Category Archives: Cultural Travel

Passport to 12 Brandywine Valley Museums and Gardens on Sale

The Sunken Garden at the Nemours Estate, Wilmington, DE © Laurie Millman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WILMINGTON, Delaware – Explore the history, culture and gardens of the Brandywine Valley for one low price with the Brandywine Valley Treasure Trail Passport. On sale now, the passport provides admission to 12 of the region’s top attractions and can be used any time between May 25 and October 31, 2024, enabling passport holders to explore the attractions at their own pace. 

The passport, provided by the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, can be purchased  at www.visitwilmingtonde.com/passport/ and at participating attractions. It is also available for sale at Bureau’s visitor center at 920 Justison Street on the Wilmington Riverfront. An individual passport is $49. A family passport, covering two adults and up to three children ages 17 and under, is $99. The passport is available in digital and print formats.  

Admission to the following 12 attractions is included with the passport: 

Mt. Cuba Center 

Recognized as the “Best Botanical Garden” in 2020 by USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards, Mt. Cuba Center is celebrated for its rare native plant collection.  

Nemours Estate 

This former du Pont mansion, modeled after Versailles, has the largest formal French gardens in North America.  

Brandywine Museum of Art 

This museum displays an impressive collection of American art including works by three generations of the Wyeth family, known as “America’s First Family of Art.”   

Delaware Art Museum 

It is known for having the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art outside of Britain, in addition to an extensive collection of American art and illustration.  

The Delaware Contemporary 

This cultural space showcases cutting-edge exhibitions, innovative installations, and thought-provoking multimedia art.  

Delaware History Museum 

This attraction showcases an extensive collection of artifacts, documents, and interactive exhibits that bring the state’s history to life. It includes the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage. 

Delaware Museum of Nature and Science 

Visitors can explore dinosaurs, fossils, astronomy, environmental conservation, world ecosystems, and more.  

Hagley Museum and Library 

The story of the famed du Pont family begins here at the original DuPont gunpowder mills. “Nation of Inventors features one of the largest collections of patent models in the world. 

Longwood Gardens 

This impressive 1,100+-acre garden has topped many botanical “best of” lists over the years. The centerpiece is the magnificent four-acre Conservatory, showcasing an astonishing array of exotic plants. (Note: The passport is valid at Longwood Gardens through September 30, 2024). 

Read House and Gardens 

This National Historic Landmark is offering a brand-new interior tour that reveals aspects of the history hidden in the architecture and furnishings of this 14,000-square-foot mansion. 

Rockwood Park and Museum 

The Gothic Revival architecture of this historic mansion and its enchanting landscape were designed to reflect the beauty of an English country estate.  

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library 

This former du Pont family home boasts an unparalleled collection of American decorative arts and 1,000 acres of explorable grounds and gardens.  

Passports are valid for one use at each attraction. Blackout dates may apply. For more information on the Passport and to start planning a visit, go to www.VisitWilmingtonDE.com.  

The Greater Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley region of Delaware is in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic and less than a two-hour drive from both New York City and Washington. Steeped in American history and the legacy of the famed du Pont family, it is a destination marked by sharp contrasts – town and garden, past and present, historic and hip. Featuring renowned gardens, world-class museums, colonial towns, outdoor adventure, festivals, and an ever-growing restaurant scene, the region offers a vacation experience that is vibrant, unique and authentic.

Learn more at VisitWilmingtonDE.com. To see the beauty of the Brandywine Valley, watch: https://youtu.be/KyPWLnciO0E

See also: WILMINGTON/BRANDYWINE MANSIONS & GARDENS WELCOME MOBILITY-CHALLENGED VISITORS

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com/travel

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Leading Tour Companies Have Short-Term Sale on Bucket-List Itineraries

Fes, Morocco: Select itineraries from global guided vacation company, Trafalgar, are 15-20% off through February 15, 2024.Travelers can save 20% on top itineraries such as the 10-day Best of Morocco itinerary with visits to Casablanca, Marrakesh and Fes. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Intrepid travelers looking to save big on 2024 bucket-list travel need look no further than tour companies Trafalgar, Contiki, Costsaver, Insight Vacations and Brendan Vacations. These travel brands are offering discounts on itineraries across the world, from Italy to New Zealand to Morocco, but only for a few weeks.

Contiki: Contiki, the social travel company for 18-35 year olds is offering epic savings on a variety of trips. Travelers can get a taste of cobblestone streets and delicious cuisine with the staple European Explorer at 25% off or witness exotic wildlife from penguins to hippos and wildebeests on the new Sea, Safari, South Africa at 15% off. Anyone looking to do some island hopping in the new year can save 20% on the Thai Island Hoping East itinerary or set out on a USA Road Trip and save 20%. The Big Social Sale is available on a selection of itineraries through Jan. 31, 2024.

