Archive for January, 2013

Bonaire’s Restaurants, Hotels, Attractions Offer Romantic Specials for Valentine’s Day Travel

January 31, 2013

Bonaire’s hotels, restaurants and spas are offering Valentine’s and Romance specials

Appetite is offering a five-course Chef’s Tasting Menu on February 14, 2013, which includes a free glass of Prosecco, all for $47.50 per person. For more information or to make reservations, call +599-717-3595, email appetitebonaire@gmail.com, or visit www.appetitebonaire.com

The Black Durgon Inn is offering Valentine Packages for sweethearts that are arriving on February 23, March 2, or March 16, 2013, to keep their romance flowing. Package includes seven night’s accommodations (including air-conditioning, fans, and hot water showers), six breakfasts, use of kayaks, swimming or snorkeling instruction, a Bonaire gift and chilled champagne, and a box lunch and directions to small, intimate locations. Book either the Find a Sweetheart Package (for singles) which is $600 per room based on single occupancy, or Sweetheart Package (for couples) which is $700 per room based on double occupancy. Diving can be added for an additional $120 per diver per week. Scuba instruction is available at $350 per person. For more information, or to make reservations, email bonaire@blackdurgon.com, or visit www.blackdurgon.com

At Buddy Dive Resort, love struck visitors can celebrate the day with a romantic, sunset dinner. They will enjoy the breathtaking views of Klein Bonaire and feel the gentle ocean breeze as their palettes delight in the chef’s special Valentine’s Day menu. The three-course menu includes a choice of starters and entrées, and ends with a rich chocolate soufflé served with strawberry compote and vanilla ice cream. After dessert, taking a romantic stroll through the garden to the gazebo or enjoying a walk hand-n-hand on the dock where they can sit back and view the stars, will make this a Valentine’s Day to remember. For more information or to make reservations, call +599-717-5080, email info@buddydive.com, or visit www.buddydive.com

The secluded, peaceful setting at Caribbean Club Bonaire sets the stage for an ideal romantic escape. Combined with the convenience of an on-site restaurant and bar, swimming pool with sweeping ocean views, a full service dive shop, and personalized service in a friendly atmosphere, couples can’t help but fall in love for the first time or all over again. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Caribbean Club Bonaire will serve a special cocktail called “Kiss in Paradise” or “Un Sunchi den Paraíso” in Papiamentu. It will only be served on February 14, 2013. The resort is an ideal destination for divers, nature lovers, and peace seekers. With studio apartments to full, two-bedroom villas with kitchen and living areas. For more information or to make reservations, call 1-800-906-7780 or +599-717-5080 ext. 572, email reservations@caribbeanclubbonaire.com, or visit www.caribbeanclubbonaire.com

Caribbean Wind & Sun has teamed up with Windsock Apartments to offer a Romance Package at the small, intimate apartment complex featuring a private beach and pool. Nestled amongst a mature tropical garden, guests can enjoy casual comfort in an ocean view setting. The Romance Package includes discounted accommodations for seven nights (stay for seven, pay for six), plus a $50 room credit and a $25 dinner credit for use at Kontiki Resort. The Romance Package for Two, including tax and service, is USD$888 based on double occupancy. For more information call 1-508-737-5245, email ann@bonairecaribbean.com or visit www.bonairecaribbean.com

Flamingo Wedding & Spa Services Bonaire is offering a VIP Massage, regularly $70, for only $55. This special massage includes a one-hour combo massage (Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu and/or Tui Na) for one person, and is valid from Monday, February 11 through Friday, February 15, 2013. For more information or to make an appointment, call +599-785-0006 or +599-717-2972, email info@flamingoservicesbonaire.com, or visit www.flamingoservicesbonaire.com

H2O Visions Bonaire offers private, personalized snorkel and photo tours above and below the water and PADI continuing education. To make the day special, a pre-dawn or night snorkel trip can be arranged to see up close how the reef environment changes in early mornings and evenings. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, all night snorkel trips booked during the week of February 10, 2013 will include a bottle of wine to enjoy after the excursion. If folks are traveling with children, and still want to have that romantic interlude, H20 Visions will take the kids for the day for a snorkeling and reef eco-education. Photo tours can be in or out of the water, camera rentals are available, and those with special needs can be accommodated. Transportation, quality snorkel gear, snacks and refreshments are included with all excursions. For more information, call +599-700-4361, email brenda@h2ovisionsbonaire.com, or visit www.h2ovisionsbonaire.com

