• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Destinations Show, Olympia

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

Include Cape Cod In Your New England Trip

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Vicki Tester

 

One of our favorite little B&B boutique hotels ‘The Platinum Pebble’ in Cape Cod, New England, USA have written the following article about being on Cape Cod –

The best place to stay on Cape Cod means different things to different travelers.  Why are you traveling and what do you enjoy on holiday?  For us, the best place to stay is where we have the best access to explore our new surroundings.  We live like a local in our travels and soak up as much as we can as we discover the best of where we happen to be.  Harwich drew us like a bonfire with its central Cape location, direct access to the beach and bike trails, farm to table restaurants, almost everything is walkable, and Provincetown is the same distance as Falmouth so we can easily explore the entire Cape.  Now our goal is to bring it to our Guests via customized itineraries so your vacation is everything it should be.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Two of our favorite places to visit on the Cape are Provincetown and Falmouth but, the distance between the two is a couple hours…more in High Season.  When we first came to Cape Cod we chose Harwich because it opens up both sides of the Cape without too much wasted travel time in between.  For us, the decision was easy because we like to see it all!  As an unintended consequence we found that Harwich is also about the same distance to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket with drive and ferry time considered.  For travelers searching for the best place to stay on Cape Cod, it’s about making this a vacation of your dreams…what is important to you is what defines where you should be.

To decide on the best place to stay on Cape Cod, access and walkability were high on our list.   Harwich has it all and we have discovered that having very little time to spend enjoying the best place on Earth (as Innkeepers) we are glad to have easy access to nearly everything when we do get a breather.

For more information on making Cape Cod part of your bespoke tailor made holiday to the USA then please give us a call on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Getting more from your trip to New York City

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

There is plenty to do in New York City from shopping along some of the most famous streets in the world, going to the top of iconic skyscrapers, heading across the river to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to browsing through all the various markets. The attractions are legion but if you are willing to travel a short distance out then there is even more to offer.

Join a tour, drive yourself or take the train and taxi to the following attractions which are just a couple of hours away from downtown NY. Overlooking the Hudson River is the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and a guided tour and tour of the garden will leave you far more knowledgeable about this historic President. The first presidential library is located here and gives you details of this particular era. Just a short drive further along brings you to the Vanderbilt Mansion. Full of stunning art, furniture and surrounded by national parkland, you soon understand why they lived here.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

While in this area why not visit the Culinary Institute of America where students will give you a guided tour of the facilities and finish of dining at one of four restaurants found here. The food is excellent, as you would expect, and the prices very reasonable.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

To stretch your legs, head to Poughkeepsie and the New York State Park found here. One of the key attractions is the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. This crosses over the Hudson River and is over 2 kms long.

For those interested in history (and flying) then make your way to Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome which is home to a huge collection of 1900 – 1939 aeroplanes, cars, motorcycles and their memorabilia. From June to October there is an air show every weekend (weather permitting) with vintage aircrafts flying including WW1 German Fokker planes. For those intrepid enough, you can take to the skies in a biplane ride any day of the week.

A wonderful way to see this beautiful and interesting part of New York State.

We are a call away!

For more information please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Good News For Locals!

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Good News – Cathay Pacific has announced that they will be launching a new service offering direct flights from Gatwick to Hong Kong four times a week. This is in addition to their longstanding routes between Heathrow and Hong Kong, and between Manchester and Hong Kong.

This new route is great news for those living in the South East wishing to visit Australia and New Zealand, as there will be connections through to key hubs in both countries from Hong Kong.

The new service is due to commence in September 2016 with Cathay Pacific’s new Airbus A350-900 with refreshed Business Class cabin and new Premium Economy Class seats.

