Miami to Miami
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Cruising The Florida Straits
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Santo Tomas De Castilla
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Cruising The Caribbean Sea
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The largest city in the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi also gives its name to the largest of the United Arab Emirates. Created after the British pulled out of the Persian Gulf in 1971, the Emirates consist of seven sheikdoms formerly known as the Trucial States. During the 3rd millennium BC, the climate of this area was more temperate than today’s and a flourishing Bronze Age culture developed on Abu Dhabi’s coast and in the desert oasis are of AlAin/Buraimi. The remains of this ancient civilization have fascinated archaeologists since their discovery in 1960. Today you may imitate modern-day dwellers of the desert by going for an exciting desert safari in a specially-equipped 4WD vehicle.
Acapulco is world-renowned for its glitz, glamour and luxury. With a reputation as a haven for the rich and famous, Acapulco has everything a traveller could hope for. No matter how much time you have, you won’t have enough for Acapulco.
White sandy beaches are the crown jewels of Acapulco and each has a character of its own. Some cater to the sun-and-fun seeker and some to those looking for solitude. While in Acapulco remember to make time for the beaches; each will offer a different taste of what this town has to offer.
Alicante lies 225 miles (362 km) southeast of Madrid. It is a small city boasting beaches and warm weather most of the year. Alicante is a haven of sidewalk cafes nestled beside little piazas or set out on the palm-lined Explanade. Marvelous views are yours from the castle of Santa Barbara, perched on a rocky peak, and in the Museum of 20th-Century Art,
with masterworks by Picasso, Miro and Braque.
The capital of Western Samoa on the northern coast of Upolo Island in the Southern
ATHENS — Athens provides a good study in how the New South coexists with the Old South. A lively music scene
(supported by students from the University of Georgia) flourishes in the bars, clubs and coffeehouses of the restored
downtown (it brought the world such bands as R.E.M. and the B52s). But you don’t have to look far to find the Old South: It’s apparent in the many Greek Revival homes and buildings that dot the city, the best example being the Taylor-Grady House. The University of Georgia, across the street from downtown, boasts a number of these Greek Revival buildings, including Demosthenian Hall and the president’s house. The university is where you’ll also find the Georgia Museum of Art (a collection heavy in 19th- and 20th-century American and Italian Renaissance paintings). Off campus you’ll find the Church-Waddel-Brumby House, the oldest surviving residence in the city, now serving as the visitors center. Athens is also home to the fragrant State Botanical Gardens of Georgia. Nature trails wind through the gardens of native flora — the rose garden is especially nice (it blooms May-November). Southeast of Athens in Washington is the Robert Toombs House, the restored home of a recalcitrant Southern politician who hated the North for political reasons and hated the Confederacy almost as much for not electing him president. One of the least mellow individuals the smooth-as-silk South has produced, Toombs never gave up his secessionist fervor or his cantankerous manner. 66 mi/106 km east of Atlanta.
A city of stunning natural beauty, Auckland blends the best of the modern cosmopolitan world with that of a Polynesian paradise. Nestled between two beautiful harbors, this marine playground offers breathtaking views and more than 1,000 bays and beaches. Shop the colorful Victorian Park Market or the charming boutiques of Parnell Village. Explore museums brimming with artifacts of the Maori culture. Or enjoy the natural splandor of the city, from English-style rose gardens to extinct volcanic sites. Popular landmarks are One Tree Hill and Mount Eden.
Bali is the festive face of Indonesia, the jewel in its crown. “Island of the Gods” and “Morning of the World” are two of the names commonly used to describe this island, which is believed by its 2.7 million people to be on loan from the gods.
Profoundly influenced by its rich Hindu culture, Bali has 20,000 temples, 60 annual religious holidays, and 2,000 dance troupes. Hardly a day goes by without a celebration, a procession, or some other festivity.
Westernmost island of the Lesser Sundas, Bali is the most visited island in the Indonesian archipelago. It possesses the country’s most developed infrastructure. The island, which is 150 kilometers (93 miles) long, is known for its beaches some with crashing surf, others with placid waters framed by multicolored coral reefs. Bali’s interior is characterized by an east-west range of volcanoes (Mount Batur rises to 1,720 meters/5,643 feet and Mount Agung to 3,000 meters/9,842 feet) and deep north-south ravines where rice paddies fall away to emerald-green terraces. Bali is characterized by volcanic soil and tropical rainfall that make it an extraordinarily green and fertile land.
Bali alone of the Indonesian islands is predominantly Hindu, and that heritage is largely responsible for the island’s unique character. When the Hindu Javanese Majapahit Empire conquered Indonesia in the 14th century, their artistic and cultural influence profoundly changed Bali, although vestiges of the island’s indigenous culture survive in isolated villages. When Muslims prevailed in Java, the entire Hindu cultural body moved its customs and practices to the smaller island, where the prevailing animist traditions were incorporated into the religion. As a result, Hinduism in Bali has its own flavor, different from that of India.
