Two and a half years ago, northern California-based Virtuoso traveler Mark Zukowski and his wife Jean Marie were approaching their 35th wedding anniversary. The couple had actually lived in France from 1981 to 1983 – their oldest son was born there – and they wanted to return for a special trip to celebrate the anniversary.
Through his connection to a French Word-A-Day blog, Mark learned of a special wine sailing from Paris to Normandy with AmaWaterways. Turns out, the wine hosts were best friends of Virtuoso advisor, Susan Boehnstedt. The Zukowskis worked with Susan on the booking of their trip and then ended up partnering with her again for an upcoming trip to the South Pacific.
"I've traveled a good deal," says Mark, "and I've done it using advisors and doing it myself. With an advisor, and specifically with Susan, you get someone who is very organized, very good at communication, and listens very well to what we want to do on a trip. It's invaluable."
For the Zukowskis, one of the biggest value-adds is the sheer surprises their advisor threw in along the way. In Bordeaux, for example, the hotel had been alerted it was their anniversary; the couple was upgraded to the best room on the property. That same night at dinner, they were treated to a special dessert presentation. Several special treats were added as well while on-board AmaWaterways: birthday and anniversary cakes and songs and special wine presentations from the wine host, all things Susan had coordinated.
Mark is a semi-professional photographer, and was able to capture some amazing shots on their France trip. A small snapshot of those appear above in this article.
"Travel is very important," says Mark, "and it helps you appreciate your own country, the diversity of the world, and the interaction you have with people. You find people all over the world who are nice and welcoming, and that's a wonderful thing. To be able to experience all that in a stress-free way using an advisor is amazing."
If you'd be interested in connecting with a Virtuoso advisor (and finding your own special dessert presentation and room upgrade), please click below.