Category: Travel

5 Reasons to Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 1091 0

From awe-inspiring natural wonders to unmatched feats of human engineering, UNESCO’s World Heritage List is your guidebook for the trip of a lifetime. Seabourn Cruise Lines has selected Five Reasons why you need to include a UNESCO World Heritage site to your must-see travel list.

WHAT IS UNESCO?
UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Founded in 1945, it is the arm of the United Nations dedicated to fostering peaceful communication between nations and preserving cherished heritage sites around the world. The agency promotes growth in five core areas: education, culture, natural sciences, social and human sciences, and communication and information.

WHY SHOULD TRAVELERS KNOW ABOUT UNESCO?
In 1972, UNESCO inaugurated the World Heritage List, a prestigious index of places around the world with resounding universal value. The World Heritage sites are bastions of natural beauty, cultural significance, or a combination of both, and they epitomize the values, history, and triumphs of their home countries. With over 1000 sites and counting, the World Heritage List is the ultimate traveler’s guide—a bucket list of destinations worth seeing.

FIVE REASONS TO VISIT:

DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS
In addition to the landmarks on every world traveler’s radar, like the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu, the World Heritage Committee surfaces sites you’ve likely never heard of. From the wooden churches on Chile’s Chiloé Island to the Jodrell Bank Observatory in northwestern England, the list will broaden your travel horizons beyond the usual tourist destinations.

 

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
The World Heritage List unearths some of man’s earliest creations: rock engravings in the Great Plains dating to the Contact Period; the oldest salt mine in Europe; Buddhist cave art from the 5th and 6th centuries. It’s one thing to know that we’ve been around for a long time—it’s another thing altogether to see proof of it.

 

SUPPORT PRESERVATION
Preserving the cultural and natural integrity of threatened sites is one of UNESCO’s core objectives. The World Heritage List has a special designation for properties at risk of destruction—whether by natural disasters, armed conflict, or any other forces—and reserves funds to support and protect these sites. The ongoing conservation efforts ensure that cherished cultural landmarks will thrive for generations to come.

 

MARVEL AT SUPERLATIVE SIGHTS
To make the World Heritage List, a site must pass several stages of rigorous evaluation and meet at least one of 10 selection criteria. In short, every location is unequivocally superb. From archaeological ruins and sacred monasteries to animal sanctuaries and volcanic parks, there are marvels of all kinds for travelers of all interests.

 

GAIN SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE
The World Heritage Committee works with a range of stakeholders to preserve the integrity of cherished landmarks and foster sustainable tourism. Seabourn has recently extended its partnership with UNESCO, pledging to continue supporting World Heritage sites through philanthropic donations and educational initiatives. As the official cruise partner of UNESCO, Seabourn offers more than 250 shore experiences at over 170 UNESCO designated sites and has also created special World Heritage Discovery Tours at a number of ports worldwide. Lastly, you’ll enjoy enhanced content on seabourn.com thanks to our partnership with UNESCO, aimed to increase awareness of some of the world’s most storied destinations.

 

 

NCL Japan Cruises

Cruising to Japan: 11 Incredible Ports to Explore

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 590 0

When you journey to Japan you will experience a land of culture, history and sites beyond your imagination. To ensure you see all you are meant to, read on to discover 11 incredible ports to explore when you sail Japan with Norwegian Cruise Lines

If you’re looking through Norwegian’s Asia cruises, you’ll find no shortage of beautiful and exotic ports, many of which are in Japan. In fact, you can even book a cruise that primarily explores some of Japan’s most iconic destinations. One option is a 13-day cruise from Yokohama. If you’re planning a cruise to Japan, here’s a look at 11 incredible ports in Japan you can’t miss.

1. Shimizu (Mount Fuji)
Shimizu is a popular port because it’s the gateway to Mount Fuji (pictured above), but it’s also one of Japan’s most beautiful ports. Here, you can visit Japan’s first sushi museum, check out the archeological site of Toro that dates back to 200 BC, or wander through a 650-year-old black pine forest. If you’re interested in regional specialties, you’ll find traditional wooden handicrafts, fabrics, and local eats like a sweet jellied confection known as yokan.

2. Kobe
Kobe, Japan, is famous for its iconic beef, but it’s also the gateway to the popular city of Osaka. Here you can visit Ikuta Shrine, one of Japan’s oldest shrines, and spend the rest of the day eating and drinking your way through one of Japan’s most beloved food destinations. Enjoy an endless amount of street foods, and don’t miss Kobe’s Nada District, which is the top sake-producing region in the county.

3. Kanazawa
Travelers who want to learn more about Japan’s Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1886, should book a cruise that stops in Kanazawa. This is the second-largest city to survive World War II intact. You can explore the old castle town, the Nagamachi samurai district, and teahouses in the geisha district. You’ll find no shortage of temples and museums, plus a historic market that dates back to 1721.

4. Sapporo
Sapporo is one of Japan’s youngest cities and was the host city for the 1972 Winter Olympics. World class skiing and the annual ice festival are two reasons people flock to Sapporo, especially in the winter months. From Sapporo, you can also visit other iconic destinations, such as Hokkaido, or mineral-rich hot springs like Noboribetsu.

