Tuesday, July 18, 2017

VIP Journeys Launches Drone My Trip For One of a Luxury Kind Travel Experiences in Latin America

Travelers planning a trip of a lifetime to Latin America can now add a first-on-the-planet edge to their adventure with the launch of Drone My Trip – a unique new service which pairs the latest technology with some of the most iconic, exotic and unspoiled destinations in the world.

The creation of VIP Journeys, Drone My Trip gives travelers the chance to set out on their voyage of discovery with their very own drone photographer. Changing the paradigm of travel photography forever, the high res Drone My Trip service is an exclusive, unique way to capture memories of a lifetime.

Michael Eiseman, co-founder of VIP Journeys, said “Pictures are worth a thousand words, but videos are worth so much more. We wanted to give families the chance to enjoy their trip and not worry about getting the perfect shot—because a Drone My Trip photographer will be capturing it every step of the way in superb 4k using the latest drone technology.”

VIP Journeys specialize in trips to Latin and Central America – a rich melting pot of ancient cultures, sun-drenched beaches, cosmopolitan cities, wonders of the world and an abundance of wildlife and breathtaking natural vistas. From the plains of Patagonia to the colors of Rio de Janeiro, Drone My Trip gives travelers the freedom to tailor their itinerary and then set out on the tour of a lifetime, accompanied by a seasoned GoPro/Drone photographer to capture every unforgettable moment and unmissable panoramas in high resolution film.

Replacing standard iPhones and personal cameras with the best drones available means holiday memories include shots ordinary travelers simply can’t get - whether that’s a close up of a Giant Tortoise in the Galapagos, shooting underwater, or filming wild horses galloping through Patagonia.

As vacationers travel through their customized journey, they’ll be safe in the knowledge they don’t have to panic about getting the ‘perfect’ shot, and they might even forget their professional drone photographer is there—unless they want to learn more about the process of making the video.

Drone My Trip makes for the perfect vacation video; shot in astonishing high resolution, travelers will return home to a professionally edited feature which takes all the stunning parts of their vacation and turns them into an incredible video of the trip, professionally produced and suitable for sharing online via YouTube.

The footage is delivered as a high definition clip, an average of 3-5 minutes in length with graphics and music added.

Michael Eiseman added, “We’re the only tour company on the planet offering this service. It is utterly unique. Gone are the days of forgetting still images online, spending valuable time organizing mountains of photos, slideshow viewing party doldrums and vacation interruptions. Now, our clients can relax and completely immerse themselves in their once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. This is an ideal travel product for multi-generational families embarking on a vacation together, where there is a desire to perhaps limit screen time and hours spent with iPhone in hand.”

Learn more about VIP Journeys at http://vipjourneys.com.

To see example footage from the most recent Drone My Trip by VIP Journeys experience, visit http://vipjourneys.com/vip-journeys-drone-my-trip/.
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Sheraton Grand Los Cabos, Hacienda Del Mar to Host 2nd Los Cabos Mexican Open - Tournament Packages Available

The Sheraton Grand Los Cabos, Hacienda del Mar announced its special packages for the second annual Los Cabos Mexican Open tennis tournament, held July 31 through August 5th at Cabo del Mar inside the Del Mar International School. The Sheraton Grand Los Cabos is the tournament’s official host hotel, serving as headquarters for the event’s athletes and attendees.

Six total packages are available for tennis aficionados, with weekend or full tournament ticket options, in Platinum, Gold and Silver seating zones. Every package includes deluxe or luxury suite accommodations; a breakfast buffet; free internet; gratuity for bell staff; and tournament tickets for each registered guest. Rates start at $340 USD per night. *

“We are thrilled once again to be the official host accommodations for the Los Cabos Mexican Open,” said Renato Mendonca, General Manager of the Sheraton Grand Los Cabos, Hacienda del Mar. “The Sheraton Grand Los Cabos, Hacienda del Mar is the premier destination not only for tennis enthusiasts, but also for internationally-acclaimed athletes to rest and unwind between their matches. We cannot wait to welcome all attendees to this exhilarating tournament.”

