Cool Vacations

 

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Check out these cruises all from San Francisco to Alaska and the Pacific Coast.

Contact us and we will help you GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY!!!!

 

GREAT GETAWAYS

 

Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$829

+ $195.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

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Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,449

+ $250.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,499

+ $235.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

15-Day Panama Canal - Ocean to Ocean

 

Starting At:$1,299

+ $435.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,699

+ $250.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

West Coast Getaway with San Diego

 

Starting At:$419

+ $175.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

Classic California Coast

 

Starting At:$599

+ $245.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

Pacific Northwest Coast

 

Starting At:$949

+ $266.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

3-Day Pacific Coastal

 

Starting At:$259

+ $144.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Sapphire Princess

Princess® indulge your every whim. Over 700 balconies, world-class gourmet dining and dazzling entertainment options are just the beginning of your sea-going adventure. Dance the night away, enjoy casino gaming or relax and rejuvenate body and mind at the Lotus Spa®.

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10-Day Inside Passage (with Glacier Bay National Park)

 

Starting At:$1,199

+ $319.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

10-Day Inside Passage (Roundtrip San Francisco)

 

Starting At:$1,199

+ $274.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

10-Day Inside Passage (Roundtrip San Francisco)

 

Starting At:$1,249

+ $284.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

10-Day Inside Passage (Roundtrip San Francisco)

 

Starting At:$1,249

+ $299.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

10-Day Inside Passage (Roundtrip San Francisco)

 

Starting At:$1,299

+ $284.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

10-Day Inside Passage (Roundtrip San Francisco)

 

Starting At:$1,249

+ $269.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

10-Day Inside Passage (Roundtrip San Francisco)

 

Starting At:$1,219

+ $284.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

10-Day Inside Passage (with Glacier Bay National Park)

 

Starting At:$1,249

+ $304.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

10-Day Inside Passage (with Glacier Bay National Park)

 

Starting At:$1,219

+ $289.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

Pacific Northwest Coast

 

Starting At:$949

+ $245.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,449

+ $250.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,449

+ $255.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$749

+ $200.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess® is a luminous jewel on the seas and a romantic destination in itself. Christened by lovebirds Trista and Ryan Sutter of TV’s The Bachelorette, she offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars,® and sumptuous dining choices from Crown GrillSM to the International Café.

More Details 

 

4 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From San Francisco

 

Starting At:$614

+ $149.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

10 Day Alaska Cruise From San Francisco

 

Starting At:$1,544

+ $248.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

4 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From San Francisco, CA

 

Starting At:$609

+ $149.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

5 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From San Francisco, CA

 

Starting At:$899

+ $159.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

10 Day Alaska Cruise From San Francisco

 

Starting At:$2,329

+ $248.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

10 Day Alaska Cruise From San Francisco

 

Starting At:$1,709

+ $251.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

5 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From San Francisco, CA

 

Starting At:$919

+ $170.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

10 Day Alaska Cruise From San Francisco

 

Starting At:$1,739

+ $248.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

10 Day Alaska Cruise From San Francisco

 

Starting At:$1,749

+ $251.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

10 Day Alaska Cruise From San Francisco

 

Starting At:$1,509

+ $253.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

 

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AUTUMN ADVENTURES

 

Cruising from the port of Los Angeles has returned and you have your choice this year of many itineraries and lengths of cruises.

GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY from our close at home port of Los Angeles.

 

Panama Canal

 

Starting At:$1,299

+ $399.46 taxes/fees

Ship: Radiance of the Seas

You’re in for an off-the-grid explore-a-thon. Linger longer and wander further in the Last Frontier onboard a ship designed for edge-of-the-map exploration from the Inside Passage to Glacier Bay National Park. Dazzling with the most glass of any Royal Caribbean® ship, Radiance of the Seas® is perfect for glacier gazing and whale watching when you aren’t wandering rugged wilderness paths onshore.

More Details 

 

Cabo, Vallarta & Mazatlan Cruise

 

Starting At:$798.50

+ $124.99 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Catalina & Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$268.50

+ $111.32 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$239

+ $97.94 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$228.50

+ $97.94 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Catalina & Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$347.50

+ $111.32 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Catalina & Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$313.50

+ $111.32 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Cabo, Vallarta & Mazatlan Holiday

 

Starting At:$748

+ $120.25 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

4-Day West Coast Getaway with San Diego

 

Starting At:$264

+ $140.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

3-Day West Coast Getaway with San Diego

 

Starting At:$262

+ $135.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

 

More Details 

 

7-Day Classic California Coast

 

Starting At:$649

+ $220.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

Sail aboard Majestic PrincessSM, the newest member of our fleet and enjoy the signature favorites you've always loved along with so many new exciting additions not found on any other Princess ship, including two new specialty restaurants with dinner menus crafted by two Michelin-star awarded chefs. Come aboard and find out what makes this ship so special!

More Details 

 

7-Day Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$539

+ $145.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

Sail aboard Majestic PrincessSM, the newest member of our fleet and enjoy the signature favorites you've always loved along with so many new exciting additions not found on any other Princess ship, including two new specialty restaurants with dinner menus crafted by two Michelin-star awarded chefs. Come aboard and find out what makes this ship so special!

More Details 

 

15-Day Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,399

+ $200.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

15-Day Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,199

+ $205.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

24-Day Machu Picchu Explorer - Tour 2D

 

Starting At:$5,719

+ $375.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Diamond Princess

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More Details 

 

18-Day Andes & South America

 

Starting At:$1,049

+ $375.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Diamond Princess

Diamond Princess® is a treasure trove of exceptional delights waiting to be discovered. Dine on freshly prepared sashimi in Kai Sushi, watch street performers in the dazzling Atrium, or take in a lavish production show in our state-of-the-art theater. And for a unique treat visit the IZUMI Japanese Bath, the largest of its kind at sea.