5. Beppu
Beppu is famous for its countless hot springs. The most famous of these is Jigoku, or Hell Circuit, but you won’t be taking a dip here, as it’s only for admiring. Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be able to view thousands of cherry blossoms in the spring or the stunning leaves of autumn. For local food specialties, don’t miss stopping by the historic Tomonaga Panya. This bakery dates back to 1916, and its signature specialty is the wanchan (doggie) bun.

6. Sasebo
Sasebo was once an old fishing village, but it transitioned into a large naval port in the 19th century. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the wide range of outdoor activities here. Visit the zoological and tropical botanical gardens with over 1,200 plant species and 80 animal species. Love Dutch tulips? Huis Ten Bosch is a recreation of a 17th-century Dutch village, complete with its own tulip fields. For traditional Japanese fare, explore the Yorozu-cho District where you can find a fun market with fresh seafood, produce, and plenty of handmade pottery and clothing.

7. Hakodate
The best views in Hakodate are seen from atop Hakodate Mountain. You can take a scenic ride up the gondola to the observation deck and marvel at the views below. Don’t miss interesting Hakodate attractions like Fort Goryokaku, built in the shape of a star, or the Hakodate market. Be sure to eat local specialties like kaisen-don, a seafood rice bowl.

8. Sakaiminato
The western part of Japan is seafood heaven, and Sakaiminato is the main fishing port for this part of the country. If you’ve eaten succulent snow crab in Japan, it comes from the Sakai Port. Beautiful sculptures from local artist Shigeru Mizuki line Kitaro Road, and the city is famed for its “Yokai” bronze sculptures of Japanese folklore spirit monsters.

9. Kochi
Kochi is another fun Japanese port, especially if you want to experience a Japanese beach. Katsurahama Beach is beautiful and is home to the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial that honors the famous Japanese peace negotiator. Settlement in this area started in 1601, and you can visit the area surrounding the historic Kochi Castle. Don’t miss trying Katsuo no tataki, which is a type of tuna tataki.

10. Miyako-Jima
Okinawa is renowned for its natural beauty, and Miyako-Jima is a beautiful port in the Okinawa Prefecture. Visitors are blown away by the turquoise water and world-class snorkeling. After you’ve worked up an appetite in the water, be sure to try Okinawa soba, a local specialty.

11. Hiroshima
Hiroshima is an emotional port for many travelers. It’s a historically rich region, but also a solemn reminder of World War II. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, where you’ll find numerous monuments to honor those who perished during the war. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Hiroshima is renowned for its local cuisine, including okonomiyaki, a crepe-like dish that some people refer to as Japanese pizza. It has vegetables, cabbage, and usually seafood. If you like oysters, don’t miss trying grilled oysters in Hiroshima either.

If your budget and vacation time allows, consider an East Asia cruise that primarily explores some of these ports in Japan. Many itineraries start or end in Tokyo, so you can add extra days to explore one of the world’s most dynamic cities on your own.

 

 

 

 

Original Blog Post can be found here

Travelling with Kids on the m/s Paul Gauguin

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 594 0

A model on a Paul Gauguin Cruises photo shoot, Elke enjoyed her shipboard experience so much, she returned as a guest—twice. She shares some of the moments that made the voyages so special for her now 11-year-old son.

What comes to mind for you when you think of French Polynesia? Visions of stilted bungalows nestled over the crystal-clear waters of Bora Bora and Moorea? Honeymooners holding hands and strolling under swaying palm trees? For me, it’s the image of my son frolicking in sun-warmed waters, giggling, with a huge smile on his face. As a seasoned traveler, I’m always surprised when people tell me, “We always leave our kids at home when we take a vacation.” I get that couple time is important. To me, though, the amazing life lessons kids learn from travel and the enrichment they receive from local culture stay with them for a lifetime and shape who they become as adults. So, for me, the question is: why wouldn’t you take your kids?

My husband, son, and I have taken the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin twice, and to me, The Gauguin is truly the best way to experience French Polynesia as a family. So many choices filled each day! The only question is: where to begin? I think the easiest way to way to explain how wonderful French Polynesia and The Gauguin are for families is to describe our experiences and adventures in each port.

Huahine

My son loves history, and Huahine is a great first stop to take in the history of French Polynesia! Starting from the port town of Maroe, we took a tour around the island. From the dock, we stopped at Fare, a sleepy fishing village, where you can see the mountain whose ridge gave the island its name (literally, pregnant woman). At Maeva, there is Fare Pote’e, a replica of an open, traditional house that is a museum with historical and cultural information. Fare was the seat of local power for the island, so there are a host of marae (religious sites built from stone) scattered along the shoreline. This stop was very interesting to my son and transported us back in time to how life was lived here so many moons ago.

If you are interested in how pearls or vanilla are produced, you can easily visit farms for each here and be amazed by their elaborate production processes. My son was fascinated by both! The small boat ride out to the pearl farm was also a lot of fun.

Another stop that fascinated him was our visit to Faie, where you can see and even feed sardines to Huahine’s famous and sacred blue-eyed eels. My son was mesmerized by these friendly and curious creatures swimming around his feet.

