Archive for the ‘special interest travel’ Category

Tommy Tune Headlines Playbill Travel’s ‘Broadway by the Sea’

October 8, 2014
Tommy Tune headlines Playbill Travel's 'Broadway by the Sea' at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Dec. 8-15, 2014 (photo: Monica Simoes)

Tommy Tune headlines Playbill Travel’s ‘Broadway by the Sea’ at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Dec. 8-15, 2014 (photo: Monica Simoes)

Broadway and TV star Cheyenne Jackson (Behind the Candelabra, 30 Rock, Xanadu, Finian’s Rainbow) joins the star-filled lineup of performers at Playbill Travel’s first resort-based program. An expansion of the brand’s popular “Broadway on the High Seas” series, “Broadway by the Sea” is taking over the luxury, AAA Five-Diamond St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico for a program combining the best of live Broadway entertainment with an idyllic tropical location and a myriad of onsite activities.

Priced starting at $7790 per room, based on single or double occupancy, the 8-day/7-night “Broadway by the Sea” program is scheduled from December 8-15, 2014.

Jackson joins nine-time Tony winner Tommy Tune (Seesaw, My One and Only, Nine, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Grand Hotel, The Will Rogers Follies), Tony winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy), “Smash” star Megan Hilty, Tony winner Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls), Tony winner Paulo Szot (South Pacific), Tony winner Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line), and, returning by popular demand for her third Playbill adventure, two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole (42nd Street, Grey Gardens).

Playbill’s own Seth Rudetsky will return as well as Master of Ceremonies and music director. “Broadway on the High Seas” founding partner Judy Perl and Judy Perl Worldwide Travel will once again serve as the exclusive Playbill Travel Program provider, coordinating all aspects of the new travel initiative from resort scheduling to guest travel arrangements.

“Broadway by the Sea” program highlights include:

  • Exclusive star performances, interviews, meet-and-greets; late night “Playbill After Dark” activities; and more from award-winning talent
  • Daytime programs including dance classes hosted by Donna McKechnie and Commercial Theatre Institute seminars on producing Broadway shows
  • Golf at St. Regis Bahia Beach’s Robert Trent Jones Jr. Golf Course and the nearby Trump International, home of the PGA Puerto Rican Open
  • “Broadway by the Sea” golf tournament with World Golf Hall of Famer Chi Chi Rodriguez
  • Fine dining at onsite gourmet restaurants including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Fern
  • Tennis, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, bicycling, nature tours, hiking
  • Remède spa
  • Onsite Athletic Center
  • Beautiful private beach, oceanside pool esplanade, outdoor hot tub, poolside grill, and optional private cabanas with butler service

“The genesis of ‘Broadway on the High Seas’ was to bring together theater lovers who love travel,” explains Playbill President & CEO Philip S. Birsh. “We had no idea when we started our cruises in 2011, that they would be met with such a remarkable reception from the public and community alike. In less than three years, our 650-plus Playbill travel guests have visited more than a dozen countries including Tahiti, Italy, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Poland, and Germany. Our esteemed roster of performers includes some of the greatest talents the stage has ever known. We’re excited that Playbill Travel will allow us to keep traveling the world with interesting people, great destinations and extraordinary talent.”

For information or reservations, call Judy Perl Worldwide Travel at 1-866-572-7847 or email Online, visit and


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New London Walking Tour Delves Into Legacy of England’s Legal System

June 30, 2014

Context, organizer of acclaimed walking tours, is expanding its programs on culture and history with an innovative tour delving into the development and eccentricities of the English legal system.

During the new walk, Of Inns and Wigs, Understanding Legal London, Context experts and former barristers take visitors through the Inns of Court; a labyrinth located just off the busy Strand dotted with secluded squares, alleyways and courtyards. This hidden area, where tourists would not normally wander on their own, has been home to the legal profession since the Middle Ages and is when students of law first came to study and live.

