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Winter 2015

Lifestyles

TM

Expedition Travel Up Close

Galapagos & Antarctica CHAMPIONS OF CONSERVATION

Protecting our Planet

Insider’s Guide

River Cruising

SAN FRANCISCO

BORDEAUX


Ensemble Travel速 Group membership enables us to bring you added amenities, custom touches, unexpected experiences, and a genuinely warm welcome wherever your travels take you. When your next opportunity for travel arises, be sure to inquire about the Ensemble速 Exclusives that can make your trip an absolute dream come true.


ED ITOR’S L ET T ER

Lifestyles

TM

E DI T O R I A L

Georganne Shirk

Editor In Chief

Laura Torrisi

Creative Director

Yin Wong

Art Director at Large

Allyn Bacher

Advertorial Coordinator

Ann Suh

Feature Art Director

Kimberly Buerkle Alice Stroh

Associate Editors

Kimberly Buerkle Alice Stroh

Copy Editors

Daniel Stein Judith Vitale

Staff Writers

DE S IG N

Torrisi Design Associates, Inc. P ROD U C T ION Production Manager

Wendy Russo

Assistant Coordinator

Daniel Stein

An Ensemble Travel® Group Publication Ensemble® Lifestyles is a publication of Ensemble Travel® Group. © January 2015 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. TM

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.

A

s we just wrapped up the holiday gift-giving season, I wanted to mention the gifts we give ourselves and others in the form of memories and mementoes. One of the most fun things to do on a trip is to find the perfect remembrance of an adventure. We can either keep them and cherish them, or pass them on as gifts to others, conveying our excitement and showing the novelty of the occasion. I’ve channeled many a buyingbinge into the set-up for the next holiday season! I recently went on vacation to Turkey with four girlfriends. It was a wonderful, exotic adventure leading us from the palaces, mosques and baths of Istanbul to the “fairy chimneys” and cave hotels of Cappadocia. Needless to say, there was shopping involved. In addition to visiting the natural and architectural wonders of the country, we oohed and aahed our way through local shops of artisans with very special Ensemble On Location guides. In Cappadocia, we learned about the process of making silk and wool Turkish rugs by hand - from unraveling the silk worm’s cocoon to watching local women weave the rugs. We visited a huge ceramics shop where we were treated by the owner’s band to music and dancing after one of us tried our turn at the potter’s wheel. And we watched the art of ebru, marbling color onto beautiful silk scarves. Upon our return to Istanbul, we explored the bazaars, loading up on exotic spices and the glorious Turkish Delight candy. We found Shahtoosh shawls woven from the beards of Tibetan antelope, supple and stylish leather coats and high-end brand-name purses (the last one involved a guided trip through the back alleys and unmarked doors of the Grand Bazaar). From all of these wanderings, I have lovely mementoes to touch and taste, bringing back those memories and sharing them with others. Every day, when my feet touch my Turkish rug, I smile thinking of my last adventure and wondering where to go next?! Wishing you all the joys of travel,

Georganne Shirk Editor In Chief Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 1

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 1


C ONT E N TS

Winter 2015

Features 10 P  lanning Ahead for 2015 & Beyond

14

Don’t miss out on these once-in-a-

lifetime events around the world.

14  Capturing the Galapagos: A Photographic Expedition

and her brother hone their photography skills and discover the Galapagos Islands.

LAURA TORRISI

20

50

23  Antarctica for Beginners: The Ensemble How-To

b y HELEN HEWETSON

The coldest continent is a hot destination for all travelers.

34 E  ternal Tourist in San Francisco

San Francisco native JACQUELINE

reveals the best things to see and do in and around the Golden City.

YAU

42 Conservation Efforts Give Animals Hope for the Future

b y MICHAEL SHAPIRO

Learn about conservation efforts being made for North America’s sandhill cranes, Alaska’s rare wood bison, Thailand’s elephants, and Africa’s mountain gorillas.

46 P  anama with Panache

b y MARIO STOJANAC and MARY LUZ MEJIA

A couple shares their savory

exploration of Boquete.

Departments 1

enjoys a food & wine themed river cruise through France.

JILL MROSS

Letter from the Editor

4  Contributors 6 R  SVP

Readers share their travel stories.

7 W  orth the Journey

The northern lights in Tromsø

20 Mission Blue

 Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and subject of the Netflix documentary, Mission Blue, shares her passion for the world’s oceans.

30 Around the World and Back Again

Winemaker and globe-trotter

Bex Bishop shares her travel stories and tips.

50  A Second Chance in France

44 L  iterary Escapes

Recommended reading for your

travels

65 Traveler’s Notebook

2 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

34

Ensemble® Exclusive deals & offers

D E ST I NAT I O N I N D E X

Alaska 42, 58 Antarctica 23 Arizona 10 Botswana 45 Charleston 6 China 45 Dominican Republic 59 Fiji 3, 5 France 50 Galapagos 14 Georgia 10 Germany 11 Greece 54 Hawaii 33 Holland 10 Iceland 6 India 10 Ireland 41

Italy 10, 49 Jamaica 48 Japan 10 Kentucky 10 London 10 Los Angeles 11 Mexico 10 Napa 30 New York 10 Norway 7 Panama 46 Paris 10 San Francisco 34 Sweden 6 Tahiti 3, 5 Tanzania 10 Thailand 11, 43 Turkey 11 Zimbabwe 45


Passion

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Patient. Kind. Everlasting. True. Everything that love is ... can be found in the islands of Fiji and Tahiti. From soft, white sand beaches and lush rainforests to underwater worlds teeming with life and the warm hospitality of the locals, romance flourishes in this place like nowhere else on earth.

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In lovers awaken in the privacy of thatch-roofed bures nestled under fringed coconut palms, beside aquamarine seas. Spend carefree hours strolling through gardens of exquisite orchids. Sharing romantic horseback rides along sandy stretches of beach. Diving among some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. Savoring otherworldly cuisine in the embrace of amber-hued sunsets. And falling asleep in each others’ arms to the sound of soft, heartfelt serenades sung by quite possibly the warmest, most welcoming people on earth.

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In gentle, crystalline waters lap a Polynesian lullaby beneath overwater bungalows where couples marvel at another fine morning in paradise. Adrenaline rushes through their veins as they cavort with sharks and stingrays, snorkel among breathtaking coral reefs, steal kisses behind hidden waterfalls, and share wild ocean jet ski rides. Island adventures beckon on striking Bora Bora, heart-shaped Mo’orea, the untamed Marquesas, lush Huahine, Raiatea, and lively Tahiti. While the exotic scents of vanilla, flowers, and natural oils waft in the balmy air. And French-infused Tahitian cuisine tickles the taste buds as hip-shaking tamure dances and hypnotic fire shows light up the night. Please see page 69 for special offers on Fiji & Tahiti vacations. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. Add airfare to your package from the deluxe Fiji Airways and the award-winning Air Tahiti Nui. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 3


Whether you favor intimate luxury yachts or glittering liners, there’s an

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CO NT RIB UTORS Based in New York, 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 with photographer Stacy Bass. Around the World and Back Again, page 30.

After well over a decade of travel to far-flung destinations, HELEN HEWETSON has many stories to tell. In this issue, she writes about Antarctica, but her favorite destinations include Fiji, Ireland, India, Greenland, Peru and the Galapagos Islands. She’s always planning her next trip — and her case is always packed! Antarctica for Beginners: The Ensemble How-To, page 23.

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. A Second Chance in France, page 50.

MICHAEL SHAPIRO is author of A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers

Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration. His article on Jan Morris’s Wales was a cover story for National Geographic Traveler and won the prestigious Bedford Pace Award. Shapiro also writes about travel for Islands magazine and the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. Visit: www.michaelshapiro.net. Mission Blue, page 20; Conservation Efforts Give Animals Hope for the Future, page 42.

Share the warmth and camaraderie of an Ensemble® Hosted Cruise, accompanied by our popular

Bearing in mind the motto — ­­ the couple that cooks and travels together, stays together, MARIO STOJANAC and MARY LUZ MEJIA have been globe trotting for over a decade now. Their travels have taken them to over thirty countries with quality time spent in kitchens around the world with top notch home cooks as well as high powered chefs. Panama with Panache, page 46.

Ensemble Hosts. Mingle at ®

private cocktail parties, then sample what the world has to offer in a unique way on a complimentary shore event known as the

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For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

4 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

LAURA TORRISI is a New York based, award-winning graphic designer, photo buff, paper princess and writer about subjects near and dear to her. Having founded her own design and media agency over two decades ago, Laura helped shape the look and feel of our very own Ensemble Lifestyles. She remains passionate about art and design, the ocean, travel and preserving the beauty in our great, big, beautiful world. Capturing the Galapagos: A Photographic Expedition, page 14. JACQUELINE YAU is a romantic adventurer whose writing ranges

from travel to humor to poignant essays. She contributed several articles to the Travel Guide to California, from 2011 to 2014, including essays on California cuisine, the movie business and West Hollywood. Her work has appeared in Travelers’ Tales anthologies, including Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why and Travelers’ Tales China. Eternal Tourist in San Francisco, page 34.


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

South Pacific

LIVING A DREAM IN THE

A

ttention spans being what they are these days, the familiar dream of escaping

to a remote island to meditate on a quiet beach has acquired a new twist. It’s not that we no longer dream of the tropics; they’re practically all we can think about. It’s just that our dream has matured. Why sit on just one pristine white beach, we have reasoned, when we can have them all?

Please see page 74 for special offers from Paul Gauguin Cruises. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Built specifically to navigate tropical waters and tranquil lagoons, the small ship m/s Paul Gauguin offers countless intimate, private, and exclusive opportunities to explore every stunning facet of Tahiti, Fiji, and the South Pacific. French Polynesian itineraries have the added benefit of two exclusive island beach experiences. The first, in the private Motu Mahana retreat off the coast of the unspoiled island of Taha’a. The second, on a secluded beach on a private motu off the shores of Bora Bora, with postcard-perfect views of Tahiti’s towering Mount Otemanu.

Playing host to just 332 privileged guests, Paul Gauguin Cruises fulfill a multitude of wishes with complimentary beverages, all-inclusive values, and luxurious accommodations. Three open-seating dining venues showcase the tempting culinary creations of chef Jean-Pierre Vigato. Relaxing days on board can be spent in the Deep Nature Spa, on expansive outdoor decks, and swimming in the top-deck pool. The ship’s retractable marina provides effortless access to paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, and enviable Zodiac diving excursions. In the evenings, naturalist guides, lecturers, and the Gauguines & Gauguins enrich and entertain. For young dreamers, select departures also include Jean-Michel Cousteau’s fascinating Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 5


RSVP

Iceland, Sweden & Charleston

Inspired by Ensemble LifestylesTM, our readers have been traveling the globe and sharing their experiences with us …

Dear Editor, When my step-daughter, Lindsay, first started talking about going to Iceland it seemed like a pie-in-the-sky dream, but four years later my wife, Linda, made this trip a reality and took Lindsay as a graduation present to this far-away land where the sun never sets. Fast forward three years to a milestone birthday for Linda. After considering a few run-of-the-mill ideas, it became obvious that a trip to Iceland for just the two of us was the gift of choice since she hadn’t stopped talking about Iceland during the ensuing years. Four days before the trip Linda was given a portfolio containing photos of the Northern Lights, the volcano at Bardarbunga, hotels, restaurants, and plane tickets. Ten minutes after she stopped hyperventilating, we started packing. Iceland is all about the scenery. The stark, barren plains on which only a handful of trees grow give way to gigantic outcroppings of stone thousands of feet tall. Huge glacial tracts flow across eons of time, creating rivers and waterfalls, peaks and valleys that are unique to the earth. We visited the incredible waterfall Gulfoss, where the raging river fills the air with a mist that never dissipates. We toured the south shore and stood at the point where the land meets the sea at a lighthouse that has been there for decades. However, the most amazing thing we managed to catch was the northern lights. We headed to the south shore in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. As we drove through fog literally so thick that we could only see about 10 feet in front of the car, we had all but abandoned any hope of seeing the Lights that evening. But Iceland’s weather is nothing if not fickle. They have a saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Iceland, wait 5 minutes.” As we came around a corner the fog miraculously lifted completely and there, right in front of us, were the giant, shimmering curtains of light. We stood there, eyes riveted on the scene above us, holding hands, just enjoying a sight that so few people have seen with their own eyes. As we watched the lights dance, we both agreed that if this was the only natural wonder we saw during our entire trip, it was still the best birthday present ever. ~ Paul M.

Dear Editor, My girlfriends and I were desperate for a “ladies weekend,” so we left the boys at home and hopped on a flight to Charleston, South Carolina. We rented villas on Isle of Palms and spent our days with our toes in the sand. At night we explored the Charleston night life, which included some of the best seafood and most innovative cocktails I’ve ever experienced. Dinner at Stars on King Street was unforgettable. On our last day, we enjoyed some traditional Southern cuisine during brunch at Magnolias. Right before leaving for the airport we actually spotted an alligator – it was a terrifying thrill and the perfect end to the weekend. ~ Cara W. 6 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015


while in Norway...

worth the

J Journey

VISIT TROMSØ

Dear Editor, I recently had the pleasure of visiting my favorite place in Sweden – a charming sea town on the west coast called Strömstad. As someone who lived in Oslo, Norway for 3 ½ years, it was commonplace for Norwegians to flock across the border to Sweden for cheaper shopping. I did this every-so-often and I always went a bit farther, to Strömstad. During the winters, the place is quiet, but during the summers, the harbor town is bustling and filled with people relaxing on boats, walking their dogs along the shore, and kids playing and eating ice cream. My favorite thing to do in Strömstad is to sit by the sea and enjoy a delicious Swedish beer. And, if I have enough time, indulge in a sandwich packed with freshly caught shellfish. Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö are all magnificent cities, but there is something particularly special about the quaint and relaxing vibe one receives by visiting the Swedish coast. ~ Megan S.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! We invite you to share your travel stories with us. RSVP to:

editor@ensembletravel.com Whether it be a destination featured in Ensemble Lifestyles or another fabulous locale, we’d love to hear where your travels have taken you.

Please see pages 65 - 80 for our pick of great cruises and vacations, or contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant to create your own journey.

G O Tromsø, the “capital of the Arctic,” is a Norwegian city located about 280 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and the place to be to see the northern lights. It’s away from the more popular cities in the south (Oslo, Bergen) but this ice city is well worth the trip up north. Flights between Oslo and Tromsø run daily, and the flying time is less than two hours. S E E Tromsø is an all-in-one destination, where you can whale watch, go dog sledding, skiing, and of course witness the aurora borealis. You’ll also find amazing views of the wild mountains, fjords, islands, and daring architecture in the area, and it’s a great place to try more traditional Nordic cuisine. Tromsø also serves as a great springboard to visit Longyearbyen, the northern most settlement on earth. W H E N Tromsø is located in the center of the world’s Northern lights belt, so any flare of solar storms on the surface of the sun are visible from there. The best time to visit is between November and March, when there is an 8 in 10 chance of seeing the northern lights.

To plan your trip to Tromsø, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 7


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Crystal Cruises

Throws the Party

of the Year

If anyone knows how to celebrate an anniversary in style, it’s Crystal Cruises. Proof positive can be found in the cruise line’s 2015 itineraries, which promise all the glittering bells and whistles of a true silver anniversary celebration. Aboard the all-inclusive, ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, guests travel in refined elegance and casual simplicity. This year, many of those guests will have the added benefit of cruising in an intimate family-reunion ambiance as Crystal’s leaders host sparkling 25th Anniversary parties and cherished former shipmasters return home to celebrate. During the year, Crystal’s popular Experiences of Discovery® cruises will treat guests to themed voyages that explore culinary, musical, theatrical, political, and athletic pursuits. But the crème de la crème of the anniversary season will be six sailings that will include lively parties, festive receptions, exclusive hosted shore events, and the opportunity to mingle with Crystal’s top brass.

8 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015


25th Anniversary Chairman’s Cruise JULY 8 - 26, 2015 Crystal Cruises’ devoted Chairman & CEO Nobuyoshi “Nobu” Kuzuya will sail with Crystal Symphony on a celebratory 25th Anniversary journey in Northern Europe (Reykjavík to London). This “White Sea Exploration” voyage boasts five maiden calls to scenic ports in Russia’s White Sea as well as little-explored towns and fjords in Norway. En route, cruise guests will enjoy thrilling onboard anniversary celebrations and may choose to participate in an optional shore excursion hosted by Mr. Kuzuya himself.

25th Anniversary President’s Cruise JULY 12 - 25, 2015 Crystal Cruises’ effervescent President & COO Edie Rodriguez and her husband Tom Rodriguez will sail aboard Crystal Serenity on a celebratory 25th Anniversary “Epicurean Escapade” voyage in Western Europe (Lisbon to London). En route, cruise guests will be treated to festive anniversary celebrations and have the option to participate in an exclusive, optional shore excursion hosted by Ms. Rodriguez. Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa will also be on board to share his talents and personal panache during cooking demos, book signings, and Sake tastings with Sake Master Hazu.

25th Anniversary Captains’ Cruises APRIL - DECEMBER 2015 In addition to the executive sailings, several cruises in the 2015 lineup will be hosted by cherished former ship captains who will return to share their favorite memories with cruise guests and dear friends. CAPTAIN REIDULF MAALEN, who helmed

Crystal Harmony when the company began sailing in 1990, will host a silver anniversary “Across the East China Sea” cruise aboard Crystal Symphony (sailing April 11 - 23, 2015 from Hong Kong to Tokyo).

CAPTAIN HELGE BRUDVIK, captain of Crystal Symphony in its inaugural year, retired from Crystal since 2000, will host the silver anniversary “Trans-Atlantic Treasures” voyage aboard Crystal Symphony (sailing June 12 - 28, 2015 from New York to London).

CAPTAIN GLENN EDVARDSEN, a 21-year

CAPTAIN JOHN ØKLAND, who retired in

Crystal veteran and the youngest Crystal captain when he joined the line in 1999, will host the silver anniversary “Classic Atlantic Crossing” voyage aboard Crystal Serenity (sailing May 4 - 17, 2015 from Miami to Lisbon).

2012 after 15 years with Crystal Cruises, will host a special anniversary-themed “Brazilian Holiday” Cruise aboard Crystal Symphony (sailing December 19, 2015 - January 3, 2016 from San Juan to Rio de Janeiro).

Three segments of the 108-day “Silver Celebration” World Cruise also offer an Ocean Views theme, featuring debates and interactive discussion with some of today’s most knowledgeable experts in world affairs. To learn more about Crystal Cruises’ 25th Anniversary celebration voyages, please see page 72, and contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 9


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2015 + BEYOND

PLANNING AHEAD FOR

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ach year, like clockwork, in countries all over the world, locals pull out all the stops to celebrate culturally significant events. By timing your trips to coincide with these annual events, you can experience the ultimate in authentic cultural immersion.

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Mar - Apr Japan Annual outdoor Hanami (flower viewing) festivals are held all over Japan each spring when the Sakura cherry trees are in bloom. The trees’ beautiful yet fleeting blossoms are considered a metaphor for life itself.

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Jan 31 - Feb 17 Carnevale di Venezia Venice, Italy In the weeks prior to the Christian observance of Lent, the streets of Venice come alive with mysterious figures, dressed in elaborate costumes and decorative masks, who celebrate passion and decadence late into the night at opulent masquerade balls. Tickets for the balls can be booked well in advance, giving you plenty of time to plan your own disguise.

Feb 1 Super Bowl XLIX Phoenix, AZ Feb 13 - 15 NBA All Star Weekend New York, NY

Late Sep - late Mar Arctic regions The Northern Lights 10 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

Mar 6 - 23 Holi, Festival of Color Nepal & India An ancient Hindu celebration of love, Holi is a carnival of color featuring huge bonfires, singing, dancing, and playful battles involving water guns and brightly colored powder.