Motu Mahana

French Polynesia is a water playground for all ages because of its calm waters, beautiful sandy beaches, and gently sloping shores. Motu Mahana, The Gauguin’s private islet, is just the place to dip in and enjoy some great snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Or you can just lounge on the sandbar or build a sand castle. My son gladly participated in all the motu has to offer! Throughout the day, The Gauguin’s troupe of Tahitian ambassadors, Les Gauguines and Les Gauguin, provided entertainment, demonstrations, and storytelling. The fascinating legend of how the coconut tree came to be was one that children and adults could enjoy equally. And everyone gets a fresh coconut to drink from while lounging under the dappled shade of coconut trees. What could be better or tastier than that?

Bora Bora

When we were on Bora Bora, my son the history buff appreciated the stories of World War II and how Bora Bora played a strategic role in the conflict.

And here’s something else he appreciated about Bora Bora: the beautiful coral reefs that make the island an ideal place to snorkel and dive. The Gauguin offers an onboard Discover SCUBA Diving class that can count toward PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification. My son took the class on both voyages so that we could all dive together as a family. The ship’s dive team is very knowledgeable, nice, and thorough, and they put my son right at ease.

Bora Bora and Moorea both have wonderful shallow dive sites for beginners (under 30 feet) where beautiful coral and fish are abundant. The clarity is wonderful to the point that you forget you are underwater! I think I have hundreds of pictures of my son giving me underwater OK and hang-ten hand signals, he enjoyed it so much. He especially loved the blacktip sharks, giant turtles, slews of colorful fish, dynamic coral, little underwater Christmas trees, and blue-lipped clams that closed up as if by magic when he waved his hand over them.

The Gauguin also has a private beach on Bora Bora—a restful spot to lounge in shallow waters with Mount Otemanu in the background. My son played a little trick on me with a coconut that looked like an eel coming out of the water. I guess he WAS paying attention when Les Gauguines told the Polynesian legend of a prince becoming the first coconut tree. If you look at a coconut shell, it really does look like an eel’s face. Uncanny!

Moorea

Moorea was our favorite island! In fact, we loved it so much, we spent another week there both times after our cruises. We loved visiting the little idyllic motus and snorkeling until our fingers and toes turned into little prunes, which was forever since the water is so warm. My son spent so much time underwater petting the gentle and graceful rays. And what little boy wouldn’t be over the moon to be face to face with blacktip sharks? He definitely had some interesting and adventurous stories to tell his buddies back home!

On our last trip to Moorea, we kayaked out to a little motu and gathered little hermit crabs along the beach and had hermit crab races, ending in a rainbow over the water. Great memories!

By land, make sure you make it up to the Belvedere lookout point, where there are lush and gorgeous vistas of Opunohu and Cook’s Bays and Mt. Rotui. Just before you get there, you can stop at Marae Titiroa to wander among the many preserved marae platforms linked by a walking track. My son loved this trek through the cool dense forest of chestnut trees that shelters these pieces of history. There are lots of signs marking and explaining everything, and the trail is easy for families to follow. The archery platform was his favorite.

Tahiti

Shopping. Shopping. Shopping. Need I say more? My son, the little shopper, loved le Marche de Pape’ete to buy friends, family, and himself beautiful black pearl and shell jewelry, monoi (coconut oils) and fragrant tiare soaps, and colorful island-y trinkets.

Aboard ship

Of course, you don’t have to be visiting an island to have a great time! Life aboard ship fleshed out the experience for our family. On each voyage, we were blown away by the kindness of the ship’s crew and how especially sweet they were to my son—always joking with him and genuinely looking after him. I don’t think there was a staff member who didn’t know my son’s name and what he liked to eat and drink.

Their attention to detail is simply incredible. My son has a severe peanut allergy, which can be very stressful when you’re eating out, especially when you’re abroad. Hernie from the dining staff went way beyond the call of duty to make sure my son was safe AND enjoyed the amazing culinary creations on board. My son has broadened his palate, developing a taste for pâté and brie with baguettes, and he ate desserts with abandon. We definitely all tipped the scales a little heavier when we departed the ship!

There’s a lot more to life aboard than just the gourmet-quality local and French foods. We enjoyed interesting lectures about the history, culture, and the environment of the region by very knowledgeable speakers. My son loves the ocean and was very interested in hearing about coral reef restoration by one of the lecturers. We also learned local stories and legends and listened to beautiful songs sung by Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins along the way.

My son and I also had so much fun immersing ourselves in creating crafts with local materials, making several different types of bracelets (shell bracelets, local bean bracelets, and textile bracelets), hand-painted bookmarks and postcards on tapas (paper made from hibiscus bark), and leis (fragrant floral necklaces) with the local mamas of Moorea.

You can also go on land/sea excursions—or simply relax and take in the natural beauty of the lush green islands surrounding you, as you listen to Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins strumming ukuleles as you sit on the pool deck or paddle around the pool.

My son made a friend on board, and we found that our voyage gave us a good mix of family and new-friend time.

It was with heavy hearts that we departed the ship. My son loved The Gauguin, the ports, the activities, and the crew so very much! The amazing people and places we visited linger in our hearts and minds with the melody of the islands, and we are all forever changed as a family by our experiences there. So, yes … definitely take your kids on a trip of a lifetime!

