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SPRING 2021

Hawaii Transformational Travel Beyond the Luau What’s Trending in Travel: Gratitude Alaska Unfiltered Bike Trails in the US European Travel Family Train Travel I Portugal I Ireland

Introducing the NEW Digital Edition of Ensemble Vacations


Welcome Back to Travel. We’ve Missed You!

We’re here for you — before, during and after your travels. OUR PROMISE: To be your inspiration, insider knowledge, advice, answers, and right hand. A reliable relationship so you’re never traveling alone. Stress-free travel so you can enjoy your vacation. Added amenities, custom touches, and warm welcomes. With our expertise, we’re here to be your connection to the world.


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Contents Features

Departments

16 Hawaii Beyond the Luau

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A cruise adventure

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Kauai, Kalalau & the Unicorn Surfer Bro

VIDÉO 4

VIDEO

From the Editor Contributors

A seriously spontaneous couples escape

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What’s Trending Now

Alaska-The  Last Frontier:

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U.S. Spotlight: The Hudson Valley

On a quest to find the real Alaska through its untamed places INTERVIEW

ENTREVUE

30 Have Bicycle, Will Travel Discovering top US bicycle trails

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A Handful of Sand

MUSIC MUSIQUE A trip to Portugal’s scenic Algarve coast becomes a journey into the past

On The Right Track Riding the rails in Europe makes for a fun family getaway

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RECIPE

Kenmare: Luxury at Ireland’s Southern Crossroads

VIDEO RECETTE

VIDÉO

Exceptional experiences that make the town such a standout destination. WELCOME TO THE NEW DIGITAL EDITION OF

COCKTAIL

EXTRAORDINARY

INTERVIEWCOCKTAIL

ENTREVUE

WELCOME TO THE NEW DIGITAL EDITION OF ENSEMBLE VACATIONS

In this new magazine, you can view videos about our featured destinations, the local traditions, and the people and places that shape them so you can have a glimpse of what awaits you. We have included many interactive featuresto experience MUSIQUE travel from home and VIDEO BOOK VIDÉO MUSIC LIVRE hopefully inspire you to travel again, when the time feels right for you.

LOOK FOR THESE ICONS INSIDE THE MAGAZINE: VIDEO

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INTERVIEW ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I SPRING 2021

INTERVIEW VIDÉO

MUSIC ENTREVUE

ENTREVUE RECIPE

RECETTE

MUSIQUE COCKTAIL

COCKTAIL


A DV E RT I S E M E N T

EDITORIAL

Dear Traveler,

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Kimberly Buerkle CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Michele Sponagle ASSOCIATE EDITORS Valerie Lenoir Isabelle Labrosse CREATIVE DIRECTOR Laura Torrisi

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Torrisi Design Associates An Ensemble Travel® Group Publication Ensemble Vacations® is a publication of Ensemble Travel® ­Group © April 2021 Ensemble Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without written permission of the publisher. Ensemble Travel Group 256 West 38th Street New York, NY 10018. Ensemble Ensemble Travel® Ensemble® Hosted Cruises Ensemble® Hotel & Resort Collection Ensemble® On Location Ensemble® Villas & Vacation Homes Ensemble® Exclusives Ensemble® Experience and the floret design are registered and unregistered trademarks of Ensemble Travel, Inc. ®

The lessons of the pandemic are still being learned, but there are a few that have come to the forefront. The last year has taught us the importance of being grateful for what we have, like safety, health and security, for opportunities to travel that we’re missing and for the ability to explore the world. We now fully understand the importance of being connected to one another. Those two lessons are intertwined in the world of travel. Part of the allure of taking journeys to new destinations is meeting new people, whether they are fellow travelers or locals. Those connections enhance our enjoyment of our time spent exploring. Often the memories we have about vacations are related to those we came in contact with. Lasting friendships have come out of such interactions – perhaps the couple you spoke to at the next table while having dinner, a bartender who shared perspectives of local life, or a fellow passenger you swapped life stories with on a plane. Whether it was a brief or a longer meeting, these experiences enrich our lives, tear down boundaries between us and them, and make us realize that there’s more that brings us together than separates us. When we do travel far and wide again, we’ll be thankful for what that adds to our life. We understand now how much we have taken for granted in the past about having the freedom to roam the planet as we please. Perhaps moving forward, we’ll focus more on making every experience count. Instead of worrying about being on your phone to post a photo on social media of that beautiful Buddhist temple you’re standing in, embrace the nuances of the moment – the colors of the monks’ robes, the smell of the incense, the chanting in the distance and the light streaming through the windows. Soak in those scents and sounds that no image could ever capture. Dare to wander down the side streets of the city you’re visiting. Pull up a chair and be the first one to say ‘hello’ to the person sitting near you. We need those connections to be wholly present wherever we are. In the pages of this issue, you’ll find travel stories about connection and gratitude from our talented contributors. We hope you’ll discover new reasons to be inspired and to be thankful as you start planning your future vacations. There’s a bounty of rewarding explorations waiting for you. Talk to your trusted travel advisor to turn them into realities. ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I SPRING 2021

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Contributors

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ROBIN CHERRY lives in the Hudson Valley and writes about travel, food, and popular culture. She’s written two books: Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping and Garlic: An Edible Biography (with over 100 recipes). She’s visited over 100 countries and has a passion for Central and Eastern Europe. p. 7-15,22

Based in Colorado, NANCY HELLMRICH is a recovering advertising creative director and active travel enthusiast. Her work includes brand alignment projects as well as travel stories. Her recent adventures include grappa tasting on the coast of Croatia, cycling in New Zealand, snuggling up in Sweden’s Ice Hotel, and glamping in the Sahara. p. 7-15,19,30

Australian writer MAX ANDERSON has been bashing out words on travel for 30 years. His work has been published in The Sunday Times, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The South China Morning Post,The Sydney Morning Herald, Travel+Leisure and National Geographic Traveller. At the end of 2019, he took his family across Europe and discovered a brilliant alternative to flying. You can follow his train of thought in his story featured in this issue. p. 37

MING TAPPIN Ming took her first cruise in 1991 and never looked back. After spending over 20 years in the cruise industry working with travel agencies to promote cruising, Ming turned to journalism to preach the merits of a cruise vacation and help travelers make informed decisions. Ming has sailed on 58 cruises onboard over 20 cruise lines. p. 16

DARCY RHYNO, travel writer/ photographer, has published stories and snaps about family travel to Paris, romance in a Spanish castle, fall colours in China, volcanic spas in Costa Rica and cooking lessons on the Magdalen Islands. He's the author of six books, including two short story collections and two novels. His most recent, "Not Like the Stars At All." is about life in the former Czechoslovakia. p. 32,40

Toronto-based travel writer TIM JOHNSON is always in search of the next good story, from tracking lions on foot in Botswana to drinking local moonshine with camel herders in Mongolia. Contributing to some of the largest publications in North America, he’s visited more than 140 countries on all seven continents. p. 25

ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I SPRING 2021


A DV E RT I S E M E N T

discover alaska with Princess

®

VIDEO

+ drinks + wi-fi + gratuities

Enjoy your time sailing along Alaska even more with the perks of Princess Plus and explore the wide-open wilderness on an inland adventure. Embark on a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise plus a four-night land tour including exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness® rail service, two nights at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge,® a Natural VIDÉO History Tour into Denali National Park, one night at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge® and one night in Anchorage.

INTERVIEW

ENTREVUE

MUSIC

MUSIQUE

RECIPE

RECETTE

included 2

Exclusively through us

11 nights 5 ports 1

2 glacier viewing experiences

Grand Princess® May 25, 2022

Denali Explorer DA4 COCKTAIL

COCKTAIL

Vancouver, B.C. to Anchorage

other departures1: Majestic Princess ® May–Sep 2022

BOOK

LIVRE

400

$

BALCONY

Receive up to

fares from *

Cruisetour CA$H per stateroom2

+up to $60 to spend on board 2,749 per stateroom

$

2

*Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $276 are additional.

don’t forget to ask about an optional pre-paid meal plan for land tours that includes: 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners2

Contact Your Trusted Travel Advisor to Learn More

make the most of your vacation on a MedallionClassTM cruise

Enjoy an effortless, personalized vacation that lets you focus on spending time together. Have food, drinks and more delivered wherever you are, and control who you interact with and how. Ask your travel advisor to learn more.

1 $2,749 fare is based on category BF on Grand Princess® 5/25/22 sailing for tour DA4, on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other dates may vary. 2Certain restrictions apply, please refer to your travel advisor for full terms, conditions and definitions that apply to Cruisetour CA$H, Onboard Spending Money, Optional Meal Plan, Military Benefits and Princess Plus. Inclusions are subject to change. Server gratuity (15%) and taxes are included in the package price. Alcoholic beverages are not included in meal packages. Princess is staying atop health and safety protocols in its continuing effort to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19, which may impact its voyages and offerings, including amenities and itineraries. All U.S. voyages are subject to CDC Cruise Travel Advice which is available at princess.com/advisory. ©2021, Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.


explorations FREE

EXTENDED

WITH FREE PRE- AND POST-CRUISE LAND PROGRAMS ON SELECT VOYAGES

UNR IVALED SPACE AT SEA™ The luxury of personal space is central to the promise of An Unrivaled Experience® with Regent Seven Seas Cruises®. It provides the extravagant freedom guests need to explore and relax to the fullest. As the preeminent luxury cruise line on the ocean, we pride ourselves in offering some of the largest balconies and most spacious suites at sea. Our wide range of specialty restaurants, al fresco and in-suite dining options, exquisite lounges, bars and expansive spaces are perfect to rest and celebrate in, knowing there is never a queue or a crowd and that every detail is taken care of and every amenity is included. Join us and discover how — with our unrivaled space at sea — we will exceed your loftiest expectations of comfort and personalized service for a truly unforgettable experience aboard The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™. Book by April 30, 2021 to receive Reduced Deposits and FREE Pre- and Post-Cruise Land Programs on select 2022 exotic voyages.

