Category Archives: Cultural Travel

Insight Vacations Offers Discount on Summer Tours to Iceland, USA, National Parks

On Insight Vacations’ Iceland tour, see luminous blue icebergs and the setting for the James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’ at Lake Jokulsarlon. Insight is offering 20 percent off select Iceland and USA tours for a limited period. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, N.Y.– April 27, 2021:  Insight Vacations, a leader in premium guided journeys, is offering U.S. travelers the chance to book last-minute domestic and international getaways that are open for travel with a special 10-day sale on select tours.

From April 27 to May 6, guests can save up to 20 percent on trips this summer to Iceland and the USA departing between May and August.

On all Insight journeys, guests will travel in relaxed style, stay at premium, hand-picked hotels in the best locations, taste delicious, authentic cuisine and explore a variety of cultures with local experiences unavailable to most travelers.

“With travel starting to reopen domestically and internationally, we are excited to get our guests back on the road again,” said Guy Young president of Insight Vacations.  “Being part of a family-owned and run business for the past 100 years, the well-being of our guests and team has always been our top priority, and when clients are ready to travel again, we will have implemented various new protocols so they can travel and relax in style.”

Now’s the time to live your stylish life on a remarkable journey, as we venture to some of the most iconic and remarkable destinations. Several Insight journeys include new MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences with our not-for-profit partner,TreadRight, that are designed to uplift local communities and ensure Insight’s travels are used as a force for good while supporting the United Nations’ Global Goas

Insight Vacations has taken enhanced measures to ensure the wellbeing of its guests.  These include:  Small Group Departures with a maximum of 24 guests and Small Private Groups allowing guests to travel privately on any existing journey with as little as 12 guests; a new Well-being Director who will provide assistance during guests’ travels; new well-being protocols and hygiene standards developed with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Health Organization (WHO); and the Peace of Mind Promise, offering guests the assurance they can book with confidence. 

Here are several itineraries to choose from:

Natural Wonders of Iceland – 9 Days

You’ll experience a world of natural phenomena, with gushing waterfalls, volcanoes and stunning landscapes at every turn. In Hellisheidi, guests will visit Iceland’s newest geothermal heat and electric power station, Hellisheidavirkjun, the second largest of its kind in the world. A new MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, they’ll learn why Hellisheidavirkjun is a world leader in the utilization of geothermal energy. Guests can explore Reykjavik with Insight Choice, choosing between visiting the mineral-rich waters of the Blue lagoon, or discovering Reykjavik’s top sights on a walking tour with a Local Expert. At Lake Jokulsarlon, clients will see its luminous blue icebergs and the setting for the James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’, and in Skaftafell, they’ll visit the amazing alpine setting of the National Park and experience the might of Vatnajökull – Europe’s largest glacier. Clients will explore many other natural wonders such as Gullfoss’s two-tiered waterfall, the hot springs at GeysirSnæfellsjökull National Park’s most famous volcano, and the scenic mountain passes of Almannaskard and the Mödrudal Desert.

Jewels of Alaska –7 Days

This remarkable escape to Alaska explores sweeping landscapes, calving glaciers and spectacular national parks. Guests will embark on the world-famous Alaskan Railroad train for an unforgettable journey over swift-rushing streams and through majestic mountains. They’ll explore the iconic Denali National Park, which is abundant in wildlife and breath-taking views. Guests will delight in a special Insight Experience of meeting the champion dog team of four-time Iditarod winner, Martin Buser, learning about the challenges of competing in the 1,049-mile dogsled race and enjoying lunch at his home. In Talkeetna, they’ll enjoy an included Jet Boat Tour up the Chulitna River and visit a Trappers Cabin. While in Anchorage, guests will join Local Experts in an exclusive presentation on making Eskimo ice cream at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. To end the journey on a scenic note, guests will board the 26 Glacier Cruise in Whittier for a 100-mile boat tour of Prince William Sound and into the College Fjord, afterwards enjoying a Deliciously Authentic Dining experience, joining the Captain in the wheelhouse for an included lunch.

