Spotlight on Mixed Destinations

Exotic – the word itself induces a feeling of excitement with thoughts of far away lands full of adrenaline-pumping adventures. But unbeknownst to most, you can find an exotic escape at almost any corner of the world.  

Beyond Petra: 4 Amazing Activities in Jordan

Beyond Petra: 4 Amazing Activities in Jordan
Spotlight

Made famous by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Petra has a well-earned reputation as Jordan’s top tourist attraction. The Nabatean city carved into red rock is a must for any Jordan trip, but it shouldn’t be the only stop on your itinerary. Here are just some of the other amazing experiences this country has to offer.

Experience local culture in Umm Qais

Sustainable tourism is booming in Umm Qais, where local families invite travelers into their homes, enticing them to stay a night or two after visiting the nearby ancient city of Gadara.

In this village of 7,000, located near the northern border, you’ll be welcomed into a family kitchen for a lesson in making cured eggplants, or into the living room for a crash course in basket weaving. In the evening, you’ll sit with your hosts on floor cushions, dining around a low table on a home-cooked meal of chicken, rice and vegetables, finished with tea and cake.

Ride a camel in Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum has stood in for Mars in several movies, and it’s easy to see why. The red sand stretches into infinity, and sandstone and granite cliffs tower in all directions.

Plodding through the sand on a camel is a good way to take in the astonishing scenery at an easy pace. To pick things up, hop into the back of a 4x4 and bounce over the sand hills.

Head back into the desert after dark for an incredible view of the stars, gathered around a fire for freshly brewed Bedouin tea while singing into the night. Then, get up at the crack of dawn as the light glows pink over the desert for a morning you’ll never forget.

Cover yourself in mud at the Dead Sea

At the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea is actually a salt lake. Lined with high-end resorts, it’s a stunning place to settle in for a few days of luxury.

At the waterfront, cover yourself head to toe in black Dead Sea mud, known for its healing properties. Dry yourself in the sun, then wade in for a dip. Don’t try to swim, though – the water is much too salty for that. Instead, enjoy the strange sensation of weightlessness as you bob on the surface.

Visit key sites from the Bible

Mount Nebo, with its views stretching out into the valley, is said to be the place where Moses saw the Promised Land. The site is now home to a sixth-century church with a beautifully-preserved mosaic floor depicting the domestication of animals. Outside, there’s an olive tree planted by Pope John Paul II.

On the eastern bank of the River Jordan, Bethany Beyond the Jordan is believed to be the site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. After touring the Roman and Byzantine ruins, you can wade into the water, joining centuries of Christian pilgrims who have traveled to this holy site.

Le Boat Presents: Canal Cruise Escapes

We caught up with Lisa McLean, Marketing Manager, North America and Latin America, at Le Boat, to learn how travelers can become the captain of their own boat and experience their greatest vacation yet.

Why should travelers consider booking with Le Boat?

Canal Cruise rentals is one of the hottest 2019 travel trends! It’s the perfect option for travelers looking to go off the beaten path and explore a region by its waterway versus its roadways.

Le Boat has been in business for 50 years in Europe, but this style of travel is just starting to gain awareness with North American travelers. Most travelers are unaware they can rent a canal boat cruiser on a great waterway in Europe or Canada with no previous boating experience or boat license required.

To put in simple terms, Le Boat is a modern “houseboat,” floating cottage, or RV for the water, where travelers live onboard, are the captain of their boat, set their own agenda, and choose their own travel schedule. Boat rentals vary from 3-4 days, to one week, to even 10 days plus! All our boats are easy to drive, and you get a full driving lesson at the time of your check in. The Le Boat base team will teach you all you need to know to have an amazing, brag-worthy vacation.

Le Boat operates in eight European countries, and in 2018, we launched a fleet of boats on the UNESCO World Heritage Rideau in Ontario. With an entire fleet of more than 940 boats (sleeping 2-12 people), you will easily find a boat that fits your party size, budget, and travel style.

What if travelers are new to boating?

No boating license or boating experience required! If you’ve never been on a boating vacation before, the concept is simple. We provide you with a boat, which will be your home and transport for the duration of your vacation. Pick it up from one of our many bases, situated along some of the most beautiful waterways in Europe and Canada, and the rest is entirely up to you. Go where you want; do as you please. The only requirement is that you return your boat back to the base on time.

Not many of our new customers have driven a boat before. However, they quickly realize how easy it is and soon become confident navigating the waterways. Our base teams will show you everything you need know! If you can drive a car, you can drive our boats, which were designed to be easy to use, with a steering wheel for left and right and a throttle for forward and reverse.

