Cruising the Rhine River – Adventure, Fun and Surprises at Every Turn

Cruising the Rhine River is probably one of the best ways to relax as well as enjoy the bounty of nature, the thrill of architecture, the vibrancy of towns located on its banks, and the company of people from across the world. There are several day cruises available that will take you close to the vivid culture and deep-rooted history of the towns built around the mighty Rhine – the 12th longest river in the world. The most popular day cruise on the River Rhine is from Rudesheim and Bingen to Lorelei rock with St. Paul. Goarshausen and St. Goar on the way.

Rüdesheim: One of the starting points of Rhine River cruise, Rüdesheim is a perfect place for a quiet romantic holiday. This is the place where Rhine cruises to Cologne, Bingen, Fahrgastschiffahrt, Assmannshausen, Burgenrundfahrt, and Burg Rheinstein start out. The day cruises along the Rhine are classified under wine tasting tours, romantic tours, and nature excursions. Rüdesheim is home to historical castles and monuments, including Brömserburg Castle, Boosenburg Castle, Burgruine Ehrenfels castle, and Niederwald Landscape park with its famous monument.

Assmannshausen : A small village close to Rüdesheim, it is most popular among tourists for the chair lift that connects Assmannshausen to Niederwald. The chair lift offers a magnificent view of the Rhine valley as well as the town of Assmannshausen. The village is famous for its Pinot noir red wine, lithium spring, and Kurhaus.

Romantic Lorelei rock: The Lorelei rock comes with its bewitching local fable and is one of the most popular day cruise destinations on the River Rhine. It is situated deep in the Rhine valley, 25 km (16 miles) from Rudesheim and 80km (50 miles) from Frankfurt. Rising vertically up to almost 132m above the water level, it used to be one of the most difficult passes to navigate.

St. Goar: A UNESCO World Heritage site, St. Goar is a small town built on the ruins of Burg Rheinfels, one of the famous castles on the Middle Rhine. Situated close to the Lorelei rock, this is a hauntingly beautiful destination that seems to lie trapped in a narrow gap on the Rhine Gorge. The Burg Rheinfels monumental zone is the main attraction, and some of the fortifications can still be seen. The town architecture will take you back in time with buildings retaining of hipped roof, mansard roof, timber frames, and bright flowery gardens. The vineyards along the steep slopes of Gründelbach valley and the Wahrschauer-und Lotsenmuseum, a museum about boat signaling and pilotage are definitely high points of the cruise.

St.Goarshausen: Situated on the eastern shore of the Rhine and across St. Petersburg. Goar 30 km south of Koblenz, St. Goarshausen is famous for Lorelei rock and a view of the two enchanting castles of Burg Katz and Burg Maus. Situated on a hill top. Burg Maus offers spectacular view of the town, the Rhine, and the ruins of Burg Rheinfels.

Bacharach : A picture perfect medieval town in Germany, this 600-year old town is complete with nostalgia at every turn. Timber framed homes are a welcome sight for sore eyes while the cobblestone streets are reminiscent of 18th century Europe. The town of Bacharach is the perfect starting point for hiking trails that lead through mountains and vineyards towards the Stahleck Castle and the Gothic Church of Warren Chapel. A stop at the local weinstube is a must for those who love the taste of the famous sparkling wine – Riesling.

Bingen: This is also one of the starting points of day cruises on the Rhine River and is renamed for the Mouse Tower. A small city nestled in the lap of the mountains and the Rhine Valley, it boasts several historical monuments including the Binger Mäuseturm, Burg Klopp castle, Rochuskapelle pilgrimage chapel, Drususbrücke bridge, a 1780 empire style building called Puricellipalais, Roman villa rustica and the Bingen Forest.

A cruise on the River Rhine will not only take you through these scintillating and virgin landscapes along a waterway surrounded by hills dotted with castles, but also offers up active adventures for the entire family at every turn of this meandering river.

Disney Baltic Cruise

I would like to explain what my family and I did each day as we enjoyed our family vacation aboard the Disney Magic;

Day 1; We arrived at the port in Copenhagen, Denmark around 1:00 pm, though you can board as early as 11am. Weave ourselves 3 hours to board (the ship sets sail at 4pm) so that we could explore Copenhagen before we left on our vacation. This day included us exploring the boat and signing up for kids clubs. One of the amazing things about Disney, is their kids clubs. They have rooms for different aged kids to go hang out in, participate in activities and make new friends. This gives parents a chance to have some time alone and know their children are safe and having fun. After exploring the boat, everyone came together at Deck 9 to set sail and have fun during "Mickey's Sailing Away Party." During this, everyone waves to the passengers staying in Copenhagen & dances along with Mickey & his friends on stage. Once this is over, we headed to the 6:30 pm theater show. Depending on the dinner time you request (6:00 pm or 8:30 pm) you will either watch the theater show at 6:30 pm or 8:30 pm, the opposite time that your eating dinner. I absolutely love the shows. Disney does an amazing job coming up with themes and special acts to entertain their audience.

