Tag - cruises

Modern cruises: Luxury and adventure on the high seas

Leisure cruises have been around for a long time. In 1900, the American-Hamburg Company launched the first ever ship designed for these seaborne vacations. Measuring 406 feet by 52 feet and weighing nearly 4,500 tons, the vessel was to set a trend. Of course, a lot has changed since the early days of ocean-based holidays. As well as becoming much safer, these ships now offer the upmost in luxury and sophistication.


With names like Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean, you might be wondering just how far the luxury goes.  So what do you get if you choose to sail with a modern cruise company?

There is certainly no shortage of destinations to choose from when you’re booking your cruise; the Caribbean with its white sand beaches, plentiful sunshine and tropical charm is always popular and stop-off points include St Kitts, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Puerto Rico and Barbados.

Alternatively, maybe a sojourn around Europe would better suit your requirements. Trips around the shores of the Mediterranean have long proved a hit among holidaymakers and there are plenty of itineraries for you to choose from, whether you fancy a tour of Spain and Portugal via their stunning coastlines or want to check out the best of the Greek Islands.

Or for something a little different, why not try a cruise along the magnificent Norwegian fjords? Here, you will travel past vast and beautiful glaciers, snow-capped peaks and picturesque settlements.

While onboard, you can tuck into sumptuous food and drink and unwind in superb accommodation. You’ll also get to make the most of a host of facilities, ranging from swimming pools, hot tubs and solariums to libraries and cinemas. Then there is the entertainment to enjoy. As well as live music, you can see comedy shows in action and there are even cooking demonstrations and competitions to take part in. It’s important to note that the facilities on offer do differ from ship to ship, so it’s worth checking before you make a booking.

And if it is total indulgence you’re after, it’s worth seeking out Celebrity ‘Millennium Class’ vessels. These ships exude style and glamour, boasting high-end fittings and fabulous staterooms.

Cruises have certainly come a long way from the functional voyages of the past. With exciting excursions and on-board facilities allowing you to do everything from taste wine to learn how to surf, even a lengthy voyage across the Atlantic will be thoroughly enjoyable. So if you fancy the celebrity treatment in more ways than one, a cruise might just fit in with your 2014 holiday plans…

Exotic Istanbul shore excursions with Ephesus tours



by Saffron Nine,

Over the years, the tourism industry has played a significant role in providing a luxurious experience to people. Every year there are more than 1 million people who visit Istanbul with their family and friends to witness one of the most exotic shore excursions. However, with inflating tour package prices many people find it difficult to avail these facilities and hence, are left with the only option of compromise. Travel Ephesus has come up as an exception in such respect as it serves as an independent source of shore excursion which is cost-effective as well as less populated than the normal Cruise Lines.

Travel Ephesus was initially established in the year 1996 with intent to provide reasonable and semi-private shore excursion packages to people who wish to spend some time in private. Being an independent shore excursion unit, Travel Ephesus takes complete liberty in providing the best form of personalized services to its guests by way of exposing some breath taking scenic beauty along with providing complete fooding and lodging services. When it comes to fooding, there is nothing better than enjoying the same in some less populated place and moreover, the meals are totally based on local dishes that represents the taste and flavour of Istanbul.

A compete day’s shore excursion package with Travel Ephesus includes an encompassing approach to set you as close as possible to the Istanbul culture. Right from lunch to the late evening walk every arrangement is made in such a way that one will definitely fall in love with the view and scenes. The arrangement for transportation reflects arrangements made with deluxe minibuses that are comfortable and very neat in appearance. The travelling section also includes taking the visitors to some of the most traditional stores in Istanbul where various art and craftwork are put for sale.

Ephesus turkey has been a key player in determining the success of this independent shore excursion unit. Turkey contributes to the major flow of visitors as people find the packages to be very feasible. Moreover, if a tourist is looking forward to avail a personal tour with a group of people, then the same is also possible with assistance from Ephesus turkey. All the necessary arrangements are is made with a view to promote ultimate flexibility to the group along with their preferred options of sightseeing and travel route.

