Posts Tagged ‘cultural travel’

Victoria Cruises Offers Cultural Visit to Modern ‘Fengdu’ Settlement Village on Yangtze

July 16, 2014
Passengers on Victoria Cruises' Yangtze River Cruise in China visiting the Fengdu settlement village will observe an old stone mill (pictured right) dating back to the Jin Dynasty, which is still used to grind rice, wheat, beans and other grains into flour.

Passengers on Victoria Cruises’ Yangtze River Cruise in China visiting the Fengdu settlement village will observe an old stone mill (pictured right) dating back to the Jin Dynasty, which is still used to grind rice, wheat, beans and other grains into flour.

Luxury river cruise pioneers on China’s Yangtze, Victoria Cruises is replacing its regularly offered “Ghost City” shore excursion to Fengdu’s Mingshan Hill with a cultural visit to the city’s modern settlement village located on the southern bank of the river.  The development is in response to passenger feedback regarding the number of stairs one must ascend to climb Mingshan Hill (a formerly available cable car is no longer operational) as well as an overall indication of travelers’ preference for cultural activities.

“Our passengers enjoy the scenic beauty of the Three Gorges and our tributary excursions, but feedback indicates that experiences which incorporate strong cultural elements tend to score highest,” said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises.

“The modern settlement town provides full cultural immersion as guests will have the opportunity to meet local villagers and learn about their daily activities and way of life,” said Greenman, noting that many traditional practices are still in place, offering travelers a glimpse into the past and an appreciation for some of the time-tested methods that have been central to Chinese culture for centuries.

For example, visitors will observe an old stone mill dating back to the Jin Dynasty, which is still used to grind rice, wheat, beans and other grains into flour.

Passengers will enjoy spectacular views of the Yangtze throughout the drive through town, before stopping at the home of a local farmer who will discuss his life experiences with participants.  Guests will have an opportunity to stop in town to visit some shops and the local market before returning to their cruise ship.

The Fengdu shore excursion costs $42 per person, however, Victoria Cruises recommends that passengers purchase its standard excursion package, which is available for $90 per person for departures of its Three Gorges Highlights itinerary. The comprehensive package includes the modern settlement village along with an educational tour of the Three Gorges Dam and a tranquil journey via traditional sampan along one of the Yangtze’s scenic tributaries – representing a total cost savings of $63 per person.

The excursion package, as well as an assortment of additional optional add-on excursions such as White Emperor City or Tribe of the Three Gorges, can be purchased at the time of booking and are fully commissionable, providing travel agents with opportunities to increase their revenue on each sale. Optional excursions can also be purchased onboard.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 136-18 39th Avenue, 12th Floor, Flushing, NY 11354; phone 800-348-8084, 212-818-1680.  Send e-mail to contact@victoriacruises.com or visit www.victoriacruises.com.

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Virgin Vacations Offers London Theatre Package From $1,499 for 6 Days, with Air

August 14, 2013

Virgin Vacations is offering theater lovers a one-week London-based vacation package beginning at $1,499 per person, including air fare from New York.  Round trip air fare is also available from a variety of gateways throughout the U.S. via Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines, beginning at $59 additional for Boston.

Designed for independent travelers, the packages are part of Virgin Vacations’ UK Collection, with prices ranging from budget to luxury.

From Budget to Luxury: Virgin’s London, Culture & Theatre Tour, 6 days from $1,499

Highlights of this package include a London Theatre Passport, exchangeable for one best-available ticket to participating musicals and plays.  Also featured is a full day excursion to Bath, Windsor, and Stonehenge, plus a half-day Vintage Open Bus sightseeing tour of London.  Travelers stay 4 nights at the Ambassadors Hotel in Kensington, with breakfast daily and transfers to and from Heathrow Airport.  Price includes round trip air fare from New York on Virgin Atlantic. Depending on departure date, price begins at $1,499 per person.

In addition to the 6-day package, a longer version, Virgin’s 8-day London Theatre Experience,
features 6 nights accommodations with breakfast, round trip air on Virgin Atlantic from New York,  Heathrow transfers, the theatre pass, London sightseeing tour, full-day excursion to Bath, Windsor, and Stonehenge, plus an additional all-day tour to Oxford, Stratford, Warwick, and the Cotswolds.  Depending on departure date, price begins at $1,759 per person.

Virgin Vacations participants can upgrade hotel accommodations beginning at $30 and ranging to $610 per person, depending on the hotel; as well as select from optional arrangements such as a ride on The London Eye, beginning at $30. Both packages are available until late October.

Sample add-on fares from other gateways:
Atlanta + $214
Boston + $59
Dallas/Fort Worth + $229
Los Angeles + $192
Miami + $127
Minneapolis/St. Paul + $ 231
San Francisco + $ 235
Washington, D.C. + $26

Airfare is available from other cities nationwide.  With the new Delta Airlines-Virgin Atlantic code share, Virgin Vacations guests can now fly from 45 U.S. cities to London.

