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Silver Travel - Email Newsletter

Dear Silver Travellers

We’ve been inundated with comments about Ikigai this month – and Japan is the flavour of the month. Whether it’s the rugby World Cup, the Olympics next year or Joanna Lumley’s incredible TV series, we’re all turning Japanese here at Silver Towers! And the concept of Ikigai is fascinating – the reason to get out of bed in the morning, and goodness only knows, there are mornings when we really need one of those!

We are highly excited to announce that voting has begun for the 2019 Silver Travel Awards! Have your say and vote now for those companies that are going the extra mile for mature travellers. You’ll be entered into our free prize draw to win an Inghams week for two in Italy or a three night Shearings hotel break or three days car hire, almost anywhere in the world, from Avis. We are pleased to welcome Shearings and Avis as our Gold sponsors this year, read more about all our sponsors. Next month we'll let you know how to apply for free tickets to our Awards event at BAFTA on 26 June.

Vote now


Oprah Winfrey is a godmother – for Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam

Following the Girls’ Getaway cruise on Nieuw Statendam, Oprah said “It’s been an incredible experience to see people from across the world come together with one mind and celebrate themselves, honour themselves and honour each other. Everybody gathered, made friends and connected to people they didn’t know because they felt like they had met themselves on some level.”

She later dedicated the ship with the traditional bottle of champagne in Fort Lauderdale.

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Go Golf with Original Cottages

We were delighted to learn that the 149th Open Championship will be coming to Sandwich, Kent in July 2020. Within the Original Cottages portfolio, exclusively curated for The Open, there are several cost-effective accommodation options for everyone, whatever the requirements may be. Original Cottage’s truly-local team, who live and work in Kent are waiting to provide a good value, unique and warm alternative to hotels, which are perfect for visitors.

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Do you love Big Cats?

Enter our competition to win one of two pairs of tickets for Bradt’s The Big Cat Show at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) on 13 April. It’ll be a truly great day, with speakers, seminars and information. The main speaker is Chris Packham, naturalist and TV presenter. A purr-fect day out.

Enter now

Wellness on the water

AmaWaterways have added a healthy dose of wellness to their superb river cruises as Jane Wilson discovered, “From early morning stretch, posture workout, to laps around the jogging track, activities have been designed for all age groups and fitness levels with a considerate crew to motivate, help and accompany. There’s a gym, compact as it may be and Nordic sticks for hiking trails ashore, a spa offering a handful of massage treatments and lectures on lifestyle wellness.”

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Kelly Hoppen – Celebrity Edge

We’ve heard so much about the wonderful new ship, Celebrity Edge and one of the many innovative, stylish features is the design skill brought to the staterooms by Kelly Hoppen MBE. She’s created spaces with a bold, modern luxury statement, using neutral tones and clean lines, combined with warmth and opulence. Her signature fusion of East and West can be seen in The Retreat, a private area exclusively for Suite Class guests, with both indoor and outdoor areas. Enjoy the finest of interior design whilst cruising the world’s oceans.

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Adventures in Peru and the Amazon

Jeannine Williamson travelled with G Adventures to Lima, and then onto the Amazon for a small ship cruise through the rainforest, “Boarding two skiffs, we went on an early expedition to make the most of daybreak wildlife spotting opportunities. As the boat glided through the glassy water filled with floating hyacinths, our guide mimicked the call of passing birds, which responded, and picked out sleeping sloths, and a line of tiny Pinocchio bats sleeping in a perfect line on a tree. The magic of the rainforest is having your eyes opened - courtesy of the guides - to tiny tree frogs, insects, snakes and mammals that make their home in the water and dense forest canopy.”

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John Suchet gets musical on the Danube

You could join John on his Uniworld cruise along the Danube in October 2019, he’s really looking forward to it, “I like the idea that there’s always something new to see and you cruise through historical cities and towns. It’s something I have wanted to do for ages. Many of these places have musical connections, and the musicians of the day would have travelled along these very waterways to reach the various princely courts.”

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If you thought that your walking holiday days were over – maybe think again!

