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Besides navigating their way through the winding streets of Venice or LA’s daunting six-lane highways, Droid users can now get step-by-step directions indoors with new maps for over 20 U.S. museums on the latest version of the Google Maps app. D.C.’s Smithsonian reaps the largest reward. Seventeen of its museums, with 2.7 million square feet of space (60 football fields), are now navigable using the app. Droid users simply zoom into the building and the interior map will appear. A toggle on the right allows users to choose which floor they are on. The maps show markers for restrooms, food courts, stairways, and exhibits. The flashing blue dot, your electronic compass, will now be your guide as you take the kids on a bathroom break at the National Zoo or find the Wright Brothers’ plane at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Just make sure to shift your eyes from the blue dot to the 45.53 carat blue-violet Hope Diamond when you’re at the Museum of Natural History.
The hidden costs of most all-inclusive tours can quickly add up once you factor in gratuities, shore excursions, and single supplements. Not so with Smithsonian Journeys, which has just announced three new all-inclusive Mediterranean cruise deals that include: international airfare, shore excursions in each port, on-board lectures, gratuities to shipboard staff, and more. Unlike most cruises (where you won’t need any brainpower beyond what’s required for reading the latest trashy magazines poolside), be prepared to learn on these cruises, as they are run by the world-famous Smithsonian Institution’s travel branch.
The cruises offered are fairly lengthy, in order to allow cruisers to have ample time to explore the amazing cultural sites throughout the Mediterranean. Choose from:
“The Wonders of Turkey and the Greek Isles” (June 23-July 6) or “The Glories of Greece and Turkey” (July 1-14), which both stop in the Greek Islands of Crete, Delos, Mykonos and Samos; the historic Turkish cities of Ephesus and Aprodisias; and World Heritage sites in Athens and Istanbul. Land stops in Istanbul and Athens are also included. Book either one of these cruises by March 31st, and pay only $3,195 (which includes international airfare from select East Coast cities).
Or pay a little bit more ($3,750) and try the “Splendors of Italy and the Dalmatian Coast” (May 31-June 15), featuring the Italian cities of Rome, Corsica, Sardinia, Venice and Sicily; the tiny country of Malta; and Croatia’s Dubrovnik and Split.
All three cruises will take place on-board the 350-passenger Aegean Odyssey, which features a spa, pool, library, lecture theater, and a variety of dining options. Be sure to take advantage of Smithsonian Journeys’ unique lecture programs with on-board experts, to help you learn about what you’ll be seeing off the boat. Or, just hang out at one of the Odyssey’s three bars – your call.
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