Monday, February 28, 2011

Great Rail Journeys

Take the time to explore and enjoy the British Isles and Ireland this summer with Great Rail Journeys as they present 14 different rail tours of various lengths which are compatible with almost any itinerary.


The Highland Adventure is a six day holiday based in Inverness, with three days of scenic excursions by rail, coach and ship – including a cruise on Loch Ness and journeys on the Strathspey Steam Railway from Aviemore, and the Kyle Line to Plockton on the West Coast. Departures for the Highland Adventure are available between April and October. 

A longer, three-centre tour takes eight days to explore Yorkshire Northumberland, with scenic journeys on the North York Moors Railway, the Settle to Carlisle Line and the Hadrian’s Wall Line, with visits to York, Alnwick Gardens, Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne among the highlights.

The Railways and Castles of Wales are explored in a six-day break based in Llandudno, with visits to Bodnant Garden and Portmeirion included in an itinerary that also features heritage rail journeys on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, the Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway – not to mention a recital from a Male Vocal Choir!  



For more information or to make your reservation, visit
Great Rail Journeys.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Travel Writer Specials of the Week!




Friday, February 25, 2011

Pet Safety in the Air - Do You Dare?

You know, this is one of those heartbreaking situations that every pet owner can sympathize with....it's sometimes hard to make arrangements for your furry friends at home, and so, you bite the bullet and make somewhat scary decision to take them along with you on your flight.


Here's what happened to Delta Airlines passenger Heather Lombardi and her tiny hairless kitten, Snickers, when they flew from Connecticut to Utah this past January - a cargo hold latch malfunctioned during the flight resulting in an hour delay in retrieving Snickers from the aircraft.  In the 10 degree weather, this unfortunate delay resulted in the demise of Snickers, who froze to death.


Delta Airlines initially offered to compensate Lombardi for the airfare cost of $290 plus damages of $2,900.  As of last week, Delta has since reduced the amount of the offer to the airfare cost plus $50 to cover the cost of Snickers based on weight; although Snickers only weighed in at a few pounds, there's a $50 minimum refund rate.


The Safe Air Travel for Animals Act went into effect in May 2005 which requires all airlines to report any incidents involving the loss, injury or death of animals during air transportation. From January to December of 2010, there have been 5 losses, 13 injuries, and 39 deaths of beloved pets entrusted for safe passage. 


Delta Airlines reported 16 deaths, 6 injuries, and 1 loss during this time.  Here are the complete results as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation Air Travel Consumer Report dated February 2011: 

Alaska
4
4
1
American
6
0
1
American Eagle
1
0
0
Atlantic Southeast
0
0
1
Continental
6
1
0
Delta
16
6
1
Frontier
0
1
0
Hawaiian
2
0
0
SkyWest
0
1
0
United
4
0
1
TOTAL
39
13
5



According to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Aviation Consumer Protection Division (ACPD), over two million pets and other live animals are transported every year in the United States alone. Comparatively speaking, 85 reported incidents is relatively small overall but the majority of these animals are not just pets – they are truly family members.
“Many injuries, deaths and escapes can be attributed to either the pet trying to escape the kennel…a dog can chew it’s way out…dogs and cats are able to push the door open or partially open and escape…the kennels itself if not properly and securely assembled…the kennel lock is broken or not properly latched” – these are all reasons, according to the United States Department  of Agriculture (USDA), as to why pets can be injured or worse during transportation.
Unfortunately, many animal rights groups in the United States believe that the new legislation simply did not go far enough. There have been no provisions to improve the temperature control or ventilation systems of the cargo and baggage areas of aircrafts. In the event of a tragedy, the dollar amount that families can recover is severely limited.
The Toronto Humane Society goes so far as to boldly state that they “do not recommend shipping pets by plane unless there is no alternative.” Basic recommendations include avoiding flying your pet during the high traffic months of May to August (as these have the highest reports of incidents), properly and securely assembling a quality kennel and then acclimatizing your pet to their kennel prior to travel. 

