Category Archives: Cultural Travel

TRIPS by Culture Trip Launches New Immersive, Experiential Tours with Special Deals, Discounts

Experience rural life in Vietnam and cycle through rice fields to experience farm life first hand with TRIPS by Culture © Laini Miranda/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

TRIPS by Culture Trip launched in September to offer multi-day small-group adventures with itineraries that combine immersive activities and distinctive places to stay, and experiences for the young at heart, the off-the-beaten path enthusiast, the culturally curious and those with the belief that “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.  Behind TRIPS by Culture Trip is Culture Trip itself – the travel website and app for booking hand-picked places to stay, unique travel experiences and now also small-group adventures.

To kick off the new year, Culture Trip is also offering special deals and discounts now through January 31, 2022 including a $100 Culture Trip voucher when you book with TRIPS by Culture Trip; a $50 Culture Trip voucher when you spend $200 on a hotel; and a $20 Culture Trip voucher when you spend $100 on an experience. T&Cs apply.

TRIPS by Culture Trip offers over 30 itineraries in some of the world’s most captivating and off-the-grid places across the world.  TRIPS range from four to 13 days, welcoming up to 18 travelers aged 25 and over who can join solo or with friends. With a focus beyond mass-market offerings, TRIPS itineraries often avoid areas of over tourism and aim to put local people at the center; the team is dedicated to avoiding unethical activities or wildlife interactions that aren’t in the best interest of the animals.

“With everyone looking for that vacation or escape in 2022, here are some trips that many will never experience in their lifetime because, well, they didn’t know they could.”  Check these out:

●      Stay with a Bedouin Family in Jordan & sleep under the stars in the Valley of the Moon

Wild camping under the stars and staying with a Bedouin family in the breathtaking Wadi Rum — also known as the Valley of the Moon and as filming location for Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker — is an unforgettable experience. On this trip, travelers also learn how to make Arabic coffee, cook a traditional meal with local Bedouins, milk camels and help shepherds herd their goats in the sunrise. Treks through rust-colored mountains, street food tours in Amman, and visits to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra through a back door to avoid the crowds are also part of this itinerary. 9-day trip from $2,599*      per person

●      Explore Casablanca’s design with a local architect & stargaze with an astrologer

Before exploring the tangerine dunes of the Sahara’s Erg Chebbi, bedding down in a desert camp in a Berber-style tent with a canopy of twinkling stars above, and stargazing in the desert with local astrologer Astro Hamid, travelers get to explore Casablanca’s diverse and historically significant architecture together with a local architect. 13-day trip from $2,809*      per person

●  Experience rural life in Vietnam & cook with a gastronomy artisan

A trip to Mai Chau is unforgettable — a lush valley lined with rice paddies between forested mountains, inhabited by several ethnic groups in the Hoa Binh province. Here, the group will cycle through rice fields to a White Thai village to experience farm life first hand — including collecting food for buffalos and feeding them, while learning about the history and culture of the White Thai ethnic group, named after their white clothes. The trip also takes travelers to Hue where they will get to learn about the flavors and techniques behind the local cuisine through a market visit and cooking class with gastronomy artisan Ms. Huy12-day trip from $1,609* per person

●  Immerse yourself into Sri Lankan wildlife and culture & learn the ancient dances

This epic 12-day ‘Treasure Island’ adventure avoids the usual tourist areas for a glimpse of real Sri Lankan culture. Travelers get to visit a quieter, lesser-known side of Yala National Park — reducing the impact on the wildlife and environment. The park has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world with plenty of elephants, monkeys, and crocodiles. Equally memorable will be seeing herds of wild elephants in Minneriya National Park, visiting a rural village school to learn about Sri Lankan education, and attending a dancing school in Lankathilaka, where a generational dancing master will teach the ancient art of dance in his own backyard. 12-day trip from $2,039* per person

● Learn taiko drumming and aikido & witness sumo wrestling training in Japan

As part of the ‘Japan Rising’ 12-day journey through the land of the rising sun, travelers get to learn from a local aikido expert this Japanese martial art that involves breathing, stretching and self-defense techniques. They also can witness sumo wrestling training to learn about the centuries old history of this traditional sport, and test their rhythm over a taiko drum — played in traditional performing arts and festivals in Japan — with a local expert instructor. 12-day trip from $4,239* per person

Naturally, TRIPS by Culture Trip has an extremely flexible and generous cancellation plan in place should Covid restrictions change your plans      , including rebooking for free up to 48 hours before departure and if TRIPS by Culture Trip cannot change your booking dates, they will refund the booking.  

