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Your Agency Name Here presents WINTER 2019 Customer Name Address1 Address2 City, ST zipcode

Unique Just Like You Your individual tastes are distinct and so is Ensemble. Ensemble Travel Group membership enables us to bring you added amenities, custom touches, unexpected experiences, and a genuinely warm welcome wherever your travels take you. You now have the opportunity to work with a travel professional who can make YOUR aspirations and experience come to life.

Traveling? We Plan – You Enjoy Relieve the anxiety of planning your vacation and focus on exploring, dreaming and discovering. We’ll guide you through your customized travel itinerary, and even let you in on a few travel tips from our own experience.

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Our Promise Stress free travel, so you can enjoy your vacation.

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Call us today at 800-123-4567 or 123-456-7890

Marrakech & Beyond

Top Swimming Palm Springs Spots Worldwide Mid-Century

2019 Trending Travel

New Zealand Wild


The best vacations begin right here.

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These special cruise departures feature an Ensemble® Host, a private cocktail party and complimentary Ensemble® Experience shore event.

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TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE: We are among the distinguished travel specialists of Ensemble Travel® Group – an international network of creative, inspiring individuals who excel at designing superb vacations for a discerning clientele. Our membership means that you will always find complimentary ENSEMBLE ® EXCLUSIVES on thousands of exciting vacations from our valued partners – the world’s best cruise lines, most distinguished tour companies, and finest hotel and resort properties. For you OUR PREFERRED CLIENT, let us open the door to a world of exclusive experiences, intriguing adventure, and consummate service.

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Imagine a world where exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences are always within your reach. Let us provide you with VIP insider service and unique access to elite travel and the most highly desirable sports, entertainment, culinary, fashion and cultural experiences worldwide.


We are a proud member of Ensemble Travel® Group – an international network of over 850 professional travel agencies. Our combined buying power and expertise enables us to take you places beyond the boundaries of your imagination, in a style that exceeds your expectations. Choose from our Hotel & Resort Collection and relax in the lap of ultimate luxury; discover our Ensemble® Hosted Cruises with complimentary amenities; take advantage of insider perks and crème de la crème locations with our Ensemble® Villas & Vacation Homes; or let us transform your vacation into an unforgettable journey with the help of our Ensemble® Destination Concierges. ENSEMBLE® HOSTED CRUISES

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Our exclusive collection of cruises, hosted by Ensemble®, onboard cruise lines that offer the best in luxury, small yacht sailing and adventure.

We have in-destination specialists around the world who can arrange any of your vacation needs or adventures, tailor-made especially for you.

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Take advantage of our exclusive perks like prepaid gratuities, shipboard credits, spa credits, gifts and much more, available on many of our vacation offers.

ENSEMBLE® VILLAS & VACATION HOMES Our collection of single-bedroom apartments, villas and expansive estates available in over 50 destinations worldwide.


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56 64 26 74

Contents Winter 2019

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

Morocco 26 Marrakech and Beyond

Palm Springs, California

Colombia 32 Colombia Rising

64 Palm Springs Eternal:

South Island, New Zealand 38 New Zealand Wild

Worldwide Swimming Destinations 56 For the Love of Water

2 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

Discovering mid-century architecture in this desert oasis.

Northwest Territories 74 Yellowknife delivers non-stop outdoor adventure

3 From the Editor 4 Contributors 8 BriefCase: Fun Facts About Travel

12 Planning Ahead: 2019 calendar of events wordwide

18 What's Trending Now 50 U.S. City Spotlight: Denver 54 Frequent Traveler: An interview with

Diana Nyad—long-distance swimmer, author and motivational speaker

81 Traveler’s Notebook: Ensemble® Exclusive Deals & Offers


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EDITORIAL EDITOR IN CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR STAFF WRITER CREATIVE DIRECTOR ART DIRECTOR AT LARGE ART DIRECTOR EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

From the Editor Dear Traveler,

A

Alice Stroh Kimberly Buerkle Valerie Murray Alexa Wheeler Laura Torrisi Yin Wong Allyn Bacher Jessica Arnold

DESIGN Torrisi Design Associates

PRODUCTION

S I WRITE THIS , I’m currently enjoying that leisurely time between

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day by relaxing, spending time with my extended family, and indulging in too many holiday treats. Very soon we’ll be into the New Year, feeling refreshed and ready to tackle our New Year’s resolutions. Usually this enthusiasm fades after a few weeks, but, personally, I’m feeling more inspired this year to really stick to my goals. Speaking of inspiration, you won’t want to miss our interview with Diana Nyad, the first woman to swim 110 miles from Cuba to Florida at the age of 64. Talk about an inspiration to always challenge yourself – at any age! We’re also sharing both hotlist and off-thebeaten path destinations in this issue, including Morocco beyond Marrakech, Colombia: South America’s best-kept secret, the wilds of New Zealand’s South Island, the hip city of Denver, the mid-century stylings of Palm Springs, and the enchanting Northern Lights of Yellowknife. Plus, we’ll dive into the joys of open-water swimming as a way of destination immersion.

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Wendy Russo

An Ensemble Travel® Group Publication Ensemble Vacations® is a publication of Ensemble Travel® Group. © January 2019 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 Ensemble® Luxe Life and the floret design are registered and unregistered trademarks of Ensemble Travel, Inc.

I hope the stories in this issue of Ensemble Vacations inspire you to get out there and travel this year. Whatever inspires your wanderlust, rest assured that your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor (their contact information is on the back cover) is ready with insider information and special perks to make the trip of your dreams a reality. Happy travels,

Alice Stroh Editor in Chief

I’d love to hear from you! Please share your travel stories with me: editor@ensembletravel.com

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 3


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. p. 26, 32, 64

JILL MROSS is a Florida-based freelance writer and public relations executive specializing in travel and culinary communications. She is in constant search of the next great escape from the ordinary. p. 74

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Based in Colorado, NANCY HELLMRICH is a recovering advertising creative director and active travel enthusiast. Her work includes brand alignment projects as well as travel stories. Her recent adventures include grappa tasting on the coast of Croatia, cycling in New Zealand, snuggling up in Sweden’s Ice Hotel, and glamping in the Sahara. p. 18, 22, 38

MICHAEL SHAPIRO writes about travel, food and entertainment. His National Geographic Traveler feature, about Jan Morris’ Wales, won the Bedford Pace grand award. His recent story about sustainable seafood in Vancouver earned the 2016 Explore Canada Award of Excellence. Shapiro’s book, A Sense of Place, is a collection of interviews with the world’s top travel authors. michaelshapiro.net p. 54, 56

MARY BEMIS, founder of InsidersGuidetoSpas.com, is a respected spa journalist and founder of American Spa and Organic Spa magazines. A Global Wellness Day Ambassador, Mary was recently honored with the Folio Top Women in Media Award. She is a true spa advocate who firmly believes in the healing power of spas and the benefits of living a spa lifestyle. p. 19

Award-winning journalist SUZANNE GANNON covers travel and leisure, food and wine, and culture and design. Her work has appeared in Town & Country, The New York Times, Art & Antiques, The Wall Street Journal, and Executive Traveler. She has been a guest on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and published In the Garden. p. 20


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Crystal River Cruises

TM

From the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™ comes the awardwinning Crystal River Cruises, offering a collection of travel experiences that go far beyond all-inclusive luxury. Discover the medieval villages, hillside castles and enchanting scenery of Europe’s majestic rivers. With overnight stays and late departures allowing for more enjoyment on shore, an enviable roster of adventures in each iconic destination, and farm-to-table dining featuring Crystal’s innovative and acclaimed six-star cuisine with regionally-inspired menus. Crystal’s river voyages offer culture- and adventure-seekers privileged access to legendary capitals and extraordinary landscapes in the heart of Europe. Aboard Crystal’s all-suite, butler-serviced river ships, guests enjoy all-inclusive amenities including airport transfers, gratuities, unlimited Wi-Fi, and unlimited fine wines, champagne, premium spirits and beer. Unmatched Complimentary Crystal Collection of Destination Experiences in each destination include cultural, active and overland options as well as a Complimentary Crystal Signature Event on every itinerary. Complimentary destination-focused enrichment and entertainment make your journey even more memorable with lectures by renowned destination and regional affairs experts that feature insider tips and captivating insights about each fascinating port of call. Unique experiences such as the historic Oberammergau Passion Play in 2020; themed cruises including a European Wine Experience and Jewish Heritage; as well as festive Christmas Markets voyages to fairytale lands of snow-dusted town squares, with mulled wine and gingerbread will wrap you in the all-inclusive luxury of Crystal River Cruises.

➜ For special offers from Crystal Cruises, please see page 89. For more

information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 5


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There’s Something Different About

Queen Victoria With an unwavering commitment to elegant ocean journeys that celebrate freedom and a sense of possibility, ® Cunard continues to refine and redefine its legacy with legendary ships and voyages to the world’s most historic and exotic destinations from the British Isles to Scandinavia, the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean, South America, Asia, and the South Pacific.

SHE’S POSITIVELY GLOWING Adding to Cunard’s legacy, in June of 2017, Queen Victoria® emerged from a revitalization in Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard, with beautiful new Britannia Club staterooms, enhanced Cunard Grand Suites, five remarkable new Penthouse Suites, a fresh Britannia Club dining experience, a transformed sun deck, and more. A Laurent-Perrier Champagne Bar now overlooks her Grand Lobby. In her Midships Lounge, a new gin and fizz menu makes its debut with an array of wines, Italian Proseccos, Spanish Cavas, and French Champagne, as well as premium gins and spirits, all carefully blended to create inspiring cocktails with a modern twist.

FULL OF VERVE AND LIFE By day, guests aboard the revitalized Queen Victoria find their bliss in the Mareel Spa, inspired by Canyon Ranch, indulge in a long-held desire to learn the tango, share Afternoon Tea, and dabble in activities from watercolor painting to fencing. Cunard Insights programs spark lively discussions with guest speakers from the arts, industry, academia, world affairs, and beyond. After dark, Queen Victoria comes alive with excited anticipation as stunning gowns and sharp dinner jackets are donned in preparation for elegant balls, private box seats at the Royal Court Theatre, cocktails, canapés, and decadent Godiva chocolates in the ship’s dazzling new Chart Room.

READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD For a more personalized voyage, Ensemble® Hosted Cruises aboard Cunard offer the added benefits of a private onboard cocktail party, an Ensemble® Host and a complimentary Ensemble® Experience shore event. ➜ For special offers from Cunard, please see page 89. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

6 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


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Culinary Pleasures Await Onboard Holland America Line

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Whether you are a talented home chef, passionate foodie or simply an enthusiastic diner, you’ll find much to savor onboard Holland America Line’s elegant ships. Guests can enjoy the world of cuisine as participants and observers in hands-on workshops and cooking shows from America’s Test Kitchen, and as delighted diners in her many innovative onboard restaurants. You can also continue the exploration in each destination with special culinary-themed EXC Tours™. The Holland America Line Culinary Council®, a team of world-class celebrity chefs, is charting an exciting course for dining across their fleet. Headed by Holland America Line’s Master Chef and Culinary Council Chairman, Rudi Sodamin, these culinary stars have earned numerous honors – from Michelin stars to James Beard Foundation awards – and have been featured on such popular TV shows as “Top Chef Masters,” “Iron Chef America” and “The Rachael Ray Show.” With their wide-ranging culinary styles and interests, they’re adding inspiration and new signature dishes to our menus – which is certain to appeal to those of you who love food. Join Holland America Line for a memorable journey, one where a world of gustatory pleasure awaits you. ➜ For special offers from Holland America Line, please see page 90. For more

information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 7


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BRIEFCASE

Fun facts and figures that have today’s travelers all atwitter

22

Grand National Parks with Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon

Chicago > Salt Lake City > Yellowstone National Park > San Francisco > Yosemite National Park > Los Angeles > Williams > Grand Canyon National Park > Chicago

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13 Days from

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The number of wine regions in Hungary. Time for a tasting tour!

The speed of the new TGV trains that now carry passengers from coastal Tangiers to Morocco’s capital city of Casablanca.

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PACKAGE HIGHLIGHTS: • Sightseeing tour of Yellowstone’s Lower Loop • Dinner at The Roof Restaurant in Salt Lake City • Sightseeing tour of Yosemite National Park • Sightseeing city tour of Los Angeles • Roundtrip service in Coach accommodations on the Grand Canyon Railway • Motorcoach Freedom Tour of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim • And more!

The number of adorable little rabbits that inhabit the Japanese island of Okunoshima, Takehara.

5

For more information please contact your Ensemble Travel ® Group Advisor

150 *Package price is per person, double occupancy, tax included and subject to change. Price does not include rail from your hometown. All reservations are based upon availability at the time of booking. Amtrak travel is for Coach accommodations. Upgrades to Roomette or Bedroom accommodations on board Amtrak are available. Call for pricing. Other restrictions may apply. Amtrak and Amtrak Vacations are registered service marks of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. CST #2115735-40

The number of purple, pink, and white blossoming wisteria trees that can be viewed in late April in the Kawachi Wisteria Garden in Kitakyushu, Japan.

The number of apps you can sync to the wearable Princess Cruises Medallion™ enabling super-expedited boarding, onboard games and scavenger hunts, food and beverage delivery to your exact location, and cruisy shipboard navigation.


A dazzling

43,000-square-foot museum in Marrakech, which showcases the life and achievements of cherished fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent.

400

37 The number of attractions at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi – including Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, private driving lessons, and more.

The number of Japanese islands that are inhabited, out of a grand total of more than 7,000!

September 25, 2019 The 200-year anniversary of the first recorded planting of grapevines in New Zealand, at the Bay of Islands, by missionary Samuel Marsden.


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At Seabourn, we are passionate about travel. We believe that traveling for pleasure has a redemptive power that enriches people’s lives.

Extraordinary Destinations And we believe that people should travel well. Cruising on a Seabourn ship is unlike any other form of travel.

The experience is luxurious, yet relaxed – elegant, yet casual – sumptuous, yet understated. Our ships attract interesting people, who seek to share experiences beyond the expected in places beyond the ordinary. Our acclaimed staff offers a unique style of heartfelt hospitality that is sincere, thoughtful and personal. Seabourn continues to represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe to many of the world's most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways. Guests who sail on Seabourn will continue to find a number of innovative offerings and programs, including partnerships with a select group of companies and individuals whose dedication to superior quality, exceptional service and consistent customer satisfaction matches Seabourn. These programs include 'An Evening with Tim Rice', the new evening entertainment experience created exclusively for the line in association with Belinda King Creative Productions; Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, offering guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being; and The Grill by Thomas Keller, reminiscent of the classic American restaurant from the 50s and 60s. Exclusive to Seabourn, The Grill is a unique culinary concept for Chef Keller, focusing on updated versions of iconic dishes. 10 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

Seabourn’s award-winning, all-suite ships combine nimble power and grace with beautifully designed spaces and amenities. We can access smaller ports where larger ships cannot go, yet provide some of the most generous ratios of space per guest in the industry. Each ship features a world-class spa, a variety of dining venues, inviting lounges and bars, pools, broad teak decks, and a unique retractable watersports Marina.


SEABOURN AND UNESCO Seabourn is the official cruise partner of UNESCO World Heritage under a multi-year agreement to help promote sustainable tourism at World Heritage sites around the world. This unique partnership provides deeper insight and information about these cherished destinations for our guests. Central to this program are our World Heritage and Discovery Tours – handcrafted shore excursions that give Seabourn guests special access to World Heritage sites – and enlightening conversations with UNESCO experts on board. A small donation is given to UNESCO from every tour booked and operated. ➜ For special offers from Seabourn, please see page 95. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 11


SEASO NAL EVENTS 2019

Planning Ahead for

2019

Extreme Beer Fest Feb 1 - 2

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Cayman Cookout Jan 16 - 20

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Join top chefs and wine experts for the 11th annual Cayman Cookout featuring demonstrations, tours, tastings and dinners sure to entice your taste buds.

J A N

Jan 5 - End of Feb Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival Harbin, Heilongjiang, China A winter wonderland like no other with four theme parks showcasing ice/ snow sculptures and illuminated ice buildings.

Jan 24 - 27 The Arctic Light Festival Tromsø, Norway

A great way to see the Northern Lights and become acquainted with Norwegian culture through dance performances and concerts!

120 brewers with 400plus beers on tap will leave beer connoisseurs thirsty for more. But there’s a catch – the beer is exclusive to the event and available for one day only.

F E B

Feb 16 – Mar 5 Carnavale Di Venezia Venice, Italy

Three million visitors partake, and you won’t be able to tell who’s who since Venetians and tourists alike hide behind elaborate costumes and masks.

Feb 26 Grand Canyon National Park Celebration

Napoli Pizza Village Battle of the Oranges

Jun 22 - 30

Mar 2 - 5

If you consider cheese, dough and tomato sauce a food group of its own, then look no further. Along with witnessing the 2019 World PizzaMaking Championship, you can join Naples in celebrating its 300th pie-loving year.

Ivrea, Italy When life gives you 500,000 pounds of oranges, use them to reenact a 12th century battle between commoners and a tyrant ruler. (Spoiler: the commoners won.)

M A R

Mar 2 The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, USA Mushers with a team of 16 dogs compete in this long-distance race which lasts 8-15 days (or longer) through blizzard conditions, subzero temperatures and powerful winds.

Grand Canyon National Park, USA

The park is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, hosts nearly six million visitors each year, and celebrates its 100th birthday in 2019!

A P R

Apr 13 - 16 Songkran Festival

Chaing Mai or Bangkok, Thailand Celebrate the Thai New Year by taking part in a country-wide water gun fight. The main party in Bangkok, called Silom, takes place along one street, four kilometers in length.

Apr 28 - May 1 National Cheese Festival Trujillo, Spain

Mar 21

Jaipur, India Held on the day of Holi, the festival features elephant polo, elephant dance, and processions of elephants embellished in vibrant colors, jhools (saddle cloth) and extravagant jewelry.

Elephant Festival 12 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

Naples, Italy

At the largest cheese fair in the world, festivalgoers won’t have to roam far to find their favorite gouda, brie, and everything in between.

M A Y

J U N

May 21 - 29 Chelsea Flower Show

Jun 24 Inti Raymi

The perfect getaway for anyone with a green thumb! If lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the Royal Family.

Also known as The Festival of Sun, Inti Raymi is a 600-year-old Inca celebration with a week’s worth of music, dancing, street fairs, colorful processions and feasts fit for the gods.

London, England

May 27 Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling Brockworth, England

Considered one of the world’s seven most bizarre ‘Feats of Strength’ events where 40 contestants race downhill after a ninepound rolling wheel of cheese.

Cusco, Peru

Jun 29 - 30 Haro, Spain

Not a wine drinker? Not to worry. The Haro Wine Festival includes a water gun fight … but instead of water, they shoot wine.

Haro Wine Festival


Whether you’re on island time with a “five o’clock somewhere” mentality or anxious to pull your thermals out of storage, in need of a musical escape or ready to indulge in your guilty pleasure, 2019 is packed with cultural events and festive celebrations both in your own backyard and around the world.

Ljubljana Christmas Market

Totally Thames

Just For Laughs

Sep 1-30

Jul 10 - 28

Thames River, London, England

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

See London’s famous river brought to life with free vibrant programs of river-inspired art, live performances, boat races and more.

The largest international comedy festival in the world with a simple mission to “make people happy.”

J U L

Jul 26 - 28 Gilroy Garlic Festival Gilroy, California, USA

As if your mouth wasn’t watering already, the festival’s claim to fame is their “Pyro Chef” flame-up show where garlic-laced calamari and scampi is prepared in massive iron skillets.

A U G

Aug 25 - Sep 2 Burning Man

Sep 13 - 22 Jane Austen Festival

Participants join to cocreate Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community and art.

Whether literature buffs or Austen enthusiasts, visitors will feel as though they’ve stepped back in time to the 18th Century.

Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA

Aug 31 - Sep 1 Braderie De Lille Flea Market Lille, France

Jul 26 - Aug 11 Lima, Peru

S E P

Dating back to the 12th century, the annual street/flea market hosts over 10,000 sellers and several million visitors.

As the second-largest multi-sport event after The Olympics, this year’s games will bring together 41 countries and approximately 6,700 athletes.

Bath, England

Sep 21 Rhine in Flames

St. Goar and St. Goarshausen, Germany More than ten thousand visitors gather to celebrate the annual wine festival highlighted by a spectacle of light – a firework display along the Rhine River banks.

December

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Ljubljana, Slovenia Festive decorations, lighting displays, boat cruises, events, food, wine, and shopping markets make the historic city center perfect for ringing in the holiday season.

Oct 5 - 13

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA As the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, it’s the perfect destination for kids of all ages.

O C T

Oct 7 - 13 Nuuk Nordic Kulterfestival

Nuuk, Greenland The biennial culture festival includes more than 200 artists and musicians along with workshops, seminars and debates aimed at inspiring attendees and artists alike.

Oct 16 - 20

Frankfurt, Germany Publishing experts, writers, and cultural enthusiasts join for ground-breaking agreements, innovative presentations, and literature discoveries.

