It's all about the strategy if you want to get yourself, not your ticket prices, sky high. Photo:Ulrich Peters/Flickr
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Contributed by Karen Gardiner Dion
Last week, a new holding fee service was announced by British Airways that should help avoid this very situation. The new fee allows customers up to 72 hours of consideration time before deciding whether or not to go ahead to book a flight. You pay $5 per person to put a hold on a short-haul flight or $10 for long-haul, then, if you do go ahead and book, the fee is refunded.
You will see the new service when booking on the BA website, with a section asking if you need more time and would like to reserve the flight appearing at the bottom of the screen. The service, however, is not offered for last-minute flights (in this case, flights booked within 21 days of departure). (For tips on taking advantage of last-minute air fare deals, see our checklist.)
Note that there are a few restrictions and things to keep in mind. For example, there are a number of destinations to which flights cannot be held. After holding the reservation, you will not be able to change the dates or the route, but you can change passenger names. Iberia, which merged with British Airways in 2010, is offering a very similar service, the main difference being that you can reserve up to five days before the flight.
BA is not the only airline out there that offesr this flexibility when booking. United offers a similar option called Fare Lock, which allows customers to hold a fare for 72 hours for a fee of between $5 and $20, depending on the route. Most importantly, while it is not too widely known, the U.S Department of Transportation actually requires carriers to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours without payment or allow a reservation — even a non-refundable one — to be cancelled within 24 hours without penalty.” Although this only applies to flights more than seven days out.
If you need just a little more time, and don’t want to pay a fee, Delta might just offer the best service. Although you do have to pay the money upfront, Delta Airlines gives you a day to change your mind after booking and receive a full refund. Delta’s Risk-Free Cancellation service states that the cancellation request “must be made by midnight of the day after the eTicket is purchased or midnight of the departure date of the first flight, whichever comes first.” Technically, that actually gives you more than 24 hours of thinking time: if you made the booking at 12:01 a.m on a Tuesday, you would have until 11:59 on the Wednesday to cancel.
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Contributed by Celean Jacobson, AP
Cape Town is a place of wry contrasts, a place where you might encounter an international fashion model, a hippie or a "bergie" (beggar). There are urban black townships and picturesque seascapes. A mix of colonial history, the struggle against apartheid and 20 years of democracy color what Cape Town is today.
Two of the city's most famous attractions are Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and Table Mountain, with an aerial tram to the top. You'll have to buy tickets to take the island ferry or the tram, but many other experiences can be had for free.
SEA POINT PROMENADE
This is the perfect vantage point to see sea gulls, waves crashing onto rocks and miles of Atlantic beaches. With the taste of sea salt in the air, you can walk, jog or sit on a bench to view the Mother City. The promenade offers a temporary art project, art54, with new pieces exhibited from time to time. For exercise lovers, there is a free outdoor gym.
Around the corner, Green Point Urban Park, a 2010 World Cup legacy, offers one of the most biodiverse regions with Wetland Walks and child-friendly spots for picnicking.
The Company's Garden was started in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company, which supplied ships for the spice trade route via the Cape of Good Hope. It's a calm, quiet hideaway from the surrounding busy streets for students, tourists and people who work in the center of Cape Town.
The oak trees that silhouette Government Avenue lead to landmarks like the somber Slave Bell memorial, the Houses of Parliament and the National Gallery (which charges admission).
You can also meet cute and curious squirrels that expect visitors to feed them nuts. Will you by chance spot the particularly aggressive albino squirrel made famous by YouTube and the Company's Garden travel writings?
Visit quaint Kalk Bay, a village with old-fashioned stores, sea-hugging trains and natural harbor. Walk along as waves crash the wharf and see rustic boats and seals that are lazy on land but look elegant in the water. You can meet Afrikaans fishermen, colorful and candid, while locals barter for the catch of the day.
Along the scenic coastline of False Bay - so called because sailors confused it with another nearby bay - you may see both penguins and whales. Enjoy spotting majestic Southern Right whales from June until November. The endangered African Penguin Colony offers a look at adorable jackass penguins waddling on Boulder's Beach, but does charge a fee. You know you're near when you see penguin road signs on the streets.
