Tag Archives: cultural travel

TreadRight Foundation Announces New Project Partnership with Seville’s Cristina Heeren Foundation to Support Flamenco Dance

The Travel Corporation’s non-profit foundation, Treadright,  welcomes new project partnership in Seville, Spain with The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art to support the conservation of flamenco dance.

Cypress, Calif.- The TreadRight Foundation, a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of award-winning brands, including Trafalgar, Uniworld, Insight Vacations, Contiki and Red Carnation Hotels, has announced a new project partnership with The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art in Seville, Spain. The new project falls under TreadRight’s ‘People’ pillar, which encourages the cultures, traditions and arts of the communities TTC visits.

 The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art is a private, non-profit entity, created in 1993 in Seville by Cristina Heeren, Hispanist and American patron. Its aims are the promotion, the teaching and the conservation of flamenco both in Andalusia and Spain, as well as internationally.

The TreadRight Foundation is supporting The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art by establishing four scholarships for advanced guitar, singing and dance students at the Foundation. The TreadRight scholarships will be dedicated to advanced students who need financial assistance to complete their third or fourth year of training. These higher-level students display great skill and competence in their disciplines, however, they often struggle to find the funds to continue or complete their training. The TreadRight scholarship will now allow them to see their training through to its completion.

In addition, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold guests will have a culturally immersive and unique experience while visiting The Cristina Heeren Foundation on select trips. They will start with a flamenco dance class before taking front-seats for a fiery performance of flamenco to truly embrace the artform.

“Anyone who has ever had the chance to experience a flamenco performance can’t help but be moved by the centuries old artistic tradition. It is obvious why UNESCO recognized flamenco as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010,” says Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, TTC and Founder, The TreadRight Foundation. “It represents such an incredible and indelible contribution to Spanish culture and heritage, as well as world culture and heritage. We are delighted to be partnering with The Cristina Heeren Foundation to help support the brilliant young artists working to keep this beautiful tradition alive and thriving.”

“That our friends at the TreadRight Foundation should have understood the importance of Flamenco, a unique art form, is close to miraculous,” shared Cristina Heeren, President of The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art. “Indeed, few people realize that flamenco is unique, being a product of the numerous ethnic influences left behind by those groups that settled in southern Spain over the centuries. Now, thanks to the TreadRight scholarships, our most promising students will be able to enter the professional world,” she continued.

Since 1996, the prestigious school has trained more than 6,000 youths from around the world in song, dance and guitar. It has been recognized with the Flamenco in the Classroom Prize from the Andalusian Government, the Order of Alfonso X from Spain’s Ministry of Culture, the National Teaching Prize from the Chair of Flamencology in Jerez and the distinction Flamenco Thursdays from the Cajasol Foundation, among other honors.

Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit working to safeguard the planet, wildlife & people for generations to come. TreadRight’s mission is to #MakeTravelMatter through conservation, leadership and support for communities. To date, TreadRight has supported over 55+ sustainable tourism projects in 280+ communities worldwide. Foundation priorities are set by the Steering Committee. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid, The Travel Foundation and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cat fund, WE.org and inspiring nature advocates like Céline Cousteau, Costas Christ and Terri Irwin. To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at treadright.org and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter using our hashtag #MakeTravelMatter.

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Insight Vacations Discounts Travel to Ireland for Bookings by Dec. 18

Ireland is rich in culture with its wild landscapes and hearty culinary delights. From enjoying a pot of Irish stew, to exploring Ireland’s lush lands and regal castles, connect with your Gaelic Roots on Insight Vacations’ immersive experiences.

Ireland may be a small country but it is rich in culture with its wild landscapes and hearty culinary delights. From enjoying a pot of Irish stew, to exploring Ireland’s lush lands and regal castles, you’ll connect with your Gaelic Roots on Insight Vacations’ immersive experiences.

Lonely Planet named Galway as one of the top places to visit in the world in 2020—a cultural destination highlighted on Insight Vacations’ Ireland itineraries. The accolade has been given in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020, describing the city as “arguably Ireland’s most engaging city”.

According to the European Capital of Culture, visitors to Galway can expect to experience the city and county’s best year yet, with a year-long program of extraordinary street spectacle, live and digital art as well as world-class music, theatre and dance.

 As the award-winning leader in premium escorted travel, Insight Vacations wants travelers to observe Galway with experiences that go beyond the ordinary. On Insight’s journeys to Ireland, guests are invited to meet and interact with locals and explore various establishments that offer authenticity as well as good old-fashioned fun.

Here are several Insight trips that immerse guests into the unique aspects of Galway:

 Country Roads of Ireland (12 Days):Travelers will get the chance to enjoy breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the strange, rocky landscape of the Burren to Galway Bay. They will spend a day at their leisure to relax and enjoy the city– perhaps joining an Optional Experience to the Aran Islands – a genuine highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way. With their cliffs and spectacular coastal views, the islands are a true Irish experience.

