The Villages Travel and Tour Magazine

doogie21

TO WIKIPEDIA, A NEWS ARTICLE DISCUSSES CURRENT OR

ACCORDING

NEWS OF EITHER GENERAL INTEREST (I.E. DAILY NEWSPAPERS)

RECENT

OF A SPECIFIC TOPIC (I.E. POLITICAL OR TRADE NEWS MAGAZINES,

OR

NEWSLETTERS, OR TECHNOLOGY NEWS WEBSITES).

CLUB

VIEW FULL STATS


Dear Fellow Traveler,

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves in the unknown. To

take detours and spend our days aimlessly wandering on

cobblestone streets and down gravel roads. As we grow as

travelers, so does our purpose. We no longer travel to lose

ourselves, but to find ourselves, to uncover hidden pieces

of our soul lost in the ruts of everyday life. Essentially, we

learn that the real reason we travel is to feel young again—

to ignite that feeling that “any adventure is possible.”

This issue of Postcards will do just that—take you on a

journey through some of the world’s most beautiful

locations to channel your inner adventurer. From the

rugged red-hued cliffs of Sedona to the gleaming

skyscrapers of Dubai, you’ll find everything you need to

uncover your true self.

Turn the pages and transport yourself to the striking red

sandstone formations of Sedona. Sip a mojito as you walk

through Old Havana’s perfectly preserved Plaza Vieja. Feel

the warm ocean breeze on your face from Mexico’s coast

as you indulge yourself in a luxurious outdoor massage

treatment.

This issue will do more than just send you on a visual

journey to self-awakening, it will push your wanderlust into

overdrive with full-page photos, special travel deals and

expertly crafted tips.

EXPLORE THE MEDITERRANEAN

WITH CELEBRITY CRUISES

Cruise aboard the Celebrity Constellation

on a 12-night Italy, Turkey and Greece

cruise.

Book through our agency and receive a

Distinctive Voyages Host, Private Cocktail

Reception and Exclusive Shore Event at

no extra cost.

Departs April 15, 2017.

JOURNEY THROUGH

THE BALTIC SEA WITH

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE

Travel roundtrip from Copenhagen,

Denmark, on a 12-day Baltic Adventure

cruise on the ms Zuiderdam visiting

Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland and

Sweden.

Enjoy a $75 shipboard credit per stateroom

when you book through our agency.

Departs May 29, 2017.

Using our vast traveling experiences and personal

connections around the world, our agency will take care of

every last detail of your journey. All you need to worry

about is which beautiful place you’ll discover first.

Best regards,

THE VILLAGES TRAVEL & TOUR


DISCOVER THE MEDITERRANEAN

WITH PRINCESS

fares from

7-DAY MEDITERRANEAN

Royal Princess® | From Barcelona to Rome | 06/25/16 & 7/16/2016 $1,499 *

Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $135 per person are additional, and are subject to change.

fares from

14-DAY MEDITERRANEAN ADVENTURER

Emerald Princess® | Roundtrip from Southampton | 6/18/2016 $2,929 *

Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $125 per person are additional, and are subject to change.

BOOK TODAY AND RECEIVE UP TO $60 ONBOARD CREDIT

*contact your agent today.

Fares are per person, non-air, cruise-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two passengers in a stateroom. These fares do not apply to singles or third/

fourth-berth passengers. This offer is capacity controlled and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past passenger discount, including onboard credits.

Offer is not transferable and is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older

and receive this offer. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please contact your travel consultant for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings. Up to $60 onboard

credit is per stateroom, based on double occupancy. Onboard credit may be used on a single voyage only, expires at the end of that voyage and is not redeemable for cash.

Onboard credit is quoted in U.S. dollars. Void where prohibited by law. ©2015 Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.


X Viking Longship Explorer Suite

The largest suites on European waters.

An onboard concierge to customize each guest’s cruise.

The most modern river cruise fleet.

More travel awards than any other river cruise line.

The World’s Leading River Cruise Line…By Far®

Romantic Danube

Budapest to Nuremberg

8 Days from $2,056

Rhine Getaway

Amsterdam to Basel

8 Days from $2,156

Grand European Tour

Amsterdam to Budapest

15 Days from $3,962

For details on Viking’s latest offers,

contact your agent today.

Note: Romantic Danube, Rhine Getaway and Grand European Tour price based on CAT F, select Nov 2016 Viking Longship sailings.

Cruise fares listed are for cruise and cruisetour only in US dollars, per person and fares/discount offers are based on double occupancy.

2-for-1 cruise and international air discounts are considered a single offer. International air does not have to be purchased to get cruise offer.

Must request Special Savings offer at time of booking and pay in full by current expiration date; call for details. Valid on new bookings only as

of 1/1/15, subject to availability and may not be combinable with any other offers except Viking Explorer Society Travel Credits and Referral

Rewards. Viking reserves the right to correct errors and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. Additional terms and

conditions apply; see Passenger Ticket Contract at vikingrivercruises.com. CST#2052644-40

#1 RIVER CRUISE LINE

©2015. Travel + Leisure and Time Inc. are not affiliated with,

and do not endorse products or services of, Viking Cruises.


CONTENTS

10

18

24

40

30

10 WEEKEND GETAWAY

Sedona, Arizona

15 NOW TRENDING

What’s new, what’s next in travel

17 PACK YOUR BAGS

Stock up on these must-have travel

essentials

18 NATURAL SELECTION

Cruise to the Galápagos Islands

24 WHEN IN DUBAI

Top 10 once-in-a-lifetime experiences

30 THE OTHER ITALY

Itinerary-worthy Italian destinations

36 TOP 5…

Surfing destinations

38 CULINARY QUEST

New Orleans

40 VIP IN MEXICO

Travel in luxury

46 CHECKING IN…

Explorean Cozumel

50 TRENDING DESTINATION

Cuba

On the cover: Taormina, Sicily

Postcards 5


IF THIS IS YOUR

IDEA OF A FAMILY PORTRAIT,

YOU ARE NOT A TOURIST.


This is not a cruise. This is horseback riding in Aruba. Snorkeling the barrier reef in Belize. And exploring Dunn’s River Falls in

Jamaica. All while traveling on ships that are smart islands in themselves. Get it all and save big with our new BOGO sale, with

Buy One Get One half off the second cruise fare, up to $300 to spend at sea and reduced deposits. Plus, 25% off the third

and fourth guests so everyone can join in on the adventure. Experience why Royal Caribbean ® is the only cruise line voted

Best in the Caribbean 12 years running by Travel Weekly readers. Come Seek the Royal Caribbean.

Contact your agent to plan your next vacation.

*Contact your travel professional for complete Offer terms. Cruise must be booked January 4 – February 15, 2016 (“Offer Period”). Offer applies to all sailings, excluding China departures. Offer includes 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as

first full fare guest, 50% reduced deposit, and stateroom onboard credit up to $300 (“OBC”). Offer also includes 25% cruise fare savings for 3rd and 4th guests booked in the same stateroom as first two Offer qualifying guests. All other charges, including, but not limited to,

taxes, fees and port expenses, are additional and apply to all guests. BOGO is combinable with the OBC, 3rd and 4th Guest Savings, Crown & Anchor discounts and NextCruise offers; BOGO and 3rd and 4th Guest Savings are not combinable with restricted rates. OBC Offer are

combinable with restricted rates and NextCruise offers; not combinable with Crown & Anchor discounts. OBC offer is combinable with any other offer or promotion. Offer applies to new, individual and named group bookings confirmed at prevailing rates. OBC Offer valid

for groups held at group standard rates for offer eligible Oasis, Allure, Freedom, Liberty, Rhapsody, Vision and Jewel sailings departing on or after May 1, 2016 that are named and deposited during the booking window; offers will be applied to booking within 10 days. Offer

open to residents of U.S. or Canada. OBC is in U.S. dollars, is not redeemable for cash, and will expire if not used by the last evening of the cruise. Prices and Offer are subject to availability and change without notice, capacity controlled, and may be withdrawn at any time.

©2016 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas. 15047695 • 11/18/2015


AROUND THE WORLD

Our agents travel the world to increase firsthand knowledge of

destinations, discover exclusive travel experiences and build personal

connections to help make your vacations extraordinary. Enjoy this sampling of

recent agent participation in events, conferences and familiarization trips from

around the globe. Contact your agent today to ask about their recent

adventures.

8 Postcards


Explore the distinctive world

of Holland America Line

We take you to extraordinary places in

luxurious comfort

Europe is like home to us — it’s where we began

more than 140 years ago. We know it well and our

2016 Europe season brings us to iconic capitals,

as well as hidden treasures. With more than 67

exceptional itineraries and visiting more than

130 ports of call, there’s sure to be a cruise that

delivers the Europe experience that you seek.

To book, contact your agent today.

Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands.


Weekend Getaway

SEDONA

BY ZOE SETTLE

Stunning red canyons in Sedona, Arizona

In a place surrounded by so many awestriking

vistas, Sedona, Arizona, is a city

that entices artists, spiritualists and

outdoor enthusiasts alike. Known for its

contrast of gleaming red rocks and bright

blue skies, this place has endeared itself to a

variety of visitors, many turned residents,

over the years. In fact, Walt Disney, a

frequent visitor, was so captured by one

particular view that he named his Thunder

Mountain ride after the tallest butte in West

Sedona of the same name. Here’s how to

make the most of your weekend getaway.

DAY 1

Start off by checking into the Hilton Sedona

Resort at Bell Rock, a luxury retreat located

in the heart of Arizona’s Red Rock County.

The vistas from the hotel alone will wow

you, and you’ll be tempted to stay and make

yourself comfortable. Instead, venture

downtown to experience the city’s artistic

community in true Sedona fashion.

Sedona counts over 80 art galleries in a

population of just over 10,000 residents. The

influence of the Southwest and Native

American tribes (especially of the Hopi,

Navajo and Yavapai) is especially strong, and

can be seen in the amalgamation of one-of-akind

jewelry, textiles, paintings and

sculptures.

