Where in the World Wednesday: September 28, 2016

Can you guess where in the world this destination is from the clues below?

Image Clue

Image courtesy of Yilmaz Oevuenc via Flickr.
Image courtesy of Yilmaz Oevuenc via Flickr.

Word Clue

One of the Seven Wonders of the world is located here, however this country was founded less than 100 years ago. This nation shares a border with eight other countries and tulips have a long and storied history here. It is in this former walled city that visitors can enjoy an impressive yacht harbor, open air museum, ancient amphitheater, magnificent castle, a restored shipyard, and the remains of a famous tomb which was destroyed by earthquakes.

Where in the World is This Destination?

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Bodrum, Muğla Province, in southwestern Turkey

While Turkey is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world, The Republic of Turkey was proclaimed less than 100 years ago, in 1923. Like most cities in Turkey, Bodrum has a rich history. Records show that inhabitants settled in the city as early as the 7th century BC. Formerly called Halicarnassus, the city now thrives with a combination of old world charm and modern vibrance.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is among the famous spots in Bodrum. The structure, which was constructed between 353 and 350 BC, is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Castle of St. Peter is also quite a wondrous sight. The castle in Bodrum was built in 1400 and served as a refuge for knights for a long time. The Amphitheatre is a testament to the people’s skill in architecture during the ancient times. Built between 330 and 30 BC, the theater could seat 13,000 people.

While many people attribute the tulip to Holland, it was actually the Turks who introduced the tulip bulb to the Dutch. Turkey’s annual Tulip Festival boasts more than three million tulips blooming at once.

Visit the Canadian Rockies During an Alaska CruiseTour

Ready to Plan Your 2017 Vacation? Pair up a Canadian Rockies tour with an Alaska Cruise

When you think of visiting the Canadian Rockies, a cruise probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind as a means to get there. However, a Celebrity Cruises Cruisetour that takes you through the Canadian Rockies for several days before or after sailing along the coast of Alaska may be the perfect fit for you to explore this stunningly beautiful region of the world. Here’s why.

How You’ll Travel Through the Canadian Rockies

Part of your journey through the Canadian Rockies will happen on a comfortable train with glass-domed ceilings, perfect for taking in all those gorgeous views you’ll be gliding through. In addition, you’ll dine on gourmet cuisine while on the train and even spend one night traveling through the heart of the wilderness when you’ll stay in your own private sleeper cabin. During this overnight train expedition you’ll travel along the Fraser River through the Coast Mountains and Cisco Tunnels, while enjoying canyon and water views, including Hell’s Gate Gorge and Suicide Rapids.

Where You’ll Stay & What You’ll See

Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

When you’re not on the train, you’ll be staying overnight in luxurious Fairmont properties, which are well-known in the Canadian Rockies for their modern amenities and comfort without losing any of the traditional charm of the property where each hotel resides. During your hotel stays you’ll have to opportunity during the day to explore iconic Canadian Rockies locations. Some of these spots include:

Lake Louise: A massive turquoise lake in Alberta’s Banff National Park framed by majestic mountains. Lake Louise is an incredible spot for a boat or canoe ride.

Banff: Banff is famous for being next to the above scenic site, Lake Louise, but in addition to that natural wonder, Banff is also a charming mountain town to walk around with rustic buildings.

Calgary: Calgary, Alberta has a vast array of big city activities you can do in addition to outdoor adventures in the surrounding Canadian Rockies.

Jasper: Jasper, Alberta is nestled in the middle of Jasper National Park and is a gorgeous mountain town to explore and use as a base for hiking, kayaking, and more outdoor activities.

Victoria: The capital of British Columbia, Victoria manages to effortlessly mix city life with wilderness and water activities.

Vancouver: This also may be where your cruise takes off. Read more about what you can do in Vancouver in our Vancouver Port of Call Spotlight.

The Cruise Portion

Cruising by Hubbard Glacier in Alaska
Cruising by Hubbard Glacier in Alaska

Before or after you’ve experienced the Canadian Rockies, it will be time to board a modern cruise ship and head north to explore Alaska. Take part in incredible shore excursions, such as dog sledding across a mountain, taking a helicopter ride over a glacier, fishing in the sea, or kayaking through unforgettable scenery.

Next summer, consider heading north and giving yourself a mountain vacation you’ll treasure for a lifetime. To find your ideal Alaska and Canadian Rockies cruisetour, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

 

Where in the World Wednesday: September 21, 2016

Can you guess where in the world this destination is based off of the clues below? 

Image Clue

Photo courtesy of Ștefan Jurcă via Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Ștefan Jurcă via Flickr.

