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FALL 2019


ST. LUCIA Island Hopping in ST. MAARTEN

Off the Beaten Path in INDONESIA

THE BEST WINTER VACATIONS BEGIN RIGHT HERE. Are you ready? Are you ready to explore the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean, enjoy the vibrant sounds of jazz in St. Lucia, savour Rum Fest in Barbados or ride the Cloud Train to Northern Argentina? In the fall edition of Vacations magazine we want to inspire you to start dreaming about your next getaway.

Editor’s Letter Welcome to the fall edition of Ensemble Vacations® magazine. From azure waters, water parks, romantic hideaways and delicious Caribbean cocktails and cuisine, there are countless reasons why sun destinations continue to be a top choice among Canadian travellers. Simply put, the Caribbean is the perfect antidote to cold and dreary winter days. With the cold weather just around the corner, this magazine aims to introduce you to new ways to experience classic Caribbean and other sunny destinations. If the beach is your primary motivation for travelling, check out the Island Life story where the writer uses St. Maarten as a base to venture further to explore the beaches of Anguilla and Pinel Island. If you are a jazz lover, you won’t want to miss Island Rhythms about the annual world-class jazz festival in beautiful St. Lucia. For travellers looking to go further afield, check out our coverage of Panama City for a perfect blend of Latin culture and city neighbourhoods worth exploring. We also introduce you to little-known gems in Northern Argentina including the Train to the Clouds and the quirky city of Salta, both set high in the mountains. Off the beaten path, there’s the exotic Spice Islands in Indonesia – these remote islands are the perfect combination of rich culture and history and island fun. Whether it’s island rhythms, pristine beaches or far-flung sunny locales you seek, we hope you find inspiration in this magazine. When you are ready, our travel specialists can help you book the vacation that is right for you. Happy travels, Karen Leiva Editor, Ensemble Vacations® Magazine

Vacations® is proud to be NATJA’s (North American Travel Journalists Association) 2017 Gold Award Winner in the Travel Magazine category.

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Detours 10 TRAVEL NEWS 12 Vacations® HOT LIST City and Beach Combos in South America 14 SPOTLIGHT Sunny Jamaica


18 PACKING LIST Travel Solutions for Your Travel Needs

Featured Section CARIBBEAN 20 Island Life 24 Island Rhythms CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA 30 Snapshot: Panama City 32 Lots to Love About Lima 33 Explore New Heights in Northern Argentina




34 Cave, Cycle, and Catamaran: Explore Bermuda 36 Ride the Waves in Waikiki

ULTIMATE FAMILY VACATIONS 40 Make a Splash at These Family-Friendly Water Parks

OFF THE BEATEN PATH 44 Indonesia’s Spice Islands WORLDLY DELIGHTS 50 Pick Your Own Paradise 52 Bermuda Rum Sizzles 53 Barbados Rum Party



54 61 66 74

Going Big on the Danube A Fresh Spin on Tradition Fall in Love with Hawaii’s Islands Cruise Ships Godmothers

Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 5

Featured Contributors

KRIS KING Photojournalist Kris King has been covering jazz festivals in the Caribbean and North America for over 30 years as a writer/photographer for Jazz Report magazine, eJazz Travel & Lifestyle as well as Ensemble Vacations Magazine. An award-winning photographer of live music concerts, King recently published her 5th photography book ‘Portraits in Music’ reflecting on her years covering jazz festivals and events. As the former editor and publisher of eJazz Travel for eight years, King has recently accepted the position of editor for eJazz News.

JASON MILLS Jason is a passionate travel professional, photographer, writer, and blogger with over 20 years of experience in the travel industry. Jason has visited over 200 resorts in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Mexico and has served on the AMResorts Advisory and Air Canada Vacations Advisory Boards. Top adventures include experiencing the aurora borealis in Yellowknife, an off-road adventure in Moorea and listening to humpback whales singing while snorkelling off Maui. Jason’s skills in digital media and marketing complement his travel expertise, giving him the ability to synthesize his travel experiences into vivid stories and vibrant photos.

DIANE TIERNEY “See the world by sea!” is Diane Tierney’s travel motto. Diane is passionate about cruising since it’s such a fun and easy way to see the world. She’s been on 70 cruises to 45 countries and had hundreds of cruise articles published in the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, National Post, Metro and many other Canadian and U.S. newspapers and magazines. In this edition, Diane shares her experiences with Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line.

MAX ANDERSON An Australian-based travel writer, Max Anderson’s work has been published in newspapers and magazines all over the world, including U.K., U.S., India, China and Canada. He has a number of awards including British Travel Writer of the Year, five North American Travel Journalists Association awards and an Explore Canada Award of Excellence. In this edition, Max takes us far off the beaten track, to the island of Banda Neira – one of the most spectacular islands you’ve never heard of. 6 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019


Fall 2019 Credits PUBLISHER Ensemble Travel® Group MANAGING EDITOR & ADVERTISING Ingrid Lopez



EDITOR Karen Leiva CONTRIBUTORS Alexa Wheeler Chris Robinson Tim Johnson Jason Mills Kris King Sandra MacGregor Nancy Wigston Bianca Bujan Janine Clements

Fiona Tapp Michele Peterson Max Anderson Smita Chandra & Sanjeev Chandra Hans Tammemagi Barbara Ramsay Orr Diane Tierney Franca Iuele

CREATIVE DESIGNERS Cherry Ann Valles, Cinzia Cammisa FOXX Advertising & Design Inc. PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Joe Viecili, Dalia Shamkhani FOXX Advertising & Design Inc.





Carl Schmitt Franca Iuele

Fall Vacations 2019 Ensemble Travel® Group. Ensemble Vacations®, Ensemble® Experience, Ensemble® Exclusive, Ensemble® Hosted Cruises, Ensemble® Villas & Vacation Homes, Ensemble® On Location and Ensemble® Hotel & Resort Collection are all proprietary trademarks of Ensemble Travel® Group. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without written permission of the publisher. BLACK SAND BEACH


Ensemble Vacations® is published four times per year on behalf of Ensemble Travel® Group member agencies.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS® 69 Yonge Street, Suite 1403 Toronto, ON M5E 1K3 (416) 367-3660 To contact our Editor email: editor@ensembletravel.ca Registration Numbers: vary by agency; see back cover Publication mail agreement: No. 40005027 Printed in Canada. Cover image: Getty Images ©Filippo Bacci Young adult woman relaxing on a swing in a tropical paradise Photos by Getty Images unless stated otherwise


Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 7

For some, it’s sitting down to the first five-star dinner of the trip, and being transported by the rich, unexpected flavors awaiting you. For others, it’s sailing into an exotic, remote port without another ship in sight. And for you, it’s the little things. Discover your moment.


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TRAVEL NEWS By Alexa Wheeler

Whether you prefer travelling by land, air or sea, enjoy the hot or the cold, fancy a faraway escape or a getaway next door, there’s a vacation perfectly suited for you.


BY LAND If you’re craving a vacation in a faraway land with a spirit of its own, Trafalgar launched its 2020 Africa program. With 1 1 handcrafted trips featuring Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, travellers can experience various parts of the continent. Africa holds a special place within the company as it is home to Trafalgar owners, the Tollman family. Therefore, each itinerary is curated to ensure guests leave with the same passion for Africa the family feels. From connecting with locals to diving into traditions, guests can immerse themselves into the culture. 10 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019

If staying a bit closer to home is ideal, both Globus and Cosmos launched 2020 North American itineraries, many of which are centred around special events. Tours range from exploring historic villages, marine wildlife and farm-to-table dining during the Quebec in Depth with the Gaspé Peninsula tour, to experiencing the contrast of city versus desert during the High Desert Discovery tour in the western U.S. For 2020 specifically, event-focused tours will take travellers from the Jasper Dark Sky Festival in the Canadian Rockies to the 400th landing of the Mayflower in Cape Cod and the surrounding area.

BY AIR For winter 2019-2020, WestJet Vacations has introduced three new exciting routes: a weekly non-stop flight from Calgary to Maui, Hawaii, a weekly flight from Calgary to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and a flight from Victoria, B.C. to Los Cabos, Mexico. So, take off your winter coats and put on your sunnies instead; warmer weather awaits.


BY SEA For the adventure-loving travellers, Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic now offers Wild Escapes, 1 1 voyages designed for guests to experience wilderness, wellness and wonder in a condensed amount of time. The itineraries range from five to nine days allowing those unable to commit to longer expeditions, such as families, to explore iconic destinations such as Alaska, Baja, Belize, Costa Rica, Galapagos and Iceland. For those travellers looking to enjoy the finer things in life while still channeling their inner Charles Darwin, Silversea’s new ship, Silver Origin, was designed entirely with Galapagos in mind. The vessel’s maiden voyage will embark in July 2020 with the goal of immersing guests into the destination through local experiences both on land and on board. Two seven-night itineraries will alternate between Baltra and San Cristobal allowing guests to marvel at endemic species, explore beautiful landscapes, indulge in regionally inspired cuisine, and much more.


And for the wine connoisseurs (even if self-proclaimed), Norwegian Cruise Line’s Meet the Winemaker series lets enthusiasts engage with winemakers and industry experts through wine tastings and wine-paired dinners, interactive cooking demonstrations, meet and greets, open-forum discussions, educational sessions, and other seminars and activities. The experience will be available during the 2019/2020 season on select cruises aboard Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Dawn, and Norwegian Encore. Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 11


HOT LIST City and Beach Combos in South America By Chris Robinson

Combine the cultural and historical sights of South American cities with some relaxing time on a beach! Here are our recommendations for the best city and beach combinations on the continent.


BUENOS AIRES AND MAR DEL PLATA All locals in Argentina’s capital will tell you that Buenos Aires is the finest city in the world. Its mix of faded European grandeur, Latin American culture and fervent zest for life will leave you breathless. Explore the crowded and colourful San Telmo Market, the opulent colonial architecture, modern Puerto Madero’s waterfront charms and the city of the dead in Recoleta Cemetery. Dance the tango, taste the steaks, go to a soccer game. And then chill out in Mar del Plata, Argentina’s classic beach destination, a five-hour drive or train ride away. The Atlantic waves break on beaches packed with bronzing bodies, and sea lions bob and dive offshore. And be prepared to party the night away! 12 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019


GUAYAQUIL AND PUERTO LOPEZ Tropical Guayaquil is Ecuador’s biggest city and has burst into life in the last few years. It sits on the banks of the Rio Guayas – a big, brown, turbulent monster of a rainforest river. Malecón 2000 is the riverfront focus for parading, eating, drinking and sightseeing. Discover museums, tropical gardens and the city’s most famous monuments. Colonial plazas and nightspots are close by. In contrast, sleepy Puerto Lopez, a three-hour drive to the north, couldn’t be more low-key. This delightful, authentic fishing village and beach resort on the Pacific Ocean is also the base for boat trips to Isla de la Plata – a taster for the wonderful Galapagos.


MONTEVIDEO AND PUNTA DEL ESTE Uruguay is an often-forgotten gem tucked between Brazil and Argentina – and Montevideo is its capital and crowning glory. The country has enjoyed long-term stability and Montevideo reflects this: it is a safe, sophisticated cultural hot spot with a relaxing vibe. Fronting the Rio de la Plata estuary, Montevideo’s art deco plazas and shady parks punctuate a myriad of markets, museums and palaces. Both the steaks and the tango are the match of Buenos Aires, its near-neighbour upriver. Two hours west, Punta del Este is where the Atlantic meets the Rio de la Plata and where South America’s elite meet each summer. The beaches are full of beautiful people and the clubs are famous for their celebrities.


RIO DE JANEIRO AND COPACABANA Pair Brazil’s iconic city with its iconic beach! No city compares to the natural beauty of Rio. The Atlantic Ocean flows into Guanabara Bay beneath towering Sugar Loaf mountain. Take the cable car up at sunset for unforgettable views. The nearby statue of Christ the Redeemer, atop the Corcovado mountain, is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Time your visit for the famous Carnival or experience the thrill of a soccer match at Maracanã stadium. This destination duo is completed by the unique beach culture of Copacabana only a taxi ride away. The broad crescent of white sand is bordered by the rollers of the Atlantic Ocean on one side, and the glitzy Avenida Atlantica on the other.


