Notch Above Tours Vacation Guide

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

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

Harley Davidson Vacations

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

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

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

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

Cambridge Covered Bridge

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

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

Trapp Family Lodge

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

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

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

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

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

Franconia Notch

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

Riding Motorcycles

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

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

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

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

Sight Seeing

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

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

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

Woodstock

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

Summit Lodge

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

Your Package Includes:

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

Pricing Information:

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

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

January 2014

March 2014

April 2014

Sail To Discover The Beauty And History
Of The Dutch And Belgian Waterways
Tulip Time Riverboat Cruise
Sunday, April 27 – Monday, May 5, 2014 (AMA)

Tulip Time Riverboat Cruise

Admire the spectacular tulip carpets in Keukenhof Gardens. Visit the lush green countryside of Kinderdijk, home to the country’s greatest concentration of windmills, and experience Amsterdam’s distinctive architecture and vibrant nightlife. A wonderful opportunity to admire the great medieval cities of Antwerp and Ghent and to delve into the cultural traditions of the friendly Dutch and Flemish people awaits you.

Itinerary:

Sunday, April 27: Depart USA
Board your international flight to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Monday, April 28: Arrive in Amsterdam
Welcome to Amsterdam, a modern city with a rich and fascinating 700-year old history. Explore its unique and elegant architecture, lively cafés, markets and vibrant nightlife. This evening, meet your fellow passengers on board at a welcome dinner.

Tuesday, April 29: Amsterdam – Volendam – Edam
After breakfast, enjoy a scenic morning cruise through the historic harbor and canals of Amsterdam. See the beautiful homes that line the water, the fabled Skinny Bridge and the famous house where Anne Frank spent years in hiding during World War II. Later, enjoy a panoramic city tour that includes a windmill and other iconic landmarks. Return to the ship for lunch while you cruise the Ijsselmeer towards Volendam. Enjoy a late afternoon tour of Volendam Harbor and see the fishing fleet and fish auction building. Continue by motor coach to Edam, a picturesque town with a rich historic past. You will have a walking tour of the Old Quarter’s beautiful houses, canals, bridges and churches, including one of the largest in Holland, the Grote Kerk (Great Church).

Wednesday, April 30: Arnhem – Nijmegen
Arrive in beautiful Arnhem early this morning and see the Battle of Arnhem Bridge made famous by the classic film “A Bridge Too Far.” You’ll also visit the Airborne Museum and learn more about the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major campaigns of World War II. Later, enjoy a tour of the most stunning royal residence in Holland, Het Loo Palace, with lavishly furnished rooms and meticulously sculpted gardens. After your tour, return to the ship for lunch and cruise to Nijmegen for a city tour. Enjoy scenic cruising this evening as you sail through the Netherlands en route to Belgium.

Thursday, May 1: Antwerp
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Antwerp and see Antwerp Castle, Grote Market, Brabo Fountain and the city’s superb architecture. Alternatively, visit the Rubens House, former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens, the famous 17th century Flemish Baroque painter. You will also visit the Antwerp Cathedral, which houses two of Rubens’ most important works, The Elevation of the Cross and The Descent from the Cross. The afternoon is free to explore Antwerp on your own. After dinner, your ship departs for Ghent.

Friday, May 2: Ghent
After breakfast, take a guided walking tour of Ghent, which includes such highlights as the Belfry Hall, the Koornlei, the Graslei and the Castle of the Counts. Cruise to Terneuzen this afternoon. Or take an optional excursion to Bruges, one of Europe’s most perfectly preserved medieval cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Early this evening, cruise through the Dutch region of Zeeland, home to one of the world’s most complex engineering projects, the Delta Works, which took more than 30 years to complete.

Saturday, May 3: Willemstad – Kinderdijk – Dordrecht
This morning we will stop in the charming 400-year old town of Willemstad for a walking tour and private organ recital at the oldest Protestant church in the Netherlands. In the afternoon, you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk, a lovely village renowned for having the country’s greatest concentration of windmills, all dating from the 1500s. Tonight, enjoy a special onboard musical performance as the ship cruises to Schoonhoven, where we will moor overnight.

Sunday, May 4: Utrecht – Keukenhof – Amsterdam
We arrive in Amsterdam today. Admire the spectacular display of millions of flowering tulips during your morning excursion to the famous 70-acre Keukenhof Gardens. Return to Amsterdam and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. The ship moors overnight in Amsterdam.

Monday, May 5: Depart Amsterdam
Disembark the ship and prepare for your flight home.

Details

Apr 27

Sail To Discover The Beauty And History
Of The Dutch And Belgian Waterways
Tulip Time Riverboat Cruise

  • When:
    • Sunday, April 27 – Monday, May 5, 2014 (AMA)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom
    • Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise
    • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain's Gala Dinner
    • Unlimited red & white wines from Europe’s great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
    • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
    • Tours and excursions daily with personal headset included
    • Special highlights including lectures, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and piano music
    • Bicycles to explore on your own & guided bicycle tours
    • Services of professional Cruise Manager
    • State-of-the-art Infotainment System in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library & English language TV stations
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
    • Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding in all staterooms
    • All local taxes, including port charges
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,260.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 4,810.00

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

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

June 2014

Explore The Romance Of Barcelona, The Magic Of Paris
And Everything In Between
Provence and Spain Riverboat Vacation
Sunday, June 15 – Sunday, June 29, 2014 (AMA)

Explore The Romance Of Barcelona, The Magic Of Paris

From the romance of Barcelona to the magic of Paris, this itinerary is truly captivating. Begin with three nights in magnificent Barcelona and then transfer to Arles, the gateway to Provence. From there, cruise through France’s legendary wine growing regions, home to such famous vintages as Beaujolais and Côte du Rhône. Enjoy wine tastings at local vintners, marvel at ancient Roman ruins, stroll through medieval villages and shop for Provencal crafts. Conclude your journey with three nights in Paris.

Itinerary:

Sunday, June 15: Depart USA
Board your overnight flight to Barcelona, Spain.

Monday, June 16: Arrive in Barcelona
Arrive in Barcelona and check-in to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city on your own.

Tuesday, June 17: Barcelona
Your full day in Barcelona begins with a driving tour to the top of Montjuic Hill, where you will enjoy glorious views of the city below. Continue along the waterfront to Las Ramblas, an iconic tree-lined boulevard, and explore the city’s Gothic Quarter. Your tour also includes the unique architectural works of Antoni Gaudí, including Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been under construction for over a century.

Wednesday, June 18: Barcelona
Enjoy a full day at your leisure, or take part in the optional "Montserrat Excursion," visiting the famous Benedictine Abbey atop Montserrat Mountain. This evening, explore Barcelona by night on your own, or participate in a special tapas tasting optional tour.

Thursday, June 19: Paris: Barcelona - Arles
After breakfast, you will transfer from Barcelona to Arles, the gateway to Provence. Along the way, you will stop in the medieval town of Perpignan in France and have some free time for lunch and exploring on your own. Continue on your transfer, passing through the eerie marshland region of the Camargue before arriving in Arles and boarding your ship. This evening, meet your fellow passengers at a welcome dinner.

Friday, June 20: Arles – Les Baux - Avignon
This morning, you will board a motor coach for an excursion to the hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence. The village’s castle has a fascinating exhibit of medieval siege weaponry. Later, visit an olive farm to learn about this age-old Provençal farming tradition. You will also visit the Carrieres de Lumieres, a stone quarry that projects European artwork on its walls, including many of Van Gogh’s famous paintings. Late this afternoon, your city tour of Arles takes you to the Romanesque cathedral and the Roman Amphitheater. Early this evening cruise to Avignon. As your ship docks, look for the illuminated Avignon Bridge made famous by the French children’s song "Sur le pont d’Avignon" ("On the Bridge of Avignon").

Saturday, June 21: Avignon - Viviers
This morning, you will have your choice of two excursions in and around historic Avignon. Seven popes once resided in the magnificent Gothic Papal Palace, which you will visit during your city walking tour. You will also see the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As an alternative, take an excursion to the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of engineering and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour will also visit Uzes, a lovely Provencal town known for its castle (still occupied by the Duke of Uzes and his family), medieval streets and picturesque town square. Enjoy free time for shopping in Uzes before returning to your ship. After lunch, the ship cruises to Viviers, arriving later this evening. You may join a "Ghost Walk" through this medieval town, with colorful stories brought to life by local residents. The ship moors overnight in Viviers.

Sunday, June 22: Viviers - Tournon
After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Grignan, a magnificent hilltop village surrounded by lavender fields. The village’s Renaissance castle provides a commanding view of the area’s beautiful countryside. Enjoy some free time to explore local shops for confections, homemade lavender soaps and other crafts. You will also have the opportunity to visit a truffle farm and learn about truffle harvesting. Rejoin the ship in Le Pouzine and cruise to Tournon, arriving late afternoon.

Monday, June 23: Tournon - Vienne
This morning, you will enjoy an indulgent chocolate and red wine pairing. After lunch, the ship sails to Vienne, situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, arriving early evening.

Tuesday, June 24: Vienne - Lyon
Vienne’s Roman past can be readily seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. This morning, you will have a guided walking tour of Vienne and see the 1st-century Roman Temple of Augustus and Livia, the ruins of a Roman theater, and the medieval churches of St. Andre-Le-Bas and Abbey St. Pierre. During lunch, your ship will depart for Lyon, arriving mid-afternoon for a city tour. Your panoramic tour of Lyon will take you to the Place Bellecour with its equestrian statue of Louis XIV, the Place des Terreaux with Bartholdi’s Fountain and the Town Hall. Afterwards, visit Fourvière, part of the historic region designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the "Hill of Prayers," Fourvière is famous for its iconic white Basilica of Notre-Dame, ruins of a Roman theater and majestic views of the city below. The ship moors overnight in Lyon.

Wednesday, June 25: Lyon – Collonges – Belleville - Lyon
This morning, enjoy some free time on your own. The ship departs after noon and cruises to Collonges for your excursion through the Beaujolais wine region, the Pays d’Or ("land of the golden stones," named for the ochre limestone used to build local homes and castles). You will visit the medieval hilltop village of Oingt and the home of a local vintner, where you will enjoy a wine tasting and vineyard tour, and learn about the history of wine production in the region. Rejoin the ship in Belleville and return to Lyon, arriving late tonight

Thursday, June 26: Lyon - Paris
After disembarking your ship, you will be treated to a demonstration of Lyonnaise cooking. You will have free time for lunch on your own before boarding a high-speed TGV train that will whisk you through the French countryside to Paris. Upon arriving in Paris, you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening, an optional "Montmartre & Illuminations" tour is available for you to enjoy.

Friday, June 27: Paris
Enjoy some of Paris’ most famous sights during this morning's guided tour, such as the Champs Élysées, Place de la Concorde, Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. The afternoon is free for you to explore the "City of Light." This evening, an optional "Parisian Cabaret at Paradis Latin" dinner show is available.

Saturday, June 28: Paris
Enjoy your last full day in Paris at your leisure. You may also take an optional "Seine Cruise & Eiffel Tower" tour this morning.

Sunday, June 29: Depart Paris
Your splendid vacation comes to an end as you prepare for your homeward flight.

