Tuesday, February 28, 2012

‘Pilgrims of Beauty: Art and Inspiration in 19th-Century Italy' at RISD-Museum of Art

With its lush landscape, storied history, and magnificent architecture and art collections, Italy has long served as a source of inspiration for artists—enthralling, in the 19th century, such masters as Ingres, Turner, Sargent, and Whistler. The Rhode Island School of Design-Museum of Art’s new exhibition, Pilgrims of Beauty: Art and Inspiration in 19th-Century Italy, offers a window into this remarkable period of experimentation and artistic collaboration with more than 60 works all drawn from the Museum’s collection. Pilgrims of Beauty is currently open and runs through July 8, 2012.

As the foremost study destination for 19th-century artists from across Europe and from the United States, Italy was an essential stop on any artist’s Grand Tour—and a cultural crossroads where generations of artists from Canova and Granet to Lear and Signac mingled under the Mediterranean sun and motivated each other to explore new styles and subjects. Featuring a stunning array of paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and jewelry, Pilgrims of Beauty celebrates the artistic styles and techniques that emerged during this period in one of the most beautiful and culturally rich lands in the world.

For more information, visit http://www.risdmuseum.org


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guyana will host 13th annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in April 2012

Guyana will host the 13th annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development on April 15-18, 2012.

Courtesy of CTO Tourism on YouTube

"This is the second time that Guyana will be hosting STC. Since its successful hosting of STC-4 in 2000 received rave reviews from delegates, Guyana has promised that STC-13 will top that accomplishment. STC-13 has been themed “Keeping the Right Balance: Sustaining Our Resources”. It will not only explore best practices relating to the issues surrounding how tourism sustainability and engaged communities can better interconnect with biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation initiatives, but will also bring new insight into advancements in evolving special interest tourism niches such as adventure tourism. STC-13 will also focus on agro and culinary tourism as well as how to market sustainable tourism products.  Additionally, it will  demonstrate using global and regional examples, how planning for better resource (e.g. water, energy, biodiversity) management in relation to critical tourism-related infrastructure can contribute to tourism sustainability and reduce the impacts of climate change." -- Caribbean Tourism Organization

For more on the upcoming conference, visit http://www.caribbeanstc.com


Club Med Says Farewell to Winter With Kids Stay Free Offer for Summer Travel

Club Med, the original all-inclusive resort company with more than 80 resorts worldwide, announces its five-day, exclusive FAREWELL TO WINTER SALE* from midnight Thursday, Feb. 23, through midnight Monday, Feb. 27, 2012. This limited time event offers the best savings for families with kids up to 15 years old vacationing for free and great rates for adults at premium beach resorts of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Ixtapa Pacific, Mexico and Sandpiper Bay, Florida. 7-night stays start from just $1,099 per adult, and are valid for travel April 22-July 7, 2012 -- just in time for a family escape during school summer breaks.

Club Med welcomes families with enhanced comforts such as deluxe family rooms, with separate sleeping areas and countless family-friendly amenities and activities. The children's programs invite little ones to participate and grow in programs specially designed for their age group. Activities include everything from junior tennis, golf and sailing to circus school, Le Petit Chef™ cooking lessons and Zumbatomic™.
Club Med also makes it exceedingly easy when traveling with a baby with the Baby Welcome Program. Highchairs, cribs, strollers, bottle warmers, bathtubs and much more are readily available upon arrival to ensure that both parents and their baby have a seamless vacation experience.

Experience the value of a Club Med all-inclusive escape where everything is included in one convenient price. Enjoy gourmet dining throughout the day prepared by international chefs, and a full open bar with premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Take part in an array of activities throughout the day, and enjoy nightly entertainment every evening.

To take advantage of the FAREWELL TO WINTER SALE, call 1- 800 CLUBMED or visit http://www.clubmed.us/last-minute-deals.

