Travel Expressions Ltd.'s Blog

Ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn has debuted its first expedition ship, Seabourn Venture. The newest ship in the Seabourn fleet set sail on its inaugural voyage from Tromsø, Norway, on the 27th ofJuly, bound for the Arctic and the Svalbard Archipelago with its complement of about 250 guests.

Outfitted for Adventure

Seabourn Venture was purpose-built for exploration and appointed with features and amenities to enrich and enlighten guests on board, on shore, and even beneath the waves.

Seabourn Venture is a ‘Polar Class’ PC6 ship with modern hardware and technology that qualify it to the highest ‘ice class’ level for a passenger ship.

The ship is equipped with kayaks and enough Zodiacs to transport every guest on expeditions and landings all at once, as well as two custom-built submarines, each with capacity for six and capability of exploring shipwrecks and natural wonders under the sea in luxurious comfort.

In addition to the ship’s regular navigational and hospitality crew, Seabourn Venture has a 26-member Expedition Team, made up of highly regarded wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists. These experts provide guests with in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places they visit.

Designed for Luxury Exploration

Seabourn’s longtime, renowned hospitality design partner, Adam D.Tihany and Tihany Design, created the ultra-luxurious setting that allows you to feel like you’re in the lap of luxury – and still part of the dramatic sea- and landscapes you’re exploring.

The cruise line’s vision for Seabourn Venture was for the interiors and exteriors to combine “authenticity at sea with modern romanticism.”


Like all ships in the Seabourn fleet, Seabourn Venture’s 132 guest accommodations are all oceanfront suites. Public spaces were designed to evoke the spirit of adventure, and the thrill of discovery balanced with Seabourn-style luxury and comfort. Picture yourself in:

·      the Expedition Lounge on Deck 4 (below) or its adjacent Discovery Center, spacious for all guests to gather in a classroom-like setting and enjoy natural history and cultural programming;
·      the Bow Lounge, a prime setting for watching marine life with the closest access to the water on the ship;
·      the Constellation Lounge on the top deck, with stunning, 270-degree views and an intimate interior dressed up in dark blue and red inspired by constellations in the night sky, as well as
·      unique versions of beloved spaces found on all Seabourn ships, like Seabourn Square and restaurants.



Inaugural Season: Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica, Amazon and more

Seabourn Venture begins its inaugural season exploring the Arctic, Greenland and Iceland, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Nunavut, the most remote and least-populated destinations explored during Seabourn Venture’s Arctic season. Destination highlights include Scoresby Sound, Greenland, home to the largest and longest fjord system in the world; Sermilik Fjord, located in southeastern Greenland and renowned for the many icebergs that flow from multiple glaciers at its head into the Denmark Strait; Svalbard; and Pond Inlet, Nunavut, the eastern entry to the Northwest Passage.

The ship will make its way south in October 2022, stopping at various locales in the Caribbean, Central America, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. There will be opportunities to explore in Zodiacs under cliffs teeming with birds, kayak among tropical coral islands, visit ancient Incan sites, and snorkel unspoiled Caribbean coral gardens, as well as a transit of the magnificent Panama Canal.

Between November 2022 and February 2023, Seabourn Venture will cruise scenic sounds, fjords, channels and glaciers in Chile, sailing to Antarctica, and crossing back to explore South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, with up-close encounters with untamed wilderness and wildlife including icebergs, penguin colonies, and seals, as well as visits to research stations that have footholds on the continent. The voyages will include multiple daily operations using the Zodiacs for landings and cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula. Optional excursions will also be available, such as kayaking and the ship’s submarines, allowing guests to explore the vast frontier below sea level.

In March and April 2023, Seabourn Venture will embark on a series of expedition voyages in Brazil and the Amazon. The ship will visit many colorful colonial cities on the coast of Brazil and sail into the heart of South America through one of the world’s greatest rivers, where guests can cruise in Zodiacs along the Amazon River and visit ancient sites and indigenous villages.

Start Your Expedition Cruise Trip!

 
Images courtesy of Seabourn.
 
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Looking for inspiration for your next holiday close to home? These new hotel openings are the perfect excuse for a short haul vacation in an all-new environment.


From sophisticated urban centers to the Great Outdoors, from beaches to deserts, mountains to cityscapes, these diverse hotels give you the perfect excuse to call your travel advisor to plan a getaway soon!


Massachussets

 
Life House, Lenox, Berkshires, features a cozy library lounge with a crackling fireplace, an outdoor firepit, intimate cocktail club and a restaurant offering locally-sourced bites. The design and aesthetic of this property pays tribute to the nearby Berkshire mountains and historical literary figures that traveled through Lenox, Massachusetts – including Herman Melville and Fanny Kemble. Get away to the country during the summer heat, or bask in autumn colors in this new property in the Berkshires.
 

Montreal


 
Hyatt Place Downtown Montreal provides visitors a new home away from home to experience the cosmopolitan city famous as a global fashion center, alluring culinary scene, and a packed schedule of world-class events, from jazz to comedy to a Grand Prix race and more. The city's first Hyatt Place hotel is located near the Village, one of Montreal's most diverse and colorful neighborhoods, near the Quartier des Spectacles, the city’s festival central. The hotel’s 350 guestrooms have separate spaces to sleep, work and play, as well as a 'Cozy Corner' sofa-sleeper, and guests can enjoy an indoor pool and sauna, with a view of Downtown Montreal, spaces to facilitate remote working with views of over the city, as well as a bistro, restaurant, bar and lounge serving sharing dishes and signature cocktails.
 

New York State

 
Mt. Tremper, NY: Inspired by the influence of ancient Rome on contemporary civilization, The Aurum Catskills New York re-envisions “the bathing culture and rituals that defined the first social clubs.” With 36 rooms and 12 mountain bungalows on 131 acres, the luxury retreat features a Sicilian farm-to-table restaurant, incredible views and private gardens.
 

NYC

 
Luxury hotel brand Aman is expanding its global reach with the unveiling this summer of a new urban sanctuary – and rebirth of an architectural icon within the historic Crown Building – with Aman New York. The hotel offers guests Aman’s signature serenity through 83 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a wine library, jazz club, garden terrace, rooftop outdoor pool with an incredible view, and a 25,000 square foot spa.


For guests wanting to extend their stay permanently, Aman New York features the first Aman-branded urban Residences. The 22 private homes include all hotel amenities and range in size from one to six bedrooms, including a five-story penthouse.
 
The Ritz-Carlton's newest property, The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, soars 50 stories above the dynamic North of Madison Square Park neighborhood. The newly constructed, hotel with 250 guest rooms, 19 suites, plus residences brings the brand's renowned service and elegance to one of the NYC's most vibrant and emerging districts. The hotel is one of the tallest buildings in NoMad, the birthplace of American popular music at Tin Pan Alley and today a nexus of art, entertainment, fashion, and technology.


A bold, contemporary design, with an impressive art collection and seasonal floral installations pays homage to the hotel's location in the city's vibrant Flower District. There’s a 6,800-square-foot signature Ritz-Carlton Spa and Fitness Center, and the hotel's food and beverage partnership is unique, with all culinary venues, bars and lounges and in-room dining helmed by Michelin-starred chef and global citizen José Andrés.
 
The Ned NoMad opens in New York this summer, marking the brand’s first international site. Paying homage to the original architecture of Manhattan’s Johnston Building and featuring interiors from the famed UK private members club SoHo House team, this new location will bring the hotel’s signature British style across the pond.


The Ned NoMad includes a public bar and restaurant, as well as the members-only Ned’s Club, which features both mezzanine and rooftop bars as well as a terrace restaurant.
 

Nashville, Tennessee


 
The 40-storey Four Seasons Hotel Nashville, opening this year in Music City, connects guests to the creative spirit of the city’s makers and artisans. Situated just one block from the entertainment hub of Broadway in Nashville's SoBro district, the new Four Seasons hotel will feature 235 guest rooms and suites as well as private residences, a new chef-driven dining concept, a full-service spa and resort-style pool deck, event spaces, and more. Its glass tower allows for sunlight to stream in from all sides, with panoramic city and river views in every direction. Light-filled interiors pay homage to Tennessee's iron industry heritage, while making use of steel, copper, bronze and the state's native black walnut, with an art collection featuring local and international contemporary works. Four Seasons Hotel Nashville will also introduce a new dining concept, a resort-style experience for guests with a rooftop pool deck; unveil a new spa; and host weddings, galas and more in its event spaces.
 

Fredericksburg, Texas


 
The Albert Hotel, built as a celebration of Texas Hill Country and noted Fredericksburg architect Albert Keidel, will open this year on the original site of the Keidel family pharmacy and homestead. The hotel will have 110 guest rooms, including bunkrooms, suites, and a private house, each with tailored amenities and custom-designed furniture. The property has three restaurants, two bars, a private dining room, and will offer in-room dining. The grounds include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a 2,000 square-foot full-service spa.
  

Utah


(Image: Travis Burke)

Set upon 750 acres of high mountain plains, Under Canvas Bryce Canyon offers luxury accommodation with expansive views of John’s Valley.

(Image: Bailey Made - UC Moab interiors for inspiration)

Located just 15 minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park, this “glamping” experience invites guests to reconnect to nature with ensuite bathrooms in every tent, king-sized beds with luxe linens, outdoor dining, as well as complimentary camp programming (including yoga, guided hikes, movie nights and outdoor games).
 
