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...

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...

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...

Meet the Luxury, All-Inclusive Expedition Cruise Line Launching Soon - Yes, during COVID

Meet the Luxury, All-Inclusive Expedition Cruise Line Launching during COVID You might call it bucking a trend. Atlas Ocean Voyages is debuting, even during the global pandemic that currently has all cruises put on pause.The new cruise line’s first ship is ahead of schedule to launch in July 2021. World Navigator will be the first of 5 new ships for the new cruise line. All 5 ships will be sailing by 2023Adventure meets LuxuryAtlas Ocean Voyages ticks all the boxes for lovers of...

Post-COVID's Biggest Travel Trend is...Small

As the world prepares to travel again, there’s a huge trend emerging: going small.  We know what the ingredients of travel are going to be in the immediate post-pandemic future of travel: More space. More privacy. More flexibility. The travel industry is rising to the occasion with an innovative sweep of new, and newly-important touring options that make touring with your own ‘bubble’ – whether it’s your family, extended family, group of friends or couples on their own – suddenly easy. Smaller groups....

Well, We Aren't Going to Miss This. Major US Airlines Drop Most-Hated Fee

The first announcement was a bombshell. Then, like dominoes, they all fell. United Airlines started the landslide when it revealed it was dropping change fees - forever. Why? Air passengers in the US dropped to below 100,000 a day at the peak of the pandemic travel shutdown – recovering to 10 X that number over the last month, which is still only a drop in the bucket of pre-COVID air travel rates. Something had to give.Change fees – at United,...

Seize the End of Summer with Recipes Inspired by Favorite American Hot Weather Travel Destinations

The kids are back to school (whatever that looks like this year for your nearest and dearest), but on the calendar, summer isn’t quite over – yet. The Autumn Equinox – the first day of Fall – arrives this year on Tuesday September 22, so we still have a couple more weekends of ‘summer’.You may not have done all the traveling you wanted this summer, but you can catch up now in spirit. Serve up an celebration of summer travel with a...

Top 3 Travel Destinations to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the End of WW2 in the Pacific

2020 has been an eventful year, with many firsts for the history books. But 2020 also marks some big anniversaries. Earlier this year, the Allies of World War 2 commemorated the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, the end of the war against the Nazis. And now, short months later, V-J Day. Another epic moment in the history of the world: the 75th anniversary of the end of the War in the Pacific. Unlike V-E Day, V-J Day, Victory in the Pacific Day...

This Cruise Line Kicked Guests off a Cruise. Here's Why it's Good News for You and Cruise Travel

Guests left behind when a ship sails away is usually an unfortunate situation no cruise line likes to talk about. But when it happened last week in Naples, cheers rang out around the world. The guests weren’t late, which is usually how guests miss ships. Earlier this summer, Europe-based MSC Cruises had announced its new COVID-era health and safety protocols, developed closely with European authorities that included measures you’d expect plus:·     pre-screening every guest and crew member before boarding;·     daily checks and onboard...

One COVID Change of Plans Continues a Heart-Warming Legacy for this Cruise Line

Holland America Line Changes the Name of its Newbuild and Designates it the New FlagshipTravel has taken a beating by COVID-19. But there’s one way it’s giving us something to celebrate. Like all cruise lines, Holland American Line has been hit very hard by COVID. HAL has announced its operations are paused through the end of this year.  The company is famous for its long and rich heritage, and what fans call its fleet of ‘dam’ ships (with names all...

Hidden Secrets and Natural Wonders of 4 Costa Rican Volcanoes

From breathtaking beaches, up through rainforests and cloud forests, Costa Rica’s terrain rises from the sea to mountain ranges and, like icing on a scenic cake, a string of volcanoes that are evidence of the country’s location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. There are over 200 identifiable volcanoes in Costa Rica that date back more than 65 million years. Half of those show volcanic activity but only half a dozen are classified as active volcanoes.Costa Rica’s volcanoes are signature...

