If there has ever been a time to book a once-in-a-lifetime trip, the time is now. Gone are the days of saying “I’ll get to it eventually. I’ll make it there one day.” After months of being stuck indoors, cancelled plans, and an influx of stress and anxiety, it’s time to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to your bucket list!
Heading out for a drive around any of the Hawaiian Islands hardly qualifies as a “road trip” in U.S. mainland terms. Even considering a spin around the 4,028-square-mile Hawaii Island, the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, can average about four hours.
Though, regardless of the time or distance you’ll travel, a mini road-trip in Hawaii is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Islands while spending quality time with your loved ones. After all, life’s not about the destination, but the journey. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride on some of the Islands’ most scenic drives:
Lush beauty abounds on Kauai, and any drive on the island is a sight to be seen. But a cruise down Kuhio Highway will take you along the coast from the island’s southeastern shore to the northern region of Hanalei. You’ll see exactly why the island has become the backdrop for so many Hollywood films.
A trip to the “country” as locals would say is a “must do” on Oahu. While there are several routes to get there, hop on the H3 freeway for grand views of the lush green Koolau Mountains. Continue north on Kamehameha Highway and keep an eye on the shoreline (located just steps from your car) for views of Mokolii Island near Kualoa and the white sand beaches along the way.
The 52-mile road to Hana is known as much for its scenic tropical views and waterfalls as it is for its twists and hairpin turns. Beyond Hana are the beautiful Pools of Oheo, the perfect reward after a long drive on Maui.
Take in the breathtaking sights of Hawaii Island’s natural landscape as you drive along sea cliffs, through lush valleys and tropical rainforests, up the Hamakua Coast. Begin north of Hilo on Hawaii Belt Road and venture off to the Onomea Scenic Drive, followed by stops at Akaka Falls State Park, Laupahoehoe Point, and Honokaa town. End your drive at the Waipio Valley lookout for a rewarding view of the lush landscape, beautiful waterfalls, and a stunning black sand beach.
With the new year just around the corner, many of us are dreaming about our travel goals for 2021 and even 2022. After a year full of cancelled plans and trips put on hold, we’re eager to pack up our suitcase and head off to somewhere exciting! With that in mind, we decided to chat with Stephanie Bishop, Managing Director of Globus family of brands, to find out how travelers can make their vacation dreams a reality.
Q: Tell us a bit about Globus family of brands and what you offer.
For more than 90 years, the Globus family of brands has greeted the most fascinating places around the world with unmatched intrigue, curiosity and wonder. Along the way, we’ve discovered the sights travelers must see, encountered the people they must meet, engaged in the customs to try, and indulged in the cuisine to taste byway of touring vacations with Globus and Cosmos; Avalon Waterways’ river cruises, and on-your-own adventures from Monograms. From the world’s heart-pumping cosmopolitan cities to heartwarming “undiscovered” towns, it is our greatest passion to share the joys we’ve uncovered with travelers.
Q: For travelers ready to book their long-awaited bucket list trip, what do you recommend?
There’s no better time than today to pin, plot and plan the next getaway, including to bucket list destinations. We never know what the future will hold, but with our Peace of Mind Plan, we make it easy – and risk-free – for travelers to book dream destinations – and itineraries – now.
The Globus family of brands goes beyond the guidebooks, beyond the expected, and well beyond the cobblestone streets of Europe to lead travelers to the wonders and joys of all seven continents – including the rainforests of South America, the national parks of North America, the Outback of Australia, the savannas of Africa, the neon-lit streets of Asia and even the icebergs of Antarctica. With an offering of more than 200 vacations to 68 countries, travelers can enjoy and explore almost anywhere in the world with a name they can count on. And, with an eye on ever-evolving travel trends, we’re always adding new vacations to fulfill the bucket lists of tomorrow.
Q: For North American travelers looking to stay closer to home, what domestic options do you provide?
It isn’t necessary to cross oceans for adventure when there’s so much to discover in Canada and the United States. Between North America’s breathtaking national parks, cool emerging cities and tiny, historic towns, there’s a surplus of sights travelers haven’t seen – or truly experienced – in their own backyard.