Walking is to be enjoyed not endured, says John Devine of Balearic Outdoor Holidays. He and his wife Carolyn have been running walking holidays on the beautiful Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Menorca for the last 16 years. Their new walking holidays feature comfortable 3-mile ‘ish’ walks, punctuated by visits to charming villages, vibrant markets and lovely old churches. All of these walks are taken at the pace of the slowest person in the group and are fully backed up with two guides.

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Easy self-catering in Europe

Just jump in the car, take a ferry crossing and have a week or two in a superb parc, where you can stay under canvas, or in a modern mobile home, with your own outside space and often, a barbeque. And your dog can join you too! What’s more Eurocamp’s parcs have swimming pools, restaurants, bars, entertainment, cycle hire in magnificent locations, allowing you to explore the countryside, Tuscany perhaps or the Italian lakes, or by the coast in Southern France or Portugal. On these holidays you can get out to explore or spend days relaxing.

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Saga Sapphire – Jeannine Williamson just loves to cruise!

Saga Sapphire provides all kinds of familiar and welcome creature comforts, starting from Marmite, kippers and full English at the breakfast table, to a daily mouth-watering afternoon tea and lunch and dinner menus featuring beautifully prepared international cuisine and simpler fare - including an extremely good vegetarian menu. Each evening we’d retire to the Discovery Lounge, where the entertainment included a visiting quartet who performed slick numbers by Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé and more. Afterwards, dapper ‘gentleman hosts’ whirled ladies around the dance floor, while night owls headed for the Drawing Room with its cool live jazz.” It sounds irresistible!

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Take a turn on the dance floor

Strictly Come Dancing has turned us into a nation of ballroom and Latin dance voyeurs: so many Saturday evenings glued to the latest dance-offs between celebrities, along with the judges’ hilarious, and sometimes biting, remarks. So why not try a quick spin, light on your feet foxtrot or winsome waltz with Personal Touch holidays? Hop across to Spain, Portugal or Cyprus for expert tuition and sociable practice, with ballroom and sequence dancing available on superb floors. Combine a trip away with fun on the dance floor – no judges are present!

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Our recent Prize Winners

Donna Mulligan from Bedford was over the moon to win tickets to see Emilia at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. The winners of the January Book Club Prize were GerryK and Upstart who will each receive a copy of Lonely Planet's mouth-watering Food Trails. And lucky Linda Walmsley from Dover is off on a Eurocamp adventure – she was speechless to find out that she’d won!

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The Silver Travel Book Club, proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways - is the thought-provoking The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton’s travel guide with a difference. It’s the perfect antidote to those guides that tell us what to do when we get there, The Art of Travel tries to explain why we really went in the first place - and helpfully suggests how we might be happier on our journeys. Join the Forum thread, or comment on Silver Travel’s Facebook page and the most interesting two entries from Silver Travellers will each win a copy of The Art of Travel.

You might also enjoy Andrew Morris’s selection of books for his upcoming Danube cruise with Emerald Waterways.

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Ship visits north and south!

On Monday 6th May (Bank holiday), in Southampton, on Braemar, there are 60 places for Silver Travellers to visit the ship, however this is with a view to taking a Ramblers Cruise and Walk holiday. Therefore, we need you to be keen on walking/rambling and cruising in combination and new to Fred. Olsen (or not sailed on this ship since her recent refit).

In the north on 16 May you’ll have the chance to step aboard Noble Caledonia’s Hebridean Sky at Fairlie Jetty, near Largs, Ayrshire, on 16 May 2019, for a tour of the ship, conducted by the Head of Fleet Operations at Noble Caledonia. A rather special experience. Contact shipvisits@silvertravel.co.uk to register your interest in these visits.

Read about our ship visits

The Golden Road to Samarkand - Uzbekistan with Jules Verne

Solange Hando had a culturally enriching trip touring with Jules Verne, “Cradle of culture for over 2000 years, Uzbekistan follows a legendary Silk Road lined with UNESCO cities. Natural disasters and troubled history have caused substantial destruction, but palaces, fortresses, madrassas and mosques still dazzle visitors, beautifully restored with a fair degree of artistic licence.”. She was seriously impressed by the stunning arts and crafts too. You’ll love Solange’s photos.

