What’s New in Hawaii

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Photo credit: Mauna Lani Point 

For centuries, people have visited the islands of aloha for basically the same reasons: vibrant beaches, verdant mountains, lively volcanoes and ancient culture. Yet that doesn’t stop this American slice of paradise from trying to improve itself. Here are the latest enhancements that will have travelers returning to live the island life.

Molokai Now More Accessible – There are no mega-resorts on friendly, little Molokai island, which has long been an attraction to backpackers and snorkelers who could brave the long ferry ride. Thankfully, Mokulele Airlines has introduced new routes to the island from both Oahu and Maui, opening up this unspoiled island to a new generation of travelers.

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Pu’uka’oku Falls, Molokai

Resorts – Multi-million dollar renovations are happening across the islands, adding luxury, space and style to such popular resorts as Maui’s Hotel Wailea and Grand Wailea, A Alwadorf Astoria Resort, and Oahu’s Spa and Turtle Bay Resort and Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort, the latter of which will add an on-site apiary to house 80,000 honey-producing bees.

Attractions & Activities – The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is now offering the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park as a new offsite venue for groups, where your event could also include exclusive access to the USS Arizona Memorial’s two museums and theaters. At the recently-opened Maui Hawaiian Village, you can learn how native Hawaiians have thrived for generations. And the always-dazzling Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art just opened the Mughal Suite at Shangri La to the public for the first time, showcasing private living quarters inspired by the Taj Mahal.

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Pōhaku, The story of Hawaii’s native people, presented by Christopher K. Morgan at the Maui Hawaii Village

Being your travel advisor is more than offering you enchanting vacations to the far reaches of the globe. It also involves offering you personal support and helpful advice to enhance all your travel experiences, whether near or far.

As always, please feel free to contact us about your future travel plans.

Happy travels!
Cruise & Travel Masters
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West Africa Cruise – Cape Town to Accra

photo: forumbiodiversity.com

photo: forumbiodiversity.com

West Africa is famous for its rich history and cultural diversity. For anyone who has traveled there, it is not hard to fall in love with the beautiful locals, breathtaking landscapes, fabulous food and variety of music. For everyone who has yet to travel there, what are you waiting for? Check out our amazing West Africa Cruise with G Adventures!

West Africa Cruise – Cape Town to Accra
People have been exchanging customs and ideas in Western Africa as long as there have been people. Now, it’s your turn. From the MS Expedition, you’ll get the chance to explore one of Africa’s most vibrant (and curiously underexplored) regions from a hotel that goes wherever you do. A solid combination of activity and leisure, you’ll have ample time to spot rare birds and endemic wildlife with skilled naturalists, mingle in local markets and learn about the region from our experienced expedition staff, including naturalists, historians, anthropologists, and ornithologists. While at sea we’ll also enjoy South African wine tastings from our very own sommelier and enjoy daily lectures from experts. Africa by sea? We didn’t believe it was possible either. More information here: http://bit.ly/1rCmMyc

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photo: news.bbc.co.uk

photo: news.bbc.co.uk

photo: ibc.lynxeds.com

photo: ibc.lynxeds.com

photo: digitalkobo09.blogspot.com

photo: digitalkobo09.blogspot.com

photo: gadventures

photo: gadventures

photo: lonelyplane

photo: lonelyplane

Prepare to be amazed…China & The Tea Horse Road

China & The Tea Horse Road
With Explorer Jeff Fuchs: Explorers-In-Residence Series

“Live the mystical legends of the silk route, fabled tea horse road, bygone emperors & ancient dynasties with this exclusive expedition showcasing the highlights of China & the earthly Eden of Yunnan, led by author & explorer Jeff Fuchs. A world renowned expert in indigenous mountain cultures, oral histories, tea, Chinese history & ancient Himalayan trade routes, this engaging explorer has been featured in everything from National Geographic Traveler to UNESCO. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to unveil the secrets of China from not one, but a collection of internationally acclaimed experts. Tour Beijing, Xi’an, Lijiang, Hong Kong & Yunnan province’s Shangri-La stopping to meet historians, famed artists, internationally known journalists & global experts along the way. Prepare to be amazed from classic highlights like the Forbidden City, Great Wall & Terra Cotta Army to off-the-beaten-path secrets like artisanal workshops, meeting elders whom traveled the tea horse road, Buddhist blessings, local breweries, gourmet feasts, alpine hikes & Tibetan village visits. Featuring bicycling, boat rides & much more.” -Kensington Tours

For more information and this trip and others from the Explorers-In-Residence Series please contact our travel consultants!

