Archive for June, 2013

Setting Sail on Victory Chimes for Maine Windjammers Association’s 37th Annual Great Schooner Race, July 5

June 28, 2013
A memorable "Schooner Gam" - meeting of nearly a dozen tall ships of the Maine Windjammer Fleet - and "raft up" where passengers get to visit the other ships (© 2013 Karen Rubin/

A memorable “Schooner Gam” – meeting of nearly a dozen tall ships of the Maine Windjammer Fleet – and “raft up” where passengers get to visit the other ships (© 2013 Karen Rubin/

So excited. I’m heading out to sail aboard the Victory Chimes for the Maine Windjammers Association’s 37th Annual Great Schooner Race, July 5, in Penobscot Bay.

Our Maine windjammer cruise leaves from Rockland harbor this Sunday, June 29, and we participate in all the things that make this experience so unique – lobster bake on a secluded beach, visiting small fishing villages, scanning the sea for seal and dolphin. It’s a folksy, Americana sort of trip that is basically unique and makes for a very special experience, whether for a family, a couple, a gal-getaway, multi-generational getaway, reunion or groups of friends who want an atmosphere that promotes camaraderie.

You can help sail the ship or just enjoy the cruise.

The Schooner Race is just one of the special events the windjammers  – most of which are historic sailing vessels – host during the summer.  There always seem to be a reason to party:

July 6 & 7   Open Schooner Tours

Stop by and tour Maine’s legendary windjammers at their docks each afternoon from 2:00-4:00 pm. The participating windjammers can be found at North End Shipyard and Windjammer Wharf (off Tillson Ave) in Rockland; the Public Landing in Rockport; and at the head of the inner harbor in Camden. Hope you can join us!

July 12      Maine Windjammer Parade

The entire fleet participates in an afternoon Parade of Sail past the mile-long Rockland Breakwater, providing spectators with stunning, close-up views of Maine’s fleet of tall ships.

August 5   Sweet Chariot Music Festival

More than a dozen groups perform traditional music of the sea on Swans Island, with live shipboard performances as well.

Aug 30-Sept 1     Camden Windjammer Festival

Festivities include a parade of sail, maritime heritage fair, contra dance, fireworks, lobster crate race, chowder challenge, free concerts, schooner crew talent show, family scavenger hunt, outdoor movies and more.

September 10    WoodenBoat Sail-in

The fall gathering of the fleet takes place in Brooklin, Maine, headquarters of WoodenBoat Magazine and WoodenBoat School. Live music, local refreshments, boatschool tours.

The different ships also hold theme cruises – reflecting the interest and personality of the captain – from photography to bird-watching. Victory Chimes has scheduled its inaugural four-day “Maine Story & Humor Cruise” for July 14-18. and a four-day Maine Geology Cruise Aug. 16-20.

The fleet of 10 ships includes numerous historic rigged vessels, many which have been named National Historic Landmarks, fully restored and beautifully maintained with the many comforts of home for today’s savvy traveler. A trip aboard one of these schooners is a great way to experience Maine and its coastal towns, with true working waterfronts satisfying those with a taste for life on the sea.

Each ship has a distinct personality and character – largely because of the captain but the architecture and the “story” of each of the vessels, as well. And each cruise is always different based on the serendipitous confluence of who the other passengers are – an esprit de corps forms during the sail – the weather, and myriad other factors that can never be anticipated or planned.

Aside from the Great Schooner Race, while aboard one of the schooners, guests spend about six hours each day under sail, meandering through the waters of mid-coast Maine, and every afternoon drop anchor in the safe, snug harbor off a quiet fishing village, or at an uninhabited island where they can go ashore and explore.

The Maine Windjammer Association is comprised of the largest fleet of traditional sailing schooners in North America. Built in the USA, all 10 Windjammers are individually owned by U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains who work together to ensure the highest standards of safety, comfort and professionalism. The windjammer fleet hails from ports of Rockland, Rockport and Camden, located in the mid-coast region of Maine. Each windjammer carried between 20 and 40 guests and 3-10 crew members. Windjammer cruises are for people of all ages.