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Nick Wilkinson of Norwegian Cruise Line

We like to know who’s running the ship when we sail, so Jennie jumped at the chance to find out more about the man in charge at Norwegian Cruise Line UK and Ireland. He talked about family travel, grandchildren come too, new ships and innovations, as well as his passion for Alaska with its captivating scenery and wildlife, and his desire to visit Cambodia some time soon.

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Travel One to exotic Mexico

If you’re a single traveller with dreams of holidays beyond Europe, Travel One may have the answer – a trip to Mexico, where you can enjoy the comforts of a 5-star beach hotel, all inclusive, with water sports and also explore the mysterious Mayan culture at Chichen Itza and Tulum. Join a friendly group, make new friends and have the faraway holiday you may have thought impossible.

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Mediterranean moments with Star Clippers

Rupert Parker took the Royal Clipper from Cannes to Rome, calling at Corsica, Elba and Sardinia – islands of great natural beauty. He was determined to take a little exercise whilst cruising so joined onboard yoga classes in the mornings and took shore excursions where he could hike a while. All very well, Rupert, however could you resist the outstanding dining on the ship?

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Your Holiday & Cruise Magazine

We are delighted to let you know that the latest edition of Your Holiday and Cruise Magazine is now out. In this issue, there are Ocean and River Cruise Features, New Ships, Family Travel in New York, UK Breaks, Hotel Reviews, 2 Competitions with Travel Goodies to be won, Celebrity Onboard, Luxury Travel and lots more! There’s a 20% discount for Silver Travellers.

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Nature lovers will delight in Costa Rica

If you’d like a holiday with a huge range of activities on offer: think hiking, aerial walks in the rain forest canopies, cloud forest walks, visits to local communities, sailing, snorkelling, birdwatching, wildlife spotting, visit Tropical Sky who offer tours, adventures and beach holidays in Costa Rica, nature lover’s paradise. It has bio-diversity and beaches unlike anywhere else, and a population who are keen conservationists.

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Great offers at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines - new brochure launched

Our wonderful partners at Fred. Olsen have just launched their 2010/21 brochure, with extraordinary voyages and, better yet, remarkable cruise deals – buy three and get the cheapest one free, which certainly grabs our attention! There are extensive no single supplements for single travellers, and a Tips Covered option too. You really couldn’t ask for more.

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Lake Garda, a treat from Inghams

“It's late in the season for Garda and we're blessed with glorious September sunshine as we turn off the motorway and catch our first view of sparkling blue water backed by the dusky silhouettes of mountain peaks. We're bound for Gardone Riviera with Inghams and as we wind around the south-west corner of the pear-shaped lake, the Venetian facades along Salo's pretty promenade glow golden in the late afternoon sun. I can instantly see the Garda attraction”, writes Gillian Thornton.

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Train travel for every month of the year

You might be forgiven for thinking that train holidays could be, well, a bit unexciting. Not a bit of it as Great Rail Journeys’ month by month calendar shows. It’s March so try trains in India, see the Red & Amber forts and the Taj Mahal. Looking for a September getaway? How about a journey along America’s East Coast, with all the glorious colours of Cape Cod, Boston and the White Mountains?

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Toe-tapping in the South with Collette

Step back in time on a cultural getaway that opens in the ‘Jazz Capital of the World’ – New Orleans! This soulful city abounds with rich history, mouthwatering Cajun and Creole cuisine, and an incomparable soundtrack – perfect for the start of your America's Music Cities tour from Collette featuring New Orleans, Memphis & Nashville. Remember to claim your generous Silver Travel Club members’ benefit.

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From Gransnet – win National Trust membership

To celebrate the paperback release of The Ghost Tree by Sunday Times bestseller Barbara Erskine, our friends at Gransnet are offering you the chance to win a joint National Trust membership worth £114 and a copy of the book. 10 runners-up will also win a copy of The Ghost Tree. Enter now - and discover more great competitions too.