Brendan Vacations: Celtic travel expert, Brendan Vacations is offering guests up to 20% off all guided trips for 2024 including the Best of Scotlandand Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle itineraries. Travelers interested in independent, fully customizable itineraries can save $200 off pp on Self Drive and Locally Hosted Rail experiences, and $250 off pp Private Chauffeur and Lux Self Drive experiences. The Brendan Vacations sale runs through February 15, 2024.

Trafalgar: Select itineraries from global guided vacation company, Trafalgar, are 15-20% off through February 15, 2024. Travelers can save 20% on top itineraries such as the 10-day Best of Morocco itinerary with visits to Casablanca, Fes and Marrakesh. Or Western Discovery, a new itinerary for 2024 that travels across California, Nevada and Arizona over the course of two weeks with visits to the Grand Canyon, Balboa Park, Yosemite National Park, Monterey and more.

Insight Vacations: Premium tour company Insight Vacations is offering 15-20% off select itineraries across the globe through February 15, 2024. Travelers can save 20% and spend two weeks exploring the stunning architecture and rich culture of Hungary, Austria and Poland on Highlights of Eastern Europe. Or save 18% off on Italian Intermezzo and venture throughout Italy from Milan to Rome with stops in the lakes district, Venice, Florence and more.

Costsaver: Travelers can make the most of their adventure Costsaver, the tour company that allows travelers to tailor their travel experience to suit their travel needs. The brand is offering 15-20% off select itineraries across the globe through February 15, 2024. Save 20% off Highlights of Scandinavia and explore the beauty and history of the North in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Or check out and save 20% on Best of Colorado a new itinerary for 2024 that ventures to Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver, Vail, Colorado Springs and more.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com/travel

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures 

Road Scholar Kicks off 50th Anniversary with ‘Great Global Giveaway’ Contest

Road Scholar, the nonprofit that is a world leader in educational travel for older adults, is having an early kick-off of their 50th anniversary celebration with a contest called the “Great Global Giveaway.”Seven lucky winners will win one of seven educational adventures to seven continents, complete with airfare for two people – among them, a trip to Banff, Canada © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Boston, Mass. — Road Scholar, the nonprofit that is a world leader in educational travel for older adults, is having an early kick-off of their 50th anniversary celebration with a contest called the “Great Global Giveaway.” Seven lucky winners will win one of seven educational adventures to seven continents, complete with airfare for two people. These seven trips, like all the programs Road Scholar offers, will have an emphasis on learning about the destination the winners are visiting through educational content and immersive experiences.

The seven winners will be drawn from a list of all or Road Scholar’s subscribers, including those already on their mailing list and anyone who signs up in 2024. To enter, starting January 1, 2024, and continuing throughout the year, anyone who’s not already on the Road Scholar mailing list can sign up at www.roadscholar.org/enter. Subscribers can also earn extra chances to win by referring friends who aren’t already on Road Scholar’s mailing list online at www.roadscholar.org/friend. Each friend referral provides another chance to win.

The Great Global Giveaway culminates in January 2025 when the winners will find a golden ticket on page 50 of Road Scholar’s January catalog. Winners will also be notified directly by phone or email so they’re sure not to miss the good news. The seven trips include:

  • Africa | African Safari: A Close-up on Wildlife
  • Antarctica | “Land Ho!” Icebergs and Penguins in Otherworldly Antarctica
  • Asia | The People of the Mekong: Vietnam, Cambodia and Angkor Wat
  • Australia | Discover a Land Down Under: Melbourne, Adelaide & Sydney
  • Europe | French Art Voyage: Paris, the Rhône and the French Riviera
  • North America | The Best of the Grand Tetons to Banff: Iconic National Parks
  • South America | South American Odyssey: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Machu Picchu & More

“With more people than ever wanting to find meaningful experiences by studying abroad, we couldn’t think of a better way to stir excitement than to give away trips to all seven continents,” said Maeve Hartney, Chief Program Officer of Road Scholar. “The Great Global Giveaway celebrates our 50th anniversary in 2025 and our legacy of helping older adults find the joy of learning and exploration with friends old and new. Road Scholar has always been about active learning and fostering a love for adventure, and the Great Global Giveaway embodies that spirit,” she said. 

