial Cities of Europe
Wednesday, August 19 – Sunday, August 30, 2015 (VC)
12-Days/11-Nights

Imperial Cities of Europe

Immerse yourself in the legacies of empires cruise along the fabled "Blue Danube." Visit the Wittenberg house of Martin Luther and browse Nuremberg’s Main Market Square. Along the lilting waters of the Danube, marvel at the cosmopolitan avenues of Budapest and the elegance of Vienna. Witness Europe’s bucolic side, too, in enchanting riverside villages and the vineyard-laden Wachau Valley.

Day One: Berlin, Germany
Arrive at the Berlin airport, then transfer to your hotel. After check-in, you have free time to get acquainted with the city, or join our "welcome walk" to stretch your legs and get oriented.

Day Two: Berlin, Germany
After breakfast, enjoy a panoramic tour of the vibrant German capital, which has seen its fair share of dramatic changes in the last century. See the Reichstag with it spectacular glass dome, the historic Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and many other iconic sites. In the afternoon, explore one of the city’s amazing museums, or join fellow travelers on an optional tour of nearby Potsdam with its delightful gardens and palaces. (B)

Day Three: Wittenberg and Dresden, Germany
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and take a coach ride to Wittenberg. Follow in Martin Luther’s footsteps to view many of Wittenberg’s historic landmarks. Tour inside Luther’s House and St. Marien’s Church, where he preached. See the Castle Church where Luther posted his "95 Theses"; then reboard your coach and head for Dresden on the Elbe River. (B)

Day Four: Dresden, Germany
Embark on a tour of Dresden, nicknamed "Florence on the Elbe." Drive through the 19th-century residential area to the Dresden Castle complex; enter the Green Vault to see a comprehensive collection of the Saxon monarchs’ crown jewels. Continue on foot to see Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady) with its distinctive bell-shaped dome, which survived World War II bombings but collapsed the following day and was later rebuilt. (B)

Day Five: Bayreuth and Nuremberg, Germany
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and head for the Franconian city of Bayreuth, known for its Wagner Opera Festival. See the Festival Theater, the Margravial Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Wagner Residence, now a museum. Continue to the former imperial city of Nuremberg, where you will embark your ship. (B, D)

Day Six: Main-Danube Canal and Nuremberg, Germany
Your morning tour of Nuremberg includes the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s, and the Palace of Justice, the venerable vestige of the Nuremberg Trials. You have a brief stop at the main courthouse before walking from the imperial palace grounds, past the Albrecht Dürer House and on to the Main Market Square of Old Town, enclosed within ancient city walls.

After lunch board your ship, join a lively and entertaining discussion of the European Union as you sail through the locks that comprise the Main–Danube Canal. An engineering marvel, the canal stretches 106 miles from Bamberg on the Main River to Kelheim on the Danube, enabling river travel from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Dinner is served aboard while we cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day Seven: Regensburg, Germany
This morning, meet your guide dockside for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg, considered one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities. See one of the largest groupings of 13th- and 14th-century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps. You also encounter the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral and a number of idyllic courtyards. Take time to stroll the streets or to shop. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time.

This afternoon, spend more time in Regensburg, perhaps visiting Germany’s oldest restaurant, the Alte Würstküche. Or, choose an optional excursion to Kelheim at the southernmost point of the Main–Danube Canal. Travel by road to Kelheim, then cast off on a ferryboat ride to explore the 400-foot chalk cliffs and dramatic scenery of the Danube Narrows. You also visit the renowned Weltenburg Abbey*, famous for its dark ale, brewed here by monks since 1050. Rejoin your ship for dinner and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

*Weltenburg Abbey tour is available from May-October only

Day Eight: Passau, Germany
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. You’ll see the New Bishop’s Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe’s largest church organ.† Enjoy lunch aboard your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. We cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

†Passau organ concert is only available May 1-October 31 and is closed on Sunday.

Day Nine: Melk and Vienna, Austria
Join a guided tour of the ornate interior of this baroque jewel of architecture, the Benedictine abbey at Melk. See its elaborate frescoes and admire the library’s comprehensive collection of medieval manuscripts; then enjoy the garden courtyard and the terrace’s Wachau Valley views. Rejoin your ship for lunch and an afternoon cruise through the captivating Wachau Valley. Later, learn to make Viennese coffee as you enjoy apple strudel. Arrive in Vienna after dinner and enjoy a leisurely evening, or you may choose to attend an optional evening concert in this "City of Waltzes." (B, L, D)

Day Ten: Vienna, Austria
Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or you may take an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, the "Versailles of Vienna," erected in 1778 and graced by a number of formal gardens, Grecian statuary, the world’s oldest zoo and Roman ruins. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day Eleven: Budapest, Hungary
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital divided by the Danube River. Take a panoramic city tour through the more modern Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Stop in Heroes’ Square to learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Walk up the hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church; enjoy brilliant views of the city below. Return to your ship for lunch and the rest of the day is yours to explore both sides of the city. (B, L, D)

Day Twelve: Budapest, Hungary
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Budapest, giving yourself more time to explore the bustling Hungarian capital. (B)

Details

Aug 19

Imperial Cities of Europe

  • When:
    • Wednesday, August 19 – Sunday, August 30, 2015
      12-Days/11-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8-day cruise with river-view stateroom
    • 2 nights each at Hilton Berlin & Swisshotel Dresden (or similar)
    • 10 guided tours with audio headset
    • All onboard meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners, featuring regional specialties and including Welcome Cocktail Reception plus hotel breakfasts
    • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service
    • Visit 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
    • Culture Curriculum: Enjoy musical entertainment highlighting Austrian & Hungarians classics; attend lectures on Luther and the Reformation, the Cold War and Viennese coffeehouses; learn how to make your own apple strudel
    • All port charges
    • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Pricing Information:
    • Bookings made prior to January 31:
      • Per person double occupancy: from 3,706.00 Standard Stateroom (Does not include port fees or taxes)
    • Bookings made after January 31:
      • Per person double occupancy: from 7,299.00 Standard Stateroom (Does not include port fees or taxes)

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.

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 (M)
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.