Apr 6 - 12 The Masters Tournament Augusta, GA Apr 30 - May 2 Kentucky Derby Louisville, KY

May 5 Cinco de Mayo Puebla, Mexico Locals gather to celebrate Mexico’s unlikely victory in the Battle of Puebla (1862), in which they defeated French invaders sent by Napoleon III. May 24 - Jun 7 The French Open Paris, France

Mar 20 - May 17 Holland Arguably one of the world’s most spectacular planned gardens, this park in Lisse, South Holland, showcases — for just two months a year — seven million blooming bulbs and countless other floral displays in an array of indoor pavilions. Avalon Waterways’ Tulip Time Cruise visits from March to May. Keukenhof Gardens & Tulip Fields

Jun 29 - Jul 12 Wimbledon London, England

Jun - Aug Tanzania Each year, nearly 260,000 zebra, 1.5 million wildebeest, and 470,000 gazelle travel a circular route over 1,800 miles of the Serengeti in search of food and water. Safaris timed to coincide with the migration offer thrilling views of massive herds thundering across the vast plains and crossing deep rivers where predators lie in wait. Africa’s Wildlife Migration


The Northern Lights

Late Sep - late Mar Arctic regions Also known as aurora borealis, these spectacular natural light shows can be seen in the high latitudes of the Arctic regions (Alaska, Northern Canada, Scandinavia, and Western Russia). The best time to catch them is late September through late March. Truffle Hunting Season

Oct - Nov Tuscany, Italy

2015 Passion Play of Sordevolo Jun - Sep Italy

Often referred to as “diamonds of the kitchen,” truffles grow amongst the roots of certain trees and are prized ingredients for chefs of European haute cuisine. Fall trips to the Tuscan countryside can be arranged to include truffle extracting excursions, followed by culinary demonstrations.

Performed every five years since the early 1800s, the Passion Play of Sordevolo is a dramatic presentation of the final days in the life of Jesus Christ against the backdrop of Piedmont’s Sacred Mountains. To bring the event to life, the town’s 1,300 residents volunteer as actors and set builders to transform a 4,000 square meter open space into Jerusalem, circa 33 A.D. In 2015, weekly performances of the threehour play will run from Jun 6 - Sep 27, 2015.

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Nov 7 Festival of Lights Bangkok, Thailand

Dec 10 - 17 Whirling Dervishes Festival Turkey

With origins dating back to the Aztecs, Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” offers participants the chance to commune with friends and family members who have passed away. The dead are honored with private alters, sand sculptures, sugar skulls, cardboard cadavers, and late-night cemetery parties.

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Held twice each summer, “Il Palio” is a 90-second bareback dash around the enormous Piazza del Campo. The competition has occurred every year, save for one during World War II, since the first stallions lined up in 1656. Prior to that, participants rode buffaloes. Jul 19 Festa del Redentore Venice, Italy At sunset the night before, Venetian locals board decorated boats and make their way into St. Mark’s Basin to watch fireworks, picnic, and celebrate the end of the plague of 1576.

Sep 19 - Oct 4 Oktoberfest Germany Sep 25 Emmy Awards Los Angeles, CA

Sip mulled wine as you bask in the warm glow of Europe’s charming Christkindlmarkts. For the full experience, choose a holiday river cruise with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Tauck, or Viking River Cruises. Christmas Markets

Contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant for more details – they have the insider connections to give you access to these amazing events. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 11


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Good Things come in Small Packages While most cruise ships are getting big enough to warrant their own zip codes, Silversea is bucking the trend and keeping its ships small. This gives guests an opportunity to form new friendships in a relaxed environment and see off-the-beaten-track ports of call that larger ships can’t access. In some cities, Silversea’s ships can dock right in the center of town, which means less time on tenders and more time exploring. Silversea will offer 80 voyages in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and the Baltic from April to November, 2015. Diverse itineraries mean you can sail back-to-back cruises without repeating ports. Silver Spirit’s May 18th cruise from Barcelona to Rome will overnight in Cannes during the film festival and in Monte Carlo during the Grand

12 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

Prix. Silversea’s newest and largest ship can take 540 guests and the larger, but by no means, large, size of the ship makes it possible to have an 8,300-square-foot spa and the largest suites in Silversea’s fleet. Highlights of the voyage include Napoleon’s birthplace, Ajaccio, Corsica, pretty-as-a-picture Portofino, and Livorno, gateway to Florence and the rolling hills of Tuscany. Silver Wind’s July 9th cruise sails from Rome to Venice, and will be in Venice for the annual Festa del Redentore celebration which includes a spectacular fireworks display over St. Mark’s Bay. Silver Wind, like Silver Cloud, can carry 296 passengers, making the two ships like boutique hotels at sea. Sail down the Amalfi Coast past soaring mountains, stopping in the elegant villages of Sorrento and Amalfi; visit archaeological ruins in Sicily, then

stroll through the medieval gems of Dubrovnik and Hvar, Croatia, and Koper, Slovenia. In London, Silver Cloud docks at Tower Bridge, located next to the WWII-era HMS Belfast and one of the world’s most exclusive ports. Right in the heart of the city, Tower Bridge can only be accessed by ships smaller than HMS Belfast so this is a thrill reserved for a select few. Sail along the Thames, passing under the Tower of London, and head off for the lively capital of Amsterdam, then transit the Kiel Canal which is so narrow at points that you can enjoy the surrounding countryside. Stop at Bornholm, Denmark, a lovely island known for its unique round churches, the medieval walled town of Visby, and Sweden’s energetic


THE ENORMOUS ADVANTAGE OF SEEING THE WORLD FROM SILVERSEA’S ELEGANT SMALL SHIPS

capital, Stockholm. Tallinn, Estonia’s medieval jewel is followed by glorious St. Petersburg. Russia’s most European city was built by Peter the Great as a “window on the west.” After a stop in Helsinki, sail into Copenhagen which is home to some of the world’s greatest restaurants. Silver Cloud will also travel to Norway’s remote North Cape and the little-discovered Russian cities of Murmansk and Archangel. Beginning and ending in Copenhagen, this voyage will make nine stops in Norway including fjord-rimmed Bergen, a charming city with pastel buildings and cobblestoned streets. The ship will dock in town in most of the ports on this voyage, including the old Viking port of Hellesylt, the UNESCO-listed fjords of Geiranger, delightful

Tromsø known for its old wooden houses, and Honningsvåg, once a sacrificial site for the Lapp people. This will also be Silversea’s maiden visit to Haugesund, whose pink city hall is one of Norway’s finest neoclassical buildings. In Russia, visit 16th century Archangel, a starting point for polar expeditions, and Murmansk, a port that’s ice-free because of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream despite being 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Like a fine piece of jewelry, the ships of Silversea are small, elegant, and luxurious. As Albert Einstein once said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger … It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.”

WHAT’S INCLUDED

• Intimate ultra-luxury ships for no more than 540 guests • Spacious suites with butler service • Open seating and specialty restaurants • Champagne, wines and spirits served throughout the ship • In-suite bar with your preferred beverages • Exclusive partnership with Relais & Châteaux • Onboard gratuities Please see page 78 for special offers from Silversea. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 13


REAL PEOPLE REAL JOURNEYS

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Capturing the Galapagos A Photographic Expedition Text and major photography by LAURA TORRISI

O

ur first wet landing was on the island of Española. Boarding Zodiacs from the ship, we motored toward the shore, getting close enough to hop overboard and make our way through the gentle waves onto the pristine white sand. Immediately, our guide pointed to several marine iguanas basking on the rocks in sculpted stillness. They seemed to have no fear of the sixteen humans that had just washed ashore, cameras clicking away. The spell of the iguanas was quickly broken by a colony of sea lions that inhabited the beach – sleeping, nursing at their mothers’ bellies, turning their faces to the sun, wrestling in the sand. As I stood there, a small pup waddled across my feet in search of his mother. I snapped a photo, then pointed my camera down the beach at a row of sea lions basking side-by-side in the warm sun. Suddenly, one of them popped his head up and called out, “Laura! Take my picture!” It was my brother, Russell, lying amongst them. I smiled and obliged, and so our journey began.

As an art director and designer with a couple of decades of experience, I have overseen more than my fair share of professional photo shoots. Rarely, however, have I had the chance to work the camera equipment myself. Russell is an avid, and very good, amateur photographer who relishes every opportunity to capture new images for his collection. So, naturally, when I voiced my intention to embark on a photographic expedition in the Galapagos, my brother declared he was coming with me. And who was I to argue? Russell and I are both seasoned travelers. Separately and together, we have been all over the world. Usually, I opt for independent trips that give me the freedom to do as I please on any given day – but this trip was different. It was the Galapagos, after all, a protected biological reserve that’s threatened by everything from poachers and introduced predators to abnormal ocean temperatures that are altering the undersea ecosystem. For this trip, we enlisted the help of a travel agent who was an expert at finding and securing space on expedition cruises.

At the top of our list of criteria for the trip was access to expertise. We wanted to be able to glean information from a range of naturalists and photography gurus, and get one-onone time if we needed it. After looking at all the options, we chose Lindblad’s National Geographic Endeavour cruise over the popular 16-person catamaran trips because Endeavour offers such a large team of specialists. The ship carries 96 guests, a skilled crew, and seven seasoned naturalists, seven certified photography instructors, and undersea experts. Photography was a recurring theme but not a requirement. While Russell and I aspired to greater knowledge of our digital SLR cameras, many of our fellow passengers had point-and-shoots, smart phones, or no cameras at all; they were here to experience the islands. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 15


R E A L P E O P LE R EA L J O URNEYS

The guides told us to watch for the elusive Floreana mockingbird, which has been driven to near extinction. Lo and behold, as we cruised along the shoreline, we saw one of the endangered mockingbirds come to rest atop a cactus and strike a pose.

The Galapagos Islands form an archipelago that straddles the equator 600 miles off the west coast of Ecuador. They are the islands where Charles Darwin made the observations that shaped evolutionary science as we understand it today. They are a living demonstration of the ongoing natural processes of biology, zoology, geology, and oceanography. And they are setting the standard for how tourists and conservationists can work side-by-side to achieve common goals. We witnessed this cooperation firsthand. Prior to embarking on our first excursion, our expedition leader explained the rules that have been put in place by tour operators and the National Park Service to protect this precious habitat and the spectacular range of endemic species that live here. Our ship would be the only large ship within visible range during our expedition window, giving the experience a more intimate and exclusive feel and protecting the waters from overcrowding. Shore excursions would be limited to groups of no more than 16 people. And every group would be accompanied by a certified naturalist. We had seven naturalists on board, including: Sofia, Gilda, Salvador, Giancarlo, Celso, Walter, and Christian. Their depth of knowledge was astounding and 16 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

their dedication to the region was palpable. No question, no matter how obscure, went unanswered. The more we learned, the more we embraced our role as temporarily deputized conservationists. Most days began with a choice of sunrise Zodiac excursions. Back on board by 9:00 a.m., we would have breakfast and prepare for another activity, usually (hopefully) snorkeling. After lunch, we would attend lectures and photographic presentations away from the intense equatorial heat, as the ship transported us to our next adventure. On the island of Floreana, while others chose a nature walk with a good chance of seeing flocks of pink flamingos, I opted for

a photography excursion to a beach with olivine sand, black lava rock formations, hoards of Sally Lightfoot crabs, and birds circling overhead. Jeff, one of the photo instructors, helped me change settings to capture the birds in flight, adjust my exposure compensation for the black lava rock, and work on capturing the stillness of the water – the reflections, the ripples, and the mood. Later that morning, en route to a prime snorkeling spot, the guides told us to watch for the elusive Floreana mockingbird, which has been driven to near extinction by cats, rats, and other non-indigenous predators. Lo and behold, as we cruised along the shoreline, we saw one of the endangered mockingbirds come to rest atop a cactus and strike a pose.


Laura’s Expedition Essentials Our naturalist and photography instructor were both ecstatic. The cycles of life and death were on full display here. We witnessed the mating of giant tortoises, a rarely seen coupling of two Sally Lightfoot crabs, and majestic frigate birds with puffed red pouches building their nests. We also saw the skeleton of a sea lion on a beach, a Galapagos gull laid still on black lava rock, and a heron swooping

I was so close to a giant tortoise I could hear his rhythmic breathing and, finally, a low growl telling me to move back a bit further. I had never experienced anything like this before.

down to catch a crab for a meal. It all seemed to be in perfect balance. Each new day and each new island brought new terrain and wildlife, often vastly different from what we had seen just the day before. One of our stops was Santa Cruz, the most densely inhabited of the islands and home to a fascinating Tortoise Rearing Center. At one point during our excursion to see the tortoises in the wild, I was so close to a giant tortoise I could hear his rhythmic breathing and, finally, a low growl telling me to move back a bit further. I had never experienced anything like this before. Snorkeling the next day near the island of Bartolomé, I saw the black-andwhite flash of a Galapagos penguin speed by as a white tipped shark swam in the deepness

PRE-TRIP PREPARATION Before jetting off to Ecuador, I took a few classes at the local high school to refamiliarize myself with my digital SLR and its settings. I would have been fine without them, as the onboard instructors provided great guidance, but I also found the refresher extremely helpful in my first few days of shooting.

CAMERA EQUIPMENT Don’t leave home without a HoodLoupe, polarizing filters, and a good backpack. The HoodLoupe is a relatively inexpensive viewfinder that allows you to see the LCD display when you’re shooting in bright sunlight. Mine hung from my neck, was very useful in the intense equatorial sun, and was the envy of other photographers on board. Speaking of bright sunlight, be sure to bring a radial polarizing filter for your lens, which reduces the glare and “hot spots” and enhances the contrast when you need it most. Finally, get a good backpack that carries your equipment comfortably.

EXPEDITION GEAR I’m not normally a hat person but I highly recommend a proper expedition hat for this trip. It not only provides shade for your face but also allows you to see what you’re shooting. I also recommend a walking stick. The best one I saw on the trip was a combination walking stick and camera “monopod.” We took a lot of hikes and the people who had these were able to easily balance themselves and their cameras on uneven terrain. Last but not least, a satellite phone. The satellite phone our agent arranged for us allowed me to relax and enjoy the trip without worrying about my design business back home.


R E A L P E O P LE R EA L J O URNEYS

below. Later, snorkeling in a protected cove, we were amazed when a few sea lions slipped off their rocks and swam alongside us in play. That same day, Russell and I took an energetic morning hike up wooden stairs to Pinnacle Rock. The lower portion of the hike featured a combination of red, orange, green, and glistening black volcanic rock formations set against a barren landscape that showed plant life’s version of survival of the fittest. Even the cactus that grew beside the multicolored lava beds had an ethereal quality. Once at the top, we had a spectacular view of the entire cove and neighboring islands. Here, guest expert and National Geographic photographer Massimo Bassano patiently showed me how to set the exposure on my camera to capture a magical panoramic shot. Back on board Jennifer, another of the ship’s photo instructors, helped me get a great group shot of fellow passengers with whom we shared a comfortable camaraderie. There were several brother-sister sibling combinations, a number of couples, as well as singles who were traveling with friends, or solo, because their spouses weren’t up for the experience.

Shore excursions would be limited to groups of no more than 16 people. And every group would be accompanied by a certified naturalist.

On the last night of the trip, Russell and I followed Celso, one of our onboard naturalists, to the top deck for a spectacular star gazing session. With no light pollution from a big city to obscure our view, the night was pure darkness and the stars stood out like diamonds on black velvet. Celso pointed to bright stars and constellations that were unfamiliar to those of us who live in the northern hemisphere. South of the equator, there is no single pole star to use for navigation. Instead, a celestial marker known as Crux, or the Southern Cross, guides the way, with the long axis of the cross pointing roughly south when followed from “top” to “bottom.” Using the knowledge I had gained from a week spent traveling with skilled photographers, I set my camera for a long exposure and aimed for the stars. b

To plan your own Galapagos adventure, contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. 18 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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Days of Discovery and Fun Every day of the itinerary includes at least one Family Discovery: a chance for kids to connect to a destination by interacting directly with nature, culture and local kids.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 19


PROFILE: WORLD VISIONARY

Mission Blue Dr. Sylvia Earle O C C U PATI O N

Oceanographer, marine biologist, author, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence LI F E - C H A N G I N G J O U R N E Y

A 1966 research expedition to the Galapagos I D E A L G E TAWAY

Diving in any pristine ocean environment where sea life is protected

Dr. Sylvia Earle speaks for the ocean. Passionately advocating for preservation of the planet’s blue regions, Earle has been called “Her Deepness” and named a “Hero for the Planet” by Time. by MICHAEL SHAPIRO

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Formerly a chief scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Sylvia Earle founded the advocacy group Mission Blue. She co-founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, which builds submersibles and other equipment to explore the ocean’s depths. When Earle was 12, her family moved from New Jersey to Florida, where her backyard was the Gulf of Mexico. As a young scientist during the 1960s, she joined expeditions to the Indian Ocean and the Galapagos. In 1970 she spent two weeks underwater in a capsule called Tektite II.

After logging more than 7,000 hours underwater (more than a year’s worth of waking hours!), Earle, 79, knows how high the stakes are. “The most important thing we extract from the ocean is our existence,” she says. “Our very lives depend on a healthy, stable ocean.” Her goal is to create a planetary network of Hope Spots, aquatic preserves, to protect 30% of the planet’s oceans by 2030. Last August, Netflix released Mission Blue, a documentary about Earle’s quest to explore and protect oceans. “I see things that others do not, a different world, a world that’s changed enormously just in my lifetime,” she says. Directed by Fisher Stevens, the film is changing the way many people view the oceans that sustain us.


What was your goal for the documentary, Mission Blue? The intent of the film is to get people to understand that with every breath they take, every drop of water they drink, the ocean touches them. I had intended that the film be more about the ocean and less about Sylvia Earle. But having people see the ocean through my eyes as a witness seems to resonate with many.

Can you tell me about the youthful exuberance you felt as you discovered the ocean? All children are born explorers. It’s in human nature to explore. And to look with a sense of wonder at everything around them. I think I have been fortunate in retaining that same attitude of wonder and joy.

worth a thousand words, but an experience has to be worth a thousand pictures.

You’ve been a big advocate for people getting into the water. Definitely, that’s it. If you look through the eyes of an astronaut, the world is blue. There’s nothing like going to the Galapagos and seeing for yourself the attitude of wild animals. That must have been what the world was like thousands of years ago when (most) animals knew no fear.

Galapagos

I strongly urge people to go to places where wildlife is protected. Go to places where we have made peace with the fish and the other creatures, and you will see things and have experiences that will change your attitude about life.

How have you approached your explorations? When I travel underwater, I get to see things that maybe others cannot because I respect the fish, I respect the creatures who live there and try not to frighten them. I try to see the world through their perspective.

That sounds like what Dr. Jane Goodall said about the chimpanzees in Tanzania. She sat in the forest and let them approach her. I do the same thing underwater. I sit and let them come to me. I have engaged lobsters who are really curious once you give them a chance to be themselves. If you thrash around or poke them or pull on them, they’re going to resist and be frightened. But if you just go patiently and become a part of what is naturally there, not threatening, then amazing things can happen.

Can you speak to the importance of travel? Travelers can be a powerful force for good. I think that traveling is the best education that anyone can have. You cannot go to another country without changing your perspective. Once you travel out of your comfort zone to places where you have to stretch a bit, you will not be the same person. A picture is

FOR THOSE YET TO SCUBA DIVE Dr. Earle’s advice for those who haven’t plunged into the deep blue sea.

It’s rarely too late

Consider a sub

My mother finally did get into the water at age 81 and scolded me for not getting her into the ocean before. She advised people that if they’re 81, don’t wait any longer. People can start at almost any age, especially in warm clear waters like in Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Maldives or Palau. For kids it’s like getting an education, they’re learning a language, the language of fish.

Anyone who can get into a car or an airplane can get into a submarine. There are dozens of passenger submarines around the world. The Cayman Islands has a submarine that will take a couple of people down 1,000 feet. In Hawaii there are several passenger submarines that take 30 or 40 people at a time. You get to see fish in the real aquarium, the big aquarium, the ocean!

Start on the surface Snorkeling is a great way to get acquainted with the ocean, but that’s just the upper area.

Visit aquariums Monterey Bay Aquarium is probably the best in the world. They have learned how to think like a fish. It’s not the same as going into the ocean but aquariums are doing their best to create comfortable, thoughtful habitats.

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P ROFILE : WO R L D V I S I O NARY

Was it hard to go on explorations when you were a young mother? Having a family that backed me up instead of saying “you can’t go,” I was able to do things beyond what women were traditionally doing.

Were you limited by gender biases during the ’60s? There were certain limits. The idea of (a young woman) being chief scientist was not acceptable at the time. Now it is. But in the ’60s, no way. Either you accept it and get on with it and be happy for what you can do or not. You roll with it and take advantage of the opportunities you have, just keep pressing forward, doing the best that you can.

