Courtesy of The Brando
The world is full of amazing destinations, amazing accommodations and amazing experiences that come along with them, by land and by sea. Here are 7 of my favorites:
A little like Hawaii 50 years ago (except no crowds and many more modern conveniences). A bit like Tahiti except much more affordable. A big slice of paradise. Yet largely undiscovered by North American travelers.
This would be the Cook Islands.
15 beautiful and lush islands make up this Polynesian archipelago, with stunning white sand beaches, volcanic peaks, turquoise lagoons, beautiful coral reefs, laid back lifestyle and some of the friendliest, if not the friendliest, people in the world.
The islands remain unspoiled, with no chain restaurants and no buildings higher than the tallest coconut tree! In fact, that's the law.
How can you go wrong?
When you are looking to explore unique and intimate ports of call, look no further than small ship cruises. With under 600 passengers, ships are small enough to sail into areas that big ships can't even dream of. But don't be fooled - small ships offer big and unforgettable experiences. Here are eight destinations that have caught our attention.
Photo courtesy of Star Clipper Cruises
I was first "introduced" to the Marquesas Islands back in 2002 during one of the first seasons of Survivor. I use introduced lightly as it was on TV, and on a reality show to boot. It is highly unlikely that I will ever experience these islands the same way, but the beautiful scenes left a lasting impression on me.
A destination on many a bucket list are the islands of the South Pacific. The Cook Islands, Fiji, Tahiti - all ultimate dream vacations of a lifetime. Beautiful islands, crystal blue waters, above and below water adventures, relaxation, and of course romance!
I have been fortunate to visit Tahiti, and I must admit, it truly is a dreamy place. All that and then some!
Beyond the sheer beauty of the islands, here are some fun facts about Tahiti:
Looking for "Fun In The Sun" on a cruise getaway but want something different, more unique, than a big ship experience? A small ship cruise, and more specifically a sail ship experience, might just be the ticket.
Imagine gliding through beautiful turquoise waters, sails billowing in the wind. Leave behind the crowds, explore small enchanting ports, walk on white sandy beaches, swim in crystal clear lagoons, play with water toys from the sports deck.
Sound intriguing? Have I piqued your interest? Read on!
It's "Shark Week" again on the Discovery Channel! I can't say I watch all the shows. With titles like "Jaws of the Deep", "Air Jaws: Night Stalker", "Shark Bait" and "Deadliest Sharks", not sure how well I'd sleep after watching one of these episodes. But the intrigue is certainly there.
I do watch some, though, because I am fascinated by these creatures. Someday I'll check off that bucket list item of swimming with them. I got this idea in my head while in Tahiti a few years ago. The islands offer some fantastic opportunities to dive with sharks - black tipped reef sharks, lemon sharks - the "friendly" ones, mind you. Not like the big guy above.
It's a few days into 2016 and it's time to start planning your next adventures (if you haven't already started). So many ideas, so many places to explore and experience - the list is long!
By no means an inclusive list, check out these 52 inspirations to get your inner explorer "jump started".
Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder