NEW SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS AND PONANT EXPEDITION: A ‘SYMPHONY ON THE ST. LAWRENCE’ FROM QUEBEC TO THE CANADIAN MARITIMES, OCTOBER 16-30, 2023 Featuring Keith Lockhart, Conductor of the Boston Pops

November 9th, 2022

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 2, 2022) ¾ Smithsonian Journeys is collaborating with PONANT on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Each of the 21 itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

Among the new sailings is the “Symphony on the St. Lawrence,” a 15-day journey from Quebec to the Canadian Maritimes aboard Le Bellot, featuring the Conductor of the Boston Pops, Keith Lockhart, and performances by internationally renowned musicians including pianist Jihye Chang, cellist Alistair MacRae, soprano Allison Pohl, violist Scott Rawls, and violinists Wendy Rawls and Benjamin Sung. Maritime historian Eric Roorda will also be on board to lead engaging discussions about the scenic St. Lawrence waterway and UNESCO-recognized landmarks like Lunenberg, Nova Scotia.

The journey begins in Toronto, Canada’s largest and most dynamic city, which sits on Lake Ontario — the smallest of the five Great Lakes of North America and a gateway to the Saint Lawrence River. The first of four calls in Quebec is Montreal, a cosmopolitan metropolis with a UNESCO-recognized Old Town, the largest outdoor market in North America, and the iconic hill of Mount Royal. From there, it’s on to the capital of the French-speaking province, Quebec City, where narrow cobblestone streets, impressive ramparts and fortifications, and one of Canada’s grandest hotels – the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac — set the scene for Old World romance. At the mouth of the Saguenay River is Tadoussac, the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in Canada and a prime destination for whale watching (including Humpbacks and Belugas). After a day at sea, Le Bellot will arrive at Percé, one of the most beautiful villages in Quebec, which sits at the top of the Gaspé Peninsula and is a gateway to the UNESCO Global Geopark of Bonaventure Island.

On the eighth day of the trip, guests will arrive at the colonial seaport of Charlottetown, on Prince Edward Island, home to the world-famous Anne of Green Gables House, the Prince Edward Island National Park, and the mighty Confederation Bridge, the world’s longest bridge spanning ice-covered water. The next stop in the Maritimes is Cap-aux-Meules, in the Magdalen Islands, which has rich Acadian history and traditions and stunning sandstone cliffs that rise above the Atlantic.

Nova Scotia is next, offering three historical towns for discovery. Charming Baddeck on Cape Breton Island is the point of departure and arrival of the famous Cabot Trail as well as the home of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, dedicated to the life of the inventor. Louisbourg boasts the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, a living museum that recreates 18th-century life through the reconstruction of the formerly thriving settlement. And Lunenburg, whose Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a colorful fishing village and a cradle of Maritime culture.

A day at sea brings Le Bellot to Eastport, Maine, a historic seaside town where guests can explore the Tides Institute & Museum of Art, representing the largest and most significant cultural collection along the eastern coast of Maine. The epic journey ends in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a postcard-perfect seaside town that’s long captivated artists including Rudyard Kipling and Edward Hopper.

Rates start at $13,160 per person, based on double occupancy

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com  or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

 

NEW PONANT AND SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS EXPEDITION: A CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF SICILY, April 14-22, 2024

November 9th, 2022

PONANT is collaborating with Smithsonian Journeys on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023 and 2024. Each of the itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

Among the new sailings is a nine-day circumnavigation of Sicily on Le Champlain, April 14-22, 2024.  Departing from Valletta, the capital of Malta, the itinerary includes visits to well-preserved Greek ruins, impressive Norman cathedrals, active volcanoes, and a handful of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, giving travelers a sense of these country’s ancient civilizations and cultural riches. On-board discussions by Smithsonian Journeys Experts will complement the excursions, adding important context and illuminating perspectives.

Like Sicily, Malta has also been ruled by various civilizations throughout history, making the destination a fascinating jumping-off point. From Valletta, Le Champlain will make its way to the smaller Maltese island of Gozo to see the megalithic temples of Ġgantija and an adjoining archaeological museum, plus red-sand beaches and a crystal-clear sea. Then it’s on to the southwestern coast of Sicily, home to the seaside commune of Porto Empedocle and the UNESCO-recognized Temple Valley, an archaeological site with temples dedicated to Zeus and other mythological gods. Rounding the western tip of the island, the ship will arrive in Trapani for an excursion into the countryside, the ancient Doric temple of Segesta, and the medieval hilltop commune of Erice. From there, it’s on to Palermo, the capital of Sicily, and one of Europe’s most vibrant and up-and-coming cities, where Byzantine mosaics and baroque churches exist alongside chic artisan studios and trendy restaurants. There, activities range from a tour of the Capella Palatina, a Byzantine-Arab-Norman structure with dazzling mosaics and magnificent inlaid marble floors and walls, or a drive to nearby Monreale to explore its famed Norman cathedral.

