New York City

New York City

New York City is the largest city in the United States and has a population of over eight million, which, as people continue to flock to New York City, is likely to grow even larger. This is Broadway, this is Wall Street, this is a city of history and legends, and who wouldn’t want to visit it at least once -even if it is just to say they’d been there.

Here are ten of the “must see” attractions of New York City:

  • New York’s famous Empire State Building, a New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark, soars more than a quarter of a mile into the atmosphere above the heart of Manhattan. Located on the 86th floor, 1,050 feet (320 meters) above the city’s bustling streets, the Observatory offers panoramic views from within a glass enclosed pavilion and from the surrounding open-air promenade. Since the Observatory opened to the public in 1931, almost 110 million visitors have thrilled to the awe-inspiring vision of the city beneath them.
  • Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of international friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy. Liberty Island is accessible by Circle Line-Statue of Liberty Ferry, Inc. ferries only. One round trip ferry ticket includes visits to Liberty and Ellis Islands.
  • Legendary Times Square, the heart of Broadway and of countless huge New York gatherings, recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. Filled with its neon signs, screaming ads, giant screens, Times Square “the crossroads of the world” is more than ever a sight that overwhelms, its flashing lights reaching to the sky. The main attractions in Times Square include ABC Studios, WWE Store, Toys R Us and MTV’s TRL. At the Times Square Visitors Center you can get free citywide information from multilingual tourist counselors, get free maps and brochures, purchase tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows from the Broadway Ticket Center & more.
  • The United Nations Headquarters building in New York City is the home of the international organization and one of the most visited sites in the city. Guided tours are conducted seven days a week (Monday to Friday only during January and February). Tours are conducted from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday to Friday; Saturday and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours in English normally leave every half hour and last for approximately 45 minutes to one hour.
  • At Madame Tussaud’s New York, you will be able to mingle with nearly 200 amazingly life-like wax figures, including Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson, Madonna and even Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Open 365 days a year from 10:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday, last ticket sold at 8:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday, last ticket sold at 10:00 p.m.
  • One of the most successful ships in US history is now one of the most unique attractions in New York City. Berthed on the mighty Hudson River in Manhattan, the Intrepid Air & Sea Museum boasts educational exhibits and exciting events. After being closed for a lengthy renovation, the museum reopened to the public on Nov 8th 2008.
  • Central Park extends from 59th to 110th streets and 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue. It is home to a zoo, playgrounds, skating rinks and a lot more. One of the most romantic and popular ways to see Central Park is from a horse-drawn carriage. These carriages line up at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue across from the Plaza Hotel.
  • The Rockefeller Center is a place for exquisite shopping, fine dining and great entertainment. It also houses the NBC studios and the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink. During Christmas time, the whole place turns into a Winter Wonderland with the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and beautiful lights and decorations everywhere. Tours are available of the Rockefeller Center as well as NBC studios.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art has specimens of different categories of art from all over the world during every epoch of recorded time. Going through the entire Met is a full day affair. Within are more than two million works of art including arts of Africa, Asia, Europe, Egypt, Greece, Rome, medieval art, musical instruments, photographs, and 20th-century art.
  • The Madison Square Garden or as it is popularly known, “The World’s Most Famous Arena” is a must see for all sports fans. Be sure to take an All Access Tour of the Garden and visit the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty locker rooms; tour backstage of the Theater at Madison Square Garden; go inside the Star dressing rooms; see players practicing, performers in rehearsal or crews staging events! You’ll never know what you’ll see on the All Access Tour.
  • OK, so this is number eleven, but a list is not complete with a trip to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. Love or hate the team, the greatness of those who have played for this team cannot be discounted. The new stadium is a masterpiece and a shrine to the sport, second only to Cooperstown.

The holiday shopping season starts very soon.  What are you waiting for? Contact Maupin Travel and get started planning your trip.

Rites of the Fondue

Rites of the Fondue

By: Globus
No Double Dipping.

Fondue is far more than a popular treat for tourists in Switzerland — it’s a serious business, with every step of the dish’s consumption enveloped in ritual and tradition.

