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The most complete GUIDE to the INSIDE

The Insider’s Club

December 2017

Hot Spot of the Month

South Pacific

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Choose Your News Explore: South Pacific 4-7 Where To Stay 8-11 Exclusive Virtuoso World Travel Experiences 12-23 Tech News: Travel Technology 24-25


Explore: South Pacific Written by Damien Martin In his book “Hawaii,” the author James A. Michener begins with a description of the primordial Pacific Ocean. “How utterly vast it was!” Michener writes before marveling at the intrepid mariners who navigated the ocean in outriggers settled the islands of Polynesia. He was not wrong. Covering millions of square miles, the South Pacific is a treasure trove of gorgeous islands, world-class diving and unique cultures. “People think of the Pacific as grass skirts, Papeete and Bora Bora,” Lesa Bain, vice president of North America sales for Lindblad Expeditions, said. And while the islands of Tahiti are wonderful for honeymoons and anniversaries, relaxing in a lagoon and sipping a mai tai, there is so much more to the South Pacific.


“From a cultural and historic standpoint, it’s a really rich experience,” Bain said. Beginning in spring 2018, Lindblad will be returning to the South Pacific, with the 102-passenger National Geographic Orion running five distinct itineraries to destinations as far-flung as Easter Island and Fiji. “She is more of a luxury expedition ship,” Bain said of NG Orion, “She is a beautiful, beautiful vessel, the perfect base camp for exploration.” Cuisine is sustainably sourced and menus are designed by renowned Australian chef Serge Dansereau, and NG Orion is equipped with a glass-bottom Zodiac, a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), SCUBA and snorkel gear, paddleboards and kayaks. For the photographer, a B&H gear locker will be stocked with lenses and other equipment, while renowned photographers Michael Melford, Jonathan Irish and David Doubilet,


to name a few, will be on different dates and join guests imparting their wisdom on all things photographic. So even on days at sea, which there have to be when covering such an expanse, there’s no shortage of activities to delight the senses and stimulate the mind. “It’s a great community of fellow explorers,” Bain said. Nightly recaps, something Lindblad is famous for, are held in the lounge, so nobody misses a detail on the day’s adventures and those still to come. The Isles, Atolls, and Pristine Corals voyage visiting the Southern Line Islands features some of the best diving in the world. Onboard will be biologists, marine biologists, botanists, cultural and wellness specialists, along with two dive masters, as NG Orion explores little-visited gems such as Millennium Atoll and traces the path of Captain James Cook in Moorea. French Polynesia: Beyond the Postcard, another 10-day itinerary, offers a little bit of everything, from diving to mountain biking to hiking. With its summertime departures and exploration of important ancient marae (meeting grounds) on Huahine and Raiatea, from which Polynesian seafarers set out to colonize New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island, the voyage is perfect for families seeking adventure. For longer journeys, there are 17-day itineraries from Tahiti to the Marquesas and Tahiti to the Cook Islands to Fiji. In the Marquesas, an archipelago that “really isn’t visited much even to this day,” Bain said, you’ll encounter ancient tikis and stone sculptures. Go snorkeling or diving in the Tuamotus in search of manta rays and rare melon-headed whales. You’ll also stop at the coral atoll Makatea, full of caves and grottoes where myriad seabirds nest. Highlights of the Tahiti to Fiji expedition include the beautiful landscapes of Samoa, the blue volcanic stone Mata-Utu Cathedral in Wallis and Futuna, and the successful community marine park of Waitabu, Fiji. The longest voyage, at 20 days, is Easter Island to Tahiti: Tales of the Pacific. Go beneath the surface in Fakarava, part of a UNESCO biosphere reserve, and the Pitcairn Islands of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame and home to one of the world’s most unspoiled reef systems. Delve into the intriguing lost culture of Easter Island, and examine ancient burial sites and


towering moai with an archaeologist. While each voyage includes a complimentary bar tab and staff gratuities, you’ll need to book by Dec. 31 to take advantage of free airfare. Looking forward to 2019, NG Orion will also be making three voyages to the far-reaching islands of Alaska, Wrangel Island and the Kamchatka Peninsula in search of polar bear and so much more. A great deal of planning goes into each itinerary. The South Pacific departures have been meticulously crafted over a 2-year period by a design team traveling on small liveaboard boat who thought the adventure needed to be shared with the world. “They felt a lot of people don’t understand the diversity of this area,” Bain said. Now you can see it, better understand it and experience it for yourself.


South Pacific:

Where you should stay

Explora Rapa Nui Remote and intriguing Easter Island is home to explora Rapa Nui, an unobtrusive residence built almost entirely from the island’s volcanic rock and wood. Your guestroom is home base in this mystical land, and a massage salon and open-air Jacuzzis are readily available. Each day brings a menu of excursions, rated easy to difficult, combined with picnics along the shore or on rocky outcroppings. These expert-led, small-group activities include exploring on foot, bicycle or by boat. Explora programs take care of your experience from beginning to end. They include all explorations, lodging, meals and drinks and transport to and from the airport.