Enchanting Canyonlands -7 Days

This all-American journey introduces you to America’s West in complete style. For a Unique Insight Experience,  guests will join Local Expert, Canyon Tim, for an informative talk about the wonders of the Grand Canyon, teaching about the origins of the five-million-year-old canyon, its rock formation and impact now. They’ll journey on through the barren beauty of the desert to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, where they’ll board all-terrain vehicles with open sides to explore the valley with a Navajo guide. They’ll enjoy Deliciously Authentic Dining while mingling over a delightful Welcome Dinner at Hotel Valley Ho’s renowned Zuzu Restaurant in Scottsdale, named for the beloved matriarch of the family that owns the property.

Wonders of the American West – 10 Days

This comprehensive exploration of the American West visits breathtaking natural wonders and captivating landscapes made famous by classic Western movies. Starting with the glamor of Las Vegas, guests will feel like royalty at the renowned Cesar’s Palace enjoying the iconic Las Vegas strip nightlife. For a Unique Insight Experience, guests will explore Monument Valley with a Navajo guide, boarding an all-terrain vehicle for a private tour through the mythical formation of the Navajo Tribal Park. Along the way they’ll discover the majestic Grand Canyon, the ancient pueblo cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, the sandstone cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park’s most scenic canyons in the United States on a private Zion Canyon Shuttle. hand-picked hotel in the heart of the destination, guests will stay at the historic Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge, offering unrivaled access to breathtaking views, world-class hiking trails, and just steps from the Bryce Amphitheater of ancient rock formations.

For reservations call Insight Vacations at 1-800-582-8380 or visit www.insightvacations.com

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Tauck Quadruples River Cruises Featuring Floriade Horticultural Expo for 2022

The Netherlands’ Once-Every-Decade Festival Drew 2,000,000 Visitors in 2012

Tauck Tours’ MS Andorinha. Ten years after Tauck saw exceptional bookings for its European river cruises featuring the Floriade International Horticultural Expo, the Connecticut-based company is preparing to capture even stronger anticipated demand for the 2022 iteration of the Netherlands’ once-every-decade festival. 

WILTON, CT – Ten years after Tauck saw exceptional bookings for its European river cruises featuring the Floriade International Horticultural Expo, the Connecticut-based company is preparing to capture even stronger anticipated demand for the 2022 iteration of the Netherlands’ once-every-decade festival.  Where Tauck offered just a single itinerary that visited Floriade in 2012, it will feature the festival next year on a total of four different river cruises.

According to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, the basis for the company’s bullish enthusiasm is two-fold.  “Our excitement is rooted in both our past experience with Floriade, and in the really incredible plans we’ve seen for the 2022 expo,” said Mahar.  “Our guests’ interest in attending Floriade is such that we essentially – and rather quickly – sold out our entire inventory in 2012,” he explained.  Mahar also noted that the 2012 edition of Floriade drew more than 2,000,000 total visitors, or some four times the attendance at the 2010 performances of the Oberammergau Passion Play, another popular, once-every-decade cultural event featured on Tauck river cruises. 

Next year’s Floriade, explained Mahar, will be far more than a simple flower show.  The expo’s theme is “Growing Green Cities,” and it will showcase elements ranging from green architecture and environmentally-friendly food production to renewable energy and healthy living.  The expo will be situated on 148 acres of land in the city of Almere that was raised and reclaimed from the sea, and following the festival’s conclusion late next year, its various buildings and facilities will collectively function as an enduring, environmentally-friendly urban center.  “An apt comparison for the 2022 Floriade and its forward-looking emphasis on the cities of tomorrow would be Walt Disney’s vision for EPCOT,” said Mahar, noting how closely the EPCOT acronym (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) aligns with Floriade’s “Growing Green Cities” focus.

The Floriade expo will have more than enough to satisfy those with strong horticultural interests, including landscapes, gardens and greenhouses highlighting a vast collection of flowers, trees, shrubs, plants and crops from more than 40 countries.  The festival will also feature live entertainment, themed cultural programs and exhibits, a host of international pavilions, a range of restaurants, food trucks and specialty tastings, and a diverse campus connected by gondolas, trains, bridges and walkways.

EARLY ADMISSION AND A PRIVATE SMALL-GROUP TOUR

Tauck guests will enjoy a full day at Floriade, highlighted by early-access admission one hour before the expo opens to the general public, and a 90-minute, small-group guided tour of key attractions hosted by a Floriade expert.  Each guest will also receive a Tauck-issued, 25-euro Floriade credit card allowing them to enjoy lunch in their choice of dining venues, or purchase mementos of their visit if they prefer. 