 

 

Post c/o the Paul Gauguin Cruises Blog April 12 2019
Original content can be found here

Cinque Terre, Vernazza

Port of Call: Navigating Italy’s Cinque Terre

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 784 0

When the ship docks, a crowd-dodging plan is key in these coastal Italian postcard villages.

Briny sea breezes carry the scent of sun-warmed lemons and fresh basil along the Riviera di Levante on Italy’s northwestern coast. A favorite holiday destination, this 80-mile stretch of the Italian Riviera begins east of Genoa and ends just beyond the Gulf of La Spezia, also known as the “Poets’ Gulf,” for the number of writers its beauty has inspired. This warm-weather paradise, which I’ve called home for more than a decade, is now a popular cruise destination due to its proximity to the Cinque Terre, five ancient fishing villages perched amid wave-battered cliffs on a rugged stretch of coastline. A UNESCO World Heritage site and fragile natural treasure, the Cinque Terre is largely car-free, but easily accessible by train or boat, and on foot. To avoid the tourist crowds and delve deeper into this fascinating region, arrive with a strategy and sturdy sneakers. An extensive network of hiking trails links the villages, while ferries ply the glittering coastal waters, making for an easy day of outdoor exploring from smaller Portovenere or La Spezia, where larger ships dock.

9 a.m.
Whether you arrive by boat or train, make Vernazza your first Cinque Terre stop. Arguably the most beautiful of the five villages, it fills early with day-tripping visitors, so enjoy the morning calm on a stroll through the narrow lanes and arched porticoes, past the lemon-hued church, and along the tiny harbor, where bobbing turquoise-and-white dinghies line the stone quay. Sip a cappuccino on the seaside piazza, or join tanned retirees wading into the crystal-clear water for their first swim of the day. Then climb the narrow staircase up to Castello Doria, an ancient seaside fortification with spectacular coastal views.

10 a.m.
Fill a water bottle before leaving the tourist masses behind for the two-mile hike from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost Cinque Terre town, along the popular Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail). The ascent is moderately strenuous along a dusty trail, but your effort will be rewarded with stunning bird’s-eye views of Vernazza. Continue through the lush landscape, past citrus groves and terraced vineyards equipped with rickety monorail cars that haul the handpicked harvest up vertiginously steep slopes. After a hike of about an hour and a half, Monterosso will come into view.

Noon
A promontory divides Monterosso, the Cinque Terre’s largest town, into two parts, old and new. Begin exploring the Old Town, nestled between green hills, with its multicolored houses, pebbled beach, and medieval carruggi (ultra-narrow alleys). Stop at Focacceria Il Frantoio for a snack of pan fritto (fried pizza dough stuffed with cheese), then admire a collection of artworks that include a van Dyck painting inside the bluff-top monastery. A tunnel leads to the newer part of town, known as Fegina, where rows of sun loungers and colorful parasols line the long sand-and- pebble beach. Cool off with a gelato or a dip in the Mediterranean, then join locals taking a relaxed passeggiata along the beach-side promenade.

2 p.m.
The most pleasurable way to see the Cinque Terre is from the water. Whether aboard a private yacht or public ferry, the views are the same: stupendous. The easiest route is to hop on the hourly ferry departing from the quay beside Monterosso’s Old Town (look for signs for Consorzio Marittimo Turistico), and sail down the coast admiring the unparalleled panorama of postage-stamp-size villages tucked amid sheer cliffs. Along the way, spy hidden coves, lone hilltop chapels, acres of olive trees, and vineyards climbing the hillsides. Admire Vernazza from new angles, spotting the hilltop town of Corniglia (the only Cinque Terre town without a harbor), before arriving in Manarola.

4 p.m.
Alight in Manarola for an afternoon aperitivo at Nessun Dorma, a clifftop café that serves spritzes in an outdoor garden overlooking the town harbor and its cluster of pastel houses perched above the turquoise sea. If you’re eager to tick off one more village, take the train a stop south to Riomaggiore and climb the steep steps above the station to A Pié de Ma, a wine bar situated on rocks jutting above the water, where you can sip rare natural wines from local producer Walter De Battè on the terrace as waves swirl and crash below.

6 p.m.
As charming as any of its northern neighbors, Portovenere deserves a detour for its impressive historic sights, including the hilltop Castello Doria; the striped, twelfth-century Chiesa di San Pietro; and a wave-battered grotto dedicated to the English poet (and legendary swimmer) Lord Byron. Those returning to ships in La Spezia should head into the city center for farinata, a thin, pancakelike local specialty made from chickpeas. At La Pia Centenaria, a farinata specialist since 1887, giant copper pans pulled from the wood-fired oven yield pancakes that are sliced for take-away orders; try the savory version slathered with pesto or creamy stracchino cheese.

 

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Virtuoso Life. Written by 

Silversea Cuba Excursions

Silversea To Offer Bespoke Shore Excursions In Cuba

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 601 0

Ultra-luxury cruise leader Silversea has unveiled its collection of 34 shore excursions, designed to enhance its new 16-voyage Cuba collection for 2019 and 2020. Guests will have the opportunity to experience the authentic natural beauty, cultural and historical treasures of Cuba. These shore excursions will showcase important attractions in and around each city, complimented by Silverseas’ trademark destination expertise.