Hong Kong makes a great stopover location, as well as a holiday destination in its own right. For more information on this, and how these flights could work well for your future holiday plans, give us a call on 01323 446550, or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Book now for New England

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

New England is perhaps most famous for the wonderful colours of its fall foliage; forests of maple trees don their autumn mantle of reds and gold in the transition from summer to the snows of the winter months.  However, a visit to the New England States of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut has far more to commend it than simply experiencing Mother Nature’s awesome autumn splendour.  Well known for its variety of accommodation from the small B&B’s, to Inns and larger luxury properties, as well as the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, the more rugged scenery of the Maine coastline dotted with colourful lighthouses and the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, there is something for everyone in New England.  We can help you tailor your plans to fit the time you have available, your expectations and budget.  We pride ourselves on helping you achieve your dreams, not simply selling you a holiday.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for our itinerary ideas:- New England 

If you would like to see the amazing fall colours this year then you need to book soon or alternatively start thinking about making this part of your next years holiday.  Please contact us to help make your bespoke, tailor made holiday really special and one to remember – Tel: 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Connecting Two Iconic African Destinations Just Got Easier

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Two of the two favourite destinations in Southern Africa – The Okavango Delta in Botswana and Cape Town in South   Africa – have just become easier to connect. Airlink, a regional South African domiciled airline, has now put in place direct flights between Cape Town and Maun, the gateway to the Okavango.

These flights are currently flying 5 times a week but will increase in number as we move in to the peak season. This helps you maximise your time in your favourite destinations and reduces time spent in airport lounges.

Departing mid-morning from Cape Town and arriving in Maun early afternoon means that you could be at your lodge in good time to sip your sundowner after having had a game drive in your chosen Okavango destination.

On the reverse journey the flight leaves early afternoon and arrives in Cape Town mid afternoon. This allows you time to unpack at your hotel and watch the sun set over TableMountain or the Atlantic, having been out on a game drive that morning.

To make the most of this improved flight connection, please give us a call on tel: 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Picture courtesy of Angie watson

Picture courtesy of Angie watson

Southern Florida Road Trip

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Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

This itinerary explores Southern Florida and is great for both families and couples.  In this itinerary we discover the southern Florida coasts between Miami and Tampa, and give suggestions of destinations to add if time allows.

Summary

Summary

The state of Florida brings plenty of sunshine, pristine beaches and natural beauty.  Enjoy all of this as a stand alone road trip, or add in a visit to some of the world famous theme parks in the state.  Florida truly does have it all.

Day 1: Miami

Day 3: Key West

Day 5: Islamorada

Day 6: Naples

Day 8: Gulf Coast

Day 12: Depart Tampa

Description

Description

Southern Florida Road Trip

The state of Florida brings plenty of sunshine, pristine beaches and natural beauty.  Enjoy all of this as a stand alone road trip, or add in a visit to some of the world famous theme parks in the state.  Florida truly does have it all.  Visit between November and May for sunny days and mild winter and spring temperatures.  Summers are hot and humid with chances of tropical storms.

 In this itinerary we discover the southern Florida coasts between Miami and Tampa, and give suggestions of destinations to add if time allows.

Day 1 Miami

Today arrive in Miami.  Whilst here don’t miss Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District, with it’s gorgeous array of buildings, the trendy nightlife of South Beach, hotels of Miami Beach and the historic hideaways of Coral Gables. 

2 nights Miami Beach

Day 3 Key West

Drive the length of the Florida Keys today to Key West, Florida’s southernmost subtropical region, which is located closer to Cuba than Miami, visit the streets lined with palms, mansions and tin-roofed conch houses that were home to names such as Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. 

2 nights Key West

Day 5 Islamorada

Return north along the Keys to Islamorada – an island paradise for you to explore and relax at. 

1 night Islamorada

Day 6 Naples

Leaving the Keys behind, your next destination is Naples, located on the Gulf of Mexico in the south west of the state. Shopping is a treat at the many boutiques found along Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South.  Also visit the numerous art galleries of this historic downtown area and enjoy dining whilst overlooking the water.

