Vacations Fall 2021

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Clickable Digital Edition!

FALL 2021

What’s Trending? Our High Deserve Quotients Sunrise on Chile’s Torres del Paine Chasing Tequila with Ambassador Julio Bermejo Egypt Through the Eyes of a Mystery Lover Love Trips: Rendezvous | Honeymoon | Anniversary


What makes an Ensemble Vacation worth it? Did the trip take you outside of your normal routine? Did you forget about life back home for a while? Did you meet new people who rocked your world view? Have you told friends and even strangers about your trip? Were there pleasant surprises that still make you smile?


As Ensemble Travel owners and members, we work closely with the world’s most interesting suppliers to bring you deeply personal travel experiences with the power to feed your wanderlust. Then we tailor them to your preferences. Polish every detail before you go. Surprise you with Ensemble Travel extras. And bring you safely home again, exhilarated and yearning for more. The next time a friend brags about about a trip they booked online, just look at them and say, “Yes, but is it an Ensemble Vacation?”

The Arch of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico See story The One Worth Waiting For, page 35


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A tour of Egypt takes on a mysterious twist

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AMATEURS, ESCARGOT & A TANZANITE RING A family of Texans take the Caribbean by storm

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SURPRISINGLY GREEN Finding bright spots in unexpected places

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From the Editor

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U.S. Spotlight: Newport Rhode Island

THE MAGICAL LAND OF TEQUILA Meet the characters behind the tequilas we drink

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LOVE TRIPS: RENDEZVOUS, HONEYMOON, ANNIVERSARY Three distinct takes on traveling for love

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Q THE PATAGONIA TREK An impromptu hike around the Torres del Paine

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SECRETS OF A SPA INSIDER An interview with Penny Kriel from Salamander Resort & Spa

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WAKING UP IN LYON A solo traveler finds the kindness of strangers

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What’s even better than Ensemble Vacations? Ensemble Vacations in a fast, easy, and eco-friendly digital format that makes plotting your next adventure so much more fun! INTERVIEW ENTREVUE As you cruise through these pages, keep an eye out for the icons below and click to see videos, interviews, recipes, and amazing insights that sync with the article’s theme.

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EDITORIAL EDITOR IN CHIEF

Kimberly Buerkle

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Michele Sponagle Nancy Hellmrich

Dear Traveler,

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Laura Torrisi

I have two thoughts about this issue that I’d like the share with you. One, is that travel is personal, it changes us. The other is that we change travel.

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Torrisi Design Associates An Ensemble Travel® Group Publication Ensemble Vacations® is a publication of Ensemble Travel® ­Group © September 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.

What we get out of our vacations depends on us. If we go out into the world full of the joy of discovery, that is what we find. If we pack appreciation, we find amazement. Our travel experiences are largely our own doing. They’re a series of choices. To not lose faith when we’re lost. To embrace the challenge of forgotten shoes. Accept the kindness of a stranger. Find life in the unexpected. Right now, those choices mean more than they ever have before. Which is why, in this issue, we’re covering travel, not through the lens of building facades and historical facts, but through the eyes of the people. We’ve got a story about the agave-farming tequila families. A trilogy of pieces on how travel adds dimension to the ways we love. A fan of murder mysteries weaves a tale of suspense and intrigue in Egypt. And couple of first time backpackers take on Patagonia’s highest peaks. In What’s Trending, we tap into the mood of those finding outlets for pent up wanderlust ... whether it’s connecting with family on a holiday cruise or smashing a computer in a Las Vegas rage room.

ON THE COVER:

Anticipating her arrival at the next refugio, Erika Harkins “danced” across the suspension bridge overlooking cool, blue Grey Glacier. See story, Q the Patagonia Trek page 41. Photo Credit: Jake Harkins

As we plot our trips and adventures for 2022 and beyond, we may never really know the herculean efforts that went into bringing those experiences to fruition. All we can know for sure, is what we choose to see. That’s right people. We’re on the move. And, this time? It’s personal. Kim Buerkle, Editor Kbuerkle@EnsembleTravel.com

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Contributors

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. Pages. 6.7.11, 14 15, 22-23.

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. Pages 26-27.

LISA M. GETSON A retired healthcare executive based in Southern California, Lisa is now a board member with The First Tee of Orange County and her local women’s golf association. A frequent world traveler and golfing enthusiast, she took time out of her busy schedule to reminisce about her anniversary trip to Cabo San Lucas, Page 35.

MARY BEMIS, founder of InsidersGuidetoSpas.com, is a respected spa journalist who forged a vocabulary for spa and wellness reportage that is widely used by those who cover the issues today. She is a true spa advocate who believes in the healing power of spas and the benefits of living a spa lifestyle. A longtime New Yorker, she resides in Southern Oregon, on the banks of the Rogue River. Pages 47-49.

JAMES ROSS Based in Muskoka, Ontario, James is the author of Cottage Daze, which celebrates the joys of weekend cottages. He is the recipient of the 2015 Ottawa Tourism Travel Writing Award. His work has appeared in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles, Getting On Travel, Waypoints Global, Vacay Magazine, Westjet Magazine, and Travel Writers Tales. Pages 19-21.

ERIKA HARKINS A Coloradobased manager for IBM Global Business Services, Erika moved to the U.S. from Slovakia when she was 8 years old. Traveling for work reawakened her wanderlust, which she hopes to share with the world via personal stories like the one VIDEO about her trek in Patagonia on pages 41-44.

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POOJA SHAH Based in New York City, Shah is an intellectual property attorney and freelance content writer who focuses on wellness, social justice, culture, food, and entertainment. Her articles have appeared in HuffPost Personal, Vogue, Pop Sugar, VICE, Thrillist, Parents. com, andVIDÉO more. Read what happened on her solo trip to France on page 50.

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MICHAEL SHAPIRO recently interviewed Jane Goodall for National Geographic. His features have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. He’s author of The Creative Spark, a collection of interviews with creative people, winner of a 2021 Independent Publisher (IPPY) award. In Mexico, a tequila maker told him that if you drink fine agave spirits, not cheap stuff, you can avoid hangovers. That proved to be true. Mostly. Pages. 29-31

SHARMISTHA CHAUDHURI Sharmistha splits her time between Austin, New Delhi, and Calcutta. She has traveled extensively in India, Asia, Europe, and North America writing about food, culture, and art. Her work has appeared in VICE, SEEMA, Goya Journal, Outlook Traveller, Tripoto, Advantage Tennis, Hindustan Times, and The Telegraph. Page 38.

CHARLEE TOM A Texan based in Florida, Charlee’s cruise industry career has taken her places – from living in Alaska, to sailing the Caribbean, to hiking Machu Picchu. On route, she has built a network of friends all over the world. We get a peek at what it’s like to celebrate New Year’s with her extended family on page 25.


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What’s Trending Now

High Deserve Quotients

True fact: People blessed with wanderlust can’t sit still for long. When current events hold us back, we get antsy. And just like a rubber band poised on the tip of an index finger, the more you hold us back—the harder, faster, and farther we’re going to fly when you let go. Right now, our travel deserve quotients are high. Here’s how we’re filling them ...

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Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

Doubling Down on Holidays Big, loud family celebrations are in this year as we catch up on quality time with our cherubic little nieces and nephews. And those who prefer silent nights are finally feeling the sweet sense of freedom to spend the holidaze where they please.

The Warm Glow of London Few cities do Christmas better than London with festive markets, outdoor skating rinks, and beautiful lighting displays. Oxford Street kicks things off in November with 27 “curtains of light” comprised of over 200,000 glittering bulbs. Regent Street

London’s Regent Street shopping mecca started its Christmas light tradition in 1954 and continues to delight with 300,000 dazzlers and golden angels with outspread wings. Covent Garden, the 19th-century produce market, sports over 115,000 glittering lights, just blocks away from Lamb & Flag, Charles Dickens’ former haunt. In Kensington, The Churchill Arms goes all out, covering its exterior with 80 Christmas trees festooned with 22,000 lights. Christmas at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew features over one million lights, 12 Days of Christmas Trees, and a 22-foot-high Cathedral of Light tunnel. This year, there will be several new installations including one replicating the Northern Lights. 6

ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I FALL 2021

Churchill Arms


A Holiday Cruise Comeback We may not have awkward office parties anymore but we’ve got holiday cruises! And the ships are going all-out to make sure we have the time of our lives sharing the distinctive joys of getting together with family and friends. Tricks & Treats Who knew spooky Halloween cruises were such a big deal? We’re looking forward to Celebrity’s Trick-or-Treat Candy Scavenger Hunt and Disney’s Halloween on the High Seas. “Patch, the Pumpkin Pirate” will be aboard Carnival cruises. And Holland America Line is serving up eerie adult cocktails, like the Vampire Martini. Giving Thanks Savvy Thanksgiving cruisers are set to sail with all the turkey and trimmings and none of the clean up. Guests aboard Holland America ships will fill up on Master Chef Rudi Sodamin’s Apple & Pear Pie while they watch a live screening of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, featuring giant balloons, glitter, floats, live performances, and more! Joy to the World Disney’s Very Merrytime Cruises celebrate with a life-size gingerbread house. Castaway Cay is expecting “snow” flurries. Royal Caribbean has recreated the “North Pole.” Princess Cruises is setting sail with carolers. Over in Europe Avalon Waterways’ Christmastime on the Danube will visit Christmas markets in Vienna, Passau, Regensberg, and Nuremberg. While Rhine river cruises take in the charming winter markets of Breisach, Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Rüdesheim, and Cologne.

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Disney’s Very Merrytime Cruise

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New Year’s Eve Perhaps the most popular holiday cruise is the one with a countdown to midnight. This year, we’re really looking forward to glasses of bubbly, balloons and confetti, glittery dresses, dancing to live music, and belting out Auld Lang Syne. There’s not a cruise line in the industry that’s going to sit this one out.