 Focus on Ireland (7 Days):Lead by Insights’ dedicated and knowledgeable Travel Director, guests will explore the infamous Lynch Memorial and the Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. They will also see the aged Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy.

Irish Elegance (8 Days): Guests will journey the City of the Tribes and visit Galway’s stunning cathedral. They can take in the beautiful scenery during their two-night stay at the Connemara Coast Hotel, which is spectacularly set on the shores of Galway Bay.

For a limited time on Insight Vacations journeys, guests can visit Galway with Insight Vacations’ amazing air offer: From now until Dec. 18, travelers can save up to $300 per couple on economy air on departures from Oct. 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020, and Sept. 1, 2020 to Nov. 15, 2020.

By choosing flights with American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia, travelers can save $150 off per person on Economy, $200 off per person on Premium Economy or $300 off per person on Business Class.

In addition to the these air offers, Insight Vacations is also offering a 10% savings to Europe with their popular Early Payment Discount for those who book and pay in full by December 18, 2019. This discount is combinable with Insights’ air offers.

For reservations, call Insight Vacations at 1-888-680-1241, or visit www.insightvacations.com

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Save Venice Launches Immediate Response Fund Following Historic November Floods In Venice, Italy

Venice under water. Save Venice, an American non-profit organization, has formed an Immediate Response Fund for artistic and cultural heritage recovery following the extreme floods (acque alte) that devastated Venice between November 12-17, 2019 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Save Venice, an American nonprofit organization, has formed an Immediate Response Fund for artistic and cultural heritage recovery following the extreme floods (acque alte) that devastated Venice between November 12-17, 2019. The Embassy of Italy in Washington DC and Save Venice are partnering to raise funds for the Immediate Response Fund, which will support urgent relief efforts and preventative conservation. Donations can be made at savevenice.org/donate by selecting the Immediate Response Fund, and will be matched by Save Venice, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 through February 2020.

“Save Venice was born in the aftermath of the terrible floods of November 1966, and the November 2019 floods underscore the urgency of our mission,” said Save Venice Chairman Frederick Ilchman. “The Immediate Response Fund will allow Save Venice to move quickly to mitigate the effects of corrosive saltwater and deposits in flooded churches, museums, and comparable public buildings, to support emergency conservation treatment for paintings, stonework, floors, wooden furnishings, and books and archival documents, as well as to undertake preventative conservation to minimize damage from future floods. We will continue to do what our track record proves we do best: protect Venice’s irreplaceable artistic heritage.”

The Italian Ambassador, Armando Varricchio, noted, “Venice has deep historical roots and is a modern and vibrant city, innovative and open to the future with a strong entrepreneurial and industrial background. Venice and Venetians are resilient. They will rise to this challenge,” adding that “the legacy of the past, the energy and dynamism of nowadays Venice are the solid foundations on which to build a bright future for the city.”

Dr. Ilchman said, “We are honored to partner with the Embassy of Italy on this important initiative to make a difference for Venice, and we express our gratitude to Ambassador Varricchio.”

Headquartered in New York City, Save Venice maintains a full-time office in Venice with staff members diligently overseeing each conservation site. They are collaborating with conservators and local authorities to assist with damage assessment and plans for the recovery process. As new environmental challenges arise, Save Venice and its family of experts are prepared to devise and implement additional preservation protocols. The Board of Directors of Save Venice is convinced that the time to act is now.

Save Venice is a leading American non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the artistic heritage of Venice, Italy for the world. Founded in response to the floods of 1966, the worst in recorded history, and incorporated in 1971, Save Venice has since worked tirelessly to preserve, protect, and promote the art and culture of Venice and has funded the conservation of more than 550 projects comprising over 1,000 individual artworks. In 2015, Save Venice established the Rosand Library & Study Center in Venice, creating a nexus for the research of Venetian art, history, and conservation. Save Venice also provides grants for fellowships, exhibitions, and publications to advance Venetian scholarship and conservation.

For more information about Save Venice, visit: www.savevenice.org

Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @SaveVeniceInc

New Culinary Themed Cultural Journeys by Luxury Gold

Luxury Gold launches exclusive 2020 Themed Journeys with culinary focus

As the era of food tourism continues to grow, Luxury Gold, the worldwide leader in luxury guided journeys, is launching new and exclusive 2020 Culinary & Cultural Discoveries Themed Journeys. Today’s traveler focuses on the how to eat aspect of their culinary travels and seeks immersive experiences in unique settings. Continuing to lead on this gastronomy trend, Luxury Gold’s new experiences take you on a journey beyond the ordinary to explore distinct destinations that are rich in cultural and culinary delights.