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island,
Bay of Fundy and Quebec City
Sail along the Rocky East Coast aboard the "Norwegian Dawn"
Departs Boston
15-Day – 14-Night Cruise and Land Vacation
September 11-25, 2015
and
September 25 - October 9, 2015

Nova Scotia, PEI, Bay of Fundy and Quebec City Sail aboard the Norwegian Dawn 15 Day Cruise

Climb aboard the "Norwegian Dawn" for an ultimate Free-Style cruising experience, conveniently departing from Boston. Norwegian Dawn was built with freedom in mind, offering a choice of 14 delicious dining options, 12 fun bars and lounges, the fitness center and spa, casino, pools and more. Plus, she offers a range of spacious accommodations to suit every size family and budget. The impressive cruise ship is only the beginning of your adventure as you sail along the coastline of New England and Canada, where the deep-blue sea meets rich autumn hues. Gaze at Maine’s magnificent rocky coast, dotted with picturesque villages and lighthouses. Experience the high tides of New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy, the festive music of Quebec, and fresh lobster in Peggy's Cove. Norwegian Cruise Lines was voted "Travel and Leisure World's Best Large Ship Cruise Line.

Day One:
Arrive in Boston for your 3:00 pm boarding of the "Norwegian Dawn." If your schedule allows, visit some of Boston’s most popular sights such as historic Faneuil Hall, Boston Common, The Prudential Center and Fenway Park.

Day Two:
With an early morning arrival in Portland, Maine you will have time to disembark the ship and to explore this vibrant waterfront city. In the Olde Port District you will discover shops, galleries, breweries and eateries galore. The ship departs at 3:00 pm and sails to Nova Scotia.

Day Three:
Admire the rugged coastline that surrounds Halifax, the world's second-largest natural harbor, when you arrive by 9:00 am the next morning. This beautifully preserved city is Nova Scotia's capital and was founded in 1749. The most popular optional outings feature a guided tour to Peggy's Cove and a City Tour of Halifax, and a Lobster and Lighthouse Tour. On your own, you may climb to The Citadel to witness the old town clock, visit the Public Gardens, the Titanic Cemetery and the Maritime Museum.

Day Four:
Enjoy the day at sea. Get a massage, drop by the casino, eat late and dance all night. It's all good, because with Freestyle Cruising, you are on your own schedule!

Day Five:
Discover the opulent clapboard villas that lead the way towards Charlottetown's beautiful Victoria Park. Color is everywhere, from the Victorian architecture to the red sandstone cliffs. Sample homemade island jams, visit the Anne of Green Gables homestead and stroll the boardwalk.

Day Six:
Arrive in Gaspesle, Quebec at The Gaspe Peninsula, renowned as one of the world's most beautiful destinations. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the diverse landscape, from stunning national parks, mountains and meadows to rugged cliffs lining the Atlantic coast and teeming with wildlife habitats.

Day Seven:
Arrive mid morning in Saguenay (La Baie), Quebec, considered a small oasis in the midst of the nearly uninhabited Canadian wilderness.

Day Eight:
Greet the day with an early morning arrival in Quebec City. The City lies on the Saint Lawrence River and is divided by steep bluffs into Upper Town, which includes the old quarter and Lower Town. Perched atop Cap-Diamant, the old quarter is the only walled city in North America. Unwind as you explore and return to the ship leisurely as you are docked here for two nights.

Day Nine:
Today offers time to explore Quebec City at your own pace. There is much to see, do and taste! Visit the Museum of Civilization, ride the Funiculaire, have lunch at the Chateau Frontenac, visit La Citadelle, stroll through historic neighborhoods such as Place Royale, Upper Town and Quartier du Petit Champlain, explore the Plains of Abraham, Basilicas and the Parliament. Savor the flavors of fabulous French cuisine and fine wines.

Day Ten:

Today is yours to revisit your favorite sites or discover new ones in Quebec City.

Day Eleven:
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea.

Day Twelve:
Disembark on Cape Breton Island in the City of Sydney. The coal industry brought immigration to Sydney from many parts of the world, giving a multicultural mix of over 50 ethnic backgrounds and a global flavor to its history. Embark on a guided tour, visit the Fortress of Louisburg, stop at the Highland Village or explore the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

Day Thirteen:
Today offers another opportunity to explore Halifax. Visit sites that you missed on your first visit, revisit your favorites, or simply stroll around the waterfront area.

Day Fourteen:
Arrive in Saint John, New Brunswick mid morning. Saint John's history is evident in its weather-worn look, passing the tests of salt air, sea winds and a devastating fire that have all contributed to making Saint John the greatest little city in the East. Experience the incredibly diverse Bay of Fundy in its National Parks, UNESCO sites and national historic sites. The Bay of Fundy is home to the highest tides in the world. Each day 160 billion tons of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy during one tide cycle more than the combined flow of the world’s freshwater rivers! Take a guided tour and walk on the ocean's floor!

Day Fifteen:
Breathe in the salty-sea air as you cruise into Bar Harbor, Maine. This coastal town has retained much of its charm since its glory days of the 1900's, when America's elite vacationed here in opulent summer cottages. Take a tour to the world-famous Acadia National Park, where the opulence of nature is on its best display. Visit the charming downtown area that is loaded with shops, galleries and eateries.

Day Sixteen:
Arrive back in Boston. Disembark the ship after breakfast.

Details

Sep

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island,
Bay of Fundy and Quebec City
Sail along the Rocky East Coast aboard the "Norwegian Dawn"
Departs Boston
15-Day – 14-Night Cruise and Land Vacation

  • When:
    • 15-Days/14-Nights - September 11-25, 2015
      and
      September 25 - October 9, 2015
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 15 Nights aboard the "Norwegian Dawn"
    • All on-board meals served in the two main dining rooms, a help-yourself buffet and a variety of casual cafes and grills  (specialty dining options available)
    • Entertainment day and night: Spectacular stage shows, The Second City Comedy, dance clubs, bars, piano bars and casino
    • Fitness center, sports court, pools, hot tubs
    • Time to explore fascinating coastal towns and unparralled natural beauty.
    • Time to relax!

Pricing Information:

  • Per person double occupancy: From 1,571.00 INCLUDING taxes and port fees.

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly assist you with ground transportation to and from Boston as well as pre and post night stays.

San Francisco and Wine Country
Monday, September 21 – Friday, September 25, 2015 (M)
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.

Cruise the Rhine River
KD Cruise Lines

Monday, September 21 – Tuesday, September 29, 2015
9-Days/8-Nights

Cruise the Rhine River - KD Cruise Lines

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: Depart USA
Your journey begins as you board your international flight to Amsterdam.