Spirit at Zion National Park invites visitors to experience the Utah wilderness and enjoy the surrounding landscape in one of its 40 suites or homesteads. Both Leaf Suites and Homestead Retreats provide separate living and sleeping areas, including a 'wellness studio' that can be used for exercise, meditation, or in-room spa treatments. Each accommodation also comes with electric bikes for exploring the property's 35 miles of trails.
 

Sedona, AZ

 

Billed as an “exclusive nature escape,” Ambiente: A Landscape Hotel aims to provide guests with modern, elegant accommodations in a nature-focused setting. Each of the 40 free-standing atrium suites offers panoramic views of the red rocks, and a private rooftop with a fire pit (pictured above and top). Additional amenities include an in-house wellness-centered spa, on-site trail access and electric vehicles for rent.
 

Santa Barbara, CA

 
This autumn, former stagecoach stop, and Prohibition destination The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern will open to guests with reimagined guestrooms and cottage-style accommodations nestled among acres of old-growth palm trees. Dine at the Inn’s open-air restaurant, or take a dip in the outdoor pool, followed by stories and s’mores gathered around a firepit. Guests will feel right at home with the inn’s laid-back version of wine country luxury.
 

Hawaii


 
Kauai: Considered one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay will bring a world-class wellness resort and flagship sustainable sanctuary to Kauai’s North Shore. 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay will feature 252 rooms, including 51 suites -with native greenery, reclaimed materials, organic cotton linens, and views of the stunning Hanalei Bay. Seven restaurants and bars will offer fresh, local, and sustainably sourced farm-to-table cuisine using ingredients from the hotel’s organic on-site garden and neighboring farms.
 

Start Your Short Haul Trip!


Images courtesy of their respective properties.

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Top Tips to Avoid Baggage Blues
Are you worried about delayed, misplaced and missing baggage on your next trip. Don’t worry! We've got your back
with essential tips to make sure your holiday isn’t ruined by baggage blues.

Producer and host of BestTrip TV, Lynn Elmhirst, explains.
  

Carry On Heroes

 

For many people, their first solution is to not check bags at all. I suppose there are some people making rather short trips with little variation in clothing who can do that, and if you are one of them, I tip my (packed in my carry-on) hat to you!
 
Even if you can’t pack just a carry on bag, make sure that: all your documentation, valuables like jewelry, medication and anything you can’t live without for a day or permanently in your possession at all times. Do yourself a favor and add a couple of pieces of essentials that might include swimwear, some way to make yourself dressier for dinner, and a change of footwear as well as toiletries that can get you through a day of luggage delay.
 

Get Travel Insurance

 
Comprehensive travel insurance – unlike just travel medical insurance – can include compensation if your bags are lost. Some specialist luggage insurance even includes expert trackers who will work on your behalf to recover your luggage and reunite you with it. Your expert travel advisor can help make sure you get the travel insurance coverage you’re looking for.
 

Split your Luggage

 

It’s like hedging your bets. The odds of ALL your luggage being delayed or going missing are pretty small. So if it’s two of you travelling, put half of your belongings in each bag you’re checking. That way, if one bag is delayed, you’ll still both have something in the bag you recover at your destination. It gives you essentials and some breathing room for your remaining piece of luggage to catch up with you.
 

Ship your Luggage

 
If you’re like most of us, you’re using shipping services more than ever before, and it’s never been easier to ship your luggage to meet you at your hotel – or even your cruise ship! In fact, some ultra-luxury cruise lines even offer that service to their guests. There are companies who specialize in exclusively shipping travelers’ baggage. As a bonus, it also makes your airport experience more relaxed as at this point, you are only traveling with your carry on bags.
 

Document, document, document - and make your bag stand out!

 
I had a piece of luggage go missing recently – and in fact, it wasn’t an airline or airport error. It was human error. Someone’s porter had mistakenly picked it up (and the traveler hadn’t been paying attention.) But because I had a label with my name, phone and email on my bag, before I’d even made it to my hotel, she was texting, emailing and calling me to tell me she’d accidentally taken my bag. And she delivered it to my hotel for me. No label – no solution!
 
Make a list of what’s in your bag and the value of the bag itself. If you do need to make a claim, you won’t be second-guessing yourself.
 
Take a photo of your bag. If it does go missing, a photo can be a lot more help than a vague description of a bag that looks like a million other bags that go through the airport.
 
And - PLEASE choose a bag that stands out! Or make your bag stand out from the million of other black suitcases on the carousel.
  

Tag it!

 
Of course you’re going to put a solid, secure, proper label on every piece of your luggage.
 
But some people are going to greater lengths, with Apple Air Tags or other digital solutions inside their checked bags they can track on their smart phones.  The airline might not know where your bag is, but you will.  
 

Arrive Even Earlier for your Cruise

 
Cruise travelers should already know it’s best practice to arrive in your port of embarkation a full day ahead of sailing in case of any flight delays or luggage problems.
 
These days, I’d suggest two days if you can. It’s much easier to be reunited with lost or delayed luggage if you’re still in the same place where your flight landed instead of two ports of call away, and these days, getting lost luggage sorted out can take more than one day.

 

And Finally - Be a Good Fellow Traveller

 
Don't just pack your patience, pack your politeness, too.

It goes without saying that you should check to make sure a bag is yours before you walk away. And be polite to stressed baggage service staff if something goes wrong.
 
But you can go even farther. Someone I know saw a bunch of ‘abandoned’ bags at an airport carousel, and as a good citizen, while she was waiting for her own bag, started texting owners of ‘missing’ bags their bag label and pic of where it was in the airport so they could reclaim it. She got messages back saying she had saved the day for some fellow travelers!
 
Don’t let luggage worries stop you from traveling or get you down. Use these tips to keep the baggage blues away from your next trip.
 

Start Your Trip!

 

New Rules for Tourists in these European Destinations

Blame it on irresponsible influencers or out-of-control bachelor/ette parties. But some of Europe’s most beloved destinations are cracking down on masses of visitors whose actions are changing the local atmosphere – for the worse. 


Authorities in these favorite European destinations are setting new rules for what they see as tourists behaving badly. Don’t be that guy. You’re not that guy… are you?


By: Lynn Elmhirst, Producer/ Host BestTrip TV

Venice’s Tourist Tax

 
Venice has been one of the original poster children for what we now call ‘over-tourism.’ Too many people visiting, pushing locals further and further away from town, and hollowing out the very local culture visitors are seeking. That’s even when they’re well-behaved.
 
While tourist numbers haven’t yet returned to ‘normal,’ the tourist comeback in Venice this year is seeing the return of some tourists displaying disrespectful, unruly behavior – and that’s put city officials over the edge. They’re implementing some never-before seen restrictions on visitors to Italy’s ‘Floating City.’ 

 
Recent months have seen tourists skinny dipping in the city’s UNESCO-preserved canals and vandalizing iconic churches. In May, a portion of the façade of the Redentore church was defaced with pink graffiti. Another church, Sant'Antonin, was graffiti’ed a few days earlier. That same month, two tourists were seen diving naked in the canal within the residential district of Castello. Shocked locals observed them swimming for around five minutes in the water, where nearby houses drain their sewage.
 
Venice talked about restricting visitors even before the pandemic. And now, they will soon begin to implement measures to limit the numbers of visitors. Beginning in January, 2023, day visitors to Venice will have to pay to enter the city. It makes Venice the first city in the world to require an entrance fee.
 
Taking its cues from Uber, the new ticketing system to enter Venice incorporates ‘surge’ pricing, with the fee ranging from 3 to 10 euros based on the current level of demand - the more requests for entry, the higher the cost.

An online portal to buy entry tickets will be unveiled in the fall. Tourists who stay in a hotel in Venice are exempt from the fee as they pay a tourist tax for their accommodations.
 

Sorrento’s Bikini Ban


Another epic Italian destination on the legendary Amalfi Coast (pictured, top) is putting its foot down with some tourists, too. Sorrento’s colorful oceanfront, cliffside buildings, and lemon groves are a favorite with photographers and Instagrammers.

But the destination wants to keep up local standards. It’s instituted a 500 euro fine for women walking around town in a bikini, or men going shirtless – off the beach, calling lack of covering up while in town ‘indecorous’ and contrary to ‘civilized cohabitation.’

Spain’s Beach Town Fines for Peeing in the Sea… and More


As a resurgence of tourism to the Costa del Sol, Ibiza, Malaga, and Mallorca has seen a return of too many tourists behaving badly, Spain is attempting to not just maintain local standards – there’s been a move by some of its most famous coastal and island destinations to clean up their image.
 
One media report says that “Spain's tourist industry is trying to shed its reputation as the party capital of Europe.'
 
That apparently includes peeing in the sea, which comes with fines of hundreds of euro if caught relieving oneself off the pier. Posters around beaches publicizing the new law show a line across a figure of a man urinating off a dock into the water.

(The island of Ibiza)
 
Laws already went into effect in Majorca and Ibiza limiting guests at all-inclusive resorts to 6 drinks a day, which honestly seems like more than enough. Similarly, they’re putting restrictions on the hours alcohol can be sold, banning pub crawls, happy hours and other promotions that emphasize heavy drinking in defiance of the local lifestyle of quiet, relaxed drinks with friends at outdoor cafes.
 
