Bridge Scene: How to travel and play bridge at the same time

Duplicate bridge offers the duplicate bridge player many opportunities to travel and play bridge. Tournaments in small or large cities can be found through the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) bulletin, or online through ACBL.org where you can see which tournaments are available across the country, and you can visit each tournament site for further information.

You can contact the partnership desk for any tournament by phone or e-mail to ask questions or arrange for a partner. And when traveling to these various tournaments, you will find that each tournament committee has negotiated a special tournament room rate with the host hotel, so can take advantage of this savings.

When your travel plans include cruising, most cruise ships offer bridge only on the days the ship is at sea, and the level of play is usually rubber or Chicago style. But cruising on an ACBL sponsored bridge cruise, the player is offered lessons and daily sanctioned duplicate games.

Roberta and Arnold Salob seem to be always at sea conducting one cruise or another. They are traveling to the Mexican Riviera in March, Western Europe in August, Mediterranean in August, and Greece, Israel, Egypt and Turkey in October plus a holiday cruise in December.

Gail Greenberg and Jeff Hand travel on the Crystal Line in February from Buenos Aires to Miami, and the Regent’s Seven Sea Mariner, from Istanbul to Athens in August. These cruises are more concentrated, offering lessons, and bridge more than once a day. Call Alice Travel at 800-229-2542 or www.alicetravel.com for more information.

Audrey Grant, working with Holland America Line, will conduct bridge cruises to the Caribbean in February and September. For more information contact www.cruiseprofessionals.com

Some cruises are able to offer players a sectional or regional tournament experience at sea and a higher level of competition. These cruises offer silver or gold points with lessons and sanctioned games morning, afternoon and evening, so you can tour if you wish but playing bridge is the main focus.

Marilyn Blair, one of our local directors, has developed a wonderful bridge cruise with Cunard Lines on the new Queen Elizabeth cruise ship. You travel with Marilyn July 15-26, 2011, as part of an ACBL-sponsored sectional at sea adventure, traveling from the English countryside to the Norwegian Fjords and North Cape to discover the land of the midnight sun. Bridge is offered twice a day with a special Swiss team game two mornings during the trip. Log onto www.preferrednaples.com or speak to Pat Classen at 261-1177 for more information and reservations.

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