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Someday

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Leave the winter blues behind and soak up some sun on a spectacular Caribbean vacation. Our fall and winter season offers eight luxurious ships,MUSIC including our two newest, Celebrity Edge® and Celebrity ApexSM, along with exciting sailings that range from 4- to 12-nights. Step up to The Retreat®, our most luxurious RECIPE experience, for a stunning suite with an exclusive restaurant, lounge, and sundeck, plus butler service, premium drinks, streaming Wi-Fi, shore excursion credit, and onboard credit.

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CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR FOR YOUR EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS WHICH INCLUDE: $100 Shore Excursion Credit for Concierge and AquaClass® guests NOTICE: Prior to booking, please consult all applicable U.S. Centers for Disease advisories, warnings, or recommendations relating to cruise travel, at VIDEO Control travel VIDÉO 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, 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. ©202 1 Celebrit y Cruise s Inc. Ships’ registry: Malta.

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Nature to the Max Ever since the scientists told us we were safer outside, travelers have been taking their gratitude out on nature and all her glories. Okay, maybe that’s just the social media influencers. But we do love our health and wellness. And we’ve got gratitude to spare.

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Plitvice National Park Rainbow over Waterfall in Milford Sound

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Raindrops on Roses

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Intrepid travelers know that even

Remote Outpost Arctic Bath Hotel | Sweden Last year, while no one was looking, Sweden opened their newest spa hotel on the Lulu River in the country’s indigenous Samí region. And wow, is it wild. The hotel’s design celebrates the tradition of moving timber via the river. Most noticeably in the main lodge, which is circular with a central, plunge pool, saunas, steam rooms, and a restaurant that serves pure, local, sustainable delicacies. Guests are accommodated in 12 cozy cabins set out over the water and on stilts along the shore, featuring floorto-ceiling windows and clean, open, mindful decor. Activities include fishing, husky tours, and Aurora Borealis snow sledding.

the craziest weather can make for amazing vacation stories. Snowflakes and icicles bring grins to our faces. A whistling wind can can turn a still scene into a multisensory affair.

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And in the rain, greens are more lush, waterfalls gush, the air smells COCKTAIL fresh, and the crowds stay away. Our favorite places that are better in the rain? New Zealand’s Milford Sound and Plitvice National Park in Croatia. BOOK VIDEO

The UNESCO Treatment UNESCO just announced an epic list of 33 new World Heritage Sites, double the usual number because INTERVIEW the committee didn’t meet last year. Our favorite? Well, we have a lot of favorites. But the one that’s getting heaps of attention from travelers is “The Great Spa Towns MUSIC of Europe.” Eleven spa towns made the list. If there ever was a year for “taking the cure” this has to be it.

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Soaking Up the Stars We’re not ashamed to admit that we like to check in on the popular kids before we book a trip. And this year, pop culture has given us a lot of intriguing options to choose from.

1-ATICO

Pop Culture: Travel Edition Foodies who crave seats in the world’s newest restaurants are booking into Imad’s Syrian Kitchen in London, Lisbon’s new rooftop venue Javá, and dining amidst the clouds at 1-ATICO in Singapore. Back home, we’re watching Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu) navigate a wellness retreat, the hilarity of Vacation Friends (Hulu), and photographer Jimmy Chin’s latest effort, The Rescue.

WHAT ’S TRENDING NOW

Just in time for our personal travel issue, Brandon Stanton’s book Humans is getting rave reviews. And Sweden’s ABBA will release their first studio album in 40 years, Abba Voyage, this November. On the celebrity front, Ben and JLo sailed in Italy, Kelly Clarkson went to Disney World, Serena toured Versailles, Roger Federer and De Niro are doing a Switzerland ad campaign, Rick Steves is staying home in Washington state. Rebel’s in Paris, and Hawaii-born superstar Bruno Mars just added two more shows in Las Vegas. Imad’s Syrian Kitchen

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Icons of the Caribbean Basil’s Bar on Mustique, founded by Basil Charles in 1976, has hosted everyone from David Bowie and Mick Jagger to Prince William and Kate Middleton. But this is no elitist hangout, everyone is welcome. In addition to its star-struck scene, the bartenders are known for serving a wicked rum punch. Best time to go? During the Mustique Blues Festival held each winter.

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On Jost Van Dyke, in the British Virgin Islands, Foxy’s Bar is named after long-time proprietor Foxy Callwood who has received many awards, including an order of chivalry from the Queen. The old driftwood bar is known for two signature drinks: Dread Fox, which combines Callwood’s Firewater rum with sour mix and cranberry juice, and Sly Fox, a margarita made with rum. Foxy’s New Year’s Eve party is one of the Caribbean’s best. Reggae star Bankie Banx is considered the Anguillan Bob Dylan. His Dune Preserve bar is composed of driftwood, shells, and planks from shipwrecks. This hotspot is known for its offbeat selection of homemade rums (centipede rum anyone?) and performances by Banx and his friends. Banx’s Moonsplash is one of the Caribbean’s best music festivals.

If you’ve been reading the news lately, you know that travelers are ... having feelings. We think expressing our bottled up sentiments can be healthy and healing—when they’re channeled in the right direction COCKTAIL of course. COCKTAIL

Smash It Up In Vegas In these pent-up times there’s nothing like blowing off steam. Maybe that’s why some travelers

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are taking their frustrations out on obsolete tech, empty liquor BOOK LIVRE bottles, and other breakables— in Las Vegas’ aptly named “wreck rooms.” Options include Sin City Smash, The Wreck Room, and Axe Monkeys, whose trademarked tagline is “Cheaper Than Therapy.” Proprietors provide the old printers, fax machines, and bottles—along with the bats, hammers, and crowbars used to destroy them. Customers provide the rage. Prior to doing battle, enraged customers are outfitted with overalls and helmets, as well as eye and ear protection; the walls are padded. While some go solo, others opt for a “Premium Smash” date night, or share their rage with up to six friends.

“So much fun smashing out your feelings,” said Nate D. from Indiana.

When the smashing is done, typically after 10 to 30 minutes, clean up is on the house.

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REIGNITE YOUR spark FOR TRAVEL Collette has been inspiring guests in guided travel since 1918. We help our travelers add incredible experiences to their story, and we focus on the details so you can focus on the journey. With Collette, the world is within your reach.

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FLEXIBILITY WHEN YOU NEED IT

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Watch our Costa Rica video and see what our travelers experience on our Tropical Costa Rica tour WATCH HERE *Pricing is per person, land only, double occupancy, and varies by departure date.**Visit collette.com/travelprotection for full details of insurance policy and benefits. †If you choose to cancel your tour, a refund will be issued in the original form of payment, minus the cost of the Travel Protection Plan. Other restrictions may apply.


What’s Trending Now

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Camino de Costa Rica

Lankester Botanical Gardens

Else Kientzler Botanical Gardens

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Celest Falls, Peninsula Papagayo

Living la Pura Vida With the sloth as its national symbol, Costa Rica – now officially the mellowest country on earth – hosts three million visitors a year. And they’re not all surfers. Vacationers and expats alike flock to the 12th happiest country in the world for its simple, easy, pura vida vibe.

Four Seasons' private jet journeys include a stay on the nation's lush Peninsula Papagayo. The whimsical Igloo Beach Lodge in Manuel Antonio, is attracting the beautiful beach club crowd. Nine cruise lines have returned to the island nation's ports. For remote workers, the big news has been special visas for digital nomads and their families. Rumor has it, even Apple Pay will soon be there.

Previously blocked, superyachts above 24 meters are plotting a fresh course for Costa Rica's 800 miles of tropical coastline. “On behalf of the people of Costa Rica, we welcome you with open arms,” said Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado Quesada upon signing the yacht-friendly bill into law.

Of course, eco-travelers are flocking to the rich coast's renowned ecospheres to fill up on butterflies and botanicals. Some are also taking on the Camino de Costa Rica, a hiking trail that meanders from Barra del Pacuare on the Caribbean Sea up to an elevation of 7,154 feet before weaving its way down to the town of Quepos on the Pacific Ocean.

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Furka Pass, Switzerland

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Perpetual Motion Travelers who’ve had their fill of sitting still are seeking out places where they can move freely, feel the wind in their hair, the sun on their faces, and the satisfying pull of acceleration.

Motorcycle Meccas

While few are choosing to go full Ewan McGregor and ride 13,000 miles from Argentina to Los Angeles, many ardent motorcyclists are donning their leathers and taking to evermore interesting roads. And they’re loving every hairpin turn along the way. VIDEO

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Clocking in at 1,600 miles (2,600 km) Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest coastal road. From the Inishowen Peninsula MUSIC MUSIQUE to Kinsale, County Cork, this exhilarating drive combines spectacular cliffs, bays, beaches, and estuaries with castle ruins, friaries, and classic Irish pubs.

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At almost 8,000 feet above sea level, Furka Pass is one of Switzerland’s highest alpine passes. The drive’s greatest claim to fame is a chase scene in the 1964 film Goldfinger, in which James Bond maneuvers his Aston Martin through the switchbacks in pursuit of the villainous tycoon.

Provence’s Gorges du Verdon, often called the Grand Canyon of Europe, was carved by glacial activity and fast moving river water at the dawn of the Quaternary period. Today, rock flour in the river gives it a striking turquoise hue that attracts travelers from all over the world.

Best place for a pit stop? Rhone Glacier, for a cool walk into its 100-meter-long ice grotto.

The best time to drive the narrow “French balcony road” is off-season or in the morning before the crowds.


The Need for Speed

Word is, high-level business negotiations are now being done on closed loop racetracks, as opposed to golf greens. Career climbers are trading in their clubs for racing lessons at top tracks around the world. Many are heading straight for the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy— home of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani, De Tomaso, Dallara, and Ducati. Some are taking SF90s for a spin on Ferrari’s Corso Pilata. Others are signing up for Lamborghini’s Esperienza Dinamica for Imola Circuit lessons in an ego-boosting Aventador.

