Archive for October, 2009

Specials now offered by Lindblad Expeditions

October 14, 2009

Lindblad Expeditions is a unique company with niche itineraries that are perfect for those who want to explore nature up close. They use small vessels and employ knowledgeable individuals concerned about protecting the enviornment while interacting and learning about our world and its creatures. Check out select specials/itineraries for the upcoming season.

Land Of The Ice Bears: An In-Depth Exploration Of Arctic Svalbard/ 11 days

Limited time offers of up to 15% may be available on select 2010 departures. We specialize in small ship expeditions, so our cabin inventory is limited.

A remote archipelago situated just over 350 miles north of Norway’s North Cape, Svalbard is a place of deep fjords, mountains and massive sheets of ice. During summer, when the sun never sets, the tundra experiences a warm awakening. It is carpeted with wildflowers. Ice-peppered fjords ring with the thunderous sound of glacial ice crashing to the sea. Walrus raise their sleepy heads to observe us. And everyone holds their breath as a polar bear is spotted and cameras click wildly. Experience nature in its purest form in the High Arctic.

This is as far north as it is possible to travel without an icebreaker, and you’ll experience the legendary midnight sun. With our fully stabilized ice-class expedition ship, we are able to probe the ice in search of wildlife. This voyage is undertaken in the spirit of discovery. Nature is full of wonderful surprises and we are guided by her. Our pace is unhurried and our options are many, so the day-by-day itinerary below is a thoughtfully considered framework based on our long experience in this region.

Day 1 U.S./Fly Overnight to Oslo
Day 2 Oslo, Norway/Continental Hotel
Day 3 Oslo/Longyearbyen/Embark Ship
Day 4-9 Exploring Svalbard
Day 10 Longyearbyen/Disembark/Oslo
Day 11 Oslo/U.S.

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Galapagos Aboard National Geographic Endeavour/10 days

Limited time offers of up to 25% may be available on select 2009/2010 departures. We specialize in small ship expeditions, so our cabin inventory is limited.

Located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands provide a natural habitat for some of the world’s most interesting and unusual animals. Only in Galápagos will you come face to face with wildlife that has never developed a fear of people.

With an expedition to the Land of Darwin, you have the opportunity to study blue-footed boobies performing a courtship “dance”, snorkel with playful sea lions, watch a male frigatebird ballooning his crimson chest pouch to attract a female, kneel beside marine iguanas, and marvel at Galápagos penguins.

Our Galápagos vacation features nimble Zodiacs and kayaks that take us to the volcanic shores and pristine beaches of Galápagos, and an undersea program utilizes underwater video, glass-bottom boat and hydrophone that bring seldom seen or heard worlds to life. Every expedition in Galápagos is led by a team of five Naturalists, (including an Underwater Specialist), a videographer, and Expedition Leader, providing a multitude of resources for a rich and unmatched understanding of all that you’ll see.

Day 1 U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador
Day 2 Guayaquil/Galápagos/Baltra/Embark Ship
Day 3 Floreana
Day 4 Isabela and Fernandina
Day 5-6 Santa Cruz
Day 6-7 Bartolome and Santiago
Day 8 Espanola
Day 9 Baltra/Disembark Ship/Guayaquil
Day 10 Guayaquil/Home

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$500 air credit + take $250 off select dates and itineraries call for details restrictions apply.

The Pacific coasts of Panama and Costa Rica are surely among the world’s most beautiful and diverse. Here, you find mountains, tropical rain forest and dozens of idyllic, offshore islands. The wildlife is as diverse as the landscape. Join us to explore the coastal regions of neighboring countries for an intriguing blend of nature — plus a transit of the legendary Panama Canal — aboard National Geographic Sea Lion. Walk rain forest trails, home to capuchin and howler monkeys, three-toed sloths, iguanas and hummingbirds. Snorkel at Panama’s famed Isla Coiba. Kayak along wildlife-rich coastlines.

Day 1 Miami/Panama City, Panama/Colon/ Embark Ship
Day 2 Gatun Lake/Panama Canal Transit
Day 3 Gulf of Panama Islets
Day 4 Isla Coiba National Park
Day 5 Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Day 6 Osa Peninsula
Day 7 Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 8 Herradura/Disembark/San Jose/Miami

Lindblad Expeditions–tells us why

October 14, 2009

— you should travel with us

Venturing to the ends of the earth takes experience – and Lindblad Expeditions has more than 50 years’ experience turning vacationers into active and engaged explorers. Come aboard and discover a world of adventure travel you never knew existed.

National Geographic partnership. This collaboration in exploration between two like-minded organizations provides research, technology and conservation for extraordinary travel experiences you simply cannot find anywhere else.

