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).

 

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.

 

Virtuoso® Reveals Preferences and Top Destinations for Upscale Travelers this Fall and Festive Season

August 19th, 2022

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Virtuoso® Reveals Preferences and Top Destinations for Upscale Travelers this Fall and Festive Season

Las Vegas (August 16, 2022) – Global luxury travel network Virtuoso® reveals when, where and how the affluent are traveling next. Respected as an industry-leading trend forecaster, Virtuoso gathered data and insights from its network of travel advisors, preferred partners and high net worth/ultra-high net worth clientele based on its data warehouse of more than $49.5 billion in transactions and an ongoing series of surveys. The results were shared at luxury travel’s leading event, the 34th annual Virtuoso Travel Week. Running August 13-19 in Las Vegas at Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, and Vdara Hotel & Spa, the event is recognized as the fashion week of travel, where the latest news and trends affecting the industry are unveiled.

While travel has felt, at times, uncertain during 2022, luxury travelers have led the way forward, even in the face of covid variants, travel restrictions, and overwhelmed airports. The pent-up demand that many of us felt during the last few years has resulted in a surge in flights and bookings, resulting in trends like revenge travel and hectic “Airmageddon” scenes at major airports around the world. It’s no wonder why this year’s summer vacation cost more than it did last year and even the years before that – travelers are ready to get back out there and spend, and not just to Europe but the broader world. Both inbound and outbound leisure travel sales are booming, in some cases surpassing 2019 levels, and booking windows have normalized back to pre-pandemic numbers (which explains why it’s so hard to find deals and discounts). Despite the challenges, it’s undeniable that the future is bright, with travel sales in 2023 pacing 47 percent higher than 2019.

An overview of the information is below, with complete findings here.

Travel Roars Back

- Upscale travelers are ready to resume their pre-pandemic travel lives and have consistently led the way, even during shaky times. In January 2022, 85 percent said they were in a ready-to-travel mindset and 86 percent planned to take an international trip. Fast forward to summer 2022, even airports overwhelmed with air traffic and lost baggage is no strong deterrent for getting back out there.

- When it comes to recovery, the spend for outbound leisure travel is expected to outpace actual travel (i.e., the volume of people on the ground). According to Tourism Economics, in some markets, like Australia, U.K., and France, the differential between the two is quite slim. For others, like Mexico, China, and Brazil, the spend is expected to return years ahead of the number of outbound travelers.

- Outbound leisure travel sales have shown a strong rebound, even in markets where borders only recently opened up. The U.S. has already outperformed 2019 numbers for 2022 by 122 percent, Australia by 113 percent and Canada – at 80 percent – is rapidly catching up. Globally, we have surpassed 2019 – travel’s high water mark – for outbound travel booked January-July at 102%.

- Hotel booking windows are much wider than they were in 2019. Now, the median window for domestic hotels is 58 days (compared to 2019’s 44) and 80 days for international hotels (compared to 60). This is good news for hotels, of course, but for travelers it means more difficulty finding deals and discounts.

- 76 percent of travelers have accepted a “new normal” (up from 35 percent in January 2022), with many travelers making peace with all the uncertainty and volatility. Now, the number of travelers who were put off by traveling in January 2022 has dropped by 26 points (from 38 percent to 12 percent).

- Future sales of travel in 2023 are pacing 47 percent higher than 2019—great news for cruising, which is leading the way with heavy bookings in 2023.

- According to Tourism Economics, global outbound leisure spending won’t fully bounce back until Q2 2024 exceeding 2019 levels by 21 percent by 2024. And from there, the numbers keep climbing, surging to 55 percent of 2019 levels by 2026.

- 74 percent of Virtuoso travelers say “creating a travel experience that best fits my expectations is more important than price,” with plans to increase their previous year’s spend of $20,700 per person by 34 percent to $27,800 in the next year

Who is Traveling, Where are They Headed, and Why Are They Going Now?

