YOTEL Boston Introduces Summer Vacation Packages That Feature Outdoor Experiences

July 5, 2019
Yotel-Boston e2

YOTEL’s SKY Bar is the perfect spot to enjoy views, cocktails, bites – and even meditation – this summer.

YOTEL, the affordable luxury hotel brand inspired by first-class air travel, is kicking off summer in Boston’s Seaport with an array of new offerings for guests, locals, and visitors. YOTEL Boston is introducing summer packages designed for experiencing and exploring Boston and enjoying its rooftop bar & terrace, SKY Bar, to the fullest.

New Summer Packages

YOTEL invites guests to explore Boston by bike this summer with its new “Pedal and Picnic” package. The experience includes overnight accommodations, usage of two of YOTEL’s new bikes along with a picnic blanket and perfectly packed picnic. Guests can choose from two picnic options: a New England Cheese Basket (including an assortment of local cheese, crackers and breads) or the All-American Basket (including choice of sandwich wrap, side salad and dessert). YOTEL will provide guests with suggested bike routes to steer them through iconic Boston neighborhoods and historic landmarks concluding at picnic-worthy destinations like the Boston Common, Christopher Columbus Park, and Castle Island. Pricing for the “Pedal and Picnic” package starts from $209/night and is available for booking now through September 30, 2019.

Back again for the second summer, YOTEL Boston offers a 2-in-1 destination experience with its “Beantown > PTown” package. With this package, guests will enjoy visits to Boston and Provincetown with an overnight at YOTEL Boston, a day trip to Provincetown with roundtrip transportation on Boston Harbor Cruise’s Fast Ferry, which docks within walking distance from YOTEL, and a $25 food & beverage allowance for rooftop refreshment at YOTEL’s SKY Bar. Rates for the “Beantown > PTown” package start from $399/per night and the package is available for booking now through September 30, 2019.

Summer at SKY Bar

YOTEL’s SKY Bar is the perfect spot to enjoy views, cocktails, bites – and even meditation – this summer. SKY Bar offers both indoor and outdoor seating along with 360-degree views of the city skyline served alongside ingredient-driven cocktails and light bites. SKY Bar also offers a collection of local brews and handpicked wines, including a robust assortment of rosés for the summer.

Starting June 25th, YOTEL’s signature meditation series, “Tranquil Tuesdays,” will move outdoors to the terrace at SKY.  Tranquil Tuesdays is a 30-minute guided meditation with The Boston Buddha, Andy Kelley, and taking place every Tuesday at 7AM. Tranquil Tuesdays are complimentary for hotel guests and $15 for drop-ins. Hotel guests also have access to Mindfresh, a YOTEL produced series of 5-minute mediation and relaxation videos, available to stream in each room. 

Opened in the Seaport in June of 2017, YOTEL Boston is one of YOTEL’s city hotels and features hallmarks of the affordable luxury brand with 326 smartly designed ‘cabins,’ of-the-moment technology, and clever social spaces for co-working and relaxing. Premium Cabins include YOTEL’s signature adjustable SmartBed™ with rejuvenating rain showers and SMART TVs, multi power and USB points and easy connectivity.

YOTEL currently operates six airport hotels in London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris, Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul Airport and Singapore Changi Airport and five city center hotels in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Singapore and Washington D.C. YOTEL is expanding rapidly with new projects under development globally, including London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Geneva, Amsterdam, Miami, Dubai, Mammoth, Park City, Porto and New York Long Island City.

 

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Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo All Day & Night on July 20, 2019

July 5, 2019

Cradle of Aviation Museum, Uniondale, Long Island, has one of only three actual lunar modules on display. Built by Grumman in Bethpage, Long Island, the other three were left on the moon. The museum has a full day of activities planned on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, July 20 ©Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Garden City, N.Y.– On July 20, 1969 over 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the moon. It is considered one of the greatest human and technological achievements in history.  On Saturday, July 20, 2019, thousands of people will be joining together at the Cradle of Aviation Museum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission. The Cradle of Aviation, home of the Lunar Module, is celebrating all day and night with two festive events to give the community an opportunity to learn, reflect, remember, & jointly celebrate, all the wonder, achievement, and pride that is Apollo.

“If you’re planning on celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing there is only one place you should be…and that’s the Cradle.  Fun for the whole family celebrating the most important event in our history,” said Andrew Parton, President of Cradle of Aviation Museum & Education Center.

APOLLO AT 50 MOON FEST

Saturday, July 20, 2019 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM Tickets $20 Adults; $15 Kids/Senior (Kids 2-12) A fun, family-friendly festival includes

  • COMMUNITY COUNTDOWN TO LUNAR LANDING –  Join in a Community Countdown at 4:17 pm to collectively watch, re-experience, and honor as a community, the historic “The Eagle has Landed” Lunar Module landing on the moon.
  • ASTRONAUT ENCOUNTERS with Space Shuttle Astronauts Bill Shepherd (Babylon) & Charlie Camarda (Ozone Park), both from Long Island, and Bob Cenker.
  • MOON BUGGY RACES – Traverse a lunar obstacle course driving an electric lunar rover. (kids)
  • VIRTUAL REALITY – Explore the inside and outside of the Apollo 11 up close and personal with Microsoft’s Mixed Reality and the Microsoft HoloLens technology.
  • APOLLO 11 FIRST STEPS in IMAX – Experience  a free showing of the new highly-acclaimed documentary, Apollo 11 First Steps Edition in our immersive Dome Theater.  Playing hourly.
  • SOLAR TELESCOPES- Explore the sun with a special purpose solar telescope.
  • LAUNCH ROCKETS – Build, decorate, then launch a water bottle rocket.
  • ROBOTICS DEMONSTRATIONS – View and interact with student-built robotics from  the First Lego League.
  • VISITS FROM THE UNIVERSE – The not-for profit, NY Avengers Cosplayers are assembling at the Cradle to celebrate the American heroes who contributed to the successful lunar landing.
  • And so much more…

Museum opens at 9:30 am. Family activities are 12 – 4 pm. Countdown begins at 4 pm.

APOLLO AT COUNTDOWN CELEBRATION 

Saturday, July 20, 2019 7-11 PM Tickets $125.  A Dinner ticket automatically gives admission to Apollo Moon Fest Events

A lively dinner and champagne toast with music and dancing, as the community comes together to watch and re-experience the unforgettable first steps on the moon at 10:56 pm with a special moon landing viewing and countdown.

GO BACK IN TIME

  • Dance the night away with live music with a 1960s style band.
  • Dress to impress in your favorite vintage 1960s clothing.
  • Watch original Apollo 11 footage in a re-created 1969 living room.
  • Share stories with family members and learn about Long Island’s contributions to space while visiting our Apollo Exhibit showcasing the largest collection of Lunar Module artifacts, parts, images, & documentation.
  • Countdown and toast to the first steps jointly as a community!

Space Shuttle Astronauts Bill Shepherd (Babylon) & Charlie Carmada (Ozone Park), both from Long Island, and Bob Cenker, will be in attendance.

Tickets to either event can be purchased at www.cradleofaviation.org/apollo or by calling Reservations 516-572-4066 (M-F) 10:00am-4:00pm) Grumman Retirees and Museum Members, may call Reservations for discounted tickets. Proceeds to Benefit Museum Education and Preservation Programs.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center is home to over 75 planes and spacecraft representing over 100 years of aviation history and Long Island’s only Giant Screen Dome Theater.  Currently, the museum is celebrating  “Countdown to Apollo at 50”sponsored by the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation, showcasing Long Island and Grumman’s significant role in the Apollo program. The Museum was recently recognized and listed on New York State’s National Register of Historic Places as a significant part of American history. The museum is located on Museum Row, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., in East Garden City.  For more information call (516) 572-4111 or visit www.cradleofaviation.org.

See also:

Long Island’s World-Class Cradle of Aviation Museum Hosts Special Events for 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

Apollo Astronauts Look Back During Gala at Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum Marking 50th Anniversary of Lunar Landing

 

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Summer at Alta, Utah’s Wildcat Basecamp Will Be Different This year

July 3, 2019
Alta-summer e2

Summer in Alta, Utah

Summer at Alta will look a bit differently this year. First, there is plentiful snow covering many beloved hiking trails and second, construction will close the Albion parking lot and Sunnyside lift this summer. The summer road into the Albion Basin is scheduled to open July 16th (conditions permitting). With limited parking in the Albion Basin, an amenity fee per vehicle will be charged. Your best bet for free parking and base area trailhead access can be found at the Wildcat base or as we call it, Wildcat Basecamp.

Wildcat Basecamp Provisions

Wildcat Basecamp provides all the essentials snacks, beverages, restrooms, parking and more. Enjoy food and beverages at the Wildcat Basecamp concession area after hiking among the wildflowers. The concession stand will be open from June 29th through September 2nd, weekdays 10-7 pm and on holidays/weekends 8:30-7 pm.

Hiking

Beginning July 20th hikers can load a shuttle from Wildcat Basecamp for a fee of $5 per person into Albion Basin. The shuttle will operate on weekends and holidays July 20th through September 2nd from 9-6 pm. We highly encourage hikers to start from Wildcat Basecamp to get the full breath Alta has to offer and due to limited parking in the basin. There will be knowledgeable mountain hosts to answer questions at the Wildcat Basecamp on weekends and holidays. All hikers are encouraged to stay on designated trails.

Lunch and Brunch

Let Alta Lodge do the cooking on the weekend. Savor, Saturday lunch from 12-2 pm or Sunday Brunch served from 9:30-2 pm. Check out the new Snowpine Lodge restaurant Swen’s, open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8-2 pm or the Gulch Pub is open daily from 3-9 pm.

Stewardship Programs

The Alta Environmental Center and community partners host sustainability events and educational events throughout the summer. Escape the heat and join us for one of our monthly volunteer days or other stewardship days. For more information on summer stewardship or educational events: GET INVOLVED.

Friday HawkWatch Bird of Prey Show and Hike

Town of Alta Restoration Day

Wasatch Wildflower Festival

Volunteer Day

With the bees buzzing, and blooming flowers, we are excited for summer at Alta. For more information on all things summer at Alta visit: Events and Summer at Alta.

See also: Alta, Utah: If You Can See It You Can Ski It!

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The Equinox to Open First Hotel in NYC’s Hudson Yards With Exclusive Offers for Virtuoso Travelers

June 29, 2019
NYC-TheShed_20190410_124347e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Shed, the newest cultural/performance venue in New York City, is one of the attractions in the city’s newest neighborhood, the Hudson Yards, where the Equinox is opening its first hotel. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK, NY Equinox Hotel, New York City, the first property by the celebrated fitness brand debuts July 15, 2019. Based on the same philosophy as its clubs, Equinox Hotels will inspire people pursuing their maximum potential. With only weeks until its opening, Equinox Hotel, New York City is giving guests a multitude of enticements to reserve their stay through a Virtuoso® travel advisor, including complimentary advantages available only through Virtuoso’s Preview Program:

  • Upgrade at time of booking, if available
  • Early check-in and late checkout, if available
  • Continental breakfast daily for two
  • US$100 hotel credit, once per stay
  • Wi-Fi
  • Airport transfer for Suite reservations of two nights or longer
  • Private helicopter airport transfer for Equinox Suite reservations of two nights or longer

Virtuoso guests also receive one of these exclusive extras available from June 15 – December 31, 2019:

  • Additional US$100 spa credit, per stay
  • Complimentary personal training session
  • Two complimentary SoulCycle classes with swag

Equinox Hotel, New York City will open in the luxurious new Hudson Yards neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side, where guests will also find The Shed, the city’s newest cultural and performance venue, the Highline, an elevated urban park which has become one of the most popular attractions in New York State, and the intriguing Nest.

Over 25 years, Equinox has developed a brand representing service, quality, expertise, leadership and results. Equinox Hotels, where the science of fitness meets the art of travel, will continue this commitment to excellence.

“Equinox Hotel, New York City is reinventing luxury lifestyle travel for people who play as hard as they train and work,” says Albert Herrera, Virtuoso’s senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships. “The distinction in its holistic approach to everything from sleep to dining to spa treatments is evident in the innovative details. Hudson Yards will add to this this next-level lifestyle movement, offering world-class shopping and dining in thoroughly upscale surroundings.”

The 212 rooms, including 48 suites, will be the ultimate slumber chambers featuring soundproofing and blackout blinds. Beds use natural-fiber mattresses that adapt to any form and employ a Scandinavian technique of two duvets for temperature regulation. An Equinox Sleep Coach will be available to optimize a restful night.

Guests, who automatically become Equinox Fitness Club members during their stay, will have 24-hour access to the largest-ever 60,000-square-foot flagship Equinox Fitness Club. Group fitness classes, private Pilates, personal training, 25-yard indoor salt-water pool, hot and cold plunge pools, outdoor pool and terrace as well as a next-generation SoulCycle studio will also be offered. Equinox’s digital experience connects the club and hotel, streamlining needs from check-in to room service to booking sessions and amenities.

Crafted by experts and backed by Equinox’s Health Advisory Board, the Spa will emphasize recovery-based treatments, science-grounded technology, regeneration and relaxation. It will offer inter-modal experiences including cryotherapy, infrared sauna, quantum harmonics, massage, bodywork and skin therapies.

The hotel will feature Stephen Starr’s new signature restaurant and bar, Electric Lemon, boasting an 8,000 square-foot terrace providing views over Manhattan and the Hudson River from the 24th floor. Menus balancing flavor and fuel will be offered in the restaurant, guestrooms, and social spaces. Other in-room dining options will include high-performance breakfasts, nourishing dinners, nutritious performance kits, sleep-promoting items and next-level mini-bar snacks. Guests will even have access to in-room IV vitamin drips for energy or hydration.

Equinox Hotel, New York City is the latest property to premiere with a boost from the renowned Virtuoso Preview program, which provides advantages exclusively through the network’s 20,000 travel advisors. Preview is part of Virtuoso’s industry-leading Hotels & Resorts Program, with over 1,300 properties in more than 100 countries.

These complimentary benefits at Equinox Hotel, New York City are offered only through booking with a Virtuoso travel advisor or at www.virtuoso.com, where guests will be paired with an advisor to facilitate the reservation and other trip elements. To find Virtuoso’s roster of advisors, visit https://www.virtuoso.com/advisors#.

 

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Insight Vacations Offers Discount on Air Fare on European Fall Itineraries Booked by Aug 29

June 29, 2019

Visit scenic Seville on Insight Vacations’ “Amazing Spain and Portugal” itinerary © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Insight Vacations shows travelers the wonders of Europe in relaxed style that puts them into the heart and soul of a destination, premium hotels in the best locations, iconic sites and experiences. And for bookings through August 29 on travel from from Sept. 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, the tour operator is offering a discount on the air fare on a selection of itineraries:

Best of Ireland and Scotland: Trace back to Gaelic roots, gaze at marvelous landscapes and cherish warm-hearted communities on this 14-day journey across Ireland and Scotland. In Dublin, enjoy VIP priority entrance to the legendary Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a university insider. Meet one of Northern Ireland’s best storytellers, Ronan, as he walks with you inside the 17th-century, gothic city walls of Londonderry. In Ardgowan, learn the wonderous and exciting history of the Shaw Stewart family on a tour with Sir Ludovic Shaw-Stewart, who will personally show you his 10,000-acre coastal estate. Along the way, you’ll get the chance to walk inside the historic walls of the Edinburgh Castle to see the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg and also venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and villages in the magical Ring of Kerry.

Italian Escapade: Revel in city riches and observe the beauty of Italian landscapes on this 13-day adventure filled with history, food and art. View the mighty Colosseum and stunning architecture of Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches throughout the ancient city of Rome. In the charming hill town of Assisi, marvel at beautiful stone-built structures that overlook the grand Mount Subasiom and visit the actual birthplace of St. Francis at the Basilica of St. Francis, that’s filled with colorful medieval paintings, gold plated ceilings and mosaic-tile floors. Take time to relax on a cruise through the famous sun-kissed Isle of Capri, surrounded by beautiful blue Mediterranean waters. In the glistening city of Florence, enjoy a mouth-watering, traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak dinner and sip on decadent wine at a historic winery in Lake Iseo.

Amazing Spain and Portugal: Delve into the heart and soul of each destination on this 9-day journey through the Iberian Peninsula. Tour the celebrated Alhambra Palace with a Local Expert, taste authentic Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon, and see the ancient Roman arches across the river Tormes in Salamanca. Embark on a scenic drive to Seville to explore the maze of narrow lanes and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter, and see the final resting place of Christopher Columbus, along with his tomb, at the grand 15th century Seville Cathedral. In the historic city of Toledo, visit the workshop of a master craftsman and see how Damascene swords are made. In Jabugo, taste the famous jamon Iberico (Iberian ham) and learn about its history and production.

From now until August 29, travelers can take advantage of an air offer of $150 off per person on economy, $200 off per person on premium economy and $250 off per person on business class with British Airways, American Airlines, Finnair or Iberia Airlines. This exclusive offer is valid for travel from Sept. 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 and can save travelers up to $500 per couple. Offer is valid on our Europe, Morocco, Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean Itineraries.

To find out more, visit insightvacations.com.

 

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New Helping Hands Program Offers Opportunity to Live, Work in Yellowstone National Park

June 18, 2019
Yosemite National Park, Calif.

Imagine living and working in Yellowstone National Park © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

by Veronica Stoddart

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – “I don’t know too many people who get to spend five weeks in Yellowstone,” gushes Bernd Linzbach of his experience with the park’s Helping Hands program. “It was a great opportunity to explore the park,” says the retiree from Prescott Valley, Ariz.

He’s referring to the year-old Helping Hands program run by the Xanterra Travel Collection, which manages the Yellowstone National Park Lodges. It offers part-time, short-term jobs to people who want to immerse themselves more deeply in the nation’s first national park by living and working there while offering a “helping hand.”

“It’s a chance to spend real time in Yellowstone and explore the park when you’re not working,” observes Linzbach, who first experienced the program with his wife Debra in the fall of 2018. They enjoyed it so much that they repeated it in the spring of 2019. The Lizbachs worked in the housekeeping department at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Old Faithful Inn, tidying up, re-stocking, and getting the rooms ready for the housekeepers to turn them over for incoming guests.

Helping Hands requires participants to work 20 hours per week, between four and eight hours per day. They live in the park in dorm accommodations, which Linzbach says are basic with no TVs and slow WiFi. Some rooms have private baths; others are shared. Meals are cafeteria style, which at the Lake Hotel means having the same cooks as the guests have, who turn out food “of a very high standard,” he says.

Highlights for the Linzbachs were viewing wildlife and meeting people, including other participants in the program. “It’s not like a vacation where you have to try to see everything in a few days,” says Linzbach. “(When you live there), if you don’t see an animal one day, you’ll see it another. We were able to see grizzlies, bison, elk, deer, coyotes, moose, and even a wolf. It’s very special and fantastic to see all those animals.”

What advice does Linzbach have for others? “I would highly recommend this program for anybody interested in nature,” he says. “It was so inspiring,” he adds, that he and Debra are already preparing to apply for the fall season.

How to Participate

Submit your application now for the fall season. Arrival is on Sept. 5 and 12, 2019, and departure is on Oct. 15, 2019.

You could be assigned to the lodging or food and beverage department. Jobs include housekeeper, dishwasher, busser, or host. Training will be provided for each one. Housekeepers do light cleaning and prepare guest rooms for the full-time housekeeping staff; kitchen crew workers do prep, set up, service, and clean up; and hosts provide guest services in the restaurants.

You will be assigned to work in one of the following locations: Old FaithfulCanyon Village, Mammoth, Grant Village, and Lake Yellowstone.

Program perks include employee discounts in and around Yellowstone.

For more travel experiences available from the Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.

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6th Annual Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival, Ballston Spa, NY June 21-23

June 18, 2019

The 6th Annual Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival is back again at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa, NY, June 21-23, 2019, with 30 balloons at each launch.

Ballston Spa, NY – The 6th Annual Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival is back again at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa, NY,  June 21-23, 2019. Due to the success of the BBQ last year, two new BBQ vendors have been added. There will be bountiful balloons, 30 of them at each launch.

Last year, after four successful years, the event organizers realized that they  wanted to create a bigger and better event, one that was less dependant on the weather. So the barbecue component was added as a protection against the weather. Festival organizer Tim Cianciola says, “The BBQ vendors and music alone are worth the price of admission.” He points out,  “With  all the  great entertainment, our audience can have an enjoyable day.  And let’s not dismiss the balloons; they are a spectacular sight. They ascend as a parade of skyward seeking colorful flying ships, actually, an  amazing happening.”

This year’s Festival schedule is filled with, kids activities,  bountiful BBQ, craft beer, wine slushies, bands, street performers, a trained dog show,  a marketplace with 100 booths including arts, crafts, specialty foods, pony rides, games, and the balloons. During the three days the Festival expects to launch up to 100 balloons. Perhaps, the most exciting  single event is the Friday evening Balloon Glow at dusk. Cianciola  says, “It’s magic, just pure magic.”

The show opens on Friday at 3PM and closes after the Balloon Glow at dusk. Saturday runs from 11 until 8PM. Sunday hours are 11-5.

Admission: Adult admission is $12 at the gate, kids $5.  Discounted Advance sales tickets are available on the the Festival website www.balloonandbbq.com. On Sunday, Family Day, all tickets are just $5 each for adults or children.

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Loyalty Has Its Rewards for Ocean & River Voyagers

May 30, 2019
rcl-liberty-072307 086e2 (c) Karen Rubin

Royal Caribbean International’s loyalty program is the Crown & Anchor Society-Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

DETROIT  Cruise line loyalty programs are a rewards system that earn repeat cruise travelers devoted to specific cruise lines a variety of perks such as:

  1. Special loyalty pricing, which can provide significant savings over time.
  2. Member-only activities
  3. Complimentary Wi-Fi and internet
  4. Complimentary drinks
  5. Complimentary specialty dining
  6. Concierge service and other valuable amenities
  7. Discounted room upgrades, priority check-in
  8. Access to private dinners and parties
  9. Merchandise discounts and in-cabin amenities
  10. In some cases, complimentary cruises days or longer.

Enrollment is offered the first time you cruise with a line, so remember to provide your loyalty number to your CruiseCompete member agent when you book your next cruise for increased benefits and savings.

CruiseCompete provides tips on how to find your cruise line loyalty number (there are a number of ways) and specific instructions by cruise line. To see full details, go to this page:
https://www.cruisecompete.com/cruise_line_loyalty_programs.php

There are some lines that may extend loyalty rewards to other brands owned by cruise line parent company as well. Recently, MSC Voyager’s Club announced MSC Cruises matches the status for guests’ existing cruise, travel or tour operator program with a similar or higher status, meaning travelers can instantly get benefits when joining the MSC Voyager’s Club.

Here are many of the cruise lines and their loyalty programs:

AmaWaterways (Privilege Reward Program)
Azamara Club Cruises (Le Club Voyage-Adventurer, Explorer, Discoverer)
Carnival Cruise Line (VIFP – Very Important Fun Person – Club)
Celebrity Cruises (Captain’s Club-Preview, Classic, Select, Elite, Elite Plus, Zenith)
Crystal Cruises (Crystal Society) 
Cunard (World Club)
Disney Cruise Line (Castaway Club)
Holland America Line (Mariner’s Society)
MSC Cruises (Voyagers Club)
Norwegian Cruise Line (Latitudes)
Oceania Cruises (Oceania Club)
Princess Cruises (Captain’s Circle)
Regent Seven Seas Cruises (Seven Seas Society)
Royal Caribbean International (Crown & Anchor Society-Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle)
Seabourn (Seabourn Club)
Silversea (Silversea Venetian Society)
Viking Ocean Cruises (Viking Explorer Society)
Viking River Cruises (Viking Explorer Society)

For more information or assistance planning a future cruise or cruisetour, visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor.