Tourists from all corners of the world are welcomed at Travel Ephesus as there is a complete holiday package on offer which also includes expert guides who are proficient with languages such as Portuguese, Japanese, French, English, Italian, etc. Irrespective of caste or creed, precision is maintained at serving the tourists with a 100% satisfaction approach that can leave a sense of bliss among the travellers for years to come.

The guest post has been provided by Travel Ephesus. It is a blooming industry for Istanbul shore excursions that exclusively deals in tours and Travel Ephesus.

World Trip working on Cruise Ships

Hubbard Glacier

Hubbard Glacier

I have been working 5 Times on Cruise ships and certainly came around like no other Human. I have visit lot of places, some are Beautiful some are nasty. Most interesting without a doubt are different Cultures regardless the country and Ethnicity.Every country has its beauty on its own. You see life and People in a different way when you working like me Compare to just make some Holidays. It is impossible to say what are actually the best place to be, you got to make your choice pretty much,

but let me recommend some: Sitka/Alaska in Summertime, I love the Cluster Islands, when the Sun is shining it feels like a Dream place! Laid back and perfect for chill out and relax in pure Nature.

Hubbard Glacier

Hubbard Glacier

Argentina/Brazil/Amazon: Exiting, Beautiful and Adventurous. I was very glad to had the opportunity to visit these country’s. For the most very far and where to go first. Got some friends in Chile,that would be another place to see for me.

South America is not as lost as the rest of the world may think, it is growing,a lot of improvement is and will be done. I have been in the Amazons for 2 weeks – till Manaus (Population 2 mill.) check it on your map!! a stand alone Metro-pole where you never exact that. Only smaller ships can get there. A interesting History surrounded by water and Rain Forrest.

Sail Away Seward

Sail Away Seward

Middle Sea/Mediterranean: I have been on most places there,hard to say which is best – but I think this is more a Budget issue ,-) anyway.

Asia: Japan/China/Vietnam/Thailand/Indonesia: Japan – I love the Japanese – most significant and friendliest people I ever met on Earth. We got there just before they got Hit by the Tsunami (3 month before) – same place btw.!! Lucky that I can write this here!!! Needless to say how much shocked I was when I saw the news!

Sail away Seward

Sail away Seward

My impression: it is a very organized Country, compare to all the Technique provided you actually don’t see that at all, you even look out for it but can’t find anything what looks very high tech or any SI/FI thing.

China and its Great Wall (Beijing/Tianjin) : Long story short to all of you: you know some of the History? Get on the Great Wall of China and Imagine/ Feel the Power of the Past. I don’t find many words to describe that, it is truly the most significant Building in History and what was going on during Building it!!



Shanghai: As a little kid I always dreamed of it to see the Futuristic looking TV tower: 2010 suddenly I faced my boy dreams. Pictured it alone with my mobile 50 times immediately.Shanghai is HUGE lots of changes,lots of shops,poor and rich together. Worth a trip.

Hong Kong:  pact with Skyscrapers, Expensive Shopping – you really find most named shops there, a City which never sleeps and only stops on a Red Light! People are friendly haven’t see too much – like another big city though.

Somewhere Alaska

Somewhere Alaska

Ha Long Bay: The tiny town is pretty poor, far away from everything basically. The Bay itself astonishing a must see once in a LIFETIME.

Hanoi we had to skip because of an upcoming Taifun.

Ho chi Minh City:2 overnights, Vietnam people are very friendly but certainly having bit hard time with English.Shopping is very cheap for all your needs. Traffic is horrible. Big City which expands to a Huge Potential.

Hubbard Glacier - Breaking Ice

Hubbard Glacier – Breaking Ice

Thailand: Beautiful Hot Country,people are nice, depending on area can’t trust them all.However, I have been Married to a Thai woman, lived there for 1 1/2 Years. I really enjoyed that, have seen a lot – Gold finger Island ,-), The Beach, and more. Thailand is working to achieve a lot Beautiful Places but forgetting to take care of there people too much. After all it is not as cheap as most people saying or simply believing it!! For a standard living you need easily 1000 Euros per Month!! BKK and elsehwere!



