In an era of seemingly endless information and DIY travel planning, the invaluable role of a travel advisor shines brighter than ever. These experts in the realm of exploration offer a wealth of benefits that transcend mere convenience. From crafting tailored itineraries to accessing exclusive deals, navigating complex logistics, and providing insider insights, the reasons to collaborate with a travel advisor are both compelling and diverse. In this fast-paced world, where time is precious and experiences are treasured, the guidance of a skilled travel advisor transforms mere trips into unforgettable journeys.
Some people still sadly associate using a travel advisor with paying more money, when in actual fact – it’s quite the opposite. From getting you the best seats on the plane to working behind the scenes to ensure your vacation goes off without a hitch – after using a great travel advisor once, I personally guarantee you’ll be hooked!
Ask yourself, how much is your time worth? Expedia’s research indicates the average American spends 22.95 hours booking a trip in the 6 weeks before departure. That’s one hour a night for nearly three weeks or nearly three entire workdays. Is this time you can afford to lose?
Travel advisors often have access to wholesale rates and exclusive deals that the general public does not. As such, they can pass these savings on to you – their client. Most advisors make their money through commissions paid by hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, etc – not through adding on extra charges for their clients. Travel advisors who do charge fees are charging for the trip planning process – remember those 22.95 hours I referenced in the paragraph above? They’re working, researching, and customizing the perfect journey for you, and some charge fees for this type of work.
Planning travel has never been more complicated than in 2021 and beyond. From quarantine restrictions to PCR testing, an expert agent will save you countless hours in research and logistics alone – that’s worth its weight in gold.
Booking with a third-party site may feel like the obvious choice, but websites like Expedia can’t connect the dots. Sure, you could book a few nights at a hotel, but can you arrange the car service, the late-night check-in, the adjoining rooms next door to each other? Travel advisors take the hassle out of the trip planning process and can make it fun again.
By now we’ve probably all heard horror stories of trips booked immediately before Covid, and cancellations or refunds that went awry. When you book with a travel advisor and (for whatever reason) you’re unable to go on your trip – you don’t have to lift a finger. It won’t be you waiting on hold with the airline, or trying to argue about a credit vs a refund. Your travel advisor has your back and is looking out for your best interests every step of the way, and that includes when things go sideways.
Check into your hotel and your room is not to your liking? Your travel advisor often has special relationships with hotels, and they can (hopefully) rectify the situation seamlessly, without you having to get on the phone and ask for the manager.
Enjoy Upgrades & Connections
Everyone loves a good upgrade. From complimentary breakfast to room upgrades, most travel advisors can score their client’s great perks when they book with them. In addition, travel advisors are well connected. A travel advisor’s job is to be the expert, and this means traveling to countless destinations, and building relationships with hoteliers, tour operators, even restauranteurs. Don’t discount their ability to score you that hard-to-book seat at a new restaurant, or surprise you with an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience while on a tour.
Ahh, the sweet taste of chocolate. From milk, to dark, and even 92%, these tasty morsels are always a delight to give – and receive, aren’t they? Adventures by Disney leads guests to exciting destinations around the world, and today we’re highlighting the top 5 Adventures by Disney itineraries for chocolate lovers which include chocolate making and tasting. On these trips, guests will learn about cacao, cocoa, beans, butter and bars.
Let’s explore the top 5 Adventures by Disney itineraries for chocolate lovers.
Costa Rica –This Central America paradise is nature at its finest, chocolate included. The beauty of the coastline, mountains, exotic wildlife, rainforest and “Pura Vida” lifestyle sets the stage for an incredible family vacation. And while in the rainforest, guests will see where chocolate is sourced and learn how it transforms from bean to treat. Chocolate making is a fascinating and detailed process. Did you know it’s made from the fruit of cacao trees? The beans from each pod are dried and roasted to create cocoa beans. Check out this Adventure Moment in Costa Rica and the Rainforest Chocolate Tour.
Italy & Switzerland
Italy & Switzerland – An authentic Swiss chocolate adventure is a highlight of this itinerary. Guests will begin their trip in Milan and embark on a breathtaking journey across Northern Italy and Switzerland, a country synonymous with chocolate. Activities include standing in the shadows of the Matterhorn, cruising across Lake Como, visiting the historical Palazzo Borromeo and its scenic baroque gardens, plus a train ride and zip-lining leading up to the chocolate tasting.
England & France
England & France – A tour of the Musée du Chocolat (Chocolate Museum) c’est délicieux! On this trip, not only will guests visit the Royal Crown Jewels, take a speedboat ride along the Thames River, enjoy a tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and walk the grounds of Windsor Castle, but following lunch at the Eiffel Tower they will meet a professional chocolatier and make their own chocolate.
Rhine River Cruise
Rhine River Cruise – Beautiful European sights, and chocolate await guests on this delightful river cruise to Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Visits to the Rembrandt House Museum, the Van Gogh Museum or a walking tour of Heidelberg and the Heidelberg Castle offer inspiration from some of history’s greatest artists and architects, plus the landscape and architecture is spectacular. But let’s talk chocolate. At the Chocolate Museum in Cologne, Germany guests will not only taste amazing chocolate, but will create their own chocolate bar!
The Rhine River Cruise: Christmas Markets itinerary adds the beauty of the season and the festive spirit of the holidays, and is fun for the entire family. Chocolate included, of course, at the Chocolate Museum.
For even more epicurean adventures, the adult-exclusive Rhine River Cruise: Food & Wine offers culinary delights around every corner, including the Chocolate Museum experience.
Seine River Cruise
Seine River Cruise – This river cruise through France is stunning and includes sampling some of the region’s finest chocolate and cheese. Entertainment and activities, and optional bike rides, will fill the days, including a walking tour of Rouen where you’ll walk in the footsteps of Vikings and Joan of Arc.