How much can people expect to spend when booking with Le Boat?

A private yachting vacation is no longer reserved for the rich and famous. A Le Boat canal cruise rental is much more affordable than you might expect, and the price is per boat, not per person. With a fleet of boats to choose from, you will easily find a boat to fit your budget.

What type of traveler / travel experience do you cater to?

Choose a cruise based on your favorite things to do. Whether it's golfing, biking, or wine-tasting you’re looking for, we have cruises to suit all kinds of interests.

A Le Boat holiday is great for couples, families, groups of friends traveling together, or a girls/guy’s getaway. It’s also perfect for those looking for an authentic and unique holiday that is off the beaten path, or for those wanting to travel at their own pace and set their own itinerary. Le Boat can provide a sample itinerary based on a food /wine tour, history, nature, soft adventure, golfing or fishing, or you can just relax on the water. But, for those looking for more of an active holiday, Le Boat offers the option to rent bikes, stand up paddle boards, or kayaks.

If a traveler could only pick one destination you offer, which do you recommend and why?

Our most popular cruising region is France, and we recommend the UNESCO World Heritage Canal du Midi. When it comes to barging in the South of France, the scenic Canal du Midi is a must. Cruising this 300-year-old waterway, you will savor the slow, easy pace while traveling past lush vineyards in the heart of the Languedoc wine region. Passing through historic water locks, you will discover charming Medieval villages and ancient fortress cities. Sightseeing, wine tasting, and sun-kissed cycle rides await, all the way from bustling Toulouse to the golden sands of the Mediterranean Sea.

For those looking to stay closer to home and skip the long-haul flight to Europe, we would recommend the UNESCO World Heritage Rideau Canal located in Ontario. Our base is located 40 minutes from Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. One of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century, the Rideau Canal, is the oldest continuously-operated canal system in North America. While traveling this attractive waterway, you'll be able to unwind and take in the spectacular nature, picturesque towns and lively cities along the way.

Describe a Le Boat experience in one word.

UNFORGETABLE!

10 Unique Experiences that Redefine Exotic Escapes

When we think of exotic escapes, we tend to think of fragrant spices and tropical air. But the truth is, you can find something exotic in every corner of the world, no matter the temperature. Here are 10 exotic experiences you may have never considered.

Amazing Outdoor Adventures in the Pearl of Africa

Amazing Outdoor Adventures in the Pearl of Africa
Travel Style

It’s easy to see why Winston Churchill called Uganda the “Pearl of Africa.” Straddling the equator, this stunning country’s diverse landscapes and incredible wildlife experiences will take your breath away. Here are just a few of the unforgettable outdoor activities to explore in this East African gem.

Trek for gorillas or chimpanzees

Uganda is one of only two countries in the world where you can trek to see the endangered mountain gorilla in the wild. At Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a guide hacks his way through the trees with a machete, guiding you to your assigned gorilla family.

You might spot huge silverbacks or tiny babies. You’ll have an hour to spend in silence with these impressive great apes, watching them interact with each other or snooze under the leaves.

For a completely different trekking experience, head to Kalinzu National Forest to visit a family of chimpanzees. The trekking is generally easier, but the wildlife experience is much less serene. Chimp shouts and calls can be heard up to a mile away, and you'll need to keep your wits about you to watch out for fruit being flung from on high.

Watch hippos bathing in the Nile

The world’s longest river, the Nile, begins in Jinga, Uganda, and flows 4,132 miles through nine countries. In Murchison Falls National Park, you can ride along the Nile in a small motorboat, passing elephants, crocodiles, and an astonishing number of brightly-colored birds on the shore.

But the most impressive beasts you’ll spot on a Nile safari are the hippos. Gathered in large groups, the semi-submerged beasts eye you menacingly. In fact, these are among the most dangerous animals you can come across in this country. It’s a treat to be close enough to see the water running off their slippery skin from the safety of the boat.

Hike Murchison Falls

Ernest Hemingway spent an unplanned night very near the base of the world’s most powerful waterfall when his small plane crashed here in 1954. A small sign marked PBM 9026, the plane’s registration number, marks the spot where Hemingway and his wife Mary spent the night, injured, fending off wild elephants.

But you won’t crash on your exotic adventure; instead, you’ll climb for 45 minutes up the hiking trail to the top of Murchison Falls, where the entire Nile squeezes through a 21-foot gap before thundering down 141 feet. The mist the falls throw off creates a perfect rainbow and cools your face as you prepare for the hike back down.