Oasis Guesthouse is offering a special Valentine’s Day package, including seven night’s accommodations in a standard room, double occupancy, for only $699 per room. This package also features breakfast and includes the tourist tax for two persons. It can be booked throughout the month of February, 2013, subject to availability. Oasis Guesthouse is a family-operated Bed & Breakfast, located close to the sea in Belnem. For more information, call +599-796-0408, email info@oasisguesthousebonaire.com, or visit www.oasisguesthousebonaire.com

Piet Boon Bonaire is offering their Garden Villas at a special price from January 15 through March 31, 2013 in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The price of $3,500 per villa per week includes a candlelight dinner for two prepared by a private chef in the villa, as well as round-trip airport transfers, breakfast supplies for day of arrival, gas, water, and electricity, cleaning and change of bed linen twice each week, cleaning of swimming pool weekly, wireless Internet, local telephone calls, and the services of the property manager. The local team is available to assist with reservations for flights, restaurants, car rental, diving, or other activities. Certain restrictions, conditions, and cancellation penalties do apply, including a damage deposit, and rates do not include a 10% service charge or tourist tax of $5.50 per person per night for those 13 years of age or older. For more information, call +599-717-6424, email patricia@pietboonbonaire.com or john@pietboonbonaire.com, or visit www.pietboonbonaire.com

Plaza Resort Bonaire is offering an all-inclusive package from $1,449 per person, including seven nights in a Standard Suite Laguna, seven breakfasts, seven lunches, seven dinners, 11 boat dive package, round-trip transfers, tax and service charge, and yes, drinks, plus a very special Valentine’s Day cocktail to be served only on February 14, 2013. Room upgrades available along with single, triple, quad rates, and an upgrade to the romantic Honeymoon Suite is available for only $2,236 per person. (Note: tourist tax of $6.50 per person per night and $25 Marine Park tag are not included in the rates quoted.) For more information, call 1-781-821-6016, email usa@plazaresortbonaire.com, or visit www.plazaresortbonaire.com

Rancho Washikemba offers unique trail rides on horseback through the pristine natural habitat of the areas of Washikemba and Lagun. And, just for Valentine’s Day, private tours are available for just two persons on either of their two tours. The Lagun Tour allows riders to walk from the ranch to Bonaire’s eastern coastline to Lagun for an opportunity to swim and play with the horses in the water, (bathing suits recommended). The Kunuku Tour offers scenic views of Bonaire’s outback, with walks, trots, and canters. Transfers from hotels can be arranged, and rides last about two hours. The price is $95 per person, including tax and round-trip hotel transfers. Advance reservations are necessary. For more information or to make reservations, call +599-788-8668 or +599-786-7321, email bregje@rancho-washikemba.com, or visit www.rancho-washikemba.com

Travelers can indulge in the romance and seclusion of shore diving on Bonaire with Sand Dollar Condominiums and Dive Friends Bonaire. Partners can enhance their shore diving experience together by enrolling in a Shore Diving Specialty course that is being offered. Upon completion of the course, they will earn a PADI specialty card. During Valentine’s Week, February 9-15, 2013, Dive Friends Bonaire is offering this course to certified divers staying at Sand Dollar on their Ride to the Reef Package on a “buy one get one free” price of $100 for two persons. Sand Dollar will sweeten that deal by delivering a free bottle of Cava Rosado Brut to all who complete the certification. Ride to the Reef Packages during the Valentine’s week are $913 per person based on double occupancy Studio accommodations including room tax, six days of unlimited air or Nitrox tanks for shore diving and seven day rental truck. For more information please call 1-800-288-4773 or the Florida Office at 1-954-453-5025, email Res@SandDollarBonaire.com or visit www.SandDollarBonaire.com

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most abundant fish population in the Caribbean. World renowned for scuba diving and snorkeling, it is also ideal for adventurers and explorers as it offers a myriad of eco-adventure activities from sea and mangrove kayaking to windsurfing or kite boarding and more. For those who want to kick back and relax, not having traffic lights on the island makes it easy to stroll into town or hop on a scooter or bike to peruse the island at their own pace. Accommodations range from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to intimate guesthouses, small inns and private villas.

For 20 consecutive years in Scuba Diving magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards, Bonaire has been selected as the number one Shore Diving destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. This year, it received 17 awards, more than any other Caribbean destination. It was voted number one for Beginner Diving, Advanced Diving, Macro Diving and Underwater Photography also in the Reader’s Choice Awards.

