My mother's 80th birthday is in July. She has traveled extensively; however, she is now somewhat afraid of traveling overseas. My father passed away three years ago and I am an only child. I want to make this birthday a very special one. Any suggestions? I need a location that is not physically demanding. She cannot walk for an extended time. Several years ago we went to Italy on an extended tour, which was fantastic.
-J. Dunn, Atlanta, Ga.
European Tours: On a "Grand European Tour," cruise the renowned rivers of the Danube, Maine, and Rhine from Amsterdam to Budapest. Along the way, guests will enjoy panoramic views of Holland's tulip-covered fields, Germany's towering castles, and Austria's vineyards in the Wachau valley.
During the 15-day journey through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, you will also have the chance to join city tours through Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. For a taste of the local culture, guests will enjoy the glassblowing demonstration of Lorelei on the ship and the classical music of Mozart. Rates start at $3,097 per person. To find information on pricing and dates, visit vikingcruises.com.
Egypt Tours: Take a private tour through Egypt, visiting the ancient pyramids, the Nile River, Luxor's tombs and temples, and Cairo’s markets, rich with history and culture.
On the distinct tour of Egypt, guests have their own expert guide and vehicle that will reveal many of this ancient nation’s treasures. They can begin whenever they would like and modify the itinerary to their hearts' desire. This 9-day adventure of private luxury through Egypt, called "Egypt Signature," starts at $3,152 per person, from now until the end of this year. For more details, visit www.kensingtontours.com.
Australia Tours: Travel through the outback and catch sights of the Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola, Wilpena Pound, Birdsville Track, Queensland, and New South Wales. This 16-day excursion allows guests to get the most out of Australia's national parks, with lessons on the country's culture and history.
The trip is adequately paced for older tourists, and group tours have a limited number of travelers. Scottsdale Tours, which runs the trip down under, specializes in fully escorted vacations for seniors. Rates for the Australian tour start at $4,750 per person.
The company welcomes late bookings and requires a $100 deposit. Scottsdale also offers New Zealand Adventures. For more information on prices and dates, visit www.scottsdaletours.co.nz.