CARTAGENA AND PLAYA BLANCA Cartagena is understandably Colombia’s most-visited city. Located on the northern Caribbean coast, it was the first Spanish city in South America and boasts a rich heritage of colonial buildings. The old town is surrounded by a city wall and includes Plaza Trinidad. The Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas fort is magnificently intact. Built in the 1600s, it deterred pirates seeking Spanish gold shipping from here to Europe. Just a 45-minute speedboat ride away, Cartagena’s Playa Blanca beach is on pretty Isla Barú, part of an island chain that reaches into the Caribbean. A gently shelving white sand beach meets the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, which are perfect for snorkelling. Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 13


SPOTLIGHT Sunny Jamaica By Tim Johnson

Home to both Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, this end of the island brings together the very best of Jamaica, including culinary and natural attractions.


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try it. With massive slabs of chicken and pork sizzling over dogwood logs harvested from the nearby forest and lightly spiced with their signature scotch bonnet marinade, the kick will have you reaching for a Red Stripe in the open-air dining room. MYSTIC MOUNTAIN: As the ageless 1993 comedy Cool Runnings reminded us, Jamaica has a bobsled team. Made famous during the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, the ride can be replicated (sort of) from the peak of Mystic Mountain. Swoop to the top on a chairlift that skims over the thick rainforest canopy and take in the views from the peak, which sweep all the way back to Montego Bay. Take a few minutes to tour through a small museum up there with items from the actual bobsled team and other Jamaican sports heroes, like Usain Bolt and Donovan Bailey. Then climb into your sled, painted in the colours of that original bobsled team, and descend a gravity-driven track, banking on the corners then opening it up for maximum speed, 1,000 metres to the bottom.


HALF MOON BAY: Set on a verdant stretch of coastline in St. James Parish, the white porticos and columns and cottages of Half Moon Bay have long been a Jamaican landmark. Opened by 17 different investors back in 1954, it retains a vintage feel, one honoured by a series of black-and-white photos in the main building of the resort, a Who’s Who of that golden age. Since then, pop and rock royalty have rented out their villas (everyone from David Bowie, Eric Clapton and Sting), and 18 holes of golf designed by Robert Trent Jones have been built. Both the spa and the flagship restaurant, set beside an old sugar mill, use local ingredients, including many grown on site. It’s all now being renewed with a USD $75-million renovation, which will include new restaurants, great house and dozens of modern rooms. Half Moon Bay is part of Ensemble’s Hotel and Resort Collection and includes the following EXCLUSIVE OFFER:

SUN AND SAND: With more vast stretches of coral reefs, even a short boat ride from shore will take you into a world where the subaquatic rainbow swirl of fish contrasts with the emerald and azure of the reefs and water. And the ride there is half the fun – in some cases, especially near Montego Bay, you’ll motor past old, colourful fishing villages, still busy with men and women bringing in deep-water catches of snapper and parrotfish, and a visit to Doctor’s Cave Beach will take you to a place so good, it was once recommended as a medical treatment. Sun and sand – just what the doctor ordered.



•B  uffet breakfast for two daily (rooms & suites) •$  50USD breakfast credit per day (villa guests) •R  ound-trip airport transfers via airconditioned bus for stays of three nights or more GO FOR THE FOOD: Perhaps the island’s best-known delicacy, jerk chicken is best enjoyed outside, in the sultry subtropical air. It’s delicious, and Scotchies, with locations in both Ocho Rios and Montego Bay (plus a third over in Kingston) is the best place to Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 15

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PACKING LIST Travel Solutions for Your Travel Needs By Alexa Wheeler

Whether you’re travelling with messy kiddos or you’re tired of dreaded hotel room coffee, this Packing List edition provides solutions for various travel needs.

FOR HAIR CARE AND BEYOND Shampoo and conditioner; ketchup and mustard – whether you’re boarding a plane or planning a picnic, the Dynamic Duet™ Bottle provides a compartmentalized solution with an anti-leakage snap top. Designed with both food safety and travel in mind, your liquid needs are solved.



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FOR IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT International flights are daunting, but LINGO cards let you pass the time in both a fun and useful way. Learn key phrases in the language of your destination; you’ll hop off the plane saying “bonjour” or “salud,” in no time! Available on Amazon, $14.99 USD

FOR THE CAFFEINATED FOLKS Tired of dreaded hotel room coffee but unwilling to buy a $5 latte? ESPRO’s Ultralight Coffee Press is the world’s lightest combination French press and hydration bottle. It brews both coffee and tea, allowing any traveller to maintain their caffeine routine. Available at espro.com/ca, $49.95

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SKIN CARE TO GO You never have to leave home without your favourite skin care essentials again! These carry on-friendly minis of Transformative Cleansing Oil, Pomegranate Day Cream, and Hydrating Toner make it easy to give your skin some love when you’re on the go. Available on rockymountainsoap.com $43 CAD



Featured Section

ISLAND Life By Jason Mills

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With quick and easy transfers to other islands, St. Maarten is an ideal destination for island-hopping. We can all agree the beach is perhaps the one place where we can let go and release ourselves from the confines of daily life. In turning 40, with a strong need for self-reflection, I decided I needed to explore as many beaches as possible, and I finally settled on the island of St. Maarten. With over 37 beaches to explore along 70 kilometres of coastline, St. Maarten is a treasure trove of opportunities to get lost in the magic of island life. Vacations® • FallBAYS, 2019 13 AERIAL VIEW OF MULLET AND CUPECOY ST.•MAARTEN


Settling in St. Maarten, my friend and I hire a local taxi driver to help us with our experience, and, each day, he takes us to new and more progressively spectacular seascapes. St. Maarten is best known for Maho Beach, the famous location where visitors can get a one-of-a-kind view of planes arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport. While not to be missed, we find the quintessential St. Maarten experience is in exploring its lesser-known beaches and bays. Hugged by lush green mountains on each side, Anse Marcel is a tranquil bay – the ideal location for those looking to truly escape the hustle and bustle. The calm emerald waters and soft sandy beaches are perfect for snorkelling, swimming, and kayaking. In the evenings, we join our fellow beachcombers and assemble at the water’s edge to watch the setting sun illuminate the skies in every colour imaginable.

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DAY TRIP: PINEL ISLAND With any visit to St. Maarten, a day trip to Pinel Island is a must. This tiny island, just a 10-minute ferry ride from the north end, is paradise. Ferries depart every 30 minutes for under $15 each way and bring you to a picture-perfect oasis. We depart early in the morning with enough time to find an ideal location to base our adventures. The invitingly clear and shallow waters are perfect for spending the day snorkelling, and, in the afternoon, we set off on foot to explore the rest of the island. From up above, at the top of Pinel Island, we are able to soak in a 360-degree view of the surrounding bays and beaches. An entire day can be spent exploring the beauty of Grand Case Beach on Pinel Island, which is lined with a plethora of gourmet restaurants, cafés and bars. We walk the length of the beach, enjoying espressos, and the French hospitality, wine and cuisine.


EXPLORING ANGUILLA For the actual day of my 40th birthday, we decide to explore Anguilla. Just a short 30-minute ferry ride from Marigot and departing and returning every 45 minutes ($20 each way), this is an easy day trip to experience some of the most remarkable beaches in the world. With some planning (as we would come to learn the hard way), Anguilla is the perfect day trip. Rather than take one of the many taxi’s available at the exit of the ferry terminal, we decide to try this island on foot. Within an hour, we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere, an incredible feat for being on such a small island and one achieved only through a blind misjudgment on our part. We wander for an hour and a half, sure that around each corner would be something, a town, a store, a person, but we were finding nothing. “You lost?” a driver asks as he brings his car to a screeching halt. It must’ve been painfully evident to any local, two people wandering in 40-degree heat an hour from anywhere must have made a wrong turn somewhere. “Get in,” he says. Looking at each other, and weighing our options, we decide our best option is to take up the offer of a stranger. We are out of bottled water, facing a blazing sun, and so, with sore feet and a feeling of defeat, we get in the car. I explain that I’m celebrating my 40th birthday and decided to take a day trip from St. Maarten to explore Anguilla. The driver, Derek, laughs, puts the car into gear, and tells us he is going to give me the best birthday I have ever had. It turns out, he did.


Derek takes us on an impromptu full island tour of Anguilla, showing us views and vistas, beaches and bays, all the while telling us about his family, why he was there and why he loves his home so much. He takes us to the capital, called The Valley, and shows us historical buildings, explains the local economy, and gives us an authentic peek into Anguilla. He drives us to Shoal Bay, to his friend’s restaurant and asks him to take care of us. We say goodbye to Derek and thank him for giving us his time, for sharing his story, his island, and his home with us. For the rest of the afternoon, we relax on what is, without question, the most impossibly beautiful beach we’d ever seen, eating local seafood and sipping drinks under a palapa. I spend the day wandering the beach, swimming in the crystal-clear waters and contemplating just what had brought me to this tropical paradise. I started 40 quite literally lost and ended my first day found, with a renewed sense of purpose and a reminder: just be kinder. And I have the people of the Caribbean islands to thank.


Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 23

Featured Section



By Kris King

Saint Lucia Jazz Festival makes beautiful music with Jazz at Lincoln Center.


What makes the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival so special? The answer is easy: location, location, location – Saint Lucia is paradise.

The first collaboration between the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center brought the premier Caribbean festival back to its original roots by presenting top international and Caribbean jazz artists together in a new setting. Jazz at Lincoln Center added new components to the festival week by presenting master classes and free daily workshops with Grammy winners, nominees and local artists. Also new was the location of this year’s festival. Previously held at Pigeon Island Park, the festival moved to the Rodney Bay Area where performances were held in large, elegant tents, just steps from the hip and happening ‘strip’ where numerous nightclubs and restaurants have patrons club-hopping between venues. I happened to be at the second Saint Lucia Jazz Festival in 1993 when it was held in a variety of resorts on the island; the house band at my resort featured some of the best jazz artists of the time, known as the ‘young lions’. Pianist Mulgrew Miller was the headliner, his band consisted of Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Donald Harrison, Steve Turre and Jeff ‘Tain” Watts. Nancy Wilson, Herbie Hancock and other jazz luminaries were also in the line-up that year. Over the years, the festival became the premier Caribbean festival. When I returned in 2008, it had grown up and become more diverse in its programming, featuring Dionne Warwick, Anita Baker, Angie Stone, Wyclef Jean and a host of smooth jazz artists like Najee, who is a Caribbean festival stalwart. By then, the festival had moved to historical heritage site Pigeon Island Park. Fast forward to 2019; the collaboration between Saint Lucia Jazz and Jazz at Lincoln Center brought positive changes besides programming to this year’s festival. The free daily workshops and master classes were a smashing success, bringing in crowds of young people and adults who were eager to learn from the masters.


One night featured local saxophonist Augustin ‘Jab’ Duplessis, who turned in a stellar performance opening for jazz vocalist and two-time Grammy winner Gregory Porter, who also featured Ledisi in a late-night set. Another evening, I was happily surprised to see my good friend Arturo Tappin performing with Boo and Friends in the opening set. I’ve known Boo and Arturo for many years from covering the Barbados Jazz Festival; both artists are well-known performers on the Caribbean jazz circuit and received a rousing ovation from the audience. The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra featured 12-time Grammy nominee Ledisi in a tribute to Nina Simone, ‘Nina and Me’, starting off with the classic ‘Feeling Good’, an iconic song that Simone turned into an industry standard. Ledisi stepped away from ‘Nina and Me’ briefly to perform Marvin Gaye’s ‘Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)’ then on to a well-known Frank Sinatra song ‘Our Love is Here to Stay’ before moving back to ‘Nina and Me’. Ledisi is beyond compare, her vocal talents are unique. As with Dianne Reeves, who also has a unique style of singing, Ledisi’s vocals shine no matter what genre she takes on. I first saw her at the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival in 2008 where she blew the roof off the house in a dynamic performance with Najee’s band and Angie Stone. After this show, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra lead a parade down the strip to the jam session where the musicians played until 3 a.m.


Saturday night, the festival once again welcomed five-time Grammy Award winner Dianne Reeves, one of the best jazz vocalists in the world today. Local pianist Emerson Nurse and his trio opened the evening program with a variety of top jazz compositions. The highlight of the evening was Reeves, who took the stage limping after a bad fall in a restaurant earlier that day. Unfortunately, it was a bittersweet day as it was also the anniversary of her mother’s death. When she dedicated ‘I Remember’ to her mom, she wasn’t the only one with tears in her eyes. Reeves’ stunning version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’ was followed by Bob Marley’s ‘Waiting in Vain’. Despite being in pain from falling, her vocals were strong and clear as ever.


