May 6, 2013 / 5:00 am
Luxury..... away of life for some. And for others, a once a year travel experience. Is it worth the extra cost to travel in luxury? Is it something you've considered but are unsure about; the differences between luxury travel product and non-luxury? What defines a luxury travel experience?
Luxury: a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort. Sumptuous environment. Something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary; an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease... ~ Miriam-Webster Dictionary
How do you get this out of travel? Here are a few great examples from a vast majority of luxury travel products that go above and beyond a mere 5-star experience. For more information on the products listed below, or other luxury options; visit your Professional Travel Agent today!
Crystal Cruise Lines - Luxury All Inclusive Cruising.
At Crystal they are motivated by a single goal: to provide you with the finest experience not only in cruising, but in all of luxury travel. Owning the two highest-rated ships in the world, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, Crystal offers extraordinary service, abundant space, exceptional quality and incredible choices. A steadfast commitment to excellence has earned them unprecedented recognition as the World’s Best for an incredible 18 years – an accomplishment unmatched by any other cruise line, hotel or resort anywhere in the world. The luxury cruise line also offers a World Cruise on the Crystal Serenity each year of about 110 days in length. Each Crystal ship features two complimentary specialty restaurants, including the Italian restaurant Prego, and Silk Road and the Sushi Bar. Daytime ship activities include pools, lectures, a movie theatre, lessons by Yamaha keyboard instructors, and instruction by Berlitz language teachers.
Oceania Cruises - Luxury All Inclusive Cruising.
Their ships cater to just 684 pampered guests on Regatta, Nautica and Insignia, and 1,250 guests on Marina and Riviera. Enjoy the finest cuisine at sea orchestrated by legendary Master Chef Jacques Pépin and in multiple open-seating venues. Country club-casual ambiance, Canyon Ranch Spa Club, Bon Appétit Culinary Center and an Artist Loft ensure your truest comfort and well-being. Their featured four Anniversary Sailings and world-renowned themed voyages, offer hands-on classes, concerts, wine tastings and more. Oceania is currently the world’s largest upscale cruise line.
Atlantis Resorts - Luxury Family Resorts.
The get-away for the stars ! Famed for superstars and super luxury; these semi-all-inclusive resorts don't come cheap but do come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. With locations in both Dubai and the Bahamas', these world class resorts feature World Class Water parks, Marine Habitats and fine dining. With resorts within the resorts, guests are offered a wide variety of accommodation options. They are dedicated to pleasing all ages with a variety of world class entertainment, the world's largest marine habitat in the Bahamas, Mayan Temple Waterslides and exceptional conference facilities. The resorts also feature an amazing variety of land, sea and beach activities. Or simply stay in your suite and be papered by exceptional room service !
St. Regis Resorts - Luxury Hotel Accommodations.
St. Regis redefines contemporary luxury for today's global traveler. With 44 locations worldwide, you have the opportunity to experience a luxury stays in exotic locations such as Cairo, Bora Bora, New York City, Beijing and a variety of others. With over 100 years in the luxury business, St. Regis offers century-old butler service the tradition of fresh flowers adoring your room daily. Their standard of sophistication established by the original St. Regis, is honoured in every location;, but has evolved to include five distinct design interpretations: Metropolitan Manor, Glass House, Hemispheres, Journey’s End and Paradise Found. In each, the essence of the brand and its rich traditions is brought to life through signature features such as grand staircases, glittering chandeliers, handsome libraries, vast wine vaults, iconic murals and bronze façades.
Apr 8, 2013 / 5:00 am
It's begun! With the May long weekend less than a month away avid campers are beginning to make their plans. With BC Parks reservations open for sites through the year; plans can be made, that perfect spot can be booked and it's time to go through the camper sorting the necessities to make this camping season the best one yet.
So where are some great local spots to head to this year? If you're a new camper looking for the best places, searching for a new spot to take the kids and grandparents; or just seeking out a quiet corner in BC paradise.... here are a few amazing spots you can check out.
My personal favourite is Mabel Lake. With two sides to camp at (Lumby/Cherryville side or Enderby side), I prefer the quiet peace of the Cherryville side. Mabel Lake Provincial Park is one of the Okanagan's most popular destination campgrounds. During the summer months the campground is most often full to capacity, occupied on a first come / first served basis. There is a full playground for children, public restrooms and showers, a dog beach, numerous walking trails, hiking, a boat launch and floating store on dock for small boat rentals, boat gas and necessary food items. With the small town of Lumby a short drive away, and the village of Cherryville around the corner; there's plenty of exploring to be done. And don't forget your gear: Mabel Lake offers Salmon and Trout fishing !
Another provincial park with great reviews is the famous Cultus Lake. One of the largest parks in BC, Cultus Lake Provincial Park is located near the small community of Cultus Lake. This community offers waterslides, two golf courses, bumper boats, go-carts, canoe, boat and jet ski rentals, marina, miniature golf, restaurants, stables, laundromat, stores and gas stations. Located only 15 minutes from Chiliwack it's location is perfectly set only an hour and a half from downtown Vancouver. Visitors will find four campgrounds, a large day-use area for picnicking and boating, and ample opportunity for fishing, water skiing, wind surfing and hiking. There are no hook-up's in the provincial park area, but there is a large sani station, public restrooms and public showers.
