Cruise passengers whose boats dock in New Orleans always have a rich variety of activities and culinary options. And those who have a pre- or post-cruise stay in the city also have an opportunity to dig deeper into the pleasures of the French Quarter.
Arrayed across undulating hills overlooking its namesake bay, Japan’s Nagasaki is considered the “Naples of the Orient.” But Nagasaki is even better known as the city where the second Atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945, killing 75,000 people, wounding another 75,000, and leaving generations of survivors physically and emotionally scarred.
The bombing was Nagasaki’s greatest tragedy. But it wasn’t the first. In 1597, nearly 50 years after St. Francis Xavier brought Christianity to Japan, Nagasaki witnessed the hilltop crucifixion of 26 Roman Catholic missionaries and laymen followed by more than 250 years of Christian expulsion and persecution.
Do you have clients interested in planning a trip to East Africa to go on safari? We reached out to Nicky Fitzgerald, Founder and CEO of Angama Mara in East Africa for some tips on traveling to the region.
Early human anthropological findings, Christianity...and coffee. There’s a place in the horn of Africa with ties to the origin of all of those things-Ethiopia. Churches with ostrich eggs framing crosses, and the Arc of the Covenant, where the original 10 Commandments from the Bible are said to be housed, exist alongside the ruin of palaces, like that of the Queen of Sheba. And that religious history is in a country where the bones of Lucy, the earliest modern human, were discovered. This historical tour of Ethiopia can be complemented by ample coffee breaks, as the beverage is said by many to have originated in Ethiopia, and by sightings of animals ranging from Gelada monkeys in the country’s highlands, to hippopotamuses and crocodiles in its waters, and warthogs ambling through its resorts.
The top selling points of all-inclusive resorts and packages are their guarantee that clients can stay on-budget with no surprises, and the stress-free knowledge that the planning has been done for them. This is especially appealing to families, who know that the kids’ appetites can quickly eat up the dining budget and the cost of activities adds up all too quickly. Caribbean vacations are an especially good choice for families who want to introduce their kids to travel within the safety of an established resort.
If you tell someone you’re going to Veracruz, they may ask, “What is the name of your ship?”
There’s no cruise to Vera. Veracruz is the Mexican state that borders the Gulf of Mexico. It isn’t the typical Mexican resort area and not easily accessible. Few natives speak English.
An eye-catching walled Old Town, topped by terracotta roofs and framed by azure waters and rugged mountains, helps earn Dubrovnik its nickname “The Pearl of the Adriatic”. The entire medieval-walled city is a pedestrian zone and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with polished stone streets lined by a treasure trove of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. No wonder Game of Thrones shot so much of its footage here. (Game of Thrones tours are popular with fans).
On a recent Windstar Cruise from Athens to Venice, my 23-year-old daughter and I were thrilled to have 12 hours to explore the city. Our plan was to climb the City Wall, shop a bit and then hit the beach and maybe take a short boat ride to one of the offshore islands before returning to enjoy the ship’s drop-down watersports platform. As it turned out, we never could tear ourselves from the town itself. We were enchanted by its beauty and fascinated by the diverse museums that were tucked into every corner.
Medieval hill-towns like Assisi, Orvieto, Perugia and Spoleto perch high above lush valleys. Family-owned vineyards produce world-class wines and age-old olive groves yield fragrant extra virgin oils. From local farms come organic pork and lamb, lentils and chickpeas. Thick forests of oaks, elms and chestnuts shelter the region’s prized black truffles.
Known as “Italy’s green heart,” Umbria tempts all the senses. But it also transports the soul. The region’s misty blue hills inspired the likes of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare, St. Benedict, and St. Valentine, patron saint of lovers. Today, visitors explore rock-bound hermitages, hilltop shrines, and cathedrals adorned with frescoes by Giotto, Luca Signorelli, and Perugino, who schooled the great Renaissance painter, Raphael.
I like river cruising. I like watching other boats passing close by, whether they be barges or tugs or fishing boats or boats full of passengers. I like seeing the two banks of a river and not worrying about rough waters. Ideally, I like a river cruise that stops now and then so passengers can disembark and sightsee for a while. But last fall, when I learned that the 147-foot long Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, a much heralded 1983 replica of an old-time sternwheeler, would be making a one-day repositioning cruise on the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon, I signed up to go. There was no time for sightseeing stops, but, all the same, that trip turned out to be the high point of a visit to Portland.
The 18th century should be known as the “Century of the European Palace Opera House.” Since many operas were commissioned by royalty, it’s only logical that they’d be performed in their backyard - or in their backyard theaters - royal palace opera houses. Many tourists spend an entire day in palace towns such as Versailles or Potsdam (near Berlin). Why not spend the evening, too, visiting the palace’s opera house for an evening performance?