Details

Jun 15

Explore The Romance Of Barcelona, The Magic Of Paris
And Everything In Between
Provence and Spain Riverboat Vacation

  • When:
    • Sunday, June 15 – Sunday, June 29, 2014 (AMA)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 3 nights hotel in Barcelona, including daily buffet breakfast
    • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom
    • 3 nights hotel in Paris, including daily buffet breakfast
    • Transfer to Lyon via High-speed TGV train
    • Motorcoach from Arles to Perpignan and on to Barcelona
    • Gourmet dining with all meals included during your cruise
    • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain's Gala Dinner
    • Free-flowing red & white wines from France's great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
    • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
    • Tours and excursions daily
    • Special highlights including lectures, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and piano music
    • Bicycles to explore on your own & guided bicycle tours
    • Services of professional Cruise Manager
    • State-of-the-art Infotainment System in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library & English language TV stations
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
    • Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding
    • All local taxes, including port charges
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 5,430.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 8,065.00

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

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

Cirque du Soleil 2014
Under the Grand Chapiteau in Old Montreal
Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cirque du Soleil 2014 - Under the Grand Chapiteau in Old Montreal
Brace yourselves for Cirque 2014! Little is yet known about Cirque 2014, the mega troupe’s newest "soon-to-travel" show and one adapted for the circus’ big top. Created and directed by, Michel Laprise, who wrote and directed Madonna’s latest concert tour and her performance at the Super Bowl in 2012, what is known is that this performance is loaded with theatrics, art and entertainment guaranteed to astound every viewer.

Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company, self-described as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment." It is the largest theatrical producer in the world. Join us for the premier performance and an afternoon overflowing with entertainment.

Details

Jun 22

Cirque du Soleil 2014
Under the Grand Chapiteau in Old Montreal

  • When:
    • Sunday, June 22, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Reserved ticket for the 1:30 pm show under the Grand Chapiteau
    • Free time in Montreal to have lunch, shop or explore
    • Notch Above Tour Manager
    • Round trip motor coach transportation
    • Per person: 155.00 Cash or Check/ 160.00 Credit Card
  • Depart: South Burlington 8:00 am, St. Albans 8:45 am
  • Return: St. Albans 5:30 pm, South Burlington 6:15 pm

July 2014

Get Inspired By Iceland’s Adventure Playground
Wednesday, July 9 – Monday, July 14, 2014

Get Inspired By Iceland’s Adventure Playground

Embrace the remote, rugged and breathtaking beauty of Iceland, one of the world's most dynamic places.  Everything is new in Iceland because the island's volcanoes are constantly creating new land and changing the existing terrain. Don't let the name fool you -- this island nation enjoys some of the best hot springs in the world, and is coated in lush greenery, not ice.

Welcome to Iceland – Where Mother Nature Lives
Iceland is full of surprises! It’s a stunning mix of green plains, wild volcanic scenery, beautiful coasts and lakes, spouting geysers, hot springs, mud pools and sophisticated cities. Topped off by clean, fresh air, you’ll find yourself in a trance surrounded by unique natural beauty throughout the country.

Reykjavik - Cultural City on Top of the World
Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city of 100,000 people, is unique in many ways. The most northerly capital city, it is a modern city with a variety of restaurants, museums, galleries and theaters. Heated entirely by geothermal water, it is home to the "smoking bay", so named for the rising steam that greeted the city’s Viking founder, Angolfr Arnarsson, as he sailed into the bay here in AD 874.

On an included city tour of the world’s most northerly capital you’ll see the old town center, Parliament, cathedral, harbor, National Museum,

Pearl and Hofoi House (site of the Iceland summit of 1986), and Hallgrímskirkja Church whose steeple is a landmark of the city. There will be an opportunity for a day at leisure during your stay or you will have the chance to join an optional excursion to Vestmannaeyjar – the Westman Islands. These are a small archipelago off the south coast of Iceland and truly a wonder of nature! The volcanic eruption in 1973 is considered the largest natural disaster in Iceland in recent history.

Iceland’s South Shore
An adventure to the South Shore begins with a drive over the mountain pass Hellisheidi where magnificent views of the wide plains formed by glacial rivers unfold before you. You’ll enjoy a visit to Hveragerdi Geothermal Park and a walk around the greenhouse and hotsprings. The adventure continues through small villages and farmlands to the majestic mountains with views including Mt. Hekla, the most active volcano in Iceland, and the towering, ice-capped strato volcano Eyjafjallajokull.

Iceland is also famous for its waterfalls and you’ll see two of the most magnificent—the Seljalandsfoss which tumbles over high rock escarpments allowing you to walk behind the waterfall and Skogafoss Waterfall. You’ll learn more of the preservation of the Southern Iceland cultural heritage on your visit to the Skogar Folk Museum.

Your exploration continues to Dyrholaey, a magnificent rocky headland with sheer cliffs enroute to the beautiful village of Vik. In the sea, just outside of Vik, you’ll see the Reynisdrangar Rocks. According to legend, the Reynisdrangar were formed when two trolls were trying to drag a three-masted ship to land. When daylight broke, the trolls were turned to stone.

The Golden Circle
On the full day tour of the Golden Circle, enjoy scenic drives, geological and historic sites of the island. Your excursion begins with a drive to Thingvellir, a remarkable geological site and the most historic site on the island as the world’s oldest democratic parliament was founded here in 930 AD. Thingvellir, situated by lake Thingvallavatn, is the largest lake on the island and a National Park named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The amazing canyon that runs through the park is a meeting point of two of the earth’s tectonic plates.

You’ll see outstanding natural wonders when you visit Geysir, Iceland’s most famous area for thermal activity. You’ll view ‘Strokkur’, one of the most active geysers, and ‘Gullfoss’ (Golden Waterfall), Iceland’s most famous waterfall. You’ll also visit Thingvellir National Park, one of the few spots in the world where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge comes above water. And, you’ll have a chance for a photo with a stop at Kerid Volcanic Crater.

Day-By-Day Itinerary:

Wednesday, July 9 – Reykjavik

  • International flight to Reykjavik, Iceland

Thursday, July 10 – Reykjavik

  • Arrive in Reykjavik and transfer to your hotel
  • Discover the city on an included tour
  • Welcome dinner

Friday, July 11 – Reykjavik

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Included full day South Shore adventure excursion
  • See Hveragerdi Geothermal Park
  • View Mt. Hekla, the country’s most active volcano
  • View the ice-capped volcano Eyjafjallajokull and the famous Seljalandsfoss and Skogarfoss waterfalls
  • Visit Skogar Folk Museum
  • Witness the marvels of nature at Dyrholaey

Saturday, July 12 – Reykjavik

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Included tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula
  • Visit Reykjanes, one of the most active volcanic areas in Iceland
  • Discover the geothermal area of Krysuvik and Lake Kleifarvatn with hot springs and solfatares
  • Drive through the small fishing village of Grindavik
  • Enjoy a swim in the Blue Lagoon

Sunday, July 13 – Reykjavik

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Full day included tour of the Golden Circle
  • Drive to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit the famous ‘Geysir’ which has given its name to hot springs all over the world
  • See ‘Strokkur,’ one of the most active geysers in the area
  • Visit Gullfoss
  • See Kerid Volcanic Crater
  • Farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavik

Monday, July 14 – Reykjavik

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

Details

Jul 19

Get Inspired By Iceland’s Adventure Playground

  • When:
    • Wednesday, July 9 – Monday, July 14, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 4 nights hotel accommodation in Reykjavik
    • 6 Meals (4 breakfasts and 2 dinners)
    • Most airport transfers
    • Included city tour with a local guide
    • Full-day tour of volcanoes, waterfalls, a geothermal park and nature, with a local guide
    • Full-day excursion to the Reykjanes Peninsula
    • Swim in the Blue Lagoon (entrance included)
    • Full-day Golden Circle tour with a local guide to see the Thingvellir National Park and a visit to the "Geysir."
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 1,259.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 1,758.00

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

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

The New York City Ballet
At the Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The New York City Ballet At the Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Come along and enjoy one of the summer’s highlight performances, The New York City Ballet performs at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. SPAC provides an acoustically ideal amphitheater in the heart of Spa State Park and is the cultural hub of upstate New York, the Hudson Valley, Vermont, the Berkshires, Connecticut and nearby Canada.

The matinee performance features a "Mixed Repertoire,Ä including Circus Polka (Stravinsky/Robbins), Walpurgisnacht Ballet (Gounod/Balanchine), and Who Cares? (Gershwin).

Prior to the performance, dine on a delicious buffet luncheon served in the Historic Hall of Springs. Listed on the National Historic Register, this facility is an example of the Beaux-Arts architectural style and is designated as a National Landmark by the National Park Service. Historically called a Ädrink hall," visitors could drink from three separate fountains from the different springs. With its arched ceilings and imposing crystal chandeliers, you will be dining in one of the area’s most distinctive settings.

Details

Jul 10

The New York City Ballet
At the Saratoga Performing Arts Center

  • When:
    • Thursday, July 10, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • Reserved ticket for the 2:00 pm matinee performance
    • Luncheon at Hall of Springs Restaurant
    • Notch Above Tour Manager
    • Round trip motor coach transportation
    • Taxes and gratuities, excluding gratuity for coach driver and tour manager
    • Per person: 119.00 cash or check/ 125.00 credit card
  • Depart: South Burlington 8:00 am, Charlotte 8:30 am, Middlebury 9:00 am
  • Return: Middlebury 6:30 pm, Charlotte 7:00 pm, South Burlington 7:45 pm

Land of the Vikings
Scandinavia Vacation
Friday, July 11 – Sunday, July 20, 2014 (M)

Land of the Vikings, Scandinavia Vacation

See the best of Scandinavia with this tour of majestic fjords, ancient ships and awe-inspiring railroad adventures.  Explore the fascinating pasts, and cutting-edge presents of the region's most cosmopolitan cities.

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. 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.

Optional Excursion: The Royal Canal and Vasa Warship Museum
Enjoy a one-hour cruise along the shady canal of Djurgarden, and then 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. Travel back in time while visiting the amazing Viking Ships Museum.

The Awe-Inspiring Fjords
Any visit to Norway would be incomplete without a cruise through the world-famous Sognefjord 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.

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. 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:

Friday, July 11 – Fly to Stockholm, Sweden

  • International flight to Stockholm, Sweden

Saturday, July 12 – Stockholm, Sweden

  • Arrive in Stockholm and transfer to your hotel
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Welcome dinner in the hotel

Sunday, July 13 – Stockholm, Sweden

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Stockholm City Tour, including the historic City Hall and scenic Old town
  • Afternoon optional tour of the Royal Canal and Vasa Warship Musuem
  • Evening at leisure

Monday, July 14 – Stockholm, Sweden to Oslo, Norway

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Depart Stockholm, Sweden to Oslo, Norway
  • City tour of Oslo, including the Viking Ships Museum and Vigeland Sculpture Park
  • Evening at leisure

Tuesday, July 15 – Oslo, Norway

  • 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

Wednesday, July 16 – Stalheim, Norway to Bergen, Norway

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Scenic transfer to Bergen, lunch on your own en route
  • Dinner in the hotel

Thursday, July 17 – Bergen, Norway

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • City tour of Bergen including historic Bryggen and composer Edvard Grieg's former home
  • Afternoon and evening at leisure

Friday, July 18 – Bergen, Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Flight to Copenhagen
  • Copenhagen City Tour, including The Little Mermaid statue
  • Evening at leisure

Saturday, July 19 – Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Optional excursion to North Zeeland, including a visit to Frederiksborg Castle Farewell dinner

Sunday, July 20 – Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Morning at leisure
  • Transfer to Copenhagen Airport for flight home

Details

Jul 11

Land of the Vikings
Scandinavia Vacation

  • When:
    • Friday, July 11 – Sunday, July 20, 2014 (M)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 nights accommodation (2 in Stockholm, 1 in Oslo, 1 in Stalheim, 2 in Bergen and 2 in Copenhagen)
    • 12 Meals (8 breakfasts and 4 dinners)
    • Airfare between Bergen, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Most airport transfers
    • City tour in Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen and Copenhagen with a local guide
    • Visit to historic City Hall and scenic Old Town in Stockholm
    • Visit the Viking Ships Museum and Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo
    • Scenic rail experience from Oslo to Myrdal
    • Scenic rail experience on the Flam Railway from Myrdal to Flam
    • 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.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,059.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 3,908.00

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

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

Set Sail On An Unforgettable Voyage
Through the Heart of Russia
Russian Waterways Cruise
Monday, July 14 – Saturday, July 26, 2014 (AMA)

Set Sail On An Unforgettable Voyage Through the Heart of Russia

Your unforgettable voyage through the heart of Russia starts with a panoramic overview of Moscow. See its colorful onion domes, stark Soviet-style architecture and other iconic sights and take fascinating guided tours of the Kremlin and the elaborate underground Metro system. Cruise northwards to the enchanting Golden Ring cities of Uglich and Yaroslavl, and continue along the Volga-Baltic canals and across Europe’s two largest lakes, Onega and Ladoga. In St. Petersburg – said to rival Paris and Venice for grandeur and romance – you will tour the city and visit the Hermitage and its world-renowned art collection.