- How are people traveling? The most popular way is traveling with a spouse or significant other, followed by traveling with friends and family trips with kids under 18. While traveling with friends showed a slight decrease (from 46 percent in 2019 to 36 percent in 2022), it’s still the second-most popular form of travel.

- Solo travel is on the rise—but not in the way you might expect. Interestingly, among Virtuoso clients, the highest level of interest is coming from the 65+ age group, increasing from 4 percent in 2019 to 18 percent in 2022. Meanwhile, the interest among travelers ages 18-34 has dropped from 12 percent in 2019 to 6 percent in 2022.

- Younger, richer travelers are getting out there in a big way. The 18-34 age group averaged 2.2 more international trips in the past year than the 65+ age group and 1.3 more domestic trips. DIY travelers took about the same number of trips in the past year as Virtuoso-advised travelers, but the latter took longer trips, spending more nights in hotels, rentals, and cruises and skewed more toward international trips.

- 78 percent of travelers say they’re ready to travel now. For 87 percent of those polled, the dollar’s parity with the Euro plays a factor. And only 35 percent say that this summer’s air travel complications have caused them to cancel or postpone plans.

- The hottest global summer destinations? The United States, Italy, France, Canada, and Greece come out on top, followed by the U.K., Spain, Mexico, Ireland, and Switzerland.

- The U.S., Italy, France, Mexico, and Canada are among the top international destinations for September-December 2022. And hotel bookings for fall and festive travel (September 1 to January 15) made through July of this year are at 173 percent of where they were at the same point in 2019.

- While 45 percent of people say they’re ready to travel now or within the next 3 months, 38 percent say it will be 6-12 months before they do so.

- Disconnecting from the routine and stresses of home and connecting with new people, cultures, and ideas are primary reasons for travel in 2022.

- Purpose-driven travel remains paramount. Environmentally-friendly philosophies and practices and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage are top-of-mind concerns, especially among Gen Z and Millennials. And many are willing to pay more—56 percent of Gen Z and 46 percent of Millennials for eco-friendly tourism practices and 58 percent of Gen Z and 52 percent of Millennials for travel that preserves natural and cultural heritage.

Fall and Festive Travel

- When it comes to festive/holiday travel, many people are ready to make plans, even amid the uncertainty of traveling during a pandemic. In 2020, only 16 percent were comfortable planning and making adjustments later if need be, and now that’s up to 28 percent. And in 2020, people waiting to book until closer to their travel date was 22 percent; that’s now consistently down to 15 percent.

- In terms of the motive behind holiday travel, 71 percent will travel for vacation, while 21 percent will travel to see family and friends.

- Islands and beaches are topping travelers’ lists for holiday travel, followed by trips with a wellness component, an ocean cruise, and cities outside the U.S. 62 percent will travel to multiple destinations, while 38 percent will travel to a single destination. Notably, wellness-focused trips were the only category to see a year over year increase: 2021 (13 percent) versus 2022 (24 percent).

- Among the 18-34 age group, high-end travelers seek out (and are willing to pay more for) travel brands/experiences that focus on environmentally-friendly philosophies, those that contribute to local people and that also preserve natural and cultural heritage.

- Booking trends are indicative of a strong fall season during which volume will remain above 2019 levels.

- Across all countries: through July, hotel and in-destination leisure booking volume is at 157 percent of 2019 levels.

- While the United States still leads all countries by a significant margin in total hotel and on-site booking volume, Europe will continue to be a hugely popular regional destination market.

- Trips to the Caribbean islands seem to be gaining popularity through the rest of 2022 and into 2023.

# # #

About Virtuoso

Virtuoso® is the leading global travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,200 travel agency locations with more than 20,000 travel advisors in over 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with more than 2,200 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. Normalized annual sales of (U.S.) $25–$30 billion make Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

 

Media Contacts:

Misty Belles, Virtuoso – Vice President, Global Public Relations

+1.202.553.8817 / mbelles@virtuoso.com

 

Lauren Wintemberg

Alice Marshall Public Relations – Senior Account Director

+1.212.861.4031 / lauren@alicemarshall.com

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.

