American Cruise Lines is doubling capacity in the Pacific Northwest for 2018

American Cruise Lines’ newest ship, American Constellation, will be heading to the West Coast in 2018. The decision came as a result of increased demand for American’s popular Southeast Alaska, Alaska Inside Passage, and Puget Sound itineraries. American Constellation began its inaugural season in May of this year and is currently serving a number of American’s East Coast cruises.

American Constellation

The addition of the 175 passenger ship will more than double American Cruise Lines’ capacity in the Pacific Northwest and add 18 cruises to the 2018 season. The new addition will allow an expanded schedule in Alaska aboard American Constellation, while enabling American Spirit to operate the company’s popular Puget Sound & San Juan Islands itinerary through July and August of 2018. This will be the first time American has ever offered summer cruises in Puget Sound.

Puget Sound and San Juan Islands

While expanding its existing schedule, American Cruise Lines has also added a brand new itinerary, the Grand Puget Sound, for the 2018 cruise season. This 11-day round-trip out of Seattle will travel to some of the most popular destinations in the Pacific Northwest, including a number of ports not often accessed by larger cruise ships, such as Olympia and Tacoma.

Additional details about the new itinerary will be announced soon. “Small ship cruising is the best way to experience Alaska and Puget Sound,” says Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American “and with our brand new ships, we are able to accommodate evolving guest expectations for premium comfort.”

Before heading west, American Constellation will spend the remainder of 2017 on the East Coast serving American’s Grand New England, Hudson River, Grand Historic South, and Historic South cruises. New for 2018, American Constitution will be taking over these itineraries.

Go Veggie in Taiwan

There is a saying: “In Taiwan, there is a snack shop every three steps and a restaurant every five.”
With a tradition of preparing and serving the freshest foods and a climate that fosters abundant vegetation all year round, Taiwan charts an authentic culinary voyage for every curious palate. A journey through Taiwan is a feast for all the senses.

Bing guan cau mei

World’s 2nd tallest building will give you a breathtaking view and experience. Find yourself taking a ride to the top – 89 floors in 36 secs.

Shaved mango ice dessert

There are quite a few vegetarian restaurants in Taiwan, given the Buddhist culture. Usually you will find a vegetarian eating joint in a 20 minute walking radius. Typically the restaurant will have pure vegetarian cuisines – No onion, No garlic, No egg. It *may* have dairy options but you can easily choose vegan if you like. These restaurants cater to the Buddhist population mostly who follow this strict vegetarian diet and vegetarian food is well understood by the term “monk food”. Fruits, vegetables, noodles, grains, rice and lots of drink options are easily available.

Also, because many different cultures have been introduced to this country, a vast range of foreign food has appeared, such as American burgers and fries, Italian pizza, Japanese soups and Swiss cheese. Such culinary diversity makes Taiwan a gourmet heaven. There is lot’s to do here, the country can be a treasure trove of pleasant surprises.

Tingle your taste buds with the local Maldivian Cuisine

Maldives was populated over the years by shipwrecked passengers, pirates, kings, queens and salves from all over the world. You can find lineage from European, African and Middle Eastern nations, throughout the Maldives. This meant that food and Maldivian cuisine was greatly influenced by the tastes from its concoction of cultures and races.

Snacks

It is a fact that Maldives has tiny islands, scarce in land area and hence allowing for few animals such as hens, roosters and goats to be used for husbandry. The coral sand was never ideal for planting trees in the smaller islands, further limiting the amount of vegetation that thrives in the Maldives. This also meant, there was limited farming done as well, due to lack of land and rich soil, and the warm equatorial sun throughout the year. The abundant fish life in the surrounding waters of the islands, meant that the main diet of Maldivians, was based on fish. Whether it be fish, lobsters, crabs or cuttlefish and octopus, these are just some of the delicacies from its clean and fresh waters, that can be commonly found at restaurants and cafés today.

maldives traditional food

The local cuisine, is infused with Indian spices and hot chilly tastes from Sri Lanka and with rice as the staple food. The traditional Maldivian diet was tuna curries and a special tuna paste called ‘Rihaakuru’ (which is derived from cooked tuna in water with salt and few spices) along with white rice. Today, one can find an abundance of western dishes and food available all over the Maldives; very much influenced by the international visitors and the booming tourism industry.