Detailed safety tips for your pets travel are available on most airline websites, the DOT website at www.dot.gov and the Humane Society of the United States online at www.hsus.org

Flickr.com Photo Credits:
HALP by GreekGeek
June 2006 by Ange's Pets


Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Avoid Extra Airline Fees

Airline fees are one of those things that traveler's can't seem to get around no matter how hard they try.  On a recent flight, I paid $50 for an extra bag but paid nothing for the same bag on the return, go figure.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics recently ranked the Top 10 Domestic Airlines Earning the Highest Extra Fee Revenue in 2009 for the third-quarter.  Let's take a look at the cash grab, I mean, extra fees broken down into baggage and cancellation fees.


U.S. Airline Baggage Fees:
  1. $259,743,000 - Delta Airlines
  2. $151,175,000 - American Airlines
  3. $131,806,000 - US Airways
  4. $90,494,000 - Continental Airlines
  5. $83,872,000 - United Airlines
  6. $38,139,000 - AirTran Airways
  7. $34,430,000 - Alaska Airlines
  8. $22,939,000 - Spirit Air Lines
  9. $14,725,000 - Frontier Airlines
  10. $15,494,000 -JetBlue Airways

U.S. Airline Cancellation Fees:

  1. $183,334,000 - Delta Airlines
  2. $117,679,000 - American Airlines
  3. $84,703 - United Airlines
  4. $63,586,000 - US Airways
  5. $60,975,000 - Continental Airlines
  6. $28,987,000 - JetBlue Airways
  7. $13,250,000 - Alaska Airlines
  8. $11,944,000 - AirTran Airways
  9. $5,636,000 - Spirit Air Lines
  10. $4,753,000 - Hawaiian Airlines
Keep in mind that these fees, in the millions of dollars, are made up of the third-quarter of 2009 only.  So, how to avoid extra airline fees?  Pack lightly, don't change or cancel your reservations, and take a good look at this list before booking with your airline of choice.  


Flickr.com Photo Credit: I miss going away, all the time by Autumn Bliss

                                              Expires 3/2/2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Travel Writer On Sale This Week!







Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Ugliest and Most Beautiful Airports in the U.S.

 
Well, I'm sure we've all been there...sitting in an airport for hours, trying to get comfortable in those uncomfortable chairs, looking at the beautiful views (Seattle) or wondering about the stains on the old carpet (San Juan).

Thanks to our friends over at TheStreet.com, you don't have to wonder anymore as they've compiled a list of their 5 Ugliest and the 4 Most Beautiful Airport Terminals in the U.S.  Let's take a look:

5 Ugliest Airports in the U.S.:
  1. LaGuardia
  2. Kennedy International
  3. Lambert-St. Louis International
  4. Philadelphia International 
  5. Los Angeles International
4 Most Beautiful Airports in the U.S.:
  1. JFK Airport - Terminal 8, American Airlines
  2. JFK Airport - Terminal T5, JetBlue
  3. Detroit Metro - Delta Airlines Terminal
  4. Bush Intercontinental Airport - Terminal E, United Airlines/Continental Airlines
Any thoughts on these?  I'd love to hear them!


Flickr.com Photo Credit: Sunrise on the Wall (SeaTac) by Atomic Taco

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Romance of Travel - Top 10 Romantic Hotels

With Valentine's Day already over, it seems a shame to leave all that romance behind for another year. If you're looking for a way to keep that spark burning, consider visiting one of the Top 10 Romantic Hotels as listed by our friends over at CheapFlights.com

  1. Viceroy Anguilla, British West Indies
  2. La Reserve, Ramatuelle, Cote d'Azur, St. Tropez
  3. Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec
  4. Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico
  5. Rayavadee Resort, Krabi, Thailand
  6. Villa Bordoni, Tuscany
  7. Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia
  8. Hotel on Rivington, New York
  9. Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
  10. Capella Singapore


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thinking about Visiting Canada?