Other new laws also tackle more dangerous and ‘anti-social’ habits. Some are easy to support - and frankly, should go without saying. Shame on any tourist who uses soap in the sea or litters!

And we can also get behind forbidding selfish or dangerous behaviour like BBQ's on the beach, hogging space with a towel, or playing ball or bat games. Some tourism areas are also cracking down on noise levels in ‘tourist’ areas.
 
Other new legal measures are clearly more about keeping it classy. Like Sorrento in Italy, some coastal communities require visitors to cover up. Women wearing bikinis walking around on the streets will be fined, as will men without shirts once they leave the beach.
 
The Costa del Sol is banning ‘obscene’ costumes and props popular for bachelorette parties. And on Mallorca, a new dress code has banned swimwear off the beach as well as “boob tube” strapless tops.
 

So what’s a responsible tourist like me to do? 


Rely on the old saying “When in Rome…” and show your respect for communities who are sharing their destination with you by following their lead when it comes to clothing, manners and overall human decency.

Plus, talk to your expert travel advisor about visiting some of these iconic destinations in ‘shoulder’ season, when there are fewer people visiting. You’ll avoid being part of the overcrowding problem, and you’ll likely find a warmer welcome from the locals, too.

Start Your European Trip!

 
 
 













Epic New Routes Add 650 Miles for Cyclists to Explore the USA
New bicycle routes across the U.S. have added 650 miles of possibilities for people who love to see the world on two wheels.

The Adventure Cycling Association, the largest cycling membership organization in North America, has revealed three new cycling routes along historic Route 66 in Oklahoma, through Minnesota’s 10,000 Lakes, and along the Delaware River. The new routes in Oklahoma and Delaware are the first U.S. Bicycle Routes in those states, while the new route in Minnesota is its fourth.
 
The new additions and other realignments add more than 650 miles to the official U.S. Bicycle Route System, improve route connectivity, and the possibilities for cycling adventures.
 
The U.S. Bicycle Route System now has an incredible 18,534 miles of routes in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
It’s a developing national network of officially designated, numbered, and signed routes that use existing roads, trails, and other facilities for bike travel. The U.S. Bicycle Route (USBR) System is planned to grow to 50,000 miles of routes and open new opportunities for cross-country travel, regional touring for visitors, and also commuting by bike for locals. It benefits local communities by providing new routes, enhancing cycling safety, and increasing tourism.
 
Here’s what’s new:
 

Oklahoma

 
USBR 66 is 429 miles long, and boasts the most rideable miles of Historic Route 66, America’s “Mother Road.”
 
USBR 66 crosses Oklahoma from the Kansas border in its northeast corner to the Texas Panhandle on the west. Following Historic Route 66, it travels through Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and passes landmarks like the world’s largest concrete totem pole near Chelsea, the Round Barn in Arcadia, the historic Bridgeport Bridge from “The Grapes of Wrath,” and Lucille’s Service Station in Weatherford along the way.

Along USBR 66 in Oklahoma - Beth Pickard
 

Minnesota

 
USBR 20 is 188 miles long, and offers miles of off-road riding past several of the state’s 10,000 lakes.
 
From the west bank of the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, USBR 20 travels northwest, joining the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail to Osakis, then the Central Lakes State Trail to Fergus Falls, passing numerous towns and several of the state’s 10,000 lakes along the way. The route leaves Fergus Falls on a section of the North Country Trail and continues to Maplewood State Park before merging with the Heart of the Lakes Trail. After Pelican Rapids, it reaches Moorhead, the Red River and the North Dakota border on roads and trails.
 

Delaware

 
USBR 201 is 37 miles long and takes in historic sites and Delaware River views.
 
The new USBR 201 begins at the Pennsylvania border and parallels the Delaware River, joining the Northern Delaware Greenway and linking Bellevue State Park to Brandywine Park as it enters Wilmington. After crossing the center of the city, it follows the Jack A. Markell Trail to historic New Castle and, again, the Delaware River, where there are views of waterfowl, ships, and the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Turning west, the route continues through Newark neighborhoods and past the University of Delaware campus to its end at the Maryland border.
 
Your expert travel advisor can help you plan a cycling trip in the U.S. or many other countries around the world, with ground support, outstanding accommodations to comfort your hardworking body, and dining that fuels your trip and celebrates the locations you’re admiring on your two-wheeled journey.
 

Start Your Cycling Trip!

 
Images courtesy of the Adventure Cycling Association.
Top image: Along USBR 20 in Minnesota - Kvidt Creative-Explore Alexandria Tourism

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This Island's 'Crop Over' is the Hottest Harvest Festival of the Summer
Move over pumpkin patch. Step away from the apple bobbing booth. Harvest festivals aren’t limited to rural and small town traditions of northern climes memorialized in Norman Rockwell artwork.

Almost every culture in the world with agricultural roots has some kind of harvest festival – and Barbados' ‘Crop Over’ heats up summer with a distinctly ‘islands’ way of celebrating its traditional conclusion of the sugar cane harvest.

While the agricultural tradition dates back to sugar plantations in Barbados (and several other Caribbean islands that cultivated sugar) in the 1600’s, today’s Crop Over in Barbados is a Bajan culture, arts and entertainment extravaganza.
In 2022, Crop Over returns to Barbados after a two-year pandemic hiatus.
 
Not to be confused with one of the region’s Carnivals, Crop Over is a purely summer event. Events build up over a couple of months, leading up to a crescendo at the end of July, to the final event, the Grand Kadooment, in early August. 
 
The Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Reeds’ opens Crop Over and is one of the clearest links to the festival’s heritage as the celebration of the sugar harvest, accompanied by live music and entertainment.
 
Crop Over is known for “Calypso Tents” which are community halls and spaces for not only music by local Bajan performers like the iconic Red Plastic Bag, but also for other Crop Over community events. Calypso performers vie for the prestigious title of ‘Pic-O-De-Crop.’
 
The other most important musical genre has its own contest and title. Soca Monarch competitions crown adults and children soca musicians, and soca music’s place in Crop Over is enshrined in performances by locals like Alison Hinds.
 
Fetes is a word adopted from French for party, and imaginative, themed parties run throughout the weeks of Crop Over – some at any hour of the day! 
 
Sports fans can get involved in one of the most popular and iconic sports of the region, cricket, and markets and street fairs serve up gastronomic delights.
 

 
And don’t forget the parade! The climax of Crop Over is the national holiday of Grand Kadooment. Costumed bands parade through streets filled with incredible energy, often with international celebrities joining in the fun. Even home-grown celebrity hero Rihanna, or 'Ri Ri to us,' newly-dubbed world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, has been known to make an appearance! Or an entrance!
 
Revellers make their way through the streets of Bridgetown throughout the evening and into the night, where the culmination of Crop Over is marked by fireworks against the backdrop of the beach and thousands of echoes of the traditional greeting: 'Crop Over it sweet fuh days!'
 
Beyond the party atmosphere, what makes Barbados’ Crop Over truly unique is the series of events that make the celebrations a stage for local artisans and performers, including this year’s:
●     Arts and Artisan Pop-Ups in different locations
●     Folk Concert on the Day of National Significance (July 26); and the
●     Foreday Morning Jam (July 30) 
 
And while the island nation preserves its local, multicultural traditions and introduces new experiences, it also keeps Crop Over very up to the minute. In 2022, the Barbados National Cultural Foundation created a new Crop Over Instagram filter for the celebrations.
 
Crop Over is a sizzling harvest festival, island-style – one you can still make plans to attend!

Start Your Island Trip!

 

Images courtesy of visitbarbados.org/

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A Wine River Cruise that's Close to Home
One of the top reasons many travellers take a European river cruise is for the wine. The banks of many of Europe’s rivers provide the perfect combination of drainage and sun exposure for the cultivation of vines that produce some very famous wines.

But one of the best wine river cruises in the world doesn’t require a long haul flight.

Lynn Elmhirst, Producer and Host of BestTrip TV, explains.


The Pacific Northwest’s increasingly-acclaimed wine regions have a river flowing through them. Oregon and Washington states meet at the Columbia River as it flows westward towards the Pacific Ocean.

Our week-long UnCruise Adventure on the Columbia River tapped into some epic themes and gave us experiences that rival any river cruise in Europe – or the world:

·     We sailed in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark’s historic expedition to the Pacific through the Northwest, on a vintage vessel that’s designed to evoke the American frontier era of exploration; 

·     Our cruise gave us front row seats to take in the spectacular scenery of the Columbia River Gorge and its awe-inspiring transition from temperate rainforest to desert-like landscapes and dramatic cliffs; and

·     And it brought us into towns and communities along the way that have staked a claim to fame as world-class wine and culinary destinations.

Although most UnCruise Adventures emphasize soft adventure experiences like kayaking and other water sports off the ship, and zodiak landings in remote locations for hiking and land exploration, our Rivers of Wine cruise highlighted the region’s exquisite wine and cuisine.

And for good reason.


River of Wine

On both sides of the Columbia river, in both Oregon and Washingtonstates, a critical mass of viticulture is gaining world-wide recognition. 

