Posts tagged with "river"

CLASSIC JOURNEYS × LUXURY TOURS

CLASSIC JOURNEYS LAUNCHES

“LUXURY PRIVATE TOURS WITHIN A CRUISE”

ON EUROPE’S GREAT RIVERS

Luxury tour operator Classic Journeys is introducing a unique slant on European river cruises, providing a limited admission “private tour within a cruise” aboard some of the most elegant vessels journeying to Europe’s most magnificent cities and landscapes.

The river-based adventures combine a relaxing luxury five-star river cruise experience with a wide array of exclusively handcrafted cultural and walking activities. Classic Journeys’ “tours within a cruise” are capped at 18 participants, making them among the most intimate cruise experiences available. River travel is becoming increasingly popular – enabling travelers to see substantial and glorious sections of Europe “from the inside,” without the bother of packing and unpacking.

A local expert Classic Journeys tour guide and escort will travel with the guests and be their on-board host providing unique insights into the each area’s history, customs and sights. He or she will guide private shore excursions available uniquely to Classic Journeys travelers, including exclusive wine tastings and dining experiences unavailable to other passengers.

Classic Journeys has selected ships providing the finest amenities, including gourmet dining, concierge service, fitness facilities and spas. Each ship offers panoramic lounges as well as an open-air sun deck where travelers can watch European shores drift by outside. Once ashore, guests have the opportunity to experience Europe like never before – with everything from countryside hiking trails, to visits to olive oil plantations and even home visits to Michelin-starred chefs. Perfect for reunions, multi-generational travel, girls’ getaways and more, the river cruise option allows travelers with different interests and activity levels to pick and choose their individual tours each day.

Classic Journeys’ European River Cruises include:

Portugal & SpainDouro: Porto to Salamanca – Glide upriver from coastal Porto to a scenic land of olive groves, vineyards and medieval hilltop villages all the way to Salamanca and the glorious Spanish countryside

Austria, Hungary & Czech RepublicDanube: Cultures of Central Europe – Explore Austrian villages and vineyards, Vienna and Budapest, and perfectly preserved Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic

FranceRhone: Burgundy and Provence – Discover the legendary countryside bordering the Rhone river from Lyon to Avignon, meet olive growers, discover culinary thrills with a Michelin-starred chef and discover some of the world’s most glorious and celebrated wines and vineyards

For more information about Classic Journeys’ exclusive European River Cruises and all other Classic Journeys itineraries, visit: www.classicjourneys.com.

ABOUT CLASSIC JOURNEYS

Since its founding in 1995 with one style of travel in a total of three countries, Classic Journeys has expanded to offer five styles of travel (culture + walking, culinary, family, multi-sport, and river cruising) and 100 itineraries in 50 countries across six continents. With its focus on providing every guest a handcrafted trip of a lifetime, Classic Journeys has won awards from a variety of publications including Saveur, National Geographic and Travel + Leisure – the latter having named it a “World’s Best Tour Operator” every year since 2007.

Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions Notes Positive Outlook For a Stellar River Rafting Season Thanks to an Exemplary Snow Pack

 Forget crystal balls. The snow says it all.

For over half a century Holiday River Expeditions has looked to the mountains to forecast upcoming rafting seasons. Winter snows turn into spring runoff. Thus far, a stormy and snow-packed winter in the Rockies predicts a robust 2019 rafting season in the mountain and desert southwest.

“We’re expecting to have a lot of fun in 2019, thanks to Mother Nature and year-to-date bookings that are up 10 percent over the same time last year,” said Holiday River Expeditions’ longtime sales manager and spokeswoman Karen Johnson.

Higher river flows mean that guests on all of Holiday’s rafting trips will have more off-river time to hike, enjoy the beach, relax or explore the side canyons from camp and enroute between camps.

“Plus high water gives our guests an Adrenaline-rush and thrill in a carefully secured, calculated manner,” Johnson added.

As of today, snow pack affecting the Colorado River Basin is running 116 percent of the February 27th average, a good sign for the upcoming rafting season on the Colorado, Yampa and Green rivers. Among Holiday River Expeditions’ whitewater rafting trips most affected by high runoff are those on the Yampa River in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. This undammed, free-flowing river benefits greatly from unfettered spring runoff that also makes its way to Desolation Canyon (on the Green River) and Cataract Canyon (after confluence with the Colorado River).

Other rafting trips influenced by abundant snow pack are those on the Colorado River in both Westwater Canyon and further along in Cataract Canyon cutting through the heart of Canyonlands National Park.

For the best high-water trips see:

One fact, worthy of note, helps set Holiday apart from most other operators on the river. They are the only rafting outfitter that literally goes with the flow exclusively on all trips by running these rivers by oar-power only, without motorized rafts or motorized support.

