Archive for March, 2012

12-night River Voyage Aboard American Queen Steamboat With Historians Commemorates 150th Anniversary of Civil War

March 30, 2012

A 12-night Epic Civil War Journey aboard the American Queen sails the historically-rich waters of the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers, with a number of fascinating ports of call along the way allowing passengers the opportunity to explore the famed locations and battlegrounds that shaped the future of the United States of America, including Vicksburg, MS, with its famous Civil War battlefield © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Crown Cruise Vacations, preferred provider of PTV at Sea events, and Artful Travelers, producers of PTV at Sea, are presenting a celebration of the American Experience to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and premiere the highly-anticipated documentary “This Republic of Suffering.”

The Epic Civil War Journey sails the historically-rich waters of the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers, with a number of fascinating ports of call along the way allowing passengers the opportunity to explore the famed locations and battlegrounds that shaped the future of the United States of America.

This 12-night voyage begins on Aug. 9, 2012, with 2 days of steamboating and ports of call to include: New Orleans, LA, Vicksburg, MS, Helena, AK, Memphis, TN, Ashport Landing, TN, Paducah, KY, Savannah, TN, Decatur, AL and Chattanooga, TN

Passengers will sail aboard the newly-refurbished American Queen steamboat, which will premiere “This Republic of Suffering,” the latest production by American Experience, weeks ahead of its national debut on PBS stations across the country. Based on the best-selling book This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by noted historian and Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, the highly-anticipated documentary examines how the unprecedented death toll of the Civil War challenged American cultural attitudes about death and changed federal government policies regarding soldiers.

Passengers join Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns and acclaimed producer Mark Samels as television’s longest-running and most-watched history series American Experience presents the Epic Civil War Journey. Burns, Samels and other special guests will share their vast knowledge, premiering and discussing the upcoming PBS production with passengers aboard. Combining learning, luxury and leisure, this sailing will truly be unlike any other.

Esteemed guests for this  American Experience voyage include…

Ric Burns has been writing, directing and producing historical documentaries for nearly 20 years. He is best known for his epic series New York: A Documentary Film (1999-2003), which premiered nationally on PBS to wide public and critical acclaim as an eight-part, seventeen and a half hour film that chronicles the city’s rise from a tiny Dutch trading post down through its continuing preeminence as the undisputed economic and cultural capital of the world. The first episodes earned the prestigious Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University award for excellence in broadcast journalism, an Emmy for outstanding achievement in non-fiction editing, and two other Emmy nominations, for outstanding non-fiction special and achievement in cinematography.

In 2002, episode seven of the series was awarded the American Cinema Editors award for best edited documentary, as well the Cine Golden Eagle Award. The eighth and final episode received an Emmy and an Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University Award, among other awards.

Burns began his career collaborating on the celebrated PBS series The Civil War, (1990), which he produced with his brother Ken, and wrote with Geoffrey C. Ward. Since founding Steeplechase Films in 1989, he has directed some of the most distinguished programs in the award-winning public television series, American Experience, including Coney Island (1991), The Donner Party (1992), The Way West (1995), Ansel Adams (2002) and Eugene O’Neill (March 2006). Most recently he wrote, produced and directed Andy Warhol for the PBS series American Masters (September 2006). For his work on Andy Warhol, Burns was awarded a 2006 Peabody Award, and a 2006 Primetime Emmy Award. Burns is co-author, with James Sanders and Lisa Ades, of New York: An Illustrated History, the companion book to the New York series, as well as co-author, with Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, of the companion book to The Civil War. Both books are published by Alfred A. Knopf. Burns was educated at Columbia University and Cambridge University.

Mark Samels is executive producer of American Experience, PBS’s flagship history series. Produced by WGBH/Boston, American Experience is television’s most-watched and longest-running history series. Under Samels’ leadership, the series has been honored with nearly every industry award, including the Peabody, Primetime Emmys, the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, Writers Guild Awards, Oscar nominations, and Sundance Film Festival Audience and Grand Jury Awards.