Oregon has now become one of America’s largest wine producing states, with hundreds of wineries growing dozens of varietals, but mainly in small-batch wineries producing artisan wines from Riesling to Viogniers, Pinot noir to Syrah, with sparkling, rose, and dessert wines that tempted our palates.


On the other side of the river, Washington state is also now one of the top wine producers in the country. While it's a relative newcomer to America’s wine scene, wine has an illustrious pedigree in the state, dating back to 1825 when the Hudson's Bay Company planted the area's first wine grapes at Fort Vancouver.
 
Today’s Washington state viticulture community is growing fast, drawing wine-makers from Europe and New World wine regions to the state's unique terroir and conditions for producing premium white and red wines. Washington's young and internationally-influenced wine culture exhibits some of the latest trends in wine-making that visiting oenophiles – like us! love. Hand-crafting, sustainability, organic and biodynamic wines make visits to this Pacific North West wine region a must for any wine-lover.


 
I can’t think of a more geographically diverse wine river! We visited wineries with the Cascade Mountains’ dramatic Mt. Hood as a backdrop, to other vineyards just a short sail along the river thriving in almost desert conditions.

 
It would be nearly impossible to replicate our wine exploration of the Pacific Northwest along the Columbia River without the expertise of our UnCruise experts and guides, whose knowledge and relationships in the region gave us access to passionate local winemaker entrepreneurs who are drawing on the unique terroir (wine-producing terrain) to cultivate the grapes and craft one-of-a-kind wines – none of which we could get at home.

 
In fact, some of our fellow guests were on the cruise specifically to tap into that expertise to add to their wine collections. That’s a clear benefit of a ‘drive-to’ cruise: they’d driven in some cases cross-country to leave their cars in Portland and embark the ship, ready to drive home with a new collection of vintages – and Pacific Northwest winery contacts - after our round-trip voyage.
 
Others, like us, were thrilled just to taste these uniquely Pacific Northwest wines in charming wineries, surrounded by vineyards, and hear the stories of the winemakers, as well as meet and sample the fruits of the labors of other culinary innovators in small communities along the river. I think all of us were inspired to find room for at least one or two special bottles in our luggage to fly home!
 
The wine tastings and culinary samplings during our trips off the ship were complemented by an outstanding onboard gastronomic experience.
 
Hyper-local ingredients, not just regional, but identified on daily menus right down to the farm and producer, were transformed into one memorable meal after another. A ship that small – with a tiny galley! – even included a pastry chef. And in addition to abundant meals, onboard tastings of local oysters, cheeses and other delicacies had us pacing ourselves, knowing more treats we’d have to try would be coming up next.
 
The onboard sommelier worked lock-step with the chefs to pair an outstanding range of local wines, many from wineries we didn’t get a chance to visit, with each dish at dinner.

 
But maybe our favorite moment was on board when, local wine in hand, we immersed ourselves in the top deck’s hot tub during a late afternoon sailing to watch some of the most dramatic Columbia River Gorge scenery float by as we toasted our cruise along America’s River of Wine.
 

Start Your Wine River Cruise Trip!

 
 
All images copyright BestTrip TV/ Lynn Elmhirst.

All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be copied, re-published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





World First: Lie-Flat Sleeping Pods in Economy Class
The farther you have to travel, the more important comfort is on the way there. So it’s no surprise that the national airline of one of the most remote destinations in the world is championing in-flight sleep.

Air New Zealand has unveiled plans for its new Dreamliner aircraft, scheduled for service beginning in 2024, with what it’s calling “the best sleep in the sky” – for everyone.
 
'New Zealand's location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long haul travel experience,” says the airline’s CEO, Greg Foran. “We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort, and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot - they want to hit the ground running.”
 
We’re used to seeing the extravagant comfort available to business and first class air passengers for many airlines, and Air New Zealand’s premium passengers will be spoiled, indeed. The Kiwi-designed Dreamliner cabin has seven different types of seats: two business class, a premium economy section, and a whopping four types of economy class seats.
 
As Air New Zealand’s Foran says, the new cabin design will provide passengers “options to get some shut eye wherever they're sitting.'
 
 
Business class passengers get a “private nest” for a blissful night’s sleep, with one seating option using the middle row to allow passengers travelling together to open their “nest” into a combined space. Meanwhile, the top tier of business class seats provide the ultimate in space and luxury, with a fully closing door and space for two to dine.
 
Premium Economy seats provide more space and unimpeded reclining space so you don’t disturb the person behind you.
 
But it’s Economy class that really shakes up options for getting much-needed shuteye during long-haul flights.
 
Even the basic Economy class seat boasts “more storage, comfort and space and a 50% bigger screen for entertainment. Connect to Bluetooth audio and pair your device to act as a remote control or second screen,” according to Air New Zealand. Economy Stretch, like the name suggests, gives passengers more leg room.
 
 
Economy Skycouch encompasses multiple seats united in a single surface for sitting, spreading out, or lying down. While it looks ideal for families with young children, imagine booking it all for yourself!
 
Then there’s Economy Skynest (pictured top), “the world’s first sleep pods in the sky.” Air New Zealand’s Dreamliners have six, stacked sleep pods that for the first time, let economy-class passengers lie flat in their own space on a long journey. That’s a game changer.
 
And it’s not just seats. The entire flight experience has been designed to help every passenger feel their best.
 
'Research shows us the first night away from home is the hardest to get a good night's sleep,” says the airline. “So everything we do onboard is to help create a sense of calm – from the lighting and sleep ritual including sleepy teas and balms, to healthier food choices and breathable fabrics.”
 
The new aircraft will have a new Sky Pantry for Premium Economy and Economy class passengers, allowing them to stretch their legs (not just milling around the toilets!), grab a bite to eat, and hydrate at their leisure throughout their journey.
 
Meditative onscreen content, “Zentertainment, “ will also help you unwind and get ready for rest.
 
Those innovations will help you feel better while flying.
 
Other innovations on the new Air New Zealand Dreamliners will help you feel better about flying.
 
The airline has also focused on sustainability in its design process. Using modern, lightweight fabrics, rather than leather in the premium cabins, and switching to ligher serviceware, for example, help to reduce carbon emissions. In economy class, new serviceware will eliminate 28 million plastic dishes used inflight every year.
 
So whether you’re planning a trip to New Zealand for its outstanding wineries, natural wonders, land- and seacapes, outdoor adventures, Maori indigenous culture, or cuisine – or all of the above! Now you can also enjoy an outstanding night’s sleep on the way there.
 

Start your New Zealand Trip!

 
Images courtesy Air New Zealand
 
All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 
 
 

Hit the Holiday Weekend with this Travel-Inspired, Rum-Infused Salad Recipe from Antigua and Barbuda
It’s officially summer, and the big holiday weekend of the season spells festive get-togethers and celebrations in the sun and the heat. Well, you can take a cue from a year-round hot-weather destination and spice up your summer salad with a salad recipe from Antigua and Barbuda that hits the spot this hot holiday weekend.

This distinctly tropical salad is simple yet oh so delicious and refreshing – and adults only! It features a large watermelon and is infused with Antigua’s signature Cavalier Rum; yes, rum! The secret is letting the sliced watermelon marinate in the rum for up to two days, ensuring the ultimate sweet flavour that will amp up your festivities and set a high note for the holiday weekend.

This twist on a watermelon recipe comes courtesy of Rodrick Beazer, the Executive Sous Chef of Curtain Bluff Resort in Antigua and Barbuda, the twin-island nation in the heart of the Caribbean Sea.

Antigua and Barbuda offer upscale island travelers not one, but two uniquely distinct experiences. Both islands enjoy ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches - one for everyday of the year!

The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua, comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and the annual Antigua Carnival; dubbed the ‘Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival.’

Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is an off-the-radar celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17-mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere. 

 

Antigua and Barbuda’s Cavalier Rum-Infused Local Watermelon Salad

INGREDIENTS:
Start with a large watermelon; seedless watermelon is best for this recipe
1 cup Cavalier rum 
½ cup toasted sliced almonds 
1 bowl of fresh island greens
½ cup local goat cheese
2 sprigs kale 
 
MAKE-AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS:
To infuse the watermelon: 
1. Cut the watermelon in half, horizontally. Place half side down on a clean, dry surface. Then slice a portion off the round top and then each side, making it a square or rectangle. Slice into approximately 1-inch slices.
2. Place sliced (and seeded, if you aren't using seedless) watermelon into vacuum / sealable plastic bag(s). Pour in the Cavalier Rum. 
3. Place vacuum bag into chamber vacuum sealer and pull a full, 100% vacuum on the fruit. You can also do this carefully without a vacuum sealer carefully by hand pressing out all the air.
4. The fruit can marinate in the rum in the refrigerator for up to two days. (After two days, juices will start to expel from the fruit, surrounding the fruit in the vacuum pouch. The fruit is usable, but the texture isn’t as perfect.)
 
To Serve:
1. Remove watermelon from the pouch. Top with goat cheese, almond slices, and kale. Garnish with greens and serve!
 
Chef Beazer says that the rum-infused salad is a perfect side dish for barbequed fish - especially salmon - or chicken. He suggests pairing it with a light rosé or pinot noir wine to accentuate the sweetness of the watermelon.
Until you can make your next – or first! – trip to Antigua and Barbuda, we know this salad recipe will be your travel-inspired star of your sizzling summer entertainment!
 

