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Silver Travel - Email Newsletter

Dear Silver Travellers

What a pleasure to meet so many of you at Destinations last week: there was a packed exhibition hall with many partner companies represented. And we had some wonderful conversations with ‘newbies’ too. Nearly the entire team were at the show and thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your favourite holidays and answering your questions. We also had fun seeing Captain Jack Sparrow again, pictured here with our Gill and Steve who aren't ready to hand over the gold!

China was mentioned several times and we would suggest you talk to your travel or cruise company as well as checking the ABTA website, which has up to date information.

Meanwhile our patron, John Carter, has written a wonderful piece reflecting on the passage of time and a splendid oak tree.

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Win a trip to Europe for up to four people

This month’s free prize draw winner could be heading off to a wonderful holiday home in on one of Eurocamp’s marvellous parcs, filled with sports, spas and swimming pools along with restaurants and bars. Staying in modern, well-designed accommodation in France, Italy, Spain, Holland or Switzerland. Perfect for coast, country or city exploration, you choose the location!

Enter now

Try before you buy – ship visits for 2020

We’re delighted to offer you the chance to take a look on board various cruise ships so you can get a feel for what you will enjoy when cruising. After a tour of staterooms, you’ll visit the public areas and leisure facilities before sitting down to a delicious lunch. A real taste of cruising!

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Prize Winners

Our Christmas stocking in December was once again a roaring success. Find out who the lucky folk were – they won cuddly toys, fluffy dressing gowns, yummy hampers and holiday/shopping vouchers. The winners of the December 2019 Silver Travel Cook Club were Marilyn Sims from Rayleigh and Jacqueline Ebdy from Horley who won a copy of the beautiful cookery book – All Along the Rhine. Jane Eyre was December’s Silver Travel Book Club novel and the winners were Oggy and Epicurious.

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Sally’s Cottages – The Lake District & Cumbria

We’re very pleased to welcome this new partner! Perfect for a staycation or larger celebration, Sally’s cottages come in all shapes and sizes: remote or within a town, cosy and comfortable or luxurious and grand. However, they are all in this iconic region of Great Britain, famed for its views, historic attractions and idyllic walking.

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A Valentine’s bonus prize

Celebrate time together in one of the UK’s beautiful forests, staying in a charming log cabin, with private hot tub, at one of eleven locations. Our prize winner and partner will enjoy a short break from Forest Holidays: get away for tranquillity and peace. Perfect for a romantic moment.

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Great cuisine, fabulous walking

We’re at an age where comfy beds and excellent food are just as important as sensational walks amidst glorious countryside. Hedonistic Hiking provide all that and more, with experienced guides leading the walks, which cover all abilities. Enjoy the best of Italy, plus Sardinia and Corsica – new for 2020.

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Self-drive on the river

What could be more delightful than a gentle potter along the quiet waterways of Europe? Take a modern, well-designed boat from Nicols and set off for a meander in France, Germany or The Netherlands. No experience is needed, you’ll be given all the instructions you need. Nothing’s rushed – watch the wildlife and spend time just as you wish.

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We need a guest blogger for Harrogate

We are looking for a reviewer to visit Warner Leisure Hotels’ magnificent Nidd Hall, from Friday 27 March to Monday 30 March 2020. Half board is included and there’s superb musical entertainment with first rate tribute acts, not to mention fun daytime activities. This is a stunning part of Yorkshire: with Harrogate and the wonderful Betty’s Teashop for starters.

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Discover Canada in 2020

Following a busy January for Canada enquiries, Frontier Canada’s expert staff have the latest lowdown on what’s available and great value for 2020; take a spring trip to see the bears emerging for winter, a fall colours experience or even a late winter city break and benefit from cheaper airfares and less crowds.

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It’s bigger, it’s better, it’s AmaMagna

“AmaMagna has taken a quantum leap forward in luxury river cruising by virtually doubling the width of the ship. Here is a ship that offers more space, more full balcony accommodation, more sundeck on which to relax (and a lift to get there), more dining options – including top-notch speciality restaurants – and still has only 196 passengers on board”, Alan Fairfax is impressed.

