Archive for April, 2014

Win an “Ultimate Guy’s Getaway” in Lehigh Valley with Golf, Grand Prix Racing, Horse Racing

April 29, 2014

There’s still time to enter a contest to win the ultimate “guy’s experience” in Lehigh Valley, filled with golf, grand prix racing, and horseracing.

Discover Lehigh Valley, the official Destination Marketing Organization for Lehigh and Northampton counties in eastern Pennsylvania, is partnering with Woodstone Country Club, Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, Pocono Raceway and more to give one lucky winner the ultimate guy’s experience.

The Ultimate Lehigh Valley Guys’ Experience is a month-long promotion that will have a winner and three of his friends putting the pedal to the metal with a few of his buddies. The winner will be challenging his friends on the links, trying to lap them on the track, and experience Pocono on race day.

Visitors can enter throughout the month of April at LVUltimateExperience.com. This experience includes:

DAY ONE (JUNE 6)

Lunch at Woodstone Country Club

18 holes of golf with cart at Woodstone Country Club

$150 gift card to enjoy dinner, drinks and cigars at Leaf Cigar Bar

A private tour of Leaf’s humidor

Overnight accommodations at Courtyard by Marriott – Bethlehem – I-78

 

DAY TWO (JUNE 7)

Lunch at Lehigh Valley Grand Prix

Afternoon of racing at Lehigh Valley Grand Prix

$100 to enjoy dinner at Allentown Brew Works

Four $10 slot vouchers to the Sands® Bethlehem

Overnight accommodations at Courtyard by Marriott – Bethlehem – I-78

 

DAY THREE (JUNE 8)

Roundtrip luxury transportation service from hotel to Pocono Raceway

Food & drink tickets for Pocono Raceway

Four Club Level tickets and four Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Passes to NASCAR’s June 8, 2014 Pocono 400

Overnight accommodations at Courtyard by Marriott – Bethlehem – I-78

 

ADDITIONAL COOL STUFF

Lehigh Valley Grand Prix swag

Woodstone Country Club Golf swag

Official Pocono Raceway program.

 

The Grand Prize winner will also receive an Olympus digital camera to capture their Ultimate Lehigh Valley Experience courtesy of our friends at Olympus. A winner will be announced in the first week of May.

The Lehigh Valley Ultimate Family Experience is one of 12 monthly experience-based travel packages Discover Lehigh Valley is giving away through June 2014. For more information, full rules and prize descriptions for The Ultimate Lehigh Valley Experience, visit LVUltimateExperience.com.

For more information on Discover Lehigh Valley and its activities or to request a Lehigh Valley Official Visitors Guide, call (800) MEET-HERE, or visit the official tourism website of Lehigh Valley at DiscoverLehighValley.com.

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Win a Guided National Park Adventure with O.A.R.S. Social Media Contest

April 29, 2014

Veteran river outfitter and nature-based adventure travel company, O.A.R.S., has partnered with outdoor industry leaders The Clymb, Teva, and Klean Kanteen, along with the National Park Foundation for a social media contest that gives contestants a chance to win one of four guided National Park adventures. The launch of the contest is timed to coincide with National Park Week. To enter see: http://www.smarturl.it/NationalParks

The contest runs for four weeks from April 21 through May 18. O.A.R.S. will select one winner at random each week to receive a world-class national park adventure for two. The prizes include a 5-day Grand Canyon rafting trip, a 4-day Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park trip, a 6-day Colorado River trip through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park and a 4-day Green River rafting trip through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument.

In addition to the trip, each winner will receive: a pair of Teva Original Sandals, a $100 Clymb Gift Certificate, an “I Heart Parks” hoodie from the National Park Foundation and a 20-oz Insulated Klean Kanteen.

To enter, people are asked to complete the statement: “I LOVE OUR NATIONAL PARKS BECAUSE…” Every answer is overlaid on an image from a park of their choice to create a personalized meme that can be easily shared via social networks.

