Posts tagged with "vocation"

Princess Cruises Receives Three First-Place Accolades

Princess Cruises Receives Three First-Place Accolades in Cruise Critic’s Annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards

Cruise Line Ranks #1 in Australia & New Zealand, the Baltic & Scandinavia and the U.S. & Canada

Recognized as a destination leader, taking guests to more than 380 worldwide ports of call, Princess Cruises has been awarded three first-place accolades in Cruise Critic’s fourth annual “Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.” Based entirely on consumer ratings, the awards name the world’s most popular cruise destinations – as well as the best cruise lines to visit each region. In the Large Cruise Ship Category Princess Cruises was named Top Cruise Line in Australia & New Zealand, the Baltic & Scandinavia and the U.S. & Canada.

In addition, the cruise line ranked in the top three as best in the British Isles & Western Europe (#2); the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda (#3); Hawaii (#2); Mexican Riviera (#2); the Panama Canal & Central America (#3); South America & Antarctica (#2); the South Pacific (#2) and the Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya (#2) – all in the Large Ship Cruise Line Category.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as the top cruise line to so many bucket-list destinations in this Cruise Critic destination awards,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Our dedicated team of destination experts, with decades of experience planning itineraries and shore excursions, offer our guests what we believe are the best in the cruise industry.”

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises was founded in 1965 with a single ship sailing to the Mexican Riviera. Today, the cruise line is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on more than 150 award-winning itineraries to destinations around the globe.

Cruisers interested in U.S. & Canada cruises can choose from several voyages during the upcoming Canada & New England season onboard Princess MedallionClass™ ships Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. Royal Princess, also a MedallionClass ship, is currently sailing the west coast with voyages to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera and the California Coast. More details regarding itineraries to all recognized destinations, including current promotions, can be found at www.princess.com.

Cruise lines awarded in this year’s awards stood out among all of the lines that sail in each region, receiving the highest ratings from cruisers who sailed with the line over the past year and shared their experiences on Cruise Critic.

“For most travelers, the decision of where to cruise is made before they think about all the other pieces of the cruise planning process,” explains Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “And for those looking for incredible cruise destinations and experiences, there’s no better way to narrow your options than by seeing which destinations and cruise lines are rated most highly by cruisers who have already been there, done that.”

Cruise Critic boasts the world’s largest online cruise community, with more than 50 million opinions, reviews & photos, covering approximately 700 cruise ships and over 500 worldwide ports.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

About Princess Cruises

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica and World Cruises. A team of professional destination experts have curated 170 itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days and Princess Cruises is continuously recognized as “Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.”

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to do the things they love most. MedallionClass Vacations will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.

Princess Cruises continues its multi-year, “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million-dollar product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements result in more moments of awe, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation. The product innovations include partnerships with award-winning Chef Curtis Stone; engaging entertainment inspired shows with Broadway-legend Stephen Schwartz; immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities; the ultimate sleep at sea with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed and more.

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship under construction, Sky Princess, scheduled for delivery in October 2019, followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess previously announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests are planned for delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 and 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

About Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic® is an online cruise guide, offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travelers, from first-time cruisers to avid cruise enthusiasts. The site features more than 350,000 cruise reviews and hosts the world’s largest online cruise community where travelers share experiences and opinions with fellow cruisers. Cruise Critic was the first consumer cruise site on the Internet, launched in October 1995 by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), the world’s largest travel platform, helps 490 million travelers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the TripAdvisor site and app to browse more than 760 million reviews and opinions of 8.3 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to TripAdvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. TripAdvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

The subsidiaries and affiliates of TripAdvisor, Inc. own and operate a portfolio of websites and businesses, including the following travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.comwww.bokun.iowww.bookingbuddy.comwww.cruisecritic.comwww.familyvacationcritic.comwww.flipkey.comwww.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.comwww.eltenedor.com, and www.restorando.com), www.holidaylettings.co.ukwww.holidaywatchdog.comwww.housetrip.comwww.jetsetter.comwww.niumba.comwww.onetime.comwww.oyster.comwww.seatguru.comwww.smartertravel.comwww.tingo.comwww.vacationhomerentals.com and www.viator.com.