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Beyond the stellar line-up, when people ask: “What makes the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival so special?” The answer is easy: location, location, location – Saint Lucia is paradise. I get to experience paradise one morning when my group sails to the southwest shore to see the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Pitons, with two volcanic plugs that rise like spires from the sea. From there, I hike the Tet Paul Nature Trail to the lookout where on a clear day you can see both Martinique and St. Vincent. Nearby, the ‘World’s Only Drive-In Volcano’ and Sulphur Springs, is a chance to take a dip in a volcanic mud bath followed by a short drive to Toraille Waterfall for a rigorous massage under a 50-foot waterfall. I also visit historical Pigeon Island and the ruins of the British base from the late 18th century give insight into the lives of both soldiers and slaves. On another day, I take a trip to the Castries market, Derek Walcott Square and the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, one of the largest churches in the Caribbean.


Premier Collaboration I had an opportunity to speak with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Director of Programming and Touring Jason Olaine about the collaboration. Here’s what he said: “This year we ha(d) workshops and master classes from Wednesday though Saturday free to the public, hosted by our artists in residence, who range from Christian McBride to Russell Hall, Patrick Bartley and Etienne Charles talking about how they got into jazz, the business of jazz, jazz and Caribbean music, the birth of jazz and how to listen to jazz – all sorts of different ways these artists in residence have been bringing jazz to the public, to small kids, the general public, adults, etc. Even though this festival has been around for 27 years, we want this festival to grow. They kind of shifted away from jazz so if they want to come back to jazz, we are more than happy and willing to help them get on their feet and move forward. We hope this is the first year of many years of collaboration.”



It’s Better in The Bahamas Scattered across the Caribbean like a string of pearls, the 700 pristine islands and coralline cays that make up The Islands of The Bahamas are encircled by some of the clearest seas on the planet. A haven for snorkellers and divers alike, the reefs here are home to an abundance of tropical fish and vibrantly coloured corals. Above the water, it’s easy to be seduced by the easygoing island charm and laze the days away on one of the many white-sand beaches. However, there’s bustle too, if you’re looking for

a change of pace. The capital, Nassau, is home to a rich past that merits exploration - you’ll find ancient fortresses and colonial squares waiting to be discovered; not to mention excellent dutyfree shopping and nightlife. Across the islands you’ll be captivated by the warm friendliness of the islanders themselves and rich culture and charm that will keep you coming back year after year. Join in the regular fish fry or coincide your visit with one of the colourful junkanoos to see more of these islands of contrasts.

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Featured Section


PANAMA Celebrating its 500th anniversary in 2019, Panama City is a thriving hot spot where cultures converge, and old and new worlds collide. Although popular with expats and snowbirds, Panama has remained largely off-the-beaten tourist path until recently. With a heady mix of fascinating history and exciting modernity, as well as its proximity to natural wonders, this alluring and cosmopolitan capital has much to explore.

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THE CITY’S HIPPEST NEIGHBOURHOOD: CASCO VIEJO In the heart of the city is its trendy and walkable historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The narrow, cobbled streets and leafy plazas are lined with colourful Spanish colonial buildings, many of which have been transformed into art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and rooftop bars. Take time to visit the Weil Art Gallery, the Convent of Santo Domingo ruins and San José Church’s golden altar, which according to legend was salvaged when the original city, Panama Viejo, was attacked by pirate Henry Morgan. Sample a cup of Geisha, the crème de la crème of coffee at Café Unido, or stop at one of the many dessert spots, such as PalettAmerica, for gourmet ice pops or the Tropical Chocolate Café.


GASTRONOMIC EPICENTRE: SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco is a popular local enclave with a laidback vibe and an array of enticing dining options ranging from food trucks to farm-to-table restaurants that reflect its ethnic diversity. For creative Panamanian cuisine with a modern twist head to Intimo. Try Tacos La Neta, a Mexican-style taqueria, or Amano, a cool craft cocktail bar. The neighbourhood is also home to vintage boutiques and the Parque Omar, the city’s equivalent to New York’s Central Park, which hosts free music events December through April.


Central America’s Capital of Cool By Janine Clements



THE AMADOR CAUSEWAY This breezy six-kilometre boardwalk, named after Panama’s first president, Manuel Amador Guerrero, is the best spot for viewing the gleaming skyline and the gargantuan container ships waiting to enter the Panama Canal. You’ll find some of the city’s top attractions including the iconic Biomuseo, a biodiversity museum designed by Canadian-born Frank Gehry, and the Smithsonian’s Punta Culebra Nature Center. The Mercado de Mariscos is the place to go for ceviche and the Centro Artesanal de Panama Viejo is good for indigenous arts and crafts. It is easy to rent bikes or pedal carts along the way.

PANAMA CANAL LOCKS IN ACTION: MIRAFLORES VISITOR CENTER Panama is most famous for its legendary 82-kilometre canal, the engineering marvel that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and took the lives of around 30,000 workers during its construction. The Miraflores Visitor Center has three decks offering prime viewing of the cargo ships transiting through its locks, as well as an interactive museum and IMAX theatre. For a more immersive experience, book a partial transit tour of the canal.


WILDLIFE KAYAKING SAFARI: GATUN LAKE The tiny isthmus that links Central and South America is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. A 30-minute drive from the city is Gatun Lake, a man-made lake that is part of the Panama Canal system. Take a guided kayak (or boat) trip past the huge ships into its tranquil inlets, where you can get up close to some of its rainforest inhabitants including three-toed sloths, six species of monkeys including Geoffroy’s tamarin, birds of prey and crocodiles.

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Featured Section

Lots to Love About


By Sandra MacGregor

Peru’s capital city has a lot to offer – here are just a few reasons why it’s so easy to fall in love with Lima.



CITY SIGHTS Set aside at least a few days to explore this beguiling, energetic city. Spend a day walking around the bohemian Barranco neighbourhood. In the city’s creative centre, you’ll enjoy street art, funky shops (Dédalo is a favourite), interesting art galleries like MATE Mario Testino Museum (featuring modern art and photography), colonial mansions, and trendy bistros and bars. In the upscale shopping area of the Miraflores district, visit pre-Inca ruins Huaca Pucllana. Afterwards, check out the cliff-hugging Larcomar mall. Museo Larco, with a well-displayed collection that spans over 5,000 years of Peru’s history, is not to be missed. 32 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019


PERUVIAN CUISINE Home to a host of innovative young chefs, the city offers an intriguing culinary cornucopia, ranging from award-winning, high-end dining to modern takes on Peruvian home cooking. Treat yourself to the best Lima has to offer with a trip to Central. In 2019, it was ranked #6 by the respected “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” awards. The incredible tasting menu is the best way to sample all that Peru’s various ecosystems – from the peaks of the Andean mountains to the waters of the Amazon – have to offer. Isolina, in the vibrant Barranco neighbourhood, features elevated Peruvian comfort food.

WHERE TO STAY Perched on a cliff, the Belmond Miraflores Park in Lima’s exclusive Malecón de la Reserva neighbourhood embodies elegant luxury and features a heated outdoor infinity pool and a bath butler. Try a pisco sour at the Belo Bar, or try Peruvian-international cuisine at the Tragaluz restaurant. Belmond Miraflores Park is part of Ensemble’s Hotel and Resort Collection and includes the following EXCLUSIVE OFFER: • Breakfast for two daily • $100USD spa services credit per room, per stay

Explore New Heights in Northern

ARGENTINA From a sky-high train to the quirky mountain town of Salta, here is why Northern Argentina is a must-see.

By Nancy Wigston



EXPLORE SALTA This 16th-century city of more than half a million people is often the first stop into northern Argentina’s high altitudes. Salta is laidback and quirky. Its attractions include ornate architecture, cutting-edge art, historical treasures, and ancient Inca mummies preserved by the cold. Enjoy superb dining, wine-flavoured ice creams and highenergy peña performances starring gauchos and their señoritas whirling and stomping about the stage. Under the sliver of the new moon, try a casual dinner overlooking Ninth of July Plaza.

TRAIN TO THE CLOUDS An excellent adventure awaits in Jujuy Province, aboard the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds) billed as “a Miracle of Argentinian Engineering.” Hugging tracks and high bridges, the 40-minute journey currently caters to tourists, due to pesky rock falls on lower tracks. Onboard, enjoy coca tea to prevent altitude sickness. The Polvorilla Viaduct (4,220 metres) will leave you speechless. Coasting on cloud-train euphoria, next, visit the wonders of Salinas Grandes salt flats under blinding skies of magical blue.

HUMAHUACA High above the world, colour is everywhere. Even the mountains appear to be painted. Gaze in wonder as herds of wild vicuña prance in the meadows below. In Humahuaca, find alpaca-wear soft as silk. At noon, crowds gather in the square, when a mechanical saint, San Francisco Solano, blesses one and all. Try a typical Humahuaca lunch of superb roast chicken and potatoes with a spirit-lifting side of Andean flute, drum, and guitar music. Time your stay around the annual Carnival when flamboyantly costumed “devils” cry (or mew), dreading their return to hell. The party atmosphere here (and in nearby Pumamarca) is electric. Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 33

Soft Adventure


Cave, Cycle, and Catamaran:




From a jaunt through a jaw-dropping cave, to an end-to-end island bike tour, to whale-watching by catamaran, Bermuda is full of beyond-the-beach bucket list adventures. By Bianca Bujan Stunned by the sparkling stalactites that dangle above my head like dripping icicles, I stop to take in my surroundings. I’m in Bermuda’s Crystal Cave, standing on a floating pontoon pathway that stretches deep into the underground cavern. I grasp the railing with my hand and look below into the cyan-coloured, crystal-clear water that flows beneath my feet. Beyond my reflection, I see sharp stalagmites stretching up toward my face. They look close enough to touch, but are still more than 50 feet below the surface, the clarity of the water playing tricks on my eyes. I had been in caves before, but this time, no headlamp was required, and I didn’t have to creep through dark, tight spaces to reach the stunning large opening found deep within the cave. Instead, I was engaging in spelunking for the soft 34 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019

adventurer, strolling along wide, well-lit pathways, deep into the underbelly of Bermuda. Mark Twain (one of the first tourists to ever visit Crystal Cave) once said, of the awe-inspiring natural attraction, that it was “the most beautiful cave in the world,” and he was absolutely accurate. Of all the caves that I’ve visited throughout my travels, this one is the most breathtaking. While the island’s dazzling underworld is enough to entice a visit, Bermuda is brimming with above-ground adventures as well, like the island’s end-to-end cycling path, known as the Railway Trail. Beckon a bike (many properties offer rentals), and take a two-wheel tour of the British Isle – the Railway Trail covers 28 kilometres of the 35-kilometre-long island.

Once home to the railway of the “Old Rattle and Shake” train that transported Bermudians from one end of the island to the other in the 1930s and 1940s, the stretch of track is now an official National Park, providing unparalleled access to Bermuda’s most beautiful and beloved spots, including intimate pink sand beaches, plant-lined pathways, and stunning ocean viewpoints. Please your senses by cycling through small scenic towns (be sure to stop in St. George’s Parish for a coffee and a tasty treat), snapping photos of historic spots (look for the old drawbridge), smelling the fragrant flora that lines the pathways, and cooling off with a dip in the ocean as you trek along the trail by bike.

whale-watching tour from Flatts Inlet, located in front of the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. A pitstop for North American humpback whales during the spring months, Bermuda is a top spot to see the massive mammals, as thousands of humpback whales swim past the island between March and April. In recent years, Bermuda has become a new breeding ground for humpback whales, with baby whales breaching a more common sight in the area. As you search for the giants of the sea, keep an eye out for other wildlife as well, many of which can be found as you pass by some of Bermuda’s most famous shipwrecks, and in the island’s surrounding reef, which comes alive with sea life as you sail on by.

If you’d prefer to tour the island by water, and get an up-close look at the area’s majestic marine life, catch a catamaran




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Soft Adventure


WAIKIKI By Fiona Tapp

Welcome the day with Ho’ala, a Hawaiian sunrise ceremony, before boarding a unique vessel to experience a thrilling ride on the ocean waves of Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach. The jetlag I experience travelling from Canada’s east coast to Waikiki in Hawaii is working in my favour. It sees me cheerfully jumping out of bed before 5 a.m. to wander down to the beach and welcome the sunrise with a traditional Hawaiian ceremony.


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EXPLORE WAIKIKI’S FIRST HOTEL Both the sunrise ceremony and outrigger canoe surfing are just a few sandy steps away from the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. It was built back in 1901 before Waikiki was a beach resort for tourists and when visitors arrived by ship after a long sea voyage with trunks and trunks full of their belongings.