Samels has overseen the production of more than 100 films for the series, focusing on stories from America’s past that are highly resonant in the world today. He has expanded both the breadth of subjects and the filmmaking style embraced by the series, allowing for more contemporary topics and more witness-driven storytelling. In addition to his public television work, Samels is a founding member of the International Documentary Association and has served on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Nonfiction Peer Group.

Also appearing…

  • Brian Still Wills, historian
  • James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., historian
  • Barry Meadows, tribute artist: General Ulysses S. Grant
  • Al Stone, tribute artist: General Robert E. Lee
  • Cathy Barton & Dave Para, Civil War era musicians
  • Bobby Horton, Civil War historian & musician

Crown Cruise Vacations and Artful Travelers are presenting this educational PTV at Sea adventure, celebrating PBS’ award-winning history series American Experience in luxury, aboard the newly refurbished American Queen.

Epic Civil War Journey Voyage Fares special promotion fare ranges from $2,895 to $8,495, depending on the cabin category and number of guests. To participate in all exclusive Epic Civil War Journey events and activities, reservations must be made directly with Crown Cruise Vacations by calling toll free 855-788-7880. Fares include a complimentary one-night luxury hotel stay both before and after sailing, complimentary shore adventures, complimentary multiple dining options, complimentary beverages, including wine, beer and spirits and much more.

Contact Crown Cruise Vacations, exclusive provider in partnership with Artful Travelers, promoters of PTV at Sea cruises. Reservations can be made directly with Crown Cruise Vacations by calling toll-free 855-788-7880 (USA/Canada) or emailing ptvinfo@crowncruisevacations.com.

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Ticket, Package Options Make it Easy to Include Jamestown, Yorktown in Williamsburg Trip

March 30, 2012

From a weekend getaway to a week-long vacation, there are many ways to include Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center in a Williamsburg destination itinerary, with a range of ticket and package options available at www.historyisfun.org/Vacation-Packages.htm.

The two living-history museums tell the story of the nation’s beginnings, from the arrival of America’s first permanent English colonists in Virginia in 1607 to the American Revolution and the formation of the new nation. Jamestown Settlement’s expansive permanent exhibition galleries and introductory film chronicle 17th-century Virginia in the context of its Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures. Historical interpreters interact with visitors at outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607, and a 1610-14 colonial fort. At the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, gallery exhibits and an evocative film portray the Revolutionary era from the perspectives of citizens and soldiers. Outdoors, visitors can explore a re-created Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm.

Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are included with Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens and other attractions in a variety of Williamsburg area best-value ticket options in 2012 featuring unlimited admission for seven consecutive days, free admission for children under 6 and free parking. All are available at www.historyisfun.org/Vacation-Packages.htm and can be packaged with lodging:

The basic History is Fun! combination ticket for Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center, $20 for adults and $10 for ages 6 through 12 and available year-round, is a 20 percent savings over individual admission rates. Purchased online, the ticket is good for seven consecutive days of unlimited admission, while admission tickets purchased on arrival are for one museum visit. History, Shopping and Fun! provides seven consecutive days of admission to the two museums along with a voucher for a Williamsburg Premium Outlets VIP Coupon Book and a Historic Yorktown Rewards Card for shopping and dining discounts.

The Jamestown and Yorktown Four-Site Value ticket, good for seven consecutive days of unlimited admission to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Yorktown Battlefield and Yorktown Victory Center, is $30 for adults, $20 for ages 13-15 and $10 for ages 6-12 and is available year-round.

America’s Historic Triangle, one ticket for seven consecutive days of unlimited visits to five historical attractions – Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums, Yorktown Battlefield, and Yorktown Victory Center – is $81 for adults and $35.50 for ages 6-17 and is available year-round. From March 18 through November 4, 2012, the free Historic Triangle Shuttle connects the Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown attractions.

The Williamsburg Flex ticket, available March 24 to October 28 in 2012, provides seven consecutive days of unlimited visits to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums, Yorktown Battlefield, Yorktown Victory Center, and Busch Gardens. Water Country USA is a free added bonus between May 19 and September 3. The Williamsburg Flex ticket is $178.20 for adults, $138.70 for ages 6-17.

Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until 6 p.m. from June 15 through August 15. The two museums are administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a Virginia state agency accredited by the American Association of Museums. Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 South at the Colonial Parkway next to Historic Jamestowne, administered by the National Park Service and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia). The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown near Yorktown Battlefield, administered by the National Park Service. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit www.historyisfun.org.

 

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Popular Backpacker Travel Guide to USA, Canada Now Available Online

March 30, 2012

The USA/Canada Hostels & Travel Guide, a popular travel planning and reference tool for backpackers, students and budget travelers, is now available in an online version © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

The USA/Canada Hostels & Travel Guide, a popular travel planning and reference tool for backpackers, students and budget travelers, is now available in an online version.

Published by Bakpak Travelers Guide, the 92-page digital guide is a replica of the print version and includes tips and information on popular trip ideas, backpacker and adventure tours, car and campervan rentals, listings for over 200 hostels and covers the most popular destinations. The Guide is also packed with information on free and cheap things to do which save travelers money.

The digital edition, powered by Issuu, can be downloaded, printed and viewed online at www.bakpakguide.com. The digital version also provides web links to all the hostel and tour companies and advertisements found in the guide.

“The print guides fly off the shelf at hostels and international student program offices. Now any traveler worldwide can get it online and start planning their backpacking USA or Canada adventure,” says Bakpak Dave, Chief Bakpaker and publisher.

Bakpak Dave Barish launched Bakpak Travelers Guide in March 1998 and also publishes a Backpacking Europe Hostels & Travel Guide. Prior to Bakpak, David set-up, co-owned and operated a top-rated hostel, the Nomads Market Inn, in South Melbourne, Australia. Prior to his involvement in the travel industry, Dave was a senior accountant at Arthur Andersen in New York and Price Waterhouse in Melbourne, Australia.

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Home Exchange Can Make Cost of Attending London Olympics Affordable

March 27, 2012

The countdown is on to the start of the 2012 Olympic Games and, with visitors to London facing expensive travel costs, this is the perfect time to arrange a home swap and cut out accommodation costs completely.

With thousands of Home Base Holidays members living near Olympic venues in and around London and many offering their homes for exchange during the Olympics and Paralympics, there are so many attractive home swap offers to choose from.

Home Base Holidays members, Canadians Gloria and Joe, with tickets for four events, have already arranged an exchange to attend the Olympics:

“We always knew we wanted to do a home swap having considered it for many years. The thought of all the money we’ve ‘wasted’ on hotels!”

The home and location:

“Our London home exchange looks like a nice house with parking, a wee garden and owned by a family of three just like us. If it is lacking in extraordinary views or fascinating historical associations, it will make up for in comfort and predictability, a premium commodity indeed when travelling. In short, it may not be haunted by the ghost of Virginia Woolf, but at least it’s not haunted! Moreover, its location makes it ideal to get to the Olympic park – this really being a major bonus.”

Gloria, Joe and daughter, Harper are exchanging their large 1894 Victoria home complete with turret in Woodstock, Ontario, for the Salter family’s modern home in South Woodford, East London.

Home Base Holidays spokesperson, Lois Sealey, says: “Arranging a home exchange is a great money saver especially during a busy period like the Olympics when hotel room rates are soaring. Swapping homes enables visitors to experience the ‘real’ city like Londoners while enjoying the space and convenience of a comfortable home.” See Olympics home exchange information and sample offers.

Founded in 1985, Home Base Holidays is a long established home exchange service with offices in London and Asia, providing free information in monthly newsletters and blog, Travel the Home Exchange Way. Join Home Base Holidays for only £29 for a full year’s membership. Arrange as many swaps as you like from the thousands of up-to-date home swap offers available in 70+ countries.