Paradoxically, given its many blessings, Bali survived the incursions of colonizers and invaders that plagued the rest of Indonesia because it lacked what other islands possessed in abundance: spices, precious metals, and woods. Thus Bali’s culture flourished more or less undisturbed until 1908, when the Dutch took control.
The airport for Puerto La Cruz in northeast on the Caribbean. Isla de Margarita is off the coast.
Bay of Islands
The ‘Bay of Islands’ was how Cook described the area two centuries ago, and the simplicity of his name masks the diversity of its charm.The subtleties of its attraction lie as much in the graceful fusion of sea with land as in the manoeuvres of Man – of Maori, whaler, missionary, and later, settler. The Bay, studded with over 150 islands, is a ‘drowned river system’, an area where the sea has invaded and drowned a number of river valleys. Its sheltered waters offer some of the finest boating and fishing to be found anywhere, and the menus of local restaurants reflect the abundance of marine life in the Bay.
Bora Bora is one of over 100 islands in the South Pacific. The people are a mix of Maori, Chinese and European, and have a unique, welcoming culture. One can experience turquoise blue waters, white sand beaches, as well as a heathly mix of culture and the arts. Excellent hiking, scuba diving, fishing, boating and more can also be easily found.
The British are still coming!
They discovered her natural beauty in the 1620’s, and they’ve been here ever since. Although the island became independent in 1966, life here till retains a strong British accent.
With a climate that is considered among the kindest in the West Indies, and spectacular natural beauty, Barbados is truly one of the gems of the Caribbean.
Welcome to Brisbane, the capital of the Sunshine State and Australia’s third largest city. Brisbane is a booming city with over one million people and is the major international gateway to South East Queensland. Brisbane also provides access to the holiday destinations of the Gold Coast to the South and the Sunshine Coast to the North. Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city and the state capital of Queensland. Not so long ago, the rest of Australia considered it little more than an
overgrown country town, but it has shirked off this unwelcome reputation to become one of the country’s most progressive centres.
The Sub-tropical climate promotes an easy going relaxed lifestyle with hot summers and warm clear winter sun.
Brisbane offers a whole range of activities for the visitor. The South Bank Parklands has 16 hectares of fun and excitement: Tropical rainforests, beaches, wildlife habitats, restaurants, specialty shops , shows and even an English style pub. The Queensland Art Gallery, the Queensland Museum and the Maritime Museum are justifiably famous. Customs House provides a look back in Queensland’s history, as does Newstead House complete with period furnishings.
With its Sub-tropical ambience, Brisbane has many gardens and parks. See the Koalas at the Alma Park Zoo, the Australian Woolshed also has sheep shearing demonstrations and don’t miss the Lone Pine sanctuary, the famous City Gardens and Mt Coot-tha Gardens.
The Great Barrier Reef curves close to the coast and meets the rain forest at Cairns, the gateway to Australia’s “Deep North.” Explore the reef up close via catamaran, or choose from a host of excursions the lush tropical forests, picturesque towns and homesteads that surround the city. The nearby town of Kuranda has a butterfly farm and a great street market on Sundays and Wednesdays.
The French Riviera is synonymous with beaches, splendid scenery and fascinating people, and nowhere is this more evident than in Cannes. Artists, writers, actors and jet-setters from the world over come here to enjoy the elegant boutiques, art galleries, extravagant restaurants and hotels along the Cote d’Azur.
And of course, the annual Cannes Film Festival draws the creme de la creme of trendsetting celebrities. Nearby is the town of Grasse, known for its fields of fragrant blossoms and perfume factory, and further along is St. Paul-de-Vence, a fortified medieval town perched high atop a hill. It was here that painter Marc Chagall lived and was inspired to create many of his Expressionist masterpieces.
Cartagena, (kär´te-jê´ne) city (1985 pop. 563,949), capital of Bolívar dept., NW Colombia, a port on the Bay of Cartagena, in the Caribbean Sea. Oil-refining and the manufacture of leather, textile, and tobacco goods are major industries, and there is an expanding petrochemical complex. Founded in 1533, Cartagena became the treasure city of the Spanish Main, where precious New World minerals awaited transshipment to Spain. It was often sacked despite its massive fortifications, some of which still stand. It declared its independence from Spain in 1811 and was incorporated into Colombia in 1821. Its rapid development in the 20th cent. was due largely to the discovery of oil in the Magdalena basin. One of the most picturesque of Latin American cities, with shady plazas and cobblestone streets, Cartagena attracts many tourists.
Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka means “Resplendent Land,” an apt description for this beautiful island. Its capital, Colombo, has been a major trading port for centuries, and the island itself was colonized first by the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally the British. Yet despite splendid examples of colonial architecture, Sri Lanka has always remained Oriental in spirit, with colorful bazaars, dancing elephants, graceful women in saris, and many Buddhist shrines and temples. Sri Lanka is located 31 miles off the southern tip of India, with Colombo located on the western coast.
The second largest city in Panama, it is a major port in the Caribbean, located near the Gatun Locks and the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal.
Do you like fish? Not necessarily to eat. Just to look at. Because if you do, you’re going to love Cozumel, Mexico,where sheltered coral reefs make this one of the best snorkeling areas in the world. Abundant and colorful marine life turn the sea into a visual fantasy.
Of course, you might even love it if all you like are beautiful secluded beaches, great shopping, and authentic Mexican cuisine. That’s the deal with Cozumel; there’s a lot to like.
Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory, N Australia, on an inlet of the Timor Sea. It is the chief port and administrative center for the sparsely settled tropical north coast. Called Palmerston until 1911, it was renamed for Charles Darwin, who discovered its site in 1839. It has been largely rebuilt since a devastating typhoon in 1974. Kakadu National Park is nearby.
Dubai is the Arabian Peninsula’s most cosmopolitan city-and the second largest of the seven United Arab Emirates. Unlike other Gulf statess, Dubai’s thriving economy is fueled not by oil, but by trade, which may explain its laissez-faire attitude. And if you like to shop this is THE PLACE, especially if you’re in search of electronics, gold, antiques and carpets. The souks in Dubai and nearby Sharjah vary from tiny stalls to covered malls. Don’t forget to haggle-it’s expected. More pastimes in Dubai are a dhow excursion on the tidal creek which winds through the city, a game of golf on the only real grass links in the Emirates, a tour of Sharjah, an evening safari inot the desert for a barbeque and traditional dancing and a thrilling demonstration of theancient Arabic art of falconing.
Fakarava’s immense lagoon has several black pearl farms, idyllic white sand beaches and is peppered with small islands, homes to many breeds of nesting birds oblivious to visitors..The passes provide endless and exciting discoveries for snorkelers and scuba divers in dream-like purple water where 150 foot visibility is the norm.
Adventure and discovery are mixed with breathtaking scenery, romance, and the warm, sensual trade winds in the coconut palms. If you need to de-stress, this is the place. Snorkeling there is the best of anywhere, and Scuba diving in this tropical aquarium couldn’t be easier: when the tide is even, simply jump off the restaurant deck into this purple dream, sit yourself at the bottom ( 80″ ) of the pass, and watch the crowd go by, just like in a Paris cafe. Except you are in 80 degree water with 180″ visibility. And the crowd is made-up of tropical fish who come to check you out, including many huge napoleon wrasses, white-tip, black-tip and (harmless) grey sharks and sometimes manta rays.
Another cool dive – or snorkling – excursion is to Sane’s famous black pearl farm where you can see the large oysters suspended in mid-lagoon, and if it is the right time of year, even observe the delicate procedure of graft implenting in the live oysters. For a small fee, Sane may even let you dive for your own pearl, and who knows, you may hit the jackpot!
You’ve heard, perhaps, of the Renaissance? Well, this is the region it started. And without the Renaissance, our art would be poorer, our food and wine would be poorer, and our culture would be poorer plus, the term “Renaissance man” would be meaningless and confusing.
Some interesting sites to visit are the castle where Michealangelo is supposedly tombed, the Arno River, which divides the city in half, with the historical district in the northern part, and the Oltrarno neighborhood to the south. The Piazza del Duomo is usually found with hundreds of tourists, and the Piazza Santa Maria Novella is a regular hangout for immigrants and tourists waiting for the train. Most of the streets are open only to pedestrians, so walking is a welcome reward for getting around, rather than by car or bus. Be sure to get a map with all of the interesting landmarks and entertainment to be found in this great city, available at the tourist office and most hotels. Take your time, there are many Renaissance palaces and Gothic churches to be experienced.
Fujairah is a fast-growing seaport with an international airport making it a tourist attraction for the city life and natural life including beaches, mountains scenery, fortresses . . .
Great Stirrup Cay
Norwegian Cruise Lines was the first cruise line to acquire a private island and transform it into an exclusive paradise
for their passengers. Complete with swaying palms, sandy beaches, coral reefs, steel bands and the scent of barbeque wafting in the breeze because whenever a ship calls, it’s beach party time!
Swim, snorkel, snooze in a hammock, play volleyball, paddle boat rides, sailing, kayaking, limbo… anything you want.
