1000 Places To See Before You Die – Why Britain’s best made the book

February 4, 2012

 

1000 Places To See Before You Die

 

By Getachew Teklu

The international travel bestseller is back nearly a decade after it first hit the bookshelves, 1000 Places to See before You Die is being  released with over 200 entries for Britain. “Every trip to Britain guarantees surprises at every turn. England promises a remarkable variety of things to see, from world wonders to small and unsung gems – both man-made and places of natural beauty. Scotland is empty and majestic, Wales a plethora of castles, and Belfast born again with an irresistible high-energy scene. And with everything within a relative small area, a visit to Great Britain is manageable and a delight – a veritable see-before-you-die experience”. Patricia Schultz, author.

Britain has no shortage of entries in the book with 53 destinations and over 200 places getting a mention. From Lands End in Cornwall, where the Olympic torch will make its entry to Britain, to Balfour Castle in the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland, with plenty of places in between. Britain has some magnificent cathedrals – all of them offering something unique to see. Visit the grave of Jane Austen or see Antony Gormley’s famous sculpture Sound II at Winchester Cathedral or try Canterbury Cathedral to see for yourself what inspired Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The oldest surviving original clock face of its kind in the world can be seen in Wells and the view from the top of the tower at Salisbury, Britain’s tallest spire at 225 feet above the ground is breathtaking.

If you love nothing more than seeing how the Lords and Ladies of past and present live then the wealth of stately homes and houses in Britain must be on your list of places to visit. Britain has a huge variety of festivals that take place every year that are attended by visitors from all over the world. In the world of opera, Glyndebourne is unique. The opera house stands next to the country home of John Christie, who founded it in 1934. So whether you start with North Wales, home to some of Europe’s finest surviving examples of medieval castle construction, The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, The Lochs and their legends in Scotland or The Lake District in England make sure you get there before you die and see why some of our most loved destinations made the book

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Travel predictions for 2012 show Americans traveling farther, spending more

January 1, 2012

ADMAS TRAVEL & TOURS

By KRISTI PIHL

More Americans are expected to travel farther from home in 2012 according to a recent survey by Travel Leaders.Of the top 20 travel destinations, 11 are in Europe, Asia and Australia, which is up from 9 in 2011.And more than  91 percent of Travel Leaders surveyed say clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2012 as compared to last year.                            The survey is based on booking data and was conducted from Nov. 21 to Dec. 16 using responses from 640 Travel Leaders owners, managers and travel experts in the nation. Travel Leaders has offices in the Mid-Columbia. About 43 percent of clients are spending about the same per trip as they did in 2011, while 44 percent are spending somewhat more, according to the survey.“Our surveyed travel agents indicate there’s an increase in interest and bookings for small ship cruising, off-the-beaten path travel, and international family travel,” said Roger E. Block, CTC, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group, which includes travel agency locations from coast to coast. “With these luxury-oriented segments on the rise, it’s no wonder the overall optimism our Travel Leaders have heading into 2012 based on bookings to-date for the upcoming year is also very high.”Travel Leaders travel agents nationwide say Croatia is the top “up and coming” international destination in Europe, Vietnam is tops within Asia and Panama narrowly edges out Ecuador and Brazil among destinations in Central and South America.And more travelers are planning ahead, with 64 percent booking travel within the United States eight weeks or more ahead and 90 percent booking international travel 8 weeks or more ahead, according to the survey.

