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An Interview With Neelam Dwivedi
How many years have you been selling travel?
I have been selling travel for 23 years and am recently the recipient of the 2022 Travel Agent Appreciation Award.
What are your hobbies?
Travel of course and not without the loved ones! I absolutely love nature therefore any spare time I have, I love to spend by going for Hikes and exploring any natural beauties. What women doesn't like shopping? Anywhere there is fashion and shopping, I'm there! Whether its Vancouver or Paris anything will do when it comes to shopping and finding hidden gems.
What type of resort activities do you favor? ie water sports, lounging by the pool, etc?
I enjoy water sports and always up to the idea of outdoor exploring. When I travel my preference is luxury as I want my hotel room to be as nice as my bedroom at home.
What are your favorite destinations?
Being born in the South Pacific with a tropical climate year round with white sandy beaches when I think of travel what comes to my mind is exploring different cultures and their heritages and history; therefore, I love European destinations such as Holland, Germany, Switzerland, France just to name a few.
What languages do you speak?
Austria, Belgium, Coach Tours, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal
Coach Tours, England, Ireland, Scotland
Australia, Bora Bora, Cook Islands, Fiji Islands, French Polynesia, Moorea, New Zealand, Tahiti
Sun (Mexico, Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii)
All Inclusives, Couples, Cuba, Disney, Dominican Republic, Florida, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico, Sandals
Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Las Vegas, New York, San Diego, San Francisco
Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan
Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Star Clipper Cruises, Uniworld River Cruises, Viking River Cruise, Voyages to Antiquity, Windstar Cruise Line, River Cruising, South America Cruise, Alaska Cruise, AMAWaterways, Avalon Waterways, Carnival Cruise, Celebrity Cruise, Crystal Cruises , Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise, Europe Cruise, European River Cruising, European Waterways, Holland America, Mexican Riviera, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Princess Cruises, RCCL, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Seabourn Cruise Line, Silversea Cruise Line
Weddings & Honeymoons
I escorted my group on another Trip of a Lifetime to a world of color, culture and cherished spiritual traditions - India & The Ganges River from Feb 12th - March 11th, 2019! We flew with Air Canada on a non-stop flight to Delhi and after a 3hr layover we were off to Chennai as we started our trip in South India. Flight duration is 14hrs and 20mins into Delhi therefore I would recommend one upgrading to Premium Economy or my preference would be Business Class! Air Canada offers pod seating with lumbar support and massage function, which converts to a fully flatbed! With all the extras and phenomenal service onboard, it certainly makes a 17hr flight more pleasurable. DAY 1: ARRIVAL CHENNAI. After our morning arrival into Chennai, we did a city tour after which we headed to our beautiful hotel ITC Grand Chola for an overnight stay! The name Chennai was derived from Chennaipattanam, built by the English in 1639.The earlier name of Madras was a short form of Madraspattinam a fishing village. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu and is the largest industrial and commercial center of South India and also an important centre for Carnatic music. The city is also famous for the Tamil movies and known as “Kollywood.” Chennai came into prominence because of the British who defended the town against several attacks from the French and converted it to a major naval port.Overnight at Hotel ITC Grand Chola. This is a luxury collection hotel with 506 rooms, 78 luxuriously appointed service apartments & 16 palatial suites which are the epitome of Indian grace and style. It has ten distinct dining destinations featuring Indian & international cuisine along with some of the world’s most well appreciated and prized beverages.DAY 2: CHENNAI MAHABALIPURAM VIA KANCHIPURAM. (Driving time approx. 2.5hrs)Today we drove to Mamallapuram visiting Kanchipuram enroute. Kanchipuram was the ancient capital of the Pallavas and was the town of 1000 temples. Kanchipuram sight-seeing takes you through some of the known temples such as Siva temple from the 7th century, Ekambareswara temple, Sri Kailasanathar Temple from the 8th century, the Sri Vardaraja Perumal Temple, the Sri Kamakshiamman Temple, etc. Kanchipuram is a paradise for shoppers as it offers the world-famous Kanchipuram silk and saris. Home for Two nights at Hotel Radisson Resort Temple Bay. Lunch at Dakshin restaurant in GRT Regency Hotel, Kanchipuram. After lunch we continued our drive towards Mahabalipuram. DAY 3: MAHABALIPURAM.Mamallapuram also known as Mahabalipuram or Mamallapattana. This is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a historic town and seaport. It was also known by the ancient mariners as the city of "Seven Pagodas". Out of the Seven Pagodas, only the Shore Temple survives. Mamallapuram was a bustling seaport, and the traders went to countries of South East Asia from here. It was an important port for the Pallavas and most of the monuments portray events from the Mahabharata and date back from the 7th to the 9th century. In an ancient text, this place was noted as Sea Mountain where ships rode at anchor bent to the point of breaking laden with goods.Breakfast at hotel and we proceed ed for the tour of Mahabalipuram. Our tour of Mahabalipuram took us through the cave temples and mandapams cut in the rocks showing depiction of incidents from Hindu legends, epics and mythology. The temples were built during the rule of Narasimhavarman and Rajasimhavarman. The city was mostly developed by Narasimhavarman.The bas relief Arjuna’s Penance with life size images carved on the rock wall is the largest Bas-relief in the world. The five chariots are carved out of a single rock. The twin structure of the Shore Temple is one of the oldest in South India and is worth visiting. The Shore Temple built from dressed stone has bas reliefs, one 100 ft. long and 45 ft. high, carved out of granite. Lunch at Hotel in Waters Edge Restaurant. Overnight and Dinner at hotel Radisson Resort Temple Bay. DAY 4: MAHABALIPURAM – PONDICHERRY. (Driving Time Approx. 02hrs) This morning we were transferred by road to Pondicherry. Puducherry also known as Pondicherry or Pondy is beautiful city with a colonial influence. Puducherry was acquired by the French in 1674 and has colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues. The systematic well planned French style avenues, preserves and gives a look of the colonial ambiance. Puducherry has a number of well-preserved heritage buildings and monuments. Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach and Serenity Beach are the well-known beaches of Puducherry.We arrived in Pondicherry and got transferred to our hotel: Palais de Mahe. Lunch at Hotel in Les Alizes Restaurant. After lunch we visited Pondicherry which traces its origin to the revered sage Saint Agasthya. Puducherry is divided into the French Quarters "Ville Blanche" and the Indian quarter "Ville Noire". Some of the streets still have their French names. In the French Quarters, it is common to see French style villas and colonial style buildings. Sri Aurobindo Ashram is globally quite popular. Auroville is a universal town where people from all nationalities live together in harmony and peace. The Lord Ganesha Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple is a quite visited Hindu Temple. Dinner at hotel. Overnight at Hotel Palais de Mahe.DAY 5: Pondicherry → Trichy (Driving Time Approx. 04hrs) Breakfast at Hotel. We checked out from the hotel and were transferred by road to Tiruchirapalli. Tiruchirapalli shortly referred as Trichy is located at the banks of Cauvery River and is the fourth largest city of Tamil Nadu. This city was the citadel for the Cholas and was developed by the Nayaks of Madurai and is an eminent city as it is known for its scholars of Tamil. One can feel the holiness of this city in very occasion that get celebrated over here with great grandeur and pomp. Lunch at DimoRA restaurant.Our afternoon tour took us to the Danish Church, Rock Fort a temple complex and a fort built on a rock with 434 steps to reach the temple of Lord Ganesha and more for the temple of Lord Shiva. This fort complex had witnessed the fierce battles in between the Bijapur and Madurai Nayaks, Marathas and Carnatic forces. It has been said that this fort plays huge role at the time of Carnatic wars that helped in the foundation layout of British Empire. Dinner at hotel. Overnight at Hotel. Hotel Sangam, Trichy. DAY 6: Trichy → Madurai (Driving Time Approx. 02hrs) Breakfast at Hotel. We checked out of our hotel and were transferred by road to Madurai.Madurai is one of the oldest living cities in the world and the recorded history dates back to 3rd century BC. Madurai comes from the word Madhura which means sweetness. The people of Madurai celebrate many festivals and one of the important festivals is the annual 10 days Chittirai festival. Rani Mangamma's palace has been converted into Gandhi Memorial Museum and houses the blood-stained garment worn by Mahatma Gandhi when he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. Mahatma Gandhi had adopted the loin cloth as his mode of dress after seeing agricultural laborers in Madurai wearing it. Meenakshi Temple is in the list of nominees of the "New Seven Wonders of the World". Lunch at Hotel in Banyan Restaurant.Today you have the afternoon at leisure.Dinner at hotel. Overnight at Hotel. Hotel Heritage, Madurai.DAY 7: MaduraiBreakfast at Hotel. Then proceeded for the tour of Madurai which included Meenakshi Temple, Tirumala Nayak Palace, Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. The Meenakshi Temple complex is one of the largest and oldest in India. The temple was built 2000 years ago and was expanded Thirumalai Nayak. This is a temple of Lord Siva and his wife Meenakshi. The temple has a Hall of Thousand Pillars with every pillar showing life like features. The outermost corridors have musical pillars of stones which when tapped, produce different musical notes. Thirumalai Nayak Palace was built in 1636 by the king Thirumalai Nayak and is famous for its domes and arches. Lunch in Ahaaram Restaurant at Hotel GRT Regency.Today we had the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at hotel Overnight at Hotel. Hotel Heritage, MaduraiDAY 8: Madurai → Periyar (Driving Time Approx. 04hrs)Early Breakfast at Hotel. We check out and were transferred by road to Periyar Animal Sanctuary. Periyar is famous as an Elephant and Tiger Reserve and shelters various animals like Bengal Tiger, Indian elephant, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur, monkeys, etc. It has an abundance of birds and plants. A boat ride in the Periyar Lake gives you the possibility of watching the different animals. The Park is surrounded by various plantation regions for coffee, tea, etc. and a visit to these plantations is a worth. Lunch at Hotel Elephant Court.After lunch we proceeded for a short Elephant ride in Periyar.In the afternoon we enjoyed a Common boat ride on the Lake Periyar. Presently the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation tourist centre at Thekkady offers a common boat for a two-hour boating trip on the lake. A herd of elephants or a family of deer are common sights near the lake as the animals come to the lake frequently for drinking water. You may be able to spot herds of Gaur, Sambar and wild boars in the grasslands adjacent to the shores. A variety of avian fauna such as darters, egrets and kingfishers can be seen resting on dead tree trunks that stick out over the lake. During your boat ride you may probably have observe the antics of the Indian Otter.Dinner at hotel Overnight at Hotel. Hotel Spice Village, Periyar DAY 9: Periyar → Alleppey (Driving Time Approx. 04/5hrs) Early Breakfast at Hotel. Checked out from hotel and proceeded for a short Spice Plantation tour.After Spice plantation transferred by road to Alleppey. Alappuzha gets its name from two words, Ala (broad) and Puzha (river). Alappuzha gets this name as it is between the broad Arabian Sea and a network of rivers flowing into it. When Lord Curzon the then Viceroy of the India saw Alappuzha, he exclaimed “Here nature has spent up on the land her richest bounties” and called this place “Alleppey, the Venice of the East”. History traded ancient Greece and Romans even before Christ and also during the Middle Ages. Different religions mingled and built their churches, mosques and temples.We embarked on a houseboat which is quite an experience. The Kerala backwaters are a network of large lakes linked by canals and fed by rivers. The backwaters are formed because of the waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands. Here we boarded a houseboat in Kerala’s backwaters. The charm of staying a night in the houseboats known as kettuvallam in the backwaters is great. These boats were used to ferry the grain. Thatched roof covers provide protection from the sun and rain. The boats are like floating cottages with a sleeping area, toilets, dining area and a sit out on the deck. The food is cooked on board by staff.Rest of the day was at leisure at Houseboat. Lunch & Dinner at Houseboat in Alleppey Overnight on Houseboat. – Spice Route Luxury house boat.DAY 10: Alleppey → Kumarakom (Driving Time Approx. 