FAIR WINDS TO RIO | Seven Seas Voyager®

FROM OSAKA TO SAIGON | Seven Seas Explorer®

BUENOS AIRES TO RIO DE JANEIRO

TOKYO TO SINGAPORE

FEBRUARY 19, 2022 | 10 NIGHTS 2-FOR-1 ALL-INCLUSIVE FARE FROM $10,899 PER PERSON

MARCH 20, 2022 | 18 NIGHTS 2-FOR-1 ALL-INCLUSIVE FARE FROM $17,699 PER PERSON

FREE PRE- AND POST-CRUISE LAND PROGRAMS

FREE PRE- AND POST-CRUISE LAND PROGRAMS

VIDEO

VIDÉO

CONTACT YOUR TRUSTED TRAVEL ADVISOR TO LEARN MORE

INTERVIEW

ENTREVUE

MUSIC

MUSIQUE

*Visit rssc.com/legal for full terms and conditions. Ships’ Registry: Marshall Islands & Bahamas. ©2021 Regent Seven Seas Cruises.


What’s Trending Now: Feeling Grateful Can you feel it? That light, airy feeling? The uplifting effervescence that’s coursing through our veins? Even the most stoic among us are reveling in appreciation for things that maybe we took for granted (or perhaps even whined a little bit about) prior to 2020. We’ve gained a new perspective on simple, everyday privileges like dining out, gathering with family, meeting new people, and even breathing fresh, clean air. With all this time to think, we’ve refined our outlook on traveling, too. This year, as we venture out, we’re focused on quality instead of quantity. We’re digging deeper, paying better attention, and noticing things we may have missed before. We’re savoring our connections to other people and delighting in their cultural heritage. And we’re more mindful of the delicate ecosystems that teem and bloom all around us. We’re packing gratitude and sharing it generously wherever we go. In light of this trend toward being better travelers, we’re dedicating this section to the facets of travel that are worthy of our gratitude journals.

Here are

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8 things we’re deeply grateful for …

The Advice of an Expert Travel Advisor—Now More than Ever As Covid-19 slowly made its way around the world, many were in the middle of their annual vacation. There were two types of travelers --those who booked with a travel advisor and had someone on their side advocating on their behalf, and those who didn't. This new world of post-pandemic travel requires constant vigilance, something most travelers don't have time for but most advisors consider one of the most important parts of their jobs. Keeping up with ever-changing openings and shutdowns, new regulations, and testing requirements is a full-time job. It doesn't have to be yours.

5 Reasons to Cherish Travel Advisors 1. They're experts with insider knowledge because travel is their full-time job. 2. They power our dreams and turn them into reality. 3. They never make us navigate the unknown alone. 4. T hey know the right people in both good times and in bad. 5. They're here for us before, during and after our travels.

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WHAT ’S TRENDING NOW

What’s Trending Now: Feeling Grateful for...

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Open Waters, Open Borders—Free to Travel Again

If there’s one word that describes where we’ve been for the last year, adrift is probably it. We’ve been waiting, floating, impatient for a time when we could wriggle with the anticipation of an upcoming vacation again. Perhaps nowhere more so than out in the open waters, where salty breezes and sun-kissed sea days beckon. As borders reopen, more options will become available. If you just can’t wait to get out there, ask your advisor about booking a small yacht charter for your “bubble” or securing surprisingly affordable seats on a private jet to a remote seaside villa.

Beaching It Fun, sun, social distancing. Beaches are perfect for dipping your toe back in the travel game. For over three decades, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, better known as Dr. Beach, has released his list of America’s Best Beaches. Here are his most recent top picks:

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ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I SPRING 2021

Grayton Beach State Park, Florida Panhandle for sugar white sand, emerald green water, big sand dunes, great restaurants and hotels.

Cooper’s Beach, Southampton, New York for white sandy beaches backed with large beach grass covered dunes and historic mansions.

Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina for wild, sandy beach. It’s the only beach on the island with a lifeguard.

Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii for the widest beach on Waikiki Beach and distant views of Diamondhead volcano. It’s protected by an offshore reef making it a calm place for families with children.


Cruising Now — Bucket List Bookings ... As we ease back into cruising, amazing deals on higher-level suites and intriguing new itineraries are leading the way. You can show your love for your favorite cruise line by booking now for a 2022 or 2023 voyage. Many are offering the flexibility to cancel or change your mind without extra costs or hassles. If you’ve been saving up for a big bucket list trip, check out these luxe ocean adventures: Celebrity Flora, the first ship designed and built expressly for the Galapagos, holds 100 passengers in all-suite staterooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and private verandas. The energyefficient ship also offers Galapagos Glamping with top deck cabanas that can be converted to double beds allowing guests to sleep under the stars; a naturalist leads stargazing sessions of the constellations of both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Seabourn’s 43-Day The Americas and Antarctica itinerary leaves from Miami and traverses the Panama Canal to sail down the western coast of South America through the Chilean fjords and Strait of Magellan. Guests will revel in the region’s abundant wildlife including a huge variety of penguins, whales, dolphins, and seals.

Atlas Ocean Voyages’ inaugural season includes several Antarctica itineraries commencing in November 2021. In addition to the all-inclusive luxury on board, there will be surprise Captain’s Choice ports of call selected for the best wildlife viewing. Every 2021/2022 Antarctica ocean voyage with Atlas Voyages immerses you in the luxe-adventure experience from the start with complimentary private charter jet service, check-in assistance that sends your luggage straight from flight to ship and an escort through customs upon landing.

Save the Coral It’s estimated that every year, around 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in the world’s coral reefs causing irreparable damage. Fortunately, there are a number of good reef-friendly sunscreens out there. Reef-friendly sunscreens contain zinc oxide; are “non-nano” (larger particles sink to the ocean floor); and water-resistant. Choose lotions over aerosols which fall onto the sand and end up in the ocean. Here are three of our favorites: Kokua Sun Care Natural Zinc Sunscreen Enriched with moisturizing Hawaiian spirulina, plumeria extract, honey, and kukui nut oil. Hello Bello Mineral Sunscreen Made by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s company, this creamy sunscreen is moisturizing, and cruelty-free. Raw Elements In addition to being reef-safe, it comes in a non-plastic, biodegradable packaging.

Best Whale Watching Whales breach for the sheer joy of it and we can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our newly found freedom to travel than sharing in their happiness. Here are four of the world’s best places to go whale watching: Vancouver Island, Canada Every spring, about 20,000 grey whales swim past the west coast of Vancouver Island traveling from Mexico to the Arctic while three pods of resident orca whales live around the southern tip of the island. Reykjavik, Iceland In June and July, you can go whale watching under the midnight sun; you’ll also see frolicking puffins, dolphins, and porpoises.

Baja California, Mexico Friendly grey whales breed on the Pacific coast and several species congregate in the diverse ecosystem of the Sea of Cortez which Jacques Cousteau once called “the world’s aquarium.” Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland The relatively new Hebridean Whale Trail — 33 whale spotting sites — is best between May and September.

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What’s Trending Now: Feeling Grateful for...

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Close Friends & Family Gatherings

Gosh, we’ve missed each other. Not that we didn’t appreciate Zoom and FaceTime, but boy-oh-boy will it be good to meet face to face again. To see each other in three dimensions. To hug our vaccinated grandparents and playfully pinch the little ones’ cheeks. Here are a few tips on how to ensure those gatherings are healthy and fun for everyone. Families with Children It’s never too early to start exploring, and traveling with your children will introduce them to a life of wonder. Involve your kids in the planning Plan a date night Consider a theme park vacation. At Universal Orlando, there’s Moe’s Tavern from The Simpsons where you can get a Duff Beer, locally brewed exclusively for the resort, and Hog’s Head Pub from Harry Potter serves an exclusive cinnamon Firewhiskey.

Intergenerational Family Reunions Unless she was an Olympian, your 85-yearold grandmother probably won’t appreciate a ski vacation and your toddlers and teens probably won’t love trudging through art museums. Think about activities for all ages and plan in advance Schedule alone or small group time Take everyone’s budget into account Consider an all-Iinclusive resort. Paradisus Los Cabos has kids clubs, teen activities, a serene spa and a well-equipped fitness center. Dining options are virtually limitless and include buffets and elegant bars with tequila tastings. And it’s all included!

Gathering with Friends After so little togetherness, some of the our best vacations will be girlfriends' getaways, male bonding adventures, or just a bunch of old friends hanging out. Understand each other’s travel styles and destination interests Be flexible Consider renting a villa. Set on an idyllic white sand beach, Villa Casa del Mar, Riviera Maya is an 11,915-square-foot paradise with six bedrooms, six full bathrooms, a private pool, gym, 24-hour butler service, and a private chef who prepares three meals a day. The oversized private pool and outdoor Jacuzzi, set in lush gardens, make an ideal tropical lounge where close friends can unwind enjoying an exclusive experience. 10

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Creative Work-Travel Options “The Long Now” is a concept that’s been building steam for a while. It’s the idea that we can accomplish bigger, more meaningful things if we focus our sights farther out into the future. One of the ironic blessings of 2020 has been the opportunity to get a fresh perspective on our overscheduled lives. For the first time in forever, we lifted our heads from our computers and got comfortable looking farther ahead. While serious “long now” activists are talking thousand-year projects, many of us are using the concept to re-imagine travel. Instead of short getaways, we’re looking at long-haul flights, months-long adventures, and living overseas for a year … or two. There’s even a new “Bleisure Class” emerging of remote workers with extended-stay visas.


Rediscovering Our Bliss Crystal Healing

Even if we felt robust and healthy during the lockdowns, celebrating our own wellness seemed insensitive to those who were caring for or mourning the loss of beloved family and friends. But wellness is something we can be even more grateful for now. As restrictions ease up, we’re ready to get moving again and double-down on our blissfinding and physical fitness goals. A Good Night's Sleep Princess Cruises partnered with sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus to design the The Princess Luxury Bed, an ultra thick pillow top mattress topped with 100% cotton sheets. A Dreampad pillow delivers music through gentle vibrations which stimulate your body’s relaxation response. There’s also a Sleep Channel on stateroom TVs which has relaxing music by MusiCure as well as a sleep meditation audio from Dr. Breus. Sink into Westin’s plush Heavenly bed and rub the Sleep Well Lavender Balm on your temples for a restful night’s sleep. For a late night snack, the Sleep Well Menu offers a selection of sleep-enhancing superfoods from room service. Hyatt has teamed up with Headspace to offer complimentary sleep exercises and soothing sounds that will help you wind down and sleep like a baby. The app will also provide mindfulness guidance from former monk and Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombe.