On the first Friday of every month,

members of the Sedona Gallery Association

keep their doors open late so you can stroll

(or hop on the shuttle) to enjoy artist

openings and receptions. The nearly 60-

year-old Sedona Arts Center continues to

support artists and provide a place where

they can work and teach together.

A must-visit is Exposures Fine Art

Gallery, which is considered to have one of the

largest collections of bronze sculptures in the

U.S. within its 10,000-square-foot sculpture

garden. It’s also home to a number of

enchanting kinetic sculptures by artist Mark

White.

Throughout the year, there’s always

something to see at the Tlaquepaque Arts &

Crafts Village, including the Festival of Trees

and the Festival of Lights (both in

December), a tradition that involves lighting

6,000 luminaries. The charming

cobblestoned shopping center is home to

over 40 specialty shops and art galleries, so

be sure to stock up on souvenirs before

making your way back to the hotel.

DAY 2

Whether it’s the altitude (around 4,326 feet)

or the iconic, iron-rich red rocks, Sedona is

known as a place of transcendent experiences.

According to Sarah McLean, a longtime

resident and master meditation teacher,

“Sedona is infused with unique and

heightened energy, which some call vortexes,

a concentration of intelligence.” Her McLean

Meditation Institute, which celebrates its 10th

anniversary in 2016, offers an inspired way to

alter your state of mind with daily open

meditation sessions as well as longer format

classes and retreats to deepen your practice.

Whatever your denomination, you’ll be

wowed by the Chapel of the Holy Cross,

which was built in 1956 directly into the red

rock buttes on a design by sculptor Marguerite

Brunswig Staude. It rises 200 feet above the

valley, seeming to defy gravity. The cross here

isn’t just the identifying feature, it also serves

as the structure’s support.

When night falls, allow the otherworldly

experiences to continue with stargazing. In

2015, Sedona was named the world’s eighth

International Dark Sky Community. Certain

tour operators provide sessions to help you

explore using state-of-the-art telescopes.

10 Postcards


“When night

falls, allow the

otherworldly

experiences to

continue with

stargazing.”

Sedona’s magical twinkling night sky

Postcards 11


Mountain biker in the canyons; the

Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village;

beautiful night skyscape; meditator

overlooking the valley.

“Sedona is

infused with

unique and

heightened

energy, which

some call

vortexes.”

IMAGES COURTESY OF THE SEDONA TOURISM BOARD AND HILTON HOTELS & RESORTS

12 Postcards


Entrance to the Hilton Sedona

Resort at Bell Rock; below, the

Chapel of the Holy Cross.

DAY 3

Wake up early on your last day in

Sedona ready for adventure.

Surrounded by 1.8 million acres of

national forest and bracketed by two

state parks, Sedona is a mecca for

outdoor activities.

Start the morning with a round

of golf at one of the seven beautifully

manicured local golf courses.

Whatever your skill level, you’ll be

amazed how the ball flies at this

higher elevation.

Round out your visit by taking in

the majestic scenery via mountain bike

or Jeep tour, making your way

through the rugged outback to fully

take in the wonders of Sedona’s

magnificent natural surroundings. TL

CALL US

To plan your vacation to Sedona,

call our agency today.

WHEN TO VISIT:

During October, Sedona attracts artists and

collectors, both local and from afar, with the

Sedona Arts Festival and the Sedona Plein Air

Festival, the latter of which coincides with the

Arts & Crafts Fair at the Sedona Heritage

Museum, which is brimming with local offerings

and perfect for souvenir shopping.

PACK RIGHT:

Because of its desert locale, evenings can

be chilly, oftentimes 20 to 30 degrees cooler than

daytime temperatures—even during the summer.

So, check the weather and pack layers accordingly.

BRING IT HOME:

Be sure to bring home at least one bottle of

Verde Valley wine; they’re hard to come by out of

state. Page Springs Cellars and Burning Trees

Cellars have both been awarded 90-point ratings by

Wine Spectator.

Postcards 13


Celebrate

the Magic of

Mexico

BEAUTIFUL, ALL-INCLUSIVE BEACH RESORTS FOR THE PERFECT GETAWAY

Every day is a fiesta in Mexico, and the resorts of Los Cabos, Cancun and Riviera Maya

know how to make your visit the perfect beachside escape.

RIVIERA MAYA

Occidental Grand Xcaret

All-Inclusive

from $ 526

LOS CABOS

Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos

All Inclusive Resort

All-Inclusive

from $ 700

Ocean View Junior Suite.

CANCUN

Secrets Playa Mujeres

Golf & Spa Resort

Unlimited Luxury ® , Adults Only

from $ 1197

Junior Suite Swim Out. Includes

$200 in resort credit per room.

RIVIERA MAYA

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare

from $ 2134

Includes $50 spa credit per adult

per day. Must be booked by 4/30/16.

All-Inclusive, Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare TM and Unlimited-Luxury ® resorts include all meals, drinks*, activities and more.

TO BOOK, CONTACT YOUR AGENT TODAY!

Rates quoted are per person, land only, based on double occupancy unless otherwise stated. Rates valid for departure 5/11/16. Rates for other travel dates may vary. Rates, terms, conditions and itinerary

are subject to availability. Certain restrictions apply. Rates shown include government-imposed fees and taxes. Rates are current as of 10/15/15; at the time you purchase your package, rates may be

higher. For current prices, please see your Travel Leaders agent. Advertised rates do not include any applicable daily resort or facility fees payable directly to the hotel operator at check-out; such fee

amounts will be advised at the time of booking. *Age restrictions may apply. Not responsible for errors or omissions. [Pleasant Holidays acts only as an agent for the various travel providers shown above.]

CST# 1007939-10. UBI# 601 915 263. TAR# 5308. Copyright © 2015 Pleasant Holidays, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


IMAGES COURTESY OF VIKING CRUISES AND SILVERSEA CRUISES.

Intrepid Travel Supports Nepal Through Travel

Nepal has long been a bucket-list destination for travelers seeking

unmatched adventure. And despite the earthquake that rocked the region

in April 2015, all of the reasons visitors dream to explore this

mountainous country haven’t changed: The stunning scenery is still

there. The trails are still open. And the locals are as welcoming as ever.

Let Intrepid Travel help you make your dream vacation a reality, and in

turn, you’ll be helping the people of Nepal. From September 2015

through May 2016, Intrepid Travel will be donating 100 percent of the

profits from its Nepal trips to local projects supported by their not-forprofit,

The Intrepid Foundation, which is dedicated to helping get the

country back on its feet.

Viking Cruises to Launch Viking Sea

Viking Cruises will soon debut Viking Sea, the second ocean vessel for the

cruise line, which, until recently, had focused entirely on river cruising. The

ship is following closely on the heels of sister ship Viking Star, which sailed

its maiden voyage in April. At 47,000 tons, the 930-passenger Viking Sea

is still smaller in comparison to many other ships, allowing guests to enjoy

a more personalized onboard experience. In fact, all staterooms on Viking

Sea will have private verandas. In addition, guests enjoy complimentary

amenities such as beer and wine with lunch and dinner, Wi-Fi, self-service

laundry, access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa and 24-hour

room service—a total value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average

cruise. Starting April 2016, Viking Sea will offer in-depth itineraries

throughout Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.

Now Trending

What’s new, what’s next in travel.

Lalitpur City in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

David Attenborough to Release All-New Great Barrier

Reef Documentary

It’s been nearly 60 years since legendary naturalist and broadcast

journalist Sir David Attenborough first filmed below the surface at the

Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living structure. And now, the

88-year-old Brit returns to this natural wonder once again to share its

captivating marine life and fascinating ecosystem with the world. For

his all-new documentary, Attenborough spent three weeks filming on

the reef, using cutting-edge camera technology and advanced research

techniques to examine the structure in never-before-seen ways. The

three-part series is being developed in a partnership between Tourism

Australia and Atlantic Productions and is expected to air early 2016

on BBC, eventually appearing in 130 countries worldwide.

Silversea Announces Silver Muse

Silversea Cruises has commenced construction on a new luxury

flagship, Silver Muse, which is scheduled for delivery in April 2017.

The 40,000-ton, 596-passenger ship, which is being built by

Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy, will be the ninth ship in the cruise

line’s growing fleet. Silversea Cruises is once again raising the bar in

the ultra-luxury cruise market with a number of enhancements to the

onboard experience, while at the same time maintaining the small-ship

intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations for which the cruise

line is known. Silver Muse will include larger suites and more multisuite

options than past ships and will feature eight dining options with

more culinary selections than ever before. TL

From far left: The Viking Sea; below the

surface of the Great Barrier Reef;

rendering of the Silver Muse.

Postcards 15


EVERYTHING’S

Coming up ROYAL

The drawbridges are down. The Royal Arms are polished. The

Crown Jewels are glistening and trumpeters are trumpeting.

Britain & Ireland are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

To book your tour, call your

Travel Leaders agent today.

Save up to

$738

PER COUPLE ON

2016 GLOBUS EUROPE

VACATIONS*

London & Country

7 days from $1,799†

Britain Sampler

9 days from $1,529†

Essential Britain & Ireland

10 days from $2,099†

*Book and deposit a 2016 Globus Europe vacation (excluding

Religious) to save 5% per person on the land-only portion of the

core tour not including extra night accommodations, extensions,

taxes, fees, tips or supplements. Booking must be made and

under deposit between December 2, 2015 and April 26, 2016

for travel in 2016. Offer not valid with any other offer except

Journeys Club Repeat Traveler benefit. Not applicable to

custom tours. Discount will apply to individual members

of groups adding a name and non-refundable per person

deposit WITHIN the promo window. Not applicable on

TBA space. Applies to new 2016 bookings only. Offer

reliant on space availability. Full cancellation penalties

will apply. Additional restrictions may apply. May be

withdrawn any time. EBDA


PACK YOUR BAGS

Stock up on these must-have travel essentials before your next big trip.

