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This beautiful sea port is a town of just 45,000 year round residents spread over seven islands. A massive fire in 1904 completely destroyed this town, leaving 10,000 people homeless. The town was rebuilt a few years later, almost entirely in the Art Nouveau style.
Sunrise can be just after 3am and then the sun won’t set again until the next morning, providing nearly 20 hours of daylight. It never really gets dark during part of the year, just becomes dusk for about four hours and then the sun rises again, which isn’t surprising since this destination is just 3° from the circle.
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Ålesund is a town and municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway, noted for its unique concentration of Art Nouveau architecture. You can venture out to the lighthouse in Alnes, a tiny isolated town on the island of Godøya, with a population of just 100. To get there you drive through two long undersea tunnels plus a long one-way tunnel to cut through a mountain on Godøya itself. Five times we had to squeeze by oncoming traffic. Back in Ålesund, you can climb 418 steps to a cliff overlooking the town.
New Cruise Itineraries, Summer Camp, Special Cuisine, and More Activities are Coming to the Caribbean in 2017
The summer is already halfway over. If you’re already bemoaning the fact that you didn’t spend enough time at the beach or in the sunshine, don’t let that happen next year. How will you ensure that? With a cruise to the Caribbean! Celebrity Cruises is bringing its beloved ship, the Celebrity Equinox, back to the Caribbean for 24 blissful summer sailings in 2017, plus some exciting new sailings shortly before and after the summer months. Here’s what you can expect from these special cruise itineraries, including what makes them an especially good fit for families, foodies, and jazz fanatics.
The Itineraries and Ship of These Summer 2017 Sailings
Wondering where these sailings go in the Caribbean? The fast answer is all over, which means you can pick the itinerary with islands and city ports of call most perfect for your interests. From 7-night Western Caribbean sailings, to 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean sailings, to itineraries with two overnights in New Orleans, you have a variety of cruises to choose from, each departing from Miami, Florida.
If you’re not familiar with Celebrity Equinox, you also may be curious what makes it so special. For starters, it’s part of Celebrity Cruises’ innovative Solstice Class of cruise ships. These celebrated ships have innovative, high-end features, the most visually appealing of which is the celebrated Lawn Club, a real-grass area covering a large portion of the top deck with room for bocce ball, a picnic, or a leisurely amble.
Celebrity Equinox also has a Hot Glass Show onboard, gourmet specialty restaurants, an award-winning spa, luxurious staterooms, and added bonuses for suite guests who get access to butlers and an exclusive restaurant. Plus, the popular CelebrityLife program is onboard, which offers a range of interactive classes, from wine tasting to photo editing to dancing.
Give Your Kids a Summer Camp at Sea
Summer camp is often about enrichment and education in an entertaining manner that creates lasting memories for kids. The 7-night Celebrity Equinox Caribbean sailings are going to take traditional summer camp and give it a modern luxury twist with the Summer Camp at Sea. It’s Celebrity’s first ever summer camp and families will delight in its activities – kids because they’re having fun, and parents because they’ll get some alone time while knowing their children are learning about new things and being active.
During the Summer Camp at Sea, kids ages three to 17 will get to partake in a variety of activities at no extra charge. Here are a few of the camp highlights:
Explorer Academy: This immersive academy teaches children “Adventure Through Science” by incorporating useful skills like coding and engineering with a fun dose of robotics and good old-fashioned tinkering thrown in.
iTake: This unique program lets kids be their own documentarian by providing them with a GoPro camera to shoot videos and then teaches them how to edit those video into a cool movie in the high-tech Celebrity iLounge.
Lonely Planet for Kids: This hands-on activity will get kids thinking about other cultures and countries as they focus on creating their own country complete with a flag, topography, currency, income sources, and more.
Other activities include mindfulness practice, cooking classes, arts and crafts, XBOX games, kickball, and family scavenger hunts. The Summer Camp at Sea operates on select sailings between June 4, 2017 to August 27, 2017, and as mentioned previously, it’s offered to children and teenagers onboard at no extra charge. Think how much summer camp on land has cost you in the past to keep your kids entertained when school is out; now you can put that money toward a relaxing family summer vacation and still give your children a fun and educational camp experience.
Caribbean-Inspired Culinary Experiences
Is trying new cuisine a big part of the thrill of traveling for you? Then you’ll love the Caribbean Culinary Enhancements onboard the 2017 Summer Equinox sailings. There will be complimentary and excursion types of food-focused activities offered, depending on how involved you want to get in the foodie world.