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Travcoa Offers a Family Luxury Safari Featuring the Best of Kenya

March 20, 2012

Travcoa, the world leader in luxury travel, is offering a custom-crafted multi-family luxury safari to East Africa this summer. The exclusive14-day “Kenya: African Family Adventure” will be led by Travcoa Travel Director and professional photographer, Kymri Wilt. This Escorted Journey highlights the breadth and mystery of Kenya’s unspoiled frontier, and Kymri has personally crafted the itinerary and hand-picked luxury lodges and camps which embody the iconic African safari experience. From superb wildlife viewing to enriching cultural interactions, there is something special for all ages to enjoy – a wonderful way for parents and grandparents to share exceptional and inspiring experiences with their children and/or grandchildren.

“There is no greater gift a family can share than the gift of travel,” stated Jerre Fuqua, President of Travcoa. “It’s rare for a family vacation to engage passions and interests across generations – from grandparents to teenagers. But the mere mention of the word ‘Africa’ piques the curiosity of both young and old.”

Departing July 29, 2012, Travcoa’s “Kenya: African Family Adventure” starts at $11,990 per person. Pricing for children under 16 starts at $9,990. Guests will stay in Kenya’s legendary lodges and tented camps in Nanyuki and discover the world-famous Kenyan National Parks of Meru, Amboseli and Masai Mara. Highlights include visiting the Giraffe Center, the Sweetwater Game Reserve, David Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage, a hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara and interacting with Maasai villagers.

For more information about the “Kenya: African Family Adventure” or to request a brochure please contact Travoca at 1-800-992-2003 or go online at www.travcoa.com.

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Victoria Cruises Launches New ‘Tribes of the Three Gorges’ Excursion on China’s Yangtze River

March 20, 2012

Qutang Gorge Victoria Cruises is now offering a new optional Tribes of the Three Gorges excursion on its four-night upstream Yangtze River sailings from Yichang to Chongqing.

Victoria Cruises (http://www.victoriacruises.com) is now offering a new optional Tribes of the Three Gorges excursion on its four-night upstream Yangtze River sailings from Yichang to Chongqing.

Priced separately from Victoria Cruises’ standard excursion package at an additional $42 per person, the tour provides an introspective glimpse into local life in the Xiling Gorge region with opportunities to see Toad Spring, statues of the ancient Ba nationality, scenic Dragon Stream, Monkey Hill (featuring more than 200 wild specimens), Lover Bridge and Huanglong Waterfall. Additionally, passengers opting for the excursion will meet local fisherman and enjoy a boatman performance as well as Crying Wedding performance, a custom of the Tujia nationality.

Victoria Cruises’ standard excursion package is priced from $90 per person, which includes the “Ghost City” of Fengdu and Three Gorges Dam excursions, as well as an incredible sailing experience through the Small Gorges of the Daning River, one of the Yangtze’s tributaries (may be substituted for Shennong Stream tributary sailing at Victoria Cruises’ discretion). The Small Gorges excursion culminates with a tranquil sampan journey through the “Mini Gorges” of the Ma Du River, itself a tributary of the Daning.

Victoria Cruises also offers additional optional excursions, such as White Emperor City, which is priced at $38 per person, in addition to the cost of Victoria Cruises’ standard excursion package.

Overlooking the Western end of Qutang Gorge, White Emperor City has long been a refuge for would-be kings and poets who traveled there to be inspired by the breathtaking views. Legend has it that in 25 A.D., white vapor in the shape of a dragon rose from a well, and Gong Sunshu, a soldier who had been headquartered there, declared himself the “White Emperor.” Remains of the city wall can be seen on the hill behind Baidi Mountain, and a temple built to commemorate Gong’s reign dates back more than 1,950 years.

Travelers can book excursions as well as upgraded meal service and other VIP amenities offered through Victoria Cruises’ Executive Deck program in advance of departure, or they can upgrade onboard based on availability.

Victoria Cruises’ Executive Deck program features “white glove” concierge service, enhanced ship placement, access to exclusive VIP areas, exclusive shore excursions for groups of six or more, à la carte meal services or reserved window seating in the main dining room, exclusive happy hour, complimentary Internet access, exclusive cultural demonstrations and reserved seating for evening entertainment.

