Travel News for Week of June 23

By | Blog

Hi Everyone, I just returned from a great cruise that visited Sweden, Finland, St. Petersburg, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark, and Norway.    I normally do a little synopsis of my tours on this blog but a 15 day tour is a bit much so I am included a few pictures for you:

Russia    Soviet era apartments,  a canal next to the Hermitage, The Hermitage Winter Palace, and Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

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Tallin, Estonia    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Olaf’s, and good friends taking a little break.

      

Our regular blog will return next week.

2020

May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:   https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395 We have had a couple of cancellations for Oberammergau so if you are interested, don’t delay.   This is a much sought after, once in every 10 year, event.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  A few rooms are still available.

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.  Ready for deposit.

August 15-23 Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff.    Ready for deposit.  10% early booking discount on this trip! September 12-23, 2020  

Discovering Poland     Ready for deposit!  Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378

October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.   This is a very popular trip that will fill quickly so deposit asap.

January 24, 2021   Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from  Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco.  We will visit Cartagena, Columbia; Panama Canal Full Transit;  Fuerte Amador (Panama City); Puntarenas, Costa Rica;  San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragu; and  Cabo San Lucas before disembarking in  San Francisco.

April 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Stay tuned for more information. Have a great week! Lynn

May 2021   Budapest to Bucharest River Cruise   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

 

 

 

Travel News for Week of June 16

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,

If you think it takes your community a long time to issue building permits, consider this: Barcelona City Hall just issued a work permit for La Sagrada Familia Basilica which has been under construction since 1882.   There are no records showing a building permit requested in 1885 was ever granted or rejected.  The license is valid through 2026 when the builders believe they’ll be able to finish raising the building’s central towers.

I know that I have mentioned this in previous blogs, but please,  if you are going to travel outside the US, check the expiration date of your passport!   Generally, passports must be valid at least 6 months after the return date of your travel.     Don’t be that person who pulls out the passport just before a trip only to find out that it has either expired or is about to expire.    It happens more frequently than you might think.

Many of us who are frequent travelers have been following the saga of the Boeing 737 Max and wondering how the airlines will convince travelers the plane is safe to fly once it returns.   Apparently, American Airlines has come up with a strategy .   American Airlines Group Inc. managers will fly on the aircraft before paying passengers are asked to climb aboard in a move meant to build confidence in the plane’s safety.  Would that be enough to convince you to fly?  

2020

May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:   https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395 We have had a couple of cancellations for Oberammergau so if you are interested, don’t delay.   This is a much sought after, once in every 10 year, event.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  A few rooms are still available.

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.  Ready for deposit.

August 15-23 Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff.    Ready for deposit.  10% early booking discount on this trip!

September 12-23, 2020  Discovering Poland     Ready for deposit!  Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378

October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.   This is a very popular trip that will fill quickly so deposit asap.

Tentative date: October 16, 2020   Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale.  We will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Fuerte Amador, Panama (for Panama City); Panama Canal full transit; and Cartagena, Columbia before disembarking in  Ft. Lauderdale.

April 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Stay tuned for more information. Have a great week! Lynn

May 2021   Budapest to Bucharest River Cruise   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

 

 
 

Travel News for Week of June 9

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,    

Cruise Critic had a great article this week reminding people that the laws of other countries are different than ours and even if you inadvertently break one of them, you could be liable for a large fine.   The advice they gave was good not just for cruisers, but for all of us who travel.   Here are a few of the things they covered:

  • Several countries in the Caribbean ban the wearing of camouflage clothing.   This includes Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and others.  It is also banned in some places in Africa and the Middle East.  The reason behind this is that they don’t want people thinking you are with the military or law enforcement.
  • Public displays of affection including United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi); Egypt; India; and Indonesia could land you in trouble as they feel it is a violation of their decency or obscenity codes.   You can be fined, deported, or arrested. 
  • Don’t try eating your gelato on church steps or monuments.  The resulting amount of litter has made city officials so angry in Florence and Rome that they’ve taken to dousing church steps with water to deter tourists from sitting.  In Rome there is no eating on fountains or historic monuments such as the Pantheon or Colosseum, or even the Spanish Steps.   It is sometimes very easy for people to forget these wonderful places are where real people live and work,  and those people must clean up the mess made by careless visitors.
  • Don’t feed the pigeons!   For many years it has been illegal to feed the pigeons in Venice. San Francisco has a similar ordinance.   Although it is not illegal in New York City, if excessive droppings are tied to your activity, you may received a fine.  
  • Don’t wear your pointy heeled shoes in Greece as they are forbidden at ancient monuments and sites in Athens as well as elsewhere.   Those sharp tips dig into the fragile marble.  