To learn more and book TRIPS by Culture Trip, visit culturetrip.com/trips or call 678-967-4965.  

* Prices include the Local Insider; activities; accommodation based on two people sharing, with single occupancy available with a supplement; transport throughout the trip and a range of meals

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Germany Extends Commemoration of 1,700 Years of Jewish Life Through July 2022

Munich: The new main synagogue in the Jewish center © Getty Images / FooTToo

In December 2021, 1,700 flags were raised to commemorate 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany. “Auf das Leben!” German for: “To life!” (l’chaim). This Jewish toast can be read on these flags, flying high in state parliaments, synagogues, churches, universities, museums, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and many more public places.

A series of celebrations, exhibitions, events and commemorations throughout Germany, the festival year #2021JLID is being extended until July 31, 2022.

The campaign is an initiative of the association “321-2021: 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany,” taking a stance against anti-Semitism in Germany.

The history of Jews in Germany dates back to the year 321 when the Roman Emperor Constantine issued an edict that marked the earliest evidence of Jewish life in Germany. The story of the edict is quite fascinating since it was born out of a profane need: the city council of Cologne had to repair a damaged bridge but lacked the financial means. A Jew named Isaac offered monetary assistance but required a professional position in the city council to do so. Emperor Constantine granted the ensuing request for permission, resulting in the first firmly written evidence of Jewish life in Europe, North of the Alps.

Despite a varied history and the unspeakable crimes against humanity of the Nazi regime during the Shoa, Jews resettled in Germany following World War II. Today, more than 200,000 people have made their home in about 100 Jewish Communities across the country. They contributed greatly to the development of Germany in the arts, philosophy, science, medicine and economic landscape, and became an inseparable part of our society.

Places of Jewish heritage can be found throughout the country: the Rykestrasse Synagogue in Berlin, the Synagogues in CologneErfurtFrankfurt, LeipzigUlmBayreuthAugsburg, the Jewish Cemetery ‘Heiliger Sand’ in Worms, the ShUM Sites on the Rhine, the “document” at the Neupfarrplatz in Regensburg, the timber-framed synagogue in Celle, the New Synagogue in Dresden and the Ohel Jakob Synagogue in Munich are just some examples.

The anniversary year conveys aspects about Jewish culture, traditions and customs and sends a clear message against anti- Semitism. Events are organized nationwide under the name #2021JLID – Jewish Life in Germany, including concerts, virtual exhibitions, music, podcasts, video projects, theater, and films.

The Shared History Project was initiated by the Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin (LBI) and supported by #2021JLID – Jüdisches Leben in Deutschland e.V. with funding from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI).

A joint initiative between the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Catholic, Protestant churches and other groups provides cultural and historical exhibitions about Jewish life and faith in the country as well as commemorations, postage stamps, and the production of a Jewish food guide.The wide-ranging activities – almost 1,500 overall – both in analog and digital form, have one goal in common: to strike a balance between past, present, and future.

The events throughout the year 2021 brought a sense of new confidence to light, allowing many Jews to show their culture and customs in the streets of Germany, resulting in an experience of togetherness between Jews and non-Jews.

The federal government has followed requests and decided that the festival year #2021JLID will be extended until July 31, 2022. For the project partners whose events could not take place in the planned form due to the Covid-19 pandemic (e.g. with an audience or with guests from abroad), this provides the opportunity to carry out the events after all. The “Jewish Traveler” e-brochure highlights 65 cities and towns with special travel tips and contact details of Jewish organizations and institutions.

A collection of resources on Jewish Life in Germany today provides current and upcoming radio programs, links to activities of government and public institutions, as well as state, city, and local authorities.

Dresden: synagogue (C) Adobe Stock / tagstiles.com

The following calendar provides insight into a variety of celebrations honoring Jewish culture in Germany.

Augsburg, Bavaria: The Jewish Museum in Augsburg shows two exhibitions reflecting on Jewish life in the city. The exhibition “Jews through the Eyes of Others” (until September 4, 2022) questions clichés, prejudices, exaggerations, generalizations, and categorizations and asks the question: what role do Jewish museums play in perpetuating such projections?

The exhibition “The End of the Testimony” (until June 5, 2022) focuses on memories of contemporary witnesses, and the question of how to maintain statements of oral history for the next generations. It shows written testimonies and video interviews of contemporary witnesses and focuses on the question of how we want to deal with this legacy in the future.