1. WHISTLES TRENCH COAT

Trench coats never seem to go out of style,

and this beige style from U.K. brand Whistles

is as classic as they come. whistles.com

2. MURAD AGE-PROOF

SUNCARE

The secret to keeping your skin radiant—

regardless of the season—is a good sunscreen.

Murad’s Age-Proof Suncare was developed to

optimize sun protection while preventing

premature aging through the powerful

antioxidant protection of pomegranate

extracts. murad.com

3. SAMSUNG GALAXY

NOTE 5

The Galaxy Note 5 puts the “smart” back into

smartphone with its connecting S Pen and

4GB RAM, allowing for super-fast

productivity and the ability to have more

than one app open on the same screen.

samsung.com

2

4. KATE SPADE RAISE A

GLASS WATER BOTTLE

It’s important to stay hydrated while

traveling. Not only is this gilded water bottle

stylish, but it makes for an eco-friendly

alternative to plastic. katespade.com

3

5. CUTLER AND GROSS

AVIATORS

Cutler and Gross has been creating glasses for

the jet-set crowd for over four decades. It’s

about time you hopped onboard the trendy

train. cutlerandgross.com

1

8

4

6. WANT LES ESSENTIELS DE

LA VIE KASTRUP BACKPACK

This mini-backpack is the perfect travel

companion—sleek and sturdy with adjustable

straps and an internal laptop case.

wantlesessentiels.com

7. DUNE LONDON

SAMANTHA PASSPORT CASE

AND LUGGAGE TAG

Travel in style with this chic travel essentials

kit, which features an envelope-shaped

passport case with a matching luggage tag;

they also come in a cool leopard print.

dunelondon.com

7

5

8. CANON POWERSHOT G9X

Whoever said that digital cameras were a

thing of the past hasn’t seen the ultracompact

and lightweight PowerShot G9X,

which produces professional-quality images

and video using its 20.2-megapixel CMOS

sensor with DIGIC 6 processor. canon.com

6

Postcards 17


NATURAL SELECTION

Embark on a voyage of discovery to one of Earth’s ultimate bucket list destinations:

the Galápagos Islands.

BY PAUL RUBIO

18 Postcards


A view of Pinnacle Rock from Bartolomé Island

Postcards 19


Whether inspired by the pages of National Geographic

or wowed by Discovery Channel specials, the

Galápagos Islands have headlined bucket lists since

the advent of leisure travel. And even as today’s travel

savvy search for the next great “it” destination, the

Galápagos prevail as an undisputed must-see.

THE LAND BEFORE TIME

More than 500 nautical miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the

Galápagos Islands remain one of Earth’s final untouched frontiers. The

archipelago of 13 larger islands and seven islets comprises a living museum

of natural history—a mind-boggling, foreign landscape where plants and

animals have evolved for centuries without human interference. Each isle

houses remarkably different species of birds, reptiles and plants, juxtaposed

over a contrast of dry, volcanic landscapes and plant-rich, larger-than-life

backdrops. Each day in the Galápagos feels like a new chapter in your own

personal “Choose You Own Adventure” book, exploring the gotta-see-itto-believe-it

wonders of evolutionary biology through hikes, photographic

safaris, underwater adventures and panga (or zodiac) boat rides.

SAIL AWAY

With 97 percent of its total landmass protected as national parks and

just 3 percent inhabited, only a carefully controlled inventory of small

ships and yachts are able to island-hop this fantasyland. Since ferries do

not connect the islands and permits are required for landing on the

majority of them, the principal method for visiting and exploring the

Galápagos is by cruise ship.

Ships sail a variety of eastern, northern and western circuits in

three-, four- and seven-night itineraries determined by the park service.

In general, most ships make two stops daily, each one an ambush of the

senses. A number of these ships, such as Silversea’s Silver Galápagos, have

undergone head-to-toe renovations, rebranding the Galápagos as an

experiential, luxury travel destination. In the case of Silver Galápagos,

seven-night voyages are enhanced by butler-serviced suites, marble

bathrooms, fine wines, presentations in the Explorer’s Lounge, fun

nights in the slick piano bar and a fabulous onboard restaurant where

you can experience barbecue cuisine Galápagos-style—over indigenous

volcanic rock.

NORTH CENTRAL CIRCUIT

This exciting route journeys to six islands, starting with the archipelago’s

northernmost, Genovesa (“Tower”) Island. Prepare to saturate memory

cards with prize-worthy images of red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, great

frigate birds and short-eared owls. Home to more than 30 species, this

“Bird Island” lives up to its nickname, and these fearless feathered friends

have no qualms introducing themselves and invading your personal space.

You’ll also have the opportunity to snorkel the surrounding waters of Bahia

Darwin (Darwin Bay) on the lookout for schools of vibrantly colored

tropical fish and hammerhead sharks.

On Santiago Island, you’ll traverse the craggy lava-hewn coastline

of Sullivan Bay, hiking across ethereal remnants of previous lava flows.

Then, you’ll hop onto the zodiac, keeping an eye out for curious

penguins and possibly whales on your way to the stunning red-rock

landscapes of Rábida Island to search for Darwin’s finches and snorkel

among fur seals, marine iguanas and reef sharks.

On San Cristóbal, witness conservation in action at the

Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado, where endemic Galápagos giant tortoises

are being bred in hopes of spawning their triumphant return to the wild.

Browse the visitors’ center to learn about the history of this island, along

with why this area is needed to ensure long-term survival of the

endangered tortoise population.

At Gardener Bay on Española Island, venture under the sea with

the prolific sea lion population before visiting the nesting colonies of

waved Galápagos albatross at Punta Suárez. You’ll end the trip on the

island of Santa Cruz, patronizing the Charles Darwin Research Station

and honing your photography skills on the wild giant tortoises roaming

the rolling hills.

WESTERN CIRCUIT

This equally interesting route also visits six islands, several of which differ

from the north central circuit. You’ll begin the sojourn on Bartolomé,

summiting the island to take in the grandeur of Pinnacle Rock, the

triangular-shaped rock form that’s become an iconic symbol of the

Galápagos. Next, you’ll visit green turtle nesting sites or snorkel the

crystalline waters among schools of parrotfish, eagle rays and fur seals.

On Fernandina Island, gawk at the stunning arid landscape of one

of the Galápagos’ largest volcanoes while blazing orange Sally Lightfoot

crabs, flightless cormorants and charismatic marine iguanas ham it up

for the lens.

Other highlights on this circuit include snorkeling with the penguins

on Isabela Island and mailing postcards home from Post Office Bay on

Floreana Island, an ancient yet functioning drop box. Zoom up close to

a sea lion rookery aboard your zodiac, then head to Punta Cormorant to

see some unlikely residents of the islands: pink flamingoes.

Similar to the north central circuit, you’ll visit San Cristóbal to

witness conservation in action at the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado and

end the trip on the island of Santa Cruz, impressed by the work of the

Charles Darwin Research Station.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

Regardless of the itinerary, these incredibly diverse, wildlife-rich islands

and the dazzling waters in between never fail to impress. All routings yield

supreme encounters with the Galápagos varied wildlife and surreal natural

formations—and the photos to prove it! If venturing to the islands for a

second or third time (admittedly, this author has already been three times,

a testament to the fact that the Galápagos are worth the repeat visit),

discuss with your Travel Leaders agent which route will reveal some new

Galápagos treasures. TL

LET’S

GO

Explore these world-renowned, remote and unique wildlife islands with Silversea Cruises aboard the Silver Galápagos on the

7-day Baltra to Baltra (Galápagos) cruise. You’ll discover this remarkable cruise is unlike any you have ever experienced. Departs

tktkttktktktktktktktktktkkttkkttktktktkttk.

August 27, 2016, from $6,950 per person (airfare additional). Call us today to learn more about the cruise and other ways to visit this

bucket-list destination.

20 Postcards


WHEN TO GO:

Galápagos wildlife and

landscapes shine year-round;

however, during the season

known as la garua (June to

November, often peaking in

August and September), you’ll

generally encounter some

drizzle and fog over the

islands and out at sea.

MONEY

MATTERS:

Be sure to bring enough U.S.

dollars to pay the mandatory

$100 park entry fee (upon

arrival at the airport) and

money for tipping the crew.

GETTING

THERE:

All flights to the Galápagos’

Seymour Airport in Baltra

originate in Guayaquil or

Quito, Ecuador. Once on

Baltra, ship staff will transfer

you by bus and boat to

neighboring Santa Cruz Island

for embarkation.

CALL US

To book your Galápagos

Islands cruise, contact

our agency

today.

Clockwise from top: Family exploring

Floreana Island; giant tortoise; fur seals

lounging on the beach; blue-footed

booby; view of the clear, shallow waters

that surround the islands; Silversea

Cruises’ Silver Galápagos.

Postcards 21


Rich Experiences

Complimentary Indulgences

Private Excursions


Distinctive

for all the right reasons

A Better Way to Cruise

True to its name, a Distinctive Voyages sailing

comes with rewarding extras to create a cruise

experience that is pleasurably distinctive from

all the rest. These include:

The services of a Distinctive Voyages Host

to assist you throughout your journey

• An invitation to a Private Cocktail Reception

to meet like-minded VIPs

• An Exclusive Shore Event to truly connect

to the local culture

Compliments from our agency to you, these

bonus amenities are provided at no additional

charge. Happy sailing!

Participating Cruise Lines Include:

Contact our agency

to find the ideal itinerary!


WHEN IN DUBAI

10 once-in-a-lifetime Dubai experiences

BY SHERRI BALEFSKY

The tallest, the biggest, the most expensive, the most extravagant.