For brochures and DVD, or for information, contact the Maine Windjammer Association at 800-807-WIND; or visit

See: Maine Windjammer American Eagle Sails to a Schooner Gam

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Banff, Lake Louise in Canada are ‘Open for Business’

June 25, 2013

Banff National Park, the Town of Banff and the hamlet of Lake Louise reported on June 24 to be fortunate to have escaped many of the direct impacts of last week’s storm. “Spirits are up and Banff is OPEN for business,” is the message.

The recent severe weather triggered flooding in many communities across southern Alberta, cutting off key transportation routes, disrupting power and water supplies, and interrupting communication channels.

“The coordinated efforts of the Town of Banff, Parks Canada, and the RCMP, ensured public safety at all times. The Town of Banff’s water supply was never compromised and continuity of essential services was maintained.

“Today, the majority of the national park’s highways have been cleared for travel. Our park information centres are busy welcoming visitors. And our businesses, from lodging to restaurants, retail to attractions, are welcoming guests,” the Banff Lake Louise tourisn bureau said.

What Travelers Need to Know:

· Airport shuttle companies have resumed service between the Calgary International Airport and Banff National Park.

· There is unrestricted visitor access to Banff and Lake Louise via Hwy 93 North (the Icefields Parkway).

· There is unrestricted visitor access to Banff and Lake Louise via Hwy 93 South.

· The Trans-Canada Highway is open to and from Banff from the west.

· Local Roam bus service has resumed operation.

· Most major attractions and classic national park visitor experiences are open.

· Food and fuel supplies have been restored.

Intensely proud of its heritage as Canada’s first national park, businesses this past week were steadfastly responsive to visitor needs, while the local volunteer community stepped up efforts to help visitors and residents alike. Banff National Park looks forward to hosting visitors and extending a world-class welcome throughout the entire exciting summer season.

For information, contact Banff Lake Louise Tourism,

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Sugartooth Tours Launches Summertime Ice Cream Walking Tours of NYC

June 25, 2013

The sun is shining and the temperatures are rising. That can only mean two things for local dessert tour company Sugartooth Tours – ice cream season! The company, which launched this past year, is kicking off its first-ever ice cream and frozen desserts walking tour in the Big Apple. Guests can beat the heat with a cool treat on one of the tours that will run on Sundays from July 21st through August 18th.

For those looking for something to do in the city or just have a love of ice cream, this tour takes the work out of finding the best-hidden ice cream spots in New York City. The tour is by foot and is just under two miles. Along the way, visitors can expect more than just your typical vanilla cone. Stops include: frozen hot chocolate, ice cream with unique flavors (think sesame and avocado!), artisan Italian gelato, ice cream sandwiches, frozen yogurt, rice pudding and more!

Along the way, licensed NYC tour guides share local culinary history and fun facts about how the frozen treats were invented and the secrets to their success. Tour-goers can expect to visit a variety of neighborhoods including: Union Square, SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown.

Tours start at 2pm and last approximately 2.5 hours, enough time to receive the full summer experience: A day in the sun with a nostalgic treat along the way! Tickets are $50 and include six tastings. Guests can purchase tickets by visiting or calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.

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Sample Caribbean Cuisine, Win Prizes at ‘Taste of the Islands’ Festival, June 29 at Hyatt Regency, Miami

June 25, 2013

Experience Caribbean cuisine and culture at the Taste of the Islands festival, presented by Ask Me, Inc., taking place Saturday, June 29 from 6 – 9 pm at the Hyatt Regency, Miami. Gather information about your favorite Caribbean destinations, sample gourmet appetizers, desserts and signature cocktails, and listen to authentic Caribbean music. Participants at the festival have the opportunity to win prizes including a three-night all-inclusive stay at the Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in St. Lucia.

Presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Taste of the Islands is part of the Taste of the Caribbean competition between chefs and bartenders from the region with teams from Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Taste of the Islands highlights the street foods that are common throughout the region. Each competing team is given a “protein mystery basket” with a large selection of ingredients in a common pantry. From these ingredients the teams create two savory dishes, one dessert item and one rum-based cocktail. The event is scored by the judges and counts for 20 percent of the team score in determining the medals for the “Caribbean Team of the Year” recognition.