Which one of these Adventures by Disney itineraries for chocolate lovers would you most like to experience?
Are you a world schooling family looking to ignite your children’s curiosity and foster a love for learning through travel? Look no further! We’ve curated a list of 15 amazing world schooling destinations around the world, each brimming with educational opportunities that will inspire your family. Let’s explore the educational wonders these places have to offer and how you can incorporate them into your world schooling journey.
Selecting the ideal world schooling destinations for a world-schooling family depends on various factors like educational goals, interests, and budget. Here are 15 diverse world schooling destinations worldwide that offer rich educational experiences:
Rome, the Eternal City, offers a rich educational experience for families, especially with a focus on ancient history, art and architecture. You can dive into history and the world of ancient Rome as you explore iconic sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon. You’ll also have the chance to explore both art and culture at the Vatican Museums and study the foundations of Western civilization.
Then, study Italian language basics and learn Latin phrases, indulge in delicious gelato, delve into Roman mythology, and learn about Renaissance art through masterpieces like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.
You can encourage your kids to research Roman mythology, decipher Latin inscriptions, and appreciate the impact of Roman engineering and architecture on modern civilization. Don’t forget to document your journey through art and journaling.
Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart, beckons with its serene temples, beautiful gardens, and traditional tea ceremonies.
Engage in the art of tea-making and discover the aesthetics of Japanese design.
Explore the rich history of Japan through visits to Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the historic district of Gion.
Discover Japanese culture through visits to Kyoto’s temples, shrines, and tea ceremonies. Study history and traditional arts like calligraphy and ikebana.
Before your trip, dive in to Japanese literature, from haiku to samurai stories, and learn about traditional crafts like origami and ikebana (flower arranging).
Athens is a captivating destination for delving into the origins of democracy, philosophy, and Greek mythology.
Encourage discussions on the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, and explore the impact of ancient Greece on modern thought.
Walk in the footsteps of Socrates and Plato when you visit the Acropolis where ancient history comes to life.
Dive into the captivating world of Greek mythology with stories of gods, goddesses, and epic heroes like Hercules and Odysseus. Then, discuss philosophical concepts, and learn about ancient Greek contributions to mathematics and science.
Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, is the gateway to exploring Inca civilization. Trek the Inca Trail and trek to witness the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu.
Study the Quechua language, the Inca’s native tongue, and learn about their ingenious agricultural practices like terraced farming.
Study Inca civilization at Machu Picchu, explore the Sacred Valley, and learn about Andean culture.
Before your trip, spend time researching Inca history, studying Quechua language basics, and experimenting with Andean cuisine.
You can also encourage hands-on learning by trying traditional Andean dishes and exploring Andean music and dance.
Cairo, the cradle of civilization, offers a fascinating journey into the mysteries of ancient Egypt. Explore the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and ancient Egyptian history at the Egyptian Museum.
Decode hieroglyphics, discover the stories of pharaohs, and study the art of mummification.
Dive into archaeology by learning about famous discoveries like King Tutankhamun’s tomb, and explore the science of ancient engineering demonstrated through the construction of massive pyramids.
Paris, the City of Light, beckons with a treasure trove of educational experiences. Dive into art and culture at the Louvre, where you can analyze masterpieces like the Mona Lisa.
Study European history through visits to iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Palace of Versailles.
Encourage literature exploration with classics like Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables” and introduce the joys of French cuisine through cooking classes and culinary adventures.
Beijing, China’s capital, is a hub of history and culture. Explore the Forbidden City, once the imperial palace, and walk the majestic Great Wall or Tiananmen Square.
Study Chinese philosophy, including Confucianism and Daoism, and learn Chinese calligraphy to appreciate the art of writing.
Encourage culinary exploration by tasting regional Chinese dishes and engaging in martial arts like Tai Chi or Kung Fu.
Santorini, the jewel of the Aegean Sea, offers a unique blend of educational experiences. Witness geological wonders by studying its volcanic history.
Dive into Greek mythology with tales of ancient gods and goddesses, and explore the island’s rich cultural heritage.
Encourage ecological learning by studying island flora and fauna in addition to volcanic activity. Immerse your family in Mediterranean cuisine through cooking classes and tastings.
London, United Kingdom
London, steeped in history and literature, provides a plethora of educational opportunities. Explore the British Museum, the Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey to learn about global history and archaeology.
Study British literature through the works of Shakespeare, Dickens, and Austen, and engage in lively discussions at the Globe Theatre.
Encourage young readers with literary-themed tours, explore the lives of British monarchs at palaces like Buckingham Palace, and learn about British English and regional accents.
Jerusalem, a city of religious and historical significance, invites exploration of diverse cultures. Visit the Old City’s religious sites, from the Western Wall to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Study the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and engage in interfaith dialogue.
Encourage discussions on Middle Eastern geopolitics, explore the region’s rich culinary traditions, and delve into the ancient history of Jerusalem.
Bangkok, the vibrant capital of Thailand, offers a sensory-rich educational experience, full of Thai culture and street markets. Explore ornate temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun, and immerse in Thai spirituality.
Study Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, and learn about Thai history through visits to historical sites and museums.
Encourage cultural exploration by trying traditional Thai dishes, learning basic Thai language, and exploring local markets and street food.
Learn Thai language basics, study Buddhism, and explore Thai cuisine.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, nestled between the mountains and the sea, is a hub for natural and historical education. Explore Table Mountain and Robben Island, a symbol of South Africa’s struggle for freedom.
Study African history, from colonialism to apartheid, and immerse in the diverse cultures of the Rainbow Nation.
Encourage ecological learning by studying African wildlife at national parks and engaging in community-based conservation efforts.