Day Two: Amsterdam
Upon arrival at Schipol Airport you will meet your tour escort, who will help you transfer to the pier, where you will embark on the Sonata and enjoy a special welcome dinner! Overnight and cruise through the night to Kinderdjik. Dinner

Day Three: Kinderjdjik
Kinderjdjik is an UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a unique 19-windmill complex. UNESCO considers this area, with its dykes, boezems, mills and pumping stations, to be proof of human inventiveness in reclaiming and protecting the land. Cruise overnight to Cologne. B,L,D

Day Four: Cologne
Spend today in the magnificent city of Cologne. It boasts many museums and Romanesque churches, and also a pleasant old town between the Alter Market and the Rhine. Embark on a walking tour of Cologne, which includes the city’s historic streets, elegant squares, and medieval churches. Then visit the impressive Gothic cathedral, an UNESCO World Heritage site that stands out as the city’s most famous landmark. Cruise overnight to Rudesheim. B,L,D

Day Five: Rudesheim
Today, you will cruise through the lovely passage Loreley on your way to Rudesheim, one of the Rhine Valley’s most popular wine towns. Embark on an evening tour through the city’s center along the world-renowned Drosselgasse — a street lined with traditional pubs and wine cellars. Cruise overnight to Mittenberg. B,L,D

Day Six: Miltenberg ~ Wertheim
Today, visit two historic cities, Miltenberg a historic old town that features many half-timbered buildings and Wertheim a medieval town with many Gothic influences. Cruise overnight to Wurzburg. B,L,D

Day Seven: Wurzburg
Today you will explore the historic Wurzburg, whose history dates back to the Bronze Age, when a castle was built. The town is home to the world’s oldest printing press and Germany’s first pizzeria. Cruise overnight to Bamberg. B,L,D

Day Eight: Bamberg
This morning arrive in Bamberg, which is spread over seven hills, each crowned with a beautiful church. The Old Town is an UNESCO World Heritage site, due to its authentic medieval appearance. The town is also home to nine breweries. Enjoy a special farewell dinner tonight while cruising to Nuremberg. B,L,D

Day Nine: Return to USA or Germany Extension
After breakfast, disembark the Sonata. For those whose journey ends here, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.

Those who want to extend their journey to Germany; you will board the motor coach with your tour guide and continue onto Rothenburg. (Addition cost please call for details)

Details

Sep 21

Cruise the Rhine River
KD Cruise Lines

  • When:
    • Monday, September 21 – Tuesday, September 29, 2015
      9-Days/8-Nights
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 7 Night river cruise aboard the Sonata
    • All meals included aboard the Sonata including unlimited quality European wines, beer, soft drinks, coffee and tea with lunch and dinner.
    • Daily traditional high tea in the afternoon
    • Nightly musical entertainment, including a pirate dinner and crew show.
    • Exciting "Tombola," a type of raffle popular in the European cities
    • Special strudel-making demo!
    • Guided sightseeing each day, as described in the itinerary, with expert English-speaking guides.
    • All transfers aboard a deluxe, private motor coach
    • Baggage handling at the hotel and piers
    • Special meet-and-greet service and assistance at Logan Airport
    • Full-time escorts and English-speaking tour guides at each stop.
    • All shipboard and meal taxes.
  • Pricing Information: (Prices include port fees and taxes)
    • Sofa Cabin
      • Per person double occupancy: 2,557.00
      • Per person single occupancy: 4,555.00
    • Sofa Cabin with French Balcony
      • Per person double occupancy: 2,857.00
      • Per person single occupancy: 5,155.00
    • Double Cabin
      • Per person double occupancy: 2,757.00
      • Per person single occupancy: 4,955.00
    • Double cabin with French Balcony
      • Per person double occupancy: 3,057.00
      • Per person single occupancy: 5,555.00

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.

Cruising the Adriatic and the Dalmatian Coast
Friday, May 1 – Saturday, May 9, 2015 (M)
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 (M)
      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 (M)
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

Sail Away to Bermuda---
Land of Beautiful Beaches and Balmy Breezes
Aboard The "Norwegian Dawn"
Departs Boston

8-Day – 7 Night Sailings Available May through October 2015

Sail Away to Bermuda---Land of Beautiful Beaches and Balmy Breezes

Looking for an escape to pink sand beaches and clear cerulean blue ocean waters? Climb aboard the 2,340 passenger "Norwegian Dawn" for an ultimate Free-Style cruising experience, conveniently departing from Boston. Norwegian Dawn was built with freedom in mind, offering a choice of 14 delicious dining options, 12 fun bars and lounges, the fitness center and spa, casino, pools and more. Plus, she offers a range of spacious accommodations to suit every size family and budget. This vacation was voted the "Best Bermuda Itinerary" for six years in a row by Porthole Magazine.

Day One:
Arrive in Boston for your 2:00 pm boarding of the "Norwegian Dawn." If your schedule allows, visit some of Boston’s most popular sights such as historic Faneuil Hall, Boston Common, The Prudential Center and Fenway Park.

Day Two:
Enjoy a day at sea. Take advantage of all the amenities that the ship has to offer or simply sit by the pool and relax.

Day Three:
Arrive at 11:00 am at the Royal Naval Dockyard, located at the tip of Bermuda’s West End. The beautifully restored Royal Navy Dockyard offers quaint boutiques, a crafts market and a fascinating maritime museum. Try one of the many water sports offered in the harbor. Return to the ship at your leisure, as you will be at port for two nights.

Day Four:
Today is yours to enjoy and explore Bermuda at your own pace. Visit secluded beaches, play a round of golf, embark on an island tour, seek out area landmarks, kayak, snorkel or simply relax on board.

Day Five:
Surround yourself in paradise for one more day. Here is your chance to see and do what you missed or to seek out a new adventure. Board the ship at 3:00 pm and set sail.

Day Six:
Enjoy the day at sea. Get a massage, drop by the casino, eat late and dance all night. It's all good, because with Freestyle Cruising, you are on your own schedule!

Day Seven:
Enjoy the day at sea.

Day Eight:
Awake to find yourself at port in Boston. Disembark the ship after breakfast.

Details

Sail Away to Bermuda---
Land of Beautiful Beaches and Balmy Breezes
Aboard The "Norwegian Dawn"
Departs Boston

  • When:
    • 8-Day – 7 Night Sailings Available May through October 2015
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 7 Nights on board the "Norwegian Dawn"
    • All on-board meals served in the two main dining rooms, a help-yourself buffet and a variety of casual cafes and grills (specialty dining options available)
    • Entertainment day and night: Spectacular stage shows, The Second City Comedy, dance clubs, bars, piano bars and casino
    • Fitness center, sports court, pools, hot tubs
    • Time to relax!
  • Pricing Information:
    • Per person, double occupancy: From 752.00 INCLUDING taxes and port fees.

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly assist you with transportation to and from Boston as well as pre and post night stays.

