Archive for July, 2013

andBeyond Introduces ‘WILDChild’ Program to Family Safaris

July 31, 2013

wildchiild-1

andBeyond, a company specializing in luxury experiential travel, is introducing a new children’s program, WILDchild, at the company’s lodges and safari camps throughout Southern Africa and will also be offered at its East African properties from the end of August.

WILDchild is designed to create opportunities for families to engage not only with each other but with their environment, in a new and stimulating way that will change the way they see the world. With a growing trend for multi-generational travel, andBeyond believes in giving adventurous families the reare privilege to see the world through different eyes, encouraging them to grow and learn through unforgettable experiences.

Carefully thought out and presented by rangers trained to share their knowledge in a way that sparks the enthusiasm of even the youngest guests, WILDchild is designed to do more than just keep children occupied while their parents enjoy their safari. While it is essential that the program remains entertaining enough to capture youngsters’ imaginations, it also has a strong conservation message at heart.

“The WILDchild program is just another way that andBeyond is encouraging family travel. We have also provided additional family suites at select andBeyond lodges in South Africa, as well as in Tanzania. Whether at our own lodges and camps or throughout the African countries where we operate, andBeyond has the ability to put together specialized family itineraries designed to help travelers create life-enriching experiences for themselves and their children,” says Jacky Humphries, andBeyond Chief Marketing Officer.

andBeyond’s safari experiences offer the luxury of a leisurely pace, ideal to reconnect and renew relationships among families, as well as to form new connections between the children and the land, animals and people of Africa. Through the relationship created between younger guests and their ranger or guide, the WILDchild program is filled with interactive activities that offer opportunities to learn and discover new experiences and cultures. Deeply rooted in the love for the African bush, it not only creates a series of unforgettable moments for the whole family, but forges strong bonds between the children, our planet and its people.

As part of the WILDchild program, each  young  traveler  receives a WILDchild backpack with a scrapbook and a gift, such as a flash light, a magnifying glass or a compass. Throughout the safari, the family’s ranger helps the child to fill up the scrapbook with notes, drawings, stickers, dog tags and badges that the youngsters earn for completing a series of bush-related activities that are selected for them according to their interests and age. The activities attempt to tie in with the lodge’s environment, as well as the local heritage of the region. For example, children staying at andBeyond Klein’s Camp in Tanzania might be taught how to shoot with a bow and arrow or how to build a fire in the Maasai way. Meanwhile, at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa, they may be taught tracking skills by a local Zulu tracker or set out on a fishing expedition on the Mzinene River.

andBeyond lodges that specialize in children’s programs, creative menus and have child-minding facilities are: andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge, Ngala Safari Lodge and Kirkman’s Kamp in South Africa; Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia; Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in Kenya; Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Serengeti Under Canvas and Mnemba Island Lodge in Tanzania; and Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge and Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp in Botswana.

The WILDchild program is included in the rate at the lodges at which it is offered. The starting rate is $490 per person, per night at Ngala Private Game Reserve.

Established in 1991, andBeyond has become one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel companies, designing personalised luxury safaris in 16 African countries, as well as India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The company also owns and operates 32  lodges and camps in Africa and India’s wildlife high spots.

For more information, visit www.andBeyond.com.

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New Pick-Up Site for Spaceport America Tours in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

July 31, 2013

The hot springs capital of the Southwest – Truth or Consequences (T or C), New Mexico – will be the site of a new pick up and drop off point for the popular Spaceport America Preview Tours offered by Follow the Sun Inc./FTS Tours. Beginning Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, the pick up/drop off location will be at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites in T or C.

FTS Tours has been offering 3 1/2 hour Spaceport America Preview Tours since May 2011 on Fridays and Saturdays at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and on Sundays at 9 a.m only.  Tours typically sell out.

“We are excited not only to bring people here for the Spaceport tours, but to give them a chance to experience the historic landmarks, art galleries, and hot springs in T or C,” said Adrian Sandoval, Holiday Inn Express General Manager. “The Holiday Inn Express is the first thing you see at the top of the hill when coming into town, so we’re easy to find and are very accommodating not only to our guests but to guests of the Spaceport America tours.”