“With our ability to connect to taste makers, we know that one of the best ways to get to know a destination is through its memorable and unique cuisine and the sharing of stories,” said Jon Grutzner, president of Luxury Gold. “Food is no longer a simple pleasure, it exposes culture and traditions, allows for meaningful connections and fosters memories. That’s why we’ve introduced these new Themed Journeys which are in demand and with only one or two 2020 departures. Space is limited, and clients need to book soon.”

You can enjoy these exclusive Exceptional Dining and VIP experiences and relax at luxury hotels while traveling on Luxury Gold’s exclusive Themed Journeys:

Peru Culinary Experience – 8 Days (Departure date October 31, 2020)

Peru has been named the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for 7 years consecutively by the World’s Travel Awards and it’s no wonder as the country holds five of the world’s best restaurants, including Mil by Virgilio Martinez. You’ll have the opportunity to experience this renowned restaurant on this incredible itinerary and experience Peru’s culinary diversity. A journey through the Andes reveals a fresh farm-to-table meal at a working hacienda where guests will learn about the many ingredients that are local to Peru, including over 4,000 varieties of potatoes. You’ll savor the creative combinations thanks to the father of Peru’s gastronomic revolution, Gaston Acurio, as he adds his signature flair at Chicha, during a Celebration Dinner in Cusco. To understand the history and significance of Machu Picchu, you’ll explore alongside a Local Expert and witness one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.Making travel matter with The TreadRight Foundation, clients will also visit the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) to meet local artisans including Nilda Callanaupa, a weaver, and bring home the wonderful creations that women in this cooperative make by hand.

Chile & Argentina Wine Experience – 8 Days (Departure date November 7, 2020)

From an electrifying performance of traditional tango in Argentina, to world-class vineyards and wineries, the best Chilean restaurants and vistas from Valparaiso, the UNESCO World Heritage city center, this journey pairs the cuisine, wine and culture of Argentina and Chile perfectly. Expert guides offer an in-depth exploration of the best vineyards in Mendoza, offering you the chance to sample the New World’s best wines. Introducing Chilean ingredients, techniques and products to the world, Rodolfo Guzmán is the mastermind behind Chile’s best restaurant, Borago, and clients experience his innovative dishes while in Santiago. From edible coral mushroom, to venison tartare, duck hearts grilled in duck fat, you can expect to find these unique and typical dishes over dinner.

Culinary & Cultural Greece – 8 Days (Departure dates May 18, 2020 and September 14, 2020)

You’ll immerse yourselves in Athens as though you’re local Athenians. Discover the colorful tastes of Greece by dining seaside at Greece’s first Michelin-rated restaurant located on a boat that is based on land. You’ll learn the art of making the perfect Greek coffee at a local kafenio (Greek café) in Athens before enjoying a VIP Experience in the afternoon, where you’ll meet a world-class Athenian scholar and philosopher in the Ancient Agora to understand how ancient Greek philosophy affects our lives today. You’ll also travel to the island of Delos to enjoy a private guided visit to the birthplace of Apollo and learn about traditional farming methods in Mykonos after visiting a traditional farmstead before indulging in a freshly prepared organic meal.

To book a journey, contact your local travel advisor, call 888-862-5952 or visit www.luxurygold.com.

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Luxury Gold’s ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Journey to Nepal and Bhutan; Discount for Booking by Dec. 18

Luxury Gold guests can take a gentle hike to the Taskshang Monastery in Bhutan

With its ancient cultures, mountainous backdrops, and oasis of tranquility, Nepal and Bhutan each hold a wealth of centuries-old stupas and temples. Recently described as a “once in a lifetime journey” by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and AFAR Magazine ambassador, Luxury Gold’s Magnificent Nepal and Bhutan journey is nothing short of an “A-list” bucket-list experience ifor travelers seeking authenticity, exploration and cultural immersion.

“I was met with this sort of awe each moment of my journey with Luxury Gold, as our Traveling Concierge kept my journal occupied, and my camera at the ready,” said AFAR Magazine ambassador, Ryan Neal Cordwell, in his recent USTOA blog. “It isn’t only the absorption of undiluted insight, but the ability to participate interactively, that stamps this page of the world with gold.”

Luxury Gold’s dedicated and knowledgeable Traveling Concierges, VIP treatment, delectable dining, and immersive, local experiences bring together the true beauty of this enchanting region.

Just a few exceptional highlights of Luxury Gold’s culturally enriching 10-day journey to Nepal and Bhutan: 

As a VIP experience in Kathmandu, meet with the monks of Boudhanath stupa for a private puja (blessing) ceremony. Hear traditional chanting, drumming and tales of the monks lives inside the temple. You’ll be cherished by this visit by being blessed by the monks. Later, meet a local pottery craftsman who will explain the traditions and processes of their works, before guiding you to try for yourself. 