Dubai is a city of superlatives—a city where the impossible is

possible, where dreams become reality. It makes sense, then, that

this oasis in the desert is full of undeniable once-in-a-lifetime

experiences. Here, we list 10 things (in no particular order) that you

can only do in this magical Middle Eastern city.

1. VISIT THE BURJ KHALIFA, THE WORLD’S

TALLEST BUILDING

Upon arrival in Dubai, it’s impossible to miss the Burj Khalifa,

which, at 2,717 feet high (about a half-mile to be exact), is the tallest

building on the planet. Not only does the structure hold thousands

of square feet of office space, but it encompasses about 900 private

residences, the 160-room Armani Hotel and the elegant

At.mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant. The best way to

experience this immense structure is by taking the elevator to one of

the out-of-this-world observation decks: At the Top, located on the

125th floor, or At the Top SKY, on the 148th floor (no surprise here,

it’s the tallest outdoor observation deck in the world). For the At the

Top SKY experience, you’ll take a dedicated elevator, which makes it

seem as though you are flying over global landmarks on your journey

to the top.

2. BROWSE THE WORLD’S LARGEST SHOPPING MALL

Dubai is all about opulence, which means that naturally, it’s a

shopping mecca. In fact, aside from London, Dubai is home to more

global retailers than any other place in the world. And with nearly

100 different shopping malls, there’s literally an opportunity to shop

around every corner. The granddaddy of them all is the impressive

Dubai Mall, which sprawls over 10 million square feet with more

than 1,200 stores. But malls in Dubai are about more than just retail

therapy, they are entertainment destinations in themselves.

Highlights at the Dubai Mall include a flight simulator, an iceskating

rink, an indoor theme park and a giant underwater aquarium

where you can swim with sharks.

3. SKI INDOORS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT

The Dubai Mall isn’t the only mall that boasts entertainment options

galore. The nearby Mall of the Emirates has its fair share of activities,

the most famous of which is Ski Dubai, home to the world’s largest

indoor ski slope. This complex boasts more than 5.5 acres of snow spread

over five runs, while a smaller Snow Park is designed for families, offering

sledding and snow tubing. And don’t miss out on seeing the resident

gentoo penguins. Not only can you watch these cute little snowbirds

march several times a day, but you can also get up-close and personal

with them with the world’s first-ever swimming with penguins program.

4. SPEND AN EVENING AT THE WORLD’S MOST

LUXURIOUS HOTEL

Rising 1,053 feet above the sea on a man-made island about 900 feet

from the shore, the distinctive white sails of the Burj Al Arab make it

one of the more recognizable structures in all of Dubai. But it’s not just

the architecture that has visitors swooning. Often referred to as the

world’s only seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab has set an unprecedented

standard in the hospitality industry. Amenities include a fleet of Rolls-

Royces, a lavish award-winning spa, nine world-class restaurants and bars

(including an underwater restaurant surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling

aquarium) and an on-site helipad, where a cool 10,000 AED (about

$2,700 USD) can get you a private helicopter transfer to or from the

airport. And with private butler service and a staff-to-suite ratio of 8-to-

1, it’s no doubt a stay here will make you feel like royalty. For more

luxury—albeit a tad less extravagant—hotel options, see the “Where to

Stay” sidebar on the following page.

5. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN EMIRATI CULTURE

Dubai may seem to be all glitz and glam, but to truly get a sense of

this buzzing metropolis, head to Dubai Creek, which is where the

Bani Yas tribe first settled in the early 19th century. Here you’ll find

a number of galleries and museums (such as the Dubai Museum,

which is housed in the city’s oldest building, circa 1799) that shed

light on the area’s first inhabitants and how the region has evolved

24 Postcards


Clockwise from top: Dubai

skyline; the Burj Al Arab;

entrance to the Dubai

Aquarium at the Dubai

Mall; Ski Dubai at the Mall

of the Emirates.

Postcards 25


­“Dubai­is­a­city­of

superlatives—a

city­where­the

impossible­is

possible,­where

dreams­become

reality.”

BOTTOM IMAGE COURTESY OF THE DUBAI TOURISM BOARD

From top: Aerial view of the Palm Jumeirah; Atlantis

Aquaventure; camel riding through the desert.

.

26 Postcards


A view of downtown Dubai from the Palm Jumeirah

over time. Also be sure to take the time to learn

about local culture as it relates to modern Dubai at

the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural

Understanding (SMCCU), which offers a plethora

of enrichment activities to raise awareness and

educate visitors about the customs and culture of the

people living in the UAE today. Most notably, the

center leads guided tours of the stunning whitestone

Jumeirah Mosque, the only mosque in Dubai

that is open to the public.

6. SKYDIVE OVER THE PALM

JUMEIRAH AND “THE WORLD”

Only in a dare-to-dream destination like Dubai

would it be conceived to design islands in the form

of recognizable shapes. The palm-tree-shaped Palm

Jumeirah, which, despite naysayers who said that the

project couldn’t be done, is now the largest manmade

island in the world. And then, there’s “The

World,” a largely undeveloped series of about 300

islands that resemble a map of the world. These

unconventional archipelagos, best seen from above,

have helped earn Dubai a spot on the list of

skydiving’s top “drop zones.” For those less

daredevilish, a number of other activities, such as

seaplane and helicopter tours, also allow you to see

these man-made curiosities from above.

7. MAKE A SPLASH ON THE WORLD’S

LARGEST WATERSLIDE

Located at the notorious Atlantis resort, the

Aquaventure waterpark is an unprecedented funfilled

destination perfect for the entire family. This

wet-and-wild park is full of surprises (the nearvertical

nine-story Leap of Faith, for example), but

its claim to fame is the Aquaconda, the largest

waterslide in the world. In addition to waterslides,

other can’t-miss Aquaventure activities include the

underwater helmet-diving extravaganza, Shark Safari,

Cownose Ray Feeding and Atlantean Flyer Zip Line.

8. SHOP FOR AUTHENTIC WARES AT

THE SOUKS

Luxury brands are nice, but if you’re looking for

more authentic, only-in-Dubai souvenirs, ditch the

malls and head to the bustling souks, traditional

open-air marketplaces selling everything from spices

to gold to textiles to perfumes—a tantalizing

experience sure to entice all the senses. Take an

early-morning abra ride along Dubai Creek to the

historic districts of Deira and Bur Dubai to explore

these classic trading posts in all their glory.

Bargaining here is a skill and a sport, so don’t be

afraid to try some haggling in order to get the best

deal possible. For a 21st-century take on these

Arabian markets, visit Souk Madinat or Souk Al

Bahar, which evoke the traditional souks, but are

housed in modern-day structures.

9. DINE AT SOME OF THE WORLD’S

BEST RESTAURANTS

Dubai has no shortage of dining establishments

(upwards of 10,000 eateries), catering to a wide

variety of international tastes and flavors. Celebrity

chefs from around the world (think: Jamie Oliver,

Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck, Jean-Georges

Vongerichten and Nobu Matsuhisa) have been

scouting out locations in Dubai for years, realizing

the city’s reputation as a top global culinary

destination. Not to mention, Dubai has two of what

are known to be among the best restaurants in the

world (according to the respected San Pellegrino &

Acqua Panna list of the world’s best): La Petite

Maison and Zuma.

10. TAKE A DESERT SAFARI AND

SLEEP UNDER THE STARS

You don’t have to venture far beyond Dubai’s

towering skyscrapers to uncover what this desert

landscape once looked like. Exploring the dunes, the

wadis (dry river beds) and mountain passes is

essential if you want to experience Dubai at its

fullest. Be prepared for a roller-coaster ride through

the hot sands on a rugged 4x4 up the sand dunes,

along the narrow, rocky mountain passes, all while

keeping your eyes peeled for rare Arabian oryx or

gazelle. The desert is also a playground for a number

of activities, including camel riding (or even camel

polo), sand boarding, falconry and more. If you

choose, spend the night under the stars at a

traditional Bedouin camp and discover what it really

means to experience the “Arabian Nights.” TL

Where to Stay

Dubai is a tourist magnet, so it’s

no surprise that there are

hundreds of luxury hotel

options from which to choose.

Here are some

recommendations:

CONRAD DUBAI

Conveniently located in the

hub of Dubai’s commercial

center, Conrad Dubai is a

stylish city haven featuring

555 luxury rooms and suites.

It’s perfect for business

travelers, as it has one of the

largest meeting spaces in the

city and is close to the Dubai

International Convention

Centre.

AJMAN SARAY

This Luxury Collection Resort

offers 205 rooms and suites,

most of which have sweeping

views of the shimmering

turquoise coastline. Located

about 20 miles outside of

downtown, this oasis within an

oasis is the perfect escape

where you can grab a lounge

chair by the pool or directly on

the sand and let all your

stresses drift away.

RADISSON ROYAL

HOTEL, DUBAI

Located on Sheikh Zayed

Road close to numerous

public transportation hubs,

this opulent 51-story hotel

features 471 rooms and

suites with breathtaking city

views. It’s also home to a fullservice

spa and a number of

world-class restaurants,

including TRE by Roberto

Rella, the famous Italian

restaurateur.

CALL US

To start planning your

unforgettable trip to

Dubai, contact our

agency today.

LET’S

GO

These once-in-a-lifetime experiences and more await you in Dubai, one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Whether you want to

tktkttktktktktktktktktktkkttkkttktktktkttk.

sleep under the stars on a desert adventure or enjoy a luxurious stay at one of the world’s most desirable hotels, Dubai has it all. Call

us today and we’ll plan an extraordinary customized vacation to this extravagant city based on your specific interests and using our

personal experiences and international connections. We’re just a phone call away!