N O V

D E C

Nov 6 - 9 Iceland Airwaves

Dec 31 Sydney New Year's Eve

This eclectic mix of musical showcases began in an airplane hangar in 1999 and has since evolved into a five-day festival held throughout various intimate venues.

The internationally known firework display is synchronized to popular music from the past and present bringing both a feeling of nostalgia and hope for the year that lies ahead.

Nov 10 - 12 Bon Om Touk

Dec 31 Niagara Falls New Year's Eve

Reykjavik, Iceland

Tonle Sap River, Cambodia Celebrate the return of the Tonle Sap River to its normal direction after reversing during the rainy season. Festivities include moon salutations, fireworks and boat races.

Sydney, Australia

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada Fireworks can be seen from both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, but the true party takes place in Queen Victoria Park with an all-night concert and firework displays lighting up the Niagara Gorge.

2019 Pan American Games Frankfurt Book Fair

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This Is The Way To See Europe This is Silversea’s European Collection. An extraordinary selection of itineraries designed to indulge discerning travelers in one-of-a-kind experiences. The kind of experiences that are brought to life through expertly guided excursions, magical musical evenings, luxurious onboard accommodations, and generous overnight stays that ensure the amazing little nuances of each and every destination are satisfyingly explored. THIS IS THE COOL OF NORTHERN EUROPE To the north, cool cities steeped in maritime history boast brightly colored waterfronts, bustling canals, rugged fjords, and sidewalk cafés that serve up golden ales, crisp summer wines, and tantalizing smörgåsbord arrays. At first glance, these noble Northern European towns seem to exist in a place where time has stopped. Upon closer examination, though, they surprise and delight with refreshingly modern design and décor, an elevated sense of culinary art, and a keen appreciation for the needs of one’s neighbors. Meanwhile, far up north, in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, Silversea partner and celebrated photographer Steve McCurry captures an Arctic wonderland with his carefully trained lens. A curious walrus swims ashore and raises his 14 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

whiskered chin for a closer look. A commune of penguins perches like figurines on the narrow shelves of an icy cliff. And seabirds cruise over chunks of glacial ice floating in the deep blue Arctic sea. This is Northern Europe. THE WARMTH OF THE MEDITERRANEAN To the south, in the birthplace of Western civilization, the Mediterranean simmers with ancient seaports, legends of powerful deities, and passionate populations that are both beautifully diverse and linked together by storied coasts, timeless landscapes, and a mutual appreciation for the simple joys of life. Here, genuine hospitality is ingrained in the collective psyche and remarkable cuisine is the very essence of life. Visitors are welcomed with open arms to taste la dolce vita, the sweet life that locals know so well.


It is here, on the southern Italian island of Sicily, in a village called Ragusa, that McCurry and his fellow Silversea travelers spend a golden afternoon meandering through cobbled streets polished smooth by time. They stop to taste rich delicacies in local trattorias. And linger over meaningful conversation with a talented local painter whose canvases are the antique carts used in ancient days by peddlers of goods for sale. This is the Mediterranean. THROUGH THE LENS OF SILVERSEA In that afternoon and the days and weeks that follow, McCurry – a “born storyteller with the soul of an explorer” – captures Silversea’s immersive onshore experiences, the perfectly intimate vessels, and the unforgettable destinations for which Silversea itineraries are known. Just as the cool coastal cities of Northern Europe and the sundrenched Mediterranean are home to some of the world’s most magnificent treasures, Silversea’s intimate ships hold a bounty of extraordinary delights all their own.

Sailing to lesser visited destinations where big ships cannot go, Silversea guests seek out the essence of every new culture and landscape they visit. Between ports, they revel in the sweet rewards of free-flowing premium wines and spirits, delicious gourmet cuisine, the services of a devoted butler, stimulating onboard activities, and prepaid gratuities. This is the Way to See Europe. With just over 300 suites on Silversea’s largest ships, guests enjoy generous public spaces in which to relax with a book or gather with friends, well-equipped fitness centers, saunas and steam rooms, spa therapies, wellness seminars, beauty services, personal training, and more. Put simply, this is a story about sailing freely aboard agile ships to legendary cities and lesser-known ports. This is a true vacation away from the stresses of everyday life. This is the sweet life set against a backdrop of shimmering seas. This is an all-encompassing Europe. #ThisIsSilversea

➜ For special offers from Silversea, please see page 96. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 15


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

FOR MORE INFOR M ATION PLE A SE CONTAC T YOUR ENSEMBLE TR AVEL ® GROUP ADVISOR. XX ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


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ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 JAN191521 XX


Cruising the Nile Cairo, Egypt Departing from Cairo, Uniworld’s eight-day Nile River voyage aboard the all-suite River Tosca is a feast for the culturally curious escapist. Guests get to visit the temple of Karnak, entrancing Luxor, temples dedicated to Hathor and Horus, and the mother of them all: Hatshepsut. Land excursions from Cairo get even more remote. In Farafra, the hot springs, salt lakes, and chalky white formations of the White Desert are said to be a mystical experience.

Where the cool kids are going

What�s Trending Now Let’s take a magical desert ride An insatiable desire for ever-more remote destinations is manifesting itself in desert-based experiences that are so far off the beaten path they’re in a world all their own.

Wadi Rum, Jordan Tickets for the SpaceX colony on Mars might be out of reach, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego the red planet altogether. For one of the most alien experiences on earth, fans of glamping in faraway lands are making their way to resorts set in the red-dirt desert of Wadi Rum. Here, visitors stay in Bedouin-style tents or groovy geodesic domes with all the luxe of a nice hotel, including private bathrooms and windows that look out over the Mars-like landscape. 18 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

Dubai, UAE After touching down in Dubai, novelty seekers are taking off on night safaris in the desert with local guides who are experts at finding nocturnal creatures and the best spots for ogling the inky night sky. We’re talking highly Instagrammable experiences involving vintage Land Rovers, hot-air balloons, camel treks, telescopes, and night vision binoculars. Overnight options range from camping beneath the stars to surprisingly comfortable desert resorts.

The Atacama, Chile If high altitude destinations are your cup of tea, head for San Pedro de Atacama and the driest desert in the world. Far from the bright lights of Santiago, visitors here are reveling in rugged ATV safaris, horse trekking, hot springs, hiking, stargazing or simply gazing at the out-of-this-world landscapes. Negev, Israel If you’re the type of person who wakes up thinking, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to go sandboarding in the desert?” then set your sights on Israel. Word is, the dunes of Negev offer perfect boarding conditions for all ages. Just outside the hightech city of Be’er Sheva, the best surfing dunes offer a mix of steep runs and kinder, gentler slopes. Apparently, finding the right board wax for dune conditions is the secret to a smooth ride.


G Adventures

New Ways to Wellness Wellness travel continues to rise, and today’s traveler who desires a serious dose of health and wellbeing on their itinerary has more options than ever. From spas and resorts to cruise ships and tour guide operators, there are numerous experiences to be had.

Nayara Springs Nayara Springs just introduced new Wellness Experience Packages in Costa Rica’s Arenal region. Offers are yoga and meditation in the rainforest, healthy mixology classes, and walks through the on-site sloth sanctuary. Pullman Hotels & Resorts recently launched a Wellbeing Program in North America. The new program is based on four pillars of health—Sleep, Food, Sport, and Spa. And on the seagoing side, Oceania Cruises, home to the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, offers Wellness Tours Inspired by Canyon Ranch. The immersive wellbeing experiences are designed to complement the onboard spa experience.

Give Yourself Some TLC Feel

Built around adventure and immersive cultural experiences, G Adventures, the pioneering small-group adventure tour operator, just launched a collection of 10 Wellness Adventures in 10 destinations that include Patagonia, Iceland, Thailand, and Nepal. The focus is on mindfulness, movement, and nourishment— with a slower travel pace to help travelers reclaim their balance and reconnect with the world around them. “The slower pace we designed was built to stretch travelers— physically and experientially—whether they’re looking to jumpstart a healthier way of living, or reinforce good habits.” explains Ben Perlo, US Managing Director for G Adventures. “They’re for the traveler who wants to get out and explore an amazing destination, while keeping wellness in mind.”

Winter Wonderlands Why not experience wellness in all its wintry glory? These three winter wonderlands offer both active and relaxing options in luxurious settings. Embrace the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness at Sheldon Chalet. Recently opened February 2018, the eco-chic chalet is situated on a remote glacier in the middle of Denali National Park. Watch the snow fall while on a Wellness Retreat at La Reserve Geneve Hotel and Spa on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The property boasts the city’s largest spa (try the Better-Aging Signature Body Massage). Chill out at Sparkling Hill Resort, a spa and wellness sanctuary nestled away in British Columbia. The resort’s KurSpa Wellness Spa offer programs and treatments not available elsewhere in North America, such as their signature Cryo Cold Chamber treatments. Farm-to-table dining and a grand classic European spa with a focus on holistic rejuvenation make this property a stand-out.

La Reserve

Sheldon Chalet

like you need to add a little TLC to your beauty routine? You’re not alone—the winter months can wreak havoc on our skin, which is all the more reason to enhance your self-care rituals with warming and nourishing ingredients. Think ginger, cinnamon, clove, and honey, for starters. Nourishing Cleansing Crème from Intelligent Nutrients is a calming, soothing milky cleanser that includes clove and coconut milk among its ingredients (www. intelligentnutrients.com). A rich, moisturizing facial mask is a must this time of year to replenish dry, dull-looking skin (don’t forget to apply to your neck, as well). Shankara’s Moisturizing Mask, formulated with honey, gotu kola, and avocado oil, works wonders (www.shankara.com). Naturally, we’re big believers in the health and wellness benefits of a warm bath—adding a warming bath oil this season ups the ante. Ginger Bath & Body Oil from Kerstin Florian features two distinct types of ginger, as well as coriander and other soothing essential oils that also have antiinflammatory properties (www. kerstinflorian.com). Add a few capfuls to your bath, or apply to your body before bedtime for a soothing, warming ritual. Don’t forget to always carry a good, heavy-duty hand cream with you. Burt’s Bees Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream is seriously skinsoftening (www.burtsbees.com).

Sparkling Hill

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What’s Trending Now

A Quaint Culinary Capital

Hidden among one of North America’s thriving tourist destinations, Healdsburg, California is turning heads, dropping jaws (literally), and gaining popularity within the Sonoma Valley region. Located 60 miles north of San Francisco, Healdsburg’s bustling downtown offers more than 30 wine tasting rooms, as well as specialty shops, artisan bakeries, cocktail bars, outdoor markets and chic hotels. With its cultural resurgence and farm-to-table emphasis combined with progressive yet vibrant depictions of gastronomy’s potential, Healdsburg attracts young visitors with a keen sense for off-the-grid finds as well as regulars who might prefer the crown jewel remain under the radar. Single Thread

Barndiva

Dry Creek Kitchen

Single Thread Recently named “One to Watch” on the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list, Single Thread claims fame to three Michelin stars. The farm-restaurant-inn serves genuine farm-to-table cuisine combined with an authentic Japanese ryokan dining experience. The minimalistic style provides guests with an unparalleled luxurious culinary experience. Spoonbar

Known for their “farm-tobar” cocktails crafted from locally sourced herbs and all-natural ingredients, Spoonbar immerses guests into the overall experience amidst a lofty and open interior. Notable drinks include the Three Dots and a Dash (signature drink) and the Bergamot Blossom.

Dry Creek Kitchen For a special night set on the historic Healdsburg Plaza, Chef Charlie Palmer combines homey preparations with sophisticated presentations. California’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle is brought to life with floor-to-ceiling windows and a refined dining room adorned with seasonal floral arrangements mixing intimate charm with wine country hospitality. Barndiva

The patio atmosphere adorned with twinkling lights strung throughout the sycamore trees makes Barndiva the ideal location for a special event. Chef Ryan Fancher has worked at both Per Se in NYC and French Laundry in Yountville. Not-to-miss dishes include the roast chicken with roasted mushrooms and egg yolk ravioli and the herbroasted Pacific sole with warm potatoes and pickled red cabbage.

20 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

Mateo's

Campo Fina If low-key dining is more your style, Campo Fina is the perfect place to grab a pizza slice. The stylish Italian eatery is dogfriendly and charming, and you just might find yourself playing bocce in the backyard after sipping on a glass of wine or your favorite brew. Mateo’s Cocina Latina Yucatán-born chef, Mateo Granado, honors his heritage by infusing the flavors of his homeland with locally sourced and sustainable Sonoma ingredients. Come for the homemade tortillas; leave with a belly full of enchiladas (filled with ancho chilis or red wine-braised lamb) or hand-rolled crispy tacones (stuffed with guacamole, carne asada or chorizo). For an additional kick, try the habanero sauces! Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar

With a touch of both New England and South America, Willi’s laid-back atmosphere provides a lively hangout and a menu designed for sharing food among family and friends. At least eight varieties of fresh oysters are served at the raw bar daily, and seasonal cocktails make for the perfect “cheers!” Noteworthy dishes include the Dungeness Crab Cake and the Hamachi Ceviche with rocoto chilis, lime juice and pepitas.

Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar

The farm-to-table movement isn’t lost with dessert in Healdsburg. These pie crusts are made from Old World grains like farro and buckwheat, the fillings are made from fresh off the farm Sonoma Country fruits (like blood orange with a buttermilk custard and strawberries and blueberries with a dash of ginger), and seasonal ice cream flavors are available.

Pub grub that�s posh Purveyors of down-home, downright sinful staples like juicy burgers, and terrines of macaroni and cheese in truffle oil. Led by a few lumberjack-like chefs and proprietors, the movement spread to every neighborhood with a hankering for food that was familiar, informal and imaginative. Au Cheval | Chicago | U.S.A. Known for their sublime messiness, the double and single cheeseburgers served here, featuring tender, juicy beef glazed in melted cheese, can be festooned with bacon and an egg in a combination that has been hailed as a “transformational burger experience.” Indeed the editors of The Burger Guide voted the American classic the best burger in the world. Dandelion | Philadelphia | U.S.A. Dubbed a “cozy drinking den” by Food & Wine magazine, Dandelion features Englishstyle furnishings—club chairs upholstered in plaid and a bar lit by globe lanterns imprinted “Mans Best Friend”—and a refined version of the menu you’d find at a country pub, replete with Welsh rarebit, fish and chips, and liver parfait. Located near Rittenhouse Square, it occupies an opulent building and serves beer in half and imperial pints, including Bombardier from Britain. Freemasons at Wiswell | Lancashire | U.K. Local ingredients combined with bold global flavors is the recipe that has won this Lancashire gastropub high praise for the last five years. Situated on a village square where you’d expect Miss Marple to turn up for tea, Freemasons gives a home to a blockbuster like the butterpoached lobster tail with crispy claw wontons.


Did you know? The world’s leading river cruise line is also rated the world’s best ocean cruise line.

BY R I V ER & BY SE A Only with Viking, the small ship experts.

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Ask about the latest offers from Viking. For more information please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

From Travel + Leisure Magazine, August 2018 © Time Inc. Affluent Media Group. Travel + Leisure® and ‘World’s Best Awards’ are trademarks of Time Inc. Affluent Media Group and are used under license. Travel + Leisure and Time Inc. Affluent Media Group are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, Viking Cruises. CST: #2052644-40


What’s Trending Now

Two ways around the world If you’ve read all the “best places to travel in 2019” lists and still can’t decide, you’re in luck. Round the World (RTW) trips that combine the best of the best are easier than ever to do. The way we see it, there are two ways to go.

Grand & Glamorous You’ve waited your whole life to see the world. Now you’re ready to do it in style. Go ahead, cash in those fickle tech stocks and pack your favorite Louis Vuitton bag. Abercrombie & Kent wants to take you on a worldwide wildlife safari. You’ll be traveling via a privately chartered jet, of course, with a tour director, an executive chef, and savvy enrichment coaches. White glove passport and visa handling will ensure your travels are smooth so you can relax and enjoy Champagne beneath the Japanese cherry blossoms, lend a hand in a Chinese panda nursery, swim with gentle whale sharks in the Philippines, see Bornean honey bears and rare orangutans, Bengal tigers, Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, Madagascar lemurs, and Kenya’s Big Five.

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Earthy & Authentic You did it! You traded in that boring old job for the life of a digital influencer. Your sponsors are on board, your camera is packed, and you’ve got oodles of keywords and hashtags swimming in your head. Now it’s time to start inspiring your followers with amazing pics of the fiords of New Zealand, cycling through Bali, and an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Climb to Nepal’s Namche Bazaar and skydive over Dubai. Then soak up the sun in Zanzibar, wander the night market in Marrakesh, laugh with the locals in Amsterdam, castle hop in Ireland, and dip into the hot springs of Iceland. Along the way, you’ll make forever friends in budget-friendly hotels and undiscovered resorts where you can take advantage of killer Wi-Fi to beam your stories to the world. #yes

One Perfect Spot Fiji If the idea of traveling around the world makes you feel a bit faint, the perfect alternative could be an extended vacation in one life-changing destination such as Fiji’s adults-only Matangi Private Island Resort. Spring for a magical Treehouse Bure overlooking the crystal clear ocean and you’ll be in the perfect spot to write that screenplay you’ve had in mind or while away the days hiking to hidden waterfalls, snorkeling, diving, and mingling with new friends at the local pearl farming village.


A DVE RT I S E M E NT

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DELTA VACATIONS LUXURY GETAWAYS INCLUDE: • Delta Sky Priority®** airport check-in • Round-trip First Class, Delta Premium Select, Delta OneTM or Comfort + seating aboard Delta Air Lines®

Fly First Class to popular destinations. Stay at the finest hotels. Receive exclusive amenities. A luxury vacation should include everything you could ever want and some things you didn’t know you needed. When you book a flight and hotel vacation through us with Delta Vacations Luxury, you’ll enjoy personalized attention and impeccable service. Plus, you can enhance your stay with spa treatments, golf, excursions and more to make your trip extraordinary. We've carefully selected destinations that will provide the best setting and experience for your luxurious vacation. To delight in the wonders of a luxury beach vacation, choose Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, or Hawaii. For ultra chic shopping, dining, and nightlife, set your eyes on the bright lights of Las Vegas, California or London. Recharge with a revitalizing treatment at a wonderful spa in Arizona. And for luxury family vacations to a beach or a theme park, look to Florida. ➜ For special offers from Delta Vacations, please see page 83. For more information,

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• Private VIP transfers or premium car rental • Accommodations at a selection of luxurious hotels, some of which offer unique amenities such as champagne, spa treatments, daily breakfast and dinners on the beach • Services of a personal concierge • 24-hour assistance from a Delta Vacations representative • Up to 7,500 bonus miles, in addition to credited flight miles, through the SkyMiles® program • A flexible deposit and payment option • One-stop shopping *All SkyMiles Program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/memberguide. Delta Vacations airfares will earn Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs – U.S.-based members only) based on fare class and distance flown. Bonus miles do not count toward Medallion ® Status or Million Miler™ Status. Offers void where prohibited by law. Offers subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply. **Only with First Class or Delta One bookings

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 23


Let Hawaii Happen


➜ For special offers from Hawaii Tourism, please see page 85. For more

information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

There’s no place on earth quite like the Hawaiian Islands. Six unique islands. Six unique experiences. From crystal blue waters to black sand beaches, Hawaii’s iconic destinations are enough to fill any bucket list. But if you look around, you’ll find there’s even more to Hawaii than what you’ve heard about. Where should you start? Maybe you’d like to unwind on Kauai, known for its lush, natural beauty and the breathtaking cliffs of the Napali Coast. Perhaps the energy of Oahu is more your speed, home to worldfamous destinations like Waikiki Beach, the North Shore and Pearl Harbor. Maui mixes heavenly beaches and resorts with small town charm and discoveries. To get away from it all, secluded and luxurious Lanai contrasts with the rustic and authentic simplicity of Molokai. Finally, big adventures happen on the island of Hawaii, the largest of the Hawaiian Islands. While each Hawaiian Island has its share of beautiful sandy beaches, clear blue

waters and spectacular sunsets, each also offers its own unique experiences off the beaten path.

Lanai and Molokai, where you don’t go off the beaten path, you’re already there.

Uncover the beauty of Kauai as you journey along its one lane highways and discover its hidden waterfalls and secluded beaches. The northernmost and greenest of the Hawaiian Islands is a place to take off your watch and turn off the GPS.

If you like road trips, the island of Hawaii’s are unique, from black sand beaches near Punaluu to the snowcapped slopes of Maunakea. This is a place of stark contrasts – from the crystal blue waters and white sands of the Kona Coast, to the rugged volcanic coastlines of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, to the lush botanical gardens and waterfalls of the Hamakua Coast.

Oahu is where the action is, the lively center of the Hawaiian Islands. From festivals to events, discover the diverse cultures that make Hawaii so unique and get a taste from the chefs who put Oahu on the culinary map. On Maui, start your day atop the summit of Haleakala for an epic sunrise, then spend the day along the scenic, winding road to Hāna or travel through the lush gardens and farms of Upcountry Maui. Or simply lounge pool-side at a luxurious resort, from Kapalua to Wailea. Venture the undiscovered country of

You may find the best parts of your “planned” Hawaii vacation are the unplanned interludes that you’ll never see coming. So take a moment. Wander from the suggested route. Stumble upon a secluded spot. Discover the food that the locals love. Experience a culture and meet the people who live the welcoming aloha spirit. There’s so much more to your Hawaii vacation than you thought. And you won’t need a roadmap to find your most memorable moments. Get inspired at #LetHawaiiHappen


Marrakech and BEYOND

by ROBIN CHERRY

While Marrakech gets the lion’s share of attention, there’s much more to see in this fascinating country, so don’t stop there.