LION'S HEAD AND SIGNAL HILL
Drive up Signal Hill for a scenic perch above this beautiful coastline. At 12 noon each day, a gun is fired, waking up birds and making you jump out of your skin with laughter. Two centuries ago, the South African Navy used the cannon to announce the arrival of ships.
Locals love this spot for sunset picnics, drinks and meeting friends. It offers views of Robben Island, Table Mountain and the seascape.
There are easy trails from Signal Hill to the top of Lion's Head, and full moon hikes offer a chance to see spectacular glittering moonlight on the sea.
A word of caution: There have been reports of muggings and other security issues in the area, so be aware of your surroundings and be careful with your possessions.
Woodstock, infamous for crime and drugs, has become a rejuvenated inner-city suburb. The warehouses, old and rundown, have been transformed into trendy shops, art galleries and fashionable places to be.
You can stroll through Saturday markets that offer all-the-rage food and a wide range of designer stores.
Feast your imagination on the street art around each corner. You will see graffiti tags in neon and a variety of abstract images and realistic portraits by renowned street artists from all over the world. The art themes range from the neighborhood's crime-ridden past to its rebirth.
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New York is a city made famous by its food. Home to a diverse mix of cultures, the Big Apple is filled with all manner of culinary delights, from macaroni cheese to matzo ball soup. However, it’s the baked goods which really get the taste buds tingling. After all, what could beat a freshly baked croissant or a gooey-in-the-middle chocolate chip cookie? We've composed a list of New York’s best bakeries so that, no matter where you are in the city, you’ll never be far from deliciousness.
Got a hankering for cinnamon brioche? How about a slice of pumpkin ginger spice bread? Well, you’re in luck. The Levain Bakery specializes in mouth-watering treats, each morsel utterly divine. Their cookies in particular are amazing; crunchy on the outside and gooey in the middle, a cookie dough lover’s idea of heaven. We recommend the dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie, which is equal measures sweet and savory; although anything you order is sure to be a winner.
Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, Momofouku is at your service. From pretzel milk to pumpkin pie cake, this trendy and exciting bakery serves all manner of delicious baked goods with unusual twists. Momofuku has become so popular that they now offer baking classes and sell their own cook book, so you can learn how to make some of their famous dishes, like blueberry and cream cookies. Oh, and there’s good news: even if you aren’t in New York you can still enjoy Momofuku’s goodies as they ship internationally!
Milk & Cookies Bakery
Your quest for the perfect cookie ends here. The Milk & Cookies Bakery specializes in baking cookies, employing a diverse range of fillings and toppings which sets them apart from all other cookies. After all, how many other bakeries serve bacon cookies? The Milk & Cookies is also proud to use only the finest ingredients to create their masterpieces, although, as they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Situated in the heart of Brooklyn, Scratchbread excels in baking exquisite breads, from focaccia with rosemary, sea salt and chilli to bourbon wheat with pecans. Everything is made with love, with the shop’s bread artisans only using superior ingredients to produce each loaf. Scratchbread also serves a variety of pastry goods and savory foods (the kale ceasar salad is particularly delicious and is veggie-friendly), along with a range of sauces which are always a hit with customers.
If you thought sliced bread was innovative, meet the dinkie. A delicious cross between a cake and pancake, dinkies fit into the palm of your hand and come with a vast variety of fillings and toppings, both savory and sweet. Chow down on a PB&J dinkie or sink your teeth into a mozzarella dinkie – whatever flavor you fancy, we doubt you’ll be disappointed. You can also design your own dinkie, with countless toppings and sauces to choose from, such as marshmallows and vanilla wafers. Dinkies also serves a selection of other dishes, from healthy salads to indulgent meatball subs, which you’ll be able to wash down with a tall glass of homemade lemonade.
Contributed by Matthew Coe ,Online Marketing Manager for Wanderforth. www.aluxuryblog.com
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Friday, August 29, 2014
Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf Association Continues "Wharf Walks - Walking Tours At Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf" With A focus On "Squid Tales Of The Monterey Bay" On Saturday, September 6th And Saturday, October 4th, 2014
The Monterey Fisherman's Wharf Association continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay Fisheries Historian and author, Tim Thomas, who is offering monthly "WharfWalks -Walking Tours at Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf" (www.montereywharf.com) on the first Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM - Noon.
Wharf Walks will be held on Saturday, September 6th and Saturday, October 4th focusing on "Squid Tales of the Monterey Bay." Tours meet at the head of Old Fisherman's Wharf (near the pink "Harbor House" store, #1 Old Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey. Advance reservations are required by calling Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and kids are $15 (10-15 years). Group Rates are also available. Future Wharf Walks will be held on November 1st and December 6th, continuing on the first Saturday of every month in 2015.
NEW! After taking the Wharf Walk, participants are invited to enjoy a complimentary appetizer of delicious calamari (squid) - either traditional style or pesto calamari - with a purchased entree at Paluca Trattoria located at the head of the Wharf.
|Squid Mountain in Monterey- Circa 1930|
About Wharf Walks
For thousands of years people have made their living fishing the Monterey Bay, beginning with the Rumsien Ohlone, the Native People of the Monterey area. From abalone to rockfish, everything was fished and utilized and the Monterey Bay was a multi-cultural stew, made up of whalers from the Azores, squid fishermen from China, salmon fishermen and abalone divers from Japan, and Sicilians fishing sardines in the "dark of the moon." This entertaining tour of Old Fisherman's Wharf and the waterfront will take us back in time to explore the history of the Monterey Wharf, early history of the Monterey waterfront, The Rumsien/Ohlone People--Monterey's first fishermen, the abalone industry, whaling the bay and of course, the legendary sardine industry. Discover some of the people and cultures of Monterey's colorful past and hear fascinating stories about Old Fisherman's Wharf and those who worked and walked there. Learn more about the sardine and squid industry, too.
About Tim Thomas
About Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas, fourth-generation native of the Monterey area, is a popular speaker and lively tour guide. For 16 years, he was historian and curator for the Monterey Maritime & History Museum and has worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California State Parks and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He is author of "The Abalone King of Monterey: 'Pop' Ernest Doelter," "The Japanese on the Monterey Peninsula" and co-author of "Monterey's Waterfront."
About Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf:
Visitors to Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf will want to plan their visit to include lunch or dinner at one of the many Wharf restaurants. Many restaurants will be featuring special Columbus Day Weekend small bites during the upcoming Everything Italian! Columbus Day Weekend Celebration on October 11 and 12, 2014.
By gong to www.montereywharf.com , visitors to Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf can also access the "Wonders of the Wharf" free VIP Card promotion with 25 special offers (coupons) easily accessible on the website that can be shown on a smart phone or iPad.
|Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf|
A visit to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula just isn't complete without a rendezvous with Old Fisherman's Wharf in downtown Monterey that was built in 1845 for regular passenger and freight service. Known as the "Whale Watching Capital of the World™" and a top destination of visitors from around the world, Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf provides a wide array of award-winning dining, shopping, live theater, special events, whale watching, bay cruises, a glass bottom boat, marine life, fishing and sailing, and strolling leisurely in a gorgeous setting overlooking the Monterey Bay. Savor delicious cuisine at a myriad of fabulous restaurants featuring stunning views and award-winning Italian food, sustainable seafood, grass-fed steaks, including the region's famous clam chowder and calamari. Enjoy salt water taffy, homemade chocolates, caramel apples, cotton candy and many other yummy treats. View sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, dolphins, whales, sea birds and other wildlife "up close and personal" that also share the Wharf. Watch people who have gone out and caught their own fish on the local and chartered fishing boats return with their own "catch of the day".
Celebrate the first location in Monterey County where tender abalone was cooked and served in a restaurant. Check out the many fun shops to find the perfect memento of your visit and a variety of unique gifts. Enjoy the exquisite views and the "best place to walk and people watch" in Monterey County!
Situated near downtown Monterey, Old Fisherman's Wharf is conveniently located along the Monterey Bay Recreation Trail and has plenty of nearby parking.
For more information about Old Fisherman's Wharf, go to www.montereywharf.com or call (831) 238-0777.