The capital of St. Barthelemy, Gustavia is purely French. Though named after a Swedish king, Gustav III, and still retaining some of its Swedish influence, the small group of inhabitants are mostly young, very chic and very French.
Cricket, anyone? This is the sort of thing one is likely to hear in this teddibly, teddibly British isle–or, to be accurate, collection of 150 islands, the six largest of which are connected by bridges and causeways.
Though most proximate to North Carolina, the islands retain a distinctly British flavor, dotted with traditional pubs and somewhat formal, in a friendly sort of way (short shorts are a no no, and bathing suits are appropriate only for bathing).
Residents are known as “onions,” after the sweet, succulent Bermuda onion that was an enormous part of the islands’ economic base a century ago. Now the big business here is tourism, and it’s thriving, no doubt due to the turquoise waters and incredible scuba diving afforded by the surrounding coral reefs. There’s much to enjoy, and taking a tour is an excellent way to get yourself oriented.
“The Big Island.” There’s something pleasantly direct about the nicknamenatives use for the island of Hawaii. Of course, it’s also known as “The Orchid Isle” and “The Volcano Island,” so it’s no wonder a visitor to Hawaii finds it to be a land of wonder and beauty.
Hana is an industrial port town on the windward (rainier) side of the island, with several hotels and an airport, although the majority of the resort activity is on the Kona side of the Island.
There are snow-capped 14,038-foot peaks (Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea), vast macadamia nut plantations, as well as black lava, white coral and green olivine beaches–not to mention the fiery landscape of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
It means “the gathering place,” and whoever named Oahu knew what he was talking about. For millions gather here every year to enjoy “the jewel city” of Honolulu, from Diamond Head and the world-famous beaches of Waikiki to the inspiring memorials of Pearl Harbor, to the only royal palace ever constructed on U.S. soil. And if you’re a board-bug, don’t
miss the legendary surfing beaches of the North Shore.
The main city on the Island is Honolulu, with Waikiki being the primarybeach and resort hotel area. Among the many popular things to do on Oahu, the Polynesian Cultural Center and Sea Life Park, on the opposite side of the Island from Honolulu, are very popular.
Jerusalem, (je-r¡´se-lem) city (1991 est. pop. 535,000, including East Jerusalem), capital and largest city of Israel, on a high ridge W of the Dead Sea and the Jordan R. A holy city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, Jerusalem is an administrative, cultural, and tourist center. Manufactures include cut and polished diamonds, plastics, and clothing. The eastern part of Jerusalem is the Old City; the New City, to the south and southwest, has been largely developed since the 19th cent. and is the site of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. Archaeology indicates that Jerusalem was already settled in the 4th millennium B.C. David captured it (c.1000 B.C.) from the Jebusites (Canaanites), and after Solomon built the Temple there (10th cent. B.C.), Jerusalem became the spiritual and political capital of the Hebrews. The city fell to many conquerors, e.g., Babylonia (586 B.C.) and Rome (63 B.C.), and it was the scene of Jesus’ last ministry. The Roman emperor Titus destroyed the rebuilt (Second) Temple (A.D. 70) to punish rebellious Jews. The Muslims, who believe that Muhammad ascended to heaven from the city, treated it well after they captured it in 637. It was conquered by the Crusaders in 1099 and was recaptured (1187) by the Muslims under Saladin. Jerusalem was the capital (1922-48) of the
British mandate of Palestine.
During the Arab-Israeli Wars, the city was divided (1949-67); the Old City became part of Jordan and the New City became the capital of Israel. In 1967 Israel captured the Old City and formally annexed it. Israel reaffirmed its annexation of the Old City in 1980, an action not accepted by many nations. The Old City contains many holy places of Christianity, e.g., the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; of Islam, e.g., the Dome of the Rock (688-91); and of Judaism, e.g., the Western (or Wailing) Wall (part of the Second Temple
“Maui No Ka Oi.” If you’ve been to Maui, you’ve no doubt heard this before. It means, “Maui is the best,” and you’ll hear this clever slogan often when you visit this enchanting “Valley Isle.” Explore the old whaling town of Lahaina and nearby West Maui Mountains. There’s also Haleakala National Park, with its 10,000-foot volcano and crater. If you have a weakness for the tropics, heady nightlife and miles of perfect-tan beaches, put Maui on your must-see list. Kahului is the
main commercial center of Maui. Ten minutes away is the verdant Iao Valley and its towering rock monolith. On Maui’s eastern coast is some of Hawaii’s finest scenery – black sand beaches, isolated fishing villages, old lava flows, lovely waterfalls, dense jungle growth and lush groves of mango and monkeypod trees. Golden sand beaches and secluded coves line Maui’s western shore. Lahaina was the capital of Hawaii during its royal days and much of it has been restored as it was a century ago. Maui’s most spectacular sight is Mount Haleakala with its enormous crater large enough to hold
Manhattan. Mauians have a saying: Maui No Ka Oi, or, Maui is the Best.
