Archive for September, 2013

Azamara Club Cruises Offers Double Stateroom Upgrade for Booking by Sept. 30

September 11, 2013
Azamara Journey

Azamara Journey

Cruisegoers can immerse themselves in vibrant histories, heralded traditions and colorful cultures – and receive a double-category upgrade – when booking  a 2014 Azamara Club Cruises voyage to intriguing destinations around the world. Through September 30, 2013, travelers making a new booking will enjoy a Club Veranda Stateroom for the price of a Club Interior Stateroom aboard select Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest Europe and Central America voyages in 2014.

Azamara’s Double Upgrade Offer adds two more reasons for a destination immersive-voyage to the rich history of Europe, and the stunning natural landscapes of Central America. Additionally, guests will enjoy up to 50 percent savings on brochure rates, 25 percent savings on most Land Discoveries shore excursions when booked online prior to the voyage, and $1,000 ChoiceAir credit per couple for air travel booked by September 30, 2013. More information about Azamara’s Double Upgrade offer can be found at

Azamara Club Cruises offers distinct destination-immersive experiences for up-market travelers. The cruise line uniquely features voyages with longer stays and more overnights at ports to provide guests the opportunity to experience night touring at some of the most compelling destinations of Europe, Asia, South America, West Indies, as well as Central and North America.  On board the intimate Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, guests receive exceptional and personal service and the cruise line’s authentic, exclusive and bespoke AzAmazing Evenings events that showcase the unexpected colors and flavors of a destination.   Onboard, guests also enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world, as well as more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary boutique wines, international beers and select standard spirits in the ships’ bars, lounges and restaurants when open; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available.   

For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit Connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Facebook at, on Twitter @AzamaraVoyages or follow President and CEO @LarryPimentel.

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Variety Cruises Offers 9 Sailings of “Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal’

September 11, 2013

Variety Cruises is offering nine sailings of The Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, a seven-night cruise from Los Suenos, Costa Rica to Cartagena, Columbia, from December 2013 – March 2014. Sailing on the Mega Yacht Variety Voyager, travelers will cross the celebrated Panama Canal while enjoying a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting. The cruise travels the Pacific Ocean coast line of Costa Rica with stops at the Corcovado National Park in Drake Bay, Manuel Antonio National Park in Quepos, the protected area of Golfo Dulce, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Isla Coiba and the San Blas Archipelago.

Cruise-goers will have the opportunity to explore a new port of call each day. In Quepos, white sand beaches are backed by a jungle sheltering hundreds of fascinating plant, mammal and bird species. Golfo Dulce offers sensational botanical gardens and orchid viewing, while Granito de Oro is a swimmer and snorkeler’s paradise. Fans of engineering will marvel at the Panama Canal as the Voyager sails through the Canal’s three sets of locks, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. On Panama’s San Blas Islands, travelers will meet the indigenous Kuna community and learn about their customs, dances and way of life.

The 36 cabin Variety Voyager, launched in May 2012, complies with the most stringent SOLAS safety regulations. All cabins are equipped with individually controlled air conditioning, mini bars, flat screen TV’s, DVD players and all the amenities of a luxury ship.

The Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal sails from December 2013 through mid-March 2014, with rates ranging from $2,590 – $5,990 per person, depending on cabin category. Travelers who book their cruise by August 31, 2013 will receive a 25% reduction on cruise fares when they mention “Special Offer 2013 B.” (The offer does not apply to existing bookings and cannot be combined with other special offers).

Variety Cruises 2013 brochures and flyers are now available by calling 1-800-319-7776.  For more information, visit .

Variety Cruises, one of the world’s largest small ships cruise companies, has been offering passengers worldwide a total yachting experience since 1949. Their fleet of 11 fully-owned vessels varies in size from 4 to 36 cabins. Their yachts and staff provide an intimate and relaxed environment; a comfort filled starting point for the discerning travelers as they visit well known and unique ports of call. Fine locally-flavored cuisine, exciting itineraries and personalized service are just a few of the things that have made Variety Cruises the choice for the ever growing number of travelers looking for distinctive small ship cruise experiences.

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Crystal Unveils Itineraries for Entire 2015 Thru Early 2016

September 11, 2013
Crystal Symphony in Sydney Austrailia

Crystal Symphony in Sydney Australia

From Ambodifotatra to Aomori and Belawan to Burgas, Crystal Sets New Sights Including 22 Maiden Calls

Sailing to all seven continents, ultra-luxe global cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has revealed its complete and comprehensive collection of cruises for 2015 through Winter/Spring 2016.  In 2015, Crystal will celebrate its 25th anniversary with 64 voyages calling in 248 ports in 79 countries — with its most ever maiden calls.  Crystal Symphony begins 2016 immersed in South America and Antarctica, while Crystal Serenity kicks off the year with a grand Panama Canal cruise that precedes a new World Cruise.

Until now Crystal had only released itineraries through spring 2015, which include a dazzling Asia series and a 108-day “Silver Celebration” World Cruise circumnavigating the globe round-trip from Miami.