The classic version of the national dish is, of course, cheese fondue, which originated in the French-speaking countryside around Geneva in the 1700s. It is prepared in an earthenware pot, called a caquelon, whose interior is rubbed with a clove of garlic. Heated on a small paraffin burner, cheeses are melted and blended in the caquelon. Each region of Switzerland uses a different mix of cheese—Gruyère, Emmenthal, and raclette are most popular—flavored with an alcoholic beverage (most commonly, white wine or kirsch, although some use beer). Into this bubbling, semi-liquid mass, diners dip an array of tasty objects on long forks. Cubes of bread are traditional, but many use chunks of boiled potato or vegetables, garnished with chives, fresh pepper, diced garlic, or raw mushrooms.

Naturally, there are strict rules of behavior. There is no “double-dipping.” And if the bread falls off your fork into the pot, a penalty must be paid. Men must buy a bottle of wine for the table, and women must kiss the man on their left (one reason, perhaps, for fondue’s ongoing popularity). But however the meal unfolds, every bite is mouth-watering.

In the 1950s, Swiss chefs began to experiment with radical variations. Today, there is meat fondue (fondue borguignonne), where diners dip red meat into boiling oil to sear the exterior to delicious effect. For dessert, there’s chocolate fondue, where pieces of fruit, often marinated in Cointreau, are enveloped in melted chocolate (strawberry is lethally good). But cheese fondue remains most common in restaurants.

For the Swiss, the final ritual is to peel up the layer of hardened cheese at the bottom of the pot, which has become like a rich cracker. Known as la religieuse (French for “the nun”), it’s a delicious end to a high-cholesterol feast.

Great storytellers don’t use scripts. They use itineraries. Follow your Globus itinerary with Maupin Travel to experience Switzerland’s history and stories today!

60 Second Geography-Brazil

60 Second Geography – Brazil

The largest country in South America is also the most populous and the most visited by travelers. Brazil’s varied landscape and travel themes — from the Amazon to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro are the stuff that avid travelers dream about all of their lives. More Europeans than Americans visit each year, but that mix is changing dramatically with the buying power of the dollar and the discovery of Brazil as a new “in” travel destination. Tourism is of central importance for the nation, and the government has fostered investment in infrastructure and training for the hospitality industry. An intense focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly travel promises to preserve this natural wonderland for generations to come.

  • The greatest river basin in the world, Amazonia contains more than 20% of the entire world’s fresh water.
  • It is a nation of superlatives with the largest river, the greatest rainforest and the world’s most exciting Carnival.
  • Brazil’s culture is an amazing mix of Portuguese, African and Amerindian.
  • The city of Americana, outside of Sao Paulo, was founded by disenfranchised soldiers of the Confederate army after the American Civil War.
  • The city of Rio de Janeiro is made up of 150 districts. Rio is an exciting city with iconic architecture and monuments.
  • The statue of Christ the Redeemer rests on Corcovado Mountain at 2,330 feet above sea level.
  • Sugar Loaf, the famous peak rising 1,300 feet above sea level is accessible by a cable car ride.
  • Ipanema Beach, made famous by the song, is the center of Rio’s beach and night-life.
  • The “hippy fair” at General Osorio Square is a much visited site for mingling and people watching on Sundays where local arts and crafts may be purchased.
  • Brazil loves its soccer. The Estadio de Maracana is the largest soccer stadium in South America, seating 95,000.
  • Tijuca Forest is located adjacent to Rio de Janeiro and at nearly 8,000 acres is the largest urban forest in the world.
  • With over 5000 miles of coastline, Brazil’s beaches are world class. Some are highly developed while others are nearly deserted stretches of beach and ocean.
  • Iguacu Falls consists of 275 smaller cataracts along a 1.5 miles stretch of river.
  • Rio’s Carnival is the most famous in the world. Months of preparation and planning go into the event and more than 300,000 travelers pack the city each February to participate.

Ready to explore Brazil? Contact Maupin Travel and get started planning your trip.

Guanacaste Costa Rica

Guanacaste Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index, and ranked 54th in the world in 2007. The country is ranked 3rd in the world, and 1st among the Americas, in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index.

In 2007 the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon neutral country by 2021. According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the “greenest” country in the world.

