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Ted Blank

Stillwater, Minnesota Travel Agent
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Ted Blank

Ted Blank

Stillwater, Minnesota Travel Agent
A Full-Service Travel Leaders Associate Agency
29 Reviews | 100% Recommended
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All My Travel Experiences

Along the Rhine River in Germany

An Incredible Voyage along the Rhine River

With their fabulous rooftop pools, jacuzzies, and wellness programs—plus their exquisite cuisine and delicious cocktail drinks available around-the-clock—it’s tempting to many to never leave your river cruise ship. But as tempting as that sounds, the main reason travelers chose a river cruise is because of the adventure – the amazing, breathtaking... Read more from my An Incredible Voyage along the Rhine River story.

Enjoy an authentic Italian cappuccino!

The Magic of Italy

Italy packs quite a punch.  History, art, food and wine...and more - Italy has it all.  Are you considering visiting or revisiting Italy?  Learn about some not-to-be-missed sights and personalized experiences where you can indulge in La Dolce Vita of Italy!

ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

Your travel journey to Italy should lead you... Read more from my The Magic of Italy story.

Michelangelo's Pieta in the Vatican

On the Trail of Michelangelo in Italy

One of the things I most enjoy about traveling in Europe is the opportunity to see history in person.  From sites of huge historic significance, like the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy or the Castle Church in Wittenberg where Martin Luther first posted his 95 Theses, to places perhaps almost forgotten,... Read more from my On the Trail of Michelangelo in Italy story.

Valencia Cathedral in Spain

In Search of the Holy Grail

Sometimes, the best laid travel plans can go awry, which in a roundabout way led me to embark on a quest to visit the Holy Grail.  I don't pretend to be Indiana Jones, so this is quest that you too can embark on!

Political events can impact travel plans.  In the midst... Read more from my In Search of the Holy Grail story.

Welcome to Juneau!

Alaska is Calling. Will You Answer?

Wild and untamed, Alaska is like nowhere else on earth. Perfect for adventurers and armchair enthusiasts alike, there is simply no better way than to experience the Last Frontier than on a luxury cruise. Have an up close and personal encounter with a glacier, board a seaplane for an unforgettable flight,... Read more from my Alaska is Calling. Will You Answer? story.

Panoramic View of an Alaskan Glacier

Five Surprises on an Alaskan Cruise

Although Alaska has been part of the United States for over one hundred years, it is still a world apart.  Glaciers, wildlife, native culture, wide open spaces, and countless opportunities to bask in its stunning natural beauty make our fiftieth state a must visit.

Here are five things that surprised me on... Read more from my Five Surprises on an Alaskan Cruise story.

Tall Ship Royal Clipper at Anchor

The Magic of a Tall Ship Cruise

Imagine exploring the most beautiful parts of the world on an authentic tall ship cruise.  A memory of the distant pass?  Nights spent in a teeny cabin?  Absolutely not! 

Today, sailing enthusiasts, passionate explorers, or the curious traveler can embrace the romance of sailing the world's oceans and marry it with all... Read more from my The Magic of a Tall Ship Cruise story.

One of Greece's Beautiful Islands

Transform Your Next Trip into an Extraordinary One

None of us ever seems to have quite enough time to travel as much as we’d like.  Time always seems to be against us, whether it comes in the form of professional responsibilities or personal or family commitments.  Americans in particular seem particularly prone to this affliction, with study after study... Read more from my Transform Your Next Trip into an Extraordinary One story.

Tallinn, Estonia in the Baltic Sea

Tallinn, Estonia - A Baltic Gem

When the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980’s, the small Baltic Sea nation of Estonia regained its independence.  The Estonian capital city of Tallinn is a vibrant, easily discoverable highlight of a Baltic Sea cruise, offering a unique mix of history, architecture, and a unique culture.  I enjoyed a pleasant... Read more from my Tallinn, Estonia - A Baltic Gem story.

View of Mount McKinley, Denali Park, Alaska

When is the best time to visit Alaska?

I’m often asked the question “when is the best time to visit Alaska?”  Like many travel-related questions, the answer is “it depends.”  But, here are some things to consider as you think about visiting Alaska.

Alaska’s main tourist season runs from mid-May through early October.  Peak visit times are mid-June though mid-August,... Read more from my When is the best time to visit Alaska? story.

