Nearly 50% of U.S. adults will make New Year’s resolutions and unfortunately, many of us will pledge to exercise more, eat better and to vanquish various vices. Why not resolve to go on that dream vacation? Read on for our top five vacation recommendations for 2014 that you may not have considered. I guarantee you won’t want to break any of these travel resolutions:
Paul Gauguin South Pacific Cruise
5. Paul Gauguin South Pacific Cruise: If you have always wanted to visit this beautiful area, now is your chance! Sail with just 332 passengers on a luxurious cruise that includes your meals, drinks, gratuities and airfare from Los Angeles. Just in time for many golf course closures, this sailing departs on August 30th and includes Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Papeete. Begin in legendary Fiji, where you’ll visit the country’s cultural centers along with more remote destinations. From the “Sugar City”—Lautoka, the heart of Fiji’s sugarcane-growing region—you’ll cruise to lovely Suva, the Fijian capital, where you’ll discover a blend of Polynesian flair and European sophistication. Contrast this bustling metropolis with Savsavu, sometimes called the “Hidden Paradise of Fiji.” Next, be among the first in the world to greet the new day in the islands of Vava’u, Tonga, with their spectacularly clear waters brimming with colorful marine life. Your two-week voyage then takes you to the Cook Island of Aitutaki, with its unique culture and exquisite lagoon, and on to the spectacularly beautiful Society Islands, home waters of The Gauguin.
Panama Canal Tour
4. Panama: 2014 marks the 100th anniversary celebration of the Panama Canal and we are offering a fascinating itinerary in May that give visitors the opportunity to explore the old and new Panama City, Portobelo, Gamboa Rainforest Resort, and Playa Bonita. Exciting activities include a full canal transit from the Pacific to the Atlantic; seeing the massive construction of the new canal; guided tours with naturalists on Barro Colorado Island in Gatun Lake where guests see tropical birds, tapirs, sloths, and monkeys; and a ride on the historic Panama Railroad. Single travelers will appreciate the fact that the price difference for single occupancy on a tour is quite reasonable unlike cruises where they pay almost double. While the Panama Canal is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World, there is so much more to see and do beyond the locks. Panama offers history, culture, rainforests and beautiful beaches. One day in Panama during a cruise just may not be enough! Mary Curtis from The Travel Connection will be escorting this group -discover Panama with her!
3. Cuba: There is an exciting travel destination back on the map in 2014. It is what I refer to as the “forbidden fruit” of the Caribbean, also known as Cuba. Although it is just 90 miles from Key West, Cuba has been off limits to travelers from the United States since 1961 with the exception of special licenses. In January 2011, the license process became a lot easier with the re-introduction of government-sanctioned “people-to-people” trips. If you have ever found yourself sailing through the Caribbean and wondering what is happening beyond those lights off in distance as the cruise ship captain points out Cuba, now is your chance. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation with days spent on the beach and nights spent in jazz clubs smoking Cuban cigars, you might want to seek another destination as you won’t find those experiences on the organized People to People programs. What you will find are eager locals waiting to share Cuba’s spirit with you. Tours range from an eight day Classic Cuba itinerary to a twelve day Undiscovered Cuba tour. Each itinerary offers unique opportunities including: Unesco World Heritage Sites; the art of cigar making; art, music, and dance programs; and so much more. Lauren Baxter visited Cuba in September and has wonderful information and photos ready to share!
British Open Cruise
2. British Open Cruise: On July 14th, the Celebrity Infinity will sail on a special 10 night British Isles Cruise. The cruise departs from Harwich, England and includes ports of call in Paris, Cork, Dublin, Glasgow, Holyhead, and 2 days in Liverpool with a special shore excursion to the British Open at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake). Watch as Phil Mickelson will be bidding to defend the Claret Jug he won in 2013 at Muirfield. If attending the British Open, visiting the Eiffel Tower, or singing and dancing in Irish Pubs is on your bucket list, this is the perfect cruise for you!
,h2>Alaska Tour and Cruise
1. Alaska Tour & Cruise: Did you know that a typical 7 night Alaska inside passage cruise only includes 10% of Alaska? If you have always wanted to see Alaska, consider our 11 Day Yukon and Double Denali Land and Sea Journey departing on August 27th with Holland America. There are just 3 nights on the cruise ship and then you are off to Whitehorse, Dawson City, Fairbanks, Denali National Park, and Anchorage. It’s the perfect way to beat the heat and see the beautiful scenery Alaska is known for.