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Flickr/tgerus

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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By Jordi Lippe for Yahoo! Travel

Forget the Taxi! Take a $99 Helicopter to the Airport Instead

What if you could get to the airport in the time it takes to eat a bagel? (Photo: Gotham Air)

Whether you live in New York City or are just visiting, you easily have to add another couple of hours onto your travel time to get to or from the airport. Unlike other metropolitan areas that seem to get their transportation down to 30 minutes in and out of the city center, Manhattan has been struggling.

Enter Gotham Air. Starting February 9 this new luxury service plans to cut travel time from two hours to six minutes by offering helicopter flights to JFK and Newark Liberty Airports. “This changes everything about travel,” said Gotham Air CEO Tim Hayes.

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By Greg Keraghosian for Yahoo! Travel

What Does Your State's Name Really Mean? This Atlas Tells You

Images courtesy: Atlas of True Names

Fans of Ron Burgundy and Anchorman can rejoice at the knowledge of what San Diego’s name really means: St. Heelholder.

That is, according to the Atlas of True Names, created by cartographers Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust. Part science and part entertainment, their map displays the cities, countries, oceans, and mountain ranges in their original, etymological names. So, if you live in Missouri, you actually live in the Land of the People with Dugout Canoes.

The Veronica Corningstones of the world may call foul at some of these names, which don’t take into account literal translations. San Diego does mean Saint Diego, but the authors took things a few steps further and converted Diego into the original name James, which converts to the Biblical name Jacob. And in the Bible, Jacob was born holding his twin brother Esau’s heel.

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unique souvenirs - best museum gift shops

Clockwise from left: Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Anthropology, Museum of Modern Art, Musical Instrument Museum, Dali Museum, Musical Instrument Museum

Most vacations aren’t complete without a little shopping, whether for yourself or for friends and family back home, right?

A survey conducted by the U.S. Travel Association revealed 63 percent of travelers said their vacation wasn’t complete without including some shopping. For a one-stop shop experience, whether you’re looking for a gift for a loved one or a memento of your trip, museum gift shops hold the key. There you’ll find handcrafted, high-quality souvenirs, in a wide range of prices. We’ve gathered some suggestions from a few great museums. (Some items you can even order online without leaving home, but what fun is that?)

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The Evelyn, A Triumph Hotel_ Executive Suite

The Evelyn, A Triumph Hotel

From refined Midtown luxury to chic downtown style, Triumph Hotels — which debuted just in February 2014 — is a collection of six boutique Manhattan hotels, with one more joining by the end of the year. Currently,  The Iroquois New York, Hotel Chandler, Hotel Belleclaire, The Cosmopolitan, The Evelyn, and The Washington Jefferson each offer a distinct take on the city experience, with its own history, architecture and design, services, and notable locations. Here, six more reasons to stay at one of these affordable luxurious hotels in New York City.

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A Grand Hyatt New York

Need a hotel room sometime in the next two weeks? Right in the middle of prime shopping season, a new deal at Grand Hyatt New York slashes room rates so you can have a little more in your budget for your purchases–and offers some gift-related extras in the spirit of the holidays. But we bet that rates won’t be around for long, so you should act fast if you’re interested.

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On Location Tours C

Northeast destinations like New York City and Boston are great for deals in December and January, when the cold keeps many visitors at bay. But if that doesn’t convince you to visit, how about a free tour for two?

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2Max Zagor Bacchanal
The cold winds are no match against a winter cocktail. Crafted to soothe and transport, a warm concoction can ease you into a relaxed state of bliss during the cold months. From the flaming blaze of a s’mores martini to the soothing blend of a warmed whiskey, take note of the best places to escape the low degrees and indulge in a decadent drink this winter.  Read more

 

Gild HallTourists shouldn’t discount staying in the Financial District when visiting New York City. In fact, we’d encourage it.  There are plenty of sites to see, loads of accessible public transportation options, and you’ll never fight with the crowds. For those who appreciate stunning design and top-notch service, Gild Hall, A Thompson Hotel that’s nestled along the colonial-era streets of Lower Manhattan, is a spot-on choice.

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Palms Casino Resort

Are you attracted to cities like a siren? Whether you love popping in and out of museums in the nation’s capitol or romping along neon-studded Las Vegas Boulevard, cities across the U.S. are offering plenty of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals this year. You’ll find discounts as steep as 90 percent off, and rooms as low as $39 per night. 

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CanopyPortlandLobbyImage_HR

Last month, Hilton Worldwide announced its latest foray into the lifestyle category with Canopy by Hilton, a new concept from the international hotel behemoth that will localize the guest experience. Poised to open its first set of doors in 2015, we spoke with Gary Steffen, the brand’s global head, who shared five things you should know about Canopy by Hilton.

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620 - martha-washington-front_02

Midtown Manhattan used to be the rather colorless, business-oriented section of NYC — unless you were ready to brave the Times Square crowds, of course. But there seems to be a bit of a hotel renaissance in this part of town, with a slew of new properties popping up in the past year, and even more to come in the next. But this crop of properties is anything but conventional. Here’s a closer look at what’s recently opened, as well as a glimpse of what’s coming…

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andrew

If Andrew W.K.’s hits “Party Hard” and “Party Party Party” are any indication, the rock star definitely knows how to have a good time. In true festive fashion, he recently served as Stoli Vodka’s Resident Professor of the Party, celebrating 35 years of nightlife at The Pyramid Club in Manhattan on October 28. During an exclusive interview, Andrew tipped his party hat to us by sharing his top 10 places to throw it down in America.

See below for Andrew’s top picks, and check out the ScenesbyStoli website to nominate your favorite bars and nightlife destinations if they didn’t make his list!

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Flickr Steve Montgomery National Gallery London 2

As tourism destinations, many major cities across the globe — New York and Paris, Stockholm and Sydney — are certainly monumental or historical or beautiful or all of the above. What they often aren’t, however, is cheap. The good news is that if you’ve got your mind set on visiting any of these metropolises, you can often find free activities to enjoy when you’re there. We’ve built a list of museums, cultural events, and even transportation that won’t cost you a thing in 10 notoriously pricey locales.

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Squaw Valley - flickr-Rennett Stowe

While skiers and riders embrace the feet upon feet of powder, there’s no arguing that snow sports are expensive. Besides passes, there’s also the gear and the lodging to take into account. Good thing early bird bookings means lodging and ski packages that allow you to save — so you’ll still have some money left over for airfare, meals, and entertainment. But hurry; some of these expire this week. Read more

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