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise
Saturday, October 25 – Wednesday, November 4, 2015 (M)
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.

November 2015

Columbia and Snake Rivers Paddlewheel River Cruise
8-Days/7-Nights
Multiple Sailings Available

April – November 2015 (ACL)

Columbia and Snake Rivers Paddlewheel River Cruise

Cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers along the epic route pioneered by Lewis and Clark more than 200 years ago. Enjoy the rich tapestry of ever-changing landscapes, thriving wildlife habitats and diverse wine country.

Day One: Portland, OR
Situated between the sparkling waters of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, Portland has flourished throughout history with the fortunes of the great rivers. In the golden age of riverboats, sternwheelers crossed Portland’s busy waterfront while steam whistles and calliopes rang out across the water. Today, big city excitement combined with small town charm makes Portland one of the favorite destinations in the West. Highlights include the Portland Art Museum, the International Rose Test Garden and famous Powell’s Bookstore, filling an entire city block.

Day 2: Astoria, OR
A nationally significant historic region at the western end of the Lewis & Clark Trail, Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies and today showcases more than 70 Victorian-era homes in its unique historic district. In the winter of 1805-06 the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition was headquartered at Fort Clatsop. In 1955, a replica of the fort was built near the original site was eventually named a National Monument. Get a comprehensive overview of the Corp’s entire expedition at Fort Canby and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center.

Day 3: Rainier, OR
Cruise through Volcano Alley on the Columbia River with views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens. From Rainier, you will travel to Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. At the nearby observatory and interpretive center, look right into the volcanic crater with its steaming dome, and witness firsthand the destructive power and damage caused by its volcanic blast in 1980.

Day 4: Cruising the Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular river canyon cutting the only sea-level route through the Cascade Mountain Range. A popular recreational destination, the gorge holds federally protected status as a National Scenic Area called the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area and is managed by the United States Forest Service. The cliffs of the awe-inspiring gorge look down on quaint riverfront towns and exhilarating windsurfing waters. Through millenniums of geologic events, waterfalls have found their home in the Columbia River Gorge.

Day 5: Stevenson, WA
In the heart of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, the ship will move through transit the Bonneville Lock and Dam to reach the port of Stevenson. At the Bonneville Dam Visitors Center, learn about the workings of the massive turbine generators behind this imposing hydroelectric power source. The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center showcases the area's unique cultural and historical diversity, from the Native American tribes that inhabited the Gorge, to Lewis and Clark and 19th-century loggers.

Day 6: The Dalles, OR
Located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, between Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, on the south bank, The Dalles is a perfect photographic spot. Discover the area where Lewis & Clark camped at at Rock Fort Camp during their historic journey to explore the Louisiana Purchase territory in 1805-1806.

Day 7: Pendleton, OR / Richland, WA
Journey to Pendleton and get a taste of the real West watching working cowboys at the world-famous Pendleton Roundup and learn about the pioneers from the perspective of the Native Americans at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.

Day 8: Clarkston, WA
The twin cities of Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Washington, are known as the Northwest’s most inland seaports. Here, along the Snake River, you’ll find Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America. This canyon is known for its pristine wilderness and breathtaking scenery. View ancient Indian petroglyphs and magnificent wildlife.

Details

Columbia and Snake Rivers Paddlewheel River Cruise
8-Days/7-Nights
Multiple Sailings Available

  • When:
    • Multiple Sailings
      April – November 2015
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 Day cruise aboard the Queen of the West Paddlewheeler
    • All meals on board
  • Prices below are for cash or check transactions. Credit card transactions will be subject to a 5% convenience fee. Prices and itineraries subject to change.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 4,225.00 (does not include port fees or taxes)
    • Per person single occupancy: from 5,135.00 (does not include port fees or taxes

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.

December 2015

New Orleans Paddlewheel Riverboat Cruise
8-Days/7-Nights
Multiple Sailings

February - December (ACL)

New Orleans Paddlewheel Riverboat Cruise

Cruise the Mississippi River to the land of bayous and southern belles on the Mississippi River. Step back in time to the grand era of steamboating on the greatest paddlewheeler to ever grace the Mississippi River. The Queen of the Mississippi embodies the spirit of traditional Mississippi River cruising and the grandeur of the riverboats of the past, while offering all the modern comforts and amenities American Cruise Lines passengers have come to expect.

Day 1: New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is a unique city rich in history and alive with tradition. Famed for its 17th century architecture, culturally inspired cuisine and lively music, the rhythm of the city is as diverse as its people. Beginning your adventure in New Orleans will excite the senses as you explore the history of the French quarter, listen to spirited Jazz and indulge in some local cuisine. A visit to the French Market, the country’s oldest public market, is reminiscent of European markets, but in a tradition that is distinctively New Orleans.

Day 2: Oak Alley, LA
Once serving as an antebellum sugar cane plantation, Oak Alley Plantation is rightfully named after its most distinguishing feature, a canopy of 300-year old oak trees that form a quarter-mile path leading to the Mississippi River. Restored to its 19th Century grandeur, this classic Greek revival-style antebellum mansion is purely breathtaking.

Day 3: Natchez, MS
Overlooking the Mississippi River, Natchez was first established as a French fort site in 1716, later becoming part of the United States as the first capital of Mississippi in 1817. Perched over 200 feet above the Mississippi River with 30-mile views along the river both north and south, the bluff of Natchez is a place to marvel in the beauty and grandeur of the river. A quaint Southern town rich in culture, history, and known for its abundance of antebellum architecture, Natchez offers true southern hospitality with the attractions of a great small city.

Day 4: Vicksburg, MS
Around every corner, U.S. history is alive in Vicksburg. This “Queen City of the Bluff” offers plenty of opportunities to take a step back in time. Civil war battlefields, century old churches, cotton fields, and restored train depots are just a few of the many intriguing landmarks that await your visit. Marvel in the beautiful antebellum-style homes and watch Vicksburg’s history come to life at the riverfront murals.

Day 5: St. Francisville, LA
Established in 1809 and overlooking the Mississippi River, St. Francisville is a quaint Southern town that offers a glimpse into history. One of the largest shipping ports on the Mississippi River prior to the Civil War, St. Francisville is a small town with grand appeal. Experience this town’s rich history as you tour historic plantations, including the famous Rosedown and The Myrtles, or explore the captivating gardens in this area.

Day 6: Baton Rouge, LA
Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s state capital, was named over 300 years ago by French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. The city’s rich cultural traditions are reflected through its African-American and Caribbean influenced architecture, experienced through its fiery Creole and Cajun cuisine, and heard in its soulful Blues and Cajun style music. Baton Rouge is a wondrous city brimming with Southern hospitality.