Bayreuth, Bavaria: “Jewish Life in Bayreuth” program includes lectures within the established series “Bayreuth City Talks”, workshops, a weekly series in the local newspaper in cooperation with the Nordbayerischer Kurier, an app, and more.

Bamberg, Bavaria: Exhibition, “Medieval mikvah in Bamberg.” In the area of​​ the new “Quartier an der Stadtmauer” in the middle of Bamberg is a medieval mikvah (mikveh) – a Jewish ritual bath – from the first third of the 15th century as well as a baroque house from the 18th century, for which Jewish residents are proven. In order to convey Jewish life in historical times, a small documentation center was developed at the authentic site of the mikvah. It is the oldest still visible monument of the Jewish community in Bamberg.

Berlin: SHARED HISTORY Conference on 1,700 Years of Jewish Life in German-speaking Lands” (video recordings available). The Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin (LBI) is marking the occasion of 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany by launching its “Shared History Project.” As the name suggests, the lives of Jews have always been tightly interwoven with the history of the regions and countries where they lived. But to what extent can we truly speak of shared experiences during the past 17 centuries in Central Europe? What forms have the social, economic, and scientific exchange between the Jewish minority and Christian majority taken? These questions will be highlighted from several perspectives.

The New Synagogue which opened in 1866 is today the home of the Centrum Judaicum, which sees itself as a link between the past and the future. It serves as a site of research and documentation and brings Berlin’s vibrant Jewish history to life. The exhibitions “Under the wedding sky – weddings in Jewish Berlin” and “Telling Jewish Berlin. Mine, yours, ours?” (until June 12, 2022) unfold a mosaic of stories, experiences, and emotions, revolving around individual perspectives and personal relationships.

The 28th Jewish Film Festival Berlin | Brandenburg (JFBB), the largest Jewish film festival in Germany, will take place this year from June 14 to June 19, 2022, in numerous venues in Berlin and Potsdam. The JFBB program aims to enliven political and historical debates, counter anti-Semitism, narrate Jewish themes beyond stereotypes, and offer points of contact for the audience. On the program are feature films, documentaries, retrospectives, international films of all genres, high-end TV series, (contemporary witness) talks, and panel discussions.

Büren-Wewelsburg, North Rhine-Westphalia: Guided tour, “An insight into the history of Jewish life in the Paderborn region.” The former Hochstift Paderborn has a fascinating Jewish history. During a tour of the historical museum of the Paderborn monastery as well as the Wewelsburg memorial and memorial site 1933–1945, the varied history can be rediscovered.

Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia: Exhibition, “SHALOM COLOGNE – discover Jewish life in Cologne, participate and set an example.” SHALOM COLOGNE is an innovative educational program that encourages to deal creatively and digitally with Jewish culture. The SHALOM-BOX contains more than 50 suggestions in the form of worksheets, videos, teaching ideas, links and hands-on tools. For the XXL poster, everyone is invited to send in selfies and pictures to create a strong motif for tolerance and respect. The big SHALOM CHALLENGE calls for artistic contributions dealing with Jewish culture.

Project: “Jewish Cologne – on the right bank of the Rhine.” Two centuries of Jewish history are closely connected to the Jewish cemetery in Cologne-Deutz. It forms the bridge between the Middle Ages and the modern age, and is also the link to Cologne on the right bank of the Rhine, the “Schäl Sick”. The project “Jewish Cologne-rechtsrheinisch” uses digital media to make history visible behind weathered inscriptions.

Dresden, Saxony: The exhibit “Rethinking City History: Perspectives on Jewish Stories and Present Lifes” (until March 31, 2022) retraces the complex Jewish life in the capital of Saxony. Until today, objects of the Jewish past can be found in living rooms, basements, or garages, finding a new place within the exhibition. Guided tours, a blog series and a YouTube video provide a deeper insight into the project.

Franconia: The anniversary is especially significant in Franconia since Jewish culture thrived in the region for almost 1,000 years. Jewish scholars, Franconian-Jewish dialects, foundations, synagogues, and more than 100 Jewish cemeteries had a significant impact on all aspects of life. This ended abruptly with the almost complete annihilation of the Jewish population during the Third Reich. Today, there are again Jewish communities in Franconia, as well as important institutions, including the Jewish Museum Franconia in Fürth, the “Museum Shalom Europa” in Würzburg, and the “Fränkische Schweiz Museum” in Tüchersfeld. Guided tours offered in many towns also invite visitors to explore the history and present state of Jewish culture.