For 2021, we have increased our domestic offerings with Globus and Cosmos, including unveiling a new series of “Undiscovered” tours. On our “Undiscovered North America” vacations, we will take globetrotters down the less-traveled highways, legendary lanes, and scenic country roads to the special places and parks other tour companies don’t visit. This NEW “Undiscovered North America” series includes five (5) NEW tours from both Globus and Cosmos as well as other popular getaways:
For Canadians interested in Canada-only touring vacations, some of our favorites include:
In short, we have dozens of incredible vacations available for travelers wanting to explore the world closer to home. We have also unveiled a handful of off-season city getaways from Monograms for 2021, including 3-night stays in New Orleans, Nashville, San Diego and San Francisco.
Q: For travelers looking to have big experiences but with a smaller crowd, what do you recommend?
In 2021, Globus and Cosmos are delivering big experiences for small groups. With Small-Group Discovery tours, we’re making it easier than ever to explore the globe without the rest of the world in North America, Europe, Central and South America, Asia, Africa and select departures in the South Pacific. With an average of just 24 guests per tour departure, Small-Group Discoveries promise room to roam while getting up-close and personal with fascinating places.
Q: For travelers looking to travel privately, what are their options?
Designed for parties from two to two dozen, Globus’ Private Touring program invites travelers to enjoy the benefits of taking a European tour, while handpicking their travel companions. Whether they’re interested in gathering a party of friends for an overdue reunion or are planning a multigenerational family affair, both Globus and Cosmos Private Tours in Europe invite travelers to enjoy the journey in a new, more intimate way with a dedicated Tour Director, private transportation and local guides, VIP sightseeing and greater flexibility.
Monograms also offers small group and private travel options across the globe, including Africa, Asia, South and Central America, and the South Pacific. For instance, travelers can choose private safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa with Monograms or fly south for incredible getaways in Costa Rica, Brazil and Peru where they may find themselves on their own or with a very small group of like-minded travelers.
Q: How have your offerings changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The world has changed, but what remains certain is the Globus family of brands’ commitment to guest safety and peace-of-mind while traveling, including offering travelers worry-free, hassle-free and strings-free bookings with a Peace of Mind Travel Plan. While on a trip, travelers can also enjoy many enhanced health and safety protocols with the company’s new On-TripAssurance program
Leaving nothing to chance, our Global Health & Safety Team has established on-trip protocols that focus on travelers’ health and safety as well as the overall travel experience, including:
We have also used this “time out” to unveil more Small-Group Discovery tours worldwide and “Undiscovered” vacations in North America.
Q: BONUS: Why should travelers choose to travel with Globus family of brands?
It’s time to look forward to a day better than yesterday, to step away from everyday stresses and anticipate memories that await in new destinations – near or far. The Globus family of brands offers six safe and amazing ways to explore the world in 2021:
When the world is ready, we’re ready to deliver the world – in a way, and at a pace, that fits travelers.
Image Credit: Globus family of brands / Cosmos
When the time is right to venture out again, we are betting a lot of people will prefer more exclusive experiences with fewer people and a lot of space to roam. Trips that highlight the outdoors and less crowded destinations will be a top priority for most globetrotters as we gradually return to a world where traveling is a part of our lives. One travel style that has all of this going for you is expedition cruising.
In most of the remote Expedition destinations, you will be surrounded by nothing but nature. Vast landscapes and bountiful wildlife will be all you see for miles. You can choose your own pace and select a hiking excursion or take it easy on a beach stroll. The most important thing is that you will have with you just your Expedition expert guide and a group of no more than nine guests with you – a perfect plan for those who prefer a quiet setting these days.
It is still 5 o’clock somewhere when you are at sea, no matter how remote and far from the equator you get. Just because Expedition voyages are considered a more active vacation experience, that does not mean you need to give up on your libations and time spent with friends over drinks, hour d'oeuvres, and conversations.
Being away from everything and almost everyone gives you the perfect opportunity to unwind and destress. At times, you might forgo an outing with the Expedition team, only to sit and relax with a book and an artisanal coffee or tea. You can also choose to pamper yourself and schedule a massage at the spa. Whatever relaxation means to you, we are sure you’ll find the perfect spot on the ship to do just so.
Zodiacs are the means of transportation in expedition cruising. They take you closer to where wildlife is or bring you to shore for in-land exploration. The beauty of this mode of transportation is the fact that you are traveling with a small group, which allows for quick embarkation and disembarkation of these vessels. With a maximum of 10 guests always accompanied by a guide, you get to spend more time ashore and closer to nature.