In addition to the Great Global Giveaway, Road Scholar wants to hear the stories of its participants over the last half-century. “For nearly 50 years, six million Road Scholar participants have experienced the joys of learning and travelling with us,” said Hartney. “We’re gathering 50 of the most heart-warming, poignant, charming and funny stories from the Road Scholar community.” Past Road Scholar travelers are encouraged to share a story about their travels with Road Scholar have impacted them at www.roadscholar.org/story

For more information about Road Scholar’s Great Global Giveaway, visit www.roadscholar.org/enter.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, not-for-profit Road Scholar is one of the world’s largest and most innovative creators of experiential learning opportunities. Founded in 1975 as Elderhostel and rebranding as Road Scholar in 2010, the tour company serves 80,000-100,000 lifelong learners annually. Programs combine travel and education to provide experiential learning opportunities featuring an extraordinary range of topics, formats and locations in more than 100 countries and throughout the United States. Alongside renowned experts, participants experience in-depth and behind-the-scenes learning opportunities by land and by sea on educational travel adventures designed for boomers and beyond. Road Scholar is a diverse community of knowledge seekers and explorers, united in the belief that lifelong learning is a vital part of overall wellbeing. For more information, visit www.roadscholar.org.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/KarenBRubin

Twitter: @TravelFeatures 

Road Scholar Senior Solo Travel Report Uncovers Trend: Married Women Traveling Solo

A survey by Road Scholar on trends in solo travel finds a surprising percentage, 60 percent, of its solo travelers in 2022 are married but traveling without their spouse.

Boston, Mass. –  Road Scholar, a world leader in educational travel for older adults, has released a report on trends in solo travel that finds a surprising percentage, 60 percent, of its solo travelers in 2022 are married but traveling without their spouse.

Further, 27% of married women surveyed have never traveled with a spouse on a Road Scholar program. When asked why they travel without their spouses, 42% of women surveyed said their spouse isn’t interested in traveling and 40% said they have different interests when it comes to travel.

“I cherish my time to explore and do what I want on my timetable,” says Road Scholar solo traveler Marcia Henderson, 66. “I like to walk, hike, etc. He has knee issues and doesn’t share my passion for nature, culture, and history. It would be an atrocity to not travel just because my spouse doesn’t like it. This is my passion, and he is supportive as I support his golfing.”

Road Scholar compiled data for this study from the community of 80-100,000 adults over 50 who travel with them each year, including a survey conducted earlier this year. They report that nearly 70% of their travelers are women. Compare that to the overall population breakdown in the U.S.- 58% of Americans 65 and older are women- and this suggests that women are generally more likely to travel in their later years.

There are also far more female solo travelers than male solo travelers among older adults: Road Scholar reports that 85% of their solo travelers are women. They gathered data from outside sources to suggest some reasons why so many more women are traveling solo than men, pointing out that nearly half of women over 65 in the U.S. are unpartnered, that there are far more widowed women than widowed men, and that the divorce rate is highest among older Americans and on the rise. But their finding that so many of their solo female travelers are married tells an intriguing story about the behaviors of Baby Boomer women versus men.

“I think this trend is really a mark of the population that we’re serving currently,” says Road Scholar’s PR Director Kelsey Knoedler Perri. “Two-thirds of our participants now are Boomers, and Boomer women are so much more independent than their mothers and grandmothers. It would have been far more unheard of for previous generations of women to be traveling the world without their spouses. And society has shifted to ‘allow’ older women the freedom to do it.”

Perhaps because of the increase in independence among Boomer women, Road Scholar has been seeing a steady increase in solo travel over the past 10 years. As a response to this increasing demand, they shared the exclusive news that they are developing a collection of programs for solo travelers, which they plan to debut in 2024, with departures starting in 2025.

Road Scholar is a world leader in educational travel for boomers and beyond. This not-for-profit organization was founded as Elderhostel in 1975 and has served more than 6 million lifelong learners over the past 50 years. With educational adventures hosted by expert faculty in nearly 100 countries and throughout the United States, Road Scholar truly is a university of the world. Learn more at www.roadscholar.org/about.

Read Road Scholar’s full study on senior solo travel here, and find their programs for solos here.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures 

GeoCultura Unveils New Lineup of Tours for Curious Travelers for 2024

GeoCultura’s Irelands Wild Atlantic Way Tour traces the route to the Cliffs of Moher.

With the promise of new beginnings and a new year, GeoCultura has unveiled its fascinating lineup of expert-led small-group tours for the curious traveler in 2024. Offering discovery and immersion, these tours promise an enriching exploration of the world’s most fascinating landscapes, guided by experts in local geology, history, and culture, while staying in deluxe accommodations and centuries-old inns and experiencing culinary handpicked restaurants. 