“Oar-power is the most natural way to experience the river and the absence of motors makes high water trips as exciting as it gets. Rafters experience the rush of wind, a chatty raven or a churning rapid absent the drone and smell of a motorized raft,” said Tim Gaylord, Director of Operations and Holiday guide since 1978.

Even in high water, when other companies call on motorized boats to stay the course, Holiday instead employs triple rigs, usually from late May to early July in Cataract Canyon when water levels get above 25-30,000 CFS and higher. The rigs are three 18-foot rafts lashed side by side to form one larger raft. It is maneuvered by two guides, sweep-style, each using one oar.

“These rafts are incredibly stable and the rigging allows them to flex in many ways. They allow us to continue to use only oar-powered rafts in even the highest water,” noted Gaylord.

See this short video that will help illustrate this technique.

A few other companies continue to use row/paddle rafts and dories in high water; but they support their use with larger motorized rafts for, among others, assistance in moving non-motor rafts downstream in the flatwater sections. Holiday is the only one that does not use a motor at all (except when exiting the Lake Powell section on the last day of the Cataract trip and then it is only introduced by using a tow-boat that motors up from the downstream takeout at Hite Marina.)

For more information, availability, reservations or a copy of the 2019 catalog please call 800-624-6323, Email: Holiday@BikeRaft.com or log onto http://www.bikeraft.com/.

About Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with 50+ years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity to explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday River Expeditions has a commitment to protect the environment through education and conservation, and as such, uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

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Western River Expeditions

One river rafting company anticipates one of its best years in its history is just around the bend, thanks to the unprecedented strength of its early season bookings.
 
Western River Expeditions reports that its 3, 4, 6 and 7-day Grand Canyon trips for 2020 are full on many dates. And 2019 is already completely sold out. Western River is taking a wait list for spots that open up due to cancellations.
 
Opening day to place 2020 reservations was Nov. 15, 2018. “We booked over 1,000 seats on that day alone,” says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions.  “Online bookings are way up, with over 70 percent of some trips being booking online. Compared to the 40 percent average norm, this is a huge increase!”
 
He adds that, “other rivers are also seeing booming interest and bookings.” Bookings for 2019 five-day trips on Desolation Canyon, Green River are up three-fold over 2018. ”We have as many bookings for Desolation Canyon now as we usually end the year with.”
 
Other rivers favored in this booking uptick, comparing same time 2018 and 2019 include 

Lake attributes these record sales in part to:

  • Good overall US economy (to this point),
  • Swell of retiring Baby Boomers,
  • Popularity of the bucket list and desire to experience lifelong dreams like running the Grand Canyon and Cataract Canyon, 
  • Increasing interest in National Parks, particularly Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park which many guests visit while in Moab, Utah, before their trip to Desolation Canyon or Cataract Canyon.
  • Many new, excellent accommodation choices and availability for pre- and post-trip stays on adventures that depart from Moab, Utah (Cataract Canyon and Desolation Canyon). 

For those chomping at the bit to get on a raft in 2019, Western River advises that people call soon to reserve their space. “There are still some spots on some of our most popular expeditions and this is going to be an incredible year to experience the river.”
 
Lake explains that Western River is bound by the permits granted to them. These permits limit the number of guests that can travel with them each year. “This number doesn’t change, but guest demand for what is essentially a limited opportunity does.”
 
Utah’s Cataract Canyon, deep within Canyonlands National Park, is near enough in scale, appearance and proximity to the Grand Canyon that it works the same kind of magic found in the Grand herself. Just one canyon upstream on the Colorado River in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is hands down the best alternative to a Grand Canyon rafting vacation,” he says.
 
Farther north from the confluence, Utah’s Desolation Canyon was carved by the 730-mile Green River, born from glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the Wyoming Rockies. The Green has created such rare and unique universe that Desolation Canyon has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The Green’s whitewater promises soft adventure thrills over 60 fun-filled Class II and III rapids.
 

Calling Desolation Canyon “the ultimate, back-country family river trip,” Jason Taylor, an operations manager who oversees all of Western River Expeditions’ trips in Utah, noted that the five-day program is appropriate for children as young as 5. It’s also a great river trip for extended families and first-time rafters.
 
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2019 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS

Soldier, geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell is an American legend. One-hundred-fifty years ago this year, he and a brave band of men set out from Green River, WY, with a mission to map and log the canyons, tributaries and features of the unexplored Green and Colorado rivers. History tells the amazing tale of adventure, hardship and ultimate success.

In 2019, to honor and celebrate the spirit of that epic journey, Holiday River Expeditions will re-create a portion of Powell’s trip on an 18-day, oar-powered rafting adventure from July 5 to 22. The John Wesley Powell 150th Celebration Trip will retrace Powell’s route through Lodore, Desolation, Gray, Labyrinth, Stillwater and Cataract Canyons in Utah. The 308 miles can be done as a whole, spanning the entire state of Utah, or as one or more of four stand-alone segments.