“These images are fun to share and the incentive to win prizes has created an organic response that spreads love for our parks,” says Steve Markle, O.A.R.S. spokesperson. “O.A.R.S. and our partners really hope to inspire people to visit a National Park this summer. National Parks are essential to the American outdoor experience. It’s where nature reigns and man is just a visitor. It’s one of the few places where true adventure is still possible.   And we know the best way to support the parks is to share people’s passion for them and encourage others to visit.”

O.A.R.S. is an authorized National Park Service concessioner in Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon & Grand Teton National Parks as well as in Dinosaur National Monument.

For more information, availability, reservations and a copy of the 2014 O.A.R.S. Adventures catalog call 209-736-4677 or 800-346-6277, email info@oars.com, or visit: www.oars.com/.

O.A.R.S. has been providing whitewater rafting vacations to some 500,000 guests since 1969, offering experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines around the world. O.A.R.S. caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 different itineraries, including one-day and weekend escapes. In 2013, for the seventh consecutive year, Condé Nast Traveler recognized Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservation Manager and International Adventure Travel Consultant, as Condé Nast Traveler’s standalone Top Travel Specialist in the River Rafting category. In 2013 Outside, America’s leading multimedia active-lifestyle brand, named O.A.R.S. one of the top two outfitters in the world in its annual Active Travel Awards recognition program.

 

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Adventures Cross-Country Makes Scholarships Available to Teens For Summer Travel

April 28, 2014
On the Adventures Cross-Country teen adventure to Thailand, students work alongside the mahout, a traditional elephant caretaker, bathing, feeding and riding elephants deep into the jungle while embarking on a journey to protect and care for these animals in their native land.

On the Adventures Cross-Country teen adventure to Thailand, students work alongside the mahout, a traditional elephant caretaker, bathing, feeding and riding elephants deep into the jungle while embarking on a journey to protect and care for these animals in their native land.

Adventures Cross-Country of Mill Valley, California, is making scholarship assistance available to teens who have a yen to travel and be a force for positive change this summer.

Founder’s Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 per student will be applied to program tuitions for students who meet criteria outlined by Adventures Cross-Country (ARCC) and who enroll by May 9 in ARCC programs ranging from Costa Rica to Thailand.

“Meaningful travel as the best way to inspire teens to become responsible global citizens. I am extremely proud of the lasting impact that ARCC students have had on people, on communities and on the environment around the world,” reflects Scott von Eschen, parent of two teens and President of Adventures Cross-Country. “Often their travel experiences are life-changing as students learn to be contributing members of our global community.”

Scholarships are available to boys currently in grades 9-12 for two programs:  Thailand Elephant Service that runs July 1-31 and Costa Rica Service Ultimate that runs June 28-July 18.  A third scholarship program open to boys in grades 7-9 is Hawaii Service with two departures, July 1-14 and July 18 -31.

Scholarships are available to girls currently in grades 8-9 for Costa Rica Service Ultimate that runs July 16-Aug. 5 and for girls currently in grades 7-9 for Costa Rica Service Classic that runs July 21-Aug. 3.

Thailand Elephant Service – In Thailand students work alongside the mahout, a traditional elephant caretaker, bathing, feeding and riding elephants deep into the jungle while embarking on a journey to protect and care for these animals in their native land. Students volunteer in a hill-tribe village, learn how to cook tasty Thai delights, spend the night among monks at a Buddhist monastery, explore the temple wonderland of Chiang Mai, scuba dive spectacular multi-colored coral reefs, whitewater raft the Pai gorges, teach English and make friendships with children in a local primary school in this country named The Land of Smiles.

Costa Rica Service Ultimate – Student travelers dive into the heart of Costa Rican culture by working with school children and rural farmers on community service projects. Enroute they whitewater raft through the jungle on the Pacuare River, surf an unspoiled coastline, patrol turtle nesting beaches,  help a community build a shelter, do daily chores with a family and help educate village youth.

