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   Summer 2019 Issue  

 

If you want to understand Japan, go to Kyoto! I kept hearing that phrase before embarking on this tour of discovery. Although this was not my first trip to Japan, it would mark my introduction to this amazing city.     (More)

 

The sheer grandeur that is the Emirate of Dubai rushes through you during the 60 seconds it takes to climb to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. In Dubai, everything is bigger, faster and more opulent than you could ever have imagined.    (More)

 

Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon is a gathering place from dawn to dusk. As the sun starts to rise, joggers and walkers accompany the noisy Brown Pelicans and swooping Magnificent Frigatebirds along the oceanfront boardwalk.  (More)

 

AmaWaterways  Avalon  Azamara  Carnival  Celebrity  Costa  Crystal  Cunard  Disney  Holland-America  Hurtigruten  MSC  Norwegian  Oceania  Ponant  Princess  Regent  Royal-Caribbean  Scenic  Seabourn  SeaDream  Silversea  Star-Clippers  Uniworld  Viking  Windstar       (More)

 

How could anything go wrong on a ship called the ‘Joy”?  And true to the name, our cruise was a real joy. Not sure when to stop the puns but they come so easily and joyously!   (More)  

 

Losing a loved-one is always difficult. We lost Dad five years ago. He never saw Paris and only saw the waterfront of Le Havre as he made his flight to Canada in 1957, leaving behind his war-ravaged homeland of Hungary that was pitted in fresh bullets from the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.   (More)

 

There’s something irresistible about the Caribbean. The air smells of the sea and sunshine. Palm trees sway next to white sand beaches and candy-coloured buildings. But how to choose which island to visit?   (More)

 

Captain Gary Kerr of the Victory 1 Cruise Ship, part of the fleet owned by the American Queen Steamboat Company, has an endearing quality about him. His distinct Sean Connery-esque, Scottish accent, along with his personable nature and sense of humour identify him as one of the key components of the Great Lakes Grand Discovery Cruise.(More)

 

Sipping coffee in the realm of teas, we sat on a balcony, cruising past little islands woven in morning mist. We were approaching the tall modern buildings of Hong Kong. Wooden fishing boats bobbed below and tugboats headed toward us, ready to guide the 12-deck high MS Queen Elizabeth to this thriving international metropolis.  (More)

 

Years ago, our first cruise was a quick jaunt through the Florida Keys, our second was during Christmas…this time would be an extra-special one as we would be celebrating New Year’s Eve at sea in the Bahamas!    (More)

 

It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska (or the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii or Europe)?   (More)

 

Travellers looking to bypass a European Summer escape in lieu of the magic of off-peak travel will be thrilled with the announcement of Trafalgar’s Autumn, Winter and Spring (AWS) trips. With 37 itineraries across 27 countries, the brand connects travellers with Europe’s best experiences, people, and destinations with these year-round and Winter specific itineraries.     (More) 

 

Located in the middle of one of the world’s most natural-stunning landscapes, Guilin has long laid claim to having the most beautiful scenery in China. The city with a population of close to one million, a small city by Chinese standards, is encircled by a countryside of weirdly shaped Karsts - bizarre stone forests with many formations appearing like camels, elephants, horses, lions and upside-down ice cream cones.    (More) 

 

Copenhagen + Tasmania + Good-To-Go Travel Gear 
Intrepid Travel + El Tuito + Falklands + Lulus Swimwear
Turkish Airlines + Tropical Tidbits
(More) 

 

There’s lots of new and cool in the Dutch Caribbean ABC Islands, and a great new family resort coming to Cancun, as well! Let’s have a look…   (More)

  

Even for those who’ve never visited this colorful little Dutch Southern Caribbean tropical gem, chances are good you’ve heard or tasted its famous neon blue liqueur or seen photos of its candy-colored waterfront of colonial houses called the Handelskade.     (More) 

 

Luxury Hotels...Grand Resorts...Charming B&B...Opulent Villas...Quaint Country Inns...Luxary Safari Camps...Ecolodges...Ice...Cave...Treetop... Hotels    (More)

 

Our bike ride along the newly-opened Okanagan Rail Trail, a 50km multi-use pathway that ran from the north end of Kalamalka Lake to the center of Okanagan Lake in downtown Kelowna, took much longer than expected.   (More) 

 

One of the joys of being a travel writer is that I get to fulfill my quench for knowledge and adventure daily. Whether by plane, train or even camel on occasion, I am fortunate to explore the nooks and crannies of this planet, absorbing the cultures, traditions, religions and especially the cuisine of foreign lands.   (More) 

 

 

   Spring 2019 Issue  

Click on the cover for an electronic version
or scroll down for the more comprehensive on-line version of featured articles

 

 

It would be difficult to find enough time to see all that Japan has to offer, even in a lifetime there would still be endless things to see and experience and then re-see and re-experience. This is how deep and diverse the culture is, and my one week of discovery was but a drop in the ocean - but a meaningful one with wonderful fond memories.     (More)

 