What do we most urgently need to protect? Coral reefs are metropolises of activity, great centers of biodiversity. If we protected every coral reef that wouldn’t do the job, but it would help keep some of the critical aspects of our life support system intact. We should employ the precautionary principle: if you don’t know what something is good for, proceed with caution and care. If you have never seen your heart, you don’t know what it’s good for, but you’re glad it exists. I am glad the ocean, the blue heart of the planet, is still beating away, but we have put great stress on the ocean. Half the coral reefs are already gone or in a state of decline, 90% of many of the fish already gone. It’s obvious that if we fail to protect the ocean now, nothing else matters because the ocean governs the way the world works. Ten years ago, a fraction of 1% of the ocean had some form of protection; now it’s close to 3%. It’s still a tiny part of what needs to be done. We are at a

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tipping point: Can we get ourselves on track to protect the world that keeps us alive? The ocean is fundamental, critical, to making that happen.

Would you cite a success story? Palau, Micronesia, has taken the initiative: 80% of its waters are now targeted for no commercial extraction of the ocean’s wildlife, no tuna, no lobsters, no swordfish, no sharks. They are protecting their borders, their blue borders. They want to have healthy coral reef zones. You’ve got to protect them if you want people to come and see them.

For me there’s just one hope spot – it’s called the earth and it’s mostly blue. We can make things better. Let’s find different ways, creative, wonderful ways, to feed ourselves. We don’t have to eat ocean wildlife.

You have done so much in your life, what are you most proud of? I hope that I’ve been able to convey a sense of respect and caring for the natural world. We are a part of it, not apart from it.

In your lifetime you have seen tremendous changes in the ocean. Do you feel despair, hope? I feel both (laughs). I could easily curl up in a sad little ball and say, “It’s over; there’s nothing we can do,” but there’s never been a time when we know what we now know. We have the capacity to get it right. The question is: do we have the will? There are plenty of reasons for hope. We still have 10% of the sharks, for some species of sharks it’s maybe 1%, but they’re not all gone, yet. Palau


Antarctica F O R B E G I N N E R S : T H E E N S E M B L E © H O W -T O

by HELEN HEWETSON

U

ntil relatively recently, only explorers, researchers and the most intrepid travelers made the journey — partly because there were simply very few ways to get there for commercial travelers. These days, the options are plentiful and Antarctica has approximately 35,000 visitors per year. That number is growing quickly, as cruise lines and adventure operators get in on the trend. Don’t expect a McDonald’s any time soon though — the numbers are still very small. In fact, the tiny Polynesian kingdom of Tonga receives 25% more visitors per year than Antarctica! Today’s Antarctic explorers have loads of options, whether on a small ship, a large, luxury vessel, or even a fly/cruise vacation to avoid some of the days at sea. Whatever you choose, a journey to the coldest continent will, without doubt, be an extraordinary trip, but there are some factors to consider when planning a journey to Antarctica. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 23


What do you want to see?

When do you want to go? Travel to Antarctica is really only possible during the Austral Summer months, from November to March, when the weather is mild (hovering around 32° Fahrenheit) and the days are long. During the rest of the year the continent is plunged into the almost total, freezing darkness of winter. It’s a good idea to book far in advance; voyages sell out quickly and there are a limited number of berths available in any one season.

How do you want to get there? There are loads of ways to go – from Crystal Cruises’ 1,070-passenger deluxe cruise on board Crystal Serenity (departing January, 2016) to Seabourn’s luxury journey on board Seabourn Quest. This epic trip with two departures per year goes from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso (or reverse) via Antarctica and offers just about every possible amenity to make your time more enjoyable. Holland America Line offers several longer journeys visiting Antarctica on the m/s Prisendam, such as a 36-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires (via the Panama Canal). Or, if budget isn’t a concern, there’s even an option to fly down from Cape Town, South Africa and stay in an ultra-luxury camp for 8 days with Kensington Tours. This adventure, limited to 12 people, includes an excursion to the South Pole and a chance to visit a vast colony of emperor penguins.

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Have you always wanted to cross over the Antarctic Circle? Or come face-to-face with a red-eyed, yellow-crested, rockhopper penguin? Or see where the famous explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, finally found rescue after his epic journey on The Endurance? Depending on your interests, you’ll find different trips to suit. There are only a handful of trips going as far south as the Antarctic Circle. And in the Western Antarctic, rockhopper penguins can only be found in the Falkland Islands (visited by Crystal Cruises, Holland America and several others). Sir Ernest Shackleton found his rescue on South Georgia Island, offered as part of an itinerary with Kensington Tours. So, if you have a particular interest it’s very important to research your itineraries carefully – unless of course, like many people, you’re really just interested in going to Antarctica for the chance to tick your seventh continent off your list. If that’s your motivation, then there are many choices – you can cruise down with any number of operators, or even try out a fly/cruise vacation if you’re tight on time.

How much do you want to do? Some people have dreamed of taking the “polar plunge” – an icy dip in Antarctic

waters – and others have always wanted to kayak nearby or camp on the Antarctic continent overnight. The available options vary widely by operator, and depending on your choice, you might find yourself getting off the ship twice a day for a Zodiac cruise or continental landing – or just once or twice in total! Be sure to check before you book.

What about amenities? For some cruisers, the onboard amenities are a make-or break concern. If you can’t imagine a day without satellite television or an evening without entertainment, then you’ll need to examine your Antarctica options carefully. Just about all of the ships have a bar, a lounge, a library, a functional gym, and on-board lectures about the destination. Some, such as the 450-passenger luxury Seabourn Quest, have features like casinos, several whirlpools, cafés and a show-style theatre. The Western Antarctic is the most accessible part of the region for North Americans, and it includes a huge area. Here are some of the incredible highlights of the region to get you excited for your journey... b As always, your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant can help you find the perfect Antarctic adventure to suit your every need. Please contact them for more information.


HIGHLIGHTS OF ANTARCTICA Chile and Argentina

The Drake Passage

These are the two countries closest to Western Antarctica — and, not surprisingly, they’ve been arguing over Antarctic sovereignty pretty much forever (along with the British, but that’s another story…) These days it’s just a gentle grumble: the continent is covered by the Antarctic Treaty, which stipulates that no one country actually owns any part of Antarctica.

This notorious body of water is home to some of the wildest seas on earth — and it’s a necessary crossing for most trips to Antarctica. For many people, the best part about having been across is being able to casually mention it in conversation: as in, “Ah, yes, those are some rough seas. But I remember once, when we were crossing The Drake…” — because once you’ve done it, you have bragging rights for life.

Punta Arenas & Ushuaia These two southern cities (Punta Arenas in Chile, and Ushuaia in Argentina) are the embarkation point for many Antarctica cruises. Each with their own charm, the cities are both a lively combination of bars and restaurants, international travelers, and gear rental places. With almost endless opportunity for hiking, horseback riding and other outdoorsy pursuits nearby, you might consider spending a couple of extra days if you have the time.

The Antarctic Peninsula

The Falkland Islands Long the object of a sovereignty battle, these islands are quite fiercely British; from the grocery shop to the local pub and the museum in the capital Stanley, there should be no doubt who the victors of the Falklands War were. Outside of Stanley, visitors to the Falklands may have the chance to visit the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world, or see a colony of rockhopper penguins, or come face-to-beak with a Johnny Rook. Fearless wildlife, spectacular scenery and English crisps: these islands are magic.

Buenos Aires Many visitors stop here en route to Antarctica — either because they’re taking a domestic flight to Ushuaia, or for departures straight from the main port. It’s well worth taking an extra couple of days to acclimatize, take in some tango, sample some of the world-famous barbeque, enjoy a coffee and a pastry and soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere.

South Georgia This inhospitable island is home to several enormous king penguin colonies, scores of elephant and fur seals, a few abandoned whaling stations, magnificent glaciers and mountains, and perhaps most famously, the final resting place of polar pioneer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. And what a final resting spot it is! Most visitors describe South Georgia as the most incredible part of their Antarctica trip — you will not regret it if you go.

This is it, the main attraction for most visitors: the coldest, driest, windiest and most remote place on earth. Stops on the peninsula entirely depend on weather and ice conditions, so no two voyages will be the same. Popular places to visit include Neko Harbour — where it’s possible to climb up a steep slope for an extraordinarily beautiful view; the Gerlache Strait — home to stunning iceburgs and incredible vistas; and Port Lockroy, where visitors delight to find a working museum and post office. (Sending a postcard from Antarctica is lots of fun, even if it does get home after you do)!

Elephant Island One tiny part of this icy and unwelcoming island was home to 22 stranded men for four and a half months during Ernest Shackleton’s illfated 1914 Endurance expedition. It’s impossible to imagine how brutal the conditions must have been until you see the little rocky outcrop for yourself. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 25


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

BEYON D EX PECTAT ION:

Wishes, Whims and Wants are included

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26 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015


Wanderlust Fulfilled Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ six-star fleet host only 490 or 700 pampered guests, which allow the vessels access to more intimate and off-the-beaten-path ports that larger vessels simply cannot visit. Guests fulfill their wanderlust with itineraries that visit the world’s most extraordinary destinations that spoil them with a wealth of alluring vistas and memorable experiences across 250 ports of call. Here are just a few of the breathtaking and awe-inspiring places the line will be sailing in 2015:

• Seven Seas Voyager® calls on exciting ports during her Northern Europe sailings, including the Solovetsky Islands in Russia. A 20-night, round-trip sailing from Copenhagen departing July 6 explores the Norwegian fjords. And on the 28-night, Cape Town-to-Singapore voyage she calls on Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Sabang, Indonesia.

• Seven Seas Mariner® sails the beautiful Mediterranean with calls on hidden gems like Trieste, Italy; Almería, Spain; and Gythion, Greece. Overnight destinations include Venice, Barcelona, Lisbon and Istanbul.

• Seven Seas Navigator® explores the Americas, as she sails along the ancient and magnificent glaciers of Alaska on 16 voyages. In September, she embarks on a 21-night itinerary that begins in San Francisco and transits through the Panama Canal, concluding in New York. From there, the colors of the fall season take center stage as she calls on the eastern seaboard’s most beautiful cities.

Six-Star Refreshed Fleet Each of the line’s ships completed a multimillion-dollar refurbishment with refreshed and rejuvenated features that exude an aura of Park Avenue elegance and sophistication. Designed with the comfort of discerning guests in mind, the fleet boasts dramatic, new interiors and refreshed exterior decks. Suites received new décor with custom-crafted elegant furnishings, while lounges and public spaces underwent complete transformations exuding a renewed sense of style.

The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built™ The six-star fleet will soon have the addition of Seven Seas Explorer®, which is slated to be The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built™. The new ship will make her much anticipated debut in the summer of 2016. The first piece of steel has already been cut and construction has officially begun at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy. The ceremonial first piece of steel cut will serve as the foundation for an opulent, one-of-akind owner’s suite unlike any other at sea. When she debuts, Seven Seas Explorer will establish a new benchmark for style and service and perfectly complement the all-inclusive luxury experience currently enjoyed by guests sailing with Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

You really can have it all Wherever guests choose to sail aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises, they enjoy the world’s most inclusive luxury experience. Each voyage promises an unforgettable journey to the world’s greatest destinations, where everything is included, without exception and without compromise.

Please see page 76 for special offers from Regent Seven Seas Cruises. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 27


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

AVALON WATERWAYS This is a river cruise company that invites innovation, imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space to be its guide. The result? MORE SPACE. BIGGER VIEWS. MORE COMFORT … All thanks to one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM on the industry’s only Suite Ships®.

WHEN DESIGNING ITS SHIPS, AVALON WATERWAYS STARTED WITH THE TRAVELER INSTEAD OF THE SHIP.

The Suite Ships of Avalon are revolutionizing the river cruise industry. On these signature vessels, Avalon brings an unprecedented level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail to every aspect of the Panorama Suites, providing travelers an oasis to escape to, not escape from. Even better? Avalon doesn’t offer travelers just a few Panorama Suites on each ship. Instead, 80 percent of the guest rooms on Suite Ships are Panorama Suite (they’re 30 percent larger than the average river cruise room).

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In designing its ships, Avalon has refused to see space as a barrier. That fact couldn’t be truer when looking at the company’s inspired indoor/outdoor space. For instance, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies®, a completely new concept, make full use of the intended balcony experience – in any weather condition, in any season – without compromising room space. How? Giant wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows with a 7-foot opening. Avalon has considered every detail of the cruise experience, but perhaps it’s what the

company hasn’t done that makes it so unique. It hasn’t filled ships to capacity with people. In fact, because the river cruise line made its rooms so spacious, there are less people on board. Simply put, Avalon Waterways is built for the traveler. Please see page 70 for special offers from Avalon Waterways. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.


We believe a voyage should take you

FURTHER THAN your destination.

Enjoy spectacular destinations and the unparalleled all inclusive Crystal Experiences ® featuring complimentary fine wines, champagne, premium spirits, non-alcoholic beverages, dining in specialty restaurants*, gratuities and so much more. Book by February 28, 2015 to enjoy limited-time Book Now Fares in every category and Ensemble® Hosted Cruise Amenities: services of an onboard concierge host, private cocktail party and an exclusive shore event. 2015 Voyage

Date

Days

Itinerary

Ship

Brochure Per Person Fares From

Book Now Per Person Fares From

5207

Mar 22

13

Hong Kong to Beijing

Crystal Symphony

$12,240

$3,820

5308

May 4

13

Miami to Lisbon

Crystal Serenity

$9,180

$2,990

5216

Jul 8

18

Reykjavik to London

Crystal Symphony

$19,770

$8,435

5232

Dec 19

15

San Juan to Rio de Janeiro

Crystal Symphony

$18,990

$6,995

5332

Dec 22

14

Round-trip Miami

Crystal Serenity

$14,650

$5,975

To book your cruise on the World’s Best, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

BEGIN A NEW STORY™ Book Now Cruise-Only Fares are per person in U.S. dollars, double occupancy for category E2 on Crystal Symphony / C3 on Crystal Serenity and include all promotional savings, apply to new bookings only made between 11/01/2014 - 2/28/2015 and do not include port, security and handling charges of $250 - $810. All offers may not be combinable with other promotions, apply to first two full-fare guests in stateroom or suite, are capacity-controlled, subject to availability and may be withdrawn or changed at any time without notice. Optional air add-ons are available from designated Crystal Cruises’ gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada and include all government taxes and fees. *Crystal Cruises offers each guest the opportunity to dine at least once on a complimentary basis in Prego and at least once in Silk Road or the Sushi Bar (Sushi Bar is not available for pre-reservation via PCPC and is available on a first come first serve basis). Contact your Ensemble Travel Group consultant for more details. Guests must be booked in Ensemble Group G304 to be eligible for special amenities. All fares, itineraries, programs, policies and shore excursions are subject to change. Restrictions apply. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas


PROFILE: PERSONAL JOURNEY

Around the WORLD and Back Again AFTER YEARS CIRCLING THE GLOBE BEX BISHOP RETURNS TO HER NAPA HOMELAND TO MAKE HER OWN WINES, INFUSED WITH A WORLDLY SENSIBILITY

Bex Bishop O C C U PATI O N

Marketer, publisher, winemaker F I R ST B IT TE N BY TH E TR AV E L B U G

1988 in Romania SOUVENIRS

Two rescue chinchillas, Pinot and Champers

by SUZANNE GANNON

Although Rebecca “Bex” Bishop may have temporarily stowed her passport in a drawer out in her old (grape-) stomping grounds of Napa to pursue a career as a maker of limited-production Blanc de Noirs, Syrah, and Pinot Noir Rose, one suspects the chronic travel-holic has a future wide open to globe-trotting opportunities. In 2009 the former publisher of Business Traveler magazine and one-time marketing director of The Wall Street Journal, who has touched down in more than 80 countries, headed west to her home neighborhood to help her mom who was ill. Shortly thereafter, she enrolled in a series of winemaking classes at Napa Valley College and UC Davis. Five years later, as the proprietor of BX of Napa Wines & Cork, she has survived an earthquake that toppled her barrels, rebounded after her grapes were stolen from a vineyard, and racked up 30 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

several awards as well as pouring invitations to The Beard House and celebrity events like the Sundance Film Festival. Plus her mom is now healthy. “I like to say my hobby ate my business life,” she says. “I took every winemaking course available and pursued each with gusto. But I wasn’t planning on becoming a winemaker. I just accidentally made some wine.” This veteran nomad has a lot to say about the world she inhabits. Here’s what she had

to share about her personal travel history, the intersection of wine and travel, and her tips for fellow adventurers:

You’ve covered a lot of ground in a relatively short time. What’s your travel secret? I’m always trying to do the add-ons and to make as many stops as possible along my route. Also, I tack a couple of vacation days onto any three-day holiday and I also use time between jobs as a travel opportunity. You’ve got to be creative about how to expand your travel time.


How did you make the transition from publishing and marketing to wine? I was born and raised in Napa so I grew up in wine country. I went to school at Dartmouth, spent time in D.C., and then in New York. While I was in New York working as the director of marketing for The Wall Street Journal, I hosted wine tastings at my home. A friend who was the event-planner at Cipriani restaurant and who had attended my wine parties asked me to fill in for the sommelier at a big wine event at the restaurant. And then I was invited back. I was the Napa wine girl in New York. And I was passionate about organic wines but there was not yet a publication that covered them. So I started The Organic Wine Journal. It was the right place, right time.

Do you think your travels have affected your career? I have visited more than 80 countries and I speak seven languages and so I got my job as the publisher of Business Traveler magazine because I had already done all of the traveling. I think I have brought the flavors I have encountered in my travels to my work as a winemaker. In 2012 I was granted a Rotary scholarship to visit Burgundy and Champagne in France. It was amazing how my taste changed. When I was living in New York I’d always had such a house palate; I’d always preferred Carneros fruit. Then when I returned from that trip I had acquired a French palate and favored the Pommard clone, which is very Burgundian – I loved its expression.

What is different about this job from your previous jobs? Now, as a winemaker, I am living my dream. But I am a bit tied down when it comes to travel. My grapes are my babies. I brought in about three million of them this year.

In your travels have you encountered other wine regions that stand out in your mind? Lebanon produces some really great wines. One year when my office was closed I spent the week in Chile visiting wineries for articles for

The Organic Wine Journal. I had great flexibility and spontaneity and everyone kept asking when my husband was arriving – the Chileans could not wrap their heads around my independence. Also, I’ve crossed the U.S. three times and stopped in each state to taste the wines. In Idaho for example, French grapes do not necessarily grow well, but right next door, in Walla Walla, Washington, they thrive. I’ve tried wines in North Carolina, Arkansas, and Alabama.

I spent my first ten travel years not going to pretty places but going to places where I could absorb humanity. How has your travel affected your winemaking? I think it’s influenced my taste and my exposure. Wine is being made in every part of the world and I make a point of trying to discover it. In addition, I try to taste local delicacies like crickets and mealworm in China. Monkey brains aren’t going to happen though. At home, my mom who is a Le Cordon Bleu chef, gave us cooking lessons. I think we talked about flavors more than most families.

What is one of your earliest travel memories? In 1988 my mother and brother and I went to Romania where there was no toilet paper and very little food. It was bizarre, eye-opening and tragic to see how others lived. I was struck by how little the people had under Ceausescu and yet how giving and kind they were at the same time. As a result I spent my first ten travel years not going to pretty places but going to places where I could absorb humanity.

Do you have any favorite places? Tahiti, Galapagos, Machu Picchu, among others.

Do you have any special mementos from your adventures? Last January I adopted two rescue chinchillas, Pinot and Champers, that I hope to take back to their homeland in the Andes one day. They are adoring and loving and they have huge personalities. Plus they live for 20 years. I discovered them when pouring at an event during the Sundance Film Festival. There was a person there with a chinchilla coat that cost probably $30,000. And then I learned the coat required 200 chinchillas to make as well as how horribly they were treated.

What’s your advice to fellow travelers? Go get lost. Don’t go to English-speaking countries; they’re not as fun. You have to learn the words in the local language for “yes,” “no,” “please,” “thank you,” “can I have?” “hello,” and “good bye.” Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 31


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Ardent fans of Backroads small group tours have long raved about the benefits of getting actively involved in the places they visit. With over 2,500 annual departures in 45 countries, these popular biking, walking, hiking, and multisport trips bring enthusiasts back for fresh adventures year after year. Now, even more travelers can join the fun with new tours that appeal to a wider range of interests and fitness levels.