Mental Wellness Hyatt’s Miraval brand has a new partnership with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to launch a series of events and programs that aim to promote the intersection of mindfulness and mental wellbeing, which are so important in today’s world. In collaboration with NAMI, Miraval has created a series of 12 Sensory Journey videos that will include guided meditations. They will be complimentary on miravalresorts.com in late spring.

Celebrity’s Crystalarium is a beautiful refuge of natural stone walls set around a large healing Amethyst crystal which promotes natural healing energy. Seabourn’s Amethyst Crystal Sound Bath Healing Treatment combines the therapeutic benefits of the Amethyst Bio-Mat, which uses infrared light and crystals to heat the body, with the pure sounds that emanate from crystal sound bowls. Carnival’s Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial, an anti-aging treatment that uses quartz micro crystals to exfoliate the skin, reduces wrinkles and improves skin firmness.

Bring the Outside In Nature makes us feel good. Interior staterooms on Royal Caribbean have Virtual Balconies: HD floor-to-ceiling screens that offer a real-time view of the ocean. There’s even sound added for effect, while curtains and a virtual balcony rail offer an “outside feel” to your inside cabin. Fairmont, Sofitel and Swissôtel have partnered with Three Sages to provide guests with in-room access to complimentary exercise and mindfulness videos that feature spectacular outdoor backdrops from some awe-inspiring locations including Ojai, California and Joshua Tree National Park. ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I SPRING 2021

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WHAT ’S TRENDING NOW

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Celbrity's Crystalarium


What’s Trending Now: Feeling Grateful for...

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The Bold, Beautiful & Brand New

While many of us were compelled to pause or pull back on our goals last year, a bold few among us powered ahead. These intrepid business people launched new cruise lines and ships, mod hotels, and even vacation resorts despite the pervasive uncertainty. Today, we’re celebrating these plucky folks — the gritty, tenacious people who persevered against the odds to bring us new places to stay and new experiences as the world opens up again. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will launch in July when its first vessel, Evrima, a small yacht-style ship, will welcome 298 passengers in understated, elegant style. There will be five dining options including S.E.A., an à la carte experience designed by Sven Elverfeld of the three Michelin-starred Aqua at the Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, Germany.

WHAT ’S TRENDING NOW

Florida’s Gulf Coast “Pink Palace,” the Don CeSar, has just concluded a complete three-year, multi-milliondollar renovation. In a nod to its iconic pinkness, guest rooms were painted a subtle blush color with whimsical flamingo prints that enliven the walls.

Emeline, Charleston’s new boutique hotel, is steps from the open-air City Market where you can purchase the city’s iconic Gullah Sweetgrass baskets. Guest rooms are decorated with vintage Spoleto Festival posters; most come with Crosley turntables and a selection of vinyl records.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is targeting travelers interested in “luxe adventure.” It’s first ship, World Navigator, will be a polar-class expedition vehicle with Zodiac boats to explore remote ports of call. World Navigator, the first of five new expedition ships, will premier in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea this summer before heading to Antarctica for the winter. When Antigua’s Jumby Bay Island reopened last November, the number of suites was winnowed to 28 making the hotel more exclusive than ever. (There are also 14 villas and 22 private residences). Jumby Bay also introduced a partnership with George Clooney’s Casamigos tequila brand which includes the launch of a pop-up beach shack with cocktails specially curated for the resort.

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 Our Ability to Help Out

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that every traveler leaves an impact. In a positive light, this means every one of us has the power to nurture the people and places we visit. So, this year, we’re packing a new appreciation for our interconnectedness with other nations, their cultures, and the precious ecosystems that sustain them. As we make our travel comeback, we’re doing so more carefully and meaningfully. We’re treading lighter, noticing every opportunity to reach out, lend a hand, offer a kind word, or fund a worthy cause. Instead of rushing there and back again, we’re embodying the Hawaiian concept of mālama — taking care of, tending to, preserving, and protecting.


New Beachfront Pool Suites by Banyan Tree Mayakoba The philosophy behind Banyan Tree destination resorts is based on the rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul. Each resort offers a satisfying blend of romance, luxury and environmental sustainability. A sanctuary for the senses, recently ranked as Best of the Best by Travel + Leisure México, the AAA Five Diamond property Banyan Tree Mayakoba welcomes you to the essential Banyan Tree experience in a resort that provides a joyful habitat for the spirit. It is a place where ancient civilizations embrace each other and where the passionate nature of Mexico is soothed by the gentle touch of the Far East.

Ensemble Amenities: · Breakfast for two daily at Oriente restaurant.*

· $100 USD* value to $200 USD* value Resort Credit per villa, per stay · Complimentary Upgrade upon availability* · Early check-in and late check-out upon availability

· Preferential green fees at El Camaleon Golf Course, a PGA championship course

Perfect for private getaways, family trips and group events, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers 121 pool villas & 34 new Beachfront pool suites, ranging from romantic Bliss and Serenity Pool Villas to Family Residences and Beachfront accommodations, with 7 over-the-lagoon villas, called Lagoon Sunset Pool Villas, soon to be opened. All include outdoor areas with private pools and terraces. Inspired by the interior courtyards of houses in the Far East, each villa is discreetly built to blend with the landscape, integrating the interiors and their idyllic surroundings. For more information on special offers from Banyan Tree Mayakoba, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

Labadee


The Shelburne Museum

What’s Trending Now: Feeling Grateful for...

Quintessential Small Town American Museums The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA has 367 original works of art as well as the artist’s studio, archives, and personal memorabilia.

WHAT ’S TRENDING NOW

Norman Rockwell Museum and artist's studio

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America�s Small Miracles

There’s big joy to be found in small things all across America. This year, we are immensely grateful for the small towns, cozy diners, tiny boutiques, and little corners of our world that might otherwise go unnoticed. When we take time to look, there’s a wealth of small wonders just waiting to be explored. And, right now, small and independent businesses need us more than ever.

The Shelburne Museum, VT is a collection of 18th- and 19th-century buildings relocated from the New England region, including an 1871 lighthouse, a jail, 200-foot steamboat, and a one-room schoolhouse. The collection also includes folk art and more than 400 quilts. The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY has more than 2,600 pieces of artwork by such American icons as James Whistler, William Merritt Chase, and Roy Lichtenstein in a 34,000-square-foot barn designed by Herzog & de Meuron The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR features the American art collection of Alice Walton (heiress to the Walmart Store fortune). Highlights include Andy Warhol’s Dolly Parton, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, and a portrait of George Washington.

Main Street USA Main Street is as American as apple pie, barbecue and baseball and these small town Main Streets welcome visitors with local boutiques, markets, restaurants, and galleries.

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Visit historic Old Salem, NC for Moravian sugar cake from the 200-yearold wood-fired oven at Winkler Bakery.

Chagrin Falls, OH’s Main Street Bridge overlooks the town’s namesake waterfall and a popcorn shop that was established in 1875. During the summer, free “Yoga by the Falls” classes are offered on Saturdays.

Annapolis, MD A stroll down this capital city’s shop­- and restaurant-filled Main Street offers views of the Maryland State House — the oldest still in legislative use — and the Chesapeake Bay.


Big-Hearted Small Businesses Now is a great time to take off on weekend getaways in search of the little things that nourish our souls … good books, artisan coffees, homemade pie, and farm-fresh goodness. Here’s to the corner shops that keep us whole.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

New & Indie Coffee Shops. Campfire Coffee – Tacoma, WA Midnight Animal – San Diego, CA Sip & Sonder – Inglewood, CA Lekker Coffee – Denver, CO Mahalo Coffee Roasters – Knoxville, TN Inclusion Coffee – Arlington, TX Fidel & Co. – Little Rock, AR Native Coffee – Jackson, MS Blip Roasters – Kansas City, KS Airship Coffee – Bentonville, AR

Beloved Indie Bookstores RJ Julia Booksellers – Madison, CT Explore Booksellers – Aspen, CO

The Parrish Art Museum

Montague Bookmill – Montague, MA Avid Bookshop – Athens, GA Greedy Reads – Baltimore, MD Bookends & Beginnings – Evanston, IL BookPeople of Moscow – Moscow, ID Little City Books – Hoboken, NJ Blue Bicycle Books – Charleston, SC Rabelais – Biddeford, ME Country Bookshelf – Bozeman, MT

Favorite Farmers Markets Soulard Farmer's Market – St. Louis, MO West Tisbury Market – Martha’s Vineyard, MA Carefree Farmers Market – Carefree, AZ Park City, UT is filled with unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries and if you’re tired, you can take it all in on the historic and free Main Street trolley. Don’t miss a whiskey tasting at High West Distillery.

Nantucket, MA has cobblestoned streets lined with historic Greek Revival mansions that lead to the waterfront. Enjoy a rest on one of the 25 benches set up along the street.

Market at Pepper Place – Birmingham, AL Dane County Market – Madison, WI Park Silly Sunday Market – Park City, UT Downtown Farmers Market – Des Moines, IA Fair Foods Farmers Market – Sag Harbor, NY Lexington Farmers Market – Lexington, KY

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© Hawaii Tourism Authority/Tor Johnson

© UnCruise Adventures

VIDEO

HAWAII BEYOND THE LUAU by MING TAPPIN

TR AVEL I CRUISE HAWAII

© Hawaii Tourism Authority

My journey of discovery began in Moloka’i, the gorgeous and uncrowded island that is a throwback to pre-commercialized Hawaii. There are no high-rises, sprawling resorts, or even public transit. Instead, I found deserted beaches, quaint towns and lush valleys. On Moloka’i’s must-eat list is piping hot bread from Kanemitsu Bakery, slathered with your choice of cinnamon butter, cream cheese, or strawberry jam — or better yet, make it the works. After four days of mellowing in Moloka’i, I board Safari Explorer where another reality lies ahead. Forget what you know about conventional cruising – UnCruise Adventures is aptly named because it is unlike any other. With just 36 guests, the vessel is more like a laidback private yacht. Where else can you see a captain steer his ship wearing shorts and flip flops? And packing becomes so much easier without dressy clothes and fancy shoes. We eat in a comfortable dining room and socialize in a cozy lounge with comfy leather sofas and a wood-trimmed bar. No shows or casinos here, but there are social hours and informative talks about Hawaii’s history, culture, flora and fauna. Each day, as we tuck into breakfast that ranges from huevos rancheros to macadamia nut French toast, we listen attentively to our chef describe what’s for lunch and dinner. Whenever we couldn’t decide — which was often — we would ask for a sample of each dish on our plate. We dine on seared ahi tuna steaks, Thai curries and crispy pork belly, all deliciously made from scratch and cooked to order. But if one desires, a cheeseburger and fries are easily arranged.