Day 7: Houmas House, LA
Become acquainted to the Houmas House and its history as well as its 38 acres of gardens, ponds and a majestic live oak alley during this port stop. Make sure to explore the southern splendor of "The Sugar Palace" through 16 rooms filled with period antiques and Louisiana artwork.

Day 8: New Orleans, LA
Welcome back to New Orleans, commonly referred to as the Birthplace of Jazz. There is something for everyone with this city’s history, culture and arts prevalent around every corner. The open-air artist colony proudly displays local artist’s works on the iron fence in Jackson Square, while the city’s 45 museums carefully preserve the city’s rich history. Stay an extra day or even a few nights to enjoy this lively city.

Details

New Orleans Paddlewheel Riverboat Cruise
8-Days/7-Nights
Multiple Sailings

  • When:
    • Multiple Sailings
      February - December
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 Day cruise aboard the Queen of the Mississippi Paddlewheeler
    • All meals on board
  • Prices below are for cash or check transactions. Credit card transactions will be subject to a 5% convenience fee. Prices and itineraries subject to change.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 4,700.00 (Does not include port fees or taxes)
    • Per person single occupancy: from 6,260.00 (Does not include port fees or taxes)

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.

Cruise the Mississippi River
Aboard the "American Queen"
"Swing in the New Year"
9-Days/8-Nights
December 26, 2015 - January 3, 2016

Cruise the Mississippi River Aboard the American Queen Swing in the New Year

Let your worries drift away as you step aboard this beauty of a boat, the "American Queen." The largest steamboat ever built, the grand "American Queen" is a gracious and elegant triumph of American ingenuity. Although filled with today's modern amenities, her rooms and accommodations display all the opulence of the American Victorian Era. Glistening woodwork, fresh flowers and antiques adorn her interior spaces. Outside, lacy filigree evokes memories of the many stately riverboats that preceded her and so inspired her designers. While on board, you can select a volume from the vast collection in the Mark Twain Gallery, the boat's library. Or enjoy a sing-a-long in the Main Deck Lounge, and then tap your toes to a lavish show in the two-deck-tall Grand Saloon, the most elegant showplace on the river. The "American Queen" is the only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America and her warm and inviting ambiance is that of an antebellum mansion. Public rooms and accommodations are decorated with Victorian charm and carefully decorated antiques. Onboard riverlorians are always present to share the history of the river and enrich your experience as you are transported back in time. Onshore, experience the best plantations, gardens, historic sites and cuisine, as well as "American Queen's" signature, inclusive Hop-on Hop-off Tour. Climb aboard and swing in the New Year with Southern flair and excitement.

Day One: New Orleans, Louisiana
Your journey begins with a deluxe hotel stay in New Orleans. Enjoy the city on your own.

Day Two: New Orleans, Louisiana
Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans today as you explore on your own. This afternoon, board the "American Queen" and begin your voyage.

Day Three: Vacherie , Louisiana
During your time on shore from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm, stroll just across the street onto Oak Alley Plantation. A canopy of 300-year-old oak trees lead you to the "Big House." Here you will learn about the rich history and culture of this spectacular antebellum mansion on a guided tour. Explore the magnificent grounds and sip a Mint Julep, a quintessential southern staple. Also located in Vacherie are the St. Joseph Plantation and Laura, a Creole Plantation. Admission included.

Day Four: St. Francisville, Louisiana
This quaint town located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River is your window to the past. Docked from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm, you can choose to explore on your own or board a motorcoach at the dock and enjoy the "American Queen's" signature Hop-on Hop-off Tour, that is locally narrated. Sites include: The Republic of West Florida Site, Old Market Hall, Commerce Street, Spring Creek Shopping Center, West Feliciana Historical Society Museum and Grace Episcopal Church. With over 140 buildings on the National Register, beautiful plantation homes nestled in the rolling countryside, and bustling Main Street shops, you will find plenty to keep you on the go in St. Francisville.

Day Five: Natchez, Mississippi
Step into the plantation lifestyle of the antebellum south in Natchez, where you will be docked from 8:00am until 5:00pm. Enjoy a narrated Hop-on Hop-off Tour of the city, starting at the Natchez Visitors Center. Sites include: Antebellum mansions Magnolia Hall, Stanton Hall, Rosalie Mansion and the William Johnson House, the Eola Hotel and the Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture Museum. Later, visit historic Jefferson College, amble down the Natchez Trace or simply relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Mississippi River. Admission to the antebellum mansions are included.

Day Six: Vicksburg, Mississippi
With sweeping views of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. The day in port lasts from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm, where you can board a motorcoach for the Hop-on Hop-off Tour. Sites include: The Vicksburg Shopping District, The Church of Holy Trinity, The Old Court House Museum, Washington Street, Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, Yesterday’s Child Doll and Toy Museum, the Lower Mississippi River Museum and the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum. Return to the boat and get ready to swing in the New Year with big band entertainment and a champagne toast that will be sure to make this night one to remember.

Day Seven: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, is one of the South’s fastest growing cities. Visitors delight in the seamless blend of past and present and experience authentic Louisiana at every turn. Here you will be docked from 12:00 pm until 9:00 pm and can choose to explore on your own or enjoy the option of the Hop-on Hop-off tour. Sites will include: "USS Kidd", the Veterans Memorial Museum, the Old Governor's Mansion, St. Joseph Cathedral, Main Street Market, Capitol Park Museum, State Capitol, Old Arsenal Museum, Museum of Art and the Old State Capitol. You will delight in historical adventures. Admissions are included.

Day Eight: White Castle, Louisiana
Enjoy a guided tour of Nottoway Plantation, the South’s largest remaining antebellum mansion. This stunning historical plantation lies between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and offers a view of a truly grand plantation. Admission included.

Day Nine: New Orleans, Louisiana
Tie up in New Orleans near historic Jackson Square and bid your riverboat adieu. Begin your travels home or extend your vacation with an overnight stay.

