December 14, 2017 at 6:30 AM
December 7, 2017 at 6:30 AM
November 30, 2017 at 6:02 AM
From fields covered in tulips in April to December's decadent Christmas markets, hundreds of riverboats sail along Europe's abundant, historic rivers and canals, which span thousands of miles. A European river cruise is one of the best and most efficient ways to explore inland Europe, stopping at many ports, towns, cities, and villages that traditional big ships usually can't access.
What makes a river cruise so different from an ocean cruise is emphasis and immersion into the destinations visited. Every day a new port is featured so there are no days at sea. Multiple guided tours are included to go out exploring a new and enlightening city. With this focus, it's nice that river itineraries in Europe feature a diverse mix of intriguing ports.
Have an “in-Seine” experience in Paris sailing down the Seine River. Roll down the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Frankfurt. Drift down the Danube River to see the best of Budapest, or even take a merry little Christmas cruise.
Though most river cruises have the reputation for being adapted to the elder generations U by Uniworld is changing the game offering a cruise line geared toward the younger generations with an age range of 21-45 years. This new line will market and intrigue the next generation of travelers to expand and broaden what experience they can enjoy without the backpacks and hostels. They’ve thought of everything in that you can even rent mobile hot spots for the day so no more outrageous international data plans to worry about. No need for a special converter either because the ship is outfitted with European, American, and USB electrical outlets.
The excursion choices vary depending upon activity level, interests, and destination. Most of the adventures and tours are complimentary, from an evening bike ride along the Danube, a “Midnight in Paris” evening stroll, a canal cruise in Amsterdam, vineyard hikes, castle visits, and so much more. Also if you’ve adventured a little too much or stayed out a little to late and don’t want to explore around the port a certain day there are numerous on board activities offered. Sip wine while you paint on the top deck, take a mixology class and concoct something just for you, relax and center yourself with a yoga class, or have a special culinary experience with the chef’s cooking class.
To travel is to fully immerse yourself in another culture. What better way to do that than by trying out authentic port specific foods? River cruising many of your on board meals will be inspired by the local fare of the cities you’ll visit, made from ingredients that were sourced just miles down the road. If you happen to be hungry for something a little closer to home you’ll have classic options, comfort food choices and plenty of vegan, vegetarian and various healthy dining choices as well. Uniworld steps it up a notch with their partnership with VizEat to enhance the authenticity to eat like a local and taste the city and share a meal in the home of a U Host. It’s where authentic home cooking meets immersive travel.
I’m hoping this will open the market to other river cruise lines gearing some of their boats to younger generations as well. These cruise itineraries are great for college graduation gifts, girlfriend getaways, young groups, and even the solo traveler with the social and intimate feel of this smaller boat and crew.
November 24, 2017 at 7:00 AM
Montepulciano & San Gimignano
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel then meet you English speaking driver and sommelier. Enjoy your day of wine tasting and exploring Tuscany's hilltop towns. You will be surrounded by enchanting views of the valleys dotted with vineyards, cypress trees and rolling green hills.
Enjoy free time exploring the charming stone streets to this historic Tuscan town. Savor a light lunch paired with a private tasting of regional wines at a small batch winery. Enjoy a guided tour of a historic family-run vineyard with a member of the family followed by a tour of their spectacular estate and cellars.Montalcino & Brunello Wine
After breakfast, meet your private driver and transfer to Italian region of Piedmont. Along the way, stop at one of the most influential wine-producing family wineries. Enjoy a private visit through historic vineyards surrounding the estate and go behind-the-scenes accessing the cellars typically closed to the public. Tour concludes with a wine tasting and light lunch featuring regional food products. Continue on to your hotel and pause for free time in a seaside town along the spectacular Italian Riviera in Liguria. From your deluxe accommodations, enjoy sweeping views of the vineyard-draped valleys and snow-capped Alps in the distance. Settle into your rooms and enjoy a welcome apertivo - including local cheeses, salumi and prosciutto.
After breakfast. Meet your private driver and wind through the enchanting hills and valleys of the Langhe wine country.
Your first stop will be at a winery recognized as producing some of the finest wines in Piedmont.