Tauck has also secured docking privileges in nearby Huizen, a short ten-minute drive from the Floriade grounds.  For guests’ convenience and flexibility, private round-trip shuttles will be provided between the riverboat and the expo campus.  The visit to Floriade, including expo admission, shuttle transportation, and the Floriade credit card, is included in Tauck’s cruise pricing, as are all other shore excursions, all gratuities, all onboard wine and spirits, airport transfers, luggage handling and more.  The four Tauck river cruises featuring a visit to the Floriade expo include two 15-day itineraries, “Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat” and “The Rhine and Moselle,” along with two eight-day trips, “Belgium & Holland in Spring” and the new-for-2021 itinerary “Cruising the Dutch Waterways.” 

LESSONS FROM THE OBERAMMERGAU PASSION PLAY

Information on Tauck’s four 2022 river cruises featuring Floriade has recently been posted on the company’s website, and can also be downloaded in an eight-page e-brochure.  As Tauck begins to ramp up its promotional efforts for Floriade, CEO Mahar is urging those interested to make their plans quickly.  “For most travelers, attending something like Floriade or the Oberammergau Passion Play is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, and because they’re only available once every ten years, the opportunities to attend are really quite limited,” said Mahar.  “Understandably, that creates a real sense of urgency among our guests that prompts them to act fast.  With the Oberammergau Passion Play, we were 90% sold out before we started to actively promote it, and we’re fully expecting our Floriade trips to generate that same kind of response.”

Founded in 1925, Tauck Tours is a world leader in upscale guided travel, with more than 150 river cruises, small ship ocean cruises, land tours and safaris to 70+ countries and all seven continents.  In each of the last 23 years, Tauck has been honored in Travel + Leisure magazine’s annual “World’s Best Awards” celebrating the very best in luxury cruises, tours, hotels and more.

For more information, contact your local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825, or visit www.tauck.com.

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Lindblad Expeditions Introduces First Ever Voyages to Japan

Imperial Palace, Tokyo. Lindblad Expeditions will explore the fascinating region of Japan on two new adventurous itineraries in 2021, set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion,inaugural voyages that mark Lindblad’s first foray into Japan and promise a wealth of exceptional experiences. (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK —  Lindblad Expeditions will explore the fascinating region of Japan on two new adventurous itineraries in 2021. Set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, these inaugural voyages mark Lindblad’s first foray into Japan and promise a wealth of exceptional experiences. 

This iconic island nation holds fast to age-old traditions while embracing today’s cutting-edge technologies. As they sail through 400+ years of history—from the influential Edo period and the Meiji era to WWII and beyond—guests will forge a deeper understanding of how these two worlds thrive in harmony. Roam shores brimming with temples, teahouses, and ancient traditions; discover a seldom-seen wild side on sub-tropical islands where azure waters meet verdant forests; plus, get a taste of Taiwan and Korea too.  Only 400 of Japan’s nearly 7,000 islands are inhabited, and Lindblad will take guests beyond the populous borders of Honshu into wilder realms.

With the state-of-the-art National Geographic Orion as base, plus the company of cultural specialists, historians, and a top expedition team, these two extraordinary adventures offer an incomparable way to discover a truly inspiring place.

Highlights of the two new voyages include:

Coastal Japan: Imperial Dynasties and Modern CultureStep back in time on a voyage into Japan’s riveting history, from the historic castle towns of the Edo period to the elegant shrines and merchant districts of the Meiji era, to the poignant sites of World War II. Trace the shores of Honshu and the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, venture into the homes of samurai and feudal lords and discover exquisite centuries-old gardens of Kenroku-en, Koraku-en, and Sengan-en. Get inspired on the art-filled island of Naoshima, and visit museums and studios dedicated to artists and traditional handicrafts in Matsue and on Shikoku. Take a detour to South Korea to spend a day exploring the rich cultural legacy of Korea’s Silla Dynasty among the incredible ancient ruins of ancient city of Gyeongju. 14 nights/16 days, departs September 15, 2021.  Rates begin at $20,800 per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin.