Over in Bavaria, the BMW M Race Track Experience rewards supercar enthusiasts with instruction on improving their racing lines and opportunities to drive sections of track usually reserved for professionals. Courses include the “Green Hell” section of the Nürburgring and the legendary Hockenheim circuit, among others.

At the Mercedes-AMG Track Training dealmakers are booking courses in Germany and Belgium on the Hockenheimring, Nürburgring, Nordschleife, and Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. A special winter experience in the Swedish Lapland includes pro and advanced weeks with intense sessions in drift driving on snow and ice.

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At the Lotus Driving Academy in Norfolk, England, three back-to-back days of training with instructors on the Lotus Elise S, Evora S, or Exige S nets drivers a “Lotus Licence.” The certification qualifies them to negotiate the Hethel test circuit, a state-of-the-art facility built on a former World War II Air Force airfield.

Remote & Afloat

Work@sea is trending too. Knowledge workers are on the move and many are setting up shop out on the ocean. With stateroom availability and favorable pricing aboard freshly relaunched ships, we’re seeing on observation deck.lounges than ever. MUSIC more laptops MUSIQUE Satellite linked, tech-enabled ships are the obvious choice for digital nomads who need to stay in constant contact. Some ships boast RECIPE Apple retail shops with the latest gadgets. And most have a multitude of quiet spots and inviting cafes that offer spectacular views.

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As the blog posts and reviews roll in, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line are all getting RECETTE kudos from sea-based workers. Thanks to a new constellation of satellites, all Princess Cruise ships will feature land-like connectivity as part COCKTAIL of its MedallionNet Wi-Fi service and Royal Caribbean’s super-fast Voom internet is available on all of its ships.

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Managing your time well is apparently the secret to getting the best of both worlds. Scheduling work sessions at night and in the mornings before arrival at port enables them to perform well for their employers and see the sights in each port. Transoceanic and repositioning cruises also make great choices.

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What’s Trending Now

High Deserve Quotients

Palm Island, St. Vincent

Seriously Splurgy This fall, the lure of YOLO is strong. We say, go for it. Some experiences are worth a little extra cash.

WHAT ’S TRENDING NOW

Case in point? Indulgent travelers to Coimbra, Portugal, are checking into The Hästens Sleep Spa Hotel for one of the most ultra-upscale sleep experiences on earth. There’s a soothing Hästens app playlist, pillow menu, consulting chiropractor. “From the moment you are here,” the manager purrs, “you don’t worry about anything else.” Anse Couleuvre, Martinique

Subtle Sophistication The first rule of subtle sophistication is slipping away quietly without telling anyone you’re slipping away quietly. There are some things only your travel advisor needs to know.

Haute Beaches Pssst. Want to know a secret? While the popular beaches might get all the attention on social media, savvy travelers who want to unplug from the world for a while are slipping away to uber-private beaches like the ones we found here.

Back in New York City, travel documents are getting a facelift at the RIMOWA Passport Studio, where self-service photo booths capture image-conscious travelers in their most flattering light. But looks aren’t everything, are they? If first class smells a little fresher these days, it could be Sylt, a salty, woody, spicy new scent named for the discreet yet chic island off the north coast of Germany. Opening in 2022, the new Lanserhof Sylt resort and spa promises, “an intelligent symbiosis of cutting-edge medicine, naturopathy, recognized therapy procedures, the latest scientific know-how in a pleasant atmosphere.”

1. Palm Island or Young Island - St. Vincent & the Grenadines 2. Malmok Beach - Aruba 3. Anse Couleuvre - Martinique, French Antilles 4. Grand Anse or Morne Rogue - Grenada 5. Klein Beach - Curaçau 6. No Name Beach - Klein Bonaire Island 7. Loblolly Bay - Anegada, British Virgin Islands

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Lanserhof Sylt


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Giza

AGATHA MADE ME DO IT All the elements of a fine mystery were there. An exotic setting. A daring Nile River cruise. And a small group of strangers embarking on an itinerary thick with intrigue. by JAMES ROSS

I

touched down in Cairo on a splendid February afternoon to the city’s pandemoniac tangle of traffic and made my way, ever so carefully, to the pre-arranged hotel. It was fortuitous that I had arrived early, as the timing gave me the chance to sit in the plush lobby with a gin and tonic and size up my fellow travelers.

A small group of strangers Of note, there was the requisite physician, in this case, a veterinary surgeon from Ohio, who had seen more than his fair share of mongrels. A loquacious businesswoman from Vancouver and a wealthy widow with a southern drawl arrived separately, but soon found a commonality in their singularity. When a much-too-happy couple from Australia waltzed in, I made a note to steer clear, as my particular modus tends toward the somewhat subdued. Next, arrived an English military man with a lovely young woman who,

I came to learn, was his third wife. What had happened to the first two, we may never know. Finally, a Parisian tour guide strolled to the registration counter, flush from the effort of the airport transit and yet somehow still remarkably poised.

literal City of the Dead and the eternal resting place of caliphs, sultans, scholars, mystics, and late modern day Cairenes. Apparently, the burial grounds are fraught with controversy over a construction project nearby. Locals are justifiably mortified.

A deeply obsessed scholar

The following day, as the Australians cooed, we learned the true depth of Ms. Fayez’s Egypt obsession during an astounding tour of Cairo’s legendary tombs. Both the widow and the veterinarian pursued the scholar with follow-up questions, which, in the good doctor’s case, seemed to come more from a desire to

As we gathered at the appointed hour in a private dining room, we were introduced to Ms. Fayez, a pleasant-faced Egyptologist who was not unjustly preoccupied with death. This fact became apparent during her initial lecture regarding Cairo’s pyramids, hieroglyphics, and necropolis—a

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Sailing the Nile near the banks of Aswan

The Shrine to Queen Hatshepsut

The Valley of Kings

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know the scholar better, than the pursuit of further fact. But who am I to judge.

guide, now glistening a bit in the heat of the day, pondered the fate of royals.

Giza’s Sphinx was appropriately astounding. There was a tense moment in which our elegant Georgian widow seemed stumped by the Oedipus riddle, but her naivety was revealed to be a ruse. Relieved that none of us would be eaten, we carried on. In the cool comfort of Cairo’s distinctive, pink Egyptian Museum, I imagined many a mysterious plot being carried out amongst the thousands of ancient artifacts.

A notorious river cruise

Further south, in Luxor, more and larger artifacts were on open display, as was a multitude of fellow travelers. As we ambled past the temples at Karnak, through the Valley of the Kings, and to the shrine to Queen Hatshepsut, I and the Parisian

Finally, we boarded a sturdy ship for our 4-day cruise up the Nile to Aswan. Standing at the railing as the boat slipped into the current, I breathed in the cool air and marveled at the surreal scene before me. The lateensailed feluccas cutting lines in the glassy water, as opportunistic egrets worked the shore for newts and tadpoles. My curiosity peaked the next morning as our group wandered through the Aswan temple ruins. What must life have been like in ancient Egypt? Would I have visited the temples? If so, might I have sat in the front or the back? Searing afternoons were spent on the ship’s deck clinking cocktail glasses, sharing

impressions of Egypt thus far, and meting out delicately embellished stories of life back home. Out on the water, wrinkled men fished from small skiffs and eager hawkers paddled past flogging colorful gallabiyahs and embroidered kaftans. On shore, young shepherds herded beasts along well-worn paths. As dusk settled, haunting calls to prayer lingered in the air.

An unexpected confession At night, on deck, beneath the stars, I confessed my love for Agatha Christie’s work to the English officer and his wife, both of whom seem mildly amused. A few minutes later we re-encountered, and their amusement turned to outright chortles when I greeted them with “An evening most agreeable, n’est-ce pas? And yet, mes amis,


Abu Simbel temple ruins

one of you has a deadly secret.” Nearby, the French guide perked his ears and I gave him a mischievous look. On the third day, we came ashore at a bend in the river and meandered through an expansive bazaar not far from the famously symmetrical Temple of Kom Ombo. My eyes surveyed the wide array of swords, baskets, amulets, silk kaftans, jewelry, spices, mesmerized tourists, and eagle-eyed locals. In Christie’s novels, Egyptian pounds might have been exchanged for a jewel-encrusted dagger, a dainty revolver, or vial of something nefarious. On an Agatha inspired whim, I asked a snake charmer for a photo. After I tipped him for the kindness, he and the frightful-looking reptile generously obliged.

Scouring the scene for clues At the edge of the Nubian Desert, I (not surprisingly) opted for a visit to the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan hotel, where Agatha Christie penned her magnificent book Death on the Nile. Perched on a cliff overlooking the storied river, I tried to imagine how she must have moved through the world, scooping up characters and evaluating every scene for means, motives, and opportunities. A drop of poison. A faulty engine. A loose rock. Sweet revenge. Later, standing on the balcony to her well-preserved suite, I recalled Detective Poirot’s words while taking in the same view. “It enchants me. The black rocks of Elephantine, and the sun, and the little boats on the river. Yes, it is good to be alive.”

And it was good to be alive. Especially after a daring flight south to Abu Simbel, where the temples of Ramesses II and Queen Nefertari appear to have been carved into the side of a mountain. Apparently, the buildings had to be moved to their current location to facilitate the filling of the Aswan High Dam reservoir. Almost certainly a watershed moment. Alas, I had plenty of motive to stay and further delve into the many mysteries of Egypt, but real life beckoned. There is a new film I am determined to see, starring one Sir Kenneth Branagh. Early critical reviews are saying it it kills.

The Nile, Luxor

Coming to theaters February 2022 A new adaptation of Death on the Nile featuring an all-star cast, with Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot. Set against sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this tale of unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement.©20th Century Studios

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To plot an intriguing adventure of your own, contact your trusted Ensemble Travel advisor.