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34-Day Antarctica, Andes & Cape Horn Grand Adventure

 

Starting At:$3,049

+ $675.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Diamond Princess

 

More Details 

 

10-Day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez

 

Starting At:$999

+ $175.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

5-Day Cabo San Lucas Getaway

 

Starting At:$399

+ $130.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

4-Day West Coast Getaway with Santa Barbara

 

Starting At:$469

+ $135.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

Sail aboard Majestic PrincessSM, the newest member of our fleet and enjoy the signature favorites you've always loved along with so many new exciting additions not found on any other Princess ship, including two new specialty restaurants with dinner menus crafted by two Michelin-star awarded chefs. Come aboard and find out what makes this ship so special!

More Details 

 

10-Day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez

 

Starting At:$1,099

+ $160.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

Sail aboard Majestic PrincessSM, the newest member of our fleet and enjoy the signature favorites you've always loved along with so many new exciting additions not found on any other Princess ship, including two new specialty restaurants with dinner menus crafted by two Michelin-star awarded chefs. Come aboard and find out what makes this ship so special!

More Details 

 

Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$615.30

+ $208.50 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Cruise from the star-studded streets of Hollywood to the stunning coastline of the Mexican Riviera aboard Norwegian Bliss, one of our newest and most incredible ships. In Mazatlan, head to the historic downtown for a tour of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a taste of delicious local fish tacos. The small village charm and spectacular beaches of Puerto Vallarta are the perfect backdrop to enjoy whale watching, horseback riding, snorkeling and so much more.

More Details 

 

7-Day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles

 

Starting At:$699.30

+ $238.11 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Romance, adventure, drama – the Mexican Riviera has it all. Whether you’re zip-lining through a pristine forest or shopping in charming downtown, you’ll get your adrenaline going in Puerto Vallarta. A scenic drive along the coastline of Mazatlán offers stunning ocean views. When you arrive in Cabo San Lucas, you can journey back in time in the town of Todos Los Santos.

More Details 

 

Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$839.30

+ $238.11 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Cruise from the star-studded streets of Hollywood to the stunning coastline of the Mexican Riviera aboard Norwegian Bliss, one of our newest and most incredible ships. In Mazatlan, head to the historic downtown for a tour of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a taste of delicious local fish tacos. The small village charm and spectacular beaches of Puerto Vallarta are the perfect backdrop to enjoy whale watching, horseback riding, snorkeling and so much more.

More Details 

 

7-Day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles

 

Starting At:$559.30

+ $170.47 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Romance, adventure, drama – the Mexican Riviera has it all. Whether you’re zip-lining through a pristine forest or shopping in charming downtown, you’ll get your adrenaline going in Puerto Vallarta. A scenic drive along the coastline of Mazatlán offers stunning ocean views. When you arrive in Cabo San Lucas, you can journey back in time in the town of Todos Los Santos.

More Details 

 

7-Day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles

 

Starting At:$608.30

+ $170.47 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Romance, adventure, drama – the Mexican Riviera has it all. Whether you’re zip-lining through a pristine forest or shopping in charming downtown, you’ll get your adrenaline going in Puerto Vallarta. A scenic drive along the coastline of Mazatlán offers stunning ocean views. When you arrive in Cabo San Lucas, you can journey back in time in the town of Todos Los Santos.

More Details 

 

Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$1,140.30

+ $179.48 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Cruise from the star-studded streets of Hollywood to the stunning coastline of the Mexican Riviera aboard Norwegian Bliss, one of our newest and most incredible ships. In Mazatlan, head to the historic downtown for a tour of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a taste of delicious local fish tacos. The small village charm and spectacular beaches of Puerto Vallarta are the perfect backdrop to enjoy whale watching, horseback riding, snorkeling and so much more.

More Details 

 

4 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$499

+ $109.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

3 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$409

+ $98.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

5 Day Mexican Riviera Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$604

+ $116.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

5 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$759

+ $113.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

7 Days Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, CA

 

Starting At:$999

+ $114.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Panorama

 

More Details 

 

14 Day Hawaii Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$2,519

+ $188.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

4 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$459

+ $104.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Radiance

 

More Details 

 

3 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$424

+ $95.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Radiance

 

More Details 

 

4 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$469

+ $112.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

6 Day Mexican Riviera Cruise From Los Angeles, CA

 

Starting At:$1,034

+ $117.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Panorama

 

More Details 

 

3 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$589

+ $100.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

6 Day Mexican Riviera Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$1,109

+ $121.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

8 Day Mexican Riviera Cruise From Los Angeles, CA

 

Starting At:$1,609

+ $121.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Panorama

 

More Details 

 

 

 

 

Ideas from our friends at Conde Nast:

 

The Best Places to Travel in August

Soak up those last days of summer right.

BY CAITLIN MORTON

June 17, 2021

 

Best Places to Travel in August

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Is there any month more tailor-made for a vacation than August? The peak of summer is the perfect time to jettison all 9-to-5 obligations and indulge in a trip, whether you’re soaking up the sun on an exclusive Mediterranean island or holing up in a bucolic corner of the Mid-Atlantic. Plus, with the E.U. opening up to U.S. tourists this summer and states lifting COVID restrictions, we're more excited to book a flight than ever. If you're hoping to squeeze in a vacation before Labor Day, here are nine of the best places to travel in August.

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·         Madeira, Portugal

  • This island, 300 miles west of Morocco, is synonymous with winemaking and wine drinking. The Madeira Wine Festival (August 29 through September 12) showcases how the islanders developed the unique oxidation process to create their trademark wine six centuries ago. There are events and celebrations throughout the island, but be sure to visit Cabo Girão, where the microclimate around the cliffs allowed Jesuits to cultivate malvasia grapes and develop the sweet malmsey wine. The vertigo-inducing skywalk here is the highest such installation in Europe, though it’s best to try it before imbibing too much.
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·         Kenya

  • The Great Migration is one of the awe-inspiring natural spectacles on the planet, when more than 1.5 million wildebeest sweep through East Africa between July and October every year. In Kenya, the best place to watch the phenomenon is the Masai Mara National Reserve, with ample rivers (that’s where the real action takes place) and cliffs overlooking the savannah. Set up shop at the 15-suite Angama Mara, which sits close to the Mara River and affords 180-degree views of the surrounding plains. Even if you miss some of the migration action, you'll be able to see elephant, buffalo, and giraffe from your suite, or take a Maasai-led walking safari to see even more wildlife.
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·         Woodstock, Vermont