*One child per full paying adult. Maximum 2 free children 15 years old and under. Must be booked in same room only. A 3-night minimum stay is required. Offer does not include airfare and/or transfers and is only available for stays at the following Club Med resorts: Ixtapa Pacific, Mexico; Sandpiper Bay Florida and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic resorts. Valid for new individual bookings and must be booked between February 23 and February 27, 2012 for select travel dates between April 22 to July 14, 2012. Blackout dates may apply. Adult prices apply to all guests aged 16 and over in double occupancy. Promotion may be withdrawn at any time and is subject to capacity restrictions. Club Med membership fees of $60 per adult and $30 per child are additional. Other restrictions apply including brochure terms and cancellation/change fees. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sneak Peek of the New Royal Princess - Piazza and Atrium

Princess Cruises' President and CEO, Alan Buckelew, and Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations, Rai Caluori, take us on a virtual tour of the new Royal Princess Atrium. Coming in June of 2013, the new Royal Princess features an evolutionary design. http://www.princess.com/learn/ships/rp/index.html

Courtesy of Princess Cruises on YouTube

View more videos of Princess Cruises here. For a list of other cruise lines on YouTube, click here.

Check out inspiring cruise photos on http://pinterest.com/travelmedia/cruising


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Adventures in Aruba [Video]

Featured Tourism Video

Planning a trip to Aruba? Looking for adventure on land and sea?

Courtesy of Aruba Tourism on YouTube

"It's adventure like you never experienced before - white knuckling it to the conclusion of an exhilarating rock climb up a pot-marked limestone wall, having the sea breeze hit you full on in the face as you take the jet-ski to its top speed or going airborne as you catch the wind while kitesurfing. Excitement enthusiasts will revel in the challenge of steep hills and dashing downhill along rock-strewn paths taken during a mountain biking trip through Arikok Park or along the more civilized roads of downtown Oranjestad while sitting astride a Harley.

Under the brilliance of a constant sun, water provides the ultimate playground. An entire vacation can be filled with water adventures ranging from the breathtaking look at an underwater world while diving, surrounded by thriving reefs and marine life during a days adventure or in exploring underwater wrecks during a night dive.

Endless excitement is found in skimming the surface at top speed by banana boat, catamaran or holding on to the sail while windsurfing in Aruba's perfect conditions of sun, sea and fun." --Aruba Tourism Authority

For more information visit www.aruba.com, on Twitter, on Facebook


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bangor Maine Tourism CVB Joins ICTP Destination Alliance

The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) announced today that Bangor, Maine, USA, has become a member of its growing destination alliance.

Prof. Geoffrey Lipman, President of ICTP, said: “Bangor, Maine, is the home of the legendary Paul Bunyan, and is really a top heritage and nature destination with exactly the mindset of green growth and quality that we are building in the ICTP network. Once the ‘lumber capital’ of the world, they bring a strong conservation vision to our work.”

Bangor, the “Queen City” of Maine, is located on the western bank of the mighty Penobscot River. The proximity of the river made Bangor the “lumber capital of the world” for much of the 19th century. Bangor is the third-largest city in the state and the retail, cultural, and service center for central, eastern, and northern Maine, as well as Atlantic Canada.

Bangor has a rich and diverse historic and cultural landscape - Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln’s first Vice President, was born and lived there, and best-selling author, Stephen King, still resides in town. Bangor is also home to one of America’s oldest symphony orchestras and Maine’s only gaming facility. As the “Gateway to More of Maine,” Bangor is an easy drive to four of Maine’s most spectacular regions: Aroostook County, Down East&Acadia, The Maine Highlands, and Maine’s Mid-Coast. These regions offer visitors a chance to explore some of Maine’s most popular attractions. From whale watching to fly fishing, hiking, biking and kayaking, festivals and fairs, you get “More of Maine” in Bangor.

The Maine Highlands region encompasses the Greater Bangor region, Moosehead Lake, the Katahdin area, and everything in between. It is a land of superlatives, boasting the state’s highest mountain, longest river, largest freshwater lake (east of the Mississippi), the “Grand Canyon of Maine,” and the third largest city. Bangor is also 90 minutes from the Down East and Acadia tourism region, home to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. Within this region there are 24 lighthouses and many coastal villages offering some of Maine’s most spectacular coastlines and outdoor adventures.