“We are elated at our new partnership with the Holiday Inn Express,” said Rose Bleth, President of FTS Tours. “They truly understand customer service, so our guests will be unquestionably well taken care of. It is not just a pick up location – it will be part of our Spaceport tour experience. We certainly appreciate the hospitality that Adrian has shown to FTS Tours and will show our future guests.”  

Beginning on Aug. 2, Holiday Inn Express will offer complimentary hot breakfasts until 10 a.m. to anyone taking the morning tour; and hot tea, coffee and cookies for those taking the afternoon tour. Tour guests interested in staying overnight at the hotel will receive a 10 percent discount with purchase of a Spaceport America Preview Tour ticket.

Tour guests can wait for shuttles in the lobby of Holiday Inn Express, which accommodates up to 60 people. Guests can park at the hotel’s parking lot which accommodates up to 75 vehicles.  

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites is located at 2201 F.G. Armin St. in T or C, NM. Call 575-894-3900 for reservation details.

FTS Tours’ Spaceport America Preview Tours feature guided, exclusive access to the spaceport site and provide guests with an up close and personal encounter only available during the pre-operational phase. Guests will learn about the area’s colorful history including that of T or C, Elephant Butte Dam, the ghost town of Engle, Jornada del Muerto (Journey of the Deadman), media mogul Ted Turner’s 350,000-acre Armendaris ranch, and the historic El Camino Real (Royal Road) leading to Spaceport America.  

The tour ventures inside the Spaceport perimeter to see the horizontal launch area, spaceway (runway), operations center, and areas still under development, including the fuel storage complex and the iconic Virgin Galactic Gateway building. Guests will hear stories of Virgin Galactic, Space X, Armadillo Aerospace and others, and learn about trends in the emerging commercial space industry, among many fascinating bits of information.

FTS tour prices are $59 for adults 18 and over; $49 for teens ages 13-17; and $29 for children 12 and under. Reservations and a minimum of three guests are required per tour. For reservations, call 575-740-6894 or book online at spaceplacenm.com.

The New Mexico State Board of Finance recently authorized a $20.8 million loan to fund construction of two new visitor centers at Spaceport America which is expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors annually.

Visit www.sierracountynewmexico.info/home-of-spaceport-america or www.spaceplacenm.com for more information.

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Offers Public Viewing of Nighttime Delta 4 Rocket Launch on Aug. 7

July 31, 2013
Delta 4 Rocket Launch.  Visitors to Kennedy Space Center will to able to watch the launch on August 7.

Delta 4 Rocket Launch. Visitors to Kennedy Space Center will to able to watch the launch on August 7.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests can enjoy viewing a dramatic nighttime launch when a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket lifts off from SLC-37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday, Aug. 7. The launch window is from 8:29 p.m. to 9:18 p.m.

Viewing the launch from the Visitor Complex is included in regular admission and features live mission control commentary. Guests are encouraged to bring folding chairs to the viewing area.

Leading up to the opening of the launch window, guests may meet the first space shuttle Atlantis commander, Karol “Bo” Bobko, at the new Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The 200-foot-tall Delta 4 rocket will launch the sixth Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft. Built by Boeing, the geostationary communications spacecraft will serve U.S. military forces by providing enhanced communications capabilities for the next decade and beyond. The rocket will fly in the Medium+ (5,4) configuration with four solid rocket boosters, enabling the rocket to lift up to 14,475 pounds to orbit.

Launch date and time are subject to change.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 877-313-2610 and visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Angry Birds Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season.  Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11.  For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit http://www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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Context Travel Launches Walking Tour Program in Amsterdam

July 28, 2013

Context, a critically acclaimed walking tour company whose, small-group, scholar-led “walking seminars” have revolutionized day tours in cities throughout the world, has just introduced a program in Amsterdam. Working with local historians, Context opens with 4 innovative tours to help visitors understand and appreciate Amsterdam’s rich history and internationally important legacy.

Offerings include an exploration into the city’s golden age of colonial expansion, taking in the site of a historic decision to start a small colony on the island of Manhattan. Another highlight is a walk around Rembrandt’s Amsterdam, featuring some of the artist’s favorite haunts as well as details about his connection to the Dutch dominance of world trade during the 17th century.

The recently reopened Rijksmuseum also features in the program, with a 2.5 hour guided tour led by art historians and focusing on the Dutch Masters. The Jews in Amsterdam walk completes the Central European set of thematically linked tours on Jewish history and culture.

“Amsterdam is the right fit for Context,” says Paul Bennett, Context co-founder. “Like many of our other cities, such as Paris, Berlin, or Beijing, it has a great historical narrative, and with the right interlocutor one can spend days here digging deep. We’re excited to develop an innovative program.”

Launched in July, walks are offered both privately on request and as regularly scheduled shared group walks. Private walks will start at €280 for the party, and group walks from €65 per person.

Context Travel (http://www.contexttravel.com/) is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead “walking seminars” in twenty-one world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Shanghai and Beijing. A certified B Corporation, Context was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 and 2012 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs.

To learn more about Context, visit www.contexttravel.com.

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TourCrafters Offers 7-Night Self-Drive Northern Spain Tour with Stays in Deluxe, Historic Paradores for $1180

July 28, 2013

For an affordable, enjoyable fall trip to Europe, consider TourCrafters’ “Northern Spain in Paradores” package.  The 8-day/7-night self-drive package costs $1,180 per person (land only) and includes accommodation in seven of Spain’s deluxe, historic paradores, seven breakfasts and an 8-day (automatic) car rental with pickup and drop off in Madrid.  The price is valid—with Sunday departures–from August 25 to November 24.

Starting out from the exciting city of Madrid, you’ll first visit Guadalupe, a charming and historic village of cobbled streets and traditional houses that also boasts a World Heritage Site.  Here you’ll overnight at the Parador of Guadalupe, a 15th-century palace-turned-hotel famed for its Extremaduran cuisine.  Then it’s on to Plasencia  on the ancient Silver Route, where palaces, ancestral homes and  religious buildings make up a unique old quarter.  In the Parador de Plasencia, a Gothic-style former convent, you’ll sleep and dine well. 

The next stop is Ciudad Rodrigo, a famous fortified town, whose walls enclose a cathedral, castle and other historic buildings.  Here you will stay in the Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo, an ivy-covered 14th-century castle.  In Salamanca, a provincial capital that’s a treasure house of monuments, you’ll see two cathedrals and the famous 15th-century university and sleep in the Parador de Salamanca, which has a wonderful view of the historic center.  In Zamora, another Silver Route city, you’ll visit an old town full of Romanesque art  and overnight in the Parador de Zamora, a Renaissance palace with swimming pool.  And in Benavente, another historic town,  you’ll stay at the Parador de Benavente,  another Renaissance castle, this one with beautiful gardens. 

Finish up in Leon, a city of incomparable beauty, which offers many places of historic interest: churches, palaces, houses and even Roman walls.  Here you will enjoy staying in the Parador de Leon, a regal 16th-century monastery-hospital.  And then it’s time to return the car to Madrid.

All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability. For additional information about this package, visit http://sales.tourcrafters.com/tour.lasso?ID=202

For information or reservations, call 800-482-5995, tourcrafters.com.

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Top 10 Destinations for New Crystal Adventures in Southern Europe; Save up to $4200 for Booking by Aug. 30

July 26, 2013

 

crystal-Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, ItalyWith its Mediterranean cruise season in full swing through the fall, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises is highlighting 10 top destinations that are springboards for new excursions in Southern Europe.  From exclusive, only-to-Crystal Boutique Adventures that explore the arts to full days of athletic pursuits, nearly 100 brand new Crystal Adventures are available this season in both popular and up-and-coming destinations throughout Spain, France, Italy, the Adriatic, the Canary Islands, and more.  The Crystal Adventures are offered on 25 Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sailings from July through December, with savings of up to $4,200 if booked by August 30.

New outings are featured in:

1.       Castellón de la Plana (maiden call): Hunt for, then feast upon, black truffles from the Morella countryside.

2.       Bilbao:  See areas and exhibits typically off-limits to the public, “backstage” at the iconic Guggenheim Museum.

3.       Montenegro: Bike the Luštica Peninsula around Kotor, past olive groves and the Adriatic coastline, to a lunch of local specialties.

4.       Palermo: Listen to classical strings in the Versailles-like ballroom of a Baroque ancestral palace during an exclusive Crystal-only concert.

5.       Marseille: Master the making of French bouillabaisse or enjoy a French impressionist art show deep inside a limestone quarry.

6.       Cartagena: Learn to sail, with the magnificent Spanish coastline as backdrop.

7.       Venice: Enjoy a private, off-hours view of Tintoretto paintings adorning one of six medieval Venetian “great schools.”

8.      The Canary Islands: Explore the villages and salt flats of Lanzarote by dune buggy or become a certified (or more experienced) scuba divier in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

9.       La Spezia (maiden call): Explore Cinque Terre, lunching or wine tasting along the way.

10.   Barcelona: Go behind-the-scenes from locker room to dugout at Fútbol Club Barcelona’s famous Camp Nou Stadium.

“Whether one is traveling to the area for the first time or his tenth, our collection of adventures offers so many less expected ways to experience the Mediterranean region as never before,” says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations.

The voyages, ranging from five to 29 days in length, are available in shorter, convenient Crystal Getaways and extended combination cruises for additional savings.  All-inclusive cruise fares start at $1,950 per guest if booked by August 30.  Fares for the new Crystal Adventures start at $48.

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 www.crystalcruises.com.

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Country Artist Rockie Lynne to Perform During Princess Cruises’ Veterans Charity Cruise, Nov 5-9

July 26, 2013
Country artist Rockie Lynne will perform during Princess Cruises’ November 5-9 veterans charity cruise.

Country artist Rockie Lynne will perform during Princess Cruises’ November 5-9
veterans charity cruise.

Country singer Rockie Lynne has been announced as a featured performer during Princess Cruises’ first-ever fundraising cruise to support U.S. veterans. Lynne, a veteran himself who frequently supports military causes, will perform with his five-piece band during the November 5-9 sailing.

Lynne’s debut single, “Lipstick,” spent an impressive 10 consecutive weeks in the #1 slot on Billboard’s Country Singles Sales chart. He is also co-founder of an annual charity motorcycle ride called TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS, which has raised more than $250,000 in aid to families of the fallen. One third of the proceeds from his new album, “Songs for Soldiers,” will benefit troop-related charities. The inspiration for the album was his 21-day tour of Afghanistan, Southwest Asia, and The Persian Gulf, where he and his band entertained U.S. troops stationed abroad.

During the cruise, Lynne and his band will be headliners in the ship’s Princess Theater, and will also offer an up-close performance in Club Fusion.

The groundbreaking sailing will raise funds for two respected veterans’ organizations – Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Inc. and Operation Homefront Inc. The voyage sails roundtrip from Houston aboard Caribbean Princess to the Western Caribbean, and is expected to generate $1 million for the two charities.

Lynne joins a number of special guests who will be aboard the cruise, including former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen (Ret.); retired senior officers from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force; an award-winning war correspondent; and other respected speakers, authors and panelists. More information and the latest line-up of special guests can be found at http://www.princess.com/cruisingforacause/veteranscruise.html.

The cruise will offer passengers the opportunity to honor those who have served in the military as well as active duty military personnel. In addition to Lynne and the line-up of impressive military guests and speakers, there will be special performers, celebrities, unique topic panels and a military film festival. Princess will offer onboard activities such as a Stars and Stripes Sailaway, a Red, White and Blue Gala, and more – to celebrate U.S. veterans.

Also throughout the voyage, representatives from the Veterans History Project will be onboard to assist veterans interested in working with families and friends to record personal accounts of their service experience for preservation with the Library of Congress.