Start your Tropical Trip!

 
Salad image and recipe courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda.

Australia's Latest Luxe Stays: New Hotels to Inspire a Trip Down Under
Koalas and kangaroos, beaches and beer and ‘bugs’ (lobster-like shellfish), deserts and mountains and rivers iconic in the Southern hemisphere, and that famous Aussie lifestyle and hospitality! There are so many reasons to put a trip to Australia on your travel list – including these new, luxury hotels that make a trip anywhere in Australia just a little more exciting with anticipation.
 
From the first-ever Ace Hotel in the southern hemisphere, to the biggest W Hotel in the world, Australia’s tallest hotel, a nature lodge with indigenous guides, the first Marriott Luxury Collection in Australia, to historic re-imaginations, every style of traveler who appreciates the good life – and the best of Australia - will find a new hotel to love.
 
Ask us to design the trip Down Under of your dreams including one or more of these new hotels.
 

SYDNEY

 
Ace Hotel
Opened in May 2022, the Ace Hotel Sydney marks Ace’s very first home in the Southern Hemisphere. Nestled in Surry Hills, Ace Hotel Sydney is a sweeping re-imagination of a historical location. With 257 incredible guest rooms and a variety of suites, there is a room for every type of holiday. The hotel also offers a range of dining options, including ground-floor restaurant, LOAM; craft cocktails, wine and beers at Lobby Bar; day-to-night cafe and bar, Good Chemistry; and the acclaimed, genre-bending restaurant Kiln, located 18 stories above Ace and helmed by Chef-Partner Mitch Orr.
 
W Sydney (opening late 2022)
Set to be the biggest W Hotel in its catalogue of more than 60 across the globe, W Sydney will be a must-visit for travelers to the harbor city. W Sydney’s undulating ribbon form rises through two elevated roadways on Sydney’s Darling Harbour, creating a spectacular waterfront experience, sightlines over the Harbour and pedestrian links across Cockle Bay and from the Harbour through to Darling Quarter and Sydney's International Convention Centre.


The hotel is within walking distance of the buzzing dining and shopping district as well as the surrounding area. The gleaming glass building will boast 593 guest rooms and an assortment of larger serviced apartments, along with a restaurant, two bars, spa and an infinity pool overlooking the harbor.

 Ⓒ QT Newcastle
QT Newcastle (opening June 2022) - Newcastle, 90-minutes drive north of Sydney
Newcastle may be known for its laid-back beach culture, but it will soon also house its own luxury accommodation offering. The popular boutique QT Hotel brand will be making its debut in Newcastle in June 2022, marking the fourth QT property to open in Australia. Set to take over the former 111-year-old David Jones department store building, QT Newcastle will be conveniently located on Hunter Mall right in the centre of the growing beach-side city. The design-led hotel's luxurious, quirky flair and distinctive service will feature across the 106-rooms, rooftop bar and its signature QT dining concept.
 

GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND

 
The Langham Gold Coast (opening June 2022)

Located on the sands of Surfers Paradise, The Langham Gold Coast will feature 169 rooms and suites and an additional 170 serviced apartments as part of the new Jewel Residences by The Langham. Visible throughout the Gold Coast, the hotel will be located inside the tallest of three waterside skyscrapers.


It is the first and largest development with direct beach access to be built in the coastal city within the last 30 years, offering uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean or the Hinterland. Surrounded by the buzzing dining district and nightlife of the Gold Coast, the hotel offers guests the perfect base to explore the region. The hotel will also offer a Cantonese restaurant T’ang Cou, an afternoon tea experience similar to the world-famous version at sister property The Langham in London, England, and several wellness offerings built around traditional Chinese medicine.
 

MELBOURNE


Ⓒ Ritz Carlton Melbourne
Ritz Carlton (opening late 2022)
Australia’s culture capital is getting set to ‘put on the Ritz,’ with the arrival of The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Melbourne in late 2022. Located in bustling Spencer Street within walking distance of some of the city’s top dining and shopping destinations, the hotel will be housed in the $2.6 billion West Side Place. The precinct will include four striking towers accommodating more than 2,600 one, two and three bedroom residences, many with expansive views across the city and the bay, and exceptional lifestyle facilities. The Ritz Carlton hotel itself will also set a record as Australia’s tallest hotel, complete with a “sky check-in”, a restaurant on level 79 and 263 hotel suites.
 
 

FARTHER AFIELD


Ⓒ Finniss River Lodge
 
Finniss River Lodge - near Darwin, Northern Territory
Perched on the edge of a vast floodplain, the newly opened Finniss River Lodge is located just a 90-minute drive or 20- minute private charter flight south west of Darwin. Boasting one of Australia’s most exciting chefs, Travis Crane, guests will experience dining that celebrates the highest quality and most seasonal produce native to the region.

Ⓒ Finniss River Lodge

Guests will find a relaxing escape, luxurious suites and amenities, along with an inviting wet-edge pool, all offering expansive views out over the surrounding floodplain and fiery sunsets. For those wanting to explore the region, there are a range of immersive experiences led by highly trained guides, including air boating, on-property four-wheel drive or open buggy tours, heli-fishing and cultural learning with an Indigenous guide.
 
The Tasman - Hobart, Tasmania

The Tasman Hotel in Hobart’s city centre is the Marriott Luxury Collection brand’s first in Australia. Located in Parliament Square just a six-minute walk from Hobart’s city centre, the hotel features 152 rooms and suites with carefully restored features and Georgian and Art-Deco design elements throughout.


The hotel also houses a range of premium dining options, including a lobby lounge, whisky bar and signature Italian restaurant in partnership with Chef Massimo Mele. With a range of stylish rooms available, there is something for every kind of traveler looking for a truly memorable experience.
 
Sequoia at Mount Lofty House - Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Located within an hour of Adelaide’s International Airport in the ambient Adelaide Hills, Sequoia houses 14 sustainably designed suites each with unrivalled panoramic views of the city and picturesque surrounding region.


The state-of-the-art lodge, situated on the sprawling Mount Lofty Estate, features spring-fed stone hot pools, an infinity pool, day spa and valley rim campfire amphitheater. Sequoia has an on-site team of local Experience Hosts who guide guests through activities themed around the lodge’s key experience pillars of Food and Wine, Wellness, Nature and History.
 
The Westin Margaret River (opening 2023) - Margaret River, Western Australia
Located on the southern headland of Gnarabup Beach in Margaret River, 2.5 hours’ drive south of Perth, the Westin Margaret River Resort & Spa (below and top images) is slated to open in 2023. The resort will be home to 120 guestrooms, including 45 spacious suites, featuring uninterrupted views of the vivid coastline.


Seeking to offer guests an opportunity to rest and recuperate, the resort will feature a range of spa packages from the iconic Heavenly brand as well as a signature Westin fitness studio and a resort-style outdoor swimming pool. Drawing heavily on local produce, there will be a diverse range of culinary offerings on site including an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge and pool bar.
 

Start Your Australia Trip!

 
Images copyright of their respective properties unless otherwise states, all courtesy of Australia.com

Top Souvenirs from a Trip to England
2022 is a great year to be an anglophile! Queen Elizabeth II’s history-making Platinum Jubilee, marking her remarkable 70 years of service, plus a new Downton Abbey film, have brought all things British to the forefront of popular culture.

Interest in travel to Britain is at an all-time high to experience Britain’s storied pomp and circumstance, English culture and quirk, and immerse yourself in one of the world’s most adored and copied lifestyles, from cricket to rowing, afternoon tea to a round at the pub, stately homes and quaint cottages, gardens to skyscrapers, exquisite tailoring to hand-written invitations: the good life, British-style.

You’ll want to bring some of it home to re-live your vacation and share your love of all things English.

Lynn Elmhirst, producer and host of BestTrip TV, just returned from a transatlantic crossing on the British luxury line Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, with a few days post-cruise in London during the Queen’s Jubilee year. Here are the souvenirs that made it into her bag:
 

Books

English authors have made their mark on the world, from Shakespeare up to the present day, and London remains one of the publishing centers of the planet. And even most modest homes today still retain that very British tradition of having a library to be proud of.


Indulge in some time in an English bookstore. “High street” or mainstream bookstores have so many books you’ll never see at home – even though they’re both written in English! That includes books by experts sharing tips and information about traveling around London or Britain through the lens of their special interests that can help inform and shape your travels.

Then there are still treasure troves of independent, specialty bookstores – if you love books, you could get lost forever and love it!

Tea Service

If someone visits England and doesn't have afternoon tea, have they actually been to England at all?

That very civilized tradition of taking a load off one’s feet in the middle of the afternoon and partaking in a restorative cup of your favorite tea, along with light finger sandwiches, a perfect scone, clotted cream and jam and a sweet delicacy or two… simply makes your day. And tides you over til a late dinner after taking in a performance in one of London’s West End theaters, for example.

You may find you can’t live without afternoon tea, in which case, you’ll need a tea service. From impossibly elegant versions made by top names in British fine bone china, including patterns available in England only, to quirky versions that speak to your own personal sense of style, a tea service will allow you to reminisce about your time in England for years to come.


Start with just a tea pot you can mix and match with your own china at home, or go all the way with tea pot, milk and sugar, teacups and saucers, even sandwich plates! Many fine stores even arrange shipping.