Check out My Canada Trips for some great holidays to Canada including trips on the famous Rocky Mountaineer with Canadian Rail.

One of the most beautiful provinces in all of Canada, British Columbia can be divided into six distinct regions with all of them offering unique beauty and experiences.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains: known for its stunning scenery and diverse cultures, this region of B.C. offers world-class recreation opportunities including hiking, biking, golf, cycling, and kayaking; combined with fresh west coast cuisine, shopping, and attractions like Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Whistler Blackcomb

Vancouver Island: home to the Provincial capital city of Victoria, you’ll find a plethora of whale watching, wildlife viewing, kayaking, and surfing along these pristine coastlines; Vancouver Island provides the mildest climate in all of Canada

Thompson Okanagan: the perfect destination for avid golfers, cyclers, skiers, house boat enthusiasts, and wine lovers, this region features beautiful Lake Okanagan which sparked the legend of the Ogopogo; the Thompson Okanagan is the hottest region in the province

Northern British Columbia: untouched natural beauty with over sixty parks featuring one of a kind eco-systems and cultural experiences; enjoy fishing, hiking, learn about First Nations art, soak in the hot springs, or experience whale and grizzly bear viewing opportunities

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: extending from the fjords, to the mountains, and the plains in between, here you can explore the Gold Rush Trail, experience heli-skiing for the first time, or gaze at the sheer natural beauty of the pristine lakes

Kootenay Rockies: rivers, lakes, forest, national parks, and five mountain ranges offer an array of choices for nature and year-round recreation lovers; uncrowded and inviting, visitors come to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle eco-conscious environment





Flickr.com Photo Credits:
Mission Hill Vineyard by CottonCandy
Spirit of Vancouver Island en route to Swartz Bay by  SteveVoght
Main Street in Nelson by RegNatarajan

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rick Steves' Europe

While Rick Steves may be dry at times, he's definitely knowledgeable and informative when it comes to traveling in Europe.

His new 2011 series of guidebooks hit the bookstore shelves last fall and provide a wealth of insider tips when it comes to exploring European countries.  He provides sample itineraries plus helpful hints when it comes to finding little known attractions or advice on how and when to visit the big ones.

Here are links to some of his current best sellers in the Rick Steves' Guidebook series....


Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Stop Shopping for Paperless Visa & Passport Services

For travelers going abroad, one of the most dreaded aspects of a trip can be trying to obtain the proper travel documentation including both passports and visas.

While it's easy to Google websites that offer these services, it's not so easy to know who to trustVisaHQ is a worldwide leading expert in assisting travelers - they offer one stop online shopping for paperless passport and visa services with 24/7 online tracking and real-time updates.

With locations in Ottawa, ON; Washington, D.C.;and now London, U.K., VisaHQ offers the world's biggest and most comprehensive database of information which includes visa requirements along with a directory of Embassies and Consulates from around the world.

Whether you're looking to obtain a new passport, renew an old one, or to obtain a Turkish Visitor Visa, VisaHQ can do it all no matter where your destination.  They will advise what documentation you require and offer a time line as to processing times, validity, and more.
 
To make it even easier, online services at VisaHQ can be paid with a major credit card, PayPal, Google Checkout, or GSA Smart Pay 2.  Whether you travel for business or pleasure, VisaHQ services are available to individuals, businesses, and corporate travelers worldwide.


For more information, visit

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Travel Writer: On Sale This Week!

Best Price to Rarotonga, Cook Islands from $705 return
with Air New Zealand
Sale Ends March 7, 2011


It's a Honey of a Sale with Frontier Airlines! Hurry, sale ends February 17, 2011



Get the Best Price on EVERY trip... GUARANTEED!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Save up to $1,000 per Couple to Europe!!


Book your 2011 Europe vacation by February 28 and you’ll save up to $1000 per couple!