Costa Rica is Central America’s special jewel and it is only a three hour hop from Miami in a plane. Costa Rica will appeal to all ages and the country’s natural attractions, wildlife and reputation for enlightened conservation draw tourists from all over the world. The Government has made a real effort to preserve the country’s image as an eco-tourism heaven, making Costa Rica one of the best places to experience the tropics naturally and with minimal impact, at least for now. The country’s bio-diversity attracts nature lovers from all over the world. Add to this the incredible warmth and sincere hospitality of the local people and the exceptional variety of hotels along Guanacaste’s Pacific coast and you have a recipe for a unique and memorable destination for couples, singles and families. Costa Rica has become a mecca for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty and peacefulness of nature. The country has more of its land (percentage) protected in natural parks, biological preserves and wildlife sanctuaries than any other nation on earth.

One of the most amazing regions in Costa Rica is the Guanacaste region, located along the Northwest Pacific Coast. It is a perfect central point from which to explore Costa Rica’s diversity. The natural setting is casual, secure, and unassuming. And the local “Ticos” are warm and friendly and eager to share the bounty of the Guanacaste province with visitors. Bird-watching, exhilarating zip-line canopy tours, excellent diving and water sports and exceptional hotels all combine to make Guanacaste a perfect choice for visitors. From crushed pink shells to salt and pepper volcanic sand, the beaches are as diverse as the nearby eco- adventures. Visit the popular resort town of Tamarindo, with its great surf and white-sand beaches, for browsing and souvenir shopping. From panoramic rolling savannahs to bubbling hot springs to hissing active volcanoes to remarkable beaches, visitors of all ages will experience a vacation like no other in Costa Rica’s popular Guanacaste region.

This region is very temperate and cooled by gentle Pacific breezes, making it very pleasant year-round, with an average temperature of 80 degrees. Some of the more unique jaunts available in the region include driving to the very edge of a volcanic crater, hiking through the heart of a mountain jungle and exploring a rainforest all in the same day. Fishing and snorkeling are also very popular activities.

What are you waiting for? Contact Maupin Travel and get started!


How to Travel like a Movie Star

How to Travel like a Movie Star

By: Silversea
Do you breeze through airports with the grace and style of a star like Marion Cotillard (whose films include the runaway hit movie Midnight in Paris)? How do globetrotting celebrities always manage to look so carefree and fashionable when going through the same airport hurdles and delays endured by the rest of us? Well, let’s face it, they probably have an entourage to keep them looking crisp and fabulous!

But there is a simple step you can take to make your travels smoother. Smart luxury travellers of the 21st-century are embracing the art of journeying sans baggage. If you’re still lugging your suitcases across continents, let this be your wake-up call!

Silver Shore Baggage Valet

Enhance your Silversea holiday by sending your luggage ahead of you. Our Silver Shore Baggage Valet service conveniently begins and ends at your front door, allowing your luggage to travel to the ship and back home again from many ports.

Your luggage can be picked up from your home or office and travel to many worldwide destinations, enabling you to travel with ease. Considering current airport security and baggage restrictions, Silver Shore Baggage Valet provides peace of mind before and after your journey.

For your convenience, we offer roundtrip and one-way service options. Pricing is based on the weight and number of pieces to be shipped. For most international embark ports, we require the luggage be picked up 10 to 14 business days prior to your sail date. Each piece of luggage is insured up to a maximum of US$2,000.

Thirty-day advance notice prior to sail date is recommended for this service.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam – A True Surrealistic Watercolor

By: Fyllis HockmanDescending the steep, narrow plank, inch by inch, hand over hand along the long pole, I thought: “This better be one hell of a cave!” Exploring the other-worldly interior of Hang Trong Cave was to be one of many surreal experiences I would have traveling along Ha Long Bay in northeast Vietnam.

In the 1992 movie Indochine, credited with putting Ha Long Bay on the map, Catherine Deneuve describes it as “the most remote outpost of Indochina.” Today, the bay still retains that end-of-the-Earth, Lord-of-the-Rings-on-water quality.

The very few guesthouses at that time have now flourished into almost 300 accommodations of every comfort level and the few Chinese junks plying their trade have transformed into more than 400 tourist boats.

I visited as part of a Myths and Mountains Tour, which also included several days in Hanoi and Sapa in northwest Vietnam, an area home to several minority villages. But more on that later.

