Scroll down to see two different trips scheduled for 2022, plus one for 2023!
April 19-May 1, 2022, a 13-day tour!
Travel with me to the Wonderwool Festival held every year in Wales! We will visit a castle, gardens, take a steam train ride, visit the National Wool Museum and a shepherd’s farm, lovely Cornwall villages, an abbey, and, as we make our way back to London to fly home, we will see the amazing Stonehenge! For more information or to book, email the tour company: infoATopulentquiltjourneysDOTcom. You can download this abbreviated brochure of the trip. There is a limit of 24 travelers on the trip. As of October, we have a few places left!
To download the full tour brochure (with registration form), and for more information, click this link here.
Day 1 Tues April 19 Manchester
We will fly into Machester, stay at the Hilton, and after dinner, will be treated to a very special presentation by a member of the British Knit and Crochet Guild, Julia Halliwell:
A presentation of British knittingThroughout the British Isles, there is a rich tradition of knitting and this is well represented in the collection of the KCG… from regional ganseys and textured Arans to intricately patterned Sanquhar gloves and exquisite, fine Shetland lace.Julia Halliwell, a long time collection volunteer and enthusiastic maker herself, will bring you a special selection of these pieces for an individual and bespoke session…. you will be able to see these unique examples up close and personal- even handling them with the proviso that our white cotton gloves are worn. Julia hopes she will leave you fired with enthusiasm for the historic craft traditions of the regions you will be visiting and maybe even hungry to return for more!
Day 2 Wed April 20 Manchester-Porthmadog
Travel to Porthmadog, a picturesque harbor town with a good range of shops and attractions. We visit Plas Brondanw Gardens – a jewel in the Welsh Crown. Inspired by the gardens of Renaissance Italy, strong architectural influences are evident within the Plas gardens, stone walls, topiary, and avenues of trees leading the eye to the dramatic backdrop of the mountains beyond. Our next stop is Portmeirion Village, a miniature Italianate fantasy village. Designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in 1925, Portmeirion was built in imitation of a rustic Italian village, to demonstrate how a naturally beautiful place could be developed without spoiling it.
Day 3 Thu April 21 Porthmadog
Today we visit Meinir’s traditionally run family farm in the picturesque village of Llangian. As a hand knitter herself, Meinir looked at producing a range of wool that was not available as a commercially mass-produced product.
Day 4 Fri April 22 Porthmadog-Aberystwyth
Travel north to visit the famous Caernarfon Castle recognized around the world as one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages. This fortress-palace on the banks of the River Seiont is grouped with Edward I’s other castles at Conwy, Beaumaris, and Harlech as a World Heritage Site. After the visit, we will experience a scenic steam train ride back to Porthmadog. The Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway with almost 200 years of history. The historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls, round horseshoe bends (even a complete spiral) clinging to the side of the mountain, or even tunneling through it.
Day 5 Sat April 23 Aberystwyth
Welcome to Wonderwool Wales! We attend the premier Wool & Natural Fiber Festival in Wales. First held in 2006 to promote the market for Welsh wool and add value to product for small wool & fiber producers in Wales, the festival celebrates the green credentials of Welsh wool and its versatility as a material for creative crafts, designer clothes, home furnishings, and more.
Day 6 Sun April 24 Aberystwyth-Cardigan
Enjoy the Wonderwool festival before leaving for Cardigan.
Day 7 Mon April 25 Cardigan-Bristol
After breakfast, we visit the National Wool Museum before traveling to Bristol. Wales is famous for its wool and yarn industries, as well as its blankets and throws. A gallery in the museum shows aspects of the National Flat Textile Collection. Visit Jen Jones Quilt Center in Lampeter. Jen Jones wishes to share her love of Welsh Quilts and to promote a wider understanding of the importance of this regional art form.
Day 8 Tue April 26 Bristol
Taken aback by the impressive Longleat House, where you can step back through over 450 years of history. It is one of the finest Elizabethan stately homes in the country. We then visit the miraculously preserved English village, Lacock Village. With its central grid of four streets, Lacock today looks much like it did 200 years ago.
Day 9 Wed April 27 Bristol-Plymouth
Today we depart for Plymouth. En route, we visit the beautiful fishing town of Brixham. Continue to Buckfast Abbey where you’ll dive Into culture and gain insights into how Benedictine monks have lived and prayed for nearly 1,000 years.
Day 10 Thu April 28 Plymouth-St Ives-Plymouth
Enjoy a day excursion to the north coast fishing town of St Ives. The town is built on a narrow peninsula fringed with sandy beaches. Radiating out from the idyllic harbor are a maze of painfully quaint cobbled streets lined with fishermen’s cottages. We’ll have a chance to meet the locals, enjoy lunch, a talk, Q&A, and shopping with Gorgeous Yarns. Later we visit the mighty Pendennis Castle in Falmouth before returning to Plymouth for overnight.
Day 11 Fri April 29 Plymouth-Exeter
Travel to Exeter where we follow the Exeter Woolen Trail and explore the key sites of Exeter’s most important historical industry – the woolen cloth trade. We will also visit the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) which holds significant and diverse collections in areas such as zoology, anthropology, fine art, local and overseas archaeology, and geology. Then visit Exeter Cathedral, one of the great cathedrals of England, and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere.