  • Save $1000 per couple ($500 per person) on air-inclusive packages with British Airways flights,
  • Save $800 per couple ($400 per person) on all other air-inclusive packages, or
  • Save $500 per couple ($250 per person) on land-only vacations
Book early with Trafalgar to secure your preferred flights and avoid disappointment when space becomes limited! Special offers end February 28, 2011!

Search for your 2011 Trafalgar Europe vacation here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

France is for Lovers on Valentine's Day


When one thinks of France, they might think of fashion, Paris, French cuisine, the Eiffel Tower, and maybe even of romance especially on Valentine's Day.

Nestled in the Central Region of France is the village of Saint-Valentin where their 47th annual Lover's Festival is being held over 3 days, from February 12-14, 2011. Saint-Valentin is also home to the Jardin des Amoureux or Lover's Garden where visitors will find beautiful foliage, artwork, a wishing tree, and the perfect setting for a romantic afternoon stroll.

In the Burgundy region of France, Saint-Amour-Bellevue is a popular destination for couples who wish to renew their marriage vows. Packages are available that include a ceremony, church concert, dinner and reception. In the region known as Jura, visitors can enjoy the 12th annual Festival du Film d'Amour held in Saint-Amour from February 14-26, 2011, which showcases romantic films from around the world including guest actors and directors.

Flickr.com Photo Credit: Saint Valentin Paris 2007 by Jean-Fabien

Happy Valentine's Day!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Top 5 Nude Beach Destinations in the World

In the name of the nakation, TripAdvisor compiled their list of the Top 5 Clothing Optional Beach Destinations according to their readers and members. Let’s take a look, or maybe not...
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Haulover Beach, Bal Harbour, FL
  • Orient Beach, St. Maarten
  • Black’s Beach, La Jolla, CA
  • Wreck Beach, Vancouver, BC
TripAdvisor also took a vote of almost 4,000 members who responded to the question – ‘Would you ever bare all at a nude beach?’ and here are the results:

31% replied ‘Sure, I love to see and be seen!’
30% replied ‘I might check out the scenery, but I wouldn’t strip’
39% replied ‘No, there’s a reason swimsuits were invented’

And the funny thing? I’ve been to 2 of these beaches. Yes, I belong to the 39% group - how about you?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Disney Does Hawaii

Scheduled to open in fall 2011, the newest Disney Vacation Club in Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii, features a family themed resort on 21 acres of ocean front property on the west side of the island.

With 350 hotel rooms and 480 Disney Vacation Club timeshare villas, the resort will be focused on supplying an authentic Hawaiian experience including environmental education, music, dance, history, and arts and crafts.

Disney Vacation Club Hawaii will feature a large pool recreation area with water slide tubes amongst volcanic rockwork, children’s club, salt-water snorkel lagoon, two restaurants, an 18,000 square foot spa, along with a lawn for weddings – all decorated in traditional Hawaiian style colors, patterns, and materials.

Excerpt from the Disney Vacation Club:
“Part of the Disney resort hotel in Ko Olina will be dedicated to Disney Vacation Club, a timeshare program that helps families enjoy flexibility and savings on vacations for decades to come. By becoming a member of Disney Vacation Club, families can enjoy vacations at Disney destinations worldwide as well as more than 500 other popular Member Getaways vacation locations around the globe.

Disney Vacation Club accommodations blend Disney's famed attention to storytelling detail with all the comforts of home. From well-appointed studios equipped with convenient kitchenettes to sprawling, one-, two- and three-bedroom villas complete with full-size kitchens, washers and dryers, luxury tubs and other homelike amenities, Disney Vacation Club Resorts create flexible options to meet the needs of thousands of families from around the world.

Since its inception in 1991, Disney Vacation Club has grown to serve more than 350,000 individual members from approximately 100 countries and all 50 states.”

For more information, visit Disney Vacation Club or download/order a FREE Disney Vacation Club DVD here.