Costa Rica Service Classic – Students teach English in a local school, whitewater raft through the jungle on the Pacuare River, engage in conservation and ecological preservation, come together with a rural community to build a shelter, plant a vegetable garden, explore lush rainforests, untouched beaches, and a rainbow of exotic wildlife, and surf the friendly waves of the Pacific Coast.

Hawaii Service – Students traveling here engage in a celebration of a landscape of perfection, where the beauty of turquoise waters melt into captivating sunsets. Enroute they engage with communities in helping preserve natural and cultural environments while sharing a laugh with local children at a Boys and Girls Club, surfing, swimming and hiking the magnificent Na Pali coast.

Founded in 1983, ARCC has become a leading provider of Community Service, Service Learning and Adventure Travel programs for youth ages 13 to 19. For over 30 years ARCC has been offering life-changing experiences to students who participate in two- to four-week small group programs that visit 21 countries on six continents. From teaching primary school English and building water purification projects in Africa to running whitewater rapids in Costa Rica to enhancing fluency in Spanish or Mandarin in Spain or China, ARCC brings youth face to face with the challenges, realities and beauties of nature and our global community. For post-high school students ARCC operates Gap Programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These offer an educational and cultural bridge between high school and college combining a rich academic curriculum with the experiential benefits of international travel.

Adventures Cross-Country’s 50-page catalog details Community Service, Language Immersion and Multi-Sport programs in 21 countries on six continents for youth seeking a summer service learning experience, all while exploring cultures and communities off the beaten path. The full catalog in a digital version can also be viewed online (415-332-5075, www.adventurescrosscountry.com).
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Tuscany Wine and Bike 2014 Wine & Culinary Tours Lets You Savor Wine, Land & History at the Pace of a Bicycle

April 23, 2014
Tuscany Wine and Bike itineraries offer a triple helping of understanding the wine, land and history of Tuscany while experiencing the beauty of an outdoor excursion © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tuscany Wine and Bike itineraries offer a triple helping of understanding the wine, land and history of Tuscany while experiencing the beauty of an outdoor excursion © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tuscany Wine and Bike (TWB) announced their new 2014 Wine Tasting & Culinary Biking Tour Itineraries effective April 26, 2014 through September 27, 2014. Led by local freelance oenologist and Winemaker Carlo Travagli and cycling enthusiast Luca Casini, TWB tours trek on mountain bikes across the provinces of Siena, Firenze, Pisa and Pistoia through the scenic, historic Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany.

“Each itinerary is actually a ‘triple itinerary’ that provides our guests with an understanding of the wine & cuisine, area & geography, and the culture & history of the places we will explore,” says Travagli. “I created these tours to give people an intimate look at my home — this extraordinarily beautiful, dynamic agricultural and world renown wine growing region.”

On the TWB TOUR, participants will awaken their senses through the vibrant colors, intoxicating scents, and breathtaking sights as Tuscany’s most robust seasons dramatically unfold before them. Cycling through fragrant olive groves, rolling vineyards, vibrant sunflowers fields, majestic woods, and other fascinating scenic spots, participants will uncover the most authentic aspects of Tuscany, often missed and overlooked by visitors using conventional means of transportation.

Additionally they will:  

Discover the Pearls of Tuscany, the historical points of interests, churches and buildings rich with art, centuries-old villages and towns as they follow paths and ancient roads like the “via Francigena.”

Experience Tuscan life, people, culture and places traveling through towns and farmlands, with opportunities to stay overnight.

Learn about one of the world’s most famous winemaking regions, the microclimates, viticultural areas and revered varietals, and the role of its landscape and history.

Savor the distinct flavors of the countryside including the local harvests, cherished honey, succulent olives & oils, sumptuous salumi, handcrafted cheeses, and enjoy the regional artisan products and cuisine of TWB select regional partners.

Taste regional wines among the vineyards and cellars while visiting local estates, receiving both lessons and guided tastings by Travagli, an award-winning winemaker of Chianti, Chianti Classico (Gallo Nero Black Rooster), Sangiovese, and IGT Super Tuscan wines.