Yes, a restaurant with a view of the Eiffel tower is spectacular, but have you thought about dining with a glacier or a remote Pacific island as your backdrop? When you embark on an expedition journey, you get to dine every day in a new magnificent setting. Whether you see nothing but the sea for miles or you get to enjoy your fare surrounded by cliffs carved by Mother Nature, we are sure the scenery will be a feast for your senses.
Instead of joining a big group in a museum with headsets that often don’t work, on an expedition voyage, you get to spend quality time with the Expedition team members. They often have different fields of expertise, and you can talk to them one-on-one throughout the voyage. They are there to interact with you and ensure your experience in the destination is as deep and meaningful as you want it to be.
We often say Expeditions are a voyage of discovery because most people grow a sense of appreciation for everything they get to experience in these voyages, things that many don’t get to experience their entire lives. At the end of each day, you and your fellow travelers will gather at the theater to talk about the incredible sights and activities you’ve done that day and plan for the next day of adventures. And, the Expedition team is always there to teach you something new and give you insights on everything your eyes just witnessed.
People sometimes still view expedition voyages as a rugged and uncomfortable experience. Although you can still get as down and dirty when you go ashore as the Expedition pioneers did back in the day, when you return to the ship, you are greeted by a staff who’s there to anticipate all your needs, and you get to retreat to your suite with the similar comforts you would have at home.
Being in remote regions does not mean you need to sacrifice your palate. We dare to say it actually gives you the excuse to indulge. After all, you will be actively exploring your destination every day. Although most guests prefer a lighter fare for lunch since there is much to see and do throughout the day, at nighttime, they get to relax with a glass a wine and a five-course meal befitting of any star-studded restaurant in town.
Put away your blue lenses as you won’t be spending much time looking at screens, but you will want to keep your in-suite binoculars handy as you never know when a beautiful show will happen right in front of your eyes. From whale breechings to dolphin pods swimming past the ship and unbelievable polar bears teaching their cubs the lays of the land, you should be prepared to witness the most spectacular moments on your expedition voyage.
Image Credit: Silversea Cruises
For decades, we’ve had to accept the fact that bosses like to watch us work. Now, in perhaps the greatest workplace experiment since cubicles were invented, we’re getting irrefutable proof that remote workers are (surprise) happier and more productive than their communal-workspace-dependent counterparts.
After spending half a year proving to the world that we can work successfully from home, we’re starting to venture out into the wild. And we’re looking to seasoned digital nomads to show us the way. Wait, I know what you’re thinking — Bali! But according to the hip and happening digital nomad community, Bali was “so last year” three years ago. Which is fine with us because, as of July 2020, you can get your work on in a tropical locale much closer to home.
Just a short flight away, hotels and resorts throughout the Caribbean are opening their freshly sanitized doors like they’re Elsa from Frozen welcoming remote workers with open arms. Let’s start with Barbados, shall we? Barbados wants you to work from their beaches. Seriously. They’ve launched a massive ad campaign about work visas designed specifically for digital nomads that last up to 12 months.
Assuming Barbados is a big hit, don’t be surprised if the rest of the Caribbean follows suit. Deep and meaningful health and safety protocols make these sun-drenched isles the perfect locale for working getaways with enviable Zoom backdrops and safe, al fresco dining. Some destinations require wellness tests prior to arrival, so check with your travel advisor for details.
Colony Club (St. James, Barbados) is a pristine retreat along the island’s Platinum West Coast where you can dine on healthy cuisine, relax, and focus. Here, 96 freshly renovated rooms offer modern amenities, elegant wood furnishings, and private balconies. Got time before your next meeting? Tap into complimentary water sports, fitness classes, and island tours. Or, hop on a water-taxi to one of the resort’s sister properties.
Worried you may get to your destination and not be able to connect? Don’t worry – we have a list of some of the best places to stay throughout the Caribbean that are known for their reliable wi-fi.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to sit back, relax, connect to wi-fi, and stare out at a beautiful backdrop all while working “from home.”
Tempting dishes from our featured destinations give you a taste of local culture. From succulent roasts to exotic spicy fare and some divine desserts, you’re sure to find plenty of delicious recipes to try at home.
Each month we’re showcasing our cruise partners to bring you the latest on the cruise line and their ships. With different cruising styles and a variety of ships to choose from, you’ll find these profiles helpful for selecting the cruise that’s right for you.