Posts tagged with "exploration"

Art by Kaelen for use by 360 Magazine

Wonderworks New Exhibit Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations – WonderWorks Orlando New Exhibit on Earthquakes Named by Teachers during Teacher Appreciation Month

WonderWorks Orlando has an array of exhibits that help educate people about science. And it’s latest exhibit on earthquakes called Good Vibrations, opens May 28th. Good Vibrations will spotlight Tuckaleechee Caverns, and how they document seismic activity around the world. The new exhibit was a topic request from educators, so it seemed appropriate that they also name the exhibit.  Teachers are invited to see this exhibit for free during WonderWorks Teacher Appreciation Month celebration.

This is a fascinating new exhibit about earthquakes and all types of tectonic movement around the globe, says Brian Wayne, general manager of WonderWorks Orlando. It’s a great time for teachers to stop in and check it out and enjoy some time exploring all we have to offer.

The Tuckaleechee Caverns are located deep under the Smoky Mountains, in Townsend, Tenn. People can visit the caverns, but they also play an important role in the safety of our country. They have the most sensitive seismic station on Earth, accurately and precisely tracking tectonic movement all around the planet. The information collected includes activity from earthquakes and even when nuclear weapons are being tested. 

Once the information is collected, it is quickly transmitted directly to the Department of Defense; Geneva, Switzerland; and Vienna, Austria. The information is obtained and shared so quickly that it’s passed on within 300ths of a millisecond. Visitors will learn about the important natural wonder that gathers so much information around the world. 

Good Vibrations meets educational standards for learning about earthquakes and seismic activity. As a way to celebrate teachers and support staff during Teacher Appreciation Month, both teachers and support staff will receive free admission during May 2021 by showing a valid school ID. Additionally, up to four of their accompanying guests will receive 50% off admission.

“We are excited to invite teachers, support staff, and their families this month, as well as others, to check out the new Earthquake exhibit,” added Wayne. “This exhibit will surprise you and make you want to plan a trip to the Tuckaleechee Caverns.”

Additional on-site and community programs include the WonderWorks WonderKids event, virtual learning labs, FLO-Art Florida Youth Art Gallery, science fair partnerships, online science information and worksheets and a homeschool program. WonderWorks Orlando also offers various STEM activities, including virtual learning labs, on-site exhibits, activities and more. To learn more about the programs offered at WonderWorks Orlando, visit their website.

To get additional information about Teacher Appreciation Month, visit the site here.

Due to the continued county-wide mask restriction in Orlando, guests will need to bring one with them or buy one upon arrival. WonderWorks has COVID-19 safety protocols, including reduced capacity and hours, enhanced cleaning efforts, social distancing measures, hand sanitizer stations, employee health screenings and employee personal protective equipment (PPE). Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules before their visit on the web page devoted to COVID-19 here

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, the upside-down adventure, is a science-focused indoor amusement park for the mind that holds something unique and exciting for visitors of all ages. Guests enter through an upside-down lobby with the ceiling at their feet and the ground above their head and must pass through an inversion tunnel to turn right side up. There are three floors of nonstop edu-tainment, with over 100 hands-on and interactive exhibits that serve a STEM educational purpose to challenge the mind and spark the imagination. WonderWorks Orlando is also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. WonderWorks is located in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, Syracuse and Branson. For more information, visit their website.

Beyond Green illustration by Heather Skovlund (original photo provided by Beyond Green) for 360 Magazine

Introducing Beyond Green

INTRODUCING BEYOND GREEN: A PURPOSE-DRIVEN HOSPITALITY BRAND DEDICATED TO HELPING GLOBAL CITIZENS MAKE TRAVEL A FORCE FOR GOOD

Forward-Thinking Hotel Network Debuts Booking and Storytelling Platforms That Invite Travelers to Explore How to Travel Gently and Travel Well

Committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet, Beyond Green officially launches today as a curated guide for travelers seeking a more purposeful way to explore the world, featuring a global portfolio of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. Debuting at the onset of a new era of travel in which protecting nature, benefitting local communities, and celebrating cultural diversity has taken center stage, this forward-thinking brandinvites travelers to discover, plan, and enjoy adventures that align with their sustainable travel values and aspirations through a variety of intuitive tools and experiences. These include a new brand website; dedicated storytelling via its @StayBeyondGreen social media accounts; exclusive benefits through I Prefer Hotel Rewards; and a celebratory, limited-time Journeyer’s Pick Package. 