For more information on Bonaire, contact the Tourism Corporation Bonaire in the U.S. at 1-800-BONAIRE or visit Bonaire’s official web site at www.tourismbonaire.com. Follow Bonaire on Twitter and Facebook.

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Vacations By Rail Adds New Independent and Escorted Train Tours Across North America for 2013

January 31, 2013

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail kicks is adding 29 new rail tours across North America to its collection of train vacations for 2013. New tours range from 3 to 21 days and visit popular destinations and take in must-experience annual events.

The fiery reds, burnt oranges and golden yellows of New England’s fall foliage are the backdrop of the new 8-day Autumn in New England escorted tour, taking travelers through the region’s autumn scenery to quintessential New England sights and attractions like the Farnsworth Museum of Art, L.L. Bean, Franconia Notch State Park, Mystic Seaport, and the Kennedy Museum in Hyannis. Highlights include scenic rail excursions aboard the Maine Eastern Railroad, Conway Scenic Railroad, and Cape Cod Central Railroad.

Discover America’s musical heritage on the 7-day Sights & Sounds rail vacation featuring two nights each in Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans, the cities that played important roles in the jazz, blues and rock ‘n roll scenes and America’s cultural development.

Experience the flavor of the southwest on the 10-day Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta escorted train tour. Traveling roundtrip from Chicago, travel to Colorado aboard the legendary California Zephyr for visits to Colorado National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and an excursion aboard the iconic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. Continuing into New Mexico, visit Taos; Santa Fe, the cultural and artistic capital of the southwest; and, Albuquerque for a visit to one of the nation’s best-loved events—the annual International Balloon Fiesta—before returning to Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief.

Visit Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Mt. Rushmore on the re-mastered America’s Parks and Monuments with Mt. Rushmore 11-day escorted tour. Highlights include one-way travel from Chicago aboard the California Zephyr; visits to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Badlands National Parks as well as Little Bighorn Battlefield, Mt. Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial; and a scenic rail excursion aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad.

Other new programs feature locally-hosted and escorted US vacations along the west coast, tours to national parks, and exciting rail-cruise vacations.

New and noteworthy in Canada is the addition of the new Churchill Town and Tundra Experience, a 7-day adventure roundtrip from Winnipeg to Churchill. Combine days on the tundra in a Tundra Buggy viewing polar bears in their natural environment with classically Canadian activities in and around town.

Further west, connect the Canadian Rockies and Seattle with new Coastal Passage packages. Select from two: Western Explorer & Coastal Passage and Canadian Rockies & Coastal Passage. Both include travel aboard Rocky Mountaineer trains in GoldLeaf service from Seattle to Vancouver and from Vancouver into the Canadian Rockies.

All of Vacations By Rail’s new train tours include outstanding rail experiences, hotel accommodations, select meals and comprehensive sightseeing. Detailed itineraries for new tours as well as Vacations By Rail’s complete product line can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com.

To book a Vacations By Rail train vacation, contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245.

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Access Trips Exclusive New Culinary Tour in Sonoma Highlights Best of Wine Country Culture

January 31, 2013

From exclusive cooking classes with Sonoma’s top chefs to private vineyard tours and tastings, Access Trips new five-day culinary tour is a foodie fantasy in the heart of California’s Wine Country. The new tour offers access to some of Sonoma’s most renowned local restaurants, chefs and vintners, as guests learn to cook with organic, locally sourced ingredients that change seasonally and showcase the best of California cuisine.

Nestled in a lush valley with trellised vineyards climbing the surrounding hills, and bound by a central plaza and a historic Spanish mission, Sonoma is arguably one of the most beautiful towns in California. Offering a quaint, intimate alternative to the usual tourist trails in Napa, Sonoma is a mecca of cultural and culinary treasures awaiting discovery.

For an “ultimate” California experience, Access Trips has partnered with the Sonoma International Film Festival to offer a discounted three-day, three-night Film Festival VIP extension package for guests on Access Trips’ first Sonoma Culinary tour departing April 7, 2013. The tour’s July departure was also timed to dovetail on Destination Race’s Napa to Sonoma half marathon on July 21, 2013.