Newto get Ways into theAction Tasting tours with an active twist

For those whose favorite sport involves savoring new flavors, Backroads Active Gourmet Tours offer satisfying workouts for the mind, body ... and palate. Trips through Tuscany, Provence, and the California Wine Country include biking and walking amongst nourishing landscapes; visits with farmers, vintners, bakers, and olive oil producers; as well as epicurean experiences with skilled local chefs.

Cycling tours with an added boost Now travelers can experience the thrill of a cycling tour with a little extra push when they need it most. Backroads’ expanded fleet of customized bicycles now includes “electric-assist” bikes outfitted with BionX silent-running battery packs that enable riders to boost their pedaling power on hills or extended climbs. Overnight charging is handled by tour leaders so riders can spend their evenings celebrating the day’s accomplishments. Backroads’ innovative, active tours also include: combination river cruise and cycling tours; culturally enriching “insider” trips; family breakaways for older teens and young adults; mother and daughter trips in the month of May to celebrate Mother’s Day; thrilling snow country adventures; and spring training tours for avid cyclists. Please see page 66 for special offers from Backroads. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. 32 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

There’s No Place on Earth Like O‘ahu From its famous surf culture to the vibrant nightlife of Waikiki, the Island of O‘ahu pulses with the beat of contemporary Hawaiian culture. Rustic towns, renowned surfing beaches, cultural treasures, and quaint shops populate the Island’s north side. Follow the ribbon of highway through O‘ahu’s plantation heritage and into historic Pearl Harbor, or stroll the bustling streets of cosmopolitan Honolulu. Travelers who want to be active on vacation, sample many things, enjoy an urban environment, and unique culture, leave the Island more energized than when they arrived.

Six Islands, each with its own unique personality. Bathed in sunshine, surrounded by the sea, and infused with a legendary spirit – known throughout the world as aloha, which breathes life into all who embrace it — the Hawaiian Islands are where happiness is a way of life. And where it’s possible to live in the moment for as long as you like. Discover incredible adventures on two of the six Hawaiian Islands:

O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island

So what are you waiting for? Don’t let the moments pass you by. Start planning your Hawai‘i vacation today and you’ll soon be rewarded with the best life has to offer:

fresh air, warm sunshine, wonderful food, smiling faces, and best of all, the time to enjoy them all.

Hawai‘i Island Hawai‘i Island isn’t just big, it’s still constantly growing and evolving. From beneath enormous Kilauea, molten lava flows upward from the earth’s core and then oozes down long slopes into the sea to further expand the shoreline of the largest and youngest of the Hawaiian Islands. Along with the wonder of the new, the Island of Hawai‘i has heiau (temples), rich culture, and timeless beauty. Wide-open spaces and uncrowded natural landscapes invite exploration as the sweet tropical air invigorates body and spirit. Please see page 67 for special offers on Hawaiian Islands vacations. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 33


U.S. CITY SPOTLIGHT: SAN FRANCISCO

E t e r n a l To u r i s t i n

San Francisco San Francisco has long been a city of possibility, a place where goldminers came in hopes of striking it rich and immigrants sought a better life. With cable cars that rise to the stars, historic hotels with topoor bars, and cultural options from ballet to the blues, San Francisco opens its Golden Gate to visitors from near and far. by JACQUELINE YAU

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E

very time I cross the Golden Gate Bridge and drive into San Francisco, my breath catches; I’m a devotee to the city anew. It can be morning, afternoon or evening; sunny, cloudy or foggy, it doesn’t matter. San Francisco’s skyline, Alcatraz, and the Bay Bridge unfold into view as the bay reflects the city’s unique light. My first memories of the city are of the cacophonous chatter of Cantonese relatives as I played with my cousins in the Richmond

neighborhood or as I raced down the streets of Chinatown to my favorite bakery after having a dim sum weekend brunch. San Francisco is known for its patchwork quilt of ethnic neighborhoods. I love the murals and Latino culture of the Mission and the lively ambiance of the Castro district, a hub of gay pride. The Castro Theater, an art deco wonder built in 1922, seen in the documentary “Milk,” has live Wurlitzer organ music before its showings of classic films.

AT T R AC T ION S

ALCATRAZ Once known as the United States’ most secure federal prison and the backdrop to many Hollywood movies, “The Rock” is now a popular destination operated by the National Park Service. If you’re feeling brave, spend a moment “locked” in a jail cell. Alcatraz now has an installation featuring the works of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, through late April.

ANGEL ISLAND Not far from Alcatraz (there are summer tours that offer visits to both islands) is Angel Island, the U.S. gateway for about a million Asian immigrants in the early 20th century. Poems from heartsick detainees remain on the walls of Angel Island’s Immigration Station. Pack a picnic and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding Bay Area while hiking around the island.

MUSEUMS San Francisco has had a renaissance in museums in recent years. The de Young adds luster to Golden Gate Park; the Museum of Modern Art (closed until 2016) is expanding to house the Fisher Collection of contemporary art; and the Asian Art Museum is one of the world’s leading centers of classic and modern Asian works. Other favorites include the Legion of Honor fine arts museum in a French neo-classical building. If you love cable cars, don’t miss the Cable Car Museum.

STAIRWAY WALKS Some of the “streets” of San Francisco can be traversed only on foot, as homes all over the city are located up narrow stairways. There are dozens of appealing stairways in San Francisco. The Filbert Steps are narrow wooden stairs with overhanging trees frequented by the green parrots of Telegraph Hill. The Mosaic tile stairs on 16th Avenue is a neighborhood art project. For an excellent guide, get the book, “Stairway Walks in San Francisco” by Adah Bakalinsky.

W H E R E T O STAY NAPA The Meritage Resort & Spa

SONOMA The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

SAN FRANCISCO Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square The Fairmont San Francisco Grand Hyatt San Francisco

Hotel Zetta Palace Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel W San Francisco

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 35


U . S . C IT Y SP OT L IG H T: SAN FRANC IS CO

FO OD & DR I N K

In San Francisco you can startle and satisfy your palate with bargain bites, gourmet cuisine and everything in between. Among the creations the city claims: the Missionstyle burrito, fortune cookie, cioppino, Crab Louis salad, and Irish coffee.

Bourbon & Branch

Go back in time to the Prohibition era at BOURBON & BRANCH, a speakeasy serving spirits and cocktails with fresh ingredients from the farmers market. If you love tequila and margaritas, visit tequila ambassador Julio Bermejo at TOMMY’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT in the Richmond District.

Zuni Café

For a taste of San Francisco history, tuck into a bowl of seafood cioppino at the legendary TADICH GRILL downtown. Take in an indie film while slurping oysters or dining at FOREIGN CINEMA. Another sure-to-satisfy culinary destination is ZUNI CAFÉ; try the chicken roasted in the brick oven.

The Slanted Door

Treat yourself to an evening of warm hospitality and delicious contemporary American tasting menus at GARY DANKO. Sip a Peony cocktail and sample South Indian dishes at DOSA on Fillmore Street. Other local favorites are KOKKARI, with sumptuous Greek dishes, and THE SLANTED DOOR for inventive Vietnamese food.

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North Beach is San Francisco’s version of Little Italy. This is where the Beat poets roamed, and the neighborhood remains home to the fiercely independent City Lights Books, historic cafes such as the Savoy Tivoli, terrific pizza places, and the long-running show Beach Blanket Babylon, a wild satirical romp though pop culture and San Francisco history. The Ferry Building and its signature clock tower survived the Great Earthquake of 1906. Today it’s an epicurean’s dream of fresh produce (especially on farmers market days: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays until 2pm), artisan foods and gifts. I like to meet friends there for a cup of coffee and a bite of chocolate, or to dine at The Slanted Door, Charles Phan’s world-renowned Vietnamese restaurant. Alongside the Ferry building is the Embarcadero, a waterfront promenade that arcs more than two miles from the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark to Fisherman’s Wharf, where I’ve been savoring fresh Dungeness crab and clam chowder served in a sourdough-bread bowl since I was a kid. Two favorites there include Musée Mécanique, with functioning arcade games that date back to the early 20th century; and the Exploratorium, an interactive science museum at Pier 15 geared for kids of all ages. On the west side of the city, I love strolling through Golden Gate Park. Within its leafy sanctuary is the de Young museum, tranquil Japanese Tea Garden, and the California Academy of Sciences. For a serene afternoon, my husband and I rent a boat and paddle on Stow Lake in the heart of the park. And there’s nothing like a leisurely walk along the park’s paved trails. Golden Gate Park ends across the street from Ocean Beach. If I’m feeling energetic, I’ll walk on the beach (or the sidewalk above it) or along the Lands End trail and enjoy sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Ocean and Marin Headlands. Then I’ll get a drink or a bite at the Cliff House, perched on the edge of the continent, and watch the sun slide slowly into the sea. b


Day Trips and Overnight Getaways

NORT H B AY Cross the Golden Gate Bridge to see the bluffs of the Marin Headlands. Drive along roads offering picture-postcard views of San Francisco. Watch red-tailed hawks soar off Hawk Hill, or explore Point Bonita Lighthouse. In Mill Valley, wander among the old-growth redwoods of Muir Woods; nearby are the twin peaks of Mt. Tam. Drive to near the top of the East Peak for panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and beyond.

Along the coast in Marshall is Hog Island Oyster Co. Stop by for some halfshell heaven and tour the working oyster farm on Tomales Bay. To further explore the coast, visit Pt. Reyes National Seashore with trails (ideal for day hikes) along the Pacific. Farther north is the Sonoma and Napa wine country. Most bus tours visit large wineries in Napa. For a more personal experience, consider Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley region with boutique wineries like family-owned Seghesio. Nearby is the picturesque town of

Healdsburg, with lovely restaurants like Scopa, tasting rooms and an appealing town square. In Napa, hop aboard the Wine Train, which runs from Napa to St. Helena. Sit back, taste some superb vintages and watch the wine country roll by. When it comes to wine country dining, everyone raves about The French Laundry. But my favorite restaurant in the Napa Valley is Tra Vigne in St. Helena, where outstanding Italian food is perfectly paired with local wines in an elegant yet relaxed Tuscan setting.

E A ST B AY

Berkeley

Berkeley’s University of California, with its landmark Campanile, is a good place for a stroll or a campus tour. A hotbed of protest in the 1960s, the city of Berkeley now has a more relaxed vibe and has become known for its epicurean innovations. Chez Panisse opened in 1971 and was among the first to use fresh, local and organic ingredients in haute cuisine.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

S OU T H B AY Located in Silicon Valley, the pastoral Stanford University campus is home to an outstanding collection of Rodin bronzes (200 works in all) at the Cantor Arts Center. Art lovers will also enjoy the Anderson Collection, an assemblage of 20th-century American art featuring De Kooning, Thiebaud and Diebenkorn.

Continue south to Santa Cruz and its famed Beach Boardwalk. If the old wooden rollercoaster isn’t your speed, try to spot migrating gray whales. Then visit Monterey, where John Steinbeck set “Cannery Row.” Today the main attraction is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where jellyfish tanks look like modern art installations.

If time allows, venture into nearby Carmel Valley and spend the night at Bernardus Lodge. The chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings at the on-site Marinus restaurant is one of California’s premier dining experiences. Dinner here is worth the trip to Carmel Valley.

To plan your own San Francisco getaway, contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 37


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

O C EAN IA C R U IS ES O FFERS TH E FI N ES T CU ISI N E AT SEA & D ES TI NATI O N-RI CH TRAVEL

Oceania Cruises appeals to discerning, sophisticated travelers in search of world-class cuisine, impeccable personal service, enriching onboard experiences and itineraries exploring many of the world’s iconic locales. Oceania Cruises sails to more than 330 ports around the globe with a fleet of mid-size ships that enable the line to explore many exotic and intimate ports of call not accessible by larger vessels. With a perfect fusion of classic and off-the-beaten-path ports, Oceania Cruises places an emphasis on offering destination-rich itineraries.

In addition, multiple overnight stays and later evening departures afford in-depth, enriching destination experiences that allow travelers to immerse themselves in the cuisine, culture and history of the ports Oceania Cruises visits. Shore excursions feature both the top, must-see sights and hidden treasures such as the famed Emerald Grotto on the Amalfi Coast, and tuckedaway villages on Bora Bora.

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AWARD-WINNING MID-SIZED SHIPS

Oceania Cruises offers the youngest fleet in premium-class cruising with 83% of accommodations featuring private verandas. Catering to just 684 pampered guests on Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, and 1,250 privileged guests on Marina and Riviera, these intimate and luxurious ships allow guests to explore the world in unparalleled style and comfort. Oceania Cruises’ ships feature all the amenities of larger ships but maintain the warm ambiance that only midsize ships can offer. Regatta, Insignia and Nautica feature exquisite cuisine with a range of options: continental cuisine in the stately Grand Dining Room, steaks, chops and seafood at classic Polo Grill, authentic Italian at Toscana, and sophisticated international fare at Terrace Café. Marina and Riviera also feature the same collection of restaurants, but with additional choices such as Parisianstyle bistro Jacques, serving pure French country cuisine, and serene Red Ginger, offering bold and contemporary Asian dishes. True to Oceania Cruises’ inclusive nature, none of these extraordinary restaurants have supplemental dining charges, and all offer open-seating so guests may dine whenever they wish and with whomever they choose.

FINEST CUISINE AT SEA

Exceptional cuisine has been a hallmark of Oceania Cruises since the first cruise set sail in 2003. One of the first people to join the team was legendary Master Chef Jacques Pépin as Executive Culinary Director. Pépin’s inspiration has helped Oceania Cruises earn the reputation of providing the finest cuisine at sea and being the cruise line of choice for “foodies.”

For guests seeking to indulge their palates, La Reserve by Wine Spectator on Marina and Riviera offers wine tastings, insightful wine seminars and a culinary tour de force, an evening wine and food pairing meal. For a one-of-a-kind dinner party, guests can reserve Privée, Oceania Cruises’ most exclusive venue on Marina and Riviera that seats up to 10 guests and offers delectable courses from Polo Grill, Toscana or a combination of both.

Please see page 75 for special offers from Oceania Cruises. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

For guests looking to take a deeper dive into epicurean delights, Culinary Discovery Tours, available on board Marina and Riviera, offer a unique opportunity to experience local markets, restaurants and other culinary inspirations. Guests can then return to The Culinary Center and practice the cooking techniques of the region under the instruction of master chefs. COUNTRY CLUB CASUAL AMBIANCE

Whatever the desired destination, Oceania Cruises takes guests on unforgettable journeys in elegant style. Sophisticated and distinctly mid-size, the onboard atmosphere is convivial, and offers an unrivaled level of personalized service. Tuxedos and gowns are never required, and guests enjoy the refreshingly casual and friendly ambiance that fosters striking up conversations and recounting travel adventures with new friends over cocktails. Oceania Cruises’ ships call on the world’s most desirable ports while offering an intimate atmosphere that’s refined, yet relaxed and comfortable. Enriching entertainment options abound – world-renowned guest lecturers, bridge tournaments and miniature golf putting greens, along with jazz nights at Martinis and dancing at Horizons are just the beginning of onboard activity offerings. There are also plenty of cozy retreats in which to simply relax and recharge.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 39


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Amsterdam

Travel Europe. Bring your hotel. What do you think of when you think “Europe”? The scenic buildings that have stood the test of time for centuries? Or maybe you picture the passionate culture and various nationalities that exist from border to border. Is all of the above an option? Whatever excites you about a European vacation, there is one common theme: The scenery, museums, cuisine, and culture are best experienced firsthand, when you have more time and opportunities to do so.

Greece Club Continent Suite

Copenhagen

At Azamara Club Cruises®, Destination Immersion® is at the core of every one of our voyages – meaning longer stays, more overnights, and night touringSM. While you’re traveling to remarkable destinations throughout Europe, you’ll want to get off the ship, explore Estonian culture, and maybe enjoy a dinner at that famed Copenhagen restaurant you just read about. We encourage you to do so. With longer stays in port, you won’t have to worry about rushing back to the ship after an afternoon immersed in the laid-back atmosphere of the Greek Isles. You can take all of the time that you need. We know European ports like the back of our hand, and our team has created several Land Discoveries® shore excursions to give you access to Europe’s most amazing onshore opportunities. Our Insider AccessSM tours take our guests behind the scenes of local sites within their destinations, while our Nights and Cool PlacesSM offers an industryfirst after-dinner experience. That’s in addition to our complimentary AzAmazing EveningsSM events, created specifically for Azamara guests to participate in a unique night of culture. And of course, fun.

Travel the world. Bring your hotel. And never look back.

Santorini

40 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

Please see page 71 for special offers from Azamara Club Cruises. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Ireland

at your leisure…

The ultimate way to travel Ireland and Britain is from the comfort of a state-of-the-art luxury coach. Just sit back and take in the rolling hills, lavish countryside and towns rich with history. With 83 years of travel excellence, CIE International Tours is the all-inclusive way to tour the Emerald Island and U.K. Visit ancient cities, churches and castles under the guide of locally employed tour directors – the envy of the travel industry – who make each destination come alive. And with the CIE Tours’ $550+ Advantage, your vacation money goes a lot further. Your coach tour includes airport transfers, daily sightseeing with prepaid admission fees, full breakfasts, table d’hote dinners, medieval banquets, cabarets and more – all included, no options, no gimmicks. A bounty of different tour options are available, from traditional 5-9 day excursions of Ireland to 10-24 day explorations of both Britain and Ireland. 2015’s featured tour is the 10-Day Leisurely Ireland and offers the quintessential Ireland experience.

Your Irish adventure begins in Dublin, with an unparalleled walking tour through its literary connections, O’Connell Street, Trinity College and a private dinner at Howth’s Abbey Tavern. Work your way West, through County Roscommon’s 18th century Stokestown Park House, with its famed Victorian garden. Explore Achill Island, take a catamaran cruise through Ireland’s only fjord, visit the majestic Cliffs of Moher, see Killarney from a horse-drawn jaunting car, witness the steep sea-cliffs of the Dingle Peninsula, and finally, kiss the famous Blarney Stone before heading back on “the rocky road to Dublin.” Trip includes six dinners and nine nights in 4- and 5-star hotels. Book this amazing journey today! Please see page 67 for special offers from CIE Tours. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 41


CONSERVATION EFFORTS GIVE ANIMALS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE by MICHAEL SHAPIRO

We live in a time when many species are on the brink, but some populations have rebounded strongly when given the chance to make a comeback. Here are some success stories.

Photo: Doug Lindstrand

RARE WOOD BISON BEING REINTRODUCED INTO THE WILD IN ALASKA

The wood bison, North American’s largest land animal (males weigh up to 2,250 pounds) which for thousands of years roamed Alaska and northwestern Canada, seemed to have disappeared by the early 1900s. SANDHILL CRANES MAKING A COMEBACK IN NORTH AMERICA

It’s almost dark when they fly into view, long necks straight out, broad gray wings stretching almost as wide as the horizon, crimson heads catching the sun’s last rays and their trilling calls filling the sky with song. After a day out feeding, the Sandhill cranes are returning to spend the night in a flooded field near Lodi, about 85 miles east of San Francisco, calling to their mates and young. Making the sight of these hundreds of cranes even more magnificent is knowing that some populations have returned from the brink of extinction. Cranes have suffered from habitat loss, poisoning, powerline electrocution, and hunting. By the early 20th century, naturalist Aldo Leopold noted in 1937’s A Sand County Almanac, it’s believed only five breeding pairs of Sandhill cranes remained in California. Nearly a century later, with an assist from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, populations have rebounded dramatically, with an estimated 40,000 cranes wintering in California. But habitat loss and hunting continue to imperil these graceful, family-oriented birds known for their mating dances. Sandhill cranes migrate to the U.S. from as far away as Siberia, traveling 200 or more miles a day. And they can fly above 15,000-foot-high mountain ranges, returning to the same marshes year after year. Some of these places, such as the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Lodi, are managed to provide suitable habitat for cranes. They’re celebrated at Lodi’s annual Sandhill Crane Festival in early November, with guided tours (the best are at dawn and dusk), educational booths, and play areas where kids can learn to make origami cranes. Seeing these birds is a soul-stirring travel experience that will long be remembered.

42 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

Due in large part to overhunting, the species, which differs from the plains bison that inhabited much of the continental U.S., was thought to be extinct in North America. But in 1957 a small, genetically pure herd was located in Canada, and from 2003 to 2008, 66 wood bison were moved from Canada to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Girdwood, about 40 miles southeast of Anchorage. Today that captive herd has grown to about 140 animals. The center plans to move between 40 and 100 of them — via C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft — to the bison’s historic range in the Innoko River area near the village of Shageluk in western Alaska. “This is a phenomenal opportunity to right a manmade wrong,” said Scott Michaelis of the wildlife center. The goal is “to see them roam free in the wilds of Alaska.” State wildlife planner Rita St. Louis described the wood bison restoration project as “the most significant conservation initiative of this century.” Some wood bison will remain at the conservation center. To learn more about them (there’s a link to an inspiring video on the site), see: www. alaskawildlife.org.


ELEPHANT POLO IN THAILAND IS A WIN-WIN

Before the games begin, Thai monks clad in orange robes bless the hard-working elephants and place garlands of marigolds around their necks. The elephants are getting a much-needed respite at the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Bangkok. It’s a grand spectacle with celebrities and pro polo players, supermodels and devout Buddhists working to improve the lives of Thailand’s elephants. About 50 elephants took part in last summer’s tournament, each wearing colorful silks and carrying two riders: a mahout (jockey) and a polo player with a long mallet. It’s a challenging sport as it’s not easy to strike the baseball-size ball with the long mallet and drive it across the goal line. During the five-day fundraising tournament, the elephants, many of whom work most of the year hauling tourists through crowded areas, feast on piles of vegetables and get medical attention if needed. The schedule is designed to give the pachyderms ample rest and even massages — and they seem to enjoy the pampering. Sponsored by Anantara Hotels & Resorts, more than $750,000 has been raised for elephant conservation efforts since the tournament began 13 years ago. Some of the funds raised help support elephant conservation areas in northern Thailand. Guests can “drive” an elephant by learning the cues that mahouts use to guide them. Or get on top of an elephant and enjoy a guided trek through northern Thailand’s forests.

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM FOR AFRICA’S MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

The 20th century was rough for the two bands of mountain gorillas in central Africa, as they’ve been hunted, lost much of their habitat and gotten caught in the crossfire of protracted wars. Just over half of the critically endangered gorillas live in the Virunga Mountains, a range of dormant volcanoes straddling the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The rest live in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Males are typically about 5 feet tall and weigh more than 400 pounds. Gorillas typically live at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet, and trackers have become expert at leading tourists to view them, a life-changing experience. This infusion of tourism has led to expanded efforts to preserve the gorillas; their numbers have expanded from 620 animals in 1989 to about 880 today, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Helping gorillas survive in an area beset by human overpopulation and violence has been a challenge, but the WWF has worked to preserve the forest habitats and combat the bush meat trade. The environmental group has even enlisted a popular local musician to spread the message. Samba Mapangala and his Orchestra Virunga recorded a song, “Les Gorilles des Montagnes” singing about why mountain gorillas are important, emphasizing that they are the foundation of ecotourism, which will improve local livelihoods. The song was recorded in Swahili, and debuted in 2009. The message has taken root in the Congo Basin, the WWF says, helping to make people enthusiastic about saving their mountain-dwelling neighbors. b

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 43


LITER ARY ESCAPES Searching for the perfect book to toss in your carry-on? Look no further. These four novels, set in this issue’s featured destinations, should do the trick. Most are available in both electronic and hard copy formats. GALAPAGOS

SAN FR AN CISCO

FAME & FORTUNE: PAYI N G IT FO RWARD

N

ow that eco-tourism has moved out of the fringes and into the limelight, it’s much easier to book a vacation that combines the delights of discovery with the opportunity to do some good in the world. When it comes to finding ways to get involved, some of our favorite people are rolling up their sleeves — and pulling out their sizeable wallets — to show us what we can do to help.

Al Gore, Robert Redford, Bono, and Richard Branson are all well known for their charitable efforts. But did you know that actor/producer Leonardo DiCaprio is also a hard working conservationist? Through his foundation leonardodicaprio. com, DiCaprio has raised millions to help endangered tigers and elephants. He’s working to save the rainforests, oceans, sharks, and Antarctica, too. Super-model Gisele Bundchen launched Brazil’s Clean Water Project and has raised funds for conservation efforts in the Atlantic Rainforest and the Amazon. Ted Danson recently co-authored a book on ocean conservation called Oceana. Actor/director Edward Norton is actively involved with the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, The Wilderness Society, and other leading activist organizations. And, of course, Matt Damon is addressing the global water crisis through Water.org.

44 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

GA L A PAG O S R E GA I N E D

TH E W I LD PAR ROTS O F TE LEG R APH H I LL

by James Morrow, 2015

by Mark Bittner, 2005

This rip-roaring new novel tells the story of Chloe Bathurst, a research assistant to Charles Darwin who enters “The God Contest” intending to disprove the existence of a supreme being. Her ambitions lead her on a round-the-world adventure that includes a voyage to Brazil, a trip up the Amazon, and a hot-air balloon ride across the Andes. Finally, she arrives in the Galapagos, intent on collecting live specimens to demonstrate evolutionary theory. But things don’t quite go as planned.

If you love the quirky side of San Francisco – or you’re an avid birder – you’ll revel in this memoir from a self-admitted “dharma bum” who befriended a flock of wild parrots outside his apartment on Telegraph Hill. His close relationship with the South American cherry- and blue-headed conures grew over a period of six years, leading to a neighborhood nickname of “birdman.” Then one day a documentary filmmaker showed up and the birdman’s life was transformed. For the complete experience download the DVD documentary, too.

OCEAN

ANTARCTIC

DEEP

CHASING TH E LIGHT

by James Nestor, 2014

by Jesse Blackadder, 2013

Sent to Kalamata, Greece to cover a world freediving championship for Outside Magazine, journalist James Nestor is dazzled and confounded by what he sees: humans diving 300 feet beneath the ocean’s surface on a single breath of air. In Deep, Nestor tells the story of how he imbedded himself with a group of these extreme athletes and what he learned about the ocean, marine life, and the limits of human potential in the process.

Penned by award-winning Australian novelist Jesse Blackadder, this vivid tale of historical fiction is based on the true story of the first woman to set foot on Antarctica. In the early 1930s, three very different women become unlikely companions on a ship that sets sail from Scandinavia for the opensea whaling grounds of the Antarctic. None of the women are prepared for the reality of meeting the whaling fleet and experiencing firsthand the brutality of the icy world.


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SAME WORLD CLASS TRAVEL Culturally inquisitive travelers have known that General Tours is at the forefront of international travel. We’ve changed our name to reflect our innovative, personable, refined and authentic approach to upscale journeys. With genuine tour guides, exquisite cuisine, and the finest accommodations — from evocative hotels to the best safari camps and small ships — you’ll travel in good company with Alexander + Roberts.

YANGTZE SOJOURN Spend 11 days discovering China’s past and present aboard the most intimate ship, the Yangzi Explorer. With our 16 guests per trip guarantee, you can delight in the all-balcony staterooms, luxury hotels, handpicked restaurants, regional cuisines and special excursions with our attentive Trip Leader. Fly into Beijing and be greeted with White Glove welcome service before whisking away to the 5-star Sofitel Wanda Hotel. From there, behold the grandeur of Tiananmen Square, the imposing Forbidden City and the lovely Summer Palace. Venture to the remote Mutianyu section of the Great Wall where a more authentic experience awaits. Touch antiquity in Xian, marvel at the Terra Cotta Army, explore the “Ghost City” of Fengdu, and bask in the classic Chinese gardens of Suzhou.

ON SAFARI IN BOTSWANA, VICTORIA FALLS & ZIMBABWE Spend nine days amongst the best luxury camps to track the most incredible wildlife. Explore Africa’s most densely concentrated area of “Big 5” game – including cheetah, roan, sable antelope, spotted hyena and the elusive African wild dog – in Botswana’s legendary Okavango Delta. Luxury accommodations await you at the Banoka Bush Camp in the private Khwai Concession. Cross the border into Zimbabwe to check in to the Victoria Falls Hotel. Gaze at the hippos, crocodiles and elephants grazing on the riverbank and view the famed Devil’s Cataract. Bask in the total privacy of Davison’s Camp, while guided safari walks and superb game drives deliver an unforgettable connection to Africa.

Please see page 65 for special offers from Alexander + Roberts. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

BOOK YOU R 2015 VACATION TODAY!

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 45


CULTURAL CLOSE-UP: CUISINE

PANAMA with

It all started when Lady Luck stepped in to seat us on either side of a quiet, friendly man to whom much of the rest of the room seemed to gravitate. Although we couldn’t have guessed, this encounter in Panama City – and our ensuing conversation with said man – spawned a coffeefueled adventure for us six months later. by M ARIO STOJANAC and MARY LUZ MEJIA

Panache T

he chap in question is none other than Charlie Collins. Chef to Panamanian presidents, VIPS and one of the biggest proponents of the Panamanian kitchen. Charlie graciously invited us to spend a week with him in Boquete, the country’s coffee growing paradise. We were sold before he could say café con leche! This time round, Panama City serves as an overnight resting place, the stop made necessary by the fact that we have a tired 16 month-old in tow. A short 30-minute domestic flight the next morning takes us northward, bound for the mist-covered coffee countryside of Boquete. Organic coffee farm, Boquete

Located in the centre of narrow Panama’s northern regions, Boquete is perfectly positioned for travelers. Two hours to the west lies the Pacific, rich with fruit-growing regions and seafood. Roughly two hours to the east sits the Atlantic coast with its indigenouslytended cocoa plantations, accessible via jungle roads cutting their swathe through cool cloud forests, culminating in the launching-off point for the increasingly popular Bocas Del Toro. Whether it’s sun ripened, toasted and freshly ground cocoa you’re after, or the opportunity to visit a traditional sugar plantation, watching a duo of oxen power a wooden mill that crushes the cane to an earthy, grassy-sweet nectar, Boquete has it all. A country, al fresco lunch of tamales, sancocho (chicken stew) and hand-made fresh cheese, with fresh fruit and a sliver of “melcocha” (sugar cane toffee) for dessert means tradition is never far away. This is a Panama we hadn’t envisaged before – volcanic crater, jungle and all – the picturesque town of Boquete (in Chiriquí Province) has more in common with a Swiss Hamlet than the bustle of Panama City. Not only is it the center of a burgeoning coffee industry based in the rolling green hills that surround it, it is also the home-base of our new friend: arguably Panama’s most famous, influential and well-loved chef, Charlie Collins, a second generation Panamanian of Swedish-American extraction.

Boquete, Panama

46 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

He prepares a sumptuous lunch for us, following his approach of using ingredients of exceptional quality and letting the surroundings and traditional Panamanian flavors sing. Not content with simply savoring these dishes, we’re fortunate enough to take one of Charlie’s hands-on


Delicious tropical treats

GRILLED SHRIMP CEVICHE Recipe courtesy of Chef Charlie Collins

 lbs. Medium size red shrimp, 2 clean and deveined • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste • 2 tablespoons olive oil • Juice of 20 limes, freshly squeezed • Juice of 2 oranges freshly squeezed, approximately 1/2 cup • 2 garlic cloves, smashed • 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper • 1 red onion, diced • Handful of fresh cilantro or culantro leaves en chiffonade •

cooking classes at his beautifully appointed home kitchen studio (open to the public by appointment). We start off with a local Corvina fish ceviche, the rankin lemon juice adding a unique tartness to the dish. A second shrimp ceviche follows as Collins reels us in, our willing taste buds egging us closer to the mains. Tonight, we’re making a contemporary Tamal de Olla (think Shepherd’s Pie, substituting soft cornmeal for the potato and including shredded chicken, achiote, capers and olives in the filling.) The tamal, in tandem with arroz con guandu (rice and congo peas) form perfect companions to the braised local lamb. Welcome to Charlie’s Panama. Apart from Chef Collins’ food, we’re most excited about the opportunity to further discover the little-known Panamanian coffee industry. Based in the hills mere kilometres from the Costa Rican border, at an altitude of 2000m above sea level and coupled with the natural fine mists of the Bajareque wind, the result is some of the world’s finest, smallbatch roasted coffees. Coffee tours to nearby Finca Lerida or Don Tito’s Finca La Milagrosa can include walking tours through the plantations, tutored cuppings and the opportunity to purchase exceptional coffees at reasonable prices. One of us is a self-admitted quality coffee junkie, which makes pre-caffeine early mornings somewhat personality-challenged. The other, enjoys a smooth cup of coffee as much as tea, which is the curious crossroads we arrive at once we track down the much-vaunted (and pricey) Gesha coffee. While Gesha does grow at Finca Lerida, it is not isolated and forms part of their blends. Getting pure Gesha isn’t as straightforward as we expected, but our tour to the nearby Cafe Ruiz quickly solves that problem. A single cup tasting of the Gesha sets us back $10. As indulgent as it may sound, it is well-worth the price. From the first sip (black, no sugar) our eyes meet knowingly and our heads nod in silence. The coffee is exceptional; floral and berry notes entice tea and coffee drinkers alike, explaining its popularity in the No. 1 export destination of Japan (and the subsequent marketing misnomer of ‘Geisha’ coffee). We are equally smitten and purchase a half-pound of beans to take with us, a welcome fuel for the grey winter that awaits at home. b

Heat the olive oil in a grill pan over high flame. Add the shrimp and sear for 10 seconds on both sides. Shrimp should barely turn pink. Remove and place on a china platter. Let cool. Rub the bottom and sides of a glass bowl with Scotch Bonnet and smashed garlic cloves. Add shrimp and onion and sprinkle with some salt, toss with a wooden spoon. Add the lime-orange juice and ice cubes, mix with a wooden spoon. Taste the ceviche marinade and correct seasoning with additional salt if needed. Add pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 35 minutes or until shrimp are fully “cooked” in the marinade and are crunchy. Add the cilantro or culantro, combine well and serve in martini glasses. Drizzle some olive oil over each serving. Serve very cold.

To plan your own trip to Panama, contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 47


Central Holidays brings you to

TH E

DAY 1 Arrival in Sorrento and balance of the day at leisure to walk around this lovely resort full of villas, gardens in bloom, and hotels overlooking the Gulf of Naples.

Jewels

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O F TH E A M ALFI COAST

DAY 2 A tour guide will be with you all day to provide transfers to the pier for a jetfoil crossing to the fabled isle of Capri. Travel over the cornice road to Anacapri, the little village atop the island, and soak in its quiet, cool passageways.

DAY 3 Drive to Pompeii, a prosperous Roman town buried under a thick layer of ash 2,000 years ago. After Pompeii, journey to Naples for a visit of this vibrant and unique city lying in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius. A savory Pizza and Sfogliatella lunch will bring you back to the 21st century.

DAY 4 Today you will be transferred to Positano, a town of white fishermen’s houses clustered around the glazed tiled dome of its church and overlooking the turquoise Mediterranean water. After settling at the hotel, start exploring this lovely resort.

DAY 5 Arrive in Amalfi, a great seafaring republic that gave the world the oldest maritime code, the Amalfi Tables. The “Costiera Amalfitana” is widely considered Italy’s most scenic stretch of coastline, a landscape of towering bluffs, pastel-hued villages terraced into hillsides, and expansive vistas over turquoise waters. After your guided tour and lunch in a local restaurant, continue to Ravello, a lovely town enjoying a stunning location.

DAY 6 Full day at leisure to relax on the beach or to browse along the streets that go up and down the hills. At night, enjoy Positano’s lively and romantic night scene.

DAY 7 Say “arrivederci” to Italy or extend your stay.

Please see page 66 for special offers from Central Holidays. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 49


REAL PEOPLE REAL JOURNEYS

Bordeaux vineyards

A

Second Chance IN FRANCE by JILL MROSS

River Royale in Blaye

50 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

Jill and husband Jim


IT WAS 1984 – 30 YEARS AGO – THAT MY OLDER SISTER DEBBIE AND I TRAVELED WITH OUR MOM TO FRANCE, FIRST TO TRACK DOWN OUR GRANDMOTHER’S BIRTHPLACE, THEN LINKING UP WITH AN ESCORTED TOUR IN PARIS FOR SOME SIGHTSEEING.

Jill (left) a

nd sister

Debbie

Picture, if you will, three women who didn’t speak French (yes, we thought the Hotel de Ville offered accommodations!), driving an unfamiliar stick-shift car on the hunt for a place to stay. And did I mention we only knew the region in which our grandmother was born, not the name of the town? The only aid guiding our adventure was her marriage certificate. In the end, we did track down her birthplace and met some wonderful, very caring Frenchmen, along the way. So in 2014 when the chance to vacation in France with sister Debbie came up again, did I back off, recalling both the hilarity and hassle of the trip three decades ago? Absolutely not, for three main reasons: it was a river cruise – my hands-down favorite way to travel; the Bordeaux itinerary was focused on wine and food – my two passions; and it was on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, a leader in the luxury market. So what’s not to love, especially with more family and friends joining the fun this time? For me, a river cruise is like vacationing in a wellappointed private home – complete with an attentive wait staff – but on the water. Our cruise was on Uniworld’s River Royale ship, which comfortably accommodated 130 guests in 64 staterooms and one suite on three passenger decks. In my mind, it was just om 2 statero Category the right number of traveling companions for striking up conversations yet still enjoying that feeling of anonymity when you wanted it.

Bergerac

Our stateroom was small based on measurement, but in reality was quite comfortable for two adults. No doubt the full picture window, mirrored wall, and understated red brocade décor added to the spaciousness. If you’re worried about closet and storage space, rest assured you’ll have more than enough room, including a large drawer at the foot of the bed, which I didn’t notice until the end. The ship’s public areas were equally spacious in feel, with the Aquitaine Bar and Gascogne Lounge serving as the hub for most onboard activities. The sun deck was another popular spot and offered the perfect respite for yoga in the morning, a nap mid-afternoon, and star gazing with champagne at night. Another beauty of river cruising: the River Royale’s small size allowed it to navigate waters and ports that ocean vessels cannot. Our 8-day itinerary in and out of the revitalized and very thriving city of Bordeaux sailed along three rivers – the Garonne, the Dordogne, and the Gironde, stopping in charming villages like Pauillac, Saint-Émilion, Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 51


REAL PEOPLE REAL JOURNEYS

Clockwise from top left: Michelin chef, ship executive chef, and dining manager with guests; Smoked salmon paired with Sauterne; Three diverse Sauternes; Wine tasting

Bergerac, and Cadillac. Because of her size, we were able to dock directly in each town, meaning excursions were often just a brief motorcoach ride or quick walk away. The pièce de résistance was truly the food and wine, experienced on our daily outings as well as onboard the River Royale. Vineyard visits, wine tastings, and food pairings were at the heart of the complimentary excursions led by knowledgeable guides from the local area. And, although there were a couple oenophiles on the trip – including my husband – I was relieved to know that a thorough understanding of the viticulture was not the norm on this cruise. More important was an adventurous spirit and palate. And that I had, indeed! n and

g lesso

cookin Private

lunch

For me, the most memorable outing was a fabulous wine-pairing lunch at Châteaux d’Arche held in its 17th century manor house, located just outside of Cadillac. The complimentary gastronomic experience paired three diverse Sauternes with surprising creations including smoked salmon and chicken. After that pleasant awakening, I will never again reserve a Sauterne strictly for dessert. The food and wine onboard the River Royale were exceptional, too. Breakfast and lunch were buffet, plus several to-order items were available. The table-service evening dinners – two-hour, minimum four-courses – were as beautiful to the eye as they were divine to the palate in La Bordelais Restaurant. For entrées, we were offered a selection of savory meats, fresh fish, and vegetarian fare. (One friend 52 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

wanted a steak every night, and the staff gladly delivered!) Each course featured a food and wine pairing, often showcasing the ingredients and vineyards of the area. Mid-week, we were The Cla treated to a gastronomic ret Room sensation created by a two Michelin-star chef from Saint Emilion. Another night we dined in the reservations-only Claret Room, which offered a lovely option for 12 guests each night. We were treated to the same multi-course meal from the main restaurant with a few surprises to complement the food and wine experience. Two more of my favorite foodie activities onboard: a tasting of the worldfamous Oleron oysters and caviar and a cooking demonstration of the legendary Les canneles de Bordeaux sweet cakes. Ooh-la-la! The Uniworld staff truly excelled in delivering exceptional guest service. And I know this was not a one-time thing as I’ve sailed on Uniworld before and enjoyed the same extraordinary experience. With the line’s impressive guest-to-crew ratio of 3 to 1, it’s no surprise the luxury boutique operator is ranked one of the “World’s Best Cruise Lines” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler. They know how to anticipate your next request and always in a gracious and genuine manner. In addition to the people, Uniworld gets high marks for its guestfriendly policies. In 2014 the cruise line introduced an all-inclusive arrangement across all ships in Europe. Except for a handful of optional fee-based activities, all the must-haves were included in our cruise fare: gratuities; unlimited (and free-flowing!) wine, beers, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages; shore excursions (I lost count after ten); internet and wi-fi; and arrival- and departure-day transfers. In addition, the fact that Uniworld has done away with all announcements on the PA system gets them another thumbs up in my book. So much has changed for me since that first adventure in France. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to travel the globe to indulge in an array of meaningful travel memories. And, while I may not even be close to one guest on our river cruise who had sailed on Uniworld more than 30 times, you can bet that in the not-too-distant future I’ll be back on a river cruise, sailing with sister Debbie – where else but in France! b To plan your own river cruise journey, contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.