Key West, (wèst) city (1990 pop. 24,832), seat of Monroe co., S Fla., on an island at the SW end of the Florida Keys, c.150 mi (240 km) from Miami, 90 mi (145 km) from Cuba. It is the southernmost city of the continental U.S., a resort and artists’ colony and fishing center. Winslow Homer painted there; Ernest Hemingway, whose home is a museum,
Wacky architecture, cultural contrast, call it what you will: In “KL,” as this town is widely known, it is not unusual to, say, see a modern skyscraper situated next door to a centuries-old shophouse. It’s one of the things that make Kuala Lumpur unique.
Superficially, KL may appear to be a modern Asian city of gleaming skyscrapers, but it retains much of the character and local colour which has been so effectively wiped out in cities such as Singapore. It has plenty of colonial buildings in its centre, a vibrant Chinatown with street vendors and night markets, and a bustling Little India.
The real heart of KL is Merdeka Square, the site of the city’s parades and celebrations and home to a 95m (312ft) high flagpole. In colonial days, Malaysia’s administrators used the square for cricket matches, but it was also here that Malaysia’s independence was declared in 1957. On the eastern side of the square is the moorish Sultan Abdul Samed
Building, topped by a 43m (141ft) high clocktower. KL’s magnificent railway station is built in a similar moorish style, with its full quota of minarets, cupolas, towers and arches, and may be construed as a delightful example of British colonial humour. The Petronas Towers building is less decorative but impossible to miss. It’s almost half a km (1640ft) high and is one of the tallest structures in the world.
The picturesque, striped onion-domed Masjid Jame (Friday mosque) is set in a grove of palm trees overlooking Merdeka Square and is neatly reflected in the new mirror-glass office building nearby. Just south of Jami Masjid are the teeming streets of KL’s Chinatown – a crowded, colourful area with the usual melange of signs, shops activity and noise. At night the central section is closed to traffic and becomes a brightly lit, frantic night market.
Budget hotels and hostels can be found in Chinatown and Jalan Pudu Lama. Mid-range hotels are concentrated in Chinatown and on Jalan Bukit Bintang. The night market in Chinatown is the most interesting place to eat in the evening.
Luxor was built on the site of the ancient city of Thebes, and the magnificent monumental architecture and its excellent condition make Luxor one of Egypt’s greatest tourist destinations. For many hundreds of years people have been visiting the temples of Luxor, Karnak, Hetsgepsut and Ramses II. The Nile has feluccas and old barges that shuffle between the luxury hotel ships of the Hilton and Sheraton that cruise between Cairo and Aswan. Luxor Temple was built by Pharaoh
Amenophis III on the site of another Thebian temple and added to by Tutankhamun, Ramses II, Nectanebo, Alexander the Great and various Romans. Excavation work has been underway since 1885. The Temples of Karnak are a series of monuments that were the main place of worship in Thebian times, and they can be divided into the Amun Temple
Enclosure, which is the largest; the Mut Temple Enclosure on the south side; and the Montu Temple Enclosure. The Amun and Montu enclosure were once connected by canals to the Nile providing passage for sacred boats during festivals. Luxor is accessible from Cairo by buses or trains which run every day.
Resting along Andalusia’s bright Costa del Sol is the picturesque port of Malaga, birthplace of Pablo Picasso. At the Malaga Cathedral see the natural wood carvings of artist Pedro de Mena and visit the Gibralfaro Castle. Then continue on to the ancient city of Granada, high into the Sierra Nevada mountains. Here lies the spectacular Alhambra, the grand
fortress of the last Moorish rulers of Spain and one of the largest structures in the world. Inside is Isabella’s priceless collection of European paintings. The Granada Cathedral is the site where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella are buried along with their daughter.
Manaus, (me-nous´) city (1990 est. pop. 1,114,000), NW Brazil, capital of Amazonas state, on the Rio Negro. Surrounded by jungle, it is the westernmost of Brazil’s major cities, the commercial center of the upper Amazon region, and a major river port accommodating oceangoing vessels. Founded in 1669, it grew rapidly during the rubber boom of the late 19th
cent. Since the 1970s, increased interest in development of the Amazon basin has brought Manaus new importance. Its opera house is renowned.
Mangalore is a beautiful port city in the southern most tip of the state of Karnataka. Due to its proximity to the Arabian Sea, Mangalore is incredibly picturesque, and quickly becoming a hub of activity and the fastest growing city in India.