Your day continues on to the scenic city of Alba, located high on a green hill, overlooking the vineyards below, Alba is famed for its prized white truffles and fine foods. Stroll the stone streets to enjoy a lunch at world renowned Michelin-starred-restaurant. Enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour the restaurant's kitchen after the meal. After lunch, enjoy free time in Alba before heading back to the hotel to relax before the evening hands-on cooking class. Meet local Italians -- learning about their culinary traditions and passion for slow food. Learn how to make fresh pasta from scratch as well as some other Piedmontese delicacies. Enjoy your creations for dinner --paired, naturally with local wines... transfer back to accommodation.
Barolo and Barbaresco
November 16, 2017 at 6:45 AM
November 9, 2017 at 6:30 AM
Sip Chianti and break bread in family-run wineries' private cellars, or vineyards. Taste pecorino cheeses at the farms they are made. Stroll ancient paths while mesmerizing these medieval towns. Or partake in a cooking class with a local nonna.Monteriggioni (Siena)
Radda in Chianti (Siena)
Relax and enjoy the sun setting in the comfort of the veranda of your private Tuscan villa while a real-live nonna prepares, cooks and serves a delicious Tuscan meal. Explore the countryside on bikes or have a driver pick you up to explore this charming town encircled in medieval walls and winding stone streets with panoramic views of the Tuscan Wine Country. Radda is easily reached from Florence or Siena and is a perfect scenic stop on wine tour or an idyllic base to explore the surrounding countryside.
Picture-perfect Barga in the mountains of North Tuscany is perched between snow-capped Apennienes (Tuscan Alps) woods and rushing rivers. Active travelers enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking and skiing. History lovers will enjoy its perfectly-preserved Romanesque church, while others will cherish this sweet escape surrounded by natural beauty. Barga is a day trip from Lucca, but worthy of a stopover.
October 26, 2017 at 11:36 AM
Adventures don’t have to bring you half way across the world hiking miles upon miles up a mountain, or have you climbing glaciers seeking one of a kind thrills. Adventures are something that takes you out of your comfort zone and places you in a new, thought provoking environment to learn, see, and do things you never thought were possible for you. We have trusted suppliers that offer all without costing an arm and a leg.
Whether it is thrill seekers, family vacations, cultural immersion, or marine exploration we have access to it all! We have divided tours into many sections to offer diverse and immersive EXPERIENCES for everyone!
Firstly their “18-to-thirtysomethings” tours target the younger generation that were freshly bitten by the travel bug. Youth is a limited-time offer. Squeeze more out of yours with fast-paced and affordable adventures designed for young travelers. Explore the world by day, stay up all night, and do it all over again tomorrow someplace new with friends you’ll want to hang on to forever. You’ve got the rest of your life to take it slow. Live fast now. These tours target young professionals that can’t spend insane amounts of money, but want to experience and immerse themselves in a foreign environment to learn and grow together in a small group setting.
A very different, but equally appealing travel style they offer is Local Living. Be where you belong. Have you always dreamed of getting immersed deep inside one of the world’s greatest and most out-there destinations? Now you can. Local Living tours send you undercover in some of the world’s most interesting places to discover life as it’s lived every day by a local. Unpack once at a central location like a Tuscan farmhouse, an Icelandic home, or even a rustic lodge in the Amazon jungle and discover how the locals live with the help of a connected guide who knows the area best.
Want the rush and thrill from an adrenaline boost? Active adventures let you explore
and learn all about a destination from kayaking creeks to trekking up mountaintops. Active adventures get you closer to the destination by letting you hike, bike, and multi sport your way through it. We provide the equipment, the experts, and the opportunity; all you need to provide is the energy. On your mark. Get set. Go…Active.
Adventure knows no age limits. I’m going to say it again: Adventure knows no age limit. That is why we help determine your travel style fit for the whole family with all sorts of multi generational activities. Just because you’ve settled down and had kids doesn’t mean your adventuring days are over and done with. Family trips open up the world of adventure travel to kids age six and up by letting them experience their planet on their own terms. Everything is new and exciting when you’re a kid. Travel with yours and discover your world for the first time all over again.
Another awesome travel style they offer is for all those water lovers out there. If you swim like you have gills and enjoy seeing what the great wide ocean has in store this Marine travel style is just for you! Sea-ing is believing. There’s adventure aplenty out there beyond
the shore, but unless you have flippers, you’ll need a ship to find them. Marine tours are designed for travelers of all stripes, from experienced cruisers and sailors to landlubbers who’ve never set foot on a boat. And they go just about everywhere there’s water. If you can float there, you can go there. Set Sail and set your sights on the horizon this will be an unforgettable journey.
