Slow, leisurely, tranquil, intimate, even stress-relieving and culturally enriching, these are a few of the adjectives that describe a barge cruise. A barge holiday could be a perfect choice for a client whose idea of luxury includes fine food cooked a la minute by a master chef, using top local ingredients; the opportunity to sample excellent regional wines, perhaps two dozen during a week’s cruise; personalized service, and the opportunity to explore in some depth a particular region.
Akiva Weiss, recognized as the founding father of Tel Aviv, had a vision that it would one day become Israel’s New York City. This booming economic, artistic and cultural center is proof positive that his prophecy has come to pass. Driving along its Mediterranean coastline, with cafes, palm trees and luxury hotels fronting sandy beaches, I saw soaring buildings that were not there when I visited two years ago, and new ones being built. Tel Aviv’s star is definitely on the rise.
Last year, JAX FAX celebrated the fact that we have been published for 40 years. There are an impressive number of places that will be commemorating anniversaries and historic events during 2014, and many ceremonies and festivities are planned to mark these occasions.
As the year 2013 winds down, our collective focus falls on 2014 and the promise it holds. Will it be a good year for the travel industry? What can we all do with our respective businesses to ensure the best year possible for ourselves, our employees and our customers?
Ask any New Yorker where to go and they’ll tell you... because there’s no running out of options in this city. Here are a few suggestions from a native.
For better deals on hotels than what you may have already, speak to the GMs of hotels on a Sunday after 4 p.m. (a slightly quieter time) and ask for a lower rate or value-added services.
Depending on the length of stay, suggest your clients purchase a CityPASS (www.citypass.com), which offers free and discounted admission to attractions (Circle Line), sights (including the Statue of Liberty) and museums (including MoMA, the Met and the Guggenheim).
In September, I married the only girl I’ve had eyes for since we were kids. It was not a small wedding - both of us being the oldest of our generation, that was out of our hands - and while we relished in all the small details that we knew would make the weekend special for everyone coming, it also became increasingly important to us that we approach our honeymoon differently. It turned out what we both wanted was to be aimless, to burn our guidebooks, to wander without obligation, and to treat ourselves to surprisingly good meals in places we had never read about on the internet.
Stretching from northern Africa, Europe and Asia, the Mediterranean Sea has often been referred to as the incubator of Western civilization. At almost 17,000 feet at its deepest point, the sea is home to many islands and exotic ports of call for cruising, relaxing and athletic adventure. From Sicily on the eastern side to Crete on the west, there are many reasons why traveling to the Mediterranean not only offers a beautiful and romantic holiday, but an adventurous one as well. From luxury cruising to adventure biking there are many ways to explore the many coastal cities and beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.
It was called “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars.” But, before long, World War I became “The Forgotten War,” eclipsed by the even greater atrocities in World War II. As Belgium’s Great World War I Centenary approaches in 2014, the spotlight shines once again on West Flanders, the country’s westernmost province, where many of the war’s most iconic battles were fought. In the Westhoek region, explore as far north as Nieuwpoort and the North Sea beaches, where nearby plains were flooded to repel German invaders, as far south as Ypres, where the Ypres Salient became one of the Western Front’s most active war theaters, and as far east as Flanders Field American Cemetery, where our troops lie buried not far from where Canadian doctor Lt. Col. John McCrae penned the immortal words: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses, row on row.”
If you have always wanted to be a guest at the biggest party of the season, head to Brazil from February 28 through March 4, 2014 to celebrate Carnival. Just before Lent, and beginning on the Friday prior to Fat Tuesday, Brazil comes alive with Carnival’s music, dancing, parades and spectacular costumes.
Choosing the right resort for the entire family can be a vacation wild card. Although all offer beds for heads, only a handful make sure the grown-ups don’t need another holiday once they get home. Whether the kids are old enough to show off their new shoes or still learning to tie their shoelaces, savvy hotels are keeping kids amused with more than beach volleyball and video games.