Decision is in effect until further notice / this concerns flights by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines from Frankfurt and Vienna / Group airlines continue to make detour around Iraqi airspace in transit traffic
Based on the most recent assessments of the security situation in Iraq, the Lufthansa Group resumes flight operations to Erbil in northern Iraq . Austrian Airlines put its daily flight from Vienna back on the schedule yesterday. Flight OS829 departed at 10:15 a.m. Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt to Erbil twice a week. The first scheduled flight is LH696 on Saturday, August 30 (departure time 10:10 a.m.). Both airlines had most recently suspended their flights to Erbil on August 8.
The northern Iraqi city lies outside of the conflict zone controlled by IS. According to the most recent assessments, the security situation allows for safe flight operations to Erbil. The Lufthansa Group will continue to avoid Iraqi airspace in transit traffic, for instance to Asia and the Middle East.
Furthermore, Lufthansa continues to carefully monitor the development of the security situation in Iraq and is in close regular contact with the respective international and national security authorities. The safety of passengers and crews is the highest priority for the airlines of the Lufthansa Group.
One of the world's largest and most prestigious airlines, Lufthansa currently flies to 253 destinations in 103 countries, with hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, and with the Lufthansa Group acquisition of Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and SWISS – Vienna, Brussels and Zurich. From its 20 North American gateways, Lufthansa and its partners serve over 450 destinations in more than 120 countries. An industry innovator, Lufthansa has long been committed to environmental care and sustainability, operating the most technologically-advanced and fuel-efficient fleet in the world. Its long-haul fleet to and from North America includes the Boeing 747-400 and the 747-8, as well as the Airbus A330, A340 and A380. Currently, Lufthansa has nearly 300 new aircraft worth about $48 billion on order. Lufthansa is the largest European operator of the A380 and was the launch customer for the new Boeing 747-8, the industries’ two most fuel-efficient passenger aircraft. Known for its premium services, Lufthansa continues its $150 million program earmarked for building new or upgrading existing lounge facilities across its worldwide network and will spend more than $3.6 billion in new onboard products and services by 2015. In 2010, Lufthansa re-launched its broadband wireless Internet service onboard, FlyNet. For more information or reservations, visitwww.LH.com.
Contributed by Shawn Pogatchnic, AP
European budget carrier Ryanair is offering business-class tickets in an attempt to woo companies and governments during penny-pinching times.
Marketed under the slogan "Your boss will approve," the new ticket reverses some of the airline's more reviled policies for fee-dazzled travelers. The Dublin-based company, long Europe's fastest-growing airline with a sell-it-cheap, stack-'em-high philosophy, says it hopes to capture three-fourths of all business travel between Britain and Ireland, its two biggest markets.
The move reflects not just the airline's desire to leverage its huge presence in Europe, but also a growing interest for low-cost executive travel. Most European governments are still cutting down on debt while many companies remain wary of spending as the eurozone recovery has stalled. Ryanair says more than a quarter of its passengers already are business travelers.
The new ticket will be a low-budget version of traditional business class. It will allow a checked-in bag weighing up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds), which normally costs 25 euros to 75 euros ($33 to $99); preferential boarding and, at some airports, fast-track security lines; and most importantly, free changes to flights including on the day of travel.
The latter policy seeks to solve one of the great headaches of travel that made Ryanair off-limits for many business travelers: the risk of eating tickets and punitive penalties for altering anything.
Allied to the new approach, Ryanair increasingly is cutting deals to open services at Europe's business airports, most notably the European Union hub of Brussels' Zaventum. Currently, Ryanair tends to fly to smaller airports that are often distant from the cities it serves and not practical for time-pressed executives or civil servants.
Ryanair's product looks extremely competitive versus Aer Lingus, British Airways and continental carriers that typically charge more than 150 euros ($200) each way for flexible economy-class tickets. Ryanair says its business tickets will cost as little as 69 euros ($91).
Wednesday's announcement sent Ryanair shares 2.8 percent higher to 7.13 euros ($9.40) on the Irish Stock Exchange.
The airline, to many analysts' surprise, took a cold look in the mirror this year after lackluster 2013 results and decided it could get even more business if, in chief executive Michael O'Leary's typically blunt assessment, its policies stopped irritating people needlessly.
Customers now can buy tickets online using debit cards without fees. They automatically receive seat assignments, ending long waits in line to secure position and making family travel easier. They can take two bags on board, no longer battling to shove airport purchases into an already full bag and avoid costly punishment at the boarding gate.