All prices are per person, and based on twin occupancy. Airline taxes and fuel charges are included. For more information and to book a UK Collection vacation, visit www.virginvacations.com, phone 1-877-740-4302, or see your travel agent.

Virgin Vacations offers a wide selection of escorted tours, river and sea cruises, and independent packages worldwide, available with or without air fare on Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America, as well as other international airline partners.  Virgin Vacations travelers can enroll in Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club or Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer programs, and earn points.

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

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6 Prominent Long Island Authors Present Original Readings At Nassau County Museum of Art June 2

May 30, 2013

The literary arts meet the visual arts on Sunday, June 2 at 3 p.m. when Nassau County Museum of Art hosts six of Long Island’s most prominent writers in an afternoon of original readings from their works. Living, Out Loud: Writers Riff on Love, Sweat & Fears features speechwriter and essayist Robin E. Bernstein; two-time New York Emmy Award-winning essayist Iyna Bort Caruso; author and contributor to Newsday and The New York Times Claudia Cryvatz Copquin; Friars Club historian/head writer and essayist Barry Dougherty; essayist and NY Times “Modern Love” writer Paula Ganzi Licata and author and essayist Ellen Meister.

Taking a page from book readings, which usually involve an author reciting directly from a published chapter, this unique program features writers taking turns at the microphone, each reading an original essay.

“Jerry Seinfeld, who still does stand-up comedy, was recently quoted in The New York Times Magazine about the need to perform for live audiences,” said the event organizer and writer, Claudia Gryvatz Copquin.  “He said, ‘We’re craving the non-digital even more these days, the authentically human interactions,’ a statement that is extremely on-point, particularly for writers who typically work in isolation.”

Living, Out Loud: Writers Riff on Love, Sweat & Fears, at Nassau County Museum of Art on Sunday, June 2 at 3 p.m., is free with museum admission, reservations are not needed.

Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive (just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A) in Roslyn Harbor. Call (516) 484-9337 for current exhibitions, events, days/times, and directions or log onto nassaumuseum.org.

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Historic Hotels of America Announces its Top Six Vacation Packages

May 28, 2013

Selected from more than 3,000 packages and unique experiences on HistoricHotels.org

 

Admission to novelist Edith Wharton's The Mount is included in Cranwell Resort's Culture in the Country Package , in the magnificent Berkshires of Massachusetts, a mecca for culture and nature enthusiasts © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Admission to novelist Edith Wharton’s The Mount is included in Cranwell Resort’s Culture in the Country Package , in the magnificent Berkshires of Massachusetts, a mecca for culture and nature enthusiasts © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This summer, Historic Hotels of America offers travelers more than 3,000 packages many including special rates, overnight accommodations, historical tours, Civil War Sesquicentennial packages, and so much more. Six of the travel packages below were handpicked from more than 3,000 offers featured on HistoricHotels.org. Here travelers can discover and explore hotel offers, specials, historical fun facts and much more.

In addition to these special featured packages, Historic Hotels of America is offering travelers summer specials and packages from more than 240 hotels across 46 states on HistoricHotels.org.

Featured packages and promotions from Historic Hotels of America:

Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club (1894) Lenox, Massachusetts

Culture in the Country Package

Celebrate the Berkshires this summer at the Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club. The Cranwell boasts a world-class spa, historic golf course, indoor pool, and three restaurants. The Culture in the Country package includes:

  • · Classic resort accommodations
  • · $20 dining credit for any of the Cranwell’s restaurants (including the Music Room, The Wyndhurst and Sloane’s Tavern)
  • · Full use of the Spa at Cranwell with heated indoor pool, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, and fitness center
  • · Two tickets per package to your choice of cultural venues, including Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, the Berkshire Botanical Garden, Chesterwood (a National Trust site), Hancock Shaker Village, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Edith Wharton’s The Mount, and the Norman Rockwell Museum
  • · Additionally, reserve a Culture in the Country Package midweek in July and August and receive two complimentary lawn tickets per package and a Maplewood parking pass for the Tanglewood performance on that date.*

Rates start from $240 per night midweek with double occupancy, exclusive of room tax. *Tanglewood tickets and parking pass only available with midweek hotel reservations on the following dates: July 7, 11, 14, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28, and 31; August 4, 7, 11, 14, 15, 18, 20, 22, and 25.

