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Destination News - North America.

New York (AirGuide - Destination News North America) Jun 3, 2012

Century Cruises, Avalon Waterways Avalon Waterways to Partner with Century Cruises in China. Century Cruises will operate China cruise programs for Avalon Waterways in 2013 and 2014 under a new two-year agreement. AvalonOs Yangtze River cruises will operate on CenturyOs newest ships, the Century Paragon and Century Legend. The two vessels feature the largest Standard Deluxe Cabins on the Yangtze, two Executive Decks, and an indoor pool/spa area. The vessels have an e-propulsion and rudder propeller system that reduces vibration and noise, while increasing the shipsO maneuvering capability. The Paragon and Legend also will have low-emission engines and high-tech compound panels for interior decoration and furniture. The current Century fleet is comprised of the five-star Century Star, Century Sky, Century Sun, Century Diamond, and Century Emerald. May 29, 2012

Cheapflights Canada Cheapflights.ca Finds Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!. While the Victoria Day long weekend has already launched the unofficial start of summer, it's only a few more weeks until the official school holidays kick off. For the moms and dads looking for kid-friendly things to do this summer, the team at Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, has put together a list of Top 10 Zoos Worldwide. Zoos offer the perfect family summer day outing combining fun, entertainment and education for both kids and parents alike. Children can see their favourite animals at these top zoos found in North America that made Cheapflights.ca's list of Top 10 Zoos Worldwide. For those travelling to Toronto, this may be your last summer to see the trio of African elephants Toka, Thika and Iringa before their potential move to a new home in California. [yen] San Diego Zoo - San Diego, USA - Visitors to the San Diego Zoo are typically surprised -- and then immediately impressed -- by the attraction's cage-free setup. The SoCal zoo was one of the first in the world to build moats instead of bars, encouraging a more organic environment for the animals -- and for spectators. Get a feel for the massive park on a five-mile-long monorail, then visit the adorable monkeys in the Lost Forest exhibit. Some of the rarest and most endangered primates dangle from tree canopies as visitors meet nearby flamingos, hippos, tigers and more. [yen] The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center - Belize City, Belize - "The Best Little Zoo in the World" was founded nearly 30 years ago to provide sanctuary for wild animals used in a documentary about tropical forests. Today the zoo, located 29 miles west of Belize City, exhibits more than 150 animals native to Belize. A major draw is the represented five wildcat species found in the Central American country: jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay and jacuarundi. The Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program is just one of the zoo's initiatives that help to promote conservation and awareness, and to protect Belize's natural resources. [yen] Bronx Zoo - New York City, USA - There's nothing like escaping the big city to explore orphaned creatures and animals from around the globe. The eco-friendly escape was the first in the world to establish both a zoo education program and a predator-prey exhibition. Take a tour of Africa in the middle of New York: the African Plains exhibition is a second-best environment for giraffes, zebras and, of course, lions. [yen] Toronto Zoo - Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Canada's largest zoo is divided into seven geographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, the Americas, Australasia, Eurasia, Canadian Domain and the Tundra Trek. In other words, the more than 5,000 animals -- covering more than 500 species -- is a strong representation of the planet's creatures. Bring your camera for the 5-acre polar bear habitat or the Gorilla Rainforest, the globe's largest indoor habitat for lowland gorillas. [yen] Smithsonian National Zoological Park - Washington, DC, USA - America's most famous free zoo is an absolute delight to visit, as the park's set up trainings, feeding demonstrations and expert discussions daily to educate visitors. Famous for its outdoor giant panda habitat, the National Zoo -- as its better known -- also features the Great Ape House, Invertebrate Exhibit, Reptile Discovery Center and more must-visit attractions. On the top of our list are the elephants, who are waiting for their new home -- Elephant Trails -- which will open in 2013. For those taking a family holiday overseas this summer, here are five zoos worth checking out: Singapore Zoo - Singapore; Edinburgh Zoo - Edinburgh, Scotland; Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo - Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Wuppertal Zoo - Wuppertal, Germany; and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary - Brisbane, Australia. To read more details about these zoos and the complete list of Cheapflights.ca's Top 10 Zoos Worldwide. May 30, 2012

Cheapflights.com Cheapflights.com Lists Top 10 Zoos of the World . Cheapflights.com assembled a list of Top 10 Zoos Worldwide. They include the San Diego Zoo, one of the first to use moats instead of bars; the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, OThe Best Little Zoo in the World,O located 29 miles west of Belize City; the Bronx Zoo, the first to establish both a zoo education program and a predator-prey exhibition; the Toronto Zoo, which is divided into seven geographic regions; Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., famous for its outdoor giant panda habitat; the Singapore Zoo; the Edinburgh Zoo; the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo; the Wuppertal Zoo in Wuppertal, Germany; and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. May 30, 2012