1.5.hrs). Breakfast at Houseboat. Disembark at approx. 830am and were transferred by road to Kumarakom. Kumarakom is on the shores of the freshwater Vembanad Lake and has a large variety of flora and fauna. Arundhati Roy's novel "The God of Small Things" which won the Booker Prize is set in Ayemenem village, near Kumarakom. Fruit like banana, mango, jackfruit pineapple, etc. grow here in abundance and the place is a lush green covered with paddy fields and coconut groves. Kettuvallam boats are used for fishing and transporting goods.Arrived in Kumarakom and transferred to hotel. Lunch at Hotel. Rest of the day was at leisure at hotel in Kumarakom.Dinner at hotel Overnight at Hotel – Zuri Kerala Resort Spa, Kumarakom .DAY 11: Kumarakom → Cochin airport (Driving Time Approx. 02.5hrs) Early morning visit of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Returned back to Hotel for Breakfast. Later transferred by road to Kochi. Kochi earlier known as Cochin is referred as the Queen of Arabian Sea. Kochi has remained the popular center in across the world for the trade of spices for number of centuries. The name of the city comes from Malayalam term “Kochazhi” that actually means small lagoon. Kochi was put on the world map by Vasco-de-Gama. The Arabs, Portuguese, British, Dutch, all have left their impression on the history of Kochi. After Mumbai, Kochi is probably the second most important city on the west coast of India. Arrive Kochi and transfer to hotel. Lunch in Keshia Restaurant at Hotel Radisson Blu.During the afternoon city tour of Kochi, we were taken to some of the renowned spots of Kochi that will include the Portuguese churches, mosques and temples. We were taken to watch the Chinese style fishing nets which are mostly seen in Kerala. It holds around 10m of height and consists of cantilever along with an outstretched net that is suspended in the sea and one huge stone suspended on other end with ropes for the counterweights. Every installation of this fishing-net gets operated by group of six fishermen. We visited Jewish Synagogue & Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays and Saturdays).In the evening we enjoyed Kathakali Dance show. Dinner at hotel.Overnight at Hotel – Hotel Crown Plaza, Cochin.DAY 12: Cochin – Bombay – By flight - 9W 406 – 0545/0755hrs Morning transfer to Cochin Airport in time to connect our flight to Mumbai and transfer to hotel.Mumbai earlier called “Bombay” is the finance capital of India and consist of seven archipelago islands such as Colaba, Old Women’s Island, Madgaon, Parel, Matunga-Sion and Mahim. Mumbai influences a huge number of tourists from across the world throughout the year for the purpose of pilgrimage, sightseeing or simply for an employment opportunity. It gets described as the city of peopling shrouded in wealth as well as people rolling in extremely poverty, where one can say highly posh area like Juhu and Cuff parade along with Asia’s biggest slum area like Dharavi.This morning we visited this Bollywood city. Our morning city tour of Mumbai took us to the Hanging Gardens located on the beautiful slopes of the Malabar Hills as well as Kamla Nehru Park offering a marvelous and panoramic view of the Chowpatty Beach as well as the Marine Drive. We continued our tour and were taken to Mani Bhawan, Prince of the Wales Museum, Gate of India and Dhobi-Ghat anddrove through Marine Drive, Flora Fountain and Crawford market. Lunch at Panjab Grill Restaurant.After lunch we were transferred to hotel. Remainder of the day was free to relax.Dinner at hotel Overnight at hotel. Hotel The Oberoi, Mumbai. DAY 13: Breakfast at HotelFull day is free to relax at hotel. Lunch & Dinner at hotel Overnight at hotel. Hotel The Oberoi, Mumbai – Luxury Room.DAY 14: Bombay → Varanasi -By flight – AI 695 – 1030/1240hrs Breakfast at Hotel and we were transferred to airport in time for our flight to Varanasi. On your arrival in Varanasi you will be transferred to your hotel.Varanasi also called Benaras or Banaras or Kashi is said to be the oldest living city in the world, dating back to 5000 years. It has been the cultural and spiritual capital of North India for years. The belief of Hindus is that death in Varanasi leads to salvation. Varanasi is also known as the holy city of India or the city of temples, or the city of learning and also as the oldest living city on earth. Lunch at Palate Restaurant in Ramada Plaza Hotel. This evening we were taken to the River Ganges for a boat ride. Two of most renowned ghats Manikarnika and Harishchandra are frequented by hundreds of devotees. These two ghats are quite famous not only for taking a holy dip, but also for cremation purposes. It is strongly believed by Hindus that whoever dies in Varanasi and gets cremated on bank of river Ganga achieves salvation, thereby releasing him form this birth cycle. You may witness numerous funeral pyres burning around in these ghats. We also enjoyed the Ganga Aarti. During the Aarti we did the Lighting of lamps with priest.Dinner at hotel Overnight at Hotel – Taj Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi.DAY 15: VARANASI.This morning we were taken to the River Ganges for a boat ride. Two of most renowned ghats Manikarnika and Harishchandra are frequented by hundreds of devotees. These two ghats are quite famous not only for taking a holy dip, but also for cremation purposes. It is strongly believed by Hindus that whoever dies in Varanasi and gets cremated on bank of river Ganga achieves salvation, thereby releasing him form this birth cycle. We witnessed numerous funeral pyres burning around in these ghats. Returned back to hotel for Breakfast.Then proceeded for morning city tour. Varanasi - Hindus holiest city and one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi was already old when Rome was founded, a flourishing trade centre when the Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his first sermon. It was a city of great wealth and religious importance when the Chinese travelers Hiuen Tsang visited in the 7th century. Visit the Bharat Mata Temple with a big relief map of India in marble, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, Banaras Hindu University which has an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Moghul Emperor Aurangazeb built on the site of an ancient Hindu Temple. Lunch in Canton Royale Restaurant at Hotel Surya.This afternoon we proceeded for Half day tour of Sarnath. Visited the buried Buddhist city where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 6th century B.C. to 12th century AD. Visit the ruins, the stupa, the Buddhist temple and the Museum (Museum closed on Fridays).Dinner at hotel Overnight at Hotel – Taj Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi.DAY 16: Varanasi → Delhi - By flight – 6E 243 – 1020/1205hrs.Checked out and transferred to airport in time to connect our flight to Delhi. DAY 17: DELHI, INDIAWelcome to India’s capital city! Hotel rooms were available for mid-afternoon check-in. 2 Nights: The Oberoi, New Delhi—an iconic luxury hotel in the heart of New Delhi. The freshly updated interiors are a contemporary interpretation of Sir Edwin Lutyens. The hotel has 220 rooms, with authentic furnishings and handpicked artwork. Dining options include international cuisine, authentic Indian, and Chinese. There is also a rooftop bar, one of the most sophisticated and fashionable destinations in New Delhi.DAY 18: DELHISaris, Spices, and Silver.Today’s Guided Sightseeing started with an orientation to see the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and the Presidential Palace. Afterward, we took a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, a captivating local bazaar—with its ancient alleyways lined with quaint shops offering everything from silver and saris to spices and electronics. After lunch in a local restaurant, we enjoyed a bit of leisure time. Tonight, our Tour Director hosted a lavish welcome dinner at our hotel.DAY 19: DELHI–AGRAMonuments of Worship and Remembrance.This morning, we took a Guided Excursion to visit Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret, dating back to the 11th century. Next, visit Humayun’s Tomb and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi’s largest and most prominent Sikh gurudwara (house of worship). After lunch we drive to Agra and settled in at our hotel overlooking the Taj Mahal. 2 Nights: Oberoi Amarvilas—offers an unrivalled location just 600 meters from the iconic Taj Mahal. Unwind with a cocktail in the only bar in the world with views of the ancient monument or relax in the outdoor pool surrounded by beautiful gardens.DAY 20: AGRALove’s Crowning Achievement.We started our day with a Sunrise Excursion to the incomparable Taj Mahal—Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan’s memorial to his beloved wife—more than 20 years in the making.Later, we took a Guided Tour to Agra Fort, built by the Moghul Emperor Akbar. This formidable fortress of red sandstone conceals the imperial city of the Moghul rulers and its many palaces.For those interested, an excursion to the Taj at sunset was included.DAY 21: AGRA–JAIPURPalaces and Rare Printings in the Pink City.We travelled to Jaipur—the “Pink City” that was painted pink for the Prince of Wales’ 1876 visit.This afternoon, we took a Guided Tour of the City Palace and the adjoining museum, which houses a collection of rare manuscripts. Also, stop at Jantar Mantar and the famous Hawa Mahal (Palace of theWinds).The evening was at your leisure.2 Nights: Jai Mahal Palace—set amidst 18 acres of beautifully landscaped Moghul gardens, this incomparable Palace dates back to 1745. A masterpiece in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture, it blends spotlight grabbing opulence with tantalizing comforts that transport guests to a world of Rajasthan magnificence. It is located downtown, close to themain shopping center and historical monuments.DAY 22: JAIPURA Maharaja’s Marble Palace.Today we, joined a Guided Excursion to Jaipur’s spectacular Amber Fort, built entirely of white marble and red sandstone, and featuring intricate mosaics, carvings, paintings, and mirror works. Spent the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, we enjoy a festive dinner with a Cultural Performance.DAY 23: JAIPUR–KOLKATA (EMBARKATION)Welcome to West Bengal. Your Ship Ganges Voyager Awaits. We flew to Kolkata this morning to transfer to our ship. This afternoon, we got acquainted with the ship prior to our welcome reception.Afternoon/Evening Cruise to Kalna.DAY 24: KALNARituals, Rickshaws, and a Weaver’s Wares.We rode on cycle rickshaws during our Guided Tour of Kalna. Along the way we visited the historic terracotta temple complex and receive blessings from the temple priest. Also visited a muslin-weaver’s home. Enjoyed a free afternoon on board our ship. Afternoon/Evening Cruise to Matiari.DAY 25: MATIARIShining Brass and Sweet Shops.We joined a Morning Walk in the brass making village of Matiari to see and interact with the craftsmen there. We also saw traditional sweets being made. Enjoyed a free afternoon onboard our ship.Afternoon/Evening Cruise to Murshidabad.DAY 26: MURSHIDABAD. EXCURSION TO AZIMGANJ& JIAGANJSilversmiths, Tea Service, and Saree Weaving.We enjoyed a short-Guided Walk through Azhimganj to see the local gold and silversmith workshops. You’ll also visit a local landlord’s mansion for authentic Indian tea, then travel by electric rickshaw in Jiaganj to see the art of Baluchari saree weaving. We relaxed this afternoon onboard our ship.Afternoon/Evening Sailing to Mayapur.DAY 27: MAYAPUR–GUPTIPARAA Holy Pilgrimage on the Ganges.We joined a Morning Walk through the pilgrim’s bazaar and visited the ISKCON temple and met and interacted with a Krishna leader. We also visited a goshala (rescue shelter for cows).This afternoon, we took a Rickshaw (Toto) Ride, and explore the village of Guptipara to see pottery and idol-making. We also took an Escorted Visit to a farmer’s home and interacted with the family there.Afternoon/Evening Sailing to Kolkata.DAY 28: KOLKATAFlowers, Faith, and Victorian Art.This morning, we took a Guided Walk through the colorful flower market. Afterwards, we stopped to see Mother Teresa’s former home and the Calcutta rescue. After lunch, we joined a Guided Visit to theVictoria Memorial Museum. Built to commemorate Queen Victoria, the museum houses a beautiful collection of paintings, textiles, weapons, and other artifacts from the Victorian era.Tonight, a farewell Dance Performance was presented on the ship.MARCH 11, 2019 | DAY 29: KOLKATA(DISEMBARKATION)Our vacation ended with breakfast this morning. We flew from Kolkata to Delhi for our flight home to Vancouver!