  • One of the most beautiful towns in America, Woodstock’s appeal extends far beyond fall foliage and craft beer. The city oozes New England charm in any season, which is clearly evidenced by the lovely and quaint Woodstock Inn & Resort. The 142-room hotel thrives in the summer, when the on-site garden boasts more than 200 varieties of produce that get sent directly to the property’s two restaurants. And the seasonal delights don’t end there. Just down the road at the Billings Farm & Museum, the 20,000-square-foot Sunflower House will enter its third year in bloom this summer. Thousands of sunflowers (which reach peak bloom in mid-August) will be planted in a maze-like structure, ranging in height from 18 inches to a staggering 14 feet.
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·         Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

  • Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda is one of Europe’s most glamorous summer getaways, with stunning white sands and yacht-crammed waters off Porto Cervo. Lean into the luxe vibe by booking one of the suites at the Hotel Cala di Volpe, and remember to pack the kind of bikinis that were never designed to actually get wet for its ultra-exclusive beach club. The suites, decked out in whitewashed walls and Sardinian marble floors, are perfect for kicking your feet up between pool visits. At night, book dinner at one of the restaurants on Porto Cervo’s beloved Piazzetta—choose between the classic fish spot, Il Pescatore, or Novikov, an Asian fusion restaurant from owner and Russian restaurateur Arkady.
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·         Utah

  • Utah is renowned for its national parks (its state parks are pretty spectacular, too), but there are plenty of reasons to visit this summer outside of the obvious. (Depending on where you are, the temperatures range from 70 to 99 degrees during August.) Get your dose of thrills with an ATV ride around the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, with 2,000 acres of sand that turn pink as the sun begins to set. Or choose from ten zip-lines (one of which reaches a speed of 65 mph) at Deer Creek State Park. If you prefer to watch the action from the sidelines, watch drivers try to break world records at the Bonneville Salt Flats during Bonneville Speed Week (August 7-13). Whatever type of activity you crave, Utah probably has it somewhere. While you're in the state, you might as well make a point to stay at the sensational Amangiri resort in Canyon Point: The remote location, food, views, and spa treatments are well worth a detour.
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·         Napa Valley, California

  • Napa Valley is one of the best places to travel in August, corresponding with the region's harvest season (August through October). The crowds tend to be a bit denser during this time, but you can still have a luxurious, intimate vacation—if you know where to look. Start by setting your sights on the Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley, one of the most exciting new hotels of the summer. When it opens, it will be the only Napa property that sits on an active winery. Add to that a dedicated kids club and world-class spa, and you have yourself one stellar stay. For a not-so-average tasting experience, book The Legacy Tour onboard the Napa Wine Train. Expect sparkling wine samples, a three-hour tour of the valley, and four-course gourmet meal.
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·         Minnesota

  • Summer is the season of state fairs, and few states do the tradition justice better than Minnesota. The nation’s second-largest fair (after Texas, of course) was canceled in 2020, but Gov. Tim Walz is hopeful that this year “should be a pretty close to normal event.” And in this case, normal means outdoor beer festivals, classic car shows, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw concerts, and 500 food stands serving up all things deep-fried and skewered. The fair takes place from August 26 to September 6 this year, giving you plenty of August wiggle room to explore nearby Minneapolis (about 15 minutes away from the fairgrounds in Falcon Heights), a city which only gets more interesting the longer you stay there.

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·         North Fork, Long Island

  • Each summer, the North Fork of Long Island offers a welcome contrast to the hectic Hamptons on the southern spike. Instead of imported city glitz, it’s a countrified hideaway, mostly full of family farms, vineyards, and small towns filled with clapboard homes. While the Hamptons crowds struggle to find a spot on the beach, spend the month of August exploring the quiet charm of this charming area. Southold’s Custer Observatory Institute hosts stargazing and meteor-spotting parties on Saturday nights, and you can try oyster-shucking at Greenport’s Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market. Most vineyards here boost their visitor offerings in summer, like Bedell Cellars, which has live music in its tap room on Sunday afternoons in August. Take the seven-minute ferry ride from Greenport to Shelter Island for a stay at The Chequit, a 37-room Victorian inn from 1872 that made our Hot List in 2016.
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·         Isla Holbox, Mexico

  • May through September is whale shark season in the Mexican Caribbean, when the magnificent beasts emerge in the warm waters between Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy every year. August is a particularly great month for whale sightings due to the amount of plankton in the water, which the whales gather to feed on. This year, head to dreamy Isla Holbox to celebrate Whale Shark Day on August 30—no better time to try your hand at a once-in-a-lifetime whale shark dive. Eco-boutique hotel Las Nubes de Holbox is the only hotel adjacent to the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, and connects its guests to sustainable whale shark tours around the island’s stunning natural landscapes. Afterwards, relax at the Orquídea Spa with a salt bath or facial of organic Mexican products.

 

The Highest Railway in America Has Finally Reopened 

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway now has modern amenities, but has kept all its the historic charm—and its heavenly views.

BY CHADNER NAVARRO

May 27, 2021

 

Pikes Peak Cog Train

The Broadmoor Manitou/Pikes Peak Cog Railway
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When it comes to mountainside activities, Colorado has always been spoiled for choice. But in addition to skiing, biking, and hiking the various peaks that dot the state, one iconic way to experience these mountains actually requires little by way of physical exertion: riding the The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway in Manitou Springs.

First installed in 1891 by Simmons Beautyrest mattress inventor Zalmon Simmons, who found the experience of getting up the mountain on mule-back entirely uncivilized, this historic attraction that climbs to 14,115 feet (the highest railway in the country) was shuttered in 2017 following an infrastructure evaluation. At first, it wasn’t clear whether its current owners would bring it back to life or permanently close the train. But with its unique legacy—the highest cog railway in the world, and views that inspired the song “America The Beautiful”—the decision to invest in its renovation and modernization was a no-brainer. So in May 2021, after $100 million and three years, The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway is back, and it’s truly better than ever.