Take a lion research safari

The best way to get up close to the kings of the jungle in the wild is to pair up with a researcher in Queen Elizabeth National Park. By tracking the movements of lions tagged with radio collars, the researchers help preserve peace between animals and local communities, while studying how lions live and behave.

Joining a research safari allows you to go off-road in the park, something no other safari can do. Between the off-road access and the radio tracker, you have the best chance to find lions and watch them eat a fresh kill while vultures lurk nearby waiting for scraps.

International culinary delights

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.

Vanilla Sky inspired by the destination of Tahiti

Princess partners with mixologist Rob Floyd to create travel stories in a glass.


Floyd believes spectacular drinks combine the best of “The Three T’s.” First and foremost is “Taste,” as interesting ingredient combinations produce delicious flavors. The second element, “Technique,” refers to the skill and craft that goes into creating each drink. And last but not least the “Tale;” the fascinating inspiration behind each unique cocktail — especially when it relates to the destination you are visiting!


Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • .25 Agave
  • .75 oz Lime Juice
  • .75 Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • .5 oz Orgeat syrup
  • .25 oz Orange Curacao

Preparation

  1. In a mixing tin add Vanilla Vodka, lime juice, fresh pineapple juice, Orgeat syrup, Orange Curacao & Agave.
  2. Shake with ice.
  3. Strain over fresh ice into Collins glass.
  4. Garnish with mint & pineapple.

Step aboard the world’s greatest ships

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.

Embark on a Journey of Discovery

Photo: Viking

Sailing our most popular itineraries, the award-winning Viking Longships showcase innovative engineering, streamlined design and understated elegance for the most comfortable river cruise experience available.

Plus, the Viking Inclusive Value covers just about everything—port charges, Wi-Fi, meals, lectures, onboard activities and shore excursions—so all you have to do is relax and enjoy a great journey. And the award-winning Viking Longships® have set the standard in river cruising with spacious Veranda Staterooms, the largest suites in Europe, al fresco dining and more. Discover for yourself why Viking truly is The World’s Leading River Cruise Line®.

Viking Longships

THE SMALL SHIP EXPERTS
Viking takes you closer to your destination

THE BEST WAY TO IMMERSE YOURSELF in new cultures is to explore the world by river. That is why we designed elegant, intimate ships with all the amenities of a fine hotel. Our ships gently carry you to the world’s greatest cities, deliver you to the center of charming towns and villages, and connect you to your destination.

TRAVEL WITH EASE. Unpack once and relax to an ever-changing canvas of breathtaking landscapes. Arrive in the center of town—often at Viking-owned dock locations—and stroll right off to begin exploring. Viking reveals the true character of the world’s historic waterways by delivering you to their doorsteps.

INNOVATIVE SHIPS ENHANCE YOUR JOURNEY. Viking Longships have set the new standard in river cruising, expertly crafted to bring the outside in. With the most al fresco dining on the rivers and vast windows that bathe the interiors in sunshine, your destination and the exhilaration of the outdoors are always within reach.

Because we own and operate our ships, no detail escapes our attention. Join us, and learn why we have consistently been the most awarded river cruise line worldwide.

The Ship
Viking

Accommodations

UNPARALLELED STATEROOM CHOICES The Viking patented design allows for more variety than other ships

YOUR PRIVATE SANCTUARY ON THE RIVER. Our innovative thinking provides you with more choices and a more enriching experience. Each of our spacious Viking staterooms offers a hotel-style bed topped with European linens and duvets. And you will feel pampered by bathrooms equipped with heated floors and premium Freyja® bath products.

STATEROOM FEATURES

  • Outside staterooms with river view

  • All Upper & Middle Deck staterooms have a full veranda or French balcony (a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door)
  • Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • 40" or 42" flat-screen Sony® TV with infotainment system featuring Movies On Demand, plus CNBC, CNN, FOX, National Geographic & more
  • Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control
  • Voltage: 220V & 110V (US outlet), plus USB ports
  • Private bathroom with shower; heated floor and anti-fog mirror; premium Freyja bath products; robes & slippers
  • Bottled water replenished daily
  • Laundry service

*All amenities on board Viking Longships; amenities vary on other ships.

VIKING SUITES
The first-ever true (two-room) suites on Europe’s river ships

THE ULTIMATE IN LAVISH COMFORT. Viking Longships offer river cruising’s first-ever true suites, each with TWO FULL-SIZE ROOMS. These elegant spaces are the largest suites on Europe’s rivers and provide commanding views, making your destination seem close enough to touch. Our innovative Viking Longships are the most desirable way to see Europe’s great waterways.