Indonesia: Me and some friends had someone who was actually from there,so we experienced things bit easier! Bali night life “Amazing”, your wildest dreams come true ,-)) lol

Komodo Island: Stunning scenery all around, couldn’t get of the ship because of a Decease that time.

Australia:Darwin got Very Rainy when we got there, but Beautiful Place, loved it.

With Sunday Island/Great Barrier Reef: Any Questions? Really? You have money,get there. Good place to get old though ,-))

NYC 2012

NYC 2012

Sydney: Port between Opera House and the Bridge,couldn’t be better for my Camera I bought in Hong Kong.

Expensive,yes, spoke to a few people and watched life a bit, don’t expect it too easy.

and yes I have been other places,Gulf of Mexico, Canada,NYC, and many more…..Thanks for reading hope you can take some out of it for your Journey’s ,-))) all the best





Revealing How to Save Thousands on an All American Cruise

Cruise bahamas, cr-/sunshineandsails.com

Cruise bahamas, cr-/sunshineandsails.com

Just like any type of holidays, there is a high and low season for cruise lines. Choose the right time of year and you could save hundreds and even thousands of pounds on the cost of your vacation. This American guide is full of insider tips to help you save money on your next cruise.

South America

The slow months for cruise lines operating in South America are in either side of the summer (April and October). Both months are great for cruise goers, with mild to warm temperatures and small crowds. However, the closer you get to Central America the more the humidity rises and the greater the chance of storms. Keep in mind that a trip to the Galapagos during the low season will certainly be a bumpy ride as the seas are normally rough.

Gulf of Mexico

January and May to October is the low season for cruise goers in the Gulf of Mexico. The best time to take a cruise is towards the end of the summer months or early spring. January is the worst time of the year to take a cruise in this region of the world, temperatures go from hot one day to freezing the next.If you take a summer cruise, keep an eye out for regal boat tours that are often offered when the cruise ship is in port. Be sure to compare regal boats before choosing a tour though as the quality of the tour companies varies greatly.


The low season in Bermuda for cruise lines is split on either side of the high season. The slow months for cruising are September through to October and April to May. Out of the three months, May is the best time to take a cruise around Bermuda because the climate is warm while the humidity levels are low. Whichever month you happen to choose however, you are guaranteed a certain degree of privacy because of the small crowds.


The slow months in the Caribbean are September through to January and April and May. Unfortunately for cruise lovers, the low season coincides with the time of year when there are hurricanes. This is something that needs to be seriously considered before booking a cruise as this can affect the cruise itinerary and a severed hurricane can even result in the cancelation of the cruise.


September to December and the months of May and June are the best time to get the cheapest cruise tickets in Hawaii. If you have the option then spring is the best time of year to travel to Hawaii as the weather is warm but not too hot and humidity is low. The other great thing of course is that with children in school, the cruises are more oriented towards adults than families.

Canada and New England

May to August is the low season for cruise lines on the Canada to New England route. With few passengers, ticket prices are at there lowest. Unlike many other cruise routes, the low season for Canada and New England actually coincides with with best weather. This means anyone lucky enough to book a Canadian cruise can expect plenty of sunshine, which is great for the port stops.


May and September are the cheapest months to book a cruise in the most northern of US states, Alaska. The scenery in May is picturesque with the trees growing new leaves while much the highlands will still be covered in snow. September is also nice as the weather is still mild without the cold winter winds, but temperatures can drop suddenly and heavy mists can roll over the sea.

Ketchikan Totem Pole Carving – An Alaskan Cruise Delight!

