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Silver Travel - Email Newsletter

Dear Silver Travellers

On this the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we pause to honour the servicemen who fought in World War 2, and follow the progress of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Boudicaa, specially chartered by The British Legion to take around 250 servicemen on a commemorative Voyage of Remembrance to Le Havre.

Back at Silver Towers, it is with great pleasure that we announce the finalists for the Silver Travel Awards! We are looking forward to the Awards event on 26 June at BAFTA, where the winners will be presented with their trophies by Dame Esther Rantzen. To hear about the awards as they happen, take a look at our Facebook page on the night. And we have just a handful of free places remaining for Silver Travellers to attend. Do get in touch with the team if you would like to be there with us.

Take a look too at our newly updated YouTube channel, with a variety of short destination and themed videos. It’s a great place to get a flavour of what is on offer, you might get some new ideas too!

Have you considered a UK break this year? Or maybe a trip to Guernsey might be the answer, a short journey away, with the comforts of home yet a wonderful French feel, and a jolly mild climate. A favourite here at Silver Towers!

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Sail in Regal Splendour

“A cruise ship fit for a Queen” is how Hebridean Princess is described in a newly-posted review of Hebridean Island Cruises. And given that the Queen has chartered the ship twice since the decommissioning of the Royal Yacht Britannia, that is a fair claim. The enormous bathrooms and gorgeous, country-house styling of the lounges – one even has a brick hearth and fireplace – make this a right royal choice for cruising the west coast of Scotland.

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Rambling around the Braemar!

The joke goes that people embark a cruise as passengers and leave it as cargo – but not necessarily! A group of Silver Travellers with an interest in walking visited Fred. Olsen’s Braemar recently to find out about how Ramblers Cruise & Walk holidays combine friendly, small-ship cruising with guided hikes or strolls at each port of call. It certainly sounds a great way to walk off all that lovely onboard food!

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Win a short break to the Isle of Man

If inspiring scenery and escape from the daily mundanities is your desire, this month’s free prize draw will have you entranced. Full of legends and mystery, steam trains and trams, with a relaxed pace of life, although the island is famous for the TT races, the three night break for two people, with full board and travel, staying in a most comfortable 3* or 4* hotel, will suit everyone looking for a traditional, friendly holiday in a beautiful setting.

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Free Singapore event in London 'Where Explorers meet'

Enjoy a free event in London, 13-15 June, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Sir Stanford Raffles in Singapore. Head for Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate EC2 to sample traditional, Michelin starred Peranakan cuisine, ice cream and curry puffs. Cocktails of the finest quality will be mixed by experts, including the famous Singapore Sling, all set in an incredible techno-garden with plants, images and video to give a real insight into ‘The City of Possibilities’.

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Win tickets to see The Human League and our recent prize winners

Pauline Sear from Exeter won tickets to see The Twilight Zone in London’s West End in our April competition. All the voters for our Silver Travel Awards were entered into a free prize draw for a trio of prizes: Jacqueline Sandford from Tunbridge Wells won a holiday for two people in the Dolomites from Inghams, Jenny Fullard of Poole can enjoy a week's free Avis car hire almost anywhere in the world and Rosemary Worthington from Barlaston is the lucky winner of a short hotel break from Shearings.

We have a pair of tickets to give away to see electronic new wave band, The Human League, who will launch the Lytham Festival in leafy Lancashire on Wednesday 10 July. China Crisis and Heather Small (Boney M) are supporting. There's a fabulous line up 10-14 July, including Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart, Michael Ball and Sheridan Smith.

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Luxury in the Wild with Cox & Kings

Mountains, deserts, jungles, coasts and forest are included in this new brochure, which has chosen the finest wilderness accommodation around the world, for those who delight in wild places and are looking for somewhere unique to stay. Immersed in nature, every one of these is remarkable for its location and service. Prepare to be amazed.