Just north of Sicily is Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian islands, characterized by lava stone quarries, a dramatic coastline, and a castle within a fortified citadel. After a visit here, travelers will sail north to Stromboli, taking in panoramic vistas of the active volcano, before crossing through the Strait of Messina to arrive at Taormina, the so-called St. Tropez of Sicily. There, visit a winery on the slopes of Mount Etna — the largest active volcano in Europe— or tour Taormina town with its historic Greek Theater which looks out to the dazzling coastline.

The final port of call is Syracuse, colonized by the Greeks in the 8th century B.C. and one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world, where guests will visit the Roman Amphitheater of Augustus and the 15,000-seat Greek theater.

Rates start at $6,500 per person.

Image Link: https://we.tl/t-2iaiFlPZie

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

 

 

EYOS Announces New Heli-skiing Expedition with U.S. Olympian Bode Miller

October 6th, 2022

No longer is heli-skiing offered exclusively at prominent ski resorts and backcountry lodges. Now, EYOS is elevating the thrilling sport to new heights by offering heli-skiing expeditions to the farthest reaches of the polar regions—from the towering fjords of Greenland, the unclimbed summits of Antarctica, and the mountains in Crete, Greece.

On April 23-30, 2023, US Olympic alpine ski racer Bode Miller will join EYOS on a “slope-to-sea” heli-skiing adventure in Greenland aboard the MV Nansen Explorer (seven nights €60,000 per cabin / per week all inclusive). Travelers can book individual cabins on the yacht, making the exclusive voyage more accessible than ever before.

Miller is the most decorated male alpine skier in U.S. history, and the only skier with five or more victories in four different disciplines: giant slalom, combined, super-G, and downhill. He will be joined by ski guide and two-time World Extreme Skiing Champion Chris Davenport and polar guide Doug Stoup, who’s skied the seven continents, been to the South Pole 18 times, and pioneered skiing in Antarctica.

Says Ben Lyons, CEO of EYOS: “The opportunity now to have Bode, Chris, and Doug onboard makes for an unbelievable combination.”

Originally designed as an Arctic research vessel, the 12-guest MV Nansen Explorer is specifically equipped for polar waters, with an ice-strengthened hull and a commercially certified heli deck that makes for the ideal launch pad for heli-skiing adventures. Because of the vessel’s ice-breaking power, it’s possible to reach Greenland in time for early spring, weeks before other vessels.

“The highlight of our expeditions to Greenland is being in true wilderness so early in the season. The ice has just opened up, the landscape is still white. We’re the only yacht up here—and as well as the amazing skiing, snowboarding, and landscapes—we pretty much have the whole place to ourselves,” says Tim Soper, co-founder of EYOS.

The expedition will take adventure lovers to the island of Maniitsoq on the western coast of Greenland, widely considered one of the most remote places in the world to heli-ski, where it’s possible to ski from slope to sea. The ship will cover 150 miles beyond the Arctic Circle to Disko Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the largest icebergs in the world. Days will be filled with deep powder runs—some stretching more than a mile—on the narrow fjords down to the water’s edge. Bode Miller, Chris Davenport, Doug Stoup and EYOS’ expert team of internationally certified mountain guides will guide guests as they navigate crevasses and knife-edge ridge tops, helping them find the best runs for their level.

When guests aren’t skiing the glaciated landscape—80 percent of which has never been skied before—they’ll have the chance to interact with the local Greenlanders and fishermen, as well as try their hand at sled dog excursions and visit colorful small towns.

About EYOS

Founded in 2008, EYOS is the world leader in private superyacht expeditions charters. Specializing in bespoke itineraries that take travelers to the most remote and culturally rich parts of the world, EYOS operates across all seven continents. They hold several world records and world ‘firsts,’ such as the furthest south that any vessel has ever reached in history, and the first commercial expedition to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean seen by fewer humans than the International Space Station. In 2019, EYOS pioneered the first ever “single cabin” departures allowing travelers to book individual cabins on a superyacht. All journeys are guided by a team of experts with decades of experience.

EYOS: Winter 2023 Newsletter

October 5th, 2022

Updates from the World Leader in Super Yacht Expedition Charters

Summer may be coming to an end, but the world-class expedition team at EYOS is already looking ahead to upcoming adventures. On the horizon: “slope-to-sea” heli-skiing charters in Greenland, a “single cabin” photography expedition to Antarctica, and an unforgettable voyage through Arctic Svalbard complete with glacier hiking experiences. But first, our top tips for chartering a private yacht, below.

