JetBlue to Offer ‘Mint Experience’ Flying from JFK to Barbados

March 19, 2015

Beginning November 7, JetBlue will offer its popular “Mint experience” from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Barbados (BGI), one of the top Caribbean routes for the airline. Travelers from the Eastern region of the U.S. will have a premium travel option at an affordable fare with Mint, giving jetsetters a new reason to head to the sun-drenched island.

Between November 7, 2015 and April 30, 2016, JetBlue will operate one roundtrip on Saturdays to Bridgetown, Barbados. And between December 19, 2015 and January 4, 2016 the airline will operate one roundtrip flight daily for the busy holiday travel season.

“This is an amazing win for the island of Barbados,” said Petra Roach BTMI, Director, USA. “Barbados has a long history with luxury airline offerings.  We were the only leisure destination to host Concorde service from London for many years and now to be the first home of JetBlue’s Mint service outside of the US is a reflection of the strength of our burgeoning partnership and JetBlue’s continued support of Barbados as a destination. We are thrilled to be a part of this new way to fly with JetBlue where the customers’ premium vacation experience starts the moment they step onto the plane.

Available for booking on JetBlue.com today, roundtrip flights from JFK to Bridgetown are:

 

JFK-BGI                                9:20 a.m. departure, 3:02 p.m. arrival

BGI-JFK                                4:15 p.m. departure, 8:30 p.m. arrival

Since launching on transcontinental routes in June 2014, Mint has quickly become recognized for its whole new take on flying, which includes private suites, the widest seat and longest fully-flat bed in the U.S. domestic market, tapas-style dining, custom amenity kits and 15-inch flat screen televisions with free entertainment. With Mint service to the Caribbean, JetBlue will become the only U.S. carrier to operate regularly scheduled service with lie-flat seating to the region.

Barbados is one of the most popular Caribbean travel routes on JetBlue’s growing route map, and one of more than 80 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. With incredible on-island musical performances, epicurean driven festivals, and motor sport tournaments, 2015 marks the perfect year to travel to Barbados immerse oneself in the distinctive culture and one-of-a-kind events the island has to offer.

JetBlue’s Mint experience to the islands will add a Caribbean twist to some customer favorites, including the tapas-style menu curated by New York City restaurant Saxon+Parole, organic desserts by Blue Marble Ice Cream, a sweet treat from Mah-ze-Dahr Bakery, and customized amenity kits from Birchbox.

“Ever since we launched Mint, customers have been asking us where we will take it next,” said Marty St George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “We re-invented transcontinental flying with Mint, and we anticipate demand for an enhanced product will be equally strong for these Caribbean destinations.”

The A321 Customer Experience

JetBlue offers Mint on its new Airbus A321 aircraft, which features a completely redesigned onboard experience throughout the entire cabin.

“Mint is a remarkable new way to fly, but true to our mission of inspiring humanity, we’ve also taken the same thoughtful approach throughout the aircraft,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. “Our completely redesigned A321 interior offers the best experience to Caribbean-bound customers no matter where you’re seated.”

While the Mint experience has set new premium standards, the core experience leads other airlines’ offerings as well. Features of the A321 core interior include 10-inch television screens offering free entertainment, comfortable seats with the most legroom in coach** and power outlets accessible to all customers. JetBlue’s popular marketplace, a self-serve station full of snacks, sodas and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience, is also available throughout the flight.

Extend the Experience With a JetBlue Getaways Vacation Package: Customers looking for the complete package can book Mint seats in conjunction with hotel, car rental and other amenities and activities through JetBlue Getaways. JetBlue Getaways packages to both Barbados  offer access to the very best resorts and island experiences with the convenience of one booking process. Call 1-800-JETBLUE to book.

Barbados, an Authentic Caribbean Experience

The island of Barbados an authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes.  Rated as one of the world’s sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados’ Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travelers.  Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island and is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S., making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean.

Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor’s “2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards” in its Top 100 Destinations category.

For more information on travel to Barbados, visit http://www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, via Twitter @Barbados.

Jetblue: New York’s Hometown Airline

JetBlue is New York’s “Hometown Airline” and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 87 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 825 daily flights. Upcoming destinations include: Cleveland on April 30; Reno-Tahoe, Nev. on May 28; and Grenada on June 11, 2015 (subject to receipt of government operating authority). For more information visit JetBlue.com.