While in Paro, choose a private traditional mask dance and cultural show or learn about the passion the Bhutanese have for the national sport of archery, attending a range to interact with the locals. You can also join a gentle hike to Taktshang Monastery known as the Tiger’s Nest

In Thimphu, you’re invited into the home of a local family for a delicious home-cooked meal of typical regional fare. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, dedicated to world peace, along with Tasichho Dzong, known as the fortress of the glorious religion. Visit the bustling market, an opportunity to mix with the locals. 

In Punakha, stay at the luxurious Dhensa Boutique Resort, which sits in lush Punakha Valley and offers spectacular views. Visit the winter residence of the monk body that is also the capital of Bhutan – Punakha Dzong and can walk to Chimi Lhakhang temple and admire the magnificent views over the Losesa Valley. 

At the Dochula Pass, participate in a prayer flag hoisting ceremony, an integral part of Bhutanese landscape. It is believed that when prayer flags flutter, they carry a blessing to everyone around. 

Luxury Gold is bringing back the golden era of travel with the launch of their worldwide collection by offering a 10% Early Payment Discount if you book and pay in full by December 18, 2019.

For reservations, contact your local Travel Advisor, call 1-888-428-1503, or visit www.luxurygold.com.

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Wildland Adventures Guides Guests Beyond Over-Touristed Sites On Explorations of Turkey

Wildland Adventures to Turkey embrace the culture people flock here to experience.

SEATTLE, WA – Over-touristed sites are now the new norm throughout the world.
 
For example, this year in record numbers, tourists are queuing up at the Blue Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Istanbul.
 
“Travel is an investment in time and money. Istanbul has cultural and historical treasures that extend beyond the Blue Mosque. So why waste hours just to get inside a building you have been told you must see?” asks Kurt Kutay, CEO and President of Wildland Adventures.
 
Instead, Wildland Adventures guides with deep knowledge of Istanbul and Turkey will share the Blue Mosque story with fine-tuned timing that skirts crowds and by introducing historical/cultural takeaways at less selfie-prone places.
 
“This resurgence of interest to visit Turkey is keeping us on our toes,” Kutay says. “We have to be aware, well in advance, where the maddening crowds will gather next. Then we plan contingencies that will connect the same cultural dots that the hot spots do – but perhaps even more effectively without the distractions that come with crowds.” Turkey has 100,000 registered historic spots. If a must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site is over-run by crowds, Kutay’s team will choose the best hours to visit or designate a comparable place to fulfill a similar interest and expectation.
 
Wildland Adventures to Turkey embrace the culture people flock here to experience. “We bring our guests as close as possible to real worlds, freed of artifice, must-sees and must-dos,” Kutay explains. Among the takeaways that Wildland Adventures guests enjoy are:

  • Extant Greek and Roman ruins, more numerous here than in Greece and Italy combined.
  • One of the world’s prized cuisines. “We make sure to feature a different dish every day. Dining in Turkey is simultaneously a history lesson served up on a plate,” Kutay exudes, paraphrasing Poet Abdulhak Sinasi who wrote: “Do not dismiss the dish saying that it is just, simply food. The blessed thing is an entire civilization in itself.”
  • Visits to less-known alternative sites that are comparable to the crowded hotspots to imbibe history, culture and traditions. “Instead of waiting in lines, our guests talk with local people including merchants, artists and religious leaders.” Most tours focus exclusively on historic sites around Sultanahmet Square, which is less than half a mile in diameter and a stone’s throw from the cruise ship dock. But Constantinople (so named until 1930) is surrounded by 14 miles of walls; the heart of the ancient city is four miles east to west. Wildland Adventures extends tours into old, traditional neighborhoods and to Bosphorus villages for a full understanding of old and contemporary Istanbul.
  • Experiences that move beyond monuments and historic buildings. Guests visit markets, eat street food, visit artist workshops, neighborhood coffee shops, wine bars and panoramic rooftop bars to take it all in on a grand scale.
  • Cruising the Turquoise Coast of the Mediterranean in traditional hand-built Gulets (classic Phoenician-style, wooden yachts). Guests explore along footpaths only accessible from the sea, paths that lead to pastoral grazing lands chalk full of Crusader, Byzantine Greek and Roman archaeological sites. “It’s all about timing as well by avoiding busy coastal towns and beaches where tourists flock by day,” underscores Kutay. “We anchor in quiet coves and wait until tourists disappear for the day. We then serve wine and appetizers in ancient ruins where, sitting in the sunset, we take turns reciting poetry or singing a song in the Odeon (a stone structure specific to the ancient arts).” 