Complimentary Caribbean culinary activities will be offered onboard and include a modern luxury-inspired Taste of the Caribbean program. Special activities and events you can partake in free of charge as part of this program include Rum & Reggae parties on the Lawn Club, guest chefs and cooking demonstrations, the biggest wine tasting at sea with Celebrity’s expert sommeliers, mixology demonstration, and brunch paired with sparkling wine.
To add a bit more flair into your culinary repertoire, opt for some of the Caribbean culinary extras. These include shore excursions with the chef while in port during which you’ll visit local markets and restaurants, and then enjoy an exclusive dinner experience with authentic local cuisine when you’re back onboard. These Chef’s Market Discoveries shore excursions take place in Bridgetown, Barbados; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and several more food-centric ports.
If you want to do something different during your time in port, you can still have a special local food experience onboard thanks to the Taste of Caribbean’s 5-course tasting dinner, special pasta and mozzarella making classes, “Around the World” wine tasting during which you get to sample wines from a variety of different regions, and a mixology class where you get to do some hands-on creation yourself.
There will also be a Taste of Caribbean Premium Drink Package offered on the summer Caribbean Equinox sailings that includes many of the Taste of the Caribbean events plus other special drink and dining experiences.
Jazz Fest During Spring in New Orleans
A prelude to summer special sailing on the Equinox is the itinerary with two overnights in New Orleans mentioned earlier. It departs April 24, 2017 and will give you an early taste of summer fun as it has an exhilarating jazz component to it. This Signature Event sailing pulls into port in New Orleans during the Jazz Fest, which you can attend while there. The 11-night sailing also visits Freeport, Bahamas; Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; and begins and ends in Miami.
No matter what part of the Caribbean you sail to, Celebrity Equinox does a great job of incorporating the surrounding scenery and culture into the ship experience and has the space to provide special programming that elevates your cruise into a spectacular and cultural Caribbean vacation.
If you’re interested in booking, don’t put it off – for a limited time, you can get four free perks on a Summer 2017 Sailing on Celebrity Equinox. These perks include a premium beverage package (which includes alcoholic drinks), high-speed Internet package, prepaid gratuities, and $300 to spend onboard. Plus, book an oceanview stateroom and get a complimentary upgrade to a veranda stateroom. If traveling with family and friends, the third and fourth guest in a stateroom get a Classic Non-Alcoholic Beverage Package and a 40-minute high-speed Internet package.
To find out more about this special offer or any other information about the Celebrity Equinox Summer Caribbean sailings and events onboard, speak with your travel agent, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com, or call 1-800-Celebrity.
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There are approximately 40,000 year round inhabitants on this island, 90% of whom are Buddhist. This is the second largest island in its country, one of great natural beauty with over 300 days of sunshine annually. Here you will find palm fringed shorelines and coconut groves that rise to huge granite cliffs, the slopes of which are cloaked in virgin rainforest. There were no roads here until the 1970s and even today it takes a full day to transit 15 miles from one side of the island to the other.
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Ko Samui, Thailand
Ko Samui (pronounced gaw (vowel like ou in cough) sà mui) is an island located in the Chumphon Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand, some 400 miles (one hour flight) south of Bangkok. Ko Samui is Thailand’s second largest island after Phuket. “Ko” means “island” in the Thai language. Celebrity Millennium visits Ko Samui on various Southeast Asia itineraries.
A cruise is an incredible way to see Alaska. It puts you right in the middle of the action when it comes to sailing through gorgeous sea passages and amidst towering glaciers.
You also get to experience the life and culture in Alaska thanks to multiple stops in different ports up and down the Alaska coastline. See the colorful understated of beauty of Ketchikan and the rustic grandeur of the state’s capital city of Juneau. Along the way, have the comfort of enjoying a state of the art cruise ship with gourmet cuisine and well-appointed staterooms (and be sure to not miss any of the wild Alaska views by staying in a balcony stateroom or suite).
Now, Make That Alaska Cruise Even More Memorable
So yes, a cruise to Alaska is a spectacular vacation. However, there is a whole other side to Alaska — the backcountry forests away from the icy sea. If you have a few extra vacation days and are interested in seeing both sides of Alaska to get the full Alaska wilderness experience from glaciers to mountains and whales to bears, an Alaska Cruisetour is an excellent choice.
Sea and Land on a Celebrity Cruisetour
A Celebrity Cruises Cruisetour in Alaska combines both a cruise and land-based travel itinerary. After your cruise you’ll depart the ship for the escorted land tour portion of your trip. You’ll explore deep into the majestic mountain woods of Alaska via a comfortable motor coach and luxurious glass-domed train cars, the latter of which is on the exclusive Wilderness Express.
