Archive for the ‘air-inclusive vacation packages’ Category

World Spree Offers 12-Day Air-Inclusive Middle Kingdom Tour of China Priced from $1,299

August 17, 2016
Hangzhou, China

China © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Bellevue, WA – World Spree is putting the fascinating destination of China within reach with a 12-day Middle Kingdom tour priced from $1,299 that includes round-trip transpacific air fare, all transportation in China, 4-star deluxe hotels, daily American buffet breakfast, two delicious Chinese lunches, optional culinary events, evening shows, guides, sightseeing and entrance fees, baggage handling, taxes and fuel surcharges (prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability).

The tour also offers the flexibility of independent travel: While all the “must-sees” are included, other possibilities are optional.

The journey starts in Beijing, where you’ll see stunning modern architecture and Tiananmen Square, as well as imperial treasures like the legendary Great Wall of China, the Sacred Way of Ming Tombs and the 9,999-room Forbidden City (from which 24 emperors ruled the “Middle Kingdom”).

Optional features include a Peking duck dinner and a visit to Old Beijing’s winding alleys called “hutongs,” where you can enjoy lunch in a family’s courtyard home. In the ancient capital, Xian, you’ll visit China’s greatest archaeological discovery, the 6,000 Terracotta Warriors which guarded the first emperor’s tomb for 2,200 years.  And there’s an optional tour (with dinner) to the intriguing Muslim Quarter and night market.

Then it’s on to Shanghai, China’s most sophisticated and cosmopolitan city. Here there’s time to explore the city and its shops on your own, or take an optional tour (with lunch and dinner) that includes the 16th-century city bazaar; the Bund,

symbol of colonial Shanghai; the futuristic Pudong,  which you’ll view from the top of a skyscraper;  and a performance of the Shanghai Acrobats.

Another day there’s an optional tour by motor coach to Suzhou, a 2,500-year-old city known for its traditional gardens, ancient canals and silk production, and to the charming water town of Tongli with its photogenic canals and bridges, cobbled lanes and Ming-style houses and shops.

On the final day, there’s an optional  excursion (by bullet train) to Hangzhou, arguably China’s most beautiful city, with a cruise on the picturesque West Lake, lunch, and a visit to the famous Dragon Well Tea Plantation for a Chinese Tea Ceremony and tasting.

For more information, log onto www.worldspree.com, click “Destinations” and then “China” on the drop-down menu.  China Spree’s toll-free telephone number is 1-866-652-5656.

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Off-Season Rates in Effect at Luxurious All-Inclusive Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada

April 13, 2016
Spice Island Beachfront - high res

Spice Island Resort, Grenada

Tucked away along a 1,600-foot stretch of spectacular Grand Anse Beach Sir Royston’s Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada, is one of the most luxurious all-inclusives in the world, and beginning April 16, travelers can take advantage of off-season rates, with savings up to 30% on elegant beachfront and private pool suites.

Beginning April 16, travelers can enjoy the ultimate in attentive-yet unobtrusive-service starting at $1,145 per suite, per night, based on double occupancy, while Sir Royston’s signature beachfront Sea Grape Suites open up directly onto magnificent Grand Anse Beach just steps away from the Caribbean Sea from $1,387 per suite.

For private pool suites, Spice Island Beach Resort offers three options: Anthurium, Luxury Almond and Royal Collection Pool Suites. Starting at $1,344 per suite, the 1,200 sq. foot Anthurium Pool Suites feature a private terrace with a double daybed for relaxing and reading as well as private sun beds with umbrellas right besides guests very own 12′ x 16′ plunge pool. Meanwhile, the 1,500 sq. ft. Luxury Almond Pool Suites, which offer a true oasis of private luxury with a 16′ x 20′ residential-size swimming pool, tropical garden and outdoor dining terrace, start at $1,601 per suite during the off-season. The Royal Collection Pool Suites feature a similar configuration to the Luxury Almond category with the added benefit of a full-scale living room, enchanting marble bathroom and private Cedar Sauna, starting at $1,872 per suite, after April 16.

Sir Royston’s most luxurious room category, the palatial Cinnamon and Saffron Suites(only one of each at the resort) offers a new spin on beachside elegance as guests literally step foot on the sand as they exit their lavishly decorated 1440 sq. foot suite. These suites can be reserved during the off-season for $2,155 per suite – representing a savings of $936.

