Sunday, June 8, 2008

all adventure travel is a luxury It's fair to say that all adventure travel is a luxury. But, of course, there's luxury and then there's real luxury. Ohio- based travel company Abercrombie and Kent specializes in the latter.

Take, for example, the "luxury camping" trips the company offers. On Abercrombie and Kent's "mobile camping tented safaris," clients sleep in tents, but as company spokeswoman Jean Fawcett makes clear, "these are not tents like you and I think of them. In fact, we call them 'bush pavilions.' The guests have access to flushing toilets and heated showers. There's linen on the tables and Waterford crystal on the nightstand."

Nightstand? Crystal?

Not exactly roughing it.

Not exactly cheap, either. Abercrombie and Kent's 14-day "East Africa Hemingway Safari" in Tanzania and Kenya costs $11,925 per person, not including air transportation to and within Africa.

As steep as that may seem, it's hardly the most expensive travel package in the company's catalog. A 20-day "adventure cruise" to Antarctica, for example, costs $25,000, and an around-the-world flight on the company's customized Boeing 757 can run close to $100,000.

The "Nine Wonders of the World" private jet tour features visits to places such as Machu Picchu, Easter Island, the Sydney Opera House and the Taj Mahal. At a total fare of $89,800, that works out to about $10,000 per wonder.

Has the specter of recession put a damper on such lavishness? Fawcett says no.

"On our last worldwide flight," she reports, "we had about 15 passengers rebook even before they got off the plane."

Cosmos-wide travel

How about booking a spot on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo? Sir Richard Branson's suborbital space flights will carry passengers to a maximum altitude of 360,000 feet, where they will be able to glimpse the curvature of the Earth as they drift weightlessly around the cabin. After a few minutes, alas, gravity will reassert itself and the vessel will come back to Earth. Flights won't begin until next year, but the "spaceline" has already sold more than 200 seats at $200,000 a pop.

For anyone keen on entering orbit, the price tag is at least an order of magnitude higher. Dennis Tito, an aeronautical engineer turned financier, became history's first space tourist in 2001. The American billionaire reportedly paid $20 million to visit the International Space Station aboard a Russian spacecraft.

Since then, the price has gone up considerably. The company that arranged Tito's voyage — Virginia-based Space Adventures — advertises the trip to the space station at $30 million to $40 million.

In 2005, the company announced an even bolder vision for space tourism — namely, commercial lunar expeditions. As always, there are technical obstacles to be surmounted, but if everything goes according to plan, two paying passengers and a cosmonaut will fly a Soyuz space module around the moon with a possible stopover at the space station. The first challenge will be finding people who can afford the fare: $100 million per passenger.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Holland America Launches 80th Passenger Ship

When you're looking for a cruise experience that can be described as "excellent," "exceptional" and "luxurious" Holland America can certainly provide. Since 1872, this premium cruise line has offered distinctive tours to some of the most unique cities in the world. However, it's during this year (2008) that Holland America Cruise Line will stretch to achieve new heights.

With an entirely new class of vessels - Signature Class - Holland America will launch its 80th passenger ship: Eurodam. Scheduled for her maiden voyage during summer 2008, Eurodam will be impressive in size, stature and amenities. This award-winning cruise line is sure to garner a few more accolades thanks to this stunning and innovative new ship.

Something To Look Forward To

New to Holland America is a 144-seat topside Pan-Asian restaurant. Guests will delight in the cuisine as well as the scenery. The restaurant and 50-seat lounge offer panoramic views overlooking the ocean and the pool on the Lido deck.

In addition, a specialty restaurant serving the finest and most authentic Italian cuisine, a new atrium bar, and a new photographic and imaging center will be included on Eurodam.

One of the most exciting additions is an extra deck that allows for 63 new staterooms, 10 of which will have ceiling-to-floor and wall-to-wall panoramic windows.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Theme cruises on the high seas are more popular than ever.

Today's cruise lines have taken the onboard experience to new heights but what if rock climbing walls, skating rinks, surf parks, waterslides and bowling alleys at sea aren't your cup of tea?

Enter cruising's ambitious new era, where theme cruises rule.

In addition to showcasing the history, culture and natural wonders of countries and regions visited, such cruises are designed to help passengers pursue the latest trends in hobbies, explore new fields of learning, catch up on world developments and even engage some of the world's leading experts and celebrities in conversation all the while at sea.

Crystal Cruises, the ultra-luxury line, will feature a host of theme sailings in 2008 including an Arts & Antiquities cruise; the Crystal Wine & Food Festival, offered on six voyages; three special golf cruises; Jazz & Big Band; Film & Theatre; and Smithsonian Journeys, featuring lecturers from the Smithsonian Institute.