Fez 26 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


We wandered through the 9,000 winding alleys of the ancient quarter visiting artisans who were crafting copper tagine pots and weaving rugs as their ancestors had. I purchased a traditional ras-al-hanout spice blend and orange blossomperfumed Argan oil. Our guide, a compact cheery fellow named Momo, led us through the narrow alleys to the Berrada Family Restaurant, a hole-in-the wall where the grandfather takes you into the kitchen and gives you three spoons so you can taste the lamb, beef, and meatball tagines. Diane and Kim had lamb and I had spicy vegetable stew. Both were delicious. After lunch, we stopped by the Medina Children’s Library during story time and saw the kids faces light up as a volunteer read a book in Arabic. The library was founded by ex-pats (including Kim) and is supported by donations from visitors.

W

hen my friend Diane and I traveled to Morocco, we met up in Fez where our friend Kim lives in the center of the Medina. We checked into the 17th-century Riad Idrissy, which was restored by English expat Robert Johnstone, a former maître d' at The Wolseley in London. According to Johnstone, the painstaking restoration took “five donkeys five months.” The riad is immediately inviting with cozy interior courtyards, stained glass windows, tiled floors, ornately painted ceilings, and vibrant handwoven textiles. The restaurant, The Ruined Garden, is set in a prettily dilapidated courtyard. It serves delicious home-smoked salmon, and if you order in advance, slow-roasted Lamb Mechoui that falls off the bone.

From Fez, we took a day trip to the whitewashed hillside city of Moulay Idriss, second only to Mecca as Islam’s holiest city. The sacred city was once closed to non-Muslim visitors and Edith Wharton, who visited in 1919, claimed she was the first foreigner to witness the town's moussem religious festival. Muslims who are unable to make the pilgrimage to Mecca are allowed to substitute six visits to Moulay Idriss. From Moulay Idriss, we went to the ancient Roman city of Volubilis and then to Meknes, where we toured the vineyards of Domaine de la Zouina and had a tasting with the French owner, Christophe Gribelin. The vineyard’s most interesting wine is vin gris, a traditional Moroccan pale rosé that pairs beautifully with spicy food.

Riad Idrissy

Our guide led the us through the narrow alleys to the Berrada Family Restaurant, a hole-in-the wall where the grandfather takes you into the kitchen and gives you three spoons so you can taste the lamb, beef, and meatball tagines. ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 27


T

he next day, Diane and I took our leave from Kim and met our lovely driver Rashid, who would spend the next week with us. Our first stop was Ifrane, a small town in the Middle Atlas Mountains. At 5,460 feet above sea level, Ifrane, is known as “The Switzerland of Morocco” because of its alpine-style chalets and ski slopes. We spent the night in Merzouga, the gateway to the Sahara, as the next morning, we had an exhilarating yet terrifying hour-and-a-half camel ride to Ali and Sara’s Desert Camp. Camels are very sure-footed but when you’re bouncing on their back as they navigate sand dunes, it doesn’t always feel that way. As we arrived, Diane’s camel leaned down on its forearms and my camel followed suit causing me to tumble off. Fortunately I was uninjured and we enjoyed a Moroccan feast, after which we joined Berber drummers in a sing-a-long around the campfire. Just as fortunately, we drove back to catch up with Rashid by 4x4 rather than by camel.

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Moulay Idriss

We drove through palm orchards to Ouarzazate. The city’s rugged landscape is one of Hollywood’s favorite sets and both Lawrence of Arabia and Game of Thrones were filmed there. Diane and I spent the night at Dar Ahlam, a boutique hotel set in a renovated kasbah located in a palm grove on the edge of the desert. Dar Ahlam means “House of Dreams” and its concept centers its experience on the idea of surprise, so guests never know where their meals will take place. We had cocktails on the rooftop as the sun slipped below the horizon and dinner in a stone grotto lit with hundreds of candles. Leaving the desert, we passed through the High Atlas Mountains en route to Marrakech, where we checked into the legendary La Mamounia Hotel. It’s easy to see why this elegant Moorish-inspired palace was one of Winston Churchill’s favorite hotels. As dusk fell, we headed out to Jemaa el-Fnaa, the central square of the ancient, walled Medina that comes alive at night with snake charmers, monkey tamers, and food vendors selling everything from fresh vegetable salads to boiled sheep’s heads. (We both had salads.) Last year, two museums devoted to the life and work of Yves Saint Laurent opened; one in Paris; the other in Marrakech. Diane and I visited the Marrakech outpost which showcases stunning pieces from Saint Laurent.


Robin on a camel ride

Tree-dwelling goats

Essaouria

Ali and Sara’s Desert Camp

Ouarzazate

Casablanca

Dar Ahlam means “House of Dreams” and its concept centers its experience on the idea of surprise, so guests never know where their meals will take place. From Marrakech, we drove to the fortified 18th-century port city of Essaouria on the Atlantic coast. We saw Morocco’s famous tree-dwelling goats who perch precariously in the Argan trees. The walled city of Essaouria, with its whitewashed, blue-shuttered houses, is known for woodworkers who create exquisite inlaid pieces made from the mahoganylike Thuya wood that grows only in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. From Essaouria, we drove up the coast to Oualidia where we enjoyed sensational oysters freshly plucked from the ocean in a Berber tent at La Sultana, an exquisite hotel set in a Neo-Moorish fort. Our final stop was Casablanca where we visited the world’s third largest mosque, built to commemorate the 60th birthday of the former king, Hassan II. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Moorish-style mosque is dominated by its 700-foot minaret (said to be the world’s tallest). It was built by over 10,000 craftsmen and took over six years to complete.

That night, as Diane and I toasted our trip with a bottle of vin gris, we couldn’t believe it had only been ten days. We drove through the majestic Atlas mountains, walked through souks and palm groves, and sunbathed on sandy beaches. We haggled with craftsmen, giggled with young children, enjoyed fantastic food, visited vineyards and ancient ruins and all in all, had the time of our lives. And yet, we didn’t get to Paul Bowle’s adopted home, the Mediterranean port city of Tangiers. We didn’t travel far south enough to see Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest mountain. And we didn’t get to experience the ethereal blue city of Chefchaouen. I can’t wait to go back.

To book your trip to Morocco, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 29


CHOOSE FUN ON A CARNIVAL CRUISE Everyone deserves to have a little FUN! When you choose a Carnival® cruise, it’s all yours for the taking including the amazing destinations, award-winning service, delicious dining, endless onboard activities, nighttime entertainment and spacious accommodations. And the best part, just about everything is included. This much fun has never been so affordable!

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6 Day Western Caribbean from Miami, FL Carnival Horizon™ Ocho Rios; Grand Cayman; Cozumel December 23, 2018 - April 26, 2020 For more information please contact your ® Ensemble Travel Group Advisor.

Onboard Credit offer is non-transferable and non-refundable. Onboard Credit is provided as a non-refundable credit to your Sail & Sign account of $50 per person up to a maximum of $100 per oceanview stateroom and up to $75 per person up to a maximum of $150 per balcony and suite staterooms . Onboard Credit may not be applied to cruise fare or Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses. Cruise rates are in US dollars, per person and based on double occupancy. Offer is capacity controlled and is not combinable with any other discount or promotional offer. Rates may vary by ship, stateroom type and sail date. Changes made to the reservation may result in the assessment of cancellation penalties or service fees. Category restrictions and exclusions apply. Carnival reserves the right to withdraw and/or change offer at any time without prior notice. Offer is for the cruise fare only and does not include Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses range from $56.90 to $359.73, and are assessed on a per guest basis for all guests according to the itinerary. Guest may select the stateroom, but a minimum purchase of category 6A is required. Upgrades are automatically assigned at the time of booking and are based on availability in like to like categories only (ocean view to ocean view and balcony to balcony). Subsequent upgrades in lieu of price protection will no longer be offered. Offer bookings made as part of a group will include amenities. Offer does not apply to Carnival Australia. Offer is applicable on sailings between now through April 30, 2021. Offer is applicable on new bookings made between January 15, 2019- February 28, 2019. Please request rate code OUH for ocean view rooms and OUI for balcony & suite staterooms. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas, Panama & Malta.


COLOMBIA RISING With vibrant cities and enchanting islands, Colombia is engaging, energetic, and safe. by ROBIN CHERRY

B

Above: Pre-Colombian decorative gold figure Clockwise from top: Historic La Candelaria neighborhood, Bogota; Colonial style church bell tower in Simon Bolivar square, Bogota; Botero Plaza, Medellin

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ogota is over one-and-a-half miles above sea level, making it the world’s fourth highest capital after La Paz, Quito, and Thimphu. The top of Monserrat, the mountain that dominates Bogota’s skyline, can be reached by cable car, funicular, or on foot. When I prepared to climb the 1,500 steps – an altitude gain that brought me to almost two miles above sea level, I expressed my concern to the concierge. He asked how many feet I lived above sea level. “About twelve,” I said. “Oh,” he replied, “altitude might be an issue.” I didn’t even mention my asthma. The climb was rigorous and my ego took a bit of a bruising as toddlers and grandmothers darted by me, but the view from the top gives you a sense of Bogota’s immensity – it’s home to over eight million people. Wander the colonial Candelaria neighborhood, home to Bogota’s star attraction: the Gold Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection

of gold items including many preColombian artifacts. Lively and verdant Medellin is an easy (and inexpensive) one-hour flight away. Sadly, many still associate the city with the drug cartel, but those days are long gone. Medellin’s heart, Botero Plaza, is dotted with 23 whimsical statues by native son Fernando Botero. The Museum of Antioquia, a stunning Art Deco building, houses works by Botero as well as donations from his personal collection. To understand this fascinating city, I recommend a walking tour and a Metrocable ride up to Arvi Park, a nature preserve. Medellin’s metro system, which includes trains, cable cars, and escalators, is largely credited with the city’s revival as it made it possible for people living in the far reaches of the city (Medellin is home to over 2.5 million people) to travel affordably to their jobs.


Providencia Island, a hidden gem closer to Nicaragua than Colombia, is hard to get to but worth it. (When I went, the airport was closed to all but small private planes so I took a harrowing 3.5-hour catamaran ride. My first clue I was in for a rough ride was the seasick tablet I was given with my boarding pass.) Fortunately I arrived at a tranquil island with beautiful palm-fringed beaches that I had all to myself. I checked into Hotel Deep Blue, a mountainside retreat with views of Crab Cay where I went snorkeling with sea turtles. I rented a Kawasaki 4x4, and drove around the island from beach to beach. I stopped for a cocktail at Roland’s seaside bar followed by grilled fish at Miss Elma’s and lime pie at Cafe Social.

I then flew to Cartagena, a brightly colored gem overlooking the Caribbean. The city enchants with bougainvilleadraped houses and colonial churches. Visit the city walls and some churches, but the joy of Cartagena is strolling the streets and stopping at outdoor cafes. Anthony Bourdain praised La Cevicheria, which is a bit touristy but the fish is divine. After two weeks in Colombia, I’d covered a lot of ground but missed the lush coffee growing region and the Amazonian rainforest. I’ll be back.

Above: Colorful wooden window, Guatape Below from left: Providencia Island; Monserrate aerial tramway; Women selling fruit in Cartagena

WHERE TO STAY Sofitel Legend Cartagena Santa Clara – in the heart of Cartagena’s UNESCO World Heritage Site walled city – was built in 1621 as a convent, transformed to a stunning hotel in the late 20th century, and in 2012 joined the ranks of Sofitel’s elite “Legend” brand. This iconic retreat blends the allure of history with exceptional service, local hospitality, and French savoir-faire. Its 123 accommodations reflect Colonial or Republican-style architecture; offer stunning courtyard, Old Town, or Caribbean views; and are complemented by modern comforts that include Satellite TV and Wi-Fi. Enjoy gourmet cuisine in Restaurant 1621, best-in-class treatments at So SPA Sofitel Santa Clara, and sunbathing beside the chic pool.

ENSEMBLE EXCLUSIVE AMENITIES Breakfast buffet for two daily $100 food & beverage credit per room, per stay Welcome Amenity with a personalized welcome card Upgraded room at time of check-in when available Early check-in when available Late check-out when available

To book your trip to Colombia, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 33


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Close To Home + So Extraordinary Three Small Ship Cruises with Alexander+Roberts

EXPLORING THE UPPER ST. LAWRENCE You don’t have to cross a lot of time zones for enriching travel experiences. Sailing conveniently from Montreal, this in-depth 10-day voyage takes you up the lovely St. Lawrence and across Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. With a full program of included shore excursions, you’ll explore a variety of colorful Canadian and American ports – from Quebec City and Toronto to Niagara Falls and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Back onboard the stylish 202-guest mv Victory II, there are enriching talks, fine dining with wine, and an Open Bar. Shipboard gratuities and chauffeured transfers are also included.

AMERICA’S GREAT LAKES Sailing between Chicago and Toronto, A+R’s all-inclusive cruises on the intimate Victory I also feature an Open Bar, fine dining with wine, shore excursions, shipboard gratuities and private transfers. Explore all five of the Great Lakes as you experience the native Ojibwe traditions of Manitoulin Island, delight in a horse-drawn carriage tour on Mackinac Island, sample the wines of the Niagara Peninsula, and visit the Henry Ford Museum and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

AROUND ICELAND AT THE PEAK OF SUMMER With nonstop flights from many US gateways including Orlando, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, Iceland offers an adventurous, easy-to-get-to cruise destination. Onboard the comfortable 198-guest Ocean Atlantic, A+R’s new peakof-summer Iceland voyages are the best way and time to see whales and marine birds like the Atlantic Puffin. And with a full fleet of Zodiacs and the finest Expedition Team, these cruises promise an enriching adventure with majestic fjords, remote islands and wildlife. ➜ F or special offers from Alexander+Roberts, please see page

81. Ask your Ensemble Travel Group Advisor how you can save $600 per person on these three close-to-home cruises.

34 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


Great Wall of China

THE GUIDE GOT TO KNOW US. MY SON GOT TO KNOW ABOUT THE QIN DYNASTY. AND ME? WELL, I GOT TO KNOW MY SON. Made possible by my Travel Advisor.

©2018 Crystal Cruises, LLC.

W H E R E L U X U R Y I S P E R S O N A L™

EXPLORE WORLDWIDE DESTINATIONS WITH CRYSTAL | NOW OPEN THROUGH 2021. For more information please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.


FEEL FREE TO SEAS THE DAY. With more than 260 destinations worldwide, Norwegian Cruise Line has the perfect cruise for every traveler. Whether you want to witness the majesty of Alaska, the history and grandeur of Europe or simply bask on a beach in The Caribbean, Feel Free to let inspiration guide you. That’s the beauty of sailing with Norwegian. Where unpacking happens once and relaxing, exploring and superb dining can happen whenever you like. Where spectacular entertainment comes straight from Broadway. Where spaces are larger and the thrills are greater. Where luxury is taken to a higher level in The Haven. Where your journey is just as exciting as your destination. Take to the sea and find out what it means to Feel Free.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE TRAVEL® GROUP ADVISOR

©2018 NCL Corporation Ships’ Registry: BAHAMAS and USA

38259 11/18


New Zealand WILD

38 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


I

by NANCY HELLMRICH

I have to admit something. I’ve been holding out on you. I’ve been waxing rhapsodic about the coastal wonders of New Zealand from Auckland to Queenstown. What I haven’t told you about, because I wanted it to be my little secret, is the wild-and-wooly adventure land in the interior of the South Island. Specifically, the Mackenzie District in South Canterbury—home to Aoraki Mt. Cook, teal blue lakes, and the legacy of Sir Edmund Hillary, who trained here for his historic summit of Mt. Everest.

Go For a Wee Walk Up a Hill One of the first things you learn about Kiwis is their penchant for understatements. They don’t like to brag, I’m told. And that’s fair enough. But when you’re a visitor, it’s handy to know they might refer to a mountaineering expedition as “a wee walk up a hill.” To avoid joining such an expedition stick to the Aoraki Mt. Cook Walking Tracks, which range from 10 minutes to 3 hours and dazzle you with lupins, lavender, and buttercups. Afterward, grab lunch at the Old Mountaineers Café in Aoraki Mt. Cook Village.

Go For a Wee Bike Ride Easy-peasy is what the locals said the first time they took me on a bike ride, which ended up being a good 25 miles of sheep tracks, river crossings, and rocks. The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is not like that. It’s a neat and orderly gravel path with helpful signs along the way. While the path literally goes from Mt. Cook to where the Pacific Ocean tickles your toes, it is broken into nine, dare I say, easy segments. Bikes and gear are available at a shop in Twizel.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 39


Spend Time in The Dark Something they don’t tell you about in Auckland is that New Zealand has a Dark Sky Reserve. And guess what, the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve is the world’s largest. To take advantage of this, lie on your back in a field and look up. If the timing is right, you might even glimpse the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis). For a more mind-blowing view, take a bus or drive up to Mt. John Observatory and peer into the cosmos through powerful telescopes.

Take Off on a Glacier Safari On my first glacier “air safari” we flew over Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3,724 meters, and second-highest Mt. Tasman, then the pilot deftly landed on the glacier and we got to run around. Nowadays, you can flight-see in small planes, helicopters, and even a bright red biplane with an open cockpit, which I find a little scary but you might not. Back on the ground, take a boat out onto the terminal lake where you can hold 500-year-old ice blocks in your hand.

Sip Central Otago Wines Years ago, my husband and I decided it would be romantic to do a working holiday on Chard Farm overlooking the Kawarau River. It was summer, and we were thinning the vines, squatting and standing our way through the rows from dawn to dusk. I lasted two weeks. Turns out, tending grapes is hard work and not all that romantic. If you’re in the Mackenzie area and thirsty, head to Central Otago, the world’s southernmost viticultural region, and sample the wines of Rippon Vineyard, Swallow’s Crossing, Wooing Tree, Aitken’s Folly, and good old Chard Farm.

40 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


All-Inclusive TAH IT I FR EN CH P O LY N E SIA FIJ I S O UT H PACI FI C

We've got the cure for wanderlust

Luxury Small-Ship Voyages NOTE: Rights Managed TMK, need to price out what it would cost to use per publication

For more information please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.


A DVERT I SE M E NT

Riding Japan’s With an enviable life expectancy, a highly educated population, and the world’s third-largest economy, it’s no surprise Japan is sparking the curiosity of modern travelers. Visitors are exploring the neon-lit streets of Tokyo, marveling at Mount Fuji, and reveling in the cherry blossoms. But there’s a lot more to see beneath the surface of this 6,852-island nation.

42 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


Just as Katsushika Hokusai’s Great Wave Off

Kanagawa predicted, the outside world is influencing the ancient traditions of Japan. Rather than being crushed by the wave, however, Japan’s innovative minds – they have 22 Nobel laureates and counting – are expertly blending modern themes with time-honored traditions. Sleek shinkansen bullet trains coexist with people-powered rickshas. And traditional ryokan inns are shaping the design and décor of big-city hotels where ultra-modern amenities are being paired with an ancient aesthetic and private onsenstyle baths that tap into travelers’ desire to experience Japan’s “miraculous” geothermal springs.

As Japan’s big cities push the innovation bar ever higher, the nation’s list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites also continues to grow. Currently, there are 22 designated sites. Recent additions include The Hidden Christian Sites of Nagasaki, Fujisan (Mount Fuji), and the island of Okinoshima. On the waiting list? An archaeological site on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaidō.

The Hills of Hokkaido Hokkaidō’s modern capital city of Sapporo is home to the eponymous brewery, but the island is best known for its powdery ski runs, rugged Daisetsuzan National Park, the caldera lakes and geothermal springs of Shikotsu-Tōya, and Mt. Fuji lookalike Mt. Yōtei. In summer, Hokkaidō visitors come for incredible hiking, cycling, fresh fruits and vegetables, the bright flower fields that blanket the hillsides, and the rare red-crowned crane which is said to

Culture Wave

Dogo Onsen Ehime ©JNTO

bring good luck and longevity. Winter visitors enjoy legendary levels of powdery snow (an average of 15 meters) at the Rusutsu, Furano, and Niseko ski areas and marvel at the intricate sculptures in the annual Sapporo Snow Festival.