Among the new and distinctive highlights for 2015 are:

  • · 22 maiden calls to lesser-known locales like Albany, Australia; Ambodifotatra and Taolanaro, Madagascar; Burgas, Bulgaria; Chania/Souda, Greece; Macapa, Brazil; Richards Bay, South Africa; Rijeka, Croatia; Sanary-sur-Mer, France; Santo Domingo, Dominician Republic; Aomori, Japan; Archangel, Korsakov and Solovetsky Islands, Russian Federation; Belawan, Indonesia; Bodo, Narvi and Øye/Hjørundfjord, Norway; Helgoland, Germany; Kochi, Japan; Sanya, China and Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago.
  • · Overnight stays with most itineraries – often conveniently scheduled in the port of embarkation or disembarkation – and several feature double overnight calls (three days!) in Shanghai, Bordeaux’s port of Bassens, Hong Kong, Monte Carlo, St. Petersburg, and Yangon, Myanmar.
  • · A dozen voyages are conveniently round-trip from the world’s most coveted destinations like New York, London’s port of Dover, Monte Carlo, Singapore, Los Angeles, Montreal, and, for the first time, Copenhagen (for a new Baltic route) and Istanbul (for a new Black Sea cruise).
  • Brand new 18-day North Cape & White Sea cruise from Reykjavik features five maiden calls.
  • New Holy Land & Mediterranean cruise visits Ashdod and Haifa, Israel.
  • New European cruises to and from Amsterdam and Marseille.
  • New TransAtlantic cruise calling overnight in Bermuda.
  • Both ships will cruise the British Isles with a new combination of ports.
  • Mexico is back on the roster, along with an expanded convenient Caribbean collection.
  • Approximately a third of the cruises are 10 days or less.
  • A new Christmas/New Year cruise from San Juan to Rio de Janeiro joins Crystal’s popular holiday roster.

In keeping with its recent practice to release its full year schedule with the first quarter of the following year, Crystal is also revealing the first quarter of 2016, which includes:

  • Two January/February cruises cruising Antarctica and South America, including a new route round-trip from Buenos Aires.
  • New Panama Canal cruises: from Chile to Miami and Miami to San Francisco.
  • New Caribbean cruises that begin and/or end in Colon, Panama.

102-day World Cruise that, for the first time, follows a route round-trip from San Francisco, with segments beginning in Sydney, Bali, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Crystal’s 2015/early 2016 cruise schedule is available for savoring – and planning – at  Pricing details, with compelling, limited-time Book Now fares, will be released on August 31, 2013, when the 2015/16 cruises will be available for booking.

Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.

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

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Telluride Blues & Brews Offers Live Internet Video Stream of Festival, Sept. 12-15

September 11, 2013
Telluride Blues & Brews Festival celebrates 20 years.

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival celebrates 20 years.

Telluride Blues & Brews is again offering a live internet video stream of the entire festival,Sept. 12-15; (for details and schedule visit

The summer music season of Colorado’s Western Slope region is capped off by four days of live tunes and craft libations at this year’s Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. Celebrating 20 years means bringing a standout lineup of national touring acts and a record 56 regional and national microbreweries for the festival and its patrons.

Primarily taking place in the 36 acre venue outfitted for choice live music experiences, Town Park sits adjacent to the downtown Telluride section at the end of the scenic box canyon bordered by high elevation peaks. New amenities this year include an enhanced food selection from 13 vendors, exclusive campground music sessions, an onsite camping gear vendor provided by Project Shelter, and a Main Street parade featuring the Rebirth Brass Band.

This year the iconic Fred Shellman Stage will take on the strong top-to-bottom lineup with headliners The Black Crowes, Jim James and Melissa Etheridge leading the charge. Last year The Black Crowes frontman played a memorable set at Telluride Blues & Brews with side project the Chris Robinson Brotherhood that serves as a testament to what his core band will offer this year, while My Morning Jacket vocalist Jim James will make his first solo appearance in Telluride after a huge summer of sets at the country’s biggest festivals. Melissa Etheridge’s extended 135 minute slot to close the festival on Sunday promises to be another notch in the event’s history of music legends playing at their highest level.

Telluride Blues & Brews never strays too far from its blues roots, and this year Booker T. Jones will be representing the electric blues category with his Hammond B3 mastery at the free kick off party on Thursday night. Booker’s modern counterpart and recent collaborator on Sound The Alarm Gary Clark Jr. will also flex his prodigious and progressive blues guitar chops the following evening on the Main Stage. Also on board for Thursday’s 20th Annual Celebration Show is trance blues stringsmith and Blues & Brews veteran Otis Taylor.

The modern rock landscape finds multi-instrumental soul-stress ZZ Ward, Austin’s retro-rockers Bright Light Social Hour, one-man-band Low Volts, American rock guitarist/pianist John Hiatt, and Telluride favorite Anders Osborne layering the lineup.

Telluride Blues & Brews goes heavy into the cast of funk players this year with England’s The New Mastersounds, the world class Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans, and the resurrected 70s psychedelic funk of The Relatives. The thriving neo-soul sound will be also be properly represented by Washington’s “hippie with soul” Allen Stone and UK acoustic soul singer/songwriter James Bay.

Between the 170 individual beers offered at the Grand Tasting on Saturday, the five hand selected House of Brews local representatives Aspen Brewing Company, Durango Brewing Company, Ska Brewing Company, Smuggler’s Brewing Company, and Telluride Brewing Company, and the official beer sponsor Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Telluride Blues & Brews stays true to its legacy as a premier beer showcase in a booming microbrewery era.

When the lights go down, the party continues at the four late night Juke Joint venues. Booker T. Jones and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Jim James and Karl Denson claim the Telluride Conference Center. A revamped Fly Me To The Moon Saloon sees The Rebirth Brass Band and The New Mastersounds. The intimate Elks Lodge houses Bright Light Social Hour and Selwyn Birchwood Band. The historic Sheridan Opera House hosts an Allen Stone and ZZ Ward co-bill, Anders Osborne, and then Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe for the Fais do-do closing celebration.

The coveted Saturday single day tickets for the 20th installment of Telluride Blues & Brews have officially sold out, but limited 3-day passes and single day tickets for Friday and Sunday are still available. All limited Juke Joint tickets are still available, as are 4-day camping passes at

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