All of the above should  be common sense but many times when people are away, they do things they would never think of doing at home.  

This week was a difficult week of the cruise lines.   Our government has basically banned travel to Cuba with some very small exceptions.   The cruise lines have had to cancel and/or reroute almost 800,000 passengers who were already booked.  

Hurricane season has officially begun in the Caribbean.   If you are planning a trip to that region or even some place like Florida, please make sure you either have a refundable rate or invest in travel insurance.   Your insurance must be purchased before a storm is named or you will most likely not be covered!

2020

May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:   https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395 We have had a couple of cancellations for Oberammergau so if you are interested, don’t delay.   This is a much sought after, once in every 10 year, event.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  A few rooms are still available.

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.  Ready for deposit.

August 15-23 Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff.    Ready for deposit.  10% early booking discount on this trip!

September 12-23, 2020  Discovering Poland     Ready for deposit!  Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378 October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.   This is a very popular trip that will fill quickly so deposit asap.

Tentative date: October 16, 2020   Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale.  We will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Fuerte Amador, Panama (for Panama City); Panama Canal full transit; and Cartagena, Columbia before disembarking in  Ft. Lauderdale.

April 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Stay tuned for more information. Have a great week! Lynn

May 2021   Budapest to Bucharest River Cruise   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

Travel News for the Week of June 2

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,  

If you travel often, one of the few perks available is the ability to charge your phone in the airport.  Most airlines have charging plugs available to you.  However, this may not be that great an idea any more.    The transportation industry was the second most attacked sector in a recently released study from 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index which shows how cybercriminals are changing their techniques to hack devices.  According to an interview with Forbes, X-Force Vice President, Caleb Barlow tells us that plugging into a public USB port is like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth!  You have no idea where it’s been.  USB connections can be modified by cybercriminals and malware can be downloaded or installed on your phone.  Barlow recommends bringing a portable charger.   It is well worth the money and you can charge your phone anywhere.   If you must use a public outlet to charge your phone, use your own charger and plug into an electrical socket instead of a USB port. – Forbes, 5/30/19

Another thing to remember:   Never trust a tour operator or packager you don’t know and can’t track easily through public records.  We are also seeing fake versions of websites.  You search for a hotel or tour and get through to what looks like a legitimate website from a known company but it is really a copy cat version run by a scammer who paid a lot of money for a good search engine position.   If you purchase something not only do you not have a real reservation but you’ve just lost whatever you paid and they now have your credit card info.   If you look for a place on our website to enter credit card info, you will not find it.   We want people to pick up the phone and talk to us so that you know you have contacted the right person.  -Smarter Travel 

One of the most frequent questions about overseas travel revolves around plugs and adapters.   Here is a great list of countries and the types of adapters you will need for each one: http://worldstandards.eu

2020

May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:   https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395 We have had a couple of cancellations for Oberammergau so if you are interested, don’t delay.   This is a much sought after, once in every 10 year, event.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  A few rooms are still available.

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.  Ready for deposit.

August 15-23 Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff.    Ready for deposit.  10% early booking discount on this trip!

September 12-23, 2020  Discovering Poland     Ready for deposit!  Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378

October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.   This is a very popular trip that will fill quickly so deposit asap.

October 16, 2020   Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale.  We will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Fuerte Amador, Panama (for Panama City); Panama Canal full transit; and Cartagena, Columbia before disembarking in  Ft. Lauderdale.

April 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Stay tuned for more information. Have a great week! Lynn

May 2021   Budapest to Bucharest River Cruise   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

Have a great week!

Lynn