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INTERVIEW

"In Moloka’i’s sacred Halawa Valley, we meet Anakala “Uncle” Pilipo Solatorio — a descendant of the Hawaiian people MUSIC still living off the land by hunting, farming taro and raising livestock."

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For seven days, we snorkel, kayak, and head ashore to hike and visit the locals, guided by an expert expedition team. In Moloka’i’s sacred Halawa Valley, we meet Anakala “Uncle” Pilipo Solatorio — a descendant of the HawaiianCOCKTAIL people still living off the land by hunting, farming taro and raising livestock. Through his fascinating stories, we learn authentic Hawaiian culture is much different from the touristy version. BOOK In Lana’i, I meet descendants of a furry kind at the Cat Sanctuary, built to house the feral cats that used to prey on the native birds. Today, more than 600 felines call the 3.5-acre sanctuary home. The birds are proliferating, and the cats are content getting lots of head scratches and love from cooing visitors like me. And under the inky skies off the coast of the Big Island, I don a wetsuit and jump into the water to watch giant manta rays feed on plankton while performing their swooping dance. As this is March, our cruise includes humpback whale watching. We come across a small group of males fin-slapping and bodyslamming each other in their own underwater sumo match. The strongest and most resilient


© UnCruise Adventures

© Hawaii Tourism Authority

gets the prize — a ready-to-mate female waiting patiently in the wings. As we watch their antics and listen to their songs through an underwater hydrophone, they often swim underneath us and resurface mere feet away. They are so close we can see the barnacles on their backs and hear their exhalations. Other charming Hawaiian residents we meet include pilot whales, spinner dolphins and countless reef fish, including the state’s marine ambassador, the colorful tongue-twister humuhumunukunukuapua’a (reef triggerfish). Like eating hot bread in Moloka’i and cuddling cats in Lana’i, Hawaii is about feelgood experiences, delightful discoveries, and lessons on the true aloha spirit. For your next trip — or even your first, skip the busy bus tours and souvenir shops, and venture beyond the luau. By the way, according to Uncle Pilipo, luau refers to the leaf of the taro plant. The traditional Hawaiian term for the sumptuous feast is pā’ina, and you’ll get to enjoy an authentic one during your cruise to Moloka’i — another perk you can experience in Hawaii. To plan your Hawaiian UnCruise adventure, contact your trusted travel advisor today.

"As we watch their antics and listen to their songs through an underwater hydrophone, they often swim underneath us and resurface mere feet away. They are so close we can see the barnacles on their backs and hear their exhalations."

© UnCruise Adventures

© Hawaii Tourism Authority

"Hawaii is about feel-good experiences, delightful discoveries, and lessons on the true aloha spirit."

PRO TIP Pono is a Hawaiian word of great importance for people lucky enough to visit these incredible islands. When something — a place, an event, a person’s attitude or a way of doing things — is “pono,” it is in a state of correctness. It is respectful, safe, accurate and responsible. In essence, to travel pono is to travel mindfully. Cultural practitioner Kanoelani Davis invites you to experience a deeper connection when you visit her island home of Moloka’i by coming with humility, an open mind and a readiness to embrace the aloha spirit.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC · MEXICO

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The Ultimate Luxury Inclusive Experience for Adults Oversized luxuriously appointed suites with upgraded amenities | Romantic turndown service | Personalized Concierge service and priority reservations at allRECIPE restaurants Exclusive Adults Only VIP Lounge for check in/check out | Exclusive Adults Only pool with valet service | Exclusive Adults Only beach club with valet service | Exclusive Adults Only restaurant option | Exclusive activities | Full use of the main resort facilities and amenities

Contact Your Trusted Travel Advisor to Learn More.

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KAUAI, KALALAU & THE UNICORN SURFER BRO

TR AVEL I HIKING THE K AL AU TR AIL , K AUAI, HAWAII

A seriously spontaneous couples escape by Nancy Hellmrich

“The first guy who picked us up was Kenny,” Jake recalls. “He had a cool truck with a surfboard in the back, a total surf bro. He told us he’d hiked Kalalau with a girlfriend once and it was so magical that you wouldn’t be surprised if you saw a unicorn out there.” At the Hanalei Post Office, Erika and Jake got a ride with Josup, who told them he’d dreamt about the Kalalau and felt like he was meant to pick them up. By the time the pair reached the trailhead, they were steeped in a blend of local magic and pre-hike jitters.

Kalalau Trail, Kauai. Hawaii

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TR AVEL I HIKING THE K AL AU TR AIL , K AUAI, HAWAII

A week earlier, Erika & Jake had been in Colorado working from home for IBM. A junior varsity coach, Jake had been crushed when his football season was cancelled. Erika, an effervescent endurance runner, had been running hard, traveling to New York, London, Hong Kong, and Madrid. Then she got sick. “I was in the best physical shape of my life and then the virus was like, ‘Nope. Start over.’” To top off their misery, Jake showed Erika tickets he’d bought for a Hawaiian getaway he’d hoped would help them reconnect. A trip that had to be cancelled. Instead of flying away together, they talked about their relationship, worked on getting Erika well, and focused on their jobs—taking up to 15 video calls a day and working late into the night. After several excruciating months at home, an Instagram post declared the islands open. And the trip was back on. Miraculously, they got permits to hike the Kalalau Trail, a bucket list item for Erika. They weren’t so lucky with trailhead parking, “But who cared? We got trail permits!” Pre-flight virus test 20

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results came in the nick of time, and they touched down in Kauai to a warm welcome of alohas and leis. Settling into their Kapa’a hotel, Jake & Erika arose at 3:30 a.m. and worked on their computers until 2:00 p.m. each day. In the afternoons, they shared açai bowls, papaya smoothies, and outdoor adventures. Each evening, they recorded their adventures in gratitude journals, reminding themselves of how lucky they were to be together and alive. They galloped along the Sleeping Giant trail, reveled in rainbows and lush jungle aromas, snorkeled with sea turtles, sunbathed, splashed and played. “We were all alone in the lagoon, it was soooo good for us,” Erika gushes. After transferring to their North Shore hotel, they awoke early Friday to learn the lone taxi service was completely booked. Jake felt defeated, they’d come so far. But Erika held strong. “Some people wait over a year to get permits for the Kalalau Trail so there was no way we weren’t going,” she declares, actually brimming with glee because she’d always wanted to hitchhike. So hitchhike they did.

The Kalalau Trail is an intense 22-mile (36 km) round-trip endurance test that stretches from Ke’e Beach past Hanakoa Falls, along the Nā Pali Coast, skirts the sacred Kalalau Valley, finally dropping down onto isolated Kalalau Beach. Along the way, trekkers face steep climbs, sharp descents, river crossings, and loads of mud. When Josup dropped Erika & Jake at the trailhead, their adrenaline was pumping hard.


“I’ve almost never been more nervous for anything in my life,” Jake confesses. The couple worked together and took their time. “I just remember thinking, ‘When is this uphill going to end?’ and ‘Is this the hardest part of the trail?’” Along the way they commiserated with local runners, yogis, and fellow mainlanders. “I kept repeating all of the hard things I’d done to remind myself that I could do this,” recalls Erika. “Oh! And the ocean was a monster! It was like a cyclone, roaring, swirling, and shooting up the rocks.” At Crawler’s Ledge, their anxiety peaked. “We had a lot of time to stare at it while we were approaching,” recalls Erika. But teamwork made the dream work and before long a herd of little goats greeted them on the other side. “Then there’s a gnarly descent at Red Hill,” recalls Jake. “Yeah,” Erika chimes in, “You got really quiet, Jake.” Thankfully, the late afternoon sun lifted their spirits, bathing them in an ethereal glow as they descended onto magical Kalalau Beach. In the morning, the pair awoke with the sun and spent the day enjoying the beach, waterfalls, and tidal pools.

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Hiking back on Sunday, the ocean was calm and the trail was empty until the self-professed “Kauai Divas & Dudes” trotted by. As the couple neared the parking lot, “Erika kept telling everyone not to be surprised if they saw a unicorn. They loved that,” Jake says, enchanted. The grand finale was a splurge on the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa and a sunset dinner cruise with captivating views of the coast they had traversed. Back home in Colorado, Erika & Jake’s couple’s escape had done its magic. They felt grounded in the present, reconnected, and able to live in lightheartedness and gratitude again. “We’re not the type to go back to the same place,” Erika muses. “But this place we would. We have unfinished business there.”

Want to know more about the trail? "Nā Pali” means high cliffs and they aren’t kidding. There are four great ways to experience the razor-sharp 4,000 foot cliffs of Kauai’s Nā Pali Coast. The most romantic way is aboard a sunset dinner cruise. Water lovers can kayak in and scuba dive off shore. Those with gumption and endurance often hike in, via the Kalalau Trail. If you’re feeling fancy, viewing the 17-mile coast line from a helicopter is perhaps the most breathtaking of all. Check out this video to see what we mean! VIDEO

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To plan your next active Hawaiian vacation contact your trusted travel advisor today.