1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs Four-Day Three-Night Historic Vacation
Treat your family or friends to a mini-vacation in the Ozark Mountains this summer. Enjoy overnight accommodations, historic attractions (including a ghost tour of America’s Most Haunted Hotel), massages, and more. This escape includes:

  • Four days / three nights in Premium Double / Double Room (based on availability)
  • Four tickets to the Eureka Springs Historical Museum per stay
  • Four tickets to a ghost tour of “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” per stay
  • Two one-hour massages in the hotel’s New Moon Spa & Salon per stay
  • Four tickets to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge per stay
  • Self-guided history tour of the hotel, including a souvenir guidebook

Rates start from $654 for a 3-night stay (Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance of stay. Offer expires December 28, 2013 and is subject to availability.)

Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama

Bellingrath Gardens & Home Package

Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and Successful Meetings named the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa among their best hotels for 2013. Come experience exceptional Southern Hospitality with a modern twist. Book the Bellingrath Gardens & Home package, which includes:

  • · Deluxe guestroom accommodations
  • · Two one-day tickets to historic Bellingrath Gardens & Home per stay
  • · Daily Breakfast buffet for two

Rates start from $278 per night

Mimslyn Inn (1931) Luray, Virginia

Civil War Sesquicentennial Package

Enjoy a self-driving tour, Discover and explore 24 historic sites and battlefields within two hours of the Inn. The Civil War Package includes:

  • · A packaged lunch prepared for two (per stay) by the culinary staff at the Mimslyn Inn
  • · A bottle of wine made from grapes grown in vineyards near The New Market Battlefield
  • · Dinner for two per stay at Circa ‘31 with the menus and recipes created from the same foods that were available during the 1860’s
  • · Historic Guestroom for two nights

Rates start from $450 per night

Hacienda del Sol (1929) Tucson, Arizona

Breakfast with a Side of History Package

Explore the Southwest and book the “Breakfast with a side of History” Package at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, which includes:

  • Nightly accommodations
  • Daily breakfast for two (inclusive of tax and gratuity)
  • Guided historic walking tour of Hacienda del Sol

Rates start from $204 per night (Valid April 1 – Dec 31, 2013 Two night minimum stay on weekends. Based on availability.)

French Lick Springs Hotel (1901)French Lick, Indiana

Historic Experience Package

Book the three night Historic Experience package, which includes:

  • · Historic guestroom for 3 nights
  • · One souvenir DVD highlighting French Lick Resort
  • · One Guided Historic Landmarks Walking Tour per person
  • · $30 Breakfast Credit per day

Rates start from $183 per night (Rate code is HHA3)

Travelers can select from over 3,000 dynamic hotel packages, extraordinary historic experiences, and hot deals found exclusively on HistoricHotels.org. For more information about Historic Hotels of America’s specials and deals, including summer specials and packages, please visit www.historichotels.org/hotel-deals/.

Historic Hotels of America is committed to providing guests with the lowest published rates online, as a part of the Price Match Guarantee. If a lower rate is found on another website within 24 hours of booking a reservation, simply submit a claim form and the lower rate will be honored. For terms and conditions, please refer to http://www.historichotels.org/price-match-guarantee.php. When booking on HistoricHotels.org, you’ll never pay a booking fee and rates are clearly marked with cancellation policies and few pre-booking or deposits. If you prefer to book your reservation by phone or if you have questions about hotels or an existing reservation, call 800-678-8946.

Special Offer

If you book before August 31, 2013 on HistoricHotels.org, you’ll also receive a complimentary one-year family membership (a $30 value) to the National Trust for Historic Preservation*. In addition to the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to protect places that matter, your family will enjoy a savings of up to 50% at participating Historic Hotels of America, a subscription to Preservation magazine, and discounted admission to over 600 historic places worldwide.

Historic Hotels of America  is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation® with 32 charter members. In 2007, Preferred Hotel Group partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to grow and enhance Historic Hotels of America. Historic Hotels of America has more than 240 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit www.HistoricHotels.org, call 800-678-8946.

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Papua New Guinea’s Mt Hagen Sing Sing Cultural Show Dates Announced for 2012 and 2013

July 20, 2012

Tut Village Girl, Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is one of the last frontiers of adventure travel, providing an unparalleled array of natural beauty, exotic wildlife and cultural tradition

There’s no doubt that at the top of any intrepid traveler’s bucket list is an opportunity to experience the world’s most unique and remote cultures.

In Papua New Guinea, visitors have the chance to do just that. With over 800 different languages and tribes, the Mt Hagen Cultural Show, or Sing Sing as referred to in the local language, has become one of the best ways to get an up close and personal look into the rich traditions of PNG’s different tribes. This year’s Mt Hagen Sing Sing will take place August 11 – 12, 2012. In 2013, the show will move back to the third weekend in August.

According to TV Host and Travel Writer, Robin Esrock, “The Mt Hagen Cultural Show is easily one of the world’s most authentic, and fascinating tribal experiences. This is Papua New Guinea, not some plastic showcase with a gift shop at the exit. The diversity of costumes, dances, language, traditions and music is mind blowing. For travelers chasing unique cultural encounters, it just doesn’t get any better than PNG.”