Consumables

When it comes to family, friends and colleagues, I’ve found the most-appreciated souvenirs are the ones that disappear – down your throat!

And England does consumables up right. From teas to biscuits (or as we’d call them: cookies) jams to chutneys, sweets to chocolates and more – all in high-designed tins and packages and parcels and baskets that are essential English style.


There’s no end of shops to stock up on edible souvenirs, but you won’t want to miss the grand-daddies of them all: Harrod’s and Fortnum and Mason.

Anything from Liberty’s

The luxury department store in the unmistakeable historic building – erected in Tudor style using ship timbers symbolic of the exotic emporium of its vision - in the heart of London’s Regent Street shopping area, has become synonymous with the truly unique designs of late 19th century creator, William Morris.


A keen anglophile can always spot a Liberty pattern, whether it’s on a shirt, scarf, man’s tie, or woman’s bag.
Those would be for you. To share with loved ones back home: edibles packaged in those unmistakeable Liberty designs.


Gin

While its earliest origins stem from the Netherlands just a short sail across the Channel, hundreds of years ago the English made gin very much their own. Today, a gin and tonic – or G&T, remains the essential English cocktail.

Forget everything about gins you’ve tasted at home, and start sipping unfamiliar, small-batch gins on your trip to Britain. There’s a lot more to gin today than distilled juniper berries! Combinations of botanicals, florals, and herbal ingredients have resulted in intriguing new flavors of gin, that are just as delicious sipped straight up as they are mixed with a high-quality tonic.
Image Courtesy Royal Collection Trust

Buckingham Palace now has its own gin that you can buy at its gift shop in support of the Royal Collection Trust that maintains one of the largest art collections in the world.


So does British cruise line Cunard. In fact, Cunard partnered with the well-known distillery Pickering's to create three gins with different flavor profiles: one for each of its ‘Three Queens’ ships.
 

Umbrella

If you were asked to draw an Englishman, chances are, he’d be sporting a tailcoat, a hat… and an umbrella. The quintessential dapper Englishman flourishes his umbrella, which isn’t just an affectation, but protects him or the lady accompanying him, from the English weather.


If quality apparel and accessories mean something to you, England is the place to acquire an umbrella with character. Check out the fine department stores, some specialty stores, and find yourself the perfect bespoke umbrella that will be a conversation-starter back at home – like this one above, kindly provided for the use of guests at our hotel, The Londoner (below), a stunning new luxury hotel in Leicester Square in the heart of the capital's theater district.

 

Globe

In addition to books, of course, every stately home’s library comes equipped with a splendid globe. Every world traveller should have one, too. Flat maps or – the horror! Apps! – fail to evoke the sense of scale of our planet, the distances between destinations, across seas and oceans… or the magic of travel in the way a globe does. Tactile by its very nature, a globe engages our wonder with travel.

And there’s one person in England making bespoke globes by hand in a studio in London. My camera team and I visited the studios of Bellerby & Co. to learn the secrets of putting a map on a sphere you can touch.


The studio isn’t open to the public, but you can order a globe online – even personalized in any way you can imagine! To have a little piece of bespoke English artisanship - and keep your travel dreams alive as you spin it at home.

 

Start your England Trip!


All images copyright BestTrip TV / Lynn Elmhirst unless otherwise stated.


























First-Ever, Statewide Waterfall Trail in the U.S. Opens Just in Time for Summer
Kick off summer on a quest. For the very first time, a statewide trail helps active travelers get off the beaten path, connecting them to over two dozen waterfalls across the most scenic parts of West Viriginia.

The 29 waterfalls of the official West Virginia Waterfall Trail are just a ‘drop in the bucket’ of the more than 200 waterfalls found in picturesque places around the state.

Chasing Waterfalls in America’s Newest National Park

Included on the trail are six waterfalls in America's 63rd – and newest - national park, the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. These breathtaking cascades can be found within secluded coves, such as Turkey Creek Falls, or can be enjoyed at the end of a scenic trail, such as Glade Creek Falls, or hidden gems like Finn's falls. As travelers continue to flock to the national park, the falls along the West Virginia Waterfall Trail highlight must-visit spots to add to an East Coast summer nature trip.
 
The novelty of the new park and its falls is in addition to well-known cascades along the West Virginia Waterfall Tails like Blackwater (pictured) and Sandstone, as well as lesser-known waterfalls like Drawdy in Boone County. Some, like Cathedral, tower above the valley floor, while others span wide rivers.

As more and more of us show an interest in spending our leisure and travel time outdoors, the launch of the first-ever waterfall trail couldn’t come at a better time – in addition to its debut at the beginning of the summer and along with the state’s landmark new national park and nature preserve.

'Breathtaking waterfalls are everywhere in our 1.5 million acres of parks and public lands, making this trail a must-experience activity for adventure-seekers this summer,' said West Virginia’s Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby on the occasion of the waterfall trail inauguration in June, 2022.

The state dubs itself ‘an outdoor oasis in the heart of the East Coast,’ and just in 2022, the state has been recognized by a number of prestigious publications for its magnificent scenic beauty and outdoor recreation. Among its natural wonders, the rushing waterfalls found across the state create the perfect backdrop for soft adventure that’s accessible to almost everyone, young and young at heart, and at multiple levels of fitness.

West Virginia’s connecting its natural wonders via new technology. Travelers on a waterfall quest in the state can go to WVtourism.com/waterfalls and register to have the West Virginia Waterfall Trail passport delivered straight to your smartphone. As travelers explore each of the more than two dozen waterfalls featured on the trail, they can stamp their passports by checking in at each location.

The state’s Department of Tourism is even rewarding waterfall chasers with exclusive gear along the way in the trail’s inaugural season:
  • Check in at three or more waterfalls and receive a custom sticker.
  • Check in at 10 or more waterfalls and receive an aluminum water bottle.
  • Check in at 20 or more waterfalls and receive a waterfall wanderer t-shirt.
 
'From simple boardwalks to hilly treks, we want to make your efforts to experience our falls worth every mile,' said Ruby. 'While out and about on the West Virginia Waterfall Trail, be sure to post photos of your explorations on social media using #AlmostHeaven.'
 
Go for the falls, stay for West Virginia’s other stunning attractions. In addition to its majestic mountains and rolling hills, West Virginia is full of rich historic sites, enchanting art galleries, charming towns and what state officials call “an immense sense of belonging found only in these heaven-like landscapes.”

 

Start Your Nature Trip!

 


The ‘Mega-Moon’ and More Romance Travel Trends Every Couple Needs to Know
With so many celebrations put on ‘hold’ over the last couple of years, we knew when people started getting together to mark life’s great milestones again, it was going to be big.

How big?

Well, according to a new survey conducted by an online travel company, destination weddings and honeymoons are going ‘mega.’

The survey of American couples found that a whopping 97% - nearly all – honeymoon plans over the last two-plus years were affected by the pandemic.  Plans were either downsized, or canceled altogether.

And those couples are having a celebration comeback!  Almost 5 million weddings are expected to be celebrated in 2022 -2023, and happy couples are revisiting their plans  - upwards.
You may be surprised at some of the latest destination wedding / honeymoon trends shaped by two years without travel!   And it’s not just newlyweds. Some of these trends spill over to couples who are already together, and looking to rekindle that spark on a romantic trip together.

Trips, Not Toasters

More than ever before, couples are prizing experiences over an excess of stuff.  Now, a big majority – 65% - of couples are adding a honeymoon fund to their wedding registries. Instead of a complete table service at home, they want to dine in exotic locales together. 

‘Double-Moons’

Why stop at one honeymoon? An incredible 83% of couples now say they are planning multiple honeymoons. That could mean a mini-escape immediately after saying ‘I do,’ followed by a longer, more lavish trip later.

‘Redo-Moons’

Then there’s the clear pandemic trend – the do-over. Over half of couples revealed they were not completely satisfied by a honeymoon they did take during the pandemic.  A lot of couples took shorter trips, closer to home, rather than their dream, celebratory trips, and now they want the chance to make their honeymoon travel dreams come true.

‘Mega-Moons’

Go big, or stay home. Well, most couples did the ‘staying home’ part during the pandemic. Now they’re going big. Over half  - 53% - of couples say they’re going to splash out on their honeymoons, spending more than they had originally budgeted. That’s because now, almost two-thirds say they now want their honeymoon to be a bucket-list trip in luxurious surroundings.

The epic honeymoon today can take different shapes for different couples. Beach and tropical destinations are no longer the first choice of today’s couples.  About the same amount of couples are also interested in multi-destination trips, urban escapes or even national park trips.   Less than half say they’re interested in an all-inclusive resort – but the majority are looking for ‘pampering’ and romantic activities together like hot air balloon rides, sunset boat trips, and soft adventures.

Top Ten Honeymoon Destinations for 2022 - 2023

Move over, traditional island beach destinations! Today’s couples are all over the map when it comes to planning the ultimate honeymoon. 

Only one Caribbean island and one exotic tropical island destination made the top ten list of honeymoon destinations this year. St. Lucia and its twin Pitons are number 7 on the list, and the legendary coral islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean made the list at number 10.

Two hot-weather U.S. destinations made the list, including the tropical appeal of Florida, and the mystique of Los Angeles, at numbers 4 and 5 respectively.