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U.S. CI T Y S P OTLI GHT

NEWPORT REVISITED CIT Y SPOTLIGHT

Colonial History, Gilded Age Mansions, and Lobster Rolls A squawk of seagulls pierced the air as I drove across the Newport bridge. Out on the bay, sailboats rocked back and forth next to blithe yachts. Newport is nicknamed The City By the Sea for its location on the southernmost tip of Aquidneck Island. While Rhode Island’s summer playground is well-known for the America’s Cup, Gilded Age mansions and gorgeous beaches, its history is much more diverse.

by

ROBIN CHERRY

The Claiborne Pell Bridge is among the longest suspension bridges in the world

A DIVERSE HISTORY Since its founding in 1639, Newport, Rhode Island, has been a draw for everyone from jazz enthusiasts to shipping magnates. Perhaps because of its wide appeal, this historic seaport is also a shining example of religious diversity. As the daughter of a Quaker and a Jew, I found this intriguing, and decided to take a closer look. My first stop was the Great Friend’s Meeting House which flouts its age with majestic timber beams that defy time. Built in 1699, it’s Rhode Island’s oldest house of worship. A few blocks away, I strolled through the Quaker-founded Point neighborhood with its preserved colonial buildings. I took the Colonial Jewish Walking Tour, the only way to see the oldest free-standing synagogue in America: Touro Synagogue. The building has a Palladian exterior, the fashion of the day, and an ornate interior largely influenced by the Amsterdam synagogue where founder Isaac Touro studied. After visiting the Jewish cemetery that inspired Longfellow’s poem, The Jewish Cemetery at Newport, I walked along Farewell Street to see God’s Little Acre, America’s largest colonial-era African cemetery and the final resting places of both free and enslaved Africans. At the mouth of Newport Harbor sits the neat and orderly fortress at Fort Adams. While military enthusiasts revel in tours of its fortifications, the surrounding grounds are best known for hosting the annual Newport Jazz and Newport Folk music festivals.

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The Breakers

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N E W P O R T ’ S “ C O T T A GE S ” Cornelius Vanderbilt’s 70-room Italian Renaissance mansion, The Breakers, is (by far) the grandest of the eleven Newport “cottages.” Walking through the ornate iron gates and RECIPE standing on the loggia as waves broke against the cliffs, I thought of what my friend Diane likes to say when we see a beautiful place: “We could be happy here.”

MUSIQUE T H E N AU T I C A L S C E N E What makes Newport’s boating scene so unique is the city’s proximity to the open ocean and deeper waters. Ranging in depth from 6 feet to over 100 feet RECETTEvessels of almost any size can in the outer harbor, comfortably either dock or moor in its calm waters.

Beyond Goat Island, the depth drops to over 150 feet, Wealthy socialite (and possible murderer) Doris Duke owned Rough Point and Duke’s family allowing major cruise ships access to Newport and heirlooms and artwork range from 16th-century Flemish tapestries to 20th-century couture Bay. COCKTAIL NarragansettCOCKTAIL fashion. The surrounding gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and the panoramic Newport “Sight Sailing” is all the rage. I had my choice ocean views are stunning. of antique yachts, coastal cruisers, classic sailing schooners, and America’s Cup charters. Skippers and C U LT U R E crew are included, which makes the Champagne flutes hold onto. The Newport Art Association is one of the oldest continuously operating art associations in the BOOK much easier toLIVRE nation. There is such an abundance of art and culture here, I could have spent an entire year chatting with local artisans and getting lost in the galleries, museums, shops, and studios. OUTDOORS

IN T O W N , O U T D O O R S

Newport also has a sporting history. The U.S. Men’s Singles Championship was first held here in 1881, long before it was rechristened the U.S. Open. The original site now houses the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which has a cool hologram of Roger Federer.

STAY Sleek, nautical-themed Hammett’s Hotel is located on a wharf and I had panoramic views of the harbor from the seven-foot windows in my elegant corner room. After dinner, I enjoyed a sunset Negroni on the large wooden deck which glitters with Edison lights.

I couldn’t miss Newport’s iconic Cliff Walk which is lined with magnificent mansions on one side and the thrashing ocean on the other. Roughly two-thirds of the trail is paved; the rest requires a bit of a scramble. After the walk, I strolled along Newport’s popular First Beach before rewarding myself with a Bellini at The Chanler’s waterfront lounge.

Two days later, I checked into the Mill Street Inn, an industrial-chic boutique hotel set in a converted 19th-century mill. Although it’s in a historic neighborhood just a few blocks from the harbor, the inn is quiet and removed from the crowds. My room, with exposed brick walls and beamed ceilings, oozed character and style. Breakfast was included and I enjoyed my yogurt parfait on the inn’s private roof deck.

EAT For breakfast, I joined the locals at Franklin Spa and Gary’s Handy Lunch, both what my dad would have called, affectionately, greasy spoons. Franklin Spa’s excellent Smoked Salmon Benedict came on a sweet Portuguese bolo roll.

The simple lobster roll at the dockside Newport Lobster Shack was ideal for lunch while Del’s frozen lemonade hit the spot on a steamy afternoon.

Giusto, opened by Kevin O’Connell, a Newport native who cooked for two years in Orvieto, serves delicious Italian fare in a stylish dining room overlooking the harbor. I’d give my eyeteeth for another bite of his bucatini with fresh shrimp, scallops, and lobster.

Another night, on the rooftop overlooking the harbor at Stoneacre Gardens, the creamy red lentil soup with lobster and a glass of wine were all I needed for a delicious dinner.

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Amateurs, Escargot & a Tanzanite Ring by

CHARLEE TOM

AKA @travelcharlee

“I want to sail with your family!” said my friend Debi when I told her about our upcoming New Year’s Eve cruise. Then she upped the ante with, “We can share a cabin!” That’s where I drew the line. “NO WAY!” I said, without hesitation. If 18 of us were traveling together, I was going to need my own space.

In Belize, I joined my nieces and nephews for spooky cave tubing and shared their joy as they ziplined for the first time. That afternoon, we were all chaos and giggles trying to sit still for a family portrait. In Roatan, my brother’s family swam with dolphins while the rest of us took a catamaran excursion ... with boozing all the way back, of course! Each evening, we met for sunset cocktails, then made our way to two large tables for boisterous family dinners. One night,

one of my family members got overly enthusiastic about ordering escargot and asked for 10 orders “to share.” Riiiiight. Can you say mortified? Kudos to the wait staff who put up with us that night and every night of the cruise. They definitely deserved a raise after that week.

TR AVEL I TE X AS FAMILY HOLIDAY CRUISE

I make my Texas family sound so highmaintenance, but they really aren’t at all. Born on New Year’s Eve and what my father called “amateur night,” my Mother loves when we are all together for family celebrations, like her birthday. That year, we were chilly as we set sail from Galveston for the Western Caribbean, but the further south we went, the more we warmed up ... in more ways than one.

A few days later, in a jewelry shop in Cozumel, Mother picked out a BIG beautiful tanzanite ring as my father waited outside, poised to come in and “make the deal.” He was a true Texas rancher who drove a hard bargain on every occasion. One time, on a cruise in Alaska, he tried to trade a bull for a diamond. This time, to our relief, he offered a credit card for payment. And Mother does love that ring. Not long ago she pulled me aside and said, “My darling daughter, do you like this ring? Because, when I’m gone, it will be yours.” I was astonished, and I do love the ring … but I love

my sweet mother even more.

Contact your trusted travel advisor to plan a family holiday trip today.

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Ljubljana, Slovenia

TR AVEL I A GREENER WORLD

Surprisingly Green Sometimes, you find bright spots in unexpected places

by NANCY HELLMRICH

Right. So we all know that the people of Denmark are happy and eco-conscious and perfect. They ride bicycles, forage for natural foods, turn waste into electricity, and tread lightly wherever they go. Since the Danes, and all the usual Scandinavian suspects, are capturing the eco-press these days, we thought we’d shine a little light on some lesser-known members of the green team. Ljubljana, Slovenia | Pretty, green Ljubljana won the European Green Capital title in 2016 and they haven’t looked back since. The centre of the city, nearly 30 acres, is traffic-free. There are 542 square meters of green space per inhabitant. Like Copenhagen, bicycles rule. A green supply chain project keeps food sources local. The city’s tourism is “de-seasonalized,” meaning their calendar of events is year-round. They’ve won heaps of awards for their green scheme (Slovenia Green) and sustainable tourism efforts. And, in the “who knew” category of fun facts, they have a long history of beekeeping.

Gartencafé

Vienna, Austria | Powered largely by renewable energy, Vienna boasts green spaces that cover almost half of the city including 2,000 parks with flower beds and blossoming trees. There are oodles of oases-like dining courtyards hidden from view, such as Clementine im Glashaus at the Palais Coburg, Salonplafond at MAK, Gartencafé, and Café Diglas in Schottenstift Abbey. The Viennese love of greenery goes up as well, to the roofs and walls of buildings, including a “mur végétal,” created by famed botanist Patrick Blanc, that features 20,000 species of plants.

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San Juan, Puerto Rico | Viva la vida natural. Thanks to a successful Green Certifications Program, Puerto Rico is in the middle of a big push to earn our eco-tourism dollars. Eco-approved accommodations include everything from an earth-friendly glamping hotel to Ritz-Carlton’s Dorado Beach, and the solar-powered Hix Island House. Nearby agricultural tours include fruit and vegetable plantations, coffee haciendas, and equestrian facilities. Biodiversity is big here too, with eco-tours that feature caving, kayaking, interpretive hikes, snorkeling and diving. And an innovative community-based initiative supports local entrepreneurs through guided activities in nature reserves such as Humacao, Rio Abajo, and Jobos Bay.

