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Crown Cruise Vacations | February 26, 2017

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New paddlewheeler joins two sisters on Mississippi River

December 14, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

The Mississippi River will soon have a new paddlewheeler offering river cruisers a trip through America’s heartland, starting July 3, 2017. The 166-guest American Duchess is the first purpose-built paddlewheeler, operated by the American Queen Steamboat Company.

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Athena hotel manager finds cruise ships are the life for him

December 7, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

When Zoran Kikic went to sea as a young man, an experienced mariner gave Zoran and other new sailors some friendly advice: Be cautious about signing on for more voyages or the sea will become your lifelong passion.

“He told us to think not twice but to think five times before we came back on a ship,” Zoran said.  “He said it will get in your blood and the ship will become your life.’

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Travel Trivia: Which country has vibrant double-headed eagle for national flag

November 30, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Are you a national flag expert? Can you identify a country when you see its national flag flying? Then this should be a snap for you.

However, it took an international trip for me to hear the story behind this flag and to see it proudly displayed along with the American Stars and Stripes at a war memorial.

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Shore Excursion: Visiting Butrint, a microcosm of Mediterranean history

November 23, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Exiles from the fall of Troy were happy to find a new place to call home. Giving thanks for their refuge, the exiles were sacrificing an ox on their ship before coming ashore.

“But the bull jumped overboard and swam ashore,” said guide Demyr. “Taking this as a good omen, the place was named Buthrotum which means ‘wounded ox,’ the ancient name for Butrint.”

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Travel Trivia: Woman honored in ‘The Land of Fire and Ice’

November 16, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Many people have visited the site where this memorial is located. But most people walk right by the metallic relief of a stern-faced woman and head straight to the nearby amazing natural wonder.

However, it was this woman who helped save the thundering attraction that she so loved and that folks flock to see.

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Iceland ProCruises expedition leader gives a musical welcome Ocean Diamond

November 9, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

It felt like one of those episodes of “American Idol” where someone is standing on stage, then starts singing. And you can hardly believe your ears.

Well, that’s what happened on our first night aboard the Iceland ProCruises Ocean Diamond. It was an evening gathering to meet the ship’s expedition team and learn about life onboard and our interesting itinerary.

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Carnival LIVE announces 2017 lineup with music, comedy

November 2, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Concerts and cruises seem like a winning combination. Add another “C” into that mix – Carnival Cruise Line – and you’ve got a fun lineup, especially when it features Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Jay Leno and Jeff Foxworthy.

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Shore Excursion: Paranoid dictator builds thousands of concrete bunkers around Albania

October 26, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Sprouting out of the Albanian hillside like a poisonous mushroom, the concrete bunker is one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. But, unbelievably, the story behind it is even more strange.

“A crazy dictator built the bunkers,” said M/V Athena cruise program director Antun Matičević. “He built almost 800,000 bunkers to protect Albania. They were never used and now they are protecting rocks.”

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