The exotic, high-end urban destination of Dubai was the surprising second-most popular honeymoon destination this year.

Europe is made for romance, and honeymooning couples still favor the City of Love, Paris, the number 3 most popular honeymooning destination in the first post-pandemic travel year, as well as the Mediterranean pleasures of Spain (6) and Italy (7).  But the Nordic island of Iceland, with its surreal volcanoes, glaciers, and hotsprings, is an unexpected number 9 on the top ten list.

And the English-speaking U.K. – coming off the Queen’s history-making Platinum Jubilee celebrations, full of fun pubs, castles and stately homes, picturesque tiny villages and familiar cultural appeal, tops the list of 2022-23 honeymoon destinations.

Start Your Romantic Trip!


All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





Top Trends for a New Era of Wellness Travel
Global Wellness Day this year is June 11th, just as we are getting back into travel. Wellness travel has been a growing trend for several years, and the pandemic has given a whole new perspective to what we think about wellness, self-care, and good living.

Travel plays a big part in a balanced lifestyle. As the Wellness Tourism Association explains, small changes and good new habits can have an impact on our health. And that’s where wellness travel can come in. More than 100 countries mark Global Wellness Day, and many have their own cultural contributions to self-care practices. Travellers looking for new inspiration can combine the spiritual lift of travel with new mental, physical, and spiritual practices at their sources.

Gone are the days when ‘wellness’ travel meant just a massage and yoga at your resort. Travel can be the first step towards an overall – and long term – healthier and overall improved life.
In the decade since the origins of Global Wellness Day, the World Tourism Association says new wellness travel have taken root. Here are some to think about when you’re planning your next trip – and want to include elements that will ensure you return home better than when you left.

The Return to Travel Prioritizes Wellness
Wellness and self-care are among the top interests of people as we get back into travel.  The pandemic has reminded us of how important it is to take care of ourselves and to be well enough to face physical and mental challenges.

Wellness experiences are in high demand as travelers begin planning trips again.

You Can Skip the Spa
Some people live for a day – or longer – at the spa. But others may have avoided so-called ‘Wellness’ retreats because spas are not their thing.

Fear not. While spa treatments and established wellness center practices like yoga and massages remain popular and standard offerings, the wellness experience is expanding rapidly.
In particular, authentically-local practices drawn from historical, natural, or spiritual roots are ever-more in demand.

Embracing Nature
Increasingly, spending time in the natural world is being recognized as a major contributor to overall wellness. From international interest in the Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ to simply the tremendous growth in interest in hiking nature trails, the world is returning to its natural roots in pursuit of physical and spiritual wellness.

The World Tourism Association says spending time in nature is the practice most cited by wellness travelers in its surveys.

Small is Big
People have been getting more pro-active about their health, educating themselves about the science behind living well and staying well. According to the Wellness Tourism Association, that means they’re leaning into the learning’s that show how making small changes – and sticking with them- can lead to better health over the long term.

Those people are creating a demand for more wellness options, practices and training they can continue at home, and wellness-for-a-lifetime experiences they can begin on holiday and continue in their daily routines in real life.

Wellness is not a Luxury
In the past, wellness travel options have had the gloss of luxury – and luxury wellness isn’t going anywhere.

But if you thought of wellness travel as something for ‘ladies who lunch,’ you may be happy to learn that’s changing fast.

Many of today’s wellness travelers are looking for experiences and options that are inclusive and accessible to all fitness, and body types and budget levels. 

That’s great news for everyone who wants to look towards a future where your travel dreams come true – and you’re exploring the world as your very best self.

Start Your Wellness Trip!


All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

By: Lynn Elmhirst, Producer and Host, BestTrip TV


How to Travel Like ‘Emily in Paris’
The breakout TV series is the stuff of travel fantasy, but you don’t have to be a fictional character to have a dream trip to France.

The good life, Parisian-style, eye-catching fashion center-stage and a thread of romance against a backdrop of one stunning City of Lights setting after another, Emily in Paris on Netflix follows the French adventures of a young American woman living the dream when her luxury marketing job is relocated to Paris.

The pure escapism of the streaming series, as well as the heroic secondary character – Paris itself! – has captivated and inspired audiences.

If Emily in Paris has made you imagine yourself in Paris, read on!  Here are just a few locations in the City of Love where Emily’s adventures took place – and your own adventures in France, can too!

Jardin du Palais Royal
Emily first meets her friend Mindy, a nanny living in Paris, in the elegantly landscaped gardens just steps from the Louvre in the heart of Paris. 

The Jardin surrounds the 17th century Palais Royal – once, as the name suggests, a palace, but now, government buildings.  It’s a little green haven in this busy part of the city, where locals take five to recharge, and visitors can rest their feet and regroup surrounded by classically French gardens.
 
Café de Flore
In the late 1800’s and first part of the 20th century, Saint-Germain-des-Pres was perhaps the most artistic neighborhood in the world, drawing giants and change-makers who transformed their fields and defined an era. Artists, novelists, and philosophers turned Saint-Germain-des-Pres into an incubator for some of the most profound works from the period that we still know and love today.
 
And many met, exchanged ideas and inspired each other at the picturesque sidewalk tables of the Café de Flore, one of the oldest in the city.  It’s still a must-see destination in Paris today, fantastic for people-watching. Of course producers of Emily in Paris had to include this iconic and easily-identifiable setting for the scene where our heroine meets Thomas, a professor.
 
Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier
Emily in Paris is not the first work of fiction to be set in this famous Paris location. Perhaps you’ve heard of “The Phantom of the Opera?”
 
The setting that inspired one of the most successful musicals of all time, Paris’ magnificent opera house dates from the 19th century. As impressive as the architectural masterpiece is on the outside, it’s truly breathtaking on the inside, so like Emily visited to see Swan Lake, we recommend you book tickets for one of the operas, orchestral, or ballet performances scheduled.
 
For her visit to the Palais Garnier, Emily even dresses in a nod to Audrey Hepburn, perhaps the Hollywood actress most associated with her string of classic films set in the City of Light, and as the muse of iconic couturier Hubert de Givenchy.



Pont Alexandre III
 
Gardens, cafés, architectural marvels… and bridges. Any story located in the city built up from the Seine must include at least one of its famous bridges, and Emily in Paris is no exception.
 
Emily’s marketing company uses the Alexander III bridge as the set for a commercial shoot for a client’s perfume, and the shoot-within-a-shoot location couldn’t be more ideal.
 
While the ironically-named Pont Neuf (‘New Bridge’) is the oldest structure spanning the Seine, Pont Alexandre III may have the distinction of being the most beautiful.  Not only is it stunning to behold, a walk across it reveals iconic scenes of the city, including the Eiffel Tower.



EMILY BEYOND PARIS

Like many savvy visitors to France, Emily travels beyond the City of Light’s famous Boulevard Périphérique ring-road, to savor the best of French beach life on the famous Cote d’Azur.

In the series, Emily takes a girls’ getaway to the real-life, iconic Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, an institution on the glamorous French Riviera since the Art Deco era of the 1930’s. On acres of grounds punctuated with local, Mediterranean trees and vegetation with the sea lapping at its secluded pebble beach, this Four Seasons Hotel is the perfect setting for a fictional – or a real life! – escape to the indulgence of one of the world’s most famous seaside lifestyles.

In fact, the hotel has even created an experience, inspired by its starring role in Emily in Paris, for any guest.  Its ‘Girls’ Trip on the French Riviera’ experience echoes Emily’s fictional trip: transfers from the airport in a Bentley; a stay in a Sea-View suite with elegant French windows opening up onto a patio with an infinity pool or, on higher floors, with views high over the sea; bespoke cocktails; Mediterranean-based spa treatments; and private cabanas at the hotel’s famous pool-side Club Dauphin where the hotel also arranges for a photo shoot to memorialize your own, Emily in Paris-inspired dream vacation.

Start your Trip!



All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Image: courtesy Netflix
Middle Image: Getty
Bottom Image: courtesy Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel




North America to Get its 6th MICHELIN Destination Guide to Star-Rated Restaurants
Or… why will foodies flock to Toronto this fall? That’s when Canada’s largest city becomes only the sixth destination in North America – and the first Canadian city – to be ranked among the crème de la crème of the world’s gastronomic locations.

That’s when the first MICHELIN guide for Toronto will be published. It joins just a rarefied handful of destinations on the continent in getting the seal of approval from the ‘high church’ of culinary credentials.

And those of us who already know and love Toronto’s food scene aren’t surprised.

The city on the north shore of Lake Ontario is surrounded by food producers who collaborate with world-class chefs and restaurateurs, providing farm-fresh ingredients and boutique food products to the appreciative and discriminating palates of city dwellers and visitors. 

As one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities on the continent – and even the world – Toronto also delivers some of the finest international cuisine and chefs who marry their cultural culinary roots with daring new ingredients, preparations, and treatments.

Not to mention Toronto’s just over an hour away from the country’s award-winning Niagara wine region.
Apparently, MICHELIN representatives have been casing the city incognito, evaluating the prospects of awarding coveted stars to restaurants in high profile and tucked-away neighborhoods around the city. Recently, it decided to add Toronto to the ranks of MICHELIN-evaluated destinations.