In addition to tracing the evolution of the legal system, the walk features many architectural gems of the heart of London including the 12th-century Temple Church (once the headquarters of the medieval Knights Templar and later remodelled by Sir Christopher Wren), the Tudor gateway at Lincoln’s Inn to the Georgian splendors of New Square and the Victorian grandeur of the Royal Courts of Justice.

“The English legal system and its codes have always fascinated foreigners,” notes Petulia Melideo, head of Context’s UK operations. “This walk grants a unique window into this secretive world, but also explores its quirks such as barristers’ ubiquitous horsehair wigs and the codes of court.”

Of Inns and Wigs, Understanding Legal London lasts three hours and is available Monday through Friday. Group walks cost £70 per person. Private tours cost £280 per party. As with all Context walking seminars, groups are led by a credentialed expert and limited to six (6) people maximum.

Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead walking seminars in twenty-four (24) world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Tokyo, and Kyoto. A certified B Corporation, Context Travel was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 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. More information


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WoodenBoat Magazine Contributor Peter Neill to Lead ‘Maritime Tour of England and Scotland’

February 19, 2014

Borton Overseas will present a “Maritime Tour of England and Scotland” lead by WoodenBoat Magazine Contributor Peter Neill.

The two week program, June 16-29, 2014, will explore the major maritime attractions in the United Kingdom.

The tour will depart New York City’s JFK airport on the evening of Monday, June 16, and guests will gather in London the following evening for a welcome dinner. From there, they will  embark on a journey of exploration, visiting museums, vessels, cities, waterways, and towns for two unforgettable weeks.

The trip’s highlights include:

  • The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich
  • The newly restored clipper ship Cutty Sark
  • The Royal Observatory
  • The Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth
  • The Steamboat Museum at Lake Windermere
  • The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy, Scotland

The Tour Host, Peter Neill, is past Director of the South Street Seaport Museum, New York, and former President of the Council of American Maritime Museums and the International Congress of Maritime Museums. Presently he is Director, World Ocean Observatory; Chair, Ocean Classroom Foundation; and frequent contributor to WoodenBoat on maritime heritage subjects. He and his wife, Mary Barnes, have been the Group Leaders for prior WoodenBoat travel programs in Norway, Denmark, and The Netherlands.

For details, visit

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TourCrafters Offers D-Day Anniversary Trip to Paris and Normandy Beaches

February 9, 2014

If ever you thought about visiting Normandy and the D-Day Beaches, this —the 70th anniversary of D-Day—is the year to do it. It’s also an amazing World War II history lesson for the kids’ spring vacation.

To commemorate the anniversary, TourCrafters has designed a 7-Day/6-Night D-Day package that starts at $1,659 per person, based on four persons traveling together.

TourCrafters’ land-only price includes three nights hotel accommodation in Paris, three nights in Bayeux, daily buffet breakfast, round-trip 1st-class train Paris-Bayeux, transfers to and from the rail stations and a tour of the D-Day Landing Beaches. It does not include air fare. Departures are daily through October.

There’s free time to explore the “City of Light,” to see the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre and Notre Dame, walk around the beguiling streets of the Left Bank, have a croque monsieur in a café, or even take a photogenic Bateau Mouche cruise on the River Seine.  The Paris hotel, the 4-star Emeraude Louvre Montana boasts a perfect location—steps from the Tuileries and the Louvre—and a friendly, helpful staff.

In Bayeux, the  first  French  city to be  liberated in June of 1944, you  will be picked up for a D-Day Tour of the American Sector, to visit Omaha Beach where the Americans landed, to see the site of the German gun battery at Pointe du Hoc (where Rangers famously scaled the impossible 100-foot cliffs), and to wander through the thousands of white crosses and Stars of David in the very moving American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.  There’s also free time in Bayeux, to stroll its medieval streets, tour its 11th-century cathedral, visit the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy, and see the famed Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot embroidery that tells the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England.  The charming 3-star Hotel Churchill has an equally perfect location—in the very center of Bayeux—and its lovely, gracious  owner speaks perfect English.