LEARNING + TRAVEL: THE SECRETS TO LONG LIFE?

New Survey Reveals Belief that Travel Plus a Passion for Learning are Key

We’ve all heard the theories that exercise, healthy diet and challenging mind games can help a person live longer with greater mental acuity, but it seems that travel (particularly travel with an educational focus) should be added to that list as well. Road Scholar, the nation’s non-profit leader in educational travel for Boomers and beyond, conducted an online national survey of more than 1,000 men and women, age 55 and older, and found that an overwhelming 85 percent of them believe travel actually can help extend their life. As for the main reason for travel, 43 percent said they travel to learn about other cultures and places. In fact, 26 percent described themselves as lifelong learners. In addition, a full 74 percent of respondents said travel was “important” or “very important” as a way to maintain mental acuity. Road Scholar was built on the belief that learning is the key to a longer and more fulfilled life, and a large number of their survey respondents seem to agree.

“We hear over and over how important learning, coupled with a travel component, is in the lives of Road Scholar participants, but it was fascinating to discover that so many of the people surveyed view travel and learning as synergistic, and the best way to learn about the world,” stated Road Scholar’s President and CEO, Jim Moses. “Road Scholar has always focused on learning, and our educational adventures combine the best of both education and travel.”

Of course, the findings also reflect a shift in current thinking about the role of learning in our lives, particularly as we age, noted Moses. “The concept of learning as an age-based activity for children and young adults is being replaced by a philosophy of the benefits of lifelong learning – an approach to learning that is not just school-based, but experiential, social and intellectual and continuing throughout the course of a person’s life. For many, travel is an ideal way to continue learning new things no matter their age,” he said.

“I definitely think that travel enhances and may contribute to longer life,” said Debbie S., a 65-year-old avid traveler who divides her time between Arlington TX and Presque Isle, WI. “It keeps your brain working. It’s also been proven that if you have passions that you tend to live longer.”

Maxine T., a 73-year-old woman from Walnut Creek, CA, agrees in the power of travel, saying “Each trip leaves us hungry for the next adventure so, I guess we’ll have to live a very long time. There sure is a lot of world to see!”

In addition to longevity, the survey asked respondents to list all the ways they keep their brains active and engaged and gave them a list of methods that included reading/book club, crossword puzzles, continuing education classes, travel, museum visits and attending lectures.

Travel was cited more frequently than any other category, by 69 percent of respondents. Reading and book clubs were a close second at 66 percent, followed by crossword puzzles at 49 percent and museum visits at 42 percent.  Continuing education and attending lectures were checked by 36 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

About Road Scholar

Road Scholar is the nation’s largest not-for-profit educational travel organization for adults – a true university of the world. It offers 5,500 programs in 150 countries and 50 states and financial aid for those who otherwise could not participate in its programs. Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, the world leader in educational travel since 1975. Learn more at roadscholar.org

Survey Methodology Details

This survey was conducted by Survata, an independent research firm in San Francisco. Survata interviewed 1000 online respondents between April 22, 2019 and April 28, 2019. Respondents were reached across the Survata publisher network, where they take a survey to unlock premium content, like articles and ebooks. Respondents received no cash compensation for their participation. More information on Survata’s methodology can be found at survata.com/methodology.

The Hotel Concord Receives AAA’s Four Diamond Rating

Just 6.3 percent of more than 27,000 AAA Inspected & Approved hotels receive the prestigious rating


The Hotel Concord, the Capital City’s newest boutique hotel, has received the coveted AAA Four Diamond designation. Opened in August 2018,  The Hotel Concord  is honored with this prestigious designation in its first year in operation.

“From its inception, The Hotel Concord was conceived as a premier property with high-end amenities and a premium level of service,” said David V. Shamoian, President & CEO of the Bravo Zulu Hospitality Group. “We are exceptionally proud of the work the ownership group, the design team, and the hotel staff has put into making The Hotel Concord a standout property.”

Hotels at this level are committed to providing every guest with a high degree of hospitality and attentive service in upscale surroundings, according to AAA. Four Diamond rated properties typically offer an extensive array of amenities and guest services.