Cruise and Maritime Voyages Cruise and Maritime Voyages Offers Summer Sale. Cruise and Maritime Voyages is offering savings of up to 55 percent off regular rates for bookings made by June 30 on three cruises departing this fall and winter from Tilbury, London. The five-night OGreat European WaterwaysO departing Oct. 5, priced from $409 per person, explores the canals, rivers and sights throughout Rouen, France; Antwerp, Belgium; and Amsterdam aboard the Marco Polo. The 14-night OMediterranean GoldO cruise departing Oct. 10 and priced from $989 visits ports in Portugal, Morocco, Spain and Gibraltar plus the island of Mallorca. The 14-night Christmas and New Year cruise to the Canary Islands and Madeira, departing Dec. 20, is priced from $1,479 per person. May 29, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic launches from New York Harbor for the first time. Disney Cruise Line's flagship, the Disney Magic, launched Friday for its first-ever voyage from New York. The 2,700-passenger vessel is scheduled for 20 sailings that include nine five-night cruises along the New England coast, three two-night weekend cruises and eight cruises to the Bahamas. May 29, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Begins Alaska Cruises from Seattle . Disney Disney Wonder Begins Alaska Cruises from Seattle Cruise LineOs Disney Wonder set sail for the first time on May 28 from the port of Seattle on the first of 14 seven-night Alaskan itineraries. The Alaskan itinerary for the 2,700-passenger Disney Wonder includes stops in Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. In September, Disney Wonder heads back to Los Angeles to sail seven-night itineraries to the Mexican Riviera in the fall. At the end of the year, the Disney Wonder will reposition to Miami, marking the first time a Disney Cruise Line ship will sail out of Southern Florida. May 28, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic Begins New Series of Cruises From New York City. Disney Magic, Disney Cruise LineOs 2,700-passenger flagship vessel, arrived in New York Harbor on the morning of May 25 sporting what Disney executives call the worldOs largest bumper sticker: DisneyOs Mickey icon + NYC = Magic. The 50-foot-long by 11-foot-wide super-sized sticker is larger than a city bus. The ship departed the same day, marking the beginning of DisneyOs first-ever sailings out of Manhattan. The Disney Magic will sail a total of 20 cruises from New York, including eight-night cruises to the Bahamas and five-night cruises up the New England coast to Canada, plus two-night cruises that will give a sampling of the Disney Cruise Line experience over a weekend. The eight Bahamas cruises will include a day at DisneyOs private island, Castaway Cay; Nassau, Bahamas; and a stop at Port Canaveral, Fla., giving guests an opportunity to visit Walt Disney World Resort. As part of this itinerary, each guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between their Disney ship and the resort. Departure dates are May 25; June 2, 22 and 30; July 20 and 28; and Aug. 17 and 25. The nine five-night cruises up the New England coast will call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. Departure dates are June 10 and 17; July 8 and 15; Aug. 5 and 12; Sept. 2, 7 and 12. Three two-night cruises out of New York offer a quick getaway with a day at sea over a weekend. Rates for the two-night cruises start at $996 per person double occupancy for a standard inside stateroom double occupancy. Departure dates are June 15, July 13 and Aug. 10. May 28, 2012

Expedia Expedia Reports More Travelers Dream Dominican This Year. Expedia.com, the world's leading online travel agency, has found that the Dominican Republic is an increasingly popular destination for US travel, up 30%, making it the 2nd most popular destination for Americans to travel in Latin America and the Caribbean. As the largest and most diverse Caribbean destination, the Dominican Republic is an easy trip from Miami, New York City, Atlanta and even some European destinations. Known for its warm and hospitable people, the Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich culture. In addition to identifying the best deals, activities and tips for travelers planning a vacation to the Dominican Republic, Miriam Hernandez, head of the Dominic Republic market for Expedia.com, shared that, "The Dominican Republic has never been more popular for US travelers, especially those from the east coast, but surprisingly, room night costs have remained mostly flat, making it one of the best deals for getting to the beach this summer." A recent survey known as the Expedia[umlaut] Flip Flop report shows that beach travel is the number one type of trip most Americans prefer. Dominican Republic travel trends at a glance [yen] Travelers on Expedia usually book their trips to the Dominican Republic 52 days in advance and come from these top 5 feeder cities: o New York o Miami o Boston o Philadelphia o Chicago [yen] Close to 70% of those booking trips to the Dominican Republic book a package on Expedia.com which saves them an average of roughly $200 per booking. In addition, 72% book all-inclusive lodging. [yen] The percentage of bookings for just two adults and no kids: 66%. The percentage of bookings with kids: 14%. [yen] Punta Cana is very popular with more than 50% of bookings while Santo Domingo, the capital, draws roughly 13% of the bookings. [yen] Hotel occupancy levels vary by season in Punta Cana: o January through March feature 90% - 95% occupancy. o April through June feature an 80% occupancy in April and 70% from May through June. o From July through August the average occupancy is 75% and should be stronger this year. o September through December features a 60% - 75% occupancy with a peak over the December holiday season. Where to stay in the Dominican Republic For travelers looking for a romantic all-inclusive getaway, the Sanctuary Cap Cana, Zoetry Agua Punta Cana and Majestic Elegance Punta Cana all offer fantastic all-inclusive and romantic options. For families, the Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe and Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana Luxury all offer affordable and family friendly all-inclusive options. For travelers interested in trying their luck at a casino they should visit the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana featuring the largest gaming area in the country. What to do in the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic has many of the most magnificent golf courses in the Caribbean and Latin America. From the mountains to the beaches, the golf courses there are uniquely designed and distinct. Sports champions and golf enthusiasts alike cannot resist playing the island's challenging courses. The Dominican Republic also features some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Families, couples and friends can enjoy the fine beach lifestyle in Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, La Romana, Samana, Montecristi and Puerto Plata. Top excursions include: Juanillo Beach VIP in Punta Cana, Altos de Chavon in La Romana, Saona Island in La Romana, El Limon Waterfall in Samana and Cayo Paraiso in Puerto Plata. Top deals to the Dominican Republic: With more than 25 hotels participating in the largest Expedia Summer Sale on record, now is a great time to explore the Dominican Republic. Travelers wanting to maximize their dollars should not miss these package deals and top luxury deals: [yen] Forty-five percent off a family experience at the 4-star Paradisus Punta Cana Resort All Inclusive [yen] Twenty-five percent off the relaxing Sivory Punta Cana [yen] Save 30% at the family favorite, Majestic Colonial Punta Cana All Inclusive [yen] Save 25% off an exclusive luxury stay at the Casa de Campo in La Romana [yen] Save 25% off at the relaxing 5-Star beach vacation at the Casa Colonial Beach & Spa in Puerto Plata May 31, 2012