All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability.  (They are higher from April to August.) For additional information about the land-only  70th Anniversary D-Day package, visit  For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

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Gift of Travel: Broadway Fantasy Camp Offers Gift Certificate to ‘Phantom’ Program

December 18, 2013

broadway fantasy camp

For you or the theater lover in your life, you can give the holiday gift of “Music of the Night.”

Broadway Fantasy Camp is holding an “All-Day Broadway: Phantom” on March 22, 2014 and offering a $150 gift certificate (toward the $995 tuition), if you call by Dec. 23.

Discover the power of the “music of the night” — by performing it. In the Broadway Fantasy Camp rehearsal studio, you experience the theatrical magic behind The Phantom of the Opera: the costumes, the vocal fireworks, guided by veterans of this modern classic. You’ll learn and present musical numbers for friends and family. Then, at 8 PM, you’ll attend The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, seated in VIP seats.

  • Begin the day by meeting the Broadway Fantasy Camp staff, including your Musical Director and Choreographer.
  • Learn musical numbers, including vocals and dance moves. The Musical Director and Choreographer will work with you on a couple of songs for your presentation.
  • Photo call: get professional headshots
  • Broadway Fantasy Campers and Broadway professionals take a lunch break together. (included)
  • Broadway Banter: Meet company members from The Phantom of the Opera and discuss their work on Broadway.
  • Share your “masquerade” with friends and family! The presentation takes place in our rehearsal studio.
  • Take a break, and get ready for Saturday night in the Big Apple.
  • Enjoy “the music of the night!” We’ll arrange your VIP tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera. (included)
  • Post show champagne toast* at Sardi’s restaurant
  • Take home your own Broadway Fantasy Camp rehearsal bag, photos and memories to last a life time.

The program costs $995.

As a holiday gift from Broadway Fantasy Camp, you can get a $150 Gift Certificate for “All-Day Broadway: Phantom” (refer a friend and they’ll get the same offer). Call (212) 713-0366 by December 23 to take advantage of this gift certificate!


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Gift of Travel: Food & Wine Trails Offers ’12 Trips of Christmas’

December 18, 2013

Looking for the ultimate holiday gift for the food & wine lover who has everything? Food & Wine Trails, a 29 year-old culinary travel company based in Sonoma County, is offering 12 food and wine focused vacations as gift-giving ideas. Each of the “Twelve Trips of Christmas” include culinary activities or extra amenities, such as a free wine tour, cash to spend on culinary shore tours, a private car and driver shore excursion, or even a free hotel night.

“Culinary travel is more than just eating and drinking on vacation. It’s about immersing yourself in the culture, cuisine, and traditions of a particular region,” says Food & Wine Trails President Larry Martin, “Each experience is unique: you could take a private cooking class with a local chef, dine on food prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, have a guided tour and tasting at the region’s best wine estates…the possibilities are endless.”

Food & Wine Trails “Twelve Trips of Christmas” list features both cruise and land tours all over the world. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a sophisticated home chef or wine collector, we have a vacation that any food and wine lover would love.” promises Martin.

#1 Trip 12-Night New Zealand wine cruise hosted by three top Oregon wineries with airfare, complementary gratuities and a $100 shipboard credit.
#2 Trip 7-Night cruise on Portugal’s Douro River with a $400 shipboard credit.
#3 Trip 9-Night “Flavors of Italy” land tour with first class hotel accommodations.
#4 Trip 14-Night Trans-Atlantic “Golf, Wine & Food” theme cruise from London to Boston with $500 shore excursion credit .
#5 Trip 10-Night F&WT’s President’s cruise with winery host Rochioli Vineyards with up to $440 in free benefits.
#6 Trip 5-Night biking tour through Northern California wine country on custom titanium bikes.
#7 Trip 8-Night Southern Spain cruise with daily wine tastings and two free wine tours.
#8 Trip 6-Night land tour discovering the delicacies of the Spanish region of Andalusia that includes wine with meals and a hands-on cooking class.
#9 Trip 7-Night Bordeaux wine cruise hosted by a Napa Valley’s Conn Valley Vineyards with up to $308 in free benefits.
#10 Trip Travel package to 2014 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival with free hotel nights.
#11 Trip 11-Night South African Winelands tour with special visits to former homes of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.
#12 Trip 10-Night “Pearls of China” wine themed cruise with free private car and driver shore tour.