“We are pleased to launch a diverse array of tailor-made experiences that will enable our guests to travel deeper to discover and appreciate a land seemingly frozen in time, yet filled with awe-inspiring scenery, extraordinary people, and a vibrant culture,” says Adria Bono, Silversea’s Director of Shore Excursions.

From visits to World Heritage-listed sites and inspired musical performances to visits to local art galleries and amazing nature discoveries, the authentic beauty of Cuba will be showcased on excursions such as:

Havana

The Havana by Classic American Car
Whether riding in a colorful Pontiac, Chevy or Cadillac, guests on this unique excursion will experience Havana in authentic 1950s style from the comfort of a vintage American car. Under the knowledgeable guidance of a private driver and guide, guests will journey through the colorful city and along the spectacular waterfront. The excursion will also features a cocktail at the historic Hotel Nacional de Cuba and panoramic drive, which will showcase the Plaza de la Revolución, El Malecón, landmarks, churches, city parks, Miramar, the Nelson Domínguez Gallery, and more iconic attractions.

Hemingway’s Havana a nature reserve of steep cliffs and some of the largest bird colonies in the northern hemisphere, offers opportunities for guests to spot puffins, guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, and other remarkable seabirds. A pair of 10-day voyages aboard Silver Cloud, departing July 2 and 12, will incorporate stops in this spectacular destination as they focus on Norway’s extraordinary Svalbard region, with its stunning fjords and glaciers. Guests also stand to witness amazing wildlife in Svalbard. Ernest Hemingway’s well-documented love of Cuba is explored on this panoramic sightseeing excursion to his favorite local haunts. During this enriching adventure, guests visit Hemingway’s former home, Finca Vigía, in the town of San Francisco de Paula; the Hemingway Monument in Cojimar, the fishing village that inspired the novel “The Old Man and the Sea”; and several of Hemingway’s hangouts, located in the World Heritage-listed Old Havana.

Legendarios del Guajirito — The Spirit of the Buena Vista Social Club
At a venerable cabaret-style venue, guests will feel the authentic rhythm of Havana with ‘Legendarios del Guajirito,’ an exclusive live performance by the renowned Buena Vista Social Club—a Grammy-winning ensemble of musicians. Guests will be transported back to 1950s Havana in a stirring nightclub ambiance, where they will enjoy cocktails and mingle with band members.

 

Santiago de Cuba

Birthplace of the Revolution
The colonial and wartime history of Cuba is unlocked during this scenic and informative journey to the famous sites of the Cuban Revolution and the Spanish-American War. Among the tour’s highlights are visits to the historic district, with its colorful colonial buildings and bustling Céspedes Park; the Moncada Barracks; Santa Ifigenia Cemetery; Plaza de la Revolución; and San Juan Hill, where Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders rode to victory during the Spanish-American War in 1898.sites.
El Cobre
Guests will gain an appreciation of Cuba’s religious heritage, music, cuisine and history on an adventure to the old mining center of El Cobre. Set in the Sierra Maestra foothills, the town is home to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora, one of Cuba’s most important religious sites. The excursion also features a musical performance by the local steel band; a drive through Santiago, which will spotlight such historic sites as the Plaza de la Revolución and San Juan Hill; plus a visit to a local restaurant for an authentic Cuban lunch.

 

Cienfuegos

Colonial Trinidad
This panoramic journey into central Cuba provides an immersive experience of World Heritage-listed Trinidad. Guests will travel back in time on a stroll through the Old Town, admiring cobblestone streets, a neo-baroque main square, grand colonial buildings, and beautiful old churches. A visit to the Potter’s House reveals artisans at work in a traditional open-air workshop. Afterwards, stops will be made at a local artist’s gallery, then for refreshments and lunch. After lunch, guests will visit the Municipal Museum of Trinidad to explore relics of the city’s past, before visiting the panoramic Valley of the Sugar Mills observation point.

Natural Beauty of El Nicho
The stunning natural beauty surrounding Cienfuegos is the focus of this memorable hiking and sightseeing adventure to El Nicho. A guided hiking trek along the forested trails of El Nicho, one of Cuba’s most pristine locales, showcases cascading waterfalls, virgin forests and towering mountains. Guests will visit the village of Crucecitas and San Juan Peak for breathtaking panoramic vistas that overlook central and western Cuba from approximately 3,800 feet (1,158 meters) above sea level. There’s also a stop for lunch, a visit to the Jobero Verde Community Project, and free time to explore the historical center of Cienfuegos.

 

A detailed program and prices will be available on MySilversea 120 days prior to sailing dates.

Silver Wind will have the distinction of inaugurating Silversea’s new Cuban collection when she sets sail on a 7-day voyage on February 14, 2019, from San Juan to Fort Lauderdale, calling at Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and the Bahamian island of Bimini. Four further voyages in 2019, including a 14-night sailing aboard Silver Whisper, will precede 11 voyages in 2020. A sample of Silversea’s itineraries in Cuba includes:

5906 – Silversea’s recently lengthened Silver Spirit will depart San Juan on February 22, 2019, for Fort Lauderdale (Florida). Guests will visit Santiago de Cuba, George Town (Grand Cayman), Cienfuegos, La Habana, and Bimini in the Bahamas, developing a deep appreciation for local culture through Silversea’s bespoke shore excursions. Fares begin from USD 4,700 per person, based on two sharing.