Word Clue

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the capital and largest city in its country, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial center. The city was founded in the 15th century, but this country is less than 150 years old. This city is a waypoint for large flocks of birds migrating between continents and is regularly home to more than 300 bird species, including pelicans, herons, egrets, and eagles. You’ll also find one of the largest population of brown bears living here. You’ll need to find a lion before you can get a cup of coffee, but you won’t be disappointed, as the founder of a famous brand of espresso was born here.

This country is so diverse that you can go from skiing in the mountains to walking through the capital city to swimming in the sea all in one day if you were so inclined. There is even a massive underground glacier here. This country is one of the largest wine producers in the world, having made wine here for more than 4,000 years.

Where in the World is This Destination?

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Bucharest, Romania

Two million people live in the capital city of Bucharest. Francesco Illy, the founder of Illy caffè was born in Romania in 1892. He also invented the first automatic steam espresso coffee machine. The clue about needing a Lion to get a cup of coffee refers to the Romanian Currency “LEU” which literally translates to “Lion” in English. Top sites not to miss in Bucharest include Stavropoleos Church, Old Town, and Palace of Parliament (which is the second largest administrative building by surface area in the world after the United States Pentagon.)

Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival: Why You Don’t Want to Miss It

Do you love the beach? Do you love wine? Do you love good food? Then we have an event you don’t want to miss: the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival. Running from September 29 through October 2, 2016, the festival packs a lot of fun and epicurean experiences into its four days, and Celebrity Cruises is excited to be partnering up with the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival again this year. Here’s why you should go (plus a special ticket discount!).

Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival 2016

About the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

This will be the Third Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Grand Tasting events takes place at the Newport Beach Civic Center on Saturday and Sunday. Ritz Prime Seafood, Pizzeria Mozza Newport Beach and The Winery Newport Beach are the setting for special events on Thursday and Friday.

The festival includes a diverse range of culinary and wine tasting options, including:

  • Two Grand Tasting Pavilions where you sample a variety of wines, spirits, and beer; plus taste food offerings from prestigious Orange County restaurants.
  • Live cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs
  • Book signings for popular culinary books
  • Live Jazz music
  • Wine panels with master sommeliers
  • …and more!

The Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival also benefits a good cause and proceeds from it will go to Project Hope Alliance, the Festival’s long-standing local charity partner.

Wine tastings and local restaurants at the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival

What Will Celebrity Cruises Be Doing at the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival?

Celebrity Cruises will have our own special Celebrity Lounge where you can relax for a bit and enjoy a wine tasting from a Jackson Family of Wines winery. We will also be giving away a special Celebrity Cruises gift basket each day, which you can sign up to win in our Celebrity Lounge. While in the lounge, also look for the iPad for the chance to win an even bigger prize, since you can enter to win (via the iPad) a free cruise for two to Australia and New Zealand; the winner will get to sail around these gorgeous countries for up to 12 nights while staying in a private veranda stateroom.

We’re also excited about the Top Chef Home Cook Challenge that will be happening during the event since that will be presented by Celebrity Cruises. If you’re a Top Chef fan, make sure you also check out Celebrity Cruises’ Top Chef at Sea New Year’s sailing, during which you can sail to the Caribbean onboard the same ship as Top Chef stars while attending cooking demonstrations, pop-up restaurants, and partaking in other culinary Top Chef fun during your cruise.

How to Get Your Tickets to the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

The Daytime Festival (where Celebrity Cruises will be!) is on both Saturday and Sunday. You can go one day or both days by choosing either a single day ticket or the Weekend Festival Pass, which gets you in on both days. Use code Celebrity25 for $25 off the general admission Daytime Festival ticket.

Save $25 off your Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival Daytimes Festival ticket with code Celebrity25.

There are also VIP tickets that include cooking demonstrations, wine and food pairings, 100-point wine tastings, and Champagne and caviar tastings. Browse through all the different ticket types and passes here to figure out which is best for you, but don’t delay in getting yours — tickets are limited. You’ll also see ticket options for the events on Thursday and Friday, which include special celebrity chef dinners and a luncheon.

For more information about the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, visit www.newportwineandfood.com. We hope to see you there!

2 Waterfalls You Don’t Want to Miss

Do It Here, Then Do It There…Snoqualmie Falls in the Pacific Northwest and Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica

When hiking, there’s not much more of a thrill to the end of a hike – or along it – than a rushing, sparkling waterfall. From a raging waterfall among pine trees in the Pacific Northwest to a series of tropical waterfalls in the balmy Caribbean, here are two top picks for waterfall hikes whether you’re staying close to home or traveling farther away.