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Win copies of Marco Polo’s port guides

Find out more about your cruise ports: the best places to shop and dine, the secret attractions tucked away. The experts at Marco Polo Guides are offering you the chance to win a copy of their new cruise port guides covering the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea, Caribbean and Canary Islands. Get insider knowledge at our fingertips.

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City Breaks are top of the charts

Once again, our survey reported that City Breaks are your absolute favourite type of holiday. And who better to travel with than Kirker Holidays, who will create a trip that gives you just what you want – very special hotels, walking tours, theatre tickets, restaurant bookings, museum tickets. In fact, almost everything you could wish for, Kirker can magically provide!

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Emerald Waterways introduce the Super Yacht, Emerald Azzurra

Offering the intimacy of river cruising, with just 100 passengers, Emerald Azzurra is an ocean cruising super yacht, heading for exotic destinations, from July 2021. Staterooms have the most modern, luxurious design, dining onboard is the finest quality plus stylish bars and observation decks. This ship is setting a new standard for small ship ocean cruising.

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Cultural delights worldwide

Cox & Kings' arts & culture tours focus on some of mankind’s greatest creative achievements in fascinating destinations worldwide including Russia, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Italy and Georgia. Art, architecture and archaeological wonders are explored with itineraries to suit all culture-lovers, often including unique private visits and are all led by experts in their field.

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Silver Travel Cook Club

This month we’re off to Vietnam with a mouth-watering recipe Saigon fresh summer rolls, courtesy of sponsor Emerald Waterways. And you could win a copy of Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai and an Emerald Waterways goodie bag.

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Accessible Holidays overseas

We all look forward to a trip away and our friends at Enable Holidays have the very best hotels and travel arrangements for everyone who has mobility or sensory impairment requirements. All the properties they offer are ‘audited’ for their suitability, so you know you’re in safe hands.

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Monaco Historic Grand Prix with GN Holidays

This is a truly wonderful opportunity to enjoy a biennial event featuring racing cars from the 1940s - 80s, which run on the F1 circuit. You’ll be able to visit the paddock to see the cars and meet the drivers, with a grandstand seat for the final race day. Add excursions to this trip in and around the principality for a fabulous break in May.

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British waterways on a narrowboat

Slowly does it on a beautifully fitted boat from ABC Boat Hire, as you travel on the canals and rivers that cross our countries. Relish the peaceful countryside and delve into towns or cities where the waterways begin their journeys as historic transport routes. Great for couples, groups of friends or the wider family.

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From our friends at Gransnet – Marriage in retirement

How does retirement affect marriage? Will I go mad if we spend all day, every day together? One of the most common pre-retirement concerns is about personal space - or, rather, a lack of personal space after retirement. Our friends at Gransnet have collated the most common bugbears (and solutions) from their discussion forums.

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Robert Powell on the Irrawaddy with Scenic

Actor, traveller and wine connoisseur, Robert Powell, had an extraordinary time on Scenic Aura, “The Irrawaddy River is 1350 miles long and runs the full length of Myanmar, and as the great civilisations of Myanmar’s past rose and fell by the banks of this magnificent river, surely the best way to explore this largely unknown country is to do so by boat.”

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Shearings self-drive to North Yorkshire

Glynis & Trevor Sullivan drove themselves to Whitby for a few days at New Year to stay at The Bay Royal Hotel, “This was our first self-drive break organised by Shearings Holidays and it was a huge success. If you enjoy having the flexibility of the car, then this is a good way to experience the excellent holidays that Shearings offer.”

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Join Aled Jones on Legends of the Rhine & Moselle with APT

If you’re looking for absolute luxury, with almost everything included, from flights and transfers to onboard tips and complimentary drinks, as well as the chance to meet the singer and Classic FM presenter, Aled Jones, this is the cruise for you. Sailing on the brand new Travelmarvel Capella from Amsterdam to Basel, this is a one-off opportunity.

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Island Hopping Cape Verde

Mountains, music and markets are all features of this archipelago in the Atlantic with ten islands. Culturally diverse and with scenery encompassing volcanoes, deep ravines and golden coast lines, Cape Verde enchants and surprises visitors, with whale watching and turtle spotting too.

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Jottings from Japan

Debbie Marshall uncovers the vagaries of Japanese footwear and lavatories – the former to be changed frequently once inside and definitely when visiting the latter. From warmed seats to useful signage on shoes and in public conveniences, it really is a world away. We celebrate cultural differences with TransIndus!

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Solos Holidays

Recent research has shown that many people taking solo holidays are not single, rather they have partners or friends who cannot travel with them. And indeed, many report that travelling solo allows them to relish ‘me time’ or follow an interest they particularly enjoy. From UK breaks, to sporting holidays, through to relaxing ClubSolos hotels and cruises, you can get away on your own with confidence.

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Silver Travel Book Club

This month you could win a copy of Shakespeare: The World As A Stage by Bill Bryson. We’re pretty certain we’ve all sat through an English class at school listening to the Bard’s immortal words. HF Holidays, who sponsor the Book Club, offer marvellous short breaks in the Cotswolds, near Stratford, where you can explore Shakespeare’s world.

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Red, red wine - that UB40 classic!

Whenever we think about SmoothRed, the wine tour specialists, this song is hummed at Silver Towers: ah for the days of our youth. Sophistication (and age) have their benefits and taking a journey through the vineyards of France, Italy, Bulgaria or Spain has to be one of them. SmoothRed’s experts will tailor-make a tour especially for you.

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Northern Italy with Uniworld

Combine the bustle of Milan, fashion capital of Italy, with the wonders of Venice, where you can find charming marvels around every corner as well as St Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace. Take a romantic sigh in Verona at Juliet’s house and gaze up, as Romeo did, at that balcony, tucked down cobbled streets. And prepare for amazement in Padua, art and history are omnipresent. All on a river cruise!

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Spring came by this morning in British Columbia

Are you tempted by cherry blossom, the magical Northern Lights after dark, a dramatic trip on the Rocky Mountaineer, light spring snow to ski on or a wine festival? Then head to the West coast of Canada to enjoy all these treats and the foodie specialities that Vancouver’s diverse population offers.

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City breaks by water

This is a river cruise by any other name, and you can visit several countries too in the space of week, whilst staying on your floating hotel. This really has to be the most pleasurable way to ‘tour’ Europe, travelling right into the heart of Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany and Switzerland. With Avalon Waterways, short breaks are long on interest and culture.

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Pedalling in Northern Italy

Cycling for Softies self-guided bike tours in the South Tyrol bring you the best of lakes and mountains. If you’re keen and firm of thigh, then the Dolomites should prove an enjoyable challenge, or you might (we would) take the train up to enjoy the view. Cycle paths around Lake Garda then on to Verona are flat and very pretty: just how we like them!

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Timeless sailing in Greece

“We took an eight-day 'Antiquity to Byzantium' cruise with Variety Cruises sailing around the Peloponnese on the beautiful M/S Galileo. A lovely three masted ship, she has engines but the sight of the crew hoisting the sails in warm Mediterranean sunshine is one to remember for a long time”, writes Steve Newman, our Cruise social media manager.

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Revitalise works magic at Sandpipers

Revitalise Respite Holidays offer three centres in the UK for those with disabilities to have a holiday, with or without their carer. Nurse-led 24-hour care is available if needed, supported by well-trained volunteers. “The staff are brilliant, and always have a smile on their faces. The interaction with the guests is amazing,” says visitor Glynis Sullivan.

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Showcase cruises from the UK with Hurtigruten

The new hybrid powered expedition ship will be ready earlier than expected! You could be amongst the very first guests to sail on MS Fridtjof Nansen, prior even to her Inaugural season commencing 1 April 2020. With three cruises around the British coast, and one leaving from London for Oslo, these voyages will be unique and give you the chance to try a brand-new ship. Exciting!