Frankfurt, Hesse: The Jewish Museum Frankfurt is showing “Our Courage – Jews in Europe 1945-48” (until January 18, 2022). The exhibition is the first project of its kind to present the diversity of Jewish experience in the early post-war period from a pan-European, transnational perspective. The program is available for download here.

Hamburg: Movie: “Talmud Torah School Hamburg 2005-2015.” A video project with students connects the past and the future in the former Hamburg Talmud Torah school.

Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate: Dialogue, City Tour, App: “Digital stumbling block memorial routes.” In the Koblenz app, three commemorative routes can be explored which remind of former Jewish citizens, leading to stumbling blocks laid for them throughout the city.

Munich, Bavaria: Exhibition, “The Joys of Yiddish.” A roof frieze by the conceptual artist Mel Bochner at the Haus der Kunst in Munich reflects the Jewish language and the past. His work is shaped by reflections on the relationship between language and image. Born in Pittsburgh in 1940, Bochner grew up in a traditional Jewish family. The word-chain on the roof frieze of the Haus der Kunst in Munich consists of colloquial terms from Yiddish.

Nuremberg, Bavaria: Concerts, “World music and Klezmer in the Villa Leon.” Villa Leon is known for its world music and klezmer concerts. The series “World Music and Klezmer in the Villa Leon” presents the once only instrumental wedding music for Jews from Eastern Europe. The Villa Leon offers the oldest existing series of klezmer music in Germany. In addition, numerous associations or individuals organize their own concerts in respective areas.

Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate: Publication, Audio: “Jewish life in Trier.” Alongside Cologne and Mainz, the city of Trier was the earliest place on German territory where Jews settled. The long history of the Jewish community in Trier is reflected in the collections of the city. The library, for example, has the largest collection of Hebrew and Aramaic binding fragments in all of Germany. In the festival year # 2021JLID – 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany, a series of tours, exhibitions, readings and lectures will take place in Trier dedicated to the diversity of Jewish life. Topics include civil courage, and the story of the photographer Hilde Hubbuch. The Scientific Library of the City of Trier is dedicating episodes of the podcast series “Veni, vidi, audivi” to the city’s Jewish history.

More information at German National Tourist Office, New York, NY 10018, 212-661-7175, www.germany.travel.



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Tourissimo Unveils NEW Cycling Tour Exploring Prosecco Wine Region of Italy

Veneto, Italy: the landscape vineyards in “Duca Di Dolle” farmstead. Tourissimo, is introducing a NEW 7-day “Grappa and Prosecco” cycling tour of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco wine making area of Italy.

(Bridgewater, MA) — Tourissimo, a leader in active travel to Italy, is introducing a NEW 7-day “Grappa and Prosecco” cycling tour of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco wine making area of Italy. Guests will learn about the ancient origins of wine making and how the reputation and qualities of the wine have evolved throughout the centuries. The cycling is just as varied and dramatic as the Vento region’s history, ranging from a challenging climb up Mount Grappa to the hilly terrain of Prosecco.

The tour includes multiple wine tastings, dining at a MICHELIN-starred restaurant, exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, overnighting at 4 and 5-star hotels, and cycling one of Italy’s most beautiful regions. Prices start at $4,695 per person double. Venice is only one hour away and makes for a great add-on to the tour.

“For the Prosecco wine lover, this is an absolute dream vacation,” said Tourissimo Co-Founder and Managing Director, Beppe Salerno. “The tour is rich in history, and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular with panoramic vistas and patchwork landscape of steep terraced hills, woodlands, and meadows. The cycling is absolutely amazing, and the food, wine, and accommodations are as good as it gets.” 

The Prosecco area is wedged between mountains and the plain before the Adriatic Sea. It is extremely hilly, with grapes growing at 150 to 1,600 ft above sea level. A route between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene has been named the Strada del Prosecco (“Prosecco Wine Route”), and it’s the perfect riding playground for wine lovers. 

The landscape is characterized by ‘hogback’ hills, ciglioni – small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces – forests, small villages and farmland. Since the 17th century, the use of ciglioni has created a particular chequerboard landscape consisting of rows of vines parallel and vertical to the slopes. 