Ah, the French Riviera…is yours for the taking, for a few hours anyway, when you leave the town of Villefranche to tour Monaco, Monte Carlo,St.-Paul-de-Vence, Cannes, and the Grand Corniche.
Monaco is one of the smallest nation’s of the World and Monte Carlo is its city with the Palace place on top of a high rock overlooking the city, the quaint port and the Meditteranean Sea. The small town and Palace area are a must. Plan to spend at least half of a day exploring the many shops along the narrow streets and enjoy the views from the Palace grounds.
Monte-Carlo was founded in 1866 during the reign of Charles III,who gave it his name. This area includes the world famous Casino, great hotels and the recently completed recreational centers consisting of the Centenaire gardens, the Larvotto beach and the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club.
Moorea’s white sandy beach, clearwater lagoons, majestic palm trees and volcanic peaks make this a truely peaceful island paradise. Moorea is dedicated to tourism without all of the hustle-bustle typical of its neighboring islands. Go to Velvedere Lookout, or view the facsinating marae ruins and stone archery platforms in the Upunohu Valley, both easily accesible by moped or car.
In classic rags-to-riches fashion, Bombay grew from mud flats and marshland to the richest industral center in the country. Ten million people bustle through her streets daily. A study in contrasts, Bombay embraces Western-style skyscrapers at Nariman Point, historic building from the last century’s “Golden Period” around Bombay Fort, the festival atmosphere of contortionists and vendors at Chowpatty Beach and the reverence of numerous cultures and creeds. Bombay is India’s Hollywood–don’t miss a tour of the movie studios.
Muscat (mùs´kàt´) or Maskat, city (1993 pop. 329,842), capital of Oman, SE Arabia, on the Gulf of Oman. It has a fine harbor, dominated by two 15th-16th-centtury Portuguese forts, and exports dates, fish, and mother-of-pearl. Portugal held it from 1508 to 1648, and Persian princes until 1741, when it became Oman’s capital.
They called it worthless. That’s right-the Spanish explorer Alonzo de Ojeda, who claimed Aruba for Spain in 1499, said the island wasn’t worth colonizing. What could he have been thinking? With beautiful beaches, fine snorkeling and watersports, today’s visitors to Aruba enjoy fabulous nightlife, delicious local seafood, and the genuine friendliness of Aruba’s unique population.
The Spanish may not have been impressed, but the Dutch were. Arriving in force in 1634, they’ve entwined their culture, language and cuisine with that of the natives, giving the island a flavor all its own.
The island is now home to fabulous resorts, a golf course, a casino and outstanding shopping. The scuba and snorkeling in the clear waters is world famous.
Tahiti, (te-hê´tê) island (1988 pop. 115,820), 402 sq mi (1,041 sq km), S Pacific, in the Society Islands, French Polynesia. The capital is Papeete. It relies on tourism and produces vanilla, fruits, and copra. Settled by Polynesians (14th cent.), it was visited in the 18th century by Capt. James Cook and Lt. William Bligh. It became French in 1843. Gauguin painted his best-known works there.
Vying with Ho Chi Minh City for the title of “Pearl of the Orient,” Penang is renowned for its natural beauty, charm, and graceful colonial architecture.
It was established in 1786 by the British as the first trading post east of India. Today, Penang’s historic Georgetown is filled with many fine examples of British architecture.
And if architecture doesn’t do it for you, Penang is also home to the best beaches in Malaysia. Finally, visitors can have a good time just pronouncing the Chayamangkalaram Temple. Whether a first time visitor or frequent traveller to Penang, this exceptional island will captivate you the minute you set foot on its soil. Apart from enjoying beautiful beaches, culture and sights, nothing is far more breathtaking than looking at the sunrise as a new day in Penang dawns.
Penang is food paradise to anyone who has experienced a taste of Penang’s simple yet sumptous galore. This amazing island has always been associated with a rich culture and a place where food is much appreciated by locals and foreigners. From exquisitely prepared sea food to mouth-watering hawkers’ fare, it’s a must to relish every bit of everything, when in Penang.
The capital of Saint Maarten, the Dutch side of this two nation island, Philipsburg is located on the isthmus between Groot Baai(Great Bay) and the Salt Pond. The city was founded in 1733 as a free port and is now the home to outstanding duty free shopping, casinos and many hotels and resorts. Mullet Bay Resort and Golf Club is nearby.
Everything for the perfect vacation–Thailand’s largest island has it all. Magnificent palm-fringed beaches and bays. Island dotted waters. And some of the best seafood in the kingdom. There’s also exciting nightlife, and activities including visiting pearl farms, seeing the exotic aquarium denizens, and taking a trip to the outlying islands of Phang Nga Bay.