Day 2 was a "Day at Sea", so that means we did not stop anywhere. We enjoyed our day watching Disney movies at Buena Vista Theater, participating in games at Vibe (a teen club), eating lunch at Cabanas (the buffet at deck 9), enjoying yet another theater show, & eating dinner at one of the three rotational dining restaurants (Lumiere's, Animators Palate, or Cariocas.) Depending on your room card, you will rotate between these three different yummy restaurants. This night included Formal Dinner. This means we were encouraged to dress fancy (like dresses & skirts or suits for men.) Day's at sea are, in my opinion, one of the best days on the boat. Disney provides their guests with the option of either Cabanas (the buffet on deck 9), Lumiere's (one of the 3 rotational dining restaurants), or one of the quick service restaurants on deck 9. The quick service restaurants include Daisy's Delights (a sandwich , salad, fruit, and cookie stand), Pete's Boiler Bites (a hamburger, hotdog, taco, etc … American fare type of stand), and Pinocchio's Pizza (a pizza stand.) Disney Magic does a fantastic job creating grade A food all day and making sure to cook the food in a fast manner, but keeping the flavor incredible. Now, the food is not the only reason I absolutely love day's at sea. Although food is a key factor, Disney also provides their guests with a news article every night, allowing them to see what activities are brewing for them the next day (you also have the option of using their Disney Cruise Line app to see the activities and menus for each day.) This activities sheet is always filled with karaoke, newly released movies, workout games, and more during the days at sea. Disney makes sure their guests always have something fun and new to do on the boat, knowing some might get bored not having anywhere to dock.

Day 3 we stopped in Tallinn, Estonia. We arrived and walked Tallinn Old Town, which gave us a real idea of ​​their culture. We also explored the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, The Estonian Maritime Museum (an old prison), and Fat Margarets Tower (a large building next to the ship.) Like most of you know, northern Europe has very sketchy weather. Knowing this, I packed a range of different clothes and layers. Tallinn stayed in the 60 degree F area during most of our visit, which was amazing. I wore leggings (lululemon), a tank top (lululemon), a long sweater (Madewell), and tennis shoes (New Balance.) My dad and brother were able to wear just shorts and at shirt, so it really depends on your tolerance for cool weather. I am a small girl, so the wind was a little chilly for me, explaining the long sweater.

Day 4 we stopped in St. Louis Petersburg, Russia. On this day, we decided to get a bus driver and a tour guide (Alla Tours.) Petersburg had multiple churches (Church of the Spilled Blood for example) and palaces (Catherine's Palace), so we needed someone to help us find our way around. I recommend finding yourself a tour guide you trust (like Alla Tours), because during our visit to Catherine's Palace (and a few other city monuments), the line wrapped around the building to get in, but our tour guide found a way to skip the line and sneak us in, in only 15 minutes. Like Tallinn, St. Petersburg's weather was very strange. The morning was chilly and forced me to wear a scarf (Madewell) and a thick jacket (Madewell), but later in the day the temperature got warmer (maybe 67 degrees F) which allowed me to wear just a light rain jacket (Spice) , because Petersburg did tend to sprinkle every so often. On this night, there was no theater show due to all aboard being at 11:30 pm. This means, you had the option of staying out in Russia till 11:30 pm or coming early and having dinner but no show.

Day 5 we stopped in Helsinki, Finland. This day was a bit shorter because all aboard was around 5pm. We decided to ride a carousel to see the town & take a boat ride to explore a small island with history about Finland (Suomenlinna.) We did not realize how large and historic Suomenlinna was, so we were unable to see all of its rich history . I recommend spending multiple hours here, if you decide to visit this location in Finland. This night included the Semi Formal Dinner. This means we had to dress up a little nicer than usual for our dinner, to take pictures. Disney does not require you to dress up any of the nights on cruise, but during these special nights, it is highly encouraged. I wore a mini skirt (Abercrombie & Fitch), a tank top (American Eagle), and sandals (Tory Burch.)