Spice Island Resort, which is surrounded by pristine tropical gardens and offers a world-class spa and culinary program, and a wide choice of super-elegant beachfront suites situated at the edge of the Caribbean Sea, features the full-service Janissa’s Spa, a Cybex® fitness center, an Omnicourt® tennis court and an unmatched culinary program serving seven-course, table d’hote dinners at Oliver’s beachside gourmet restaurant and casual lunches at the Sea & Surf Terrace. Fabulous five-star amenities add to its lavish experience featuring the smoothest Italian Frette bathrobes and linens as well as Molton Brown bath and body amenities, large-screen flat panel televisions, iPod docking stations and more.

Spice Island award

Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG, Chairman & Managing Director of Spice Island Beach Resort, was honored with the AAHS Six Star Diamond Lifetime Achievement award, with (l-r) Lesley Hardy; Brian Hardy, General Manager at Spice Island Beach Resort; Lady Hopkin; Janelle Hopkin, Deputy Managing Director for Spice Island Beach Resort; Sir Royston Hopkin; Joseph Cinque, CEO of AAHS; and Karen Dixon, International GM for AAHS

Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG, Chairman & Managing Director of Spice Island Beach Resort, one of the Caribbean’s leading hoteliers and Grenada’s Tourism Ambassador at Large, was recently honored at the world renowned Friar’s Club in New York, with the AAHS Six Star Diamond Lifetime Achievement award recognizing his untiring service of over 51 years to Grenada and the Caribbean region.

“I am humbled by this award,” said a surprised Sir Royston who thought he was there only to receive Spice Island Beach Resort’ s third-consecutive Six Star Diamond Award. “As my motto has always been, I serve with honor, but not for honor.  I am only driven by a deep desire to see my country and the Caribbean continue to grow, especially in the area of tourism” he added.  Sir Royston thanked his wife Lady Hopkin and his children Nerissa, Ryan and Janelle whose support he acknowledged “has been pivotal” to his success.

A recipient of Lifetime Achievement awards from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Sir Royston explained: “This recognition is particularly meaningful as it is very rarely bestowed. I am truly in the company of some of the most visionary entrepreneurs in luxury tourism.”

The Lifetime Achievement award was presented at a gala event held in honor of Spice Island Beach Resort’s third consecutive Six Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

The resort prides itself on being family owned and operated, making each guest feel as they are personally welcomed into their home, and each employee feel they are part of the Spice Island family. Each month, the “employee of the month” is hosted at Sir Royston’s home for a cocktail party with resort guests, and then invited to dinner with the family.

The hallmark of a luxury resort is service and Spice Island has 210 employees (all who are local) for 64 rooms – which works out to more than two employees per guest.

Spice Island Resort is also known for its culinary prowess – the chef, a 12-year veteran – uses mostly locally sourced products (even the fish, with the exception of salmon, would likely have been fresh caught), and recipes from Sir Royston’s mother, who modified international favorites with local ingredients.

All inclusive means all the meals plus afternoon tea – even room service – as well as premium drinks are included in the price (pool suites have a $10 delivery charge).

The resort extends 1,600 feet along the beach; beach suites are just 20 to 25 feet from water’s edge; the pool suites are notable for privacy.

Other amenities include a tennis court (lighted for night play), a swimming pool (no chlorine), free use of non-powered water sports (snorkeling equipment provided, on-site scuba is available for a fee)

The luxury, beach setting and privacy – and location a 4 ½ hour nonstop flight on JetBlue from JF Kennedy International Airport in New York, and just 10 minutes from the international airport in Grenada –make Spice Island Resort ideal for destination weddings (limited to 24 people in size), and honeymoons.

“The key to our success is providing memorable and essentially priceless experiences with our guest-centric service philosophy as well as our attention to fine detail when it comes to amenities, from Italian Frette bathrobes and linen to Molton Brown bath and body products,” noted Sir Royston. “In other words, we spare no effort in providing our guests with the finest and most luxurious amenities.”

Equally as important to the amenities, if not more so, Spice Island Beach Resort’s unique service-oriented philosophy is cited among the top reasons for repeat guests’ loyalty to the resort.

“The true Grenadian hospitality exhibited in the courtesy of all team members ensures seamless perfection. Each highly disciplined employee plays an important role in the creation of memorable experiences, personalized for each discerning guest,” said Sir Royston.