 

Ponant Unveils Le Ponant Following Complete Refit

July 25th, 2022

The reimagined three-masted sailing yacht will debut in August 2022

In August 2022, PONANT will debut the iconic three-masted sailing yacht Le Ponant following a complete refit by Jean-Philippe Nuel Studio. The 88-meter sailing yacht will relaunch in the Mediterranean with 10 departures and three new itineraries, followed by winter 2022-23 in the Seychelles and summer 2023 in western Australia’s Kimberley region.

With just 16 staterooms and suites accommodating a maximum of 32 guests, Le Ponant offers a 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio—making guests feel like they’re aboard a private yacht. Cabins are spread over three decks, each with large windows overlooking the sea, while the muted color palette lends an air of understated elegance.

An ode to art of slow travel, relax on the sun lounge looking up to the billowing white sails, order a drink from the outdoor bar, and enjoy organic dishes at the gastronomic dining destination Le Diamant. The wellness space offers Biologique Recherche treatments, and daily yoga sessions are held on the deck. With glass-bottomed kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, diving and snorkeling equipment, and a saltwater pool, there’s no shortage of activities.

Outfitted with the latest environmental innovations including a SCR filter system that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 90%, Le Ponantrepresents PONANT’s enduring commitment toward responsible tourism. Other sustainability-centered initiatives include non-motorized water-based activities, individual and small-group disembarkations only, an emphasis on local, organic products, and periods of sailing using just wind power.

The intimate-size vessel offers access to less-traveled sites and new ports of calls. Each journey is an immersion into the destination to learn about the local culture as well as connect with the vibrant flora and fauna in the Mediterranean, the Seychelles, and Australia’s Kimberley region throughout 2022 and 2023.

Summer 2022 in the Mediterranean

The first voyage will depart on August 14 with a seven-night itinerary along Croatia’s coastline, from Dubrovnik through the Bay of Kotor, then to the Adriatic islands of Mljet, Korčula, Vis, Hvar, Brač, Šipan, and Lopud. Activities include wine tasting, traditional sword dance performances, visits with local artists, diving excursions to World War II shipwrecks, and a tour of the oldest fishing port in the Adriatic. Prices start at $10,890 per person.

In August, Le Ponant will depart on a seven-day island-hopping journey around Greece. Beginning in Dubrovnik, the yacht will set sail toward the Ionian and Aegean Seas, stopping in the islands of Paxos, which is only available to smaller ships; Kefalonia, characterized by limestone cliffs and white sandy beaches; the fortified peninsula of Monemvasia, in the southeastern Peloponnese; and Kythnos, one of the region’s lesser-known islands with over 100 beaches. Prices start at $9,980 per person.

In September, Le Ponant will circle around Greece’s Cycladic islands on an eight-day itinerary beginning and ending in Athens. PONANT guests will enjoy unique access to exclusive ports of call on Tinos, Polyaigos, Folegandros, Monemvasia, Kythnos, and Spetses, due to the intimate size of Le Ponant. Prices start at $13,110 per person.

Please find all Summer 2022 departures linked here.

Winter 2022-23 in the Seychelles

New for this year is “The Seychelles Under the Trade Winds” itinerary, with 11 departures on Le Ponant during the 2022-2023 season. Sailing roundtrip from Mahé, the nine-night itinerary explores a new island each day, including two new ports of call for PONANT—the African Banks north of the Amirante Islands and Thérèse Island, both of which are uninhabited and will be available to PONANT guests for the day. An on-board expedition leader, a trio of naturalist guides, and a free dive instructor will be on hand to lead excursions and shine light on the spectacular flora and fauna of the Seychelles. Activities include scuba diving, free diving initiation, sunrise and sunset yoga, meditation, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and outings in glass-bottomed kayaks. Rates start from $10,890 per person.

Please find all Winter 2022-23 departures linked here.