A hundred million dollars can get you a lot of things—including jokes from the conductor that he’s now the oldest part of the train—because every inch of the experience, including the depot and the upcoming visitor center in the summit, was rebuilt, upgraded, or changed. The main depot retains its original 19th-century mining town aesthetic with a fresh coat of bright blue paint, but a second train platform, an overhead walkway, and remodeled bathrooms and gift shop are now part of the depot, too.

 

Pikes Peak Cog Train

The world's highest cog railway is back, and moving better than ever.

 

In 2019, tracks were ripped out of the earth and relaid. Previously, the trains ran on two cog rails; this brand-new system features a single steel cog rail that’s thicker than the older ones combined, which elevates overall performance and safety. The ride was always safe, but based on the way the trains looked in their run-down glory, most locals who took the nine-mile ride before 2018 will likely tell you that they weren’t exactly convinced they would make it up the mountain. Not to mention, passengers were still sitting on wood benches.

Today, the four refurbished trains and three new, 214-feet-long aluminum trains purchased from Stadler (the world’s only manufacturer of cog railway equipment) are not only outfitted with upholstered, cushioned seating, they are also speeding up to Pikes Peak like never before. Toward the end of its upward journey, when the incline is at its sharpest, these vibrant red trains are charging at nearly 10 miles an hour. 

Ten miles an hour may not sound very fast, but this isn’t a roller coaster. The ride is meant to provide a scenic way up a Fourteener. Even in Colorado, where conquering a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet is a personality trait, not everyone can or wants to make the hike up. The 70-minute-ish journey into Pike National Forest and up to the summit is full of unbelievable sights, from giant eons-old quartz boulders called Pikes Peak granite to canopies of Colorado blue spruce, Ponderosa pine, and Aspen trees; even meandering waterfalls shuttling ice-cold glacier water. There are historic points, too, like the site of a lodge that used to house adventurous hikers. If you’re lucky, you may see wildlife like big-horn sheep, elk, and the occasional eagle. When you get over the tree line, however, things get really dramatic—it looks like the train is riding over the clouds.

A round-trip ticket costs $58, but consider forking over the $10 upcharge so that you can pick your seat. Whenever possible, you’ll want seat A. It’s the window seat on the side of the train that looks over the mountain and offers superior views. (The views on the other side are mostly of rocks.)

At the top of Pikes Peak, 360-degree views reveal the rust-hued Garden of the Gods in the north, the mining town of Cripple Creek and the continental divide to the west, and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range to the south. Depending on visibility, you might be able to spot the Denver skyline. 

Right now, all you can really do at the summit is take in the views and snap some spectacular photos. But the brand-new visitor center, which will have interactive displays and films detailing the history of Pikes Peak, as well as a restaurant, retail, and a terrace, should open June 2021. Soon, too, you will be able to take guided hikes up or down the mountain; there will also be a biking option for more intrepid thrillseekers. A final tip: Watch out for the altitude, which often leaves passengers napping its side effects off on the ride down.

 

These Airlines Have the Most Legroom

Room to stretch, even in coach.

BY CYNTHIA DRESCHER

June 9, 2021

 

JetBlue

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When it comes to flying, personal space is a premium. So when searching for flights, most passengers prioritize airlines with the most legroom at each coach seat. Unfortunately, not all economy seats are created equal, with some low-cost carriers offering a tight 28 inches of "pitch"—the industry word for how much space you have between your seat and the one in front. This trend is unlikely to change soon: As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, hard-hit airlines are prioritizing sold-out planes over investing in comfort and service. 

Still, we’ve found a few airlines with which travelers can score an extra bit of wiggle room. (Because airlines are constantly updating their cabins and fleets, the figures listed below are subject to change.) 

The airlines in the U.S. with the most legroom in economy are:

JetBlue Airways: 32-34 inches

Coming in hot with both the most legroom of domestic airlines and a win as our Readers’ Choice for best U.S. airline is JetBlue Airways. The “Core” experience, as JetBlue refers to its economy class, is cushy beyond generous legroom: The airline remains dedicated to offering free Wi-Fi as well as on-demand entertainment with TVs at every seat, on all its aircraft, from its brand-new Airbus A220s down to the smallest planes, 100-seat Embraer E190s. And, if we were also measuring legroom for domestic first-class seats, JetBlue would win there, too; the just-launched A321neo flying between New York and Los Angeles features two “Mint Studio” suites at the front of the premium cabin, each measuring 22.7 square feet and with a seat that transforms into a lie-flat bed which, at its widest point, will shock even restless side sleepers with 45 inches of space.

Southwest Airlines: 32 inches

Another carrier that prioritizes the comfort of budget fliers? Southwest Airlines, whose seats offer the second most room to stretch in the U.S. The all-economy carrier flies a fleet of only Boeing 737 planes, all which sport seating layouts with 32 inches of pitch. That even includes the more efficient Boeing 737 MAX—most airlines opted for denser cabins on these planes, (more on that below). The only U.S. operator of 737 MAXs to ignore this opportunity to shave off some leg space is Southwest.

Silver Airways: 31-33 inches

The underdog of the U.S. rankings is Silver Airways. This boutique airline flies planes of 70 passengers or fewer on short routes around the Southeast, Bahamas, and Caribbean. Its ATR aircraft may be small, but the legroom isn’t terrible, and those with long legs will appreciate the space on flights between the likes of Huntsville, Alabama, and Orlando.

Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Hawaiian Airlines: 31-32 inches

All three of these carriers offer a solid 31 to 32 inches of seat pitch in their economy cabins. What's more? Alaska Airlines offers an outlet and USB port at each seat. And if you're booked in international economy with Delta, you can expect extra perks like a welcome Bellini, more generous drinks service, and sweet treats after your in-flight meal and upon arrival. 

American Airlines and United Airlines: 31 inches

Shaving some inches off the overall average legroom for a few U.S. airlines is the aforementioned Boeing 737 MAX plane, which has returned to the skies following a 20-month grounding due to a major software flaw. Airlines flying 737 MAXs—both American and United in the U.S.—opted to put more seats in each cabin in these newer planes, giving economy spots only 30-31 inches of legroom. 

At the bottom, with seriously squashed legs and no hope of reclining, are passengers on low-cost carriers, including Allegiant (30 inches), Frontier (28 inches), and Spirit (28 inches).