“At the heart of Beyond Green is a belief that to travel gently and with purpose is to travel well. More than ever, each of our individual travel choices make a difference, and, together with our outstanding member properties, we designed Beyond Green to make it easier for travelers to enjoy incredible luxury vacations that also support significant social and environmental change for the future,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of both Beyond Green and its parent company, Preferred Hotel Group. “The world has shown an unwavering need to Believe in Travel, and this is our defining moment to inspire a kinder and gentler way to explore the planet together, where good guests meet good hosts.”

“The question is no longer whether we can transform travel based upon sustainable tourism principles and practices to be a powerful force for saving nature, regenerating ecosystems, and providing tangible social and economic benefits to local people, while also celebrating cultural diversity and inclusiveness around the world. This is now happening, as also represented by Beyond Green members. Rather, the most important question is how travelers help can make sustainability the new normal around the world while also having a great vacation. The answer is when we travel the sustainable way – the Beyond Green way – we can have a positive impact right now on the places we visit,” said Costas Christ, Brand Leader of Beyond Green and President of Beyond Green Travel, also an entity of Preferred Hotel Group.

Digital-First Resources for Inspiration and Information

Experiential travelers looking for a more meaningful way to explore the world can now visit Beyond Green’s website for thoughtful, essential resources and tools to book truly sustainable luxury getaways, from Belize to Bora Bora. The new website features highly curated visual content of each member property and the experiences they offer, along with vivid stories about the world of sustainable travel through its Good Stories blog, where novel content, tips and advice will be added on a continuous basis. The brand also invites travelers to engage in daily dialogues about sustainable tourism, inspiring travel experiences, and best practices for being informed  global citizens on social media by following its newly launched FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn channels and #StayBeyondGreen and #TravelGently online conversations.

I Prefer Hotel Rewards Member Benefits

As part of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Beyond Green invites travelers to enroll in I Prefer to access meaningful rewards at more than 650 participating properties worldwide. In addition to receiving standard, I Prefer benefits such as points for every eligible stay and early check-in and late check-out privileges, I Prefer members who book stays at participating Beyond Green hotels, resorts, and lodges receive access to exclusive bonus points-earning opportunities that are tied to participation in on-property enrichment activities representative of the three pillars of sustainable tourism. Varying from property to property, these experiences range from an Ecology Tour in San Juan Capistrano at The Ranch at Laguna Beach in California to a specialized lecture on the Gobi Desert at Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia. I Prefer members with Elite-tier status will also receive a welcome amenity or community giving opportunity, in addition to earning 50 percent more bonus points during every eligible stay.

Celebratory Launch Offer

Whether seeking to stay within their own country or satisfy the pent-up desire to dust off their passport and go somewhere new, Beyond Green encourages travelers to seize the moment by taking advantage of a limited-time only Journeyer’s Pick Package, available at 15 participating properties for bookings made by September 30, 2021 for travel through December 31, 2021. Featuring the best available rate plus a unique local experience or meaningful memento exclusively available through this special offer, as well as 5,000 I Prefer bonus points, the Journeyer’s Pick Package include highlights such as, but not limited to:   

  • Private 1.5-hour Shinrin Yoku Forest Therapy session at andBeyond Vira Vira
  • Traditional sunset Dhow Cruise with snacks and drinks at andBeyond Mnemba Island
  • Guided walking tour of the Monastery of Panagia Spileotissa at Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
  • Body scrub wellness experience using organic ingredients at Borgo Pignano
  • Polynesian outrigger experience at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Where Good Hosts Meet Good Guests: The Beyond Green Portfolio

With plans for steady, thoughtful growth, Beyond Green celebrates its official launch in collaboration with 27 inspiring member properties that each take a unique and genuine approach to hospitality while representing sustainable tourism leadership through actionable, measurable efforts:

  • Americas – andBeyond Vira Vira (Pucón, Chile); Arenas Del Mar Beach Front and Rainforest Resort (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA); Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize); Carneros Resort and Spa (Napa Valley, California, USA), Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA); Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama); Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA); Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA); The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA); Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize)
  • Europe – Aristi Mountain Resort (Zagori, Greece); Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo, Ireland); Borgo Pignano (Tuscany, Italy)
  • Africa – andBeyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya); andBeyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania); andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia); Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa); Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda); Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana); Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia); Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe); Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana); Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
  • Asia – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia); The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia); Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)

Travelers are invited to access more information on Beyond Green, its three key pillars of sustainable tourism, and its member properties, and book authentic, luxury travel experiences around the world by visiting Beyond Green.