Photo Credit: Disney Vacation Club

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Top Romantic Destinations for Couples

There are so many exquisite choices in this world for romantic destinations but according to our friends over at TripAdvisor, these are the Top 10 Romantic Destinations for Couples:

1. Paris
2. Hawaii

3. Venice
4. New York City
5. San Francisco
6. Las Vegas
7. Rome
8. Aruba
9. Jamaica
10. Bora Bora

Paris offers the charm and allure of being in a foreign country while Bora Bora is just downright gorgeous with amazing turquoise water and contrasting white sand beaches.
Las Vegas is a city where you can play to your heart’s content and stay in any city or country you choose – Egypt, Venice, Rome, or even again, Paris.

No matter what destination you choose from this list, you are guaranteed to have one of the most romantic getaways ever!

Photo Credit:
Manihi Pearl Beach Resort, Tahiti Tourism.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rockhouse Goes Green in Jamaica


Rockhouse Hotel, Jamaica, has been awarded Green Globe Certification for its sustainable operation and management, and recognized for its outstanding community contribution.

Rockhouse is renowned in Jamaica for its commitment to the local community of Negril. Green Globe acknowledges Rockhouse’s extraordinary social contributions to local education via the Rockhouse Foundation. In the past year, this foundation has extended its contribution to education with the design and construction of a new library for the Negril community. The library is located adjacent to the Negril All Age and Basic Schools, sites of prior capital projects by the foundation.


Ms. Jonnel Edwards, Rockhouse Hotel Environmental Manager said: “At Rockhouse we are very proud to be Green Globe certified. Our environmental program monitors energy, water, and waste and targets reducing our environmental impact through improved practice, better technology, and preventative maintenance. We have invested in solar hot water systems throughout the property, low-flush toilets, low-flow faucets, low voltage lighting, and energy-efficient equipment and appliances. Our recycle program contributes significant quantities of PET plastic, glass, and cardboard to the local recycle plant on a weekly basis.


“Our guests are invited to get involved in our sustainability program through recycle bins across property, air condition cut-off in empty rooms, and our linen reuse program. A framed copy of our environmental policy is mounted in all guest rooms. Full staff training is conducted several times annually, and each department has its own list of environmental best-practices. Purchasing preference is given to locally grown and made products that are also environmentally friendly. Even our grounds and architectural layout stems from a natural, sustainable theme; thatch roofing; wood furniture; open-air restaurant; and drought-resistant plants and trees."


Rockhouse
is a magical place, combining natural beauty; strong architectural design; local materials and craftsmanship; excellent service; and a relaxed, fun, authentic Jamaican experience. The hotel has an interesting history - when its first room was built in 1972, it was one of the first hotels on Negril's cliffs. Early guests included Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. In 1994, the property was purchased by a group of Australians who continue to reinvest in its evolution and expansion. Today, Rockhouse is consistently ranked as one of the top resorts of the Caribbean.


For more information, visit the Rockhouse.


Press Release: Rockhouse/ForImmediateRelease
Photo: Courtesy of Rockhouse

Monday, February 7, 2011

KIVA - Loans That Change Lives


KIVA is an amazing organization that provides micro-lending to people in need. Last year alone, KIVA will have facilitated loans totaling $100 million by 2010 through the generosity of its members.


If you’re not familiar with it, the concept of micro-lending is simple. It’s the extension of very small loans to unemployed or poor entrepreneurs who are not considered to be bankable. The entrepreneurs can ask for any amount of money, on average it’s about $600, and it’s funded in $25 increments by lenders.

So far, I have lent money to fix a taxi in Honduras; to stock a pharmacy in Tanzania; to help purchase a delivery motorcycle for a food market in Cambodia; to help fund a general store and clothing sales in Peru; for the purchase of cattle in Vietnam; a general store in Uganda; food production in Benin; and personal products sales in Bolivia.


As a traveler, the fact that I can personally help someone around the world by helping to fund their business is amazing! To them, it is amazing!!



To date, KIVA has almost 531,000 lenders in 209 countries providing mirco-loans with a 98.91% repayment rate.