“The Greater Bangor Convention&Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is very excited and looking forward to being a part of this grassroots organization, ICTP, which promotes ‘blue’ and ‘green’ destination opportunities; Bangor and the state of Maine are home to some of the most quintessential land and ocean recreational destinations in the nation. We, here at the GBCVB and within the state of Maine, are very devoted to quality customer service; the state even hosts a free quality service online training, available to anyone and everyone that comes in contact with a visitor or local alike. The area has some amazing sustainable eco-tourism adventures that we are looking forward to promoting with ICPT.”

For more information about Bangor, Maine, visit www.visitBangorMaine.com and www.TheMaineHighlands.com 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Visit Massachusetts: Northampton, MA [Video]

Out & About: Berkshires

Courtesy of Mass Vacation on YouTube

"Located in the foothills of the Berkshires, Northampton is a special blend of urban, rural, historic and contemporary, intellectual, artsy, athletic, and entrepreneurial energy. Often called the "Happy Valley", Northampton has something for everyone." --massvacation.com 

To plan your next trip, visit www.massvacation.com, on Facebook, on Twitter.


How To Cook Dominican Style: Marinated Mahi-Mahi Fish With Plantain in a Coconut Batter.

Island Cooking

Courtesy of Discover Dominica on YouTube


Destination Weddings in The Bahamas [Video]

With a wide range of locales spread across 16 island destinations, The Bahamas offer an endless array of options for the perfect destination wedding.

The Islands of The Bahamas on YouTube

Whether your dream is a traditional wedding with a tropical setting or an intimate beach ceremony with friends, you'll find something to fit your bridal style in The Bahamas and make that dream come true. To find out more about how to plan your wedding in The Bahamas, or to enter for your chance to win a dream destination wedding, visit http://www.facebook.com/TheBahamas. Also on the web at http://www.bahamas.com.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Aruba Tourism Authority Offers New England Patriots a Second Chance at Happiness

They may not have won the biggest football game of the year, but the New England Patriots can still find something to smile about this week on one happy island. The Aruba Tourism Authority is offering players the chance to touch down and score some happiness with all-expense paid trips to the tropical island known for its cheerful vibe. While only the MVP of the winning club has the opportunity to jet off to another well-known destination, Aruba is making the offer to the entire New England squad. 

"We want to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work, dedication and season-long success of the team, despite their loss," said Ronella Tjin Asjoe, CEO, Aruba Tourism Authority.  "We believe there is no better place to recover after a loss than Aruba.  After all, we are known as 'One Happy Island'."

Just a convenient flight from the East Coast, New England players who accept the offer can have their tired feet in the warm Aruban sand as early as Monday afternoon. With an idyllic setting and temperatures in the low 80s, Aruba is the perfect place to rest and recover. 

For more information on travel to Aruba, please visit www.aruba.com.


Escape Winter at The Boston Globe Travel Show on February 10-12, 2012

Dreaming of exotic locations and white sand beaches? Escape to The 2012 Boston Globe Travel Show on February 10-12, 2012, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. Mingle with over 20,000 people and explore exotic destinations at the three-day travel event. 

The Boston Globe Travel Show is more than just a trade show; it's a weekend destination for the entire family. More than 250 travel exhibitors and suppliers, representing every segment of the travel industry will be offering detailed information on trips to every region of the world. Attendees can win great giveaways, learn about new and exciting travel opportunities ranging from budget vacations to luxury escapes, vacation rentals and much more. 

Looking for expert advice on your next trip? Celebrated travel writers Arthur and Pauline Frommer will be on hand to tell you when to splurge and when to scrimp on your next vacation as well as highlighting new destinations for your consideration. Actor-turned-travel writer Andrew McCarthy will share his vision on the Transformative Power of Travel and how it can change your life. Patricia Schultz, international bestselling author of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, will showcase some of the most amazing must-see destinations, and Patrick Smith, author of the popular column Ask the Pilot, will discuss the myths and misconceptions surrounding air travel.