The tours Wildland Adventures offers in Turkey are: 

  • Turquoise Coast Odyssey – a 13-day itinerary from $4,965 per person double. Accommodations include a restored Ottoman home in the heart of a mountain village, a boutique cave hotel and Istanbul inns with rooftop restaurants. Highlights are Istanbul, Cappadocia, Kas, an Anatolian village, Ephesus and a voyage along the Turquoise Coast in a traditional gulet yacht. 
  • Highlights of Turkey – a 9-day exploration from $3,695 per person double. This itinerary embraces Turkey’s three most important cultural and political centers: Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus on foot along ancient pathways and by boat. Guests enjoy well-appointed friendly hotels, a boutique cave accommodation and a renovated historic hotel in the Aegean highlands. 

Departure dates are available upon request. Kutay notes that even though there’s more pressure on prices because of renewed demand by tourists, the Turkish Lira has fallen against the stronger dollar.
 
“Our trip prices remain the same as they were three years ago,” he notes.
  
Kurt Kutay, Founding CEO/President, and Anne Kutay, Vice-President, established Wildland Adventures in 1987. As active managing directors, they are continuously refining and evolving their Wild Style of travel. The ‘Wild Style’ is based on an ethic of sincerity, compassion and understanding that breaks down barriers of separation to build lasting intercultural, interpersonal, and environmental bonds designed to enhance rather than exploit the people and places where they travel.

For more information on these itineraries and all of Wildland Adventures’ worldwide offerings, availability and reservations, call 1-800-345-4453 or email info@wildland.com. Visit http://www.wildland.com/. Kutay has also recently published 6 Ways to Travel Responsibly in an Age of Overtourism.

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Wildland Adventures Introduces New Tours to Colombia

Wildland Adventures is introducing three new active tour itineraries in Columbia that weave culture and wildlife with hiking, rafting and birdwatching.

SEATTLE, WA– Colombia is the newest emerging travel hot spot and Wildland Adventures, an award-winning travel company known for meticulous tour development, is introducing three new active tour itineraries in Columbia that weave culture and wildlife with hiking, rafting and birdwatching.

“Now that peace and security have been restored, Colombia is “one of the world’s extraordinary new travel hot spots because of its stunning biodiversity and cultural heritage,” said Kurt Kutay, Wildland Adventures founder and president.

Americans are often surprised by the sophistication they find upon shaking hands with such South American gems as Bogota, Colombia’s capital. These itineraries introduce the 500-year-old patinas of vibrant cities, still cobblestoned, former colonial hubs that welcomed explorers, pirates and conquistadors searching for El Dorado.

“Our Wildland Adventures in Colombia utilize a comprehensive network of new airline connections and a good primary road system, with 4×4 access on secondary roads into more remote regions and trailheads. The last decade has seen new-found economic growth and political stability, and vastly improved security presenting itself as the new gateway to South America. As tourism develops, restored colonial boutique hotels and ecolodges are popping up across the country. There’s also an exciting gastronomic scene evolving,” added Kutay.

Rafting, snorkeling and diving into freshwater rivers and salty seas hint at a gold standard of adventure. Along with prehistoric and extant jungle creatures come nearly 20 percent of the world’s bird species. Colombia Wildlands and Wildlife is a 14-day program that starts and ends in Bogota. The per person double rate is from $5,840.

In Bogota guests visit vibrant neighborhoods and plazas, including the impressive Gold Museum and the Botero Museum. Fernando Botero’s transcendent depictions of his people recall themes familiar in the work of Mexico’s Diego Rivera. Then the economy and culture of coffee come to life in the cool uplands of the central Andes, along with sub-tropical cloud forest rife with bird and wildlife. One of the world’s most difficult genus of birds to catch sight of, antpittas, and the masked saltator and ocellated tapaculo are protected in their natural habitat in the Rio Blanco Nature Reserve.

The Amazon Basin eco system introduces a conservation project and eco-lodge helping support indigenous peoples on their own lands. The tour visits a foundation that protects and studies primates on site. Another ecosystem of montaine forest rises to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains, a coastal range home to around 600 bird species. Once off-limits for security reasons, the San Lorenzo Ridge is the crown jewel of the avian habitat, allowing birders to see over 20 of the Sierra’s 24 endemic species representing the highest level of endemism in the world. Here are the Santa Marta parakeet and rufous antpittas that can be spotted walking along the road just before sunrise.