Itinerary:

Monday, July 14: Depart USA
Board your overnight flight to Moscow, Russia.

Tuesday, July 15: Arrive in Moscow
Arrive in Moscow and board the AmaKatarina. Relax in your stateroom or explore the city on your own before meeting your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Wednesday, July 16: Moscow
Today, enjoy a city tour that includes the Red Square and many other well-known sights. You will have some free time to shop for souvenirs or wander on your own, perhaps to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral or GUM, the vast Soviet-Era department store. Enjoy lunch on a day boat as you cruise the Moscow River past the imposing façade of the Kremlin. Late this afternoon, you will visit Poklonnaya (Bow) Hill and its monument to WWII, and tour the city’s amazing Metro, quite possibly the world’s most extravagant subway system – many of the stations are adorned with chandeliers, sculptures and elaborate frescoes. The ship moors overnight in Moscow.

Thursday, July 17: Moscow
This morning, venture beyond the walls of the Kremlin for a fascinating guided tour of the former residence of the Czars and center of the Russian Orthodox faith. Your tour includes a visit to the Kremlin Armory, one of Moscow’s oldest museums, with a vast collection of weaponry, jewelry and historical artifacts. The ship departs this evening for Uglich.

Friday, July 18: Uglich
Located on the banks of the Volga, Uglich was founded by merchants in 1148 and is now home to some of Russia’s most beautiful churches and cathedrals. After arriving this evening, you will have a guided tour of the city and visit the Chambers of Prince Dimitry and the magnificent Church of Dimitry on the Blood, dedicated to the tragic death of Ivan the Terrible’s young son. The ship departs later tonight for Yaroslavl.

Saturday, July 19: Yaroslavl
Founded in 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, Yaroslavl is one of Russia’s oldest cities, tracing its roots back to the days of the Vikings. Your guided tour this morning explores the city’s history through its architecture, with stops at the fortified 12th-century Transfiguration Monastery and the Yaroslavl Museum of Russian Art, located in the former residence of the Governor of Yaroslavl. The ship departs early this afternoon and cruises overnight.

Sunday, July 20: Goritsy
Goritsy is a peaceful farming town and a typical Russian village. After arriving early this afternoon, you will have a guided tour that includes the Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake and the Museum of Icons. Return to the ship and continue on in the late afternoon to the island of Kizhi.

Monday, July 21: Kizhi
An island situated at the northern end of Lake Onega, Kizhi is home to some of the most amazing wooden architecture in Russia. In 1764, local residents built the Church of Intercession, with towering walls and 22 domes – all constructed without a single nail. We arrive in the early evening for a walking tour that includes the Museum of Wooden Architecture. The ship departs later tonight.

Tuesday, July 22: Svirstroy
At noon today the ship arrives in Svirstroy, a town 100 miles from St. Petersburg with a population of only a thousand people. During your visit, you will have an opportunity to sample grilled shashlyk, Russia’s very popular (and delicious) version of shish kebab. You’ll also be treated to a private visit to the home of a local Russian family, where you will gain new insights into everyday life in Svirstroy and experience warm Russian hospitality first-hand. We depart mid-afternoon and cruise overnight to St. Petersburg.

Wednesday, July 23: St. Petersburg
One of Russia’s former capitals, dating from the early 18th-century, St. Petersburg was built to Peter the Great’s exact specifications. After breakfast, you will disembark the ship and travel by hydrofoil to the Hermitage, one of the oldest, largest and most awe-inspiring museums in the world. Founded by Catherine the Great, the museum is a complex of six buildings, including the former Winter Palace, and houses nearly three million works of art. After your visit, relax a bit with an enjoyable lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon, your sightseeing tour of this splendid city will include the Peter & Paul Fortress, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and St. Isaacs Cathedral. The ship moors overnight in St. Petersburg.

Thursday, July 24: St. Petersburg
You will visit the nearby town of Pushkin today, where Catherine’s Palace was once the summer residence of the Russian Czars. This excursion includes a tour of the Cameron Gallery, which features formal staterooms and dining rooms embellished with baroque and neoclassical furnishings and décor. You will also visit the reconstructed Amber Room, considered by many to be the Eighth Wonder of the World, with its dazzling amber-covered walls. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. This evening, experience a traditional Russian ballet performance at the Hermitage Theater, or opt for a colorful and lively “Russian Folklore Show.” The ship moors in St. Petersburg overnight.

Friday, July 25: St. Petersburg
This morning, depart by hydrofoil for Peterhof, St. Petersburg’s most spectacular Imperial Estate. Also known as the “Russian Versailles,” the palace was built on the shore of the Gulf of Finland by Peter the Great, initially as a resting place en route to the Imperial Naval base. Your tour includes the Lower Gardens, the Grand Cascade and Samson Fountain, which commemorates Russia’s victory over Sweden during the Great Northern War. The ship moors in St. Petersburg overnight.

Saturday, July 26: Depart St. Petersburg
Your Russian cruise comes to an end as you prepare for your flight home.

Details

Jul 14

Set Sail On An Unforgettable Voyage
Through the Heart of Russia
Russian Waterways Cruise

  • When:
    • Monday, July 14 – Saturday, July 26, 2014 (AMA)
  • Your Vacation Includes:
    • 11-night Cruise Accommodation in an Outside Stateroom
    • All Meals on board; Early-riser Coffee, Buffet Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Free-flowing Wine and juice with every Dinner on board the Ship
    • Bottled Water in every stateroom replenished daily
    • Cocktail Reception & Welcome Dinner
    • Daily Sightseeing Programs
    • Home Visit with Russian Family
    • Ballet Performance at the Hermitage Theater, the Private Theater of the Czars
    • Special highlights including lectures, Russian language classes, theme dinners, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano
    • Physician on board
    • All local Taxes and port charges
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 4,252.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 6,252.00

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

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

The Best of the West
9-Day Pacific Coast Journey Vacation
Monday, July 21 – Tuesday, July 29, 2014

9-Day Pacific Coast Journey Vacation

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.

Monday, July 21 – Portland, Oregon
Welcome to Portland, Oregon, the "City of Roses." Meet with your tour manager this evening 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.

Tuesday, July 22 – 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 we’ll see splendid Multnomah Falls and 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.

Wednesday, July 23 – Oregon Coast
Today we begin our exploration of the magnificent Oregon Coast, viewing beaches, sheer cliffs and pounding surf. We’ll pause to tour the Tillamook Cheese Factory, before taking the breathtaking Three Capes Scenic Drive. Oceanfront accommodations have been arranged tonight in Newport.

Thursday, July 24 – Oregon Coast
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 we overnight in the quaint town of Roseburg.

Friday, July 25 – Crater Lake National Park
Today features the natural wonders of Crater Lake National Park, the deepest lake in North America. We’ll follow the 35-mile Rim Drive for unmatched panoramic views. This afternoon we head back to the coast at Coos Bay and a delicious dinner.

Saturday, July 26 – Oregon Coast
Following the spectacular Oregon coastline we come to Gold Beach where we embark on a jetboat excursion along the Rogue River. We’ll follow a portion of the old mailboat route before our travels bring us to northern California, home of Redwood National Park. Continuing along the coastline through miles of giant forests, today’s destination is Eureka, where accommodations await and dinner features the lumberjack camp-style cooking of historic Samoa Cookhouse.

Sunday, July 27 – Avenue Of The Giants And Sonoma Valley
Another tour highlight is this morning’s drive along a portion of the "Avenue of the Giants," through huge stands of magnificent redwoods in Humboldt Redwoods and Richardson Grove State Parks. This afternoon we’ll motor through the famed Sonoma Valley wine country, where a stop has been scheduled for a tasting at Paradise Ridge Winery. Approaching the Bay area, we’ll check-in for a two-night stay at a charming inn at Novato.

Monday, July 28 – San Francisco
We’ll cross the Golden Gate Bridge and spend the morning touring San Francisco. Free time for browsing at Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 begins this afternoon, before an invigorating cruise of San Francisco Bay. Our farewell evening in Chinatown includes a Chinese banquet dinner at the Cathay House.

Tuesday, July 29 – San Francisco
Depart this afternoon for your flight home.

Details

Jul 21

The Best of the West
9-Day Pacific Coast Journey Vacation

  • When:
    • Monday, July 21 – Tuesday, July 29, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 nights accommodation (2 nights in Portland, 1 night in Newport, 1 night in Roseburg, 1 night in Coos Bay, 1 night in Eureka and 2 nights in Novato)
    • 13 Meals (8 breakfasts and 5 dinners) -Including a welcome dinner at Rheinlander German Restaurant and a farewell dinner in Chinatown
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Columbia River Gorge including Multnomah Falls and Bonneville Lock and Dam
    • Guided tour of Portland, including the Old Town Historic District and the International Rose Test Gardens
    • Tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory
    • Tour of the Oregon Coast, including Three Capes Scenic Drive and Yaquina Head Lighthouse
    • Four-wheel-drive dune buggy ride through Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
    • Crater Lake National Park
    • Rouge River Jetboat excursion following the route of the old mailboats (Subject to water levels)
    • Visit to the gigantic redwoods and sequoias of Redwood National Park
    • Tour and tasting at Paradise Ridge Winery in Sonoma County
    • San Francisco tour, including the Golden Gate Bridge and a San Francisco Bay cruise
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 1,899.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 2,628.00

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

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

Lighthouses and Lobsters
A Mini Vacation to Maine
Wednesday, July 23-Thursday, July 24, 2014
2-Days/1-Night

Lighthouses and Lobsters - A Mini Vacation to Maine

Come along for a summer escape to the coast of Maine. Feel the warm breeze off the ocean, breathe in the fresh salt air, watch the seals as they frolic in the waves and savor the flavors of the freshest seafood imaginable!

Day One, Wednesday, July 23:

Depart Burlington early morning and begin your travels to Maine.

With a comfort stop along the way, arrive in Portsmouth, New Hampshire about noon. Portsmouth is named "one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country." Enjoy lunch on your own at a shore-side café, stroll along the streets and see the stimulating mix of historic buildings, artisans' boutiques and ships in the harbor.

Continue along the coast and visit the oldest lighthouse and most sought after destination in Maine, Portland Head. Portland Head has long protected Portland and the adjacent area. Cape Elizabeth residents were deeply committed to American independence from British rule. In 1776, the new Town of Cape Elizabeth posted a guard of eight soldiers at Portland Head to warn citizens of coming British attacks. The original tower measured 72’ from base to lantern deck and was lit with 16 whale oil lamps. It was first lit on January 10, 1791.