“When a guest doesn’t cry when they leave, we feel have done something wrong,” said Janelle Hopkin, Deputy Managing Director, a graduate of hotel school in Switzerland. 

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Mango Bay Hotel, Barbados is All-Inclusive Beach Resort Ideal for Family Getaway

February 12, 2016
Mango Bay all-inclusive resort, Barbados

Mango Bay all-inclusive resort, Barbados

HOLETOWN, Barbados – Located on the famed Gold Coast of Barbados, the 76-room Mango Bay Hotel provides fun in the sun vacations for families of all sizes. Mango Bay’s all-inclusive value allows vacationers to be entertained from sunrise to sunset – and every second in-between, regardless of age.

An all-inclusive vacation at Mangao Bay features hotel accommodations; all meals, afternoon tea, all local and brand name drinks including wine with dinner; various watersports including water-skiing, kayaking, hobiecat sailing, pedal boating and snorkeling; an on-property complimentary offering of scuba diving lessons; nightly entertainment; and off-property sightseeing excursions such as a glass-bottom boat trip and a catamaran sail.

Children three years of age and under sharing with two adults stay free-of-charge and children 4 to 18 years old are offered a reduced rate. For added convenience, cribs, extra beds and high chairs are available at no extra cost.

The Mango Bay restaurant provides children’s menus and earlier meal times can be set upon request. Organized games and activities such as movie nights, sand castle building and scavenger hunts can be arranged depending on the number of children staying at the resort. For an additional fee, babysitting services can be arranged so parents can steal some alone time.

Offering family-friendly vacation value, children four and up may participate in all watersport activities and children five and up have the option of attending the catamaran and glass bottom boat trips. Scuba diving lessons are given on select days in the pool from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Kids eight years of age and older may participate.

Mango Bay has proven to be a great getaway for the whole family having been named a 2014 Family Vacation Critic Favorite in the first annual hotel awards on www.FamilyVacationCritic.com. Receiving this award means that Mango Bay has at least four stars or higher from the website’s editorial staff and have had at least 75% of families recommend the property with four stars or higher. The resort also received TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame.

Mango Bay Hotel also was recently included in USA Today’s Top 10 “Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts Have the Biggest Bang For Your Buck?”

Rates start at $660 per room, per night, based on double occupancy for travel Jan. 6 – April 30, 2016.

Contact Mango Bay at 246-626-1384, email reservations@mangobaybarbados.com or visit www.MangoBayBarbados.com.

 

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Apple Vacations’ ‘Fall in Love with Hawaii’ Air-Inclusive 5-Night Packages Start at $685

February 10, 2015

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – “Fall in Love With Hawaii,” with Apple Vacations’ air-inclusive vacations and Apple Exclusive offers including rate reductions, dining credits and daily breakfast on bookings received by Feb. 19, 2015 for travel April 15 – June 15, 2015.

Here are sample air-inclusive rates:

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort is affording the recently betrothed with a Honeymoon Package starting at $1,239, including a complimentary room upgrade from a resort-view room to an ocean-view room, two tickets to the Starlight Luau, two tropical drinks, plus daily resort fee ($30 daily value).  Situated on 22 oceanfront acres on Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach, amid lush tropical gardens and fragrant flowers, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort offers an ideal setting for romance with five pools, 20 restaurants and bars, an on-site spa and a daily activities program to keep newlyweds entertained throughout their stay.

Royal Lahaina Resort is offering a five-night Royal Experience package starting at $1,219.  This package is perfect for those seeking romance, including an ocean-view room in Lahaina Kai Tower, daily breakfast for two, a Luau Show for two and a sunset dinner cocktail cruise for two.   The Royal Lahaina Resort is located on Maui, and the 27-acre resort is set on Kaanapali Beach, which was recently voted “America’s Best Beach,” providing the perfect romantic atmosphere for couples.

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa is providing a Celebrate Renewal package, starting at $1,199, which includes reduced rates in a golf or mountain-view room, special wine and chocolate upon arrival and two for one daily breakfast buffet.  Situated along a spectacular stretch of the famed Ka’anapali Beach, this oceanfront resort blends an endless array of activities and amenities with gracious aloha spirit, perfect for a romantic Hawaiian vacation.