During Taste of the Islands, consumers can vote in the “People’s Choice” awards to select their favorite culinary creations from participating teams. Consumers who vote in the “People’s Choice” awards will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a three-night all-inclusive stay at the Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in St. Lucia, provided by Ask Me, Inc. as well as a double magnum of Henkell Dry, courtesy of Henkell & Co.

In addition to the 10 competing teams, tourist boards from Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be exhibiting in the pavilion with vacation information about their respective countries. Event-goers will be treated to authentic Caribbean music that will be played throughout the festival. Rums of Puerto Rico will have a sampling bar for event-goers to try the different brands that comprise the Rums of Puerto Rico. Award-winning, nationally recognized Chef Allen Susser, who is also the author of The Great Mango Book, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

Additional hotel stays will be given away throughout the night courtesy of Media Blast.

Tickets for Taste of the Islands are US$30 per person and can be purchased via, email or call (305) 443-3040 ext. 110.

You can also participate in a series of seminars on June 29, 2 – 6 pm to hone your at-home culinary skills including:

Mango Session:Presented from 2 – 3 pm by Chef Susser who will provide insight on cooking with mango, one of the Caribbean’s top fruits, which he has used in developing a tropical cuisine that led to the created of new world cuisine more than 30 years ago.

Preparing Classical Cocktails At Home – A “Hands-On” Seminar: During this seminar, participants will learn the use of professional bartender tools and how to prepare the most famous classical cocktails from Mojitos and Brazilian Caipirinhas, to the Cosmopolitan and the WW I Sidecar. Presented by Trinidadian cocktail master and 2005 Caribbean Bartender of the Year, Raakesh Madoo, this seminar will be a “hands-on” so registrants should come ready to shake, stir and strain their own cocktail creations. The session is scheduled 3:15 – 4:15 pm on June 29.

Rums of Puerto Rico Seminar: During this seminar participants will become true rum connoisseurs as they learn about the different types of rum that comprise the Rums of Puerto Rico brand. Representatives from the Rums of Puerto Rico will provide an insider look into rum’s history, rum making process, varieties of rum including light, dark, flavored and gold, and cocktails that are made with rum. The session will be held from 4:30 – 5:30 pm on June 29.

Other programs include the Junior Chef of the Year (from 8 am – 12 pm), Pastry Chef of the Year (8 am – 12 pm), Bartender of the Year – Rum (10:30 am – 1 pm) and the Ice Carving competitions (4:30 – 5:30 pm) on June 29.

Tickets for Saturday’s combined morning and daytime program, including the seminars, are US$35 per person. Purchase tickets for all of Saturday’s events, including Taste of the Islands, for $65 per person.

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Heathman Hotel Kirkland Offers New Pampered Pet Package

June 19, 2013
The Heathman Hotel, a full-service luxury hotel in Kirkland, Washington, is now offering a Pampered Pooch Package.

The Heathman Hotel, a full-service luxury hotel in Kirkland, Washington, is now offering a Pampered Pooch Package.

The Heathman Hotel, a full-service luxury hotel in Kirkland, Washington, is now offering a new, luxurious pet package for its doggie visitors.  The Heathman, well- known and awarded for its superior service and amenities for human guests, has announced the Pampered Pooch Package, filled with everything a pet could want in order to feel as well-rested and indulged as their owners.

“The Heathman Hotel is committed to providing all of our guests – both two and four-legged – with the best possible experience,” says Troy Longwith, general manager for the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland. “Our guests treat their dogs as members of the family, and we strive to offer our canine friends the same level of service and amenities as our human visitors.”

The hotel’s Pampered Pooch Package provides a selection of dog-friendly goodies upon arrival, including a durable100% recycled dual dog dish, an EzyDog shock absorbing leash with attachable doo bag and a selection of fresh dog treats, made in-house at The Heathman’s farm-to-table restaurant, Trellis.  Pet owners will also enjoy a bottle of private label “Heathman Rescue Red” wine.  A portion of the proceeds from this package will benefit local animal rescue shelters.