Treasures of Southern England: London, Bath, and the Jurassic Coast Embark on a character-packed journey through Southern England’s most striking places with the Treasures of Southern England tour. Uncover the layers of history in Bath, wander the world’s largest prehistoric stone circle at Avebury Ring, and explore the fossil-rich Jurassic Coast. Peek behind the scenes of historic abbeys and cathedrals. Dates: May 6 – May 11, and September 15 – September 20. (Treasures of Southern England: London , Bath and the Jurassic Coast)

Journey to the Misty Isle: Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye Immerse yourself in the legends, landscapes, and rich history of Scotland on this exhilarating tour. Travel from Edinburgh to Inverness, then over the sea to the enchanting Isle of Skye.  Explore dramatic lochs and whisky distilleries. Live the stories and traditions of Scotland in the company of local guides. Dates: April 29 – May 5 and August 8 – August 14. (Journey to the Misty Isle: Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye) 

Scotland and the Isle of Skye: Landscapes and Photography Tour is geared for photography enthusiasts to capture the incredible mountains, lochs, and coastlines of the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highlands. Join award-winning professional photographer Alex Hare on a small group tour, where, you’ll gain technical and creative tips, tailored to all skill levels, and learn the ‘read’ the landscapes. Dates: Sept 17- Sept 23 (Scotland and the Isle of Skye: Landscapes and Photography Tour) 

Irelands Wild Atlantic Way Tour is a captivating seven-day journey along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, tracing the route from Galway Bay to the Cliffs of Moher. Delve into the rich tapestry of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, guided by experts who unravel the deep-time origins of West Ireland. Explore renowned landmarks, traverse the geopark’s highest peaks, and sail to an Iron Age fort on the Aran Islands. The Wild Honey Inn in the Burren Geopark offers a Michelin-starred experience but as the Chef Patron says: “where the service is proper, whilst having a relaxed and unfussy feel, and what’s on your plate depends on the seasons. Over four days, discover the geopark’s geological and cultural evolution, visiting landmarks like Dun Aonghasa, Poulnabrone Dolmen, and the iconic Cliffs of Moher. September 1-7, 2024 (Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

GeoCultura’s small group tours range from two nights and three days to six nights and seven days, and every tour is filled with stories that show how the earth, the land, and the people connect to bring us to where we are today. GeoCultura offers this new and exciting approach with trips to explore the world’s most important landscapes and geology and to hear fascinating stories linking them to local history. The tours have the benefit of being led by expert earth scientists working together with local historians and regional tourist guides. The aim is to immerse participants in the local culture and its origins, as well as enjoying the local cuisine. The tours provide an irresistible combination of awe-inspiring scenery, great company, and superb guides.

 GeoCultura can also customize fully guided, partially guided, or self-guided trips with just friends, family, or colleagues. 

Additional information can be found at www.geoculturaworld.com, Call: +44 2081 451011 or +1 713 400 6326.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/KarenBRubin

Twitter: @TravelFeatures 

Kanazawa Japan: Center for Ski Spa, Gold Leaf Art

Kanazawa, which means “gold marsh,” has long been hailed as the pinnacle of gold leaf production dating back centuries. Tiffany & Company Japan, in partnership with the World Monuments Foundation continues their journey to foster preservation of Kanazawa’s celebrated gold leaf art scene

Japan’s Kanazawa region has the distinction of being both a center for Ski Spa, as well as ancient gold leaf art.

The Ski Spa concept is red hot in Japan’s Kanazawa region with travelers from around the world hitting the slopes and the thermal soothing waters for well deserved relaxation and healing properties. This region in the southern part of Ishikawa is defined by its geothermal hot springs, renowned for their healing powers that are said to improve digestion, skin conditions and muscle pain. Ski resorts on the outskirts of Kanazawa have become wildly popular not only due to their proximity to this artful, culturally immersive city but also due to the impressive hybrid experience of thrilling skiing plus soothing spa relaxation in incredibly unique settings. Notable areas include:

*Hakusan Ichirino Ski Resort: The largest slope in Ishikawa with easy access from Kanazawa, equipped with ski school and full rentals, traditional style ryokan for overnights and a selection of onsen baths for public or private usage including Japanese cypress bathing room and stone open-air hot spring, soothing scenario after a full day of skiing or snowboarding. The gondola ride is a special highlight, providing a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding mountains

*Kawachisenjo Onsen Kanazawa Seymour Resort: 3 lifts suitable for intermediate and advanced levels, 2395 ft of vertical range and 7 trails plus onsen baths avvailable for public or private usage.