I escorted my group on another Trip of a Lifetime on National Geographic Journeys of Iconic Peru & Galápagos:23 day Journey from June14th -July 6th, 2018! We flew Aero Mexico via Mexico City. I had a pleasure of experiencing their Business Class service all the way through. Aero Mexico's Business Class , lacks service compared to other airlines. Overall a pleasant flight experience!Machu Picchu was the highlight of my trip! Did you know that while many cities built by the Inca civilization were destroyed during the Spanish conquest, Machu Picchu survived, unscathed, due to its hidden location high in the Andes, making it one of the most well-preserved Inca cities? While there are varying accounts regarding who "found" the lost city first. Its existence was not made public until Yale Professor Hiram Bingham III announced its existence in 1911. It is currently the most visited tourist destination in Peru and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.Day 1 Lima - June 14, 2018 Depart Vancouver for Lima in the early morning. Flight Information: AM 695 14 JUN Vancouver (YVR) to Mexico (MEX) 6:40am -> 2:25pm AM 018 14 JUN Mexico (MEX) to Lima (LIM) 4:55pm -> 10:55pm Home for two nights: Hotel Antigua Mirafloreshttp://www.antiguamiraflores.com/Day 2 Lima - June 15, 2018 Free day to rest and explore the beautiful city of Lima! This morning we discovered Lima's highlight on a half -day guided tour. Visited the San Francisco Church and it's impressive catacombs, walked around Plaza de Armas and got to know some of Lima's lovely neighborhoods. We finished off the tour with lunch at one of Lima's delicious restaurants - Mangos at Larcomar Shopping Plaza in the MiraFlores areas. Beautiful setting overlooking the Ocean! They have great Passion Fruit Pisco Sours! In the evening, we met our Peru CEO! Home for two nights : Hotel Antigua Miraflores.http://www.antiguamiraflores.com/Day 3 Lima/Tambopata - June 16, 2018 We flew this morning on Air Avianca to Puerto Maldonado from Lima , approx. 2 1/2 hrs. flight for an Amazon adventure. We continued by motorized canoe to the comfortable, intimate, and exclusive G Lodge Amazon located in the lush Tambopata Rainforest. We repacked and only took what we needed for couple nights at the lodge! We got our rain boots on and with the help of the walking sticks we walked 3.5km on a very muddy trail . Hike was a little challenging since it had rained couple days ago.. Normally , its nice and hot during this time of the year with no rain however not this time. It was cold... and damp however an incredible experience. At the end of the trail, we got picked up by canoe and were taken to our beautiful Sandoval lake Lodge! Home for 2 nights at : Sandoval Lake Lodge Tambopata.http://www.inkanatura.com/tambopata-lodges-and-toursDay 4 Tambopata - June 17, 2018 We enjoyed a guided jungle excursions led by expert naturalists to spot wildlife at nearby oxbow lakes, rivers, and clay licks. Saw different kind of birds, Squirrel and cappucio monkeys, herons, snake during morning canoe ride . After the excursions, some of us spent some time relaxing in a hammock, reading a book or just enjoying the gorgeous scenery. After dinner we went on a cruise where we spotted a caiman. Overnight: Sandoval Lake Lodgehttp://www.inkanatura.com/tambopata-lodges-and-tours Day 5 Tambopata/Cusco - June 18, 2018 We bid farewell to the beautiful Amazon Jungle as we travelled back by boat out of the jungle to Puerto Maldonado for the flight over the Andes and into the heart of Inca territory, Cusco. Lima was fabulous however just fell in love with Cuzco, city of half million people. Cusco is higher in elevation than Machu Picchu and yes you can really feel it...Cusco is located at an altitude of 3,400 metres (11,200ft) and it is common for many visitors to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness in Cusco, or 'soroche' as it is known locally. We checked into Hotel Taypicala Cusco. Centrally located, great service and they had cacao tea ready for us which definitely helped with high altitude! I also noticed they had had Oxygen tanks right by Front desk! I customized the itineary around there biggest festival -Inti Raymi- Festival of the Sun which we were there for! The city was beautifully decorated and we could see all different colour costumes and everyone were just in the festivity mood!This evening, we looked to the night sky for a different view at the Cusco Planetarium. We enjoyed a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Incas’ relationship with the cosmos. Visited the on-site museum and used the telescopes to admire the stars.This was an Exclusive National Geographic Journeys Cusco Planetarium inclusions. After the planetarium , we ate at one of the very fine restaurants called : Nuna Raymi. Some people had a chance to enjoy the local delicacy: Guinea Pig! I was more than happy with my fish!Overnight: Hotel Taypicala Cuscohttp://www.taypikala.com/website/main.php?hotelid=3&linkid=1&lan=engDay 6 Cusco/Urubamba - June 19, 2018 Early start to our day Early start to our day as we leave Cusco for the Sacred Valley. ! This morning we drove from Cusco to Urubamba. We enjoyed a full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley including the Pisac and Ollantaytambo ruins. I did up to little over 200 steps. Visited the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”), exclusive to Journeys and part of G Adventures for Good – walked through this rural community with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, weaving, and the importance of both to Andean culture. Anyone on this tour should consider buying souvenirs here since it's not only good pricing however quality is great and you will be supporting the locals! Enjoyed lunch at the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo, an indigenous village at Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley! Really enjoyed my stay at San Agustin Urubamba & Spa! From great service, to fabulous food, Pisco sours , beautiful courtyard, this place has so much more to offer.Overnight: San Agustin Urubambahttp://www.hotelessanagustin.com.pe/en/hotels/urubamba-spa/Day 7 Ollantaytambo/Cusco - June 20, 2018 We returned to the Sacred Valley with the CEO to visit the sites of the Maras Salt Mines and Moray. Had lunch before heading back to Cuzco. Spent the evening in Cusco . Overnight: Hotel Taypicala Cuscohttp://www.taypikala.com/website/main.php">http://www.taypikala.c<em>http://www.taypikala.com/website/main.php?Day 8 Cusco - June 21, 2018 We toured around the old part of Cusco today, visited a Choco Museum and went to San Pedro market to explore local food. Visited the Alpaca Factory and had lunch at Ceviche Seafood Kitchen in Cuzco! Amazing food and I had the best Ceviche at this restaurant! We finished off our stay in Cusco by fine dinning at Belmond Hotel Monasterio . Our "opera" dinner was fabulous! Overnight: Hotel Taypicala Cuscohttp://www.taypikala.com/website/main.php?hotelid=3&linkid=1&lan=eng Day 9 Cusco/Aguas Calientes - June 22, 2018 We travelled by van to Ollantaytambo to catch the scenic Vista Dome train to Aguas Calientes which was an hour and half train ride . Overnight: Hotel Taypikala Machu Picchu http://www.taypikala.com/website/main.php?hotelid=4&linkid=1&lan=engDay 10 Machu Picchu/Cusco - June 23, 2018 Enjoyed a night at Hotel Taypikala Machu Picchu and explored the town of Machu Picchu before visiting one of the most incredible ancient Inca site .. Overnight: Hotel Taypicala Machu Picchuhttp://www.taypikala.com/website/main.php?hotelid=4&linkid=1&lan=engDay 11 Cusco - June 24, 2018 - Festival of the Sun Free day in Cusco during Inti Raymi - The Festival of the Sun! Explored this UNESCO World Heritage site at your leisure. Exclusive Inclusions: Carte Blanche Meals included: Breakfast Overnight: Hotel Taypikala?http://www.taypikala.com/website/main.php?hotelid=3&linkid=1&lan=eng Day 12 Cusco/Puno - June 25, 2018 Sad to say goodbye to Cuzco however excited to see Puno! We drove about 7hours this morning to get to Puno, enjoying scenic mountain views. Overnight: Casona Plaza Puno https://casonaplazahoteles.com/casona-plaza-hotel-puno/Day 13 Puno - June 26, 2018 This morning we enjoyed a guided boat tour of Lake Titicaca visiting the floating Islands of Uros and Taquile. Explored a bit further afield on the Lake, visiting the Luquina community and enjoyed a traditional lunch in a local home. This was an exclusive Inclusions: National Geographic Journeys Exclusives Lake Titicaca Community Home Lunch. Overnight: Casona Plaza Puno https://casonaplazahoteles.com/casona-plaza-hotel-puno/ Day 14 Puno/Lima - June 27, 2018 This morning we transferred to Juliaca for our flight back to Lima with Avianca Airlines. Overnight: Hotel Antigua Mirafloreshttp://antiguamiraflores.com/OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES IN LIMA: Lima at Night and Water Circuit - This was a great way of seeing Lima at Night! Lima 180-294PEN per person Get a different perspective of this vibrant city by visiting its highlights at night. Enjoy round-trip transportation and learn about the history at Plaza San Martin while taking in panoramic views, continue on to the iconic Plaza de Armas and soak it all in. End it off with a spectacular water show complete with lights, music, and dozens of fountains at the "Circuito Magico del Agua." Day 15 Lima - June 28, 2018 Enjoyed our last day in Lima. Day at Leisure! Went to the Miraflores Indian Market and was able to grab couple paintings from a local artist. Overnight: Hotel Antigua Miraflores http://antiguamiraflores.com/ Day 16 Lima/Quito - June 29, 2018 Flew from Lima to Quito and rested while we acclimatized to the higher elevation. https://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/ecuador/hilton-colon-quito-QUIHIHF/index.html?SEO_id=GMB-HI-QUIHIHFDay 17 Quito - June 30, 2018 Enjoyed a city tour of Quito, visiting key sites including the Old Town, the Cathedral of Quito and the Panecillo. Also, explored the Mitad del Mundo or "Middle of the World," where you can straddle both sides of the Equator. Later, met our Ecuador representative for a welcome meeting where he gave us instructions for our next day to the Galapagos. Day 18 Mariscal Sucre International Airport/Seymour Airport - July 1, 2018 Took an early flight to the Galápagos Islands. In the afternoon, visited North Seymour Island to look out for blue-footed boobies. Day 19 Cerro Brujo/Kicker Rock - July 2, 2018 Morning landing at Cerro Brujo on San Cristóbal to observe sea lions, marine iguanas, and seabirds along the beach. Continued to the dramatic Kicker Rock in the afternoon to witness the steep vertical stone walls rising from the ocean and some of the best snorkelling in the Galápagos. In the afternoon, headed to Isla Lobos known for its friendly sea lions. Day 20 Bahía Gardner/Punta Suárez - July 3, 2018 Sailed in to Gardner Bay, an excellent swimming and snorkelling site. Headed to Punta Suarez on Española Island. The southernmost island in the Galápagos archipelago is home to several wildlife species, including masked and blue-footed boobies. Some of us hiked to the top of the cliff which makes for spectacular photo opportunities. Day 21 Santa Fé Island/South Plaza - July 4, 2018 Visited Santa Fe island for a chance to mingle with the iguanas and white tipped sharks. Continued to South Plaza for some great bird watching opportunities. Day 22 Puerto Ayora/Quito - July 5, 2018 In the morning, visited the Charles Darwin Research Center and spent some time wandering through town before flying back to Quito. Enjoyed an evening in Quito. Day 23 Quito - July 6, 2018 Departed very early in the morning for flight home. Flight details: AM 685 06 JUL Qutio (UIO) to Mexico (MEX) 835am -> 1:30pm AM 696 06 JUL Mexico (MEX) to Vancouver (YVR) 6:07pm 10:02pm Meals included: Breakfast
I escorted my group on another Trip of a Lifetime to South East Asia- Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy with Avalon Waterways in October! Avalon Waterways yet again exceeded my expectation ! We flew Cathay Pacific Airways via Hong Kong. I had a pleasure of experiencing their Business Class service all the way through. Very pleasant flight with flat bed and exceptional service on board the flight.Day 1 to Day 4- Bangkok, Thailand. Stayed at one of city's largest hotels and my favourite, Intercontinental Bangkok which is 37 storey high. A modern luxury hotel which offers convenient travel to the city's major business district, while exciting shopping and dining options are within easy walking distance. Since we were in Bangkok in October lots of ceremonies were taking place .Day 2 & Day 3 : Bangkok, Thailand.Our morning sightseeing begun with a boat ride through the Klongs, Bangkok's canals, to see family homes, temples and the way of life that gives this city the nickname "Venice of the East". We also visited one of the most photographed sights in Bangkok, the Wat Arun. Majestic shrine has a pagoda of 76m high. Decorated with glazed ceramic pieces that reflect the rising sun and gave the temple it's name. Continued visit to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Next visit was Temple of the Golden Buddha, constructed during the sukhothai period. The image,of solid gold,is three meters high and weighs five and half tonnes.Day 4- Oct 19th,2017 : Flew from Bangkok to Yangon, Myanmar with Bangkok Airways. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the country’s largest city and former capital. Coursing more than 1300 miles through central Myanmar, the Irrawady and it's surrounding valley form the historical, cultural, and economic heart of Myanmar. From its glacial origins in the soaring Himalayas, it meanders peacefully through jungle -shrouded highlands and sun seared plains to its mangrove -dotted delta at the Andaman Sea. The country's largest river , this "Road to Mandalay " offers you a fascinating glimpse of " The Golden Land" that is Myanmar.We checked into our beautiful hotel Sule Shangri-La which was our home for 2nights before flying to Bhamo and getting on the cruise.Day 5 : Yangon.Formerly known as Rangoon, the country's largest city and former capital. This morning we did walking tour of the city's famous and historic landmarks, including the High Court, City Hall, Central Railway Station , and Sule Pagoda built during the time of Buddha. Stopped along the way at a local tea shop called Lucky Seven Tea Shop for a cup of coffee /tea with the locals. Fabulous Myanmar Tea, just loved it! After Lunch yet at another great restaurant, we visited Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive reclining Buddha. Afterwards, continued to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most important religious site in the country. Finished the evening with welcome dinner in one of Yangon's best restaurants.Day 6: Yangon to Bhamo(Embarkation).Second Defile- a narrowing of the gorge. This morning we got on a 2 hour charter flight to Bhamo. Only our group of 24 along with the crew on this charter. Upon arrival, we explored Bhamo by local trishaw and by foot then we transferred to the port and got on the Avalon Myanmar to begin our cruise on the Irrawady. We got acquainted with the ship and sailed through the dramatic second defile with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel. Just breathtaking! Day 7: Kyung Daw.This morning we visited the fascinating island village of Kyun Daw,where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. We took a walking tour for memorable encounters with the villagers. To get to the village, we took a sampan and walked across the river. Avalon crew were fabulous. Visited a fisherman's home to learn more about daily life here. We also visited a nunnery to present the nuns with food. Unlike monks they have to collect and cook there own food. We didn't see a Irrawady dolphin however we did spot couple elephants. Day 8: Katha-Tigyang.Another full day today with morning and afternoon excursions. Visited local market, where we saw the locals buying and selling fish, meat, produce and more. Next we stopped at the former British Club, featured in George Orwell's novel Burmese Days. Visited a local Jingpo Village. A subset of the Kachin, the Jingpo are one of over 100 ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Learned about their culture, traditional dress and unique method of making rice wine. In the afternoon, walked to the hilltop- approx 235 steps to visit the pagoda and massive reclining Buddha with stunning views over the Irrawaddy.Day 9: Kya Hnyat. Visited the village of Kya Hnyat with its many Buddhist monasteries. Had a chance to interact with the monks and novice monks. Presented alms to the monks and witnessed their lunch ritual. This was truly a memorable experience. In the afternoon, visited the orphanage in Kote Tat - this was not a scheduled stop..and the greeting we received was unbelievable.. Day 10: Kyauk Myaung.Did a walking tour through the pottery making village of Kyauk Myaung. Today we learnt more about the pot-making process and saw how they are formed, fired, and glazed. Most interesting was the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars in colonial times. These pots could transport large quantities of liquor, fish sauce, peanut oil, and more, and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries.Day 11 : Mingun- Mandalay - Amarapura.Did a walking tour through the village of Mingun to see its bronze bell, considered the largest working bell in the world. Stopped at famous unfinished pagoda, where construction was abandoned at 160 feet, only a third of the planned height. .Afterwards, we sailed a short distance to Mandalay. Visited nearby Amarapura former capital of Myanmar. Visited U Bein Bridge, a three quarter mile bridge built