Festiva Sailing Vacations Festiva Sailing Vacations Offers Summer Family Package . Festiva Sailing Vacations is offering a seven-day, all-inclusive sailboat package for a family of four in the British Virgin Islands. The offer is for two adults and two children under the age of 16 for $5,995. On select sailing dates this summer, two families of four will share an eight-passenger sailing catamaran for seven days. The fare includes all meals, unlimited soft drinks for the kids and the standard open bar for the adults. When guests make a booking, they complete a questionnaire that Festiva uses to match travelers. Independent families booking two cabins on the catamaran will be paired as closely as possible with a family with similar interests and children of comparable ages. Festiva operates a fleet of 44-foot and 42-foot luxury sailing catamarans on all-inclusive vacations in the Caribbean and Greece that are offered by the stateroom or full-yacht charter. The 14 vessels have accommodations for six to eight passengers and are manned by a two-person professional crew. The seven-day itineraries emphasize dining, beach and water-sports activities. May 31, 2012

G Adventures G Adventures Provides OWheel of FortuneO Prize Packages. G Adventures provided prize packages for two for the TV game show OWheel of FortuneO during its Great Adventures Week that airs May 28 to June 1. As a sponsor, the tour operators will be featured in a 10-second promotional video during the show. The prize package is a trip for two on one of G AdventuresO featured tours plus two roundtrip airline tickets from any major city in the U.S. The prize packages are valued between $5,000 and $8,000. Possible prizes include an eight-day Greek Island Sailing Adventure, an eight-day China Express, a nine-day Classic Costa Rica Adventure, an eight-day Machu Picchu Adventure, and an eight-day Southern Discovery Adventure featuring Buenos Aires. G Adventures offers small group adventure expeditions to more than 100 countries. May 29, 2012

Great Canadian Travel Great Canadian Travel Company Offers Bear Migration Tours . The Great Canadian Travel Company is offering three-, five-, six- and seven-day tours this fall to observe the polar bears on the western coast of Hudson Bay in their natural habitat as they gather in autumn waiting for the ice to form over the bay. The travel package provides the opportunity to see the bears near the little town of Churchill, 650 miles north of Winnipeg, Ontario. The companyOs six-day/five-night Kingdom of the Ice Bear program features departures that coincide with the peak migration season. This program is priced at $3,640 per person (based on double occupancy) and includes accommodations, roundtrip airfare between Winnipeg and Churchill, and most meals. This tour is escorted by a naturalist guide. Available departures are scheduled for Oct. 18, Nov. 2 and Nov. 8. A shorter program is Bear Country Adventure, which includes roundtrip airfare between Winnipeg and Churchill, a full-day excursion tracking bears in the tundra vehicle, two nightsO accommodation in Churchill and most meals for $1,885 per person, double occupancy, with departures Oct. 24, 29 and 31 and Nov. 14. A Nov. 8 departure features rail travel from Winnipeg to Churchill, with air return, priced $1,785. Other polar bear trips include a specialist-guided seven-day Polar Bear Photographers Tour priced at $5,795 (six departures in October and November); a seven-day guided Tundra Lodge Adventure priced at $6,695 (seven departures in October and November); and a five-day Fall Polar Bear Migration expedition to Arviat, Nunavut, priced at $3,885 (Oct. 22 and Nov. 12). Trips onto the tundra use specially designed vehicles that permit visitors to get close enough to observe and photograph polar bears. You watch and photograph from inside the vehicle (the windows open well out of reach of even a bear standing on its hind legs) or from an outside viewing platform. May 30, 2012

Greenloons Greenloons Adds Programs in Alaska, Peru, Kenya. Sustainable travel operator Greenloons added third-party-certified eco-travel, lodge-based options and programs on AlaskaOs Kenai Peninsula and in Kenya and Peru. The Alaska program is primarily focused on wildlife. The Amazon and Kenya programs include wildlife experiences as well as opportunities to interact with indigenous peoples. KenyaOs Campi ya Kanzi (Camp of the Hidden Treasure) is a community project with the local Maasai on their Kuku Group Ranch of 400 square miles. Eco-Luxury Maasai Conservation Safari is an eco-rated, Gold-certified eco-lodge that shelters only 16 guests at a time in the wilderness. Guests walk rather than ride in a 4x4 on the foothills of the savannah and learn cultural traditions from the Maasai by visiting them with their families at their homes, schools and medical clinic. Guests can volunteer in the Maasai communities. Greenloons is also including the Rainforest Alliance Verified Rainforest Expeditions based in Peru in its Peruvian Amazon adventure designed for amateur photographers who are coached by a professional photographer. The program includes all-inclusive workshops and hands-on instruction in the jungle. Alaska Wildland AdventuresO Ultimate Alaska Adventure combines outdoor activities, authentic lodging in riverside, backcountry and seacoast environments in wild Alaska. The Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge Package is available at a Native-owned wildlife sanctuary on the edge of a protected lagoon. Greenloons provides ecotourism education, news, comparable certified ecotour and volunteer conservation program listings, tour reviews and booking services, plus a forum for the community to share personal vacation stories and tips for establishing ecotourism. May 30, 2012