Research African tribes and cultures, learn about apartheid, and explore African wildlife.
New York City, USA
New York City, a cultural melting pot, is teeming with educational opportunities. Explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art to analyze art from various cultures.
Study American history through visits to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and museums like the Museum of Modern Art.
Encourage discussions on immigration, civil rights, and American literature by exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods and iconic landmarks like the United Nations.
Havana, the vibrant capital of Cuba, is a living history book. Explore the city’s historic districts, including Old Havana, and learn about the Cuban Revolution.
Study Cuban history, from colonial times to the 20th century, and engage with locals to understand their daily lives and perspectives.
Encourage exploration of Latin American literature, music, and dance, and dive into the intricacies of Cuban cuisine through cooking classes and food tours.
Study Cuban history, learn about the Cuban Revolution, and explore Latin American literature.
Sydney, with its stunning harbor and diverse culture, is an educational paradise. Study marine life at the Great Barrier Reef through snorkeling and marine biology excursions.
Explore indigenous culture by learning about Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, art, and spirituality in the Outback.
Encourage understanding of Australian geography, climate, and wildlife, and introduce Australian slang and language variations.
These world schooling destinations offer a blend of history, culture, nature, and adventure, allowing world-schooling families to create a diverse and enriching educational journey.
Remember, world schooling is about curiosity, engagement, and hands-on learning. As you embark on your educational adventures in these fascinating destinations, encourage your children to ask questions, explore their interests, and document their experiences. With the world as your classroom, the possibilities for learning are boundless!
Which one of these world schooling destinations would you be most excited to visit?
Thanks to a New York Times article declaring Naxos, Greece “not to be missed,” travel heavyweights have been including it year after year on their roundups of must-see destinations within the Cyclades.
Unlike its neighbors Santorini and Mykonos, Naxos remains relatively unfazed by the North American hype – despite the fact that the picturesque island continues to surface on Greek island round-ups. Its low-key ambiance and quiet pace provide visitors with an authentic Greek island experience, only three and a half hours from bustling Athens.
When to Go
The weather in Greece is warm from March/April onwards, with peak crowds in July and August. Early September is an ideal time to experience the island. By September, fewer tourists are packing the ferries and beaches, as children across Europe are back in school.
The easiest way to arrive to Naxos is by ferry from Athens. From the port of Piraeus (just outside of Athens) a high-speed ferry will deliver you to Naxos in roughly 3.5 hours, while other ferries offer a more scenic 5.5-hour journey. Purchase your tickets in advance to alleviate any headaches at the port and guarantee your arrival time.
What to Do
Naxos, an enchanting jewel in the heart of the Cyclades archipelago, beckons travelers with its rich history, captivating landscapes, and authentic Greek charm. This island, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, holds a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. From ancient ruins and golden beaches to charming villages and delectable cuisine, Naxos offers a well-rounded Greek getaway that caters to diverse interests.
Eat. Simply arrive hungry, and don’t leave until you’ve eaten just about everything. Local Naxian cheese and olive oil are not to be missed, as is imbibing on a glass of island-made Kitron (a spirit made from citron trees, a relative of the lemon). There are plenty of restaurants directly across the street from the port, however going inland (even if it’s a block or two) will often reveal restaurants aimed at locals instead of tourists, complete with more reasonable prices and authentic cuisine.
While it’s a drive nearly 45 minutes inland, a visit to Rotonda (located in the Apeiranthos region of Naxos) will deliver gourmet food with jaw-dropping views of the island and sea. Tip: Reserve a table for sunset, the views are some of the best on the island.
Unique to Naxos is the Eggares Olive Press Museum, one of Naxos’s oldest remaining olive mills. A brief complimentary tour showcases the history of the mill, including original production materials once used at the site. Don’t miss a tasting, I dare you to leave without buying some of their oil. You’ll be hooked.
A Tapestry of History and Mythology
Stepping foot on Naxos is like stepping back in time. The island’s history is intertwined with Greek mythology, making it a land of captivating tales. Visit the imposing Portara, a colossal marble doorway that stands as a remnant of an unfinished temple dedicated to Apollo. Legend has it that this doorway was meant for the god of light himself. Wander through the alleys of Naxos Town, where Venetian influences blend seamlessly with Cycladic architecture. The Kastro, a medieval castle, offers panoramic views and a glimpse into the island’s past.
Beaches of Golden Splendor
Naxos boasts some of the most stunning beaches and beach bars in the Aegean. From the Chora (town center) the first beach is Agios Georgios, an easy 15-minute walk from the center of town. While there are ample oceanfront restaurants and beach bars, Agios Georgios is often the most crowded due to its proximity to the town center.
Outside of the town center, three well-known beaches dot the coast – Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, and Plaka. Each boasts crystal clear turquoise water, not unlike the Caribbean, and Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna are within walking distance of each other. All three beaches are easily accessible by public transit that runs every half hour from the town center. If you want to rent a sun-bed for the day (highly recommended to find reprieve from the scorching Mediterranean sun) visit any number of the beach bars along the beach. Some will rent two beds and an umbrella for a flat fee, others will include them for ‘free’ with the purchase of food or drinks.
Plaka Beach, with its seemingly endless stretch of soft sand and azure waters, is a haven for relaxation and water sports. Agios Prokopios offers a family-friendly atmosphere, while Agia Anna’s calm waters are perfect for a leisurely swim. For windsurfing enthusiasts, Mikri Vigla and Laguna Beach provide ideal conditions to ride the waves.
Authentic Villages and Local Life
Venture beyond the tourist hotspots to discover the island’s authentic character. The village of Apeiranthos, perched on a mountainside, exudes traditional charm with its narrow alleys and well-preserved architecture. Sangri village is home to the Temple of Demeter, an archaeological site that gives insight into ancient religious practices. Embrace the warm hospitality of the locals, and don’t miss the chance to savor homemade dishes at family-run tavernas.
