Planning a cruise to the Galapagos can be overwhelming simply because there are hundreds of ships and tour companies to choose from. Once you’ve decided when you want to visit the Galapagos Islands, taking a cruise on a small yacht is the best way to see the more remote islands and wildlife.
Don’t let the word “yacht” give you the impression that you’ll spend your days lazing in the sun as you drift among the islands — tours to the Galapagos come with itineraries calling for early-morning wakeup calls, challenging hikes and multiple excursions daily. Translation: You’ll be spending most of your waking hours exploring the islands rather than relaxing on the ship. But you wouldn’t want it any other way when given the chance to visit a destination known for wildlife so epic that it inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
I opted to cruise with Adventure Life because this sustainable travel company is a member of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) and helps fund conservation projects to protect this double World Heritage site. As a guest on the M/Y Galapagos Grand Odyssey, I saw first-hand the benefits of traveling on a smaller luxury ship because it made the expedition experience both more intimate and comfortable. Here are some things I learned from traveling the Galapagos by ship:
Whether you are a Barbie girl who wants to live in a Barbie world or you’re about to embark on your first solo trip, there’s something that will pique your interest in our weekly travel news roundup.
Visitors to the life-size “Barbie Dreamhouse” in Berlin can try on Barbie’s clothes in her walk-in closet and bake virtual cupcakes in her kitchen. The “Dreamhouse” will move on to other European cities later this year according to ITV News.
Gadling has a map of “Forbidden America,” incase you were wondering which areas were no-go zones for Soviet tourists in the 1950s.
Are you a travel snob? Read Lonely Planet’s “In defense of the ‘tourist trail’” and find out. How could you not see the pyramids while in Cairo or the Taj Mahal in Agra, right?
Seeing the world on your own leaves less room for error, so the Solo Traveler has compiled 7 mistakes to avoid (from the obvious to the insightful).
Plus, Go BIG or Go Home reveals the World’s largest ropes course at sea on the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship.
Want even more travel highlights from this week? Check out our This Week in Photos slideshow!
Photography by Image Source / Aurora Photos
Saint Lucia is one in a string of volcanic islands off the coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea. More »
Little girls’ dreams are about to come true this January when the Royal Caribbean cruise line starts setting sail with Barbie. Children ages 4-11 will be able to hit the high seas with the world’s most popular doll on a dream cruise complete with all sorts of Barbie-esque activities, such as a “tiaras and teacup” party in a decorated stateroom that is sure to be covered in the doll’s signature pink. Girls will get the chance to walk in a fashion show, take mermaid dance lessons, design their own doll outfit and more. And in case that wasn’t enough, guests will also receive gifts including dolls, blankets, toothbrushes and bags, so you can leave in true Barbie style. Booking starts this fall, with dates continuing through March 2013.
- Photo by Dave Vann
Once in a while, a music festival can inspire a road trip. Sure, it’s super-convenient when your favorite bands happen to stop somewhere close to home, but sometimes it’s fun to make the journey to partake in one of the biggest gatherings of music lovers around. So why not take that to a new level? Book a cruise.
Concert cruises aren’t a new idea — there have been the Rock Boat, Jam Cruise and even John Mayer’s Mayercraft — but if you follow travel news like we have, there’s reason to believe that this trend is going to take off.
In fact, the world’s largest passenger ship will set sail for a Beatles tribute cruise next year. Royal Caribbean’s 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas will host the 7-night Cruise for Beatles Fans 2013.A Beatles tribute band will be onboard along with other musicians — all with a Beatles connection — such as Mark Hudson, a producer for the Beatles’ Ringo Starr; Billy J. Kramer, who has recorded songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney; Joey Molland, a singer from Badfinger, a band signed by the Beatles’ label.
Looking for a fun, theme cruises? Then pay tribute to the TV show The Soul Train and its creator Don Cornelius. Book your room on the Soul Train cruise, scheduled for February 17-24, 2013. Holland America’s Westerdam will host the festive cruise that will feature multiple shows and activities simultaneously.
According to Huffington Post, 12 acts have already signed up to keep the patrons shaking their groove thing. Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Kool & The Gang, The Spinners, War, Gerald Alston, George Duke, War and several other artists will help keep things lively with nightly shows held in the Vista Lounge.
The cruise line will stop in Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. Book now! Cabins run from $1,800 to $7,500 for early reservation, which end on April 31, 2012. Get more information about the hippest trip at sea.
Travel Channel has more cruise information to help you plan your next voyage.
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Disney Cruise Line has announced that starting in 2012 they will open new ports in New York, NY, Seattle, WA, and Galveston, TX. Disney already operates out of Port Canaveral, FL, and Los Angeles, CA. In 2011, Disney Cruise Line launched Disney Dream, and 4 new ships are scheduled to debut in 2012, includingDisney Fantasy, the sister ship to Disney Dream. With their expanding fleet, Disney had no choice but to make their ships more accessible by opening more ports. Along with the new ships and new ports come new itineraries to Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada, all starting in 2012.
Read the full story
Cruise News 2011 will keep you updated on all the latest changes in the cruising industry. Find out about hot offers like the an “All You Can Drink” beverage package on Royal Caribbean and the live broadcast of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding on Norwegian Cruise Line.
As you make your summer plans, be sure to read our Cruise Trends post to find out what’s hot in 2011. We checked in with Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief at CruiseCritic.com, who told us to be on the lookout for more super-sized ships, new river cruises and Alaska’s comeback as a popular cruise destination.
As the protests in Egypt continue, travelers in the Northern African region are packing up and heading out. Flights are being rescheduled and cruisers are drifting along the Nile River, wondering where their next port of call will be. According to CruiseCritic.com several cruise lines are adjusting their schedules and canceling future trips to Egypt, until the unrest has settled. Norwegian Cruise Line’s the Norwegian Jade, will adjust its itinerary in order to avoid a stop in Alexandria and will replace the missed port with 2 nights in Istanbul. Many other cruise lines are making similar changes to accommodate their passengers.
For a complete list of lines and their current schedule changes, visit CruiseCritic.com.