Beyond romance-themed travel, Apple Vacations is making it easier than ever to “Say Hello to Hawaii” with packages perfect for any type of traveler from golf enthusiasts to family vacationers.  For example, Kanaloa at Kona by Outrigger provides families with the perfect opportunity to travel together, offering a five-night stay in a two-bedroom ocean-view condo for four starting at $685 per person, based on quadruple occupancy.  Perched atop an outcropping of lava rock overlooking Keauhou Bay, Kanaloa at Kona by Outrigger offers a peaceful residential setting for a Hawaiian island getaway.  Families can gather for an afternoon barbecue at one of five grill pits scattered throughout the tropical-garden grounds with tennis courts and three swimming pools offering further opportunities for on-site recreation.

In addition to discounted hotel stays, Starwood Resorts have provided an Apple Exclusive $100 Dining Credit for all suite bookings of three nights or longer (suite escape, suite life, escapes rates).  This exclusive is valid for the following properties: Sheraton Waikiki; The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort; Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa; and The St. Regis Princeville Resort.

The sample rates are per person, based on double occupancy, for May 6, 2015 departures from Oakland, CA.  Other dates, durations and gateways are available.  Prices and inclusions may vary. Fares include roundtrip airfare, hotel tax, fuel surcharges and all pre-collected taxes and fees including the September 11th Security Fee.  See airlines’ websites for baggage information.  Prices are subject to availability and change.  Restrictions apply.

Visit http://www.AppleVacations.com for more information.

 

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Wrap up a TerraVello Luxury Camping and Cycling Experience in Utah, Wyoming or California For the Holidays

December 7, 2014
TerraVelo Tours organizes an all-inclusive luxury camping escape with bicycling, horseback riding, massages and other amenities.

TerraVelo Tours organizes an all-inclusive luxury camping escape with bicycling, horseback riding, massages and other amenities.

This year, give your family the gift of your time and a shared experience to remember – a luxury camping (aka “glamping”) and cycling tour of the spectacular landscapes of Utah or Wyoming National Parks, or California’s vineyards and redwoods with TerraVelo Tours.

TerraVelo Tours offers fully-inclusive luxury mobile tent camping travel for both avid and casual cyclists – providing an unforgettable journey for both skill sets – TerraVelo has even created an elegant way to present your gift: a TerraVelo tote bag, complete with a custom-designed voucher and your choice of a selection of bath amenities from historic C.O. Bigelow & Apotheke Co.  or a TomTom MultiSport GPS watch.

The voucher can be redeemed for 2015 itineraries:

Utah Arches, Canyons and Hoodoos through Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Bryce National Parks brings guests through some of the most jaw-dropping scenery in the nation. Departures are April 12-19; May 3-9 and 10-16; September 20-26; and October 4-10.

Wyoming Mountains, Geysers and Bison tours include stops at Grand Teton National Park , Jackson, Yellowstone National Park including  Old Faithful,  Norris Geyser Basin, the Hot Springs Loop,  the unique landscape of Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar River Valley. Tours depart June 28-July 4; July 19-25 (Family Tour); and July 26-August 1.

The California Oceans, Vineyards and Redwoods tours encompass stops at Point Reyes National Seashore, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa, Armstrong National Redwoods Preserve, Salt Point State Park, and sunrise yoga followed by a cycle through the Avenue of the (Redwood) Giants.  Departures are May 24-30 (Family Tour); June 14-20; August 9-15; August 16-22; and August 30-September 5.

“TerraVelo Tours combines moveable luxury camping with an exhilarating cycling itinerary, suitable for cyclists of all levels,” states David Levine, co-founder of the luxury cycling tour company. “Our bicycle tours bring together a maximum of 15 guests for intimate dinners, amazing food and enlightening conversation, complemented by luxurious camping and amenities. Our guests are cared for by 10-12 staff members, the highest ratio among bicycle tours.”

“Excursions, a masseuse, even the toothpaste are included in the experience,” adds Rebecca Martin, Levine’s partner and co-founder.  “A private chef and sous chef will accompany us, preparing all our meals and snacks during each seven-day adventure.  Our accommodations every night will be in luxurious, elegant tents, adding to the beauty of the scenery while providing supremely comfortable shelter. This is unheard of in our cycling world!”

Guests will be outfitted with a carbon fiber specialized Roubaix Expert Ultegra or similar high-end road bike and helmet; those preferring to ride their own bike can simply bring it to their local bike shop where TerraVelo will have it shipped, delivered and assembled, ready to ride when the guest arrives, and shipped back to the bike shop upon departure.