The New COVID Safety Measure Cruise Travelers will actually LOVE

It’s one of the least-loved experiences on a cruise. Not long after you board your ship with excitement to explore and start your vacation, you are required to put down your cocktail, and report to your ‘muster station’ for a mandatory safety drill. Sometimes, you even have to go back to your stateroom, collect your life vest, and take it – or wear it! - to your designated lifeboat on deck, trying not to trip over the trailing ties of someone else’s...

These 'Hotels' are Full of 'Guests' Throughout Pandemic - Part of Fairmont's 'Bee Sustainable' Program

The global pandemic closed the doors of nearly every hotel in the world. But thousands of very special ‘guests’ at some Fairmont hotels stayed.Some have even been ‘residents’ for years.'HOME SWEET HIVE'In 2008, the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto and Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver installed honey beehives. These two urban hotels may not seem likely places for apiaries. But the thriving hives made headlines, raising awareness of the importance of bees to our world, as well as producing honey for (human) guests, and...

3 Top Trips for Golfers Who Cruise - From Close to Home to Around the World

Suddenly, everyone is golfing again.With only a few minor tweaks that courses have easily implemented, the game checks all the boxes for a COVID-safe pastime. So it’s no surprise that even less committed golfers have dusted off the clubs, rediscovering the delights to be found on the greens.As we rediscover travel, the same features that make golf the ideal pursuit in our own neighborhoods also make it an excellent theme for your post-COVID travels.The list of famous golf courses, resorts and...

The Airline That's Providing Passengers with COVID insurance

Travel companies are introducing many new health and safety practices to help protect travelers, staff and locals as travel begins to resume.Now, one airline has taken those measures one step further. In a travel industry first, Emirates is covering its passengers for COVID-19 expenses. For travelers longing to take to the skies again, the Dubai-based global airline’s commitment is designed to boost confidence.It’s broad coverage, free of cost for Emirates customers from any country, flying to any destination in any class of...

Drink Like the Queen with the First Official Buckingham Palace Gin

In the times of COVID, even Her Majesty needs a side-gig. Why not in the tasty world of spirits?In a Royal first, official Buckingham Palace gin has gone on sale to the public – and the first batch sold out online in only 8 hours!The premium, small-batch, London dry is an initiative of the Royal Collection Trust. It is infused with citrus and herbal notes that are derived from 12 botanicals, including some collected from the Buckingham Palace garden itself, like lemon...

How the Postponed Tokyo Olympic Games Will Feature Japan's National Sport

We should be watching the opening ceremony of the XXXIII Olympiad right now. But COVID has changed the history of the Olympics along with so many other features of our lives. Tokyo 2020 retains the name, but the dates have changed.Originally scheduled to take place from July 24th through the second week of August this year, Tokyo 2020 now opens on July 23rd 2021. They are the first Summer Games to be postponed instead of cancelled due to an international crisis.You can still...

Change #WorkFromHome to #WorkFromTheBeach with a New, 1-Year Remote Workers Visa for this Island

For a lot of us, #WorkFromHome is the new normal, and many companies say they plan to continue the practice permanently even after the COVID crisis. That’s giving a lot of people new freedom to re-structure their lives in a way that brings them more joy than long commutes and office cubicals. One Caribbean island is capitalizing on this huge shift in work and lifestyle. Barbados has introduced a ‘Barbados Welcome Stamp’, an invitation for international travelers, including US and Canadian citizens, to...

This is the First US-based River Cruise Line to Restart Cruising in Europe

Americans are still barred from Europe, and Canadians are technically permitted into Europe but still under their own government restrictions against leisure travel and required to quarantine 14 days upon their return to the country. So it’s hard to imagine that one of North America’s favorite river cruise lines has begun sailing the rivers of Europe again. As of July, AmaWaterways is pioneering the re-opening of European river cruise operations, with a series of charters of AmaKristina in Germany for local guests....