“This kind of epic, multi-week rafting adventure is rarely offered in this day and age of quick escape vacations. For this season only, it’s our honor to offer guests this voyage back in time offering a true slice of American history through stories and expert insights,“ explains Lauren Wood, Trip Director and granddaughter of company founder, the late Dee Holladay. “While this journey is lengthy, modern equipment and services guarantee it’s nowhere near as arduous and challenging as Powell’s expedition was.”

On each leg of the trip, Holiday River Expeditions has invited a renowned river historian along to help recreate what Powell encountered on his journey via captivating stories and readings.

The full July 5-22 18-day adventure is $3,850 per person (plus Land Use Fee). Included in all four legs of the trip are delicious campfire meals, snacks and beverages, all required equipment, expert guides and shuttle transportation.

4-day Gates of Lodore – Guests begin with Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument, arriving by van from Vernal, UT. The put-in is in Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge where almost immediately some of Powell’s more infamous rapids — Disaster Falls and Hell’s Half Mile — challenge rafters (the Powell party named most all of the rapids and features found here and downstream). Tranquil waters prevail up to the confluence of the Yampa River in Echo Park, named for its incredible acoustics and scenery. Then come the swirling, unpredictable currents Powell dubbed Whirlpool Canyon. The last day in Dinosaur National Monument carries guests into what Powell described as a place where the river stretched out shallow and as wide as the Missouri River.The per person rate for Leg 1 is $1,005 (youth, senior and group rate $885). River historian Roy Webb joins this segment. He has spent his life running the rivers of the western United States and has authored four books and many articles and book reviews, virtually all on the history of river running in Utah. He is a charter member of the Colorado Plateau River Guides Association. 5-day Desolation Canyon includes a 30-minute scenic flight from Green River, UT, to the embarkation point for Desolation Canyon at Sand Wash. Much of Desolation Canyon is a National Historic Landmark established in 1969, the centennial of the Powell expedition. It was selected because it is relatively unchanged from the time of Powell and the place where the most authentic experience can still be had today. As the cliffs’ colors shift dramatically, it is easy to see why Powell named Gray Canyon. Even more eccentric rock towers lead to sporty rapids like Wire Fence, Three Fords and Coal Creek. Mystical seeps in the rock layer bring verdant life to the canyon walls.The per person rate for Leg 2 is $1,180 (youth $980, senior, group $1,085). Dennis Willis, a noted river historian, joins this sector. For 30 years Dennis worked for the BLM’s Price Field Office as the caretaker of Desolation Canyon. He supported and nurtured scientific research in fisheries and hydrology, geology, botany and archaeology. With over 120 Desolation trips logged, it is still his magical, special place.

5-day Labyrinth Canyon brings guests through a rarely visited section of the Green River and into the upper stretches of Labyrinth Canyon that slowly rises up and closes in, moving from alien flat lands of the upper section to breathtaking red-canyon walls with exquisite side stops like Trin Alcove, 10-mile Canyon and Bowknot Bend.The per person rate for Leg 3 is $950. Joining this section is John Weisheit, an active member of the Conservation of Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper of the Waterkeeper Alliance. 5-day Cataract Canyon begins with tranquility on the flat water and in the secret tiered grottoes of Stillwater Canyon. Here signs of Ancestral Puebloan peoples abound. The confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers marks the beginning of Cataract Canyon and the heart of Canyonlands National Park. After few short miles of flat water, from downstream comes an ominous thunder of Powell’s Cataracts – 30-plus rapids. With full chapters written about them, these massive wave-trains and churning holes are an epic crescendo for this extended and historic excursion.

The per person rate for Leg 4 is $1,180 (youth, senior, group $1,040).Weisheit will also provide insight and interpretation along this final leg of the journey.

About Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with 50+ years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity to explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday River Expeditions has a commitment to protect the environment through education and conservation, and as such, uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

Delfin Amazon Cruises Joins Relais & Châteaux

Delfin Amazon Cruises, pioneer of upscale river cruising in the Upper Peruvian Amazon, becomes the first cruise company to join Relais & Châteaux’s iconic portfolio.

Known for its strict admission standards, Relais & Châteaux members must meet the association’s criteria and encompass the following core values: local focus, humanity, sharing, and commitment.

Delfin Amazon Cruises joins the prestigious collection having set the highest standards for impeccable service, stylish design and superb authentic cuisine, in one of the world’s most fascinating and remote locations, the Amazon River. Relais & Châteaux members include over 550 world-class hotels and restaurants spanning the globe, each with a distinct setting, atmosphere and flavor.

“It is a true privilege and honor to become a member of Relais & Châteaux, a brand that is synonymous with quality and that champions the finest hospitality in unique places around the world,” said Aldo Macchiavello, Founder and CEO of Delfin Amazon Cruises. “We are also proud to be recognized for our commitment to upholding the delicate balance at play in our pristine Amazon wilderness through our local community projects and sustainability efforts.”