Set sail for a world cruise

Four Myths about World Cruises

Four Myths about World Cruises

Does the idea of circling the globe for three to four months on a luxury cruise ship sound like your idea of the journey of a lifetime?  Or, does it sound more like something that would never work for you?  Since Phileas Fogg traveled Around the World... Read more from my Four Myths about World Cruises story.

Windstar Cruises Caribbean Sunset

A Different Kind of Caribbean

The islands of the Caribbean are a popular winter vacation destination.  Warm sun, great beaches, and a diverse, vibrant culture put this region at the top of many people's vacation list.  Unfortunately, some islands in the Caribbean are suffering from serious overtourism, leading to crowds, a degraded visitor experience, and threats... Read more from my A Different Kind of Caribbean story.

Alaskan Cruise Ships in Skagway

Which Alaskan Cruise is Right for Me?

Alaska’s glaciers, mountains, and wildlife – as well as its quirky, authentic culture – beckon the with experiences and sights not available anywhere else in the world.  In Alaska, you can watch part of a glacier beak off and crash into the sea, followed several seconds later by a thunderous boom.... Read more from my Which Alaskan Cruise is Right for Me? story.

Cunard's Magical Queen Mary 2

Crossing the Atlantic in Style on Queen Mary 2

In 1840, the first Cunard liner – Britannia – crossed the Atlantic Ocean from England to the United States.  Since then, millions have crossed the ocean by ship.  With the dawn of the jet age in the 1950’s, crossing by ship was no longer the only way to cross, and the... Read more from my Crossing the Atlantic in Style on Queen Mary 2 story.

Morning on a French Canal Barge

An Introduction to French Canal Barge Cruising

A relaxing cruise along France’s hidden waterways is a unique way of discovering the authentic France, away from the crowds and at a civilized pace.  Originally built to move cargo before the advent of the railroad, France’s inland canals today are peaceful, serene passages through the countryside where the fortunate traveler... Read more from my An Introduction to French Canal Barge Cruising story.

Afternoon Tea on the Queen Mary 2

You'll Feel Special on a Cunard Luxury Cruise

If you’ve spent some time investigating cruises, you’ll quickly discover that the word “luxury” is perhaps the most overused word in the travel industry.  I’ve yet to find a somewhat upscale cruise line that doesn’t define itself as a luxury brand, yet, luxury is such a subjective term that it’s almost... Read more from my You'll Feel Special on a Cunard Luxury Cruise story.

Osborne House, Queen Victoria's Vacation Home

In Queen Victoria's Footsteps

Britain’s Queen Victoria, who died in 1901, exerts a powerful influence on the world’s imagination and historical consciousness today.  She lent her name to the Victorian Era, has been the subject of recent movies like Victoria and Abdul (starring one of my favorite actresses, Dame Judi Dench), and is still celebrated... Read more from my In Queen Victoria's Footsteps story.

St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Two Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

A luxury cruise is a great way to discover the beauty and history of Europe’s Baltic Sea region.  I recently had the opportunity to cruise the Baltic Sea on Cunard’s luxurious Queen Elizabeth, visiting a variety of ports in seven countries during my two-week cruise.  By far, the highlight was the... Read more from my Two Days in St. Petersburg, Russia story.

A Vineyard along the Columbia River

The Best Cruises for Wine Aficianados

Whether you are a seasoned wine aficionado, with a taste for the finest wines or newest discoveries, or simply want to learn more about the culture and traditions of winemaking while sipping a glass or two, you’re part of a growing trend of travelers who enjoy incorporating wine-related experiences into their... Read more from my The Best Cruises for Wine Aficianados story.

A beautiful sandy beach on the island of Symi.

The Serene Islands of the Greek Aegean

Whether you're looking for unspoiled sandy beaches, unhurried island life, distinctive luxury, or unique history and culture, Greece's 230 inhabited islands - and nearly 6,000 uninhabited ones - offer something for every traveler.  I recently enjoyed the opportunity to spend a week exploring the islands of the southern Aegean, including the... Read more from my The Serene Islands of the Greek Aegean story.

Fallot Mustard Factory in Beaune, Burgundy

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

I hate mustard.  If there’s one item on a menu guaranteed to get me to choose something else, it’s anything with mustard as an ingredient.  You could not pay me to eat mustard on a sandwich.  Do you love mustard?  Let’s agree to disagree! 

