By Caroline Morse, edited from smartertravel.com
Here at Amazing Journeys, we’re lucky to have the best jobs in the world—and we think our good fortune is worth sharing. So, when your next journey seems like a distant dream, take a few minutes to explore our WANDERLUST blog—it’s chock-full of engaging tales and helpful tips from our travels around the world.
By Caroline Morse, edited from smartertravel.com
By Lucas Peterson, edited from nytimes.com
At Amazing Journeys, we think travel is seriously fun! Over the years, we have clocked thousands of miles traveling by trains, planes and automobiles and now we want to share some “insider information” from our travels around the world.
In this third edition of Staff Picks, we’re sharing our favorite drinks from the road. With each destination offering up their ‘signature drink’, we’ve picked our favorite and explain why it is at the top of our list!
Malori: It was a drink hand-crafted just for me. I’ll call it Malori’s Delight because it was! At the Le Chateau Frontenac in Old Quebec City in Canada, we took at seat at 1608 Bar. The bar itself was gorgeous and we had stunning views of the St. Lawrence River below. Our bartender asked what I liked to drink and when I told him vodka, he took out a bottle of gin. That’s where it began. A sprig of rosemary, another liqueur or two, everything lit on fire inside the glass to get a smoky taste, topped off with lemon and who knows what else and viola! Malori’s Delight was born and it was delicious!
Stacey: Favorite drink per country? Recently in Zimbabwe we fell in love with a Zim Shandy which is a local orange juice, ginger beer, sprite, bitters and vodka. In Ireland we loved a Jameson, Ginger & Lime. In Peru, it’s the classic Pisco Sour. In…
Erin: If given the choice between a cocktail and a dessert, I will pick the dessert 100% of the time. And my favorite dessert ever? Hula pie in Hawaii! Imagine macadamia nut ice cream piled high on a chocolate cookie crust and topped with chocolate fudge, whipped cream, and more macadamia nuts. And then picture eating it on a patio in Honolulu watching the sun set over Waikiki Beach! It does not get any better than that my friends!
Michele: This would just depend on where I am, of course! I always like to try a local specialty so in Peru a Pisco Sour is a must but beware of their strength coupled with the altitude, as this recipe has a mind of its own! In Hawaii, a Mai Tai, please. When at sea on a beautiful ship with endless possibilities, my favorite is a picture perfect chocolate martini with a splash of banana liquor. Cheers!
Not all trips are about unplugging. For adventurers who consider their smartphone a second appendage, explorers who are interested in documenting their every move or travelers who need some guidance with language or maps, this list features the best apps for travel in 2016. It’s time to get downloading.
A great tool for frequent travelers, this app allows users to organize multiple flights, hotel reservations and plans in one place. Users can also follow along with each other’s itineraries, allowing families or friends to keep tabs on someone’s travel, without constant updates.
Once a flight or hotel booking is made, users forward the confirmation to an email address and the app automatically loads the booking into its system. If your flight is delayed or changed, notifications are automatically shared.
Instagram was last year’s photo sharing and exploring app-du-jour, but it seems that Snapchat will take the cake in 2016. An easy way to share quick photos or funny videos with friends and family, users can save snaps and upload them later when internet is available.
Similar to Instagram, Snapchat also lends itself to exploring areas and learning more about a location.
Featuring a basic phrasebook in over 13 languages, Bravolol is a modern-day Rosetta stone.
Although the vocabulary is fairly basic, the app pronounces phrases and offers phonetic spelling, which is great for languages that might not be familiar or feature different alphabets. The best part is that once it is downloaded, no internet connection is required. Move over, Google Translate.
With sections like Romance and Sightseeing, Bravolol would be a great app for a solo-traveler or anyone interested in venturing off-the-beaten touristic path.
If multiple countries are on your itinerary, a currency app goes a long way to keep track of finances. While there are a few options on the market, Currency features less advertisements than most and allows you to add over 10 different currencies.
If you don’t have data on your phone, be sure to download the appropriate currency while you have access to the internet, as it can calculate the conversion without data.
Featuring downloadable maps and guides to over 7,000 destinations around the world, this application is great for travelers without an internet connection as maps can be pre-loaded onto a phone. The app also features articles and suggestions for destination, if someone is interested in a more robust itinerary.
By Alexandra Tatly, edited from Forbes.com
We got the news today that we had been waiting for. The first cruise line ever to be granted permission to visit Cuba from US waters was given the green light today, at the same time of the historic visit to Havana by President Obama. “We have been waiting for this good news for a long time”, said Malori Asman, Chief Amazement Officer of Amazing Journeys. Those in the travel industry who know Malori know that she has been asking for the past few years when this destination would be available, and made each sales rep promise to let her know as soon as Cuba opened up as a cruise destination. The announcement that came today traveled fast from Havana to Miami to Pittsburgh when Malori received a call. “We’re going!”, said Ron Fenska, Vice President of Sales for Fathom Travel, “Our team is in Havana and we signed the contracts today!”
Onboard the 704 passenger Adonia, passengers will participate in onboard programming including a variety of activities covering an array of interests such as Cuba’s customs and culture, conversational Spanish lessons and geographic-inspired entertainment. Our Amazing Journeys onboard programming will take it a step further and offer additional programming and discussions on topics involving the Jewish aspect of Cuba and its effects on the community under communism where no organized religion was allowed. In addition, during our two days at sea, enjoy Cuban music, learn to dance the salsa, watch Cuban movies and learn to mix the perfect mojito or Cuba Libre.
On land, the ship will visit three Cuban cities, including Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba and an overnight in Havana allowing for nearly two days there. The included shore excursions will provide immersion into Cuba’s history with walking tours and architectural tours, culture and special interest tracts such as visiting artists homes, a visit to the home of Ernest Hemingway, visits to hospitals or a cigar factory. In addition, Amazing Journeys has already been in contact with the Jewish community and will include visits to synagogues, the only functioning pharmacy on the island, located inside of the synagogue and visits with locals from the Jewish community.
According to Malori, Cuba is so close but a world apart. She will be going on the second ever sailing from Miami in over 50 years, leaving on May 15 in preparation for our group cruise over New Year’s. To receive more details on this cruise, sign up for our Cuba interest list at firstname.lastname@example.org