2912 – This 10-day voyage aboard Silver Wind will give guests the chance to travel deeper into Cuba’s fascinating culture. Departing San Juan on March 31, 2019, the ship will spend an overnight in Santiago de Cuba, before calling at George Town (Grand Cayman), Cienfuegos, La Habana, and Bimini in the Bahamas, prior to arriving in Fort Lauderdale (Florida) on April 10. Fares begin from USD 4,700 per person, based on two sharing.

2913 – Departing Fort Lauderdale (Florida) on April 10, 2019, Silver Wind will call at Santiago de Cuba, La Habana, Nassau (Paradise Island), and Bimini in the Bahamas, before returning to Fort Lauderdale on April 19. This 9-day voyage will spotlight the region’s highlights for guests, enabling them to delve deeper into the destination. Fares begin from USD 4,200 per person, based on two sharing.

Aboard Silversea’s ships, guests enjoy ocean-view suites, sumptuous cuisine, and the personalized service of a butler. Enriching the experience are such all-inclusive amenities as complimentary premium wines and spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks served throughout the ship; an in-suite bar, stocked with guests’ preferences; an in-suite 24-hour dining service; and unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi.

Sugar Beach Sweet Shop

The Sweetest place on board!

Posted By : Carolyn Kremer/ 0 0

I just returned from a quick trip on the Symphony of the Seas, as a travel advisor I was invited on board to experience Royal Caribbean’s newest ship!

The ship is amazing but my favourite spot was the Sweets shop called Sugar Beach ~ walking inside brought out the kid in me. Stocked to the top with all sorts of candy, the cutest stuffed toys and of course, yummy ice creams and sorbet. Your sweet tooth will thank you for visiting … your dentist may not!

The New Sound Of Adventure Is Here

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 762 0

Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas makes U.S. Debut as Miami welcomes World’s Largest Cruise Ship for the very first time.

MIAMI, Nov. 9, 2018 – Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas, the new sound of adventure, made her highly anticipated debut to the cruise capital of the world today, dropping the mic on vacations for adventure-seekers everywhere. Fresh from her inaugural Europe season, the world’s largest cruise ship sailed into her permanent, year-round home at Royal Caribbean’s new, state-of-the-art Terminal A at PortMiami, the largest cruise terminal in the U.S.

“Symphony takes family vacationing to a whole new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around vacationers’ preferences.” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With her U.S. homecoming this week, Symphony is changing the game for how travelers of all ages vacation on our biggest and boldest adventure yet.”

The ultimate family vacation, Symphony of the Seas will sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami beginning Saturday, Nov. 17, and will add visits to the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, opening May 2019. Featured in TIME Magazine’s first annual “World’s Greatest Places” list (Sept. 2018), Symphony features a next-level collection of new experiences including:

  • The two-story Ultimate Family Suite for eight guests includes an in-suite slide, air hockey table, building block wall and “Royal Genie” concierge.
  • The high-energy Boardwalk with activities for the whole family offers game-day favorites at Playmaker’s Sports Bar & Arcade, the Sugar Beach specialty candy and ice cream shop, face painting, caricature artists, live music and more.
  • New restaurants, including Hooked Seafood with fresh, New England-style favorites, and made-to-order Mexican “street fare” at El Loco Fresh.
  • A glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure called Battle for Planet Z.
  • An always-evolving Royal Caribbean app, designed to be a game changer for the guest experience, enables expedited arrival, more personalized experience on board and interactive onboard features.

Symphony of the Seas also features a playlist of the greatest hits that Royal Caribbean guests know and love from the iconic Oasis Class ships:

  • The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, a 10-story test of courage
  • The Perfect Storm, a trio of thrilling multistory waterslides named Cyclone, Typhoon and Supercell.
  • Two FlowRider surf simulators, where adventure-seekers can hang ten
  • Twin rock-climbing walls, standing at 40 feet tall and boasting stunning sea views
  • A zip line nine decks high, speeding riders 82 feet across an open-air atrium
  • AquaTheater, an open-air theater with jaw-dropping, high-diving acrobatic and aquatic performances set at the deepest pool at sea
  • Central Park, a green sanctuary lush with more than 20,000 living plants and trees.

The official naming ceremony for Symphony of the Seas will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15, hosted by the industry’s first-ever Godfamily – actors and avid Royal Caribbean fans Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, along with their toddler son Ocean.

The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Symphony of the Seas encompasses 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 238 feet tall and spans 1,188 feet in length. Each week, Symphony will welcome 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or the ship’s signature Boardwalk neighborhood.

 

Caribbean with Regent Seven Seas

The Caribbean: No Matter Where You Choose, It’s All Paradise

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 760 0

When it comes to selecting where to go in the Caribbean, it’s often a matter of taste, activities and preferences. While many of the exotic destinations are diverse in their culture, they all share a common bond – a plethora of beautiful beaches.