California Wine Country Culinary Tour
Five-days from $2,590 pp

From once-in-a-lifetime cooking classes with Sonoma’s finest chefs to wine, cheese and chocolate truffle tastings and a tour of one of California’s oldest family owned vineyards, Access Trips’ California Wine Country Culinary Tour is a gourmand’s dream. Indulge your palate during sumptuous meals at top Sonoma restaurants, Café La Haye and Harvest Moon Café, before enjoying exclusive cooking classes led by such big names as Harvest Moon Chef Nick Demarest. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, olive groves and rolling vineyards, visit Stone Edge Farm for a multi-course cooking class with acclaimed chef, John McReynolds, and learn tricks to add variety to recipes at home. Discover the local farmers market, take in the sites during a hike along the Glen Ellen Reservoir and relax poolside at the luxurious, boutique, Macarthur Place – one Sonoma’s finest Inns and Spas.
http://www.accesstrips.com/sports/culinary-tour/

Sonoma International Film Festival VIP Package
Three-days from $2,000 pp

Get in touch with your inner movie star during Access Trips’ three-day, three-night Sonoma International Film Festival extension. Enjoy VIP-access passes to all films, filmmakers, and discussion panels, and of course, exclusive parties with the best in California wine and cuisine! Savor your red carpet moment at the red carpet gala, where you’ll find out which celebrity will be honored by the association. The main festivities are in the Sonoma Plaza, just four blocks walking distance from Macarthur Place, your luxurious inn and spa. Book the Film Festival package along with the California Wine Country Culinary Tour and receive 10% off both the tour AND the extension, for a total savings of $459 per person. Space is limited to just 12 guests.

Access Trips is a leading adventure travel operator specializing in exotic learning vacations to 14 countries worldwide. This company offers a wide range of small-group outdoor sports and culinary-focused trips that are expertly designed to allow guests to experience a new culture, learn new skills or fine-tune existing ones, and revel in the splendor of their destination. Based in San Francisco, California and launched in 2001, Access Trips’ portfolio includes cooking, surfing, mountain biking, snowboarding, skiing, and multisport itineraries. Regardless of the focus of the activity, Access Trips caters to a variety of skill levels, serving the novice as well as the expert in a relaxed, non-intimidating setting with the help of world-class instructors and multilingual guides.

For more information about Access Trips and the adventure tours available, visit www.accesstrips.com.

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TourCrafters Offers Winter Week in Paris for $1139

January 31, 2013

Paris is marvelous to visit in winter: You won’t wait in line at the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay, you won’t suffer un-air-conditioned buses and restaurants, and prices are a lot lower.

To take advantage of the lower prices, TourCrafters is offering a land-only Classic Paris in Winter package until March 17 that starts at $1,139 and includes private airport transfers, six nights’ accommodation in a charming 3-star hotel, six breakfasts, one lunch, a sightseeing cruise on the Seine, a 5-day Paris Visite Pass, a 2-day Museum Pass, and a 1-day Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tour.

The Hop On Hop Off bus tour introduces the city’s major sights: the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, Opera Garnier, Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe; and the Paris Visite Pass provides free public transportation so you can explore the rest of the city on your own. The Museum Pass gives free access to 60-some museums and monuments (including the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay).

One day there’s a cruise on the River Seine in a glass-covered boat, which provides the best views of the city (photographers, get ready!), followed by a typical French 3-course lunch in a riverside café-restaurant.

The $1,139 package includes a room in the charmingly-decorated boutique Hotel Relais Monceau in the fashionable 8th arrondisement or the trendy modern Standard Design Hotel near the Place de la Bastille. But upgrades are available: The stylish 4-star Concorde Opera Hotel, near the Opera Garnier and the big department stores, costs $1,456, and the luxurious 5-star Hotel du Louvre, steps from the Louvre and Palais Royal, costs $1,668.

All prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability. TourCrafters offers the best transatlantic air fares available at time of booking. For more information, visit http://www.tourcrafters.it/tour.lasso?ID=140.

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Cyclomundo Expands Popular 3-Lake Cycling Tour of the Alps for 2013 To Appeal to All Levels

January 31, 2013

Cyclomundo has expanded its popular, visually intensive 3-Lake Cycling trip for 2013 with two options offering different trip itineraries and two daily mileage options to accommodate leisure cyclists as well as more advanced riders.

This world-class route, which lasts 5 nights and 6 days, links three major lakes in the region, namely, Lake Geneva, Lac du Bourget and Lake Annecy. One major element that makes Cyclomundo’s offerings different is that the company’s tours are now perfect for both leisure cyclists with less experience, as well as very serious riders who are interested in more challenging climbs. As a result, groups can enjoy cycling tours together even if they have different levels of expertise.

An easier version takes riders from Lake Geneva to Lac du Bourget to Lake Annecy, most done on very quiet roads and on bikeways.