Maldives sea food

A lot of the young people of Maldives live on a diet of gourmet coffee and short eats made out of tuna and flour. These short eats are similar to those found in the south Asian region, but, still different, in its fresh tuna and coconut usage. One needs to tickle their palate with these short eats during an evening tea from a local tea shop called ‘Saihotaa” to truly understand the addiction to it.

Maldives Kueh Chap

For you to truly experience the traditional Maldivian cuisine, that is neither spicy nor hot, but as wonderful as a memory that makes you smile, every time you recall; you need to visit some of the inhabited islands, away from the capital city of Male’.

Seared Tuna

The Maldivian people are warm, illuminating and extremely hospitable that you immediately feel “home away from home”, as soon as you set your first step here. So enjoy some romantic holidays, feel being at a private hideaway by leaving your kids’ at a stylish, fun and surprising Kids’ club at your resort; you can be rest assured that your children are safe and enjoying to the max!

Top 10 Things You Must Experience In Taiwan

Full of intriguing spots for visitors to explore, Taiwan is more than just a business centre. An ideal location and a unique promise of natural beauty, best in the world geological parks, outdoor adventure combined with exotic cuisines, great shopping, wellness treatments with hot-coldmud springs and buzzing urban life. Here are some great reasons to save up for a trip to Taiwan:

1. Take a ride up to the sky in the world’s fastest elevator – Taipei 101

World’s 2nd tallest building will give you a breathtaking view and experience. Find yourself taking a ride to the top – 89 floors in 36 secs.

2. Prepare yourself to be amazed at the sunset view in the Sun Moon lake

Nantou is Taiwan’s only inland county but is home to the famous, unrivalled Sun Moon Lake, the largest freshwater lake. Attracting visitors from abroad, it’s an essential tourist destination, and in addition to scenic beauty, the unique landscape has made it an excellent place for biking, marathons, and an annual swimming competition, which is the area’s biggest and longest-running event, since 1983.

3. Relive History at the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Located in Shilin County, Taipei, National Palace Museum has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks. The collection includes artifacts from over 10,000 years of Chinese history starting from the Neolithic age to the late Qing Dynasty.

4. Marvel at the release of a sky lantern at Shi Fen Old Street!

Filled with groups of teenagers and lovers with high hopes and ambitious dreams, you will see constant release of sky lanterns in the clear blue sky.

5. Trek to a Volcano at Yang Ming Shan National Park

The mention of Yang Ming Shan brings about associations to relaxation, recuperation and adventure. Lined with hot springs along the mountain, city dwellers will take a day trip to soak their bodies in milky sulphuric baths and rest their eyes on miles of luscious green hills. You should also know, Taiwan is home to one of the world’s Top 15 Hotspring sites!

6. Kayaking at Carp Lake

Carp Lake is located a short drive from Taroko Gorge, and is a perfect spot for an introduction to kayaking. Sea kayaking off the coast of Hualien is also possible depending on the season.

7. Shop your heart out at the buzzing Night Markets

When the world is sleeping, Taipei – the capital city of Taiwan has an exciting night life to offer to tourists that is entertaining yet economical. Starting from shopping to satiating your belly with mouth watering Taiwanese cuisine, the night life of Taiwan will give you an unprecedented experience.

8. Spend a day with Taiwanese aboriginals at Formosan Aboriginal Culture village

Situated in Nantou County near The Sun Moon lake is home to 16 aboriginal tribes. Each tribe has different styles of tattoo making, weaving and making accessories. The villagers teach the tourists the art of making tattoo and accessories.