in 1783 from reclaimed teakwood from the old royal palace in Inwa. The bridge is still a cornerstoneof the community as locals and monks use it daily to cross Taungthaman Lake while fishermen and farmers go about their daily work below.Took a sampan ride on the lake for memorable views of the sunset behind the iconic bridge.Day 12: Mandalay. After breakfast, we visited a Tapestry & Woodcarving Workshop to learn moreabout these cottage industries and see the skilled artisans at work. We then, stopped at a GOLD LEAF WORKSHOP to see how it is made. Lastly, visited Mahamuni Pagoda, the most revered shrine in Mandalay, to seeits impressive gold-leaf Buddha. Due to the continual application of gold leaves, officials estimate the gold is approximately six inches thick. This afternoon, we also visited Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery,the only remnant of former King Mindon’s “Golden City” to survive the bombing of World War II. Originally the king’s living quarters,the building was moved after his death to its current location and converted into a monastery. Today, the original gilding has faded, but the intricate wood carvings endure,giving you a sense of how extravagant the original teak palace complex was. Back onboard for the evening where we enjoyed a Traditional Dance Performance featuring local song and dance.Day 13: Sagaing.Today, we visited Sagaing, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, we stopped to see Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its golden egg-shaped dome—unique among more traditional pagodas in Myanmar. Next, on to a Silversmith Workshop to learn how the local artisans turn silver into beautiful works of art. Lastly, explored Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay.Day 14: Shwe Pyi Thar.A morning to relax as there are no planned excursions this morning! We relaxed this morning and took in the sights from one of the ship’s lounges or our beautiful suite's.This afternoon, we took a walking tour through Shwe Pyi Thar, a typical village along the Irrawaddy. Here we visited a LocalFarmers' Home to learn more about daily life here and saw the locals making palm candy which we all got to sample! A sweet and smoky candy, from the sap of the toddy palm. To harvest the sap, a climber scales the toddy palm and hangs an earthen pot under a slit he cuts in the tree. The sap is then cooked in an iron pan over an open wood fire until it thickens and can be formed into small pieces by hand. Back on board for dinner after which a Traditional Puppet Show was presented in one of the lounges.Day 15: Bagan.After breakfast, we explored Bagan, capital of Myanmar from the 9th to the 13th centuries. It is estimated that during this time over 13,000 temples,monasteries, and pagodas were built in the plains surrounding the city—an area of about 40 square miles. Many of these structures have been lost over time, but around 2,300 still stand today, making this one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Early risers, yes, that's me! Some of us got up 4:00am to visit one of the temples with a Local Guide to witness sunrise. It was an experience! Glad I did it! After breakfast, we started our morning excursion with a visit to a Local market selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis—a versatile sheet of cloth worn around the waist by most local men and women. Then, we stopped at the ornate Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the country’s most important shrines. We also visited a Lacquer Workshop to learn more about this ancient craft. After lunch, our sightseeing centers on the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Highlights included Ananda, consideredby many to be the most beautiful temple, and Dhammayang Yi, the best preserved monument left standing. We also stopped to see the exquisite and well preserved fresco paintings at Sulamani. Our day ended with an adventurous Ox Cart ride to a temple, where we ascended to the top as we watched the beautiful sunset.Day 16: Bagan (Disembarkation)-Heho-Inle LakeThis morning we bid farewell to our marvellous crew and the cruise director before we got transferred to the airport for our flight to Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake, a tranquil lake surrounded by mountains. We stopped at a local paper making place where they showed us how they make Bamboo umbrella's, note books with real flowers etc.. Was fascinating! We stopped at Red Mountain Estate to bask in the beautiful scenery as we enjoyed a lunch of authentic fare and wine produced from the vineyards here. Continued to ourlakeside resort via sampan, where we spent the next two nights at our beautiful Lakefront Villa.Hotel: Villa Inle Lake Resort & Spat!DAY 17:| Inle Lake.Today, a fascinating excursion to see scenes of life around the lake. Stilted houses dot the shorelines and the local Intha use the famous one-legged rowing technique to fish and tend their floating gardens of tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergine, and more. These clever gardens are made from weeds lashed together and mud from the lake bottom, then anchored using bamboo poles, allowing them to rise and fall with the water level of the lake. Along the way we stopped at a SILK WORKSHOP, where they use the fibers of the lotus plant to weave garments. We also visited a Silversmith Workshop - which was my personal favourite with lot of selections and great quality of work and it's 98% silver. We also visited a Cheroot Workshop, where young girlsroll the cigars at a dizzying pace. Before dinner, we attended a Music & Dance Performance by the Padaung long-necked women who live in this part of the country.Absolutely fell in love with this magical,romantic place. No trip to Myanmar is complete without visiting Inle Lake. It's an absolute must..Day 18: Inle Lake–Heho–Yangon.Today, sadly had to say Goodbye to Inle Lake and on to our transfer to Heho for our flight back to Yangon for an overnight.Day 19: Flight Back to Vancouver via Hong KongDay 20: Hong KongHong Kong was once a simple fishing village. Today, it is one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities where East truly meets West. This morning we arrived in Hong Kong at 6:00am and that's when our city tour started! We surely were amazed by this exciting City of Life ! I arranged a private Hong Kong Half Day Tour which included Victoria Peak, Stanley Market, and Aberdeen Fishing Village for my group so that they don't have to sit at the airport for 11hours before they continued on to their flight home! I stopped over in Hong Kong for few nights to explore this fascinating city! We stopped at a local café for breakfast & bank to get some local currency as we are too early to go sight-seeing and are hungry and most things still closed before heading to Victoria Peak! The views of the harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula from this 397 meters vantage point are simply breathtaking and should not be missed.After Victoria Peak we made our way to the Aberdeen Fishing Village:Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter is an old traditional fishing village which is hard to find in any other parts of the World. We rode on a sampan to gain a deeper insight of the lifestyle of Hong Kong fishing folks. Moving on, a value-added prestigious jewellery factory visit is arranged where you can find the famous hand-crafted fine jewellery.Off to Stanley Market before heading back to the Airport/Hotel:Stanley market is a Shoppers' Paradise where you can find a wide variety of souvenirs such as silk, garments, sportswear, Chinese artwork and accessories.Day 21: Hong KongHotel : Novotel Nathan Road Kowloon Hong Kong! Home for 3 nights!Novotel Hong Kong Nathan Road Kowloon is situated on Nathan Road within the shopping, dining and business district of Kowloon where modernity meets heritage. Directly opposite the famous Temple Street Night Market and 2 mins' walking distance from Jordan MTR station, it makes shopping and exploring the city's sights enjoyable and convenient. 2 MTR stops from Hong Kong Island & Mong Kok. Free hotel-wide WiFi so guests can stay connected professionally and personally anywhere in the hotel.The Novotel Hong Kong Nathan Road Kowloon is a modern 4-star hotel located on the main thoroughfare of Kowloon. Situated in a business, dining, shopping and entertainment area, it is the ideal base to explore Hong Kong. While the famous Jade Market and Temple Street night markets are within walking distance, public transport enables travellers to easily explore the city's various attractions. The in-house SQUARE restaurant provides International and Asian style cuisines in a relaxing and cosy ambiance.Day 21: MacauWe got picked up from our hotel and got dropped off at the Star Ferry terminal to get on the Turbojet for our Macau Excursion! Our Portuguese-Macau tour guide Mario was a riot. This Portuguese protectorate was turned over to China in 1999, with a 50 year roll-over mandate of integration of laws and social networks. There is a lot of old European architecture tucked in between all the glitz and glamour of this tiny place. For example, there are 44 flashy casinos and 4 more being built! We worked our way around the city and partake of Portugese custard tarts, a Catholic church-- front only… back was built of wood and it burnt down. This is a huge plaza and it is so jammed packed with people. We are being very careful with bags and wallets. We continue onwards to visit more pagodas, shrines, and just generally get a feel for the place. The big stop is at the Venetian Casino, a glitzier copy of the Las Vegas casino however over the top with over 850 shops .The afternoon is brought to a finish with a late and tasty lunch buffet and more sights before heading back to the ferry and a 45 minute very bumpy crossing.Day 22: Flight Home to Vancouver!
Travelled on a Maritime Travel Exclusive Fam !This 9 day tour of incredible India explores the four highlights of North India: Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore and Agra. One can explore the Amber Fort at Jaipur, spot a tiger in Ranthambore, witness the incredible Taj Mahal at sunrise and marvel at Delhi's impressive architecture and history. This tour is a perfect blend of history and culture and will introduce guests to the best of India. . We stayed in mainly 4 to 4.5 star hotels. All were quite good and met our North American standards. All provided security, and breakfasts were included except for Ranthambore where all three meals were included daily. Services at all the hotels were fabulous! Flew to Delhi out of Vancouver via Toronto with Air Canada on the new 787 Dreamliner! Nonstop flight from Toronto to Delhi was crowded and is always a full flight hence is always behind schedule and lacks service as well! The aircraft is the brand new 787 Dreamliner which AC has modified by narrowing the seats, taking out a section and cramming 60 more passengers onboard. If you are seated in the Exit rows which you would have to pay extra for, don't be surprised by infants around you! I would pay extra and upgrade to Premium Economy for a 14hour long flight! Flight attendants on this route are scarce and overworked.DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHIUpon our arrival in Delhi we were met by our local representative and enjoyed a traditional welcome at the airport with garlands before being transferred to our hotel.Overnight in Delhi at : The Met HotelDAY 02: 30MAR DELHI After Breakfast, the day was at leisure. Overnight in Delhi at : The Met HotelDAY 03: DELHI - VARANASI (6E 308 @ 0900/1020 HRS)This morning we were transferred to Delhi Airport for our flight to Varanasi. An hour an 20min flight non stop on Indigo Airline. Since this was our Exclusive Fam trip we were escorted by our BDM from Vancouver and a local host throughout the trip!On arrival in Varanasi we were met by our local rep and received a traditional welcome again with beautiful marigold garlands and later were transferred to the hotel.The ancient city of Varanasi, is the center of Hindu culture. This is the oldest living spiritual city in the world. A holy city dedicated to Shiva, Varanasi has survived the centuries because of its sanctified place in Indian religious life.This afternoon we enjoyed a half day excursion to Sarnath (closed on Fridays)to visit the tranquil Deer Park where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment or as the Buddhist say set the 'wheel of dharma' or law rolling.Overnight in Varanasi at : The Radisson VaranasiDAY 04: VARANASI Early this morning, before sunrise, we drove to the Ghats on the Ganges to take a boat ride on the river Ganges. We watched the fascinating early morning rituals performed by Hindu devotees along the river bank which includes the cremation Ghats. People bathe early in the morning to offer the prayers to the rising sun. The two cremation ghats are Manikarnika & Harishchandra where funeral pyres burn day and night. Every pious Hindu believes that to die in Kashi and to be cremated on the banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death. We returned back to the hotel for breakfast.The rest of the day was at leisure where I decided to visit a silk place as they are known for the best Varanasi silk sarees/Scarfs etc. .At sunset, we cruised the Ganges River to witness the evening Aarti prayer ritual.Overnight in Varanasi at : The Radisson VaranasiDAY 05: VARANASI - DELHI (6E 175 @ 1050/1225 HRS)Today we were transferred to Varanasi airport for our flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi we were transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day was at leisure. Great time to explore the city or perhaps a Spa Visit at the hotel.Overnight in Delhi at : The Met Hotel DAY 06: DELHI – JAIPUR Following a lavish buffet breakfast today we departed our hotel in Delhi and visited the Birla Temple before continuing on to the Pink City of Jaipur . On arrival we were transferred to the hotel.This evening, we enjoyed a gem cutting and polishing demonstration; Jaipur is one of the world’s most noted gem producers.Enjoyed a welcome dinner this evening at an authentic Rajasthani restaurant.Overnight in Jaipur at the : Trident Hotel DAY 07: JAIPURThis morning we visited the Amber Fort and Palace. We travelled up to the fort on elephant back as the maharajahs of the past once did. Perched on a hillside on the outskirts of town, the palace was constructed in the 1590s and is a beautiful and very well preserved structure. After the tour, we did a half-day Jaipur city tour.Explored some of the city's famous pink sandstone buildings, including the City Palace Museum, housing the magnificent art collections of the Maharajas of Jaipur, and Jantar Mantar, the largest of five observatories founded nearly three centuries ago. Returned to the hotel after the tour and the rest of the evening was at leisure. We lounged around the pool for some downtime before dinner. Overnight in Jaipur at the : Trident HotelDAY 08: JAIPUR – RANTHAMBHORE We travelled to Ranthambore. On arrival, checked into the hotel and the rest of the day was at leisure. We took advantage of this time and visited the little town nearby which had some great art pieces and were fairly inexpensive. Dinner and Overnight in Ranthambore at the: Tree House Hotel . DAY 09: RANTHAMBHORE Today, we enjoyed morning and afternoon game drives and yes, we saw a Bengal Tiger on the afternoon game drive! After the game drive, time to enjoy the Spa before dinner.Dinner and Overnight in Ranthambore at the : Tree House Hotel DAY 10: RANTHAMBHORE – AGRA Today we departed Ranthambore and visited Fatehpur Sikri, a ghost city abandoned due to a lack of accessible water. After the tour we were transferred to Agra. Visited a marble factory before being transferred to our hotel. Overnight in Agra at the : Trident Hotel DAY 11: AGRA After Breakfast, we visited the Agra Fort. This sprawling fortress, more accurately described as a massive walled palatial city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also visited Itmad-Ud-Daulah. Known as the "Baby Taj", this Mughal structure is built from marble. Visited the Sikandra, the sandstone and marble tomb of Akbar which blends Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Christian motifs and styles, and other interesting sites.Returned to the hotel after the tour. The rest of the evening was at leisure.Overnight in Agra at the :Trident HotelDAY 12: AGRA - DELHI Early this morning we visited the Taj Mahal at sunrise to witness its changing facade in the morning sun. Returned to the hotel for breakfast.After breakfast, we were transferred to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, we checked into our hotel and spent the evening at leisure.Overnight in Delhi at : The Met Hotel DAY 13: DELHI Today we enjoyed a sightseeing tour of New Delhi with an expert local guide, beginning at Qutab Minar, a stunning 240-foot minaret surrounded by an elaborate complex built in the Indo-Islamic architectural tradition. Marvel at the amazing Baha’i Lotus Temple, a marble symbol of peace, and visited Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s serene and evocative cremation site. We saw India Gate (the war memorial), Parliament building and the President’s house.Overnight in Delhi at: The Met Hotel DAY 14 : DELHI After breakfast today, the hotel was able to offer as a late check-out since our flight was past midnight! Once we check out early afternoon, they stored our luggage at reception, while we enjoyed the rest of the day at leisure and finished the evening off with a group dinner at the Safari Restaurant next door. Later this evening, we were transferred to the international airport for our onward flight.India was incredible! I will be back!
