Cheap cruises and the best times to go to 7 popular destinations

Cheap cruises and the best times to go to 7 popular destinations

The best time to cruise and the cheapest time to cruise are not always the same. The best time to be on the water is often when the weather is nicest or when you have time off. These sailings are often the most popular, but “best” can quickly turn to “worst” when you face high prices and large crowds.
The cheapest time to cruise is often when most travelers don’t want to go. You may find less ideal weather or some seasonal closures, but the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise.
As you plan your next cruise, you’ll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here’s a when-to-cruise guide for some popular destinations.
Alaska Alaska has a very short cruising season; ships traverse its chilly waters only between late April and September. The months of June through August offer the warmest weather and are therefore the best time to cruise Alaska (and the most popular). In other months, you’ll find some closures and a bit more chill in the air, but you’ll also find the best prices. In addition, April and May are the driest months of the Alaska cruise season, so you’re less likely to be rained out of your flightseeing tour or glacier walk.
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Photo tour: The most beautiful places in Alaska Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
Alaska, the 49th state of the Union as well as the largest and most sparsely populated, is a land where Mother Nature reigns, and natural wonders can be found around every turn. Pictured here is Kincaid Park in West Anchorage. Flickr/Paxson Woelber Fullscreen The landscape surrounding Serpentine Hot Springs inside Alaska’s Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is dotted with giant granite tors. In summer, wildflowers paint the tundra in brilliant shades of red and orange. Katie Cullen, NPS Fullscreen For many a traveler, dog sledding is the most memorable Alaskan experience. Jacob W. Frank, Denali National Park Service Fullscreen Thanks to its position directly beneath the auroral oval, Alaska offers visitors the best possible chance of viewing the spectacular Aurora Borealis. The season in Alaska extends from late August through late April. Flickr/David Cartier, Sr. Fullscreen The city of Ketchikan sits at the southern tip of the Inside Passage, and it’s nicknamed Alaska’s “First City” since it’s often the first place visitors see as they cruise north. Can Balcioglu, Hemera Fullscreen Turnagain Arm, one section of Cook Inlet, extends into the northwestern part of the Gulf of Alaska, and the segment of the Seward Highway (just south of Anchorage) that hugs its coast is considered one of the most scenic stretches of highway in the entire country. iStockphoto Fullscreen The top attraction near Juneau and the most accessible of Alaska’s glaciers is the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier. Located within theTongass National Forest, Mendenhall measures 12 miles in length with ice up to 800 feet deep. iStockphoto Fullscreen Just over half of Kenai Fjords National Park is covered by ice. Pictured here are bergs birthed from the Bear Glacier, the biggest in the park. Jim Pfeiffenberger, NPS Fullscreen The Chugach Mountains in the south of Alaska are famous for their extreme winter sports. The town of Valdez near the range once hosted the annual World Extreme Skiing Championships. Karl Weatherly, Digital Vision Fullscreen Beneath the shadow of Mount Edgecumb, a dormant volcanic peak, sits the city of Sitka, famous for its Russian heritage and its distinction as the only Inside Passage community fronting the Pacific. Flickr/USDA Forest Service Alaska Region/Jeffrey Wickett Fullscreen One of the most spectacular places to experience dog sledding in Alaska is on Mendenhall Glacier. Pictured here is the dog sledding camp, accessible via helicopter. Flickr/Sonny Side Up! Fullscreen One of the nation’s most scenic bike races, the Fireweed 400, takes place in Alaska each July. The 400-mile course takes riders from Sheep Mountain Lodge in Sutton to Valdez and back. Flickr/Cecil Sanders Fullscreen Glacier Bay National Park is one of Alaska’s most famous visitor destinations, whether for summer whale watching or for the breathtaking experience of seeing a giant glacier calve a berg into the bay. iStockphoto Fullscreen Passengers aboard the Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery route start their journey in Anchorage, pass the beautiful Turnagain Arm (pictured here) and end up in Grandview. Nicole Geils Fullscreen One of the most surreal experiences you can have in Alaska is entering an ice cave, on foot or in a kayak. One of the most popular ice caves (and one of the most dangerous) lies beneath Mendenhall Glacier. Putt Sakdhnagool, iStockphoto Fullscreen The Iditarod, the Last Great Race on Earth, is a thrilling journey over 1,150 miles of the planet’s most striking scenery. Along the way, racers (both dog and humans) face sub-zero temperatures, harsh winds, long days and many hours of darkness. Flickr/Frank Kovalchek Fullscreen Ogive Glacier, located in the Northwestern Fjord of Kenai Fjords National Park, is famous for its jagged ice spires and large frozen chunks that often break off and plummet into the water below. Jim Pfeiffenberger, NPS Fullscreen Historic Kennecott Mill is one of many structures from the copper mines of the early 20th century that collectively make up the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve Fullscreen Kodiak Island, the second largest island in the USA after Hawaii, is larger than both Delaware and Rhode Island combined. It’s also one of the best places on the planet to observe bears in their natural habitat. iStockphoto Fullscreen At 20,320 feet, Denali is the tallest mountain in North America and a spectacular sight to see. Daniel A. Leifheit, NPS Fullscreen Beautiful and remote Paradise Valley lies within Chugach National Forest. A six-person cabin at Upper Paradise Lake requires a floatplane trip to get there. Karen Dillman, USDA Forest Service Alaska Region Fullscreen Part of the Chugach Mountain Range, Pioneer Peak is a popular hiking destination near the town of Palmer, a small farming community with a decidedly Midwestern feel. Flickr/Cecil Sanders Fullscreen The Savage River Loop Trail in Denali National Park (pictured here in fall), takes visitors through the tundra along the river, offering the chance to see Dall sheep, caribou and marmots. Tim Rains, NPS Fullscreen Alaska might just be one of the best places in the world to explore with paddle in hand. Pictured here is a paddler in picturesque Sitka Harbor. iStockphoto Fullscreen A former gold rush town at the northern terminus of the Marine Highway through the Inside Passage, Skagway has become one of Alaska’s most popular cruise ship stops thanks to its colorful history. Flickr/Mark McElroy Fullscreen Wrangell St. Elias National Park is the largest in the U.S. park system and one of the most visually stunning. Pictured here is the view from Dead Dog Hill, a rest area and ideal location for spotting moose, caribou and trumpeter swans. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve Fullscreen In the summer, it’s possible to hike into the Alaskan temperate rainforest from Girdwood to see the spectacular Virgin Creek Falls. Flickr/Frank Kovalchek Fullscreen No summer trip to Alaska would be complete without a bit of whale watching, and in Alaska, such encounters are likely if not nearly guaranteed. iStockphoto Fullscreen The White Pass & Yukon Train was built in 1898 as part of the Klondike Gold Rush. Today, it takes visitors on a breathtaking trip past mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, trestles and tunnels, climbing 3,000 feet in just 20 miles. Flickr/Dawn Ellner Fullscreen If you’re looking for one of Alaska’s best views to wake up to, try camping at Wonder Lake in Denali National Park. It’s also the closest campground to Denali, offering unparalleled views of the High One. Purestock/iStockphoto Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 30 2 of 30 3 of 30 4 of 30 5 of 30 6 of 30 7 of 30 8 of 30 9 of 30 10 of 30 11 of 30 12 of 30 13 of 30 14 of 30 15 of 30 16 of 30 17 of 30 18 of 30 19 of 30 20 of 30 21 of 30 22 of 30 23 of 30 24 of 30 25 of 30 26 of 30 27 of 30 28 of 30 29 of 30 30 of 30 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Bermuda Bermuda cruises sail from April through mid-November, mostly during Bermuda’s high or “beach” season. Most people travel during the summer months, making those voyages pricier, but you’ll find deals on spring and fall departures (April through early June and September through November). Bermuda has temperate weather year-round, though it does see the occasional autumn hurricane. If it’s too chilly for the beach in the shoulder season, you can always try out the island’s many golf courses and spas.
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn A trinity of seafood specialties in Bermuda Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
The Wharf is a popular seaside restaurant in Bermuda’s oldest town, St. George’s, and serves the nation’s most traditional dishes. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen There is mix of indoor, outdoor and covered open-air seating, much of it with views of the harbor. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen There is plenty of outdoor seating on the harbor. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen There is also plenty of outdoor seating under cover and out of the sun. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen The main dining room inside still offers waterfront views. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen The nation’s signature dish, Bermuda Fish Chowder, is made from a mix of fish stock and tomatoes. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Bermuda’s two most famous food products are Outerbridge’s Original Sherry Pepper Sauce, a hot sauce made by steeping peppers in sherry (left), and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum (right). Both condiments are traditionally served with the nation’s signature dish, Bermuda Fish Chowder. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Using broth made by boiling heads, tails and bones of leftover fresh fish, Bermuda Fish Chowder is chock full of flaky little bits of fish meat. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Spiny lobster is incredibly popular in Bermuda, and the typical presentation is stuffed and broiled on the half shell like this version at The Wharf. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Another very common and traditional dish in Bermuda is the fish sandwich, and what sets it apart is the use of raisin bread to give it a very distinctive sweet and savory taste profile. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen The Bermuda fish sandwich on raisin bread always uses locally caught fresh fish that is very lightly battered and pan fired, most commonly wahoo like this one at The Wharf. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Many Bermuda restaurants give you the option of swapping the traditional raisin bread for whole wheat in the fish sandwich, and this is an example from Woody’s, famous for its version. Black Tomato, Bermuda Tourism Authority Fullscreen The Dark & Stormy is Bermuda’s most famous cocktail, a mix of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer, usually garnished with lime but The Wharf uses lemon. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen The most classic presentation of Bermuda’s famous cocktail is with a rum floater poured over a base of ginger beer and garnished with lime. Bermuda Tourism Authority Fullscreen The Wharf has a prime location in historic St. George’s, the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in the New World. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 15 2 of 15 3 of 15 4 of 15 5 of 15 6 of 15 7 of 15 8 of 15 9 of 15 10 of 15 11 of 15 12 of 15 13 of 15 14 of 15 15 of 15 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Caribbean You can sail to the region year-round, but the best time to cruise the Caribbean is when it’s coldest in the Northern Hemisphere. Not only is the warm Caribbean climate a welcome respite from bad weather, but December through April is also the driest part of the year in the islands. The cheapest times to cruise are typically in the late summer and fall because of hurricane season. (If you decide to travel then, purchasing cruise insurance is a good idea.) But you can often find other patches of bargain sailings, especially during the early weeks of December and in the spring. The timing of spring discounts isn’t always consistent, so it’s best to keep an eye out and book when you see a low rate.
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Top 10 secret beaches in the Caribbean Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
it may be hard to find, but Anguilla’s Little Bay Beach is a sandy secret worth discovering. Tucked away with ridiculous views of just about everything, the unspoiled spit that is bookended by cliffs is one of those coveted unsullied spots on the sand. Anguilla-Beaches.com Fullscreen Surrounded by layered limestone, Little Bay Beach is a blink-and-you-miss-it beach that is Anguilla’s least crowded. Keep your eyes open and your camera charged as graceful pelicans fly from the beach to the sea and back. Anguilla Tourist Board Fullscreen Less than an hour from the resorts and dive shops that line Palm Beach on Aruba, Baby Beach near the funky town of San Nicolas is a delightful half-moon in an unruffled sheltered lagoon. Aruba Airport Authority Fullscreen Family-friendly Baby Beach in Aruba is aptly named, with calm, shallow water ideal for young swimmers. Aruba Tourism Fullscreen The water at Baby Beach is so shallow that young swimmers can wade out quite a distance and still touch the bottom with their feet as the grown-ups relax on a comfy beach bed or under a tiki hut-like palapa. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen Cheap and cheerful, Big Mama Grill serves juicy slabs of sticky ribs on Baby Beach in Aruba. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen On the northwest coast of Anegada, or the “Drowned Land” as the Spanish named it, Lo’Blolly Bay is a blinding white beach guarded by Horseshoe Reef. Anegada Tourism Fullscreen Twenty miles from Tortola, the nearly deserted beach at Lo’Blolly Bay has a 50-foot walkout to the ocean. British Virgin Islands Tourist Board Fullscreen With only a few hundred lucky souls who call the second-largest of the British Virgins home, Lo’Blolly Bay never gets busy. Coch – BVI Fullscreen It’s no surprise that the best-kept beach secret is on the smallest of the three Cayman Islands. Point of Sand on Little Cayman is the prettiest sandy perch this side of a postcard. Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Fullscreen Accessible by car or scooter, Point of Sand is home to at least a dozen varieties of brightly colored reef fish just below the water’s surface. Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Fullscreen The water at Point of Sand is ankle-deep for the first 15 feet and gradually drops off, making the beach primo for snorkeling, swimming and staying cool in the water on a sunny afternoon. Visit Cayman Islands Fullscreen Playa Kenepa, on the west side of Curacao, is really two beaches rolled into one. The bigger beach, known as Grote Knip, is carpeted in white sand while the smaller, more intimate beach called Klein Knip is favored for the snorkeling hot spots close to the coastline. Curacao Tourist Board Fullscreen With only one road which leads to both, these bucket-list beaches at Playa Kenepa are never crowded, apart from locals who make a beeline for the soft sand on weekends. Curacao Tourist Board Fullscreen Away from the busy beaches on Jamaica’s resort-lined northwest coast, Doctor’s Cave on the Hip Strip in the heart of Montego Bay is the beach less-traveled. Jamaica Tourist Board Fullscreen The warm water at Jamaica’s Doctor’s Cave is the perfect prescription for relaxation. Jamaica Tourist Board Fullscreen There are plenty of restaurants and bars at Doctor’s Cave, although a picnic on the sand is the recommended choice on a sunny afternoon. Visit Jamaica Fullscreen Doctor’s Cave, part of the Montego Bay Marine Park, allows visitors easy access to a boatload of water sports while a spirited underwater awaits the snorkelers in the crowd. Travel Around Jamaica Tours Fullscreen Despite its name, St. Lucia’s Pigeon Island is connected to the mainland and there’s nary a pigeon in sight – although a variety called the common wood pigeon once lived there, hence the island’s name. St. Lucia Tourist Board Fullscreen A placid alternative to Reduit Beach across the bay, two petite strips of golden sand are just inside the entrance to the 40-acre national park on the northwest coast. St. Lucia Tourist Board Fullscreen With a big thumbs-up from swimmers and sunbathers, Pigeon Island is also popular with carb-cravers who rave about the West Indian rotis and icy cold Piton beer at Jambe de Bois, a rustic waterfront café. StLucia.org Fullscreen Mullet Bay in St. Maarten is a word-of-mouth beach without a lot of guidebook hype. A pretty palette of teal blue and talc white, the long sandy ribbon on the southwest coast is dotted with palms and sea grape trees. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen No frills apart from polite vendors hawking sun loungers, cold beer and rum punch, Mullet Bay is easy to find off Rhine Road near the St. Maarten’s only golf course. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen On weekdays, there’s plenty of prime real estate on the sand while the weekend vibe is livelier with locals playing volleyball on the sand, party catamarans skirting the shoreline, and fishermen on the jetty 50 yards from shore ready to land the big one. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen Stretching for 3 miles along the southeast coast of Providenciales on Turks and Caicos, Long Bay Beach is a world away and a short drive from the more popular Grace Bay Beach. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen Courtesy of the easterly trade winds, Long Bay Beach is big with kiteboarders and stand-up paddleboarders. Visit Turks and Caicos Islands Fullscreen A good bet for families, the water is so clear and shallow, you can easily walk (or ride a horse) hundreds of feet beyond the shoreline. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 27 2 of 27 3 of 27 4 of 27 5 of 27 6 of 27 7 of 27 8 of 27 9 of 27 10 of 27 11 of 27 12 of 27 13 of 27 14 of 27 15 of 27 16 of 27 17 of 27 18 of 27 19 of 27 20 of 27 21 of 27 22 of 27 23 of 27 24 of 27 25 of 27 26 of 27 27 of 27 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Europe Europe is so big that you can’t lump all its cruises together. The Mediterranean cruise season runs year-round on select cruise lines, though you’ll have the most options between April and November. Northern Europe and Baltic cruises have a shorter season running from May to early November, while the warmer Greek Islands and Canary Islands see cruise ships between March and December. Small-ship river cruises usually run from spring through fall, with a few sailings in December to see the local Christmas markets.
Most tourists come to Europe in the summer, but the late spring and early fall have more pleasant temperatures and not as many crowds. You’ll find the lowest cruise prices at the beginning and end of each season; prices rise dramatically for the summer months.
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn 10 dreamiest barge cruise destinations in Europe Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
The River Thames, England: For a convenient place to start your barge cruise, look no further than the River Thames. On this vital river, you can travel from London to Oxford in luxury while visiting royal residences like Hampton Court and Windsor Castle, as well as picturesque cities like Cookham, the home of Sir Stanley Spencer, one of England’s greatest artists. Fans of the Royal Family should look for cruises that have special royal-themed itineraries. Beginning in 2019, “Downton Abbey” fans can even look forward to a special route, which includes a stop at the castle where the hit show was filmed. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen River Po and the Bianco Canal, Italy: In Italy, you’ll find barge cruising along the River Po and the Bianco Canal, with most itineraries leaving from Venice. On an Italian barge cruise, you’ll enjoy visits to villas and small art-filled cities like Chiogga, Ferrara and Mantua. Like any visit to Italy, you can expect plenty of art history, but a barge cruise includes off-the-beaten-path stops like villas famous for hosting poets and well-persevered palazzos in undiscovered locales. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Alsace-Lorraine, France: It can be hard to decide between France and Germany for your barge cruise, but Alsace-Lorraine is the perfect compromise that blends German cross-timbered architecture with French joie de vivre. A barge cruise will take you through picturesque scenes along the Canal de la Marne or the Canal du Rhone, stopping in Strasbourg, Saverne and Nancy, a city best known as the birthplace of the art nouveau movement. Another unique feature on the Alsace-Lorraine route is the Arzviller Barge Lift, a boat elevator that allows barges to traverse the Vosges mountains. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Burgundy, France: Burgundy is the most popular barging region in all of Europe, and with 600 miles of waterways, it’s the destination to cruise if you’re looking for the most options. In Northern Burgundy, barge cruisers will find plenty of activity, including walking through the colorful villages and biking along the canal. Southern Burgundy offers an opportunity to enjoy more natural scenery and chateau visits. There are also three different canals in Burgundy popular for barge cruising: the Canal de Bourgogne, the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal du Centre. Whichever route you choose, you can count on tasting some of the finest wines in the world. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Holland; With a capital famous for its canals, it’s no surprise that Holland offers a splendid opportunity to take a pleasure cruise aboard a barge. Whether you choose to start your cruise in Amsterdam or elsewhere, a cruise along Dutch waterways is a great way to dig into the Netherlands’ history and visit attractions like the vibrant Keukenhof Gardens. Delve into the Netherlands’ artistic history with an excursion to the town of Haarlem, which is home to a collection of Dutch Master paintings in the Frans Hals Museum, or the town of Leiden to visit the birthplace of Rembrandt. Getty Images Fullscreen Champagne, France: A barge cruise in Champagne shows you so much more than tasting the world-famous bubbly drink in its namesake region. When you travel down the Canal de L’Aisne or the Canal du Marne et Saone, you’ll pass through royal cities like Reims, where French kings were once crowned, and military landmarks like Belleau Wood, a famous battle site from World War I. Champagne’s proximity to Paris also makes it the perfect destination for a traveler looking to stay close to the capital during a barge cruise. Some cruise itineraries even begin in Paris, sailing the Seine before cruising toward Champagne. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Canal du Midi, France: The Canal du Midi might be unheard of to travelers who are unfamiliar with cruising in France, but in the world of barge cruising, it’s one of the top destinations. Winding through the Languedoc region (now a part of Greater Occitania) from Toulouse to the Etang de Thau, this canal is the perfect way to experience the sunny side of France, located just north of the Pyrenees mountains. The region is the largest wine-producing area in the whole country, which means you’ll be passing by plenty of vineyards, with abundant opportunities to hop off for a tasting. You’ll also be able to experience many of the unique villages nearby, including the ancient-walled city of Carcassonne, the small town of Capestang, and Pezenas, a haven for shopaholics. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Mosel River, Germany: A barge cruise in the Mosel River Valley near Germany’s western border offers the opportunity to explore the small Mosel River and the castles, forests, vineyards and villages that make up this region. A Mosel River barge cruise gives opportunities to visit Trier, the oldest city in Germany; and Eltz Castle, a beautifully preserved castle that looks like something ripped straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Caledonian Canal, Scotland: When it comes to appreciating the wild beauty of Scotland, it doesn’t get any better than an easygoing barge cruise along the Caledonian Canal. Along the route, you can visit iconic castles like Eilean Donan, walk through highland battlefields and stop by the Glen Ord distillery for a whiskey tasting. Certain barge ships like the Spirit of Scotland even offer specialized itineraries for golfers to play on famous courses in the region, including the Royal Dornach, which dates back to the year 1616. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Shannon River, Ireland: Far from the busy crowds of Dublin, a barge cruise down the Shannon gives travelers a slow and easy way to see and savor the Irish countryside. With stops in small hamlets and villages like Killaloe, larger cities like Galway, and visits to ancient castles and monasteries, there’s plenty of interest for history buffs. However, the biggest highlight of a barge cruise on the Shannon is the chance to stop at the Kilbeggan Distillery, the world’s oldest licensed distillery. This route also offers the unique opportunity to moor next to the 6th-century monastery at Clonmacnoise, where you can literally step right off your barge and into history. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 10 2 of 10 3 of 10 4 of 10 5 of 10 6 of 10 7 of 10 8 of 10 9 of 10 10 of 10 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Hawaii You can explore the islands year-round. The best time to cruise Hawaii for good weather is during the summer and early fall when the islands get the least amount of rain. Summer tends to be the most popular because of school vacation and honeymoon season. Hawaii cruises are often cheapest from November through February, with the exception of holiday cruises.