About Beyond Green

Guided by a passion to embrace travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability leadership. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of properties based on their commitment to deliver on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Hotel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit Beyond Green.

About Preferred Hotel Group

Owned and operated by the Ueberroth Family, Preferred Hotel Group is the parent company of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel, representing more than 1,100 hotels, resorts, and residences across 80 countries, in addition to a global portfolio of destinations such as Suzhou, China; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Uganda. With more than 200 seasoned travel professionals situated across 20 countries, the company connects independent hotels, hospitality companies, destinations, and tourism bureaus to key markets worldwide through a variety of strategic branding, sales, integrated marketing, revenue management, and comprehensive distribution services, along with other consultancy services. Fueled by its brand promise, Believe in Travel, the company champions an unwavering belief in the transformative power of travel and its ability to enrich people’s lives and create greater tolerance. For more information on Preferred Hotel Group’s entities, please visit Preferred HotelsBeyond GreenHistoric HotelsPHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel.

The Brando
The Brando – photo credit: Beyond Green
Technology illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Cityzenith Futuristic Sky Mapping

Digital Twin pioneer Cityzenith predicts futuristic 3D sky mapping will launch low carbon city flight revolution

Science fiction fans can tick off one more prediction turned to reality as NASA aims to optimize local travel and commuting by air above cities.

A key enabler is Digital Twin technology, a ‘real-world SimCity’ software able to aggregate vast quantities of data on buildings, roads, infrastructure, vehicles, and even the space above into an interactive 3D virtual model of a city.

It is the potential to manage integrated drone and ‘new age’ air taxi routes in the air space that attracted a nationwide NASA search, leading Digital Twin pioneer Cityzenith to be 1 of just 10 tech companies presenting to senior NASA officials at the prestigious ‘Ignite the Night: Aeronautics’* NASA iTech virtual event on April 13, 2021.

NASA iTech identifies and searches for cutting-edge technologies being developed outside of NASA that solve problems on Earth, but also having the potential to address challenges facing exploration of the Moon and Mars. 

The high-profile panel of judges includes:

  • David VoracekCenter Chief Technologist, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

Julie Williams-ByrdDeputy Chief Technologist, NASA Langley Research Center NASA’s vision for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aims to help develop air transportation to safely move people and cargo between places previously not served or underserved by aviation – local, regional, intra-regional, and urban – using revolutionary new aircraft only now becoming possible.

Michael Jansen, CEO of Chicago-based Cityzenith, said: “This will be the second presentation to NASA by my company and its SmartWorldOS software platform within weeks, and we are very honored and excited to be the only Digital Twin company at this prestigious gathering.

“It highlights yet another application for Digital Twin technology and growing interest in flight above our cities, a dream dating back to the ground-breaking 1927 movie ‘Metropolis’ and many sci-fi classics since then, but now set to happen as we move to delivery by flying drones and then human travel by zero-carbon air vehicles using electric propulsion.

“It will open a whole new dimension to city life; no longer will high-rise living and working mean people must literally come down to earth to go elsewhere.

“But there is a real pressure to act, too: The World Economic Forum has reported that ground level delivery vehicles in the world’s 100 largest cities will increase 36% by 2030, carbon emissions from all urban delivery traffic will rise 32% and congestion will be up by 21%, adding 11 minutes to an average daily commute.

“NASA introduced the air taxi concept in 2001 and the race is now on to create the first viable electric machines in a market tipped to grow 26.2% annually to $6.63 billion by 2030**.

“This new air mobility can also significantly reduce greenhouse gases in cities, a goal of our Clean Cities – Clean Future mission to drive down urban carbon emissions. Cities produce more than 70% of global carbon emissions (source: UN) and that’s why we pledged to donate SmartWorldOS to key cities around the world, one at a time, to help the most polluted become carbon neutral.

“We are also expanding to meet demand for our Digital Twin capability as the post-COVID-19 ‘Build Back better’ initiative grows; we have just passed a $2.5 million milestone en route to a $10 million Regulation A+ crowdfunding investment raise.”