Yet, mustard – and a mustard tasting event... Read more from my Step Outside Your Comfort Zone story.

What's on Your Bucket List?

What's on My Bucket List?

According to a recent survey conducted by AARP, travel is the top aspiration of Americans of all ages. Whether Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen Xers, or folks – like me – who fall somewhere in between, the average person has eight destinations or travel experiences on their bucket list. And, let’s be... Read more from my What's on My Bucket List? story.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

Luxury Cruise Review: Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

I recently returned from a two week European cruise on Cunard's luxury liner Queen Elizabeth.  In this blog post, I'll cover a few of the highlights that made this cruise one of my top travel experiences.

First, the Queen Elizabeth far exceeded my expectations when it came to food.  The world gourmet... Read more from my Luxury Cruise Review: Cunard's Queen Elizabeth story.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

Is a World Cruise for Me?

Does the idea of circling the globe for four months on a luxury cruise ship sound like your idea of the journey of a lifetime?  For many travelers, myself included, a world cruise is a definite must-do on life’s bucket list.  For others, though, the idea of a world cruise can... Read more from my Is a World Cruise for Me? story.

No Crowds in Sight!

What's New at Sea?

Cruising is one of the most popular types of vacations for Americans. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, over 12 million Americans have cruised during the last decade. Some cruise lines boast a repeat factor of over 90 percent, meaning that once guests have traveled with them, they come back... Read more from my What's New at Sea? story.

Luxury River Cruise Along the Rhine

An Introduction to River Cruises

Have you dreamed of gliding along Germany’s Rhine River, admiring the castles and medieval cities? How about sipping a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir as you follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark on the Columbia River? Or, for the more adventurous, discovering the magic of the Temples of Angkor... Read more from my An Introduction to River Cruises story.

Gate of Heavenly Peace, Forbidden City, Beijing

China's Many Faces

China.  An emerging Asian superpower.  One of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet with some of the poorest people.  A Communist nation that has embraced capitalism, with bustling cities full of modern skyscrapers.  A deeply traditional nation that reveres its past yet worships progress and newness.  These are just some... Read more from my China's Many Faces story.

An UnCruise on the Columbia River

Rollin' on the River with UnCruise Adventures!

UnCruise Adventures offers small ship cruises focused on adventure, wildlife, and culture.  Each year, they offer several wine tasting cruises along the Columbia River on their SS Legacy, a reproduction coastal steamer.  I enjoyed one of these cruises, sailing from Portland, Oregon along the Columbia and Snake River system.

The UnCruise visited... Read more from my Rollin' on the River with UnCruise Adventures! story.

Travel enriches!

The Only Thing You Buy That Makes You Richer

It struck me during my annual spring cleaning that I had too much stuff. That extra crock pot, a great deal, sits untouched five years later. I’m not sure where I ever thought I’d put that (admittedly very cool) lamp, and I have enough dress socks to last a lifetime or... Read more from my The Only Thing You Buy That Makes You Richer story.

A view of the Canal du Midi in Southern France.

Exploring Southern France by Luxury Hotel Barge

Southern France - the regions of Occitaine, Provence, and the Cote d'Azur - offer the best of French food and wine combined with a lovely Mediterranean climate, fascinating history, and charming local atmosphere.  Luxury cruises by hotel barge along the Canal du Midi offer the best way to discover this lovely... Read more from my Exploring Southern France by Luxury Hotel Barge story.

At Sea with Star Clippers

Royal Clipper Mediterranean Cruise

When you take a small ship cruise, you have the opportunity to explore ports and regions that are too small for the mega ships. 

I had the opportunity to travel on the Star Clippers tall ship "Royal Clipper" in the Mediterranean, visiting ports in Spain and France.  With a capacity of fewer... Read more from my Royal Clipper Mediterranean Cruise story.

Gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice

Milan and Venice, Italy

Located in northern Italy, Venice and Milan offer a contrasting perspective on this charming Mediterranean nation. 

Venice is a maritime city of canals, bridges, gondolas, as well as the quieter Lagoon Islands.  Venice is best explored on foot, where different perspectives unfold around every corner as narrow passages open onto beautiful courtyards... Read more from my Milan and Venice, Italy story.