You’ll stay in high-end accommodations and experience delicious Alaskan cuisine. In addition, the land portion of your cruise tour will include at least one night staying in the impressive Denali National Park.
A Knowledgeable Tour Director
All along the way you’ll be accompanied by your Tour Director, who is an expert on all things Alaska and will regale you with stories of the wilderness, history, and culture of the state. They can also help you figure out how to spend your free time during the cruise tour and book extra excursions you may want to do. They also deal with the hassle of transporting luggage and keeping track of needed tickets so you can just relax and enjoy the scenery.
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This town is the northernmost in its country and one of the sunniest towns in its nation with over 230 hours of sunshine during the month of July. This town is known for producing quality watches and there is a famous festival that takes place here each year. It is here that you can see a unique phenomenon at the point at which two bodies of water meet. Due to their different densities, a clear dividing line can be seen in the water.
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Surrounded by the sea in three directions, Denmark’s northernmost town has a cool oceanic climate and it’s here that the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. Because of their different densities, the phenomenon of a clear dividing line can be seen.
Love some great views and engineering masterpieces? Head to these iconic bridges, one close to home in California and another farther away in England.
Do It Here: the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
A popular thing to do when visiting California’s Bay Area is seeing the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The red bridge gleams brilliantly against the blue sky and water…or hovers faintly and mysteriously in the thick gray fog that often hangs over the city. Whether you can see the entire bridge in all its glory or just pops of red through clouds, it’s a must-see while in San Francisco and if you have a car you should drive across it. Here are two other great ways to experience the Golden Gate Bridge while in San Francisco.
Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge: If you’re feeling adventurous, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge instead of driving. Next to the multiple driving lanes and whizzing cars is a cordoned off walking path. Bring a windproof jacket even on a warm day as the breeze across the bridge can be harsh and chilly. The walk will be a little under four miles long if you park at the south or north end and walk all the way to the other end and back. For a shorter walk, just walk to the nearest tower and back.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area: If you drive across the bridge from downtown San Francisco, be sure to pull off into Golden Gate National Recreational Area and park by the Vista Point for an impressive view of not only the bridge, but also the San Francisco skyline across the bay.
Do It There: Tower Bridge in London
Across the Atlantic, there’s another iconic bridge with two towers and a memorable exterior: the Tower Bridge in London.
Built over 120 years ago, the Tower Bridge gets its name because the two vertical posts flanking the bridge look just like a tower you might see as part of a castle. While visiting the bridge, you can actually go inside these towers and see exhibits and do tours, including the historic Victorian Engine Rooms, rotating “Art at the Bridge” series, and an engineering tour. Sometimes morning yoga classes are even offered in the walkway. The elevated walkway also just got a new makeover with a dramatic glass floor that gives you a potentially heart-pounding look at the cars whizzing by you below.
Another near thing to see while visiting Tower Bridge is the lifting of its roadways, which was and still is considered to be an engineering marvel. The design of the bridge enables cars to pass over the river while also being able to still let ships sail through to the Pool of London docks when the roadways are up. You can find out scheduled lift times for the Tower Bridge here.
Cruise to Golden Gate Bridge and Tower London Bridge
Ready to experience the Golden Gate Bridge and the Tower London Bridge? You can visit both via a Celebrity cruise! You can sail to San Francisco on one of Celebrity Cruises’ Alaska or Pacific Coastal itineraries that stop in the California port city, and then sail to London on a Europe cruise through the Baltic Sea. Find out more at www.CelebrityCruises.com.
One reason cruising is such a cool alternative to simply doing a land-based trip to Alaska is because of sailing to Hubbard Glacier. Located between Seward and Skagway, Hubbard Glacier soars impressively into the stark Alaskan skyline from the depths of Disenchantment Bay and is a top sight to see for many visitors traveling to Alaska. Here’s why you’ll want to see this iconic glacier while at sea on a cruise.
What You’ll See at Hubbard Glacier
Seeing Hubbard Glacier from on the water in Disenchantment Bay means you’ll be able to fully take in its large 6-mile long, 400-foot tall face – and that’s only the part you can actually see! It extends much farther underneath the water. Visiting Hubbard Glacier via a cruise ship means you’ll also be able to get close enough to get a good look at its icy blue streaked exterior and the calving that is consistently happening.
How close your cruise ship can get to Hubbard Glacier while you’re there depends on the weather and amount of ice in the bay. You also may see seals hanging out on icebergs in Disenchantment Bay while you’re sailing through it.