Founded in early 2006 by husband and wife team, Aldo Macchiavello and Lissy Urteaga, Delfin Amazon Cruises fulfilled a lifelong passion of theirs to run a boutique travel business in their inspiring country, Peru. With the introduction of the exclusive four-suite Delfin I and the launches that followed of the Delfin II and most recently the Delfin III, the company was the first to bring upscale river cruising to the most remote and spectacular tributaries of the Upper Peruvian Amazon. Aligned to Relais & Châteaux’s mission to promote the richness and diversity of the world’s cuisine and traditions of hospitality, Delfin prides itself on its world-class hospitality, combining authentic Peruvian gastronomy and understated luxury aboard uniquely designed vessels that allow guests to explore the Amazon in true style and comfort. The brand has a strong commitment to preserving the rich biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest and works closely with its non-profit partner, The Kuyapa Foundation, which supports local communities and strives to protect Amazonia’s fragile ecosystem for generations to come.

Delfin Amazon Cruises thrives in splendid harmony with nature as guests get to explore one of the world’s most intriguing environments, whether it’s from their adventure skiff, the beautiful decks or outdoor lounger or simply relaxing in their suite with panoramic windows. Authenticity, thoughtfulness and attention to detail is reflected in every element onboard the three stately boutique vessels.

ABOUT DELFIN AMAZON CRUISES
Delfin Amazon Cruises was launched in early 2006 by its founder and CEO, Aldo Macchiavello. The company is the culmination of a dream shared with his wife Lissy Urteaga – to run a boutique travel business that should showcase the natural beauty of their country, Peru. Delfin Amazon Cruises sets the highest standards for impeccable 5-star hospitality, authentic Peruvian design and superb local cuisine. The Delfin I, II and III effortlessly combine comfort and grace with the breathtaking wilderness setting of the Amazon. Each vessel thrives in harmony with nature and their panoramic suites and terraces, offer guests a special “non-cruise” atmosphere with the opportunity to explore one of the world’s most pristine environments. Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, the boutique luxury vessels take guests on 3 and 4-night itineraries into one of the world’s largest protected flooded forests, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Experienced naturalist guides and experts showcase the immense biodiversity of the area with excursions and activities that include (but are not limited to) visits to local villages, kayaking, swimming with pink river dolphins, fishing, daytime hiking and night safaris.

For more information about Delfin Amazon Cruises, please visit www.delfinamazoncruises.com

ABOUT RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX

Established in 1954, Relais & Châteaux is an association of more than 550 landmark hotels and restaurants operated by independent innkeepers, chefs, and owners who share a passion for their businesses and a desire for authenticity in their relationships with their clientele. Relais & Châteaux is established around the globe, from the Napa Valley vineyards and French Provence to the beaches of the Indian Ocean. It offers an introduction to a lifestyle inspired by local culture and a unique dip into human history. Relais & Châteaux members have a driving desire to protect and promote the richness and diversity of the world’s cuisine and traditions of hospitality. They are committed to preserving local heritage and the environment, as encompassed in the Charter presented to UNESCO in November 2014. For more information, please visit www.relaischateaux.com

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum World Masters: Matisse, Picasso, Chagall Bring Visitors to Bilbao, Spain

Over 19 Years Providing Expert Cruise and Travel Planning, Family Owned and Operated Cruises-N-More—Land, River and Ocean Experts at Cruise and Travel Planning

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. According to the cruise specialists at Cruises-N-More, today, most major cruise lines offer cruises to Bilbao. Because many cruise ships cannot navigate the Nervion River into the city center, they dock at the modern cruise terminal about nine miles north of Bilbao and shore excursions depart from there.

Chartered in 1300 along the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao grew slowly but steadily with a strong economic base built on shipbuilding, steel and chemical industries. At the beginning of the 20th century, Bilbao was said to be the wealthiest city in Spain. Then the steel and shipbuilding industry floundered and industrial decline set in, Bilbao was hit with a deep economic crisis. The once-bustling waterfront became derelict in what could have been known as a death blow, but Bilbao turned the tide with the Guggenheim, which became in important cultural facility.

Opened in October 1997, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was designed by Frank Geary and cost an amazing 130 million Euros paid for by the Basque government. Geary liked that it was next to the river, and sometimes it is said the river is the reason Bilbao exists.

The result is an eye-popping shimmer of titanium, glass and limestone that looks like a magnificent winged ship sailing down the old port. The museum exterior is dazzling as is the artwork surrounding it. The entrance is guarded by an iconic Puppy floral sculpture, created by Jeff Koons. The 43-foot-tall living plant creation was modeled after a West Highland terrier and changes according to the time of year and the blooming plants, including colorful marigolds, begonias, impatiens, petunias, and lobelias.