I recently attended some business meetings in Halifax and decided to take a quick four day trip over the pond to London– just a five hour flight from Halifax! We flew via Toronto with Air Canada on Premium Economy! Stayed at the: Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel 5* in Leicester Square for 4nights with English Breakfast Daily!This elegant hotel overlooking vibrant Leicester Square is a 4-minute walk from both Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery, and less than a mile from Buckingham Palace. Leicester Square Station is the closest subway station to the hotel and is only about a 3min walk from Radisson Blu Edwardian, Hampshire. The Royal Opera House is a 10-minute walk, and Oxford Street is half a kilometer away.Plush rooms with original artwork and contemporary decor have Wi-Fi (fee), flat-screen TVs, and tea and coffeemaking equipment. Upgraded rooms and suites add city views and/or separate seating areas with pull-out sofas. In-room spa treatments are offered for a fee, and 24-hour room service is available.Amenities include a sophisticated bar and an elegant British restaurant with terrace seating. There's also a gym, a business centre and 5 meeting rooms.I highly recommend staying at this hotel! This hotel is an upscale boutique hotel however I would pay the price to stay at this location! Staff are super attentive and friendly as well!London is a city of 8 million people. It is the most visited city for tourism, has world famous architecture, history, arts & culture, commerce, and fashion.It has the largest city airport system in the world – six airports serve London. Here’s a tip — travel light and take the Underground(aka the Tube) from Heathrow Airport right to the center of the city for only six GBP! Great value. It takes about an hour. The ride is clean,comfortable and scenic. In comparison, the Heathrow Express train(25 GBP) takes 15 minutes to Paddington station where you likely will need to transfer(three GBP) to arrive near your hotel. So if you have the time, save the money!The other way to make this city affordable is to WALK it! It is a very easy city to navigate and pedestrian friendly. During the four days I spent in London, I averaged 20 kilometers per day – on my feet! Okay, I may not be the average walker, but the point is, so many attractions are close to each other that it is easy to rack up the miles without even trying!Take a day and walk from the center at Leicester Square in the West End, the famous theater district (another tip — TKTS is the 50per cent off theater ticket booth for same day tickets, which is a great bargain! I enjoyed a performance of Kinky Boots at the historic Adelphi Theatre), to Piccadilly Circus, then Covent Garden (specialty shops and markets),Trafalgar Square with the famous Nelson’s Column monument and National Gallery, to Buckingham Palace with the Changing of the Guard ceremony.Towards the Thames you will encounter Big Ben, Westminster Abbey (which is apparently sinking into the river), and cross over the bridge to the London Eye, the largest Ferris wheel in Europe.Another tip – splurge and buy the VIP Champagne Experience ticket!It does cost more(the champagne!) but you skip the long queue and go straight to the Eye Champagne Lounge to wait for your departure. You are then escorted to your glass capsule by a guide carrying a cooler of bubbly. Once onboard, there is commentary and a 360 degree view, while you sip your champagne. The full circuit takes only 30 minutes. Photos on a clear day are spectacular!As you wander out of the city of Westminster to the city of London, you will pass by incredible modern buildings– City Hall (oval), the ‘Gherkin (yes, in the shape of a pickle), the Shard (95 stories) – and head towards the London Tower Bridge. A nine GBP ticket will allow you to climb 200 steps up the tower, across the glass viewing platform on the bridge and down the other side exiting through the historic engine room that controlled the drawbridge.London is a city with an abundance of green space. Beautiful parks with English gardens and lakes with elegant swans — Hyde Park, St. James Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens to name a few. And there are historic churches —St. Paul's Cathedral and St. Martin in the Fields, both with beautiful pipe organs. St. Martin in the Fields puts on classical performances. I experienced a wonderful acoustic performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, at a very reasonable price.If you need a shopping fix, head to Oxford Street, Regent Street, Harrods & Self ridges. Fashion is alive and well on the streets of London! Although I think the best part of Harrods is the food floor — amazing gourmet stations of foods all beautifully displayed. And food is part of the great experience of London. With 37 per cent of the city’s population foreign born, the largest group being from India, you can imagine that the Indian food restaurants are fantastic! We were lucky to get a reservation at one of the hottest new Indian restaurants, Dishoom, and the food was almost as good as that in India!It took four full days to experience these attractions in London! Another four and I could probably cover all the things I missed! If you want a safe, relatively affordable,vibrant, interesting city to spend a few days, consider London.
I escorted my European River Cruise :Blue Danube Discovery with Avalon Waterways In October, Oct 9th-Oct 21st,2016! Another trip of A Lifetime! We flew with KLM via Amsterdam into Budapest! We flew their older equipment therefore it didn't had a full flat bed feature which now the new ones are equipped with for travelling Business Class! One can also upgrade to seats with extra leg room online which is far more comfortable than Economy for long haul flights. Very pleasant flight with exceptional service on board the flight.The delightful Danube sets the stage for this incredible journey as you sail through beautiful scenery and quaint towns. Begin in Budapest, Hungary with guided sightseeing of its former royal palace grounds, churches and museums. We boarded our ship and sailed westward, to visit magical Vienna, Passau, and medieval Regensburg with stops in the charming towns of Dürnstein and Melk. We disembarked in Nuremberg and travelled to the “Golden City” of Prague, where we explored the grounds of majestic Hradcany Castle and wander through Prague’s Jewish Quarter.DAY 1: Arrived in Budapest, Hungary.Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital spanning the banks of the Danube. The remainder of the day was free to start exploring Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan metropolis.Home for two nights at the: Intercontinental Budapest.An Elegant Riverside Hotel with Spectacular Royal Palace Views. This hotel is located at one of the most imposing UNESCO world heritage sites of Budapest, on the most stunning riverbank walkway in the city called the Danube Promenade. They are in the close proximity of architectural gems such as the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and the Parliament, with a direct view of the Buda Castle. This hotel has three different room categories to choose from : Standard Rooms; Executive Rooms and Suites!DAY 2: Budapest.Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable.On our GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, we saw Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’sBastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk acrossChain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest.DAY 3: Budapest (Embarkation).We had time this morning to explore Budapest further therefore we visited St. Stephen’s Basilica formarvelous views of the city from its viewing platform. Later in the afternoon, boarded our river cruise vessel and met our crew at a welcomereception.DAY 4: Budapest—Vienna, Austria. Enjoyed a day of relaxation on board and marveled at the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. Hungary was on our left as we cruised upriver and Slovakia was on our right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria’s capital. Known as the “City of Music,” it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss.DAY 5: Vienna.Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! I loved Vienna for shopping as well!Don't miss a truly magical evening in Vienna by going to a Royal Waltz Concert which I highly recommend , featuring the most famous opera Arias by Mozart, Strauss Waltzes, polkas and operetta excerpts from "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss, "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar, the Blue Danube waltz, the Radetzky March and many others, performed by a brilliant cast of top European singers, beautifully costumed dancers and the Original Wiener Salon Orchestra. A true celebration of joy and optimism featuring familiar music, combined with dance and storytelling that recalls happy memories of a time when music helped to shape the city of Vienna: a city of world-class artistry and a true flair for celebration.Early dinner was available before the concert! Concert is 3 hours in duration and started at 8:15 PM . Transfers to and from the ship were included! DAY 6: Dürnstein—Melk.Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s, is right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century homes and charming cobblestone streets. This morning we did aWALKING TOUR and heard the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Great place to pick up some local Peach Schnapps and pastries from! I fell in love with this town! Very Quaint and picturesque!During lunchtime, we sailed the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrived in Melk in the early afternoon. Here, we enjoyed a GUIDED VISIT of the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. We were captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening we sampled some of the Wachau Valley’s FAMOUS WINES.DAY 7: Passau, Germany.Today, we had an option to choose from a couple of full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg, taking in some of The Sound of Music sights or tomedieval Ceský Krumlov in the Czech Republic,a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organswith 17,774 pipes.Day 8: Regensburg.Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights of our GUIDED WALK included the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. We wandered through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. We walked across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. It was a beautiful walk! Grabbed a beer and enjoyed an included SNACK at the 17th century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate— one can feel the vibrant atmosphere and took in the remarkable views along the river. After dinner, we were introduced to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS. DAY 9: Roth—Nuremberg.This morning we had a choice to —join a Local Guide for a RALLY GROUNDS tour in nearby Nuremberg, or a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of Roth.This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Visit the interesting INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM and then in contrast, take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge, built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard.Day 10: Nuremberg (Disembarkation)—Prague, Czech Republic.After breakfast, we bid farewell to our crew and travel by motorcoach to Prague, the “Golden City.”DAY 11: Prague.Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time, and, unlike other Central European capitals, it was not bombed during the 20th-century wars.This morning we saw some of the city's best-known treasures, such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all ofEurope;- Since it was little chilly that day, it was just great to grab a table at one of the restaurants in front of the clock to enjoy a nice beverage!; HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St.Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books. Mix with the locals in Wenceslaus Square, an important meeting point where people demonstrated against the communist regime; or you can watch performers on Charles Bridge. You can also walk around the Jewish Quarter. Sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; or stroll along the Vltava River!Home for two nights at the: Corinthia Hotel Prague.The upscale Corinthia Hotel Prague stands on top of one of Prague's hills, with breathtaking, panoramic views of this beautiful city. It is located across the road from the Prague Congress Center only just two subway stops away from the Wenceslas Square. With Vysehrad Metro being within same complex (1 min away) and importantly only 2 stops & direct, Corinthian Prague Hotel is perfect for access to central and historic Prague, allowing some of the easiest, cost effective, and pleasant access to the areas on your ?must visit? list!If it's your first time in Prague, I would stay in Old Town. This is where most tourists stay for their first time in Prague, as the area concentrates many historical sights and restaurants, making it the best area to stay in Prague for first-time visitors. Old Town is the most centrally located neighborhood in Prague.DAY 12: Prague.We had this day at Leisure therefore I arranged a private excursion for my group to Cesky Krumlov! It is a very nice charming place and the visit comes highly recommended. Cesky Krumlov - a sleeping beauty awakes! Duration: 10 hoursTime: 8:00 AMWe took a scenic route across the rolling hills of Upper Austria and Bohemia to one of the most beautiful, charming and romantic little towns that is to be found in Europe. For centuries, this small town has enjoyed the reputation of being the "Pearl of the Bohemian Forest", an extraordinary fortified town built by princes and bishops on the most beautiful bend of the Vltava River. This hidden gem of European history remains as it was centuries ago, a colorful place with over 300 historic buildings, small lanes, art galleries, charming shops and medieval inns; a truly stunning experience. When after WW II the Iron Curtain descended across eastern Europe, Cesky Krumlov found itself even more off the beaten track, with hardly a visitor finding his way there. . We passed by the Vltava (Moldau) River, which was immortalized by Friedrich Smetana's composition of the same name, before we returned to our hotel with happy memories from this UNESCO World Heritage Site.DAY 13: Prague.Our vacation ended this morning.Currencies: Euro's is accepted everywhere! Hungary & Czech Republic have their own currencies. The only official currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint. Euros, or even Dollars or Sterling may be accepted by some tourist businesses, but very seldom at a reasonable exchange rate. Credit cards are commonly but not universally accepted. So it is wise to obtain some Forints for your stay even if you expect to use a credit card or debt card for as much as you can. It is also true that some few things aimed at tourists -- hotels, some apartments, some taxis -- may quote their rates in Euros or even prefer Euros. The Forint is a pretty rare currency and as a result it tends to be hard to find and comparatively expensive when available in countries other than Hungary and Hungary – which sits at the geographic center of Europe and its still-many currencies -- has for centuries been a very aggressive marketplace for currency exchanges. It’s cheap and cost-effective to trade currency in Budapest.The official currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech crown (koruna). 1 crown consists of 100 hellers (halér), abbreviated as hal. Heller coins have not been in use as of September 1, 2008, but hellers are still incorporated into merchandise prices. The final price is always rounded off to the nearest crown value. The approximate value of 100 CZK is 4 EUR/5 USD. Currencies Accepted :As the official currency, the Czech crown is the best and often the only possible currency to use when paying. Although the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, the euro is not widely accepted here yet. Some stores, restaurants and hotels accept payments in euros but the exchange rate may not be very good.