9. Visit the Santorini of Taiwan at Jiu Fen Old Street

One could spend their day experiencing a variety of tea sessions overlooking the mountains and seas, visit a few good eateries when exploring the smaller lanes and pick a few tit bits from the local market.

10. Real steel is not a fantasy in Taiwan!

In order to promote robotics industry and applications, Shayang Ye Industry Co Ltd not only illustrates the history of robots, but also has a set up of an interactive experience area and exhibited somatosensory fighting robot - True Real Steel ! It brings the real and depth robot technology experience to visitors.
We overwhelm you with a plethora of more reasons to visit Taiwan. Come visit Asia’s Best Kept Secret!

American Cruise Lines announces its newest itinerary, Grand New England

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, recently announced the brand new ‘Grand New England’ itinerary. This 11-day round-trip out of Boston combines highlights of the cruise line’s current New England Islands and Maine Coast & Harbors itineraries and introduces some new ports of call.

American Constitution

The new Grand New England travels to many popular destinations, including Bar Harbor, ME; Newport, RI; Martha’s Vineyard, MA; and two new ports of call in Provincetown, MA and Kennebunkport, ME. Cruise highlights include an authentic lobsterbake luncheon on the shore of Penobscot Bay, a tour of Newport and the Breakers Mansion, Captain Jack’s Lobsterboat adventure, and a guided tour of Acadia National Park.

Puget Sound and San Juan Islands

“Response to this new cruise has been tremendous and our guests are excited about departing from the great city of Boston,” says Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “To make this amazing itinerary even better, we are offering a pre-cruise package that allows our guests to enjoy Boston a day earlier and stay overnight at one of Boston’s great hotels.”

The first Grand New England Cruise will be inaugurated on May 21, 2017 and will run throughout the summer through mid-September. Designed with elegance in mind, this brand new coastal cruise ship will carry a capacity of just 165 guests and is uniquely designed to navigate the inland waterways of the East Coast.

10 Compelling reasons that will impel you to host your next MICE event at Yas Island

It may be known for its world-class leisure attractions including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Waterworld, but Yas Island is emerging as a serious contender for business tourism too.