Here is the top 20 list of international destinations based on the survey: 1. CRUISE- Caribbean, same as 2010 2. Cancun, Mexico, same as 2010 3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico, more than 2010 4. CRUISE- Europe (Mediterranean), 3rd in 2010 5. Rome, Italy, same as 2010 6. London, England, same as 2010 7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, 9th in 2010 8. Paris, France, 11th in 2010 9. Montego Bay, Jamaica, 7th in 2010 10. Negril, Jamaica, 15th in 2010 11. Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Mexico, 12th in 2010 12. Florence and/or Tuscany, Italy, 14th in 2010 13. CRUISE- Europe (River), tied for 21 in 2010 14. Beijing, China, 16th in 2010 15. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 13th in 2010 16. (tie) between CRUISE- Mexico, was 10th in 2010, and Sydney, Australia, 19th in 2010 18. Barcelona, Spain, 20th in 2010 19. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tied for 26 in 2010 20. Hong Kong, China, tied for 23 in 2010 Here is the top 20 list of United States destinations for 2012 according to the survey: 1. Las Vegas, NV, same as 2010 2. Orlando, FL, same as 2010 3. Maui, HI, tied for 4th in 2010 4. Cruise – Alaska, 3rd in 2010 5. New York City, NY, 6th in 2010 6. Honolulu, HI, tied for 4th in 2010 7. Washington, D.C., same as 2010 8. Chicago, IL, tied for 10th in 2010 9. Los Angeles, CA, 12th in 2010 10. Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, tied for 10th in 2010 11. Atlanta, GA, 15th in 2010 12. San Francisco, CA, 9th in 2010 13. Fort Myers, FL, tied for 19th in 2010 14. Cruise – Hawaii, 8th in 2010 15. Fort Lauderdale, FL, 16th in 2010 16. Anaheim/Orange County, CA, tied for 13th in 2010 17. Lihue (Kauai), HI, tied for 22 in 2010 18. Miami/Miami Beach, FL, tied for 13th in 2010 19. tied between Kona (Big Island), HI, tied for 26th in 2010, and Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL, 18th in 2010.

Source: Business beat


Floating tour bus launches in Amsterdam

August 20, 2011
By Harriet Baskas, msnbc.com contributor

If you’ve got a long layover between flights, your choices at most airports are to eat, drink, shop or attempt to nap while sitting up − and without drooling.

But passengers with at least five hours to wait at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport now have a new, entertaining and amphibious option.

On Wednesday, after a month-long delay, the Floating Dutchman welcomed aboard its first paying customers. The service is a cross between a bus and a boat and drives tourists from the airport to the city, enters the water at a specially-built ‘Splash Zone’ to give passengers a floating canal tour and then returns, via the highway, to the airport.

Speaking to Overhead Bin during the canal tour portion of the tour on Thursday, Annette Fatael of Toronto, Canada, said: “We have a nine-hour layover on our way from Toronto to Tel Aviv and chose this from several tours offered at the airport. It’s a huge tour bus and it was hard to believe that it was going to go into the water.”

The amphibious bus carries 48 passengers, cruises the canals on battery power and is a partnership between the airport, the city of Amsterdam and a local cruise company.

The swimming boat concept is much like the Duck Tours offered in many U.S. cities. “But our floating is different because it is a luxury touring car and a fully equipped boat,” said Freek Vermeulen, managing director of Great Amsterdam Excursions. “We have a license plate and a marine certificate, so we can go everywhere. Duck Tours often use old army vehicles, are very noisy and only have permission to operate on a certain route.”

Tours last two hours and 45 minutes and are offered three times a day. Tickets cost about $56 (39 Euros) for adults and about $28 (19.50 Euros) for children. Booking online offers a 10 percent discount.

“It may prove to be one of the best ways to explore Amsterdam during a connection,” Cristian Petre of Romania wrote in the Flying Dutchman guestbook after the first day of tours on Wednesday. “We’ve now got an idea what the city is about and would return for more exploring,” noted the Kireta family of Australia.

It’s not as if Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is such a terrible place to spend a long layover. To serve the 40 percent of passengers making connections through Schiphol, the airport offers amenities that include a casino, in-terminal hotels, a library, more than 100 shops and restaurants and an outdoor observation deck. There’s also a park (with trees) inside the terminal and a branch of the Rijksmuseum.

A few other airports, including Incheon in Seoul, South Korea, and Hong Kong International Airport also offer transit passengers organized city tours. Singapore’s Changi Airport offers complimentary tours of the city. Turkish Airlines passengers stopping over at Istanbul Airport also receive free tours.


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