Brisbane is the sunny, sophisticated capital city of Queensland and gateway to its many famous attractions. It is also the most populated city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. When you visit Brisbane you'll find a modern, vibrant city with a sunny, sub-tropical climate and unsurpassed natural beauty. Best of all, you'll find friendly locals keen to show you around this pretty riverside city. They love their city and so will you.Top 10 Things to Do in Brisbane: Find adventure, art, dining and relaxation in these top 10 things to do in Brisbane.Climb Story Bridge: Climb Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge for a glimpse of this amazing city. Whether you climb at dawn, during the day, in the twilight or at night, you will discover exhilarating views north to the Glasshouse Mountains and south to the World Heritage-listed Gold Coast Hinterland. Keep the adrenalin going with an optional 30-metre abseil back down.South Bank: Walk or cycle around South Bank on the Brisbane River and see the best of the city while you exercise. Famous for its diverse mix of entertainment, recreation and leisure activities, South Bank includes 17 hectares of parklands, restaurants, cafes, bars, boutiques, museums and galleries. For a fun perspective, take a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane.Brisbane Beach: Experience the Aussie beach vibe in the heart of the city. This fully patrolled, man-made beach is free to use and boasts a sparkling lagoon surrounded by white sand and sub-tropical plants. Relax with an ice cream, have a swim and soak up the famous Queensland sunshine. Nearby Aquativity is a fun, interactive water-play park, ideal for young families.Dine Out: You can enjoy the perfect meal at Esquire, renowned as Brisbane’s finest restaurant, overlooking the twinkling lights of Story Bridge and the river ferries. Dine a la carte or choose the degustation menu from chef Ryan Squires, matched with Australian and international wines. Gerard’s Bistro, Public, Aria, Stokehouse and The Foraging Quail are also highly recommended.GoMA and Queensland Art Gallery: Explore GoMA, Australia's largest gallery of modern and contemporary art and the iconic Queensland Art Gallery. The galleries are architectural wonders themselves, boasting a diversity of Australian and international art as well as two galleries devoted to contemporary Indigenous work. Friday nights are perfect for drinks with friends in GoMA’s stylish bar.Brisbane River: Guide your own illuminated kayak up the Brisbane River on Friday and Saturday nights. Take in the shimmering lights of the cityscape on a leisurely 90-minute paddle before relaxing with a riverside meal of fresh king prawns (Friday) or a barbecue (Saturday) with famous Queensland lamingtons for dessert. Wash it all down with Australian beer and wine.Nightfall Luxury Wilderness Camp: Spend a night under the stars just 90 minutes south of Brisbane. Limited to six guests, Nightfall is an intimate camping experience situated on 257 acres beside crystal-clear rapids in the ancient rainforest of the Lamington National Park. Explore, relax and enjoy a fire-cooked organic dinner before drifting off to sleep in a private luxury tent.Chocolate or Craft Beer Tour: Sweet-toothed travellers will love the Chocolate Tour, more than two hours of all things cocoa with experts leading you to eight different stores. There’s plenty of taste testing along the way! The Craft Beer Tour takes in four venues – each with a colourful past – and includes tastings of 20 craft beers plus a history of brewing in Brisbane.Brisbane’s Markets: Browse the stalls for unique and eclectic clothing by emerging artisans. This fun and friendly market in the bustling Stanley Street Plaza is held on Friday evenings and weekends. The designers are mostly creative young people and the emphasis is on effortless cool. Listen to live music as you look over handmade jewellery, art, antiques, photographs and vintage fashions.North Stradbroke Island: Expect a laid-back time at North Stradbroke Island (known affectionately as “Straddie”) just short ferry ride across Moreton Bay from Brisbane. Packages can be customised to include eco-touring, 4WD tours, kayaking, fishing and sandboarding. Watch the dolphins surf, photograph the birdlife and wildflowers or just wander miles of untouched beach. One of my favourite beaches!
I escorted my South East Asia River Cruise with Avalon Waterways In October! A trip of A Lifetime! Avalon Waterways exceeded my expectation in everyway! We flew EVA Airways for the first time via Taipei into Hanoi! I was seated in the upper deck. Very pleasant flight with great leg room and exceptional service on board the flight.DAY 1: Arrived In Hanoi, Vietnam. Stayed at the beautiful InterContinental Westlake Hotel.DAY 2: Hanoi : This morning we took time to look at the life of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam. Firstly, we visited the MAUSOLEUM and the humble cottage from which “Uncle Ho” ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda: ONE PILLAR PAGODA, the HO CHI MINH MUSEUM, and the Presidential Palace. Stopped at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” before continuing to mystical Hoan Kiem Lake, where we enjoyed a brief guided walk. We also visited the ancient TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, over 900 years old and Hanoi’s first university. We had lunch at KOTO, a non-profit restaurant and hospitality program that trains local street children in restaurant skills they can use to find a job and build a stable life. Food and service was great!After lunch, we enjoyed a CYCLO ride through the fascinating Old Quarter, 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi’s renowned WATER PUPPETS, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century.DAY 3: Hanoi–Ha Long Bay. We travelled 4hours from Hanoi , drove through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the Bay is dotted with over 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Tunnels, caves, and weirdly shaped outcroppings with imaginative names can be found on many of the small islets sprinkled across the bay. We boarded a CRUISE that explores the caves, and admire the beauty and scale before stopping at one of the many secluded bays. Overnighted at Novotel Ha Long Bay Hotel. Great location, food service. We could just walk to town from our hotel. DAY 4: Ha Long Bay–Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City. This morning, we drove to Hanoi and boarded our flight for Ho Chi Minh City. DAY 5: Arrived In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. Checked into our beautiful: InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel.DAY 6: Ho Chi Minh City. This morning, we enjoyed a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and historic landmarks as we strolled through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street past the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, the Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. We next, visited the REUNIFICATION PALACE and the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. Really enjoyed shopping at this market! For lunch, we participated in a hands-on VIETNAMESE COOKING CLASS. Headed into the classroom and learned how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once we returned home. Last but not least, we sampled our delicious creations! The afternoon was at leisure where we had time to explore this lively city. Tonight, we enjoyed a special welcome dinner at 5 Star "LY Club" resturant. Once again, food & service was fabulous! DAY 7: Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion To CuChi Tunnels.This morning, we left the city and drove through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Here we learned about how the tunnels were constructed and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. The experience was price less. So glad I did it despite being claustrophobic! Returned to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoyed the rest of the afternoonand evening at your leisure.DAY 8: Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation). This morning, transferred to the port on the Saigon River and boarded our river cruise vessel to start our CRUISE up the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia. Got acquainted with the ship and relaxed before our welcome reception this evening.DAY 9: Cruising: Cai Be–Sa Dec. This morning, boarded a sampan for a scenic cruise though Cai Be Harbor, passing the city’s beautiful French Gothic Cathedral. First stop is a local establishment to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made. Then, took a walk through town to visit the beautiful CATHEDRAL. After lunch on the ship, re-boarded sampans to enjoy scenes of daily life along the river near SaDec. Stopped at a BRICK FACTORY to see workersforming the clay bricks that fill the local landscape. Here, we also learned about the importance of the rice husk in fueling the brick kilns. It was very dusty!! Would recommend taking a mask to cover your mouth. Would opt out ,if doing this cruise again!Next,visited the ancient HOUSE OF MR. HUYNH THUY LE, the lover of French novelist Marguerite Duras and inspiration for the fi lm L’Amant (The Lover), directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Afterward, walked through the LOCAL MARKET and absorbed the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. Loved walking through the market! DAY 10: Cruising: Chau Doc–Cambodian Border Crossing. Boarded a sampan for sightseeing around Chau Doc. Along the way we saw scenes of local life, including traditional Vietnamese fl oating marketsand villages. Learned about some of the different species of fish living in the Mekong at a LOCAL FISH FARM. Then, continued down the backwaters of the Mekong to the religious sites at the base of SAM MOUNTAIN. We stopped to see a LOCAL MARKET where shop owners sell a variety of dried goods. Returned to the ship for lunch and headed for the Cambodian border.DAY 11: Cruising: Phnom Penh.The capital city of Phnom Penh retains its French charm to this day. This morning, our sightseeing tour by private cyclo includes visits to the ROYAL PALACE with the spectacular SILVER PAGODA and the NATIONAL MUSEUM, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts. The remainder of the day was at our leisure to enjoy the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage put on a SHOW featuring local song and dance which was fascinating. I bid farewell to the kids by giving them goodies I took from home which was mostly school stationery etc...Day 12: Cruising: Phnom Penh–Prek Bang Kong. Sightseeing this morning provides a glimpse of the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former high school that housed over 17,000 prisoners. Of this number, it is believed that fewer than 15 survived the torture and avoided being sent to the Killing Fields. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS, where over 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. Opted out of this excursion and instead went into town to a Russian Market which was again a great however different experience than Ben Thanh Market in Vietnam! Lot smaller as well! Had lunch on the Ship after which, visited the village of PREK BANG KONG, where silk weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Spent time at one house for a SILK WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and learnt more about how silk is produced. Had a chance to pick-few silk scarfs up!! Quality is the best!DAY 13: Cruising: Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban. This morning, visited WAT HANCHEY, a temple dating back to the 8th century and the Chenla Empire. Located on a hilltop, enjoyed stunning views of the surrounding area and took part in a TRADITIONAL WATER BLESSING given by local monks. Thoroughly enjoyed the walk up to the Temple and the walk town was 330 steps.. People were given a choice to either walk or take a Bus! I had a pleasure of doing an offering on behalf of Avalon Family to the Monks. This was a very peaceful , unforgettable experience! Returned back to the Ship for lunch, after which enjoyed a WALKING TOUR through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here we saw traditional Khmer houses and visited a LOCAL SCHOOL where I was asked to play a role of the teacher. The climb to Wat Hanchey features a steep incline. Again if one felt they were unable to make the climb, they were offered to be driven to the top by car.Day 14: Cruising: Prek Dam–Konpong Louang–Kampong Tralach. Today,we docked at Prek Dam and were transfered bymotorcoach to the SILVERMITH VILLAGE of Konpong Louang. Here we saw talented craftsmenuse age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Had a opportunity to pick up some beautiful Silver Bracelets and Silver Tea Pot & Cups! Best Quality Silver you can get! We continued on to Kampong Tralach for an OX CART RIDE past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Oh my, What an experience that was!! Ride was little bumpy however enjoyed it!! Along the way, stopped to MEET A LOCAL FARMER and learn about his daily life and some of us had an opportunity to taste Rice Wine!! Returned to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, we were to cruise up the Tonle River to Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 10,000 square miles and is the perfect breeding ground for fish, which play a vital role in providing food for people living on the lake. Due to low water conditions, (generally late December to June), we were not able to cruise up the Tonle River to Tonle Sap. Low water conditions vary from year to year, depending on rainfall so this is evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.DAY 15: Cruising: Siem Reap (Disembarkation). This morning, we arrived in Siem Reap and had to bid Farewell to the lovely crew members of Avalon Siem Reap! The experience wouldn't have been the same without them.. We started our sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. We first, visited ANGKOR THOM to see the BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. Next stop was the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: ANGKOR WAT, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. This evening was at leisure to explore charming Siem Reap or stay to witness sunset at Angkor Wat! Our Hotel was : Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa, another beauty, Victorian style, very lush..DAY 16: Siem Reap.Today, we continued our sightseeing of the Angkor temples. Unlike the other temples, TA PROHM has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Then, visited BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. Next, we stopped at LES ARTISANS D’ANGKOR, a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. The rest of the afternoon was at our leisure. This evening, enjoyed a PRIVATE APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. Another great night with Farewell Dinner at one of the best picked resturants again by Avalon! DAY 17: Siem Reap–Bangkok, Thailand. Enjoyed this morning at leisure in Siem Reap before flying to Bangkok. The remainder of the day was at your leisure. Stayed at the gorgeous InterContinental Bangkok Hotel.DAY 18: Bangkok.Our vacation ended after breakfast this morning.