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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

LU X U RY R EFI N ED

Seeking to make the river cruise experience as luxurious and effortless as possible, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection introduced truly all-inclusive European boutique river cruises in 2014. This unprecedented move to a genuinely all-inclusive model has been exceptionally well received by Uniworld guests. Highlights include elegantly appointed river-view staterooms and suites; exceptional service with all gratuities included, both onshore and onboard; sumptuous cuisine and unlimited beverages, including wine, beer, and spirits; hosted shore excursions with options to personalize; Internet and Wi-Fi; and onboard entertainment and cultural enrichment programs. Uniworld also debuted a new Super Ship in 2014, the S.S. Catherine, serving the Saône and Rhône rivers in France’s beautiful Burgundy and Provence regions. This sophisticated vessel was meticulously engineered and lavishly decorated with original Joan Miró paintings, a hand blown Murano glass chandelier and life-size glass horse, an indoor swimming pool surrounded by colorful mosaic tiles, exquisitely crafted furnishings, and hand-selected antiques.

In 2015, Uniworld proudly introduces another resplendent Super Ship, the S.S Maria Theresa – inspired by the only female ruler of the Habsburg dynasty and one of Europe’s most beloved sovereigns – which will sail four popular Uniworld itineraries. Plus, Uniworld will continue to add to its worldwide fleet in 2016 with a new all-suite ship on the Ganges River in India. With a maximum capacity of 56 guests, the luxurious Ganges Voyager II will serve Uniworld’s newest and most exotic cruise and tour – India’s Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges – a 13-day itinerary from New Delhi to Kolkata. Whether sailing the Saône river in France or the Ganges in India, travelers always enjoy an unforgettable cruise experience when they embark on a journey with Uniworld – the pioneer in luxury river cruising. More destinations, more itineraries and more choices guarantee that every guest will enjoy the cruise that is perfect for them. Please see page 80 for special offers from Uniworld. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 53


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In Zorba the Greek, author Nikos Kazantzakis declared a happy man one who has “the good fortune to sail the Aegean Sea.” When you cruise with Seabourn through the beautiful Maribello Bay into the port of Agios Nikolaos, you’ll have the good fortune to sail the Aegean on a luxurious odyssey that will introduce you to glories of Greece and its storied islands.

FROM GREECE WITH LOV E H IS TO RY, B EAU T Y, CU LTU R E, & JA M ES B O N D — what more could y o u a s k f o r?

54 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

Seaboard Sojourn’s 14-Day Mediterranean Mosaic voyage departs on October 17, 2015, from the fairytale principality of Monte Carlo where you can try your luck in the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo. (If the casino looks familiar, you may remember it from the Bond movies Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye). After stops on the islands of Corsica, Malta, and Sicily where you’ll enjoy charming villages, architectural treasures, and archaeological ruins, you’ll spend a day at sea before entering Greece.

Sea days are always a pleasure with Seabourn. In addition to soaking in the sun, you’ll enjoy soothing spa treatments and unique activities. For a kick, channel your inner supermodel and join a passenger fashion show; it’s especially fitting onboard Seabourn Sojourn which was christened by 60’s supermodel Twiggy. Seabourn also offers Seabourn Conversations in which experts from areas ranging from art and science to politics and


It may look familiar from the Bond film, For Your Eyes Only. Residents are justifiably proud of the Spianada, their colorful town square.

cuisine are invited to share their insights and opinions. There will be two esteemed speakers on the Mediterranean Mosaic cruise. Maritime historian Graham Anthony who knows the region well having plied its waters frequently and world affairs expert Ambassador Gwen Clare, a career diplomat for over 30 years, will share her experiences serving as American Ambassador to Ecuador and in Portugal, Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Brazil, and living in Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Paraguay. The Greek islands are where the classic postcards of Greece come to life. Whitewashed houses draped in purple bougainvillea are accented with bright blue doors, shutters, and window frames that echo the glittering azure water of the sea. Add in white-domed churches and colorful fishing boats bobbing in the wake. It looks almost too breathtaking to be real. Crete is the largest island in Greece boasting a coastline that stretches more than 650 miles. Coastal Agios Nikolaos, one of its loveliest

After two stops in Turkey where you’ll visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus and historic Cesme (once the end of the Silk Road), sail into Piraeus which has been the port of Athens since 482 BC when Themistocles set out to build a powerful navy. It’s the gateway to the pulsating capital of Athens where the magnificent Acropolis stands vigil over the bustling metropolis where historic museums, vibrant cafes, and local markets never cease to enchant.

villages, is a short drive from Knossos, the cradle of Minoan civilization. With its preserved palace and ancient ruins, Knossos dates back to the Bronze Age (ca. 1700 BC) and is believed to be the oldest city in Europe.

Seabourn is known for “Seabourn Moments,” those exceptional experiences or small discoveries that make a trip come alive. We travel to see, to learn, to live, and to breathe, and traveling with Seabourn in Greece brings this classic destination vividly to life.

Symi’s beautiful harbor of Gialos is lined with colorfully-painted traditional stone houses and an iconic clock tower which dates back to the 1880s. Walk the cobblestone streets of this picturesque island, visiting the Greek Orthodox Church of Haritomeni, with its gold-plated temple and Byzantine icons and shopping for miniature wooden boats at traditional woodworking shops. On Mykonos, an island beloved by celebrities, enjoy long, sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife. See the iconic windmills, most of which were built by the Venetians in the 16th century, and get lost in the town’s winding roads, expressly designed to foil pirates. On Corfu, Homer’s “beautiful and rich land,” tour the neoclassical Achillion Palace, once the summer residence of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Please see page 77 for special offers from Seabourn. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 55


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

VVictoria is for

Sail the Mediterranean with Cunard on an Ensemble® Hosted Cruise

Cunard’s concierges are committed to “anticipating your requests, fulfilling your every wish, and exceeding your expectations.”

What more could you ask for? Well, when you join an Ensemble® Hosted Cruise, you add the expertise of a gracious and well-traveled Ensemble® Host, a private cocktail reception, and a complimentary shore event known as an Ensemble® Experience.

IN

2015, there will be FIVE Ensemble® Hosted Cruises on board Queen Victoria as she plies the waters of the sunny Mediterranean. An ancient region with a history that stretches back thousands of years, the Mediterranean is home to vibrant capitals, spectacular ancient ruins, outstanding museums, colorful markets, and some of the world’s best food thanks to the region’s fresh seafood, and sunkissed fruits and vegetables. Ensemble® Experiences on the Queen Victoria will feature excursions in Athens and on the Greek islands of Corfu and Rhodes; as well as Kusadasi, Turkey (gateway to the archaeological ruins of Ephesus); and the glittering principality of Monaco.

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1 A two-week cruise between Athens and Rome will call on Anzac Cove, site of the WWI Gallipoli landings, before passing through the Dardanelles, the narrow strait that separates Europe from Asia. You’ll spend two days in Istanbul where you can scour the 4,000 stalls of the Grand Bazaar and revel in the majestic beauty of the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Stop at Volos, the summer retreat of the ancient Gods, and Mykonos known for its sandy beaches and boisterous nightlife. With two days in Athens, you can see the Acropolis and relax over an ouzo in a local taverna. Then sail to beautiful Bodrum, a favored getaway of Turkey’s upper classes. In Greece, visit the breathtaking island of Santorini and the archaeological site of Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. In Naples, you can see mosaics from Pompeii and sample pizza on its home turf. Your cruise ends in Rome where you’ll have an embarrassment of riches including the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the shops of Via Condotti and, of course, local trattorias.

Cunard’s ocean liners bring back the bygone romance of travel; the white gloved welcome, the spacious, elegant suites, and the exquisite public spaces. Cunard is celebrating its 175TH ANNIVERSARY in 2015, so it’s a banner year to join the party.

2 The Rome to Venice cruise will visit La Spezia, gateway to the five coastal villages known as the Cinque Terre; Monte Carlo; Barcelona, known for Gaudi’s surreal architecture and Ajaccio, Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon. You’ll be entranced by the Venetian buildings on the verdant island of Corfu and Europe’s southernmost fjords in Kotor, Montenegro. Visit Trieste, a beguiling hodgepodge of architectural styles, then disembark in La Serenissima, Venice, where you can wander alongside the canals, stopping at Harry’s Bar for a classic Prosecco and peach nectar Bellini.

4 The three week cruise from Istanbul to Rome stops in the cities of Athens, Santorini, Monte Carlo, and Barcelona. It will also visit Ephesus, which contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean.

3 A three week cruise from Rome to Istanbul stops in Corfu, Kotor, Venice, Trieste, Mykonos, and Athens. This trip also includes the ports of Zadar, Croatia, with its medieval Old Town and Roman ruins; Dubrovnik, Croatia, widely hailed as “The Pearl of the Adriatic” for its stunning baroque architecture; and the medieval Old Town of Rhodes. Izmir, once the largest city in the Roman Empire, is today renowned for its scenic beauty as is the resort of Marmaris. On Crete, you can see the restored Minoan palace of Knossos.

5 A 16-day cruise from Southampton to Venice calls on Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome, Kotor, Corfu, and Dubrovnik. It stops in Gibraltar, where you can take a cable car to the top of the Pillar of Hercules; ancient Valencia known for its Gothic Cathedral; the lacemaking city of Rapallo and the Renaissance gem of Florence.

Please see page 73 for special offers from Cunard. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 57


Explore a world that’s uniquely Holland America Line We take you to extraordinary places in incomparable comfort

Each Ensemble® Hosted Cruise features a gracious Ensemble® Host, a private onboard cocktail party, and an exclusive Ensemble® Experience shore event. 7-Day Alaska Roundtrip Seattle Roundtrip Seattle ms Amsterdam

Interior from

$999

05/31/15

AWE-INSPIRING

7-Day Alaska Roundtrip Vancouver Roundtrip Vancouver ms Volendam

Interior from

$1,199

06/24/15

meet

SPLENDID

7-Day Glacier Discovery Northbound Vancouver to Anchorage ms Oosterdam

08/16/15

Interior from

1,299

$

7-Day Glacier Discovery Southbound Anchorage to Vancouver ms Zaandam

07/05/15

Interior from

1,099

$

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

Fares are based on Promo RHFeatured fares are per person, may vary by sailing date, based on double occupancy, are capacity controlled and are subject to change without prior notice, 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 $213.20 to $219.65. 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 brochure. Offers are capacity controlled, and may be modified or withdrawn without prior notice. Other restrictions may apply. Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

EN D LES S LUXU RY in PUNTA CANA

Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana creates a harmonious retreat along a beautiful palm-studded beach focused on wellness, tranquility and romance. This AAA Four Diamond boutique resort in the Dominican Republic boasts exquisite surroundings, world-class amenities and supreme service. Each of the 96 canethatched suites is elegantly appointed with natural hardwood floors and stone accents, a fully furnished private terrace, twice daily refreshed mini bar and luxurious Bvlgari® bath amenities. Discover The Art of Life® with organic cuisine served at four specialty gourmet restaurants with locally grown ingredients, cultural activities and pampering treatments at the extraordinary spa.

Expect more from your luxury vacation with activities and amenities not typically offered at an all-inclusive resort without a fee. The Endless Privileges® experience elevates each stay with private in-suite dining available, unlimited topshelf spirits, maid service three times a day and more. One of the many benefits to vacationing with Endless Privileges® is never having to make a reservation for a meal. Take a dip in one of the two pools with serpentine water trails and a quiet lagoon or soak up the sun on the pristine beach just steps away. The nearby championship-caliber golf club will provide ample entertainment and stir up friendly competition for any golf enthusiast. Guests can also enjoy an array of complimentary activities including a 45-minute horseback ride (reservations required), daily afternoon tea with live plant infusions, culinary classes and a wellness or fitness consultation. Please see page 70 for special offers from Travel Impressions. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 59


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE M A R K of MODERN LUXU RY DISCOVER THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF A CELEBRITY The Suite Class experience from Celebrity Cruises delivers just that. From the cool, contemporary design and warm spaces to dining options that tantalize all the senses, discerning travelers know the unmatchable world-class service that Celebrity provides. You won’t just see the world. You’ll travel like a celebrity.

ACCOMMODATIONS FIT FOR A CELEBRITY Your vacation begins with priority check-in and embarkation before your personal butler escorts you to a luxurious stateroom. Take in the sweeping ocean views, Bulgari bathroom amenities, plush robes, premium bedding and pillow menu, all designed to enhance the Celebrity experience. A host of other indulgent extras await Suite Class guests.

UNIQUE FARES MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT Part of traveling like a celebrity is dining like one. A dedicated private restaurant is available exclusively for all Suite Class guests, where each meal offers sumptuous dishes you won’t find anywhere else onboard. Immerse yourself in menus inspired by local destinations, prepared with the world’s best ingredients, or enjoy tailor-made meals to your liking.

The all-new Suite Class includes a bounty of exclusive benefits that elevate a Celebrity cruise above the rest. From the one-of-akind Reflection Suite – with jaw-dropping ocean views and unique cantilevered shower – to the legendary on-call butler service and daily high-end afternoon tea service, this is the only way to travel. LOUNGE LIKE A VIP WITH ALL-IN BENEFITS “All-in” benefits are just another way Celebrity elevates a cruise vacation. Michael’s Club, a private VIP lounge for Suite Class guests, provides unique tastings by Celebrity’s James Beard-featured chef. Suite Class guests also receive complimentary premium beverages, dining across all specialty restaurants, unlimited Internet and access to a private bar. See the world like a celebrity. Please see page 71 for special offers from Celebrity Cruises. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant. 60 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PLANNING YOUR NEXT GETAWAY? Consider a Globus Tour When we envision the perfect vacation, we see great hotels, amazing cuisine, incredible sightseeing and above all, we imagine creating memories galore! What we don’t picture is what it really takes to organize an enjoyable getaway. That’s where a tour comes in. On a touring vacation, all the details, logistics and scheduling are taken care of. Plus, a tour offers several benefits travelers wouldn’t get if going it alone.

Below are

5 reasons to book A GLOBUS TOUR:

1 INCLUSIVE. Everyone loves extras — until they’re charged extra. On tours, travelers can expect to enjoy more visits, more experiences and more sightseeing included in the price of the vacation.

3 TRANSPORTATION. On a tour, transportation — via train, plane, boat or motorcoach — is taken care of from point A to B and every step in-between.

2 HOTELS. A hotel can have the crispest sheets and the fluffiest towels, but if it’s not near the sights, what good is it? Globus secures all of this and more in the heart of each destination.

4 TOUR DIRECTOR. There’s scenery — and then there’s the scene. No one is more immersed in local culture than Globus Tour Directors. These experts bring destinations to life with firsthand, in-depth knowledge of cities, towns and neighborhoods.

5 LOCAL CONNECTIONS. Imagine an overnight stay at a French chateau or a fishing lesson in Vietnam. These are just a couple of the out-ofthe-ordinary adventures Globus calls Local FavoritesSM… Local experiences you couldn’t get on your own.

PLAN YOUR GLOBUS TOUR TODAY! Please see page 68 for special offers from Globus. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 61


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

EMBARK ON A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

Viking River Cruises, a Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler award winner, offers inspiring itineraries on the rivers of Europe, Russia and China. Enjoy exciting cities, rich cultural experiences, fine dining and deluxe accommodations on board the most modern ships – with everything from meals to shore excursions included in your fare. And our award-winning Viking Longships® have raised the bar yet again with full-size veranda staterooms, the largest suites in Europe, al fresco dining and more. Come discover for yourself why Viking is truly the world’s leading river cruise line.

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YOUR CRUISE INCLUDES

Exceptional Accomodations aboard the newest, most deluxe river cruise fleet. Enjoy your choice of staterooms, including Suites, Junior Suites and staterooms with verandas and French balconies.

Complimentary Wine, Beer & Soft Drinks

Engaging Cultural Enrichment with informative talks, performances, hands-on cooking and craft demonstrations, and much more.

Attentive Service from our award winning, English-speaking staff, plus the personalized assistance of your onboard Viking Concierge – so you’re well taken care of.

with onboard dinner and lunch service; bottled water and complimentary cappuccino, coffee and tea at our 24-hour beverage bar.

Complimentary Internet Service All Onboard Meals

throughout our ships.

created by our Swiss-trained chefs, featuring fresh ingredients and regional specialty options, and served in a variety of settings including the most al fresco dining available on the rivers.

In-Room Infotainment System featuring movies on demand, plus CNBC, CNN, National Geographic and more.

Please see page 79 for 2015 Special Savings Offers from Viking River Cruises. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.

Enlightening Daily Shore Excursions in every port, led by friendly, knowledgeable local guides utilizing a high-tech audio headset system – so you never miss a word.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 63


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Total Travel Immersion

Whether you’re looking for a family adventure or you’re just culturally inquisitive, we know the little things that will connect you to everyday European life. Pair this with personalized service, quality experiences and inclusive value – and a Tauck tour will change your life. After 90 years of traveling the world, we know that travel should be life changing. A vacation should feel full of genuine emotion, camaraderie, and discovery of the day-to-day life of other cultures. Since 2015 marks our 25th anniversary of our first trip along the Yellow Roads of Europe, we’ve added new journeys to Puglia, Rome, and Great Britain; an award-winning riverboat cruise along the Rhine; and an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in Vienna or Paris. Tauck Bridges family travel is designed to inspire a sense of wonder and cultural understanding amongst your family. It’s these shared experiences that bring your family closer together. Every detail is taken care of – from gratuities to tour guides – so your clan can soak up everything Europe has to offer. These all-inclusive vacations build “bridges”– from grandparents to grandchildren – to the joys of travel through hands-on activities, authentic regional cuisine, and hand-picked hotels that connect everyone to the heart and soul of each destination. Another way to actively immerse yourself in your travel experience is through our Culturious small group explorations. Featuring 20 culturally curious travelers on average, Culturious is designed to deliver priceless rewards no matter where you go. From Tuscany to Prague, London to Monte Carlo, you’ll tickle your taste buds, stretch your legs, and broaden your horizons on these life-changing adventures.

How you see the world matters. Book your trip today and see it with us!

64 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

Please see page 69 for special offers from Tauck. For more information, please contact your Ensemble Travel® Group consultant.


T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Spain: A Family Journey

Family Galapagos

• 10 days touring Spain

• 10 days (including 7 night cruise) touring the Galapagos

• Barcelona to Madrid • June 22; July 13 & August 3, 2015

• Roundtrip Guayaquil • June 12, 19; July 17, 31; August 7; December 18 & 25, 2015

• From $6,395 per person, land only • Web ID: EL1080

• From $8,295 per person, land/cruise only • Web ID: EL1081

Explore sunny Spain, enjoying kid-friendly activities for all ages. Witness a display of fine horsemanship at a traditional Andalusian ranch. Join a local chef to learn how to make some classic Spanish dishes. Hunt for treasure in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and learn to dance flamenco as you travel from Barcelona to Granada, Marbella, Gibraltar, Seville, Cordoba, and Madrid.