Puerto Quetzal is our gateway to the natural wonders and ruins in this untouristed nation. Visit Tikal, once the most resplendent city in the Mayan world. Tour Antigua Guatemala with its rumbling volcanoes. Or go in search of the rare quetzal, the spectacular but shy bird with iridescent feathers that cannot live in captivity. So revered by Guatemalans, its graceful image appears on the country’s national coins called “quetzals.”
Rhodes (rodz) or Ródhos, island (1981 pop. 40,392), c.540 sq mi (1,400 sq km), Greece, in the Aegean Sea, near Turkey; largest of the Dodecanese island group. Its fertile coastal areas produce wheat, tobacco, cotton, and olives. Tourism and fishing are important. Colonized by Dorians before 1000 B.C., it reached its height as a commercial and cultural center in the 4th-3d cent. B.C. Julius Caesar studied at its renowned school of rhetoric. After its decline, Rhodes was an ally of Rome. Captured (1204) from the Byzantine Empire during the Crusades, it was held by the Knights Hospitalers (1282-1522) and the Ottoman Turks before it was taken by Italy in 1912. In 1947 it was ceded to Greece. The famed Colossus of Rhodes (see under colossus), a statue erected (292-280 B.C.) by the citizens of the ancient capital
city of Rhodes, was destroyed by an earthquake in 224 B.C.
Rome wasn’t built in a day…but you can tour it in just over 10 hours. A teeming anthill of humanity and antiquity intermingled with awful traffic jams, Rome grew up on the Tiber (“Fiume Tevere”) among seven low hills that rise from the river’s soggy eastern banks. It’s a city of many peeling layers of history, of which the bottom layer–that of the earliest Roman centuries–is the most interesting and still astonishingly whole. The hub of this layer is the Palatine Hill, the Forum, the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus.
On the western bank is the Citta Vaticana, the independent papal city where the Pope blesses pilgrims from all over the world. Neighboring Trastevere (“Across the Tiber”) is a mix of Roman, Greek and Jewish subcultures, great for little restaurants and nightlife. Further north on the other bank is “vecchia Roma,” medieval Rome of the Pantheon and Piazza Navona; Renaissance Rome is centered south of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Commercial Rome is the city of the Via del Corso, the Piazza del Popolo, the controversial Victor Emmanuel monument and finally the Stazione Termini, the nexus for all trains and roads from Rome.
The name means Sunday, and that’s the day of the week Columbus sailed by (it was easier to name things back then). This Windward Island (maybe it was windy that particular Sunday) remains much as it was 500 years ago: a pristine and unspoiled paradise for nature lovers.
San Diego, (dê-â´go) city (1990 pop. 1,110,549; met. area 2,498,016), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay. The city is the second largest in California and the sixth largest in the U.S. Its excellent natural harbor has made it a fishing and shipping port, and a major naval center. Aerospace, electronics, shipbuilding, biotechnology, and other industries are important. Tourism and convention business are large factors in the economy. Explored and claimed by Spain in 1542, it
was the site of the first of Fr. Junípero Serra’s missions and a historic fort, the Presidio (both 1769). The area has many other historic sites, including the Cabrillo National Monument. San Diego is also a cultural, medical, oceanographic, and research center, and its aquatic park and enormous zoo are well known. From 1988 to 1995 the America’s Cup sailing races were held at San Diego.
San Francisco one of the nation’s cultural centers. Founded by the Spanish in 1776 as Yerba Buena, it was taken and renamed by the Americans in 1846. The California gold rush of 1848 led to great growth; with the arrival of newcomers from all over the world in the late 19th century the city took on a cosmopolitan air.
A gracious, picturesque city with a mild climate, it is famous for its individuality. Notable features include its cable cars, which carry passengers on its steep hills; the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (opened 1936) and Golden Gate Bridge (opened 1937); Chinatown; Fisherman’s Wharf; Telegraph Hill; the mansions of Nob Hill; the opera house; symphony hall (1980); the Yerba Buena arts and gardens complex; and numerous institutions of learning.
Although first visited by Columbus, it was Ponce de Leon who named and established the area.
Because of its strategic location, Spain chose San Juan to be one of its strongholds in the New World. The El Morro Fort,rising defiantly from the sea, is living testament to the days when Puerto Rico was a cornerstone of Spain’s efforts in North America.
Today the fort is still an attraction, in addition to the walled city of Old San Juan, the beautiful hotels and casinos and the nearbyresort areas and golf courses.
Santo Tomas de Castilla
Home to fabulous Mayan ruins, Santo Tomas de Castilla conceal the mysteries of the lost world. Walk the stone pathway at the Quirigua National Park past intricately carved stellae and zoomorphisms. Explore Tikal, where an enigmatic jungle plaza is flanked by 7 great stone temples. Or venture into Honduras to explore the ruins at Copan, often called the “Paris of the Mayan World” because of its artistic flair.
