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NEWS
September 12, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The temples at Angkor Wat and Cambodia's capital city Phnom Penh provide a modern-ancient contrast for a 13-day tour that also features neighboring Vietnam and a cruise on the Lower Mekong River. The custom itinerary from Delaware-based Kensington Tours begins by exploring Hanoi in Vietnam and then flying to Siem Reap, the gateway to the 13th-century temples at Angkor Wat that was once the heart of the Khmer Empire.  From here, the cruise leaves from Tonle Sap Lake and begins seven days on the Mekong River with days spent stopping at big cities and small villages along the way. Guests learn about silk weaving, mat making, fish farming, floating markets and other cultural activities before the cruise ends at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
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NEWS
April 24, 2014 | By Terry Gardner
Responding to a surge in interest, Viking River Cruises will add 12 new vessels for sailings in 2015.  Just how popular is the river cruise? When Viking launched in 1997, it had four ships cruising in Russia. By 2015, it will have 64 river vessels cruising in Europe, Russia, Asia and Egypt. Forty of those vessels are Viking long ships, which cruise exclusively in Europe and offer a variety of stateroom configurations.  River cruising is the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry, registering a 12% increase in 2012, according to a November article on CruiseCritic . Among Viking's 12 new vessels, the Astrild and the Beyla will be custom built for the Elbe River trip between Berlin and Prague, Czech Republic.
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NEWS
February 12, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
For river cruise fans (and wine fans and flamenco fans), the 108-passenger AmaVida offers a tour of villages and vineyards along Portugal's Douro River that highlights wine tasting, dancing and other cultural activities. The 11-day trip from Kensington Tours starts with two days in Lisbon to explore the capital and then moves on by train to Porto, where the cruise begins. The cruise itinerary includes Barca D'Alva for a show of traditional flamenco dancing, wine tasting in Pinhao, a visit to a 16th-century castle in Alijo and the palace and gardens of Mateus in Regua.
NEWS
April 16, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
River cruises aren't just for European ports. Blount Small-Ship Adventures is offering 2-for-1 prices on a 16-day cruise along the Mississippi River between Chicago and New Orleans. This  slow-paced ride provides a glimpse of life on the river and in Southern towns. Prices start at $4,999 for two. The deal: Blount has customized small ships that allow passengers to walk from ship to shore and sail in waters as shallow as 7 feet. The cruise on the Grande Caribe navigates along 11 waterways, including the Mississippi, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway as well as the Tennessee, Cumberland, Ohio, Illinois and Des Plaines rivers.
NEWS
January 7, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
"Downton Abbey," which begain its third season Sunday for U.S. viewers, is shot at Highclere Castle , the Victorian Gothic estate owned by the Earl and Countess of Carnavon. The castle has provided the lavish backdrop for the PBS drama -- and now the inspiration for a new river cruise excursion. Viking River Cruises , a sponsor of the "Masterpiece" series, has created a three-night Oxford and Highclere Castle tour that may be added before or after two European cruises.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2013 | By Anthony York
SHANGHAI -- It was a quiet day for California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday, beginning with a meeting of a ranking local Communist Party official and capped with a river cruise featuring former NBA superstar Yao Ming. Just another day in China for Brown and his delegation of nearly 100 government and business officials. The light schedule of the day was a welcome respite for a delegation that has bounced from government meetings to lavish meals this week. Many on the trip are holding side meetings with Chinese business officials, trying to drum up business for their companies back home.
NEWS
April 16, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
River cruises aren't just for European ports. Blount Small-Ship Adventures is offering 2-for-1 prices on a 16-day cruise along the Mississippi River between Chicago and New Orleans. This  slow-paced ride provides a glimpse of life on the river and in Southern towns. Prices start at $4,999 for two. The deal: Blount has customized small ships that allow passengers to walk from ship to shore and sail in waters as shallow as 7 feet. The cruise on the Grande Caribe navigates along 11 waterways, including the Mississippi, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway as well as the Tennessee, Cumberland, Ohio, Illinois and Des Plaines rivers.
NEWS
January 17, 2014 | By Christopher Reynolds
European river-cruising, a rarity among American travelers 20 years ago, continues to grow rapidly on the waterways of the continent, with dozens of vessels on the water, more being built and some companies expanding into Asia and beyond. Along the way, ships have begun adding features like bicycles, kayaks and canoes to lure younger, more vigorous travelers, although seniors still make up a majority of passengers. As several speakers told travel agents at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show Friday, the key thing for a newcomer to recognize is that a river cruise is vastly different than the ocean cruises that involve ships with 3,000 passengers, multiple pools, casinos, climbing walls and many options for children.
TRAVEL
June 14, 2009 | Avital Binshtock
Tour and photograph Moscow's most renowned places, including Red Square, on Ritz Tours' "Russian Waterways Excursion." Dates: Multiple departures through Sept. 27. Itinerary: Moscow to Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi Island, Svirstroy and St. Petersburg. RUSSIA Land tour and river cruise Price: From $2,799 (double occupancy; single supplement varies), including 12 nights' lodging, most meals, a reception, tours and educational lectures, but excluding taxes and fees.