Held every Wednesday in front of the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, and on Fridays in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, guests are guided through a moving spiritual sunrise welcome. Kehaulani Kam, Marriott’s director of cultural relations, is joined by Kalama Cabigon who is dressed in traditional clothing and chants as the sun rises slowly above Ko’olau Range and Diamond Head. Participants are encouraged to kneel on towels stretched over the sand. When the chanting comes to a close, we are invited to silently wade out into the ocean waves in a symbolic act of purification and new beginnings. It’s certainly a peaceful way to start the day. In Hawaii, the ocean is always calling, so it’s not long before I am back in the waves, this time in an outrigger canoe. Once everyone is seated on the sturdy craft, which has lateral floats to keep it well balanced, we paddle through the waves and turn around back toward the shore, patiently waiting for a wave. Once the surf comes in, we paddle manically until the whole boat is swept up in the forceful power of the ocean and we ride the wave all the way to the beach. It really is a thrilling ride! Waikiki Beach is the only place where you can go outrigger canoe surfing and, as you need no special training or experience to take part, it’s truly a unique experience for everyone to enjoy. Waikiki Beach Services takes guests out on the ocean from a few different beachside hotels and is one of a handful of operators to offer visitors this experience. On Waikiki Beach, also look for stand-up paddleboards, surfing, and catamaran sailing. Whether by ancient tradition or on an exciting surf ride, the waves of Waikiki must be experienced.

The rich history of this elegant Victorian hotel can be experienced during the complimentary tours held at 11 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday. Kehaulani Kam runs the tour and enthralls guests with secrets of the more than 100-year history of this elegant hotel, including a murder mystery. Jane Stanford, the co-founder of Stanford University, was found dead in her room from poisoning back in 1905. Guests can also view memorabilia and artifacts from over a century of past visitors. After the tour, head outside to the veranda and see the ancient Banyan tree in the hotel’s courtyard. Then enjoy a traditional afternoon tea service with a decidedly Hawaiian twist, including tropical pineapple and coconut tea blends to taste. Moana Surfrider is part of Ensemble’s Hotel and Resort Collection and includes the following EXCLUSIVE OFFER: • $75USD resort credit per room, per stay • Full Breakfast for two daily served at the The Veranda • Moana Surfrider Historical Book


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Exclusive offer: Save $240 with a seven-night stay in a Partial Ocean View room at Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel in Maui.

Upgrade your Hawaiian vacation to a one-of-a-kind experience at Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel, Hawaiʻi’s Most Hawaiian Hotel. Situated oceanfront on the golden sands of Kāʻanapali Beach, a tropical paradise awaits you. Enjoy a distinctive selection of Hawaiian activities such as cloth printing, Hawaiian food preparation, Hawaiian instrument making, and much more. Traditional offerings from hula lessons, lei making, to Hawaiian language lessons are also offered. Plus get the chance to experience a unique tour like none other in the 6-person waʻa (outrigger canoe), where you’ll paddle out to get an exclusive view of Maui from the ocean, spot a whale (when in season), and learn about the canoe’s significance in the Hawaiian culture and what it means to live sustainably. Booking window: September 1 – November 30, 2019 Travel window: September 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020 Blackout dates: December 20, 2019 – January 3, 2020 Participating hotel: Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel, Maui


Advance booking required. Non-refundable and non-transferable. Offer limited and subject to availability. Offer subject to change and expire without notice. New bookings only. Other restrictions may apply. Not valid on group bookings. Package price will automatically reflect the discount when searching for qualified vacations. Minimum 4-night stay required. Other blackout dates may apply. Savings message based on land portion of package only. Savings based on a 7-night stay in a Partial Ocean View room based on double occupancy only. Savings may vary by travel window and room type selected. Offer is not cumulative. This offer is not combinable with any other offer. Quebec licensee. Ontario travel agents are covered by TICO. Mailing address: 6085 Midfield Road, Toronto ON L5P 1A2. TICO registration number: 50018683

Ultimate Family Vacations

Make a Splash at These Family-Friendly

By Michele Peterson

WATER PARKS From exhilarating high-speed vertical drops to inflatable obstacle courses, these extraordinary water parks are packed with countless options for all-ages fun in the sun.


RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO Got family members craving extreme sports action on their vacation? Then consider the Barceló Maya Grand Resort complex in Mexico. In addition to the Barcy Water Park packed with castles, slides and waterfalls for kids, guests of all ages can splash out at the Pirates Island Water Park featuring even more tubes, power jets, slides and fountains. Thrill-seekers will get their adrenaline pumping on the famous Flowrider wave pool and the Surf Rider, a realistic surfing simulator where they can ride surf boards on a powerful current of water. Those keen to hang 10 like a pro can even sign up for surfing lessons. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

ORANJESTAD, ARUBA It’s easy to stop by for some trampoline and bouncy fun at Splash Park Aruba, an inflatable water park set in the calm Caribbean waters of Surfside Beach in downtown Oranjestad. Kids ages six and up will love climbing, running and crawling along this collection of floating inflatable platforms, obstacles and slides. They can even launch themselves into the air via a catapult or scale a giant iceberg floating on turquoise water. KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA Wristband technology meets wet and wild fun for the ultimate water adventure at this new high-tech water park in Kissimmee, Florida. At Island H2O Live Water Park participants scan Smart Bands and then splash their way through a range of thrilling attractions sharing their experiences through social media network connectivity. Perfect for tweens, teens and adults, the non-stop fun includes zooming through twisting rapids on a tube slide, plunging down a vertical waterfall drop, multi-guest racers, customized music playlists and more. Special zones for tiny tykes and adults ages 21 and up, make this water park fun for the whole family. PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS Adrenaline junkies won’t want to miss the Aquaventure, the largest in the Caribbean. It features 57 hectares of water rides and pools, including the famous Leap of Faith body slide. Not for the faint of heart, this experience begins with a near-vertical drop from the top of a Mayan-themed temple. Then, riders are whisked though a clear tunnel set in a lagoon teeming with hammerhead and Caribbean reef sharks. More leisurely options include floating on an inner tube along the lazy river or The Current, a journey through rolling rapids and tunnels with plenty of powerful wave action along the way. SLIDE ©ATLANTIS


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CANCUN, MEXICO This AMResort property located minutes north of downtown Cancun is an oasis of water-themed fun. In addition to the tropical lazy river (available for Preferred Club guests), Dreams Playa Mujeres features a water park with splash pads, fountains, water cannons and slides that send guests swooshing through winding tubes into a lagoon pool. In addition to splashing out in the water park, extra kid-friendly perks include a Core Zone club designed for teens ages 13-17 and the Crazy Straws Canteen for kids ages three to 12. Adults can relax in the Mayan-themed Pevonia spa complete with a Watsu pool for underwater massage therapies. DE PALM ISLAND, ARUBA How does a water park set on its own island sound? Keep cool under the Caribbean sun at this all-inclusive adventure park that’s a quick boat ride (included in admission) from mainland Aruba. Family activities include zip-lining across the island, riding ocean waves on a banana boat and having loads of fun among the slides, sprinklers, tipping buckets and geysers of De Palm’s Water Park playscape. An open bar with tropical cocktails, snacks and a Caribbean-themed buffet lunch are included in the admission. MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA With its zero-entry pool, castle-themed slides and meandering lazy river, the Pirate’s Paradise Water Park at Sunscape Splash Resort & Spa is perfect for families with young kids. When hunger hits, the Barefoot Grill with its popcorn, nachos, jerk chicken, burgers and more is just steps away. Guests at the neighbouring AMResort property, Sunscape Cove Montego Bay also enjoy full access to the water park and amenities. More thrills await at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritavilla on Montego Bay’s nearby “Hip Strip” where water enthusiasts can launch themselves into the sparkling blue Caribbean via a 36-metre long waterslide and then bounce across a series of floating trampolines. THUMBS UP! WATERSLIDE CONQUERED



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Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path in Indonesia’s


Writer Max Anderson discovers the tiny island of Banda Neira in eastern Indonesia. It’s obscure, it’s beautiful – and it was once the epicentre of the richest company the world had ever known.

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Banda Neira is a spectacular island just over three kilometres long. It’s hilly and jungle-clad and there’s an eponymous town on the southern end that’s home to 7,000 people. The island has a fledgling tourist industry and some of the finest diving in the world. And 400 years ago, it tipped the world a degree or two on its axis. So why have we never heard of it? Well, geography may have played a part. Banda is one of 10 islands called the Banda group, adrift in the turquoise waters of the Banda Sea. They’re part of the Malukus – the ‘Spice Islands’ – at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago, and unsurprisingly, getting here is an adventure in itself. You can arrive by plane, flying from Jakarta or Bali to the Maluku capital Ambon and then (if wind direction permits) taking a 15-seater aircraft to Banda. Alternatively, you can arrive by boat, either on a luxury sailing charter or on a rather-less-luxury overnight ferry out of Ambon. Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 45

I first see Banda Neira from the sea, just as visitors have done for millennia. On one side of a narrow lagoon is a strip of rusted tin roofs and palm trees, glowered over by a 17th-century fort. On the other side, seemingly added at the whim of an artist, is a 600-metre volcano emitting a thin cloud of smoke. Arriving at a timber wharf, I find myself in a busy market where fishermen are selling yellow-fin tuna and barracuda. They haggle in an ancient Malay dialect and the majority of them are Muslim; not so far from their brightly painted boats is a silver-domed mosque gleaming in the hot sun. A little further into the cramped lanes of commerce, I find a tatty booth selling old paraphernalia – rusted tools used in harvesting, woven baskets, and a magnificent round platter with cracked blue glaze. “How much is the plate?” I ask. The merchant types a number on her calculator: $300. As if to account for the price, she utters a single word: “Dutch.”


In the early 1600s, this tiny town became the jewel in the crown of the Dutch empire. It was an El Dorado that helped make the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie – the Dutch East India Company, or VOC – the richest company in the world. Thousands of vessels flying the VOC flag were moored throughout the ‘Spice Islands’. They traded cloth and knives for pepper, cloves and cinnamon, selling them in Europe for huge profit. The most prized spice was nutmeg, which grew nowhere else except three islands: Banda Neira and its neighbouring isles, Ai and Run. With such limited supply, nutmeg sold for its weight in gold. There’s no missing the town’s cultural backstory amongst its streets. Crude but colourful Indonesian dwellings of timber and tin sit alongside stolid structures in whitewash – grand villas, a church, two forts and government residences. Many of the colonial relics are long past their best: their balustrades stained with age, their louvered shutters hanging askew, tropical vegetation pushing at their sagging verandas. Bronze cannons quite literally lie in the roadside.



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High over the town is the mighty Fort Belgica with its five bastions. On my way to visit, I climb an earthen mud track through a small, shady plantation. Half of the island still earns money from spice, and the plantation owner shows me his nutmeg crop. The fruit resembles an apricot; it has a fleshy case (stewed into sweet jam) and a shell which contains a marble-sized nut and a red waxy substance called mace. (Mace is used to flavour cigars and, in 2011, was revealed as one of the secret ingredients in Coca-Cola.) Today, the islanders are paid $8 for a kilo of nutmeg. Four hundred years ago, however, nutmeg cost the Bandanese dearly. At Fort Belgica, I peer down from battlements that once bristled with 50 cannons. Inside a bastion is a gloomy room with stone blocks set into the floor. Each block has a groove to accommodate a neck, and a trough to catch blood. In the 1600s, Governor Jan Pieterszoon Coen wanted to teach the Bandanese a lesson when he discovered they’d been trading nutmeg with the British. He brought in 13 ships with troops and mercenaries from Japan. The samurais were directed to dismember 44 native chiefs – an event that’s depicted in a grisly painting hung in a museum called the Rumah Budaya. It was the start of a genocide that would see the island population reduced to fewer than 1,000. To replace the island workforce, slaves were brought from all over Indonesia and from as far as China and India (their descendants adding to the melange that is Banda Neira). The cash crop was divided into 68 plantations and given to Dutch ‘managers’ – including common soldiers who grew rich enough to build the villas that can still be seen.