Marina Circuit
  1. Yas Island is your one stop shop for MICE planners looking to combine work and play all within a five-kilometer radius.
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
  1. Race to Success with your events and meetings hosted at signature attractions, such as Yas Marina Circuit or Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. The venue has several spaces available for corporate activities and events for groups of up to 800 delegates. Venues include the Yas Marina Paddock Club, the three-storey Paddock Team Villas and the 1,200-square-metre Media Centre. For something out of the ordinary, companies can hire one, or all, of the 36 Paddock Garages in the pits, which feature air conditioning to keep participants cool in the desert heat. Corporate hospitality packages are exclusively available around the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which takes place annually in November, are highly sought-after. Throughout the rest of the year, there are plenty of race-related incentives to get pulses racing. Yas Marina Circuit offers a range of full- and half-day team-building packages at Yas Racing School and Yas Kartzone, ranging from an entry-level Rookie & Teaser Package to the Yas Premium Package, which includes test drives of a Formula Yas 3000 and Aston Martin GT4 with personalised instruction from an instructor.
Couple walking at Yas beach
  1. Bring the power and innovation of Ferrari to your special events. At Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s first and only Ferrari theme park, with more than 20 Ferrari inspired rides and attractions from the world’s fastest roller coaster to fun racing simulators; the park can be availed to host meetings and events for 15 to 2000 guests. The Park is well equipped to host anything from large-scaled gala dinners to intimate drinks receptions. Whether it is surrounded by the Scuderia passion in La Piazza, or inside Galleria Ferrari, the largest collection of Ferrari’s outside of Maranello; the dedicated and specialized group and events department can provide you with a bespoke experience and individual quote aligned to your requirements.
Seawings Seaplane Taking Off
  1. On the water and at the heart of the Island, Dock, Dine and Discover at Yas Marina- a destination within a destination, offering something for everyone, both at sea and ashore. Awarded “Best Marina”- The World of Yatchs Recognition Awards 2010 and 2012, the Marina is a superb destination playing host to a variety of vibrant dining and entertainment venues. Providing access to 227 berths catering for yachts from 8 to 150 metres and giving visitors access to pristine coastlines, uninhabited islands and the nearby cosmopolitan cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai; the Marina is a glamorous location for VIP meeting over the super yatchs and alternatively the perfect location for a gala event on the terrace of either one of the 7 waterside restaurants or bars.
Yas Marina Circuit at Yas Island Abu Dhabi
  1. Throw a fun-seeking Emirati themed event at UAE’s first Emirati themed water park- Yas Waterworld- a must for thrill-seekers to freak out on its 45 rides, slides and attractions. Also ideal for corporate events, the park draws on the UAE’s rich culture to offer a fascinating insight into local life. Personalised experiences are offered and the in-house event team helps to organize everything from transport to catering.
Couple enjoying at Yas beach
  1. Set on the tranquil shores of the south beach against an unrivalled backdrop of the sea and mangroves, Yas Beach is Yas Island’s only beach providing an idyllic experience. A perfect location for a private setting.
Yas Mall at Yas Island Abu Dhabi
  1. Golfing Treats can be facilitated at Yas Links Abu Dhabi, the first links golf club in the Middle East. With dramatic views of the Arabian Gulf, an award-winning 18-hole championship course and perfect playing weather for most of the year, the club is an ideal venue for a meeting or event with a difference. The club offers a number of unique meeting venues, including Hickory’s, which features a 5,080-capacity terrace with views over the course; a popular Spanish-themed fine-dining restaurant Barranca, which has several space options for a more intimate event. More options include two theatres in the restaurants’ annexes, a clubhouse, meeting rooms and dedicated event lawns. Team-building activities can also take place at the Yas Links golf course. Instructors offer a range of clinics for beginners and seasoned players, with group sessions for up to six people per professional. The club also organises competitions from par-three contests to crazy putting.
Yas Water World Top View
  1. A feast for the senses- Yas Island uniquely offers opportunities to indulge all senses. For those who want to add some flavour to their meetings, consider treating guests to a gourmet-themed event at one the numerous restaurants on the island. Also catering to the other senses, are several top spas on the island, namely the award-winning ESPA at the Yas Viceroy Hotel and The Radisson Blu Spa offering everything from aromatherapy to beauty treatments. For the feast to the ears and eyes, you have the outdoor du Arena and indoor du Forum concert venues; which have welcomed a huge host of performers, including Madonna, Britney Spears, Sting and Metallica among others. The du Forum can accommodate up to 2,500 people theatre-style or 1,700 for a gala dinner, with cutting-edge LED lighting system for hi-tech branding.
Yas Kart Zone
  1. Get a Bird’s Eye view with Seawings, exclusively at Yas Island. Jet straight out of Yas Marina on a Seawings water plane, and soar high above Yas Island and all of its attractions. Take in the majestic modern masterpiece, the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, get full aerial appreciation on the Yas Marina Circuit and be dazzled by the world’s largest Ferrari logo positioned on the roof of the world’s largest indoor waterpark.
Blue Grill Steakhouse
  1. It is said that one glance is all it takes to pull you in- Go Clubbing out of this World at O1NE Night Club; dance the night away surrounded by superb 360º and 3D projection mapping, taking you to different worlds, every time! This innovative breakthrough mixes art, luxury, technology and ingenuous engineering with its impeccable service to make it an unmatched experience!