This winter, join Seven Seas Voyager® on luxurious voyages to captivating Caribbean islands.

St. John’s, Antiqua

With as many beaches as there are days in the year (365 to be exact), St. John’s is filled with coral reefs and charming Colonial architecture. There is plenty of culture to soak in for a full day on this picturesque British Caribbean capital, beginning with a tour of St. John’s Cathedral and the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda for a quick primer of the island’s history. If nature calls, walk the nature trail to Shirley Heights.

Shutterbugs will not want to miss the Photographic Tour of Antiqua with professional photographer Marc Hubbard. Along with stops to St. John’s, the diverse journey takes you to the tropical countryside, small island villages, Long Bay Beach, a fort built in 1739 and Devil’s Bridge complete with blowholes and a spouting surf. Other highlights include a visit to Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation which was the first one of its kind on the island. Originating in 1674, it is representative of the island’s hundreds of years of sugar production.

 

St. Barts

While St. Barts is the land of all things chic and rivals the French Riviera when it comes to luxury shopping, exquisite dining and a haven for supersize yacht owners and jet-setters, it also offers windsurfing, sailing, sunning on isolated beaches and breathtaking scenery at every turn. And expect the occasional celebrity sighting or two!

A St. Barts Island Overview tour takes you through the tropical landscape with views of the ocean from windswept cliffs just waiting to be photographed. The trip begins with a look at the island’s most popular beach, Le Col de la Tourmente and on to breathtaking views of the valley and ocean at Grand Fond (once the cattle center of St. Barts). A peek at the oceanfront house that once belonged to the noted Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev along with a stop at the famous La Cave wine shop in Marigot which stocks over 30,000 bottles of wine is next. The Petit-Cul de Sac and Grand Cul de Sac also offers views of a large lagoon, luxury resorts and notable as the yearly host for the 24-hour windsurfing regatta.

 

Martinique

Cosmopolitan and chic, Martinique is known as the island of “never ending summer” thanks to average temps in the low 80’s. Popular as a destination for Francophiles, the French-Creole island features idyllic beachscapes and rainforests ideal for hiking, cathedrals, 17th-century architecture, culture and some of the best world-class French restaurants in the Caribbean.

The Saint-Pierre & Rum Distillery tour features a visit to the idyllic village of Balata, a drive through the rainforest and a stop to the Chateau Depaz Estate. Here you can see the blue-cane filled fields that comprise the production of Depaz rum. A drive through the coastal village of Saint-Pierre offers a glimpse of the Mount Pelée volcano. If you are into lush gardens and interiors, a tour of the Historic Clement’s Plantation & Balata Garden is in order. The plantation house is a historic home filled with period furnishings, surrounded by sugar cane fields and has hosted guests such as former US President George Bush and France’s President Francois Mitterrand. The Balata Tropical Gardens offer unique tropical species such as torch gingers and parakeet flowers along with an amazing abundance of orchids and hibiscus.
St. Maarten
Known as the world’s smallest area divided by two nations – French and Dutch – St. Maarten is an island of contrasts of heritage and influence. Composed of 37 stunning beaches, it is both a place of European sophistication and island play. The Dutch capital of Phillipsburg boasts boutiques, jewelry stores and indigenous eateries (lobster sandwiches remain supreme) while Marigot, the French capital, features the island’s best dining in Grand Case along with unique cuisine and architecture and more laidback than its Dutch counterpart. And the island is a survivor, having been ravaged by hurricanes in the past two decades.

 

See the Caribbean in style – with Regent Seven Seas

 

 

Blog Published by Regent Seven Seas Cruises
View Original post https://rsscblog.com/2018/07/27/the-caribbean-no-matter-where-you-choose-its-all-paradise/

Silversea Announces New Summer 2020 Winter 2021 Itineraries

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Silversea Announces Groundbreaking New Summer 2020 and Winter 2021 Itineraries and Opens Pre-Sale Exclusively to Venetian Society Members

(Monaco — September 17, 2018) Industry-leading Silversea Cruises opens pre-sale bookings to Venetian Society members for 191 stunning new voyages, which will set sail between summer 2020 and winter 2021. With unprecedented variety and incorporating the launch of Silver Moon, the new collection of itineraries will take guests to 572 destinations in 84 countries and promises to unlock an innumerable range of deep travel experiences in all seven continents. While the pre-sale for Silversea’s Venetian Society members will enable past guests to make reservations before all others, bookings for the new itineraries will open to the general public on October 1, 2018.

A highlight of the new itinerary collection, Silversea’s Silver Moon will set sail on her inaugural voyage on August 6, 2020: the ship will depart Trieste, Italy, for Civitavecchia on an 11-day cruise. The sister ship of Silversea’s flagship, Silver Muse, Silver Moon will benefit from a number of onboard enhancements. One of five Silversea ships in the region in the summer of 2020, she will cruise in the Mediterranean for her maiden season, until November, when she will cross the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale.