Snoqualmie Falls: Large and Powerful

Snoqualmie Falls on an especially misty day.
Snoqualmie Falls on an especially misty day.

For those on the west coast of the United States, Seattle is an easy flight or drive away – or you may even call it home. While the city of Seattle is full of gorgeous sights and fun things to do, those who are willing to venture a bit out of the city and into the wilderness are in for a visually amazing experience. This is particularly the case if you travel 45 minutes east of the city to Snoqualmie, a small city nestled into the base of the Cascade Mountains.

Snoqualmie’s main claim to fame is Snoqualmie Falls, a massive 269-foot waterfall that plunges down into the Snoqualmie River at a powerful speed. Depending on the time of year you visit, the spray can be so prevalent that you’ll feel it on the viewing platform located high-up in front of the waterfall (it’s generally a thicker mist in the winter due to the plethora of rain the Seattle area gets). Miles upon miles of thick trees spread out from the waterfall and river, and to the left of the falls is rustic Salish Lodge, adding some quaintness into the majestic feel of Snoqualmie Falls and its surroundings.

Those who want a closer look at the base of Snoqualmie Falls can do the one-mile roundtrip hike down the mountainside to another viewing area. The hike goes along a pretty wooded trail and also by the water plant where you get a good look at the tubes and buildings that carry the energy made by the waterfall out to the surrounding area. Snoqualmie Falls isn’t just beautiful, it’s also useful to the Pacific Northwest.

After your hike, read more about the waterfall and how it harnesses energy on the information boards by the main viewing platform or head to the onsite gift shop where you can get a coffee from the café before taking in more of the panoramic nature views.

Dunn’s River Falls: Tropical Waterfall Delight in Jamaica

Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica. Photo courtesy of Yannick Lyn Fatt via Flickr.
Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. Photo courtesy of
Yannick Lyn Fatt via Flickr.

If you want to head somewhere more exotic to see waterfalls, the Caribbean is a good place to start. One of the most popular waterfalls in the Caribbean is Dunn’s River Falls, located near Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Compared to Snoqualmie Falls, Dunn’s River Falls is a bit tamer and slower, but still has its own charm.

Dunn’s River Falls cascades down a series of natural platforms for over 600 feet, so it looks like multiple smaller waterfalls all mixed in together. What’s especially fun about visiting Dunn’s River Falls is that you can walk around the falls and splash about in the little pools that form at the base of each waterfall.

An exciting way to visit Ocho Rios is via a Caribbean cruise and once there it’s easy to get to Dunn’s River Falls on a shore excursion. Celebrity Cruises has a variety of fun ways to do that depending on your interests.

There’s the Aerial Explorer and Dunn’s River Falls shore excursion that involves trekking to the falls followed by a chairlift ride that takes you 700 feet up for a bird’s eye view of the tropical forest beneath you.

Those who like some relaxation after hiking will enjoy the Bamboo Beach Club VIP and Dunns River Falls shore excursion which takes you on a guided walk to Dunn’s River Falls then transports you to the blissful Bamboo Beach Club where you can relax on a comfortable lounge chair and drink a cocktail on an exclusive area of the beach, or rent water sports equipment to take out on the water.

For travelers who want to a glimpse into history while visiting a destination, the Brimmer Hall Plantation and Dunn’s River Falls excursion is a good option since it pairs a visit to an 18th century plantation with Dunn’s River Falls plus a buffet lunch at a local hotel.

Instead of taking a bus to the start of the trail, cruise via a luxurious catamaran to Dunn’s River Falls on the Champagne Catamaran Magical Escape and Dunn’s River Falls shore excursion where you’ll hike to the waterfall and then return to the catamaran for more sailing around the sea. While on the catamaran, you’ll have mimosas, coffee, fresh fruit juice, and delicious snacks.

Which waterfall would you most like to see and hike around: Snoqualmie Falls or Dunn’s River Falls?

Where in the World Wednesday: September 14, 2016

Can you guess where this destination is based on the clues below?

Image Clue

Photo courtesy of Colin Capelle via Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Colin Capelle via Flickr.

Word Clue

This city is more than 3,000 years old and home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Travel notes by Marco Polo, the young Italian traveler of 13th century, described the civilized people of this city and their well-organized lives. With the dramatic change of seasons it would be possible for this city to host both the winter and summer Olympic Games. Christianity here dates back to the 7th century and today there are significant numbers of Catholic and Protestant congregations. This city boasts an astounding number of bicycles, well into the millions at last count. And beware that Taxi cabs here are priced by how nice they look. Newer ones are more expensive, so if you’re on a budget you’d better hail a dented one.

Where in the World is This Destination?