How to Charter a Yacht: Everything You Need to Know

Charting a yacht allows for unrivaled freedom, privacy, and flexibility — it’s no wonder it’s the preferred mode of travel among the world’s most discerning explorers. Before you set off on your high-seas vacation, however, it’s important to determine your needs, priorities, and expectations. One of the most critical decisions is choosing your yachting destination. Whether you’re interested in touring the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, Australia’s under-the-radar Kimberley region, or the magnificent Northwest Passage, EYOS Expedition Leaders will help you narrow your search based on what you’re looking to see, local weather conditions, and availability. (It’s for this reason that you’ll book far in advance, especially if you’re looking to travel over holiday periods like peak summer or Christmas and New Year.) If you’re particularly interested in a specific area of study or focus – say, geology, history, botany, or ornithology—you’ll want to make it known to the world-class expedition leaders at EYOS well ahead of time.  Not only does having an expert staff ensure your safety and peace of mind, it’s also an essential for expanding your knowledge of a destination and making the most of your trip.

As you start planning your dream getaway, you’ll also need to decide on an exact head count – that way, you can start mapping out your budget and picking a vessel that suits your needs, size, and preferences. EYOS offers expeditions on 20+ vessels, of varying sizes, operational requirements, and cabin configurations. Whether a polar icebreaker, dive support vessel, luxurious yacht, or nimble sailing craft, the EYOS team will help you determine the best yacht for your purposes and preferred duration. Aquijo, for instance, has circumnavigated the globe as the largest high performance ketch in the world, seamlessly blending exploration with a “home-away-from-home” interior design and accommodations, including a private owner’s terrace with 270-degree views, a beach club and jacuzzi, and room for up to 12 guests. Meanwhile, the Hanse Explorer is a “go-anywhere” expedition yacht that is just as suited to exploring the remote corners of Papua New Guinea as pushing through Antarctic brash ice. Lastly,

Antarctica by Private Yacht: A New Way to Experience the Continent

As an increasing number of travelers venture to Antarctica, savvier explorers are choosing to discover the continent by private yacht. Doing so allows for a more personalized and intimate journey, with an emphasis placed on ticking off the sights and experiences that offer the greatest thrills and up-close-and-personal access—to the wildlife, the pristine landscapes, and the spectacular ice formations. Expeditions might take place aboard the newly refitted, seven-cabin MV Nansen Explorer. Bridging the gap between a super yacht and an expedition vessel, she’s outfitted with an Ice-1A class hall that enables her to venture deeper into the ice pack, to polar regions other yachts rarely reach, including south of the Antarctic Circle. Passengers also have access to kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, diving equipment, and two zodiacs for exploring the frost-bitten landscapes up close. Onboard, there is a fully equipped gym and a dining room where a rotating menu of Michelin-worthy cuisine is served, plus Scandinavian-style cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the scenery.

From February 6-17, 2023, a photography-themed expedition will take place aboard the MV Nansen Explorer, hosted by renowned polar photographers Daisy Gilardini (winner of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Ambassador for Greenpeace) and Audun Lie Dahl (winner of the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year). Solo travelers can book single cabins on the yacht, making the exclusive voyage more accessible than ever before. The itinerary is designed to be longer than most other Peninsula sailings, giving ample opportunity to reach the Weddell Sea in the north and, weather permitting, Marguerite Bay, just south of the Antarctic Circle (and seldomly reached by ships). Throughout the journey, Gilardini and Dahl will give guests tips and tricks for making the polar landscapes come alive through their lenses. (Prices from €55,000 per cabin.)

Arctic Spring and Summer 2023 Update

Looking ahead to next spring, EYOS will launch dedicated heli-skiing charters in Greenland aboard the MV Nansen Explorer. Offered in late April and early May, the expedition will take adventure lovers to the island of Maniitsoq on the western coast of Greenland, widely considered one of the most remote places in the world to heli-ski, where it’s possible to ski from slope to sea. The ship will cover 150 miles beyond the Arctic Circle to Disko Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the largest icebergs in the world. Days will be filled with deep powder runs—some stretching more than a mile—on the narrow fjords down to the water’s edge.  The MV Nansen Exploreris equipped with an expansive heli-deck allowing for easy exploration. (Seven nights €;295,000 per week all inclusive.)

Next summer, EYOS will relaunch itineraries in the Arctic on the recently redesigned Hanse Explorer. Fresh off a multimillion-dollar redesign, the seven-cabin vessel features a rugged, steel-hulled exterior with the highest commercial ice classification. Bespoke journeys in the region might include cruising through iceberg-covered fjords, hiking on glaciers, and cruising through pack ice in search of white whales, polar bears, and walruses. The long days of the Arctic summer are the ideal time to discover the region, bringing about intense wildlife activity and changing landscapes with beautiful colors and contrasts.

While the Arctic region is vast, the world-class expedition leaders and polar naturalists at EYOS can recommend a range of itineraries and activities. On a seven-night journey through Arctic Svalbard, for example, guests will spend five days cruising around Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago just 600 miles from the North Pole, comprising nine main islands and home to around 3,000 animals. Activities depend on weather and sea-ice conditions but may include sailing through the narrow Hinlopen Strait; visiting a Dutch whaling station and other historical sites on Danskøya and Amsterdamøa Islands; and taking a Zodiac through the majestic Monaco Glacier, a favorite spot for polar bears (travelers may even go ashore for a hike on the glacier).