I only have two days on Banda Neira and it’s not nearly enough. I could have spent a day walking the island, visiting beaches and swimming over soft coral. I could have done the punishing climb up the beautiful volcano Mount Api to look over surrounding islands. I could have joined one of the local operators hosting keen divers from all over the world – a chance to look for schooling hammerhead sharks and dive a unique ‘lava tube’ at the foot of Mount Api. For that matter, I could have gone back and haggled with the merchant for the beautiful blue platter. But the stories I’ve collected on this obscure island are souvenir enough. And this next story is my most treasured. The Dutch governors of Banda Neira ruled from what’s now called the ‘Mini Palace’, a mansion of heavy timbers, lofty ceilings and wildly overgrown gardens. It’s here I learn about the 1667 Treaty of Breda, when the Dutch persuaded the British to give up the neighbouring island of Run, which also grew nutmeg. If the British relinquished all title to Run, they could keep a marshy island off the east coast of America called New Netherlands, including its garrison town, New Amsterdam. The Brits agreed, and maps were redrawn. The American island reverted to its native name of Manhattan. ‘New Amsterdam’ was renamed ‘New York’. I happen to love the smell of nutmeg. But I had no idea it was so powerful.

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Terms: *Save 10% per person on selected land-only trips where applicable. Not combinable with Costsaver, custom group or any other offers. Combinable with brochure discounts where applicable. Regular booking conditions apply and full payment must be applied before December 18, 2019. Subject to availability, may be withdrawn at any time. Other conditions apply. TICO #R50015870


THE UNCOMMON CARIBBEAN AT ITS BEST, WITH THE BEST WHY SEABOURN’S CARIBBEAN? Hidden gems await you among the islands of the Caribbean Sea, where you will always find an easy-going greeting and a warm welcome. These precious remnants of a world we call the Uncommon Caribbean are off the beaten track, but our intimate ships can take you there. Come along and let us share our favorite Caribbean secrets with you.

• HAND-SELECTED ITINERARIES include boutique ports, sheltered coves and hidden harbors where larger ships cannot go.

• CAVIAR IN THE SURF≈ beach party and barbecue in Carambola Beach, Mayreau, Marigot, Isla Catalina and Great Harbour—enjoy these beautiful beaches while our gracious crew wade through turquoise water to serve you chilled caviar and ice-cold Champagne. • MARINA DAY≈ with complimentary watersports in select ports from our unique retractable marina including water skiing, pedal boats and windsurfing.

• SHOPPING WITH THE CHEF♦ excursions in select ports, learn about regional markets and see how the freshest ingredients are selected, with an expert Seabourn chef as your guide.

• REGIONALLY INSPIRED CUISINE using local, seasonal produce and seafood.

• EPICUREAN DECK EVENT featuring locally sourced produce, cheeses and pâtés. • SPECIAL DECK EVENTS which include ‘Let’s Dance’ deck party, ‘Movies under the Stars’ and other events. • SEABOURN CONVERSATIONS WITH SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS, including historians and destination experts and more. • SHORE EXCURSIONS to UNESCO World Heritage sites with exclusive access and insights through our official partnership including Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park in St. Kitts, and La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in San Juan, Puerto Rico and more. • THE GALLEY MARKET LUNCH – Seabourn’s signature culinary event, a tour de force of temptation guaranteed to please any palate.

♦Shopping with the Chef excursions are subject to availability and market schedules. ≈Marina Days and Caviar in the Surf are weather and conditions permitting and are available in select destinations. Ships’ registry: Bahamas. ©2019 Seabourn

Worldly Delights


Fresh is always best – and while farm-to-table has become popular all over the world, there’s nothing fresher than farm-to-farm. At a few select spots, you can eyeball the food you’re going to eat while it’s still growing, maybe even help in the harvest before the chef cooks it up and puts it down on your plate. Here are four of the freshest farm restaurants under the sun.

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THE GARDEN TABLE (BELIZE) Lush and tropical, the farm here seems to stretch on forever, although only a small slice of their 12,000 acres is planted with (what feels like) every conceivable thing that will grow in the Central American soil. Located near the southern Belize town of Punta Gorda, fully 70 per cent of the produce and meat served in the restaurant here is cultivated and raised on site, and the rest is sourced from nearby farmers. You’re encouraged to take a tour and see where all the magic happens – there’s coffee, cacao, sugar cane, mango, papaya, passion fruit, cassava and much more, plus organically raised sheep and chicken. It’s all prepared using traditional Belizean recipes, which draw on a wide variety of culinary traditions, from Mayan to Creole to Indo-Caribbean. Tuck into a superfresh meal, finish with some chocolate from their own cacao plants, then visit the bar, where you can garnish your drink with coconut or lime grown in their Cocktail Garden. EUMELIA (GREECE) At this restaurant farm, the husband-and-wife owners (who once worked for the European Parliament and international NGOs and travelled the world before settling down in this pastoral corner of Greece on their ancestral land) will accompany you outside with a pair of clippers to snip your own oregano, basil, thyme, fennel and other green ingredients, maybe grabbing a few olives on the way back to the sunny terracotta restaurant. Then you can either take a cooking lesson, combining fruits (or, more properly, herbs) of your labour, or sit back and let them do the work. Either way, you should sip some wine – one of the owners is also a sommelier, and they grow their own grapes.

O’O FARM (HAWAII) Founded by a couple of surfers near the town of Kula in upcountry Maui, this small farm is set on mineral-rich volcanic soil, occupying a scenic spot at an elevation of more than 1,000 metres, with sweeping views to the island’s coasts. Drive up from the beaches, climbing a winding road into the clouds on the flanks of Haleakala, to take their three-hour “lunch tour.” It includes walking through forest, field and greenhouses, the latter growing tomatoes, lettuce, fruit trees, coffee, herbs and flowers, picking produce all along the way, then sitting down to watch their chef turn your harvest into a gourmet lunch. But if you can’t make it upcountry, you can still get a taste of O’o – the farm supplies Pacific’O, a high-end restaurant set right next to the sand under bending palm trees, down in Lahaina. MARY’S FARM (COSTA RICA) Covered in jungle and bordered by rugged beaches, this corner of Costa Rica, near Mal Pais, still feels a long way from anywhere. When Mary’s grandfather arrived, he came on horseback, working hard to clear the heavy brush and planting traditional crops including corn, beans, and rice. Now hotels and yoga retreats dot the nearby Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Maria, and his granddaughter has taken things a lot further, planting eggplant, peppers, spinach, zucchini, cucumber and other vegetables, gathering eggs from her own hens, raising pigs and chickens, and buying fresh seafood from local fishermen. It’s all served up at Mary’s Restaurant, right on site, where the menu changes daily, based on what’s freshest from field and sea.



Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 51 THE GARDEN TABLE FARM ©TIM JOHNSON

Worldly Delights

BERMUDA RUM SWIZZLES By Smita Chandra and Sanjeev Chandra

A perfect day at the beach includes this island favourite.



We had just spent a perfect morning on the pink sands of Bermuda’s Marley Beach doing absolutely nothing except gazing at the azure waters off the island’s South Shore. Lunch at The Swizzle Inn, a short walk from the beach, seemed like a great idea. There is never any question about what to drink here; it has to be a Rum Swizzle, which the restaurant claims to have invented in the early 1900s. This fruity combination of rum, orange and pineapple juice, flavoured with grenadine and bitters, and served over ice, is part of Bermuda lore, drunk by celebrities and extolled in novels. Rum is an essential part of the West Indian culture that Bermuda shares. For centuries, it was distilled from sugarcane molasses produced across the Caribbean. The liquor became a favourite of sailors in Bermuda and was shipped around the world. Rum was as valuable as gold and often a substitute for it, accepted as a form of payment.

52 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019

It’s not just for drinking; it is used in cooking as well. Rum cakes, rich, sweet and fruit-filled, are an island tradition. Another Bermuda institution – one that will scorch your taste buds – is Outerbridge’s fiery hot sauce made by steeping peppers in rum. This sauce is an important ingredient in Bermuda’s famous fish chowder. A traditional meal for fishermen, chowder was made by simmering the day’s catch in a cauldron along with chopped vegetables and finished with rum and peppers to give it an unforgettable bite. A trip to Bermuda is magical. Stroll along pristine beaches and watch the sun set over the crystal waters – even better with a Rum Swizzle in hand. At such a moment, it is easy to understand why Mark Twain once said, “You can go to heaven if you want. I’d rather stay in Bermuda.”


The annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival sets out to prove that Barbados is the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. ST. NICHOLAS ABBEY RUM TASTING

This gastronomic gala kicks off with a spectacular open-air fish fry at the historic Oistins fishing village. Mountains of lobster, snapper and mac-and-cheese are devoured while the happy throngs watch demonstrations of Bajan cooking and learn how to make classy rum cocktails. The energetic pounding of a drum band follows, raising the noise level while feather-plumed dancers gyrate to the hot “wuk up” beat.



The Signature Rum Event is where Barbados’ top chefs and mixologists strive to outdo each other with the most exotic, often bizarre but always tasty, hors d’oeuvres paired with superb cocktails featuring, what else, rum. After all, this sugarcane-based spirit was invented in Barbados. Expect typical treats like Pickled Flying Fish Roulade paired with a Bitter-Sweet Passion (mango, passion fruit, coconut, rum and more). Although the spotlight is on local talent, this year, Tom Aikens, one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs, will give demonstrations of his creative interpretation of modern French cuisine. On another evening, The Safari Dine Around features a wide selection of restaurants with top local chefs. One of the best experiences last year was a paired gourmet feast at Cocktail Kitchen prepared by Damian Leach, voted 2018 Barbados Chef of the Year. The five courses were accompanied by specially crafted cocktails – all featuring rum. Beginning with a delicate Lionfish ceviche paired with a Mango Passion, it was culinary and cocktail heaven. Taste the Spirits of Polo is the final-day event. While horses and riders careen around the field, merry spectators sip glamorous cocktails and devour scrumptious appetizers. Keeping track of the score isn’t easy when you’re tempted by the likes of Teapot Tinis and Devon’s Mojitos. The Festival is a fun-filled peek into Barbados through your taste buds. Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 53

Cruise Vacations

BIG Going

on the Danube By Barbara Ramsay Orr


Sailing down the Danube on the new, double-wide AmaMagna marries the intimacy of river cruising with the space and variety of ocean sailing. It’s 6 a.m. and there is no one on the top deck but me, and Captain Jan, on the bridge. Birds are singing on the riverbank, and there are other boats steaming by, but except for the gentle lap of water, it is quiet. The sun has just begun to take the morning chill off the air. I have a double espresso and a fresh pastry in hand, and in about 40 minutes the AmaMagna will sail under the first of seven bridges and into the centre of Budapest. I would label this a good start to the day. Sailing on the new AmaMagna is a pleasure, and one of its best qualities is the space – a wide open deck, fat sofas and lots of room. Even when the rest of the guests have come topside to watch the sail-up to the ‘Paris of the East’, there is no crowding. This boat has space to spare.

54 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019


The newest riverboat in the 23 strong AmaWaterways fleet, and by length the largest riverboat sailing the European rivers, AmaMagna is double the width of standard boats on the rivers.


She’s big and she is sometimes a tight fit. This is made clear during a yoga class on the top deck one morning. As we sink into child’s pose, wellness instructor Tiago advises us to hold that position and keep our heads well down – as we skim under a bridge that passes a few feet above our heads. Later, we moved through a lock with mere inches to spare. The ship began sailing in May along the Danube, the only river with locks large enough for her to pass through. The ship’s passenger capacity has only been increased by 20 per cent so the extra room is taken up by large public spaces, generous cabins, wide corridors and more amenities.


For guests accustomed to ocean cruising, AmaMagna is a good choice. Not only is the ship more spacious, it has a spa, theatre, five bars, a pool and jacuzzi. Unlike most other river boats, there are three dining options in addition to the main dining room. In The Chef’s Table Restaurant, Chef Adrian Chirita prepares a seven-course tasting menu, while Jimmy’s Wine Bar serves dishes on sharing platters at long communal tables. With free-flowing wine and new friends, it is a cheery place to dine. The Al Fresco Restaurant is open and light, with retractable windows and a casual tapas menu. Cabins are generous with a full balcony, marble clad walk-in shower, double sinks, large screen TV’s and a big screen Apple computer. The ship is fully accessible, with a pop-up elevator that will take guests to the upper deck. The walking tour of Passau, Germany, is an example of how the company offers port experiences for everyone. There is a three-hour walking tour of the historic heart of the old town, but there is also a ‘gentle walk’ group. The Passau Castle hill hike, as well as a bike tour along the river, is for the energetic. In Vienna the same level of tours are offered in the morning, along with hiking and biking, but in the afternoon the ship runs a regular shuttle to the centre of the city for independent exploration. On the last night I sit on the balcony with a view of Budapest’s Szechenyi Chain Bridge, watching the boat traffic, and decide I like this big lady of the river.