The Royal Hawaiian , a Luxury Collection Resort, affectionately known as the "Pink Palace of the Pacific". Built in 1927, the iconic Royal Hawaiian Resort, ushered in a new era of luxurious resort travel to Hawaii. Located on breathtaking Waikiki beachfront, the Royal Hawaiian is an exclusive enclave for luxury and romance. This resort is one of my favourites in Waikiki! We stayed at The Mailani Tower Oceanfront Suite with a gorgeous view of the Pacific’s cool, clear waters. Resort offers cultural activities, gold standard signature concierge service, valet parking; doctors-on-call, florist, currency exchange service, Japanese concierge, laundry and dry cleaning; dining service and world-class restaurants and bars, wireless internet access in rooms and all public areas, multi-lingual staff, 24-hour room service, business center, and beach and pool services.Unforgettable epicurean experiences await you at Azure – a world-class seafood restaurant perched along the beach under the canopy of the resort’s dramatic Spanish-Moorish architecture. The celebrated Mai Tai Bar sets the stage for world-class romance and elegant relaxation. Mingle with international jetsetters and Hawaii elite while sipping on refreshing cocktails and contemplating the breathtaking panorama of the world-famous Waikiki Beach. Dinner was exceptional and had one of the best Royal Mai Tai's at the Mai tar Bar! From its palatial reception to its sumptuous amenities, The Royal Hawaiian has claimed its rightful place as the icon of luxury and refinement in Hawai‘i for over 80 years. The property features: 528 rooms, including 34 suites of which 18 are oceanfront 66,000 square feet of outdoor function space The stunning, oceanfront Monarch Terrace The spectacular Ocean Lawn with its 9,900 square feet The glamorous Coconut Grove with its 56,000 square feet 12,000 square feet of indoor meeting space The breathtaking and legendary historic Monarch Room with its 7,800 square feet The elegant and regal Regency Room with its 4,032 square feet Two pools, an interactive resort pool experience and a relaxing saltwater plunge pool and private beach area Exceptional dining and traditional Hawaiian entertainment Full-service spa and salonThoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Pink Palace! Exceptional Service!
Tanoa Waterfront Hotel boasts a great location with everything you need ! Tanoa Waterfront Hotel is located in Lautoka city and is an excellent stopover point for connections to and from the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. It is the preferred hotel in the area for the business traveller, conference delegate and holiday maker.Lautoka is situated on the north western side of Viti Levu, and offers a range of activities. The city is the second largest commercial centre and port in Fiji and is worth exploring as it is the heart of the sugar cane industry. It houses the Lautoka Sugar Mill which is the city’s biggest employee.The hotel features 92 well-appointed rooms, each with individually-controlled air conditioning for your comfort, and is equipped with all guest amenities to suit both the busy executive and discerning leisure traveller. Guest rooms open out onto your own balcony or self-contained patio which creates the feeling of a cool relaxing space – ideal on ‘sticky’ tropical days.We stayed in an Executive Suite in the recently built new wing . New Wing features 24 new King and Double rooms along with a new Junior and Executive Suite. These are spacious rooms to suit corporate travellers and long stay guests. Doesn't matter what room category you stay in, all rooms are very spacious.They have two swimming pools for you to enjoy. One is a lap pool and the other is child friendly. Both are open daily from 7.30am – 8.00pm. We had access to the pool from our balcony. I would highly recommend staying in the recently built new wing.Tanoa Waterfront Hotel, offers a full range of guest services and facilities for your comfort and enjoyment. They have dining on site at Fins Restaurant which offers both local & International Cuisine and a Sunset Bar! The food here is fabulous and the staffs are great! This hotel has superb waterfront location from where you can witness sensational sunsets whilst enjoying a refreshing drink or an early dinner at Fins Restaurant. Whether you enjoy a swim, somewhere for your children to play, a massage, or a couple of hours at the beauty therapist – they have it all! Staffs here are nice and friendly with always a big Fijian smile on their face! If you wish to explore the north western side of Viti Levu , I highly recommend staying at one of Tanoa Hotel's.
Tanoa International Hotel offers airport accommodation set amidst lush tropical gardens, with sensational facilities for leisure, conference, corporate and wedding guests. Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, is just three minutes from Nadi International Airport and a 15-minute taxi ride into Nadi’s main shopping centre. They offer free airport transfers for all flights from Nadi International Airport. Please check in the lobby for up to date flight times and when scheduled transfers will be occurring. All incoming flights will be met by a representative from the hotel. Located just minutes from Nadi International Airport, with 148 rooms in a peaceful tropical setting, Tanoa International Hotel can be used as your hub to get around the island. With extensive conference facilities, a range of dining options, and free high-speed internet in every room, this is the place to be.Each room at Tanoa International Hotel Fiji includes flat-screen cable TV, air conditioning and a refrigerator. Guests enjoy views of the gardens or mountains from the balcony. Guest facilities include an outdoor swimming pool with poolside bar, fitness centre and 2 tennis courts. There is also a sauna, hot tub, children’s pool and massage clinic. Wi-Fi access is available.Tanoa International's Fresh Restaurant is open from 11:00 until 21:00 daily and serves hand stretched pizzas, cooked in a traditional pizza oven. It also serves mouth watering skewers from the traditional Indian tandoor oven. Garden Court Restaurant is open 24 hours a day. The bar is open until late and hosts nightly musical performances.
Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel: Experience a feeling of welcome unlike any other at the newly-renovated Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel. Having just completed a $33 million renovation, this amazing hotel has unveiled a whole new look at San Francisco’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf. Centrally located in one of San Francisco’s Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, this hotel is close to all the major attractions such as Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, Alcatraz Island, and much more. Guests will enjoy the completely smoke-free environment of this San Francisco hotel, as well as the light-hearted, yet sophisticated ambiance of the colorful and relaxing décor. Relax with a cocktail at there outdoor living room complete with fire pits. Enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool or workout in the fitness room. The brand new sleek lobby lounge is a great place to enjoy a snack or drink. The modern, bright and smoke-free guest rooms are spacious and feature the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® Bed and wireless Internet access which is complimentary to SPG members who book through Starwood channels.Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf is located just one block from the famed Fisherman's Wharf and the adjacent piers. Whether you're looking for delicious seafood and fun travel souvenirs, or are looking to take a harbor cruise or taxi, or the boat to Alcatraz - this hotel is conveniently located for all the San Francisco attractions. In addition to activities in and around Fisherman's Wharf, the hotel is easily accessible via the famed Cable Cars to explore all the San Francisco attractions including the Coit Tower, Chinatown, Union Square and even Sausalito.
The only hotel with direct access to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport! Enjoy the convenience of staying at The Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel; the only hotel with direct access to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Walk straight from your plane into a warm and welcoming environment. Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel is directly connected to the arrival- and departure halls of Schiphol Airport, next to the World Trade Center. Trains take you from the airport directly into the heart of Amsterdam in less than 20 minutes. All 406 comfortable sound-proofed rooms and suites feature the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper (SM) Bed, for a memorable good night's sleep. With views overlooking the airport runway, Sheraton Club Experience provides a warm and connecting environment and includes complimentary breakfast with wide selection, evening hors d'oeuvres and a variety of beverages. Loved the Breakfast at this hotel!
Combine the magic of Paris with the beauty of France’s Norman countryside and voilà! Experience history firsthand at the Normandy beaches, site of the famous Allied invasion on D-Day in 1944. Delight in the Gothic architecture of Rouen, and see where Joan of Arc was tried and executed. Lose yourself in the exquisite gardens of Giverny, whose rich palette inspired Impressionist Claude Monet for many years. Walk the cobblestone streets of provincial Vernon and share the splendor of Paris, the world’s most romantic city. This fascinating 8-day journey has something for everyone.
Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort Area hotel is located in the heart of Southern California, near Los Angeles and in Orange County. It's just minutes from the Disneyland® Resort. Since the hotel is about a mile away , it's great for those renting a car or there Anaheim Transit buse available right outside the hotel to Disneyland every 20 minutes. Lots of free parking available at the hotel as well. This hotel in Anaheim, situated off of the Santa Ana Freeway, has access to an assortment of attractions. Guests can enjoy area highlights, including Anaheim Stadium, the home of the Anaheim Angels, and local beaches like Newport and Huntington. With the Disneyland® Resort down the road from our Anaheim hotel, vacationers can enjoy the Downtown Disney® District, which boasts terrific restaurants, shops and entertainment options.Our Anaheim, California hotels location is near a variety of businesses like the Walt Disney Company and Banco Popular. Hotel is also close to several topnotch golf courses, perfect for travelers who want to get into the swing of things with their clients. With the Pacifica Conference Center at the hotel, guests can plan on successful events and meetings. The Anaheim Convention Center is just minutes away, allowing a wide variety of event options. Guests staying at this hotel in the Anaheim resort area enjoy quality amenities like an outdoor pool and whirlpool. Delicious dining can be enjoyed at the American Brasserie Restaurant and Bar, conveniently located in the hotel. In Anaheim, guests find this hotel a genuine value for real people!
Disneyland Anaheim With quick access to Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District, everything the Disneyland Resort has to offer is just footsteps from your door! Now with improved, luxurious rooms, new pools and waterslides, themed dining and more, the newly transformed Disneyland® Hotel is a modern vacation destination in itself. What's Unique At Disneyland Hotel: Modern, Sophisticated Rooms : The newly remodeled rooms at the Disneyland Hotel sparkle with magic. Enhancements include special Disney touches like Sleeping Beauty Castle light-up headboards, new furnishings and additional modern amenities. New Pools : Swim in 3 pools — the D-Ticket and E-Ticket pools plus the new Monorail pool with 2 water slides. Or soak up the fun at either of the Mickey and Minnie Spa outdoor hot tubs. For an additional fee, relax in the new private, poolside cabanas. New Dining : Discover inventive cuisine at Tangaroa Terrace – Casual Island Dining or breeze in to Trader Sam's – Enchanted Tiki Bar for cocktails from lost civilizations. Visit Disneyland's Past : The recently renamed Adventure, Fantasy and Frontier towers are self-contained time capsules brimming with memorabilia and classic Disney artwork. Signature Suites : For a fanciful over-the-top celebration, Disneyland Hotel offers 5 different Signature suites with special Disneyland Park themes and décor. Splurge and spend your stay as a pirate, a princess or explorer. I had a pleasure of staying at Mickey Mouse Penthouse Signature Suite . Pictures are posted in the Image Galleries. Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests can enjoy early admission, during every day of their hotel stay, to select attractions in either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park one hour before the park opens to the public. Start your day off right with a special wake-up call from a Disney character. Laugh, dance and visit with Goofy, Mickey Mouse or Chip 'n Dale while you dine on pancakes or waffles! (Additional cost; reservations recommended.) Slide through the redwoods, swim in a tropically-themed pool or sip cocktails of lost civilizations. There are stories around every corner — even if your idea of adventure is basking in a chaise longue or enjoying a private cabana.
Staybridge Suites Anaheim When you stay in this hotel's suites near Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, you don't have to sacrifice resort-quality atmosphere for an affordable price. The Staybridge Suites® Anaheim - Resort Area hotel provides easy access to area attractions and is only one mile from Angel Stadium, home of the L.A. Angels. The hotel's location near Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim is ideal for leisure travelers. Take advantage of the Anaheim Resort Transit, which stops by the hotel every 20 minutes, for convenient and affordable travel to Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland® Resort and more.Business guests visiting for job training or relocation can enjoy the extended stay at this hotel, which is just a few miles from the Disneyland® Resort. Hotel guests in Anaheim can meet clients at the Honda Center to catch a Ducks hockey game and unwind after a long day of meetings. The hotel's central location just two miles from the Anaheim Convention Center makes corporate travel in the area convenient and stress-free. Whether you are relaxing under the shade of a palm tree by the outdoor pool and seating area or working up a sweat in the on-site Fitness Center, this Disneyland® Resort area hotel in Anaheim has something for everyone.
NH Barbizon Palace, a five-star deluxe hotel portrays modern luxury combined with the restored facades of historical buildings, most of which date from the19th century.All rooms were renovated in 2000 and the property is well known for its friendly and courteous staff. The hotel offers excellent service with great continental buffet breakfast. Rooms at the hotel are very spacious with 1 king bed, sitting area, TV, in room safe, iron/ironing board. Bathroom with Shower and Tub.The hotel is close to the financial and business area, theatres, shops and the central station located opposite the hotel. This hotel is one of my favorites! Airport: 20 km - Amsterdam Airport City Center: Located downtown. Convention Center: 5 minutes' walk Port (Cruises): 1.5 km – Passenger Terminal Amsterdam Subway: 100 m - Centraal Station Train Station: 100 m - Central Station
Uniworld November6th–14th,2008 Castles Along The Rhine Amsterdam To Basel, 9 days Ship: River Queen Be inspired by the fairytale beauty and romantic spirit of the castle-laden, vineyard-rich Rhine. The Rhine River is your gateway to a truly enchanting journey. Sail her shimmering tide past stately castles, lush hillside vineyards, and storybook towns. You’ll discover highlights of four countries, The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland, on this itinerary that transports you into a fairytale world, one full of romance and beauty. And Uniworld’s Epicurean Adventurer Program™ gives you unique experiences like an exclusive wine tasting at Castle Vollrads in Germany, a Black Forest cake-baking demonstration and tasting, and much more.
Trans International Hotel is located only a 1-minute drive from Nadi International Airport and just 10 minutes to Nadi Town & less than 30minutes to Lautoka City, the main western sea port of Fiji. This is an ideal stopover hotel with beautiful setting to suit all of your accommodation requirements for flying in and out of Fiji including transfers to all islands resorts through there tour desk facilities. Trans International is equally suitable for business travels and conferences and which the hotel hosts regularly as both participants from Fiji and overseas can fly into Nadi Airport. The hotel provides all free pickup services to and from the Airport. Trans offers three types of accommodation which includes all the modern room facilities, a room should have. You can choose from superior, deluxe and presidential suite for business or leisure. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool with poolside bar. Rooms at Hotel Trans International feature a flat-screen satellite TV and minibar. They are also equipped with a digital safe, hairdryer and work desk. All rooms have balconies, some of which offer stunning mountain views. Dining options at Trans International include the Air View Restaurant, which serves a range of food including Fijian cuisine. The restaurant overlooks the runway, with views of planes taking off and landing. Guests can also unwind at Ritzy’s Bar, which provides free snacks.Guest facilities include a sauna and jacuzzi. A 24-hour concierge ensures peace of mind for travellers.
Offering a free 24-hour transfer service to LAX, The Concourse Hotel at Los Angeles Airport features spacious rooms with free WiFi. Venice Beach is 15 minutes’ drive away. A 42-inch HDTV with pay-per-view channels is offered in each contemporary air-conditioned room at this full service hotel. Soundproof windows offer 24-hour comfort. Bathrooms have granite counter-tops, marble floors, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Offering all-day dining and 24-hour room service, Palmira Restaurant features award-winning options from Chef Dale Hart which include Lobster Mango Salad, house-made Tiramisu and a decadent Chocolate Martini. Featuring a buzzy lobby bar, the Concorde Lounge offers signature cocktails, champagne, wine and beer. A variety of international food options are also available. The Concourse Hotel at Los Angeles Airport offers massage and spa services and a fitness centre. Car hire and concierge services are available. This hotel is within 15 minutes’ drive of Marina Del Rey. Hollywood is 12.4 miles away. Westchester Golf Course is 2.5 miles away from this hotel.
Been born in the South Pacific , Australia seems like a second home to me! I have been to this beautiful country numerous times to visit my friends and families however still have not seen it all! If your nearest departure point is Vancouver, there are non stop flights with Air Canada out of Vancouver into Sydney throughout the year and seasonal non-stop flights into Brisbane & Melbourne . You can also fly via Honolulu, Hawaii or Nadi, Fiji with Fiji Airways and add a stopover to break the trip. Mainland Australia is the world’s largest island – but smallest continent, and is divided into six states and two territories.Geography: Covering a total area of 7.69 million square kilometres, mainland Australia is the world’s largest island – but smallest continent. In distance, the continent stretches about 3700 kilometres from north to south and 4000 kilometres from east to west, making it the sixth-largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, the United States and Brazil. Australia is also the only continent that is governed as a single country. It is sometimes informally referred to as an 'island' continent, surrounded by oceans. Australia's ocean territory is also the third-largest in the world, spanning three oceans and covering around 12 million square kilometres. They also have one of the most urbanised and coast-dwelling populations in the world, with more than 80 per cent of residents living within 100 kilometres of the coastline. Australia currently has a population of almost 23 million people. VISA: Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home.CURRENCY AND SHOPPING IN AUSTRALIA:Australia’s national currency is Australian dollars (AUD), which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations. Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. Australian banks offer the same range of services typical in other western nations, and ATMs are widespread, although facilities may be limited in remote towns and the outback. There electronic payment system is widely available in most Australian shops, restaurants and hotels, allowing you to pay for purchases with your credit or debit card. Fees may be charged on transactions, particularly if withdrawing from an international account, so it is advised you check with your bank before travelling.Goods and Services Tax : Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You may be able to claim a refund for the GST paid on goods if you have spent AUD$300 or more with a single business, no more than 60 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals.Tipping: Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill, and tipping is always your choice. In upmarket restaurants, it is common to tip waiters 10 per cent of the bill for good service.Australian Government: Australia has three levels of government – the federal Australian Government, the governments of the six states and two territories, and around 700 local government authorities. Australia has been a nation with a single national government since 1 January 1901. Although it is divided into states and territories which have their own state governments, we are all united as one nation. Australia is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as its head of state, which is why Australia's national flag comprises the Union Jack (along with the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross). The Queen appoints the Governor-General of Australia as her representative on the advice of the elected Australian Government. The Governor-General appoints ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. Australia’s system of government is based on the liberal democratic tradition, which includes religious tolerance and freedom of speech and association. The Australian Constitution sets out the functions of the Australian Government, such as foreign relations and trade, defence and immigration. States and territories are responsible for matters not assigned to the federal government. There are two major political groups that usually form government, federally and in the states: the Australian Labor Party, and the Coalition which is a formal grouping of the Liberal Party and its minor partner, the National Party. This majority party or coalition becomes the government, decided at an election by Australian citizens. The other major political party or coalition is called ‘the opposition’. Multicultural Australia: Australian society is made up of people from a rich variety of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds, and this is a defining feature of modern Australian society. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have inhabited Australia for tens of thousands of years. Most Australians are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who arrived during the past two hundred years from more than 200 countries. The most commonly spoken language in Australia is English, and the most commonly practiced religion is Christianity, although foreign languages and other religions are also common.States and Territories: Australia is divided into six states and two territories:Australian Capital Territory: Canberra is the national capital and the centre of government. It is located approximately 290 kilometres south of Sydney in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Canberra lies on the ancient lands of the Indigenous Ngunnawal people, and its name is thought to mean ‘meeting place’, from the Aboriginal word ‘Kamberra’. It is home to important national institutions, including the Australian Parliament and the High Court of Australia.New South Wales: New South Wales is Australia’s oldest and most populated state. It was originally settled as a penal colony on the shores of Port Jackson where the bustling capital city of Sydney now stands. More than a third of Australians live in New South Wales, and Sydney is the nation’s largest city. Victoria: Victoria is the smallest of the mainland states in size but the second most populated. Melbourne is the capital and is Australia’s second most populated city. During the gold rush of the 1850s, it became one of the world's largest and wealthiest cities. Melbourne is sometimes referred to as the "cultural capital of Australia" and is the birthplace of Australian film, television, art, dance and music. Victorians’ enthusiasm for sport is also legendary and this is where Australian Rules football began.Queensland: Queensland is Australia’s second-largest state in size. The state capital is Brisbane, the third most populated city in Australia. Queenslanders enjoy more winter sunshine and warmth than most other Australian states and it’s perfect for all types of outdoor activities and water sports. Queensland is also home to the world famous Great Barrier Reef as well as five World Heritage listed areas. South Australia: South Australia is a state in the southern central part of the country, which covers some of the most arid parts of the continent. It is the fourth largest of Australia's states and shares its borders with all of the mainland states and the Northern Territory. The state capital is Adelaide, the fifth-largest city in Australia. South Australia has a thriving arts scene and is sometimes known as the ‘Festival State’, with more than 500 festivals taking place there every year.Northern Territory: At the top end of Australia lies the Northern Territory. Darwin, on the northern coast, is the capital, and Alice Springs the principal inland town. Alice Springs is the physical heart of Australia, almost exactly at the nation's geographical centre. The Northern Territory is home to the famous Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Kakadu National Park. Western Australia: Western Australia is Australia’s largest state by area. About three-quarters of the state’s population live in the capital Perth, which is the fourth most populated city in Australia. The east of the state is mostly desert while to the west the state is bound by almost 13000 kilometres of pristine coastline. In the 1890s gold was discovered and mining is still one of the state’s biggest industries.Tasmania: Tasmania is separated from mainland Australia by Bass Strait and is the smallest state in Australia. The capital, Hobart, was founded in 1804 as a penal colony, and is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. One-fifth of Tasmania is covered by national parks and wilderness areas. It is one of the world's most mountainous islands whose geology reflects Australia’s connection millions of years ago with Antarctica.External Territories : Australia also administers Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (or Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island and the Australian Antarctic Territory (covering 42 per cent of the Antarctic continent) as external territories.
Dear Neelam,Thank you so much for all your help in planning our Wedding! I know it wasn't the easiest having such a big group coming from many different cities but all your hard work & expertise made our wedding experience less stressful and even more enjoyable.We cannot Thank You enough for everything you have done for us.
Gabrielle Bell & Danny Brisson Punta Cana Destination Wedding 2012
Dear Neelam: Good Afternoon, we sure hope you are keeping well. We had a wonderful time in Hawaii and as soon as we arrived in the Port of Vancouver, I wanted to stow away and go right back from whence we came. There were only two things that stopped me, the ship’s security and the fact that the ship was going to Seattle to pick up passengers and start sailing back and forth to Alaska – it would be a long time before I would arrive back in Hawaii. Kenn and I wish to thank you for the many gifts that were provided to us from Maritime (arranged we know by you), the gifts just kept coming and coming. We have an outdoor swimming pool at our complex
Kenn & Sunny Cawker Circle Hawaii Cruise - Oosterdam 2012
Coral Princess Ft. Lauderdale - Panama Canal - Vancouver CruiseHi Neelam,We want to thank you for the interest and assistance you provided with this booking.We just returned from a very enjoyable cruise. We left on April 23 and returned on May 14, 2012. We booked this cruise with Neelam. Similar to other cruise vacations we have planned. Neelam has always provided prompt and efficient service which helped us in our decision making for air, hotels and our cruise bookings. Her attention to our travel needs is appreciated and certainly helps to ensure we have an enjoyable vacation. This is why we keep coming back to Neelam for our travel needs.Keith and Meri Brown
Keith and Meri Brown Panama Canal Cruise - Coral Princess 2012
Hi Neelam,Here is our testimonial. Thank you again for everything, you were amazing!When my husband and I first decided that we wanted a destination wedding, we didn't know where to start. There was so much to do; it seemed too big to take on. Then we went into Maritime Travel and spoke to Neelam. We were relieved to find someone who was so eager to help us plan the details of our trip. We were looking for a great deal on the trip, but what we got was a whole lot more. Neelam not only found us the best package around, but she helped us with every detail of the trip, from getting set up with wedding coordinators at the resort to seating arrangements on the plane. Neelam went above and beyond our expectations, working one on one with every single person who was attending the wedding to make sure that their individual needs were met. Because of Neelam's dedicated work, our very complicated trip became seamless for every person involved. After working with Neelam on our travel
Sara Sayle and Julien Bell Punta Cana Destination Wedding 2012
Hi Neelam, Where do I begin to thank you for arranging our honeymoon in Tahiti. Darrel and I had an amazing time and literally had nothing to worry about. The hard work and dedication that you put into our travel arrangements really showed. Thank you for taking the time and listening to our needs, arranging our activities, transfers from Moorea to Bora Bora and of course all the little things in between.
Deepika & Darrel Singh Tahiti Honeymoon 2013
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