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Snowy Spain with Pierre & Vacances

Nick Dalton finds a resort for skiers of all abilities, “When it comes to the easy life, Baqueira-Beret, in the Spanish Pyrenees, has it covered. Pop out of Hotel Himalaia Baqueira, from Pierre & Vacances, one of the resort’s biggest, best hotels, a delight in stone, wood and slate, and there’s just short walk through an indoor arcade of shops and bars – carpeted and with a glass roof – before emerging by the gondola.”

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Win a copy of The House on the Edge of the Cliff

This month our Silver Travel Book Club, sponsored by Emerald Waterways, features Carol Drinkwater, who is a much-loved actress and also the author of many books, including the Olive series, based on the 10-acre olive grove where she lives in the South of France. We’re delighted that she will be interacting with Silver Travel Book Club readers on the Forum thread throughout June and you could win a copy of her most recent book The House on the Edge of the Cliff, a tale of passion and drama set in France.

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Silver Travel Cook Club – try Thai food!

This month our Cook Club features Evaneos as our guest editors with a special recipe from Vietnam, Prawn and Omelette spring rolls (Nem Cuon Tom Trung). A really tasty treat shared with us Evaneos’ local expert in Vietnam, Tuan. You could also win a copy of Vietnamese Food Any Day.

Find out more

From our friends at Gransnet

Whether you're new to the world of allotments and homegrown produce or you're an experienced green-fingered whizz, there is always more to learn about allotment planning and maintenance. What should you plant and when is the best time? We've put together a month-by-month allotment planner to help you grow your own fruit and veg successfully.

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National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures

A new line of trips for adventure-loving families in search of a meaningful way to discover the world together from National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures. They’re specially designed so travellers aged seven and up can explore a destination’s rich and diverse characteristics, featuring unique, interactive activities in photography and storytelling, wildlife, culture, history, and geography to encourage kids and adults alike to connect with the world around them. Enjoy the enlightening experiences, the freedom to explore, quality time together and return home with a renewed sense of wonder.

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One Traveller – longer stays, in-depth discovery

Longer, better paced itineraries with longer stays are what mature single travellers are demanding in their feedback to tour operators! Single Silver Travellers want to gain greater insights into destinations and the local culture, rather than a quick overview of major highlights. One Traveller offer award winning holidays to Europe with eight, nine, ten- and eleven-day itineraries and long-haul cultural experiences from 16 to 23 days.

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Africa – a lifetime of travel

Somak have lengthy experience on this utterly mesmerising continent, with the company being created locally in East Africa. A fellow local, Jonathan Scott, talked to Jennie Carr about his love of and life in Africa. Jonathan’s a traveller, author and broadcaster often known as The Big Cat Man. His passion will have you rushing to book your trip there!

Listen now

Walking in Portugal – full of surprises!

“On the Rota Vicentina it is possible to walk all day along a dramatically beautiful coastline with storks who build their nests on rock stacks. When I walked there in May you could watch them feeding their young, sometimes without even the need for binoculars. Inland, where the trail is part shaded by cork oak and eucalyptus, the solitude is even more intense. The flowers, particularly in spring, almost beggar description,” Roger Bray strode out on a Sunvil holiday.

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The Caribbean under sail

What could be more magical than standing on the deck of fully-rigged sailing ship in the heart of the Caribbean, looking up at a night sky awash with stars? It’s one of the special moments that island-hopping under sail with Star Clippers offers. There are no casinos, no Broadway shows, no water parks – just the turquoise Caribbean, 16 sails to catch the wind and a bevy of calls at the less frequented places to look forward to. It’s a combination of the Golden Age of sail for seasoned seafarers, combined with plenty of home comforts for modern day landlubbers.

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New Zealand – a sky and land full of birds

If you’re interested in wildlife, and birds in particular, the islands of New Zealand are an absolute must. Filled with species that are only found in this country, you’ll find plenty to marvel at, Kiwis and melodious Bellbirds included. New Zealand Sky arrange self-drive tours which are the perfect way to see the country and indulge in a little bird-spotting, twitching for those in the know.