Highlights of Colombia is an 11-day itinerary from $3,150 per person double. Guests meet in Bogota before transferring to Villa de Leyva, a 16th century colonial town surrounded by a dry Andean Acacia forest. Guests hike in a nearby cloud forest and bike in the adventure capital of Colombia, the province of Santander, where the UNESCO World Heritage town of Barichara dating to the Spanish conquest remains “the prettiest town in Colombia.” One six-mile hike on the cobblestoned Caminos Reales (Royal Road) leads to a meet up with a restoration specialist who demonstrates how to construct mud adobe brick walls in their original style. Caminos Reales also connects to Chicamocha, the Grand Canyon of South America. A stay at a coffee plantation concludes the interior tour before moving to the Caribbean coast to explore Tayrona National Park, a bio-diverse, palm-fringed paradise skirting white sand beaches. Here are the ruins of El Pueblito, a vast system of stone terraces, aquaducts and round platform foundations of an ancient civilization.

Leaving nature behind, Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage city, teases appetites for colonial and Caribbean flavors in this former (1533) Spanish port. A visit includes a foodie walk stopping at favorite cafes and food stands frequented by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the fabled author of, among others, Love in the Time of Cholera. Kutay thinks that Cartagena is the most seductive city of the Caribbean.

Unexplored Colombia: Coffee, Culture, and Coast over 12 days combines the Coffee Triangle with whale watching (extension) on the Pacific. The per person double rate is from $3,660.

From Bogota guests travel to Cali, famed for the Salsa Dance Academy. Medellin (the departure city) is revered as one of the most beautiful places in South America. Here via cable car, guests access the re-invigorated and thriving barrio that drug king Pablo Escobar helped build. They also hike through the Otun Quimbaya Flora & Fauna Sanctuary, a cloud forest with hundreds of species of butterflies; birds ranging from eagles to hummingbirds; and mammals, including spectacled bears, tapir, deer, cane skunks, and howler monkeys. Enroute to the Andes guests may climb 600+ stone steps for a 360-degree view from El Penol, a massive stone rising out of the flat ground and once worshiped by the Tahamies Indians. The one-time mansion of Pablo Escobar is nearby.

Guests engaged in the extension to the Pacific Coast fly to the Chocó region. Here there are no roads, just air and boat access. Misty jungle-clad hills spouting waterfalls and hot springs meet the white sand of the Pacific. This biodiverse region offers kayaking around one of world’s largest humpback whale migrations (June – November). Located in the Biological Conservation Corridor Panamá-Chocó-Manabí, this zone is one of the most pristine marine ecosystems in the Pacific.

For more information on Wildland Adventures’ worldwide offerings, tour availability and reservations call 1-800-345-4453 or email info@wildland.com. Visit online at www.wildland.com.
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Ride & Seek Mounts 1,787 Mile Cycling Tour from Barcelona to Rome, in the Footsteps of Hannibal

Ride & Seek offers an opportunity to cycle Hannibal’s route, 1,787 miles from Barcelona to Rome.

Sydney, Australia– Ride & Seek offers intrepid cyclists a chance to follow in the footsteps of the Carthaginian general, Hannibal Barca, on a 1,787-mile fully guided cycling tour through Spain, France, and Italy. The 28-day journey takes riders over the Pyrenees, Alps and Apennines on roads featured regularly in the Vuelta a España, Tour de France and Giro d’Italia bike races. Cyclists will embrace cultural and historical elements of Catalonia, Languedoc, Provence, Piedmont, Tuscany, and Umbria, including culinary delights, as they meander down roads less traveled.

The “Hannibal Expedition” is divided into two distinct stages, and guests can choose to participate one or both of them.  The tour is slated for September 2-30, 2018 and starts at $6,540.

Stage 1 – Barcelona to Alba (968 miles, 16 days): Starting in Barcelona guests will cycle up through Cataluña and over the Pyrenees mountain range. The crossing of the Pyrenees is obviously a tough undertaking but the route doesn’t tackle the highest peaks, which makes this stage a relatively relaxed introduction to what’s ahead. Guests enter France through the lovely town of Ceret, which was once home to Picasso, before continuing through the beautiful French countryside of the Languedoc-Roussillon.  The second part of stage 1 provides an opportunity to take on a number of iconic climbs – Ventoux, Galibier, Alpe d’Huez, Agnel and Izoard among others.

Stage 2 – Alba to Rome (818 miles, 14 days): Stage 2 takes riders across the spine of Italy – the Apennines – and through a landscape of vines, castles, agriculture, and beautiful hill towns. Starting in Piedmont, riders will traverse the spectacular Oltrepo Pavese and head into Emilia Romagna. From Pisa, guests venture farther into Tuscany through what can only be described as picture postcard scenes en route to Rome.

“This tour offers total immersion into the landscape, history, and culture as we ride an inspirational trail on the roads less traveled,” said Ride & Seek President Dylan Reynolds.