Sailing the East China Sea: Japan, Okinawa, And Taiwan:  Island-hop your way from Japan to Taiwan, experiencing a wide array of natural wonders, historic sites, and cultural treasures along the way. Experience some of Japan’s most cherished sites, from Himeji Castle and the historic merchant towns of Ozu and Uchiko to the “floating” torii gate at Miyajima. Explore Naoshima, an island transformed by art and cutting-edge architecture, and visit the culinary hub of Shodoshima. Snorkel the coral reefs of Kerama Island and venture into the mangrove forests of the Yaeyama Islands by Zodiac or kayak. Hike among ancient cedar trees in Yakushima’s rainforest and marvel at the incredible hoodoo spires in Taiwan’s Yehliu Geopark. 13 nights/15 days, departs September 28, 2021.  Rates begin at $19,320 per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions’ voyages, visit www.expeditions.com, call 800-EXPEDITION (800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor.

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Broadway Fantasy Camp Moves ‘Broadway Banter’ into Stars’ Living Rooms for ‘Safe-at-Home’ Series

Santino Fontana and Lilli Cooper at Broadway Banter. Photo taken in February 2019 at Sardi’s in Times Square. Broadway Fantasy Camp has moved Broadway Banter into living rooms.

New York, NY – A star-studded lineup of Broadway performers will “Zoom” straight into the living rooms of fans across the world as part of Broadway Fantasy Camp’s new “Broadway Banter: Safe-At-Home” series, producer Lauren Class Schneider announced.
 
“After eight years of hosting Broadway Banter in a private room at Sardi’s, we’re glad to be hosting in our private Zoom Room!” Schneider said. “Broadway Banter is one of Broadway Fantasy Camp’s most popular experiences. Audience members are treated to an interview with the featured performer, followed by a Q&A session where fans get to engage directly with their favorite Broadway star.”

Broadway stars invite you to join them in their own homes. You get to hear their stories about their Broadway debut, onstage mishaps, and staying motivated while staying home.

Then, you’ll be able to ask your question “face to face” (so come prepared). At Broadway Fantasy Camp, you don’t have to struggle for your questions to be seen in the chat of a livestream. Broadway Banter sessions are about an hour and are limited to 50 guests.​
 
Tickets will be limited, and for every 25 tickets sold, Broadway Fantasy Camp will donate a ticket to a hospital worker.
 
“The Broadway community leads the way in being generous and sensitive to the human condition,” Schneider said. “Broadway Fantasy Camp is humbled to include hospital workers in our audience as they continue to serve on the frontlines across the country and around the world.”
 
The current lineup includes Laura Osnes (Bandstand, Cinderella) on Saturday, May 30; Telly Leung (Alladin, Allegiance) on Tuesday, June 2; Tony Award® winner Santino Fontana (Tootsie, CBS’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) on Wednesday, June 3; Jenna Leigh Green (Wicked, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) on Wednesday, June 3; Jenn Colella (Come From Away, If / Then) on Thursday, June 4; Lilli Cooper (Tootsie, SpongeBob SquarePants) on Friday, June 5; Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, the Band’s Visit) on Saturday, June 6; Lesli Margherita (Matilda the Musical, Zorro the Musical) on Saturday, June 6; Karla Garcia (Hamilton, NBC’s SMASH) on Saturday, June 13; Corey Cott (Newsies, Bandstand) on Wednesday, July 1; and more to be announced.
 
“I’m looking forward to creating a community through Broadway Banter,” Tony® nominee Jenn Colella shared. “It’s not just a Q&A session… I want to hear my fans express in their own voices how they are feeling during this time and what they are doing to stay creative. I want us to create a dialogue together to lift one another up in this very strange time. The opportunity to ‘hang out’ with my fans and for them to get to know one another makes my heart soar.”
 
“Broadway performers are among the most resilient and inspiring group of people to lead the conversation. During these unsettling times, they’re natural motivators,” Schneider said. “Different than an in-person Broadway Banter, this series will provide an intimate getting-to-know-you experience for Broadway fans and stars alike – literally inviting each other into their homes. It’s also a wonderful for Broadway performers to have a safe and authentic way to connect with their own fans. Experiences like this are also great for birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, and especially for 2020 graduation parties.”
 