One Journey on Two Rivers With award-winning AmaWaterways, set sail aboard the new AmaSiena, discovering the storybook atmosphere of Germany’s top-rated destinations on an unforgettable Treasures of the Main & Rhine river cruise. Würzburg, with its UNESCO-designated Residenz Palace, Bamberg with its famous smoked beer and Cologne’s awe-inspiring cathedral are among the treasures you’ll experience on the Main and Rhine rivers.

Cruises start at C$4,744* per person, balconies start at C$5,597 per person, which includes: • Fine dining with all meals included in multiple venues

• A selection of fine wine and beer with lunch and dinner and complimentary Sip & Sail cocktail hour

• Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board

• Small group guided excursions with a variety of choices in every port—and so much more!

*Please ask your Travel Advisor for complete terms & conditions.

get more vacation from your vacation with Princess ® MedallionClass TM

7-day eastern caribbean Roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale

Sky PrincessSM | Mar 21, 2020 Mini-suite fares*


2,045 CAD


*Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of $171 are included.

11-night denali explorer cruisetour Vancouver, B.C. to Fairbanks

Royal Princess ® | May 30, 2020 Mini-suite fares*

4,647 CAD


*Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of $293 are included.

Receive up to $50 USD to spend on board^ (per stateroom) and up to $100 USD in Cruisetour Cash† (per person). Plus, enjoy Princess’ 3 for Free Sale perks when you book by October 31, 2019! *Fares apply to minimum lead-in mini-suite category on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other categories or sail dates may vary. Fares quoted in Canadian dollars. ^Up to $50 Onboard Spending Money per stateroom. Offer is applicable to first/second-berth guests only. Third/fourth-berth guests are not eligible. Onboard spending money may be used on a single voyage only, is not redeemable for cash, cannot be used in the casino and expires at the end of that voyage. Offer is not transferable and may not be combinable with other select offers or other onboard credits. Onboard spending money is quoted in U.S. dollars and is based on the ship’s onboard currency. Void where prohibited by law. †Cruisetour Cash may be used on a single cruisetour only, is not redeemable for cash, cannot be used onboard the ship and expires at the end of the land portion of the cruisetour. Offer is non-transferable and non-refundable. Cruisetour cash is quoted in U.S. dollars. It cannot be used pre-travel and must be used during the land portion of your cruisetour. Promotional certificate has no cash value. The bearer is responsible for any expenses incurred greater than the cruisetour amount included, inclusive of gratuity if used toward a meal or beverage purchase. The voucher may be used at the gift shops, restaurants and guest service desks at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and McKinley Chalet Resort. In addition it may be used onboard the train between Whittier/Denali, Whittier/ Talkeetna, Talkeetna/Whittier, Denali/Whittier, Denali/Talkeetna, Talkeetna/Denali, Talkeetna/Anchorage and Anchorage/Talkeetna. ©2019, Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.

Cruise Vacations


Get ready to set

Whether you’re looking to set sail on a luxe riverboat in Europe or join an expedition vessel in Alaska, our highly trained cruise specialists can help. We offer unique precruise and post-cruise packages, along with ‘On Location Experts’ that enable us to customize shore excursions to enhance your experience. When you book with our specialists, you’ll also enjoy special features, extra amenities and exclusive offers. When it comes to our exclusive collection of ‘Hosted Cruises’, you can expect personalized care and exciting land excursions, as well as complimentary amenities and superb added value features.


Regardless of your cruise style or budget, we can help find the cruise that’s perfect for you.


Ensemble® Hosted Cruises (EHC) are an exclusive collection of personalized cruises that will satisfy the most discerning cruiser. Choose from any destination, any cruise style and any price range and you will be sure to find a Hosted Cruise to meet your needs.





ENSEMBLE HOSTED CRUISE EXPERIENCE • Featuring a complimentary Ensemble® shore excursion • Peace of mind knowing your Ensemble® Host is on the voyage with you • A private welcome cocktail party Your Ensemble Travel® Group agency has the knowledge and expertise in finding the right cruise that is right for you! Contact our travel agency now for more information on the entire collection of Ensemble® Hosted Cruises.

Cruise Vacations

To experience the real Alaska, come to where the mountains are taller, the rivers mightier and the wildlife more plentiful than any place else on earth. 7-night ALASKAN INSIDE PASSAGE Ship: Date:

Koningsdam May 23, 2020

$2,479 CAD per person

OCEAN VIEW CATEGORY E (price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)




• • •

Complimentary Ensemble Traveller Cocktail Party Ensemble Traveller Host Complimentary Ensemble Experience Shore Event in Skagway, Alaska

*See terms & conditions for more details.







Holland America Line turns heads with its sister act, the Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam. By Diane Tierney When Holland America Line launched its Nieuw Statendam with the Rolling Stone Rock Room (a bar featuring super-cool rock-and-roll musicians) passengers not only came early and packed the place, late-comers stood in the aisles and stayed until midnight too. The Rolling Stone Rock Room has injected such a strong dose of youthful energy into the ship’s vibe that the Music Walk entertainment hub, including B.B. King’s Blues Club and Lincoln Center Stage, now rocks on until the wee hours. Music, art and dining are hallmarks of the

cruise line and the Nieuw Statendam and nearly identical sister Koningsdam have been turning heads since they sailed. While their exteriors are as traditional as ever with dark blue hulls and boxy booties, the moment you step on board there’s an undeniable atmosphere of ‘50 is the new 40.’ Even the artwork has a sense of humour. Passengers line up to take selfies while standing next to the clear plastic statue of Michelangelo’s David who’s holding a cellphone. Another selfie hit is the giant ‘melting’ electric guitar. Passengers rent

headsets and take self-guided tours of the $4-million collection to find out the stories behind each piece. Adding to the cruise ship charisma, these sisters can cook. Holland America Line cares about cuisine and must-taste venues are Rudi’s Sel de Mer with its quirky dishware, Tamarind, Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto, Nami Sushi and the new Club Orange. Nieuw Statendam’s godmother is Oprah Winfrey – a high-energy choice who’s known for touting ‘travel that transforms.’ In fact, the cruise line has not only also transformed passengers with shore excursions that dig deep into a destination, it has transformed its own image with a fresh and fun approach without sacrificing elegance, class or quality. Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 61

Cruise Vacations

An entirely new cruise experience. 7-night EXOTIC EXPLORER Ship: Dates: Itinerary:

Marella Discovery 2 January 21 | March 3 & 14, 2020 Flavours of the Caribbean | Exotic Explorer Halifax and Toronto departures

$1,895 CAD per person



(price based on double occupancy and includes taxes & fees)

SPECIAL OFFER All-inclusive beverage package and daily gratuities included.


Cozumel Mexico

George Town Cayman Islands

Montego Bay Jamaica

*See terms & conditions for more details.

Uncommon Caribbean hidden gems await you. 12-day GEMS OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS Ship: Dates:

Seabourn Sojourn November 16, 2019

$4,884 CAD per person OCEAN VIEW

(price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)




• Complimentary Ensemble Traveller Cocktail Party • Ensemble Traveller Host • Complimentary Ensemble Experience Shore Event in Antigua

*See terms & conditions for more details.

Flavours of the Caribbean

Experience the Caribbean in luxury onboard Riviera. 14-night SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN GEMS Ship: Date:

Riviera February 26, 2020

$5,359 CAD per person Including Free Internet

VERANDA (price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)

EXCLUSIVE OFFER • Pre-paid gratuities • 10% Canadian Resident Special Savings (Already reflected in rate)

SPECIAL OFFER OLife Choice including Roundtrip Airfare:


• 8 Free Shore Excursions • Free Beverage Package or • $800 Shipboard Credit

$6,359 CAD per person VERANDA

*See terms & conditions for more details.

Join us for what will be An Unrivaled Experience™. 11-night SUN KISSED SPRING Ship: Date:

Seven Seas Navigator® May 11, 2020

$5,299 CAD per person

H-DELUXE WINDOW SUITE (price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)

EXCLUSIVE OFFER Receive up to $100USD Shipboard Credit

SPECIAL OFFER Book by September 30, 2019 and receive special Canadian Dollars at par pricing.

*See terms & conditions for more details.

Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 63

Cruise Vacations

Widen your view of Mexico cruising. 7-night MEXICAN RIVIERA Ship: Carnival Panorama™ Date: December 14, 2019 Itinerary: Cabo San Lucas • Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta

$749 CAD per person 4A INTERIOR

(price based on double occupancy plus $209.02CAD port taxes & fees)

ENSEMBLE SPECIAL OFFER SPECIAL OFFER Book by November 30, 2019 and receive up to $50USD Shipboard credit per stateroom.

*See terms & conditions for more details.

A bold Big Apple debut - the amplified Oasis of the Seas. 7-NIGHT BAHAMAS & PERFECT DAY Ship: Oasis of the Seas® Date: June 14, 2020 Itinerary: • New Orleans, Louisiana • Cruising • Key West, Florida • Nassau, Bahamas • Perfect Day at Cococay, Bahamas • Cruising • New Orleans, Louisiana

$1,599 CAD per person BALCONY

(price based on double occupancy plus $209CAD port taxes & fees)

EXCLUSIVE OFFER Book by November 30, 2019 and receive up to $100USD Shipboard credit *See terms & conditions for more details.

Explore the Caribbean in modern luxury. 7-night SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN Ship: Date:

Celebrity Summit March 7, 2020

$1,529 USD per person AQUA CLASS


(price based on double occupancy plus $81.46USD port taxes & fees)

EXCLUSIVE OFFER Book by December 31, 2019 and receive $100USD Shore Excursion credit per stateroom when you book Aqua Class or Concierge Class *See terms & conditions for more details.

Feel Free with the Caribbean’s leading cruise line. 7-night EASTERN CARIBBEAN Ship: Dates:

Norwegian Encore February 9, March 8 & 22, 2020

$1,399 USD per person

BALCONY CATEGORY BF (price based on double occupancy plus $173.77USD port taxes & fees)

SPECIAL OFFER Free at Sea Amenities: • Unlimited Open Bar • Shore Excursions • Specialty Dining • Wi-Fi • Friends & Family Sail Free on select sailings

Plus FREE OR REDUCE AIRFARE on select sailings *See terms & conditions for more details.

San Juan

St. Thomas St. Kitts & Nevis Antigua

Caribbean Sea

St. Lucia Barbados

Cruise Vacations

Fall in Love with

Hawaii’s Islands Hawaii’s dramatic scenery is so mesmerizing that it’s no surprise it’s a scene-stealing location for movies such as Jurassic Park, Jumanji, King Kong and Raiders of the Lost Ark. You almost expect a gigantic gorilla or T-Rex to poke its head out of the mysterious jungle. There’s little else Mother Nature could have done to make Hawaii any more vivacious: green velvet mountains, deep lush valleys, jagged cliffs, plunging waterfalls, black sand beaches and volcanoes that spew fire. Kauai’s Na Pali coast alone is worth going, as it usually tops the lists of ‘most beautiful coastlines in the world’ for its rugged good looks. One of the best ways to see these emerald jewels is on a cruise because a ship makes island-hopping so easy. While you sleep to the gentle sway of the ocean, your captain and crew carry you to each magnificent port. Every morning, you’ll wake up to a kaleidoscope of beauty while enjoying breakfast on your balcony. 66 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019


Take a cruise around Hawaii and you’ll find that island-hopping offers a unique vantage point for visiting this paradise. By Diane Tierney

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America is the only cruise ship that’s based in Hawaii year-round and has won more than a dozen awards for best itineraries. It sails seven-night voyages from Honolulu, Oahu, and visits four islands – Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai and Maui. What’s unique is that it stops in two places on Hawaii (Hilo and Kona), plus there are two overnight stays (Kauai and Maui). This makes for nearly 100 hours of port time. The Pride of America is the only U.S.flagged cruise ship in the region, so it maintains a strong foothold. The 2,186-passenger Pride of America was built in 2005 and underwent a $50-million renovation in 2016 that completely transformed it. Every public space was updated and some areas, such as the reception, convey strong patriotic flair. The atrium features proud white pillars, a staircase of white colonial spindles, and an enormous image of the U.S. Great Seal featuring a bald eagle on the floor. The ship’s pool deck was completely renovated and features modern style. A conservatory with soaring glass walls is nearby to escape the hot sun. Updates were also made to the 15 restaurants, and 12 bars and lounges. The ship’s specialty restaurants, East Meets West, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Jefferson’s Bistro also received elegant refurbishments. Many venues offer authentic Hawaiian cuisine. Song and dance shows are the mainstay of the ship’s entertainment, along with comedians and musicians. In some ports, Polynesian entertainers come onboard to showcase their unique culture. There’s no casino onboard and the shops are open even in port. Pride of America crew are Americans unlike most of the crew of Norwegian’s other ships. The service is attentive and since their name tags list their home state, it’s easy to find common ground for friendly chats. To savour the natural beauty and Polynesian culture, book shore excursions. Some of the most popular tours are seeing the lava fields of Mauna Loa; helicopter flights to Kilauea volcano and Waimea Canyon; waterfall rappelling; zip lining; parasailing; horseback riding and bicycle tours. A top attraction, Volcanoes National Park, has reopened since Kilauea’s eruption in May 2018 and several more black sand beaches have also been created as a result. Also consider popular pre- or post-cruise stays on Oahu to see Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor and much more. It’s easy to fall for Hawaii and you’ll quickly understand why about two-thirds of annual tourists to the region are repeat visitors.