Ryanair aims to carry 86 million passengers this year, 4.5 million more than last year.
While Ryanair's business-branded ticket is strong on flexibility, other business-class staples remain absent. The airline has no executive lounges, there's no special menu, and no seats recline on its tightly packed aircraft. You'll pay extra to pre-book the least uncomfortable seats.
And long-haul connections remain a nerve-wracking chore because Ryanair does not transfer bags between flights. This leaves Ryanair as Europe's most ubiquitous choice for traveling from A to B, but not C.
Online: Ryanair fees, http://bit.ly/1tCo2QN
Contributed by Amir Bibawy, AP
South Korea's hyper-efficient capital doesn't immediately spring to mind when you think of exotic Asian destinations. But this mega-city offers much to tempt travelers beyond a layover from the ultra-modern international airport in nearby Incheon. You can explore Korea's rich historic heritage, visiting temples and palaces; wander around the enormous National Museum of Korea, and savor the delights of its surprisingly varied cuisine.
As in Tokyo and Hong Kong, Seoul's transportation network puts most European and North American cities to shame. Invest in a Seoul City Pass Plus card, which can be used not only on the trains, which run both under and above ground, but also on buses and even taxis. It's also accepted for payment at many tourist sites and convenience shops, offering discounts on some tours and museum admissions.
High on your list will be one or two of Seoul's five palaces. Most guidebooks recommend Gyeongbok-gung, the grandest of all of them. But I headed to Changdeok-gung, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, instead. The sprawling palace grounds can only be visited on guided tours; check the schedule to make sure you catch a tour in the right language. There's one tour of the famous gardens and another of palace buildings.
Strategically and culturally, Korea is wedged between East Asia's superpowers, Japan and China. As you travel around Seoul, you'll understand the intricate connections among the three countries. Many links are evident in the collection at the National Museum of Korea, a must for those seeking to go beneath Seoul's veneer of technology and learn about the country's history.
The museum, the largest in area in Asia and sixth-largest in the world, is suitably impressive from the outside, with a futuristic architectural design that pays tribute to Korea's modernization. Inside, many of the more than 300,000 pieces are designated National Treasures of Korea. The building design utilizes natural light in many galleries, which makes it easy to explore for hours without that feeling you get in big museums that you're stuck in a vault all day. Highlights include Buddhist bells on the third floor (one each from Korea, China and Japan) and, the piece-de-resistance, the Ten-Story Pagoda, a unique marble structure built in the 14th century, looming over the ground floor. It was taken to Japan before World War II (Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945), but was returned to Korea in 1960, disassembled. It's been painstakingly restored and is an enduring symbol of an architecture style little-known outside their country.
Koreans love to shop and there's nowhere better for it than the pedestrian shopping district of Myeong-dong, where I stayed. Streets are lined with brand name-stores (both Korean and Western) open late into the night. It also has countless restaurants and cafes. On my first night there, I ventured out to find a restaurant near my hotel and had a near-panic attack. There were so many choices, but none familiar to me, though I'd gone to many Korean restaurants in New York. I ended up in a brightly-lit place that was almost ready to close. I pointed out a few menu items and a hot barbecue top was turned on at my table, ingredients meticulously lined up to cook. I tried to stir them together but the waitress, half-amused but also stern about my culinary ineptitude, took the ladle from my hand and set it aside. "Needs to cook more," she mumbled. Every time I tried to touch the food with my chopsticks, other diners looked on with amusement. Clearly, I had no idea what I was doing. Mercifully, the waitress ultimately came over and stirred up a delightful chicken and vegetable dish with rice. I added kimchi from the buffet.
Another essential stop is Gwangjang Market, which bustles with street food vendors and little restaurant-shacks in the evening when its shops have closed. Locals go there for Korean pancakes made from mung beans called bindaeddeok and cheap street food. I opted for one of the ubiquitous dumpling soup places, where for about $5 you get a huge bowl of steaming soup with pork dumplings, freshly made before your eyes. In winter, the stall benches are even heated. On my second visit to the market, I had sashimi and rice wine. The sashimi was near-frozen, a common way of serving it there and different from the Japanese room-temperature tradition.