The new Pampered Pooch Package includes:

  • Overnight accommodations in any of Heathman Kirkland’s room types.
  • “Art of Sleep Luxury Bed Menu” for YOU – choice of Tempur-Pedic, European pillow top or European featherbed
  • Comfortable pet  bed for any size pooch to use for duration of stay
  • A doggie care package waiting in-room upon arrival, featuring:
    • Bottle of “Heathman Rescue Red” private label wine
    • 100% recycled dual dog dish
    • EzyDog  Zero Shock  leash & attachable doo bag
    • Dog treats, made in-house at Trellis
  • A portion of the proceeds generated from this package will be donated to local animal rescue shelters

The pooch amenities can be added to any reserved room for only $60 (it also makes a great gift for your dog loving friends and family).

The Heathman Hotel in Kirkland, located on Seattle’s Eastside, provides guests with the ultimate in gracious service in an ambience of understated elegance and comfort. In 2013, the hotel was featured on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List and the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hotels rankings.  Additionally, the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice awards ranked the property as the 88th best hotel in the world in 2012. The hotel has also garnered the AAA of Washington Four Diamond Award®, an indicator of excellence that promises travelers an unparalleled lodging experience, and is also a member of the Preferred Hotel Boutique Group. The Heathman Hotel features 91 classic guest rooms and suites, and Trellis, a 90-seat wine-country-inspired restaurant and bar helmed by Chef Brian Scheehser. Trellis’ rustic, robust menu evolves with the seasons, often featuring items from Scheehser’s own 10-acre farm.

For reservations and information, visit or call 888-264-5494.

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Indiana Caverns Joins Squire Boone Caverns, Marengo Cave to Create a Major Caving Destination

June 19, 2013

Indiana Caverns joins Squire Boone Caverns and Marengo Cave to create one of the nation’s most noteworthy caving destination.

In what is among the most significant archeological finds in the US in decades, an Indiana man just discovered a huge cache of Ice Age bones while digging out this portion of the Binkley Cave System. In order to develop Indiana Caverns for visitors, life-long spelunker Gary Robson uncovered Pleistocene-era remains of dozens of animals. The find includes prehistoric black bear, bison, peccary (flat-headed boar), fisher (cat-like animal), snakes, owls and other birds in such large numbers that the cave could keep several paleontologists excavating for years. In fact, the area is now known as Big Bone Mountain. Robson and his team of cave developers have now transformed the phenomenon into a spectacular visitor experience.

Complete details on Indiana Caverns, the nation’s newest show cave, are available are available at

Visitors who enter Indiana Cavern’s vast-high domed entryway are met with an awesome view. Spiraling down, guests traverse a 25-foot bridge to the balcony overlooking the now famous Big Bone Mountain, where the ancient animal remains were discovered and remain for visitors to see. The tour includes grand panoramas of flowstone formations, stalactites, stalagmites, as guests learn the history behind this fascinating natural and historic wonder. The cave collapsed some 25,000 years ago, trapping hundreds of animals within, and making the Binkley Cave System one of the most diverse species caves in the world. After traveling down Blowing Hole Boulevard, travelers enjoy a relaxing boat ride along the underground river while passing majestic waterfalls.

Because the caves remain temperate all year long, Indiana Caverns are open to the public year round and are enjoyable in any season. Tours are offered a.m.-6 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas are last about an hour and 15 minutes. The Indiana Caverns gift shop is stocked with unique souvenirs and an onsite gem mining experience is popular with junior spelunkers.

Beyond its rich caving and natural offerings, Harrison County offers everything from wineries to the nostalgia of a trio of old-time ice cream parlors. The State Historic Site marks Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first capitol, while travelers are fascinated by the Constitution Elm, a Civil War battlefield and tours of the Leora Brown School, one of the nation’s oldest standing early African American schoolhouses. Diverse dining and accommodations include a historic B&B, affordable modern hotels, country cafes and even a luxurious riverboat casino. Complete traveler information and a free visitor’s guide are available at or 888-738-2137.