Around the World

In the wider world of long-haul routes that typically require larger planes, the status of economy legroom is not much improved; 31 inches reigns as standard seat pitch. Nonetheless, we’re happy to report that some international airlines do go above and beyond to give you more room below. 

 

 

These carriers have the most legroom for long-haul flights:

Japan Airlines: 33-34 inches

For many years, Mexico City-based Interjet held the top spot for best economy legroom, at 34 inches. The COVID-19 pandemic changed that, however; Interjet ceased operations in December 2020 and its aircraft were parked.

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Rising to the top is Japan Airlines, who holds number one on a slight technicality. While much of their fleet continues to offer the generous “Sky Wider” economy of 33-34 inches, the airline just added Airbus A350s with 31 inches in economy. These newer, tighter aircraft don’t bring down the average, however; they are reserved for short, domestic Japan routes only and so do not figure into a ranking of long-haul legroom.

ANA, Emirates, EVA Airways, and Singapore Airlines: 32-34 inches

All four of these carriers consistently rank among Traveler readers' favorite airlines year after year, in large part for the way the prioritize passenger comfort, even at the back of the plane. While all three have comparatively spacious coach seats, we recommend trying their premium economy product if you get the chance, as they offer some of the best, roomiest seats in that cabin as well. 

Worthy of a mention are the Middle East’s Big Three of Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways, whose tooth-and-nail competition with each other (and against other major international airlines) means relatively generous 32-inch legroom prevails. Emirates inches ahead in this ranking for their summer 2021 post-pandemic return of the increasingly rare Airbus A380 to three U.S. routes (New York-JFK in June, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles in July), bringing the superjumbo aircraft’s 32-34 inch legroom economy class back as an option. 

Air China, Air France, Ethiopian Airlines, and Korean Air: 32-33 inches

With a notable legroom range or 32 to 33 inches, you won't feel too hemmed in on any of these four carriers' economy cabins. Their coach seats can come with extra perks, too: Korean Air's economy class, for example offers in-seat power outlets, mood lighting, and even a timed wake-up service from cabin crew.

Cathay Pacific, SWISS, and Vietnam Airlines: 32 inches

Flying with any of these three comfortable airlines in coach will guarantee you a respectable 32 inches of seat pitch. One tip? If you're flying on an especially long flight with Cathay Pacific and can afford a splurge, we recommend upgrading to premium economy. The cabin class offers a much roomier 40 inches of pitch for each seat.

Other international airlines to note

Ranking in our honorable mention category for offering 31 to 32 inches in international economy are Aer Lingus, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Australia, and many others. Icelandair’s Boeing 757s and 737 MAXs also ply their North Atlantic routes with 32-inch legroom in economy.

As for the least legroom, several airlines stand out for squeezing passengers in space that's below the 31-to-32-inch standard: Aeroflot, Aegean Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Cebu Pacific, EasyJet, Ryanair, and Royal Air Maroc, all clock in at a measly 30 inches.

While airfare deals in the wake of COVID-19 may have you reaching for your credit card, consider the experience you’re buying into...and if you’re indeed ready to squish into seat 27B to save a few dollars.

 

The Most Popular Summer Travel Destinations This Year, According to Flight Data

As Americans venture back out and flight deals persist, some clear summer travel hotspots are emerging for 2021.

BY SHANNON MCMAHON

April 27, 2021

 

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It’s been over one year since Americans were told to cancel their travel plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, and there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel for those pining for a getaway. With vaccinations mounting in the U.S. just in time for warm weather, many will be venturing out further than their backyards for the busy summer travel season.

And there are some clear trends in Americans’ unfurling vacation plans this Memorial Day through Labor Day, with travelers flocking to hotspots ranging from affordable outdoor locales to theme parks, and other similar entertainment venues making their comeback. Part of the reason is likely the pandemic’s ongoing flight deals, which experts say should continue to live on for the foreseeable future—even as more Americans become inoculated.

“While travel demand and prices are rebounding rapidly, there are still deals available,” says Priceline CEO Brett Keller. “Domestic airfares are running roughly 10 percent lower this summer than 2019 prices.”

Whether you want to avoid the crowds or are fully-vaccinated and looking to join your fellow travelers in beloved summertime destinations, remember to respect local ordinances still in place, like mask mandates or requirements for testing upon arrival. Here’s where Americans are actually heading this summer, according to flight search and booking data from PricelineOrbitz, and Skyscanner

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Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Florida

A popular travel spot throughout the pandemic for its warm weather and outdoor activities, Florida continues to trend in flight bookings this summer, as a domestic vacation that feels further flung. Orlando is Priceline’s top-booked and top-searched destination for 2021 summer travel, and Skyscanner ranks the Disney World air hub its sixth most-searched destination so far for summer 2021 travel dates. And those escaping to Florida outside the theme parks are also in good company: Key West, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale are among the top flights searches for Americans based in the northeast, according to Orbitz, and Fort Meyers, Key West, Fort Walton Beach, and Sarasota are among the site’s top ten searched domestic destinations for July 2021. Airfare savings might have something to do with it: The state’s five largest air hubs have an average round-trip flight price between $232 and $262 for the super-hot summer months, according to Priceline.

 

San Juan Puerto Rico

Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan

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Puerto Rico

If you’re dreaming of piña coladas in cobblestoned Old San Juan, you’re far from alone. Puerto Rico is the third most-booked destination for summer 2021, according to Priceline, with Orbitz naming it the most popular search destination for those living on the East Coast. Skyscanner data shows that interest in San Juan has spiked compared to 2019, moving the island from the 28th-most booked U.S. summer destination to the 9th overall for summer 2021. 

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Honolulu Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu

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Hawaii

Another domestic U.S. destination that seems to be surging due to its far-off feel, two of Hawaii’s tropical islands are among Priceline’s 15 most booked destinations for summer 2021, with Oahu and Maui ranking 5th and 14th, respectively. Skyscanner data shows Honolulu has jumped up four spots from its 2019 rank as the 12th most-searched summer destination, now holding at the 8th most popular for 2021. The state has been a popular travel destination throughout the pandemic despite its strict COVID-19 protocols, with a requirement for a negative PCR test from approved health labs upon arrival (however, Maui recently announced a rollback in testing requirements for vaccinated travelers, and other islands could do the same).