Guggenheim is home to art by world masters. Inside the Guggenheim are soaring outer galleries plus a suite of 10 galleries in the building’s core that house a permanent collection of works by world masters like Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, Paul Klee and Roy Lichtenstein. The structure was created to make maximum use of natural light.

Bilbao and the Guggenheim are a great destination to visit.

A sampling of cruise lines ships and sailings that visit Bilbao, Spain, where the Guggenheim Bilbao makes for a memorable visit are shown below:

• AmaWaterways, AmaDolce 14-night Taste of Bordeaux, Bilbao to Paris

• Azamara Club Cruises, Azamara Journey 11-night Wine & Romance Voyage starting in Southampton

• Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Eclipse 12-night Iberian Peninsula Cruise starting in Amsterdam

• Crystal Cruises, Crystal Serenity 26-night Explorer Combination, starting in Stockholm

• Cunard Line, Queen Elizabeth 7-night Voyage Q819 Spain and France roundtrip from Southampton

• MSC Cruises, MSC Magnifica 11-night starting from Hamburg, Germany

• Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Jade      9-night France & Iberia from Southampton

• Oceania Cruises, Oceania Insignia World Cruise roundtrip New York

• Princess Cruises, Crown Princess 15-night Western Europe Passage from Fort Lauderdale

• Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seven Seas Explorer      16-night Barcelona to London

• Seabourn, Seabourn Ovation 14-night Vintage Europe, starting in Lisbon

• Silversea Cruises, Silver Cloud Expedition 12-night sailing 1809 Lisbon to London

• Windstar Cruises, Star Breeze 12-night London to Lisbon

For more information about cruises that visit Bilbao, contact Cruises-N-More. Cruises-N-More offers select benefits for our clients and has over 19 years of dedicated service in the travel industry. To work with Cruises-N-More, a Travel Leaders Group President’s Club and Inner Circle top agency, please contact a Cruises-N-More cruise specialist at 800-733-2048 (toll-free USA/Canada), 0-808-189-1292 (toll-free U.K.), 800-076-002 (toll-free Australia) or +1-407-771-4454.

Bilbao, Spain, and Guggenheim information courtesy Jackie Sheckler Finch.

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About Cruises-N-More

Family owned and operated, with over 19 years of dedicated service in the travel industry, Cruises-N-More offers respected expertise and superior deals, prices and amenities and consistently ranks among top producers with the major cruise lines.

A member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) and endorsed by IATAN (International Airline Travel Agent Network), Cruises-N-More is proud to be a Travel Leaders Group President’s Club and Inner Circle top agency. Cruises-N-More has received many cruise line awards and recognition, including Regent Seven Seas Cruises Council Member and Top Producer; Princess Cruises Gold I-Excel Agency; Royal Caribbean International & Celebrity Cruises Online Agency of the Year/Key Account; Carnival Cruise Line Top Agency & Select Agency; Norwegian Cruise Line President’s Club Agency; Holland America Line Centurion & Premium Preferred Agency; Top Producer for Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises.

Cruises-N-More has been featured in USA Today and Frommer’s “Cruises for Dummies” as having great cruise prices, has been ranked by MSNBC as a top web broker and was recently featured as a great source of Caribbean travel package cruise tours on TravelVacationDream.com.

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Dark Sky Movement

Once monthly from May through October Holiday River Expeditions (http://www.bikeraft.com/) shares the mystery and romance of the Dark Sky with star-struck guests who are participating in one of this veteran travel company’s 2018 Stargazing adventures.

“It’s easy to get excited about this special trip series. Seeing how it has deepened our guests’ understanding and our guides’ awareness of the night sky is reason enough to offer these trips,” said Lauren Wood, Holiday Trip Director. “The inexplicable boundlessness you feel staring up at the stars is just a bonus.”

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EAU CLAIRE

 

Eau Claire, Wis., has been owning its role in bringing an indie sensibility to the Midwest for several years now, with music, art, culinary and recreation offerings drawing favorable comparisons to a young Austin or mini Portland. For 2018, this university city situated at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers in the northwest part of the state brings it, with new businesses and events that will appeal to travelers with a similar independent spirit and penchant for the original, artful and playful. For more travel ideas and sample itineraries, log on to the official tourism website, www.VisitEauClaire.com.

Brand New for 2018

Artisan Forge Studios Expansion: Home to nearly 40 artisans, this artists’ guild, led by metalworks master Greg Johnson, recently added 16,000 square foot to its already 20,000 square foot garage-like space, with the addition filling up quickly with artists and businesses including a potter’s studio, a bike remixer who creates art out of old bikes, and a pop-up coffee shop to fuel all that creativity. One of the existing tenants, Eco Urban Timber, is introducing its first urban wood furniture line in 2018, reclaiming beautiful quirky urban wood and giving it new life as furniture. Outdoors, there will be a full courtyard experience for large-scale art installations and community gatherings. Artisan Forge Studios hosts events all year long, including Uptown Art Jams, artisan markets, outdoor muralist creations, and album release parties.