Ritz Carlton, Dorado Beach Hix Island House

Gorky Central Park

Bristol, United Kingdom | Lovely, lovely

Moscow, Russia | We were surprised too. But it turns out, Russia’s capital is a whopping 54 percent green space. That’s 20 square meters per inhabitant, if we’re counting. Since the 1950s, the city has been home to millions of trees and shrubs, including small-leaved linden, blue spruce, fir, western thuja (cypress), golden currant, barberry, and roses. And the Moskovites aren’t stopping there. Apparently, if you must cut down a tree, two new ones have to be planted in compensation. Moscow’s cherished parks include the 300-acre Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure, Tsaritsyno Park, Vorobynovy Park, Izmaylovsky Park. And of course, Losiny Ostrov National Park, the largest urban park in Europe.

Bristol became the UK’s first cycling city in 2008. By 2013 it had been designated one of the world’s top bike-friendly cities. And by 2015, The European Green Capital of the Year. Today, the city’s Green Capital Partnership works to keep the momentum going. Green spaces are scattered throughout street artist Banksy’s home town. Brandon Hill is great for picnics. Eastville Park offers treed walks, a lake, running circuit, and lawn bowling. Ashton Court Estate has sunken gardens. And the University of Bristol Botanic Garden features a 640-square-meter glasshouse divided into four climate zones.

Contact your trusted travel advisor and go green for your next vacation. Volksgarten (People’s Park)

University of Bristal Botanical Gardens

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The Magical Land of Tequila A guys’ getaway starts with a spirited train ride and culminates with visits to family-owned distilleries This is how dreams begin in Mexico, with a ride on a tequila-inspired train.

Text and Photos by MICHAEL SHAPIRO

My longtime friend Julio Bermejo and I board the Jose Cuervo Express, the train that travels from the city of Guadalajara northwest to the town of Tequila, now officially recognized as a Pueblo Magico (magical village). We’re in the recently unveiled Elite class woodpaneled train car with mariachi bands, premium tequila tastings, and a Mexican lottery game. Sipping tequila while rolling past fields of agave, the spiky green succulent from which tequila is made, is the perfect way for a couple of guys to kick off a long weekend celebrating Mexico’s premium spirit. Julio, the beverage manager at Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, is a tequila ambassador (see sidebar on page 31). After my travel advisor suggested a trip to explore the origins of tequila, Julio got right on board. “Grape fields are all over the world, but agave grows only here,” Julio remarks as the train chugs past a towering volcano. “It gives you a sense of place. When you see agave fields, you know where you are; it reminds you everything comes from the land.” Later, at the sprawling Jose Cuervo distillery called Fábrica La Rojeña, I turn the lever to open an oaken cask and pour my own bottle of Cuervo’s finest

tequila, its Reserva de la Familia. Then I push in the cork and dip the bottle in molten red sealing wax. The next day, we visit Guillermo Sauza at Tequila Fortaleza. As his surname suggests, he’s tequila royalty. He was in line to run the tequila behemoth Sauza, but in the late 1980s, his family sold the company. So Guillermo launched Fortaleza, the small premium tequila maker, in 2002, almost next door to the distillery that bears his family’s name. Tequila making can’t be rushed, says Guillermo, looking relaxed in a Hawaiian shirt. The agave heads take seven to 10 years to grow and weigh 50 to 200 pounds when harvested. The spikes are hacked off with a long-handled blade called a coa. Then the heads, called piñas because they look like gigantic pineapples, are roasted under pressure in a steam boiler built by Guillermo’s grandfather more than a century ago. Guillermo Sauza ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I FALL 2021

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Casa Noble is surrounded by 3,000 acres of agave plants and 150yr-old mango trees

Freshly roasted agave

Julio notes that Arette’s tequila embodies the region’s terroir: “pungent, herbaceous, green notes with an earthy vegetal flavor,” he says. “Arette is all of that with a nice body and a strong finish.”

TR AVEL I CHA SING TEQUIL A

Eduardo Orendain of Arette

The smell of the roasting agave evokes Thanksgiving: molasses, brown sugar and sweet potatoes, with a hint of pumpkin pie. The agave fibers are removed; then the liquid, called mosto, is fermented in copper-pot stills. “It’s like going back in time,” Julio says, surveying the hands-on facility. In an age of celebrity brands, the best tequila remains “tied to a place, a community.” Across the street from Fortaleza is the boutique distillery Arette. Eduardo Orendain, the earnest son of the owner and the fifth generation to work in his family’s business, grew up with tequila. We talk in the concrete patio where the piñas are unloaded and cut open, surrounded by autoclaves (modern pressurized ovens) where they’re roasted, and greased black gears that power the fiberremoving shredders. “I love tequila,” says Eduardo, who is in his late 20s. “Since I was little I rode horseback in the agave fields, but my family put me to work – I had to clean the bottles.”

We go to Arette’s barrel room and absorb the warm welcoming scent of tequila dancing with oak. “It smells so good in here, but you know who’s reaping the benefit?” Julio says. “The angels!” Liquor that evaporates during aging is called “the angels’ share.” Julio notes that 8 to 10 percent of tequila is lost during each year of fermentation – compared to about 2 percent for cognac. “I’m not sure how much the angels like cognac,” he says, “but I know they love tequila!” In the hills above the town of Tequila is Casa Noble, which has made a name for itself with triple-distilled premium tequila. Aged in French white oak barrels, Casa Noble is made at the Cofradia compound, which includes lavishly decorated hotel rooms and a restaurant called La Taberna that serves everything from fishbowl drinks to locally-sourced lunches. Casa Noble uses atmospheric fermentation, which means its tanks are open to wild yeast in the air. The best way to evaluate tequila is straight from the tank, says our guide, David. “You can’t imagine what tequila really tastes like until you’ve tasted it straight from the still.”

A Tequila Primer What’s tequila? A spirit made from blue agave harvested in designated areas in five Mexican states. Most tequila comes from Jalisco, the state that’s home to the town of Tequila.

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What are the primary types of tequila? Blanco is clear, straight from the still and unaged. Reposado is aged in oak from two months to a year, añejo one to three years. Extra añejo stays in the barrel more than three years.

Is all tequila made solely from agave? No, just the finer ones. The spirit must have at least 51 percent blue agave to be called tequila, but premium tequilas are 100 percent agave.

Does tequila have a worm in the bottle? Nope, that’s mezcal.


The Ambassador Of Tequila Growing up the son of Mexican immigrants in San Francisco, Julio Bermejo worked at his family’s Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant. “I cut tomatoes, shredded lettuce, grated millions of pounds of cheese,” he said. As a young man tending bar at Tommy’s, Julio discovered 100% agave tequila and began making margaritas with the premium spirit, lime juice and agave syrup – and nothing else. “My father went ballistic,” Julio said. Compared to cheap tequilas, pure-agave tequila “was four times as expensive! But people could taste the difference.” In the late ’80s, Julio discovered premium tequila made by Patron and El Tesoro, which inspired a pilgrimage to Jalisco.

As we sit down to taste, David notes that taking a shot isn’t the way to enjoy tequila. “It’s like drinking boiling coffee and getting scalded,” he says. The right way is to sip it, slowly. “It’s not one quick bang – how about the cuddling and kissing – that’s what makes it more enjoyable.”

“I knew Patron and El Tesoro were different but didn’t know why or how,” he said. In Mexico, the Camarena family that owned El Tesoro (made by Tapatio) welcomed Julio and showed him how fine tequila is made. Returning to San Francisco, Julio founded Tommy’s Blue Agave Club to encourage customers to try various pure-agave tequilas.

Tequila is one of the bestselling spirits in the world, which is “phenomenal,” Julio says, because by law it can only be grown in designated districts in Mexico, mostly in Jalisco.

Yet it’s not just marketing skill that makes Tommy’s a destination for tequila lovers – it’s Julio and his family’s warmth and graciousness.

The town of Tequila isn’t the only region where Mexico’s national spirit is distilled. Some of the best producers are in Jalisco’s highlands, two hours drive east of Guadalajara, so we travel to the pueblo of Arandas to visit Tapatio.

Now beverage manager at Tommy’s, Julio welcomes returning customers by name, asks about their families and remembers what kind of tequila they like.

Referring to a leading scotch brand, Julio says: “There’s no Mr. Macallan” in Scotland, but in Mexico you can still visit many family-owned distilleries. “It’s a beautiful thing.”

Because Julio has shared his passion for fine tequila with so many people and has become so knowledgable about the spirit, Mexico’s national tequila chamber (CNIT) has given him a title: Ambassador of Tequila to the United States.

Carlos Camarena, Tapatio’s director, is proud of adhering to generations of tradition. A tahona (a grinding stone the size of a small car) is used to mash the agave for Tapatio’s premium brand, El Tesoro de Don Felipe.

Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, 5929 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, Calif., www.tommystequila.com.

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The process is “old and inefficient, but this is the way my father and grandfather did it.” Carlos says, raising a glass of golden tequila. Beverage conglomerate Seagram’s approached the Camarena family, and offered “way more than the company was worth,” he says.

INTERVIEW

“But you know what, we didn’t accept. We have more than 80 years of tradition of making a good quality product. We have a decent living. That’s all we need.”

And that four-day trip Jalisco was just what I needed, a quick getaway with a good friend, reveling in Mexico’s native spirit and reviving my soul.

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Contact your trusted travel advisor to learn things you never knew about your favorite beverage. ENSEMBLE VAC ATIONS I FALL 2021

Carlos Camarena of Tapatio

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The new O dyssey of the Seas SM

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It’s time to see just how far adventure can take you on the newest Royal Caribbean ® gamechanger, Odyssey of the Seas SM. Get the adrenaline pumping with days spent bonding over family-friendly thrills like Sky Pad ® bungee jumping, skydiving at sea, or bumper car rush hour in the biggest SeaPlex ® ever. Then recharge at a newly designed resort-style pool deck that brings island vibes poolside. Take nights to another level with jam sessions at Music Hall, full-sensory spectaculars at Two70 ® and Vegas-style stage production shows. And go culinary course charting from Italy to Wonderland. All on an island hopping adventure that’s as safe as it is remarkable. Come Seek the Royal Caribbean.