Continue into Portland and embark on a 90-minute narrated, scenic Lighthouse Lovers’s Cruise. Sail through the busy harbor and innermost islands to see lighthouses, forts, lobster boats, seals and seabirds. Four lighthouses may be seen up close, with as many as seven in view during the cruise. Take in the salt air and the spectacular sights. Depart Portland and travel Kennebunkport, where you will check into your waterside resort hotel, The Colony. This resort, built in 1914, is a recognizable landmark from land and sea over looking the Atlantic Ocean, Kennebunk River and private beach. Swim in the heated, saltwater pool or take a dip in the ocean. Sit back and watch the lobster boats and the yachts idle by. Enjoy the complimentary 18-hole putting green, shuffleboard, horseshoes or croquet. You may also rent a bike, a kayak or take out a fishing charter. Or if you wish, walk to the nearby Dock Square and explore the shops and galleries.

Dinner this evening is served in the resort’s Porch Dining Room. Savor the flavors of a traditional New England Clambake complete with chowdah, steamers and lobstah! Of course, there are other selections for landlubbers. After dinner, enjoy a moonlit stroll on the beach.

Day Two, Thursday, July 24:

After breakfast in the resort you will have time at your leisure to enjoy this exquisite property before you check out of your rooms.

Mid morning, catch the Kennebunkport Trolley right at the resort’s front door. Embark on a fascinating 45-minute narrated sightseeing tour. See the many architectural styles and influences employed over the centuries in this seacoast town. Drive by President Bush’s summer home and learn of this town’s rich history.

After your trolley tour, return to the hotel, prepare to check out and begin your journey back home.

Before you depart, visit the Strawbery Banke Museum and step over the threshold of history into the life of one of our country’s oldest waterfront neighborhoods. This 10-acre living history museum has preserved the lifestyles and traditions of four centuries of New Englanders. You will see buildings spanning from the late 1600’s to the mid-1950’s that include storefronts of colonial merchants, the elegant Georgian-style mansion of Governor Goodwin, the humble dwellings of early Jewish immigrants and the penny candy counter of the WWII-era Abbott Store. Have lunch on your own at the on-site café.

With a comfort stop along the way, back in Burlington early evening.

Details

Jul 23

Lighthouses and Lobsters
A Mini Vacation to Maine

  • When:
    • Wednesday, July 23-Thursday, July 24, 2014
      2-Days/1-Night
  • Package Includes:
    • 1 Night accommodation at the historic Colony Hotel
    • 1 Breakfast
    • 1 New England Clambake Dinner
    • Time to explore Portsmouth, NH
    • Visit to the Portland Head Light
    • Lighthouse Lover’s Cruise
    • Kennebunkport Trolley Tour
    • Admission to the Strawbery Banke Museum
    • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
    • Round trip motor coach transportation
    • Accommodations and breakfast for the coach driver
    • Taxes and Gratuities (NOTE: Gratuity for the coach driver is not included and is left at your discretion based on service.)
  • Pricing Information:
    • Per person double occupancy: 393.00
    • Per person single occupancy: 502.00
  • Depart: South Burlington 7:00 am, Middlebury 8:00 am, Berlin 9:30 am,
    White River Junction 10:30 am
  • Return: White River Junction 4:00 pm, Berlin 5:00 pm, Middlebury 6:30 pm, South Burlington 7:30 pm.

America’s Final Frontier
9-Day Alaska Grand Tour Vacation
Saturday, July 26 – Sunday, August 3, 2014

9-Day Alaska Grand Tour Vacation

Have the adventure of a lifetime on this journey through America's "Final Frontier" -- Alaska! Ride the rails and sail the rivers of this rugged wilderness state while enjoying local food, music, history and native Alaskan culture.

Itinerary:

Saturday, July 26 – Fairbanks
Arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska, where you will meet your tour manager and other travelers at the hotel. The first day of travel will come to a quiet close as we explore the new surroundings and prepare for our adventure.

Sunday, July 27 – Fairbanks
We cast off aboard the Riverboat Discovery, the only authentic stern-wheeler in Alaska. Your narrated cruise takes you to Old Chena Village, where native Alaskan guides show the culture and lifestyle of the original Alaskans. The afternoon is free to enjoy Alaska’s second largest city on your own. Dinner this evening is a sumptuous all-you-can-eat feast of grilled salmon, prime rib or deep-fried halibut and cod. Afterwards, enjoy humorous skits and songs about early Fairbanks in the Palace Theatre’s production, Golden Heart Review.

Monday, July 28 – Denali National Park
Today we board the Alaska Railroad’s flagship The Denali Star for the trip to Denali National Park. Arriving in Denali, the afternoon is free of scheduled activities to enjoy your scenic surroundings. Tonight, sample Alaskan cuisine at Alaska Cabin Nite and enjoy an all-you-can-eat Alaskan dinner. Then sit back for a hilarious show of tall tales, fun songs and foot-stompin’ music.

Tuesday, July 29 – Denali National Park
We are up early as an experienced local guide conducts this morning’s Tundra Wilderness Tour, which travels more than 50 miles into Denali National Park. Weather permitting, see North America’s tallest mountain, Mt. McKinley.

Wednesday, July 30 – Mahay’s Wilderness Jetboat Adventure
This morning we arrive in the town of Talkeetna where we board our vessel for an exciting wilderness Jetboat adventure along the Susitna River. Later, we travel down the George Parks Highway where you might catch a glimpse of Mount McKinley and the rest of the Alaska Range through the stands of spruce and pine. A stop at the Iditarod Trail Headquarters showcases the race’s exciting history. Tonight, dinner is at the Sourdough Mining Company featuring great food and lively entertainment at the Dusty Sourdough Show.

Thursday, July 31 – Anchorage
Today we take a panoramic tour of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. We’ll see the Log Cabin Visitor center and visit Resolution Park to see the Captain Cook Monument as well as Ship Creek Viewpoint which overlooks Cook Inlet. We’ll also visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, which features interactive displays and exhibits.

Friday, August 1 – Seward
We begin today with a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a haven for orphaned or injured Alaskan wildlife, before making a stop at the Begich-Boggs Visitor Center. Arriving in Seward, we visit the Alaska Sealife Center.

Saturday, August 2 – Kenai Fjords National Park
Today we climb aboard our vessel for a cruise to experience the abundant wildlife and tidewater glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park. Enjoy lunch on our narrated cruise while taking in some of the most spectacular scenery in Alaska, including the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, home to teeming seabird rookeries.

Sunday, August 3 – Anchorage
Your trip ends today in Anchorage. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Details

Jul 26

America’s Final Frontier
9-Day Alaska Grand Tour Vacation

  • When:
    • Saturday, July 26 – Sunday, August 3, 2014
  • Your Vacation Includes:
    • 8 nights accommodation (2 nights in Fairbanks, 2 nights in Denali National park, 2 nights in Anchorage and 2 nights in Seward)
    • 14 Meals (8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners) -Including an Alaska salmon dinner and a lunch cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Cruise the Chena River aboard the Riverboat Discovery and visit Old Chena Village
    • Golden Heart Review show at the Palace Theater
    • Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to Denali in Gold Star class with dome car seating
    • Alaskan cuisine at Alaska Cabin Nite
    • Full day Tundra Wilderness Tour of Denali National Park, with included box lunch
    • Mahay’s Wilderness Jetboat Adventure
    • Tour of Anchorage, including Resolution Park with the Captain Cook Monument
    • Visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center
    • Visit to the Begich-Boggs Visitor Center and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
    • Tour of the Alaska Sealife Center
    • Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,198.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 4,497.00

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

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

Back in the U.S.S.R.
14-Day Russia’s Imperial Waterways River Cruise
Wednesday, July 30 – Tuesday, August 12, 2014

14-Day Russia’s Imperial Waterways River Cruise

When you think of Russia, two great cities immediately come to mind: Moscow and Saint Petersburg. This monumental 14-day itinerary includes multiple days in both cities, touring such landmarks as Moscow's Kremlin, Red Square, Catherine's Palace and the Hermitage.

Welcome Aboard!
The allure of Russia’s great cities awaits as you sail along the majestic rivers. You will be awestruck by the cities’ important landmarks in Moscow and Saint Petersburg filled with centuries of history, culture and architecture. Sailing to the quaint towns of Mandrogi, Yaroslavl, Uglich and Goritsy, you’ll discover the uniqueness of Russia’s heartland in villages along the Svir and Volga Rivers.

Moscow – Capital City, Vibrant Metropolis
Welcome to the capital of Russia – Moscow. Now the largest city of the great country with almost 11 million inhabitants, Moscow celebrated its 850th anniversary in 1997. Moscow is known for its hidden beauty, which will satisfy your curiosity and will ensure understanding of the essence of this old Russian city. During your stay in this heterogeneous metropolis you will get to know the history of the city and see the most prominent sights of Moscow - the breathtaking Red Square with the beautiful ensemble of St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, the fortress, with its famous museums and political center; Tverskaya Street and the Bolshoi Theatre. There is so much waiting for you in the city of Moscow.

Uglich – History of a Dynasty
The provincial town of Uglich was the former seat of princedom back in the 13th century. Uglich is the town where one of the most momentous events of Russian history took place in the 16th century. It was then that the last member of the Ruirik dynasty, the young Tsarevich Dmitry, was murdered. That dreadful event gave rise to what later became known as the time of trouble which lasted for 15 years before the Romanov dynasty began. Today’s Uglich does cherish its history and you can still see the relics of the past such as the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood. Built in 1690 on the spot where Dmitry had been murdered, it appears on the horizon with its red walls and blue domes as one sails on the Volga.

Yaroslavl – Historic Center of Trading and Commerce
Among the precious jewels of old Russian cities, Yaroslavl shines with a particular bright, unfading light. Founded in 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, the city prospered as a trading port and a center of textile manufacturing. No other city in Russia except Yaroslavl can boast such a wealth of 17th-century architecture. Tour the Church of Elija the Prophet, the 12th-century Transfiguration Monastery and the Church of Nicholas the Wonderworker. In your free time, shop at the local market.

Goritsy – A Stronghold of Old Russia
Welcome to the northwest of Russia, the village of Goritsy, home to the Resurrection Convent, standing at the shoreline. A tour to the town of Kirillov features the major Orthodox stronghold of Old Russia, the Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake. Founded in the 14th century, the monastery has preserved its remarkable architecture and fascinates visitors with its majestic churches enclosed within austere fortress walls. The monastery is also famous for its museum of icons some of which are the oldest in Russia.

Kizhi
Situated to the northeast of Lake Onega, the island of Kizhi is home to an open-air museum of fascinating wooden architecture. Walking on the island, you can see old wooden churches, chapels, bell towers, peasant houses, granaries, barns, windmills and bathhouses which were all brought from the Onega region to illustrate the architecture common to the Russian North. The focal point, referred to as the Kizhi Ensemble, comprises the awe-inspiring 22-domed Transfiguration Cathedral built in 1714 in three tiers entirely without nails. The Cathedral, along with the bell tower, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are adjacent to the neighboring Church of Intercession, which was built in 1774.

Mandrogi – A Craftsman’s Village
The small village of Mandrogi is a romantic vision from the past — a cozy place where souvenirs are made by local craftsmen and you are certain to have a good meal with Russian vodka or tea. Inhabited by talented craftsmen, Mandrogi is a reconstructed village, built on the bank of the Svir River to illustrate the traditions and lifestyle of Russia's past. Experience provincial Russian lifestyle, watch the artisans and craftsmen making “matryoshkas” (Russian nesting dolls), carving wood and sewing. You can visit the Vodka Museum, which boasts 250 varieties of the national drink, during your free time.