Naxos tantalizes the taste buds with its culinary offerings. Indulge in fresh seafood, locally produced cheese like the famous graviera, and sweet treats such as the mouthwatering kitron liqueur. Wander through local markets to sample the island’s flavors and bring home a taste of Naxos.
Hiking and Nature
Nature enthusiasts will find solace in Naxos’ diverse landscapes. Hike to the summit of Mount Zas, the highest point in the Cyclades, for breathtaking panoramic views. Explore the lush greenery of the Melanes Valley or take a stroll through the olive groves and citrus orchards that dot the countryside.
Where to Stay
There’s no shortage of accommodation options on Naxos, ranging from luxurious private villas to basic room rentals.
Kavos Boutique Hotel is located a ten-minute walk from Agios Prokopios beach and offers guests their choice of villas, apartments, or suites overlooking the Aegean sea and nestled among the bougainvillea. With an outdoor pool, restaurant, and pool bar, guests will want for nothing.
Hotel Grotta Is rated #1 on TripAdvisor for good reason. The Greek hospitality is evident from the moment you arrive, welcomed with a snack and glass of white wine from the family’s vineyard. Don’t miss the legendary breakfast spread, it’s something dreams are made of.
Naxos, Greece, is a destination that transcends the ordinary, offering a tapestry of experiences that cater to history buffs, beach lovers, adventurers, and food enthusiasts alike. Its serene beauty and authentic Greek essence make it a haven for those seeking a well-rounded and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, basking in the sun on golden beaches, or savoring local delicacies, Naxos promises an immersion into the heart and soul of Greece.
Interested in visiting Greece, or maybe island hopping for your next vacation? Schedule a complimentary consultation with me to start planning your next vacation. I’d love to curate your perfect Mediterranean escape (or another destination on your bucket list)!
Travelers will soon have even more exciting destinations and countries to explore with National Geographic Expeditions. Beginning in 2024, three new itineraries spanning five countries will be added to the leading global travel portfolio, all featuring the incredible access, deep knowledge and extraordinary storytelling that only National Geographic can provide. Travelers will be inspired by the insights, beauty, landscapes and architecture as they discover the wonders of the world.
The three new Signature Land trips will visit Bhutan, Colombia and the Baltics. These group-guided itineraries will provide an enriching, in-depth look at the history, cultures and natural heritage of each destination. Each Signature Land trip is hosted by a National Geographic Expert who provides a one-of-a-kind perspective. With specialties such as filmmaking, conservation, photography, archaeology, geography and many more, the Experts who travel on Signature Land expeditions are passionate storytellers who have a close connection to National Geographic, and their unique insights foster a travel experience that enlightens, inspires and goes in-depth like no other.
Bhutan: Land of Mysticism and Mythology
The remote kingdom of Bhutan welcomes travelers to experience the wonders of its dramatic landscapes and storied cities. An exploration of this Buddhist kingdom found on the Himalayas’ eastern edge is filled with a rich and unique culture and reflects its commitment to tradition, the environment and the happiness of its people. The 11-day, 10- night itinerary includes visiting much of Bhutan through major destinations such as Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Phobjikha Valley.
Highlights of the expedition include:
Unparalleled access: dining with Bhutanese dignitaries such as business professionals and government officials who will engage with guests and provide insights on everyday life in Bhutan and, a meet and greet with a Buddhist scholar and a privately guided hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
Architectural wonders: touring Punakha Dzong to learn and appreciate Bhutanese architecture and visiting the golden Buddha Dordenma Statue and the Divine Mad Monk Monastery.
Cultural immersion: enjoying hands-on experiences such as participating in the butter lamp lighting tradition and lessons in the national sport of archery.
Renowned medical anthropologist Carroll Dunham has been confirmed as one of the National Geographic Experts slated to join select Bhutan departures. Dunham has lived in Nepal studying Buddhism for the past 30 years. She is an avid storyteller with a focus on environmental conservation related to sacred spaces of Southeast Asia. Dunham has authored four books exploring the feminine divine in South Asian history and culture, and she has also produced more than a dozen films for National Geographic and others on topics ranging from Living Goddesses to polyandry, nomadism and geology.
There are five Bhutan departure dates in 2024 beginning in March and extending through December. Specific Expert dates will be released later this year.
Colombia: Connections to the Land and the Past
Travelers will dive into a nine-day, eight-night tour through beautiful landscapes of Colombia from the mountains to the beaches. They will embark on a journey across Bogota, the Cocora Valley, Pereira, Santa Marta and through Tayrona National Park and Barranquilla to make their way to Cartagena.
Highlights of the expedition include:
Insider experiences: visiting San Basilio de Palenque, the first free town for enslaved people in the Americas, which was proclaimed a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2005.
Inspiration from the past and the present: exploring the archaeological ruins of Taironaka, learning about the modern-day Kogi people or being immersed in the music and traditions of the celebrated Barranquilla Carnaval.
Delicious journeys: sampling local delicacies and savoring the flavors of the coffee region while learning how Colombia became one of the most popular coffee exporters in the world.
Spectacular wildlife: hiking through the towering wax palms of Cocora Valley or gazing in wonder at the endemic species of birds and mammals found in Tayrona National Park.
National Geographic Explorer Rosa Vásquez Espinoza has been confirmed as one of the Experts set to join select Colombia departures. Chemical biologist, educator, conservationist and TV personality, Espinoza travels to the most extreme ecosystems of the planet searching for the tiniest creatures, from heat-loving microbes to Amazonian stingless bees. She is passionate about driving awareness for conservation.