Details

Dec 26

Cruise the Mississippi River
Aboard the "American Queen"
"Swing in the New Year"
9-Days/8-Nights
December 26, 2015 - January 3, 2016

  • When:
    • 9-Days/8-Nights
      December 26, 2015 - January 3, 2016
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Overnight stay in New Orleans before your voyage
    • Transfer to the "American Queen"
    • 7-Nights onboard accommodations
    • Multiple specialty dining options, all at no additional charge and prepared by American chef Regina Charboneau
    • Complimentary wine and beer with dinner
    • Complimentary bottled water and soft drinks throughout your voyage
    • Daily lectures by the riverlorian, the onboard historian
    • Professional showboat-style entertainment
    • Live nightly dinner entertainment
    • Shore excursions in every port, including guided tours of the the Oak Alley Plantation and Nottoway Plantation,
    • Hop-on Hop-off Tours in Baton Rouge and St. Francisville, Louisiana and Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi and admissions to antebellum mansions.
    • Champagne toast and New Year's Eve big band entertainment

Pricing Information:

  • Per person double occupancy: From 2,828.00 interior stateroom (includes port charges)

Note: Price above does not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation to and from New Orleans as well as post night stays upon request.

India and Nepal
The Taj Mahal, Mount Everst and a Ganges River Cruise
An Extraordinary Journey Created by
Abercrombie and Kent
15-Days/14-Nights
December 27, 2015 - January 10, 2016

India and Nepal: The Taj Mahal, Mount Everst and a Ganges River Cruise

Treat yourself to a world-class experience in luxury, culture, wildlife and history. Redefine your notion of what is possible on a vacation. Explore the timeless Taj Mahal, before embarking on a seven-night Ganges River cruise into the heartland of rural India. Experience fabled Kathmandu and enjoy a flight seeing tour of epic Mount Everest. If you are looking for adventure in a faraway place and seeking a luxurious vacation you will be over the moon (and Kathmandu) on this glorious journey.

Day One: Arrive Delhi, India
Arrive in Delhi, India’s lively capital city and transfer to your hotel, your home for the next three nights.

Day Two: Delhi, India
Delhi, the City of Lost Empires, is ancient and intoxicating, spanning everything from crumbling ruins to spectacular, chaotic bazaars. Begin your tour in Old Delhi with a rickshaw ride through the 400-year-old Chandni Chowk bazaar. See the splendid red sandstone walls of the Red Fort, followed by lunch at a local Delhi restaurant. Enjoy the flavorful food and the kinetic ambience. Later, venture to New Delhi, where you travel down sprawling parade routes past the grandeur-filled buildings of the late colonial era. Witness the copper-domed Rashtrapati Bhawan, home to the President of India. Visit Mughal-inspired Humayun’s Tomb, fringed with gardens. Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner at your hotel.

Day Three: Agra, India
Travel to Agra, where you have the to day explore the incomparable Taj Mahal, the magnificent mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal and a lasting, poetic testament to love from her adoring spouse, Emperor Shah Jahan. Wander this perfectly proportioned marvel, stroll past formal gardens and fountains and notice the startling attention to detail, set like a jewel beside a placid river. Visit Agra Fort and enjoy a lunch of North-West Frontier cuisine.

Day Four: Kolkata, India
Fly to Kolkata, where you board the luxury, all-suite “Ganges Voyager,” your home for a seven-night cruise along India’s holy river. After lunch on board, join your expert local guide on an excursion to the house and tomb of Mother Teresa. Visit her personal room and tour her orphanage, Sishu Bhaban (Children’s Home), where you may meet nuns who worked alongside the modern-day saint. In the late afternoon, return to the ship for a relaxing welcome reception, dinner and cultural performance.

Day Five: Cruising the Ganges
Rise for an early morning city tour of Kolkata, former capital of British India and gateway to the Ganges. Take in panoramic views of well-preserved British colonial structures, such as the Writer’s Building, High Court, Raj Bhawan (Governor’s House), Reserve Bank of India and Dalhousie Square. Visit the onetime site of the Black Hole of Calcutta, a guard house where dozens of captured soldiers of the British East India Company perished under the rule of the nawab of Bengal, Siraj al-Dawlah, an incident that helped usher in Great Britain’s colonization of India. Continue to St. John’s Church, and then to the recently renovated Victoria Memorial Museum, home to the largest collection of British colonial historical artifacts in India. Back on board, begin your voyage upstream, passing through areas where enterprising European settlers under the aegis of Queen Elizabeth I of England, established the famed East India Company. Later in the day, take an excursion to the shore of Banded to explore Hooghly Imam Bara, one of West Bengal’s most famous pilgrimage centers.

Day Six: Cruising the Ganges
This morning, set off on a rickshaw ride through Kalona, en route to the enchanting Raj Bari complex comprised of 108 temples that help provide a better understanding of the many gods and goddesses of Hinduism. Discover the diverse Pratepeshwar Temple, where terra cotta plaques depict themes of Hindu epics and images of the supreme goddess, Dura. Other temples include the Allis Temple, erected in 1739, the oldest in this spectacular collection of sacred spaces.

Day Seven: Cruising the Ganges
Continue your cruise deep into the heartland of rural India. Pay a sunrise visit to the charming village of Kushbagh, and tour a well-preserved mosque complex built by Nawab Ali-Ward- Khan, grandfather of Siraj al-Dawlah. Next, sail to the village of Bara agar, a lovely example of country life, and home to several 18th-century temples built by Rani Bahrain, a landholding female aristocrat. These enchanting brick temples are among the world’s finest examples of Bengal terra cotta art. Return to the ship that is headed south to follow the “Mother Ganga” downstream. Pass countryside villages filled with locals who appear at the shore to greet you. Further down the Ganges, arrive at Murshidabad, a hidden architectural gem filled with dramatic, whitewashed colonial-era structures. Disembark for a tour of Hazarduari Palace, built in the Greek Doric style and filled with colonial-era antiques, artwork and manuscripts. Ride by local buggy to the Kara mosque with its distinctive minarets. At night aboard your river cruiser, dine on locally inspired fare, enjoy a cultural performance and take in the exotic, faraway air of the Ganges.

Day Eight: Cruising the Ganges
After a restful morning observing life along the riverbanks, disembark for a tour of Mayapur. Known as the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is considered an incarnation of Lord Krishna, this is the home of the Krishna Consciousness Movement. Experience the fascinating culture of his followers and their ornate, colorfully decorated statues of Krishna. Learn about the new temple they are building, which has been compared to the Vatican in terms of its incredible size; covering 700,000 square feet, reaching 340 feet high and featuring a 75-foot tall planetarium.

Day Nine: Cruising the Ganges
Awake in Chandernagore, a delightful little outpost of France in the heart of India. Originally a French colony trading post founded in 1673, it was established as a French settlement in 1688. Explore the French colonial buildings along the city’s promenade, including the former governor’s residence, which has since been converted to a museum. Later, tour the Sacred Heart Church of Chandernagore. Back on the ship, continue sailing downstream to Kolkata.