Ketchikan Totem Pole Carving

Ketchikan Totem Pole Carving

When our cruise ship stopped over in Ketchikan, Alaska, I wandered up Creek Street, getting the feel of the place. Then I took a city bus out to the Potlatch Totem Park, which a friend had recommended – he had told me there was a great area where carvers worked on native totem poles. As I walked through the park, with massive totem poles all around, I could hear the sound of hammering – slow and steady. Inside a carving shed a woman was bent over a log stretched out horizontally, chipping away with a hammer and a large metal chisel with a wooden handle. I caught the wonderful scent of fresh cut cedar when I walked in the door. I was lucky – there was no one else around.

The woman noticed me, and nodded a hello as I walked over to where she was working. “Hello there,” she said, “my name is Brita.”

“I hope I’m not intruding, but I’m fascinated by totem poles”, I replied.  Looking at the large pole laid out, I was first astonished by the size. “I thought I understood the size of them, but they are much bigger than I realized. This is huge.”

She smiled and nodded. “Yes, this one is in the early stages. It’s about 34 feet tall.”

“Do you mind if I watch you work for a bit?”

“Not at all,” she replied. “It’s nice to have someone interested. The tourists mostly walk up to a totem and take a picture, then go back to the ships. And the young people aren’t as interested any more. We’re losing some of the craftsmanship.” She said it with a wistful smile.

“So how does the process work?” She told me that it began with selecting the proper log to form the mast of the
totem. This pole was part of an old growth cedar forest, and when it blew down in a big storm, the forest service told her about it and helped her get it to Potlatch. She was just beginning the forming process. I noticed what looked like thousands of small chipped places along the log, and she told me they were all handmade etchings. They were part of forming the whole object by hand, and the marks were similar to a sculpture – chipping away everything that wasn’t the figures on the pole. The chisel – she called it an adze – had a wooden handle attached to a small metal blade, which she tapped at with the hammer to cut away the excess wood. I watched in amazement as she cut deftly and surely. This was a wonderful part of my Alaska tour.

“So how do you know what to cut? Do you have a map that you lay out of what the final pole will be?”

She smiled, “Yes, I put together a template in my mind, and then work from that. I can move so quickly at this stage because I have a long way to go to before I taper down to the figures that will be the essence of the totem.”

“I’ve heard that Native American totem poles are a religious object to the local tribes.”

“That’s one of the common misconceptions,” she laughed, never stopping her chipping process. She said the missionaries thought totem poles were religious objects, and sacrilegious to them, and for a number of years had their converts burn their totems. But they were never about religion – locals thought of them more as billboards. They told a story – they depicted a record of history, and were a way to honor the heritage of the people. They were carved by a tribe – Tlingit, Haida – and the symbols were those of the clan who built the pole. At the high levels was typically an eagle or raven, and the human figure at the top was a watchman – to look out for danger to the village.

When I asked how much longer it would be until she finished this totem, she said it would likely be a number of months before they could have the ceremony to raise this pole. I wanted to ask about the ceremony, but looked at my watch, and realized I had been talking with her for much longer than I thought. I shook hands with Brita, thanked her profusely for the wonderful depth perception on totem poles, and went to catch the bus back to the cruise ship. I knew I will come back – I was really enjoying my Alaskan cruise, and wanted to spend more time learning about the totem poles Ketchikan, Alaska had in such abundance.

Margaret (Maggie) Weiss is a high energy, adventure seeking, travel-holic.  She has traveled the globe looking for her next great expedition.  She’s also a mom of 3 beautiful girls and wife.  She loves to write about her favorite places to stay and visit with her family and her most recent Alaskan cruise.  Follow her on twitter @missmaggieweiss

Ecuador – from the Andes through the rainforest and along the coast to the Galapagos Islands

Bienvenido en Ecuador!
Galapagos Islands-cr-hotelclub.com

Galapagos Islands-cr-hotelclub.com

Ecuador, the small country in the Andes at the west coast of South America is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Colombia and Peru. In Ecuador there are four different regions in one country:

The Sierra (Andes), the Oriente (Rainforest), the coast and the gorgeous Galapagos Islands. Although, Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, it has a diversity you will never find in another country again. Everyone will find the right place, because Ecuador offers much more than the Galapagos Islands.   In the Andes you will find the Avenue of the Volcanoes, where one volcano is next to the others. Many of them are still active.