 

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Ski into Spring at Vail Resorts

March 19, 2015
Tubing at Keystone Resort. Spring is a wonderful time to be on the mountain © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tubing at Keystone Resort. Spring is a wonderful time to be on the mountain © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Warmer weather and longer sunlight hours offer snow enthusiasts prime opportunity for enjoying spring skiing and snowboarding across Vail Resorts. Reap the benefits of exceptional snow conditions and high-energy events and activities at Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort in Colorado; Park City Mountain and Canyons Resort in Utah; and Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar California Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe.

Soak-Up the Sun: Vail Resorts Top Five Decks

Perched at the summit of Vail Mountain, overlooking Sun Up Bowl and Blue Sky Basin, Hawks Nest Deck at Vail offers a great spot for a mountaintop picnic this spring. Centrally located and easily accessed by three chair lifts this spot is often packed with skiers and snowboarders enjoying the spring weather and afternoon sun while making use of the complimentary gas grill. And, new this spring enjoy a taste of the tropics at The Beach at Vail, featuring an outdoor tiki bar and tropical drink specials at Mid-Vail, plus music from DJ Ramona every Saturday afternoon.

Luxurious and family-friendly Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado offers skiers and snowboarders a respite from stellar spring skiing conditions at Mamies Mountain Grill, an on-mountain, outdoor restaurant featuring a large sundeck, purchase and grill your own lunch and Umbrella Bar. Take in stunning views of McCoy Park and the surrounding mountains while listening to the live music on Thursdays and Sundays.

Why wait until après to join in on the party? New this season, Heavenly Mountain Resort rolled out a mid-day party on the deck at East Peak Lodge on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The mid-day party features on-snow activities, like corn hole, a live DJ, an outdoor grill, and the lovely Heavenly Angels. Bask in the California sun with friends as you enjoy a notorious spring skiing day at Heavenly.

Enjoy lunch in the historic Mid-Mountain Lodge at Park City Mountain resort which once serviced over one thousand miners a day. Now the carefully renovated venue offers delicious lunch options from the 10th Mountain outdoor grill serving a wide array of savory, barbequed favorites for guests to enjoy from its expansive outdoor deck, framed by picturesque mountain views.

Lookout Cabin is just one of several on-mountain dining destinations at Canyons Resort, known for its table-served Rocky Mountain cuisine. Skiers and snowboarders relax in the open air taking-in incredible views of Wasatch Range from the deck in between runs, with their favorite cocktail in hand from the full-service bar.

Springtime Events and Activities

Guests heading to Vail Mountain can Spring Back to Vail April 17-19 at the biggest end-of-season party featuring free live concerts by Portugal. The Man, Trampled by Turtles and The Greyboy Allstars. Closing day also brings the annual World Pond Skimming Championships, a spectacle entailing floatable (and sometimes sinkable) athletes launching themselves off an on-snow jump into an icy pond, in attempt to exit the pond on both feet.

Beaver Creek celebrates spring with SpringFest enchanting Beaver Creek Village daily through April 11. Activities for all ages include parades, comedy shows, glow stick ski-downs, fireworks, American Jukebox ice skate nights, complimentary snowshoe tours, teens trampoline  tricks class, scavenger hunts, daily 3 p.m. Cookie Time, Family FunFest carnivals, science tents, Easter Egg Hunt and more. Save up to 35 percent off on spring lodging with Beaver Creek’s Spring Break Escape offer.

Breck Spring Fever at Breckenridge Ski Resort is back, bringing with it the biggest spring party in the Rocky Mountains from March 21 through closing day, April 19. On-mountain and in-town signature events include the Throwback Throwdown snowboard event to celebrate the resort’s 30th anniversary of snowboarding; and the FREE Bud Light Concert Series with four days of big-name acts on the mountain including Third Eye Blind, Eric Paslay, American Authors and the Infamous Stringdusters.