Among the participating athletes recently announced by the Los Cabos Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for the second Los Cabos Mexican Open include: Tomás Berdych of Czech Republic, ranked #13; Sam Querrey of the United States, ranked #27; Fernando Verdasco of Spain, ranked #35; Feliciano López of Spain, ranked #25; Karen Khachanov of Russia, ranked #34, Borna Coric of Croatia, ranked #42; and Frances Tiafoe of the United States, ranked #61.

The Sheraton Grand Los Cabos, Hacienda del Mar, a property of Quinta del Golfo de Cortez Group and the only Sheraton Grand hotel in Mexico, serves as the tournament’s hotel headquarters, an ideal location for the participating athletes to call home throughout the competition. The resort’s Cactus Spa features a variety of relaxing ambient and hydrotherapy facilities that include Jacuzzis with hot, warm and cold water, and sports massage treatments that boost physical recovery, while the many restaurants on the property, including the 5 Star Diamond Award winning De Cortez Restaurant and Pitahayas Restaurant, can serve healthy meals that can be customized to suit nutritional requirements.

For more information about ATP packages at the Sheraton Grand Los Cabos, Hacienda del Mar, visit www.sheratonhaciendadelmar.com or call 52-624-145-8000.

Tickets for the Los Cabos Mexican Open can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at tournament box offices.

*Children older than six years of age must pay a full ticket to enter the matches and be considered as an Adult when booking the package. Packages include taxes and other charges.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Queen Mary Presents the 13th Annual Art Deco Festival Aug 19-20

Pack your vintage duds and dust off your dapper suits for the Queen Mary’s 13th annual Art Deco Festival returning to the majestic ship August 19 – 20, 2017. Produced in collaboration with the Los Angeles Art Deco Society, the Queen Mary invites attendees to come aboard and drink, dine, dance, and discover the opulence of this by-gone era immersed among the largest Art Deco collection in the World.

The 2-day festival celebrates the artistic movement that influenced the design of The Queen Mary, the world's most advanced ocean liner of its time. Daily festival activities include shopping for favorite vintage items, marveling at authentic collectables and having your hair styled from your favorite era in the Vintage Bazaar. Experience one-of-a-kind lectures by experts on the period throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Grand Ball ($199 add on), the Art Deco Festival's flagship and fan-favorite celebration will take place on Saturday, August 19 at 7 p.m. The formal vintage 'dress-to impress' evening presents a lavish four-course historic menu with the Dean Mora Orchestra complementing the mood. Then on Sunday sip on vintage inspired libations and experience traditional tea service while taking a turn or two around the dance floor at the Swingin’ Sunday Tea Dance ($49 add on).

The Queen Mary’s Art Deco Festival is a one-of-a-kind, spectacular stroll through time on August 19 – 20. Day passes start at $25 per person and include access to the Queen Mary, her restaurants, the Observation Bar, Art Deco Lectures and access to the Vintage Bazaar. The Art Deco Grand Pass is $229 and includes two-day access to the festival and admission to the Grand Ball, Sunday Tea Dance, all Lectures, and Vintage Bazaar access.


For more information and to purchase tickets to the 13th annual Art Deco Festival visit http://queenmary.com/events/art-deco-festival/.
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

NCL Norwegian Sun to Homeport at Port Canaveral for Summer Deployments to Cuba and Caribbean

Port Canaveral has been chosen by Norwegian Cruise Line to host the Norwegian Sun, which will offer all-inclusive four-day cruises to Havana, Cuba and Key West, and three-day cruises to the Bahamas beginning May 2018.

"Port Canaveral is proud of our cruise partner, NCL, and we welcome their growth plans for the future,” said Port CEO Captain John Murray. “Today's announcement validates the Port's on-going investments in state-of-the art facilities and continuous improvement in cruise operations. Our record numbers of passenger movements year after year, demonstrates we are working hard and meeting the expectations of today’s largest and most sophisticated cruise ships.”

Following a dry dock enhancement, the Norwegian Sun will reposition to Port Canaveral to begin her summer 2018 sailing season. The Norwegian Sun will be berthed at the Port's newly remodeled Cruise Terminal 10, in which the Port invested more than $35 million in renovations in 2016. All guests sailing aboard the Norwegian Sun's Cuba or Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral will enjoy unlimited complimentary beverages included in their cruise fare as a part of the ship's all-inclusive program.

“Our all-inclusive model aboard Norwegian Sky has been very well-received and as we evaluated the opportunity to expand upon that concept, we felt that Port Canaveral was the ideal location to offer our guests a value-rich on board experience and exciting action-packed ports-of-call, including an overnight call in Havana, Cuba,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Norwegian Sun’s four-day cruises to Cuba will depart Port Canaveral each Monday, beginning May 7, 2018, and feature a call on Key West, Florida and an overnight stay in Havana, returning to Port Canaveral each Friday. Norwegian Sun will offer cruise guests OFAC-compliant shore excursions. Norwegian Cruise Line is currently authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer carrier services to authorized travelers between the United States and Cuba under the travel guidelines for U.S. citizen travel to Cuba.

Norwegian Sun accommodates 1,936 guests with 16 dining options, 12 bars and lounges, and entertainment options for all ages. The ship will undergo a two-and-a-half week dry dock in Victoria, British Columbia as a part of the Norwegian Edge™, the brand’s revitalization program encompassing the entire guest experience, and re-enter service on April 19, 2018 where she will begin her journey to the east coast with a 17-day Panama Canal cruise departing from Seattle.
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Monday, July 10, 2017

Experience the August 21 Historic Solar Eclipse While “Glamping” in Jackson Hole, Wyoming



Individuals who want to witness the historic solar eclipse this summer in the world's most-scenic location are in luck. A new indoor camping site, Snow King Basecamp has opened up minutes away from the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming -- one of the best-viewing areas in the country. Campsites are available August 17-21 and are booking fast so travelers should book now at snowkingbasecamp.com or call 877-299-7506.

With this opportunity, eclipse-lovers get the best of both worlds: the ability to watch the solar eclipse in one of the most beautiful locations in North America and the experience of "roughing-it" (except visitors will be indoors at the base of Snow King mountain next to a five-star restaurant, one of Jackson Hole's best bars, wi-fi, power charging stations, indoor bathrooms, showers and 24-hour security).

The indoor camping area at Snow King is known as "The Basecamp" and is just steps from the Snow King chair lift, Alpine slide, Snow King Resort, and children's playground with a rock climbing wall.  Each campsite allows up to four people.

Rob Jennings, the creator of the indoor camping site, said he came up with the idea when he realized the town of Jackson Hole was completely sold-out during the solar eclipse.

"Up until now, it's been impossible to find anywhere in Jackson Hole to stay for the historic solar eclipse," Jennings said. "Reservations for this event were made five years ago. I got tired of turning people down and telling them they were out-of-luck. I had a few conversations and I'm very pleased to offer this opportunity up to fellow eclipse-lovers."

The total solar eclipse happening on August 21 will be the first of it's kind in nearly 40 years according to NASA.gov. Total Solar Eclipses' are rare in and of themselves, but for the first time since 1979, the path of the moon's shadow will pass through the continental United States. Jackson Hole is one of the best places to view this phenomenon as it falls directly in the viewing path.

Eclipse viewers can attend other special events in the Snow King area sponsored by Wyoming Stargazing featuring retired NASA Astronaut Scott Altman, author and astrobiologist David Grinspoon, supernovae expert, Prof. Douglas Leonard and many great activities. Tickets for these events can be purchased here.
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Friday, July 7, 2017

Westin Nashville to Host Total Solar Eclipse Rooftop Watch Party and Offer Unique Hotel Package

With a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse occurring this August, Nashville’s premier hotel, Westin Nashville, is pulling out all the stops to make sure both guests and locals alike are provided with the quintessential Total Solar Eclipse viewing experience on Monday, August 21st.  As one of the largest cities in the direct path of the eclipse, this two-minute scientific wonder will be drawn out into a daylong celebration at the Music City’s leading hotel, located at 807 Clark Pl. With everything from a Solar Eclipse 2017 Room Package to a Solar Eclipse 2017 Watch Party at L27, Nashville’s highest rooftop bar, the Westin Nashville is ensuring that this will be an event to remember.