The highest volcanoes are Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. In the Andes you can do great trekking tours or horseback riding, for example in the Cotopaxi National Park or in Pululahua. The different indigenous markets in the highlands are absolutely worth seeing and you should visit one of them. The biggest and most famous market is the one in Otavalo and takes place every Saturday. Here you can buy beautiful warming blankets and pullovers of the wool from the Alpaca, great handmade jewelry of wood, pearls and silver, bags made of leather und much, much more. But you should visit the market in the morning, so you have enough time to explore everything which is offered and to negotiate the best price with the Indigenous.

Another highlight of the Andes is a journey by the Andean train around the famous Devil´s Nose “Nariz del Diablo”. The journey with the Andean train begins in Riobamba and passes along Alausi right to the Devil´s Nose. Here the train goes down in a zick zack since he reaches the Valley of the Chanchán river which is 100 meters deeper than the devil´s nose. If you want to enjoy this event on the top of the train, you should hold tight very well during the way down. From the Andes we go to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Quito is famous for his historical center, which counts to the Unesco world heritage, at all. Normally, the tours begin at Playa Mayor or rather known as Plaza Grande and then it goes through the beautiful Colonial Quito. You can see magnificent churches and buildings and a walk through the oldest alley of Ecuador, La Ronda, is amazing. Definitely, you should taste a candelazo. It tastes beyond belief! Especially at night, the historical centre of Quito is gorgeous. You can join different tours with a guide who tells very interesting stories about the past of Quito and the people who live here. Near Quito is Mitad del Mundo, the Equator Monument.

Here you should visit the museum Inti Nan right next to the Mitad del Mundo. Or you go to the TeleferiQo to enjoy a great panorama of Quito. From Quito you can fly into the Rainforest of Ecuador. Here you will find an amazing flora and fauna. Every jungle lodge offers extensive and exciting excursions in the Rainforest. Perhaps you would like to do a great walk through the rainforest and then taking a bath in a beautiful waterfall. Also a great experience is to visit a village in the rainforest. You will meet very friendly people and get to know their traditions and way of life. For experiencing a unique, extensive and relaxing stay in the Rainforest you should stay four or five days.   Next stop is the coast.

On the way from the Rainforest to the coast you should visit the town Cuenca. The colonial and historical centre of Cuenca is amazing and counts not without reason to the Unesco World Heritage since 1999. Also a visit at the beautiful flower market is a must-see! From Cuenca we follow the direction to the coast of Ecuador. Along the north coast of Ecuador, right in the province Esmeralda, you will find the most beautiful beaches of Ecuador. Especially the beaches of Mompiche and Portete are gorgeous.

The north of Esmeralda is still an insider tip: wide beaches, mangrove swampland and the still less- known Cayapas jungle. Along the coast we arrive in Manta, the biggest fishing harbor in Ecuador, and then Guayaquil. From Guayaquil you can fly to the Galapagos Islands, one of the last paradises in the world and highlight of every tour in Ecuador. Galapagos is not only one of the best diving spots, especially the islands Wolf and Darwin, but also the Galapagos Islands themselves have a great flora and fauna. During your cruise in the Galapagos Archipelago or your Island Hopping Tour you will discover the high diversity of Galapagos Animals, like iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, boobies, the famous Galapagos tortoises and many more.

But also the flora is great! On every Galapagos cruise or Island Hopping Tour you will get to know the most famous Galapagos inhabitant, the Lonesome George from the island Santa Cruz. He is the only survivor of his specie. All cruises and Island Hopping Tours are of different length and in different categories. So everyone will find the right tour!

One thing is guaranteed: After your journey you will love Ecuador with the Andes, the Rainforest, the coast and the Galapagos Islands. With great memories and the wish to come back to Ecuador you will fly back home!

More information about Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands you will find here: