Wish Away the Worst of 2020, Give Thanks, and Plant Hope - Tourism New Zealand's Forest Initiative

When the sun rises on the New Year, New Zealand’s location on the globe makes it the first country in the world to welcome 2021. To get next year started on the right foot for the whole planet, Tourism New Zealand is launching a holiday initiative that generates hope, turns the disappointments of this year into something positive, and launches on Giving Tuesday, December 1st. For the month of December, Tourism New Zealand will be planting a ‘Forest of Hope’...

How This New American River Cruise Ship May Surprise You

When you think of ships that cruise American rivers, you might picture paddlewheels, riverboat gamblers, and ladies with parasols. But while some cruise ships exploring the United States by river pay homage to 19th-century American history, American river cruising doesn’t have to be an escape into a Mark Twain novel. When American Cruise Lines launched its latest river cruise ship, the American Melody, this month, it became the 4th – and the second ship for the cruise line during COVID...

Italy Names Its First 'City of Wine'

Wine lovers have one more reason to get traveling again next year. In celebration of one of its oldest and most beloved products, Italy has declared its first-ever ‘City of Wine’. The Italian association of communities that collaborate to protect and promote their regional wine designations held a competition for the new honor.  Barolo - the town with the famous red wine of the same name – was crowned ‘City of Wine’ for the award’s inaugural year in 2021. Nestled between...

Canadian Luxury Train Tours' First USA Journey - Rockies to the Red Rocks

They are the essential train trips in Western Canada. Three rail routes that provide travelers a window onto the Rockies like no other way of travel. Rocky Mountaineer operates bucket list rail journeys between Vancouver and the iconic Canadian Rockies towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. They are train trips featuring a multitude of luxuries in the heart of the West’s greatest wilderness, from plush, glass-domed, railcars that reveal a 360 degree view of mountains, lakes and forests – some...

The Latest Cruise Line To Go 'All-Inclusive'

Nothing is more luxurious than when things are extra simple and extra special. Now you can have that wonderful feeling that ‘everything is taken care of’ on your next big-ship cruise. Celebrity Cruises has unveiled a new ‘Always Included’ program. Instead of differing promotions and packages, the cruise line is including unlimited drinks, unlimited wi-fi and even daily tips on all new bookings except its Galapagos itineraries.This new, all-inclusive approach is making waves in cruising. Travelers have gotten used to all inclusive beach...

A New 'Species' of Extreme Thrill Ride: the 'VelociCoaster' Takes 'Flight' in Orlando

Florida’s fastest and tallest coaster – along with a pack of fierce Velociraptors – will be unleashed at Universal Orlando Resort in 2021. If you – or the kids in your life – have seen all the movies and fantasize about visiting Jurassic Park and its fierce dinosaurs, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster will bring the movies to life in a coaster ride that will take your breath away.It’s a new ‘species’ of roller coaster, with a series of intense maneuvers...

30 Years Later: Celebrating One of the Great Monuments to Democracy

This fall, Germany celebrates the 30th anniversary of its reunification. It’s hard to believe it was three decades ago that the Cold War came to an end. That from the end of WW2 until 1990, Germany was a divided country, with families and fellow citizens split between democracy in the West and the Soviet Eastern bloc. In the heart of Soviet-controlled East Germany, the city of Berlin itself was divided too. The outpost of Western democracy was surrounded on all sides by...

There's a New Moon on the Horizon - a Silver Moon

October was an extraordinary month for stargazers and amateur astronomers. One single month saw two full moons: a Harvest moon and a rare, second full moon – a blue moon. But one other moon appeared in October too – Silversea’s Silver Moon. Sister ship to the ultra-luxury cruise line’s Silver Muse, it’s the 9th vessel for Silversea, and its second new ship to overcome the unprecedented challenges of 2020 to launch this year.Over 1,000 craftspeople labored in Italy to bring the Silver...

Top 4 Places In The World To Go Hot Air Ballooning

Imagine yourself silently drifting along under colourful silk, cradled in a giant basket. You’re part of the breeze and Nature as you tranquilly float on the air over undisturbed scenery below. Your pilot lets the heat in the balloon drop to silently lower you closer to your birds’ eye view… then lifts you to majestic heights over an unforgettable panorama. As epic as your photos will be, they will never match the reality of your experience.If that is your idea...

3 Hallowe'en Traditions With Roots in Ancient Celtic Ireland

Frightful Hallowe’en is many people’s top holiday of the year – but did you know that we can thank ancient Ireland for our favorite Hallowe’en traditions? Travel to Ireland these days, and you’ll still be able to connect with the origins of Celtic culture that still swirl in the mists of time in Ireland’s Ancient East.Today’s Hallowe’en is the descendent of the Celtic festival of Samhain (Sow-ann). The celebrations included feasting on the harvest and lighting fires to mark the end...