Indulgence in Kobe On Japan’s mainland, the city of Kobe overlooks Osaka Bay with Mount Rokkō at its back. This region is home to the Tajima Japanese Black cattle, raised according to special rules that ensure Kobe beef remains a rare and expensive delicacy. In the neighborhood of Nada-Gogō, the five villages of Nada are famous for their centuries-long


A DVERT I SE M E NT

Messages from Hiroshima

tradition of sake brewing. Prior to indulging, locals recommend taking the “Kobe Rope” cable car to the top of Mt. Rokkō for scenery that is dramatically different depending on the season in which you visit. A second ropeway travels over the Nunobiki Waterfall and Nunobiki Herb Garden. A third drops into Arima Onsen, one of Japan’s oldest spa towns, where the Emperor, court nobles, and samurai used to ease their aches and pains. In winter, the Kobe Luminarie is a sight to behold. The light displays, created to inspire hope after the Hanshin earthquake of 1995, draw more than three million visitors a year. Along the Kobe waterfront, visitors enjoy

shopping, dining, a Ferris wheel, and an Anpanman Museum celebrating the anime superhero who recently overtook Hello Kitty as the country’s top-grossing children’s character. Although, the pink feline may be making a comeback. A decked-out Hello Kitty shinkansen train now runs on the Sanyo line, with stops in popular destinations such as Himeji and Hiroshima.

44 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

In Hiroshima, one can’t help but be astounded by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Here, powerful exhibits reveal before-and-after photos of the city, personal belongings left behind, and heartrending artifacts that convey the devastation caused by the bomb that was dropped here at the end of World War II. From Peace Memorial Park, there is a direct line of sight to the Atomic Bomb Dome, the skeletal remains of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. The Dome was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1996 as “a symbol of the horror of nuclear weapons and humankind's pledge for peace.” Northwest of the memorial, a rebuilt Hiroshima Castle tells the story of the city before the war. Nearby, Shukkei-en Garden, “shrunken scenery garden,” offers a sanctuary of tea houses and paths that wind through the distinctive landscape. Another UNESCO site, Itsukushima Shrine and its picturesque

floating torii gate, can be found on Miyajima Island in northwest Hiroshima Bay.

700 Miles to Enlightenment On the island of Shikoku, white-clad pilgrims called henro trace a path to 88 temples in a symbolic quest for enlightenment, from awakening, austerity, and discipline, to attaining enlightenment, and entering nirvana.

The journey is over 700 miles long and takes more than 40 days to complete. In the city of Kōchi, travelers are likely to see henro chanting and repeating their mantras in three of the pilgrimage sites atop Mt. Godaisan. Kōchi is also home to Makino Botanical Garden, the feudal era Kōchi Castle, and the Yosakoi Matsuri dance festival. Shikoku's largest city, Matsuyama, is home to Dōgo Onsen, a wooden bathhouse with a history that dates back 3,000 years, and the Dōgo Brewery, where visitors can sample Minakuchi Shuzō, Sōseki Stout, Madonna Alt, and Botchan Kölsch. The beers are named after characters in a popular novel by a local teacher.

Fans of the story get a kick out of the animatronic Botchan Gizmo Clock (Botchan Karakuri Tokei). The author’s mentor, Masaoka Shiki, was one of the four great masters of haiku and is credited with revitalizing Japanese poetry and making it relevant to modern culture. The castle of Matsuyama was built over 25 years by the feudal lord Katō


Yoshiaki. Four of its eight gates are national cultural treasures. Inside, swords, armor and other artifacts belonging to the occupying families can be viewed. The Ishite-ji Temple (Stone Hand Temple) is number 51 of the 88 temples – some say the most impressive – with a magnificent dragon, prayer offerings, a mysterious cave, and a stirring legend of greed, sorrow, repentance, and reincarnation.

On the island’s eastern coastline, seaside Miyazaki is adored for its beach resorts, surfing, and golf. Outside of town, Takachiho Gorge is revered as a place of powerful energy and dramatic beauty. Visitors in search of spiritual renewal seek out the Amano Iwato Shrine where the Shintō Sun Goddess is said to have been lured from a cave to shine her light on the world. In Obihan, or simply Obi, visitors can take a ricksha ride around

Wild Horses and Luck in Love

the castle grounds, peek inside ancient residences, even stay overnight in a preserved samurai home.

On Japan’s lush, green volcanic island of Kyushu, travelers are drawn to the modern metropolis of Fukuoka and its famous sumo tournaments, Aso, one of the world’s largest volcanic calderas, the castle of Kumamoto, the understated memorials of multicultural Nagasaki, and a choice of 2,000 onsens in the city of Beppu.

South of the city, Cape Toi boasts beautiful wild horses and hidden mountain shrines. Inohae Valley is a spectacular spot for shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” Aoshima Island is known for its Devil's Washboard

Above from left: Matsuyama Castle Shiroyama Park Ehime ©JNTO; Takachiho Gorge ©JNTO Below from left: Arima onsen Taikou-no-yu ©JNTO; Nada Gogo Kobe ©JNTO; Atomic Bomb Dome Hiroshima ©JNTO; Miyajima Hiroshima ©JNTO; Cape Toi Miyazaki ©JNTO; Obi Castletown Miyazaki ©JNTO

rock formation. At Nichinan-shi on the Pacific coast, seven Sun Messe replicas of the Easter Island Moai offer blessings from good health and luck in love to academic achievement and financial success.

To book your trip to Japan, please contact your Ensemble Travel Group Advisor. ®

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 45


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Dreams Resorts & Spas Dreams Resorts & Spas feature sensational Unlimited-Luxury® amenities, including limitless gourmet dining, thrilling activities, 24-hour room service, and more! Each beautiful property, located throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America, offers a blissful beachfront vacation where everything is included. Spend your days lounging on warm white sands and enjoying non-motorized watersports. At night, live music, theme parties, and movies on the beach are available to all! Plus, you can save up to $100 per couple – exclusively through your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor! ➜ F or special offers from Apple

Vacations, please see page 81. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor. 46 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

Apple Vacations makes it easy for you to visit your favorite Dreams Resorts & Spas property! And with amazing vacation packages available every day, getting away with friends or loved ones has never been easier. Enjoy round-trip airfare and transfers, hotel accommodations, and the services of an in-resort Apple Representative* during your stay! Best of all, meals, drinks, snacks, and tips are included! So, go ahead and book that much-needed vacation. You deserve it! * Resort Representatives are provided by Amstar DMC or other independent destination management companies operating in resort and providing services to Apple Vacationers.

Valid booking window: January 15 - February 15, 2019. Valid travel dates: February 16 - August 16, 2019. Blackout dates may apply. Three night minimum stay required. Additional restrictions may apply. Save $25 per adult on air/hotel or land only packages of 3-5 nights. Save $50 per adult on air/hotel or land only packages of 6 or more nights. One discount can be applied per person. Offer not valid on group bookings, cancelled, or expired bookings. Promo code must be applied at the time of booking. Adjustments to past bookings or future bookings cannot be made. Changes to the booking outside the promotional period will result in the promotional code being invalid. Promo code not valid on square deals, group bookings, ski vacations and Cuba vacations. All promo codes are subject to change or withdrawal at any time without notice.


Pack a Sense of Wonder Book select sailings and receive Ensemble exclusives like a dedicated Ensemble host, private cocktail reception and shore event.

12-Day Mediterranean Legends Roundtrip Civitavecchia (Rome) Koningsdam OCEAN-VIEW FROM

2,199

5/20/19

$

Taxes, fees and port expenses are an additional $110.

12-Day Jewels of the Baltic Roundtrip Copenhagen Zuiderdam

6/24/19

OCEAN-VIEW FROM

2,529

$

Taxes, fees and port expenses are an additional $320.

14-Day Land of the Rising Sun Roundtrip Yokohama Maasdam

7/31/19

OCEAN-VIEW FROM

2,099

$

Taxes, fees and port expenses are an additional $395.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE TRAVEL® GROUP ADVISOR

Terms & Conditions: Fares are based on Promo LG. Featured fares are per person based on double occupancy, cruise or Land+Sea Journeys only. Fares are in U.S. dollars. All savings amounts are included in the fares shown. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional and range from $100 to $395. Subject to availability. For more information about our stateroom categories and suite descriptions, to view deck plans and for full terms and conditions applicable to your cruise, please refer to hollandamerica.com or the appropriate Holland America Line brochure. Offers have limited space, and may be modified or withdrawn without prior notice. Other restrictions may apply. Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands.


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Stress-Free Planning All travelers reap the benefits of Vacation Express’ all-inclusive resort options and exclusive, non-stop flights. Everyone’s vacation priorities are different, so we offer the best of the best in every category, from adrenaline-pumping excursions to dream-like spa packages. Whether you’re traveling as a family or a couple, our special offers ensure your vacation is tailored to match your expectations and is a stress-free experience.

COUPLES Feel the sparks and embrace the butterflies on a romantic getaway with your significant other without letting everyday worries get in the way. There are plenty of adults-only resort options to help ensure that nothing obstructs your focus from time with your sweetheart. Indulge in luxurious rooms with in-room Jacuzzis, butler service and upgraded amenities. Experience bliss together with outdoor spa treatments overlooking the Caribbean and embrace the endorphins from watersports and excursions. End your perfect days relaxed with romantic dinners and nightly entertainment. Explore the luxury awaiting at Excellence El Carmen, a new luxury escape set on the golden sands of Uvero Alto in the Dominican Republic.

FAMILIES Traveling with the fam should be about building irreplaceable, lifelong memories during your time together. Vacation Express allows families to achieve these goals with plenty of family-centric perks like supervised kids programs, a selection of spacious room types and locations and Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals. Our Smile collection deals include kids free offers, lower rates for teens and no single supplements, plus extras like restaurants with child-friendly options, nightly family-appropriate entertainment and much more to make the kids – and you – grin from ear to ear. Check out Jewel Runaway Bay for your families next escape where an on-site waterpark is included and up to two kids stay, play and eat free with two adults!

48 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

➜ For special offers from Vacation

Express, please see page 86. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.


TAKE THE COBBLESTONES LESS TRAVELED JOLLY JAUNTS ACROSS BRITAIN

DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF UNDISCOVERED BRITAIN You may fancy seeing the smashing sights in Britain, but don’t think us cheeky in saying we can show you the undiscovered places that tell the true stories of its green hills and seaside cliffs. It’s your time to tour Britain’s less-traveled carriageways. Discover destinations beyond the London Bridge you might not yet know about, or places you wouldn’t think of visiting on your own. Pack your favorite jumpers, trainers, and trousers for an off-the-cobblestone vacation through England, Scotland, and Wales. Cheers!

SAVE UP TO 7.5% ON SELECT 2019 GLOBUS EUROPE VACATIONS.* PLUS, AN ENSEMBLE EXCLUSIVE: RECEIVE FREE PREPAID GRATUITIES ON SELECT 2019 GLOBUS BRITAIN VACATIONS** N E W ! B R I TA I N U N C OV E R E D

NEW! HIDDEN TREASURES OF SOUTHERN ENGLAND

12 Days Prices starting at $2,699† E X ETER

6 Days Prices starting at $1,549† B ATH

G LO B U S B O N N I E S C OT L A N D

G LO B U S S COT T I S H HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS

7 Days Prices starting at $1,599† E DIN BURGH

14 Days Prices starting at $3,389† GLENFINNAN

CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE TRAVEL® GROUP ADVISOR TO BOOK YOUR NEXT VACATION. †The “from” price is based on the lowest price available to book and includes applicable discount. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/ charges are not included. *Book and deposit a 2019 Globus Europe, North or South America (excluding Cuba and Escapes by Globus) vacation to save 7.5% per person on the land-only portion of the core tour not including extra night accommodations, extensions, taxes, fees, tips or supplements. Booking must be made and under deposit between November 28, 2018 and January 28, 2019 for travel in 2019. Offer combinable with Welcome Back Credit and any air promotions. Not applicable to custom tours. Discount will apply to individual members of groups adding a name and non-refundable per person deposit WITHIN the promo window. Not applicable on TBA space. Applies to new 2019 bookings only. Offer reliant on space availability. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply. May be withdrawn any time. Available from participating GFOB office only. **Book a select 2019 Globus Britain vacation (excluding Globus Escapes) through Ensemble and get the standard prepaid gratuities included for the full length of the core vacation. Must be booked, under deposit and discount applied between December 10, 2018 and February 28, 2019 for travel commencing by December 31, 2019. Combinable with other offers EXCEPT Travel Agent Discounts. Applies to new 2019 bookings only. Must mention promotion code ENPPGBRI. Offer reliant on space availability. Not applicable to custom tours. Not applicable to group TBA space or custom tours. Discount will apply to individual members of groups adding a name and non-refundable per person deposit WITHIN the promo window. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. May be withdrawn at any time.


U.S. CI T Y SP OTLI GHT

DENVER COMES OF AGE

by NANCY HELLMRICH

C E N T E R S O F GR A V I T Y 1

➊ Union Station This polished BeauxArts transportation hub has a Great Hall that’s known as Denver’s living room, the lofty Crawford Hotel, dining, shopping, and a classy Terminal Bar. ➋

Historic LoDo In Lower Downtown, buildings that used to house saddleries, meat markets, and dairies now sport art galleries, trendy restaurants, chic boutiques, and Maven Hotel.

➌ RiNo Arts District River North is a vortex of old warehouses, airy lofts, street art, and ironic urban creatives. Hotspots include the Insta-worthy alley between Walnut & Larimer Streets.

50 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

➍ Highlands & LoHi Across I-25 from Riverfront Park, you’ll find trendy rooftop restaurants, an epic sushi joint, charming shops, and lifeaffirming views of the city skyline. ➎ Cherry Creek This posh neighborhood boasts designer shops, hipster coffee, an annual art show, Elway’s Steakhouse, a modern mall, and the highly social MOXY and Halcyon hotels. ➏ South Broadway SoBo is the place to go for art films, vintage clothes, antiques, and the “green mile” of cannabis dispensaries (aka Broadsterdam).

Laid out in a sunny river valley on the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains – with rodeo country to the north and ski country to the west – the Mile High City has undergone a renaissance over the last several years. Long known for its active outdoor lifestyle, comforting microbreweries, and aerospace engineers, Colorado’s capital is now riding high with an energetic, entrepreneurial spirit, dynamite new culinary options, rooftop lounges, new-meets-old architecture, and an off-thecharts music scene. Who doesn’t want in on that? 2

5 3


MU S I C & N I GH T L IF E Nocturne (RiNo) A date-night-worthy jazz and supper club with “acoustically magical” original wood ceilings, an artist in residency program, and fabulous tasting menus.

LIQUID ASSETS Breweries & Tap Houses Denver’s top microbreweries and distilleries include The Grateful Gnome, Cerebral Brewing, TRVE Brewing, The Family Jones, Mythology, and Stem Cider.

Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox (RiNo) A quirky “gastro-brothel” featuring live music shows from funk, soul, jazz, and electronica to hiphop, roots rock, world music, and drag.

Infinite Monkey Theorem (RiNo) An urban winery operated by a “mad scientist” who makes pretty good wine from grapes grown on the Western slope of Colorado and Texas’ High Plains.

The Ogden Theatre (Capitol Hill) Snag tickets to see London’s Troyboi, Texas trio Khruangbin, and local artists like Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Lumineers, and The Fray. Up-and-Comer Venues Syntax Physic Opera, Larimer Lounge, 7th Circle Music Collective, and The Black Box showcase new acts like Wildermiss, Amzy, The Still Tide, Dragondeer, Khemmis, Red Fang, Grateful Shred, Blind Trust, and Flaural.

Speakeasies (LoDo) Cruise Room (behind a hotel lobby), Retrograde (through an ice cream shop’s freezer door), Green Russell (secret stairwell), Williams & Graham (behind a bookshelf).

A B I T O F C U LT U R E Denver Botanic Gardens This botanical wonderland features a glass conservatory, theme gardens, and a sunken amphitheater. Stay nearby in the hip, new Halcyon hotel in Cherry Creek.

Denver Performing Arts Complex The nation’s second largest performing arts complex plays host to Tony-awardwinning theater, Broadway musicals, symphony orchestras, ballet, opera, and more.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre Tucked in the foothills west of Denver, the “greatest amphitheater on the planet” hosts worldclass artists, sunrise yoga, leg-busting workouts, and Film on the Rocks.

➤ Truly Remarkable Museums Spend chilly days in the Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Nature & Science. Stay nearby in the ART Hotel and dabble in creative cuisine at FIRE or opt for Le Méridien and revel in 54thirty, Denver’s highest rooftop bar.

THE CUISINE SCENE

El Five (LoHi) This rooftoplike tapas de Gibraltar venue overlooks the Denver skyline, serves a spectacular fixedprice Sunday brunch, and turns into a partying hotspot after dark. Nearby Linger and Little Man Ice Cream are also local favorites.

Trendy Food Halls Who knew food halls were so cool? If you like to graze, listen to music, and shop around, head to Avanti F&B, The Milk Market, The Source, Denver Central Market, Zeppelin Station, and Stanley Marketplace which is located on an old aviation runway.

Citizen Rail (Union Station) Give a chef his very own wood-fired grill and dry-aging room, and you get tender bison in blackberry brown butter sauce with fancy drinks called Buckshot and Is That a Proposition? Walk here from happy hour at the Kimpton Hotel Born.

Punch Bowl Social (SoBo) PBS has opened up shop across the nation, but this South Broadway local is the mothership. Perfect for those who love to pair their gastro-diner eats and craft cocktails with bowling, karaoke, virtual reality, and a vintage arcade.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 51


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Goway’s Globetrotter Shortlist for 2019 Privately owned Goway Travel offers a wide choice of customizable globetrotter getaways including independent trips, escorted tours, and active adventures. This year, the travel savvy Hodge family’s destination shortlist includes some real dazzlers.

FIR ST UP is mystical, magical Peru. Machu Picchu has cast a spell over travelers since 1911. At the apex of the Peruvian Andes, the greatest of all Incan ruins is the cherry on top of an unforgettable journey through the Sacred Valley. If you haven’t been, 2019 is a great time to go. The ultimate destination for water babies, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is nature’s finest underwater showcase. Fresh itineraries include flightseeing over Heart Reef, visits to uninhabited islands, and, of course, an endless array of diving or snorkeling adventures. Soft, wide, powdery beaches. Overwater bungalows. Starlit nights. For those with romance in mind, the legendary seclusion of French Polynesia will never lose its charm. Sizzling hot escapes include Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Taha’a, and more. The mesmerizing Jemaa el Fna night market. The labyrinthine souks of Marrakesh. Sumptuous kasbahs and Atlas Mountain adventures. As far as exotic escapes go, Morocco takes the cake with an alluring blend of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. In Japan, delight-filled itineraries immerse visitors in the serenity of ancient temples and traditional baths as well as the excitement of astounding technological wonders and charming pop culture trends. A perennial favorite, Italy is rich in history, art, architecture, and enduring culinary experiences in Tuscany, Sicily, and beyond. ➜ F or special offers from Goway, please see page 84. For more information,

please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

52 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


A DVE RT I S E M E NT

A River Experience Like No Other

We thoughtfully plan our itineraries to maximize guest enjoyment of the scenery, history and atmosphere of each destination. You will discover hidden gems on our included excursions in every port and taste bold new flavors and delicious regional specialties, with menus designed by our revered team of classically-trained chefs. It is this attention to detail that distinguishes AmaWaterways from all the rest and keeps our satisfied guests coming back again and again.

When you travel with AmaWaterways, you do more than simply visit a destination – you experience it in a truly authentic way. It begins with a champagne welcome as you step aboard and meet our courteous crew and fellow passengers, many of whom you will consider friends by the end of the journey. You will also meet a personable and knowledgeable Cruise Manager who will be there every step of the way.

NEW IN 2019: AMAMAGNA – DEFINING CONTEMPORARY ELEGANCE At twice the width of traditional European river ships, AmaMagna’s revolutionary design features accommodations that are mostly suites measuring 355 - 710 sq. ft. with full balconies. And, with MORE unique dining venues, MORE health and wellness amenities, and MORE leisure activities, like Sundowner boat excursions and an Exclusive Concierge Golf Program, you’ll enjoy MORE ways to indulge. ➜ For special offers from AmaWaterways, please see page 87. For more information,

please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 53


PROFILE: FREQUENT TRAVELER

Never Give Up Diana Nyad O CCUPAT ION

Long-distance swimmer, author, motivational speaker IDE A L GE TAWAY

France by bicycle LIFE-CHANGING JOURNE Y

First to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida, at age 64

The first time Diana Nyad tried to swim from Cuba to Florida she was a week shy of her 29th birthday and at the peak of fitness. Yet currents swept her off course, and she didn’t make it. She was crushed. Three years earlier Nyad had swum 28 miles around Manhattan in less than eight hours, setting a record. And in 1979, on her 30th birthday, she set a world record for open-water distance swimming, navigating the seas from the Bahamas to Florida, 102 miles, in a 27.5-hour swim. Then Nyad didn’t swim a stroke, she says, for the next 30 years. As she approached her 60th birthday in 2009, she was re-ignited by her dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida. She attempted the Cuba-Florida swim twice in 2011 and once in 2012. A combination of choppy seas, asthma and potentially fatal jellyfish stings ended her quests. But Nyad wouldn’t give up. She readied a crew for another attempt in 2013, at the age of 64. On Aug. 31, 2013, wearing a bodysuit and silicone mask to protect her from jellyfish stings, Nyad leapt off Cuba’s north shore and into the sea. After 53 hours of swimming, she staggered onto the sands of Key West. She’d finally made it. “You should never, ever give up,” she told a cheering crowd on the beach. “You're never are too old to chase your dreams.”

