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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Travel News

Discover the Taste of Quiroga

Hungry for adventure? For fans of carnitas, that tender-crisp porky paradox, the town of Quiroga, Michoacán, is the Promised Land. Located on the edge of Lake Pátzcuaro, near Morelia, Quiroga is widely acknowledged to have the best carnitas in the entire republic. The town’s main plaza is a veritable carnival of the stuff, with vendors cooking the pork for hours in specially made copper pots called cazos.

Carnitas Carmelo gets high marks and has spawned a minor empire, though it would be hard to go wrong anywhere in Quiroga. The town, named after a 16th-century Spanish bishop who worked to empower the local Purépecha (aka Tarascan) people, is also known for its wooden artesanías, or crafts.

Sandals Expanding into Mexico

After more than a decade of speculation, Sandals Resorts International will officially be expanding to Mexico. The Jamaica-based company will be expanding out of the Caribbean for the first time in the form of a Sandals resort in the Riviera Maya. Ground breaking is expected by the end of the year. It will be a new build and will be located 40 minutes north of Playa del Carmen. There is heavy speculation that Sandals will follow that development up with a Beaches Resort in Cancun.

International News

Explore Buckingham Palace through Virtual Reality

Fix yourself a cup of tea, grab some biscuits, get comfy on the couch, and head to London’s Buckingham Palace via Google. The Queen’s residence has just become the first UK landmark to be included as part of “Google Expeditions” the virtual reality experience that lets armchair explorers inside some of the world’s most intriguing spots.

Through the wonders of modern technology, Anglophiles can take a guided tour of the historic site, starting at the palace’s grand staircase with stops in a few state rooms, the throne room to see where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took their wedding photos, and the picture gallery installed by King George IV that houses the Royal Art Collection. The Buckingham Palace tour was made possible thanks to the UK’s Royal Collection Trust.

“Google Expeditions” was designed as an immersive experience for students who could explore the world through virtual reality. The school program, called Google Expeditions Pioneer, lets teachers take their students on immersive tours of sights like Machu Picchu, as well as the Great Barrier Reef. More than 500,000 students have taken trips around the world through the Expeditions Pioneer Program since September 2015.

Cruise News

Love bourbon? This new cruise is for you!

The American Queen Steamboat Company is targeting bourbon lovers with a themed voyage through the heart of bourbon country. Kicking off in St. Louis on July 10, the eight-night Insider’s Bourbon Trail sailing on the 436-passenger American Queen will feature a route up the Ohio River to the rolling bluegrass hills region of Kentucky, where 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is made.

The trip will include tours of multiple bourbon distilleries including those making Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Willett Small Batch. There also will be on-board tastings and lectures led by Buffalo Trace representative Don Flinn and Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage author Michael Veach. Bill Samuels Jr., son of Maker’s Mark founder Bill Samuels Sr., will join the voyage for an exclusive Maker’s Mark presentation and tasting. The trip will feature bourbon-enhanced menu items daily.

Fares for the sailing start at US$2,149 per person, based on double occupancy, including a one-night, pre-voyage hotel stay in St. Louis, shore tours in all ports, and wine and beer with dinner.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” −Samuel Johnson

Deal of the Week

Uniworld Pays Your Way to Europe!

Free economy air to Europe. Special limited-time offer. Book by February 29, 2016, and enjoy complimentary Economy airfare on select 2016 departures listed below.

Tulips & Windmills: 10 days from Amsterdam to Antwerp. Apr 22, from US$4,799

Castles Along the Rhine: 8 days from Basel to Amsterdam. Apr 6; Jun 1; Aug 17, 24, from US$3,564

Enchanting Danube: 8 days from Budapest to Passau. Apr 10; Jul 10, from US$3,999

Splendors of Italy: 15 days from Milan to Rome. Apr 29; May 20; Jul 15, from US$7,194

Burgundy & Provence: 8 days from Avignon to Lyon. Mar 27, from US$3,764

Legendary Rhine & Moselle: 13 days from Amsterdam to Basel. Jul 28; Aug 9, from US$5,799

Highlights of Eastern Europe & Istanbul: 12 days from Budapest to Istanbul. Apr 23; Jul 13, from US$5,099

European Jewels: 15 days from Budapest to Amsterdam. Jul 3, 17, from US$7,799

Paris & Normandy: 8 days from Paris to Paris. Mar 20, 27, from US$3,959

Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux: 8 days from Bordeaux to Bordeaux. Jun 5, 12, from US$4,149

Portugal, Spain & the Douro Valley: 11 days from Lisbon to Porto. Aug 4, from US$4,774

A Portrait of Majestic France: 15 days from Paris to Bordeaux. May 22; Jun 26; Aug 7, 14, from US$9,173

Grand France: Aug 28, from US$11,094

There’s no better way to explore Europe’s extraordinary sights than onboard an extraordinary, all-inclusive river cruise line—Uniworld. Rated #1 by Cruise Critic, it is renowned for luxurious boutique ships, superb service and cuisine, and award-winning excursions.


Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for more than 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in personalized cruises and tours. She designs trips that are tailored to suit a client’s interests, abilities, and budgets. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415-111-8765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email View the latest travel specials on the website where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises online.

Sources: Smarter Travel, Sandals Resorts International, Travel + Leisure, American Queen Steamboat Company, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.


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