Confluence Arts Center to Open: The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, in collaboration with the entire community, will be opening its Confluence Arts Center in late 2018. This center will include a 1,200‐seat theatre and a flexible 400-seat theatre; visual arts studio and galleries; and labs for sound, lighting, set design, recording arts, and costume design. It will also be the new home for Visit Eau Claire’s interactive visitor center, located on the first floor.   

Mash-up of Coffee and Gears at Shift Cyclery: This full-service bicycle repair shop in downtown Eau Claire happily coexists with Soul Brewed Coffee Roasters. Get your necessary intake of caffeine at the craft coffee bar while your bike is tuned up.

Run to Blue Ox Running: Serious runners will appreciate that this specialty retailer in downtown Eau Claire is operated by two UW-Eau Claire alum who met when running cross country and track at the university.

Try Aerial Yoga at Sky Yoga: Yet another downtown business, this one is a yoga studio offering a variety of drop-in classes including aerial yoga, barre, strength and toning, and more. They even have classes for young yogis.

Candlewood Suites Caters to Extended Stay: Scheduled to open in fall 2018 on the city’s far south side, the Candlewood Suites Hotel will have 81 suites well suited for business travelers on extended stay. Guests will have access to 24-hour laundry facilities and a gym.

Pop-Up Shop Style

Tangled Up in Hue: Known for hosting pop-up artist showings, meet the maker events, and classes, this art collective supporting more than 100 artists will have a full event calendar for 2018.

Red’s Mercantile: This women’s lifestyle shop is planning a variety of group workshops for the coming year, like a clay bowl workshop during which participants create their own bowl for keeping jewelry and keepsakes safe, and a “learn how to make bath salts” workshop with attendees leaving with some Zen -inducing salts to take home.

The Local Store: The goods at this shop are either made locally or evoke a sense of place in the Chippewa Valley. Look for an expanded schedule of in-house events including night markets, meet the maker nights, author book readings, and film screenings.

For Those Who Live for Live Music

Chippewa Valley Blues Society: This group is responsible for the wildly popular Tuesday Night Blues concerts, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018. This is the only free concert series in Eau Claire, and the show goes on rain or shine at the bandshell in Owen Park. Crowds of upwards of 2,000 music lovers are not unusual.  

Chippewa Valley Music Festivals: This group puts on Rock Fest, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. Along with the live music, festival goers flock to the more than 7,000 campsites for their overnight digs. Set for July 12-14 in nearby Cadott.

The Master Singers: This is also the silver anniversary for this choral ensemble which presents seven performances each season. Over its 25-year history, more than 240 area musicians have performed with this group.

Revival Records: Each year this vinyl shop commissions an artist to create an original poster for sale exclusively on National Record Store Day, which celebrates the culture of indie record stores. In 2018, it’s April 21. Ask the store staff and they’ll even play your favorite album while you shop. The owners plan to add more live music events to the in-store schedule for the coming year as well.

For Foodies

Forage at Banbury Place: Aspiring home chefs and those who aspire to a career in culinary can both find a place at the table at Forage cooking classes. They also have a “Little Hands” class for kids. Check their calendar for meal events too, like pop-up Saturday brunches and food and wine pairing dinners.

430 Water Street: The owners of Mona Lisa’s, representing the finest of fine dining in the area, jumped at the chance to occupy the space next door upon learning it would become available in 2018. Look for a combo food/drinks/shopping experience, with a spring wine fling in April to kick things off.

The Nucleus: This bistro-style eatery is so popular that people line up outside waiting for the door to open for breakfast. In addition to their a.m. and lunch offerings Wednesday through Sunday, The Nucleus is now open for dinner and wine Thursday through Saturday.

The Lakely at The Oxbow Hotel: Look for full new line-up of food and music pairings in the Lakely Limited Series. The culinary team here is also planning Wandering Spirits craft cocktail demos and cooking classes with Chef Nathan Berg. 

Cowboy Jack’s: Just opened in June 2017 in neighboring Altoona, this restaurant gained a fast following thanks to its menu of handcrafted burgers and BBQ entrees paired with live music that leans country. In 2018 they’ll be enclosing part of their outdoor patio so patrons can enjoy views to the Eau Claire River in the winter months too.

Wagner’s Lanes: It may sound like a broken record, but this place is popular for its food and music pairings too, with concerts regularly selling out. For 2018 they’re building a new bar and restaurant area. Patrons can burn off the calories playing the lawn game Kubb, bowling, or playing indoor sand volleyball under a bubble.