There are six Colombia departure dates in 2024 beginning in January and extending through December. Specific Expert dates will be released later this year.
The Baltics: Enchanted Forests and Medieval Castles
The Baltics are classified as one geographic region, yet it consists of three distinct countries sitting on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Travelers will visit all three countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, to gain a deeper understanding of what makes each region unique, from language, traditions and beyond. The 11-day, 10-night itinerary will take travelers across destinations such as Vilnius, the Curonian Spit, Klaipeda, Riga, Sigulda, Gauja National Park and Tallinn.
Highlights of the expedition include:
History brought to life: delving into medieval times during privately guided excursions to Cesis Castle and Gusmanas Caves and more recent history of World War II and the Soviet Era during guided visits to the Ninth Fort, Hill of Crosses and Maajamae Palace. Each experience showcases how these countries changed over time and were influenced by foreign occupations.
Cultural preservation: cruising along the UNESCO recognized Curonian Spit or venturing through the UNESCO celebrated Old Town Centers of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn.
A taste of the destination: touring a local market in Riga and seeing — and trying — the local ingredients that make up Latvian cuisine.
Photographer and naturalist Jeff Mauritzen has been confirmed as one of the Experts slated to join select Baltics departures. With adventures taking him to more than 60 countries around the world, Mauritzen’s photography has appeared in dozens of National Geographic books, several National Geographic Traveler magazine articles and on the @natgeotravel Instagram account.
There are four Baltics departure dates in 2024 beginning in May and extending through October. Specific Expert dates will be released later this year.
Bookings for all three National Geographic Expedition itineraries are available now.
Additionally, travelers interested in booking a vacation in 2024 with National Geographic Expeditions can also save with an early booking offer! Book before September 5, 2023 and you can save $400 per person on select 2024 North America Signature Land itineraries and $500 per person on select 2024 international Signature Land itineraries.
Since 2005, Adventures by Disney has taken guests on amazing adventures around the world. Guests can set sail on Adventures by Disney expedition cruises exploring Antarctica, the Arctic and the Galapagos Islands. And in 2024, they will add a new destination and expedition cruise through the Adriatic Sea to complement their vast array of global itineraries: the Adventures by Disney Adriatic Expedition Cruise.
Adventures by Disney will take you to Croatia and other stops along the beautiful and picturesque Adriatic Sea in 2024. And there will be not just one departure, but two that same year! This famed waterway filled with captivating history, exquisite cuisine and breathtaking views provides the perfect setting for an enchanting adventure.
The one-of-a-kind, eight-day, seven-night round-trip sailing from Venice, Italy, is sure to inspire a lifetime of memories. You’ll board the PONANT Le Bougainville ship, a small purpose-built ship designed to access remote location, to visit seven ports in Croatia and Montenegro before returning to the Floating City. Just imagine the breathtaking views, historical sites and the exquisite cuisine awaiting you!
When sailing the Adriatic Sea with Adventures by Disney, you’ll have the chance to:
Discover the islands adorning the Adriatic coast with stops at Korcula to taste the famed Mali Ston oysters or Hvar to kayak along the Pakleni Islands.
Enjoy delicious food, Croatian wine, captivating architecture and culture unique to the region.
Bike through vineyards and lavender fields of the UNESCO Stari Grad Plain (also known as Hora or Ager).
Taste local delicacies such as Dalmatian Prosciutto, aged by the bura, a northerly-blowing wind common in the winter months.
Explore picturesque Boka Bay in Montenegro by catamaran or strolling the cobbled streets of Old Town Kotor.
Wander medieval Croatian port-towns awash in warm limestone and distinctive, red-tiled roofs, and visiting the world-famous Predjama Castle in Slovenia.
Delve into the massive underground labyrinth at Slovenia’s Postojna Cave and discovering the “dragons” that call it home.
Step back in time to learn about time-honored Croatian traditions including methods of pressing olive oil.
As with all Adventures by Disney trips, Disney-trained Adventure Guides will deliver their signature service and storytelling so you can enjoy a hassle-free vacation. And speaking of hassle-free, I love unpacking my bag just once while seeing the world!
Up to six Adventure Guides will accompany guests on the Adriatic Expedition Cruise and will lead unique, themed activities both aboard and ashore. And did you know they have events just for kids on the trip? While the Junior Adventurers enjoy a “Pirates of the Adriatic” swim party or a Dalmatian Dash scavenger hunt, the adults can participate in a cocktail workshop, try out a fitness class, or simply relax on deck overlooking the exquisite sites. There is also a multi-sensorial underwater lounge on board … now that just sounds cool! The full itinerary is simply amazing.
Announcing 2024 Itineraries: Expedition Cruising with Adventures by Disney
Also in 2024, guests will have more opportunities to explore Antarctica, the Arctic and the Galapagos Islands with added expedition cruises to these destinations:
Antarctica and Patagonia Expedition Cruise: This southern region itinerary offers the chance to discover the pristine splendor of Antarctica and Argentina’s beautiful Patagonia region. Here, the magic of wildlife takes the stage as guests observe animals such as penguins, seals and whales in their natural habitat. Dates: Dec. 17-28, 2023, and Feb. 17-28, 2024.
Arctic Expedition Cruise: This expedition cruise in the northern polar region features the Arctic waters and surrounding landscapes of Svalbard. Guests will sail past deep fjords, discover the human history of the Arctic, marvel at massive glaciers and see amazing wildlife including polar bears, reindeer and walruses. Date: July 1-10, 2024.
Galapagos Islands Expedition Cruise: This island-hopping expedition cruise through the Galapagos Archipelago is an immersive family adventure. Guided by expert naturalists, guests will discover more about the amazing ecosystems and unique species endemic to the islands as they experience the unmatched views of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Dates: March 17-25, June 9-17, July 14-22, Aug. 7-15, and Dec. 18-26, 2024.