Saint Petersburg – Cultural Capital of Russia
Known as the cultural capital of Russia, Saint Petersburg draws people from all over the world with its enigmatic mixture of purely European architecture and dramatic Russian history. The secrets of Saint Petersburg will unfold on your included city tour showcasing the many renowned landmarks — Smolny Convent, Tavrichesky Palace, the Summer Garden and Winter Palace; Peter and Paul’s Fortress where the Romanov dynasty is buried and seeing the rich art collection of the Hermitage Museum. Take a stroll in the kingdom of fountains on a visit to the lower park of Peterhof complete with the Grand Cascade with Samson fountain, Greenhouse and Roman fountains. There is an opportunity for an optional full-day excursion to the Pushkin area with a visit to Catherine’s Palace and the Pavlovsk area visiting Pavlovsky Palace, the summer residence of Russian Emperor Pavel.

Day-By-Day Itinerary:

Wednesday, July 30 – Fly to Moscow, Russia

  • International flight to Moscow, Russia

Thursday, July 31 – Moscow, Russia

  • Arrive in Moscow and transfer to your hotel
  • After checking in to your room, you have free time to relax before dinner
  • Dinner in the hotel

Friday, August 1 – Moscow, Russia

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • City tour of Moscow where you see Red Square, Novodevichiy Convent, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Bolshoi Theatre and Sparrow Hill
  • Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own

Saturday, August 2 – Board the MS Alexander Pushkin

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Included tour of the Kremlin in the morning
  • Afternoon transfer to MS Alexander Pushkin, your ship for the next seven nights
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Reception followed by dinner
  • Overnight in Moscow

Sunday, August 3 - Aboard the MS Alexander Pushkin

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Morning at leisure in Moscow
  • Late afternoon departure from Moscow and begin cruising the Russian waterways

Monday, August 4 - Aboard the MS Alexander Pushkin

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Late afternoon arrival in Uglich
  • Walking tour of Uglich, Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood and Transfiguration Cathedral in Uglich Kremlin
  • Ship sails to Yaroslavl at night

Tuesday, August 5 - Aboard the MS Alexander Pushkin

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Arrive in Yaroslavl
  • City tour - Church of Elijah the Prophet, Transfiguration Monastery and more
  • Free time to explore
  • Depart for Goritsy late evening

Wednesday, August 6 - Aboard the MS Alexander Pushkin

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Arrive Goritsy
  • Included tour to Kirrilov to visit the Belozersky Monastery
  • Evening departure for Kizhi

Thursday, August 7 - Aboard the MS Alexander Pushkin

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • Cruise scenic Lake Onega
  • Arrive Kizhi Island. Tour includes the Museum of Russian Architecture, Church of the Transfiguration and bell tower (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
  • Depart for Mandrogi in the afternoon.

Friday, August 8 – Aboard the MS Alexander Pushkin

  • Breakfast and farewell dinner onboard
  • Arrive in Mandrogi late morning
  • Free time to visit the vodka museum or shop
  • "Shashlyk" – Russian-style barbeque lunch
  • Depart for Saint Petersburg in the afternoon

Saturday, August 9 – Saint Petersburg, Russia

  • Breakfast onboard
  • Arrive in Saint Petersburg
  • Disembark MS Alexander Pushkin and transfer to your hotel in Saint Petersburg for the next three nights
  • City tour with a visit to the Hermitage Museum and Peter and Paul Fortress
  • Dinner at your hotel

Sunday, August 10 – Saint Petersburg, Russia

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Full day at leisure to explore Saint Petersburg on your own
  • Join an optional full-day excursion to Catherine’s Palace and the town of Pushkin

Monday, August 11 – Saint Petersburg, Russia

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Walking tour of the lower park of Peterhof

Tuesday, August 12 – Saint Petersburg, Russia

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Transfer to Saint Petersburg airport for your flight home

Details

Jul 30

Back in the U.S.S.R.
14-Day Russia’s Imperial Waterways River Cruise

  • When:
    • Wednesday, July 30 – Tuesday, August 12, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moscow
    • 7 nights accommodation aboard the MS Alexander Pushkin (Main Deck, Middle Deck, Junior Suite or Suite)
    • All staterooms are river view with private bathroom and shower, a window and individually controlled heating and ventilation.
    • 3 nights hotel accommodation in St. Petersburg
    • 27 Meals (12 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 9 dinners)
    • Most airport transfers
    • Complimentary wine is served with all onboard dinners. Experience "shashlyk," a Russian style barbeque lunch
    • Included shore excursions in Moscow, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy and Saint Petersburg, all escorted by local English-speaking guides
    • Spacious public areas including a main lounge, solarium on the Sun Deck, three bars, and restaurant with viewing windows
    • Evening events onboard
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Main Deck:
      • Per person double occupancy: from 3,499.00
      • Per person single occupancy: from 6,498.00
    • Middle Deck:
      • Per person double occupancy: from 3,699.00
      • Per person single occupancy: from 6,848.00
    • Junior Suite:
      • Per person double occupancy: from 3,999.00
    • Suite:
      • Per person double occupancy: from 4,299.00

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

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

August 2014

Cruise the Meandering Waterways And Fortresses Of Europe
Friday, August 1 – Thursday, August 14, 2014 (AMA)

Cruise the Meandering Waterways And Fortresses Of Europe

Start your European vacation in beautiful Prague before departing for historic Nuremberg, where you will board the ship. Visit the German villages of Bernkastel and Cochem and experience the dramatic scenery of the Rhine River Gorge, dotted with picturesque fortresses and castle ruins. Continue through the meandering Mosel River Valley, its steep hillsides covered with vineyards, and visit Trier, the oldest city in Germany. End your journey with 3 nights in Paris, known as the "City of Lights."

Itinerary:

Friday, August 1: Depart USA
Board your overnight flight to Prague.

Saturday, August 2: Arrive in Prague
After checking into your hotel, the day is yours to relax or to begin exploring this charming city on your own.

Sunday, August 3: Prague
Your morning's sightseeing tour reveals why Prague is considered one of Europe's most attractive cities, with a historic city center that’s been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See Wenceslas Square and the Vltava River before visiting the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle. Afterwards, walk over the Charles Bridge to the Old Town Square and see the Church of Tyn and the famous Astronomical Clock. This afternoon, there is an optional tour to Terezin, the infamous Nazi WWII concentration camp that now serves as a memorial to those who perished. The evening is free to mix with the locals at Wenceslas Square, shop for souvenirs or enjoy one of the city’s many charming cafés or restaurants.

Monday, August 4: Prague – Nuremburg
After breakfast, depart Prague and drive through the pastoral German countryside to Nuremberg. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Nuremberg, with its fabulous Gothic churches and impressive city walls. See the infamous zeppelin field where Hitler once held his Nazi Party rallies and the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946. Late this afternoon, you will board your luxurious ship and meet your fellow passengers at a welcome dinner. The ship departs tonight for Bamberg.

Tuesday, August 5: Bamberg
This morning you will arrive in the medieval town of Bamberg. Enjoy a walking tour of this picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site, with sights that include the cathedral and Old Town Hall that straddles the river. Explore the serpentine streets lined with charming houses and sample some of Bamberg’s famous smoked beer before returning to the ship. Continue your cruise early this afternoon. You will have free time after arriving in Schweinfurt tonight. The ship sails for Kitzingen overnight.

Wednesday, August 6: Kitzingen – Wurzburg
This morning you will arrive in Kitzingen for a walking tour. You’ll see the famous Leaning Tower, built during the 13th century, the Old Main Bridge, Kitzingen Church and the Renaissance Town Hall. Later, the Aulic Council and Wine Queen will welcome you to Germany’s oldest wine cellar, where you will taste several different wines and learn about the history of wine production in the region. This afternoon, take a guided tour of Würzburg showing you all of the major sights or visit the Residenz Palace and gardens, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s best examples of Baroque architecture. Another possibility is an optional excursion to the medieval town of Rothenburg, a beautiful walled city situated on the Romantic Road, where you will have a walking tour and free time to explore on your own. Rejoin the ship in Würzburg. We cruise overnight tonight to Wertheim.

Thursday, August 7: Wertheim
This morning, you will have a guided walking tour of Wertheim, a town that has retained much of its medieval charm and character. After lunch, the ship will cruise towards Mainz.

Friday, August 8: Mainz – Rudesheim – Koblenz
Early this morning, the ship will cruise through the Rhine River gorge, famous for its beautiful and imposing castles and the legendary Lorelei Rock. Arrive in Mainz after breakfast and choose one of two excursions. The first is a walking tour of beautiful Mainz, where you will visit the Gutenberg Museum, home of the world’s first printed bible. As an alternative, you may chose an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town, where you can visit the red-walled Heidelberg Castle and its Great Vat, and take a walking tour of the historic old quarter. Later, stop in Rudesheim to visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, which houses a fantastic collection of robotic and self-playing musical instruments from the 18th-20th centuries From Rudesheim, we depart late afternoon for Koblenz, arriving in time for an evening walking tour. The ship cruises overnight towards Cochem.

Saturday, August 9: Cochem – Zell
Wake up this morning in Cochem, a fairytale village surrounded by scenic vineyards. Walk along narrow cobblestone streets lined with medieval houses and enjoy a guided tour of Reichsburg Castle situated high above the town. From the castle’s grounds, you’ll have a spectacular view of the river. Early this afternoon, the ship will cruise past hillside vineyards en route to Zell, arriving early evening. The town’s Mayor and Wine Queen will be on hand to warmly welcome you to a memorable wine festival. The ship moors overnight in Zell.

Sunday, August 10: Zell – Trier
The ship departs after lunch and arrives mid-afternoon in Trier, Germany’s oldest city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site This area is renowned for its rich ancient Roman past, and your guided tour will include such sights as the old Roman amphitheater, Roman Baths, Basilica of Constantine and the Porta Nigra gate that dates back to 180 A.D. This evening, the ship cruises towards the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Monday, August 11: Luxembourg – Paris
This morning, set off on a scenic transfer to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. En route, you will stop at the American Cemetery and Memorial, the final resting place of Gen. George Patton. Later, you will enjoy a walking tour of Luxembourg and have free time for lunch on your own before boarding a TGV high-speed train to Paris. Arrive mid-afternoon and check in to your hotel. An optional "Montmartre & Illuminations" tour is available tonight.

Tuesday, August 12: Paris
Enjoy Paris’ famous sights during this morning’s guided tour. Start with a panoramic tour in which you will see the Champs Élysées, Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower. Your tour concludes with a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral. The remainder of the day is yours to explore on your own. Tonight, you may enjoy an optional "Parisian Cabaret" dinner show.

Wednesday, August 13: Paris
Your last day in the "City of Lights" is free for you to enjoy however you wish. If you prefer, you may take an optional "Seine Cruise & Eiffel Tower" tour this morning.

Thursday, August 14: Depart Paris
Bid au revoir to Paris as you prepare for your journey home.

Details

Aug 01

Cruise the Meandering Waterways And Fortresses Of Europe

  • When:
    • Friday, August 1 – Thursday, August 14, 2014 (AMA)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 2 nights hotel in Prague, including daily buffet breakfast
    • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom
    • 3 nights hotel in Paris, including daily buffet breakfast
    • Transfer to the high-speed TGV train to Luxembourg
    • Transfer to the hotel in Prague
    • Gourmet dining with all meals included during your cruise
    • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain's Gala Dinner
    • Free-flowing red & white wines from France's great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
    • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
    • Tours and excursions daily
    • Special highlights including lectures, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and piano music
    • Bicycles to explore on your own & guided bicycle tours
    • Services of professional Cruise Manager
    • State-of-the-art Infotainment System in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library & English language TV stations
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
    • Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding
    • All local taxes, including port charges
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 4,660.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 6,910.00

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

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

Explore The Canadian Rockies, Calgary,
Banff, Jasper And Glacier National Park
Mighty, Rugged, Exquisite!
Thursday, August 7 – Friday, August 15, 2014

Explore The Canadian Rockies, Calgary, Banff, Jasper And Glacier National Park...