With seven international hotels, 600 meeting and event facilities, vibrant leisure and entertainment options, and more than 100 restaurants, cafés and lounges, Yas Island is the best choice for your next corporate event. The iconic Yas Viceroy Hotel is in itself an ideal luxurious setting for meetings and events. Yas Viceroy contains 3,520 square metres of conference and banqueting space, including the Al Manaar Ballroom that can accommodate up to 400 guests, the Palm Garden which is perfect for a dinner of up to 850 guests, plus a rooftop pool deck, six meeting rooms and four boardrooms. All venues offer stunning views of the marina and are equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

Fun side of life at the kids fiendly Maldives

Maldives is one big outdoor adventure playground for kids, with the purest of white sand beaches and the warm and friendly Maldivian people. It has only been a misconception that Maldives is only for those after a relaxing and romantic escape. Instead, it is actually one of the best locations in the world for a family holiday with kids.

Family fun in Maldives

It is the only place where you can experience your own island getaway, staying either in a beach bungalow with your private beach area -where you can relax while watching your kids play on the beach, or a water villa in the middle of the lagoon where you can sit on your villa deck with your family while watching the colorful fish swimming in the shallow waters.

Family Sunset Walk

Some of the best luxury resorts in Maldives are designed with spacious kids’ clubs with all inclusive snack times & refreshments, mini yoga and fitness, playrooms with Wi-Fi and PlayStation, chocolate parties, marine biology classes, Maldivian handicraft and traditions, with Dhivehi lessons and talent shows.

Fisher man catching the fish

Resorts offer special rates and special promotions for kids under certain ages with a discount of some percentage in meals and transfers. There are resorts which offer complimentary meals and transfers with free accommodation for infants with special babysitting packages. Most of the resorts are children friendly with kids clubs.

Water Sport in Maldives

You are assured a holiday of a lifetime in an extraordinary beach destination such as Maldives; and when you’re with kids your trip may not be complete without a dolphin watching tour; as Maldives is one of the best places on the planet to experience these creatures up close. Over 23 different whale and dolphin species (a quarter of the world’s total) live in Maldives which ranks among the top five places on earth for watching dolphins and whales; the species range from the mighty Blue Whale to different varieties of playful and friendly Dolphins.

Sea surfing fun

The Maldivian people are warm, illuminating and extremely hospitable that you immediately feel “home away from home”, as soon as you set your first step here. So enjoy some romantic holidays, feel being at a private hideaway by leaving your kids’ at a stylish, fun and surprising Kids’ club at your resort; you can be rest assured that your children are safe and enjoying to the max!

Love Affair With Jordanian Food

There is no mistaking the fact that Jordan is a Kingdom steeped in history and culture.
Wherever you are in Jordan, you’re never too far away from a conversation about food. Every meal in Jordan can turn into a multi-course feast where several different small dishes are served for a combination of flavors.

A local family enjoying Mansaf

Jordanian cuisine caters to every need and fancy of an average foodie – from the fine diners to street food enthusiasts, from meat lovers to vegetarians and from savory bites to sweet cravings – the sky is the limit in experiencing different Jordanian dishes.

Jordan Restaurant

Jordanian food, with its culinary bonds with Arabic and Mediterranean countries, is not just nourishment for the soul; it is an experience that brings people closer over the course of a meal. Most Jordanian dishes, like mezze, are served on a large platter and shared communally with everyone on the table. Post awkwardness (as possibly felt by a first timer), it is an experience one learns to truly enjoy and cherish.

Tawaheen Al Hawa Restaurant

Those looking for a dramatic flare to their dining experience should try Zarb – a Bedouin Barbecue feast that is cooked underground. For Zarb, the meat and vegetables are marinated with a blend of spices and placed on a tray, which is moved into a preheated oven underground. The results are phenomenal, giving the meat a tender and smoky flavor, with perfectly cooked vegetables.