Offering whimsical daily programming for families, Keystone Resort’s Kidtopia offers indoor and outdoor activities including Kidtopia Fireworks, Pajama Family Brunch, and the world’s largest snow fort perched at 11,640 feet on Dercum Mountain. Parents can treat their kids age 2 – 14 to Kids Night Out which includes movies, games, arts & crafts, snow tubing and dinner for $85 per child. The Slush Cup pond skimming event will round out the 2014-15 season on April 12 showcasing crazy costumes, impressive falls, great commentary and a chance to have one last hoorah at Keystone.

The Unbuckle Après Party at the Tamarack Lodge at Heavenly Mountain Resort, rated as the No. 1 après ski party in North America by Forbes, is Lake Tahoe’s highest elevation après ski party featuring music, drinking, dancing and the lovely Heavenly Angels – ripping skiers by day and go-go dancers when the sun dips below the Sierra. Unbuckle those ski boots and snowboard bindings, and take your après game to the next level each Friday and Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., enjoying half-priced drinks, food specials, a guest DJ, the Heavenly Angels, giveaways and lots of dancing.

Northstar California Resort will host the final Mountain Table Dinner of the series on March 27. Epicureans are invited to discover the essence of Northstar’s laid-back California luxury as they savor a gourmet, five-course menu of California-sourced ingredients. Guests are whisked up the mountain on a twilight gondola ride to the signature Zephyr Lodge where they will enjoy a feast for the senses as each course is masterfully created to highlight the flavor notes of each wine varietal from the prestigious Frog’s Leap Winery.

Visitors of 100-percent-open Kirkwood Mountain Resort will ski to their heart’s delight in signature Lake Tahoe weather where top-to-bottom, spring snow conditions are offered to skiers and snowboarders on all of its 86 trails.

With warmer temperatures come outdoor events including Park City Mountain‘s Spring Concert Series every Saturday as well as Snowasis, an unforgettable weeklong winter family festival in the Resort plaza filled with on-snow and après entertainment for everyone in the family including scavenger hunts, live music, racing, carnival activities, movie nights and much more. The Kids Après Party features a wide array of activities for the mountain’s youngest snow enthusiasts to partake in.

Celebrate the 2014-15 season at Canyons Resort in Utah during their 10-day free concert series in the Resort Village, and cap off a stellar winter season at the Pond Skim on March 21 when costumed daredevils will attempt to successfully cross a 100-foot pond on skis or a snowboard.

Springtime Deals

With so much going on in the spring season, the best way to access Vail Resorts is through EpicDay Express Tickets, a newly implemented mobile ticket platform giving guests the ability to purchase daily lift tickets online and on their mobile devices, in advance or up-to-the-minute before enjoying the mountain at the guaranteed lowest price. Bypass the normal ticket windows to get on the mountain faster at as much as 25 percent off the lead rate. Existing hard card lift passes may be instantly reloaded, allowing skiers and snowboarders to head right to the lift. For guests who need a new hard card, an express lane will be available at ticket windows for added convenience.

Guests can take their mountain experience to a new level by securing Lodging at Vail Resorts managed hotels and vacation rentals across Colorado, Utah and Lake Tahoe resorts where vacation packages and deals of up to 35 percent off are available to guests booking spring travel through the end of the season. To book, visit www.snow.com or call (866) 486-3420.

Spring is also the optimal time to Turn in Your Ticket in order to secure the lowest price and most benefits for 2015-16 season passes. Turn in today’s lift ticket toward your new 2015-16 season pass when you pay in full. Tickets must be turned in for pass credit, at the end of the ski day and in-person only. This promotion is valid for new pass holders only, and only one ticket may be applied per pass.

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Mount Snow Offers Savings for 2015-16 Season Pass with Added Value, and Payment Plan Benefits

March 17, 2015

Mount Snow, VT– On the heels of record snowfall and over 100 days on snow, Mount Snow, Vermont’s closest big mountain resort, invites skiers and riders to celebrate spring and get a jump on the season-to-come with deals on 2015/2016 winter season passes. Available now at early season rates, passholders will enjoy benefits like payment plan options, buddy tickets and complimentary spring turns in addition to great savings when they purchase by April 30, 2015.

New this year, the resort is offering a Payment Plan, inviting new skiers and riders to reserve their passes with just a $99 down payment. Those opting to take advantage of the Payment Plan will enjoy spring turns for the rest of the 2014/15 season, and pay the remainder of the pass balance in five monthly installments beginning in May.