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Cruise the Galapagos aboard eco-friendly Eclipse, where you’ll enjoy twice-daily island excursions. Walk with a naturalist guide among giant tortoises, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies; and share kid-friendly activities led by an A&K Young Explorers Guide. Enjoy a wide range of onboard activities, including stargazing, whale watching and an equator-crossing celebration.

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Save $150 per adult and $400 per child 11 years & under (off the price shown). Book by February 28, 2015.

Save $250 per adult and $800 per child 11 years & under (off the price shown). Book by February 28, 2015.

Yangtze Sojourn

On Safari in Botswana, Victoria Falls, & Zimbabwe

• 11 days (including 3-night cruise) touring China

• 9 days on safari in Southern Africa

• Beijing to Shanghai

• Botswana to Zimbabwe

• April 12; May 3, 17; June 7; September 20 & October 11, 2015

• Select departures January 1, 2015 through April 30, 2016

• From $5,499 per person, land/cruise only

• From $5,999 per person, land only • Web ID: EL1083

• Web ID: EL1082 Delight in China’s finest and most intimate ship, luxury hotels, fine dining and special excursions with an attentive Trip Leader on a small group journey with never more than 16 guests. Travel from Beijing (3 nights) to Xian (overnight), Chongqing, Yichang, Suzhou, and Shanghai (3 nights), including a 3-night cruise along the Yangtze River.

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Receive a complimentary one category cabin upgrade aboard MS Yangzi Explorer. Book now.

This diverse Botswana safari features Southern Africa’s best luxury camps and Africa’s most incredible wildlife. Explore the legendary Okavango Delta, experience Victoria Falls, track herds of elephant and buffalo in the Hwange National Park, and partake in game drives in deluxe open vehicles, nature walks, canoe expeditions, and night safaris with superb safari guides.

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Receive a complimentary helicopter sightseeing flight at Victoria Falls. Book now.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Tuscany Bike Tour

Provence Active Gourmet Walking Tour

• 6 days touring Tuscany

• 6 days touring Provence

• Chianti to Montalcino

• Aix-en-Provence to Avignon

• Select departures May 10 through October 18, 2015

• Select departures May 24 through October 4, 2015

• From $4,598 per person, land only

• From $4,298 per person, land only

• Web ID: EL1088

• Web ID: EL1089

Few things in this world live up to the hype, but everything you’ve heard about Tuscany is true. Routes lined with cypress trees overlooking the patchwork vineyards below will stop you on your bike. And no view will compare to that view …until you round the next bend and see another. It’s a wonder anyone ever finishes the rides. And that’s only what you’ll see; imagine the wines, flavors and luxuries you’ll discover.

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Receive a $125 spa credit per booking to enjoy at the Relais Borgo San Felice during your trip. Book by February 28, 2015.

On this unforgettable journey in the Luberon, Les Baux and windswept Alpilles, you’ll walk in the very forests, fields and orchards that nurture each flavorful produit du terroir. You’ll sample vintages where the grapes are grown. Expand your culinary repertoire alongside our charming local friends, and learn secrets of classic Provençal dishes from a Michelin-starred chef.

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Receive a $125 spa credit per booking to enjoy at the Relais & Châtaeux Le Phébus during your trip. Book by February 28, 2015.

When in Istanbul …Travel in Luxury

The Jewels of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

• 6 days touring Turkey

• 9 days touring Croatia

• Roundtrip Istanbul

• Dubrovnik to Zagreb

• Select departures throughout 2015

• Select departures throughout 2015

• From $2,083 per person, land only

• From $4,119 per person, land only

• Web ID: EL1092

• Web ID: EL1093

Travel to Turkey and make memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy a full day tour of Istanbul, the nation’s largest metropolitan area and one of the few cities world-wide to span two continents. Included is a Turkish Bath – “Hamam” – experience. Spend a full day in the legendary city of Troy, and reflect on the stunning landmarks as you journey back to Istanbul.

Explore a land of fairy-tale medieval towns, stunning natural beauty, diverse cultural heritage, and spectacular sapphire seas. Delve into the Old City of Dubrovnik and journey along to the terraced-lakes of Plitvice. Tour the subterranean caves in Postojna and ascend the imposing Bled Castle. Embark on a private city tour of Split, and shop open-air markets with Croatian treasures.

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Savor a complimentary dinner at a refined restaurant during your trip. Book now.

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Savor a complimentary dinner at a refined restaurant during your trip. Book now.


For reservations, call us today.

Irish Heritage & Dromoland Castle

Leisurely Ireland

• 8 day escorted coach tour of Ireland

• 10 day escorted coach tour of Ireland

• Limerick to Newmarket-on-Fergus

• Roundtrip Dublin • Saturday departures April 4 through July 25, 2015

• Monday departures March 2 through November 9, 2015

• From $1,938 per person, land only

• From $1,598 per person, land only

• Web ID: EL1095

• Web ID: EL1094

Visit the best of southern Ireland, traveling from Limerick to the Cliffs of Moher, Foynes, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, Blarney, Cobh, Waterford, Blessington, Dublin, Kildare, and Newmarket-on-Fergus. Highlights include a medieval castle banquet, gourmet Killeen House restaurant, sheepdog trials, Merry Ploughboy dinner & show, Irish National Stud & Japanese gardens, and 5-star Dromoland Castle Hotel.

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See the best of Ireland over 10 leisurely days. Travel from Dublin to Strokestown, Westport, Achill Island, Leenane, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Killarney, Kenmare, Blarney, and Cashel, plus an extra night in Dublin. Highlights include leisurely 3-night stays in Westport and Killarney, the Abbey Tavern traditional show, a catamaran cruise, and much more.

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• 5 nights at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

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Save $175 per person off the price shown. Book by February 28, 2015.

Save $175 per person off the price shown. Book by February 28, 2015.

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i

NSEMBL E ®

The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort • 4 nights at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort

• Kohala Coast, Hawaii • Now through December 18, 2015

• Honolulu, Hawaii • Now through December 18, 2015

• From $1,159 per person, Oceanview Room

• From $1,329 per person, Historic Grove Room

• Web ID: EL1096

• Web ID: EL1097 From Mauna Kea’s snow-capped mountaintop to tropical rainforests and a teeming undersea world, the Big Island of Hawaii has much to offer. The 32-acre luxury oceanfront Fairmont Orchid along the beautiful Kohala Coast boasts a sugar-white sandy lagoon and aquamarine waters, a year-round children’s program, golf, tennis, and six restaurants.

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Receive every 5th night free, daily breakfast for two, one category upgrade at time of arrival (subject to availability), and two Fun & Sun Resort Activity passes. Book by December 14, 2015.

This iconic resort offers modern, discerning travelers a redefined luxury experience. From poolside cabanas, adult only and family pools, exclusive beach experiences and authentic cultural programming, the Royal Hawaiian is filled with rich tradition, customized services, as well as the award winning Azure restaurant and rejuvenating Abhasa Spa.

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Receive every 4th night free, guaranteed one category room upgrade, $100 dining credit per room, and daily breakfast for two. Book by December 14, 2015.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Secrets Wild Orchid

Riu Montego Bay

• 5 nights at Secrets Wild Orchid

• 5 nights at Riu Montego Bay

• Montego Bay, Jamaica

• Montego Bay, Jamaica

• Select departures now through May 30, 2015

• Select departures now through May 30, 2015

• From $2,002* per person, Junior Suite Oceanview, including nonstop air JFK-MBJ

• From $1,078* per person, RH Double Room, including nonstop air JFK-MBJ

• Web ID: EL1106

• Web ID: EL1107

The all-inclusive, adults-only Secrets Wild Orchid takes its inspiration from lovely island landscapes including warm tones and unique indigenous art. Enjoy a vast selection of gourmet à la carte restaurants, bars and lounges, a lavish spa, and concierge services on every guest floor. A state-of the-art, open-air theater plus a full array of activities are sure to add to your vacation experience.

Discover the magic of Jamaica. Located on a calm, beach with turquoise water, surrounded by lush gardens, this all-inclusive island oasis offers a wide variety of activities and accommodations in a beautiful setting. With a fresh water pool, an on-site spa and golf, plus nearby shopping, it is the ideal vacation destination for families, couples, or singles.

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Save up to $200 per booking. Book by February 28, 2015.

Save up to $200 per booking. Book by February 28, 2015.

Offer subject to change without notice; other restrictions may apply. *Price is per person, based on double occupancy at Secrets Wild Orchid or Riu Montego Bay, between New York JFK and Montego Bay. Sunday departures and Friday returns via nonstop service on Delta and certain Delta codeshare partners, and is valid for specific travel dates Jan 25-30, 2015 and is subject to change. Additional restrictions and baggage charges may apply.

Offer subject to change without notice; other restrictions may apply. *Price is per person, based on double occupancy at Secrets Wild Orchid or Riu Montego Bay, between New York JFK and Montego Bay. Sunday departures and Friday returns via nonstop service on Delta and certain Delta codeshare partners, and is valid for specific travel dates Jan 25-30, 2015 and is subject to change. Additional restrictions and baggage charges may apply.

Britain Sampler

Essential Britain & Ireland

• 9 days touring Britain

• 10 days touring Britain & Ireland

• Roundtrip London

• Roundtrip London

• Select departures January 10 through December 5, 2015

• Select departures March 17 through October 27, 2015

• From $1,529 per person, land only

• From $2,099 per person, land only

• Web ID: EL1108

• Web ID: EL1109

Guided sightseeing shows you all the famous landmarks in Britain, as you travel from London (2 nights) to Hampton Court, Stonehenge, Bath (overnight), Stow-on-the-Wold, Stratford-upon-Avon, Llangollen, Chester (overnight), Grasmere, Gretna Green, Edinburgh (2 nights), Abbotsford, Jedburgh, York (overnight), Stamford, Cambridge, plus one last night in London.

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Save $200 per person (off the price shown). Book by February 28, 2015.

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This comprehensive vacation introduces you to all five countries that make up the British Isles. Start with an overnight in London, then head to Stonehenge, Bath, Newport (overnight), Cardiff, Waterford (overnight), Avoca, Glendalough, Dublin (2 nights), Belfast, Edinburgh (2 nights), Jedburgh, York (overnight), Stratford-upon-Avon, and finish with a Shownight Theater Evening in London.

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Save $200 per person (off the price shown). Book by February 28, 2015.


For reservations, call us today.

Grand European Family Holiday

The Tauck Vienna Event

• 12 days touring Great Britain, France and Italy

• 6 days touring Vienna

• London to Rome

• Grand Hotel Wein, Vienna

• June 6, 20; July 4, 18; and August 1, 2015

• December 29, 2015 – January 3, 2016

• From $7,417 per person, land only

• From $7,490 per person, land only

• Web ID: EL1130

• Web ID: EL1131

Three of the world’s most exciting cities - London, Paris, and Rome plus a sojourn into the heart of the Italian countryside, welcome you and your family to sights and activities that are on every traveler’s must-see list – inspiring, enlightening and fun, with lots of hands-on activities and opportunities to truly get a taste of local life.

Spend New Year’s Eve 2015 at Le Grand Bal at the Hofburg Palace. The Tauck Vienna Event provides an exclusive insider’s glimpse into historic royal stories, musical prodigies and masterpieces, Vienna circa 1900, a taste of Viennese life, past and present – and an opportunity to attend a grand ball at an extraordinary New Year’s Eve celebration at Hofburg Palace. Take home rare insights provided by Tauck’s uncommon access to cultural icons and historic venues.

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Receive a Longitude book gift set (valued at $100) per booking. Book now.

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Receive a Longitude book gift set (valued at $100) per booking. Book now.

Deluxe Fiji

Ultimate Tahitian Escape

• 3 nights Fiji Resort Managed by Hilton, Beachfront Studio and 4 nights Tokoriki Island Resort, Beachfront Pool Bure

• 3 nights Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa, Overwater Suite and 4 nights St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Superior Overwater Villa

• Select departures now through March 31, 2016

• Select departures now through March 31, 2016

• From $3,879 per person, land only

• From $5,069 per person, land only

• Web ID: EL1132

• Web ID: EL1133

Immerse yourself in the storied beauty of the Fiji Islands! This vacation package includes a floral welcome upon arrival; a private island picnic for two; most meals; private car and scenic helicopter flight transfers; and much more. Add airfare to your package from the deluxe Fiji Airways!

The ultimate Tahitian getaway! This vacation includes most meals (including one evening at famous Bloody Mary’s); domestic flight and airport transfers; and more. Add airfare to your package from the award-winning Air Tahiti Nui!

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Complimentary Discover Nadi tour. Book by March 24, 2016.

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Le Taha’a: Receive a Vanilla Bamboo Box upon last turndown. St. Regis: Complimentary room upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability), 50% discount off roundtrip airport transfers and 20% discount at Miri Miri Spa. Book by March 21, 2016.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana

Paradisus Punta Cana

• 5 nights at Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana

• 5 nights at Paradisus Punta Cana

• Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

• Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

• April 27 – May 2, 2015

• April 27 – May 2, 2015

• From $2,093 per person, Junior Suite with Endless Privileges®

• From $886 per person, all-inclusive Deluxe Junior Suite

• Web ID: EL1134

• Web ID: EL1135

Here on the striking northeast coast of the Dominican Republic, you are welcomed to an all-inclusive, all-suite oasis of cane-thatched sanctuaries. Limited to just 51 exclusive suites, their hardwood floors and natural stone accents harmonize with the lush, secluded oceanfront setting. Receive complimentary golf and $200 in resort coupons.

The luxurious Paradisus Punta Cana resort offers an exclusive Royal Service, a Yhi Spa with a fully equipped, cutting-edge gym, 5 swimming pools, fine dining in any of 12 restaurants and 10 bars, golf course, casino, Teatro Nova, red lounge, a magnificent convention centre, as well as an adventure park with a batting area, archery, bikes and a climbing wall.

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Receive champagne breakfast in bed for two. Book now.

Receive one 50-minute massage per person, per stay. Book now.

Burgundy & Provence – Jazz Cruise

Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches

• 11 days (including 7-night cruise aboard Avalon Scenery) touring France

• 8 days cruising the Seine River aboard Avalon Creativity

• Côte d’Azur to Paris

• October 20 – 27, 2015

• June 29 – July 9, 2015

• From $2,849 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

• Roundtrip Paris

• From $4,099 per person, Deluxe Stateroom

• Web ID: EL1085

• Web ID: EL1084

Let the music move you on this special jazz departure, sailing from Côte d’Azur to Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, Lyon, Mâcon, Chalon-sur-Saône, and Paris (2 nights). An onboard jazz expert will provide nightly entertainment and conduct an enriching lecture. Additional onboard performances feature local jazz bands in Arles and Chalon. You will also have free time in Vienne, during its worldrenowned Jazz Festival.

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Sail to Vernon, for a choice of guided visits to either Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny or Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys with its Château Gaillard. Then, on to Caudebec, where you choose between an excursion to the Normandy landing beaches or a “Taste of Normandy.” Visit Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen, and in Conflans, visit Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison before heading back to Paris.

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For reservations, call us today.

Discovering Greek Isles & Turkey • 7 nights cruising Greece & Turkey aboard Azamara Journey®

St. Petersburg to London & Sail Amsterdam Week • 12 nights cruising Northern Europe aboard Azamara Quest®

• Athens to Istanbul

• Stockholm to Southampton

• July 30 – August 6, 2015 • From $2,999 per person, Club Oceanview, Taxes, Fees and Port Charges $107.96

• August 13 – 25, 2015 • From $5,424 per person, Club Oceanview, Taxes, Fees and Port Charges $392.96

• Web ID: EL1086

• Web ID: EL1087 You’ll fall in love with the ruins of Athens and cliffside villages and colorful beaches of Santorini. In Mykonos, enjoy lunch at a seaside taverna, and later join the nightlife for which this island is wellknown. Patmos boasts beautiful beaches, an aura of peace and some say a spiritual presence. Ephesus paints a picture of ancient life, and Istanbul is supremely exotic and unique.

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Marvel at the sight of thousands of islands as you sail the Stockholm Archipelago to Helsinki. Spend two days exploring St. Petersburg before visiting Tallin and Copenhagen. Spend two days enjoying the Sail Amsterdam Festival (that happens just once every five years): a dazzling show of sailboats, tall ships and rare boats. Brugge tops your voyage with a fairy-tale village, sublime chocolate and beer.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Kusadasi (Ephesus). Book now.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Copenhagen. Book now. ®

Alaska Northern Glacier

Scandinavia & Russia

• 7 days cruising Alaska aboard Celebrity Millennium® • Vancouver to Seward

• 13 days cruising Scandinavia & Russia aboard Celebrity Silhouette®

• July 3 & 31, 2015

• Roundtrip Amsterdam

• From $2,749 per person, AquaClassSM Stateroom

• May 3 – 16, 2015 • From $3,499 per person, AquaClassSM Stateroom

• Web ID: EL1090

• Web ID: EL1091 Take the adventure you always dreamed of. Witness dramatic displays of ice-shelves breaking off into icebergs. Marvel at moose and bear on the land, bald eagles soaring above, and humpback whales peacefully rolling with the sea. Sail from Vancouver to Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway and Seward, plus enjoy scenic cruising through the Inside Passage and Hubbard Glacier.

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Sail from eclectic Amsterdam to charming Warnemunde (for access to Berlin), the architectural marvels of centuries past in Tallinn, the regal palaces of St. Petersburg (overnight), the stunning bays of Helsinki, the islands of Stockholm, Fredericia, and the famous Tivoli Gardens of Copenhagen. Onboard, enjoy the iconic Lawn Club, Canyon Ranch SpaClub®, and much more.

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Receive $150 onboard credit per booking for AquaClass staterooms & suites. Receive $50 onboard credit per booking for other stateroom categories. Book now.

Receive $150 onboard credit per booking for AquaClassSM staterooms & suites. Receive $75 onboard credit per booking for other stateroom categories. Book now.

Taxes, Fees & Port expenses of up to $205.15 per person are additional and subject to change.

Taxes, Fees & Port expenses of up to $227.04 per person are additional and subject to change.

SM

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Across the East China Sea

Brazilian Holiday

• 12 days cruising the East China Sea aboard Crystal Symphony

• 15 days cruising Brazil aboard Crystal Symphony

• Hong Kong to Tokyo

• San Juan to Rio de Janeiro

• April 11 – 23, 2015

• December 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016

• From $4,295 per person, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom including $600 per person savings

• From $6,495 per person, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom including $3,000 per person savings

• Web ID: EL1098

• Web ID: EL1099 From the futuristic thrills of Shanghai to the old-world castles and temples of Osaka, experience a world where modernity coexists in harmony with antiquity. Sail from Hong Kong to Taipei/Keelung, Shanghai (overnight), Pusan, Kochi, Osaka (overnight), and Tokyo. Plus, you can purchase an optional 2-night adventure discovering Xi’an and its famed Terra Cotta Warriors prior to your cruise.

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Indulge in the treasures of Brazil - its famed beaches, sultry samba, lush rainforests and cosmopolitan vibe. Sail from San Juan to Scarborough, Devil’s Island, Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador da Bahia, Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Buzios, and cap off your journey with another overnight stay in captivating Rio de Janeiro.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Shanghai. Book by March 2, 2015.

Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Fortaleza. Book by March 2, 2015.

Port, security and handling charges of $325

Port, security and handling charges of $720

Epicurean Escapdade

White Sea Exploration

• 13 days cruising Portugal and France aboard Crystal Serenity

• 18 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Crystal Symphony

• Lisbon to London

• Reykjavik to London

• July 12 – 25, 2015

• July 8 – 26, 2015

• From $5,420 per person, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom including $800 per person savings

• From $8,435 per person, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom including $1,450 per person savings

• Web ID: EL1100

• Web ID: EL1101

Join Crystal President Edie Rodriguez on our 25th Anniversary Celebration President’s Cruise. Enjoy Western Europe’s gems plus the singular culinary perfection of Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s creations on a voyage of a lifetime. Sail from Lisbon to Oporto, St-Jean-de-Luz, Bordeaux (2 nights), Brest, St-Malo (overnight), Guernsey, Honfleur (overnight), and London.