When we entered the “Yellow Cloth Dream Factory” (Kihachijo Yume Kobo) on Hachijojima Island, we didn’t realize that we were about to embark on a journey to the past. Homare Yamashita, the owner, sat at one of the looms making the yellow silk cloth for which the island is famous. After using a wooden baton to press the weave tightly, he shared some insight into his world.     (More)

 

Our arrival to Matera could not have been any more spectacular. Just like a perfect postcard, this historic hill-top town glistened in the setting sun. It would prove to be the great beginning to a marvellous week of traveling through a wonderful and lightly traveled part of Italy.   (More)

 

Think back to when you were a child and the many exotic ideas China would elicit in your imagination. The grandeur and you will get a glimpse of all this in Gubei Water Town. Perfectly restored historic buildings, cobble stoned streets, arched bridges, water canals and the majestic Great Wall as a back drop would be the ideal setting for a child’s fairy-tale novel. This is a marvellous atmosphere by day as well as a romantic setting by night.   (More)  

 

AmaWaterways  Avalon  Azamara  Carnival  Celebrity  Costa  Crystal  Cunard  Disney  Holland-America  Hurtigruten  MSC  Norwegian  Oceania  Ponant  Princess  Regent  Royal-Caribbean  Scenic  Seabourn  SeaDream  Silversea  Star-Clippers  Uniworld  Viking  Windstar       (More)

 

A snake charmer threatens to wrap a cobra around my neck. “La shokran!” (no thank you) I manage to squeal. The town square pulsates with activity – acrobatic entertainers, fortune tellers, Berber musicians; it feels like one huge carnival. From the square, a labyrinth of narrow alleys fans out into the souk (market), which brims with brassware, pyramids of colored spices and pointy beaded shoes.   (More)

 

It’s early afternoon when our fishing boat The RAPP heads out from the harbour of Stavenger, Norway. Soon we’ve left the 17th century wood-framed shops of Old Town behind. A gunmetal sky looms on the horizon, icy water splashes our faces and sea birds soar overhead.    (More)

 

I’m not a morning person. But for some inexplicable reason, I found myself on the top deck of the Star Flyer before the crack of dawn my first day at sea. It was pitch black and windy, and I found myself hanging on tightly as I tried to steady myself to get in position in case the sunrise surprised me out of the blue. As dark dissipated, I noticed the silhouette of tall, bearded older man frozen in position with a big serious camera- also poised to capture what might transpire. (More)

 

Two ships pass in the night. When Classica is enroute to the Grand Bahama Island, Celebration is heading to Palm Beach, Florida, and vice versa, each taking two days to complete the journey.  (More)

 

Bali + Puerto Vallarta + Good-To-Go Travel Gear + Intrepid Travel 
Amherst Island-ON + Panama + Londonderry
Turkish Airlines + The Travel Corporation + Tropical Tidbits 
(More) 

 

Island Hopping with the Star Flyer
My recent Caribbean sail with the Star Flyer tall ship included stops at different islands. Here are some highlights of our week’s onshore adventures to: Nevis, Dominica, Îles-des-Saintes, Guadeloupe, Antigua, St. Barthélemy and St. Maarten 
  (More)

 

Minus 30 to plus 30 equals plus 60. Not really, but leaving Canada for Jamaica in the midst of one of the coldest winter spells is like going from the freezer to the oven…and I welcomed the oven.   (More)

 

This visitor paradise has so much to offer that travelers sometimes forget that there is a local cuisine to be discovered. In Orlando, you can find some great unique options, as well as every chain restaurant and fast food option you can imagine. We tried a little of everything.   (More)

 

Take the kids out of school for a vacation? Not anymore.Exams, part-time jobs and school projects mean it’s a high season family vacation or stay at home. And winters are long. And cold. But four flights during high season for some fun under the sun is prohibitively expensive.     (More) 

 

Le Monastère des Augustines, Grand Central Hotel Belfast,
Vdara Hotel & Spa Las Vegas, Puntacana Resort & Club - Dominican Republic,
The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort in Panama,
Waterstone Resort and Marina - Boca Raton, Florida,
Ocean Pointe Suites, Key Largo, Fisher Inn Resort & Marina, Islamorada.
(More)

 

I was exhausted as I laboured up the last few steps of La Giralda - Seville's most outstanding monument. A steeple of Spain's most massive cathedral, that is the third largest in the world, it has been for centuries a mecca, drawing countless travellers. For over 770 years, along with other nearby historic structures, it continues to be a lasting reminder of the Moors and their architecture, drawing millions of tourists to Seville.     (More) 

 

Singapore is an entire nation whose population is about the same as an average American city. Yet despite this, or perhaps because of it, Singapore is home to some of the most marvelous examples of modernity that continues to defy expectations on a global scale. Its airport, Changi Airport, for instance is considered to be one of the best in the world, as its architecture is stylistically groundbreaking and its culinary traditions are a curiously curated mix of those of the nations that border it.    (More) 

 