Barging along the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy

Barging in Burgundy

Famous for its vineyards, fine cheeses, handcrafted mustards, charming chateaux, and  gourmet food, the Burgundy region of France is easily accessible from Paris, yet is a quiet world apart.  The best way to discover this area is from the deck of a hotel barge on one of its canals, as I... Read more from my Barging in Burgundy story.

Greek Flag at the Acropolis in Athens

September in the Eastern Mediterranean

Blessed with azure seas, centuries of history, delightful cuisine, and sun, the eastern Mediterranean hits all the right notes for me.  I enjoyed a two week cruise from Italy through the Greek Isles, Turkey, and Croatia before returning to the port of Venice.

Along the way, I discovered amazing places, like the... Read more from my September in the Eastern Mediterranean story.

Castles along the Scenic Rhine River Cruise

Rhine River Cruise

A river cruise along the Rhine River combines scenery, culture, history, and fine cuisine. It's a great way to experience Europe in luxury, making the most of your time on the continent.  Along the way, you'll enjoy castles and villages, history and culture, and a change to discover the local beers,... Read more from my Rhine River Cruise story.

Mount McKinley from the Air

Alaska Cruise and Denali

Alaska has it all - glaciers, wildlife, amazing national parks, quirky locals, and plenty of fresh seafood. I traveled with my family, ranging in age from 4 to 73 for a two week Inside Passage cruise and a scenic railroad journey to Alaska's heart, Denali National Park. Along the way, we... Read more from my Alaska Cruise and Denali story.

View from the stern of Croatian Coastal Cruise

Croatian Coastal Cruise & Bosnia

Croatia is one of Europe's hidden gems. Blessed with a great climate, crystal clear waters, a burgeoning wine industry, and miles of undeveloped beaches, a visit to Croatia offers something for everyone! Croatia is also a great add-on to an Italian vacation or Mediterranean cruise.

I had the opportunity to spend two... Read more from my Croatian Coastal Cruise & Bosnia story.

All My Travel Albums

Fountain in the Parque de Maria Luisa, Seville
Beautiful Seville, Spain
The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Rome, Italy
On the Trail of Michelangelo in Rome, Italy
The Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
In Search of the Holy Grail
There's lots of wildlife in Alaska!
Five Surprises on an Alaskan Cruise
Under sail on a tall ship cruise
Onboard a Tall Ship Cruise
Riquewehr, France near the Rhine River
A Day in Alsace, France on a Rhine River Cruise
Windmills near Amsterdam
Amsterdam: A Great Place to Start a River Cruise
Beautiful Caribbean Sunset - Windstar Cruises
Yachtsman's Caribbean by Small Ship
White Pass & Yukon Railroad, Skagway, Alaska
A Day in Skagway, Alaska
Cathedral of Notre Dame de Strasbourg
A Day in Strasbourg, France
Dining with a view
Seeking the Harmony of Terroir
Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2
Crossing the Atlantic in Style - by Ship
Dining room on a French Canal Barge
An Introduction to French Canal Barge Cruising
Canal barging is an authentic French experience
By Barge Along the Nivernais Canal in France
Onboard Queen Mary 2
You'll Feel Special on a Cunard Luxury Cruise
Queen Victoria's desk at Osborne House
In Queen Victoria’s Footsteps
One of the many canals in St. Petersburg.
Two Days in St. Petersburg, Russia
Alcobaca Monastery in Portugal
Views of Portugal
A lovely beach on the Greek Island of Symi.
Escape from It All in Greece
The Queen's Room with Nightly Dancing
Unmatched Style and Discovery on Queen Elizabeth
Deluxe cabin on UnCruise Adventures' SS Legacy
Rollin' on the River with UnCruise Adventures
A quiet tropical park in Hong Kong
China!
Comfortable accommodations on a French hotel barge
Exploring Southern France by Luxury Barge
What a great place for a glass of wine!
Royal Clipper Mediterranean Cruise
La Scala Theater in Milan
Venice and Milan, Italy
Hotel barge Luciolle on the Canal du Nivernais
Barging in Burgundy
Beautiful Korcula in Croatia
September Cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean
The Canals of Amsterdam
Rhine River Cruise
Totem Pole Museum in Ketchikan
Alaska Inside Passage and Denali
Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo
Croatian Coastal Cruise