 

Las Vegas Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Las Vegas

Ready to get back to entertainment and fine dining in Sin City? Travel deals to Las Vegas from major air travel hubs have plenty of travelers opting to kick off their return to travel in Las Vegas, the second most-booked summer destination on Priceline this year and the second-most searched Memorial Day weekend destination on Skyscanner. Orbitz data shows that the best Vegas deals are from Atlanta and Dallas, and average fares from across the U.S. are $208, according to Skyscanner. Orbitz data signals that large cities are trending cheaper overall amid the pandemic, at around 20 percent lower than their summer 2019 fares.

 

A Guide to Australia Travel Restrictions and Other Regions in Oceania

What to expect from Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and beyond this summer.

BY SHANNON MCMAHON

June 23, 2021

 

Bora Bora French Polynesia

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Sitting on an airline voucher for a trip to the remote Pacific, or crossing your fingers for a New Zealand visit in the near future? There are a few things you need to know about local travel restrictions before you start booking. 

The pandemic prompted nations of Oceania small and large to crack down on international travel more than a year ago, barring most travelers from the region completely. And with COVID-19 cases still springing up across the globe, and vaccinations slow to mount throughout Oceania, it's still difficult to visit most destinations whether or not you’re vaccinated—with a few exceptions.

Here’s where you can travel in the region of archipelagos, and the nations sticking to tourism shutdowns until further notice. Read on for New Zealand, Bora Bora, and Australia travel restrictions, and beyond. 

Australia

 

Bondi Beach Australia

Under the current Australia travel restrictions, the country is largely closed to foreign visitors. 

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Nonessential travel “remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” according to officials in Australia—which has kept its coronavirus case count extremely low since mid-2020 through border shutdowns and tight restrictions on leisure travel (both international and domestic). Per the current Australia travel restrictions, anyone visiting must acquire an exemption granted by the government, which only applies to critical workers or those who must travel for emergency purposes related to family (i.e. a death or illness). And even those with an exemption must quarantine upon arrival for 14 days in a government-run facility. The only exception to that rule is quarantine-free flights from New Zealand, which require travelers to have been in the country for at least 14 days.

New Zealand

According to the government of New Zealand, which has kept COVID-19 cases to a minimum throughout the pandemic, its borders remain “closed to almost all travelers to help stop the spread of COVID-19.” Quarantine-free travel is only possible (albeit with testing requirements in place) from Australia, the Cook Islands, and Niue—all places maintaining near-zero coronavirus case rates that have political ties to New Zealand. Family members of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are only permitted to enter if they quarantine in a government-run facility for 14 days. It remains unclear when the nation, which was once hugely popular with tourists for its other-worldly landscapes and Lord of the Rings fame, will reopen, and officials have signaled it’s unlikely to happen soon. Even visas for long-term visitors like students have been extremely restricted due to the coronavirus. Find more information here.

French Polynesia

 

Tahiti French Polynesia

Tahiti is now open to vaccinated travelers, along  with the other 117 French Polynesian islands. 

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The 118 French Polynesian islands, including Bora Bora and Tahiti, have reopened to fully vaccinated travelers from certain “green” nations including the United States, as of June 9. The broader reopening occurred along with the reopening of mainland France, after an early-opening period from May 1 during which curfews were still in place (they have since been lifted). All visitors must test negative for COVID-19 within the three days prior to arrival; full vaccination is defined as 14 days after second Moderna and Pfizer shots, or 28 days after a single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

Each traveler must submit an Electronic Travel Information System (ETIS) form confirming their vaccination, other health information, and travel itinerary at least six days before departure. Air Tahiti states that while officials permit unvaccinated children to enter the archipelago with their vaccinated guardian(s) if they test negative and are under-18, a “compelling reason” for travel will be required of anyone over age 11 who is not vaccinated.

Fiji

The archipelago nation of Fiji is currently seeing its first substantial upswing of COVID-19 cases, and does not allow Americans to enter without quarantining on arrival. The country has administered coronavirus vaccinations to less than one percent of its population, though the Fijian tourism board has expressed hope that mounting vaccinations will eventually “[restore] the livelihoods for thousands of Fijians, who are dependent on the tourism sector.”

Marshall Islands

The archipelago of the Marshall Islands has remained closed to tourism since early 2020, which has prevented the coronavirus from taking hold in the islands. “International travelers are not permitted to enter the Marshall Islands,” according to the U.S. Embassy in the Marshall Islands. “There has been no community transmission of COVID-19 within the Marshall Islands, and activities are proceeding as usual.”

Samoa and American Samoa

Samoa’s borders remain closed to tourism with most commercial flights canceled, a tactic that has kept its islands free of confirmed community cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The ban on visitors extends to the U.S. territory of American Samoa; essential visitors, including Samoan citizens repatriating from abroad, are required to seek approval from the Samoan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Except in exceptional circumstances approved by Cabinet, all international travel to and from Samoa by plane [is] ceased,”

 

Viking To Begin River Cruising In Portugal, France And On The Rhine

by Susan J. Young

May 20, 2021 10:33am

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Viking River Cruises

Viking plans to restart river cruises this summer in Portugal and France, as well as along Europe's Rhine River.

Viking plans to restart European river cruises in July 2021 with select itineraries in Portugal and France, as well as along the Rhine River. Guests must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to board. 

Five itineraries are available as part of Viking's "Welcome Back" collection. Viking said these are among the company's most popular itineraries. 

  • Rhine Getaway: Eight days from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland
  • Portugal's River of Gold: 10 days from Lisbon to Porto, Portugal
  • Paris & the Heart of Normandy: eight days roundtrip from Paris
  • Lyon and Provence: eight days Avignon to Lyon, France
  • France's Finest: 15 days, combining the northern and southern France itineraries in one experience

Viking's announcement was made after the European Union agreed this week to reopen its borders to vaccinated Americans and other travelers

The announcement of Viking’s restart of European river cruise operations follows the launch of "Welcome Back" voyages exclusively for vaccinated guests in the United KingdomIcelandBermuda and the Mediterranean.