Tiffany & Co. Japan partners with World Monuments Foundation to Foster Kanazawa’s Gold Leaf Art

Kanazawa is also a center for arts

Tiffany & Company Japan, in partnership with the World Monuments Foundation continues their journey to foster preservation of Kanazawa’s celebrated gold leaf art scene with a fresh 3 year initiative that focuses on maintaining the art and passing it on to future generations. The iconic brand proudly launched the “Kanazawa Entsuke Gold Leaf Manufacturing” training program for craftsman with a view to passing this intricate technique on to the next generation of artisans. The average age of celebrated craftsman is 70, hence the overarching goal to focus on preservation and education to emerging younger artisans.

Kanazawa, whose translation means “gold marsh” has long been hailed as the pinnacle of gold leaf production dating back centuries. Today, artisans continue to create exquisite blends that are highly labor intensive, using only the finest material and locally sourced materials. The Ensuke technique refers to framed pieces that are derived from a special gold-beating process to transform the leaf to wafer-thin paper sheets that are down to 1/10th of a millimeter. The painstakingly arduous process of maintaining them intact is an art unto itself, and the sheets are then either bound together for books or used as exquisite décor for lacquerware, statues and shrines.

Tiffany & Co.’s new initiative is centered around the preservation of this traditional craft as was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2020. Together in partnership with Kanazawa City, the Ishikawa Prefecture, the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Kanazawa Gold Leaf Traditional Techniques Production Society, 8 hand-selected skilled trainees who have gone through rigorous apprenticeship will continue to be guided.

The Tiffany Foundation has long been an avid supporter of WMF’s projects in Japan centered around restoration and preservation of traditional techniques that carry its heritage stories forward.

For more information Ishikawa’s tourism opportunities, visit https://www.ishikawatravel.jp/en/

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/KarenBRubin

Twitter: @TravelFeatures 

Governor Hochul Marks Milestone of 100,000 Low- and No-Cost Broadway, Off-Broadway Tickets Sold Under NYC Musical & Theatrical Production Tax Credit

More than 100,000 low- or no-cost tickets have been made available by Broadway and Off-Broadway productions participating in the NYC Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit. The deeply discounted tickets, which can be as little as $20, were sold to members of the community who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience a Broadway or Off-Broadway show. There are over 90 plays and musicals participating in the program that represent at least $1.7 billion in spending and more than 11,000 hires. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

More than 100,000 low- or no-cost tickets have been made available by Broadway and Off-Broadway productions participating in the NYC Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit. The deeply discounted tickets, which can be as little as $20, were sold to members of the community who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience a Broadway or Off-Broadway show. There are over 90 plays and musicals participating in the program that represent at least $1.7 billion in spending and more than 11,000 hires.

“New York is hitting a blockbuster milestone, with top Broadway and Off-Broadway productions making more than 100,000 discounted tickets available to New Yorkers,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Broadway is central to New York’s identity as a global hub for arts and culture, and my Administration will continue supporting this industry through the transformative New York City Musical & Theatrical Production Tax Credit.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The arts in New York State, especially our Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, are one of our biggest assets, and one that every New Yorker should be able to experience. Today, we give our regards to Broadway, and the partnerships that have allowed us to reach this exciting milestone.”

Under the NYC Musical & Theatrical Production Tax Credit, Broadway and Off-Broadway productions are required to create and implement a plan to ensure that their production is available and accessible for low-or no-cost to low-income New Yorkers. Productions may work directly with the State to identify community-based organizations or educational institutions serving low-income residents in the New York City, Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions to distribute tickets or work with a third-party partner, such as the Theatre Development Fund, which in turn provides low- or no-cost tickets to students, veterans, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and other groups.

In addition to making tickets more accessible, productions participating in the program are required to participate in a New York State-approved diversity and arts job training program. Productions may work with pre-approved formalized fellowship programs from The Theatre Leadership Project or the Black Theatre Coalition or create a self-operated fellowship program for individuals from diverse backgrounds to learn to work in the theater industry. Through this requirement, 75 fellows from underrepresented communities have been employed on productions.

As part of the FY 2024 New York State Budget, Governor Hochul secured a major expansion of the New York City Musical & Theatrical Tax Credit program to include Off-Broadway productions, which are major contributors to New York’s live entertainment economy.