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U.S. S P OT L IGHT

HUDSON VALLEY

SHINES BRIGHT by

by ROBIN CHERRY

Robin Cherry

U. S . SPOTLIGHT

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People are always VIDEO trying to VIDÉO VIDEO VIDÉO label New York’s Hudson Valley the “new Napa” or the “next A S M A T T E R IN G O FENTREVUE T O W N S AN D T H E IR MU S T-S E E S I T E S Hamptons” when it’s still what INTERVIEW INTERVIEW ENTREVUE INTERVIEW ENTREVUE it’s always been: a bucolic West Side of the River: East Side of the River: region on the banks of the Newburgh — Washington’s Beacon — Towne Crier Cafe (landmark Headquarters State Historic Site venue for live music) Hudson River filled with art, MUSIC MUSIQUE New Paltz — Frances Lehman Walkway Over the MUSIC Poughkeepsie —MUSIQUE history, hiking,MUSIC and great food, MUSIQUE Loeb Art Center at Vassar College Hudson (1.28-mile paved pedestrian trail) wine, and spirits. That it’s a Kingston — Four Corners (only short, scenic train ride from American intersection where Hyde Park — The Culinary Institute of all buildings were built preAmerica and its student-run restaurants RECIPE RECETTE Manhattan is icing on the cake.RECETTE Revolutionary War) RECIPE RECIPE RECETTE Millbrook — Innisfree Gardens (90-year-old garden inspired by Chinese paintings)

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Rhinebeck — The Beekman Arms

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(operated continuously since 1766) COCKTAIL COCKTAIL COCKTAIL COCKTAIL COCKTAIL Red Hook — Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (collection of vintage planes)

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Saugerties — Partition Street’s shops and restaurants Woodstock — Byrdcliffe Arts Colony (oldest operating arts and crafts colony in the U.S.) Catskill — Kaaterskill Falls

Hudson — Warren St.’s mid-century antique stores

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RETAIL THERAPY Little Pickles (Red Hook), a children’s shop, has a wonderfully curated selection of toys, shoes, and, thanks to the British owner, British sweets. bluecashew Kitchen Homestead (Kingston) offers refined and useful housewares. Paper Trail (Rhinebeck) sells stationery, jewelry, and fun, stylish gifts. Foley & Cox Home (Hudson) showcases custom furniture designs, collected vintage items and antiques, lighting, art, candles, books as well as specialized products from skilled artisans.

Albany — USS Slater (restored WWII destroyer escort ship)

FDR WAS HERE Hyde Park is home to the FDR Presidential Library and Museum as well as FDR’s boyhood home; it’s also the resting place of the president, Eleanor, and their beloved Scottish terrier, Fala.

Worth a Follow Two online Hudson Valley regional publications, upstater and andnorth focus on all things Hudson Valley. If you are venturing to the area these are worth a look.

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Wilderstein, a 19th-century Queen Annestyle house, is the former home of FDR's cousin and frequent confidante, Daisy Suckley. The river views are spectacular.


ART ATTACK

STAYS THAT PLAY WELL

Union Church of Pocantico Hills has Matisse’s Rose Window (completed just days before his death) and nine stained-glass windows by Chagall.

Opus 40 is a six-and-a-half acre sculpture park on the site of a former bluestone quarry. It was built by one man, Harvey Fite, over 37 years.

Scribner’s Catskill Lodge, a former motor lodge, was given a Scandinavia-meets-Brooklyn makeover with white walls, vintage rugs, and plentiful fireplaces. Prospect restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of the Catskills.

The Hudson River School of painting was founded by Thomas Cole whose house and studio, Cedar Grove, can be visited in Catskill. Across the river, Cole’s student Frederic Church’s estate, Olana, is an eccentric hodgepodge of Victorian, Persian, and Moorish design. Church also designed the landscape which has some of the valley’s best river views. The two sites are connected by the Hudson River Skywalk.

Troutbeck, a magnificent 18th-century estate that hosted writers and two early meetings of the NAACP, was recently renovated. The vibe is comfortable elegance with touches of whimsylike pink vinyl bar stools and an Aegean blue pool table. Esquire recently declared its dining room one of the best new restaurants in America.

LIQUID ASSETS Wineries Brotherhood, America’s oldest winery, has been making wine since 1839 and its Cabernet Sauvignon was just awarded “Best in Class” at the 2021 New York Wine Classic. Another local winery, Millbrook, took the crown for best oaked Chardonnay. Feeling pink? Tousey Winery’s dry Rebellion Rosé is a local favorite.

Beer Cerevisaphiles will enjoy brews from Suarez Family Brewery, Mill House Brewing, and Newburgh Brewing Company.

High Spirits Colonial settlers quaffed Applejack which is enjoying a local revival. Harvest Spirits and Hudson Valley Distillers make two of the best. Hillrock’s bourbon may transport you to Kentucky as it was blended by a former Maker’s Mark master distiller, but its grains are 100% local. Catskill Distilling Company’s Curious Gin and Tuthilltown Spirit’s Indigenous Wheat Vodka will round out your bar cart nicely.

FRESH FROM THE FARMS

Rose Hill Farm This 114-acre farm lets you pick your own cherries, blueberries, plums, apricots, nectarines, peaches and apples. It also has a tap room serving the farm's own ciders and wines.

Greig Farm Pick-your-own from the beginning of May to the end of October starting with asparagus in May and finishing with pumpkins. In between, there are a variety of berries, peas, and apples.

The Roxbury Motel and its newer sister, The Roxbury at Stratton Falls, are fun and funky with rooms like The Genie’s Bottle which imagines the inside in “I Dream of Jeannie’s” Bottle and Tony’s Dance Floor which will transport you to the set of Saturday Night Fever ­— complete with disco ball.

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture This stunning farm (a former Rockefeller property) offers tours, lectures, and workshops on sustainable agriculture. The Michelin-starred Blue Hill restaurant has recently been converted to a Chef-inResidence program.

A H H . Y UM . Z Z Z . These spa resorts are also famed for their food. Chill. Dine. Dream. Rhinebeck’s elegant Mirbeau Inn and Spa has a 12,000 square-foot spa with eucalyptusinfused steam rooms and Himalayan salt saunas; cutting edge treatments include Elemis BIOTEC facials. The contemporary restaurant, Willow by Charlie Palmer, covers all bases. Bucolic Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa has its own animal sanctuary — with alpacas! Guest rooms are set in an 18th-century house, various cottages and carriage houses; some have river-view balconies. The spa’s Millstone Farm Massage uses lavender grown on the property. Henry’s at the Farm serves cuisine using produce, herbs, eggs, and honey from the inn’s farm and cheese and meats from neighboring farms. Iconic Mohonk Mountain House has a 30,000-square-foot spa carved into a stone cliff overlooking the lake and mountains. Treatments are relaxing, but the lure is the view from the verandas and solarium or the balcony in your antique-filled room.

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ALL THE SPACE YOU NEED

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When choosing a Caribbean destination, it’s easy to think that one island is just like any other. But with more than 35 captivating cove beaches, a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, a “live and let live” attitude, and unrivaled traditional European architecture, Curaçao sets itself apart from the restENTREVUE as an island to be explored. INTERVIEW

Book today to receive Exclusive Perks at these family friendly properties! Dreams Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino

Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino MUSIC MUSIQUE

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Welcome letter | One bottle of wine/sparkling wine, rum, or tequila | 25% Discount on Spa Services One in-room family breakfast or champagne breakfast | Complimentary upgrade from standard to nonstop airport transfers roundtrip COCKTAIL COCKTAIL

Contact Your Trusted Travel Advisor to Learn More. BOOK

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Tours operated by ALG Vacations. Exclusive Perks are valid for booking and travel now – 12/22/21 with a 4-night minimum stay. Standard package is on all room categories except Run of House or Deal of the Day. Amenities are valid per room, per stay. Spa discounts apply to spa treatments and services only; not applicable towards the purchase of spa products. Discounted amenities and services cannot be combined with other discounts or special offers on property. All amenities are subject to availability. Information is accurate at time of publication and are subject to changes, exceptions, cancellation charges and restrictions. Not responsible for errors or omissions in the publication of this information. Valid for new bookings only. CST #2139014-20. 37216_VB_3.1.21


THE LAST FRONTIER: On a quest to find the real Alaska through its untamed places, from remote glaciers to pristine bays where orcas hunt

Tim Johnson

TR AVEL I AL A SK A : THE L A S T FRONTIER

by

As we rise up the flanks of the Pacific Coast Ranges in a helicopter, the chopper thumps its way onto a land of snow and ice, blue and white, snow caps and glaciers, leaving behind the sun-dappled boreal forest of an Alaskan summer in the Knik River Valley below.

Knik River Valley

Riding next to me, an amiable husky named Harris looks out the window at the sweeping scenery, seeming to appreciate it as much as the rest of the chopper’s passengers. As we near our landing spot on the Colony Glacier, I can feel

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TR AVEL I AL A SK A : THE L A S T FRONTIER

© Travel Alaska/Chris McLennan

Kenai © Travel Alaska/Chris McLennan

the dog’s anticipation. She’s looking forward to reuniting with her pack, her human master and his dogsled. Even in the summer, there’s snow on the mountains and the dogs are keen to run. Surging over a ridge, the scene comes into view – mountain summits in the clouds and the rest of Harris’s pack are lined up against the backdrop of endless whiteness. From Anchorage, the Knik River Valley is just an hour’s drive to the northeast, and the glacier is a short but spectacular helicopter ride after that. Stepping out from under the rotors and crunching into squeaky snow, the dogs bark their greetings. Soon after meeting them and their handler, I’m on a sled, acting as the musher and cutting through the powder. Pulled by a team of 16 dogs, they make quick work of the short 2.5 mile course we traversed today. 26

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Looping across this landscape in the clouds, I arrive back at the main camp, chatting with the handlers who tell me they have a total of 40 dogs here. The canines are rotated out for rest, relaxation and medical care, sometimes riding along in choppers alongside other guests. The camp has a mess tent, kennels for the dogs, and even a fairly fast Internet connection – all essential for months spent on the glacier. I’m not far from Anchorage, but it feels like I’m in a whole different world. I came here to explore America’s final frontier. To find it, I never range too far from the state’s largest city, using it as a hub, and traveling to destinations never more than a few hours away – north, east, and south, by road and train. My goal is to see the real Alaska, embarking on remarkable adventures – experiencing everything from the rare air of North America’s highest peaks to dog sleds on mountaintops, to a spectacular finish – encounters with orcas.

“My goal is to see the real Alaska, embarking on remarkable adventures – experiencing everything from the rare air of North America’s highest peaks to dog sleds on mountaintops, to a spectacular finish – encounters with orcas.”