Helicopter Adventures Helicopter Adventures in S.C. offers tours. Helicopter Adventures opened last week to provide aerial tours in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Some neighbors have complained of the noise, but owner Freddie Rick says his helicopters are within noise limits. "We've tested it with our decibel readers," Rick said. "An independent source has come out and tested it as well as the chief of police for the county, and everything is within limits." May 30, 2012

Life Resorts Life Resorts Sets Summer Special on VietnamOs Halong Bay. Life Resorts, which operates heritage-style sailing junks in Vietnam, is offering a free sixth boat when five are booked through Sept. 30. Book 10 boats, and the 11th and 12th boats are free. When booking a fleet of five or more boats, the Life Resorts vessels book at $330 per night, including a group barbecue meal. For all overnight cruise bookings between May 30 and Sept. 30, Life Resorts is cutting contract rates by 25 percent on all FIT bookings. The first boutique resort of its kind to launch in Ha Long Bay, Life ResortsO heritage junks are private floating hotel rooms, each carrying a maximum of two guests on a bespoke itinerary within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each 15-meter junk has a 32-square-meter cabin with panoramic windows and traditional Vietnamese decor, an en suite bathroom, swim deck, covered separate lounge area, and upper sun deck. All boats in the Life Resorts fleet are maintained according to international maritime standards and outfitted with modern safety and emergency features. OSince launching last year, weOve found that groups of travelers are especially drawn to a fleet of boats designed for couples,O said Chris Duffy, general director of the Life Resorts Management Company. OYou get the best of both worlds: All the privacy you want when you want it, and the company of the fleet when itOs time for society. No other cruise experience on the bay gives you that.O In addition to Life Heritage Resort Ha Long Bay, Life Resorts owns and operates two other resorts in Vietnam and manages one more. May 30, 2012

Maxxim Vacations Maxxim Vacations Offers Labrador Tour with Living History Village . Maxxim Vacations introduced a new tour to Southern Labrador and Western Newfoundland called the Battle Harbour Discovery Tour, which explores the small offshore island of Battle Harbour, once the hub of a vibrant fishing industry. The town was established in the early 1770s and is now restored to showcase daily life of a village that thrived from the 18th to 20th centuries. A century after its founding, the village had become the leading center of the Labrador fishery and the unofficial capitol and social center of Labrador. With the decline of the inshore fishery the village was abandoned. Now it has been restored as a showcase of the historical life along the remote coastline of Labrador. Tour participants will sleep in a cottage that was once the home of a local merchant, policeman or doctor. (Battle Harbour was also the medical care hub for the region and featured LabradorOs first hospital, built by Dr. Wilfred Grenfell.) They will also be able to go walking and hiking in the open air, as well as learn about the daily life of villagers from former residents and volunteers. The itinerary includes a stopover in Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with dramatic cliffs and inland fjords. The package is offered until mid-September, and includes roundtrip air fare to Deer Lake in western Newfoundland, ferry service to and from Labrador, a rental car with unlimited mileage, and six or nine nightsO accommodation depending on the chosen itinerary. The six-night program is priced from $1,569 (plus taxes), including air fare from Toronto. May 28, 2012

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Exercises Option to Purchase of Norwegian Sky. Norwegian Cruise Line signed a memorandum of agreement to exercise its option to purchase the 2,002-berth Norwegian Sky. The company said the transaction is Oexpected to close shortly.O Norwegian currently operates Norwegian Sky under a bareboat charter with a purchase option from Ample Avenue, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong Limited, which owns 50 percent owner of Norwegian. The purchase price is approximately $260 million. Ample Avenue is providing financing for the shipOs purchase. The 1999-built Norwegian Sky operates three and four-night voyages year-round from Miami. Jun 1, 2012

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Opens Private Cabanas on Great Stirrup Cay . Norwegian Cruise Line has opened private cabanas with VIP service and amenities on Great Stirrup Cay, the lineOs 250-acre private island in the Bahamas. The OCabanas on the CayO is part of a $25 million enhancement project. Located to the west of the islandOs main beach, the cabanas are available for $249 per day. Each cabana accommodates up to six guests and is furnished with lounge chairs, tables, cooler, beach towels and a shower. Cabana rental also includes a $50 food and beverage credit; up to six all-day passes to the Hippo Waterslide, valued at $120; and one large float to use during their time on the island. Guests who reserve one of the 10 cabanas will get priority tender service to the island and, upon arrival, will receive six complimentary bottles of water and a fruit basket. The menu for cabana guests includes seafood, charcuterie, sushi and fruit platters. Guests who choose to dine at the islandOs barbecue can use their credit toward a beverage package exclusively for cabana guests or toward other beverage purchases on the island. The 10 cabanas are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be pre-booked as a shore excursion. May 30, 2012

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Pearl to Host Blake Shelton and Friends Cruise . Norwegian Cruise LineOs Norwegian Pearl will host the Blake Shelton and Friends cruise departing Miami on Oct. 14. The seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise is hosted by Flying Dutchmen Travel and Fan Fair Country Cruises. Joining Shelton on board are Frankie Ballard, Brett Eldredge, Jana Kramer, Tyler Farr, Chuck Wicks, Logan Mize, Brinley Addington, Chris Cavanaugh, JJ Lawhorn, Brandon & Leah, up-and-coming 17-year-old McKenna Faith, Johanna Smith, Her & KingOs County, Clayton Anderson, Nik and Sam, Maggie Rose, and, from the television series OThe Voice,O Rae Lynn and her band. Previously announced country artists that will also perform on board include Trace Adkins, Jerrod Niemann, Justin Moore, Easton Corbin, Lee Brice, Neal McCoy and Randy Houser. Shelton will perform two live concerts during the cruise in the shipOs Stardust Theater. There will be live music every night in at least three venues on the ship. The Blake Shelton and Friends cruise will visit San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola and Nassau. Staterooms are priced from $1,099, based on double occupancy. May 29, 2012