Summer 2023 in Australia

In summer 2023, Le Ponant will set sail for Australia’s northwest with 26 departures to Kimberley’s coast, which is often referred to as the “Antarctica of the tropics.” The Kimberley is a vast, remote region with rushing waterfalls, white sandy beaches, dense mangrove forests, rugged sandstone gorges, and the largest population of migrating humpback whales on the planet. State-of-the-art Zodiac boats will enable guests to reach hard-to-access points, while an exclusive partnership with the prestigious Paspaley Group will offer private scenic flights onboard one of the brand’s vintage Grumman Mallard flying boats to whisk guests to or from their embarkation or disembarkation point. Guests can opt to explore the Northern or Southern Kimberley Coast, with rates starting at $12,930 per person.

Please find all Summer 2023 departures linked here.

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.

Renderings of Le Ponant linked here.

 

ampr march newsletter

March 6th, 2019

What’s New?

The Grand House

Shou Sugi Ban House is a new kind of wellness sanctuary offering three-, four-, and seven-night retreats focusing on transformation, healing, and an exploration of one’s self, and it’s opening this May in Water Mill. This is not a spartan retreat model; guests’ days comprise many forms of wellness ranging from beach hikes, reiki, spa treatments, sound healing, and meditation punctuated by gourmet cooking demonstrations (menus curated by Mads Refslund, formerly of lauded Noma restaurant in Copenhagen).

Nayara Tented Camp will open in Fall 2019 in Costa Rica. Each tent – designed by veteran luxury safari tent company Luxury Frontiers – will have a private plunge pool filled with naturally warm water from the nearby Arenal volcano’s hot springs, with open views of that volcano and surrounded by a sloth sanctuary.

Inspired by the anticipated live-action Lion King coming out this summer, andBeyond’s new itinerary lets kids live out their own adventures in hakuna matata style through the Masai Mara, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater.

The Grand House, a hybrid venture between a luxury hotel and a home rental service will debut in March 2019 with a portfolio of maisons particulières situated in central Rome. Additional properties in Florence and Milan are scheduled to open by 2020.

Napa Valley’s Louis M. Martini Winery will re-open in March 2019  following an extensive restoration of the historic space. One of the first wineries to open at the end of Prohibition, the new space will seamlessly integrate indoors and out and feature 30-foot-high glass walls with views into the barrel cellar.

The Kensington is getting guests into nearby Victoria & Albert Museum’s Christian Dior – Designer of Dreams exhibit with The House Of Kensington Experience, a new three-night package including a stay in a Signature Suite, two tickets to the exhibition (hard to come by due to the show’s popularity), and a round of exclusive Dior-inspired cocktails at the hotel’s K Bar.

With its announcement of the most popular spring travel destinations, global luxury travel network Virtuoso revealed that Americans are staying closer to home and seeking sun in Los Angeles, Miami, and Orlando. European destinations including Italy, France, and the UK remain popular while Switzerland, Greece, Morocco, and Japan are seeing the largest growth year-over-year.

The Falconry Vineyard Tour is a new tasting offering at Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa Valley. Guests interact with owls, hawks, and falcons and learn how to call birds to land on their arm. The experience concludes with a wine-tasting in the garden.

This summer, GoldenEye is introducing new guest experiences including yoga and guided meditation sessions that conclude with vibrational healing ‘sound bath’ using Tibetan singing bowls; as well as complimentary excursions to Firefly, Noel Coward’s hill home and rumored to be Captain Morgan’s lookout.

Families traveling with little ones can explore London with a helping hand from their very own Mary Poppins with The Kensington’s new Suite Nannies package. A nanny from the UK’s leading nanny agency will arrive each day equipped with her own carpet bag filled with toys and surprises.

Belmond British Pullman continues its celebrity chef pop-up dinner series including a July 20th event with Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and a zero-waste menu with Michelin-starred chef Merlin Labron-Johnson. Beloved British baker Mary Berry will kick of the series with two afternoon tea journeys May 3 and 4th.

CREST (Center for Responsible Travel) will hold its annual World Tourism Day forum on September 27, focusing this year on Impact Tourism.