Vacations® • Fall 2019 • 67

Cruise Vacations

All-inclusive luxury voyage featuring overnight stays in Barcelona and Monte Carlo. 12-night MEDITERRANEAN IMPRESSIONS Ship: Date:

Crystal Serenity April 21, 2020

$3,599 USD per person



(price based on double occupancy plus $540USD port taxes & fees)

MONTE CARLO Porto Venere




• • •

Complimentary Ensemble Traveller Cocktail Party Ensemble Traveller Host Complimentary Ensemble Experience Shore Event in Valencia, Spain


Cannes Toulon


Barcelona Valencia

*See terms & conditions for more details.


Mediterranean Sea

Palma de Mallorca

Explore castles & cathedrals. 8-day RHINE GETAWAY Ship: Date:

State-of-the-art Viking Longships October 20, 2020

$3,349 CAD per person Departure dates available throughout 2020 (price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)

SPECIAL OFFER • One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary) • Visits to UNESCO Sites • Enrichment lectures & destination performances • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water • Port taxes & fees • Ground transfers with Viking Air purchase *See terms & conditions for more details.


North Sea Amsterdam




Kinderdijk Bruges

Cologne Rüdesheim



Koblenz Speyer Strasbourg RHINE



Breisach Basel SWITZERLAND


ITALY Lake Como



Symphony of the Seas


April 4, 2020

$1,377 CAD per person INSIDE 6V

(price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)


Symphony of the Seas


April 25, 2020

$1,188 CAD per person INSIDE 6V

(price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)

Itinerary: • Miami, Florida • Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis • Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas • Perfect Day Cococay, Bahamas • Miami, Florida Itinerary: • Miami, Florida • Roatan, Honduras • Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico • Cozumel • Perfect Day Cococay, Bahamas • Miami, Florida

SPECIAL OFFER Receive a $50USD Shipboard Credit per stateroom *See terms & conditions for more details.

Let us take you closer to the authentic beauty of the Caribbean. 10-day CARIBBEAN & CENTRAL AMERICA CRUISE Ship: Date:

Silver Wind March 6, 2020

$5,300 CAD per person VISTA SUITE

(price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)

SPECIAL OFFER Book by November 30, 2019 and receive FREE ECONOMY AIR CLASS, FREE SHORE EXCURSION and up to $250USD Shipboard Credit per person.

Fort Lauderdale

San Juan

*See terms & conditions for more details.

Jost Van Dyke

St. John's Gustavia, St Barthelemy Little Bay, Montserrat

Cruise Vacations

Revel in seven days of surf, sand and sunsets. 7-day WINDWARD ISLANDS SURF & SUNSETS Ship: Dates:

Star Legend or Star Pride December 7, 2019; January 4, February 1 & March 21, 2020

$1,599 USD per person (price based on double occupancy plus $199USD port taxes & fees)

San Juan

St. Maarten (Philipsburg)


Atlantic Ocean

SPECIAL OFFER Book by January 31, 2020 and receive up to $200USD Shipboard credit

Guadeloupe (Les Saintes)

Caribbean Sea

St. Lucia

(Pigeon Island)

*See terms & conditions for more details.

The perfect introduction—or reintroduction—to the picture-perfect charms of the South Pacific, this 7-night sojourn whisks you away to destinations that played muse for author James A. Michener, painter Paul Gauguin, and many more. Where will you find your inspiration? Vanilla-scented Taha’a? Rugged Moorea? Or perhaps even just watching the Technicolor sunset from your balcony onboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. 7-night TAHITI & THE SOCIETY ISLANDS CRUISE Ship: Date:

m/s Paul Gauguin January 11, 2020

$4,575 USD per person Category F

Price includes airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco (price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)

SPECIAL OFFER FREE 3rd person in Stateroom *See terms & conditions for more details.


(St. George’s)


An incredible vacation surrounded by breathtaking islands with white sand beaches and turquoise waters. 7-night WESTERN CARIBBEAN Ship:

MSC Meraviglia

INTERIOR CATEGORY I2 Vancouver departures Date: February 9, 2020

$1,249 CAD per person (price based on double occupancy plus $598CAD taxes and fees)

Montreal departures Date: February 2, 2020

$1,699 CAD per person (price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)

Toronto departures Date: March 1, 2020

$1,699 CAD per person (price based on double occupancy and includes port taxes & fees)

SPECIAL OFFER Unlimited Drinks - Easy Package - take advantage in all onboard bars, as well as the self-service buffet and restaurants, excluding specialty restaurants. *See terms & conditions for more details.

Manulife Premium Protection Plan


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*Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. See policy for details. Underwritten by

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife) and First North American Insurance Company. Manulife, Manulife & Stylized M Design, and Stylized M Design and Manulife Premium Protection Plan are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license. © 2019 The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Manulife, P.O. Box 670, Stn Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2J 4B8. 190005 (07/2019)



Prices displayed are in Canadian or US dollars. They include all government taxes (except HST/GST), fees and port charges if applicable unless otherwise stated. Additional fuel surcharges may apply. Additional agency fee may apply – please ask our Travel Agency for details. Prices stated are per person based on double occupancy and do not include airfare or transfers unless otherwise specified. In cruise bookings, where airfares are included, pre and post accommodations necessary due to flight schedules are at the passenger’s expense. Other conditions may apply and may vary depending on the cruise line or tour operator. We are not responsible for errors or omissions. The Ensemble Travel® Group makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein and to the best of its knowledge, all information is accurate at time of printing. HOLLAND AMERICA LINE: Fares are based on Promo LG. Featured fares are per person based on double occupancy, cruise or Land+Sea Journeys only. Fares are in Canadian dollars. All savings amounts are included in the fares shown. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are included at CAD 267. Subject to availability. For more information about our stateroom categories and suite descriptions, and to view deck plans and for full terms and conditions applicable to your cruise, please refer to hollandamerica.com or the appropriate Holland America Line brochure. Offers have limited space and may be modified or withdrawn without prior notice. Other restrictions may apply. Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands. SUNWING VACATIONS: Offer is not combinable with any other promotion including group travel, is subject to change without notice and may be withdrawn at any time. Above prices above are per person based on double occupancy for 7 nights, include taxes and transportation fees and are subject to availability. Cabins are limited and capacity controlled. Prices are subject to change without notice. Flights are with Sunwing Airlines, Travel Service, Eastern airlines or TUI Airways. Marella Discovery 2 ship’s registry: The Bahamas. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our current brochure. 27 Fasken Drive, Toronto, Ontario. M9W 1K6 Ont Reg #2476582 | #4276176, British Columbia License #39606 | 09012019 SEABOURN: All fares are in Canadian dollars, cruise-only, for new bookings only, per guest, double occupancy, and subject to availability. Some suite categories may not be available. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of $409CAD per person are additional. Fares are not combinable with any other offer, may vary by sailing date, are capacity controlled, and are subject to change without prior notice. All savings amounts are included in fares shown. Certain restrictions may apply. Information herein is accurate at time of printing. Seabourn reserves the right to correct errors. Ships’ registry: Bahamas. ©2019 Seabourn. OCEANIA CRUISES: Offers and fares are subject to change on October 1, 2019. All fares are per person in Canadian dollars, valid for residents of Canada, based on double occupancy (unless otherwise noted), for new bookings only and may be withdrawn at any time. Free Internet amenity does not include streaming and includes one login per stateroom, except Owner’s, Vista & Oceania Suites, which receive two logins per suite. 10% Canadian Resident Savings promotion is capacity controlled, available for Veranda staterooms and above, and proof of Canada residency required at time of booking. OLife Choice amenities are in U.S. dollars, per stateroom, based on double occupancy and subject to change. OLife Choice free shore excursions vary by voyage and exclude Oceania Select, Oceania Exclusive, Executive Collection, Food & Wine Trails, Wellness and Culinary Discovery Tours. Voyages up to 9 days receive 4 free shore excursions; 10-13 days receive 6 free shore excursions; 14+ days receive 8 free shore excursions. If shore excursion amenity is selected, all excursions must be chosen at least 14 days prior to sailing. OLife Choice beverage package amenity is House Select. Guests in the same stateroom must choose the same OLife Choice amenity, and amenity must be chosen by final payment. Exclusive Amenities are subject to additional terms, contact your Travel Advisor for details. Not all promotions are combinable. 2 for 1, OLife Choice and Cruise-Only Fares are based on published Full Brochure Fares; such fares may not have resulted in actual sales in all suite and stateroom categories and do not include Optional charges as detailed in the Guest Ticket Contract, which may be viewed, along with additional terms, at OceaniaCruises.com. Cruise-Only Fares do not include OLife Choice amenities or airfare. All Fares include government fees & taxes. “Airfare” does not include ground transfers, and offer applies to coach, roundtrip flights only from the following airports: ATL, BOS, CLT, DCA, DEN, DFW, DTW, EWR, IAH, IAD, JFK, LAX, LGA, MCO, MDW, MIA, ORD, PHL, PHX, SAN, SAV, SEA, SFO, TPA, YOW, YUL, YVR, YYZ. Oceania Cruises reserves the right to assign gateways based on availability for JFK, LGA and MIA. Gateways are subject to change at any time. Airfare is available from all other U.S. and Canadian gateways for an additional charge. “Airfare” includes all airline fees, surcharges and government taxes. Airlineimposed personal charges such as baggage fees may apply. Oceania Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees, promotions and surcharges at any time. Ships’ Registry: Marshall Islands. REGENT SEVEN SEAS: All fares are per person in Canadian dollars, valid for residents of Canada, based on double occupancy, for new bookings only and may be increased or withdrawn at any time. Not all promotions are combinable. 2-for-1 Fares are based on published Full Brochure Fares; such fares may not have resulted in actual sales in all suite categories and do not include optional charges as detailed in the Guest Ticket Contract. Fares include additional Bonus Savings. FREE Roundtrip Business Class Air includes ground transfers and applies to intercontinental flights only from the following airports: YUL, YVR, YYZ. Airfare is available from all other U.S. and Canadian gateways for an additional charge. All airline fees, surcharges and government taxes are included; however airline-imposed personal charges such as baggage fees may apply. Custom Air arrangements may be made 270 days prior to sailing (custom air fees apply). FREE Business Class Air applies to intercontinental flights only and FREE Air applies to domestic flights only. CANADA AT PAR PROMOTION: Canadian dollars at par applies to new bookings on Penthouse and below categories on select voyages only made between July 1 through September 30, 2019 and is available to Canadian residents only. Cancels and rebooks will not be permitted and bookings will be vetted for eligibility. Offer is combinable with most standard offers, groups and national account amenities. Certain restrictions may apply. Ships’ Registry: Marshall Islands. ©2019 Regent Seven Seas Cruises® CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE: Cruise rates are per person and based on double occupancy. Onboard credit offer is non-transferable. Onboard Credit is provided as a non-refundable credit to your Sail & Sign account of up to a maximum of $12.50USD per person up to $25USD per stateroom for 2-5 day sailings. Onboard Credit is provided as a non-refundable credit to your Sail & Sign account of up to a maximum of $25USD per person up to $50USD per stateroom for 6+ day sailings. Onboard Credit may not be applied to cruise fare or Taxes/Fees/Port Expenses. Offer is capacity controlled, category restrictions and exclusions apply. Guest selects stateroom number. At least one person in the stateroom must be a resident of an eligible Canadian Province to book this rate. Proof of residency required at the time of embarkation. Changes made to the reservation may result in the assessment of cancellation penalties or service fees. ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Price is per person, in Canadian Dollars, cruise only, applies to select sailings, based on double-occupancy. Shipboard Credit offer is valid for new, named group bookings made in Ensemble Headquarter Groups. Individual reservations may be transferred into an existing group, assuming required criteria are met. Offer includes up to $50 USD SBC per stateroom. Bookings will be eligible for an additional $50 SBC when group space is named and deposited 6 months prior to sailing. SBC is in USD, has no cash value, is non-transferable, not redeemable for cash, and will expire if not used by 10:00 PM on the last evening of the cruise. SBC will be applied automatically to all eligible reservations. Prices and offers are subject to availability and change without notice, capacity controlled, and may be withdrawn at any time. Refer to your travel advisor for complete terms. ©2019 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: Bahamas. CELEBRITY CRUISES: EnsembleExtra: Offer applies to 4-night and longer itineraries that depart January 1st, 2019 through December 31st, 2020. Bookings must be made between November 10th, 2018 and December 31, 2019. Offer excludes Galapagos and Future cruise bookings. Bookings should be made through Espresso and/or normal reservations methods but must select/request the ENSEMBLEXTRA. $100USD per stateroom Shore Excursion credit will be applied in the form of an onboard credit. Offer is $100USD Onboard credit “OBC” per stateroom for Concierge, and Aqua class cabins. Offers are applicable to new individual bookings and to staterooms in non-contracted group bookings, which must be named and deposited. Guests’ stateroom folios will be credited with an OBC. OBC has no cash value, is applicable to cruise only, non-transferable, not redeemable for cash, and will expire if not used by 10:00 PM on the final night of the cruise. Offer excludes interior, oceanview, standard veranda and suite staterooms. Offer is combinable with Sail Your Way. Single occupancy bookings are eligible for the Offer. Refer to Cruise Ticket Contract for additional terms and conditions. Celebrity reserves the right to cancel the Offer at any time, correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, and change or update fares, fees and surcharges at any time without prior notice. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE: Valid on 3+ night sailings. Free at Sea choice(s) must be selected at least 24 hours prior to sailing and cannot be changed on board. Haven, Suite & Concierge bookings receive 5 offers; Oceanview, Balcony & Mini-Suites choose 2; Studio & Insides choose 1. Gratuities, Beverage and Specialty Service Charges may apply. Significant details and limitations apply to Free at Sea offers: Free Unlimited Open Bar, Free Specialty Dining Package, Free WiFi, Free Shore Excursions, Friends & Family