To see the full line-up of stars and to purchase tickets, visit: BroadwayFanCamp.com/tickets

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St. Kitts Music Festival 2020 Postponed; Ticket Purchases Protected

St Kitts, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Basseterre, St. Kitts – St. Kitts is postponing the 24th St. Kitts Music Festival, originally scheduled to be held June 24-28, 2020, to June 23-27, 2021 in light of the current global situation to protect its citizens, residents, visitors and the integrity of the Music Festival.

“The St. Kitts Music Festival is now achieving the goals that were established for the event to drive and support ‘heads in beds’ for our tourism industry in June,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “The Music Festival has allowed us to promote our St. Kitts brand over the summer months and we are confident that it will remain a cornerstone of our annual marketing and branding activities in the years to come. It brings significant direct economic benefit that provides for our people year after year. However, after careful consideration we chose to postpone it until 2021.”

CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority Ms. Racquel Brown added, “2019 was the second year in a row we saw a significant increase in air arrivals and attendance with systemwide air arrivals increasing 7% for June 2019 (15,499) as compared to June 2018 (14,490) and recording nearly 30,000 attendees over the 3-night event. Looking forward, we will ensure the marketing and promotion for the St. Kitts Music Festival 2021 produces an increase in air arrivals and increase brand awareness for St. Kitts for Summer 2021.”

“While it was a difficult decision to make, we have postponed the St. Kitts Music Festival to protect the health and safety of all visitors, citizens and residents as well as the integrity of the St. Kitts Music Festival brand,” said Damion Hobson, Chairman of the St. Kitts Music Festival. “We look forward to delivering another epic 3-nights of performances in 2021 and an ‘Experience like no other’.”

Anyone who has already purchased tickets online will be protected and their purchases will either remain valid or can be refunded. Originally scheduled to perform as part of the star-studded line-up for 2020 were renowned artists including Gladys Knight, Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond, Wizkid, Koffee and Chronixx, among others. For more information about the St. Kitts Music Festival, visit http://www.stkittsmusicfestival.com/.

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports including catamaran cruises, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach.  For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

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Deadline Looms to Sign Up for 16th Annual Global Scavenger Hunt Contest to Crown ‘World’s Greatest Travelers’

Global Scavenger Hunt “Lazy Monday” team of Kathryn & Eric of California race to complete the scavenge challenge at the archeological wonder, Petra, Jordan. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

LOS ANGELES, USA – Only a few spots remain for adventurous Indiana Jones-types and intrepid Nellie Bly hopefuls willing to compete in the Super Bowl of travel adventures that crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers and hands them a free trip around the world winner-take-all first place prize.  
 
All you have to do is circle the globe and visit ten secret countries in the one-of-a-kind travel adventure while out-doing, out-thrilling and out-traveling a worthy collection of international travelers participating in the 2020 event.

Serious travelers are a competitive breed, from: “How many countries have you been to?” and “We’ve been there, did you do…?” to watching TV’s Amazing Race saying, “I could do that!” Well now they can with a trip, trophy and title on the line, not to mention a free trip around the world to defend their crowns in 2021. 

The 16th edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt travel adventure competition aims to return the romance of travel while testing the travel IQ of the most travel savvy of globetrotters. They will complete a series of highly participatory, authentic and challenging cultural site-doing scavenges in ten secret countries over a 23-day circumnavigation between April 17th and May 9th, 2020. Trusting strangers in strange lands is required!

Last call interested travelers need to apply online at GlobalScavengerHunt.com as the deadline nears.

“The Global Scavenger Hunt covers a lot of extraordinary travel bases,” says author and Event Director William Chalmers, “Taking our blind date with the world is a 21st century version of spinning a globe and throwing out your finger. Maybe that’s why we’ve been called the ‘Super Bowl of Travel,’ the ‘Olympics of Travel’, and one writer even called our annual travel adventure the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. I liked that one!”

The reviews for the annual world travel championship are in too: Conde Nast Traveler calls The Global Scavenger Hunt, “the best trip to take…”;  Frommer’s lists it as one of “best adrenaline adventures…” in the world; Outside magazine bills it as, “One of the most amazing trips in the world…”; and National Geographic says that the event is, “…like Survivor, The Amazing Race and the Eco-Challenge all rolled into one except with much more cultural interaction.” 

The 23-day around the world event is limited to 15 teams of two with the $25,000 per team entry fee including: all international airfare, first class hotels, 40% of meals and special event-sponsored travel gear. Single travelers are welcome to apply; and all travelers will be interviewed for suitability. Contact GreatEscape Adventures at +1.310.281.7809 or apply online at GlobalScavengerHunt.com.