Guests can also extend their expedition cruise vacations in select cities through an Adventures by Disney Escape, a series of short-stay getaways that are big on adventure. Escapes often complement a trip — immediately before or following an existing itinerary — and are ideal for those wishing for a deeper dive into a region’s culture, history and landscape. The four-day Buenos Aires Escape is a great way to discover the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina before embarking on the Antarctica Expedition Cruise. The six-day Amazon Escape takes guests on an exploration of the Amazon rainforest prior to the start of their Galapagos Islands Expedition Cruise.
Traveling with Adventures by Disney
With exceptional service, storytelling and authentic cultural experiences, all Adventures by Disney vacations are designed to appeal to the interests and needs of the entire family, allowing parents, grandparents and Junior Adventurers to discover the world together. From hassle-free travel, to engaging storytelling, to magical moments sprinkled throughout the vacation, all adventures are designed to give families the chance to focus on what matters — enjoying time together as they experience the magic of the world.
Ready to set sail in 2024? Travelers interested in booking a 2024 expedition cruise can take advantage of Adventure by Disney’s early booking offer, with savings of $1,000 per person on select 2024 Antarctica Expedition Cruises and $750 per person on select 2024 Antarctica Expedition Cruises.
Additionally, travelers on eligible 2024 Expedition Cruise departures can also save 50% per person on the nonrefundable deposit required at booking.
Disney Cruise Line will offer a variety of enchanting vacations in summer 2023, including cruises to Europe, Alaska, the Bahamas and Caribbean.
For the first time ever, the Disney Dream will be heading east to the rich culture and history of Europe, calling on a wide variety of destinations among the most treasured in the world.
Are flip-flops and white sand beaches more your speed? Head to the sunshine state where three ships, including the all-new Disney Wish, will cruise to the dreamiest tropical destinations. If Alaska fires your adventurous spirit, set sail on the Disney Wonder for a surreal landscape of spectacular glaciers, soaring eagles, breaching whales and towns with a Gold Rush past.
In addition to visiting exciting destinations, each and every voyage in summer 2023 also includes a healthy dose of Disney magic! No matter where you are in the world, your family will also receive Disney Cruise Line’s signature service, along with Broadway-style shows, themed dining, character encounters and activities for everyone in the family.
Disney Dream Marks Inaugural Season in Europe
With sailings anywhere from four to eleven nights, the Disney Dream will sail from Barcelona and Rome to picturesque ports of call throughout the Mediterranean, including a first-ever seven-night sailing to the Greek Isles with stops in the ever-popular ports of Santorini and Mykonos.
Late summer/early fall departures of the Disney Dream from Southampton will feature cruises to a wealth of destinations including Spain, France, the British Isles, Norway and Iceland. New ports of call include the postcard-worthy La Rochelle, France and two new ports in Norway – Skjolden, home to a wealth of natural attractions, and Sandnes, a small city just outside the metropolis of Stavanger known for its outdoor activities.
Summer 2023 sailings to Alaska aboard Disney Wonder
The breathtaking natural beauty of Alaska will combine with the magic of Disney on five-, seven- and nine-night sailings on the Disney Wonder from Vancouver, Canada. Beginning in May, cruisers will be invited to discover exciting ports like Ketchikan and Skagway, with their prehistoric glaciers, gold mining relics and spectacular land- and sea-life. Three Alaskan itineraries call at Icy Strait Point, home to a coastal rainforest, wilderness tours and – for thrill-seekers – ziplining above the treetops.
Tropical Escapes to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida
Sun-splashed tropical isles throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean will await guests on three Disney Cruise Line ships from Florida in summer 2023.
For its first full summer of sailing, the Disney Wish will homeport in Port Canaveral near Orlando for a series of three- and four-night Bahamas cruises to Nassau and Disney’s private island oasis, Castaway Cay. The Disney Wish will feature exciting new additions including Disney’s first “Frozen”-themed theatrical dining experience and AquaMouse, a wild water adventure and first-ever Disney attraction at sea.
Port Canaveral will also be the departure point for the Disney Fantasy for sailings ranging in length from five to 10 nights. In addition to seven-night cruises to popular ports in the eastern and western Caribbean, guests will also be able to experience a five-night Bahamian sailing with back-to-back calls at Castaway Cay, a 10-night southern Caribbean itinerary to the islands of Aruba and Bonaire and an eight-night cruise featuring two days on the beautiful pink sand beaches of Bermuda.
The Disney Magic will make its summer home in Miami for an assortment of exciting destinations. Starting May 27, the Disney Magic will sail four-night Bahamas cruises and five-night western Caribbean voyages, followed by two seven-night sailings in July to the eastern and western Caribbean. Select summer voyages aboard the Disney Magic will include double days – for double the fun – at Castaway Cay.
Guests who are Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club and select other groups may take advantage of the following extended early booking windows:
Platinum Castaway Club Members, Golden Oak and Club 33 Members: Monday, May 2, 2022
Gold Castaway Club Members: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Silver Castaway Club Members, Disney Vacation Club and Adventure Insiders: Thursday, May 5, 2022
Bookings open to all Guests: Monday, May 9, 2022
It’s time to start planning your family’s next great adventure. Tell us in the comments below which summer 2023 Disney Cruise Line itinerary you are most excited about!
Have you been dreaming of your next bucket list European vacation? Well, I have some very exciting news for you! 2023 Adventures by Disney river cruise itineraries are now available!
Adventures by Disney just announced a return to three enchanting rivers in 2023: Rhine, Danube and Seine. With 27 action-packed departures that include family, adult-exclusive and holiday-themed sailings, you’ll experience firsthand the people, places and stories of iconic destinations. Plus, their team of specially trained Adventure Guides will provide a seamless and authentic experience that is marked by Disney’s signature service.