Postcards 27


Select Hotels & Resorts Program offers a collection of 850+

of the world’s most desirable and distinguished four and

five star properties. Participating partner properties offer

special VIP amenities to craft an authentic, memorable

experience including:

t Daily complimentary breakfast for two

t Early check-in/Late check-out (subject to availability)

t Upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability)

t Up to $100 VIP value-added hotel amenity

t Complimentary Wi-Fi

Visit www.TLSelectHotels.com where you can search

by destination, hotel or browse fantastic travel ideas

for family getaways, best beaches, food & wine, golf,

adventure, romantic getaways and other enticing themes.

To book, contact your Travel Leaders agent today!


30 Postcards


THE

OTHER

ITALY

Set out off the beaten track and

introduce yourself to these five

itinerary-worthy Italian destinations.

BY KAREN ASP

Milan’s Gothic Duomo

Postcards 31


32 Postcards

Clockwise from top left: View

from above the island of Ischia;

domed ceiling of Milan’s Galleria

Vittorio Emanuele II; Fortuna del

Nettuno fountain in Bologna;

bridge across the Naviglio

Grande canal in Milan; Greek

amphitheater in Taormina.


Panoramic view of Milan

Think Italy, and no doubt Rome, Florence and Venice first come

to mind. While these are certainly cities worthy of exploration,

they’re often packed with tourists and can pack a punch to the

wallet, too. Here, are five other fascinating destinations to

consider as you plan your Italian adventure.

MILAN

Combine commerce with fashion, and you wind up with Milan, home

of the Italian stock exchange and one of the great fashion capitals of the

world. But this modern city has plenty of architectural treasures, and

you’ll quickly be engulfed in its unique charm.

Start any visit at the Duomo, an iconic landmark for the city and

Italy’s largest and most complex Gothic building. The massive structure,

which dates to 1386, features roughly 3,400 statues and a rooftop

terrace, from which you can see the city come to life.

Milan’s compact city center is perfectly suited to pedestrians

(though public transportation here is among the country’s best), and

from the Duomo, you can easily access any one of the city’s main

avenues, such as Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a pedestrian-only walkway.

Of course, with its fashion-forward reputation, it’s no surprise that

Milan draws shoppers from around the world. The heart of the city’s

shopping lies in the Quadrilatero della Moda (the fashion district), where

you can peruse high-end brands such as Prada and Versace. As you wander,

be sure to stroll down Via Montenapoleone, the Italian equivalent to

NYC’s Fifth Avenue. Other popular shopping areas include the mile-pluslong

Corso Buenos Aires, one of Europe’s longest shopping streets, and

the bustling Via Torino, known for its abundance of shoe stores.

Milan is also an art lover’s paradise, especially for Leonardo da

Vinci fans. Visit the National Museum of Science and Technology to

explore a collection of models based on the artist’s drawings and the

Refectory at Santa Maria delle Grazie to see the original “The Last

Supper” in all its glory.

VERONA

Call it the city of love, as Verona, located midway between Milan and

Venice, is the setting for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” You can even

visit “Juliet’s House” and see the famous balcony where Romeo first

declared his undying love for Juliet.

Shakespeare aside, Verona is an enchanting city with over 2,000

years of history (in 2000, the city was named a UNESCO World

Heritage Site).

Start your exploration with the Renaissance entrance gates that run

parallel to the city wall. Pass under the triumphal arch as you walk

through the old town or grab a seat at one of the many outdoor cafés to

sip an espresso (or glass of vino) and drink in the amazing views.

No visit is complete without seeing the Verona Arena, an open-air

amphitheater (Italy’s third-largest) that was built in the first half of the

first century. Crowds consistently pack the stands to catch an opera or

other musical event. Even if you’re not an opera fan, the ambience alone

is worth the experience.

You might also consider a visit to Castelvecchio, a massive castle

with a museum that houses Venetian art, jewelry and weapons. Take

time to wander along the Adige River, a popular spot for locals, or take

a short bus ride to Lake Garda, one of Italy’s biggest and most beautiful

lakes. From Verona, you can also drive into cities like Trento and be at

the gateway of the Dolomites.

Postcards 33


“Ischia is heralded for its

thermal waters, thanks to

the more than 100 hot

springs that stream out of

Mount Epomeo.”

The coastline of Ischia

34 Postcards


Bridge to Castelvecchio in Verona

IMAGE COURTESY OF PROVINCIA DI VERONA TURISMO – PHOTOS T.WEIMAR

ISCHIA

Although the nearby island of Capri often steals the

spotlight, Ischia (called the Green Island) is equally

appealing, offering something for everybody, from

wine lovers and bathers to hikers and watersports fans.

Easily reached by hydrofoil or ferry, Ischia is

heralded for its thermal waters, a reputation that has

endured since the eighth century B.C., thanks to the

more than 100 hot springs that stream out of Mount

Epomeo. Hotels often have pools filled with hot spring

water, but you can also find numerous wellness centers,

including Giardini di Poseidon on Citara Beach.

Most of the hotels are located in Ischia Pointe,

where you’ll find plenty of shops and cafés. Serious

outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who want to

connect with Ischia’s source of fame, will want to head

to Fontana, where you can set off on a journey to the

top of Mount Epomeo, which rises over 2,500 feet.

TAORMINA

Although it’s probable you’ll bump elbows with other

tourists, Taormina’s gripping location perched high

above glittering turquoise seas will soon forever

occupy your mind.

Located about an hour from Catania, Sicily’s

second-largest city, Taormina is best known for its

historic Greek amphitheater, almost fully intact,

which offers breathtaking views of the coast and the

volatile Mount Etna. Check the schedule, as you’ll

want to catch a concert or play here.

Time spent in Taormina can also be spent

relaxing on one of the many beaches such as Giardini

Naxos, Mazzaro, or the protected natural oasis of Isola

Bella; shopping on the main street; or visiting

Castelmola, a charming village that can be accessed

by foot or by car. For more active travelers, hiking

trails surrounding the city, even those around Mount

Etna, prove to be rewarding experiences.

BOLOGNA

All of Italy is rich in culinary experiences, but when

you visit the lively city of Bologna, you’ll understand

why it’s called “Bologna the Fat,” namely because the

cuisine is arguably the country’s best, upholding its

reputation as a well-fed city.

Of course, Bologna is the birth city of Bolognese

sauce, and most menus revolve around this and fresh

pastas such as tortellini, tagliatelle and lasagna. But

don’t leave without sampling the mortadella, a blend

of pork, spices and herbs cooked in natural or

synthetic casing.

Bologna is rich in culture and history, too, and

although it’s fairly compact, there’s plenty to see and

do here. One of the best places to start is Piazza

Maggiore, the city’s center where you’ll find the

Palazzo D’Accursio (Bologna Town Hall) and the

Basilica di San Petronio, home to the world’s largest

sundial. You’ll also want to wander into the adjacent

Piazza del Nettuno to see the elaborate Fortuna del

Nettuno fountain.

From here, you can explore the narrow streets

of the Quadrilatero, the old city market. During the

day, vendors sell everything from seasonal produce to

fresh fish, while in the evening, the area’s bars come

to life.

Finally, head to Piazza Santo Stefano where

you’ll see what appears to be one large church, but is

actually seven. Look up to see the twin towers of

Asinelli and Garisenda, and, if you’re up for the

challenge, climb the almost 500 steps to the top of

the Asinelli and be rewarded with spectacular views

over the city.

Whatever city you choose, your Travel Leaders

agent can help make your adventure into the other

Italy a success, so much that fantastico could soon

become your new favorite word. TL

When to Visit

Italy’s climate varies from one

region to another. For

instance, the northern part of

the country has cold winters

with hot and often humid

summers, while the climate is

milder in the central part of

the country. Meanwhile, in

southern Italy, temperatures

generally stay warm spring

through fall, and winters are

rarely harsh.

Of course, there’s never

a bad time to visit Italy. But

the ideal times are between

April and June or September

to October. You’ll find that

temperatures are more

comfortable and cities are

less crowded during these

time periods. Also note that if

you do travel in August, many

Italians take their vacations

(August 15 is an Italian

national holiday called

Ferragosto), so you might find

that beach areas in particular

may be more crowded than

usual.

CALL US

To book your escape to

the “other” Italy, contact

our agency today.

LET’S

GO

Let us help plan your adventure to Italy today! We’ll create a customized itinerary based on your interests and budget to make this

dream vacation a reality. Whether you want to discover cultural delights, amazing cuisine or historical sites, we’ll use our personal

experience and international connections to create the trip of a lifetime to this fascinating country. If you prefer a guided tour, we’ll

help you find one that meets your needs with one of our trusted partners, such as Globus. Call us today!

Postcards 35


Top Five...

SURFING DESTINATIONS

Ready to get more out of your beach vacation? These five destinations

not only offer top-notch surfing, but all that goes with it, like cool

beach bars, great surf schools and restaurants along the water. Best of

all, there’s plenty of fun for non-surfers to have here as well.

BY KATIE MCELVEEN

2

3

1

1. TAMARINDO, COSTA RICA

Located on Costa Rica’s lively Pacific coast, this surf

mecca draws in all levels of surfers, who come for the

varying breaks—small to massive barrels—that are

surfable all year long. It’s also a great spot for

adventurous types who want to balance surf time with

activities such as hiking to waterfalls at Rincón de la

Vieja National Park or spotting local flora and fauna

(like the giant leatherback turtle, one of the world’s

largest reptiles) at Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge.

2. BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA

Located on Australia’s easternmost point in New South

Wales, artsy Byron Bay is a charming mishmash of chic

restaurants, holistic healers, stylish boutiques and yoga

studios. It’s also a surfer’s paradise; rookies can get their

bearings on Wategos Beach (often with pods of dolphin

playing alongside) or The Pass, while those with more

experience on the board should hit up the dodgy breaks at

The Wreck. Afterward, find your inner Zen with a post-surf

yoga class, then hit the boutiques along Jonson Street.

