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No matter where we call home, we share one thing in common: gathering around the table to break bread and crack open a bottle or two. Sometimes when the conversation and local liquor get flowing, the result is a big old headache the following morning.
Approaches to alleviating the hangover vary by destination. Some are healthy, some are indulgent, and some are plain crazy – while others turn to a cheeky afternoon drink as the ultimate cure. Here are five hangover cures from around the globe. Read more
If a Mediterranean, Adriatic, or Baltic cruise is on your 2012 travel wish list, check out the $1,776 July 4th sale fares now being offered by Windstar Cruises (must be booked by July 6). Windstar, which operates three tall-masted luxury ships – 312-passenger Wind Surf and 148-passenger Wind Star (shown at left in Greece) and Wind Spirit – has lowered fares on 20 European voyages sailing from mid-July to mid-November (with some fall voyages priced as low as $1,476 and December Caribbean voyages priced from $976).
I have cruised around Europe extensively and have sailed on both Wind Star and Wind Surf. If, like me, you prefer smaller ships to the behemoths, you’ll enjoy the intimate ambiance, wonderful service, superb cuisine, and easy camaraderie that these ships offer. Here are few of my recommendations for itineraries among those on sale until July 6:
While the financial news from Greece continues to be troubling, so far the country’s tourism infrastructure remains sound. Yes, there are still protests in Athens’ Syntagma Square – boisterous protesters cheered well into the night during my most recent visit in late May (but, alas, there were also protesters there on my two previous stays in 2009 and 1999). So, if you are headed to Greece in the near future (for a cruise or Greek Isles-hopping), a stopover in Athens for a day or two is worth it. That’s really all it takes to see this large and sprawling city’s major historic sights. Here are two options for how to do it:
In the city: You can enjoy the tops sights of Athens with a two-day/one-night stay if you base yourself in its historic center. On two occasions I have stayed right on Syntagma Square at the five-star Hotel Grande Bretagne. Yes, the hotel is right across from the Parliament Building, where protesters gather. But its location also provides unparalleled views of the Acropolis from its rooftop restaurant and bar (shown above at left) and allows you to see many of the city’s ancient treasures and neighborhoods by foot. Here’s how:
Topping an already incredible airfare deal to Europe, Atlantis Events just announced two new 2-for-1 deals that brings down prices on two of its mega gay summer cruises to amazingly low levels.
For the 11-day Copenhagen to Amsterdam Pride sailing July 29–August 8, “Fly for Free” with 2-for-1 airfare promotion on already low base fares, such as $499 return from Boston, New York (JFK), and Newark. Buy one flight at a regular price with Atlantis and they’ll fly the second guest over for free, minus taxes. Offer valid from any city in the U.S., Canada, or Europe, but cannot be applied to existing reservations.
Or “Cruise for Free” later in the summer, with a 2-for-1 deal aboard its 10-day Athens to Barcelona (August 24–September 2) trip on the slick new Celebrity Equinox, featuring an overnight in Tel Aviv. Book one stateroom in categories 2B-Deluxe Balcony ($2,149, per person/double occupancy) to AQ-Aquaclass ($2,899) and receive a second stateroom in the same category for free (port fees and gratuities still apply). Offer extended to current passengers if their booking qualifies.
See www.atlantisevents.com or call 800-6-ATLANTIS for booking and specific terms. Both promotions end July 15.
For more summer bargains, search our Cruise Travel Deals.
Summer is prime sailing season for Mediterranean cruises, meaning there are plenty of unique itineraries to choose from, but all at higher costs. Average rates on cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Norwegian hover around $800-$1,400 for a seven-night cruise – and the ship will be packed with thousands of other passengers. Variety Cruises is offering a summer cruise sale on its yacht-like vessels (carrying 4-24 cabins) that brings the total cruise fare down to less than rates on mega-ships (and you can’t put a price tag on peace and quiet).