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The Brando Here’s an offer you can’t refuse: An exotic stay at The Brando, the former Polynesian home of Marlon Brando. The only true all-inclusive luxury resort found within the islands of Tahiti, the eco-friendly Brando fuses carefree luxury with cutting-edge technology in 35 welcoming villas on private beaches with plunge pools. Set within a biodiverse natural sanctuary, the resort offers naturalist-led tours and a professional-led photo safari. You can learn Polynesian dance or how to play the ukulele, or you can take part in plentiful watersports. Holistic spa treatments are inspired by ancient traditions.


Laucala Island One’s first impression of Laucala Island is that it must be a dream. This 3,500-acre private isle offers refuge to the privileged few in just 25 one-, two- and three-bedroom residences. Sprinkled across the property and decorated in the most fashionable Fijian style, these thatched-roof accommodations welcome with private pools and indoor/ outdoor lounge areas. Amenities are extravagant — from five restaurants, a golf course and a hilltop spa to an equestrian center and glass-cube pool — while the staff is friendly and discreet. Let them create a private picnic for you on one of the isolated beaches.


The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort The St. Regis Bora Bora features Overwater Villas starting at 1,550 square feet, entirely air-conditioned, with large glass floor panels to reveal the translucent lagoon beneath, as well as spacious outdoor living. Suspended overwater is the Lagoon Restaurant, with views of Mount Otemanu, while Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s menu offers the finest dining experience. The St. Regis Butler service offers packing and unpacking, coffee and tea delivery with wake-up calls, champagne sabering and much more. The Miri Miri Spa by Clarins, on its own private island and offering Tahitian- and Pacific Rim–inspired treatments, is a defining feature.


Exclusive Virtuoso

World Travel Experiences

Ultimate Beach Hideaway Las Alamandas Resort, Costalegre, Mexico Valid for Travel now Through 31 Dec 2017 Experience Includes: • • • • • • • • •

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests $100 USD Equivalent Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full) Welcome Margaritas upon arrival Tropical Fresh Fruit Platter Daily and Lemonades Welcome bottle of wine Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability Complimentary Wi-Fi One of Andrew Harper’s Top 100 Hideaways in the World


Exclusive Virtuoso

World Travel Experiences

Montage Traditions- $1,000 Resort Credit Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui Valid for Travel 21 Dec 2017 - 03 Jan 2018 Experience Includes: • • • • • • •

Receive a $1,000 Resort Credit with a 7-night stay One view category upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability Welcome amenity $60 Daily breakfast credit per bedroom $150 Spa Montage Kapalua Bay Spa Service Credit Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability Complimentary Wi-Fi


Exclusive Virtuoso

World Travel Experiences

Travel & Care Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, Morocco Valid for Travel now Through 12 Jan 2018 Experience Includes: • • • • • • • •

Full daily buffet breakfast, served in our restaurant Visit the girls lodging in the Imlil Valley, once per stay Prepare your own lunch while enjoying a cooking class at the kitchen’s garden, once during your stay Round trip transfer from Marrakech Menara Airport Fast Track through the Airport High speed internet access EUR 100 from the proceedings of this package will be donated to ‘On the Way to School’ Association Minimum three-night stay


Exclusive Virtuoso

World Travel Experiences

Revelry at The Reef The Reef Atlantis, Nassau, Bahamas Valid for Travel now Through 31 Dec 2017 Experience Includes: • • • • •

Upgrade upon arrival, if available (Terrace Studio to Harbor Studio, Harbor Studio to Ocean Studio) Continental breakfast for two daily $100 food and beverage credit, once per stay Early check-in/late checkout, if available Complimentary Wi-Fi


Exclusive Virtuoso

World Travel Experiences

Fourth Night Free in the Rockies The St. Regis Aspen Resort Valid for Travel now Through 31 Dec 2017 Experience Includes: • • •

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests Welcome note accompanied by fresh fruit bowl and mineral water (A personalized welcome note may be requested to ac company the amenity) • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full) • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability • Complimentary Wi-Fi


Exclusive Virtuoso

World Travel Experiences

Free Shore Excursion plus choose Silver Select or Air Promo Silversea Cruises Valid for Travel 02 Dec 2017 - 30 Mar 2018 Experience Includes: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

3 WAYS TO SAVE with Silver Select $1,000 per Suite Ship Board Credit -orTWO-CATEGORY SUITE UPGRADE -or 50% OFF SECOND SUITE -orORROUNDTRIP ECONOMY AIR FOR JUST $199 SILVERSEA’S ALL-INCLUSIVE LIFESTYLE Intimate ultra-luxury ships for 100 to 596 guests Free WiFi for every guest Onboard gratuities always included Spacious suites with butler service Open seating and speciality restaurants Wines and spirits served throughout the ship In-suite bar with your preferred beverages


Tech News:

Travel Tech

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HappyCow HappyCow was founded in 1999 as a public service to assist travelers and people everywhere find plantbased/vegan options and healthy food. We are vegan-run, from a vegan perspective, and staffed by vegans and vegetarians. Today, our online community has grown to include members from around the world who are passionate about the vegan lifestyle as a healthy, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable way of living. More than simply a restaurant and health food store guide, HappyCow is an ever-evolving online hub that serves millions worldwide each month.


The Insider's Club: December  
The Insider's Club: December