Day 6 we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. This day was even shorter because all aboard was 3:30 pm. We decided to visit the Armory & the Royal Palace next to it. If you are traveling with any boys or men, I recommend visiting the Armory. It was very cool for my brother and dad to see all of the military armor, weaponry, and royal carriages. We also purchased tickets for the Hop on Hop off bus, but it was very busy and packed (due to all the ships docked in Stockholm that day), I would not recommend buying a ticket for this bus in this town. This night Disney included "Anna & Elsa's Frozen Deck Party", which meant we all went up on Deck 9 before dinner to watch the frozen characters dance and sing on stage. Disney also changed up their theater show on this night. Unlike their normal broadway style show, they provided us with a comedian show.

Day 7 was our final day, which means it was another "Day at Sea." This day was a lot like Day 2, except that the cruise included activities like scrap booking all your memories & jack jack's diaper dash (a race between babies who can crawl.) Usually my family and I prefer to eat lunch at Cabanas (the unlimited buffet is always nice), but on this day, my dad and I decided to try out Lumieres for lunch. I had the cuban sandwich and parmesan veal with pasta (two entrees were a must on this day) and my dad had the shrimp and pad thai noodles. Both meals were fantastic! Disney once again found a way to blow us away. Once the day was near to an end, we enjoyed the final show (Disney Dreams) & a dinner at Animators Palate (one of the three rotational restaurants.) After all was finished, the cruise wrapped up the day by having a "See you real soon "party in the Lobby Atrium on Deck 3. This show included a wave good bye to all the characters on board and a pin trading session (all the guests on board came together to trade their Disney pins.)

Day 8 was our final morning on the boat, which meant you went to breakfast at the place you had dinner at the night before or eat at Cabanas (the buffet on Deck 9.) For my family and I, we ate at Animators Palate once more. After eating the final meal on the ship, everyone disembarked and headed to the airport to fly home. Disney allows all of their guests to eat and explore the ship before leaving, which was nice because we did not feel rushed to get off the boat and let the new guests begin their vacation.

Six Guided Tour Options for Your Paris Trips

Why would I pay for a guided walking tour? There are two good responses to that question:

The first would be that I only have a short time in the city and I want to maximize what I see. Tours can be particularly useful for giving you a nice over view of popular attractions. Which would lead to my second reason for taking a tour – now that I have a good over view of the city I can choose where I want to spend my in-depth time. My last reason for taking a tour would be that I am traveling alone. The group interaction is an added plus for the single traveler. Some of these tour groups even provide tours especially for single women.

These tour groups are not listed in any particular order as far as quality or cost. They are here to provide you with options in planning your trip to France. All tours are in English.

Discover Walks – Their motto is "see Paris with a Parisian. Their tours include:

  • Paris Landmarks
  • Notre DameTour
  • Romantic Paris

Paris Conciergerie Like the concierge desk at a fine hotel, Paris Conciergerie will help you organize your trip. Their tours include:

  • French Wine Introductory Tasting
  • Paris Tour and Eiffel Tower Visit
  • Paris a la Carte
  • Paris Must See Tour – major landmarks and monuments
  • Lunch Cruise Irresistible – a two hour lunch cruise in a glass topped boat.
  • Disneyland Resort Paris
  • Versaille Audio Guided Tour
  • Panorama Paris tour- history and major landmarks
  • Monet's Giverny
  • Louvre Museum Guided Tour
  • Wine and Cheese Tasting Lunch
  • Fontainebleau and Barbizon Tour
  • Champagne Discovery Tour
  • Loire Valley Castles Tour

Paris Walks "All our guides are university graduates, knowledgeable, professional and enthusiastic about Paris and its history." Tours include:

  • The Old Marais Quarter
  • The French Revolution Tour
  • The Village of Montmartre
  • The Two Islands
  • St Germain de Prés
  • Hemingway's Paris
  • Paris Chocolate Tour
  • Several Fashion Walks
  • Private Tours

Classic Walks of Paris Tours vary from broad overiews of the city to them subjects or to specific areas. Tours include:

  • Classic Walk – overview of the city
  • Da Vinci Code Walk – follows Dan Brown's novel through Paris
  • The French Revolution Walk – follows the gripping tales from the overthrow of the monarchy to the guillotine
  • World War I Walk – Paris' darkest hours in history
  • Montmartre Walk
  • Latin Quarter Walk
  • Wine Tasting Experience
  • D-Day Beaches Day Trip
  • Paris du Jour – itineraries exclusively for small groups of women
  • Fat Tire Bike Tours
  • City Segway Tours

Private walking tours in Paris Each personalized walk is about three hours long with a small break.