Each of the luxury tents simulates an upscale hotel guestroom, outfitted with plush memory-foam mattress;  Frette linens; down comforters;  rugs;  furnishings from ABC Home & Carpet and Mitchell Gold +Bob Williams; Turkish bath towels; and C.O. Bigelow & Apotheke Co.   toiletries and sundries.

Each night’s Camp will include: a full-time personal chef and sous chef who will prepare all meals served in the elegant dining tent. Several times during the tour guests can enjoy sunrise yoga; evening entertainment including live music and campfire; a masseuse who will provide 30-minute massages; educational sessions from a visiting expert, perhaps an astronomer and/or geologist who will share insights on the gorgeous night sky, landscape and vegetation. Laundry service is provided twice during each tour.

A Lounge tent with a sofa, club chairs, board games including chess, backgammon, playing cards; books and a fully-stocked bar; shower and restroom facilities complete the mobile accommodations.

Family-Friendly Tours Attract All Generations

For 2015, TerraVelo Tours will host dedicated Family Tour weeks in Wyoming and in California, welcoming children as young as 8.

“As the mother of two active children, I know what a joy it will be for parents – and grandparents – to watch their children explore the splendor of our national parks,” said Martin. “We will tailor activities to suit them, to assure a memorable experience for all ages.”

The 7-day tour packages include all food, beverage and accommodations, and are priced at $5,990 per person, double occupancy, with guests’ choice of one Queen bed or two singles.
Children’s rates are $4,990 with single bed accommodations in parents’ tents; youngsters 16 and over pay the adult rate.

For information or reservations, call 888-801-1446 or visit www.TerraVeloTours.com.

 

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LAST- MINUTE DEAL: Holiday Week in Paris from $1,269 with Air

August 20, 2014

Plunk your money (or credit card) down by August 28 and you can spend Thanksgiving or Christmas in Paris starting at $1,269 from New York or $1,377 from Chicago. This phenomenal deal includes round-trip air fare to Paris, 6 nights accommodation in the 3-star Comfort Hotel Mouffetard, and daily breakfast. Departures are every day from November 1 to December 27, but the package must be booked and paid in full by August 28.

Now that you can get an authentic turkey dinner in many Paris restaurants, Thanksgiving is a great time to enjoy the city. You can zoom to the top of the Eiffel Tower, see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, visit the Palace of Versailles, or even relish a cup of the world’s best hot chocolate at Angelina on the rue de Rivoli—all without the summer crowds. (TourCrafters offers optional tours of many Paris attractions.)

Christmastime, when the City of Light lives up to its name, is magical. There are Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Elysées and Place Vendôme, window displays at Printemps and other department stores, Christmas markets and ice skating rinks in several squares and wonderfully festive meals in many hotels and restaurants. Most impressive of all, there are Christmas services in the beautiful Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.

The cozy, contemporary Comfort Hotel Mouffetard is on one of the most interesting old streets in Paris, close to the Latin Quarter, the famous Mouffetard Market and a metro stop, and surrounded by charming little shops, cafés and restaurants. Those who want something grander can upgrade to a 4-star hotel in Montparnasse, from $1,607.

TourCrafters has a similar last-minute deal to Vienna and Prague that includes some extras. The price starts at $1,539 from New York, $1,595 from Chicago.

All prices are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability. Fuel charges are included, but are subject to change by the airline. Airport taxes of $109 per person are not included and must be paid prior to departure. A supplement will be charged for weekend departures.

For more information, visit www.tourcrafters.com, click “Special Offers” and then “Deal of the Week.” For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

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TourCrafters Offers Air-Inclusive Deals for Fall Travel to Spain, Italy, Booked by Aug 28

August 9, 2014
TourCrafters is offering air-inclusive packages to Florence, Italy, in September and October © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

TourCrafters is offering air-inclusive packages to Florence, Italy, in September and October © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

TourCrafters is offering air-inclusive deals to Spain and Italy for September and October, booked and paid for by August 28.

This is the ideal time to travel to Europe: the weather is pleasant, the sidewalk cafés are open, but the summertime crowds have gone home.

TourCrafters’ six-night Madrid and Barcelona deal, for example, costs only $1,919 including round-trip air fare from New York, daily breakfast, three nights’ accommodation in a 3-star Madrid hotel, a half-day Madrid sightseeing tour, high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona, three nights in a 3-star Barcelona hotel and a half-day Artistic Tour of Barcelona.