The Hotel Concord is part of a select group of establishments within North America. Currently, just 1,722 hotels hold the AAA Four Diamond designation and is one of only 8 hotels in New Hampshire

“AAA is pleased to recognize The Hotel Concord as a Four Diamond hotel,” said Michael Petrone, director of AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings. “These establishments dedicate a significant amount of attention to detail that helps ensure a consistent and memorable guest experience. To uphold the exceptionally high standards required on a daily basis to attain this rating is an outstanding achievement.”

The Hotel Concord is a 38-room boutique hotel located on the fourth and sixth floor of the Capital Commons building in the heart of downtown Concord. It was conceived by developer Michael J. Simchik, managing partner of NH-based 100 Market Group, and is run by Bravo Zulu Hospitality Group, headed by David V. Shamoian, who has brought his 40 years of hospitality industry expertise to the new property, making it the premier hotel in Concord.

The Hotel Concord stands out in the Capital City for its unique rooms and high-end amenities. Each of the spacious rooms is a different shape and size offering guests a distinctive luxury experience, with high-tech features like state-of-the-art climate control systems, wall mounted flat screen televisions, high-speed internet and Amazon Echo Dots. To ensure the highest level of guest comfort, the rooms are also sound-proofed and feature luxury bed linens and bathrobes, California-style closets, mini fridges and well-appointed oversized bathrooms. Some rooms feature balconies with views of New Hampshire’s Capitol Building, Concord’s Main Street and the Merrimack River.

At The Hotel Concord, guests will enjoy a welcoming lobby, comfortable lounge and The Lobbyist Bar, where a light breakfast is served each morning. Executive lounges, function rooms, on-site restaurant O Steaks and Seafood, 24-hour gym and 24-hour certified chief concierge service aim to provide guests of The Hotel Concord with all their travel needs during their stay.

Those interested in an upcoming stay at The Hotel Concord can find booking information at www.hotelconcordnh.com, or by calling 603-504-3500.

About AAA Inspections

For more than 80 years, AAA has used professional inspectors to conduct in-person property evaluations. AAA offers the only rating system using comprehensive, on-site professional hotel and restaurant evaluations guided by member priorities. With a far greater inventory than any other rating entity, AAA’s rating system covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments and inspector insight in AAA’s trip planning products: the AAA Mobile app, the online AAA Travel Guides and Travel Planner and the AAA TourBook guides available to members at AAA offices.

AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 35 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

About the Hotel Concord

Michael Simchik, the developer of The Capital Commons office building, had a vision for a multi-use building complex with a hotel being the last component of his master plan. The Hotel Concord, along with O’s Steak and Seafood, corporate meeting and event facilities, Red River Theater, attached covered parking, and premier  executive office space completes this landmark development.    https://www.hotelconcordnh.com

6 Trips to Broaden Your Kids’ Minds This Summer

Now that school’s out for summer, enroll the whole family in a crash course on nature and wildlife with Natural Habitat Adventures

Summer vacation may mean “no more pencils and no more books,” but it can also be a great opportunity for the whole family to learn something new together. Natural Habitat Adventures, the world leader in eco-friendly wildlife-focused expeditions around the globe, offers nature-centric trips designed to get explorers of all ages trading their tablets and phones for GoPros and binoculars. From sailing “Darwin’s Laboratory” in the Galapagos on a private ship to taking moonlit treks through the jungles of Costa Rica, Nat Hab’s family adventure trips are designed around conservation, curiosity and quality time – all disguised as a vacation.

Expand your family’s horizons with these summer experiences:

1. Go exploring in “Darwin’s Laboratory”

Come face-to-face with an outstanding array of wildlife, including sea lions, marine iguanas and giant tortoises on Nat Hab’s 10-day Family Galapagos Adventure. Made famous by evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, the Galapagos archipelago is the very best place for young explorers to learn about evolution, natural selection and how animals adapt to micro-environments. Sail aboard the National Geographic Islander, a family-friendly ship with a specialty research- and adventure-focused kids’ program on board. Record wildlife sightings in your field notebook, listen for underwater life via the ship’s hydrophone and stretch out in special family cabins designed to sleep up to three. Off-ship, don a wetsuit for snorkeling, paddleboarding and Zodiac adventures with your naturalist Expedition Leader, where you can come mask-to-nose with penguins, turtles and seals.
Priced from $7,650
Dates: July 20 & 27, 2019; July 4, 8, 18, 23, 2020; Aug 1 & 6, 2020