See our series on doing the 15th Annual Global Scavenger Hunt at goingplacesfarandnear.com.

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Gondwana Ecotours Announces 10-Day Tanzania Great Migration Camping Safari

Gondwana Ecotours is introducing a new 10-day camping safari in Tanzania. Guests will visit four national parks (Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti), get to know the Maasai Tribe, photograph amazing landscapes, spot the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant), and explore dense jungles. 

(New Orleans, LA) — Gondwana Ecotours is introducing a new 10-day camping safari in Tanzania. Guests will visit four national parks (Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti), get to know the Maasai Tribe, photograph amazing landscapes, spot the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant), and explore dense jungles. This trip is full of culture and opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography. There will be a maximum of 18 guests on the tours, scheduled for July 13-22, 2020 and August 8-17, 2020 starting at $2,995 USD per person not including international flights 

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime safari with extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities,” said Gondwana Ecotours Founder, Jared Sternberg. “We also pay Carbon Offsetting for each guest and donate to the Maasai Community Development Initiative on their behalf.”

One of the major highlights of this safari is visiting the Maasai, one of Africa’s most famous and historic tribes. Travelers will sing and dance with members of the tribe and tour a traditional hut. Another unforgettable moment is exploring the Ngorongoro Crater at sunrise before the crowds arrive. It is home to many lions and some of the last black rhinos in the world.

“We will enjoy picturesque picnic lunches in the parks near hippo pools, giraffes, baobab trees and beautiful lakes,” said Sternberg. “This safari is full of amazing wildlife and culture, and offers an opportunity to witness one of the most spectacular mass migrations on the planet.”

What’s Included in the Tanzania Camping Safari Ecotour:

All accommodations and equipment (4 nights at hotel, 5 nights camping)

All meals except for arrival and departure days

All National Park entrance fees in Tanzania (Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti)

Unique activities with the Maasai tribe (dancing, singing, home tour and cultural exchange)

Guaranteed window-seat in a private Toyota Land Cruiser with a local guide/driver

Carbon Offsetting for each guest and donations to the Maasai Community Development Initiative

Chef-prepared meals and clean drinking water throughout the safari

All activities and excursions, including safaris and guided hikes

Airport pick-up and drop-off

For more information, visit Gondwana Ecotours at https://www.gondwanaecotours.com/tour/tanzania-camping-great-migration-safari/ or call 877-587-8479.

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6 Top Destinations from Chairman’s Luxury Gold Collection for 2020

Enjoy a private cocktail reception with Princess Anita von Hohenberg at Artstetten Castle on Luxury Gold’s curated trip to Austria.

NEW YORK– Luxury Gold is recommending six top destinations in 2020 from the exclusive Chairman’s Collection that offer unforgettable experiences.

The Chairman’s Collection—created by Stanley Tollman—introduces guests to exceptional local characters with unique access to amazing places.Available only on select journeys and departures, privileged few will be whisked into an elite world of noble dinners, regal lunches and drinks with aristocracy.

While welcoming guests to the country’s incomparable landmarks and landscapes, Luxury Gold provides a journey beyond the ordinary by connecting them with local people in personal, life-changing way. With these journeys, Luxury Gold provides guests a selection of exclusive VIP experiences, with luxury hotel accommodations and exquisite dining.

Below are the top recommended journeys for 2020, with only a handful of select departures offering opportunities to meet these Legendary Locals:

1. Italy: Learn the Art of Wine Making with Marchese Francesco Mazzei at his Centuries Old Tuscan Estate

Wine lovers and guests can join the 12-day Ultimate Italy   journey on the to meet Count Francesco Mazzei whose family has perfected the art of winemaking for over 24 generations. For the past 600 years, the Mazzei family has been pioneers and champions of Chianti wines since the very beginning. Travelers will meet a member of the Mazzei family at their vineyard estate, Castello di Fonterutoli for a private tour, including a delicious Tuscan lunch using fresh seasonal ingredients and wine tasting.

