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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Queen Isabel- Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley


November is the perfect time to travel through Portugal and Spain. With weather that is less dreary than the rest of Europe, these countries make for the perfect winter sojourn.  The Douro River, rising in Spain and reaching the Atlantic Ocean in Porto, has created the spectacular Douro River Valley, A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by rambling vineyards and charming native fields called quintas cling to the steep sides of the Douro River Valley, creating one of the most gorgeous, unspoiled regions of Europe. If you are a lover of Port, it is also the oldest demarcated Port wine region of the world.

Guests will have the chance to explore the seven hills of cosmopolitan Lisbon, discovering the charm of Old World architecture that is prevalent in the region. Guests will also be able to visit Coimbra, or the “Birthplace of Kings”; Porto, the beautiful “City of Bridges,” Guimaraes, which has its own UNESCO-listed Medieval city center and is a 2012 European Cultural Capital; and Salamanca, Spain, another declared UNESCO World Heritage Sight. This trip will take you through the history and culture of Europe, an experience unlike any other part of Europe, and one that cannot be missed for history buffs.

Queen Isabel features a main lounge with a full-service bar, restaurant, sun deck with a swimming pool, fitness center, serenity river spa, boutique, reception service, complimentary coffee and tea bar, and free Internet and Wi-Fi access. Like all WLCVacations cruises, guests will enjoy all the luxuries of a resort, with a knowledgeable staff and cuisine catered to your tastes, guests will enjoy the ultimate vacation with us. The Queen Isabel also has gorgeous river view staterooms and suites. Suites feature full balconies on the Upper Deck, French Balconies on the Main Deck, and panoramic windows on the Lower Deck. All staterooms and suits have hotel beds, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV, radio, alarm clock, iPhone/iPod charger and player, and bottled water. Our bathrooms are stocked with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, waffle bathrobes and slippers. Truly a luxurious retreat through Spain and Portugal.

If you would like to learn more about how you can book your vacation on the Queen Isabel, visit our website here, or call U.S. toll-free 877-579-7447.


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

La Pinta- Galapagos Island Cruise


If you have ever dreamed of cruising through the Galapagos, La Pinta offers a relaxed, luxurious and lavish expedition. The atmosphere is comfortable with plush outside cabins, the highest standards of service, and international cuisine as well as featured celebrated Ecuadorian dishes. Yacht La Pinta, has been designed to give guests a trip through the Galapagos Islands they will never forget. The 207 ft. yacht accommodates 48 guests, providing them with lots of space and comfort.

The cruise is an eight-day, seven-night trip which will take guests through the Galapagos and simultaneously provide guests encounters with unique fauna, such as the famous giant Galapagos tortoises in the wild, land and marine iguanas, flamingos, penguins, blue footed boobies and the famous Darwin’s finches.

The La Pinta is unique in that is provides guests with the ultimate Galapagos adventure, environmental interpretation, aquatic activities, relaxation, superb service, and great dining. Guests will be able to experience everything they would expect at a luxury resort from the decks of the yacht. Guests will enjoy luxury-dining experiences that will introduce them to regional food, as well as classic dishes. The La Pinta also have Naturalist Guides who will enhance guests experience by teaching them about the region and enhance their interpretative skills with the use of state-of-the-art-expedition equipment.

The relaxed, yet lavish expedition atmosphere provides guests with the ultimate opportunity to relax and unwind. Once you are aboard the La Pinta, we take care of your meals, accommodation, island sightseeing, guide and lecture services, and taxes and transfers on the island. We even provide the fear for snorkeling in the clear blue waters! This trip is unlike any other island expedition, we encourage you see one of the most famous island chains in world.

To learn more about the La Pinta luxury vacation cruise and how you can book your trip, visit our website here, or call U.S. toll-free 877-579-7447.


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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Machu Picchu- Is It Closing?