 

The Pound Drops to a Record Low Against the Dollar

September 26th, 2022

…and other reasons to book a trip to the UK right now

 

This morning every news outlet was splashing out the fact that the Great British Pound is at a record low against the US Dollar. Not long ago, the pound was generally hovering around two USD, but today it $1.07 USD to GBP. Even though the UK is always popular (consistently in the top 10 of popular destinations for luxury travelers, as tracked by Virtuoso, the leading global network specializing in luxury and experiential travel), here are some suggestions of where and why to head across the pond!

 

LONDON

London is so lovely in the fall, and without Thanksgiving, their holiday décor and celebration tends to start a bit earlier.

 

Frieze

Frieze London is October 12-16 and will bring together over 280 galleries from 42 countries, with specially curated sections celebrating the city’s creative spirit. The Frieze at The Bloomsbury package includes accommodation for 2 people, full English breakfast for two, and two tickets to FRIEZE London.

 

City & Country with Belmond

Experience both the bustle of London and the serenity of Oxfordshire, starting with two nights at The Cadogan, a stylish retreat in the heart of Chelsea. The hotel has a rich history and is perfectly positioned for some luxury shopping, visiting museums and nights at the theatre. Then journey to Oxfordshire in style and experience the rural beauty of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a honey-hued manor nestled in lush gardens (and home to Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin-starred restaurant).

o   Guests at The Cadogan also have exclusive access to Gladwell & Patterson, a family-run art gallery in stylish Knightsbridge. Full of fine oil paintings, watercolors and sculptures by leading artists, it’s an oasis of calm and culture dating back to 1752 (and was frequently visited by Vincent Van Gogh).

 

Stay in a sculpture

The Beaumont’s ROOM is both a sculpture by artist Antony Gormley and a bookable suite. The bedroom occupies the interior of a giant, semi-abstract sculpture that dominates the entrance of the hotel. The mysterious, cave-like space encourages guests to withdraw for a meditative pause and good night’s sleep.

o   With the Stay and Dine offer, guests can book an overnight stay at The Beaumont and treat themselves to a Colony Grill Room lunch or dinner for two from £865 (Per room, per night, including Full English Breakfast, three-course lunch or dinner in The Colony and taxes – this rate is for a regular room, not the ROOM sculpture).

 

Around the World in 80 Days

The Kensington hotel just introduced a the ‘80 Days Around The World’ Afternoon Tea experience, the first in a series of adventurous seasonal teas at the hotel, drawing inspiration from the worldly travels of Phileas Fogg – the protagonist in Jules Verne’s 1872 novel “Around the World in Eighty Days.” This new tea celebrates his journey through a menu of savory amuse-bouche, sandwiches, desserts and scones. Available from September 26 (and with gluten-free and vegan options) the first leg of the journey will whisk guests to cities across Europe and into the Middle East. The menu starts in London, represented by a classic beef pie with a puff pastry top, travels onward to mainland Europe with a Parmesan Gougere filled with tomato cream, then onto Ta’ameya (falafel) with tahini oil – a Cairo streetfood classic. Traditional sandwiches follow, with a menu comprising London’s much-loved lemon and chive cream cheese with smoked salmon, Parisian mustard mayo with ham and pickled gherkin, Italian sundried tomatoes with green pesto and mozzarella and Egyptian cumin houmous with caramelised onions sandwiches. Fresh fruit, plain scones served with seasonal homemade jams, and clotted cream will also be on offer. Continuing to take guests on a journey across the globe, highlight desserts include Banoffee Pie, French Opera Mont Blanc, Italian Tiramisu and Egyptian Raspberry, Rose and Pistachio Twirl dessert.

 

 

SCOTLAND

The Fife Arms in Braemar, 15-minute drive from Balmoral Castle, is excited to announce the inaugural Braemar Literary Festival (October 7-9) that will bring together locals, hotel guests and literary lovers alike. The festival is being held in collaboration with The Royal Reading Room. Inspired by the reading list of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, the digital hub launched in 2021 to connect communities around the world to celebrate all forms of literature. Braemar Literary Festival is co-curated by actor and broadcaster Genevieve Gaunt, who has penned book reviews for The Spectator, the oldest surviving weekly magazine in the world. Additional supporters of the event include the British food writer and critic Tom Parker Bowles, St. Margaret’s performance, arts and heritage venue in Braemar, and local cultural partners. The two-day event will explore the creative use of words and text in their broadest sense, celebrating the works of bestselling authors alongside visual artists, spoken word performers, singer-songwriters, scriptwriters, critics and publishers alike, reflecting the many ways in which the ’literary’ creatively enhances our lives. Highlights from the weekend will include: a three-course dinner by Michelin-starred Angela Hartnett who was awarded an OBE (most excellent order of the British empire) for her services to hospitality and to the NHS (National Health Service) during the pandemic; as well as intimate conversations with Dave Broom, a Scottish whiskey expert and writer; Vicki Perrin, director of the Royal Reading Room; Dr. Frank Tallis, a writer and clinical psychologist; and Sam Leith, literary director of The Spectator.