A more arduous version for avid riders incorporates challenging climbs such as Le Grand Colombier.

Cyclomundo’s route includes historic villages, winemaking regions, beautiful natural scenery and river paths along the Rhone and Isere rivers. The trip starts in Geneva, where cyclists are encouraged to enjoy Switzerland’s culture and dining. Regardless of the option they select, cyclists travel through Seyssel and ultimately to Annecy, passing the Beaufortain and Bauges Mountains. As part of the package, clients stay in Annecy for one night. However, the company can book additional nights upon request.

This self-guided cycling tour is available from May through September, and it is priced at 610 euros per person sharing a room. Reservations can be made via Cyclomundo’s website at www.cyclomundo.com.

Cyclomundo was launched in 2003 by cycling enthusiast Bruno Toutain. In regards to the 3-Lake tour, Toutain states, “Through this trip, leisure cyclists can experience one of the most scenic area of the Alps without climbing hills. Plus, they can go at their own pace, allowing for a trip that is not only beautiful, but also relaxing.”

The company has also appeared in a wide variety of media outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Cycling Plus. Further, Cyclomundo was awarded the “2011 Trip of the Year” award by Outside Magazine. While some supported tours are offered, the company primarily enables clients to take a self-guided approach. Rates include accommodations, daily breakfasts, and three dinners.

Cyclomundo offers a diverse array of cycling vacations: guided and self-guided, pre-arranged or customized, leisurely or challenging… even some based around cyclosportive events like the Etape du Tour. Tours are suited for independent riders, families, friends, and groups of varying levels – you can choose elements “a la carte” for your trip in all regions of France as well as some regions in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. Based in France, Cyclomundo was born out of its founder’s life-long love of cycling. The company uses local experts who passionately share their heritage with guests and adhere to the principles of sustainable development. “Cyclomundo’s goal is for clients to experience the cultural, regional, historical and gastronomical heritage of their chosen destination and, of course, to have great, healthy fun on their bicycling adventure!”

CYCLOMUNDO, 18 rue Rene Cassin, Gaillard, French Alps, France 74000, Voice: +33 4 50 87 21 09, www.cyclomundo.com.

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Enter Peru Sweepstakes from Garnet Hill, Heifer International by March 12 to win trip for two to Cuzco

January 31, 2013

One grand prize winner who enters the Gift® in Peru Sweepstakes from Garnet Hill and Heifer International will be awarded an all-inclusive trip for two to the ancient Incan Empire capital of Cuzco. There, they will experience the vibrant local culture and have an opportunity to participate in Heifer International’s local alpaca project in the Andean region near Cuzco, an initiative designed to end poverty in the region and foster sustainable development. The winner will engage with a Heifer family and see first-hand the breadth and depth of Heifer’s impact in combating poverty and will also receive a $1,000 Garnet Hill gift card. The sweepstakes runs now until March 12, 2013.

For seven days, the grand prize winners will work hand in hand with Heifer to foster sustainable development in the community while experiencing the country’s colorful culture through exclusive guided tours. To learn more or to enter the Pass on the Gift® in Peru Sweepstakes, visit garnethill.com.

“We have designed a trip that will be inspirational and transformative, not only for the vibrant and historic culture of Cuzco, but also for the opportunity to work alongside and break bread with a Heifer International family. The winner will participate first hand in one of Heifer International’s projects in Peru that, like all of the organization’s global initiatives, aims to significantly improve the livelihoods of families and communities,” said Marleen New, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Heifer International

The trip includes an introduction to Heifer International’s alpaca projects in the Andean region near Cuzco. The winner will participate in and learn about all facets of alpaca care including feeding, tending to pasture and the business associated with the sale of their exceptionally soft wool to make blankets, ponchos, hats and carpets which ensures a sustainable way of life for struggling families.

For Heifer International, development is about creating a world free of hunger and poverty, where families in need thrive under their own energy and entrepreneurial spirit—on their own terms.

“This really is the trip of a lifetime. It’s a remarkable opportunity for the winner to play a role in helping to end hunger and poverty for a Heifer family,” Wendy Thayer, public relations manager for Garnet Hill, added. “Garnet Hill is thrilled to offer such an authentic way for our customers to engage with our partner in Cuzco.”