Jordanian Food Hummus

Only dishes to shadow Zarb, in history and symbolism, is Mansaf, meaning “large dish”, which stands proud as Jordan’s national dish. It is a rich and plentiful mélange of rice, lamb and rehydrated yogurt. Similar to Mansaf, Maqluba’s name defines it, with it literally meaning “upside down” in Arabic. Prepared in a pot with all ingredients of meat, rice and fried vegetables placed in separate layers, the Maqluba dish is turned upside down on the plate once it is cooked and ready to be served.

Jordanian Kibbeh

Fellow herbivores fret not! The common misconception about Jordanian cuisine is that there is a plethora of non-vegetarians options to choose from, but only a handful of dishes for vegetarians. In reality, Jordanian food relies a lot on fresh vegetables, beans, pulses and yogurt, hosting internationally famous dishes like Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Falafel.

Mount Nebo

Proceed to fall into a food coma only after indulging in Jordan’s national dessert, Kanafeh, a rich Levantine dessert made with white cheese, topped with crunchy pastry and drenched in sweet syrup.

Couple enjoying on Dead Sea

Needless to say, food is an extremely integral part of Jordanian culture, but each meal is almost certainly going to help you meet and mingle with some of the most hospitable and friendly people in the world.

The ultimate holiday destination & Entertainment capital – Yas Island

India is home to a growing population that is keen to explore the world and the variety of experiences it has to offer. Yas Island, a magnificent example of human endeavor and creativity in Abu Dhabi, is a hotspot to which the Indian traveler’s flocking to.

As a destination that defies imagination – Yas Island is truly a place where you can shop, eat, enjoy and have the holiday of a lifetime.

25 minutes from Abu Dhabi, 45 minutes from Dubai, and only 7 minutes away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport, Yas Island’s a place of impressive choices.

The region’s ultimate leisure destination is a playground for fun, adventure, entertainment and thrill-seeking action that is a must-see hub for tourists visiting the UAE. You will experience world class attractions and events on the Yas Island – From the world-famous Ferrari World theme park, to the wet and wild Yas Waterworld, and the instantly recognisable Yas Marina Circuit racetrack, Yas Island is the ideal destination for visitors with a taste for adrenalin.

Yas Island also has its simpler pleasures – such as Abu Dhabi’s largest shopping mall, a world-class golf course, and access to one of Abu Dhabi’s finest beach. But that isn’t all Yas Island offers: convenience, affordability, and flexibility– with a huge breadth of hotel options available are plus points jam-packed with new adventures at every turn leaving you and your loved ones wanting for more.
A world of opportunity awaits you at Yas Island!

World’s Best Diving Sites, Only in Maldives!

The warm seas of Maldives have high visibility throughout the year, with water clear enough to see the passing fish as far as fifty metres away at times. Add to that the marvellous formation of over 3000 coral reefs and the free flowing tides of the monsoons. The results of these perfect conditions have created one of the world’s richest diving coral reef areas.

Over a thousand species of fish and other underwater creatures inhabit the Maldivian waters. The monsoon tides of the Indian Ocean create a collection of small marine creatures as well as microscopic plant cells. This in turn creates a hub for all kinds of underwater species who gather in these waters lured by the abundance of food. In the Maldives you will get to see everything. From tiny shrimp and groups of colorful swimmers to the magnificent mantas and sharks, a careful eye will give you enough to enrapture you for a lifetime.

The best thing is that you need not be a professional diver to enjoy the Maldives. All resorts and safari boats give you basic to advanced training using well-monitored diving facilities of a high standard. Even the most reluctant diver can enjoy the beauty of Maldivian underwater life on a drift dive with the guidance of experienced dive instructors. A dive in a house reef is equally rewarding, all you need to do is swim a few minutes from shore. Due to the countless number of reefs found among the 26 atolls in the Maldives, all you need to do is travel 15 to 60 minutes by boat to get to a different dive spot every day.

The following atolls are home to some of the most popular dive sites in the Maldives – Ari Atoll, South Male Atoll, North Male Atoll, and the Addu Atoll. View more at: http://visitmaldives.com/