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Puglia – an Italian dream

Think of the white-washed trulli, coastlines, fresh produce, olive oil, fertile farms, warm vineyards and ancient ruins plus the laid-back lifestyle of southern Italy. You can wander through Lecce or Bari, with its links to St Nicholas, and explore the legacy of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II at Castel del Monte, an octagonal, 13th-century fortress-residence. CV Villas have fabulous properties, with private pools, for up to twelve people – take friends and the family!

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Grand UK tours the country in search of castles

If you like a wander around ancient buildings, sometime homes to aristocrats and nobility, there’s no finer way to get from north to south, east to west than on a Grand UK coach tour. There are tours to suit everyone, whether you’re into clanking armour or rooks on turrets, with 10% discount off the brochure price for Silver Travellers for UK trips. Dave Harcombe shares his ten favourite castles with us.

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Ulaanbaatar – the capital of where?

Mongolia of course! The city is fast catching up with modernity however out in the rural hinterlands, life continues in a traditional way. Visit a ger (round tent) camp and experience fabled Mongolian hospitality, discover the Jurassic past of the Gobi Desert, witness the drama and excitement of the Naadam Festival (wrestling, horse racing and archery) and find tranquility beside the sparkling waters of Lake Khovsgol. Travel with Wendy Wu Tours and experience the truly amazing!

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Accessible Travel

Our wonderful partners cater for all your desires, whatever your mobility or disability needs. Limitless Travel offer escorted tours in the UK and Europe, using wheelchair accessible transport, with a carer or two to help as well. Enable Holidays will take you worldwide, UK included, on a tailor-made trip to audited hotels with adapted transfers from the airport, personal carers can be arranged. Revitalise Respite Care has three superb, well-equipped centres in England, where themed weeks and local excursions are available for all and carers can also have a welcome rest.

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Sailing Solo with Uniworld

Travelling solo doesn’t always mean you have to have pay double – at least not with Uniworld, who have waived or significantly reduced the single supplement on many of their 2019 luxury river cruises to Central Europe, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. With open seating at every meal, small group excursions and kindred spirits with a shared interest in travel, Uniworld’s ships make for a safe, rewarding and convenient travel experience for single travellers.

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Upbeat in Madeira

Gillian Thornton walked with HF Holidays, "Madeira has a reputation for appealing to Silver Travellers, especially in the winter when temperatures can happily hover in the low 20s. With a mild climate, spectacular scenery, and gleaming white villas, it has an upbeat air that’s guaranteed to put a spring in anyone’s step. With a choice of two graded walks each day, the routes largely follow Madeira’s famous levadas, taking us through small whitewashed villages and across moorland ablaze with gorse; through lush forests of laurel and eucalyptus to a tumbling woodland waterfall."

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Love and Angst and Viking Cruises

The current ‘Love and Angst’ Edvard Munch exhibition is attracting huge interest – it includes a rare print of ‘The Scream’, one of the few artworks to have its own emoji. Sharing a common Norwegian ancestry, more of Munch’s art can be seen aboard the Viking ocean cruise fleet. When Viking Sun docked in Greenwich recently, Giulia Bartrum, Curator of the British Museum’s exhibition, was on board to explain some of the image’s hidden meanings. Look closely at this print in the ship’s Reception area, and you’ll see a man’s head trapped in the woman’s hair - a recurring image with Munch, a man of tortured temperament!

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Cutting Edge Cruising

We’re hearing great things about Celebrity Edge, the new Celebrity Cruises ship that’s just embarked on an inaugural season of European sailings. It boasts an innovative ‘Magic Carpet’, a cantilevered platform that moves up and down the ship’s starboard side, offering both a secure point of embarkation (great for excursions) and a restaurant experience with a fabulous view. Already highly acclaimed for their dining, Celebrity Edge has no fewer than 29 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges.

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Glorious Greece – utterly divine!