There have been rumors for a while about the closure of Machu Picchu. There have been rumors that it will be shut down for a couple years, and all the way up to fifty years. While there seems to be no definitive answer about whether it will actually close, there is only one confirmed closure every year. That closure is during the month of February, when the government closes the Inca trail to trim back vegetation as well as make various repairs.

One of the many reasons Machu Picchu is so popular is because of the Incan people. In less than a century, the Inca Empire reached a size similar to the Roman Empire, with access to a huge manpower that built a spanning network to unify the territory. The famous Inca Trail linking the sacred valley of Cusco to Machu Picchu, is only a small part of the giant tangential and road network that was, it is also the most famous. This trail is where adventurous tourists can walk over 26 kilometers for 4 days to enjoy dramatic wildlife and enter the sanctuary through the Sun Gate.

The rumors surrounded Machu Picchu closing seem to flower and fade throughout the year, all of them so far spurious and ultimately fruitless. Where these rumors come from is anyone’s guess, but they might tie-in with the Inca Trail closure in February, as well as frequently voiced concerns regarding erosion of the site and how to best protect it for future generations.

Is it actually likely to close in the future though? No one really knows at this point. Certain events can force temporary closure, such as in late-January 2010 when torrential rains damaged the local train and road infrastructure and left tourists stranded. During that closure (which was through April 1, 2010), there was a loss of revenue for the Peruvian government of totaling $185 million according to Martin Perez, Peru’s Tourism Minister. Peruvian authorities at this point are very wary to close it because of the loss of revenue that will incur.

One thing is for sure though, if Machu Picchu does close, it will be HUGE news. It won’t be rumors swirling around the Internet and blogosphere; it will be front-page news worldwide. As of right now, Machu Picchu is open to the public every day of the year from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm (or thereabouts). The only thing to watch for when booking your trip is the weather, as weather conditions can prevent/inhibit you from seeing Machu Picchu in all its glory.

The only way to know for sure you’ll visit this incredible destination- is to book your vacation today. Please visit www.WLCVacations.com for more information.



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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Portugal In November? We Think So!


Portugal, if you are European, is known for its amazing sights, history, and cuisine. If you are American, Portugal has largely remained undiscovered. American tourists are travelling to neighboring Spain, and for some reason, usually skip over Portugal all together. For a small country about the size of Indiana, this Iberian nation boasts nearly every activity for travelers, as well as great annual events. November in particular is a great time to travel to Portugal, while other parts of Europe become wet and dreary in November, most of Portugal sees unusually warm and sunny weather, referred to there as ‘St. Martin’s Summer’.  St. Martin’s Day, on November 11th brings countrywide celebrations, including indulging in roasted chestnuts and a local alcoholic beverage called Gerupiga. November also brings lower prices for travellers, which is always a plus.

In addition to the pleasant weather, November also marks the National Horse Fair in Golega, one of the most important horse festivals in Portugal. Events include equestrian competitions, a horse auction, and an array of local food and beverages tourists can enjoy. From November 8 through 13, chocolate lovers will be able to attend the International Chocolate Festival in Obidous. Visitors will enjoy tastings, chocolate sculptures, and even a chocolate fashion show.

Travellers to Lisbon at the end of November should consider attending Lisbon’s fifth annual Contemporary Art Fair, which takes place November 24 through 28. There are also several music festivals in Portugal throughout November. If you decide to visit Portugal in November, you will be delighted to learn that there are actually fewer crowds in November, which makes it perfect for visitors to explore streets and cities without feeling crowded or rushed. Because November is also during Europe’s off-peak travel months, visitors can score great deals on hotels and bed and breakfasts. Flights are also cheaper and if your plan well, often travel within Portugal can be cheaper as well.

November truly can be a great time to travel to Europe, as long as you know where! Consider exploring Portugal and seeing a whole other side to Europe with fewer crowds, cheaper lodging, and less expensive travel costs. What more could you want in a vacation?



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