  • Saint Michel District- The Roman and Student Area
  • The Islands ' La Cite ' and 'Saint-Louis' – The Middle Ages
  • The Marais – The Parisian Renaissance and Louis XIV
  • The Tuileries Gardens and the Classic Style of Paris
  • The Covered Passages – Paris of the Empire Period
  • Les Halles – Paris Old and New
  • Paris and The Seine River
  • Montmartre

Rick Steve's Paris Audio Tours – mp3 and map downloads available at this link – http://www.ricksteves.com/news/travelnews/0602/france_downloads.htm

There are many choices and you may even want to schedule more than one tour. Personally, I am adding the chocolate tour to my "to do" list the next time I am in Paris!

Bonne Vacance!

The 10 Best Bali Tours, Excursions & Activities – D Asia Travels

Bali is a beautiful place to be when visiting Indonesia. The beautiful beaches with white sand make it feel like a paradise. If you are planning to visit here, be ready for different excursions, tours and activities. From the great dives on the coral ridges, or the amazing Second World War ship wreck to the artistic dances in different Bali villages. Each day is full of exciting things to do when in this city. Bali has something for every visitor and below a list narrowed down to the 10 best Bali activities, tours and excursions.

Taman Ayun, Tanah Lot and the Monkey Forest

Bali has an amazing cultural heritage that you can discover through day time tours. The Pura Taman Ayun gardens are the home to the complex ancient temple. The temple has a beautiful compound with lush gardens, stunningly renovated structures and magical water features. You will be blown away by the serenity of this water temple with the tiered shrines and beautifully lotus dotted pools. You can also watch the ever excited primates at Kedaton Monkey Forest. The gray macaques hop from one tree to another swinging swiftly and are always welcoming.

The sunset beauty is magnificent and you can view it at the Tanah Lot, which is a temple on a rock in the middle of the sea. It’s a pilgrimage site and during the day, you enjoy watching waves crashing around it.

Cultural Heritage exploration

Choose one day and spend it exploring Bali‘s cultural heritage and unique natural scenic surroundings. Visit the Blahbatuh traditional village and enjoy mingling with friendly locals. You will be surprised by the villagers’ gong-smith skills and their Balinese gamelan traditional orchestra.

The archeological museum exhibits the heritage, art and culture of Bali people. This is where you also get to see where the royal family’s coffins.

From there, go to Sri Batu village and participate in the walking tours. You can enjoy a fresh breeze full of vanilla, coffee, spices and fruits fragrance. Proceed to another great spot, Kintami and get a fantastic sight of the shiny lake Danau Batur volcanic crater and an amazing view of Barur Mountain.

The day should not end without visiting the Panglipuran village where you will learn about Balinese traditions.

Enjoy the traditional dances-Barong, Kintami and Ubud

There are traditional dances in Bali that will entertain you as you explore different villages. The best places to participate in the dances are Ubud, Kintami and Barong where they wear Bali dancing costumes and play traditional instruments. You also get a chance to buy some beautiful ornaments, which are handmade including necklaces, bracelets, rings and other shiny ornaments.

Ayung River- Rafting and other activities

Paddling in the Ayung River with a professional guide is fun. You also get to lazy pools where you can swim. All precautions are taken and no one is allowed in the water with a life jacket.

This is the best place to snap your photos with an amazing background of thick canopy of trees and stunning cliffs.

Sunset Dinner Cruise

If you are looking for a romantic destination, Bali should be your first choice. This is where you get a tasty dinner on the Bali Hai Cruise. You can enjoy your dinner in full view on the marvelous sunset. The dinner is accompanied by beautiful live music. You can also relax and have a good time as you listen to your favorite songs played live in a karaoke session that follows.

Private Coast Tour

The natural landscapes of Bali’s coast are breath taking. There is also the great Mother Temple of Besakih where you can feel the rich culture and the people’s heritage. The Alam Giri Plantation is a major producer of spices and fruits. It has different exotic fragrances that you will love including the lemon grass, the salak (a local fruit) and coffee.

Dolphin Cruise

The Dolphin Cruise gives an unforgettable encounter with dolphins. These native creatures are fascinating and visiting their habitat will refresh you. As you cruise in a high speed boat, you will see the dolphins swimming and jumping. They also communicate in a unique way. You are able to listen to their conversation using a transmitter, which is usually underwater connected with your boat. Its high quality and you hear clearly.

A Day Trip at Lembongan Island

Cruising on Lembongan Island shores gives you a chance to enjoy the sea. Through the voyage, you can visit the wildest parts of the sea and relax in the quietness and unique nature.