Governor Hochul remains committed to supporting New York’s performing arts sector – a critical part of economic and cultural life in New York and a key driver of tourism across the state. Over the past year, Governor Hochul has awarded nearly $210 million in grants for non-profit cultural organizations through the New York State Council for the Arts thanks to unprecedented funding secured in the State budget. Since April, Governor Hochul has announced a total of $132 million in capital grants for New York arts organizations to fund critical projects that strengthen the State’s diverse creative sector, including over $90 million to support large-scale projects that prioritize community development and placemaking. Governor Hochul also awarded an additional $76 million in non-capital grants through the FY2023 Budget that provided flexible funding to nearly 3,000 cultural organizations and individual artists. NYSCA is currently accepting applications for its FY 2024 Capital Projects Fund, and will announce nearly $120 million in FY2024 grants over the next year.

Governor Hochul also maintains a strong commitment to building New York’s thriving tourism industry following her announcement that the state welcomed an historic 291.5 million visitors generating more than $78.6 billion in direct spending in 2022. The Governor announced a $450 million “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” Recovery Package to support industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic like the performing arts and revitalize tourism statewide. The package included: a $200 million Seed Funding Grant; a $100 million Tourism Worker Recovery Fund; a $100 million Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program; a $25 Million Meet in New York Grant; and a $25 million I LOVE NY Global Marketing Campaign.

TDF’s Managing Director Michael Naumann said,“It has been an honor to develop the TDF Passport Series through the New York City Musical & Theatrical Production Tax Credit program with Governor Hochul and Empire State Development. It is TDF’s mission to make the theatre accessible to everyone and build new audiences. This program does just that – it allows New Yorkers, most of whom are first-time theatregoers who could not afford to attend Broadway and Off Broadway, to finally get the chance to enjoy live performance.”

“Governor Hochul is Broadway’s best partner in working to drive economic development while also diversifying our audiences and workforce,” The Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said. “As we continue to bring tourists back to Broadway, we are including more members of our community in the audience and working backstage. Governor Hochul’s efforts, in partnership with the Senate and Assembly, have resulted in in our shows providing more than 100,000 low- or no-cost tickets to New Yorkers while also creating 75 diverse fellowships on Broadway. We could not be prouder of this effective and balanced effort by our Governor.”

Savoring Wine is Key Feature of European Waterways’ Luxury Hotel Barge Cruises

Experiencing the innovative wine-making techniques of the Lissner Winery on European Waterways’ Panache canal cruise through the Alsace-Lorraine, France © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

“Wine and friends are a great blend,” Ernest Hemingway once said.  This philosophy is at the heart of European Waterways’ dedication to offering its guests exclusive, immersive wine experiences on their luxury hotel barges that cruise the canals.

Guests cruise with like-minded fellow travelers who are enjoy sharing the experience of learning about the history and traditions of winemaking, from grape growing to bottling, and the nuances of the different wines. Excursions feature tastings at family-owned vineyards and private tours of historic châteaux.

The cruises also include gastronomic meals paired with the finest regional wines, sometimes from the very vineyard visited. On board hosts explain the significance of each vintage and guide guests on how to best enjoy them.
 
“Wine and the company of fellow passengers are integral parts of the luxury hotel barge cruising experience,” said Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways. “Whether serious connoisseurs or just curious about wines, our guests are always sure to stay in good ‘spirit’ throughout the six-night, all-inclusive cruises.”
 
A Fine Wine Romance

Among European Waterways’ popular hotel barges is the eight-passenger Finesse, which cruises Southern Burgundy. Guests aboard Finesse visit Maison Champy – a winery located in the heart of Beaune, the Capital of Burgundy Wines. A UNESCO historical monument, the winery was designed by the famed architect, Gustave Eiffel, and is one of the oldest in France. Here they’ll enjoy a guided tour of the vineyards and a tasting hosted by a wine expert. They’ll also be treated to a gourmet lunch at CUVE 17, a unique dining experience inside one of the winery’s huge historic wooden wine vats, known as ‘cuves’, where a four-course seasonal lunch with wine parings of Premier and Grand Crus is served.

Guests aboard European Waterways’ eight-passenger Renaissance, cruising France’s oldest canal, the Canal de Briare, enjoy a tour and private wine tasting at the Sancerre winery of La Perrière. The winery is famous for its vast natural cave, dating back millions of years, where its distillation vats are housed. Renaissance cruises include excursions to the studio home of artist Rosa Bonheur, the most celebrated female artist of the 19th century, with a private lunch in her salon. They also offer a cooking demonstration at the privately-owned Château de La Bussière, a former fortified castle dating back to the 12th century.