They have even introduced special cooking activities for kids as part of the Club HAL program.

On longer voyages, look for notable speakers and experts from a variety of fields.

In addition to destination experts and special interest lecturers on such topics as political science, history and finance onboard every sailing, upscale Oceania Cruises is noted for its culinary cruises as well. Other themes include wine tasting seminars and classes in computer software, iPod, Adobe Photoshop and video editing.


Friday, December 21, 2007

cruise shops for party girls

The news travelled fast between the racks of £1,000 Prada dresses and podiums loaded with Louis Vuitton handbags in the Manchester branch of Harvey Nichols. Word had come down from the players at Manchester United that it was time for a "harvest".

The best looking shop assistants were put on alert to expect an invite to one of the biggest football parties of the year. The same thing happened at Selfridges next door. They may never have met them, but for one night these young women stood a chance of swapping their lives as shop assistants to be the guests of champions, some of whom earn 400 times more than they do.

One by one, the invites for the event came; sometimes directly from a player shopping after training, or from a friend deputised to handpick the most attractive young women to "decorate" their party.

Such "harvests" are a part of a social scene involving footballers and would-be Wags (wives and girlfriends of footballers) which was thrust into a harsh spotlight this week after Jonny Evans, a United player, was accused of the rape of a 26-year-old at the club's Christmas party. Evans, 19, was released on bail pending further questioning and has not been charged. He has denied the allegations.

Manchester's boutiques and department stores have emerged as that scene's frontline and, according to the shopworkers, the reality of meetings with millionaire footballers can be far from a fairytale.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Aweoeme cruise travelling

I've just returned from a week with my Husband on Cruise, where onboard amenities are given up in favor of long days exploring six southern Caribbean islands. it was awesome and fanatastic.My favorite ports-of-call were Grenada and Bequia (one of the Grenadine islands).If you have your experience with cruise travelling please share your travel with comments.

pamela jacob.

Dozens Rescued From Stranded Cruise Ship

The captain of a cruise ship with 66 people aboard ran the vessel aground early Thursday after it began taking on water, the U.S. Coast Guard said. No one was injured, and the Coast Guard got everyone off the boat.

The captain wanted to keep the ship from sinking when it encountered trouble in the Intracoastal Waterway in an isolated, rural area of Virginia Beach, along the Atlantic Coast, officials said.

The Coast Guard received a report about the ship at about 6 a.m. CBS affiliate WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Va., reports a rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City responded with dewatering pumps.

It wasn't clear why the ship began taking on water.

Two 41-foot Coast Guard boats picked up the ship's passengers and crew and took them to a ferry landing about 2 miles away, Petty Officer Christopher Evanson said. The Virginia Beach police and fire departments helped with the rescue, which was completed about 11:15 a.m., he said.

Earlier, Evanson described the situation as serious but said no one's life was at risk. Passengers ate breakfast as they awaited rescue, he said.

The boat was stuck in the mud in water about 9 feet deep and was stable, Evanson said. It was only about 100 feet from shore, but the area is a wooded swamp, he said.

"You can't just take passengers into the woods. You take them to the closest safe haven," he said.

The boat, the Spirit of Nantucket, was on a 10-day cruise from Alexandria, Va., to Charleston, S.C.

It is owned by Cruise West, a small cruise line based in Seattle. The vessel eased onto a mud shoal while damage was being assessed, the company said in a statement.

Cruise West made arrangements to take the passengers to a hotel.

The boat is 207 feet long, can accommodate 102 guests and has an 8-foot draft, making it suited for cruising shallow waterways, according to Cruise West's Web site.


Hundreds Sickened on Hawaiian Cruise

HONOLULU (AP) — A highly contagious virus that causes stomach flu sickened about 220 passengers aboard a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that returned Monday to Honolulu after its weekly seven-day cruise around the islands, officials said.

Lab tests confirmed a norovirus — which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea — aboard the Pride of Hawaii, said Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Health.

"It's one of the common viruses we've been seeing on cruise lines," Okubo said. "Most of the time, people recover."

The Norwalk-like virus infected about 9 percent of the ship's 2,500 passengers, and no one was hospitalized, the cruise line said. Virus symptoms typically last a day.

Passengers who felt sick, as well as their cabinmates, were asked to remain in their rooms for 24 hours. Norwegian said it was giving those passengers a $200 on-ship credit.

Surfaces in the ship were cleaned to eliminate lingering viruses, it said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating, Okubo said.

Norwegian describes Pride of Hawaii as the largest and most expensive U.S.-flagged cruise ship ever built. It began service last year.

Norwegian was acquired in February 2000 by Star Cruises PLC of Malaysia, according to the cruise line's Web site.