Companion travelers can save 50 percent on the Aegean Odyssey, Jewels of the Cyclades, Classical Greece, and Tales of the Adriatic cruise programs, plus guests receive a two-night stay at an Athens hotel, or a $140 ship credit on select itineraries. Rates start at $1,530/person (or $1,148/person after discount) for the Jewels of the Cyclades itinerary which includes visits to Santorini, Mykonos, and other sparkling islands in the Aegean Sea. In addition to these savings, the cruise line is waiving the single-traveler supplement. This offer expires May 30.
About the cruise line:
Founded in 2005, Variety Cruises offers sailings to lesser-visited ports in the Mediterranean, with a wide range of cruising options from inexpensive casual cruises to sophisticated yachts that take you off-the-beaten path. Its fleet consists of 15 fully-owned vessels, making it the largest world-wide small-ship company.
Avoid paying hefty à la carte prices on your next cruise-and-land vacation by purchasing a combination package to Greece this fall. We’ve found one that bundles together airfare, hotel accommodations, and an island-hopping cruise. The 8-day tour includes plenty of sight-seeing time in Athens, deluxe accommodations in the city, and a 3-day Greek Island cruise, along with with special reduced rates starting from $1,059 (normally $1,359) for an additional $300 back in your pocket.
This unique package covers three remarkable Mediterranean destinations on one low-priced six-night tour. Your trip begins in Athens with several days to explore the city’s narrow winding streets, traditional cafes and shops, and ancient Acropolis. Next, you’ll board a flight to lively Mykonos, celebrated nightlife capital of the Greek Islands, and then round out your tour with two nights in Istanbul, Turkey’s ancient yet nowadays hip city that straddles both Europe and Asia. Priced at $980 per person, this package covers two nights’ hotel per destination, international airfare and local flights between cities, and breakfast daily.
This 8-night package lets you explore four ancient locales in one exciting action-packed itinerary. Start off your trip in the Eternal City of Rome, where you’ll have several days to explore the ruins and lively cafes within Italy’s bustling capital. Your next destination is Cairo, home to the world-renowned Egyptian Antiquities Museum, the mystical sphinx, and the Great Pyramids of Giza. From there, you’ll head straight to Athens, with several days on your own to explore the city’s magnificent marble temples and laid-back tavernas, and, finally, to Crete where your tour concludes. Package highlights include two nights’ hotel in each destination, round-trip international airfare and all flights between cities, and breakfast daily. Rates start at just $1323 per person.
The Greek Islands are among the world’s most popular tourist destinations and it’s easy to see why. Praised since the days of Homer, this legendary archipelago draws millions of visitors every summer for its fine beaches, picture-perfect whitewashed villages, and glamorous nightlife. Now you can visit four gorgeous Aegean Islands with this affordable ten-night island-hopper package. Your exciting itinerary begins with two nights in Athens, then ferries you over to three stunning ports in the Cyclades: Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini. Your adventure concludes with a stay on the fascinating Greek Island of Crete where you can explore the famous Minoan Palaces Knossos and Phaistos, and savor a glass of cold raki, a powerful Cretan sprit distilled from crushed grape skins. Starting at just $1139, the vacation includes round-trip international airfare between the US and Athens, two nights’ hotel in each destination, plus all local flights and ferries.
Celebrate spring in the Greek Islands with an affordable vacation package from EuropeanDestinations.com. This 6-night air-inclusive package provides a budget-friendly opportunity to unwind in the romantic Cyclades, and also get a taste of the glory of ancient Greece with time in Athens. Spend a few days in the capital city exploring the Parthenon and the renowned National Archeological Museum. Next, head to Mykonos for a trendy beach and nightlife scene second to none. Round out your trip with two nights on beautiful Santorini, one of the world’s most picturesque volcanic islands. Starting at just $1017, the offer includes round-trip flight from the US, ferry transportation, breakfast, your choice of hotels. While the offer is available through summer, you’ll beat summer’s crowds by traveling soon. Plus, you’ll also enjoy mild temperatures in the 60s and 70s ideal for exploring white-roofed cliffside villages, glittering black-and-red-sand beaches, and some of the world’s most picturesque ports and fishing marinas.
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