Trusted Tips from Your Travel Advisor Internet Tours
Being your travel advisor is more than offering you enchanting vacations to the far reaches of the globe. It also involves offering you personal support and helpful advice to enhance all your travel experiences, whether near or far.
The Travel Tips below are chock-full of important information that will help you travel the world safely and efficiently. Our agency simply wants you to have the best experiences possible, wherever you travel.
As always, please feel free to contact us about your future travel plans.
Five Culinary Cruise Lines to Savor
Cruising grows in popularity every year, as more and more travelers discover the flexibility and value a cruise vacation provides. Once onboard, passengers have a wealth of intriguing activities to choose from, including taking a cooking class with a professional chef. Here are five of the best cruise lines to cook up your culinary education:
Crystal Cruises – In addition to hands-on instruction, days at sea feature chefs’ demos, wine tastings, pairing sessions and lessons in the art of the perfect cocktail.
Holland America Line – The Culinary Arts Center, a first-class “show-kitchen at sea” presented by Food & Wine magazine, integrates your love for fine food and wine with a unique and entertaining experience.
Oceania Cruises – Aboard the fleet’s newest ships, the Marina and Riviera, you can become immersed in the joy of cooking gourmet cuisine at the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, a hands-on culinary studio featuring 24 individual cooking stations.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises – At Regent’s Le Cordon Bleu Workshops, celebrated chefs provide a hands-on introduction to the art of French cooking.
Silversea Cruises – This luxury cruise line offers a broad curriculum of tantalizing culinary events designed exclusively for the first Relais & Châteaux L’École des Chefs at sea.
All of these cruise lines are included in our agency’s Culinary Collection of sailings. Ask us for details.
What You Need to Know to Tour Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas” that sits majestically atop a mountain more than 8,000 feet high, is on many people’s bucket list for good reason. This spectacular set of ruins discovered in 1911 is equal parts mysterious and grandiose, inspiring millions to travel to Peru to stand in complete awe. If you plan to visit, here are a few things you should know:
When to Go – If you go in June through September, which is Peru’s dry season, you are likely to run into crowds and higher prices. During the rainy season, October through April, prices drop and lines grow shorter, but the weather is unpredictable.
Getting There – Most people base their journey in the colonial city of Cusco. From there, a four hour train ride is needed to arrive in Aguas Calientes, where you then hop on a bus for a 20-minute ride to Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail – An alternative to taking the train/bus from Cusco is to hike the Inca Trail. At 26 miles, the trail requires four days and a high level of fitness. You will need to hire a guide and to purchase a permit to use the trail months in advance since they limit the number of hikers to lessen the environmental impact.
Altitude Adjustment – Upon arriving in Cusco, which is actually higher than Machu Picchu, give yourself at least two days to adjust to the altitude. During those two days, drink bottled water rather than alcohol and caffeine to acclimate more quickly.
Guides for Hire – Once you arrive at the Machu Picchu admission gate, you will see many guides holding homemade signs advertising their services. Some visitors know the ruins so well that a guide is not warranted, but if you do choose one, agree on the price and duration of the tour beforehand.
An Unforgettable Sunrise – Most visitors to Machu Picchu—close to 80%—are daytrippers crowding the site from 8am to 4pm. We recommend that you spend one night in Aguas Calientes in order to see one of the most amazing sites you will ever witness: the sun rising over the ruins. To do so, you will need to be in line before the gates open at 5am.
Tours – Several companies offer tours to Machu Picchu that include transportation, tickets, meals, accommodations and guides. If that sounds more appealing than getting there on your own, talk to your travel consultants (that’s us!) for details.
Five Inexpensive – but Romantic – Vacation Ideas
You only need two things to enjoy a romantic holiday: someone to share it with, and time to stare deeply into each other’s eyes. Luckily there are many vacation options you can choose to get both of these necessities without breaking the bank. Here’s a list of our favorites:
Camping – A great idea for two people who love fresh air as much as they love each other, camping is a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life to nurture your love in nature.
Anything with a Kitchen – There are numerous accommodations we can book for you—including a condo, apartment or hotel suite—that have a kitchen. Having easy access to a kitchen means two things: you’ll save money by not eating out so much, and you’ll spend more time alone.
Last-Minute Offers – If your bags are already packed and you have the flexibility to go at a moment’s notice, then talk to us about last-minute offers. Travel agents receive incredible offers from hotels and airlines weekly to fill up their remaining beds and seats.
Go Off-Season – Not only is the beach in the winter or the ski resort in summer cheaper, but they’re also much less crowded, giving you and that special someone more space to enjoy the romantic ocean and scenic mountains.
Don’t Forget a Cruise – Cruises are great for value-conscious romantic travelers. Not only do they offer an incredible value, providing all the food, fun and entertainment in one price, but they also depart from nearby ports such as Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans and San Diego, making expensive air tickets unnecessary.
Touring the Literary Past of Paris
The inspirational power of Paris is legendary. For centuries writers and painters have been drawn to the grandness and magic of this star-studded city in search of inspiration, as if pulled by some artistic magnet affixed atop the Eiffel Tower.
For bibliophiles, no tour of Paris would be complete without visiting the famous haunts, bookstores and cafes that were popular for generations to generations, namely Earnest Hemingway’s Lost Generation to Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation.
In the Latin Quarter you’ll find one of the most famous bookstores not just in Paris, but the world. At Shakespeare & Co., Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein would debate the artistry of writing, while the shop’s owner, Sylvia Beach, helped James Joyce publish a thin little tome called “Ulysses.” The original Shakespeare & Co. was located on the rue de l’Odéon. It moved in 1951 to welcome a new generation of writers: Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso.
You will find several literary landmarks in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area, where legendary cafes Deux Magots and Café de Flore were frequented by Jean-Paul Satre, William Faulkner, Albert Camus and André Gide, to name a few.
Many writers lived briefly in the Montparnasse district, including the spirited Henry Miller and the intellectual Ezra Pound, while many more will live there permanently in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, the final resting place for Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir and Samuel Beckett.
For a deeper look into the well-written history of this grand city, consider a literary-themed walking tour the next time you visit Paris.
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