No rigorous physical conditioning is required for the majority of the TWB itineraries.

“Most of our itineraries are designed for tourists without extensive athletic training.” Travagli stresses. “It’s for pure enjoyment and we try very hard to match each itinerary with the interests, comfort level, and ability of our guests.”

However, for both intermediate and advanced cyclists, Travalgi and Casini have designed several challenging itineraries including the 7-day Bio Week Tour.  The Bio Week Tours have additional activities such as cooking lessons, donkey treks, and urban bike tours. Customized Tours are also available.  For more information, visit the Tuscany Wine and Bike website, Email TWB or call (+39)333 9206700.

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Broadway League Partners with World Book Night to Give Out Free Books on Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday

April 22, 2014
Broadway, New York City, mecca for theater goers and lovers of language. In celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on April 23, 2014, the Broadway League will host a series of joint activities with World Book Night U.S, a non-profit campaign to give printed books to light or non-readers. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Broadway, New York City, mecca for theater goers and lovers of language. In celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on April 23, 2014, the Broadway League will host a series of joint activities with World Book Night U.S, a non-profit campaign to give printed books to light or non-readers. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on April 23, 2014, the Broadway League will host a series of joint activities with World Book Night U.S, a non-profit campaign to give printed books to light or non-readers.

World Book Night U.S. will provide free copies of the Dover edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets to the Broadway League for use at national Family First Nights events for students and families, Kids’ Night on Broadway programs throughout the country, and will be distributed to students participating in the Broadway League’s high school internship program. These events will occur throughout the year in New York and on the Road at Broadway League member venues that are hosting Touring Broadway productions.

Family First Nights provides specially-priced theatre tickets for families, selected by local partner social service agencies, who may not otherwise be able to attend Broadway and Touring Broadway shows. Kids’ Night on Broadway, a national audience development program, is when kids ages 6 to 18 can see Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. A Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, educational programs, and special events.

Additionally, copies of the sonnets will be placed on theatre seats during the April 23 matinee and/or evening performances of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Matilda The Musical, Newsies, and The Lion King. Curtain speeches and letters in the books will encourage audience members to give their book to someone who may not be a regular reader.

“Theatre is about storytelling,” Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said. “The Broadway League devotes significant time and resources on educational programs to nurture future theatregoing audiences, so we are happy to collaborate with the organizers of World Book Night to increase awareness of a notable Broadway playwright!”

World Book Night U.S. Executive Director Carl Lennertz added, “We are thrilled to be partnering with The Broadway League and all the great work they do. Obviously, we share a love for the words and work of William Shakespeare, and The Broadway League is committed to increasing awareness of the arts as we are of reading, so this is a wonderfully natural fit. Theatre and books bring joy and light into many lives.”

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Royal Caribbean 2015-16 Schedule Includes Year-Round Sailings from New York and Galveston

April 18, 2014
Sailing into the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Throughout 2015 summer and fall, Liberty of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Sailing into the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Throughout 2015 summer and fall, Liberty of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International announced its 2015-16 year-round sailings from the New York-metropolitan area and Galveston, Texas, and seasonal sailings from Tampa and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Still ranked among the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. for summer 2015 and offer vacationers the most advanced cruise options to sail from the New York-metropolitan area to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England. Simultaneously, Navigator of the Seas will continue to sail seven-night Western Caribbean cruises throughout summer 2015 and complete two consecutive years of homeporting at Galveston.

In winter 2015-16, Anthem of the Seas will arrive at Cape Liberty for its first season in North America – after finishing its inaugural season in Southampton, U.K. – and offer vacationers unforgettable Quantum-class experiences to the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. At the same time, Liberty of the Seas will take over weekly Caribbean sailings from Galveston, offering Texas vacationers a newer and larger ship, while Navigator of the Seas will sail six- and eight-night Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. Furthermore, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa in winter 2015-16 to offer a variety of Caribbean itineraries that all combine to provide extensive choices for exciting Royal Caribbean cruise vacations throughout 2015 to 2016.

Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas’ 2015-16 cruise seasons are now open for booking. Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members have the exclusive privilege to book Anthem of the Seas’ winter 2015-16 season starting April 25, 2014, in advance of the general opening to the public on April 29.

Cruise Vacations from New York

New York is among the world’s top cosmopolitan cities where Royal Caribbean is deploying its most technologically advanced ships. Throughout the 2015 summer and autumn seasons, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty and offer the best family cruise vacation option in the region. The Freedom-class ship will be the cruise line’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area. Liberty of the Seas will alternate a five-night, roundtrip Bermuda itinerary with a nine-night Caribbean itinerary in the summer, and then with a nine-night New England and Canada itinerary throughout the autumn season.

“The Bermuda Tourism Authority is delighted at the news that Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas will be making visits to Bermuda for the 2015 summer season,” said Bill Hanbury, CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority. “Royal Caribbean is an extremely valued partner to Bermuda and is considered a leader in the global cruise market. This latest announcement is a welcome endorsement of Royal Caribbean’s continued commitment to Bermuda and its tourism industry.”

For its winter 2015-16 season, Anthem of the Seas will set sail on October 27 for an eight-night Ocean Voyage from Southampton to Cape Liberty and continue Quantum Class cruising for New York-area vacationers. The ship will sail a range of seven- to 12-night roundtrip itineraries and take guests to the Bahamas and throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. The 12-night Western Caribbean itinerary is brand new, featuring maiden calls for the Quantum Class at George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.

“The New York-metropolitan area is a very important market for us,” said Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are committed to bringing our most advanced ships to this region and delivering our distinctive style of high-quality vacations to our loyal customers, as well as win new converts to cruising. Sailing Anthem of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas from New York fits the bill perfectly.”

Year-round Caribbean Vacations from Galveston

Having just been revitalized in January 2014, Navigator of the Seas offers vacationers the most innovative and modern cruise experience to sail from the Lone Star State. Navigator of the Seas will continue weekly sailings from Galveston until November 2015, when Liberty of the Seas repositions there to offer Texans a larger and more advanced cruise ship for unforgettable vacations. Both ships will alternate a pair of seven-night roundtrip itineraries to the Western Caribbean.

Winter Caribbean Escapes from Florida

Vacationers also have a range of the industry’s most advanced ships for a variety of Caribbean itineraries, sailing from convenient Florida ports during the 2015-16 winter season. Completing two full years of homeporting in Galveston, Navigator of the Seas will reposition to Fort Lauderdale in November 2015 and sail six-night Eastern and eight-night Western Caribbean itineraries.

For its part, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa for their third and second consecutive winter seasons, respectively. Brilliance of the Seas will offer vacationers four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries, while Vision of the Seas will sail seven-, nine-, and 10-night itineraries throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.

 

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Shanghai, China will be Homeport for Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas Beginning in 2015

April 18, 2014

Royal Caribbean International announced that its newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, will make its home port in Shanghai (Baoshan), China. “We’re bringing the company’s most innovative ship to the world’s fastest-growing cruise market,” Adam Goldsein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, said.

The ship will reposition to China in May 2015, following her inaugural winter season sailing out of New York Harbor to the Caribbean. In China, Quantum of the Seas will join Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia, increasing the company’s capacity in the region by 66 percent.

“Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship,” said Goldstein. “We are ready to accelerate the growth of this vital market with a ship that will capture the imagination of travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.”

“Every trend we are seeing in China tells us we can achieve real long-term competitive advantage and appealing returns on our investments in this fast-growing market by accelerating our presence there,” Goldstein said. “We will have to be nimble, but the ability to move fast is one of our strengths.”

Goldstein said the company was able to make the move because its new-ship pipeline will keep the New York region supplied with top-rate ships as well.
“We are very mindful of the importance of New York, which is why we are bringing Liberty of the Seas and then Anthem of the Seas to this market.”