Cruise fares range from $499 to $1,849 per person based on double occupancy. A portion of each passenger’s cruise fare expected to reach approximately $500,000 will be matched by Princess Cruises for a total of $1 million earmarked for the two veterans’ organizations. As part of Princess’ ongoing Military Cruise Benefit Program, active and retired military personnel choosing to book this cruise will receive a $50 onboard credit.

The cruise launches Princess Cruises’ new “Cruising for a Cause” initiative where the company will dedicate entire sailings to support select charitable causes. This new, industry-leading program will provide the line’s passengers, many of whom are looking for opportunities to make positive contributions to their communities and the world, a way to make a difference even as they vacation.

More information about “Cruising for a Cause” sailings can be found at princess.com/cruisingforacause or by calling 1-800-PRINCESS.

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Virgin Vacations offers Harry Potter Fans 7-Day London Package Featuring Behind-the-Scenes Warner Bros Studios Walking Tour

July 23, 2013

Virgin Vacations is offering Harry Potter fans three opportunities this fall to take a 7-day package to London featuring a behind-the-scenes walking tour at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, where the iconic movie series was made.

The independent package, titledVirgin’s 7 Day London with Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter,” includes round trip Virgin Atlantic flights from New York to London, 5 nights at the five-star Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in the City of London, airport-to-hotel transfers from Heathrow, daily breakfast, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, and guided London sightseeing by vintage bus followed by a Thames River cruise.

Departures are available September 18, October 9, and 23.  Cost is $1,669 per person, based on double occupancy.  For Boston departures, add $63, Chicago $108, Washington, D.C. $27, San Francisco $272, and Los Angeles $193.  Round trip airport transfers from Gatwick Airport are available at an additional price.

In addition to the Harry Potter and London city tours, travelers have two full free days in London to take in the sights or to select from optional activities such as a full afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason, priced from $79; or a day at Bath and Stonehenge, priced from $92.

The guided Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter walking tour takes travelers behind the scenes, to discover the special effects and the huge film sets behind the famous movies.  On the walking tour, visitors go inside the actual Great Hall, see video screens of interviews with the cast and crew about the making of the films, and learn about how green-screen technology helped create some of the most memorable sequences.   A visit to the Creature Effects Workshop reveals some of the giant animatronics such as Fawkes the Phoenix, while props such as Hagrid’s motorcycle, and the purple triple decker Knight Bus seen in Harry’s London Escapades make the movie come to life.

Prices are per person, and based on double occupancy. Airline taxes and fuel charges are included. For more information and to book, visit Virgin Vacations, phone 1-877-740-4302, or see your travel agent.

For information on other worldwide destinations available through Virgin Vacations, visit http://www.virginvacations.com.  As a member of the U.S. Tour Operators Association, Virgin Vacations protects travelers’ payments up to $1 Million through the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program.

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Gold Coast International Film Festival Announces The ‘Starring You!’ Casting Call Contest

July 19, 2013
'Gatsby Girls' at a recent Gold Coast International Film Festival event, a preview of "the Great Gatsby" with director Baz Luhrmann © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

‘Gatsby Girls’ at a recent Gold Coast International Film Festival event, a preview of “the Great Gatsby” with director Baz Luhrmann © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Gold Coast International Film Festival invites YOU to audition for a chance to appear in this year’s festival trailer, win a free “All-Access VIP Pass” and walk the red carpet with Hollywood stars! It’s easy to enter online or in person. Just take a 15 second video of yourself acting out your favorite movie line and submit using Instagram or YouTube. Or, come to a Live Audition and we’ll shoot your 15 second video for you. Give us your best “You talkin’ to me?”, “Show me the money”, “There’s no place like home”, or “And this one time, at band camp…” Or any other memorable movie line you like. Be as funny or dramatic as you want. But give it everything you’ve got!

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

SUBMIT USING INSTAGRAM:

1) Use INSTAGRAM to take a video of yourself acting out your favorite movie line.
2) Add a caption that includes our hashtag: #gcstarringyou
3) Share your video. That’s it! You’re done! (Please make sure your posts are PUBLIC. The “Posts are Private” button on your Edit Profile page should be set to “OFF.”)