Those traveling to Nashville for this solar experience have the opportunity to book the Solar Eclipse 2017 Package. Guests who book this package are treated to a minimum two- night stay at the Westin Nashville starting Sunday, August 20th, an in-room breakfast for two off the SuperFoodsRx™ Menu the morning of the Total Solar Eclipse, and a complimentary Rhapsody Spa welcome gift. In addition to this accommodation and in-room dining experience, guests will be given access to a complimentary yoga class for two at the L27 Rooftop Bar at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 21st and will receive two tickets to the Solar Eclipse 2017 Watch Party. To book this package, please visit this link.

Based on availability, Nashville locals and visitors taking advantage of this rare experience may have the opportunity to also attend Westin Nashville’s Solar Eclipse 2017 Watch Party on Monday, August 21st. This event at L27 Rooftop Bar will be open to guests of the hotel starting at 11:30 a.m., with eclipse progression beginning around 11:58 a.m., and will end at 2:00 p.m. Access for the general public is not guaranteed, but will open at 1:00 p.m. pending available space. Party attendees will be treated to live entertainment and complimentary solar glasses for viewing. There will also be beverages, including a specialty cocktail, and a la carte food menu items available for purchase. In the interest of safety, the pool will be closed for the duration of the event. 

By day, L27 Rooftop Bar features Nashville’s highest infinity pool, VIP cabana rental service, casual poolside fare and weekend brunch. In the evenings, L27 transforms into a vibrant lounge setting with unique programming and entertainment that includes live music, local DJs and a carefully crafted cocktail and spirits list. The venue’s private event space “Upstairs at L27” is available for private events and VIP clientele.

Conveniently located near Nashville’s entertainment district and adjacent to the Music City Center, The Westin Nashville is specifically created to reflect the city’s vibrant energy and Southern sophistication. Designed by David Mexico Design Group and Bullock Smith and Partners, each of the hotel’s 453 guest rooms features custom artwork and design details inspired by the city and region. Included are three penthouse/style entertainment suites, three hospitality suites and eight executive suites, each distinctly designed with its own character and motif.


The hours of operation for L27 Rooftop Bar are MondayWednesday 4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. For more information about L27 Rooftop Bar, visit www.l27nashville.com or call 629-800-5070.
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Friday, June 30, 2017

A True American Oasis In Death Valley Gets New Life

Smack in the middle of Death Valley is a true American oasis fueled by ancient waters that bubble up to the surface. Here, in one of the world’s most stunning and famous deserts, are gardens, date groves, trees, streams, birds and wildlife. Known to the Native Americans, discovered by the ‘49ers of the Gold Rush fame, and host to the legendary Borax Company 20 Mule Teams, it’s also home to one of the great hidden gems and vacation experiences in the United States: Furnace Creek Resort. This is where it's possible to see the Milky Way with the naked eye (due to the lack of light pollution) and where George Lucas filmed scenes from the original Star Wars movies because of the stunning natural beauty in daylight.

Renaissance

Built in the 1930s and expanded over the decades, it’s owned and operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which just announced that it will invest tens of millions of dollars to elevate the guest and visitor experience and allow the legendary Inn and Ranch, as well as the famous golf course, to experience a true renaissance.

New Name

“Furnace Creek,” as it’s been known by generations, will re-emerge asThe Oasis at Death Valley” featuring “The Inn at Death Valley” and “The Ranch at Death Valley,” respectively. The golf course will retain its historic name as “The Furnace Creek Golf Course.”