Earlier this week Viking also named its newest ocean ship, Viking Venus, in the U.K. That ship is currently sailing a maiden voyage along the coast of England with chairman of Viking Torstein Hagen onboard.

Viking said in its press announcement that "the company is actively working on developing additional 'Welcome Back' itineraries in a variety of other destinations, with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as possible."

Good to know: Viking's new health and safety program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking’s chief health officer. Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired vice admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps, and most recently led Washington State’s medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship as well as a network of dedicated shoreside labs for Viking river ships in Europe, all guests and crew will receive frequent quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests.

In addition, new air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. Further health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking's guests and crew.

 

 

 

How to Bring Japanese Cocktail Culture to Your Home Bar

Bring the precision and beauty of Japanese cocktail culture into your home, with five easy-to-emulate drink recipes. 

BY NOAH KAUFMAN

March 26, 2021

 

5 Japanese Cocktails That Are Easy to Make at Home

Brent Hofacker/Alamy

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The cocktail likely originated in the United States—but it may have been perfected in Japan. Japanese cocktails have a focus on precision, not just in measuring and stirring, but even down to the ice used in the glass, which is sometimes chiseled into the shape of slow-melting diamonds and spheres. It's no surprise that spirits writers have likened the art of Japanese cocktail preparation to tea ceremonies. 

But that's not to say you can't make Japan's best cocktails yourself. The first iteration of Japanese cocktail culture actually began with an import: German-American barman Louis Eppinger came to work at the Yokohama Grand Hotel in 1890 (now the New Grand), where he created drinks like the Bamboo that remain part of the cocktail canon today. By the turn of the last century, Japan was exporting what 100 years' worth of bartenders, including all stars like Hisashi Kishida of Star Bar and Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five, had perfected. 

Now, at a time when we can’t dip into Ginza’s tight, quiet low-lit spaces for an immaculately prepared cocktail, here are five to make at home. Bonus points if you carve your own ice.

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • Whiskey High Ball

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·         The Mizuwari (whisky highball)

  • Mizuwari is less a cocktail recipe than it is a cocktail practice. There are several steps to making this Japanese highball: First, stir the ice to chill the glass, add the whisky and stir to chill again. Then, add the soda water and, you got it, stir to chill again. Whisky highballs have become so prevalent in Japan that whisky maker Suntory created a blend, Toki, specifically for them, which is sweet, subtly smoky, and a little spicy—all of which gets enhanced with the addition of bubbles.
  • To make this highball, add three large ice cubes to a highball glass and stir, pouring out any melted water. Add 1 ½ ounces of whisky and stir again (there are some who insist you must stir 13 ½ times counter clockwise; whatever the origin of that number, its stresses the need for precision and consistency when making the drink). Add three ounces of soda water and stir several more times.
  • Buy now: Suntory Toki whisky, from $40, drizly.com 
  • Line Cocktail

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  • Courtesy Yonekichi Maeda

·         The Line

  • Created in 1924 by Yonekichi Maeda, a bartender at the Cafe Line, this is one of the early examples of a cocktail created in Japan by a Japanese bartender. The Line will give you a taste of Japan's cocktail history, though it hasn’t seen the resurgence of some other cocktails of the 1920s. It may be because one of its main ingredients, herbal Benedictine, hasn't gained the cult following of other strong flavored liqueurs like Campari or Fernet. It may be because it’s from an era of “short” cocktails and the whole thing is only about an ounce. But in addition to recipes, Maeda created Kokuteeru, Japan’s first modern cocktail book, so he certainly knew what he was doing.
  • To make the Line, shake ⅓ ounce gin, ⅓ ounce Benedictine, and ⅓ ounce sweet vermouth with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Buy now: Benedictine, from $23, drizly.comTanqueray gin, from $35, drizly.comCarpano Antica Formula Vermouth, from $39, drizly.com
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  • Boozy Refreshing Bamboo Cocktail with Vermouth Sherry and Orange

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·         The Bamboo

  • One of Louis Eppinger’s longest lasting contributions, the Bamboo was created while he was manning the Yokohama Grand, and, unlike the Line, has seen a comeback in recent years. As Drew Lazor explained in a deep dive on the drink, the brief ingredient list of sherry and vermouth has allowed the latest generation of bartenders to experiment with different bottlings of each. If you've always thought of sherry as a fusty old drink that no one has actually poured in 50 years, this is a good chance to change that.
  • To make the Bamboo, add 1½ ounces of sherry, 1½ ounces dry vermouth, two dashes of Angostura bitters, and two dashes of orange bitters to a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a coupe glass.
  • Buy nowFino sherry, from $17, drizly.comCarpano Bianco vermouth, from $24, drizly.com
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  • Million Dollar Cocktail

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·         The Million Dollar cocktail

  • This is another cocktail whose invention is credited to Louis Eppinger, although the Japan Times, in its long 2018 history of Japanese cocktails, attributes its popularity to a member of the next generation of Japanese bartenders, Shogo Hamada, and writer Kan Kikuchi in the 1920s. Kikuchi reportedly mentioned it in the advertising of his literary magazine Bungei Shunju, which is still a fixture in Japan today. As for the drink, it remains a frothy, fruity favorite of Tokyo barkeeps.
  • To make a Million Dollar, add 1 ½ ounces of gin, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth,  ½ ounce of pineapple juice, ½ ounce egg white (this will be about half an egg white), and ¼ ounce of grenadine to a shaker without ice. Shake hard to emulsify the egg white. Add ice, shake again to chill, and strain into a coupe.
  • Buy now: Salcombe gin, from $37, drizly.comCarpano Antica Formula vermouth, from $39, drizly.com
  • Lemon Sour chu hi

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  • Jordan Lye/Getty

·         A Lemon chuhai

  • Japanese cocktail culture isn’t all meticulous bartenders and hand-chiseled ice spheres. Case in point: The chu hai. An abbreviation for shochu highball, chu hais have been popular canned drinks in Japan for decades, in many ways a precursor to the current hard seltzer frenzy. They're available in convenience stores and the country’s famous vending machines, but they’re also easy to make yourself.
  • To make a lemon chu hai, add two ounces of shochu, four ounces of club soda, and a ½ ounce of lemon juice to a highball glass with ice. Stir to combine.
  • Buy now: Iichiko Saiten Shochu, from $33, drizly.comFever Tree club soda, from $8, drizly.com

 

 

 

 

Conde Nast let’s us know you don’t have to go to Europe to feel its essence.