Why This Mexican Mountain Town Keeps Getting Voted 'Best Small City In The World'

When you think of Mexico, famous beach towns may come first to mind. But Mexico is more than its coasts. And one place, the ‘Heart of Mexico’, half a day’s drive northwest of Mexico City in the Colonial Highlands, has again been named ‘Best Small City in the World’*. It’s just the latest recognition of the charms of San Miguel de Allende.  6000 feet above sea level in Mexico’s high sierra, with cool, comfortable temperatures and clear mountain air, it’s a far...

KLM has revealed the future of flight. Hint: You'll be sitting IN the wings.

If you’re one of those travelers who always picks a seat over the wing, you’re in luck. In this new-concept aircraft, you – and every other passenger on board – will be flying IN the wings. They call it the Flying –V. And it’s a whole new vision of passenger flight.“Tube-and-wing” design has defined planes since the earliest days of passenger flight. Innovative approaches to aircraft design continued in military applications, where flying wing aircraft have established a presence. Now, they’re...

Sweet Spot: New Chocolate Museum Houses the World's Largest Chocolate Fountain

It’s one part of the great trifecta of iconic Swiss contributions to world culture: precision clocks, alpine-produced cheese… and chocolate. And now, a new museum celebrates the sweetest thing about Switzerland. The Lindt Home of Chocolate has opened on the outskirts of Zurich. Its centerpiece will get any fan of fine chocolate drooling – and wishing they had brought a fondue fork! This isn’t just any chocolate fountain. At 30.5 feet, it easily tops the 27-foot height of the chocolate fountain at...

Explore the Oldest Protected Forest in the Hemisphere

If you haven’t been to the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the chance to discover the wonders of the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve should add it to your Caribbean travel list.Covering two-thirds of the island, the Reserve dates back to 1776 – the same year as American Independence!The historic ordinance protecting the tropical rainforest recognized some of the earliest science showing the relationship between abundant trees and the rainfall that contributed to the fertility of the land. It...

The Caribbean Gets a New Princess, and She's Enchanted

She’s sailing now en route to the U.S. for an inaugural season cruising Caribbean itineraries. Princess Cruises’ newly completed Enchanted Princess is a beacon for a return to cruising; one of just a tiny number of ships scheduled to begin service this year that is actually on the water. Home to over 3600 guests, Enchanted Princess is the 5th Royal class Princess Cruises ship.Enchanted Princess represents an evolution of the design used for her Royal Class sister ships, even as the...

Ah, Venice: Luxurious New River Ship Sailing One of Europe's Most Unique Itineraries Revealed

A passion for style, art, cuisine and living well. Capturing that iconic Italian way of life and the essence of Venice was the goal of the latest ‘Super Ship’ by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. The S.S. La Venezia, like all Uniworld ships, is more ‘local boutique hotel’ than ‘river cruise ship’. We often say that one of the attractions of cruising is your ‘floating hotel’. But Uniworld’s approach takes the destination to heart. Where many river cruise ships are very similar...

Cruising Again by November? Industry Association Lays Out Formula to Start Sailing

You might be on a cruise in the Caribbean before the holidays. Cruising in the Americas – that’s the cruise region for the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America - could begin again in about a month’s time, if significant industry developments this week bear fruit. Testing the Waters in EuropeAny regular reader of our newsletters will know we’ve been following the slow progress of cruising’s return.In the Spring in response to the pandemic, Europe-based cruise lines repatriated their ships to...

Santa's Not Just Making Toys in His Village Above the Arctic Circle in Lapland

It’s exactly 3 months until Christmas, and we know Santa and his elves are working full throttle. But not just putting in overtime in the workshop and training the team for their big flight Christmas Eve. Santa's got a new summer gig. Finnish Lapland, with its Arctic landscapes, Northern Lights, ancient winter customs and herds of wild reindeer, is a natural bucket-list destination for Christmas lovers.Santa Claus Village in Finnish Lapland keeps the spirit of the original, Northern European Christmas alive...

Mount Fuji and 3 Other Mountains You Need to Visit in Japan

France has the Eiffel Tower. The U.S. has the Statue of Liberty. But the visual shorthand for Japan is not man-made. It’s Mount Fuji.The Japanese archipelago is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Chains of volcanic mountain ranges form the spine of the Japanese islands, and mountains have assumed immense cultural and spiritual significance over the millennia.Nearly every population center is associated with one or more mountains, where forests of bamboo, Japanese cypress or maple, and fields of wild flowers like azaleas...

3 New, Impossibly Picturesque Boutique Hotels That Make it Easy to Dream About Your Next Trip to Europe

France. Italy. Spain. If you’re imagining traveling again to Europe, you’ll have no problem picturing yourself in any of three independent boutique hotels that have just opened in spectacular historic properties. All three belong to the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group of over 500 independent and unique hotels in 90 countries. They all have special character and offer themes that are even more relevant in the new world of travel: small size, privacy, and locations that allow guests to...