Guests on the 12-passenger Panache visit the boutique Grand Cru champagne house of Frerejean Frères, located in the middle of the Champagne countryside. The tour is followed by lunch in the family Domaine, with ingredients harvested from its gardens. Champagne cruise passengers savor more bubbles with tastings at the world-renowned house of Moët & Chandon and the Maison Pannier winery with its labyrinth of medieval underground cellars.

The Panache also travels through the Alsace-Lorraine region.

Hotel Barging on European Waterways

Hotel Barging is a boutique experience that offers an immersive and all-inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery,” focusing upon the culture, history, fine wine, and gourmet cuisine of the cruise regions. With a 6-to-20-person capacity and 1:2 crew ratio, European Waterways is able to provide an impeccable level of on-board service and transport its guests on intimate inland waterways that are inaccessible to larger vessels.

This fascinating network of smaller canals allows for flexibility, spontaneity, and ample opportunity to hop off and explore the beautiful surroundings via bicycle or on foot. In addition, there are daily, chauffeured excursions “off the beaten track” to a wide variety of enthralling locations and activities, from exquisite wine tastings to private tours of stately homes.

With over 40 years’ experience and a fleet that spans nine countries, European Waterways is one of the largest luxury hotel barging companies in Europe.

Most European Waterways hotel barges can also be chartered for a more immersive Wine Appreciation Cruise.

For more information, call 1-877-879-8808 in the U.S. and 1-877-574-3404 in Canada, or visit www.europeanwaterways.com.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/KarenBRubin

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

NEW Cycling and Culinary Tour of Friuli, Italy Hosted by Top Chef Brooke Williamson

On Tourissimo’s NEW 7-day Chef Bike Tour of Friuli Venezia Giulia hosted by Chef Brook Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts, guests will cycle from Tarvisio along the Tagliemento River Valley via the Alpe-Adria Bikeway, one of the first long-haul rail-to-trail projects in Europe.

(Turin, Italy) — Friuli Venezia Giulia (often shortened to Friuli) is a northeastern Italian border region tucked between Slovenia and Austria where travelers will find the cultural and culinary imprints of all three countries.

On Tourissimo’s NEW 7-day Chef Bike Tour of Friuli Venezia Giulia hosted by Chef Brooke Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts, guests will cycle from Tarvisio along the Tagliemento River Valley via the Alpe-Adria Bikeway, one of the first long-haul rail-to-trail projects in Europe. The rest of the biking will be on secondary country roads with many interesting and tasty stops. Chef Williamson will play an important role in understanding the local cuisine, which reflects the varied cultures that surround this region.  Prices start at $4,995 per person double. Companions that are non-riders are welcome. E-bikes are available upon request. 

 “We are fond of Friuli not just because it is cycling heaven, but also because it is a must-visit destination for gourmands and wine lovers, and is finally being recognized as such,” said Beppe Salerno, co-founder of Tourissimo. “It is the perfect destination for someone who has been to Italy several times and is looking for something new and different.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Brooke Williamson has carved out an impressive resumé full of leading roles and professional achievement, such as being the youngest female chef to ever cook at the James Beard House, winning Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 14 in Charleston, and most recently, being crowned the first winner of Food Network’s “Tournament of Champions” in spring 2020. 

Tour Highlights:

  • Scenic Alpe-Adria Bikeway
  • Wine tasting at a family-run winery that includes the rare and up-and-coming Schioppettino
  • Cividale del Friuli (UNESCO World Heritage Sites), and Venzone (National monument)
  • Stunning cycling along rolling hills covered with vineyards and with the Julian Alps in the backdrop
  • Grado’s golden beaches
  • Palmanova and Aquileia
  • Regional food that combines Mediterranean and Mitteleuropean influences
  • Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant with cooking demonstration

The tour takes place June 25-July 1, 2023, $4995 pp.

For more information, visit https://www.tourissimo.travel/chef-tours/friuli-venezia-giulia.

Tourissimo are Italy experts and have several decades of combined experience in all facets of the adventure travel industry. https://www.tourissimo.travel.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/KarenBRubin

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New York State Launches I Love NY Black Travel Initiative

I LOVE NY Will Promote Black Travel Destinations, Events and Cultural Attractions to Encourage Black Travelers to Explore New York State

Builds on I LOVE NY LGBTQ and Accessible NY Programs to Boost New York Tourism Among Diverse Populations

I LOVE NY’s Black travel initiative will be a comprehensive program that promotes New York State as a great vacation destination for Black travelers. New York is home to dozens of Underground Railroad sites and one of the largest Juneteenth festivals in the nation. The state has deep ties to leaders like Fredrick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, and is where hip hop was born. Museums and venues celebrating Black culture, art and heritage can be found throughout the state, including the new Museum of Broadway Theater, which highlights the contribution and role of Blacks. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Governor Kathy Hochul announced plans for an I LOVE NY Black travel initiative, designed to grow New York State tourism and encourage Black traveler visitation. The Governor made the announcement at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as part of the state’s commemoration of Black History Month. The program will build on the success of the state’s tourism programs like I LOVE NY LGBTQ and Accessible NY which highlight destinations of interest to and supportive of specific travel communities.