 

Spring Forward

Daylight Saving Time starts March 10th – here are a few outdoor activities to take advantage of that extra hour of sunshine

Azimuth Rooftop Bar

Located in the heart of Manhattan, The Chatwal, New York offers complimentary Chatwal-red bicycles for the active traveler to explore the city, armed with a bespoke NYC Bike Map and a picnic dinner.

The Grand House will offer its guests the opportunity to fly an Agusta Westland 109 helicopter from Rome to Bolgheri Vineyards where Gelasio Gaetani d’Aragona Lovatelli, oenologist extraordinaire, will lead a private tour of the vineyards and cellars of Castello di Bolgheri and Argentiera. The tour ends with catching the sunset while flying over Monte Argentario on the way back to Rome.

Guests can enjoy the varied landscape in and around Viceroy Riviera Maya with horseback riding, ATV tours, cenote (sinkhole caves) tours, bird watching, and jungle hikes.

The Kensington’s Slice of the City tour, Snapshots of Kensington, brings guests to the most Instagram-worthy locations in the neighborhood. The local host will double as both a guide to the best photo ops and a personal photographer to help travelers get the shot.

La Réserve Geneva’s private and super chic Venetian Motoscafo boat gives guests the most stylish was to get to the city center – a 15 minute cruise across Lake Geneva.

Guests at Nantucket Island Resorts have complimentary access to Priority Bicycles to cruise the 30 miles of scenic flat bike trails on the island. Explorers are provided with a map of popular sites, including the oldest house on Nantucket –  built in 1686; Sankaty Lighthouse – located in the historic fishing village of ‘Sconset; and Cisco Brewery – known for their local beers and live music.

In downtown Napa, visitors can explore the Rail Arts District (RAD) – the 1.7-mile outdoor art gallery showcasing murals, sculptures, landscapes, and parks – beginning at Napa’s Oxbow District and continuing along the Napa Valley Vine Trail bike and pedestrian path and the Napa Valley Wine Train tracks.

Settle into one of the coral cocoon-shaped chairs at Azimuth rooftop bar at Alamanac Barcelona for a sunset cocktail while taking in the 360 views of the city.

 

Shaking Things Up

Instead of a cooking class, guests are learning from the experts how to craft local libations

Guaro Sour at Nayara Springs

andBeyond Bateleur Camp’s new gin bar gives a nod to the gin and tonic tradition dating back to colonial East Africa, when the classic choice for sundowners originated as a medicinal tipple to fend off malaria. With 16 different types of craft gin to pick from, guests can learn from the expert bartenders to create the perfect G&T with ingredients grown in the lodge’s organic vegetable garden.

The Bellini, Venice’s signature cocktail composed of peach juice and prosecco, was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Belmond Hotel Cipriani, in 1948. Today, guests can learn how to make them at the Gabbiano Bar with beloved bartender Walter Bolzonella, a protégé of Cipriani’s, who has been with the hotel for over 40 years.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort offers rum tastings led by the in-house rummelier who teaches guests about the island’s rum history including Sugar Beach – the property sits on a former sugar plantation that produced the key ingredient for 17th century rum makers.

No visit to Peru is complete without a Pisco Sour (or two), and guests of Belmond Hotel Monasterio can learn how to make the traditional cocktail with pisco lessons led by the resident barman. While tasting the different types of pisco, guests will learn the history and distillation techniques of the national drink before mastering their favorite variation.

Sidecar, the Art Deco cocktail bar at The Westbury in Dublin, recently launched mixology classes with their white dinner jacket-clad head bartender (who also happens to be Daniel Craig’s doppelgänger).

Resident mixologist at Nayara Springs, Karla Elizondo Castro, teaches guests a lesson in mixology the Costa Rican way – adorning cocktails with flowers and herbs from the on-property garden at this adults-only resort tucked in the rainforest. Her signature Guaro Sour (made with a local rum-style spirit) is garnished with Borraja and tarragon flowers.

Guests at Viceroy Riviera Maya can participate in a hands-on Artisanal Cocktail Coaching class at the beachside Coral Grill & Bar and learn how to make property favorites like the Xcalacoco Wish (made with a crème tequila liqueur).