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Is the will and desire that got you from Cuba to Florida something you were born with, or did it develop over the course of a lifetime? It’s part of the human condition to have willpower. If we have it too easy, often we never find our limits unless we decide to go out and test those limits for ourselves and dig down to our true grit. I believe all of us have that within us. You made it on your fifth attempt — what do you recall about reaching Florida? That was a 35-year dream, finally staggering up onto that beach. Key West isn’t an easy place to get to, yet people came from all over the place, and they were weeping. I saw what they were seeing: someone who refused to give up. If we don’t give up, we’re going to find our way. Above all is tenacity; engagement and tenacity are the two highest values in life. When I’m engaged, I’m happy. And if I’m tenacious, no matter what I do, it’s OK if I fail. I’m not afraid of failure; I embrace it.


If you’d never made it to Florida, would you have viewed your effort as a success? I would have. Maybe it’s just sheer rationalization. As the failures mounted I had to start training for the philosophy of: “Isn’t it all about the journey, not the destination?” What led you to try the swim again? This whole Cuba dream surged in me at the age of 60. I’m still vital, I’m still in superb shape, I’m going to make use of it and chase the big dream of mine while I still can. How has immersing yourself while traveling helped you connect with people all over the world? First of all you see how small the world is. You think some poor guy in a fishing village in Thailand has nothing to do with you? You’re wrong. We are very close neighbors. Mostly people are good and want to help each other. Travel and being a citizen of the world has been a big part of my journey. How did you learn that your grandfather was a champion swimmer? We didn’t know any grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nobody. …I was hanging out to get a picture taken at Columbia, the Ivy League school. I was looking at these pictures from the 19-teens and 1920s. And I see one that says George Warrington Curtis. I thought, that’s odd, that’s my mother’s father’s name. And I start reading below that he was not only on Columbia’s swimming and track teams, but he was the first man ever to swim across Long Island Sound. I had just swum around Manhattan. I thought: wow, I never knew this.

Where do you like to go and what do you like to do? I’m lucky. I’m speaking all over the world. In December 2017, I got two speeches in Stockholm. I’d never been to Scandinavia so I decided to go up to the Arctic Circle and see the northern lights. If I’m going to go to Aruba, the windsurfing capital of the world, I’ll say, you know what, I’ve never windsurfed. So I go there, give my speech and then spend two days taking windsurfing lessons. I love European city travel. My mother was Parisian. I’d love to live in France and ride my bike all around the country. I’d love to get to know Colombia better. It’s one of the prettiest places on earth. And I would love to boogie board down some rivers. You recently started a group called EverWalk — what’s your goal? In 2020 (co-founder and friend Bonnie Stoll) and I would like to walk 50 cities in 50 weeks. So every Saturday we’d wind up doing a 10-mile walk in, say, Minneapolis one week and in Indianapolis the next week. We want to develop 1 million Everwalkers around America to make walking part of their daily life. Clearly there’s a health element, but for us it’s more about empowerment and enlightenment. It’s about believing, dreaming what you can do.

“Travel and being a citizen of the world has been a big part of my journey.” You’re about to turn 70 — what do you want to do next? I’ve always wanted to do a one-woman show. I’ve done shows in L.A. and Key West. Yesterday my agent said the Minetta Lane Theater in New York (an offBroadway venue), a wonderful 390-seat theater, called and offered me a run. In the show, I never look at the audience and say, “Just don’t give up, and you’ll get there.” I just tell a story and you feel it. Now I’m going to have a chance to do it in New York, the dream of all dreams. Introduction and interview by MICHAEL SHAPIRO ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 55


FOR THE LOVE OF WATER: Immersing yourself in your destination offers unique perspectives by MICHAEL SHAPIRO

56 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


J

ust married, my wife and I are honeymooning on the northwest coast of Maui, and there’s nothing we’d rather do than, well, swim. A short walk from the Napili Kai, our hotel for the week, is Honokeana Cove, where sea turtles often congregate. We’ve been advised to get there early, ahead of the tour boats. Early morning, we plunge into the cove wearing bathing suits and snorkel masks, enjoying the warm clear waters that surround Maui. Soon I see a dark green blur about 10 feet down – and then another; before long we’re languidly swimming with six to eight turtles.

“Swimming outdoors, it’s about �inding your �low and calmness in the water instead of trying to control everything.”

One of the largest, 4 feet long and nearly 3 feet wide, moves toward the surface to breathe; I do the same. For a second or two, our eyes meet above the water. I imagine a connection – we do see each other – then the turtle descends a few feet below the surface. That was the moment I got hooked on swimming outdoors. I’m not an endurance swimmer or triathlete – I just love being in free-flowing water. I’ve swum in the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, in limestone pools called cenotes in Mexico, in the warm waters along Thai beaches and in chilly San Francisco Bay.

Getting Comfortable: Swimming outdoors “gives you a sense of freedom” says Cathy Meeker, a student advisor at Pace University who also works as a swim coach at the YMCA in Rye, New York. “When traveling it’s the best way to explore.” Meeker, who volunteers as a “swim angel,” to help people get comfortable in open water, says it’s a sport almost anyone can enjoy for their entire life because it’s not as hard on one’s body as, for example, running.

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Blue Cave, Croatia

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of open-water swimming for many people is that training and swims are communal.”

Outdoor swimming “opens a whole new world,” Meeker says, and has helped her “to feel comfortable, to gain confidence, to feel like an athlete. I may not be the fastest but it doesn’t matter how fast you are if you keep working on your technique and your confidence.” “It’s about finding your flow and calmness in the water instead of trying to control everything,” she says. Meeker works with a lot of beginners. “We get them comfortable,” she says. “It opens them up to a world of endurance, whether it's swimming or snorkeling or aqua bikes; it’s kind of cool to see. The biggest thing with swimming is getting relaxed, not holding your breath, realizing you need to breathe out under the water and breathe in over the water, and working with stroke technique so strokes are nice and long.” The primary concern of people new to openwater swimming is safety. So most of the time Meeker invites those new to the sport to swim

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Gran Cenote, Mexico

in protected waters, for example an area bounded by jetties or a beach patrolled by lifeguards. She also recommends wetsuits for ocean swimming, which provide buoyancy, keep people warm, and offer protection from the stings of jellyfish (now properly called “jellies” as they’re not fish). One of the most enjoyable aspects of open-water swimming for many people is that training and swims are communal. Mark Meeker, Cathy’s husband and an attorney, swam competitively in high school and was on his college water polo team, but now finds joy in swimming outdoors with friends. The key to getting better outdoors, he says, is swimming with others. “Find an open-water swimming group,” he says. That makes a huge difference. You feel safe, encouraged, and want to come back.” More than two-thirds of the Earth is aquatic, and getting comfortable in open water leads to unexpected adventures like swimming with sea turtles in Hawaii. Since our remarkable turtle encounter, my wife and I have swum among a rainbow of parrot fish off the coast of Thailand and been in the water with a squadron of small penguins in the Galapagos. These are among our most thrilling travel adventures, lifelong memories that we cherish long after returning home.


Havasu Falls, Arizona

Donsol, Philippines

Pont du Gard, France

The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Hamilton Pool, TX

Far-flung destinations for open-water swimming Leaping into open water while traveling is one of the best ways to explore a destination. See the coast in a new light, connect with locals, or discover hidden realms such as sea caves or underwater grottoes. Here’s a selection of beguiling places to swim throughout the world. Blue Cave, Croatia: Known as the Blue Grotto near the Croatian island of Vis, the cave has an iridescent cobalt light at certain times of day. It’s reachable by ferry from the coastal city of Split.

Pont du Gard, France: Near France’s southern coast, you can swim (or kayak) in the Gardon River alongside a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct.

Havasu Falls, Arizona: Located in the Grand Canyon near the Havasupai Indian village of Supai, Arizona. One of the most spectacular swimming holes on the planet, it features spring-fed water that cascades 100 feet into vibrant blue water, contrasted by red rocks. Although tough to get to, the view alone makes it worth the trip.

The Baths on Virgin Gorda, BVI: Gigantic granite boulders form a series of natural tidal pools filled with a myriad of grottoes and tunnels for swimmers and snorkelers to explore. The further from the shore you go, the better the coral and sea life is.

Mexico’s cenotes: Formed when the roof of a limestone cavern caves in, cenotes are tropical wonderlands, often turquoise or emerald pools surrounded by walls covered with lush foliage. Among the most popular cenotes are X’keken and Samula (near one another), Ik Kil (on the way to Chichen Itza), Gran Cenote and Dos Osos. The all-inclusive resort Hacienda Tres Rios has guided swimming in cenotes on its property.

Hamilton Pool, Texas: Near the city of Austin in Dripping Springs, Texas, you can swim beneath the limestone outcroppings that create a canopy. The fall tumbles over the outcropping, dropping 50 feet into the waters below where you can swim leisurely and enjoy your surroundings. Donsol, Philippines: A little over 300 miles by car from Manila, you can swim safely with endangered whale sharks. All you need is a snorkel to commune with these gentle spotted giants. From November through June, whale shark sightings are highly likely.

To book your aquatic-themed trip, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor. ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 59


denali explorer cruisetour GA4

11

DON’T MISS PRINCESS’ ALL ABOARD! SALE

nights

VANCOUVER, B.C. to ANCHOR AGE (WHIT TIER) Golden, Coral, Island or Royal Princess®

January 2–February 28

May – Sep 2019 | BALCONY FARES FROM $2,649* *Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $265 are additional.

Receive up to

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And a special offer for Veterans, Active & Retired Military: Receive up to $250 additional onboard spending money! ‡


For more information please contact your Ensemble Travel ® Group Advisor *Fares apply to minimum lead-in balcony category on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other categories or sail dates may vary. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please refer to your travel agent for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings. ^Cruisetour Cash of up to $400 per room is based on $100 per person for up to 4 guests per cabin and is presented as a voucher on the first stop on land tour, single occupancy will receive the per person amount, promotion does not combine with Flash, Casino, Past Passenger and other recipient only fares. Offer is available for new bookings for tour GA4 only for any 2019 departure. Other restrictions may apply. Promo code ZCE.†Up to $50 Onboard Spending Money is per stateroom. Offer is applicable to first/second-berth guests only. Third/fourth-berth guests are not eligible. Onboard spending money may be used on a single voyage only, is not redeemable for cash, cannot be used in the casino and expires at the end of that voyage. Offer is not transferable and may not be combinable with other select offers or other onboard credits. Onboard spending money is quoted in U.S. dollars and is based on the ship’s onboard currency. Void where prohibited by law.‡ Applications to receive this benefit must be made no later than 14 days prior to the cruise departure date. Offer is valid for eligible military personnel in the U.S. and Canada only. Free onboard spending money is in the form of onboard credit and credit amount is per qualifying passenger and is provided in the operational currency of the vessel. Maximum of two military personnel per booking. This offer cannot be used for casino credits/charges. Offer excludes Travel Agent fares. Offer is combinable with other onboard credit offers. Other restrictions may apply. Eligibility includes active military, retired military and disabled.©2018 Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.


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Escape to Hyatt Resorts in Hawai‘i

HYATT REGENCY MAUI RESORT & SPA Located on 40 spectacular oceanfront acres on famed Ka’anapali Beach, the AAA 4-Diamond award winning Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa offers unlimited activities and amenities in a setting of tropical paradise. This standout among Maui resorts truly offers something for everyone: half-acre pool with a 150-foot lava tube water slide; sand bottom children’s pool; extensive art collection; lush landscaping with exotic wildlife; a rooftop astronomy program; tennis; championship golf; nightly live entertainment including “Drums of the Pacific” Polynesian Lu‘au; ten awardwinning restaurants and lounges; 24-hour athletic club and daily fitness classes; and Maui’s only oceanfront full-service spa and salon.

GRAND HYATT KAUAI RESORT & SPA Find the true essence of paradise at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. Set on the soothing white sandy beaches of Kauai’s sunny south shore, the resort’s classic Hawaiian architecture with open courtyards and lush gardens welcome the tropical breeze. A water wonderland offers something for everyone with an adult pool area, river pools, a 150-foot waterslide, and a saltwater lagoon. Play where champions have played at Poipu Bay Golf Course. Sample the delicious flavors of the island at the resort’s restaurants. And for a Hawaiian spa experience like no other, refresh and renew at award-winning Anara Spa.

ANDAZ MAUI AT WAILEA RESORT Situated on Maui’s premier southwestern coastline along Mokapu Beach, the beachfront Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort features 301 guestrooms and suites, including 11 luxurious residential villas; cascading infinity pools; a 14,000 sf fullservice spa with apothecary, retail and fitness facility; more than 15,000 sf of meeting and event space; and two highly acclaimed restaurants including Ka’ana Kitchen helmed by Executive Chef Isaac Bancaco and Morimoto Maui by Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Andaz Maui’s resort experience goes beyond the traditional amenities and include everything from complimentary GoPro HERO 5 cameras, outrigger excursions, guided kayak excursions, and more.

➜ For special offers from Classic Vacations, please see page 82. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

62 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


A DVE RT I S E M E NT

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection brings together gorgeous ships, the finest chefs, the freshest ingredients, and personalized onshore programs. For 2019, Uniworld fans can revel in nine enhanced itineraries, a magnificently renovated super ship, and a spellbinding odyssey through 5,000 years of Chinese history.

It’s A Whole New Uniworld NEW AND ENHANCED ITINER ARIES In India, guests will travel by land and river from Mother Teresa’s home in Kolkata to the Rajbari Temples. Or join a hands-on ME to WE experience in the Udaipur countryside, then cruise the Ganges to Matiari, Mayapur, and Kolkata. Seven Europe itineraries include a chance to sail the Rhine and Moselle in one magnificent trip, a journey through Holland and Belgium at the height of tulip season, longer stays in Vienna, and a resonating Jewish heritage cruise from Prague to Nuremberg and Vienna.

PRESENTING THE S.S. BON VOYAGE

THE SANCTUARY YANGZI EXPLORER

In the spring of 2019, the beloved River Royale will reemerge as the S.S. Bon Voyage, featuring a sparkling new pool, four gorgeous new suites, and several distinctive dining venues including a bistro inspired by Paris’ Bouillon Pigalle. An itinerary designed for gourmets, oenophiles, and lovers of all things French blends art and gastronomy along the Garonne, Dordogne, and Gironde from Paris and Normandy to Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Provence.

The newest ship on the Yangtze River boasts a generous 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio and the largest cabins and suites on the river, all with private balconies. Accompanied by Uniworld’s experts, guests will journey through a land of contrasts – from skyscrapers and ancient temples to the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, the Great Wall, and the natural beauty of the Three Gorges.

➜ For special offers from Uniworld, please see page 94. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 63


PALM SPRINGS ETERNAL

Kaufmann House

This desert oasis has one of the world’s best collections of mid-century modern architecture

Palm Springs modern architecture is indebted to celebrities. It’s two hours from LA, the farthest stars were allowed to travel in case they were needed on set as well as a place where celebrities could hang out, free from the leering lenses of the paparazzi. Elvis loved that he could walk down the street without attracting attention and Debbie Reynolds, Liberace, and the Rat Pack all had houses here. Mid-century modernism is characterized by horizontal planes, a blurring of the line between indoors and nature, and the use of industrial materials. It’s optimistic with whimsical decorative elements like butterfly and accordion roofs, and concrete decorative screens. Houses were “discreet to the street,” reserving their wow factor for residents and guests. In 1947, Frank Sinatra wanted a Georgian mansion. His architect, E. Stewart Williams presented two designs: one Georgian, one modern. Sinatra chose the modern and the house known as Twin Palms launched Williams’s career. Williams later said he’d have been ruined had he built a Georgian monstrosity in the desert. Twin Palms has floor-to-ceiling windows and a piano-shaped pool. Groups of twenty can book it for private tours and see the cracked bathroom sink from when Sinatra threw a champagne bottle at Ava Gardner. Sinatra’s approval of the modernist style helped to give the style credibility and Williams went on to design iconic buildings including Santa Fe Savings & Loan (now the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center) and Coachella Savings and Loan readily identified by its scooped white columns.

64 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


Twin Palms

Alexander House

Visitor's Center

Futuristic Kaufmann House was designed by Richard Neutra in 1947. It was commissioned by department store magnate, Edgar Kaufmann who also commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Kaufmann considered Wright for Palm Springs but was disappointed by Taliesin West. Seeking a lighter touch, he hired Neutra (Wright’s former student). The house is designed like a pinwheel with the living and dining rooms in the center. The highlight is the upstairs outdoor dining room. (Second stories were prohibited but Neutra called the room a “gloriette,” after a room at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace and skirted the ordinance.) The private home can be viewed from the street. Butterfly-roofed Alexander House was designed by William Krisel for developer Robert Alexander whose firm’s thousands of tract homes helped define Palm Spring modernism. Known as “The House of Tomorrow,” it was a 1962 centerfold in Look magazine. In 1967, Elvis rented the house for $1,750/month. He and Priscilla planned to get married in the backyard but gossip columnist Rona Barrett broke the news and the ceremony was moved to Las Vegas. When they returned, Elvis carried Priscilla over the threshold while singing the Hawaiian Wedding Song. He carried her up the stairs to a pink satin-covered bed. Nine months later, Lisa Marie was born. Today, the owner has enlisted Elvis super-fan Michael Ochoa as a tour guide, making it one of the few houses where you can see the period interiors. The house has floor-toceiling windows, rough stone walls, a floating fireplace, and a sixty-

Former Coachella Savings and Loan four foot sectional sofa. The master bedroom’s striking geometric window dominates the facade. To immerse yourself in the modernist aesthetic, check into the Del Marcos Hotel designed by William Cody. Rooms are named for design legends including Williams, Cody, Albert Frey, and Don Wexler. Frey’s futuristic gas station welcomes visitors to the city while Wexler designed Leonardo DiCaprio’s house. Both DiCaprio’s and Sinatra’s houses can be rented for private events—DiCaprio’s house from $3,750 a night; Sinatra’s from $2,200. ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 65


Cinque Terre, Italy

Discover Unforgettable ExperienceS.

TRAVEL TOGETHER, STAY CONNECTED. Sample renowned cuisine on an immersive tour of the Mediterranean or dive deep into the heart of Northern and Western Europe’s enchanting culture with your favorite travel companion. No matter where you go or who you’re with, you’ll have the opportunity to make unique connections across the globe. Book a select voyage between December 8, 2018 and February 28, 2019, and receive 50% off the cruise fare of the second guest. But that’s not all. We’ll also provide Free Unlimited Wi-Fi for one device for the duration of your trip, that way you can stay connected with friends and family back home, post about your experiences in real time, and more. After all, Share & Save is about making connections, wherever you are in the world.

Terms and Conditions: Offers are subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Certain restrictions apply. Canada Agencies: This offer is not valid for bookings made through a Tour Operator. For additional details on the Share and Save (BOGOHO) offer, please refer to AzamaraClubCruises.com/SHAREANDSAVE and the Cruise Ticket Contract for additional terms and conditions or contact your travel professional. ©2019 Azamara Club Cruises. Ships registered in Malta.


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Make New Friends in Faraway Lands

With CIE Tours, beloved local tour directors offer an insider’s view of their homelands—freely sharing personal stories, extensive knowledge, and quirky insights that make each trip unique and memorable. With these friendly folks leading the way, it’s no surprise the company’s 95%+ customer satisfaction rating is the envy of the industry. This year, CIE Tours’ extensive new 2019 season of vacations includes their signature breadth and depth of compelling trips to Ireland & Great Britain, as well as innovative new tours in Iceland and Italy, a guided family vacation to Ireland and Scotland, and an exciting “Weekender” collection created especially for value season. Each guided vacation features daily sightseeing and pre-paid admissions, full breakfasts, as well as most dinners and evening entertainment. CIE Tours also digs deeper with unique activities that highlight fascinating historical perspectives or enable guests to participate in immersive cultural experiences. Many of the company’s 2019 itineraries feature two-night stays, enabling guests to spend more time exploring their destination. Flexible itineraries allow for free time to take advantage of hotel facilities, shop, golf, take a leisurely stroll, go for a swim, or simply relax. While guided vacations are their mainstay, CIE Tours also offers customizable self-drive programs in Ireland. Guests can opt for B&Bs, charming hotels, manor homes, and stately castles, or mix and match properties for a multifaceted tour. For a touch of luxury, private drivers are now available in Ireland and Britain as well.

➜ For special offers from CIE Tours,

please see page 82. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor. ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 67


5

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Secrets to National Park Bliss Let Nature Happen Instead of watching the time in anxious expectation, Insight’s Trip Directors recommend placing yourself in proximity and then relaxing. The most magical moments happen in those quiet, uninterrupted hours when you have no agenda except to let nature surprise you.

2

1 Start on the Inside People love America’s parks, especially in the summer. But time spent in traffic is time you don’t get to spend gushing at geysers and ogling the rainbow over a waterfall. Insight Vacations recommends staying at park-run hotels and hanging around the next day to take in the views.

Take Time to Look Up

3 Embrace Spontaneity Speaking of surprises, don’t you hate it when you see something through the window, but you don’t have time to stop? With Insight Vacations, guests make their way through the parks at off-peak hours taking full advantage of spontaneous encounters along the way.