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Land a helicopter at Jurassic Falls, Kauai: Imagine sitting in a helicopter that is swooping and darting through the green-velvet valleys of Kauai. Just below you, a flock of plump jewel-toned birds descends to the trees. The seemingly impenetrable jungle parts suddenly like stage curtains to reveal the falls from “Jurassic Park,” 400 feet high and spraying the windshield of the helicopter like rain. Now imagine the epic John Williams score playing in your headset. You land in the thick of the jungle, and your pilot guides you along a misty path to the remarkable and completely remote falls, the rushing water making the only sound in a humanless world. Getty Images/Zoonar RF Fullscreen Visit Pearl Harbor, Oahu: Each year, nearly 2 million people visit this memorial, officially part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. This solemn, gently sloping structure, accessible only by boat, straddles the sunken USS Arizona and memorializes those who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attacks on Dec. 7, 1941. According to Alfred Preis, the memorial’s architect, “The structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, express[ing] initial defeat and ultimate victory.” Each rising end is a testament to the optimism during times of peace. Eerily — but beautifully — the sunken ship’s oil can still be seen bubbling up from the wreckage and pooling in concentric rainbows on the water’s surface. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Sail the Napali Coast, Kauai: Native islanders say the Napali Coast nourishes the soul. This 17-mile stretch of rain-carved cliffs and emerald valleys is punctuated by thin, ribbonlike waterfalls, secret beaches, and sea caves teeming with aquatic life. With the spectacular Kalalau Trail currently closed to travelers due to flooding, the only way to access the cliffs is by sea. Imagine standing on the deck of a catamaran beneath 4,000-foot cliffs to soak in mana, or spiritual power, before sliding into the water for snorkeling among green sea turtles and schools of eel and angelfish. When the trade winds are smooth, expect your catamaran to cruise around or even through the sea caves, its sails flapping the mast and spinner dolphins leaping at its stern. Getty Images Fullscreen Attend an Old Lahaina Luau, Maui: A Hawaiian vacation is hardly complete without a luau, and the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui is oft considered the most authentic of the bunch. Since 1986, the Old Lahaina, with its backdrop of flickering torches, coconut palms and crashing waves, has presented its luau to an adoring public of visitors and kama’aina (Hawaiian residents) alike. An aloha greeting with a cocktail and a colorful lei kicks off the evening, followed by craft-making workshops and the unearthing of the kalua pig from its imu, or underground oven. At sunset, the evening’s entertainment begins: a lineup of traditional Hawaiian music and expressive hula dancing that outlines the islands’ history, from the earliest Polynesian settlers through the arrival of the missionaries. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Stargaze on Mauna Kea, Big Island: Amateur astronomers, rejoice. Fourteen thousand feet up the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea, beneath a bowl-shaped ceiling of sky, sits one of the best places on Earth for inspecting the heavens: the massive Mauna Kea Observatory. Here, high altitude, low humidity and dark skies create perfect stargazing conditions. Acclimatize at the informative Mauna Kea visitors’ center at 9,200 feet before taking a four-wheel-drive vehicle to the summit, where freezing temperatures and high winds cool sunburnt skin. Then scan the night sky: Guides will help you identify clusters of major constellations and other celestial bodies. While you likely won’t be able to peer inside the Observatory itself, tour providers can furnish you with equipment of your own. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Hike to Kaihalulu (Red Sand Beach), Maui: Kaihalulu means “roaring sea” in Hawaiian, but the wild, rolling waves are just one feature of this magical crescent-shaped beach. Almost Martian in appearance, the sand is rich in iron, while the sheer cliffs that abut the beach are uniquely striated with red and russet strokes (the result of an eroding cinder-cone volcano). The red sand leads to relatively choppy waters, so visitors are cautioned against swimming or diving. However, a thrilling hike and the otherworldly setting more than make up for the lack of aquatic activities, and the peace and quiet of a people-free spot can be stunning. (If you should stumble upon another soul, don’t be surprised to find your fellow suntanner in the buff; clothing is decidedly optional at this secret beach.) Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Try new flavors, Oahu: Oahu is the very belly of the on-the-rise food-and-wine culture in Hawaii, a place where outsiders’ experiences of “local eats” were once limited to Spam and imported pineapple. These days, Honolulu plays host to the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival — where local chefs highlight the state’s bounty of produce, beef and seafood — as well as a slate of Zagat-approved eateries. Of course, visitors can’t step foot on this island without sinking their teeth into one of Oahu’s sweetest imports, a fluffy malasada. The yeasty Portuguese doughnuts rolled in sugar were traditionally served on Shrove Tuesday but are now available year-round (somewhat misleadingly masquerading as breakfast food). Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island: The mutable Big Island is still molding itself: Its coastlines continually expand and erode, its mountains come alive, and its topography undergoes perpetual sculpture in a medium of fire and lava. Witness firsthand the birth of a new landscape at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where volcanoes Kilauea (one of the world’s most active) and Mauna Loa (one of the world’s most massive) alter the world in which we live. Eruptions and earthquakes closed the park for several months in 2018, but select hiking trails are now open again for visitors to learn about this fascinating ecosystem. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Have an adventure at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu: Away from the heavily trafficked resorts and shopping malls of Waikiki, the 4,000-some acres of Kualoa Ranch spread from mountain to valley to ocean, with Mokoli’i Island (Chinaman’s Hat) resting on a shelf of distant horizon. The working cattle ranch is a sort of all-inclusive Hawaiian experience, but with few touristy trappings. Knowledgeable guides lead a series of tours — by boat, on horseback, and in various vehicles — focusing on different aspects of this former sugar plantation’s history. Explore the lush Hakipu’u and Ka’a’awa valleys and the latter’s famous filming sites (“Jurassic Park,” “Lost,” and “Hawaii Five-O” all were shot here) and set sail on an ancient Hawaiian fishpond. Then trek to a secret beach with wide-angle views of sacred Mokoli’i to see how Hawaii’s landscape has evolved through innumerable eras, ancient and modern. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Drive the Road to Hana, Maui: There’s road tripping, and then there’s road tripping on this 50-mile highway that unfurls like ribbon through the taro patches and coastlines of Maui. A two-hour journey (or three or four, depending on how many times you pull over to admire the view) brings you to the peaceful, tiny town of Hana, which offers a taste of a historical Hawaiian settlement — complete with its original general store and courthouse — alongside the natural wonders for which Maui is famous. Step into the water at gray-sand, half-moon-shaped Hamoa Beach, and then stay the night in one of the 1940s cottages at luxe Travaasa Hana. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 10 2 of 10 3 of 10 4 of 10 5 of 10 6 of 10 7 of 10 8 of 10 9 of 10 10 of 10 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Mexico You can cruise to Mexico year-round, either as part of a western Caribbean itinerary or as a dedicated Mexican Riviera voyage. The best time to visit Mexico is during its dry season, November through May. However, it’s a popular destination even during the rainier summer months. You’ll find the best deals in the fall, during hurricane season.
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Stunning beaches, colorful colonial towns, jaw-dropping canyons and a rich cultural heritage define the United Mexican States, or Mexico as we commonly call it. Pictured here is the Cenote Ik-Kil near Chichen Itza on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The skeleton is a regular motif in Mexican folk art, with a history dating back to the Aztec Empire. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In the heart of Mexico City’s historic center sits Zocalo Square, home to the Presidential Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral. The square occupies an entire city block and ranks among the largest squares in the world. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The colorful colonial city of Puebla boasts some 70 churches in its historic area alone. Mountains and volcanoes set a stunning backdrop and offer abundant outdoor pursuits. Flickr / Russ Bowling Fullscreen The Agua Azul Waterfalls, whose turquoise waters come from the confluence of the Shumulja, Otulun and Tulija rivers, represent one of the most picturesque sights in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Dario Lo Presti, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Located in the state of Puebla, Ex-Hacienda de Chautla was established as a vast grain farm during the 18th century. Eulogio Gillow, one of the hacienda’s owners, built an English-style residence on the property that earned the nickname “El Castillo.” Today, it operates as a cultural and recreational center. Flickr / Carlos Adampol Galindo Fullscreen Guanajuato, capital of the state of the same name and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of Mexico’s most colorful cities. Irregular and winding alleys and staircases create a maze-like web of diversions, perfect for getting lost in leisurely exploration. Flickr / Bud Ellison Fullscreen Mexico is famous for its Mayan ruins, but perhaps none are quite as well known as Chichen Itza. This UNESCO World Heritage site was listed among the New Seven Wonders of the World. Pictured here is El Castillo (Kukulkan Temple), an 82-foot stone pyramid that dominates the center of the archeological site. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The island of Cozumel has become one of Mexico’s most popular cruise ship ports – an island of beautiful beaches (Punta Este Beach pictured) and even better diving and snorkeling just offshore. Medioimages/Photodisc, Getty Images Fullscreen Ballet Folklorico, Mexico’s traditional folk dance, features large troupes of dancers in colorful costumes typically accompanied by a mariachi band. Flickr / Zyada Fullscreen Laguna Bacalar, located in Costa Maya in the state of Quintana Roo, measures more than 37 miles long and has a white sandy bottom that makes it perfect for swimming. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen El Arco, or The Arch, is the most recognizable landmark in Cabo San Lucas. Flickr / Gary J. Wood Fullscreen Equal parts colorful and relaxed, San Miguel de Allende has all the visitor-friendly trappings of a big city in a small and easily explorable package. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In downtown Campeche, cobbled street upon cobbled street of colorful colonial buildings fill a walled city by the sea. Getty Images Fullscreen No matter where you go, you likely won’t eat poorly in Mexico. In Cozumel, the cuisine is characterized by fresh seafood prepared with Mayan, Spanish and French influences. Flickr / Sarah Wu Fullscreen Founded in 1680, the church of San Francisco Javier de Cerocahui dominates the skyline of the tiny village of Cerocahui. Flickr / Adam Singer Fullscreen Cerro de la Silla, or Saddle Hill in English, offers a distinct natural landmark in the backdrop of the city of Monterey. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Founded by the Dominican Order in 1570, the former monastery and current Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca is considered one of the most beautifully ornate Baroque churches in Mexico. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The U.S. has the Grand Canyon, and Mexico has Copper Canyon. Located in the state of Chihuahua, this natural wonder offers opportunities for zip lining, rappelling, rock climbing and hiking amid spectacular natural scenery. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Aside from the misunderstood Cinco de Mayo, Dia de los Muertos is one of Mexico’s most famous holidays. The Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout the country, but particularly in the Central and South regions. Flickr / Eneas de Troya Fullscreen During Dia de los Muertos, families set up altars, orofrendas in Spanish, in homes and cemeteries. These colorful altars are often covered in sugar skulls, food items and alcohol as a tribute to the departed. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Mexico is famous for its cenotes, large subterranean swimming holes formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock. Pictured here is Dzitnup Cenote, a popular place for swimming and snorkeling located near Valladolid. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Located at the southern edge of Mexico City, Xochimilco is a popular weekend escape famous for its network of canals and fleet of colorful boats, calledtrajineras. Flickr / Alejandro Fullscreen Mexico’s Magdalena Bay near Los Cabos is home to El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, one of the best places on the planet to observe grey whales who migrate from the Arctic to the Sea of Cortes to mate and give birth. Jan-Dirk Hansen Fullscreen Much of Mexico’s most famous spirit, tequila, is produced in the region surrounding Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city. Driving through the countryside in the state of Jalisco means passing through fields of blue agave, the native plant used to distill the world famous spirit. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In the Marietas Islands within Banderas Bay, travelers will discover one of the world’s most beautiful and unusual beaches. The stretch of sand known as Hidden Beach was formed by a collapse in the island’s volcanic rock and is only accessible via a cave carved out by the sea. Flickr / Christian Frausto Bernal Fullscreen Hierve el Agua, located in the central valleys of Oaxaca, comprises a series of turquoise-hued natural mineral springs where visitors come to soak in two cliff-top bathing pools. Flickr / Carlos Adampol Galindo Fullscreen Five miles long and less than half a mile wide, Isla Mujeres is a slice of island paradise in the Caribbean. It’s one of the most popular day trips from Cancun, but quieter beaches and affordable restaurants and accommodations make it worth a longer stay. Alex Bramwell, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Within Lagunas de Montebello National Park in the state of Chiapas, visitors find a series of more than 50 mineral-rich lakes amid the pine and oak forests. Flickr / Grant Sewell Fullscreen Las Pozas, Xilitla’s most famous attraction, encompasses a surreal collection of concrete temples, pagodas and pavilions linked by bridges and spiral staircases in the middle of the jungle. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Santuario Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, a church built atop the pyramid temple of Cholula, is one of the best places to view Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes, Mexico’s second- and third-tallest peaks. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In Cabo San Lucas, one of Mexico’s most romantic destinations, couples flock to Playa Del Amor, or Lovers Beach, though its popularity means it’s not the most secluded of Cabo’s beaches. Flickr / cplbasilisk Fullscreen The beautiful historic city of Mérida has long been the culture capital of and gateway to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Today it’s a modern cosmopolitan city, but its well-preserved historic center is the second-largest in Mexico. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In much of the world, cemeteries are somber, colorless places. In much of Mexico, cemeteries are colorful places where the lives of the departed are celebrated as much as mourned. Flickr / a2gemma Fullscreen Snorkeling enthusiasts will find some of the best opportunities in the Riviera Maya at Xel-Ha Natural Park near Cancun. This giant natural aquarium is home to tropical fish and more than 90 other marine species. Jeff Grabert Fullscreen Each autumn, the pine and fir forests of Michoacan witness one of the world’s greatest animal migrations: the arrival of Monarch butterflies who’ve flown thousands of miles south from Canada and the United States. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen One of Mexico City’s most impressive buildings is the Bellas Artes Palace, a splendid white marble domed structure filled with art and murals by Mexico’s top artists. A concert hall within hosts opera, symphony and Ballet Folklórico de México performances. Nick Tzolov, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The Mayan ruins of Palenque are one of the most important archeological sites in the state of Chiapas. Discovered in the 18th century, these jungle-blanketed temples contributed in a big way to our understanding of Mayan civilization. Flickr / Carlos Adampol Galindo Fullscreen The natural park of Xcaret, located 45 minutes outside of Cancun, boasts a snorkeling cove, butterfly pavilion, aviary, aquarium, hiking trails and the beautiful Paradise River, where small rafts carry passengers through the jungles to spot native wildlife. Flickr / Kim Hill Fullscreen Not awfully long ago, Playa del Carmen was little more than a fishing village where budget-minded backpackers came to soak up the sun on beautiful beaches. Today it’s one of Mexico’s fastest growing cities, yet it retains its beach-y vibe with a European flare. Kurt Bauschardt Fullscreen Popocatépetl Volcano is Mexico’s second-highest peak. The name means “Smoking Mountain,” and the very active volcanic peak has been off-limits to climbers for several years. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s top resort destinations, hugs the coast of the stunning Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags). Elena Elisseeva, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Colorful Sayulita on the Mexican Pacific coast is famous in equal parts for its surfing and its art. Flickr / Peat Bakke Fullscreen One of the biggest reserves on the Yucatan Peninsula, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve encompasses beaches, jungles, savannas, lagoons, marshes, cenotes and underground rivers. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Colorfully decorated sugar skulls are one of the most recognizable symbols of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Magical Yelapa is only accessible via boat, typically from nearby Puerto Vallarta. Flickr / Ernest McGray, Jr. Fullscreen Located north of the city of Chiapa de Corzo in the state of Chiapas, the dramatic scenery of Sumidero Canyon is best experienced on a boat ride through its deep and narrow passages. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Teotihuacan, or the City of Gods, was once part of one of the most important Mesoamerican civilizations. Visitors climb 243 steps to the top of the site’s tallest structure, the Pyramid of the Sun. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The Mayan ruins at Tulum overlook one of the most visually stunning stretches of coastline in the Riviera Maya. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Zihuatanejo, known as Zihua for short, was where the characters played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman escaped to in the film “Shawshank Redemption,” and for good reason. This city on the Pacific coast draws in visitors with its assortment of beautiful beaches, friendly locals and laid-back vibe. James Wright, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Another structure leftover by the Mayans is this pyramid in the ancient city Coba. It’s located in the state of Quintana Roo. Israel Leal, AP Fullscreen Chapultepec in Mexico City is a park divided between shady stretches of forest and more-developed plazas, fountains and sculpture gardens. On weekends, the northern end is crammed with vendors, entertainers and families out for the day. Marco Ugarte, AP Fullscreen The “Pyramid of the Sun” is one of the largest structures in Teotihuacan, and one of the largest pyramids in the world. RONALDO SCHEMIDT, AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen The Cancun Underwater Museum is filled with hundreds of life-sized concrete figures for snorkelers to enjoy. Via MerlinFTP Drop Fullscreen The Angel of Independence or El Ángel for short is a popular monument located in downtown Mexico City. YURI CORTEZ, AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 55 2 of 55 3 of 55 4 of 55 5 of 55 6 of 55 7 of 55 8 of 55 9 of 55 10 of 55 11 of 55 12 of 55 13 of 55 14 of 55 15 of 55 16 of 55 17 of 55 18 of 55 19 of 55 20 of 55 21 of 55 22 of 55 23 of 55 24 of 55 25 of 55 26 of 55 27 of 55 28 of 55 29 of 55 30 of 55 31 of 55 32 of 55 33 of 55 34 of 55 35 of 55 36 of 55 37 of 55 38 of 55 39 of 55 40 of 55 41 of 55 42 of 55 43 of 55 44 of 55 45 of 55 46 of 55 47 of 55 48 of 55 49 of 55 50 of 55 51 of 55 52 of 55 53 of 55 54 of 55 55 of 55 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide New England and Canada New England and Canada sailings depart from May through October. You’ve got a better chance for warm weather if you travel from late June through early September. However, if you’re interested in foliage viewing, you’ll need to go in early to mid-October. May and late October sailings will offer the lowest rates, but don’t expect to be using the onboard swimming pool much.
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Norwegian Cruise Line in 2019 will unveil another giant new megaship, Norwegian Encore. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Featuring colorful hull art designed by Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo, Norwegian Encore will be the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Like the last two ships unveiled by Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Encore will feature a deck-top race course with electric go-karts. But the course on Encore will be bigger than those on its two predecessors. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen The go-kart race course on Norwegian Encore will extend over the sides of the ship in four places. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen The main pool of Norwegian Encore will be flanked by two giant water slides. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Dubbed the Aqua Park, the water slide area of Norwegian Encore rises several decks above the main pool. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Norwegian Encore also will have a laser tag area themed around the lost city of Atlantis with faux ruins and sea creature tentacles. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen The main showroom on Norwegian Encore will be home to the Tony Award-winning “Kinky Boots.” Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen A scene from “Kinky Boots,” the Tony Award-winning show that will be aboard Norwegian Encore. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of a balcony cabin on Norwegian Encore. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Princess Cruises in 2019 will unveil a new ship called Sky Princess. Carrying 3,660 passengers at double occupancy, it’ll be the fourth vessel in the line’s recent Royal Class series. Princess Cruises Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of the top deck of Sky Princess. Princess Cruises Fullscreen The main pool deck of Sky Princess has two deep-tank pools linked by sunken, communal seating. The pool deck also has more hot tubs than earlier vessels in the same Royal Class series. Princess Cruises Fullscreen At the back of Sky Princess, passengers will find the infinity-style Wakeview pool, lounge seating and a bar — all with spectacular views of the horizon. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Like other Princess ships, Sky Princess will feature a soaring, European-style Piazza that serves as a central gathering point for passengers. Princess Cruises Fullscreen New on Sky Princess will be La Mer, which will offer casual French bistro-style dining with a modern twist. It’s the creation of Emmanuel Renaut, whose Flocons de Sel restaurant has received three Michelin stars. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Sky Princess will feature two two-bedroom Sky Suites that will be bigger than any other suite ever built on a Princess ship. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Each of the two Sky Suites on Sky Princess will have a dining room as well as a living room and two bedrooms. Princess Cruises Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of the master bedroom of a Sky Suite on Sky Princess. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Sky Suites on Sky Princess will feature the largest balconies found on any Princess ship. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Passengers staying in Sky Suites on Sky Princess will be able to see the ship’s deck-top Movies Under the Stars screen from the suite’s balcony. Princess Cruises Fullscreen A digital rendering of Carnival Panorama, a Carnival Cruise Line ship scheduled to debut in late 2019. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Carnival Panorama will feature a Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse similar to the one on the line’s recently unveiled Carnival Horizon. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of an outdoor seating area planned for the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse on Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Like the recently unveiled Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama will be home to a Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen The interior seating area of the Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse planned for Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of the Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse planned for Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Among other eateries, Carnival Panorama also will have a teppanyaki restaurant. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen The Alchemy Bar, a staple of ships in the Carnival fleet, will be back on Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of one of the “Havana Cabin” category rooms planned for Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Another feature of Carnival Panorama will be a Chef’s Table for special dinners. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of the Chef’s Table area planned for Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen The Family Lounge on Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Costa Cruises in 2019 will unveil its biggest ship ever, Costa Smeralda. Costa Cruises Fullscreen Costa Smeralda will feature a sloping deck area with lounge chairs at its back called the Piazza di Spagna. Costa Cruises Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of a balcony cabin on Costa Smeralda. Costa Cruises Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of a balcony cabin on Costa Smeralda. Costa Cruises Fullscreen Among the more unusual features of Costa Smeralda will be a standalone design museum called CoDe. Costa Cruises Fullscreen MSC Cruises in 2019 will unveil two new ships. Among them will be MSC Grandiosa, the largest MSC Cruises ship ever at 182,700 tons. Grandiosa is a stretched version of MSC Cruises’ 1-year-old MSC Meraviglia. Ivan Sarfatti Fullscreen The second MSC Cruises ship debuting in 2019 will be the 171,598-ton MSC Bellissima. It’s a sister to the 1-year-old MSC Meraviglia but not an exact copy. MSC Cruises Fullscreen The main pool area on MSC Bellissima will be called the Atmosphere Pool. MSC Cruises Fullscreen The Atmosphere Pool area on MSC Bellissima will have a giant movie screen. MSC Cruises Fullscreen The Horizon Pool and Amphitheater is another outdoor venue planned for MSC Bellissima. MSC Cruises Fullscreen Other deck-top amusements on MSC Bellissima will include the Western-themed Arizona Aquapark. MSC Cruises Fullscreen Like MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima will have Formula 1 race car simulators. MSC Cruises Fullscreen MSC Bellissima will feature the Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Café, a venue that revolves around chocolate. MSC Cruises Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 46 2 of 46 3 of 46 4 of 46 5 of 46 6 of 46 7 of 46 8 of 46 9 of 46 10 of 46 11 of 46 12 of 46 13 of 46 14 of 46 15 of 46 16 of 46 17 of 46 18 of 46 19 of 46 20 of 46 21 of 46 22 of 46 23 of 46 24 of 46 25 of 46 26 of 46 27 of 46 28 of 46 29 of 46 30 of 46 31 of 46 32 of 46 33 of 46 34 of 46 35 of 46 36 of 46 37 of 46 38 of 46 39 of 46 40 of 46 41 of 46 42 of 46 43 of 46 44 of 46 45 of 46 46 of 46 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide This story originally appeared on SmarterTravel.com .
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You’re never too old to learn a new cuisine