Provided by:

World Digital Foundation

Allied Market Research

compass

Western River Explorations Supports 2020 Traveling

Where in the world – and how – will families vacation this summer?

Given months of pandemic-driven lock-down orders, stay-at-home summer vacation won’t be high on many lists. What will be attractive will be vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature that can work wonders on family spirits and recovery.

For nearly 60 years, Western River Expeditions has operated top-quality river rafting vacations for individuals, families, and friends. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of the many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears.

  • Screening Employees: Every day before work, each employee must pass both a temperature and pulse oximeter screen, and then answer a detailed questionnaire.
  • Screening Guests at Check-in: Guests exhibiting temperatures of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to travel with Western River Expeditions at the time they planned; instead, they will receive an “Adventure Credit” which allows the guest and any members of the group who were currently living at the same physical address during any of the 7 days prior to the trip to use the full paid value of their trip as a credit for a future trip at a later date.
  • Screening while on Multi-Day Trips: All trip participants and guides will have a daily temperature and pulse oximeter checks and fill out a daily review of symptoms questionnaire.

In addition, there are new protocols in place should someone experience COVID-19 symptoms during a trip. In such a case, steps will be taken to protect other guests from exposure during the remainder of that trip. There also will be protocols for toilet facilities, hand washing stations, and social distancing (when feasible) as well as reduced number of guests per raft.

The company will also implement specific guidelines that address everything from life-jacket use and sanitation to meal prep and service, use of shuttle vans, number of people per shuttle vehicle, sanitation of rafts, dry bags, cots, sleeping bags, and all associated equipment. For more details on Western River Expeditions’ specific protocols please see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19.

Western River Expeditions hopes to still operate late spring and summer 2020 trips, subject to the easing of government-mandated closures. Three suggested trips ideal for families are:

  • Desolation Canyon, a five-day trip through breathtaking Desolation Canyon and Gray Canyon on the Green River in central Utah. Trips are scheduled to depart June 7 through Aug. 12 with a minimum age of five years old. For details see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
  • Southwest Sampler, a four-day adventure that includes an off-road Hummer Safari, Arches National Park tour, and overnight rafting trip as well as a stay at Moab’s Marriott SpringHill Suites. Departures are scheduled May 26 through Aug. 26. If National Park closures affect the operation of the Arches National Park tour, guests will explore another stunning location in Moab. For details see  https://www.westernriver.com/moab-utah-vacation-sampler
  • Grand Canyon, the three-day option still has some limited space on certain dates from June 21st through September. Conveniently departing and returning to Las Vegas, NV, this 100-mile journey is suitable for families with kids as young as nine. For details see: https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability, and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho, and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center.

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

Western River Expeditions × Virtual Rafting

Virtual Rafting Tours Provide Connection and Stimulate Adrenalin During Pandemic Shutdown

Sitting on the shoreline of life pretty much sums up where the world is at.

“As a pandemic runs its global course, immobilized though we may feel, we don’t have to respond like a deer in the headlights,” said Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. “Now is a great time to dream about future adventures and plan for the time when life returns to the new normal. This not only gives us something to look forward to, but I believe that exploring the outdoors with loved ones when it’s safe to do so, will become an important part of our recovery process, providing people with a sense of connection, interaction and celebration.”

This active travel company specializes in rafting the rivers of the Colorado River Basin. But for the first time in Lake’s memory, the rafts are empty, sitting on the shoreline. On April 1, Grand Canyon National Park closed, including river operations through May 21, 2020. Resumption of river trips will be evaluated later in May pending current CDC guidance.

To accommodate clients whose trips have been delayed by the pandemic, Lake and his team have been able to re-allocate their allotted permit spaces on some trips in the Grand Canyon for departures later in the 2020 season. They are assisting people in solidifying changes in plans and looking to open slots for them later this summer and in 2021.

Lake said he is “confident we will be able to find an available date for clients disrupted by early-season cancellations who are still interested in doing a Grand Canyon rafting trip.

The company has posted its latest Covid-19 news and trip status on its website to keep the public up-to-date. See: http://www.westernriver.com/covid-19.

Between now and when guests are able to re-embark on rafting adventures, Western River Expeditions encourages people to experience the Grand Canyon and other breathtaking locations via virtual tours. “We put these together before this all happened, but never thought we would be using them for accessing these special places in a time we would not be able to in person.”