“This is a fully-supported/guided expert tour. One of the benefits of keeping the group size small (a dozen or so) is that it enables us to stay in the smaller, family-run establishments that add to the authenticity of the travel experience we hope to provide. We have carefully selected the places we stay in based on their ‘personality’ and the hospitality of the hosts. Be it a parador in Spain, manoir in France or agriturismi in Italy, we seek to connect you with the places we travel in, through the accommodations we choose. We go by the mantra of selecting the best available accommodation wherever we stay but in saying that we also look to avoid the generic luxury chain hotels. Invariably our more eclectic choices such as a deconsecrated monastery in Tuscany where the English Patient was filmed, or a balsamic vinegar producer in Emilia Romagna are highlights of the trip for many of our guests.”

The company has partnered with Lynskey, considered pioneers in handcrafted Titanium production for its fleet of Sportive bikes. On the carbon front, the company offers De Rosa bikes with electronic (di2) shifting and the ever-popular Specialised Roubaix. For those looking for a less aggressive cycling option, flat bar titanium bikes are available as well as Bosch pedal-assist bikes to make the hills a little easier!

“We put a lot of emphasis on ensuring that our guides are up to the task of providing a safe, informative and fun cycling adventures. We are all serious cyclists but we are also archaeologists, journalists, wine specialists, linguists, and historians. We offer a true insight into the areas we guide and travel. By selecting guides who have local knowledge of the places we travel through, as well as varied skill sets, we feel that our guide teams are able to offer a deeper and more rounded experience than many of our competitors.”

Ride & Seek (www.rideandseek.com) is a worldwide adventure cycling company offering unusual historical itineraries with quality lodging, fine gastronomy, and cultural immersion. The tours are designed so cyclists not only see and ride some of the greatest roads in Europe but also visit some of the most spectacular sites. “Providing a cultural insight into the areas we visit both historically and gastronomically is central to what we do. Historical journeys and cultural adventures are our specialties.”

For information, visit http://www.rideandseek.com/epic/hannibal.
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Luxury Gold Introduces ‘Chairman’s Collection’ of Exclusive Encounters with European Nobility on Select 2018 Trips

Enjoying a private tour of the Doge’s Palace in Venice on the Ultimate Italy itinerary.

RYE, NY– Life-changing, exclusive experiences are the hallmark of Luxury Gold, whose collection of 42 exceptional small-group journeys offer guests the chance to visit extraordinary destinations, meet remarkable local people and have immersive adventures that are not available to the average traveler.

In 2018 Luxury Gold takes exclusivity to the next level with the launch of its new Chairman’s Collection, a curated selection of truly memorable encounters with European nobles in stunning locales that are available on only 12 Luxury Gold departures in France, Italy, England and Austria.

Inspired by the golden era of travel, Stanley Tollman, chairman of The Travel Corporation (Luxury Gold’s parent company), leveraged his extensive personal connections to give guests the opportunity to meet with counts, duchesses and princesses, and go behind the scenes at some of Europe’s most celebrated castles, estates and cafés.

Alnwick Castle in the UK is visited by 800,000 people every year, but only Luxury Gold guests on the brand-new British Royale itinerary get a private tour of the castle’s gardens from the lady of the manor herself. Over the last 20 years Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland has spearheaded the restoration of her beloved Alnwick Garden to its former 18th century glory, and personally committed her time and energy to upholding her family’s legacy. Guests also meet the head gardener, Trevor Jones, and learn about the various features of the garden such as the labyrinth, the serpent garden and the ornate fountains. Afterward guests enjoy a seasonal lunch and explore the 11th century castle, whose striking medieval architecture was featured in the Harry Potter films. Available on August 9 and September 13 departures.

Café Procope is the oldest continuously operating café in Paris. On select departures on Luxury Gold’s two exciting new journeys in France, French Vogue and French Impression, guests will dine at the 400-year-old café with Count Rémy de Scitivaux. Between bites of coq au vin and other classic French specialties, Scitivaux will regale guests with tales from Procope’s colorful history, explain why it’s one of his favorite eateries in the City of Light, and talk about his noble background and family estate outside Paris. Available on May 11 and September 14 departures for French Vogue, and May 5 and September 8 departures for French Impression.

Ultimate Italy and La Serenissima are Luxury Gold’s two spectacular Italian itineraries. On four departures only, guests partake in an exclusive lunch with Count Francesco Mazzei at his centuries-old family estate in the Chianti region of Tuscany. The property is home to the Castello di Fonterutoli winery, one of Italy’s oldest family-owned firms, dating back to the 1500s. Guests will feast on pasta and wild boar hunted on the estate while learning about the Count’s family history and his approach to winemaking, then take a tour of the property and taste some of the award-winning wines. Available on May 19 and September 22 departures for Ultimate Italy, and May 10 and September 20 departures for La Serenissima.