2. Seek out lions after sunset in the Maasai Mara

Make conservation the centre of the conversation on the Family Kenya Adventure, an 8-day, custom-crafted itinerary featuring the Maasai Mara’s charismatic creatures whose futures may be at risk. Learn about poaching and pachyderm rescue during a visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and make friends in high places at the Giraffe Center before heading along the Great Rift Valley into open grasslands. Stretch out in an unfenced luxury tented camp set in the middle of a Maasai Mara private conservancy, and go for guided walks under a sprawling blue sky while keeping your eyes peeled for zebra, hippo and elephant. Later, as evening falls, head out on a sunset game drive in search of lions and other predators to discover life on the plains after dark.
Priced from $7,995
Trip arranged upon request

3. Journey to Peru’s lost Incan Empire

Immerse your family in the emerald-colored jungles and incredible ancient ruins of the Peruvian Andes on a 7-day Custom Family Machu Picchu Adventure. Witness amazing feats of centuries-old civil and hydraulic engineering and learn about Incan astronomy and architecture while exploring the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Meet with local Quechua people in Pisac and learn about advocacy conservation projects from the students of Tikapata School. Stay in private stone casitas along the Urubamba River, and experience 15th-century life in Machu Picchu with tales from your private Peruvian guide. Later, compare ancient civilizations with natural Amazonian marvels in the world’s largest tropical forest basin, where kids will take riverboat tours in search of pink river dolphins, or go ashore to scout for the scarlet and green-winged macaws, howler monkeys and leaf-cutter ants that call the Amazon home.
Priced from $4,495
Trip arranged upon request

4. Safari closer to home in Yellowstone National Park

Embark on an unforgettable wildlife adventure without leaving the continent on Nat Hab’s 7-day Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari. Learn how this North American ecosystem works, understanding the importance of ecological balance between predators and prey, and follow naturalist Expedition Leaders into lesser-known areas of the park where bison, bighorn sheep, bears and wolves live largely undisturbed by tourist crowds. See the secret lives of Lamar Valley wolves using a high-powered spotting scope and talk fire ecology—how nature recovers from the ravages of wildfires—with your guide. In an extraordinary natural setting selected for conservation by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1872, guests can engage in enlightening conversations about how hunting along Yellowstone’s perimeter affects the ecosystem inside the park, and why competing political interests threaten the park’s apex predators even to this day.
Priced from $5,295
Dates: August 27 & 29, 2019

5. Scout for sloths on horseback

With its neon-billed toucans, jungle-fringed rivers, mist-cloaked cloud forests and towering volcanoes, Costa Rica is like something out of a child’s imagination. Encounter geothermal phenomena and extraordinary tropical wildlife in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth on this Custom Family Costa Rica Adventure. Join scientists and conservationists at ecological research centers for some interactive exploration of the country’s rain forest ecosystem and discover how cacao beans are transformed into tasty treats with chocolate-making lessons. Soar above the forest canopy on a zip line, search for sloths while on horseback, brave a nighttime bat walk at the 850-acre Tirimbina Rainforest Center and take in the views at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, adjacent to the country’s most famous volcano.
Priced from $5,095
Trip arranged upon request

6. Dog sled across the Arctic tundra

No time for a summer excursion? Surprise the kids with a mid-term getaway to the planet’s “living laboratory” when it comes to climate change in the North. The Arctic tundra around Churchill, Manitoba is one of the nature’s last great frontiers—for now. Learn about its delicate ecosystem and the impact of a warming world on Nat Hab’s 6-day Churchill Arctic Family Adventure, where naturalist Expedition Leaders lead a family-focused adventure that’s all about pairing environmental awe with conservation awareness. Helicopter over frozen Hudson Bay in search of polar bears, race through the boreal forest on an authentic sled dog ride, and climb aboard Nat Hab’s special Polar Rover, a monster-sized truck specially designed for up-close wildlife observation—look for caribou and Arctic fox. In evenings, take in the stunning night sky—and if you’re lucky, the northern lights.
Priced from $5,995
Dates: Nov 16 & 18, 2019

For more information about Natural Habitat Adventures, visit www.nathab.com.