Virtual Galleries in 360° Views
A few tips for optimal viewing:
1. View these on your big screen if you’ve got it.
2. Use your mouse/finger to drag the scene around and look wherever you choose.
3. Arrow buttons left or right OR the map will slide you to the next image.

4.Click on small white arrows in certain images, to explore deeper.

6 & 7 Day Grand Canyon Expedition
http://vr.trustedphoto.com/WesternRiverGrandCanyon6_7_Day/360tour.html

3 & 4 Day Grand Canyon Adventure
http://vr.trustedphoto.com/WesternRiverGrandCanyon3_4_Day/360tour.html

4 Day Cataract Canyon Adventure
http://vr.trustedphoto.com/CataractClassic/360tour.html

5 Day Desolation Canyon Adventure
http://vr.trustedphoto.com/GreenRiver5Day/360tour.html

With these 360° virtual tours the viewer is present, surrounded by the action of a river expedition in the comfort of their own home or office. Get lost in the moment and find oneself in a magnificent cavern. Tucked in a sleeping bag on the shoreline. Standing under a thundering side canyon waterfall. Viewing ancient Native American rock art. Running the West’s most famous rapids. And standing in line for a grilled salmon dinner topped off with warm Dutch-oven chocolate cake. The 360° technology is stunning.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

Saddle Skeedadle’s Cycling Myths Unlocked:

Busting the Roadblocks Keeping Travelers out of the Saddle

Leading cycling operator Saddle Skedaddle sets the record straight on cycling’s biggest misconceptions.

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Feb. 3, 2020: Cycling tours have become increasingly more popular in recent years thanks to North America’s focus on wellness travel, sustainable transport methods, and getting away from centers of overtourism. As such, cycling operators are adapting to the modern traveler.

Saddle Skedaddle, the world’s leading bike tour operator with itineraries in nearly 40 countries, recognized a 140% increase in bookings from North Americans between 2014-2018, according to Paul Snedker, director and co-founder. But even as cycling tours are on the rise, Snedker says there are still a lot of misconceptions about this kind of travel that limits new riders from hitting the road.

“There’s are these ideas that you have to be a really fit athlete to do a cycling trip, or that it would feel more like going to the gym than a true vacation,” says Snedker. “But actually, they’re quite accessible for all fitness levels and a great way to explore a destination in an even deeper way.”

Here are some common cycling misconceptions, unlocked:

Myth 1: You have to be an Olympian to do a cycling tour

According to Snedker, the biggest customer concerns are that they won’t be fit enough to do it, or they’ll be the slowest one of the group. While some bike trips are designed for hard core cyclists, there is quite a range in terms of level of difficulty, and many of the tours designed for family or leisure purposes are quite gentle. 

“Many travelers think the whole group will be decked out in lycra and be world-class cyclists on a bit of a holiday,” says Snedker. “The reality is most of our guests are over 50 and are simply looking for a way to stay active on vacation. So long as you’re reasonably fit in your daily life, you’ll be able to keep pace on a lot of our trips.”

Snedker says one of the biggest game changers and gateways to cycling holidays for people who are nervous about their endurance level has been the introduction of electric bikes to Skedaddle’s roster.

“E-bikes are so fantastic at leveling the bike lane, so to speak,” Snedker says. “Not only do they provide that extra push when you need it the most, but they take away the fear factor in the build up to a trip, so travelers can really get excited without being nervous about the physical side of things.”

Responding to strong client demand, Saddle Skedaddle has been steadily introducing self-guided and guided electric bike trips over the last few years, including several to far-flung destinations including Vietnam, China, and Chile.

Myth 2: You won’t have time to explore off your bike

North Americans typically get very little vacation time, so when they do get away, they want to see more, do more, and experience more. According to Snedker, there’s a common misconception that cycling trips don’t give you time to explore the destination. In reality, Snedker says the opposite is true.

“At Skedaddle, we’ve always said we prefer pedaling through, not passing by,” he says. “What that means is your bike can take you so many places your car or a coach bus can’t, so you’re able to really bike deep into the culture and check out the little nooks and crannies of a village or a rural stretch of a dirt path you may never otherwise encounter.”

Some of Saddle Skedaddle’s most popular trips include activities like remote camping under the stars in the Simien mountains, hiking in the jungle of Jordan’s Ajloun Forest Reserve, spotting orangutans on a family-focused journey through Borneo, and hunting for the best tapas bar in a small Spanish village.