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Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Beijing is one the most populous cities in the world with 21 million residents (second to Shanghai as largest in China and 10th largest in the world) and a city with more than 9 million bicycles. 11% of its residents have the same last name – Wang. Beijing boasts seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, Great Wall, and the Grand Canal. Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will make Beijing the first city ever to host both events. Celebrity Cruises visits Tianjin (Beijing) on numerous Northeast Asian itineraries, featuring three full days in port (it is a 2.5 hour transfer from the Tianjin International Cruise terminal to Beijing.)

Winning Photos from a Photography Cruise

See the results of a photography group cruise on board the Celebrity Equinox

The Celebrity Equinox played host to award-winning photographer Robyn Scott and a group of 78 amateur photographers during a recent Mediterranean cruise.  Robyn held photography seminars on sea days, coaching the photographers on how best to photograph each upcoming port of call.  On the final day of the cruise, each photographer submitted their best photo which was judged by the Photo Manager onboard Celebrity Equinox, and over $5,000 in prizes were awarded. Below are the beautiful winning photos. Take a look and see if your favorite is also in first place.

1st Place

Sea Reflection by Shelly Ann Talla, taken in Santorini
Sea Reflection by Shelly Ann Talla, taken in Santorini

2nd Place

Romance in Red by Tom Smith, taken in the Sunset Bar on the Equinox
Romance in Red by Tom Smith, taken in the Sunset Bar on the Equinox

3rd Place

Santorini Steps by Peggy Sue Flynn, taken in Santorini
Santorini Steps by Peggy Sue Flynn, taken in Santorini

People’s Choice

Dancing Lights on the Equinox by Tom Baker
Dancing Lights on the Equinox by Tom Baker

Honorable Mentions

Dusk by Alex Mak
Dusk by Alex Mak
For Heavens Sake by Gary Gilbert
For Heavens Sake by Gary Gilbert

Congratulations to the winners!

If you’re interested in a photography cruise or other cruise itinerary with Celebrity, speak with your local travel agent (it was a west coast travel agency that coordinated the Equinox photography cruise) or visit www.CelebrityCruises.com.

 

Port of Call Spotlight: Venice, Italy

Venice is often one of the most anticipated ports of call for cruisers lucky enough to be stopping there on a Mediterranean cruise. With streets made of water and quaint gondolas plus beautiful architecture and views, this unique city is on the bucket list of pretty much every traveler. With such a powerful reputation that precedes it long before you ever arrive, you want to make sure you’re prepared to enjoy every minute of your day in gorgeous Venice. Here’s what you need to know about visiting Venice during your cruise.

Getting Into Venice from the Ship

Celebrity Cruises Ship in Venice
Celebrity Cruises Ship in Venice

You won’t dock right in the center of quintessential Venice, i.e. the car-free land of water streets. You’ll dock just outside that area in the cruise terminal that is also close to Venice’s only parking lot (those driving to Venice need to leave their car somewhere, after all), and from there, you have a few options to get into the center of Venice and to its main sites. Shore excursions are the most hassle-free way to get into Venice as transportation will be arranged for you and you’ll be led to where you need to be directly from the ship. There is also a public water bus, called a vaporetto, that can take you into the heart of Venice, which you can catch from walking to the S. Marta stop.

If your cruise is beginning in Venice, as many Celebrity Cruises Mediterranean itineraries do, you can extend your vacation with a City Stay. The City Stay in Venice program through Celebrity Cruises arranges an amazing getaway in Venice before your ship departs and includes transportation to the ship once your stay in Venice is done.

Can’t-Miss Venice

Here are the iconic things to see and do that you can’t miss while in Venice.

St. Mark’s Square: Basilicas, Palaces & More

St. Mark's Basilica, located in Venice's St. Mark's Square
St. Mark’s Basilica, located in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark’s Square is Venice’s most famous site (besides perhaps the gondolas) and it has a lot going on in it. The most commanding view is St. Mark’s Basilica, which juts up magnificently on one side of the square. You can tour inside and even go up to the roof for a birds-eye view of the square. And speaking of birds, you’ll see a lot of them – pigeons, that is – while at St. Mark’s Square. The pigeons make for a fun photo op if you don’t mind frolicking with birds.

St. Mark's Square at Night
St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace is also located in St. Mark’s Square and runs perpendicular to St. Mark’s Basilica. The palace dates back to the 12th century and was where the Doge of Venice lived (the Doge used to be the leader of the Republic of Venice). It also once housed a prison.

The Architecturally Impressive Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs is located over the Rio di Palazzo behind Doge’s Palace (which it’s connected to) and is a beautiful bridge in a setting that is striking to behold. The bridge is made of gleaming white limestone with intricate motifs and carvings in the façade.