Articles Food General You’re never too old to learn a new cuisine You’re never too old to learn a new cuisine By Sally – Silversurfer’s Editor Jun 7, 2019 Tweet
As we get older our diet becomes more important, not just from a health point of view but also because we have more time to enjoy preparing and eating good food.
At The Cooking Academy , we firmly believe that you’re never too old to learn and embrace a new skill or cuisine.
Our expert chefs teach small groups in a relaxed environment. Whether you want to learn to cook, master a new cuisine, add to your repertoire or rekindle an interest in cookery our friendly classes tick all of the boxes. The recipes we teach are nutritionally rich, look visually appealing and taste divine. With no more than 6-8 people per class – delegates receive plenty of personal one to one attention and encouragement from our tutors and enjoy a convivial day in the company of like-minded people.
We supply everything that you need for your cookery experience from aprons to ingredients. Our team of kitchen staff pre-prepare all of the necessary ingredients leaving you free to concentrate on cooking the dishes. We believe that the best way to learn is by cooking rather than watching thus each class is designed to be a fully hands on experience.
We all have to eat and cooking is such a great way to bring people together. Our recipes are designed to be straight forward to follow and we always use top quality ethically sourced ingredients. Whether you choose one of our half day or full day classes you will be guaranteed a wonderful experience peppered with useful hints and tips, a full recipe pack and plenty of delicious food to take home. The day will include a fabulous lunch, cooked by yourself, accompanied by a glass of wine or two! There’s no need for any washing up either as our delightful kitchen assistants take care of all of the clearing up as if by magic.
If all this sounds too tempting to resist why not also consider treating a friend or family member to one of our classes- it makes for an unforgettable gift. Class vouchers start from as little as £25.00 and we offer a comprehensive range of cuisines including fish cookery, introduction to cookery, Italian, Spanish, Thai and Indian to name but a few. The vouchers make an ideal gift to anyone for any occasion.
All of our cookery classes are based at our main venue “Silverwood”, London Road, Rickmansworth, Herts, WD3 1JR.
Contact us today and enjoy giving and receiving the joy of cooking with The Cooking Academy .

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Cheap cruises and the best times to go to 7 popular destinations

The best time to cruise and the cheapest time to cruise are not always the same.
The best time to be on the water is often when the weather is nicest or when you have time off. These sailings are often the most popular, but “best” can quickly turn to “worst” when you face high prices and large crowds.
The cheapest time to cruise is often when most travelers don’t want to go. You may find less ideal weather or some seasonal closures, but the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise.
As you plan your next cruise, you’ll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here’s a when-to-cruise guide for some popular destinations.
Alaska Alaska has a very short cruising season; ships traverse its chilly waters only between late April and September. The months of June through August offer the warmest weather and are therefore the best time to cruise Alaska (and the most popular). In other months, you’ll find some closures and a bit more chill in the air, but you’ll also find the best prices. In addition, April and May are the driest months of the Alaska cruise season, so you’re less likely to be rained out of your flightseeing tour or glacier walk.
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Photo tour: The most beautiful places in Alaska Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
Alaska, the 49th state of the Union as well as the largest and most sparsely populated, is a land where Mother Nature reigns, and natural wonders can be found around every turn. Pictured here is Kincaid Park in West Anchorage. Flickr/Paxson Woelber Fullscreen The landscape surrounding Serpentine Hot Springs inside Alaska’s Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is dotted with giant granite tors. In summer, wildflowers paint the tundra in brilliant shades of red and orange. Katie Cullen, NPS Fullscreen For many a traveler, dog sledding is the most memorable Alaskan experience. Jacob W. Frank, Denali National Park Service Fullscreen Thanks to its position directly beneath the auroral oval, Alaska offers visitors the best possible chance of viewing the spectacular Aurora Borealis. The season in Alaska extends from late August through late April. Flickr/David Cartier, Sr. Fullscreen The city of Ketchikan sits at the southern tip of the Inside Passage, and it’s nicknamed Alaska’s “First City” since it’s often the first place visitors see as they cruise north. Can Balcioglu, Hemera Fullscreen Turnagain Arm, one section of Cook Inlet, extends into the northwestern part of the Gulf of Alaska, and the segment of the Seward Highway (just south of Anchorage) that hugs its coast is considered one of the most scenic stretches of highway in the entire country. iStockphoto Fullscreen The top attraction near Juneau and the most accessible of Alaska’s glaciers is the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier. Located within theTongass National Forest, Mendenhall measures 12 miles in length with ice up to 800 feet deep. iStockphoto Fullscreen Just over half of Kenai Fjords National Park is covered by ice. Pictured here are bergs birthed from the Bear Glacier, the biggest in the park. Jim Pfeiffenberger, NPS Fullscreen The Chugach Mountains in the south of Alaska are famous for their extreme winter sports. The town of Valdez near the range once hosted the annual World Extreme Skiing Championships. Karl Weatherly, Digital Vision Fullscreen Beneath the shadow of Mount Edgecumb, a dormant volcanic peak, sits the city of Sitka, famous for its Russian heritage and its distinction as the only Inside Passage community fronting the Pacific. Flickr/USDA Forest Service Alaska Region/Jeffrey Wickett Fullscreen One of the most spectacular places to experience dog sledding in Alaska is on Mendenhall Glacier. Pictured here is the dog sledding camp, accessible via helicopter. Flickr/Sonny Side Up! Fullscreen One of the nation’s most scenic bike races, the Fireweed 400, takes place in Alaska each July. The 400-mile course takes riders from Sheep Mountain Lodge in Sutton to Valdez and back. Flickr/Cecil Sanders Fullscreen Glacier Bay National Park is one of Alaska’s most famous visitor destinations, whether for summer whale watching or for the breathtaking experience of seeing a giant glacier calve a berg into the bay. iStockphoto Fullscreen Passengers aboard the Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery route start their journey in Anchorage, pass the beautiful Turnagain Arm (pictured here) and end up in Grandview. Nicole Geils Fullscreen One of the most surreal experiences you can have in Alaska is entering an ice cave, on foot or in a kayak. One of the most popular ice caves (and one of the most dangerous) lies beneath Mendenhall Glacier. Putt Sakdhnagool, iStockphoto Fullscreen The Iditarod, the Last Great Race on Earth, is a thrilling journey over 1,150 miles of the planet’s most striking scenery. Along the way, racers (both dog and humans) face sub-zero temperatures, harsh winds, long days and many hours of darkness. Flickr/Frank Kovalchek Fullscreen Ogive Glacier, located in the Northwestern Fjord of Kenai Fjords National Park, is famous for its jagged ice spires and large frozen chunks that often break off and plummet into the water below. Jim Pfeiffenberger, NPS Fullscreen Historic Kennecott Mill is one of many structures from the copper mines of the early 20th century that collectively make up the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve Fullscreen Kodiak Island, the second largest island in the USA after Hawaii, is larger than both Delaware and Rhode Island combined. It’s also one of the best places on the planet to observe bears in their natural habitat. iStockphoto Fullscreen At 20,320 feet, Denali is the tallest mountain in North America and a spectacular sight to see. Daniel A. Leifheit, NPS Fullscreen Beautiful and remote Paradise Valley lies within Chugach National Forest. A six-person cabin at Upper Paradise Lake requires a floatplane trip to get there. Karen Dillman, USDA Forest Service Alaska Region Fullscreen Part of the Chugach Mountain Range, Pioneer Peak is a popular hiking destination near the town of Palmer, a small farming community with a decidedly Midwestern feel. Flickr/Cecil Sanders Fullscreen The Savage River Loop Trail in Denali National Park (pictured here in fall), takes visitors through the tundra along the river, offering the chance to see Dall sheep, caribou and marmots. Tim Rains, NPS Fullscreen Alaska might just be one of the best places in the world to explore with paddle in hand. Pictured here is a paddler in picturesque Sitka Harbor. iStockphoto Fullscreen A former gold rush town at the northern terminus of the Marine Highway through the Inside Passage, Skagway has become one of Alaska’s most popular cruise ship stops thanks to its colorful history. Flickr/Mark McElroy Fullscreen Wrangell St. Elias National Park is the largest in the U.S. park system and one of the most visually stunning. Pictured here is the view from Dead Dog Hill, a rest area and ideal location for spotting moose, caribou and trumpeter swans. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve Fullscreen In the summer, it’s possible to hike into the Alaskan temperate rainforest from Girdwood to see the spectacular Virgin Creek Falls. Flickr/Frank Kovalchek Fullscreen No summer trip to Alaska would be complete without a bit of whale watching, and in Alaska, such encounters are likely if not nearly guaranteed. iStockphoto Fullscreen The White Pass & Yukon Train was built in 1898 as part of the Klondike Gold Rush. Today, it takes visitors on a breathtaking trip past mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, trestles and tunnels, climbing 3,000 feet in just 20 miles. Flickr/Dawn Ellner Fullscreen If you’re looking for one of Alaska’s best views to wake up to, try camping at Wonder Lake in Denali National Park. It’s also the closest campground to Denali, offering unparalleled views of the High One. Purestock/iStockphoto Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 30 2 of 30 3 of 30 4 of 30 5 of 30 6 of 30 7 of 30 8 of 30 9 of 30 10 of 30 11 of 30 12 of 30 13 of 30 14 of 30 15 of 30 16 of 30 17 of 30 18 of 30 19 of 30 20 of 30 21 of 30 22 of 30 23 of 30 24 of 30 25 of 30 26 of 30 27 of 30 28 of 30 29 of 30 30 of 30 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Bermuda Bermuda cruises sail from April through mid-November, mostly during Bermuda’s high or “beach” season. Most people travel during the summer months, making those voyages pricier, but you’ll find deals on spring and fall departures (April through early June and September through November). Bermuda has temperate weather year-round, though it does see the occasional autumn hurricane. If it’s too chilly for the beach in the shoulder season, you can always try out the island’s many golf courses and spas.
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The Wharf is a popular seaside restaurant in Bermuda’s oldest town, St. George’s, and serves the nation’s most traditional dishes. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen There is mix of indoor, outdoor and covered open-air seating, much of it with views of the harbor. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen There is plenty of outdoor seating on the harbor. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen There is also plenty of outdoor seating under cover and out of the sun. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen The main dining room inside still offers waterfront views. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen The nation’s signature dish, Bermuda Fish Chowder, is made from a mix of fish stock and tomatoes. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Bermuda’s two most famous food products are Outerbridge’s Original Sherry Pepper Sauce, a hot sauce made by steeping peppers in sherry (left), and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum (right). Both condiments are traditionally served with the nation’s signature dish, Bermuda Fish Chowder. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Using broth made by boiling heads, tails and bones of leftover fresh fish, Bermuda Fish Chowder is chock full of flaky little bits of fish meat. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Spiny lobster is incredibly popular in Bermuda, and the typical presentation is stuffed and broiled on the half shell like this version at The Wharf. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Another very common and traditional dish in Bermuda is the fish sandwich, and what sets it apart is the use of raisin bread to give it a very distinctive sweet and savory taste profile. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen The Bermuda fish sandwich on raisin bread always uses locally caught fresh fish that is very lightly battered and pan fired, most commonly wahoo like this one at The Wharf. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Many Bermuda restaurants give you the option of swapping the traditional raisin bread for whole wheat in the fish sandwich, and this is an example from Woody’s, famous for its version. Black Tomato, Bermuda Tourism Authority Fullscreen The Dark & Stormy is Bermuda’s most famous cocktail, a mix of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer, usually garnished with lime but The Wharf uses lemon. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen The most classic presentation of Bermuda’s famous cocktail is with a rum floater poured over a base of ginger beer and garnished with lime. Bermuda Tourism Authority Fullscreen The Wharf has a prime location in historic St. George’s, the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in the New World. Larry Olmsted, for USA TODAY Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 15 2 of 15 3 of 15 4 of 15 5 of 15 6 of 15 7 of 15 8 of 15 9 of 15 10 of 15 11 of 15 12 of 15 13 of 15 14 of 15 15 of 15 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Caribbean You can sail to the region year-round, but the best time to cruise the Caribbean is when it’s coldest in the Northern Hemisphere. Not only is the warm Caribbean climate a welcome respite from bad weather, but December through April is also the driest part of the year in the islands. The cheapest times to cruise are typically in the late summer and fall because of hurricane season. (If you decide to travel then, purchasing cruise insurance is a good idea.) But you can often find other patches of bargain sailings, especially during the early weeks of December and in the spring. The timing of spring discounts isn’t always consistent, so it’s best to keep an eye out and book when you see a low rate.
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it may be hard to find, but Anguilla’s Little Bay Beach is a sandy secret worth discovering. Tucked away with ridiculous views of just about everything, the unspoiled spit that is bookended by cliffs is one of those coveted unsullied spots on the sand. Anguilla-Beaches.com Fullscreen Surrounded by layered limestone, Little Bay Beach is a blink-and-you-miss-it beach that is Anguilla’s least crowded. Keep your eyes open and your camera charged as graceful pelicans fly from the beach to the sea and back. Anguilla Tourist Board Fullscreen Less than an hour from the resorts and dive shops that line Palm Beach on Aruba, Baby Beach near the funky town of San Nicolas is a delightful half-moon in an unruffled sheltered lagoon. Aruba Airport Authority Fullscreen Family-friendly Baby Beach in Aruba is aptly named, with calm, shallow water ideal for young swimmers. Aruba Tourism Fullscreen The water at Baby Beach is so shallow that young swimmers can wade out quite a distance and still touch the bottom with their feet as the grown-ups relax on a comfy beach bed or under a tiki hut-like palapa. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen Cheap and cheerful, Big Mama Grill serves juicy slabs of sticky ribs on Baby Beach in Aruba. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen On the northwest coast of Anegada, or the “Drowned Land” as the Spanish named it, Lo’Blolly Bay is a blinding white beach guarded by Horseshoe Reef. Anegada Tourism Fullscreen Twenty miles from Tortola, the nearly deserted beach at Lo’Blolly Bay has a 50-foot walkout to the ocean. British Virgin Islands Tourist Board Fullscreen With only a few hundred lucky souls who call the second-largest of the British Virgins home, Lo’Blolly Bay never gets busy. Coch – BVI Fullscreen It’s no surprise that the best-kept beach secret is on the smallest of the three Cayman Islands. Point of Sand on Little Cayman is the prettiest sandy perch this side of a postcard. Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Fullscreen Accessible by car or scooter, Point of Sand is home to at least a dozen varieties of brightly colored reef fish just below the water’s surface. Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Fullscreen The water at Point of Sand is ankle-deep for the first 15 feet and gradually drops off, making the beach primo for snorkeling, swimming and staying cool in the water on a sunny afternoon. Visit Cayman Islands Fullscreen Playa Kenepa, on the west side of Curacao, is really two beaches rolled into one. The bigger beach, known as Grote Knip, is carpeted in white sand while the smaller, more intimate beach called Klein Knip is favored for the snorkeling hot spots close to the coastline. Curacao Tourist Board Fullscreen With only one road which leads to both, these bucket-list beaches at Playa Kenepa are never crowded, apart from locals who make a beeline for the soft sand on weekends. Curacao Tourist Board Fullscreen Away from the busy beaches on Jamaica’s resort-lined northwest coast, Doctor’s Cave on the Hip Strip in the heart of Montego Bay is the beach less-traveled. Jamaica Tourist Board Fullscreen The warm water at Jamaica’s Doctor’s Cave is the perfect prescription for relaxation. Jamaica Tourist Board Fullscreen There are plenty of restaurants and bars at Doctor’s Cave, although a picnic on the sand is the recommended choice on a sunny afternoon. Visit Jamaica Fullscreen Doctor’s Cave, part of the Montego Bay Marine Park, allows visitors easy access to a boatload of water sports while a spirited underwater awaits the snorkelers in the crowd. Travel Around Jamaica Tours Fullscreen Despite its name, St. Lucia’s Pigeon Island is connected to the mainland and there’s nary a pigeon in sight – although a variety called the common wood pigeon once lived there, hence the island’s name. St. Lucia Tourist Board Fullscreen A placid alternative to Reduit Beach across the bay, two petite strips of golden sand are just inside the entrance to the 40-acre national park on the northwest coast. St. Lucia Tourist Board Fullscreen With a big thumbs-up from swimmers and sunbathers, Pigeon Island is also popular with carb-cravers who rave about the West Indian rotis and icy cold Piton beer at Jambe de Bois, a rustic waterfront café. StLucia.org Fullscreen Mullet Bay in St. Maarten is a word-of-mouth beach without a lot of guidebook hype. A pretty palette of teal blue and talc white, the long sandy ribbon on the southwest coast is dotted with palms and sea grape trees. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen No frills apart from polite vendors hawking sun loungers, cold beer and rum punch, Mullet Bay is easy to find off Rhine Road near the St. Maarten’s only golf course. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen On weekdays, there’s plenty of prime real estate on the sand while the weekend vibe is livelier with locals playing volleyball on the sand, party catamarans skirting the shoreline, and fishermen on the jetty 50 yards from shore ready to land the big one. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen Stretching for 3 miles along the southeast coast of Providenciales on Turks and Caicos, Long Bay Beach is a world away and a short drive from the more popular Grace Bay Beach. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen Courtesy of the easterly trade winds, Long Bay Beach is big with kiteboarders and stand-up paddleboarders. Visit Turks and Caicos Islands Fullscreen A good bet for families, the water is so clear and shallow, you can easily walk (or ride a horse) hundreds of feet beyond the shoreline. Melanie Reffes for USA TODAY Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 27 2 of 27 3 of 27 4 of 27 5 of 27 6 of 27 7 of 27 8 of 27 9 of 27 10 of 27 11 of 27 12 of 27 13 of 27 14 of 27 15 of 27 16 of 27 17 of 27 18 of 27 19 of 27 20 of 27 21 of 27 22 of 27 23 of 27 24 of 27 25 of 27 26 of 27 27 of 27 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Europe Europe is so big that you can’t lump all its cruises together. The Mediterranean cruise season runs year-round on select cruise lines, though you’ll have the most options between April and November. Northern Europe and Baltic cruises have a shorter season running from May to early November, while the warmer Greek Islands and Canary Islands see cruise ships between March and December. Small-ship river cruises usually run from spring through fall, with a few sailings in December to see the local Christmas markets.