Day Ten: Kathmandu, Nepal
Bid adieu to “Ganges Voyager” and her crew when you disembark in Kolkata. Then fly to Kathmandu, the lively capital of Nepal, which at 7,700 feet above sea level, is surprisingly accessible. Transfer to your fabulous hotel, situated in a collection of Nepali houses that embody a rich local architectural heritage and offer a rare combination of luxurious comfort and cultural experience.

Day Eleven: Kathmandu, Nepal
Today, immerse yourself in a feast for the senses that is Kathmandu. Begin with a visit to Swayambhunath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that Buddhist legend holds was formed when a lotus blossom came to rest on a hilltop and magically transformed into a stupa. Continue to Kathmandu City, Nepal’s cultural and political nexus. Tour Durbar Square, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you view the Temple of the Living Goddess. Visit the flourishing Kopan Nunnery, the largest Tibetan nunnery in Nepal and site of the famous monk debates. In the late afternoon, attend a lecture by a Mount Everest summiteer who shares the experience of climbing the world’s tallest mountain.

Day Twelve: Kathmandu, Nepal
Embrace the breathtaking Himalaya on an included one-hour mountain flight tour of Mount Everest, soaring 25,000 feet above sea level through the world’s highest peaks. Back on terra firma, visit the massive Boudhanath stupa to experience the almost otherworldly ambience that envelopes you here. Witness Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims engage in devotional activities all around you, circling the sputa and spinning prayer wheels beneath colorful prayer flags that flutter in the breeze and the watchful eyes of Buddha painted on the temple’s upper level. You also explore the royal City of Bhaktapur with its medieval Nepalese town life. Drive to Nagarkot, where spectacular views include Mount Everest and Kathmandu Valley.

Day Thirteen: Kathmandu, Nepal
Visit a Tibetan Refugee Camp, where you witness the making of traditional, hand-woven carpets. Next, explore Patan City, home to the Kathmandu Valley’s best craftsmen and a paradise of fine arts that include exquisite wax sculptures. Tour the city's narrow streets, brick houses and multitude of well-preserved Hindu temples before you wander the bustling Patan Durbar Square marketplace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Have lunch at a local restaurant and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Gather tonight for a farewell dinner.

Day Fourteen: Kathmandu, Nepal
This morning, tour the pagoda-style Pashupatinath Temple, set amid lush foliage on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Enter from the riverbank and experience a rare glimpse inside — something strictly forbidden to non-Hindus. After lunch, fly to Delhi and transfer to your hotel.

Day Fifteen: Depart Delhi, India
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Details

Dec 27

India and Nepal
The Taj Mahal, Mount Everst and a Ganges River Cruise
An Extraordinary Journey Created by
Abercrombie and Kent

  • When:
    • 15-Days/14-Nights - December 27, 2015 - January 10, 2016
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 14 Nights lodging
    • Six-night cruise upon the holy Ganges River aboard luxurious new, all-balcony “Ganges Voyager”
    • Venture into the heartland of rural India to visit villages and temples that can only be reached by boat
    • Explore the timeless magnificence of the Taj Mahal
    • Take in views of Mount Everest, attend a lecture from a summiteer and soar around the earth's highest mountain
    • Discover India's harmonious religious diversity, visiting the sacred places of many faiths along the Ganges
    • Ride like a local aboard river skiffs, street buggies, trishaws and a horse-drawn cart
    • Watch pink dolphins frolic from the French balcony of your comfortable onboard suite
    • Stroll through Kushbagh and Chandernagore, and visit the vibrant capital of Nepal, fabled Kathmandu

Pricing Information:

  • Per person double occupancy: from 8,995.00
  • Internal Air: Delhi/Kolkata/Kathmandu/Delhi: from 735.00

Note: The price above does not include airfare. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation to and from Delhi as well as pre and post night stays upon request.

126th Anniversary of the Tournament of Roses Parade
Wednesday, December 30, 2015 – Sunday, January 3, 2016 (M)
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.

December 2016

Cruising The Mekong:
Siam, Saigon and Angkor Wat
A Luxury, Small Group Abercrombie and Kent
Cruise and Land Vacation
Includes 7 Night Exclusive Charter aboard the "Mekong Princess"
12-Days/11-Nights
Sailings Available December 2015 through December 2016

Cruising The Mekong: Siam, Saigon and Angkor Wat

With expertise in luxury, culture, wildlife and history as well, Abercrombie and Kent reveals your destination with an authenticity beyond the reach of any other travel company. From exotic dining opportunities to unforgettable encounters with friendly locals, Abercrombie and Kent will arrange the kind of privileged access that sets this journey beyond all others. Discover Angkor Wat with an expert local guide, cruise for seven nights on an exclusive charter along the Mekong River to experience its varied cultures and explore the colonial legacy of old Saigon. Rest assured that you will experience your destination in maximum comfort.

Day One: Bangkok, Thailand
Arrive in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Transfer to your luxurious hotel.

Day Two: Bangkok, Thailand: Chao Phraya River
Discover Wat Pho temple, with its lovely gilded Reclining Buddha and the musical sound of coins dropping into brass offering bowls. Ride like a local on a tuk-tuk around the sprawling Grand Palace. Explore the ancient Siamese court, home to Thailand’s most important shrine, the green jade Emerald Buddha. Gather with your co travelers for a welcome lunch served aboard a traditional wooden rice barge. Later in the afternoon, fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Transfer to your elegant boutique hotel.

Day Three: Angkor Wat, Cambodia: Temple of Treasures
Set off to explore the extraordinary temples of Angkor Wat, a breathtaking city lost in the jungle, and Cambodia’s most prized national treasure. Enter the monumental gates of Angkor Thom, where 54 gods and 54 demons are represented in an epic tug of war. Visit the Bayon Temple, with its 172 large-scale faces wearing enchanting smiles, as well as the terraces of the Elephant and Leper Kings. Later, walk the ancient Buddhist Ta Prohm Temple, an Indiana Jones-worthy fantasy with its crumbling towers and massive tree roots. After lunch, discover the Angkor National Museum, that houses golden-era Khmer Kingdom artifacts. Stay at Angkor Wat until sunset, marveling as the diminishing, moody light washes over this unforgettable, faraway world.

Day Four: Preak Kdame, Cambodia: Board “Mekong Princess”
Drive through the lush and scenic Cambodian countryside to beautiful Preak Kdame. Board the all-suite “Mekong Princess,” your private and luxurious river cruiser for the next seven nights. Gather for a Khmer-inspired dinner.