“Soon enough, I arrive at North America’s tallest mountain. Formerly known as Mount McKinley, Denali rises almost 6,200 metres above sea level. It’s one of the highest peaks in the world and is surrounded by a vast national park of the same name.” Denali at dawn

Heading back to Anchorage, I board the Denali Star Train and chug north, sitting on the upper level and enjoying the panorama rolling past its domed car. Soon enough, I arrive at North America’s tallest mountain. Formerly known as Mount McKinley, Denali rises just over 20,000 feet above sea level. It’s one of the highest peaks in the world and is surrounded by a vast national park of the same name, encompassing more than 9,400 square miles. But I won’t see the summit at all. Shrouded in cloud about 70 percent of the time, the peak remains elusive for the duration of my stay. But I still find plenty of northern adventures, including a wild ride on an ATV. Fording a rushing river

(soaking my pants in the process), I roar along a series of old mining trails on the periphery of the park, learning how woolly mammoths once roamed this territory, plus legends of the Indigenous Athabasca people about Denali, which means “the tall one” or “big mountain,” and its role in creation. As I ride deep into the national park, I chat with James Davey, the driver of the Savage River Shuttle, who shares his thrilling stories of his many miles on these backcountry roads. He recalls being charged by a mama grizzly bear protecting her cubs, while he sat behind the wheel of the bus: “My adrenaline was pumping. It was a National Geographic moment.” ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I SPRING 2021

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TR AVEL I AL A SK A THE L A S T FRONTIER

The park is home to an array of animals – wolves, caribou, moose, Arctic fox, along with thousands of black bears and grizzlies. “I get people from all walks of life and from all over the world,” he tells me. “Everyone gets so excited when they have their first wildlife sighting.” Back on the Alaska Railroad, I turn south, again via Anchorage, now riding a train called the Coastal Classic through narrow, winding valleys and along a stretch where the Chugach Mountains meet the sea – with the track in between. We arrive in Seward, my final stop here in America’s largest state. Boarding the Spirit of Adventure, a sturdy, twin-hulled vessel, we roll out onto Resurrection Bay and into the wilds of Kenai Fjords National Park. Again, the state’s natural wonders are close at hand. The park preserves bays and islands and its namesake fjords, and encompasses some 40 glaciers. Soon we’re at the foot of the Holgate Glacier, five miles across, and always in motion, marching to the Gulf of Alaska, layers peeling off in cascades of ice and snow as it reaches the sea.

As we continue onward, the wildlife surrounds us. Playful sea otters come to say hello, sea lions swim nearby, and we spot white, puffy mountain goats on the lush greenery onshore above, while majestic bald eagles and adorable puffins fly overhead. And then, the killers. While most orca sightings involve resident pods, who hang around in one area and eat salmon, these are transients, the aquatic equivalent of a pack of wild dogs. Local guides have dubbed them the ‘Kodiak Killers,’ as they are most often spotted near Kodiak Island. We take in their battlescarred sides and dark dorsal fins as they skim silently through the water close by. A moment of awe ensues, the unique thrill of this chance encounter. And then, as quickly as they appeared, they’re gone. The pod has headed off to seek their next prey while we sail back toward Seward in search of another adventure in this wonderfully wild, still untamed, state.

“The park is home to an array of animals – wolves, caribou, moose, Arctic fox, along with thousands of black bears and grizzlies. Everyone gets so excited when they have their first wildlife sighting.”

Glaciers, rainforests, marine animals and more! Watch this video for a sneak peek of the rich wildness of Kenai Fjords National Park.

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COCKTAIL To plan your Alaska adventure contact your trusted travel advisor today.

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BOOK


BIG GE R, B O L D ER, BR IG HT ER DAYS AH EAD When it comes to taking care of yourself, a little rest and relaxation go a long way. Throw in endless blue waters, some shining sun and a Caribbean breeze and you’ve got it made. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better beach day than at Perfect Day at CocoCay — a Royal Caribbean private destination in The Bahamas that takes winding down up a notch.

A BETTER WAY TO BEACH As soon as your ship arrives, the island is yours to explore. If the ocean is calling your name, two beach areas offer their own distinct vibe. For some peaceful suntanning on powdery sands, a tranquil swim or colorful snorkeling, head to Chill Island and soak in the zen. For those looking for something more active, South Beach is for you, with volleyball and beachside basketball courts, paddle boarding and more available for some friendly competition.

THE ULTIMATE POO L DAY If the pool is your preferred way to get wet, the island boasts the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, Oasis Lagoon. Make your way through the different coves each with a vibe all its own. Splash right in at the kid-friendly sloping entry. Take your first sip of a cold Coco Loco at the swim-up bar before lounging on one of three swim-up islands. Or treat yourself to total relaxation in the privacy of your own cabana, complete with attendant service.

LUXURY MEETS CARIBBEAN COOL Speaking of cabanas, it doesn’t get any better —

or more luxurious — on the island than the floating cabanas at Coco Beach Club, an exclusive private-access beachfront retreat. The cabanas or club admission also grant you access to an incredible infinity pool, as well as the on-site restaurant dishing an elevated menu of filet mignon, lobster and more.

VIEW FROM THE TOP There’s no shortage of picture-perfect photo opportunities at Perfect Day at CocoCay — but for the ultimate vacay shot, capture the entire island from up to 450 feet high in the Up, Up and Away helium balloon. It’s an incredible flight with unparalleled views and truly unforgettable memories.

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Floating Cabana

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THE BEST AT SEA Of course, there’s plenty of adventure to be had before and after your visit to the island onboard the world’s most incredible ships — like the ocean’s largest ship, Symphony of the Seas, the newest in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Odyssey of the Seas or the fan-favorite Navigator of the Seas. The choices may be tough — but each delivers the vacation of a lifetime.

T he new Odyssey of the Seas Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, November 2021

CONTACT YOUR TRUSTED TRAVEL ADVISOR TO LEARN MORE

NOTICE: Prior to booking, please consult all applicable U.S. Centers for Disease Control travel advisories, warnings, or recommendations relating to cruise travel, at cdc.gov/travel/notices. If a certain threshold level of COVID- 19 is detected onboard the ship during your voyage, the voyage will end immediately, the ship will return to the port of embarkation, and your subsequent travel, including your return home, maybe restricted or delayed. Health and safety protocols, guest conduct rules, and regional travel restrictions vary by ship and destination, and are subject to change without notice. Due to evolving health protocols, imagery and messaging may not accurately reflect onboard and destination experiences, offerings, features, or itineraries. These may not be available during your voyage, may vary by ship and destination, and may be subject to change without notice. Images and messaging for Perfect Day at CocoCay may include artistic renderings. All features are subject to change without notice. Perfect Day, CocoCay and Come Seek are registered trademarks of Royal Caribbean. ©2021 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas. 21075597 • 03/11/2021


HAVE BICYCLE, WILL TRAVEL by NANCY HELLMRICH

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TR AVEL I US BIKE TR AIL S

few years ago, I was on a road trip from Colorado to Florida when an impending hurricane threw some shade on the Sunshine State. I’d made it across the INTERVIEW border into Missouri, where the skies were clear and the sun was bright and warm, so I unclipped my Specialized road bike from the rack atop my trusty Land Rover and shifted into exploration mode. Surely, Missouri would have MUSIC a trail or two I could ride.

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Just off the highway, I found a bike shop where they pointed me toward a town called Defiance, and the start of the Katy Trail. Bordered on either side by big, old trees with stories to tell and clad in soft, agreeable crushed gravel, the sundappled, former rail trail meanders more than 200 miles along the Missouri River.

Thanks to the efforts of nonprofits and conservancies, RECIPE RECETTE unused railways are being transformed into hiking and biking trails from sea to shining sea. I was astounded to learn that the U.S. is now home to a mesmerizing network of routes and rides for cyclists of all ages and abilities. According to the Adventure COCKTAIL COCKTAIL Cycling Association, the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) currently connects 31 states.

No one at the bike shop had mentioned the wineries, but they weren’t easy to miss. The Katy Trail boasts 17 of them in all. I stopped at the Sugar Creek Winery and ordered a glass of their Vidal Blanc, which surprised me with it’s vivacious pear and apricot start and crisp sauvignon blanc-style finish. Sitting there on the grassy hillside, I marveled at all that I would have missed if I’d stuck with my original travel plan.

When it’s finished, we’ll have the largest public cycling network in the world! Since my side trip to LIVRErides, Missouri, I’ve found heapsBOOK more of these sweet hikes, and walks. While some are clearly laid out for more experienced riders, many are easy-going cruisers suitable for the whole family.

A few days later, I tapped into Florida’s TrailLink for some cycling fun around Orlando. The paths were lush, well-managed, and not crowded at all. And, just like that, I was hooked. Turns out, biking your way around the U.S. is good, clean fun.

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All Trails is a great resource for accessing maps, photos, and rider ratings for over 100,000 trails.


Hardcore & High Altitude: Going-to-the-Sun Road Whitefish, Montana

Awesome Autumn Colors: Swamp Rabbit Trail Greenville, South Carolina

Sweet Rainforest of Mine: McKenzie River Trail Bend, Oregon

Not as Scary as it Sounds: Shark Valley Trail Everglades National Park, Florida

Three States in One: Green Mountains Loop Roundtrip from Burlington, Vermont

See Denali Car-Free: Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Anchorage, Alaska

Gravel Lovers’ Delight: Acadia National Park Carriage Roads Mount Desert Island, Maine

Bring Your Shock Absorbers: The Whole Enchilada Trail Moab, Utah

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TR AVEL I PORT UG AL' S ALG ARVE COA S T

A HANDFUL OF SAND by

Darcy Rhyno

A trip to Portugal’s scenic Algarve coast becomes a journey into the past to relive childhood memories

The streets of Estoi meander away from a central square graced by a centuries-old church. Tucked among the small shops of this ancient Portuguese village on the southern Algarve coast are a few bars where older men leisurely review the events of the day. Estoi is motivation enough for a drive from Lisbon, but my wife and I are here on a mission.

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Carvoeiro on Portugal's Algarve coast

© Darcy Rhyno

La Palacio de Estoi with orange orchard in front

We find our way to the edge of the village and our historic 19th-century hotel with its luxurious new wing. From the glass balcony of our suite, we look out over an orchard of orange trees and talk about the past. My wife lived with her parents and two sisters not far from here when her father was on sabbatical from his university teaching position. She remembers attending school, playing on the beach and taking day trips to the mountains. Both her parents are gone now, so this trip is as much to connect with them as it is a journey into her own past. We’re here to find that beach and other familiar places along the Algarve. Estoi is our base for daily expeditions into the landscape of her memories.

