Whether well-traveled or just beginning to travel, you may be ready for something beyond the ordinary. Here are a few ideas that may inspire your planning.
Sicily is growing in popularity as a destination. As a cruise port of call it is a favorite, but for a longer stay the island of Sicily has much to offer with its Italian and Greek influences. Palermo and Taormina are the most noted ports of call, but a longer visit is an enjoyable variation to see more recommend sampling other regions of the island with day trips and time for a relaxing beach holiday.
Villa stays are an especially enjoyable way to experience Sicily, traveling with friends and family, with accommodations for just a couple or up to 24 people. Hillside villas offer views that movies are made from. Being close to small village towns brings a chance to sample the Sicilian character, with its sights, culture, scenery, and of course its exceptional food traditions. Private tours with English speaking guides can be pre-arranged. Help with restaurant reservations in Sicilian restaurants with delicious dishes are available as are hotel stays with comfortable rooms overlooking sweeping coastlines or views of famous Mount Etna.
In recent years, tourism in Iceland has greatly increased. A trip to this Land of the Midnight Sun has much to add to a Northern European itinerary. Our specialty office in Iceland is great at helping with unique experiences. Northern cruise routes are including Reykjavik, the capital, as a port of call in combination with fjord cruising itineraries. By land or sea, Iceland may not be what you expect. The climate is temperate year round, with four distinct seasons. The Northern Lights, Mother Nature's light show bringing brilliant colorful skies, begins in the fall, along with art and music festivals. Nature provides its own attractions for all. Outdoor activities are numerous: hiking, fishing, river rafting, horse trekking, whale-watching, skiing, and snowmobiling. Iceland is noted for its rugged scenery, unique lava field formations, glaciers, waterfalls, flowers, and hot springs. Be sure to bring a camera! Geothermal springs host visitors for warm water swimming year round, highlighted by the famous Blue Lagoon swim on New Year’s and year round.
Reykjavik offers a variety of hotels, from luxury class to more moderate categories. Our Ensemble affiliation offers travelers top-rated hotels with special amenities in Reykjavik and other cities. Warm welcomes are numerous, as Iceland is noted for its friendly people, vibrant nightlife, and culinary adventures from fine dining to cafes and bistros.
Combining a cruise with something out of the ordinary appeals to frequent cruisers who are looking for something different. Perhaps you haven't taken a river cruise – the fastest growing segment in cruising. These all-inclusive vacations can be designed to add a pre or post-departure stay in any number of interesting and relaxing locations. Say, for example, you are joining a river cruise in France. You may choose to add an extension to your cruise with a stay in a preferred hotel in Paris.
Arrangements can be pre-planned for private tours with your interests in mind, for touring that is out of the ordinary: cultural, religious, fashion, or even cooking classes. Private and unique experiences can also be designed for extended city stays worldwide. In Rome, for example, I like the private tour of the Sistine Chapel after hours.
There are numerous ways to make your trip extra special or simply just relaxing.