When you’re in unfamiliar territory, it’s easy to focus on the path in front of you and miss the show going on overhead. Insight Vacations’ Trip Directors are masters at managing schedules, so you have time to marvel at sunsets, blue sky days, and bright constellations in inky night skies.

4

5 Go Where Locals Go Sure, it’s fun to tick the boxes of each park’s well-known attractions, but it’s the roads less traveled that make the best vacation memories. With Insight, local guides add to the adventure with side visits to lesser-known sites that you won’t find on National Parks maps.

➜ F or special offers from Insight Vacations, please see page 84. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor. 68 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


A DVE RT I S E M E NT

There are many ways to travel, but no one helps you truly discover the world’s great destinations, its best-kept secrets, and the soul of its people, like Princess Cruises . ®

Explore more with Princess Cruises

®

IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION Princess brings the world closer with voyages to more than 380 destinations across seven continents. On a Princess cruise, you’ll have access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and bucket list destinations. From the pink sands of Komodo Island and the stunning views of Table Mountain in South Africa to the legendary ruins of the Acropolis in Athens and mysterious Moai monoliths of Easter Island, you’ll witness the wonders of the world. With their award-winning Discovery™ and Animal Planet™ Exclusive shore excursions, you will gain access to unique, interactive tours you can only experience with Princess. From meeting sloths in Costa Rica and joining a camel safari in Broome, Australia to discovering 18th century court-life in St. Petersburg’s Catherine Palace, there’s something for almost every interest. Or take a culinary adventure with Bon Appétit excursions only available with Princess. Savor the authentic flavors of Italian pasta in Sorrento, take a walking tour tasting your way through Juneau, Alaska or learn to make scones from scratch in Dublin, Ireland.

Princess also offers new ways to immerse yourself in the destination right onboard. You’ll be surrounded in the culture, colors and flavors of the places you’ll visit with authentic folkloric shows, regional cuisine and enlightening presentations by local experts. Experience the best of the Great Land on board with fresh seafood, guest speakers and naturalists, even cuddle sled dog puppies in the Piazza with their North to Alaska program. Get swept away with tropical themed parties, authentic island cuisine and greet the popular local parrots and macaws with the Rhythm of the Caribbean. And Princess’ Aloha Spirit program brings the warm welcoming Polynesian hospitality onboard with lei making and hula lessons. Discover why Princess has been awarded “Best Cruise Itineraries” 12 times by Recommend Magazine and see the world in a whole new way – and come back new®. ➜ For special offers from Princess

Cruises, please see page 92 - 93. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

And to ensure you take in all that your destination offers, Princess offers later port departures and overnight stays in select ports. See the sights by day and night in relaxed fashion, with plenty of time to return to the ship. ADVENTURE DOESN’T END ASHORE ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 69


Explore the Northwest Passage with the Leaders in Luxury Expedition Cruising Join A&K’s award-winning Expedition Team on a fascinating voyage through the Arctic’s legendary Northwest Passage, discovering a show of pristine landscapes, wildlife and rare culture. Sail with the longtime leaders in polar expedition cruising, returning to the Northwest Passage for a fourth season on luxury ‘Le Boreal,’ exclusively chartered by A&K to offer unparalleled amenities that include all-balcony accommodations, an intimate guest capacity of just 199 and A&K’s own brand of all-inclusive cruising.

The Northwest Passage: From Greenland to the Bering Sea 24 Days | Aug 26–Sep 18, 2019 | From $29,995 (was $32,995) NEW! Alaska Post-Tour Extension | 4 days from $3,295

Book early and save up to $6,000 per stateroom. For more information please contact your Ensemble Travel Group Advisor. ®

Early booking discount is limited to double occupancy bookings only in cabin categories 1-3. Offer is not valid for single bookings, is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Other restrictions may apply. ©2018 Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC CST#2007274-20


so Close. so Luxurious.

Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort

In a day and age when time away from life’s stresses is essential to our well-being – but the time we have to spare is limited – the luxurious seaside resorts of Mexico are a saving grace. With Unlimited-Luxury® packages from Travel Impressions, rejuvenation is as simple as a phone call and a ride to the airport.

Unlimited-Luxury® Inclusions

Family-friendly luxury is a dream come true

Adults-only fun is Mexico’s best-kept secret

Unlimited-Luxury® is a commitment to fulfilling resort guests’ wishes and exceeding expectations at every single turn. It means free, unlimited Wi-Fi and unbounded access to gourmet dining, top-shelf spirits, natural fruit juices, and soft drinks. Plus 24-hour room and concierge service, pool and beach wait service, endless daytime activities, and live nightly entertainment. All with no wristbands required and gratuities covered.

Just north of Cancun, Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort pampers parents and kids on a private beach inside a serene, gated community. This sun-drenched resort boasts 65,000 square feet of aquatic fun. Here, guests can choose from two sparkling infinity pools, soak in six soothing whirlpools, splash around in the kids’ pools and waterpark, and giggle with the friendly dolphins.

Set on a white sand beach in Cancun, Secrets The Vine Cancun overlooks the cerulean waters of the Caribbean Sea. In this contemporary, adults-only haven guests can drink in the Yucatan Peninsula’s natural beauty as they swim up, wind down, party, play, live it up in bars and lounges, and refuel in gourmet venues from poolside cafés to romantic dining beneath the stars.

➜ For special offers from Travel Impressions, please see page 86. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 71


A q u aTheat er

J AW D R O P P I N G MEETS ISLAND HOPPING

This is not a cruise. This is a week-long thrill-a-thon onboard the world’s most revolutionary ships. Earn bragging rights and plunge down The Perfect Storm SM waterslides. Stare in awe at the high-diving feats of an AquaTheater spectacular. Hang ten on the FlowRider ® surf simulator. Seek the summit of the signature Rock Climbing Wall and more. All between island hopping to the best and brightest shores. Come Seek the Royal Caribbean ®. Book a Balcony or Suite on select sailings by February 28, 2019 and receive a complimentary Specialty Dining Experience for Two*

Contact your Ensemble Travel ® Group Advisor today.

*Offer applies to new bookings made January 15 – February 28, 2019 in a Balcony or Suite onboard Allure, Harmony, Symphony, Freedom, Adventure or Liberty of the Seas departing April 1, 2019 – July 31, 2019. Offer includes one complimentary dining experience, per stateroom, for two guests in a specialty restaurant. Offer is valid for lunch for two, one per sailing, at Giovanni’s Table, Jamie’s Italian, Chops Grille or Sabor Modern Mexican; or dinner for two, one per sailing, at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table, Samba Grill, Jamie’s Italian, 150 Central Park or Wonderland. Venues vary by ship. Special dining events that take place in specialty restaurants are excluded from the dining offer. Offer cannot be used toward the purchase of specialty dining packages. Alcoholic beverages and sodas are not included, and are available at an additional cost. Revenue items on specialty dining menus are not included in this offer and are available at an additional cost. Specialty dining gratuities are included. This offer does not give guest(s) any priority for reservations, or if there is a wait to be seated in the restaurant. Not all ships feature specialty restaurants. Offer is combinable with all offers and promotions, except other specialty dining offers. Offer available to residents of the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and select countries in the Caribbean. Offer subject to availability and change without notice, capacity controlled, cannot be transferred, and may be withdrawn at any time. Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, disallow any redemption or inappropriately duplicative submissions, or those that are inconsistent with the terms and conditions of the offer. Please note Royal Caribbean Reservations is not aware of these promotions, direct all questions to your Travel Advisor. ©2018 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas. 18065161. 12/18/18


A DVE RT I S E M E NT

What’s the deal with the Dutch Tulip? The flower, commonly associated with Holland, has a deep-rooted (pun intended) history with the country. Here are 5 fast facts about Holland’s tulips that you should know …

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Tulips didn’t originate in Holland. They were imported from the Ottoman Empire (present day Turkey) starting in the 16th century.

If you want to see the tulips, look no further than Keukenhof Garden – more than 7 MILLION bulbs bloom here annually.

Tulips bloom between late March and early May, but mid-April is your best bet to see the flowers at their peak.

The Dutch countryside is lined with flower fields. The area between Haarlem and Leiden, known as the Flower Strip, is also an ideal place to frolic among the flowers.

You can take tulips home! Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam’s floating flower market, sells fresh tulips or bulbs that you can have shipped home to plant in your own garden.

AVALON WATERWAYS TULIP TIME CRUISE 8-day river cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam Garden enthusiasts will delight in a visit to see the breathtaking colors of Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe.” With 70 acres of parkland and lakes, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Alternatively, an excursion to the city of Gouda, famous for its cheese, is available before sailing to Antwerp – Belgium’s second-largest city, combining ancient buildings and monuments with modern architecture.

From seemingly unending fields of color from Holland’s gardens, to windmills and waterways of Amsterdam, to the ancient and modern mix of Belgium’s architecture, this European river cruise is sure to grow in your memory for endless seasons to come. From $2,698 per person, land only, based on double occupancy.

➜ For special offers from Avalon Waterways, please see page 87. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 73


YELLOWKNIFE

by JILL MROSS

delivers non-stop outdoor adventure

It’s been a while since I’d taken a trip outside of my comfort zone. Perhaps that’s why the chance to see the northern lights in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in mid-March (think temps of -10° F for a high – pretty frigid for a Florida girl like me!) appealed to my sense of adventure. Also into play was a birthday present for my husband who was celebrating a milestone year. It was a winning holiday all-around and one that’s well suited for travelers like us who seek the road less traveled. From Orlando we overnighted at the Renaissance Edmonton Airport and I’m so glad we did. I don’t think you can get any more convenient than this AAA Four-Diamond hotel that’s directly connected to the airport on the arrivals level, just steps away from ticket counters and security. In addition, the property’s attention to detail in both décor and dining was greatly appreciated as well. The Yellowknife Airport is a small, efficient operation located less than a 10-minute drive from our hotel and nearby city center. (Good to know: There is no jetway so dress accordingly in the winter months when deplaning. While it was a short walk for us, I was caught off guard and quickly got a taste of what was ahead, temperature-wise.)

74 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


We saw the lights both nights, yet enjoyed totally unique displays of colors and frequency and movement each evening.

I mention pride because it was a thread woven throughout our entire stay in Yellowknife. It’s why our local city tour with Mike and aboriginal tour with Guy and his son Rainer, members of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, lasted more than three hours, far beyond the original itinerary as they all shared tales of local lore. It’s why Greg, our icefishing host (and yes, I did reel in a 4 pound pike!), a former big-city accountant turned adventure guide, has called Yellowknife home for 45 years. The community works together – and not just the great tourism folks – to make visitors feel welcome. And what about the aurora viewings during our stay? Wasn’t that the main reason for our visit? Well, to call the Northern Lights experience “incredible,” “breath-taking,” and just plain “wow” would not do them justice. Our package included two nights of viewing – one at Aurora Village with about 200 other guests and a second outing with just five of us in a private log cabin. While we had our fingers crossed we’d see the lights, nothing is guaranteed in this type of outing. (Another good to know: Yellowknife averages 90 to 100 percent Aurora viewing success – along with Iceland, Greenland, and Norway – due to their location in a magnetic halo. Best viewing months in Yellowknife: September through April with peak periods in December and March.) We saw the lights both nights, yet enjoyed totally unique displays of colors and frequency and movement each evening. It’s a must to see them in different venues and kudos to Tannis from Touch the Arctic Tours for making that happen. She also arranged for our special winter clothing attire, which became our second skin in order to survive the elements. It’s an absolute must if you’re visiting during the colder months.

We’re back home now in warm and sunny (and humid) Orlando. And, while I feel a bit lighter without my parka and other heavy duty clothing, every so often, come evening, I look up and relive the memories of those shimmering, dancing, bursts of brilliant greens and yellows and purples in the night sky. Until next time, Yellowknife… Dale Robertson

Our hotel for the next four nights was at The Explorer, a comfortable three-star property that recently expanded with a new 72-room wing, plus an upgrade to existing guestrooms and other areas. High marks go to the hotel and restaurant staff for their eagerness to please and pride in their community.

While Yellowknife is a year-round vacation destination and a perfect venue for fishing, hiking, and water-sports during the summer, the March timing was perfect for us as we also got to experience the ice road, dog sledding, and the popular month-long SnowKing Festival. At the heart of this winter wonderland is a huge castle made entirely of snow and ice. It takes the volunteers two months to build the creation. On any given day, the Snowcastle might host a children�s play, followed by an arts exhibit or a rock band, a film festival and finish the night off by transforming into a dance club, making it a great option for multi-generational family trips. Our visit happened to coincide with the annual Long John Jamboree that’s located adjacent to the festival and home to an ice carving competition that draws artists from around the world. It’s truly another wow experience.

To call the Northern Lights experience “incredible,” “breath-taking,” and just plain “wow” would not do them justice. ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 75


CHUGGA, CHUGGA, CHUGGA. IS THAT THE SOUND OF THE TRAIN’S ENGINE? OR YOUR HEART? Discover the wild beauty of the Pacific Northwest through to the Canadian Rockies 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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE TRAVEL® GROUP ADVISOR.


ESCAPE CIVILIZATION LUXURIOUSLY. Experience wild Alaska—whales breaching on the horizon, eagles soaring overhead, glaciers thundering into the sea—in modern luxury style. After each day’s adventure, you’ll relax in stunning staterooms, dine in distinctive restaurants with menus crafted by our Michelinstarred chef, and be treated to superlative service. For more information please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

©2018 Celebrity Cruises. Ships’ registry: Malta and Ecuador. 10/2018


A DVERT I SE M E NT

The ports of Scandinavia entice from Copenhagen’s Tivoli gardens to the battlements of Hamlet’s Helsingor Castle.

All-Inclusive Northern Europe With overnights in St. Petersburg, a glorious revolution of the senses awaits, from the grand palaces of the Tsars and iconic cathedrals to the Hermitage, offering some of the most profound works of art ever revealed to the global traveler. We intrinsically understand the romance of the journey, which is why we offer you unlimited opportunities to do those things you've always dreamed of, whether it is delving into Imperial Russia's past while in St. Petersburg, or touring centuries-old palaces and castles in Tallin. These and many more moments await you in the Baltic aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises®. Onboard Seven Seas Explorer® we deliver an extraordinary experience brimming with warm smiles and elegant living. Enjoy being pampered by our crew with their flawless attention to detail. Allow our Chefs, Sommeliers and Bakers to delight your palate across our free gourmet specialty restaurants with free premium beverages. Savor dry-aged steaks at Prime 7, casual fare at the Pool Grill, and contemporary French cuisine in Chartreuse. For a relaxing treat, tuck into the Canyon Ranch® spa for an invigorating body scrub or a therapeutic massage. Then unwind in your spacious suite where residential touches make you feel as if you're home. Take in the view from your private teak-decked balcony while sipping champagne, or relax on your European king-size Elite Slumber Bed. Stretch out and settle in...this is the suite life as it was meant to be with Regent Seven Seas Cruises®. ➜ F or special offers from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, please see page 93. For

more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.

78 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


3 WAYS TO GO BACK TO NATURE IN SWITZERLAND Experience Switzerland’s natural treasures in three unique ways... Switzerland: Europe’s Crown Jewel takes you from the dramatic scenery of the Alps to the serene beauty of the lakes, chic resorts, and exploration of the country’s four distinct cultures, plus Italy’s fashionable lake district with a private boat ride to Isola Bella; enjoy a Tauck Exclusive reception at the Ice Palace at Jungfraujoch in the Alps, a train trip with Matterhorn views, a Glacier Express ride in a private domed-window car, and much more... Alpine Adventure, a fun Tauck Bridges family adventure, brings the generations together with the world’s steepest train ride, Swiss sports and games, a visit to an Alpine cheesemaker – plus the Austrian Alps and a carriage ride to a castle... and The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam – an elegant Rhine riverboat cruise between Basel and Amsterdam – gives you a day in Lucerne and a choice of Jungfraujoch or Bern during a two-night stay!

For more information please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor


A DVERT I SE M E NT

Club Med:

Memories that last a lifetime ▲ Recent studies have demonstrated that exercise and wellness stimulate the area of the brain involved in learning and memory. So, if you want your vacation to last long after the plane trip home, consider a Club Med all-inclusive resort. Club Med is the expert in unforgettable escapes. Club Med offers invigorating, all-inclusive escapes in the world’s most beautiful places. And everything’s included from premium accommodations, gourmet cuisine, and refreshing beverages to revitalizing activities for everyone from wide-eyed children to wellness-seeking adults. With distinctive locations nestled up against national parks, lush rainforests, powdery beaches, renowned fairways, majestic mountains, reefs, and ruins, Club Med offers one-of-a-kind experiences. Best of all, guests have the added advantage of personal training in more than 60 different athletic pursuits. On the water, there is sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, diving, and paddle boarding. In the mountains, the ultimate ski vacation awaits with lift tickets to the world’s best slopes, lessons from skilled instructors, and inviting après ski lodges. For those in search of rejuvenation, Club Med’s prestigious spa partners offer the latest in beauty treatments and oh-so soothing massages. Club Med’s all-new “Exclusive Collection” delivers a world of luxury in the most memorable places on earth – private overwater villas, remote mountain chalets, elegant sailing ships with billowing sails, the Finolhu Villas in the Maldives, the recently opened Cefalù resort in Sicily, the Valmorel Chalets in the French Alps, and more.

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OPENING IN DECEMBER 2019: Michès Playa Esmeralda Dominican Republic Situated along the Dominican Republic’s pristine north shore, this strikingly beautiful ecochic resort, which will feature 4 boutique villages, balances nature preservation efforts with exclusive experiences. Each of the 4 villages showcases a different atmosphere and ambiance. At 93 acres, Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda is Club Med’s biggest project of its type in the Caribbean in the past 40 years. The resort will be part of Club Med’s Exclusive Collection, a dedicated category of the most premium resorts, the first full Exclusive Collection resort in the Americas, and will act as the new flagship of the dedicated line in the region. ➜ F or special offers from Club

Med, please see page 83. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group Advisor.


TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK

America’sTitle Great Lakes

Around Iceland Titleby Small Ship

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

• 10 days cruising the five Great Lakes aboard mv Victory I • Chicago to Toronto • May 22, June 9, June 27, July 6, August 20, • From $6,799 per person, Outside Stateroom

• 10 days cruising Iceland aboard Ocean Atlantic • Roundtrip Reykjavik • July 23 & July 30, 2019 • From $6,599 per person, Outside Stateroom

These all-inclusive cruises between Chicago and Toronto on the stylish 202-guest ship mv Victory I encompass all five of our Great Lakes. With expertly guided shore excursions, you’ll experience their rich maritime history, indigenous cultures, and stunning natural beauty. Back onboard, guests enjoy enriching shipboard talks with Great Lakes experts, fine dining in two distinctive venues with free-flowing wine, an Open Bar, all shipboard gratuities and even chauffeured airport transfers.

Exploring remote coasts and pristine waters at the peak of summer, a circumnavigation of Iceland is perfectly timed to see whales and marine birds like the Atlantic Puffin. With a full fleet of Zodiacs and the finest Expedition Team, you will enjoy an enriching, fun and exciting adventure complete with majestic fjords, remote islands and amazing wildlife. A guided tour of Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon are special A+R inclusions.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Save $1,200 per couple when you pay in full at

Ensemble® Exclusive: Save $1,200 per couple when you pay in full at

August 29 and October 4, 2019

time of booking.

time of booking.

Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

Title Resort & Spa Dreams Riviera Cancun

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 15, 2019.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 15, 2019.

• 4 nights or 7 nights at Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic • March 1 - August 16, 2019 • From $616 per person for 4 nights and from $1,064 per person for

7 nights, Deluxe Tropical View Room

• 4 nights or 7 nights at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa • Cancun, Mexico • March 1 - August 16, 2019 • From $892 per person for 4 nights and from $1,547 per person for

7 nights, Premium Deluxe Garden View Room

With lush tropical gardens and palm-studded beaches facing the turquoise Caribbean Sea, Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana is an idyllic haven for couples and families alike. This AAA Four Diamond resort offers a world of pampering, pleasures and adventures. You’ll also find 500 rooms and suites with stunning views of Punta Cana’s most magnificent scenery. Go far beyond the all-inclusive experience with Unlimited-Luxury®, where everything is included.

Ideally located close to the excitement of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, this AAA Four Diamond resort is an enriching wonderland of glistening pools and impressive ocean views with unique octagonalshaped rooms and suites. Most ground floor suites offer private plunge pools. This family-friendly resort offers a heated kids pool and a Mayan-themed Explorer’s Club for kids that features a planetarium and Chichen Itza climbing wall.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Unlimited-Luxury® + Non-stop transfers + $200

Ensemble® Exclusive: Unlimited-Luxury® + Non-stop transfers + $200

in resort coupons per room.

in resort coupons per room.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 81


TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK

Irish Adventure

Taste of Iceland & Ireland

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

• 9 days touring Ireland • Round-trip Dublin • Select departures now through December, 2019 • From $1,099 per person, Land only

• 10 days touring Iceland & Ireland • Reykjavik to Dublin • Select departures now through December, 2019 • From $2,659 per person, Land only

Maximize your vacation time with this fast-paced tour that takes in all the major highlights of Ireland’s north and south. Discover the true story of the world’s most famous ship at Titanic Belfast – in the city where it all began. Visit the picturesque monastic site of Glendalough. Wander among these romantic ruins and imagine how monks flourished here for 600 years. You’ll also tour the Waterford Crystal Factory, and visit the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle and Giant’s Causeway.