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Fine Arts & Festivals in the Great Northern Catskills

May 30, 2019
Olana National Historic Site

Hudson River Skywalk, a walking path on the Rip Van Winkle bridge, is viewed from artist Frederic Edwin Church’s Olana, and connects to the Thomas Cole historic site, on the Hudson River School Art Trail © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Where can you see Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, and Brooks & Dunn all in one place? At the Taste of Country Music Festival at Hunter Mountain, June 7-9! One of the Catskill’s premier summer festivals, country music fans flock to this three-day event each year. Camp out for the complete experience and you’ll be rewarded with special concerts, great food, and craft beer from a wide variety of amazing vendors.

If you prefer banjos and stand-up basses, the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is for you. Held at Walsh Farm from July 18-21, Grey Fox’s who’s who of bluegrass line-up boasts 40 bands playing on six outdoor stages over four days. It’s non-stop, family-friendly, toe-tapping fun. Combine your bluegrass experience with a visit to the Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week, held concurrently from July 14-20 in East Durham. It’s a week-long celebration of Irish culture that includes live music, traditional Irish dancers, workshops, lectures, art, and more.

A festival on two wheels, the 12th Annual Tour of the Catskills Pro-Am Bicycle Road Race will be held in Tannersville on August 3. One of the nation’s top cycling events, this Pro-Am race draws over 250 racers each year from throughout the world. Considered one of the toughest cycling courses in the country for amateurs and professionals alike, racers will give their all just to get through the ‘Devil’s Kitchen Climb,’ a grueling uphill portion of the course. Cheer the athletes on, or register and see if you have what it takes!

Rev up the fun and watch daring riders kick up the dirt and reach serious speeds at Diamondback Motocross of East Durham. With three Sunday race days this summer – June 16, July 7, and July 28 – there’s no excuse for missing this thrilling event. Landing big-air jumps and racing around tight corners, it’s an adrenaline junkie’s dream come true for riders, and a heartpounding spectacle for those on the sidelines!

The Catskill Region has long been a place where poets, painters, writers, and photographers have found artistic inspiration. The stunning natural surroundings and ample opportunities for reflective solitude make it a haven for creative minds. As a result, it also holds incredible appeal for those who appreciate the fine arts.

There is no better place to begin your Catskills arts and culture exploration than at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. There, the former home and studio of Hudson River School of Art founder Thomas Cole still stands, now serving as a museum of Catskills art history and a working gallery and studio.

Exchange traditional for contemporary when you visit the LUMBERYARD Center for Film and Performing Arts. This modern-day studio and performance center is a wonderful place for audiences to enjoy unique theater, dance, and film productions, and a place for budding artists to hone their craft and blaze their own artistic path. Browse their upcoming events or learn more about their leading-edge artist-in-residence programs.

With so many incredible performance spaces and galleries to choose from, it’s easy to make the arts part of any visit to the Great Northern Catskills. Check the performance schedules of the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill and the Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center in Tannersville to find world class concerts, theater productions, and one-of-a-kind shows, or stop by a local art gallery to see breathtaking works by talented local artists.

What is it about the Great Northern Catskills that is so inspiring to artistic minds? Take a walk along the new Hudson River Skywalk to see for yourself! Hundreds of feet in the air, the mile-long Skywalk connects the homes of two famed Hudson River School painters, Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. Spanning a picturesque portion of the Hudson River, several outlooks along the path provide panoramic views of the water below and the surrounding mountains. It is a view that has inspired countless photographs, paintings, and written works, including the famous fable of Rip Van Winkle. While pets are not allowed, sketch books, cameras, and easels are encouraged!

Greene County Tourism, 800-355-CATS, 518-943-3223, www.greatnortherncatskills.com..

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Nantucket’s White Elephant Partners with Mandarin Oriental, Boston to Offer ‘2 If by Land, 3 if by Sea’ Package

May 29, 2019
Nantucket-White Elephant e2

The White Elephant on Nantucket

Can’t decide between a beach holiday on an iconic island and a city stay packed with culture and history?

The White Elephant on Nantucket is partnering with Mandarin Oriental, Boston to offer guests a New England vacation experience with three nights on the island and two nights under the city lights. The package also includes experiences such as a sailing tour around Nantucket and tickets to the Whaling Museum, the backbone of the island’s history. Rates start at $3,398 for two guests.

Overlooking Nantucket Harbor, White Elephant is the quintessential New England retreat composed of peaceful, light-filled guest rooms and charming garden cottages that dot the water’s edge. Guests of the hotel can dine al fresco at Brant Point Grill, Nantucket’s premier steak and seafood restaurant, or pick up a book from the on-property library and spend the day in a chaise on the Harborside Lawn. White Elephant also offers complimentary Priority Bicycle rentals, making for an easy ride to the island’s many beaches and favorite spots such as Bartlett’s Farm and the Brant Point Lighthouse. Guests who book the top suite at the hotel will also receive the keys to a 2019 BMW vehicle for the duration of their stay.

During a visit to Mandarin Oriental, Boston guests can unwind with The Spa’s tension melting New England Retreat therapy. The treatment begins with a full dry body brush exfoliation, followed by a targeted tension relieving massage. To finish, warm muds and de-stressing muscle gels are applied to revitalize and refresh. Guests will also enjoy a personal shopping experience at Lilly Pulitzer on nearby Newbury Street so they can deck themselves out in the perfect seaside attire.

The Two if by Land, Three if by Sea package starts at $3,398 plus taxes and gratuities and includes:

Two if by Land at Mandarin Oriental, Boston

–          Two-night stay in luxurious accommodations

–          Daily breakfast at Bar Boulud or in-room for two people

–          Boston-themed welcome amenity

–          New England Retreat treatment at The Spa for two people

–          $250 gift card to Lilly Pulitzer

 

Three if by Sea at White Elephant, Nantucket

–          Three-night stay in seaside accommodations

–          Daily breakfast for two people

–          Nantucket-themed welcome amenity

–          Endeavor sunset sail and island tour

–          Two tickets to the Whaling Museum

–          Three-course dinner with wine pairings at the waterfront Brant Point Grill for two people

The package is available until November 2, 2019, is based on double occupancy and is subject to availability. It must be booked a minimum of 7 days prior to arrival and additional nights can be booked at the best available rate. Reservations can be made by contacting hotels directly.

White Elephant, Nantucket: 1.800.445.6574

Mandarin Oriental, Boston: 617.535.8880 or emailing mosbo-reservations@mohg.com.

Nantucket Island Resorts is a collection of premier hotels on Nantucket that specialize in bringing the unique Nantucket lifestyle to all guests. From boating to fine dining to a large number of island festivals and events, Nantucket Island Resorts caters to its visitors and offers vacation planning that lets you get the most out of a Nantucket vacation while staying in a fantastic array of accommodations. Properties include The Wauwinet, which unveiled a multi-million dollar renovation in April 2019 and offers access and views of both bay and ocean beaches and home to AAA Five Diamond-rated TOPPER’S restaurant; White Elephant, offers a choice of accommodations including  an iconic hotel located right on Nantucket Harbor that offers a lovely arrangements of rooms, suites, cottages, and two stunning in-town luxury lofts as well as the Brant Point Grill. Down the street is the Inn with well-appointed deluxe rooms and suites and one-, two-, and three-bedroom Residences, that all enjoy access to the on-property heated pool; Jared Coffin House, a historic and charming hotel located in Nantucket Town and its restaurant, Nantucket Prime; The Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin, waterfront cottages with full kitchens located on three wharves jutting out into Nantucket Harbor and featuring 12 pet-friendly accommodations. All properties were recognized by 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The Nantucket Boat Basin, a 240 slip full-service award winning marina, is also part of the collection and located at the base of Town. 

An intimately luxurious hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Boston combines classic New England elegance with refined Oriental touches to create one of the most distinctive hospitality experiences in the region. Awarded both Forbes Five-Stars and AAA Five-Diamonds, Mandarin Oriental, Boston features 148 of the city’s most spacious guestrooms and suites, exquisite meeting and event facilities and legendary personalized service. Hotel amenities include Massachusetts’ only holistic Five-Star awarded spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center and our signature restaurant Bar Boulud, a French-inspired bistro and wine bar from internationally acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud. A short 15-minute drive from Logan International Airport, Mandarin Oriental, Boston connects guests to the city’s finest shopping, cultural venues and business institutions from its prime location in the heart of Boston’s chic Back Bay on Boylston Street.

 

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