Lastly, these next two are a little more on the higher end with a more luxurious feel. The private tour and national geographic journeys styles will have a little more tailored to fit and let you experience so much more. With a step up in accommodations, meals, activities, and tours these styles will impress any client.
Private Tours: Your world, your terms
Group travel is a great way to discover your world with people you’d otherwise never meet. But some adventures are best enjoyed with a group of your own choosing. Get your group of four or more and let fun begin by selecting your trip! There are two ways you can go about it: Go off-the-rack by selecting any existing Adventures group departure OR you can block it off for your group’s private use. Or step it up a notch and go for a more tailored fit. If you want to personalize your trip to really individualize and make the most out of it you can enhance any existing G Adventures itinerary with some great add-ons. Add on a few days; upgrade accommodations; add in some fun activities.
National Geographic Journeys: Experience the world with an enhanced adventure from
National Geographic Journeys are a collection of truly unique tours designed to take you deeper and further into the cultures and habitats of the places we explore. They offer more inclusions, greater hands-on exploration, interactions with local experts, and the freedom to roam, all within the structure and safety of traveling in a small group. With these tours you get to explore more.
The feel of freedom; we include plenty of free time for you to do anything you wish on your adventure. Learning all you can with each tour including opportunities to learn about our world through unique interactive experiences with local experts like historians, marine biologists, photographers, chefs, and others. You have the power to change the world. Let us arrange your travel with National Geographic Journeys and you help fund community development initiatives worldwide, in addition to supporting the National Geographic Society’s non-profit work in conservation, exploration, research, and education.
October 19, 2017 at 7:30 AM
Italy is such a vast, and varying AMAZING country. From the flooded streets of Venice, through the Renaissance town of Florence & Tuscany countryside, to the romantic elegance of Rome, there is something for everyone to enjoy! In Venice everyone can enjoy an authentic gondola serenade. For those of age, wonder around the amazing vineyards in beautiful Tuscany and you will find tastings of these amazing Italian wines are plentiful. Or for the whole family, consider going to the market with a local chef and purchase the ingredients to prepare your delicious meal with a local chef. Italy is a great family travel destination with ancient ruins, parks, spooky places and even children museums. How exciting, they can be a Roman gladiator for the day or create carnival masks in Venice. Italy is a hands-on history lesson with many opportunities to bond while learning.
Ireland, it hold all things old and new and AMAZING VIEWS. Ireland is one of the safest places to travel, so if worry free vacation is what you're after, look no further. Ireland is becoming one of showbusiness favorite new locales with filming from Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and the Game of Thrones series which could be fun tours for everyone to see where these were filmed. You can attend a medieval meal with authentic food and drinks in a REAL LIFE CASTLE! While there make sure you take a quick kiss of the "Stone of Elloquence" so you will be well spoken from then on. Also wonder around all of the rich history Ireland abounds. Book of Kells, Trinity College, Cliffs of Moher, and much much more for the entire family to enjoy
October 12, 2017 at 1:52 PM
Hawaii is a bucket list trip for many!! If you’ll be traveling to the spectacular Hawaiian Islands, you probably already know that attending a luau is a must. Not only will you have the chance to try a variety of fabulous traditional dishes, but you’ll enjoy it all while taking in a show filled with Hawaiian music and dance – usually topped off by a couple of complimentary Mai Tais. To appreciate the experience even more, you may want to know a little about the history of this ancient tradition.
There are tons of Luaus advertised, it helps to have someone that has the inside scoop!! Ask us about an authentic, unique experience.
Ancient Luau Practices
The Hawaiian luau dates back to ancient times, but the first recorded Hawaiian luau was held in 1819 by King Kamehameha II and his stepmother, Queen Ka’ahumanu. This event was said to have been the catalyst for the luau that is known in Hawaii today. In ancient Hawaii, men and women ate their meals separately due to their powerful religious beliefs that only royalty could eat certain delicacies. There was a fear that women could steal the men’s spirit, known as mana, while they were in the relaxed state induced by the generous feast. Women ate at what was known as the hale aina, or women’s house, while men ate at the hale mua, or men’s house. The beginning of the modern luau In 1819, the King enjoyed the feast with women as a symbolic act to end these religious taboos, and the modern luau was born. It is not known why he made this decision, but some feel it may have been due to his recently acquired Christian beliefs. Prior to this date, a Luau, as it is held today would have been punishable by death under the ancient Hawaiian law that was governed by the kapu system. The feast The traditional feast was eaten on the floor where Lauhala mats were rolled out with a magnificent centerpiece made from Ti leaves, native flowers and ferns that was about 3-feet wide laid across the mat. Some of the foods included the traditional pig roasted in an underground oven, or imu, bowls filled with poi (pounded taro root ground to a consistency almost like pudding), dried fish, salted meats, sweet potatoes and a variety of fresh fruit – all put onto the Ti leaves. Hawaiians ate all of these wonderful foods with their fingers, which is how poi got its name. Poi of various consistencies was known for the number of fingers required to eat it such as three finger, two finger, or the thickest – one finger poi.(Ask me about my favorite luau where you still have option to sit on matts on the ground and you actually see the underground oven, and wait don't miss the gorgeous sunset on the water right next to where you are!!)