Halkidiki, not far from vibrant Thessaloniki, comprises the three delightful peninsulas of Kassandra, Sithonia and the UNESCO World Heritage monastic site of Mount Athos, and boasts 550km of scenic coastline with more than forty Blue Flag glorious sandy beaches, plus numerous archaeological and historical sites such as Stagira, birthplace of Aristotle. The Sani Beach Hotel from Classic Collection is a favourite.

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Glynis travels to Bournemouth and explores Dorset

"Shearings give you the confidence to smile, relax and enjoy your holiday, whilst all the things that make travel stressful are all taken care of. Bournemouth has beautiful, clean beaches surrounded by hundreds of beach huts, all brightly painted. Excursions will take you to Dorchester, Salisbury and Sandbanks. Our very informative Shearings driver gave us an excellent commentary as we drove", Glynis Sullivan thoroughly enjoyed her stay.

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Eurocamp for all the generations

Try holiday parcs in Europe, fabulous for everyone, from the older generation, down to tiny toddlers. There will be great entertainment on offer: you can do as little or much as you want. Stay in apartments, tents or mobile homes, all well-equipped and ideal for a break together. There are locations for all interests – within striking distance of a city, close to the sea or in the deepest countryside. Spend mellow moments in the sunshine, leaving the bustle of daily life behind.

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Charleston, South Carolina – contrasts galore

The Deep South is famous for its hospitality and Charleston, South Carolina is no exception. Roger Bray had a marvellous few days exploring the state and the Isle of Palms, then he hit the high life in the city. Both experiences had their charms. Frontier America will plan tours and self-drive itineraries around this region just as you wish. Take baggy trousers, the food is amazing and plentiful!

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Keeping it Classic

You can’t beat a modern classic, and Holland America Line’s latest addition to the fleet, the 1,300 cabin Nieuw Statendam, retains a classic ship shape; the familiar inky-black prow a link to cruising’s glory days. But she’s also full of modern comforts – most importantly in the staterooms. Seventy per cent of these have balconies and all cabins – inside or out – have a good-size bathroom with a glass-cubicle shower and a large TV showing free films.

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Boogie-woogie on the ocean wave

Jools Holland is one of those ageless musicians who can get a party started in less than 60 seconds. And he’s going to be delivering Boogie-Woogie nights and Jazz and Soul sets aboard Saga Cruises’ spanking new ship Spirit of Discovery three times in 2020, stepping on board for the Sounds of Spain in March, Western France and the Costa Verde in July and A Baltic Fable in August. We think it’ll be quite a ride!

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Dementia Adventure feature

There is no doubt that a break away, with support and care, can offer those living with dementia and their families and carers a real tonic. Especially when it’s taken out in the countryside or near the coast, with tranquil surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere. Dementia Adventure offer holidays in some of the UK’s most beautiful settings – the Lake District, Norfolk, Devon, Wales and the Isle of Wight for starters.

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Emerald Boutique river cruising through the heart of Europe

Weave a wonderful path through the cities and landscapes of Europe on an award-winning Emerald Waterways river cruise. Choose from over 15 insightful itineraries, including our new 8-day Flavours of Burgundy & Provence river cruise, sailing the Rhône and Saône. Call 0808 231 2548 to find out more.

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New Features this month

Andrew Morris has a literary cruise with Emerald Waterways.

Steve Aldridge takes a Backwaters Tours trip in France.

John Carter visits Wild Dunes Resort in South Carolina.

Bob Lyons takes us on an artistic tour of Place du Tertre, Paris.

Jane Wilson shares the health benefits of visiting gardens.

Petra Shepherd gets active in Turkey with Explore.

Carole Tidball finds the top ten luxury tropical escapes.

Alan cruises in springtime Scotland on board MV Columbus.

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And finally ...

Pauline Sear enjoys being on our Forum, “I love Silver Travel Advisor, especially the forums which have helped me in my planning for Antarctica and Chile. I love writing so the competitions encourage that.” Marvellous, we’re delighted you’re benefitting, Pauline.

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