Memories of Monchique The next morning, we head into the coastal mountains, taking time to wind our way up to Monchique. On the way, we pass a roadside barbeque, the spicy aroma of chicken piri piri wafting in the wind. We stop and my wife confirms this is the very restaurant where her parents would bring the family and visitors from America. The flavors of the region’s favorite dish trigger memories of long afternoons when she and her sisters would wander the grounds to see the chickens and play beneath the tall trees. There are no chickens out back now, but otherwise she says the place seems little changed. Further along the meandering route, we stop at a roadside pottery shop to pick up a few mementos. One is a six-piece tile wall hanging of a leafy tree with a dozen oversized oranges. Back in Estoi, we head to the hotel’s parlor for drinks. Sensual frescoes are painted

on the ornate Baroque plaster ceiling above us. About the French-inspired gardens are ceramic tile works, statues of nudes and blossoming citrus trees heavy with fruit that remind me of the artwork we bought earlier in the day.

Fragments of the Past We awake the following morning to the sound of church bells in the village. Breakfast is a sprawling affair that shows off the region’s cuisine — cured meats, soft cheeses, pastries, fresh fruits and, of course, pitchers of orange juice accompanied by bottles of sparkling wine. As we leave, the maître d’ shakes our hands, as she does at every meal. At the front desk, Orlando Araújo, the hotel manager, recommends a short drive to Roman ruins and the longer six-mile trip to the regional capital of Faro. “Nearby, you have a lot of islands,” he says. “You can catch a taxi boat. In 10 minutes, you are on a beach.”

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Colorful cobblestone street in Portimao, Algarve

TR AVEL I PORT UG AL' S ALG ARVE COA S T

Learn how to make Portuguese piri piri chicken at home with this recipe.

BOOK

A taxi boat to an island encircled by beaches is inviting, but we’re here in search of a very particular beach. We drive 40 miles west to the coastal village of Carvoeiro, where my wife and her family lived. When we get there, she’s disappointed. The authentic Portuguese village she remembers is now a town with condos on the cliff tops. They’re tasteful and low profile, but the traditional Portuguese house she remembers is gone. We walk the main street — now a dining district — to its end at the beach jammed between crumbling cliffs and crowded against the sea by cafés and bars. However, this is still a picturesque Portuguese fishing village at the mouth of the Mediterranean. We watch a gaggle of men pull a boat up the beach out of the reach of an advancing storm. When they’re gone, my wife picks up a handful of sand and pokes through the bits of shell among the coarse grains like she’s sifting through her past. “This sand,” she says. “I remember it was so full of shells.” For a moment, she’s her childhood self, playing with her sisters

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© Darcy Rhyno

LIVRE

on this very beach, her parents watching over them from a table nearby. Then she adds, “I can’t believe it’s been 45 years.” She stows a few shells in her pocket as if they’re shards of memory she can’t leave behind. Is this how it works, I wonder. Fragments of memory like bits of seashell fit together into whole periods from our past. If so, she seems okay with it. That evening on our balcony, we savor glasses of local Lagoa wine. The pink façade of the hotel is lit by the setting sun as in a Romantic painting. We watch as the orange orb on the horizon illuminates thousands of smaller ones — ripe fruit among the blossoms fragrant with the promise of next year’s crop, a complete life cycle in each tree. As the first stars appear in the gathering darkness, my wife says she knows just the place for those six tiles we bought earlier in our trip. Back home, she’ll fit them together and create a whole memory.

To plan your trip to Portugal's Algarve coast contact your trusted travel advisor today.

OUR EXPERTS SUGGEST Consider a river cruise as part of your Portugal experience If you’re planning a longer vacation to fully immerse yourself in Portuguese culture, it’s easy to travel from the southern Algarve coast to the northern parts of the country. Here, a river cruise is an excellent option to experience the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley and Port country, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region. AmaWaterways has a seven-night Enticing Douro itinerary where you’ll get to taste wines from historic wineries, visit the “City of Bridges” and soak up the genuine beauty of one of Europe’s most unadulterated landscapes.

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INTERVIEW

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VIDEO

INTERVIEW

NEW 2021 CELEBRITY EDGE® CARIBBEAN SAILINGS AVAILABLE NOW. We’re excited to announce that our revolutionary ship, Celebrity Edge ®, will be island-hopping in the Caribbean this summer from Fort Lauderdale. Choose from 7 nights in the Eastern or Western Caribbean and relax on warm-sand beaches, chill out in cool turquoise water, and surrender your senses to the slow pace of the tropics. AGENCY EXCLUSIVE: Book an AquaClass® or Concierge Class cabin and receive $100 Shore Excursion Credit per stateroom!

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CONTACT YOUR TRUSTED TRAVEL ADVISOR TO LEARN MORE Terms & Conditions: Offer applies to 4-night and longer itineraries that depart January 1st, 2021 through December 31, 2022. Bookings must be made between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Offer excludes Galapagos and Future cruise bookings. Bookings should be made through Espresso and/or normal reservations methods but must select/request the ENSEMBLEXTRA. $100 per stateroom Shore Excursion credit will be applied in the form of an onboard credit. Offer is $100 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, nontransferable, 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 not combinable with any other offer, promotion or discounted fare other than 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. NOTICE: Prior to booking, please consult all applicable U.S. Centers for Disease Control travel advisories, warnings, or recommendations relating to cruise travel at cdc.gov/travel/notices. If a certain threshold level of COVID-19 is detected on board the ship during your voyage, the voyage will end immediately, the ship will return to the port of embarkation, and your subsequent travel, including your return home, may be restricted or delayed. Health and safety protocols, guest conduct rules, and regional travel restrictions vary by ship and destination, and are subject to change without notice. Due to evolving health protocols, imagery and messaging may not accurately reflect onboard and destination experiences, offerings, features, or itineraries. These may not be available during your voyage, may vary by ship and destination, and may be subject to change without notice. *Always Included pricing applies to sailings booked and departing on or after November 17, 2020, excluding Galapagos cruises, in an inside through AquaClass® stateroom (eligible bookings). Guests in eligible bookings who choose Always Included pricing will receive Classic Beverage Packages, tips included, and unlimited Surf Internet Packages. All guests in a stateroom must choose the same pricing package. Visit celebrity.com for complete details. ©2021 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ships’ registry: Malta and Ecuador.


A DV E RT I S E M E N T

Rediscover Extraordinary

The Seabourn Expedition All-Inclusive Difference ➤

VIDEO

VIDÉO Expedition Team, delivering immersive experiences W  orld-class

A  ll veranda, all ocean-front suites luxuriously appointed

INTERVIEW

➤ ➤

In Search of Northern Lights

MUSIC ➤

• 1 2-day Norway & North Cape aboard the

Seabourn Venture •F  rom Copenhagen, Denmark to Tromsø,

Norway

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•D  eparts March 19th, 2022 •F  rom $10,999 per person, based on Veranda

Suite Plus taxes and fees of $515 per person Welcome to the quintessential family resort COCKTAIL – the All Suite, All Oceanfront, All Gourmet Generations Location. Here, you will discover everything from Gourmet a la carte cuisine to infinity pool balcony suites and attentive concierge service. Choose from a lavish selection of oversized suites, accommodating BOOK groups of all sizes. Agency Exclusive: Get $250 of shipboard credit

per suite

➜ For more information on special offers from Seabourn,

please contact your trusted travel advisor. 36

ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I SPRING 2021

 urpose-built expedition ships, PC6 ice-strengthened hull, with advanced P maneuvering technology for superior stability, safety and comfort

 andcrafted itineraries developed for the expedition traveler to the most coveted and H familiar remote destinations in the world

ENTREVUE Intimate ships with a private club atmosphere Intuitive, personalized service provided by staff passionate about exceeding guests expectations Inclusive expedition experiences with Zodiacs, mountain and ebikes, scuba diving MUSIQUE and snorkeling O  ptional expedition experiences with kayaks and custom-built, 6-guest submarines giving the option to extend your expedition further for greater ocean exploration** W  elcome Champagne and complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences O  pen RECETTE bridge policy*, hosted by members of the Expedition Team providing firsthand access to the ship’s command center and officers navigating your journey W  orld-class dining venues are all complimentary, dine where, when and with whom you wish

T ipping is neither required, nor expected COCKTAIL

C omplimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times

M  eticulous and purposeful adventurers’ resort at sea designed for the luxury traveler with unique attributes and spaces to enhance your experience

LIVRE S pa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, featuring an exclusive mindful living program**

C ommitted to environmental stewardship and sustainability *At the Captain’s discretion

**Optional programs, for additional charge


ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Scenic train on Landwasser Viaduct, Switzerland

Riding the rails in Europe makes for a fun family getaway

I

b y Max Anderson

have always been a ‘plane guy.’ I love airports. I even love airline food. But on a three-week European vacation (taken pre-COVID), I did the unthinkable and swapped wings for wheels.

Taking advantage of Europe’s extensive railway system, I took my family of four from Derbyshire (in the UK) to London, down to Paris, across to Innsbruck (Austria), up to Vipiteno (in the Italian Alps) and, finally, to Budapest. At each stop, we spent three to five days indulging in the local pleasures before returning to a station platform and continuing the journey. I had a suspicion it might prove an interesting alternative – especially for two 16-year-old boys who are, as we parents say, ‘at that stage.’

Turns out I was on the right track.

Rail travel is joyful — even for teens

Dolomites looming over our tiny Trenitalia loco.

No surprises that my wife and I relish hours of relaxing with books while we whoosh smoothly through Europe’s epic landscapes. But the biggest surprise is how our teenage boys are rendered completely content. Or, for want of a better word, chill.

In contrast to airports (increasingly looking the same worldwide), train stations offer distinctiveness and history. London’s St. Pancras railway station has a stunning Victorian glass-and-steel interior, while its handsome gothic edifice was the face of Harry Potter’s magical station in the movies. During a one-hour stop at Zurich Main Station, we enjoy lavish hot chocolates. Paris’ Gare de Lyon is home to Le Train Bleu, a restaurant built in 1901, rich with gilding, chandeliers and ceiling murals.