“One goal with this tour, in addition to cycling some of the most beautiful terrain in Italy, is to educate guests about why a Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is a superior product, why it is worth spending more for a quality sparkling wine,” said Salerno. “Because DOCG producers—with the limited growing area, lower yields and extremely high cost of production—can not compete with DOC on price, more and more of them are seeking to explore the particularities of their diverse growing area and long viticultural tradition, and find new ways of expressing them in their wines.”

Tour Highlights:

  • Walking the walls of medieval Cittadella
  • Exploring the hills of Prosecco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Having coffee in Piazza degli Scacchi in Marostica  
  • Cycling along rolling roads surrounded by vineyards
  • Experiencing a Grappa tasting at a famous grappa produce
  • Soaking up the village of Asolo      
  • Enjoying multiple wine tastings at Prosecco Superiore DOCG producers  
  • Picnicing at mulino della Croda
  • Learning Monte Grappa WWI history and visiting the memorial-museum

What’s Included:

  • Two professional tour guides throughout the program
  • All accommodations in 4-star hotels (one 5-star)
  • All breakfasts, all lunches, and all dinners
  • Wine and beer with meals, coffee, cappuccino, and gelato stops
  • Two wine tastings
  • Logistical support during the tour and luggage transfer
  • Guided tour of Bassano and grappa tasting
  • Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour
  • Bianchi bike rental
  • GPS navigation and maps

For more information, visit https://www.tourissimo.travel/bike-tour-prosecco.

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Grab a BOGO Deal from TRIPS by Culture Trip During Holiday Sale

Vietnam is one of the destinations offered by Culture Trip © Dave E. Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

TRIPS by Culture Trip is offering a BOGO deal from Nov. 22-Dec. 3, 2021: book a spot on one of their trips and bring someone along for free to places like Scotland, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Italy, Nepal and 20 more destinations.

Travel must take place before May 31, 2022 (the Iceland itinerary in Jan. 2022 is excluded).  All trips available are on a first booked, first served basis. Space is limited and certain conditions apply.

TRIPS by Culture Trip are unique small-group adventures that help people experience extraordinary destinations in unexpected ways, together with other culturally curious travelers. Curated by travel experts and led by Local Insiders, the multi-day adventures offer itineraries that combine immersive activities, hyper-local experiences and unique places to stay. Thoughtfully planned with ample free time to unwind or explore, the itineraries offer the right balance of exploration, action, and relaxation.
 
Some of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are part of TRIPS by Culture Trip and can be enjoyed with this Black Friday deal:

Welcome to the Jungle: Exploring Northern Thailand
10-day trip from $1,599* per person; based on departures 20 February and 14 April 2022
Watch the sunrise over the highest mountain in Thailand and feed elephants in a sanctuary during this 10-day adventure. Take in Chiang Mai, Pai and the Doi Inthanon National Park and float through a 5,466 ft. cave and watch the sunset over the scenic Pai Canyon. In between jungle trekking and waterfall swims, enjoy a slice of slow living at a geothermal hot springs and savor local Thai delicacies. This off-the-beaten-track journey will showcase an authentic side of the former Lanna Kingdom.

From the Amalfi Coast to Puglia: the Complete Southern Italy Tour
10-day trip from $2,029* per person; based on departures 2 April and 7 May 2022
Discover cliff top villages, secluded beaches and authentic Italian cuisine on this journey across southern Italy. Sample street food in Naples, cruise along the Amalfi Coast on a private boat tour, uncover the secrets of Altamura bread at Il Frantoio and explore the ancient hilltop town of Matera, featured in the latest James Bond movieRound off the trip by relaxing on the secluded beaches of Polignano a Mare and explore the Salento peninsula.

Riches and Ruins: Wine, Dine and Step Back in Time in Rural Georgia
9-day trip from $1,369* per person; based on departures 5 May 2022
Whether hiking in the Caucasus Mountains or whipping up a feast from a farmer’s market, this nine-day journey yields an immersive Georgian experience. Begin in the Old Quarter of Tbilisi and visit UNESCO World Heritage sites at nearby Mtskheta. See the ancient wine-making – and drinking – before exploring Lagodekhi National Park. The spectacular Truso Gorge, a hike up to Gergeti Church and a ramble beyond remote Juta village showcase the best of the High Caucasus. 

La Vida Local in Mexico City
5-day trip from $1,209* per person; based on departures 10 February, 17 March and 14 April 2022
Climb ancient temples in Teotihuacán, watch lucha libre wrestlers in action and toss back mezcal shots on a five-day trip to Mexico City. Stay at the artsy Cadillac Hotel near Roma, before hitting the streets on a walking tour of the Condesa district. Enjoy sizzling meat tacos in Roma, visit Frida Kahlo’s house, then sing with the mariachis floating along the Xochimilco canals.
 