Engaging Experts. Our Naturalists and Historians are true experts in their fields. And they, along with our National Geographic guest experts, are always available for questions and casual conversation.

Everything is included. Unless it is an item of a personal nature or special arrangements (e.g. flightseeing over glaciers), everything you need to have a perfectly complete experience is included with your expedition.

Innovation and tools for exploration. Our ships are equipped with kayaks and Zodiacs to take you into wild places safely, and utilize underwater video and audio technology that will bring the seldom seen or hear to vivid life.

Expeditions, not tours. Whether it’s on or off the beaten track, we bring adventure to travel by taking small groups to special places for distinctive and exclusive encounters with nature.

Flexibility, spontaneity and freedom. Our thoughtfully crafted itineraries are built to include those often magical opportunities to experience nature’s unplanned events.

Fine food and accommodations. Skillfully prepared and presented regional cuisine, comfortable quarters and our wellness program make pleasure a significant part of the expedition experience.

Insider access. Thanks to our long history of exploration we are able to provide insider and many times exclusive access to some of the world’s most interesting places and people.

Relaxed and informal atmosphere. Casual clothes and a matching attitude are our hallmarks: no need to dress up, and many opportunities for fun, adventure and laughter.

Respect for our world. We travel in an environmentally responsible manner. And, we donate funds, time and resources, often in partnership with local organizations and our guests, to protect or restore the world’s wild places.

Iberostar Grand Bavaro

October 1, 2009

Recently I participated in a weekend whirl of resort visits. We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Bavaro. This resort is located in the Iberostar complex in Punta Cana. The location of the resort is very near the airport. This makes for an easy transfer after the flight over. You can be at the pool in less than 2 hrs after landing, clearing customs and gathering luggage.

The resort has been built on a truly grand scale. The interior has a modern 50’s-70’s feel with a European classic theme thrown in. It definitely makes a statement when you walk in. There is sleek furniture in the lobby, lounge area and reception. Lots of cool chairs to sit back and have an evening cocktail. The lobby bar is conveniently located to all the seating and they have excellent bar service. You will walk out onto a series of wooden walk ways that lead you to the pool area and lagoons surround the entire entrance of the buildings. Iberostar always makes use of water in their designs and never fail to make a statement with the use of waterfalls and lagoons. Very pretty.

Surrounding the pool area are the a le carte restaurants, international buffet and a few sundry shops. Next to the dining strip is a huge sailing vessel that sits in the lagoon and has been designed to serve as a disco and bar for evening entertainment. Very unique.

The pool is a freeform structure with wonderful chaise lounges and what was really nice, were the cabanas complete with plush cushions and drapery for those that want shade or privacy. Pool bar service extends to out to the seating area and servers are available to take cocktail orders during the day. There is also a wonderful swim up bar if you want to be near the action!

There are no words to describe the beach here. Punta Cana has gorgeous beaches and the water is crystal blue and clear with gently rolling waves. What else can be said? Read this in January when we are frozen!

The food was tasty, although in all honesty, the buffet portion was not what I have seen at other resorts. It was small and not very many options. This could be due to low occupancy at this time of the year. Let’s face it, the economy has hit all of us hard and the resorts are trying to compensate by not wasting and making determinations according to the amount of guests they have. Perfectly logical since you wouldn’t cook for 40 if only 10 are coming. The employees were willing to assist in a pleasant and cordial manner.

The rooms are impeccable! There have a beautiful chaise lounge and desk area for additional seating other than the bed. The bed is king size with lush European styled bedding. They have a pillow menu available. 24hour room service with a personal butler for each room! The minibar has a very nice display of glassware and is refilled every day with snacks and bar items, as well as bottled water. All you have to do is ask. There is a very nice sized closet with iron and board, as well as robes and slippers. Electronics include a plasma TV as well as an IPod dock station. Colors are welcoming and soothing in creams and light greens.

There is a full marble bath with Jacuzzi tub surrounded by glass that looks out into the gardens. For privacy they have installed electric shades! The balcony has a beautiful sofa and chairs if you wish to eat out. Very nice size and comfortable.

They sure have put alot of money and thought into this resort. As adult only guests of this property you can share with the sister resorts next door, the Bavaro, Dominicana and Punta Cana. Golf carts are always available to drive you over. There is a nice size Caribbean street with shopping and another disco if you want to have a change of scenery. You may also eat at any of the restaurants located at the other resorts at any time. Evening entertainment is also available in the complex.

So, there is alot to do here. Perfect for destination weddings for those that have families, they can stay at the Iberostar complex and you can stay at the Grand adults only and have your wedding on the beautiful beach and everyone is accommodated and happy!

Iberostars have a wonderful product and always deliver.

You can view all the pictures of this resort on our Facebook page.