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Life is Beautiful Festival: Music, Food, Art & Giving Back

The very first Life is Beautiful Festival is happening in Las Vegas on October 26th and 27th. Be one of the first to experience this fantastic festival featuring top bands, performances, chefs, and speakers all in one amazing venue.

An obvious draw will be the musical performances by the Killers, Imagine Dragons, the Kings of Leon, Beck and many more! But what you may not know is that there will be plenty to eat there, too. The best chefs have worked hard to make this festival a foodie paradise! Check out some of the culinary highlights:

The TAKE A STAND event is extra special! “The name refers to the fact that the organizers of Life is Beautiful felt that it was really important not only that art and music and food are part of this wonderful festival and celebration, but acknowledging, through a charitable component, that this festival wanted to make some impact on the city,” said Honey Salt owner Elizabeth Blau. “It’s taking a stand for education and against hunger, and in support of what Communities in Schools’ mission is, trying to combat the tragedy that we have in terms of our dropout rate in the state of Nevada.”

Learn more about the Life is Beautiful Festival here. Our travel specialists are available to answer any of your questions and help you experience the best of Las Vegas! Call us today!

Cruise & Travel Masters
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Barcelona’s Graffiti Scene: Independent Art at its Finest

Typically when we think of Barcelona, Gaudi’s famous works may come to mind, or quite possibly some of the best food and wine known to man. Barcelona is, in fact, drenched with historical architecture and artwork that will take your breath away. But at the end of the day, when all the shop owners pull down their shuttered door, something very magical happens. It’s as if you are taking a stroll through a modern art gallery. Sinfully creative, full of funk and perfectly odd, are just a few ways to describe the view. All I know is if you love art and you are traveling through Spain, don’t miss out on the independent side of Barcelona’s art scene. You won’t have to wait in line or pay an entrance fee! This artwork is democratized and visible on almost every street, all you need to do is show up and look!

Graffiti Barcelona Graffiti 2 Graffiti 3

At Cruise & Travel Masters, we love getting off the beaten path and discovering new sights, friendships and cuisines! For information about traveling to Barcelona or ideas on where to spot unique artwork, give us a call! Let’s get you exploring!

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Escapes for the Inner Artist

Photo Credit: oaklandlocal.com

Photo Credit: oaklandlocal.com

“For the inquisitive beginner, the advanced professional and anyone wishing to expand creative potential”   –An Artists’ Retreat™ with Anna Rhodes

Explore the artist inside of you with these wonderfully creative getaways:

Tribal Dance Camp
Ingram, Texas
Get ready to move because at this camp you will learn to gyrate like a belly dancing pro! Other activities include fun around the campfire and henna art.

Art Camp for Women
Winter Park, Colorado
Enjoy many types of art-making, while taking in the beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains.

Ladies Rock Camp
Portland, Oregon
These female-led lessons will stir your inner rock star! Prepare to jam!

An Artists’ Retreat
Carmel-by-the Sea, California
This relaxing retreat offers the perfect environment to experiment with watercolors, charcoal, or even wax!

Our travel specialists are here to answer any questions you may have about booking your next artist escape!

Sonja Arrasi, Cruise & Travel Masters
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Airport Dog Parks

 

Thanks to a mandate issued last may by the U.S. Department of Transportation, airlines are required to provide relief areas for service animals like guide dogs. Airports are beginning to go beyond the minimum requirements, developing  off-leash dog-parks that are open to all travelers and their four legged friends. Here are just a few:

-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International: 1,000-square-feet of landscaped off-leash rest area, located steps away from Delta’s check-in desk. The most elaborate park yet, this area has flowers, grass, benches, biodegradable waste bags, and dog sculptures made from scrap metal.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Flickr

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Flickr

– San Francisco International Airport: Two outside relief areas located near Terminals 1 and 3 baggage claims. Drinking bowls and “mutt mitts” (high-tech poop bags) are available as well.

– Philadelphia International Airport: Seven off-leash areas with mulch surfaces and biodegradable waste bags. Humans will enjoy the relaxation bench, while dogs will enjoy the faux fire hydrant and concrete paw print.

– The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport: Two gated outdoor rest areas, in the Main and East terminals.

Tracey Thompson, owner of PetFriendlyTravel.com, has compiled a list of nearly 50 pet-friendly airports. She says “Airports are wise to tap into what pet owners want, since more travelers are paying to carry their small pets with them on the plane.”

For more pet-friendly travel tips, check out the Pet Travel section of our blog!

Sonja Arrasi, Cruise & Travel Masters
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