“The new I LOVE NY Black travel initiative will be a celebration of New York’s unparalleled Black history, culture, food, and arts,” Governor Hochul said. “From sites and museums that bring Black history to life to world-class arts and cultural institutions like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York has so much to offer. I look forward to working with our partners to welcome even more visitors to experience Black culture in our state.”

I LOVE NY’s Black travel initiative will be a comprehensive program that promotes New York State as a great vacation destination for Black travelers. It will have a dedicated presence on the I LOVE NY website, and a promotional campaign based on market research and stakeholder outreach that highlights existing assets and supports new programming to provide a direct invitation welcoming Black visitors and their families to experience New York’s unparalleled Black history, culture, food, arts and events.

New York is home to dozens of Underground Railroad sites and one of the largest Juneteenth festivals in the nation. The state has deep ties to leaders like Fredrick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, and is where hip hop was born. Museums and venues celebrating Black culture, art and heritage can be found throughout the state – from the Jackie Robinson Museum in Lower Manhattan, to the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, to the Colored Musicians Club in Buffalo.

In a survey of Black travelers, 64 percent reported that the availability of Black culture and heritage attractions is important when making a destination choice. Another survey of Black travelers reported that diversity in marketing is a top factor when choosing a travel destination, with 54 percent of U.S. Black travelers more likely to visit a destination with Black representation in advertising. I LOVE NY already includes diverse imagery in its marketing and promotes themes, attractions and events of interest to a wide variety of communities. This new travel program is the next phase of the Division of Tourism’s segment promotion work, joining specific invitations and overtures to LGBTQ travelers and guests with accessibility needs.

The Division of Tourism will utilize existing relationships with international travel trade operators to encourage the creation of Black travel itineraries and engage travel journalists and content creators to share all that awaits Black travelers and their friends and families across New York State. I LOVE NY will also collaborate with other State agency partners and local tourism promotion agencies to amplify their Black travel messaging.

The annual economic impact of tourism and travel in New York State as of 2021 is $85.5 billion, and it generates enough in state and local taxes to save every household in the state more than $1,000 annually. The tourism and hospitality sector is the state’s third largest industry, supporting one in 10 private sector jobs. Black travelers represent more than 13 percent of the domestic leisure travel market, spending over $109 billion annually.

“New York embraces its diversity, and we want to ensure that visitors from around the world recognize the opportunities to celebrate Black history and heritage throughout the state,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight. “Given the unparalleled depth and variety of attractions here that appeal to Black travelers, this program is a perfect fit to spotlight and showcase these places, stories and people.”

“I LOVE NY is excited to work with stakeholders throughout the state to build and launch this new program, which will complement other tourism programs like Path Through History, I LOVE NY LGBTQ and Accessible NY,” Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “This new initiative will help amplify and extend the efforts of our travel industry partners that are already highlighting Black travel attractions, and extend an invitation to Black travelers from around the world to come find what they love in New York State.”

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle said,”As an institution born out of the Black experience in New York more than 65 years ago, we are proud that Governor Hochul chose to announce this valuable program at Ailey’s home – The Joan Weill Center for Dance – the largest building dedicated to dance here in the capital of dance.  We look forward to welcoming the world to New York with others, thanks to the I LOVE NY Black travel initiative, and seeing more visitors inspired by Ailey’s performances and classes.”

New York State is a premier vacation destination with world-class attractions, picturesque natural beauty, locally sourced cuisine and a booming craft beverage scene, an array of accommodations, and iconic, year-round festivals and events. Its 11 diverse vacation regions feature some of the world’s top ranked beaches; two out of America’s top three favorite state parks; breathtaking Niagara Falls; more ski areas than any other state; one of the nation’s longest foliage seasons; multiple Halls of Fame; North America’s longest, fastest and highest zipline; the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States; and the country’s longest multi-use trail. Add in the state’s unique museums, historic landmarks, cultural sites, charming small towns and urban playgrounds, and it’s no wonder New York has been consistently chosen as a top getaway by travel publications and experts. To help plan your next New York State vacation, visit www.iloveny.com.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

Going Places @ theisland360.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/