Free tubing tickets, discounted bring-a-friend tickets, lodging and retail discounts are among season passholder benefits.

Aside from a season of turns on Mount Snow’s 589 skiable acres, several of the resort’s pass options come loaded with multi-mountain access. The Nor’Easter Pass, Mount Snow’s signature unlimited access offering, provides unlimited days at Wildcat, Attitash and Crotched in New Hampshire, as well as Jack Frost/Big Boulder in Pennsylvania in addition to zero blackout dates to the Vermont resort’s home terrain. Adults can purchase early for $1,029, and new for this season, youth and senior skiers and riders will pay only $699 – the same rates as 2010/11.

Additional specialty passes include the 1826 Pass, available for anyone ages 18 to 26 and offering access to Mount Snow and Crotched with a zero blackout dates for just $349.  In addition, the Double Down Pass offers the 18 to 26 year old crowd unlimited turns at both Mount Snow and Stratton Mountain with no blackout dates for $379.

Other season pass options include the Classic Pass, Midweek Pass and Sunday Pass, inviting skiers and riders to save money while accessing their preferred days on snow.

For more information about Mount Snow’s season pass products, visit www.mountsnow.com/seasonpass.

 

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Vail Resorts Opens Sales on 2015-16 Epic Pass at Sale Price of $769 thru April 12

March 10, 2015
Keystone, Colorado is one of the 11 iconic Vail Resorts where you have unlimited skiing and riding privileges for the season with the Epic Pass © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Keystone, Colorado is one of the 11 iconic Vail Resorts where you have unlimited skiing and riding privileges for the season with the Epic Pass © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
© Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Vail Resorts has just put the 2015-16 Epic Pass on sale, affording unlimited access to 11 U.S. resorts that collectively offer more than 32,000 acres of terrain. Until April 12, the Pass can be purchased for just $769 for adults and $399 for children, with $49 downpayment to lock in the rate. What is more, you can use lift ticket purchased after March 10 toward the purchase price.

The Epic Pass allows skiers and snowboarders to experience iconic resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Park City all season long. With Park City merging with Canyons Resort over the summer and becoming the largest U.S ski resort, plus the benefit of $85 million in resort improvements for guests last season, $492 million since 2010 and more improvements to come over the summer of 2015, the Epic Pass offers unrivaled services, skiing and snowboarding under one pass.

Skiers and snowboarders can put just $49 down by Sunday, April 12, to lock in the lowest guaranteed pass price for next season, with the balance due in September. The Epic Pass pays for itself in less than five days of skiing and offers a 35 percent savings compared to lift ticket purchases at the lift ticket window. For guests planning on just one ski vacation, the Epic 4-Day offers four unrestricted days of skiing or snowboarding, valid all season long. At $389 for adults, the Epic 4-Day pays for itself in just over two days with a 35 percent savings from the lift ticket window.

“The Epic Pass continues to offer the best deal in the ski industry with access to legendary resorts across the country and some of the best skiing and riding in the world,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. “This is the best time to lock in the lowest price for yourself, friends and family, and experience the benefits of owning a season pass for next ski season. The prices will only go up, but we’ll continue to offer unparalleled guest offerings at all of our resorts.””

Starting March 10, guests can benefit from the Turn in Your Ticket program this spring, which allows skiers and snowboarders to apply the cost of their day lift ticket towards the price of an Epic season pass for the 2015-16 ski season. Guests can bring their day ticket to a season pass office at any of the Vail Resorts owned mountains and let the staff know they’d like to put the money towards any season pass product.

Epic Pass, Epic 7-Day and Epic 4-Day Pass

The Epic Pass™ delivers unlimited skiing and snowboarding all season long at 11 U.S. resorts. With unlimited and unrestricted access, skiers and snowboarders can ski as much as they want at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. The Epic Pass is $769 for adults and $399 for children (ages 5-12). The Epic Pass pays for itself in less than five days of skiing or riding and offers a 35 percent discount compared to lift ticket window purchases. With more than 32,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain, this pass affords the best value in the ski industry.