TLC & An Experiential Elevation (Below Sea Level, Of Course)

Xanterra Parks & Resorts will “restore, revitalize and create a renaissance” in all three areas that comprise The Oasis at Death Valley. Three distinct experiences exist at this oasis: a historic luxury Inn set into the side of a mountain range; a Ranch on the desert floor featuring accommodations, restaurants, a general store, a U.S. Post Office, horse stables, date groves, gardens and a large spring-fed pool, a historical museum and a gas station; and a USGA sanctioned golf course (the lowest one on earth).

Work has already begun at Furnace Creek and, over the course of 2017, the properties will undergo major improvements and enhancements in accommodations, public spaces and facilities, accessibility, landscaping, energy conservation and major upgrades to the golf course. During the construction, the 66-room Inn at Furnace Creek will close for the summer, while the 224-room Ranch will stay open. The website (www.oasisatdeathvalley.com) offers updates and information on the improvements taking place at the Resort, Ranch and golf course.

“The Oasis in Death Valley is a truly special place on the American landscape. It's a resort steeped in history and lore, all embraced by one of the last pristine environments in the country.  Xanterra is excited with the opportunity to create a renaissance at the property that respects the past, evolves the guest experience and leaves a gentler footprint on this sacred land,” said Andrew Todd, President and CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

The Inn at Death Valley

Currently featuring 66 elegant rooms built in 1927, the upscale and refined Inn at Death Valley is nestled into the mountainside where the precious waters originate. The renaissance of The Inn will add 11 two-room casitas surrounding both the spring-fed pool and lush oasis gardens, offering travelers sweeping views of Death Valley. Updated rooms and lobby; a new wellness center, complete with treatment rooms and a larger fitness area; the addition of cabanas and a poolside bar will further enhance the natural spring-fed pool area in this historic resort. The exterior will feature a terraced garden and lush landscaping.

The Inn’s famous dining room and bar will undergo a restoration complete with wood floors, new banquette seating and a turquoise ceiling – to represent the sky above Death Valley. The new dining room will also add an array of pergolas so travelers can take-in the stunning landscape surrounding the Resort.

A new group and event space for high-level retreats rarified team-building experiences and memorable weddings will be added just steps away from The Inn. Called the Mission Gardens, the spectacular environment will capitalize on the standing façade and open-air space that exists there and be artistically landscaped for social and business functions.

Construction is currently underway at The Inn and it will remain closed as usual through October and reopen at the end of October 2017. The Ranch will remain open during the summer and year round.

The Ranch at Death Valley

The Ranch at Death Valley, with its towering palm trees and true oasis atmosphere, will witness a redesign and evolution of the public space that dates to the 1950s. The vision is for a more user-friendly “town square” in Spanish Colonial Revival style to be more sensitive to the environment, reduce traffic flow and provide better access to restaurants and the general store, and complement the historic nature of The Inn.

And yes, there will still be the always-popular authentic Western Saloon with authentic swinging doors, just with a much needed and larger bar.

Guests and travelers visiting The Oasis will experience a completely new check-in area, family-friendly pedestrian zones, tranquil gardens and fountains fed by the natural springs, and respectful architectural touches (think hitching posts and troughs – which are still used by people with horses, which are still on property). The Oasis will be extremely environmentally sensitive and water neutral.

Work on The Ranch is expected to be completed in April 2018.

The Golf Course

The legendary and truly unique Furnace Creek Golf Course, built in phases starting in the 1920s and the lowest golf course in the world at 214 feet below sea level, has already received a major renovation, reclamation and environmentally- and golfer-friendly evolution mostly focused on reducing water consumption while at the same time enhancing the fun and challenging course with more natural “waste” bunkers and natural landscaping and “hazards.”  The course is expected to grow in and be ready for primetime in early spring 2018, but it is playable now. Purists can relax; the quirky 19th-hole drive-in for golf carts is still there serving refreshing drinks and a menu to whet the appetite after a day on the links.

The Oasis at Death Valley (formerly Furnace Creek Resort) is two hours west of Las Vegas by car and a four-hour drive from Los Angeles. For additional information, rates and to make a reservation, visit www.oasisatdeathvalley.com or call 800-236-7916.
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