In the 2012 camping season, over 19.3 million people visited BC parks for camping purposes. Did you know 12% of BC is listed as a provincial park? That translates to 830 provincial parks, hosting 340 campgrounds. Within those there are over 11,000 campsites, 119 boat launches and over 2700 kms of hiking trails. That's a lot of discovering to do!!
Are you a first timer? Want to give it a try without the expense and investment of a tent, gear or a trailer? Now available at select BC Parks are Yurts for rent! Yurts are light-weight, easily transportable shelters with lattice walls and a roof ring. In Provincial Parks, yurts are equipped with a bunk bed, windows and insulation. There are no cooking facilities inside the yurt, but your campsite will have a fire pit and a picnic table. Yurts have a bunk bed and mattresses. You will need to bring your own bedding. Yurts are available at the following Provincial Park campgrounds: Allison Lake, Ellison, Fintry, Kekuli Bay, Kikomun Park, and Wasa Lake.
Enjoy your spring and have a happy 2013 camping season!!
Mar 25, 2013 / 5:00 am
Suriname’s many landscapes and cultures offer an array of attractions to suit the most adventurous traveller's needs. With such exotic nature, cultural, architectural and historic attractions; Suriname also offers a great variety of cuisine as a result of the different cultures that live harmoniously within this small country. The northern, lowland coastal area has been cultivated, and most of the population lives here. The southern part consists of tropical rainforest, is sparsely inhabited and runs along along the border with Brazil, covering about 80% of Suriname's land surface. The country is divided into 10 districts (or provinces) and these are divided smaller into a total of 62 regions. Thirteen percent of the country's land area are national parks and lakes, according to the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre; and the Central Suriname Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is the only Dutch-speaking country in South America, and Dutch is the sole official language, is the language of education, government, business, and the media. Suriname (and neighbouring Guyana) are the only two countries on the South American continent that drive on the left.
The hotel industry is very important to Suriname's economy. The rental of apartments, or the rent-a-house option, is also popular in Suriname. Most tourists visit Suriname for the outstanding bio-diversity of the Amazonian rain forests. Most visitors never miss a stop to one of the waterfalls (there are hundreds spread throughout the country), and always there's a visit to the Brokopondo Reservoir; which is the largest man-made lake in the world. Visitors also come to view the abundance of religious icons. The Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul is 114 years old. Before it became a cathedral it was a theatre. The theatre was built in 1809 and burned down in 1820. The construction of the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral started on January 13, 1883. Suriname is one of the few countries in the world where a synagogue is located next to a mosque. The two buildings are located next to each other and even share a parking lot!
Suriname also has an impressive colonial architecture you will surely notice during your holiday there. Especially the inner city of Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, it has many historical buildings and monuments. Most of these buildings were added to the World Heritage Site List.
For more information on this undiscovered country, stop by your local Travel Agency!
Mar 11, 2013 / 5:00 am
We've all heard it : April Showers Bring May Flowers!
How about experiencing this truth in a unique foreign setting? Every year there are worldwide Flower Festivals celebrating the season's blooms. Here are some of the popular options that are worth a plane ride to see.
The most famous of all festivals is the exclusive and elite Floriade of Holland. The horticultural expo, staged once every 10 years, showcases the world's best flowers, plants, trees, fruits and vegetables. More than 100 exhibitors will together pay tribute to horticulture at Floriade in Holland. The park location comprises five unique worlds: themed zones connected by wooded areas. Worlds in which you will see, feel and experience nature in a constantly changing way.
South Korea is a mecca of festivals! With 14 separate flower festivals to attend, you could make a wonderful holiday visiting all of South Korea while travelling from festival to festival. Among Korea’s spring flower festivals in 2013, the most popular is undoubtedly the Jinhae Naval Port Festival (April 1~10) which is now in its 53rd year! For those wanting to stay in the greater Seoul area, the Yeouido Hangang Spring Flower Festival (April 12~18) is always a huge draw. But the distinction of Korea’s first flower fete goes to the Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival (March 23~31). All 83 acres of apricot trees cover the Baegunsan mountains with their white blossoms. In addition to flower watching, the festival features lots of music, dance and horticulture programs.
Wanting to stay closer to home? Canada Blooms is our home country's most famous flower festival. Canada's Largest Flower and Garden Festival shares it's event with the National Home Show, Toronto's Largest Home Show - this creates North America's Largest Home & Garden Event! In 2012 the event had over 203,000 visitors through the doors. The theme for 2013 is "The Magic of Spring". In the Blooms Marketplace visitors will found hundreds of knowledgeable vendors and artisans showcasing the newest, most innovative and best in garden and landscaping products - tools, plants, seeds, bulbs, books, decorative accessories and everything else you needed to get your garden season started.
To review other festivals available and plan your holiday accordingly, meet with your Travel Agent!
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