Quantum of the Seas will debut in November 2014, and will spend its inaugural season sailing from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., before repositioning to China in May 2015. Beginning late June 2015, the ship will sail three- to eight-night itineraries year-round from Shanghai to Japan and Korea.

Liberty of the Seas will then arrive to Cape Liberty to sail to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England for the 2015 summer and autumn seasons. The Freedom-class ship will be the company’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area.

Finally, Quantum of the Seas’ sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, which launches in April 2015, will complete her inaugural Europe season from London (Southampton), U.K., before arriving to Cape Liberty in November 2015 to continue Quantum-class cruising to the Bahamas and Caribbean for the winter 2015-16 season.

“These incredible ships will meet the sophisticated expectations of consumers in Shanghai, New York and London. Our mantra for the new Quantum class of ships is ‘this changes everything’ – and upping our game in these key markets achieves just that,” said Dominic Paul, Vice President, International, Royal Caribbean International. “Our distinctive style of high quality innovative cruises has become known to travelers around the world and we will continue to deploy our most technologically advanced ships where the demand is, with the expectation of winning new converts to cruising.”

The groundbreaking Quantum-class ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, will debut a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences, such as Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever.

Guests also will enjoy the new Quantum-class “Dynamic Dining,” a completely new culinary experience that offers a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including specialty restaurants created with partner-chefs Jamie Oliver, Devin Alexander and Michael Schwartz.

The Quantum Class spans 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms. More information on Quantum class is available at http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/QuantumoftheSeas.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea.  The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL), the cruise line sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand. World renowned for its friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, delivered by every staff and crew member, Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 11 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

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Eurail Pass Offers ‘Mediterranean Deals’ with Free Travel Days Thru Apr 30

April 16, 2014
Rail travel in France © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Rail travel in France © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Eurail Pass travelers can now take advantage of the “Mediterranean Deals” promotion, adding one free travel day to the Italian One Country Pass and one free travel day to the Regional Passes France-Italy, France-Spain and Italy-Spain. The offer is valid for any variations of these products purchased through April 30, 2014.

As France, Italy and Spain count themselves among the most popular European tourism destinations, Eurail wants to entice its non-European customers even further by offering these special “Mediterranean Deals.” The French, Italian and Spanish railway companies offer an extensive and modern rail network, making traveling by train comfortable, relaxing and hassle free. Moreover, these Eurail Passes provide the traveler with the flexibility to choose from a selection of available travel days and dates, within a period of two months.

In March, Eurail announced that France will return to a revamped Eurail Select Pass after a one year absence. The Eurail Select Pass re-launches as a Four-Country Pass only. Starting on April 1st, only Four Country Select Passes can be purchased, with France as one of the 26 Eurail countries to choose from.

Eurail offers four types of Eurail Passes as part of its product portfolio to those residing outside of Europe: the Eurail Global Pass valid in 24 member countries, the Eurail Select Pass, the Eurail Regional Pass and the Eurail One Country Pass.

Eurail Passes are available from a worldwide network of Authorized General Sales Agents. Visit www.eurailgroup.org/eurail-vendors.

Eurail Group G.I.E., the organization dedicated to the marketing and management of the Eurail Passes, is wholly owned by more than 30 participating railways and shipping companies. In addition, Eurail Group has many benefit partners, including hotels, transport companies and museums, which offer their services either at a reduced rate or free of charge to rail pass holders.

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National Park Week, April 19-27 Offers Special Events Nationwide

April 16, 2014
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. All 401 national parks across the country are celebrating National Park Week, April 19-27, 2014 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. All 401 national parks across the country are celebrating National Park Week, April 19-27, 2014 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

From April 19 – 27, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation will host National Park Week, featuring special events in parks nationwide. This year’s theme, “National Park Week: Go Wild!” invites visitors to celebrate all that America’s 401 national parks have to offer. With free admission to all parks on April 19 and 20, and exciting activities and programs scheduled throughout the week, National Park Week is the perfect time to discover the diverse wildlife, iconic landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history found in America’s national parks.