The four-night cruise is priced from $880 per person for a private balcony Superior Stateroom. Superior Staterooms on the Executive Deck start at $1,080 per person, while Executive Suites, Deluxe Suites and Shangri-La Suites start from $1,340, $1,820 and $2,300 per person, respectively. Prices are based on double occupancy and may vary based on ship and deck placement.

Based in New York, Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Since that time, Victoria Cruises has achieved tremendous success by introducing the majesty of the Yangtze River to travelers worldwide. A true pioneer and innovator, Victoria Cruises delivers an unrivaled and unsurpassed Yangtze River experience. An American-managed company, Victoria Cruises operates the largest fleet of vessels with the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration. Victoria Cruises offers a variety of itineraries varying from four to nine days including Grand Yangtze Discovery, Three Gorges Highlights and Three Gorges Explorer.

Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards and recognitions over the years and has most recently received the 2011 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship in 2010 with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna. Travel Weekly also recently selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category.

China’s magnificent Yangtze River continues to awe and inspire and Victoria Cruises remains the finest guide for the journey.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 57-08 39th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377; phone 800-348-8084, 212-818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889. Send e-mail to contact@victoriacruises.com or visit http://www.victoriacruises.com.

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‘Larry’s Country Diner’ and ‘Country’s Family Reunion’ TV Shows Host 5-Day Caribbean Cruise

March 20, 2012

Larry chats it up with Nadine during the Larry’s Country Diner/Country’s Family Reunion cruise. The painted set and the duck shaped floatation device are just part of the fun as the diner adjusts to the high seas. Photo Credit: Phil Johnson ©2012 All Rights Reserved

Gabriel Communications’ highly successful television shows, “Larry’s Country Diner” and “Country’s Family Reunion” will once again take to the high-seas for a five-day “down-home” Caribbean Cruise.

Fans can climb aboard the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas cruise liner January 19-24, 2013 and enjoy entertainment featuring Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, T. Graham Brown, Ronny Robbins, with more artists to be announced. Of course, there will be a special onboard Larry’s Country Diner show, featuring the entire cast, and very special stand-up performances by the ever-popular Nadine. The Liberty of the Seas, which will dock at ports of call including Cozumel and Belize, boasts amenities such as a 9-hole golf course, waterpark, full-sized sports courts, fitness center, day spa and unlimited onboard activites.

Book by calling: 1-800-820-5405 or by logging on to www.cfrcruise.com.

In just two years, “Larry’s Country Diner,” has become one of country music consumers’ favorite “eateries.” One of the top-rated shows on the RFD-TV network, this “down home” variety show serves up a heapin’ helpin’ of spontaneous country music performances by the stars of yesterday and today, with a generous portion of laughs. Set in a rural, small-town diner, the show’s spontaneity and impromptu nature only add to its charm and unique appeal, pulling an estimated audience 1.4 million people each month to the upstart network.

During the cruise, fans will get to be a part of the “Larry’s Country Diner” studio audience, get up close and personal with their favorite diner cast members and enjoy stellar performance by iconic country artists. Passengers will also enjoy special shows from “Country’s Family Reunion.

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St. Maarten Auction Site Features 2-Night Stay at Oyster Bay Beach Resort

March 20, 2012

The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association recently launched its travel auction site www.stmaartenauction.com to drive tourism to the destination by offering vacationers the option to bid on hotel stays and activities to create the most of a St. Maarten vacation. Beginning March 19 through April 2, 2012, Oyster Bay Beach Resort is on the bidding block with a three-day stay for two in a studio apartment with the vacation starting at $50.

This month’s deal includes hotel accommodations for two at Oyster Bay Beach Resort in a studio apartment, welcome and farewell cocktail party, two VIP tickets for the 12-metre regatta (where guests will enjoy the journey of a lifetime where they can participate and become a crew member as they are assigned positions onboard a retired racing ship for a mini-race); shopping trip courtesy of AMA Jewelers including a $50 AMA voucher, professional shopping guide, transportation to and from the hotel, unlimited beverages and raffle for a bottle of wine.

This offer is valid through Dec. 15, 2012 (blackout dates of Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve).