Combine two magnificent destinations in one: Iceland and Ireland are two nations rich in cultural heritage, folklore and spectacular scenery. See some of Ireland’s most scenic landscapes on the famous Ring of Kerry drive. Tour the famed Golden Circle, Iceland’s most popular tourist route, for a wonderful introduction to Iceland’s beauty and heritage. You may see the Northern Lights from September to April – Iceland is one of the best places in the world to spot this beautiful solar phenomenon.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Save $300 per couple.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Save $300 per couple.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

BOOK MARCH 1, 2019.

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

• 6 nights at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort • Maui, Hawaii • Travel now through December 15, 2019 • From $1,669 per person, Partial Ocean View Room

• 5 nights at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa • Maui, Hawaii • Travel now through December 15, 2019 • From $1,039 per person, Partial Ocean View Room

Situated on Mokapu beach, Andaz Maui is an experience unlike any other. All rooms at this 4.5 star resort include a balcony or patio, and three cascading pools include a kid’s pool and adults-only pool. Dine at your choice of four incredible restaurants. Pamper yourself with a massage or facial at the eco-friendly spa. Or go on an incredible snorkeling adventure.

Situated on 40 lush beachfront acres, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa is across from Kaanapali’s two championship golf courses, a half-mile from Whalers Village shops and three miles from historic Lahaina. Relax in newly renovated guestrooms with private lanais to enjoy the panoramic views. Pamper yourself at the full-service spa. Swim in three different outdoor pools. Or savor delicious cuisine at five restaurants at the resort.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Receive the sixth night free.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Receive air credit, every fifth night free and daily

buffet breakfast for two.

82 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL US TODAY.

Cancun Yucatan

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 27, 2019.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 27, 2019.

• 7 nights at Club Med Cancun Yucatan • Cancun, Mexico • Travel through August 24, 2019 • From $1,085 per person, Superior Room

• 7 nights at Club Med Punta Cana • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic • Travel through August 24, 2019 • From $1,085 per person, Superior Room

Rediscover a fully-redesigned Club Med Cancun Yucatan, the ultimate all-inclusive family resort located at the tip of the iconic Riviera Maya. With three white sand beaches next to the world’s second largest coral reef, this magnificent resort offers an extensive array of water and land sports, a variety of activities for families and kids of all ages, with direct access to ancient Mayan wonders.

It’s true what they say: Punta Cana really is the ultimate family resort and exclusive couples retreat. Discover your inner acrobat at Club Med CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil – a circus-inspired playground. Be sure to check out the kids clubs where you’ll find non-stop excitement for children of all ages. From swinging on a trapeze and swinging a golf club, to enjoying couple’s fine dining and the adults-only Zen Oasis, there’s something for every getaway-lover.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Receive $50 resort credit per booking.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Receive $50 resort credit per booking.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun

BOOK BY MARCH 20, 2019

BOOK BY MARCH 15, 2019.

• Minimum 2 night stay at Grand Velas Riviera Maya • Riviera Maya, Mexico • Travel now through December 18, 2019

• Minimum 3 night stay at Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun • Cancun, Mexico • Travel now through December 23, 2019

Hugging the coast where the Caribbean Sea meets the Yucatan jungle, Grand Velas Riviera Maya takes you beyond all inclusive. Savor gourmet cuisine from renowned chefs, bring balance to body and mind with treatments in the holistic spa, and unwind in suites with private terraces, plunge pools and uninhibited water views. Find refuge on the white sand beach or lounge by the infinity pool. Schedule a massage or join an exciting excursion to explore lush jungles, underwater caves or Mayan ruins.

Located on the sun-kissed beaches of Cancun, Le Blanc Spa Resort is a sanctuary designed to put you at ease from the moment you arrive. Take in spectacular ocean views. Laze in the crystalline infinity pools. Relax in your chic, elegant guest room. Enjoy world-class cuisine from celebrated chefs. And should a need arise, your personal butler stands ready to attend to any request. There are vacations, and there are true getaways. At Le Blanc Spa Resort, nothing is spared so you can forget everything.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Kids stay free, plus receive a guaranteed upgrade.

Purchase a Zen Grand Pool Suite room for the price of an Zen Grand Suite room, or purchase a Grand Class Suite Ocean Front room for the price of an Ambassador Pool Suite Ocean View room.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Receive an upgraded room category, late check-

Offer subject to change without notice. Minimum night stays, select travel dates and other restrictions may apply. For complete terms and conditions please visit: http://files.ensembletravel.com/marketing/GrandVelas.pdf

Offer subject to change without notice. Minimum night stays, select travel dates and other restrictions may apply. For complete terms and conditions please visit: http://files.ensembletravel.com/marketing/LeBlanc.pdf

out, sparkling wine and premium fruit platter, assorted chocolates and two SPA BARS treatments.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 83


TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK

Classic Sydney, Rock & Reef

Peruvian Landscapes

BOOK BY MARCH 31, 2019.

BOOK BY MARCH 31, 2019.

• 8 days touring Australia • Sydney to Cairns • Select departures throughout 2019 • From $1,783 per person, Land Only

• 7 days touring Peru • Round-trip Lima • Select departures throughout 2019 • From $1,886 per person, Land Only

This 8-day vacation brings the highlights of Australia to life! Venture to three of Australia’s most famous spots. Get to know cosmopolitan Sydney before catching the sun set over Uluru/Ayers Rock, the ultimate icon of the Australian Outback. Then explore the dazzling array of wildlife and lush surroundings of Cairns and the incredible Great Barrier Reef.

This 7-day vacation takes you to the Andean region of Peru. Discover the enchanting ancient Incan capital of Cusco, explore the scenic and historic Sacred Valley, and take in the fabled lost city of Machu Picchu. Diving deep into rich Indigenous history and culture, and impressive archaeological sites, this exploration of Peru takes you to the mustsees of this beautiful country.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Choose a free touring experience in Sydney,

Ensemble® Exclusive: Free unique dining experience for two at the

Cairns or Ayers Rock.

Huaca Pucllana Restaurant.

Landscapes of the Canadian Maritimes

Enchanting Canyonlands

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

• 12 days touring Halifax, Baddeck, Charlottetown, Saint John and

• 7 days touring Scottsdale, Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Zion

Digby • Round-trip Halifax • Select departures June - September, 2019 • From $3,725 per person/twin-share

• Phoenix to Las Vegas • Select departures April - October, 2019 • From $2,395 per person/twin-share

A mix of colorful harbors and sweeping coastlines, this nautical trip allows you to recharge by the sea as you take in some of America’s iconic maritime history. From learning about the tradition of fabric milling in Baddeck to discovering the picturesque village of Peggy’s Cove, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and take in the sea air, as you make your way through Canada’s Eastern Maritime provinces. Ensemble® Exclusive: $200 per couple ($100 per person) savings.

84 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

National Park

The American Southwest is a panoramic stage for Mother Nature’s most majestic performance. From exploring the crimson landscapes of Monument Valley, viewing the stunning scenery of Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks to chasing the bright lights of Las Vegas, this allAmerican journey introduces you to America’s West in complete style. Ensemble® Exclusive: $200 per couple ($100 per person) savings.


FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL US TODAY.

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Four Seasons Oahu Ko’olina

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 5 nights at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort • Island of Hawaii • Travel now through December 14, 2019 • From $1,289 per person, Ocean View Room

• 4 nights at Four Seasons Oahu Ko’olina • Oahu, Hawaii • Travel now through December 14, 2019 • From $1,649 per person, Ocean View Room

Located in two ocean-view wings and one oceanfront tower, this hotel’s luxurious guestrooms all feature private, furnished lanais with garden, partial ocean, or full ocean views. Inspired by Hawaii’s landscape, you’ll find Island-style décor with patios or balconies and with high-speed Internet access. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort also includes two golf courses and is a five-minute drive from Kawaihae Harbor and the beach.

Make yourself at home at this 5-star resort, featuring private furnished lanais and complimentary wireless Internet access. Take time to pamper yourself at the full-service spa. Swim in one of four outdoor pools, and enjoy tennis, a health club and four restaurants on site. Plus with a stay at Four Seasons Oahu Ko’olina, you’ll be on the beach and only a 10-minute drive from water parks and golf clubs.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Daily Breakfast for two.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Daily Breakfast for two.

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 5 nights at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui • Maui, Hawaii • Travel now through December 14, 2019 • From $1,659 per person, Ocean View Suite

• 5 nights at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa • Kauai, Hawaii • Travel now through December 14, 2019 • From $1,849 per person, Pool View

The Fairmont Kea Lani is an idyllic resort just across the street from Wailea’s three world-class golf courses. Each one-bedroom seaside suite includes a spacious living room, separate master bedroom and marble bathroom. This hotel also offers the best Hawaiian Cultural Program on Maui! Learn to paddle an Outrigger Canoe, enjoy a Hawaiian Cultural Walking Tour and learn some ‘Olelo Hawaii’ (Hawaiian language). Kids will love the nightly torch lighting ceremony and feeding the hotel’s koi fish.

The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is located on 50 oceanfront acres overlooking the majestic Keoneloa Bay in sunny Poipu. The recently renovated guestrooms are reminiscent of Old Hawaii and include plantation-style furnishings and private lanais. Relax at ANARA spa, tee off at the PGA championship golf course and enjoy the water playground including river pools, a saltwater lagoon and waterslide. Ensemble® Exclusive: Daily Breakfast for two.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Daily Breakfast for two.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 85


TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK

Secrets The Vine Cancun, Adults-Only

Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

• 6 days/5 nights at Secrets The Vine Cancun • Cancun, Mexico • Travel now through December 22, 2019 • From $2,531 per person, Deluxe Ocean View King room

• 6 days/5 nights at Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort • Playa Mujeres, Mexico • Travel now through December 22, 2019 • From $1,244 per person, Junior Suite Garden View room

This adults-only, ultra-chic and contemporary resort offers all the indulgences of Unlimited-Luxury® with elegant guest rooms complete with private terraces overlooking the sea. Enjoy limitless gourmet dining, top-shelf spirits and live entertainment. Relax by one of three swimming pools and enjoy a spa treatment at Secrets Spa by Pevonia®. Hit the links with complimentary greens fees at Playa Mujeres Golf Course. Or partake in Sommelier-led wine tastings.

This stunning AAA Four Diamond resort is perfectly situated in the exclusive gated community of Playa Mujeres, within a world-famous golf course. This all-suite resort features luxurious rooms, surrounded by secluded white sand beaches and the sea. Three levels of swimming pools include two infinity pools, six whirlpools, a children’s pool and a water park. Located just 10 minutes from downtown Cancun, this stunning resort provides an ideal vacation setting for couples and families alike.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Access to Hydrotherapy Circuit and a

Ensemble® Exclusive: Access to Hydrotherapy Circuit and a

complimentary 15-minute massage.

complimentary 15-minute massage.

Family Jamaica Escapes at Jewel Runaway Bay

Excellence El Carmen, Adults Only

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

• 5 days/4 nights at Jewel Runaway Bay, Jamaica • Runaway Bay, Jamaica • Travel now through August 8, 2019 • From $1,249 per person, Premier Guestroom; price includes non-stop

flights

• 5 days/4 nights at Excellence El Carmen, Punta Cana • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic • Travel January 15 through December 23, 2019 • From $1,189 per person, Junior Suite Pool View room; price includes

non-stop flights

Bring everyone closer together at the upscale all-inclusive, oceanfront, all ages resort. Amenities include Jewel Lagoon waterpark, butler-serviced suites, delicious dining options, three pools, supervised children’s club and teen lounge, laser tag, archery, fitness center, tennis, non-motorized water sports and complimentary greens fees at the 18-hole Runaway Bay Golf Club.

Excellence El Carmen is an all-inclusive, all-suite, adults-only luxury resort located on a secluded stretch of golden sand beach in Punta Cana. This resort offers the perfect tropical romantic getaway for couples looking to relax while enjoying the pristine beaches. Choose from 12 restaurants and 16 bars. Relax at one of several outdoor pools or enjoy the spa and fitness center.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Save up to 47% off resort stay plus up to two

Ensemble® Exclusive: Save up to 45% off resort stay plus free room

kids stay, play and eat free.

86 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

upgrade.


FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL US TODAY.

Romantic Danube

Captivating Rhine

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

• 7 nights cruising the Danube River aboard AmaCerto, AmaLea,

• 7 nights cruising the Rhine River aboard AmaDante, AmaKristina,

NEW AmaMagna, AmaSonata, AmaStella or AmaViola • Vilshofen to Budapest • March - December, 2019 • From $2,699 per person, River View Stateroom

• Amsterdam to Basel • March - November, 2019 • From $2,899 per person, River View Stateroom

Those longing for the romance of Old World Europe will travel into the heart of the continent where empires were built, kings and queens were crowned and world-famous music was composed and performed by the likes of Mozart and Beethoven. Grand European cities like Munich, Vienna and Budapest forever remain timeless. From grand abbeys and fortresses perched high above to iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, be romanced by the Danube with all her splendor.

Contoured by vineyard-clad hills and castles from yesteryear, the legendary Rhine captivates. Experience the allure of France’s Alsace region to Germany’s storied UNESCO sites. Fabled towns lost in time present you with the chance to taste local flavors – Rüdesheimer coffee and Kölsh beer – and to touch history up close with guided hikes and bike rides. From Amsterdam’s colorful canals to the majestic Swiss Alps, journey into the heart of the destinations you visit.

Ensemble® Exclusive: $300 onboard credit per stateroom on select

Ensemble® Exclusive: $300 onboard credit per stateroom on select

sailings.

THE HIGHEST RATED RIVER CRUISE SHIPS

AmaMora, AmaPrima, AmaSerena, AmaStella or AmaViola

sailings.

THE HIGHEST RATED RIVER CRUISE SHIPS

Tulip Time Cruise

Active Discovery on the Danube – Eastbound

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 8 days cruising the Rhine River aboard Avalon Vista™ • Round-trip Amsterdam • March 23 - 30, 2019 • From $2,698 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

• 9 days cruising the Danube River aboard Avalon Impression™ • Linz to Budapest • July 30 - August 7, 2019 • From $4,068 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

This beautiful and historic springtime river cruise during tulip season in Holland and Belgium begins in the colorful city of Amsterdam. Sail through Rotterdam’s harbor, one of the world’s busiest ports. Other ports of call include Antwerp, Ghent, Middelburg and Willemstad. Admire fields of color from Holland’s gardens, the windmills and waterways of Amsterdam and the ancient modern mix of Belgium’s architecture.

This exciting 9-day vacation introduces you to the people and places along your Danube river cruise from Linz to Budapest, with stops at Linz, Spitz, Vienna and Visegrad. With this Active Discovery cruise, the choice is always yours. Taste locally produced cheese and beer brewed by Trappist monks near Linz, hike on the trails along the Danube for spectacular views or bike to an ancient border defense near Mauthausen.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Complimentary prepaid gratuities.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Complimentary prepaid gratuities.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 87


TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK

Southern Caribbean

Exotic Eastern Caribbean

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

• 8 days cruising the Southern Caribbean aboard Carnival Horizon® • Round-trip Miami • Select departures April 6 - December 28, 2019 • From $1,079 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• 7 days cruising the Eastern Caribbean aboard Carnival Breeze® • Round-trip Port Canaveral • Select departures April 13 - December 28, 2019 • From $899 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

Sail round-trip from Miami to the Caribbean’s coolest hotspots aboard Carnival Horizon. Choose fun aboard this brand new ship, and enjoy amenities including the Dr. Seuss Waterworks water park, the Cloud 9 Spa, first-run movies at the IMAX® theater and the ultimate adventure on SkyRide®, where you’ll get to enjoy stunning ocean views as you pedal high above the decks.

Sail round-trip from Port Canaveral to the Exotic Eastern Caribbean aboard Carnival Breeze. Choose fun and enjoy amenities onboard including the Carnival Waterworks, the Cloud 9 Spa and Seuss at Sea for the kids. Dining options at sea include Guy Fieri’s delicious restaurants: Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Upgrade Your Fun three-category upgrade sale:

Ensemble® Exclusive: Upgrade Your Fun three-category upgrade sale:

up to $100 per stateroom onboard credit for ocean view staterooms or $150 per stateroom onboard credit for balconies and suites.

up to $100 per stateroom onboard credit for ocean view staterooms or $150 per stateroom onboard credit for balconies and suites.

Alaska Hubbard Glacier

Spain, France & Italy

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 7 nights cruising Alaska aboard Celebrity Eclipse® • Round-trip Vancouver • May 19, July 14, August 25 & September 8, 2019 • From $1,849* per person, Concierge Stateroom * Taxes, fees and port expenses of $191.46 per person are additional and subject to change.

Journey through the wild terrain of Alaska with an Alaska Hubbard Glacier cruise, and discover the natural wonders that await as the rugged beauty of this pristine frontier unfolds. Set out on an unforgettable adventure where you’ll get up close and personal with 30-ton whales, zip-line through nature to Mendenhall Glacier, or take flight high above the snow-capped lands and glaciers. Experience an awardwinning Alaska cruise and take your sense of wonder to new heights! Ensemble® Exclusive: $100 per stateroom Shore excursion credit for

Concierge and AquaClass® staterooms

88 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

• 7 nights cruising Europe aboard Celebrity Edge® • Barcelona to Civitavecchia • June 22 - 29, 2019 • From $3,649 per person, Concierge Stateroom * Taxes, fees and port expenses of $124.82 per person are additional and subject to change.

A Western Mediterranean cruise aboard Celebrity has some of the most diverse ports of call. You’ll have the opportunity to explore everything from famous ruins including the Roman Forum and Colosseum, iconic art such as Michelangelo’s David and the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel to the vineyards in the lush Tuscan countryside and the natural beauty of Cinque Terre. Ensemble® Exclusive: $100 per stateroom Shore excursion credit for

Concierge and AquaClass® staterooms.


FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL US TODAY.

Danube Dreams & Discoveries

Alaska & the Aleutian Islands

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 7 days cruising the Danube aboard Crystal MozartTM or Crystal RavelTM • Round-trip Vienna • Select departures April 21 - October 24, 2019 • From $2,430 per person, Petite Suite with Panoramic Balcony-

Window™ Discover an unrivaled way to experience the legendary capitals, medieval villages and beautiful landscapes of Europe’s majestic rivers. Aboard the all-suite, all-butler-serviced river ships you can enjoy all-inclusive amenities including airport transfers, gratuities, complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi and unlimited soft drinks and beverages including champagne, fine wines and spirits. Explore Vienna, Esztergom, Budapest, Bratislava, Melk, Spitz, Krems and Vienna on this 7-day itinerary. Ensemble® Exclusive: $400 per stateroom onboard credit.

• 22 days cruising Asia, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest aboard

Crystal Symphony® • Tokyo to San Francisco • May 26 - June 17, 2019 • From $5,700 per person, Deluxe Stateroom with large picture window

Discover Petropavlovsk on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to take in one of the world’s most stunning views – Avacha Bay and surrounding volcanic mountains. Then journey on to the glaciers and fjords of Alaska. Back onboard Crystal Symphony, you’ll find warm hospitality and six-star service in a haven of tranquility, complemented by gourmet cuisine, award-winning enrichment programs and entertainment. Ensemble® Exclusive: $500 per stateroom Onboard credit.

British Isles

New England & Canada

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 12 nights cruising the British Isles aboard Queen Victoria® • Round-trip Southampton • June 4 - 16, 2019 • From $5,299 per person, Princess Grill Suite

• 7 nights cruising Canada & New England aboard Queen Mary 2® • New York City to Quebec City • September 1 - 8, 2019 • From $3,899 per person, Princess Grill Suite

*Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses of up to $185 per person are additional and subject to change.

*Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses of up to $200 per person are additional and subject to change.

Discover the best of the British Isles on an unforgettable 12-night vacation with scenic cruising off the Isle of Skye and a maiden call at the delightful bay of Oban, renowned for its whisky and superb seafood. Cruise across to Dublin and Cork, the Channel Islands and Liverpool. Back on board Queen Victoria, enjoy fine dining, afternoon tea, entertainment and enrichment programs.

Sail in unsurpassed style aboard Queen Mary 2 from New York to Quebec for seven superb nights around New England and Canada. Visit Bar Harbor in Maine, Canada’s Corner Brook and Sept Isles, ending your cruise with an overnight stay in Quebec, giving you ample time to explore this lively, leading city. Back on board Queen Mary 2, enjoy elegant staterooms, afternoon tea and sumptuous new restaurants.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Experience shore event in Liverpool.

Experience shore event in Bar Harbor.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 89


TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK

Ancient Empires

Alaskan Explorer

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 11 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Koningsdam • Round-trip Rome • June 1 - 12, 2019 • From $2,099 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• 7 days cruising Alaska aboard Eurodam • Round-trip Seattle • June 29 - July 6, 2019 • From $1,459 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

Explore the classical world’s wonders with six days in Greece, including an overnight in Piraeus (Athens) and stops in Ephesus and Pompeii. Holland America Line’s Koningsdam combines 21st-century elegance and nautical tradition. Enjoy innovative new dining and entertainment venues – from the dazzling, two-story World Stage to Music Walk™, with Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club, Billboard Onboard, and brand new Rolling Stone Rock Room.