There are countless ways to enjoy National Park Week. Here are nine suggestions for what is happening April 19 – 27 in national parks.  A complete list of National Park Week events taking place across the country is available at www.nationalparkweek.org.

Go wild for bears. This year the National Park Foundation has teamed with Disney on the new Disneynature film, “Bears,” premiering just in time for Earth Day and National Park Week on Friday, April 18. For every ticket sold during “Bears” opening week, April 18-24, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation to protect wildlife and wild places across America’s National Park System.

Go wild for Junior Ranger Day.  On April 26, young visitors can celebrate National Junior Ranger Day by taking part in special family-friendly activities.

Go wild for a walk in a park. More than 100 free, ranger-led walks are offered during National Park Week. Hike to a cloud forest, take a sunset stroll, wander through John F. Kennedy’s neighborhood, and more.

Go wild for Earth Day. Tour John Muir’s house in California and take part in a combined John Muir Birthday/Earth Day Celebration with music, food, and family-friendly events.

Go wild for Hawaiian culture. Experience first-hand the traditions of Hawaiian sailing and Hawaiian crafts! Join a sailing expert guide for a ride on a double-hulled canoe and learn interesting tidbits about Hawaiian sailing techniques, history, and culture. Immerse yourself in Hawaiian crafts such as lauhala weaving, coconut leaf weaving, and lei making.

Go wild for Patriot’s Day. Commemorate the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War with parades, reenactments, and special ceremonies in Massachusetts.

Go wild for waterfalls. Take the Whiskeytown Waterfall Challenge at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in beautiful northern California and hike to Brandy Creek, Boulder Creek, Crystal Creek and Whiskeytown Falls!

Go wild for national park road trips. Enjoy a self-guided tour to historic places, most of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Each trip takes you to a variety of places significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.

Go wild for wildflowers. Spring has sprung and it is the perfect time to see nature in all of its colorful glory in parks across the country. Parks including the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and Cumberland Gap and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky will have wildflower walks and talks.

Using the resources on the National Park Week website, visitors can plan adventures, share national park photos, videos, and tips, and learn about all the ways to help support national parks.

National Park Week also offers many opportunities for the public to explore local parks, trails, and architectural gems sustained by National Park Service programs such as the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program and the National Register of Historic Places.

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New Broadway Production of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Cats” Comes to Oasis of the Seas

April 4, 2014

Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas will be bringing the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of CATS to the high seas. The fully licensed production of CATS will join Oasis of the Seas once it completes its drydock in fall 2014.

Based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” CATS was one of the longest running productions on Broadway and is the winner of numerous awards including seven Tonys, two Oliviers and a Grammy. The show has been seen in over 20 countries and translated into more than 10 languages.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Really Useful Group to bring one of the world’s most beloved musicals to Oasis of the Seas,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Adding CATS to our already amazing line up of Broadway musicals such as Hairspray, Chicago: The Musical, Saturday Night Fever and Mamma Mia exemplify our commitment to bringing top quality entertainment to our guests at no extra cost.”

Oasis of the Seas features exclusive amenities and concepts throughout its seven themed neighborhoods, such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, the Aquatheater high-diving performance venue, and Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants. Oasis of the Seas also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H20 Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others. (For webisodes detailing the variety of experiences aboard Oasis of the Seas, visit http://tinyurl.com/bw585wa.)

Launched in December 2009, Oasis of the Seas has been heralded as an architectural marvel at sea, spanning 16 decks, encompassing 225,282 gross registered tons, and with a double-occupancy capacity of 5,400 guests. Oasis of the Seas is first ship to tout the cruise line’s neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, comprising Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.

Founded in 1977, The Really Useful Group exists to bring the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber to the world and manage his complete catalogue including theatrical and symphonic works, a requiem mass and countless rock and pop songs.

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.
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