According to MICHELIN, “A new chapter begins in Toronto, which features global eats and charming cafes as well as high-end dining experiences. It’s a city where top chefs want to establish a presence and where emerging chefs nurture their culinary talent – both drawing on locally produced ingredients unique to Ontario.
 
“This selection will reflect the local flavors and international influences of this gastronomic scene.”
 
“Toronto’s culinary scene is as diverse as the city itself, and MICHELIN Guide Toronto is the perfect way to celebrate our culinary community,” said Scott Beck, President & CEO of Destination Toronto.
 
“It will be a powerful way to share our culinary capabilities with new audiences from around the world.”
 
Anonymous gastronomic inspectors are now investigating Toronto’s culinary scene in earnest and writing their reviews. The City of Toronto notes the coveted ratings in the upcoming guide will involve “complete autonomy regarding the restaurants assessed and the outcome of those assessments.”
 
MICHELIN guides began in France over a century ago as a way for the tire company – yes! the same company as the rotund, MICHELIN man made out of tires! - to encourage early car-owners to travel on road trips throughout the country and beyond (and buy tires!) Its lists, reviews and famously-starred ratings of dining, accommodation, destinations and attractions set a standard for all guide books that followed.
 
Just as they expect celebrated restaurants to re-earn their stars, the famous French guide books haven’t rested on their laurels, either.

In some ways, their culinary evaluations have come full circle.

The earliest MICHELIN guides noted not just justifiably famous restaurants along motoring routes that French travellers followed en route to their vacations in the countryside and beaches of France. They also advised which secret jewels of small, mom-and-pop – or should we say, mere-et-pere? eateries in small, off-the-beaten track villages were worth the drive or diverting from your route.

Today, MICHELIN guides award not only stratospherically-pricey fine dining restaurants in France with priceless stars, but also famously, street food in Singapore.

So travellers to Toronto can look forward to a MICHELIN guide to a full range of culinary adventures at different budgets. 

In fact, you might not want to wait for the word to get out and all the restaurants to fill up, and instead, beat the crowds to your own gastronomic pilgrimage to the world’s latest MICHELIN destination. Toronto’s favorite foodie festival, Summerlicious, returns this summer in August.  

START YOUR CULINARY TRIP!

 
 

New Ways to Celebrate the Start of Summer at the "World's Most Photogenic Beach"
A recent survey of the most popular hashtags in travel photo posts in social media wasn’t a scientific study. But it did generate a clear winner of the title “World’s Most Photogenic Beach.”

That honor went to the seven miles of shorelines and sparkling waters of South Florida’s legendary Miami Beach. If it’s been a while since you indulged in the surfside views and epic lifestyle of one of America’s most famous beaches and beach towns, here are some experiences that can give you new ways to enjoy Miami Beach.

And just in time for the unofficial start of the summer season – with family-friendly ideas, too. 

Seaside

Air & Sea Show: Late May’s unique annual event, dubbed “the Greatest Show Above the Earth,” showcases the men, women, technology and equipment in motion from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as police and emergency responders. Over two days, you’ll get a rush of adrenaline watching offshore powerboat racing exhibitions, extreme water sports, and more – all with sweeping ocean views from the shores of Miami Beach.

Fishing Charters: Find a little adventure of your own through some of Miami Beach’s world-class offshore, deep sea or wreck fishing just off its shores. Experienced anglers and novice fishers just starting to get a taste for man vs. fish challenges will find an active, educational, and customized day – or half-day – at sea.

Luxury Yacht Charters: Maybe you don’t need your day on the water to have a goal like a big catch. Singles, couples, friends and families can all enjoy a day on the water ‘living the life’ on a luxury yacht. Custom charter itineraries can include a tour of the shore’s gorgeous architecture and celebrity home views, an afternoon learning the ropes on how to operate a water vessel, culinary experiences catered by local private chefs and active water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding and jet skiing.
 
Salt Float Bath Therapy: You can even get the benefits of salt water while on land. The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort lets you float your stress away in a weightless saltwater bath that incorporates 800 pounds of healthy bath salts. The experience helps release natural endorphins, relieve muscle pain, calm anxieties and stimulate blood flow. Who doesn’t need some of that? Plus the stellar ocean views poolside while you relax following your salt water spa experience.

 

Open-Air Design 'Museum'


You may already know about Miami Beach’s globally-recognized collection of design genres including art deco, Mediterranean revival, MiMo and the Miami Beach school of architecture. The city keeps adding to its unique design history in its tropical vacation lifestyle.

Signature Lifeguard Stands:
Recently, the reinvented Miami Beach’s signature lifeguard stands by William Lane (pictured, top) have been newly-recognized as iconic landmarks and symbols of the design-centric, urban beach destination.
 
After Hurricane Andrew destroyed several of the lifeguard stands dotting Miami Beach in the 1990’s, the city called upon designer William Lane to create replacements. Almost immediately, the five lifeguard stands, which the designer said were “influenced not only by Miami’s midcentury and art deco architecture but also by its Caribbean culture and the use of vibrant colors derived from the natural beauty of the tropics” became symbols of the community’s renaissance. Decades later, he was asked to revitalize more of Miami Beach’s seven-miles of sand and sea with new, eye-catching lifeguard towers. You won’t want to miss even one.
 
Get more of a design fix at some new or newly-renovated Miami Beach hotel properties, and design tours, too.
 
The Shelbourne South Beach dates back to the 1940's, exuding timeless luxury, elegance and original Art Deco design. As a stylish playground, guests can expect a dose of oceanside glamour with pops of color and interesting angles to enjoy, even from the hotel’s pool and diving platform. 
 
While Miami Beach is known for incredible Art Deco style, Mediterranean Revival is not to be missed. From superstar couture designer Gianni Versace's masterpiece on Ocean Drive to restaurants and storefronts featuring handmade tile and metal intricacies, travelers can get a taste of another of the city’s distinct design flavors during a walking tour curated by The Miami Design Preservation League. It showcases the architecture made popular on Miami Beach in the 1920's and 1930's. 
 
And, no day is complete on Miami Beach without a classic cocktail in stylish surroundings. Design-lovers can check out the new Lapidus Bar at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach. The beachside hotel was built in the 50’s by iconic architect Morris Lapidus, known as the pioneer of Miami Modern style. Evoking the glamorous, Rat-Pack feel of the era, the bar is located in the hotel's lobby and is part of a spectacular $90 million renovation, bringing the design elements of the past together with iconic, Ritz-Carlton five-star service.
 

Start Your Miami Beach Trip!







New USPS Stamp Collection Salutes Mississippi River Cruising
They don’t call it the “Mighty Mississippi” for nothing. From Lake Itasca’s trickling overspill in Minnesota, the Mississippi travels the length of the continental U.S., growing as it flows for 2,300 miles until it empties into the Gulf of Mexico with waters added from tributaries in 31 U.S. states.

The Mississippi is at the core of American heritage, and is often also referred to as “America’s backbone.” It’s also the country’s heart and soul, and one of the most epic river routes in the world. No wonder the popularity of Mississippi river cruises continues to grow.
 
In the spring of 2022, the United States Postal Service recognized the continuing allure of America’s greatest waterway and “quintessential highway” in a new stamp collection called the Mighty Mississippi. Each of the 10 photographic stamps in the portfolio represents a state along the course of the river.
 
And one of them – the Iowa stamp - features American Queen Voyages' American Queen steamboat near the city of Bettendorf. The honor also marks American Queen Voyages' 10th anniversary of sailing the Mississippi River.
At the ceremony dedicating the new stamp collection, the master of ceremonies was the cruise director of American Queen voyages, and John Waggoner, founder and chairman of American Queen Voyages joined USPS chief postal inspector, local mayors from along the river, historians and pastors, were also on hand to inaugurate the collection and note its significance.

“Travelers have been captivated by the Mississippi River — romanticizing the steamboats transporting them from Minnesota to Louisiana — throughout history,” said Waggoner. “Our flagship American Queen is an iconic symbol of those mighty paddle-wheelers, and we are honored to have her grace the collection.” 
 
The American Queen may be the perfect existing river cruise ship to symbolize Mississippi river cruising. At 400 feet long and nearly 90 feet wide, it’s the largest paddlewheel steamboat ever built. Her ornate, historic design, complete with bright red paddlewheel, fluted stacks and curlicue woodwork harkens back to the “romanticized” early days of Mississippi riverboat travel. That’s no accident.
 
“What we try to do as philosophy is keep things like it was in the 1900s. This is just how it was when Mark Twain was onboard,” Waggoner has said.
 
“We want you to experience the thump-thump-thump-thump-thump of the paddlewheel. We want you to stand on the stern. We want you to get muddy Mississippi water spraying your face, and we want you to sit in a rocking chair, and watch the river go by and relax.'
 
Other stamps in the collection highlight top destinations – and incredible diversity of travel experiences – along the length of the Mississippi.
River cruises tend to break the immense river into sections. Guests can choose northern, middle or southern itineraries – or even full length cruises of the Mighty Mississippi. From the unmistakeable, mid-century ‘gateway to the West’ skyline of St. Louis in the north, through the rich lands, horse, music and bourbon cultures in Kentucky and Tennessee, to the bayous of the South and the magic of the bright lights in birthplace of jazz and Creole culture, New Orleans, a river cruise on the Mississippi can bring travelers closer to the heart of America than they may have ever imagined.