Hawaii and Tahiti Added to Holland America Line's FOOD & WINE Shore Excursions

Now guests of the cruise line can choose from nearly 100 culinary-themed shore excursions that allow you to connect with destinations through their food culture while sailing on Holland America Line cruises. HAL's partnership with FOOD & WINE already includes exclusive tours in Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada & New England, the Mediterranean, and Northern Europe. These shore excursions allow you to take hands-on cooking classes with top local restaurant chefs, culinary walking tours of a destination, taste authentic street food, explore local...

3 New Cruise Line Private Islands

It used to be that private islands were the playgrounds of the ridiculously rich and fabulously famous. Then cruise lines got into the game. Now, cruise lines are competing with each other to build exclusive tropical enclaves in the Caribbean for their guests to experience not just a day on the beach, but create travel memories they can't get anywhere else.Most of the actual private cruise line islands are small, uninhabited islands ('cays', pronounced 'keys') among the hundreds of islands...

5 Top Spring Flower Spectacles and Where to Find Them

If you're like me, Spring can never come too soon. And nothing says Spring like new flower blossoms. This year, treat yourself to an abundance of Spring in one of these famous floral travel destinations.By: Lynn Elmhirst, Host/Producer, BestTrip TV Tulips in the Netherlands Where: Keukenhof Gardens and surrounding tulip fieldsWhen: April It's the world's largest spring flower garden. The Keukenhof Gardens are a showcase for the Netherlands' biggest agricultural export: flowers and bulbs. The tulip is the ultimate symbol of a Dutch...

Think Overwater Villas are the Height of Exotic Luxury Travel? Try This UNDERwater Villa

It puts new meaning into being immersed in the local natural beauty. The pristine waters of the Maldives are epic, surrounding one of the world's most romantic, remote and legendary tropical eco paradise destinations. Now you can sleep alongside your sweetheart or family as well as the rich marine life that animates the waters of these tiny islands in the Indian Ocean. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a pioneering resort: the first international hotel in the Maldives, the first underwater restaurant, and now,...

Top 10 Souvenirs from a Trip to Hawaii

You'll come home with a million sun-drenched memories of a holiday in Hawaii. Here are 10 mementos you can take with you. ANYTHING PINEAPPLEThey may be the most common symbol of Hawaii, and you'll find pineapples, pineapple products, and pineapple motifs everywhere. Pineapples are actually native to South America, and their Hawaiian name 'halakahiki' means 'foreign fruit'.  They arrived in Hawaii in the 1500's, but it wasn't until James Dole, the 'Pineapple King' came to the islands in 1899, that Hawaii became synonymous the...

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside on an Avalon Active Shore Excursion

One of the best things about river cruising in Europe is that it takes you into the heart of world-famous cities, charming smaller towns, and even through the countryside that you might not see any other way.  One of the best things about Avalon Waterways' Active shore excursions is that they give you yet another way to explore Europe's best scenery up close – on a bicycle, on foot, by kayak and more.Active shore excursions are one of three styles of...

Where's the Only Restaurant in Alaska by a Michelin Starred Chef?

That's a trick question. Michelin, who issues the most coveted fine dining ratings, only evaluates restaurants in three US cities: New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Not Alaska.But there is still one place you can dine in Alaska at a restaurant by America's most acclaimed Michelin starred chef.Chef Thomas Keller is the only American chef to have been awarded simultaneous top, three star Michelin ratings for two different restaurants. At time of writing, he has not one, not two, but three Michelin starred...

7 Castles in Ireland Where You Can Stay

St. Patrick and the Emerald Isle. Dramatic coastline. Historic towns and cobblestone streets. Pubs and parties. Folklore and green pastures… and castles. Hundreds of castles and manor houses dot the Irish countryside. They not only evoke Ireland's storied past. Many allow you to live out your inner fantasy world of warrior kings and legendary princesses during overnight stays. Look for a tour of Ireland that allows you to lay your head at some of these stately homes:Ashford Castle, County Mayo You'll be joining the...

7 Tips for Touring Tuscany

If you close your eyes and picture 'Italy', chances are, it's the rows of vineyards and cypress trees, villas and farmhouses, fabled towns and household-name works of art of Tuscany that come to mind.There are a million reasons why Tuscany is the setting of so many escapist novels, movies and life-changing travels. Here are our favorites:FLORENCEThe red rooftops of Florence are the symbol of Tuscany's capital and epic Italian Renaissance magic. Wandering the alleys and cobblestoned streets, the Boboli Gardens and the...

You Can Celebrate Richard Branson's Birthday With Him on his Adults-Only Cruise Line

With flamboyant Sir Richard Branson at the helm, the 2020 launch of Virgin Voyages is one of the most anticipated events in travel. The party-loving, trend-setting celebrity entrepreneur promised his latest travel venture would do to cruise what Virgin Air did to flying: rediscover a whole new level of tongue-in-cheek, escape-with-your-friends-to-a-private-party fun. Only this time, at sea. Bookings are now open for the inaugural season of the Scarlet Lady, the first Virgin Voyage ship, in April 2020.  The ship's homeport is a splashy...