Epic 7-Day ™ pass is great for guests who don’t plan to ski more than seven days next winter. The pass features seven unrestricted days of skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe. The Epic 7-day is $579 for adults and $299 for children (ages 5-12). In addition, pass holders will receive seven free days of skiing at Mt. Brighton or Afton Alps. The Epic 7-Day pays for itself in under four days of skiing and riding and provides more than 45 percent savings compared to lift tickets purchased at the lift ticket window next season.

Epic 4-Day ™ pass is optimal for skiers and riders planning on one ski trip next year, but want to save on lift tickets. The Epic 4-Day provides four unrestricted tickets, valid at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe. The Epic 4-Day is $389 for adults and $219 for children (ages 5-12). Epic 4-Day pass holders also receive four free days of skiing at Mt. Brighton or Afton Alps. For just more than $1,200, a family of four can ski four days of their choosing. The Epic 4-Day pays for itself in over two days of skiing or riding with a 35 percent savings compared to lift tickets purchased at the lift ticket window next year.

Season Pass Benefits
Epic Pass and all Vail Resorts season pass holders will receive exclusive offers on lodging, dining, ski rentals, equipment, ski school and special events for the 2015-16 ski and snowboard season at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood, as well as Mt. Brighton, Afton Alps and Arapahoe Basin. Season pass holders also automatically receive six discounted Ski-With-a-Friend Tickets, on most passes. All season pass products are non-transferable and non-refundable. Additional season pass benefit information can be found at www.epicpass.com.

Season Pass Insurance Option
Vail Resorts encourages guests to purchase pass insurance. All of the Company’s season pass products are non-refundable and non-transferrable; however, pass insurance covers pass holders in the event of unexpected circumstances including sickness, injury and job loss. Coverage applies for all Epic season passes, valid for the 2015-16 ski season.

Current benefits and prices on Epic season passes are only guaranteed through Sunday, April 12, 2015. To purchase a season pass online or to find out more information, visit www.epicpass.com.

 

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Film Festivals Flourish in San Diego

March 7, 2015

With more than a dozen specialty film festivals screening everything from horror to fashion, and from LGBT- to Hispanic-themed films, San Diego is emerging as a leading destination for film lovers.

Here is just a sampling of the many film festivals that can be found in San Diego throughout the year:

  • The 22nd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival takes place at the AMC Fashion Valley 18 in San Diego’s Mission Valley during March 12-22, 2015. The festival features screenings of short and feature length films from across Latin America and the U.S. by Latinos and about the Latino experience.
  • During May 20-23, 2015, visitors to San Diego can enjoy more than 25 international films, filmmaker presentations, surfboard shaping demos, live music, panels with surf legends and more at the San Diego Surf Film Festival. The festival takes place at Bird’s Surf Shed, a unique surf shop and surf-art gallery, located in San Diego’s North County.
  • FILMOUT San Diego returns May 29-31, 2015, to celebrate the year’s best LGBT films. In addition to film screenings, the festival features special appearances by filmmakers and actors. Screenings are held at the Observatory North Park, a historic theater in the heart of one of San Diego’s trendiest neighborhoods.
  • The 6th annual La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival will be held on July 24, 2015, in the luxurious coastal community of La Jolla. Hundreds of fashion fans will attend to view films highlighting the world’s top fashion houses, designers and stylists.
  • The San Diego International Film Festival takes place Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 2015 in downtown San Diego. The largest of San Diego’s film events, this festival showcases the best in American and international full-length films, documentaries and short films, and features Q&A sessions with directors and guest appearances by well-known actors and film artists.
  • Just in time for Halloween, the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival celebrates horror and its various sub-genres by showcasing new and independent artists, as well as reviving classic horror films. Held at the Media Arts Center San Diego’s Digital Gym in North Park, the October festival features films ranging from psychological thrillers to supernatural horror to slashers and even related genres like noir. October 2015 dates are still to be announced.
  • In September, the San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival supports entertainment and education industries by showcasing international films, screening more than 60 films from 38 countries at the AMN Healthcare Theater in Carmel Valley. The festival provides aspiring young filmmakers with an opportunity to communicate to an international community. Dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • In November, the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at the California State University San Marcos presents the San Diego American Indian Film Festival. The festival highlights the best of current films from American Indian filmmakers, producers, directors and actors working through Indian Country. In addition to film viewings, the event includes three days of interactive dialogues with film industry professionals, selected panel discussions and opportunity for Q&A sessions after each screening. Dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • Presented by the Pacific Arts Movement, the San Diego Asian Film Festival in November celebrates motion pictures, shorts and animation from Asian artists from around the world. The 10-day festival takes place at various venues around San Diego; dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • The annual San Diego Italian Film Festival showcases the best new Italian films ranging from engaging dramas and entertaining comedies to documentaries telling unique stories. The 2015 festival will take place at the historic La Paloma Theater in San Diego’s North County; dates are still to be announced.
  • The San Diego Black Film Festival spotlights African-American and African diaspora cinema. At the annual festival held in January, the San Diego Black Film Festival presents more than 100 films ranging from comedy and drama to documentaries, animation, shorts and more at downtown San Diego’s Reading Theater. Dates for 2016 are still to be announced.
  • The San Diego Jewish Film Festival showcases American and international feature films, documentaries and short films that explore the Jewish experience.  The festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in February 2015 with nearly 50 films screened at venues around the county. Dates for 2016 are still to be announced.