When one daydreams of escaping to paradise, Phuket, Thailand’s largest island should come to mind. With the most splendid beaches where aquamarine waves break on its pearly white, powdery shore, each of Phuket’s tropical havens are equally beautiful but very much different. Besides the obvious draw of the beach, the culture of Phuket is also not to miss. Its capital Phuket Town on the east coast is home to fascinating mansions and shophouses that exemplify the curious local Sino-Portuguese style.   (More) 

 

The smile on my face lingered just like the hot and humid night. This was already day five of our 12-day tour of Malaysia. The time was speeding by, but I relaxed with the knowledge that there were seven more days ahead to explore this fascinating country.    (More) 

 

 

   Winter 2018-19 Issue  

Click on the cover for an electronic version
or scroll down for the more comprehensive on-line version of featured articles

 

 

Just cannot get enough of China!  With 13 trips and counting, one particular destination had eluded me for two decades. Surprising how I never made it here before as it is one of the most visited cities in China and part of the classic itinerary that included Beijing and Shanghai.     (More)

 

Certainly one of the joys of re-visiting Japan is that on each successive trip (this was my 18th visit) there are still so many amazing places to discover. On our latest quest in the West, we encountered both Heaven, in Izumo - the dwelling of the gods, and Hell in Kannawa - in the hot springs, called ‘Jigoku’.     (More)

 

That is the exact amount, 321, of volcanoes that reside upon the Spanish island of Tenerife, which is astonishing given that it is a relatively small island. That was lesson number one on a journey that would prove to have many.   (More)

 

This past September, I went through an unforgettable, life changing journey. This journey, which was more than I ever anticipated, started with a stroll into a forest with a beautiful lake and a stunning mountain view. I was in Kootenay Bay, British Columbia, about to embark on a retreat at the Yasodhara Ashram.      (More)  

 

AmaWaterways  Avalon  Azamara  Carnival  Celebrity  Costa  Crystal  Cunard  Disney  Holland-America  Hurtigruten  MSC  Norwegian  Oceania  Ponant  Princess  Regent  Royal-Caribbean  Scenic  Seabourn  SeaDream  Silversea  Star-Clippers  Uniworld  Viking  Windstar       (More)

 

In this part  two of our wonderful Viking cruise, we set sail. Heading straight north from our base in Bergen, we hugged the coast to the European lands-end in Honningsvåg, Norway. From this land of the midnight sun we navigate our way south to the mystical land known as the Shetland and Orkney Islands just before we end our journey in London.   (More)

 

“China has changed so much in the last 20 years,” I kept hearing before my trip. I was told of megacities, seas of skyscrapers and high-speed trains in a country modernizing at breakneck pace.     (More)

 

I recently had the opportunity to discover Europe’s powerful Danube River aboard the AmaWaterways ship, AmaSonata, which first launched in 2014. This was my first river cruise and I quickly understood why this cruising trend is so popular. AmaSonata offers not only top-notch amenities, but also has a considerably relaxed vibe. (More)

 

Prague + Uganda + Good-To-Go Travel Gear + Intrepid Travel 
Cape Town + Helly Hansen + Qatar Airways + Exodus Travels
Turkish Airlines + The Travel Corporation + Tropical Tidbits 
(More) 

 

In going through the alphabet, if you had to pick a place that has played a vital role in western civilisation, first and foremost would be “A” for Athens.   (More)

 

6 Super All-Inclusive Stays in Montego Bay
AM Resorts has been very busy offering more excellent stay and play all-inclusive options in Jamaica over the past few years. And now there is something for all ages, styles, budgets, and accommodation preferences.
  (More)

 

A strong odour, which smelled like peeled hard boiled eggs – a little on the rotten side—hit us as we entered.

“It’s not me; I had a bath,” joked our Parks Canada guide, Amar Athwal.  
  (More)

 

Festivals are a good place to kick up your heels and kick off a grand travelling adven-ture. This was true for my debut visit to Northern Ireland last July to attend Ireland’s largest maritime festival, the annual Foyle Maritime Festival in Derry-Londonderry.   (More)

 

Seattle Sheraton - Fairmont Empress Victoria - Kananaskis Mountain Lodge Puntacana Resort & Club, DR -  Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo                                  Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo - Mahogany Bay Village                                           Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort
Breathless Cabos San Lucas Spa Resort and Spa                                                  The Al Bait Sharjah Hotel Dubai - Cheetah Plains, Sabi Sands
(More)

 

Maryland is a state of contagious enthusiasm these days and it doesn’t take long for visitors to become infected with excitement.     (More) 

 

I get a good sense of how abundant the wildlife is in Costa Rica as soon as I step out of the airport. As I follow my guide extraordinaire, Emilio Solana, to the car, he politely says, “watch your step”. I glance down thinking, “oh, that rock is too close to the wall for me to trip over.” And then Emilio says, “that’s a cane toad.”    (More) 

 

We heard the rush of the massive waterfall before we saw it. We were walking down a rainforest path in a remote national park, just a small group of visitors with two local guides, snaking between towering trees and occasional luminous blue butterflies the size of my hand.   (More) 

 

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