Most tourists come to Europe in the summer, but the late spring and early fall have more pleasant temperatures and not as many crowds. You’ll find the lowest cruise prices at the beginning and end of each season; prices rise dramatically for the summer months.
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The River Thames, England: For a convenient place to start your barge cruise, look no further than the River Thames. On this vital river, you can travel from London to Oxford in luxury while visiting royal residences like Hampton Court and Windsor Castle, as well as picturesque cities like Cookham, the home of Sir Stanley Spencer, one of England’s greatest artists. Fans of the Royal Family should look for cruises that have special royal-themed itineraries. Beginning in 2019, “Downton Abbey” fans can even look forward to a special route, which includes a stop at the castle where the hit show was filmed. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen River Po and the Bianco Canal, Italy: In Italy, you’ll find barge cruising along the River Po and the Bianco Canal, with most itineraries leaving from Venice. On an Italian barge cruise, you’ll enjoy visits to villas and small art-filled cities like Chiogga, Ferrara and Mantua. Like any visit to Italy, you can expect plenty of art history, but a barge cruise includes off-the-beaten-path stops like villas famous for hosting poets and well-persevered palazzos in undiscovered locales. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Alsace-Lorraine, France: It can be hard to decide between France and Germany for your barge cruise, but Alsace-Lorraine is the perfect compromise that blends German cross-timbered architecture with French joie de vivre. A barge cruise will take you through picturesque scenes along the Canal de la Marne or the Canal du Rhone, stopping in Strasbourg, Saverne and Nancy, a city best known as the birthplace of the art nouveau movement. Another unique feature on the Alsace-Lorraine route is the Arzviller Barge Lift, a boat elevator that allows barges to traverse the Vosges mountains. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Burgundy, France: Burgundy is the most popular barging region in all of Europe, and with 600 miles of waterways, it’s the destination to cruise if you’re looking for the most options. In Northern Burgundy, barge cruisers will find plenty of activity, including walking through the colorful villages and biking along the canal. Southern Burgundy offers an opportunity to enjoy more natural scenery and chateau visits. There are also three different canals in Burgundy popular for barge cruising: the Canal de Bourgogne, the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal du Centre. Whichever route you choose, you can count on tasting some of the finest wines in the world. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Holland; With a capital famous for its canals, it’s no surprise that Holland offers a splendid opportunity to take a pleasure cruise aboard a barge. Whether you choose to start your cruise in Amsterdam or elsewhere, a cruise along Dutch waterways is a great way to dig into the Netherlands’ history and visit attractions like the vibrant Keukenhof Gardens. Delve into the Netherlands’ artistic history with an excursion to the town of Haarlem, which is home to a collection of Dutch Master paintings in the Frans Hals Museum, or the town of Leiden to visit the birthplace of Rembrandt. Getty Images Fullscreen Champagne, France: A barge cruise in Champagne shows you so much more than tasting the world-famous bubbly drink in its namesake region. When you travel down the Canal de L’Aisne or the Canal du Marne et Saone, you’ll pass through royal cities like Reims, where French kings were once crowned, and military landmarks like Belleau Wood, a famous battle site from World War I. Champagne’s proximity to Paris also makes it the perfect destination for a traveler looking to stay close to the capital during a barge cruise. Some cruise itineraries even begin in Paris, sailing the Seine before cruising toward Champagne. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Canal du Midi, France: The Canal du Midi might be unheard of to travelers who are unfamiliar with cruising in France, but in the world of barge cruising, it’s one of the top destinations. Winding through the Languedoc region (now a part of Greater Occitania) from Toulouse to the Etang de Thau, this canal is the perfect way to experience the sunny side of France, located just north of the Pyrenees mountains. The region is the largest wine-producing area in the whole country, which means you’ll be passing by plenty of vineyards, with abundant opportunities to hop off for a tasting. You’ll also be able to experience many of the unique villages nearby, including the ancient-walled city of Carcassonne, the small town of Capestang, and Pezenas, a haven for shopaholics. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Mosel River, Germany: A barge cruise in the Mosel River Valley near Germany’s western border offers the opportunity to explore the small Mosel River and the castles, forests, vineyards and villages that make up this region. A Mosel River barge cruise gives opportunities to visit Trier, the oldest city in Germany; and Eltz Castle, a beautifully preserved castle that looks like something ripped straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Caledonian Canal, Scotland: When it comes to appreciating the wild beauty of Scotland, it doesn’t get any better than an easygoing barge cruise along the Caledonian Canal. Along the route, you can visit iconic castles like Eilean Donan, walk through highland battlefields and stop by the Glen Ord distillery for a whiskey tasting. Certain barge ships like the Spirit of Scotland even offer specialized itineraries for golfers to play on famous courses in the region, including the Royal Dornach, which dates back to the year 1616. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Shannon River, Ireland: Far from the busy crowds of Dublin, a barge cruise down the Shannon gives travelers a slow and easy way to see and savor the Irish countryside. With stops in small hamlets and villages like Killaloe, larger cities like Galway, and visits to ancient castles and monasteries, there’s plenty of interest for history buffs. However, the biggest highlight of a barge cruise on the Shannon is the chance to stop at the Kilbeggan Distillery, the world’s oldest licensed distillery. This route also offers the unique opportunity to moor next to the 6th-century monastery at Clonmacnoise, where you can literally step right off your barge and into history. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 10 2 of 10 3 of 10 4 of 10 5 of 10 6 of 10 7 of 10 8 of 10 9 of 10 10 of 10 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Hawaii You can explore the islands year-round. The best time to cruise Hawaii for good weather is during the summer and early fall when the islands get the least amount of rain. Summer tends to be the most popular because of school vacation and honeymoon season. Hawaii cruises are often cheapest from November through February, with the exception of holiday cruises.
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Land a helicopter at Jurassic Falls, Kauai: Imagine sitting in a helicopter that is swooping and darting through the green-velvet valleys of Kauai. Just below you, a flock of plump jewel-toned birds descends to the trees. The seemingly impenetrable jungle parts suddenly like stage curtains to reveal the falls from “Jurassic Park,” 400 feet high and spraying the windshield of the helicopter like rain. Now imagine the epic John Williams score playing in your headset. You land in the thick of the jungle, and your pilot guides you along a misty path to the remarkable and completely remote falls, the rushing water making the only sound in a humanless world. Getty Images/Zoonar RF Fullscreen Visit Pearl Harbor, Oahu: Each year, nearly 2 million people visit this memorial, officially part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. This solemn, gently sloping structure, accessible only by boat, straddles the sunken USS Arizona and memorializes those who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attacks on Dec. 7, 1941. According to Alfred Preis, the memorial’s architect, “The structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, express[ing] initial defeat and ultimate victory.” Each rising end is a testament to the optimism during times of peace. Eerily — but beautifully — the sunken ship’s oil can still be seen bubbling up from the wreckage and pooling in concentric rainbows on the water’s surface. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Sail the Napali Coast, Kauai: Native islanders say the Napali Coast nourishes the soul. This 17-mile stretch of rain-carved cliffs and emerald valleys is punctuated by thin, ribbonlike waterfalls, secret beaches, and sea caves teeming with aquatic life. With the spectacular Kalalau Trail currently closed to travelers due to flooding, the only way to access the cliffs is by sea. Imagine standing on the deck of a catamaran beneath 4,000-foot cliffs to soak in mana, or spiritual power, before sliding into the water for snorkeling among green sea turtles and schools of eel and angelfish. When the trade winds are smooth, expect your catamaran to cruise around or even through the sea caves, its sails flapping the mast and spinner dolphins leaping at its stern. Getty Images Fullscreen Attend an Old Lahaina Luau, Maui: A Hawaiian vacation is hardly complete without a luau, and the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui is oft considered the most authentic of the bunch. Since 1986, the Old Lahaina, with its backdrop of flickering torches, coconut palms and crashing waves, has presented its luau to an adoring public of visitors and kama’aina (Hawaiian residents) alike. An aloha greeting with a cocktail and a colorful lei kicks off the evening, followed by craft-making workshops and the unearthing of the kalua pig from its imu, or underground oven. At sunset, the evening’s entertainment begins: a lineup of traditional Hawaiian music and expressive hula dancing that outlines the islands’ history, from the earliest Polynesian settlers through the arrival of the missionaries. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Stargaze on Mauna Kea, Big Island: Amateur astronomers, rejoice. Fourteen thousand feet up the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea, beneath a bowl-shaped ceiling of sky, sits one of the best places on Earth for inspecting the heavens: the massive Mauna Kea Observatory. Here, high altitude, low humidity and dark skies create perfect stargazing conditions. Acclimatize at the informative Mauna Kea visitors’ center at 9,200 feet before taking a four-wheel-drive vehicle to the summit, where freezing temperatures and high winds cool sunburnt skin. Then scan the night sky: Guides will help you identify clusters of major constellations and other celestial bodies. While you likely won’t be able to peer inside the Observatory itself, tour providers can furnish you with equipment of your own. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Hike to Kaihalulu (Red Sand Beach), Maui: Kaihalulu means “roaring sea” in Hawaiian, but the wild, rolling waves are just one feature of this magical crescent-shaped beach. Almost Martian in appearance, the sand is rich in iron, while the sheer cliffs that abut the beach are uniquely striated with red and russet strokes (the result of an eroding cinder-cone volcano). The red sand leads to relatively choppy waters, so visitors are cautioned against swimming or diving. However, a thrilling hike and the otherworldly setting more than make up for the lack of aquatic activities, and the peace and quiet of a people-free spot can be stunning. (If you should stumble upon another soul, don’t be surprised to find your fellow suntanner in the buff; clothing is decidedly optional at this secret beach.) Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Try new flavors, Oahu: Oahu is the very belly of the on-the-rise food-and-wine culture in Hawaii, a place where outsiders’ experiences of “local eats” were once limited to Spam and imported pineapple. These days, Honolulu plays host to the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival — where local chefs highlight the state’s bounty of produce, beef and seafood — as well as a slate of Zagat-approved eateries. Of course, visitors can’t step foot on this island without sinking their teeth into one of Oahu’s sweetest imports, a fluffy malasada. The yeasty Portuguese doughnuts rolled in sugar were traditionally served on Shrove Tuesday but are now available year-round (somewhat misleadingly masquerading as breakfast food). Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island: The mutable Big Island is still molding itself: Its coastlines continually expand and erode, its mountains come alive, and its topography undergoes perpetual sculpture in a medium of fire and lava. Witness firsthand the birth of a new landscape at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where volcanoes Kilauea (one of the world’s most active) and Mauna Loa (one of the world’s most massive) alter the world in which we live. Eruptions and earthquakes closed the park for several months in 2018, but select hiking trails are now open again for visitors to learn about this fascinating ecosystem. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Have an adventure at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu: Away from the heavily trafficked resorts and shopping malls of Waikiki, the 4,000-some acres of Kualoa Ranch spread from mountain to valley to ocean, with Mokoli’i Island (Chinaman’s Hat) resting on a shelf of distant horizon. The working cattle ranch is a sort of all-inclusive Hawaiian experience, but with few touristy trappings. Knowledgeable guides lead a series of tours — by boat, on horseback, and in various vehicles — focusing on different aspects of this former sugar plantation’s history. Explore the lush Hakipu’u and Ka’a’awa valleys and the latter’s famous filming sites (“Jurassic Park,” “Lost,” and “Hawaii Five-O” all were shot here) and set sail on an ancient Hawaiian fishpond. Then trek to a secret beach with wide-angle views of sacred Mokoli’i to see how Hawaii’s landscape has evolved through innumerable eras, ancient and modern. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Drive the Road to Hana, Maui: There’s road tripping, and then there’s road tripping on this 50-mile highway that unfurls like ribbon through the taro patches and coastlines of Maui. A two-hour journey (or three or four, depending on how many times you pull over to admire the view) brings you to the peaceful, tiny town of Hana, which offers a taste of a historical Hawaiian settlement — complete with its original general store and courthouse — alongside the natural wonders for which Maui is famous. Step into the water at gray-sand, half-moon-shaped Hamoa Beach, and then stay the night in one of the 1940s cottages at luxe Travaasa Hana. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 10 2 of 10 3 of 10 4 of 10 5 of 10 6 of 10 7 of 10 8 of 10 9 of 10 10 of 10 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Mexico You can cruise to Mexico year-round, either as part of a western Caribbean itinerary or as a dedicated Mexican Riviera voyage. The best time to visit Mexico is during its dry season, November through May. However, it’s a popular destination even during the rainier summer months. You’ll find the best deals in the fall, during hurricane season.