At the Lembongan Island, you will be taken to a private pontoon where you can enjoy lunch. Since its buffet, you have a chance to try out a number of foods. You can also go for kayaking or use a banana boat to have some fun. There are also snorkeling and diving spots where you can swim with colorful fishes. From here you will carry some great memories of Bali’s spectacular water.

Explore the forests

If you love adventures, Payangan rainforest is the best to begin with. You can also enjoy tubing excursion at the Siap River. You will find it interesting to walk in the paths where they are swaying palms. The paths are not smooth and you have to overcome obstacles and avoid many challenges. You can also stop in different viewpoints and just enjoy Bali’s expansive green fields of rice, which are beautifully framed by mountains.

Devdan Show

You should not leave Bali without discovering the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia full of both traditional and contemporary dances, breathtaking acrobatics and dazzling illusions.

The Devdan Show highlights the rich culture of Indonesia. They offer a great mixture of modern and traditional Indonesian dance and many other impressive and unique special effects. More infor visit our website:- https://www.1dasia.com/

Travelocity Promotion Code and Coupon Guide – Saving Money on Hotels, Airfare, Cruises, & More

Planning a trip does not have to be a difficult or exhausting process. It can be fairly easy and even affordable. If you have a Travelocity promotion code, you’re off to a good start. Just apply it to the booking form when you are reserving your airfare or vacation package.

To receive additional discounts and coupons, it’s recommended that you sign up to receive emails and newsletters from Travelocity. There is also an app you might want to install on your phone.

This company provides a selection of nearly 150,000 hotels and 130+ airlines all across the world. It doesn’t matter where you plan to go, if you plan to go alone or with family, or when you want to go, there is usually some type of discount travel package available. The overall costs associated with economy airfare and standard hotel rates have gone down considerably over the past few decades.

You can book everything separately or together – Travelocity makes it easy to do it all. There is flexibility in how you book your next trip. Do you want to book airfare and a hotel room together? You will likely be eligible for a discount. However, depending on the destination, airline, and time of year, it might be cheaper to book each one individually. Consider looking for a Travelocity promotion code to help you save on car rental as well, as the company is partners with dozens of rental companies in thousands of offices around the world.

What Else Can You Use a Travelocity Promotion Code For?

Travel isn’t just about flying and staying in a hotel room. There are cruise fares, train rides, adventure tours, steamboat river cruises, skiing, and a lot more. How would you like to spend a weekend at an amusement park this summer with the kids? Or go on a romantic getaway at a mountain retreat? How does a Hawaiian cruise or Mexican Riviera cruise sound? The great thing about Travelocity is that it offers deals on all of these trips.

There are different types of promo codes and coupons. As with any coupon offer, it’s important to read the details to make sure you can actually use it. If the Travelocity promotion code you enter into the booking form doesn’t seem to work, just try another one. Keep trying discount offers until one really does reduce the cost of your trip.

Some offer might only be good for a particular destination or car rental with a specific agency, like Hertz, Dollar, Alamo, Avis, etc. Others are more general and can be used to help you save n a variety of travel expenses. Since a Travelocity promotion code doesn’t last forever, use one while it’s available. If you are unable to use it in time, don’t worry – new ones pop up all the time!

What kinds of Travelocity promo code offers are available right now? Will you be able to use any of them? Just read over the offers to learn what all you can use them for and how you can save on your next vacation or business trip.

Trip To The Amazon

When you have decided that your vacation this year is going to be spent along with your family members in the Amazon, a professionally organized touring package can offer a wide range of benefits to you. Navigation of the great river with its tributaries spreading its hands all over, only an experienced guide can take the tourist in the right path in such a way that they can make their trip to the Amazon memorable for their lifetime. For enhancing adventurous experience of the tourists, most of the organizers will be sending a guide, who has good knowledge about the culture and ecology of this great river of the world.

The great thing about the Amazon River is that its tributaries flow through eight different nations. The main source of the river is located in Peru and on its way to the Atlantic Ocean located in the northwestern coast of Brazil, the river flows through the Brazilian rainforest. The major tributaries of the river flows through the Guyana, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela and so most of the trip organizers offer the opportunity to the tourists to explore these waters too. Depending on the package selected by the travelers, the Amazon River Cruise might include visit to one country or many countries as well. Generally, these tours begin in one of the larger riverfront cities like Belem or Manaus in Brazil or from Iquitos in Peru. Even some organizers offer transfers by road or air from major hubs like Rio De Janeiro or Lima.