Channel Your Inner Van Gogh on this Avalon Discovery Shore Excursion in Amsterdam

What happens when you put three non-painters in a painting workshop? Can you really learn to paint like Van Gogh in an afternoon?  Those were the questions on all our minds as we walked to an art atelier near where our river cruise ship, the Avalon Vista, was docked in the heart of Amsterdam.By: Lynn Elmhirst, BestTripTVI'm creative but I have zero artistic skill. Even my handwriting is famously illegible.  My friends, travel expert Ryan McElroy and travel and gardening journalist Tara Nolan,...

New Wellness Cultural Journeys from Abercrombie & Kent Enrich Mind, Body, Spirit

Run and train like a warrior with the Maasai or hike to a vantage point high above Machu Picchu. Feed your spirit with inspiration at a home for underprivileged girls in India, or a silent alms ceremony in Luang Prabang, and feed your body with healing, Ayurvedic herbs in India, or fresh local produce at a cooking demonstration on Krabey Island. Re-orient your mind through guided meditation with a local teacher at Kuang Si Falls, or learn about the meaning of...

GAdventures Launches Wellness Collection

Adventure travel for the thrill? Or to be well? More and more travelers are turning to the exploration of other cultures and landscapes in search of food for the body and soul, spiritual inspiration, interaction with nature, and mindful practices.Maybe you're jump-starting a healthier way of life, need to take a break to de-stress or heal or reinforce wellness practices, and want to do it in the company of a small group of like-minded travelers in some of the most inspiring and...

The Chinese New Year Dish You Need To Try This Year

Kung Hey Fat Choi! Chinese New Year celebrations brighten up the winter months throughout Asia and Asian communities around the world. It's the most important date on the Lunar calendar and includes weeks of festivities with family and friends from late January through March. Many activities give everyone a chance to get into the spirit of a fresh, healthy, happy and prosperous upcoming year.Among the many outstanding traditions like lion dances, flower markets, decorations of lanterns, red and gold banners, and orange...

Discover Amsterdam's Local Food Scene on this Avalon Waterways Shore Excursion

Everyone wants to try 'real' local food when they travel. But we don't always have a real local to point us in the right direction. That's why we loved our Avalon Waterways' culinary tour of the Jordaan, a walking-sipping-snacking tour of the revitalized neighborhood in Amsterdam. It gets you out of the tourist core and into the heart of the Dutch lifestyle the way the locals in the Netherlands really live.  Want to taste the local beer? And the snack the locals order...

6 Reasons We Love Seabourn Cruises to Alaska

America's Last Frontier is a destination everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime of travel. Alaska's vast, untouched waters and shores are rich in breathtaking scenery and abundant land and marine wildlife in an unparalleled spectacle of Nature.Cruising along the pristine, emerald coast between British Columbia and Alaska is one of the very best perspectives and ways to experience Alaska's riches.Not just any cruise; here's what makes an Alaska cruise on ultra-luxury Seabourn so special.By: Lynn Elmhirst, Producer/ Host,...

Have You Heard About OceaniaNEXT?

Oceania Cruises is making a triple-play of transformations, breathtaking in scope, that have already begun. When complete over the next few years these three tremendous changes will elevate all of the things you love about Oceania, and give you even more to experience.A $100-million re-imagination of its four, 684-guest Regatta-class ships to make them 'better than new'A thousand artisans have been deployed in the process to up-convert the Regatta, Insignia, Sirena, and Nautica. Inspired by their newer big sisters in the...

Discover Tropical Romance in 3 Overwater Bungalow Resorts on the Caribbean Sea

(Re)kindle the romance close to home – without long flights to the South Pacific or the Maldives!Overwater villas are the next best thing to a private tropical island of your own – a luxury, bungalow suspended right over top of jewel-toned seas with the rustic-chic experience of living indoors and outdoors. It doesn't need to be Valentine's Day or your honeymoon for you and your sweetheart to deserve an overwater dream holiday. Here are 3 resorts on the Caribbean Sea...

8 Facts About the Panama Canal

Panama is one of the fastest-growing destinations in Central America, and the Panama Canal is the country's star attraction. Although it's on everyone's list of things to experience, the canal is more important as a global shipping transit than tourist experience. Whether you sail the canal on your next cruise or watch in action from land, here are 8 things you need to know about this wonder of the modern world.1. It's a short cut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.The...

Ponies and 3 More Reasons to Visit Scotland's Shetland Islands

They say on St. Patrick's Day everyone's a little bit Irish. So it's fair to say that on Rabbie Burns' Day, we're all a little bit Scottish. The national poet of Scotland – he wrote the song you likely sing every New Year's Eve: Auld Lang Syne – was born on January 25, 1759. And every year on January 25th, Scots and people of Scottish ancestry world-wide celebrate the man voted the 'Greatest Scot' in the country's history.In Scotland and in...