2. Austria: Enjoy a Private Cocktail Reception with Princess Anita von Hohenberg at Artstetten Castle

History buffs and travelers can join the 13-day Harmony of Central Europe luxury journey to meet Princess Anita. She is a proud descendant of the Habsburgs which includes prominent historical figures such as Empress Maria Theresa and Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Guests will join the princess for a private sparkling wine reception and hear personal stories about her family heritage.

3. Great Britain: Join the Duchess of Northumberland for a private tour at Alnwick Castle

Gardening lovers and guests can book the 9 or 10-day British Royale escorted journey. The Duchess takes immense pride in her family home, the majestic 11th century Alnwick Castle which is considered one of Britain’s most iconic castles and was featured in the Harry Potter film series. Thanks to her visionary planning, fundraising and care, the adjoining castle gardens have been meticulously restored beyond their former grandeur. While over 800,000 people visit each year, only Luxury Gold guests will join Lady Percy for a private tour of her award-winning gardens.

4. France: Indulge in a Memorable Dinner with Count Richard De Warren

On Luxury Gold’s 10-day French Vogue journey, guests will have the opportunity to meet Count Richard de Warren who invites clients to his magnificent mansion for a traditional Parisian meal. Count Warren will recall personal stories about the history of his aristocratic family. He is a direct descendent of the Sommier family who are renowned for their entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic legacy. The historical mansion’s original interior decor has been beautifully transformed into a luxury boutique hotel, the five-star Hôtel Alfred Sommier, located in the chic 8th arrondissement. As an incredible VIP experience, guests will have exclusive access to the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte–France’s largest privately-owned chateau. Guests can choose to walk through the gardens guided by the estate’s lead gardener or learn about the subtleties of high society during a dining etiquette class hosted by the owner’s professional butler.

 5. Canada: Sample Local Wines with Canadian Olympic athlete

Sports fans and guests can join an exclusive reception to meet Canadian Olympic athlete and legendary alpine skier, Rob Boyd, in the scenic mountain village of Whistler. While sampling local wine, Boyd will exchange insightful stories with guests, such as how he was the first Canadian to win a downhill world championship on Canadian soil on the 14-day Majesty of the Rockies journey. Later, guests will dine at the AAA rated four-diamond restaurant SIDECUT for a Highlight Dinner of featuring a modern take on traditional steakhouse fare.

6.  Peru: Meet descendant of historic Peruvian family

While exploring Lima, guests will join Dr. Francisco Diez-Canseco Távara for an exclusive experience at his beautiful home on the 12-day Treasures of the Incas journey. Távara is the descendant of a Peruvian family whose first member arrived to the country at the end of the 17th Century. Since then, his family has acquired a large collection of paintings, sculptures and other works of art with great historical value—such as Venetian tables dating from the 19th Century and important paintings of the Cusco School. 

For reservations, contact your travel advisor, call 1-888-862-5952, or visit www.luxurygold.com.

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From Australian Surfing to Tech-Free Tonga, Virtuoso Reveals Top 10 ‘Wanderlist’ Experiences for 2020

What could be more spectacular than traveling to the ancient city of Petra, Jordan by private jet © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK– Virtuoso®’s selection of inspired experiences – deemed Wanderlist®-worthy thanks to their “trips of a lifetime” status – will have even the most seasoned traveler reaching for their passport. The 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report, an annual survey of the global luxury travel network’s 20,000 travel advisors around the world, highlights insights and observations for travel in the year ahead. Acclaimed as a trend predictor, the Luxe Report captured advisor recommendations for the ten most unusual and exciting experiences for 2020.

Virtuoso’s must-have travel experiences are:

Surf Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, whether a pro or first-timer. Bondi is just outside the city center and extremely popular with locals and visitors alike. Serious surfers hang out at the southern end of the beach, while novices occupy the northern stretch, where waves are often smaller.

Head to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, taking place July 24 to August 9. Japan continues to trend in 2020, finding itself on two Luxe Report lists for global and emerging destinations. Beyond the Games, travelers will be enamored with Japan’s gorgeous scenery, dynamic cities, culinary delights and cultural heritage.

Witness the Great Migration in Tanzania and Kenya, where millions of zebras, wildebeest and antelope traverse the landscape in search of food and water while attempting to elude predators such as lions and crocodiles.