Lush forests, mighty rivers and immense glaciers welcome visitors to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Lanky cowboys and lake cruises await you amid the crisp air and pristine waters of the north.

Itinerary:

Thursday, August 7 – Calgary
Welcome to one of North America's most rugged and beautiful cities, Calgary. Meet your tour manager in the hotel lobby this evening for dining suggestions.

Friday, August 8 – Waterton Glacier International Peace Park
Today we travel south from Calgary to Waterton Lakes National Park. Embark on a boat cruise of Waterton Lakes, with its deep scenic bays, sheer vertical mountains and beautiful wilderness surroundings. In the afternoon, we visit the Prince of Wales Hotel, where we will enjoy an included lunch before arriving at the scenic East Glacier and our hotel.

Saturday, August 9 – Glacier National Park
Welcome to Glacier National Park! Founded in 1910, the park is a land of mountain ranges carved by prehistoric ice rivers. The vistas seen from Going-to-the-Sun Road are breathtaking and a photographers paradise. We journey from Lake McDonald to Rising Sun, named one of the top 100 most scenic drives.

Sunday, August 10 – Banff National Park and Village of Banff
This morning it’s off to Banff, Canada’s first National Park. Located amid the rugged alpine beauty of the Rocky Mountains, Banff is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The remainder of the day is free to explore the quaint village of Banff, full of wonderful shops and charming boutiques.

Monday, August 11 – Banff National Park
Enjoy a tour of Banff, including Bow Falls and Tunnel Mountain. We take a gondola ride in enclosed cars to the peak of Sulphur Mountain for a spectacular panoramic view of the village and valley below. Later, we travel to beautiful Chateau Lake Louise where majestic mountains soaring skyward are reflected in the vibrant blues of the glacier-fed Lake Louise.

Tuesday, August 12 – Athabasca Glacier
We trade in our motorcoach for a “snocoach” and venture on to the Columbia Icefield’s Athabasca Glacier. You will travel in a specially designed vehicle to the middle of the glacier, as your driver points out interesting geological features. At the icefall below the glacier headwall, you will step out onto ice formed from snow, which fell as long as 400 years ago. Later, we arrive in the mountain town of Jasper.

Wednesday, August 13 – Jasper National Park
Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Jasper National Park as we cruise Maligne Lake with its unparalleled vistas. In the afternoon, we return to Jasper in plenty of time for exploring the town.

Thursday, August 14 – Icefields Parkway
Aboard our motorcoach, we’ll travel along one of the world's most spectacular mountain highways, the Icefields Parkway. See snow-capped mountains reflected in the turquoise waters of Moraine Lake and watch for black bear, moose and caribou along the way.

Friday, August 15 – Calgary
Following breakfast, we will depart from Calgary.

Details

Aug 7

Explore The Canadian Rockies, Calgary, Banff, Jasper And Glacier National Park Mighty, Rugged, Exquisite!

  • When:
    • Thursday, August 7 – Friday, August 15, 2014
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 nights accommodation (2 nights in Calgary, 2 nights in East Glacier, 2 nights in Banff National Park and 2 nights in Jasper National Park)
    • 12 Meals (8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners) -Including lunch at the Prince of Wales Hotel
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Cruise on Upper Waterton Lake in Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park
    • Travel the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road in a "Jammer" Red Bus through Glacier National Park
    • Gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain
    • Visit to Chateau Lake Louise
    • Snocoach excursion on the Columbia Icefield’s Athabasca Glacier
    • Narrated cruise on Maligne Lake
    • Travel the scenic Icefields Parkway through Jasper and Banff National Parks
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 2,889.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 4,158.00

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

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

Yosemite, High Sierras and Gold Country Vacation
Sunday, August 10 – Monday, August 18, 2014 (M)

Yosemite, High Sierras and Gold Country Vacation

Amazing scenery, majestic mountains and even an Old West ghost town await you on this spectacular tour through the Sierra Mountains of California and Nevada.

Itinerary:

Sunday, August 10 – Reno, Nevada
Arrival at Reno’s Cannon International Airport and transfer to our casino resort hotel nearby. Meet your tour manager this evening for a delicious buffet dinner and time to relax.

Monday, August 11 – Reno and Virginia City
Our stay in the “Biggest Little City in the World” concludes with a visit to the outstanding National Automobile Museum. Then we’re off to historic Virginia City for an afternoon guided tour of this storied mining town. We’ll be guests for the next two nights at a fine casino resort on the south end of Lake Tahoe, recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful lakes.

Tuesday, August 12 – Lake Tahoe
Featured this morning is the 72-mile scenic drive all the way around Lake Tahoe, surrounded by towering, snow-capped peaks. Following free time for relaxation, gaming or individual activities, a delightful evening dinner cruise on the lake aboard the paddlewheeler “Dixie” concludes the day in style.

Wednesday, August 13 – Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve
Motoring south, we’ll stop first to explore fascinating Bodie State Historic Site, one of the largest and best-preserved authentic “ghost towns” in the American West. This afternoon we’ll also be visiting Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve. Our home for two nights nearby is the popular resort town of Mammoth Lakes.

Thursday, August 14 – Mammoth Lakes
A full day of touring in the splendid Mammoth Lakes region will include breathtaking scenic drives through the alpine wilderness and along shorelines of picture-postcard waters, a trip on the Mammoth Mountain Scenic Gondola for panoramic views of the Sierras and sightseeing at unusual Devil’s Postpile National Monument. Dinner tonight is included at the charming Austria Hof Restaurant.

Friday, August 15 – Yosemite National Park
One of the highlights of our trip is sure to be today’s awe-inspiring trip across the Tioga Pass Road, through the Sierras into magnificent Yosemite National Park. Here we’ll embark on a guided, open-air tram tour featuring such incredible sights as Half Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Spires, plus Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls. Late this afternoon we’ll continue on through still more scenic splendor to a two-night stay in Sonora, one of the largest communities in California’s Gold Country.

Saturday, August 16 – Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Our Gold Country exploration begins with Sonora’s picturesque downtown, and continues on to Columbia State Historic Park. Our next stop is quaint Angel’s Camp, where Mark Twain was inspired to write his famous story of “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” Concluding this great day is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to stroll through a pristine forest of giant sequoia, the largest trees on earth, at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Sunday, August 17 – Sacramento
Today we set our sights on Sacramento, the capital city of the Golden State, where convenient accommodations await. Our tour of the impressive, gold-domed California State Capitol includes the rotunda, legislative chambers, state offices and murals showing scenes from the state’s history. Then it’s only a few blocks to Old Sacramento, the city’s downtown of the gold rush era. Here we’ll visit the exceptional California State Railroad Museum, have time to browse through the shops and savor a delicious farewell dinner at the Fat City Café.

Monday, August 18 – Sacramento
This morning there will be a group transfer to the Sacramento Airport for your flight home.

Details

Aug 10

Yosemite, High Sierras and Gold Country Vacation

  • When:
    • Sunday, August 10 – Monday, August 18, 2014 (M)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8-nights accommodation (1 night in Reno, 2 nights in South Lake Tahoe, 2 nights in Mammoth Lakes, 2 nights in Sonora and 1 night in Sacramento)
    • 12 Meals (8 breakfasts and 4 dinners) -Including an evening dinner cruise in Lake Tahoe
    • Guided tour of historic Virginia City for a taste of the “Old West” at this former mining town
    • 72-mile scenic drive around Lake Tahoe
    • Visit the town of Bodie, an authentic “ghost town” and stop at Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve
    • Ride the Mammoth Mountain Gondola and visit Devil’s Postpile National Monument
    • Travel Tioga Pass Road into Yosemite National Park
    • Take a narrated open-air tram ride through the Yosemite Valley to see Yosemite Falls
    • Visit to Columbia State Historic Park, Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Angel’s Camp of Mark Twain fame
    • Touring in Sacramento including the State Capitol, Old Sacramento and the California Railroad Museum
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 1,789.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 2,478.00

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

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

Vast Deserts to Deep Canyons
Yellowstone National Park
And Canyons Vacation
Friday, August 15 – Thursday, August 28, 2014 (M)

Vast Deserts to Deep Canyons, Yellowstone National Park

See the best of the west with this escorted tour through seven western states. From incredible canyons, to vast deserts to the mighty Rocky Mountains, this comprehensive tour lets you experience the wide diversity of the American West.

Itinerary:

Friday, August 15 – Denver, Colorado
Arrive in Denver and transfer to your hotel. Meet your tour manager this afternoon for a tour of the "Mile-High City," including such sights as the Cherry Creek shopping area, the Colorado State Capitol, U.S. Mint, Larimer Square and Coors Field. Tonight’s memorable welcome dinner has been arranged at the excellent Buckhorn Exchange, Denver’s most famous historic restaurant.

Saturday, August 16 – Fort Laramie, Wyoming and Rapid City, South Dakota
Entering Wyoming, we’ll visit Fort Laramie National Historic Site, once the most important military post west of the Mississippi. Today’s destination is Rapid City, South Dakota, where we’ll be guests for the next two-nights of the city’s grand, historic hotel, now lovingly restored to its original splendor.

Sunday, August 17 –South Dakota
A full day in one of the West’s most popular resort areas begins with a scenic drive through the Black Hills to extensive Custer State Park, home to a large herd of American bison. Our park jeep tour is sure to feature interesting sights and colorful commentary by our driver/guides. Next we’ll visit colossal Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest statue. Following an afternoon break at our hotel, we’ll experience all the greatness of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, with sightseeing, dinner and the inspiring Lighting Ceremony.

Monday, August 18 – Montana and Wyoming
Heading northwest into Montana, today we’ll visit Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, site of the storied battle that took place in late June, 1876. We’ll spend the night in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Tuesday, August 19 – Cody, Wyoming
A scenic trip through the Bighorn Mountains brings us to Cody, named for "Buffalo Bill" himself. We’ll tour the extensive Buffalo Bill Historical Center, featuring memorabilia of the famed showman, Indian artifacts, Western art and historic firearms. Nearby we’ll have accommodations, dinner at the Cody Cattle Company, and an exciting evening at the popular Cody Night Rodeo

Wednesday, August 20 – Yellowstone National Park
Driving through Shoshone National Forest, we’ll soon arrive at Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, filled with renowned geysers and thermal basins. Next we’ll travel through Dunraven Pass and Tower Junction to the terraced formations of Mammoth Hot Springs. Finally, we’ll explore Norris Geyser Basin, home to an amazing variety of steam vents, mud pots, geysers and hot springs, before reaching our overnight park lodge inside Yellowstone National Park.

Thursday, August 21 – Grand Teton National Park
Continuing our tour of Yellowstone National Park, we’ll head for storied Old Faithful Geyser, named for its regular eruptions about every 80 to 90 minutes for some 150 years. Next, traveling along Rockefeller Memorial Parkway into magnificent Grand Teton National Park, we’ll drive alongside lovely Jackson and Jenny Lakes, visiting the Chapel of the Transfiguration. Arriving in picturesque Jackson, centrally located accommodations and a delightful dinner at The Lift Restaurant await us this evening.

Friday, August 22 – Bridger-Teton National Forest and Salt Lake City
Motoring south from Jackson, we’ll travel along the Snake River and on through scenic Bridger-Teton National Forest before arriving in Idaho. Here we’ll pass Bear Lake before continuing on to Salt Lake City for the night. Our downtown hotel is within easy walking distance of shopping, fine dining, and the attractions of the Temple Square area, worldwide headquarters of the Mormon Church.

Saturday, August 23 – Bryce Canyon National Park
Today our journey brings us to Bryce Canyon, where we’re sure to appreciate the famed "Pink Cliffs." We’ll follow the Rim Drive to such overlooks as Rainbow, Farview, Bryce and Inspiration Points. Late this afternoon we’ll check in for a night just outside the park, followed by a tasty Chuckwagon Dinner and Western show at Ebenezer’s Barn & Grill.