3.HUNTINGTON BEACH,

CALIFORNIA

Haute hippies flock to Surf City, USA, for its breezy, laidback

lifestyle and world-class waves that roll in along 10

miles of uninterrupted California coastline. Although

surfing wasn’t invented in California, the culture runs

deep with surf schools, surf shops and buff, barefoot

residents clad in rolled-down wetsuits on every street.

Away from the coast, 40 miles of trails loop through

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, which lies within some of

Southern California’s last remaining coastal canyons.

4. HANALEI BAY, HAWAII

This jewel of a beach on Kauai’s north shore attracts as

many celebrities—many of whom stay in sprawling

beachfront villas or cliffside resorts—as it does surfers,

and it’s easy to see why: The sapphire-hued waters

hemmed by thickly forested mountains yield one of the

most visually stunning landscapes in the Hawaiian

Islands. Surf conditions in the nearly 3-mile-long bay

cover all levels, from the calmness of the water near the

pier to the challenging waves that roll in past the

breakers. No trip to Kauai is complete without a glimpse

of the dramatic Napali coastline, where you can hike,

sail past or zoom over in a helicopter.

5. SAYULITA, MEXICO

If you’ve always dreamed of learning how to hang 10,

head to Sayulita, a former fishing village located 30

miles north of Puerto Vallarta, where smooth, shallow

waters make for a great locale for beginners. Postsurfing,

you’ll find a low-key, boho vibe so casual that

you can wear your bathing suit to fuel up on fish tacos

at any one of the town’s many outdoor cafés. Sayulita

is also known for its Huichol Indian heritage; stop by

Galeria Tanana for colorful native art and jewelry. TL

36 Postcards


4

5

CALL US

To book your surfing vacation, contact our agency today.

Postcards 37


Culinary Quest

NEW ORLEANS

BY CHADNER NAVARRO

The city of New Orleans is known for a lot of fabulous

experiences: transporting jazz, anything-can-happen Mardi

Gras and, of course, unique culinary expressions of Creole and

Cajun cuisines, both of which make the Big Easy a one-of-akind

foodie destination. Kitchens manned by world-famous chefs and

bars pushing the boundaries of mixology consistently keep New

Orleans atop the global food scene—especially these days, when it

seems a new hot spot pops up daily. To help make sense of your

options, here’s our top picks for where to eat and drink in NOLA now.

THE CLASSICS

New Orleans’ dining scene isn’t just robust; it’s historic. Every

neighborhood has a local favorite that has been serving quality eats

for decades. The French Quarter’s Galatoire’s opened in 1905,

and has since been seducing diners with its seafood gumbo, a

slightly spicy soup made rich with a decadent crab stock.

Just around the corner is Arnaud’s, which was unveiled by a

French wine salesman back in 1918. It has since expanded to

include 17 different dining rooms, at any of which you should

order the Shrimp Arnaud, a mayo-free take on the classic

remoulade. Its tangy mustard base adds an unusual kick, a perfect

teaser to the overall menu, which is all about adding clever spins

on traditional recipes.

Six James Beard awards and a list of famous chefs such as

Emeril Lagasse and Jamie Shannon have made Commander’s

Palace a national legend. The charming Garden District stalwart

has been serving upscale Creole cuisine since it opened in the 1880s.

One of its tried-and-true dishes is a fabulous pecan-crusted Gulf

fish, which is paired with a refreshing prosecco-poached crab and

bright crushed corn.

THE NEWCOMERS

New Orleans’ proven dining establishments are fantastically

balanced with innovations from rising names. At the moment, no

restaurant in the city is bigger than 2014 James Beard Foundation

winner for Best New Restaurant, Pêche. Chef Ryan Prewitt

consistently produces flavorful standouts that orbit around the grill,

which will perfectly char everything from prawns to whole fish. A

must-try on the menu is the totally addictive spicy ground shrimp

with noodles.

Uptown, Chef Sue Zemanick’s Gautreau’s is all about

adventurous cooking, topping shrimp with a Thai basil and lemon

vinaigrette to piquant perfection or seared scallops with a whimsical

pimentón gastrique. Over on Magazine Street, Coquette focuses on

getting creative with local ingredients. Think: noodles made of pork

skin or a slow-cooked stew with super-tender lamb, okra and cheese.

There’s also a five-course blind tasting menu where your entire table

can feast on whatever.

GO INTERNATIONAL

Chefs with international provenance are also injecting the NOLA

food scene with diversity. In early 2015, Israeli-born, Philadelphiareared

Alon Shaya partnered with Chef John Besh to open Shaya.

The blue-and-white tiled modern Israeli restaurant’s pièce de

résistance is a wood-burning oven in which pita is baked. Everything

here is shareable, from the selection of spreads—like garlicky baba

ghanoush and tangy tabbouleh—to the savory small plates, such as

the crispy haloumi with smoked Turkish pepper and the decadent

foie gras with rose tahini and toasted challah.

Nina Compton of “Top Chef” fame calls on her Caribbean

background to inform her menu at Compère Lapin, which opened

in June 2015. Some of the home runs at this Warehouse District

eatery include a rich curried goat and plantain gnocchi platter and

corn roasted in jerk spice. TL

CALL US

Let our agency help plan your culinary adventure in New Orleans. Call

us today and we’ll do all the work so you can relax and enjoy each

mouthwatering bite.

WHEN TO VISIT:

If you want to plan your trip specifically

around food, come during the New Orleans Wine

& Food Experience, which takes place in June.

Cocktail enthusiasts should come a month later,

when the mixology world heads south for Tales of

the Cocktail.

TAKE HOME:

Like gumbo, pecan pralines can be found all

over town. Southern Candymakers, with an outpost

very close to the river, is one of the best.

MUST TRY:

Gumbo—every kitchen has its own recipe in

how they prepare their roux.

38 Postcards


IMAGES COURTESY OF SHAYA, PECHE, GALATOIRE’S,CANE & TABLE; AND SAZERAC BAR

Cocktails

Sure, Hurricanes might be the most

well-known drinks in New Orleans

these days, but the city was

previously known for being one of

the most cutting-edge destinations

for mixology, a reputation it’s

striving to get back. The Roosevelt

Hotel’s Sazerac Bar, which played a

major role in popularizing two

iconic cocktails, the Sazerac and the

Ramos Gin Fizz, is a great place to

visit to get a glimpse of this history.

If you’re in the mood for

something more tropical, stop by

Cane & Table, where a charming

bar staff focuses on “proto-tiki”

cocktails, which are Caribbean

libations influenced by flavors from

Spain, Africa and Asia. Try master

mixologist Nick Detrich’s take on

the mojito, the Stereo Taste, which

has aquavit, rum, mint and caraway.

Barrel Proof in the Lower

Garden District stocks over 220

different whiskeys, making this new

boîte the perfect place to grab an

Old Fashioned, though the talent

behind the bar can whip up pretty

much anything you want. Or just

take a whiskey shot—after all, it’s

New Orleans!

Clockwise from top: French desserts; Chef

John Besh from Shaya; avocado toast from

Shaya; café brûlot from Galatoire’s; oysters

from Pêche; side dishes from Cane and

Table; cocktails from Sazerac Bar.

Postcards 39


The One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos

IMAGE COURTESY ONE&ONLY PALMILLA

40 Postcards


VIP IN

MEXICO

Think you know Mexico? Think again.

BY EMILY BENSON-SCOTT

With its all-inclusive resorts, tropical weather and

proximity to the U.S., Mexico’s coastal towns

and villages have long been popular vacation

locales, particularly for budget-savvy travelers

looking for an inexpensive getaway. But thanks

to a recent influx of five-star resorts, world-class golf courses, lavish

spas and a burgeoning gourmet dining scene, Mexico has emerged

as one of the top luxury travel destinations, welcoming a chic, jetset

crowd and Hollywood celebrities alike. Here’s a look at how to

travel like a VIP in Mexico.

Postcards 41


Infinity pool at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a

Rosewood Resort, Los Cabos

IMAGE COURTESY OF LAS VENTANAS, A ROSEWOOD RESORT

CANCÚN

If you’re looking for action and excitement, Cancún is where you want

to be. With its high-rise hotels, star-studded resorts, international

dining scene and stylish nightlife—not to mention the azure waters and

infinite stretches of white sand—this Caribbean hot spot is like a

master-planned version of Miami Beach. But don’t think of Cancún as

just a spring breaker’s paradise, this global tourism destination exudes

luxury at its finest.

Surround yourself in extravagance by checking into Le Blanc Spa

Resort or the Hyatt Zilara Cancún, both all-inclusive, beachfront,

adults-only resorts. Or, spoil yourself and splurge on a suite at the

exclusive Grand Club at Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach. Don’t

miss the hotel’s famously extravagant Gem Spa, the only spa in Cancún

and Latin America to offer a unique 10-step hydrotherapy treatment.

For shopping enthusiasts, you’ll find international brands galore

at La Isla Shopping Village and Luxury Avenue Boutique Mall (think:

Fendi, Ferragamo and Bulgari). Be sure to also check out the local crafts

market for authentic wares and one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

For a decadent daytrip, avoid the party boats and charter your own

yacht for the day, complete with captain, crew and catering. Cruise the

coastline or venture out to Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) for some

snorkeling and local cuisine or to Isla Contoy or Isla Holbox to swim

with whale sharks, the biggest sharks in the world.

Return to land for dinner at Fantino at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancún,

where you can indulge in a delicious tasting menu created by Executive

Chef Andreas Schatzschneider. Then, it’s time for a night on the town,

where you can hit up some of Cancún’s world-famous clubs like

Dady’O, The City, Coco Bongo and Mandala. Have your concierge

coordinate reserving you a table with top-shelf bottle service and VIP

entry for the ultimate nightlife experience.

VIP TIP: Skip the taxis and hire a private driver so you can be

chauffeured in your own black SUV, complete with cold towels and

refreshments.