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Portland’s Historic Heathman Hotel Invites Guests to Join GM Chris Erickson For Tuesday AM Run

June 7, 2013

Calling all fitness buffs! Tie those laces tight, grab that lucky headband and get ready to take a run through downtown Portland with the Heathman Hotel’s GM. Every Tuesday, guests and members of the Portland community are invited to join General Manager (and marathon runner!), Chris Erickson, as he embarks on his morning run through Portland. The Run with the GM Program and Package is the ideal way for Portland-based runners and Heathman Hotel guests to stick to their fitness routines while on the road and see the city in a completely different light.

“I enjoy starting each morning with a run through the beautiful city of Portland before the rest of the community wakes up,” says Chris Erickson general manager for The Heathman Hotel. “I’m thrilled to welcome our guests and fellow runners in the area who share my passion. This new program allows Portland-based runners to experience a few of my favorite city routes and out-of-towners to stay fit on-the-road and take-in the beautiful sights this city has to offer.”

For travelers looking to mix fitness with pleasure during their visit to Portland, the Run with the GM Package offers guests the required essentials to help prepare and recover from a morning run. Additionally for every package purchased, the Heathman will donate $20 to One Fund Boston to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.

Run with the GM Package includes:

  • · Deluxe overnight accommodations the Monday before run day
  • · Adidas Employee Store coupon
  • · Unlimited bottles of Heathman water
  • · Tuesday morning run with the GM at 7am sharp – rain or shine!
  • · Post-run 12 oz. juice delivered to guestroom
  • · In-room breakfast from the hotel’s Running Menu
  • · 500 frequent flyer miles from any of the hotel’s participating airline partners including United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic

Rates for the one-night Run with the GM Package start at $259, are based on availability and do not include tax or service.

The Run with the GM Package is available on Monday evenings. Guests who wish to book this package all other days of the week, will be provided with maps full of the GM’s favorite running routes. For an additional fee, travelers also have the option of adding a second night, in-room pre-run dinner from the hotel’s Running Menu, and in-room massage (advance reservations required). Guests may call 800.551.0011 for more information or to make a reservation.

For more information about the Run with the GM program, be sure to check out their dedicated Facebook page:

Historic Heathman Hotel

Built in 1927 and located in the heart of Portland, Ore.’s, cultural district, this 150-room luxury hotel maintains strong partnerships with local arts and culture organizations and is Portland’s premier arts hotel. An independently owned luxury boutique property, the Heathman Hotel is a member of the Preferred Hotel Group and Historic Hotels of America. The Heathman has received the prestigious Four Diamond distinction from AAA for 26 consecutive years. In 2013, the hotel was featured on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List and the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hotels rankings. The hotel was recognized in 2012 by Travel + Leisure as one of the top 50 World’s Best Hotels. In 2011, the hotel was included on Condé Nast Traveler’s list of the world’s best hotels in its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. In 2010, the hotel was selected as the top Mid Luxury Hotel for business in the United States by Entrepreneur magazine. Additionally, the Heathman was recognized for overall excellence on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2005 Gold List and was featured in the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 editions of Travel + Leisure’s top 500 World’s Best Hotels list. The hotel also received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The hotel also was recognized by Energy Trust of Oregon in 2007, 2008 and 2009 for its commitment to sustainability and conservation efforts; the property continues to work toward EnergyStar certification and recently received Green Seal Silver certification. The Heathman Hotel and its sister property, Heathman Kirkland, encompass the art of hospitality in the Pacific Northwest.

For reservations, visit


Portland, Oregon Proves It’s Great Being Green

Portland Offers Rich Cultural Landscape

Portland: City of Books, Brews, Blooms & Bikes

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Rwanda Hosts Mountain Gorilla Baby Naming Ceremony, Events Open to Visitors

June 7, 2013
Rwanda will celebrate the birth of baby gorillas through “Kwita Izina,” the annual naming ceremony in Kinigi, Musanze, on June 22, 2013. This and other events will be  open to visitors.

Rwanda will celebrate the birth of baby gorillas through “Kwita Izina,” the annual naming ceremony in Kinigi, Musanze, on June 22, 2013. This and other events will be open to visitors.