Day Five: Cruising the Mekong: Tonle Sap and River Life
After a cruise along Tonle Sap, take a private boat to Kampong Chhnang, a floating village where locals live, work and attend church and school on the river.

Day Six: Cruising the Mekong: Phnom Penh, Pearl of Asia
Explore Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s lush and alluring capital city, on an engaging cyclo tour. Discover the ornate Royal Palace and wander past huge, stupas or spirit houses en route to the famous Silver Pagoda, home of Cambodia’s Emerald Buddha and the diamond-encrusted Maitreya Buddha. Visit the National Museum, before an afternoon at leisure. You may wish to explore Phnom Penh’s famous markets. Later, learn about Cambodia’s darker days as you walk the notorious killing fields of Choeung Ek. Leave behind that bleak period in Cambodian history to attend an uplifting performance by children from a local orphanage of Apsara.

Day Seven: Cruising the Mekong: Splendors of a Hidden Port
Sail into Vietnam and cruise downstream to little-known Hong Ngu. In this place that few westerners have ever visited, experience an especially friendly welcome. You will visit local family homes, where you watch the weaving of kromas or traditional Khmer scarves, that are exported to Cambodia. Later, explore a local temple dedicated to Hòa Hóa, a unique Vietnamese religion.

Day Eight: Cruising the Mekong: Long Xuyen and Thot Not
Begin the day with a sampan ride to the riverside market town of Long Xuyen. Walk through the bustling market and then visit the Cao Dai temple, where a compelling Vietnamese religion was founded. Later, an exciting excursion takes you to a local crocodile farm, where you learn about these remarkable predators and sample the restaurant’s crocodile dishes. Later in the afternoon, sail to the village of Thot Not. Here, ride a xe loi, or motorized trishaw, through the village to a sanctuary filled with the cacophony of bird song.

Day Nine: Cruising the Mekong: Can Tho and Tam Binh
Rise early for a sampan cruise through the fascinating Cai Rang floating market near Can Tho. Weave between the many boats that sail into the market each morning to sell produce and goods. Grab your camera: this is the place to capture brilliant photographs of a dynamic market life. Fresh coconut water, the Vietnamese “anti-aging drink,” refreshes you before a stop at a local factory to see the making of instant noodles. Later, tour a large, family-owned fruit orchard. Here you see native fruits on the vine and enjoy a fresh-fruit tasting. Back on board the “Mekong Princess,” sail deeper into regions of the Mekong Delta rarely touched by travelers, to see Ky Son Pagoda. At this important Hindu temple that dates back to the fourth century, interact with Khmer monks who fled to Vietnam during the Cambodian Civil War.

Day Ten: Cruising the Mekong: Ben Tre
Board a sampan (or wooden boat) to wind your way through a channel lined with mangroves for a visit to a local coconut candy maker. After watching the candy-making process and exploring the family’s orchard, hop on a horse-drawn cart for a quick ride to the pier. Here, board intimate, two-seater boats for a cruise through lush, narrow creeks lined with Nipah palm.

Day Eleven: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The “Mekong Princess” takes you right into the heart of this lively, evocative metropolis, which today goes by the name of Ho Chi Minh City. Recently experiencing a resurgence of art and culture, the city is a hub of activity. Bid farewell to the crew of the “Mekong Princess” and set out to discover the city’s colonial legacy. Continue your exploration when you visit the History Museum and the colorful Ben Thanh market, and drive past the former U.S. Embassy building, from which helicopters carried off the last American personnel remaining on site before the city fell to the Viet Cong in April of 1975. In the evening, gather with your co travelers for a special farewell dinner hosted by Abercrombie and Kent.

Day Twelve:
After breakfast, begin a Hanoi post-tour extension or transfer to the airport to depart for home.

Details

Cruising The Mekong:
Siam, Saigon and Angkor Wat
A Luxury, Small Group Abercrombie and Kent
Cruise and Land Vacation
Includes 7 Night Exclusive Charter aboard the "Mekong Princess"

  • When:
    • 12-Days/11-Nights
      Sailings Available December 2015 through December 2016
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 12 Day Bankok and Saigon Vacation
    • 7 Night private, luxury cruise aboard the “Mekong Princess”
    • 11 Breakfasts
    • 9 Lunches
    • 9 Dinners
    • Cooking class and Chef's Table experience aboard the “Mekong Princess”
    • Access authentic, less frequented locales ranging from little-known islands to a port nestled in the heart of vibrant Saigon
    • Experience a deeper insight into Southeast Asia's varied, intertwined river cultures
    • Interact with local villagers, families in their homes and monks in ancient pagodas
    • Fully escorted by an expert, local guide
  • Pricing Information:
    • From 7,995.00 per person double occupancy, plus tax
    • Internal Air: Bangkok/Siem Reap: From 460.00 per person

Note: The price above does not include airfare to Bangkok and from Ho Chi Minh City. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation as well as pre and post night stays upon request.





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Testimonials

"Your staff and service were wonderful very pleasant, flexible and professional. Our guide was entertaining, knowledgeable and very friendly despite the rain!"

Betty O, Island Pond, VT

"This trip to Lake George is great for the 8th grade. They are always busy so we have very few issues. The driver, lodging, meals and itinerary were excellent. We'll definitely use you again."

Eileen T, Fairfield, VT

"Your entire staff was kind and patient—you made our trip!"

Michele A, Plattsburgh, NY

"Once again Notch Above gave us a great trip."

N. Fogg

"Great attitude, patience, flexible and generous personality" (re Tour Manager)

W.C.

"Wonderful trip! Keep them coming, please!"

Jan Grant, Hanover, NH

"I like the small groups and general arrangements."

Anne August, Shelburne, VT

"I have had wonderful experiences on all my trips. You do a great job!"

Deborah Kirby, Addison, VT

"Tour Manager was fun and had a great sense of humor."

anonymous

"Your service is excellent with considerate guides."

Rod & Jean Dolliver, Charlotte, VT

"Great tour manager – much attention to details and travelers’ comfort and safety. Always planning ahead."

Marcia & Winston Rose, Rutland, VT

"The driver and tour manager worked very hard to anticipate our needs and provide us with the best experience possible. They were very professional. Thanks."

Chris & Linda Reader, Highgate Center, VT

"The tour manager did everything she could do to make this trip enjoyable and it was a very enjoyable and fun trip. She is fun to be with, very knowledgeable and has a great personality!"

Bob & Bev Conners, Morrisonville, NY

"May our bags always have Notch Above tags!"

Art & Suzy C., Starksboro, VT