The almost 600 square miles, comprised of thousands of karst (limestone) islands, caves and inlets create a solitary natural environment that belies description and inspires awe. I kept thinking: “How many times can I use the word surreal in one travel article?”

The basic boat we called home, replicating an old Chinese Junk, was, well, basic. But we dined well and huddled about the crew as they studied tidal charts to determine our daily itinerary. Inflatable canoes, powered by guides, were our vehicle of choice for purposes of exploration. Cave opening too small to navigate? No problem – just let some air out of the canoe. Very versatile.

Some caves were so dark we donned headlamps to maneuver through. Others so small, the entire trip was negotiated on our backs. But those that enthralled the most were comprised of tortured, grotesque shapes hanging from the ceiling and reflected in the water below. I felt stuck in a huge open mouth badly in need of dental work; I was Jonah inside the whale, the cave itself its gaping jaw, and the jagged stalactites above and below giant misshapen teeth.

Some days we paddled into the caves. Others we trekked through them. One-hundred-forty steps up a sheer cliff brought us to Hang Sung Sot – the over-100-foot-high, multi-chambered Surprises Cave (which it was full of).

Some chambers were back lit by sun-filled gaps in the limestone, others artificially lit for dramatic effect. I was told the name referred to the enormity of the cave – a mile and a half walk from end to end; for me it was the huge highlighted outcropping protruding at a suggestive 45-degree angle as you rounded one of the bends, clearly a pornographic symbol that elicits giggles – if not outright guffaws – from all who come across it.

I could envision a small civilization existing here in a former lifetime, and was not surprised to hear that many Vietnamese hid in the caves during the bombings of Hanoi during the Vietnam War – or, as they see it, the American War.

What did surprise me was some historic insight we received from our Myths and Mountains guide, arguably the best in Vietnam, Le Van Cuong. When I asked why the people of Vietnam were so welcoming to Americans after we destroyed so much of their country, he patiently explained that on their historic timeline, the Americans were just a blip. “The main reason is that historically my country has been invaded by so many countries over centuries that the Americans were responsible for just a small part of their suffering. And it is just the very nature of Vietnamese people to forgive and forget.”

Very candid about the good and bad in his country and the pros and cons of the government, his perspective on the current political climate in Vietnam was also interesting. Although the government is Communist — what Cuong describes as “flexible communism” – the burgeoning economy reflects capitalism. “Perhaps you can smell democracy in the air but it’s going to be a while before it settles to the ground,” he observed.

But back to paddling through Ha Long Bay. Exiting the caves often brings you into a still lagoon, mirroring the majesty of the soaring peaks. Jagged and ragged, alternately solid and porous, the gauzy spires seem lost in the horizon while alternately sinking below the surface of the water. Being of a certain age – and eyesight – I thought perhaps the surroundings appeared that way because of my cataracts — all filmy and out-of-focus. But it is more valid vista than vision – and therein lay their beauty.

Defying convention, one delighted paddler exclaimed as his canoe re-entered the world: “Oh my God, it’s Shangra-La.” Expanding on his initial reaction, Charles Guinn from Kansas City, Missouri, continued: “This is the most unique place I’ve ever seen in all my travels. I suspect there’s no other place like it in the world.”

Back aboard our floating home, we traveled past a complement of water-borne vehicles that challenged the imagination: multi-colored fishing boats sporting multi-faceted protrusions; floating houses on wooden platforms with shrimp, crab and fish farms caged underneath; bamboo basket boats, and rowboats and kayaks manned by kids playing hide-and-seek behind the small islands in the Bay.

A young woman in a basket boat pulled up alongside ours selling chocolate, crackers, cookies, nuts, wine and cigarettes. Relaxing on deck, we play the ancient game of what do you see in the strange formations in our midst. Or, more appropriately on Ha Long Bay mist. “Hey, that looks like George Washington,” “Nah, a fisherman,” “No, I think it’s a goat’s head,” until the boat moves on to the next imaginary challenge.

Ruth Lerner of Venice, California, reflected on the surroundings. ““Such quiet, endless beauty, so breath-taking with no two formations alike.” Her favorite part? “Floating in the kayak through pitch dark, absolutely quiet caves and emerging into lagoons as still as glass.”