Oceania Cruises Oceania Cruises Offers Savings, Amenities on Grand Voyages . Oceania Cruises is offering savings and onboard amenities to those who book a 36-, 46- or 71-day Grand Voyage in the Far East, South Pacific or Europe. Grand Voyage guests get free roundtrip air, complimentary prepaid gratuities, a $250 shipboard credit and savings of up to 68 percent off brochure rates. The offer is good on the 71-day Beijing-to-Rome voyage departing March 10 aboard the 684-guest Nautica. The OPagodas and SultansO itinerary visits three continents, 19 countries, and 35 ports and includes overnight stays in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Ha Long Bay (Hanoi), Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Singapore, Mumbai, Dubai and Safaga (Luxor). Fares start at $16,481 per person, based on double occupancy. Also eligible is the 36-day Sydney-to-Papeete cruise departing March 14 on the 1,250-guest Marina. The OPolynesian PassageO voyage visits places such as NukuOalofa, Nuku Hiva, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Rangiroa, Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington and Auckland. Fares start from $8,204 per person, double. Also included in the promotion is the 46-day Bangkok-to-Rome ORoute of the Great TradersO voyage departing April 4. The Nautica includes overnight stays in the ports for Bangkok, Singapore, Mumbai, Dubai and Safaga, gateway to the Luxor and Karnak temples. The cruise will explore Southeast Asia, tour the Taj Mahal and Petra, transit the Suez Canal and visit ItalyOs Amalfi Coast. Fares start at $10,796 per person, double. May 30, 2012

Paul Gauguin Cruises Paul Gauguin Offers 10-Night Tahiti Hotel-Cruise Package . Paul Gauguin Cruises is introducing a 10-night hotel and cruise package that includes a three-night pre-cruise stay at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, a seven-night cruise, roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles and transfers. The package is available on the following departure dates: Jan. 2 with rates from $4,270 per person; May 8, from $4,870; July 31, 2013, from $5,170; and Oct. 23, 2013, from $5,070. On this 10-night package, the Paul Gauguin sails roundtrip from Papeete, Tahiti, visiting Raiatea, TahaOa Bora Bora and Moorea. Highlights include a day on Motu Mahana, Paul Gauguin CruisesO private islet off the coast of TahaOa, featuring a barbecue lunch and refreshments, and complimentary use of the lineOs private beach in Bora Bora. At the resort, guests receive three-night accommodations in a lagoon-view room with daily breakfast. An upgrade to an overwater lagoon bungalow is an additional $440 per person. May 31, 2012

Paul Gauguin Cruises Paul Gauguin Cruises Implements New Anti-Rebating Policy . Paul Gauguin Cruises is implementing a formal anti-rebating policy effective for all bookings made on or after June 1. The company said it was taking the step to maintain the integrity of its cruise rates. The policy stipulates that final cruise payment by credit card must be made in the full gross amount due. Travel agents may pay net price at final payment, if full payment is made with a travel agency check or wire transfer. Travel agencies may not advertise a lower price than the published price that Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering. Travel agencies may advertise amenities such as a shipboard credit included in a promotion authorized by the company. The company also said it reserves the right to reduce a travel agentOs commission and/or marketing support if the policy is violated. May 30, 2012

Philadelphia Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia connects visitors to culture. Its proximity to a number of Philadelphia's best cultural hotspots makes Benjamin Franklin Parkway a popular destination among tourists. After visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation museum or the Franklin Institute, visitors can step outside on the boulevard to enjoy the scenery and cafes. Jun 1, 2012

Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau Philadelphia brings more conventions and tourism to the city. One of the most historical cities in America and the nationOs first capital, Philadelphia serves as the centerpiece for American history. The City of Brotherly Love attained PhiladelphiaUSA.travel to join .travel as part of a campaign by the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) to bring more conventions and tourism to the great city. The PCVB acts as a private non-profit membership corporation for the city of Philadelphia with the goal to acquire worldwide convention and tourism business. Philadelphia converted to .travel in 2006 to help bring more attention to Philadelphia on the Web. OWe wanted a Web site domain name that would set us apart as a great resource for conventions and visitors. We thought using .travel would have an Oofficial travel organizationO feel to it that you donOt get from a .com or .org,O said Danielle Cohn, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with PhiladelphiaOs Convention and Visitors Bureau, O.travel ensures that those wanting information on tourism, meetings, conventions, and international travel have a trusted source.O The fifth largest city in the country, Philadelphia is a dynamic place where you can find a wealth of culture, fantastic architecture, and many other treasures in a centralized downtown area. With everything that Philadelphia has to offer, there is no wonder as to why it is becoming recognized as a global city. Philadelphia contains many national historical sites that relate to the founding of the United States like Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell. With great shopping that features no tax on clothing and a great selection of restaurants, Philadelphia is definitely one of the better tourist hotspots in America. DonOt forget to try its famous cheesesteaks - they are delicious! For more information on planning a meeting or convention in Philadelphia or visiting just for fun, please visit www.PhiladelphiaUSA.travel . ETN is introducing its readers to .travel companies and destinations through a series of articles. If you are a .travel company and would like to share your story about how the .travel domain has helped your business, please send us an email to: team@eturbonews.com . If you are interested in getting your own .travel domain, go to: www.travel.travel . Source: travel.travel May 28, 2012