According to a Survey, it was found that one-third of the species in the world is living in the Brazilian Amazon, forests and wildlife are among the important reasons attracting tourists to this wonderful place of the world. When traveling through Amazon River Cruise, there are great chances of people exploring dolphins and their beauty and generally female dolphins are known to be in grey color, while male dolphins are known to be in pink shades. It is believed that some unidentified species are living in this part of the world in the dense forests of Amazon.

A number of vessels are taking tourists to explore the beauty of Amazon River. While smaller vessels travel close to the floor in such a way that people can explore the rainforests, larger cruises offer wider lodging options and they can also accommodate a number of tourists in the same trip. All it takes to enjoy the best trip to the Amazon is selection of the right tour organizer.

Luxury Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tours: Pros and Cons

There are several ways to visit both the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. This article focuses on a luxury Galapagos and Machu Picchu tour, and details both the pros and cons of this vacation option. But first, let’s understand what defines a Galapagos and Machu Picchu luxury tour.

The most obvious feature of this tour option is that it features two of South America’s most remarkable destinations: The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, and Machu Picchu in Peru. Often times, people get confused and think they can cruise to Machu Picchu. This is not possible. Machu Picchu is located in the mountains in inland Peru. To be more specific, it is located outside of the city of Cuzco, the former Incan capital city. The Galapagos Islands, on the other hand, can be visited during a cruise. This series of Islands is located 600 miles off the coast of mainland Ecuador and is home to some of the most unique wildlife in the entire world. A Galapagos and Machu Picchu tour takes you to both of these locations, and require a connection international fight from Ecuador to Lima, Peru, and then from Lima to Cuzco. When you decided to upgrade to the luxury option, you can expect 24-hour travel assistance, that you will stay in the nicest hotels, and have the most informed and professional guides possible.

Now that we know what to expect, let’s start off with the cons of taking a luxury vacation to these two destinations. First of all, the Galapagos Islands are an extremely expensive destination to visit. Even if you attempt to visit the islands on a budge, it is impossible to pay less than several thousand dollars for a Galapagos vacation. If you want to take a luxury Galapagos cruise boat and have professional guides, the cost once again increases. And if you want to take a longer cruise, such as a 10 day excursion compared to a standard 5 day trip, expect once again to pay more. Now, when you add another South America travel destination on top of this already pricy excursion-in this case Machu Picchu-I’m pretty sure you can guess what happens: the price increases. Machu Picchu is not nearly as expensive to visit as the Galapagos Islands, however there are also built in fees that you cannot avoid, such as train tickets and a high entrance fee.

Now that we’ve gone over the bad, let’s focus on the good. And in the opinion of many people who have traveled to these two places, the pros far outweigh the cons. Both the Galapagos and Machu Picchu are some of the best rated travel destinations in the entire world. Both are unique and offer great insight into nature, history, and human culture. The benefit of seeing both of them during one trip is that in the end it will save you money because: you’ll eliminate extra international flights back to South America, you’ll only have to pay for one South America travel company to help you book one vacation, and you optimize your vacation days. There are also, of course, benefit to upgrading this vacation to a luxury expedition. As previously mentioned, it is impossible to visit these places properly on a low budget, so before you consider traveling here, you should be aware that you will spend several thousand dollars on this South America adventure. That said, paying a bit more for the best rooms, food, guides, and experience doesn’t cost proportionally a lot more, but can drastically improve your travel experience. South America hotel standards can vary drastically compared to the United States and Europe, so to make sure you’re staying in a place that meets your standards, the best bet is always to bump your luxury level up a bit.

What Are the Differences Between Travel Agent and Tour Operator?

The Travel Agent and Tour Operators are normally two separate service providers handling different parts of journey, not always exclusive but the difference does lies in the service they provide.

From consumer point of view the big change happened in 1992, since then any one who is offering the services for travels are liable based upon their stake and expected profit which they are expecting. This is great development for the consumer side as now financial responsibly for the potential liability is divided into every party responsible.

The Tour Operators provide much more detailed services which you require from every little thing during the visit. It might not seem a huge difference but the both of these parties are at different end in case of any liability etc. As the travel agents don’t have huge stakes to the whole journey, being just a go between, so they are taking commission for their services. Incase of the dissatisfaction or problem they might not be facing huge lawsuits as they are not the primary sellers.

The main difference between is that the scope. The Travel Agents provide the specific services unless one asks for them to handle other things, they act as go between the airlines and travelers. It is expected that the travel agents most of times have business inside their own office and don’t have any stakes in the running of tours, or are not attached with the actual facilities and services.