“Our customers have evolved; they want cycling to enhance their travel experience, not the other way around,” Snedker says.

Myth 3: International cycling travel is complicated

According to Snedker, many potential bike travelers get antsy about the logistics behind a bike trip, from how to transport their bike to how to read road signs in a different language. The reality is, though, it’s never been easier to cycle in other countries than this decade thanks to technology and updated airline policies.

Just last year, American Airlines dropped their overweight charges for traveling with bicycles, and thanks to apps like the one Saddle Skedaddle has developed, road signs and directions for self-guided trips are simple as keeping your phone mounted on your handlebars.

Of course, rentals and guided trips make all these logistics even easier. “While we have a full-service team on the ground that’s ready to greet guests – and their bikes – the moment they arrive, we also offer bike rentals throughout each trip to make things as seamless as possible,” says Snedker.

Myth 4: You can’t bring kids on a cycling trip

It’s no longer just empty-nesters – family cycling travel continues to grow in popularity as parents look for active ways to keep the whole gang engaged on vacations. However, a common misconception is that group cycling trips don’t really work for families, something Snedkern says couldn’t be more wrong.

“Cycling provides a memorable way to bond as a family on holiday – and I daresay is more exciting than driving around in the rented minivan!”

Saddle Skedaddle makes sure all its family trips include a variety of activities out of the saddle that interest teenagers as well as younger children. They welcome kids as young as two on its family adventures, ranging from exploring Viking history on the Lofoten Islands of Norway to zip-lining and camping through the Moroccan Desert , and rent bike trailers, tag a longs and kids’ bikes so the whole family can keep up at their own pace.

For more information and to pedal through your next adventure, please visit: www.skedaddle.com

About Saddle Skedaddle

Saddle Skedaddle is the UK’s leading independent cycling vacation specialist that is all about doing something wonderful on two wheels. Our team of experts have searched far and wide for nearly 25 years to bring you some of the world’s most incredible locations and enchanting cultures to enjoy at the speed of the bike. It’s time to really meet a place, and its people, you’ll never want to forget.

AdventureSmith Explorations

AdventureSmith Explorations Announces $1,200 Savings On a Selection of 2019 Alaska Small Ship Cruises

The small ship cruise expert, AdventureSmith Explorations, announces last-minute savings of up to $1,200 (per couple or $600 per person) on select departures of 2019 cruise vacations in Alaska. “An expanded inventory of small ships, more itineraries and a longer season all benefit

our clients who are interested in Alaska this year,” says Todd Smith, founder/president. “‘It’s very rare to see special offers this great so late in the Alaska booking season.”

To take advantage of specials that apply to specific departures and cabin categories, reservations must be made by April 19, 2019.

Savings up to $1,200 per couple come with select 2019 departures of the following itineraries:

* Alaska’s Glacier Country

an eight-day cruise navigating some of Alaska’s most impressive glaciers and wildlife viewing. Savings come with departures aboard the 90-guest S.S. Legacy April 26; May 10, 17, 24 and 31; June 7, 14, 21 and 28; July 5, 12, 19 and 26; Aug. 2 and 9; and aboard the 88-guest Safari Endeavor Sept. 1 and 8; and a special fitness and yoga-themed departure aboard the S.S. Legacy May 3.

* Alaska’s Glaciers & Whales

an eight-day cruise from aboard the 88-guest Safari Endeavour. Savings are applied to May 26, June 9 and 23, July 7 and 21, and Aug. 4 and 18 departures. Suites on this ship include balconies; activities options include stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking.

* Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers

is a diverse eight-day cruise exploring the many inlets and wildlife of Alaska aboard the 88-guest Safari Endeavor with savings on June 2, 16 and 30, July 14 and 28, and August 11 and 25 departures.

* Alaska’s Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise

spends 15 days along the iconic passage between Seattle and Juneau, visiting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Glacier Bay National Park and Olympic National Park aboard the 88-guest Safari Endeavor, with applicable savings on May 12 and Sept. 15; and aboard the 90-guest S.S.

Legacy on Aug. 16.

The following eight-day itineraries are aboard one of three Wilderness small ships that carry from 60 to 76 guests depending on the vessel. A $600 per-couple savings comes with specific 2019 departures of:

* Northern Passages & Glacier Bay

explores backcountry wilderness between Sitka and Juneau on the Wilderness Discoverer with savings applicable on May 4 and 18 and on Wilderness Explorer Apr. 27 and July 20.