Rwanda will celebrate the birth of baby gorillas through “Kwita Izina,” the annual naming ceremony in Kinigi, Musanze, on June 22, 2013, which is open to visitors,  Rica Rwigamba, head of Tourism and Conservation at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) announced.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Nature, Empowering Communities.”

“This is the 9th edition of Kwita Izina. On this occasion, we are going to name 12 baby gorillas and 1 family. This is a celebration of these wonderful animals but also a way to thank all those who take care of them, starting from rangers, vets, and the community living near their habitat,” Rica said.

Through the tourism revenue sharing scheme, RDB funds various community projects throughout the country.

This year, Maize Grinding Plant, a maize production cooperative near Nyungwe National Park will be launched. This women’s cooperative used to cut trees from the park to curve mortars for maize crushing. Today, with the support of RDB, they have a modern grinding machine that has increased their production. They now supply maize flour throughout their area.

While unveiling this year’s Kwita Izina program, Rica Rwigamba said that this will be more than just one event but a series of events which will include community celebrations, the launch of community projects, as well as the Kwita Izina Caravan. This tour will go from Kigali to Kinigi passing by the different touristic attractions and community projects on that route.

All these activities are open to the public and more details are available at the Kwita Izina website and on various social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.

Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICT)P said: “We are honored to support this unique initiative with our friends in Rwanda. It is one of the most thoughtful engagements of a local community in conservation and tourism on the planet and the essence of a green growth strategy.”

The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board made the announcement of the gorilla-naming competition in partnership with ICTP. Rwanda is a Council member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

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Ged Caddick’s Terra Incognita Ecotours Company Changes Lives of Travelers, Communities

June 7, 2013
Gerard “Ged” Caddick,  founder Terra Incognita Ecotours, with Jane Goodall.

Gerard “Ged” Caddick, founder Terra Incognita Ecotours, with Jane Goodall.

Charitable vacations are very popular right now as more and more people long to give something back to the incredible places they visit in exchange for the once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list experience these places give to them.

One of those offering life-changing charitable vacations is Ged Caddick who launched his ecotour company, Terra Incognita Ecotours. with the dumbfounding mission – to give his profits away! With a Masters Degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida, Ged has always been motivated by his passion for making a difference.

After successfully working in wildlife conservation, he launched Terra Incognita Ecotours, a Florida-based travel company with a massive, but simple mission – to give back.

Nine years later, Ged has donated more than $130,000 to charities in more than 7 countries, literally changing lives each and every time he gets on an airplane.

“The business model I created for Terra Incognita isn’t based on profits, like most businesses are. We measure success by how much we’re able to give away – the more the better,” says Ged.

So how does he do it? Every ecotour isn’t just an adventure of a lifetime – it’s a way for travelers to give back to the communities that so graciously host them for a day, a week or even a month. With destinations like Belize, Borneo, Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar and Tanzania, Ged’s ecotours attract travelers who want to visit the most exotic parts of the globe with an expert guide to show them the way.

“My clients want an incredible experience, but they are thoughtful and responsible,” says Ged. “They want to visit communities in the most remote parts of the world and not just take an experience with them, they want to give something back, too. A percentage of every person’s tour goes directly and immediately back to a conservation partner in the areas we visit.”

Ged doesn’t just donate a check at the end of each year. He takes all of his travelers right to the organization to which they are contributing. In Rwanda, his tours visit the Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit group of veterinarians responsible for keeping the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla population healthy

Ged doesn’t just donate a check at the end of each year. He takes all of his travelers right to the organization to which they are contributing. In Rwanda, his tours visit the Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit group of veterinarians responsible for keeping the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla population healthy

Ged doesn’t just donate a check at the end of each year. He takes all of his travelers right to the organization to which they are contributing. In Rwanda, his tours visit the Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit group of veterinarians responsible for keeping the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla population healthy. They also visit the genocide museum to learn about the country’s past, giving his guests a glimpse of the enormous and seemingly insurmountable obstacles Rwandans have overcome in just 20 years.