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Stunning beaches, colorful colonial towns, jaw-dropping canyons and a rich cultural heritage define the United Mexican States, or Mexico as we commonly call it. Pictured here is the Cenote Ik-Kil near Chichen Itza on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The skeleton is a regular motif in Mexican folk art, with a history dating back to the Aztec Empire. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In the heart of Mexico City’s historic center sits Zocalo Square, home to the Presidential Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral. The square occupies an entire city block and ranks among the largest squares in the world. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The colorful colonial city of Puebla boasts some 70 churches in its historic area alone. Mountains and volcanoes set a stunning backdrop and offer abundant outdoor pursuits. Flickr / Russ Bowling Fullscreen The Agua Azul Waterfalls, whose turquoise waters come from the confluence of the Shumulja, Otulun and Tulija rivers, represent one of the most picturesque sights in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Dario Lo Presti, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Located in the state of Puebla, Ex-Hacienda de Chautla was established as a vast grain farm during the 18th century. Eulogio Gillow, one of the hacienda’s owners, built an English-style residence on the property that earned the nickname “El Castillo.” Today, it operates as a cultural and recreational center. Flickr / Carlos Adampol Galindo Fullscreen Guanajuato, capital of the state of the same name and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of Mexico’s most colorful cities. Irregular and winding alleys and staircases create a maze-like web of diversions, perfect for getting lost in leisurely exploration. Flickr / Bud Ellison Fullscreen Mexico is famous for its Mayan ruins, but perhaps none are quite as well known as Chichen Itza. This UNESCO World Heritage site was listed among the New Seven Wonders of the World. Pictured here is El Castillo (Kukulkan Temple), an 82-foot stone pyramid that dominates the center of the archeological site. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The island of Cozumel has become one of Mexico’s most popular cruise ship ports – an island of beautiful beaches (Punta Este Beach pictured) and even better diving and snorkeling just offshore. Medioimages/Photodisc, Getty Images Fullscreen Ballet Folklorico, Mexico’s traditional folk dance, features large troupes of dancers in colorful costumes typically accompanied by a mariachi band. Flickr / Zyada Fullscreen Laguna Bacalar, located in Costa Maya in the state of Quintana Roo, measures more than 37 miles long and has a white sandy bottom that makes it perfect for swimming. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen El Arco, or The Arch, is the most recognizable landmark in Cabo San Lucas. Flickr / Gary J. Wood Fullscreen Equal parts colorful and relaxed, San Miguel de Allende has all the visitor-friendly trappings of a big city in a small and easily explorable package. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In downtown Campeche, cobbled street upon cobbled street of colorful colonial buildings fill a walled city by the sea. Getty Images Fullscreen No matter where you go, you likely won’t eat poorly in Mexico. In Cozumel, the cuisine is characterized by fresh seafood prepared with Mayan, Spanish and French influences. Flickr / Sarah Wu Fullscreen Founded in 1680, the church of San Francisco Javier de Cerocahui dominates the skyline of the tiny village of Cerocahui. Flickr / Adam Singer Fullscreen Cerro de la Silla, or Saddle Hill in English, offers a distinct natural landmark in the backdrop of the city of Monterey. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Founded by the Dominican Order in 1570, the former monastery and current Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca is considered one of the most beautifully ornate Baroque churches in Mexico. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The U.S. has the Grand Canyon, and Mexico has Copper Canyon. Located in the state of Chihuahua, this natural wonder offers opportunities for zip lining, rappelling, rock climbing and hiking amid spectacular natural scenery. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Aside from the misunderstood Cinco de Mayo, Dia de los Muertos is one of Mexico’s most famous holidays. The Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout the country, but particularly in the Central and South regions. Flickr / Eneas de Troya Fullscreen During Dia de los Muertos, families set up altars, orofrendas in Spanish, in homes and cemeteries. These colorful altars are often covered in sugar skulls, food items and alcohol as a tribute to the departed. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Mexico is famous for its cenotes, large subterranean swimming holes formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock. Pictured here is Dzitnup Cenote, a popular place for swimming and snorkeling located near Valladolid. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Located at the southern edge of Mexico City, Xochimilco is a popular weekend escape famous for its network of canals and fleet of colorful boats, calledtrajineras. Flickr / Alejandro Fullscreen Mexico’s Magdalena Bay near Los Cabos is home to El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, one of the best places on the planet to observe grey whales who migrate from the Arctic to the Sea of Cortes to mate and give birth. Jan-Dirk Hansen Fullscreen Much of Mexico’s most famous spirit, tequila, is produced in the region surrounding Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city. Driving through the countryside in the state of Jalisco means passing through fields of blue agave, the native plant used to distill the world famous spirit. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In the Marietas Islands within Banderas Bay, travelers will discover one of the world’s most beautiful and unusual beaches. The stretch of sand known as Hidden Beach was formed by a collapse in the island’s volcanic rock and is only accessible via a cave carved out by the sea. Flickr / Christian Frausto Bernal Fullscreen Hierve el Agua, located in the central valleys of Oaxaca, comprises a series of turquoise-hued natural mineral springs where visitors come to soak in two cliff-top bathing pools. Flickr / Carlos Adampol Galindo Fullscreen Five miles long and less than half a mile wide, Isla Mujeres is a slice of island paradise in the Caribbean. It’s one of the most popular day trips from Cancun, but quieter beaches and affordable restaurants and accommodations make it worth a longer stay. Alex Bramwell, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Within Lagunas de Montebello National Park in the state of Chiapas, visitors find a series of more than 50 mineral-rich lakes amid the pine and oak forests. Flickr / Grant Sewell Fullscreen Las Pozas, Xilitla’s most famous attraction, encompasses a surreal collection of concrete temples, pagodas and pavilions linked by bridges and spiral staircases in the middle of the jungle. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Santuario Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, a church built atop the pyramid temple of Cholula, is one of the best places to view Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes, Mexico’s second- and third-tallest peaks. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In Cabo San Lucas, one of Mexico’s most romantic destinations, couples flock to Playa Del Amor, or Lovers Beach, though its popularity means it’s not the most secluded of Cabo’s beaches. Flickr / cplbasilisk Fullscreen The beautiful historic city of Mérida has long been the culture capital of and gateway to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Today it’s a modern cosmopolitan city, but its well-preserved historic center is the second-largest in Mexico. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen In much of the world, cemeteries are somber, colorless places. In much of Mexico, cemeteries are colorful places where the lives of the departed are celebrated as much as mourned. Flickr / a2gemma Fullscreen Snorkeling enthusiasts will find some of the best opportunities in the Riviera Maya at Xel-Ha Natural Park near Cancun. This giant natural aquarium is home to tropical fish and more than 90 other marine species. Jeff Grabert Fullscreen Each autumn, the pine and fir forests of Michoacan witness one of the world’s greatest animal migrations: the arrival of Monarch butterflies who’ve flown thousands of miles south from Canada and the United States. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen One of Mexico City’s most impressive buildings is the Bellas Artes Palace, a splendid white marble domed structure filled with art and murals by Mexico’s top artists. A concert hall within hosts opera, symphony and Ballet Folklórico de México performances. Nick Tzolov, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The Mayan ruins of Palenque are one of the most important archeological sites in the state of Chiapas. Discovered in the 18th century, these jungle-blanketed temples contributed in a big way to our understanding of Mayan civilization. Flickr / Carlos Adampol Galindo Fullscreen The natural park of Xcaret, located 45 minutes outside of Cancun, boasts a snorkeling cove, butterfly pavilion, aviary, aquarium, hiking trails and the beautiful Paradise River, where small rafts carry passengers through the jungles to spot native wildlife. Flickr / Kim Hill Fullscreen Not awfully long ago, Playa del Carmen was little more than a fishing village where budget-minded backpackers came to soak up the sun on beautiful beaches. Today it’s one of Mexico’s fastest growing cities, yet it retains its beach-y vibe with a European flare. Kurt Bauschardt Fullscreen Popocatépetl Volcano is Mexico’s second-highest peak. The name means “Smoking Mountain,” and the very active volcanic peak has been off-limits to climbers for several years. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s top resort destinations, hugs the coast of the stunning Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags). Elena Elisseeva, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Colorful Sayulita on the Mexican Pacific coast is famous in equal parts for its surfing and its art. Flickr / Peat Bakke Fullscreen One of the biggest reserves on the Yucatan Peninsula, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve encompasses beaches, jungles, savannas, lagoons, marshes, cenotes and underground rivers. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Colorfully decorated sugar skulls are one of the most recognizable symbols of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Magical Yelapa is only accessible via boat, typically from nearby Puerto Vallarta. Flickr / Ernest McGray, Jr. Fullscreen Located north of the city of Chiapa de Corzo in the state of Chiapas, the dramatic scenery of Sumidero Canyon is best experienced on a boat ride through its deep and narrow passages. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Teotihuacan, or the City of Gods, was once part of one of the most important Mesoamerican civilizations. Visitors climb 243 steps to the top of the site’s tallest structure, the Pyramid of the Sun. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen The Mayan ruins at Tulum overlook one of the most visually stunning stretches of coastline in the Riviera Maya. Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Zihuatanejo, known as Zihua for short, was where the characters played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman escaped to in the film “Shawshank Redemption,” and for good reason. This city on the Pacific coast draws in visitors with its assortment of beautiful beaches, friendly locals and laid-back vibe. James Wright, Getty Images/iStockphoto Fullscreen Another structure leftover by the Mayans is this pyramid in the ancient city Coba. It’s located in the state of Quintana Roo. Israel Leal, AP Fullscreen Chapultepec in Mexico City is a park divided between shady stretches of forest and more-developed plazas, fountains and sculpture gardens. On weekends, the northern end is crammed with vendors, entertainers and families out for the day. Marco Ugarte, AP Fullscreen The “Pyramid of the Sun” is one of the largest structures in Teotihuacan, and one of the largest pyramids in the world. RONALDO SCHEMIDT, AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen The Cancun Underwater Museum is filled with hundreds of life-sized concrete figures for snorkelers to enjoy. Via MerlinFTP Drop Fullscreen The Angel of Independence or El Ángel for short is a popular monument located in downtown Mexico City. YURI CORTEZ, AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 55 2 of 55 3 of 55 4 of 55 5 of 55 6 of 55 7 of 55 8 of 55 9 of 55 10 of 55 11 of 55 12 of 55 13 of 55 14 of 55 15 of 55 16 of 55 17 of 55 18 of 55 19 of 55 20 of 55 21 of 55 22 of 55 23 of 55 24 of 55 25 of 55 26 of 55 27 of 55 28 of 55 29 of 55 30 of 55 31 of 55 32 of 55 33 of 55 34 of 55 35 of 55 36 of 55 37 of 55 38 of 55 39 of 55 40 of 55 41 of 55 42 of 55 43 of 55 44 of 55 45 of 55 46 of 55 47 of 55 48 of 55 49 of 55 50 of 55 51 of 55 52 of 55 53 of 55 54 of 55 55 of 55 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide New England and Canada New England and Canada sailings depart from May through October. You’ve got a better chance for warm weather if you travel from late June through early September. However, if you’re interested in foliage viewing, you’ll need to go in early to mid-October. May and late October sailings will offer the lowest rates, but don’t expect to be using the onboard swimming pool much.
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn The hottest new cruise ships of 2019 Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
Norwegian Cruise Line in 2019 will unveil another giant new megaship, Norwegian Encore. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Featuring colorful hull art designed by Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo, Norwegian Encore will be the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Like the last two ships unveiled by Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Encore will feature a deck-top race course with electric go-karts. But the course on Encore will be bigger than those on its two predecessors. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen The go-kart race course on Norwegian Encore will extend over the sides of the ship in four places. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen The main pool of Norwegian Encore will be flanked by two giant water slides. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Dubbed the Aqua Park, the water slide area of Norwegian Encore rises several decks above the main pool. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Norwegian Encore also will have a laser tag area themed around the lost city of Atlantis with faux ruins and sea creature tentacles. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen The main showroom on Norwegian Encore will be home to the Tony Award-winning “Kinky Boots.” Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen A scene from “Kinky Boots,” the Tony Award-winning show that will be aboard Norwegian Encore. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of a balcony cabin on Norwegian Encore. Norwegian Cruise Line Fullscreen Princess Cruises in 2019 will unveil a new ship called Sky Princess. Carrying 3,660 passengers at double occupancy, it’ll be the fourth vessel in the line’s recent Royal Class series. Princess Cruises Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of the top deck of Sky Princess. Princess Cruises Fullscreen The main pool deck of Sky Princess has two deep-tank pools linked by sunken, communal seating. The pool deck also has more hot tubs than earlier vessels in the same Royal Class series. Princess Cruises Fullscreen At the back of Sky Princess, passengers will find the infinity-style Wakeview pool, lounge seating and a bar — all with spectacular views of the horizon. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Like other Princess ships, Sky Princess will feature a soaring, European-style Piazza that serves as a central gathering point for passengers. Princess Cruises Fullscreen New on Sky Princess will be La Mer, which will offer casual French bistro-style dining with a modern twist. It’s the creation of Emmanuel Renaut, whose Flocons de Sel restaurant has received three Michelin stars. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Sky Princess will feature two two-bedroom Sky Suites that will be bigger than any other suite ever built on a Princess ship. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Each of the two Sky Suites on Sky Princess will have a dining room as well as a living room and two bedrooms. Princess Cruises Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of the master bedroom of a Sky Suite on Sky Princess. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Sky Suites on Sky Princess will feature the largest balconies found on any Princess ship. Princess Cruises Fullscreen Passengers staying in Sky Suites on Sky Princess will be able to see the ship’s deck-top Movies Under the Stars screen from the suite’s balcony. Princess Cruises Fullscreen A digital rendering of Carnival Panorama, a Carnival Cruise Line ship scheduled to debut in late 2019. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Carnival Panorama will feature a Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse similar to the one on the line’s recently unveiled Carnival Horizon. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of an outdoor seating area planned for the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse on Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Like the recently unveiled Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama will be home to a Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen The interior seating area of the Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse planned for Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of the Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse planned for Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Among other eateries, Carnival Panorama also will have a teppanyaki restaurant. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen The Alchemy Bar, a staple of ships in the Carnival fleet, will be back on Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of one of the “Havana Cabin” category rooms planned for Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Another feature of Carnival Panorama will be a Chef’s Table for special dinners. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of the Chef’s Table area planned for Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen The Family Lounge on Carnival Panorama. Carnival Cruise Line Fullscreen Costa Cruises in 2019 will unveil its biggest ship ever, Costa Smeralda. Costa Cruises Fullscreen Costa Smeralda will feature a sloping deck area with lounge chairs at its back called the Piazza di Spagna. Costa Cruises Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of a balcony cabin on Costa Smeralda. Costa Cruises Fullscreen An artist’s drawing of a balcony cabin on Costa Smeralda. Costa Cruises Fullscreen Among the more unusual features of Costa Smeralda will be a standalone design museum called CoDe. Costa Cruises Fullscreen MSC Cruises in 2019 will unveil two new ships. Among them will be MSC Grandiosa, the largest MSC Cruises ship ever at 182,700 tons. Grandiosa is a stretched version of MSC Cruises’ 1-year-old MSC Meraviglia. Ivan Sarfatti Fullscreen The second MSC Cruises ship debuting in 2019 will be the 171,598-ton MSC Bellissima. It’s a sister to the 1-year-old MSC Meraviglia but not an exact copy. MSC Cruises Fullscreen The main pool area on MSC Bellissima will be called the Atmosphere Pool. MSC Cruises Fullscreen The Atmosphere Pool area on MSC Bellissima will have a giant movie screen. MSC Cruises Fullscreen The Horizon Pool and Amphitheater is another outdoor venue planned for MSC Bellissima. MSC Cruises Fullscreen Other deck-top amusements on MSC Bellissima will include the Western-themed Arizona Aquapark. MSC Cruises Fullscreen Like MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima will have Formula 1 race car simulators. MSC Cruises Fullscreen MSC Bellissima will feature the Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Café, a venue that revolves around chocolate. MSC Cruises Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 46 2 of 46 3 of 46 4 of 46 5 of 46 6 of 46 7 of 46 8 of 46 9 of 46 10 of 46 11 of 46 12 of 46 13 of 46 14 of 46 15 of 46 16 of 46 17 of 46 18 of 46 19 of 46 20 of 46 21 of 46 22 of 46 23 of 46 24 of 46 25 of 46 26 of 46 27 of 46 28 of 46 29 of 46 30 of 46 31 of 46 32 of 46 33 of 46 34 of 46 35 of 46 36 of 46 37 of 46 38 of 46 39 of 46 40 of 46 41 of 46 42 of 46 43 of 46 44 of 46 45 of 46 46 of 46 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide This story originally appeared on SmarterTravel.com .
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Culinary King is no more