2 nights Naples

Day 8 Gulf Coast

Continue north along the Gulf Coast, exploring beaches and towns as you go.  Choose to spend the next four nights in one of the towns or beachfront locations along this coast. Peaceful Sanibel Island, cultural and eclectic Sarasota, laid back AnnaMariaIsland and bustling Clearwater are just a few to choose from – we’ll help to find the perfect location for you.

4 nights Gulf Coast

Day 12 Depart Tampa

A shorter drive today as you head for Tampa airport for your flight home.

Day 13

Arrive Home.

 For families and the young at heart, world famous theme parks await you in the Orlando area – Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld to name just a few plus a short drive brings you to attractions such as  the Kennedy Space Centre. Add time here to experience the fun before returning from Orlando International airport.

 Orlando and the Gulf Coast has an array of private homes available for rental making a fantastic great value option for families and larger groups of travellers.  Ask us for more details.

Picture courtesy of Visit Florida

Picture courtesy of Visit Florida

 

Picture courtesy of Visit Florida

Picture courtesy of Visit Florida

 

Picture courtesy of Visit Florida

Picture courtesy of Visit Florida

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Gem

Little Gem

When visiting Florida, especially if your itinerary includes Naples, a trip to the everglades is a must. You could take a trip on and airboat or join a wildlife tour to see the crocs.

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Ice-Sculptures & BeaverTails – Welcome to Ottawa’s Winterlude

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Posted by:

Sue Riggs

 

This is why they love Winter!!!

 I was fortunate enough to be invited to Ottawa for the 37th opening ceremony of Winterlude festival.  This is Ottawa’s celebration of winter and all the activities and events on offer between January 30th and February 16th 2015.

 It started on Friday January 30th with open air performances and music in Confederation Park-Crystal Garden. This was also the beginning of the Ice-Carving competition. The carvers had until 12noon on Sunday to complete their master pieces and wow they were all amazing.  How they can create these magnificent sculptures out of blocks of ice is unbelievable. Ice sculptures could also be found outside all of the official Winterlude hotels.

 The world’s largest skating rink, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is here in Ottawa.  The Rideau Canal Skate way is open from January to late February (weather permitting). Hire skates or a sled from one of the huts on the canal or take your own.  Access to the canal is free for anyone to use so don’t miss out; just wrap up warm as it was -25 when we visited. To help warm up try one of Ottawa’s famous BeaverTails (a pastry in the shape of a Beaver tail.), my favourite had to be the Maple Syrup topping.

 Visit Jacques Cartier Park-Snowflake Kingdom with its super slides and magnificent snow sculptures. Race your friends down the slides or visit the Extreme Zone with its Zip line, maze, go-karts and adventure course.  In the evenings it lights up with special effects and DJ rhythms. Look out for the Ice-Hog family as they are known to hang out here.

 Along with all of the outdoor activities on offer there are events happening in many of Ottawa’s fascinating museums, and a good opportunity to grab a hot drink and defrost.

 For further details please call us on 01323 446550 or Email to info@experienceholidays.co.uk

SONY DSC

Courtesy of Sue Riggs

San Francisco

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Spend time in this fabulous city.

Summary

San Francisco

Arguably, one of the most popular and beautiful cities in the States. Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by its steep streets, cable cars and the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge. Add to this a high concentration and variety of fine restaurants and shopping centres, a diverse ethnic mix, museums, art galleries and famous visitor attractions and you have the ingredients for a perfect city break. Here is just one suggestion for a 3 night stay in this wonderful city:-

Day 1: Transfer to your chosen hotel where you will be based for your 3 night stay.
Day 2: This morning take a deluxe orientation tour of the city.
Day 3: Full day to explore more of this city.
Day 4: Time for some last minute shopping before checking out of your hotel

Description

Description

Arguably, one of the most popular and beautiful cities in the States. Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by its steep streets, cable cars and the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge. Add to this a high concentration and variety of fine restaurants and shopping centres, a diverse ethnic mix, museums, art galleries and famous visitor attractions and you have the ingredients for a perfect city break. Here is just one suggestion for a 3 night stay in this wonderful city:-

Day 1
On arrival in San Francisco, transfer to your chosen hotel where you will be based for your 3 night stay. Tonight you are free to dine at leisure in one of the many restaurants on offer.