* Alaska Fjords & Glaciers

that discovers glaciers, fjord cliffs, deep valleys and whales, the Tlingit culture and Tongass National Forest, with savings on the Wilderness Adventurer April 6, on Wilderness Discoverer June 29 and July 6, and Wilderness Explorer July 6 and 13.

* Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise

that brings guests to tidewater glaciers, whales, puffins and old-growth forest is aboard the Wilderness Adventurer with savings on April 27 and June 8 departures.

Because of the high demand for Alaska cruises, the company is already taking reservations for 2020 programs. To help clients select small ships and/or itineraries that best fits their interests, Smith’s team have prepared 6 Insider Tips to Travel Alaska in the Best Way.

For details on all of AdventureSmith Explorations’ small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and for 2019-2020 reservations, please call 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit the company website.

About AdventureSmith Explorations – Think Outside the Boat!

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Truckee, CA, near the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. A recognized leader in small ship cruising, in 2012 owner Todd Smith first joined the ranks of Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious world’s Top Travel Specialists list as the

leading expert on small ship expeditions.

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AdventureSmith: Small Ship vs. Big Ship Cruising

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Todd Smith, founder and president, recalls when privately chartered yachts and fishing boats were the only way – aside from the traditional cruise ship – to take a vacation at sea.

In 2003, this company leapt into uncharted waters and began securing a legacy for today’s small ship cruise industry. Categorized by guest capacity, the experts at AdventureSmith Explorations have defined three vessel options to choose from: “adventure yachts” accommodating 8 to 40 guests, “expedition ships” for 41 to 200 passengers and “traditional cruise ships” for vessels with larger capacities above 200 passengers and reaching up to 5,000+. Each has its advantages and limitations.

“The number of passengers a ship carries relates directly to the experiences a client seeks,” Smith says. “Vacationers who prefer resorts over boutique hotels prefer large cruise ships. Those underwhelmed at the thought of embarking from mega-hub ports to dine and lodge on floating resorts with Las Vegas-style entertainment may prefer an adventure yacht or expedition ship.”

AdventureSmith Explorations capitalizes on another key difference between large and small vessels. The hull of a large ship precludes it from entering smaller ports of call and anchorages, thus curtailing off-the-beaten path cultural forays and up-close explorations of flora and fauna along remote shore lines that are the specialty of yachts and expedition ships. See: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/small-ship-vs-big-ship—what-is-the-difference

When fine-tuning a reservation, AdventureSmith Explorations’ staff focus on traveler preferences to recommend which small ship to choose. Some travelers may be most comfortable in the intimate, family environment of small adventure yachts, while those seeking more cabin space, private balconies or more varied activity options for their group may want to opt for an expedition ship. On all small ships, notes Smith, the focus of activities connected with smaller vessels exceeds expectations. Keen on adventure, passengers spend most daylight hours off the boat, kayaking, snorkeling and on guided Zodiac and land excursions.

When he started his company, Smith says he didn’t envision the dramatic growth in adventure tourism (predicted to grow nearly 50 percent from 2016 to 2020) that would factor into the company’s success.

“Our small ships bring people to adventures in wild regions all over the globe. Imagine kayaking in front of massive glaciers and watching whales breach from a small Zodiac. Many of the places that our small ships visit can be logistically challenging, perhaps involving a long hike in or chartering a plane or simply cannot be reached in any other way (e.g. Antarctica). Small ships make access to these incredible locations not only possible but also provide a comfortable bed, hot shower and a nice glass of wine,” Smith promises.

Following are 9 Standouts in Small Ship Cruising that exemplify the fusion of small ships and adventure in not-to-be-missed destinations.

Adventure Yachts (8-40 passengers):

Safari Explorer 36-Guest – Luxury motor yacht divides its year between Hawaii in winter and Alaska in summer

– Galapagos Grace 18-Guest – The late Princess Grace of Monaco once owned this yacht that now sails in Galapagos waters

– Westward 8-Guest – Classic beauty that dates to 1924 sails Alaska and Baja

Delfin II 28-Guest – Deluxe riverboat designed for exploring the Peruvian Amazon

Origin 20-Guest – Sleek motor yacht built for sustainability in order to cruise the fragile Galapagos ecosystem

Ombak Putih 24-Guest – Romantic sailing vessel that explores Bali, among other Indonesian destinations

Expedition Ships (41-200 passengers):

Hebridean Sky 114-Guest – An expedition ship that hosts a Citizen Science Program on Antarctica explorations

Sea Cloud 58-Guest – The historic Marjorie Merriweather Post windjammer, a beauty of a sailing yacht for cruising the Greek Isles and Dalmatian Coast.