For traditional Korean food beyond the market, skip Korea House - it's touristy and expensive. Do venture into one of the tent restaurants that serve food late into the night in popular nightlife districts. And get your fix of bibimbap - a rice dish with vegetables, egg, meat and chili or soy sauce served all over the city - along with a traditional seafood stew, which is hearty and warm.
Bukchon Village, a neighborhood of traditional Korean houses with slanted roofs, is a nice place to stroll. The area is flanked by two palaces, and dotted with chic boutiques and cafes.
One striking thing you'll notice is that Seoul's residents are glued to their cellphones - usually Samsung or LG, brands that have played a role in Korea's strong economy. During my visit last winter, everyone was streaming the Olympic games live on cellphones on the subway - a testament to how fast and reliable the 4G network is. Even my American phone worked faster there than in New York.
Finally, don't leave Seoul without venturing up to the N Seoul Tower, the city's highest tourist point, offering a view from the top at nearly 1,600 feet (480 meters) above sea level. You can hike through Namsan Park, Seoul's Central Park, to the base of the tower, or take a cable car up. It's busy at dusk, but a nice time to watch as the city below you transforms into a stunning and colorful display of lights.
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Thursday, August 28, 2014
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Small Ship Cruises And Adventurous Land Packages Still Available For Year-End Holidays - But Selling Fast
Suddenly it’s late summer with 2014 Holiday travel only months away.
AdventureSmith Explorations that offers both sea and land excursions year-round reports that plans can still be made with them for prime holiday season December 2014 and early January 2015 escapes.
“But don’t wait too long,” said Todd Smith, founder/owner of AdventureSmith Explorationsthat specializes in small-ship expedition cruising that allows gusts to get up close and personal with the environments and landscapes they travel far to see.
Opportunities still available for Holiday cruises include the following destinations: Amazon, Antarctica, Australia, Baja (Mexico), Chile/Patagonia, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Galapagos and Hawaii.
For example, Hawaii Christmas CruisesHawaiian Seascapes Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3, Jan. 3-10 on the 36-passenger Safari Explorer yacht lets guests explore four islands. This active itinerary includes time for snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, touring local farms and museums, and even night snorkeling. The 8-day cruise is from $3,595 per person double.
There are two Baja, Mexico, Christmas Cruises. The first is Wild Islands & Treasures of Baja Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3 on the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird. This expedition unites its twin facets: culture and wildness. Guests explore pristine desert islands, rife with endemic species, rare plants and towering forests of cacti, and spot Humpback whales migrating in the Sea of Cortez. The 8-day cruise is from $5,690 per person double.
Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3 uncovers the area of Dabo Pulmo where French Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau led numerous expeditions in a setting of steep bluffs and sandy beaches. This Baja expedition through marine-life-rich waters aboard the 84-guest Safari Endeavour offers opportunities to snorkel among gentle whale sharks and sea lion pups, and explore the desert landscape explored by Cousteau. The per person rate for 8 days is from $3,395.
Baja, Costa Rica, Chile/Patagonia, Guatemala, Panama and Peru offer opportunities for both pre-set and on-request land departures that may also include itineraries suited to families. These combine hiking through rainforests, sourcing indigenous wildlife, sometimes whitewater rafting and explorations of archaeology, culture and history.
For example in Peru, the Peru Mountain Lodge Trek Dec. 20-26, Dec. 21-27 Dec. 24-30 Dec. 27-Jan. 2 is the very first trans-Andean lodge-to-lodge trek to one of the ancient world's most extraordinary sanctuaries: Machu Picchu. After full days of trekking, guests spend evenings unwinding by the fireplace, stargazing and enjoying a comfortable lodge. The 7-day program is from $3,489 per person double.
Costa Rica Christmas Tours, Quest for Pura Vida Dec. 20-28, Dec. 27-Jan. 4, combines the cloud forests of Monteverde and the active Arenal Volcano with the verdant lowland tropical forests of Tortuguero to highlight Costa Rica's diversity of nature and culture. This 9-day program combining mountains, rainforest and the Caribbean is from $2,700 per person double.
About AdventureSmith Explorations
Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. In 2012, owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious 14th Annual Travel Specialists List as the world’s expert on small ship expeditions. A distinction he received again in 2013. For information, availability and 2014 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visitwww.adventuresmithexplorations.com.
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