For more information about F&WT’s “Twelve Trips of Christmas,” call 800-367-5348 or visit Please note some offers are time sensitive.

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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

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

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Handpicked Adventures Tour Company Offers Artisan Cuisine and Culture Trip to Piedmont, Italy

July 19, 2013

Handpicked Adventures, a San Francisco, California-based, artisan food-focused travel company, is offering a one-of-a-kind trip to Piedmont, Italy, September 18 – 25, 2013. Anchored by the popular Bra Slow Food Cheese Festival, the Piemonte and the Bra Slow Food Cheese Festival trip promises an intimate immersion into the region’s unique culture via the food, drink and artisans that define it.

The agricultural tour offers travelers the rare opportunity to sample and taste the area’s wealth of foods while interacting with the farmers and artisans who lovingly produced them. Trip highlights include:

  • Visiting with chocolatiers in their Torino-based salons – yes, there will be ample tastings;
  • Tasting vast arrays of handcrafted cheeses at the festival, which brings together hundreds of Italian and foreign cheese producers;
  • Lodging and dining on a working farm and vineyard in Sinio;
  • Participating in a hands-on cooking class with a classically trained chef – in his own restaurant; and
  • Sipping and savoring at exclusive meetings with winemakers.

Handpicked Adventures’ trip also includes a farm dinner at a local truffle ground, a visit to a snail farm in Cherasco, an Italian brewpub tasting – yes, there’s beer in those hills, too – and a daytrip to the base of the Italian Alps to visit a working dairy farm where the famous Castelmagno cheese is made (FYI: Castelmagno dates back to the 12th century).

For Handpicked Adventures co-founder Heather England, a food-centric tour is the perfect way to learn about a new place. “So often people head to a new destination with an itinerary packed with landmarks and historic sites,” she says. “We approach travel a bit differently at Handpicked Adventures. We believe that the best way to experience a culture is to slow down, savor local foods and engage in worthy conversations.”

Her business partner, Terry Cosola-August agrees. “The history of a place really comes alive when you start talking with the people who have worked on or drawn from the land for generations. Getting up close and personal with regional foods and local cuisine is truly the best way to experience another culture.”

Cost is $2,500 U.S., double occupancy (excluding airfare), if deposit is received by July 31, 2013. After July 31, the cost is $2,750 U.S. (excluding airfare). Package includes all lodging, private motor coach transport, activities translated in English by a multilingual guide, seven breakfasts, festival entry, all group events listed above, plus one additional group dinner. All group dinners include wine and gratuity. The trip is limited to 12 participants. For more information, visit

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American Youth Circus Festival to be Held in Seattle, Aug 14-18

July 18, 2013

Ringling Circus

For kids and young adults that have always dreamed of flying on the trapeze or walking the tight rope, the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) has opened the door to make that dream a reality this summer. The AYCO is hosting the 2013 American Youth Circus Festival in Seattle, August 14-18, to benefit and educate this community, and provide a way to support and inspire youth circus in the United States.

The biennial festival allows circus educators, young adults, young professionals, and enthusiasts to gather and socialize with their peers. The 5-day festival will draw in participants from over 30 states, three countries, and 50 different circus organizations. The main goal of the festival is not competition but national community building. The programs range from creative to traditional, and encourage attendees to be social, network, and have fun.

Participants can choose from over 150 workshops and participate in social events and showcases. Intensives are also offered in contortion, tumbling and acrobatics, aerial techniques and creative acts.

