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Showing posts from September, 2017

Post-Hurricane Update

Post-Hurricane UpdateBy Damien Martin

The toll taken by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean has been devastating. In addition to the lives lost and billions of dollars worth of damage, the storms have disrupted tourism, the chief industry for just about every Caribbean island.

The port of Galveston, Texas, has reopened for cruises, and ports in Florida are open, with cruise passengers going back to Key West less than two weeks after Irma made landfall as a category 4 storm. Cruise lines such as Carnival and Virtuoso-preferred Royal Caribbean and Norwegian generously used their ships to transport people and supplies to help the affected areas. Carnival Corp., which also owns Virtuoso-preferred Holland America and Princess, was part of a pledge for $10 million in relief.

The port of San Juan in Puerto Rico is open to receive emergency supplies, but it is uncertain when cruise ships will again be able to visit the island after it was ravaged by Hurricane Ma…

Jewish Heritage

Our Top Jewish Heritage Tours and Destinations By Damien Martin

Shanah tovah! It’s a new year on the Jewish calendar and we are in the midst of the High Holidays, with Rosh Hashanah last week and Yom Kippur this weekend. Across the Virtuoso network, there are companies offering Jewish heritage tours in destinations from China to Sarajevo and plenty of places in between. From two-week itineraries to two-hour tours, on land and by water, Virtuoso suppliers have you covered.

Day tours

Much of the diaspora settled in Europe and contributed to the history and society of many major cities. ITB Holland has half- and full-day for it's In the Footsteps of Jewish History tour, visiting the Portuguese Synagogue -- the world’s largest when it was built in 1675 -- and the Jewish Historical Museum of Amsterdam.

Abercrombie & Kent offers customized full-day excursions in London and Moscow, while Esperance’s Russia tours visit the old district of Kolomna and Grand Choral Synagogue in St. Peters…

River Cruises

River Cruising on 5 Continents
By Damien Martin

As river cruises have exploded in popularity in recent years, more and more ships have hit the water and more companies have entered the market. It’s a great way to get around to several destinations on the same trip without having to figure out transportation and hauling luggage around. Plus, there are a lot of inclusions, from excursions to meals and even drinks in a lot of cases. Typically, when people think of river cruises, they think of Europe. There are certainly a lot of great itineraries there, but it’s important to note that Virtuoso-preferred lines are operating river cruises on five continents. All those options can be overwhelming, so let’s break it down.


This continent’s rivers are still by far the most heavily trafficked. No fewer than nine Virtuoso-preferred companies offer river cruises in Europe. Some itineraries are unique. For example, Uniworld is the only line with cruises on the Po River in Italy and is also laun…

Top Ski Getaways

Top Ski GetawaysBy Damien Martin
They can’t all be bluebird days, but thanks to the great partners in the Virtuoso network, you’ll feel as cozy as an apr├Ęs-ski hot toddy by the fire on your next ski vacation. Domestic or international, there’s no shortage of options for hitting the slopes. Basically anywhere that has mountains and snow works -- or, as with Ski Dubai, you can just make your own. Of course, some experiences are better than others. These getaways will have you tearing fresh lines in the pow-pow with no worries.


With a whopping 53 mountains peaking at 14,000 feet or higher, Colorado is at the top of any skier’s list. There are more than a dozen Virtuoso-preferred ski resorts across the state, so there’s surely one for you. For a set itinerary, Virtuoso-preferred tour partner American Excursionist has a Colorado Luxury Winter Adventure 10-day package split between Aspen’s The Little Nell and Dunton Hot Springs just across the mountain from Telluride. The itinerary f…

Our Top Fall Getaways

Our Top Fall GetawaysBy Damien MartinKids are back in school, and though it’s technically a couple more weeks to the equinox, let’s face it: Summer is over. While you may be shunned from polite society for wearing white now, you can absolutely take advantage of the travel values shoulder season brings. With smaller crowds, nicer weather and lower prices, fall isn’t just for football and pumpkin spice everything. It’s a great time to take a trip. Here are a few places where you can maximize beauty and budget in the autumn.
New England & Canada
The changing leaves and charming towns are a sight to behold, and there are great cruise itineraries that make their way up the East Coast from New York or Boston to Montreal. The light this time of year really works wonders, especially as afternoon fades to evening. For a land-based getaway, Virtuoso-preferred properties such as Pitcher Inn in Warren. Vt., and Cliff House in Cape Neddick, Maine, are the kind of picturesque spots perfect for a …