Day 12 Sat April 30 Exeter-Salisbury-London
Today we depart Exeter for London, en route visit Stonehenge, the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. Dating back to approximately 3000 BC, the circle of huge upright and horizontal rectangular stones continues to fascinate academics, spiritualists, and visitors. Enjoy a farewell dinner at our hotel in London.
Day 13 Sun May 1 Depart London
Group transfer to the airport for your journey home.
New Zealand and Australia!
Sadly this cruise has been postponed by the Holland America Cruise line.
June 12 – July 3, 2022, a 22-day cruise!
Sail on the Holland America ship the Volendam from the Netherlands to Norway, Iceland, and Scotland! For more details of each port visit the Craft Cruises website.
Embark with Craft Cruises on a journey to the Arctic Circle during the summer solstice when the days are long. The cruise begins and ends in Rotterdam. This cruise sets sail along the coast and fjords of Norway, stopping in Eidfjord, Bergen, and Molde, before traveling into the Arctic Ocean some 500 miles north of the Norwegian mainland to Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago, where polar bears reportedly outnumber the residents. The Volendam then circles Iceland, docking in the ports of Akureyri and Ísafjörður before overnighting in the vibrant capital Reykjavik. Heading back toward Rotterdam, the ship visits Kirkwall, Edinburgh, and Invergordon near Inverness.
From mid-May until the end of July, the Midnight Sun shines over the polar cap and Svalbard, a beautiful archipelago hundreds of miles north of Norway in the Arctic Ocean. Here visitors are captivated by the rugged beauty and wildlife of one of the most remote places on earth. This region is home to glaciers, jagged peaks, wildflowers, and reindeer. It is common to see beluga, humpback, orca, and narwhal, and many arctic seabirds.
Onboard, Beth Brown-Reinsel will offer a range of her most popular classes that highlight knitting techniques and designs with a Nordic influence, including everything from Icelandic Lopapeysa Pullovers to Swedish-Twined Knitted Mittens. Beth is the perfect instructor for this polar knitting cruise with more than 30 years of teaching experience and a passion for historical knitting. Traveling at the height of summer is optimal for visiting the Arctic Circle. From ice-carved fjords to glistening glaciers and from geysers and hot springs to waterfalls, beauty abounds. You’ll almost not want to sleep and miss any sights. Knitters will be in their element as this itinerary provides unique opportunities to learn about the rich history and traditions of knitting, from Norwegian knitwear to Icelandic sweaters. Enjoy local seafood specialties, Norwegian pastries, or an ice-cold local beer. There’s no better way to see the alluring North than this 21-day Polar Ice cruise, so please join us!
Apr 10-May 7, 2023, a 28-day cruise
This cruise also offers a shorter options of 14 days: April 10-24.
My classes offered while at sea: Japanese Knitting: Motifs and Charts, Unique Latvian Cuffs, Knitting with Mawata (Silk Hankies), Latvian Mittens (a continuation of the Latvian Cuffs class), Textured Twined Fingerless Mitts, Fringes from the Baltic, The Estonian Roositud Technique, Traditional Beginnings: Cast-ons From Long Ago
We invite you to pack up your needles and join us on this amazing adventure adventure visiting the most culturally rich ports in Japan such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, Kochi, Hakata, Kanazawa, Otaru and Kushiro plus a stop in Vladivostok, Russia before heading across the North Pacific along the Aleutian Islands stopping in Kodiak, Sitka and Ketchikan before ending in Seattle. This fabulous Japanese knitting cruise has been curated with knitters in mind. Cruise onboard the Westerdam from Yokohama where you will enjoy being pampered, learning new knitting skills and making new friends. Join us on this adventure and see for yourself why traveling with Craft Cruises makes travel easy, rewarding and fun.
Visit Japan’s iconic temples, most popular cities and cultural centers while being pampered by the attentive staff of Holland America Line. For those who have cruised with Holland America you’ll agree there’s nothing better than unpacking once and exploring the world from the comfort of your floating home away from home. Explore exotic places by day and come back to familiar comforts where you’ll have time to rejuvenate before your next day’s adventure.
Japan is an island nation that is unique in many ways with an interesting blend of culture, art, tradition and nature. Those who like celebrating other cultures through food will not be disappointed. In Japan, food preparation is exquisite and ceremonious. From tea to a range of dishes, the process of preparation is taken very seriously, to the point of perfection. The secret to Japanese food is specializing in one thing and doing it perfectly. Forever. Japanese people are very private and share a strong sense of community in their tight-knit circles but are also known to be welcoming, fun-loving and wacky in ways that are truly unique to Japan.
Onboard classes will be taught that focus on Japanese knitting techniques as well as some of Beth’s other classes focusing on traditional knitting techniques. Japanese knitters are impeccable and Japanese patterns are presented in a graphic format that can be understood once certain rules and symbols are explained. The use of charts, symbols and motifs are critical in Japanese knitting and your onboard knitting expert, Beth Brown-Reinsel, will offer classes to help you gain a better understanding of the Japanese style of knitting. Classes will include Japanese Motifs and Charts, Knitting with Silk Hankies (Mawata) and some other perennial favorites such as Unique Latvian Cuffs, Latvian Mittens, Twined Fingerless Mitts, Fringes from the Baltic, The Estonian Roositud Technique and Traditional Beginnings: Cast-Ons from Long Ago. Beth is looking forward to sharing her abundant knowledge of traditional knitting techniques with everyone on this cruise.