A Decade for The Livery: Come 2018, the culinary team at The Livery restaurant will be celebrating a decade of serving up modern comfort food. This eatery in downtown Eau Claire’s North Barstow District is housed in a historic building that once served as a livery in the 1880s, later evolving from the horse transportation trade to life as an auto garage at one point as well.

 

 

Beer, Wine and Spirits

Brewing Projekt: This craft brewery opened its taproom in April 2015 and within two years outgrew its space at 2000 N. Oxford Ave, so it scoped out larger digs and found just what it was looking for across the street in the much larger 1807 N. Oxford building. The brewery has just settled in to its new space which now includes riverfront seating. In the spring, they’ll set up Kubb lawn games and feature food trucks too. The owners source ingredients locally whenever they can, including maple syrup and honey.

River Bend Vineyard & Winery: Husband and wife owners will be releasing their first ever Pinot Noir in fall 2018. Visitors to this winery in nearby Chippewa Falls can also enjoy live music events and partake of wood-fired pizza. They also have a “grain-to-glass” distillery operation, with 100% Wisconsin-grown vodka, a white whiskey ideal for summer sipping, and a gin derived from grapes.

Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery: What makes this winery unique is its urban location. The owner sources ingredients from around the country, supporting American growers and suppliers. Look for a new array of “Experimentals,” wines and spirits made in extremely small batches, to be available exclusively in their Tasting Lounge, including a Wisconsin Spirit made from products the state is famous for including cranberries, cherries, dairy, maple syrup, and grain. Most recent releases included an apple malt whiskey and a sassafras chardonnay.

Arts, Culture and Film

Hmong New Year’s Celebration:  Immerse yourself in authentic Hmong culture during the 30th annual Hmong New Year’s Celebration Nov. 10-11, 2018. There will music and dance performances, a traditional “pov pob” ball toss competition, crafts, and food.

Downtown Sculpture Tour: This sidewalk sculpture tour in downtown Eau Claire is brand new beginning every May, with some three dozen sculptures revealed at that time. Visitors and residents may cast their vote for their favorite sculpture, with the winning sculpture purchased by the city for permanent display.

Micon Cinema: The Micon’s Downtown Budget Cinema is getting reserved seating following a recent remodeling. This downtown landmark, built in 1946, hosted the first-ever Eau Claire World Film Fest in fall 2017, as well as the first Midwest Weird Fest, an independent film fest that honors the horror genre.

City of Bridges

Downtown Eau Claire: The downtown district group gets credit for the river lights at Phoenix Park that will now recognize major holidays with different light shows for each holiday. In addition, the organization is spearheading re-decking, widening and general beautification of Grand Avenue Footbridge in 2018. Staying with the bridge theme, the new Haymarket Plaza at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers and adjoining pedestrian bridge will open in 2018.

Carson Park Drive Bridge Spruce-up: The bridge leading in to Carson Park from the historic Randall Park neighborhood and crossing Half Moon Lake has been widened and enhanced for the hiker and biker. The newly-christened bridge has multi-use trails along both sides plus bike lanes, and it now connects with the Chippewa River State Trail. This new causeway also includes ADA accessible fishing piers. Once inside the grounds, families with young children will love the all-new playground equipment in Carson Park.

Chippewa River Water Trail: A new trail map of the Chippewa River, with emphasis on downtown kayak, canoe and tubing put-ins and safe navigation along a four-mile urban route, is available online and at the city’s visitor center. The map also points out historical reminders of the area’s lumber era found along the way.   

Sports Report

Eau Claire Marathon: During the weekend of May 5-6,2018, runners will take to streets and bridges for the 10thannual Eau Claire Marathon, a Boston Marathon qualifying race. There’s also a half and relay, along with a 5K run/walk. All races start and finish in Carson Park.

National Beep Baseball Association World Series: The world series of baseball for the blind and visually impaired comes to Wisconsin for the first time. This competition for ages 15-45 takes place at the Eau Claire Soccer Park, July 31-Aug. 4.

2018 USA Curling College Championship: The season-ender college curling championship will be held in Eau Claire in 2018, with the Eau Claire County Expo Center, home of the Eau Claire Curling Club, the host facility. The competition takes place March 9-11.

Eau Claire Express Baseball: This collegiate summer baseball team, part of the Northwoods League, is looking to spruce up its facility at Carson Park with artificial turf, expanded restroom and concession areas, improved handicap accessibility, and permanent stadium seating. They’re hoping to break ground in 2018 once fundraising wraps up.

First Full Year

Metropolis Resort started “Airobics” classes in its new trampoline park in 2017 and the craze has taken off. They also installed an outdoor motorized zipline that takes riders in reverse for 700 feet before bringing them back down to the starting point.

Ramone’s old-fashioned ice cream parlor opened in summer 2017, with lovers of the frozen treat gobbling up gallons of specialty flavors with names like Superman, Fat Elvis, and a caffeinated Iced Latte-Da. This family-run business is also big on giving back to the community, with a “tip jar” program that has employees choosing the charity they’d like to donate to.