From the ships in each region to the choice of itineraries on offer, Silversea’s guests will enjoy a more diverse range of options than ever before. As well as five ships and 54 voyages in the Mediterranean – including a 37-day, 28-port grand voyage – guests will be able to choose from four ships and 29 voyages in Northern Europe; three ships and 21 voyages in Alaska and the Russian Far East; and two ships and 10 voyages in the Arctic, among voyages in many other appealing regions. Plus, guests will enjoy more overnights than ever before, enabling them to unlock more deep travel experiences in the most amazing destinations around the world. Every voyage over seven nights in Europe and Canada & New England will benefit from an overnight in strategically selected ports.

The new collection of itineraries will incorporate a remarkable polar programme, comprising 10 itineraries and 83 destinations in the Arctic and 11 itineraries and 26 destinations in Antarctica, including East Antarctica and the Ross Sea. Unprecedented voyages to New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands and Australia’s Macquarie Island (all UNESCO World Heritage Sites) will enable guests to view vast colonies of penguins and thousands of seals; visits to Churchill and Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada, will take guests to the ‘polar bear capital of the world’ and the home of world’s largest beluga whale population, respectively; and concurrent crossings of both the Northwest and Northeast Passages on Silver Cloud and Silver Explorer, respectively, will unlock unique, life-defining experiences with true expedition cruising at its most exhilarating.

Silversea will bolster its already strong reputation as a destination-driven travel brand by enhancing its offering in a number of incredible destinations. In Iceland, for example, the cruise line will offer more immersive experiences on both classic and expedition voyages, with spectacular new itineraries. Departing June 29 from Reykjavik, Silver Wind will circumnavigate the island on a 9-day voyage. Other sample itineraries in Iceland include London to Reykjavik via Ireland and Reykjavik to London via Norway. As in 2019, the cruise line’s flagship, Silver Muse, will spend a full summer deployed in Alaska in 2020. Silversea will return to the Canary Islands on two voyages departing April 16 and September 25, 2020, and Istanbul on two different itineraries, departing May 30 and August 2, 2020. Moreover, the cruise line will make maiden calls in El Hierro, Spain; Fishguard, Wales; Nordfjordeid, Norway; Siglufjörður, Iceland; Durres, Albania; Klaksvik, Faroe Islands; and Patreksfjordur, Iceland.

For the first time, Silversea guests will enjoy free economy-class air and transfers included as standard on all newly released voyages, simplifying the travel experience and enabling guests to discover the world with ease. Exceptions and market-specific conditions may apply.

“We are extremely happy to open pre-sale exclusively to our valued Venetian Society members for our pioneering new itineraries,” says Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s Chief Marketing Officer. “The variety of experiences on offer is unprecedented and unmatched; we are pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising for the benefit of our guests, enabling them to enjoy rare and authentic moments in the most fascinating corners of the world. With the launch of Silver Moon, our guests will experience the very best of Silversea’s industry-leading hospitality.”

 

Click to browse Silversea’s new collection of voyages for summer 2020/winter 2021

New Blog called Discover by Silversea

Silversea Launches Inspiring New Blog

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 1001 0

Discover: Silversea Launches Inspiring New Blog To Transport Readers Into The Authentic Beauty Of The World

(Monaco — August 09, 2018) Industry-leading Silversea Cruises proudly announces the launch of a new travel blog, Discover, to inspire curious travellers to experience the most fascinating and breathtaking places on earth. Featuring in-depth stories and striking original micro-documentaries on everything from the allure of the Atacama Desert to the peculiar dance of blue-footed boobies, Discover enables travellers to journey deeper, transporting readers into the authentic beauty of the world.

Among the new content is a selection of behind-the-scenes videos from Steve McCurry’s recent travels with Silversea. The iconic photographer has visited many magnificent destinations with the cruise line, including Svalbard, Japan, West Africa, Sicily, Papua New Guinea, the Galapagos Islands, Istanbul and the Virunga Mountains of East Africa, among others.

Also on offer are feature stories on the most captivating cultures of the world; unusual landscapes and rare geographical spectacles; remarkable wildlife and the majesty of Mother Nature; lifestyle topics; and useful travel skills, including photography tips from expert travel photographers. All content, including images and videos, is originally produced for Silversea.

Discover reflects the features that enrich Silversea voyages to over 1,000 destinations in all seven of the world’s continents. Leveraging the knowledge and experience of its industry-leading Expedition Team, Silversea will provide authoritative insight on ornithology, botany, marine biology, glaciology, and various other fascinating subjects. The cruise line’s Expedition Experts will feature as sources in the blog’s stories. Once inspired, readers will be able to discover the cruises that relate to the illustrated topics to channel their reawakened sense of wonderment.

“Discover will enable readers to escape into the authentic beauty of the world, as they learn about fascinating subjects related to travel,” says Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s Chief Marketing Officer. “With original imagery and stories from renowned travel writers, the blog’s content will transport travel enthusiasts into rare moments and unique experiences. From the peculiar dance of blue-footed boobies to a rare insight into a traditional geisha ceremony in Japan, and a number of captivating subjects in between, the articles convey Silversea’s philosophy of travelling deeper.”

Browse Discover, Silversea’s new travel blog: https://discover.silversea.com

Readers can sign-up to receive Silversea’s latest articles directly into their inbox by clicking on ‘subscribe’ in the top-right corner of Discover’s homepage.