Semarang, (se-mär´äng) city (1990 pop. 1,250,971), capital of Central Java prov., N Java, Indonesia, at the mouth of the Semarang R. An important port, it is one of Java’s major commercial centers. There are textile and shipbuilding industries, and tobacco, sugar, rubber, coffee, and kapok are exported.
Thirty seven sandy beaches, sparkling Caribbean seas, soothing trade winds, fine dining and incredible duty free shopping combine to make St.Martin/St.Maarten a true vacationers paradise.
Destination St. Martin is proud to represent a number of smaller hotels on the French side of the island; generally not the type of places found in the glossy tourist brochures but rather more intimate yet immaculate properties which allow the visitor to experience true island life. Accommodations are available on the beach in the beautiful French village of Grand Case, in Nettle Bay near the town of Marigot and at popular Orient Beach.
The smallest island in the world ever to have been partitioned between two different nations, St. Martin/St. Maarten has been shared by the French and the Dutch in a spirit of neighborly cooperation and mutual friendship for almost 350 years.
The border is almost imperceptible and people cross back and forth without ever realizing they are entering a new country. The only marker is a monument between Union Road and Bellevue, testifying to centuries of peaceful cohabitation and the treaty that made the arrangement possible.
All the same, each side has managed to retain much of the distinctiveness of its own national culture. The French tend to emphasize comfort and elegance. The beaches are secluded, the luxury resorts provide lavish accommodations, and the restaurants offer some of the finest dining experiences anywhere in the Caribbean. The latest French fashions can be found in many of the shops, and the smell of fresh croissants and pastries mixes everywhere with the spicy aromas of West Indian cooking. Small caf’e9s and charming bistros add a decidedly Gaelic and cosmopolitan flair to the place. On the whole the atmosphere remains very relaxed.
A booming city of over 3 million, Surabaya offers many good hotels, shopping centers and entertainment. Its well stocked zoological garden include several species of Indonesian fauna like “orang utan”, komodo dragon and a collection of nocturnal animals.
Sydney, capital of New South Wales, is Australia’s largest city, chief port, and main cultural and industrial center. Manufactures include ships, refined oil, chemicals, textiles, and automobiles. Sydney Harbour and Port Botany are the main ports. Founded as a penal colony in 1788, Sydney is Australia’s oldest settlement. Its population surged during the Australian gold rushes of the 1850s. Sydney replaced Melbourne as the nation’s largest population center after World War II. Landmarks include the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932); the Gladesville Bridge (1964); the modernistic Sydney Opera House complex (1973); and the Centrepoint Tower (1981), Australia’s tallest building. The city has several universities and museums, including the National Gallery of Art and the Australia Museum.
Tortola is the largest island, located in the Virgin Islands, first settled by the Dutch, and is now under British rule. Warm temperatures prevail most of the year, typically staying at about 75 to 85 degrees during the day. Visit Mount Sage, the Virgin Islands’ highest peak. This destination is also known for its wonderful beaches, and a few are accessible only by boat.
Soper’s Hole in West End is a popular center of activity yet still retains a quaint charm for a busy marina, offering many amenities.
As always, it has been a challenge, a dramatic adventure. Now it’s finally over, the race against the clock right up to the last minute. Another guide, another region, with the same reasons for existence, the same desire to recount, to amaze and delight, and the increased awareness of discovering a country which is always different and always true to itself. Tuscany is no exception. The common denominator leads us page after page in the discovery of a reality which is already a myth, of a land which is already a dream. This is love at first sight, and the desire to live it to the full. It’s consuming nostalgia and genuine wonder, or else it’s indifference. There are no half measures, no clichés. It’s all here, concealed in stones which whisper their history: cities, towns, castles, and cathedrals, palazzi and bridges. Everything is art, everything is unique, vast genius. Maybe it’s a generic inheritance, or more simply a “modus vivendi”. You can perceive it, but not describe it. Just try, for example, to summarise in a few clear concepts Roberto Benigni’s extraordinary, awkward form of communication. This is Tuscanness. And so are the colours of Chianti, – whether we’re speaking of the wine or the countryside – the genius of Leonardo and the Florentine beefsteak. The rest is history. Rivers of ink have flowed – the Arno doesn’t need them – in attempts to say what has already been said, already written. The truth is that we didn’t discover Tuscany. But we have tried to re-perceive and interpret it, each bringing to the task his or her own cultural baggage and experience of life. We have all contributed to make it different and we would have liked to do more, but a guide by definition remains only a first step towards knowledge. We only hope that it will prove a useful companion along the way. To transmit what is perhaps most aptly encompassed by the term “Tuscanness” is frankly no easy task.
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