Thursday, January 12, 2017

Seven great tours for 2017

Once known as Burma, Myanmar is fast becoming a popular travel destination  (Wikipedia)

CHARLOTTE, NC With the Christmas holidays behind us, January is a month where travelers who are interested in going abroad begin to consider their options. Charlotte's Magellan Travel Club is offering seven unique travel programs for 2017 among which are visits to some of the locations in Croatia where "Game of Thrones" is filmed and a celebration of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's influence on the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

Here's a list of the upcoming tours in chronological order.

British train speeds through the rustic UK countryside
The United Kingdom by Rail: Great Britain has a rich heritage of rail travel that once linked every nook and cranny of the island nation. 

Begin in Edinburgh, Scotland and travel south to London with a stop at York in between.
Tour the Royal Mile and explore the famed Edinburgh Castle in the city where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote "Treasure Island," "Kidnapped" and "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
York Minster's stained glass windows are the size of a tennis court
York is a medieval walled city that traces its roots to the Vikings. It is home to the famed York Minster with its stained glass windows that are larger than a tennis court. It also boasts a superb transportation museum.

London, of course, is London and needs no introduction.

Dates for the tour are April 1 -- 10, 2017.
The Game of Thrones crew transforms Dubrovnik into King's Landing  ( 
Croatia and TheGame of Thrones: Croatia's tourism suffered in recent years, but today it is making a comeback and justly so. Medieval architecture, tranquil lakes and Croatian charm will delight you on this tour which features the walled city of Dubrovnik and the sites where King's Landing comes to life in the popular HBO series.
The harbor of Dubrovnik at twilight  (
The dates are May 14 through 21, 2017 in this "must see" region with it ancient cities, unique culture, rolling hills and, best of all, its stunning coastline.

By the way, this is a culinary tour, as well.

The Ring of Kerry is just one of many scenic wonders in Ireland
Shades of Ireland: From vibrant and history-filled Dublin, across rolling green hills to the dramatic coast and onward to Belfast, experience all of the charms of Ireland on this 13-day magical tour of the Emerald Isle. (September 26 --October 8, 2017) Live like royalty during an overnight stay on the grounds of a castle. Visit the new House of Waterford Crystal factory. Choose from a selection of Killarney’s & Derry’s best restaurants with our "Diner’s Choice" program.

See the Atlantic from the stunning 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Tour the walled city of Derry. Stand on the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway. Experience the world-famous beauty of the Ring of Kerry.
Mysterious and intriguing
Cliffs of Moher (Taylor)

Have tea and scones with clotted cream at a working farm. Explore Dublin with a local guide, either by foot or on a panoramic city tour – it’s your choice! See beautiful Killarney from your seat on an Irish jaunting car. Journey to historic Blarney Castle, lean back and kiss its famous stone!

This tour includes Northern Ireland which is rapidly becoming a traveler's favorite and you will not want to miss the Titanic Museum.
The Mahamuni Pagoda captures the essence of Myanmar  (Wikipedia)

Myanmar: The Golden Land: Immerse yourself in the magic of Myanmar from September 28 until October 10. This fascinating country is home to endless natural beauty and impressive architecture. Its deep history is astounding, and its culture is captivating.
Kayan long-necked
woman (Wikipedia)

Discover the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda. Take a private motorboat on the tranquil Inle Lake and be surrounded by one of Myanmar’s most spectacular panoramas. Observe leg-rowing fisherman and discover their floating gardens.
Life as it has been for centuries
on Inle Lake (Wikipedia)

Visit local markets, cottage industries and villages to come face to face with a more traditional way of life. Ascend to a height of over 3,000 feet above sea level to the visit charming Pyin Oo Lwin, a town that blends the East and West. Board a train for a scenic journey across the Gokteik Viaduct and travel over a nearly 100 feet deep gorge.

Discover Pindaya Cave, home to more than 8,000 Buddha statues.

In Bagan, pause to take in the unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples. Discover Mt. Popa, an imposing sight of sheer rock topped with golden stupas from the monastery that sits on its peak.

Berlin's Brandenburg Gate is a reminder of a once divided city
In the Footsteps of Martin Luther: From October 6 -- 13 we travel five centuries back in time to visit the sites where the Protestant Reformation began. Wittenberg is the town where Martin Luther posted the historic 95 Theses that changed the world forever.
Wittenberg is where Luther posted
the 95 Theses (Wikipedia)

Just last week, Rome released an announcement saying, “After centuries of mutual condemnations and vilification, in 2017 Lutheran and Catholic Christians will for the first time commemorate together the beginning of the Reformation."

The itinerary also travels to Berlin and Dresden.
Christmas Markets appeal to children of all ages  (Taylor)
Christmas Cruise on theDanube: River cruising and the European Christmas Markets are two of the fastest growing things to do on a Traveler's Bucket List. From December 5 through 12 we sail the famed Blue Danube aboard the MS. Emerald Destiny.
Try a Viennese coffee house

We begin in Nuremberg where 

the World War II trials took 

place before making calls in 

Regensburg, Passau, Linz and 


Each market has a similar flavor 

yet somehow each captures its own personality.   This is the one trip 

you will ever take where bad weather adds to the fun.

Enjoy a cup of hot mulled wine and savor Christmas the way it used 

to be.

Manger scenes traditionally feature live animals for children to pet
Christmas Markets of Germany: If you can remember the joys of Christmas as a child then this tour is for you. From December 6th through 16th we will travel Germany's Fairy Tale Road where the Brothers Grimm wrote down the famous stories we have known and loved for generations.
Add caption
We then travel the Romantic

Road with its half-timbered

medieval villages and majestic

castles including Ludwig II's


This architectural masterpiece is the most visited castle in Germany 

and winter makes it all the more magical.

Along our route we will visit some of the best and most popular

Christmas markets in the world including Munich, Berlin, Hamburg 

and, best of all, Rothenburg.

If the true spirit of Christmas doesn't captivate you here, then you

need to join Ebenezer Scrooge in London.

That's the list. We welcome you to join us for travel the way it used to