Sail Free (on select sailings). 20% gratuities apply to Free Unlimited Open Bar and Specialty Dining. Bookings made within 24 hours of departure must select choice(s) at the time of booking. Pricing is per person based on double occupancy and is subject to change. Not applicable to categories IX, OX, BX or MX. Offer is capacity controlled and can be withdrawn at any time. Singles paying 200% of voyage fare qualify. Anything consumed above the promotional benefit will be the responsibility of the guest at prevailing rates. Guest cannot substitute or customize this offer. All guests in stateroom must choose same offer. Government taxes, port expenses & fees, discretionary onboard service charges and/or gratuities are additional. Cancellation Fees also apply based on the booking/sailing date; therefore, Norwegian Cruise Line strongly recommends the purchase of travel protection on all bookings. This is a cruise only offer. This promotion is not applicable on the land portion of Cruisetours or bundles. No components included in this offer have any monetary value, are non-refundable and non-transferable. Offer and combinability with other promotional offers is subject to change at any time per Norwegian Cruise Line’s discretion. Other restrictions may apply. Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to cancel or withdraw this offer at any time. For full terms and conditions please contact your travel professional. © 2019 NCL Corporation Ltd. Ships’ Registry: Bahamas and USA. CRYSTAL CRUISES: All fares are cruise only, in U.S. dollars and do not include taxes, fees, and port charges of $540USD per person. Brochure Fares and Book Now Fares are per person based on double occupancy. Your Low Solo Fares (when shown) are per person based on single occupancy. Book Now Savings are subject to availability at time of booking. Book Now Fares and Low Solo Fares include Crystal Savings and do not include Crystal Society or Early Full Payment savings. Early Full Payment saving is based on the fare after all other discounts are applied. Optional Personal Select Air Program is available to purchase for full-fare, full-cruise guests whose travel originates from a U.S. or Canadian airport and includes all government taxes and fees. Note: Early Full Payment savings do not apply to Personal select Air. All offers may not be combinable with other promotions, apply to full-fare guests in stateroom or suite, are capacity controlled, subject to availability and maybe withdrawn or changed at any time without notice. For complete Cruise Fare and Promotional Information and General Ticket Terms and Conditions, contact your travel advisor. Crystal Cruises, LLC reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and change any and all fares, fees, promotions and programs at any time without notice. VIKING: All prices are in Canadian dollars, for Canadian residents only and are based on double occupancy. Special cruise fares and international air discounts are considered a single offer. International air does not have to be purchased to get cruise offer. Air offers valid on all published Canadian gateways. Prices are based on lowest at time of print and subject to change without notice. Must request offer at time of booking. Pay in full by current cruise and air promotions’ expiration date. Valid on new bookings only as of September 1, 2019, subject to availability and may not be combinable with any other offers except Past Guest Travel Credit and Referral Rewards Credit. Viking reserves the right to correct errors and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. Additional terms and conditions may apply; see Passenger Ticket Contract. Offer expires 11/30/19. CST#2052644-40 ENCORE CRUISES: Must call in to book and request for Encore $50USD Shipboard Credit. The prices are per person, cruise only, based on double occupancy in Canadian dollars, include taxes and were available at time of print, July 15, 2019. They are applicable to new individual reservations only, made at least 180 days prior to departure. The categories indicated above are subject to availability. 1. Onboard credit is per stateroom in USD, has no cash value, is not redeemable for cash, not transferable and will expire if not used by 10:00 pm on the last evening of the cruise. Offer is subject to availability; capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Other restrictions may apply. All references to Royal Caribbean International are: ©2019 Royal Caribbean International. All rights reserved. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas. For full terms and conditions, see www.travelbrandsagent.com or contact us. Red Label Vacations Inc- d.b.a. © 2019 Encore Cruises, B.C. Reg. # 3597. Ont. Reg. # 50012702 Quebec permit holder # 703 376 – 325-1257 Guy street, Montreal, Qc H3H 2K5 SILVERSEA: Free Shore Excursion Promo: More excursions are available for purchase; standard cancellation penalties apply. Capacity is limited on all shore excursions including free shore excursions and guests’ first choice may or may not be available. Silversea reserves the right to cancel any excursions including free shore excursions. No credit or other compensation will be given if free shore excursions are unavailable, cancelled or not utilized. All shore excursions including those offered on a complimentary basis are operated by independent operators over whom Silversea has no control. All advertised fares, savings, offers, programs and itineraries are correct at time of printing, are subject to availability and may change at any time. Other restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions visit silversea.com Caribbean Air Promotion: All Package Fares are available in Canadian dollars, per guest, based on double-occupancy in a Vista suite and include Free Roundtrip Economy Class flights. Fares are capacity controlled and subject to change at any time without notice. Promotional Free Economy Class is offered from select U.S. and Canadian gateways. Promotional air offer is only applicable to specified voyages. Silversea reserves the right to select the air carrier, routing and departure airport from each gateway city. Airline baggage fees are not included. This will be available for booking at an additional charge. Deviations to air travel dates are accepted at a charge of CAD $200 per request plus all additional air costs. In the event Economy Class air is not available (determined at Silversea’s sole discretion) or for guests not utilizing the promotional air offer or for non-US/Canadian guests, a non-use Air credit in the amount of CAD $650 per person may be applied. Offer applies to new bookings made between August 1-November 30, 2019. Other restrictions may apply. Ships’ registry: Bahamas. WINDSTAR CRUISES: All fares mentioned are per person, in U.S dollars; cruise only, based on double occupancy in lowest category, and include non-discountable amounts. Suggested onboard gratuities are extra. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional. Unless otherwise specified, Windstar is offering on select cruises a shipboard credit (SBC) in the amount of $100USD per person, subject to a maximum of $200USD per stateroom or suite. Single fares will earn a $100USD SBC. Consult your Windstar representative for promotional offer or discount combinability. Bookings are non-transferable; no name changes can be made nor can this offer be applied retroactively. Cancellation fees may apply, please see website for details. Certain restrictions apply. Fuel surcharges may be imposed or increased over time. Information contained herein is accurate at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. All terms and conditions stated on the Windstar website apply. Cruise is provided subject to the terms and conditions of the Passage Contract. Offer expires on January 31, 2020. Ships’ registry: Bahamas. PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES: Offer is valid for residents of Canada only. All rates are in U.S. dollars, per person, and based on double occupancy. Port, security, and handling fees are included in the pricing above. Rates shown reflect 10%-25% discount on cruise only and is valid only for new bookings. Only the 10% discount sailings are combinable with applicable past guest and onboard savings. FREE 3rd person in stateroom is combinable for both the 10%-25% discount but is not combinable with any other offers. Included airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco is based on availability in class of service. Restrictions apply. Call for details. TRANSAT: Fares are based on Promo LG. Featured fares are per person based on double occupancy, cruise Easy package includes unlimited drinks on selected alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks priced up to $6 USD. Applicable for travel between December 22, 2019 and March 29, 2020. Package available in all areas, excluding specialty restaurants, Mini-bar, room service and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve not included. Applicable for all guests in a stateroom category with inclusions. Alcoholic version applicable for 21 years of age and older. A 15% service charge is included. Promotion available only when selecting and booking a stateroom with inclusions. Flights are from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal via Air Transat in Economy Class. Prices shown are per person, based on double occupancy, including applicable taxes and fees for Toronto & Montreal departures. Taxes and fees are extra and noted above for Vancouver departures. Offers, space and prices are subject to availability at time of booking and subject to change without prior notice. Limited staterooms available at prices and categories indicated. Itinerary and/or departure dates are subject to change, please inquire. If there is any difference between this ad and the system prices, system rates apply. Ship`s registry: Panama. For full descriptions, promotion offer details and terms and conditions, refer to transat.com. Transat is a division of Transat Tours Canada Inc., and is registered as a travel wholesaler in Ontario (Reg. #50009486) with offices at 191 The West Mall, Suite 800, Etobicoke, ON M9C 5K8; British Columbia (Reg#2454) with offices at 2175 West 41st Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia V6M 1Z6 and Quebec (Reg#754241) with offices at 300 Léo-Pariseau Street, Suite 500, Montreal (Quebec) H2X 4C2.

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Cruise Vacations


Cruise Ships G O D M OT H E R S :

From royalty to celebrities to travel industry leading ladies. By Franca Iuele

The ritual of blessing new vessels goes back to ancient times. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and even the Romans prayed to their Gods and blessed the ships with sacrificial blood for the safety of the ship and their sailors. Fast forward to modern times, it is believed that Queen Elizabeth II was the first godmother to christen the iconic Cunard ship named after her majesty in 1969. In 1984, Princess Diana christened the Royal Princess and in June of this year Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, was on hand as godmother of the new Royal Princess. Other dignitaries and celebrities who have served as godmothers have included Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Sofia Loren, and Dame Judi Dench. In July of this year President of Ensemble Travel Group Libbie Rice was on hand as godmother for the new AmaMora. Rice officially named AmaMora with the traditional breaking of a Champagne bottle on the ship’s hull. “I am so thrilled to be christening the beautiful AmaMora today. ‘Ama’ means love, and I can feel the love that has been put into

74 • Vacations ® • Fall 2019

this ship – from her breathtaking design and craftsmanship to her warm, thoughtful service, and of course, the meticulously planned itineraries she will sail through some of Europe’s most amazing destinations,” said Rice. AmaMora’s inaugural season is on The Rhine sailing 7 nights between Amsterdam and Basel. Guests can enjoy floorto-ceiling windows in the ship’s lounge area, the signature twin balcony staterooms and the spacious Sun Deck, all thoughtfully designed to provide breathtaking views of the passing scenery. A highlight of The Rhine cruise is the scenic 40-mile voyage through the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Rhine Gorge with its steep valley sides covered by terraced vineyards and more than 40 hilltop castles, some dating back to Roman times. Specific itineraries include the Enchanting Rhine, Captivating Rhine, and Christmas Markets on the Rhine. As part of the company’s first-ever Loyalty Appreciation Month, returning guests will be recognized with a special Christmas Markets on the Rhine sailing on board AmaMora, departing November 25, 2019.




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Profile for EnsembleTravel Group

Ensemble Vacations Fall 2019