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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.
If you know who Lady Mary, Tom Branson, and the Earl of Grantham are, read on. Crystal Cruises has taken the wraps off a two-night, post-cruise trip to the land of Downton, themed after the popular series about early 20th century English aristocrats. It’s an extension of the luxury line’s 17-night cruise departing July 8, 2015 from Reykjavik to London. Cruisers, who will pay $4,600 per person for the land tour (we never said it was cheap), will live like royalty while visiting Highclere Castle, the fictional home of the Grantham clan. They’ll arrive in vintage 1920s cars (chauffeured, of course) and be guests of honor at a private champagne reception and tour, among other Downton-related activities. Cruise fares on this itinerary — which crosses the Arctic Circle on its way to London — start at $1,730 per person if booked by January 2.
If you’re traveling internationally or even just across the country, chances are you’ll have a layover somewhere during your journey. Rather than waiting for hours inside the airport, why not take advantage of your location and head into the city? You’ve already paid to get there, after all. Whether you’ve landed in Honolulu or London, Beijing or Reykjavík, these cities are easy to visit from the airport, even if you just have a few hours.
Private tours come in all shapes and sizes. One can be a scheduled time and date for your group, like a more intimate version of a regularly scheduled public tour. Or it can be an independent adventure based on your interests — think: a public art tour under the guidance of a street artist, or a Rio favela tour in Rio with a rapper. More to the point, “independent” doesn’t need to mean “expensive.” Whether it’s a result of technology that helps connect travelers and locals, or because there’s been a general growth of interest in experiential travel, private tours are now a viable option for any travelers who might want to see their destination in a different way. Here’s a guide for finding one for your next trip:
Founded by Bishop Absalon in 1160, Denmark’s capital has grown over the centuries into one of the northern Europe’s most charming cities. Packed with historical photo opps like Amalienborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens amusement park as well as feasts for the eyes and palette, Copenhagen can satiate travelers of all varieties. Of course, it’s also got a reputation as one of Europe’s most expensive destinations — but just because you have your eye on the good things in life doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank. Here’s how to experience the best of Copenhagen on any budget.
A Segway tour is a great way to get an overview of a new city or region. You’ll cover more ground than you would on foot, and your guide can teach you about the local history, suggest restaurants, and refer you to other great tours in the area. Plus, Segways are just fun to ride. Here are 10 awesome Segway tours to add to your bucket list.
Chicago: Several companies operate in Chicago, but Absolutely Chicago Segway offers a few unique options in addition to the standard tour past Grant Park, the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Soldier Field. We like the Chicago Gangster tour ($65) featuring the hangouts of Al Capone and other wise guys and the Chicago Haunted Tour ($65) that glides you past haunted hotels, murder sites, and even a morgue. If you are in town during Halloween, the guides dress up as ghouls for the haunted tour.
Copenhagen is gearing up to host the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest from May 5 – 10, but that’s not the only honor bestowed upon the Danish capital this year. The renowned environmentally friendly city has also been named European Green Capital for 2014 by the European Environment Commission. Here’s why that matters to visitors. Read more
Foraging is a culinary trend that isn’t going away, and it’s only getting bigger in travel. Many credit the movement to chef René Redzepi of Noma, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Copenhagen that frequently tops “Best in the World” restaurant lists. And it makes sense, especially at a time when travelers are seeking local and immersive experiences, the appeal of foraging for your own food is clear. It’s a fresh way to connect with a destination; it’s wonderfully tactile; and it’s a reminder of the wonders that nature has to offer.