St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair. As “the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” St. Maarten offers an eclectic array of cuisine for food lovers with more than 365 restaurants to satisfy the tastes of every palate and pocketbook.

Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island’s 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to both historical and family-oriented attractions. During the day, watersport enthusiasts can enjoy the island’s scuba diving and snorkeling facilities while the capital of Philipsburg offers true duty-free shopping in a bustling Caribbean city atmosphere and 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs provide endless evening entertainment.

Accommodations are varied and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts. Air service to Princess Juliana International Airport is available from numerous U.S. and Canadian cities as well as from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Find St. Maarten on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VacationStMaarten and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StMaartenTravel. For more information, visit www.VacationStMaarten.com.

All-Inclusive Mango Bay Barbados Offers Free Wedding on 14-Night Bookings by April 15

March 16, 2012

Couples who tie-the-knot at Mango Bay Barbados can get a free wedding package with a 14 night vacation at the all-inclusive resort; guests booking 7 nights are given 50% off the 'Nuptials Package.' Reservations must be made directly with the hotel by April 15 for travel June 1 - Oct. 31, 2012.

Couples looking to tie-the-knot at the boutique Mango Bay (www.MangoBayBarbados.com), Barbados, will receive a FREE wedding package (valued at US$1,025) with a two-week (14 nights) vacation at the all-inclusive, 76-room, property. Additionally, guests booking a minimum of seven nights are given 50% off the resorts ‘Nuptials Package.’ This offer is valid on new reservations made directly with the hotel by April 15, 2012 for travel June 1 – Oct. 31, 2012.

The soon-to-be-betrothed can say ‘I Do’ amidst a picture-perfect setting with the help of a personalized wedding coordinator to make the big day extra special.

Every little girl has an idea of her dream wedding and the staff at Mango Bay will see the vision to the end. The resort offers the bride and groom a Nuptials Package that includes the following:

© Wedding arch with decorations

© Boutonniere for the groom

© Wedding bouquet for the bride

© One bottle of sparkling wine

© One-tier 12″ sponge cake

© Services of a clergymen to perform the ceremony

© Administration and marriage license fees

© Roundtrip transfers to obtain the marriage license

In addition, couples can include the following services for an added cost to the package (all prices given are a guide only and are subject to change):

© Photo album with 24 photos (US$475)

© Photo album with 24 photos and 40 digital images (US$675)

© One hour of live steel pan music (US$300)

© Champagne (US$100 per bottle)

© Video (US$750)

© Boutonniere for groomsmen (US$25)

© Additional bouquets for bridesmaids (US$55)

© Hair accessories (US$30)

© Hair stylist services (starting at US$75)

Setting Mango Bay apart from other wedding destinations is that the resort understands that each wedding is as unique as each couple. Each ceremony is personally arranged so that the idyllic vision of the couple is met and carried out to perfection.

“Mango Bay guarantees that each wedding receives the utmost in attention and detail and only allows two weddings per week allowing the resort to focus solely on those two and those couples,” said Peter Odle, Chairman.

All-inclusive nightly rates start at US$535 per room, per night, based on double occupancy and include hotel accommodations, all meals, afternoon tea, all local and brand name drinks including wine with dinner, use of the resort’s gym, watersports (waterskiing, hobiecat sailing, kayaking and snorkeling) and nightly entertainment. Spa treatments are available for an additional fee at Elements Spa located at the resort.

Couples who want to marry in Barbados must have valid passports or birth certificates (original or certified), death certificates if widowed, marriage certificate if previously married, and decree absolute or certified copy of the final judgment if either party was divorced. All documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. For Jewish weddings, the couple must arrange for a Rabbi to perform the ceremony.

Located in the historic Holetown area on the famed Gold Coast of Barbados, the 76-room Mango Bay is known for its casual sophistication and all-inclusive value. This beachfront, boutique-style property is the ideal tropical retreat for travelers seeking an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle – an oasis where warm breezes, delightful Caribbean sunshine, and picturesque beaches are refreshing and revitalizing. Spacious accommodations, a centrally-located swimming pool, delicious dining and tremendous all-inclusive value make Mango Bay a truly exceptional “Uncomplicated, Unencumbered, Unforgettable” vacation paradise.