EYOS Partners With Ocean Conservation Exploration and Education Foundation (OCEEF)

September 22nd, 2022

September 22, 2022 – Two of the world’s leaders in ocean exploration have joined forces to push the boundaries of underwater conservation and research and embark on critical citizen science missions to the farthest reaches of the planet. EYOS, the authority in private superyacht expeditions, has partnered with Ocean Conservation Exploration and Education Foundation (OCEEF), a 501(c)(3) organization to educate the world about the ocean through immersive, data-collecting missions aboard OCEEF’s five-star research yacht, RV Odyssey. The advanced vessel will circumnavigate the world with missions in Antarctica, the Chagos Archipelago, the Galapagos and other remote destinations, where they will explore aquatic ecosystems teeming with biodiversity alongside top scientists, explorers, students, and educators.

Committed to field research and scientific inquiry, EYOS and OCEEF share a mission to leverage exploration as a way of driving greater awareness about the Earth’s oceans. EYOS Founding Partner Rob McCallum says, “Working with OCEEF in this way is a natural complement to EYOS’ last few years leading and managing the Five Deeps and Ring of Fire expeditions that dove the Challenger Deep and previously unseen deepsea environments. Odyssey represents the new frontier of expedition travel, mixing cutting edge science, with adventure travel and expedition cruising. The opportunity and potential for further discovery with this vessel’s program is immense, and it will be tremendously exciting for all those fortunate enough to be onboard.”

EYOS founders Rob McCallum & Tim Soper have been at the forefront of deep ocean exploration and combining science with private travel for decades, and the company holds several world records and has been instrumental in numerous scientific discoveries. On the exclusive missions aboard the RV Odyssey, EYOS will provide logistical support and expedition leadership, empowering guests to fully take part in this most innovative opportunity in superyacht travel.

Alex Moukas, Founder of OCEEF, adds, “We are very excited to be partnering with EYOS in such a meaningful way. OCEEF’s goal is to provide world-class scientists free access to the vessel and help them design impactful missions. EYOS can help match the scientists and locations with Ocean and Expedition enthusiasts that make these incredible missions possible. We are looking forward to continuing to bring passionate citizen scientists unmatched experiences on and below the world’s oceans.”

RV Odyssey (formerly the MV Alucia) is also a pioneer in underwater exploration in its own right. She launched the French submersible Nautile on the first dives on the Titanic in 1987; participated in the successful search for the black box of Air France flight 447; supported the first filming of the giant squid in the wild with former owner OceanX; and hosted David Attenborough among other luminaries in science and conservation. EYOS founders McCallum and Soper were instrumental in her design and build during the vessel’s four-year conversion from RV Nadir to MV Alucia. McCallum says, “When her conversion was complete in 2011, she was the world’s first hybrid ship outfitted with multiple submersibles, hangared helicopters, world class SCUBA facilities, ocean mapping, and multiple science laboratories. She was one of the most capable expedition yachts afloat– and her current mission with OCEEF is exactly what we had in mind for her all those years ago.” Today, she can accommodate a helicopter, and is equipped with two Triton submersibles, one of which can dive to a depth of 7,500 feet.

Through cutting-edge technology like gamified ocean-learning experiences, OCEEF’s RV Odyssey will engage with millions of children and young adults as it circumnavigates the globe. Empowering the next generation of ocean explorers and conservationists, students will join scientists in an immersive undersea experience as they discover new species, learn the importance of ocean conservation, and share their findings in real time with participants around the world.

Over the next year, the RV Odyssey will embark on a series of first-of-its-kind missions, offering an exclusive 360-degree adventure that will help drive education and a better understanding of our oceans.  These immersive adventures include studying mesophotic coral reef ecosystems in the Chagos Archipelago, seeking the killer whales that attack great white sharks off the coast of Cape Town, documenting hydrothermal vents on Antarctica’s Deception Island, participating in threatened species recovery studies in the Galapagos, and journeying around the Mediterranean—from Sardinia and Sicily to Crete and Santorini—and discover ancient Roman and Greek triremes (triple-decker warships).

OCEEF invites travelers to support its missions in Antarctica this winter season by traveling aboard RV Odyssey for the most exclusive experience possible – a firsthand look at the very research participants are helping support. With a tax-deductible donation of $150,000, donors and their friends or family members can be invited onboard the RV Odyssey and join the crew of scientists, expedition leaders, and students to experience life onboard.

As RV Odyssey is classified as a research vessel, in cooperation with researchers on-board and local communities, OCEEF is able to get Special Research Permits and conduct operations in unique locations that are typically closed to all other visitors.

100% of the proceeds go to supporting the research and educational mission of OCEEF– whether searching for the Colossal Squid in the deepest parts of the Antarctic or analyzing hydrothermal vents on Antarctica’s most active volcano. In addition, OCEEF supports ongoing scientific studies and scholarships for local communities and students – ensuring a long-lasting impact on the future of ocean conservation.