RIVIERA MAYA

Just south of Cancún, you’ll find another luxury vacation-worthy

Mexican destination: Riviera Maya, nearly 100 miles of secluded beach

resorts along palm-lined bays surrounded by lush rainforest and native

villages. Endless activities await in this ancient landscape, where a

morning visit to centuries-old ruins can be followed by an afternoon of

swimming with dolphins or visiting mystical cenotes.

To start, upgrade your airport arrival and prearrange for a private

driver to meet you outside of Customs and whisk you away in comfort

and style. Check into the Fairmont Mayakoba, which offers an on-site

spa and access to the nearby Greg Norman-designed El Camaleón golf

course, host to the only official PGA Tour in Mexico. For added

tranquillity and privacy, book your stay at Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita,

a secluded wellness retreat on 14 acres of oceanfront property. Spa then

golf—or golf then spa; you really can’t go wrong with the countless

42 Postcards


“Mexico has

emerged as

one of the top

luxury travel

destinations.”

Clockwise from top left:

Ancient cenote in the Riviera

Maya; travelers aboard a

catamaran along the Riviera

Maya; golf course at

One&Only Palmilla, Los

Cabos; outdoor massage at

the Hyatt Zilara, Cancún;

ancient Mayan ruins; spa at

Zoetry Paraiso del la Bonita in

Riviera Maya; traditional

Mexican chilaquiles.

Postcards 43


Aerial view of Zoetry Paraiso

de la Bonita, Riviera Maya

opportunities for both.

For a culturally enriching daytrip, hop into your

private SUV and head to the Mayan ruins of Chichén

Itzá, Coba, Ek Balam or Tulúm. Only an hour south

of Playa del Carmen, the ancient walled city of

Tulúm, situated atop a cliff overlooking the

Caribbean, is one of the largest and best-preserved

Mayan sites in the world. To cool off, you can swim

by the ruins or charter a luxury catamaran for a day

of sailing secluded bays and snorkeling colorful

private reefs that are teeming with marine life.

VIP TIP: Most resorts have on-site concierges that can

help cater to your every whim—from a private beach

cabana to a candlelit dinner on the beach. Ask and

you shall receive.

LOS CABOS

More luxury awaits along Mexico’s west coast,

particularly in Los Cabos, a dramatic desert-scape

with a feel similar to Scottsdale, Arizona, or Palm

Springs—but with an ocean. Located on the

southernmost point of the Baja California Peninsula,

Cabo is famous for its “Land’s End” lifestyle,

breathtaking golf courses and uber-exclusive resorts

such as One&Only Palmilla and Las Ventanas al

Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort.

Golf in Cabo is serious, and you could easily

play 36 holes a day and not run out of options for

high-end resort golf with awe-inspiring vistas. Over

a dozen designer courses stretch across the 20-mile

corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del

Cabo, including the spectacular new Quivira Golf

Club designed by Jack Nicklaus.

There are ample opportunities to explore the

area’s vast surroundings, whether it’s by private

chauffeured Hummer H2, on horseback or Harley-

Davidson. There are also numerous

adrenaline-pumping activities, such as dunebuggying,

skydiving and ultralight flying.

As the sun goes down, the streets of Cabo come

to life with young and beautiful travelers looking for

a night on the town, whether it’s at the low-key

Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo or the longtime favorite

Giggling Marlin or trendy nightclubs such as Pink

Kitty.

VIP TIP: Explore the Sea of Cortez aboard an 85- to

150-foot-long mega-yacht, which are available

hourly, daily or for overnight charter.

PUERTO VALLARTA/RIVIERA NAYARIT

Situated along the Pacific Ocean, where the Sierra

Madre Mountains meet at Banderas Bay (the largest

bay in Mexico), Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit

are known for endless sunsets, long stretches of

unspoiled beaches and gentle, rolling waves.

Combining the old-world charm of cobblestone

streets and dramatic mountain vistas with modern

luxury and true local hospitality, this region has long

been one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets.

Not only is the region home to sprawling private

mega-villas, but it’s also where to find some of the

most extravagant resorts such as Grand Velas Riviera

Nayarit and the St. Regis Punta Mita. In fact, the

destination has become a vacation haven for celebrities

such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Lady

Gaga, Beyoncé, Matt Damon and more.

But it’s not only the celebrities that make this

stunning region a favorite for luxury travelers. Some

of the best restaurants are found here, including Café

des Artistes, Hacienda San Angel Gourmet and Vista

Grill, all located in historic downtown Puerto Vallarta.

It’s also the place to be for eco-adventures,

ranging from zip-lining and ATV tours, to fishing

and whale-watching expeditions. Head to the eclectic

town of Sayulita for a slower-paced excursion, or

charter your own yacht at one of the many

international marinas to explore hidden beaches and

snorkeling spots and to take in an impressive sunset

from the water.

VIP TIP: For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, indulge

in an afternoon of tequila tasting; but pass on the

tour bus to Jose Cuervo. Instead, hire a private SUV

to take you to local estates for authentic tastings. TL

DONT MISS:

The Cancún Riviera

Maya Wine and Food Festival

takes place April 28 – May 1 and

will feature Albert Adrià, brother

of acclaimed Ferran Adrià (El

Bulli) and recently named the

best dessert chef in the world.

SOUVENIRS:

Take home some

traditional Yucatecan

garments like huipiles, simple

white-cotton dresses

festooned with bright handembroidered

designs, perfect

for a casual stroll on the beach.

For men, pick up a handembroidered

tropical shirt or

guayabera. And, of course, don’t

forget the tequila! Look for the

decadent Herradura “Seleccion

Suprema” for a more

manageable price than you’ll

find it in the States.

MUST-TRY:

Mouthwatering

chilaquiles, a more authentic,

local version of nachos (minus

the beans and cheese),

consisting of toasted tortillas

covered in red and green salsa,

shredded chicken and crema, a

Mexican version of sour cream.

Yum!

CALL US

To plan your Mexican VIP

vacation, contact our

agency today.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ZOETRY PARAISO

LET’S

GO

44 Postcards

Luxurious resorts, white-sand beaches, delectable cuisine and more await in Mexico. Based on your interests and desires, we’ll plan a

tktkttktktktktktktktktktkkttkkttktktktkttk.

customized vacation to suit your needs or recommend a vacation package with a trusted partner, such as Funjet Vacations’ allinclusive

5-night stay at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. Located on one of the most majestic peninsulas in the world, offering spectacular views

of the Sea of Cortez, Hyatt Ziva is an oasis of sophistication and comfort. Various 2016 dates from $1,150 per person (airfare additional).


Families shine brighter at

IBEROSTAR in Mexico.

IBEROSTAR PLAYA MITA, RIVIERA NAYARIT, MEXICO

Sun, sand and smiles. Located on Mexico’s most spectacular beaches, IBEROSTAR

Hotels & Resorts brings together the best in accommodations, service, recreation

and all-inclusive dining. While the children are living it up at the supervised Kids

Club, the adults can relax on the beach, in the spa or beside one of the refreshing

crystal pools. Plus, our Premium Gold resorts feature exciting water amenities like

wave pools, interactive playgrounds and lazy rivers. From specialty restaurants to

casual dining — IBEROSTAR has something for everyone. Discover Mexico’s best

all-inclusive family destinations at IBEROSTAR.

RIVIERA MAYA • CANCUN • COZUMEL • RIVIERA NAYARIT

Contact your Travel Leaders agent to plan your next vacation.


Checking in...

EXPLOREAN COZUMEL

BY JENNA SCATENA

Secluded pool area at Explorean Cozumel

Cancún might have cover-worthy megaresorts

flanked by white-sand beaches

and pulsing nightlife, but those willing

to journey slightly south, to the island

of Cozumel, are rewarded with rustic Caribbean

charm, unspoiled turquoise waters and

seemingly endless ways to be one with nature.

The best place from which to enjoy these

natural wonders? Explorean Cozumel, an allinclusive

luxury resort that has recently been

upgraded after completing a major renovation

in 2014.

Perched on Cozumel’s west coast and

enshrouded in palm trees and lush flora,

Explorean Cozumel’s 56 casitas offer privacy

and tranquillity, striking a balance of stunning

design and natural beauty. Contemporary

Mexican architecture comes together with

Mayan influences stitched into the colorful

carpets and wall hangings. The backdrop is

clean, white minimalism that doesn’t distract

from the exotic surroundings, and the rooms’

cloudlike beds are rivaled in comfort only by

the rainforest showerheads.

The resort’s on-site restaurant, Lool K’an,

pays tribute to the region’s native Mayan culture

both in its name (lool k’an means “yellow

flower,” a revered tree to the ancient islanders)

and its cuisine, which sources ingredients and

local seafood from the island’s morning market,

making for an ever-changing menu based on

the freshest ingredients available. The chef uses

the plate as his canvas to artfully construct

dishes that are best enjoyed in the romantic

glow of the restaurant’s thatched-roof veranda

as the evening’s tropical breezes float in.

Proving perks are not just about luxury

spas, swim-up bars or private bungalows

(though there’s all that, too), Explorean

Cozumel offers a multitude of ways to relax

and explore. With day beds, hammocks, and

Eden-esque gardens tucked throughout the

property, admittedly, you might not want to

leave the confines of the resort. But its lauded

Daily Expedition & Adventure Program

provides a litany of guided activities ranging on

the thrill spectrum from relaxed (sailing the

Caribbean) to daring (off-roading on a dune

buggy). The resort is also home to its very own

complimentary scuba-diving school.

A popular excursion is horseback riding,

which begins at a working ranch, then winds

along a jungle path brought to life by tropical

birds, flowers and tales of Mayan mysticism,

before reaching the ancient ruins of El Cedral.

An expedition to San Gervasio, the

island’s most significant Mayan site, takes

wannabe archaeologists to investigate the

ceremonial home of the Mayan goddess of

fertility and learn about the ruins’ role as a

once-thriving trading site.