Travel beyond the Arctic Circle to the Land of the Midnight Sun on a voyage hosted by Crystal’s Chairman, Nobuyoshi Kuzuya, and boasting five maiden calls to scenic ports in Russia’s White Sea as well as littleexplored towns and fjords in Norway. Sail from Reykjavik to Akureyri, Solovetsky & Zayatsky Islands, Murmansk, Honningsvag, Leknes (overnight), Bodo, Narvik, Geiranger, Oye, Bergen, and London.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Bordeaux. Book by March 2, 2015.

Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Bergen. Book by March 2, 2015.

Port, security and handling charges of $560

Port, security and handling charges of $810

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For reservations, call us today.

Istanbul, Greek Isles & Rome

Barcelona, Rome & Venice

• 14 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Queen Victoria®

• 14 days cruising the western Mediterranean aboard Queen Victoria®

• Athens to Rome

• Rome to Venice

• June 20 – July 4, 2015

• September 12 – 26, 2015

• From $3,608 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $3,741 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EL1102

• Web ID: EL1103

Having left Athens on this 14-night cruise, you’ll sail by Anzac Cove, site of the 1914 Gallipoli landings. Then an overnight in Istanbul captures the imagination with its Grand Bazaar and Blue Mosque, before a string of Greek gems – Volos, Mykonos, Athens (overnight), Santorini, and Olympia - and a visit to Bodrum lead you towards your Italian finale in Naples and Rome.

Leaving Rome on a 14-night cruise, you may admire Florence’s Ponte Vecchio, Monte Carlo’s old town, vivid Barcelona (overnight) and Napoleon’s home in Corsica before returning to Rome. Lush Corfu, medieval Kotor, Trieste’s Miramare Castle and fairy-tale Venice (overnight) are waiting to be explored too.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Athens. Book now.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Corfu. Book now. ®

The Adriatic, Turkey & the Greek Isles

Greece, Italy & Monte Carlo

• 21 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Queen Victoria®

• 21 days cruising the Black Sea aboard Queen Victoria®

• Rome to Istanbul

• Istanbul to Rome

• July 11 – August 1, 2015

• October 3 – 24, 2015

• From $5,849 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• From $5,517 per person, Balcony Stateroom

• Web ID: EL1104

• Web ID: EL1105

From Rome you’ll reach Corfu, one of six Adriatic gems that includes Venice (overnight) and Zadar. Mykonos’s villages and Rhodes’s palaces then lead to Turkey. Two days in Istanbul later, you’ll seek out Odessa, Yalta and Sochi before a return to Istanbul completes your 21-night adventure.

This 21-night adventure carries you between Istanbul and Rome. Three visits around the Black Sea start the discovery then Ephesus, Santorini and Olympia all dazzle. After touching shore three times in Italy – Naples, Rome, La Spezia - Monte Carlo, two days in Barcelona, and Corsica will also delight.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble Experience shore event in Rhodes. Book now. ®

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Ephesus (Kusadasi). Book now. ®

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Baltic Adventure

Mediterranean Romance

• 12 days cruising the Baltics aboard ms Eurodam

• 12 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard ms Nieuw Amsterdam

• Roundtrip Copenhagen

• Venice to Barcelona

• May 8 – 20, 2015

• June 21 – July 3, 2015

• From $2,199 per person, Verandah Stateroom

• From $2,499 per person, Verandah Stateroom

• Web ID: EL1110

• Web ID: EL1111

Special activities and events unfold every day on Holland America Line’s Northern Europe cruise vacations. Romantics and sophisticates will enjoy the spacious, elegant ms Eurodam, and gracious onboard service, on this voyage from Copenhagen to Hamburg, Tallinn, St. Petersburg (overnight), Helsinki, Stockholm (overnight), Berlin, and an overnight stay in Copenhagen.

Journey to the wellspring of dreams, where inspired Old World empires blossomed into bustling centers of culture, commerce and treasured art. Breathe in a world of refinement on board with five-star dining and award-winning service. Timeless beauty unfolds as you sail from Venice to Dubrovnik, Kotor, Kerkira, Naples, Rome, Florence/ Pisa, Monte Carlo, Provence, and Barcelona (overnight).

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble Experience shore event in St. Petersburg. Book now.

Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Naples. Book now.

Tahiti & Society Islands

Society Islands & Tuamotus

• 7 nights cruising Tahiti & French Polynesia aboard m/s Paul Gauguin

• 10 nights cruising Tahiti & French Polynesia aboard m/s Paul Gauguin

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• Roundtrip Papeete

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• Select departures February 21 through December 30, 2015

• Roundtrip Papeete

• From $3,995 per person, Porthole Stateroom including 50% savings & Roundtrip Airfare from LAX

• From $5,295 per person, Porthole Stateroom including 50% savings & Roundtrip Airfare from LAX

• Web ID: EL1116

• Web ID: EL1117

Draw close to the islands that inspired Gauguin and so many others. Call on Huahine, the “Garden Island.” Spend a day on a private islet off the coast of Taha’a. Explore magical Bora Bora (overnight) and bask on the private white-sand beach on a motu off the coast, and discover Moorea (overnight), said to be the model for Michener’s Bali Hai.

Visit the gracious Society Islands, including Huahine, with its stunning crystalline lagoon. The Tuamotu Archipelago, where none of the islets rise more than ten feet above sea level, awaits you next. Visit Rangiroa, noted for its fantastic diving – you may see rays, sharks, and dolphins – then sail to Bora Bora, Taha’a, and Moorea.

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• April 29; June 10 & July 29, 2015

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Mar 28, Jun 27, Sep 26 & Dec 30, 2015 sailings feature an Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Bora Bora. Other sailings feature a $100 per person shipboard credit. Book now.

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June 10 sailing features an Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Bora Bora. Other sailings feature a $100 per person shipboard credit. Book now. ®


For reservations, call us today.

Isles & Empires

Nordic Splendor

• 8 days cruising the eastern Mediterranean aboard Riviera

• 12 days cruising northern Europe aboard Nautica

• Rome to Venice

• Copenhagen to London

• August 19 – 27, 2015

• August 27 – September 8, 2015

• From $3,899 per person, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom including FREE Airfare

• From $6,499 per person, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom including FREE Airfare

• Web ID: EL1112

• Web ID: EL1113 Explore the remains of Massa Lubrense, preserved in volcanic ash for thousands of years. Taormina’s Greek Theater is a testament to the rich history of this city, and Argostoli’s Archaeological Museum is home to remarkable artifacts ranging from the prehistoric to the Roman periods. See it all as you sail from Rome to Sorrento/Capri, Taormina, Argostoli, Kotor, Zadar, Koper and Venice (overnight).

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The grand cities of the Baltic await you. Enjoy the last days of summer exploring some of Northern Europe’s most fascinating destinations, full of energy and monumental palaces that shine even more brightly under the summer sun. Sail from Copenhagen to Helsinki, St. Petersburg (overnight), Tallinn, Stockholm, Visby, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bruges, and London.

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Receive 2-for-1 cruise fares, Free airfare, Early booking savings of $1,600 per stateroom, and Pre-paid gratuities. Book by March 31, 2015.

Receive 2-for-1 cruise fares, Free airfare, Early booking savings of $3,000 per stateroom, and Pre-paid gratuities. Book by March 31, 2015.

Aegean Adventures

Continental Coasts

• 10 days cruising the eastern Mediterranean aboard Riviera

• 14 days cruising the western Mediterranean aboard Nautica

• Roundtrip Istanbul

• London to Rome

• September 7 – 17, 2015

• September 8 – 22, 2015

• From $4,999 per person, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom including FREE Airfare

• From $7,199 per person, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom including FREE Airfare

• Web ID: EL1114

• Web ID: EL1115

From the opulent temples and palaces of Istanbul to the whitewashed houses of Mykonos, this 10-day adventure explores the rich culture and history of the Black Sea. Sail from Istanbul to Mitilini, Ephesus, Rhodes, Bodrum, Aghios Nikolaos, Santorini, Mykonos, and Thessaloniki. These treasures are yours to behold on this fascinating sojourn along the shores of the Black Sea.

From the regal palaces of London to the modernist architecture of Barcelona and ancient ruins of Rome, this thrilling adventure is the perfect blend of some of Europe’s most enchanting destinations. Sail from London to Bordeaux (overnight), Bilbao, La Coruna, Oporto, Lisbon, Portimão, Barcelona, Provence, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa/ Tuscany, and Rome.

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Receive 2-for-1 cruise fares, Free airfare, Early booking savings of $2,600 per stateroom, and Pre-paid gratuities. Bonus limited time offer of $400 per stateroom shipboard credit and free unlimited internet. Book by March 31, 2015.

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Receive 2-for-1 cruise fares, Free airfare, Early booking savings of $3,000 per stateroom, and Pre-paid gratuities. Book by March 31, 2015.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Spanish Zeal

Celestial Sojourn

• 10 nights cruising the Western Mediterranean aboard Seven Seas Mariner®

• 10 nights cruising the Western Mediterranean aboard Seven Seas Mariner®

• Roundtrip Barcelona

• Lisbon to Rome

• July 2 – 12, 2015

• August 17 – 27, 2015

• From $8,999 per person, Deluxe Veranda Suite including 2-for-1 Fares and FREE Air

• From $8,999 per person, Deluxe Veranda Suite including 2-for-1 Fares and FREE Air

• Web ID: EL1118

• Web ID: EL1119

Seven Seas Mariner’s staff-to-guest ratio ensures the absolutely highest level of personal service as you explore the Mediterranean. Sail from Barcelona to Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari, Ajaccio, Portofino, Antibes, Saint-Tropez, and Toulon. Book by March 31, 2015 and receive up to $500 shipboard credit per suite, FREE Unlimited WiFi, and Business Class Air from only $999 each way.

Days of wonder stretch into star-filled nights of grandeur as you sail aboard the luxurious Seven Seas Mariner from Lisbon to Seville, Málaga, Alicante, Ibiza, Barcelona, Saint-Tropez, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence/Pisa, and Rome, and enjoy FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions. Book by March 31, 2015 and receive a Business Class Air upgrade from only $1,299 each way.

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Receive an additional $100 shipboard credit per person. Book now.

Receive $100 shipboard credit per person. Book now.

Baroque Enchantment

Baltic Sea Delights

• 10 nights cruising Northern Europe aboard Seven Seas Voyager®

• 10 nights cruising the Baltic Sea aboard Seven Seas Voyager®

• Stockholm to Berlin

• Copenhagen to Stockholm

• June 26 – July 6, 2015

• July 26 – August 5, 2015

• From $9,799 per person, Deluxe Veranda Suite including 2-for-1 Fares and FREE Air

• From $9,799 per person, Deluxe Veranda Suite including 2-for-1 Fares and FREE Air

• Web ID: EL1120

• Web ID: EL1121 Experience all of the amazing history and culture of Northern Europe. Sail from Stockholm, the “Venice of the North,” to Tallinn, St. Petersburg (2 nights), Helsinki, Riga, Latvia, Klaipéda, Berlin, and “wonderful, wonderful” Copenhagen – all while indulging in Seven Seas Voyager’s luxurious amenities. Book by March 31, 2015 and receive a Business Class Air upgrade from only $499 each way.

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Receive $100 shipboard credit per person. Book now.

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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. Sail from Copenhagen to Berlin, Klaipéda, Riga, Helsinki, St. Petersburg (2 nights), Tallinn, and Stockholm. Book by March 31, 2015 and receive a Business Class Air upgrade from only $999 each way.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in St. Petersburg. Book now. ®


For reservations, call us today.

St. Petersburg & the Baltic

Rivieras & Ramblas

• 7 days cruising the Baltic Sea aboard Seabourn Quest

• 10 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Sojourn

• Stockholm to Copenhagen

• Rome to Monte Carlo

• June 6 & August 1, 2015

• June 10; August 5 & September 2, 2015

• From $4,699 per person, Oceanview Suite

• From $6,699 per person, Oceanview Suite

• Web ID: EL1122

• Web ID: EL1123

In summer, Northern Europe takes on a festive air as its people celebrate the return of long, warm days and lingering daylight. Sail from Stockholm to Tallinn, St. Petersburg (2 nights), Helsinki, and Copenhagen; and enjoy an intimate yacht experience featuring gracious service and award-winning dining aboard Seabourn Quest.

With Seabourn as your guide, cruise to marquee ports as well as unsung gems where larger ships cannot follow. Discover the true joys of an intimate yacht experience as you sail from Rome to Portoferraio, San Remo, St-Tropez, Marseille, Barcelona (overnight), Ciutadella, scenic cruising the Calanques, Hyeres, and Monte Carlo.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in St. Petersburg. Book now.

Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Barcelona. Book now.

Greece & Dalmatian Delights

Mediterranean Mosaic

• 7 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Odyssey

• 14 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Seabourn Sojourn

• Athens to Venice

• Monte Carlo to Athens

• June 13; August 22 & September 26, 2015

• October 17 – 31, 2015 • From $6,999 per person, Oceanview Suite

• From $4,699 per person, Oceanview Suite

• Web ID: EL1125

• Web ID: EL1124

Sail from the antiquities of Athens to the rock-carved rooms of Monemvasia, Katakolon’s gateway to ancient Olympia, the beautiful village of Nydri, the revered Greek island of Corfu, the UNESCO designated World Heritage site of Dubrovnik, secluded Triluke Bay, and the romantic cafes and canals of Venice.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble Experience shore event in Corfu. Book now. ®

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Seabourn Sojourn enchants her guests with an array of public areas scaled to encourage a relaxed sociability as you sail from Monte Carlo to other glittering ports of call: Santa Margherita, Florence/ Pisa, Calvi, Victoria, Valletta (overnight), Syracuse, Agios Nikolaos, Symi, Mykonos, Ephesus, Cesme, and Athens.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Valletta. Book now.

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T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Venice to Istanbul

Barcelona to Rome

• 9 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Silver Spirit

• 10 days cruising the Mediterranean aboard Silver Wind

• Venice to Istanbul

• Barcelona to Rome

• June 10 – 19, 2015

• June 29 – July 9, 2015

• From $4,850 per person, Vista Suite

• From $4,950 per person, Vista Suite

• Web ID: EL1126

• Web ID: EL1127

From the Adriatic to the Sea of Marmara, this journey takes you back in time while enjoying some of the region’s most picturesque ports. Enjoy the sound of turquoise waters lapping on the beach, and marvel at Turkish mosques in moonlight and the whitewashed houses of Greek isles gleaming in the sun. Sail from Venice to Ravenna, Trogir, Montenegro, Corfu, Katakolon, Santorini, Kusadasi, and Istanbul.

It’s difficult not to fall in love with the Mediterranean. On this cruise, enjoy Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, the bohemian spirit of Ibiza (overnight), San Antonio, Porto Mahon, Alghero, the lush forests of Calvi, Portofino, the Renaissance treasures of Florence (overnight), and Rome. Each of these places exude that hard-to-define yet undeniable Mediterranean charm.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble Experience shore event in Corfu. Book now.

Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble Experience shore event in Porto Mahon. Book now.

Copenhagen to Stockholm

Stockholm to Southampton

• 10 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Silver Whisper

• 12 days cruising Northern Europe aboard Silver Whisper

• Copenhagen to Stockholm

• Stockholm to Southampton

• July 10 – 20, 2015

• August 27 – September 8, 2015

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®

• From $5,850 per person, Vista Suite

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• From $6,150 per person, Vista Suite

• Web ID: EL1128

• Web ID: EL1129

The peak of summer is an ideal time to visit the Scandinavian, Baltic and Russian gems on this cruise. The sun shines bright deep into the night, and the region truly springs to life. Experience Copenhagen, Gdansk, Klaipeda, Riga, Helsinki (overnight), St. Petersburg (2 nights), Tallinn, and Stockholm.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in St. Petersburg. Book now.

78 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015

The art, architecture and undeniable charm of eight northern countries will amaze you on this cruise. From the archipelago of Stockholm to the canals of Amsterdam, glimpse some of Europe’s most regal and historic ports: Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg (2 nights), Helsinki, Warnemunde, cruising the Kiel Canal, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, and Southampton.

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Ensemble Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore event in Warnemunde. Book now. ®


For reservations, call us today.

Grand European Tour

Romantic Danube

• 15 days cruising Europe aboard NEW Viking Longship Mimir or Skadi

• 8 days cruising the Danube River aboard a NEW Viking Longship

• Amsterdam to Budapest

• Budapest to Nuremberg

• Select departures throughout 2015

• Select departures throughout 2015

• From $3,562 per person, Riverview Stateroom including 2015 Special Savings

• From $1,856 per person, Riverview Stateroom including 2015 Special Savings

• Web ID: EL1138

• Web ID: EL1139

Experience 15 magical days along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Ports of call include: Amsterdam, Kinderdijk, Cologne, Koblenz, Middle Rhine, Miltenberg, Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Krems, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest (overnight).

Encounter the grand cities and quaint villages along the celebrated Danube River. Explore both sides of Hungary’s capital (traditional “Buda” and more cosmopolitan “Pest”) before sailing on to Vienna, Melk, Passau, Regensburg, and through the Main-Danube Canal to Nuremberg (overnight).

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Receive a $50 shipboard credit per stateroom. Book by February 28, 2015.

NSEMBL E ®

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XCL U SIVE

Receive a $50 shipboard credit per stateroom. Book by February 28, 2015.

Rhine Getaway

Danube Waltz

• 8 days cruising the Rhine River aboard a NEW Viking Longship

• 8 days cruising the Danube River aboard a NEW Viking Longship

• Amsterdam to Basel

• Budapest to Passau

• Select departures throughout 2015

• Select departures throughout 2015

• From $1,856 per person, Riverview Stateroom including 2015 Special Savings

• From $1,856 per person, Riverview Stateroom including 2015 Special Savings

• Web ID: EL1140

• Web ID: EL1141

In Germany, see the many charming castles as you sail by, and experience the lush landscape of the Black Forest region. Explore Holland’s famous windmills, and take part in the inviting nightlife in Drosselgasse. Sail from Amsterdam to Kinderdijk, Cologne, Koblenz, Rüdesheim, Heidelberg, Speyer, Breisach, and Basel.

This 8-day itinerary takes you through four of Europe’s most enchanting countries along the storied Danube River; Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. Sail from Budapest (overnight) to Bratislava, Vienna, Dürnstein, Melk, Linz, Salzburg, and Passau (overnight).

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NSEMBLE®

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X C L U S IV E

Receive a $50 shipboard credit per stateroom. Book by February 28, 2015.

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NSEMBL E ®

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XCL U SIVE

Receive a $50 shipboard credit per stateroom. Book by February 28, 2015.

Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015 79


T R AV E L E R ’ S N O T E B O O K

Burgundy & Provence

Danube Holiday Markets

• 8 days cruising France aboard S.S. Catherine • Avignon to Lyon

• 8 days cruising Europe aboard S.S. Maria Theresa

• May 24 – 31, 2015

• Budapest to Passau

• From $4,599 per person, Riverview Stateroom

• December 1 – 15, 2015 • From $3,299 per person, Riverview Stateroom

• Web ID: EL1136

• Web ID: EL1137

Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Gauguin on this exquisite journey through southern France. You’ll cruise the serene Rhône and Saône rivers on Uniworld’s striking Super Ship, S.S. Catherine, enjoying the region’s incomparable wine and cuisine. Discover the many treasures of Burgundy and Provence as you sail from Avignon to Tarascon, Viviers, Tournon, Beaune, and Lyon.

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience shore excursion to an olive farm, plus save $100 per person off the price shown and receive a $50 per person shipboard credit. Book now.

Celebrate the holiday season with centuries-old traditions and brand-new style. Glorious baroque architecture, delightful concerts, and ravishing scenery will make this Christmas season unforgettable as you sail along the Danube, visiting Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Krems, Linz (with an optional excursion to Salzburg), and Passau.

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NSEMBL E ®

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Ensemble® Hosted Cruise with Ensemble® Experience excursion to Schönbrunn Palace and Christmas Market, plus save $100 per person off the price shown and receive a $50 per person shipboard credit. Book now.

FOR ALL ENSEMBLE LifestylesTM 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.

80 Ensemble Lifestyles Winter 2015


Let Our Experience Enhance Yours!

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.

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.

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.


You are invited to experie­nce life at its best ‌ a vacation designed just for you by

Whenever the passion to travel strikes you, be assured we are ready with the knowledge, the exclusive programs, and the insider connections to help you realize your dreams.

Ensemble Lifestyles - Winter 2015  
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