Naturally, they have movies and games on iPads. But both are happily distracted by scenes playing out alongside the tracks — pheasants in English fields, Swiss chalets alongside Lake Zurich and the Italian

Bernese Oberland countryside, Switzerland

London St. Pancras Station

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The Yellow Train (Train Jaune) on Séjourné Bridge, France

After each journey, the boys were in great shape physically and emotionally — no moody fractiousness, no angst after the rigors of security and officialdom. Trains allowed them to move around (including to restaurant cars), face each other over a table (great for playing cards) and, of course, there was no dehydration, airplane pressurization, or those subtle stress-inducers, like ‘in the event of an emergency…’

Electric tourist train Bernese Oberland,Switzerland

As one of my sons told me, “As soon as I’m in the air, I want to be on the ground again. The train ride feels like it’s part of the holiday.”

It’s faster than you think

A French TGV (high-speed train) alongside the Mediterranean

VIDEO

INTERVIEW

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Investment and electrification have made European rail networks among the best in the world. They’re comfortable,

VIDÉO

But perhaps the greatest time saving is made by cutting out airports. The Paris to Innsbruck journey serves as an excellent example. In Paris, instead of needing to be there two hours early for an international flight (intra-EU flights are not considered ‘domestic’), we arrive at the train station 30 minutes prior to departure, with time to enjoy coffee and croissants. I estimate this rail trip, door to door, was just 1.5 hours longer than it would have been if we had taken a flight. It was also infinitely more pleasant.

Happy family equals stress-free vacation After traveling by train across Europe, I’ve come to realize as much as I love flying, my sons don’t like it at all. Moreover, I’m always stressed getting the family onto a plane. Train travel left me the opposite of stressed — and that filtered down. With a happy family, the vacation was able to glide along smoothly like the SNCF double-decker train going at full clip across the AuvergneRhône-Alpes. Perhaps most significantly, our rail journeys offered a gentle transition from place to place, and with some 1,300 miles sliding past our window, we feel like we ‘saw Europe’ rather than experienced five separate destinations.

If you’ve got the time, I say get onboard.

No crowded airplane seats, the ability to get up and move around, the scenery ENTREVUE outside to entertain the kids – for this father, traveling by train as a family is ideal.

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MUSIC

timed to the second (so think hard about your connections), and high-speed trains can reach up to 185 mph.

MUSIQUE


A DV E RT I S E M E N T

Endless Adventures Await with Oceania Cruises ®

VIDEO

VIDÉO

INTERVIEW

ENTREVUE

Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, has launched their 2022-2023 Tropics and Exotics Collection of voyages. Fresh on the heels of the line’s record-setting single-day sellout of its 2023 Around the World MUSIC in 180 Days voyage, Oceania Cruises has officially opened 127 new late-2022 and early-2023 voyages for sale. • 127 itineraries with 284 total overnights that afford additional opportunities for travelers to immerse themselves in the cuisine, culture and history of these destinations • With 40 Caribbean voyages discover sun-filled escapes to the most coveted regions and an array of less-traveled islands such as Bonaire, Dominica and Guadeloupe • In South America, contrast high-energy capitals such as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago de Chile with the wild beauty of Patagonia, the Amazon or Antarctica • Travelers can explore iconic destinations and intriguing, off-the-beaten-path locales across Asia and Africa • The diversity of enriching destination experiences with Oceania Cruises’ Go Local Tours, culinary-focused excursions and tours that immerse the traveler in sustainability and green practices around the world

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Take advantage of even more value with our OLife Choice package, which includes 2-1 Cruise Fares, FREE Roundtrip Airport and FREE Airport Transfers. Also, choose from FREE MUSIQUE Shore Excursions, a FREE beverage package, or FREE Shipboard Credit, plus a wide range of amenities! Remember that you can reserve the dream voyage with complete peace of mind since every cruise is covered by RECETTE our Best Price Guarantee. Agency Exclusive: Ensemble Exclusive

FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities on select sailings, appetizers, wine and beer, and more!

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TR AVEL I IREL AND' S SOU THERN CROSSROADS

Gleninchaquin Park

Kenmare: Luxury at Ireland’s Southern Crossroads by

Darcy Rhyno

It’s tea time in Kenmare, arguably Ireland’s best small town. At its historic landmark hotel, Jane Huson and her friend Alison Stanton are led by a waiter to their table, past generations of Irish families already seated and nibbling on sandwiches and sweets piled up on elegant trays. Seated in front of a bank of windows, they looked out onto green, rolling lawns and across Kenmare Bay to the mountains on the other side. It was the start of a memorable afternoon.

Kenmare, County Kerry

A couple of years later, that experience is etched into the memories of Huson and Stanton, who were part of our group trip to Kenmare, about a four-hour drive from Dublin in the southwest corner of the country. “We were absolutely surrounded by natural beauty,” recalls Huson, a retired art teacher. “I remember the vista and a feeling of calm so well.” The luxurious setting helped foster that tranquillity. “There were fine linens,” she remembers. “Everything was polished and gleaming. It was as if you’d been invited to a manor for a weekend of hunting.” Glasses of champagne and prosecco accompanying the high tea also deepened her appreciation.

Skelligg Islands

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High Tea

The experience is something many visitors to Kenmare, including those golfing the adjacent 18-hole course, enjoy, but it’s just one of the exceptional experiences like this that make the town such a standout destination.


Torc Waterfall Killarney National Park

© Darcy Rhyno

© Tourism Ireland/ Kim Leuenberger

Kenmare River

Indulge and Savor

Just Let Go

For a town with just two short main streets, Kenmare is surprisingly rich in cultural and culinary experiences. Up and down both sides of Main and Henry streets, we discovered Irish pubs with live traditional music each night, fine restaurants highlighting local foods, and unique shops specializing in handmade items like Irish fisherman sweaters and tweed hats.

Kenmare sits at the crossroads of three of Ireland’s natural wonders, making it one of the most scenic regions on the island. From Kenmare, we drove the rugged Ring of Beara route to the southeast and the famous Ring of Kerry route to the southwest. A third day trip took us north into Killarney National Park.

“There’s a beautiful stationery store with gorgeous papers and great greeting cards,” Huson says. “Another has lovely Irish linens. In a butcher shop, the name of the farm is on that day’s cuts.” After their tea with bubbly, Huson and Stanton walked to Lorge Chocolatier Shop on Henry Street for a chocolatemaking class. Owner Benoit Lorge learned his craft in his native France. During our time in Kenmare, we noticed that Lorge wasn’t the only French influence on its culinary scene. We began most mornings with pastries at a French bakery. We also met a cheese maker originally from Paris working at the market. “For such a small, remote town,” says Stanton, “it has everything. There are so many fantastic amenities and such beauty everywhere you look.”

“It’s that feeling of space forever that’s so appealing,” Huson says. “Sheep roam thousands of acres of rolling, green mountainsides and glades. Everything is so lush. Sunlight filters through the forest into open meadows. It’s magical.” “The green of the landscape is a shade particular to Ireland,” adds Stanton. “Then there’s the rocky, rugged coastline of Beara. It’s just so varied.” This southern coastline is more than varied. Parts of it are otherworldly. While Stanton and Huson were having afternoon tea and making chocolates, the rest of our group drove to the tip of the Ring of Kerry for a boat tour to the two craggy Skellig Islands, a place so alien-looking that the larger Skellig Michael served as a setting in three Star Wars films. The sheer rock faces of Little Skellig are alive with more than 20,000 nesting pairs of gannets and other seabirds. “From Kenmare, making all those discoveries with friends,” Huson says, “sharing the newness with them is a fantastic experience. It’s a town to savor. The pace of the town really lends itself to that. As in art, one of the things we seek in life is contrast. That’s what I felt in Kenmare. That and you feel at home.” Huson thinks for a moment, then adds, “It’s a place where you can just let go.”

OUR EXPERTS SUGGEST Princess Cruises offers a 12-day Ring of Kerry cruisetour combining the best of land and sea. The adventure starts with a four-night land tour from Limerick, where you’ll take part in an Irish medieval banquet. From there, you’ll head to Killarney and follow the road known as the “Ring of Kerry” for a spectacular 100-mile panoramic drive towards the Lakes of Killarney and Muckross House, a 19th-century mansion. Then, the tour takes you to Cobh, where you’ll learn more about the strong linkage between Ireland and America. After a night in Cork, you’ll fly to London for the next phase of your journey, an ocean cruise that will take you to Guernsey, Dublin, Holyhead (Wales) and Glasgow.

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Talk with your travel advisor to get insider’s tips for your next Ireland vacation.

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35,000 70,000 REASONS TO PLAN YOUR VACATION.

Choose your vacation offer. SkyMiles® Members know a good deal when they see one. For a limited time, book a flight + hotel package with Delta Vacations to get up to 70,000 bonus miles or save up to $350 per booking. Book by April 30, 2021, for travel anytime. Whether you like racking up miles or having extra cash, this offer has something for everyone.

Contact Your Trusted Travel Advisor to Learn More

Offer subject to change without notice; other restrictions may apply. For complete details on this offer, visit GoBeyondTheFlight.com. All SkyMiles Program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/memberguide. Bonus miles do not count toward Medallion® Status or Million Miler™ Status. Offers void where prohibited by law. ©2021 Delta Vacations DV33964


YOUR VILLA AWAITS

As countries start their slow reopenings, our wanderlust and desire to venture beyond our immediate neighborhoods will grow, too. Yet, we still must be hyper-conscious of the current situation. With enhanced safety and health measures, thoroughly trained cleaning staff, distanced group arrivals, sanitization packages and more, renting a villa is an ideal option to enjoy an intimate vacation with your family, safely away from the crowds. For more information about the various cleanliness and safety protocols, or to book a stay at one of these villas, contact your trusted travel advisor who is always there for you – before, during and after your travels.

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Travel With Us For Your Next Adventure

We are here to serve your wanderlust. We’ve done the research, uncovered the special experiences and know the tricks, to then focus on your special interests and needs to build your best journey.

Experience is our expertise Ensemble Travel® Group membership enables us to bring you added amenities, custom touches, unexpected experiences, and a genuinely warm welcome wherever your travels take you. You now have the opportunity to work with a travel professional who can make YOUR aspirations and experience come to life. We take care of all the planning, support you throughout the journey, and save you time and money. Explore, dream and discover, and let us do the rest.

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