6-NIGHT WESTERN CARIBBEAN & PERFECT DAY

6-9 NIGHT GREEK ISLES

8-NIGHT SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN

11-12 NIGHT HOLY LAND

Departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sailing Now – April 2022

Departing from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy. Sailing May – October 2022

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, 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. Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions and to change or update fares, fees and surcharges at any time without prior notice. Images and messaging for Odyssey of the Seas reflect current design concepts and may include artistic renderings and/or images of other Quantum Class ships. All ship features, experiences and itineraries are subject to change without notice. ©2021 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: Bahamas. 21000971 • 8/11/21


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H O N E Y M O O N

@isaacdeanphotography

Catching up on Love Laughter is the best medicine for newlyweds Sarah & Travis Kerr Sarah’s heart was bursting with glee as she stood on the platform of the 2,600-foot Dragon’s Breath flight line. If you want to go fast on a zip line, weight can be an advantage. Sarah wanted to go fast. But the petite model and hairstylist needed a little help to make that happen. Enter Travis, Sarah’s new husband, who worked the crowd to gather bottles of water. Soon, Sarah had bottles in her backpack, her pockets, and tucked inside her shirt. Aquagirl wasn’t her usual Bohemian-glam look, but it did the trick. Finally, she let go. And for the first time in many years, she felt absolutely free.

spirited life that would make up for lost time. After a sunset wedding on a tranquil beach, they boarded a Caribbean cruise and left their worries behind. At a wine tasting, a huge bottle of Caymus brought a rush of memories—the Cab Sav was the first wine the couple had shared when they first met. In Labadee, Haiti, they zipped and played. At Paradise Beach, in Cozumel, bartender Ricardo kept the party rolling. “Whenever he passed us he would yell, ‘Mojito?!’ And we would cheer, ‘Mojitoooo!!’ A few minutes later, more mango mojitos would arrive.”

Hailing from Chicago, Sarah didn’t get to enjoy her teens as her school mates did. She spent those years caring for her mother, who lost a hard-fought battle with cancer when Sarah was just 21. To break free of the grief, she flew to Florida for a fresh start.

On board, they started each day with balcony breakfasts. “We would sit there and enjoy the quiet before we got off at the ports. It was very romantic,” Sarah recalls. One evening, they joined a group of revelers at a private party in the Rising Tide Bar. “It floated up above the whole crowd!” Since then, they’ve cruised together several times.

There, she met and fell madly in love with Travis, a commercial architect with a hipster beard, a dazzling smile, and a heartache from a recent divorce. Together, Sarah and Travis craved a joy-filled, free-

“We made lifelong friends on our honeymoon cruise.” How cool is that?!

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VIDEO

Your Vacation As A Force For Good

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BOOK

Working together for our planet & people to create climate positive destinations, we plant trees & invest in renewable energy & all this for the small price of a coffee. Try our free online calculator my.trees4travel.com/account/trips/add to translate your trips to trees – then follow your trees & the good we’re achieving together in your dashboard. Contact your travel advisor today and find out how your next vacation can make a world of difference. www.trees4travel.com Tree4Travel is part of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) planting one trillion trees within a decade.


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A N N I V E R S A R Y

The One Worth Waiting For by

LISA M. GETSON

An anniversary trip to Cabo with absolutely no regrets LOVE TRIPS I ANNIVER SARY

Back in the day, I spent many a late night out with girlfriends dancing and drinking in the popular club scene. While I met a few willing candidates, it wasn’t until years later when I was ensconced in my career as a healthcare executive that I met my one and only. Coming together later in life has its challenges but I found Todd – an evenkeeled, high-tech sound engineer – remarkably easy to be with. Our shared love of golf gave rise to playful dates on local courses, enviable tournament tickets, tee times on faraway fairways, and satisfaction in knowing our paths had crossed at just the right moment. As our eighth anniversary approached, we realized we had yet to tee off in Mexico. To remedy that, we hopped a plane to Cabo San Lucas’ sumptuous One & Only Palmilla. Warmed by welcome tequilas, we unpacked in a suite overlooking the Sea of Cortez, then took the proverbial long walk on a beach. In our defense, we had one of the few private beaches on the Baja Peninsula all to ourselves. Thus, the walk lived up to its romantic potential. Did we “raise some Cabo” after dark at the famed Cabo Wabo Cantina? While doing so might have made for a scintillating

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LOVE TRIPS I ANNIVER SARY

Puerto Los Cabos

romantic comedy, we opted instead to revel in our own way. By that I mean, we swam, sunned, lingered over cucumber margaritas, and golfed. We braced against the sea spray as it crashed into the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. We dined on crackling steaks and a Valle de Guadalupe Monte Xanic Cab-Merlot, with notes of blackberries and chocolate. On the ninth hole of the Puerto Los Cabos course, we stopped for tacos and glasses of beer before moving on to the back nine. I achieved a personal best on Palmilla’s Jack Nicklaus-designed course. Amid the desert-like scenery of Cabo del Sol, Todd made birdie on fifteen’s 520-yard dog leg. The night of our anniversary dinner, we traced a votive-lit walk past the wedding chapel to Agua, where views of the sea at sunset are especially easy on the eyes and a relaxing meal of locally sourced seafood and vegetables was served to perfection. There in the twilight, we agreed that Mexican wine, Cabo’s golf courses, and meeting each other had all

been worth the wait.

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LIVE AQUA

COCKTAIL

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SENSORY RESORTS WITH SOPHISTICATED PERFECTION BOOK LIVRE CANCUN, MEXICO

LOS CABOS, MEXICO

Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancún

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All-Inclusive, Adults Only f rom

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PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana All-Inclusive, Adults Only from

1,5601

$

Superior Garden View Double Room

VACATIONS INCLUDE: 5 nights’ accommodation and taxes. All-inclusive resorts include all meals, drinks2, snacks, select activities and more.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT YOUR TRUSTED TRAVEL ADVISOR TODAY Rate is per person, based on double occupancy, for check-in on 03/01/2022, in room category shown. Age restrictions may apply. Unless otherwise indicated: rates quoted are accurate at time of publication, & are per person, based on double occupancy. Airfare, taxes, surcharges, gratuities, transfers & excursions are additional. Advertised rates do not include any applicable daily resort or facility fees payable directly to the hotel at check-out; such fee amounts will be advised at the time of booking. Rates, terms, conditions, availability, itinerary, government taxes, surcharges, deposit, payment, cancellation terms/conditions & policies subject to change without notice at any time. Cruise rates capacity controlled. Other restrictions may apply, including, but not limited to baggage limitations & fees, standby policies & fees, non-refundable tickets & change fees with pre-flight notification deadlines, & blackout dates. Fees & policies vary among airlines. Contact airline directly for any details or questions. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Pleasant Holidays acts only as an agent for cruise & tour providers listed. CST# 1007939-10. Pleasant Holidays is registered with the State of Florida as a Seller Of Travel ST#37983. Copyright©2021 Pleasant Holidays, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 1

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Alfama neighbourhood from the Portas do Sol viewpoint at sunrise

R E N D E Z V O U S

Meet Me in Lisbon by

SHARMISTHA CHAUDHURI

A husband and wife, living oceans apart, make the romance work

LOVE TRIPS I RENDE Z VOUS

“How about Lisbon?” As soon as the words were spoken, a crackling noise disconnected the line. My signal was wonky on an island in the Indian Ocean, thousands of miles from the autumn breeze my husband was enjoying back in the States. I sighed and tucked in under the blanket, sending an air-kiss to my phone. It was bed time for me in the Maldives, while he was grabbing a late lunch after a meeting in Boston. About halfway between our bases, Portugal seemed like an ideal spot for a winter rendezvous. At the time, I was an editor based in New Delhi, India. Rana was working as a researcher and professor in Austin, which required extensive travel. Making a long-distance marriage work can be trying, especially when the locations are always changing. Our friends thought meeting all over the world was exotic. At times, we did too. Our reconnections were always electric. We had last met for a beautiful, brief break in Canada, sharing four glorious days in Whistler before a lingering airport goodbye. At the airport in Lisbon, an irrepressible smile took over my face when I first caught his eyes. With us, it was always and would always be, love at first sight.

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Together, we explored the city’s enduring Sé Cathedral, the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, and sweeping views from Portas do Sol. We sheltered from a rainstorm in a cozy shop, pausing to meet the sweet older couple who owned the place. And admired the Tagus from atop the Torre de Belém with our arms around each other—a routine act of affection we knew better than to take for granted. Later, we strolled through Alfama, miraculously untouched by the 1755 earthquake. There, a distinctive yellow tram brought back memories of my youth in Kolkata, mirroring the familiar warmth of my husband’s hand in mine. Evenings were a blur of memorable wines and melancholy Fado music that perfectly matched the ever-present longing in our hearts. Returning to the airport, we stopped by Pastéis de Belém one last time, as though the taste of their sugar and cinnamondusted custard tarts would tide us over until

we met again.

Torre de Belém


THE WORLD WANTS YOU BACK AND, WE CAN TAKE YOU THERE. Bust out your calendar and make plans to bust a move in new destinations in 2022! Tackle the tango in Argentina, stand face-to-face with the Sphinx in Giza, toast the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or witness the monumental glory of the Trevi Fountain in Rome … With hundreds of vacations and nearly one hundred years of experience, we’ve paved a path for you to turn this year’s dreams into next year’s plans!

If you’re ready to book the trip of a lifetime, we’re ready to give you a lifetime of memories in destinations across the globe. OUR 2022 VACATIONS ARE ON SALE NOW!

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SEE ALASKA

WITH THE BEST Have you been dreaming of visiting the Great Land? Trust the cruise line voted Best in Alaska. With more itineraries that include Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve than any other cruise line, you can experience the Alaska of your dreams. Extend your adventure to our own McKinley Chalet Resort where you can then retrace the Klondike Gold Rush to Dawson City with our exclusive access to the Yukon. We’ve shown guests the majesty of Alaska for nearly 75 years, and we’d love to show you as well.