The difference between Agent and Tour Operator can also be seen in the way they are being paid. The agents are given commission for their services for the normal things like air tickets etc. The bill of agent is often very small as compare to.

The services of both the tour operator and travel agents are essentially related so some of the organizations start to take both the activities. This however rarely occurs as the tasks of Tour Operators are huge as compare to the Travel Agent.

A Review of Genting Highlands Tour Package With Star Cruise

On-Board the Super Star Virgo luxury liner

We started our getaway with a cruise on the Superstar Virgo from Singapore to Port Klang. We spent 2 days 1 night on board. We departed Singapore at 10:30pm and reached Port Klang the following afternoon at 3pm.

Our cabin was on the 11th floor without a pothole. We were surprised by the welcome gifts awaiting us on the dressing table. The room was cozy and have comfortable beds that will definitely allow you to have a beautiful night’s rest. The cabin isle is long which shows that its a long ship

The meals onboard were sumptuous. There was a choice of Western, Chinese and Mediterranean, each having a separate restaurant. We tried both the Chinese (for breakfast) tim sum style and Mediterranean (for dinner) buffet style. The breakfast was average but good enough to feel you. The dinner was better, evidenced with us going for a 2nd round to eat our fill. There are other restaurants onboard but you have to pay for them and is not included in the tour package

We toured the ship and used its facilities. Our first stop was the spa pool, hot bath and sauna. This was the first time I visited the hot bath and sauna. It was really hot and I had to open the door to let off some steam… Good thing no one was in it. hahaa. There was a theater for live performance. When there was no performance they would screen a movie. There are 13 floors in all in the ship, when you take the lift, it gives you a breath taking view of the beautiful interior. There are 2 swimming pools, one at the front and another at the rear of the ship. Last but not least we visited the casino. There were many tables for card games, roulette and others. There were many rows of slot machines too. One of the biggest casino on board a ship I have seen thus far.

Heading to Genting Highlands

We arrived Port Klang as scheduled and got off the ship to take the bus ride to Genting HighLands. The bus journey lasted 3 hours. It was like the expressway as there were no traffic lights to stop us. Along the way we got to see the majestic twin Petronas Towers at Kuala Lumpur. After a brief toilet break we started to ascend the hills of Genting HighLands. The road is not as winding as before as there are now 3 lanes going up and down. After an hour we reached the peak and proceeded to First World Hotel . It was already foggy and visibility was poor.

First World Plaza Indoor Theme Park

After dinner, we proceed to the First World Plaza Indoor Theme Park . We were amazed how a theme park could be within a building. As time was limited, we managed to ride only on the:

  1. 4D Motion Master (Fast)
  2. Euro Express (Fast)
  3. Ferris Wheel (Slow)
  4. Funtasy World (Slow)
  5. Reindeer Cruiser (Slow)
  6. Venice Gondola (Slow)

Genting Outdoor Theme Park

The next morning we visited the Genting Outdoor Theme Park. It rainded alittle in the morning, however it stopped. We noticed that some rides have to be paid as it is not included in the entrance fee. We took rides on the following and these are included in the entrance fee:

  1. Boating (Slow)
  2. Bumper Boat (Slow)
  3. Cyclone (Fast)
  4. Dinosaurland (Slow)
  5. Flying Dragon (Moderate fast – Fast)
  6. Grand Prix Fun Kart (Moderate fast – Fast)
  7. Matahari (Slow)
  8. Monorail (Moderate fast)
  9. Pirate Ship (Moderate fast)
  10. Pirate Train (Moderate fast)
  11. Space Shot (Very Fast)
  12. Spinner (Fast)
  13. Super Toboggan (Moderate fast – Fast)

Out of the 13 rides, we had the most adrenalin rush from the Space Shot ride. A word of advise, only ride it with an empty stomach. We left at about 4pm to explore the hotels and casinos

Hotel exploration

We exit from the outdoor theme part main entrance. The shopping path we took connected us to all the hotels like what we have at City Link at City Hall in Singapore. First we visited the Resort Hotel. It looked like it was under some renovation. Next we walked to Genting hotel and then to Highlands hotel . Highlands hotel look the most grandeur.

Casino exploration

We visited the casinos at First World hotel and Genting hotel. We only tried our luck on the jacpot machines and not the card games. It was thrilling and exciting though we did not win anything, its more how long can our $10 last. Haha. Btw, the air of the casinos are filled with smoke and many people tend to light up in there. After dinner we headed back to the jacpot area and later walked back to our hotel to turn in.