Zorawar Kalra posted a heart warming message on his social media account remembering his late father Jiggs Kalra, “With profuse grief I would like to announce the passing of my father, Jiggs Kalra. He was a legend. He was also my mentor and hero. The outpouring of support from people from all across the world today makes me believe that he touched a lot of lives. I will miss him forever, (sic)” The ‘Czar of Indian Cuisine’ — Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra — popularly known as Jiggs Kalra, passed away yesterday after a prolonged illness, leaving the nation devoid of one of its great ambassadors. In a career spanning several decades, the Master Chef had the privilege of serving political heavyweights such as Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bill Clinton and many more. The brain behind some of the most critically-acclaimed restaurants like Farzi Cafe, Kalra’s taste, flavours, hospitality and uniqueness will always remain in the hearts of many.
Hyderabad Connect
Describing his first meeting with Jiggs, Shankar Krishnamurthy of Fusion9 says he first met him 23 years ago, when he visited Hyderabad for his brand Kabab Factory. “Jiggs Kalra came to Hyderabad in 1996 and over the next three days, we went to authentic home chefs in and around the city and learned absolute authentic kababs of the region. I was extremely fortunate to spend time with him and am always inspired by his constant thirst for knowledge, something which I practice even today. The industry has truly lost a wonderful food man. Personally, he was full of humour but as a professional, his eye for detail was phenomenal,” says Krishnamurthy. The first Asian to be inducted in to the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame, Kalra is also credited with reviving lost ancient cuisines and age-old delicacies such as kebabs. “His clarity of thought when visualising a dish and his meticulous approach to getting it right were awe-inspiring. His passing has left a vacuum in the food industry,” says Chef Chalapathi Rao of Simply South.
Celebs remember Jiggs
Paying his tributes, Ranveer Brar, celebrity chef, TV show host, judge and food stylist says, “I was 19 and a chef trainee when I made Gajar ka Halwa and apprehensively took it to Jiggs when he visited the hotel. He looked at me, tasted my dish, smiled and said, “You are the second ‘Jatt’ after Manjit (Gill) to cook tasty food” and that was the conversation that froze my future as a chef.”
Brar recalls that he didn’t just stop there, but instead asked the pastry chef to make a carrot cake of it. “I can still taste the cake in my head,” reminisces Brar, adding, “It was an out-of-the-world take on a mawa cake with creamed carrots and a scent of cardamom.”
Jiggs was also recognised for his trademark generous drizzle of Punjabi humour. “There is and will be only one Jiggs Kalra. For me and my generation of chefs, our passion for Indian food is only because of him. India and its cuisine is lucky to have had a superstar like him,” says Brar.
“I met him for the first time as my friend Zorawar’s (his son) father in college. His book, Prashad: Cooking with Indian Masters, is a must for every chef in the country. And I have learnt a lot from that book. I just love the butter chicken and dal tadka recipes. I still have the book by my side. Once, without knowing my profession, he predicted that I had the potential to be a good cook,” recalls Chef Vicky Ratnani, celebrity chef, cookbook author and restaurant consultant.
Paying his condolences, Executive Chef Sahil Arora reminisces about Chef Kalra’s contribution to the culinary sector. “It’s a shocking loss to me and the entire industry. His inexplicable contribution and innovations in this field are forever going to be remembered and cherished. He has been both a mentor and dear colleague to me. His love and boundless passion for food never ceases to amaze any culinarian. He will be honoured and missed deeply,” he says.
A man whose entire life revolved around food, Jiggs Kalra will undoubtedly be missed. “He was undisputedly one of the biggest pillars of the Indian culinary industry. He was one of the pioneers who showed the entire world what Indian cuisine is and why it tastes so good. When I first started cooking, I learned so much by watching him on Doordarshan and following his columns and recipes,” says Chef Puneet Mehta.