For more information on OCEEF or to make a donation, please visit https://www.oceef.org/.

About EYOS

Founded in 2008, EYOS is the world leader in private superyacht expeditions charters. Specializing in bespoke itineraries that take travelers to the most remote and culturally rich parts of the world, EYOS operates across all seven continents. They hold several world records and world ‘firsts,’ such as the furthest south that any vessel has ever reached in history, and the first commercial expedition to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. In 2019, EYOS pioneered the first ever “single cabin” departures allowing travelers to book individual cabins on a superyacht. All journeys are guided by a team of experts with decades of experience.

About Ocean Conservation Exploration and Education Foundation (OCEEF)

OCEEF aim to help shape a world where people appreciate the importance of the Ocean and take action to protect it and ensure its sustainability. The Foundation is taking one of the most capable Oceanographic vessels around the world to educate the world about the Ocean and help develop practical ways to save it by educating a new generation of ocean stewards. OCEEF leverages technology to change hearts, transform minds, and advance awareness about ocean conservation and research.

 

Unique Perks of the Suite Life – From Private Speed Boats to Unlimited Champagne

August 19th, 2022

Extra-Special Suites

Many travelers, especially those traveling with their families or for business, opt to splurge on a suite for extra room to spread out. But added space isn’t the only reason to upgrade your digs. In some cases, reserving a suite unlocks special perks like private guides, access to your own speedboat, free-flowing champagne, and VIP dining experiences—not to mention bragging rights. From a designer suite on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to the world’s largest overwater villa, here are 5 suites worth the expense.

andBeyond Phinda Mountain lodge Family Suite

Designed to provide the right balance of privacy and together-time, the Family Suite at andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge is cleverly laid out to help you make the most of your group safari getaway. A central living room connects the two wings of the suite, each of which have bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms and outdoor showers, and interleading children’s rooms. A private veranda off the shared lounge offers panoramic views of the surrounding bush (keep your eyes peeled for the Big Five) and connects directly to the lodge pool.  But that’s not all — book the Family Suite and you’ll get your own dedicated private guide and vehicle for exploring the lodge’s 70,560 acres of protected wildlife land, where wildlife like cheetah, black rhino, and nyala roam.

Images Courtesy of andBeyond: https://we.tl/t-cBqthjvYwU

The Marylebone

Get the royal treatment in London by booking the lavish Marylebone Suite. Offering 860 square feet of living space, it’s like owning your own stylish pied-a-terre in the heart of the city, steps from Hyde Park and Manchester Square. The best place to take in the views is the suite’s Scandi-style terrace, complete with a retractable roof and blinds, plush sofas, a fireplace and TV. Or relax inside, where a Julian Chichester dining table, a marble bathroom and whirlpool bath, freshly cut flowers, and complimentary selection of alcoholic and soft drinks will make you feel right at home. Other perks of booking the chic suite include VIP airport pick-up (London City & Heathrow only, one way), in-suite check-in, and access to a dedicated guest liaison who can hook you up with dinner reservations, in-room meals, or anything else you should need.

Images Courtesy of The Doyle Collection: https://we.tl/t-TjR2QQfRr0

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train

In June 2023, eight new suites will be unveiled aboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train. Two original 1920s and 30s carriages, accommodating just four suites on each car, will be carefully restored, their design inspired by pastoral European landscapes and featuring plush fabrics and furnishings from renowned brands and makers like Majorelle, Dufrene, Leleu, Rousseau, and Lalique.  The La Forêt Suites will evoke Germany’s Black Forest, while the La Campagne Suites will be adorned with rich velvet greens and intricate flower marquetry in homage to Northern Italy’s rolling pastures and vineyards. Les Montagnes Suites will mirror the mountainous peaks of Austria’s Arblerg massig, and Les Lacs Suites will reflect the serene beauty of the likes of Lake Zug in Switzerland and Lake Como in Italy. The suites are portals to the golden day of train travel, with luxuries like private marble ensuite bathrooms and lounging areas that transform into either double or twin beds by night. Additional amenities might include personal 24-hour cabin stewards, complimentary kimonos and slippers, and free-flowing champagne. Cheers!

Images Courtesy of Belmond: https://we.tl/t-XGDz3pabSI

Gili Private Reserve

A Robinson Crusoe fantasy come to life, the Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi is the world’s largest overwater villa, stretching across the Indian Ocean in multi-level tiers. Guests spend their days lounging by the infinity-edge pool and in the overwater catamaran nets; working out in the air-conditioned gym; pampering themselves with treatments at the private couples’ spa (complete with a steam room and indoor/outdoor treatment rooms); and sliding down the top-deck waterslide into turquoise waters. Running late on dinner reservations? Luckily guests of Gili Private Reserve have access to their own speed boat, which they can use to travel around the resort or farther afield. By night, enjoy movie screenings at the private cinema, and retire in the guestrooms (of which there are two en suite master bedrooms and a guest suite), which have doors that open to the breathtaking scenery. Other perks of the Private Reserve include a fully equipped kitchen and the option to curate your own wine selection from the 400-label cellar.