Embark on a convenient round-trip Seattle adventure, offering spectacular Hubbard Glacier vistas, whale-watching, with stops in spectacular Ketchikan and Alaska’s capital, Juneau. Explore onboard your ship as well. Take a cooking class or hands-on workshop with America’s Test Kitchen. Learn about BBC Earth Experiences. And dine in your choice of specialty gourmet restaurants.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Up to $50 onboard credit per stateroom.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Experience shore event in Sitka.

Baltic Explorer

Great Land Explorer

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 14 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Rotterdam • Round-trip Amsterdam • July 1 - 15, 2019 • From $2,999 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

• 14 days cruising Alaska aboard Amsterdam • Round-trip Seattle • August 26 - September 9, 2019 • From $1,999 per person, Ocean View Stateroom

With two days in St. Petersburg, book a shore excursion and tour Catherine's opulent palace. Explore Stockholm’s medieval Old Town. And visit historic Berlin. Onboard Rotterdam, enjoy a cooking show or hands-on workshop with America’s Test Kitchen. Savor the world’s great cuisine in one of the specialty restaurants. And stroll past a multi-million dollar art and antique collection.

Board this convenient Seattle round-trip cruise and experience nature’s awesome sculpting power at Tracy Arm and Hubbard Glacier. Visit Homer, the “Halibut Capital of the World”. Onboard Amsterdam, you’ll find a three-story atrium graced by a stunning astrolabe. Rejuvenate at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon. Work out at the Fitness Center. And savor a delectable array of specialty restaurants.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Up to $50 onboard credit per stateroom +

Ensemble® Exclusive: $75 onboard credit per stateroom.

Canaletto dinner for two.

90 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL US TODAY.

Western Mediterranean

Hawai`i

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

• 7 days cruising the Western Mediterranean aboard Norwegian Epic • Round-trip Barcelona • June 9 & August 18, 2019 • From $1,579 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• 7 days cruising Hawai`i aboard Pride of America • Round-trip Honolulu • June 8 & July 20, 2019 • From $2,609 per person, Balcony Stateroom

From the spires of Gaudi’s grand cathedral to ancient libraries and colosseums, this part of the world is a treat for the senses. And the best way to explore it is aboard Norwegian Epic. You’ll treasure stops in picturesque ports of call like Cannes and Majorca. And enjoy your time at sea with one-of-a-kind entertainment and gourmet dining.

With NCL’s unique 7-day Hawaii cruise itineraries, you get overnights in Maui and Kauai, as well as visits to Oahu and the Big Island of Hawai`i. You’ll be on island time as you discover cascading waterfalls, active volcanoes, black-, green- and white-sand beaches, historic sites and unspoiled nature. Back onboard Pride of America, learn about Hawai`ian culture through the eyes of native ambassadors.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Up to $300 Onboard Credit per stateroom + Free

Ensemble® Exclusive: Up to $100 Onboard Credit per stateroom + Free

Greek Isles & Italy

Western Caribbean

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

BOOK BY MARCH 1, 2019.

at Sea amenities including: Free Unlimited Open Bar, Free Specialty Dining, Free Shore Excursions, Free WiFi, Friends & Family Sail Free (on select sailings) and Free Airfare (on select sailings from select gateways).

at Sea amenities including: Free Unlimited Open Bar, Free Specialty Dining, Free Shore Excursions, Free WiFi, Friends & Family Sail Free (on select sailings) and Free Airfare (on select sailings from select gateways).

• 11 days cruising the Greek Isles & Italy aboard Norwegian Pearl • Rome to Barcelona • July 28 - August 8, 2019 • From $3,149 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• 7 days cruising the Western Caribbean aboard Norwegian Breakaway • Round-trip Miami • June 23 & August 18, 2019 • From $1,449 per person, Balcony Stateroom

Your 11-day cruise departs from Rome, and continues on to Dubrovnik. Marvel at this famous, walled medieval city. Explore Rector’s Palace and visit the iconic Franciscan monastery. In Corfu, immerse yourself in Greece’s history and deep tradition. Explore the beautiful seaside island of Mykonos. And discover Malta’s diverse culture when you visit ancient temples and admire medieval architecture.

This unforgettable vacation begins the moment you board Norwegian Breakaway. Take some time to unwind as you gaze at the stunning turquoise waters and lush green jungle of Costa Maya, Mexico. Then go back in time when you visit a sprawling ancient Mayan temple in Cozumel. Back onboard your ship, walk the oceanfront promenade lined with restaurants, bars and spectacular views.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Up to $300 Onboard Credit per stateroom + Free

Ensemble® Exclusive: Up to $100 Onboard Credit per stateroom + Free

at Sea amenities including: Free Unlimited Open Bar, Free Specialty Dining, Free Shore Excursions, Free WiFi, Friends & Family Sail Free (on select sailings) and Free Airfare (on select sailings from select gateways).

at Sea amenities including: Free Unlimited Open Bar, Free Specialty Dining, Free Shore Excursions, Free WiFi, Friends & Family Sail Free (on select sailings) and Free Airfare (on select sailings from select gateways).

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 91


TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK

Mexican Riviera

Alaska Inside Passage

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 7 days cruising Mexico aboard Royal Princess® •R  ound-trip Los Angeles • April 6 - 13, 2019 •F  rom $879 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• 7 days cruising Alaska aboard Star Princess® •R  ound-trip Seattle • May 19 - 26, 2019 •F  rom $1,558 per person, Balcony Stateroom

From its breathtaking piazza-style Atrium to the dramatic views from the glass-floored SeaWalk®, Royal Princess is sure to delight on her West Coast debut. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, watch the mesmerizing Princess WaterColor Fantasy light and water show, or dine on cuisine at venues like Crown Grill and more. Sail round-trip from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

Sail round-trip from Seattle to Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria aboard Star Princess. Witness the stunning fjords and breathtaking wildlife of Alaska. Back onboard, you’ll enjoy the star treatment on this sparkling ship. From the relaxed onboard ambience and incredible features like Movies Under the Stars®, you’re sure to feel indulged every moment of your stay.

Ensemble® Exclusive: $50 FREE onboard spending money per

stateroom.

Ensemble® Exclusive: $60 FREE onboard spending money per

stateroom.

British Isles

South Pacific

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 12 days cruising the British Isles with Liverpool aboard

Crown Princess® •R  ound-trip London •M  ay 25 - June 6, 2019 •F  rom $2,799 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• 1 4 days cruising Fiji aboard Majestic Princess® •R  ound-trip Sydney • October 18 - November 1, 2019 •F  rom $1,839 per person, Balcony Stateroom

Sail aboard Crown Princess® through the British Isles, conveniently round-trip from London (Southampton). Ports of call include Guernsey, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Liverpool, Glasgow, Invergordon, Edinburgh and Paris/Normandy. Onboard your ship, you’ll discover a relaxing atmosphere filled with an array of world-class entertainment and dining options that will greet you each day when you return from making fascinating discoveries ashore.

Sail round-trip from Sydney to Lifou, Port Vila, Dravuni Island, Suva, Savusavu, Lautoka and Noumea, visiting all of the natural wonders that Fiji and the South Pacific have to offer. Majestic Princess® is the newest sister ship to Royal Princess® and Regal Princess®, offering the Princess experience and signature favorites that you’ve always loved. Exciting activities await on board, from cooking demonstrations and dance classes to trivia contests and enrichment programs, including Encounters with Discovery at SEA™ speaker series with experts.

Ensemble® Exclusive: $85 FREE onboard spending money per

Ensemble® Exclusive: $85 FREE onboard spending money per

stateroom.

92 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019

stateroom.


FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL US TODAY.

Mediterranean & Adriatic

Panama Canal with Costa Rica & the Caribbean

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 7 days cruising the Mediterranean & Adriatic aboard Sky PrincessSM • Athens to Barcelona • October 20 - 27, 2019 • From $1,779 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• 10 days cruising the Panama Canal aboard Island Princess® • Round-trip Fort Lauderdale • November 6 - 16, 2019 • From $1,499 per person, Balcony Stateroom

Sail aboard the brand-new Sky Princess® from Athens to Barcelona, stopping at Kotor, Corfu, Sicily and Naples. Enjoy sweeping views onboard and enjoy every amenity this ship has to offer. From the tranquil Sanctuary (a retreat reserved for adults) to innovative new dining options, Movies Under the Stars, the Lotus Spa and Fitness Center, you’ll find diversions for every mood.

From ships custom built to sail the massive locks to immersive onboard programs and onshore adventures that inspire, Princess is the number one cruise line sailing to this destination. And as aweinspiring as it is to travel through one of Condé Nast Traveler’s 7 Cruise Wonders of the World, Princess will help you explore equally fascinating places along the way, including island gems in the Caribbean and lush rainforests in Central America.

Ensemble® Exclusive: $75 FREE onboard spending money per

stateroom.

Ensemble® Exclusive: $60 FREE onboard spending money per

stateroom.

European Heritage

Portrait of St. Petersburg

BOOK NOW.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

• 10 nights cruising the Baltic aboard Seven Seas Explorer® • Stockholm to Copenhagen • Jul 12 - 22, 2019 • From $11,899 per person, Veranda Suite

• 10 nights cruising the Baltic aboard Seven Seas Explorer® • Copenhagen to Stockholm • July 2 - 12, 2019 • From $11,899 per person, Veranda Suite

This is cruising as it was meant to be – a sumptuous and very personal experience where your every wish, your every whim and your every want are met with gratifying luxuries, satisfying comfort and complete fulfillment of your wanderlust. Anticipate an unforgettable journey to the Baltic, one of the world’s greatest destinations where everything is included, without exception and without compromise. You really can have it all aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises®.

Take in the beauty of the Baltic in full bloom with Regent Seven Seas Cruises®. Every detail is taken care of from FREE shore excursions to gourmet dining and from unlimited beverages to WiFi throughout the ship and FREE Business Class air! Board the exceedingly luxurious and spaciously intimate Seven Seas Explorer® and within the first minutes of your arrival, feel the warmth of their hallmark attentive service as you are greeted with a glass of champagne.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Ensemble® Exclusive: $200 onboard credit per suite.

Experience shore event in St. Petersburg.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 93


TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK

Eastern Caribbean

Western Caribbean

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

BOOK BY FEBRUARY 28, 2019.

• 7 nights cruising the Eastern Caribbean aboard Allure of the Seas® • Round-trip Miami • April 7 - 14, 2019 • From $799 per person Interior Stateroom;

From $1,199 per person Balcony Stateroom This is not a cruise. This is a marvel of modern engineering, designed to maximize your adventure with seven neighborhoods of innovative first-at-sea experiences. It’s climbing a massive rock wall in the middle of the Caribbean, then hanging ten high above the seas on the FlowRider® surf simulator a few minutes later. Ensemble® Exclusive: Receive a complimentary Specialty Dining

Experience for two.

• 6 nights cruising the Western Caribbean aboard Adventure of the Seas® • Round-trip Fort Lauderdale • April 21 - 27, 2019 • From $699 per person Interior Stateroom;

From $949 per person Balcony Stateroom This is not a cruise. This is a Royal Caribbean favorite upgraded with all-new thrills, including dual racing waterslides Cyclone™ and Typhoon. Hang ten on the FlowRider®, have fun at Splashaway Bay™ aqua park, and recharge at the Solarium pool or Vitality™ Spa. Plus, enjoy dazzling bars, lounges, Broadway-style shows, world-class dining and Casino Royale™. Ensemble® Exclusive: Receive a complimentary Specialty Dining

Experience for two.

Brilliant Bordeaux

Gems of Northern Italy

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 8 days cruising The Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde Rivers aboard

the NEW S.S. Bon Voyage • Round-trip Bordeaux • Select departures April - November, 2019 • From $2,589 per person, River View Stateroom • All-Inclusive Luxury

• 10 days cruising The Po River aboard River Countess • Milan to Venice • Select departures March - November, 2019 • From $2,799 per person, River View Stateroom • All-Inclusive Luxury

Uncover the proud legacy and heritage of Southwest France. Set sail along three stunning rivers, the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde, on one fascinatingly historical and invigorating journey. Explore the country’s breathtaking backdrops, wines and cultural treasures across the region in Bordeaux, Fort Médoc, Cadillac, Blaye, Libourne and more. Wander through archaeological marvels, historic landmarks and magnificent vineyards where you’ll be treated to a sampling of French experiences.

Encounter unforgettable sights on this odyssey through Northern Italy that begins in Milan, home to Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, and ends in legendary Venice, the “Queen of the Adriatic”. These two iconic cities bookend an exploration of Italy that includes visits to Verona, Padua, Bologna and Ferrara. Be treated to an exclusive evening opening and lighting ceremony at St. Mark’s Basilica. And discover the charm of seaside Chioggia loved by fishermen and artists alike.

Ensemble® Exclusive: $300 per couple shipboard credit.

Ensemble® Exclusive: $300 per couple shipboard credit.

94 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL US TODAY.

Yachtsman’s Mediterranean

Spanish Magic & Morocco

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 10 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Encore • Monte Carlo to Barcelona • August 5 - 15, 2019 • From $6,299 per person, Veranda Suite

• 11 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Encore • Barcelona to Monte Carlo • August 29 - September 9, 2019 • From $6,999 per person, Veranda Suite

When you cruise with Seabourn, you’ll enjoy a voyage that is nothing short of magical. Sail in ultra-luxury to the sparkling Mediterranean. For those along its shores, the sea remains the heart of it all, an irresistible magnet drawing every gaze. Explore picturesque harbors between Monte Carlo and Barcelona favored by the international yachting set, including Amalfi, Elba, Malta, Corsica, Bandol and Taormina.

Between Barcelona and Monte Carlo, explore Valencia and Cadiz/ Seville, Malaga/Granada, Cartagena and Ibiza, plus Tangier, the Algarve and Le Lavandou on the Cote d’Azur. Back onboard Seabourn Encore, enjoy luxury cruising refined to its purest form. Enjoy intuitive, personalized service provided by staff passionate about exceeding your expectations. And savor world-class dining, further enhanced through a culinary partnership with Chef Thomas Keller.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Experience shore event in Valletta.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Experience shore event in Cartagena.

Spain & Romantic Rivieras

Alluring Italy & Riviera

BOOK NOW.

BOOK NOW.

• 14 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Encore • Round-trip Barcelona • September 19 - October 3, 2019 • From $7,499 per person, Veranda Suite

• 7 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Encore • Rome to Barcelona • August 22 & September 26, 2019 • From $3,999 per person, Veranda Suite

Step into a wondrous world adorned with a sapphire jewel at its center, while cruising in ultra-luxury aboard Seabourn Encore. Sail round-trip from Barcelona, and experience the colorful heart of the Mediterranean with highlights and ports of call including the Rivieras, Florence, Rome and Monte Carlo. Savor world-class dining venues onboard, which are all complimentary. Dine where, when and with whom you wish.

Between Rome and Barcelona, enjoy tiny Bonifacia and regal Florence, picturesque Portofino and Bandol. Then visit the Salvador Dali museum in Palamos and Palma de Mallorca. Back onboard Seabourn Encore, enjoy luxury cruising refined to its purest form. Enjoy intuitive, personalized service provided by staff passionate about exceeding your expectations. And savor world-class dining, further enhanced through a culinary partnership with Chef Thomas Keller.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Experience shore event in St. Tropez.

Experience shore event in Palamos.

ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019 95


TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK

Mediterranean Round-trip Monte Carlo

Mediterranean Title Athens to Nice

BOOK NOW*.

BOOK NOW*.

•9  days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Silver Spirit •R  ound-trip Monte Carlo •  May 9 - 18, 2019 •F  rom $5,400 per person, Vista Suite

• 11 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Silver Shadow •A  thens to Nice • M  ay 11 - 22, 2019 •F  rom $11,900 per person, Vista Suite

Discover a world of beauty as you sail from the glitz of Monte Carlo on a quintessential Mediterranean adventure. Picture yourself enjoying a game of petanque in St. Tropez, tasting tapas in Barcelona, and enjoying the much loved sea-urchin pasta in Sardinia. As many parts high octane glamour as it is simple rustic chic, this voyage is a sophisticated tour de force of a favorite region.

There are few places quite as enchanting as the Greek Isles in spring. Unless it is the west coast of Italy. This is a magical voyage, filled with ancient gods, sun-dappled olive groves and bright, aquamarine seas. When the flavors of Santorini, Crete and Cephalonia mingle with the sights of Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and the eternal city, a satisfaction is guaranteed.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

* Book by March 31, 2019 and enjoy Free Economy Class Air Roundtrip on select sailings.

* Book by February 28, 2019 and enjoy $1,000 onboard credit, one-category suite upgrade and up to $500 savings per person on select sailings. Book by March 31, 2019 and enjoy Free Economy Class Air Roundtrip on select sailings.

Experience shore event in Valencia.

Experience shore event in Sorrento.

British Isles Round-trip London

Western Europe Barcelona to London

BOOK NOW*.

BOOK NOW*.

• 1 4 days cruising British Isles aboard Silver Wind •R  ound-trip London • May 16 - 30, 2019 •F  rom $11,900 per person, Vista Suite

• 11 days cruising Western Europe aboard Silver Spirit •B  arcelona to London • June 1 - 12, 2019 •F  rom $5,900 per person, Vista Suite

The Celtic dragon roars loud and clear on this two week tour of the United Kingdom. Leave the enchanting English Riviera for the majestic windswept shores of Scotland. Picture postcard Tobermory delights with pretty painted houses, while the Shetland and Orkney Islands shimmer with magic and myth. Beautiful Edinburgh paves the way for urbanites before a final overnight in London.

Let Lisbon’s stirring fado music under your skin, before sipping fine wines, and drifting below Porto’s famous bridges. Onwards towards the romantic city of Saint Malo and St Michael’s fairy-tale Mount. The pretty shoes of St Peter Port offer a different view of England, before you sail towards the ever fashionable London. Let Silversea take you closer to the authentic beauty of the world.

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

Ensemble® Exclusive: Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble®

* Book by March 31, 2019 and enjoy Free Economy Class Air Roundtrip on select sailings.

* Book by February 28, 2019 and enjoy $1,000 onboard credit, one-category suite upgrade and up to $500 savings per person on select sailings. Book by March 31, 2019 and enjoy Free Economy Class Air Roundtrip on select sailings.

Experience shore event in Invergordon.

Experience shore event in Lisbon.

FOR ALL ENSEMBLE VACATIONS® OFFERINGS: Prices are per person, double occupancy unless otherwise stated. Prices and terms are displayed throughout this catalog as received from individual suppliers. Certain offers carry restrictions and penalties to be advised at time of booking. Validity differs with each offer. Offers are subject to change without notice, subject to availability, and may be withdrawn at any time. Offers apply to new bookings only. Some blackout dates apply. Ensemble Travel® Group does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy of prices and terms. Ensemble Travel Group and its sub-agents act solely as agents for the companies providing services and facilities to travelers and have no responsibility or liability for loss of or damage to property, injury, or death due to errors, omissions, or intentional acts of the companies providing services.

96 ENSEMBLE VACATIONS WINTER 2019


The best vacations begin right here.

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These special cruise departures feature an Ensemble® Host, a private cocktail party and complimentary Ensemble® Experience shore event.

Receive a warm welcome at hundreds of hand-picked properties worldwide. Enjoy bonus gifts plus free upgrades, early check-in and late check-out when available.

Choose a villa from thousands of appealing options in the Caribbean, Europe and Hawaii. Save money and find your own oasis of comfort and style.

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TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE: We are among the distinguished travel specialists of Ensemble Travel® Group – an international network of creative, inspiring individuals who excel at designing superb vacations for a discerning clientele. Our membership means that you will always find complimentary ENSEMBLE ® EXCLUSIVES on thousands of exciting vacations from our valued partners – the world’s best cruise lines, most distinguished tour companies, and finest hotel and resort properties. For you OUR PREFERRED CLIENT, let us open the door to a world of exclusive experiences, intriguing adventure, and consummate service.

Your entrée to a global network of in-destination partners, all experienced in creating authentic experiences tailored to suit your individual taste, style and budget.

Imagine a world where exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences are always within your reach. Let us provide you with VIP insider service and unique access to elite travel and the most highly desirable sports, entertainment, culinary, fashion and cultural experiences worldwide.


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Unique Just Like You Your individual tastes are distinct and so is Ensemble. Ensemble Travel Group membership enables us to bring you added amenities, custom touches, unexpected experiences, and a genuinely warm welcome wherever your travels take you. You now have the opportunity to work with a travel professional who can make YOUR aspirations and experience come to life.

Traveling? We Plan – You Enjoy Relieve the anxiety of planning your vacation and focus on exploring, dreaming and discovering. We’ll guide you through your customized travel itinerary, and even let you in on a few travel tips from our own experience.

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EVwinter2019  

Winter 2019 edition of Vacations Magazine by Ensemble Travel Group

EVwinter2019  

Winter 2019 edition of Vacations Magazine by Ensemble Travel Group