National Geographic Orion 102-Guest – A state-of-art expedition ship cruising Antarctica with National Geographic certified guides.

6 Facts about Haji Ali Dargah You Didn’t Know

Haji Ali Dargah covers about 500 yards of the Arabian Sea. Mumbai city is well versed with this place and the royal structure holds immense importance in the lives of each individual. If you belong to a city of temples like Mangalore, you’d surely want to visit this famous dargah in Mumbai.

Here are some interesting facts and the history surrounding this admirable place.

  • It is named after the wealthy saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, the greatest Muslim Saint. To make a pilgrimage to Mecca, he gave all of his fortune and possessions for noble deeds. During his journey to Mecca, he died, and the body in the coffin came back floating to Mumbai. The shrine was built at the same spot. In the year 1431, the mosque was built in his loving memory. The Dargah is about than 587 years old. Due to the impact of visitors and the saline winds, the structure is constantly eroding. Renovations were carried out in the years 1960 and 1964. After which, the upgrade was again started in the year 2008.
  • The tomb is based on the Indo Islamic architecture. It is situated 5oo metres from the coast and is built on a tiny islet. It is located in the vicinity of Worli, at the centre of the Worli Bay.
  • Almost 8000 visitors come to pay respects every day, and the most interesting fact is that not everyone who comes here is a Muslim. The causeway to the Dargah is not bound by any kind of railings. So the access to the spot majorly depends on the tides. During high tides, the causeway gets completely submerged in water making it inaccessible from the city.
  • On 26th July 1949, a storm hit the Mumbai city causing a great amount of destruction, but Haji Ali Dargah stood unharmed. Every building of the city suffered harm and loads of damage. Waves kept crashing the shore, and the people inside the dargah were scared that they would drown. But with the blessings of the saint, the waves bowed the walls without harming a single person in the dargah, and people returned back to their homes without any damage.
  • There is a story called the Pothole Story, which revolves around a miracle which happens every year. During the monsoon time, the city is all covered with potholes and rough roads. But the path of the mosque has never seen any damage for people to reach and pay tribute.
  • A feminist movement called ‘Haji Ali for all’ was launched by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and Bhumata Brigade. The movement aimed to secure equal rights to pray. With the persistent efforts of the people, Supreme Court on 26th August ruled that women could enter the sanctum sanctorum.
  • There is lesser known tale surrounding the almighty’s dargah. Once the saint saw a poor woman holding a vessel and crying. She was crying because she had accidentally spilt the oil and was scared that the husband would beat her. To this, Haji Ali asked her to take him to that spot where she had spilt the oil. Upon reaching there, the oil came oozing out from the soil as soon as he jabbed a finger into the soil. The woman was overjoyed and filled her vessel. Later, Haji Ali Shah had a disturbing dream that he injured the Mother Earth. Soon after this, he got ill and asked his followers to put the coffin into the Arabian Sea. Miraculously, his casket just got stuck offshore of Worli where the Dargah was constructed. Haji Ali Dargah is one of the most visited mosques in Mumbai, and the history attached to the place is significant. So it’s your chance to see for real the purity of the place.

Anthony Bourdain

The amazing award-winning celebrity chef, writer and storyteller Anthony Bourdain has died on Friday morning at the age of 61. He was found dead in the tiny village of Kaysersburg inside his hotel room by his friend Eric Ripert and it was later confirmed as a suicide. They had travelled to France to film for their current series Parts Unknown on culinary traditions around the world.

Throughout his shows, he has inspired people to have adventure with both food and travel. His curious and adventurous spirit has lead to many journeys and has taken viewers around the world, visiting over 100 countries. He allowed everyone to open up to him with his splendid personality and drew in his audiences along into the fun while he explored different cultures through food. Anthony helped shine a different light in countries in which many viewers have never contemplated travelling to. Along with this, he was always able to reveal a broader story than the ones seen on the surface by many of us. The world will greatly miss this legend and his passion.

Anyone in crisis, or who knows someone in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741