Cognac-Centered Excursion Offered by Holland America

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Private islands, tours of ancient ruins, riverboat rides down the Amazon -- it seems there's a shore excursion for every cruiser. Now, Holland America is adding an outing that keeps brandy lovers in mind.

Starting this summer, Holland America will offer an all-day "Cognac & Hennessy" shore excursion for cruisers sailing the French coast aboard the Prinsendam.

The outing includes a visit to the French city of Cognac, namesake of the world famous brandy. Cruisers will visit Hennessy, one of the foremost producers of Cognac, where they will walk through cellars while learning about the Cognac making process. Visitors will also get to sample some of the spirit, which the French refer to as "the healing drink."

The 7½ hour excursion departs from Bordeaux and includes transportation to Cognac, which is located two hours away. After the tour, travelers will eat lunch at a local restaurant before driving back to Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to return to the ship.

The jaunt will cost $154 for adults, and $119 for children.

The outing is only one of 55 new shore excursions Holland America recently unveiled for its 2010 summer season. Other options include a nostalgic steam-hauled train ride across the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scottland -- a span made famous in the Harry Potter film series -- and flightseeing safaris near the Chugach Mountain Range in Alaska in search of beluga whales.
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