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Galapagos Islands Dive Boat Luxury

During a shark-filled week on a live aboard dive boat in the Galapagos Islands, the luxuries are less about boosting thread count and more about boosting your pulse rate. The captain and crew of the M/V Galapagos Sky live aboard dive boat were wasting no time. As soon as her 16 passengers, from Hong Kong, Austria, Switzerland, Ecuador and the United States were settled on board we were underway—headed to the far northern reaches of the Galapagos Islands, where mega currents attract schools of hammerhead sharks so dense they block out the sun. Whale sharks the size of 18-wheelers appear...

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The American Queen: Ruling America’s Rivers

Riverboats have been part of American history since the 19th century, when they carried both cargo and passengers along the country’s great rivers: the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Columbia and Sacramento. As depicted in the 1951 movie Showboat, they even brought entertainment and gambling to towns along the Mississippi. As with every “Golden Age”, that of the riverboats came to an end, thanks to competition from the railroads, commercial barges, the rise of the automobile – and finally, WWI and the Great Depression. Reviving that great tradition: The American Queen. She was born in 1995, the biggest river steamboat...

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Chasing Lewis and Clark with Un-Cruise Adventures

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, intrepid explorers dispatched by President Thomas Jefferson in the early 1800s to find a route across the western United States, did not have an easy trip. Battling Native Americans, braving extreme heat and cold, making their way down treacherous rapids and starving, they gradually made their way to their ultimate goal: the Pacific Ocean. However, passengers on the luxurious S.S. Legacy with Un-Cruise Adventures are able to traverse part of the same route in ultimate comfort. Un-Cruise Adventures is not a typical small ship cruise company by any means. Drawing on the combined experiences...

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Top Ten Tips for Cruise “Virgins”

Please enjoy the radio interview on Travel Writers Radio with Maralyn on the subject of Cruise Tips via the radio clip below. At least once a year, I find myself on a cruise ship. I’ve also organized many cruises and here are some tips based on questions and comments I’ve heard. When you lay out your clothes to pack, put half of them in the suitcase. You probably won’t need so much — and you may want to buy something new. If you are afraid of getting seasick, get wristbands with acupuncture balls enclosed. They work like a charm for my...

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Antarctica: Beyond Expectations

I didn’t think the day could get any better as we witnessed a pod of magnificent Orcas gliding by our ship along with dozens of Painted Petrels riding the waves amid ice sculptures that could have been made by Michelangelo himself. But it did — as soon as we set foot on land and were greeted by a welcome committee of thousands of Adelie penguins dressed in their finest tuxes. They paraded all around us as they headed to and from their nests on the rocks and to the sea on a well-trafficked path, commonly referred to as the...

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Confirmed Anti-Cruiser Loved Viking River Cruising!

Let’s begin with why I strongly dislike (only because it’s not nice to say HATE) ocean cruises: seasickness; queuing  up with thousands of  peeps who all seem to be vying for the “how-high-can-I-load-my-plate-with-mediocre-food-from-the-buffet-table” award; long, boring days of bobbing around the high seas with nary a speck a land in sight; wasted hours getting  off ship at each port and then having to drive long distances to get to to town-repeat for return to ship, having to fork over additional big bucks for ‘canned’ shore excursions, being reduced to  watching Vegas wanna-be entertainment, etc. Which is why I wasn’t...

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Charter Luxury Private Yacht To Explore Antarctica

Has it been your dream to explore Antarctica via an itinerary you help arrange? This is now possible this coming season onboard the new M/Y Enigma XK Expedition Yacht. Its five VIP cabins can accommodate twelve guests in grand style. Shown is the most luxurious, but the others are spacious and set up as doubles or two singles. They are extremely large and elegant and the public areas stylish, comfortable and welcoming. In all instances, guests are able to view magnificent surroundings. A private jet whisks guests to Antarctica, which avoids the rough and bumpy Drake Passage, while maximizing...

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Rocking the Boat

Concerts and cruise ships. There was a time when they had nothing in common. No more. Thanks to some creative composing and logistical maneuvering of the floating variety, Carnival Cruises has brought the seas alive with the sound of music. A first-of-its-kind in the competitive industry, the Carnival Live Concert Series offers music loving guests the chance to spend sun filled hours in popular ports before ending their day on a high note with a star-studded show. The vacation concert combination makes sense. So much so, you wonder why somebody didn’t think of it sooner. All of the not...

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Why Cruise Ships Offer Dining Alternatives

We cruise a lot. For me, it is one of the most relaxing ways to clear my head and I’ve found Holland America Line (HAL) an excellent five-star choice for running conferences. Since 2009, I’ve arranged three conferences on its ships and am currently planning another. That means I’ve taken the time to check out many various details and the focus of this article is going to be its dining choices. Years ago, when cruise lines first started offering alternative dining choices, I just viewed it as another way for them to add revenue. It is, but revenue that...

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Avalon Gets My Vote for Queen of the River Cruise

Just between us I feel it’s only fair to let you know that when I first received my invitation to join a group of journalists for the christening of the Avalon Expression I was a little hesitant, since I’ve never been a big fan of ocean cruises…actually, it’s fair to say I pretty much detest everything about them.  But since every trade magazine I’ve read lately has been about the explosive growth in the river-cruise market I decided to take one for the team and give it a try.  Fast forward to one week after my return and I...

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