You’ll have a chance to see such Madrid highlights as the Royal Palace, the Paseo del Prado and the Gran Via, and then take in some of the capital’s great museums and fine shops on your own. TourCrafters even offers an optional excursion to Toledo. In Barcelona the tour covers Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces—the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and buildings on the Paseo de Gracia—but you’ll also have time to see the Gothic Quarter and the fascinating life (cafés, market, canaries, flower stalls) along Las Ramblas, as well as to dine in some of its celebrated restaurants.

TourCrafters is also offering the following September/October air and land deals: Rome and Florence, from $1,919; Madrid, Mallorca and Barcelona, from $3,079; Madrid, Ibiza and Barcelona, from $2,559; and Italy by Train, from $2,379.

In addition, for a limited time only, TourCrafters is having an Airfare Sale from New York (JFK) to several European destinations including London, Paris, Munich, Vienna, Prague and Athens.

All prices are per person, double occupancy. Air fare add-ons are available from many other cities than New York. Fuel charges are included but are subject to change by the airlines. Airport taxes ($109 per person) are not included and hotel taxes in Italy must be paid directly to the hotel in euros.

For more information on these last-minute fall deals, visit www.tourcrafters.com, click “Special Offers,” and then “Deal of the Week.” For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

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China Spree Offers Air-Inclusive 9-Day Trip to Beijing, Shanghai for $999

August 6, 2014

China Spree has put together an air-inclusive 9-day trip to China’s two greatest cities—Beijing and Shanghai—for just $999 in January (the price is a bit higher at other times).

The really good news is that the $999 includes roundtrip flights from San Francisco or Los Angeles, all transfers and transportation in China, deluxe hotels, daily American buffet breakfast, three lunches, escorted sightseeing in both cities, professional guides in both cities, and baggage handling throughout.

Beijing, full of imperial treasures, has been China’s capital since the 15th century, while cosmopolitan Shanghai, once called the “Paris of the East,” is China’s cultural and financial center.

In Beijing the tour visits Tiananmen Square; the Forbidden City, a 9,999-room palace where 24 emperors ruled; the Temple of Heaven; the idyllic Summer Palace imperial garden and Marble Boat; the Sacred Way of Ming Tombs; and China’s most famous monument, the Great Wall. There’s also an optional excursion offered: a rickshaw ride through Old Beijing’s hutongs, or traditional alleys, with lunch in a family’s courtyard home, a tour of Beihai Park and its lovely lake, and a special Peking Duck dinner.

Then it’s on to Shanghai, China’s most sophisticated and dynamic city, to see the colonial-era riverside Bund; the futuristic Pudong area and the view from the Oriental Pearl Tower; and the Shanghai Municipal Wax Museum to learn the history of this magnificent city. Here there are three optional tours: dinner and the Shanghai Acrobatics Show; a day-long excursion to Suzhou, known for its traditional gardens and ancient canals, and the charming little water town of Tongli; and a day tour of Shanghai sites such as the Yu Garden Bazaar and the Shanghai Museum, with dinner and an evening cruise on the Huangpu River.

The hotels China Spree has chosen for this budget package are amazing. The Traders Hotel Beijing by Shangri-La—a stunning hotel with quality amenities, two restaurants, a bar, and fitness center—is adjacent to the China World Trade Center with an upscale shopping mall and a metro station. The Crowne Plaza Shanghai, located in the famous French Concession, has spacious rooms with luxurious bedding, WiFi, satellite TV and 24-hour room service.

All prices are cash-only, are per person double occupancy, and are subject to availability. The price from Houston is $50 higher, from New York $100 higher, and add-on air fares are available from many other cities.

For more detailed information about “A Tale of China’s Two Great Cities, Beijing & Shanghai,” log onto www.chinaspree.com and click “China Tours,” then “Specials.” China Spree’s toll-free telephone number is 1-866-652-5656.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces All-Inclusive Package for 2015 Sailings Booked by Aug 29

August 6, 2014
Norwegian Cruise Line's 'Getaway,' docked in Bermuda © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Norwegian Cruise Line’s ‘Breakaway,’ docked in Bermuda © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Norwegian Cruise Line is debuting a new All-Inclusive package that takes the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising to a new level, providing guests yet another way to customize their cruise vacation. Representing more than $2,400 in value per stateroom, Norwegian’s All-Inclusive package is a first for major cruise lines, and is available for a limited time for all 2015 sailings fleetwide, for new reservations made from August 4, 2014 through August 29, 2014. The comprehensive package includes signature dining, alcoholic beverages, unlimited soda, shore excursions, internet access, service charges and more.