Such are the wonders of Ha Long Bay, which were only a part of the memorable Myths and Mountains itinerary (or Mist and Mountains, as one of my companions deadpanned) which also included Hanoi’s vibrant, colorful Old Quarter where streets are still named for the products they sell to the city’s modern sections. The city is on the verge of globalization to the mountains of Sapa where several minorities, practicing their own language, customs and clothing, still live in primitive villages as they have for centuries.

Vietnam is a country torn between then and now, what was juxtaposed with what will be, poised in economic boom and political transition. Go now before luxury high-rise hotels flood the landscape and Westernization erodes the culture.

Life Is A Beach

Which Would You Rather Do?



The popular image of cruising is a modern, mass market ship filled with literally thousands of people freighted from one familiar port-of-call to the next; not so eco-cruising. As the name implies, eco-cruising is all about the exploration of nature and the environment from the vantage point of the earth’s oceans, seas and rivers. The expanding appeal of environmental tourism in general and eco-cruising in particular is evident in the great number of options a traveler now has to commune with the natural world from the bow of a ship.

Eco-cruising is characterized by an emphasis on visiting ecologically significant destinations with an eye to an educational experience. For the traveler looking to enhance their travels with something different from the ordinary, eco-cruising offers an alternative to a “7-day Western Caribbean” itinerary. If the idea of ecologically based cruising sounds good to you, speak with your travel consultant, who can hook you up with just the right opportunity for you to view nature as a seagoing traveler.

Instead of Vegas-style entertainment, eco-cruise companies generally staff their vessels with one or more onboard experts in the environment: a naturalist, zoologist, or biologist acting as a tour guide, instructor and lecturer during the trip – some cruise operators employ more than a dozen such experts per voyage. The smaller size of the vessels and their passenger count (often fewer than 200) means that travelers have greater access not only to any on-board experts but to the crew in general. A smaller vessel also allows the ship to respond quickly to opportunity and circumstance. Wildlife sightings, events at ports of call or even the whim of the captain or on-board naturalist can cause a complete change in itinerary.

Most ships used by eco-cruise companies fall into the category of “small ship”. These boats have very shallow drafts (the depth of the boat’s keel) and can enter areas that larger ships could never contemplate. In general, ships carrying fewer than 800 passengers fall into the small ship category, but most eco-tourism vessels carry fewer than 100 passengers. The on–board ambience is relaxed, casual and friendly. The passengers range in all ages, and a respect for the theme of the voyage is tangible. Overall, the travelers will be an active bunch, looking for every possible opportunity to physically engage in the trip.

Accommodations onboard these ships vary, but because of the smaller passenger count, cabin size compares favorably to mass-market ships – typically between 100 and 150 square feet. Some cabins will have twin beds and some double with private baths. Some ships also offer a small number of more spacious suites. The out-of-doors emphasis of the itinerary requires participants to have excellent viewing opportunities, so many ships have all “outside” cabin facilities with large picture windows.

Meals are typically one of the highlights of cruising, and eco-cruises, in general, have carried on this tradition. Seating is usually open style and meals may be a buffet or served seated. Special meal requests often can be considered, but be sure to make your cruise operator aware early on of any special accommodations you might require, such as vegetarian or vegan meals. While meals are typically taken in a dedicated dining room, occasionally they are served on the decks to allow 360 degree viewing of the scenery while dining.

Most expedition vessels carry smaller boats on board for exploring the locales they visit. Zodiac rafts and kayaks are common ways of viewing wildlife and glaciers up-close and personal. Launched from divots or a landing platform, these small auxillary craft allow travelers to slip into even more remote pockets of the local landscape. Typical activities involve hiking, kayaking, scuba, snorkeling, wildlife sightings and lectures.

The eco-cruise industry provides itineraries in every possible destination. Antarctica is one of the prime destinations for eco-cruise companies. Far from being a lifeless desert of snow and ice, Antarctica has abundant sea life and opportunities for exploration. Itineraries are often photography tours of southern Argentina, the Falklands and the adjacent islands, as well as the continent itself. Steeple Jason Island in the Falklands is the world’s largest albatross nesting area, and visitors to this part of the world are treated to large penguin rookeries, giant elephant seals, fur seals and pods of orcas careening in and out of the icy channels.