Day 2
This morning take a deluxe orientation tour of the city. Your tour takes in all the familiar sights of the city including Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, the GoldenGate Bridge, Nob Hill and Chinatown – this will help you plan the rest of your stay. You can combine this tour with a 45 minute cruise of San Francisco Bay.

Day 3
Full day to explore more of this city. With so much to do and see, you might consider the purchase of a city pass which, in addition to discount vouchersincludes unlimited use of cable cars and public transport for the duration of your stay (excluding the BART). The pass includes entry to four or San Francisco’s most popular attractions, California Academy of Science, Blue & Gold Fleet Cruise Adventure, Aquarium of the Bay and the De Young Museum (or the Exploratorium)

In the evening join a tour of Chinatown by night including dinner in an authentic Chinese restaurant. The tour concludes with a drive across Bay Bridge to get a view of the city by night (only available on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays)

Day 4
Time for some last minute shopping before checking out of your hotel and taking the shuttle back to the airport for your onward or return journey.

San Francisco - Cable Cars SFCVB photo

Credit San Francisco CVB


San Francisco - Alcatraz SFCVB photo by Lewis Sommer

Credit Lewis Sommer

            Mission Dolores SFCVB Mami Miyata

Little Gems

Little Gems

The evening tour to Alcatraz – numbers are limited at this time of day, giving you a true feeling of isolation and if you are lucky with the weather, you may get a lovely sunset to the west.

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Ontario in Winter

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Ontario has much to offer on a winter break in Canada as well as the more popular summer and with the opportunity for a little skiing as well, this is an idea with wide appeal.  

Summary

Ontario In Winter

Day 1: Toronto
Day 2: Niagara-on-the-Lake
Day 4: Blue Mountain Resort
Day 7: Huntsville
Day 9: Ottawa
Day 11: Toronto

Description

Description

Here is one suggestion for a memorable self drive winter itinerary through this beautiful Province …

Day 1: Toronto
Fly into Toronto and spend the night in the city. Shop at the world’s largest underground shopping centre ‘The Path’; full of shops, restaurants and entertainment this is great place to explore when it’s chilly outside. Take a trip up the CN tower for superb city views.
One night Toronto

Day 2: Niagara-on-the-Lake
Collect a hire car and drive to the quaint village of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The area is famous for the production of Ice Wine and each January the village hosts its own Ice Wine Festival where you can tempt your taste buds with this delicious regional speciality. The magnificent Niagara Falls are a short drive away; during the winter the falls often have the illusion of being partially frozen as the mist wraps around them – a magical sight.
Two nights Niagara on the Lake

Day 4: Blue Mountain Resort
Drive to Blue Mountain Resort on the edge of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. There is plenty of family fun to be enjoyed as you learn to ski on the gentle slopes, ice skate, stroll along the cobbled streets of the village nestled at the foot of the slopes, or simply relax in the Spa.
Three nights Blue Mountain

Day 7: Huntsville
Next stop is Huntsville, your base for experiencing wintery adventures in Algonquin Provincial Park. In this winter wonderland dogsledding, back country skiing, ice fishing and snowmobiling are amongst the activities on offer
Two nights Huntsville

Day 9: Ottawa
Continue to Ottawa, with its charming blend of English and French culture. The Winterlude Festival held annually in February is a great family event. Skate on the Rideau Canal, watch spectacular firework displays and marvel at the magnificent ice sculptures.
Two nights Ottawa

Day 11: Toronto
Return home today for your overnight flight home from Ottawa.

WS Rideau Canal

Credit Ottawa Tourism


Wolves1 Haliburton CR-Butterill

Credit Butterill

      

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

A winter holiday in Canada is far more than a skiing holiday.  In this itinerary, there are so many opportunities to take part in winter activities besides skiing.

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