“Based on the popularity of our Fly, Cruise and Stay vacations, along with our onboard dining and beverage packages, we are now offering the first All-Inclusive package for our guests who want to experience all that the freedom and flexibility of Freestyle Cruising has to offer,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Always an innovator, we are making it easy for those that want everything included in their cruise vacation with the option of our All-Inclusive package.”

The All-Inclusive package is available for 2015 sailings from three to 14 days in length, is priced by the number of days, and is available for all stateroom categories, including the Haven by Norwegian. When adding the All-Inclusive to a selected cruise, guests receive 10 percent off the cruise fare. For a seven-day cruise, the $899 package includes the Ultimate Dining package; the Ultimate Beverage package; shore excursion credit of $200 per person, pre-paid daily service charges; a 250-minute Internet package per person; 20 photos of any size; chocolate-covered strawberries; a bottle of wine; one bingo session and six bottles of water. For cruises from three to five days, the shore excursion credit is $100 per person; and for sailings from 9-14 days, the package includes 12 bottles of water.

As part of the All-Inclusive offer, Norwegian’s Ultimate Dining package provides complimentary access to one of the line’s specialty restaurants every night of the cruise, including Cagney’s, the popular steakhouse; French bistro, Italian restaurant, Moderno Churrascaria, Asian-Fusion restaurant and more. The Ultimate Beverage package includes a variety of spirits, cocktails, draft beer, bottled beer and glasses of wine up to $10 and unlimited fountain soda and juices at all bars, lounges, restaurants and on Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.

Beginning August 4, for more information or to book a 2015 cruise with the All-Inclusive package, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

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Spend Holidays in Italy with Tourcrafters’ 6-Night Holiday Package for $1265 with Airfare from NY

July 17, 2014
The Vatican in Rome at night. Tourcrafters has 6-night holiday package in Italy for the holidays for $1265 including air fare from New York. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Vatican in Rome at night. Tourcrafters has 6-night holiday package in Italy for the holidays for $1265 including air fare from New York. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Why not have a vacation over the holidays and spend Thanksgiving or Christmas in Italy? TourCrafters has put together a very affordable week-long Roman Holiday package that starts at only $1,265 and includes round-trip air fare from New York to Rome, six nights’ accommodation at the Hotel Rome Garden, daily buffet breakfast and fuel surcharge.

Rome is a delight any time with attractions like the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museums, and restaurants and cafés galore, but it is especially appealing over the holidays. On Thanksgiving, which is not an official holiday in Italy, everything—stores, museums and restaurants—is open and some restaurants even serve tacchino (that’s Italian for “turkey.”)

At Christmastime the city is dressed up in holiday splendor. Piazza Navona offers a Christmas market complete with carousel, the smart shopping street Via Condotti is aglow with lights, there’s an enormous Christmas tree in Piazza Venezia and St. Peter’s Square displays a famous nativity scene and another huge lighted tree. TourCrafters can arrange an optional tour of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) or even an optional excursion to Naples (pizza’s hometown) and the ancient ruins of Pompeii.

The 3-star Hotel Rome Garden is special, too. It’s an elegant 19th-century villa located in a residential neighborhood that is close to a choice of good restaurants.

TourCrafters also has a 9-day/7-night Holiday Package to Rome and Florence that costs from $1,339 and includes airfare from New York to Rome returning from Florence, four nights at the 3-star Hotel Rome Garden, SMART class train from Rome to Florence, three nights at the 3-star Hotel Meridiana in Florence, daily buffet breakfast and fuel surcharge. (TourCrafters can provide add-on air fares from many other U.S. cities.)

Both packages offer daily departures from November 1 to December 28 but the packages must be booked and paid in full by August 28. The prices stated are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability. They do not include airport taxes of $109, city taxes (which must be paid in euros directly to the hotel) or the weekend supplement. The fuel surcharge is included but is subject to change by the airline.

For more information about the Rome and Rome & Florence holiday packages, visit www.tourcrafters.com, click “Special Offers” and then “Deal of the Week” For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

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