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YEARS

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MUSIC AFAR Travelers’ Awards 2020

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Now you can Have It All with our best amenities included in your fare: Shore Excursions, Drink Package, Specialty Dining and Wi-Fi!*

PORTHOLE Best Alaska Itineraries 2020 TRAVEL AGE WEST Wave Awards 2020 CRUISE CRITIC Cruisers’ Choice 2019 RECIPE

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RECETTE*Have It All fares available on cruises 6 days or more, excluding Grand Voyages. Restrictions apply, see hollandamerica.com for details. Holland America Line cruises departing through December 31, 2021, are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination; details at hollandamerica.com. Requirements for 2022 itineraries will be announced as available. Consult https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/covid-4/coronavirusCOCKTAIL cruise-ship for the latest CDC cruise travel advice, warnings and recommendations. Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands.


Q THE PATAGONIA TREK We were total rookies in the wrong shoes but we had a blast by ERIKA HARKINS

TR AVEL I PATAGONIA GROUP TREK

“Oh no,” I said, staring out over the teal lake at the base of Mirador los Cuernos, the starting point for our trek into Chile’s Torres del Paine national park. Jake turned to see my panic-stricken face. “No, no, no, no,” I repeated as my eyes welled up with tears. “Erika, what is it?” he said, now deeply concerned, as I began frantically searching my pack, only to realize that my prized Sportivas were back at the hotel, two hours away. Of course. On the most epic adventure my husband and I had ever attempted, I made the gravest mistake an ultrarunner could make. Now, I had to accept that I would be doing this 10-day trek without my running shoes.

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Torres del Paine, National Park - Laguna Torres, famous landmark of Patagonia, Chile

“The initial 29-ish-mile stretch included the beautiful Chileno Refugio (Chilean Hut), where I traded Kind Bars for mosquito repellent. Turns out, overpacking has a few advantages.”

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Jake and I are not seasoned backpackers. But when friends asked if we wanted to join them on the 120mile hike we said, “Yes, of course!” Then quickly Googled what to pack. Naturally, we put most of our efforts into snacks. As a trail runner, I hadn’t thought twice about the difficulty of the hike ... until that moment in front of the lake. Now, I found myself weighing my 35-pound pack against the 9 - 13 miles we would be doing each day. There were six of us in all. Jake and I are IBMers. Julia, is a self-sufficient attorney who carried the lightest pack and could absolutely survive if left to her own devices in the wilderness. Bailee, is a fearless, young software developer with energy to spare. Doug, a renewable energy engineer and avid photographer, was the trip instigator. And his easygoing colleague Josh, who was pretty much up for anything.

Together, we were destined for the full Q circuit, which includes the popular W route and is a tad longer than the O. After flying into Chile and ferrying to the start, we set off from Paine Grande at a relatively easy pace.

Three days of humble pie, please Prior to the trip, Jake and I had been warned about Patagonia’s legendary winds. And boy, were those warnings accurate. Jake lost his hat. A gust tore a hole in our borrowed tent, bringing in a gush of rain. My shoulders ached, I got a weird pain in my Achilles tendon, and my feet burned with blisters. All rookie moves that we tried, and failed, to hide from the group. Busted! The initial 29-ish-mile stretch included a run from Camp Italiano to dramatic Frances Valley, plus rolling hills, wide open prairies, and the beautiful Chileno Refugio (Chilean Hut), where I traded Kind Bars for mosquito repellent. Turns out, overpacking has a few advantages.


Oh, and we also got lost! Which should have been impossible because Doug’s itinerary was sooo specific. At first, when we asked questions, he’d say, “If you had read the itinerary ...” with a little-bit-o-snark. Eventually that became a sound bite that made us all burst into laughter.

The sunrise on Torres is a fickle thing Of course, Doug’s mission was to capture the sun rising against the Torres del Paine and Almirante Nieto peaks. As an engineer, he had a precise image in his mind of the morning light striking the tops of the Torres. We were all looking forward to celebrating when he got it. On our third day out, Doug and Josh rose at 2:00 a.m. and hiked five miles to Las Torres Base Lookout Point to ready the camera for the “money shot.” Normally, I would have been right there with them. But, exhausted from our humbling start, Jake and I decided instead to set our alarms for 4:30 a.m. Sleep hounds Bailee and Julia followed a couple hours later.

As we climbed, clouds moved in, the weather shifted, and rain began to fall. Craning my neck towards the peak, I was one hundred percent certain there was going to be no sunrise. But where Jake and I were, at the saddle, the fiery orb suddenly came into view. It was so calming and peaceful!

This award-winning film follows photographer Robert King as he hikes Patagonia’s most stunning trekking route, the Torres del Paine “O” Trek. A story of raw beauty and transformation.

Further up, we found Doug and Josh, disappointed and cold, with a smattering of other photographers wrapped in sleeping bags. From their vantage point, the fog had obstructed the view. Slowly, we gathered the gear and headed back down, with Doug sporting my bright pink Patagonia fleece. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

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You gotta’ love friends in high places MUSIC

The middle section was more remote and truly magical. As we walked along, we started to recognize other hikers from previous days. We shared our stories and played cards in the

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refugios. Julia schooled us in skipping rocks in glacial lakes. Josh ate a whole package of creme brûlée that the rest of us thought had gone bad. (It hadn’t.) There were quiet moments like when we watched a cute fox explore our camp. And loud, crazy, fun times like when Jake jumped in the icy lake!

“Jake and I learned we could pay $20 for a spacious North Face tent, already set up, with mattresses inside. Our luck had turned!”

At the finish of the fourth day, the trail opened out into a large valley that was covered in daisies. At the camp, set beside the Paine River, Jake and I learned we could pay $20 for a spacious North Face tent, already set up, with mattresses inside. Our luck had turned! The next day, we met a father and son from Argentina and a couple named Jimena and Gonzales who had found Jake’s hat on the trail! He was so happy to have it back. The stretch to Lake Grey was full of treacherous up-hills, slippery descents, and swampy slogs. Atop John Garner Pass, the breathtaking view made us feel quite small. Stretched out before us was one of the huge, crevassed tongues of the Southern Ice Fields, painted in the rarest shades of blue and green.

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Glacier party in the mountains, anyone? Near the end of the O, with easy access for day hikers and tour boats, Grey Lake is a total a party spot. We hung out there for a couple nights, relaxing and kayaking in the glacial lake. Bailee and I went on runs. Josh and Doug captured the scenery. Jake soaked up the sunshine. Julia read a book and sipped wine. Ooh! And Jimena and Gonzales got engaged! Bailee and I had such fun on our runs, we conspired to have Jake take our gear back on the ferry instead of hiking the final section that would make our O into a Q. Free of our packs, Bailee and I ran the last section, reconnecting with the crew (and my shoes!) back in Puerto Natales. The grand finale was a tour of coastal Valparaíso and some Santiago wineries before heading back to the States. Phew! Whether you’re thirsting for a rugged adventure or an effortless guided tour, your travel advisor knows all the best ways to experience Patagonia.


NATURE AT ITS BEST. Discover the wild beauty of Western Canada and America’s Southwest by rail onboard Rocky Mountaineer. With awe-inspiring scenery, impeccable service, delicious locally-inspired cuisine, and iconic destinations, this is more than a luxury trip—it’s a life-changing experience.

CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK.

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Be Among The First � Venture Onward

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BOOK OUR NEWEST SHIP EARLY AND ENJOY GREAT SAVINGS! RECIPE

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You’re invited to connect with people, cultures, and yourself aboard the newest addition to our fleet, Azamara OnwardSM. Just as the name suggests, our fourth sister ship will push forward the future of Destination Immersion® experiences with a passionate crew, health and safety standards during her inaugural season in Europe. BOOK

LIVRE

Plus, book before August 31, 2022 you’ll save 20% on your Europe 2023 voyage* for booking early and receive a complimentary Experience More Essentials Package, which includes a $300 Shore Excursion Onboard Credit, unlimited WiFi for one device, and a Premium Beverage Package for two, on select staterooms and suites. With endless experiences and more voyages than ever, we look forward to exploring Europe with you. Explore Well at Sea Embark on your future sailing, knowing we’re enhancing our health and safety standards through our Explore Well at Sea program. INCLUSIVE AMENITIES

TO BOOK YOUR VOYAGE: CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE TRAVEL ADVISOR TODAY. *Offer applies to new bookings created before August 31, 2022 (“Offer Period”). Offer applies to select sailings departing March 23, 2023–November 14, 2023. Offer provides 20% off cruise fares of all stateroom categories. Offer also provides a complimentary Experience More Essentials Package (inclusive of $300 USD Shore Excursion Onboard Credit [OBC], Unlimited WiFi for one device, and a Premium Beverage Package for Two) per stateroom, for guests booked in Veranda and higher stateroom categories. The Shore Excursion OBC portion of the Experience More Essentials Package will be applied to the booking as an individual component, with the option to spend pre-cruise. The balance of any pre-cruise spend of Shore Excursion OBC, will be reconciled once onboard. Experience More Essentials Packages have no cash value, are not redeemable for cash, and are not transferable. Limit one Offer per stateroom. All other charges, including, but not limited to, cruise taxes, fees, and port expenses, are additional and apply to all guests. Offer is combinable with Back to Back Benefits, onboard booking savings and Azamara Circle Quarterly Savings, National Account Hosted and Amenity Programs, and one other OBC or value add. Unless stated otherwise, offer is not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Last Minute Voyages, Closed User Rates, Employee Rates, Interline Rates, Travel Agent Rates, and Net Rates. Offer is not applicable to 3rd and 4th guests in a stateroom. Offer is not applicable to incentive or contracted groups. After the Offer Period, the offer will be removed from the booking if the guest cancels and reinstates the booking, applies a fare change, or changes the ship or sail date of the booking, even if sailing date is within the sailing period highlighted above; certain other changes to the booking may also result in removal of the offer. Offer is subject to availability and change without notice and may be withdrawn at any time. Single occupancy guests paying 200% cruise fare are eligible for the full amount of the offer; single occupancy guests paying less than 200% cruise fare are eligible for a prorated amount of the offer. This offer is applicable to U.S., Canada, and select global markets only. Refer to Azamara.com/bookearly and the Cruise Ticket Contract for additional terms and conditions. ©2021 Azamara. Ships registered in Malta.