Images Courtesy of Gili Lankanfushi: https://we.tl/t-yvZQxT8FTJ

Master Casita at Paradero Todos Santos

Guests of Paradero’s indulgent Master Casita can do as much (or as little) as they want, enjoying access to all the resort’s immersive experience from energizing morning yoga, and taco tours, to farming tutorials, cliffside champagne tastings, and sunset walks. No matter what activities they partake in, guests will come back to the ultimate hideaway in Todos Santos: spread over three floors and designed to feel like a luxurious home away from home, the Master Casita comes with a kitchenette, a spacious dining room, and a plunge pool and suspended “star net” with 360-degree views of the mountains, the Las Palmas Beach, and the La Mesa farming fields. Like all of Paradero’s suites, the Master Casita embraces triangular geometries—a sacred symbol of the Mayan culture–to promote a sense of balance and wellbeing.

Images Courtesy of Paradero Todos Santos: https://we.tl/t-8k9RYFxaLW

 

New Ponant and Smithsonian Journeys Expedition From Indonesia to Australia, Timed to Solar Eclipse April 9-24, 2023

August 16th, 2022

PONANT is collaborating with Smithsonian Journeys on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Each of the 21 itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journey Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

Among the new sailings is a 16-day sailing to eastern Indonesia, East Timor, and the Kimberley region of Australia, timed to the total eclipse of the sun that will take place on April 20, 2023—one of only five total solar eclipses remaining worldwide this decade. Smithsonian Journey Experts, Associate Director of Science at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Alex Young and Australian-American historian Craig Benjamin, will guide guests’ viewing of this spectacular three-plus hour cosmic event and other trip programming. Rates start at $20,480 per person.

Setting sail from Bali, the trip begins with two days of swimming, snorkeling, and sightings of mythical Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park, followed by two days discovering the cultural and natural wonders of East Timor—from soaking up the Portuguese heritage and arts and crafts scene of the capital, Dili, to discovering the small villages that line the east coast of Baucau. A highlight is exploring the Coral Triangle and its abundant coral reefs.

After crossing the Timor Sea, guests will arrive in Wyndham, the northernmost township of Western Australia and the gateway to the Kimberley region. Often referred to as the “Antarctica of the tropics,” the Kimberley is a vast, remote region larger than 75 percent of the world’s countries, with rushing waterfalls, white sandy beaches, dense mangrove forests, rugged sandstone gorges, and the largest population of migrating humpback whales on the planet. Your first three days will include Zodiac tours of King George River (including the 260-foot-high King George Twin Falls) and viewings of aboriginal Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock art of Swift Bay. Other options include cruising the Ord River, flying over the Bungle Bungle mountains, and exploring the El Questro outback station, one of the world’s last remaining frontiers.

From there, Le Lapérouse will sail back into the Timor Sea to stage herself in an advantageous position for viewing the solar eclipse, which will take place from late morning to early afternoon on April 20, with an approximate period of totality of just over one minute.

Following the spectacular cosmic event, the journey continues with three more days in the Kimberley region, beginning with the landscapes of Collier Bay, where tidal ranges exceeding 45 feet have created dramatic landscapes and natural phenomena, like the Montgomery Reef, the world’s largest in-shore reef system. At the southern end of the Bay is the world’s only “Horizontal Falls,” described by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest wonders of the natural world,” where tidal movements create a waterfall effect between narrow gorges. On the second-to-last day, you’ll head to the Lacepede Islands, a rich breeding habitat for Green Turtles, Brown Boobies, Lesser Frigatebirds, and other species. Guided zodiac tours will offer close-up views of the wildlife and the four sand islands.  The trip concludes in Broome, on the far north coast of Western Australia.

About PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company explores the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

 

New 2023 PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys Expedition in Panama and Costa Rica

August 9th, 2022

NEW PONANT AND SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS EXPEDITION IN PANAMA AND COSTA RICA, FEBRUARY 11-FEBRUARY 18, 2023

 

PONANT is collaborating with Smithsonian Journeys on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Each of the 21 itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journey Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

 

Among the new sailings is an eight-day cruise aboard Le Bellot to Panama and Costa Rica. The immersive journey will combine a crossing of the Panama Canal, snorkeling and swimming on the beautiful Holandes Cayes, excursions in the Darién and Manuel Antonio National Parks, and encounters with local Indigenous communities—plus a specially arranged visit to the Punta Culebra Nature Center at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), an open-air museum dedicated to tropical science and conservation. Back on the ship, expect inspiring talks and informative events led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts, including climate leader Steve Paton, who has spent his career monitoring the climate and oceans of the tropics.