Live like a local for a month (or more) in Italy, the Luxe Report’s top global destination of 2020. As authenticity is one of the year’s top trends, travelers can immerse themselves in the lifestyle of this beloved country. Rent a villa. Find a favorite espresso or wine bar. Learn the language. Master the cuisine or just savor it.

Support the Bahamas after the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian, which severely damaged Grand Bahama and Abaco islands in September. Tourism comprises 60 percent of the nation’s economy and revenues from visitors boost recovery efforts. Virtuoso’s nine resorts escaped with little to no damage; they are open and receiving guests.

Fly around the world via private jet, touching down at legendary destinations such as Easter Island, Petra, Jordan and the Taj Mahal. Country-hop in style on a specially outfitted jet while relaxing comfortably in a leather seat, with attentive on-board crew assisting with every need. Bypass commercial airports while avoiding jetlag … what could be better!

Explore the pristine landscape of Antarctica. The continent was voted the top adventure destination in the 2020 Luxe Report, proving that cold-weather spots are hot. As travelers seek out destinations with unspoiled scenic beauty. Travelers can kayak with humpback whales, watch penguins in their natural habitat and even take a dip in the frigid waters.

Sail through the Panama Canal, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This century-old engineering marvel is even more impressive up close on a full transit cruise, where the ship sails though the canal. It takes a day to traverse the 50 miles of locks as the ship makes its way from ocean to ocean.

Enjoy the slow-down trend of the year: rail travel. The majesty of the Canadian Rockies unfolds before passengers with a train journey aboard the incomparable Rocky Mountaineer. Gaze at panoramic surroundings through the glass-dome coaches, savor ­­local cuisine, and learn about natural and historic sites along the way through the stories of expert hosts.

Venture to an uninhabited island in Tonga for the ultimate unplugged escape. This Polynesian kingdom is comprised of 140 islands without residents as well as a wonderfully temperate climate and tropical scenery. Guest can soak up on the sun on a private beach, snorkel in crystal-clear waters and explore jungles – all in blissful solitude.

A Virtuoso travel advisor can book these must-have experiences or customize a journey to their client’s exact taste. They can also secure value-added benefits, VIP treatment and exclusive access. To find an advisor, visit www.virtuoso.com/travel-advisors.   

Virtuoso® is a leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 20,000 elite travel advisors in 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with over 1,800 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $26.4 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

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Tiffany Glass Exhibition at Rosecliff, One of Newport R.I. Mansions

Colorful glass artwork and objects by Louis C. Tiffany is on display at Rosecliff, one of the famed Newport, Rhode Island, Mansions, through March 1 (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEWPORT, R.I. – Colorful glass artwork and objects by the renowned Louis C. Tiffany is on display at Rosecliff, one of the famed, grand, historic Newport Mansions, through March 1.

“Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light” opens Sunday at 4 p.m. with a lecture and reception featuring Lindsy Parrott, executive director and curator of The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York City, which organized the exhibition. Hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County, the exhibition showcases a selection of objects from the Neustadt’s vast collection.

“Tiffany’s work is one of the defining examples of innovation in Gilded Age decorative arts,” said Trudy Coxe, CEO and executive director of the Preservation Society. “This is a great addition to our series of exhibitions on the second floor of Rosecliff, following upon our recent, successful Audubon presentation.”

As a painter, Tiffany (1848-1933) was captivated by the interplay of light and color, and this fascination found its most spectacular expression in his glass “paintings.” Through the medium of opalescent glass, Tiffany manipulated light and color to achieve impressionistic effects using innovative techniques and materials. His Tiffany Studios created leaded-glass windows and lampshades in vibrant colors and richly varied patterns, textures and opacities.

“Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light” is composed of five windows, 19 lamps and more than 100 pieces of opalescent flat glass and glass “jewels.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with The Preservation Society of Newport County to share some of Tiffany’s most iconic and celebrated works, especially since several Newport mansions featured decorations commissioned from Tiffany,” Parrott said. “The exhibit illustrates the rich expanse of color and light available to the artists at the Tiffany Studios, and captures Tiffany’s artistic innovations during the Gilded Age.”

Rosecliff is located at 548 Bellevue Ave. The exhibition is free to view with paid admission to Rosecliff. For tickets and information, visit newportmansions.org/learn/adult-programs or call 401-847-1000, ext. 178.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties – seven of them National Historic Landmarks – span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

For more information, visit NewportMansions.org.

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