The Galapagos Islands are the home to the species that gave Charles Darwin much of his inspiration for the theory of evolution. Many animals here remain largely unafraid of man. The great diversity of the bird species is truly amazing: flightless cormorants, Galapagos Penguins (on the equator!), Galapagos hawks, finches and blue-footed boobies. Seals and sea lions, iguanas and giant tortoises abound. Travelers who want to snorkel or scuba will see marine iguanas, manta rays, hammerhead and white tipped sharks, sea turtles and a great variety of other pelagic species.

A cruise down the Amazon is perhaps one of the most exotic eco-cruise itineraries. The rainforests of the Amazon are home to the world’s broadest biodiversity. On either side of the river, the shores are thick with dense rainforest canopy. Pink river dolphins and colorful birds are common sights. The otherworldly Amazonian sloths meander in the tops of the trees and toucans and howler monkeys provide a daily serenade of sound. Many excursions involve meeting the local population and allow travelers to learn more about the river culture and how modernity is affecting their lives. The trips often foray into small tributaries, channels and passageways as the naturalists on board guide passengers through waters churning with life.

Some of the most accessible of the eco-cruise itineraries go to Alaska. The combination of scenery and wildlife create a high demand for Alaskan eco-cruises. Whales, both orca and humpback, eagles, salmon, seals, walrus, polar and grizzly bear appear against a scenery of high mountains and calving glaciers. Zodiac rafts launched from the small ships allow travelers to get within a hundred yards of newly formed icebergs as they fall from glaciers overlooking the sea. Naturalists that accompany these voyages know the best possible locations for wildlife viewing, far from the reaches of the mass cruise line market.

The Sea of Cortez, where the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean meet, is a fantastically rich feeding ground for aquatic life of every variety. Especially important to travelers are the California gray whales that calve here. But note that over 35 species of whale and dolphin make their home or transit through the Sea of Cortez. Travelers make frequent sightings of whale sharks and giant Pacific manta rays. Large pelagic fish of almost every variety are found in these waters, along with the spectacular coast line and reefs that make diving and snorkeling popular activities. Inflatable excursion craft frequently ferry travelers to uninhabited islands to dive and explore. So important is this vitally sensitive area that on July 14, 2005, UNESCO registered the region as a World Heritage Site.

During your search for an eco-cruise tour operator, consider the reputation of the eco-cruise line and its history of working with travelers. It is an unfortunate fact that too many hotels, resorts and others in the travel industry bill themselves as eco-friendly without a great deal of substantiation. The lack of globally recognized standards for being ecologically sound makes the process of selecting a tour operator a bit more difficult. Many countries have enacted their own local standards for hospitality industry participants, as has the World Travel and Tourism Council.

In addition, the manner in which your cruise operator interacts with the local cultures and environment will play a role in how you ultimately remember and relate to your voyage. To the extent that your eco-cruise line seeks actively to minimize the impact of its activities on the local environment, the better for all concerned. It is entirely appropriate to ask a cruise ship operator about its environmental philosophy and whether it has published its standards. You will also want to inquire as to the training and expertise of staff members who will be accompanying you on your trip. The end result should be a solid environmental and cultural travel experience.

You will want to determine that not only the character of the cruise line, but also of your fellow participants, will be a compatible fit. Ask about the passenger demographic and age range. Inquire about the number of passengers on a typical voyage and the ship’s capacity. Make sure that you will be able to participate fully given any physical limitations you may have by informing your cruise operator early on of access issues for you or your traveling companions. If traveling with children, make sure that the policies of the cruise company accommodate their age and maturity level.

Your cruise line will provide to you a list of recommended clothing and gear. As always, pack as lightly as possible, and remember to take along the essentials for recording your voyage on film or in a diary. Binoculars, sunglasses and sunscreen are some important items often left behind. Ask a doctor about any recommended medical treatments or vaccinations for your planned destinations. Ask your travel consultant about travel insurance to cover unexpected cancellation and medical events or trip interruption due to sickness. Finally, make sure that your travel documentation is appropriate and in order for your chosen destination.

Eco-cruising presents a real opportunity for personal excitement and growth. The options are many, affordable and accessible — why wait? Contact Maupin Travel and get started!

We Wander for Distraction