The word for this celebration, “luau,” comes from the favorite traditional dish at these feasts. Taro leaves that are blended with chicken and baked in coconut milk are known as luau – today, this dish is called “luau chicken.” Luaus weren’t held as part of a regular meal but as a large feast with great numbers of people invited. Royal luaus were held on a massive scale. In 1847, King Kamehameha III threw a luau that was said to have included nearly 500 large bowls of poi, thousands of taro plants, more than 2,200 coconuts, over 3,000 salt fish and almost 2,000 fresh fish as well as 271 pigs and a host of local fruits and other fine foods. King Kalakaua was known as the Merry Monarch due to his love of celebration, with over 1,500 people invited to his 50th birthday party luau – fed in three different shifts of 500 guests served in each. There are a large number of different luaus available to visitors today in the Islands and we know the pros and cons of each. I would be very happy to steer all my readers and clients in the right direction, as there is a wide variation in ambience, entertainment value and food quality. But to me, the best luaus are the traditional, private family luaus which are still given to celebrate milestone events, like weddings, graduations and major anniversaries. Be sure to include the luau experience in your next trip to the islands!
October 5, 2017 at 7:56 AM
Home for the Holidays? Maybe not this year! Have you ever considered taking it on the road over the holidays? No? Why the heck not??? It's getting close to some of everyone's favorite holidays. Even more importantly some MUCH needed time off for many. So why not travel to an amazing destination and learn how different cultures celebrate the holidays.
Here are Five great reasons why a holiday AWAY makes perfect sense:
1. Use Fewer Vacation Days
Extending a holiday that most people already have off minimizes the amount of time needed off from work. More bang for your buck! Save those vacation days for later!
2. Step Away from The Hustle Bustle
Holidays can be a source of major stress for families (especially moms) as they juggle preparations, strong personalities of relatives, coordinate meals, shop for gifts and more. A resort getaway helps them put the “pause” on all the planning. Sure, there’s preparation involved, but when the major decision of the day is deciding between the beach or the pool, it doesn’t seem too terribly taxing. Plus...I’m here to help with the planning and preparation...you just pack and go!
3. Create New Family Memories
Wake up early to watch the sun rise over the horizon. Visit a volcano. Explore the local music scene. Try new foods. Visiting a new destination can awaken the possibilities and a sense of adventure in the whole family. Sharing a unique, common experience is one of the best ways to strengthen bonds and create memories that you will all cherish forever!
4. Leave the Housework At Home
For the big holiday dinners, many hotels and resorts also craft special menus for the day to celebrate the occasion. Whether it’s a traditional turkey dinner, or infused with local flavors, it’s sure to be deliciously fuss-free. Ever thought of sharing Thanksgiving dinner with your family in Hawaii over a huge spread of sushi. You can be just as thankful for sushi as turkey. And no one has to wash any dishes!
5. Teach an Old, Young Or Young-At-Heart Dog Some New Tricks
Families can take advantage of being in a different environment by soaking up some new knowledge or acquiring a skill. Learn how to surf. Learn some foreign phrases. Explore a local museum. Doing so will help stimulate their brain and body in ways they wouldn’t be able to if they were at home in their comfort zone (AKA in front of the video game screen). If your kids are a little bit older, you can agree to limit actual gifts this year to just a couple special surprises and put your gift budget towards a fantastic family vacation...Most kids these days have more than enough “stuff” but not enough interaction with their family. So think about it....but don't think about it for too long because popular destinations are already filling up with other families just like you! Let us help sort through the options and plan your perfect Holiday Escape this year!