TRIPS by Culture Trip offers over 30 itineraries in some of the world’s most captivating and off-the-grid places, with new itineraries added regularly. TRIPS range from four to 13 days, welcoming a maximum of up to 18 travelers aged 25 and over who can join solo or with friends. With a focus beyond mass-market offerings, the itineraries often put local people at the center and avoid areas of over-tourism as well as unethical activities or wildlife interactions that aren’t in the best interest of the animals.
 
TRIPS by Culture Trip offers its Ultimate COVID Booking Guarantee, so if COVID regulations change a customer’s plans, they can rebook for free (valid for bookings made by Nov. 30, 2021 for travel before Feb. 28, 2022). For bookings outside these dates, no change or cancellation fees are imposed and customers can get a full refund should they need to postpone or cancel a trip up to 30 days prior to departure. All trips have COVID safety measures in place.

Full terms and conditions can be found at:  https://theculturetrip.com/bookable/booking-terms-and-conditions/

To book a TRIPS by Culture Trip Black Friday deal visit culturetrip.com/trips or contact tripssupport@theculturetrip.com or +1 (678) 967-4965

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Black Friday Travel Sales Underway for EF Go Ahead Tours; Up to $600 Off 2022/23 Trips

Jokulsarlon Glacier, Iceland. Take advantage of EF Tours “Black Friday” travel deals to score $600 off a bucket-list trip to Iceland © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Black Friday travel deals are already underway at EF Go Ahead Tours. From October 26 to November 26,  EF Go Ahead Tours, a leading provider of immersive, small group travel, is launching four weeks of discounted departures to every corner of the world. With up to $600 off — and some itineraries discounted by 20% or more — now is the ideal time to book a tour, as current bookings indicate 2022 will be a gangbusters year for international travel.  The deals effectively mean 2022 and 2023 trips are available at discounted 2021 prices — the lowest they are likely to be — with experts who handle all the details and the complexities of traveling in the COVID-age taken care of for you. 

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS:

Each week will have a theme with up to $600 per traveler/$1,200 off per couple on select itineraries:

  • Week 1: Oct. 26 to Nov. 4 Get first dibs on great deals around the world. Sign up  to get Early Access to Black Friday deals with tours through 2023. In demand trips will sell out, so this is your chance to book early and save!
  • Week 2 Nov. 5-11: Save up to $600 per traveler/$1,200 per couple on Italy & Greece
  • Week 3: Nov. 12-18: Save up to $600/$1,200 per couple on UK & Ireland
  • Week 4: Nov. 19-25: Save up to $600/$1,200 per couple on Bucket List (Iceland, Egypt, Kenya, Costa Rica, Galapagos and more)  
  • Black Friday: Nov. 26: “Special Lightning Deals!” with the best of what’s left!Plus up to $600 off on worldwide tours plus a doorbuster on Black Friday day!

*Specific itineraries per week available upon request 

ALL MONTH LONG:

Each week EF will have a surprise “Lightning Deal” with an extra discount and incentive.

Solo within group travel is on the rise and EF Go Ahead Tours welcomes this travel style. Every week will include an extra $100 off for private rooms on top of the sales, which could equate to a free single room.

AN UNPARALLELED TRAVEL PARTNER:

Fully Refundable Trips with No Change Fees. Book & Rebook with Confidence.

  • Only $99 down secures a spot when you enroll in AutoPay. Interest-free payments aren’t due until 60 days after booking.  Book before November 30th and if you have to change plans, receive a refund of all money paid for that tour, including the deposit, through February 1, 2022. Change tour date or destination without a rebooking fee up until the Final Payment Date.

Let EF Go Ahead Travel Experts Navigate Health & Safety Guidelines:

  • EF offers COVID Care Promise, a comprehensive offering that supports travelers, at no additional expense through unforeseen on-tour quarantines or hospitalizations. 
  • EF’s 24/7 Safety and Incidence Team operates worldwide to inform country- and region-specific approaches to travel based on evolving CDC and WHO guidelines.

EF Go Ahead Tours offers 175 guided tours as well as can customize a private tour; if you bring a group, you travel for free.

EF Go Ahead Tours,  Cambridge, MA 02141, 800-590-1161, https://www.goaheadtours.com/

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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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