Accommodations
Viking

Dining

DESTINATION - FOCUSED DINING The most al fresco dining on the rivers

CUISINE AND WINE ARE PART OF EVERY VIKING JOURNEY. Both engage your senses and open a window to the essence of a place. Our highly trained chefs are passionate about food and committed to providing enriching culinary experiences, whether local specialties or American classics. Our ships’ dining areas are the ideal setting for hospitable, attentive and personalized service.

FRESH FARE AND REGIONAL CUISINE
bring your destination to life. Locally sourced ingredients inspire our chefs to create authentic dishes. Our extensive wine list features a vintage created by our own vintner. And, our signature “Taste of…” events introduce you to the food and drink of the region, providing the perfect opportunity to sample local flavors.

IMPECCABLE SERVICE AMID CASUAL ELEGANCE. Indulge in attentive table service in the upscale Restaurant, whether over a sumptuous breakfast buffet, a light salad midday or a relaxed multicourse dinner. Open seating gives you freedom to dine with whomever you wish. Enjoy more casual meals on the Sun Deck or Aquavit Terrace®, our al fresco dining area.

Dining
Viking

Activities

ONBOARD ENRICHMENT
Bringing culture and history to life

We are pleased to bring you a curated onboard experience to complement your time ashore.

GUEST LECTURERS expertly shed light on your destination’s art, architecture, geopolitics and more.

DESTINATION PERFORMANCES represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region— whether it be Portuguese fado, Viennese opera or world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre performers from St. Petersburg.

PORT TALKS provide an overview of your ports of call through informative multimedia presentations.

COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS present recipes of regional treats and drinks— Austrian apple strudel, Rüdesheim Coffee and more—so you can take the flavors of your destinations home with you.

CRAFT DEMONSTRATIONS reveal the centuries-old traditions of local artisans, from glassblowing and lace making to silk screen printing and wooden shoemaking.

WINE TASTINGS introduce you to a wide selection of regional wines or vintages crafted by our own Viking vintner.

CLASSICAL AND REGIONAL MUSICIANS, from local ensembles to acclaimed choirs, perform well-known and lesser-known melodies.

ONSHORE EXPERIENCES
With an included excursion in every port, plus The Viking Way of exploration

THE VIKING WAY OF EXPLORATION offers behind-the-scenes insights and opportunities that set us apart. While we feature the expected and iconic in our included shore excursions and carefully curated optional tours, we also work hard to offer our guests LOCAL LIFE, WORKING WORLD and optional PRIVILEGED ACCESS® experiences.

Activities
Viking

Services

AWARD - WINNING SERVICE
Genuine warmth and thoughtful attention

ONLY THE VERY BEST. Our knowledgeable and highly experienced Swiss management oversees your entire journey and handpicks each member of our onboard team. Rigorous training and inspiring leadership make Viking the employer of choice, which allows us to select the very best people to care for you, from stateroom stewards to the Captain.

PERSONALIZED ATTENTION. Can a reservations agent make booking your journey a pleasure? Will a waiter learn your favorite wine? Is it possible for members of your ship’s staff to feel like close friends? Yes, if those individuals work for Viking. When you have the best people, you have the best service—and Viking has both. Our English-speaking international staff is trained to the highest standards. These loyal members of the Viking family, 90% of whom return year after year, ensure you the same quality cruise after cruise.

OUR SERVICE GUARANTEE. We are so confident we will exceed your expectations that we are the only cruise line to guarantee its award-winning service. See our website for details.

Services
Viking

Inclusions

VIKING INCLUSIVE VALUE
We offer the best experience, with all you need included plus the ability to customize

With Viking, we make sure that there are no surprises or hidden fees. The price you pay covers just about everything—port charges, free Wi-Fi, meals, lectures, activities and shore excursions—plus hotel accommodations on cruisetours. Although you can never put a price on hospitality, all of your included amenities and features have an added value. That is what we call Viking Inclusive Value. And, here are more ways to save:

  1. ALL-INCLUSIVE VIKING INTERNATIONAL AIR includes flights, taxes, fees and airport transfers
  2. MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME ABROAD with our “Explore More” pre- and post-cruise extension packages; Premium Plus Hotels offer an enhanced destination experience; ask for details
  3. LOCK IN YOUR PRICE by paying for your entire trip; ask about our Price Guarantee
  4. PEACE OF MIND when you purchase our cancel-for-any-reason Travel Protection Plan

Inclusions
Viking