For more information on San Diego’s offerings, including vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at www.sandiego.org or call 619-236-1212.

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Pacific Delight Launches First South America Tours Starting with Peru

March 6, 2015
Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator's expansion efforts. He hinted that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator’s expansion efforts. He hinted that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

NEW YORK, NY – Pacific Delight Tours is expanding into South America, beginning with the launch of a seven day itinerary to Peru where travelers will have the opportunity to view some of the most famed sights in the Western Hemisphere, including Machu Picchu.  Tours to Peru start at $2,559 per person, based on double occupancy.

“Peru is a fabulous landscape where exotic culture and ancient ruins combine with well-preserved colonial architecture to create a multi-faceted window into the past, present and future with ultra-modern cities like Lima, ancient Incan cities like Cusco and the incredibly mysterious Machu Picchu, all within one vast landscape,” said Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, who was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator’s expansion efforts.

“We are very excited to have Peru as our first South America destination, as I’ve been involved in promoting tourism to and from South America since 1972 and am extremely familiar with Peru, having lived there,” noted Oborski, hinting that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

Pacific Delight’s 7-Day Peru Program takes travelers to Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco along with a full-day tour of different Incan communities and antique salt mines.

Machu Picchu, known as the “Lost City of the Incas” is not only one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, but also the biggest cultural treasure of Peru’s past and the empire of the Incas.  Undiscovered by Spaniards and forgotten for centuries, it was not until 1911 that the American scientist Hiram Bingham came upon this phenomenon accidentally.  The ruins still leave scientists with numerous questions and riddles as to how it was built and for what purpose.  Travelers will reach Machu Picchu by shuttle bus and enjoy lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Travelers will get to visit Cusco, home to many important Inca sites, where explorers will not only find Incan walls and temples, but also colonial mansions and Catholic churches.  In addition to Cusco, other stops include the Salt Mines of Mara, an excursion to the small Andean community Moray, known for its embedded amphitheater, and a trip to Chinchero where travelers will explore the town’s Sunday market, originally dedicated to the people of the valley to barter their products with a variety of handicrafts and textiles made in true pre-Columbian style.  Explorers will also get to visit Awankancha where they will learn about the traditional weaving techniques typical for the area.

Peru also offers travelers the unique opportunity to experience nearly 98% of the world’s climates, from Rainforests in the North, to coastal cities like Lima in the West and sprawling mountain ranges in the East.  This varied climate, along with a merging of cultures, has given Peruvians the ability to create some of the most unique culinary experiences including Chifa, a fusion of Peruvian and Chinese food, and Ceviche, Peru’s take on sushi.

Pacific Delight Tours is offering the 7-Day Peru Program in Silver and Gold packages.  The Silver package starts at $2,559 with a $600 single supplement and provides travelers with first-class accommodations.  The Gold program starts at $2,999 with a $926 single supplement and features Pacific Delight’s signature FiveStarPlus® luxury accommodations.  All rates quoted are per person, based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare or initial arrival and departure transfers, which are only included when airfare is purchased from Pacific Delight Tours.

Meals are included as per the itineraries along with English-speaking guides and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program. International airfare is not included, but can be purchased from Pacific Delight Tours at competitive rates from all major U.S. gateways.

Pacific Delight Tours’ expansion into South America will include itineraries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru in 2015, with more destinations to be announced.

For more information or to book, consult your local travel agent or contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179.  Browse Pacific Delight’s China and Asia offerings at www.PacificDelightTours.com.

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RideOn Introduces Augmented Reality Ski Goggles, Like Google-Glass for the Slopes

March 6, 2015
Ski Heavenly, Lake Tahoe: RideOn Ski Goggles let you communicate hands-free using audio and video, post videos and stats online for your friends back home © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Ski Heavenly, Lake Tahoe: RideOn Ski Goggles let you communicate hands-free using audio and video, post videos and stats online for your friends back home © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Imagine skiing or riding down a mountain and knowing exactly where you are on the mountain, or contacting your companions, hands free, through your ski goggles. RideOn, a startup based in Tel Aviv, recently unveiled their prototype of ski goggles that incorporate augmented reality (AR) features for the first time ever. RideOn’s see-through display (think Google Glass) projects AR layers and features as if they’re floating in the distance in front of you.

“We wanted to find our locations on a ski resort map instantly, or to quickly contact each other when we’d get separated. We wanted to do these things without having to take our gloves off, or use our phones,” said Alon Getz, CEO and co-founder, on why they created the goggles.

Software engineer and co-founder Ori Kotek noted that heads-up display goggles like Oakley Airwave and Recon’s Snow2 sort of achieved this, but with bulky external devices like wrist-pieces, and a display located in the user’s peripheral vision. “What distinguishes RideOn is our delivery of a true AR experience, derived from a see-through display that projects data onto the center of your field of view, not on the side,” he explained.

Furthermore, users interact with these data and features hands-free just by staring at friends, ski lodges, and ski lifts in the distance, or by looking up at floating buttons fixed to the sky. Getz and Kotek invented this style of UI to keep riders’ hands warm in their gloves. RideOn’s features let you:

Interact

  • See your friends’ locations around you
  • Communicate using audio and video
  • Post videos and stats online for your friends back home
  • Annoy your friends: Throw a virtual snowball

Navigate

  • See your location on a map
  • Find ski lodges, restaurants, and bars highlighted seamlessly in your field of vision
  • Find ski lift locations & check queue wait times, and whether lifts are open

Play

  • Compete against yourself and your friends in various games and improve your time and accuracy

The goggles also feature an HD camera for capturing video and for video-chatting with friends back home. RideOn uses this camera in combination with inertial sensors and GPS to measure user location and head orientation.

RideOn are the world’s first true AR goggles for skiers and snowboarders who want an enhanced, visually interactive experience on the mountain. Conceived in 2012, founders Ori Kotek and Alon Getz — each with 13 years’ experience in jet-pilot visual technology and inertial systems — created RideOn to let skiers communicate with friends, navigate the mountain’s runs and lodges, and play games, all overlaid seamlessly in the center of their vision.

RideOn is being launched as an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign and is be offered for $500.

For information, http://www.rideonvision.com; info@rideonvision.com for inquiries and support; sales@rideonvision.com for sales and marketing, or contact the IndieGoGo page at Igg.me@rideon.

 

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New Smartphone App Provides Audio Guides to America’s National Parks

March 6, 2015
A new GPS-powered mobile app from Just Ahead turns smartphones into hands-free audio tour guides of America's national parks.

A new GPS-powered mobile app from Just Ahead turns smartphones into hands-free audio tour guides of America’s national parks.

A new GPS-powered mobile app from Just Ahead turns smartphones into hands-free audio tour guides of America’s national parks.

Just Ahead’s app and audio guides work even where cell phones, Internet, and Wi-Fi won’t, to stream interesting stories spliced with geography, history, and even driving directions while cruising through a national park.

One example is Just Ahead’s Death Valley National Park audio guide, which recently garnered the Best Travel App award from the North American Travel Journalists Association. This award is due, in part, to the levels of professional travel writing and narration that present the myriad stories of each national park. Content writer and editor Bob Howells has twice won the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Lowell Thomas Gold Award for adventure travel writing.

“Our aim is to give travelers and their families an entertaining and educational travel experience,” underscored Just Ahead founder Gregory Morse. “We think the Just Ahead app and audio guides encourage exploring and getting off the beaten track. You’re engaged at the same time you’re learning.”

Just Ahead utilizes GPS technology to know exactly where drivers are on the road, and delivers stories and maps relevant to their location. Just Ahead also helps drivers avoid getting lost by providing helpful suggested directions. Just Ahead tells drivers why they should turn or not, what they should do after a turn, and recommends the best direction to take if there are multiple route options.

As of mid-winter 2015, Just Ahead apps are available for the following parks: Yosemite, Zion and Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley. An additional 12 national park guides are in production, including Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Petrified Forrest, Canyon De Chelly, Monument Valley, and Mesa Verde – with many more to come.

Just Ahead started with US national parks because they are treasured natural assets that are visited each year by 292 million people from around the world (2014 set a record for national park visitation). But the company intends to go beyond the parks. In the future, Just Ahead will offer guides for other major road trip destinations, including California Highway 1, Route 66, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Hawaiian Islands, and many others.

The Just Ahead app is a free download, and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase. Guides range from $7.99 – $9.99 and include a free trial and free guide updates.

For more information, visit: http://www.justahead.com.

 

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‘Out of the Vault: 25 Years of Collecting’ Opens at Nassau County Museum of Art

March 5, 2015
Roy Lichtenstein, Foot and Hand, 1964, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dorsky, will be exhibited as part of the Nassau County Museum of Art's "Out of the Vault".

Roy Lichtenstein, Foot and Hand, 1964, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dorsky, will be exhibited as part of the Nassau County Museum of Art’s “Out of the Vault”.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Nassau County Museum of Art is presenting Out of the Vault: 25 Years of Collecting, its first comprehensive exhibition of works from the permanent collection. It will be on view March 21 to July 12, 2015.

This presentation highlights patrons’ numerous gifts to the Museum over the last quarter century that have never, or rarely, been exhibited. Each gallery space within this multifaceted presentation will focus on different themes such as past and present portraiture, great traditions in paintings, post-war prints and vintage posters of many eras. Exploring a diverse range of artists that are strongly represented in the Museum’s collections, this exhibit includes works by naturalist John James Audubon, photographer Larry Fink, as well as Pop Art icons Marisol Escobar, Robert Indiana and Larry Rivers, among others.

Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive in Roslyn Harbor, just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A, two traffic lights west of Glen Cove Road. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Docent-led tours of the exhibition are offered at 2 p.m. each day; tours of the mansion are offered each Saturday at 1 p.m.; meet in the lobby, no reservations needed. Tours are free with museum admission. Family tour and art activities are offered Sundays from 1 pm; free with museum admission. Call (516) 484-9338, ext. 12 to inquire about group tours. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 and above) and $4 for students with ID and children aged 4 to 12. Members and children under 4 are admitted free. The Museum Store is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (516) 484-9337 for current exhibitions, events, days/times and directions or log onto nassaumuseum.org.

 

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‘Art of Golf’ Event Benefits Nassau County Museum of Art’s Education Programs

March 5, 2015
'Art of Golf' outing will benefit the Nassau County Museum of Art's education programs © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

‘Art of Golf’ outing will benefit the Nassau County Museum of Art’s education programs © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Art of Golf, on March 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., will be a fun evening of networking, golf and games to benefit education programs at Nassau County Museum of Art. The event will be held at the PGA Tour Superstore, 1254 Corporate Drive, Westbury, NY.

Organized by members and friends of the Museum’s Corporate Committee, The Art of Golf features an open wine bar, food tastings, entertainment, auctions and golf contests with fabulous prizes. Guests will be able to test their golf techniques at simulators and putting greens and work on their games with a PGA Golf Pro. The evening also features discounts on golf clothing and equipment for all participants.

Tickets are $75 per person. To reserve tickets or to find out about ticket packages and sponsorship opportunities, visit the Museum’s website at http://nassaumuseum.org/support_the_museum.php.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Nassau County Museum of Art is presenting Out of the Vault: 25 Years of Collecting, its first comprehensive exhibition of works from the permanent collection.

Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive in Roslyn Harbor, Long Island, New York.

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