 

6 U.S. Cities That Are Full of European Charm

With trips to Europe on pause for most Americans, these six domestic destinations offer appealing alternatives.

BY DEBRA KAMIN

July 14, 2020

 

6 U.S. Cities That Are Full of European Charm

Connie Coleman

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With the coronavirus still impacting much of the world, there’s no doubt that this summer will be a very different one for most of us—especially Americans, who are largely banned from traveling to Europe right now. But while your plans for Roman holidays and decadent Lyonnaise meals are on hold, there are a handful of places right here in the United States—perhaps even within driving distance of your own home—that can offer a distinctly European fix, thanks to their quaint city squares, rich architecture, and Old World food scenes. (Of course, while coronavirus remains a concern, you should always remember to check the latest local guidelines before visiting.) From coast to coast, here are six U.S. destinations worth experiencing this summer.

  • The oldest city in the U.S. St. Augustine Florida was settled in the mid1500s by the Spanish and their influence lives...

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  • SeanPavonePhoto

·         St. Augustine, Florida, instead of Madrid, Spain

  • The oldest city in the U.S., St. Augustine, Florida, was settled in the mid-1500s by the Spanish, and their influence lives on today, particularly in the city’s architecture. Among its treasures are the imposing Castillo de San Marcos, a stone masonry fortress along Matanzas Bay on the city’s western edge, and the grand Hotel Ponce de Léon at Flagler College. Built in 1888, the structure is a masterpiece of Spanish Colonial Revival design (with Moorish influence) with its symmetric cupolas, Tiffany stained glass, and grand rotunda lined with murals; for another impressive point of interest, hit the city's Lightner Museum, a marvel of the Spanish Renaissance Revival style, which houses mostly American Gilded Age antiquities in the 19th-century Hotel Alcazar building.
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  • Funwithfood

·         Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, instead of Cinque Terre, Italy

  • Italy’s famed string of five seaside villages, where homes are painted in candy-color shades of red, terra-cotta orange, and pastel pink, fishing boats bob in turquoise waters, and vineyards dangle precariously off of jagged cliffs, is one of Europe’s most enchanting—and heavily touristed—spots. But Carmel-by-the-Sea, a pint-sized enclave along California’s Central Coast, offers the same sort of windswept, beachy magic, with its quaint cottages, tumbling bluffs, and enticing collection of cafes, wineries, and independent boutiques.
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  • Connie Coleman

·         Leavenworth, Washington, instead of Bavaria, Germany

  • Deep in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State sits Leavenworth, America’s very own Bavarian village. A massive civic initiative meant to boost the economy and tourism in the 1960s brought German culture, art, and architecture to this charming little mountain town, and today visitors are treated to Alpine-style buildings, food halls including Rhein Haus, Ludwig’s and München Haus, serving German beer and brats, and an adorable nutcracker museum. There’s also top-notch skiing, biking, and birding, as well as one of the most rollicking Oktoberfest celebrations this side of the Atlantic, which is canceled for 2020 but scheduled to make a return in 2021.
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  • Windmills spinning in the breeze. Thatchedroofed shops peddling wooden shoes and cuckoo clocks. Bakeries serving...

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·         Solvang, California, instead of Aarhus, Denmark

  • Windmills spinning in the breeze. Thatched-roofed shops peddling wooden shoes and cuckoo clocks. Bakeries serving piping-hot aebleskiver, a spherical Danish pancake, and Viking-age re-enactments in the courtyards of beer gardens. It’s all here in Solvang, a city that’s just a 45-minute drive from Santa Barbara but is Scandinavian from every angle, from its half-timbered Danish Provincial buildings to its replica of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid sculpture and its own Round Tower, a scaled reproduction of Copenhagen’s identical-but-larger Rundetårn. The sunshine and salt-kissed air, though? That’s entirely Californian.
  • If youre craving a trip to the French Riviera with its pebbly shores and laidback elegance youll be pleasantly surprised...

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  • Shobeir Ansari

·         Newport, Rhode Island, instead of Nice, France

  • If you’re craving a trip to the French Riviera, with its pebbly shores and laid-back elegance, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Newport, Rhode Island, where Gilded Age mansions and ramshackle lobster shacks coexist in perfect seaswept harmony. Nice’s coastal walkways may have been inspiration for Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso, but Newport’s cliff walk, which stretches for 3.5 miles, is equally captivating, as is The Breakers, Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s Beaux-Arts villa, built by architect Richard Morris Hunt in 1892. The city, known for its sailing, is a holiday-making heaven in its own right; and best of all, it’s driving distance from both New York City and Boston (a 3.5-hour-drive and 90-minute-drive, respectively). It’s also home to a number of storied hotels, including the Chanler at Cliff Walk, which is open with new COVID-19 protocols in place, and The Wayfinder, which opened in June.

JENNA SCATENA

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  • New Glarus Wisconsin

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·         New Glarus, Wisconsin, instead of Bern, Switzerland

  • Set in the rolling hills of Green County, Wisconsin, the picturesque village of New Glarus is often referred to as America’s Little Switzerland, and for good reason. Founded in 1845 by more then 100 Swiss emigrants, the town, which is anchored by its cheesemongers, farmers, and popular brewery, is now home to about 2,000 residents, all of whom showcase the city’s Swiss heritage with pride, while greeting you with quintessential midwestern hospitality. Here, the shops look like chalets, with sloping roofs and wide eaves; red and white Swiss flags flutter in the breeze; and street names are written in both German and English. Sip an ale from Spotted Cow, the city’s famous brewery; feast on rahmschnitzel, a creamy breaded veal, at the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant; and get a history lesson at the Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum, a Swiss Bernese mountain chalet frozen in time.

 

Conde Nast helps us all out on when to book a camping trek to a National Park this Summer.