To find out more, visit KIVA.










Friday, February 4, 2011

Yogyakarta. Indonesia, Welcomes Back Tourists


The Indonesian city of Yogyakarta and surrounding areas are safe and fully accessible for tourists following the eruption of the nearby Mount Merapi volcano last October. Most of the tourist infrastructure has not been affected by the eruption and the rapid response of the Indonesian authorities and the international community has allowed for a quick return to normality. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has been in close contact with the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism to minimize the impact on the region’s tourism sector.

“I was happy to see that tourism infrastructure is intact and that no more ash can be seen or perceived in the air,” said UNWTO Executive Director Márcio Favilla visiting the region. “Yogyakarta is ready to welcome back tourists. This was clearly evidenced by the successful holding this week of the World Conference on Culture, Education, and Science, which I attended,” he added.


UNWTO could confirm that basic infrastructure, including hotels, restaurants, and roads, is intact and that Yogyakarta’s Adi Sucipto international airport is open and fully operational. The World Conference on Culture, Education, and Science, for example, took place in Yogyakarta with the presence of over 800 participants from some 20 different countries (December 5-8).


Indonesia has seen international tourist arrivals increase by 14% through September 2010 after posting positive figures in 2009, despite the global economic downturn. UNWTO offers its full support to Indonesia as it continues to consolidate itself as one of Southeast Asia’s top tourism destinations.

For more information, visit Indonesia Tourism.

Press Release: Courtesy of UNWTO/ForImmediateRelease Photo: 0a0808Kraton Yogyakarta by ngotoh

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Discover Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic - Encore Presentation

Located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata is a friendly cultural experience with quaint Victorian houses in the Old City, plus an array of accommodations, restaurants, and bars to choose from – all within an arm’s reach of those gorgeous white sand beaches.

The Malecon is a popular shoreline walking destination which leads to the San Felipe Fortress which is over 500 years old. You can ride the cable car up 2,800 feet to the top of Mt. Isabel de Torres, for spectacular island views and lush botanical gardens. Mix with the locals at Sousa Beach or Long Beach, check out the local lobster sellers on Playa Grande Beach, or the adventure of kites surfing on Cabarete Beach. Or swim with the dolphins or encounter rays, sharks, sea lions at Ocean World Adventure Park. Nightlife hotspots include La Esquina Bar for jazz, Cristal Night Club for dancing, and the local action along the Malecon.

It is said if you want the glitz, glamour, and all things pretty – visit Punta Cana. But if you want to visit the real Dominican Republic, visit Puerto Plata.

Daily direct flights are available from Miami, FL, and Newark, NJ, with American Airlines and Continental Airlines respectively. Jet Blue is also offering flights from New York City to Puerto Plata while Delta Airlines will start daily flights from Atlanta in December. Charter flights are available from Chicago with Apple Vacations.

For more information on Puerto Plata, visit Dominican Republic Tourism.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Discover: Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

The beautiful Musée du Louvre (or Louvre Museum) has been an imposing building set along the banks of the Seine River in central Paris dating as far back as the 12th century.

Following its transformation by Catherine de Médicis, then by Louis XIII and XIV, and finally by Napoleon I and III, the Louvre Museum was officially established in 1793 during the French Revolution. The now famous glass pyramid entrance was added as an architectural feature in 1989.

The Louvre Museum is home to 35,000 pieces of art including world antiquities from the Orient, Egypt and Greece as well as to works from Roman times, Europe and Islam. Visitors can view sculptures, decorative arts and paintings along with prints and drawings.

While thoughts of visiting the Louvre can seem overwhelming, it pays to do some homework before arriving on the doorstep. What does one want to see at the Louvre – masterpieces like Leonardo Da Vinci’s world famous painting of Mona Lisa or the Grecian marble statue of Venus de Milo? Taking the time to construct a list will ensure essential artworks won’t be missed.