Family Vacations in the Heart of Europe
Sailing with AmaWaterways, a premier luxury river cruise line, Adventure by Disney’s eight-day, seven-night river cruises are filled with active, immersive experiences.
On Rhine River cruises, guests will explore storybook villages in Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Highlights include a toboggan ride through the black forest, high-adrenaline thrills at an indoor winter park and a voyage through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley offering up-close views of 30 majestic castles.
Danube River sailings visit eight unforgettable destinations in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, where adventurers will roam medieval ruins, scale treetop rope bridges and marvel at the rolling hills made famous in “The Sound of Music.”
Seine River cruises will celebrate the magnificence of rural France with visits to picturesque provincial towns, the historic beaches of Normandy, Monet’s House and Gardens, the dramatic cliffs of Etretat, and Paris – the “City of Lights.”
Plus, Adventures by Disney guests can extend their Seine river cruise vacation with a three-day, two-night Paris Escape. From spectacular views of the “City of Lights” to a private walking culinary tour and an immersive visit to the Louvre Museum guided by a local expert, you won’t want to miss this pre-cruise package.
Specialty, Seasonal and Themed Departures
The 2023 Adventures by Disney river cruise lineup includes a variety of specialty sailings that feature themed offerings onboard and onshore, in addition to the excursions and entertainment already built into each itinerary.
Special adult-only vacations include themed Oktoberfest sailings on the Danube River and Food and Wine cruises on the Rhine River, each offering an extra serving of refinement and fun for culinary connoisseurs and “foodies” alike. Also on the Danube and Rhine, families can discover the spirit of the holiday season during festive Christmas Market cruises.
2023 Adventures by Disney river cruise bookings will open to the public on January 28, 2022.
If you’re interested in booking a vacation on 2023 Adventures by Disney river cruise sailings, you can take advantage of Adventure by Disney’s Early Booking Offer savings of $500 per person. You can also sail into summer with Adventures by Disney’s 2022 River Cruise Offer savings of $500 per person on select Rhine or Danube river cruises. Availability for these offers is limited.
To learn more about Adventures by Disney or to book a vacation, call Siera at (734) 771-1290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Plan for Vacation Day (NPVD), celebrated on the last Tuesday in January, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the whole year at the start of the year— and inspire them to use those days to travel to and within the United States. Since 2015, when the travel industry and partners began tracking American vacation usage, survey findings have continuously shown that vacation days are not being used, negatively affecting mental health, personal relationships and job performance. National Plan for Vacation Day helps highlight the importance of taking time off to travel—both for our personal health and wellbeing and for the overall economic prosperity of our nation. This year’s National Plan for Vacation Day is on January 25, 2022. Together, using #PlanForVacation, we are reminding Americans to commit—and take—their days off. How will you celebrate National Plan for Vacation Day 2022?
After two years of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are feeling burned out and ready for a change of scenery. However, COVID-19 related health and safety concerns and increased workloads have prevented many American workers from using their hard earned time off. Americans are STILL not using all of their vacation days.
American workers left an average of more than four days or 29% of their paid time off on the table last year, but the majority of Americans (64%) say they desperately need a vacation.
Planning Vacations Reduces Burnout
More than two-thirds (68%) of American workers feel at least moderately burned out and 13% are extremely burned out
More than half (53%) of remote workers are working MORE hours now than they were in the office and 61% now find it more difficult to unplug from work
COVID-19 related concerns followed by work related barriers such as heavy workloads and lack of coverage are top reasons preventing Americans from using their paid time off
Just one-quarter of Americans used ALL of their earned time off in 2021
Nearly eight in 10 (79%) believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being
Avoiding burnout was the top-rated motivator to book a trip in the next six months—ranked even higher than travel discounts/deals
Travel Remains a Top Priority
More than nine in 10 (91%) Americans say it is important to use their paid time off to travel
Nearly eight in 10 (79%) believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being
Nearly six in 10 (59%) agree that travel is more important than ever and 61% plan to make travel a top budget priority in 2022
Vacation Planning WORKS!
The three-quarters of Americans who planned out their paid time off for the year were more likely to use their paid time off to travel in 2021
53% of planners anticipate traveling more in 2022 versus 27% of non-planners
More than nine in ten (91%) Americans say it is important to use their paid time off to travel
Close to eight in ten (79%) of Americans believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being
The Impact of Planning
Americans who plan out their time off take more time off to travel—but one-quarter (24%) of American households don’t do this simple step. As a result, they lose or have to forfeit these days
Planners prioritize traveling with their paid time off, a trend that is expected to continue to rise in 2022 where 53% of planners anticipate traveling more than previous years versus 27% of non-planners
And planners actually do travel more than non-planners. More than half (56%) of Americans who typically planned their time off took an overnight vacation in 2021 compared to 33% of non-planners
Anticipating and planning travel makes Americans happy. Close to three-quarters (74%) of planners reported being extremely or very happy anticipating and planning vacations in the next year versus just four in 10 of non-planners
Avoiding burnout is an even greater motivator to book a trip for non-planners than planners—62% of non-planners rated avoiding burnout as a top motivator compared to 53% of planners
Planning: A Key to Happiness
Those who plan for vacations are happier in general—with everything from their personal relationships to their work/life balance, health and well-being and even their job.
Extremely or Very Happy
Personal Relationships with Family and Friends
Anticipating and Planning Vacations
Physical Health and Well-Being
Company Where You Work
Source: Destination Analysts, 2021 & U.S. Travel Association
Ready to start planning your next vacation? Here are a few ideas to help get you started…
Walt Disney World Resort
It’s always a magical time to plan a visit to the most magical place on earth, but 2022 is extra special with the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort. We recently shared 22 reasons why you should plan to visit Disney World in 2022! Plus, you may be able to take advantage of a special offer for additional savings when you travel March 6- July 7, 2022.