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Claire Sweeney to be ambassador for Just You

Claire Sweeney, star of stage and TV, is embarking on her next adventure - discovering the world as Travel Ambassador for Just You. No stranger to exploring the world, Claire caught the travel bug when she worked as an entertainer on cruise ships. “Just You offers the perfect holiday for me personally, I have a huge passion for travel, to see great places and countries that I have not been to. I am able to travel solo while having the company of a group, but I can also go and explore on my own and then share the experience with the group later in the day.”

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This is not backpacking in Greece

Here at Silver Towers, the team have been to many Greek islands over the years, and one of us (no names) can confess to actually sleeping on a beach for a night or two in the late 70s. We have a little more respect for our backs these days, and consider Classic Collection Holidays to offer gorgeous hotels, replete with creature comforts. Take the 5-star St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, Agios Nikolaos on Crete – fabulous! Not a sleeping bag in sight.

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Viking river cruises get a big ‘yes’

“The room was larger than I expected, perfectly appointed with everything I would need, which included all of the important USB ports, luxurious bath products, a lovely balcony and a gorgeous view of the Elbe. I was impressed by the quality of the fabrics and a comfy bed was a plus! The stateroom was certainly smaller than a hotel room, but I expected that. Viking does a superb job utilising the space.” So says Suzanne Stavert on her cruise along the Elbe.

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Discover more with Grand UK Holidays

North, south, east and west, Grand UK will bring you the best of the British Isles and offer 10% discount for Silver Travel Club members on their UK trips. If you’d like the coach to take the strain, whilst you relax and enjoy the view, in the safe hands of an experienced driver, taking you to hand-picked hotels for a few days away, look no further!

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Travel your way - independence on the track

A holiday with Tailor Made Rail is a relaxing, hassle-free experience. Travelling independently, you are able to travel at your own pace to places that you want to visit, staying in comfortable and convenient hotels along the way. Away from the bustle and chaos of airports, a rail holiday is the most authentic way to see a country and to travel with ease throughout Europe and beyond. Personalised itineraries, created with help from those who genuinely know the destinations, ensure your holiday is all about your choices.

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Culture Vultures will be in seventh heaven!

Cox & Kings Art and Culture expert-led tours will more than satisfy anyone who longs to search out and understand the ‘artistic merit’ of a destination. Four days of art in Rome perhaps, an exploration of treasures in Armenia and Georgia or pictures and palaces in St Petersburg, with temples in Laos and Cambodia, or Iranian architecture on offer too. Prepare to be amazed wherever you travel.

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Special events with Just go!

We’ve often thought what fun it would be to visit the races, a classical concert or a flower show, however the hassle of organising the transport and hotels has put us off! Just Go! Holidays have the perfect solution, specialist trips to just such events year-round, and into Europe too, so you can enjoy the moment without a further thought. Wonderful. Try Andre Rieu in Vienna or the Grand National in Liverpool – the list of options is long and interesting.

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New Features this month

Bob Lyons considers the Widest of Skies and the Tiniest of Creatures at Wicken Fen.

Debbie Marshall meets tour manager, Jan Lumley of One Traveller.

Natasha Blair finds a year-round destination in the Southern Aegean.

Godfrey Hall offers his top tips for visiting the charming city of Bath.

Our prize winner travels with Trafalgar on a Treasures of France tour.

Read more articles

This month on the Forum

As ever, our interesting Forum has fascinating threads, that delve deep into the travel experiences of our members, along with lighter topics as well. It’s sociable and fun, and jolly easy to get involved with too.

This month we’ve been looking at selecting music for a USA road trip, the ever fascinating discovery of more of the UK’s Oddest days out and the signs of spring you’re spotting.

Join our friendly Forum

Silver Travel TV

Latin America conjures up a myriad of exciting images, and who better to turn these into a superb trip for you than the exceptionally knowledgeable and extensively travelled consultants at Journey Latin America? Be sure not to miss a thing.

Watch now

And finally ...

A favourite travel quote from Mark Twain,"‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Happy travelling and best wishes
The Silver Travel Team
Silver Travel Advisor