The official Louvre Museum website offers a wealth of information including interactive floor plans; current exhibitions, collections and workshops; the adjacent Tuileries Garden and carrousel; plus printable self-guided tours.

Visitors in the pre-planning stage can also sign up for ‘My Personal Space’ on the Louvre website where personalized albums can be created from text and images from within the site. This feature is a wonderful exploration tool to help establish a list of artworks to visit once at the Louvre Museum in person.

For a first time visitor to the Louvre, taking a 1.5 hour guided tour (presented in English or French) is a most enjoyable way to experience the Louvre Museum. Once the informative tour has ended, there’s time to go back and explore by oneself.

Hours of Operation:
Monday, Thursday, and weekends – 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Closed on Tuesday; and French national holidays of January 1, May 1 and December 25.

Admission Fees (Permanent Collection):
€9.50 (approximately US$13.50)
€6 for evening admission on Wednesday and Friday (approximately US$8.50)

Exhibition, combined and group tickets are also available. It’s advisable to purchase advance admission tickets online so as to avoid the line-ups at the ticket window saving time for the more important attractions inside the Louvre Museum.

You can also save even more money by investing in the Paris Pass which offers free admission to over 55 world famous museums and attractions in Paris including the Mus
ée du Louvre.

For more information, visit Musée du Louvre.


Flickr.com Photo Credit:
Musee du Louvre - HDR, Museum, Paris
by Al lanni

Venus de Milo in the Musee du Louvre
by Edwin.11

No Expedia Change or Cancel Fees on Hotels

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sailing the Greek Islands


There’s no more relaxing and fun vacation than sailing the Greek Islands - watching dolphins cavort in the waves, swimming at secluded beaches, visiting picturesque villages or ancient ruins, and having dinner in a lively taverna at the end of the day.

TourCrafters
has put together a Sailing in Greece package with departures every Friday from May 21 to September 17. Assuming eight passengers on the sailing yacht, the 8-day/7-night package starts at US$1,729 (in May), including round-trip air from New York to Athens, fuel surcharges, seven nights’ accommodation on board the yacht, an English-speaking skipper, fuel, mooring fees, boat cleaning, laundry, water, service charges, and taxes. There is an extra per person charge for fewer than eight passengers. In addition, groups of six or eight can charter the whole yacht. Meals, not included in the price, are at the passengers’ own expense.


The sailing yachts used are the eye-catching Bavaria 44 or Gib’Sea 44, each of which has three double cabins, one with bunks, two toilets and showers, a comfortable main salon with dining and seating for eight, and a fully-equipped galley. Linens and blankets are provided.


The itinerary of approximately 131 sea miles starts off with an airport transfer to the fashionable port of Glyfada, where a suggested dinner in a typical taverna is accompanied by an orientation program. Then it’s on to Anghistri, a beautiful little pine-covered island with four villages, and Epidaurus on the Peloponnese mainland, famed for Greece’s best-preserved ancient theater and the Sanctuary of Asclepius. Next comes Poros, a hilly isle with sandy beaches and a pretty town, and Hydra, the most photogenic island of the Saronic Gulf with its donkeys, sea captains’ mansions, and boat-filled harbor. On Aegina, an island known for its pistachio production, there’s a town full of neoclassical buildings, narrow streets, and tavernas serving fresh fish and delicious meze. Here, too, there are beautiful sand beaches and the well-preserved Temple of Aphaia. Moni, a tiny islet on the way back to Glyfada, where the population consists of wild goats and peacocks, is the last stop.

Air fare add-ons are US$25 from Boston, US$125 from Chicago and Miami, and US$275 from Los Angeles (departures from Los Angeles are available only in September). All prices quoted are per person double occupancy, do not include airport taxes of approximately US$105, and are subject to availability and change. Reservations must be paid for within 72 hours of booking.

For additional information or to make your reservation, visit TourCrafters.
Press Release & Photo Courtesy of TourCrafters/ForImmediateRelease