Universal Orlando Resort
There’s never been a better time to start planning your epic trip to Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Orlando Resort features incredible theme park adventures that allow you to let go and live in the moment with those you care about most. There’s plenty to explore at Universal Orlando Resort – home to three theme parks featuring more than 60 world-class attractions combined, eight magnificently-themed resort hotels, destination-wide entertainment and Universal CityWalk.
This isn’t vacation days spent. This is bragging rights earned. You can conquer the tallest waterslide in North America and snap a shot from 450 feet up in a helium balloon. Grab a drink at the swim-up bar and soak up the scene in the largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas. Or get a taste of Bora Bora with their own floating cabana. This is Perfect Day at CocoCay — only on Royal Caribbean®
Ready to just unplug and recharge? Don’t want to have to worry about cooking or anything while you’re on vacation? Maybe an all inclusive getaway is the best fit for you. There are resorts available for for couples and families. You can find some of our favorite all inclusive resorts for families here.
Special thanks to the U.S. Travel Association for sharing these statistics with us!
Have you heard the news? In 2021, families will embark on more Adventures by Disney river cruise vacations than ever before, with 30 sailings along four European rivers: the Danube, Rhine, Rhone and Seine. And as another exciting update, guests aboard 2021 Rhine River sailings will have the opportunity to travel to Papenburg, Germany for an inside look at the construction of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Wish!
Here’s a look at what guests will discover when river cruising with Adventures by Disney in 2021.
Family Vacations in the Heart of Europe
Sailing with AmaWaterways, a premier luxury river cruise line, these all-inclusive vacations are filled with active, immersive experiences curated by the family travel experts at Disney. A team of specially trained Adventure Guides are master storytellers who bring each destination to life and provide a seamless, authentic experience marked by signature Disney service.
On Rhine River cruises, guests explore storybook villages in Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Highlights include a toboggan ride through the black forest, high-adrenaline thrills at an indoor winter park, horseback riding through the French countryside and a voyage through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley offering up-close views of 30 majestic castles.
New on the Rhine River itinerary is a unique excursion to Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where the newest Disney Cruise Line ships are being built. Guests who book this activity will go behind-the-magic at the building docks on a privately guided hard-hat tour led by a Disney Imagineer. This intimate, limited-capacity experience will be available at an additional charge on all 2021 departures.
Danube River sailings visit eight unforgettable destinations in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, where adventurers roam medieval ruins, scale treetop rope bridges and marvel at the rolling hills made famous in “The Sound of Music.”
Rhone River vacations through the south of France transport guests to sun-soaked Provence, a region celebrated for its colorful culture, charming villages, lush vineyards and world-renowned cuisine. Interactive excursions include an art workshop inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, a private truffle-hunting experience and tasting, and kayaking beneath a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct.
Seine River cruises celebrate the magnificence of rural France with visits to picturesque provincial towns, the historic beaches of Normandy, Monet’s House and Gardens, the dramatic cliffs of Etretat, and Paris – the “City of Lights.”
Specialty, Seasonal and Themed Departures
The 2021 Adventures by Disney river cruise lineup includes a variety of specialty sailings that feature themed offerings onboard and onshore, in addition to the excursions and entertainment already built into each itinerary.
Throughout the year, select departures are reserved for families traveling without children. During these adult-exclusive sailings, guests 18 years of age and older enjoy all of the magic of an Adventures by Disney river cruise with the addition of tailored enhancements designed just for them. These dedicated sailings meet the increased demand among adult travelers for Adventures by Disney’s unique blend of sophistication, variety and adventure in a fun, comfortable setting.
Special adult-only vacations include themed Oktoberfestsailings on the Danube Riverand Food and Wine cruises on the Rhine River, eachoffering an extra serving of refinement and fun for culinary connoisseurs and “foodies” alike. Also on the Danube, festive Christmas Market cruises are a magical way for families to celebrate the holidays like never before. Each of these specialty vacations is offered twice in 2021.
Pre- and Post-Cruise Itinerary Enhancements in Paris, Amsterdam and Budapest
Adventures by Disney guests can extend their European river cruise vacations with three-day, two-night stays in some of Europe’s most celebrated cities. These guided group itineraries are designed to maximize vacation time, highlighting “must see” attractions as well as lesser-known hidden gems. Two dedicated Adventure Guides lead guests in enriching, exciting activities the whole family can enjoy.
The Paris Escape can be added to Seine and Rhone sailings to round-out vacations in northern or southern France. Guests enjoy spectacular views of the “City of Lights” from their seats at dinner in the Eiffel Tower, a private walking culinary tour, and an immersive visit to the Louvre Museum guided by a local expert and a special art detective activity for Junior Adventurers.
The Amsterdam Escape can be added as a post-cruise stay following Rhine River sailings to complete the cruise’s four-country journey. This itinerary features a bucket-list canal cruise, a culinary tour of the trendy Jordaan neighborhood and a visit to the Van Gogh Museum followed by an interactive painting workshop.
The Budapest Escape can be added to Danube River sailings as the perfect land complement to the Central European tour by water. The itinerary checks off the city’s must-see sites with a focus on enriching cultural experiences like sampling authentic Hungarian cuisine, riding in a tuk-tuk (motorized rickshaw) and reveling in a performance at the Budapest Opera House.
Adventures by Disney Escapes can be booked as standalone getaways or as add-ons to other vacation plans.
Bookings for 2021 Adventures by Disney River Cruise itineraries are now open.
Want to learn more about a 2021 Adventures by Disney River Cruise? Let us know!