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Gymkhana, London – Restaurant Reviews, Bookings, Menus, Phone Number & Opening Times – SquareMeal

Interesting and tasty Indian food 23 July 2015 Its taken us a while to get here, with a couple of failed attempts to get a reservation even at lunch . However yesterday we made it for the first time to a very busy restaurant , which they seemed to manage whilst keeping to reasonable timescales for ordering, food delivery and bill. I have to say that the place itself was not as plush and serene as I’d expected- looks a bit more like a nice pub than a top restaurant. We chose from the lunch menu , me with soft shell crab with what seemed like puffed rice and samphire, and then kid goat methi keema, and my wife with Papdi Chaat and Mushroom and Pea Pilau. Dishes of dal Maharani (very like Dal Makhani) and spinach were served alongside together with basmati rice and mixed breads. All the dishes were nicely presented, tasty and spiced about medium. There were no discussions or debates about “how spicy is that ?” or “what does two chillies actually mean here please?” I’d imagine that if your usual indian dish is Madras or stronger, you’re going to find the food we ate to be gentle. On the other hand if you struggle with anything beyond a Korma, you might find this food a little spicy. But ( and this is, we believe, important) the spice never overcomes the flavour and we found words like “tasty” more apposite then “hot” or “bland”. We were a little surprised by quantity and value, after reading Square Meal’s own review. I ate two courses plus sides yesterday and had certainly eaten enough as a main meal of the day. My wife managed a dessert too without changing an opinion that desserts are not a strength of Indian cuisine. Our bill for two came to £74. We stuck to beer and voted for coffee round the corner (Influenced by the fact that I prefer Café Nero or Costa to any coffee I’ve had yet in an Indian restaurant), but nevertheless thought this was good value and maybe better than we expected when we walked in. A similarly structured meal from the a la carte menu would have been arounfd £100 for two. So how good is Gymkhana? Well it was certainly one of the best Indian meals we’ve eaten anywhere. The cuisine is a little finer and not hugely more expensive than our usual favourite- Southall’s Mehfil. Is it so different that it provokes a fundamental re-appraisal of Indian food?-perhaps not . It is good food but it isn’t for me at least a game changer . I do enjoy Indian food but I retain some difficulty in seeing it as “gourmet”, Michelin Star territory. I don’t expect everyone to agree with that , but to my taste I don’t see Gymkhana hitting the same culinary high spots as say Pollen Street Social, or Fera,, or Trompette where the food is modern European. I wouldn’t expect to go for a celebration. Its more normal than that- but frankly at the price we paid it can be just that a good lunch, but not special. And before I leave an impression that I think Gymkhana is fortunate to get its star, I have to say that living west of London we’re surrounded by places that were pubs but have now gained a star-occasionally two. I’d rather eat at Gymkhana than at any of those, and we’ll go again. One final thing. Whilst the a la carte menu incudes many of the usual Indian favourites, there’s a fair smattering of dishes that I haven’t seen anywhere else. To us, one of the primary measures of a good Indian restaurant is its ability to serve distinctive and unusual dishes and it’s those I tend to remember much more easily than a quality Rogan Josh or Chicken Tikka. Gymkhana scores well on that dimension. Food & Drink

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8/24/19: Dilli Haat Food Festival 2019 | Cupertino – FREE

Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier
Did you miss going to India this Summer? Dilli Haat transports you to the magical world of Indian art and heritage presented through a fascinating panorama of craft, cuisine and cultural activities.
Ethnic clothing fresh from India. Mindblowing regional delicacies from India. Handicrafts (handwoven), cotton bedsheets, duvet covers, decorations. Fashion show. Bridal Clothes, Office wear. Lots of parking and cultural activities to keep you busy in a summer day. Is there enough parking – Yes lots of parking Will there be only food booths – No What types of booths we have? Food, Clothing, Jewelery,handicrafts Do we have veg and non-veg food? Yes ample of options Do you have cultural performances? Yes, many What performances we have? Dance, music, bands, fashion shows… Cost: FREE

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Experience All the Flavor of the Wonderful Kurry Xpress in Omaha.

I’ve been telling you all week about one of my FAVORITE restaurants in Omaha. I know once you visit you’ll be hooked. Such amazing, authentic Indian Cuisine. The All-You-Can-Eat buffet is by far the BEST I have visited in ages. Over 30 made fresh daily items, with items that change every day. Don’t like spicy foods? No worries. Items aren’t made spicy, but there is a section within the buffet for you to add your own spice level to it. And I DID! trust me…lol. Open daily, weekends for Lunch and dinner. Visit their website for location and to view the amazing buffet and regular menu items. And you can eat in, carry out or have it delivered. I PROMISE you, from one foodie to the next…this is top level, amazing cuisine that you don’t want to miss out on. Visit their webiste HERE

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An Exclusive Interview With Meena From “Angel M Style”

June 6, 2019 By Ankit Sharma 0 Meena is a fashion blogger from Delhi. She has a passion for music, fashion, food & travelling. She is trained in Digital Marketing from a reputed IT company. On 21 st October 2015, Meena brought up “ Angel M Style ” to portray her passion on the web. We really like Meena’s views on fashion & lifestyle & wish her a great journey as a leading fashion blogger. We approached her for a short interview & here is everything you need to know about her.
Q.1 About You – Tell us about your education, profession and passion. Hi, I am Meena. First of all, thank you for welcoming me for this amazing session. I completed my BA graduation and then completed a digital marketing course from Techstack Pvt Ltd which massively helped me in shaping my career as a model and fashion blogger. My passion is to travel and explore the beauty of the world.
Q.2 Which is the best season you like and what’s your best wear in that season? For me, all seasons are equally beautiful and have their unique essence to impact my life in a positive way. I love summer because I get immense freedom to carry on my outdoor shoots in a carefree manner. I prefer short dresses in this season and definitely, some bright colors. I love winter, because the weather for me seems to be romantic and the snowy beauty of nature attracts me a lot. My winter coats and long length boots are my hot favorite for winter. For spring what should I say, it’s awesome. For spring, I want something in floral patterns and I feel that it flaunts my inner beauty better.
Q.3 The best place which you have visited till now? What is the best thing about that place? My favorite travelled destination? U ! Well, I love Hong Kong. It’s an amazing destination with lots of natural beauty, attractive Hong Kong skyline, awesome people, yummy cuisine, nightlife and all in all, the city is vibrant and can make anyone happy with its hospitality.
Q.4 When did you first think about Fashion Blogging and what are the requirements to become a Good Fashion Blogger? I am a fashion conscious person and experiment with latest fashion outfits, beauty care products and almost anything which is part of fashion. It was in October 2015, when I first thought why not share my experience about the fashion world with more people and who knows that it might be of great help for them. That’s how my blog Angel M Style was born. For being a good fashion blogger, the very first thing is honesty. You need to be honest in giving genuine reviews and experience about the products you use. Secondly, excellency in playing with words is important as you need to present the content in an interesting and expressive way to entertain the readers well. Third & the most important, knowledge of SEO is a must to increase traffic to your blog.
Q.5 Who is the best Bollywood Diva to follow in terms of fashion? Which is the best dress you like her wearing? I am in love with Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, and Malaika Arora as their taste of fashion is so amazing that no one can deny it. Give them any western or Indian Dress and they will give you lessons how to carry anything in an absolutely stylish and attractive way.
Q.6 What is the Inspirational Success Quote you would like to give our readers?
Believe in yourself, The world is all yours! We at are wholeheartedly thankful to Meena of “Angel M Style” to devote her precious time for this mini questionnaire. RECENT POSTS

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Hip Austin Filipino restaurant picks The Heights for new location

A taste of the Philippines Hip Austin Filipino restaurant picks The Heights for first Houston location Hip Austin Filipino restaurant picks The Heights for new location Jun 7, 2019, 3:03 pm Be More Pacific will bring Filipino food to the Heights. Photo by Ashlyn Allison
So many Austin restaurants have made their way to Houston over the years that it’s hard to list them all. That success continues to lure a diverse crop of restaurateurs to try their luck in the Bayou City.
Add Giovan Cuchapin and Mark Pascual to the ever-growing trend. The duo, along with Houston restaurant veteran Roveen Abante (Lincoln Bar, Pour Behavior, Understory Bar in Capitol Tower) are bringing Be More Pacific Filipino Kitchen and Bar , their popular Filipino food truck-turned-restaurant, to The Heights. Slated to open this fall, the restaurant will join La Vibra in The Heights Village shopping center at the corner of 5th and Yale. It’s a homecoming for Cuchapin and Pascual, both of whom grew up in Houston.
“We feel that The Heights seems to be where all the other restaurants are going,” Pascual tells CultureMap. “It seems to be a hotspot for Houston . . . The first one in Houston we wanted to be central, so that everyone has access to it.”
In terms of food, expect an expanded version of the menu that helped the restaurant earn a Best New Restaurant award in the 2018 CultureMap Austin Tastemaker Awards. Food editor Brandon Watson notes a number of highlights on the menu , including lumpia Shanghai (pork and shrimp egg rolls served with a house sweet chili sauce); sweet and tangy barbecue ribs with a pickled papaya salad and sautéed green beans; spicy coconut lime bacon fried rice topped with a fried egg; and adobo (chicken, pork, or tofu cooked in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic).
“Our version of adobo is the best I’ve had,” Pascaul says. “Our filipino barbecue and our sisig [stand out]. I don’t think anyone in Hoston does sisig as good as we do.”
Creative cocktails pair with the restaurant’s cuisine. Consider the Banana Mary (a Bloody Mary with muddled basil and spicy ketchup) or the Lou Diamond (a complex blend of passionfruit, agave, muddled jalapeños, and tequila served with a skewer of salty feta). San Miguel, a beer popular in the Philippines, joins a selection of craft brews on the beer list.
To help fund the restaurant’s buildout, the partners are seeking to raise at least $100,000 on the NextSeed crowdfunding platform . In addition to earning a 1.4x return on their money, investors will receive acknowledgement on a wall in the restaurant, an invite to a pre-opening party, and other perks. Pascaul says they’re hoping to open in October.
Most Filipino restaurants in Houston cater primarily to people who are already familiar with the cuisine. Be More Pacific has crossed over in Austin, winning new fans to Filipino food’s intriguing mix of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Spanish influences. With a prime location, look for the Houston location to be one of the fall’s most intriguing new arrivals. Read These Next

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Zee-shaun said: ↑ Sounds very healthy indeed.
You didn’t post your Eid dinner pics @Avicenna .
What is the traditional eid menu in Bengali cuisine? Click to expand… Its pretty similar I would say to yours.
I moved away from where my family lives so I can’t give you pics of Bengali foods.
My wife is Indian, so we went to her parents place.
We had goat biryani.
Bengali Eid foods are HEAVY on the sweets which we are known for.
Also Biryani, roasted chicken, salad, and some sort of fried foods like samsoas etc. etc.
In reality, there isnt too much differnce in the foods.
Although of course, its not the same.

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