To immerse in the Caribbean’s

captivatingly clear waters, head over to the boat

dock at the neighboring five-star hotel Fiesta

Americana. From there, you’ll depart to the

world-famous Columbia Reef on the island’s

southern tip for snorkeling among parrotfish,

angelfish, sea sponges and Crayola-colored reefs.

Post-adventure drinks are in order back at

the hotel bar, where guests gather to swap

stories over do-it-yourself cocktails using topshelf

liquor. But nothing beats a trip to the spa,

which is a journey in itself, offering

rejuvenating body wraps and aromatherapy

inspired by the local history and culture to help

it all soak in. TL

CALL US

To book your stay at Explorean Cozumel,

contact our agency today.

WHEN TO VISIT:

For the best weather, visit Cozumel between

May and July. Days hover around 80 degrees, and

evenings are perfect for staying outside late.

46 Postcards

GETTING AROUND:

If you’re flying into Cozumel International

Airport, keep in mind that there are no taxis, but you

can easily take a shared van or rent a private car.

MUST-TRY:

Cozumel’s chefs like to pull their

ingredients straight from the sea. Red snapper

(huachinango) and grouper (mero) are two local

favorites, especially when served on a banana leaf

with salsa and lemons.


IMAGES COURTESY OF EXPLOREAN COZUMEL

Clockwise from top:

The Explorean

Cozumel’s Lool K’an

Restaurant; sunbather

on the beach;

Explorean Cozumel

lobby; horseback

riding at the resort;

fresh red snapper, a

local delicacy.

Postcards 47


Celebrating the

art of fine food

& wine

Enjoy free amenities on culinary themed cruise itineraries.

Amenities may include but are not limited to:

• Exclusive demonstrations from world-renowned

chefs

• Complimentary bottles of wine & cooking classes

•Shipboard credit

• Specialty restaurant meals

• Shore excursion credit

• Prepaid gratuities

• Services of a Distinctive Voyages Host, an Exclusive

Shore Event and a Private Cocktail Reception

FEATURED SAILINGS:

Contact your

agent for more

details and to book

your Culinary

Collection cruise

vacation today!

Celebrity Cruises®

Celebrity Silhouette®

12-Night Scandinavia & Russia Cruise

May 2, 2016

Free Amenities: One Night

complimentary specialty dining plus

the Services of a Distinctive Voyages

Host, an Exclusive Shore Event and a

Private Cocktail Reception

Regent Seven Seas Cruises®

Seven Seas Mariner®

7-Night Wild Alaska Cruise

May 25, 2016

Free Amenities: Complimentary

bottle of Champagne plus $200 Shipboard

Credit per stateroom

Avalon Waterways

Avalon Artistry II

7-Night Belgium to Amsterdam Cruise

April 21, 2016

Free Amenities: Complimentary bottle of

wine per stateroom and prepaid gratuities

Disclaimer: Sailing dates and amenities, including exclusive shore events, are current at time of printing and are subject to change without notice. Amenities apply to 1st and 2nd passenger only. Offers are subject

to availability, at time of booking, and may be altered or withdrawn at any time without notice. Booking procedure is current at time of print. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking. Cancellations, refunds, and

penalties are imposed by the individual cruise lines. Distinctive Voyages amenities may be substituted if a minimum number of guests are not confirmed on any given departure. Exclusive Shore Events vary by cruise

line. Combinability varies.


Trending Destination

CUBA

No longer “off limits” to Americans, it’s no wonder this storied Caribbean island

has quickly become the destination of the moment.

BY ZOE SETTLE

Havana’s Palace of

the Galacian Centre

Eased travel restrictions, a reopened embassy and a genuine

curiosity about an island that has long been “off limits” for

travelers has recently put Cuba at the top of many Americans’

must-visit travel lists. And thanks to many airlines offering

direct service to Havana from major U.S. cities, getting to this island

nation is easier than ever. So, pack a map (your smartphone won’t

work), exchange money at the airport (neither will your credit cards)

and you’ll be well on your way to this enchanting Caribbean island

that has been captivating visitors for centuries.

Cuba’s modern history begins with Spanish settlers, who used

the island as part of their strategic military stronghold in the New

World for much of the 16th and 17th centuries. Havana was the

island’s home base, which still contains strong reminders (many of

them fortresses) of the island’s past.

The Malécon historic waterfront path wraps around the city,

whose northern view is over the Atlantic towards South Florida. Put

on your walking shoes, set off from the heart of Habana Vieja (Old

Havana), a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, and enjoy the

sea breeze as you pass local fishermen and art like the “Primavera,” a

sculpture that was installed during the 12th edition of the Bienal de

la Habana last spring. Stroll by both thriving and abandoned buildings

past the plaza devoted to Elién González and the newly reopened

American embassy, and marvel at the tremendous differences between

the two nations, only separated by about 100 miles.

Rehydrate with a mojito on the veranda of the Hotel Nacional,

and imagine what the glory days here were like beside guests such as

Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra. Then, stop by Coppelia, which

dates back to 1966 and is considered one of the largest ice cream

parlors in the world. Foreigners need to head to a special entrance,

with a limited menu of flavors, though the whimsical architecture of

the venue alone makes it worth the trip. On a hot day, the line of

Cubans will wrap around the block.

It’s said that artists are the Cubans with good fortune (and

income) to travel abroad, and it’s clear that this is a culture that truly

respects art and its makers. To discover Cuban art, visit the Museo

Nacional de Bellas Artes, located just across from the domed El

Capitolio, or the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, just a few blocks

away. Or, hail a cab—yes, you’ll have many of those classic 1950s ones

to choose from—and head to the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, a 2-yearold

private endeavor in a very hip space (a former peanut factory),

which aims to bring together the broad spectrum of the arts as a

showcase for emerging modern artists.

As you’ll soon realize, Cuba today is ripe with contrasts, from

magnificently colored albeit crumbling building facades to people

barely surviving on government rations but smiling and not asking

for handouts. Locals are resilient and optimistic about the future,

as evidenced by their liveliness. And wherever there is music—even

from a passing car—there is dancing. TL

50 Postcards


TRAVEL BETTER WITH

A AGENCY EXPERT

CRUISE THE MEDITERRANEAN from $1,899

WITH HOLLAND AMERICA LINE

The 12-day Mediterranean Explorer cruise aboard the ms Oosterdam departs June 29,

2016, in Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, and visits Naples, Italy; Catania, Sicily; Valletta, Malta;

La Goulette, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily; Corsica, France; Livorno, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco;

Sete, France; and Barcelona, Spain.

Price is per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy. Category MM. Airfare,

taxes and fees are additional. Price is subject to change and is based on availability at the

time of the booking. Certain restrictions apply.

THE BEST OF TURKEY from $2,904

WITH GLOBUS

Your tour starts and ends in Istanbul with overnights also in the Troy area, Izmir, Pamukkale

and Bursa. Explore ancient monuments, visit famous mosques, and browse wonderful

bazaars. At the end of your tour, enjoy a stunning 6-night Greek Islands cruise aboard the

Celestyal Crystal.

Expertise

You Can Trust

Our agency has the training

and connections to ensure

your travel experiences

exceed your expectations.

Enjoy customized itineraries

– designed just for you –

select privileges, negotiated

values and upgrades on

the top cruise lines and

luxury hotels in the most

desired destinations across

the world.

Contact our agents for

your exceptional journey

and discover what it

means to Travel Better.

Various 2016 departure dates to choose from. Prices are per person, land or cruise only,

and based on double occupancy. Airfare to and from the start of vacation is not included.

Offer subject to availability and change without notice. Some restrictions may apply.

CRUISE THE DANUBE WITH from $2,156

VIKING RIVER CRUISES

Enjoy grand cities and quaint villages on the 8-day Romantic Danube river cruise

departing November 4, 2016. Explore both sides of fascinating Budapest, experience

Vienna’s imperial architecture and gracious culture, and tour riverside towns in

Austria’s Wachau Valley.

Price is per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy. Category F. Airfare,

taxes and fees are additional. Prices, additional fees, itineraries and availability of this

product are subject to change at any time. Restrictions apply.

THE BEST OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS from $3,309

WITH GLOBUS

Explore Hawaii’s historic sights and hidden gems, such as a visit to the Kona Coffee Living

History Farm. Stroll the gorgeous beaches, nap by the pool, join in the optional activities,

shop for souvenirs and just relax on this truly memorable Hawaii vacation in paradise in

Honolulu, Kona and Maui.

Various 2016 departure dates to choose from. Prices are per person, land or cruise only,

and based on double occupancy. Airfare to and from the start of the vacation is not

included. Offer subject to availability and change without notice. Some restrictions may

apply.

For personal recommendations, insider tips and

extra amenities on your next getaway, contact us today!


TRAVEL BETTER WITH AN EXPERT

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS CONTACT US TODAY

POSTCARDS IS MAILED EXCLUSIVELY TO OUR VIP TRAVELERS.

GET OFF THE TREADMILL AND

CHASE THE SUN.

Book a flight and Barceló Hotels & Resorts vacation and receive up to

$3,000 in resort credits when you travel through December 31, 2016.*

With Delta Vacations, you’ll also earn up to 7,500 bonus miles,

in addition to credited flight miles, with your flight

and Barceló Hotels & Resorts stay.

TO BOOK, CONTACT YOUR

TRAVEL LEADERS AGENT TODAY.

Offer subject to change without notice; other restrictions may apply. All SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/memberguide. Delta Vacations airfares will earn Medallion Qualification

Dollars (MQDs – U.S.-based members only) based on fare class and distance flown. Bonus miles do not count towards Medallion status or Million Miler status. Please allow 6-8 weeks after qualification for miles to be

posted to your account. Offers void where prohibited by law. *Minimum night stays, select travel dates and other restrictions may apply. ©2015 MLT Vacations, LLC DV20461

Similar magazines