SUBMIT USING YOUTUBE:

1) Take your 15-second video using your phone, video camera or computer.
2) Upload it to YOUTUBE and copy the address.
3) Visit http://bit.ly/17lpQ3O and fill out our entry form, including the address of your YouTube video. You’re done!

AUDITION IN PERSON:

We’ll be holding live auditions on location at various events around Nassau County this summer. Just come ready to shine at any of the following locations: *July 19 at the Queen & Satisfaction concert from 5:30-7pm  (Teddy Roosevelt Park, Oyster Bay), *July 20 at the Cast of Beatlemania concert  from 6:30-8pm (Michael J. Tully Stadium Field, New Hyde Park); *July 22 at the Harry Chapin Tribute concert  from 5 – 6:30pm (Eisenhower Park, East Meadow); *July 28 at the Monsters Inc. screening from 6:30-8pm (Clinton G. Martin Park, New Hyde Park); * August 1 at the Best of…Short Film screening from 6:30-7:30pm (Great Neck Arts Center, Great Neck); August 8 at the Big Shot: Billy Joel Tribute from 6:30-8pm (Teddy Roosevelt Park, Oyster Bay).  Dates and times subject to change.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL WIN:

As many as 30 CONTEST WINNERS will be selected by our jury to appear in this year’s festival trailer, TV commercial and online promotions.

On top of that, four GRAND PRIZE WINNERS will also each receive a free “All Access VIP Pass” to Festival films and events, and get to walk the red carpet with filmmakers, producers and stars.  (Two Grand Prize winners will be selected by our jury from the top ten auditions that receive the most votes on Facebook, and two will be selected by our jury based on best performance.)

Vote for your favorites on the Facebook page from July 15 – August 9. One vote per day!

 

For all contest details visit http://www.facebook.com/GCIFF .  See the current Film Series lineup at www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org.

New Guest Camps Open in Kenya in time for Great Migration

July 19, 2013

New guest camps (including Richard Branson’s new property) are opening this summer in Kenya in time for the Great Migration to give more travelers up-close views of one of the world’s most exciting natural phenomenon.

This month, travelers can watch in awe during one of the greatest animal shows on Earth, the Great Migration.  Each year from July through November, approximately 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and Thomson’s Gazelle venture from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s sprawling Maasai Mara National Reserve, making way for one of the most amazing natural spectacles in the world.

New camps opening this summer include:

Mahali Mzuri, a Virgin Limited Edition property – Opening in August 2013

Virgin chief Richard Branson is building a property on the Motorogi Conservancy in the Masai Mara. The property, Mahali Mzuri, part of the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio, is slated to open next year. Situated within the Motorogi Conservancy in the Maasai Mara, Mahali Mzuri – meaning “beautiful place” in Swahili – will feature 12 tented suites, exclusively catering to a maximum of 24 guests at any one time.  Opening this August, rates will start from $580 per person per night, fully inclusive of all meals, drinks and daily game drives within the Olare Orok and Motorogi Conservancies. For more information, visit www.mahalimzuri.virgin.com

Speke’s Camp – Opened July 15 

A sister camp to Maasai Trails’ Jan’s Camp, Speke’s Camp is a delightful new private camp in the Maasai Mara that is opening this month. Located just outside the Maasai Reserve on private land – Speke’s Camp offers an exclusive and secluded experience. With a rack rate of just $305 per person sharing per night, this quaint camp is part of the more affordable circuit of camps in the Mara. With eight comfortable rooms, Speke’s Camp offers game drives and the option of an epic-walking safari through the Loita Hills. For more information, visit www.maasaitrails.com

Elewana’s Sand River Masai Mara Camp – Opened July 1

Located on the banks of a river from which it has taken its name, Sand River Maasai Mara is located within the famed Maasai Mara National Reserve, close to the Tanzanian border.  Situated on a secluded and picturesque site, the Camp replicates the heyday of exclusive permanent tented camps of the late 1920’s. Featuring 16 exclusive tented  suites each with a private sun deck area, the camp offers daily game drives, bush meals, a billiard room, library, and swimming pool for guests. For more information, visit elewanacollection.com.

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