The benefits of the festival go far beyond learning how to juggle,” explains Amy Cohen, Executive Director of AYCO. “It does, of course, teach participants how to master many circus acts, but it also promotes social skills, self-discipline, and commitment. It promotes self-esteem, provides a creative outlet, and helps kids stay fit and succeed in school. The festival does not just help young people become better circus performers – it helps them become better individuals and community members as well.”

This year’s event will be held at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) in Seattle, WA. The event will be held from August 14-18, 2013. Registration is open to the public.

For festival information, applications and registration, visit

The American Youth Circus Organization was founded in 1998. The organization promotes the participation of youth in circus arts and supports circus educators. The AYCO works to connect, assist, advocate, and set safety standards for youth circus organizations, educators, performers and professionals across the United States. For more information visit

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Cleveland Artists-in-Residence Program Hosts Orientation Weekend August 1-4

July 13, 2013

New York City has long been the home to a thriving and growing arts scene. But for those looking to branch beyond the Big Apple to grow their business, the cost of travel and lodging can be prohibitive. That’s where the Artists in Residence Program (AIR) based out of Cleveland comes into play. This program aims to help prospective artists live affordably while growing their creative business.

Full-time New York artists are no stranger to the hours and miles put in traveling back and forth from NYC to festivals all over the country. But as each starving artist knows, travel costs add up, especially when it comes to lodging. The AIR program allows artists the option and benefit of owning an affordable permanent location in the Cleveland area where notable art festivals and events are held each yearj, including the Tremont Arts Fest, Waterloo Arts Fest, Murray Hill Art Walk, Boston Mills Arts Fest, Cain Park Arts Festival and more. With AIR, the initiative sells homes to artists for as low as $6,500 in the North Shore Collinwood area. That’s less than a year’s worth of festival travel costs for many and a fraction of what New Yorkers pay for rent each year!

The AIR program is organized by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) and Northeast Shores Development Corporation. The overall goal is to increase artists’ access to affordable space within Cleveland and to develop a replicable model for increasing artists’ participation in the revitalization of other neighborhoods and other industrial cities across the country. To date, New York City’s artists are one of the top three markets currently exploring the Cleveland-based program.

“Offering affordable housing in a neighborhood that is up and coming is a great way for artists to keep their costs low and invest in their business, whether they are from the surrounding neighborhood or a few hours away,” said Brian Friedman, executive directorof Northeast Shores Development Corporation.

“North Shore Collinwood is the perfect opportunity for artists who do this as a full-time career. With a thriving arts scene and affordable living, it’s perfect for those who commute back and forth throughout the year to cut costs and increase their business exposure.”

For artists and musicians interested in learning more about the program, AIR will be hosting a “Welcome to Cleveland” weekend from August 1st- 4th. This event will be bringing artists from all over the country together to learn about AIR and the city. CPAC and Northeast Shores will also be assisting artists with hotel costs, ground transportation and meals. Participants will have the opportunity to check out some of the area’s most artist-friendly neighborhoods and meet a wide range of fellow creative spirits. Highlights include:

· Three nights at the beautiful, historic and centrally located Hyatt at the Arcade (
· Guided tours and programming, led by some of Cleveland’s most knowledgeable and passionate community development workers, cultural workers and artists.
· See cultural organizations, arts districts and artist housing, with time left over for artists’ own personal exploration.
· Complementary daytime and evening arts programming.
· Ground transportation throughout artists’ stay.
· Five meals giving participants a taste of Cleveland’s nationally celebrated culinary scene.

“Without a doubt, it’s our hope that by introducing the Artists in Residence Program in the Collinwood area and working with other artists from around the country that we will be able to replicate this program and share it with other cities nationwide,” said Megan Van Voorhis, CPAC chief operating officer.

“By working together as artistic communities, we can grow our nation’s thriving arts scene one city at a time.”

For more information on the Artists in Residence program please visit Details and tickets for Welcome to Cleveland Weekend can be purchased by visiting

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