For more information on Mango Bay, Barbados call 246-432-1384; fax: 246-432-5297; e-mail reservations@MangoBayBarbados.com; or visit www.MangoBayBarbados.com.

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Crystal Cruises’ Early 2014 Itineraries Now Open for Booking at ‘Book Now’ Savings Until June 30

March 16, 2012

Crystal Serenity at sea.

With other luxury cruise lines yet to dip their bows into 2014’s seemingly far-off waters, Crystal Cruises’ early-2014 preview itineraries are now open for booking. Seventeen voyages visiting 74 ports in 34 countries are available for January to April 2014 on Crystal Serenity and January through May on Crystal Symphony. “Book Now” fares offer savings of up to $2,000 per couple off attractive 2-for-1 brochure prices until June 30, 2012.

Distinctive, less-cruised, less-easily-accessible lands like Ghana, Mauritius, Brunei, Burma, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Sao Tome, Senegal, Namibia, and Angola complement vacation favorites like the Cayman Islands, Panama Canal, Thailand, and Hawaii. Crystal is not only maiden calling in Luanda, Angola; Lombok, Indonesia; and Malacca, Malaysia, but also returning to several destinations not visited in years, such as the Andaman Islands, India; Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan; the UK’s Pitcairn Islands; and Jakarta, Surabay, and Ujung Pandang, Indonesia.

All voyages but one offer overnights in local ports-of-call, including “double overnights” (two consecutive nights) in Yangon (Myanmar/Burma), Yokohama, Ho Chi Minh City, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai. Winter/spring voyages range from 12 to 26 days, in addition to a five-segment, 89-day World Cruise.

“We were the first cruise line out of the gate to share 2014 itineraries last December, and travelers have been anxious to book ever since,” says Crystal Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing Jack Anderson. “Experienced cruisers recognize that Crystal not only offers incredible value for a luxury vacation, our itinerary offerings for 2014 are incredibly innovative, with easy, intimate access to authentic cultures and vacation memories.”

New routes include:

  •  World Cruise:

Ø L.A. to London’s port of Southampton (Jan 18)

Ø Rare visits to USA’s Mariana Islands and Guam.

Ø Multiple Asian segments, one with three Vietnamese stops.

Ø Rounding Africa from Mauritius Islands to Morocco, with three South African stops and a maiden call in Luanda, Angola.

Ø Combine with Jan 5’s Panama Canal voyage beforehand to sail all the way from Miami to the UK.

  • · Trans-Pacific:

Ø Back-to-back Polynesian explorations, beginning with an unusual southern Trans-Pacific cruise, stopping at Easter Island, Pitcairn Islands, Mo’orea, Papeete, Tahiti (overnight), then continuing on to the Cook Islands, Tonga, and Fiji. (Jan 8 & 20)

Ø 15-day Tokyo to L.A. ocean-crossing, with just one stop/overnight in Honolulu, for sea day lovers. (May 1)

· Unusual Asia:

Ø Java/South China Seas: Four Indonesia ports-of-call, including a Bali overnight, plus Malaysia and Brunei visits. (Feb 28)

Ø Andaman Sea: 14-day Southeast Asia cruise with three stops in Malaysia, an Andaman Islands visit, and two nights in Myanmar. (March 12)

Ø “All-China”: 10-day Chinese voyage features a Hong Kong overnight, double overnight in Shanghai, and optional three-day, add-on land package to Beijing. (April 9)

Ø Japan-China: Three stops in China and four in Japan, with one night in Osaka and two in Shanghai. (April 19)

Until June 30, 2012, “Book Now” fares for 2014 start at $2,975, with attractive air add-ons from over 90 North American gateways.

Crystal Cruises’ resort experience always includes a host of complimentary amenities, from enlightening enrichment speakers and fitness classes to pampering pillow menus and specialty restaurant dining including the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa. Starting this spring, vacations will also include complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff. Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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