Princess Cruises Princess to Host Contemporary Artists, Lecturers on Upcoming Cruises . Princess Cruises is hosting contemporary artists and lecturers in a series of Art Connoisseur Cruises. The voyages offer meet-and-greet sessions, demonstrations, art classes, art unveilings and interviews where passengers can ask questions. The Art Connoisseur Cruises include the 12-day OGrand MediterraneanO voyage on Ruby Princess, departing July 17. Artists include Fabian Perez, Chris DeRubeis and Patrick Guyton. The July 20 12-day Iceland cruise on Caribbean Princess will feature Michael Godard, Bill Mack, Viktor Shvaiko and Adam Scott Rote. The 14-day Aug. 25 OIceland, Greenland & British Isles ExplorerO cruise on Caribbean Princess will include Bill Mack, Chris DeRubeis, Patrick Guyton, Duaiv, Nim Vaswani (lecturer on Picasso) and Christine Argillet (lecturer on Salvador Dali). The Oct. 26 Emerald Princess departure, a 12-day Canada and New England cruise, will feature Alexandre Renoir, Viktor Shvaiko, Eric Waugh and Michael Schwartz, an art lecturer/historian on Picasso, Rembrandt and Renoir. Many of these artists also sail individually on select artist voyages throughout the year. May 28, 2012

Royal Caribbean Royal Caribbean Completes $48 Million Renovation of Grandeur of the Seas. Royal Caribbean InternationalOs Grandeur of the Seas has completed its $48 million revitalization at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. The bow-to-stern revitalization of ship included the addition of five new dining venues, technological upgrades, a poolside LED screen, a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms and new aerial entertainment in its six-deck Centrum. In addition, Grandeur of the Seas received a new Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society guests, a concierge lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests, a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, as well as a transformed Viking Crown Lounge that has a new design and a new menu of appetizers. The ship will spend the summer offering Mediterranean itineraries from Venice, Italy, and Provence, France. Jun 1, 2012

Sea Kayak Adventures Sea Kayak Adventures Features Orca Whale Watching Program . Sea Kayak Adventures is offering four-day guided paddling trips in July and August 2012 through the wilds of British ColumbiaOs Johnstone Strait off northern Vancouver Island, with camping at a base camp at the heart of orca territory. The company is adding the new four-day tour to its line of six-day kayak tours in the area where a narrow and sheltered orca freeway attracts hundreds of killer whales that follow the salmon runs. Participants will paddle two-person sea kayaks through the glacier-carved waterways between Vancouver Island and the rugged mountains of mainland British Columbia. Along the way, theyOll get close to wild orcas, as the strait is a traditional gathering place for these whales. Guides scan the calm waters for spouts and point out whale behavior. Bald eagles dot the towering trees along the shore, feasting as do the orcas on the prolific salmon runs here. The group will also explore the areaOs rainforest on foot, visit the ancient First Nations sites, visit orca researchers and hopefully glimpse a black bear from their kayaks. Each night, theyOll camp on secluded island beaches where they can watch orcas from their tents. Normally trips depart from Port McNeill on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada weekly July through mid September (four or six days paddling; $1,195 or $1,450 per person). The prices include camping and kayaking equipment, meals, kayaking instruction and guide services. Youth get 10 percent off. HST tax and airfare not included. May 30, 2012

Southwest Airlines Vacations Southwest Airlines Vacations Offers NASCAR Sprint Cup Tickets . Southwest Airlines Vacations is offering packages that include tickets to the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race taking place in Atlanta Labor Day weekend. To promote the packages, the operator is offering a $75 discount when using promotion code ATLRACE75. Tickets purchased through Southwest Airlines Vacations are being offered at less than the gate price. Packages must be booked between May 25 and Aug. 31 by 6 p.m. CT for travel Aug. 24 through Sept. 7. Race dates are Aug. 31 through Sept. 2. One-day advance purchase is required. May 31, 2012

Tourism Authority of Thailand Thailand Tourism, Asia Web Direct Launch Tourism Campaign . The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Asia Web Direct will co-promote ODiscover The Other You,O a campaign highlighting creative tourism experiences in Thailand. Asia Web Direct is a leading online travel specialist in Asia. The campaign is designed to attract tourists to visit Thailand for a unique experience in creative tourism that will inspire them to discover new perspectives in life. Asia Web Direct has compiled 100 experiential holidays that are unique to Thailand and Thai culture, including Muay Thai boxing, Thai cooking classes and Thai massage techniques. All customers can choose from a wide range of special hotel rates and save up to 70 percent when booking at a dedicated website. Members of Asia Travel Club, by Asia Web Direct, who participated in the recent "Watch and Win" draw, can win an extra three-night stay at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok with free meals, cooking class and sightseeing tour of the city. May 28, 2012