Going home

We left Genting at 3pm. It was a 6 hour bus ride back to Singapore. We stopped at Chong Pang Johor Bahru for a light dinner. On the way I noticed that street lamps only appeared when there is a major junction and the rest of the way was mostly dark. Our coach returned by the second link through the Tuas immigration check point which was much faster. We returned home with fond memories of our trip and had the feeling of wanting to stay there longer and not return :D.

Cruising the Hawai’ian Islands – An Aussie’s First Time

Boarding a cruise ship is always a crowded affair. It was so in Honolulu. What surprised us was that we had to take the locks off our suitcases before boarding. The ship, Norwegian “Pride of America”, was a similar size to the Princess ships that we had cruised in around Australia. So we expected to get to our stateroom after boarding the ship. We boarded around 12.30pm only to enter our stateroom at 5.30pm. We found out later that the crew was all American citizens, meaning they had to be paid at higher rates than the crews on other cruise lines. Norwegian were the only cruise line allowed by American law just to cruise around the islands. Other cruise lines had to visit at least one foreign port. This meant there were fewer crew members to do the work.

We found that the selection of free restaurants was not as extensive as with Princess. We dined mostly in their buffet restaurant and a couple of times in their East-West restaurant. These were fine. By Australian standards, the coffee on board ship leaves much to be desired.

We found our stateroom was the best designed one we had seen with a better arrangement of the bed; more cupboards space and better designed bathroom and shower.

The theatre was more spacious and it was easier to move to and from your seat. People could move past you without the need for you to stand. However the Mardi Gras cabaret showroom was smaller than in Princess and the view from the rear not as good. Still, as the cruise went on, the performances in these two areas were of a high quality.

For those that liked to walk or run to wear off the effects of too much food, the promenade deck had a walkway of length 546 metres. Three times around was a mile (over 1.6 kilometres). The walkway was much wider than those we had seen previously on other ships.

The purpose of the cruise was to see the islands of Hawaii. Consequently, during the day, there was a lack of things to do on the ship if you arrived back early from a tour. There was only one port where tenders were required to take us ashore. We were impressed at how easy it was to get on and off the tender and how spacious they were compared to others we had been on.

We arranged to do a tour at each port we visited, six in all. We discovered Roberts Tours on an internet search. It turned out that they were the biggest tour operators in America in their green busses. We found them better priced than the tours organised through Norwegian Cruises Lines. In fact, by booking several tours through them as what they called “Combo Tours” we saved at least $100 each. Their service was excellent, always on time with great driver/guides who were able to go extra places when the time permitted. We found the guides very knowledgeable and didn’t talk too much. They gave clear instructions with regard to departure times and made good suggestions about food and so on.

Security was a very big issue. On returning to ship and pier, we had to show photo I. D. as well as our cruise card to even get on the pier or the tender or off the bus on returning from the tour.

The thing that surprised me the most about the islands on the cruise was the altitude that buses climbed without our realising that we were at a high altitude. I found I would look out the window of the bus and see an altitude sign like 2400 feet. We never seemed to be so high. It is not something you see in Australia. We, of course, took the tour to the highest volcano on the islands. It was reputed to be the highest on the earth because it is a mountain that rises from depths of the sea. It was over 10000 feet above sea level. Our bus was only able to take us to 9500 feet where we were able to see its huge crater and walk up to a minor peak some 400 metres. It was quite a demanding walk because of the lack of oxygen at that height.

We did see an active volcano. From the viewing platform, it was possible to see lava bubbling to the surface of the crater. Later that evening, the ship cruised past another lava flow. This was bigger and the lava was flowing into the sea. This was much more spectacular.

On the island tours, you see lots of coffee and macadamia plantations. On one plantation which had quite a variety of activities, we found pineapple ice cream. It is a pleasure not to be missed. The coffee plantations we visited allowed coffee tasting. We saw the famous surfing beaches where the Pro tournaments are held. Another spot we saw was the start and finish of the famous Hawaiian Iron Man triathlon.

All the islands were very green with very steep rugged mountains. There was wet and a dry side of each island with a great variation in rainfall. One side of each island tended to be the windy side with the other side protected from the wind by the high mountains. For us the weather was great. The only time we needed a jumper was on board the ship where the air conditioning was sometimes too cold.

Each island had a highway which circumnavigated the island, usually close to the beach. We found on our bus tours to get the best view you needed seats on the right hand side of the bus.

If you only going to visit Hawaii once in your lifetime, you must include the cruise as part of your holiday as well as Honolulu, Waikiki, Pearl Harbour and tour around the island from Honolulu.