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Self-catering in happy holiday villages

This could be a very happy solution to extended family holidays – each small group books their own accommodation in the same village and get together for meals and activities, whilst ensuring everyone has privacy and space too. Pierre et Vacances offer France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, the Caribbean and Mauritius, with comfortable apartments and houses to stay in.

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Around the world with Silversea

If you’re planning to see the world, why not do it in style with Silversea? Sailing from Fort Lauderdale to New York in 150 days, via Auckland, Tokyo and Mumbai (with a total of 54 ports of call in 34 countries), your voyage cannot be bettered. With onboard luxury and extraordinary personal service, this a cruise that steps straight from your travel wish list, with sparkle and your own butler.

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Wonderful walking, stride and stretch with Sherpa Expeditions

Imagine glorious days on the South West Peninsula Coastal Path in Cornwall on a self-guided walking holiday of 8 or 15 days. Get out along the coast or rugged countryside paths, often quiet outside the main holiday times, where you can get the best of this unspoilt region. Dramatic landscapes and charming villages ensure there’s never a dull moment. 12% discount for first time ‘Sherpas’.

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Win a pair of tickets to see five-star show The Comedy About A Bank Robbery

To celebrate the show's fourth birthday, one lucky reader will win a pair of tickets to see The Comedy About A Bank Robbery at the Criterion Theatre in London. With rave 5-star reviews, “This fast and fabulous comedy caper is a joyful night out” The Times. The show runs until May 2020.

Enter now

Small ship cruising with Noble Caledonia

Travel vlogger, Cathy Bartrop, loves a small ship, “The experience on board a ship of this size (just 118 passengers) is completely different to most people's concept of a cruise. It's a bit like staying in a family run boutique hotel and topping the list for most passengers is the social aspect: you meet all sorts of people, from all walks of life, often with fascinating life stories to share and always, regardless of age, with a lust for life”.

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Greatdays Holidays – perfect for groups

We know that many of you belong to clubs or groups that enjoy taking holidays together, so we’ve teamed up with Greatdays Holidays, who organise and plan trips specifically for your group. Travel by coach, rail or air to Europe, or maybe enjoy a few days in the UK taking in a special attraction, a flower show or a stately home or two. There’s nothing like sharing time together somewhere new.

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Wendy Wu Tours in South America

Winners of the 2018 Silver Travel Award for Best Escorted Tour Operator (Europe & Long Haul), Wendy Wu Tours have expanded their portfolio to include South America – from wine tasting in Argentina, riding the panoramic train to Machu Picchu and following David Attenborough’s footsteps in the Galapagos, you’ll be sure of an amazing journey with exceptional guides.

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New Features this month

Cathy Bartrop visits Cyprus and gets beyond the beach.

Gillian Thornton heads for the Basque country in France.

Taki Sirianos relaxes in a villa in Kefalonia.

Bob Lyons pops into a café for cats in Paris.

Carole Tidball takes a Fred. Olsen cruise with her disabled partner.

Steve Aldridge cruises with Viking to Puerto Rico.

David Powell dances to France with Saga Cruises.

Jeannine Williamson has a good time in New Orleans.

Solange Hando explores Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Godfrey Hall shares his top tips for visiting Singapore.

Anna Selby discovers the Indonesian islands with Fred. Olsen.

Jane Shotliff has an Andean Adventure.

Read more articles

Silver Travel’s Friendly Forum

Join our friendly forum and have a chat about all matters travel! Ask questions, join the discussions and be part of conversations with other silver travellers.

Topics of interest this month include statues, sculptures & 3D outdoor artwork, checking your credit card before going away and much in the wider news, climate change.

Join our friendly forum

Silver Travel Video

Phillip Schofield shares his Princess Cruises’ ocean medallion experience – it’s a great one! Life onboard just became even easier.

Watch now

And finally …

We were so pleased to meet Colleen Sholl at Destinations, we were really thrilled with her kind comment too: “I absolutely love this site. If you need any information on where you want to travel to, someone here is sure to have visited the area or they will find an answer for you”.

Happy travelling
Silver Travel Advisor