Trafalgar Trafalgar Introduces Expanded North America Program with New Products. Trafalgar is launching a new series of packaged vacations for North and Central America, with programs in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama. The escorted vacation operator has beefed up its North America product line starting this June and into 2013 in response to increased interest in travel in the region as an alternative to travel to Europe, which Americans are currently seeing as troubled politically with higher airfares. Trafalgar has expanded its North America program 25 percent, from 41 to 51 itineraries for 2013, a larger year-to-year expansion than usual. From 2011 to 2012, for example, the program expanded from 38 to 41. The new North America product line includes 10 new programs and introduces Panama for the first time. To promote the launch, Trafalgar is offering $150 off the price of packages booked by July 19. The Panama program is a new seven-night trip that covers the standard sightseeing stops of Panama, but also features some less traveled areas, such as the highlands of the Chiriqui province, where travelers will be invited to lunch at the home of the Eleta Almaran family, one of PanamaOs wealthiest and politically powerful. Clients also will tour the estate where they will see some of its thoroughbred horses and 200 other animals. In Boquete, The Valley of Flowers, clients will stay at the serene Valle Escondido Golf and Spa Resort, visit a coffee plantation and meet with the Ngobe-Bugle, an indigenous tribe. Trafalgar has seen the greatest growth in its Family Experiences, which it expanded from eight to 10 programs, and its At Leisure Vacations, which it expanded from four to seven programs. The new additions fall into several product categories. In the autumn, winter and spring programs are the following new programs: Western Canada Winter Adventure (11 days), Yellowstone Winter Adventure (eight days), Coast, Canyon and Desert Oasis Crossing (14 days) and FloridaOs Sunshine Trail (10 days). There is one new program in the At Leisure series, East Coast Town and Country Retreat (nine days). New Family Experiences include Aloha Hawaii (nine days) and Canyon Country Jamboree (nine days). New culinary programs in the Taste of America Vacations series include Wonders and Flavours of the Golden State (14 days) and New York Zest and New EnglandOs Best (11 days). And the new Regional Program is Panama, The Canada and Beyond (eight days). Paul Wiseman, Trafalgar U.S.A.Os president, said the company also has incorporated fundamental changes in its product that it had applied to its Europe programs last year. It is the continuation of a bootstraps effort to change the way the tour product is perceived in the marketplace, as well as to change the substance of the product itself. OItOs very difficult to transform a company into doing these kinds of things,O said Wiseman. OWeOre really challenging ourselves. The North America program has now become fully consistent with our global changes made to the Trafalgar brand. The key to that is enriched guided experiences. We do that through our Insider Experiences, which are unique to Trafalgar. We pioneered them in Europe last year. Now we are bringing them to North America, or enhancing them where we did have them.O Trafalgar continues to distance itself from the word Otour,O never using the it in the companyOs marketing material and substituting Oguided vacationO instead. The companyOs products also have shifted in emphasis from traditional sightseeing to experiencing a destination in depth. Essential to that effort is the inclusion of what Trafalgar calls its Insider Experiences. These fall into a several branded categories, including Be My Guest, in which clients dine at the home of local people; Local Specialties, which take clients to the sources of products that a destination is known for and shows how they are produced; Unique Insights, which are new for 2013, taking clients to a place that is unique to the region and not well-trafficked, such as the Mob Museum in Las Vegas or Frank Lloyd WrightOs Taliesen West in Arizona; and Hidden Treasures, which are inclusions not mentioned in the brochure. These branded inclusions are now clearly marked in the brochure for quick reference. OWeOve had to clearly identify the elements in the Insider Experiences to show why the trips are so different to what they used to be,O said Wiseman. OThey provide a much richer experience of local people, places and cultures. Sightseeing is still an element, but not the priority anymore. ItOs a huge shift is what was essentially a sightseeing company.O To implement such a ground-up change, Wiseman said the Trafalagar has had to change its structure, inclusions and the way the travel director creates experiences. OBeyond that, we are trying to do a majority of things no one else is doing,O he said. OFor us to say it is unique and exclusive, we have to find things people donOt do. Our product managers have to spend a great deal of time looking at what everybody else is doing and then we challenge ourselves to do something different.O To market its new products, Trafalgar has scheduled a new webinar series beginning June 19 and running through the week. The operator also created a new database to communicate more effectively with home-based travel agents. The company is shifting its training emphasis to being less product-focused and more sales focused. Jun 1, 2012

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Century River Cruises Uniworld to Operate Three New River Ships in Asia in 2013. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering three new river ships in Asia for 2013 in partnership with Pandaw in Vietnam and Cambodia on the Mekong River, and Century River Cruises in China on the Yangtze River. In January, Uniworld launched the River Saigon on the Mekong and, due to the increasing popularity of Vietnam and Cambodia, the company will launch another new ship, River Orchid, in this region in 2013. The ships are handcrafted in French colonial style and have 30 staterooms. OThe demand for Vietnam and Cambodia has exceeded our expectations,O said Guy Young, president of Uniworld. OWe quickly sold out all of our departures in 2012, and so it made sense for us to add an additional ship along the Mekong.O In China, Uniworld offers the new Century Legend and Century Paragon, which will have an executive deck and an indoor pool/spa area. Uniworld guests will stay in Uniworld Signature Suites, which will come with VIP benefits. Couples who book and pay in full at the time of reservation by Sept. 30 can save up to $1,200. May 31, 2012

Vacations by Rail Vacation by Rail Highlights Autumn Travel Packages . In Autumn, trains tend to be less crowded, temperatures are moderate, and the scenery is bursting with vibrant fall colors. Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations by Rail offers a variety of rail vacations geared towards fall travel from autumn foliage celebrations to the American West. Vacations by Rail offers 10 itineraries to see the annual displays of fall foliage. One of the leading destinations for fall colors is New England, and new to this yearOs product line is Fall Colors, Scenic Trains & Cape Cod, a 10-day escorted tour through Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut. Highlights include scenic rail excursions aboard the Maine Eastern Railroad, Conway Scenic Railroad and Cape Cod Central Railroad, as well as AmtrakOs Downeaster and Vermonter and scenic lake cruises. The fall colors in the Midwest are just as spectacular. The eight-day Mackinac Island & the Grand Hotel tour shows off the best of MichiganOs fall colors and includes special highlights like a stay at Mackinac IslandOs famed Grand Hotel as well as a full-day scenic rail excursion into Canada aboard the Agawa Canyon Autumn Foliage Train. Other popular fall getaways include the new Colorado Rail Adventure, an eight-day escorted tour beginning and ending in Denver and making a circle through the Colorado Rockies aboard six standard and narrow gauge trains including the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, and Royal Gorge Route Railroad; the 11-day Yellowstone, Grand Tetons & Mt. Rushmore escorted tour with two September departures to the frontier towns of the Old West; and, a variety of independent train vacations with daily departures to popular destinations like New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Glacier National Park, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park. May 29, 2012