 

After setting off from Colón, Panama’s colorful port city, Le Bellot will journey to the San Blas archipelago, made up of more than 300 islands and home to approximately 40,000 members of the Kuna community, one of the most powerful Indigenous groups in the Western Hemisphere. From there, you’ll cross the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal, the world’s most important waterway, before exploring the capital’s atmospheric Old Quarter, the Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo, and the Punta Culebra Nature Center at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). There, staff will share the latest research related to marine science and guests will observe rare species up close.

 

Next, you’ll sail to the Darién National Park, set in the wildest and most remote part of Panama. The UNESCO World Heritage site is a natural playground of sandy beaches, rocky coasts, mangroves, and tropical forests, as well as the home of the Emberá Amerindian community. Guests will visit their tropical village, admiring beautiful local crafts and enjoying traditional songs and dances.

 

The last stretch of the trip takes place in Costa Rica, starting in the spectacular Manuel Antonio National Park, a tropical reserve known for its variety of wildlife like sloths, howler monkeys, and toucans. Then Le Bellot will make her way to Puerto Caldera, the point of disembarkation, a gateway to the magnificent Arenal Volcano.

 

Rates start at $6,030 per person.

 

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

 

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

 

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

 

5 Favorite Indulgent Accommodations Around the Globe

August 2nd, 2022

A room with a view is always nice. But the world’s most indulgent accommodations go beyond sweeping vistas to offer sumptuous interiors, next-level service, and a dash of the unexpected—from a romantic open-air treehouse in Kruger National Park to a butler-serviced private riad in Marrakech complete with lavish rooftop terrace and home cinema. Take a peek inside:

Grand Riad at Royal Mansour

A four-bedroom oasis spread across three floors, this “medina within a medina” offers palatial-style design, private butler service, and a terracotta roof terrace inlaid with mosaics and offering sweeping views of the Atlas Mountain. Interiors are a vision of stucco lace, heavy drapery, Murano chandeliers, and a riotous mix of colorful wallpaper and precious stones. The ground floor opens onto a private garden with a retractable roof, while a cast iron elevator whisks you to the floors above, where each of the bedrooms has dressing rooms and private bathrooms. Other spaces include a dining room with billiards, a library for artful lounging, a neoclassical-style dining room, and the roof terrace with a plunge pool, Bedouin tent, and hammam.

Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi

A Robinson Crusoe fantasy come to life, the Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi is the world’s largest overwater villa, stretching across the Indian Ocean in multi-level tiers. Guests spend their days lounging by the infinity-edge pool and in the overwater catamaran nets; working out in the air-conditioned gym; pampering themselves with treatments at the private couples’ spa (complete with a steam room and indoor/outdoor treatment rooms); and sliding down the top-deck waterslide into turquoise waters. By night, enjoy movie screenings at the private cinema, and retire in the guestrooms (of which there are two en suite master bedrooms and a guest suite), which have doors that open to the breathtaking scenery. Other perks of the Private Reserve include a fully-equipped kitchen and the option to curate your own wine selection from the 400-label cellar.

Ian Fleming Villa at GoldenEye

Situated within the GoldenEye resort, this villa is tucked away in a private garden, where it’s hidden by tall trees and tropical foliage. It’s here that acclaimed British novelist Ian Fleming wrote all 14 James Bond books, inspired by the lush scenery and the three-bedroom villa he designed to his own specifications. A dedicated butler is on hand to make your every wish a reality, while a chef can whip up Jamaican specialties and martinis (shaken, never stirred) to be enjoyed in outdoor settings like a sunken garden or on the private beach, where there’s a grill built into the side of a rocky cliff. Each of the villa’s three bedrooms has its own tropical garden area with a clawfoot tub and a garden shower, setting the scene for relaxation en plein air. There are also two private stand-alone one-bedroom cottages on site for larger groups or families.

Producer Suite at The Chatwal New York

Guests of the Producer Suite will feel they’ve traveled back in time to New York’s heyday. Designed by French architect Thierry Despont, the expansive suite harks back to the city’s Art Deco past with its bold colors, geometric shapes, and a spiral staircase that spans two floors, leading to a panoramic roof terrace with views spanning over west 44th street and Manhattan’s skyline. Stretch out on a lounger enjoying the vistas of the city’s most iconic landmarks, and order room service for the ultimate New York power lunch. Butler services ensures you won’t have to lift a finger.

andBeyond Ngala Treehouse

It’s impossible not to feel a sense of child-like wonder as you sleep under the stars at the Ngala Treehouse, surrounded by the wilds of Kruger National Park. The four-floor treehouse offers the ultimate thrill—of being one with nature—while drifting off to the sights and sounds of the forest, far from the distraction of civilization. Enjoy sundowner drinks and a starlit dinner picnic on the upper deck, then retire to the elevated sleep-out platform for sleeping outdoors under a retractable screen (there’s also a covered and weatherproof space should you want to move indoors). And just because you’re off the grid doesn’t mean you have to go without the conveniences of a hot shower or a flushing toilet. Talk about the best of both worlds!

 

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