Sunday, August 24 – Zion National Park
This day’s itinerary centers around magnificent Zion National Park, where the Virgin River has cut a dramatic rugged gorge through multi-hued sandstone, shale and limestone. From the floor of the canyon we’ll look up at the towering rock walls as we tour aboard an open-air sightseeing tram, followed by free time to explore on your own. Arriving late this afternoon in Page, Arizona, gateway to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, we’ll check in for our two-night-stay.

Monday, August 25 - Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon Navajo Tribal Park
A day of contrasts begins with a refreshing 2-hour Glen Canyon Adventure boat cruise on sky-blue Lake Powell. Nearby, we’ll also visit the Carl Hayden Visitor Center at the dam and adjacent Glen Canyon Bridge. Our afternoon features a guided tour of Antelope Canyon Navajo Tribal Park. Dinner is included tonight at the Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant.

Tuesday, August 26 – Grand Canyon (South Rim)
Continuing south through the Navajo Nation, we’ll visit the historic Cameron Trading Post before entering Grand Canyon National Park. You’ll experience astonishing vistas from Desert View/The Watchtower, Grand View and Mather Points as we travel along the South Rim Drive to Grand Canyon Village. Here we’ll overnight in a park lodge, ideally located for exploring on your own.

Wednesday, August 27 – Hoover Dam and Las Vegas
If you wish, get up early this morning to watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon before breakfast. Then, traveling across Northern Arizona and into Nevada, we’ll make a sightseeing stop at the new Tillman-O’Callaghan Bridge, offering panoramic views of massive Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Arriving this afternoon in exciting Las Vegas, we’ll spend the night and enjoy a sumptuous farewell buffet dinner at a luxury casino hotel in the center of the glittering downtown "Fremont Street Experience."

Thursday, August 28 – Las Vegas
After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to Las Vegas’ bustling McCarran International Airport for your flight home.

Details

Aug 15

Vast Deserts to Deep Canyons
Yellowstone National Park
And Canyons Vacation

  • When:
    • Friday, August 15 – Thursday, August 28, 2014 (M)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 13 nights accommodation (1 night in Denver, 2 nights in Rapid City, 1 night in Sheridan, 1 night in Cody, 1 night in Yellowstone National Park, 1 night in Jackson, 1 night in Salt Lake City, 1 night in Bryce Canyon City, 2 nights in Page, 1 night in Grand Canyon National Park and 1 night in Las Vegas)
    • 20 Meals (13 breakfasts and 7 dinners) -Including a welcome dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange, a Chuckwagon Dinner and Western Show and a buffet dinner in Las Vegas
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Narrated tour of Denver
    • Visit to Fort Laramie National Historic Site
    • Black Hills touring including Crazy Horse Memorial, a Custer Park Jeep Tour and evening Lighting Ceremony at Mount Rushmore
    • Visit to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
    • Tour the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and attend the Cody Night Rodeo
    • Full day sightseeing in Yellowstone
    • Travel the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway into Grand Teton National Park
    • Visit to Bryce Canyon National Park
    • Open-air sightseeing tram through Zion National Park
    • Glen Canyon Adventure Cruise on Lake Powell and a guided tour of Antelope Canyon Navajo Tribal Park
    • Touring inside Grand Canyon National Park
    • View of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead from the new Tillman-O'Callaghan Bridge
    • Access to Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 2,998.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 4,347.00

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

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

The Blue Danube Legendary River Cruise
Hungary • Slovakia • Austria • Germany • Czech Republic
Monday, August 25 – Thursday, September 4

The Blue Danube Legendary River Cruise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day by day:

Day One:
Transatlantic flight to Prague, Czech Republic

Day Two:
Tour begins in Prague with a transfer to the hotel
Afternoon at leisure to begin exploring this beautiful city
Dinner at the hotel

Day Three:
Full breakfast buffet at the hotel
City tour of Prague including Prague Castle
Afternoon at leisure or join an optional walking tour of the Jewish Quarter

Day Four:
Full breakfast buffet at the hotel
Morning at leisure
Depart via motorcoach for Passau, Germany
Included city tour of Passau with organ concert
Embark the Amadeus river ship
Depart Passau this evening and begin your cruise on the beautiful Blue Danube
Captain’s Welcome Reception and dinner

Day Five:
Arrive Linz, Austria, in the early morning
Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
Optional excursion to Mozart’s Salzburg
Depart Linz in the early evening

Day Six:
Arrive Melk, Austria early morning
Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
Optional excursion to the famous Melk Abbey
Depart Melk in the early afternoon for Dürnstein, Austria
Arrive Dürnstein, nestled in the spectacular Wachau Valley
Explore on your own or join an included walking tour
The ship remains docked in Dürnstein overnight

Day Seven:
Depart Dürnstein early morning and cruise to Vienna, Austria
Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
Arrive Vienna this morning
Enjoy an included panoramic excursion of Vienna and visit to Schönbrunn Palace
Optional evening excursion to a Vienna Mozart Concert
Depart Vienna in the late evening

Day Eight:
Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
Arrive Bratislava, Slovakia
Included city tour of Bratislava
Local entertainers perform onboard
Depart Bratislava in the late evening

Day Nine:
Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries and dinner onboard
Arrive Budapest, Hungary
Enjoy a panoramic city tour of Budapest
Enjoy a Hungarian Folklore show onboard this evening

Day Ten:
Breakfast, lunch and tea with pastries onboard
Free day to explore Budapest on your own
Captain’s Farewell dinner onboard

Day Eleven:
Breakfast onboard
Disembark your river vessel and transfer to the Budapest Ferihegy Airport for flight home

Details

Aug 25

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

  • When:
    • Monday, August 25 – Thursday, September 4
  • Package Inclusions:
    • 7 Night Riverboat cruise
    • 2 Nights accommodations in Prague
    • 9 Breakfasts
    • 6 Lunches
    • 8 Dinners
    • Included shore excursions in Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Durnstein and Passau
    • On board concert by local artists in Bratislava
    • Schonbrunn Palace visit
    • Organ concert in the cathedral in Passau
    • Complimentary regional wines with dinners on board the boat
    • Afternoon tea and late evening snack served on board
    • International cruise director and local guides

September 2014

Cruise From Boston
Aboard The Norwegian Dawn!
14-Day Canada And New England Vacation
Friday, September 12 – Friday, September 26, 2014
Friday, September 26 – Friday, October 10, 2014

14-Day Canada And New England Vacation

Day 1, Friday – Boston
Arrive in Boston by 3:00 pm. The cruise departs at 5:00 pm.

Day 2, Saturday – Portland
Portland offers all the amenities of the big city: art districts, a vibrant waterfront, museums, parks and diverse shopping opportunities. However, it also offers historic lighthouses and New England’s best lobster.

Day 3, Sunday – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Admire the rugged coastline that surrounds Halifax, the world's second-largest natural harbor. This beautifully preserved city is Nova Scotia's capital and was founded in 1749. Take steps through history and climb to The Citadel to witness the Old Town Clock.

Day 4, Monday – At Sea
Relax on board and take part in the many activities that are offered on the ship. Whether it’s reading a book by the pool or dancing the night away, there’s something for everyone.

Day 5, Tuesday – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Opulent clapboard villas lead the way toward 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 6, Wednesday – Gaspésie, Quebec
Located in eastern Quebec, Canada, the Gaspe Peninsula is 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, teeming with wildlife habitats.

Day 7, Thursday – La Baie, Quebec
This French-speaking region is north of Quebec City and is considered a small oasis in the midst of the nearly uninhabited Canadian wilderness. Here you may enjoy a cultural stage show or visit Saguenay National Park.

Day 8, Friday and Day 9, Saturday – Quebec City
You have two days to explore Quebec City, which lies on the Saint Lawrence River. The city is divided by steep bluffs into Upper Town, which includes the old quarter, and Lower Town. The old quarter is the only walled city in North America and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 10, Sunday – At Sea
Enjoy a full day at sea. Join a group fitness class, surf the web in the Internet café or relax by the pool.

Day 11, Monday – Sydney, Nova Scotia
The coal industry brought immigration from many parts of the world, giving Sydney a multicultural mix of over 50 ethnic backgrounds and a global flavor to its history. Located on Cape Breton Island, Sydney is also an ideal jumping-off point for scenic adventures.

Day 12, Tuesday – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Return to Halifax and explore this beautiful harbor. Embark on a coastal drive to Peggy’s Cove or enjoy the sights and sounds of Halifax on a hop-on, hop-off bus.

Day 13, Wednesday – Saint John (Bay of Fundy), New Brunswick
Saint John is known as the greatest little city in the East. Here you may take a tour to explore the highlights of Saint John or head to the village of Saint Martins and the Bay of Fundy.

Day 14, Thursday – Bar Harbor
This coastal town has retained much of its charm since its glory days of the 1900’s. Here you may visit one of the most visited parks in the United States, Acadia National Park.

Day 15, Friday – Boston
Arrive back in Boston where you disembark at 10:00 am.

Details

Sep

Cruise From Boston
Aboard The Norwegian Dawn!
14-Day Canada And New England Vacation

  • When:
    • Friday, September 12 – Friday, September 26, 2014
      Friday, September 26 – Friday, October 10, 2014
  • Your Vacation Includes:
    • All meals onboard the ship
    • All entertainment onboard (with the exception of dinner theater entertainment and character breakfast)
    • Art auctions
    • Poolside activities
    • Access to fitness facilities
    • Select onboard presentations
    • Sports court activities
    • Use of outdoor pools and hot tubs
    • In-stateroom TV programming
  • Pricing Information:
    • Inside Stateroom: Economical staterooms offer comfort and amenities.
      Per person double occupancy: September 12-26: from 1,399.00*
      September 26-October 10: from 1,419.00*
    • Oceanview Stateroom: Stylish staterooms feature fine amenities and clear ocean views.
      Per person double occupancy: September 12-26: from 1,789.00*
      September 26-October 10: from 1,789.00*
    • Balcony: Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open to your own private balcony – and breathtaking views.
      Per person double occupancy: September 12-26: from 3,029.00*
      September 26-October 10: from 3,019.00*

*Fares shown are in U.S. dollars and are subject to change. Government taxes, fees and fuel supplement (where applicable) are additional, and are typically 253.00 per person for this cruise.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange roundtrip airfare or overland transportation to Boston, and pre or post cruise accommodations upon request.

Yellowstone National Park
And Sun Valley Vacation
Saturday, September 13 – Sunday, September 21, 2014 (M)

Yellowstone National Park And Sun Valley Vacation

Explore the rugged Rocky Mountains from the majesty of Yellowstone to the adventures awaiting in Idaho's rivers and gorges.

Itinerary:

Saturday, September 13 – Boise, Idaho
Upon arrival in Boise, you are met and transferred to the hotel. This evening, we board the Boise Trolley to explore the sights of the modern downtown area, the Idaho State Capitol and parks along the Boise River. 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.

Sunday, September 14 – Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
Today we 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 our journey resumes with a two-night stay in Riggins, spectacularly situated at the confluence of the Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers.

Monday, September 15 – Whitewater Rafting
One of the highlights of our trip is sure to be a splendid, full-day whitewater rafting excursion 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.

Tuesday, September 16 – Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Today we embark on a scenic drive through McCall, Cascade, Stanley and Sawtooth National Recreation Area, which offers breathtaking panoramic vistas at Banner and Galena Summits. Our day will conclude 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.

Wednesday, September 17 – Craters of the Moon National Monument
After breakfast, we’ll make our 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. Arriving in magnificent Yellowstone National Park this afternoon, we’ll be guests for the next two nights at a park lodge.