Boasting an attendance of over 75 tribes, The Mt Hagen Sing Sing originated in the late 1950s as a way to improve relations between the various groups, share cultural experiences and celebrate the diversity of cultures among community members. Since then the show has grown and evolved into a truly remarkable display of song and dance where groups come to display stunning facial tattoos, elaborate body paint and ornate headdresses.

To reserve a place at the Mt Hagen Sing Sing, contact your preferred travel provider, or visit www.papuanewguinea.travel/USA/tourpackages for more information.

Papua New Guinea is one of the last frontiers of adventure travel, providing an unparalleled array of natural beauty, exotic wildlife and cultural tradition. Located just north of Australia, PNG is the second largest island in the world – slightly larger than the state of California.

With over eight hundred known languages, travelers can immerse themselves in vibrant collection of cultural possibilities. Papua New Guinea offers a range of vacation activities from hiking remote jungle trails, cruising the mighty Sepik river, surfing the waves of New Ireland, fishing some 8,000 miles of coastline and experiencing some of the world’s best scuba diving amongst coral reefs, wrecks, walls and caves.

To learn more about Papua New Guinea’s Cultural Events, visit www.papuanewguinea.travel/EventsCalendar

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Italiaoutdoors Offers ‘Chefs on Bikes’ Cycling Tour in Northern Italy, June 24-30

March 16, 2012

Italiaoutdoors, a provider of small-group, personalized recreational vacations in Northeastern Italy, announces their 2012 “Chefs on Bikes” tour, a guided cultural and cycling exploration of the culture, foods and wines of Northeastern Italy.

Scheduled for June 24-30, the 7-day/6-night tour invites cyclists to learn from the culinary expertise of Chef Kathy Bechtel and is priced at $3895 per person, based on double occupancy. With a route covering 20-35 miles per day, the tour travels through the Veneto at the foot of the Dolomite mountains and along the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Recognizing the different riding levels of participants, the small-group size (maximum 8) allows for daily customization, including longer rides, and an immersive culinary and cultural experience.

“Chefs on Bikes” follows one of the former trade routes that distributed spices and goods from the East throughout Western Europe, meandering through flat farmland, by 16th and 17th-century villas, around volcanic hills, and into the foothills of the Pre-Alps. Days begin with gentle, scenic bike rides, followed by a culinary exploration with cooking lessons and wine tastings led by Chef Bechtel. Accommodations are in elegant four-star villa hotels in Mira, Vicenza and Asolo. The program includes all transfers, all breakfasts and snacks, five dinners with wine, plus entry fees to museums and other venues. The program can also be scheduled as a private group trip of 4-12 cyclists.

Highlights of the trip are:

  • · A ride along the Brenta River, touring Palladian estates and the summer villas of the Venetian aristocracy
  • · A visit to Vicenza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city most closely associated with Andrea Palladio, noted Venetian architect of the 16th century
  • · Rides through the picturesque Berici Hills (Colli Berici) Wine Zone
  • · A visit to the medieval walled cities of Treviso, Castelfranco, and Cittadella
  • · Two nights in Asolo, a striking hilltop village with winding streets and a graceful piazza overlooking the valley
  • · A visit to Villa Cipriani, with a Bellini reception in the garden
  • · Six nights at opulent villas and hotels
  • · Two hands-on cooking classes, one with local chefs, and one with Chef and Italiaoutdoors Culinary Director Kathy Bechtel
  • · Daily wine tastings of Prosecco and the best of regional Veneto wines
  • · Tastings of regional culinary specialties at local trattorias featuring olive oils, risotto, polenta, Venetian frutti di mare, and spicy pasta dishes

Italiaoutdoors is an owner-operated specialty guide service, offering individualized programs for small groups seeking to explore the beauty and diverse culture of Northern Italy. Hiking, biking and skiing programs are offered in combination with a culinary and culture immersion in the area. Participants share a passion for a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation for the region’s history, beauty, culture, wines and culinary delights. Because of their small size, tours are adaptable to the fitness levels and interests of individual guests. Daily recreation is balanced with cooking lessons, wine tastings, fine meals and cultural explorations. www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com.

Programs Focus on Biking, Skiing and Hiking

Italiaoutdoors offers bike routes for the more relaxed cyclist or more challenging rides for the stronger rider wanting aggressive hill climbs and longer days in the saddle. Ski itineraries include lessons for all levels of skier or snowboarder, guided resort skiing or backcountry explorations, and alternate activities for the non-skier. Hikers can enjoy hut-to-hut treks across the spectacular Dolomites, or more leisurely day hikes with four-star accommodations. All tours include daily free time to discover and enjoy the culture and foods and wines that have made Italy a favorite destination.

For more information and reservations, visit www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com.

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