VIDEO

Secrets of a Spa Insider

An interview with Penny Kriel from Salamander Resort & Spa by

INTERVIEW

MARY BEMIS All Photos Courtesy of Salamander Resort and Spa

Few experiences have the ability to transform and renew than an authentic spa experience, which is why savvy travelers know that a luxurious resort without a stellar spa is like a pool without water. Salamander Resort & Spa, the mothership of the luxury brand that now totals five properties, is located on 340 acres in the historic town of Middleburg, Virginia. A sought-after destination, Salamander features integrative and regionalized spa treatments and focuses on holistic, results-driven therapies. To find out how it continues to deliver a superior experience, we spoke with Penny Kriel, Director of Spa.

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You’ve been with Salamander for six years now, and started out as the pre-opening Spa Director, what did that entail? I assisted in creating all Spa Standard Operating Procedures, Spa Service Standards, and helped develop signature treatments for the Salamander Spa brand. We wanted to do our best to work with as many local vendors as we could to grow our community relationships, and we partnered with Laboratory of Flowers and came up with a wonderful series of body treatments using natural and organic ingredients. We also spent a lot of time working on the guest journey.

What was the most challenging aspect of opening and creating the spa? The biggest challenges I’ve faced are the many times that the architecture and design are done without having a spa operator involved. When that happens, the focus becomes more about aesthetics and not that much on functionality and flow that’s required to provide a relaxing and seamless spa journey.

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How did the community respond to the spa— and how do you continue to create a community with the locals? There was some hesitation from the local community at first, due to the uncertainty of how many people the resort was going to bring to this quaint and quiet historic town. But it was only a couple of months until we saw the locals start to come in more and more. Today, many of them are our repeat guests. We host a quarterly Beauty Night Out event and annual Spa Soirees for our local guests to show our appreciation for their loyalty and to share some of our new launches and treatments.

Who is your typical guest? Our leisure guests have increased, and we still have a lot of those who want the social element of reconnecting with each other. Those are our happy guests, they are the ones who really spa. Girlfriend getaways are popular, and about 40 percent of our business comes from locals.

How have you reimagined your spa menu over the past year? As is typical with a resort spa, most guests want that relaxing massage more than therapeutic or healing treatments. Pre-Covid, we didn’t have a specific massage modality listed. We classified it as a “wellbeing” massage. You’d book your 50- or 90-minute customized wellbeing massage. When Covid hit, we were not one of the spas that decided to bring in no-touch treatments. Guests still wanted that relaxing massage, and I believe the healing is in the hands! So, we stayed focused on that. We’ve also decided to specifically state the different modalities on the menu. We brought on a CBD massage, and we wanted to add that differentiation so people could see the difference between a deep tissue and CBD or Swedish. So, we went back to that old-school style listing. People want to choose what they want versus guess what they’re going to get.

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All Photos Courtesy of Salamander Resort and Spa

More people are now seeking out spas to work on their mental health and wellbeing. How do you address this? Coming here is like a euphoric experience. The outdoor activities—hiking, horseback riding, fishing, ziplining, tennis, archery, axe-throwing—produce those endorphins that make you feel good. The combination of being able to be outside and enjoy all that and then be in the spa for relaxation time has been a great appeal for people. Guests are transported; it’s a true escape. We also offer meditation sessions—we do a beautiful walking meditation—and yoga has really taken off. We offer everything from family yoga to water yoga.

What new experience are you most excited about? I just started offering sound bath concerts, using singing VIDEOWe’re bowls and sound-wave percussion, at the pool area. creating a space and focusing on being grateful. We’re slowly introducing our guests to ways of doing that, and they love it. I brought it in because I wanted to be able to give people a touch of wellness at every aspect of the spa journey. As INTERVIEW soon as we started the sound bowls, people began closing their eyes, stopped chatting and embraced the vibrations. The concerts are complementary for now, and then we’ll be developing treatments and classes around them.

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Is spa more or less important today? Spa has shifted from being special occasion to being a necessity. People have learned valuable lessons from Covid: Life is too short, let’s do the things we’ve always wanted to do. The confinement of quarantine made people want to reconnect more both physically and mentally. People want to come here to escape; we’re in this luxurious country environment where you can enjoy that glass of wine and not feel bad, or have that butter on your bread—in moderation, of course.

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Any words of wellbeing for living your best life? Have fun. Try and do the things that you don’t make ENTREVUE time for. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that time is too short. When you have the opportunity, do the things you want to do. Don’t keep putting them off. We’re so serious for most of our lives, and that’s causing all the other stresses. Look at the things

MUSIQUE that bring you joy and do more of them.

Contact your trusted travel advisor to find a spa vacation that’s perfect for you.

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Waking Up in Lyon How deep sleep and misadventure led me to a new friend

TR AVEL I THE KINDESS OF S TR ANGER S

by

POOJA SHAH

Panic. My phone battery was in the red and the charging cord was in hiding. I had been depending on Google Translate to overcome language barriers. Now here I was, alone in a crowd in a strange city at night, half-asleep, confused, and disconnected. Until that night, my solo trip through Europe had built my confidence and extinguished my fear of strangers. I loved London’s Hyde Park. Devoured chocolate waffles in Brussels. And couldn’t get enough of Paris’ nightlife. It had been absolute perfection. Perhaps it was that very flawlessness, and a dazzling Parisian night, that gave me the nerve to indulge a whim and hop an overnight mega-bus to Amsterdam. As I climbed aboard, I imagined waking up to Amsterdam’s famous friets smothered in hot sauce, ordered with the help of Google. Instead, I woke up at two a.m. in Lyon. Lyon is France’s third-largest city. Once I regained internet access, I learned that Lyon’s Confluence Neighborhood rivals the

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rest of Europe for ultramodern architecture, museums, and shopping. They have underground passageways, Roman ruins, a basilica, Les Halles de Lyon food market, and silk! Lyon’s textile industry is legendary. Or so I read. At the time, I didn’t know any of that. I was close to tears and ached to call my parents. Then another passenger tapped me on my shoulder and, with a mixture of FrenchEnglish and hand gestures, reassured me it would be okay. Marie drove me to Lyon-Perrache to catch another bus to Amsterdam. On route, we shared our dreams and aspirations. I told her I wanted to write a book. She told me she wanted to work in Paris and improve her English. “One day,” she said when she dropped me off, “you will look at this moment and laugh.” It’s been five years since Marie and I met. Thanks to her, I see opportunities for kindness everywhere I go and every stranger I meet is a potential friend. Next spring, my fiancé and I plan to return to France for our mini-moon. We will visit Lyon, this time

intentionally.

Lyon’s Fête des Lumières Travelers who happen to be in Lyon – whether intentionally or unintentionally – on December 8th are in for a real treat. That’s the start of the city’s annual four-day festival of lights, which coincides with the Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Each night, families all over town place fluted candles on their window sills. Sections of the city, reserved for pedestrians only, host technicolor light shows, live performances, and food vendors. The main focal points are the Basilica of Fourvière and the Place des Terreaux.

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THE BEST FAMILY VACATION. IT’S A CARNIVAL CRUISE! Plan for a vacation your family will be talking about for years! On a Carnival cruise, you can have fun spending time together, as well as doing your own things. Enjoy amazing food, spectacular entertainment, comfy accommodations, and something different to entertain you every day. Plus, with a whole range of activities for everyone, you can relax, have fun, enjoy every minute – and make a ton of wonderful new memories to take home.

©2021 Carnival Corporation. Carnival and the Carnival logos are trademarks of Carnival Corporation. All rights reserved. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas, Panama and Malta


“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.” – Anthony Bourdain

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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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There’s no need to travel far for the getaway of your dreams! With Rocky Mountain retreats in Montana, to the southern charm of South Carolina, family-friendly vacations in Florida, and beyond, we’re guaranteed to have the perfect villa for you. A one-of-a-kind getaway may only be a short flight (or drive) away - browse our selection of luxury in your own backyard today.

Our portfolio of more than 1,200 luxury villas encompasses the very best of the Caribbean with properties from St. Martin to Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, and beyond. Whether you’re looking for a 1-bedroom couple’s retreat or a sprawling seaside estate for the whole family, we have it all.

Luxury Villa Rentals in Over 50 Countries Worldwide With over 2,000 luxury villas worldwide, we offer a taste of luxury, wherever you go. From the cerulean seas of Southeast Asia to the old-world elegance of Europe – there's a destination waiting to be discovered.

To Learn More, Ask Your Trusted Travel Advisor


Travel With Us For Your Next Adventure

It’s true. We are the world. When we say your business means the world to us, we’re not exaggerating. Travel & Tourism is often cited as one of the largest industries on the planet. Prior to 2020, we contributed US$9.2 trillion to the annual global GDP. Wow, right? What we do as travel advisors – and what you do when you travel – quite literally keeps the world going. It fuels cultural exchange, employment, small business, big business, and the economies of the nations we visit. When you choose to take an Ensemble Vacation, you’re not just making trip planning easier for yourself. You’re going with trusted suppliers and tour operators who play by the rules. You’re supporting people who value your contributions. We’re not just members of Ensemble Travel Group, we’re owners too. We’re passionate about what we do for a living. And we love that you are too.

Travel & Tourism 2021/2022 Let’s do this together