These days, foraging in travel goes beyond reserving tables at a restaurant with an adventurous chef. More and more foraging tours and excursions have popped up in many locales. Here, we’ve rounded up some ideas and destinations to get you started. Just keep in mind that there are dangers in gathering your own food – including risk of illness if you eat the wrong thing – and the issue of sustainability in the harvesting process. That’s why we suggest that you always connect with a local expert or company that specializes in foraging; you’ll also want to know the local regulations and best practices. Read more
If you’ve been entertaining the idea of a warm, sunny Caribbean getaway to reward yourself for making it through winter (hang in there, we’re almost in the clear!), here’s something to make you reconsider: Norwegian has just launched a “Nonstop Europe” sale with one-way flights starting at $201 to top urban spots like Copenhagen, London, Stockholm, and more. This is easily one of the best flight deals to Europe that’s currently available. Read more
Ah, airport layovers. Few of us will ever actually look forward to them, but there are some airports where top-notch facilities make waiting for a connection much easier. Here’s a list… Read more
We travelers jump at any chance to explore nature, whether it’s a sweaty hike through the Amazon, or maybe an afternoon spent flower-gazing on a mountain in South Africa. This is what travel is all about: seeing all the beauty the world has to offer. But what about sites that weren’t created by nature? Sometimes, they can be just as impressive. Below, we’ve rounded up eight man-made attractions around the world that you can visit for free… Read more
If you are planning to take advantage of Norwegian Air’s low-cost flights to Europe, chances are you’ll find yourself with a layover in a Scandinavian airport some time soon. If that city happens to be Copenhagen, you’re in luck because the airport is close enough to the city to offer the chance to get out for some sightseeing even on a short layover.
Getting in to the city couldn’t be easier than with one of Europe’s fastest airport-to-city links. Six trains an hour depart Copenhagen-Kastrup and reach the city center in under 15 minutes. Taking the yellow-colored M2 line and getting off at Kongens Nytorv station will put you within easy access of many of the city’s attractions.
Relax in Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn
Kongens Nytorv, or King’s New Square, is the city’s biggest public square, laid out by 17th-century king, Christian V, whose statue you will find astride a horse in the center. The square is surrounded by grand 17th-century buildings, including the iconic Hotel d’ Angleterre, home to Champagne bar Balthazar, in the back of the hotel, which serves more than 160 different Champagnes and Champagne cocktails, including 11 different Champagnes by the glass. The square is also where Strøget (Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping area) ends so, if you’d rather skip the alcohol, you’ll find lots of cafés filled with weary shoppers.
A short stroll east of Kongens Nytorv will bring you to Nyhavn, a canalside stretch of brightly colored buildings and bars and cafes. While away your time with a Carlsberg and a traditional Danish smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich). Read more
As we begin to see the world of in-flight entertainment change, so too are we seeing an evolution in the way airlines are planning their new flight routes. A recent spate of new airline route announcements indicates a trend that many Americans (especially those who don’t live in New York or LA) will be very happy about: airlines are now focusing on establishing daily or weekly service out of secondary cities like Boston, Chicago, and Orlando. Likely due to overall growth among airlines like Emirates, United, and British Airways, passengers are now benefiting from nonstop routes based out of their home cities. Read more
This year, Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle began a new transatlantic service with non-stop flights from New York City to Oslo and Stockholm, and they’re set to add services from Fort Lauderdale to the two Scandinavian capitals in late November, too.
Early 2014 will see an even bigger expansion for the airline, with flights from New York to Copenhagen launching in February; Los Angeles to Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen in March; Orlando to Oslo in May; and Oakland to Oslo and Stockholm, also in May. The airline will also offer connecting fares to dozens of other European cities –and even beyond Europe, to Bangkok.
We’re pretty excited about these new flights, which will offer the first non-stop service by a low-cost carrier on the Boeing Dreamliner 787, and even more excited by their fares! We did a little digging around on Norwegian’s website, and here’s what we found: Read more
If you’ve been following FX’s current cross-border crime drama, The Bridge, you might not know that the show is actually a remake of a joint Swedish/Danish series based on a border in the Øresund Region. The region, which encompasses the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, is truly binational. Many residents commute back and forth across the five-mile Øresund Bridge that connects the two cities for work or play. Tourism boards tout the area as a “two nation vacation,” highlighting the ease of crossing between the two countries – you don’t even need a passport, though you do have to change currencies.
If you’re in Copenhagen with a day (or a few) to spare, we have some tips for what to do in Malmö, the city on the other side of the bridge. Read more
Your winter travel plans may not be on your mind yet, but here’s some incentive to start thinking about (and booking) them now: amazing flight deals. From Reykjavik to Oslo, Copenhagen, and more, you can fly round-trip this winter from multiple U.S. cities (New York, Denver, D.C., and others) on Icelandair from $546. As unappealing as cold weather might sound right now, these hot (well…so to speak) European destinations should give you something to look forward to this winter. Check out some of our favorite destinations and deals below. Read more
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