Austria’s Artstetten Castle has a long and storied history. It was used as a family residence by generations of Habsburgs, including Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination in 1914 sparked the beginning of World War I. It was later seized by the Nazis during World War II, but was returned to the Archduke’s descendants in 1949. One of those descendants is Ferdinand’s great-granddaughter Princess Anita von Hohenberg, the current occupant of the castle. The Princess, who is also a direct descendant of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, shares Hapsburg family stories during a private reception with guests traveling on select departures of the Harmony of Central Europe itinerary. Afterwards guests visit the historical museum and see the crypt where the Archduke and his wife are buried. Available on May 14 and September 17 departures.

Luxury Gold’s Chairman’s Collection “is made possible through the Tollman family’s century-long heritage in the travel industry, and demonstrates their unwavering pledge to provide incredible, unforgettable experiences for guests.”

For more information about the Chairman’s Collection and Luxury Gold journeys, contact your travel agent, call Luxury Gold at 1-888-862-5952, or visit www.luxurygoldvacations.com.

 

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Wildland Adventures Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Opportunity to Win Trips to Thailand and Cambodia

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Wildland Adventures is offering a series of trip giveaways, the first being a trip for two to Thailand and Cambodia.

SEATTLE, WA – To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Wildland Adventures is offering a series of trip giveaways, the first being a trip for two to Thailand and Cambodia. The online contest is underway and concludes at 11:59 p.m. Aug. 3, 2017.

Interested travelers may enter the Wildland Adventures Thailand & Cambodia Trip Giveaway by visiting the company website at http://wildtripgiveaway.com/ and completing and submitting the online entry form. Additional entries can be earned by referring friends or by visiting a number of social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram as explained on the contest page.

“Thanks to our intrepid travelers, we continue to expand our global community. What better way to express our gratitude and celebrate 30 years of ‘Going Wild’ than to give away a trip to Thailand & Cambodia, welcoming two lucky winners into our family of adventure travelers,” Kurt and Anne Kutay, Directors

Joining this birthday bash are two highly respected travel partners. The winning duo will be outfitted with a load of travel gear from Eagle Creek and prAna. Included from Eagle Creek are two Expanse Carry-Ons and two Expanse Flatbed 29” luggage pieces. prAna will donate four items of prAna travel clothing to each person.

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), of which Wildland Adventures is a charter member, is also helping promote this festivity through their consumer website www.adventure.travel. Adventure.Travel showcases the best adventure companies and stories inspiring travelers to explore the world in a passionate and responsible way.

The Trip Giveaway winner and guest will have time to build their excitement over the Thailand & Cambodia Trip where travel may be scheduled from Aug, 30, 2017 to May 31, 2018. Upon arrival in Bangkok (flights not included), a Wildland Adventures guide will meet them at the airport and help settle them in to the first of several boutique hotels they’ll enjoy enroute.

The sights of old and new Bangkok reveal themselves while bicycling through the city and then cruising by boat the Chao Phraya River, virtually the city’s lifeline. After absorbing Bangkok’s cultural treasures comes a visit by car and long tail boat to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya dating to the 15th century. Moving from ancient history to tropical jungle reveals one of Asia’s largest intact monsoon forests, home to several hundred wild elephants, as well as tiger, leopard, Asiatic black bear, sambar deer, gibbon, macaque, and several species of hornbill.

Although the pleasures of Thailand are far from exhausted, this tour next brings guests to theThai-Cambodian border and on to Siem Reap’s Angkor Archeological Park, visually, architecturally and artistically breathtaking and one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, if not in the world. Stretching over some 400 square kilometers, the park contains the magnificent remains (think Angkor Wat) of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. In the course of a bike ride along the Siem Reap River are children waving in small villages where cyclists see palm wine and sugar production, basket weaving and rice farming before transferring to the airport for the flight home.

The Kutays three decades ago birthed a new travel concept they call The Wild Style. This means consciously choosing to travel deeper, not farther; to experience a world that craves our understanding and compassion rather than our judgement; to visit communities that seek to welcome us rather than entertain us.

“Today we feel at home in the pivotal global movement to build inter-personal, inter-cultural and environmental bonds among the people and the places we travel,” said Kurt Kutay. “Over the course of our 30-year journey, we have held firm to a truth that travel may be the most important path to a growing global community which sustains – rather than degrades — life on earth. We do this not between nations but through conscientious individuals and communities who care about Mother Earth, economic inequities and social injustices.”

For additional details on Wildland’s 30th Anniversary see https://ww2.wildland.com/30th-anniversary

For more information on these and all of Wildland Adventures’ worldwide offerings, availability and reservations call 1-800-345-4453 or email info@wildland.com. Visit http://www.wildland.com/.

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