Variety Cruises Variety Cruises Schedules Gay Cruise in Greece . Variety Cruises has scheduled a cruise for gay and lesbian travelers in the Greek islands, Aug. 24 to 31. The cruise, operated by the newly refurbished 49-passenger Panorama II sail cruiser, will visit Santorini, Mykonos and Folegandros. Variety Cruises is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and a strong supporter of health and well-being within the gay community, via several projects and initiatives. Partial proceeds from the OGay Aegean LifeO cruise will benefit The Trevor Project, an organization providing crisis intervention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Fares start at $1,590 per person, double occupancy, and include Greek night, a barbecue, CaptainOs Dinner, daily American buffet breakfast and one main meal; coffee, water or tea anytime; use of fishing equipment; and a multilingual cruise escort. Port charges are an additional $225 per person. Variety CruisesO signature style of small-ship cruising offers life-enriching journeys for inquisitive minds. Founded in 2005, with a history dating back to 1949 under the Zeus name, family-owned Variety Cruises is one of today's largest boutique yacht cruise lines in the world. A fleet of 11 fully owned vessels includes mega yachts, sail cruisers and private luxury yachts. In fact, the new Variety Voyager Mega Yacht, was recently signed as the first sea-going vessel to become a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts' Preferred Boutique Collection. Each ship hosts a select number of passengers ranging from 12 to 75, providing the intimacy one might find on a private ship, and can dock into smaller ports of call in cosmopolitan locales. May 31, 2012

Visit Florida Visit Florida Launches Summer Social Media Campaign . Visit Florida, the stateOs official tourism marketing corporation, which recently announced an increased number of visitors and visitor spending for the first quarter of this year, launched its newest social media-based campaign to increase awareness of Florida as a summer vacation destination. The campaign features OFloridaOs Three for Free GiveawayO sweepstakes, where participants can enter to win a grand prize of three personally selected Florida vacation packages. In addition to the three-vacation grand prize, Visit Florida will award nine other single-vacation prizes. Participants may enter daily through June 30 at Visit FloridaOs Facebook page or at www.VisitFlorida.com/3forfree. The five-week campaign, which is expected to garner more than 425 million impressions, kicks off with targeted Facebook and Twitter ad buys. May 28, 2012

Visit South Walton FloridaOs Visit South Walton Launches New Beach-Finding App . Visit South Walton has unveiled its new U.S. Beach Finder app, which gives travelers real-time information, including weather forecasts, ocean conditions and more, for any beach in the United States. Smartphone users can also utilize the U.S. Beach Finder app to learn about the amenities found in South Walton's 15 beach neighborhoods, whether they're in the Northwest Florida coastal destination or not. The new app is available for Android-powered smartphones and the Apple iPhone. Android users can download the app by searching for U.S. Beach Finder on Google Play (previously Android Market). iPhone users can enjoy all the same benefits of the app by visiting beachfinder.visitsouthwalton.com, a specially designed mobile web platform for Safari. The app will display the user's closest beach, giving beachgoers all the real-time information needed to plan their trip. From real-time temperature and sunrise/sunset information to tides and surf advisories, the U.S. Beach Finder app provides everything travelers need to plan a safe and enjoyable trip to the beach. May 30, 2012

Yelp.com Yelp.com Cracked - Profile Defenders: A Company That Can Actually Get Rid of Your Negative Listings and Reviews. The implausible becomes possible when the brightest minds are behind it. Jeremy Stoppelman, Max Levchin, and the rest of the Yelp.com staff would be baffled if they knew that there was a company sophisticated enough to actually save the lives and reputations of business owners who have unjustly received unflattering, negative reviews. Fortunately for business owners, high profile Doctors, Accountants, and Lawyers there is one

company, Profile Defenders, who 100% guarantees to get rid of unwanted Yelp results. This is contrary to Yelp's recent press which stated that it could not be done. In early March, Yelp.com made a statement via email to all yelpers and business owners listed on their site that if an Online Reputation Management firm contacted them about being able to remove or boost ratings on their site that it could not be done. While that may very well be true, they have not accounted for other tactics that Profile Defenders has cracked. These sophisticated techniques allow our clients to get rid of their unwanted listings which feature negative reviews that are either outwardly false or misleading. Can any other Reputation Management Companies Beat out Yelp? No. Companies like Reputation.com who advertise about protecting one's reputation are in fact unable to get rid of and suppress negative Yelp online search results. Profiledefenders.com, on the other hand, is out there working tirelessly to clean up the mess made by slanderous competitors and disgruntled ex-employees on Yelp pages. So how is it done and how much does it cost? We cannot let the secret sauce out of the bottle, and never will. In the end it's results that matter and that's exactly what Profiledefenders.com delivers. Our services start at only $5,000, and will help you get rid of unwanted listings permanently. Is it Illegal and can Yelp Stop it? Best of all, our services are 100% legal and cannot be stopped by Yelp -- this is because Profile Defenders methodology is completely ethical. "There is nothing more heart-warming than receiving dozens of letters each year from clients." These clients thank us for saving their businesses, their lives, and most importantly the lives of their families. Thanks to Profiledefenders.com, hurtful search results can quickly become a thing of the past. May 31, 2012

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Date:Jun 4, 2012
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