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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Namaste: Haramara Retreat for the avid yogini

Taking time out of your hectic schedule to stimulate the mind, body and soul may seem easier said than done. But every now and then life calls for us to take a look inside our souls for a healthy, better way of living. That’s when a yoga retreat comes in handy.

There’s no place like the sophisticated Haramara Retreat in Sayulita to say Namaste. Ideal for lovebirds, singles and friends, the Haramara (“Mother Sea” in the native Huichol Indian language) is an oasis situated in the center of some of Mexico’s most dramatic seacoast with an eyeful of the lush Sierra Madre Mountains. Along with its calming yogic décor, guests can explore the soothing spa treatments, take a cool dip in the pool and feast on healthy Mexican dishes.

Quivira debuts sixth Nicklaus-designed golf club in Los Cabos

Quivira, the newest luxury development in Los Cabos, encompassing two resorts and three high-end real estate communities, has set October 1, 2014, as the opening date of Quivira Golf Club. On a dramatic site at the tip of the Baja Peninsula marked by windswept dunes, sheer cliffs and desert foothills 10 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas, Jack Nicklaus has crafted a golf course that is poised to redefine the Cabo golf experience.

The 7,224-yard, par-72 layout offers players more oceanfront exposure than any other course in Los Cabos. All 18 holes feature outstanding vistas of the Pacific and, in the winter months, views of breaching whales.

The US$40 million golf facility at Quivira was more than eight years in the making. Quivira Golf Club is accessible to guests of the four Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas in Los Cabos and to owners of properties in Copala, Montecristo Estates Luxury Villas and Novaispania Residences.

International News

New tour of Korea

General Tours World Traveler is offering a new and original view of Korea. Visiting Seoul, the DMZ, Gyeongju, Busan and Jeju Island, the new “Treasures of Korea” is an eight-day program that includes extensive daily sightseeing, five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and special cultural encounters not available to larger groups—General Tours has small groups of never more than 16 guests.

Ancient traditions are experienced firsthand when travelers spend time with a Buddhist monk at an ancient temple on Jeju Island and explore Korea’s largest medicinal herb and ginseng market. Korea’s rich culinary scene is on display at a sprawling seafood market in the lively port of Busan, and a hands-on cooking class further explores traditional and modern Korean cuisine.

The Korean peninsula’s long history comes to life in the living 500-year-old mountain village of Yangdong and at Bulguksa Temple, a World Heritage complex of ancient wooden pavilions and pagodas built on stone terraces amid forested hills.

The remarkably beautiful landscape is the highlight of a leisurely three-night stay on Jeju Island where travelers explore two World Heritage Sites: Manjanggul Cave, the longest lava tube on the planet, and Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, a tuff cone formed by hydro-volcanic eruptions.

General Tours guests can save US$500 per couple (US$250 for solo travelers) when they pay-in-full at time of booking for any of the company’s Small Group and Private Journeys to Asia.

SeaWorld celebrates 50 years

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has launched a multi-park celebration to commemorate the company’s original SeaWorld Park, which opened its gates in March 1964 on Mission Bay in San Diego. The 18-month celebration will highlight SeaWorld experiences in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio.

During SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration Sea of Surprises, visitors will take part in new interactive experiences, new shows, pathway performances and up-close animal encounters throughout the park. It will also feature longer park hours starting this summer. Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up the Night debuts at all three parks and a new ski show debuts at SeaWorld San Antonio this summer.

Cruise News

Viking Ocean Cruises increases fleet

Viking Ocean Cruises announced it will launch two additional ocean ships, bringing the total number of ships in its new fleet to three. Viking Sea and Viking Sky will both debut in 2016 and will be sister ships to Viking Star, which is currently under construction and will set sail in early 2015.

The 930-passenger all-veranda Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky will sail in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean—as well as two new itineraries for 2016 that explore the British Isles.

Viking Ocean Cruises is the first new ocean cruise line in nearly a decade. Itineraries are curated for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights. Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and “collector ports” and appeal to those with an interest in history, art and culture.

Viking Inclusive Cruising provides unparalleled value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry and 24-hour room service.

From now through June 30, 2014, Viking is offering an Early Booking Discount with 2-for-1 pricing on cruise departures and savings of up to US$2,000 per couple on international air.

Celebrity Cruises unveils new ‘Suite Class’ experience

Discerning guests who desire the very best in modern luxury vacations will soon be able to indulge in Celebrity Cruises’ new “Suite Class” experience. This will be fully introduced on Celebrity’s state-of-the-art ships during April 2015.

With exclusive new benefits including a suites-only restaurant, VIP lounge, complimentary premium beverages plus more, the newly launched Suite Class is designed to create the ultimate luxurious experience. Guests will enjoy incredible service from the moment they arrive, with their personal butler taking care of every detail.

Deal of the Week

Visit Italy at your own pace

Experience glamorous Italy with these Central Holidays packages that include five nights hotel accommodations with breakfast daily and taxes, and six days car rental with insurance, VAT and unlimited mileage. Rates are per person: Tuscany six days from US$586; Piedmont six days from US$671; Umbria six days from US$729; Puglia six days from US$780; Sicily six days from US$786; Italian Riviera six days from US$810; Italian Lakes six days from US$870; Sardinia six days from US$1,150.  Rates are valid through December 31, 2014. Airfare is additional.

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys, which specializes in custom-designed tours, cruises and travel for couples, singles, and groups of friends. Contact Judy by cell phone at 415-111-8765, by email at, or view the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Visit Mexico, Great Safaris, Travel Pulse, Ewaterways, Oceania Cruises


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