River Prairie Park and Development is located in neighboring Altoona on a bend of the Eau Claire River, and has quickly become a destination for kayakers and canoers eager to take off on a river adventure from the landing there. There’s also an amphitheater where local musicians perform and a pet-friendly trail system. Three event spaces for rent, with the largest able to accommodate 250, feature an indoor/outdoor bar and double-sided fireplace. This mixed-use development also includes shops, a hotel, and restaurants.  

The Chippewa Off Road Bike Association – CORBA, for short – test drove, so to speak, a CORBA Kids program in 2017, and it was such a success they’re growing it for 2018. This introduction to mountain biking is both free and fun, with an expanded series of events and rides planned for “kids and their keepers.” The volunteers who run CORBA describes themselves as “advocates to be outside and to make the outside a better place.” 

For up-to-date information on these businesses plus a calendar of events, log on to www.VisitEauClaire.com.

 

About Visit Eau Claire

Visit Eau Claire is the area’s official tourism marketing organization with a role to better the city for all who live, work, study and play here and a mission to bring visitors to the area. With encouragement and support from Visit Eau Claire and benefiting greatly from the independent spirit of those who call the community home, this northern Wisconsin university city is making a name for itself as a creative hub with a hip and homegrown music and arts scene and a robust entrepreneurial culture. This city of bridges sits at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, a breathtaking backdrop that inspires originality and encourages a love of outdoors at every turn. Midwest indie? Yes, really.

 

# # #

Visit Eau Claire • 4319 Jeffers Road • Eau Claire, WI 54703


888.523.3866 • 715.831.2345 • info@visiteauclaire.com• www.VisitEauClaire.com

BISHOP BRIGGS RELEASES NEW VIDEO FOR “DREAM”!

BISHOP BRIGGS RELEASESNEW VIDEO FOR “DREAM”!

SET TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN SPRING 2018

TOURING WITH ALT-J AND BLEACHERS

WATCH/SHARE “DREAM”VIDEO HERE

LISTEN TO “DREAM” HERE

Teleport/Island Records artistBishop Briggs, whose massive RIAA-certified gold single “River” amassedover 40 million global streams and soared to #3 on the Alternative chart, releases her new video for her single“Dream” today! Directed by Dano Cerny (credits: The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” featuring Halsey, Elle King’s “Good Girls”, and many more) and shot on location in Los Angeles, the Wes Anderson-inspired video follows Bishop through a never-ending dream where she finds the strength to overcome depth and darkness. Watch the official video for “Dream”here. “Dream” will be included on Bishop’s highly anticipated debut album, due in Spring 2018.

“I’m really proud of this music video. I feel like Dano very fearlessly dove into the mindset of a dream sequence; full of characters and haunting visuals. It was really important that “Dream” kept the balance of strength and total vulnerability – which was my exact headspace when it was being written. It’s a rare moment when you truly feel that the visual matches the words you’ve written on the paper but I think Dano proves that there can be perfect harmony between the worlds.” – Bishop Briggs

Affirming her exploding fan base, Bishop’s 10-week tour, including opening dates with alt-J andBleachers, will hit multiple return bookings (at separate venues) along the way, before wrapping up at the Fillmore in Philadelphia (November 16th), the House of Blues in Boston (November 17th), Terminal 5 in New York (November 20th), and Brooklyn Steel (November 21st), the latter dates all opening for Bleachers. Fora full tour itinerary, info on tickets and unique, limited VIP Tour Experiences, go to http://bishopbriggs.com/tour.

About Bishop Briggs:
Born in London to Scottish parents, Bishop Briggs grew up in Japan and Hong Kong. Days after graduating high school, she moved to Los Angeles where, after years of performing at any venue that would have her, she was discovered in a small hole-in-the-wall by a former-A&R rep and the rest was history. The music of Bishop Briggs transcends the limitations of singular genres, blending folk, pop and electronic music into a wholly unique sound. Her debut track “Wild Horses” reached #1 on Spotify’s US Viral Chart and #2 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 charts, with airplay on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation, Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Show and a prized spot in Acura’s 2016 TLX and ESPN’s NFL Playoffs ads. She followed up with RIAA-certified gold single, “River,” a searing and cathartic track that has captured the attention of tastemakers and gatekeepers and rose to #3 on the Alternative chart with over 40 million global streams. Fresh off her sold out debut headlining tour, her critically acclaimed self-titled Bishop Briggs EP release, and live performance opening slots for Coldplay, Kaleo and alt-J, Bishop Briggs is one of 2017’s biggest breakout artists. She has performed on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (watch that performance HERE), NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers (watch that performance HERE), TBS’ Conan, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! (watch that performance with Cold War KidsHERE).

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