TRAVEL
September 15, 2002 | Jane Engle
Los Angeles-based Uniworld, which runs river cruises in Europe and elsewhere, is offering a "cancel-for-any-reason" plan, at extra cost, to its customers. It claims to be the only river cruise company with such a plan, although several ocean liner operators offer it. Cruise companies, including Uniworld, generally won't refund customers' money beyond a certain date as long as the ship departs; illness and weather problems do not merit refunds.
TRAVEL
January 19, 2014 | By Catharine M. Hamm
New players in the ever-annoying world of air carriers. New perks for visitors to Vegas. New ways to get around town. Travel continues to evolve, sometimes in great ways, sometimes in ways that make us want to stick out our tongues. The travel treat and the potential travel tantrum? 2014 promises to provide both. Here's a look. 1. You'll probably pay more for a hotel room. That's the word from Peter Van Dorn, co-founder and chief executive of PointsHound, an online booking source for hotels.
NEWS
January 17, 2014 | By Christopher Reynolds
European river-cruising, a rarity among American travelers 20 years ago, continues to grow rapidly on the waterways of the continent, with dozens of vessels on the water, more being built and some companies expanding into Asia and beyond. Along the way, ships have begun adding features like bicycles, kayaks and canoes to lure younger, more vigorous travelers, although seniors still make up a majority of passengers. As several speakers told travel agents at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show Friday, the key thing for a newcomer to recognize is that a river cruise is vastly different than the ocean cruises that involve ships with 3,000 passengers, multiple pools, casinos, climbing walls and many options for children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2013 | By Anthony York
The newest partial owner of the Sacramento Kings, Shaquille O'Neal, met with Gov. Jerry Brown in the state Capitol on Monday, a meeting that ended with the former Lakers star hoisting the governor's wife above his head. But more on that later. Clearly the question on everyone's mind when the former Jesuit seminarian and Yale Law School grad met with the man who's dubbed the Big Aristotle: What were they reading? It's a question that may have gone unanswered for the ages if not for a clue offered courtesy of Twitter.
NEWS
June 12, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
River cruise companies have been canceling and modifying cruises as flooding continues over a large swath of Central Europe, including Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland. Viking Cruises , Tauck and others have been reaching out to customers and travel agents by email to tell them of the changes, according to company websites. The BBC reports at least 19 people have died as of Tuesday, including 10 from the Czech Republic and five from Austria, after rivers rose to dangerously high levels.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2013 | By Anthony York
GUANGZHOU, China -- Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday that his administration will come up with a plan for reducing the state prison population by an additional 10,000 inmates, even as it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to block a judicial order demanding such a recommendation. "We've got to come up with a plan, " Brown told reporters on a flight here from Nanjing, part of his weeklong swing through China. Brown appeared unphased by the task, accepting the recent ruling with the combativeness of someone spoiling for a good political fight.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2013 | By Anthony York
SHANGHAI -- It was a quiet day for California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday, beginning with a meeting of a ranking local Communist Party official and capped with a river cruise featuring former NBA superstar Yao Ming. Just another day in China for Brown and his delegation of nearly 100 government and business officials. The light schedule of the day was a welcome respite for a delegation that has bounced from government meetings to lavish meals this week. Many on the trip are holding side meetings with Chinese business officials, trying to drum up business for their companies back home.
TRAVEL
October 22, 2000 | KARIN ESTERHAMMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
From its source in the Spanish province of Soria, the Douro River flows about 560 miles through Spain and Portugal to the ocean. Uniworld of Encino is offering seven-night cruises on the Douro Princess beginning March 16. Passengers will begin the cruise in Porto, Portugal, and make excursions to, among other places, Regua, Lamego and Pinhao in Portugal, and Salamanca and Vega de Terron in Spain. Gardens, historical sites and village squares are explored at each stop.
TRAVEL
January 30, 2011
Reading about the new Queen Elizabeth ocean liner ["Where Comfort Reigns," by Beverly Beyette, Jan. 23] brought back memories of the time during World War II when American troops sailed across the Atlantic on the first Queen Elizabeth. There were 15,000 troops on board, and we ate twice a day. My favorite spot was high atop the ship looking out over the ocean and the blue skies. We landed in Scotland, moved by train to England, and then headed across the English Channel to France.
NEWS
April 10, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Virgin Vacations is cutting the price of two Danube River cruises by $1,000 per person for fall sailings. The October and November itineraries travel from Germany to Hungary while following the European river for a sampling of cities and towns.  The deal: Discounts apply to the 11-day Nov. 14 tour and cruise from Budapest , Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany. Participants spend two nights in Budapest before boarding the Sound of Music for seven nights. The ship has just 64 cabins, and the price includes meals, drinks and shore excursions.
NEWS
February 12, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
For river cruise fans (and wine fans and flamenco fans), the 108-passenger AmaVida offers a tour of villages and vineyards along Portugal's Douro River that highlights wine tasting, dancing and other cultural activities. The 11-day trip from Kensington Tours starts with two days in Lisbon to explore the capital and then moves on by train to Porto, where the cruise begins. The cruise itinerary includes Barca D'Alva for a show of traditional flamenco dancing, wine tasting in Pinhao, a visit to a 16th-century castle in Alijo and the palace and gardens of Mateus in Regua.
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