A Charming Gondola Ride

Gondola ride in Venice with Celebrity Cruises

A gondola ride is a classic way to see the sights of Venice and experience the winding waterways firsthand. A standard gondola ride is 40 minutes long and you may want to seek out a gondolier who will sing during your ride to make it even more memorable.

Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal

The Grand Canal with Rialto Bridge in the background in Venice.
The Grand Canal with Rialto Bridge in the background.

One of the most famous sights along the wide Grand Canal of Venice is the stately Rialto Bridge. You can walk across it or take a vaporetto underneath.

Murano and Burano

Burano, Italy
Burano

These two little islands are a short boat ride away from Venice, Murano is known for its artistic ambiance, mainly derived from the glass blowing and creations you’ll encounter while there. Burano is famous for its colorful buildings and delicate lace creations.

Venice’s Delectable Gelato

In a country known for gelato, Venice makes some of the best. Get a cone with a few scoops of the creamy, cold, delicious goodness, and enjoy it while you take in a canal view or St. Mark’s Square.

The Alleyways of Venice

Do some exploring in Venice down side alleyways and over tiny canals.
Do some exploring in Venice down side alleyways and over tiny canals.

Part of Venice’s charm comes from simply exploring the narrow little side alleys of Venice. Follow the cobblestoned streets past terracotta colored buildings and stumble upon alcoves and tiny bridges and charming canals that are off the beaten path. Just make sure you don’t get too lost – you’ll need to catch your ship later!

Venice Shore Excursions

Venice Shore Excursions

For those who feel a bit overwhelmed by the zigzagging, water-filled chaos of Venice, Celebrity Cruises makes it easy for you.

Take the Secret Venice Walking Tour around historic squares and out-of-the-way alleys while also seeing some of the top sites with a knowledgeable guide who will give you an insider’s perspective on Venice.

Will your cruise be in Venice until nighttime? Take the Evening Gondola Serenade excursion through the lovely waterways of Venice while accompanied by an Italian singer and accordionist.

Learn about glass artistry and more on the Murano Glassworks, San Giorgio and Gondola Ride shore excursion, which includes a visit to a local glass showroom.

On the Walk Through Venice Up to St. Mark’s Square shore excursion you’ll walk through the heart of Venice past historic sites and gorgeous architecture until you end up in the middle of St. Mark’s Square. You’ll have free time after the walk to further explore the sights of the square and surrounding area.

To book your Mediterranean cruise that includes a visit to the port of Venice, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Where in the World Wednesday: September 7, 2016

Can you guess the destination based off of the clues below?

Image Clue

Photo courtesy of Blok 70 via Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Blok 70 via Flickr.

Word Clue

This town has no aboriginal human population as it was discovered around 10,000 BC. There is also no such thing as a local race here, due to its high occupation by invaders over the years, and its cosmopolitan character. Rivers here are short and dry up in the summer months, yet this area has over 2,000 plant species, of which 157 are endemic. Cultivation of the olive tree is very important to this community and excellent virgin olive oil is produced here. Other important products include oranges, grapes and vegetables. Honey, cheese and herbs are also of excellent quality and large numbers of sheep and goats are raised here. This town is equidistant from three different continents.

Where in the World is This Destination?

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Chania, Crete, Greece

Chania is pronounced “Hahn-yA” and in English the name is written as either Chania or Xania. The ‘X” sound is a hard ‘H’ in Greek as though you are attempting to clear the back of the throat. Correct pronunciation is with the emphasis on the last ‘A’.

Chania is the name of the town, Crete is the name of the island, and Greece is the country. Top sites not to miss in Chania include the Venetian Harbor with its landmark lighthouse, Maritime Museum, Municipal Art Gallery, Chania Market in Old Town, Therisso Village and Balos Lagoon. Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Constellation visit Chania and Crete on numerous Mediterranean cruise itineraries.

Celebrity Cruises’ Delicious Sangria Recipe

Not Just Onboard — Make Qsine’s Sangria Drink at Home!

Typically, this popular sangria is served in Celebrity Cruises’ unique onboard specialty restaurant, Qsine, or at local West Coast events (find the next one closest to you), but now you can make it for your own special occasion thanks to the recipe below.

Qsine’s sangria recipe uses an eclectic mix of fresh fruit, white wine and artisanal spirits which give this sangria a palate embracing sensation. All ingredients are macerated overnight and served the next day to give this sangria its remarkable intensity and flavor profile.

Qsine Sangria Recipe

Celebrity Cruises Q'sine Sangria Recipe