Hubbard Glacier Calving: A “Cool” Natural Phenomenon
Hubbard Glacier is a calving glacier. What that means is that the glacier is constantly shedding its ice from its edge in order to balance itself as it ever so slowly moves forward toward the Gulf of Alaska (yes, though not visibly noticeable, glaciers are always moving and Hubbard Glacier is one of the fastest, hence its nickname as the “Galloping Glacier”). The ice that falls does so in massive chunks that become the icebergs spotted around the sea. As you probably know (possibly from Titanic) icebergs can be incredibly large, so seeing one of those icebergs actually fall into the water is a sight to behold.
At Hubbard Glacier, calving happens several times an hour so if you’re on one of the ship’s decks or your stateroom balcony if it’s facing the right direction (a good reason to book early so you can get a stateroom on the best side for your cruise itinerary) you’ll likely get to witness this extraordinary calving event. Vibrantly blue pieces of the glacier break off and go crashing into the sea below, rippling into a wave around it. It will sound like you’re listening to a thunderous large waterfall as the ice breaks apart and descends. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there on a day when a 10-story tall piece of ice breaks off!
Celebrity Cruises Hubbard Glacier Itineraries
The Alaska cruise season runs from May to September. To see which itineraries include a day sailing to Hubbard Glacier, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com.
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This medieval village, first populated around 2000 BC as a commune, is perched like an eagles nest on a narrow rocky peak 1,400 feet above sea level. This ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle (torn down in 1706), sitting on a narrow rocky peak. The village forms a circular pattern around the base of the castle. The old buildings and narrow streets are very well restored, with high stone walls and narrow roadways of red-brick centered stone. When visiting this quaint village, you can tour local perfumeries, peruse shops carved into the stone, and enjoy the breathtaking views this place offers.
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This medieval village is perched 1,400 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. The commune is located on the French Rivera, extending from the Mediterranean Sea (Eze-sur-Mer) to the hilltop medieval village of Eze-Village along the Côte d’Azur. Saint-Laurent-d’Eze connects these villages. Èze is easily reachable from the port city of Nice, France.
The Panama Canal is one of the marvels of the world that isn’t as complicated to experience as you may think, particularly if you live on the west coast of the United States. This is because you don’t need a long international flight to get there if you can drive (or get a quick flight) to California. And once in Panama, you don’t need to figure out how to coordinate a boat ride through the canal or be stuck watching the famous lock system from the sidelines on land. You’ll already be sailing through it. How is this so easily possible? With a Panama Canal cruise that leaves from California.
A Panama Canal Cruise from California
Panama Canal cruises with Celebrity Cruises are typically one way cruise itineraries that leave from San Diego, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. The cruise sails through the Panama Canal with many stops along the way and typically ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (occasionally Miami). This means you only have one flight to have to worry about coordinating: an easy flight back home to the west coast that Celebrity Cruises can help you book and arrange transportation to the airport for. (Or, if you prefer, you can fly to Florida and take the Panama Canal cruise back to California.)
Port of Calls on a Panama Canal Cruise
The ports of call your cruise may stop at between California and Florida include several Central and South American countries, giving you a taste of many different cultures during your cruise. Here are the stops and popular activities you can do in each one.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Spend the day in port lounging by the beach or exploring Cabo’s famous rock arch via a sailboat ride.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – See the beautiful sights of Carara National Park on a hike or take an aerial tram through the rainforest.
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala – Take a walking tour around the nearby city of Antigua and learn about the Spanish colonial architecture or visit a coffee estate.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica – Fly over tree tops ziplining or explore the inner jungle on a safari jeep excursion.
Cartagena, Colombia – Explore the historical Old Town or take a romantic harbor cruise while taking in the views of scenic Cartagena.
Colon, Panama – Think of this as the gateway to the Panama Canal. You’ll be able to view the canal from land if you still want to take in the marvel of the Gatun locks, plus you can partake in a number of activities on and around Gatun Lake, including kayaking, eco cruises, and a visit to a historic fort.
Willemstad, Curacao – Explore the city center of Willemstad, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or get out on the gorgeous Caribbean Sea surrounding the island of Curacao via a boat safari.
Then, there’s the day cruising the Panama Canal. You’ll want to be on your stateroom balcony or one of the cruise ship decks for this experience since the Panama Canal is more exciting to witness than you may expect. There is a reason the canal is considered to be such an engineering marvel – even today, let alone when it was originally built in 1914. You’ll be right on the water as the locks do their impressive process to lower and raise the water to effortlessly get your cruise ship through the passage. It’s something that’s best experienced from a ship and you’ll have a new appreciation for this breakthrough (both in design and land) that allows ships to conveniently get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean (or vice versa).