About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.

Tambour Horizon The spirit of Louis Vuitton Travel

The new Tambour Horizon is a unique connected experience that fully encompasses Louis Vuitton’s spirit of travel, craftsmanship and creative values. Building on the success of previous models, this Tambour Horizon collection boasts a new element of design, new materials and new colours, taking user experience, functions and technical innovation further than ever before.

New exclusive options allow you to personalise the dial with your chosen watch face. In the spirit of connected technology, time display is essentially digital. The digital mode is embellished with emblematic motifs – Monogram, Damier, or even with the V for Gaston-Louis Vuitton. These have all been entirely reworked, deconstructed, and broken down to create transparent effects and contrasts with the Monogram Flowers. The new colour palette, the contrasting bands and the option of adding your initials mean that an almost infinite number of aesthetic combinations are possible all in the image of the House. Special watch faces have been added to the existing collection, featuring the same strong design aesthetic typical of a Louis Vuitton runway show.

Embodying Louis Vuitton’s art of travel, the Tambour Horizon watch enriches the “My Travel” experience by grouping all of your travel information together in one place. The dedicated watch faces sync with your hotel, flight or train bookings, as well as your departure and arrival times. Before, during and at the end of your journey, all of your essential travel information is displayed so that you have it constantly on hand.And finding the address of a hotel, restaurant or tourist site has never been so easy thanks to the exclusive City Guide function, featuring 30 international destinations.

Accompanying you throughout your day, at work and at play, the Tambour Horizon offers exclusive new functions, combined with watch faces devoted to guarantee perfect readability and clarity. Across the rim, a new 24-hour ring with day/night indicator, visible even when the watch is in ambient mode, lets you view all your data at a glance. With its own watch face, the “Agenda” function separates meeting times from free time with distinctive coloured segments.

The “Step counter” function lets travellers who like to visit cities on foot record the distance treked and the most intensive periods of movement. Again, the watch face has a detailed design with the LV Archlight, the iconic Louis Vuitton sneaker, pictured at the centre.

The “Pollution” function displays the air quality index on the watch face in real time. Air quality projections are displayed in coloured segments. Weather and temperature forecasts put the finishing touches to the Tambour Horizon’s functions.

While the unisex case retains the emblematic Tambour Horizon shape and inverted curved case, the watch is now available in polished white ceramic. The use of this material in craftsmanship smart watchmaking is a true feat of technical excellence. In addition to new versions in polished steel, matte black PVD, white ceramic and white ceramic with gem-set horns, there is also a matte brown PVD model. This colour has been an integral part of Louis Vuitton’s aesthetic since 1854, used most prominently in the emblematic Monogram design.

Complementing Louis Vuitton’s style and expressing the concept of personalisation, interchangeable straps are available in new versions with unique patterns, colours and materials.

Making the Tambour Horizon watch even more intuitive, the various functions are now accessed quickly and easily with a rotating crown that can be turned with a single finger. With the new Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 3100 Platform**, the watch is now boasting an extended battery life of one full day and up to 5 additional days in watch mode (time display only). It also has an improved screen with excellent definition. With the Wear OS by Google™ operating system, Tambour Horizon users enjoy a simple and improved navigation experience that gives them access their information faster.

In tune with your daily routine, the new Tambour Horizon watch is not just a useful everyday accessory, but a reflection of your style and personality.

About Louis Vuitton

Since 1854, Louis Vuitton has brought unique designs to the world, combining innovation with style, always aiming for the finest quality. Today, the House remains faithful to the spirit of its founder, Louis Vuitton, who invented a genuine “Art of Travel” through luggage, bags and accessories which were as creative as they were elegant and practical. Since then, audacity has shaped the story of Louis Vuitton. Faithful to its heritage, Louis Vuitton has opened its doors to architects, artists and designers across the years, all the while developing disciplines such as ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, watches, jewellery and fragrance. These carefully created products are testament to Louis Vuitton’s commitment to fine craftsmanship.

For more information: louisvuitton.com