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Many think that small-ship cruising is the equivalent to private yachting: exclusive, pampering, and out-of-reach. After the recent launch of two of Windstar’s power yachts, the 212-passenger Star Breeze and Star Legend, setting sail in Europe and the Caribbean, we can testify that only two-thirds of these assumptions hold true. A posh experience, yes – Star Breeze and Star Legend’s passenger count indeed makes you feel like a privileged few, and the upgrades lend the ships a refined polish. But — perhaps surprisingly — you won’t be turning out empty pockets after paying for it. Here’s what to expect on two of Windstar’s newest ships. Read more
Where are the best trips to be booking right now? Our monthly Where to Go column tells you the smartest places to go each month for savings, special events, and all around great experiences. Here’s what’s hot for August.
For the Epic Long-haul Trip: Singapore
If you’ve yet to cross Singapore off the bucket list, now’s the time. Characterized by fantastic street food, urban greenery, and of course diverse culture, this Asian destination has become increasingly popular over the years. And August is one of the best times of the year to create an epic itinerary, thanks to the plentiful events packed into the month. Dive right into Buddhist and folk traditions during Ghost Month, when you’ll see locals making food offerings on the streets and hosting live stage performances meant to entertain the spirits. On the last two weekends of the month, street performers, local and international artists, and interactive light installations take over the city for the Singapore Night Festival. And that’s not to mention the International Festival of the Arts, running through most of August and into September, that hosts 36 theater, dance, and music performances for just $25-$50 SGD ($19-$37 USD) each.
As the “Isle of Flowers,” Martinique’s natural charms are front and center. With a landscape blanketed with wild orchids and a sweeping terrain of mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches, the Caribbean island is truly an embodiment of natural paradise. But, essentially an overseas department of France, sophisticated Martinique boasts enough culinary flair to qualify as a food lover’s heaven, too. Here, fresh local ingredients combine with French influences for a distinctive flavor that’s worth traveling for. These are the local spots to get a taste:
As the temperatures rise come summer, tropical destinations typically fall off the radar for many travelers. But that’s the thing: these slower months are a great time to experience the best the tropics have to offer — including a little luxury — for a whole lot less.
Case in point: Barbados. This Caribbean gem — a favorite among celebrities, romantics, and thrill seekers alike — offers perfect temperatures year-round and some of the world’s best beaches. Luxury abounds in Barbados, but if you head there this season, you’ll find some great deals. As an added bonus, you’ll enjoy its attractions minus the crowds, having more of the island to explore for yourself. Here’s how to fill a getaway here with bang-for-your-buck activities and create priceless memories that won’t break the bank.
Capella Marigot Bay Resort & Marina, snug on the shoreline along Marigot Bay in Saint Lucia, is the newest member of the Cappella Hotels brand (joining others in Düsseldorf, Singapore, and more). Since it’s re-opening last fall, the 124-room resort has charmed travelers with a taste for luxury with riots of tropical foliage everywhere you turn. And to kick off its first summer, the resort is offering a 50 percent discount off its suites, to make that luxury more affordable for all of us.
St. Kitts is among the Caribbean’s least-visited islands, which is precisely what makes it so appealing. And getting there may be pricey — flights from Miami between May 29 and June 5 start from $747 round-trip and are only slightly less, from $676 in early December — but a deal from St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino will help offset the travel costs.
There’s a reason we look south for great value for summer travel — all the warm-weather deals. The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa is just one example, with a fun special offer on tap.
Contrary to popular opinion, Punta Cana — one of the hottest destinations in the Dominican Republic — is not just about lounging on the beach and swimming at the resort pool. There’s much to enjoy for all types of travelers. To help you plan a trip that’s right for your tastes, here’s where to stay and what to do for three distinct traveler types.
By Annemarie Dooling for Yahoo! Travel
Even though you don’t need a passport to visit and the U.S. dollar is the official currency, Puerto Rico feels like another world — the ultimate beach getaway destination. Instead of just flying in for a quick weekend, here’s how to spend the best week of your life in Puerto Rico.
Beaches, snorkeling, and maybe some hiking — that’s typically what you’d expect from a Caribbean vacation. That’s why we were surprised to find ourselves on a “safari” jeep tour on a recent trip to Curacao. The Curacao Ostrich Farm, it turns out, is home to one of the largest populations of ostriches outside of Africa. It’s impressive to see how creatively and efficiently the farm operates; the on-site restaurant serves prime cuts while the rest of the animal is used to feed other livestock. Eggshells and even bones are used to make art. The tour explains all of this, and gives guests a thorough introduction to the animals themselves, from birth through adulthood. The video above shows some of what we learned: When you see this fight dance, prepare to run — it’s a warning sign for a potential attack, and ostriches are strong enough to break bones.
Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.
Seeing massive, blue-white glaciers and spotting wildlife are the rewards of any Alaska voyage, but experiencing the Last Frontier becomes more immersive than ever on Princess Cruises this year. Its new North to Alaska! cultural program, for all Alaska itineraries this May through September, will give cruisers the chance to meet local Alaskans (including a real-life lumberjack), nosh on local food like king salmon and king crab, and enjoy a Klondike Festival and Midnight Sun deck parties.
Fares vary. Six-night sailings on Pacific Princess, for example, start from $599 per person in May and $799 in July.
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