This year, the show will feature two stages of culinary demonstrations, hosted by the Phantom Gourmet. Local chefs and celebrated food writers will demonstrate recipes and offer tastings from some of their top destinations for cuisine.

Throughout the duration of the show, there will be a host of performances and demonstrations on the cultural stage. These will include:
  • U.S. Virgin Islands Carnival in Boston – The U.S. Virgin Islands mocko jumbies will take to the stage to show the crowd their awe-inspiring stunts while dancing to live steel pan music. And JetBlue Getaways and USVI will celebrate new direct flights with a chance to win airfare for two from Boston to St. Thomas.
  • Celebrate Carnival in Aruba – Flamboyantly-dressed dancers and live Aruban music will help you experience a taste of Carnival, one of the biggest parties of the year.
  • Wild Things: Live! – Animal educators from SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will introduce you to exotic animals from penguins to pythons while sharing entertaining conservation information.
  • Fly Irish. Dance Irish - Presented by Aer Lingus – Join Ireland’s Airline for a presentation including the lively music and quick foot movements of Irish step dancing.
  • Jamaican Reggae Dance Contest – Jamaica Tourist Board and JAMX Band introduce Boston to the fun reggae music of Jamaica, after which it will be time to limber up those muscles for a public reggae dance contest. The winner will take home a 3-night all-inclusive land package for 2 people to a SuperClubs Resort property.
  • Salsa Time! Presented by the Puerto Rico Tourism Board – Watch with awe as Salsa dancers exhibit grace and style, heating up the stage with amazing moves. Then join them on stage for a quick lesson.
The 2012 Boston Globe Travel Show will be open to the public from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 10; from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 11; and from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. 

Tickets for the show are $10 and are available at the show or in advance at www.bostonglobetravelshow.com. Children 18 and under are admitted free of charge.

All photos courtesy of The Boston Globe Travel Show 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Opera House Cup Wooden Sailboat Regatta, August 19, 2012

The Opera House Cup Regatta is a cherished tradition, held on the third Sunday of August on Nantucket. The Opera House Cup Regatta was the first all-wooden, single-hulled classic boat regatta on the East Coast, and it attracts some of the finest sailboats in the country.

Courtesy of Nantucket Sailing on YouTube
Some great highlights of the 2010 Regatta

For more information on the event, visit www.nantucketcommunitysailing.org, Facebook, Twitter.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vermont (Retro 1950s video narrated by Lowell Thomas)

This video is brought to you by the Vermont Department of Tourism. Cooperating Organizations Include: Vermont Historical Society, Vermont Development Commission, Vermont State Archives & Records Administration.

Courtesy of Vermont Tourism on YouTube

Planning a trip to Vermont? Visit www.vermontvacation.com


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel Ranked No. 1 for "Room Completely Clean 2011"

The Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel, located on 5 Avenue of the Arts, has been ranked No. 1 in the Marriott Renaissance portfolio for Room Completely Clean 2011. The Housekeeping Department, also known as the Style Team, received the most positive votes on Marriott’s Guest Satisfaction Surveys last year.

Marriott Guest Satisfaction Surveys are sent via e-mail to hotel guests chosen at random immediately after their departure. Guests can express their overall level of satisfaction with the hotel service and appearance and the results are delivered to hotel associates to help improve upon deficiencies or celebrate improvement.

The Providence hotel team also ranked within the Top 10 in 15 different categories in the Marriott Guest Satisfaction Surveys. Categories in which the Renaissance Providence ranked highly in include; attractive and inviting hallways, warm and hospitable environment, responsiveness to the guest, club lounge overall experience and meeting quality of service.

“I’m very proud of our ambassadors here at the Renaissance Providence Downtown,” said Angelo De Peri, General Manager of the hotel. “They take extensive pride in their work and make every guests experience unique and exquisite. I’d like to congratulate them on a job well done.”

The Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel was recently named the No. 1 Best Hotel in Providence by U.S. News & World Report for 2012.

To learn more about the hotel or to book a stay, visit http://www.hotelsdowntownprovidence.com. Facebook.com/RenaissanceProvidence; On Twitter @RenaissanceRI.


Adventures With EcoQuest Adventures & Tours in Puerto Rico [Video]

Courtesy of EcoQuest on YouTube

EcoQuest specializes in organizing adventures and tours to interesting and exciting destinations in Puerto Rico. Their excursions include zipling, rappelling, hiking and kayaking. Accompanied by knowledgeable and friendly tour guides, you will explore, hike trek and climb through clear, cascading waterfalls and lush terrain. The San Salvador Rainforest in the Caguas mountains is brimming with an abundance of colorful flora and rock formations. 

EcoQuest strives to promote the ecotourism and conservation of the island's natural wonders. The tour operator is endorsed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

Visit ecoquestpr.com


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sweet Retreat Guesthouse and Sugarworks in Vermont Completes Construction of An Authentic Reproduction Conestoga Covered Wagon

Ray and Hannah Morvan, owners of Sweet Retreat Guesthouse and Sugarworks in Vermont, recently completed a five year project to construct an authentic reproduction Conestoga Covered Wagon built by Vermont craftsmen. Vermont farm stay guests can see the wagon and the teams of Brown Swiss show oxen who pull it, as well as Vermont maple syrup being made when staying in the private guesthouse on the 400-acre property. 

Intrigued by early American history and the challenges of building an authentic reproduction Conestoga Covered Wagon, Ray Morvan, Sr., owner of Heritage Ox Farm and Sweet Retreat Guesthouse and Sugarworks in Northfield, VT, started researching wagon designs five years ago. His wagon, completed in 2011, is based on an original Conestoga Wagon housed in Shelburne Museum’s collection in Shelburne, Vermont, and on blueprints he obtained from England. 

Used by pioneer families for more than 100 years to transport freight into unknown territories of the west, Covered Conestoga Wagons were first built in 1750 in the Conestoga Valley of Pennsylvania. Pulled by 6 to 8 oxen or horses, the body of the wagon was painted blue and red and built with deep sides. The front and back ends were slanted to keep the contents from spilling out when traveling on steep terrain, and the white canvas covers, stretched over 8-12 wooden bows, protected the rider and contents from storms and heat and provided privacy. 

Morvan’s goal was to build a wagon that could be pulled by his two teams of Brown Swiss show oxen: Joker, Ace, Jack and King. The oxen, some of the largest in New England weighing between 2500-3100 pounds apiece, are trained as a two- or four-hitch to pull the Conestoga Covered Wagon, as well as an ox cart and a double-seater sleigh.

Morvan commissioned local craftsmen to build the wagon from ash harvested from his 400-acre property. A four-year project, the body of the wagon is 16 feet long and 32 feet from tongue to tail and the massive iron wheels measure 47” in the front and 60” in the back. The bows that hold the white canvas canopy are also made from ash trees that were milled to the correct size, steamed and bent. The irons, an important part of the overall design of the wagon, were hand-forged locally to include the tool box hardware, hound plates, axe carriers, and stay chains.

Ray and Hannah Morvan are equipped to have their Brown Swiss oxen, harnessed in Amish-made black leather nickel studded britching and extra wide yokes, pull the Conestoga Wagon at fairs, parades and events around Vermont. On their farm, they offer ox-drawn wagon rides in an ox cart seating up to 4 people, and during the winter in a double-seated sleigh also accommodating 4 passengers. 

For more information on the Conestoga Wagon, Brown Swiss oxen and their maple sugaring operation, or to make a reservation to stay in the private guesthouse on the property, contact Ray and Hannah Morvan at 802-485-8525 or visit http://www.sweetretreat-vermont.com 



Diving in Grenada: Carriacou [Video]

 Courtesy of Grenada Tourism Board on YouTube