Bartenders at The Christopher teach guests to make St. Barth’s potent Ti Punch with sugar, lime, and rum. 

 

Guests Get Involved

Environmental programming

andBeyond Vamizi

Travelers can join a six-day Oceans Without Borders Small Group Journey to andBeyond Vamizi Island to participate in fish tagging, measuring, and monitoring reef systems.

Guests of UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa are invited to become students again at MAMA Trancoso, an education initiative teaching the skills to identify environmental threats and the actions needed to combat these abuses. As part of the daily instruction, guests can collaborate with the small class of students on awareness campaigns and political activism through social media, short films, and community events.

Guests aboard PONANT can join beach clean up excursions in the Seychelles through the brand’s new partnership with the Aldabra Clean Up Project (with its goal of combatting plastic pollution and preserving the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles).

In 1997, Chris Blackwell of Island Outpost hotel established the Oracabessa Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on vocational training and environmental protection.  GoldenEye guests who donate $1,000 to the foundation can have a tree planted on property, joining the likes of Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, and Bill and Hilary Clinton.

andBeyond’s Phinda Impact Small Group Journey is a 7-day journey that combines wildlife conservation (with an experience like rhino notching or elephant collaring), interaction with the local community, and a day-in-the-life of an andBeyond ranger – from learning tracking to rifle training to sleeping out beneath the stars.

 

Calendar

April

March 26 – April 5, 2019: During Easter break, Sugar Beach offers a variety of children’s programing including tie-dye, chocolate making, boat tours, and an Easter egg hunt

April 2019The Dupont Circle completes the final stages of its multimillion-dollar renovation of the bar, restaurant, lobby, and suites

April 2019: Throughout April and early-May, The Woof Cottages at Nantucket Boast Basin will waive pet fees and provide a special dog-friendly turndown treat

April 2019: Napa Valley’s 8th annual Arts in April celebrates the region’s cultural offerings with more than 50 events taking place at wineries, museums and galleries throughout the month.

April 2, 2019: andBeyond’s first Endangered Eight Impact Journey departs to search for eight threatened species in India’s wildlife sanctuaries

April 15, 2019: PONANT’s newest vessel, Le Bougainville, departs on its inaugural sailing

April 18, 2019: The Wauwinet reopens following a multi-million-dollar renovation

April 20, 2019The Wauwinet will host the Easter Brunch Adult Egg Hunt where one lucky duck will find a golden egg with a surprise gift inside

April 20, 2019: Belmond Eagle Island Lodge hosts a performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra

April 26-28, 2019: The Nantucket Daffodil Festival Weekend honors the more than three million daffodils that bloom every spring on Nantucket. The Wauwinet will offer a Daffy Tailgate Lunch at TOPPERS and a Daffy Tailgate After Party.

April 28, 2019: Whether a London Marathon participant or spectator, The Doyle Collection’s trio of London hotels provide the perfect home base to enjoy the race

 

May

May 2019: Shou Sugi Ban House will open in Water Mill as a wellness haven offering multi-day programs.

May 3 and 4, 2019: Mary Berry will host two afternoon teas aboard Belmond British Pullman

May 5, 2019: Guests can celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Viceroy Riviera Maya with a Mayan Cuisine Class and learn to cook the indigenous fare of the Yucatan Peninsula.

May 11, 2019: andBeyond’s Bhutan Yoga Retreat departs to travel through Asia’s spiritual heartland and to achieve balance of mind, body, and soul with guided yoga and deep meditation

May 12, 2019: andBeyond’s Phinda Impact Journey embarks to explore South Africa through game drives, ranger training, sleeping out under the stars, and visiting the local community

May 18, 2019: Visit Robert Mondavi Winery for their Fume Blanc Release and Lobster Feed Party, set among the vines of the famous To Kalon Vineyard

May 21-25, 2019: The Chelsea Flower Show takes place in London, stay nearby at The Kensington to usher in the spring season

 

June

June 20-25, 2018: The 23rd annual Nantucket Film Festival

 

 

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