Heifer International began activities in Peru in 1963 and continues to support urban and rural communities and small-farmer organizations to improve their quality of life. Peru’s diverse cultural patterns are based on solidarity and reciprocity. Thus, Heifer’s approach to sharing resources is a key element to achieve just and sustainable development. Today, Heifer Peru works in Piura, Lambayeque, Cerro de Pasco, Lima, Junin, Huancavelica, Cuzco, Apurimac and Puno, and has assisted more than 40,000 families. Heifer’s partnership with Garnet Hill began in 2009.

To learn more or to enter the Pass on the Gift® in Peru Sweepstakes, visit garnethill.com.

Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For more information, visit www.heifer.org, read the blog, follow on Facebook or Twitter, or call 1-800-696-1918.

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Princess to Start Taking Bookings for June 9, 14 Preview Sailings on New Royal Princess Beginning Jan. 29

January 26, 2013

On January 29, Princess Cruises will beginning selling two preview cruises aboard Royal Princess, giving passengers the opportunity to get a taste of the new ship before its official inaugural voyage. The June 9 and June 14 cruises will sail roundtrip from Southampton, England, on a two-night itinerary featuring a call in St. Peter Port, on the island of Guernsey.

Passengers on the short sailings will be able to sample Royal Princess’ many ground-breaking features, including the dramatic over-water SeaWalk, Princess Live! television studio, and plush new poolside cabanas before the ship’s inaugural sailing on June 16, 2013.

Both voyages go on sale on January 29, with limited availability. Per person cruise fares start at $530 for an obstructed-view balcony stateroom.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship for Princess Cruises. Among the special features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; the new Princess Live! television studio; a pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

The ship’s 2013 maiden season will include cruises on the line’s signature Grand Mediterranean itinerary throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the fall. More information and video previews of the ship are available at www.princess.com/royalprincess.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

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Crystal Cruises Debuts New Exclusive ‘Boutique Adventures’ Shoreside Excursion Collection

January 26, 2013
Among the new "Boutique Adventures" shore experiences Crystal Cruises is debuting is opera up-close with a special operatic performance at the smallest historic public theater in the world.

Among the new “Boutique Adventures” shore experiences Crystal Cruises is debuting is opera up-close with a special operatic performance at the smallest historic public theater in the world.

Crystal Cruises, an ultra-luxury cruiseline, is launching a new, “uber-exclusive” collection of “Boutique Adventures” — shoreside experiences only available to Crystal travelers and not available with any other cruise lines.

Debuting this spring with its Mediterranean cruises, the intimate Boutique Adventures take guests inside private estates, art studios, museums, castles and well-known businesses for exclusive, insider meals, lessons, workshops, and behind-the-scenes tours with fascinating, eminent local experts.

Accommodating only 1-15 guests, the specially-designed outings provide cultural opportunities for deeper connections with local hosts and greater schedule flexibility “in-the-moment.”

Kicking off the Mediterranean season aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity voyages are:
Florence: View the Uffizi Gallery’s private (normally closed to the public) Contini Bonacossi Collection, featuring Bernini sculpture, Bellini and Savoldo paintings, majolica, furniture, and more.
Funchal: Lunch with a local celebrity at the elegant Reid’s Palace or enjoy a private visit to a family-run Madeiran winery, followed by a leisurely, homemade lunch with the owners.
Rome: Create unique souvenir jewelry under the tutelage of a Valentino model-turned-museum jewelry designer, opening her workshop for the first time ever only for Crystal guests.
Corfu: Be one of just six guests per outing to receive a private painting lesson from the President of the Corfu Painters Society.
Vetriano (near Florence): Appreciate opera up-close with a special operatic performance at the smallest historic public theater in the world.
Sorrento and Taormina: Improve your international kitchen skills via hands-on cooking lessons and meals with local, Michelin-star chefs.
Taormina: Dine and listen to a private classical concert at an ancient Sicilian castle.

“Crystal’s luxury guests can savor the exquisite all-inclusive amenities and exceptional space of Crystal ships, yet, ashore, share intimate, immersive experiences with just a handful of other like-minded companions — particularly nice for more independent travelers,” says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations. “Crystal’s reputation for excellence has persuaded people and places that are nowhere to be seen on the tourist map to open their doors for us in unique ways. These Adventures may be small in size, but they’re huge in rare experience and memory value.”

Prices range from $223 to more than $1000 per person, with exact excursion details and pre-booking available online at crystalcruises.com six months before each cruise. Participation is first come, first serve, so early booking is recommended. Plans include Boutique Adventures in Northern Europe, North America, and other destinations throughout the world.
Crystal’s passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, earning the line top ratings for two decades.

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

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