Thursday, September 18 – 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 1,200-foot-deep Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, including views from Inspiration and Lookout Points. Next we’ll travel through Dunraven Pass and Tower Junction to the terraced formations of Mammoth Hot Springs. Finally, we’ll 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.

Friday, September 19 – Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole
Continuing our tour of Yellowstone National Park, we’ll 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, we’ll see Jackson and Jenny Lakes, the Chapel of the Transfiguration, and, of course, the rugged, towering Teton Mountains. We’ll reach Jackson Hole this afternoon, where overnight accommodations await in this picturesque resort community.

Saturday, September 20 – Idaho and Shoshone Falls
Departing Jackson and heading west, this morning we’ll visit the fascinating Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls. Following an afternoon stop at spectacular Shoshone Falls, known as the “Niagara of the West,” we’ll arrive at nearby accommodations in Twin Falls and savor a delicious farewell dinner at the Canyon Crest Dining Center, overlooking the Snake River Canyon.

Sunday, September 21 – Boise, Idaho
This afternoon our group transfer takes us to the Boise International Airport for your flight home.

Details

Sep 13

Yellowstone National Park
And Sun Valley Vacation

  • When:
    • Saturday, September 13 – Sunday, September 21, 2014 (M)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 8 nights accommodation (1 night in Boise, 2 nights in Riggins, 1 night in Sun Valley, 2 nights in Yellowstone National Park, 1 night in Jackson and 1 night in Twin Falls)
    • 14 Meals (8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners) -Including a welcome Basque dinner, picnic lunch on the Salmon River and farewell dinner at the Canyon Crest Dining Center
    • Round trip airport transfers
    • Narrated Trolley Tour of Boise
    • Exciting jet boat trip on the Snake River through Hells Canyon
    • Whitewater rafting excursion
    • Sawtooth National Recreation Area
    • Craters of the Moon National Monument
    • Full day sightseeing in Yellowstone
    • Travel the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway into Grand Teton National Park
    • Visit the Museum of Idaho
    • Shoshone Falls, known as the "Niagara of the West"
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Per person double occupancy: from 2,098.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 3,057.00

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

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

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

Rugged Mountain Majesty, America’s Canyon Country Vacation

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

Itinerary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Sep 18

Rugged Mountain Majesty
America’s Canyon Country Vacation

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Old Deerfield Arts and Craft Fair

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

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

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

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

Details

Sep 20

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

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

Lion King
Boston Opera House
Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lion King Boston Opera House

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

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

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

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

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

KIDS 12 AND UNDER RIDE FREE!

Details

Sep 20

Lion King
Boston Opera House

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

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

8-Day Trains and Canyons

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

Itinerary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Sep 20

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

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

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

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

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

The Blue Danube Legendary River Cruise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Sep 24

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

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

October 2014

South Of France
And Provence River Cruise
Wednesday, October 1 – Saturday, October 11, 2014 (M)

South Of France And Provence River Cruise

The scenic Rhône River Valley from Lyon to the north and Avignon to the south is an important wine growing region famous for its red wines. On a peaceful and relaxing cruise along the Rhône, you'll visit many small towns and villages where you mingle with the locals. Cruise includes all shore excursions and two nights in Paris.

Welcome aboard the Rhône and Saône French Rivers Cruise
Enjoy the beautiful scenery and lovely towns along the Rhône and Saône Rivers on a leisurely cruise through the wine country of France. All meals and excursions are included onboard as you explore these rivers from the comfort of your river vessel, the MS Amadeus Symphony.

Lyon
Bordered by the Rhône River on the East and the Saône River on the West, Lyon is the embarkation and disembarkation port for your river cruise. Known for its historical and architectural landmarks, you’ll see the highlights and the city centre with its elegant squares and ancient buildings during the guided tour. The old quarter along the bank of the Saône is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Macon
Set in the lovely countryside on the western bank of the Saône River, Macon is the southernmost city of the Burgundy region. Discover the beauty of the area on a tour that takes you past the scenic landscape of castles and vineyards as you drive along the wine trail of the Beaujolais. The wine tasting session is sure to be a highlight of the tour!

Chalon Sur Saône
Located on the Saône River in the south of the Burgundy region of France this port was once a distribution point for the local wines which were sent up and down the river. Today’s tour takes you into the ancient walled city of Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, where you’ll take a trip through the history of viniculture and enjoy a local wine tasting.

Avignon
Situated on the left bank of the Rhône River, Avignon is one of the few French cities to have preserved its ramparts, historic centre, churches and other buildings. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is well known for the imposing Palace of the Popes. On the walking tour of the city you’ll see the medieval ruins and walls as well as learn about Avignon’s relationship with the Papacy during your visit to the Palace of the Popes. While the ship remains docked in Avignon overnight you’ll have time to stroll through the narrow streets and squares of the historic quarter.

Viviers Region
Viviers is the starting point for your touring expedition to the Ardèche Gorge, one of France’s most interesting geographical features. Almost 100 feet deep in some places, it was created over several millennia by the sheer force of water flowing through the limestone. As your coach follows the path of the river and meanders through the gorge you’ll see an icon of this region: the famous Pont d’Arc – a natural stone bridge standing almost 100 feet high that was carved out by the Ardèche River. Be sure to have your camera ready! As your river voyage comes to end, journey to Paris for two nights hotel accommodations.

Paris
Your journey concludes with a 2-night stay in Paris, the magnificent "City of Light." Located in the heart of the Íle-de-France region, along the banks of the Seine River, it’s the perfect place to end your holiday in France. On an included panoramic tour of this capital city you’ll see such famous sites and landmarks as the Louvre, Opéra Garnier, Place Vendôme, the trendy district of Le Marais on the Right Bank, Place de la Concorde, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Bastille, the Trocadéro and the pièce de rèsistance... the Eiffel Tower. Free time will also be available for you to explore this amazing city on your own before bidding a fond "au revoir" to Paris!

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Wednesday, October 1 – Lyon, France

  • International flight to flight to Lyon, France

Thursday, October 2 – Board the MS Amadeus Symphony

  • Arrive in Lyon and transfer to the MS Amadeus Symphony, your home for the next seven nights
  • Afternoon at leisure in Lyon
  • Welcome reception and dinner onboard
  • Ship departs for Macon, France

Friday, October 3 – Aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony

  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with snacks and dinner onboard
  • Ship arrives in Macon, France
  • Included excursion to the Beaujolais area of France
  • Ship departs Macon this evening

Saturday, October 4 - Aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony

  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with snacks and dinner onboard
  • Ship arrives in Chalon sur Saône, France
  • Experience Beaune and the Burgundy area during the included excursion
  • Discover medieval Brancion and Cormatin on an included afternoon excursion
  • Ship departs this afternoon

Sunday, October 5 - Aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony

  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with snacks and dinner onboard
  • Arrive Lyon, France early this morning
  • Enjoy an included city tour of Lyon
  • Ship departs for Avignon late this afternoon

Monday, October 6 - Aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony

  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with snacks and dinner onboard
  • Arrive Avignon, France
  • Discover the city during an included walking tour and explore the Palace of the Popes
  • Ship remains docked in Avignon overnight

Tuesday, October 7 - Aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony

  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with snacks and dinner onboard
  • Depart on an included excursion to the Pont du Gard
  • Ship departs for Arles, France
  • Included walking tour of Arles upon arrival
  • Ship departs for Viviers, France, this evening

Wednesday, October 8 - Aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony

  • Breakfast, lunch, tea with snacks and dinner onboard
  • Ship arrives Viviers this morning
  • Depart the ship for an included excursion to the Valley of the Ardèche
  • Ship sails for Lyon

Thursday, October 9 – Arrive in Paris

  • Breakfast onboard
  • Ship arrives Lyon this morning
  • Disembark the ship and transfer by coach to Paris
  • Overnight accommodation in Paris
  • Dinner in Paris

Friday, October 10 – Paris

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Included city tour of Paris
  • Remainder of the day at leisure in Paris
  • Overnight accommodation in Paris

Saturday, October 11 – Paris

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Transfer to the Charles de Gaulle Airport for flight home

Details

Oct 01

South Of France
And Provence River Cruise

  • When:
    • Wednesday, October 1 – Saturday, October 11, 2014 (M)
  • Your Package Includes:
    • 7 nights accommodation aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony (Haydn Deck, Straus Deck, Mozart Deck or Suite)
    • All staterooms are river view with private bathroom and shower, hair dryer, radio, television, individually controlled heating and air conditioning, safe and telephone.
    • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Paris, France
    • 23 Meals (9 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 8 dinners)
    • Most airport transfers
    • Shore excursions, escorted by local English-speaking guides
    • City tour of Paris
  • Pricing Information:
    The following prices apply to cash/check transactions.
    • Haydn Deck:
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,099.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 5,423.00
    • Strauss Deck:
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,399.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 5,873.00
    • Mozark Deck:
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,699.00
    • Suite:
    • Per person double occupancy: from 3,999.00

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

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

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

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

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

Itinerary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Oct 02

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

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

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

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

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

11-Day Hawaii Four Islands Vacation

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

Itinerary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Oct 09

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Salem

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

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

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

After the tour return back to your hotel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After, return back to your hotel.

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

Details

Oct 10

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

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

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

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

11-Day Best of Ireland And Scotland Vacation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Saturday, October 11 – Fly to Glasgow, Scotland

  • International flight to Glasgow, Scotland

Sunday, October 12 – Glasgow, Scotland

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

Monday, October 13 – Glasgow, Scotland

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

Tuesday, October 14 – Glasgow, Scotland

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

Wednesday, October 15 – Dublin, Ireland

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

Thursday, October 16 – Dublin, Ireland

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

Friday, October 17 – Killarney, Ireland

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

Saturday, October 18 – Killarney, Ireland

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

Sunday, October 19 – Killarney, Ireland

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

Monday, October 20 – Dublin, Ireland

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

Tuesday, October 21 – Depart Dublin, Ireland

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

Details

Oct 11

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

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

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

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

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

Getaway to Greece

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day-By-Day Itinerary:

Tuesday, October 14 – Fly to Athens

  • International flight to Athens, Greece

Wednesday, October 15 – Athens

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

Thursday, October16 – Athens

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

Friday, October 17 – Board Louis Olympia

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

Saturday, October 18 – Aboard Louis Olympia

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

Sunday, October 19 – Aboard Louis Olympia

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

Monday, October 20 – Athens

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

Tuesday, October 21 – Athens

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

Wednesday, October 22 – Depart Athens

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

Details

Oct 14

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

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

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

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

Keene Pumpkin Festival
Saturday, October 18, 2014

Keene Pumpkin Festival

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

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

Details

Oct 18

Keene Pumpkin Festival

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

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

Fun In The Big Easy...

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

Itinerary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Oct 19

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

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

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

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

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

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Wednesday, October 22 – Flight to Lisbon, Portugal

  • International flight to Lisbon, Portugal

Thursday, October 23 – Lisbon, Portugal

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

Friday, October 24 – Lisbon, Portugal

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

Saturday, October 25 – Board the MS Douro Cruiser

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

Sunday, October 26 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

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

Monday, October 27 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

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

Tuesday, October 28 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

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

Wednesday, October 29 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

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

Thursday, October 30 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

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

Friday, October 31 - Aboard the MS Douro Cruiser

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

Saturday, November 1 – Depart

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

Details

Oct 22

Portugal And The Douro River Cruise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Oct 24

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

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

December 2014

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

5-Day San Antonio Christmas

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

Itinerary:

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Dec 01

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Antonio New Year’s Eve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Dec 30

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

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

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

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

April 2015

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. ***

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




Tours By Date

October 2014

Departure Locations

(vary according to tour)

The Fine Print

Our Traveling Partners


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