“I was humbled by the experiences on my Rwandan adventure,” says Susannah Smith, a recent ecotour traveler. “Not only did Ged show us wild gorillas, which is an awe-inspiring experience in and of itself, but he introduced us to Rwandans – people who have experienced unimaginable tragedy, but remain welcoming, warm and overwhelmingly friendly. I got more out of the trip than I ever could have imagined!”

Terra Incognita’s ecotours do more than just give back financially. Every planned tour gives meticulous attention to environmental and sustainable responsibility. Ged’s guiding principles are to minimize impact and to build and foster environmental and cultural awareness and respect. He provides positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.

“The Mountain Gorilla hikes could be difficult,” explains Susannah. “But since we only carried a day pack, we felt like we could carry our own packs. Ged explained that he had hired porters to carry our packs – not because we needed the help, but to support the local economy. In a country where most families survive on only $2 per day, being a porter is a lucrative career. When we heard other travellers opting not to hire a porter, we told them what Ged had explained to us, and they hired a porter right away. It’s the small things that make a big difference.”

“The more I give, the more it encourages others to give. The inspiring people in each of the incredible countries we visit need the money more than I do. They’ve faced hardships I could never image; yet they are still so warm and welcoming. I can’t think of a better way to earn a living.”

About Terra Incognita Ecotours

Gerard “Ged” Caddick founded Terra Incognita ECOTOURS in 2004 after more than 15 years of working in the Expedition Travel industry. Ged has led many trips for Lindblad Expeditions, International Expeditions, World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History as well as many College Alumni groups, the National Audubon Society and the Smithsonian Institution. He also lived in Belize, Central America for a number of years in the late 1980’s and worked in the conservation of endangered species for twelve years before becoming involved in the expedition travel industry. It is this mix of expedition travel (a.k.a. ecotourism) and conservation that has helped to shape Terra Incognita Ecotours.

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Newport’s Preservation Society Costume Exhibit at Rosecliff Traces 20th Century Fashion

June 7, 2013

As the summer playground to many of America’s wealthiest families, Newport was once a swirl of couture dresses in a seemingly endless string of balls and entertainments. The Preservation Society of Newport County’s annual costume exhibition at Rosecliff (1902) this year highlights 20th century fashion and the way designers marketed changing styles and silhouettes to American consumers. The 11 dresses on exhibit are among the finest garments in the Preservation Society’s collection, from designers such as Chanel, Givenchy and Halston, among others.

Among the highlights of the exhibit is a 1925 evening gown by Callot Soeurs of Paris. With its straight profile, this evening dress epitomized the style of the period. The increasing popularity of automobiles and dance crazes such as the jitterbug necessitated shorter hemlines and ushered in a new silhouette for the 1920s. Heavy corsetting and layers of skirts were out, girdles and bras that flattened out the figure were in.

From the late 1930s to the mid ’40s, dresses were back to having a more defined waist and fuller skirt to emphasize the female figure. The exhibit includes a 1941 tea party dress made of cotton organdy which demonstrates this style.

Additional highlights include a 1965 red skirt suit by Chanel, a 1985 cotton organdy pant suit with glass beads by Halston, and a wool cocktail dress by Givenchy from the 1990s.

The Preservation Society’s costume collection helps to trace the changing role of women in American society over the centuries. The creation of one-of-a-kind garments, known as haute couture, has represented the pinnacle of high fashion since the 19th century. The allure of haute couture still captivates the imagination today; however, due to dwindling markets, collections now include fewer pieces than they did in the early 20th century.

Beginning in the 1960s, designers licensed their names for use on products and expanded their own lines beyond apparel. At the same time, the retail clothing industry diversified, providing more options at different price points. Today, haute couture collections no longer set the standards for how women should dress. Instead, they have evolved into marketing tools that shape a designer’s “brand” and increase sales of affordable products. Some devotees still buy haute couture clothing, but it is a shrinking population.

The exhibit is on display in the Lesley Bogert Crawford costume galleries on the 2nd floor of Rosecliff through November 22. Admission to the exhibit is included with any Rosecliff tour ticket, including multi-house tickets. Rosecliff is open daily for tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through November 22, except when it is closed for the Newport Flower Show June 20-23. Newport Mansions tickets can be purchased online at, or in person at any Preservation Society property.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

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